Continued from DADA 201 Journal : Week Six.
Boy, that was one big week! And exhausting too! We worked on four spells this week – The Stunning Spell, The Full Body Bind Curse and their respective counters. My practice partner for the Stunning Spell today was Isabel Moonsparks (Sparky), one of the smartest witches in my dorm. And I belong to Ravenclaw House. I went first. As usual we were using the cushions and we were to fall on them. But like Ron said, and I quote, “Once you are Stunned, you can’t aim too well.” Anyway.
Now, the Stunning Spell is more advanced than the other spells we have learnt in DADA over two years. It is similar to the spells we have been learning in Transfiguration because the success and its magnitude depends on a lot of factors – aim, focus and willpower. So I had to aim at Isabel and make sure the spell hit her and didn’t go flying past and hit some random unintended target, persons or fragile objects. The focus had to be on the intent. I really had to mean to put Isabel out of consciousness. There would be no room for pity because she was my opponent at that moment. The last part was the intensity of the spell, which was going to depend on my will power.
It took me quite a while to master all three at once. The aim and wand movement (a quick slash down and toward the opponent) was surprisingly easy enough, which is actually deliberate, according to Professor Silvers, in “order to leave much room for error and be able to cast quickly while in motion”. The incantation “Stupefy” (pronounced “STEW-puh-fye“) is fairly simple too. By the fourth attempt, I was able to knock down Isabel, but it wasn’t enough to knock her out. Seven more attempts later, a bright blue flash from my wand and she was down on the floor. It was a good three minutes before she came around again and looked up at my beaming face.
When it was her turn, it was surprising how quick a learner she was! The first time the Stunner hit me with a bright red flash, I flew a few feet backwards. The second time…well, I don’t remember because I out for what felt like an hour, but she swears it was only for a minute. I quickly pointed out to Professor Silvers that Isabel had mastered it, because I had no intentions of suffering further. So we waited for the rest of the class to finish their practising and we formed pairs again. And to my utmost ill fate, my next partner turned out to be none other than the Isabel Rhodesse (eesabilsa)!
We took positions again, to practice the Full Body Bind Curse. This time, however, this Isabel went first. Not for nothing is she considered to be the smartest witch in our year. And I was at the receiving end of her wand today. When her curse hit me, my body (both insides and outside) freezed, my arms and legs snapped close and I fell backward, missing the cushion. It was like my whole body was paralyzed, except my senses. So I could still move my eyes, smell the air of defeat, feel the pain and hear the thud with which I fell to the floor. Okay, that part really hurt.
Soon, it was my turn to do it. This turned out to be even tougher than the Stunning Spell. The wand movement is slightly complicated (small anti-clockwise circular motion, moving the wand right and down toward the opponent), so is the incantation, “Petrificus Totalus” (pronounced “Peh-TRIH-fih-kus Toe-TAHL-us“). But the focus and willpower came easily this time, maybe it was because of all the practice with the Stunning Spell. The second attempt was enough to paralyse pretty Isabel and make her fall motionless to the floor.
Pardon me, I only spoke about practising the two spells but not their counters. When I knocked Sparky out in my seventh attempt and had to wait for three minutes for her to come around. But after my eighth attempt, when she was lying down unconscious again, I got Professor Silvers’ permission to practise the counter spell. The incantation for the Stunning Spell Counter is “Rennervate” (pronounced as “RENN-a-vate“) and the wand movement is one of the simplest – just point at the unconscious person’s chest. Again, focus and willpower turned out to be as important in the counter spell as in the Stunning Spell. I had to really focus on Isabel’s awakening and target all my energy into the spell for it to be effective enough to bring her around. Unfortunately, I have no recollection of the Stunning Spell counter being performed on me because I was busy being unconscious!
However, I do remember Isabel Rhodesse’s grin on her face when she performed the Full Body Bind Counter on me. I was paralyzed and couldn’t move, but could still watch her bending over me. She said the incantation “Petrificus Removere” (pronounced “Peh-TRIH-fih-kus Reh-moov-ERR-ey“), and moved her wand in the complete reverse motion as is required for the Full Body Bind Curse, beginning with a flick up to the right followed by a clockwise spiral. A warm golden mist shot from her wand and surrounded by frozen body, and my muscles began to relax at once. A moment later, my limbs were freed from paralysis.
EXTRA CREDIT (Fiction: No offense to Slytherin House)
Oh, I HAVE to tell you about this duel that happened in the corridor last Tuesday! It was between a Slytherin third year and a Hufflepuff fourth year. It was Slytherin versus Hufflepuff that Quidditch match weekend, so naturally tensions were running high between the students of both the Houses. The Slytherins had been trying to be their usual intimidating selves, but this time the Hufflepuffs, who have put together a really good team led by Karelin Lestrange, have been refusing to take it lying low.
What started with an argument soon turned into an altercation. And then it began. The Slytherin third year, Marcius Black, took out his wand and shouted “Locomotor Mortis!”, slashing his wand down, to the left, flicking it down again and back right, sending a Leg Locker Curse toward the Hufflepuff fourth year, Neville Gomez. Unfortunately, his back was turned. So the purple flash of light from Marcius’ wand caught him unawares in the back and his legs came together at once. He hopped a couple of times, lost his balance and fell face front. His elbow hit the railing and it began to bleed. There was loud laughter from Marcius and his Slytherin friends. A Gryffindor fourth year rushed forward to produce the counter curse. She pointed her wand at Neville’s legs, traced an upside down V over it followed by a slash down the middle, and said “Locomotor Liberari“.
Neville got up quickly, muttered a hurried “Thanks” to Veela Covington, but something about him said that this was not over yet. He took out his wand this time and twirled it around before pointing it at Marcius and yelled, “Petrificus Totalus!” Marcius was not ready for it and dived just in time as the spell hit one of the knight armors behind and the helmet came off. Obviously, Marcius had not expected Neville to retaliate. A grin spread across Marcius’ face. He had managed to provoke a Hufflepuff. Quite a crowd had gathered to watch by now.
Marcius stood up. Slashing his wand down and pointing it at Neville, “Stupefy!”, he said. A bright green flash of light shot out of it. But this time, Neville was ready for it. He shouted, “Protego!” and the Shielding Charm he produced was effective enough. The Stunning Spell rebounded and all of us on the side of the corridor had to duck to avoid it. Marcius raised his wand again. Suddenly-
Both Marcius and Neville’s wands shot out of their hands into the air and landed in Professor Prince’s outstretched arm. “Detention to both of you. No dueling in the corridors, that’s the rule, provoked or not.” he added, when he noticed Neville open his mouth to argue. It wasn’t the ending the crowd wanted, but then you can’t expect every other movie to be as successful as Titanic, can you?
Continue to DADA 201 Journal : Week Eight.