M.O.M. Classification: XXXXX
The Acromantula is a monstrous eight-eyed spider capable of human speech. It originated in Borneo, where it inhabits dense jungle. Its distinctive features include the thick black hair that covers its body; its legspan, which may reach up to fifteen feet; its pincers, which produce a distinctive clicking sound when the Acromantula is excited or angry; and a poisonous secretion. The Acromantula is carnivorous and prefers large prey. It spins dome-shaped webs upon the ground. The female is bigger than the male and may lay up to one hundred eggs at a time. Soft and white, these are as large as beach balls. The young hatch in six to eight weeks. Acromantula eggs are defined as Class A Non-Tradeable Goods by the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, meaning that severe penalties are attached to their importation or sale.
This beast is believed to be wizard-bred, possibly intended to guard wizard dwellings or treasure, as is often the case with magically created monsters.1 Despite its mear-human intelligence, the Acromantula is untrainable and highly dangerous to wizard and Muggle alike.
Rumors that a colony of Acromantula has been established in Scotland are unconfirmed.
M.O.M. Classification: XXX
The Ashwinder is created when a magical fire2 is allowed to burn unchecked for too long. A thin, pale-grey serpent with glowing red eyes, it will rise from the embers of an unsupervised fire and slither away into the shadows of the dwelling in which it finds itself, leaving an ashy trail behind it.
The Ashwinder lives for only an hour and during that time seeks a dark and secluded spot in which to lay its eggs, after which it will collapse into dust. Ashwinder eggs are brilliant red and give off intense heat. They will ignite the dwelling within minutes if not found and frozen with a suitable charm. Any wizard realising that one or more Ashwinders are loose in the house must trace them immediately and locate the nest of eggs. Once frozen, these eggs are of great value for use in Love Potions and may be eaten whole as a cure for ague.
Ashwinders are found worldwide.
(also known as Irish Phoenix)
M.O.M. Classification: XX
The Augurey is a native of Britain and Ireland, though sometimes found elsewhere in northern Europe. A thin and mournful-looking bird, somewhat like a small and underfed vulture in appearance, the Augurey is greenish black. It is intensely shy, nests in bramble and thorn, eats large insects and fairies, flies only in heavy rain and otherwise remains hidden in its tear-shaped nest.
The Augurey has a distinctive low and throbbing cry, which was once believed to foretell death. Wizards avoided Augurey nests for fear of hearing that heart-rending sound, and more than one wizard is believed to have suffered a heart attach on passing a thicket and hearing an unseen Augurey wail.3 Patient research eventually revealed, however, that the Augurey merely sings at the approach of rain.4 The Augurey has since enjoyed a vogue as a home weather forecaster, though many find its almost continual moaning during the winter months difficult to bear. Augurey feathers are useless as quills because they repel ink.
1 Beasts capable of human speech are rarely self-taught; an exception is the Jarvey. The Ban on Experimental Breeding did not come into effect until this century, long after the first recorded sighting of an Acromantula in 1794.
2 Any fire to which a magical substance such as Floo powder has been added.
3 Uric the Oddball is known to have slept in a room containing no fewer than fifty pet Augureys. During one particularly wet winter, Uric become convinced by the moaning of his Augureys that he had died and was now a ghost. His subsequent attempts to walk through the walls of his house resulted in what his biographer Radolphus Pittiman describes as a ‘concussion of ten days’ duration’.
4 See Why I Didn’t Die When the Augurey Cried by Gulliver Pokeby (Little Red Books, 1824).