CHRM 101 Journal : Part II


WEEK FOUR

Today was the fourth week of Charms 101. In today’s class, we discussed the power of words (and alphabets), languages and incantations. We talked about the Phoenician Alphabet, the earliest known alphabet and later modifications and developments. We also discussed about how most of the incantations originated in Europe will have a heavy Latin infulence, because most current languages in use in European countries descend from Latin. And lastly, we ended the discussion with why proper pronunciation is the most important of all, and not doing so can be potentially dangerous and even life-threatening if taken for granted. We also learnt two new spells today! The first one was the Fire-Making Charm. The incantation for this spell is “Incendio” (pronounced ‘in-SEN-dee-oh‘) and the wand movement is a curved flick up and down, like the shape of a flame. The challenge to casting a Fire-Making Charm is that it requires a fair bit of will power, experience and practice, in addition to the wand movement and incantation. Anything from a faint puff of smoke to a controlled ignition at a distance is possible. In today’s class, we tried lighting a candle from 15 inches away. At first, my attempts only produced a bit of smoke and heat and vanished into air, but I kept trying till I just about saw a flicker of flame on the candle before it passed out. I am going to practice that tonight. I’m not going to bed till I have lit a candle using a Fire-Making Charm. The second spell we learnt today was the Locomotor Charm. The incantation for this spell is “Locomotor” (pronounced ‘LOH-koh-moh-tor‘) and the wand movement is a full circle with an upward flick towards the target at the end. The main purpose of this charm is to move an object from one location to another. It is also useful to sometimes specify the name of the object one wished to move, following the incantation. The best part of this charm, however, is that it can remain active without concentration. I was successfully able to move my pillow from one end of my bed to the other, but I had to use “Locomotor Pillow” specifically because I was concentrating so hard, my “Locomotor” was threatening to move the entire bed!

WEEK FIVE
In today’s class, we discussed about the importance of focus. Focus is such an important aspect of spell-casting that Professor Quilmane reckons that we will be able to caste a spell without the full wand motion or even without saying the incantation out loud, provided we have the right focus and concentration. The hardest part of successful focusing is that your mind must be relatively clear at the moment you are casting a spell. We also learnt two new spells today! The first one is a Severing Charm. The incantation for this charm is “Diffindo” (pronounced ‘deef-IN-doe‘) and the wand movement is a V-shaped down and up, ending with a swish in the direction to cut. With practice, it gets easier to determine precisely where to cut, how deep, and to prevent unintended items from being cut. The Severing Charm is ineffective against animals and other complex life forms, and even if used, it can easily be overcome by using a Shield Charm. I split my Charms textbook in half again trying to practice the Severing Charm, and had to follow it up with the Mending Charm. The second charm we learnt today was the Softening Charm. The incantation for this charm is “Spongify” (pronounced ‘SPUHN-jee-fye‘) and the wand movement is a “S” with a small swish halfway through. The object targeted by this spell becomes a bit squishy and bendable for a short time. The texture becomes more like rubber and the object becomes bouncy. The effects of this charm are temporary. The material to be softened usually determines how long the charm will last. The Softening Charm does not work on metals, stones and food. If tried to cast on another person, only their hair and skin may become softer. This spell works best on small, hand-held objects. Focus is not really as serious an issue with this charm, because there are no majot backfires if it is done improperly. One might accidentally soften the wrong thing, but it will right itself quickly enough, since the effects of this charm are temporary. When I tried casting it on Mark, he threw his Charms textbook at me, which I was successfully able to cast the Softening Charm on able to soften it, much to the amusement of the rest of the class. Charms is one subject where I seem to be making really good progress, and quick! Mid-terms this week! Wish me luck, diary!

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