"Miss Granger remains the only person in this class who has managed to turn a hedgehog into a satisfactory pincushion. I might remind you that your pincushion, Thomas, still curls up in fright if anyone approaches it with a pin!"
-- Professor McGonagall (GF15)

Hedgehogs are a small, spiny mammal; there are seventeen different species found across Europe, Asia and Africa.

European hedgehogs are common in Britain, especially in woodland areas and gardens. Their spines are a defence mechanism: when they feel threatened they curl up in a ball to protect themselves.

  • Knarls are magical creatures indistinguishable from hedgehogs in appearance. The way to tell them apart is to offer them food or drink: hedgehogs will eat it, whereas Knarls are highly suspicious and will regard it as an attempt to poison them (OP31, FB).
  • Fourth year students at Hogwarts are taught to Transfigure hedgehogs into pin cushions (GF15).
  • 17th century wizard Thaddeus Thurkell was famous for having seven Squib sons and turning them all into hedgehogs in disgust (FW).


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Tags: animals protection