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The Runespoor was a magical three-headed snake native to the African country of Burkina Faso. Since they were very easy to spot, the Burkina Faso Ministry of Magic made several forests Unplottable for the Runespoor's use, and to avoid sightings by non-wizards.[1]

In the runic alphabet, the three heads of the Runespoor were used to represent the number three.[3] The Runespoor was a possible rare corporeal form of the Patronus Charm.[4] Runespoor eggs were used in the making of certain potions.[1]


A wild Runespoor

Runespoors were commonly six to seven feet long[2] - an exception being the one held by Newton Scamander that was gigantic in size - with orange and black stripes.

A baby Runespoor in Newton Scamander's suitcase

According to writings from Parselmouths, each of the Runespoor's heads served a different function. The left head (from the perspective of someone facing the snake) was the planner; it decided where the Runespoor was to go and what it was to do next. The middle head was the dreamer (it is common for a Runespoor to remain stationary for days lost in glorious visions and imaginations), and the right head was the critic; it evaluated the efforts of the left and middle heads with a continuous irritable hissing, and its fangs were highly venomous. It was common to see Runespoors with the right head missing, as the other two heads often banded together to bite it off when it criticised them too much. Because of this, the Runespoor rarely lived to a great age.[1]

Runespoor eggs were produced through the creature's mouth, and the Runespoor was the only magical beast known to produce eggs in such a manner. The eggs were very valuable in making potions that stimulated mental agility, and had flourished on the black market for several centuries.[1]

Some witches and wizards had attempted to create homemade Floo Powder (known as "Faux Floo") using the fangs of Runespoors, but like all imitation Floo Powder, it did not suffice, and causes injury, as noted by Rutherford Poke in 2010.[5]


The Runespoor had long been associated with Dark Wizards, and what was known of their habits was due in large part to the writings of Parselmouths that have conversed with the creatures.[1]

The giant Runespoor in Newt Scamander's suitcase

Newt Scamander carried two Runespoors in his suitcase in December 1926: an apparently normal-sized individual whose right head was wearing a protective cone, and an unusually gigantic specimen.[6] Newt later told Tina Goldstein in 1927 that she had “gone middle head” during her investigation on Credence Barebone, explaining it was an expression derived from the three heads of the Runespoor, the middle of which he claimed was the visionary; he also admitted he was most likely the only person who used the expression.[7]

Mathilda Grimblehawk and her partner investigated a case involving a Runespoor, and Runespoor eggs, that had caused Bilius Finbok to be sent to hospital.[8]

Behind the scenes

  • The Runespoor could represent the character of a writer: the first head dealing with plot outlines and story plans, the second head dealing with description and the 'flesh' of the story (often getting stuck spending hours describing a simple scene) and the third head being the writer's internal critic- questioning everything they do and making them revise every single word. Of course some writers start ignoring their internal critic (represented by the Runespoors biting off the third head) and without that criticism the story (or the Runespoor) dies.
  • The Runespoor appeared as the final boss of a special time-limited Forbidden Forest adventure in the 2021 Hallowe'en update of Harry Potter: Magic Awakened. Players had to defeat the three heads separately. This adventure was brought back in February 2022, again time-limited.


The Harry Potter Wiki has 14 images related to Runespoor.

Notes and references

Study of Ancient Runes
Ancient Runes Made Easy.jpg
Professor: Bathsheda Babbling
Textbooks: Advanced Rune Translation · Ancient Runes Made Easy · Magical Hieroglyphs and Logograms · Rune Dictionary · Spellman's Syllabary
Known Runes: Acromantula · Demiguise · Ehwaz · Eihwaz · Fwooper · Graphorn · Hydra · Quintaped · Runespoor · Salamander · Unicorn · Unknown · Mark of Merlin
Magical creatures by classification
X Flobberworm · Horklump
XX Augurey · Bowtruckle · Chizpurfle · Clabbert · Diricawl · Fairy · Ghoul · Gnome · Grindylow · Imp · Jobberknoll · Mooncalf · Porlock · Puffskein · Ramora · Winged horse
XXX Ashwinder · Billywig · Bundimun · Crup · Doxy · Dugbog · Fire crab · Fwooper · Glumbumble · Hippocampus · Hippogriff · Hodag · Jarvey · Knarl · Kneazle · Leprechaun · Lobalug · Mackled Malaclaw · Moke · Murtlap · Niffler · Nogtail · Pixie · Plimpy · Pogrebin · Red Cap · Salamander · Sea serpent · Shrake · Streeler · Winged horse
XXXX Centaur · Demiguise · Erkling · Erumpent · Golden Snidget · Graphorn · Griffin · Hidebehind · Kappa · Kelpie · Merpeople · Occamy · Phoenix · Re'em · Runespoor · Snallygaster · Sphinx · Tebo · Thestral · Thunderbird · Troll · Unicorn · Winged horse · Yeti
XXXXX Acromantula · Basilisk · Chimaera · Dragon · Horned Serpent · Lethifold · Manticore · Nundu · Quintaped · Wampus cat · Werewolf