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"The contents of Harry's potion vanished; he was left standing foolishly beside an empty cauldron."
— Snape vanishing 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 (A.K.A. OWL).[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 went "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 would so occurs.[7]


Early history

In The Wizard and the Hopping Pot from The Tales of Beedle the Bard, the son of the original owner of the pot tried 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 vanished a hat.[9]


During the 1987–1988 school year, Professor McGonagall taught 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 vs Slytherin match, she abstained from giving them homework so that the Gryffindor Quidditch team could practise.[14]


Before 1 September in 2008, the Warrington sisters Ivy and Winifred both got Hogwarts acceptance letters, but their parents didn't want Winifred to go, which angered her and resulted in her casting the Vanishing Spell on Ivy's trunk, but the spell rebounded and landed on herself.[15]

During the 2008–2009 school year, after Cassandra Vole verbally bullied Daniel Page, Ivy chased her down and attempted to Vanish her wand, but missed and Vanished a suit of armour instead. Professor Neville Longbottom gave Ivy and her friends detention, during which they had to polish every suit of armour without magic.[15]

Known uses

"Bill took out his wand, muttered “Evanesco!” and the scrolls vanished."
— Bill Weasley vanishing old scrolls with this spell[src]
Caster(s) Date Notes
Bill Weasley August 1995 Bill used this spell to make a stack of plans on parchment disappear while cleaning up after a meeting of the Order of the Phoenix just after Harry's arrival at 12 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.[16]
Harry Potter June 1996 Harry vanished the whole of an iguana during his practical Transfiguration O.W.L..[17]
Fifth-years One task on the practical Transfiguration O.W.L. was Vanishment.[17]
Winifred Warrington 2008 Aimed at her sister Ivy's trunk, but the spell rebounded and hit herself.[15]
Winifred Warrington vanished MA.png
Ivy Warrington 2008–2009 school year Aimed at Cassandra Vole's wand, but missed and Vanished a suit of armour.[15]

Known practitioners


The incantation "Evanesco" is a Latin word meaning "vanish" or "disappear".[19]

Behind the scenes

Evanesco's icon in Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells

  • The spell Evanesco featured in the Harry Potter Trading Card Game is almost certainly a misspelling of Evancesco, the incantation for this spell, as both the spells are shown to have the same effect (Vanishment).
  • As the Vanishing Spell is very hard to be successfully cast on cats, let alone humans, it's very unlikely that the appearance of the spell in Harry Potter: Magic Awakened is canonical.
    • It is also possible that since the Warrington sisters' grandmother taught them the spell, she may have found another way to cast the spell more easily on complicated objects, or that she was simply more proficient in the spell than most witches and wizards.


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 6.2 6.3 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. 9.0 9.1 The Tales of Beedle the Bard - "Babbitty 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 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
  16. 16.0 16.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 12 (Professor Umbridge)
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 31 (O.W.L.s)
  18. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 17 (Educational Decree Number Twenty-Four)
  19. Evanesco on Google Translate
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 · King to Rook · 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