Do you know how many pets there are in literature? So. Many.
As I was making a list of all the fictional pets I could think of, I came to the realization that a good third of my list was from Harry Potter. An even bigger revelation was that half of that list was Hagrid’s pets. Dude has a big heart for all things fluffy/feathery/scaly. So instead of doing a composite list of ALL the pets from ALL the books, I’ve decided to do a Harry Potter version!
Now, now. Don’t roll your eyes like that. I did warn you I have a thing for magic so of course, that means I’m going to talk about Harry Potter again.
This is my list ranking the top 11 pets from Harry Potter. The list excludes free animals and animagi as they weren’t anyone’s pets (excluding Scabbers of course, the dirty rat). I’ve also left out pets that only had a brief stint in the story (sorry Trevor) as they aren’t as prevalent in the series as a whole. It probably goes without saying but the rest of this post might get a little spoilery. I am deep diving, after all. So if you haven’t read these books, stop reading this post and head to the library or Amazon and pick them up. You won’t be sorry.
Scabbers is the absolute worst. He posed as the Weasly’s family pet for 12 YEARS. That’s psycho. Scabbers was revealed in book three to be none other than the murderous traitor Peter Pettigrew. It’s because of him that Harry’s parents died, that Sirius went to Azkaban prison, and that Voldemort would come to full power again. For all of that, Scabbers is last.
This giant spider was thought to be the monster within the Chamber of Secrets. Perhaps an understandable mistake as Aragog only had a heart for Hagrid and his spider family. In fact, if it weren’t for Ron’s family car, Harry and Ron would have surely been strung up and eaten in book two.
Nagini is not intrinsically evil. She is merely a product of her upbringing. For all we know, she may have turned out to be a perfectly normal snake living a perfectly normal snake life if Voldemort hadn’t taken her in as his pet and eventual Horcrux. I’d even argue that the part of Voldemort’s soul that dwelled within her was what made her so terrible.
8. Mrs. Norris
Mrs. Norris, like Nagini, is a product of her upbringing. She’s Filch’s cat, completely devoted to the man. Unlike Nagini, Mrs. Norris isn’t evil. Sure, she doesn’t mind doing the dirty work, but the dirty work here is just trying to catch some rule-breakers. So really she’s just doing her job as well as Filch’s.
Fluffy had one job: to guard the trap door that leads to the Sorcerer’s Stone. And he (they?) would have succeeded too if it weren’t for p-p-poor, st-stuttering P-Professor Quirrell and those meddling kids. How does Hagrid even find these creatures?
Well, we know how Hagrid found this creature. He won it down at the pub. Norbert is not your typical pet. He’s a fire-breathing dragon that has no business living in Hagrid’s hut, which is exactly what Harry, Ron, and Hermione tell Hagrid when they find out about Norbert. Hagrid does eventually agree that there’s no way he can continue raising a dragon and sends Norbert off to live in Romania with other dragons. I’m sure Norbert appreciated that, Hagrid.
Oh, Fang. You big beautiful coward. Fang does his best, but he’s the biggest coward of them all. He would probably run if a spider crawled across his paw. Still, Fang makes a great companion for Hagrid. They’re both so loving and accepting of everyone. It doesn’t even matter that Fang gets scared sometimes. He has the bravery of Hagrid to more than make up for that.
All Buckbeak wants to do is live with his human pal Hagrid and eat dead ferrets. (Sidebar: would he have eaten ferret Malfoy? Food for thought…)For his own safety and the safety of Sirius, he is made to go live with Sirius in at Grimmauld Place. It isn’t until the sixth book that Buckbeak is finally able to return to Hagrid under the pseudonym of Witherwings (bleh) where he can continue living his best life, complete with dead ferrets.
Crookshanks was this despairingly ugly orange cat that Hermione, for some reason, just fell in love with and adopted in book three. The poor thing is constantly accosted by Ron for trying to eat his pet rat, Scabbers. I mean, can you blame Crookshanks for wanting to eat Scabbers? That would have solved so many problems… Crookshanks was instrumental in helping uncover the true nature of Ron’s rat and clearing Sirius’s name. All without actually eating the rat. That’s pretty impressive.
I bet you thought Hedwig would be first. She’s close. So close. She’s basically a cat with wings. Hedwig endures a lot throughout the series. In the early years of living with Harry at Privet Drive, she’s confined to her cage, unable to spread her wings and fly or hunt for food. So, of course, she gets a little moody and nippy. I get that way if I skip lunch. Still, she is a faithful companion and a reliable letter deliverer. She carried her love and devotion for Harry to the bitter end.
Fawkes the Phoenix is the most amazing creature. He has magic tears and fierce strength and more emotional veracity than most humans. His bond with Dumbledore was so strong that after Dumbledore died in book six, Fawkes could be heard lamenting his human pal for days. He is beautiful and loyal and none can compare.
There really were so many pets to choose from. Honorable mentions include Errol, Pigwidgeon, Trevor, and Pygmy Puffs.
Okay, lay it on me. Do you agree with my list? Which pet(s) would you add or take away?