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"It was not normal fire; Crabbe had used a curse of which Harry had no knowledge: As they turned a corner the flames chased them as though they were alive, sentient, intent upon killing them. Now the fire was mutating, forming a gigantic pack of fiery beasts: Flaming serpents, chimaeras, and dragons rose and fell and rose again, and the detritus of centuries on which they were feeding was thrown up in the air into their fanged mouths, tossed high on clawed feet, before being consumed by the inferno."
— Description[src]

Fiendfyre (incantation unknown) was a curse that produced enchanted flames of immense size and heat that were capable of destroying nearly anything in its path, taking the form of gigantic fiery beasts such as serpents, chimaeras, dragons, and birds of prey that seek out living targets.[1]

The curse was advanced dark magic, and it was one of the few known substances capable of destroying Horcruxes.[1]

Description and effects

"Fiendfyre — cursed fire — it’s one of the substances that destroy Horcruxes, but I would never, ever had dared use it, it’s too dangerous."
— The dangers of the spell[src]

Fiendfyre conjured by Vincent Crabbe during the Battle of Hogwarts, in the Room of Requirement

Fiendfyre was an immensely powerful fire that cannot be extinguished by normal or enchanted water,[1] It was also very difficult for the caster to control,[1] flowing from their wand in a continuous stream of flame.[2] If the caster flicks their wand when the stream of flame was still running from it, a jet of fire would shoot off and become a flaming animal.[2]

When cast, the fire appears with a roaring, billowing noise and gave its victims only a split-second's warning to escape, quickly consuming anything in the vicinity of its caster.[1] The flames were of an abnormally large size and take the shape of fiery monsters and beasts such as snakes, dragons, eagles, and chimeras, constantly mutating into other beasts as well as powerful, formless flames that destroy all things around itself.[1] The fire even possessed a sentience of its own, a continuous (though far from latent) desire to burn anything it could.[1] It would pursue any nearby lifeforms and anything that it could destroy, and was capable of incinerating anything through mere contact.[2]

As Fiendfyre was inherently extremely dangerous, most casters would have major difficulty with controlling the fire once it had been unleashed.[1] There was also a charm to cease the flames, but unfortunately Vincent Crabbe never paid attention in class long enough to learn them, therefore costing him his life.[1] Casters with greater skill had an easier time controlling the flames such as Lord Voldemort. It was unknown if the fire was able to burn off on its own.

Fiendfyre was one of the few substances known to be able to destroy a Horcrux. Hermione Granger was aware of this, but never considered the use of it against Voldemort's Horcruxes due to the inherently dangerous, uncontrollable nature of the spell.[1]

Known uses

Caster(s) Date Notes
Merula Snyde 1988–1989 school year Merula tried to teach Jacob's sibling this curse, however she lost the control of the fire until Patricia Rakepick came and managed to turn off the fire.[3]
Amycus Carrow 1997–1998 school year

Harry Potter speculated that Amycus was the one to teach Vincent Crabbe how to summon Fiendfyre.[1]

Vincent Crabbe 2 May 1998 Crabbe cast it during the Skirmish at the Room of Requirement while it was transformed into the Room of Hidden Things. He died in the ensuing magical inferno.[1]

Known practitioners

"Like it hot, scum?"
— Vincent Crabbe[src]

See also

Behind the scenes

Goyle dies in his own Fiendfyre

  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Gregory Goyle conjures Fiendfyre and dies instead of Crabbe, since Crabbe had been cut from the film. Also, whereas Crabbe died because he could not run fast enough from the fire, Goyle was depicted as having been unable to stop the flame from pouring out of his wand (who then ends up throwing it away into the flames), and falling into the flames from grabbing a loose chair while climbing up a mountain of various objects to safety.
  • In the film adaptation, Fiendfyre was not used to completely destroy Rowena Ravenclaw's Diadem. Instead, Harry stabbed it with the Serpent of Slytherin's fang to damage it, and then Ron kicked it into the Fiendfyre to finish the job. This led Voldemort's mangled soul to possess the flames briefly and scream in pain before it was destroyed.[2]
  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Fiendfyre may had been used by a Durmstrang student at the beginning of the Triwizard Tournament, mostly for show.[4] Though as the film came out before the curse debuted in the books, it's likely that the similarity was coincidental.
  • Fiendfyre was used to assist in duels twice in the films. Lord Voldemort conjures a giant fire snake during his duel with Albus Dumbledore, whose own spellwork counters the attempt on his life.[5] Likewise, Bellatrix Lestrange uses Fiendfyre to destroy the Burrow when the Death Eaters attempted to capture Harry Potter on Christmas in 1996.[6] However, both events contradict the events of the books. In the books, Dumbledore forces Voldemort to conjure a shield, and Rufus Scrimgeour visits the Burrow instead of Bellatrix and Fenrir Greyback. Therefore, of these acts of Dark magic, none could be considered canon yet within the continuity of the books.
  • The protective dark charm Protego Diabolica is remarkably similar in its effects to Fiendfyre, with the notable exception of the former being harmless to those allied with the caster; it is possible that these both exceptionally dark and destructive spells were related in some way.
  • It is possible that Gormlaith Gaunt may have used this curse to burn down her sister's cottage as she was able to easily rescue her niece without being harmed.[7]


Notes and references