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Rudimentary body potion

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"It was as though Wormtail had flipped over a stone, and revealed something ugly, slimy and blind — but worse, a hundred times worse. The thing Wormtail had been carrying had the shape of a crouched human child, except that Harry had never seen anything less like a child. It was hairless and scaly-looking, a dark, raw, reddish black. Its arms and legs were thin and feeble, and its face — no child alive ever had a face like that — was flat and snake-like, with gleaming red eyes. The thing seemed almost helpless..."
Harry Potter describing Voldemort's rudimentary body.[src]

The rudimentary body potion is a potion likely invented by Lord Voldemort. It was prepared for him by Peter Pettigrew and was used to create Voldemort's rudimentary body in order to sustain him while he awaited his return to power. Two of its main ingredients were unicorn blood and Nagini's snake venom.[1] The drinker must continuously drink the potion every few hours in order to maintain the little health that they have regained.


The potion and its associated rituals were able to create a rudimentary body for Lord Voldemort's disembodied soul-fragment to be directly transferred into. The body was small, about the size of an average baby, and wrinkled with red and scaly skin, but still retained some of Lord Voldemort's true body's distinctive characteristics, such as his snake-like nostrils and red, slit-like eyes. This body's physical abilities were extremely limited and while in this form, Voldemort needed Wormtail to transport him from place to place and tend to him constantly. His magical powers were also greatly reduced in this small and a bit vulnerable state, although he was still powerful enough to cast an effective Killing Curse as well as turn Nagini into a Horcrux at some point.

This body was used until Voldemort, with the aid of Peter Pettigrew and Barty Crouch Jr., was able to create the ancient Regeneration Potion to finally restore him to his true body and abilities. Prior to that, the body that the potion provided Voldemort was so gruesome, it revolted both Frank Bryce and Harry Potter greatly, and caused Pettigrew to flinch when seeing it, and shudder when holding it.[2]

Behind the scenes

  • It is unknown how Voldemort managed to take this potion before acquiring his temporary body, as he was still in a mangled spectral state before the first time being fed the potion. This was a similar case in how the ghost Nearly Headless Nick partook the Mandrake Restorative Draught. However, given Voldemort's power of possession, he may have been occupying the body of someone or something in order to take the potion.
  • In the book, Harry describes Voldemort's form before his new body as being blind, but this is contradicted by Voldemort's comments to Pettigrew that "I see you flinch when you look at me" in the book and then his request to see the Dark Mark on Bartemius Crouch's arm in the film; however, it may be that this body had lost its sight towards the end of the necessity for its existence, or Harry may have simply assumed it couldn't see.
  • The deformed body that Voldemort inhabited through this potion resembles his mangled soul when Harry was in Limbo. This is because one's soul is reflected by the physical body, and vice versa, as ghosts are.


Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 33 (The Death Eaters)
  2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 1 (The Riddle House)

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