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Veela (both singular and plural) were nearly-human magical beings who appeared as young, beautiful women with white-gold hair and moon-bright skin, native to Bulgaria. Their looks and especially their dance was hypnotically seductive to almost all people attracted to women, which caused them to perform foolhardy and impulsive actions to get closer to, and to receive admiration from the Veela.
Veela were the mascots for the Bulgarian National Quidditch team during the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, which indicates an Eastern European origin. However, the part-Veela Delacour family were from France, suggesting that they could be found all over Europe.
- "At this, the veela lost control. Instead of dancing, they launched themselves across the field and began throwing what seemed to be handfuls of fire at the leprechauns. Watching through his Omnioculars, Harry saw that they didn’t look remotely beautiful now. On the contrary, their faces were elongating into sharp, cruel-beaked bird heads, and long, scaly wings were bursting from their shoulders —"
- — Veela becoming angry, after having been provoked by Leprechauns[src]
Veela were described as looking like incredibly beautiful women, with moon-bright skin and white-gold hair that fanned out behind them, despite the absence of wind. They had the ability to hypnotise and mesmerise most people attracted to women with their seductive dance, who would then try to impress them.
Veela had their own type of magic which did not require a wand. When Veela became angry, however, they transformed into something more like Harpies — their faces turned into cruel-beaked bird-like heads, while long scaly wings burst from their shoulders, and they could launch balls of fire from their hands. Veela seemed to be quite an irascible race.
Veela hair was a magical substance, suitable as a core for wand crafting. Renowned wandmaker Garrick Ollivander noted that he personally never used it, as he found the result to be temperamental. Fleur Delacour's wand contained a single hair from her Veela grandmother.
Veela had been known to marry wizards, although it is unknown whether any married Muggles. Children of these unions were half-Veela, and they would inherit magical ability from their wizarding parent and beauty and charm from their Veela parent. Veela traits seemed to persist for at least a few generations (examples being Apolline Delacour, and her daughters Fleur and Gabrielle).
Apolline Delacour was a Half-Veela, thus her children Fleur and Gabrielle were quarter-Veela, and Fleur's children Victoire, Dominique, and Louis were each an one-eighth Veela; it is unknown if they inherited any specific Veela characteristics from their great-grandmother.
- Fleur Delacour's maternal grandmother
- At least two cousins of Fleur Delacour.
- The Bulgarian National Quidditch team mascots at the Quidditch World Cup in 1994. The mascots danced to hypnotise the players as well as the fans on the other team; even the referee was affected.
Behind the scenes
- The term "Veela" is never used in the films.
- The word "Veela" is an Anglicisation of the Slavic term Vila.
- Veela are described as fairy or nymph-like creatures in Slavic mythology, who live in bodies of water and have power and ability over storms. They may be the ghosts of women who drowned, especially those who were betrayed by their lovers. They often appear as beautiful women, but are known to morph into swans, snakes, horses, or wolves. Their magically seductive speaking and singing voices hypnotise those who hear them, and they are fierce warriors. Interestingly, given that Fleur Delacour's wand has a hair from her Veela grandmother, it is said in some legends that if even one of their hairs is plucked, a Veela will either die or be forced to change into a non-human shape. Veela are main features of Bulgarian and Serbian folklore such as the story of Marko Kraljevic and the Veela (archive link). Also see The Ballads of Marko Kraljevic (English translation).
- In Serbian legend they were maidens cursed by God; in Bulgaria they were girls who died before they were baptised; in Poland they were young girls floating through the air atoning for frivolous past lives.
- If the stories regarding the plucking of Wili/Vila hair hold true with regards to Veela it seems more likely the hair used in Fleur's wand would have naturally shed rather than been plucked.
- One of the questions on the 2nd Level W.O.M.B.A.T. asks the examinee to identify which of five given statements is false; one of these claims that full-blooded male Veela do not exist.
- Veela are similar to the Sirens of Greek mythology. Sirens are featured in Homer's The Odyssey, as half-bird, sea-dwelling hybrids whose hypnotic singing causes sailors to run aground. However, in the Harry Potter universe, Sirens are one of the three known species of Merpeople, and, as far as we know, are unrelated to Veela.
- The Veela of Slavic folklore are akin to fairies in Germanic folklore and their beauty is somewhat reminiscent of the Elves of J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium - sometimes referred to as "fairies" in his earlier works - which were based on the fairies of Germanic lore.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- J. K. Rowling's official site (Mentioned only)
- Wizarding World
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (Mentioned only)