Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy in an accepted combative position in the Duelling Club in 1992

"Lockhart and Snape turned to face each other and bowed; at least, Lockhart did, with much twirling of his hands, whereas Snape jerked his head irritably. Then they raised their wands like swords in front of them."

An accepted combative position[1] is one of many positions in formal wizard duelling that both duellists adopt after shortly bowing to each other, in order to show readiness to duel. The position consists of brandishing the wands, like swords in modern fencing. After a beat or, if preferred, on the count of three, the duellers start casting their first spells and start the duel.

Though the tradition of bowing is met (Gilderoy Lockhart goes as far as to twirl his hands to seem more gentlemanly), wizards who show little or no respect for each other would be more crude in their gesture, as Severus Snape irritably jerked his head, while Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, and Lord Voldemort would barely incline their heads against their adversaries. Malfoy also attacked before the count of three was finished.



Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 11 (The Duelling Club)
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