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Toads are non-magical amphibian creatures popularly known among Muggles as well as wizards and witches. Toads are one of the three animals students at Hogwarts are allowed to have at the school as pets along with owls and cats.[1] The toad has been by far the least popular choice of pet, and according to Rubeus Hagrid, they went out of style years before 1991.[1]

History

In 1269, after a Quidditch match she had interfered in, Modesty Rabnott was afraid that Chief Barberus Bragge would punish her by transfigure her into a horned toad.[2]

Many centuries ago, in blood-thirstier times when young witches and wizards were expected to personally pop out the newt eyes they were using in potions, they routinely brought boxes of toads to school for use in potions and in other charms. Over time, as the Ministry of Magic introduced legislation regarding animal cruelty (sub-sections 13-29 inclusive relate to potion ingredients and their production) such practises were gradually outlawed.[3]

At some point before 1991, toads became an unpopular pet choice with students at Hogwarts.[1]

Public opinion on toads

"You don't want to get a toad, they're out of fashion."
Rubeus Hagrid with Harry Potter at Diagon Alley in 1991
By the time Harry arrived at Hogwarts, possession of a pet toad conveyed neither cool nor status; indeed, it was something of an embarrassment. The toad, never much appreciated for its own personal appeal, gradually appeared (alive) less and less frequently at Hogwarts, unless hopping and swimming wild in the grounds. Neville's pet toad, Trevor, had nothing to commend him except a propensity for getting lost, and when he slipped off to join one day his brethren toads living in the Black Lake, both owner and pet had a sense of relief.[3]

Magical abilities and skills

Although they do not have magical abilities, they are useful to perform spells on or test potions on, such as when Professor Filius Flitwick made Neville Longbottom's toad, Trevor, fly around his classroom to demonstrate the Levitation Charm in 1991.[4] Trevor was also subject to a Shrinking Solution Neville made in Potions in 1993, and was successfully turned into a tadpole.[5] Toads are particularly useful to potioneers, as the fact that they absorb liquids through their skin allows for easy testing of potions that are normally required to be ingested orally.[6]

Known uses of toads

Trevor

Neville Longbottom's toad Trevor in 1991

Toads

Purple toads for sale in the Magical Menagerie

Basilisk egg

A chicken egg hatched beneath a toad

Flitwick conducting

The Frog Choir performing in 1993

Known species of toad

See also

Behind the scenes

Appearances

Wiki
The Harry Potter Wiki has 42 images related to Toad.

Notes and references

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