Toads are ordinary, non-magical creatures popularly known among Muggles as well as wizards and witches. Toads are one of the three animals students at Hogwarts are allowed to have at the school along with owls and cats. The toad has been by far the least popular choice of pet, and Rubeus Hagrid said they went out of style years before 1991.
Many centuries ago, in blood-thirstier times when young witches and wizards were expected to personally pop out the newt eyes they were using in potions, they routinely brought boxes of toads to school for use in potions and in other charms. Over time, as the Ministry of Magic introduced legislation regarding animal cruelty (sub-sections 13-29 inclusive relate to potion ingredients and their production) such practices were gradually outlawed.
Public opinion on toads
By the time Harry arrived at Hogwarts, possession of a pet toad conveyed neither cool nor status; indeed, it was something of an embarrassment. The toad, never much appreciated for its own personal appeal, gradually appeared (alive) less and less frequently at Hogwarts, unless hopping and swimming wild in the grounds. Neville's pet toad, Trevor, had nothing to commend him except a propensity for getting lost, and when he slipped off to join one day his brethren toads living in the Black Lake, both owner and pet had a sense of relief.
Magical abilities and skills
Although they do not have magical abilities they are useful to perform spells on or test potions on, such as when Professor Flitwick made Neville Longbottom's toad, Trevor, fly around his classroom to demonstrate levitation spells. Trevor was also subject to a Shrinking Solution Neville made in Potions, and was successfully turned into a tadpole.
Known uses of toads
- Magical Menagerie had a pair of enormous, purple toads that ate dead blowflies.
- Neville Longbottom had a toad named Trevor for at least part of his time at Hogwarts, beginning in his first year at the school.
- Dolores Umbridge was described as resembling a toad in appearance and mannerisms, leading students to call her an "old toad" and similar derogatory names.
- A chicken egg is hatched underneath a toad in order to produce a basilisk.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- 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 Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game