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We know that in the Harry Potter universe, Love Potions (potions that cause a strong infatuation in the drinker) exist. We see at least two instances of their use in the books;

When Romilda Vane attempts to trick Harry Potter into drinking some, and when Tom Riddle Jr's mother Merope Gaunt tricks Tom Riddle Sr into drinking one.

A Love Potion in the world of Harry Potter acts very similar to that of the Imperius Curse in some ways, which like Love Potions causes the victim to lose any sense of self control that they once had. As we all know, the Imperius Curse is an Unforgivable Curse, and is one of the worst and most illegal spells a magic user can cast.

Being as a Love Potion is effectively just a more effective and magical version of Rohypnol, are they legal to make/sell/use in the Harry Potter universe?

Bonus question: Is Romilda Vane ever punished for attempting to rape or sexually assault a fellow student?

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    The twins sell them, so yes. – Rogue Jedi Sep 11 '15 at 14:10
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    @MishaRosnach You are forcing someone to love you against their will, taking away their agency and getting them to do things they don't want to do. It's clearly sexual assault/rape. – Dr R Dizzle Sep 11 '15 at 18:08
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    @RDizzle I understand the logic, it isn't exactly complicated. Like I said, I'm not at peace with love potions. I just don't think that rape or sexual assault is necessarily what Romilda Vane had in mind in wanting to take Harry to the dance. – Misha R Sep 11 '15 at 20:03
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    @MishaRosnach -- I won't argue with that, if only because of number of known incidents. However I was merely pointing out that slipping someone a 'mickey' to greatly enhance the likelihood (not a guarantee!) of them doing the deed with you adequately describes both situations. – user23715 Sep 11 '15 at 21:35
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    @user23715 Again, I just don't think that's what Romilda had in mind. Maybe I'm a starry eyed romantic, but comparing Bill Cosby to a kid messing around with love potions just kinda doesn't sit well with me. On the other hand, like I said, I don't like the idea of love potions. I'm sure Bill Cosby would have had a field day of the worst kind with them. – Misha R Sep 11 '15 at 21:47
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We know that Love Potions are legal, simply because the twins sell them. Their public store is visited by 100's if not thousands of people a day, leading us to assume that if they were illegal,

A. they wouldn't be on the front shelves.

B. someone would have reported them by now.

Other notable instances are in book 2, Lockhart suggests that Snape brew up some love potions for valentines day.

We also know that, at least from year 6 on, love potions are banned from Hogwarts, since all Weasley Wizard Wheezes items are banned.

*this may only have applied to Weasly Wizard Wheeze love potions, others may still have been allowed.

Rita Skeeter while being a backstabbing(fill in expletive) typically uses truth to enforce her lies or claims.

Love Potions are of course banned at Hogwarts, and no doubt Albus Dumbledore will want to investigate these claims. In the meantime, Harry Potter's well-wishers must hope that, next time, he bestows his heart upon a worthier candidate. (Goblet of Fire, Chapter 27, Padfoot Returns)

So in my opinion at least we can take love potions being banned as fact. Shes appears to be using the "Fact" that love potions are banned, to re-enforce her denunciation of Hermione which is the lie of her article. If it was general knowledge that they were in fact not banned this would undermine her whole report, and since her readers are all Hogwarts students they would catch that lie immediately.

In year 6 they learn about love potions in potions class, however, they learn alot of things in their classes they may or may not be allowed to actually do/use in school.

* Bonus, while I don't believe we know for sure if Romilda Vane was punished, by the rules at the time she did have a banned substance on campus, which should result in at least a detention. However, since it was Slugghorn who was with Ron/Harry, and they discovered that poisoned bottle, there is a chance that the entire thing was kept hushed up.

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    "We also know that, at least from year 6 on, love potions are banned from Hogwarts, since all Weasley Wizard Wheezes items are banned" - Not sure I'd agree there. That could just mean that Weasley Wizard Wheezes brand Love Potions are banned, not Love Potions in general. – Dr R Dizzle Sep 11 '15 at 15:01
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    @DrRDizzle true however id hazard they were banned anyway but i added a note to clear that up. – Himarm Sep 11 '15 at 15:14
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    Molly Weasley also tells Hermione and Ginny about making a love potion in her youth at the start of chapter 5 of Prisoner of Azkaban. Though I'm not sure whether all this is a case for the legality of love potions or the criminality of the Weasleys and Lockheart. – Crow T Robot Sep 11 '15 at 23:17
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    Complete speculation, but I always thought "love potion" was a very broad category that runs the spectrum from legal to illegal. Much like "pain relievers" run from OTCs like ibuprofen to prescription-required controlled substances to drugs that are completely illegal. – pleurocoelus May 20 '16 at 14:12
  • @pleurocoelus they very well could, however, we have no quotes from the text that can confirm or deny this. strong love potions are essentially comparable to a date rape drug, if not even worse than that. we just know that fairly powerful ones are sold at joke shops, so it may be how they are used thats regulated instead of the actual potion itself – Himarm May 20 '16 at 14:19
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I think the love potions the twins sell are legal, because they wear off after 12 hours, "depending on the weight of the boy in question and how attractive the girl is" (HBP) This leads me to believe it is not Amortentia the twins are selling, but rather a simpler, (mostly) harmless potion. Amortentia, however, is "the most powerful love potion in the world" (HBP) and it is my understanding that it doesn't "Wear off" without an antidote, so it would make sense to me if that was illegal, even if the less effective ones are not.

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Lord Voldemort was conceived under a Love Potion and that was part of his problem/lovelessness so I think Dumbledore would have had a similar stance about them as he did Horcruxes and they would have been banned at Hogwarts even before Fred and George began manufacturing and selling them. It's notable that Slughorn is the one who lets them brew them and was the one who talked about horcruxes with Voldemort. I think he genuinely believed he was informing the students and benefitting when he gave this information and nothing bad would happen.

I wondered if the luck potion should be banned too as it seems to be an unfair advantage in a school. I know it's very tricky to brew so it could be perceived as something to not worry about but Sirius and James pulled it off being animagi another difficult magic in 5th year and Harry managed a corporeal patronus in 3rd year and Hermione a polyjuice in 1st year and presumably Snape is the student Slughorn refers to as the only he's seen brew as Harry is using this spell book when he pulls it off it so we have many examples of characters pulling something when particularly determined.

  • Yet Romilda Wayne was trying to smuggle one to Harry and wasn't exactly careful in keeping it a secret. Since no action was taken against her even after Ron was affected by the potion, I assume you are wrong about Dumbledore's position on the matter – Aegon Jan 9 '17 at 8:53
  • Ron was poisoned after an attempt to assassinate Dumbledore so I'm sure that was prioritised in regards to things done to Ron. I assume I am right. – user76639 Jan 9 '17 at 19:06

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