"Terminates all spell effects"

The General Counter-Spell[3] (Finite[1] or Finite Incantatem[2]) is a counter-spell for general use[3]. It may be used in duels to counter or reverse minor damage, such as the effects of minor jinxes and curses. It can also be used on an entire home to (temporarily) stop the effects of protective enchantments, as a precaution before a wizard answers the door.[5] It is taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in second year's Charms class.

It's currently unknown by who or when the counter-spell was invented. This spell is one of the seven covered in The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 2[3] by Miranda Goshawk.


The General Counter-Spell terminates all spell effects ranging from simple spells like the Dancing Feet Spell to more complicated spells such as Atmospheric Charms, although it would be probably ineffective against moderate to major Dark spells. For example, the Jelly-Legs Curse needs a specific counter-curse to be performed to end it's effects. It's unknown if there is a difference between Finite and Finite Incantatem, in terms of power or usage, it's possible that Finite is simply a more straight forward way of casting the General Counter-Spell to terminate the effects of a single spell.

Known uses

"He pointed his wand at the rampart, cried, "Finite!" and it steadied."
—Harry uses it counter Vincent Crabbe's spell[src]
Caster(s) Date Notes
Newt Scamander, Theseus Scamander, Porpentina Goldstein, Yusuf Kama, Nicolas Flamel, various Aurors 1927 Used to seal off the blue fire created by Grindelwald's Protego Diabolica inside the Lestrange catacombs.
Severus Snape 17 December, 1992 Snape used this spell to end the various unfortunate spells that were affecting members of the Duelling Club when things got a little out of hand.
Remus Lupin 18 June, 1996 Lupin used this spell to take a Tarantallegra Hex off Neville Longbottom.
Harry Potter 2 May, 1998 Harry used this spell to cancel the effects of Descendo (cast by Crabbe) on a large pile of objects.

Known practitioners


From Latin finire, meaning "to end", and incantationem, meaning "enchantment". Finite means 'end' (imperative).

Behind the scenes

  • This spell is included in the Harry Potter: Spells application for the iPhone as a counter-attack spell.
  • Hermione suggested in the Deathly Hallows that Ron should try using Finite Incantatem to stop the rain in Yaxley's office.
  • In the books, Nymphadora Tonks unfreezes Harry from the Full Body-Bind Curse with a flash of red light, which is presumably this spell. In the films, Luna Lovegood used "Finite" to unfreeze Harry and cause his Invisibility Cloak to fly off him.


Notes and references

The Standard Book of Spells
Book of Spells 1
Grade 1 · Grade 2 · Grade 3 · Grade 4 · Grade 5 · Grade 6 · Grade 7
Charms included in the series: Fire-Making Spell · Levitation Charm · Locking Spell · Mending Charm · Softening Charm · Severing Charm · Unlocking Charm · Dancing Feet Spell · Disarming Charm · Engorgement Charm · Freezing Charm · General Counter-Spell · Memory Charm · Tickling Charm · Summoning Charm · Banishing Charm · Substantive Charm