So Snape isn't an unskilled wizard, especially when it comes to defense as he was the Defense against the Dark Arts teacher. He very well could have dodged every attack Harry put to him simply because he was more skilled than Harry. But did the Felix Felicis at least help?

My immediate answer to this question when it came to my mind was no, because Felix Felicis only affects the user, but I don't think the evidence suggests this after all. For starters, the container of liquid luck that Harry gave to his friends was called a "small phial" and he had already used up one dose on himself prior to gifting it. There is no reference to the exact amount of liquid luck that Slughorn gave Harry, but I can't imagine based off of its description to be more than a few doses, so I'd assume there would be enough remaining for perhaps two or three people to take a mouthful at most. Despite this, Ginny says after the battle that no one died and remarks that this is due to the Felix Felicis. Certainly the two or three people who took the Felix Felicis in preparation for the battle would have had their lives spared as a result, but there were far more than two or three people battling for Hogwarts that day, including not only students but also teachers and members of the Order. This leads me to believe that the effects of Felix Felicis extend not only to the user, but any that is working in harmony with the user to accomplish their current goals. Unbeknownst to any battling at the time, Snape is included in this group of people that is working in harmony with Hogwarts, the Order, Harry and all those battling against the Death Eater intruders. With this being the case, it leads me to the question I am posing. Was Snape's impeccable ability to dodge the many attacks that Harry threw at him, some of which when his back was turned, simply due to his skill, or was the Felix Felicis working in his favor as well as he was an ally of those who took the potion?

  • Didn't Snape himself state that he could parry each of Harry's spell because Harry did not learn how to block his mind to Snape's mind reading ability?
    – user13267
    Dec 13, 2015 at 10:33
  • Well, he did make some sort of offhand comment about him being a horrible occlumens, but he made a lot of jabs at Harry while he was dodging attacks and I never put that specific jeer to mean that that was why he was able to dodge all of his attacks. Snape is a good legilimens, though, so that is a very real possibility. Good suggestion!
    – Saya Perez
    Dec 14, 2015 at 6:15
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    I think 'Blocked again and again and again until you learn to keep your mouth shut and your mind closed, Potter!' is a pretty good indication that Severus was a step ahead of Harry and it had nothing to do with luck; rather it had everything to do with skill. It might also be said he was reminding Harry the importance of it, whether Harry realises this or not. (I don't have evidence for this but I can somehow imagine Snape doing this; he even says directly to Harry how Harry lacks subtlety).
    – Pryftan
    Aug 3, 2017 at 20:40

2 Answers 2


Felix Felicis benefits only the drinker(s).

Its effects extend to ensuring good luck for the person or people who actually drink it. This does not mean only saving them from personal harm, but can also affect those around them, provided such effects are consistent with good luck for the drinker. For instance, we may be able to assume that Ginny taking Felix Felicis would be enough to keep Harry and her family from being killed or seriously hurt, as that would be a terrible blow for her as well as for them. But one person taking Felix Felicis can't be enough to ensure success for an entire army; by extension, two or three people taking it can't be enough to protect an entire fighting force consisting of dozens.

In fact, even Harry and the Weasley family may be too large a group to fall into the category of 'extended protection due to being close to the drinker'. Don't forget that Bill was injured during the attack: savaged by Greyback, and nobody knew whether or not he was going to turn into a werewolf. (On the other hand, it could be argued that he was very lucky not to turn into a werewolf, and maybe Felix Felicis had a hand in that.)

Also, recall that

most of the adults involved were very skilled fighters.

In the battle at the end of HP and the Half-Blood Prince, most of the people fighting were either members of the Order of the Phoenix (a group dedicated to battling Voldemort and his followers) or Hogwarts professors (who must have been some of the most knowledgeable magic users around). There weren't many kids fighting: just some of the core members of Dumbledore's Army. It was them who really needed protection during the battle, and it was them who took the Felix Felicis. The adults survived because of their skill; the kids survived because of Felix Felicis.

With regard to your particular question about Snape, remember that

during the battle, the 'good guys' DID think he was on their side.

It was only once everything was over and the Death Eaters had fled that they found Dumbledore was dead, and even later than that that Harry told them who killed him. Prior to that, nobody had suspected Snape, as Dumbledore's trust in him had been enough to satisfy them. Everyone was shocked when Harry told them Snape had killed Dumbledore:

"Don' say that," said Hagrid roughly. "Snape kill Dumbledore - don' be stupid, Harry. Wha's made yeh say tha'?"


"Snape," repeated McGonagall faintly, falling into the chair. "We all wondered ... but he trusted ... always ... Snape ... I can't believe it ..."


"Snape!" ejaculated Slughorn, who looked the most shaken, pale and sweating. "Snape! I taught him! I thought I knew him!"

-- HP and the Half-Blood Prince

  • Great answer! I was just reading HBP the day before yesterday, too, so you'd think I'd remember that Snape wasn't outed as in league with Voldemort until just after the battle. Do you have any source to support that first portion, though? I don't recall reading anything that explains Felix Felicis enough to know how far it extends and whether or not the luck it gives is based off of what the user believes to be lucky or rather what is flat out lucky for them despite the opinion of the user. In fact, when Harry used the Felix Felicis he believed it was in his best interest to go to see (1/2)
    – Saya Perez
    Dec 12, 2015 at 13:11
  • Slughorn immediately, but despite what he believed to be best the Felix Felicis influenced him to see Hagrid. This seems to suggest that the Felix Felicis disregards the desire of the user and just influences them to do what is truly beneficial, not seemingly so. Also, you pointed out that Snape was considered to be on their side at this point, so even if Felix Felicis did take their opinions into account, the effects could have extended to Snape who was believed to be an ally. (2/2)
    – Saya Perez
    Dec 12, 2015 at 13:14
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    @SayaPerez Snape was believed to be an ally at this point, AND actually was an ally, so either way, the FF would have benefited him if it extended beyond the drinker. But I don't believe it does. Look at it this way: if Snape had been killed by a Death Eater in the battle, would anyone have mourned him? They would have thought it a shame to lose a member of the Order, but nobody really liked him.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Dec 12, 2015 at 13:22
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    @SayaPerez I just found this: the-leaky-cauldron.org/features/essays/issue18/…
    – Rand al'Thor
    Dec 12, 2015 at 14:03
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    Good find! Very interesting read. Even though it is proposing that Snape took FF on his own, all the evidence they lay out also supports the possibility that he could be experiencing benefits from his ally's consumption of the potion as well. Though him taking it personally does make sense considering that he was the Hogwarts Potions Master for many years.
    – Saya Perez
    Dec 12, 2015 at 15:51

Snape blocked his spells because he is more skillful, or rather Harry is less skillful.

Throughout HBP a rather significant emphasis is placed on the use of non-verbal spells, Harry neglects the usage of these spells and by saying his spells aloud he gives Snape time to defend against them.

  • So is there any reason to think that the use liquid luck had any part to play? To be honest, that's my biggest curiosity, since I do believe that Snape was the superior wizard - certainly the superior defensive wizard at least.
    – Saya Perez
    Dec 12, 2015 at 12:08
  • Harry didn't use it himself, the Liquid Luck was only given to his friends, those ones who responded to the Dumbledores Army summoning from the Galleon IIRC. Dec 12, 2015 at 12:09
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    Oh, I know. Not to sound antagonistic, because I'm not trying to be at all, but did you read the body of my question? Because I expand quite a bit on why I wonder if the use of liquid luck by Harry's friends may have had a role that benefitted Harry and possibly Snape. There isn't enough space to explain it all here, but it should be in the body of my question :)
    – Saya Perez
    Dec 12, 2015 at 12:11
  • Also, I changed the title of my question to reflect my meaning better.
    – Saya Perez
    Dec 12, 2015 at 12:11

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