"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."
Professor McGonagall regarding Vanishing Spells[src]

Vanishment is the magical art of vanishing objects i.e., causing object to cease to exist. Vanished objects go "into non-being, which is to say, everything."[1] It is one of the four branches of Transfiguration, and is the opposite of Conjuration, which brings objects into existence


"The contents of Harry’s potion vanished; he was left standing foolishly beside an empty cauldron."
Professor Snape vanishes a Draught of Peace potion[src]
Ilvermorny Scholars wrote an essay on their Vanishment report that was in Transfiguration Today.[2]

Professor Minerva McGonagall introduced Vanishment to her class in the form of the Vanishing Spell in her very first Transfiguration class with the fifth year students in 1995, giving them a lecture and then setting them on vanishing snails.[3]

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.[3]

In their second lesson, the students were given questions on the Vanishing Spell for homework.[3] On the 6th, however, the students were given a break from this spell and instead were given a long and difficult essay on the Inanimatus Conjurus Spell.[4]

Later on in the year, Professor McGonagall returned the class to Vanishing Spells, this time working to make mice disappear.[5] 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.[6] Later in the year during O.W.L. exams Vanishment was apart of the Transfiguration practical in, as predicted by Professor McGonagall.

Severus Snape also used Vanishment in 1995 as a means to get rid of Harry Potter's Draught of Peace potion. In the same year, Albus Dumbledore used Vanishment to counter Voldemort's fiery snake during their duel. In 1997 Harry Potter used a form of Vanishment to rid himself of a snake that had crossed this path during his Hunt for Horcruxes. Minerva McGonagall also later easily vanished Severus Snape's serpent he conjured using the Fiendfyre curse during their duel.


Compared to the other three branches, Vanishment appears moderately difficult — it is taught in fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and up — and is considered one of the hardest transfigurations to be tested on in one's O.W.L. It must be performed with a clear and collected head, as demonstrated by Hannah Abbot who was supposed to Vanish a ferret during her exam but instead somehow managed to multiply it into a flock of flamingos.

The difficulty of the Vanishment to be performed positively correlates with the complexity of the organism to be vanished. For example, invertebrates are easier to vanish than vertebrates, whilst mammals are more difficult.


There are several methods one can employ to vanish an object, described below.

Vanishing Spells

Main article: Vanishing spell
Unlike Conjuring Spells, vanishing different things can all be accomplished with accomplished with the same Vanishing Spell - Evanesco. There can also exist spells for vanishing specific things, such as the Snake-Vanishing Spell.[7]

The Vanishing Cabinet

Main article: Vanishing Cabinet
The Vanishing Cabinet is a special piece of furniture in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry that randomly Vanishes & reappears. As such, it be used to vanish things for a variable but finite length of time (since the cabinet always reappears at some point in the future). The condition of the cabinet, determines whether or not the vanished object will appear in its twin cabinet after the object has been vanished, if the cabinet is broken or defective then the vanishment will not be hundred percent effective and the object will be trapped in a limbo like state. A pair of Vanishing Cabinets will act as a passage between two places. Objects placed in one cabinet will appear in the other. The cabinets seem to ward off all known defensive spells, as, as they were successfully used to transport several Death Eaters from Borgin and Burkes into Hogwarts school in 1997.[8]

The Room of Requirement

Main article: Room of Requirement
Like the Vanishing Cabinet, the Room of Requirement also appears and reappears, though in accordance with one's wishes. Things left in the Room after one no longer has need of it will be vanished along with the Room itself until a later date (when one has need of that specific object, at which point it will be conjured up inside the Room for them to retrieve).

Known practitioners

Behind the scenes

  • Vanishing sickness is a wizarding illness treated at St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. It is unknown if Vanishing is the cause or effect of this illness though it appears to be related to the contraction of some sort of magical bug (since it is treated in the "Magical Bugs" section of St Mungo's).[16]
  • According to W.O.M.B.A.T., it may be possible to Vanish both inanimate and animate objects.
  • It is unknown if the Vanishment of a living creature would result in said creature's death, or merely send it into a conscious, intermediate state until it is naturally Conjured back into existence. According to Minerva McGonagall, Vanished objects enter "everything", possibly suggesting that Vanished entities do have some form of existence, albeit an unknown kind.
  • It may be possible to retrieve Vanished objects, as Bill Weasley Vanished some of the Order of the Phoenix's plans in order to hide them

See also


Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 30 (The Sacking of Severus Snape)[Vanished objects go] into non-being, which is to say, everything." - Prof. McGonagall.
  2. (see this image)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Chapter Thirteen - Detention with Dolores)
  4. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Chapter Fourteen - Percy and Padfoot)
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 15 (The Hogwarts High Inquisitor)
  6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Chapter Nineteen - The Lion and the Serpent)
  7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 11 (The Duelling Club)
  8. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 27 (The Lightning-Struck Tower)
  9. The Tales of Beedle the Bard (real)
  10. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named OOTP
  11. 11.0 11.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 13 (Detention with Dolores)
  12. 12.0 12.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 20 (Hagrid's Tale)
  13. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 7 (The Slug Club)
  14. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  15. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 31 (O.W.L.s)
  16. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, "St Mungo's Hospital", page 429

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 · Gnomes to Lawn Gnomes · 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
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