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- "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 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.
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.
- "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]
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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
Magical abilities and skills
- Potions: Zygmunt Budge was a remarkably brilliant Potioneer, with him being considered as one of the most accomplished of his profession in wizarding history. Budge showed his remarkable talent from a young age as a Hogwarts student, with his excellent performance in Potions class and his superior knowledge of potions and their ingredients, even compared to his Potions Master. His exceptional skills in potions allowed him to find and invent new and innovative ways of brewing potions as well as outright create his own brews, which were deemed to be among the most powerful potions in the world, with him even writing his own book, the Book of Potions, as a showcase of his superb knowledge and skills in this field of magic.
- Herbology: Budge was also very familiar with the magical plants used as ingredients for potions, and capable of thoroughly explaining to the one he chose as his champion their functions.
- Magizoology: Budge was quite knowledgeable in magical creatures, as while aiding the one he chose as his champion, he was capable of quickly identifying the weaknesses of the monsters in the way of winning the Wizarding Schools Potions Championship and figuring out the potion needed to be brewed to overcome them.
- Charms: Budge appeared to be considerably skilled in charm-work, as he was capable of enchanting his Book of Potions to contain some of his personality inside the book and adding several powerful enchantments inside the book to aid the one he chose to represent him as champion for the Wizarding Schools Potions Championship. He was also capable of sealing inside the book a Portkey that can take the reader of his book into the Enchanted Garden said event was held in.
- 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.
- Budge is an English verb, meaning "to move", often from a state of inactivity. It has been the surname of several prominent persons, including Egyptologist E.A. Wallis Budge .
Behind the scenes
- Wonderbook: Book of Potions (First appearance)
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- 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 birth years are determined by subtracting 14 to each of the 16th century Championship years. He could have also been born in any year 15 years before a 16th century Championship year if he had not yet had his birthday by the time the Championship was held that year.
- "World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling," South West News Service, 8 July 2000 - "Hogwarts just serves Britain and Ireland."
- See this article
- See this article
- Unveiling Wonderbook: 'Book of Potions' for PlayStation® 3 - Pottermore Insider
- Wonderbook: Book of Potions arrives on PS3 next month - PlayStation.Blog
- Wonderbook: Book of Potions - Chapter 5 (Laughing Potion)
- As he was 14 years old when a Potions Championship was held, he had to be either in his third or fourth year at the time. As it was never specified which month the Potions Championship was held in, this gives three possible options:
1) The Potions Championship was held between September and December in his third year, and he had already had his birthday earlier that school year, making his sorting happen in a year two years before a Potions Championship, in the year 1503, 1510, ... 1594.
2) The Potions Championship was held in the year when he finished his third year and started his fourth. He had already had his birthday in his third year, but not fourth. This makes his sorting happen three years before a Potions Championship, in the year 1502, 1509, ...1593.
3) The Potions Championship was held between January and June (as the competition did not take place during the summer holidays) in his fourth year and he had not yet had his birthday that year. This makes his sorting take place four years before a Potions Championship, in 1501, 1508, ... 1592.
- Wonderbook: Book of Potions - Chapter 4 (Sleeping Potion)