In chapter 14 of Half-Blood Prince, Harry casts Episkey:

"I can fix that," said Harry, landing beside the two girls, pointing his wand at Demelza’s mouth, and saying "Episkey."

Despite this, chapter 2 of Deathly Hallows shows Harry apparently believing that he doesn't know how to heal wounds:

but he had to admit to himself that this jagged cut in his finger would have defeated him. He had never learned how to repair wounds

Is there an explanation for this apparent contradiction?

1 Answer 1


Episkey only heals certain kinds of injuries, as described in the Harry Potter Wiki:

Episkey was the incantation of a healing charm that healed relatively minor injuries such as broken noses, toes, and split lips.

The common factor here would appear to be blunt trauma.

Compare the definition of "wound" from the Cambridge Online Dictionary:

to damage an area of the body, especially by making a cut or hole in the skin

[emphasis mine]

So there is no contradiction; Harry knows only the one healing spell, and it doesn't work on wounds.

  • 2
    What's the Wiki's source for this? And wasn't the HBP example something to do with a nosebleed?
    – J. Mini
    Dec 26, 2020 at 17:24
  • @J.Mini, it's all in the footnotes. HBP chapter 8, the HBP movie, and HBP chapter 14 (that's the quote in your question). Dec 26, 2020 at 17:28
  • The two examples in the book were (1) Malfoy stamping on Harry's face, breaking his nose, and (2) Ron accidentally hitting Demelza in the face, resulting in a split lip. Dec 26, 2020 at 17:39
  • 2
    The wiki simply seems to be listing the occasions when it's been used and then extrapolating forward without justification.
    – Valorum
    Dec 27, 2020 at 0:18

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