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Arthur Weasley: "If they could only take the bandages off, I'd be fit to go home."
Fred Weasley: "Why can't they take them off, Dad?"
Arthur Weasley: "Well, I start bleeding like mad every time they try. It seems there was some rather unusual kind of poison in that snake's fangs that keeps wounds open...."
— Arthur Weasley discussing the extent of his wounds, which were inflicted by Nagini's venom[src]

The venom produced from the snake-form of the Maledictus, Nagini, was an extremely potent poison that prevented the wounds of the victim from healing. This would lead to severe blood loss that must be compensated with a Blood-Replenishing Potion, or the blood loss severity would turn fatal. There was an antidote to it, though this remedy was apparently difficult to find.[2] The venom was capable of melting stitches, rendering it an ineffective treatment against it.[3]

Though the venom itself was harmful to living beings, it might have also been used as a potion ingredient that granted health benefits for the drinker,[1] albeit the resultant state was so gruesome and miserable that it horrified all who bore witness to it.[4]



In 1994, Death Eater Peter Pettigrew milked the venom from Nagini's fangs and used it, along with unicorn blood, to concoct a dark potion, which allowed Lord Voldemort's shattered soul to regain a rudimentary, but physical form.[1] This form was very weak, and it greatly inhibited Voldemort's capabilities, but granted him the ability to hold his wand and enough energy to perform sufficient magic, until he could regain his true form. Until then, Voldemort required the potion every few hours to keep his crippled body alive, and Pettigrew had to continuously milk Nagini for the venom to keep feeding his master. It was for this reason that Voldemort refused to let Pettigrew escape under the lie to find another wizard for the true rebirth ceremony, as Voldemort himself could not milk Nagini for the venom and concoct the potion.[4]


Arthur Nagini

Arthur Weasley, injured by Nagini's venom

In 1995, when Nagini was sent by Voldemort to infiltrate the Department of Mysteries, she met up with Arthur Weasley, who was sent by Albus Dumbledore to guard the prophecy, on behalf of the Order of the Phoenix. Nagini, who sensed Arthur hiding under an Invisibility Cloak, bit him in his chest and injected him with her venom, causing a wound and at the same time preventing his wound from healing.[5]

Arthur was sent to St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, and was to take a Blood-Replenishing Potion every hour to counter the blood loss that would otherwise cost him his life, but was otherwise fine. When Arthur was persuaded by trainee Healer Augustus Pye to try the Muggle remedy stitches to seal the wound, the venom melted the stitches, rendering them ineffective.[3] Eventually, Arthur managed to find an antidote to dispel the venom.[6]


B7C32M1 Nagini's attack on Snape

Nagini injecting the venom into Snape's neck, killing him

During the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998, when Voldemort mistakenly assumed that Severus Snape was the master of the Elder Wand, he ordered Nagini to kill Severus. The great serpent bit him in the neck, and injecting him with the venom, preventing it from healing (even by magical means), thus leading to Snape's demise.[7]

Behind the scenes[]

  • When Nagini bit Harry at Godric's Hollow while coming out of her disguise as Bathilda Bagshot, it is unknown how dittany was capable of stopping the bleeding, when Arthur and Snape both bled unstoppably, with Snape actually dying from it. Lily Potter's love protection, though, may immunise Harry from the venom. Alternately, Nagini can possibly choose whether or not to bite using her fangs, as many real life snakes can, thus deciding whether or not to apply venom. It is likely that Nagini did not actually inject venom into Harry when she bit him as Voldemort wanted to kill Harry himself.
  • In order for Pettigrew to milk Nagini's venom, Voldemort commanded her to let him do so. Peter Pettigrew and Lord Voldemort are the only known people who ever touched the snake.
  • In the films, Nagini is alternately portrayed as a Dumeril's boa or a Reticulated Python. Notably, both of these snakes are non-venomous constrictors.


Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 33 (The Death Eaters)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 22 (St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 23 (Christmas on the Closed Ward)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 1 (The Riddle House)
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 21 (The Eye of the Snake)
  6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 24 (Occlumency)
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 32 (The Elder Wand)