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Let's pretend we have a magical LinkedIn. I friended Rubeus Hagrid, and next day, as LinkedIn typically does, it sends me a spam... err... polite request to endorse Hagrid's skills:

Does Rubeus Hagrid know about monsters?

Well, duh. Endorse.

Does Rubeus Hagrid know about gentle, non-threatening creatures?

... which is where I am stumped. Does Hagrid ever deal with anything that doesn't present a threat of dismemberment or mutilation?

27

You can safely click "Yes, Endorse" button without feeling like you're just rubberstamping to make your friend Hagrid look good.

Here's an example of Hagrid knowing tons about the most gentle creatures possible (after Pigmy Puffs):

Whether Hagrid was trying to make up for the Blast-Ended Skrewts, or because there were now only two skrewts left, or because he was trying to prove he could do anything that Professor Grubbly-Plank could. Harry didn't know, but Hagrid had been continuing her lessons on unicorns ever since he'd returned to work. It turned out that Hagrid knew quite as much about unicorns as he did about monsters, though it was clear that he found their lack of poisonous fangs disappointing. (Goblet of Fire, Chapter 26)

So, he's a real Magical Creatures professor, not just a Magical Life-Threatening-Monsters professor, indeed.

  • 1
    Add nifflers to that list, and if you accept the video games as any sort of canon, flitterby moths. Possibly thestrals, as Luna deems them "quite gentle, really", but the Ministry classifies them as dangerous. – JohnP Sep 11 '13 at 14:58
  • 2
    @DVK That may tell us something about Luna. – DJClayworth Sep 11 '13 at 15:30
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    @JohnP so do mosquitoes but that does not qualify them as monsters :). – terdon Sep 11 '13 at 17:36
  • When you quote "but Hagrid had been continuing her lessons on unicorns", are we talking about Luna with "her" or about Hagrid? (I haven't read the book, just the movie) – Braiam Sep 11 '13 at 21:25
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    Bowtruckles didn't seem particularly like monsters; capable of doing a bit of damage, perhaps, but otherwise pretty tame for Hagrid. – Anthony Grist Sep 12 '13 at 8:50
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Another example is Hagrid teaches the students how to care for Flobberworms in Prisoner of Azkaban, creatures which are so non-threatening they are classified by the Ministry as "Boring" (Fantastical Beasts and Where to Find Them). ETA: And I just remembered, apparently Hagrid also takes care of chickens (if you can add it on this list) (Chamber of Secrets).

  • 1
    And foxes too, IIRC. In Cos, Harry bumps into Hagrid while Hagrid is holding a dead chicken. Hagrid explains the chicken isn't the first one that's been killed that year, and Hagrid is on his way to ask Dumbledore for permission to put a little charm around the henhouse to protect the chickens from foxes or possibly logalug bears. (Please correct me if I'm remembering the movie scene and not the book canon scene). – Slytherincess Sep 12 '13 at 19:57
  • but maybe that can't be counted has him taking care of foxes, the foxes are wild he was just trying to protect his poultry from them – user13267 Sep 13 '13 at 0:14
  • The question asks if Hagrid knows about non-magical creatures. He may know about foxes, even if he doesn't keep or raise them. – Slytherincess Sep 16 '13 at 20:25
  • and by the way, it was Blood-Suckin Bugbear (sorry for being so late with the reply) – user13267 Sep 26 '13 at 12:29
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Yes, in fact most of the creatures he has in class aren’t monsters.

Hagrid does show his class the Blast-Ended Skrewts, but actually the majority of the creatures he brings to teach his class about (as opposed to his own personal pets) aren’t monsters. The Thestrals were a bit creepy, perhaps, but overall he doesn’t usually actually teach about or bring monsters to class - the only really ‘monstrous’ things he tried to teach about were the Skrewts.

Nifflers (XXX - Competent wizard should cope):

Hagrid has his class use Nifflers to hunt for leprechaun gold.

“These’re Nifflers,’ said Hagrid, when the class had gathered around. ‘Yeh find ’em down mines mostly. They like sparkly stuff … there yeh go, look.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 28 (The Madness of Mr. Crouch)

They’re actually described as being gentle and affectionate.

“Though the Niffler is gentle and even affectionate, it can be destructive to belongings and should never be kept in a house.”
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

They’re cute, fluffy, and affectionate - definitely not monsters.

Salamanders (XXX - Competent wizard should cope):

Hagrid brings salamanders for his class on a cold day.

“Lessons started again next day. The last thing anyone felt like doing was spending two hours in the grounds on a raw January morning, but Hagrid had provided a bonfire full of salamanders for their enjoyment, and they spent an unusually good lesson collecting dry wood and leaves to keep the fire blazing, while the flame-loving lizards scampered up and down the crumbling, white-hot logs.”
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 12 (The Patronus)

There’s nothing particularly dangerous or monstrous about them.

“The salamander is a small fire-dwelling lizard that feeds on flame. Brilliant white, it appears blue or scarlet depending upon the heat of the fire in which it makes its appearance.”
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

They don’t seem dangerous, and Harry considered it a good lesson, so they probably weren’t.

Flobberworms (X - Boring):

Hagrid really only taught about Flobberworms because he was worried after Buckbeak bit Draco, but he’d still have to know about them to be able to teach about them.

“Nobody really liked Care of Magical Creatures, which, after the action-packed first class, had become extremely dull. Hagrid seemed to have lost his confidence. They were now spending lesson after lesson learning how to look after Flobberworms, which had to be some of the most boring creatures in existence.”
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady)

They’re incredibly boring, which is why no one enjoyed the lessons.

“The Flobberworm lives in damp ditches. A thick brown worm reaching up to ten inches in length, the Flobberworm moves very little.”
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

They were no one’s first choice, but Hagrid still knew how to take care of them.

Hippogriffs (XXX - Competent wizard should cope):

Hippogriffs also weren’t monsters, despite the lesson ending badly due to a student’s misbehavior.

“Well done, Harry!’ said Hagrid, ecstatic. ‘Right – yeh can touch him! Pat his beak, go on!’ Feeling that a better reward would have been to back away, Harry moved slowly towards the Hippogriff and reached out towards him. He patted the beak several times and the Hippogriff closed his eyes lazily, as though enjoying it.”
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 6 (Talons and Tea Leaves)

Hagrid gave his class clear safety instructions on how to approach them, which Draco didn’t follow.

“Yeh always wait fer the Hippogriff ter make the firs’ move,’ Hagrid continued. ‘It’s polite, see? Yeh walk towards him, and yeh bow, an’ yeh wait. If he bows back, yeh’re allowed ter touch him. If he doesn’ bow, then get away from him sharpish, ’cause those talons hurt.”
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 6 (Talons and Tea Leaves)

Draco not listening doesn’t make Hippogriffs monsters or Hagrid negligent in this case.

Unicorns (XXXX - but only because they require respect when handling)

Though he’s just continuing Professor Grubbly-Plank’s lessons, Hagrid is knowledgeable about unicorns and is able to continue her lessons on them.

“Easier ter spot than the adults,’ Hagrid told the class. ‘They turn silver when they’re abou’ two years old, an’ they grow horns at aroun’ four. Don’ go pure white ’til they’re full-grown, round about seven. They’re a bit more trustin’ when they’re babies … don’ mind boys so much … c’mon, move in a bit, yeh can pat ’em if yeh want … give ’em a few o’ these sugar lumps …”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 26 (The Second Task)

They’re one of the highest Ministry classifications he’s taught about, but not dangerous.

  • Makes you wonder, then, why his assigned textbook is The Monster Book of Monsters. – Alex Aug 22 '18 at 6:37

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