"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, first lecture to first-years (PS8)
Transfiguration is magic which changes one object into another. It is possible to change inanimate objects into animate ones and vice versa. Some Transfiguration spells alter a part of something, such as changing a person’s ears from normal into rabbit ears. At Hogwarts, Transfiguration is taught by Professor McGonagall. Fifty years ago, Albus Dumbledore was the Transfiguration teacher at Hogwarts (CS13).
Transfiguration spells were cast in ancient times as well. Circe, a witch who lived in the Greek island of Aeaea, was famous for turning lost sailors into pigs (fw3).
The opposite of Transfiguration is Untransfiguration, which would be returning something to its proper form (OP29).
Transfiguration is subject to rules, such as Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration, which has five Principal Exceptions, of which food is one, which means that food cannot be produced out of thin air. Food can be moved from one place to another by magic, or changed, but not created out of nothing (DH15).
What do the students learn in Transfiguration?
- McGonagall changes her desk into a pig (PS8)
- Students try to change match into a needle (PS8)
- About Switching Spells (PS9)
- Students trying to turn a mouse into a snuffbox for their end of term Transfiguration practical - extra points for how pretty the snuffbox was, points off if it still has whiskers (PS16)
- Students turning a beetle into a button (CS6)
- students turning pairs of white rabbits into slippers (maybe you have to be familiar with bunny slippers to think this is funny) (CS16)
- student accidentally changes his friend into a badger in class (CS11)
- McGonagall's lecture on Animagi, with demonstration (PA6)
- Transfiguration practical: transforming a teapot into a tortoise, concerned over whether they had spouts for tails, breathed steam, or still had willow-patterned shells (PA16)
- Changing a hedgehog into a pincushion (GF15)
- Transfiguring oneself to acquire extra powers (post-O.W.L. level) (GF20)
- Students changing guinea fowl into guinea pigs (GF22)
- Coss-species switches (GF22)
- Learn human transfiguration in the sixth year at Hogwarts (GF26)
- Vanishing Spells, among the most difficult O.W.L. material - working on invertebrates (snails) (OP13)
- Conjuring Spells mentioned as N.E.W.T. level (OP13)
- Long essay for McGonagall on the Inanimatus Conjurus spell (OP14)
- Vanishing Spells, starting on vertebrates (OP15)
- Partial Vanishment (OP26)
- series of diagrams in Intermediate Transfiguration showing an owl turning into a pair of opera glasses (OP31)
- Harry managed to vanish the whole of his iguana in his Transfiguration practical O.W.L. (OP31)
- Hannah Abbott accidentally multiplied a ferret into a flock of flamingos (OP31)