THE DARK ARTS
against the dark arts class inself seems to be cursed since no teacher
has lasted for more than a year in this position. The Dark Arts
differ from other forms of magic in the intent of the wizard using it.
Most magic is relatively neutral--it can be used for bad or good. Some
magic, however, is Evil in it's intention and is intended to cause harm
to another person. Spells of this kind are often called curses.
Curses are offensive spells that shoot out of the wand like a gun. In addition to the magical damage, curse energy causes physical damage to things it hits. Hexes and jinxes are lesser spells that adversely affect the target. Understanding the difference between acceptable and Dark Magic is of key importance for witches and wizards in training, which is why Defense Against the Dark Arts is such an important class for students at Hogwarts.
Other schools have a reputation for teaching the Dark Arts, not simply Defense Against the Dark Arts; Durmstrang is such a school.
Dark Magic is more than simply curses, however. Magic which involves tampering with the free will of another person The Imperius Curse), or which kills another person Avada Kedavra) would be considered Dark Magic indeed. Voldemort spent years in magical research into ways of becoming immortal. This pursuit is also an example of Dark Magic, presumably because it tampers with the natural order of things. Dumbledore referes to Petrification as "Dark Magic of the most advanced kind."
for this class is The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection and can be
purchased at flourish and blotts in diagon alley. The Homework for
this class is reading the textbook and writing reports on various dark
Dark Magic items
The red caps are a great example. They bludgeon unususpecting travellers so that they can use their blood to stain their cloth caps red. One way of thinking about it is to say that they are a physical embodiment of an evil, harmful intent. And if you think about the essence of magic being intent,
Dark Creatures are the physical embodiment of Dark Magic. Most of the time werewolvesthey aren't Dark Creatures, but when they are transformed, they attack people with the intention of passing the disease on to others or killing them.
Some Dark Creatures: