HOM 201 Journal : Part II

Continued from HOM 201 Journal : Part I.

WEEK FOUR


Today was the 4th lesson of our HOM 201 class. Continuing from where we had left off in the previous class about British Wizarding Villages, today, we covered three more villages. These are, however, relatively small villages compared to the ones we learnt about last time.

Ottery St. Catchpole was established in Devon, England, around 1693. One of the highest populated wizarding villages in the UK, it is located far away from most other wizarding settlements. Muggles of Devon were known to be more tolerant towards the magic community and attempted lesser witch burnings and killings. Also, even though the architecture of the wizarding settlements are slightly ‘odd’, Muggles don’t question it, since they probably find it amusing.

Tinworth is situated in coastal Cornwall, which is right beside Devon. Established in the 17th century, this village is as old as Ottery St. Catchpole. It is, however, a partial-magical dwelling where reputable wizarding families live alongside Muggles. It is also a popular tourist and vacation spot for wealthy wizarding families.

Upper Flagely, like Tinworth, is a partial-magical village. Located in Yorkshire, England, it is a centuries old existing village, but was made official after the International Statute of Secrecy in 1692. It is one of the longest lasting wizarding villages, leaving behind Godric’s Hollow and Hogsmeade.

As part of this week’s homework, Professor Maddox asked us to research our wizarding origins and write an essay. I can’t wait to get started!


WEEK FIVE

We had our HOM 201 class today. I got a 100 on my Wizarding Origins essay from last week, and 3 extra credits too! I can’t begin to describe how happy I am right now!

In today’s lesson, we covered Merlin, King Arthur and Morgana le Fay. Professor Astaeral Hunt was the guest Professor for today’s class. She is SO sweet! (Yeah, I know I keep saying that about every Professor I meet, but I can’t help it! Every Professor at Hogwarts is just as sweet, I’m loving my second year here as much as I did my first!)

Merlin, known as one of the greatest wizards of all time, was advisor to King Arthur and his father Uther Pendragon before him. Morgana le Fay was a powerful sorceress on par with Merlin. She was most likely a Ravenclaw student at Hogwarts. She despised Merlin for his weak personality, despite the powerful magic he wielded, and her msot notable student Vivienne would later be the downfall of Merlin.

Professor Hunt also talked about magic in Albion and the downfall of Arthur and his kingdom. It was altogether a very interesting lesson. Then, of course, came the midterms! There were 2 parts called Part Dowler and Part Maddox. I think I did fairly well. Let us hope for a good result.


WEEK SIX

The midterm results are out! I got a 100% in Part Dowler and a 80% in Part Maddox! I made a few silly errors in the second part, but 18 points to Ravenclaw House nevertheless. I answered the oldest wizarding village as Godric’s Hollow. But it is, in fact, Upper Flagely. I also got the Salem Witch Trials and International Statute of Secrecy question wrong. Well, at least it is over.

Coming back to today’s class, it was about famous British wizards in history. We covered Albus Dumbledore, the Peverell family and Newt Scamander in class, and Professor Maddox asked us to read Chapter 23 of our textbook, which covered Sir Nicholas Weasley, Leonard Ogden and Augusta Peverell.

It was a wonderful opportunity to read, discuss and learn more about my hero, Albus Dumbledore. The Albus Dumbledore we remember, is the wizened old man, well-loved by students and his former staff members at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and political figures alike throughout Britain and other parts of the world too. Those who remember Dumbledore the student, will tell you how gifted a Gryffindor he was, as good as they come. He was awarded the Barnabus Finkely Prize for Exceptional Spell-Casting in his 7th Year, for his wit and dedication. He also became the British Youth Representative to the Wizengamot, and reveived the Gold medal for Ground-Breaking Contribution to the International Alchemical Conference in Cairo.

But Dumbledore, clearly, harbored secret anti-Muggle sentiments, which were unleashed after meeting the wizard, Grindelwald. The source of his Muggle hatred so early in his youth could be related to the incident that happened back in the Mould-in-the-Wold around 1891 A.D., when Albus’ father Percival Dumbledore was jailed in Azkaban for committing crimes against Muggle children. Three Muggle boys attacked young Ariana Dumbledore. The boys spied on her use of magic, as she was still unable to fully control them at her age. They tried to force her to perform tricks and when she was unable to, they ended up turning violent towards her. This resulted in her unwillingness to attempt magic any further and following it, causing her to possess a magical build-up that brought about violently powerful magical accidents. Thus, Percival Dumbledore attacked the boys and was sent to Azkaban.

Gellert Grindelwald, on the other hand, was considered one of the most powerful Dark Wizards of all time, second only to Lord Voldemort. He was schoolded at Durmstrang Institute until his expulsion. Later, he fostered a friendship with Dumbledore while living in Godric’s Hollow for a summer with his great-aunt, Bathilda Bagshot. The two made plans to find the Deathly Hallows and wield their new-found power as Masters of Death, leading a Wizarding revolution with the aim of ending the International Statute of Secrecy and creating a benevolent global order led by wise and powerful witches and wizards.

However, their partnership fell apart after the two were involved in a three-way duel with Aberforth Dumbledore that resulted in their beloved sister Ariana Dumbledore’s death. Dumbledore’s sentiments changed and he stopped speaking to Grindelwald. He would not see him again until their later duel in 1945 at Grindelwald’s height of power. He was even rumoured to possess the Elder Wand around that time. Dumbledore came out victorious, earning more admirers and opportunities for power.

These are the facts, that which we already know. It seems near-apparent that the influence of Gellert Grindelwald was nowhere near beneficial to Albus Dumbledore’s life. Yes, it did result in Ariana’s death, so I do agree. However, it is only in the company of Grindelwald that Dumbledore’s wisdom grew and he learnt quite a lot about the Deathly Hallows and the Dark Arts. This would serve him well later on in the fight against Lord Voldemort. But what is most important is, he learnt where to draw the line in the quest of power and superiority. Ariana’s death may have brought him back to his senses, but it was because of Grindelwald that he learnt what NOT to do in order to turn into somebody like him. It was also one of the main causes of what turned Dumbledore from a Muggle-hater to one of the most prominent Muggle-born supporters in later years.

HOM 201 Journal : Part I

WEEK ONE
Today was the first day of my second year at Hogwarts. I still can’t believe I’m in second year. At last. Naturally, I was all excited about my first History of Magic lesson, especially since I ended up with a 100% and an Outstanding grade last year. Professor Autumn Maddox is still around, as sweet as always. And we now have a new co-Professor too. Professor Julius Dowler from Hufflepuff House, who is Professor Maddox’s partner in real life too. Anyway, coming back to our first lesson, it was just introductions and stuff. This year, we will be studying all about British Magical History. I am looking forward to these lessons!

WEEK TWO
Today was the second lesson of our HOM 201 course. We touched upon the beginning of Wizarding villages, particularly witch-hunting and its influence on European communities. Most of what Professor Maddox told us about witch hunting came as shocking revelations. As part of our homework assignment, I was researching about witch hunts when I came across this particular preserved eyewitness account of a witch who lived in the Middle Ages. I shall put it here because it sums it all:
23 January, 1361
The year is 1361 A.D. My name is Cassandra Sheldon. And I am a witch. No, I am not ashamed of myself, whatever the muggles say. I am traveling across Northern Europe encouraging the women folk in the wizarding world to stay strong and not give up hope. This is not new to us. Witch hunts have been going on for centuries now. If we cannot fight it, we have to learn to live with it.I have never been caught. Maybe it is because I’m always careful of the way I dress and carry myself around muggles. The important thing is to be as normal and nonchalant as possible, without giving away your magic identity. What is even more important is to not look nervous or jittery however scared or guilty the muggles make you feel. And NEVER draw your wand at the slightest provocation. That ALWAYS gives you away, and once they take your wand away, you are left powerless. All this knowledge and awareness hasn’t come to me overnight. I have heard stories. Scary stories. Some of them are not even fit to be retold.
15 March, 1361
So far, I was only concerned about women folk in our wizarding world. Over the last few days, I have come to know of the other side of it. And the sad part is things are worse in the muggle world. For hundreds of years, muggles have been wary of witchcraft and magic being present. They constantly fear both the unknown and the so-called Occult. The view they hold of witchcraft is that it is sinful and wrong. Average muggles deem witchcraft as wrong, evil and life-threatening. In fact, witchcraft is blamed for bad things that happen in daily activities, such as farming failures or a sudden unexplained death. Witch-hunts and burnings have become a usual sight here. Sadly, despite being determined to catch witches, these muggles are not very good at identifying magic. Once in a while, they do successfully catch a real witch and attempt to burn them. But most of the time, they foolishly end up prosecuting one of their own. In the last couple of centuries, tens of thousands of innocent muggle women and hundreds of unlucky witches have lost their lives to this unnecessary cause.
21 August, 1362
I have been in Belgium for the last one month. Muggles over here strictly define the terms witch to mean a person who had sold their soul to the devil. According to them, a witch has the power to harm her fellow people or muggles by giving up her soul’s salvation. The interrogation of suspected witches is almost always conducted under torture. It is often so painful that the “accused” is more than willing to confess anything, just to escape the pain. The most common punishment is death, by burning at the stakes. Most convicted witches are older women, but some younger men and women were also charged and convicted in the past decade. One interesting (hilarious even, I must confess) aspect of all this has been this particular witch here who goes by the name of Wendelin the Weird. I had the opportunity to meet her and I made her recount some of her many “adventures”. She claims that she allowed herself to be caught 46 times in various disguises by witch-hunters, who tried to burn her at the stake. With the use of aFlame-Freezing Charm, however, theflamesare rendered harmless, creating only a gentle tickling sensation which Wendelin enjoys. For her performance, she pretends to shriek in pain. It gets funnier though. She was only burnt about 13 times as Wendelin the Weird, according to local newspaper reports and disguised as someone else for the other 33 times!
22 August, 1362
Oh dear, she did it again! I had the unique privilege of witnessing a Wendelin the Weird witch burning live today. “FORTY SEVEN AND COUNTING!” she yelled to the heavens in excitement when the muggles surrounded her. This witch has got some spunk, I tell you.

WEEK THREE

Today was the 3rd week of HoM. We discussed about a few early British wizarding villages. These villages came up when muggles started to grow fear towards magic and began to turn hostile, the wizarding community moved out and started their own wizarding villages and settlements to stay close to each other. Professor Maddox told us about three very famous Wizarding villages – Hogsmeade (which is just outside our school), Godric’s Hollow and the Mould-on-the-Wold.

Hogsmeade is the only non-magical community in Britain. Situated just outside our school in the Northwest. They say most of the buildings are of medieval architecture. Third years and up are allowed to visit Hogsmeade on occasional weekends. I can’t wait to go there next year! I have heard a lot about the Hog’s Head and the Three Broomsticks.

Godric’s Hollow is of course famous because of the people who once lived here – Godric Gryffindor, the Peverell brothers, the Dumbledores, the Potters and Bathilda Bagshot. It is also famous for two incidents that took place in this village – the three-way duel between the Dumbledore brothers and Gellert Grindelwald in 1899, which killed Ariana Dumbledore, and the first downfall of Lord Voldemort in 1981.

The Mould-on-the-Wold was found in the 18th century. It may not be as famous as the other two wizarding villages in Britain, it is most recognized as the childhood home of Albus Dumbledore. It is where Percival Dumbledore attacked three muggle children for ill-treating her daughter, Ariana. It ultimately resulted in Percival being sent to the wizarding prison, Azkaban, for performing magic on muggles.


Continue to HOM 201 Journal : Part II.