Do You Remember What These Harry Potter Spells Do?
By: Brittany Rowland
Image: Warner Bros.
About This Quiz
If you, like many people young and old, got pulled into the initial Harry Potter mania of the late 1990s and early 2000s, then you remember the magical anticipation and excitement for each new book and movie premiere. People flocked to bookstores and movie theaters, dressed in flowing wizard robes or proudly wearing the colors of their favorite Hogwarts house.
Children and young adults in particular devoured the seven books, often reading them multiple times. Educators and librarians noted that previously reluctant readers couldn't get enough of the Harry Potter books, the longest of which had over 800 pages! And a recent psychological study provided evidence that children who read the Harry Potter books have more tolerance and empathy for stigmatized groups in society. That's a pretty big impact for a children's fantasy series!
The last book came out in 2007, and the final film in 2011, so it's been a while. But can you still remember the spells, jinxes and curses that Harry Potter and his friends learned in their Hogwarts classes? See if you still have what it takes to attend Hogwarts. You never know, there might be an owl with your acceptance letter just around the corner!
If you uttered the spell "Wingardium Leviosa," what would happen?
In the first "Harry Potter" book, Hermione lectures Ron on the correct pronunciation of this spell. Then she shows everyone in Charms class exactly how it's done, levitating a feather.
"Avada Kedavra" is also known as what?
The Killing Curse is one of the three Unforgivable Curses because it causes instantaneous death for its target. Using this curse earns the witch or wizard a one-way ticket to Azkaban Prison!
Yikes, Dementors are near! The spell "Expecto Patronum" would produce what protective force?
The Patronus Charm protects witches and wizards from soul-sucking Dementors. A Patronus is a glowing guardian in the form of an animal. Harry's, for instance, is a stag, like his father's.
One of the three Unforgivable Curses is "Crucio," which does what?
The Cruciatus Curse causes its target severe pain, which is why it's forbidden by the Ministry of Magic. It's also one of the curses favored by Voldemort and his Death Eaters, the baddies.
Time for a wizarding duel! What spell can you use to disarm your opponent?
Shouting "Expelliarmus" will cause your opponent's wand to fly out of their hand. It's a popular spell in duels and can even disarm more than one person at once if they're standing close together.
Instead of calling a locksmith when you're locked out, you can use which spell to unlock doors?
This simple Unlocking Spell is also called the Thief's Friend because it allows the user to discreetly open a locked door. However, a person can bewitch a door to keep "Alohomora" from working.
The spell "Portus" creates what kind of magical object?
By using the "Portus" spell, a witch or wizard can turn any ordinary object into a Portkey. Touching a Portkey transports a person to a specific location, but involves some discomfort.
"Rictusempra!" you shout at your friend, causing them to feel what?
The Tickling Charm sounds harmless, but if you've ever been tickled mercilessly, you know that it's no joke (even if you're laughing uncontrollably). Harry uses this spell on Draco in a duel.
To defeat a shapeshifting Boggart, you need to remember which spell?
A Boggart appears in the form of whatever you fear most, but disappears when you laugh. The "Riddikulus" spell turns the Boggart into something silly, which helps you defeat it with your chuckles.
The spell "Nox" does what to a magic wand?
Wands are like smartphones in the sense that they function as a handy-dandy flashlight. But if you want to extinguish the light at the end of the wand, all you have to say is "Nox."
One of Harry Potter's go-to spells is "Stupefy," which does what to his enemies?
The Stunning Spell is a useful curse if you want to temporarily disable someone but not harm them. Harry himself refers to it as a "wizard's bread and butter" in the "Order of the Phoenix" film.
If you wanted to speak privately to someone without anyone else overhearing, what spell could you use?
Severus Snape created this charm as a student, and it's certainly a handy one for students who don't want to be overheard talking by the professor! All other people will hear is a strange buzzing sound.
"Oculus Reparo" is a charm with what specific purpose?
In the first Harry Potter film, Hermione repairs Harry's glasses with this charm, showing herself to already be a skilled witch. "Reparo" is a general mending charm to fix anything.
Oh dear, you left your phone downstairs and don't feel like getting up. What spell could you use to summon it?
We can think of so many situations where the Summoning Charm would be perfect. You'd never have to get up for snacks while watching TV again! Harry learns it in his fourth year at Hogwarts.
"Tarantallegra" is also known as what?
The spell's name is inspired by the Tarantella, an Italian dance. The Dancing Feet Spell makes a person have uncontrollable leg spasms. The result is it looks like they're dancing!
The spell "Aguamenti" makes what come out of the caster's wand?
Anytime a witch or wizard needs clean drinking water, they can simply use the "Aguamenti" spell with their wand. This spell can also be used to fight fires — unless it's Fiendfyre, of course.
Ouch, you got a paper cut! Which spell could you use to heal it?
"Episkey" is a healing charm that works on minor injuries. For instance, after Draco smashes Harry's nose on the Hogwarts Express in "The Half-Blood Prince," Tonks fixes it with "Episkey."
Uh-oh, you got hit with the "Densaugeo" hex, which makes what body part grow rapidly?
Hermione gets hit with this hex accidentally, and her already prominent front teeth start growing down to her chin. Luckily Madam Pomfrey is able to fix them. Who needs orthodontia at Hogwarts?
"Homenum Revelio" allows the caster to do what?
Dumbledore can use a nonverbal version of this spell to tell when someone's hidden under an Invisibility Cloak (Hello, Harry). It works on people, but apparently not on elves or goblins.
If you were on a camping trip, "Incendio" would be useful because it does what?
"Incendio" is a Fire-Making Spell, akin to Muggles' lighters or matches. It's a basic spell taught to First Years at Hogwarts, and wizards and witches use it regularly, such as to light the fireplace.
Poor Neville gets hit with a curse which temporarily paralyzes his body. What is it?
To save the Philosopher's Stone, Hermione uses the Full Body-Bind Curse on her friend Neville. Poor Longbottom! At least Dumbledore acknowledges his courage at the House Cup ceremony.
Although Gilderoy Lockhart failed at this charm, "Brackium Emendo" is supposed to do what?
Poor Harry needed Skele-Gro after incompetent Professor Lockhart made his arm bones disappear with a botched "Brackium Emendo" healing spell. Best to leave the spell to Madam Pomfrey, the school nurse!
"Sonorus" does what to the spell caster?
Megaphones aren't necessary in the wizarding world! The Amplifying Charm works perfectly at raucous, celebratory events, like the Quidditch World Cup and the Triwizard Tournament.
"Serpensortia" is used to conjure what type of creature?
The Latin word for serpent is "serpens." Draco uses this spell while dueling Harry in "Chamber of Secrets," and Harry unwittingly reveals that he's a Parselmouth — someone who can speak to snakes!
If you used "Obliviate" on someone, what would happen?
A witch or wizard can use the Memory Charm to remove specific memories in a target's mind. They frequently use "Obliviate" on Muggles to keep non-magical people in the dark about the magical world.
"Priori Incantato" reveals which of the following?
Using the Reverse Spell reveals what spell a wand last performed. For instance, in "Goblet of Fire," Voldemort's wand reveals ghostly images of the people he had recently killed. Poor Cedric!
You can use the spell "Relashio" to make a person do what?
"Relashio" is the Revulsion Jinx, which forces someone to let go of whatever they're holding. During the Triwizard Tournament, Harry uses this spell when a Grindylow has his ankle in its grasp.
"Imperio" is an Unforgivable Curse because it does what?
As the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Mad-Eye Moody demonstrates the Imperius Curse with a spider. Little did the students know that their teacher was a Death Eater in disguise!
If you wanted a person to hover in the air upside down, which spell would you use?
The "Levicorpus" spell works as if some invisible force pulls a person up by their ankles and dangles them upside down. This is one of the creative jinxes that Snape invented as a student.
Blimey, it's dark in here! Use which spell to light up your wand?
"Lumos" lights up the tip of the user's wand. Harry makes good use of this spell when he has to follow the spiders into the Forbidden Forest, where he meets Hagrid's, erm, friend Aragog.
"Mimblewimble" is a useful spell if you want to keep an opponent from doing what?
Also known as the Tongue-Tying Curse, "Mimblewimble" is helpful when you need to prevent someone from speaking or, say, casting a spell. It literally causes the target's tongue to curl backward.
Ugh, this room is a mess! What spell will help you clean things?
The Scouring Charm would undoubtedly come in handy when cleaning the litter box or tackling a tower of dirty dishes. Some people even use it to "clean out" a person's mouth when they curse.
An annoying curse would be "Mucus ad Nauseam," which gives someone which of the following?
Professor Quirrell mentions this curse to his students, although it's hard to imagine it having any practical educational purpose! The Curse of the Bogies gives the victim a bad cold.
If you fell off your broomstick, the "Molliare" charm would protect you how?
Hermione uses this spell in "The Deathly Hallows" to save herself, Harry and Ron when they fall out of a cart within Gringotts Wizarding Bank. We'll take this spell over a bed sheet parachute!
Which jinx is also known as the Jelly-Legs Curse?
This spell turns the target's legs to jelly (figuratively), making them flop to the floor. At Hogwarts, where there are a lot of student rivalries, it's easy to imagine this curse being popular!
What does the "Geminio" charm do to an object?
The Doubling Charm can make an exact copy of something, but the spell can be used for nefarious purposes too. In a Gringotts vault, the trio are almost killed by rapidly duplicating goblets.
Professor Lupin once shot chewing gum at Peeves the poltergeist using which spell?
In "The Prisoner of Azkaban," Professor Lupin uses this spell on Peeves, the obnoxious poltergeist who tragically didn't make it into the films. The jinx turns small, soft objects into missiles.
If you used the "Colloshoo" hex, what would happen to your target?
If Hogwarts had physical education classes, the students might use the Stickfast Hex to cheat in foot races! It's too bad the school doesn't have a wizarding equivalent of gym class.
Which charm leaves its target hopelessly befuddled?
In "Half-Blood Prince," Hermione uses this spell on Cormac to give Ron an edge in Quidditch tryouts. This is one of the few times we see her using magic unethically, showing her feelings for Ron.
Instead of yelling at someone to go away, you could use the Banishing Charm by saying what?
The students practice this charm with cushions, but Neville, naturally, has a bit of trouble with the spell. He even banishes Professor Flitwick by accident! "Depulso" is the opposite of "Accio."
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