If a person casts a spell and it's deflected can it hit an unintended target and work as intended?

For example, if a wizard casts a spell at someone to turn them into a dog, and it's deflected and hits another person, will that person turn into a dog?

I know there's the example of Ron's broken wand with the slugs and the charms spells, but I attribute that to the wand just having bad aim by being broken and just casting in the wrong direction.

Please account for Voldemort's casting of the Avada Kedavra spell at Harry and it killing the horcrux inside of Harry. Clearly that was not the intended target for the spell.

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    Two quick points; DVK isn't a moderator, he's a power-user with a gold tag badge in the subject. @slytherincess also has a gold badge in the subject. Basically they've earned the right to close-as-dupe without seeking community concensus because of their expertise on the subject and knowledge of the site. As a diamond mod, I have insta-close privileges on everything, but I've got them because I'm a mod, not because I'm seen as an expert in the subject.
    – Valorum
    May 31, 2015 at 8:27
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    @Richard Almost any question or answer can be edited to make it better. I see edits that are bad, edits that are meaningless. You edited one of my questions by adding an 's and in the same comment quoted a question with the same word and didn't edit their 's. This whole thing is crazy. Either I'm welcomed here to ask questions freely or not. I think she should have to get votes to close a question just like I have to get votes to re-open it. If a mod and a power-user feel it's a good question, it had 2 upvotes before being closed, and two answers given by a mod & another power-user -cont'd
    – JMFB
    May 31, 2015 at 18:21
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    If you have a concern about why a question was closed, the appropriate course of action is to raise the issue on meta. Rather than becoming defensive, seek to understand and learn to improve.
    – Valorum
    May 31, 2015 at 18:21
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    "Almost any question or answer can be edited to make it better" - Yes. That's pretty much the essence of the site. You post something and others can improve on it.
    – Valorum
    May 31, 2015 at 18:27
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    @Richard how can this be closed? I understand the meta site. It's just all so laborious and time consuming. I'm not really ready to dedicate my life to this. Maybe mods are and employees are, but I'm not. She didn't even comment on why it was a dupe and what I should do to change it. I just want to post quest. & get ans. to quest. If I see a quest. that I think I know the answer to, then I try. It's not much more complicated than that, and this site isn't being run that way. It's not fair, equitable, & becoming unpleasant. Do you want a site of 15 active participants? B/C that's what you have.
    – JMFB
    May 31, 2015 at 18:29

3 Answers 3


It would appear so. There's a brief mention in HP5 of the shield charm reflecting spells. There's no specific indication whether their effects would have been changed by the interaction

He was improving so fast it was quite unnerving and when Harry taught them the Shield Charm – a means of deflecting minor jinxes so that they rebounded upon the attacker – only Hermione mastered the charm faster than Neville.

Later in the same novel Malfoy Sr. deflects Bellatrix's stupefaction spell. It impacts a shelf and appears to have much the effect you'd expect;

A jet of red light had shot from the end of Bellatrix Lestrange’s wand, but Malfoy had deflected it; his spell caused hers to hit the shelf a foot to the left of Harry and several of the glass orbs there shattered.

and in HP7, a stunning spell bounces off of a window, hitting an innocent bystander

Harry sent another Stunning Spell at the Death Eater with the twisted face who had tied up Ron, but the spell missed, rebounded on the window and hit the waitress, who collapsed in front of the door.

and Hermione's "Blasting Curse" bounces off of a wall and destroys Harry's wand.

‘Harry,’ Hermione whispered, so quietly he could hardly hear her. ‘I’m so, so sorry. I think it was me. As we were leaving, you know, the snake was coming for us, and so I cast a Blasting Curse, and it rebounded everywhere, and it must have – must have hit –’ ‘It was an accident,’ said Harry mechanically. He felt empty, stunned. ‘We’ll – we’ll find a way to repair it.’

  • Since the spells are a power of some sort, I can see them deflecting and causing damage, just like an energy bold, phaser, etc. But what of a specific spell. But how is the purpose of stupefy (From Wikia The Stunning Spell (Stupefy), also known as a Stunner or Stupefying Charm is a charm that renders a victim unconscious and halts moving objects), end up being a destructive spell that destroys something? I do like your first answer about the shield charm. I'll have to consider it.
    – JMFB
    May 31, 2015 at 3:29
  • There are multiple instances of stunning spells missing their intended target and causing a destructive effect.
    – Valorum
    May 31, 2015 at 7:53
  • I honestly see the actual question with the last quote being the real answer. The spell was cast to hit the snake, but rebounded all over and his Harry's wand.
    – Anoplexian
    Feb 12, 2016 at 18:02
  • And might I add that when Snape is confronted by McGonagall in the great hall he deflects her spells which, seemingly on purpose, hit the Death Eaters to either side of him. Mar 18, 2019 at 18:43

There is a quite explicit example of this in Chapter Eighteen of Goblet of Fire:

"Furnunculus!" Harry yelled.

"Densaugeo!" screamed Malfoy.

Jets of light shot from both wands, hit each other in midair, and ricocheted off at angles – Harry's hit Goyle in the face, and Malfoy's hit Hermione. Goyle bellowed and put his hands to his nose, where great ugly boils were springing up – Hermione, whimpering in panic, was clutching her mouth.


Ron had hurried forward to see what was wrong with her; Harry turned and saw Ron dragging Hermione's hand away from her face. It wasn't a pretty sight. Hermione's front teeth – already larger than average – were now growing at an alarming rate; she was looking more and more like a beaver as her teeth elongated, past her bottom lip, toward her chin – panic-stricken, she felt them and let out a terrified cry.

In this case Harry's spell and Malfoy's spell both hit unintended targets after bouncing off each other, and their effects do not seem to have been affected (Hermione's teeth increased in size, which is literally the translation of dens augeo, and Goyle erupted in furuncles).


The second AK that Voldemort sent at Harry did just that (well, actually, 3rd. Or even 5th depending on how you count).

In the final duel during the Battle of Hogwarts, Voldemort was killed by his own deflected AK.

Voldemort was dead, killed by his own rebounding curse, and Harry stood with two wands in his hand, staring down at his enemy's shell. (DH)

  • Can you give me another example of this happening? Something similar to the example I cited.
    – JMFB
    May 30, 2015 at 23:51
  • @JMFB - I can try, but seriously, AK trumps anything else :) May 30, 2015 at 23:56
  • I know. :( But doesn't it seem like that's a unique situation. The whole Voldemort/Harry thing has so many inconsistencies, and largely doesn't make sense that I sort of discount it. There's a question on here about why ownership of the elder wand didn't pass to Voldemort. If you read the answers, little of it makes sense at least with a critical reading of the books. I wrote a detailed response explaining why all of those answers were lacking. One user mentioned intent & I asked her to write it in a response. I've thought about it which led me to this question, which has to do w/intent.
    – JMFB
    May 31, 2015 at 3:19

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