We know you’re familiar with Expelliarmus and can probably shine a light on Lumos. But do you know your Accio from your Anteoculatia? Our handy guide on the ultimate spells across the Harry Potter series will ensure you’re the toast of Hogwarts.

Warning! There are some mild spoilers ahead. If you haven’t read all the Harry Potter books, you might want to turn back now…

The basics

1. Wingardium Leviosa
With a simple swish and flick you can use this spell to levitate objects… as long as you get the incantation right. Remember that it’s Levi-o-sa not Leviosaaa.

2. Expelliarmus
It might be a relatively simple spell but do not underestimate the power of the Disarming Charm. There’s a reason it became Harry’s signature move…this spell will knock another wizard or witch’s wand out of their hand. You can even see it in the incantation: the spell is comprised of combined Latin – meaning roughly to ‘drive out a weapon’.

3. Lumos
Want a way to read under the covers when it’s supposed to be lights out? Walking down a street at night and need a little extra illumination? It’s suddenly night-time and the light switch is inconveniently on the other side of the room? Then you need Lumos, the Wand-Lighting charm. Mutter the incantation and watch your wand glow.

4. Nox
So, your wand is lit up like a Christmas tree, but now you crave a bit of darkness? This is where Nox comes into play. The opposite of Lumos, it extinguishes the light at the end of your wand.

5. Accio
This spell allows you to summon objects whether they’re in your line of vision or out of it. From summoning a Firebolt to take on a nesting dragon to having that cup of tea fly from the kitchen to your outstretched hand, it comes in handy.

6. Alohomora
If there’s a pesky locked door that needs opening, then we recommend the Unlocking Charm. It proved to be useful when Harry, Ron and Hermione needed to make a quick escape from Filch. Unfortunately, that particular door led to a giant three-headed dog… but when faced with an irate caretaker or Fluffy, we’d rather face the latter.

7. Colloportus
Ok, so now you can unlock things, but what about sealing them? That’s what Colloportus is for. Harry, Hermione, Neville and Luna, all used it to lock the doors of the Department of Mysteries behind them as they were chased by Death Eaters. Way faster than cumbersome, jangling keys.

8. Expecto Patronum
Also known as the Patronus Charm, this incantation uses the power of a happy memory to create a positive force that acts as a protective magical guardian against Dementors (and a couple of Slytherins gate-crashing a Quidditch match). Already a difficult spell, it takes a great deal of skill to produce a corporeal Patronus – which takes the form of an animal that the spell caster has the deepest affinity with.

Fun fact! Even though he had the ability to produce a corporeal (AKA a more fuller, more formed) Patronus, Remus Lupin always opted not to, as it took the form of a wolf – which he despised.

9. Riddikulus
Boggarts are nasty shape-shifting creatures that take the form of whatever you fear most. Laughter is the way to defeat them, and this is achieved using the Boggart-Banishing Charm – Riddikulus. Think of something funny whilst saying this incantation and the Boggart will take on a comical form… like Snape in the clothes of Neville’s grandmother (he really suited that vulture-topped hat). When it comes to your fears, laughing in the face of them usually does the trick.

PMARCHIVE-WB F3 Riddikulus SnapeBoggart HP3-FX-24 1cdPehkn2aAIaqC8Uws6O0-b16

10. Obliviate
Gilderoy Lockhart was a whizz at this memory-altering spell. Once his unsuspecting target had divulged their most interesting stories – whether that’s battling a banshee or gadding with ghouls – he simply had to say the incantation, wipe their memory and then write his next bestseller by passing off their stories as his own. Other wizards and witches would often use this spell on Muggles, should they accidentally see any magical occurrences.

11. Petrificus Totalus
The Body-Bind Curse that causes a person’s limbs to lock so they cannot move (except their eyes) is useful against enemies… and sometimes friends. Neville was once on the receiving end of this curse when he tried to stop the golden trio from sneaking out, and Hermione used it against him. It all worked out in the end: Neville’s stoic attitude against his friends earnt him a vital 10 points for Gryffindor, even if he might’ve been scared stiff.

12. Stupefy
The Stunning Spell renders its target unconscious. However, you need to be careful with this one as it can cause damage – especially if a person is hit by more than one. Professor McGonagall had four hit her in the chest at once and ended up having to be transported to St Mungo’s.

Spells that are a little more niche

13. Slugulus Erecto
Remember when Ron Weasley told Malfoy to ‘eat slugs’ and it went spectacularly wrong? Well, what Ron was trying to do was cast Slugulus Erecto – the spell that causes the target to vomit, you guessed it, slugs. Incredibly gross but incredibly useful for enemies… as long as your wand is intact.

14. Anteoculatia
Who wouldn’t want antlers? You? Ok, who wouldn’t want the ability to give your enemy a pair of antlers – as a practical joke of course? Pansy Parkinson ended up with a rather fetching pair during her time as a member of Umbridge’s Inquisitorial Squad… oh deer.

15. Rictusempra
This is a spell that is guaranteed to give you the giggles. Rictusempra is the Tickling Charm – perfect for both your friends and your enemies. Harry once used it on Malfoy who was so overwhelmed by the tickling sensation that he fell to his knees in fits of laughter.

16. Cantis
Who doesn’t love a singalong? With the Singing Charm you can make anyone join in with you. Remember the suits of armour that sang carols at Christmas? They were all under this spell.

17. Locomotor Wibbly
We had to include a spell which had a name as entertaining as this one! The Jelly Legs Jinx is one to make you giggle. Imagine casting it upon an unsuspecting friend and watching as they wibble-wobble all over the place – fun! Hermione once used it on Harry when he was training for the Triwizard Tournament, and he had to walk around with wobbly blancmange legs for ten whole minutes.


18. Tarantallegra
Yet another leggy entry! This spell is the Dancing Jinx and causes your target’s legs to begin dancing uncontrollably. We can think of a few times that this might come in handy… especially for a bit of light-hearted revenge. Your rival is making a big speech? Boom! Suddenly their legs are moving faster than the cast of Riverdance. Your enemy is slow dancing with the person you like? Let’s make it a quickstep… the possibilities are endless.

19. Glisseo
Why walk everywhere when you can slide? If we could wield the Sliding Spell that flattens stairs into chutes, we would never set foot on a top step again. Hermione once used this spell to quickly escape from Death Eaters – who says practicality can’t be fun!

20. Lapifors
Hey, do you have a sudden urge to cuddle a soft bunny rabbit? No problem. Lapifors is an incredibly specific spell that can turn small creatures into rabbits. Even household pests, like gnomes, can be transformed into them apparently. Perhaps the Weasley family secretly liked hurling them across the garden.

Spells that are Dark but important to the stories…

21. Morsmordre
This incantation is used by Death Eaters to conjure the Dark Mark – Voldemort’s symbol. The image of a skull with a snake tongue is terrible enough, but when it is cast, it often signals that something terrible has happened in that location. In Half-Blood Prince, it loomed over Hogwarts school and on that same night Dumbledore was killed.

Barty Crouch Jr conjuring Dark Mark

22. Sectumsempra
This spell was invented by a certain Half-Blood Prince, otherwise known as Severus Snape. He was an angry teenager if this creation, the Laceration Curse, is anything to go by. Unfortunately, Harry once used it on Draco (unaware of its effects) and Malfoy was badly injured. Long bloody gashes appeared as if he had been slashed by a sword. Ironically, it was only thanks to the creator of this spell, Snape, that he survived.

23. Crucio
Now we move onto the Unforgivable Curses, so called because they are, well, unforgivable. The Cruciatus Curse inflicted intense, excruciating pain on the target. It was used by Bellatrix Lestrange to torture Hermione Granger. She also used it to torture Neville’s parents into insanity. They ended up spending the rest of their lives, unaware of who they were, on a ward at St Mungo’s.

24. Imperio
The second of these three heinous spells is the Imperious Curse. It places the targets completely under the caster’s control. Although it doesn’t directly cause pain or death it is dangerous. For example, the Death Eater, Corban Yaxley, placed Pius Thicknesse under this curse to act as Voldemort's puppet Minister for Magic.

Interestingly, those with an exceptional strength of will are able to resist it – as Harry demonstrated in Moody’s Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson.

25. Avada Kedavra
The most evil spell of them all – the Killing Curse. If you cast this on someone, and really mean it, you can callously and quickly kill them with a jet of green light. It was how Harry’s parents were murdered. Yet, there was one person who escaped this spell not once but twice – The Boy Who Lived… though you probably know him as Harry Potter.

PMARCHIVE-WB F5 Bellatrix spell HP5-FX-00577r 2lS53SiA7SiqQcCOmag0yU-b6