In The Order of the Phoenix, Voldemort uses Avada Kedavra on Harry, but Dumbledore clearly deflects it.

But in The Goblet of Fire, Moody mentions that there is no way to fend off that particular Curse.

So how did Dumbledore do it?

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    When exactly was this in OotP?
    – ThruGog
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 13:17
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    @ThruGog Just after snuffles dies and harry chases bellatrix Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 13:25
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    You can block the progress of any spell by putting an obstacle large enough in its way. That’s not what Moody was talking about when he said there’s no blocking Avada Kedavra; he was talking about blocking it with a counter-spell like Protego. Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 15:16
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    Why does everyone believe Barty Crouch Jr (who is NOT Alastor Moody) implicitly? The man who declared it unblockable was NOT Moody. He is an acknowledged liar (he lied about being Moody) and has a vested interest in his students being less skilled at defending against (HIS) Dark Arts.
    – Jeff
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 15:13

6 Answers 6


I believe Dumbledore made the statues in the ministry come to life to take the hit for him/block the hit. He didn't use any counter-curse or counter-jinx directly on the Avada Kedevra spell

But the headless golden statue of the wizard in the fountain had sprung alive, leaping from its plinth to land with a crash on the floor between Harry and Voldemort. The spell merely glanced off its chest as the statue flung out its arms to protect Harry. "What -?" cried Voldemort, staring around. And then he breathed, "Dumbledore!" -OOTP

  • 134
    How ingenious - how do you block a curse that kills no matter what? Make something spring to life and let it kill that instead of you! The ultimate Avada Kedavra protection - a cloak of living hamsters!
    – Luaan
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 15:30
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    Is it possible that any solid object would block the curse? Voldemort never tries to kill anyone by firing the curse through the floor or the wall. Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 15:51
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    Should also note that, in addition to animating the statues, Dumbledore also used Apparition and Fawkes' sacrifice to avoid other instances of Avada Kedavra during that same fight.
    – ssell
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 17:25
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    @Luaan: No -- Avada Kedavra "merely glanced off [the statue's] chest"; it didn't kill it. (The statue wasn't really alive anyway.)
    – ruakh
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 22:53
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    @Shadur Expelliarmus wouldn't counter Avada Kedavra anyway except in cases of twin-core wands (possibly. Harry's horcrux might have also helped in that instance in GoF), or in the case of the true owner of the Elder Wand defending against AK being cast from the Elder Wand.
    – TylerH
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 17:07

Voldemort uses the killing curse several times in the Battle at the Ministry.

  • The first time Voldemort aimed it at Harry and Dumbledore animated the golden wizard statue: "The spell merely glanced off its chest as the statue flung out its arms, protecting Harry" (pg 813 of Scholastic paperback).

  • Next time: "Voldemort raised his wand and sent another jet of green light at Dumbledore, who turned and was gone in a whirling of his cloak;" (also pg 813)

  • Third time: "[Voldemort] sent another Killing Curse at Dumbledore but missed..." (pg 813)

  • Next: "Another jet of green light flew from behind the silver shield. This time it was the one-armed centaur, galloping in front of Dumbledore, that took the blast..." (pg 813)

  • Finally: "But even as he [Harry] shouted, one more jet of green light had flown at Dumbledore from Voldemort's wand...Fawkes swooped down in front of Dumbledore, opened his beak wide, and swallowed the jet of green light whole. (pg 815)

Voldemort's killing curses either missed, hit non-living objects, or was swallowed by Fawkes, who "died" in his own way, falling "to the floor, small, wrinkled, and flightless."

Dumbledore didn't actually block the Avada Kadavra as much as avoid it or was protected by things and beings that can't be killed.

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    This should be the official answer.
    – user89104
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 6:41

As several others have mentioned, during the battle at the ministry Dumbledore used something like an animation charm to make the statues of the Fountain of Magical Brethren protect Harry from the curse, from reading the books I believe that an animated object is given a facsimile of life so the curse killed the statue, moreover, any spell, even the Avada Kadavra can be blocked by a physical object of a large enough size and density, so when Moody mentions it being unblockable he's referring to all magical means of protection such as the Protego shield charm or a runic protection or some such magic

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    This appears to be little more than a rewording of user3564421’s answer and the comments under it.  Please don’t post an answer unless you actually have something new to contribute. Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 18:05
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    @PeregrineRook It is pretty common for people to post answers with very similar content that they feel explains the situation better. I'm not necessarily arguing that this is true in this case but just because your answer has the same content, doesn't mean it can't be better than an existing answer. So I don't support your advice to AnimeChick.
    – DQdlM
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 20:38
  • @KennyPeanuts: Well, I said "Please don’t post an answer unless you actually have something new to contribute."  Are you arguing that it's OK for a person to post an answer when he has nothing new to contribute? Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 21:28
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    @PeregrineRook In this case you have decided that this person does not have anything to contribute because you don't feel like their explanation does a better job than the existing answer. However, they did not just copy-paste but appear to have made an attempt to synthesize and explain a combination of information from other answers and comments, which suggests that they felt like they were adding something new. I felt like your advice was inappropriate in this case because there is a precedent on the site for answers that duplicate content but explain it differently.
    – DQdlM
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 21:42

I do believe the topic poster is referring to the movie, in which Voldemort casts Avada Kedavra and Dumbledore creates a spell-lock with it, kinda like the graveyard scene. Also, in the movie for Harry Potter 7, Part 2, Battle of Hogwarts, Voldemort is show Avada Kedavra'ing the heck out of Harry, who is casually deflecting them magically, although this can be attributed to the imbalance of the Elder Wand belonging to Harry and Harry using a wand he actually did own, or to Voldemort's life protecting Harry's.

The movies do seem to kind of not care about the books' rules of magic at many points, and the OoTP fight scene and Battle of Hogwarts are just two of many examples of this. At this point, I would assert that the book's version of events are what "actually took place".


Tom Riddle's wand is made from Dumbledore's Fawkes feather, so it would refuse to kill him like how the Elder wand refused to kill Harry at the end.

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    That's an interesting theory, but is there any evidence for it? The relationship between Harry and the Elder Wand is very different from the relationship between Dumbledore and Fawkes.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 11:22
  • I understand why you'd think that but the Elder Wand's loyalty doesn't apply here. Harry won the Elder Wand's loyalty in combat (by disarming Draco) whereas Dumbledore had never gained Voldemort's wand's loyalty by overpowering him. Sorry, Fawkes is an interesting connection between the two but I think he's a red herring. Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 11:46

Dumbledore didn't block it, he just cast it away meaning he curved it and it hit the wall anyways and we just can't Avada Kadavra curse by Protego or any other attacking spell.

Like Harry used Expelliarmus to block Avada Kadavra, he didn't really block it, what he did was like two lasers attacking each other and making a circle of power, one more example take two pipes of water direct them to each other then turn on the water the one with more pressure and water will win

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