"...which is why the Carpe Retractum spell is useful. It allows you to seize and pull objects within your direct line of sight towards you..."
Professor Flitwick teaching his third years this charm[src]

The Seize and Pull Charm (Carpe Retractum) is a charm that creates a retractable, magical rope made of light. This rope can be used to pull objects within a certain distance towards the caster, or to pull the caster toward whatever they affix the spell to. It is generally used on inanimate targets, although it can be used on plants and animals such as Bubotubers and Erklings.


Third year witches and wizards were taught this spell throughout the 1993-1994 school year in charms class by Professor Filius Flitwick, as well as in Defence Against the Dark Arts by Professor Remus Lupin. The charm appeared in the third year exams for both classes.[1]


Although the spell is easy enough to cast, it takes a fair amount of force to pull the target upon which the charm has been affixed. It is easier for stronger, more muscular individuals to pull things than it is for those with less strength. Therefore, it is recommended that the caster lean backwards when pulling heavier targets, thus allowing their body weight to carry a portion of the target's weight.



From Latin carpe, meaning "seize", and retractum, meaning "remote".

Behind the scenes


Ron using Carpe Retractum in his third year

  • In the PC version, only Ron could perform this spell, whereas in the console version only Harry could cast it; in the succeeding game, all of the trio can use it.
  • In the third game, Ron could use the spell as a form of grappling hook, to pull other things towards him, or to pull himself to other things. If he used it on a suspended target, he could swing from platform to platform, or hang in midair until he let go of the spell, as seen in the picture on the right. This feature of the spell was not reused in subsequent games.
  • In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game), the charm is purple in colour and used exclusively on similarly coloured objects, whereas in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game) it is orange or golden and used in a variety of objects and creatures.


Notes and references

Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts
Classroom 3C · Temporary Classroom · Hogwarts Turris Magnus · Professor's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Dumbledore's Army
Galatea Merrythought · Patricia Rakepick · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Barty Crouch Jr. (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape · Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher)
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection · Break with a Banshee · Gadding with Ghouls · Holidays with Hags · Travels with Trolls · Voyages with Vampires · Wanderings with Werewolves · Year with the Yeti · The Essential Defence Against the Dark Arts · Defensive Magical Theory · Dark Arts Defence: Basics for Beginners · Confronting the Faceless · Magical Drafts and Potions
Spells studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Curse of the Bogies · Disarming Charm · Freezing Spell · Hex-Breaker· Hex-deflection · Hex Zapper · Impediment Jinx · Knockback Jinx · Nonverbal spells · Reductor Curse · Seize and Pull Charm · Shield Charm · Stunning Spell · Verdimillious Charm · Verdimillious Duo Spell · Verdimillious Tria · Wand-Lighting Charm · Cruciatus Curse · Imperius Curse · Killing Curse
Creatures studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Boggart · Cornish Pixie · Grindylow · Hinkypunk · Iguana · Inferius · Kappa
· Red Cap · Vampire · Vampire bat · Werewolf