Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Magic/Niffler
|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Magic|
|Features||Small size, furry, gold-seeking|
|First Appearance||Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire|
A Niffler is a small creature about the size of a dog, with a long and pointed snout. They are very attracted to gold and glittering objects.
Nifflers can be very destructive in their search for gold and glittering objects, which is why they can never be kept as pets. When there is nothing that glitters available, they are quite cuddly and friendly. They are excellent diggers, and will dig through the ground very rapidly in search of gold and metals, which they will bring back to their masters.
The Niffler plays a fairly minor role in the series. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Hagrid, as teacher of Care of Magical Creatures class, has the class care for a batch of Nifflers while he teaches what they can do; this is used as a mechanism to allow Ron to discover that the gold he had given to Harry in payment for the Omnioculars at the Quidditch World Cup had been vanishing leprechaun gold, and that Harry had not noticed its departure. The author has confirmed that this is used to contrast Harry's relative wealth and Ron's family's ongoing poverty.
On two occasions, also, Nifflers were introduced into Professor Umbridge's office in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; on both occasions, her office was destroyed by the creature's incessant search for shiny objects, and both times Umbridge had blamed Hagrid, as he was at the time still the Care of Magical Creatures teacher, and as he apparently had reason to dislike her. In fact, the Nifflers had been levitated in through Umbridge's open office window by Lee Jordan. Umbridge was nevertheless able to use this belief as part of her justification for sacking Hagrid.
The name "Niffler" probably comes from the French verb "renifler," meaning to smell.