"Hogwarts Professor" claims alchemy used to change characters in Potter books

John Granger believes there is so much more to the Harry Potter universe than magic potions. He shares his thoughts through a series of books and lectures which, he hopes, "disclose the underlying symbolism hidden in the so-called 'children’s stories.'"

Granger lectured recently at Saybrook College and addressed the concept of medieval alchemy as it pertains to the series.

But it is Shakespeare’s “literary alchemy” that interests him the most, Granger said, since “stage performance is an alchemical act” and “J.K. Rowling was always fascinated by alchemy.” According to Granger, Rowling’s world features an alchemist, Dumbledore, trying to improve, “to make gold” out of, people, including Harry. Harry’s friends Ron and Hermione come to be mercury and sulfur, respectively, he said — these two chemicals are in constant reaction, “purifying” Harry.