In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fake Moody transfigures Draco Malfoy into the amazing bouncing ferret, then Professor McGonagall arrives and says
“Moody, we never use Transfiguration as a punishment!” said Professor McGonagall weakly. “Surely Professor Dumbledore told you that?”
What I find interesting is that, after transfiguring Draco, Barty Crouch Jr. points his wand at the ferret, which then starts bouncing and falling to the floor. This strongly reminds me of the Imperius Curse he used on a spider and on students:
Moody reached into the jar, caught one of the spiders, and held it in the palm of his hand so that they could all see it. He then pointed his wand at it and muttered, “Imperio!”[...] Moody jerked his wand, and the spider rose onto two of its hind legs and went into what was unmistakably a tap dance.[...] “Total control,” said Moody quietly as the spider balled itself up and began to roll over and over. “I could make it jump out of the window, drown itself, throw itself down one of your throats . . .”
Moody began to beckon students forward in turn and put the Imperius Curse upon them. Harry watched as, one by one, his classmates did the most extraordinary things under its influence. Dean Thomas hopped three times around the room, singing the national anthem. Lavender Brown imitated a squirrel. Neville performed a series of quite astonishing gymnastics he would certainly not have been capable of in his normal state.
Now, I know that Unforgivable curses may be performed non-verbally (Can the Unforgivable Curses be Done Non-Verbally?) - although maybe it's a very advanced skill - and that Moody wasn't sentenced to Azkban for Imperiusing students, because they gave him permission. However, in this case, Draco clearly gave him no permission whatsoever. It seems to me that there are three possibilities:
- either this was not the Imperius Curse but something else(Levitation charm?) and,therefore, was completely legal,
- or this was, in fact the Imperius Curse but technically on a Transfigured human, and therefore considered equivalent to an Imperius Curse on an animal, again completely legal,
- or this was the Imperius Curse on a human being without permission, and this was somehow not noticed by Professor McGonagall.
My question is: is it possible to cast the Imperius Curse (and possibly, the other Unforgivable Curses) on transfigured humans without any punishment whatsoever?