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A dragon, a famous magical beast

A beast was one of the three classifications used by the British Ministry of Magic to catalogue the various magical creatures that inhabited the wizarding world (the others being spirit and being).[1]


Loosely defined, a beast was a magical creature that did not have sufficient intelligence to understand the laws of the magical community, nor bear part of the responsibility in shaping those laws. This definition was laid down by Minister for Magic Grogan Stump in 1811, and the Beast Division was formed as part of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. There were even extremists who campaigned for Muggles to be classified as beasts.[1]

However, there were exceptions to the rule - creatures that had the same level of intelligence as beings, as well as the ability to speak, but were classified as Beasts for one reason or another. Manticores and sphinxes were classified as beasts because of their extreme aggressiveness. Acromantulas and Erklings were classified as Beasts because of their taste for human flesh. Centaurs and merpeople were both offered the status of being, but they both requested to be classified as beasts instead, as they objected to some of the other creatures they would have to share "being" status with, such as hags and vampires. With this in mind, teaching material on them noted that they were to be treated with great respect.[1]

Additionally, werewolves were classified as beasts, though only in their transformed state. When there was no full moon, they retained their being status like any other human. However, they were still also classified as sentient by the Ministry of Magic.[1]


All known creatures of the beast category were classified by the Ministry into different groups based on how dangerous they were and level of skill that was required to deal with them.

Creatures of the X classification just sat around and did nothing.

Creatures of the XX classification were harmless and could be easily domesticated.

Creatures of the XXXX classification were very dangerous and/or highly elusive. Either way, they required the specialist knowledge of a skilled wizard.

Creatures of the XXXXX classification were known wizard killers and were impossible to train or domesticate.



A third-year Care of Magical Creatures lesson

There was a Care of Magical Creatures class at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, devoted to the study of Magical beasts, about their behaviour and how to properly identify and approach them, as well as how and what to feed them, how to groom them, how to mount and ride them, and how to breed them, as well as the proper way to treat said beasts and how to act around them. This class started with harmless animals that were easy to handle, then moved on to more aggressive ones as they progressed in knowledge.

It was an elective class that students could begin taking from their third year onwards.[2] It was optional to N.E.W.T.-level students in their sixth and seventh years to those who achieved a high enough grade on their Ordinary Wizarding Level exam.

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