If you consider yourself a wizarding world expert, please enjoy our handy A-Z (well, A-W, actually – no spells about zebras or xylophones, apparently) guide on some charming little charms and vexing hexes.
Aberto: The Opening Charm As seen in: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Sometimes, Alohomora (the Unlocking Charm) simply won’t cut it when it comes to opening things up. In the first Fantastic Beasts film, Queenie resorts to a slightly more novel charm to get into Percival Grave’s office.
Brachiabindo: The limb-binding jinx As seen in: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
What is it with wizards and sticking limbs together? We already have the Full-Body Bind and the Leg-Locker Curse. But in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Harry uses a more sophisticated binding jinx on Draco Malfoy during a kitchen duel. It does have a very fun-sounding incantation, which is probably enjoyable to say in a passionate manner while fighting your foe of many decades.
Colovaria: The Colour-Changing Charm As seen in: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Remember Ron’s little rhyme for trying to turn Scabbers yellow? Well, he would’ve been better off trying the incantation Colovaria, which you might not have known is used to cast the colour-changing charm. The spell comes up during Harry’s Charms O.W.L exam, where they are tasked with turning a rat orange. Perhaps a cheeky reference to Ron’s magical faux pas in the first book?
Dissendium: The One-Eyed Witch Spell As seen in: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
This spell is incredibly specific but helped Harry an awful lot during his third-year when he wasn’t able to visit Hogsmeade. Thankfully, Hogwarts is full of secret passages and hidden rooms, and one such secret passage led Harry straight to the wizarding village if he uses the incantation Dissendium on the One-Eyed Witch statue. Thanks to the Marauder’s Map for this one.
Entomorphis: The Insect Hex As referenced in: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
We don’t see this spell performed in the books, but Harry does wish he could ‘jinx Dudley so thoroughly he’d have to crawl home like an insect’ at one point during the fourth book. And actually, this is a proper spell that does exactly this! Sounds like the sort of thing that would really bug Dudley.
Ferula: The bandage spell As seen in: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Remus Lupin had a knack for clever little spells and magical methods to solve tricky problems. While his introduction of chocolate as a healing property impressed Madam Pomfrey, Remus also knew how to conjure bandages from thin air for an injured Ron. After all, simply knowing duelling spells is only one half of Defence Against the Dark Arts.
Glisseo: The sliding spell As seen in: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
This one is one of our favourites, because we love the idea that the very specific urge for turning a staircase into a slide has its own spell. Although this piece of magic isn’t just for fun: Hermione used it to avoid a pair of Death Eaters in the final book.
Harmonia Nectere Passus: The Vanishing Cabinet repair spell As seen in: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (the film)
This spell is a bit of a mouthful, but was incredibly useful for Draco Malfoy during the sixth story. We know in the book that Draco learnt how to repair the twin Vanishing Cabinets (one that sits in Hogwarts and one that sits in Borgin & Burkes) to create a passage for Death Eaters to infiltrate the school. This was a moment where we learnt that Draco’s magical prowess was not to be underestimated.
Inflamarae: The ignition spell As seen in: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
You may know Incendio, the fire-making spell, but there’s an even more explicit one which is good for, say, setting your Potions Master’s robes on fire in a discreet manner. Movie fans may remember Hermione using this clever little spell to cause a distraction during an eventful Quidditch match.
Levicorpus and Liberacorpus: The Dangling Jinx and the counter-jinx respectively As seen in: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Levicorpus is one of Severus Snape’s invented spells; a hobby we learnt he liked to do in Half-Blood Prince. While Levicorpus hoists the target in the air by their ankle, Liberacorpus will reverse the problem. Thankfully for Ron, Harry learnt the counter-jinx extremely quickly after accidentally hoisting him in their dormitory.
Melefors: The Pumpkin-Head Jinx As referenced in: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
A fun little spell to try for Hallowe’en, perhaps. Or perhaps not. We learn of this strange spell only in passing during Order of the Phoenix, as there is a rumour going around that Cornelius Fudge is the victim of such a jinx after his run-in with Professor Dumbledore. But we learn the incantation in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery.
Nebulus: The Fogging Spell As seen in: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
We meet a younger Albus Dumbledore in the second Fantastic Beasts film, and begin learning new magic from him almost immediately. This handy spell, Nebulus, creates a fog in a surrounding area, so he may have some privacy to discuss secret matters with Newt Scamander. We trust Dumbledore has many more tricks up his sleeve, whatever the weather.
Orchideous: The Bouquet Spell As seen in: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
A perfect spell for emergency gifts and last-minute weddings, we learn this little piece of magic from who else but wandmaker Mr Ollivander. During the Wand Weighing ceremony, Ollivander uses this nifty spell to test on Fleur Delacour’s wand.
Portus: The Portkey Spell As seen in: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
We know you know Portkeys, but do you know the incantation to create one? It’s actually quite simple, and we see Dumbledore use it with ease during Order of the Phoenix to... a kettle. Although, admittedly, Dumbledore makes any spell look easy.
Quietus: The Quietening Charm As seen in: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Quietus is the counter-charm to Sonorus, a spell that elevates the volume of your speaking voice. Ludo Bagman needed this spell at the end of the Quidditch World Cup, otherwise he would’ve had a hard time having hushed conversations for the rest of his life.
Rictusempra: The Ticking Charm As seen in: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
You perhaps remember this one from Harry’s second year, as cast on Draco Malfoy in Duelling Club. Well, it’s about time Draco cheered up.
Slugulus Erecto: The Slug-Vomiting Charm As referenced in: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
We’re not forgetting Ron vomiting up slugs in a hurry. That is a hard thing to un-remember. However, did you know the incantation for it is Slugulus Erecto? Well, now you do.
Tergeo: The Wiping Spell As seen in: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
This spell reminds us a little of Scourgify, the cleaning spell. This more located spell was used by Hermione to clean off dried blood from Harry after Draco Malfoy broke his nose. Thank Merlin for Hermione.
Ventus: The Windy Spell As seen in: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Another spell from Fantastic Beasts now, and another spell that magically influences the weather. Newt Scamander used this spell (which creates a 'hurricane for one') to get away from Stebbins the Auror. Talk about winding someone up.
Waddiwasi: The Projectile Jinx As seen in: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
We know you know this one, but we had to end on one of our favourites. Yes, this is the smart little spell that Professor Lupin uses on Peeves when the poltergeist tries to put chewing gum in a keyhole. Simply cast Waddiwasi and the chewing gum will shoot up the poltergeist’s nostril. Ingenious.
How many of our spells had you heard of? Try our obscure spells quiz now you’ve done your homework.