Harry Potter is a wonderful magical world full of enchantments and fascinating characters. However, there’s also a darker side to the world we love so much. Many of the spells have the potential for darker uses, or are outright dark to begin with.
Some of these spells and potions should be illegal, but aren’t for whatever reason. Other spells may be illegal but are never explicitly stated as such anywhere (even though they really should be). And let’s be honest here, even the spells that are illegal (minus the Unforgivable Curses) probably aren’t taken as seriously as they should be.
The first spell on our list is an easy one to overlook. The Confundus spell is generally looked at as a prank or otherwise mild spell. The problem is that the spell is wide open to all sorts of abuse, and that’s the core of the problem.
Confundus could easily be used for cheating. A couple shining examples are in the canon itself, Hermione used it to give Ron and edge during Quidditch tryouts, and Ron himself used it on his driving examiner, saying that he wouldn’t have passed the test otherwise. That raises alarm bells. It can also be used on objects, so what would stop a wizard from using it on an ATM (other than the fact that it’d be in the wrong currency).
Another dangerous example of how the spell can be misused occurred during the Goblet of Fire. Barty Crouch Jr. used a very strong version of the spell to trick the Goblet into believing that Harry was from a fourth school, thus allowing him to participate in the challenge. This very easily could have had fatal consequences (as intended).
10 Polyjuice Potions
In the books, Polyjuice Potions are described as being extremely difficult to make, yet we see them used again and again. Harry, Ron, and Hermione use them during the Chamber of Secrets, and once again in The Deathly Hallows. Barty Crouch Jr. relied on them for a year during The Goblet of Fire. And the potions were used to make Harry doppelgangers at the beginning of Deathly Hallows.
Along with the potions being easier to access than anticipated, there’s the obvious concern about how the potions are used. The golden trio really did just use them for good – though they did break into a government building one time because of it. Barty Crouch Jr. wasn’t exactly using the potions for good, and one can imagine that most of the time the potions would be abused. So wouldn’t it be for the best to just outlaw the potions? This would give aurors the ability to police the use of the potions, after all. And possibly even track the ingredients required for said potions (though that may be an overstep, depending on how common some of the ingredients may be).
9 Love Potions
Love potions are frequently portrayed as a joke or something to laugh off in both the novels and the books. But honestly? There’s a very disturbing edge to love potions.
Best case scenario, a love potion is used by somebody to trap another in a relationship they would otherwise choose not to be in. For example, one we frequently see in the books would be teenage girls using it on teenage boys. They don’t mean anything dangerous in their ploys, but it is still highly disturbing.
The other way to look at love potions; they’re longer lasting date rape drugs. We know for a fact that this is possible, and that at least once the series used the potions as such. The end result was Tom Riddle, after all. Riddle’s mother used love potions to keep her love around, completely taking away his consent on their entire relationship. The moment he was free of the potions, he ran. One can hardly blame him, when you think about the trauma that must have caused.
Horcruxes don’t appear to be actually illegal, despite the requirements for making one. Sure, killing a person – which is required to make a Horcrux – is illegal, but if it’s done right that can easily be overlooked as a muggle crime, or left unsolved (as was the case for all of the Horcruxes Voldemort created).
Having or making a Horcrux in and of itself isn’t illegal, even though it causes irreparable damage to the creator’s soul.
Legilimens seems like it would be an extremely useful ability to have, but once again it’s also an ability prone to abuse. It probably shouldn’t be outright outlawed, especially since there are naturals like Queenie out there. But it probably should fall under the same regulatory rules as being an Animagus, for example. Allowed, but restricted, controlled, and monitored.
Legilimens is very powerful and would be useful for an investigation, but it also has some other concerns. The obvious one being that not everything should be shared, and in everyday situations, a person should have a right to say if they want the information inside their head shared or not. It just seems like common courtesy.
Another spell involving the mind, but this one is less intuitive. Obliviate requires intent, and while it can be used for good… there are many reasons why this spell shouldn’t be used by just anyone.
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Once again, this spell does have practical applications, like wiping the minds of muggles when they’ve seen something they shouldn’t have. But it’s also so open to abuse it isn’t even funny. Thus the spell should probably be controlled and regulated, allowed only by those cleaning up after incidents and the like.
5 Jinxes (Some Of Them)
Jinxes may seem like an odd item for this list, since many of them are relatively harmless. The problem is that some of them are not harmless. Others, when done in the right situation, could be downright deadly. That’s why some of the jinxes we’ve seen should probably not be legal, despite their comical intent.
Petrificus Totalus and Furnunculus are good examples of jinxes that are probably best left alone. Petrificus Totalus seems innocuous enough, but what if it was used near a large body of water? Or worse? There are other jinxes that have wiggle room for abuse, which is why they’re concerning.
Expulso and Confringo are really two sides of the same coin, which is why they’re being listed together. Both spells cause massive and pretty dangerous explosions. The ways the explosions are created are slightly different, hence the need for two different spells.
These spells are highly dangerous, despite their common use in dueling. In fact, it’s widely believed by some of the Harry Potter fandom that Confringo is the spell that caused Fred Weasley’s death. If that isn’t a good enough reason to ban the spell, then we don’t know what is.
Fiendfyre really seems like one of those spells that should without a doubt be illegal. It’s powerful and extremely dangerous – even to the caster. Fiendfyre requires extensive control from the caster, so if an inexperienced caster were to try it, they could easily lose control and find themselves in a world of trouble. We saw this occur during The Deathly Hallows.
There doesn’t seem to actually be a good reason or allowing this spell to remain legal. It’s such a strong spell that it can destroy Horcruxes, which should tell you something about it. It’s difficult to control, and it can cause extreme damage in little time. It’s too unwieldy to safely be used in battle, assuming you care about the people you’re fighting with. Therefore it’s better just to leave it alone.
Inferius is a spell used to control the bodies of the dead. Voldemort was infamous for using Inferius during his height of power, and ever since witches and wizards alike have been terrified that it would happen again. Once Vodemort’s return was revealed, the first thing the Ministry of Magic did (almost) was send out pamphlets warning about the dangers of Inferi and how to quickly identify them.
Honestly, it makes little sense that this spell hasn’t been made illegal yet. Impersonating an Inferi is illegal, after all. So one would assume that the actual spell would be as well.
1 Honorable Mention: Sectumsempra
Sectumsempra is getting an honorable mention because it is obviously a very dangerous spell. It directly causes the damage of seven sword slices on the opponent. This could very easily be a fatal blow, especially if there are no healers around.
The reason this spell isn’t included in the actual list is because Snape created the spell himself, and he doesn’t seem to have shared it. Or if he did, his compatriots never felt compelled to use it in front of us at any point. So while extremely dangerous, it seems to be a limited spell, usage wise. There’s a chance that the Ministry doesn’t even know about it, so they understandably could not make it illegal in that case.