Metamorphosis: Transfiguration For Beginners

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Introductions & Biographies

Chapter 1

Dear Reader—

 Archibald Wiseduke, noted expert in the field of Transfiguration, once said “Transfiguration is rooted in rules. First, you must learn them. Next, you study the exceptions to these rules. Then, you examine the exceptions to these exceptions, and then the exceptions to those exceptions and so on and so forth until you eventually disregard the rules altogether. Subsequently, you may become a master of transformative magic.” Of course, this stage of experimental Transfiguration may only come after decades of study, when one has fully grasped all of the concepts of this magical art.

 The ability to manipulate the world around you should not be taken lightly. Control over your surroundings is an extraordinary gift, requiring discipline and focus. Many students consider Transfiguration the most difficult area of study, as do most adults. The thought process involved in this discipline must be learnt, a process which is oftentimes frustrating and tedious. However, mastery of this subject is particularly rewarding, due to the wide variety of opportunities that become available. It is no coincidence that the majority of history’s most influential wizards and witches were adept in Transfiguration. With such power, you’re bound to leave a substantial physical mark on society.

How can you achieve such prowess? Practice, practice, practice. As Wiseduke suggested, Transfiguration is primarily composed of complex laws. The only way to truly understand these is to invest time and effort into Transfigurative studies. For that reason, we have included various “case studies” in the majority of the sections discussed in this book. These case studies are designed to allow you to test and apply your new knowledge. If you are unsuccessful at first, reread the section and identify what parts of the process you may be missing. It is impossible to understand and apply every concept in this textbook at first read.

In updating this textbook we have, however, attempted to simplify some of the earlier instruction. While “exceptions to exceptions to exceptions” are being developed constantly, Transfiguration remains remarkably unchanged as a field. Indeed, the ancient Egyptians, known for their partial Animagi Transformation and other complex Transfiguration, recorded a “Guide to Change,” quite similar to our own Gamp Laws. Therefore, although we have tweaked bits here and there, you’ll find our version remarkably similar to that of Emeric Switch.

Finally, I’d like to remind you of the importance of details in Transfiguration. Eventually, what sets an average wizard apart from an excellent one is the minute aspects. Pay close attention to fur, patterns, and color. While these smaller Transfigurative tasks may seem simple at first, they are by far the most painstaking. A good rule of thumb is to always leave objects in a state more beautiful than you originally found them. Eventually, you will develop a signature style, just as young children develop unique handwriting. Identify and nurture this flair, and you may one day reach the point of mastery of these rules and their infinite exceptions.

Best Wishes,

Mallory H.
Director of Creative Literature

Josh A. (Ravenclaw)
Hogwarts ‘08; Northwestern University ‘12

A Muggle-born Ravenclaw, I was quite surprised to discover that I was a wizard, and even more to be accepted to Hogwarts, being from the U.S. While at Hogwarts, I found a love for both Transfiguration and Potions, which I continued through my N.E.W.T.s. After graduating from Hogwarts, I decided to continue my education, but through a Muggle university. While at Hogwarts, I used my previous propensity for Muggle sciences to brew and, towards the end of my career there, develop new potions. I am very excited to be editing the textbooks that the students of myHogwarts will be using.

Hayley A. (Ravenclaw)
Hogwarts - Currently attending

I come from a family of Muggles who were absolutely thrilled when I got a place in Hogwarts. I am currently studying Care of Magical Creatures, Transfiguration, and Defence Against the Dark Arts at N.E.W.T. level, and I am a Seeker for the Ravenclaw house. I also help write school textbooks, which is a privilege. After leaving Hogwarts, I intend to work with dragons or become an Auror.

Mandi D. (Ravenclaw)
Salem Institute ‘09; Hogwarts ‘10; Brigham Young University - Currently attending

I’m that kid - the geeky one who sat in a corner reading about molecular theory instead of playing Quidditch. Why molecular theory, of all things? Even though I don’t have any Muggles in my close family, my cousin Lorcan and I have shared a fascination of their culture since we were little. We strongly believe that Muggle ideas and technology can revolutionize us, if we let it. When I began school at Salem Institute, I made special effort to learn more by studying Muggle Sciences and Muggle History. I transferred to Hogwarts my seventh year to be closer to Lorcan and his brother Lysander. While there, I fell in love with England, but I returned to America to attend a Muggle university. Over the last several months, I’ve been given the opportunity to help write both A History of Magic and A Beginner’s Guide to Transfiguration. My fondest wish is that, after college, I can teach at Hogwarts, so this has been a perfect fit for me. I sincerely hope that Hogwarts can also be the perfect fit for you.

Erin M.

Kiran M.
McGill University - Currently Attending
Hogwarts '11 (Transfiguration, Charms)

After Hogwarts, I moved to Canada to begin work in experimental spellcasting. I am also pursuing a Muggle degree in research psychology, and I was thrilled to be approached with this opportunity to help write A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration. I wish you all the best of luck in your studies!

Samantha Y.

After graduating from Hogwarts in 2007, I moved back to America to attend a Muggle university near my hometown. I enrolled in Youngstown State University, where I am currently studying Philosophy and English. I plan to continue my education and obtain a Muggle law degree. In order to keep in contact with the wizarding community, I applied for a job as an editor with Wizarding Life, the wizarding world’s finest news source, where I have been employed since February 2011. I am quite thrilled to now be working on the Hogwarts staff as a textbook editor.

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