"With the Severing Charm, cutting or tearing objects is a simple matter of wand control. The spell can be quite precise in skilled hands, and the Severing Charm is widely used in a variety of wizarding trades. Useful as it is, this charm should be practised with caution, as a careless swipe of the wand can cause injury."
Miranda Goshawk[src]

The Severing Charm (Diffindo) is a charm used to precisely and accurately cut something.[3] It is taught in second year charms classes[4] and Fourth year classes,[5] and if used inappropriately can cause death or injury.[3]


"The Severing Charm was created in the fifteenth century by wizarding seamstress Delfina Crimp who created it as an easy and convenient way of cutting cloth and thread."
Book of Spells
This spell was invented in the fifteenth century by seamstress and witch Delfina Crimp. She made the spell because prior to her discovery, cutting spells were apt to burn or shred things. However, a fellow seamster Snickerton, nearly killed her after he raided her shop, having realised that she could do magic, and held her tied up. Nonetheless, upon being released to scratch a wart on her chin the wart brought her wand forth and she disapparated with a sack of gold.[3]

Known uses

Caster(s) Date Notes
Delfina Crimp 1400s The charm was invented in this time by Delfina Crimp and used by her to make and tailor clothing.[3]
Filius Flitwick & Jacob's sibling 1987–1988 school year Professor Filius Flitwick taught this spell to his Fourth year charms students.[5]
Harry Potter November 1994 He cut Cedric Diggory's bookbag with this spell to delay him from class so that he could warn Cedric privately about the First Task.[6]
18 June, 1996 Harry used this to attempt to defend Ron against some brains that were attacking him.[7]
1996 Later that year, he used the charm to detach the front cover of his shop-bought potions textbook to replace it with a vandalised version using the mending spell.[8]
2 September, 1997 Harry tried to break Mary Cattermole free of a chained chair; it failed.[9]
3 September, 1997 Harry also used this to attempt to destroy a locket in the woods, but failed.[10]
January 1998 Harry used this a fourth time to break the ice from the frozen pool where a sword was hidden.[9]
Ron Weasley 25 December, 1994 He used it to sever the lace sleeves of his dress robes before the Yule Ball.[6]
Hermione Granger 1 August, 1997 Hermione used this to remove the bindings on Ron Weasley after a fight in a cafe; she trembled so much that she cut Ron with it.
24 December, 1997 She used the spell again to remove a locket from Harry Potter's chest shortly after they were attacked by Nagini.
Peter Pettigrew (possibly) 24 June, 1995 Nonverbally used this spell to break Tom Riddle's Gravestone

Known practitioners


The incantation is the Latin first person active indicative for "to split, cleave or open".

Behind the scenes

See also



Notes and references

The Standard Book of Spells
Book of Spells 1
Grade 1 · Grade 2 · Grade 3 · Grade 4 · Grade 5 · Grade 6 · Grade 7
Charms included in the series: Fire-Making Spell · Levitation Charm · Locking Spell · Mending Charm · Softening Charm · Severing Charm · Unlocking Charm · Dancing Feet Spell · Disarming Charm · Engorgement Charm · Freezing Charm · General Counter-Spell · Memory Charm · Tickling Charm · Summoning Charm · Banishing Charm · Substantive Charm

Charms (class)
PS Wingardium Leviosa feather
Charmbook writers and developers
Delfina Crimp · Miranda Goshawk · Jarleth Hobart · Basil Horton · Randolph Keitch ·
Levina Monkstanley · Orabella Nuttley · Mnemone Radford · Scarpin · Elliot Smethwyck ·
Felix Summerbee · Fred Weasley · George Weasley
Professors Fortinbras · Filius Flitwick
Textbooks The Standard Book of Spells · Achievements in Charming · Quintessence: A Quest
Charms studied at Hogwarts
Banishing Charm (Depulso) · Cheering Charm · Cistem Aperio · Colour Change Charm (Colovaria) · Dancing Feet Spell (Tarantallegra) · Engorgement Charm (Engorgio) · Exploding Charm (Bombarda) · Fire-Making Spell (Incendio) · Freezing Charm (Immobulus) · Freezing Spell (Glacius) · Full Body-Bind Curse (Petrificus Totalus) · General Counter-Spell (Finite Incantatem) · Growth Charm · Hardening Charm (Duro) · Knockback Jinx (FlipendoLevitation Charm (Wingardium Leviosa) · Locomotion Charm (Locomotor) · Mending Charm (Reparo) · Memory Charm (Obliviate) · Nonverbal spell · Red Sparks (Vermillious) · Reductor Curse (Reducto) · Seize and Pull Charm (Carpe Retractum) · Severing Charm (Diffindo) · Shrinking Charm (Reducio) · Silencing Charm (Silencio) · Slowing Charm (Arresto Momentum) · Skurge Scouring Charm (Skurge) · Softening Charm (Spongify) · Spell for growing legs · Substantive Charm · Summoning Charm (Accio) · Tickling Charm (Rictusempra) · Unlocking Charm (Alohomora) · Vinegar into Wine · Wand-Extinguishing Charm (Nox) · Wand-Lighting Charm (Lumos) · Water-Making Spell (Aguamenti)