The comment by @AyushBhatt on my answer to this question got me thinking: Why would Snape use a spell to penetrate Harry's mind during his Occlumency lessons, if he can do it without any incantation?

'Let's go again ... on the count of three ... one-two-three-Legilimens!'


Harry's throat went dry. He knew what Snape was going to do and he had never been able to prevent it... The bathroom seemed to shimmer before his eyes; he struggled to block out all thought, but try as he might, the Half-Blood Prince's copy of Advanced Potion-Making swam hazily to the forefront of his mind...

  • 1
    Maybe because Harry is a beginner, the incantation gives him some indication that Snape is attacking. First, he will learn to defend himself in the easy case, and when he advanced he should learn to do so without warning and indication of the attack.
    – havakok
    Dec 23 '20 at 18:14
  • It seems that verifying simple answers like "yes"/"no" or if someone lies or not, don't require the spell's incantation. To drive through memories, though, the the victim does not think or consider at that particular moment (in other words, breaching a mind), might require the spell spoken out loud. Dec 23 '20 at 19:04
  • Remember that spells are more powerful when spoken and also that Snape is not a nice man. He's probably enjoying tormenting Harry. This gives Harry an incredibly good motivation to try hard to léann the skill fast (IMO Snape was genuinely frustrated when Harry stopped trying) and provides a plausible excuse when Snape is himself later questioned about it by Voldemort. Snape was such a master that he could fool V even under Legilimens -- consider the ramifications of that.
    – Dúthomhas
    Dec 24 '20 at 1:48

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