The Ashwinder is a serpent that is created from the remains of any magical fire that is allowed to burn unchecked. As it is a serpentine creature, the Ashwinder may very well be susceptible to Parseltongue magic.
The Ashwinder is thin and pale-grey with glowing red eyes. They rise from the embers of the dying fire and slither off into a dark corner to lay their eggs, leaving an ashy trail behind. Ashwinders only live for an hour and will collapse to dust when they have laid their eggs.
Since Ashwinders are created by magical fires, they could be found in many magical residences. However, if they manage to roam free and lay their eggs, the eggs will ignite and may burn the building down within minutes.
While Armando Dippet was Headmaster of Hogwarts, an Ashwinder was used to represent the "bloated and blind" worm that appeared in the retelling of 'The Fountain of Fair Fortune' during a Christmas pantomime. Unfortunately, the creature was enlarged using an Engorgement Charm, causing it to explode in a shower of hot sparks and dust.
This pantomime signalled the end of Hogwarts's pantomime tradition, as it resulted in the Great Hall catching fire caused in part by the tremendous heat from the Ashwinder's huge eggs, and a packed Hospital wing. Professor Silvanus Kettleburn, who taught Care of Magical Creatures and supplied the enlarged Ashwinder for the production, was put yet again on probation.
"Ash" comes from the colour of itself and ashes are connected to fire. "Winder" recalls the sideway movement of some snakes, which are aptly-named "sidewinders", such as the rattlesnake.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film)
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard
- Wonderbook: Book of Potions
Notes and references