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Vanishment

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Vanishment is the art of vanishing objects; making things go into non-being[1]. It is one of the four branches of Transfiguration and is the opposite of Conjuration (another branch), which brings things into being.

Nature

Compared to the other three branches, Vanishment appears moderately difficult - 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)[2]

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". The intent of the caster directs the spell, Vanishing the target.

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 sooner or later).

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. Is is unknown is 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).[3]
  • 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 limbo-like state until it is Conjured.
  • It may be possible to retrieve Vanished objects, as Bill Weasley possibly Vanished some of the Order of the Phoenix's plans in order to hide them (though it is also possible that he used a teleportation spell).

Appearances

Notes and References

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 30, "[Vanished objects go] into non-being, which is to say, everything." - Prof. McGonagall.
  2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, "The Hogwarts High Inquisitor", page 287
  3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, "St. Mungo's Hospital", page 429

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