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Both are used to blast objects. What's the difference between them?

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    On one spell you shout 'Bombardo', and on the other you shout 'Reducto' – Mikasa Oct 21 '17 at 16:17
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    Well, for starters one was invented for the movie – Valorum Oct 21 '17 at 16:17
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    @Valorum that explains why I can't recall it from the books. – Mikasa Oct 21 '17 at 16:24
  • @Mikasa It is mentioned in The Cursed Child script book.. – Captain Cold Oct 21 '17 at 17:48
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Per the HP Wiki

Bombarda is the incantation of a charm used to provoke small explosions; one use for this explosion is to blast open sealed doors or to blow bars off of windows. The incantation Bombarda Maxima is a stronger, more powerful variation of this spell.

  EXT. DARK TOWER - TERRACE - NIGHT (SAME TIME)               

  Wand flashing, Hermione tries spell after spell.

                           HERMIONE

              Dunamis! Liberare! Annihilare!
              Emancipare!
      No.   No.   No.   No.

                            SIRIUS BLACK

              You might try --

                             HERMIONE

              Quiet!   I'm trying to think.
  She resumes pacing, MUTTERING furiously.    Then... stops.
  Turns.

                          HERMIONE


            BOMBARDA!

  KA-BOOM!    The CELL DOOR ROCKETS to the sky.

                            SIRIUS BLACK

              That'll do.

enter image description here

Whereas

The Reductor Curse (Reducto) is a curse that can be used to blast solid objects into pieces. It is rather easy to reduce a target to a fine mist or a pile of ashes.

It's described as such the first time it's mentioned.

“He had soon mastered the Impediment Jinx, a spell to slow down and obstruct attackers, the Reductor curse, which would enable him to blast solid objects out of his way, and the Four-Point Spell, a useful discovery of Hermione’s which would make his wand point due north, therefore enabling him to check whether he was going in the right direction within the maze.”
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 31 (The Third Task)


So we can see a few difference. One creates a targeted explosion whereas the other reduces the target to pieces. One is a charm, the other is a curse. One was found in the books, the other exists entirely in the movies.

My gut instinct is that general audiences would expect "reducto" to make things small, whereas "bombarda" sounds like bombard, a word that's related to explosions.

  • What's the difference between Bombarda and Confringo and Expulso? – Captain Cold Oct 21 '17 at 16:41
  • @Discovery - Confringo appears to cause a large and indiscriminate explosion. Expulso appears to have more of a knock-back effect. – Valorum Oct 21 '17 at 16:50
  • Some quotes of the spells being used in canon would improve this answer. – The Dark Lord Oct 21 '17 at 18:02
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    @TheDarkLord - There are no quotes of Bombarda being used in canon. It's a movies-only kinda dealy – Valorum Oct 21 '17 at 18:03
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    @TheDarkLord - I'll have one of my minions edit it in for me. – Valorum Oct 21 '17 at 21:14
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Reducto blasts solid objects away, often blowing them up as well.

The description of it that Harry gives at one point that it would blast solid objects out of the way.

“He had soon mastered the Impediment Jinx, a spell to slow down and obstruct attackers, the Reductor curse, which would enable him to blast solid objects out of his way, and the Four-Point Spell, a useful discovery of Hermione’s which would make his wand point due north, therefore enabling him to check whether he was going in the right direction within the maze.”

Harry uses it on some mist and it fails, proving it only works on solid objects. One he described as not very successful only burnt a small hole in a hedge. Harry described at least one successful Reductor Curse as turning a table to dust, when considering how successful his Dumbledore's Army meetings had been.

“He and the DA were resisting her under her very nose, doing the very thing she and the Ministry most feared, and whenever he was supposed to be reading Wilbert Slinkhard’s book during her lessons he dwelled instead on satisfying memories of their most recent meetings, remembering how Neville had successfully disarmed Hermione, how Colin Creevey had mastered the Impediment Jinx after three meetings’ hard effort, how Parvati Patil had produced such a good Reductor Curse that she had reduced the table carrying all the Sneakoscopes to dust.”

Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville, and Luna later all use Reducto on the shelves in the Department of Mysteries, and Luna used it on a model of Pluto to blow it up in a Death Eater's face.

Bombarda seems to have a similar effect the time it's seen cast.

The only time Bombarda is confirmed to be used is when Hermione used it to blast the door to Sirius Black was being kept open in the movie version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. (In the book she uses Alohomora, not an explosive spell, to open a window to break Sirius out.)

enter image description here

This is the only time a spell we know to have the incantation Bombarda to have been used. It's never mentioned in the seven books, and isn't used again in the movies in a way we can confirm its use. Other "explosive" spells are used in the movies, but the incantations of them aren't heard, nor does anyone refer to what spell was used. So these spells might be Bombarda, or they might be different explosive spells, like Confringo, Reducto, or even entirely new ones.

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