Every time JK Rowling drops a new Harry Potter tale, the internet goes wild and today is no exception because she’s only gone and penned a new Potter family history for the relaunch of her wizarding website Pottermore.
The Harry Potter author may insist that she won’t be writing another novel, but her latest offering answers many of the questions fans have been asking for years. Like…
Were the Potters wizarding royalty?
It turns out Harry’s family was indeed one of the wizarding world’s oldest clans, but the Potters remained relatively unknown until the birth of The Chosen One thrust them into the spotlight.
You see, Potter was a bit too common a surname in the Muggle world to warrant inclusion on the wizarding world’s ‘Sacred Twenty-Eight’ – a supposedly definitive list of pure-bloods. In fact, its prevalence among non-wizarding families left many wondering whether or not they had tainted blood.
The Potters weren’t put off by this, though, and later generations actually went on to marry Muggles themselves.
But Rowling does reveals that the Potters have some illustrious heritage, as hinted in Deathly Hallows with the revelation that the Cloak of Invisibility could be traced right the way back to to the Peverell brothers.
Where did the Potter clan come from?
Well, Rowling writes they’re descendants of “the twelfth-century wizard Linfred of Stinchcombe, a locally well-beloved and eccentric man, whose nickname, ‘the Potterer’, became corrupted in time to ‘Potter’.”
Good old Linfred wasn’t the cleverest of wizards, though he was often called upon by his unwitting neighbours for his medicinal services. Little did they known his cures were magical, and it was while spending time working on remedies in his garden that he laid the foundations for the family fortune Harry would come to inherit.
Remember that Skele-gro that helped mend Harry’s bones after that nasty encounter on the Quidditch pitch? Well, it turns out he might just have his ancestor to thank for it!
Did Harry inherit the Cloak of Invisibility?
Yes, he can thank his ancestors for that Invisibility Cloak too. It was passed down to Ignotus Peverell’s granddaughter Iolanthe, a beautiful young witch who married Linfred’s eldest son, Hardwin Potter, who agreed to his wife’s wishes to keep possession of the cloak a secret. From this time on, the cloak was handed down to the eldest in each new generation, ultimately making its way into James Potter’s hands before being passed on to Harry.
Other notable Potters included Ralston Potter, who sat on the Wizengamot and backed the Statute of Secrecy (he didn’t fancy going to war with Muggles) and Henry Potter (also known as Harry) who served on the Wizengamot from 1913-21. He caused a stir when condemning Minister for Magic, Archer Evermonde, who wouldn’t help the Muggles during World War I.
Hold on, a Henry called Harry? Is he Harry’s grandad?
Wait for it.
Henry had a son called Fleamont, who “took the family gold and quadrupled it” by creating magical Sleekeazy’s Hair Potion. He married a lovely lady called Euphemia and made his fortune by selling the company, but their pair were utterly heartbroken because they couldn’t have a child.
And then, as if by magic, Euphemia fell pregnant with a son, whom they named James Potter.
The pair lived long enough to see James marry Lily Evans, but “dragon pox carried them off within days of each other, due to their advanced age” before they could meet their famous grandson, Harry.
You can read the full extract on Pottermore here. Can we have another book now, please?