Is there any difference between charming objects (i.e. "adding or changing certain properties of an object") and enchanting them?

Is charming/enchantment used in creation of magical objects?

Do runes play any part in this?

I'd prefer canon answer if possible.

  • 1
    Sense of the words I get from non-HP universes: You do a charm to create an enchantment. No clue whether it applies here.
    – Izkata
    Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 23:13

2 Answers 2


A charm is specifically applied to an object or being. Such as the Fidelius Charm(Invisibility used on Harry in book 5) or Warnd-lgihting Charm(Lumos).

An enchantment is something that can be applied to anything, even "thin air". And what I mean by thin air is the Protego Totalum(Book 7, used by Hermione at several campsites) and Priori Incantatum(Harry vs Voldemort at the end of Book 4). Additionally, charms are a subset of enchantments.

An analogy to biological classification: If a charm is equal to a Phylum, then an Enchantment is equal to a Kingdom.

It should also be noted there are more types of enchantments than just charms. Like Repello Inimicum(disintegrates objects that pass a certain threshold) would not fall under a charm because it doesn't require a physical presence(object or being) to have the spell take affect. Instead Repello Inimicum is a field around an area.


I believe an enchantment is usually (possibly always) a charm spell itself - the Harry Potter Wiki lists Protective Enchantments as a type of charm, for example. The Harry Potter Wiki page on spells has a classification section, but it only mentions charms and not enchantments.

That same link says that charms have "long-lasting effects" when cast by an experienced practitioner, so charms could be used in the creation of magical objects, if you mean creating a magical object out of a non-magical one.

Transfiguration is also likely to be used in the creation of a magical object - it has a branch called conjuration where "the desired object is seemingly transfigured out of thin air." However, J.K. Rowling has said: "There is legislation about what you can conjure and what you can't. Something that you conjure out of thin air will not last."

Runes do not appear to be used in the creation of magical objects, but rather as a stand-in for Latin alphabet characters.

  • Yeah... I did a little canon info digging, and Runes (unfortunately) appear to be nothing more than an alphabet of a dead language(s). So no 'runic magic' :(
    – Fen1ks
    Commented Apr 18, 2013 at 9:59

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