"I am Zygmunt Budge, and I am the greatest potion-maker ever born. This is no empty boast. I invented many of the wizarding world's most powerful potions. I discovered the properties of hundreds of secret plants and creatures. I have dedicated my life to the most mysterious and misunderstood branch of magic, and these pages contain the secrets of my art, distilled for new generations of Hogwarts students."
Foreword, Book of Potions.[src]

Zygmunt Budge[4] was a wizard and an expert potioneer, one of the most accomplished ever known. Considered an "eccentric, unstable, and vengeful wizard", he was a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in his youth, but left the school at the age of fourteen. After this, he would move to the remote island of Hermetray in the Hebrides, where he lived in solitude, conducted experiments and wrote the Book of Potions, a textbook on the brewing of various potions.[5]

After his death, some of his personality lingered in his Book of Potions, and was capable of acting like a guide to future readers of the book.[5]


Early life

Zygmunt was born somewhere in the British Isles, in the 16th or late 15th century. Possible years include.[1]

Zygmunt Budge and Great-grandmother

A young Zygmunt Budge, brewing a potion alongside his great-grandmother

His mother did not seem to care for him much, referring to him as 'Fungus-face', on account of his not-so-good looks.

His great-grandmother was, however, a "distressingly giggly" witch, in sharp contrast of Zygmunt's temperament, even as a child (in his later years, Budge would find that laughter was undignified). This great-grandmother showed an interest in Potion-making, and handed him down an old recipe for the Laughing Potion, which he set himself the challenge of refining in his adult years.[6]

Hogwarts years

"As I've said, it was my life's dream to win the Wizarding Schools Potions Championship. When I judged that I was ready I was fourteen years old, top of my year in Potions, and able to correct my Professor on the proper use of Mackled Malaclaw tails. I asked my Headmaster for permission to enter. But, alas, imagine my horror and disgust when he forbade me! Because I was not yet seventeen, and the competition was "too dangerous"."
—Zygmunt Budge, Book of Potions[src]

He was accepted into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and was Sorted sometime between the years 1502 and 1593.[7]

Zygmunt Budge at Hogwarts

Zygmunt Budge during his Hogwarts years

What Budge considered to have been the most humorous occurrence he had ever witnessed took place during his years at Hogwarts. The incident — a rival student of his spilled Love Potion onto himself, thus becoming attracted to their ancient Potions professor — was one that he recollected whenever he needed a loud roar of, uncontrollable laughter for his Laughing Potion.[6]

By the time Budge was fourteen, in his third or fourth year, he was top of his class in Potions, and was even able to correct his Professor on the proper use of Mackled Malaclaw tails in potion-making. Having decided he was sufficiently prepared, he asked the Headmaster for permission to enter the Wizarding Schools Potions Championship. The Headmaster, however, forbade him, because he had not reached the age of seventeen and the competition was too dangerous for him. Furious, Budge decided to drop out of school at once, in protest. Budge considered Hogwarts to have been "the school that sought to stifle [his] brilliance as a potioneer", and never regretted his decision.[8]

Living in seclusion

"Please, understand, some have suggested disappointment warped me. This is nonsense! I enjoyed a long and full life... alone, on Hermetray, working on this, my masterwork, my legacy — the Book of Potions. I always dreamt that one day, this book might accompany a great potioneer to victory at the Championship, and now it feels as though it is in reach!"
—Zygmunt Budge, Book of Potions[src]

An adult Zygmunt Budge on Hermetray

Zygmunt Budge, however, soon found out that only contestants representing wizarding schools were permitted to enter the Championship, and that since he had left Hogwarts he had ceased to be eligible.[8]

Angered and embittered, he moved to a remote island, Hermetray in the Outer Hebrides, where he occupied a rat-infested shack, and only had a flock of sheep for company (and for occasional potion testing). He lived there the rest of his long life, conducting experiments, perfecting formulae, and creating new concoctions. He also wrote the Book of Potions, his masterpiece, that he intended to become his legacy for future generations of potioneers.

After his death, some of his personality lingered in his Book of Potions, and was capable of acting like a guide to whoever read the book — in the hopes that, one day, he would be able to aid a budding potioneer to win the Wizarding Schools Potions Championship.


  • Zygmunt is a Polish name, adapted from the German Sigismund, which, along with its variants Sigmund and Siegmund means "protection through victory." Sigmund/Siegmund is also the name of a hero from Norse mythology, the father of the dragon-slayer Sigurd.

Behind the scenes


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Wizarding Schools Potions Championship began in 1407, and was held every 7 years after. We know that Zygmunt Budge tried to enter the Championship sometime in the 16th century, at the age of 14. One can easily determine the years the Championship was held by continuously adding 7 to 1407 — and Budge's possible birthyears are determined by subtracting 14 to each of the 16th century Championship years.
  2. See this article
  3. See this article
  4. Unveiling Wonderbook: 'Book of Potions' for PlayStation® 3 - Pottermore Insider
  5. 5.0 5.1 Wonderbook: Book of Potions arrives on PS3 next month - PlayStation.Blog
  6. 6.0 6.1 Wonderbook: Book of Potions - Chapter 5 (Laughing Potion)
  7. Adding 11 years to the possible years he was born in, one gets the years 1502, 1509, 1516, 1523, 1530, 1537, 1544, 1551, 1558, 1565, 1572, 1579, 1586, 1593 — the years it is possible he was Sorted in.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Wonderbook: Book of Potions - Chapter 4 (Sleeping Potion)

Potions (class)
Arsenius Jigger · Damocles Belby · Glover Hipworth · Golpalott · Gregory the Smarmy · Gunhilda of Gorsemoor · Hector Dagworth-Granger · Hesper Starkey · J. Pippin · Laverne de Montmorency · Libatius Borage · Regulus Moonshine · Rubens Winikus · Sacharissa Tugwood · Tilden Toots · Dr. Ubbly · Zygmunt Budge
Potions at Hogwarts
Cauldron cupboard · Dungeon Five · Potions basement · Potions Classroom · Potions Club · Potions Staircase · Potion Master's office · Potion Master's storeroom
Professors Bartholomew · Horace Slughorn · Severus Snape · Swoopstikes · Vindictus Veridian · Unnamed Professor (16th century) · Unnamed Professor (2021)
Textbooks Magical Drafts and Potions · One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi · Advanced Potion-Making · Moste Potente Potions · A Collection of Above Three Hundred Receipts in Cookery, Physick, and Surgery
Potions studied at Hogwarts
Ageing Potion · Amortentia · Antidotes · Antidote to Common Poisons · Calming Draught · Boil-Cure Potion · Doxycide · Draught of Living Death · Draught of Peace · Elixir to Induce Euphoria · Everlasting Elixirs · Felix Felicis · Fire Protection Potion · Forgetfulness Potion · Girding Potion · Hair-Raising Potion · Herbicide Potion · Hiccoughing Solution · Pepperup Potion · Poison Antidote · Polyjuice Potion · Shrinking Solution · Skele-Gro · Strengthening Solution · Swelling Solution · Undetectable Poisons · Weedosoros · Wideye Potion · Wiggenweld Potion · Wit-Sharpening Potion