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Thread: Five Principal Exceptions to Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration

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  1. #1
    Lovemagic
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    Five Principal Exceptions to Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration

    "Your mother canít produce food out of thin air, no one can. Food is the first of the five Principal Exceptions to Gampís Law of Elemental Transfiguraó"

    "Oh, speak English, canít you?"

    "Itís 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 youíve already got some..."
    Hooray for long titles. We know one of the exceptions is food, but what are the others?

    Hayden

  2. #2
    Ascendio
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    Perhaps people/animals, if that's not too obvious? I know Hermione conjures birds in HBP, but it seems like one wouldn't be able to simply conjure living things that can think for themselves.

  3. #3
    Rose Nym
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    How about money? If wizards could conjure money that would just bring chaos to the economic system.

  4. #4
    Ascendio
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    That's true, Hermione created those fake galleons for the D.A., and I don't know how shopkeepers would be able to tell them apart if they were given one from a customer. No doubt the goblins at Gringotts would be able to differentiate though. It'd be a fair bet to say that money's one of them.

  5. #5
    Lovemagic
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    That's it! Lttlebird! Information! That was the fifth one. The only ones I want to discuss a little more are Life/Death and Money.

    Should the untransfigurable money be limited to gold? I don't know/remember what remarkable qualities gold possesses. And what about Knuts and Sickles? They're not gold, which makes me agree with Minna that there must be some sort of secret code or spell on legitimate wizarding coins.

    I've a question. Wouldn't duplicating be much easier and seem more genuine with spells than Muggle forging? Harry could make more of that wine when he was at Hagrid's with Slughorn for Aragog's funeral. He didn't know the ingredients, but he was able to make more. And I'm guessing the extra wine didn't vanish inside Hagrid's and Slughorn's stomachs. Couldn't you do the same with other things, including money? Forget wizarding gold for a moment; what if you duplicated a Muggle note? They have these code thingies hidden in them, but with a spell, couldn't you use a duplicated one and get it by currency experts?

    As for animals and their souls, I'm not really sure. But perhaps conjured ones would not have souls and would follow the conjurer's commands or their instints, as Lttlebird said.

    With Life/Death, dead objects can be transfigured, but I'm not sure death itself even falls into the category of Transfiguration. You can kill someone. That's the Dark Arts. I think it should just be Life. Thoughts?


    Hayden

  6. #6
    Seventh Year Hufflepuff
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    I agree about the money...especially gold. You can't just conjure/transfigure gold; that's what you need the Philosopher's Stone for. So I think gold is probably one of the Five Principle Exceptions, at the very least. Money itself...perhaps legitimate coins in the wizarding world have spells on them, like wizarding watermarks, and the Ministry guards the secret of that spell very well (can't imagine they'd trust the goblins with the spell, what with the distrust between the races, not to mention the fact that goblins aren't allowed wands, but I imagine goblins could tell a fake).

    I also like Ascendio's suggestion of people/animals - life? Maybe that's the first principal exception?

    Also I was sort of having this conversation with friends the other day, and we thought maybe potable water might be one of the exceptions. Not sure, though, if there's any evidence against that in the books - characters actually drinking water from Aguamenti or whatever.

  7. #7
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    Knowing the major theme of the books, I'll bet you can't conjure 'love'.

    Of course you can make Amortentia, but that's not real love.

    ~Carole~

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  8. #8
    Lovemagic
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    Suggestions are:
    -love
    -money (esp. gold)
    -life
    -potable water

    I was considering these, and I thought of a few things.

    Life: Hermione was able to conjure birds (yellow canaries, I think) in HBP. But birds can think for themselves. I think that magical animals cannot be conjured and humans cannot be conjured. Don't have a solid explanation for humans, but Hermione conjured birds and Cedric Diggory transfigured a rock into a dog (Labrador?) in GoF. Draco was also turned into a ferret. I don't think you can turn an animal human, though.

    But then, I'd like a reason for why magical animals can't be conjured, and why humans cannot be conjured or be the result of a transfiguration. Why shouldn't you be able to give some of your own magic into an animal to make it magical. But then again, perhaps animals have their own sort of magic that can't be imitated?

    Water: I'm not quite sure what you mean, Minna. Water from a spell is drinkable: When Harry and Dumbledore were in Voldemort's cave, Harry conjured water for Dumbledore to drink, though probably by a spell Voldemort had placed, the water vanished just as it touched the drinker's lips.

    Hayden

  9. #9
    Seventh Year Hufflepuff
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    Ahh sorry Hayden. I didn't remember that bit - I was just throwing that idea out there, I remembered we'd mentioned it.

    Hmm but maybe if you conjure something living it doesn't last? -shrug- But then again most of Transfiguration involves turning animals into inanimate objects or inanimate objects into animals so I dunno.

  10. #10
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    I agree with the love thing. Somehow, I think bringing back someone from the dead would be included as well. With the life thing, how do we know that Hermione's birds didn't disappear after half an hour or so, or the dog Cedric transfigured in GoF. Perhaps you can create an imitation of life, but not life itself. It could be related to the food thing. You wouldn't be able to conjour up a chicken to kill it and eat it because you can't conjour food. Thus you can't conjour life. Or perhaps it's the other way around. This could incorporate the death thing. I'd agree with the human thing, though, and I too can't really say why.

    So, at the moment, you've got, love, food, money and life. I'd love it if the last one was something ridiculous like ink or sponges, like with one of the twelve uses of dragon's blood being an oven cleaner.

    Sarah x


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