- "Mine own invention, my masterpiece; the crowning achievement of my career. Bottled good fortune. Brewed correctly the drinker of this potion will be lucky in all their endeavours, but be warned … excessive consumption is highly toxic and can cause extreme recklessness. Fans of Quidditch were quick to protest that a potion which gives the drinker good luck was hardly fair and use of my potion was banned, quite rightly, from all competitive events … except potion-making tournaments."
- —Zygmunt Budge[src]
Felix Felicis, also called "Liquid Luck", is a magical potion that makes the drinker lucky for a period of time, during which everything they attempt will be successful. It turns an ordinary day into an extraordinary one.
It is meant to be used sparingly, however, as it causes giddiness, recklessness, and dangerous overconfidence if taken in excess. Felix is highly toxic in large quantities and is also a banned substance in all organised competitions, such as Quidditch, along with all other methods of cheating. It is very difficult to make, disastrous if made wrong, and requires six months to stew before it is ready to be consumed.
- "Trust me, I know what I'm doing... or at least, Felix does."
- —Harry Potter after drinking Felix Felicis for the first time[src]
In September of 1996, Harry Potter won a small vial of Felix Felicis from Professor Slughorn for brewing the best Draught of Living Death potion in the class (using the instructions of Severus Snape's textbook). The bottle would give Harry twelve hours of luck.
Harry later pretended to add a small amount to Ron Weasley's drink at breakfast before a Quidditch game so that Ron would feel more confident about his abilities. Hermione noticed what Harry did, and believing that he had actually put something in Ron's drink, warned Ron not to take a drink. He ignored her and drank the pumpkin juice, and he then went on to play a nearly perfect game. Following the game, Hermione berated Harry for what he had done, and Harry told her and Ron that he had not given Ron the potion at all, and that Ron played that well all by himself.
The first real use of the potion by Harry was in attaining an important memory from Slughorn when Ron suggested it; he was originally hesitant in using it, as he wanted to use it to win Ginny Weasley's affections. He took only a small dosage, for roughly three hours worth. The second use was distributed between Ron, Hermione Granger, and Ginny in the battle against the Death Eaters in their invasion of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
In between the potion's first and second use, Harry suggested using some to discover what Draco Malfoy was up to in the Room of Requirement, but Hermione advised against it as it would be a waste on using it on a powerful defensive location such as the Room. When Ron suggested they brew more for themselves, Harry found the potion's complexity and time-consumption to be too much of a hassle.
- Add Ashwinder egg to a cauldron, then add horseradish and heat.
- Juice a squill bulb, add to the cauldron and stir vigorously.
- Chop up anemone-like growth on the back of Murtlap, add to mixture and heat.
- Add a dash of tincture of thyme and stir slowly.
- Grind up Occamy eggshell and add to mixture.
- Stir slowly then heat the cauldron.
- Add a sprinkle of powdered common rue.
- Stir vigorously then heat the cauldron one last time.
- Wave wand over potion in a figure of eight and say incantation ‘Felixempra!’
- "It is the colour of molten gold, and large drops leap like goldfish from its surface, never spilling."
- —Description of its appearance[src]
This potion has been stated to greatly resemble molten gold, with droplets leaping out at intervals like goldfish soaring from their bowl. It is noted that the drops of potion that leap across the surface never spill and that the potion splashes about merrily when in a cauldron.
- "Felix Felicis is liquid luck, which makes the person who drinks it lucky for a certain period of time."
- —Description of the effects of the potion[src]
Felix Felicis causes the drinker to have a limited period of good luck, during which they are likely to to succeed in all endeavours in which success is possible. They have a strong perception of this effect, including a high level of confidence and a "sensation of infinite opportunity." This is accomplished not through direct application of force or granting the drinker any extraordinary powers, but by inspiring the drinker with a favourable pathway through the circumstances. When Harry took the potion, he had the sensation that 'Felix' knew what it was doing and that he needed only follow its inspiration, however unlikely the approach seemed as a means of accomplishing his goal. It indeed led him into a near-freakish but plausible set of circumstances in which all the right choices seemed obvious to him. Along the way, without even meaning to, he also accomplished some minor side goals, such as breaking up Ron's bad relationship, and destabilising Ginny's relationship with Dean to give Harry more of a chance.
A person under the potion's inspiration would likely prove highly adaptable to any unexpected change in the circumstances. There are always infinite possibilities in any situation, some of which doubtless lead to the desired outcome, and Felix can highlight them no matter what happens.
Though Felix Felicis confers no extra powers on the user, it seems capable of drawing out the best reserves of their ability if needed. Harry was able to use Refilling Charms non-verbally, even though he had not yet managed it in his previous classroom practice.
There is a period of 'coming down' when Felix Felicis wears off. During this time, the user's sense of confidence fades, and unlucky circumstances can quickly catch up to them if they are not vigilant. It is unclear whether Felix wearing off actually increases the user's bad luck in a small overbalancing period (though obviously not so great as to undo whatever they have just accomplished), or whether the user simply keenly perceives the return of 'ordinary' levels of luck and all the subsequent challenges and dangers.
- "Luck can only get you so far, Harry... Luck is not powerful enough to get through a powerful incantation."
- —Explanation of the limits of the luck induced by the potion[src]
As Hermione pointed out, the potion is not able to better the chances of the drinker against particularly powerful enchantments, since members of the D.A. were not able to bypass the Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder that Draco Malfoy used. Hermione also claimed that Harry's usage of the potion to help discover what Draco was up to in the Room of Requirement would be a waste, as the Room was too powerful for the potion to help penetrate.
The potion's effectiveness seems to wane after a certain amount of time, as it did in Harry Potter's situation when he made his way back to the Gryffindor Common Room and he ran into Peeves, but was only just barely able to dodge him with the potion's influence.
Overdosing is dangerous, as it is very toxic in large quantity, and over-reliance on it may lead to dangerous overconfidence, giddiness, and recklessness. The potion is very difficult and time-consuming to brew, and disastrous if concocted incorrectly. Due to its effects, it is considered a tool of cheating and therefore prohibited in organised events such as Quidditch and examinations.
|Individual taking Potion||Date||Notes|
|Tertius||16th century||Found a wizarding family to take him to Diagon Alley, gold for a new wand and robes, and a job as a Curse-Breaker.|
|Albus Dumbledore||Unknown||"Only recreationally"|
|Horace Slughorn||Once at age 24, once at age 57||Had two perfect days.|
|Alanza Alves||c. 1980s||"I drank a bit on a dare once."|
|Harry Potter||21 April, 1997||Used the potion to get a memory from Horace Slughorn.|
|Ron Weasley||30 June 1997||Used the potion to help him escape from Death Eaters' curses.|
|Ginny Weasley||Used the potion to help her escape from Death Eaters' curses.|
|Hermione Granger||Used the potion to help her escape from Death Eaters' curses.|
|Hogwarts potions champion||21st century||Was able to choose the correct lock to open the cage holding the Golden Cauldron and brewed the Potion of All Potential using highly rare, poorly studied ingredients.|
Harry Potter's use
- "Harry did not answer for a moment. Then, slowly but surely, an exhilarating sense of infinite opportunity stole through him; he felt as though he could have done anything, anything at all... and getting the memory from Slughorn seemed suddenly not only possible, but positively easy... He got to his feet, smiling, brimming with confidence."
- —Harry Potter drinking Felix Felicis for the first time[src]
When Harry Potter used Felix Felicis, several events occurred that were beneficial to Harry and his friends; the main being Harry obtaining the memory from Slughorn. Harry only took a small portion, for roughly two-to-three hours of effect.
- Harry obtained the uncorrupted memory from Horace Slughorn about Horcruxes. During this adventure, evidence of luck was following him.
- Harry was able to keep his word to his friend Rubeus Hagrid and attend Aragog's funeral.
- Filch had left the front doors of the castle unlocked.
- Slughorn was tempted to accompany Harry to Hagrid's by the possibility of obtaining valuable Acromantula venom.
- Harry was able to use a non-verbal Refilling Charm, even though he had not completely mastered non-verbal spells, so Slughorn would not run out of drink (in order to get him drunk).
- Harry bumped into Ginny as they passed each other at the portrait entryway, making Ginny think that her boyfriend Dean Thomas was trying to help her into the portrait hole. This incident, compounded by others, eventually resulted in them breaking up with each other.
- Harry also initiated the break up of Ron Weasley and Lavender Brown by donning his Cloak of Invisibility before leaving the boys' dormitory. When Ron descended the stairs after him with Hermione Granger, Lavender assumed the worst about the pair of them and dumped Ron.
- Harry was able to sneak out and back into the castle undetected by unwanted forces; even when the potion's effect was about to dissipate, he was able to evade Peeves.
Battle of the Astronomy Tower
Before leaving with Dumbledore to search for one of Voldemort's Horcruxes, Harry gave the rest of the Felix Felicis to Ron and Hermione with the instruction that they were to share it with Ginny, as he believed Draco Malfoy was ready to act on his mission from Voldemort. Ron, Hermione, and Ginny split the potion between themselves and effectively used it in the ensuing battle to dodge the curses sent their way by Death Eaters, many of which were Unforgivables.
Felix is the Latin word meaning happy or lucky. 'Felicis' is from the same root, but declined in the genitive case. It is translated as 'of luck.' Therefore, Felix Felicis means 'Luck of Luck', 'Lucky Luck' or 'Luck's Luck.' Another translation might be 'Happy Luck.' In Latin, nouns and adjectives are usually cited by saying their nominative followed by their genitive, so a dictionary entry for the word "felix" could start as "felix, felicis ..."
Behind the scenes
- In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Felix Felicis is described as looking like liquid gold. In the film it has only a light gold hue.
- Also, as the Battle of the Astronomy Tower did not take place in the film, Harry did not provide the Felix Felicis to his friends, and instead, drank the entire bottle for his mission to get the memory.
- In the book, the prize is merely given to the person who brews the best potion, and Slughorn even says he does not expect perfection from any of them. However in the film, Slughorn mentions that only a perfect Draught of Living Death will win the prize of Felix Felicis, and that only one person prior to Harry had ever won it, possibly Severus Snape since his instructions are what caused Harry to brew a "perfect" concoction, Slughorn also taught Voldemort and Lily Evans, both of whom were brilliant at potions, so they may also have been the anonymous winner of the potion mentioned in the movie.
- Although the Advanced Potions Making claims that the potion requires six months of stewing, Horace managed to produce some for his first N.E.W.T. class, less than two months since he accepted the job offer in July. This makes it possible for a skilled potioneer to brew the potion in a shortened amount of time unless Slughorn already had some prepared prior to accepting the career. It is also possible that Slughorn did not brew it himself, and bought it from someone else.
- In the video game, Harry fights a duel with Crabbe and Goyle which is unlosable after taking Felix Felicis. Their spells miss you no matter what. When using Depulso to obtain "Mini-Crests", a considerable amount appears from every Depulso target. Additionally, the Dragon dung Fertiliser you brew in Potions Club cannot overheat and poured too much of an ingredient in will have no effect.
- In the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry asks Dumbledore if he has ever taken Felix Felicis. Dumbledore responds, "Only recreationally. You see, I believe one creates one's own luck."
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Slughorn is seen drinking something out of a flask before the Battle of Hogwarts begins. This could be Felix Felicis, or some sort of fortifying pick-me-up.
- "Felix Felicis" was one of three chapter titles revealed in advance of the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Most fans assumed that it would be the name of a character.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Wizarding World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- LEGO Harry Potter
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 9 (The Half-Blood Prince)
- Wonderbook: Book of Potions - (see video)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 24 (Sectumsempra)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 14 (Felix Felicis)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 22 (After the Burial)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 25 (The Seer Overheard)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 23 (Horcruxes)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 22 (The Exchange Student)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 28 (Flight of the Prince)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 29 (The Phoenix Lament)