Lesson 6) Shallow Charm Practical

I wanted to take a quick moment to remind you all of precisely why we’re going to so much trouble to label magical items according to the types of spells that they are made of. By noting that several magical items are made with the Motion Form, for example, we can then see the connections between them. So, for example, a Broomstick, a Flying Carpet and an animated figurine all use the Motion Form. Thus we know that they must all move in some way. It helps us to make connections between objects in our world, which helps us to know how things work! While it seems unnecessary to make connections like this, they deepen your understanding of the magical world and will make you a more skilled practitioner of magic in the long run.

Shallow Object Charming

We’ve touched on Shallow Object Charming a bit this year, so today we will just do a quick refresher. Magical objects made with Forms require valuable material and time to bewitch the material in order to create the desired product. That is what we call “Deep Object Charming.” Shallow Object Charms, on the other hand, can be applied to any object for immediate use. The Levitation Charm, for example, allows us to make objects “fly.” The spell allows the caster to keep the object in the air for some time, but it doesn’t last indefinitely. The same is true of the Softening Charm; the target is softened, but at most for a few hours.

One of our most famously backfiring students

Shallow Object Charms typically don’t work well when more than one is cast on an object at one time. If you apply a spell to an object and then try to cast another, the two spells mix in odd and unpredictable ways, usually never as intended and rarely safely. Even when you assume two spells would work together, such as with the Weight Reduction Charm and the Levitation Charm, they typically cause the object to break apart because the material is being affected in different ways. Long story short, don’t cast multiple charms on an object unless you know precisely what you’re doing as it can result in a backfire.

Shallow Object Charms can be used on items currently under the effects of Deep Object Charms though. This is because an item with Deep Object Charms applied has these spells so integrated into what it is that they are a part of the item. Casting Shallow Object Charms will not change or effect the Deep Object Charms because of the deep, intricate nature of them.

As promised, that’s all the theory I will cover today. We’re now going to practice working on some Shallow Object Charms in small groups. The spells you should practice are as follows:

The Hardening Charm
Incantation: Duro (DOO-roh)
Wand Movement: A “D,” starting with the upward motion, then the downward curve, wand pointed at the target at the completion of the motion.
Willpower: Moderate; determines duration the object remains hardened and how hard it is.
Concentration: Moderate; The object to be hardened.

The Hardening Charm makes the targeted object as stiff and dense as stone. When cast on materials that are already as hard as stone (or harder) or against living cells, the spell has no effect. The Hardening Charm also counteracts the effect of the Softening Charm, returning the material to its original form. An object affected by this charm does not become brittle or shatter if struck (as stone would), but reacts as it normally would if sufficient force is applied. For example, hitting a hardened curtain with a hammer would cause it to ripple a bit instead of break apart.

The Weight Reduction Charm
Incantation: Relevo (reh-LEH-voh)
Wand Movement: Figure-eight ( 8 ) pointed at the target, beginning in the center and moving upwards and to the left.
Willpower: Moderate to strong; affects how light the object will be and what the spell's duration will be.
Concentration: Moderate; Target whose weight is to be decreased.

The Weight Reduction Charm, as its name suggests, makes the targeted object and its contents (if it’s a container such as a trunk) extremely light. The spell persists for up to a few hours depending on how much willpower was used in the original casting. This is a spell often used by students and their parents on their trunks when moving to and from Hogwarts!

The Water-Repelling Charm
Incantation: Impervius (im-PUR-vee-us)
Wand Movement: A backwards 4 shape. Starting from the left, drag the wand right, go up and diagonally left, then bring the wand straight down.
Willpower: Low.
Concentration: Low; The target object.

The Water-Repelling Charm causes the targeted object to resist the effects of rain, hail, and other weather conditions. The spell creates a barrier close to the surface of the object, and water simply runs off the barrier rather than attaching to the surface of the object. Note that the spell only affects weather and water dripping on to the object in question. It will not keep an object safe if it is submerged in water. The spell redirects the incoming water using the water’s own movement, but when an object is submerged there is no movement to shift.

The Effect-Cancelling Charm
Incantation: Finite (fi-NEE-tay)
Wand Movement: A swish to the right, followed by a bend down to the left and back up (in the shape of a shield).
Willpower: Moderate to strong; depending on the charm(s) to be countered.
Concentration: Moderate to strong depending on what you are cancelling; Focus on the target object.

The Effect-Cancelling Charm is a very interesting spell because, rather than give a person or object a quality or property it did not have before, it removes the effects placed on something by a spell. The spell is ineffective against Deep Charmed Objects, but it does remove the effects of any Shallow Object Charms that have been applied. It is also able to remove some negative effects, such as those from jinxes or hexes, from a living creature (humans included), though it is not as good at this task.


This week you will not have a journal entry to complete. Instead, you should find a partner or small group and roleplay for the lesson. I look forward to seeing how you do performing the spells we have learned today and hope to see you all next week.

Image credit: Ask a Physicist, Patuxent, Harry Potter Wiki

Students will focus upon charmable objects and how they are bewitched. This course begins with an overview of object charming and basic temporary charms before moving on to discuss various types of charmed objects (triggered, permanent and activated). We will cover different magical and mundane materials as well as several special topics (such as the extradimensional “Wizard Space” and cursed items). The successful student will be expected to identify and understand how several magical items function, know how to properly cast year-appropriate charms, and understand the basic principles of bewitching an object. Enroll