Announcements

DADA-101

Please read the following announcements before messaging Professor Penrose with questions. They may be answered here!

  1. Defense Against the Dark Arts Year One receives a high number of assignments per day and per week. Our team is composed entirely of volunteers who have to manage their real lives as well. Please be patient when waiting for your grade. If the gradebook says "submitted," it is in the queue and will be graded in the order it was received.

  2. This year is an introduction to the Dark Arts and how to defend against them. Therefore, we will not be learning any advanced spells, nor will we be discussing high level Dark magic. We will be sticking to basics and I ask that you not incorporate higher level Dark magic in your assignments until such time that you learn about them.
    1. I will also not be teaching you about them as "extra studies," so don't ask.

  3. If you believe that an assignment has been graded unfairly, please message Professor Penrose or Isabel Rhodesse with the grade ID. Please ensure your message is respectful or your request/appeal will be denied.

  4. If you have questions about the course content, all of the Professor's Assistants (PAs) are knowledgeable and willing to help! Feel free to reach out to any of them.

Lesson 2) Bright Lights and A Little Revealer

Welcome back. I am glad to see so many of you return and hope that you are ready to continue your education in Defense Against the Dark Arts. Last week, we learned a lot of history and ended class with two spells that were fairly simple and should not have given you too much of a challenge. This week, we will be covering two spells that will require a little more skill; however, I am certain that you all will not find them too difficult. But first, we must cover some basic spellcasting terminology. I will not go too in-depth into these, since the details will be covered in your Charms class, but it is important that you are aware of these terms and what they mean, so you can appropriately use them when you practice casting the spells I will teach you.

Components of Spellcasting
As I mentioned, and you will have observed from the previous lesson, casting spells is not just a matter of waving your wand and saying a few funny words. If you came into this class, or your magical education in general, with the idea that you would be able to get away with attempting to cast spells so whimsically, get rid of that notion immediately. Eventually you will learn to become less dependent on some of the aspects you will learn, but that requires years of practice and a lot more experience than you currently have.

Now, your Charms class will more adequately teach you the small, intricate details of how these components work overall. My job is to explain to you how they will be used in this course and make sure you are using them properly to the best of my ability. The key part is that most of them are dependent on you. I can fix a wrong wand movement or demonstrate a correct pronunciation, but if you are not concentrating enough or if you are not exerting any willpower, then I cannot be held responsible when your spell does not work. Now, let us take a general look at the components of spellcasting. These components are: concentration, willpower, wand movement, and incantation.

Concentration - This concept is actually an interesting one. This is the only term that has an interchangeable equivalent. Through the course of your studies, you will encounter people who refer to this as “focus.” These terms mean the same thing. The only time that listings will be consistent is in official spellbooks or spell blocks. Do not be confused. Both terms refer to the mental process that goes into channeling your magic on a specific target to accomplish an effect. When casting a spell, the spell needs to be instructed. This is partially done through the incantation, but it is primarily done by thinking specifically of what you want the spell to do and what you want the effect to affect.

Willpower - Willpower is a component that seems relatively simple, but takes time to train properly. In the simplest terms, willpower is the magical force you exert to make the spell happen. Some spells will require little to no willpower and the use of the incantation and proper wand movement will be enough. However, most spells require at least some level of willpower - you have to want the spell to work and be willing to make it happen. Think of willpower in terms of physical force. If you want to push a desk across the floor, you need to exert physical effort; in the same way, you need to exert mental effort if you want a spell to work.

Wand Movement - This is probably the second most familiar component of spellcasting to you. When you think of casting a spell, you probably think of someone saying words (the incantation) and waving their wand or their hand. The wand movement is a way to help witches and wizards channel their magical energy and draw on the energy both within and around them. Some wand movements will be simple - in Defense Against the Dark Arts you will often find that they are easier, since many of the spells in this course need to be cast quickly; however, they can also become extremely complex. As you progress through your education, you will find that you will be able to cast spells without performing the specific wand movement. This requires a great deal of concentration and none of you are to experiment with it until such time that you are taught how.

Incantation - Then we come to the funny words that you are so used to hearing. Despite the ideology that the words can be random or you can just make things up, incantations are extremely important to the process of spellcasting. While accents are acceptable, it is important that you, to the best of your ability, say the incantation with the appropriate pronunciation. I will endeavor to provide the approved and tested pronunciation for each spell in this course the same way that I did last lesson for the Wand-Lighting and Wand-Extinguishing Charms. The way these pronunciations are written out have everything to do with phonetics. I will not bore you with the nuances of phonetics here (though if you are curious, I highly recommend looking into it). It may seem like it is not important, or that slight alterations to the pronunciation when written out phonetically will not make a difference, but the phonetics are important because they have been reviewed many times by professionals, both magical and Muggle, who have determined how to write out the words we say to represent how they are said. In particular, pay attention to capitalization; this represents where you should be placing emphasis.

Now that we have that out of our way, let’s get to some of the more interesting stuff, namely learning some spells.

The Verdimillious Charm
The first spell that we will be covering the Verdimillious Charm. This spell is the first offensive spell that you will be learning in class, but it offers more than simply a method of attack. It also offers a temporary light source with a useful effect - it can reveal objects that have been hidden by Dark magic. In order to get the spell to use these different effects, you will have to remember two different wand movements. However, both forms of the spell have the same incantation. The incantation is Verdimillious, pronounced vur-duh-MILL-ee-us.

The offensive version of Verdimillious is the form that we will discuss first. When the spell is cast in its offensive form, the Verdimillious Charm will shoot green sparks out of the tip of your wand which will fly at your opponent and explode around them. This will cause your opponent to experience a slight stinging sensation. This will normally give you enough time to prepare and cast another spell or leave the situation completely. The wand movement for this form of the spell is a forward slash that ends with your wand pointed at your opponent. It is important that your wand is aimed in the proper direction because whichever way your wand is pointing is the direction the sparks will fly and you do not want to deal with the repercussions that could occur if you accidentally sting yourself.

The illumination version of Verdimillious is the second version, though not as often used. In this form, the spell will shoot a green light out of your wand, but instead of being directed forward towards an opponent, exploding around them and causing a stinging sensation, this version will soar towards the ceiling and explode in a bright green flash. This green light will temporarily illuminate the area and will create an outline of any objects that have been concealed by Dark magic. This light will only last a short time, so be sure to move quickly. In order to cast the Illumination version of Verdimillious, you must wave your wand in a circular motion over your head that is not aimed at anything in particular while concentrating on the green light you wish to create and pushing a low amount of willpower into the spell.

In both versions of the spell, you must consider the concentration and willpower necessary to cast this spell. The concentration required is simple - you must focus on the effect and the intended target. As this is a low level spell, there is very little concentration that is required for you to successfully cast this spell. Just make sure that your mind is on the effect, whichever effect you are attempting to evoke, and the target, if there is one; you should not be thinking about your homework for History of Magic that you plan to work on later. This spell also requires a minimal amount of willpower, which makes for easy casting. If you want to push more willpower into the spell, you will be able to slightly extend the duration of the illumination version, but this will only extend the light for a few seconds.

The Revealing Charm
With that, we have completed our discussion of the Verdimillious Charm. However, we have one more spell to cover. The second spell is the Revealing Charm. There are two variants of this spell, as well, but the two serve two different purposes. For this course, we will be focusing on the easier of the two. The other one, called the Enchantment Revealing Charm, serves different purposes as you will learn if you take Ancient Runes.

When sending secret messages, most people now use one of two methods: purely magical means or invisible ink. However, eventually these messages must be read. You could attempt to determine the counterspell(s) necessary to reveal the writing, but that requires a lot of skill and an understanding of the spells that might be used - you will eventually get to this point, but not for many years, yet, which is why we come to the Revealing Charm.

The Revealing Charm is a relatively simple spell to cast. In order to cast this spell, all you have to do is tap the target object and say the incantation Aparecium, which is pronounced ah-par-EH-see-um. While casting this spell, you must focus on the desired effect, which is revealing the hidden writing, if there is any, and on the target and push a little bit of willpower into the spell in order to make it work. If you push more willpower into the spell, the hidden message will be revealed more clearly, but this spell innately requires minimal willpower to properly function, making it a great spell for First Years to practice with.

There are two possible outcomes to casting the Revealing Charm. The first is that nothing will happen. In this case, it is likely that there is no hidden text on the target object. The second effect is that any hidden writing on the paper will temporarily glow purple and reveal itself. This writing will be revealed for about five minutes before it conceals itself again, so you will need to read fairly quickly or be ready to cast the Revealing Charm several times.

Here I have included three spell blocks, one for each version of the Verdimillious Charm and one for the Revealing Charm.


Spell Blocks

Spell: The Verdimillious Charm (offensive version)
Incantation: Verdimillious (vur-duh-MILL-ee-us)
Wand Movement: A forward slash the ends pointing at the target
Concentration: Low - focus on the effect
Willpower: Low
Effect: Green sparks will shoot out of the wand and fly towards the target and sting them

Spell: The Verdimillious Charm (illumination version)
Incantation: Verdimillious (vur-duh-MILL-ee-us)
Wand Movement: A circular motion above your head aimed at nothing
Concentration: Low - focus on the effect
Willpower: Low - More willpower can slightly extend the duration of the light
Effect: Green sparks will fly upward and explode, filling the area with green light and reveal
objects hidden by Dark magic

Spell: The Revealing Charm
Incantation: Aparecium (ah-par-EH-see-um)
Wand Movement: Tap the target object
Concentration: Low - focus on the effect
Willpower: Low - Can use more willpower to “charge” the spell and make it last longer
Effect: Nothing if there is no hidden text. If there is hidden text, the words will glow purple for a
few seconds before looking normal. The message will conceal itself after about five minutes.


And that brings us to the end of the lesson. For your homework, you will find that you have a short quiz about the material in the lesson as well as your first essay. Please be sure to read the essay and answer the prompt completely.

Class dismissed.

Defense Against the Dark Arts Year One will serve as an introduction that will set the foundation for your magical education and properly prepare you for future work in Defense Against the Dark Arts. Here, we will explore what the Dark Arts are, some basic defensive and offensive spells, and low ranking dark creatures that will allow you to develop an understanding about how we discuss and defend against dark creatures.

If you are interested in being a PA for Defense Against the Dark Arts, apply here: https://forms.gle/NznL8pJ7ayZqgRSJ9


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