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"If only we'd done Human Transfiguration already! But I don't think we start that until sixth year, and it can go badly wrong if you don't know what you're doing...."
Hermione Granger worrying about Transfiguration[src]

Human Transfiguration was a sub-branch of Transfiguration and a form of transformation in which one transfigured human body parts or an entire human being into another form.[2]

Human Transfiguration was more difficult than any other form of Transfiguration, including Cross-Species Transfiguration and was therefore N.E.W.T.-level, taught only to sixth-years and above at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.[2]

Students of Uagadou School of Magic were especially skilled in Human Transfiguration.[3]


"They had just embarked upon the immensely difficult topic of human Transfiguration; working in front of mirrors, they were supposed to be changing the colour of their own eyebrows."
Harry Potter regarding the difficulty of Human Transfiguration[src]
Horace Slughorn, disguise himself as a chair

Horace Slughorn disguised by the use of Human Transfiguration

Human Transfiguration could be used to essentially replicate the natural abilities of Metamorphmagi, allowing the practitioner or the subject to take on an entirely different form or make various individual changes to their appearance, such as growing or changing the colour, style or pattern of one's hair[1] or taking on individual animal body parts. However, while human Transfiguration could presumably be performed by any wizard who was skilled enough, on themselves as well as on others, a Metamorphmagus was born with the ability to make such changes to their own bodies with little to no effort and without the use of a wand.[4]

Although it was possible to transfigure humans into inanimate objects,[5][2] it is unknown how someone who had himself transfigured into an object would be able to untransfigure without the intervention of another witch or wizard. Probably, if witches and wizards performed this on themselves, they would do this with the intention of retaining their mental consciousness and abilities. Therefore, they could untransfigure themselves back to human form, both nonverbally and wandlessly.

Emeric Switch contributed an article on the scientific aspects of Human Transfiguration to a 1926 issue of Transfiguration Today.[6]


It had been stated many times that Human Transfiguration could go badly wrong when performed poorly. The user had the risk of getting stuck in their transfigured state.[2]

Known instances[]

Prior to 1991[]

Caster(s) Date Notes
Unknown 1473 During the Quidditch World Cup of 1473, all 700 fouls were committed, including one of the players transfiguring one of the Chasers on the opposite team into a polecat.
Thaddeus Thurkell 1600s During the 1600s, Thaddeus Thurkell had seven sons, all of whom were Squibs. Thurkell was so angry he transfigured them all into hedgehogs.[7]
Mirabella Plunkett 1800s During the 1800s, it is possible that Mirabella Plunkett transfigured herself into a haddock in order to live with her merman lover, although it may be possible that she was an Animagus.[7]
Gellert Grindelwald 1926 Using entirely the power of Human Transfiguration, Gellert Grindelwald disguised himself as MACUSA auror Percival Graves.[8]
Circe Unknown Circe, a witch who lived in ancient times, was famous for turning sailors into pigs.[7]
McCliverts According to legend, after Quintius MacBoon, head of the MacBoon clan, killed the head of a the rival McClivert clan, Dugald McClivert, in a drunken duel, the MacBoons were attacked by the McCliverts and the entire family was transfigured into Quintapeds.[9]
D.J. Prod D.J. Prod stated that he was able to turn his wife into a yak after he took a Kwikspell course.[5]
Harry Potter 31 October, 1981 After travelling back in time Harry and Hermione used a transfiguration spell to disguise Harry as Lord Voldemort.[10]
Hermione Granger
Merula Snyde 1989–1990 school year Attempted to transfigure herself into a Thunderbird to impress the Sphinx Club and establish her reputation as the most powerful witch at Hogwarts. The spell went wrong and transformed her into a flobberworm instead.[11]
Jacob's sibling 1989–1990 school year Attempted to return Merula to human form after her flobberworm transformation, succeeded only in transforming her into a puffskein.[11]

1991 to 1998[]

"Harry turned and saw something monstrous cutting through the water toward them: a human body in swimming trunks with the head of a shark.... It was Krum. He appeared to have transfigured himself — but badly."
— Description of Viktor Krum's use of Human Transfiguration[src]
Caster(s) Date Notes
Rubeus Hagrid 1991 Rubeus Hagrid gave Dudley Dursley a pig's tail in response to his father insulting Albus Dumbledore. Hargid later told Harry Potter that he was attempting to turn Dudley fully into a pig but was unsuccessful. This may have been a joke.[12]
Unidentified boy 1992 A Hogwarts student accidentally changed his classmate into a badger.[13]
Fred and George Weasley 1994 Fred and George Weasley invented the Canary Cream, a prank item which, when eaten, automatically transfigures the eater into a large canary, which they used on Neville Longbottom.[14]
Bartemius Crouch Junior Bartemius Crouch Junior transfigured Draco Malfoy into a ferret[15]
1995 After murdering his own father, Bartemius Crouch Junior transfigured the body into a bone.[16]
Viktor Krum While competing in the second task of the Triwizard Tournament, Viktor Krum attempted to transfigure himself fully or partially into a shark; ultimately, only his head was transfigured, the shark's teeth were misplaced.[2]
Horace Slughorn 1996 Horace Slughorn transfigured himself into an over-stuffed armchair in order to avoid detection by Death Eaters. Was discovered by Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter.[17]
Ron Weasley During a Transfiguration lesson in 1996, Ron Weasley accidentally transfigured a moustache on to his face.[1]
Harry Potter In a Transfiguration lesson Harry Potter transfigured his eyebrow bright yellow.[1]
Hermione Granger 1998 Hermione Granger used Human Transfiguration to disguise Ron Weasley as "Dragomir Despard" before breaking in to the Lestrange Vault at Gringotts Wizarding Bank.[18]
Percy Weasley During the Battle of Hogwarts, Percy Weasley shot a jinx at Pius Thicknesse, transfiguring him into some sort of sea urchin.[19]
Gwenog Jones Unknown Gwenog Jones, captain of the Holyhead Harpies, was particularly skilled at transfiguring anyone who disagreed with her into wood lice.

After 1998[]

Caster(s) Date Notes
Hannah Wellengood At some point between 2008 and 2011 During class, Hannah accidentally switched her nose with a needle, which caused her to be very embarrassed.[20]

Known practitioners[]

Behind the scenes[]

  • In September 1994, when Draco Malfoy was transfigured into a ferret, he tried to get to the dungeons.[15] Complete transfiguration into an animal makes a human think like the animal, except Animagus transfigurations.[21] This suggests that the attempted escape had nothing to do with him wanting to get to his common room and was coincidental.
  • In Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Professor McGonagall claims that a wizard can use a combination of wandless and non-verbal magic to change themselves back into a human,[22] though it had previously been established that full Human Transfiguration causes a human to think like the creature they turn into.[23]


Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 15 (The Unbreakable Vow)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 26 (The Second Task)
  3. Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Uagadou" at Wizarding World
  4. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 3 (The Advance Guard)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 8 (The Deathday Party)
  6. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) (see this image)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
  8. 8.0 8.1 JK Rowling FAQs - 5. Why did ‘revelio’ undo the effects of Polyjuice Potion?
  9. 9.0 9.1 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  11. 11.0 11.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Side Quest "WELCOME TO THE SPHINX CLUB"
  12. 12.0 12.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 4 (The Keeper of the Keys)
  13. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 11 (The Duelling Club)
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 21 (The House-Elf Liberation Front)
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 13 (Mad-Eye Moody)
  16. 16.0 16.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)
  17. 17.0 17.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 4 (Horace Slughorn)
  18. 18.0 18.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 26 (Gringotts)
  19. 19.0 19.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
  20. Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
  21. Quidditch Through the Ages
  22. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Side Quest "Welcome to the Sphinx Club"
  23. Quidditch Through the Ages, Chapter 1 (The Evolution of the Flying Broomstick)

See also[]