Today was the first day of my first year at Hogwarts! Naturally, I was all excited about the first lesson. Professor Alex Quilmane is the Professor for Charms. We started off right away with the introduction to spell-work and what all we will be studying in Charms this year. Everything sounds so exciting! Professor Quilmane then took us briefly through history of spell-casting and the essential laws. He told us about the Ollivander family who have been making wands since 382 B.C. They have turned wand-making into a dedicated craft and profession, they have literally made it their own. History tells us how various laws came into being and the instances that prompted them to be made into laws. It was great fun getting to know all this, although Professor Quilmane says we will be learing them in more detail in our History of Magic lessons. We have also been warned not to use magic while outside Hogwarts and Hogsmeade since all under the age of 17 have the Trace on them, which means any magic we perform can be easily detected, is an offense and is punishable by the Ministry of Magic. So spell-casting, it seems, is much more than pointing and shooting, like the way elder witches and wizards make it seem, so effortless. It involves the ability to turn your will and desire into reality and shape your magic and send it into your wand. Towards the end of the class, we learnt our very first spell, the Wand Lighting Charm! The incantation for the spell is “Lumos” (pronounced LOO-mos) and the wand movement is a single counter-clockwise move. This spell allows us to illuminate the tip of the wand. Too much focus and it will turn scarlet, too little charge and it turns pearly white. It took a little practice to get to the nice little yellow light from the end of my wand, but I got it in the end! The other uses of this spell are to cast votes and repel incorporeal threats and malevolent spirits. The other spell we learnt is the opposite of the Wand Lighting Charm, which is the Wand Estinguishing Charm. The incantation for the spell is “Nox” (pronounced NOCK-ss) and the wand movement is a swift flick. It is one of the simplest and is only used to extnguish the wand light. As part of our homework for this week, we have been asked to write an essay intoducing ourselves. I am so happy I actually got to do some magic using my wand today! It really is the best feeling in the world, at least one of the best feelings in the world. I am now looking for more magic!
Today was the second week of our CHRM 101 course. I had practised both the charms we learnt in the last class to perfection. I am sure now I can light my wand even in my sleep. In today’s class, Professor Quilmane began by telling us about the source of magic within us, the one that flows through us into the wand, focused by the wand’s core and insulated by the wood, until it reaches the tip of the wand. We tried gathering our thoughts and will to focus on that energy inside us and let it flow through the wand. I had to really concentrate and I felt sparks fly from the tip of my wand! It was magical! We learnt about Flight Charms and the four different types, starting from the earliest of them (the Hover Charm) to the Levitation Charm. We only learnt the theory and history of the Hover Charm, Rocket Charm and the Floating Charm. The advanced version of all Flight Charms is the Levitation Charm, that allows us to control vertical as well as horizontal directions of flight. The incantation for this spell is “Wingardium Leviosa” (pronounced wing-GAR-dee-um levi-O-sa). The wand movement is a swish and a flick. We practised saying the spell a few times without the wand, then practised it on quills. My quill jumped a bit on my fourth attempt. By the seventh attempt, it was levitating at eye level. A few more focused attempts and I got it under control. But that was just the easy part. It took a lot more effort for heavier objects. I tried casting it on Mark, but Professor Quilmane spotted me, and was also quick to point out that the Levitation Charm does not work on humans. Huh, that’s a little unfortunate. Anyway, I have since been able to levitate my Charms Textbook. I’m working on cushions right now. Also, the homework we got at the end of the class was to write a short essay describing our wand. I’ll do it once I have sent this particular cushion flying across to Mark, who is dozing off, and successfully drop it on his head.
Today was the 3rd week of Charms. In today’s class we discussed wand properties. And that wands are semi-sapient, and how their properties depend on the kind of wood they are made of and the core within. We then moved on to wand movements. This is something that I will need to practise a lot of. I take a lot of time getting my wand movements right, but I am sure I’ll get there with practice. I’m still a first year after all. We also discussed the magical limitations and how difficult it is to remember the precise movements for each spell, that as we grow older, we only tend to remember the spells we use most frequently, since it is impossible to remember them all. We also learnt two new spells today! The first one was the Mending Charm. The incantation for this spell is “Reparo” (pronounced reh-PAH-ro) and the wand movement is an inward pointed spiral. The Mending Charm is used to repair most non-magical items, although the effort depends on the level of damage. It is also important to visualize the repaired item in the mind to make the spell work efficiently. This was surprisingly easy to get. I fixed a torn book in my first attempt! The second spell we learnt today was the Unlocking Charm. The incantation for this spell is “Alohomora” (pronounced as al-LOH-ha-MOR-ah), and the wand movement is a backward “S” curving up at the end. It works on all physical locks and simple magical locks, although the magical locks require extra focus and will power. Professor Quilmane gave us a series of physical locks to try the spell on. I could open them all in a few attempts. I’m glad with my progress in this course so far.
Continue to CHRM 101 Journal : Part II.