Bregaglio is at Hogwarts for a magical potion-making class

I have to buy two text books, Magical Drafts and Potions by  Arsenius Jigger and One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore as well as the potion making kit composed of:
-a pewter cauldron,
-a pestle and mortar
-6 glass test tubes
-a set of brass scales.The classroom is located at the end of a long corridor in the dungeons of the castle. Lit by dim candle lightit has a low ceiling and is heated by the lively chatter of the other students who just like me are euphoric at the idea of mixing together some magical ingredients!

I take a seat and look around me… ‘I hope I won’t mess it up’ I whisper as I clasp my wand tightly in my hand. Once the room is full professor Quenya looks up from her scroll and standing up, is ready to begin her first lesson of potions for muggles (member of the non-magical community)

“Good Morning and welcome. Today the doors of Hogwarts are open to our non-magician friends but have no fear as imagination and chemistry will suffice… I’ve considered a number of potions that could be of use to muggles: a healing cream for sunburnproduced by the house of Gryffindor for basilisk burns based on BP-Glucan PF, a BotanicalsPlus raw material. This is a glucan, obtained from the liquid-cultured mycelia of  a unique mushroom like Schizophyllum Grifola, unmatched by other glucan extracts derived from oats, barley or yeast!”

I take notes and flick through to the page indicated and I realise that  a better knowledge of mycology wouldn’t have gone a miss (if only I’d paid better attention during my botany studies) and I read carefully…

BP-Glucan PF (Mushroom Beta Glucan) in cosmetics is considered effective for the following uses:
-anti-irritant and soothing for sunburn
-deep moisturiser
-illuminator and anti-blemish
-perfect for skin conditions and disorders

I start looking for BP-Glucan PF in one of the many luminescent fluid containing vials and in the never ending rows of jars filled with mushrooms, set out in the cupboard behind me. What on earth does Schizophyllum Grifola look like???
But not to worry as there’s an  alternative – Campo Research’s well-known Songyi Mushroom Ceramide Oil Extract; because of its amazing brightening qualities it’s perfect for anti-blemish products! There’s just one problem, I mustn’t get its INCI wrong: Tricholoma matsutake Extract (and) Ceramide 3 (and) Water…Help!!!

Then something happens, the teacher asks one of the students in the first row to read the BP-GEN-90by BotanicalsPlusingredient description for the ‘timestopping’ serumand the ‘lengthening hair’ potion from the book Magical Drafts and Potions, out loud. She then turns her back on the class to face the blackboard behind her desk and raises her wand whilst pronouncing a silent  spell. In the same instant, a piece of white chalk takes to the air and starts writing down the words the boy is speaking as if it had a life of its.

BP GEN-90 (Genistein) is an isoflavone aglycone derived from Saphora Japonica obtained through  a specific enzymatic process that improves its quality when compared to the better known glycosides.
IMPORTANT: when mixing it with other emulsifiers whilst waving your wand, you have to utter a spell called ‘Impediment‘ which increases its amazing anti-aging properties and utter ‘Repair’ to improve its regenerating effect on hair. The magic is all down to inhibiting the action of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme responsible for hair loss!

Everything’s clear right? And I had thought that you only needed the wand to stir the potion in the cauldron..
‘Very good my dears’, urges the professor, ‘If you stick to the formulas in the book and don’t confuse the ingredients whilst making sure you manage your wands carefully, you won’t run into any problems – now let’s get started!’’
This pep talk from professor Quenya shakes me into action and with the rest of the students I walk across to the table containing the raw materials to choose the best one to create my perfect potions. I’ve only got half an hour!

A cauldron with a hole in it and some burnt hair is inevitable but once time is up I have something to show for my endeavours. …
The professor however, explodes once she discovers that an excess of BP-GEN-90 has made my hair grow a couple of metres! Finally I can throw my hair down like Rapunzel in the tower.

I confess that I had over enthusiastically added too much BP-Glucan PF to the healing formula and the anti-blemish effect has almost made my hand invisible…

‘My dear you may have the creativity of a magician but you also have the rashness of someone who mistakes iron pyrites for gold”, Quenya gives me a strict ticking off.
This may well be but I love my potions and they work superbly and in any case wasn’t Harry Potter the most daring and adventurous of magicians? Things didn’t go so badly for him!

On the way out whilst tripping over my long hair I notice that next year’s selection process is underway– maybe next year will go better I say to myself….

I’m sure that the admissions letter has been given to  the wrong owl!

But I’m prepared to wait!