Transfiguration is a core class and subject taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It teaches the art of changing the form and appearance of an object. This type of magic is commonly referred to as "Transfiguration". There are limits to Transfiguration, which are governed by Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration. There are also many branches, including Cross-Species Transfiguration and Human Transfiguration. This type of magic is regarded as "very hard work" and is "more scientific" than any other subject. One has to get it exactly right for the transfiguration to be successful.
Transfiguration is a required subject for all first year to fifth year students, with the option of a N.E.W.T. (Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test) course in sixth and seventh year. Minerva McGonagall was the Transfiguration Professor from 1956 until 1998, the year in which she became Headmistress of the school. Before her, Albus Dumbledore taught Transfiguration. It's unknown who became the Transfiguration professor after she became Headmistress of Hogwarts. McGonagall believes Transfiguration to be more elegant and superior to other types of magic.
Students practice actual transfigurations during classes. Accidents sometimes result in partial transfigurations and theoretical homework is sometimes assigned. The further into a student's education the more difficult the classwork and homework becomes.
In fifth year students take the Ordinary Wizarding Level examination, much of the year is spent learning Ordinary Wizarding Level material, as well as revisiting the past four years of lessons. As part of their Transfiguration O.W.L., students must sit a written exam, and then complete a practical exam, one of the questions on the written exam asks the definition of Switching spells and one aspect of the practical is Vanishment. In order to advance to N.E.W.T.-level for the final two years of education a student must achieve a high O.W.L. score of either 'Outstanding' or 'Exceeds Expectations' on their exam.
Like charms work, Transfiguration is achieved through concentration, precise wand movements, and the proper pronunciation of an incantation. However it is generally more difficult than Charms and requires great effort.
While Professor McGonagall was teaching the class, she was fair but strict, having no tolerance of silliness and threatening to dismiss any students who dared to fool around. She refused leniency for her students based on emotional circumstances, as she insisted on giving Harry Potter homework despite his depression from a Divination class' death prediction, and refused to let her students play games in her classroom for the upcoming Yule Ball (as Filius Flitwick did because his students were too distracted by the exciting events), and even Katie Bell knew full well that Minerva would give her homework on the day right after being discharged from St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries for a near-death experience. She refused to accept any students into her N.E.W.T. classes unless they achieved at least 'Exceeds Expectations', believing that those who have anything below would be unable to cope with the increased coursework.
Location and time
Transfiguration classes are held in Class 1 on the first-floor, Class 34 on the third-floor, Class 99 in the South Tower and Classroom 1B on the ground-floor, around the Middle Courtyard. Classroom 1B is big, surrounded by high windows, has four rows of three desks, and still has enough room for several cages and bookshelves, two chalkboards, and a desk for the teacher. Several candlesticks stand lit behind the desk.
- The alphabet
- The transformation formula, which is that the intended transformation is directly influenced by bodyweight (a), viciousness (v), wand power (w), concentration (c), and a fifth unknown variable (Z).
- Desk into Pig (not practically)
- Match to needle
- Switching Spell
- Mice to Snuffboxes
- Avifors Spell
- Small creature to matchbox
- "He was supposed to be turning a beetle into a button, but all he managed to do was give his beetle a lot of exercise as it scuttled over the desk top avoiding his wand."
- —A lesson on turning beetles into buttons [src]
- Lecture on Animagi (demonstrated by Professor McGonagall)
- Teapot to Tortoise
- Hedgehog to Pincushion
- Lapifors Spell
- Draconifors Spell
- "The guinea-fowl they had been changing into guinea-pigs had been shut away in a large cage on Professor McGonagall's desk (Neville's still had feathers)..."
- —After a lesson transformation[src]
- "So... today we are starting Vanishing Spells. These are easier than Conjuring Spells, which you would not usually attempt until N.E.W.T. level, but they are still among the most difficult magic you will be tested on in your O.W.L."
- —1995 lesson on Vanishment[src]
- Dinner Plate to Mushroom
- Doubling Charm
- Inanimatus Conjurus Spell
- Owl to Opera Glasses
- Vanishing Spell
- "Harry barely understood half of what Professor McGonagall said to them these days; even Hermione had to ask her to repeat instructions once or twice. "
- —The increased difficulty during sixth year[src]
- Either this year or next they transfigure themselves to acquire extra powers.
- Human Transfiguration (such as Crinus Muto)
- Bird-Conjuring Charm
- Unidentified (1998-?)
- A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration, by Emeric Switch, (first year & second year)
- Intermediate Transfiguration (third year, fourth year & fifth year)
- A Guide to Advanced Transfiguration (sixth year & seventh year)
Branches of Transfiguration
- Cross-Species Transfiguration (also known as Trans-Species Transfiguration)
- Human Transfiguration
Behind the scenes
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, one of the spells is a Transfiguration spell that turns victims into a toad or a rat.
- Both Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall served as Transfiguration Professor before becoming Headmaster.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) (Mentioned only)(Class list)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game (Mentioned only)
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault (mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
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|
|The Eleven Schools: Beauxbatons · Castelobruxo · Durmstrang · Hogwarts · Ilvermorny · Koldovstoretz · Mahoutokoro · Uagadou|
|Specialised schools: Academy of Broom Flying · Charm School · Euro-Glyph School of Extraordinary Languages · Merge School of Under-Water Spellage · Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts|
|Examinations: First year exams · Second year exams · Third year exams · Fourth year exams · Ordinary Wizarding Level · Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test|
|Core classes: Astronomy · Charms · Defence Against the Dark Arts · Herbology · History of Magic · Potions · Transfiguration|
|Elective classes: Alchemy · Arithmancy · Care of Magical Creatures · Divination · Muggle Studies · Study of Ancient Runes|
|Extra-curricular classes: Apparition · Advanced Arithmancy Studies · Ancient Studies · Art · Flying · Frog Choir · Ghoul Studies · Hogwarts orchestra · Magical Theory · Muggle Art · Muggle Music · Music · Xylomancy|