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Vera Verto

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"Could I have your attention please? Right, now, today, we will be transforming animals into water goblets. Like so. One, two, three. Vera Verto."
Professor McGonagall to her second years[src]

Vera Verto[1] is the incantation of a spell used to transform an animal into a water goblet. Professor Minerva McGonagall taught this transformation to her second year students, in lesson seven, as noted on her blackboard.


This spell is moderately difficult to perform, and disastrous if done wrong.[2] Side effects include the goblet being furry or having a tail.[2] Wand movement and posture are both very important for this charm, as Professor McGonagall noted when teaching her class in September of 1992.[2]

To perform the spell, one must tap the targeted animal three times sharply with their wand, and then point their wand directly at the animal, incanting, "Vera Verto".[1][2]


Scabbers Transfiguration 01

A failed attempt by Ronald Weasley on his rat Scabbers

Once performed, a jet of nearly indiscernible, crystal-clear mist, almost like a spray, will shoot from the caster's wand, engulfing the animal and quickly morphing it into a goblet with a quiet whooshing noise.[2]

If performed incorrectly, a spasm of greenish light will shoot from the wand with a crackling, whining noise and the target will be transfigured improperly.[2] It may still be furry, or might possess a tail (or a combination of the two).[2]



"Vera Verto" is a Latin phrase meaning "truly exchange".[3] This fits rather well with its effects.

Behind the scenes


The blackboard on which Professor McGonagall wrote information pertaining to this spell

  • Despite the subtitles saying that the incantation is "Vera Verto", there is a possibility that the subtitles are wrong and that the incantation is "Fera Verto". This makes particular sense when one considers "fera" means "wild" or "wild animal".[4]
  • In the fifth game, during the O.W.L.s, one of the tests is to transform an animal into a water goblet; it is more than likely this was meant to be "Vera Verto".
  • During the film adaption of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,the writing on Minerva McGonagall is written backward.
  • It is possible that this incantation is the general transfiguration spell, and it's effect is largely dependent on the caster's intentions.


Notes and references

Transfiguration (class)
Professors: Albus Dumbledore · Minerva McGonagall
Textbooks: A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration · Intermediate Transfiguration · A Guide to Advanced Transfiguration
Known practitioners: Emeric Switch · Circe · Falco Aesalon · Mirabella Plunkett · Thaddeus Thurkell ·
Transfiguration spells studied at Hogwarts: Chair to cat · Match to needle · Snail to Teapot · Teacup to Rat · Switching Spell · Transforming Spell · Avifors Spell · Mice to Snuffboxes · Beetle Buttons · Rabbit Slippers · Vera Verto · Teapot to tortoise · Draconifors Spell · Lapifors Spell · Vanishing Spell · Owl to opera glasses · Guinea fowl to guinea pig · Hedgehog to pincushion · Small Child to Rat · Meddling Man to Monkey · Crinus Muto
Branches of Transfiguration: Transformation · Vanishment · Conjuration · Untransfiguration