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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) is a curse that produces enchanted flames of immense size and heat that are capable of destroying nearly anything in its path, taking the form of gigantic fiery beasts that seek out living targets such as serpents, chimaeras, dragons, and birds of prey.

The curse is advanced dark magic, as the flames are extremely difficult to control once they are unleashed, and it is 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 have dared use it, it’s too dangerous."
—The dangers of the spell[src]
Fiendfyre

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

Fiendfyre is an immensely powerful fire that cannot be extinguished by normal or enchanted water,[1] It is 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 is still running from it, a jet of fire will shoot off and become a flaming animal.[2]

When cast, the fire appears with a roaring, billowing noise and gives its victims only a split-second's warning to escape, quickly consuming anything in the vicinity of its caster.[1] The flames are 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 flammable around itself.[1] The fire even possesses a sentience of its own, a continuous (though far from latent) desire to burn anything it can.[1] It will pursue any nearby lifeforms and anything that it can destroy, and is capable of incinerating anything through mere contact.[2]

As Fiendfyre is inherently extremely dangerous, most casters will have major difficulty with controlling the fire once it has been unleashed.[1] There is 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 have an easier time controlling the flames such as Lord Voldemort. It is unknown if the fire is able to burn off on its own.

Fiendfyre is 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
Gormlaith Gaunt (possibly) c. 1608 Gormlaith may have used this curse to burn down her sister's cottage as she was able to easily rescue her niece without being harmed.
Amycus Carrow 1997-1998 school year

Harry Potter speculated that Amycus was the one to teach Vincent Crabbe Fiendfyre.

Severus Snape (possibly)

2 May

1998

May have been used in his duel with Minerva McGonagall. The fire formed a large serpent, which Minerva blasted to smoke.
Vincent Crabbe 2 May 1998 Crabbe cast it in the Room of Requirement while it was transformed into the Room of Hidden Things. He died in the ensuing magical inferno.

Known practitioners

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

See also

Behind the scenes

Goyle Falls to his Death

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 is 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 have been used by a Durmstrang student at the beginning of the Triwizard Tournament, mostly for show.[3] Though as the film came out before the curse debuted in the books, it's likely that the similarity is coincidental.
  • Fiendfyre is 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.[4] Likewise, Bellatrix Lestrange uses Fiendfyre to destroy the Burrow when the Death Eaters attempted to capture Harry Potter on Christmas in 1996.[5] 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 can be considered canon yet within the continuity of the books.
  • The curse resembles a magical fuel-air explosive or thermobaric bomb.
  • The protective dark charm Protego Diabolica is remarkably similar in its affects to Fiendfyre, with the notable exception of the former being harmless on those allied with the caster; it possible that these both exceptionally dark and destructive spells are related in some way.

Appearances

Notes and references