- "Well, I think this should put an end to the oaf's teaching career. Half-giant...and there was me thinking he'd just swallowed a bottle of Skele-Gro when he was young... none of the mummies and daddies are going to like this at all... they'll be worried he'll eat their kids, ha, ha [...] "
- —Draco Malfoy after Hagrid's half-breed status is exposed[src]
Half-breed is a term given to humans with at least one non-human parent, although those with more distant non-human ancestry are also referred to as half-breed. "Half-breed" may be an offensive, rather than proper, term, as it seems to appear as an insult. There is a great deal of prejudice against half-breeds in the wizarding world, which also tends to discriminate against non-human beings in general.
Half-breeds share the attributes of both their parents, still being able to use magic, as the magic gene is dominant, while having traits of their non-human parent as well. It is also unknown for how many generations non-human traits will persist, although it seems that wizards and witches with even one non-human great-grandparent will retain some of those characteristics. For example, Filius Flitwick is only one-eighth goblin, but retains a small stature as a result of this heritage.
It is unknown if Muggles can interbreed with non-humans and if they can, this would probably result in non-magical half-breeds. Though it is very rare for a Muggle to even find out about the existence of those creatures, the existence of a non-magical half-breed is potentially possible but unlikely.
Attitude towards half-breeds
- "Filthy half breeds! Beasts! Uncontrolled animals!"
- —Dolores Umbridge insulting centaurs in the Forbidden Forest[src]
Many wizards and witches are prejudiced against non-human beings, from house-elves to goblins to centaurs, as well as extend this prejudice to those with mixed heritage. An example of this prejudice would be Dolores Umbridge, as well as her decrees to continue to suppress beings whom she deems are too low for her esteem.
When Rubeus Hagrid's status as a half-giant was exposed by Rita Skeeter in 1994, many parents of his students at Hogwarts were alarmed, assuming that Hagrid must have been savage and dim-witted because of his ancestry.
It is also possible that there is less prejudice toward different types of half-breeds, as part-Veela Fleur Delacour never seemed to suffer any discrimination based on her heritage. This may be because there is no clear physical difference between humans and Veelas and because even part-Veelas possess stunning good looks and the supernatural ability to entrance the opposite sex. In contrast, someone like Hagrid, with his giant-like appearance, would be far less attractive than the beautiful, Veela-like Fleur.
Types of half-breeds
A half-giant is the offspring of a giant and a human. Half-giants will be much taller and larger than ordinary humans, will have considerable spell resistant skin, as well as they will possess great physical strength, though not to the same extent as giants.
A half-goblin is the child of a goblin and a human. Half-goblins are much shorter than ordinary humans, as well as are likely more clever than most humans as well, a trait they could inherit from their goblin ancestry.
A half-Veela is the child of a wizard and a Veela. Half-Veela are considerably more beautiful than average humans, as well as seem to possess the Veela power of entrancing men. It is unknown if part-Veelas are able to transform into bird-like creatures, as full Veelas can.
It was, at one time, unknown if a being with Veela blood could produce a male, as all examples of part-Veelas were female. However, quarter-Veela Fleur Delacour and wizard Bill Weasley had a son named Louis. It is unknown if he is able to entrance human females the way female part-Veelas entrance male humans.
A half-vampire is the child of a wizard and a Vampire. They will supposedly generally resemble a human but with subtle vampire traits. E.g. mildly exaggerated fangs and pale skin. It is unknown whether they will inherit any vampire tenancies, (e.g. an aversion to sunlight).
Singer Lorcan d'Eath is a part-vampire wizard.
It is possible that there are other types of half-breeds. Harry Potter once thought to himself that Marcus Flint looked like he might have had troll blood in him, though he may have simply been insulting him, as Marcus was large and rather ugly, as well as why such an instance of cross-breeding may occur, is unknown. Ron Weasley also once stated that a Snatcher was “definitely part troll” based on his body odour, though he was intentionally being humorous and thus might not have meant this literally.
It is also likely that the other species that can cross breed with humans can supposedly cross breed with each other, as it is inevitable that they are related in some way. Due to them all being able to cross-breed with humans. Another factor to such likelihood is they have many similarities in appearance, which in some way or another resemble human traits.
Magical creatures can interbreed with other creatures, both magical and not, aside from humans. Generally, it seems that similar creatures can produce successful offspring. For instance, half-breeds between Crups and normal dogs and Kneazles and normal cats exist, breeding of the latter even being a hobby pursued by some people, such as Arabella Figg. Offspring is also possible between wildly different creatures on occasion, a good example being Blast-Ended-Skrewts, which are crosses between fire crabs and manticores: whether magical intervention is required to successfully breed in such a case is unknown.
Mistaken for half-breeds
Centaurs are their own non-human breed, even though they look to be half-human. They are not half-humans, half-horses, even though some might describe them that way because they possess a human-like head and great intelligence, but their body appears to be that of a horse. They find it extremely offensive to be referred to as half-breeds, as seen in 1996 when Dolores Umbridge insulted a herd of centaurs by calling them a half-breed.
Werewolves are not half-breeds: they are human victims of the magical affliction lycanthropy. It is unknown if "half-werewolves" exist: the only close example is Teddy Lupin, the son of a werewolf and a witch. He is a Metamorphmagus like his mother and is not a werewolf. Teddy was the first known example of a werewolf's child. Because of the lack of a precedent, his father was extremely worried about passing lycanthropy to him. It is still unknown if the condition is hereditary. Once again, Umbridge incorrectly believes them to be half-breeds, simply due to their human-animal dual attributes.
One magical human parent, one non-human parent
- Apolline Delacour – Wizard father, Veela mother
- Olympe Maxime – Magical Human parent, Giant parent
- Rubeus Hagrid – Wizard father, Giant mother
Two magical parents, known non-human ancestry
- Filius Flitwick – one goblin ancestor
- Fleur Delacour – one Veela grandmother, wizard father, Half-Veela mother
- Gabrielle Delacour – one Veela grandmother, wizard father, half-Veela mother
- Lorcan d'Eath – one vampire ancestor (assumed)
- Victoire Weasley – one Veela great-grandmother, pure-blood father, quarter-Veela mother
- Dominique Weasley – one Veela great-grandmother, pure-blood father, quarter-Veela mother
- Louis Weasley – one Veela great-grandmother, pure-blood father, quarter-Veela mother
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