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"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, even stopper death -- if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach."
     -- Severus Snape (PS8)

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Potions are magical liquids created by mixing various ingredients in a cauldron according to very specific rules. These mixtures must usually be drunk to give their magical effect. The ingredients in potions range from the mundane to the bizarre and fantastic, and the procedures for creating some potions can be complicated and time-consuming. Severus Snape was the Potions Master at Hogwarts from c. 1980 [Y0] to the fall of 1996 [Y16]. Horace Slughorn took over as Potions Master for the 1996 - 97 [Y16 - Y17] school year. The Potions classroom is located in a chilly, dark dungeon.

Snape, Hermione, Neville in Potions © 2001 Laura Freeman

First Year

Students make simple potions such as boil cure potion (PS8). The final exam included a practical portion requiring the students to make a Forgetfulness Potion (PS16).

Second Year

The syllabus includes Swelling Solution (CS12) and Hair-Raising Potion (CS13).

Third Year

The syllabus includes Shrinking Solution (PA7).

Fourth Year

Students studied antidotes extensively, taking it seriously because Snape hinted that he might poison a student before Christmas to see if his or her antidote worked (GF15). Other potions on the syllabus included Wit-Sharpening Potion (GF27).

Fifth Year

The syllabus includes Draught of Peace, a tricky potion that is OWL standard, and Strengthening Solution (OP12).

Homework included

Sixth Year

Homework included

Seventh Year

Details as yet unknown. Students prepare for the Potions N.E.W.T.


  • cauldron (PS5)

  • knife (PA7)

  • mortar and pestle (GF27)

  • potion-making kit (GF10)

  • scales (brass) for measuring ingredients (PS5)


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