Parseltongue is the language of serpents (as well as other magical serpent-based creatures, like the Runespoor) and those who can converse with them. An individual who can speak Parseltongue is known as a Parselmouth. It is a very uncommon skill, and is typically hereditary. Nearly all known Parselmouths are descended from Salazar Slytherin with Harry Potter being a notable exception.
Parseltongue is, when spoken, a hissing sound, similar to that of a snake; as such, normal people cannot understand it. Aside from serpent-based creatures, Parselmouths can communicate with each other with the language, as Harry understood Tom Riddle’s commands to the Serpent of Slytherin, and the House of Gaunt communicate with each other almost exclusively in Parseltongue. While inherited, Parseltongue usually requires the speaker to face a snake-based creature or object shaped like a snake (e.g. a carving); more proficient speakers may be able to speak it at will, as the Gaunt family was very proficient in the language – enough so for Morfin to speak to Bob Ogden with it, while Voldemort could speak to the Statue of Slytherin to release the basilisk.
You can find the parseltongue serpent by going down the alley next to the Magical Menagerie shop. It’s quite hidden away.
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