- "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 human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses....I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory and even put a stopper in death."
- —Professor Snape during Harry Potter's first Potions class[src]
Potions is a subject taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In this class, students learn how to brew potions, following specific recipes and using various magical ingredients to create their 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. Potions lessons take place in the Hogwarts dungeons.
At Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Potions is a required subject for students, from the first year to the fifth year. During Harry Potter's first year, Snape quizzed him on One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi. Some of the questions included were what would be created if powdered root of asphodel was added to an infusion of wormwood, where to find a Bezoar, and the difference between Monkshood and Wolfbane. Snape then lashed out at Harry and told the class to take careful notes. First years also brewed a simple potion to cure boils and their exam included brewing a Forgetfulness Potion. During Harry Potters second year, the curriculum included a Swelling Solution that later caused a disaster the same day it was brewed.
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 year start at the apothecary.
When Severus Snape was the professor, students had to achieve an "Outstanding" in 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 much more lenient; Harry and Ron were both allowed to continue 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.
- Aconite, bezoars, and some basic details on preparation of the Draught of Living Death such as would be created if powdered root of asphodel was added to an Infusion of Wormwood
- Cure for Boils
- Forgetfulness Potion
- Collecting the ingredients for Wiggenweld Potion
- The 12 uses of dragon blood
- Golpalott's Third Law
- Draught of Living Death
- Hiccoughing Solution
- Polyjuice Potion
- Felix Felicis
- Elixir to Induce Euphoria
- Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger
- One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore
- Advanced Potion-Making by Libatius Borage
- Barty Crouch Jr.
- Bill Weasley
- Blaise Zabini
- Draco Malfoy
- Ernie Macmillan
- Harry Potter
- Hermione Granger
- Horace Slughorn
- Lily Evans
- Michael Corner
- Padma Patil
- Percy Weasley
- Ron Weasley
- Severus Snape
- Terry Boot
- Theodore Nott
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)