"...serpents are often used in the worst kinds of Dark Magic, and are historically associated with evildoers."
—An anonymous member of the Dark Force Defence League, as quoted by Rita Skeeter, HARRY POTTER "DISTURBED AND DANGEROUS", Daily Prophet[src]

A snake (also called a serpent) is a long, thin, legless reptile. The symbol of Slytherin house is the serpent, and the notorious [Dark Wizard] Lord Voldemort had a pet snake named Nagini. There are many types of snakes in the magical world, but the biggest and most dangerous of them all is the Basilisk also known as the King of Serpents. The Snake Summons Spell (Serpensortia) conjures a snake from the caster’s wand, while the Snake-Vanishing Spell (Vipera Evanesca) is used to vanish it.[1] The spell for Fiendfyre creates fiery serpents and dragons. The skin of boomslang, a species of a snake,is an ingredient of Polyjuice Potion.[1] Voldemort's mark, the Dark Mark, is a skull with a snake coming out of its mouth.[2] In 1991 during a trip to a zoo in Surrey, Harry Potter accidentally set loose a Boa constrictor on his cousin Dudley Dursley.[3] In 1995, Harry Potter witnessed, in dream, the snake Nagini's attack on Arthur Weasley.[4]


Main article: Parseltongue
Snakes all over the world speak a language called Parseltongue (with apparent regional variations, as a Brazilian snake once used a term rendered in English as "amigo"). To those who do not speak it, Parseltongue mostly sounds like barely-audible hissing, easily dismissed as ambient noise by one who was unaware of a snake's presence.

It is possible, though arduous, for humans (and, presumably, other Beings) to learn this language; noted wizarding genius and scholar Professor Albus Dumbledore learned to understand it, but never managed to speak it, while a young Ron Weasley managed to speak a few words but never made an effort to expand his vocabulary.[5]

A small percentage of wizards possess an innate knowledge of this eldritch tongue, and are called Parselmouths[6]; this ability was long associated with Dark Wizards in the Wizarding World's eye, as two of the most notorious Dark Wizards of all times, Lord Voldemort and Professor Salazar Slytherin, were Parselmouths. Other Parselmouths include Salazar Slytherin, Marvolo Gaunt, Morfin Gaunt, Merope Gaunt, Lord Voldemort, and (due to contamination from Voldemort's Horcruxes) Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley.

Species of snake


A basilisk, the King of Serpents

Notable snakes


Nagini, Voldemort's pet snake and Horcrux

Behind the scenes


The Harry Potter Wiki has 47 images related to Snake.

Notes and references