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"Well, there are Switching Spells... but what's the point of Switching it? Unless you swapped its fangs for wine-gums or something that would make it less dangerous..."
Hermione Granger considers using Switching Spells against a dragon[src]

The Switching Spell (incantation unknown) was a transfiguration spell[1][3] used to switch the positions of two objects.[4] By definition, it was a simultaneous transfiguration of two objects to make them look like each other.[5][6][7][8] The spell was studied in transfiguration class by fifth-years[5][6][7][8] and fourth-years[3][9] respectively during the 1988–1989 and 1994–1995 school years. Hermione Granger, however, gained points for knowing about Switching Spells in her first year.[1]


"Longbottom, kindly do not reveal that you can’t even perform a simple Switching Spell in front of anyone from Durmstrang!"
Minerva McGonagall to Neville Longbottom[src]

During the 1988–1989 school year, fifth-year students, including Jacob's sibling, were taught the Switching Spell in Transfiguration class, with individual lessons on piggy banks with guinea pigs,[5] top hats with rabbits,[6] pillows with armadillos[7] and tortoises with hares.[8]

Neville Longbottom proved unable to perform a Switching Spell by October 1994, a fact that was criticised by Minerva McGonagall, who called the spell "simple".[3]

In preparation for the first task of the Triwizard Tournament, Hermione Granger idly suggested to Harry Potter that he might use this spell on a dragon to turn its fangs to wine-gums, but rejected the idea as impractical because as a rule it was nearly impossible to cast a spell through a dragon's hide.[4]

In 1996, Harry Potter forgot the definition of a Switching Spell when doing his written Transfiguration Ordinary Wizarding Level exam.[10]

Known practitioners

Known possible switches with this spell

Behind the scenes

  • There may be specific spells used for switching specific things.
  • This might have been the spell Tina and Queenie Goldstein used to change their clothes before entering The Blind Pig to talk to Gnarlak, by switching their work clothes switch places with a pair of nicer attire that hung in the closet back in their apartment.
  • If so, the Death Eaters would presumably also use the same spell to change into their black, hooded robes and masks on a short notice when summoned to their Master's side, as they arrived at the Graveyard almost instantly after they felt Voldemort calling them at his rebirth, and it is highly unlikely all of them stood next to their bedroom wardrobes when they felt the Dark Mark burn.


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 9 (The Midnight Duel)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter Trading Card Game
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 15 (Beauxbatons and Durmstrang)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 20 (The First Task)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 11 (Mundungus Fletcher) - Transfiguration Lesson "Switch: Piggy Bank & Guinea Pig"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 17 (Broken Bonds) - Transfiguration Lesson "Switch: Top Hat & Rabbit"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 20 (Peter Pettigrew) - Transfiguration Lesson "Switch: Pillow & Armadillo"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 24 (Dark Pranks) - Transfiguration Lesson "Switch: Tortoise & Hare"
  9. Pottermore - From the Story: Switching Spells
  10. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 31 (O.W.L.s)
Transfiguration (class)
COS Vera Verto demo.gif
Branches of Transfiguration Transformation · Vanishment · Conjuration · Untransfiguration
Notable 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) · Partial Vanishment · Reparifarge · Softening Charm (Spongify) · Switching Spell · Vanishing Spell (Evanesco)
Conjuring Spells Bird-Conjuring Charm (Avis) · Inanimatus Conjurus Spell · Bouquet Spell (Orchideous) · Snake Summons Spell (Serpensortia)
Transforming Spells Animal to Water Goblet (Vera Verto) · Armadillo to Pillow · Bowling Ball to Balloon · Beetle to Button · Cauldron to Badger · Cat to Cauldron (Felifors) · Cauldron Cakes to Cabbages · Chair to Cat · Cross-Species Switches · Desk Into Pig · Fairy Cakes to Fairies · Feather Duster to Ferret · Ferret to Feather Duster · Goldfinch to Golden Snitch · Flobberworm to Fritter · Gnomes to Lawn Gnomes · Guinea Fowl to Guinea Pig · Gobstone to Skunk · Hedgehog to Pin Cushion · Lovebird to Love Note · Match to Needle · Meddling Man to Monkey · Mice to Snuffboxes · Owl to Opera Glasses (Strigiforma) · Pawn to Queen · Porcupine to Pin Cushion (Hystrifors) · Puffskein to Paperweight · 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 into Gerbil · Teacup to Rat · Teapot to Tortoise · Thimble to Thestral · Toad to Toadstool · Tortoise to Trumpet · White Rabbits to Slippers