Rather than being cooped up in the dungeons hunched over a cauldron or trying not to pass out from the fumes of Professor Trelawney’s Divination classroom, Care of Magical Creatures offered the students of Hogwarts an introduction to amazing magical creatures, a chance to enjoy a bit of fresh air, and an excuse to group-hang with Hagrid. If you ask us, this class was underrated. Okay, fine, the Blast-Ended Skrewts may be an acquired taste.
Here’s a little rundown of some of the lessons we would’ve loved to have attended.
Trotting towards them were a dozen of the most bizarre creatures Harry had ever seen. They had the bodies, hind legs and tails of horses, but the front legs, wings and heads of what seemed to be giant eagles, with cruel, steel-coloured beaks and large, brilliantly orange eyes.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Hippogriffs were the subject of Hagrid’s first lesson, after coming on board as Care of Magical Creatures teacher in Harry’s third year, and the moment we met brilliant Buckbeak, who would soon become a pivotal character. Although Hagrid’s debut had some hiccups (such as Buckbeak getting suitably annoyed at Draco Malfoy and giving him a swipe, leading to almost getting executed...), meeting these creatures was a memorable moment – especially when Harry got to fly Buckbeak. We also love that Hippogriffs demand respect, insisting you bow to them when you approach them. Too right.
Today he had managed to capture two unicorn foals. Unlike full-grown unicorns, they were pure gold. Parvati and Lavender went into transports of delight at the sight of them, and even Pansy Parkinson had to work hard to conceal how much she liked them.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
What’s better than unicorns? Baby unicorns, that’s what. Eager to get one over on his replacement Care of Magical Creatures teacher, Professor Grubbly-Plank, Hagrid went one better than her by capturing two unicorn foals for his return to work. (He had a bit of time off after a damning article was published about him by Rita Skeeter.)
Talk about coming back with a bang, though. Unicorn foals seemed even more adorable than their adult counterparts – on account of the fact they were gold, and liked boys more, which apparently full-grown unicorns don’t. And you get to feed them sugar lumps! Beats Arithmancy any day.
‘Kindly keep your voices down, girls!’ said Professor Grubbly-Plank sharply, scattering a handful of what looked like brown rice among the stick-creatures, who immediately fell upon the food. ‘So – anyone know the names of these creatures? Miss Granger?’
‘Bowtruckles,’ said Hermione. ‘They’re tree-guardians, usually live in wand-trees.’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
We know now Bowtruckles all too well from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but they actually cropped up in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix first, during a lesson helmed by Professor Grubbly-Plank.
The cute little guys were one of the fifth year’s first subjects of the year, after Hagrid had gone mysteriously missing, much to the enjoyment of Draco Malfoy and his friends. Despite the class drama, the lesson sounded really fun, with everyone having to draw the adorable, twiggy tree-guardians at the end. Is this the closest Hogwarts gets to an art class?
The Blast-Ended Skrewts were growing at a remarkable pace, given that nobody had yet discovered what they ate. Hagrid was delighted and, as part of their ‘project’, suggested that they come down to his hut on alternate evenings to observe the Skrewts and make notes on their extraordinary behaviour.
‘I will not,’ said Draco Malfoy flatly, when Hagrid had proposed this with the air of Father Christmas pulling an extra large toy out of his sack. ‘I see enough of these foul things during lessons, thanks.’
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Look. We know what you’re going to say. Blast-Ended Skrewts aren’t fun for anybody. They’re disgusting shell-less, slimy lobsters. They’re a fire hazard. They smell bad. They provided a traumatising class for Harry and the fellow students. And yes, while this is a fair assessment, you can’t deny the class was unforgettable.
Skrewts have feelings too, okay?
Special mention: Flobberworms
Oh, Flobberworms. We hardly knew ye. Yes, these creatures may just be floppy worms that eat lettuce and literally don’t do anything else, but that’s not their fault! Poor Hagrid switched from Hippogriffs to these little fellows after a bout of low confidence, but that’s not to say Flobberworms aren’t useful. Sure, they die incredibly easily, but aside from that, they’re not doing any harm. And did you know they produce mucus that can be used as a thickener for some potions?
This week, we’re celebrating the upcoming launch of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, coming soon to Universal Orlando. You can learn more about the ride from the official website and stay tuned all this week to learn new updates.