"The contents of Harry’s potion vanished; he was left standing foolishly beside an empty cauldron."
—Snape vanishes Harry Potter's failed Draught of Peace[src]

The Vanishing Spell[2] (Evanesco)[1] was a Transfiguration spell used to vanish both animate and inanimate objects "into non-being, which is to say, everything".[3]


The Vanishing Spell was one of the most complicated spells taught at Ordinary Wizarding Level.[4]

It became more difficult with the complexity of the animal to be vanished; for instance, a snail, as an invertebrate, was rather simple, whereas the mouse, as a mammal, presented a great challenge.[2] The greatest challenge, however, was the vanishment of a kitten, which Hermione Granger managed to do by mid-year.[5]

Minerva McGonagall stated that Vanished objects go "into non-being, which was to say, everything".[6][3]

Certain objects could be enchanted to resist Vanishing Spells, such as fireworks. For example, Fred and George Weasley charmed their Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes fireworks so that if anyone attempted to Vanish them, not only would they remain but would multiply by ten each time.[7]


In "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot" from The Tales of Beedle the Bard , the son of the original owner of the pot tries to vanish the pot, but the spell had no effect.[8] Also in the story Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump in the same book, the witch Babbitty Rabbity successfully vanishes a hat.[9]

During the 1987–1988 school year, this spell was taught to fourth years in Transfiguration at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.[6]

In 1991, Harry Potter may have used this spell unintentionally to make the glass at the Zoo disappear.[10]

In 1992, after being forced to take a photo with Gilderoy Lockhart for Colin Creevey and then asked to sign it, Harry wished he knew a good Vanishing Spell to escape the embarrassment.[11]

In May 1993, Neville Longbottom may have used this spell unintentionally during a Transfiguration lesson, in which Professor McGonagall stated that all students would still be having their end of year exams in one week, despite the attacks on students and the suspension of Albus Dumbledore and Rubeus Hagrid. Neville's wand slipped and one of the legs on his desk vanished after hearing the announcement.[12]

During the 1995–1996 school year, Professor Minerva McGonagall introduced this spell in her very first Transfiguration class with the fifth year students, giving them a lecture and then setting them on vanishing snails. This spell was referred to by McGonagall in its plural form when she introduced it, along with Conjuring Spells.[4]

When none of the students except Hermione Granger could perform the spell properly, Professor McGonagall told the students to practise the spell overnight, for a fresh start the next day. In their second lesson, the students were given questions on the Vanishing Spell for homework.[4] On 6 September, however, the students were given a break from this spell and instead were given a long and difficult essay on the Inanimatus Conjurus Spell.[13]

Later on in the year, Professor McGonagall returned the class to Vanishing Spells, this time working to make mice disappear.[2] However, in the week leading up to the Gryffindor-Slytherin match, she abstained from giving them homework so that the Gryffindor Quidditch team could practise.[14]

Known uses

Caster(s) Date Notes
Bill Weasley August 1995 Bill used this spell to make a stack of scrolls disappear while cleaning up after a meeting of the Order of the Phoenix during Harry's first night at number twelve, Grimmauld Place.[1]
Severus Snape 1995 Snape used this spell to get rid of Harry's less-than-perfect first attempt at a Draught of Peace.[15]
Harry Potter June 1996 Harry vanished the whole of an iguana during his practical Transfiguration O.W.L..[16]
Fifth years One task on the practical Transfiguration O.W.L. was Vanishment.[16]

Known practitioners


The incantation "Evanesco" is a Latin word meaning "vanish" or "disappear".[20]


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 5 (The Order of the Phoenix)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 15 (The Hogwarts High Inquisitor)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 30 (The Sacking of Severus Snape)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 13 (Detention with Dolores)
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 16 (In The Hog's Head)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 4, Chapter 3 (All About Bowtruckles) - Transfiguration Lesson "Evanesco"
  7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 28 (Snape's Worst Memory)
  8. The Tales of Beedle the Bard - "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot"
  9. The Tales of Beedle the Bard - Babbity Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump
  10. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 2 (The Vanishing Glass)
  11. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 6 (Gilderoy Lockhart)
  12. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16 (The Chamber of Secrets)
  13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 14 (Percy and Padfoot)
  14. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 19 (The Lion and the Serpent)
  15. 15.0 15.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 12 (Professor Umbridge)
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 31 (O.W.L.s)
  17. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 17 (Educational Decree Number Twenty-Four)
  18. Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
  19. The Tales of Beedle the Bard (real)
  20. Evanesco on Google Translate

Transfiguration (class)
COS Vera Verto demo
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) · 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 · Goldfinch to Golden Snitch · Flobberworm to Fritter · Gnomes to Lawn Gnomes · Guinea fowl to guinea pig spell · Gobstone to skunk · Hedgehog to pincushion spell · 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 to gerbil spell · Teacup to Rat · Teapot to tortoise spell · White Rabbits to Slippers
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