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Hags, also called crones, are savage, hominid creatures that look like ugly, old witches, but will usually have more warts than the average witch. They employ archaic earth magic and are easily recognised by Muggles. Hags are what Muggles think are "fairy tale witches," otherwise, little is known about these creatures.
They have been granted the status of Being by the Ministry of Magic, though children and raw liver are a part of their diet. The decision to grant Hags the status of Being was part of the reason why the Centaurs and Merpeople chose to be classified as Beasts, since they did not want to be associated with them.
Hags can be occasionally encountered in Knockturn Alley or the Leaky Cauldron, and also Hogsmeade though it is not clear if hags live there or merely pass through. Some Hags, like Annis Black, are known to live in caves.
Hags are often malevolent, and some have shapeshifting skills, or at least maintain the illusion of shapeshifting. Hags can be terrifying, apparently, since Quirinus Quirrell allegedly had "a nasty bit of business" with one during his time abroad.
Middle English, possibly derived from hægtesse, meaning "witch".
Behind the scenes
- In the 31 July, 1998 issue of the Harry Potter Fan Club version of the Daily Prophet, "A Word in Support of Hags" was sent in by a hag who tried to sound inviting and offered babysitting services.
- Gilderoy Lockhart's book Holidays with Hags does not contain useful information about these beings.
- Many tales about hags do not describe them well enough to distinguish them from witches or something fouler, and are mostly used to frighten children into being good. The punishment for being bad is, of course, being captured and eaten by a hag.
- "The Old Hag" is a nightmare spirit of British and American folklore who purportedly sits upon the sleeper's chest and sends nightmares into their dreams. When the dreamer awakes, he or she may be unable to move or even breathe for a time. This condition is now understood to be sleep paralysis, but in older days the condition was called "hagridden," and Rubeus Hagrid's last name is derived from this.
- In Scotland, a group of hags known as The Cailleachan are viewed as personifications of the elemental powers of nature. Irish legend depicts hags as beautiful women in the disguise of hideous crones.
- Given her green skin colour, Honoria Nutcombe may have been a hag.
- According to W.O.M.B.A.T., Hags might only possess rudimentary magic, like that observed in trolls. They also might only have four toes on each foot.
- Harry Potter may have seen a hag in the Leaky Cauldron ordering raw liver from behind a balaclava.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) (Disc 2) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (Appears on a Famous Wizard Card)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- The Queen's Handbag (Mentioned only)
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)