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Testing the potion?

In the Half-Blood Prince film, Slughorn tests Potter's potion for potency by dropping a single, red leaf in the cauldron, which appears to burn from the edges in, and disappear. Anyone know what testing process that was implying for this potion? --MidnightLightning 20:53, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

I assumed he was testing the potency of the poison. He said later something along the lines of, "a few drops of this could kill us all" --Arjayoh 20:56, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Although now I recall the potion, this wouldn't make sense as it is in fact a very strong sleeping potion. It shouldn't be poisonous at all. --Arjayoh 20:58, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
I found the "a few drops could kill us all" line problematic at first, but then I decided it was probably intended as a figurative exaggeration, like saying "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse" or "he yelled loud enough to raise the roof." Starstuff (Owl me!) 05:19, 17 July 2009 (UTC)´


Can anyone upload an image?--Rodolphus 16:08, September 29, 2009 (UTC)


On lines one and two of the recipe, most of the text is visible: "Cut up one Sophorus bean. Pour in 250 fLoz. of water and add 5 oz. of African Sea Salt ... beaker. Set the beaker aside after all the Water ... Be very careful not to shake or move ... Pour Sophorous Beans' Juice into the cauldron...ONLY 10 beans are used. ... reduced liquid from the beaker ... " Snape annotates that one is to crush the Sophorus Bean, and that only 3 beans are used. That was all I could get from the brief amount of time the film showed the textbook. Hopefully, I have helped somewhat, and also hopefully, someone with the DVD can rectify any mistakes I might have made and might possibly be able to help with this? Thanks very much :) Hunnie Bunn 00:04, April 12, 2012 (UTC)

250 fl.oz. would be 12½ pints Imperial, or just over 15½ pints US; are you sure about that quantity? -- RobertATfm (talk) 02:44, October 3, 2012 (UTC)
That part was a tad fuzzy at the time, and as it only appeared for a split second I can't be entirely sure. Fairly sure, but not certain. -- Hunniebunn (chat) October 3, 2012 (UTC)
I actually managed to transcribe the entire page (without the Half-Blood Prince's scribbles - most are barely legible):
Preparation of the
Draught of Living Death
----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.
Before you begin, ensure that you have all the equipment required and all the ingredients are available.
Equipment Required:
  • standard size cauldron
  • 150 fl.oz. beaker
  • 50 fl.oz. graduated cylinder
  • standard test tube
  • 250 fl.oz. measuring cup
  • stirring rod
  • dropper
  • Water – standard potioning water
  • 150 oz. Asphodel Root Powder
  • Wormwood Essence
  • Valerian Roots
  • 12 Sophoporous Beans

01) Cut up the Sophophorus bean.
02) 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.
03) Leave the water and salt to rest for 5 minutes.
04) Slowly pour the all the Water into the cauldron.
05) With your left hand use the graduated cylinder to obtain 40 fl.oz. Wormwood Essence.
06) With your right hand hold the cauldron at a slight angle [and pour] 10 drops (20 fl.oz.) of Wormwood Essence.
07) Now with your left hand hold the cauldron at a slightly different angle and pour another 10 drops of Wormwood Essence.
08) Chop three Valerian Roots into small squared pieces. After cutting place it in a beaker with water. Leave it to settle for 5 minutes.

* Your potion now should be resembling a smooth blackcurrant-coloured liquid.

10) Carefully pour the Sophophorus Beans' Juice into the cauldron, making sure that ONLY the juice of 12 beans are used.
11) Add 7 drops of the reduced liquid from the beaker. Make sure there are no traces or fragments of Valerian Root.
12) Stir the potion 10 times clockwise.

* Your potion should now be turning into a light shade of lilac.

13) With your right hand stir the potion anti-clockwise until the potion turns as clear as water.
Every stir should take approximately 2 1/2 seconds.
14) Slowly pour 7 square pieces of Valerian Root.
15) Stir the potion 10 times anti-clockwise.
16) Add 150 fl.oz. of Asphodel Root Powder.
17) Hold the cauldron with your right hand. With your left hand gently stir the potion 10 times anti-clockwise and 8 times clockwise.
18) Leave the potion to settle for 2 1/2 minutes.
19) Add one small piece of Valerian Root.
20) Your potion should turn to a pale pink colour.
21) Your potion preparation is now complete.

NOTE: This is an extremely dangerous potion. Execute with maximum caution.
N.B.: things in between square brackets are partially obscured in the pictures and are, therefore, educated guesses based on content and on spacing (although I'm pretty sure the wording I put there is correct). Also, I am aware that there is not a step number 09 in the instructions, but that's exactly like it is in the prop shown in the film.
It is fairly canonical, as goes by what it says in the book (down to the colours the potion turns to), though of course it adds a lot of other information as well. My main beef is: the book strongly suggests that only the juice of ONE sopopherous bean is used (although it's implied, it's never outright stated). Should we say that the juice of 12 beans is used, or the juice of a single bean? --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 23:53, October 3, 2012 (UTC)
Glad to see the film prop, at the very least, knows this is supposed to be a sleeping potion (interpret the film's dialogue however you want to make it fit into canon, they're clearly referring to it as though it were a strong poison). Anyway, the book, and even the line of instructions taken directly from it here, clearly says to cut up the bean, not some beans. I think I would agree leaving out the "12 beans" part, outside of BTS of course, would be for the best. -- 1337star (Drop me a line!) 00:10, October 4, 2012 (UTC)
I have to say I do love the thought of a 7-litre measuring cup... and that, according to the recipe, 20 fl.oz. or half a litre is just "10 drops". --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 00:16, October 4, 2012 (UTC)
Wow... that's truly amazing. Thank you, times a million, since that was really annoying me and the fact that you could interpret it so well. Thanks. Do you think I should add it to the article, or do you want to be the one to do it? --Hunniebunn (talk) 00:31, October 4, 2012 (UTC)
If you think that that you can do it okay, then be bold, and go ahead and do it! ProfessorTofty (talk) 02:32, October 4, 2012 (UTC)

I still think there's something wrong here. As I already noted, 250 fl.oz. isn't a "cup", it's a barrel. -- RobertATfm (talk) 02:46, October 17, 2012 (UTC)


The last sentence in the opening paragraph is problematic.  In addition to being very convoluted, it does not match the actual facts.  In the film, Slughorn says "only once has a student managed to brew (the potion) of sufficient quality."  This is very different from being able to brew the potion at all.  This also relates to the statement "three drops could kill us all."  Although likely to be hyperbole, it also may correspond with reality.  Since this potion seems to be the magical analog of an anesthetic, it is well known that an overdose could be lethal.  It is very likely that the HBP-inspired potion would be the equivalent of a medicine such as fentanyl at 100mcg/ml, where the conventional potion recipe would be similar to fentanyl at 10mcg/ml.  Dosing the more powerful (medication/potion) at the same amount expected from the less-potent version could well be fatal.  Wva (talk) 16:00, April 19, 2014 (UTC)

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