The Harry Potter books are centered in a magical wondrous world where becoming invisible is as easy as draping a cloak around one's body, and where flying on a super-power charged broomstick is all part of a game. However, some of the most fun and intrigue in reading the Harry Potter books is derived from hearing about all of the charms and spells that are possible in the world of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Many critics have suggested that part of the wonder and fun of reading the Harry Potter books is that JK Rowling, the creator of the series, has succeeded in presenting the reader with a whole and complete magical universe in a way that makes the world seem possible to the reader. That is, even while reading about fantastical things such as dragons and wizards, readers still feels there is something true about the series.
An important part of the feeling of authenticity that pervades much of the Harry Potter books is Rowling's ability to create a world filled with magic. The Harry Potter books are filled with examples of charms and spells that create a world of believable magicâ€"at least as magical as these types of shows can get. There are numerous spells and charms that are mentioned throughout the book series. So many in fact, that they could fill an entire volume of charms and spells. In the magical world of the Harry Potter books, the students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry are known to dabble in any number of charms and spells. In fact, this is what the students learn in most of their classes. Just because these special students are endowed with special skills and magical talents does not mean that it is particularly easy for them to pick up new charms and spells easily. In fact, it takes much practice and discipline for young witches and wizards to learn and then master new spells and charms.
Most of the names of the spells and charms that are mentioned throughout the book series appear to be Latin in their origin, at least in the origin of their names. Here is a brief sampling of some of the charms and spells that can be found throughout the Harry Potter books.
Accio: This is also described as the summoning charm. The charm is used to summon an object to the caster of the charm. The caster has two ways to approach this charm. They can either simply name the object they wish to summon, or they can use their pointing wand at the desired object and then 'pull' the object towards them with their wand immediately after saying the charm. For instance, if they want a glass, the caster would say, "Accio glass!"
Alohomora: This spell is used to open and unlock doors, and it is mentioned in several places throughout the Harry Potter series. The caster must simply voice the words to unlock or open a closed door. It can also be used to unseal doors that have been closed as a result of the Colloportus spell.
The banishing spell: This is an example of a non-verbal charm. That is, no specific words must be voiced in order to make the spell work. The banishing charm is the opposite of the summoning charm. It will cause the targeted object to be thrown in the opposite direction of the caster. The banishing spell is known to require good aim. In most cases, the banishing spell is simply shown to be the result of a gentle swish motion.
This is just a very brief sampling of the spells and charms that can be found in the Harry Potter books. There are literally hundreds of more spells and charms that can be found in the books.