"The end of his wand exploded. Harry watched, aghast, as a long black snake shot out of it, fell heavily onto the floor between them and raised itself, ready to strike."

The Snake Summons Spell[3], also known as the Serpensortia Spell[3] (Serpensortia[1]) is a transfiguration spell that conjures a snake from the tip of the wand[1].


The Serpensortia Spell was first created, sometime prior to 1987, in India, but was used worldwide (although usually in its homeland) by wizards known to Muggles as "Snake Charmers"[3].

During the 1987–1988 school year, Transfiguration Professor Minerva McGonagall taught this spell to her Fourth years, including Jacob's sibling.[4]

This spell was utilised by Draco Malfoy during the first Duelling Club meeting in 1992 at the advice of Snape, summoning forth a black serpent in an attempt to attack Harry Potter. After a failed attempt by Gilderoy Lockhart to dispose of it, Harry spoke to the snake with Parseltongue, inadvertently revealing his status as a Parselmouth to the school. Snape's enjoyment at Harry's horror turned to horror himself at this discovery, and obliterated the snake, vanishing in a cloud of black smoke.[1]

Known Practitioners


Serpens is Latin for "serpent"; ortus is the past participle of the Latin verb oriri "to be created".[5]

In Spanish, serpiente means "snake or serpent"

In French, sortir is a verb that means to go out, in this case, the snake goes out of the wand.

Behind the scenes

Malfoy snake

Snake Malfoy (LEGO)

  • The Snake Summons Spell and Bird-Conjuring Charm are the easiest spells to conjure living creatures.[6]
  • The counter-charm is Vipera Evanesca[2]
  • Although the book states that the snake is conjured (brought forth into existence from nothingness), the Harry Potter Official Website states, when a user attempts to cast the spell at the farthest edges of the room, that: "It appears the snake did not hear you. Try to cast your spell in the centre of the room", suggesting that the serpent is brought forth from elsewhere.

In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, when Draco Malfoy casts the spell on Harry Potter during a duel organised by Gilderoy Lockhart, he makes wild, large movements similar to a snake's slithering pattern. It is unknown whether this is just for dramatic purposes to intimidate Harry, or if it modifies the effect to his desire.


Notes and references