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Old 12-09-2016, 02:51 AM   #1
Hitwizard1993
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How widespread might Sectumsempra become?

How likely is it that someone in present day would know about this particular curse?

If so, how might they have learned it?

Last edited by Palindrome; 12-10-2016 at 03:41 AM. Reason: title change
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Old 12-09-2016, 03:31 AM   #2
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Unlikely. It was invented by Snape and unless you were on the receiving end of it or Snape willingly told you about it at some point (which seems unlikely given his character) there's no way to hear about it bar the potions book.
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Old 12-09-2016, 03:58 AM   #3
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What if this person saw it used when fighting a Death Eater, and decided to start using it? Could that be plausible?
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Old 12-09-2016, 04:02 AM   #4
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If you're looking for a justification to have someone know of it in a fanfiction there are a few ways you could make it plausible. What's the scenario?
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Old 12-09-2016, 04:17 AM   #5
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Scenario is, this person is a hitman for the Ministry. They're not a sadist, nor do they use the Unforgivables.

Could I possibly message you, to discuss this a little more in depth?
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Old 12-09-2016, 04:43 AM   #6
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I'd say keep the conversation in this thread if you can, others might benefit from reading it or chip in with their own ideas.
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Old 12-09-2016, 05:17 AM   #7
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I think I can get the gist of it from that and @Innomine is right.

Okay well you have to examine why you want to use Sectumsempra in the first place. Okay it's a powerful dark curse, so why would a ministry hitwizard use it?

Do they operate with a license to kill in your world? If so then a confringo to the face is probably more instant than bleeding out due to Sectumsempra.

I'd suggest looking at alternative routes. Why make your character fling around dark magic unnecessarily? For edginess? Magic and duels between powerful wizards can be so much more than point and shoot so why limit yourself?

Come up with creative duels that capture the reader's interest.

Now, if you're set on this guy knowing Sectumsempra for some reason you could bullshit that he had come across Snape's spare potions book in Hogwarts or that a friend had.

Really though it would just be contrived when you could do something much more entertaining and creative.

I believe we have a spell thread somewhere here from a few years ago that could be a good resource.
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Old 12-09-2016, 10:29 AM   #8
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I will check out that thread. Thank you.

To answer your question, yes, this character has a license to kill. There's a lot of regulations that go with it, and she probably had to make the Unbreakable Vow in regards to a lot of things, but she has it.

I'm not set on her primarily using Sectumsempra. But what could be some good curses that she might choose to use on a 'normal' job?

(I apologize if my phrasing doesn't make any sense. I'm not fully awake yet, and I didn't get enough sleep last night.)
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Old 12-09-2016, 11:28 AM   #9
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That's where your creativity comes in. Honestly there's no need to stick to the line of thought that says she has to use curses at all.

We don't see much in the way of combat magic throughout the books. They seem childish because they're not giant death beams but how frightening is a spell like Petrification Totalus?

Confringo can blow things to smithereens. Even a tickling jinx like Rictusempra could disable an opponent's ability to focus on offensive or defensive spells which could end up being lethal in an actual battle.

Try to think outside the box, your readers will thank you for it.
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Old 12-09-2016, 12:19 PM   #10
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The problem with "Combat magic" is that there's really no point for it if you intend to kill your opponent. As boring as it is, the AK is the end-all of offensive magic. One hit, and you're dead. It cannot be magically defended against, and seems to move quite quickly (Cedric wasn't, despite the fact that he had ACTIVELY participated in a violent tournament and JUST either said/agreed that something fishy was going on). It would be a pointless contrivance that a ministry hit wizard with a license to kill (we know that the ministry has authorized the use of unforgivable in that past) wouldn't use the AK since it is so ruthlessly effective at what it is and does. Any time you could hit an opponent you want to put down with a spell, you should basically just be casting the AK, even only as a distraction.
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Old 12-09-2016, 12:37 PM   #11
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Using the Killing curse in combat makes sense only if a few things are true:

A. You don't care who gets killed

B. You're already breaking the law, or the government is willing to support your actions while operating under philosophy [A.]

It's an irresponsible spell to use in the chaos of combat by all accounts. Frequent users of the spell should be treated like Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs: psychos who should not be trusted in teams.
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Old 12-09-2016, 03:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wordhammer View Post
Using the Killing curse in combat makes sense only if a few things are true:

A. You don't care who gets killed

B. You're already breaking the law, or the government is willing to support your actions while operating under philosophy [A.]

It's an irresponsible spell to use in the chaos of combat by all accounts. Frequent users of the spell should be treated like Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs: psychos who should not be trusted in teams.
And this is why she does not use it.

---------- Post automerged at 03:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:26 PM ----------

I promise I will post my questions in the correct threads next time. This was my bad.

Could a mod please move this thread into the HP Questions that don't deserve their own threads one?
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Old 12-09-2016, 05:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wordhammer View Post
Using the Killing curse in combat makes sense only if a few things are true:

A. You don't care who gets killed

B. You're already breaking the law, or the government is willing to support your actions while operating under philosophy [A.]

It's an irresponsible spell to use in the chaos of combat by all accounts. Frequent users of the spell should be treated like Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs: psychos who should not be trusted in teams.
"Only if"? Getting a bit big for your britches with that one. If you're the first person into a penetration situation, and all your allies are behind you, using the AK is sensible because the people care about getting killed are behind you, so the use of the AK has no negative outcomes. Yet this directly refutes your suggestion that the only time you can use the "AK is if you don't care who gets killed".

More importantly, though if you take that logic at its face value, no one should ever use lethal methods (such as the sectumsempra curse) since they could hit an unintended target and accidentally kill someone you care about. The argument is ludicrous in its very nature.

In magical combat, there's no advantage to lethal vs non-lethal spells (as opposed to muggle combat where there are distinctive advantages in, for instance, the use of a firearm vs hand to hand combat for non-lethal -or less lethal if you prefer- methods of putting a threat down) with the sole exception of the AK is completely unblockable . If you could score a hit on somebody, you can put them down as long as you want them down (sleeping spells, stunning spells, total body petrification, etc.). So in the scenario where you DON'T want lethal outcomes, there are options. But if you DO want lethal outcomes, there's no benefit to not using the AK. You can twist the scenario any way you like, but any equal twisting in the opposite direction is just as reasonable. I never said there's no point in never using any magic other than the AK in combat, but there's no reason why -except for sadism- if you intend to go for lethal outcomes, you should not use the AK.
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Old 12-09-2016, 06:52 PM   #14
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One of my pet peeves is people regarding the use of the Killing Curse (Fuck this AK nonsense) as regular or easy. We're over exposed to it because of Voldemort in canon and everything in fanfiction but the killing curse is a fucking big deal.

It's regarded as the worst of bad spells for a reason and shouldn't be handed out like candy especially by "Hitwizard."

License to kill? Fair enough. Killing Curse though is unforgivable and it takes an especially fucked up person to use it.

Regardless, this thread is about the reasonable use of Sectumsempra in fanfiction and not a Killing Curse debate thread.

I'll stick by what I said, in your particular situation, @Hitwizard1993 I'd use a variety of different spells or curses. You can explain away her use of Sectumsempra but it's just not necessary for your character to know it in the first place.
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Old 12-09-2016, 06:59 PM   #15
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Thank you.
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Old 12-10-2016, 02:26 AM   #16
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As an aside, even if it's unlikely that your character might have heard about Sectumsempra, there's nothing saying that she can't invent her own dark curses like Snape did.
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Old 12-10-2016, 02:43 AM   #17
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I'm skeptical that such a simplistic spell like Sectumsempra did not exist at all for thousands of years until Snape "invented" it. I don't see why there couldn't be a dozen other spells that do something similar, so this OC could just use whatever interesting spell you want.
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Old 12-10-2016, 05:51 AM   #18
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I would second/third/whatever the idea of simply using something else, even if it's your own custom-made spell, rather than a 'character-unique' spell the readership knows like Sectumsempra, which would likely require several contrivances to make it be known to the given character.

Besides, Sectumsempra is essentially a variant cutting spell. It's the effects of the spell that matter, not the name.

Also, Wildfeather did make one particular offhand point that the primary purpose of Sectumsempra is not to put somebody down, but to cause grievous harm. You yourself said that your character was not a sadist, so it seems unusual for them to use the spell offhand. Harry himself didn't truly know what the spell did aside from a vague notion that it was 'for cutting'(if I recall?), until after he cast it.

So, is this, or whichever you come up with supposed to be a signature spell for the character, or something more like Harry's somewhat spontaneous usage of the spell in a stressful situation. Personally, I feel it much less likely for an experienced Hitwizard(License to Kill, and all that) to resort to some partially remembered or known spell, for perceived lack of other options, rather than relying on their practiced repertoire.
If it is their signature spell, then, well, I would recommend something a bit less vicious than Sectumsempra if they're, as you said, not a sadist type character.

But, that's just my opinion. So take it as you will.
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Old 12-10-2016, 08:44 AM   #19
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The note in the potions book said "for enemies".

Quote:
Originally Posted by wordhammer View Post
Using the Killing curse in combat makes sense only if a few things are true:

A. You don't care who gets killed

B. You're already breaking the law, or the government is willing to support your actions while operating under philosophy [A.]

It's an irresponsible spell to use in the chaos of combat by all accounts. Frequent users of the spell should be treated like Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs: psychos who should not be trusted in teams.
(A) is only true if you imagine a hitwizard would conduct his business in public. I rather imagine the ideal would be to corner your opponent, presumably a criminal of some sort, somewhere innocents would not get involved.
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Old 12-11-2016, 04:44 AM   #20
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The note in the potions book said "for enemies".
Probably supports my point even better in that case. Remembering reading in some book about a spell that says "for enemies," without knowing the actual effect, definitely seems like something a skilled practitioner would not offhandedly cast in a tense situation.
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