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"Oh Newt, You never met a monster you couldn't love."
—Leta's opinion of Newt Scamander (and of herself)[src]

Leta Lestrange[7] (1896 - early September 1927) was a British pure-blood witch[2] born into the Lestrange family. From an early age, she was distraught over her unstable family lineage and unintentionally bringing about the death of an infant, Corvus Lestrange (V).

She attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry between 1908 to 1915, where she was often bullied.[5] While at school, she developed a close relationship with Newton Scamander, but the two parted ways when she caused trouble using a Jarvey and Newt took the blame, leading to his expulsion.

In her adult life, Leta became determined to turn over a fresh leaf and live as a productive and appreciated member of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Leta had become the fiancée of Newt's older brother Theseus by 1927. In this year, she sacrificed herself for them during a rally held in Paris by Gellert Grindelwald by distracting him, incapacitating Vinda Rosier, and destroying their skull-hookah. Grindelwald directed his previously conjured fire into her flesh, disintegrating her body. Despite this, Leta's demise inspired Newt to openly go to war against the terrorist that had ended her life.[5]

Biography

Early life

Leta Lestrange was born at Lestrange Manor in 1896, the only child of Corvus Lestrange IV from his rape of Laurena Kama.[3] The Lestranges were an old pure-blood family, deemed one of the "Sacred Twenty-Eight" by Cantankerus Nott.[8] On her mother's side, Leta is descended from a powerful and wealthy pure-blood family of Senegalese origin.

Corvus had coveted the already happily married Laurena and placed her under the Imperius Curse to draw her away from her husband and son.

Leta with Corvus

Leta with her brother Corvus on the ship

Soon after Leta's birth, her mother passed away, and Corvus married Clarisse Tremblay. This union produced one child, a son, Corvus V.[3] Clarisse also died soon after the birth. On her mother's side Leta had an older half-brother named Yusuf, but it's unlikely that they had any contact with each other, due to the family feud.

Upon learning that the Kama family had sworn an Unbreakable Vow of vengeance upon the one he loved most because of his abduction and rape of their matriarch, Corvus IV sent Irma Dugard, his half-elf family servant, to take Leta and her infant half-brother to America. Bothered by his incessant crying, Leta switched him with another baby in a nearby cabin. When the ship sank, one of the escape boats capsized and her half-brother ostensibly drowned.[9] The baby taken by Leta ended up being raised by an unrelated woman in New York.[10][11]

Hogwarts years

Queenie Goldstein: "That was a real close friendship you had at school."
Newt Scamander: "Yes, well, neither of us really fitted in at school, so we —"
— Newt and Leta's unusually close relationship[src]
Before beginning education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1908, Leta purchased her first wand, likely from Ollivanders, and was sorted into Slytherin on 1 September.

Leta was severely bullied at Hogwarts due to the gossip about her being an unwanted child and the tragic death of her half-brother.

Newt and Leta caring raven

Newt and Leta caring raven chick

She encountered Newton Scamander while searching for a place to hide from her pursuers, whom she had hexed in retaliation for their malicious gossip. Newt and Leta developed a remarkably close bond, spending much time together over the holidays caring for an injured baby raven.

Young Leta Lestrange and Albus Dumbledore

Leta being taught the Boggart-Banishing Spell by Albus Dumbledore

Leta attended Professor Albus Dumbledore's teaching of Boggarts. During one lesson, her boggart transformed into a swaddled infant sinking into deep water.

Newt showing Leta the Bowtruckles

Newt showing Leta the Bowtruckle

She was later comforted by Newt near the Great Lake, when she was upset by her own Boggart. He show her one of the Bowtruckles he had befriended on the school grounds, because he was the only one they would not hide from.

Newt was once given a month's detention for being cheeky to Prendergast, so Leta set off a Dungbomb under the professor's desk to get the same punishment too.

In 1913, one of Leta's experiments involving a Jarvey went too far, endangering the life of another student.[12][13] It also violated laws prohibiting the possession of this creature.[13] Rather than see his good friend expelled, Newt took the blame, and was thus sentenced to be expelled from Hogwarts in Leta's place.[12][14][15][16]

After Hogwarts

"I don't really know what Leta likes these days because people change."
—Newt referring his and Leta's falling out[src]
Leta's photo

Leta's picture in Newt's suitcase

Newt Scamander remained in love with Leta many years after their parting.[17] He kept a framed photograph of her in the work shed inside his magically-expanded suitcase during his travels.[7]

Newt Theseus Leta and Bunty at Flourish and Blotts

Leta with Newt, Theseus and Bunty during launch at Flourish and Blotts

By 1927, Leta had fallen in love with Newt's older brother, Theseus Scamander.[4] They planned to be married on 6 June, 1928, and Newt was invited to be their best man. On 19 March, 1927 Leta, alongside with Newt, Theseus and Bunty, participated in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them book launch at Flourish and Blotts in Diagon Alley. Spellbound magazine erroneously captioned the photograph from the event, leading to a misunderstanding between Porpentina Goldstein and Newton.

Ministry employee

Ministry family

Leta with Theseus and Newt in the British Ministry of Magic

Six months later, upon Theseus' advice, Leta began working at the British Ministry of Magic in London, as assistant to the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Torquil Travers.[18]

Leta talking with Dumbledore

Leta talking with Albus Dumbledore at Hogwarts

She was part of a delegation led by Travers, to question Albus Dumbledore regarding rumours of Newt's potential travel to Paris. Dumbledore found Leta reminiscing about her school days at her old desk, consumed with guilt about her wicked past. Lestrange accused Albus that he was the only one who not considered her bad in her youth and was wrong because of it. Dumbledore's insight into her pain leaded him to tell her about the loss of his sister, Ariana, and advised her to get rid of regret.

Theseus kiss with Leta

Leta with Theseus in the French Ministry of Magic

During a visit in the French Ministry of Magic, Leta told Theseus to promise that he will be careful during Gellert Grindelwald's rally. Theseus told her about the rumour that Credence Barebone could be her long-lost stepbrother, which Leta denied. Scamander agreed with her that her brother was dead, but urged her to check the Lestrange family records to be certain, because documents never lied.

Leta finds Newt and Tina

Leta finds Newt and Tina in the Records Room

During search for the family box in the Records Room, Leta encountered Newt and Tina, who were searching for the box too. Leta discovered that the box was taken to the Lestrange Mausoleum. The Records Keeper, Melusine, sent Matagots after them because of Newt's entering under false pretences. Newt advised them not to fight the Matagots to keep them docile, but the warning came too late. Leta had already unleashed a spell. When beasts attacked them, Newt hide himself, Tina and Leta in his suitcase. As the matagots reached the suitcase, Newt jumped out of her on Zouwu and flew straight to the Pere Lachaise Cemetery.

COG HQ still Yusuf Tina Leta Newt

Leta revealing the truth

They head to the Lestrange tomb and Leta found the Lestrange box which was taken, but they were not alone. They crossed paths with Jacob Kowalski, Yusuf Kama, Credence Barebone and Nagini. Leta stopped her half-brother Yusuf, from fulfilling his Vow under the mistaken impression that Credence was really Corvus Lestrange V. She finally confessed to inadvertently killing Corvus, proving he and Credence were not the same person and that she had no idea who Credence actually was. The conversation was interrupted by the beginning of the Grindelwald's rally in the underground chamber.

Death

Leta Grindelwald

Leta confronting Grindelwald

Leta participated in a meeting of Grindelwald's supporters, during which he talked about his approach to Muggles and presented a vision illustrating the effects of hiding from non-immigration and the coming World War II. Grindelwald, seeing the Aurors under Theseus' command, ordered the assembled deportees and proclaimed his views, which they did. In addition, the wizard created a circle of blue flames around him to divide followers from enemies. Only his true followers could cross the spell, while those under the influence of flames were burned.
Grindelwald kills Leta

Leta's death from Grindelwald's hands

Among those who joined the Dark wizard were Credence Barebone, who, despite Nagini's objection, stated that Grindelwald would help him learn his own identity, as well as Queenie Goldstein, Tina's younger sister, for whom Gellert's speech was so convincing that she was able to believe that thanks to him her biggest dream was: marrying Jacob Kowalski, which made the law of that time impossible. When Grindelwald attacked Newt and Theseus, the two most important men in Leta's life, Leta approached him, seemingly about to join his cause. At the last moment, this was revealed to be a distraction in an effort to give Theseus, Newt, Tina, Jacob, Yusuf and Nagini time to get away. Grindelwald was able to deflect her attack, but she successfully destroyed the skull hookah held by Vinda Rosier. Right before being incinerated by the flames, she looked at the Scamander brothers and said "I love you", though it is unclear which of them she was speaking to.

Physical appearance

Leta-Lestrange

Leta was described as beautiful.[19] She had intense brown eyes and dark-coloured hair.

Personality and traits

"She was a taker."
—Leta's self-serving nature[src]
According to Queenie, Leta was a "taker" rather than a "giver",[7] and she did display a selfish streak throughout her youth: Leta swapped her baby half-brother Corvus for another infant simply because she couldn't tolerate his crying; at Hogwarts, she allowed Newt to take the blame and be expelled for her own childish mistake. On the other hand, Leta suffered a great deal of tragedy throughout her life, and this had a marked effect on her personality: The death of her mother soon after Leta's birth and loveless upbringing at the hands of her father left Leta damaged and confused; the unintentional role she had played in her infant brother's death left her with feelings of incredible guilt and self-loathing (to the point that her Boggart was her infant brother's drowning). Leta regarded herself as not only guilty of killing her brother (rather than the unforeseen accident it was), but as evil and a monster. She also felt additional guilt over ruining her best friend's education. Despite all this, Leta maintained a polite and considerate personality. She remained friendly towards Newt, for whom she continued to have feelings, and later got engaged to Newt's older brother, Theseus Scamander. Newt also continued to care for Leta, and even kept mementos of their time together.[17]

In several ways, Leta's personality contradicted the "evil Slytherin" stereotype held by many students of the other Houses (Gryffindors in particular), and was in stark contrast to her father Corvus, as well as later Lestranges such as Rodolphus and Rabastan. For instance, Leta seemed to put no stock in pure-blood supremacy beliefs, despite her family being one the the Sacred Twenty-Eight. Much like Horace Slughorn and Andromeda Tonks, Leta could be said to represent the more "positive" aspects of Slytherin, in her case ambition and resourcefulness without any of the usual ruthlessness, elitism, or arrogance associated with members of the house. She also did not consider her Slytherin status as a marker of "superiority", as she quickly befriended and grew very close to the Hufflepuff Newt Scamander, the two bonding over their shared status as outsiders. While she would sometimes hex other students, she did so out of anger in the face of bullying, rather than any unprovoked malice. She was quite liked by her Defence Against the Dark Arts professor Albus Dumbledore, but struggled to get along with anyone at Hogwarts, except Newt.

Leta ultimately showed courage and selflessness when she sacrificed her life to save the Scamander brothers from certain death, much like how her fellow Slytherin Severus Snape would likewise sacrifice his life for a good cause many years later. After hearing her former teacher Albus Dumbledore confess his own guilt over not loving his late sister Ariana enough, Leta was able to take his advice and confess to what she had done to Corvus, thereby saving Credence Barebone from Yusuf Kama's revenge.

Leta's selfless and heroic death would have a profound impact on Newt, giving him the resolve he needed to at last choose a side in the Global Wizarding War, as well as inducing Dumbledore to honour Leta's sacrifice by more actively supporting the resistance against Grindelwald.

Magical abilities and skills

Etymology

  • Leta most likely originates from the name Leda, daughter of Aetolian king Thestius, an Aetolian princess who became a Spartan queen in Greek mythology, of which the story of Leda and the Swan is the focus.
    • In the story, Zeus takes the form of a swan and rapes her. Their consummation, on the same night as Leda lay with her husband Tyndareus, resulted in two eggs from which hatched Helen (aka "Helen of Troy", said to be the most beautiful woman in the world and an instigator of the Trojan War), Clytemnestra, and Castor and Pollux (who became the constellation Gemini).
  • The name Lita is of Latin origin and means "gladly."
  • The word leta is a variation of the Latin word leto, which means "to kill" or "to slay".

Behind the scenes

"The relationship between Leta and Newt Scamander is a complex relationship, so I think there will be a lot of time for that to grow and develop, which will be fun."
Zoë Kravitz about her character Leta[src]
Leta Lestrange's Wand

Appearances

Wiki
The Harry Potter Wiki has 50 images related to Leta Lestrange.

Notes and references

  1. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay, Scene 101, specifies Leta was born in 1896. It is also known Leta was in the same year as Newt Scamander at Hogwarts; Newt was born on 24 February 1897, meaning he (and by extension, Leta) was Sorted on 1 September 1908 — if Leta was born sometime prior to 1 September 1896, she would have been Sorted one year before Newt, in 1907.
  2. 2.0 2.1 She was the daughter of two pure-blood wizards, Corvus Lestrange and Laurena Kama.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (see this image)
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Fantastic Beasts film title revealed: The Crimes of Grindelwald" at Pottermore
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
  6. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: Magical Movie Handbook
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 92
  8. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Pure-Blood" at Pottermore
  9. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
  10. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 88
  11. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 96
  12. 12.0 12.1 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Magical Movie Handbook (see this image)
  13. 13.0 13.1 The Case of Beasts: Explore the Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (see this image)
  14. "EXCLUSIVE: J.K. Rowling tells SnitchSeeker about Newt's expulsion from Hogwarts, more"
  15. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 65 - "GRAVES: You were thrown out of Hogwarts for endangering human life-"
  16. "Fantastic Beasts and J.K Rowling's Wizarding World" on Youtube - "Newt is this oddball who managed to get himself expelled from Hogwarts"
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 "Who is Leda Lestrange? 'Fantastic Beasts' Is Only The Start For The New Character, Says Director David Yates" from Bustle
  18. 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' -- Meet the new cast
  19. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay, Scene 18
  20. "Open casting call for young people announced for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel" from Pottermore
  21. Zoe Kravitz: 'Beauty can't be defined by race, gender or age' by Sonia Haria on The Independent, 27 November 2017


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