Potions 101 — Assignment: Lesson 2

PTNS-101 — Assignment: Lesson 2

Phase Transition: Sublimation

A few of my pure-blood classmates had never heard of dry ice before, so I decided to purchase some from the muggle world and show them how fascinating it is with the process of sublimation (where it transitions from a solid → to gas).

Dry ice is the solid, frozen form of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is a molecule that consists of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms.  It’s colourless, non-flammable, and has a density of between 1.4 and 1.6 g/cm3.  As the surface temperature of a block of dry ice is -78.5°C, I made sure to put on my dragon-hide gloves before handling them to prevent frostbite.

As I placed the chunks of dry ice in my pewter cauldron, my pure-blood classmates gathered round in anticipation of my concoction.  I then carefully poured room temperature water from a watering can into the cauldron, and almost instantaneously, it started bubbling and everyone wowed in astonishment seeing it sublime into a gaseous state!

Since carbon dioxide is heavier than air, it created a cascading effect of overflowing the cauldron and spilling onto the table and floor.  We ran our hands through the gas, feeling the coolness flow between our fingers.  It was much colder than water ice and it didn’t leave any residue as it changed directly to a gas.  

At the end of it, they remarked that the Muggle world seemed phenomenal after all, but I assured them that the wizarding world is so much more astonishing. 

History of Magic 101 — Assignment: Lesson 2

HOM-101 Assignment: Lesson 2

Theories on the Origin of Magic

Of the 3 plausible theories of how magic came to be, the Theory of Hocus Pocus seems most likely.  There’s evidence, such as the Birch Bark Manuscript, supporting the idea that magic naturally started out of thin air.

This theory could very well explain the Theory of Uno Mas, which is the belief that all magic originated from one person: Uno Mas, meaning ‘The First Magi’.  Should the theory be proven right, that Uno was indeed the first wizard to use magic and the first to create a wand, and that he lived in the time of the dinosaurs and before cavemen, it still merely explains who used magic first but not how magic started.  According to the Theory of Hocus Pocus, it must have come our of thin air from a natural progression of magical tendencies.

It could also explain the Migration Theory, the view that witches and wizards lived side-by-side with Muggles for years, unaware that they had magic.  Many of the Wizarding villages that exist today were founded by the early witches and wizards who left the Muggles when the Descent of Blizz occurred (the Ice Age, in Muggle terms).  However, it is still the Theory of Hocus Pocus that describes the origin of magic.

Rather than focusing solely on who first used magic, it is much more useful to focus mainly on the first known uses of magic.  And this is precisely what the Theory of Hocus Pocus attempts to do.

CHARMS 101 — Journal: Lesson 3

Ravenclaw Dormitory

CHRM-101 — Journal: Lesson 3

There are so many properties and intricacies of a wand — just how did Mr. Ollivander become so knowledgeable about wands?  It’s so admirable that he has acquired that level of expertise.  How long must it have taken him, I wonder.

The Reparo spell we were introduced to in class today is going to be so useful, I just know it!  Is this how it is in the magical realm — for tasks to be done so easily?  It would save us me so much time and effort.  I will be able to focus much more of my time on magic and learning more about this amazing world!

The other spell that we were taught in class today — Alohomora — has me a little worried though.  What point is there in having locks if every witch and wizard is able to unlock them with a simple charm?  I’m going to keep a closer watch on my stuff in the dormitory from now on.

Although Alohomora won’t be as useful to me (I’m a Ravenclaw anyway, unlike those Gryffindors and Slytherins who’d very likely go round sticking their noses in places where they’re not supposed to be), Reparo definitely will be.  Professor Virneburg ended the class by saying that these simple spells can backfire, but she didn’t say how.  I’ll have to be careful when practising these new charms.