Fifteen years after the release of the final Harry Potter book, the Wizarding World franchise is bigger than ever. Between the Fantastic Beasts series, a Broadway show, multiple immersive theme parks, and a 20-year reunion special on HBO Max, adoration for the franchise is at an all-time high.
One of the things fans love best about the fantasy series is its masterful world-building. Each entry introduces new concepts, and the luck potion Felix Felicis stands out as one of the coolest. Yet as powerful as it is, Potterheads understand that magic cannot reverse or defy death. Sadly, many Harry Potter characters were fated to die and the potion would not have prevented that, but some on this list could have had much happier lives if only they’d had a bit of help from “Liquid Luck.”
WWII veteran Frank Bryce, the muggle caretaker of the Riddle House, only appears briefly in Goblet of Fire. He is introduced in a flashback as the prime suspect in a triple murder, murdered by the real culprit 50 years later, and is last seen as an echo during Harry and Voldemort’s duel.
Though he was never charged with anything due to lack of evidence, the other villagers remained suspicious of him for the rest of his life. Perhaps if he had swallowed a bit of Felix Felicis the day Tom Riddle murdered his father and grandparents, Frank might have skipped work to have some needed time off. It would have given him a solid alibi and, all-in-all, a much more peaceful existence.
Ginny’s first year at Hogwarts was not an easy transition. Pining for her brother’s best friend, insecure in her new surroundings, and failing to make friends, Ginny found solace in an old journal that magically understood her problems and wrote back to her with words of comfort.
Tom Riddle very nearly succeeded in absorbing Ginny’s soul and using it to reanimate his teenage self (it’s one of the biggest plot holes in Harry Potter). Of course, Harry saved the day, but if Ginny had taken Felix Felicis in the beginning of Chamber of Secrets when Lucius Malfoy snuck the Horcrux into her cauldron, she could have avoided being under the spell of Lord Voldemort.
Winky The House-Elf
Unlike her friend Dobby, Winky was entirely devoted to her wizarding family. To her, there was no greater dishonor than disappointing her masters, so when Barty Crouch Sr. announced he would give her clothes, thus firing her, her mortification was only surpassed by her devastation.
If Winky had gulped down some “Liquid Luck” before attending the Quidditch World Cup, she might have been able to keep Barty Crouch Jr. bound to her, preventing her worst nightmare from coming to fruition. Though she never appears in the movies, it is meeting the hapless Winky that inspires Hermione to create the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare, or SPEW.
The depictions of teachers bullying their students are particularly heinous in the Wizarding World. From Severus Snape to Dolores Umbridge and the Carrows, no character was as tortured by his teachers as Neville Longbottom.
Poor Neville was so fearful of Snape that the Potions Master became his boggart. Taking a bit of Felix Felicis before each Potions class might have given him the confidence to ignore Snape’s constant digs or made his mistakes less noticeable to the teacher, allowing him to enjoy a subject he otherwise hated. Such a change would have significantly improved Neville’s time at Hogwarts.
Though depicted as a kind-hearted and talented wizard, the patriarch of the Weasley family is not a big earner. Arthur’s love for all things muggle is looked down on by people like Cornelius Fudge, which makes it difficult for him to provide for his seven children.
It isn’t until Half-Blood Prince that Arthur receives a well-deserved raise and promotion. Perhaps if he had cooked up a batch of Felix Felicis, Arthur would have achieved more success in his professional life sooner. Not that it would have mattered to him, as the generous Weasleys have a wonderfully rich personal life, and are depicted as much happier than the smug Malfoys.
Nearly Headless Nick
Nearly Headless Nick is the first ghost introduced in Harry Potter, and though he is less prominent in the movies, he remains an important character throughout the book series. It is explained that his death is the result of a rather poorly done almost-beheading.
While Felix Felicis would not have been able to prevent Nick’s death, it could have improved his execution by giving him a faster, less painful, and complete decapitation. Instead, Nick must endure ridicule from students and fellow spirits, as mere centimeters of flesh are all that keep him from achieving his dream of joining the Headless Hunt, a society of (properly) decapitated ghosts.
Starting with his fateful encounter with Fenrir Greyback as a small child, Remus Lupin had a long history of bad luck. His lycanthropy prevented him from earning a steady income and living freely in the wizarding community. Felix Felicis might have been able to stop the bite from ever occurring.
Even as a werewolf, Remus had a great time at school, befriending an aggressively loyal trio who broke the law to join him on full moons as unregistered Animagi. Unfortunately, his luck at Hogwarts did not follow him into adulthood. It would have taken batches and batches of “Liquid Luck” to keep Remus afloat after the loss of first Dumbledore’s, then the Marauder’s protection.
The hero of the Wizarding World is arguably the unluckiest character in the Harry Potter franchise. Born fated, orphaned as a baby, raised by abusive bullies who hated and feared him, and with his status in the Wizarding World often rocky, Harry has had it rough.
But if there was one moment that could have changed his fate, it would be the night Wormtail got away. A large dose of Felix Felicis could have changed the course of events that took place that night. Even if Harry couldn’t officially take up residence with his godfather due to the ancient magic binding him to Petunia, he could have spent more time with Sirius and formed a deeper bond.
While his godson was raised by Magic-hating muggles, Sirius Black was born into a family of muggle-hating, inbred pure-bloods. As the black sheep of his prejudiced family, he was further alienated after he was sorted into Gryffindor and fully disowned by the time he was 17.
Yet there is one moment in time that changed his unfortunate life forever. If Sirius had Felix Felicis on hand after Peter Pettigrew betrayed the Potters, he likely would not have landed in Azkaban for 12 years. Whether the potion would have encouraged Sirius to go to Dumbledore first with the whole story or persuaded the Ministry to observe his memories, his freedom would have been secured.
You-Know-Who was murderous and cruel but his popularity continues to grow, with some fans believing Voldemort deserves his own spin-off. Fictional villains seldom benefit from over-explanation, yet it’s easy to see the allure. Tom Riddle had a dark, lonely, and often unfortunate life.
Most notably, the man split his soul into eight pieces to avoid mortality and still died at the slightly-below-average age of 71. To rub salt in a wound, his archenemy Albus Dumbledore lived far longer. Voldemort likely considered himself above luck, but if he had taken some Felix before Snape and Pettigrew relayed the prophecy to him, he might have realized they’d only heard part of it and waited before making the mistake that led to his demise.
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