Lesson 8) Spellcasting Summary

Welcome to your last full lesson of the year, students! I am very excited about this lesson as it involves something near and dear to my heart - spell creation! Wands away for now please, we don’t want any accidents. Don’t worry, we will be using them today, just not right away. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

Spell Creation

Every spell that we use needs to come from somewhere. No magical spell simply popped into everyone’s memory at once. While we have learned about many different spell origin stories in this class, there are hundreds more spell inventors that have contributed to our magical society that we haven’t learned about. The creation of every spell starts with a problem that needs solving. Someone needs to light their fire without matches and the Fire-Making Charm is created. Someone needs to fix a priceless heirloom, and the Mending Charm is born!

While the spells we will be ‘creating’ in class today are purely theoretical, they will be the groundwork for when we create true spells later in your time at Hogwarts. The first step of spell creation is figuring out what your spell will do. Once you know what you want your spell to do, you need to figure out how to make it happen! Now not to worry, this is not as hard as it sounds. This, actually, is the easy part. Based on what you know about the spell components we learned about this year, figure out what the components of your spell should be. We will go into more depth in the future about the creation of each component but for now, we will just give a brief summary. You do not need to go too in depth at this stage when describing your creations other than simply describing what the components should be. I personally like to sort out my incantation during this part of the creation, but some people may find this easier to do before or after figuring out the rest of the components. When you create your incantation is up to you, but just remember that Latin is the easiest language to work with when it comes to incantations. In addition to your incantation, you need to sort out what the willpower and concentration components of your spell will be. Remember that willpower is similar to mental strength and concentration is a focus on a target. Basically, willpower makes your spell happen, and concentration makes it happen in the correct place and the correct way.

Your assignment for today will put these ideas to work and create a spell for yourself! As I said, spell creation is something that I have great interest in. I was an apprentice to Professor Flitwick as well as famed spell inventor Glynis Cadwaladar and have had the opportunity to contribute to the creation of many spells. I am very excited to see what you will all create today, but, we do have a little bit more practical work to get to first. Please do not attempt to cast any of the spells you are ‘creating’ for class today. Experimental charms go through rigorous testing by professional wizards before they are approved for use. Attempting to practice a charm without these tests can result in death.

Today’s Spells

Wands out everyone, time for some practical work. Today we will be learning two new charms! These charms are quite safe but should still only be practiced here in class. I have placed a bowl of grey liquid on each of your desks. Now please don’t drink it, not even on a dare, because it is quite the hassle to make and I don’t really feel like asking another favor of our dear Potions professor. Mr. Thomas, I am talking to you.

Now both of these charms were created by magical theorist Arameus Szareko. He put the finishing touches on these spells fairly recently and they were created to help students like yourselves refine their concentration. They do have many practical applications but are first and foremostwonderful tools to help your overall spellcasting abilities.

Incantation: Focillo (foh-SILL-oh)
Wand Movement: Slow clockwise circles that continue while you concentrate.
Willpower: Moderate
Concentration: Moderate; concentration should be maintained on the target and warmth.

The first of these spells is the Warming Charm. This spell provides a gentle warming sensation that goes from the tip of the wand outwards in a cone shape. You must concentrate upon the object you want to warm as you are casting as well as the feeling of hot air. The distance from you to the object determines the size of the cone. More willpower means warmer temperatures, though this spell will never get hot enough to cause any harm. This is a dynamic spell, which means that as  long as you continue to concentrate, the spell will continue to work!

Incantation: Infrigido (in-FRIG-ee-doh)
Wand Movement: Slow counter-clockwise circles that continue while you concentrate.
Willpower: Moderate
Concentration: Moderate; concentration should be maintained on the target and cold.

As you may have guessed, this spell does the opposite of the Warming Charm. It produces a chill that radiates outward similar to the Warming Charm, which gives it its name: the Chilling Charm. Like with the Warming Charm, you must concentrate upon the object you want to chill as well as the feeling of cold air. More willpower will bring the temperature of the spell down.

These spells are wonderful to help with your concentration! As you may have noticed, continued concentration works on a continued spell. The longer you can hold the spell, the better your concentration! I challenge all of you to try and hold the spell as long as you can and work on building up your concentration until you can hold this spell for over five minutes. The classroom will be open and the liquid will be available for you to practice on for the remainder of the week.

You will have the rest of the class period to practice these charms! Properly casting the Warming Charm on the liquid will cause it to turn bright green, and properly casting the Chilling Charm will change the liquid to a deep purple. You do have two assignments this week. The first will be to create your own spell! Now, please read the directions very closely or you may lose points on this. I also ask that you please take a look at your other assignment. I am asking you all to submit an evaluation of the course! This is your chance to make a change in Charms class and let me know how you are feeling about how things are going. I welcome all constructive feedback, but please remember to be respectful. Any questions, I will be up front grading last week’s assignments. Good luck and see you next week!

Image credit: Wonderopolis, Free Screensavers

Year One of Charms presents an overview of the basics of spellcasting. Beginning with essential wizarding laws and touching briefly upon wandlore, we then discuss the components that are present within spells. Along the way you’ll learn of and practice the basic spells that all beginning witches and wizards should know. We’ll explore how such basic spells as the Severing Charm, the Levitation Charm and the Sunlight Charm demonstrate these fundamental aspects of spellcasting.
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