During the 1991–1992 school year, Professor Quirinus Quirrell, trying to figure out how to get past Fluffy and retrieve the Philosopher's Stone, disguised himself and enticed Rubeus Hagrid to play a game of cards by wagering Norberta's egg. They had a few drinks, and Quirrell asked him if he was sure he could handle raising a dragon. Hagrid told him about how he managed Fluffy, inadvertently giving Quirrell the information he needed. Hagrid later assumed that 'the stranger' was a Dragon dealer.
- Hagrid: "I've decided to call him Norbert. He really knows me now, watch. Norbert! Norbert! Where's Mummy?"
- Ron Weasley: "He's lost his marbles."
- — The trio and Hagrid discussing Norberta[src]
Rubeus Hagrid kept the egg in his hut, warming it over a fire until it hatched. Ron, Harry, and Hermione were present when Norberta hatched. Also present (though at first unknown) was Draco Malfoy, who peered through a window of Hagrid's hut. The trio feared that Hagrid would get in trouble, and so convinced him to get rid of the dragon. The baby dragon looked "like a crumpled black umbrella" with large spiny wings, a skinny body and a long snout with wide nostrils, horn stubs and bulging, orange eyes. Hagrid immediately adored her, although she tried to bite him. He named the newborn dragon "Norbert", and fed it with a bucket of brandy mixed with chicken blood every half hour, as recommended in Dragon Breeding for Pleasure and Profit.
Raised in Romania
However, as the young dragon grew, it became too violent and dangerous to keep. After Norbert bit Ron Weasley's hand, for which he had to go to the Hospital Wing due to the venom in its fangs, Hagrid had no choice but to release Norbert to Charles Weasley, who worked with dragons in Romania.
When Hagrid met Charlie at Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour's wedding, he was informed that the dragon, originally thought to be a male named Norbert, was now called Norberta, as Charlie had discovered that she was in fact a female. He said that he was able to tell by the females being much more violent and ferocious.
Norbert is a Germanic first name, derived from nord ("north") and berht ("bright"). Norberta is simply a feminine form of this name.
Behind the scenes
- Norberta has a different departure in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Instead of her presence remaining a secret and Harry and Hermione handing her over to Charlie's friends, the Hogwarts staff becomes aware of her, and Dumbledore had her sent off to Romania. Also, the dragon is shown to be affectionate with the groundskeeper, rather than violent. Because of this difference in behaviour, it is possible that Norbert is in fact a male in the film version of the story.
- Since Hagrid's conversation with Charlie was not featured in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Norberta's identity as a female dragon was never acknowledged in the films.
- "Baby Norbert" was one out of the thirty-two options generated by an old feature on Pottermore, "Wonderful wizarding world happiness generator", which was about things that could cast away the Blue Monday blues.
- The description was "A baby dragon may not be everyone’s idea of ‘cheerful’, but when Norbert (or Norberta, actually) was just a wee baby, we could kind of see why Hagrid went all gooey over him/her".
- In The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, one can purchase a plush version of Norberta.
- While Norberta is black-coloured, the LEGO Harry Potter mini-figure is green.
- Norberta also appears to be greenish in Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells.
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, the parts with Noberta, before and after being hatched appear only in a Time-Turner mission, but Hagrid does not explain where he got the egg.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (First identified as Norberta) (Mentioned only)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World (Mentioned as Norbert)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- Wizarding World
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
- Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 14 (Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 7 (The Will of Albus Dumbledore)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 16 (Through the Trapdoor)
- Features: "Wonderful wizarding world happiness generator" at Pottermore (archived)
- "Introducing our 'Wonderful wizarding world happiness generator', which is ready and waiting to cast away those #BlueMonday blues. Click here to receive your very own piece of wizarding world happiness, and let us know what you got… pottermo.re/Happiness" - @pottermore on Twitter and Facebook
- Features: "Wonderful wizarding world happiness generator (text only version)" at Pottermore (archived)