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The 27 Harry Potter Spells Everyone Should Know

That owl is going to show up any day now.

Since the moment the Owl Post first arrived at 4 Privet Drive, millions of readers have dreamed of receiving an acceptance letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the magical place where young wizards can learn Harry Potter charms and spells, among other adventures. Nearly two decades later, most of us are still waiting, if not lost hope that they’ll ever have the chance to ride the Hogwarts Express, meet Harry Potter, learn charms with Professor Flitwick, and find out once and for all which house they would really be sorted into.

Us muggles may not be able to take trips to Hogsmeade, watch Quidditch games, and take potion exams. But on the off chance that your owl just got lost for a couple of decades — or that your kid is a Muggleborn witch or wizard waiting for their talent with magic to be unveiled —these  25 Harry Potter spells will ensure you (or your kid) are at the top of your class when your letter finally comes. After all, even if we can’t learn the Harry Potter spells and what they do in a classroom, there’s nothing wrong with some at-home learning.

From levitating spells to the knock-out charms, to the death, love, healing and light spells, to the ones that make things fly or can help you defeat Voldemort without so much as committing a crime, these are the 27 best Harry Potter charms that should be on the lips of every respectable witch and wizard around. (Sorry, Death Eaters, Unforgivable Curses are not included.)

Accio

A summoning charm that will magically bring whatever item you need, so long as you say, “Accio [Insert name of item].” This spell saved Harry from becoming Dragon food during the Triwizard Tournament and is a great way to get a snack without having to get off the couch.

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Alohomora

This spell unlocks doors, which is kind of creepy but at least you don’t need to worry if you locked your keys in your car. It was first seen in the first movie, when Hermione used the charm when Ron, Harry and Hermione were escaping the Hogwarts caretaker Argus Filch’s cat.

Aguamenti

An extremely underrated charm that literally produces water out of thin air. Honestly, why haven’t wizards used this to help the one billion people who don’t have access to clean water? Why haven’t they given this technology to our bravest firefighters? Probably best not to dwell on that and just enjoy a nice glass of enchanted water.

Brackium Emendo

A healing spell that, when used correctly, will instantly heal broken bones. Sadly, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Defense Against the Dark Arts professor and all-around fraud, Gilderoy Lockhart, fucked it up and made the broken bones in Harry’s arm bone to disappear entirely.

Bubble-Head Charm

A charm that produces a bubble of air around your mouth while you’re underwater. Basically, you get gills. Cedric Diggory used this charm in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the second task.

Confundo

Looking to cause someone to become temporarily befuddled? Look no further than this morally questionable, but unquestionably effective, charm.

Cushioning Charm

Never worry about falling again thanks to this charm that creates an invisible cushion around you or whatever you decide to use it on.

Engorgio

This charm causes its target to grow exponentially in size. There is also the Growing Charm, which seems to do the exact same thing.

Expecto Patronum

A protective charm that channels a person’s happiest memory to keep those soul-sucking Dementors at bay. The spell was a major plot point in the third Harry Potter installment and throughout the series and is some seriously advanced magic.

Expelliarmus

The signature move of the Boy Who Lived, this defensive spell will remove the wand from your opponent’s hand because violence is never the answer. (We caution against having any signature spell, as this gave Harry great trouble in the later books when Death Eaters realized that anyone using the charm might be him in disguise.)

Finite Incantatem

A general counter-spell that undoes all spells cast in the surrounding area from where it was cast. It’s great for helping bodies who might be under the attack of a Bat-Bogey Hex (Volatilis Lutum), for example.

Furnunculus

Do you have a bully you’d really like to harm? Furnunculus, though perhaps not the nicest charm to cast, will do the trick. Cast it at your target and watch in horror as they are covered in angry, painful boils.

Gripping Charm

As the name implies, this charm helps the caster grip an item with ease.

Homenum Revelio

This spell reveals all human presence around you, so that no one can ever sneak up on you.

Lumos

A very handy charm that lights the tip of your wand in case. It’s like the flashlight on your iPhone, except magic. An added bonus spell is Lumos Maxima, which allows the bulb of light to fling into the sky and provide light all around a dark room, for example.

Muffliato

This spell is especially useful for parents hoping to discuss delicate topics around their kids, or when hatching plans to, say, take down a sham government that was propped up during a Death Eater takeover. Muffliato fills targets’ ears with a buzzing noise, making them unable to hear anything around them.

Obliviate

A controversial charm that allows you to erase the memory of targets. The charm can be very tricky to use — it can cause memory loss so extreme that those who have been privy to it forget who they are, as is the case of Gilderoy Lockhart, who suffers permanent brain damage after the spell backfired on him when he was trying to take credit for killing the Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets and ruin Harry and Ron’s memory. But it can be very useful in a time of great need.

Oculus Reparo

This spell fixes glasses. Simple and to the point. Of course, the question of why wizards don’t just have a spell to fix eyesight is legitimate, but we don’t have all the answers. And avoiding a trip to the LensCrafters or the Warby Parker and shuffling around among muggles isn’t a bad thing.

Petrificus Totalus

A body-binding curse that causes a person to experience temporary full-body paralysis. Morally dubious? Certainly. It still might come in handy someday.

Point Me

This spell turns your wand into a compass and automatically points you North. It sounds easy, because it is!

Protego

A shield charm that will cause minor jinxes or hexes to bounce back to the person who cast it without hurting you. This can, of course, hit other unintended targets (statues, ghosts, etc.,) but it should be fine as long as it’s not an Unforgivable Curse.

Reducio

The opposite of Engorgio, this charm causes its target to shrink exponentially in size.

Rictusempra

Rictusempra is a great charm that can be used in battle or in jest if need be. After uttering the charm, the spellcasting wizard can expect their opponent to break out in unstoppable giggles from getting tickled. It sounds worse than it is.

Riddikulus

Riddikulus is a spell that is meant to deal with a beast of a certain nature: a boggart. The boggart, essentially a household pest, is a shapeshifter that will turn into the greatest fear of any person it encounters, making it a grueling process to get rid of. Fortunately, this spell takes your greatest fear and transforms it into something, well, ridiculous.

Scourgify

Hate spring cleaning? Then you’ll love this charm that does the cleaning for you.

Stupefy

A charm that stuns the target and temporarily knocks them unconscious. Since it’s a lot like a fist-fight but for wizards, it should only be used in dire circumstances.

Wingardium Leviosa

An introductory spell that allows wizards to make objects levitate with the flick of their wand. Just make sure you’re getting that pronunciation right.