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"Could I have your attention please? Right, now, today, we will be transforming animals into water goblets. Like so. One, two, three. Vera Verto."
Professor McGonagall to her second years[src]

Vera Verto[1] is the incantation of a spell used to transform an animal into a water goblet. Animals susceptible to this spell are specifically aves, rodents, and felines.[3]

Casting

This spell appears moderately difficult to perform, and can be disastrous if done wrong. Side effects include the goblet becoming furry or having a tail. Wand movement and posture were both very important for this charm, as Professor McGonagall noted when teaching her second year class in September of 1992.[2]

To perform the spell, one must tap the targeted animal three times sharply with their wand, and then point their wand directly at the animal, incanting Vera Verto.[1][2][3]

Effects

Scabbers Transfiguration 01

A failed attempt by Ronald Weasley on his rat Scabbers

Once performed, a jet of nearly indiscernible, crystal-clear mist, almost like a spray, would shoot from the caster's wand, engulfing the animal and quickly morph it into a goblet with a quiet whooshing noise.[2]

If performed incorrectly, a spasm of greenish light would shoot from the wand with a crackling, whining noise and the target will be transfigured improperly. It may still be furry, or might possess a tail (or a combination of the two).[2]

History

During the 1987–1988 school year, this spell was thought to fourth years with rats as their targets. Professor McGonagall told the class one famous wizard used it to toast to the health of his beloved cat.[3]

During the 1992–1993 school year, this spell was thought to second year students, in lesson seven, as noted on her blackboard.[2]

Practitioners

Etymology

Vera is the feminine form of the word verus, a Latin adjective meaning "true" or "proper".[4] Verto, also Latin, can mean "I turn" or "I exchange".[5] Collectively, Vera Verto is a Latin phrase that can be taken to mean "I truly exchange".

Behind the scenes

VeraVertoBoard

The blackboard on which Professor McGonagall wrote information pertaining to this spell

  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the writing on Minerva McGonagall's blackboard was written backward.
  • Despite the subtitles giving the incantation as Vera Verto, there is a distinct possibility that the subtitles were inaccurately transcribed, with many viewers debating that the characters were instead saying "Fera" instead of "Vera".[6][7] An incantation "Fera Verto" also makes particular sense, since fera is Latin for "wild animal".[8] This is fitting considering that the subject of the spell is an animal, where "Fera Verto" could be taken to mean "I turn or change the animal".
  • Since the etymology of this spell is rather general and does not specify either the target subject or the intended transformation, it is possible that Vera Verto, in the film adaptations, is an incantation of a general transfiguration or transforming spell, where its effect is largely dependent on the caster's intentions.
  • In Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, despite the in class snippet clearly stating animals other than rats are used for this spell, with Minerva referring the spell as "Animal into Water Goblet," on the chapter progress indicator, the lesson is labeled as "Rat into Water Goblet."[3]
    • It however, could be merely reflecting the fact that students in that particular class were all giving rats to work on, and not a labeling mistake.
  • In the game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, during the O.W.L.s, one of the tests is to transform an animal into a water goblet; it is more than likely this was meant to be "Vera Verto".


Appearances

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 (see this image)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film), Chapter 14 (About the Chamber)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 4, Chapter 5 (Time to Fly) - Transfiguration Lesson "Vera Verto"
  4. Wiktionary - verus
  5. Wiktionary - verto
  6. Harry Potter Lexicon, spells from the films and games.
  7. Vera Verto - talk page
  8. Wiktionary - fera


Transfiguration (class)
VeraVerto175px
Branches of Transfiguration
Transformation · Vanishment · Conjuration · Untransfiguration
Known practitioners
Emeric Switch · Circe · Falco Aesalon · Mirabella Plunkett · Thaddeus Thurkell
Professors
Albus Dumbledore · Minerva McGonagall
Textbooks
A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration · Intermediate Transfiguration · A Guide to Advanced Transfiguration
Transfiguration spells studied at Hogwarts
Change of hair colour and style (Crinus Muto) · Hardening Charm (Duro) · Mending Charm (Reparo) · Reparifarge · Softening Charm (Spongify) · Switching Spell · Vanishing Spell
Transforming Spells
Animal to Water Goblet (Vera Verto) · Beetle Buttons · Cat to Cauldron (Felifors) · Chair to cat · Guinea fowl to guinea pig · Hedgehog to pincushion · Match to needle · Meddling Man to Monkey · Mice to Snuffboxes · Owl to Opera Glasses (Strigiforma) · Porcupine to Pin Cushion (Hystrifors) · Small Child to Rat · Small Object to Dragon (Draconifors) · Snail to Teapot · Target to Bird (Avifors) · Target to Rabit (Lapifors) · Teacup to Rat · Teapot to tortoise · White Rabbits to Slippers