In the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore says

"... Voldemort like to operate alone, remember. I believe that he would have found the thought of being dependent, even on the Elixir, intolerable. Of course he was prepared to drink it if it would take him out of the horrible part-life to which he was condemned after attacking you, but only to regain a body..."

However, in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, we know that Voldemort existed as a "mere shadow and vapour... I have form only when I can share another’s body".

So how would he drink the Elixir without a body? The whole purpose of drinking the Elixir was to create a body. If Quirrell had drunk the Elixir wouldn't it have extended Quirrell's life rather than give Voldemort a body?

  • 3
    Related, potential duplicate.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Oct 8, 2019 at 12:26
  • 1
    @TheLethalCarrot - Related, yes... dupe, nah. I don't see the question answered in it!
    – user112267
    Oct 8, 2019 at 17:18
  • Drinking the Elixir doesn't make immortal, it just prevents dying of old age if taken regularly.
    – RalfFriedl
    Oct 9, 2019 at 5:22
  • Why couldn't Voldemort go to the party?
    – Valorum
    Oct 9, 2019 at 7:38

2 Answers 2


The same way he drank the unicorn blood...

Quirrell did it for him because Voldemort was inhabiting Quirrell's body. Therefore, he might be expecting Quirrell to drink the Elixir of Life for him -- at least until he got the body from the Elixir...

“See what I have become?” the face said. “Mere shadow and vapor… I have form only when I can share another’s body… but there have always been those willing to let me into their hearts and minds… Unicorn blood has strengthened me, these past weeks… you saw faithful Quirrell drinking it for me in the forest… and once I have the Elixir of Life, I will be able to create a body of my own… Now… why don’t you give me that Stone in your pocket?”

~ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

  • I still don't understand how the Elixir would help Voldemort. I can only see it helping Quirrell gain immortality.
    – R_D
    Oct 9, 2019 at 8:31
  • 2
    @R_D Well, unicorn blood helped Voldemort, even though Quirrell drank it. I don't know if you can reasonably expect a further in-depth explanation of the way a magic elixir is metabolized by a host body.
    – Misha R
    Oct 9, 2019 at 11:57
  • 1
    @R_D - Exactly right; that's what I was trying to say. We know that unicorn blood worked for Voldemort, even though it was Quirrell who drank it. MishaR is correct.
    – user112267
    Oct 9, 2019 at 12:40
  • Okay I get it now. Thank you!
    – R_D
    Oct 9, 2019 at 14:22

When Voldemort possessed Quirrell's body he weakened Quirrell a lot, so purpose of drinking the elixir of life wasn't to keep Voldemort alive, it was to keep Quirrell alive long enough for him to get the materials to create his body. He wasn't going to get a body from the elixir itself just give him time to do the ritual described on the four book, he already had knowledge of it he just needed someone to perform it for him.

In book 4, chapter 33 Voldemort said

I sometimes inhabited animals — snakes, of course, being my preference — but I was little better off inside them than as pure spirit, for their bodies were ill adapted to perform magic . . . and my possession of them shortened their lives; none of them lasted long. . . .

If possession shortened animals lives it should do the same to humans.

In book 6, chapter 23 is said

Voldemort refused to rely on the Elixir of Life for his immortality, as he would be required to drink it for eternity, and the possibility of contamination or the stone's loss would result in his death. His streak of independence made it intolerable for him to rely on the Elixir to survive, and only desired it to recreate his body

So he wasn't planing to use the elixir as long term solution.

In book 4, chapter 33 Voldemort said

“Wormtail’s body, of course, was ill adapted for possession, as all assumed him dead, and would attract far too much attention if noticed. However, he was the able-bodied servant I needed, and, poor wizard though he is, Wormtail was able to follow the instructions I gave him, which would return me to a rudimentary, weak body of my own, a body I would be able to inhabit while awaiting the essential ingredients for true rebirth . . . a spell or two of my own invention . . . a little help from my dear Nagini,” Voldemort’s red eyes fell upon the continually circling snake, “a potion concocted from unicorn blood, and the snake venom Nagini provided . . . I was soon returned to an almost human form, and strong enough to travel.

“There was no hope of stealing the Sorcerer’s Stone anymore, for I knew that Dumbledore would have seen to it that it was destroyed. But I was willing to embrace mortal life again, before chasing immortality. I set my sights lower . . . I would settle for my old body back again, and my old strength.

“I knew that to achieve this — it is an old piece of Dark Magic, the potion that revived me tonight — I would need three powerful ingredients. Well, one of them was already at hand, was it not, Wormtail? Flesh given by a servant. . . .

Voldemort was already aware of the ritual, only needed someone to do it.

  • 1
    Can you back this up with valid evidence? If so, please edit it in!
    – user112267
    Oct 8, 2019 at 17:14
  • 1
    It does make sense that the purpose of the unicorn blood was to keep Quirrel alive long enough, as noted in the posts here. Not sure I buy the Elixir of Life part though. It sorta makes sense to an extent, but I don't recall anything in the books that support that at the moment (without extrapolating too much I guess). Oct 8, 2019 at 17:45
  • Even your edit with "evidence" still just results in a wholly speculative answer.
    – user112267
    Oct 8, 2019 at 22:48

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