Defence Against the Dark Arts (sometimes written as DADA) is a subject taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In this class students learn how to magically defend themselves against Dark Creatures, the Dark Arts, and other dark charms. Offensive magic is also taught in this class, such as how to duel, which requires the use of both offensive and defensive magic.
The subject is core class at Hogwarts. The position of Defence Against the Dark Arts professor here was once rumoured to be jinxed, as no teacher could hold the post for more than a year. Tom Marvolo Riddle (Lord Voldemort) jinxed the position because Dumbledore did not give him the job when he applied for it.
Defence Against the Dark Arts is a required subject from first year to fifth year. The curriculum of the class varies greatly depending on what the professor at the time deems appropriate. Due to the jinx on the teaching post that was present before Lord Voldemort died, many teachers have been appointed to this post.
The lessons generally have a practical approach, with many of the teachers (except Dolores Umbridge) believing that when it comes to the Dark Arts a practical approach is the best way, with theoretical assignments given as homework.
In the fifth year Ordinary Wizarding Level examinations are taken; as such, students are spent learning new topics and possibly revisiting the past four years of lessons (depending on the teacher). As part of their Defence Against the Dark Arts O.W.L., students must sit a written exam one of the questions asks to describe the five signs of a werewolf and after students must complete a practical exam of; counter-jinxes, defensive spells, Riddikulus, and the Patronus Charm (for bonus points).
Location and curriculum
Defence Against the Dark Arts classes take place on the first-floor, Class 104 in the North Tower and Classroom 3C on the third-floor. In Classroom 3C, an iron chandelier hung from the ceiling, as well as a dragon's skeleton. On one end of the classroom stands a projector that is activated by magic. Several desks and tables can be found in the classroom as well as some sets of large windows.
- "The class everyone had really been looking forward to was Defence Against the Dark Arts, but Quirrell's lessons turned out to be a bit of a joke."
- —DADA lessons with Quirrell as the professor[src]
- Curing werewolf bites
- Fire crabs
- Curse of the Bogies (Mentioned)
- Knockback Jinx
- Wand-Lighting Charm
- Smokescreen Spell
- Green Sparks
- Red sparks
- "It is my job to arm you against the foulest creatures known to wizardkind. You may find yourself facing your worst fears in this room. Know only that no harm will befall you whilst I am here. I must ask you not to scream. It might provoke them!"
- —Lockhart introducing Cornish Pixies[src]
- Cornish Pixies (Experienced first-hand)
- Fire crabs (Revision)
- Imps (Revision)
- Gargoyles (Revision)
- Disarming Charm
- Tongue-Tying Curse
- Homorphus Charm
- Verdimillious Duo
- Vermillious Duo
- Tickling Charm
- Banishing Charm
- Petrificus Totalus
- Cushioning Charm
- Melofors Jinx
- Riddikulus (Expelling boggarts)
- Seize and Pull Charm
- Freezing Spell
- Lumos Duo Charm
- Patronus Charm (Taught only to Harry Potter)
- Orbis Jinx
- Cruciatus Curse (Witnessed on spider)
- Imperius Curse (Witnessed on spider, resisting)
- Killing Curse (Witnessed on spider)
- Freezing Spell (Revision)
- Aqua Eructo
- Conflict avoidance
- Counter-jinxes and Defensive Charms (Discouraged)
- Vampire bats
- Stunning Spell
- Patronus Charm
- Reductor Curse
- Tickling Charm
- Petrificus Totalus
- Disarming Charm
- Shield Charm
- Other jinxes and hexes
- "You will now divide... into pairs. One partner will attempt to jinx the other without speaking. The other will attempt to repel the jinx in equal silence. Carry on."
- —A N.E.W.T. lesson on nonverbal spells[src]
- Nonverbal spells
- Resisting the Imperius Curse
- Levicorpus (Revision)
- Disarming Charm (Revision)
- Stunning Spell (Revision)
Changes to curriculum
- "You have had five teachers in this subject so far, I believe. Naturally, these teachers will all have had their own methods and priorities. Given this confusion I am surprised so many of you scraped an O.W.L. in this subject. I shall be even more surprised if all of you manage to keep up with N.E.W.T. work, which will be much more advanced."
- —Professor Snape on the curriculum's instability[src]
During the 1995-1996 school year, the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, had gotten into his head that Headmaster Albus Dumbledore was using the students to create a private army of young wizards to overthrow the Ministry. As such, he implanted Umbridge to become the teacher of the Defence Against the Dark Arts classes, which he believed to be the main source of training (e.g. defensive spells) for Dumbledore's would-be soldiers. Umbridge supplied a syllabus based entirely on theories on avoiding conflicts instead of facing them, all of which was simply reading out of the textbook, believing that this would be sufficient in passing the examinations. This misguided belief deprived the students on any useful lessons as even the theories are inaccurate, thus leading to the formation on Dumbledore's Army, which taught more practical defence that students from all grades found more useful. Umbridge would later claim that the spells Harry taught were deemed by the Ministry inappropriate for students at their ages.
- "There is a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, and that position is now as safe as the other teaching posts at Hogwarts, since Voldemort's death broke the jinx that kept a Defence Against the Dark Arts professor from remaining for more than a year."
- —J. K. Rowling stated the jinx on the DADA post has been lifted[src]
- During the time between Voldemort's jinx started to take effect and broke there was at least one professor per year. Therefore, between c. 1965 and 1990 (the year before Harry began studying at Hogwarts) there could be around twenty-five different professors in the position.
- Severus Snape served as a substitute teacher during the 1993–1994 school year, when Remus Lupin was feeling ill
|The Eleven Schools: Beauxbatons · Castelobruxo · Durmstrang · Hogwarts · Ilvermorny · Koldovstoretz · Mahoutokoro · Uagadou|
|Specialised schools: Academy of Broom Flying · Charm School · Euro-Glyph School of Extraordinary Languages · Merge School of Under-Water Spellage · Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts|
|Examinations: First year exams · Second year exams · Third year exams · Fourth year exams · Ordinary Wizarding Level · Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test|
|Core classes: Astronomy · Charms · Defence Against the Dark Arts · Herbology · History of Magic · Potions · Transfiguration|
|Elective classes: Alchemy · Arithmancy · Care of Magical Creatures · Divination · Muggle Studies · Study of Ancient Runes|
|Extra-curricular classes: Apparition · Advanced Arithmancy Studies · Ancient Studies · Art · Flying · Frog Choir · Ghoul Studies · Hogwarts orchestra · Magical Theory · Muggle Art · Muggle Music · Music · Xylomancy|
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