"The end of his wand exploded. Harry watched, aghast, as a long black snake shot out of it, fell heavily onto the floor between them and raised itself, ready to strike."

The Snake Summons Spell[3], also known as the Serpensortia Spell[3] (Serpensortia)[1] is a spell that conjures a snake from the tip of the wand[1]. Out of all of the spells used to conjure living things, The Snake Summons Spell is the easiest, along with the Bird-Conjuring Charm.[4] The counter-charm is Vipera Evanesca.[2]


The Serpensortia Spell was first created, sometime prior to 1987, in India, but was used worldwide (although usually in its homeland) by wizards known to Muggles as "Snake Charmers"[3].

During the 1987–1988 school year, Transfiguration Professor Minerva McGonagall taught this spell to her Fourth years, including Jacob's sibling.[5]

This spell was utilised by Draco Malfoy during the first Duelling Club meeting in 1992 at the advice of Snape, summoning forth a black serpent in an attempt to attack Harry Potter. After a failed attempt by Gilderoy Lockhart to dispose of it, Harry spoke to the snake with Parseltongue, inadvertently revealing his status as a Parselmouth to the school. Snape's enjoyment at Harry's horror turned to horror himself at this discovery, and obliterated the snake, vanishing in a cloud of black smoke.[1]

Known Practitioners


Serpens is Latin for "serpent"; ortus is the past participle of the Latin verb oriri "to be created".[6]

In Spanish, serpiente means "snake or serpent"

In French, sortir is a verb that means to go out, in this case, the snake goes out of the wand.

Behind the scenes

Malfoy snake

Snake Malfoy (LEGO)

  • Although the book states that the snake is conjured (brought forth into existence from nothingness), the Harry Potter Official Website states, when a user attempts to cast the spell at the farthest edges of the room, that: "It appears the snake did not hear you. Try to cast your spell in the centre of the room", suggesting that the serpent is brought forth from elsewhere.
  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, when Draco Malfoy casts the spell on Harry Potter during a duel organised by Gilderoy Lockhart, he makes wild, large movements similar to a snake's slithering pattern. It is unknown whether this is just for dramatic purposes to intimidate Harry, or if it modifies the effect to his desire.
  • Gellert Grindelwald may have used this spell to conjure a snake with multiple heads during his escape in 1927.[7]


Notes and references