Amazing Creatures of Magic
Amazing Creatures of Magic is a biweekly blog posted every other Tuesday covering magical creatures that cannot be mentioned within The Pet Corner because all creatures whether real or not, domesticated or dangerous deserve a spotlight within our hearts and minds. A magical or mythical creature will be chosen every other week and be discussed as well-roundedly as possible from the basic information of where they reside to impacts in the wizarding world. In this installment, I will be discussing about one of the most dangerous and infamous creatures existing within the wizarding world...
The Basilisk is an extremely dangerous creature that is classified as a XXXXX (known wizard-killers, cannot be domesticated) beast by the Ministry of Magic for good reasons. Growing up to lengths of 50 feet, basilisks are known to kill their unsuspecting victims by direct eye contact with their big yellow eyes or leave their victims Petrified if indirect eye contact is made. The fangs of this large serpent are extremely venomous to the point where the venom can kill a person within a matter of minutes and only phoenix tears can cure an injury formed by this deadly weapon. It is not a wonder why this feared creature is nicknamed The King of Serpents.
Origin & History
Basilisks originated in Greece when Herpo the Foul hatched a chicken egg under a toad. Due to the Dark wizard being a Parselmouth, he was able to control the deadly creature. By the Middle Ages, Basilisk breeding became illegal, the Ministry delegating the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures to routinely check chicken coops for basilisk eggs. Even though the clear loophole of this regulation existed (hiding the basilisk egg whenever an inspection was due), the limitation of only Parselmouths being able to control such a beast restricted the number of existing basilisks.
One well-known existing basilisk was hidden away in the Chamber of Secrets at Hogwarts by Slytherin founder, Salazar Slytherin, in hopes of “purifying” the school of Muggle-borns when the time came. As with Herpo the Foul, Salazar Slytherin was able to control the basilisk using his Parselmouth ability and even coaxing the serpent to fall into a deep sleep, alike to suspended animation, for a thousand years until the heir of Slytherin was able to complete the purification mission.
This part of the mission succeeded when Tom Riddle, the heir of Slytherin, discovered the Chamber and unleashed the basilisk on unsuspecting Muggle-born students, including Moaning Myrtle who was known as Myrtle Warren at the time. However, the purging was unsuccessful due to the Myrtle’s death being brought to light among Hogwarts staff including then Transfiguration professor, Dumbledore. Riddle again attempted to purge the school in 1993 when he possessed Ginny Weasley to open the Chamber but was stopped by Harry Potter when the basilisk was mortally stabbed by the Sword of Gryffindor.
Characteristics & Nature
Basilisks are serpentine beasts that share many characteristics with their non-magical counterparts, the slender body shape and the ability to shed skin to grow. The skin of a basilisk is notoriously thick compared to that of a dragon’s due to the fact that most spells are not able to penetrate through the armor. Found worldwide, they live off eating vertebrates and have a lifespan of at least 900 years. The venom of the beast is known to be extremely potent, lasting up to 5 years, and can destroy inanimate objects to beyond repair. Interestingly enough, male basilisks have a red plume on their heads, the same as chickens, the animals whose egg the basilisk is born out of.
There are not many known ways to defend oneself from a basilisk as most spells deflect off its thick skin and their eyes being one of the most deadliest weapons. Even Acromantulas, dangerous creatures in their own accords, fear the beasts, some terrified to the point where they don’t dare to utter the name like Voldemort during the Wizarding Wars. Strangely, the only known weakness to the basilisk is the crow of a rooster. The only known method for wizards to protect themselves from the eyes of the basilisk is to look at it indirectly via objects such as camera lens and mirrors to become Petrified instead of dead. Maybe that mirror you’re always looking at might save your life one day.
Basilisks are dangerous creatures that should not be messed with unless you are a Parselmouth. But even though Parselmouths have the ability to communicate with these great serpents, a final thought still lingers as to what exactly a Parselmouth would have to say to convince the great beast to come under the control of a human. Harry Potter, a wizard who gained the ability to speak with serpents from Tom Riddle himself, couldn’t control the basilisk within the Chamber of Secrets. Just a little something to chew on for my readers. :)
Thank you for reading this installment of Amazing Creatures of Magic! If you wish for me to mention a specific creature, feel free to comment on this post or owl me. Creatures that can be mentioned range from those known within the wizarding world to those born from myths or lores around the world.
This blog post has been written by: