- "The Draught of Living Death brings upon its drinker a very powerful sleep that can last indefinitely. This draught is very dangerous if not used with caution...This is an extremely dangerous potion. Execute with maximum caution."
- —Libatus Borange's Advanced Potion-Making describing the potion[src]
The Draught of Living Death is an extremely powerful sleeping draught, sending the drinker into a death-like slumber. The potion seemed difficult to concoct, since Hermione Granger, a prodigious potioneer, who managed to concoct the Polyjuice Potion in her second Year, had some difficulty doing it.
The textbook in which the recipe was mentioned noted that the following things were needed for the correct composition of this potion:
- Standard size cauldron (presumably pewter)
- 150 fl.oz beaker
- 50 fl.oz. graduated cylinder
- Standard test tube
- 250 fl.oz. measuring cup
- Stirring rod
- Cut up the Sophophorus bean
- Pour in 250 fl.oz. of water and add 5 oz. of African sea salt to the beaker. Set the beaker aside after all the water has been added. Be very careful not to shake or move the beaker now.
- Leave the water and salt to rest for five minutes.
- Slowly pour all the water into the cauldron.
- With your left hand use the graduated cylinder to obtain 40 fl.oz. of essence of wormwood.
- With your right hand hold the cauldron at a slight angle and pour ten drops (20 fl.oz.) of essence of wormwood.
- Now with your left hand hold the cauldron at a slightly different angle and pour another ten drops of wormwood essence.
- Chop three Valerian roots into small squared pieces. After cutting place it in a beaker with water. Leave it to settle for five minutes. Your potion should now be resembling a smoot blackcurrant-coloured liquid.
- Carefully pour the Sophophorus bean's juice into the cauldron
- Add seven drops of the reduced liquid from the beaker; make sure there are no traces or fragments of Valerian root.
- Stir the potion ten times clockwise; your potion should now be turning a light shade of lilac.
- With your right hand stir the potion anti-clockwise until the potion turns as clear was water; every stir should take approximately two and a half seconds.
- Slowly pour seven square pieces of Valerian root.
- Stir the potion ten times anti-clockwise.
- Add one hundred and fifty fl.oz. of powdered root of asphodel.
- Hold the cauldron with your right hand; with your left hand gently stir the potion ten times anti-clockwise and eight times clockwise.
- Leave the potion to settle for two and a half minutes.
- Add one small piece of Valerian root.
- Your potion should turn to a pale pink colour; the preparation is now complete.
Severus Snape's notes
- The sophorus bean should be crushed, not cut, to get more juice from it.
- Stir counter-clockwise seven times and clockwise once instead.
The Wiggenweld Potion is capable of reversing the effects of the Draught. The Hag Leticia Somnolens used the Draught in an attempt to kill a princess who made her jealous. A prince who placed Wiggenweld Potion on his lips revived the princess with a kiss.
Behind the scenes
- "I dare to say that one drop would kill us all."
- —Horace Slughorn on Harry Potter's potion.[src]
- This potion is briefly mentioned in first year, though they did not create it until five years later. It was never really used in either case.
- In the first film, it is called "The Draught of the Living Dead".
- In the sixth film, Slughorn tests the potions by placing a leaf into each; when he places it into Harry's, the leaf disintegrates. He also states that it was "so perfect one drop would kill us all"; this was likely an exaggeration because the potion is a sleeping potion not a poison.
- It is most likely the potion used by Juliet in Romeo and Juliet.
- The Valerian root is a natural sedative.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film) (Mentioned in deleted scene)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (Appears on a Famous Wizard Card)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- The Road to Hogwarts Sweepstakes
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
Notes and references