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Rita Skeeter's Witch Weekly article states that Love Potions are banned at Hogwarts.

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)

Obviously Skeeter has been known to print the odd untruth in her time. I wonder if this one of them. There certainly seem to be plenty of Love Potion-brewers and -users at Hogwarts:

  • Gilderoy Lockhart encourages students to ask Snape to brew a Love Potion for them.
  • Molly Weasley brewed a Love Potion as a student.
  • Romilda Vane repeatedly tries to dope Harry during Half-Blood Prince.
  • Slughorn brews Amortentia, "the most powerful love potion in the world", in front of his sixth-year Potions class.
  • The Weasley twins brew the "best range of love potions you'll find anywhere." These are banned by Filch along with the rest of the Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes products. Whether the Love Potions in that range were contraband on multiple counts is up for debate I think.

Pottermore only features this summary of the examples listed above. There's no JKR feature.

Are they actually banned? If so, why are they so commonly used with no disciplinary consequences? If not, why did Skeeter claim that they were as if it were obvious?

(Connected question. Note that I'm not asking about whether Love Potions were banned by the Ministry of Magic but whether they were banned at Hogwarts.)

  • 1
    i actually had forgotten that quote and added it into my previous answer, which may or may not now make this question a dupe >.< but +1 anyway – Himarm May 20 '16 at 13:01
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    I'm not asking whether they're illegal (MoM level), just whether they were banned at Hogwarts. Two different questions. – The Dark Lord May 20 '16 at 13:07
  • You should go and check the list on Filch's office door! – LilyM May 20 '16 at 13:38
  • Gilderoy suggests that the students ask Snape to show them how to make a love potion. That's not quite the same thing. – Harry Johnston May 21 '16 at 0:09
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    @TheDarkLord Hmm, tricky one. Himarm's answer to the linked question does address the issue of whether they're banned at Hogwarts, but relies on dodgy sources and wouldn't really be very good as an answer to this one. I'm abstaining from the close/reopen votes here :-) – Rand al'Thor May 21 '16 at 1:25
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Most likely that snippet is fact. The whole article that quote is from is a slam piece aimed at Hermione.

‘She’s really ugly,’ says Pansy Parkinson, a pretty and vivacious fourth-year student, ‘but she’d be well up to making a Love Potion, she’s quite brainy. I think that’s how she’s doing it.’

Here we have an accusation that we the readers know is a lie, but that many readers who don't know who Pansy or Hermione are could believe.

Next we have what I believe to be a piece of truth that all of her readers, as former Hogwarts students, should instantly see as a lie if it was not the case.

Love Potions are of course banned at Hogwarts, and no doubt Albus Dumbledore will want to investigate these claims.

She uses this truth to re-enforce the wrong-doings she claims Hermione is doing. Her whole article hinges on a piece of truth, which all of her readers would know personally, to back up the lies she perpetuates.

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I couldn't find an explicit forbid. But loads of things are forbidden:

"The full list comprises some four hundred and thirty-seven items, I believe, and can be viewed in Mr. Filch's office, if anybody would like to check it."
(Goblet of fire, Chapter 12 The Triwizard Tournament)

I think they're indeed forbidden (437 forbidden items, it's got to be in this list! and it's a school, who would think to let love potions allowed?) but people still use them, cause Hogwarts rules are often broken by students (like the Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes products are used despite clearly being forbidden).

About Lockhart, he's such a fool, I'm not sure we can assume he thought before saying this.

And about Slughorn : Amortentia is shown only during the lesson, in 6th year, to "old" and "good in potions" students. Things can be forbidden to students but shown (or even taught) to them during classes.

About the disciplinary consequences, we can't be sure. I only remember of Romilda actually using a love potion (it's not said if Molly used hers, is it?), and Harry leads her victim to Slughorn's, counting on his discretion. He does not event tell him that is was Romilda who did it...
So I'm not sure we can say they're "commonly used" neither that there are "no consequences" as a general rule when they are.

  • I'm not entirely convinced. If I was a teacher and found a student victim of a banned potion/item/whatever, I would tell the Headmaster, even without knowing the perpetrator. Then again, Slughorn is not Snape, and we only know the facts from Harry's point of view. – A. Darwin May 21 '16 at 8:02
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    I think I would too, but... it's Slughorn. The man had a student asking him about Horcruxes and didn't tell anybody. He himself dealt Aragog's venom. I'm not sure HE would tell the Headmaster. Then maybe he did, maybe even Romilda was punished, we can't be sure. All I wanted to say is that it is no certainty that love potion's use is never punished as a rule. – LilyM May 23 '16 at 11:05
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    Perhaps a real-world counterpart to the Slughorn situation would be sexual education. (In some places) students are taught about the birds and the bees, but they certainly aren't allowed to "practice" on school grounds. – Rogue Jedi Feb 23 at 21:37

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