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‘Nice loud howl, Harry – exactly – and then, if you’ll believe it, I pounced – like this – slammed [the werewolf] to the floor – thus – with one hand, I managed to hold him down – with my other, I put my wand to his throat – I then screwed up my remaining strength and performed the immensely complex Homorphus Charm – he let out a piteous moan – go on, Harry – higher than that – good – the fur vanished – the fangs shrank – and he turned back into a man. Simple, yet effective – and another village will remember me forever as the hero who delivered them from the monthly terror of werewolf attacks.’

Gilderoy Lockhart - Chamber of Secrets - chapter 10 - The Rogue Bludger

Yeah, yeah. I know: consider the source! We all know Gilderoy Lockhart is a fake and a fraud in that he took credit for other heroic wizards' work. However, it occurred to me that in order to sell his books, he would have had to have written accurate and real spells and charms and potions, etc, into the books, or else everyone would have known right away that he was a turkey.

So is it possible there's an actual Homorphus Charm that will change a werewolf back into a human before the werewolf's moon cycle is over? If so, why on earth would they not have used it on Remus Lupin (for Lupin's safety) or Fenrir Greyback (for the community's safety)?

  • He didn't publish wrong information (He just took credits of other's works). Otherwise, it would have been caught in peer review process and he wouldn't have became a celebrity. – Lobo Sep 14 '18 at 7:22
43

I wondered this myself, and Googled it a bit back. I could find absolutely no canon on it. Since there is no canonical answer (as far as i can find) I'm going to give an answer based on logic and extrapolation from canon.

As you clearly pointed out, Lockhart did claim that the Waga Waga Werewolf was defeated by an Armenian warlock, and implied that he'd simply taken the credit.

No one wants to read about some ugly old Armenian warlock, even if he did save a village from werewolves. He'd look dreadful on the front cover. No dress sense at all. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,

While it is possible that the Armenian Warlock did use the Homorphus Charm, I doubt it for several reasons.

  • Lockart implies that the village was saved from the werewolf, indicating that once he was finished with the werewolf, the threat had been ended permenantly. This means that one of two things must have been true:
    • Whatever method was used to end the threat to the village was permanent, and didn't require him to stick around and repeat the spell every full moon
    • Alternatively, he would have had to shown some local wizard how to perform the spell every full moon.

Neither of those makes sense, but the second option is even less sensible than the first. Lockhart was a fraud and couldn't have pulled off "teaching" the skill to someone, so I believe that the evidence points to the solution being a one-time, permanent fix.

So if it's a permanent fix, why wouldn't have Lupin known about it and used it himself?

First, Lupin hated his affliction. Were there a way to restore him to human form ahead of time, I'm sure he would have found it. Lockhart stated that the Homorphus Charm was "complex" indicating that it would take a wizard with prodigious skill to accomplish it.

That's no challenge for Lupin. Not only was he very accomplished, but so were two of his three best friends. They figured out how to become animagi to keep him company. It seems highly likely that if the Homorphus Charm were a feasible "cure" it would be a lot better than letting Lupin run around the Shrieking Shack injuring himself.

And if James and Sirius weren't talented enough, Dumbledore knew of his affliction from the time he was a youth. I find it exceedingly difficult to believe that if the Homorphus Charm were a viable solution that Dumbledore wouldn't have been able to use it.

Given the high level of motivation Lupin would have had for trying any possible cure, and the highly skilled wizards he associated with, I believe that the only logical answer is "no". The best alternative that these incredibly bright, talented, and powerful wizards could come up with for the werewolf they loved as a brother and friend was the Wolfsbane potion, which merely rendered him safe. Were there a better option, they'd have found it.

FAR more likely is that the Armenian Warlock simply killed the werewolf, but Lockhart decided it wasn't stylish enough to simply kill the beast. Any wizard could do that. This is Lockhart, and he has fans to please.

I believe he simply discovered that the Armenian Warlock killed the werewolf, took the opportunity to wipe the warlock's memories, and then made up a story worthy of Gilderoy Lockhart, who not only ended the threat, but did so by curing the poor beast, a feat no other wizard could have done.

There is another possibility: That the Armenian Warlock did actually cure the werewolf, and Lockhart took credit for it. If so, then we'd still need to resolve why his cure wouldn't have come into more common use.

If that's the case, then the most likely explanation is that Lockart had no clue how the Warlock had done it, and made something up. It wouldn't be the first time. If you remember, Molly referred to one of Lockhart's books on how to de-gnome the garden, and even Ron, an underage wizard, knew that he knew better how to de-gnome a garden than Lockhart. So Lockhart, when faced with having to explain how the warlock cured the werewolf, just made something up that sounded good.

  • 3
    I agree with your answer, but there's one detail I'd like to mention. Lupin says in Prisoner ch. 18. that “My parents tried everything, but in those days there was no cure. The Potion that Professor Snape has been making for me is a very recent discovery. […] Before the Wolfsbane Potion was discovered, however, I became a fully fledged monster once a month. It seemed impossible that I would be able to come to Hogwarts.” The Marauders could not yet have known about the potion. – b_jonas Jun 2 '15 at 13:35
  • I think that once the marauders went down the route of becoming animagi, they didn't worry about sorting Lupin's 'furry little problem'. – marcellothearcane Aug 10 at 11:53
-1

One possibility is that the Homorphus Charm can only be performed when the werewolf is in his state of wolf (at full moon); therefore putting the one casting it under a great (mortal) danger. Furthemore, from Lockhart's description, you cannot do it from a distance but you must be in close contact with the werewolf; even touching him with your magical wand.

Therefore, not only the Homorphus Charm is immensely complex and can be performed only by a few magicians, it is also very dangerous to perform it on a werewolf and its attempt will often result in the death of the magician instead.

-2

It's also possible that JK simply forgot about this. It wouldn't be the first time--Marcus Flint apparently repeated a year at Hogwarts because she miscalculated/forgot how old he was (people don't repeat years at Hogwarts, they get kicked out or probably repeat individual classes or something, but repeating years is never discussed and it is never mentioned in text that Flint had repeated a year, and I doubt that he would have been allowed to remain team captain after failing a year).

  • 1
    At the end of PS, Neville is said to have almost failed the year. So I guess repeating is a possibility. Also, Flint could have entered Hogwarts a year late because of family issue or whatever. We don't really like "plot hole" answers when there are better explanations – Kalissar May 23 '13 at 9:40
  • If as you say repeating years is never discussed how can you say then that you only get kicked out? That makes absolutely no sense whatever. You further add the words or probably repeat individual classes or something. That only makes it even more illogical because first you say definitively and then you imply you don’t know because it’s never discussed. Something wrong there don’t you think? – Pryftan Jul 17 '18 at 18:53
  • JK doesn't just forget about things – Hermione Granger Jul 17 '18 at 21:50
-2

It is possible that the Homorphus Charm did turn a werewolf back into a man, since it was proven that Lockhart's writing are true, just not of himself. There could be extreme version of the Homorphus Charm that did this or the technique could be very dangerous for the person afflicted with werewolf illness. From what I read, the writing said that "Lockhart" used the charm and the werewolf turned back into a man, but it didn't tell what happened to the man after. It is possible that this extreme version was just too dangerous to be used and even if Lupin hated being a werewolf, I think he liked being alive. I looked up the Homorphus Charm and it states at the bottom that is doesn't cure being a werewolf, but only prevents that transformation for that time and I presume the one afflicted with being a werewolf has to be in werewolf form. So in conclusion, the charm would have to be repeated every full moon and it is just easier to use the wolfsbane potions.

-4

Easy, JK forgot about it. People like to act as though she had this grand plan for the whole series but she didn't. Each book was written independent of the others and she often forgot things from the previous novels or had to retcon previous info. There are so many examples in the books of her making up new things that logically would have been included previously but weren't because she hadn't thought of it then.

In the end it's easier just to accept that she's human and fallible than to try and twist headcanon to cover for her numerous mistakes.

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