Lesson 1) Constant Vigilance
So now we begin Year Four. We are coming closer to your O.W.L. examination and, by extension, closer to you being thrust into the world, reliant only upon yourself. Therefore, once you are outside of this school, you must always be prepared for anything. The Dark Arts are always looming. Even as we sit in this classroom at this very moment, the Dark Arts are out there, growing stronger and ever searching for new victims. The only way to get ahead of them is to be prepared for them at all times.
Now, first things first. I want each of you to take your wand out and place it in front of you on your desk. Make sure that you keep it within arm’s reach at all times. Done? Excellent, moving on. This year, we will be covering a combination of defensive spells and dark creatures. These lessons will not be anything that you cannot handle, but I do expect to see effort. In fact, many of the assignments to come will require you to exert effort. However, I want every single one of you to remain safe. In order to stay safe, I have several expectations that must be followed at all times.
- Respect: Respect is expected at all times and in all situations. This is non-negotiable. Respect your fellow classmates and other students within the school. Respect the PAs and Head Students who work so hard to help get your grades back in a timely manner. Respect your professors who work hard to produce the content and help this site grow so that you all may enjoy. It takes every single person to make this site function in a manner we all can thrive in, so I expect you all to show the utmost respect to everyone.
- Academic Integrity: You all are Fourth Year students, so I should not have to say this, but do your own work. Don’t plagiarize; we do check. If you are found plagiarising in any form, there will be consequences. Plagiarism on a short answer response will result in an automatic mark incorrect. Plagiarism on an essay will result in an immediate 1%
- Grading Rubric:
- 70% - Content: Do you have the proper information? Do you use logic and display a knowledge of the content?
- 15% - Word Count: Do you meet the minimum required number of words? There will never be a penalty for going over as long as you stay on topic.
- 10% - Grammar and Spelling: Please proofread your assignments. If you have a learning disability (LD) or are a non-native English speaker (NES), please indicate this at the top of your essays and you will not be penalized in this category. Put “LD” if you have a learning disability and “NES” if you are a non-native English speaker.
- 5% - Identifying Marks: Do not include information such as your name, house, gender, sex, or any other information that might create a bias when the assignments are being graded.
Lesson 1 - Constant Vigilance
Lesson 2 - Slow Your Roll
Lesson 3 - You’re Hot and You’re Cold
Lesson 4 - Into the Dungeon
Lesson 5 - The Childnapper
Lesson 6 - Wait, I’m Confused
Lesson 7 - I Came in Like a Wrecking Ball
Lesson 8 - Something in the Water
Lesson 9 - Looking Forward...and Back
As you look over this schedule, you may realize that I have only given the lesson titles rather than the specific content being covered. This was an intentional choice. Many of you will benefit from encountering the unknown. Of course, you are welcome to speculate what each clue could mean, but know that there will be no confirmation of any guesses.
Now, we will quickly cover two spells, just to get you started off this year. The first spell is a simple spell that will allow you to alert others in the area that you are in danger. However, be aware that it can also reveal your location to those who would wish you harm, so be prepared to either fight for your life or to hide until such time as help can arrive. The first spell to be covered is Periculum.
This spell is a known variation of the Verdimillious Charm, a spell I hope you all remember from First Year. However, this spell differs from Verdimillious because, unlike the green sparks that Verdimillious shoots, this spell will shoot red sparks out of your wand straight into the air from the location the spell is cast in a firework-like manner. As previously stated, this spell is intended to act as a distress signal, but also will act as a locating beacon for those who wish to do you harm.
Theoretically, casting this spell is simple. All you have to do is to point your wand straight up in the air and say the incantation, “Periculum” (pur-RIK-yoo-lum) while focusing on the intent of shooting red sparks into the air. However, in practice, this spell can be difficult. In order to be effective, you must be in a location that allows the spell to soar high enough into the air that it can be seen by your backup. When going into a situation where combat may be involved, it is always important to bring backup (a backup is a single person or group of people who are able to assist you should you find yourself in danger; this should not be confused with a second, which is exclusive to dueling). You do want to be close to cover so you can hide or defend yourself until help arrives, but you cannot be under that cover when you cast the spell, since it will reveal your location and you will want to be able to quickly hide. You also do not want to cast it under foliage, because even though the sparks may be safe when they are falling, they have the potential to set flames to trees and bushes when going up. This makes the spell quite difficult because, many times, we are most in danger when we are under cover, particularly in a forest. Therefore, you must put serious consideration into when you choose to use this spell. You may accidentally create a greater danger than you were initially in.
The Bat-Bogey Hex
The second spell that we will be covering has gained some renown within these hallowed halls. Invented in the early 20th century, it became known here at Hogwarts in the late 20th century. One of the most notable users of the spell is one Ginny Weasley, whose older brother, George, commented on her skill with the spell. She demonstrated this spell by using it to help her friends escape the office of Dolores Umbridge and then on the Hogwarts Express at a later time when she was repeatedly asked what really happened during the Battle of the Ministry. Having personally met Miss Weasley, now Mrs. Potter, I have discussed this incident with her and found that it went beyond a simple annoyance. The others students would not leave her alone and continued attempting to get the story to the point that it was considered harassment. The spell we are learning next should not be used out of simple annoyance or just because you do not like a person under any circumstance. Yes, today we will also be covering the Bat-Bogey Hex.
This spell was created when Miranda Goshawk, the author of the Standard Book of Spells series, was growing up. She was one daughter in a family of nine children. As such, she was often ignored by her siblings and so needed to find a way to make her wants heard. This spell was her method. It is known that Miranda cast it on one sister when she wanted to be left alone in her room, on another sister to keep the sister quiet so she could finish her homework, and on a third sister in order to get the sister to return clothes that were borrowed without permission. This spell, which started as a simple defense against siblings, has grown to become a well-known defensive spell in many situations, though it is illegal to cast it on anything that is not a human, since casting the spell on a non-human target, such as a cat, can be fatal to the non-human creature. If you decide to cast this spell on a non-human target, you will find yourself before the Ministry of Magic and may have to face the wrath of Julius Dowler, Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot.
In order to properly cast the Bat-Bogey Hex, you must focus on the intent. In most defensive cases, the intent of the spell is the effect of the spell, or what you desire the spell to do. In the case of the Bat-Bogey Hex, that is to cause the target’s bogeys to change into the shape of bats that will fly out of the target’s nose. While this sounds amusing, it can be quite painful and is an excellent distraction to give you time to move away from the target or to cast another spell. Sometimes all that is needed is the Bat-Bogey Hex.
The wand movement is a downward flick of the wand on the left side, followed by a diagonal movement up and to the right, another downward flick of the wand, and finished with a diagonal movement up and to the left. When done, it will look like a sideways hourglass. The incantation for the hex is “Volamucus” (vol-ah-MYOO-cus).
Spell: The Periculum Spell
Incantation: Periculum (pur-RIK-yoo-lum)
Wand Movement: Point wand straight upwards
Concentration: Low, shooting red sparks out of your wand
Spell: The Bat-Bogey Hex
Incantation: Volamucus (vol-ah-MYOO-cus).
Wand Movement: A sideways hourglass
Concentration: Moderate, concentrating on the target
Willpower: Moderate (must overcome the will of the target)
And that wraps up our content for the day. For your assignments, you will have a quiz reviewing the material from this lesson as well as bringing in important concepts from previous years that will be useful to you during this course. This is to help prepare you for the standardized examinations that you will be taking at the end of next year, known as the Ordinary Wizarding Level exams or O.W.Ls. You also have an essay to complete. I hope you are all prepared for what is ahead of you.
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