Harry Potter: a magical world full of spells, creatures, and whimsy. But not all spells are alike. And that means that, sometimes, a spell can be harder to cast than others. Over the course of seven books (and ten movies), we've seen our characters intuitively pick up some spells while struggling to cast others, and they're not alone in that struggle. You see, some spells are just harder to cast, plain and simple. They require more experience, more focus, more knowledge, or a particular frame of mind or emotion in order for their casting to succeed.
Here are ten of the hardest to cast spells in the world of Harry Potter. So you better start reading up on them now, if you want to succeed in casting them!
10 Any Non-Verbal Spell
Okay, so the first item on our list isn't one specific spell, but it is still worth listing here. Non-Verbal Spells are some of the hardest spells out there to master. That is a fact that came up several times in Harry Potter, and was showcased brilliantly within Fantastic Beasts.
Non-Verbal Spellcasting gives the user a significant edge in battles, obviously. But it's also more practical and safe when casting a spell in a location with muggles around. Yet despite these advantages, most witches and wizards don't bother mastering the technique. And that's because of the extreme amount of focus required in order to do so. It isn't a skill for everyone.
Obliviate is an extremely difficult spell to cast, and that's probably for the best. Obliviate is a spell used when you want to remove a person's memories and, as such, it really shouldn't be used lightly. (Though it has been convenient in keeping muggles unaware of the magic all around them.)
Obliviate requires the caster to know what memories need to be removed. It's sort of like using a scalpel instead of a sword – you have to know what you're aiming for. That's the main reason why you don't hear about people losing their memory all over the place.
8 False Memory Charm
The False Memory Charm is next on the list, and it is both similar and dissimilar to the Obliviate spell. While the latter removes memories, the former replaces unwanted memories with something else. Understandably, this is an extremely difficult spell to cast.
There are only a few instances of this spell being used during the course of the novels. One of those times was done by Hermione Granger, in an attempt to protect her parents from dark wizards. So you can get an idea of how much determination and drive this spell would have required.
7 Undetectable Extension Charm
The Undetectable Extension Charm is another difficult spell to cast. It's also one that has been heavily regulated by the Ministry of Magic – which should tell you something. The charm does exactly what it sounds like – it expands the area within an object, but does so in a way that won't be picked up by most detection spells.
The shining example of this spell was done by Hermione Granger, where she put the spell on her purse in order to carry all of the supplies that she, Harry, and Ron would need on their quest. And you know a spell has got to be difficult when Hermione herself says it was a 'tricky bit of work.'
6 Apparition and Disapparition
Both Apparition and Disapparition are considered to be extremely difficult spells to successfully cast. In fact, there are special instructors that will come in and teach students the technique. And these specialists not only need to know how to teach it – but how to undo any damage done to the students when it is done wrong.
That is why both spells are forbidden to students underage, as the risk is simply too high. The hope is that older students will have enough discipline to use them safely. The difficulty of the spells is made clear when one realizes that many witches and wizards would simply prefer to travel by other means instead.
5 Occlumency and Legilimens
Occlumency and Legilimens are two sides of the same coin. One allows you to block your mind, while the other allows you to read the mind of others. It is believed that, of the two, Occlumency is more difficult. That is likely due to the constant vigilance (to borrow a term from Moody) required, along with a variety of other challenges.
Occlumency requires the user to completely clear themselves of all thoughts, and that is a trick that most of us wouldn't be able to do. Harry certainly struggled with it, and he had some of the best incentives out there to try and make it work.
4 Animagus Spell
Now, the spell looks very simple – but recall that all of the examples we've seen have been by wizards who have been casting this spell for ages. The first time a witch or wizard hopes to cast the spell, they must go through an entire process.
The Animagus Spell combines potions and transfiguration, and the preparation is exceedingly complicated. Messing up at any one point will require the caster to start over – assuming that they didn't damage or alter themselves in the process. And that is the main reason why there are so very few Animagus' out in the world.
3 The Creation of a Horcrux
By now, most Harry Potter fans are aware of the requirements for creating a Horcrux. Given what you are required to do in the process of making one, we're going to consider it one of the more difficult spells out there to cast.
There are two major components to this spell. First, you must prepare the item that will eventually become the Horcrux. Then, you must split your soul and bind it to said object. Neither of these tasks is easy – nor should they be.
The Patronus Charm is perhaps the most universally known spell that is difficult to cast. It's certainly the first one to come to mind, for most fans. The Patronus Charm requires the caster to hold on to a moment of pure happiness – as in, they must think of their happiest memory. This memory is what fuels the Patronus.
It can be exceptionally difficult to come up with the right memory, and hold onto it so tightly. Especially if there are Dementors nearby – the main reason one would be required to cast such a spell.
The final item on our list is so difficult that, until the later parts of the Harry Potter series, the magical community had believed it to be impossible. Yes, you can fly with a broom or other enchantment. But you can't fly on your own. Or, at least, most witches and wizards can't.
Only one wizard has been seen to create a spell that would allow them flight, and we do mean true flight. We don't quite know how he did it, but Voldemort somehow mastered the art. And, since he's the only one to do so, we can imagine just how difficult this must have been.