Do You Remember What These Harry Potter Spells Do?

By: Brittany Rowland

In the first "Harry Potter" book, Hermione lectures Ron on the correct pronunciation of this spell. Then she shows everyone in Charms class exactly how it's done, levitating a feather.

The Killing Curse is one of the three Unforgivable Curses because it causes instantaneous death for its target. Using this curse earns the witch or wizard a one-way ticket to Azkaban Prison!

The Patronus Charm protects witches and wizards from soul-sucking Dementors. A Patronus is a glowing guardian in the form of an animal. Harry's, for instance, is a stag, like his father's.

The Cruciatus Curse causes its target severe pain, which is why it's forbidden by the Ministry of Magic. It's also one of the curses favored by Voldemort and his Death Eaters, the baddies.

Shouting "Expelliarmus" will cause your opponent's wand to fly out of their hand. It's a popular spell in duels and can even disarm more than one person at once if they're standing close together.

This simple Unlocking Spell is also called the Thief's Friend because it allows the user to discreetly open a locked door. However, a person can bewitch a door to keep "Alohomora" from working.

By using the "Portus" spell, a witch or wizard can turn any ordinary object into a Portkey. Touching a Portkey transports a person to a specific location, but involves some discomfort.

The Tickling Charm sounds harmless, but if you've ever been tickled mercilessly, you know that it's no joke (even if you're laughing uncontrollably). Harry uses this spell on Draco in a duel.

A Boggart appears in the form of whatever you fear most, but disappears when you laugh. The "Riddikulus" spell turns the Boggart into something silly, which helps you defeat it with your chuckles.

Wands are like smartphones in the sense that they function as a handy-dandy flashlight. But if you want to extinguish the light at the end of the wand, all you have to say is "Nox."

The Stunning Spell is a useful curse if you want to temporarily disable someone but not harm them. Harry himself refers to it as a "wizard's bread and butter" in the "Order of the Phoenix" film.

Severus Snape created this charm as a student, and it's certainly a handy one for students who don't want to be overheard talking by the professor! All other people will hear is a strange buzzing sound.

In the first Harry Potter film, Hermione repairs Harry's glasses with this charm, showing herself to already be a skilled witch. "Reparo" is a general mending charm to fix anything.

We can think of so many situations where the Summoning Charm would be perfect. You'd never have to get up for snacks while watching TV again! Harry learns it in his fourth year at Hogwarts.

The spell's name is inspired by the Tarantella, an Italian dance. The Dancing Feet Spell makes a person have uncontrollable leg spasms. The result is it looks like they're dancing!

Anytime a witch or wizard needs clean drinking water, they can simply use the "Aguamenti" spell with their wand. This spell can also be used to fight fires — unless it's Fiendfyre, of course.

"Episkey" is a healing charm that works on minor injuries. For instance, after Draco smashes Harry's nose on the Hogwarts Express in "The Half-Blood Prince," Tonks fixes it with "Episkey."

Hermione gets hit with this hex accidentally, and her already prominent front teeth start growing down to her chin. Luckily Madam Pomfrey is able to fix them. Who needs orthodontia at Hogwarts?

Dumbledore can use a nonverbal version of this spell to tell when someone's hidden under an Invisibility Cloak (Hello, Harry). It works on people, but apparently not on elves or goblins.

"Incendio" is a Fire-Making Spell, akin to Muggles' lighters or matches. It's a basic spell taught to First Years at Hogwarts, and wizards and witches use it regularly, such as to light the fireplace.

To save the Philosopher's Stone, Hermione uses the Full Body-Bind Curse on her friend Neville. Poor Longbottom! At least Dumbledore acknowledges his courage at the House Cup ceremony.

Poor Harry needed Skele-Gro after incompetent Professor Lockhart made his arm bones disappear with a botched "Brackium Emendo" healing spell. Best to leave the spell to Madam Pomfrey, the school nurse!

Megaphones aren't necessary in the wizarding world! The Amplifying Charm works perfectly at raucous, celebratory events, like the Quidditch World Cup and the Triwizard Tournament.

The Latin word for serpent is "serpens." Draco uses this spell while dueling Harry in "Chamber of Secrets," and Harry unwittingly reveals that he's a Parselmouth — someone who can speak to snakes!

A witch or wizard can use the Memory Charm to remove specific memories in a target's mind. They frequently use "Obliviate" on Muggles to keep non-magical people in the dark about the magical world.

Using the Reverse Spell reveals what spell a wand last performed. For instance, in "Goblet of Fire," Voldemort's wand reveals ghostly images of the people he had recently killed. Poor Cedric!

"Relashio" is the Revulsion Jinx, which forces someone to let go of whatever they're holding. During the Triwizard Tournament, Harry uses this spell when a Grindylow has his ankle in its grasp.

As the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Mad-Eye Moody demonstrates the Imperius Curse with a spider. Little did the students know that their teacher was a Death Eater in disguise!

The "Levicorpus" spell works as if some invisible force pulls a person up by their ankles and dangles them upside down. This is one of the creative jinxes that Snape invented as a student.

"Lumos" lights up the tip of the user's wand. Harry makes good use of this spell when he has to follow the spiders into the Forbidden Forest, where he meets Hagrid's, erm, friend Aragog.

Also known as the Tongue-Tying Curse, "Mimblewimble" is helpful when you need to prevent someone from speaking or, say, casting a spell. It literally causes the target's tongue to curl backward.

The Scouring Charm would undoubtedly come in handy when cleaning the litter box or tackling a tower of dirty dishes. Some people even use it to "clean out" a person's mouth when they curse.

Professor Quirrell mentions this curse to his students, although it's hard to imagine it having any practical educational purpose! The Curse of the Bogies gives the victim a bad cold.

Hermione uses this spell in "The Deathly Hallows" to save herself, Harry and Ron when they fall out of a cart within Gringotts Wizarding Bank. We'll take this spell over a bed sheet parachute!

This spell turns the target's legs to jelly (figuratively), making them flop to the floor. At Hogwarts, where there are a lot of student rivalries, it's easy to imagine this curse being popular!

The Doubling Charm can make an exact copy of something, but the spell can be used for nefarious purposes too. In a Gringotts vault, the trio are almost killed by rapidly duplicating goblets.

In "The Prisoner of Azkaban," Professor Lupin uses this spell on Peeves, the obnoxious poltergeist who tragically didn't make it into the films. The jinx turns small, soft objects into missiles.

If Hogwarts had physical education classes, the students might use the Stickfast Hex to cheat in foot races! It's too bad the school doesn't have a wizarding equivalent of gym class.

In "Half-Blood Prince," Hermione uses this spell on Cormac to give Ron an edge in Quidditch tryouts. This is one of the few times we see her using magic unethically, showing her feelings for Ron.

The students practice this charm with cushions, but Neville, naturally, has a bit of trouble with the spell. He even banishes Professor Flitwick by accident! "Depulso" is the opposite of "Accio."

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Image: Warner Bros.

About This Quiz

If you, like many people young and old, got pulled into the initial Harry Potter mania of the late 1990s and early 2000s, then you remember the magical anticipation and excitement for each new book and movie premiere. People flocked to bookstores and movie theaters, dressed in flowing wizard robes or proudly wearing the colors of their favorite Hogwarts house.

Children and young adults in particular devoured the seven books, often reading them multiple times. Educators and librarians noted that previously reluctant readers couldn't get enough of the Harry Potter books, the longest of which had over 800 pages! And a recent psychological study provided evidence that children who read the Harry Potter books have more tolerance and empathy for stigmatized groups in society. That's a pretty big impact for a children's fantasy series!

The last book came out in 2007, and the final film in 2011, so it's been a while. But can you still remember the spells, jinxes and curses that Harry Potter and his friends learned in their Hogwarts classes? See if you still have what it takes to attend Hogwarts. You never know, there might be an owl with your acceptance letter just around the corner!

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