Welcome to Care of Magical Creatures!
Welcome to Care of Magical Creatures! This is the second year of the course. You can find the first year of the course here. Below you can find links to an optional textbook, additional pages you may find of interest, and details about when and why the course was last updated.
At this time, CoMC is taking PA applications. Interested applicants can apply here.
Many artistic depictions of creatures used in this course were created by the DeviantArt user maryquiZe. We recommend checking out her work!
Course Last Updated: October 2021 for Broken Image Fixes and Grammar Corrections
Announcements Last Updated: October 2021
Lesson 7) Where The Demons Hide
Where The Demons Hide
Welcome back to Care of Magical Creatures! We are on the downhill slide now, with only two more lessons after today! Today we will be covering two creatures known for their negative behavior towards humans. While one is more violent than the other, both are seen as threats in the wizarding world.
Pogrebins: The Russian Demons
Let’s start with the lesser of two evils: Pogrebins. Pogrebins are one foot tall Russian demons. Remember, demons are creatures that are viewed in a negative light because of their actions. They have a very hairy body and an oversized gray head. Pogrebins are found throughout Russia and the Czech Republic.
Pogrebins are fascinated with humans. They often trail humans while out and about. When the human turns, the Pogrebin will crouch down, resembling a large rock because of their head. Its head is, on average, at least two feet wide, though a recent attack reported a width of two and a half feet. If a Pogrebin follows a human for more than a couple of hours, the human will start to feel despair, and eventually fall to their knees, weeping with sadness. The Pogrebin will then attack the human, consuming them. For this reason, they are also considered a Dark creature. If you recall, the Grindylow, Year Two Lesson Six, was also classified as a Dark creature for their history of consuming humans.
Many people do not realize that they are being followed because the Pogrebin appears to be a large rock when crouching. It is very uncommon to see super large rocks in Russia for several reasons. The first reason being that the landscape is made of rolling hills, with grassy sides. Therefore, there are not a lot of two foot boulders lying around. We also have to take into consideration the climate. Because it snows, everything will be covered in a nice layer of white. If you see a random grey rock amongst the white landscape, it is a Pogrebin. Pogrebins are not intelligent, and will not try to cover themselves in snow to blend in with their surroundings. However, many people are unobservant, and don’t realize that seeing a rock in this environment is a warning sign.
However, you do have a fighting chance. Muggles can kick and hit at the Pogrebin to get rid of it. Underage wizards can also kick and hit the Pogrebin. Wizards can use simple spells, like the Stunning Spell, to distract the creature and escape. It works best to kick the Pogrebin square in the face. This will distract them, as they will worry about their teeth and are in a moment of shock, and give you time to get away. After casting the Stunning Spell, you should have about ten minutes until the Pogrebin is active again. If you are still in the area, they will come after you. It is best to Apparate away from the area so that the Pogrebin has no way of finding you.
Thankfully, most creature stores now sell Pogrebin detectors, which have helped save people from Pogrebin attacks. These detectors work by detecting things moving around you. Now, how is this helpful, you might ask? It looks specifically for something with a very heavy mass. Now, boulders typically weigh an average of 175 to 200 pounds per square foot. This means that the mass on a Pogrebins head can weigh anywhere from 400 to 600 pounds, which is significantly more than the average human. If your detector finds something, it will buzz slightly, like the vibration of a Muggle cell phone. It is best, instead of looking around for the Pogrebin, to leave the area immediately.
Now that we have gotten all of that out of the way, let’s relax a bit and discuss the other aspects of Pogrebins. They are carnivorous, and when they are not consuming humans they are eating small mammals, such as rats and rabbits. While humans are the first choice for food, in times of little tourism, they will eat up to five rabbits and up to eight rats to fulfill their needs. They only need to eat once a week, so they consume an average of three to five humans per month, fifteen to twenty five rabbits, or twenty four to forty rats, respectively.
All Pogrebins are male. Because of this, they reproduce asexually. Their reproduction process is rather interesting and alarming. They start by taking a small stone, about the size of a coin, and carry it with them at all times. After taking a human, they immediately pull out the human’s stomach and place the stone inside. This serves as the stone’s host. Now, we get to the more complicated part of their reproduction.
Pogrebins possess slight magical abilities only used for reproduction. While the small stone is in the stolen stomach, the Pogrebin’s magic radiates to the stone. Depending on the size of the Pogrebin, and how often it eats, maturation time will vary. On average, from what magizoologists have been able to deduce, it takes about eight weeks for the small stone to mature into a Pogrebin. This Pogrebin climbs out of the stolen stomach and is about six inches tall. This juvenile Pogrebin will grow depending on how often it eats. From what we have found, it takes about two to four weekly feedings to grow into a full-size Pogrebin.
Pogrebins can start the reproduction process at any time. However, most Pogrebins wait at least a year in between offspring because of how long it takes to teach the offspring to be sneaky around humans. It usually takes an average of nine to twelve months to teach an offspring how to stalk and take down a human. Once the offspring has learned this properly, they will go off on their own, and the cycle starts all over again.
Red Caps: Those Found Near Bloodshed
Well, I do hope you aren’t too alarmed, as we still have a very violent creature to discuss; onto the Red Cap! I would like to warn you all; Red Caps are very brutal creatures. You covered them in Defense Against the Dark Arts this year with Professor Penrose, so I hope the information provided will not cause a negative reaction.
Red Caps are mammals that average between three and four feet in height. They have greenish skin, though it is really more of a gray with a green tinge, and red eyes. They are found throughout Northern Europe and live in areas that have had bloodshed, like war fields or places of horrible tragedies, like the Chernobyl accident. Why or how the blood was shed does not matter to the creatures, as long as blood has touched the earth. It does not always have to be outdoors; it can be in the dungeons or someone’s home. Two places known for their Red Cap population are the Forest of Dean in Glouchester, England, and the Forbidden Forest on the Hogwarts grounds after the First Wizarding War. Another place is the Enchanted Gardens, home of the Wizarding Schools Potions Championships, where competitors must fight Red Caps to advance. The Enchanted Gardens was an ancient battlefield, which is why the Recaps infest the area so heavily.
Red Caps are carnivorous and feed on those they attack. They use many means to attack their victims, from clubs to the bones of past victims. You can tell the number of kills a Red Cap has by how dark red its hat is; they take blood from each kill and smear it on their hat, to show honor and dominance. Now, the hat can dry out, ultimately killing the Red Cap, so it is important to take this reading with a grain of salt, as it might not be very accurate. Red Caps attack those that have stumbled into the area on accident.
Unlike Pogrebins, Red Caps do have both males and females. Mating season is late March, with offspring being born in August, which means their gestation is about six months long. Males attract females by showing them different bones they have collected from their victims and how dark their hat is in color. Females find males with darker hats more attractive, as it shows they are successful, and this is a desirable trait to pass on to offspring. Baby Red Caps are called små demoner, which is Swedish for “little demon”. One of the first wizards to see a baby Red Cap was Swedish, and when writing about his discovery in literature, the term was coined.
The små demoners stay with the family unit, as Red Caps do travel in groups. It is common for the male to find a victim, especially while the female is taking care of the små demoner. The små demoner will learn how to attack when they are six months old, becoming an adult at nine months of age.
They are incredibly dangerous to Muggles; however, witches and wizards have a fighting chance when encountering this creature. Magical folks can repel them using the Knockback Jinx or the Stunning Spell. If you come across a particularly violent Red Cap, well, one that is more violent than usual, you can use a Full Body-Bind Curse or an Immobilizing Charm. These spells give you time to leave the area immediately.
It is also recommended, if you are lucky enough to have it on you, to douse them in the Beautification Potion. This potion makes whoever uses it attractive. Red Caps are disgusted with their physical appearance and spend between five and seven minutes looking at themselves until they realize that it is an illusion. Now, I would like to discuss some ingredients included in this potion. You will see why shortly. Please welcome your former professor, Ms. Batyaeva to discuss the different ingredients used in the Beautification Potion.
Guest Lecture: Beautification Potion
Firstly, thank you to Professor Anne for inviting me to contribute to this lesson! Before we get started, you may want to at least skim this week’s Potions lesson, as I know you will be utilizing some of the new vocabulary in this class, namely primary and secondary ingredients. If you are not yet up to that lesson, don’t worry: the material won’t necessarily be required, although it will add to comprehension.
As discussed in the third lesson of Defense Against the Dark Arts earlier this year, the most common ingredients in beautifying potions are butterfly wings, which are also used in powerful hallucinogenic potions. These are technically classified as “secondary” ingredients, as they play no direct role in changing the appearance, but rather change the perception of the user and those around him or her. This makes them a “side effect” or “secondary aid” in the potion’s functionality. However, some argue that the subjective nature of “beauty” makes these potions more psychological in general, and we should reclassify the wings as a primary ingredient. We will discuss this in greater detail next year, but feel free to consider your own definition of “beauty,” and decide what you think!
The primary ingredients in beautification potions, both basic and more advanced concoctions, tend to be ingredients with rather simple effects, such as fairy wings, rose petals, unicorn hair, root of ginger, and fresh lemon juice, for example. The primary ingredients are used to “beautify” in the sense that they even out complexion, eliminate wrinkles, promote collagen growth, thicken hair, and bleach away blemishes much more quickly and effectively than when used in simple mundane mixtures. Once the skin is clear, pores small, and hair thick and glossy, the butterfly wings and similar secondary ingredients create the impression that the person using the potion is also “more beautiful.”
Boar whiskers collected within three days of the new moon and brewed in potions midway through the moon’s cycle are also popular secondary ingredients. We briefly touched on these in the earlier Defense Against the Dark Arts class as well, and as you remember, they impact the emission of pheromones by the potion’s user. As you recall, pheromones are secreted chemicals that evoke a chemical reaction in a being of the same species. As secondary ingredients, this causes a biological function of “attraction” or even “lust” in a form of those who come near to the user of the beautification potion. The potion is brewed midway through the moon’s cycle, as brewing with a properly collected boar’s whisker on the new moon yields an inefficient or overly weak potion, while brewing closer to the full moon makes the effects dangerously overpowering.
In slightly more complex (and dangerous) beautification potions, primary ingredients vary in order to correct or effect a certain change in the appearance; for instance, there are potions that shrink the nose utilizing shrivelfigs and leeches, while others can change eye color, promote facial symmetry, and create similar small changes to the appearance.
With that glimpse at beautification potions and a brief overview of their most common primary and secondary ingredients, I turn it back over to Professor Anne, who will discuss some of these ingredients and their effects on Red Caps in greater detail. Thank you again for having me, Professor, and I wish you all a wonderful class.
The Ingredients and Their Properties
Thank you, Ms. Batyaeva! You are welcome in the hut of Care of Magical Creature anytime! I do hope you all enjoyed that as much as I did; it’s not every day you get a Potions guest lecture in Care of Magical Creatures!
As your former professor said, I will be discussing what some of those ingredients do. In particular, I will discuss fairy wings and unicorn hair. Now, we covered fairies in Year Two; however, we didn’t cover the different effects their wings can have on the potions they are used in. This is because their wings affect each potion differently. Fairy wings in the Beautification Potion add the effect of vanity. The user, after seeing their new appearance, believes they are the most beautiful person in the world. In the case of Red Caps, the Red Caps become confused, trying to understand why they are feeling this way. They are not accustomed to having positive thoughts in regards to their appearance, so they become extremely anxious, trying to figure out what happened to them.
Unicorn hair is another wonderful ingredient used in the Beautification Potion. Unicorns are very majestic creatures, known for their beauty. The lock of unicorn hair used in the potion makes the user’s hair silky and shiny. Now, look back at that picture I provided of Red Caps. Do they have hair? For the most part, no; they are bald. When Beautification Potion is thrown on them, they grow hair, and it is red more often than not. Red Caps become even more confused upon seeing they have grown hair, which they are not accustomed to having. This confusion, combined with the confusion caused by thinking they are attractive, enables the victim to run away.
That was an eventful lesson, wasn’t it? Don’t worry, we will be covering creatures that are not as violent and frightening next time. Today you have an optional essay, which will require some background research, and creature journals. You should have at least four entries in your journal now! I have a supply of Sleeping Draught if anyone needs some, to help quench nightmares that might arise from the topics covered today.
Main lesson content written by Professor Elizabeth Anne
Guest lecture lesson content written by former Potions professor Lucrezia Batyaeva
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