When Professor Viridian first approached us with his manuscript, it was with some trepidation that we accepted his request for a meeting. From the hallways of Hogwarts, where he was a staff member for many years, to the passages of the Ministry of Magic, where his latest developments in his chosen field were awaited with awe and sometimes with fear, his reputation for skill in the use of curses and counter-curses is well known.
We were pleased, however, not only that the book he presented to us was such an authority in the field of curses and counter-curses, but also that we were able to walk away from the meeting with only minor burns and abrasions.
Here we proudly present the landmark 10th edition of this book, including fourteen new curses, as well as an updated section covering the professor’s expert views on how young Harry Potter could have survived the Avada Kedavra curse a few years back.
With no further ado, we present Professor Viridian’s original introduction.
Head of Public Relations
Before attacking the subject matter at hand, it would be of some merit to explain how I came to be an authority in the field of curses and counter-curses.
It should be noted that as a young wizard starting out in his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry I was a rather thin lad, the youngest of eight brothers, all of whom were the active and sporty type. As I grew up, I had to learn how to defend myself rather quickly, as entertainment for young wizard boys was rather at a premium in the northern parts of Scotland in the winter months, and my parents were not the richest of folk. Upon arrival at the school, I was looked down upon for my rather ill-fitting, hand-me-down robes (not only by some of the other pupils who had been sorted into my own house, Slytherin, but more often than not, by those sorted into Gryffindor house: in particular, my seven older brothers).
Unbeknownst to many, I carried a rather excellent Ollivander wand – my only new possession – and an already workable knowledge of some basic hexes. I discovered there, in my time in the halls of Hogwarts Castle as a student, that I had a talent for curses, hexes, and the more aggressive forms of magic, and most of my peers learnt very quickly not to find themselves on the business end of my wand.
I must admit it became almost a hobby to collect more and more curses. As one who strives to be the best at something that always attracts challengers, I also needed to learn a great deal about counter-curses. I should mention though, that I have found that the best defence is a good offence, and I had, as a result, adopted a policy of pre-emptive retaliation early on. It has kept me in good stead ever since.
This policy was particularly useful during my short stint as an Auror, although my actions were frowned upon by some, and the time soon came that I needed to seek other employment. I found myself once again in the halls of my old school. Ancient Runes needed a teacher, and considering that many of my favourite curses had been discovered while trolling the dusty old tomes written in runic in the school library, I felt quite at home passing on my knowledge while researching more curses. I dare say my knowledge of curses and hexes came in handy with disobedient students, a practice which, regrettably, is no longer in favour at the school. I was quite content to continue like this until the time when I felt retirement would give me more time to develop some theories I had devised in the field of curses and hexes.
I would have been quite happy, therefore, to include in this book only curses and hexes, but as pointed out by my editor (while he held on to the table because of a particularly effective Jelly-Legs Jinx - see page 299) the work would be incomplete and somewhat dangerous for a less-able practitioner if I didn’t include some of the more passive defensive techniques. You will therefore find in these pages extensive information on both offensive and defensive spells, though some have commented that in many cases there is not much of a difference, except in who cast the first spell. This is a load of hogwash in my opinion, and I took great delight in displaying the difference to Wilbert Slinkhard, who now, I understand, prefers to run away instead of face a well-aimed curse.
I must also point out that although some of these spells are of my own design, they have all gone through the Ministry approval process and are therefore considered legal. I should like to thank my assistant Prometheus Podmore for being the target of many such experiments and sincerely hope that he finds a girl who will love him for who he is and see beyond the purple pimples.
I should also add at this junction that experimentation with curses should only be done by experienced and trained professionals like myself. The average wizard on the street would do well to be careful with trying to “homebrew” curses using the principles I cover herein, which are not discussed in minute detail, but are given as a foundation for the workings of the curses involved. I have on several occasions had to come to the aid of a friend whose wife likes to experiment with normal everyday charms, and how much more dangerous would an experimental curse be?
All of the curses and hexes contained in this book have been tested extensively – and in some cases exhaustively – by myself during the course of my daily activities. I can say that none of my assailants have suffered permanent damage, but all have learned the error of their ways. True, one or two have scars to remember me by ... I seem to remember a duel where I gave someone a scar which is a perfect map of the London Underground, but names escape me.
If, however, someone should approach you claiming you should not be using one of the spells herein, say for example someone claiming to be from the Ministry, feel free to use the Twitchy Ears Hex (p 662) and/or the Langlock Jinx (p 182) on them and remind them what happened to Sisyphus Selwyn from the Magical Law Enforcement squad who tried to tell me that my Waddiwasi spell should not be used in conjunction with watermelons. Some may say cursing Muggles is unsporting or inappropriate, but in a self defence situation I would suggest that your own life and safety counts for more than any secrecy act, and you can always modify their memories afterwards.
Beyond the contents of this book, I can only give you the following advice when confronted by your enemies: “Hex ’em till they glow; then curse ’em in the dark.” Fighting fair is all good and well on the duelling range and in competitions, but even my greatest opponent in the duelling championships, Filius Flitwick, would tell you that in real life you must not expect any quarter nor should you give any.