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"He says that counter-jinxes are improperly named. He says "counter-jinx" is just a name people give their jinxes when they want to make them sound more acceptable."
Hermione Granger quoting the text[src]

Defensive Magical Theory was a Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry textbook written by Wilbert Slinkhard. Released in, or prior to 1995, it was used by Dolores Umbridge in Defence Against the Dark Arts classes to ensure the students were taught defensive magic in a "secure, risk-free way."[2]

Known contents

"It was desperately dull, quite as bad as listening to Professor Binns. He felt his concentration sliding away from him; he had soon read the same line half a dozen times without taking in more than the first few words."
Defensive Magical Theory's boring content[src]

In Chapter 15, the author expressed his opinion that counter-jinxes were not named properly, because he believed that "counter-jinx" was a term simply used to make jinxes seem more acceptable. Apparently, Slinkhard disapproved of the use of jinxes in general. From this opinion, as well as from the chapter titles and the fact that Dolores Umbridge approved of the book, it can be assumed that Defensive Magical Theory discouraged the use of any defensive magic that could be used aggressively. Hermione Granger strongly disagreed and expressed her opinion in one of Professor Umbridge's Defence Against the Dark Arts classes, which annoyed Umbridge.[3]

Although Umbridge was initially impressed that Hermione had read the entire book and was able to quote it, she was quickly irritated when Hermione critiqued the text and coldly deducted points from Gryffindor for "disrupting her class with pointless interruptions."[3] It is unknown how Hermione spent her time in Umbridge's classes after this. Possibly she was forced to re-read the book, though given her brainpower, it is likely she spent the time pretending to read while instead engaging her mind in other activities.

The contents of this book were deemed extremely boring and useless by most students, as Harry Potter compared reading it to listening to the History of Magic teacher, Professor Cuthbert Binns, whose droning was enough to put most students to sleep. Harry found himself re-reading the first line half a dozen times, while Ron Weasley was staring at the same spot for a long time.[2]

It is heavily implied that there were enough chapters in the book to keep them reading through the entire year's lessons. Harry almost checked the contents page early in the year, wondering if there could possibly be enough chapters to keep them reading this long, but got distracted. Much later in the year, the class opened their books to Chapter 34, "Non-Retaliation and Negotiation".[3]

In 1997, Hermione considered this book as she was sorting supplies for their mission to find Voldemort's Horcruxes. She tossed it into the rubbish without a second glance.[4]

Known chapters

  • Chapter One: "Basics for Beginners" (page 5)[2]
  • Chapter Two: "Common Defensive Theories and their Derivation" (page 19)[3]
  • Chapter Three: "The Case for Non-Offensive Responses to Magical Attack" (page 34)[5]
  • Chapter Fifteen: (unknown name) chapter concerning counter-jinxes[3]
  • Chapter Thirty-four: "Non-Retaliation and Negotiation"[6]

Behind the scenes


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 9 (The Woes of Mrs Weasley)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 12 (Professor Umbridge)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 15 (The Hogwarts High Inquisitor)
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 6 (The Ghoul in Pyjamas)
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 17 (Educational Decree Number Twenty-Four)
  6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 29 (Careers Advice)
Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts
Classroom 3C · Classroom 3C backrooms · Temporary Classroom · Hogwarts Turris Magnus · Teacher's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Storage room · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Duelling Club · Dumbledore's Army
Arsenius Jigger · Albus Dumbledore · Galatea Merrythought · 19th century professor · 1984–1985 professor · 1985–1986 professor · 1986–1987 professor · 1987–1988 professor · Patricia Rakepick · 1989–1990 professor · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Bartemius Crouch Junior (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape · Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher) · Unidentified professor · Brindlemore
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection · Advanced Defence Against the Dark Arts · Break with a Banshee · Gadding with Ghouls · Holidays with Hags · Travels with Trolls · Voyages with Vampires · Wanderings with Werewolves · Year with the Yeti · The Essential Defence Against the Dark Arts · Defensive Magical Theory · Dark Arts Defence – Basics for Beginners · Confronting the Faceless · Defence Against the Dark Arts
Spells studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Aqua Eructo · Boggart-Banishing Spell (Riddikulus) · Cave inimicum · Concealment Charms · Counter-curses · Counter-jinxes · Cruciatus Curse (Crucio) · Curse of the Bogies (Mucus ad Nasuem) · Cursed barrier spell · Densaugeo · Deprimo Spell (Deprimo) · Disarming Charm (Expelliarmus) · Ear-Shrivelling Curse · Everte Statum · Freezing Spell (Glacius) · Full Body-Bind Curse (Petrificus Totalus) · Fumos Duo · Green Sparks · Hex-Breaker· Hex-deflection · Hex Zapper · Homorphus Charm · Human-presence-revealing Spell (Homenium Revelio) · Impediment Jinx (Impedimenta) · Imperius Curse (Imperio) · Imperturbable Charm · Killing Curse (Avada Kedavra) · Knockback Jinx (Flipendo) · Lacarnum Inflamari · Langlock · Limbo Mist anticharm · Nonverbal spells · Patronus Charm (Expecto Patronus) · Protective enchantments · Red Sparks (Vermillious) · Reductor Curse (Reducto) · Salvio hexia · Sea Urchin Jinx · Seize and pull charm (Carpe Rectratum) · Shield Charm (Protego) · Smokescreen Spell (Fumos) · Snake-Vanishing Spell (Vipera Evanesca) · Softening Charm (Spongify) · Stretching Jinx · Tickling Charm (Rictusempra) · Tongue-Tying Curse (Mimble Wimble) · Trip Jinx · Twitchy-Ears Hex · Verdimillious Charm (Verdimillous) · Verdimillious Duo Spell (Verdimillous) · Verdimillious Tria · Vermillious Duo · Vermillious Tria · Wand-Lighting Charm (Lumos)
Creatures studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Banshee · Boggart · Chameleon Ghoul · Charmed skeleton · Cornish Pixie · Dementor · Dugbog · Erkling · Flesh-Eating Slug · Ghost · Ghoul · Gnome · Grindylow · Gytrash · Hag · Hinkypunk · Iguana · Imp · Inferius · Kappa · Manticore · Nocturnal beasts · Poltergeist · Red Cap · Snake · Troll · Vampire · Vampire bat · Werewolf · Yeti · Zombie