The Seize and pull charm (Carpe Retractum) was a charm that produced a magical, retractable cord of light, that could be used to pull objects towards the caster, or, if the target was fixed in place, to pull the caster towards the target.
In order to successfully connect the charm, the target must be in direct line of sight of the caster, as well as being relatively nearby. Once connected, the caster could pull on the rope with their wand, quickly retracting it.
Objects that were not fixed in place would be pulled towards the caster. If the target was immovable, then the retracting rope would swiftly drag the caster towards the object. Being pulled in this manner enabled the caster to traverse through the air or over large gaps.
Although the charm was easy enough to cast, it tooks a fair amount of force to pull heavy objects or to hold on to the wand while being dragged through the air. This could be negated to a certain degree if caster leaned backwards while pulling heavier targets by allowing their body weight to carry a portion of the target's weight.
Third year witches and wizards were taught this spell throughout the 1993–1994 school year in charms class by Professor Filius Flitwick, as well as in Defence Against the Dark Arts by Professor Remus Lupin. The charm appeared in the third year exams for both classes.
From Latin carpe, meaning "seize", and retractum, which is a singular neuter declension of retractus, meaning "withdrawn".
Behind the scenes
- In the PC version of the Prisoner of Azkaban video game, only Ron could perform this spell, whereas in the console versions of the same game, only Harry could cast it. In the succeeding game, all of the trio can use it.
- In the PC version of the Prisoner of Azkaban video game, Ron could use the spell as a form of grappling hook, to pull other things towards him, or to pull himself to other things. If he used it on a suspended target, he could swing from platform to platform, or hang in midair until he let go of the spell, as seen in the picture on the right. This feature of the spell was not reused in subsequent games.
- It seems odd that in the PC version of the Prisoner of Azkaban video game that this charm is taught in Defence Against the Dark Arts, as this spell has no defensive or offensive properties. However in the console versions of the game, this spell is more believably taught in Charms instead.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game)