Switching is a sub-branch of Transfiguration and a form of transformation — it is the art of magically exchanging physical features between two targets. The only known sub-group of switching is Cross-Species Switches.
Switching spells are taught to second or third year students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and wizardry, an entry on Switches can be found in either A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch or Intermediate Transfiguration. Students at Hogwarts should have Switches mastered before their fourth year.
In a students fifth year of education they must sit the Ordinary Wizarding Level (O.W.L.) examinations. On the Transfiguration O.W.L. a student most answer a written question that asks for the definition of a switching spell.
Switching greatly resembles general transformation, but with with two main differences: firstly, the features of the two targets are switched simultaneously; secondly, the change in one of the pair is dependent on a change in the other.
It is hard to gauge the relative difficulty of switches exactly compared to other types of Transfiguration because the exact year in which they are learn is not known. However, Professor McGonagall was impressed when Hermione knew about switches as a first year student but was disappointed in Neville for not being able to perform even simple switches by fourth year. Therefore, students must start learning switches in second, third or (early) fourth year (most likely third), earlier than almost all the other branches of Transfiguration save transformation.
The only known method of switching is through the application of Switching spells.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - (Mentioned multiple times in various forms)
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
Notes and references
|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|