"Transfiguration is some of the most complex and dangerous magic you will learn at Hogwarts. Anyone messing around in my class will leave and not come back. You have been warned."
Minerva McGonagall[src]

Transfiguration is the magical art by which one can transform[1], vanish or create something[2]. It is extremely complicated and more than a tad dangerous, as Professor Minerva McGonagall noted when teaching her first-year students on 2 September, 1991[1].

It is possible to transform oneself into something else, which is immensely difficult and can go horribly wrong if done improperly[3]. For example, one could turn themselves into a submarine to allow underwater exploration[3], or else into a bat to take flight[4]. However, when one Transfigures themselves, they take on the sentience and mentality of whatever they are becoming, and therefore a wizard becoming a bat would have a bat's brain and forget where he was going the moment he took flight[4]. The sole exception to this rule, it would seem, is the Animagus, a witch or wizard who can, at will and without the use of a wand, transform themselves into a certain and specific animal[5].

It is more difficult to Transfigure an invertebrate such as a snail than it is to Transfigure a mammal such as a mouse[6]. It also appears that the larger an animal is, the more difficult it is to Transfigure, as the Transfiguration of a kitten is more difficult than that of a mouse[6].

The Transfiguration textbook used for first years at Hogwarts is A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration[7].



Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Chapter Eight - The Potions Master)
  2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Chapter Thirteen - Detention with Dolores)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Chapter Twenty-Six - The Second Task)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Quidditch Through the Ages (Chapter One - The Evolution of the Flying Broomstick)
  5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Chapter Twenty - The Dementor's Kiss)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Chapter Fifteen - The Hogwarts High Inquisitor)
  7. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Chapter Five - Diagon Alley)