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Vanishment

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Vanishment
Class information
Professor
Required textbooks

Intermediate Transfiguration

Required equipment

Wand

"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."
Professor McGonagall regarding Vanishing Spells[src]

Vanishment is the art of vanishing objects i.e., causing object to cease to exist.[1] It is one of the four branches of Transfiguration, and is the opposite of Conjuration (another branch), which brings objects into existence.

History

"The contents of Harry’s potion vanished; he was left standing foolishly beside an empty cauldron."
Professor Snape vanishes a Draught of Peace potion[src]

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.[2]

When none of the students except Hermione Granger could perform the spell properly, Professor McGonagall told the students to practise the spell overnight, for a fresh start the next day.[2]

In their second lesson, the students were given questions on the Vanishing Spell for homework.[2] 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.[3]

Later on in the year, Professor McGonagall returned the class to Vanishing Spells, this time working to make mice disappear.[4] 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.[5] 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 1997 Harry Potter used a form of Vanishment to rid himself of a snake that had crossed this path during his Hunt for Horcruxs.

Nature

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.

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.[6] Minerva McGonagall stated in May of 1998 that Vanished objects go "into non-being, which is to say, everything".[7]

Methods

There are several methods one can employ to vanish an object, described below.

Vanishing Spells

Main article: Vanishing spell

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

Main article: Vanishing Cabinet
Vanishingcabinet1

The Vanishing Cabinet located in Hogwarts

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

Main article: 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).

Known practitioners

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).[13]
  • 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

See also

Appearances

Notes and References


Transfiguration (class)
VeraVerto175px
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

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