Harry experienced plenty of interesting – and often dangerous – Care of Magical Creatures lessons. From Blast-Ended Skrewts to Flobberworms, we've ranked his lessons from most to least treacherous.
8th: Blast-Ended Skrewts
The honour of most dangerous Care of Magical Creatures lesson has to go to the Blast-Ended Skrewts. These horrible creature with the blasting ends, stingers and suckers were really rather… gross. Over the course of several lessons, Harry and his class suffered cuts, bruises, burns and they still couldn’t figure out one end of a Skrewt from the other. Any lesson where you have to escape from a group of large, rampaging, lobster-looking creatures and take shelter in Hagrid’s hut is always going to be considered rather hazardous in our eyes. There’s also the fact that Hagrid seemed to have been involved in some rather dodgy dealings when it came to acquiring these beasts. We’re not sure that their creation was strictly legal, or Ministry approved…
Ok, so we have a soft spot for Buckbeak – he was a faithful companion to both Hagrid and Sirius and could be perfectly lovely. Harry had no problem approaching him and he even let Harry ride him! However, we have to acknowledge that picking a group of Hippogriffs as your first lesson as a teacher was quite a risky move for Hagrid… especially when your class contained Draco Malfoy. Of course, it was Draco’s arrogance and failure to listen to Hagrid that led to him getting hurt. He should never have been rude to Buckbeak – Hagrid had even warned the class that insulting a Hippogriff could be the last thing they’d ever do. Yet, a lesson ending with a trip to the hospital wing has to go quite high up the danger list, even when it was Malfoy’s fault.
Poor Thestrals, they have a bit of an unfair reputation – what with being closely associated with death and misfortune – but we think the Care of Magical Creatures lesson on them wasn’t too high in the danger stakes. Obviously, we know that the Thestrals at Hogwarts were quite tame, but Hagrid did admit that they would bite when annoyed. And for those students who couldn’t see them, we can imagine it was a rather unnerving experience. Professor Umbridge didn’t help matters either – what with her demeaning attitude towards Hagrid which led him to be a little distracted when discussing their finer points. We guess we also have to bring up that they’re technically classed as dangerous by the Ministry of Magic and other teachers, such as Grubbly-Plank, wouldn’t show them to a class until N.E.W.T. level. Although, we feel a lot of the negativity surrounding them is due to their association with being a bad omen and they’re more misunderstood than dangerous.
You might be surprised to find the lesson on Bowtruckles in the middle of our list. After all, these creatures are tiny little sticks – what harm could they possibly cause? Not to mention that this lesson was run by Professor Grubbly-Plank who was known to be less… eccentric than Hagrid when it came to lesson planning. Yet, you would be wise to not be too complacent around these miniscule magical creatures. Bowtruckles have long, sharp fingers which they will use to try and gouge a person’s eyeballs if angered. While they seemed happy enough to be handled by the members of the class (as they tried to draw annotated sketches of them), Harry soon learnt the importance of not being distracted while holding one. After accidentally squeezing his Bowtruckle far too hard, it reminded him of his presence by leaving two deep cuts in his hand. Although, we can hardly hold that against the Bowtruckle. If we were about to be snapped in half by a preoccupied teenager, we’d be pretty livid too.
Both Grubbly-Plank and Hagrid spent time introducing these majestic creatures to Harry’s class. Overall, both lessons seemed pretty safe. When Grubbly-Plant showed them the adult unicorn, the girls in the class spent a lot of time petting it. We don’t think a teacher as savvy as Grubbly-Plank would have let them do that if she believed they were in any danger. However, it was bad news for the boys, unicorns aren’t their biggest fans. In fact, they all had to stand away from it for their own safety. Nevertheless, when Hagrid introduced them to the golden baby unicorns, everyone in the class was allowed to feed them sugar lumps – turns out they were more trusting than the adults. We think these lessons should sit in the middle of our list as they only posed a risk to some of the students.
Nifflers are too busy being cute, fluffy and digging for shiny things to be a threat to humans. One may have tried to bite the watch of Pansy Parkinson’s wrist, but it wasn’t attacking her as such – it just wanted the treasure. The Care of Magical Creatures lesson where they were introduced seemed like an awful lot of fun, especially the competition element of it all. Seeing which Niffler could collect the most gold coins was a stroke of genius from Hagrid. The only reason we would consider these little creatures to be dangerous at all is because of their tunnel-vision around shiny objects and the need to remove your valuables in their presence. They can also be a little bit destructive. As Hagrid said, they’d make terrible pets and are known to wreck houses. So, while they’re adorable, squidgy and don’t have any interest in hurting people, some precautions did need to be taken during that lesson.
This Care of Magical Creatures lesson may have involved fire, but on the whole, it was pretty tame. Harry and his class had a rather enjoyable time collecting wood, tending to the bonfire and watching the flame-loving Salamanders have the time of their live as they scampered about in it. As this lesson was in January, we imagine it was a rather pleasant way to spend a very wintry day. The reason it isn’t ranked as least dangerous is because even though the Salamanders weren’t threatening, this lesson still involved open flames – which can always prove to be treacherous.
It really couldn’t be anything else, could it? These floppy worms couldn’t be less dangerous, or boring, if they tried. Oh, their mucus can be used a thickener for some potions we guess… riveting stuff. Harry and his class spent some very tame lessons shoving lettuce down their throats but that didn’t turn out too well – turns out too much lettuce can kill a Flobberworm (death by salad how very dull). Crabbe may have claimed that one bit him but we’re pretty sure he was lying as they don’t have teeth. These slimy guys pose literally no threat, so we have no hesitation when we say that they were least dangerous of all Harry’s Care of Magical Creatures lessons – we guess they could count that as an achievement…