By Kelly Bohrer
Werewolves are unique creatures who are human the majority of the time, but transform into a wolf at the full moon. The Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures classifies the werewolves’ danger rating as XXXXX, which means that while they are in the wolf form they are at serious risk for harming or killing human beings. If a human being is bitten by a werewolf during a full moon, that person will become a werewolf as well. Currently, there is no cure for werewolves, but the Wolfsbane Potion does exist, which alleviates the worst symptoms of the condition.
There are two werewolves that we know by name in the Harry Potter series: Remus Lupin and Fenrir Greyback. Lupin, an extremely gentle and kind person, is a member of the Order of the Phoenix while Greyback, a cruel and vicious person, has joined forces with Lord Voldemort. In Half-Blood Prince, Harry learns that Lupin has been spying on the werewolves, including Greyback, at great personal risk, so that he can learn more about Lord Voldemort’s plans, and also so he can entice some of them to join the Light side in the war.
However, werewolves are shunned by wizarding society. Both legislation and fearful prejudice prevent them from holding most jobs. They are stigmatized and marginalized. Because of this, Lupin admits to Harry that he is having an extremely difficult time convincing the other werewolves to see his point of view:
Nearly all of them are on Voldemort’s side. […] it has been difficult gaining their trust. I bear the unmistakable signs of having tried to live among wizards, you see, whereas they have shunned normal society and live on the margins, stealing—and sometimes killing—to eat. […] They think that, under his rule, they will have a better life.12
From Lupin’s discussion with Harry, it appears that the werewolves will stay firmly in Voldemort’s camp during the war in the seventh book, causing much chaos and destruction, with Fenrir Greyback as their leader. Lord Voldemort threatens normal wizards into doing what he wants them to do by threatening to use Greyback to bite their children. Since Voldemort’s plan coincides with Greyback’s plan of creating a race of werewolves that outnumber the wizards, the other werewolves seem more than happy to follow his orders and make this plan a reality.
Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them. […] Get too near a dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. If it can, the dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself … soul-less and evil. You will be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life.13
Thus Professor Lupin describes dementors to his third year Defense Against the Dark Arts class in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. But while dementors affect all those who get too close to them, Harry is particularly vulnerable to them, because he is forced to relive his parents’ tragic deaths whenever the dementors draw near. Consequently, Lupin teaches Harry the Patronus Charm, which is very advanced magic and will drive the dementors away. This charm has saved Harry’s life as well as the lives of others on more than one occasion. Therefore, it would not be surprising if Harry uses this charm to save himself or others from the dementors in the seventh book.
There is no question as to where the dementors’ loyalty lies. In Half-Blood Prince, Fudge tells the Prime Minister that the dementors have left their post at Azkaban, the wizard prison, in order to join Lord Voldemort’s regime. They have already begun attacking people and have even started breeding. Thus, it seems as if Lord Voldemort is creating an army of dementors to control and use for his own evil purposes. There does not seem to be even the slightest possibility of the dementors fighting on Harry’s side nor would Harry ever want them on his side. They are pure evil. Therefore, in the seventh book the dementors will undoubtedly continue to be aligned with Voldemort.
The members of the Order of the Phoenix have maintained good relationships with other magical creatures besides those that have already been mentioned. One example is with Witherwings, formerly known as Buckbeak, who had a close relationship with Hagrid and Sirius. This hippogriff also protected Harry from Snape when he was fleeing Hogwarts at the end of Half-Blood Prince. It is possible that we may see Witherwings once more fighting for his friends on the Light side.
Another example is the relationship Dumbledore had with the merpeople. He always treated them with the utmost respect and dignity. They, in turn, repaid this respect to him when they surfaced from the lake in order to attend his funeral. In the seventh book, if the lake should happen to become involved in the war, the merpeople would most likely help those who are loyal to Dumbledore. These are just two examples which show that former instances of kindness toward magical creatures may come into play in the final book.
War has broken out in the wizarding world and both sides seek to persuade various kinds of magical creatures to join them. Some creatures will be intrinsically aligned with one or the other side because of their natures, but many others will choose based on their own best interests. Some may be enticed to join Lord Voldemort’s side because they have been denied equal rights or have been shunned from society, and feel they will get fairer treatment from the Dark Lord. Others may take up the fight against evil because they have suffered from the damage that Lord Voldemort has caused in both the past and present wars. Still other creatures want nothing to do with wizarding affairs and will be most happy not getting involved in the war at all. How will these creatures’ choices affect the outcome of the war? We’ll have to wait to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in order to solve this mystery!
1. Rowling, Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them, 32.
2. Ibid., Order of the Phoenix, 815.
3. Ibid., Half-Blood Prince, 632.
4. Ibid., Chamber of Secrets, 338.
5. Ibid., Goblet of Fire, 182.
6. Ibid., Sorcerer’s Stone, 63.
7. Ibid., Order of the Phoenix, 85.
9. Ibid., Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them, xiii.
10. Ibid., Sorcerer’s Stone, 253–54.
11. Ibid., Goblet of Fire, 708.
12. Ibid., Half-Blood Prince, 334.
13. Ibid., Prisoner of Azkaban, 187
Rowling, J.K. Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2001.
———. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 1999.
———. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2000.
———. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2005.
———. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2003.
———. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 1999.
———. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 1998.