Lesson 7) Fear of the Physical and the Mackled Malaclaw

I’m glad to see my previous lesson about fear has not frightened any of you away from the castle. I know I spend much time warning you about the dangers of the world - and frequently make it sound as though the world is a terrible place - but this is solely for your protection. It is my job to ensure that you all are as prepared as possible for the challenges you will face beyond these castle walls.

Last class, I mentioned an entirely new concept, the Trifecta of Fear, and explained briefly how its first tier, the Fear of the Physical, related to the Pogrebin. Today, I would like to explain the Trifecta in a little more detail and discuss the Fear of the Physical in a little more depth. The other two tiers, Fear of the Conscious and Fear of the Subconscious, will be discussed later when they more directly relate.

The Trifecta of Fear
All people have at least one fear; those who claim they are not afraid of anything are lying. In fact, one of their fears may well be the fear of exposure; some people have so many fears and insecurities that they become afraid others will learn those fears and exploit them. The goal of the Trifecta is not to lessen the fears of people, but to make it easier to understand what type of fear the fear is.

Make no mistake, fear is a mental reaction; fear can cause physical reactions, but it is entirely in your mind. All components of the Trifecta are mental in the sense that your mind fears that item or idea, but the divisions allow for the distinction between the “real” and the “abstract”. For example, some people might be afraid of dogs. This fear would fall within the Fear of the Physical, since it is a tangible thing that can be feared.

The other two tiers, Fear of the Conscious and Fear of the Subconscious, come much more from within. They can still be physical fears, but will never be tangibly there. The goal of the Fear of the Conscious to play on the physical things you fear without actually having them available. This often requires forms of shapeshifting - something we will talk about next year right from the start. The Fear of the Subconscious, on the other hand, wants to go deeper and draw on the deepest and darkest fears you have; it will force you to experience the things you hoped to never experience again. This tier will not be touched until your Sixth Year, when you all should be more prepared to face these moments.

It is important to note that within the Trifecta of Fear, each tier plays off of the previous one; each tier goes deeper within your mind, but does not ignore the previous tiers. Always be aware of your own mind and do not be afraid to seek help if what you find becomes too overwhelming while exploring the depths of your mind.

Fear of the Physical
Looking at the first tier of the Trifecta of Fear, we have to define what exactly is meant by “physical.” The idea of fearing something physical is simply the mental reaction to a physical object. This can be extended to cover two subcategories of fear: Internal and External. Last class, we talked about Pogrebins and the way that they fell within the Fear of the Physical because they primary way that they attack is by following you and, eventually, killing you. Despite the mental drain that the Pogrebin puts on its victim to make the victim feel hopeless, the primary methods of damage are all physical.

This brings us to the second subcategory of Fear of the Physical - Internal. Fear of the Internal Physical, as it is often referred, refers to being afraid of anything that penetrates the body and will affect you internally. The most common fear within the Fear of the Internal Physical is poison. Nothing can be scarier than knowing a venom of any sort courses through your blood, making you lose control of yourself from within to varying levels of pain. Most venoms can be counteracted by taking either the Antidote to Common Poisons or the Antidote to Uncommon Poisons; some require a little more skill to counter. You will likely learn about this as you continue to study Potions.

Today, we will be looking at a creature that allows us to understand the Fear of The Internal Physical without any side effects that are too harsh.

Mackled Malaclaw

As you can see, the Mackled Malaclaw is a lobster-like creature that measures at no more than 12 inches long. It is rated XXX by the Ministry of Magic primarily because of its size and the intensity of its venom. The venom cannot be countered by any of the means mentioned above - you simply have to wait for it to be removed from your system, which will take approximately three to seven days to do. Once bitten by a Mackled Malaclaw, you will be unlucky in everything you attempt to do while the venom courses through your body. You will lose any wagers or bets made, even those made prior to being bitten, and any risky ventures will go against you. If bitten by a Mackled Malaclaw, it is best to take as few risks as possible.

That being said, there are ways that the Mackled Malaclaw can be stopped before it bites you. The first way to protect yourself from a bite from this creature is to handle it with the appropriate safety precautions: Never handle the creature without wearing your dragonhide gloves and always make sure you are wearing long sleeved clothes. The Mackled Malaclaw has a sharp bite, but good, long sleeve clothing should protect you from all but the most vicious bite from them.

If you take the appropriate precautions, but a Mackled Malaclaw still gets loose, or you encounter one in the wild, all is not lost. You will be able to use a variety of spells to help prevent a Mackled Malaclaw from attacking you - spells like the offensive version of the Verdimillious Charm, the Full Body-Bind Curse, and the Stunning Spell will all be effective to stopping a Mackled Malaclaw long enough for you to either get away from its territory or to recapture the beast and put it back in its container if you have one at home.

Now, the venom of a Mackled Malaclaw is by far one of the least dangerous types of venom that you will encounter. There will be creatures that are far more dangerous and with much stronger venom (think creatures such as a basilisk, whose venom will kill you within minutes). Despite the weakness of the venom, it still can be used to demonstrate our Fear of the Internal Physical. How many of you would want to be bitten by a Mackled Malaclaw a few days before you have to take a final exam? How many of you would want to be unlucky when going into a duel? These may be fears that you have, but in this case, they all come back to the same thing - you fear the negative effects that the venom could have on your life.

In some instances, such as Fear of the Internal Physical, fear is entirely situational. If you fear being unlucky, that would be a Fear of the Conscious - it is an identifiable emotion that will only manifest itself physically in other events happening around you; however, if you fear the venom of a Mackled Malaclaw making you unlucky, it becomes Fear of the Internal Physical, since you’re afraid of something physical that will negatively impact your life. When considering which category of the Trifecta to place an item or idea under, you must always look for the root of the fear - you cannot classify it if you cannot identify what exactly you are afraid of.

Closing Remarks
Next class, we will look at two different creatures and analyze them in a new way - looking at their practical uses for defense - you may not ever need to actually defend against these creatures, but they will be able to help you defend yourself. This does not mean that we can be lax about the Trifecta of Fear. These ideas will come back next term, and are important to you as you develop as young witches and wizards.

The next lesson will also be the last lesson where we talk about new ideas for this year. For our final lesson together, I will be giving you a glimpse of what is to come in future years of Defense Against the Dark Arts.

Class dismissed.

Image Sources
Mackled Malaclaw: https://www.mrowl.com/user/lauren/harry_potter/enter_the_wizarding_world/j_creatures/a_beasts/mackled_malaclaw

Defense Against the Dark Arts Year Two will continue building upon the foundation set in Year One. We will continue our exploration of spellwork, covering more offensive spells and getting into the basics of curse theory. We also will look at creatures with practical defensive uses.

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

Course Prerequisites:
  • DADA-101

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