While Muggle kids study long division and U.S. geography, Hogwarts students get to take much more exciting lessons in making objects float or freezing people in their tracks with the flick of a wand. If only we in the Muggle world could learn a few of these spells, day-to-day life would be a whole lot easier. Avada Kedavra and Crucio we could do without, but here are ten spells we’d love to apply to real life.
This lock-opening spell makes an early appearance in the Harry Potter movies when Hermione uses it to break into a restricted wing of Hogwarts. Unless you’re a professional burglar, there aren’t too many uses for this highly specific spell. It would, however, prove invaluable for those exasperating occasions when you lock yourself out of your house or car. Even better, you can dispense with keys altogether.
Expelliarmus, a wizard’s go-to spell when fighting a Death Eater, is used to disarm opponents of their wands and, as a bonus, propel them off their feet. Severus Snape performs the spell with a flourish when he duels Professor Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. This would make a great weapon for Muggles when they’re walking alone at night. Quick and expedient, consider it a more humane version of a stun gun.
8. Wingardium Leviosa
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Hermione schools Ron on how to execute this beginner’s spell, which causes objects to levitate. Her tutoring pays off when Ron battles a troll in a Hogwarts bathroom. Here in Muggle world, the spell would be a godsend for more mundane purposes, like simple heavy-lifting tasks. Need to vacuum under the couch? Load boxes into a moving van? Wingardium Leviosa to the rescue.
7. Imperius Curse
The Imperius Curse, which allows the person who casts it to control the mind of the victim, is an ideal way to get lazy or stubborn people to do what you want. True, it’s one of the Unforgivable Curses, and many Death Eaters have used it to turn good guys into their evildoing puppets (e.g., Viktor Krum in The Goblet of Fire). Still, we see no harm in using the curse to force a girlfriend, boyfriend, or spouse to run some errands or give you a massage.
The Ministry of Magic applies this memory-erasing spell on Muggles who’ve witnessed too much magic, and Professor Lockhart uses it to swipe people’s personal tales of heroism and adopt them as his own. (Of course, his scheme backfires when he accidentally casts it on himself.) If it were up to us, we’d use the spell to make people forget all those embarrassing foot-in-mouth moments that we’d otherwise never live down.
5. Expecto Patronum
When the Dementors drain Harry of happiness and replace it with despair, he summons his Patronus to ward them off, which basically makes this spell one big mood enhancer. When the world seems to be conspiring against you, just give your Patronus a call. No one will be able to take you out of your happy place when that glowing aura of goodness is hovering above you.
Mad-Eye Moody demonstrates Engorgio with a creepy spider, but this enlargement spell should really be used to supersize things that you can’t get enough of. Buy a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and Engorgio it to a gallon. Better yet, get your hands on a bar of gold and quadruple its worth in a few seconds. The possibilities to indulge yourself are endless.
3. Vulnera Sanentur
No need to pay for an emergency-room visit if you know how to cast this wound-repairing spell, which Snape uses on Draco Malfoy after Harry slashes his chest with the Sectumsempra spell in The Half-Blood Prince. Not only would Vulnera Sanentur spare you medical expenses in the long run; it’s also a great alternative for anyone who’s squeamish about stitches and surgical procedures.
Practically speaking, Reparo is one of the most useful spells one could hope for in day-to-day life. Hermione introduces us to it when she first meets Harry on the Hogwarts train: as an adorably pint-size Harry watches in awe, she fixes his eyeglasses in an instant. If only we could Reparo that skipping DVD player or glitchy computer. It’s especially convenient for klutzes prone to breaking things.
Accio, the summoning spell, has been a lifesaver for many a wizard, most notably when Harry used it to fetch his Firebolt broomstick during the dragon fight at the Triwizard Tournament. For Muggles, though, Accio mainly appeals to your inner sloth. Forgot to grab your beer from the kitchen counter? Accio! Forgot to grab toilet paper before you sat on the loo? Accio! Need we say more?