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97 votes
Accepted

How did Dumbledore block the Avada Kedavra spell?

I believe Dumbledore made the statues in the ministry come to life to take the hit for him/block the hit. He didn't use any counter-curse or counter-jinx directly on the Avada Kedevra spell But the ...
user3564421's user avatar
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96 votes

Why isn't Sectumsempra an Unforgivable Curse?

Not many people knew Sectumsempra - they'd need to know it exists to ban it. Severus Snape invented Sectumsempra while at Hogwarts, and wrote it down in his Potions book. He doesn't seem to have told ...
Obsidia's user avatar
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94 votes
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Why isn't Sectumsempra an Unforgivable Curse?

It isn't Unforgivable in the way that the Unforgivables are A popular fan theory is that there is no grey area with Unforgivable curses. They do what they say on the tin and nothing else. Killing ...
Korthalion's user avatar
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71 votes
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Why were there no protective enchantments around the tent, when the trio was caught by Snatchers?

Using You-Know-Who's name breaks all protective enchantments and allows the speaker to be tracked. ‘You and Hermione have stopped saying You-Know-Who’s name!’ ‘Oh, yeah. Well, it’s just a bad habit ...
amflare's user avatar
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60 votes
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Why didn't Voldemort perform Priori Incantatem on Dumbledore's wand to see if he had discovered or destroyed any of his Horcruxes, after Gringotts?

We don't know that the Dark Lord didn't use Priori Incantatem on the Elder Wand. It would be a very logical course of action for the Dark Lord to use Priori Incantatem on the Elder Wand sometime after ...
Obsidia's user avatar
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51 votes

How did Dumbledore block the Avada Kedavra spell?

Voldemort uses the killing curse several times in the Battle at the Ministry. The first time Voldemort aimed it at Harry and Dumbledore animated the golden wizard statue: "The spell merely glanced ...
Treborcram's user avatar
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51 votes

Why do wizards use such ineffective spells during serious situations in Harry Potter?

Crucio From the Order of the Phoenix: Hatred rose in Harry such as he had never known before; he flung himself out from behind the fountain and bellowed, 'Crucio!' Bellatrix screamed: the spell had ...
Lio Elbammalf's user avatar
45 votes

Who invented the "talking Patronus" spell used by the Order in the second Wizarding War?

Dumbledore From Rowling’s old official site, jkrowling.com: Members of the Order use their Patronuses to communicate with each other. They are the only wizards who know how to use their spirit ...
Adamant's user avatar
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45 votes
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How are spells in the Harry Potter universe made official?

The Ministry of Magic oversees the creation of all new spells. Hermione is clear that the Ministry of Magic has a role in signing off new spells and checking they're safe. She was annoyed with the ...
The Dark Lord's user avatar
44 votes
Accepted

Is there a "reverse-Accio" spell?

Yes, the Banishing charm. We see Harry, Ron, and Hermione practicing this spell in GoF: They were supposed to be practicing the opposite of the Summoning Charm today — the Banishing Charm. Owing to ...
Mithical's user avatar
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44 votes
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Why do wizards use such ineffective spells during serious situations in Harry Potter?

I'd like to challenge one of the assumptions in the question: ... we can see many wizards in many really important situations/fights using very ineffective spells ... emphasis mine Are they ...
Morgen's user avatar
  • 1,572
41 votes

Was Ron's failed Transfiguration actually his fault?

Good question - ultimately one for the movie though, since, in the book, Ron wasn't trying to transfigure Scabbers, but rather, beetles into buttons. Here is what we do know about Transfiguration and ...
NKCampbell's user avatar
37 votes

What would happen if one casts Lumos under the Invisibility Cloak?

Based off this scene: We know that the light does not travel from inside the cloak -> out, as Harry must hold the lamp outside of his cloak in order to see the books. If he held the lamp inside his ...
Jesse's user avatar
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35 votes

How could Draco summon a snake during the duelling club?

I'm afraid the book implies just that - he learned it from Snape's whisper. I agree that it sounds a wee bit implausible... but that's what JKR's implying in CoS Chapter 11: "The Duelling Club&...
DVK-on-Ahch-To's user avatar
35 votes

Why does Stupefy not properly stun recipients during Dumbledore's Army training?

After looking at the section in the book we know they were being stunned and falling down. ‘We’ll start with the Impediment Jinx, for ten minutes, then we can get out the cushions and try Stunning ...
Himarm's user avatar
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33 votes

Why didn't Voldemort perform Priori Incantatem on Dumbledore's wand to see if he had discovered or destroyed any of his Horcruxes, after Gringotts?

Even if, contrary to @DavidS's answer, Priori Incantatem really reveals all the past spells, it's tedious work. Voldemort can assign someone to spend days going through hundreds of spells performed by ...
sampathsris's user avatar
  • 1,271
32 votes

Why were there no protective enchantments around the tent, when the trio was caught by Snatchers?

They did use protective enchantments, but they were broken due to the Taboo. They did use protective enchantments. Harry reminds himself of this when he gets nervous about some noises he heard outside ...
Obsidia's user avatar
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27 votes
Accepted

What would happen if one casts Lumos under the Invisibility Cloak?

It most likely hides the light produced from an outside viewer. There’s only one example of someone using Lumos (or any form of light) while holding the light source itself under the Cloak as well. ...
Obsidia's user avatar
  • 106k
27 votes

Why do wizards use such ineffective spells during serious situations in Harry Potter?

This seems to be due to some sort of "morality" that some of the good-guy wizards believe in, most notably Harry and Dumbledore. We know Dumbledore particularly avoided killing, as Harry stated at the ...
Alex's user avatar
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26 votes

Was Ron's failed Transfiguration actually his fault?

To answer the question as set by the title, yes, it is likely Ron's fault due to his skill, but the broken wand does not help the situation by any means. We know from Goblet of Fire that it is ...
amflare's user avatar
  • 32.5k
23 votes

Why does Newt say Lumos Maxima in the Fantastic Beasts trailer?

As a start - there is NO canon reference to the spell "Lumos Maxima" in the books. However ... In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows chapter 30 Flitwick uses the word "Horribillis" to make a ...
vap78's user avatar
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22 votes
Accepted

Expelliarmus inconsistency

It’s important to note that magical spells can vary in strength depending on users ability and power. “Avada Kedavra’s a curse that needs a powerful bit of magic be- hind it — you could all get ...
Himarm's user avatar
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22 votes

Why do wizards use such ineffective spells during serious situations in Harry Potter?

Bellatrix's answer touches on an extremely important point, although I don't think it is emphasized enough: wizards are people, and most people are conditioned from childhood not to hurt other people. ...
WhatRoughBeast's user avatar
21 votes
Accepted

Was Ron's failed Transfiguration actually his fault?

It isn't clear if Scabbers being an Animagus would affect the spell. Transfiguring animals is relatively simple - it's taught to the first-years at Hogwarts. Their Transfiguration exam in their first ...
Obsidia's user avatar
  • 106k
21 votes
Accepted

How can Newt cast Accio on a Niffler when it is only supposed to work on inanimate objects?

Accio has been used on creatures before. In the Harry Potter series, creatures have been successfully summoned by using Accio before, and aren’t harmed by it. Harry successfully Summoned Neville’s ...
Obsidia's user avatar
  • 106k
20 votes

How do spells work in Middle-earth?

In summary, per Tolkien's own words from Letter 155, magic (or spells) is largely about motives and intentions. In general, with some exceptions, magic is an inherent power (in beings like Elves/Eldar,...
ermanen's user avatar
  • 1,134
18 votes
Accepted

Is Harry the only witch/wizard to cast a spell with his wand without holding it?

We have not seen any others The vast majority of all magic performed, whether in the main series, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, or on Pottermore, involves the use of a wand. There is some wandless ...
Adamant's user avatar
  • 116k
18 votes

Why didn't Voldemort perform Priori Incantatem on Dumbledore's wand to see if he had discovered or destroyed any of his Horcruxes, after Gringotts?

Edit - it's been pointed out that Harry seems to think they can go several layers deep when checking our Hermione's wand. Given that this seems to contradict Goblet Of Fire, I can see three ...
DavidS's user avatar
  • 16.2k
16 votes

Wasn’t Quirrelmort a bit too adept with an intentional wandless magic in PS?

The Africans are known to rely much on wandless magic. The wand is a European invention, and while African witches and wizards have adopted it as a useful tool in the last century, many spells are ...
ibid's user avatar
  • 93k
16 votes
Accepted

Why does Harry Potter wear glasses?

Poor eyesight simply appears to be a non-reversible ailment among wizards. We have ample evidence that this is so, by the 19 other mentioned wizard and witches who also wear them. Amelia Bones (...
Himarm's user avatar
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