I WAS DEEPLY honoured when Newt Scamander asked me to write the foreword for this very special edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Newt’s masterpiece has been an approved textbook at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry ever since its publication and must take a substantial amount of credit for our students’ consistently high results in Care of Magical Creatures examinations – yet it is not a book to be confined to the classroom. No wizarding household is complete without a copy of Fantastic Beasts, well thumbed by the generations who have riffled its pages in search of the best way to rid the lawn of Horklumps, interpret the mournful cries of the Augurey or cure their pet Puffskein of drinking out of the toilet.
This edition, however, has a loftier purpose than the instruction of the wizarding community. For the first time in the history of the noble publishing house of Obscurus, one of its tides is to be made available to Muggles.
The work of Comic Relief in fighting some of the worst forms of human suffering is well known in the Muggle world, so it is to my fellow wizards that I now address myself. Know, then, that we are not alone in recognising the curative power of laughter, that Muggles are familiar with it too, and that they have harnessed this gift in a most imaginative way, using it to raise funds with which to help save and better lives – a brand of magic to which we all aspire. Comic Relief has raised 174 million pounds since 1985 (thirty-four million, eight hundred and seventy-two Galleons, fourteen Sickles and seven Knuts).
It is now the wizarding world’s privilege to help Comic Relief in their endeavour. You hold in your hands a duplicate of Harry Potter’s own copy of Fantastic Beasts, complete with his and his friends’ informative notes in the margins. Although Harry seemed a trifle reluctant to allow this book to be reprinted in its present form, our friends at Comic Relief feel that his small additions will add to the entertaining tone of the book. Mr Newt Scamander, long since resigned to the relentless graffitiing of his masterpiece, has agreed.
This edition of Fantastic Beasts will be sold at Flourish and Blotts as well as in Muggle bookshops. Wizards wishing to make additional donations should do so through Gringotts Wizarding Bank (ask for Griphook).
All that remains is for me to warn anyone who has read this far without purchasing this book that it carries a Thief’s Curse. 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.