Severus Snape: "What is the advantage of a nonverbal spell?"
Hermione Granger: "Your adversary has no warning about what kind of magic you are about to perform, which gives you a split-second advantage."
— A sixth year Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson[src]

A nonverbal spell is a spell which is performed without saying the incantation out loud. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry begins teaching nonverbal magic to students in their sixth year in Defence Against the Dark Arts, Charms, and Transfiguration; the students are expected to use spells nonverbally from then on.


Performing spells non-verbally is very difficult and requires a good deal of practise, as it requires concentration and mental discipline alone. Harry Potter noted that several students in his class looked "like they had received an overdose in U-No-Poo", a substance that causes constipation, while attempting nonverbal spells.[1]

Different wand-woods also may also affect the performance of casting non-verbal magic. Many wands made from Dogwood are rather noisy, and refuse to perform non-verbal magic, whereas wands of Pine are some of the most sensitive to non-verbal magic.[2] Willow wands possess a well-founded reputation for enabling advanced, non-verbal magic, but of all woods, Alder is known as being the best suited for non-verbal magic.[2]


Some spells, such as Levicorpus, are easier to perform nonverbally than others. Most spells, however, seem to be less effective than normal when the incantation is not said. For example, the unnamed curse that critically injured Hermione Granger during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries might have been fatal had Antonin Dolohov not been silenced when he used it, according to Hogwarts nurse Poppy Pomfrey.[3]

Known uses

Caster(s) Spell Notes
Rubeus Hagrid Fire-Making Spell Conjured fire in 1991, using his umbrella.[4]
Human to pig Gave Dudley a pig's tail, using his umbrella
Unknown Tapped boat to make it speed towards land
Quirinus Quirrell Caused Harry's broomstick to buck violently during a Quidditch match in 1991.[4]
Conjured ropes in 1991.[4]
Arthur Weasley Repaired Harry Potter's glasses with a nonverbal spell in Diagon Alley.[5]
The memory of Tom Marvolo Riddle Unknown writing spell[6] In the Chamber of Secrets.[5]
Remus Lupin Magical fire On his way to Hogwarts in 1993. He also did this without using his wand.[7]
Patronus charm On his way to Hogwarts in 1993.[8]
Albus Dumbledore Unknown Extinguished and re-lit a candle during the opening feast. He also did this wandlessly.[8]
Remus Lupin Unknown spell that had a shower of sparks Opened the cupboard containing the Boggart during the Gryffindor's first defence lesson .[7]
Unknown Relit the candles in his office during Harry's Patronus lessons. He also did this without using his wand.[8]
Severus Snape Incarcerous Spell In 1994 Snape non-verbally conjured ropes to twisted themselves around Lupin's mouth, wrists, and ankles.
Sirius Black Unknown transfiguration spell, has a flash of blue-white light  Used to force Peter Pettigrew out of his Animagus form in the Shrieking Shack.
Remus Lupin
Unknown Conjured ropes to restrain Peter Pettigrew in the Shrieking Shack.[7]
Packing spell Used to pack his possessions while clearing out his office.[8]
Barty Crouch Jr Unknown In 1995, while disguised as Alastor Moody, he pushed the students´desks to the classroom walls, only by waving his wand.[9]
Rita Skeeter While interviewing Harry Potter in the broom cupboard in 1994 she took out some candles from her bag and lit them with her wand without saying anything.[9]
Fleur Delacour Water-Making Spell Conjured water during the first task of the Triwizard Tournament.[9]
Madam Pomfrey Unidentified healing spell (I) Used by Madam Pomfrey to heal Harry Potters injuries after the first task of the Triwizard Tournament.
Peter Pettigrew Unknown Conjured ropes in 1995.[9]
Marietta Edgecombe Water-Making Spell Conjured water during the first DA meeting.[10]
Unidentified female Hufflepuff student Unknown Performed during a DA meeting after assistance from Harry Potter. Sent a male student hurling backwards.[11]
Madam Pince She jinxed Harry's belongings to chase him and Ginny out of the library during the 1995-1996 school year.
Kingsley Shacklebolt Memory Charm Altered Marietta Edgecombe's memory of the DA meetings.[3]
Antonin Dolohov Dark curse Against Hermione Granger during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries after she silenced him.[3]
Bellatrix Lestrange Unknown In 1996, she used a nonverbal Curse with a green jet of light to kill a fox.
Nymphadora Tonks Patronus Charm Conjured her Werewolf Patronus without saying the incantation in 1996.
Severus Snape Unknown, a spell that opened the main gates of Hogwarts, which had recently been fortified by enhanced protective enchantments.

In 1996, he used a nonverbal spell to open the Hogwarts gates. It is unlikely that this was Alohomora since Harry had tried this before, although he had been outside the gates instead of inside like Snape was.

Morfin Gaunt Unknown, caused a "nasty yellowish goo" to flow from the nose. Sometime during the 1920s Morfin used this spell nonverbally on Bob Ogden.[1]
Fred Weasley Transfigured a knife into a paper aeroplane

Ron Weasley threw the knife at him, and Fred transfigured it "with one lazy flick of his wand" without speaking any sort of incantation.[1]

Hermione Granger Shield Charm The first one in her Defence Against the Dark Arts class to perform nonverbal magic successfully. She continually used nonverbal spells in Defence Against the Dark Arts, Charms, Potions, and Transfiguration.[1]
Ron Weasley Unknown Conjuration Spell Unknowingly made it snow while sitting down in the Great Hall[1]
Harry Potter Levicorpus Though Harry found nonverbal magic very difficult to do, he was eventually able to cast this spell, which is meant for nonverbal use, nonverbally.[1]
Liberacorpus Harry used this spell nonverbally to counter act the Levicorpus spell he used on Ron Weasley in 1996.[1]
Albus Dumbledore Unknown Conjured a crystal goblet in order to drink the potion inside the basin in the seaside cave.
Full Body-Bind Curse Immobilised Harry Potter while he was under his Invisibility cloak right before being disarmed by Draco Malfoy. This allowed Harry to witness Severus Snape kill Albus Dumbledore.[1]
Severus Snape Unknown Deflected several curses cast at him by Harry Potter in 1997.[1]
Minerva McGonagall She used it to duel with Severus Snape in 1997, sending fire from several torches flying at him.
Lord Voldemort Mobilicorpus Move Charity Burbage's body.
Antonin Dolohov Unknown Used against Ron Weasley in a skirmish at the Luchino Caffe.[12]
Remus Lupin Spell that with a loud bang sends victim flying back as if punched; possibly Flipendo or Everte Statum Used against Harry Potter during their argument in Grimmauld Place in 1997.[12]
Ron Weasley Stunning Spell Ron was able to stun a man who attempted to attack Hermione in 1998 without saying the incantation.
Luna Lovegood Shortly before the Battle of Hogwarts, Luna silently stunned Alecto Carrow.
Hermione Granger She silently stunned Mafalda Hopkirk as part of the infiltration of the Ministry of Magic.[12]
Orchideous Hermione nonverbally conjured a wreath of Christmas roses for Harry Potter to place on his parents's graves in Godric's Hollow when they visited the village on 24 December, 1997.[12]
Stinging Hex Jinxed Harry Potter's face in an attempt to hide his identity when she, Harry, and Ron were caught by Snatchers in 1998.[12]
Minerva McGonagall Patronus Charm Conjured three Patronuses to alert the other Heads of Houses to the upcoming battle in 1998.[12]
Hermione Granger


With a "deafening blast from her wand" but no incantation, Hermione repelled Fenrir Greyback from an injured Lavender Brown during the Battle of Hogwarts.[12]
Harry Potter He straightened his work-space with the simple wave of his wand.[13]
Duel with Delphini, the two were mercilessly firing spells at each other.[14]

Possible uses

Caster(s) Spell Notes
Fred Weasley Disarming Charm Cast it nonverbally when they were surreptitiously disarming Zacharias Smith at the first meeting of Dumbledore's Army.[3]
George Weasley
Harry Potter Summoning Charm Attempted to use the it nonverbally and wandlessly to retrieve his fallen wand when he was paralysed by Draco Malfoy, but to no avail.[1]
Patronus Charm Performed nonverbal magic when he cast his Patronus during the Battle of Hogwarts.[15]
Molly Weasley Most likely, Molly used Glacius followed by Reducto, as Bellatrix seemed to have become frozen solid, and then shattered. Killed Bellatrix Lestrange with a nonverbal magic during the Battle of Hogwarts.[12]

Known practitioners

The following is a list of wizards and witches known to have nonverbally performed spells that are usually performed with an incantation.

Behind the scenes


Notes and references

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  2. 2.0 2.1 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Wand Woods" at Pottermore
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  6. Given the fact Riddle was not technically alive at this point, only a sentient memory, is can be argued that he wasn't actually casting a spell.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  10. 10.0 10.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  11. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  13. 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, act one, scene five
  14. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act Four, Scene Eleven
  15. In Ch. 32 of Deathly Hallows, Harry casts his Patronus at Luna Lovegood's urging and with great effort. No incantation is mentioned, but Harry's perception of sound at the time was severely distorted by the presence of many Dementors, and there is also no mention of the others who also cast the Patronus speaking the incantation. It is also not specifically stated to be a nonverbal or silent use. See this article's talk page for more information.
  16. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  17. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
  18. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
  19. Harry Potter and the half-blood prince (film)
  20. Harry Potter and the half-blood prince (film)
  21. J.K. Rowling Web Chat Transcript on

Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts
Classroom 3C · Temporary Classroom · Hogwarts Turris Magnus · Professor's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Dumbledore's Army
Albus Dumbledore · Galatea Merrythought · Patricia Rakepick · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Barty Crouch Jr. (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape · Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher)
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection · Break with a Banshee · Gadding with Ghouls · Holidays with Hags · Travels with Trolls · Voyages with Vampires · Wanderings with Werewolves · Year with the Yeti · The Essential Defence Against the Dark Arts · Defensive Magical Theory · Dark Arts Defence: Basics for Beginners · Confronting the Faceless · Magical Drafts and Potions
Spells studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Curse of the Bogies · Disarming Charm · Freezing Spell · Hex-Breaker· Hex-deflection · Hex Zapper · Impediment Jinx · Knockback Jinx · Nonverbal spells · Reductor Curse · Seize and Pull Charm · Shield Charm · Stunning Spell · Verdimillious Charm · Verdimillious Duo Spell · Verdimillious Tria · Wand-Lighting Charm · Cruciatus Curse · Imperius Curse · Killing Curse
Creatures studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Boggart · Cornish Pixie · Grindylow · Hinkypunk · Iguana · Inferius · Kappa
· Red Cap · Vampire · Vampire bat · Werewolf