Full Body-Bind Curse

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The full Body-Bind Curse is a curse that will cause a person's body to go rigid and immobilise them completely, bar the eyes. Its incantation is Petrificus Totalus. It first appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

This spell is included in the book Curses and Counter-Curses.


[edit] Effects and Limitations

The spell renders a person immobile and causing their arms and legs to snap to their sides, however they will still be aware of their surroundings. They will be unable to communicate. Unlike the Leg-Locker Curse it has the advantage of preventing a witch or wizard from using their wand, which is useful in a duel. The incantation is long, however there are many instances of its successful use in duels.

It seems that a person cannot undo the effect of the spell by themselves whilst they are under it. The effects will wear off in time, or can be countered with the spell Finite. Like a lot of simple spells, it can be blocked by the Shield Charm.

[edit] Uses in the Books

[edit] First Book

The spell is first used by Hermione Granger on Neville Longbottom, when she, Ron Weasley and Harry Potter are attempting to sneak out after hours to try and prevent Lord Voldemort from stealing the Philosopher's Stone. Neville is reluctantly anxious to prevent them, not knowing the importance of their mission and worried about how many House points it would cost Gryffindor if they were caught. He bravely stands up to them, but Hermione uses the full Body-Bind on him to prevent him from stopping them leaving or alerting a teacher. Neville was later awarded 10 points for his bravery.[1]

[edit] Fifth Book

Sirius Black used the full Body-Bind curse on Severus Snape during their school days, which Harry witnessed when he looked into Snape's memories using a Pensieve.[2]

Harry used the spell a couple of times when ambushed by Death Eaters in the Department of Mysteries, including on Antonin Dolohov.[3]

[edit] Sixth Book

When Harry Potter tries to eavesdrop on Draco Malfoy on the Hogwarts Express whilst hidden under his Invisibility Cloak, he was distracted enough to give himself away by not paying attention as Gregory Goyle inadvertently hit him on the head with his luggage. Malfoy hung back whilst his fellow Slytherins left the train, pretending to want to check something. He then suddenly cast the full Body-Bind at where he had heard Harry gasping, managing to hit him and cause him to fall out of the luggage rack. After taunting Harry, Malfoy covered him up in the Invisibility Cloak again in the hope that Harry would end up undiscovered on the train until they reached London. Fortunately for Harry, he was being tailed by Order member, Nymphadora Tonks. She lifted the curse using Finite and they jumped from the train.[4]

When Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore return from a secret mission to find one of Voldemort's Horcruxes, Dumbledore was badly hurt after drinking an unknown potion. As they went to the Astronomy Tower Harry was once again under his Invisibility Cloak. Once there he ran to fetch Severus Snape, but they both heard running footsteps heading their way. Dumbledore motioned Harry to back away, and as the person entered they shouted Expelliarmus, causing Dumbledore's wand to fly away. However he had had time to non-verbally immobilise him. As a result Harry could only watch as Death Eaters came on the scene and eventually as Severus Snape killed Dumbledore.[5] On Dumbledore's death the spell on Harry was undone. He used the spell on Yaxley and Fenrir Greyback as he chased Snape.[6]

[edit] Final Book

After the news that Voldemort had taken over the Ministry of Magic, the trio fled to Tottenham Court Road where they entered a cafe. Death Eaters managed to locate them there and in the short fight that followed Hermione was able to immobilise Antonin Dolohov. He was able to hear the three talking and see them afterwards, so to prevent Voldemort from finding out where Harry was and that Hermione and Ron were with him, Hermione used a Memory Charm on him.[7]

During the Battle of Hogwarts Parvati Patil used the full Body-Bind on Antonin Dolohov as he tried to curse Dean Thomas in retaliation for Stunning another Death Eater.[8]

Voldemort used the spell on Neville Longbottom after his apparent victory in the battle, forcing him to wear the Sorting Hat and then causing it to burst into flames. The spell didn't hold, however, as the Elder Wand which he had used to cast it did not belong to him.[9]

[edit] Additional Canon

[edit] Etymology

  • The name could be derived from the latin term 'Petri' meaning rock. Plus 'Total' meaning whole/fully.
  • Petrify is the word used to describe the turning to rock/stone.

[edit] References

  1. J. K. Rowling, PS 16
  2. J. K. Rowling, OotP 28
  3. J. K. Rowling, OotP 35
  4. J. K. Rowling, HBP 7
  5. J. K. Rowling, HBP 27
  6. J. K. Rowling, HBP 28
  7. J. K. Rowling, DH 9
  8. J. K. Rowling, DH 32
  9. J. K. Rowling, DH 36