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Some Riddikulus Lines from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (The Book)

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Deepali Agarwal

Staff Writer

Deepali Agarwal has a Master’s in literary linguistics, which means that every person she’s ever known has, at some point, asked her to ‘edit a thing’ for them-- ‘just see if it reads okay?’ She doesn’t mind, because she believes that the world can be fixed one oxford comma at a time. Deepali lives in Delhi, the capital of India, where cows are sacred, but authors and poets exist and write brilliant things. She works as an editor with OUP India’s School ELT division, where she moves apostrophes, looks up pictures of cats, and talks about children’s books for eight hours. The rest of her day is spent reading, thinking about Parks and Recreation, and wondering if there exist jobs for English majors that pay more than peanuts. Twitter: @DeepaliAgarwal_

The Fantastic Beasts movie has been surrounded by much disappointing news, from the whitewashing (see our diverse dream cast here) to news of Johnny Depp being cast for the sequel (No.)

In times like these, when I’m debating whether to watch the movie at all, I decided to go back to the book that started it all. I remember reading it when I was much younger, and being disappointed that it was not really a ‘story’. Upon a reread, however, it turns out to have some great anti-Muggle wisecracks, apart from our favourite trio’s scribblings.

Since the movie will have little to no connection to the text in the book, that is one less thing us Potterheads have to worry about–nothing unfaithful about the adaptation, yay! These lines made me smile:

Hermione on Ron losing his copy of the book:
‘you bought all those dungbombs on Saturday, you could have bought a new book instead’


Dumbledore in his foreword to the book:

‘I would like to take this opportunity to reassure Muggle purchasers that the amusing creatures described hereafter are fictional and cannot hurt you. To wizards, I say merely: Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus.’

On Clabberts, tree-dwelling creatures with pustules which flash when they sense danger:
‘The sight of a tree at night full of glowing Clabbert pustules, while decorative, attracted too many Muggles wishing to ask why their neighbours still had their Christmas lights up in June.’

On the eggs of Opaleyes, the most beautiful type of dragons:
‘Opaleye eggs are pale grey and may be mistaken for fossils by unwary Muggles.’

On the Loch Ness Monster actually being a Kelpie:
‘International Confederation of Wizard observes realised that they were not dealing with a true serpent when they saw it turn into an otter on the approach of a team of Muggle investigators…’

Some Lupin-lovin’: