Reporter: Rae Katana
Welcome to the second installation of the “Self Defense at Hogwarts” series! In this article, I’ve interviewed Professor Linnie Gothly, Professor of Charms. When we first sat down and I described the topic of the interview, she asked “Does this school have issues with bullies, then?” This makes me suspect that perhaps the Professors really don’t know the situation amongst the students. Even well seasoned and respected ones such as her.
Rae Katana: First of all, I’d like to ask very broadly, in your experience at this school, what would you suggest for a student who is in a violent situation with another student where they may need to use self defense?
Linnie Gothly: Well since this is going to be in a public place I would say to consult a Professor immediately and not let the situation fester or await a time when you must take action yourself.
Rae Katana: So, if student is approached in an offensive way and are required to defend themselves, and no professors, prefects, or heads of houses are near, or it is such that they cannot get away to find one, what is acceptable behavior to defend oneself?
Linnie Gothly: That would depend on a number of things. One being their proficiency in spells or if they happen to have a potion on them or something else that would allow them to get away. Two what harm may come by what you wish to do TO defend yourself.
Rae Katana: If a student is being attacked by another student, are they only to use offensive spells such as expelliarmus to defend themselves, or can they attack in return?
Linnie Gothly: Well the best thing to do is to disarm them. That’s the best line of defense. Unfortunately, some people resort to muggle means of defense so after disarming them they might still physically assault you.
Rae Katana: Right. Are you saying if they physically assault you, it is alright to use physical force in defense?
Linnie Gothly: No. Let me ask you a question – what is the best spell to use to stop someone coming out you if they have already been disarmed? Something that would not physically hurt them? It’s not about being on the offense but rather the defense.
Rae Katana: Well, immobilus would be my first guess.
Linnie Gothly: Or Petrificus totalus. Perhaps Locomotor Mortis. There are quite a few things that one can do to stop someone coming at you.
Rae Katana: So, that works great if it’s one on one. What about if it’s a group coming after you, or even a pair? And you can’t cast the spells fast enough.
Linnie Gothly: If you don’t have the option of running away, try putting a shield in front of yourself first. Then disarm whomever is closets. Then put up some sort of obstacle for the other to try to get past. But the first important thing is to protect yourself with a shield.
Rae Katana: Good advice. So, I wanted to ask. We’ve all learned defensive and offensive spells in dueling club – but school rules say we are not allowed to duel outside of this club. Which means, quite clearly, that we are not allowed to use the spells or techniques we’ve learned outside of the club. As any good reporter might, I had to ask – but isn’t the purpose of dueling club to learn how to defend ourselves against dark magic? And isn’t dark magic any magic cast with the intent to harm another? So, it seems like bullying is the most common opportunity we would have to use these skills. What are your thoughts on this?
Linnie Gothly” I think the best person to ask that question of would be the Headmistress. That is not my place. [she looked quite guarded when I asked this question, which I expected.]
Rae Katan: Understood. So, any last suggestions or comments?
Linnie Gothly: Just to reiterate what I said earlier, don’t engage if you can avoid it. Make sure to inform a Professor, prefect, or Head (boy/girl/house) if there is someone bullying you. But if all else fails – protect yourself with a shield. Retaliation will only get yourself into trouble.
All in all, fairly sound advice. Perhaps my next interviewee will be the Headmistress. If you have any suggestions or comments you know where to find me!
Sincerely Yours in Times of War and Peace,
мѕ. яαє кαтαиα