Disclaimer: Not mine.

Beta'd by DWS. This is…different from what I normally write. Er.

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Harry Potter's Guide to the Dark Arts

By Harry J. Potter, Supreme Arse-Kicker of Evil

Order of Merlin First Class, But Who's Counting?

Officially Sanctioned by the Dark Force Defense League

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Not Quite Unanimous Praise for Harry Potter's Guide to the Dark Arts!

A major success! And not part of a Ministry plot at all! Also, the pages of this work, when burnt and stirred into a stew, serve as a very effective nutritious meal for the rare Barrel-Chested Mishilmash. – The Quibbler

Harry Potter has once again showcased his pathological need for attention by writing and publishing a completely uninformative pamphlet on the Dark Arts. Utterly useless rubbish. – The Daily Prophet

Potter did what? – Minerva McGonagall, Headmistress of Hogwarts

Well, the little bastard did defeat the Dark Lord. – Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody

I feel pretty, oh so pretty. I feel pretty and witty and…do you want my autograph? –Gilderoy Lockhart

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Harry James Potter, better known these days as the Man Who Kicked Some Serious Dark Hindquarters, is eminently qualified to inform readers of the Dark Arts. Everyone knows he defeated Lord Voldemort, of course, but he is also a Triwizard Champion, the slayer of a basilisk, the founder of the Hogwarts Defense Association, and the most successful freelance adventurer in decades.

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Other Quality Products of Fawkes Press:

And You Thought You Had It Tough by Harry Potter, Neville Longbottom, and Luna Lovegood

Hermione Granger's Handbook of Heroics and Similar Inanities

How to Survive Almost Anything: From Murderous Monsters to Weepy Women by Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley

Memoirs of a Marauder by Remus John Lupin

So You've Got a Death Wish: Ron Weasley's Guide to Side-Kicking

The Man's Guide to Women: Get It Through Your Thick Skulls Already by Hermione Granger

The No-Nonsense Approach to Training Brothers and Boyfriends by Ginny Weasley

Weapons of Power: Pillows of Doom and Much, Much More by Ginny Weasley


A Definition

When I say Dark Arts, I'm not talking about arts and crafts. Dark Lords don't take over the world by coloring with black crayons and markers. Granted, a proclivity for black may be the sign of a crazy evil bastard in the making, but then again, black goes with everything and, frankly, it's better to go monochrome than dress like some well-known figures of the Light, such as Albus Dumbledore (currently inhabiting the Great Candy Shop In The Sky).

Anyway, as I was saying: the Dark Arts are bad. Seriously bad. As in, "get in the way of a Dark spell and say bye-bye to the family jewels" bad – at best. At worst? You're deader than Cornelius Fudge's political career, Rufus Scrimgeour's sense of humor, Percy Weasley's social life…you get the idea.

Basically, the Dark Arts are spells – hexes, jinxes, curses, and the like – used solely to harm others. Not all of them are illegal; tripping jinxes are used all the time, and everyone hexes an enemy on occasion. You want to watch out for the serious stuff, though, the spells that causes permanent mental and/or physical damage.

The Unforgivables

The Unforgivables are the best-known and most prominent examples of Dark spells, so they get their own section. I'm sure they feel special.

Okay, so everyone knows about the Killing Curse. Flash of green light and suddenly you've got a nice new corpse carpeting your floor. But trust me, treading on dead bodies? Not as fun as you'd think.

Only one person has ever survived the Killing Curse, so my advice, if you're up against someone who might use try cursing you with it, is to run like hell. Scream, if you feel the urge. Hide, if the Dark Wizard or Witch following was useless at Hide and Seek as a child. If he or she even bothered playing, that is – the bastard (or bitch) was probably off in a corner eating black crayons and plotting world domination, or at least thinking about ways to get paste into the teacher's hair without getting caught. (The only authority figures Dark Lords like are themselves.)

The other two Unforgivables aren't quite so well known as the Killing Curse. There's the Torture Curse, Cruciatus, which is more painful than a lecture from Binns when you're too hopped up on Pepperup Potion to sleep through it. Hell, the Cruciatus hurts worse than the mental image of Filch and Umbridge snogging. Naked.

That should tell you something.

There's no way to fight the Cruciatus. If you get hit by it, you're practically a goner already – because any wizard or witch who'll use it on you won't hesitate to kill you once they've had their fun. So feel free to spend the last moments of your life screaming and writhing about on the ground, and hope you don't wet your trousers. If you must at any time vomit, aim for your torturer. Sure, it'll piss him or her off, but as we've established, you're dead anyway.

Now we come to the Imperius, which can be fought. But only if you're strong-willed enough to throw it off. Cultivate contrariness and a stubborn streak – it might make you unpopular, but at least you'll still be breathing.

The Imperius puts you entirely under the caster's control – unless, as I've written, you manage somehow to fight it off. People have been known to murder, steal, cheat, and even participate in karaoke and folk dancing under this curse.

Yes, it is that terrible.

In other words: don't get hit by an Unforgivable. If you are, well, at least take comfort in the knowledge that…you know what? There really isn't anything in which you can take comfort. You're dead, mate. Or possibly folk-dancing against your will.

Dumbledore always did say there were fates worse than death.

Dark Lords

I'm not an expert in psychology, so let's just say Dark Lords (and Ladies, I suppose) are homicidal maniacs with delusions of grandeur and the will to make those delusions a reality. They can be identified by their habit of cackling madly and making melodramatic proclamations of their own brilliance.

Dark Lords, you may find, spend most of their time raging against their enemies or gloating like a Malfoy on a good hair day. I advise you to steer clear of both Dark Lords and Malfoys. The former will kill you, and the latter will instill in you homicidal urges that will land you in Azkaban for life.

If, by chance, you should be prophesied to fight a Dark Lord...well, then you're most likely – and however reluctantly – a hero. See Hermione Granger's Handbook of Heroics and Similar Inanities. If you happen to be friends with such a hero, see So You've Got a Death Wish: Ron Weasley's Guide to Side-Kicking.

Dark Wizards and Witches

Dark Wizards and Witches come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors. Avoid indiscriminately.

If you must come into contact with one, make sure you've got a suitable shield at hand. Protego works well for lower- and mid-level spells, but nothing shields against the Unforgivables.

Solid training in Defense comes in handy if you get into a duel. But knowledge alone won't cut it. You have to be inventive – a transfiguration or even a simple Cheering Charm can save your life.

The best thing you can do is keep in mind the oft-bellowed motto of an insane ex-Auror: CONSTANT VIGILANCE.

Caffeine helps with this.

Dark Creatures

Dementors – the infamous guards of Azkaban – are scary as hell, take it from me. They force you to relive your worst memories, and steal from you everything that's good and right. They're kind of like politicians, really.

They are best known for their ability to suck a person's soul out by kissing him or her. This process is, imaginatively, called the Dementor's Kiss. Imagine snogging Snape. Now imagine kissing Umbridge. Well, it's worse than both.

Combined.

Dementors can be driven off by a Patronus. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Snape or Umbridge. However, just as with Dementors, if you eat chocolate after being near either of them, it'll do you a lot of good.

Werewolves, now, are regular people most of the time, but a handful of nights a year they become slavering beasts hungry for the apparently delicious taste of sweet, sweet raw human flesh. Some werewolves have enough money to buy Wolfsbane potion, which allows them to retain their human minds as wolves, and most of those who can't afford it lock themselves up. There are a few sick freaks, however, who actually wander around happily devouring people on full moons.

Now let's get this straight. There are good werewolves, and there are bad werewolves – just as there are good Muggles and bad Muggles, and good wizards and bad wizards. Good werewolf: Remus Lupin. Bad werewolf: Fenrir Greyback. Learn the distinction, and learn it well.

If you come across a werewolf on a full moon, the best thing you can do is turn into an animal. As you probably aren't an animagi, though, chances are you're out of luck. And time. And, you know, life.

Vampires vant to suck your blood. Cut off their heads before they can do so. That is all.

Lethifolds can be driven off with a Patronus, but chances are they'll attack in your sleep. And then you're dead.

If You Happen to Be a Dark Wizard or Witch or Intend to Harm Me

Start running.