“Aguamenti!” he shouted, jabbing the goblet with his wand. The goblet filled with clear water; Harry dropped to his knees beside Dumbledore, raised his head, and brought the glass to his lips — but it was empty. Dumbledore groaned and began to pant. “But I had some — wait — Aguamenti!” said Harry again, pointing his wand at the goblet. Once more, for a second, clear water gleamed within it, but as he approached Dumbledore’s mouth, the water vanished again. “Sir, I’m trying, I’m trying!” said Harry desperately, but he did not think that Dumbledore could hear him; he had rolled onto his side and was drawing great, rattling breaths that sounded agonizing. “Aguamenti — Aguamenti — AGUAMENTI!” The goblet filled and emptied once more.


Why does the goblet empties persistently? Did Voldemort settle a curse to avert aguamenti spell from filling the goblet with water?

  • 3
    Because magic... – Valorum Nov 4 '17 at 21:44
  • @Valorum I think I should just answer every HP question that it is because of magic. :) – Invoker Nov 4 '17 at 22:24
  • 1
    That is indeed the joke. Yes. – Valorum Nov 4 '17 at 22:48

Because Voldemort designed the trap that way

Obviously, the goblet empties because of a curse, not because of Harry’s lack of proficiency with Aguamenti.

Harry surmises that Voldemort had planned things so that there would be only one way to get water:

The goblet filled and emptied once more. And now Dumbledore’s breathing was fading. His brain whirling in panic, Harry knew, instinctively, the only way left to get water, because Voldemort had planned it so....

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

This, of course, was getting it from the lake, which would disturb the Inferi guardians.

While he doesn’t literally have insight into Voldemort’s mind1, this seems like a pretty rational argument.

Don’t forget that the water didn’t vanish immediately—only when Harry tried to get Dumbledore to drink it. It wasn’t an “anti-Aguamenti” spell, it was meant to prevent victims of the potion from drinking.

Further, that’s why Voldemort cast that particular combination of spells: to force the potion to be drunk, and the drinker to make themselves vulnerable. That’s why the Inferi hadn’t reacted sooner: because they were supposed to do so as soon as the invader was weakened by the potion. And so forth. So it was logical to conclude that the spells preventing summoning water were for the same purpose.

1: Although he does.

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