"And out of the end of his wand burst, not a shapeless cloud of mist, but a blinding, dazzling, silver animal. He screwed up his eyes, trying to see what it was. It looked like a horse."
—Harry Potter's corporeal stag Patronus[src]

Deer is the common name for a family of ruminant animals grouped by the fact that the males grow antlers in adulthood. Male deer are called stags, whereas females are called does. One particular species of deer is the Scottish stag. Deer is the preferred food of the Hebridean Black breed of dragon.[1]

It is a possible corporeal form of the Patronus Charm.[2][3][4] Deer have become synonymous with the Potter family, as Harry Potter's stag Patronus is widely known.


The deer was a reoccurring Patronus within the Potter family: James Potter, his wife Lily, and his son Harry all had deer for Patronuses. James Potter was also an Animagus who could take the form of a large stag. Professor Severus Snape, as a sign of his undying affection for Lily, also had a doe for a Patronus, which persisted long after her death.[5]

Doe next step module

The doe that led Harry Potter to the Sword of Gryffindor

In 1998, Snape cast this Patronus as a guide to lead Harry Potter to the Sword of Gryffindor hidden within a frozen lake of the Forest of Dean. Harry felt an instinctual familiarity with the doe Patronus.[6]

Deer live in the Forbidden Forest — in May of 1996, when Rubeus Hagrid was discussing Grawp with Harry and Hermione, he said that he was able to get his own food; "birds an' deer an' stuff."[7]

Deer Patronuses


Notes and references

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