What are the conditions for certain animals/beasts/creatures being included in Care of Magical Creatures classes? We see most of the animals in C.o.M.C seem docile and unlikely to attack humans or other animals, but why do Hinkypunks and Kappas fall under Defence rather than C.o.M.C? if Professor Kettleburn was severely injured from some creatures, why would they not be part of Defence?

  • may be Prof Kettleburn wasn't injured due to the classes
    – user13267
    Jul 19, 2013 at 15:11
  • 1
    only Hagrid seems to have brought possibly dangerous creatures to class
    – user13267
    Jul 19, 2013 at 15:11
  • 2
    @user13267 Dumbledore's STRONG implication that the limb injuries were due to class duties. Jul 19, 2013 at 19:57
  • where does Dumbledore imply it was due to class injuries?
    – user13267
    Jul 20, 2013 at 2:37

3 Answers 3


This depends on CoMC teacher, entirely.

Hargid in his natural condition chooses more dangerous ones.

Hagrid when afraid chose the most safe ones (flubberworms?)

Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank had reasonably safe ones. But she was very explicitly NOT inclined to criticize Hagrid.

Silvanus Kettleburn was more in Hagrid mold, but not quite as recless. At least his animals didn't seem to be illegal.

As far as "Hinkypunks and Kappas", they don't seem to be needed to be cared for as they don't appear to possess any useful qualities, even from Hagrid's point of view; the fact that DaDA includes them has nothing to do with CoMC class inclusion or exclusion.

Also, we aren't really treated to post-OWL level CoMC details, so we don't know what creatures are taught there.

  • just gone through the Pottermore site and seen the write up on Professor Kettleburn: 'Like Hagrid after him, he was prone to underestimating the risks involved in caring for creatures such as Occamys, Grindylows and Fire Crabs' we know that Lupin taught them about Grindylows as they were tested on it in their practical exam, so I wonder how many other creatures were in both classes.
    – BP_Phoenix
    Aug 2, 2013 at 15:13
  • **don't know how to quote or add paragraph
    – BP_Phoenix
    Aug 2, 2013 at 15:18
  • @BP_Phoenix - Good find! But "care about creature" does not always translate to "see them in class" - Hagrid also cared for Aragog, Norbert, Fluffy, etc... that he never showed off in class. Aug 2, 2013 at 17:00

The primary difference seems to be between those creatures that are at least tolerant of humans if not outright domesticable (such as nifflers, unicorns, hippogriffs, etc), and that have innocent useful purposes, compared to those that are non-domesticable and attack on sight, particularly those that are semi-sentient like Grindylows or pixies, or those that can be employed by a Dark wizard to do his bidding.

  • only Hagrid seems to think that hippogriffs and thestrals are domesticable animals, the rest of the wizarding world appear afraid of them, but you make a valid point thanks Keith
    – BP_Phoenix
    Jul 23, 2013 at 8:13

Malicious creatures are covered in Defense Against the Dark Arts.

The creatures covered in Defense Against the Dark Arts (that are actually brought into class rather than just learned about in theory) are typically creatures that are actively malicious or predatory towards humans, and may use their powers to have certain effects on them. They’re not just creatures that attack when provoked, scared, or sufficiently hungry. They typically mean ill. For example, Hinkypunks have a small lantern that they use to lure people into bogs.

“Lures travellers into bogs,’ said Professor Lupin, as they took notes. ‘You notice the lantern dangling from his hand? Hops ahead – people follow the light – then –’

The Hinkypunk made a horrible squelching noise against the glass.”
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 10 (The Marauder’s Map)

They also studied Red Caps, which lie in wait to bludgeon people.

“After Boggarts, they studied Red Caps, nasty little goblin-like creatures that lurked wherever there had been bloodshed, in the dungeons of castles and the potholes of deserted battlefields, waiting to bludgeon those who had got lost.”
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady)

Kappas, another creature studied in Defense Against the Dark Arts, liked to strangle people.

“From Red Caps they moved on to Kappas, creepy water-dwellers that looked like scaly monkeys, with webbed hands itching to strangle unwitting waders in their ponds.”
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady)

The creatures that are covered in Defense Against the Dark Arts all tend to be actively seeking to harm people. By contrast, the creatures covered in Care of Magical Creatures, while some may be dangerous especially if mishandled or provoked, aren’t actively seeking to harm people. Most of the creatures in that class are fairly tame, and none of them are anything that’d be considered Dark. Even the Blast-Ended Skrewts, the most dangerous creature studied in Care of Magical Creatures by far, don’t try to do anything like lure people to their death. Conversely, just its potential to cause injury isn’t enough to classify a creature as one that should be studied in Defense Against the Dark Arts. The creature has to be something that’s considered Dark.

  • I’m fairly sure the Skrewts would be perfectly applicable for a DaDA class if Hagrid hadn’t just bred them himself. There are animals that overlap as well, such as Grindylows (according to the Pottermore article on Kettleburn; they must have some desirable feature as well that we just never hear of). The pivotal difference is not, I suspect, in the attitude of the animal, but in the approach to them: caring for an animal and defending yourself against it are not mutually exclusive, and both can be useful. Aug 31, 2018 at 6:47
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Personally I’d classify Skrewts like dragons - not suitable for either Care of Magical Creatures or Defense Against the Dark Arts. Skrewts aren’t ‘Dark’, just dangerous. I’d seen the article on Kettleburn but it doesn’t say he taught his class about Grindylows, just that he underestimated how dangerous they were - Hagrid had several ‘pets’ he never used as subjects of his classes (like dragons and Acromantulas). There may still be creatures that fall into both categories, but I can’t really imagine that many Dark creatures would be thought worth teaching care for.
    – Obsidia
    Aug 31, 2018 at 6:55
  • I’d think dragons were prime candidates for DaDA as well. Not to actually take to class, but to learn about—if you ever come across one, you do want to be able to defend yourself well enough to get away alive! True about Kettleburn, though. Aug 31, 2018 at 6:59

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