A Magizoologist’s guide for the regular witch and wizard
Today we will be covering: Nifflers
Ministry of Magic Classification: XXX – Competent Wizard Should Cope
As shown in the image above, Nifflers look somewhat similar to rodents. They have a long snout, not unlike that of a platypus. Their fluffy coat of fur is generally black, although some of them occasionally are different colours as babies.
Unlike Muggle marsupials, both male and female nifflers have a pouch on their belly. These pouches can hold far more than one would think possible. It works much like the effects of an Undetectable Extension Charm on a container.
They also have sharp claws on their hands and feet that they use to dig burrows, which can be as deep as twenty feet below ground.
Nifflers are social creatures and tend to live in groups. They produce six to eight young in a litter.
Nifflers are gentle and even affectionate by nature. They are also incredibly fast and playful. However, their predilection for anything glittery can make them quite destructive, so they should not be kept in any household.
You might remember the Niffler Incident at the Ministry of Magic’s New Year’s Eve Ball when at least a dozen of them were set loose in a room where every last witch and wizard in attendance was wearing gold.
Purses and pendants, bracelets and necklaces, family crest buttons and pins, even earrings. The nifflers tore every bit of jewelry off of anyone not quick enough to stun them.
Famous magizoologist Newt Scamander owned a niffler himself, which escaped twice from his suitcase during his visit to New York in 1926 and tried to rob both the Steen National Bank and a jewel shop of numerous valuables. In 1927, that same niffler produced four offspring, each in a different colour, as pictured above.
Nifflers at work
Goblins often keep nifflers to burrow deep into the earth for treasure. In fact, the Gringotts Head Goblin often assigns them to Curse-Breakers to burrow underground in search of treasures hidden in cursed sites.
Nifflers are also kept by thiefs, as the wizarding world’s version of pickpockets. This is, however, a dangerous choice of profession, since it is quite difficult to relieve them of the treasures they acquired.
Recently, there was a Calamity related issue which resulted in a pair of nifflers roaming freely all through Muggle London, taking anything shiny that caught their eye.
The Statute of Secrecy Task Force managed to capture them within an hour, but the witnesses were too many to Obliviate. Instead, two magically crafted LEGO nifflers and a few quick Memory Replacement and Confundus charms convinced the Muggles it was all part of a publicity stunt. You can find out more on that here.