My Notes, From A Ravenclaw (Year 1)

written by Anne Pickering

These are my notes for all classes through year 1. There are 7 course in the first year. Charms, History of Magic, Herbology, Potions, Transfiguration, DADA, and Astronomy. I will add as I am able. Please check back for new content.

Please keep in mind, these are only major points and not to be substituted for the actual lessons!

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Ptn 101 Week 4

Chapter 26

Ingredients are the substances which make up a potion.

quantity does not equal quality.

Ingredients for potion-making can be either magical or mundane and are nearly always a natural substance that can be cultivated or farmed.both have equal value in the world of potion-making. Each ingredient is chosen carefully for its texture, effect, taste or smell which ultimately affect the end result of any potion.

Plants and creatures are usually (semi) sentient and have some form of
magical power, whether it is a power they are in control of or not. Very
much like humans this does not mean that every single specimen of a
species has to be magical, though. We know, for example, from studying
trees that wand wood cannot be made from just any tree; the tree has to
be magical.


native to the temperate forests and mountains of the Northern
Hemisphere. It is grown in moisture-retentive, but well-drained soil and
thrives in gardens, although it can also grow in the shade of trees.
Where it was previously cultivated widely in gardens and greenhouses,
aconite is now only found in the wild. It is a poisonous plant and must be handled with utmost care.

Aconite can be recognised by its dark green, palmate leaves and its
usually blue and purple flowers which crown a tall, upright stem. It is
distinguishable by having one of the five outer petals, called the galea

harvester must be careful not to leave parts of the root which may poison creatures native to the area

ideally be harvested right before use, for its effect to be most powerful, but it can be dried and stored up to 100 days for use in potions as well.Dragon-hide gloves must always be worn when harvesting or handling aconite

The flowers of aconite are used commonly in medicinal potions; aconite
is known to slow the pulse considerably, can reduce fevers and relieve
pain. Aconite affects the circulation, respiration and nervous
system, which can be very dangerous, and even result in death if taken
in high doses
. The brain, however, is unaffected so consciousness and intelligence remain intact at all times.

Although the leaves are especially toxic, poisoning of any kind
by aconite, may cause symptoms to appear almost immediately. Death
usually occurs within two to six hours in the case of fatal dose, but in
extreme cases may be immediate. Initial signs may include nausea,
vomiting, and diarrhea, followed by a feeling of burning, tingling and
numbness in the mouth and face, and a burning in the abdomen.


undigested stone-like mass made out of inorganic or organic matter,
usually consisting of hair or plant fibre. It is accumulated in the
digestive system of a range of creatures, but most commonly harvested
from the stomach of a goat; bezoars harvested from this creature are
deemed most reliable and effective. 

Dorothy Pitchkins, has so far collected over 34,000
bezoars from a vast range of creatures, including humans, in the past 47
years with the help of her team. Their research led to the discovery
that bezoars can be found in multiple parts of the digestive system, not
just the stomach; a bezoar found in the large intestine is called a fecalith, whilst a bezoar found in the windpipe is known as a tracheobezoar.  It is very common to find one in the esophagus of young children and horses, known as a choke

Bezoars may be stored for several months, sometimes up to half a year, in an air-tight container. The matter from which it is made may affect storage time and potency, so make sure you check the shelf life when you purchase a bezoar.

All bezoars act as an antidote to most poisons, but certain types are
more effective against specific poisons than others; a tracheobezoar
would, for example, work better against a poison targeting the
respiratory system, whereas a fecalith is commonly used to counteract
very acidic poisons. The matter from which the bezoar is made can also
affect the performance of an antidote. Bezoars have similar power to
Unicorn Horns, but each destroys different poisons, so a combination can
be especially powerful. To use one, the bezoar must be ground into a
powder prior to being added to a potion in order for it to dissolve
properly into the potion.


mucus is sticky, green and has a texture similar to jelly which
exudes from both ends of the flobberworm, indistinguishable from one
another. The mucus smells somewhat musty, but is tasteless and can be
consumed safely. Be aware though that if it’s taken in high doses the user may become lethargic.

Most commonly it is harvested with a spatula or spoon and stored in a jar for up to four years, although after two and a half years it may start to become watery and can lose it’s full potency.

mainly used to thicken potions, but may also be effective in potions
aimed to calm or relieve stress. In order for to flobberworm mucus to be
effective large quantities are required, often resulting in an
undesired texture and thickness.


Horned slugs must be harvested whilst wearing dragon-hide gloves, because they may bite or sting and can be poisonous, leading to temporary paralysis.
They are commonly found in damp places, often under tree bark, fallen
logs, rocks, and structures, such as planters, to aid in retaining body
moisture, and are most active after it has rained. They should be kept
live because the antibodies in the skin cells counteract the poisonous
qualities in the slime of the horned slug. For this reason they must
also be added whole to a potion.

must be boiled in water and never consumed live, not only because
of the poisonous properties of the horned slug, but also because they
may act as a vector for parasitic infections in the body

provide a very soothing effect on the skin and act as a powerful
moisturiser; they are therefore often used in beautifying potions.


The Jobberknoll is a small, blue speckled bird, well-known for it’s
inability to make noise. Only once it dies, it lets out a long scream
consisting of every sound it has ever heard backwards. Its feathers are
small but wide and quite strong, although it sheds these consistently.
Jobberknolls are native to northern Europe and America, but are hard to
locate, due to their size and the lack of noise they make even when they

it is ill-advised to try and harvest feathers directly from the bird,
not just because it will hurt the bird, but also because it is known
for pecking at the eyes of those who attempt to do so in defense. It’s
much easier and advisable to search an area for shed feathers where one
has been detected previously, because they are not known for migrating.
These feathers can be picked off the ground without trouble, as they are
completely harmless, and may be stored for up to 21 days in an air-tight container before risking the loss of magical effects.Jobberknoll
feathers are instrumental in the creation of memory and truth potions,
and highly effective in silencing potions. Occasionally they are used in
sleeping potions, inducing vivid, and sometimes lucid, dreams.


The river is also known as “the river of forgetfulness” and is
located 18km west of Mount Katmai in the Alaska Peninsula. The river’s
water smells strongly of fish and has magical properties which can make
people forget to a certain degree when they smell, touch or drink the
water. This effect is nearly ten times more powerful on muggles.
Lethe river water should be collected whilst wearing dragon-hide gloves in a glass vial and can be stored in a cool environment for up to three months once
it’s been strained of potentially harmful bacteria with a straining
spell. It is also advised to use a bubble-head charm when collecting the
water. One must apply for a license in order to be able to
harvest it, because the Ministry of Magic heavily controls the amount of
Lethe river water taken considering there is only one source of this
ingredient in the world.
Lethe river water must not be consumed in large quantities,
because it may cause permanent memory loss. Therefore it is extremely
important not to add more than the recipe for a potion specifies.


Mistletoe, native to northern Europe and North America, has oval
leaves of a yellow green color and grows attached to the branches of
trees and shrubs. It absorbs nutrients and water from the host plant
which is why it is classed as a parasitic plant. Mistletoe Berries are small, white and waxy berries which grow in clusters of two to six, usually in December, although they may be grown domestically at any time of the year. They should only be harvested when they are ripe, or many not be effective. Mistletoe berries should ideally be plucked just before use, but may be stored in a cool environment for up to one week.

The non-berry parts of the mistletoe are extremely poisonous
and will cause several symptoms such as intense stomach pain, low
pulse, convulsions and visual disturbances if eaten. The berry itself is
fairly non-toxic and safe to the touch, used for treating circulatory
and respiratory problems, and can act as a diuretic, calming agent,
preventer of asthmatic attacks and hypertension. It is a very powerful,
but mundane, ingredient.

These creatures are native to North and South America, southern Asia,
Africa and Europe, occupying habitats in tropical and temperate
climates. They prefer forests, deserts, rocky areas and hillsides;
occasionally they live in trees as well, but this is less common. The
quills, or spines, of the porcupine take on various forms depending on
the species. Some have quills embedded in clusters, whilst others have
single quills interspersed with bristles, underfur and hair. These
quills come in various shades of brown, gray and (rarely) white.

are released by contact or may drop out if the porcupine shakes its
body, but cannot be projected at attackers. The quills do grow back, so
harvesting them isn’t dangerous to the porcupine, but they are often
very sharp so dragon-hide gloves are highly recommended. Trying
to find shed quills on the ground may be difficult as they are hard to
see and blend in well with the natural environment. On the other hand it
may be difficult to locate and get to a porcupine, because they may
live in rocky areas up to 12,000 ft or 3,700 m high. In addition
to this the creatures are mostly nocturnal, which makes it even harder
to locate them for harvesting purposes. Once harvested they may be kept
in a container for about one month.

Snakes are carnivorous reptiles without eyelids
and external ears. They are recognised for their legless and elongated
bodies which are covered in scales and they may be venomous; some of these species possess venom potent enough to seriously injure or kill a human.
They are native to every continent other than Antarctica and smaller
land masses, although large islands such as Ireland and New Zealand are
an exception to this. All snakes also have fangs, which are long, thin, hollow and pointed teeth; in venomous snakes a fang is a venom-injecting tooth. In some magical species, such as the Blue Venom,
it is common to have multiple fangs on each side, but these are all
close to extinction due to poachers; special programs have been set up
by the Ministries of Magic around the world to breed these species.

Only non-venomous fangs must can be used in the creation of potions, so be wary of this when purchasing snake fangs. It is extremely ill-advised to try and harvest snake fangs on your own, because it requires great precision and skill to harvest them. You must get the whole fang in one piece or it is useless.There are no specific effects associated with snake fangs, but they seem
to be an essential ingredient to a variety of potions such as Strength Potion and Cure for Boils which
are simply not effective without. We do know that they must be crushed
with a mortar and pestle prior to adding them to a potion. Further
research is currently being conducted.

Unicorns are a magical, herbivorous breed of
horse, recognised by a horn on the forehead. When they are foals they
are pure gold and turn silver around the age of two. Their horn grows at
the age of four and only at about seven years are they fully grown and
turn white. They inhabit the forests of Europe in herds and are unable
to be domesticated. Unicorns are classified XXXX by the Ministry of
Magic for their rarity and the illegality of killing a unicorn, because
they are defenseless and pure; they are already close to extinction as
they are highly sought after by poachers for their blood.

Harvesting part of the horn does not hurt the Unicorn, as it grows back again, but must only be done by a licensed and trained professional;
the entire horn is taken if a unicorn has died. If you were to attempt
to locate one to harvest the horn it would be very hard to catch it;
they are extremely fleet-of-hoof and wary of humans. Unicorn horn can be
kept in a container for up to one year in a storage cupboard only.

horn is extremely useful in antidotes and medicinal potions, because
unicorns are very powerful creatures; it is said that the blood of a
unicorn can be drunk in order to keep a person alive, even if they are
an inch from death. The horn has purification properties capable of
dissolving particularly fatal poisons, although not all.

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