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Thread: Can Muggles Brew Potions?

  1. #1

    Can Muggles Brew Potions?

    This question isn’t one that I need answered for a fanfic, but it has been running through my head for a long time, and I thought it might be fun to discuss:

    Can Muggles brew potions?

    After all, what does brewing a potion imply? Merely adding ingredients (no matter how rare they may be) in a certain order, steeping them at a certain temperature, and stirring them a certain way. Although it would obviously very hard for Muggles to get ingredients and knowledge necessary for potion-making, could they do it providing they received these elements? Is there a special “ability” in Wizards that allows them, and only them, to make potions?

    Taking this one step forwards, I don’t really see why Muggles couldn’t care for magical creatures or plants within limits. After all, flobberworms don’t spew fire, and all you need is a pair of earmuffs to care for a Mandrake…

    I'd love to see what you all have to say on the subject!

  2. #2
    Well, in my opinion, Muggles SHOULD be able to brew potions and care for creatures within reason, but would they want to?

    If you learned that there was a different world that had shortcuts to everything would you use them?

  3. #3
    Snape's Talon
    Actually, no. JKR has unequivocally stated that Muggles cannot brew potions.

    *goes off to find interview*

    Here we go. This is from An Evening with Harry, Carrie and Garp: Readings and questions #1, August 1, 2006.
    Unknown (1): Can muggles brew potions if they follow the exact instructions and they have all of the ingredients?

    J.K. Rowling: Well, I'd have to say no, because there is always... there are magical component in the potion, not just the ingredients. So, at some point they will have to use a wand. I've been asked what would happen if a Muggle picked up a magic wand in my world, and the answer would probably be something accidental... possibly quite violent. Because wands, in my world, is merely a vehicle, a vessel for what lies inside the person. There is a very close relationship -- as you know -- between the wand that each wizard uses and themselves. In fact, we'll find out more about that in book 7 (crowd applauds).
    The Lexicon has the whole thing. Just do a search under their Accio Quote and you should find it readily.

  4. #4
    I can't believe I didn't see that! I actually looked in the Lexicon quite a few times...*headdesk*.

    Of course, we all know that the wizards are concealing information from us...they just don't want us to become all-powerful

    By the way, what "magical components" do we ever see in the books? I do remember Ernie muttering Specialis Revelio in desperation at having to brew an antidote without a protocol, but don't remember anything else other than "magically lowering flames".

    And how does the Ministry decide which creatures and plants to allow Muggles to interact with and which not to? I mean, after all, it can't only be because of potential danger or uses in magical properties: a bubotuber plant, despite bringing boils to human skin (as I'm sure many Muggle plants do) isn't exactly deadly, and armadillo bile is used in potions, but armadillos are still running free...

    It also doesn’t make sense to hide away animals just because of potential “weirdness”, there are plenty of weird things out there (a two-nosed dog breed, for example) without them being magical.

  5. #5
    Snape's Talon
    Some animals are not hidden from us. According to wizards, the Diricawl (Dodo bird) is not extinct like Muggles believe it to be. It merely can make itself vanish at will.

  6. #6
    If your story has a Muggle trying to brew a potion, I have an idea tht might work while still sticking to canon.

    Maybe a Muggle could brew a potion if they had a wizard looking over their shoulder while they did. Besides, a typical Muggle wouldn't know that much about brewing potions to begin with, so they would probably have a wizard along side them anyway.

    I'm certain that a Muggle is just as capible of peeling roots and slicing figs as a wizard is. But say if some part of the potion came up that did require a touch a magic, the wizard could step in, fill that role, and the the Muggle could go back to slicing, dicing, and stiring. It sounds reasonable in theory...

    Anyway, food for thought.

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