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Grenouille: "I cannot go with you to the market today, Crapaud."
Crapaud: "But Grenouille, I cannot carry the cow alone."
Grenouille: "You know, Crapaud, that I am to be Keeper this morning. Who will stop the Quaffle if I do not?"
— Extract from Hélas, Je me suis Transfiguré Les Pieds[src]

Hélas, Je me suis Transfiguré Les Pieds ("Alas, I have Transfigured My Feet") is a play written by the French wizard, Malecrit in the early 1400s. It featured the characters of Grenouille and Crapaud, and featured an early reference to Quidditch, showing how the game had spread to Europe.[1] The play's main conflict occurs when Crapaud performs the titular foot-transfiguration, an act traditionally accompanied by a puff of yellow smoke from a special effects wizard.[2]

A particularly infamous performance of the play took place at some point in wizarding history. The performance started out bad enough that the audience threw pumpkins at the subpar actors. The special effects wizard, in an attempt to liven up the play, replaced the puff of smoke he was supposed to perform with a Fire-Making Spell. Though this succeeded in attracting the audience's attention, it also caught the theatre ablaze. Though the actor playing Crapaud attempted to save the performance with a Flame-Freezing Charm, the overall confusion made it so the fleeing audience could not hear him.[2]

Etymology

  • Hélas, Je me suis Transfiguré Les Pieds is a French phrase meaning "Alas, I have transfigured my feet".
  • The words Grenouille and Crapaud mean "Frog" and "Toad" respectively.

Behind the scenes

  • Although the title of the play in-universe gives the French word for "Transfigured" as the straightforward "Transfiguré", in the actual French translations of the novels, the term "Transfiguration" was translated as "Métamorphose" (literally, "metamorphosis") and "Transfigured" was likewise rendered as "Métamorphosé" ("transformed"). In the French translation, the play's title was therefore altered to "La Triste Métamorphose de mes pauvres pieds" ("The Sad Metamorphosis of my Poor Feet").

Appearances

Notes and references

  1. Quidditch Through the Ages, Chapter 8 (The Spread of Quidditch Worldwide)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wonderbook: Book of Spells - Chapter 2, Part 1
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