When someone drinks a "love" potion then he/she becomes obsessed with someone for a short time. But how is this someone choosen?

It is not (always) the one who crafted the potion because Fred and George were selling it.

2 Answers 2


I come to the same conclusion as @Himarm, but by a different route:

The love potions have to go through some ridiculous contortions, to get the recipient to take them, from the giver:

"I'm not talking about your stupid so-called prince," said Hermione , giving his book a nasty look as though it had been rude to her. "I'm talki ng about earlier. I went into the girl's bathroom just before I came in here and there were about a dozen girls in there, including that Romilda Vane , trying to decide how to slip you a love potion. They're all hoping they're going to get you to take them to Slughorn's party, and thay all seem to have bought Fred and George's love potions, which I'm afraid to say probably work --"
Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 15: The Unbreakable Vow

  • Now, here's the two important things:

    1. It takes a hard effort for someone to get their target to drink their potion. Romilda tried to offer Harry Gillywater. Then chocolates. etc...

      The girls held a strategy session on how to slip Harry a love potion, in the quote above.

    2. Fred and George are (1) Devious and (2) Love to sell their services for money.

  • Ergo, if it was possible to set up a love potion without spiking it via your own hair or such, ala Polyjuice, Fred and George would have offered an extra-pay service, pronto, of delivering the potion to the target - they clearly would be far more successful at it than random people plotting in the bathroom.

  • Ergo, since the girls still had to strategize, that service wasn't offered by Weasleys.

  • Ergo, you need the potion giver to do something personal with the potion before giving it.


AFAIK cannon never gives us a love potion recipe, but from other recipes I think we can say that the person with whom the victim is intended to love, must place a their own hair, or clipping into the potion before it is "active".

the poly juice potion requires the targets hair or clipping so it knows what to transform you into,

“This is the most complicated potion I’ve ever seen,” said Hermione as they scanned the recipe. “Lacewing flies, leeches, fluxweed, and knotgrass,” she murmured, running her finger down the list of ingredients. “Well, they’re easy enough, they’re in the student store-cupboard, we can help ourselves. . . . Oooh, look, powdered horn of a bicorn — don’t know where we’re going to get that — shredded skin of a boomslang — that’ll be tricky, too — and of course a bit of whoever we want to change into.”

“Now what?” Ron whispered. “We separate it into three glasses and add the hairs.”

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