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Thread: Wolfsbane Potion

  1. #1
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    Wolfsbane Potion

    I'm trying to figure out the process by which Damocles went through to create the Wolfsbane Potion in the early 1970s. In my head, I imagine this as a rather scientific process where they failed on a number of occassions. Yes, I understand he is credited with the solution, but I imagine he worked with a number of researchers. It's a rather difficult brew done by a few trained wizards (like Snape), so I imagine a tedious process.

    A: Other than aconite, what are the other properties of the potion?
    B: How did they test it? [Werewolf Registry?]
    C: Was it trial & errour with experiments & tests?
    D: What experiments & tests?


    Just a thought. Suggestions?

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    A: Other than aconite, what are the other properties of the potion?
    The Lexicon has absolutely nothing listed in regards to the other ingredients/properties of the potion, so I think you can use whatever you wish. I read one fic that used sopophorous beans, so it really is up to you

    B: How did they test it? [Werewolf Registry?]
    Probably by selling it to werewolves as an experimental drug.

    C: Was it trial & errour with experiments & tests?
    Undoubtedly. Every drug that goes to market endures extensive testing, and I imagine a large portion of these experimental drugs and treatments never go past initial testing due to failure.

    D: What experiments & tests?
    I imagine that the more desperate members of the lycanthropic society will subject themselves to nearly anything in the faint hope of a cure, or at least, in the case of the Wolfsbane potion, something to assuage its effects. It wouldn't be a surprise if St. Mungo's potion development department (I'm assuming that they have some sort of lab somewhere) has a list of werewolves that are willing to test anything they have to offer. I would even go so far to assume that St. Mungo's has a werewolf-proof room that they use to both observe the effects of their experimental substances as well as to protect themselves from the rampaging patients on which the substances had no effect.
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  3. #3
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    A: Other than aconite, what are the other properties of the potion?
    Well, Wolfsbane is a real plant, so it seems fairly obvious that that would be at least one of the ingredients. In the classroom libraries under Potions, there is a whole library of information related to Potions brewing, so I would most certainly be something to check out. I'm not sure when the class will be offered again, but if it is offered this term, I would most certainly consider taking it, even if Potions isn't a main theme in the story, if offers a great deal of information for furture stories.


    B: How did they test it? [Werewolf Registry?]
    In the United States, drug trials are quite common, although there is a great deal of regulation on them. But with werewolves having so few rights, I'm not sure that the Ministry would be all that concerned about the safety of the werewolves, but probably more so about whether or not the potion would bring them into a much more violent state of being a werewolf.

    I imagine they would have been able to track werewolves down through the Werewolf Registry, and I feel like at least a few werewolves might have been interested in the stage where they would actually start using people. Either the potion would work and they would feel better, or it wouldn't work and they would feel the same. Some of the more wild werewolves might have been difficult to convince (unless they were in Azkaban, which a lot of the test subjects likely were. I imagine imprisoned werewolves have the sort of lack in rights that would call the attention of Amnisty International).

    I almost wonder if Remus was involved in these initial testing stages. He wants so desperately to control his symptoms.


    C: Was it trial & errour with experiments & tests?
    I feel like potions testing wouldn't be that much different than real scientific or drug testing. That is something I would research when deciding how to write this part of your story.


    D: What experiments & tests?
    Well, I imagine the first round would be to give the potion to small animals, like rats and toads, to make sure they didn't die after taking it. Then, I think they would have moved up the food chain, maybe even giving the potion to real wolves to see if it effected their temperment. After that is when I feel they would have moved on to testing the potion on actual werewolves. I feel like they probably would have skip the stage of testing it on healthy humans, as to the stigma towards werewolves.

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  4. #4
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molly
    Well, Wolfsbane is a real plant, so it seems fairly obvious that that would be at least one of the ingredients.
    But that's the same thing as aconite. Didn't you pay attention in Potions - Snape is going to kill you!


    B: How did they test it? [Werewolf Registry?]

    I agree that many werewolves would have been eager to try anythign that might give them a chance of curing their symptoms. I can imagine the researchers just posting a note in the Daily Prophet - "Looking for wizards with werewolf symptoms, owl ..."

    Or maybe - and this is something I have been wondering about before - Damocles had a friend who was a werewolf, who he was trying to help with this.

    But even if werewolves have little rights (which I'm not actually so sure about - this happened before Harry's time, and definitely before Umbridge's... The main problem I think was society's view of werewolves), I don't think the Ministry could just use them as lab-rats. That might have caused the population to realise that werewolves actually are human too, and then there would have been quite an uproar...
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  5. #5
    psijupiter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karaley Dargen
    But even if werewolves have little rights (which I'm not actually so sure about - this happened before Harry's time, and definitely before Umbridge's... The main problem I think was society's view of werewolves), I don't think the Ministry could just use them as lab-rats. That might have caused the population to realise that werewolves actually are human too, and then there would have been quite an uproar...
    I'm not sure it actually would have done. Going by Ron's reaction to Remus at the end of PoA, even though he has known Remus for a whole year, I think it would take an awful lot to get people to see werewolves as human. A few botches attempts to cure them wouldn't do it, especially as there is no reason most of the population would ever know about them.

    Certainly werewolves had very little rights before Hary's time - Remus wasn't allowed to attend school until Dumbledore made an exception, and he struggled to get work. Greyback may be a monster, but he was driven to it because there was no place for him in society. Society's views may not always be reflected in the government's policies, but I think thyey would be in this case. The ministry seems confused about werewolves - having the office for helping werewolves and the office for killing them in the same department, for example.

    It's possible that werewoves who had voluntarily registered were given a choice that actually was very little choice at all. Like, "the drug trial or you might just find the werewolf hunters at your door next full moon." As you say, most werewolves would jump at the chance for a cure, and once they've started, I can imagine them being bribed/coerced into continuing, with promises that they are close to a cure and threats of retailiation if they drop out.

    (If anyone is watching Being Human on the BBC, there is a similiar story on there, we're werewolves are brought in with the promise of being cured and then... it all goes a bit downhill. :/)

  6. #6
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    Might it be possible that Damocles didnít invent the potion? Perhaps a talented werewolf potions expert worked on it alongside him. Moderate werewolves may volunteer to take part in the trials. With a werewolf on the team self testing would be possible. Plus, it would be easy for Damocles to take sole credit. (I may run with this plot bunny, thanks for starting the discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by psijupiter
    (If anyone is watching Being Human on the BBC, there is a similiar story on there, we're werewolves are brought in with the promise of being cured and then... it all goes a bit downhill. :/)
    Poor George.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northumbrian
    Might it be possible that Damocles didnít invent the potion? Perhaps a talented werewolf potions expert worked on it alongside him. Moderate werewolves may volunteer to take part in the trials. With a werewolf on the team self testing would be possible. Plus, it would be easy for Damocles to take sole credit. (I may run with this plot bunny, thanks for starting the discussion.
    I think that it is definitely possible that Damocles worked with a werewolf to invent the potion. It would allow for self testing, as you point out. Also, it would be a reason to explain the development of the potion - the werewolf would have a vested interest in it succeeding.

    I don't know much about how drugs are invented in our world, but if the properties of the components of the finished product are known, then it would be easier to predict the outcome of the drug. Just a thought about how potions could be invented.

    Also, I agree with Molly who mentions that test subjects may have come from Azkaban. It wouldn't surprise me if they experimented with werewolves who were prisoners. They could probably be easily convinced, either offered reduced sentences for cooperation, or threatened into taking part. Also, they would be the 'wild' wolves, convicted of terrible assaults, and I imagine the powers that be would think little of experimenting on them. If anything went wrong and they died, they would see it as no loss to society, so I think a number of test subjects would have been recruited from Azkaban.

    Hope this helps!

    ~Hannah~

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