|“||Perhaps you thought us pretty talking horses? NO! We are a race apart and PROUD to be so!||„|
|~ The Centaur Bane to Hermione|
Centaurs are a hostile species found in the wizard world of Harry Potter. Spiteful of wizards who have allowed them to live alongside them, and incredibly spiteful towards Muggles who cannot see them, the Centaurs are an ancient species from ancient Greece.
In pre-Biblical times, Centaurs in Muggle literature were depicted justly: violent, aggressive, ill-mannered and arrogant, the Centaurs have left this impression on human imagination for ages. However, as time went by, and Muggle life got easier through technology, Muggle imaginations changed (for instance, fairies changed from the noble human-sized Fair Folk to the inch-sized winged tricksters) and so the violent, monstrous Centaurs were changed to the sleek, smooth "pretty talking horses," this portrayal the real Centaurs greatly despise.
The Centaurs have distinctive equine bodies, each having a different color. This seems to differ which is most aggressive. In an almost racial discrimination, the Centaurs with darker equine bodies are more aggressive, whereas the ones with lighter bodies are gentler. But this is not always so.
The Centaurs as a species are aggressive and they make no discrimination between who visits them. They would even attack children. However, nobler Centaurs do exist, such as Firenze, who protects Hagrid and his human friends. Firenze would become professor at Hogwarts, and be abused and kicked out of his herd by the other Centaurs who saw this as a treachery in the making. Firenze could no longer return to the Forest, even after the Battle of Hogwarts.
The Centaurs attacked Professor Umbridge when she insulted them by calling them "mules" and "animals" and saying human intelligence was above Centaur ones: The Centaurs dragged her off and beat her in their den and kept her prisoner until Professor Dumbledore freed her. She had a fear of Centaurs ever since.
The Centaurs had been about to attack Harry and Hermione earlier on in the year. But Mangorian said they were "foals" and persuaded Bane not to attack. Bane seemed to be the most violent Centaur and perhaps their leader. The Centaurs were very territorial and aggressive even to other inhabitants of the Forest: they chased off the giant Grawp and shot arrows at him.
The Centaurs showed a nobler side when they attended Professor Dumbledore's funeral and they fired arrows far from the humans as a tribute.
Later, they showed cowardice by not attending the Battle of Hogwarts, Firenze was the only Centaur to fight with the humans. The Centaurs were insulted by Hagrid who called them "cowards" and "mules" for not fighting. The Centaurs were so angry they joined in and helped win the battle, redeeming themselves.