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 Adventures in Spellmaking (open)

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Clara Goldstein
Ravenclaw Third Year
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PostSubject: Adventures in Spellmaking (open)   Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:02 pm

Clara sat in an alcove of the library with several books open in front of her. One of them was Miranda Goshawk's Book of Spells, which she had finally succeeded in obtaining from the Restricted Section after promising not to practice any of them without a professor's permission and supervision. She was also not allowed to take it outside of the library, so when she finished with it today, she would have to return it to its shelf. She was fine with that--they were reasonable caveats, and did nothing to hinder her in her pursuits. The other books in front of her were Miranda Goshawk's The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 6, opened to the page on nonverbal spellcasting, something she shouldn't be able to do for another three years, but at which her alder wand would supposedly give her an advantage, and a Latin/English dictionary that she had brought from home. She also had a notebook and a pen, which she was using to take notes.

One of the first questions Clara had asked herself during her first year at Hogwarts was "how does one go about creating new spells?" The ability to create one's own spells seemed to her to be the ultimate understanding of magic, so that was her goal. Most of the incantations she had seen seemed to have Latin roots, but apparently verbal incantations weren't necessary if you had enough concentration, so the power couldn't come from there. However, from what she had read on nonverbal spells, you still had to think the incantation, so the word was still important. With that in mind, she was studying spells and their Latin roots.

Incendio would obviously come from "incendium," the Latin word for "fire." But that meant it was either in the dative or ablative case, which would either be "to/for the fire" or "by/from/with the fire." This seemed a little arbitrary, so Clara found another spell to compare it to. Diffindo came directly from the Latin verb "diffindo," meaning "I divide/split." Clara figured that made sense, since the severing charm was an action, so it would be a verb, while the fire-making spell was a conjuration, so it would be a noun. It also made sense that most of the action spells she had seen ended with "o," because that meant they were in first person, present tense: "I do this." However, this didn't answer her original question about incendio, so she found another conjuring charm. Avis apparently conjured birds, and it came directly from "avis," the Latin word for bird, either in the nominative, genitive, or possibly vocative case. But not dative or ablative, Clara mused. She continued looking for patterns and writing them down.

On another page of her notebook, she started writing suggestions for possible spells. If I wanted to conjure an apple, would I say "malum"? Or maybe "malio"? If I wanted to send a message without an owl, could I just say "mitto"? Her head full of ideas, she soon blocked out the world around her and became completely engrossed in her work.
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Anthony Byrne
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PostSubject: Re: Adventures in Spellmaking (open)   Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:29 am

Anthony found himself in the library, after finishing the last of the books he'd bought from home for that term. So he strolled in, plucking anything that seemed vaguely interesting from the shelves, casually flicking through them, to see if any sparked his interest. Soon enough, he'd gathered quite a few books, and was in the process of carrying them back, to check them out, when he saw a girl, who he knew was in his year, though hadn't ever spoken to.

Anthony was in one of those rare moods, he'd been feeling lonely. He was usually okay with being alone, he usually would catch up with one of his siblings, either James or Florrie through the week. That was essentially his social life. Though James had been busy fawning after some girl, and Florrie, well she'd been fixated on figuring out exactly what said girl wanted with James. Neither had time for him, it was as simple as that.

Swallowing his nerves (Anthony never had been good at making friends, nor was he good at talking to people), he decided to approach the girl. It was only after walking closer, did he see that one of the many books she had, was one that he'd never seemed to be able to get his hands on.

"H-how'd you manage to get that?" he asked quietly, nodding to the book.

___________________________________________

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Clara Goldstein
Ravenclaw Third Year
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Birthday : 2008-10-16
Join date : 2017-06-19

PostSubject: Re: Adventures in Spellmaking (open)   Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:02 pm

The nearby voice startled her and she looked up. Clara hadn't noticed anyone approach, and even after staring at him for a few seconds, it still didn't quite register that he was talking to her. She blinked, and her brain finally caught up.

"What? Oh. I, uh, asked the librarian at the beginning of the year, and he said that if I proved my character throughout the year he would consider it. And then he gave me a signed permission slip yesterday and said I could read it, as long as I don't take it out of the library, or practice any spells without adult supervision."

She studied the boy who stood before her. He was in her year, and her house--she vaguely remembered seeing him in the common room at some point. His arms were laden with books, and she recognized some of the titles.

"Is that Achievements in Charming? I read that two weeks ago, it was fascinating. Apparently the bubble-head charm was first discovered written in the margins of this book," she pointed to the Book of Spells, "by a Hogwarts student about a hundred years ago. In fact," she flipped through the book for a few moments, then stopped on a page covered in scribbles and notes, "I found it right here on the bottom right corner of page one hundred and seventy-seven. The handwriting's terrible though, you can barely tell what it says."
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Anthony Byrne
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PostSubject: Re: Adventures in Spellmaking (open)   Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:53 pm

His arms had begun to shake under the weight of the books he was carrying, but he listened to how the girl had come to procure the book that he'd always been curious about, though had never had the nerve to ask about. He was painfully quiet, and tended never to ask about things, purely because he didn't really like bothering other people. But the curiosity got the better of him in this case.

He listened as the girl began to talk about one of the books he had in his pile, and about the Bubble-head charm. It'd been one that he'd always been interested in, yet hadn't picked up been able to read it just yet, largely due to the fact that he'd had other books lined up first.

"Bubble-head charm? That's the one that lets you breathe under water, right? With like a bubble of air.. Well, around your head." he shifted the weight of his books "Wait so a student made that?" he asked, mildly surprised. Of course, it wasn't the most difficult spell, he'd heard. It was the fact that the student had made their own spell... The concept seemed rather exciting to think about.

"H-how'd they make it?" he asked, before he decided enough was enough, and he lowered his books to the ground, for now at least. He didn't want to impinge on the girl's space but putting them on her desk.

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Clara Goldstein
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PostSubject: Re: Adventures in Spellmaking (open)   Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:06 am

As the boy put his books down, Clara's eyes lit up at the question. Finally, someone was asking the same things she was asking, and she could talk about her research. She didn't talk to many people, and she rarely initiated conversations, as she wasn't one for small talk. However, this was a topic that she could discuss excitedly for hours on end, should anyone bother to listen.

"Yes, that is the question, isn't it? See, in theory, it shouldn't be too difficult. A spell is just a way of directing magic toward a purpose--the magic itself comes from the caster, it's concentrated through a wand, at least, in most Western societies anyway, and then the incantation is a sort of instruction, telling the magic what to do. Most incantations tend to have Latin roots, so, theoretically, you could probably just find a Latin word for what you want to accomplish, and then mess around with it a little using trial and error until it does something. However, that sort of thing could potentially be very dangerous, since you wouldn't be absolutely certain of what might happen. It would also be unreliable and time-consuming. So, that's why I'm looking for patterns in all of these spells that have already been created, to see if I can come up with a comprehensive formula for spellmaking. If I can pinpoint one universal rule of cause to effect in terms of spells and their purposes, then I could quickly and efficiently discover a spell for virtually any purpose with reasonable certainty. The problem is, every time I think I've found a pattern, I find an outlier that breaks the rule. It's like spells themselves are their own language, and half the verbs are irregular--it's very frustrating. I suspect most people who've created spells used the trial and error method. In any case, I'm beginning to think the next step is to just move on and try to create my own spell to see what happens. I've got lots of ideas here," she flipped her notebook around to show the other Ravenclaw, "most of which should be relatively safe to try."

She paused for breath, her mind already beginning to wander back to her research. She had no idea if her housemate was following along, or even paying attention, but she didn't really care. It just felt good to finally put all her thoughts into words.
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Anthony Byrne
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PostSubject: Re: Adventures in Spellmaking (open)   Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:27 pm

He was evidently intrigued by what the girl seemed to be researching. Inventing spells, it wasn't something he'd given much thought to, though he supposed the thought had never entered his mind. Hearing her talk about it, he couldn't believe it hadn't entered his mind beforehand.

He pondered a moment at her problem, shaking out his arms a little bit "Well," he said "What if there is no pattern?" he asked, pausing a moment while his thoughts formed. He tended towards pausing a lot, otherwise he'd usually find himself fumbling over words, not making much sense at all. It was something he was working on.

"It could be to do with intention." he stated "Like most spells h-have a Latin root, right? Like for example, incendio means fire, and it produces fire. Well, why doesn't the English word 'fire' work also?" he mused, it was definitely a concept one could sink their teeth into "Is it because we're taught that the only way to produce fire is through the Latin word? Is it maybe just how we're taught, that spells h-have to be a certain way to work?"

He furrowed his brow, almost subconsciously sitting down in the seat across from her as he thought more deeply "I-I'm no expert, but it seems like words are more p-powerful than we give them credit for. It's easier to know what you're i-intending to do if you g-give it a word. E-easier to focus on what you want to produce. A-and because you're f-focusing on a p-particular outcome, a p-particular way you want to channel your m-magic, it's more likely to happen? If you think about it, magic's just energy after a-all, that we manipulate a-and project outward. W-words are just wh-what we use to express what we want to do. I-it just helps to put your intentions into words. A-and once it catches on... O-once the word becomes associated with y-your intention and other people decide to start using it, th-they call it an incantation."

He had no clue if he was making any sense, he hoped so. He was far from good with words.

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Clara Goldstein
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PostSubject: Re: Adventures in Spellmaking (open)   Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:11 pm

She suddenly gave the boy her full attention, cocking her head thoughtfully as she considered his hypothesis.

"Huh. I suppose that would make sense of some things. I was always confused as to why Latin, of all languages, when surely wizardry didn't originate in Europe--and surely magic is older than language. The Native Americans were doing magic long before the Europeans even settled there, and I highly doubt they stumbled upon Latin words for their spells. But it also begs the question, what about unintentional magic? Because it is possible to cast a spell without knowing what it does. Plenty of stupid wizards and witches have found unfamiliar incantations and decided to just cast them to see what happens. Maybe it's just the belief that it does anything at all? Or maybe, once one person attributes an intention to the word, it becomes universal, even if nobody else knows it yet? I don't know why it would do that, or how, but I suppose it's possible."

She pushed some of her books out of the way to give him some space.

"But now the question is, how do we test that with an experiment?"
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Anthony Byrne
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PostSubject: Re: Adventures in Spellmaking (open)   Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:00 pm

He found himself getting more and more interested with the discussion. It wasn't often that another person sparked an interest, but the origins of spells was something that he'd never thought of before that moment the girl had started discussing it. She'd bought up a crucial flaw in his guess at how spells worked- how could people try random spells and have them work? Now that was tricky.

"Y-you're right," he murmured, biting his lip as he mulled over what she said. Why would assigning an intention to a word make it universal? He supposed, it was magic. Magic wasn't always logical... There must be some sort of solution though, some missing piece to the puzzle. Puzzles were his forte, though it was impossible to complete puzzles with missing pieces. One could extrapolate, but extrapolation was difficult with magic. More research was definitely needed.

He rested his elbows in the table, thinking.

"I-I suppose one of the only ways to test it is to a-attempt to make a spell. Either that, or try to disprove that words do anything at all..." he replied "Wh-what sort of sp-spell were you thinking of m-making?" he asked.

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