My brother, an unapologetic lover of critters, earned the nickname “Newt” at a very young age. As soon as he was old enough, he began negotiations to obtain pets of his own. He was told in no uncertain terms that more than one pet was out of the question so his first major life decision was choosing between a dog and a Crup. He had always been ever so slightly partial to Jack Russell terriers and the wizard in him won out; he ultimately chose a Crup.
I helped him apply for a license from the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, which must be obtained in order to own a Crup. And moments after that owl delivered the license, Newt was impatiently waiting for me at the door to go to the Magical Menagerie. It was of no concern to him that my best friend Toby, a Muggle, was visiting. And Toby, who couldn’t learn enough about the magical community, was more than ready to go back to Diagon Alley.
When we arrived at the Magical Menagerie, I explained to Toby that Crups were incredibly loyal to wizards but ferocious towards Muggles and that she should proceed with extreme caution. Our timing couldn’t have been better. Celestina Warbeck, the popular singer and Crup breeder, had just delivered a litter of four-week old rough-coated Crups. Newt was playing with all them but a white and tan puppy seemed to wag his forked tail incessantly. He was as much drawn to Newt as Newt was to him and so the deal was sealed.
Newt named his pet Accio; he loved the idea that the Crup came running to him whenever he was called. True to his breed, Accio ate almost everything, including the occasional tire and garden gnomes. Whenever Toby was around, he eyed her warily, but never displayed any hostility whatsoever. As Crup owners, we easily passed the required test that demonstrated we could control our pet in areas shared by Muggles.
When Accio was eight-weeks old, we brought him back to the Magical Menagerie to have his forked tail removed, as required by law. Toby seemed anxious but the saleswoman assured her that the Severing Charm she would use would be painless. After the procedure, Accio strutted around showing off his new tail. Toby wanted to acknowledge this rite of passage.
“Hello, Sexy,” she said, smiling as she leaned towards the Crup.
And before she knew what was happening, Accio bit Toby on the nose! Not really a bite – more like a scratch. She was more frightened than hurt. But it’s a good thing she was planning on spending the weekend with us - a Crup bite causes the victim to bark like a dog for forty-eight hours!