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Thread: Animals into People

  1. #1
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    Animals into People

    From the books, we know that people can be Transfigured into animals, but the only way to retain their human brain is to become an Animagus. But what about the other way around? I know we have never seen it, but would it be possible to turn an animal into a person? Would they be capable of speech, even if they couldn't understand the human language? Would they even remember a time before they were human?

    Can I hear thoughts and opinions?

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  2. #2
    A.H.
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    How do most of your questions remind me of Charmed? See, there was this one episode in the earlier seasons where Phoebe unknowingly gives regular girls a spell to turn animals into their "perfect valentines".

    Wait, I actually have a point!

    Now, if you're a fan of Charmed (which, everyone should be) you'll remember that the animals did indeed turn into humans, and in the HP world, I think that a spell/potion/something would suffice to make the transformation. After all, it's just transfiguration. So while it would be an extremely difficult bit of magic to anyone trying (even simple transfiguration is pretty advanced) I think it would be possible. Whether or not the effects are long-last though is another question--I don't remember (which isn't really saying much) anything about transfigured material remaining in its magically-altered state over time. But perhaps a managing potion could solve this problem... Hm.

    Anyhoodles, back to the Charmed-point. Even though the animals (rabbit, snake and pig) transformed into walking, talking, breathing hunks, they, as with all good Charmed episodes, went horribly wrong the longer they were in unnatural conditions. The pig-man just wanted to eat, the snake-man just wanted to kill, and the rabbit-man just wanted to...

    *will just leave that at an ellipsis*

    So anyhow, the point is that they weren't in their natural conditions, and things they would have normal done became... I don't know. Obsessions. With all the new senses (or heightened senses) and emotions and etc. they were dealing with, 'normal' was much more than normal. Naturally, it got to the point where the Charmed ones had to kill them.

    I think, even though both magics are completely different (though I'm sure Ron or Harry wouldn't mind keeping the Charmed Ones company... ) the principle is the same. If you take something out of its normal element and try to make it function in a different life, it's going to backfire.

    (If you look closely--perhaps with a codebreaker of some sort--you might find something useful in there. Possibly. )

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  3. #3
    padfoot_returns
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    Hm...I don't think I can find any evidence from the books that would suggest something like that is possible and I think that if it did exist in the wizarding world, Jo definitely would have introduced it to us sometime in between all seven books. But its a very interesting idea and the great thing about fanfiction is that its your own world. You have completely free reign to create whatever you want.

    As for speech, I do think that they would be able to talk. When Animagi (sp?) turns into an animal, they lose their ability to speak yet at the same time, they are able to mimic animal sounds. I think that it would be the same thing but reversed. Also, about the remembering thing: again, with Animagi, they do remember their past so I guess when animals turn human, they remember their past as well

    xxRiham

  4. #4
    Seventh Year Ravenclaw
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    From the books, we know that people can be Transfigured into animals, but the only way to retain their human brain is to become an Animagus. But what about the other way around? I know we have never seen it, but would it be possible to turn an animal into a person? Would they be capable of speech, even if they couldn't understand the human language? Would they even remember a time before they were human?

    Can I hear thoughts and opinions?
    I think a wizard/witch could feasibly transfigure an animal into a person. This comes complete with a physically human brain, just like a man transfigured into a bat would have a bat brain.

    However, just because the transfigured animal now has a human brain doesn't mean that it can speak or understand human language. It will be a blank slate (Tabula rasa, to quote John Locke), just like a baby, essentially. So I think an animal turned into a human will have trouble walking upright and possibly even feeding itself.

    But if the animal was left in its human state for a long time (as in years), it could learn how to talk and use the toilet just like any other human being... Then once the creature is transfigured back to its usual form, it will go back to the intelligence of whatever animal it happened to be.

    As for remembering what had happened, I have no idea. Probably not.

    Tim the Enchanter

  5. #5
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    From the books, we know that people can be Transfigured into animals, but the only way to retain their human brain is to become an Animagus.
    Are you sure about that? I mean, about the retaining one's brain-thing.

    I think it's definitely possible to give an animal a human shape (although I do think it would be rather hard). As Tim, I don't think they can instantly talk, but I'm sure they could learn it.

    However, I do think they remember being an animal, at least in so far that being human feels weird to them, and that they are uncomfortable, in a way.


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  6. #6
    Secret Seeker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim the Enchanter
    However, just because the transfigured animal now has a human brain doesn't mean that it can speak or understand human language. It will be a blank slate (Tabula rasa, to quote John Locke), just like a baby, essentially. So I think an animal turned into a human will have trouble walking upright and possibly even feeding itself.
    That was along the lines of what I was going to point out. Tranfiguration is "the art of changing of the form and appearance of an object", say a rabbit into a human being, which is really just another animal only with a more advanced psyche and a conscious mind. That leads me to this: when transfiguring said animal into a human being, I do not think you can create knowledge- unless you plant your own (or part of it), into that particular object. I'm also dubious about it actually having a concious mind; Animals do what they do for survival: they hunt prey, eat, breed and sleep. Whilst human beings are capable of thinking, knowing what's good or bad and living according to their beliefs. Humans also do things for the sake of it and for pleasure, and like have an interesting life. Animals don't do this (as far as we know...).

    So how do we know that transfiguring an animal into a human being would make it act as a normal person?


    Maybe magic does the trick, but even magic has it's limits, we see that in the books as it does not solve every problem possible. For example, according to Hermione (who I trust is right, as she usually is ) there are 5 exceptions to Gamp's law of Elemental Transfiguration. So magic does not provide everything and anything from nothing. Besides food, love is another exception of Gamp's law as we know that love connot be created, only imitated by the use of potions or the Imperius curse, which means that the transfigured object cannot be given emotions if it doesn't have any.

    I don't know what to think really. I mean, you can transfigure an animal into a human. The catch is, would it act like a person?

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