If Hagrid Met Newt!
All this exciting talk about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them got me thinking about the chaos that Newt Scamander and Rubeus Hagrid would get up to if they had been alive at the same time.
I’ve been daydreaming about the possibilities of this using what we know about Newt already – thinking that he left/found his enchanted briefcase “just a smidge” open, allowing for the creatures to escape – and our lovable, albeit eccentric, Hogwarts Care of Magical Creatures Professor Hagrid!
Setting – Sitting at a table in the Leaky Cauldron, Newt, in his gorgeous peacock blue coat, is reading the Daily Prophet. A slightly disheveled, wild-haired Hagrid appears in the doorway, momentarily blocking all the sunlight in the room. As he crashes into the room – he knocks two stools and a table over in his excitement to reach Newt – he bounds over his newly created rubble to an inquisitive-looking Newt. So here are the top questions I think Hagrid would ask!
“OH! Mr. Scamander, sir, I don’ mean ter bother ya or nothin’, but I happen to be, well, well a fan o’ yours. It is just incredible to meet ya… I, uh, I don’ know if you might, that is if yer not busy, o’ course, answerin’ a few questions? Abou’ your life and work with magical creatures.”
To which Newt would happily accept and Hagrid would be delighted and blurt out, “haveyoueverbredanymagicalcreatures… er, yerself?”
“Ahm. ‘Ave you bred any magical creatures yerself, Mr. Newt Scamander, sir?”
As Hogwarts students and alumni know, Hagrid is quite keen on creating new kinds of beasts and creatures. Although the Blast-Ended Skrewts were a disaster waiting to happen, it shows that Hagrid was more than capable of breeding creatures himself (although not so good at keeping them alive) and that he has a talent for earning the trust of magical creatures. I’m not too sure Newt would be impressed with this question, particularly considering he wrote and enforced the 1965 ban on experimental breeding! But the chaos in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film makes me think it is highly possible that Newt wasn’t always careful when he was on adventures and discovering new creatures!
“Sorry to have… er, offended you, Mr. Scamander, sir. I meant no harm by it. Um, well, maybe I could ask somethin’ different. You see, sir, I’ve owned a hippogriff meself, Buckbeak I called ‘im. A good hippogriff, always cleaned his feathers! And well, sir, I think they are the most intelligent an’ loyal creatures… why would you classify them as XXXXX? Could make fine pets for anyone, far as I’m concerned!”
Hagrid loves all creatures; that’s a given. But in his love for magical creatures, he often loses his sense of reason and rationality. I can picture Hagrid arguing his case as to why every child should have a hippogriff as a pet (loyal, interesting, a chance of losing an arm…). As mentioned in our SpeakBeasty podcast, his mother bred hippogriffs, so we know Newt would have a fair amount of knowledge on this subject. Now, this is where I get a little bit excited! We are finally going to have a glimpse into Newt and his life after Hogwarts and his reasoning for not only creating a ban but also for creating a Ministry classification. I’m wondering whether some more of the creatures labeled XXXXX in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them book are going to be the ones who are running loose in New York!
“I’ve jus’ got one more bit to ask you, Mr Scamander, sir. You kno’ the werewolf law, well, course you do, you wrote it!’ (Chortle) “You see, I have a good ol’ friend, an’ well, he felt left out, singl’d out really, with this law. I jus’ don’t see the harm. He was a great man. He nev’r wanted t’ hurt anyone.”
We all know how fiercely loyal Hagrid is. We also know how Hagrid has a tendency to blurt things out without thinking. This trait of Hagrid’s could cause a bit of tension in the conversation, but it’s an important question that I would like answered! Did Newt choose to register and locate werewolves due to an increase in attacks, or even targeted attacks (as was the case with Remus Lupin)? Newt was a Hufflepuff, so I would like to think he stayed true to his roots and did it to protect people and to raise awareness of werewolf attacks. But there is a part of my brain that is reminding me that 1947 was a long time ago, and there were a lot of misconceptions around. Not every werewolf had friends to transfigure themselves, or a skilled Potions Master able to correctly make the Wolfsbane Potion, making dangerous werewolves a scary reality.
Although I don’t think we will get answers to these in the upcoming film, I’m sure that we’ll get more of an insight into how Newt became the respected expert who wrote Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Are there any burning questions you have for Newt? Or maybe you have a different version of how a conversation between Newt and Hagrid would go? Please share below!