So, here’s the question: given the choice, which Potter pet would we take home? Hagrid’s already talked us out of getting a Niffler – solid advice, coming from the previous owner of a three-headed dog and a baby dragon – so let’s stick to the ones who probably wouldn’t wreck the house.
Who would say no to a Puffskein? Given the chance, we’d buy a whole poffle.
Puffskeins come in many forms, from standard ‘custard-colour’ to the American Appaloosa, but best of all had to be Ginny Weasley’s purple Pygmy Puff, a modified Puffskein bred by Fred and George. Wouldn’t you love to have that little guy riding around on your shoulder? And if Luna Lovegood could be believed – which in this case, we really hope she could – he might just have started singing on Boxing Day.
But why was he named Arnold? That’s maybe Ginny’s little joke, inspired by a typo of her dad’s name in the Daily Prophet (it’s ‘Arthur’, you hacks!).
Just imagine: an awesome, loyal pet who can also take you to work.
Our pick of the Hippogriff herd would be good ol’ Buckbeak (aka Witherwings), because he was such a trooper. Not only did he help Sirius escape a worse-than-death sentence (while escaping one himself), the two of them stuck together afterwards, even while Sirius had no fixed abode and very little food. Buckbeak, you were a friend for both the good times and the bad. Have a dead ferret on us.
Want a pet that’s sassy and smart? A cat-Kneazle cross isn’t just cuddlesome, it’s a highly intelligent animal that can instantly tell friend from foe by sensing deception. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Crookshanks proved he could smell a rat, especially when it wasn’t actually a rat. He would help to keep his owner on the straight and narrow, too – anything to avoid that judgemental stare.
Crookshanks could easily claw his way into our hearts like he did with Hermione; that witch definitely had a thing for gingers.
So what would make our list for the most insane demands on a pet bird? Pretty plumage, check. Ability to carry immensely heavy loads, check. Magical tears with healing powers, check. But what about that inevitable time when your beloved bird grows old and tired? No worries: he’ll just be reborn as a tiny chick, even supplying his own pyrotechnics for the occasion.
The phoenix is an awesome creature. So awesome, in fact, Dumbledore even named the Order after it. Its American relative, the Thunderbird, is admittedly pretty nifty too. Fawkes, Dumbledore’s own phoenix, had all this going for him along with unfaltering loyalty and a gorgeous singing voice. Trust Dumbledore to find a pet as brilliant as himself.
When we think ‘owls’, we think ‘Hedwig’. Because, obviously, Hedwig. But let’s show a little bit of love for lil’ Pigwidgeon, who’d see all your mail delivered promptly with a happy hoot.
What Pig lacked in size, he made up for in seemingly endless enthusiasm. He came to stay with Ron because he was so eager for a delivery job, plus Sirius kindly thought he’d make a good replacement for Scabbers the rat. Now that’s what we call trading up in the pet department! Plus Pigwidgeon came 100 per cent Crookshanks-approved.
He looked closely at the owl for a moment, then, to Harry and Hermione’s great surprise, he held him out for Crookshanks to sniff.
‘What d’you reckon?’ Ron asked the cat. ‘Definitely an owl?’
‘That’s good enough for me,’ said Ron happily.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Yes, he was a bit jumpy, and would probably quiver with fear at the tiniest crack of a twig, but Fang was still a legend in the wizarding world. He was friendly, loyal and sensitive – and probably Hagrid’s most sensible pet.
In terms of other wizarding world canines, perhaps Fluffy the three-headed dog would be an interesting choice, but bear in mind that he had two extra heads to feed.