Dragons are giant winged, fire-breathing reptiles. Widely regarded as terrifying yet awe-inspiring, they can be found all over the world and are frequently referred to in Asian and medieval European folklore. Able to fly and breathe fire through their nostrils, they are one of the most dangerous and hardest to conceal creatures in the wizarding world. The Ministry of Magic classifies them as XXXXX, most dangerous, or known wizard killers. Despite how dangerous they are, there are people who are trained to work with them, called dragon keepers, or dragonologists. A wizard who illegally trades and sells dragons is referred to as a dragon dealer. Members of the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures who kill Dragons are called Dragon Killers.
Early life of a dragon
Dragon mothers breathe fire on their eggs to keep them warm. The dragon's first fire breaths, usually accompanied by thick grey smoke, appear when the dragon is around six months old. However, the ability to fly is normally developed later, at around twelve months, and the dragon will not be fully mature until it is two years old and ready to live on its own.  Dragon Breeding for Pleasure and Profit states that you are to feed a baby dragon a bucket of brandy mixed with chicken blood every half hour. 
Dragons in the wizarding world
The motto of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is Draco dormiens numquam titillandus; Latin for Never tickle a sleeping dragon. The Hogwarts gamekeeper, Rubeus Hagrid, loved and adored dragons, briefly owning a Norwegian Ridgeback named Norbert, who turned out to be Norberta. In 1993, the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, suggested placing dragons to guard the school, after being compelled to remove the Dementors. Many useful materials come from dragons, but they are hard to obtain. It takes over a dozen wizards just to stun a dragon. Muggles believe that dragons are a mere myth, but have been known on occasion to glimpse these beasts. To prevent them from being seen by Muggles, and to protect them from poaching, dragons are kept in dragon reserves around the world, most of which are far from human habitation. Dragons cannot be domesticated, despite individuals trying to do so. The selling of dragon products is closely regulated by the Ministry of Magic, and only dragon species that are over-breeding are killed to make these items.
There is no officially sanctioned breeding of dragons, as dragon breeding was outlawed by the Warlocks' Convention of 1709. However, they have been known to interbreed, producing rare hybrids. Below is a list of the ten known pure-bred breeds of dragons according to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:
- Antipodean Opaleye
- Chinese Fireball (Known as "Lion Dragon")
- Common Welsh Green (the native dragon for Great Britain)
- Hebridean Black
- Hungarian Horntail (Considered to be the most dangerous dragon ever)
- Norwegian Ridgeback
- Peruvian Vipertooth (the venomous dragon)
- Romanian Longhorn
- Swedish Short-Snout
- Ukrainian Ironbelly (The largest dragon species ever recorded)
There are two other breeds, according to Dragon Breeding for Pleasure and Profit. It is unknown if these are pure-bred dragons, hybrids or, as the book is out-dated, these dragons may have become extinct due to illegal dragon huntings. These are the two dragons:
Spells that affect dragons
While dragon skin can resist most spells, such as the Stunning Spell, some spells can affect dragons if aimed at the right spot, or if cast by several people at once.
- Conjunctivitis Curse: In the Triwizard Tournament of 1994, Durmstrang champion Viktor Krum used this curse on a dragon, with satisfying results.
- Draconifors: A transfiguration spell, it turns statues of dragons into real dragons, which can then be controlled by the caster.
- Fiendfyre creates fiery beasts, including dragons.
- Stunning Spell: The stunning spell has been known to affect dragons only when multiple wizards cast it simultaneously at the targeted dragon. In the Triwizard Tournament of 1994, Charlie Weasley and several other dragonologists used the Stunning Spell to successfully subdue several dragons.
Dragons have many uses in the wizarding world.
Dragons were used in the First Task of the Triwizard Tournament of 1994, in which the champions had to retrieve a golden egg from a nesting mother. The varieties used were: the Hungarian Horntail, the Chinese Fireball, the Swedish Short-Snout, and a Welsh Green. Ron Weasley's brother Charlie worked with dragons in Romania at the time, and helped transport the dragons used in the Tournament. Dragons are also used to guard certain vaults at Gringotts Wizarding Bank, and one was used by Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger to escape the bank following their break-in in 1998.
Though they cannot be domesticated, there is one known instance of a dragon being used as a mount. In May 1998, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger rode on the back of a dragon, though they had trouble maintaining a grip on their steed. Also during the 1993–1994 school year, before playing in the Quidditch final against Slytherin, Harry dreamed that the Slytherin team were flying on dragons instead of broomsticks. When he awoke he realised that they would not be allowed to ride dragons.
- Albus Dumbledore discovered the twelve uses of dragon blood. The twelfth use is as an oven cleaner. Another one is spot remover.
- During the 1995 school year, in the midst of the O.W.L.s, a trade sprang up among the fifth and seventh year students for various supposed brain stimulants. A student named Harold Dingle was offering powdered dragon claw, though Hermione Granger confiscated it, as it turned out to be dried Doxy droppings. Ron Weasley said that dragon claw does work, and that it gives your brain a boost, making you cunning for a few hours, though it is not known if this is actually true.
- Dragon dung is sold by the barrel in Knockturn Alley. It is a rich fertiliser used by students at Hogwarts in Herbology.
- Dragon eggs are classified as a Class A Non-Tradeable Material by the Ministry of Magic. Despite the ban, many dragon eggs can still be found on the black market. Chinese Fireball egg shells are highly prized as potion ingredients.
- Dragon heart
- Powdered dragon horn is used in many potions. Romanian Longhorn Horns are listed as a Class B-Tradeable Material by the Ministry of Magic.
- Dragon hide is used to make clothing. Where Muggles would wear leather, wizards would wear dragon hide. The skin is very tough, impervious to some spells, and provides the same protection as leather, while at the same time having the same texture and appearance as snakeskin. Dragon hide is used to make gloves, boots, jackets and shields. In high demand at the moment is the skin of the Swedish Short Snout. Fred and George Weasley wore dragon skin jackets when they greeted Harry after his fifth school year. Professor Horace Slughorn has a dragon-skin briefcase, with gold clasps. When Rubeus Hagrid and Olympe Maxime went to be emissaries to the giants, on Albus Dumbledore's behalf, they brought a roll of dragon skin as a gift for the Gurg.
- When Hagrid returned from his trip to the giants with many injuries (actually acquired from his half-brother Grawp), he put a bloody, green-tinged, dragon meat steak, slightly larger than an average car tire, on his face as it helped the stinging. It is not known if dragon meat is safe for humans to eat but seems fine for canines.
- Dragon Breeding for Pleasure and Profit
- Dragon Species of Great Britain and Ireland
- From Egg to Inferno: a Dragon-Keeper's Guide
- Men who Love Dragons Too Much
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- Romanian Dragon Sanctuary: Home to several types of dragons. Charlie Weasley works and studies dragons here.
- Hebrides: The MacFusty Clan cares for their dragons here.
- Wales: Hidden in the higher mountains.
- Sweden: Between Arjeplog and Kopparberg. The annual broom race goes right through here.
Behind the scenes
- Draco Malfoy's first name, Draco, is Latin for dragon.
- There is a wizarding disease called dragon pox.
- In the film version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Fred and George Weasley have a firework dragon chase Professor Umbridge through the Great Hall.
- One of the many forms Fiendfyre can take is a dragon.
- Charles Weasley is a dragon keeper in Romania.
- Most of the dragons in the films seem to be based on the modern design rather than the classic design for dragons; most noticeably, their wings don´t sprout from their back, but are rather the modified forelegs of the dragon (as in real life bats and flying reptiles or pterosaurs). This style of dragon is actually known as the "Wyvern". Apparently in the movieverse, dragons and wyverns are one and the same, although wyverns are commonly used than four-legged dragons.
- The Catalonian Fireball appears to be a early draft on the Chinese Fireball because these were notes for Dragon Breeding for Pleasure and Profit on J.K.Rowling Official Site. The same for the Portuguese Long-Snout which seems to be a early draft for the Romanian Longhorn and the Swedish Short-Snout.
- According to Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, in 1932, there was a dragon attack at a muggle beach that a family of wizards on holiday defeated. It earned them the Order of Merlin, First Class.
- In the credits of film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, it says "No Dragons were harmed in the making of this movie". They probably meant the part in the movie when the Hungarian Horntail falls off the bridge.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) (Appears as statue) (Dragon egg) (Dragon)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) (Mentioned on a wood panel in Flourish and Blotts)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (Appears as statue)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film) (Fireworks)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game)
- Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (Fireworks) (Fiendfyre)
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- Harry Potter LEGO Sets
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- Wonderbook: Book of Spells
Notes and references
- ↑ J.K. Rowling's Official Site
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ Quote from J.K. Rowling interview with the San Francisco Chronicle
- ↑ Interview with Steve Kloves
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (real)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- ↑ The price in the older versions of the novel was given as seventeen Sickles, but this was changed because seventeen Sickles is equal to one Galleon, so it would be like saying "One hundred cents".