Nymphadora Tonks: "One of them blocked the stairs behind them with some kind curse... Neville ran at it and got thrown up into the air - "
Remus Lupin: "I saw Snape run straight through the cursed barrier as though it wasn't there, I tried to follow him but was thrown back just like Neville..."
Harry Potter: "I'll bet you had to have the Dark Mark to get through that barrier..."
— Discussion after Albus Dumbledore's demise.[src]

The cursed barrier was used by an unknown Death Eater during the fight against Order of the Phoenix around Hogwarts' Astronomy Tower. It was used to prevent the members of the Order from interfering with Draco Malfoy's attempt to assassinate Albus Dumbledore.[1]

The curse creates a barrier around a certain area, preventing anyone from passing through it and throwing them backwards on contact. Only Death Eaters with a Dark Mark on their arm could pass through the barrier unhindered. If the area around the barrier collapses, the barrier would be dispelled.

Severus Snape, though a loyal member of the Order of the Phoenix, was able to pass through because he had been branded with the Dark Mark.

Behind the scenes

  • Since the Dark Mark was invented by Lord Voldemort, it is likely that this curse, compatible with the Dark Mark, is also one of his inventions. It is possible that the requirements to pass the barrier may be chosen by the caster, making it possible it was invented by someone else.
  • This curse (or a variation) could possibly have been placed on the gates of Malfoy Manor when Voldemort was using it as a hideout because Snape and Yaxley had to raise their left hand (where the Dark Mark was branded) in a salute to pass through it, while other who touch the gates would cause it to bend violently into a human-head shape. Though it is unknown if and how Narcissa Malfoy, who did not have the Dark Mark, was able to enter.
  • If the Dark Mark is indeed required to pass this barrier it's unknown how Fenrir Greyback made it up to the tower, though it's likely that whomever cast the curse did so after letting Greyback pass.
  • This Spell is similar to the Blocked Barrier Charm.


Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 29 (The Phoenix Lament)