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Tom Riddle creating a Horcrux — the "darkest art"

"The Dark Arts are many, varied, ever-changing, and eternal. Fighting them is like fighting a many-headed monster, which, each time a neck is severed, sprouts a head even fiercer and cleverer than before. You are fighting that which is unfixed, mutating, indestructible."
Severus Snape's description of the Dark Arts[src]

The Dark Arts,[1] also known as Dark Magic,[2][3] referred to any type of magic that was mainly used to cause harm to, exert control over, or even kill the victim.[4][1] Despite being labelled "dark", the Dark Arts were not necessarily "evil".

The Dark Arts encompassed many spells and actions ranging from the powerful Unforgivable Curses,[4] to brewing harmful or poisonous potions[5][6] and breeding Dark creatures,[7] all of which were often illegal or at least heavily discouraged in the Wizarding world. Practitioners were referred to as Dark wizards or witches.[8][9] The most prominent and powerful of these was Lord Voldemort, who was and was widely considered to the be most evil Dark wizard in all of history.[10][11][12][13] His followers, known as Death Eaters, also heavily practised the Dark Arts.[14][5]

Nature of the Dark Arts

Tom Riddle: "I have experimented; I have pushed the boundaries of magic further, perhaps, than they have ever been pushed —"
Albus Dumbledore: "Of some kinds of magic. Of some. Of others, you remain... forgive me... woefully ignorant."
Tom Riddle: "The old argument. But nothing I have seen in the world has supported your famous pronouncements that love is more powerful than my kind of magic, Dumbledore."
— A serious discussion regarding the nature of the Dark Arts[src]

Tom Riddle after his transformation by the Dark Arts

The Dark Arts were generally regarded as corrupting to those who use them (which is part of the reason they are considered "dark"). After engaging in them extensively for many years, even Tom Riddle's appearance demonstrated his corruption — he lost his former handsomeness, eventually taking on serpentine physical qualities and red eyes.[15] Albus Dumbledore, in particular, suggested that engaging in any of the Dark Arts that involve murder was damaging to the soul;[15] for instance, he told Severus Snape that Draco Malfoy's soul was "not yet so damaged" that he was probably capable of murder, but that if he did go through with murder, his soul would be "ripped apart".[16] This suggested that using very dark magic, such as the Killing Curse, damaged an individual's soul. The dark art of creating a Horcrux involved literally splitting the soul for the unnatural purpose of achieving immortality.[15] Quirinus Quirrell was interested in dark magic, initially by a theoretical view to gain recognition, but his curiosity turned to avarice, and eventually he was completely drawn in and corrupted.[12][17]

According to Snape, the Dark Arts were pragmatic in nature, where every time a branch was defeated, it only came back "fiercer and cleverer" than before. It is therefore imperative that one's defences had to be as versatile as these foul arts themselves.[1]

Powerful dark spells also required malicious intent in order to be successful.[4][18][19] To cast the Cruciatus Curse, for instance, one had to truly desire to cause pain in and of itself, according to Bellatrix Lestrange.[18] The Dark Arts could also be difficult to control; for example, Vincent Crabbe lost control of the cursed fire he created in 1998 during the Battle of Hogwarts and was killed by it.[20] Injuries caused by dark magic sometimes never fully healed, such as George Weasley's ear after it was cut off by the Sectumsempra curse, he was struck with during the Battle of the Seven Potters.[21] Some curses could remain in one's genes, being passed down through generations as recessive, or could reemerge in a descendant that could lead to frail health. For example, Astoria Malfoy was one such victim of her ancestor's curse.[22]

Dark creatures could also have lasting impacts that were deadly or incredibly harmful to those who came into contact with them. Basilisks had the ability to petrify people who saw them indirectly or kill them with their gaze, or from the venom in their fangs.[23][7] While petrification could be cured by the Mandrake Restorative Draught,[3] and wounds from basilisk fangs cured by phoenix tears, these treatments were difficult to prepare or obtain.[13] Dementors had the ability to consume human souls with their kiss.[24] There was no cure for someone who has had their soul removed, as they spent the rest of their lives in a vegetative state.[25][26]

Protection

"You are protected, in short, by your ability to love! The only protection that can possibly work against the lure of power like Voldemort's!"
— Explanation of the best type of protection against the Dark Arts[src]

Lily Potter bodily shielding infant Harry from the Killing Curse

According to Albus Dumbledore, the only power strong enough to enable a person to resist the temptation of the Dark Arts, and to defeat them, was pure love.[12][15] He was perhaps referring to the sacrificial protection which Lily Potter inadvertently used to protect infant Harry Potter,[12][27] and Harry himself later used to protect the defenders of Hogwarts by letting himself willingly be hit by a Killing Curse from the Lord Voldemort.[28] However, Harry was not killed by this curse, since it only destroyed the part of Voldemort's soul inside him; he spent a brief time in limbo before returning to the land of the living.[29]

Ethical considerations

While the Dark Arts had a bad reputation, overall, dark magic was not, by definition, "evil" magic. Indeed, dark magic could be used for good as well as evil. Even the Killing Curse could be used for good, as Albus Dumbledore said that it would not harm Severus Snape to kill him (Dumbledore) as he had asked Snape to kill him since he was going to die anyway (and it would ultimately serve to fool Voldemort and lead to his destruction).[16] Using the Dark Arts in an act of true mercy in and of itself contradicted the very stark moral view that many such as Bartemius Crouch Senior publicly espoused regarding them.

At the same time, dark magic was not the only type of magic that could be used with the intent to kill. For example, the Severing Charm could kill if used irresponsibly or maliciously.[30]

The only exception to this rule was the spell which created a Horcrux; this was an entirely selfish act — taking a life in order to prolong one's own. This act was so reprehensible that the caster's soul became fragmented, allowing the creation of a Horcrux. The soul could only be restored by complete remorse for the murder, or repentance, which was actually painful enough to cause death.[15]

Wandlore

The suitability of a wand to perform dark magic depended, at least partly, on its core; dragon heartstring, phoenix feather, and rougarou hair had a reputation for being suitable for it, while it was hard to perform dark magic with unicorn hair wands. In addition, wands made of Applewood mixed poorly with dark magic.[31]

The Dark Arts and the law

"When a wizard goes over ter the Dark Side, there's nothin' and no one that matters to 'em any more..."
— The nature of the Dark Side[src]

Four known Death Eaters stand trial in front of the Council of Magical Law

Although many members of the wizarding world appeared to frown upon the Dark Arts, they were not prohibited (with the exception of the Unforgivables) and may have had even — under certain conditions — been encouraged.[32] For example, while Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry taught only Defence Against the Dark Arts, Durmstrang Institute teaches the Dark Arts itself.[33] Moreover, shops like Borgin and Burkes in Knockturn Alley openly trade in Dark artefacts, and are patronised by "hundreds of people",[34][35][36][37] which suggested that at least some aspects of the Dark Arts were somewhat socially acceptable or at the very least legal among parts of the wizarding population.

Also, in times of war, the Ministry of Magic had been known to permit Aurors to use strong Dark magic against its enemies.[32] When Lord Voldemort was in control of wizarding Britain in late 1997 to mid-1998, every aspect of the Dark Arts was legalised and taught at Hogwarts by Death Eater professor Amycus Carrow.[38] However, Voldemort was controlling the Ministry at this time, so it was not standard protocol.

In addition, there was a matter of degree. The three Unforgivable Curses were punishable by an automatic life sentence in Azkaban prison when used on fellow humans,[4] except when permitted in wartime,[32] whereas some types of magic could have more benign uses as well as Dark uses and, thus, were presumably not always illegal.

Of course, the law may have differed from country to country. Japan did not permit its citizens to practise the Dark Arts; to do so was a violation of the Japanese wizard's code. Anyone who did so would face trial in front of the Japanese Ministry of Magic. Furthermore, if the offender was a student at Mahoutokoro School of Magic, said offender would be immediately expelled, in addition to facing legal repercussions.[39]

Known Dark magic

Dark charms

Main article: Dark charm
"Magic always leaves traces, sometimes very distinctive traces. I taught Tom Riddle. I know his style."
Albus Dumbledore regarding the impact left by dark magic[src]

An Unforgivable Curse, the Killing Curse (Avada Kedavra)

A Dark charm was primarily defined as any charm that consistently affected the object in a negative manner, usually associated with varying levels of discomfort.[40]

Dark charms could be classified into three groups: jinxes, hexes, and curses. These groups form a hierarchy, with jinxes at the base, hexes in-between, and curses at the top. The further one ascended up this hierarchy, the more wicked, the stronger, the longer-lasting and the less reversible the Dark spell's effects appeared to be.[40] The Unforgivable Curses were the strongest known Dark spells in existence, as their effects were very powerful and their use required skill.[4]

The Unforgivable Curses were shown to Hogwarts students in Defence Against the Dark Arts class in the sixth year, but Bartemius Crouch Junior (disguised as Alastor Moody using Polyjuice Potion) in the 1994–1995 school year showed these curses to fourth years instead.[4]

Other dark spells could be used not physically on their intended targets, but could cause great harm to them nonetheless. The Taboo was a jinx that allowed the caster to track anyone who said a certain word or name. This gave the caster a great deal of power over people's speech, which spread great fear. It was notably used by Death Eaters to track their enemies during the Second Wizarding War, when they made name "Voldemort" taboo.[41][42][43][44] Lord Voldemort himself placed a powerful jinx on the position of the Hogwarts Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher in revenge after he refused the position himself, which resulted in every hired teacher of this subject being forced out of their job at the end of each school year, in various unfortunate circumstances.[37]

The following are some Dark spells:

Type Spell Incantation
Jinx
Minor dark magic, small inconvenience to the target.[40]
Knockback Jinx

[40]

Flipendo

[40]

Oppugno Jinx

[30]

Oppugno

[45]

Revulsion Jinx

[41]

Relashio

[46]

Hex
Moderate dark magic, causing major inconvenience to the target.[40]
Bat-Bogey Hex

[30]

Unknown
Knee-reversal hex

[30]

Toenail-growing hex

[47]

Curse
The worst kind of dark magic, intended to affect the target in a strongly negative manner.[40]
Cruciatus Curse

[4]

Crucio

[4]

Imperius Curse

[4]

Imperio

[4]

Killing Curse

[4]

Avada Kedavra

[4]

Dark potions

"Undoubtedly, this potion must act in a way that will prevent me taking the Horcrux. It might paralyse me, cause me to forget what I am here for, create so much pain I am distracted, or render me incapable in some other way."
Albus Dumbledore regarding the effects of the Emerald Potion[src]

Dark Potions were potions that caused negative effects on those who drank them, or caused harm in some way or another. Dark Potions may have also included ingredients that were not common in regular potions, or possessed usual properties. Some Dark potions included the following:

Potion Notes
Rudimentary body potion A potion used to or used in combination with other magic to create a rudimentary body that can be inhabited by a non-corporeal wizard. Its ingredients consisted of Unicorn blood and potent Snake venom.[5]
Regeneration potion A potion noted by Lord Voldemort to be "an old piece of Dark Magic".[5] Its ingredients included a bone from the father unknowingly given, flesh from the servant willingly given, and blood from an enemy of the one for whom it was intended. It created a new body for a Dark witch or wizard who has used Horcruxes and lost their original body, as Voldemort did. This new body was a replica of the old one and had its former powers too. It apparently required that the Dark wizard existed within a rudimentary body that could be placed within the cauldron after all the ingredients were added.[48] If the blood of the enemy contained protections or infections, like a love sacrifice, it would also affect or protect the wizard or witch reborn with it.[29]
Drink of Despair An emerald green potion used in a stone basin in which the locket Horcrux was hidden. Its consumption caused the drinker to see "terrible things", dehydrate, and experience excruciating burning in one's insides. Because of the 'terrible things' it subjected its victim to, it had an effect similar to the presence of a Dementor.[6][49]

Dark items

"Of the Horcrux, wickedest of magical inventions, we shall not speak nor give direction —"
— the introduction of Magick Moste Evile[src]

Some items can be bewitched with Dark Magic for various purposes. They then became known as Dark Magic Artefacts (or simply Dark items). The following items were associated with Dark Magic:[50]

Object Notes
Cursed books Books could be cursed to cause harm to anyone who attempts to read them. Examples include Sonnets of a Sorcerer, which cursed the reader to forever speak in limericks, an unnamed book that a person could never stop reading it, as well as one that would burn the reader's eyes out.[51] Tom Riddle's Diary was both a cursed book and a Horcrux.[13][52][15]
Hand of Glory A severed human hand with a candle placed within it. It provided light only to the holder, and was commonly attributed to catching thieves and plunderers.[34] It was also able to penetrate Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder and Light-creation spells.[53][54]
Horcrux An object (or living being) that contained a fragment of a Dark wizard's divided soul. It was used to provide protection against death, thus providing immortality, and was considered to be the darkest of all objects.[15]
Opal Necklace A cursed item which turned up in Borgin and Burkes,[34] was apparently purchased by Draco Malfoy,[53] and almost killed Katie Bell.[47] It was cursed very heavily, to the extent that merely touching it caused nearly instant death.[47] It had killed at least nineteen Muggles.[34]
Objects in the Black house Various objects belonging to the House of Black could be classified as Dark, such as an Enchanted music box that would put people to sleep,[55] Ancient purple robes that would strangle those who get close,[55] a Grandfather clock that would shoot heavy bolts at passers-by,[55] a spider-like tweezers that would puncture somebody's skin,[55] a silver snuffbox that would bite an individual,[55] and a highly dangerous locket Horcrux that contained Voldemort's mutilated soul.[49]
Black Quill An enchanted quill that did not require ink, as it wrote with the blood of the person using it. What the user wrote would be carved onto the back of his or her hand, and the blood from the words sliced into the hand would be magically siphoned and used as ink on the parchment. It was used as a torture device.[56]

Dark creatures

Many magical creatures may have be considered Dark, all of which were deeply feared and/or despised by numerous wizards and witches as a result of the danger these creatures posed to all living things. Some of those creatures included the following:

An Acromantula

Acromantulas were a species of giant spider with a taste for human flesh. There was a large colony of them living in the Forbidden Forest on the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.[57] It was implied that most wizards stayed clear of them, due to how dangerous they were. Breeding Acromantulas had been made illegal by the Ministry of Magic and were included in the Ban on Experimental Breeding.[7]

A Banshee

The Banshee was a dark creature native to Scotland and Ireland. They were malevolent spirits who assume the form of skeletal women with green skin and black hair, with a high-pitched scream which was fatal to the ears.[58] The Banshee could be effectively combated with the Laughing Potion.[59][60]

A Basilisk

A Basilisk was a giant serpent, and was also known as the King of Serpents. Looking a Basilisk directly in the eye would immediately kill the victim, but indirect contact would merely render them petrified. It was known as one of the foulest beasts on Earth, and was also the mortal enemy of spiders.[23] Breeding Basilisks had been made illegal by the Ministry of Magic and were included in the Ban on Experimental Breeding. The punishment for breeding this monstrous creature depended on the ruling of the Wizengamot.[7]

A Boggart

Boggarts were amortal shapeshifting non-beings who had the ability to assume the form of an individual's worst fear. Their true appearance was unknown due to their shapeshifting ability, and they usually preferred to inhabit dark or confined spaces. Boggarts were mischievous entities who enjoyed feeding off the human emotion of fear. They could be easily combated and restrained with the Boggart-Banishing Spell (Riddikulus), a simple charm which caused the Boggart to assume a humorous, non-threatening form, rendering it no longer frightening.[58][61]

A cloaked Dementor

Dementors were widely considered to be one of the foulest creatures to inhabit the world. Dementors fed on human happiness and thus generated feelings of depression and despair in any person in close proximity to them.[62] They could also consume a person's soul through the process known as the Dementor's Kiss.[25][24] The Dementor's Kiss was considered a fate worse than death, leaving the victim in a permanently vegetative state.[25][26]

The Gorgon was a serpentine dark creature of female appearance, with snakes for hair. Like the Basilisk, its glare was capable of causing petrification.[30]

A Grindylow

Grindylows were small, horned, pale-green water demons. They have long, strong (albeit brittle) fingers which they use to strangle their prey.[63][46][7] Students at Hogwarts were taught to defend themselves against them in their third year of Defence Against the Dark Arts education.[63]

A Hag

Hags were savage beings that looked like ugly, old witches but had more warts.[40] They possessed rudimentary magic, similar to that of a troll.[64] They prefer to eat human children and raw liver,[40] and some even advertise themselves as babysitters.[65]

An Inferius

An Inferius was a dead body, reanimated by a Dark Wizard's spell.[66][67][6] The spells used to reanimate the corpse were complex and difficult to perform. There was a large difference between an Inferius and a ghost.[68] Voldemort was known to have an army of Inferi, mostly consisting of homeless Muggles that the Dark Lord had murdered.[66]

A Lethifold attacking

A Lethifold was a carnivorous and highly dangerous magical creature. It was also considered a Dark creature because of its extremely aggressive and violent nature. The only known spell that would work against it was the highly advanced Patronus Charm.[7]

An Obscurus

An Obscurial, was a young repressed witch or wizard who had developed a dark and parasitic energy force known as an Obscurus. The Obscurus was developed through the forced repression of a young witch or wizard's magic, usually through both physical and psychological abuse. When the Obscurus became powerful and lost control, it manifested itself as a floating black cloud, which was both extremely unstable and destructive in nature. Most Obscurials died before they reached the age of ten, and the only documented case of an Obscurial surviving past this age was with the American wizard Credence Barebone.[69][70]

The Red Cap was a small, dwarf-like magical beast that is attracted to places where human blood had been spilt, and would bludgeon the unwary to death with a club.[71][7] They could be repelled with the Beautification Potion.[59]

A Rougarou was a dangerous dog-headed monster that inhabited the swampy regions of Louisiana in the United States.[72]

A Vampire

A Vampire was a dark magical humanoid that was famed for biting people on the neck and sucking their blood. They were part of the family of beings known as the Living Dead.[40]

A transformed Werewolf

A Werewolf was a human-being who, upon the complete rising of the full moon, became a fearsome and deadly near-wolf. This condition is caused by infection with lycanthropy.[63] Werewolves were unfairly treated and discriminated against within the magical community, and were looked down upon and despised by witches and wizards who did not have the condition. The Ministry of Magic had introduced legislation in regards to Werewolves, as a means of controlling them.[73]

The Zombie was a dark creature which was a member of the Living Dead, that dwelled in the Southern regions of the United States of America. They were identifiable by their greyish, decomposing skin and foul rotting smell.[40]

Dark practices

Some other practices that would be considered dark included: breaking the Ban on Experimental Breeding by hatching a basilisk,[7] consuming the blood of a unicorn,[74] and Necromancy, the Dark Art of raising the dead.[6][75]

Known practitioners

The following wizards and witches were known to have heavily used and practised Dark Magic. Note that as above, the Dark Arts encompassed many different types of spells and practices, including many that seemed to be in everyday use by most wizards — this section was limited to those who had used strong dark magic at least once, with malicious and selish intent.

Dark Wizards

Wizard(s) Notes
Barnabas Deverill Possibly the most dangerous dark wizard of the early 18th century, notorious for using the Elder Wand to carve himself a reputation as a fearsome warlock, until his reign of terror was ended.
Delphini The illegitimate daughter of Lord Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange, who attempted to reverse the result of the Second Wizarding War through Time travel in the 21st century.[22]
Dolores Umbridge A British Ministry of Magic bureaucrat who served as Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic in the 1990s until 1998, Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor and "High Inquisitor" of Hogwarts School during the 1995–1996 school year, and Head of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission at the height of the Second Wizarding War; credited for inventing the Black Quill,[76] as well as giving unauthorised and malicious tasks to Dementors.[77]
Egbert the Egregious Mastered the Elder Wand after killing Emeric the Evil in a ferocious duel.
Ekrizdis A dark wizard of unknown nationality and the original inhabitant of the fortress of Azkaban.
Emeric the Evil A short-lived but exceptionally aggressive dark wizard who terrorised the south of England in the early Middle Ages; first recorded master of the Elder Wand.
Gellert Grindelwald The most dangerous dark wizard of the early 20th century, notorious for initiating the For the Greater Good revolution that terrorised Europe from 1910 to 1945; regarded as an accomplished Seer and believer in the Deathly Hallows, having mastered the Elder Wand from Mykew Gregorovitch. Eventually defeated by Albus Dumbledore and imprisoned within his own fortress of Nurmengard.[78]
Godelot An "unpleasant character" who once owned the Elder Wand.
Gormlaith Gaunt A pure-blood supremacist and the aunt of Isolt Sayre.[79]
Hereward Mastered the Elder Wand after murdering his own father Godelot to acquire it.
Herpo the Foul Regarded as the first dark wizard to successfully hatch Basilisk, create a Horcrux and speak Parseltongue.[7]
Loxias Master of the Elder Wand after Barnabas Deverill and gave it the name of "the Deathstick".
Merwyn the Malicious Credited with the invention of many unpleasant jinxes and hexes.[80]
Morgan le Fay Antagonised her half-brother King Arthur and Merlin in many Arthurian legends; regarded as a proficient healer and bird Animagus.[80]
Narcissa Malfoy Not officially a Death Eater herself, believed in the importance of blood purity and supported her husband in following Lord Voldemort. Was stated by her former House-Elf Dobby as being a practising dark witch.[81]
Niko Nenad A former Beater for the Romanian National Quidditch team, who was infamous for jinxing an entire forest in Siberia with the assistance of local Dark Wizards near a Quidditch pitch before a game during the 1809 Quidditch World Cup, resulting in the Attack of the Killer Forest.[82]
Patricia Rakepick A former Curse-Breaker for Gringotts and Defence Against the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts, who was highly proficient with the Unforgivable Curses and other dark spells.[83][84][85][86]
Quirinus Quirrell A timid child prodigy,[17] who served as Muggle Studies Professor of Hogwarts from the 1980s to 1990, and later as Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor of Hogwarts during the 1991-1992 school year, aiding Lord Voldemort in his attempt to steal the Philosopher's Stone. Died in vain trying to murder Harry Potter on his master's orders in the Skirmish in the Underground Chambers.[12][17]
Raczidian Attacked a wizarding village near his Dementor-infested castle in an attempt to abduct and marry the young witch Eliana, only to be foiled by the Patronus of her orphaned lover Illyius.[30]
Salazar Slytherin One of the four founders of Hogwarts School and most notorious champions of pure-blood supremacy, who secretly built the Chamber of Secrets for the purpose of housing his Basilisk until the time came for it to purge the school of all Muggle-born students; also regarded as one of the earliest known Parselmouths, accomplished Legilimens, and notable ancestor of the House of Gaunt.[3]
Lord Voldemort A former shop assistant at Borgin and Burkes,[37] who became the most powerful and dangerous dark wizard of all time, ill-famed for initiating the two Magic is Might insurrections that terrorised Great Britain from 1970 to 1981, then again from 1995 to 1998; also regarded as a Parselmouth and the sole dark wizard to ever create several Horcruxes.[15] Eventually defeated and killed by Harry Potter at the Battle of Hogwarts.[87]
Walburga Black A pure-blood supremacist and believer in Voldemort's cause.[55]

Death Eaters

Wizard(s) Status Notes
Alecto Carrow Possibly imprisoned Former professor of Muggle Studies; she taught the hateful ideology that Muggles are inferior to Wizardkind, and punished students with the Cruciatus Curse who rejected her authority.[88]
Amycus Carrow 1997, Amycus was made Defence Against the Dark Arts professor. This class, which for all intents and purposes simply became "Dark Arts", and punished students with the Cruciatus Curse who rejected his authority.[88]
Antonin Dolohov Killed or imprisoned Fought in the First Wizarding War, during which he tortured many Muggles as well as wizards and witches who were not supporters of the Dark Lord.[89]
Augustus Rookwood Spy who worked as an Unspeakable in the Department of Mysteries.[89]
Avery I Member of Tom Riddle's gang when they attended Hogwarts.
Bartemius Crouch Jnr Dementor's Kiss A loyal follower who helped ensure Voldemort's return to power in 1995.[90]
Bellatrix Lestrange Deceased Voldemort's most loyal follower and best lieutenant.[89][91] She was the last of the Death Eaters standing during the Battle of Hogwarts.[87]
Corban Yaxley Possibly imprisoned Since Voldemort was in control of the Ministry of Magic, Yaxley became the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.[92]
Draco Malfoy Defected Was made a Death Eater as a means to punish his father and given the task of assassinating Albus Dumbledore.[53]
Evan Rosier Deceased After graduating from Hogwarts, he became a Death Eater.[89]
Crabbe Possibly imprisoned. Participated in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries.[91]
Avery II
Goyle Returned to Lord Voldemort when he rose to power again in 1995.[5]
Gregory Goyle Fought in the Battle of Hogwarts.[20]
Igor Karkaroff Deceased Headmaster of Durmstrang Institute and was murdered for defecting.[35]
Lestrange Member of Tom Riddle's gang and one of the earliest Death Eaters.
Lucius Malfoy Defected He joined the Death Eaters, who shared his views on blood purity, and participated in the First and Second Wizarding War.[5]
Mulciber I Possibly imprisoned. Member of Tom Riddle's gang and one of the earliest Death Eaters.
Mulciber II After graduating from Hogwarts, he became a Death Eater.
Nott Member of Tom Riddle's gang and one of the earliest Death Eaters.
Peter Pettigrew Deceased Betrayed the Potter family to Voldemort during the First Wizarding War.[93]
Rabastan Lestrange Possibly imprisoned Brother of Rodolphus and brother-in-law of Bellatrix. He fought in the First and Second Wizarding Wars.
Regulus Black Deceased Discovered the location of Voldemort's locket Horcrux and was drowned in his lake of Inferi.[49]
Rodolphus Lestrange Possibly imprisoned Brother of Rabastan and husband of Bellatrix. He fought in the First and Second Wizarding Wars.
Rosier One of the earliest Death Eaters of Lord Voldemort. He fought in the First Wizarding War.
Severus Snape Defected Became a spy for the Order and was instrumental in the defeat of Voldemort.[16] Despite this, he invented and utilised several Dark charms in his lifetime.[94]
Travers Possibly imprisoned He fought in the First Wizarding War, during which he helped murdered Marlene McKinnon and her family, and was imprisoned for committing this crime. He also fought in the Second Wizarding War.
Vincent Crabbe Deceased Died during the Battle of Hogwarts attempting to murder the trio, after conjuring Fiendfyre during the Skirmish at the Room of Requirement and perishing in the cursed flames.[20]
Walden Macnair Possibly imprisoned He managed to avoid Azkaban, and worked for the Ministry of Magic as Executioner. He fought in the First and Second Wizarding Wars.[95]
Other Death Eaters

Non-Dark Wizards

Wizard(s) Status Notes
Alastor Moody Occasional user Capable of performing the Unforgivable Curses and many other curses, hexes, and jinxes.[89]
Albus Dumbledore Capable of performing many curses, hexes, and jinxes.
Bartemius Crouch Senior Capable of performing the Imperius Curse, despite his intense hatred and opposition to the Dark Arts, ironically.[90]
Ginevra Weasley Capable of performing a highly powerful Bat-Bogey Hex[55][96] and could perform other curses, hexes, and jinxes.
Harry Potter Capable of performing two of the three Unforgivable Curses and many other curses, hexes, and jinxes.
Hermione Granger Capable of performing many curses, hexes, and jinxes.
Isolt Sayre
Minerva McGonagall Capable of performing the Imperius Curse,[19] along with other dark spells, such as the Deterioration Hex,[97] Knockback Jinx[98] and Oscausi.[70]
Molly Weasley Capable of performing many curses, hexes, and jinxes. This includes a powerful and lethal curse that killed Bellatrix Lestrange during the Battle of Hogwarts.[87]
Pius Thicknesse Imperiused While Imperiused, he performed numerous dark charms under the Death Eaters malign influence.
Viktor Krum While Imperiused, he performed the Cruciatus Curse.[99]
Durmstrang students Durmstrang is infamous for teaching its students the Dark Arts.[33]
Hogwarts students (1997–1998 school year) Threatened Forced to perform the Dark Arts, including the Unforgivable Curses. The members of the D.A. refused and were punished for it.[19]

Known texts

The following texts are known to discuss the Dark Arts:

In Wizarding fiction

The Warlock in the wizarding fairy tale The Warlock's Hairy Heart, found in The Tales of Beedle the Bard, utilised a piece of Dark Magic to remove his heart from his body to ensure he would never fall in love, while keeping himself alive without this vital organ within his body.[105]

Behind the scenes

  • The Dark Arts are similar to magic known as maleficium, which is used in a similar manner.

Appearances

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 9 (The Half-Blood Prince)
  2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 11 (Quidditch)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 9 (The Writing on the Wall)
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 14 (The Unforgivable Curses)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 33 (The Death Eaters)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 26 (The Cave)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  8. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 6 (The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters)
  9. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 8 (The Potions Master)
  10. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 1 (The Boy Who Lived)
  11. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 4 (The Keeper of the Keys)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17 (The Man with Two Faces)
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 17 (The Heir of Slytherin)
  14. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 9 (The Dark Mark)
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 23 (Horcruxes)
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33 (The Prince's Tale)
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Professor Quirrell" at Wizarding World
  18. 18.0 18.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 36 (The Only One He Ever Feared)
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 30 (The Sacking of Severus Snape)
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
  21. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 5 (Fallen Warrior). Also in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 17 (Bathilda's Secret), Harry mentions "the injuries from Dark Magic... You can't repair the damage."
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  23. 23.0 23.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16 (The Chamber of Secrets)
  24. 24.0 24.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 20 (The Dementor's Kiss)
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 12 (The Patronus)
  26. 26.0 26.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 36 (The Parting of the Ways)
  27. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 37 (The Lost Prophecy)
  28. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 34 (The Forest Again)
  29. 29.0 29.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 35 (King's Cross)
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 30.5 Wonderbook: Book of Spells
  31. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Wand Woods" at Wizarding World
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 27 (Padfoot Returns)
  33. 33.0 33.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 11 (Aboard the Hogwarts Express)
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 4 (At Flourish and Blotts)
  35. 35.0 35.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 6 (Draco's Detour)
  36. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 13 (The Secret Riddle)
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 20 (Lord Voldemort's Request)
  38. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 29 (The Lost Diadem)
  39. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Mahoutokoro" at Wizarding World
  40. 40.00 40.01 40.02 40.03 40.04 40.05 40.06 40.07 40.08 40.09 40.10 Pottermore
  41. 41.0 41.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 14 (The Thief)
  42. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 21 (The Tale of the Three Brothers)
  43. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 22 (The Deathly Hallows)
  44. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 23 (Malfoy Manor)
  45. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 14 (Felix Felicis)
  46. 46.0 46.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 26 (The Second Task)
  47. 47.0 47.1 47.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 12 (Silver and Opals)
  48. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 32 (Flesh, Blood and Bone)
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 10 (Kreacher's Tale)
  50. Harry Potter Lexicon: Dark Magic Items
  51. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 13 (The Very Secret Diary)
  52. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 18 (Dobby's Reward)
  53. 53.0 53.1 53.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 27 (The Lightning-Struck Tower)
  54. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 29 (The Phoenix Lament)
  55. 55.0 55.1 55.2 55.3 55.4 55.5 55.6 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 6 (The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black)
  56. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 13 (Detention with Dolores)
  57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 15 (Aragog)
  58. 58.0 58.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 7 (The Boggart in the Wardrobe)
  59. 59.0 59.1 Wonderbook: Book of Potions
  60. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 24 (Return to the Forest) - Defence Against the Dark Arts Lesson "Banshees"
  61. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Boggart" at Wizarding World
  62. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 5 (The Dementor)
  63. 63.0 63.1 63.2 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 9 (Grim Defeat)
  64. J. K. Rowling's official site
  65. Daily Prophet Newsletters
  66. 66.0 66.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 4 (Horace Slughorn)
  67. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Inferi" at Wizarding World
  68. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 21 (The Unknowable Room)
  69. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay
  70. 70.0 70.1 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay
  71. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady)
  72. "History of Magic in North America: 1920s Wizarding America" on Pottermore
  73. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Werewolves" at Wizarding World
  74. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 15 (The Forbidden Forest)
  75. The Tales of Beedle the Bard - "The Tale of the Three Brothers"
  76. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Dolores Umbridge" at Wizarding World
  77. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 32 (Out of the Fire)
  78. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 18 (The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore)
  79. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" at Wizarding World
  80. 80.0 80.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
  81. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 21 (The House-Elf Liberation Front)
  82. History of the Quidditch World Cup from Pottermore (via The Internet Archive)
  83. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 19 (The Unforgivable Curses)
  84. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 30 (Into the Vault)
  85. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 18 (Into the Forest)
  86. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 42 (The Final Vault)
  87. 87.0 87.1 87.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)
  88. 88.0 88.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 29 (The Lost Diadem)
  89. 89.0 89.1 89.2 89.3 89.4 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve)
  90. 90.0 90.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)
  91. 91.0 91.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 35 (Beyond the Veil)
  92. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 1 (The Dark Lord Ascending)
  93. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 19 (The Servant of Lord Voldemort)
  94. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 28 (Flight of the Prince)
  95. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 20 (Hagrid's Tale)
  96. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 33 (Fight and Flight)
  97. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
  98. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 2, Chapter 3 (The Black Quill)
  99. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 31 (The Third Task)
  100. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 6 (The Ghoul in Pyjamas)
  101. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 18 (Birthday Surprises)
  102. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 5 (Diagon Alley)
  103. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 20 (The First Task)
  104. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 18 (Dumbledore's Army)
  105. The Tales of Beedle the Bard - "The Warlock's Hairy Heart"