A rare language spoken by a small number of wizards allowing them to communicate with snakes, the ability to speak Parseltongue was usually inherited with the majority of speakers descended directly from Salazar Slytherin. A notable exception to this rule was Harry Potter, whose ability came from his encounter with Voldemort as a young child. Parseltongue was associated with the Dark Arts and as a result many witches and wizards were suspicious of those with the talent - particularly as to non-speakers the language sounded like a series of snake-like hissing noises. Speakers were known as Parselmouths.