28 Fame is bad, Harry Potter is bad
The room watched on with increasing interest. The first years were in absolute amazement while the older students watched on with a hint of fire in their eyes.
Arth causally took out his wand and twirled it in his hands causing Marietta to flinch.
"My first question, what is most effective way to cast magic in any situation?"
Marietta visibly relaxed at the easy question.
"You are belittling me. You need to hold your wand steady and clearly say your spell with clear and projecting voice."
As if expecting praise, she held her head high and a couple of first years started to clap. However, some of the older students groaned. Arth had his trade mark smile on.
It was as if a bucket of water was poured onto Marietta.
"You are wrong. That is not the correct answer to my question."
"What? How! There is no way-"
"What is the most effective way to cast magic in any situation?"
"Exactly, you need to hold your wand steady and clearly state your spell-"
"What if someone casted a silencing charm on you? What will you do? Say the spell?"
The clapping stopped.
Speechless, Marietta dumbly watched as she squeezed her head for anything she could use to retort back.
"... but that's only one situation, there are many others-"
"I said, in my question, ANY situation. Including this one."
Marietta stopped talking at once.
"You see, if you can cast spells without the need to speak, then you can cast spells even while under the silencing charm."
Everyone watched on while holding their breaths.
"However, even this isn't the answer. Cause I can disprove it by stating: what happens when someone disarms you?"
"You... can't cast any spells?"
Arth's grin grew larger.
"Wrong again. The answer is to cast spells without a wand or any incantation."
Several students who looked like they they were in their seventh year abruptly stood up. Their faces couldn't hide their immense surprise.
"...is that even possible? To cast spells without words or a wand?"
"It is, in fact, everyone in here has done it before."
Everyone gave a start when they realized that they, the observers, had been drawn into the challenge.
"Impossible! I've never experienced-"
"Have you, my dear fellow student, have you ever made things happen when you were scared or angry? Anything... magical?"
"Wands, and chants, are but tools that allow us to control our inner potential in a manner that requires less effort. However, these aren't necessary. For example, we can cast spells with a wand while in total silence. And we do this, not because we want to challenge ourselves or deepen our knowledge of the magical art, but for efficiency."
Arth circled Marietta, who was standing still due to shock and revelation. His eyes resembled that of a predator... or perhaps the eyes of a teacher.
"When participating in a wizards duel, do you scream out the name of the spell you are casting so that your opponent can block it before counter attacking? Do you tell your opponent that you are about to cast a spell? Or do you play smart and cast the spell silently and watch as your unprepared opponent struggles to identify and block your spell?"
Arth put away his wand.
"Onto the subject of wands, wands are honestly inefficient in battle as well. When your wand is not at hand, it takes about one second to take it out and point it at your opponent. Meanwhile, your opponent can take this opportunity to attack."
Arth stopped circling Marietta right when they were back in their original positions.
"You might be thinking that "what if we have our wands our continuously, we wouldn't have to worry about taking out our wands fast enough." Well... That is also ineffective. By constantly having your wand out, you will increase the guard of you opponent, keeping him on edge and aware of your every move. What you want to do is catch him by surprise, and win."
Marietta raised her head and for the first time, there was not fear or disdain, but amazement, maybe even reverence.
"Thus, the best, most efficient way to cast magic, is to cast it without a wand, and without a chant. And to prove it, I shall provide an example."
Arthur raised his hands as the disorganized books began to tremble and float. With a snap, all the books began to rearrange themselves in neat rows that were alphabetically organized in their own subject.
"Now," said Arth with a playful smile. "What is your second question? Or may I have the honors of starting the second round?"
Marietta trembled. She was shivering as if her very core was destroyed. She spoke with a quiet voice.
"Very well- What?"
She spoke up a little bit louder with an expression of defeat.
"I give up. I concede. I don't want to continue, it's obvious that I have less knowledge than you."
Arth watched as she left to go back into her room. He felt as if he had been stunned by a stunning spell.
Luna walked up towards him with a book held up to her chest.
"I never really liked that girl... um... Mary-"
"Ooh, Yes, That was her name. I never relain liked her because she said the Quibbler was all wack and false stories. I don't like her face either. It isn't a very pleasing sight you see."
Arth raised his eyebrows at how very blatant Luna was. He glanced around at the silent crowd around him before giving a wave. Several waved back.
He made his way to the door and exited the common room. He could hear that the Ravenclaws behind him had finally started to talk.
Arth groaned before slapping himself in the cheek.
"Remember Arthur. Fame is bad, hidden is good. Don't let that ghost dark lord change your personality. Next time, remember, Arthur doesn't want to become like Harry Potter. Once more, Arthur doesn't want to be like Harry Potter."
Finally feeling satisfied, Arth went into the secret tunnel that led to the library.