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"...he knelt over Malfoy, drew his wand and traced it over the deep wounds Harry's curse had made, muttering an incantation that sounded almost like song. The flow of blood seemed to ease; Snape wiped the residue from Malfoy's face and repeated his spell. Now the wounds seemed to be knitting."
— Description[src]

Vulnera Sanentur[1] was the song-like incantation of a healing spell which was used to heal deep wounds, which could also be used as the counter-curse for the curse Sectumsempra.[2]


For maximum effect of the spell, the incantation had to be repeated thrice; firstly slowing the flow of blood to prevent death by exsanguination; the second to clear residue and begin to heal the wounds; and the third to fully knit the wounds, although dittany had to be applied to prevent scarring.[2]

Body parts that had been completely removed with Sectumsempra could not be restored even using this spell.[4]

Known uses

In 1997, when Draco Malfoy was attacked by Harry Potter using Sectumsempra, Moaning Mrytle screamed, "Murder in the bathroom!" and Severus Snape was the first to come and performed this spell ultimately saving Malfoy. He then took him to the Hospital Wing for further treatment, hoping to avoid scarring.[2]

When Harry saw the damage inflicted onto Bill Weasley's face by the werewolf Fenrir Greyback after the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, he suggested to Madam Pomfrey to heal him with a charm, being influenced by seeing how Snape used this spell to heal Draco, until he was notified that cursed wounds could not be healed by charms.[5]

Possible uses

Madam Pomfrey may have used this spell in 1994 to repair a nasty cut to Harry Potter's shoulder after he was attacked by a Hungarian Horntail in the First Task of the Triwizard Tournament.[6]

Albus Dumbledore may have used this spell to heal a cut he made on his arm in order to give the offering of blood needed to enter the Crystal Cave.[7]


Vulnera Sanentur derives from the Latin vulnus "wound", (in which the roots of the English "vulnerable" may be seen)[8] and sanare, "to heal"; it is translated "may the wounds be healed".[9]

Behind the scenes

  • In the book, after cursing Malfoy, Harry stayed in the sixth-floor boys' bathroom where the skirmish occurred, thus witnessed Snape's use of the spell; in the film, he ran straight to his common room.
  • Considering Gellert Grindelwald used Rennervate Vulnera Sanentur in 1932, 28 years before Snape was born, as part of a dark ritual to reanimate a dead Qilin, it is possible Snape found and adapted the spell to just heal injuries. However, it is also likely that Snape simply found this spell and used it as the counter-curse for Sectumsempra.


Notes and references