A Survey Of Standard Spells, Vol I

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Chapter 9

While its origins are not clear, historians have been able to trace the roots of the Mending Charm as far back as ancient civilization has allowed. Ancient wizards were, despite their skills with a wand, fairly clumsy individuals, and have always had a need for fixing the so-called “accidents” that occurred in their immediate environments. Most historians falsely give Alecto Smith full credit for the spell’s creation – a blind butler to the British royal court in the 13th century who constantly utilized Reparo to cover up his frequent run-ins with glass doors and vases. Though it was he who popularized the spell, wizarding history shows that the spell had been utilized much earlier than that. The spell hit a particularly large spike in popularity around the early 20th century when the transport of fragile materials became necessary for business. It wasn’t until the invention of bubble wrap in the year 1957 that the spell’s usage finally began to decline.

This spell is considerably more basic than most because it does not require as much mental focus. The Mending Charm’s main purpose is to repair or put back together a broken, bent, or deformed object. As such, the caster is not required to focus as much mental attention on what he desires the end product to look like. Rather than altering an object, he is returning it to its original state. In most cases, the caster has already seen what the object initially looked like, and therefore already has a mental depiction of the end result to work towards. In difficulty, it also differs from other spells because it is not necessary to give attention to the separate pieces of a broken object, but rather to simply focus your attention on the end product. This is especially useful for fixing objects with many smaller fragments – as one might not be able to necessarily see smaller chips of a broken vase, for example, and still be able to successfully restore it to its original state.

Because Reparo is fairly basic in nature, it is also fairly limited. In order for an object to be mended from its broken, bent, or deformed state, all the original parts of the object must be present, and in close enough proximity of each other. With more experience the separate fragments of the object can be further apart, but even extremely skilled wizards and witches require that all pieces be visible at the time of casting. In the event that pieces of the original object are missing, Reparo will still function to reassemble what pieces are present, though the end product will be significantly weaker and structurally unsound, depending on how important the missing piece might be.

The incantation is Reparo, pronounced “rep-ARE-oh.” The wand movement is an inward spiralling motion, first starting like the second hand of a clock, and then spiralling inwards until the spirals are very small. The incantation should be said at the start of the spell, with careful consideration to keep your concentration on the object until the pieces have mended themselves. When the spell is complete and the object is once again repaired, a small cracking sound will occur, letting you know that the spell is finished. For larger objects, the caster should start with a larger spiral; for smaller objects, a smaller one.

Despite the universality of the spell, Reparo does have its set of limitations that have had to be overcome by modifications. Generally the spell works best when the broken object is divided cleanly into separate parts rather than merely being bent or dented. This makes it particularly difficult to repair metal objects, which tend to bend and damage over time without loss of functionality. This is to say that repairing a metal object that has been damaged or bent years ago may lead to no effect. It is recommended that should one desire to use Reparo on a metal object, they should do so within an hour of the object being damaged. Due to the limitations of Reparo, many variations of the spell have arisen over time. For the most part these variations simply require that the subject be specified in the actual spell, as in the case of Oculus Reparo, which is specifically used for mending the frames of eyeglasses.

When utilizing this spell there are several warnings to keep in mind. Repeatedly using Reparo on an object within a short period of time risks weakening the structural integrity of the object. As well, if the path from caster to subject is obstructed by other objects, foreign pieces may accidentally be included in the final product. This is best demonstrated by Alecto Smith’s failed attempt to repair the Muggle Queen of England’s jewelled sceptre, when he accidentally attached a turkey leg in place of the diamond to the hilt.

[1] Not even Albus Dumbledore himself was spared from the aftermath of a poorly-cast fire-making spell as it was rumoured that he had “accidentally” set his bed curtains on fire.

[2] Further research indicates that Mr. Scardiforge attempted the incantation on his cat, but this idea was soon put to rest after the rather important discovery that his cat didn’t like water in the very least.

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