Čt 17 listopadu 2022
(a record of discussion about the topic on the Reddit thread “Could Molly and the ‘Love Potion’ incident be a communications misunderstanding?” started by u/varrsar; more discussion on that thread)
The biggest problem with Molly Weasley and Love Potions is that everybody seems to remember something completely different than what actually is in the canon:
[Harry and Weasley boys] headed down to breakfast, where Mr. Weasley was reading the front page of the Daily Prophet with a furrowed brow and Mrs. Weasley was telling Hermione and Ginny about a love potion she’d made as a young girl. All three of them were rather giggly. (Chapter 5 of PoA, “The Dementor”)
That’s it. There is nothing more on the topic. We don’t know what kind of potion it was, we don’t know if she ever used it (and certainly we don’t know that she used it on Arthur, who was, mind you, sitting next to them), we don’t know whether she was successful in making it, we don’t even know whether it was some fun concoction she made even before Hogwarts (note that “a young girl” doesn’t feel like a Hogwarts-age teenager). We know almost nothing about it.
Huh, so it could well be a “look how dumb I was when I was a kid” story. Possibly even in response to Hermione’s story of the polyjuice potion brewing. This was, after all, probably the first time Molly could get some more of the details about what happened to Ginny the previous year from other people’s perspectives. (u/HairyHorux)
Yup. I think there are more versions of love potions. Yes, Amorentia is on the top as a rape drug, and it is quite horrible (see “An Hour of Wolves” by solvskrift for a rather horrific treatment of the matter; all trigger warnings apply!) to something which the Weasley brothers were selling (which I would expect could just persuade a girl to enjoy her date more or something of that kind) to some complete nonsense. I am a bloke so mysteries of young girls’ play are still mostly a mystery to me (although, I have a daughter), but I know there are various silly girly games about whether she will find a boyfriend or not via kind-of-divination from flowers and such. Why shouldn’t there be in the magical world something similarly silly for young girls?
And yes, that giggling feels more like “we are all idiots sometimes” than Amorentia.