|"Well, I think we should put it back in order for them, don't you?"|
Vanishment is the art of vanishing objects i.e., causing object to cease to exist. It is one of the four branches of Transfiguration, and is the opposite of Conjuration (another branch), which brings objects into existence.
Professor Minerva McGonagall introduced Vanishment to her class in the form of the Vanishing Spell in her very first Transfiguration class with the fifth year students in 1995, giving them a lecture and then setting them on vanishing snails.
In their second lesson, the students were given questions on the Vanishing Spell for homework. On the 6th, however, the students were given a break from this spell and instead were given a long and difficult essay on the Inanimatus Conjurus Spell.
Later on in the year, Professor McGonagall returned the class to Vanishing Spells, this time working to make mice disappear. However, in the week leading up to the Gryffindor-Slytherin match, she abstained from giving them homework so that the Gryffindor Quidditch team could practise. Later in the year during O.W.L. exams Vanishment was apart of the Transfiguration practical in, as predicted by Professor McGonagall.
Severus Snape also used Vanishment in 1995 as a means to get rid of Harry Potter's Draught of Peace potion. In the same year, Albus Dumbledore used Vanishment to counter Voldemort's fiery snake during their duel. In 1997 Harry Potter used a form of Vanishment to rid himself of a snake that had crossed this path during his Hunt for Horcruxes.
Compared to the other three branches, Vanishment appears moderately difficult — it is taught in fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and up — and is considered one of the hardest transfigurations to be tested on in one's O.W.L. It must be performed with a clear and collected head, as demonstrated by Hannah Abbot who was supposed to Vanish a ferret during her exam but instead somehow managed to multiply it into a flock of flamingos.
The difficulty of the Vanishment to be performed positively correlates with the complexity of the organism to be vanished. For example, invertebrates are easier to vanish than vertebrates, whilst mammals are more difficult. Minerva McGonagall stated in May of 1998 that Vanished objects go "into non-being, which is to say, nothing".
There are several methods one can employ to vanish an object, described below.
Unlike Conjuring Spells, Vanishing spells all follow the same, simple incantation — Evanesco, Latin for "disappear". This is the only vanishing spell taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, it seems to act as the general vanishing spell, for anything the caster wishes to vanish. The intent of the caster directs the spell, vanishing the target. Everything vanished by use of this spell goes into non-being.
The Vanishing Cabinet
The Vanishing Cabinet is a special piece of furniture in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry that randomly Vanishes & reappears. As such, it be used to vanish things for a variable but finite length of time (since the cabinet always reappears at some point in the future). The condition of the cabinet, determines weather or not the vanished object will appear in its twin cabinet after the object has been vanished, if the cabinet is broken or defective then the vanishment will not be hundred percent effective and the object will be trapped in a limbo like state.
A pair of Vanishing Cabinets will act as a passage between two places. Objects placed in one cabinet will appear in the other. The cabinets seem to ward off all known defensive spells, as they were successfully used to transport several Death Eaters from Borgin and Burkes into Hogwarts school.
The Room of Requirement
Like the Vanishing Cabinet, the Room of Requirement also appears and reappears, though in accordance with one's wishes. Things left in the Room after one no longer has need of it will be vanished along with the Room itself until a later date (when one has need of that specific object, at which point it will be conjured up inside the Room for them to retrieve).
Behind the scenes
- Vanishing sickness is a wizarding illness treated at St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. It is unknown if Vanishing is the cause or effect of this illness though it appears to be related to the contraction of some sort of magical bug (since it is treated in the "Magical Bugs" section of St Mungo's).
- According to W.O.M.B.A.T., it may be possible to Vanish both inanimate and animate objects.
- It is unknown if the Vanishment of a living creature would result in said creature's death, or merely send it into a conscious, intermediate state until it is naturally Conjured back into existence. According to Minerva McGonagall, Vanished objects enter "everything", possibly suggesting that Vanished entities do have some form of existence, albeit an unknown kind.
- It may be possible to retrieve Vanished objects, as Bill Weasley Vanished some of the Order of the Phoenix's plans in order to hide them
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Vanishing Cabinet) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First appearance) (Vanishing spells and Vanishing Cabinet, the latter mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (First appearance) (Room of Requirement and Vanishing Sickness, the latter mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Vanishing Cabinet and Room of Requirement, the latter only seen from outside)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) (Vanishing Cabinet and Room of Requirement)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game) (Vanishing Cabinet)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Room of Requirement)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Room of Requirement)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game) (Room of Requirement)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (mentioned only)
Notes and references
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 30 (The Sacking of Severus Snape)[Vanished objects go] into non-being, which is to say, everything." - Prof. McGonagall.
- ↑ (see this image)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Chapter Thirteen - Detention with Dolores)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Chapter Fourteen - Percy and Padfoot)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 15 (The Hogwarts High Inquisitor)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Chapter Nineteen - The Lion and the Serpent)
- ↑ The Tales of Beedle the Bard (real)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 13 (Detention with Dolores)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 20 (Hagrid's Tale)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 31 (O.W.L.s)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, "St Mungo's Hospital", page 429