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"Harry looked down at his body, or rather, what had been his body, for it didn't look anything like his anymore. It was not invisible; it had simply taken on the exact colour and texture of the kitchen unit behind him. He seemed to have become a human chameleon."
— Description[src]

The Disillusionment Charm (incantation unknown) was a charm that disguised a target as its surroundings, not by making it invisible, but by making it take on the exact colour and texture of its environment, effectively turning it into a chameleon.[2][3]


Hippogriffs and winged horses may have been kept by wizards, as long as they performed a Disillusionment Charm on them daily (as their effects were apt to wear off) so that Muggles would not notice anything strange about them. It was also noted that one of the ways to create an invisibility cloak was to imbue a travelling cloak with a Disillusionment Charm, although the charms on these cloaks wore off with time.[4]

During the 1987–1988 school year, R sent a messenger to confront Jacob's sibling about the student's quest for the Cursed Vaults. This messenger's face was concealed by a red hooded cloak and a Disillusionment Charm. After Patricia Rakepick defeated the messenger with the Blasting Curse, Jacob's sibling used a General Counter-Spell to remove the charm, revealing their identity.[5]

During the 1988–1989 school year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, fifth-year Charms class students were taught about this charm by Professor Filius Flitwick for the Ordinary Wizarding Levels in the subject.[3]

In December 1997, Hermione Granger suggested using a Disillusionment Charm when she and Harry Potter were planning the visit to Godric's Hollow.[6]


It is presumed that there were two methods of casting. It seemed that if one was using the charm on themselves, they must have twirled their wand around themselves as though they were wrapping themselves in rope.[7] If, however, they were using it on an external target, they must have merely tapped on the target with their wand. This then produced a sensation that a raw egg had been cracked onto the person's head as the charm travelled down them,[2] granting them invisibility.[1]

Known uses

"I don't need a cloak to become invisible."
Albus Dumbledore to Harry Potter[src]
Caster(s) Date Notes
Merula Snyde 1986–1987 school year Used it on herself to spy on Jacob's sibling and Talbott Winger.[8]
A member of R 1987–1988 school year One of these charms was used to conceal the face of Ben Copper while he acted as one of R's messengers, cloaked in red.[5]
Albus Dumbledore December 1991 Did not need an Invisibility Cloak because he could perform a Disillusionment Charm that was powerful enough to make him effectively invisible without one.[9][10]
Alastor Moody 5 August, 1995 Used it on Harry Potter to protect him during the trip from 4 Privet Drive to 12 Grimmauld Place.[2]
Hermione Granger 1997-1998 Used it as part of the protective enchantments used to hide the camp she shared with Harry Potter and Ron Weasley during the hunt for the Horcruxes.[11]
Harry Potter Would occasionally cast the protective enchantments (which included Disillusionment Charms) used to hide the camp he shared with Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley during the hunt for the Horcruxes.[6][12]
Lord Voldemort Spring 1998 Used it to conceal himself from anyone watching from Hogwarts Castle when he arrived to rob Albus Dumbledore's tomb; the Disillusionment Charm worked so well that even he could not see himself.[13]
Vincent Crabbe 2 May, 1998 Used it on himself to hide in the corridor outside the Room of Requirement during the Battle of Hogwarts, which is how he happened to sneak in when Harry, Ron, and Hermione arrived to search for Rowena Ravenclaw's diadem.[14]
Gregory Goyle
Draco Malfoy

Known practitioners

See also

Behind the scenes

  • There are numerous portrayals of things being invisible, or else of people appearing noiselessly in the air; both of these may be various instances of this spell being cast.
  • While Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix claims that this does not induce invisibility but merely camouflages the target, Wonderbook: Book of Spells later states that it does, in fact, cause complete invisibility. This might be a contradiction between two canon sources, or merely a semantic divergence. It's also possible that the charm hides the target as well as the caster intends to, or that only the most powerful wizards and witches can achieve full invisibility.
  • As Dumbledore once mentioned that Gellert Grindelwald was able to turn himself invisible without an Invisibility cloak, it is possible that the latter did so through this charm.


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Wonderbook: Book of Spells (See this video)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 3 (The Advance Guard)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 16 (A Dance With Diego) - Charms Lesson "Disillusionment Charm"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 4, Chapter 15 (Dark Secrets)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 16 (Godric's Hollow)
  7. Pottermore
  8. 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, "Birds Of A Feather" Achievement
  9. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 12 (The Mirror of Erised)
  10. 10.0 10.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 22 (The Deathly Hallows)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 14 (The Thief)
  12. 12.0 12.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 27 (The Final Hiding Place)
  13. 13.0 13.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 24 (The Wandmaker)
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
Charms (class)
PS Wingardium Leviosa feather.gif
Charm-book writers and developers
Blagdon Blay · Daisy Pennifold · Delfina Crimp · Miranda Goshawk · Jarleth Hobart · Basil Horton · Helixa Hyslop · Syna Hyslop · Randolph Keitch · Levina Monkstanley · Orabella Nuttley · Mnemone Radford · Scarpin · Elliot Smethwyck · Felix Summerbee · Violeta Stitch
Professors Fortinbras · Filius Flitwick · Unidentified 19th-century professor · Unidentified male professor
Textbooks Achievements in Charming · Extreme Incantations · Quintessence: A Quest · The Standard Book of Spells
Charms studied at Hogwarts
Anti-Alohomora Charm · Ascendio · Banishing Charm (Depulso) · Blackboard Writing Spell · Blue sparks · Box Blasting Charm (Cistem Aperio) · Bubble-Head Charm · Cheering Charm · Cleaning Charm · Colour Change Charm (Colovaria) · Confundus Charm (Confundo) · Counter-charm for hiccoughs · Dancing Feet Spell (Tarantallegra) · Descendo · Disarming Charm (Expelliarmus) · Disillusionment Charm · Drought Charm · Entrancing Enchantments (Theoretically) · Eradication Spell (Deletrius) · Engorgement Charm (Engorgio) · Extinguishing Spell · Exploding Charm (Bombarda) · Fire-Making Spell (Incendio) · Freezing Charm (Immobulus) · Freezing Spell (Glacius) · Full Body-Bind Curse (Petrificus Totalus) · General Counter-Spell (Finite Incantatem) · Gouging Spell (Defodio) · Growth Charm · Ice Jinx · Knitting Charm · Knockback Jinx (Flipendo) · Leg-Locker Curse (Locomotor Mortis) · Levitation Charm (Wingardium Leviosa) · Locking Spell (Colloportus) · Locomotion Charm (Locomotor) · Lumos Solem Spell (Lumos Solem) · Mending Charm (Reparo) · Memory Charm (Obliviate) · Muffliato Charm (Muffliato) · Nonverbal spells · Pack Charm (Pack) · Red Sparks (Vermillious) · Reductor Curse (Reducto) · Scouring Charm (Scourgify) · Seize and pull charm (Carpe Retractum) · Severing Charm (Diffindo) · Shrinking Charm (Reducio) · Silencing Charm (Silencio) · Slowing Charm (Arresto Momentum) · Skurge Charm (Skurge) · Softening Charm (Spongify) · Spell for growing legs · Substantive Charm · Summoning Charm (Accio) · Tickling Charm (Rictusempra) · Unlocking Charm (Alohomora) · Vinegar to wine spell · Wand-Extinguishing Charm (Nox) · Wand-Lighting Charm (Lumos) · Lumos Maxima · Water-Making Spell (Aguamenti)