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Severing Charm

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"I couldn’t get the Horcrux off you. It was stuck, stuck to your chest. You’ve got a mark; I’m sorry, I had to use a Severing Charm to get it away. The snake bit you too, but I’ve cleaned the wound and put some dittany on it."
—Hermione Granger to Harry Potter in 1997[src]

The Severing Charm (Diffindo) is a spell that rips, divides, and separates objects into parts. At Hogwarts, it is learned in the second year. It can cut human flesh if used inappropriately or defensively, and therefore can cause death or serious injury.

Known uses

Known Caster How Used
Harry Potter Used in 1994 on Cedric Diggory's bookbag to delay him from class so Harry could warn Cedric privately about the First Task.[1]
Ron Weasley Used to sever the lace sleeves of his dress robes before the Yule Ball.[1]
Harry Potter Used to detach the front cover of the shop-bought Advanced Potion-Making and the Half-Blood Prince's version, then swapped covers and repaired with the Reparo spell.[2]
Hermione Granger Used in 1997 to remove the bindings on Ron Weasley after a skirmish at the Luchino Caffe; she trembled while doing this, and cut Ron in the process, suggesting that the Severing Charm can have a slicing effect on flesh.[3]
Hermione Granger Used this spell again to remove Salazar Slytherin's Locket from Harry Potter's chest shortly after they narrowly escaped Lord Voldemort in Godric's Hollow.[3]
Harry Potter

Used in the Forest of Dean to break the ice of the frozen pool where Godric Gryffindor's Sword lay at the bottom.[3]


Harry using this charm to crack the ice concealing Gryffindor's sword.

Attempted uses

  • In 1996, Harry Potter cast this in an attempt to sever the tentacles of thought that the attacking brain wrapped around Ron during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. [4]
  • In 1997, Harry Potter used this spell to try to cut Mrs. Cattermole free of the chained chair in the Wizengamot courtroom, but it did not work. [3]
  • Harry uses Diffindo

    Harry attempts Diffindo on the Horcrux

    Also in 1997, Harry used this spell in an attempt to destroy the locket Horcrux, which did not succeed. [5]


Diffindo is the Latin first person active indicative for "to split, cleave, or open."

Behind the scenes


See also

Notes and references

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