"He was supposed to be turning a beetle into a button, but all he managed to do was give his beetle a lot of exercise as it scuttled over the desk top avoiding his wand."

Beetle Buttons[3] (incantation unknown) was a transforming spell that transfigured a beetle into a coat button.[1]


On 3 September, 1992, the second year students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry practised this spell in Transfiguration, although very few were successful.[1] Harry Potter was unable to perform the spell because it kept running away from his wand, whereas Ronald Weasley could not cast it because his broken wand continuously engulfed him in foul-smelling grey smoke that obscured his vision and caused him to accidentally crush his beetle;[1] He consequently had to ask Professor McGonagall for a replacement, a fact that she was not too happy about.[1] Indeed, it seemed that only Hermione Granger knew how to cast it, and displayed her handful of perfect coat buttons at lunchtime, much to her classmates' chagrin.[1]

Behind the scenes

  • As right before the spell is introduced it is mentioned that Harry forgot everything he had learned the previous year, it is possible that this is taught in first year rather than second.


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 6 (Gilderoy Lockhart)
  2. As Harry could't cast it because his beetle kept running away from his wand; this indicates that the wand must be close to if not outright touching the beetle for the spell to work.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter Trading Card Game

Transfiguration (class)
COS Vera Verto demo
Branches of Transfiguration Transformation · Vanishment · Conjuration · Untransfiguration
Known practitioners Circe · Emeric Switch · 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
Colour Change Charm (Colovaria) · Change of hair colour and style (Crinus Muto) · Hardening Charm (Duro) · Mending Charm (Reparo) · Reparifarge · Softening Charm (Spongify) · Switching Spell · Vanishing Spell (Evanesco)
Conjuring Spells Bird-Conjuring Charm (Avis) · Inanimatus Conjurus Spell · Orchideous · Snake Summons Spell (Serpentsortia)
Transforming Spells Animal to Water Goblet (Vera Verto) · Beetle Buttons · Cat to Cauldron (Felifors) · Cauldron Cakes to Cabbages · Chair to cat · Cross-Species Switches · Desk Into Pig · Dinner plate to mushroom · 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 matchbox (Flintifors) · Target to Rabbit (Lapifors) · Teacup to gerbil · Teacup to Rat · Teapot to tortoise · White Rabbits to Slippers
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