The art of making potions is often depicted as one of the more difficult tasks at Hogwarts. Not dissimilar to cooking, one wrong ingredient or measurement can ruin the entire dish. Although, making potions has more life-or-death stakes than cooking dinner for yourself.
Not only is potion-making difficult because of its complicated directions, but also due to the strict and severe potions master, Severus Snape. We're taking a look at ten of the most difficult potions in the series.
10 Draught of Living Death
The Draught of Living Death potion may sound familiar to you if you watched the Harry Potter films and read the first book in the novel, referenced in the very first interaction between Snape and Harry.
It's a potion that is said to put the drinker into a deep sleep. We know it is difficult because it is only referenced in the Advanced Potion Making book used by 6th years and above. Harry is able to complete his because of help from the Half-Blood Prince but even Hermione ultimately struggles to make this particular potion.
Amortentia is a powerful love potion. We are introduced to this potion in the sixth book during Professor Slughorn's class. When you're near the potion you'll smell three scents you love most. It will smell different to different people. It is recognizable by its pearly sheen and the spirals that rise from it.
Out of all the love potions, this one is the most powerful. It is considered a dangerous potion due to the fact it doesn't manufacture love but instead just creates an infatuation. Although that is the side effect of most love potions. It is rumored that there is a fountain of Amortentia in the locked door in the Department of Mysteries.
8 Felix Felicis
Felix Felicis is a particularly helpful potion as it is considered "liquid luck." Whoever drinks this potion will find that everything they attempt to do will succeed. Harry uses the potion to great advantage in the sixth book of the series. It is difficult to make given it's sort of a "cheat code" through life. You also have to be careful when drinking this potion as it can be easy to get addicted to it.
It's important not to let yourself become addicted as it won't continue to work for you and can lead to debilitating side effects. There are also strict laws about using this potion in certain magical areas as it is considered cheating in sporting games and more.
7 Polyjuice Potion
We have seen Polyjuice Potion used multiple times throughout the Harry Potter series. The potion is a rather disgusting looking and tasting potion that will transform you into another person for a single hour.
You'll need to have something that belonged to that person like a strand of hair, which is the most common usage although other biological aspects would suffice. It takes a long time to make the potion which is one of the reasons it is so difficult. Everything has to be perfect including the moon phases and the ingredients are hard to come by.
6 Shrinking Potion
We don't know all that much about the Shrinking Potion and while it doesn't seem like it would be too difficult to make, Harry once remarked that Snape had assigned them a particularly "nasty essay" about it.
There was a time too when Neville was tested to see if he had been able to concoct a perfect Shrinking Potion as it would be tested on his pet Trevor. Luckily for Neville, Hermione helped him with it so Trevor was unharmed. The potion is known to reverse the aging process, although the effects are likely temporary. It also makes things shrink in size as the name of the potion suggests.
5 Wolfsbane Potion
Wolfsbane Potion is a very valuable potion as it helps to control the deadly impulses of a werewolf. While still in humans form the werewolf would take the potion and it will help manage their deadly impulses when they make the ultimate transformation.
We know the potion is difficult because it is explicitly mentioned as being so in the novel. That's why only Snape was brewing it for Professor Lupin in order to help him. The ingredients are hard to come by too, which is why Lupin hadn't take it before as he couldn't afford it every month. We don't know exactly what it looks like except that it smokes.
Veritaserum is the most powerful truth serum out of all of them. It has been used several times in the book in order to interrogate people. Snape famously threatened to slip a few drops of Veritaserum in Harry's pumpkin juice at one point. But then it came handy better when he needed it to question fake-Moody, aka Barty Crouch Jr.
Professor Umbridge was also known for slipping the truth serum into a tea to question her students during detention. It has come up several other times too. It's not an easy potion to make and the ethics and morality surrounding its usage are murky at best. But surely if it was easier to concoct, everyone would be using it.
3 Draught of Peace
A Draught of Peace is kind of like the wizarding version of something that helps relieve anxiety and nerves. However, it is considered tricky and an O.W.L. level potion to brew.
When Harry made the potion he messed up by not adding the hellebore. If you make a mistake with this potion it can put the drinker into an irreversible sleep. When you mix it properly it will produce a light vapor. It contains moonstone.
2 Elixir of Life
We don't learn how to make the Elixir of Life in the books but we do learn that it is tethered to the Philosopher's Stone. Given the stone is gone, as far as we know, it would be virtually impossible to concoct the Elixir of Life now.
But the potion would make the drinker immortal, so long as they had a constant supply of it. You can see why it would be of such value to some people.
1 Voldemort's Cave Potion
The potion we're referencing is the potion that Dumbledore drinks in the sixth book while he's with Harry. He has to drink the potion in order to get his hands on Voldemort's horcrux, the locket.
But the potion takes a serious toll on Dumbeldore. We don't actually learn what it is, what it's made of, or how it's brewed. But if it's a potion that Voldemort himself concocted to protect something as important to him as a Horcrux, then we can imagine it's not an easy thing to make.