The Wizarding World is full of magical creatures, some of them dangerous, some of them harmless, some of them annoying. Similar to real world animals, each of the magical creatures is classified under a few criteria:
- Specie category
- Danger classification
A Danger classification is given by the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures to all known Beasts, Beings and Spirits of the Wizarding World. These offer an at-a-glance guide to the perceived dangerousness of a creature. These classifications are also known as MoM (Ministry of Magic) classifications.
There are five categories in total:
- X – Boring
- XX – Harmless/ May be domesticated
- XXX – Competent wizards should cope
- XXXX – Dangerous / requires specialist knowledge / skilled wizard may handle
- XXXXX – Known wizard killer / impossible to train or domesticate
As well as having a danger classification, each creature falls under one of 3 main species categories.
Specie categories, or definitions, were heavily debated throughout the Wizarding World history, with the first acceptable set of definitions being accepted in 1811.
Grogan Stump, the newly appointed Minister for Magic, described a “being” as any creature with sufficient intelligence to understand the laws of the magical community and to bear part of the responsibility in shaping those laws.
Creatures that fit into the beings category understand the laws of the magical community and take part in the magical community. Similar to the beasts, Beings can be both harmless and dangerous towards humans. But unlike most beasts, Beings are (mostly) smart creatures.
Beasts are the widest specie category in the Wizarding World, as they include all creatures that are not Spirits or Beings: dragons, trolls, etc. Beasts come in all shapes and sizes with many different personalities, some are big and fierce like dragons while others are small and harmless like fairies, but they all have one thing in common: they are unaware of the existence of laws in the magical community.
Spirits are a broad category that includes all creatures who are no longer living: Ghosts, Banshees, Poltergeists, Gytrashes, etc. The Spirit Division was formed when Ghosts complained that it was insensitive to classify them as “beings” when they were so clearly “has-beens”.