A Survey Of Standard Spells, Vol I
Introductions & Biographies
Charms are the bread and butter of magic. The average adult wizard may use over 100 Charms in one day, without growing weary. Of course, it takes a long while to reach this level, and you will find that Charmwork does not always come naturally. The sharp wrist-flicks and strange-sounding incantations may seem unnatural at first but, like learning to ride a broomstick, it will all seem second nature after you have completed your time at myHogwarts.
A recent report by the Ministry of Magic suggested that over five thousand spells exist. Taking into account that some of the spells may be variations on each other, or exceedingly rare, it is still alarming to realize how many ways we may manipulate our environment. Plus, this figure excludes all of the Charms that have not yet been crafted and the Charms that we do not yet fully understand. You will soon find that every situation that you encounter has some sort of magical solution. Still, I do not recommend that you always take “the magical way out.” One need only remember the disastrous results of Tony Brickwater’s vow to never lift another finger unless it was to direct his wand, and know that those who overindulge in magic will probably end up in several small puddles around their living rooms. On the other hand, magic used wisely and cautiously will greatly improve one’s everyday living conditions.
Wizard Baruffio once said, “There are only two things more dangerous than a Charm cast by an experienced wizard: Charm cast by an inexperienced wizard, and my mother-in-law.” While I cannot speak for the end of that statement (rumor does have it that his mother-in-law was actually a hag), the fact is that beginners typically run into bumps along the road. It is not uncommon for someone new to Charms to accidentally incinerate a few objects. If you persevere through these moments, though, and find why you have made these mistakes, you will quickly find your skill improving. Every great wizard accidentally blew up several items along the way (just look at Seamus Finnegan).
This textbook contains a small portion of the thousands of spells available to you. You will find that these entries are not heavy on technique. We believe that technique can really only be taught by a Professor, although you will find some information on wandwork in the Magical Theory textbook. The Standard Book of Spells is meant to acquaint you with a few spells with which you will be spending quite some time in upcoming years. By giving you information on the history and variations of these spells, we hope to give you an idea of the basic “personality” of each of these spells. It may sound odd, but you will soon find that each spell has its own quirks and tendencies. Aside from that, we also hope to give you a small peak into how Charms develop. Although you will have to stick to strict guidelines for your first few years of study, experimental spellwork moves our community forward. Without Charms innovations, we would still be sitting around in caves using wand wood to poke each other. Now, we can cast a Poking Jinx to target a person in several places at once.
Finally, a word on the construction of this specific textbook. While Miranda Goshawk’s editions are remarkably informative, extensive modern research into the development and nuances of certain Charms has led to a need for an update. We have also chosen to eliminate some of Goshawk’s spells that are no longer relevant or popular, and replace them with spells that we think will be more useful to you. Remember that this textbook contains only a small portion of the gigantic collection of existing Charms. I wish you luck along the way, and remember: you have only truly started on the path to greatness after you have ignited something!
Director of Creative Literature