Transfiguration is essentially the art of changing the properties of an object. Transfiguration is a theory-based subject, including topics such as "Switching Spells" (altering only a part of some object, such as giving a human rabbit's ears); Vanishing Spells (causing an object to completely disappear); and Conjuring Spells (creating objects out of thin air).
It is possible to change inanimate objects into animate ones and vice versa. Professor Minerva McGonagall contributed a transfigured giant wizard chess set as part of the elaborate trap to protect the Philosopher's Stone in the 1991-1992 school year.
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