banshee - Basilisk - beetle - Bicorn - Bigfoot - Billywig - birds - Biting Fairy - Blast-Ended Skrewt - bloodhounds, albino - Blood-Sucking Bugbear - boarhound - Boggart - Boomslang - Bowtruckle - Bugbear - Bundimun
A Dark creature with the
appearance of a woman with floor-length black hair and a skeletal,
green-tinged face. Its screams will kill. Seamus Finnigan is particularly afraid of banshees
The Bandon Banshee was supposedly defeated by Gilderoy Lockhart (CS6) but was actually defeated
by a witch with a hairy chin (see CS16). The singer Celestina Warbeck performs with a backing group of banshees
A wizard-bred Dark creature of enormous power, this extremely poisonous giant serpent (up to 50 feet in length) is brilliant green in color with long thin saber-like fangs and bulbous yellow eyes (see more below). The first basilisk was created by Herpo the Foul thousands of years ago (FW).
A basilisk can live for at least
900 years given an adequate food supply, and as it can eat most vertebrates
(including humans), this is not difficult to achieve. The male can be distinguished
from the female by the scarlet plume on its head, but basilisks are usually
magically rather than normally bred.
Basilisk-breeding has been outlawed since medieval times and in the present day falls under the Ban on Experimental Breeding, but this law has rarely been broken even by Dark wizards, since only a Parselmouth can control a basilisk.
"Of the many fearsome beasts and monsters that roam our land, there is none more curious or more deadly than the Basilisk, known also as the King of Serpents. This snake, which may reach gigantic size and live many hundreds of years, is born from a chicken's egg, hatched beneath a toad. Its methods of killing are most wondrous, for aside from its deadly and venomous fangs, the Basilisk has a murderous stare, and all who are fixed with the beam of its eye shall suffer instant death. Spiders flee before the Basilisk, for it is their mortal enemy, and the Basilisk flees only from the crowing of the rooster, which is fatal to it." (CS16)
When unleashed by the Heir of Slytherin using Parseltongue, the basilisk that
lived in the Chamber of Secrets searched the castle for its prey, Muggle-born students, which it apparently could identify by smelling their blood
("I smell blood..." the creature cried as it wandered the
pipes). When its eyes were pecked out by Fawkes, it attacked Harry using its keen sense of smell. Harry killed the
basilisk by thrusting a sword through the roof of its mouth. Harry's arm was pierced by one of the basilisk's
fangs, the poison of which nearly killed him.
Apart from its specific magical powers and long lifespan, many of the characteristics of the basilisk follow naturally from its being a serpent (see). Like more mundane serpents, the basilisk sheds its skin at intervals, and its varied diet is typical of the larger snakes, which tend to pursue larger and larger prey according to their own size and capabilities. It's quite possible that had Harry both retained his wand and been more experienced in Defence Against the Dark Arts, he might have lost his battle against the basilisk in attempting to use Stunning Spells; although not explicitly stated, the basilisk's skin probably has the same armor characteristics as dragon skin, leaving its eyes and the inside of its mouth as its only vulnerable points.
basilisk was portrayed as a serpent with a crown or a white spot on its
head. Cobras, which have such marks, may be the origin of the basilisk
legend..." (pp. 21-22) (c.f. pp. 95-96)
"basilisk" Eng. in the legendary sense means this creature, but also comes from L. "basilicus" royal, so the nickname "King of Serpents" is particularly apt. The detail about males being crested appears to come from the real-life basilisk, which is a kind of iguana.
According to CS/f, the basilisk that lived in the Chamber of Secrets could be controlled only by the true Heir of Slytherin rather than just any Parselmouth, but there is no canon backing for this.
XXXX - Pacific Northwest
- huge tropical birds delivered Sirius' letter to Harry (GF2)
- Snidget, Golden
Rating Unknown - England
Rating Unknown - Scotland
See also bugbear.
Rating Unknown - Worldwide
Like Hagrid, Fang much fiercer than he is. Fang accompanies Hagrid into the Forbidden Forest and also went with Harry, Hermione, Neville, and Draco when they served detention in the Forest. Hagrid told them that Fang is a coward, but this may have been more an oblique comment on Draco's behaviour than the strict truth about Fang. When Harry and Ron followed the spiders into the Forest and encountered Aragog, Fang accompanied with them. When Hagrid resisted arrest late in Harry's fifth year, Fang was injured in attempting to protect Hagrid, but recovered.
Lupin taught his third year Defence Against the Dark Arts class to fight this with the Riddikulus spell (PA7), and used a boggart as a substitute for a Dementor in tutoring Harry (PA12), an experience Harry felt the D.A. really needed in order to learn to cast the Patronus Charm under something resembling realistic conditions (OP27). A boggart was one of the obstacles in the Triwizard Tournament maze (GF31), and a boggart was found infesting a writing desk in the drawing room at Grimmauld Place (OP9).
Alastor Moody once used his magical eye to look up through several flights of stairs and into a writing desk with a boggart inside it. He then told Molly Weasley that in fact the desk contained a boggart, so he obviously saw and identified it. While he may know what a boggart looks like when it's hiding and away from people, it's possible that when he looked he saw nothing but a blur and therefore knew that--since he couldn't even see it--it had to be a boggart. Another possibility is that Moody saw whatever form a boggart takes for him, and deduced that if it were inside a writing desk it must be a boggart and not his actual worst fear.
Rating Unknown - AfricaAn African snake, Dispholidus typus, with extremely nasty venom. The skin, which is mostly green in males and mostly brown in females, serves the snake well as camouflage, and is used for Polyjuice Potion. Snape keeps boomslang skin in his private stores (CS10, CS11, GF27).
Found in western England, southern Germany, and Scandinavia, a bowtruckle serves as tree-guardian for its home tree, which is usually a tree whose wood is of wand quality. The twiglike fingers of the bowtruckle appear to be primarily an adaptation like that of a woodpecker's beak, allowing it to more effectively dig out its preferred food of wood lice from its home tree, but they also serve as an effective weapon against the eyes of an opponent. Although ordinarily peaceful, a bowtruckle will attack a human if provoked (which includes perceived assaults upon the bowtruckle's tree as well as the bowtruckle itself). A witch or wizard seeking to take leaves or wood from a bowtruckle-inhabited tree should offer woodlice or fairy eggs to the bowtruckle to placate and distract it (FB, OP13).
"truckle" Eng. to take a subordinate position
Rating Unknown - Scotland
XXX - Worldwide