Spells in Harry Potter occur in the fictional wizarding world of the series of books by author J. K. Rowling. Magic spells are used by many of the characters to achieve useful effects without the benefit of modern technology. The main depiction of a "spell" in the Harry Potter books consists of a gesture made with the character's wand, combined with a spoken or mentalincantation. In the books and the associated film series, the names of the majority of these spells or the incantations used to effect them are derived from the classical languages, particularly Latin. These names are not grammatically correct in any language; most spoken phrases resemble Latin words of appropriate meaning but are not proper Latin themselves.
Spells are listed here by their incantations (when known), with their vernacular names in parentheses. Some spells have no known incantation – the only reference in the text is by an informal name, either because in its only appearance in the relevant book it was cast nonverbally, or because it was never depicted in the books, only mentioned. The majority of spells cast in duels between adult characters in all seven books appear nonverbally; only their effects can identify such spells.
Description: This charm summons an object to the caster, potentially over a significant distance. Its opposite is the Banishing Charm.
Seen/mentioned: First mentioned in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, when it was briefly used by Molly Weasley on the Weasley twins to confiscate their Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes' products from their pockets, before they left for the Quidditch World Cup. Hermione was also mentioned trying to learn this charm during her ride aboard the Hogwarts Express. Later on in the same book, Harry summons his broom to complete the First Task of the Triwizard Tournament.[GF Ch.20] Near the end of the book, Harry uses it to summon the Triwizard Cup after he encounters Voldemort. When Ron goes mad in the department of mysteries in Order of the Phoenix, he attempts to use it to summon a brain. Harry uses this spell to summon Hagrid in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows but fails.
(Age Line Spell)
Description: Creates a thin, shimmering line that can only be passed by people of a set age. Aging potions are useless against age lines. Incantation unknown. As demonstrated by Fred and George Weasley, attempting to use an aging potion and stepping over the line appears to work, but moments later they are seen with grey hair and beards. It is unknown whether the ageing potion causes this alongside the age line spell.
Description: Produces a jet of water from the caster's wand.
Seen/mentioned: First seen in Goblet of Fire, when Fleur put the fire out on her skirt "with a bit of water from her wand." First named in Half-Blood Prince, when Harry is being taught how to perform this specific charm in Professor Flitwick's class. Later Harry casts this spell in an attempt to create water for Dumbledore to drink after taking Voldemort's potion[HBP Ch.26], and again to douse Hagrid's hut after it is set on fire.[HBP Ch.28][DH Ch.31].
Description: Used to open and/or unlock doors, but doors can be bewitched so that this spell has no effect.[PS Ch.16]
Seen/mentioned: Used throughout the series, with the first use by Hermione in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Used gradually less in the series as the characters discover more and more doors, chests, etc. with counter-charms on them. For example, the doors into Professor Snape's and Professor Umbridge's offices are mentioned as being Alohomora-proof.
Notes: J. K. Rowling stated that the word was from the West African Sidiki dialect used in geomancy and has the literal meaning Friendly to thieves.
Description: Cast on parchment or quills to prevent the writer from cheating whilst writing answers.
Seen/mentioned: Mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as being cast on quills and exam papers for exams at Hogwarts.[PS Ch.16]
Description: Used to prevent Disapparition and/or Apparition in an area for a period. Presumably can be used to prevent an enemy from entering a defended area, or used to trap an enemy in an area.
Seen/mentioned: Mentioned in Order of the Phoenix, used by Dumbledore to trap several Death Eaters in the Department of Mysteries.[OotP Ch.36] Also cast long ago on Hogwarts, the reason why, as Hermione quotes often throughout the series, "no one can Apparate or Disapparate inside the Hogwarts grounds."
Description: Causes instant, painless death to whomever the curse hits. There is no countercurse or method of blocking this spell; however, if someone sacrifices their life for someone else, the person who was saved will not encounter any adverse effects of any curses by the specific attacker (e.g. when Lily Potter sacrificed her life for Harry Potter at Voldemort's hands, Harry became immune to curses cast by Voldemort). One of the three Unforgivable Curses.
Survivors: Only two people in the history of the magical world are known to have survived the killing curse – Harry Potter and Voldemort; the latter was only saved by his horcruxes. Harry was hit twice directly. Phoenixes can also survive a killing curse. They burst into flame as they would do in old age and are reborn from the ashes. This occurred in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Seen/mentioned: First said (not by name) at the beginning of the first book when Harry arrives at the Dursleys' home. Seen first in Goblet of Fire against Muggle Frank Bryce, and in every book following.
Suggested etymology: During an audience interview at the Edinburgh Book Festival (15 April 2004) Rowling said: "Does anyone know where Avada Kedavra came from? It is an ancient spell in Aramaic, and it is the original of Abracadabra, which means 'let the thing be destroyed'. Originally, it was used to cure illness and the 'thing' was the illness, but I decided to make it the 'thing' as in the person standing in front of me. I take a lot of liberties with things like that. I twist them round and make them mine." Rowling's use of this name may have been influenced by Latin cadaver = "corpse".
Notes: This spell functions as the counter spell to Alohomora
Description: Changes an object's colour.
Seen/mentioned: Attempted by Ron on initial trip to Hogwarts; mentioned in Harry's Ordinary Wizarding Levels in Order of the Phoenix;[OotP Ch.31] also used by Harry on Ron's Chudley Cannon's poster when the Trace was lifted.
Description: Causes anything that the spell meets to explode in flames.
Seen/mentioned: Seen only in Deathly Hallows. In the opening chapters, it is cast by Harry to destroy the sidecar of the flying motorbike.[DH Ch.4] Later, it is used by Hermione in an attempt to kill Nagini and facilitate an escape from Bathilda Bagshot's house in Godric's Hollow.[DH Ch.17]
Description: Causes the victim to become confused, befuddled, overly forgetful and prone to follow simple orders without thinking about them.
Seen/mentioned: First mentioned in Prisoner of Azkaban, when Severus Snape suggests that Harry and Hermione had been Confunded to believe Sirius Black's claim to innocence.[PA Ch.21] In Goblet of Fire, it is suggested that a powerful Confundus Charm is responsible for the Goblet choosing a fourth Triwizard contestant.[GF Ch.17] It is first seen in action when Hermione uses it on Cormac McLaggen during Quidditch tryouts in Half-Blood Prince.[HBP Ch.11]
Description: A curse that causes great pain to the victim's eyes.
Seen/mentioned: It is suggested by Sirius in Goblet of Fire as a means for defeating a dragon for the first task of the Triwizard Tournament, and used by Krum for this purpose.[GF Ch.19, 20] Mentioned in Order of the Phoenix as cast by Madame Maxime against giants.[OotP Ch.20]
Seen/mentioned: First seen in Goblet of Fire introduced by Barty Crouch Jr. (acting as Moody) and used on a spider. Used regularly by the Death Eaters as torture, and by Voldemort as punishment, even against his servants.
Seen/mentioned: Seen twice in Deathly Hallows, it is cast by Ron to magically cause the stairs in his room to descend,[DH Ch.6] and later by Crabbe in the Room of Requirement to lower the wall behind which Ron is hiding.[DH Ch.31]
Seen/mentioned: In Goblet of Fire when Ron wants to get rid of the lace on his dress robes. In Goblet of Fire when Harry urgently wants to talk to Cedric he casts this spell to rip his bag, delaying him for class.[GF Ch.9] In Half-Blood Prince when Harry swaps the cover of the Half-Blood Prince's copy of Advanced Potion-Making with the cover of a new copy, allowing him to keep the Prince's notes under the guise of a new book.
Description: Causes the target to become invisible, or close to it.
Seen/mentioned: First in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, when Dumbledore tells Harry that he does not need a cloak to become invisible. In Order of the Phoenix, Moody casts this charm on Harry.[OotP Ch.3, 4] Xenophilius Lovegood mentions, in Deathly Hallows, that Invisibility Cloaks are sometimes created by casting a Disillusionment Charm on a regular cloak.[DH Ch.21]
Seen/mentioned: A "Growth Charm" with the same effect is briefly mentioned. Hagrid is suspected of having performed the charm on his pumpkins in Chamber of Secrets. Also seen in Goblet of Fire when Barty Crouch Jr, impersonating Moody, casts it on a spider to enhance a demonstration of the effects of the Cruciatus Curse.
Description: Used to heal relatively minor injuries. When this spell is cast, the person feels his/her injured body part go very hot and then very cold.
Seen/mentioned: Used in Goblet of Fire after the first task of the Triwizard Tournament. In Half-Blood Prince, Nymphadora Tonks uses this spell to fix Harry's broken nose; also used by Harry in the same book to fix Demelza Robins' mouth.
Suggested etymology: Greek episkeu meaning "repair, restoration".
Notes: Rowling writes in Half-Blood Prince that Harry's knowledge tells him this spell could belong to a family (or variety) of Healing Spells.
Seen/mentioned: Used in Order of the Phoenix by Snape to make Harry's potions disappear from his cauldron. In addition, when Fred and George were showing off their puking pastilles, Lee Jordan cleared the bucket of vomit with the Evanesco spell.
Notes: According to Minerva McGonagall, in Deathly Hallows, Vanished objects and organisms go "into non-being, which is to say, everything."
Description: Conjures an incarnation of the caster's innermost positive feelings, such as joy or hope, known as a Patronus. A Patronus is conjured as a protector, and is a weapon rather than a predator of souls: Patronuses shield their conjurors from Dementors or Lethifolds, and can even drive them away. They are also used amongst the Order of the Phoenix to send messages. According to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the Charm is the only known defensive spell against Lethifolds.
Seen/mentioned: First seen in Prisoner of Azkaban when a Dementor appears in the Hogwarts Express, and Hermione says that Remus Lupin repelled the Dementor by casting a silvery object from his wand. Harry's corporeal Patronus first appears in a Quidditch game, and other characters throughout the rest of the series use it.
Description: This spell is used to disarm another wizard, typically by causing the victim's wand to fly out of reach.
Seen/mentioned: First seen in Chamber of Secrets, when Snape disarms Gilderoy Lockhart in the Duelling Club; from then on it is commonly used throughout the rest of the series. Draco uses it to disarm Dumbledore and Harry used it during his first (Goblet of Fire) and last duel (Deathly Hallows) with Voldemort. As such, at the beginning of Deathly Hallows, Death Eaters consider it Harry Potter's trademark and correctly identify Harry by the sight of this spell.
Description: A spell that causes an object to explode. The force of the explosion may depend on the intent of the caster.
Seen/mentioned: Used by a Death Eater in an attempt to capture Harry in The Deathly Hallows, it struck the table that Harry was standing behind, causing an explosion that slammed him into a wall with great force.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Lupin in Prisoner of Azkaban to bind Ron's broken leg.
Description: A charm involving secret information hidden within the soul of a Secret-Keeper. This information is irretrievable until the Secret-Keeper chooses to reveal it; those who have the secret revealed to them cannot reveal it to others.
Seen/mentioned: In Prisoner of Azkaban, it is explained that when Harry was an infant, he and his parents, James and Lily Potter, were hidden from Voldemort by this charm. Later, in Order of the Phoenix, the charm is used to hide the location of the headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix. Order members in Deathly Hallows also use it to protect their homes.
Notes: Rowling previously stated that when a Secret-Keeper dies, the Secret they held can never be revealed to anyone else; the people who were told before the Secret-Keeper's death will still know the secret, but after the death of the Secret-Keeper no one new can be brought into the circle of knowledge. However, in Deathly Hallows, it is explained that upon the Keeper's death, all those who have been told the secret become Secret-Keepers in turn, and can pass the secret on to others.
Description: Dangerous, hard to control and extremely powerful cursed fire which can take the form of beasts such as serpents, Chimeras, and dragons.
Notes: It is only used by Crabbe throughout in Deathly Hallows, who Harry believes learned it from the Carrows[DH Ch.31] during their tenure as teachers at Hogwarts. Therefore, Crabbe inadvertently destroyed one of Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes.
Description: Negates many spells or the effects of many spells.
Seen/mentioned: Snape uses it in Chamber of Secrets to restore order in the Duelling Club when Harry and Draco are duelling. Lupin uses the short form "Finite" in Order of the Phoenix. It was suggested to Ron Weasley (whose appearance at the time was that of Reg Cattermole, a maintenance worker in the Ministry of Magic) that this incantation might work to stop a rainstorm in a Ministry office when Harry, Hermione and Ron infiltrated the Ministry of Magic in search of the Slytherin Locket in Deathly Hallows.
Description: With this spell, the caster's wand can leave fiery marks.
Seen/mentioned: Cast by Tom Riddle in The Chamber of Secrets to spell out 'Tom Marvolo Riddle' and unscramble it to 'I am Lord Voldemort'. Also cast by Hermione in Order of the Phoenix to identify doors of the Department of Mysteries which members of Dumbledore's Army had already opened, by marking them with an 'X'.
Description: Causes fire to become harmless to those caught in it, creating only a gentle, tickling sensation instead of burns.
Seen/mentioned: Mentioned in the first chapter of Prisoner of Azkaban in the book History of Magic which Harry is reading to do his homework. Witches and wizards used this spell during medieval burnings.
Seen/mentioned: Draco mentioned this spell when tauntingly asking Ron why would anyone cast a Flying Charm on Ron's broomstick in Order of the Phoenix during Ron's first Quidditch practice. It is also mentioned in Quidditch Through the Ages.
Description: Causes the target to become covered in boils.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Harry in Goblet of Fire on Draco, but was deflected onto Goyle instead. Also used later in the book when Draco tried to harass Harry on the Hogwarts Express and was hit with a barrage of curses, including the Furnuculus Curse (which was cast by Harry).[GF Ch.37]
Description: Creates a duplicate of any object upon which it is cast. As revealed by the goblin Griphook, any copies created are worthless. The duplicate lasts several hours. Magical properties, at least of a Horcrux, are not copied.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Hermione in Deathly Hallows to copy Salazar Slytherin's locket to hide their tracks from Umbridge.
Description: Whenever an object affected by this curse is touched, it duplicates itself into many useless copies to hide the original. To add confusion and eventually fill the surrounding area with copies, the copies also duplicate.
Seen/mentioned: Seen in Deathly Hallows when Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Griphook break into the Lestrange vault in Gringotts. Used to great effect as the room fills with useless duplicates.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Dumbledore to detect Harry under his Invisibility Cloak, but first named when used multiple times by various characters in Deathly Hallows. Also used by Hermione upon her, Ron, and Harry's arrival at Grimmauld Place after being attacked by Death Eaters in Tottenham Court Road, after the wedding.
Description: Causes an Animagus or transfigured object to assume its normal shape.
Seen/mentioned: According to Lockhart, he used it to force the Wagga WaggaWerewolf to take its human form. It was, however, used by Lupin and Sirius on the rat named Scabbers to reveal that he was Peter Pettigrew in Prisoner of Azkaban.
(Horton-Keitch Braking Charm)
Description: This spell was first used on the Comet 140 to prevent players from overshooting the goal posts and from flying off-sides.
Seen/mentioned: Mentioned in Quidditch Through the Ages as the charm that gave the Comet 140 an advantage over the Cleansweep.
Description: Causes wand to emit hot air.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Hermione Granger in Order of the Phoenix to dry off her robes. Also used shortly after to melt snow. Also was used by Albus Dumbledore in Half-Blood Prince to dry Harry's and his own robes.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Dobby silently in Chamber of Secrets to levitate a cake, of which Harry is accused. Also used by Xenophilius to clear rubble off his stairs in Deathly Hallows.
Description: Causes brooms to vibrate violently in the air and try to buck their rider off.
Seen/mentioned: In Philosopher's Stone, Quirinus Quirrell may have been casting a wordless and wandless version of this spell on Harry's broom during his Quidditch match. Flitwick suggested that Harry's confiscated Firebolt might be jinxed with this spell.
Description: This powerful spell is capable of tripping, freezing, binding, knocking back and generally impeding the target's progress towards the caster. The extent to which the spell's specific action can be controlled by the caster is not made clear. If this spell does bind, it does eventually wear off as stated in Deathly Hallows.
Seen/mentioned: Used in Goblet of Fire when Harry is practising for the third task. Also used by Madam Hooch to briefly stop Harry from fighting with Draco. Also seen toward the end of Order of the Phoenix, when Harry is fighting the Death Eaters. Stronger uses of this spell seem capable of blowing targets away.
Description: Causes the victim of the curse to obey the spoken/unspoken commands of the caster. The experience of being controlled by this curse is described as a complete, wonderful release from any sense of responsibility or worry over one's actions, at the price of one's free will. Resisting the effect of the curse is possible, however, and several individuals have been able to successfully overcome it, including Harry and both of the Crouches, who learn to resist the curse after being subjected to its effects for an extended period. Harry describes the feeling of being the caster as controlling a marionette through a wand (although Harry's particular experience is suspect due to his lack of commitment to casting Unforgivable Curses). One of the three Unforgivable Curses.
Seen/mentioned: First mentioned (not by name) in the first book when Ron told Harry that during the first war Lucius Malfoy claimed that he had been jinxed, thus evading imprisonment. First seen in Goblet of Fire introduced by Barty Crouch Jr. (acting as Moody) and used on a spider. Later seen in the book when Barty Crouch Jr., acting as Professor Moody, used it on all the students to see if they would be able to overcome it. Barty Crouch Sr. had used it on Barty Crouch Jr., who then escaped it and used it on his father before killing him in the fourth book. Used by Harry in Deathly Hallows on a Gringotts goblin and Travers, and by the Death Eaters on Pius Thicknesse.
Description: Makes objects such as doors impenetrable (by everything, including sounds and objects).
Seen/mentioned: The spell is used by Mrs Weasley in Order of the Phoenix on the door of the room in which an Order meeting was being held, to prevent her sons, Fred and George, from eavesdropping (using their extendable ears). Also mentioned in Half-Blood Prince when Harry, Ron, and Hermione followed Draco to Borgin and Burkes and used extendable ears.
Description: This spell makes something repel (literally, become impervious to) substances and outside forces, including water.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Hermione in Prisoner of Azkaban on Harry's glasses while in a Quidditch match and also by the Gryffindor Quidditch team in Order of the Phoenix, both times to allow team members to see in a driving rain. Also used in Deathly Hallows, first by Ron to protect objects in Yaxley's office from rain, and then by Hermione in an attempt to protect Harry, Ron and Griphook from the burning treasure in the Lestranges' vault.
Description: Ties someone or something up with ropes.
Seen/mentioned: An unnamed spell, presumably incarcerous, is used by Lupin to tie up Snape in the Shrieking Shack in Prisoner of Azkaban and likewise in Goblet of Fire when Pettigrew ties Harry to Tom Riddle's grave. Incarcerous itself is first heard in Order of the Phoenix, when Umbridge gets in a battle with the centaurs. Also used by Harry on the Inferi in Voldemort's Horcrux chamber, in Half-Blood Prince, and later again when Harry tries to bound Snape after the death of Dumbledore.
Description: Produces fire. Flames burst out flying.
Seen/mentioned: It is first seen in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone when Hagrid (nonverbally) produces fire out of his umbrella in the little house the Dursleys took refuge in (from the Hogwarts letters). In Half-Blood Prince, this spell is used several times in battle, for instance when Hagrid's hut is set ablaze.
Description: Detects intruders and sounds an alarm.
Seen/mentioned: Slughorn had it on a temporary Muggle owned house he was living in, allowing him to detect Dumbledore and Harry as they approached in Half-Blood Prince.
Description: Presumably affects the target's mental processes.
Seen/mentioned: During the September 1999 riot that took place during the Puddlemere/Holyhead Quidditch game.
Description: Causes the target's fingers to become almost jelly-like to make it impossible for the victim to grasp objects. If the opponent touches a wall, he/she will be stuck to it forever.
Seen/mentioned: After a June 1999 Portree/Arrows Quidditch game, the losing Seeker accused his opposite number of putting this curse on him as they both closed in on the Snitch.
Description: A jinx that renders its victim's legs temporarily useless, leaving him/her to wobble around helplessly until the effect wears off or the counter-jinx is performed.
Seen/mentioned: First mentioned as one of the jinxes in the book Curses and Counter-Curses.[PS Ch.5] First used on Harry, while practising for the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament, by Hermione.[GF Ch.31] At the end of the term, Draco, Crabbe and Goyle tried to harass Harry on the Hogwarts Express and were hit with a few hexes, curses and jinxes, including the Jelly-Legs Jinx (cast by George Weasley).[GF Ch.37]
Description: Causes the victim's knees to appear on the opposite side of his/her legs.
Seen/mentioned: In Quidditch Through the Ages, Gertie Keddle uses this hex when a man playing an early form of Quidditch comes to retrieve his ball from her garden.
Description: Allows the caster to delve into the mind of the victim, allowing the caster to see the memories, thoughts, and emotions of the victim.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Snape on Harry during Occlumency lessons in Order of the Phoenix and by Dumbledore on Kreacher. Also used nonverbally by Snape on Harry in Half-Blood Prince to allow him to see where Harry had learned the Sectumsempra spell. Used by Lord Voldemort multiple times to see Harry's thoughts.
Description: The victim is dangled upside-down by one of his/her ankles, sometimes accompanied by a flash of white light. Created by Severus Snape. Its counter curse is Liberacorpus.
Seen/mentioned: It was originally shown to be a nonverbal-only spell, but in the Deathly Hallows, the text shows that Hermione whispers it to lift Harry so he can steal the Cup of Helga Hufflepuff. Harry learns it by reading the notes written by the Half-Blood Prince. He inadvertently uses it on Ron in Half-Blood Prince. In addition, in Order of Phoenix, Harry sees (through the Pensieve) his father, James, use the spell against Snape.
Notes: Though Harry initially learns Levicorpus as a nonverbal spell, it is used verbally by James Potter in The Order of the Phoenix and by Hermione Granger in The Deathly Hallows.
Description: The counter spell to Levicorpus. Created by Severus Snape.
Seen/mentioned: Harry uses the spell in Half-Blood Prince to counteract the Levicorpus spell he inadvertently casts on Ron. Harry also casts it on himself in Deathly Hallows after managing to retrieve the Horcrux from the shelf in the Lestrange's vault.
Description: The spell is always used with the name of a target, at which the wand is pointed (e.g. "Locomotor Trunk!"). The spell causes the named object to rise in the air and move around at the will of the caster.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Tonks in Order of the Phoenix to move Harry's trunk from his room. Flitwick similarly uses it to move Sybill Trelawney's trunk after Umbridge sacks her. Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown use this spell to race their pencil cases around the edges of the table. A variation seen in Deathly Hallows is Piertotum Locomotor, which animated the suits of armour in Hogwarts.
Description: Locks the legs together, preventing the victim from moving the legs in any fashion. The target can hop when affected by this curse, but walking is impossible without the countercurse
Seen/mentioned: Used by Draco on Neville Longbottom in Philosopher's Stone. Also mentioned further on in the book as Ron and Hermione prepare to use it on Snape during a Quidditch match. Used by Harry on Draco, who deflects it, in Half-Blood Prince.
Description: Causes weather effects caused by incantations to cease.
Seen/mentioned: Suggested in Deathly Hallows by Arthur Weasley to Ron (disguised by the Polyjuice Potion as Reginald 'Reg' Cattermole from Magical Maintenance) as the best way to clear up the incessant rain in Yaxley's office at the Ministry.
Description: Conjures the Dark Mark, Voldemort's mark. It is often used to mark deaths, or cause terror (as at the Quidditch World Cup in The Goblet of Fire)
Seen/mentioned: Used by Barty Crouch Jr in Goblet of Fire. Also seen in Half-Blood Prince over the castle to lure Dumbledore to his death. Voldemort apparently invented it. According to Mr. Weasley, very few wizards know how to cast this spell.
Description: Keeps nearby people, or those to whom the wand is directed, from hearing nearby conversations.
Seen/mentioned: It is used in Half-Blood Prince by Harry and Ron on various teachers and people such as Madam Pomfrey. Hermione also uses it in Deathly Hallows in protection of the campsite where she and Harry stayed in hiding.
Seen/mentioned: In Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry and Hermione used this spell to turn off their wand-lights in the Shrieking Shack. Also used in Deathly Hallows when Harry was in the passage beneath the Whomping Willow that leads to the Shrieking Shack.
Description: Removes things not wished to be seen again.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Hermione in Order of the Phoenix to remove the footprints that she, Harry, and Ron left in the snow. Also used in Deathly Hallows by Hermione to remove the footprints she and Harry leave behind them in the snow as they journey through Godric's Hollow.
Notes: The above instances only reveal that the Obliteration Charm can remove footprints. There is no explanation as to what effect it can have on other things.
Description: Used to hide a memory of a particular event.
Seen/mentioned: First mentioned (not by name) in the Philosopher's Stone by Ron that it was used on Muggles who have seen dragons. First used in Chamber of Secrets by Lockhart who wanted to use it on Harry and Ron; the spell backfired because Ron's wand had been damaged, causing Lockhart to lose most of his own memory (which he never recovers). In Goblet of Fire, it is used by an unknown Ministry worker on Mr. Roberts and later the rest of his family. In Deathly Hallows, Hermione uses the spell on two Death Eaters who had followed Harry, Ron, and Hermione after their escape from Bill Weasley and Fleur's wedding. Also used by Hermione on Xenophilius Lovegood after destroying his house in Deathly Hallows and erasing her parents memories of herself.
Description: Packs a trunk, or perhaps any luggage.
Seen/mentioned: Used in Prisoner of Azkaban by Lupin in his office, and in Order of the Phoenix by Tonks, once verbally and again non-verbally.
(Permanent Sticking Charm)
Description: Makes objects permanently stay in place.
Seen/mentioned: First mentioned in Order of the Phoenix, Sirius suspects that his mother's painting was fixed to the wall with such a Charm. In Deathly Hallows, Harry discovers that it was used by Sirius to permanently affix his pictures to the wall in his room.
Description: Used to temporarily bind the victim's body in a position much like that of a soldier at attention; this spell does not restrict breathing or seeing, and the victim will usually fall to the ground.
Seen/mentioned: First used in Philosopher's Stone by Hermione, who was trying to prevent Neville from stopping her, Ron, and Harry from leaving the common room to hunt for the Philosopher's Stone.[PS Ch.16] It is then used throughout the rest of the series, especially during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries in Order of the Phoenix. Seen in Half-Blood Prince twice: in the beginning, Draco uses the spell against Harry on the train, and later when Dumbledore casts the spell non-verbally to make Harry freeze so he does not give himself away in the Astronomy Tower. The spell was broken when Dumbledore was killed.
Notes: The eyes of the target remain mobile, as seen in the Philosopher's Stone, and in the Deathly Hallows.
Description: Turns an object into a portkey. The object glows an odd blue colour to show it has been transformed into a portkey, then goes solid again.[OotP Ch.22]
Seen/mentioned: Used by Dumbledore in Order of the Phoenix.
Notes: Portkeys were first seen in Goblet of Fire as a means for Harry, Hermione, and the Weasleys to go to the Quidditch World Cup. However, the spell used in its creation was not seen until Order of the Phoenix when Dumbledore creates a Portkey to get Harry Potter and Fred, George, Ron, and Ginny Weasley to Grimmauld Place.[OotP Ch.22] Also requires Ministry approval to use.
Description: Causes the echo (a shadow or image) of the last spell cast by a wand to emanate from it.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Amos Diggory in Goblet of Fire to discover the last spell cast by Harry's wand after it was found in the hands of Winky, a house-elf. Mentioned in Deathly Hallows as a means of discovering that Harry had been casting spells with Hermione's wand (implying that his own was broken).
Description: Causes copies of an object to be remotely affected by changes made to the original.
Seen/mentioned: First used in Order of the Phoenix. Hermione put the charm on a number of fake Galleons. Instead of the serial number around the edge of the coin, the time and date of the next meeting of Dumbledore's Army appeared. Said to be a spell at NEWT level.
Description: The Shield Charm causes minor to strong jinxes, curses, and hexes to rebound upon the attacker, or at least prevents them from having their full effect. It can also cause a shield to erupt from the caster's wand.
Seen/mentioned: First seen in Goblet of Fire, in which Harry Potter is taught this spell by Hermione Granger in preparation for the third task in the Triwizard Tournament. Also used throughout the series. Examples are in Order of the Phoenix when Harry blocks Snape's Legilimency after a lengthy Occlumency lessons and when Harry is duelling the Death Eaters. Harry later uses this spell in Half-Blood Prince to block Snape's jinx when he was showing Ron how to cast a spell without saying a word. Harry later uses it in Deathly Hallows to separate Ron and Hermione when they are fighting.
Description: Makes an enlarged object smaller. Counter-charm to Engorgio.
Seen/mentioned: Used in Goblet of Fire by Barty Crouch Jr (as Moody) to shrink the spider he used to demonstrate the Cruciatus Curse. Harry attempts the spell in the Deathly Hallows when practising with Draco's blackthorn wand.
Description: Enables the caster to explode solid objects.
Seen/mentioned: In Goblet of Fire, Harry uses it on one of the hedges of the Triwizard maze and ends up burning a small hole in it; in Order of the Phoenix, Gryffindors in Harry's year reference Parvati Patil as being able to reduce a table full of dark detectors to ashes and Ginny Weasley uses it in the Room of Requirement during the practice and in the Hall of Prophecy, Department of Mysteries; in Half Blood Prince, a member of the Order of the Phoenix attempts to use this spell to break down a door which Death Eaters have blocked when the Death Eaters have cornered Dumbledore in the Lightning Struck Tower.
Description: Refills whatever at which the caster points with the drink originally in the container.
Seen/mentioned: Used in Half-Blood Prince, when Harry notices that Hagrid and Slughorn are running out of mead.
Description: A charm used to force someone or something to release that which it holds or grapples by means of shooting fiery sparks out or, underwater, shooting hot bursts of water.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Harry against Grindylows in the second task of the Triwizard Tournament. When used more expertly by Bob Ogden in Half-Blood Prince, it threw Marvolo Gaunt backwards after an attempted attack. Hermione uses it in Deathly Hallows to free Mrs Cattermole from the chained chair.
Description: Brings someone out of unconsciousness.
Seen/mentioned: In Goblet of Fire, Amos Diggory uses it to wake up Winky and Dumbledore uses it to wake up Krum and Barty Crouch Jr. In "Half-Blood Prince", Harry later uses it to try to reawaken a cursed Dumbledore in the seaside cave.
Suggested etymology: Officially renamed from Ennervate by J. K. Rowling
Notes: Counter spell to Stupefy; when this spell is cast, red light is emitted.
Description: Used to repair broken or damaged objects.
Seen/mentioned: Many times throughout the books. First used by Hermione, when she uses it to fix a broken window. Shattered objects are often described as having "flown" back together. However, substances contained within broken objects are not restored.
Notes: Harry used this spell twice to repair his wand in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, once with a normal wand and a second time with the "Elder Wand" or "Wand of Destiny". Only the second attempt was successful.
Description: Pushes a moving object away from an invisible barrier.
Seen/mentioned:Quidditch Through the Ages, Chapter 4. e.g. "the wizards in the crowd forced [the snidget] back with repelling spells".
Notes: This is only mentioned repelling the snidget (a small but agile bird). However context suggests the spell is a generic repelling spell, but we do not know the extent or limitations. It was used to prevent the bird escaping the confines of the quidditch pitch.
Description: Keeps Muggles away from wizarding places by causing them to remember important meetings they missed and to cause the Muggles in question to forget what they were doing in the first place.
Seen/mentioned: Mentioned in Quidditch Through the Ages as being used to keep Muggles away from the Quidditch World Cup. Hogwarts was also said to be guarded by the Muggle-Repelling Charm. Harry and Hermione also use it on numerous occasions, among many other spells, to protect and hide their campsite in Deathly Hallows.
Description: A spell used when fighting a Boggart, "Riddikulus" forces the Boggart to take the appearance of an object upon which the caster is concentrating. When used correctly, this will be a humorous form.
Seen/mentioned: First seen in Prisoner of Azkaban, when taught by Lupin. Then seen in Goblet of Fire on a boggart that was in the maze in the Third Task. Finally seen in Order of the Phoenix, when Mrs Weasley tries to cast Riddikulus on a Boggart in Grimmauld Place.
Notes: The effect depends on what the caster is thinking. Neville concentrates on his grandmother's dress, causing a Boggart in the form of Snape to appear in it.
Seen/mentioned: First used by Tonks to clean Hedwig's cage in Order of the Phoenix. Later, Ginny performs the spell to clean up Stinksap in the Hogwarts Express. While looking at Snape's memories, Harry sees James use the spell on Snape's mouth.
Description: Violently wounds the target; described as being as though the subject had been "slashed by a sword". Created by Severus Snape.
Seen/mentioned: First seen in Order of the Phoenix when Snape uses it in his memory against James, but misses and only lightly cuts his cheek. Used successfully by Harry in Half-Blood Prince against Draco, and then later against the Inferi in Voldemort's Horcrux chamber, and Snape during his flight from Hogwarts. In the opening chapters of Deathly Hallows, Snape accidentally casts this curse against George Weasley in the Order's flight from Privet Drive, though George was not his intended target. [DH Ch.3] It is known as a speciality of Snape's. [DH Ch.5]
Notes: Though Snape was able to mend the wounds inflicted on Draco by this curse with ease, with "an incantation that sounded almost like song", Mrs Weasley was unable to heal her son George when his ear was severed by the curse. It was discovered in an old copy of Advanced Potion Making by Harry; Sectumsempra was invented by Snape with the words "For enemies" written next to it.
Seen/mentioned: First used by Hermione in Order of the Phoenix to silence a frog and a raven in Charms class, then later to silence a Death Eater who was trying to use a spell against Harry Potter. It was also used by Voldemort in Deathly Hallows during the Battle of Hogwarts.
Description: A jet of green light strikes the victim, who then vomits slugs for an undefined period of time (greater than five hours). The sizes of the vomited slugs decrease with time.
Seen/mentioned: In Chamber of Secrets, Ron attempts to use it on Draco by saying "Eat Slugs"; the spell backfired and hit him instead. Mentioned in Order of the Phoenix before Gryffindor's first Quidditch Match against Slytherin when Draco taunts Ron, "Harry was reminded forcibly of the time that Ron had accidentally put a Slug-Vomiting Charm on himself".[OotP Ch.19]
Description: Magnifies the spell caster's voice, functioning as a magical megaphone
Seen/mentioned: By Ludo Bagman and Cornelius Fudge in Goblet of Fire to commentate at the Quidditch World Cup and during the Triwizard Tournament. Also used by Dumbledore to silence everyone in the Great Hall in Goblet of Fire. Used by Voldemort several times during the Battle of Hogwarts in Deathly Hallows.
Description: Causes an object to show its hidden secrets or magical properties.
Seen/mentioned: Used by Hermione to find out more of Harry's Advanced Potion-Making book in Half-Blood Prince. Used by Ernie Macmillan to find out the ingredients of a potion.
(Stealth Sensoring Spell)
Description: Detects those under magical disguise.
Seen/mentioned: In Order of the Phoenix, Umbridge casts this around her office. Also used at the entrance to the Ministry of Magic.
(Stinging Hex/Stinging Jinx)
Description: Produces a stinging sensation in the victim, resulting in angry red welts and occasionally the severe inflammation of the affected area.
Seen/mentioned: Harry inadvertently casts one on Snape during Occlumency lessons in Order of the Phoenix. Hermione casts the Stinging Hex on Harry in Deathly Hallows to purposefully distort Harry's appearance.
Description: Puts the victim in an unconscious state. Manifests as a jet of red light.
Seen/mentioned: First seen in Goblet of Fire, used by Ministry officials at the Quidditch World Cup and later against Barty Crouch Jr.. Also seen used by a number of Ministry officials against McGonagall in Order of the Phoenix. It is also taught by Harry in his Dumbledore's Army meetings and used extensively during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries against the Death Eaters. Is seen by some, including Harry himself, as the basic spell for fighting. Death Eaters, Ministry Officials, Order members and students all seem to refer to this spell as their preferred attack.
Notes: Hagrid was able to withstand multiple direct Stunners due to being half-giant, and Goblet of Fire shows six to seven wizards working in unison to Stun a single dragon.
Description: Able to possess superior senses than before.
Seen/mentioned: Mentioned by Ron outside of the Hogwarts Express during the epilogue of Deathly Hallows as a potential substitute for using mirrors while driving a car.
Description: Causes two objects to be switched for one another.
Seen/mentioned: Harry contemplates using this spell against his dragon in the first task of the Triwizard Tournament. Neville also uses this in Transfiguration class in Goblet of Fire, and accidentally transplants his ears onto a cactus.
Description: A jinx which may be placed upon a word or a name, so that whenever that word is spoken, a magical disturbance is created that alerts the caster of the Taboo to the location of the speaker. Any protective enchantments in effect around the speaker are broken when the Tabooed word is spoken aloud.
Seen/mentioned: In Deathly Hallows, this spell is placed on the word "Voldemort"; Harry, Ron and Hermione are tracked this way to Tottenham Court Road. Ron tells the other two to stop using the word as he began to fear the name might be a jinx, later discovering it to be a Taboo. The Taboo on Voldemort's name proves useful in identifying supporters of Harry Potter, since the name is so feared that only "rebels" dare speak it. Later in the book, Harry accidentally says Voldemort's name again, resulting in the trio being caught by Snatchers and taken to Malfoy Manor.
Description: Makes victim's legs dance uncontrollably, so the victim cannot control his or her movements (recalling the tarantella dance).
Seen/mentioned: First used by Draco on Harry in the Duelling Club in Chamber of Secrets. It can be stopped using Finite, as mentioned in Order of the Phoenix. It is notably used against Neville in the Department of Mysteries, causing the prophecy to be broken.
Description: Siphons material from a surface, (e.g., blood, ink, dust, etc.)
Seen/mentioned: Hermione uses this spell in Half-Blood Prince to remove blood from Harry's face, as well as to remove ink from an essay that Ron had completed previously. It was used in Deathly Hallows to clean off a handkerchief by Ron, and to dust off a picture of Gellert Grindelwald in Bathilda Bagshot's house.
Description: A curse that prevents certain information from being revealed by the individual upon whom the spell is placed. The curse manifests itself by causing the tongue to temporarily curl backwards upon itself.
Seen/mentioned: First mentioned as one of the spells in Curses and Counter-Curses.[PS Ch.5] Seen in Deathly Hallows as a deterrent to Snape, or any other unwanted visitor of Number 12 Grimmauld Place, from betraying their location to anyone else.
Seen/mentioned:Gilderoy Lockhart suggested that it was this curse that "killed" Mrs Norris after she was really found petrified on a torch bracket in Chamber of Secrets[HP2]
Description: Causes the victim of the jinx to trip and fall.[HP5]
Seen/mentioned: Used by Draco in Order of the Phoenix, to catch Harry when he was fleeing after Dumbledore's Army was discovered.
Description: Causes a vow taken by a witch or wizard to be inviolable; if he or she should break it, the consequence is death. It manifests itself as interlinking chains of fire binding the clasped hands of the people taking the Vow; the fire shoots out as a tongue of flame from the wand of the Binder (a witness to the Vow) every time the person who takes the vow makes a promise. The flames then form into the linking chains. According to Ron Weasley, the spell causes death to anyone who breaks the vow.
Seen/mentioned: Snape takes an Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa Malfoy at the beginning of Half-Blood Prince, vowing to help Narcissa's son Draco with a task given to him by Voldemort, and to finish the task should Draco prove incapable.[HBP Ch.2] Fred and George attempted to force an Unbreakable Vow upon Ron as children.
(Undetectable Extension Charm)
Description: Causes a container's capacity to be increased, without changing the object's external appearance, or its weight noticeably. The container may be carried or used as normal.
Seen/mentioned: This spell is used by Mr Weasley to allow eight people, six large trunks, two owls, and a rat to fit comfortably inside his modified Ford Anglia in Chamber of Secrets. Hermione casts this spell upon her small beaded handbag in Deathly Hallows. Probably used in Goblet of Fire to make the tents internal appearance bigger.
Description: Causes an object to become unbreakable.
Seen/mentioned: Hermione uses this spell in Goblet of Fire on a glass jar containing Rita Skeeter in her unregistered animagus form (a beetle) so as to make sure she could not return to human form.
Seen/mentioned: First seen in The Philosopher's Stone, when Flitwick's first-year class practice the spell on feathers. Later in that book, Ron performs the spell on the club of a mountain troll.[PS Ch.10] Harry uses it to hold himself up on Hagrid's motorbike much later on, in The Deathly Hallows. Later in the same book, Ron uses it to prod the knot at the base of the Whomping Willow with a twig to allow him, Harry and Hermione into the Shrieking Shack.[DH Ch.32]