Continued from DADA 201 Journal : Week One.

I am into my second week of second year at Hogwarts, and it feels as great as ever! I had DADA today, and we continued from where we had left off last week – the basics of dueling. Before that, Professor Silvers talked about the two kinds of duels – formal and informal duels.

The basic difference between the two kinds is that in a formal duel, the witch or wizard formally issues a challenge to their opponent, which they have to accept for a duel to commence. There are rules and regulations and seconds and mediators involved. Any duel that does not involve these could be called an informal duel.

We also later discussed about the need to bow before a duel and the proper stance for a duel. Formal duels usually take place in a dueling club or a competition, whereas informal duels are mostly started in the heat of the moment. That is why they mostly result in serious injuries or even death.

The most famous formal duel of the last century has to be the one between Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald in 1945. Dumbledore sought out Grindelwald and challenged him, which he accepted. But Grindelwald lost to Dumbledore and was imprisoned. We also discussed two informal duels that changed the course of history to quite an extent. Both these duels, interestingly, involved the death of a third party, a person who was not supposed to be playing a part in the duel. Whether their deaths could have been avoided has been a matter of debate ever since.

The first one was a three-way duel between the Dumbledore brothers and Grindelwald, all in their teens. Ariana, their sister, tried to intervene and ended up paying the price with her life. This, in my opinion, could definitely have been avoided had the brothers given a thought towards their sister’s protection. But perhaps they were too busy fighting amongst themselves to see that their sister was in the danger zone too.

The other duel that took place at the Malfoy Manor in 1998 resulting in the death of Dobby the House-elf. Now this was an unfortunate accident. The knife thrown by Bellatrix Lestrange in a fit of rage at the about-to-Disapparate group of people, could have hit anybody, or nobody at all. It happened to strike Dobby just before they disappeared, so the knife vanished along with them, killing the elf. Avoidable or not, but this murder, just like the case of Ariana Dumbledore’s death, was not a planned one. I would even say that these are perfect examples of collateral damage in the case of an informal duel.

Continue to DADA 201 Journal : Week Three.


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