Introduction and Expectations
Welcome to your first lesson of Defense Against the Dark Arts. I will be your professor for this course and hope that, over the next seven years, I will be able to adequately prepare you to face the world beyond these castle walls - a world full of Dark creatures and Dark witches and wizards. My name is Professor Jericho Penrose. During my time at Hogwarts, I excelled in Defense Against the Dark Arts, Potions, and Transfiguration, which got me highly recommended for a career as an auror. I received Os on all of my O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s for each subject that I sat. I went on to work my way up through the ranks as an Auror in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. I had just returned from an assignment in America when I was offered the opportunity to come teach here. I happily accepted and here we are.
Since this is your first exposure to the Dark Arts, we will not be going too in-depth this term. We will cover some basic creatures and how to defend against them, if they need to be defended against, as well as a few simple spells that will begin to build the foundation for your spellwork in future years. Here is the outline of what we will be discussing this term.
Lesson One - Introduction, History of the Dark Arts, Lumos, Nox
Lesson Two - Components of Spellcasting, Verdimillious, Aparecium
Lesson Three - Types of Spells
Lesson Four - Imps, Bowtruckles, the Knockback Jinx
Lesson Five - Gnomes, Doxies
Lesson Six - Gargoyles, Hags
Lesson Seven - Ghosts, Poltergeists, Gytrashes
Lesson Eight - Fire Crabs
Lesson Nine - Final
I have also included my general grading rubric. This is the rubric by which all essays will be graded.
70% - Content
15% - Word Count
10% - Spelling and Grammar
5% - Identifying Marks
Remember that all essays are extra credit for your first year. This means that they will have no impact on your grade and you are not required to complete them in order to progress through the course. All they do is give you extra house points. However, I highly recommend that you complete these assignments as they allow you to strengthen your understanding of the content discussed in class. Now, to briefly go over the course rules.
1) No food or drink in the classroom. If something were to be spilled while we are doing practical lessons someone could fall and get hurt.
2) Be respectful.
3) No cheating. It will not be tolerated. You will receive a 1% and a detention.
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact one of my PAs - they are all perfectly qualified to answer questions on content. If you wish, you may also owl me here on the site. I will do my best to respond to all of you in a timely manner.
If you have any concerns about being NES or LD please do not fret. Simply place the appropriate label at the top of your essays (LD=Learning Disability; NES=Non-native English Speaker) and you will not be deducted points in the Grammar and Spelling category of the essay rubric. This only counts for essays and will not be accepted on short answer responses.
A few final notes. There is no textbook for this course. All information that you need can either be found within the lesson or can be reasoned using logic based on what you have learned. Simply giving me information that comes word for word from the lesson will not suffice and will result in the response being rejected if it is a short answer response or being given a 1% if it is a response to an essay. The only equipment you need is your wand.
But that can wait until later in the lesson. First, you must understand what exactly the Dark Arts are before you can fully appreciate what exactly you are up against. Therefore, I will give you a very brief history, just so you know the basics.
The Dark Arts: An Introduction
It is impossible to say that there is a “beginning” to the Dark Arts; as long as there has been light, there has been dark. This balance is one that the universe creates itself - there cannot be one without the other. The “Dark Arts” is a blanket term that covers anything that has the intent to harm, injure, or even kill another person. It also covers a wider range than that which I can teach you in this course. The Dark Arts include many branches of magic, particularly potions and charms.
The call of the Dark Arts has always held a certain appeal for some people - those who desire and actively seek power will frequently dabble in the Dark Arts. Once the Dark Arts have a hold on you, they never let you go; once you cast your first Dark spell with malicious intent, they will continue to corrupt you, make you incapable of resisting the power you felt when you used that first spell. But this power comes at a price. As the Dark Arts corrupt your soul, it will also corrupt your body. One of the most evil wizards of our time, most commonly known as Lord Voldemort, was once a handsome young man known as Tom Marvolo Riddle...until he traversed the Dark road and his body became corrupted and mutilated. He no longer looked like a human being.
For a short period of time, from mid 1995-1998, Voldemort worked to attain power after regaining a human form - a form which he lost when he attacked the Potter family in 1981, killing Lily and James Potter, but leaving Harry with nothing more than a scar shaped like a lightning bolt. His quest for power began by getting his Death Eaters into positions of power in the Ministry of Magic. By 1997, Voldemort had succeeded and the Death Eaters were in place and ready to change the world. With them in control, they were able to pass several laws into action - laws which made the Dark Arts legal. These laws only lasted from 1997-1998, but they had a strong effect - including the dissolvement of this course. That’s right, for the 1997-1998 school year at Hogwarts, Defense Against the Dark Arts was abolished and the course became “The Dark Arts”, which taught the cruel and liberal use of some of the Darkest spells.
The scariest part of the Dark Arts is that they can never be defeated - can never be completely known. Once we know them, once we have “beaten” one aspect of them, another will take its place and the beaten branch will simply come back stronger than before; it will have learned new tricks that make the old methods ineffective. We can never conquer the Dark Arts... we can only hold them back.
Despite the fact that it is essentially impossible to “know” the Dark Arts, the Ministry has made an effort to understand them by creating five categories of known Dark magic: Dark spells, Dark potions, Dark creatures, Dark Artefacts, and Dark practices. In this course, we will primarily be focusing on the Dark spells and Dark creatures. In later years, we will cover some of the known Dark Artefacts.
Before you can study Dark spells and how we can defend against them, you must first understand what a Dark spell is. In the broadest of terms, a Dark spell is any spell cast with the intent to harm others. This also is the generic definition of the Dark Arts - any magic used with the intent of harm. However, the Ministry has further broken down Dark spells into three categories.
The Dark Arts: The Three Spell Categories
The jinx is the first and lowest level of Dark spell. Jinxes usually will not cause much harm and are considered to be more of a minor irritation than a serious problem. Some common examples of jinxes are the Tripping Jinx, the Stinging Jinx, and the Knockback Jinx. All of these spells, and any spell that falls under the classification of jinx, will be irritating and can be used as a distraction, but will not cause any lasting damage. Some people will even frequently use jinxes to assist with practical jokes, a habit I suggest none of you participate in.
The hex is the second classification of Dark spell. These spells are a bit darker than the jinx and will often do more lasting damage. There are not as many examples of hexes, but some popular ones include the Bat-Bogey Hex, the Hurling Hex, and Densaugeo. All of these hexes have effects that cause more damage to the target and are viewed as major inconveniences that cause a moderate amount of suffering. These spells can be reversed through the use of a Hex Breaker.
Finally, we move to the third and final classification of the Dark Arts. The curse is the darkest and most dangerous classification of the Dark Arts. These spells are usually cast with the intent to severely harm or potentially even kill the target. Some of the more well-known curses are the Reductor Curse, the Full Body-Bind Curse, and the Conjunctivitis Curse. The use of these spells is often discouraged unless absolutely necessary. As First Years, I would not expect you to be able to cast any of the curses I have mentioned, but I may provide a lesser curse in a lesson to give you an example.
Before we get to that, I have one final topic to discuss with you - a category of curses that fall within a category of curses (if that confused you, this will be explained further in Year Two, when you start learning more about curses). This subcategory is a group of curses known as the Unforgivable Curses. These curses will not be seriously discussed here - these are the darkest spells known to wizarding kind and will not be covered in-depth until a much later year. That being said, I believe it is important that you should be aware of this category of curses. The use of any single one of these three curses will earn you a lifetime stay in Azkaban.
The Wand-Lighting and Wand-Extinguishing Charms
This week I will show you the Wand-Lighting Charm. It is a simple charm that, when performed properly, lights up the tip of the caster's wand. Do not confuse the light emitted for a flame. It is more like a light in the Muggle world known as a flashlight.
The light produced is a light yellow when the spell is cast properly. This spell works well as a beginning spell because it requires very little concentration or willpower, concepts that we will touch on briefly next lesson and will be explained in detail in your Charms class. For now, all you need to know are the basics of the charm.
To cast the Wand-Lighting Charm, you must carefully pronounce the incantation, Lumos, which is pronounced LOO-mos. The wand movement is simple. All you have to do is move your wand up into a counter-clockwise loop.
This spell is great for navigation in dark places and makes it easier to see where you normally could not. However, there are other benefits to the spell . There are several Dark creatures that have an aversion to light, so casting the Wand-Lighting Charm will allow you to move away from them, since they will not approach you while your wand is lit.
As with all things, this spell will eventually have to be put out. This process is even simpler than lighting the wand in the first place. When the time comes to put out your wand, a charm known as the Wand-Extinguishing Charm is needed. The incantation is Nox, pronounced NOCK-ss. A flick of the wand or slight jab in any direction is all that is needed for the movement.
Please remember that pronunciation is important. This will be covered in more detail next lesson, but for today it will suffice to know that, when a spell is mispronounced, it can either cause the spell simply not to work or it can cause a disastrous backfire that could cause you serious harm.
Below you will find two spell blocks - quick summaries of the absolute basic information you need to know in order to cast the spells mentioned in class. You will find these at the end of each lesson where spells are learned. The spell blocks in this lesson will use terms you are unfamiliar with, such as willpower and concentration. These will be explained briefly in the next lesson and will be explained in detail in your Charms class.
Spell: The Wand-Lighting Charm
Incantation: Lumos (LOO-mos)
Wand Movement: A counter-clockwise loop
Concentration: Low - lighting up the tip of your wand
Spell: The Wand-Extinguishing Charm
Incantation: Nox (NOCK-ss)
Wand Movement: A flick of the wand
That concludes our lesson for this week. You will notice that there is a quiz that needs to be completed and an essay that is not required but is highly recommended. I look forward to seeing you all in the next lesson.