Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Magic/Alohomora
|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Magic|
|First Appearance||Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone|
Overview[edit | edit source]
Alohomora is a spell that is used to opens locks on doors and windows.
Extended description[edit | edit source]
We are first introduced to this spell two weeks into Harry's first school year, when Hermione uses it to open a door, so that they can escape from Filch. Throughout the books, when a locked door is found, Hermione, if she is available, is called upon first to attempt to open it; it seems that she is the most practiced at this particular spell.
Not all doors will respond to this charm, though; for instance, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Professor Umbridge has counter-charmed her door so that Alohomora will not work, although the knife Sirius gave Harry will.
Analysis[edit | edit source]
One has to wonder about the usefulness of having locks at all in the Wizarding world. The unlocking spell is so simple that a 12-year-old girl can work it, and it is apparently taught as part of the first year curriculum at Hogwarts; and artifacts (such as Sirius' knife) exist that will unlock even those locks that are charmed against the unlocking spell. From a Muggle point of view, we must assume that an ordinary lock, in the Wizarding world, is similar to a Muggle Yale lock that can be slipped with a credit card; basic security and not much more. If the Alohomora countercharm is used, the security is more that of a bolt lock, with Sirius' knife being akin to more specialized lock-picking gear; presumably, that knife would be controlled by Ministry law, or purchased outside of the legal system. And finally there are high-security locks, such as those at the Ministry (one of which actually melts Sirius' knife) and the vaults at Gringotts.
Questions[edit | edit source]
- Hermione finds this spell in The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1, so why do wizards bother to lock doors in the first place if such a simple spell can open them?