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Untransfiguration

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Taure, Aug 21, 2020.

  1. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    A couple of things to note:

    1. After being Untrasnfigured, Draco's face is pink and his hair is messy.

    2. After being Untransfigured, Draco is still experiencing the pain of being bounced around.

    What does this tell us? It tells us that Untransfiguration is not turning back time/reverting an object to a previous state. You are not turning an object into what it used to be, you're turning an object into what it used to be + all its subsequent experiences. There is a certain level of object permanence/continuity which cannot be avoided.
     
  2. aAlouda

    aAlouda Seventh Year

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    Sure, but we already kneq that from the way being a rat for twelve years affected Pettigrew.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2020
  3. haphnepls

    haphnepls Second Year

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    It is unfortunate that we have no more evidence about the matter, but I think that anything transfigured that endured any kind of damage would have the same damage once untransfigured. I'm not sure how would that damage transmit between completely different objects, but it should be there, right?

    What about additional changes? If we transfigure something and then we paint it red, would untransfiguring cancel just the transfiguration and leave the object red, or would it take care of all altering magic? What about extra gear that Draco wore? Would his robes be destroyed if we shaved ferret's fur or whatever? I'm not sure, but I'd go with no.

    So what would remain unchanged?

    1) All extras that target wears or has attached to itself

    2) Mental process would continue normally (I'm not sure this would be true if it is transfigured into an inanimate object)

    3) Target's abilities (This is laying it thin, but I believe that Tonks would still be able to alter things and if Draco were to be an animagus I believe he would be able to return in his human form due to their familiarity with such a magic)

    This all may or may not be true, but I see no reason why it wouldn't apply. Of course, this is magic we are talking about so there might be charms to bind these things or whatever.
     
  4. Jeram

    Jeram Elder of Zion ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Well that raises an interesting question, which is that when they're learning Transfiguration in the first place, does continuity matter? If they're configuring a pin cushion with a tear in it, will that always transfigure into an injured porcupine or can you bypass with more capability/etc?
     
  5. RandyRanderson

    RandyRanderson Second Year

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    I think Draco's appearance may very well just be the result of being untransfigured into that position. His hair fell over his face and his face is pink because of the embarrassment. Ferret fur doesn't exactly move around much.

    Minor point which changes nothing, given that the pain is a clear sign of the continuity describe by Taure. I think there is something to be said about the importance of the transfigured object when it comes to continuity too. Draco experiences the pain because he was transfigured into a ferret, which has nerves. I'm not so sure that would have been the case if it was a rock which cannot feel pain. Draco would have issues if the rock was chipped, however.

    I think it's important to note that it can be possible to restore someone to their original state.
     
  6. Polkiuj

    Polkiuj Squib

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    Just a thought here, but what if we take this continuity effect into account for someone who was transfigured into a tree and left to grow for several years before they get untranfigured?
    Would they have grown taller or might they just come out of the experience with longer hair and fingernails, since these are the only things that usually tend to grow on a person?
    What about nutrition? Would they come out of it a malnourished husk since they haven't eaten any food for this entire duration, or, if we assume that the tree has been given sunlight, water and soil, that they emerge perfectly fine in that regard with just a lingering craving for those things?
     
  7. Download

    Download Seventh Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Related to the thread we had on Gamp's Laws: Transfiguration does not change the innate nature of the object being transfigured.

    It's why you can't transfigure food because if you transfigure a rock into cake, you're just making a cake flavoured rock. It doesn't provide anything you actually need to live and is therefore not food. In the same way, when you transfigure a Malfoy into an animal, they're still intrinsically Malfoy.

    Other areas of magic are another ballgame though; It's called Gamp's Laws of Transfiguration for a reason. I suspect Alchemy is the attempt to do what Transfiguration cannot.

    Now this raises an interesting idea in magical healing: does some healing consist of transfiguring a person into a simpler object, fixing it, and then turning them back into a person?
     
  8. Valor

    Valor Squib

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    This is fanon.

    Rowling's comment on this (paraphrased) is; "you cannot transfigure the inedible into edible"
     
  9. Download

    Download Seventh Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Pardon?

    Gamp's law is most certainly not fanon.

    You know that sounds almost exactly like what I said.
     
  10. IncoEnt

    IncoEnt Squib

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    Wait, but I thought Gamp's Laws of Elemental Transfiguration just describes the fundamental properties of what can and can not be conjured. Like Hermione, she states that good food can't be conjured from the ether but can be transfigured or summoned from another place. It just can't be conjured is all. You can transfigure a rock into a cake and eat it and be nourished. That's part of what Mrs. Weasley does when she's cooking.
     
  11. Valor

    Valor Squib

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    Are you... Messing with me?

    Let's try this again, but this time I'll make it easier for you.

    This if fanon you invented.

    Transfiguration is permanent unless untransfigured. There's no "but really, transfigured objects has a true, hidden ideal self!"

    This isn't Dresden Files and transfiguration isn't glamoured objects.

    One could argue the case when talking about living creatures with souls/spirits being transfigured, but it's never actually clarified by Rowling, so fans can only theorise and craft fanon answers.

    To an extent. It's very similar, but contextually different, which is important if you care about canonical purity when it comes to the magic system.

    One is basically an ironclad magical law that fits to a tee in the HP-verse and was paraphrased directly from Rowling.

    And it's limited to that.

    Your explanation conceptually weakens and alters an entire branch of magic.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2020
  12. Acquiescing Avian

    Acquiescing Avian First Year

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    The existence of Untransfiguration (as opposed to using a standard Transfiguration spell to reverse the process) implies that there is some innate magical connection between the initial and final objects.

    This isn't explicitly stated, but it doesn't go against any rules described in canon either.
     
  13. Goten Askil

    Goten Askil Seventh Year

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    Another piece of evidence:
    With that, it's probable that Draco's residual pain didn't happen because a ferret can feel pain: an armchair cannot, and Slughorn still felt it.

    In fact, I think there's a simple way to explain it: transfiguring something perfectly changes what it is, but cannot change what it was. That's why untransfiguration is possible from start (and I think it's what Download means by "innate nature".

    A transfigured rock is a perfect rock in all aspects, except that in the past it was something else, and that's why is can be turned back. Just the same, Malfoy and Slughorn (or Lupin after the full moons) still feel the pain of what happened to them when they were transfigured, because the past stays with them even after untransfiguration.

    That does raise the question of healing with transfiguration and Reparo. I dislike it on principle, but I cannot find a reason why it wouldn't have been possible to give Harry his bones back in second year without Skelegro. Maybe some injuries heal badly if the object you transfigure the injured into is not complex enough, which makes "useful" transfigurations much harder than the corresponding healing spells or potions?
     
  14. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Uh. I find it a perfectly reasonable assumption that transfiguring bones correctly and in the correct place is bloody difficult. So, like ... yeah on "you probably could do that", but why would you risk or even want that, if simply using a potion works also?


    Also, here is an angle I don't think we discussed as of yet regarding Draco and Slughorn. What if those were incomplete transfigurations? We know such a thing exists, and if ferret!Draco and chair!Slughorn retained aspects of Draco and Slughorn, respectively, it could explain A) their ruffled state afterwards, and B) why they could be returned to their original state at all.

    The latter of which would be the reason for incomplete transfiguration in the first place: If a chair is a chair, you probably wouldn't want to become one. It'd be last thing you did. "Untransfiguration", then, would only be possible as long as there was no complete transfiguration.
     
  15. RandyRanderson

    RandyRanderson Second Year

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    Given that we don't really see Dumbledore perform an untransfiguration (Slughorn would be unable too in the form of an armchair), and how rushed Slughorn was with his cover-up, I don't think Slughorn employed transfiguration here. It seems more like an illusion, especially since Slughorn, while still in the appearance of an armchair, yelled ouch. My armchairs don't typically talk.
     
  16. Download

    Download Seventh Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Are you? The only reason I haven't called you a troll despite only having 15 posts is because most trolls don't burn 5+ year old accounts.

    Either untransfiguration exists and transfigured objects have some sort of innateness to them, or Professor McGonagall is capable of transfiguring a ferret into a Malfoy, implying that creating people with transfiguration is possible.

    And were did I say it wasn't permanent? Malfoy was going to stay a ferret until someone untransfigured him. Sounds pretty permanent to me.

    Never seen it and never read a Dresden fanfic.

    Are you aware of what forum you are posting in? Creating more detailed theories from canon is all we do around here. You might as well post in almost every topic here screeching "That's fanon!!111!!!"

    Either you can not transfigure an object into food or a food replica, or you can create replicas of food that are that looks like food but are inedible. Both of those conclusions fit what Rowling said. Is a rock transfigured into a cake with the nutritional value of a rock edible?

    Edit: Actually, rereading what you quoted, I'm going to say her choice in words fits the second more than the first. I won't say it excludes the first, but it does better fit the second. /end edit

    Except, if we pick the first conclusion we go down the rules lawyery rabbit hole; what is the line between food and non-food? Presumable I can transfigure something which is non-food... for humans. What I transfigure an animal (which is most certainly possible you know), and then butcher and eat it... Sounds like food now. What if I transfigure some wood to grow mushrooms on and then eat that? Mushrooms derive all of their nutrients from their growing medium, so I have now used transfiguration to make food, disproving Gamp's law.

    Or maybe, you don't take the bullshit rules lawyery answer so you wan write a wankish fanfic that shits on the books. Picking option 2 is an elegant solution that only requires you to accept the idea of transfigured objects having an innateness, while option 1 requires you to create a complex web of rules about what is and isn't food.

    The exact quote: “It's impossible to make good food out of nothing! You can Summon it if you know where it is, you can transform it, you can increase the quantity if you've already got some"

    The first and last are in the area of charms, not transfiguration, while the middle fits what I've said about innateness assuming she was talking about transfiguring food into nicer food.

    Edit: Similarly Aguamenti I believe is charms.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2020
  17. AlexIY

    AlexIY First Year

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    Aguamenti creating drinkable water pretty much already disproves that Transfiguration isn't permanent, as in order for it to nourish you it would have to make rounds in your system. And I believe Aguamenti is confirmed to be a form of Conjuration even though it's a charm. Just as the colour changing charm Harry used in his NEWT Transfiguration class also was practised in the Transfiguration classroom.

    Untransfiguration does imply there is a certain "metaphysical" link between the object and what it once was, but there is no real way of knowing what that exactly means. Yes, a Vanished object can be made back whole as well. This means that Transfiguration's effects are reversible, not that they are somehow impermanent. Just as you can undo a tied lace back into a ribbon, if you leave it alone it will remain a tied lace. There is also the possibility that like much of this, it's just magic and there is no real apriori to it at all. It just sort of does what it does for no concern for relationships or previous forms.

    Also, notice how Hermione said you could duplicate food with a Gemino charm/"make more of it if you have some" this implies that while you can't wholesale conjure food, you can wholesale make more of it and probably use a spell that will just assemble food for you (just as Repairo puts things back together). I can sort of understand why Gamps laws exist, food is very complex and is subject to several outside factors in order to become food.

    I wonder what the distinction between Transmutation and Transfiguration is in the Potterverse if Alchemy exists? Does Transmutation have immutable effects?
     
  18. RandyRanderson

    RandyRanderson Second Year

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    I don't think conjuration via the discipline of transfiguration is permanent, though transfiguration of an object into another object is permanent (Dudley's tail, chessmen). I think the reason as to why Charms can create permanent conjurations while transfiguration cannot is because the disciplines are different, though they may be able to perform similar functions. The ability for one branch to replicate the effects of the other in is not unusual. You can animate objects with charms or transfigure them to make them come alive. This doesn't mean that the branches aren't different, of course, but there is certainly some overlap.
     
  19. Download

    Download Seventh Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Augamenti is charms, not transfiguration.

    Charms again.
     
  20. wordhammer

    wordhammer Supreme Mugwump DLP Supporter

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    We know that magic has some capacity to see forward and one supposes backwards in time -- this is what makes divination possible. While it may not be a case of summoning an objects prior state to the current time, I could see where magic can look back in time to what something was and use it as a template for the transfiguration. It may be that this template process is how wizards can transfigure something into an object for which they have an incomplete understanding; the spell is reaching out to another object based on what the wizard visualizes in order to come up with a framework.