Dragons are a common species of magical creature in the Harry Potter universe. Widely regarded as terrifying yet awe-inspiring, they can be found all over the world and are frequently referred to in Asian and medieval European folklore.
Able to fly and breathe fire through their nostrils, they are one of the most dangerous and hardest to conceal creatures in the wizarding world. The Ministry of Magic classifies them as XXXXX, known wizard killers that are impossible to train or domesticate. Despite how dangerous they are, there are people who are trained to work with them, called dragon keepers, or dragonologists. A wizard who trades and sells dragon eggs (which is an illegal activity) is referred to as a dragon dealer.
Early life Edit
Dragon mothers breathe fire on their eggs to keep them warm. The dragon's first fire breaths, usually accompanied by thick grey smoke, appear when the dragon is around six months old. However, the ability to fly is normally developed later, at around twelve months, and the dragon will not be fully mature until it is two years old and ready to live on its own. Dragon Breeding for Pleasure and Profit states that you are to feed a baby dragon a bucket of brandy mixed with chicken blood every half hour.
Social behaviour Edit
Not much is known about dragon behaviour, however it seems that, at least with the Chinese Fireball, females are generally larger and dominant over males. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them states that sometimes females oust males from their territories, at least with the Antipodean Opaleye.
Dragons are generally highly aggressive towards anything, even wizards, and will sometimes attack humans without provocation, such as in the case of the Ilfracombe Incident.
Known breeds Edit
- Antipodean Opaleye
- Catalonian Fireball
- Chinese Fireball
- Hebridean Black
- Hungarian Horntail
- Norwegian Ridgeback
- Peruvian Vipertooth
- Portuguese Long-Snout
- Romanian Longhorn
- Swedish Short-Snout
- Ukrainian Ironbelly
- Welsh Green
Dragons in the wizarding world Edit
The motto of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is Draco dormiens numquam titillandus; Latin for Never tickle a sleeping dragon. The Hogwarts gamekeeper, Rubeus Hagrid, loved and adored dragons, briefly owning a Norwegian Ridgeback named Norbert, who turned out to be a female and was subsequently renamed Norberta. In 1993, the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, suggested placing dragons to guard the school, after being compelled to remove the Dementors, something that Professor Dumbledore thought Hagrid would be very happy with.
Many useful materials come from dragons, but they are hard to obtain. It takes over a dozen wizards just to stun a dragon. Muggles believe that dragons are a mere myth, but have been known on occasion to glimpse these beasts. To prevent them from being seen by Muggles, and to protect them from poaching, dragons are kept on dragon reserves around the world, most of which are far from human habitation. Dragons cannot be domesticated, despite individuals trying to do so. However, it is possible to condition them via torture to make them somewhat subservient, as Gringotts Wizarding Bank had done to the one guarding the lower vaults, who had been trained to expect pain upon hearing a certain noise. The selling of dragon products is closely regulated by the Ministry of Magic, and only dragon species that are over-breeding are killed to make these items. Those who study dragons are known as dragonologist.
Dragons were used in the First Task of the Triwizard Tournament of 1994, in which the champions had to retrieve a golden egg from a nesting mother. The varieties used were: the Hungarian Horntail, the Chinese Fireball, the Swedish Short-Snout, and a Welsh Green. Ron Weasley's brother Charlie worked with dragons in Romania at the time, and helped transport the dragons used in the Tournament. Dragons are also used to guard certain vaults at Gringotts Wizarding Bank, and one was used by Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger to escape the bank following their break-in in 1998.
Though they cannot be domesticated, there is one known instance of a dragon being used as a mount. In May 1998, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger rode on the back of a dragon, though they had trouble maintaining a grip on their steed, and could not control its flight. During the 1993–1994 school year, before playing in the Quidditch final against Slytherin, Harry dreamed that the Slytherin team were flying on dragons instead of broomsticks. When he awoke he realised that they would not be allowed to ride dragons.
The dragon model, like the model in the First Task of Triwizard Tournament of 1994, was used in a roast chestnuts sale, near Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, in Diagon Alley to hold the chestnut in place.
Dragon materials Edit
Dragon materials are highly sought after among wizards, though they can be difficult to obtain both due to the dangers of dragons themselves and various regulations put in place by the Ministry of Magic. A list of materials and their uses has been compiled below.
- Dragon blood - Often used as an ingredient in advanced potion-making. Albus Dumbledore claims to have discovered twelve uses for dragon blood, including spot remover and oven cleaner.
- Dragon claw - Supposedly powdered dragon claw is useful as a brain stimulant, though this has not been proven.
- Dragon dung - Sold by the barrel in Knockturn Alley, dragon dung is a rich fertiliser.
- Dragon eggs - The sale and trade of dragon eggs is forbidden by the Ministry of Magic, but eggs can be acquired on the black market. Egg shells are prized ingredients for potion-brewing.
- Dragon heart - Dragon heartstring is exceptionally powerful, and one of the most common kinds of core used in wands.
- Dragon horn - Powdered dragon horn is a Class-B Tradeable Item and is often used in potion-making.
- Dragon hide - Often used to make wizard clothing. The skin is very tough, impervious to some spells, and provides the same physical protection as leather, while at the same time having the same texture and appearance as snake skin. Dragon hide is used to make gloves, boots, jackets and shields.
- Dragon liver - Dragon liver is sixteen Sickles an ounce, and is often used as an ingredient for potions.
- Dragon meat - No practical use has yet been found for dragon meat and it is not known if it is safe for human consumption, but seems fine for dogs.
- The dragons of J.K. Rowling's wizarding world seem to be largely derived from the dragons of European folklore. Dragons' sentient status varies in such tales, but the dragons of Harry Potter are classed as beasts as they have only animal-like intelligence and no powers of speech or reasoning.