Moody was the one who gave Harry the idea of using the wand and summoning charm for the Firebolt to come right after him.

Then, Hermione and Harry tried practicing the charm as much as possible for Harry to be prepared for the first task, The Hungarian Horntail and the Golden Egg.

There was a part in the book where Harry fell onto some kind of trap, dropping the golden egg, and the marauder's map losing within his reach. Harry was already capable of performing the summoning charm, he could swish his wand and point it right on the parchment and say, 'accio' or 'accio parchment' or 'accio marauder's map'.

With that, Harry could prevent Crouch Jr. (without knowing he was using the potion) from borrowing the map and getting himself into more trouble, especially when Snape and Filch came rushing to the scene.

The same with the goblet (which is charmed to be a portkey). Harry, at the time when he wanted to win the Triwizard Tournament, should have reached the cup before Cedric does. Didn't it ever cross his mind to use the Summoning Charm so that Cedric has no chance of winning at all (removing the knowledge about the portkey)?

In a summarized clarification, the Summoning Charm would be a significant benefit for Harry, if he used it properly and for circumstances like this.

Why didn't Harry use the Summoning Charm for exceptionally significant matters?

  • 2
    But he managed to summon the cup when the line connecting between the duel of Voldemort and Harry ended(Priori Incantatem). And he brought Cedric's body back.
    – Invoker
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 11:40
  • 4
    I have no idea with the parchment except maybe he was too surprised to remember a spell he recently learned. The egg will be unsummonable. The cup was probably meant to be unsummonable but maybe Barty Jr accidently removed that spell when he was editing it. Harry still assumed it was unsummonable and couldn't risk stopping to try a spell that would probably not work as it would give Cedric time to get ahead. Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 11:48
  • 1
    I can't see how this can be answered in-canon. The only explanation that comes to mind is the plot. Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 11:52
  • 1
    @Gallifreian other than that some stuff is unsummonable.
    – SQB
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 11:57
  • 3
    Yes. ****"It's mine! Mine!" Snape had reached out for it, a horrible expression of dawning comprehension on his face - "Accio Parchment!" The map flew up into the air, slipped through Snapes outstretched fingers, and soared down the stairs into Moodys hand.***
    – Invoker
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 12:39

1 Answer 1


There are two different explanations for the two examples you give.

Harry didn't think to use a Summoning Charm

In the instance where Harry is stuck in the stair, a Summoning Charm would've been useful, it's true. It would possibly have allowed Harry to stop the Egg wailing extensively and waking up the teachers. But, with magic as with life in general, the trick is not just knowing the theory but being able to make correct decisions in the heat of the moment. This is not as easy as it seems. You may know the theory of how to control a skidding car but it's easy to panic when the situation arises and slam on the brakes/turn the steering wheel the wrong way, thereby making things much worse. In retrospect, Harry may well have thought, "It would've been good to use a Summoning Charm in that situation". But he simply didn't think of it at the time. There were some mitigating factors. The Marauder's Map was quite close and he thought he might be able to reach it anyway.

Harry pulled out his wand and struggled to touch the Marauder's Map, to wipe it blank, but it was too far away to reach.
(Goblet of Fire, Chapter 25, The Egg and the Eye).

Moody/Crouch could also see through Invisibility Cloaks so all attempts at remaining hidden were futile when he turned up. Harry doesn't actually lose the Marauder's Map at this point but freely gives it away later in the chapter.

"Can I borrow this?"
"Oh!" said Harry. He was very fond of his map, but on the other hand, he was extremely relieved that Moody wasn't asking him where he'd got it, and there was no doubt that he owed Moody a favour. "Yeah, OK."
(Goblet of Fire, Chapter 25, The Egg and the Eye).

This didn't give Harry cause for concern. After all, he had no reason to suspect Crouch and he'd handed the Map over to a previous Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher in similar circumstances the previous year.

"And I can't let you have it back, Harry." [Lupin]
Harry had expected that, and was too keen for explanations to protest.
(Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 14, Snape's Grudge).

Harry couldn't summon the Triwizard Cup

As @Bellerophon mentions in the comments, it won't be possible to Summon certain things in certain circumstances. For instance, Harry tried Summoning a locket in a later book to no effect.

"We couldn't...we couldn't just try a Summoning Charm?" Harry said, sure that it was a stupid suggestion, but much keener than he was prepared to admit on getting out of this place as soon as possible.
"Certainly we could," said Dumbledore, stopping so suddenly that Harry almost walked into him. "Why don't you do it?"
"Me? Oh...OK..."
Harry had not expected this, but cleared his throat and said loudly, wand aloft, "Accio Horcrux!"
With a noise like an explosion, something very large and pale erupted out of the dark water some twenty feet away; before Harry could see what it was, it had vanished again with a crashing splash that made great, deep ripples on the mirrored surface.
(Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 26, The Cave).

The long and the short of it is they can't Summon the locket. Voldemort had placed anti-Summoning Charms on the object to prevent people from skipping steps in winning the Horcrux. In a competition as supposedly prestigious as the Triwizard Tournament the Ministry would've been pretty dumb, quite frankly, to have allowed the whole thing to be won by a simple Summoning Charm. It's almost certain that they placed anti-Summoning Charms on the Cup to force competitors to go through the maze and face the challenges properly. So a Summoning Charm would have simply been ineffective.

  • Your answer is has a huge possibility. But it also makes me wonder why Harry was able to summon the cup the point where he was in capture of Cedric's body. Then he pronounced the words specified to perform the Charm,and it worked. I just thought, what is the reason the cup wasn't enchanted by a magical charm.
    – Invoker
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 13:23
  • After all, a triwizard cup shall be a great challenge and perhaps, a summoning charm shouldn't make it that easy since it is an ineternational competition
    – Invoker
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 13:24
  • 2
    @BookStriker. Good question. I'd suspect that the defensive charms which were placed on the cup were nullified when a competitor touched it. So Harry couldn't have Summoned it in the maze but could in the graveyard. That would seem to be the only explanation that makes sense to me. Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 14:34
  • 2
    'Accio pedestal upon which the Triwizard Cup sits!' ...I mean, everything's worth trying once...
    – gowenfawr
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 19:15

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