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"Dark charms are known as jinxes, hexes and curses. This book does not deal with such spells."
The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1[src]

Dark charms are charms that have connotations of dark magic. Like all charms, a dark charm will provoke a magical effect on a target, but in a malicious and harmful manner. The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1 does not carry instructions for such spells.[1]

Classification

The three types of dark charms in order of increasing severity are jinxes, hexes, and curses.

Type Example Incantation
Jinx
Minor dark magic, irritating but amusing effects.
Knockback Jinx Flipendo
Oppugno Jinx Oppugno
Revulsion Jinx Relashio
Hex
Moderate dark magic, causes moderate suffering. 
Bat-Bogey Hex Unknown
Knee-reversal hex
Toenail-growing hex
Curse
The worst kind of dark magic, causes immense suffering to the victim.
Cruciatus Curse Crucio
Imperius Curse Imperio
Killing Curse Avada Kedavra

Behind the scenes

  • Even though Rowling herself specified the differences between curses, hexes, and jinxes, she states that "Within the Potter world, the boundaries are flexible and I imagine that wizards may have their own ideas."[2] This shows that the categorization of dark charms is not set and stone, and may sometimes be used interchangeably. This explains why some spells are known by multiple names, like why the Slug-vomiting Charm is a curse, and why the Jelly-Legs Curse is also sometimes known as the Jelly-Legs Jinx. This also explains why some curses, such as the Leg-Locker Curse, Jelly-Legs Curse and Full Body-Bind Curse, which don't cause any lasting injury, seem to fall more under the definition of a jinx or hex, while Voldemort's Jinx on the post of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher has had serious, lasting consequences for several of those affected, which would seem more like a curse.

Appearances

Notes and references