So September 1st came and went and again we didn’t go to Hogwarts. But this never stops Potterheads like myself from thinking about what types of things we would do and what cool stationary and supplies we would bring. A big question for all wizards when starting school is “owl, cat or toad?” and this is something I deliberate about a little too frequently.
Whereas an Owl is useful and oh so shade throwing, I adore cats (sorry toads, you don’t make the cut), so it’d be a tough decision. But most of the animals and creatures that feature in Harry Potter are really quite awesome, so I thought I’d do a list of the coolest pets Hogwarts had to offer, in no particular order as they are all brilliant. For the sake of newbie Potterheads, please stop reading here as spoilers are ahead, including a little one for the new Fantastic Beasts movie.
If this list was in a particular order, this furry friend would likely get the top spot. Owls, aside from being more reliable than An Post, are great and loyal companions. Hedwig in particular is a great pet for Harry as he often spends lots of time along during the summer holidays. Furthermore, the beautiful owl keeps Harry in touch with his friends (and in hiding Godfather), except of course when they don’t want to unsettle him during year 4 and 5, or when Dobby stops their mail. Most of all, Hedwig is one of the most gut-wrenching deaths in the Deathly Hallows, not only representing the death of innocence but also of Harry’s most beloved friend.
Another purposeful inclusion in the Harry Potter universe is Crookshanks. He is not only there to finally give Hermione a furry companion to call her own, but as a way to advance a plot point. His chasing of Ron’s rat Scabbers causes tension in the trio’s relationships and also calls into question the rat whom Ron calls a pet. It was later suggested that his ability to see more than a bit of dodgyness in the rat is more that cat intution; rather that Crookshanks is half-kneazle.
This magical element means that he is smarter than your average cat and assists Sirius Black in getting into Hogwarts among other things. Yet being fluffy, cuddly (and looking like his face was smushed by running into something) is enough to make him a charming pet.
Much like with Hedwig, Hagrid is the person who brings the most animal joy to the book series. Not one to enter anything into her plots lightly, Rowling had a great purpose for including this awe-inspiring creature in Prisoner of Azkaban. Buckbeak is both a flying companion and a getaway beast, but to Hagrid she is an affectionate and loyal pet and friend. Drawn from Greek Mythology, this hippogriff added a bit of the magical to the series as well as an interesting first lesson in Care of Magical Creatures.
Hagrid may not always know what makes a good pet, but when he gets it right, boy oh boy! As a dog lover, I may be just a bit biased, but this over-friendly dog is one of my absolute favourite characters. He is not always brave, in fact he often does the smart thing and run from danger, but he is loyal and adorable. I can’t imagine Hagrid without Fang, whether it’s during walks in the Forbidden Forest, or tucked up at night in his hut.
Leta Lestrange’s Jarvey
I always thought Newt Scamander would have an interesting pet at Hogwarts, and although I couldn’t find any information on this I did discover somebody else from his timeframe at Hogwarts who had an intriguing creature; Newt’s friend Leda. It has been revealed in the run-up to the release of The Crimes of Grindelwald that the reason for Newt’s expulsion were connected with an experiment that Leda did with a magical creature called a Jarvey, which resembles a ferret.
This is a prohibited creature, thus the expulsion. Although there has been no Jarveys featuring in any book or film to date. The description as per Newt’s textbook makes me want one. It was suggested to me to include an Otter (although no characters exist) and I do have a love of ferrets, otters and such animals anyway. Yet the Jarvey is even more interesting as it “is capable of human speech, although true conversation with a Jarvey is impossible.” Admittedly the fact that “the creature uses short, usually rude, statements and phrases in an almost constant stream” may cause annoyance after a while.