The animals from the Harry Potter series are nearly as influential as the wizards themselves, and have become characters we care about as much as their owners (with a few exceptions). Who didn't shed a tear when Harry lost Hedwig, wait anxiously to learn of Buckbeak's fate, or take sides in the Team Scabbers vs. Team Crookshanks debate? The relationships the characters have with their animals often mimic the feelings we have for our own pets in the Muggle world.
Muggle animals are a bit dull in comparison with the Harry Potter creatures, however. They can't guard the Sorcerer's Stone like Fluffy the three-headed dog, burst into flames and regenerate like Fawkes the phoenix, or act as the ultimate tattletale like Argus Filch's cat Mrs. Norris. Many of the beasts in Harry Potter have magical qualities that make them highly desirable pets.
The pets of Harry Potter are not all created equal. While Hedwig and Crookshanks are easy to envy, other animals - such as Hagrid's entire array of pets - might be more trouble than they're worth. But perhaps you're a real animal lover like Hagrid, and all creatures are cuddly in your mind. Whatever your animal outlook, vote up the pets you'd definitely adopt from the Magical Menagerie.
Owner: Harry Potter
Species: Snowy owl
Notable Skills: Hedwig has an amplified sense of knowledge and understanding, as shown by her ability to carry out complex instructions. She's a skilled hunter and can catch her own food. She also carries Harry's mail to various locations and ensures it's delivered and replied to, per Harry's instructions. She doesn't need an address to deliver mail, just a name, and intuitively knows where someone is located and when they've moved.
Best Trait: Hedwig is very loyal to Harry and always looks out for his best interests.
Worst Trait: She's moody. Hedwig takes insults very seriously and gets noisily upset if she's locked in her cage for too long.
Most Memorable Moment: Riding with the group of seven Potters on Hagrid's motorcycle with Harry, she is struck by a curse. Although the curse was likely meant for one of her companions, she perishes instantly. Her demise greatly upsets Harry, who then has to dislodge the sidecar containing her remains. Harry is devastated by the loss of his beloved pet, first-ever birthday gift, and first friend at Hogwarts.
Owner: Albus Dumbledore
Notable Skills: Fawkes is a highly intelligent bird. His tears have healing properties. He is immortal; although he periodically perishes by bursting into flames, he is then reborn from the ashes. Fawkes is immune to the gaze of a basilisk and can swallow a curse instead of perishing from it. Fawkes is also extremely strong and can apparate at will, taking people with him when he teleports to a new location. Fawkes's phoenix song can instill courage and calm in those who hear it.
Best Trait: Fawkes is extremely loyal and courageous, and is always willing to enter entanglements when he senses Dumbledore is in danger.
Worst Trait: He abandons the school after Dumbledore's demise, seeing no reason to stick around and fight Voldemort after the passing of his master. His abilities could be essential to Harry in later skirmishes, but Dumbledore's passing allows him to be a wild phoenix once again, which he promptly takes advantage of.
Most Memorable Moment: When Harry encounters Salazar Slytherin's basilisk, Fawkes blinds the serpent by pecking out its eyes. He then drops the Sorting Hat into Harry's lap, which reveals Godric Gryffindor's blade and allows Harry to slay the basilisk. When a fang pierces Harry's arm with basilisk venom, Fawkes uses his tears to heal the piercing and saves Harry's life. He then brings Tom Riddle's diary to Harry, allowing him to get rid of it for good. In short, Harry would never have survived the basilisk onslaught if not for Fawkes.
Owner: Rubeus Hagrid
Notable Skills: Hippogriffs are half-bird and half-horse. These combined qualities make Buckbeak big and strong, and give him the ability to fly.
Best Trait: Once you earn Buckbeak's respect, he is very loyal. He'll fight to keep you safe from harm, provided you continue to treat him well.
Worst Trait: Buckbeak, like all hippogriffs, is a very proud animal. He doesn't like to be insulted. In fact, he requires total respect and deference during the first meeting; otherwise, you probably won't get anywhere close to him.
Most Memorable Moment: After Draco Malfoy insults Buckbeak, the hippogriff lunges at him and harms Draco's arm. He then receives a capital sentence, but Harry and Hermione use the Time-Turner to swoop in right before he is slayed and save him. Hermione and Harry then ride Buckbeak up to Flitwick's office, where they free Sirius Black and allow him to escape on Buckbeak's back.
Owner: Rubeus Hagrid
Species: Boarhound dog
Notable Skills: Fang can run away from danger very quickly, which he does often because he's quite cowardly despite his large size.
Best Trait: Although he's a coward, he does his best to defend his master. He runs away in fear if the confrontation gets too scary, but his intentions are good.
Worst Trait: He slobbers constantly, often soaking people in his spit while nudging them to pet him.
Most Memorable Moment: Fang truly cares for Hagrid. When Dolores Umbridge leads Ministry of Magic wizards to hurt Hagrid, Fang jumps in to defend him. In the process, he's hit by a stunning spell, which then ignites an angry response from Hagrid, who throws the responsible party far away and escapes with his stunned dog.