"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."
Professor McGonagall’s introduction of the subject[src]

Transfiguration is a core class and subject taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It teaches the art of changing the form and appearance of an object or a person. This type of magic is commonly referred to as "Transfiguration" and is considered both complex and dangerous.[1]

There are limits to Transfiguration, which are governed by Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration.[2] There are also many branches, including Cross-Species Transfiguration and Human Transfiguration. This type of magic is regarded as "very hard work" and is "more scientific" than Charmswork. One has to get it exactly right for the transfiguration to be successful.[3]

The professor of this subject for many years was Albus Dumbledore and later Minerva McGonagall. It is unknown who the teacher was before Professor Dumbledore and who took over when Professor McGonagall became headmistress of Hogwarts.

Class information

"I do not accept students into N.E.W.T. classes unless they have achieved 'Exceeds Expectations' or higher at Ordinary Wizarding Level."
—Professor McGonagall on the increased difficulty in NEWT.[src]
Transfiguration class1

A second year Transfiguration class in 1992

Transfiguration is a required subject for all first year to fifth year students, with the option of a N.E.W.T. (Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test) course in sixth and seventh year. Minerva McGonagall was the Transfiguration Professor from 1956 until 1998, the year in which she became Headmistress of the school. Before her, Albus Dumbledore taught Transfiguration. It's unknown who became the Transfiguration professor after she became Headmistress of Hogwarts. McGonagall believed Transfiguration to be more elegant and superior to other types of magic.

COS promo Minerva Albus

Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall were both former professors of Transfiguration

Students practise actual transfigurations during classes. Accidents sometimes result in partial transfigurations and theoretical homework is sometimes assigned. The further into a student's education the more difficult the classwork and homework becomes.

In fifth year students take the Ordinary Wizarding Level examination, much of the year is spent learning Ordinary Wizarding Level material, as well as revisiting the past four years of lessons. As part of their Transfiguration O.W.L., students must sit a written exam, and then complete a practical exam, one of the questions on the written exam asks the definition of Switching spells and one aspect of the practical is Vanishment. In order to advance to N.E.W.T.-level for the final two years of education a student must achieve a high O.W.L. score of either 'Outstanding' or 'Exceeds Expectations' on their exam.

Like charms work, Transfiguration is achieved through concentration, precise wand movements, and the proper pronunciation of an incantation. However it is generally more difficult than Charms and requires great effort.[3]


A classroom diagram

While Professor McGonagall was teaching the class, she was fair but strict, having no tolerance of silliness and threatening to dismiss any students who dared to fool around. She refused leniency for her students based on emotional circumstances. She insisted on giving Harry Potter homework despite his depression from a Divination class' death prediction, refused to let her students play games in her classroom for the upcoming Yule Ball (as Filius Flitwick did because his students were too distracted by the exciting events), and even Katie Bell knew full well that Minerva would give her homework on the day right after being discharged from St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries for a near-death experience.

She refused to accept any students into her N.E.W.T. classes unless they achieved at least 'Exceeds Expectations', believing that those who have anything below would be unable to cope with the increased coursework. Failure to hand in assigned homework may result in detention, as Draco Malfoy experienced after he failed twice during 1996.

Both an O.W.L. and a N.E.W.T. in Transfiguration is compulsory for both Auror and Healer training, at either "Exceeds Expectations" or "Outstanding" level.[4]

Location and time


Transfiguration classes are held in Class 1 on the first-floor, Class 34 on the third-floor, Class 99 in the South Tower and Classroom 1B on the ground-floor, around the Middle Courtyard. Classroom 1B is big, surrounded by high windows, has four rows of three desks, and still has enough room for several cages and bookshelves, two chalkboards, and a desk for the teacher. Several candlesticks stand lit behind the desk.

Lesson times

Year Day Period
First Thursday second
Second Tuesday first
Wednesday second
Thursday fourth
Third Monday third
Thursday second
Fourth morning
Fifth Tuesday fourth
Wednesday third
Sixth Friday morning
Seventh unknown unknown


First Year

"Professor McGonagall watched them turn a mouse into a snuff box."
—First year exam in 1992[src]
  • The Transfiguration alphabet
  • The transformation formula, which is that the intended transformation is directly influenced by bodyweight (a), viciousness (v), wand power (w), concentration (c), and a fifth unknown variable (Z).[5]
  • Desk into Pig (not practically)

Second Year

"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."
—A lesson on turning beetles into buttons [src]

Third Year

"... comparing results and bemoaning the difficulty of the tasks they been set, which included turning a teapot into tortoise."
—Third year exam in 1994[src]

Fourth Year

"The guinea-fowl they had been changing into guinea-pigs had been shut away in a large cage on Professor McGonagall's desk (Neville's still had feathers)..."
—After a lesson transformation[src]

Fifth Year

"So... today we are starting Vanishing Spells. These are easier than Conjuring Spells, which you would not usually attempt until N.E.W.T. level, but they are still among the most difficult magic you will be tested on in your O.W.L."
—1995 lesson on Vanishment[src]

Sixth Year

"Harry barely understood half of what Professor McGonagall said to them these days; even Hermione had to ask her to repeat instructions once or twice. "
—The increased difficulty during sixth year[src]

Known professors

Required textbooks


Passing Grades

Fail Grades

Known O.W.L.s

Branches of Transfiguration

COS Vera Verto demo

Vera Verto in action

Behind the scenes


Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 8 (The Potions Master)
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 15 (The Goblin's Revenge)
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.K. Rowling at the Royal Albert Hall, 26 June 2003
  4. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 29 (Careers Advice)
  5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
  6. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
  7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
  8. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 2, Chapter 1 (Year Two Begins) - Transfiguration Lesson "Reparifarge"
  9. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 2, Chapter 6 (Bill Weasley) - Transfiguration Lesson "Spongify"
  10. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 2, Chapter 9 (Wizards Unite!) - Transfiguration Lesson "Porcupine to Pin Cushion"
  11. 11.0 11.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
  12. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, Chapter 3 (Three Broomsticks) - Transfiguration Lesson "Felifors"
  13. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, Chapter 5 (Tulip Karasu) - Transfiguration Lesson "Duro"
  14. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 4, Chapter 3 (All About Bowtruckles) - Transfiguration Lesson "Evanesco"
  15. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 4, Chapter 10 (Seeing Red) - Transfiguration Lesson "Orchideous"
  16. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 4, Chapter 12 (Working with Snape) - Transfiguration Lesson "Serpensortia"
  17. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 4, Chapter 14 (The Spider's Lair) - Transfiguration Lesson "Colovaria"
  18. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 1 (Year Six Begins) - Transfiguration Lesson "Cauldron Cakes to Cabbages"
  19. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6
  20. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Hogwarts School Subjects" at Wizarding World

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 · Goldfinch to Golden Snitch · Flobberworm to Fritter · Guinea fowl to guinea pig · Hedgehog to pincushion · 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) · 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
Hogwarts Curriculum
Core classes Astronomy · Charms · Defence Against the Dark Arts · Herbology · History of Magic · Potions · Transfiguration
Elective classes Alchemy · Arithmancy · Care of Magical Creatures · Divination · Muggle Studies · Study of Ancient Runes
Extra-curricular classes Apparition · Advanced Arithmancy Studies · Ancient Studies · Art · Flying · Ghoul Studies · Magical Theory · Muggle Art · Muggle Music · Music · Xylomancy
First year exams · Second year exams · Third year exams · Fourth year exams ·
Ordinary Wizarding Level · Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test
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