At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. Spoilers will be present within the article.
Some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and, as such, spoilers will be present.
- "As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don't expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through the human veins, bewitching the minds, ensnaring the senses... I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, and even stopper death - if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach."
- —Professor Snape's introduction of the subject[src]
Potions is a core class and subject taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In this class, students learn the correct way to brew potions. They follow specific recipes and use various magical ingredients to create the potions, starting with simple ones and moving to more advanced ones as they progress in knowledge. A standard potions kit includes plant ingredients such as Belladonna and supplies such as glass phials and weighing scales.
The professor of this subject is referred to as a Potions Master. The Potions Master at Hogwarts for many years was Horace Slughorn and later Severus Snape. By 2016, Professor Slughorn had retired for a second time, and an unidentified teacher had taken over.
At Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Potions is a required subject for students, from first year to fifth year. Potion recipes can be found in many books, including the books the students at Hogwarts use in their classes, but the intricacies of timing, ageing, stirring techniques, and bottling which are much more difficult to learn without the mentoring of the experienced masters. Certain ingredients can be found in the cupboard in the classroom, but others have to be bought before the start of the year at the apothecary. Around 1981, Severus Snape became the professor of Potions at Hogwarts. Snape served as the school's potions professor through 1996, until he became the DADA professor and was replaced by Horace Slughorn.
Ordinary Wizarding Level examinations are taken at the end of a student's fifth year; as such students are spent learning Ordinary Wizarding Level potions and possibly revisiting the past four years of lessons. As part of their Potions O.W.L., students must sit a written exam one of the questions asks to describe Polyjuice Potion and its purpose and after students must complete a practical exam. Professor Snape mentions that achieving a high mark at Ordinary Wizarding Level is difficult., which was later demonstrated in 1996, when only twelve students reached the required level to advance to N.E.W.T.
When Severus Snape was the professor, students had to achieve an 'Outstanding' on their O.W.L. in order to take his advanced class. As Head of House, Professor Snape tended to favour students from Slytherin House more than other students, so Slytherins tended to do better than others at the subject. On the other hand however, Horace Slughorn was more lenient; Harry and Ron were both allowed to continue to the N.E.W.T. class with an 'Exceeds Expectations' O.W.L. He also does not grant Slytherins special treatments, thus having them lose their advantage in good classwork.
Location and time
The classroom used to be squared-sized, very large, with large tables and windows. In the corner resides a stone basin used to wash students' hands and ladles. From 1992-onwards, the classroom was of an oval shape and relatively smaller, with small work tables. In 1996, the classroom was extended, adding space for more work tables.
|Fifth||Monday||second (last half)|
Besides potions and their ingredients other information was covered this year as well. Students were informed of the basic details on preparation of the Draught of Living Death, such as what would be created if powdered root of asphodel was added to an Infusion of Wormwood and the difference between Monkshood and Wolfbane. They class also covered the 12 uses of dragon blood, the types of cauldrons, and the types of vials used in potion-making. Bezoars were briefly mentioned and the standard ingredient was also mentioned.
Second year students were set an essay on Flobberworm Mucus and its uses in potions. Also homework included something that involves Hair-Raising Potions. This year appears to focus more on actual potion brewing then the previous one.
Students learned about Undetectable Poisons and were instructed to write an essay on Shrinking Solutions. They also had collect the ingredients for the Wiggenweld Potion, collect the ingredients for the Antidote to Uncommon Poisons, and collect the ingredients for the Girding Potion.
This year lessons included information on Poison Antidotes. It is unknown what type of poison it is referring to, common or uncommon. Also this lesson was most likely a theoretical one. Mixing antidotes is complex and advanced, covered in sixth year as well as this one.
Golpalott's Third Law was covered in class. The Law appears to say that the antidote for a blended poison cannot simply be created by finding the antidotes to each separate poison in the blended whole and mixing them together. Students had to write an essay on Everlasting Elixirs, using their textbooks Advanced Potion-Making as a source of information.
Behind the scenesIn the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, many more students are shown to be in Harry's N.E.W.T. level Potions class than are mentioned in the book. The book specifically names Harry, Ron, and Hermione to be the only Gryffindors to have moved on to N.E.W.T. level, but the film shows Neville Longbottom, Dean Thomas, Seamus Finnigan, and Lavender Brown to be in the class as well. Katie Bell and Romilda Vane are also in the class in the film, although they are actually a seventh year and a fourth year student respectively.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Severus Snape claims that there will be no "wand waving" in his class, though potion-making spells are always needed to complete the brewing process.
Chemistry was my least favourite subject at school, and I gave it up as soon as I could. Naturally, when I was trying to decide which subject Harry's arch-enemy, Severus Snape, should teach, it had to be the wizarding equivalent. This makes it all the stranger that I found Snape's introduction to his subject quite compelling ('I can teach you to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death...'), apparently part of me found Potions quite as interesting as Snape did; and indeed I always enjoyed creating potions in the books, and researching ingredients for them. Many of the components of the various draughts and libations that Harry creates for Snape exist (or were once believed to exist) and have (or were believed to have) the properties I gave them. Dittany, for instance, really does have healing properties (it is an anti-inflammatory, although I would not advise Splinching yourself to test it); a bezoar really is a mass taken from the intestines of an animal, and it really was once believed that drinking water in which a bezoar was placed could cure you of poisoning.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (play)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter for Kinect
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
Notes and references
- ↑ Wands are needed to perform Potion-making spells and spells to analyse the ingridents of potions, like Specialis revelio.
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 9 (The Half-Blood Prince)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
- ↑ Hogwarts Mystery - Year 3
- ↑ Pottermore
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