13

When Voldemort discusses the powers of the Elder Wand with Snape, he mentions his 'usual magic':

"No," said Voldemort. "I have performed my usual magic... I am extraordinary, but this wand... no. It has not revealed the wonders it has promised. I feel no difference between this wand and the one I procured from Ollivander all those years ago."

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 32, The Elder Wand; emphasis added

What magic could this be?

Clearly he didn't make another Horcrux (he had no need to at this point) and I don't think I noticed him killing anyone, nor making magical arms that strangle people.

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    Well to me, V's usual magic seems to be just Uhhhhhvada Kedavra – Mat Cauthon Jul 5 '17 at 9:45
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    Every magic user performs daily acts of magic as a routine, like we shave or tie our shoelaces. As Mrs. Weasley uses magic for cooking and housekeeping. – TimSparrow Jul 5 '17 at 9:52
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    @TimSparrow something like this? – marcellothearcane Jul 5 '17 at 9:55
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    Just because we don't see him perform his "usual" magic, doesn't mean he hasn't. He was in control of the ministry by then, he could have done pretty much anything he wanted off-screen (... off-page?) prior to the Battle of Hogwarts – DisturbedNeo Jul 5 '17 at 10:00
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    this is more of an English question than a Harry Potter question – user13267 Jul 5 '17 at 11:37
48

Given the context of the line (Voldemort complaining that the Elder Wand isn't making him any stronger than before), I don't believe Voldemort was referring to a specific spell or set of spells, but rather the power of his magic in general. He expected the Elder Wand to increase that power, but because he wasn't its true owner, his magic was instead being performed at its usual level.

You can read the line as:

"I have performed only my usual magic, rather than the super-duper magic I was promised."

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    Note: it's also a slight boast, indicating that his "usual" magic is what most people would call "extraordinary". Admittedly, he's not wrong. – DavidS Jul 5 '17 at 10:21
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    @marcellothearcane His is stronger, basically. Note that spells and curses and such have a "power" attached to them - for example, Ginny is noted as being able to perform particularly powerful spells (mainly brought up in her Bat Bogey Hex). Note - in this context, "powerful" does not mean "complex" or "advanced". What this manifests as isn't totally clear and probably varies depending on the spell, but you can see one example in the Elder Wand repairing Harry's original - it manages a feat that the other wands didn't, simply by virtue of being stronger. – DavidS Jul 5 '17 at 10:28
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    Also, he can fly unaided and survive a duel with Dumbledore. – OrangeDog Jul 5 '17 at 12:33
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    @OrangeDog I think Snape can too. It might be dark magic (that Voldemort made up) – marcellothearcane Jul 5 '17 at 14:28
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    @marcellothearcane indeed, but only because Voldy taught him how (and he's pretty skilled himself) – OrangeDog Jul 5 '17 at 14:32
1

The Dark Lord meant he’d had only his usual strength of magic.

When the Dark Lord refers to his usual magic, he’s responding to Snape saying that he’d done extraordinary magic with the Elder Wand. He explains that no, the wand hasn’t had any effect on his power, and doesn’t amplify his power or work for him any better than his own wand did.

“My – my Lord?’ said Snape blankly. ‘I do not understand. You – you have performed extraordinary magic with that wand.’

‘No,’ said Voldemort. ‘I have performed my usual magic. I am extraordinary, but this wand … no. It has not revealed the wonders it has promised. I feel no difference between this wand and the one I procured from Ollivander all those years ago.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 32 (The Elder Wand)

When he told Snape he’s performed only his usual magic, he meant that the Elder Wand hadn’t improved it in any way. He’s not referring to any particular or specific magic that he usually does.

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