9 Times Magic Backfired

Lockhart’s Memory Charm Backfires [Credit: Warner Brothers]
Ron: “My wand! Look at my wand!”
Harry: “Be thankful it wasn’t your neck.”

Harry Potter has become a fangirl’s dream since the debut of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1997. Since the release of the first book, it has earned itself six sequels and series of film adaptations, as well as a spinoff film series based off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, starring Eddie Redmayne.

So much has happened in the Wizarding World since the release of the first book. Voldemort was vanquished, Harry lost the ability to be speak Parseltongue, he marries Ginny Weasley and Ron and Hermione get married. Because 2018 is the 21st Anniversary of the first release of the first novel, I thought I would put together a list of nine times when magic has backfired.

9. The Killing Curse Does A Number On Voldemort

Voldemort tries to kill Harry, but fails

Everyone knows the story of how Harry became an orphan and it associates with one name, Voldemort. The story also includes a certain killing curse that Voldemort uses to kill Lily and James Potter. However, people forget the fact the killing curse did a real number on Voldemort. Because of Lily’s love for her son, the killing curse rebounded and it hit the dark lord, destroying his body.

Voldemort had to settle something first — a prophecy made about two boys born at the end of July, Neville Longbottom; born on July 30th and Harry Potter; born July 31st. The Dark Lord decides to go after Harry, fearing he could be the key to his downfall.

On the evening of Halloween 1981, Voldemort arrived at the Potter home in Godric’s Hollow, having been given the location by Peter Pettigrew, who had been granted the role of the Potter family’s secret keeper. The Dark Lord killed James Potter as the father of one tried to fight him off. Voldemort proceeded upstairs where James’s wife, Lily hid cowering with their one-year-old son, Harry. Lily begged for Voldemort to take her life, but to spare her son’s. Voldemort sneered at her and told her to move aside, while he killed Harry. When she wouldn’t, Voldemort killed her.

Casting the killing curse on Harry, Voldemort didn’t expect the spell to backfire and rebound onto him. This left Harry with a lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead while leaving Voldemort as a soul without a body.

8. Fred And George Jinx Ron’s Teddy Bear

Fred and George loved tormenting little brother Ron and jinx his teddy bear

For anyone who knows the Wizarding World universe inside and out, the Weasley twins Fred and George were always a highlight of every reader’s experience. However, it was their treatment of their younger brother, Ron, that made the reader laugh out loud. As the pranksters of the Weasley clan, the twins found joy in tormenting their siblings in every way possible, including jinxing Ron’s teddy bear when they were kids.

The twins loved to torture Ron and they went a step too far when they transfigured his teddy bear into a giant spider. This torment turned into a massive fear for Ron because he came to fear spiders to the point he would freak out every time he saw one. Can you imagine having to live with the twins on a daily basis until you got to go to Hogwarts? You’d have to watch your back every second of the day.

7. Gilderoy Lockhart’s Memory Spell Takes Him To New Heights

Not too smart, Lockhart!

For their second adventure, Harry, Ron and Hermione are introduced to their second Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher. Gilderoy Lockhart is a charismatic author who might seem successful, when in reality, he’s nothing more than a coward and a fraud — stealing the achievements of other wizards and witches and passing their ideas off as his own.

Gifted with altering people’s memories, Lockhart was able to get away with claiming the endeavours of other as his own for a very long time. While a teacher at Hogwarts, Lockhart met his match when he was confronted by Harry and Ron when they go to him for help in rescuing Ginny from The Chamber of Secrets.

Lockhart tries to bluff his way out of helping the boys when he snatches Ron’s busted wand and tries to cast a memory altering spell on them. It ultimately backfires and he loses his memories. He can’t remember who he is or who the boys are or why they’re in the Chamber to begin with. After the boys rescue Ginny, Lockhart is sent to Saint Mungo’s Hospital. When Harry, Ron and Hermione visit the hospital three years later during the events of The Order of the Phoenix, Lockhart still hasn’t regained his memories.

6. Ron Spews Slugs

Eww! Ron spews slugs!

Poor Ron. He always gets the rough end of the stick. When he jumps in to defend Hermione when Malfoy insults her by calling her a ‘Mudblood’ during their second year, Ron tries to jinx Malfoy by using his broken wand. However, his slugs jinx backfires and he ends up burping up slugs instead. During The Chamber of Secrets film, Harry and Hermione take Ron to Hagrid, who give him a bucket and says the only thing they can do is to wait for the slugs to stop.

5. Hermione Becomes A Cat

That would be so cute, if it wasn’t a little unnerving

Also during their second year, the gold trio become convinced their rival and school bully Draco Malfoy is the Heir of Slytherin. The trio decides to use Polyjuice Potion to change themselves into three of Draco’s fellow Slytherins; his two idiot cronies Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle and Millicent Bulstrode.

While Harry and Ron’s transformations into Crabbe and Goyle are successful, Hermione’s is not. Instead of human hair, she had taken cat hair from Bulstrode’s robes. She hides in a toilet stall while Moaning Myrtle dubs her dilemma funny. After Harry and Ron return from their ‘mission’, they take Hermione to the Hospital Wing where she spends a few days recovering.

4. Ron Gets Love Spelled

*snaps fingers in Ron’s face* Okay, he’s out of it!

During their sixth year, Harry, Ron and Hermione find themselves caught up in love triangles. Harry ends up in a semi triangle with Ginny and Dean Thomas while Ron finds himself in a love triangle with Hermione and Lavender Brown.

When Harry obsessed student Romilda Vane sneaks love potion into a box of chocolates, Ron, who is forever hungry, finds the chocolates and eats them, unaware of the chocolates being spiked with the love potion. He becomes obsessed with Romilda which leads Harry to take him to Professor Slughorn to be cured.

Romilda had bought the potion from Fred and George’s shop during the summer. Hermione warns Harry of what Romilda is planning to do, which prompts him not to buy into anything he is sent by his so-called fans.

3. Aunt Marge Blows Up

Never Piss Off Harry, Marge! If Only You Knew The Truth!

Let’s jump back in time for a moment. During the summer just prior to Harry’s third year, Uncle Vernon’s horrid sister, Marge arrives to pay her brother, sister-in-law and beloved nephew Dudley a visit. However, she has always hated Harry and the feeling is mutual. She faces Harry’s unintentional magical wrath when she insults Harry’s late parents in front of him. This causes her to blow up like a hot air balloon. Magical reinforcement is forced to intervene and Marge gets returned to normal with her memory erased of the incident. Luckily, the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge is fond of Harry and doesn’t have the boy disciplined.

2. Seamus Can’t Stop Blowing Things Up

Blowing Things Up Since 1991

Throughout the series, Seamus Finnigan just can’t seem to stop blowing things up. He seems to have a habit of it and no one appears to know why. Despite every blow up being a sheer accident on his part, Seamus’s habit becomes a vital part of the Battle of Hogwarts when McGonagall asks him rig the bridge so Voldemort’s army can’t cross.

1. Harry, Ron And Hermione Accidentally Break The Fidelius Charm Over Grimmauld Place

Hidden In Plain Sight!

Before he died, Dumbledore cast the Fidelius Charm over 12 Grimmauld Place, the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix and Harry’s godfather Sirius Black’s family home. When Dumbledore was killed by Snape, the Order became secret keepers by default. When Sirius was killed by his cousin Bellatrix Lestrange during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, the house itself was willed to Harry as Sirius had no children of his own.

During their mission to track down Voldemort’s Horcruxes, Harry, Ron and Hermione are forced to lay low at the house. However, when the trio is cornered at the Ministry of Magic, Yaxley grabs Hermione by the arm when the trio go to Disapparate to the house, this breaks the charm over the house and the trio are forced to abandon their hideaway.


Magic is not always cast to perfection and the Wizarding World has made us see that. No matter if the fans have read about the magical mishaps in the books or seen them in the movies, everyone has a favourite. While most of the mishaps are for humorous purposes, they were often used to break up the dark tension whenever it arose.