Just say “Wingardium Leviosa” or “Alohomora” to even the most casual Harry Potter fans and they’ll get the spell you’re trying to conjure. Maybe if you throw in a little swish and flick they’ll think you really know your stuff. And throw a little knowledge of Legilimency or Dissapiration their way and they’d probably think you’re too much of a Potterhead to get along with.
But in this post-Harry Potter world of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child we could all use a little more hardcore knowledge of the wizarding world. After all, life isn’t just Hogwarts and Harry anymore, it now includes vast corners of the magical universe and nearly limitless spells to uncover. With more films, books, live shows, and websites rooted in the wizarding world popping up all over the place, there’s never been a better time to be a Harry Potter fan. Add to that the fact that there are deep troves of information about magical powers that you never knew even existed and you’ll have enough wizardly reading material to last years. So in the interest of getting everyone one step closer to being the ultimate witch or wizard, here are 15 Superpowers You Didn’t Know Existed in the Wizarding World.
If you thought being a witch or wizard was all about making things levitate you couldn’t be more wrong. There’s actually some seriously cool powers that some in the wizarding world have without ever needing to lift a wand or utter a single word of a spell. One of those – endlessly useful and always in demand – is Legilimency, otherwise known as the ability to read another's mind.
A little more complicated than typical mind reading, Legilimens are able to work their way through the complex structures of a person’s mind and pull out any information they need and be able to interpret it clearly. As rare and covered in secrecy as many powers on this list, Legilimency has been documented since documentation in the wizarding world began. In fact, one of the most well-known item in the Harry Potter universe – the Sorting Hat – is imbued with the power of Legilimency. Other notable Legilimens include Severus Snape, Lord Voldemort, Dumbledore, and Queenie Goldstein.
On the opposite spectrum of Legilimency is the unique power of Occlumency. Just as useful as its counterpart-- if not more so-- Occlumens are able to counter and block the power of Legilimency in order to keep their mind from being read. A power that has existed since ancient times, Occlumency protects one’s feelings and thoughts and shields them from any nefarious person who wishes to steal them for their own gain.
Although the full power is complex, a simplistic way of achieving a form of Occlumency is simply by clearing your mind. This was taught to Harry Potter by Severus Snape and explained by Snape telling Harry to make his mind “blank and empty,” thus making it more difficult for a Legilimens to steal one’s thoughts. If one was to take this further, more advanced Occlumency involves tricking a Legilimens into believing something that you are thinking; such as a lie or deceptive thought. Known Occlumens include Bellatrix Lastrange, Draco Malfoy, and Voldemort (again.)
We all know about Polyjuice Potion from Chamber of Secrets and Deathly Hallows – Part 1, but what most people don’t know is that there’s a way to transform your physical appearance without using the potion. Though very rare in the wizard and witch population, Metamorphmagi are able to take a great variety of forms at will and can change as much or as little about themselves as they wish-- from their hair color to their entire person.
Metamorphmagi are born with their ability; it cannot be taught or mastered by those not born to it. Despite this, the power remains one of the more useful ones in the wizarding world. Metamorphmagi are able to change their age, sex, hair color, or even attributes like the shape of their ears or their height. The only known Metamporphmagi are Nymphadora Tonks and her son, Teddy Lupin-- which implies that it may be genetic.
Speaking of witches or wizards that can morph into other things, there’s another power in the Wizarding World that allows its user to transform for the purpose of deception. While we all know about Peter Pettigrew or Sirius Black, but what many people don’t know is that Animagi are actually people in possession of an incredibly complex learned skill that takes years of practice and patience to master. This makes it even more impressive that Peter, Sirius, and James became Animagi as teenagers to support their werewolf friend, Remus.
Though Animagi information is taught to Hogwarts students, there is still much mystery surrounding the process of becoming an Animagus. With risk involved – including that the witch or wizard attempting it may become incredibly disfigured – the power is one that many don’t ever attempt to master. Only useful for those that need constant disguise, the power of becoming an Animagi is one that can be used at will without a wand or any supplementary supplies. The downside is that, once your animal form is chosen based on your own inner personality, you are not able to change forms or become any other type of animal.
If you want to be a useful part of the wizarding world, all you have to do is become a Seer. Once you’ve achieved that, witches and wizards from far and wide will seek you out, wanting to use your grand power for all types of deeds; good and bad. The one problem with becoming a Seer is that it’s one of the most difficult and rare powers to obtain in the entire Harry Potter universe.
Though incredibly rare, if a true Seer has predicted a prophecy, those prophecies will then be stored in the Hall of Prophecy in the Department of Mysteries at the Ministry of Magic. Although sometimes taken with a grain of salt, Seers have the ability to use their Inner Eye to actually see into the future and alter the outcome. However, as Albus Dumbeldore once explained, the ability to see into the future is an incredibly complex one that requires seeing every single possible action and their corresponding consequences.
If you’ve ever imagined being a witch or wizard in J.K. Rowling’s universe, you’ve no doubt pictured the joys of flying over the snowy rooftops of Hogwarts with a Nimbus 2000 between your legs. It’s one of the simplest and most useful pieces of magic in all of the wizarding world; the ability to straddle a broomstick and fly through the air. But for some, ignoring gravity and achieving flight doesn’t require a broomstick at all.
Those that are gifted with the power of flight are perhaps more rare than any other wizard that has any other power. Able to fly purely because of their own powers and not reliant on any type of enchanted item or spell at all, the number of these special wizards known to exist can be counted on one hand. Lord Voldemort, Severus Snape, and the Obscurial from Fantastic Beasts have this ability and it’s safe to say that if you see either of them flying at you without a broomstick you’re in trouble.
9 Unbreakable Vow
Although it may seem that many of the powers in the Wizarding World are all fun and games, there’s some that are still adult, deadly, and boring. Flight and mind-reading are definitely something more fun to break out on a lazy Saturday afternoon away from Hogwarts, but no one can deny the practicality of a power that forces two people to keep a promise.
It might be self-explanatory, but to really understand an unbreakable vow you must look at it as a voluntary piece of magic rather than one that is truly “unbreakable.” Powerful and useful in all sorts of scenarios, those that wish to forge an unbreakable vow must link their hands together while a bonder binds them together with magic. From there – although it’s easy to break an unbreakable vow – any breaking of said vow would result in instant death. So, yeah, although you can technically do whatever you want, maybe it’s best to just keep your promise and go on living your life.
8 Apparition and Disapparition
One of the more interesting elements of the wizarding world – although it doesn’t get so much love – is the Ministry of Magic. With its strict rules and regulations, it may seem like just another inept branch of government, but in reality it’s what sets the Harry Potter universe, and the magic within it, apart from all others. Take for example Apparition and Disapparition, two inherently linked powers that are so powerful that the Ministry of Magic has to license it; and you have to be 17 years old or older to obtain said license.
Illegal to do without a license, this form of transportation is much like driving in the real world-- not to mention that it’s also taught at Hogwarts for those who wish to learn it. Simply described as the power to disappear from one location in order to reappear in another, this ability is one that – while common – comes with its own risks. For those inexperienced in apparition and disapparition, "splinching" could occur, which is what happens when one is physically split in two between the origin and destination.
7 Veela Charm
While many of the powers on this list are rare and often only attributed to certain individuals, this one is a charm that particular people can employ without any massive undertaking. The Veela Charm is one that isn’t often discussed in the wizarding world, but those that know how to wield it often find themselves with the potential for great power. Usually held by those with Veela heritage, the charm is used to seduce males and get them to do anything you wish.
We’ve seen this in Ron and to some degree Harry, wherein both were subjected to the Veela charm and were unable to focus on anything but Fleur Delacour. And although the charm loses its strength over time – those that are exposed again and again become resistant – it’s still incredibly powerful and has the effect of making a male believe they have fallen in love.
6 Magical Resistance
It’s one thing to be able to cast magic and use it on others, but it’s an entirely different thing to be resistant to magic and use that to your own advantage. Enter magical resistance, an immunity against some of the most powerful spells in existence, and one that can help you in numerous situations throughout your life as a witch or wizard. Because sometimes it’s not enough to fight like a wizard, and in those scenarios shielding yourself like a wizard is the next best thing.
Though some are born with this power – Hagrid being one of them, who is resistant to some magic because of his giant’s blood – others can simply will the power into existence. Incredibly strong wizards are able to conjure up magical resistance via their own willpower. From there they can shrug off any spell they want, depending on how strong they are, and continue on fighting while their enemy scratches their head and wonders what they’re doing wrong. Harry himself had this ability, which he received after his mother sacrificed herself to save him.
5 5. Naming Seer
If you’ve been training to be a Seer based on what you read on this list a few entries ago, maybe it’s best to refocus your abilities now, because becoming a Naming Seer is a much more impressive – and lucrative – profession. Though the power isn’t exactly in demand in the wizarding world, a Naming Seer is a type of Seer that focuses on a very specific type of prophecy. As it’s suggested in the name of the power, a Naming Seer has the ability to forsee a newborn’s general future and then suggest an appropriate name based on their findings.
While the profession has died out in modern times, a Naming Seer would often be paid in large sums of gold in exchange for providing a child’s parents with an appropriate name. Along with the name often comes a parent’s guilt, worry, and frustration, as clues and hints at what may befall the child in the future are often encoded in the name. Regardless, the power is a strong one that isn’t easy to learn and as a result the power is one that is at a risk of dying out all throughout the wizarding world.
4 Rudimentary Magic
While we’ve focused on all forms of complex and rare magic throughout this list, there’s one form of magical power in the wizarding world that many are still unaware of. In fact, there’s so little information on this magic that it remains a mystery to even the most well-versed Potterhead-- which is actually fitting for the power. Unlike everything else we’ve uncovered, rudimentary magic isn’t something glamorous or studied, but rather it’s considered a lesser form of magic. Practiced by hags and trolls, it’s often confused with dark magic and its results aren’t as clean as the regular magic employed by witches or wizards.
Although this form of magic is rarely used by the creatures that have access to it, it can often be seen as a last resort for some. Hags may use it in a similar way as witches and wizards who brew potions, while trolls can use it in combat or defense instead of relying simply on their brute strength.
3 Spell Invention
If spells are the cornerstone of all magic in the wizarding world, then you can imagine how highly regarded someone who can invent their own spells would be. While Spell Invention is incredibly difficult and not to be tried by just anyone, its rewards are nearly endless and there’s no limit to what type of spells can come from a skilled spell inventor.
Like the most powerful magic, spell invention is one that should only be attempted by witches and wizards who have an incredibly vast understanding of magic and magical theory. Since playing around with and tweaking existing spells is incredibly dangerous, there are very few wizards that ever attempt to wield this mysterious power. While some may just be oblivious to their own mortality – such as famed spell inventors Fred and George Weasley – others use spell invention for more nefarious reasons, such as Tom Riddle and Severus Snape.
Forget everything you thought you knew, because in the wizarding world it is, in fact, possible to make something out of nothing. Although like the best magic it can always go horribly wrong, Conjuring is a power that every witch or wizard wishes they can master, but while most can do simple conjuration, to make a complex object appear out of thin air is something that is more complex than any other form of magic in existence.
The Book of Spells in the wizarding world explains that birds and snakes can be conjured more easily than any other animal, and some children are taught how to conjure small objects in order to grasp the fundamentals of conjuring. But – as powerful as this form of magic is – there are limits to conjuring that make it difficult to use the power for your own selfish gain. For example, even the most advanced wizards cannot conjure up food whenever they’re hungry. What a shame.
In the Wizarding World Love is considered its own branch of magic, and it’s often looked at as one of the most mysterious, difficult to control, and powerful forms of magic to ever exist. In fact, love is the official reason why Harry Potter survived Voldemort, and it could be argued that it’s one of the main themes of the Harry Potter books. Famously described by Albus Dumbledore as existing in “a room in the Department of Mysteries that is kept locked at all times,” he says that love is “A force that is at once more wonderful and more terrible than death, than human intelligence, than the forces of nature.”
The inability to love is an important part of the Harry Potter universe as well, as it is explained that Voldemort’s inability to love is what has made him evil. When looked at as a magic, love is something that is central to every hero’s arsenal of powers, and in the wizarding world one cannot get very far without a lasting reserve of it somewhere deep down.
Which of these powers were you most surprised to learn were in Harry Potter? Are there any you wish you possessed?