Lesson 7) Perfect Your Camouflage

Welcome welcome to the Charms classroom! It is wonderful to see you all today! We are so close to the end of the year, I can tell you are all getting restless and eager to get to your O.W.L.s. We have a very interesting lesson today with concepts that will come up in your O.W.L.s, so pay close attention and make sure to take very good notes. Last lesson we completed our unit on home protection. But what should you do to protect yourself when moving amongst Muggles?

That brings us to the topic of today’s lesson - moving undetected amongst Muggles! While it would be wonderful it be able to wander about in the Muggle world in our robes with our wands in full view, this directly violates the International Statute of Secrecy. Therefore, measures should be taken to keep your magic hidden from Muggles when you are in their world.

Now we won’t be discussing what clothes to wear and all of that in this lesson, I will leave that to Professor Castillo! However we will be discussing some very handy charms that are safe to use in the Muggle world. Professor Mitchell will also be joining us this lesson to discuss human transfiguration and its use in the Muggle world.

The Disillusionment Charm

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to move amongst Muggles without detection is to simply remain unseen. Invisibility cloaks are often used for this venture. If you do not have access to an invisibility cloak, the Disillusionment Charm is the next best thing! It does have its limitations, which we will discuss in a moment, but is also very useful in a pinch.

The Disillusionment Charm was created for the aurors of MACUSA in 1695 shortly after their inception as a way to disguise themselves from their targets. It is suspected that it was created in MACUSA’s version of the Department of Mysteries, but they refuse to confirm or deny this allegation. For now, we know that it was created somewhere in the depths of this organization.

Incantation: Talpa (TAWL-puh)
Wand Movement: Depends on target; Twirl around the body if casting on yourself, a tap on the target if casting on someone or something else.
Willpower: High; Must overcome the will of the target’s cells to remain as is.
Concentration: High; Must visualize the target appearing as their surroundings.

The Disillusionment Charm conceals the target by making them appear to have the same color and texture as that which is around them. This charm will effect the target’s skin, hair, and clothes, basically anything attached to them at the time of casting. The target can still be felt and heard though, so you must take caution not to bump into anyone or make any noise. Additionally, since this charm only makes your appearance match that of your surroundings, a keen eye can still pick you out if you are moving, as your appearance must change as your surroundings do. Only the most powerful of magical practitioners can cast a Disillusionment Charm strong enough to render themselves invisible, Albus Dumbledore being one such wizard.

This charms has two different wand movements depending on who you are casting it on - yourself or something else. When casting the spell on yourself, you must twirl your wand up your body as if you are entwining yourself in a rope. If you are casting on someone or something else, a simple tap on the target will do. This spell does work on people, animals, and objects so it has a variety of uses. If cast properly, a white light will envelope the target, which will then fade as their appearance changes. In fact, as I am sure you have learned in Care of Magical Creatures, hippogriffs can only be kept as pets if a Disillusionment Charm has been cast on them in order to reduce the chances of being seen by Muggles.

In order to further prevent detection, those who have cast the Disillusionment Charm upon themselves will also cast the Silencing Charm or Muffliato, which we will discuss next, to also hide their voices and make up for some of this charm’s shortcomings.


As previously stated, Muffliato can be used to help hide one’s voice from others. Muffliato was created by Severus Snape during his time at school and recorded in his textbook, Advanced Potion-Making. Harry Potter stumbled upon the spell when he used Snape’s old textbook during Potions class. While I do not encourage any student to cast a spell willy nilly, Muffliato did end up being a very handy little charm while Harry, Ron, and Hermione were on the run in 1997 and 1998.

Incantation: Muffliato (muff-LEE-ah-toe)
Wand Movement: Point at the target.
Willpower: Moderate; Must overcome the natural desire of your voice to be heard.
Concentration: Moderate; Must imagine a dull buzz filling the ears of those around you.

This spell acts by filling the ears of those in the vicinity of the casting with a buzzing noise so that they cannot overhear the caster’s conversation. This is incredibly helpful, as it is a way to disguise your conversation without bringing attention to the fact that you are doing it. After casting this spell, someone could be standing right next to you with their ear to your mouth, and would only hear the buzz until you deactivate the charm with the Effect-Cancelling Charm we learned in a previous year.

Previously I mentioned the Silencing Charm as a way to hide conversations as well. Unfortunately, this will not allow you to chat with someone else as it completely stops the target from making any sound, as we learned last lesson. Therefore, if you want to have a conversation with someone, it is recommended you use Muffliato, not a Silencing Charm.

Transfiguration and Disguise

While Silencing Charms and Disillusionment are all wonderful methods of concealment, one of the best is and always has been transfiguration! Here to discuss the ins and outs of human transfiguration is my dear friend, Professor Mary Mitchell!

Thank you for having me, Armina! I love discussing some of the more practical applications of transfiguration and disguise is one of the big ones. When it comes to disguise in general, human transfiguration plays a big role as it allows you to alter your appearance such that it can be hard to notice that there was a transformation done at all. Some of the most useful spells are those that allow you to change the length, style, and color of your hair, both on your head and on your face. It’s amazing the difference that a simple mustache can make on a person. Other human transfiguration spells that come in handy when disguising are those that allow you to alter your prominent facial features. This could include changing the size and shape of your nose, adding a rosy tint to your cheeks, adding or removing freckles, or changing the color of your eyes, though the latter holds a rather significant risk of backfire with some very unpleasant results.

When it comes to disguising yourself from Muggles, the easiest way to do so would be by blending in. This means ensuring that you and all of your possessions appear as Muggle-like as possible. Most of you should remember Multicorfors as the last spell that we covered in Transfiguration last year. This spell allows you to transfigure the color and style of your clothing, making it easy to turn your wizard robes into a more Muggle appropriate outfit. An animate to animate transformation may also help you blend in if you happen to be travelling with a fuzzy or feathery friend, as Muggles are more accustomed to seeing people walking with dogs than owls.

If you have any other questions about these spells, please don’t hesitate to ask! My office door is always open and those of you interested in human transfiguration should be looking forward to Year Seven Transfiguration!

Thank you Professor Mitchell! I know all of my students are looking forward to learning how to transfigure their features in Year Seven of your course.

Undetectable Extension Charm

After that fascinating guest lecture I am sure you are all itching to start casting some spells! I promise we will be doing so in just a moment with one of my personal favorites and one of the most useful in the wizarding world - the Undetectable Extension Charm!

However, before I teach you this spell, I want you to know that it is heavily regulated by the Ministry. Casting it requires quite a few permits that are often denied. It may seem silly, but this spell has a very real possibility of breaching the International Statute of Secrecy. Imagine you find a handbag in a restaurant. What is the first thing you do? Look inside for information on the owner in order to return it, correct? Imagine a Muggle took this course of action with a bag that had been enchanted with the Undetectable Extension Charm. They reach inside to grab a wallet and suddenly are up to their elbow in a handbag! They would show it to dozens of people before the Ministry could catch up with them. Therefore, this charm is typically only certified for use on manufactured objects like trunks and tents.

Now I was able to get special permission for us to practice this charm today in class, but the items that you cast on must be left here, or you will fail this course. I am 100% serious about this, students. It was not easy to get the permit for us to cast this spell today, so please do not take advantage of it. You may be wondering why I would teach you to cast a spell that isn’t legal for use outside of class. The reason is simple - you should understand how the world around you works!

Incantation: Capacious extremis (ca-PAY-shus ex-TREME-us)
Wand Movement: A slow tap on the target object with each syllable (six total taps).
Willpower: Very high.
Concentration: Very high; Must visualize the inside of the object expanding to fit an infinite number of objects.

The Undetectable Extension Charm acts by making the target larger on the inside without changing the outer dimensions. It can be cast on any object that has an interior space. The charm is deemed ‘undetectable’ because the outer dimensions do not change as the inner do, and because looking inside the target makes it appear as normal. Only reaching for the desired object will show the spell’s true effects.

Each of you have a small wooden box placed in front of you. This is your material to practice the spell on! You will have the rest of the class period to practice. As stated, these boxes must not leave this room. There is a large bin of marbles and other odds and ends up here for you to put into your boxes to test your spells. You will also have an essay due by next class period, so make sure to give that some thought as well! I will see you all next week!

Image credit: LiveJournal, HP Wiki

Charms Year Five will discuss more practical areas of spellcasting that can be used on your home. We will discuss ways of keeping your home safe as well as touch upon methods of keeping yourself safe from intruders. We will end the year discussing methods of keeping yourself hidden in the Muggle world and touch upon some more advanced spellcasting. This year of Charms aims to prepare you for your OWLs at the end of the year.
Course Prerequisites:
  • CHRM-401

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