"Powerful infatuations can be induced by the skilful potioneer, but never yet has anyone managed to create the truly unbreakable, eternal, unconditional attachment that alone can be called love."
Hector Dagworth-Granger regarding love potions[src]

Love potions were potions which caused the drinker to become infatuated or obsessed with the person who gave it to them. Love potions were considered to be powerful and highly dangerous.[10] Amortentia was the most powerful love potion in existence.[1]

Love potions were banned items at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,[11] though students still smuggled them into the school through various means.

History

"Watch out, these potions can strengthen the longer they're kept."
— Description of use[src]

Laverne de Montmorency, an inventor of love potions

Laverne de Montmorency invented a number of different love potions in the 1800s. For her achievements of inventing of many love potions, she was immortalised on a Chocolate Frog Card.[4]

Albus Dumbledore believed that Merope Gaunt used a love potion to obtain the affections of Tom Riddle Snr, a wealthy Muggle who lived in her village and whom she was infatuated with, as it would seem to be a more romantic method of obtaining his "love" than the also possible method of the Imperius Curse. She then seemed to stop giving it to him and he (understandably) ran off, leaving her and her unborn baby to fend for themselves.[12]

Love potions were banned at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry[11] but this has not stopped students from making them, or from trying to win hearts by their use. Even Molly Weasley admitted to having brewed a love potion when she was a girl at Hogwarts.[13]

Ismelda's plan to administer a love potion backfiring

In the 1988–1989 school year, Ismelda Murk planned on giving Barnaby Lee a love potion hidden in a sandwich. However, it made Barnaby infatuated with Jacob's sibling instead.[14] Indeed, love potions were usually hidden in food or drinks so that the user would not notice.[2]

On Valentine's Day, 1992, Gilderoy Lockhart implored his co-workers at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to join him in celebrating the occasion, suggesting that students should ask Professor Snape how to brew a love potion. Snape did not approve of this, and "was looking as though the first person to ask him for a love potion would be force-fed poison."[15]

In her fourth year, Pansy Parkinson told Rita Skeeter that she believed Hermione Granger was capable of brewing a love potion, and that this was the method she thought Hermione had used to win the interest of Viktor Krum and, allegedly, Harry Potter. Skeeter published these false claims in Witch Weekly and urged Albus Dumbledore to investigate them further.[11]

Hermione Granger and Ginny Weasley, looking at the love potions at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes

The Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes shop began carrying a range of love potions as part of its WonderWitch line in 1996.[9] When Argus Filch banned all Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes products from Hogwarts, Fred and George Weasley began shipping love potions disguised as perfumes and cough potions, allowing Hogwarts students to order love potions, despite mandatory searches on owls. Hermione Granger overheard girls in the bathroom discussing ways to sneak Harry Potter a love potion.[16]

Romilda Vane tried to give one of the Weasleys' love potions to Harry Potter by spiking Gillywater and a box of Chocolate Cauldrons. Having been warned by Hermione, Harry refused the Gillywater when Romilda offered it to him, but was forced to accept her chocolates.[16] Harry kept the unopened box in his room until March of the next year, when Ron Weasley found it, and, mistaking it for a birthday gift, ate half the chocolates. Ron instantly became obsessively smitten with Romilda and had to be taken to Horace Slughorn to be given an antidote.[2]

Ingredients and brewing

A bottle of red love potion

A bottle of pink love potion

"Rose Petals - There are over a hundred species in the genus Rosa. Wizards and Muggles alike have been breeding garden roses for thousands of years. Thorn: Some love potions use more thorns instead of rose petals, although I personally have found the effects of these potions tend to be brief and somewhat unstable."
Zygmunt Budge[src]

Ashwinder eggs were a common ingredient in many varieties of love potions,[5] as were rose thorns, peppermint, and Moonstone.[6] Since there are many different types of love potions, therefore there are many different methods in which to brew them. Pearl Dust was an ingredient in all love potions.[7] The famous Potioneer Zygmunt Budge personally favoured Rose Petals.[8]

Effects

Harry Potter: "They didn’t fall off your bed, you prat, don’t you understand? They were mine, I chucked them out of my trunk when I was looking for the map. They’re the Chocolate Cauldrons Romilda gave me before Christmas and they’re all spiked with love potion!"
Ron Weasley: "Romilda? Did you say Romilda? Harry - do you know her? Can you introduce me?"
Harry Potter: "Yeah, I’ll introduce you. I’m going to let you down now, okay?"
Ron declares his love potion-induced feelings for Romilda Vane[src]

Ron Weasley thinking about Romilda Vane under the influence of love potion

Love potions ostensibly caused the drinker to romantically obsess over the person who gave them the potion. However, true love cannot be produced through artificial means, and thus the feelings that love potions created were more like obsession than affection.[1]

The effect that a love potion had would wear off over time. In order to maintain the potion's effect, the giver must have continually administered doses, or else the recipient would "fall out of love" with them.[12] A single dose typically lasted up to 24 hours, but the precise duration was dependent on the weight of the drinker, as well as the attractiveness of the giver.[9]

Love potions would work regardless of whether the giver is present when the recipient consumes them. The longer the recipient kept the potions (or potion-spiked items), the more potent their effect would become, as love potions matured over time.[2]

It was possible for the creation of a love potion to go wrong, causing the recipient to obsess over a person other than the giver.[14]

There was an antidote to counteract the effect of love potions, but, even after it had been given, one would still retain all the embarrassing memories of how one acted under the influence of the administered love potion.[2] Love potions can cancel out the effects of a Hate Potion, and vice versa, as they are the opposite of each other.[17]

Varieties

"And they've ordered Fred and George's love potions, which I'm sorry to say probably work."
— Hermione Granger regarding the different varieties of love potions[src]

Bottles of WonderWitch Love Potions

Laverne de Montmorency invented a number of different love potions in the 1800s.[18] Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes sold a whole "range" of love potions in 1996, including: Cupid Crystals, Kissing Concoction, Beguiling Bubbles, and Twilight Moonbeams, further suggesting that there is more than one kind, possibly each with its own unique effect.[9]

Amortentia was the strongest love potion in the world. It was recognisable by its mother-of-pearl sheen and by the spiralling steam that rose from it. The smell of the potion varied from person to person and was dependent upon what each individual found appealing.[1]

See also

Behind the scenes

A Love potion stand as seen in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

  • J. K. Rowling has said that it is of important symbolic significance that Voldemort, incapable of love himself, was conceived in an act of coercion, rather than genuine love.[19] In Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Snape also claimed that someone conceived under such means will never be capable of love, but how he could have possibly known about Merope Riddle is ambiguous.[14]
  • Given how easily the potion can be abused to manipulate others, much like the Imperius Curse, it is unclear why the Ministry did not ban it, or why Hogwarts allowed it to be part of the Potions curriculum although it is possible that they were taught about it so that they could recognise the effects and counter them for their own safety, which Snape implied to be the case in one of his classes.[14]
  • Love potions are noted to have an "expiration date" of safe usage, as they mature over time; using the Love potion after the expiration date amplifies the desired effects, but it's unknown if it also lengthens the time of the effect above 24 hours.
  • In Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, the player can win a love potion necklace in a limited-time event.

Appearances

Notes and references


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