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Draco Malfoy as a ferret, as depicted in the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie.

Ferrets are domestic mammals with brown, black, white, or mixed fur. They have an average length of approximately twenty inches including a five inch tail, weigh about two to four pounds, and have a natural lifespan of seven to ten years (WP). The Jarvey, a magical creature, resembles a large ferret. It can easily be distinguished from one by its propensity to shout obscenities (FBi, FBAZ).

In the summer of 1992, the Ministry of Magic find some extremely odd ferrets during a raid. In consequence, Mortlake is taken away for questioning in front of the Committee on Experimental Charms (CS3).

On April 20, 1994, the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures sentences Buckbeak the Hippogriff to be kept in isolation until his appeal. Rubeus Hagrid keeps him in his hut and feeds him dead ferrets. When Ron Weasley is angry at Hermione Granger because he thinks that her cat Crookshanks ate his rat Scabbers, Hagrid comments wisely that people can be a bit stupid abou' their pets" while Buckbeak spits ferret bones onto his bed (PA14).

In September 1994, Draco Malfoy tries to attack Harry Potter from behind in a school corridor. Before he can cast the spell, Barty Crouch, Jr., disguised as Mad-Eye Moody, Transfigures him into a white ferret and makes him bounce ten feet into the air and smack back onto the stone floor repeatedly until Minerva McGonagall stops him. After the scene, Ron asks Harry and Hermione not to talk to him because he wants to preserve the memory of Malfoy, the amazing bouncing ferret (GF13). Hagrid refers to the incident when Malfoy makes trouble in his Care of Magical Creatures class. His thinly veiled threat sends the Gryffindors into roaring laughter while Malfoy, red with anger, does not dare to provoke Hagrid any more (GF15). When Crouch, Jr. catches Harry telling cedric Diggory about the dragons they have to face in the first task of the Triwizard Tournament, Harry worries for a moment that he might be turned into a ferret as well. Resigned, he thinks that at least being small might be a comparative advantage against the dragons (GF20). Before the Yule Ball, Malfoy insults Hermione and questions that she has a date; she remains cool and fakes a greeting to Professor Moody. When Malfoy jumps and panics, Hermione calls him a "twitchy little ferret" (GF23).

During her Transfiguration OWL, Hannah Abbott panics and Transfigures the ferret she is supposed to Vanish into a dozen flamingoes. The examination has to be stopped for ten minutes to capture and remove the birds (OP30).

The Daily Prophet has published a letter by Buckley Cooper, who writes that he is having a feud with his brother, and plans to Transfigure said brother's children into blood-sucking ferrets. Buckley hopes that the Ministry of Magic will ignore his offence. Dempster Wiggleworth replies to his letter, and recommends that Buckley should not commit this misconduct (DP).

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