A/N: This is the first in a small collection of tales I’m planning to
write about the various adventures of Newt Scamander, the illustrious
and quite fascinating author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find
Them. This fic might contain spoilers if you haven’t read the book
This story is set in the year 1911, when Newt was in his 4th
year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The Magizoologist in Training.
I look back across the years to the seven-year-old
wizard who spent hours in his bedroom dismembering Horklumps and I envy
him the journeys to come.
I have visited lairs, burrows and nests across five
continents, observed the curious habits of Magical Beasts in a hundred
countries, witnessed their power, gained their trust, and, on occasion,
beaten them off with my travelling kettle.
- Newt Scamander, Fantastic Beasts and Where to
"Patrick, hurry up!" cried Newt Scamander. "If
we’re late for class Pokeby’ll have our hides!"
"We still have ten minutes before class starts, Newt. And you know that
Pokeby’s hardly ever on time." said Patrick Murray. His voice was rather
stifled as he was lying on his stomach under his bed searching for his
copy of Monstrosities Galore for the Care of Magical Creatures
"Better safe than sorry," mumbled Newt, running a hand nervously through
his reddish-brown hair.
"Got it!" cried Patrick as he emerged from under his bed, his usually
neat blond hair completely mussed up and his hand clutching a book which
was so tattered it looked like it would have preferred to stay under the
Without a word, Newt grabbed Patrick’s arm, and ran out of their dorm,
through the Gryffindor common room, nearly knocked down a first-year as
he burst through the Portrait Hole ("Watch it!" cried the Fat Lady) and
was soon racing down the corridors.
"Why the rush?" panted Patrick as he struggled to keep up with his friend.
"Don’t you see?" cried Newt excitedly, not breaking his pace. "Today’s
Realization suddenly dawned in Patrick’s eyes and he grinned at Newt
as they burst out into the bright sunlight onto the Hogwarts grounds.
Today was the day all right. Newt had been waiting for it ever since
his mother had told him over the summer that she might help out their
Care of Magical Creatures Professor by lending the school some of her
prize Hippogriffs for the students to study for a few weeks. Newt was
looking forward to this class. Not only was he going to see the animals
he had grown up with, and missed terribly whenever he was at school, but
nobody knew more about Hippogriffs than he did. For once, he was not going
to look like an idiot in class.
School had never been easy for Newt. He was keen and enthusiastic, but
he never could understand the incredibly formal and conventional methods
most of the Professors used. For his first two years in Hogwarts the only
solace he had was in the Transfiguration classes, where Professor Dumbledore
would delight him with his whimsical idiosyncracies and the never ending
encouragement he always gave Newt, no matter how many times he accidentally
made body parts of the animals he was supposed to be transfiguring mysteriously
Academics weren’t the only area in which he had trouble. He was quite
unpopular in his house for the loads of points he lost for it almost weekly.
Newt became rebellious when he was frustrated, and often broke the school
rules blatantly, not caring for the consequences. He was wild, rash and
adventurous, never comprehending why anyone would want to be cooped up
in a stuffy old classroom when they could be out exploring the Forbidden
Forest. The only friend he had was Patrick, and Newt treasured him. Patrick
was the calm, sensible one, sticking up for Newt and often getting him
out of trouble. He was one of the smartest students in their year, and
all the teachers loved him. The mere fact that Patrick was Newt’s best
friend gave him the credibility he couldn’t earn on his own.
But Newt had been very much looking forward to his third year, which
he was determined to enjoy, because of the new class he had chosen- Care
of Magical Creatures.
For the first time, for as long as he could remember, he actually felt
excited about something. The summer before he returned to school,
he spent most his time devouring the various textbooks his mother had
lent him. He spent hours in the woody marshland near his house, observing
Horklumps and playing with his pet Crups. However, a sore disappointment
was in store for Newt.
Professor Pokeby was undoubtedly the last person Newt would have ever
wanted to be in charge of his favourite class. Humourless, strict and
at times horribly unfair, she looked upon Newt’s passion for the subject
with suspicion, and felt rather threatened whenever he displayed his precocious
knowledge of Magical Beasts. She felt that he usurped her authority, and
the best student in her class quickly became the one she least liked.
That was what Newt concluded anyway, but instead focused on enjoying
the one class where he was allowed to be outdoors and sometimes within
close vicinity of the Forbidden Forest. Now in his fourth year, Newt was
being extra careful not to displease his professors. He would be taking
his O.W.Ls in a year, and he was treading on thin ice already. He was
looking forward to this class- maybe Pokeby might even relent when she
saw how proficient he was in his knowledge of Hippogriffs.
As Newt and Patrick hurried across the grounds, they noticed the group
of Ravenclaws they took the class with huddled together near the edge
of the Forbidden Forest. They were avidly staring at the group of Hippogriffs
tied to the trees. The Hippogriffs seemed to be rather nervous at being
inspected like this; some of them were nervously pawing the ground or
rearing their heads. Every time one of them let out a grunt, a short Ravenclaw
girl shrieked. Professor Pokeby was nowhere in sight.
Newt hurried up to the Hippogriffs and began to stroke them without bothering
to bow. After all, he had grown up with these animals. The only one who
knew them better than he did would have to be his mother. The Ravenclaws,
impressed, gathered around Newt.
"So these are your mother’s Hippogriff’s, eh Newt?"
"Are they dangerous?"
"What are their names?"
"Yuck! That one just ate a worm!"
Newt grinned, enjoying being the centre of attention in a positive way
for once. He was usually the boy who stood out for the hundreds of points
he lost for Gryffindor, or the one who sneaked out into the Forbidden
Forest every other night, or the one who got detention for releasing dozens
of Cornish Pixies into the school grounds on Halloween. The only way in
which people usually recognised him was ‘The Son of the Famous Hippogriff
Breeder Elizabeth Scamander’ or ‘The Best Friend of that Brilliant-Popular-Perfect-In-Every-Way
Care of Magical Creatures was the one class he was good at, although
he barely got recognition for it. Professor Pokeby seemed to be determined
to taper down his marks to the lowest degree possible, which luckily,
still came to be quite a lot.
Newt started introducing all the Hippogriffs to the Ravenclaws as some
of the other Gryffindors lazily sauntered towards the gathering. "That
one there is Diamond, and this one’s called Rockhoof, better not get behind
her. That’s Brandybuck, Chubb and next to them is Eliza. She’s named after
my mother. Those two over there are called Goldy and Bronzy. They had
a baby a few months ago, and she’s called-"
"Let me guess… Silvery?" snickered the short Ravenclaw girl.
"Actually she’s named Irony, because my mother always thought that her
parents couldn’t stand each other."
The Ravenclaws and even a few of the Gryffindors laughed at this. Newt
scanned the group of Hippogriffs until he found the one he was looking
for. "And this," he said, his voice becoming uncharacteristically gentle
as he stroked a Hippogriff with silvery-grey plumage, "this is Eddy. He’s
the first one of his kind in the entire world to be completely tamed."
Eddy was the reason Elizabeth Scamander had attained worldwide repute,
and had had her face splashed on nearly every Magizoology magazine in
Europe. When Elizabeth had started out on her experiments, Hippogriffs
were still classified as dangerous, untameable beasts that no sane wizard
would try to domesticate.
However, after over 10 years of research, experimentation and many cuts
and scratches, Elizabeth had finally realised how to earn a Hippogriff’s
trust and respect, and somehow had turned Eddy, the first Hippogriff she
had ever captured, into a completely docile animal.
Elizabeth hadn’t wanted to send Eddy to Hogwarts; he was getting on in
years and she was worried on how he might adapt to the new conditions.
But Newt had insisted. Newt was closer to Eddy than he had ever been to
anyone else in his entire life. He had helped his mother raise him; he’d
played with him, flown him and fed him. Newt was fascinated by all sorts
of Magical Beasts, including the ones he found and experimented on in
the woody marshes near his house, but somehow he and Eddy shared a bond
that was hard to explain. Eddy was Newt’s best friend. He was the only
friend Newt had ever had before coming to Hogwarts.
Newt continued to stroke Eddy as his classmates gathered around to get
a look at the famous Hippogriff. Some of them looked rather disappointed.
Eddy was beautiful all right, at least to Newt, with his pure white, almost
silvery plumage, but he was very old- Almost thirty years of age. Eddy
looked around at the students around him with bleary, half-open eyes and
his neck had a definite droop to it.
"Looks rather sick, doesn’t he?" muttered Vincent Thomas, a Gryffindor.
"Like he might drop dead any second," said his friend Molly Took.
"He’s very old!" cried Newt, defending Eddy. "But he’s incredibly strong!
I’ve flown him dozens of times!"
"You mean you can fly him?" asked Flora Sandydowns incredulously.
"Of course you can fly him! You can fly on any Hippogriff!"
The crowd looked at him in disbelief. The short Ravenclaw girl shrieked
again as Diamond suddenly took a step forward.
"Oh, you shouldn’t startle them. You have to bow to them first and…"
Newt’s voice trailed off as he heard Professor Pokeby’s icy voice from
"I believe I am in charge of this class Mr. Scamander. All of
you, get away from the beasts, now!" she barked. The class scattered
away quickly as Newt blushed furiously and kept his eyes fixed on the
"Although I see you lot were quite entertained by Mr. Scamander’s tall
tales, I have to register my absolute shock that you could even think
of being in the close vicinity of dangerous beasts without proper supervision!
Hippogriffs are brutal, and they will attack with the least bit of provocation-"
"Quiet Scamander. 10 points from Gryffindor for talking out of turn."
Newt’s housemates muttered darkly and he barely noticed the sympathetic
glance Patrick sent his way. He resolved to keep his mouth shut for the
rest of the class. Professor Pokeby went on with her lecture, which Newt
tried to block out, as it was so glaringly erroneous it was all he could
do to keep himself from shouting out the correct information. He focused
on a relatively conspicuous Bowtruckle on the branch of a tree when
he suddenly heard his name being called.
"Since Mr. Scamander obviously has so much expertise on
the subject that he feels that it’s not necessary to pay attention in
class, perhaps he would honour us lesser mortals by demonstrating how
to handle a Hippogriff?" Professor Pokeby drawled, her voice dripping
But Newt barely noticed. He struggled hard not to let himself grin like
an idiot, and instead walked stonily straight towards Eddy. Newt bowed
stiffly, although it wasn’t necessary, but after all he was supposed
to be demonstrating the proper method of approach. Eddy blinked in surprise,
and then immediately bowed back. Newt grinned at his old friend, swinged
his legs up onto Eddy’s rather bony, but comfortable back, and nudged
his sides with his heels.
Eddy walked forward a few steps and then spread his wings and took off.
Newt could hear Patrick’s admiring whoops and the astonished exclamations
of the Ravenclaws as he soared into the air. It had been over four months
since he had last flown Eddy during Christmas vacation, and he was determined
to enjoy the ride.
For a few moments, he let the wind wash over him, and forgot himself.
This is where I belong, he thought. The familiar feel of the Hippogriff’s
feathers seemed to put everything in perspective. It reminded him of home,
where he and his mother would roam the marshes with Eddy, using his natural
ability to sniff out danger as a warning signal, in case anything really
dangerous was out there. Newt often roamed the forests himself with Eddy
by his side, and the Hippogriff had saved his life more times than he
Newt continued to relax and enjoy the ride when suddenly, instinctively,
he realised that something was wrong. Eddy was squirming a bit under his
legs, and Newt’s eyes shot open. And he gasped.
Eddy was heading straight for the Forbidden Forest.
It was the fact that Eddy was heading anywhere it’s direction
that got Newt terribly worried. Something was wrong. Although some Hippogriffs
might be naturally curious when they sniffed out something interesting,
Eddy was extremely shy. The merest whiff of any harmful environment would
send him galloping in the other direction. But now he was flying
into the Forbidden Forest?
Newt might have snuck into the Forest many times, but he had always stayed
within the outskirts. He was no fool. The Forest contained creatures that
fascinated him, but he knew his limits. If Eddy didn’t change direction
that very instant, they would be within the very heart of the Forest,
and God knew what would happen then.
"Eddy, Eddy boy, come on now, let’s go the other way… Eddy, the other
way… Eddy no!" Newt cried out in frustration as his pet continued to fly
blearily towards the trees. Eddy’s eyes were unfocused, and his wings
were flapping slowly. He almost looked like he was going to fall asleep
"Turn around!" Newt shouted and dug his heels hard into Eddy’s sides.
Eddy’s eyes suddenly flew open, and he jerked from side to side. "Whoa!"
cried Newt, desperately clinging on to the Hippogriff’s neck. He could
hear shouts, but they seemed unreal, as if from miles away.
"Eddy! Stop it!" cried Newt. But this only seemed to frighten the animal
more, and with one violent jerk, he threw Newt off his back.
Newt desperately clutched at the Hippogriff’s feathers, but it was too
He was falling.