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Speak to animals

Harry unknowingly speaking parseltongue to a snake at London Zoo

Some wizards and witches have the ability to talk to animals.



Parseltongue is the language of snakes. It appears that it can be learnt like any other language, as evidenced by Albus Dumbledore. However, a wizard known as a Parselmouth can understand it naturally and speak back, often not even noticing he's no longer speaking English. This ability is extremely rare. Salazar Slytherin was an infamous Parselmouth, and his descendants, such as Lord Voldemort, inherited this trait. Harry Potter also acquired this ability when part of Voldemort's soul bonded with him the night he tried to kill Harry. When the piece of Voldemort's soul inside him was destroyed, Harry thought he'd lose the ability but 22 years later he used parseltongue to open the secret room of Delphi.


Other wizards, like Rubeus Hagrid and Newt Scamander for example, have an innate ability to communicate and bond with all kinds of animals. Animagi have also demonstrated being able to subtly influence animals while assuming their animal forms, as in the case of Peter Pettigrew demonstrating an affinity with rats while in his rat form.