#AtoZChallenge @AprilAtoZ #HarryPotter – E is for Expecto Patronum and Expelliarmus


As I continue exploring (or re-exploring) the world of Harry Potter books, I realize the impact the third book (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) has had on me. Taking topics from memory, this is the 3rd letter where I’m writing on something I first read in that book. There are quite a few spells that I recollect with ease. The three unforgivable curses, Alohomora, the leg-locking curse, are some that I remember off the top of my mind. And then there are two which are prominent through the series.

When Sirius Black escapes from the wizard prison Azkaban, most people’s concerns are for Harry Potter’s well-being, which prompts the Minster for Magic to send the prison’s guards (Dementors) to Hogwarts, to protect Harry, as well as to capture Sirius when he tries to get to Hogwarts. The Dementors are non-beings that consume the happiness that a person has, leaving the person forlorn. Harry, who has more despair than joy to remember, is affected by the non-beings more than others, leaving him to seek help from his Defence against the Dark Arts professor.

Stag Patronus. Image Source: Harry Potter Wikia

Expecto Patronum, or the Patronus Charm, is what Lupin teaches Harry. It involves letting a happy memory consume and fill the person, before casting the charm which takes the partial form of an animal and charges with that happiness and positivity at the dementor, driving them away. Harry’s Patronus takes the form his father’s Patronus once took – a stag. Hermione’s is an otter. Kingsley Shacklebolt’s is a lynx. Perhaps the most affected I have been seeing a Patronus in the series is when Snape reveals his. That scene is so poignant, yet it is one that I can never ever forget. It is one I feel more connected to than when Harry’s Stag charges down the Dementors in the match against Ravenclaw. For me, the Patronus charm shows something very valuable… that if we focus on what makes us happy, and let that be the reason to continue, that happiness can push away any person who tries to suck the joy out of our life. The positive energy is always there with us, in memories and moments that we cherish. We just have to remember. It’s one of the reasons this spell means a lot to me.

Expelliarmus. Source: Harry Potter Wikia

The second spell is memorable for becoming the signature spell of Harry Potter. It’s called the Disarming Charm, or Expelliarmus. It literally means, Expel from the Arm, so its effect is to knock the opponent’s wand out of their hand. When I first read of the charm in the second Harry Potter book (The Chamber of Secrets), I had no idea it would play as prominent a part as it ended up playing. The Duelling Club started by Professor Gilderoy Lockhart is memorable to me for two reasons, one of which is Snape blasting Lockhart with a powerful disarming charm. That Harry, Hermione and Ron use it to disarm Snape with equal power in the third book (my tryst with this book continues, eh?) was another instance that left me amazed. Over the series, Harry uses it often… at the Hangleton Graveyard, teaching it to the DA, using it against Stanley Shunpike and of course against Voldemort again in the final Wizarding Battle. Harry’s defence of the charm may have felt out of place to Lupin, but it kind of added and confirmed the kindness to his character that Rowling seemed to build through the series.

What E from the world of Harry Potter comes to your mind first, other than the two I’ve talked of here? Another that comes to mind is Errol, the confused, erring owl of the Weasley family. He plays an important part in The Chamber of Secrets book, but nothing much is heard about Errol after.

Also, what form do you feel your Patronus would take? I think mine would be a lion, given I’m Leo by both pen-name and zodiac. But a Patronus can be formless too, and in the end, it is positive energy. So I hope you continue to focus on your joys and keep your Dementors at bay. Happy Wednesday to you all.

How fast time seems to fly by. I remember taking part in the first ever April A to Z Challenge, where for the month of April (except for Sundays) we write on themes around the 26 alphabets. This year marks the 7th Blogging from A to Z Challenge, and my 7th as well. I’ve successfully completed 4 of the 6 years before, so hoping for a fabulous 5th year of blogging success. You can go here if you want to know more about what the challenge is. My theme this year is ‘The World of Harry Potter’.

(© 6th April 2016)


Poetry & writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

30 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge @AprilAtoZ #HarryPotter – E is for Expecto Patronum and Expelliarmus”

  1. Expecto Patronum taught me, amongst other things, to be so happy and project it that sadness is kept at bay. Much like Harry’s Vortex keeps the Dementors away (the movie visualisation). I admire JKR for many things, but her words about depression and ‘demeti-whatsits’ will always be one of the top five.

    Excellent choice for E. One other E i can remember is Engorgio.

    (Dhivya Balaji recently posted… A Dog Eat Dog Food World by C. Suresh : A Review)My Profile

    • Harry’s vortex was not a corporeal patronus, that’s all. 🙂 Glad you liked the E, Dhivya. Yes, there are a few spells that come with the letter E, actually 😀

    • Oh. When I read, I don’t analyze the story too much. It’s looking at it in retrospect, like I’m doing with the challenge, that the meaning seems to sink in. 🙂 Thank you, Sreedeep.

    • Even I wonder about what form my patronus will take, Aathira. It’s just a feeling that it’ll be a lion. 😀 And the feeling when it comes to Snape is mutual, I feel.

  2. What a great thought went into that Patronus Charm! I am always in awe with the thought behind something like that. Focusing on all things positive can deter the most foul negative influences! And Snape’s Patronus…so touching! Expelliarmus is the cause of exasperation to many, but again reveals Harry’s soft nature.
    Cheers for reviving happy memories Vinay.
    @KalaRavi16 from
    (Kala Ravi recently posted… Eclectic Interior Style)My Profile

    • Thank you, Raji. 🙂 Glad you felt it was beautiful. I too don’t remember all Patronuses. A few, yes. 😀 And JKR’s creativity is really amazing! I agree.

    • Every Flavor Beans, yes, that was one thing I thought of for B actually. 😉 Glad you liked the post and a stag patronus is really wonderful. Thank you, Mithila.

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