- "There will be no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations in this class. As such, I don't expect many of you to appreciate the subtle science and exact art that is potion-making. However, for those select few... Who possess, the predisposition... I can teach you how to bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses. I can tell you how to bottle fame, brew glory, and even put a stopper in death."
- —Professor Snape's introduction of the subject[src]
Potions is a core class and subject taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In this class, students learn the correct way to brew potions, following specific recipes and using various magical ingredients to create the potions, starting with simple ones first 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. Professor Severus Snape was the potions master at Hogwarts for many years.
At Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Potions is a required subject for students, from the first year to the 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; he served as the school's potions professor through 1996, when he 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 sudents 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. Potions.
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, 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.
- First year
- Monday (first period)
- Wednesday (first period)
- Friday (first & second period)
- Second year
- Monday (first period)
- Wednesday (third period)
- Friday (third period)
- Third year
- Monday (fourth period)
- Tuesday (afternoon)
- Thursday (third period)
- Friday (first period)
- Fourth year
- Thuesday (third period)
- Friday (fourth & fifth period)
- Fifth year
- Monday (last half of second period)
- Sixth year
- Monday (after lunch)
- Seventh year
- Aconite, bezoars, some 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.
- Cure for Boils
- Forgetfulness Potion
- Collecting the ingredients for Wiggenweld Potion
- The 12 uses of dragon blood
- Effects of Wiggenweld Potion
- Antidote to Uncommon Poisons
- Girding Potion
- Confusing Concoction
- Shrinking Solution
- Undetectable Poisons
Sixth and seventh years
- Golpalott's Third Law
- Draught of Living Death
- Hiccoughing Solution
- Polyjuice Potion
- Felix Felicis
- Elixir to Induce Euphoria
- Shrinking Solution
- Swoopstikes (dates unknown)
- Horace Slughorn (first term, 1942-1981) (second term, 1996-?)
- Severus Snape (1980-1996)
- Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger
- One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore
- Advanced Potion-Making by Libatius Borage
Behind the scenes
- In 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.
- 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)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game (Mentioned only)
Notes and references