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Priori Incantatem

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Priori Incantatem

Prior Incantato
(PRI-or in-can-TAH-toh)



Hand Movement

Hold tip of wand to targeted wand




Relives previous spells

"A jet of green light issued from Voldemort's wand just as a jet of red light blasted from Harry's — they met in midair — and suddenly Harry's wand was vibrating as though an electric charge were surging through it; his hand seized up around it; he couldn't have released it if he'd wanted to — and a narrow beam of light connected the two wands, neither red nor green, but bright, deep gold. Harry, following the beam with his astonished gaze, saw that Voldemort's long white fingers too were gripping a wand that was shaking and vibrating."

Priori Incantatem, sometimes referred to as the Reverse-spell Effect, is a magical phenomenon that occurrs when two wands sharing the same cores are forced to compete in combat. The effect can be induced by using the incantation Prior Incantato.[1] The echos caused by this spell, if conjured by incantation, may be destroyed by means of the Eradication Spell.



In the woods at the 1994 Quidditch World Cup in Dartmoor, England, this effect was invoked by Amos Diggory by incantation on Harry Potter's wand, which had been wielded by Winky the house-elf, in order to determine who had conjured the Dark Mark over the campsite.

Duel graveyard

Priori Incantem in Harry's first duel with Voldemort.

In the Little Hangleton Graveyard on 24 June, 1995, the Dark Lord Voldemort was resurrected from the dead with the blood of Harry Potter. A duel ensued, in which the wands, both of which possessed phoenix feathers from Fawkes, pet of Albus Dumbledore, were locked together in golden light, and Voldemort's wand, submissive to Harry's, created shadows of Frank Bryce, Bertha Jorkins, Cedric Diggory, and James and Lily Potter.



The echo of Cedric Diggory

Where a duel occurs between parties with wand cores from the same source, simultaneous spell-casting by both witches or wizards will trigger an effect whereby both wands are linked through a single, golden thread of energy, off of which shoot hundreds of beams of golden light forming a cage around the casters.

The two wand holders are forced to compete in a battle of wills in which the loser's wand is forced to regurgitate ghostly echoes of previous spells cast by said wand in reverse order of which they were cast. The victims of murder are able to hold conversations with those around them, and are capable of remembering the events leading up to and even after their deaths.


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  • Latin prior, "previous", and incantare, "to speak a spell" (past participle incantatum).
  • A possible etymology for Priori Incantatem is prior incarnation, referring to its effect of "regurgitating" previous spells. However, the Latin literally means "prior incantation" or "previous spell"; more literally, an incantation is a spell spoken aloud.

Behind the scenes

Arthur weasley duel

Arthur Weasley and an unidentified Death Eater duelling, producing an effect similar to Priori Incantatem



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