The magic of the Harry Potter world has stunned and inspired wonder in the fans who read every book, watched every movie, and played every game that featured it. The halls of Hogwarts were filled with the sound of students learning how to levitate objects or fly on broomsticks. When Harry, Hermione, and Ron weren’t busy battling the malevolent forces of Voldemort and his Death Eaters, they had to contend with McGonagall’s lectures on Transfiguration or the wailing of Mandrakes in Professor Sprout’s class. The subjects each student must learn to survive in the world of magic are limitless.
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People like Fred and George Weasley have used magic to play pranks on people or in whatever mischief they’re up to. Hermione has used magic to attend classes with overlapping timeslots because she wanted to ensure she learned as much as possible. Ron had some poor attempts at changing the color of his rat Scabbers. Voldemort used it to commit atrocious acts in the wizarding world. One of the biggest assets a wizard has is their ability to cast spells which have different power and applications. Each spell featured here is ranked from weakest to strongest throughout the Harry Potter mythos.
Colovaria is a charm that enables a wizard to change the color of any object or animal that they want. That’s it. There’s nothing more to the charm than a change in color. It may have some practical application, but it was never shown in the books or films. Its use is seen at the end of Sorcerer’s Stone when Dumbledore revealed that Gryffindor had won the House Cup, an award given out at the year’s end, and changed the Slytherin banners to Gryffindor.
It was also used poorly by Ron Weasley on the Hogwarts Express.
His brothers, Fred and George, convinced the young Weasley that a poem “incantation” would turn his rat Scabbers yellow. Ron recited, “Sunshine daisies, butter mellow, turn this stupid, fat rat yellow” with no effect. This could be due to Scabbers not being an actual rat, but an animagus, a witch/wizard transformed into an animal.
Some of these incantations are absolutely hilarious to think about. This one in particular is one of those funnier ones because it’s application can be so limited. Cantis is a spell that will force the target to start singing completely out of the control.
It’s a spell that was used in Goblet of Fire during Christmastime by the professors at Hogwarts to enchant the Suits of Armor to sing.
Unfortunately, the singing didn’t sound too great from the Suits of Armor and it seems that the spell might work better if the target of the incantation was a person. During one of the suit’s attempts at “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” it forgot half the lyrics which Peeves took advantage of to sing inappropriate words to fill the gaps. This spell was also featured in Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 in a DLC pack.
The Densaugeo incantation is a hex designed to elongate its targets teeth into deformed growths that grew at an incredibly fast pace. It is a scary spell to have inflicted on one, but to think about it used on a friend that you wanted to play a prank on is really funny.
This particular spell was used during Goblet of Fire by Draco Malfoy in a duel with Harry Potter, but he missed Potter and hit Hermione Granger and Gregory Goyle.
This is another spell featured in Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 as a part of a DLC pack that includes a bunch of other silly spells. The hex in the game elongates the teeth to look almost like rabbit teeth. The spell also gives the target a Groucho Marx mustache, glasses, and eyebrows to make the person look even more ridiculous.
Defodio, or the Gouging Spell, is used to gouge out pieces of a stone or earth. The spell can be found in the Book of Spells by Miranda Goshawk.
She informs the witch or wizard that the spell can help to make any heavy labor turn into a simple movement of the wand.
She states how practical it would be for herbologists digging for seeds as well as treasure hunters or curse-breakers who need to reach places that are hard to go to. When Harry, Ron, and Hermione were trapped in the tunnels of Gringotts Wizarding Bank, they used this spell to escape on the back of a dragon chained there, its last security measure. Another time that the Gouging Spell was used may have been after Dobby’s death. It’s possible that Harry used it to carve “Here lies Dobby, a free elf” into his gravestone, but this isn’t confirmed.
This spell is one of the more famous spells in the wizarding world. Alohomora, aka The Thief’s Friend, is a charm that unlocks and opens any doors or windows that don’t have other magical protection. However, it can open any doors that were locked using the Colloportus or Locking Spell. Its origin is based out of somewhere in Africa, but was brought to Britain in the 17th Century.
It was used by Hermione in Sorcerer’s Stone with Harry and Ron to get passed the forbidden entrance into the third-floor corridor at Hogwarts.
She used it two other times during her time at the school. One of which she used to help Sirius Black escape from Professor Filius Flitwick’s office and rescue him. Lord Voldemort also used this spell to break into Lily and James Potter’s house to take them out.
Confundo is a charm that befuddles and confuses the target which could be a person or an object (should that object have a consciousness). The spell wouldn’t only give a target a set standard amount of confusion, but instead has varying degrees of confusion that can be cast on the target.
The person or object could be confused about a particular event or could cause so much confusion that could be potentially dangerous.
Snape had told Harry, Ron, and Hermione that they had been incanted with this spell by Sirius Black to have them believe he was innocent during Prisoner of Azkaban, but it wasn’t true. Ronald Weasley also admitted that he had used the spell on his muggle driving examiner, so that he could pass his test to get his license.
14. HOMENUM REVELIO
The Homenum Revelio is a spell that can alert the spellcaster to the presence of a human in their surrounding environment.
The spell will mark the body to indicate to the witch or wizard of a person in the vicinity.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t let the spellcaster know what the person they revealed looks like and it also can be felt by the target as “swooping” motion underneath them. On a couple of occasions that Harry and Ron used the invisibility cloak in Sorcerer’s Stone and Prisoner of Azkaban, Dumbledore cast the spell non-verbally to detect their presence. It was also used by Hermione in The Deathly Hallows after she, Ron, and Harry escaped a Death Eater attack at Bill Weasley’s and Fleur Delacour’s wedding. She used it at 12 Grimmauld Place, Sirius Black’s family home, to make sure they were safe there.
The spell Depulso is actually a counter-charm to the spell Accio which summons an object to the witch or wizard while Depulso banishes a person or object. This is a spell that is learned by Fourth Year students at Hogwarts in their Charms class. As Neville Longbottom tried learning the spell in class with Professor Flitwick, the teacher ended up flung around the room as Longbottom’s aim wasn’t good.
This spell isn’t featured in the books, but it is a spell that is learned in the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban video game.
While it is technically a spell that Fourth Years at Hogwarts are supposed to learn, Hermione asks Ron and Harry if they remember how to use it in the game. They probably learned it before from Hermione who may have learned it in her free time.
Duro is another spell that came straight out of Miranda Goshawk’s Book of Spells. The incantation makes its target (usually an object) turn into stone. Goshawk states in her book that this spell is usually used by students looking to prank their friends by turning something like a “pumpkin pasty” into stone right before they would take a bite of it. She also cautions students against trying to use it on their professors.
The Hardening Charm’s first appearance was in The Deathly Hallows when Hermione used it during the Battle of Hogwarts.
A couple of Death Eaters that were chasing her, Ron, and Harry through the castle got wounded by running right into a tapestry that she turned to stone. Duro, the name of the spell, is derived from Latin which means “harden” or “stiffen.”
Reducio, or The Shrinking Charm, is a spell that allows a witch or wizard to make their target physically smaller internally and externally. Miranda Goshawk, the author of Book of Spells, recommends that this spell should be learned with the Engorgement Charm which will make its target increase physically. She says the two should be learned together in case an enthusiastic student might want to reverse the effects of their spell.
The Shrinking Charm was used by Madam Poppy Pomfrey, the matron at Hogwarts who tended to many of the trios ailments as well as others.
She used this spell on Hermione after Draco Malfoy hexed her with the Densaugeo, a spell that enlarges and deforms a person’s teeth. It was also used by Barty Crouch Jr., when he was impersonating Mad-Eye Moody, after he used the Engorgement Charm on a spider.
The Draconifers incantation is used to transform any small object into a dragon which can be controlled by the witch or wizard who cast it. It is a transfiguration spell that is taught by Professor McGonagall to her Third Year students at Hogwarts. The dragons that the spell transforms from an object are less powerful versions of an actual dragon and their size would depend on the size of the object it was transfigured from.
It’s possible this spell was used on the small model dragons used in the First Task of the Triwizard Tournament, which indicated which dragon a wizard would face.
Confringo, aka the Blasting Curse, is a spell that anything its targeted with explodes instantly. It is a spell that is extremely dangerous because if it is used irresponsibly it can cause serious harm.
This curse is used popularly in Wizarding Duels, as it can cause effective damage against an opponent depending on the power behind it.
During the First Wizarding War, this spells use has been speculated in the eliminating of 12 Muggles by the Death Eater Peter Pettigrew. Pettigrew used the Blasting Curse to decimate a street, but instead killed 12 Muggles in the process and effectively damned Sirius Black to Azkaban. The Ministry of Magic found Black guilty for the Muggle’s deaths, as well as Peter Pettigrew’s, though we later found out the truth.
This is a spell that Harry found in his copy of Advanced Potion Making in the Half-Blood Prince. It’s an incantation that cuts or slashes the target a witch or wizard chooses. It was a curse created by the Half-Blood Prince himself, Severus Snape, which he made likely to use against the Marauders, a group of kids (featuring James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew) who he considered enemies.
It was used by Harry Potter when he confronted Draco Malfoy in Moaning Myrtle’s Bathroom without realizing the severity of the damage it would inflict.
Its use horrified and filled the young wizard with deep guilt as he didn’t wish to hurt Malfoy that much. It can be healed with the song-like spell Vulnera Sanentur, but medical attention would still be required.
The Expelliarmus spell is an incantation that’s usually used in wizarding duels. It is also known as the Disarming Charm which is a defensive spell that forces the target of the spell to release whatever they are holding at that moment. The reason it’s used in wizarding duels so frequently is that if it is used correctly it could enable the opponent to let go of their wand, leaving them effectively harmless.
This spell became Harry Potter’s signature move during combat or in a situation when he needed to get something out of someone’s hand.
He used it to take back Tom Riddle’s journal after Draco Malfoy stole it, mistaking it for Harry’s own personal diary. The spell is also credited for taking out Voldemort, as the Killing Curse that he cast on Harry may have rebounded by Harry’s Expelliarmus.
6. BOMBARDA MAXIMA
This is a charm that is actually the bigger and badder version of a spell called Bombarda, which causes a small explosion. Instead, the spell Bombarda Maxima is used to target an object to make a much larger explosion.
It is a spell that isn’t used in applications that require stealth as the noise and damage created wouldn’t be so easily hidden.
The spell is used by Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix film to break the walls of the Room of Requirement to discover what Harry and his classmates were doing in there. They were learning techniques that they would’ve been taught in their Defense Against The Dark Arts class, but couldn’t because Umbridge, the headmaster at the time, had forbidden practicing any spells in that class.
Obliviate is a Memory Charm that is also known as the Forgetfulness Charm, which is used to remove the memories of an individual’s mind. It is different from the charm that puts in false memories. This Memory Charm is used to erase very specific memories from a person’s mind. If the charm is used irresponsibly it can actually remove large portions of a person’s memory and cause brain damage.
This spell was heartbreakingly used by Hermione Granger on her parents during the Second Wizard War.
She used it on them to forget they had a daughter, so Hermione could go on the run with her friends in Deathly Hallows. It was also possibly used on Hermione’s parents as they weren’t witches or wizards, but simply muggles which meant they’d be in danger if they participated in the war.
Imperio, or the Imperius Curse, is a spell of the Dark Arts and is one of the three Unforgivable Curses, which if used would mean dire consequences for that witch or wizard. This sinister curse, if successfully cast, will enable the spellcaster to have control over their target. However, the curse can be resisted by a person who has a significant amount of willpower.
It is unique because it is the least harmful one of the three Unforgivable Curses, unless it is performed improperly.
The Imperius Curse was created in the Middle Ages by dark witches or wizards to coerce and brainwash its targets into slavery. Death Eaters used the curse during the First and Second Wizarding War to force innocent people to do their bidding. Lucius Malfoy had used it on Broderick Bode and Sturgis Podmore in an attempt to steal a prophecy from the Ministry of Magic.
3. EXPECTO PATRONUM
Expecto Patronum, or the Patronus Charm, is an extremely powerful defensive spell that is the only line of protection against a Dementor or Lethifolds. It is extremely complicated and difficult to cast, as it requires an intense concentration and the use of a happy memory from the spellcaster.
It conjures a partially-tangible force of positive energy or “spirit guardian.”
The type of Patronus that protects against a Dementor is the corporeal one, which means it takes the shape of something. An incorporeal Patronus has no shape and no defensive application against Dementors, but can be used to obscure one’s face with light. This spell was used in Prisoner of Azkaban by Harry Potter to save himself from Dementors when he went back in time with Hermione to save Sirius Black.
2. AVADA KEDAVRA
Avada Kedavra, aka the Killing Curse, is one of the three deemed Unforgivable Curses in the wizarding world. When the curse is cast on a target, it will end them instantaneously and painlessly without leaving any mark of violence.
The only known protection against this sinister spell is an act of sacrificial protection, which uses the power of love.
This was illustrated in Harry Potter’s survival when his mother stood between him and the Dark Lord.
“Mad-Eye” Moody (impersonated by Barty Crouch Jr.) used the Curse during one of his Defense Against The Dark Arts classes on a spider to demonstrate the severity of the curse in Goblet of Fire. It was also infamously used by Lord Voldemort countlessly to demonstrate his evil and sadistic treatment of those who went against him. Bellatrix also used it to take out Harry’s uncle, Sirius Black.
Crucio, more popularly known as the Torture Curse, is another of the three Unforgivable Curses, categorized by the Ministry of Magic for its sinister applications. When a witch or wizard successfully casts this spell on their target, it inflicts extreme pain to the victim.
The use of this spell is deemed an immediate lifelong sentence to the witch or wizard who cast it because of its sheer brutality.
While the curse doesn’t cause any actual physical damage to its victim, it is believed to stimulate the pain receptors of a human which causes the grueling torture. Neville Longbottom’s parents were subjected to the pain and suffering of this curse by the Death Eaters Bellatrix, Rabastan Lestrange, and Barty Crouch Jr. Unfortunately, the torture was so great that Neville’s parents went insane.
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