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If a combined Finite could stop Grindelwald's extremely powerful Protego Diabolica, and various spells like the ones in the Duelling Club orchestrated by Severus Snape and Gilderoy Lockhart, why are there specific counter-curses, counter-jinxes, counter-hexes, and counter-spells? If Finite was that powerful, why would there be a need for these other spells?

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    Possibly because only a small number of wizards and witches can cast a spell that powerful? Why do you need a million different types of keys when you can buy a battering ram that works on 99% of doors?
    – Valorum
    Oct 12, 2021 at 23:42
  • The key word is "combined". It's easier to cast a specific counter-curse than walk around with an entire team of Finite-casters.
    – Righter
    Oct 13, 2021 at 3:26

1 Answer 1

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Magical Arms Race

We know Finite Incantatum (Finite) can end many spells. Likewise "protego" can block many spells. But "many" is not the same as "all". We likewise know that there's at least one spell, Avada Kadavra, that is unblockable by any means. We also know that specific counter-jinxes/curses/spells exist.

Ergo, we can assume that there is some subset of spells that, for whatever reason, bypass finite and/or protego. That makes them exceptionally good combat spells, since they not only ignore the "normal" general counter-spells, but more importantly can "trick" an ignorant opponent into trying to block them anyway because if you don't know "Spell X" bypasses protego/finite, you stand there and try to block it with protego/finite, get hit, and lose the duel. On the other hand, if you know the specific counter-curse for "Spell X" not only can you stand there and block it (and therefor be able to fight back easier than if you were dodging all over the place) but you also gain some element of surprise against your attacker (who may not know the spell has a specific counter-curse or assumes you don't know it). I would argue that the more exotic spells we see in wizard duels (dumbledore v voldy in Book 5 for instance) are spells with specific counter-curses that bypass the "normal" defensive spells. Which is why when harry watches Dumbledore v voldy he doesn't see signs that spells are ceasing (as in finite) or the bubble/shield of protego. Instead he sees both wizards conjuring up specific counters, because the normal ones simply would not work.

I should state that this is all conjecture as I don't believe the answer is said outright anywhere, but there's enough evidence for me to accept it as true until proven otherwise!

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  • I like that answer. If Protego is a shield, it works against metaphorical arrows, swords, maces and so on. Then somebody pulls a magical variation of a gun. Your regular shield doesn't work, you need magical version of modern body armor and even then it will hurt and some ribs might get broken but you'll survive! Voldemort and Dumbledore were on completely different level compared to most wizards. Voldemort conjures a tank, Dumbledore sends a tank mine. And so on.
    – jo1storm
    Oct 14, 2021 at 6:42

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