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One of the greatest joys in reading the hugely popular Harry Potter books is reading about all the magical creatures that Harry and his cohorts at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry encounter on their various adventures. Fans of JK Rowling commend her on a great sense of whimsy and imagination in creating an entire collection of magical beasts and creatures that inhabit the wondrous world of Harry Potter. The magical creatures that are found throughout the Harry Potter universe make up an important part of the series. The first six books in the series (a seventh, and final, volume is to be released sometime in 2007) show Harry and his friends encountering many of these often startling and purely magical creatures on their adventures.

Moreover, learning and caring for magical creatures is one of the most important skills that is taught to all the incoming wizards in training that inhabit the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. For instance, they must carry with them and study the book The Care of Magical Creatures in the similarly-named course that they are required to take at Hogwarts School. Besides this, Rowling herself has penned a manual of sorts titled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. This is a guide of sorts that shows readers how to track many of the magical beasts that are mentioned in the series, written by the authority herself. However, Rowling does not take explicit credit for this fantastic volume. The credit for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them goes to the noted (and thoroughly fictional) magizoologist Newt Scamander.

Rowling herself has noted that many of the fabulous creatures that are riddled throughout the six Harry Potter books are derived from many diverse classical sources, such as ancient Greek mythology, Egyptian mythology, Scandinavian folklore, and of course, British folklore. All of the magical creatures mentioned in the Harry Potter series are overseen by the Department of the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, which is part of the Ministry of Magic. This important department is responsible for regulating all of the magical creatures that exist in the Harry Potter universe. The department generally classifies all beasts into one of three categories. The first category is known as the Beast division. The second is called the Being division, and the third is known as the Spirit division. Magical creatures deemed to be Being creatures include humans, goblins, fairies, pixies, and gnomes. Members of the beast division include centaurs and merpeople. Members of the spirit division include all types of ghosts.

There are many magical beasts in the Harry Potter books, and these are typically classified according to other categories as well. Many fans of the Harry Potter series choose to separate the magical beasts into two categories: animals with magical powers, and characters. Animals with magical powers are those that live in the backdrop of Harry’s universe, while characters are magical beasts that have an important role in the story, such as the three-headed dog that attacks Harry and his friends in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Some magical creatures may also be kept as pets, including toads, cats, and owls. A notable exception is Ron Weasley, who chooses to keep a pet rat instead of the other more conventional options. All students are allowed to keep one pet. Many of the students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry like to keep owls because they are watchful pets, and they can help deliver the post. However, although owls make good pets at Hogwarts, they do not have any exclusive or innate magical powers.