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Size ratio (from left-to-right): human, half-giant, and giant

"Well, I think this should put an end to the oaf's teaching career. Half-giant...and there was me thinking he'd just swallowed a bottle of Skele-Gro when he was young..."
Hagrid's half-breed status is exposed[src]

Half-breed was a term given to humans with at least one non-human parent, although those with more distant non-human ancestry were also referred to as half-breed. "Half-breed" was the scientific name for the creatures, but it could also be an offensive insult. However, no non-offensive alternative was known to exist. There was a great deal of prejudice against half-breeds in the wizarding world, which also tended to discriminate against non-human beings in general.

Traits

Half-breeds shared the attributes of both their parents, still being able to use magic, as the magic gene was dominant, while having traits of their non-human parent as well, that differentiate between the non-human parent. It is also unknown for how many generations non-human traits would persist, although it seemed that wizards and witches with even one non-human great-grandparent would retain some of those characteristics. For example, Filius Flitwick was only one-eighth goblin, but retained a small stature as a result of this heritage.[1]

It is unknown if Muggles could interbreed with non-humans and if they could, this would probably result in non-magical half-breeds. Though because it was very rare for a Muggle to even find out about the existence of those creatures, the existence of a non-magical half-breed was potentially possible but unlikely.

Treatment

"Filthy half breeds! Beasts! Uncontrolled animals!"
— Dolores Umbridge insulting centaurs in the Forbidden Forest[src]

Many wizards and witches were prejudiced against non-human beings, from house-elves to goblins to centaurs, and those prejudiced usually extended this prejudice to those with mixed heritage.[2][3] An example of this prejudice would be Dolores Umbridge, as well as her decrees to continue to suppress beings whom she deemed were too low for her esteem.

When Rubeus Hagrid's status as a half-giant was exposed by Rita Skeeter in 1994, many parents of his students at Hogwarts were alarmed, assuming that Hagrid must have been savage and dim-witted because of his ancestry and some claiming that he should lose his spot as a teacher.

It is also possible that the type of half-breed affected the prejudiced views of people, as part-Veela Fleur Delacour never seemed to suffer any discrimination based on her heritage. This may have been because there was no clear physical difference between humans and Veelas and because even part-Veelas possessed stunning good looks and the supernatural ability to entrance the opposite sex.[2] In contrast, someone like Hagrid, with his giant-like appearance, would be far less attractive than the beautiful, Veela-like Fleur.

Types of half-breeds

Half-giant

Rubeus Hagrid

A half-giant was the offspring of a giant and a human. Half-giants would be much taller and larger than ordinary humans, would have considerable spell resistant skin, as well as possess great physical strength, though not to the same extent as giants.

Rubeus Hagrid was a half-giant, with a wizard father and giantess mother.[2] The exact parentage of Olympe Maxime is unclear: whether she had a giant father or mother is also unknown. Maxime was very cautious about revealing her heritage, presumably due to fear of being persecuted for it. Half-giants were rare in the wizarding world.

Half-goblin

A half-goblin was the child of a goblin and a human. Half-goblins were much shorter than ordinary humans, as well as likely being cleverer than most humans as well, a trait they could inherit from their goblin ancestry.

There were no known half-goblins, but Filius Flitwick had "a dash of goblin ancestry", meaning that one of his ancestors was a goblin.[1]

Half-Veela

Fleur Delacour

A half-Veela was the child of a wizard and a Veela. Half-Veela were considerably more beautiful than average humans, as well as seemed to possess the Veela power of entrancing men. It is unknown if part-Veelas were able to transform into bird-like creatures or throw fire, as full Veelas could.[2]

It was, at one time, unknown if a being with Veela blood could produce a male, as all examples of part-Veelas were female. However, quarter-Veela Fleur Delacour and wizard Bill Weasley had a son named Louis. It is unknown if he was able to entrance human females the way female part-Veelas entranced male humans.

Apolline Delacour was a half-Veela, making her daughters Fleur and Gabrielle quarter-veelas and her grandchildren, Victoire, Dominique and Louis Weasley one-eighth Veela.[4]

Half-vampire

A half-vampire was the child of a wizard and a vampire. They supposedly resembled a human but with subtle vampire traits such as mildly exaggerated fangs and pale skin. It is unknown whether they would inherit any vampire tendencies such as aversions to garlic and sunlight.

Singer Lorcan d'Eath was a part-vampire wizard.

Part elf

Part elves were individuals with both human and elf heritage.

Part-troll

A part-troll was an individual with human and troll heritage, noted for their inhuman strength.

Theoretical half-humans

Harry Potter once thought to himself that Marcus Flint looked like he might have had troll blood in him, though he may have simply been insulting him, as Marcus was large and rather ugly, as well as why such an instance of cross-breeding might occur, is unknown.[5] Ron Weasley also once stated that a Snatcher was "definitely part troll" based on his body odour, though he was intentionally being humourous and thus might not have meant this literally.[6]

As crossbreeding between humans and goblins exists, it is likely that humans might also crossbreed with Pukwudgies and Dark Goblins, as they were subtypes or close relatives of goblins. Following the same logic, if part-elves did indeed exist, it is very plausible there could also be half-Yumboes, half-Erklings and half-Red Caps. It may also be theoretically possible that hags could cross-breed with humans, however, for obvious reasons (see hag), this was unlikely to occur.

It is also likely that the other species that could crossbreed with humans could supposedly crossbreed with each other, as logic would dictate.

Other human-like creatures included Merpeople, Manticores, Sphinxes and centaurs. They were all distinguished from the above species by obvious non-human morphology in spite of having humanoid facial features and intelligence. It is unknown if crossbreeding with these people could be possible.

Non-human

Magical creatures could interbreed with other creatures, both magical and not, aside from humans. Generally, it seemed that similar creatures could produce successful offspring. For instance, half-breeds between Crups and normal dogs and Kneazles and normal cats existed, breeding of the latter even being a hobby pursued by some people, such as Arabella Figg. Offspring was also possible between wildly different creatures on occasion, a good example being Blast-Ended Skrewts, which were crosses between Fire Crabs and Manticores: whether magical intervention was required to successfully breed in such a case is unknown, though it was very probable. It is also likely that the other species that could cross breed with humans could cross breed with each other.

In modern times, the creation of new half-breed beasts was illegal in Great Britain due to the passing of the Ban on Experimental Breeding.

Mistaken for half-breeds

Dolores Umbridge: "By the laws laid down by the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, any attack by half-breeds such as yourselves on a human-"
Bane: "What did you call us?"
Hermione Granger: "Don't call them that!"
Dolores Umbridge offending a herd of centaurs[src]

Centaurs were their own non-human breed, even though they looked to be half-human. They were not half-humans, half-horses, even though some might describe them that way because they possessed a human-like head and great intelligence, but their body appeared to be that of a horse. They found it extremely offensive to be referred to as half-breeds, as seen in 1996 when Dolores Umbridge insulted a herd of centaurs by calling them half-breeds.[3]

Similarly, Merpeople were not half-breeds, despite their half-fish, half-human appearance. Umbridge falsely believed them to be so, as well as suggested them to be rounded up and tagged.[3]

Werewolves were not half-breeds: they were human victims of the magical affliction lycanthropy. It is unknown if "half-werewolves" existed: the only close example was Teddy Lupin, the son of a werewolf and a witch. He was a Metamorphmagus like his mother and was not a werewolf. Teddy was the first known example of a werewolf's child. Because of the lack of a precedent, his father was extremely worried about passing lycanthropy to him. It is still unknown if the condition was hereditary.[4] Once again, Umbridge incorrectly believed them to be half-breeds, simply due to their human-animal dual attributes.[3]

Known half-breeds

One magical human parent, one non-human parent

Two magical parents, known non-human ancestry

Behind the scenes

  • Half-breeds could be seen as similar to multiracial individuals in the real world, with the term "half-breed" being used in the past to describe someone of mixed race.

Appearances

Notes and references

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