Lesson 5) Counter-Curses
Welcome back! I hope you all have spent time practicing the spells we learned last week. I’m sure you all noticed that, after a short duration, the spells wore off while you practiced them. As you progress through your O.W.L.s and into your N.E.W.T. level studies, these counter-curses will be more effective because you will be able to cast them nonverbally, which will make them invaluable.
Similar to our last class, I will begin by talking briefly about counter-curses and will address the generic Effect-Cancelling Spell and move into a description of each of the counter-curses and how to cast them.
Counter-Curses and the Effect-Cancelling Spell
In opposition to curses, counter-curses are not classified as a form of Dark magic. This is due to the fact that the intent of a counter-curse, by nature, is to reverse the effects of Dark magic. That being said, counter-curses are more complicated than they appear. In order to effectively cast any counter-curse, you need to be able to completely focus on the reversal of the effect you are trying to undo. For example, if you are trying to cast the Full Body-Release Charm, the counter to the Full Body-Bind Curse, you need to concentrate completely on the magical effects that caused the effect and getting those effects to be cancelled. The better a curse is cast, the more difficult this will be to undo. As Second Year students, I would expect you to be able to at least counter each other’s curses, since most of your curses will not be able to last as long; this is because you are still training and still developing your concentration and willpower. Once you have improved these components, your curses will become more effective and last for longer periods of time.
Now, before we begin looking at the specific counter-curses to the spells I taught you in our previous class, we need to discuss another spell that I believe you are all familiar with. The Effect-Cancelling Charm is a spell that is often used as a go-to spell for witches and wizards when the effect of a spell needs to be undone. This is because it has the ability to target the effects of most jinxes, hexes, and curses (with a few exceptions - the more powerful curses will not be reversed).
If the Effect-Cancelling Charm has the ability to accomplish the task of reversing the effects of most spells, you might be wondering why we need counter-curses. The reasons we have counter-curses and the reason we study them is because they are designed to accomplish a specific task. The Effect-Cancelling Charm is good if you are unsure what spell has been cast on an individual, but if you know the spell that has been used, it is always best to use the counter-curse, since the countercurse will be able to target the specific effects caused by the initial curse cast. Think of it this way, a broom and a vacuum can both clean a floor; a broom *can* be used to clean a carpet, but a vacuum will accomplish the task much more efficiently.
The Leg-Unlocking Spell
The first counter-curse that we will cover today is the Leg-Unlocking Spell. This counter-curse is designed to directly reverse the effects of the Leg-Locker Curse. When cast upon a person, the Leg-Locker Curse targets the muscles in the legs and forces them to move so that the legs are together and then forces them to become immobile. The Leg-Unlocking Spell does the exact opposite - it targets the muscles in the legs and loosens them, allowing the person to freely move their legs again.
Of the counter-curses that you will learn today, this one is by far the easiest to cast, since you will still have full use of your arms and mouth, which means that you will be able to both perform the given wand movement and speak the incantation. As you get more advanced, this will not be as problematic, but since you are just learning the spells and do not have the concentration nor the willpower to cast spells nonverbally and without wand movements, it becomes impossible to cast the spell if you lose either of these.
In order to cast this spell, you need to a low level of concentration and a moderate amount of willpower. This is because you need to overcome the magical energy that is holding the target legs together, but you do not have to concentrate heavily - just direct your mind towards releasing the legs from the Leg-Locker Curse, move your wand up and down (as if drawing a line between the locked legs) and then a swish across. When done correctly, the wand movement will look sort of like a cross. While doing this, say the incantation “Locomotor Liberari” (LOH-kah-MOH-tor LIH-ber-ARE-ee).
The Tongue-Loosening Charm
Now that you have the ability to walk again if cursed, we should ensure that you have the ability to talk again. This counter-curse, the Tongue-Loosening Charm, is much harder to cast on yourself, since the initial curse takes away your ability to speak; this spell, for the time being, can only be cast on another person, at least until you learn to cast spells nonverbally.
The concentration for this spell, again, is low. You simply need to concentrate on the target ( the person who is affected by the curse), the current effects of the curse, and undoing those effects. You will want to envision a mouth moving - envision the person speaking efficiently. Once you have that image in your mind, you are ready to cast the spell.
To cast the spell, you need to say the incantation “Libera Lingua” (LEE-ber-ah LEEN-gwah), move your wand in a circular motion aimed at the target’s mouth, and push a moderate amount of willpower into the counter-curse. This willpower, again, is attempting to overcome the magical energy that is keeping the target’s tongue tied. Depending on the strength of the initial curse, you may need more willpower, but a moderate amount will most often suffice.
The Full Body-Release Charm
Now, you can free your legs, you can loosen someone’s tongue, but what happens if you get caught with the Full Body-Bind Curse, leaving you petrified? Have no fear, there is a counter-curse for that, too. It is also the most difficult counter-curse that we will cover today, since the effects of the initial curse take away both your ability to speak and your ability to move. This means that you will not be able to perform the wand movement or speak the incantation should you be the individual under the effect of the curse; you will be entirely dependent on someone else casting the counter-curse on you, waiting for the effect to wear off (which can take a lot of time, depending on the willpower used by the caster), or be able to cast spells both nonverbally and without wand movement, a feat that I would not expect any of you to be able to accomplish until Year Seven at the earliest.
This counter-curse is different from the others that we have studied today because this one requires more concentration, since you are trying to affect a larger target, and will also require slightly more willpower than the others, though the willpower required is still in the moderate range. When you direct your mind and focus on the effect, you have to remember that you must keep the entire body in mind. Your target’s entire body will be frozen and if you don’t concentrate on reversing the effect of the curse on the entire body, the counter-curse will only unlock those parts that you are keeping in mind.
Once you have the target’s entire body in mind, you need to say the incantation “Petrificus Removere” (peh-TRIH-fih-kus reh-MOO-ver-ey) and move your wand in a complete reversal of the wand movement for the Full Body-Bind Curse. This means that you need to flick your wand up and to the right, then make a clockwise circle. This wand movement may seem to be more complex than necessary, especially if it is meant to be used in a situation where the spell needs to be cast quickly, but it is actually very easy to do once you get used to the move.
Spell: The Leg-Unlocking Spell
Incantation: Locomotor Liberari (LOH-kah-MOH-tor LIH-ber-ARE-ee)
Wand Movement: A cross, starting with a downward vertical movement, then moving horizontally
Concentration: Low, on releasing the effects of the Leg Locker Curse
Spell: The Tongue-Loosening Charm
Incantation: Libera Lingua (LEE-ber-ah LEEN-gwah)
Wand Movement: A circle around your target’s mouth
Concentration: Low, on releasing the spell’s effects
Spell: The Full-Body Release Charm
Incantation: Petrificus Removere (peh-TRIH-fih-kus reh-MOO-ver-ey)
Wand Movement: Flick your wand up and to the right, then make a clockwise circle
Concentration: Moderate, on ending the effects of the Full Body-Bind Curse
When casting each of these counter-curses, and any counter-curses in general, it is important to remember that you need to concentrate not only on the target and the effect, but the effect of the spell that you are attempting to counter in its entirety. If you do not concentrate on the entire effect, then the entire effect will not be countered. If you do not know the entirety of the effect affecting a person, it is best to use the Effect-Canceling Charm, since it is designed to end any given effect.
And now, it is time for you to take your midterm. For the second half of the term, we will be studying various creatures to continue developing the knowledge we started building last year. For now, keep working on the spells that you have learned as they will become extremely valuable to you and will build the necessary skills for later in your education when we learn more advanced spells, but more information about that will be provided at the end of this year.
For now, class dismissed.
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