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"I am about to attempt to break into your mind. We are going to see how well you resist. I have been told that you have already shown aptitude at resisting the Imperius Curse.... You will find that similar powers are needed for this.... Brace yourself, now.... Legilimens!"
Severus Snape using this spell on Harry Potter[src]

The Legilimency Spell (Legilimens) was a charm that allowed the caster to perform Legilimency; in other words, to delve into the mind of the victim, permitting the caster to see memories, emotions and thoughts.[1]

Skilled Legilimens (such as Tom Riddle) was able to perform Legilimency without using the incantation or a wand. Highly skilled Legilimens were able to control their victims and create realistic visions.[1]


During the 1989–1990 school year, Professor Severus Snape performed this spell on Beatrice Haywood in the Potions Classroom to help navigate and understand her thoughts and emotions.[3]

In the 1990–1991 school year at St Mungo's, Jacob's sibling used this spell to perform Legilimency on Zenith Xeep in the Janus Thickey Ward, so they could read her mind to see who was behind the curses at St Mungo's. Reading her thoughts, she learnt she was thinking about a Dark Wizard called Burke.[4]

Harry Potter using the spell Legilimens to look into Snape's mind

Professor Snape used this spell on Harry Potter while attempting to train him in Occlumency in the 1995–1996 school year.[1] He also used it nonverbally and wandlessly in 1997 to find out where Harry learned the Sectumsempra spell.[5]

Voldemort had used this spell extensively, both wandlessly and nonverbally, to enter the minds of those he wished to interrogate. Due to the link between himself and Harry, both could access each other's thoughts if Voldemort did not block it with Occlumency.[1]

Albus Dumbledore used this spell to find out Kreacher's plot to lure Harry to the Department of Mysteries; whether he used his wand and incantation or not is unknown.[6]

Known practitioners


Latin legere, "to read", and mens, "mind".

Behind the scenes

  • As Bellatrix Lestrange taught her nephew Draco Malfoy Occlumency,[9] it is likely she also used this spell to achieve the same method as Snape did Harry.
  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, the Focus Charm is used in the place of "Legilimens". It is unknown why this change was made, as they both have the same effect. However Focus is only used to clear the mind. In the film Snape says that Harry has to clear his mind. It is possible that in LEGO, this spell was used before Legilimens.
  • It is unknown whether there was an Occlumency-based spell, as opposed to this spell.


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 24 (Occlumency)
  2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film) - Chapter 17 (Occlumency)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 27 (Letting Go)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 7, Chapter 29 (Mind Of A Diva)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 24 (Sectumsempra)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 37 (The Lost Prophecy)
  7. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 44
  8. 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 18 (Legilimency and Occlumency)
  9. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 15 (The Unbreakable Vow)