‘Yeah, well, food’s one of the five exceptions to Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration,’ said Ron, to general astonishment.

Now Avis is a charm that creates a flock of birds. Isn't it possible to create the birds, and cook them to get food? Isn't this an indirect violation of the Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration?


1 Answer 1


No, because conjured objects don’t last.

Conjuring birds using Avis doesn’t conflict with food being one of the five exceptions to Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration, because things that are conjured from thin air won’t last.

Q: It seems that the wizards and witches at Hogwarts are able to conjure up many things, such as food for the feasts, chairs and sleeping bags. . .if this is so, why does the wizarding world need money? What are the limitations on the material objects you can conjure up? It seems unnecessary that the Weasleys would be in such need of money. . . (Jan Campbell)

A: Very good question (well done, Jan!!). There is legislation about what you can conjure and what you can't. Something that you conjure out of thin air will not last. This is a rule I set down for myself early on. I love these logical questions!
- South West News Service Interview with J.K. Rowling (July 8th, 2000)

Therefore, any attempt to eat the birds conjured by Avis would be futile, because they’ll soon vanish. Even if they don’t vanish before they can be killed, they will eventually, so they wouldn’t provide any lasting nutrition even if they can be killed and cooked.

  • are refilling charms not a subset of conjuring charms then? Mar 21, 2019 at 14:27
  • @prakharlondhe They’re most likely not. They seem to increase the quantity of liquid that’s already present, not conjure it. “Harry had not yet managed to bring off the Refilling Charm without saying the incantation aloud, but the idea that he might not be able to do it tonight was laughable: indeed, Harry grinned to himself as, unnoticed by either Hagrid or Slughorn (now swapping tales of the illegal trade in dragon eggs), he pointed his wand under the table at the emptying bottles and they immediately began to refill.” - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 22 (After the Burial)
    – Obsidia
    Mar 21, 2019 at 15:28
  • 2
    @prakharlondhe Food can’t be conjured, but the quantity of existing food can be increased. “Your mother can’t produce food out of thin air,’ said Hermione. ‘No one can. Food is the first of the five Principal Exceptions to Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfigur—’ ‘Oh, speak English, can’t you?’ Ron said, prising a fishbone out from between his teeth. ‘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 –” - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 15 (The Goblin’s Revenge)
    – Obsidia
    Mar 21, 2019 at 15:34
  • But then refilling charms won't work when bottles are completely empty.. Mar 23, 2019 at 15:57

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