A Fairy is a small human-like creature with large insect-like wings, which are either transparent or multi-coloured. They possess diminutive intelligence, and live mainly in woodlands or glades.[1]


The fairy is a vain creature, and will often allow itself to be used as decoration by Wizardkind. Due to their vanity, fairies are almost constantly grooming themselves.[2] They possess a weak brand of magic that allows it to evade its predators such as the Augurey.

The fairy cannot speak; instead, it makes a high-pitched buzzing noise to communicate with its fellow fairies, but they are able to laugh[3] in a similar way to the Flitterbies playful buzzing with the wings.[4] Their wings are used as an ingredient in certain potions; removing their wings, while it will not kill them, tends to cause them extreme annoyance, as it does not play to their vanity.[2]

Fairies can lay up to fifty eggs in one go, laying them on the underside of leaves. The eggs hatch into brightly coloured larvae, and, at six-to-ten days, they spin themselves into a cocoon. They emerge a month later as adult fairies. Bowtruckles eat fairy eggs.

Muggles' impression of the fairy is a generous one, having been ingrained into children's minds in the form of "fairy tales". Wizards believe that, of all the magical creatures in the world, the fairy, along with the unicorn, have received the best Muggle "press".


It is mentioned that at Christmas time on Harry's third year at Hogwarts that Professor Flitwick may have used live Fairies as Christmas lights.

During the Yule Ball in Harry's fourth year, fairies were sitting in the Conjured rosebushes and flying around the statues outside the castle.

There was at least one organisation committed to the preservation of fairies and their natural habitats in Britain: the Witches' Holistic Institute for Friends of Fairies (WHIFF), whose only members were Winifred Whittle and Sage Bragnam.[5]

Fairies were known to be found living by Hogwarts. In 1986, Fang found one in the pumpkin patch by Hagrid's Hut and run away.[6]

Behind the scenes

  • Fairies have a wide, many-varied appearance in mythology and legend, though they are commonly humanoid and possess magical powers of some form. The small, insect-winged creatures depicted in Harry Potter are consistent with the modern depiction of fairies, though in more ancient times they were described as more akin to angels or trolls, and usually lacked wings.
  • The use of fairies as decorations around Christmas time in ways that Muggles use Christmas lights is presumably a reference to the fact that said decorations are called "fairy lights" in the United Kingdom. This reference is reinforced in the series itself, as "fairy lights" is one of the passwords used to get into Gryffindor Tower.
  • In Wonderbook: Book of Potions, the method used to catch fairies (trapping them in a butterfly net and then placing them in a jar) may have been inspired by the Legend of Zelda series of video games, specifically A Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, which was the first game in the series to allow fairies to be captured this way.

See also


Notes and references

Magical Creatures by classification
X Flobberworm · Horklump
XX Augurey · Bowtruckle · Chizpurfle · Clabbert · Diricawl · Fairy · Ghoul · Gnome · Grindylow · Imp · Jobberknoll · Mooncalf · Porlock · Puffskein · Ramora · Winged horse
XXX Ashwinder · Billywig · Bundimun · Crup · Doxy · Dugbog · Fire crab · Fwooper · Glumbumble · Hippocampus · Hippogriff · Hodag · Jarvey · Knarl · Kneazle · Leprechaun · Lobalug · Mackled Malaclaw · Moke · Murtlap · Niffler · Nogtail · Pixie · Plimpy · Pogrebin · Red Cap · Salamander · Sea serpent · Shrake · Streeler · Winged horse
XXXX Centaur · Demiguise · Erkling · Erumpent · Golden Snidget · Graphorn · Griffin · Hidebehind · Kappa · Kelpie · Merpeople · Occamy · Phoenix · Re'em · Runespoor · Snallygaster · Sphinx · Tebo · Thestral · Thunderbird · Troll · Unicorn · Winged horse · Yeti
XXXXX Acromantula · Basilisk · Chimaera · Dragon · Horned Serpent · Lethifold · Manticore · Nundu · Quintaped · Wampus cat · Werewolf