Thursday, January 29, 2009

Potions Quiz

Guess I'd better get this in before I forget to do it at all!

Taking this was rather fun. I knew most of the answers already, but had to check to make sure I had details correct. I did a paper on Medieval plants that are still in use today a couple of years back for the SCA, and many, tho not all, of the plants used by J.K.Rowling in her Potter series are on my list of plants. Rowling's uses, however, are often quite different from the actual uses of these plants, many of which are so toxic that even the smallest error in judgment when dispensing them could have (and probably often did) result in death.

Regular Questions:

1. Name the two known Potions professors at Hogwarts during the books. Include which book(s) each of them were professors during. (1)
Severus Snape (books 1-5), Horace Slughorn (books 6 and 7)

2. Name the five pieces of equipment that a student of Potions is expected to have. (1)
Cauldron, knife, mortar and pestle, potion making kit and brass scales.

3. Give me the name and the person who invented the potion that is used as a remedy for the common cold. (1)
Pepperup Potion invented by Glover Hipworth

4. What does the Polyjuice potion do? Name at least four of the ingredients. Tell me at least two of the characters who used this potion in the books and tell me what it did to them. (2)
Polyjuice Potion makes you look like another person for one hour. Four of the ingredients are: a little bit of the person you are trying to tun into, lacewing flies, bicorn horn, and fluxweed.

Hermione used it to turn Harry into Goyle and Ron into Crabbe. She herself turns part cat, as the hair she thought was from a human was actually cat hair.

5. What is a bezoar and what is it used for? (1)
A bezoar is from a goat's belly. It is used to stop poison working on a human. It is actually a hairball that looks like a shriveled, kidney-like stone.

6. Tell me what the Amorentia potion is. What would yours smell like? (1)
Amorentia potion is a love potion. Mine would smell spicy, like spice cookies.

7. Name three Potions ingredients that can be found in the Muggle world. What are each of these items used for in each situation? How do Muggles and Wizards use these things differently? (2)
Aconite is also known as Wolf's Bane or Monkshood in the Muggle world (and we are told in Scott Cunningham's Encylopedia of Magical Herbs that a folk name for this herb is 'Dumbledore's Delight'). Highly toxic, the herb has been used for both hunting and warfare among Muggles. In Harry's world, it is one of the ingredients used in the potion that Snape makes for Remus.

Fluxweed, or false pennyroyal, is a member of the mint family. In the Muggle world, it can be used to help ward off fleas from pets and homes. In Harry's world, it's used in Polyjuice Potion.

Ginger, used in the Muggle world as a sharp spice for food preparation (such as gingerbread, ginger cookies and ginger ale), is used in Harry's world in Wit-Sharpening Potion. Perhaps a reference to the sharp taste of the ginger root.

8. What is your favorite Potion and why? (1)
Mrs. Scower's Magical Mess Remover. Why? We have 3 boys in the house, besides the cats and dogs. Why do you think???

9. There are at least two Potions which are mentioned as being illegal to the students at Hogwarts, but they get used in the series. Which two are these and what do they do? (2)

1) Polyjuice potion - allows the person using it to appear to be someone else for a period of time.
2) Amortentia - Effect: Does not really causes the person who drinks it to fall in love with someone, as it is impossible to manufacture or imitate love. A love potion simply causes the drinker to develop a powerful infatuation or obsession with the target (HBP9).

10. Name the three ingredients in the Draught of the Living Death. In what year do the Hogwarts students brew this potion? (2)
According to the HPL there are 4 ingredients: asphodel in an infusion of wormwood (PS8); valerian roots, sopophorous bean (HBP9). It's brewed in the 6th year N.E.W.T. class.

11. We all know that Remus Lupin is a werewolf. During his time teaching at Hogwarts, Snape makes him the wolfsbane potion to counteract some of these nasty effects. There is one ingredient which Lupin says will render the effects useless. What is this ingredient and why is it important? (1)
Sugar would render the potion useless. This is important because the potion tastes terrible, but you can't use sugar to make it more palatable, as it would then be useless.

Extra Credit

There are many mentions of Potions in various Muggle books. Name at least one reference to any well-known Muggle book (either one that does not have anything to do with magic or one that has a very archaic view of it, so DO NOT give me a fantasy novel). What is this Potion used for? By whom? How do Muggle views of Potions differ from our own? Is there an ingredients list to this particular Potion? If so, what items are necessary to make it? Are there any Potions that exist in the wizarding world that have similar effects? If so, which one(s)? I want at least five decent sentences. (5)
In Shakespeare's MidSummer Nights Dream King Oberon has Puck put drops of 'love-in-idleness' into his Queen's eyes as she sleeps because he is angry with her. Unlike the love potion Amorentia mentioned above, love-in-idleness does not specify the target person. However, like all love potions, the effect is time-sensitive and does wear off eventually unless it is renewed before the effects wear off.

Shakespeare does not give the ingredients used in this potion. As the Faeries who are the pivotal characters of this play are not actually Muggles, their views of potions are much closer to our own. Because most Muggles lack a belief in True Magic, their views on potions are based on what they call 'scientific evidence'. This rather skews their views on, and use of, potions. Altho they do quite well when using potions in baking and cooking. The use of scientific knowledge does help Muggles to keep from poisoning themselves as much as they did in Medieval times, however.

This is the only play I've ever actually seen on stage. I saw a modern, shortened version of the play at a theater in Sarasota, Fl. The actors used modern dress but original language. I loved it and wish I could have attended again, just to see it again before the end of the play. While the clothing was modern, the accessories such as the crowns were not. The juxtaposition of new and old in the costumes with the original language of the play contributed a great deal to the enjoyment of the play.

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