According to “Transfiguration for the muggle-born: the assemble, the forging, and its external embodiments”, by Ana Prewett, transfiguration is a field centered in the alteration of shapes. Although it was considered a highly scientific subject by the author because of its requirement of precision in order to function properly as a spell, I would politely disagree with this statement. For science is not defined because of its complexity or accuracy, but for the existency of a rational replicable method in order to achieve a common universal truth.
Nonetheless, I do understand that what the author meant by misusing this term – probably due to a cultural gap for her being a wizard-born – is that it does require precision. Its branches are memorized as TVCU. T, for Transformation, which is fragmented into human transfiguration, of obvious appliances, and switching, a field of specialty that mixes the traits of multiple objects, or organisms. V, stands for Vanishment, a field that, due to its complexity, is reserved for the fifth year students.
The final letters in the acronym are C, for Conjuration, the opposite of its predecessor, and a NEWT level field of research. And, U, for Untransfiguration, which is an intersection of counterspelling and, logically, Transfiguration.
Among the dangers of this field, there are the risks of one being sentenced to Azkaban, under the charge of malfeasance for irresponsibly changing other beings shapes’ or one’s own without a formal report of animagus hability control to the magic ministry. Not only there’s always a chance of unfocused spells leading into irreversible accidents, but there’s also a dependency of being brought back to one’s former shape by another wizard or witch, if one happens to shift him or herself into an animal with lower cognitive skill.
Regarding the importance of this lesson, it is vital that we as a class understand the capacity of this field, since we, specially us, muggle-borns, have a higher propensity of misusing magic just for the cheer pleasure of being able to cast spells, in spite of a possible poor control over it – and, in this case, I refer to my personal experience and general scenarios. There are, of course, brilliant wizards that shone since an early age despicable and grandious abilities in multiple fields of magic, in spite of any blood heritage or cultural background.
It is a relief that most of the possible horrors are not easily done by first years, since even the malpractice does require a level of precision we usually lack.
My biggest discovery from this exercise was the fact that conjuring does not necessarily involve any interaction with spirits. Which I would like to limit to zero, specially in the mornings, when I’m trying to have breakfast without accidentally overhearing the apathetic mopings of the Grey Lady over my cereal bowl.
In fact, if there is an efficient way to vanish the dead from my presence on meal times, I would most eagerly learn.
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