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Is there any physical or mental cost to casting spells?

Do magic spells drain some kind of... stamina?

They require concentration, but, aside from that? Something more like... err, mana?

We're clear that wizards do get tired after fighting, but that could be because of the fact they are waving their hands and running around that tires them.


1 Answer 1


Magic does drain stamina in some instances.

Encountering a Dementor -- which is a dark magical being -- causes horrible feelings and the loss of hope and happiness. It requires chocolate to shake the cold and depression. Is chocolate mana? Sure, why not? :D

Horcruxes cause gloom and doom for a person when they have too much contact with one. Note that Harry, Ron, and Hermione had to take turns wearing the locket so those who weren't wearing it could recuperate from its effects.

We're not sure what Madam Pomfrey gave to Hermione while she was in the hospital wing when she turned into a cat following the Polyjuice Potion incident in Chamber of Secrets, but she was in hospital for about two months, recuperating, and Madam Pomfrey was giving her some kind of medicine to help with the recovery process.

In Goblet of Fire, Harry became exhausted after practicing the Accio summoning charm over and over again, prior to the first task of the Triwizard Tournament.

In Goblet of Fire, Harry was very drained of energy during Priori Incantatem and was barely able to hold onto his wand because the magic was so powerful.

Dumbledore was almost completely drained of his energy following his and Harry's visit to the sea cave, where they retrieved the fake locket Horcrux, and we know he ultimately went on that night to be disarmed by Draco (because he didn't have enough energy to both block Draco's disarming charm and cast Petrificus Totalus on Harry, so he chose to protect Harry and lost his wand accordingly)

These are just some examples.

So, yes, magic can drain energy and stamina, and in some instances a certain food is required to recover from the effects of magic (Dementor/Chocolate)

  • 2
    Well, in most of those cases, it is because an exterior factor affected the wizard: Dementors, Hermione's cat form, Horcruxes, the cave's potion... they're all outside things. I meant something more like "If I keep yelling a single simple spell over and over, will I get tired? (aside from the fact that I get tired from yelling and waving my hand)"
    – Saturn
    Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 4:45
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    Now then, for the Accio case, I'm not sure if they make clear that Harry was tired because of using the spell or because he was all the day waving his hand and yelling.
    – Saturn
    Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 4:47
  • And as for Priori Incantatem, it sounds possible that Harry was unable to hold onto his wand because the spell was pushing against Harry's hands. An outer, physical factor. Harry was probably simply too weak to properly control something so physically strong.
    – Saturn
    Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 4:49
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    Here's what it says for Priori Incantatem (which Harry was able to control): He concentrated every last particle of his mind upon forcing the bead backwards towards Voldemort, his ears full of phoenix song, his eyes furious, fixated ... and slowly, very slowly, the beads quivered to a halt, and then, just as slowly, they began to move the other way ... and it was Voldemort’s wand that was vibrating extra hard now ... Voldemort who looked astonished, and almost fearful ... I think if anyone does anything over and over again, they're obviously going to get tired. It goes without saying. :) Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 5:13

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