According to JK Rowling’s popular ‘biography’ of the life of the extraordinary wizard Harry Potter, the town of Wagga Wagga was once troubled by a werewolf.
In her second volume on Potter, Rowling makes passing mention of the controversial Professor Gilderoy Lockhart’s fraudulent claim to have vanquished the Wagga Wagga Werewolf.
The celebrity wizard and author of many works detailing his encounters with dark creatures served as Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the early 1990s.
According to Rowling, he was instructing second-year students, when he asked Potter to assist him in reenacting the supposed encounter with the Wagga Wagga Werewolf.
“… I put my wand to his throat — I then screwed up my remaining strength and performed the immensely complex Homorphus Charm — he let out a piteous moan … the fur vanished, — the fangs shrank — and he turned back into a man. Simple, yet effective …”.
Further details on the encounter are included in Lockhart’s Wanderings with Werewolves and he is also believed to have given a lecture on the subject during a symposium.
Like many of his claims, Lockhart’s defeat of the Wagga Wagga Werewolf was thrown into question when his fraudulent use of ‘Memory Charms’ was exposed.
It was found that Lockhart had used magic to steal the experiences of others and wipe the authentic memories from the minds of his victims so that he could claim their heroic achievements without challenge.
Following the revelations of his unconscionable behaviour, Lockhart revealed that he had coopted the experiences of an unknown Armenian warlock and used a Memory Charm to prevent him from “blabbing” the truth.
“No one wants to read about some ugly old Armenian warlock, even if he did save a village from werewolves,” he said.
“He’d look dreadful on the front cover. No dress sense at all.”
But did the Wagga Wagga Werewolf actually exist?
Stories of the Hairy Man have been part of Aboriginal culture for tens of thousands of years and tales of the Yowie abound across Southern NSW.
Whether the supposed Wagga Wagga Werewolf may have been one of these Indigenous creatures or could have arrived during European settlement is unknown.
As for Armenian Warlocks, many refugees from the Ottoman Empire arrived in Australia in the 1920s following persecution and genocide.
Could a migrant wizard have helped Wagga sort its werewolf problem back in the day and later encountered Gilderoy Lockhart as an “ugly old Armenian warlock”?
*Authors Note: This story is satirical and is inspired by the work of JK Rowling and the characters and circumstances of the second book in the series Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Images have been generated using Photoshop and AI.