Published on May 27th 2020
After getting reacquainted with the Potions master in our Chapter Eight reading, we started thinking about the subtle science of potion making and the ones we would absolutely want to make in real life…

In the grand, never-ending game of ‘imagining that magic is real’, potions tend to get side-lined next to the quicker, flashier potential of the wand. But that’s unfair. For a wand may be able to curse a bully, or Transfigure a teacher, but Snape is right in Chapter Eight when he says potions are a subtle science and exact art – one that translates into strong, effective magic, the kind that would come mighty useful in everyday life. Good luck? Eternal life? Stepping into someone else’s shoes? Here are a few we’d want to brew the most…

Felix Felicis

You’ll know Felix Felicis as ‘liquid luck’, the potion capable of making any drinker lucky for a period of time, during which they will succeed at almost anything they put their mind to. Harry used it in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to make sure that he succeeded in retrieving a memory from Horace Slughorn, and later to protect his friends in duels against Death Eaters. Oh and of course, he pretended to use it to give Ron confidence as a Quidditch Keeper. Very admirable.

But think of all the other uses! You could take a few drops before a multiple-choice exam, ensuring that you ace every answer. Or maybe a job interview, which you’d leave as Employee of the Year. Nervous about a date? Well, prepare to be the most charming person who ever lived. But why stop there? Think bigger! Shoot an arrow blindfolded! Run for President! Play the lottery!

But beware: if taken in excess, Felix Felicis can prove highly toxic, and could make you very ill; which, ironically, would be rather unlucky.

Polyjuice Potion

Hermione brewed Polyjuice Potion successfully in her second year at Hogwarts, so that she, Ron and Harry could try to get the truth about the Heir of Slytherin out of Draco Malfoy. Unfortunately, Polyjuice is only meant for human transformations, so when she accidentally added a cat hair instead of Millicent Bulstrode’s head hair, things got very furry. Though at least it gave Moaning Myrtle a laugh for once…

Accidental animal transformations aside, we would absolute love to brew some Polyjuice Potion – preferably in our kitchen rather than a haunted bathroom.Want to find out what your friends really think about you? This is the perfect solution! Want to convince someone to buy you that birthday present you’ve always wanted? Change into someone else and suggest it! But not all our reasons are selfish… stepping into someone else’s shoes can often give you a bit of perspective, even if it’s only for an hour or so.

Amortentia

Okay, okay so it might seem a little soppy to have the most powerful love potion in the world on our wish list – but come on, have a heart! And no, it didn’t go so well for Ron in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, where his affections went from Lavender Brown to Romilda Vane faster than a flying Snitch, but he did eat a LOT of those Chocolate Cauldrons.

Even if we didn’t actually give it to anyone, we’d be curious to see what it smelt like to us. According to Hermione, ‘it’s supposed to smell differently to each of us, according to what attracts us, and I can smell freshly mown grass and new parchment and –’ What was she going to say? We’re still curious – and curious about how the potion with the mother-of-pearl sheen would smell to us…

Veritaserum

The truth potion. Find out if your sister stole your favourite dress. Determine who ate the last chocolate biscuit in the tin. Finally get to the bottom of where your dad hides the birthday presents. Veritaserum sounds like it could come in really useful around sneaky family members and friends. Though we’d want to make sure it didn’t get into the wrong hands…

At one point, Professor Snape gleefully threatened to slip a few drops of Veritaserum into Harry’s evening pumpkin juice, and of course, Professor Umbridge was desperate to get her hands on some. On seconds thoughts… maybe it’s best leaving this one in the wizarding world!

Draught of Peace

The world can be a scary, overwhelming place, and that can often lead to us feeling anxious or panicked. The magical solution to this, of course, is a potion: the Draught of Peace, a concoction that’s designed to ease the agitation of whoever drinks it. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth years were tasked with making one by Snape – though it’s hard to imagine brewing a peace potion whilst in a class with the Slytherin head of house.

However, we do know that Madam Pomfrey was known to prescribe the potion to students suffering from exam stress. We could think of a few other scenarios in which it could come in useful, but for now we’ll just have to settle for a cuppa and a Harry Potter book.

Elixir of Life

This is the big one: the Elixir of Life, the potion of immortality. You’ll no doubt recognise it as the subject of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, where it’s positioned as one of the most sought-after potions of the wizarding world – especially by Lord Voldemort. The catch? To keep being immortal, it must be drunk regularly for all eternity. Stopping drinking it, like Nicolas Flamel and his wife, means that your life ends like everyone else’s. A dependency, Dumbledore thought, that Voldemort would ultimately never have wanted.

But you’re not Lord Voldemort! You’re just an easy-going Muggle who wants to live forever. Who can’t relate to that? To never live your life in fear of death; to never worry about the future; to witness the passing of the ages, to see empires rise and empires fall; to see the full breadth of human potential; to ride hoverboards; to witness the end of the universe itself…

And remember, you can go back and watch Alia Bhatt, with Alec Baldwin and his daughter Carmen, reading ‘The Potions Master’ any time you like here

And for more Harry Potter At Home articles, quizzes and entertaining magical activities, head over to the Harry Potter at Home hub on WizardingWorld.com.


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