Several dualities are explored in Harry Potter. All draw their narrative energy from the most significant binary of all: good versus evil. Despite most of Harry Potter existing in the gray space between two moral extremes, there are spells whose nature is so inhuman that they shouldn’t exist.
Dark magic is forbidden to young people at Hogwarts. Adults have no such restrictions and can technically indulge in any mystery art they desire, legal or otherwise. Since most of the plot revolves around Harry and his friends, there aren’t too many examples of dark magic in the movies or the books. However, some spells are more than horrible.
ten Sectumsempra is a crude, though effective and offensive curse
Created by Severus Snape at Hogwarts, Sectumsempra isn’t exactly a well-calibrated offensive curse. All it does is subject the caster’s opponent to physical damage, “as if…slashed with an invisible sword”.
This spell is effective if cast strategically, so the exact opposite of how Harry uses it on Draco in the girls’ bathroom. Fortunately, adult Snape is mature enough to realize the dangers of Sectumsempra, explaining his knowledge of the healing counter-spell, Vulnera Sanentur.
9 Crucio subjects living beings to unbearable agony
Crucio, or the Cruciatus curse, refers to “torture” in Latin. It is mainly used by Death Eaters and other dark wizards. Crucio is generally shunned by the general wizarding/witching public as one of the Three Unforgivable Curses.
Interestingly, Crucio doesn’t seem to have much of an impact on the target’s anatomy. It generates pain without causing external damage. However, prolonged use of Crucio results in incurable brain damage, as evidenced by Frank and Alice Longbottom’s condition.
8 Legilimens invades an individual’s right to privacy and personal space
Although legilimency is considered an acceptable form of magic in Harry Potter, its essence is rooted in the dark arts. In fact, Snape notes that resisting this spell is quite similar to “resisting the Imperius Curse”.
Aside from Snape and Harry’s training sessions, Legilimens is rarely employed in Harry Potter. A notable example being Dumbledore’s use of Kreacher in Order of the Phoenix. Voldemort, on the other hand, is known for his trigger-happy Legilimency.
seven Imperio strips his victims of their free will
The Imperius curse is arguably worse than Crucio because it robs an individual of their agency, their right to free will and self-expression. Once applied, Imperio grants the caster near total control over their targets.
Oddly, it seems the Imperius Curse generates a vague, untraceable happiness in its victims, but that doesn’t make it any less abominable. The most dangerous feature of this spell is that its effects are largely imperceptible to most observers.
6 Protego Diabolica turns the shield charm into something malevolent
The shield charm, Protego, is very common, incredibly useful, and a staple of secondary education in the wizarding world. In comparison, Protego Diabolica takes up the shield aspects of the parent spell but adds a special condition: the annihilation of the caster’s opponents.
Gellert Grindelwald is the first and only person to date to use this curse to separate his devoted followers from any persistent opponents (like Krall). Ironically, the blue fire generated by Protego Diabolica can technically be blocked by Protego, at least up to a point.
5 The DADA Jinx might be a little revenge, but it lasts for decades
The reason Hogwarts is unable to maintain a single Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is because of Lord Voldemort’s curse on the position itself. The nature of this spell is a total mystery. Suffice it to say that it remains irrefutably active until Voldemort’s death.
This jinx only exists because Headmaster Dumbledore turns down Tom Riddle’s application for the position of DADA professor. This implies that Voldemort doesn’t appreciate rejection. Although theoretically harmless, the nameless spell is so powerful that Dumbledore himself fails to lessen its influence.
4 Blood curses affect innocent descendants of cursed people
The origins of the Blood Curses are lost in the mists of history. But, their effects are devastating on their innocent victims. They infect the descendants of people whose ancestors fell under certain curses, and they would only be inherited from the female line. Male offspring (like Scorpius Malfoy) would not suffer from their mother’s afflictions.
Nagini is the most important Maledictus of Harry Potter. She begins her life as a human and ends it as Voldemort’s snake-horcrux.
3 Fiendfyre can turn items as powerful as horcruxes into ashes
It is surprising to learn, in the Harry Potter books, that someone as stupid as Vincent Crabbe learned to cast a spell as powerful as Fiendfyre. His actions nearly destroy the Room of Requirement.
This curse is particularly uncontrollable, making it impossible for the Golden Trio to quell the evil flames. In fact, Fiendfyre’s destructive potential is so vast that he can consume and disintegrate horcrux-level magical enchantments. Even Voldemort and Dumbledore avoid this curse.
2 Avada Kedavra takes lives with no mercy or consideration for the caster’s soul
The Killing Curse is said to be simple and painless. Those struck by its poisonous green light die instantly. It leaves no mark, no laceration, no trace of wounds can be found on the body of the victim.
Avada Kedavra commits the greatest crime of all. It takes lives without mercy, with no regard for the sanctity of the caster’s soul. The Killing Curse is Voldemort’s favorite spell, simply because he believes death is the worst punishment.
1 Curse on House Gaunt Ring Indirectly Leads to Dumbledore’s Death
The House Gaunt ring contains the Resurrection Stone, the last relic discovered by Dumbledore. As a result of his excitement, he wears the ring and is immediately attacked by an unknown curse placed by Lord Voldemort.
The aggressive nature of this spell prevents Dumbledore from fully recovering. Even Snape’s potion is unable to prevent mortality for over a year. In other words, it can be concluded that the curse on the House Gaunt ring indirectly results in Dumbledore’s death.
NEXT: Harry Potter: Every Main Character, Ranked By Magical Prowess
Harry Potter: Every Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher, Ranked
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