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The Spells, Charms and Incantations of Harry Potter

Updated on September 16, 2012

Harry Potter is a story about a boy who, at a very young age, discovers that he is a Wizard! When Harry was just a little baby his parents were killed by an evil dark Wizard but Harry had survived the attack. He was then adopted by his Muggle (non-magical) Aunt and Uncle who treated Harry like dirt his entire life. He was always given hand me down clothes and was forced to live under the stairs in a small closet. His entire life Harry was unaware of his magical abilities because his aunt and uncle refused to tell him that he was a wizard. At the age of 11, a messenger Owl from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry appeared at Harry’s house to extend him an invitation of acceptance into the school.

Harry’s aunt and uncle were so appalled by this that they immediately moved away to a place that they ‘thought’ that the messenger owls could not reach them. However, on the night of Harry’s 11th birthday, a giant named “Hagrid” came to him and told him all about the school and the fact that Harry was a wizard. Harry was very surprised but very excited and quickly agreed to leave his Aunt and Uncle so that he could go to school at Hogwarts.

Harry learned many things at the school of Hogwarts; including a lot of spells, charms and incantations that he could use in his day to day life. Some were defensive spells to aid him in the event of an attack, some were fun things that had no real use but to entertain, and many more.

I am here to give an example of some of the spells that Harry learned at Hogwarts. I will not be going over all of the spells because there are just too many to list. I will however, list some of the most popular and more helpful spells.


Wands are these objects in the shape of a stick that a witch or wizard must purchase before starting at Hogwarts. Most spells require you have a wand when you cast, or they will not work, regardless of how powerful the wizard is. Some spells may be cast without a wand if the Witch or Wizard is powerful enough.

In the Sorcerer’s Stone Harry goes to Diagon Alley with Hagrid and goes into the shop of Ollivander’s to purchase his wand. Harry has a very interesting experience when he gets his wand. As the shop owner, Ollivander states: The Wand chooses the wizard. A wizard can use just about any wand they can get their hands on, however a wizard cannot show his or her true potential unless they have the proper wand.


Fun Spells…

Avifors-Summons birds from your wand.

Engorgio- Makes an object grow in size.

Reducio- Makes an object grow smaller in size. It is a counterpart to Engorgio.

Incendio- Causes a fire to start.

Lumos- Causes a light to emit from the tip of your wand. This is used just like a flash light.

Nox- is the counterpart to lumos. It causes the light from your wand to go away.

Reducto- blasts away solid objects. This spell can be used for clearing a pathway in which objects are blocking.

stupefy compilation

Combat Spells…

Confundus- Confuses your opponent.

Stupefy- Stuns your opponent and knocks them back.

Ennervate- Counters stupefy.

Expelliarmus- Disarms your opponent, causing their wand to fly off to the side out of reach.

Immobulus-this spell causes the target to become immobile.

Petrificus Totalus- This spell ‘Petrifies’ the person, causing them to become very stiff and unable to move. This spell is used early on in the series against Neville Longbottom.

Occlumency Lesson

Protego- This spell conjures a protective shield that rebound’s the spell back at the attacker.

This was used in the Order of the Phoenix when Snape attempts to use legilimens for occlumency lessons on Harry.

Harry casts Protego and it rebounds to Snape and Harry sees Snape’s memories instead of the other way around. When Harry saw into Snapes mind, he saw some very interesting things about his father that he didn't know.

The Unforgivable Curses…

The Unforgivable Curses are just as stated: unforgivable. As Hermione states in Goblet of Fire ‘The use of any one of them…’ followed by Mad Eye Moody replying ‘…Will grant you a one way ticket to Azkaban’. Azkaban being the Wizard prison in the Harry Potter world.

These spells were all performed in the class room during the movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in Mad Eye Moody’s class as an ‘educational’ experience.

Imperious Curse- You say: Imperio. This spell controls a person and forces them to do your bidding.

Cruciatus Curse- The torture curse. You say: Crucio. This spell will cause the person to be in horrible pain and agony while you keep the spell casting on him.

Avada Kedavra- This is the worst of the three. When you say Avada Kedavra, the person you cast towards is instantly killed.

The Unforgivable Curses

Other Spells and Charms…

Accio- Summons a desired item to you.

Alohomora- is an unlocking spell.

Obliviate- Causes the targets memory to be erased.

Legilimens- Allows the caster to see into the mind and memories of the target.

Morsmorde- Conjures the ‘Dark Mark’. The Dark Mark is the spell by Lord Voldemort to rally his followers.

Repairo- Repairs a broken object.


Riddikulus- Used as a protective spell against boggarts. A boggart takes the form of your biggest form. Casting Riddikulus will transform the boggart into something humorous.

Expecto Patronum- When at its highest power, this spell summons a patronus in the form of an animal. This spell is used to fight ‘Dementors’. Dementors are these hooded ghost-like figures that guard the Azkaban prison.

The dementors kill you by first sucking out your soul. They force you to relive your worst memory and suck out all happiness you have. In order to produce the Patronus spell, you have to clear your mind and think of your happiest memory. Allowing this memory to fill you up and extend into your soul, counteracts the horrors that the Dementor is trying to unleash on you, thus expelling it away.

Hope you all enjoyed my list of spells. I may end up putting more spells on this list as I come across the time to do so.

If you haven't read the Harry Potter books, I highly recommend you do so and check out my hub on "5 Reasons to Read the Harry Potter Books". These are great books and you wont regret reading them.

Even if you aren't a big fan of reading, watch the movies! The movies are wonderful. While they don't always give the books 100% justice, they are still very good. I recommend them!

Do you like the Harry Potter Movies or Books better?

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    • film critic profile image

      film critic 4 months ago

      Excellent! A practical hub on Harry Potter. At work, in the face of even the smallest problem, everyone jokes, "why don't you just use the _______ spell?" I will print these up for a quick reference. :) The most common one used, however, which I don't see here is - leviosa.

    • Amanda6868 profile image

      Amanda M 2 years ago from Unknown

      I am such a Harry Potter geek! Thanks so much for putting this together.

    • Author Susan Faw profile image

      Susan Faw 3 years ago from Crystal Beach Ontario

      Harry Potter is simply the best! Thanks for sharing

    • CrazedNovelist profile image

      A.E. Williams 5 years ago from Hampton, GA

      I loved Harry Potter and still do!! I remember the movies really well and I really should one day reread all the books. I found the link to this off of my own hub! lol... that's what's so funny about this. Good work. :)

    • missa72542 profile image

      Melissa White 5 years ago from Arkansas

      Thanks :)

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      My nieces are fond of reading the Harry Potter series. I'm the counterpart as I watch all the movie versions.

      Thanks for the spells! Lumos!!!! (lol!)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I hate to admit this but I never liked the Potter series. Oh well, I do understand why so many others did, though, so nice job on this hub! I'm sure many will read it.