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Dorea Black

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Dorea Potter (née Black) (1920 - 1977) was a Pure-blood witch, the youngest child of Cygnus Black II and Violetta Bulstrode and sister of Pollux Black, Cassiopeia Black, and Marius Black. She married Charlus Potter and the together had one son. Dorea was the aunt of Alphard, Cygnus and Walburga Black, thus she is the great-aunt of Sirius Black and Regulus Black, as well as Bellatrix Lestrange, Andromeda Tonks and Narcissa Malfoy.[2] As well as this, Dorea is the great-great aunt of Draco Malfoy and Nymphadora Tonks and the great-great-great aunt of Scorpius Malfoy and Teddy Lupin. Dorea and her husband Charlus Potter are possibly the grandparents of Harry Potter since they had one son which would be, most likely, James Potter (Harry's father), since unlike in the Muggle world where two people with the same surname can be totally unrelated, wizards with the same names are usually related in someway or another.


The name Dorea may come from the names Dora ("gift") or Dorothy, which mean "to see a gift" in Greek (as opposed to "Theodora" which means "a gift from god" in Greek), or from dory, a type of small boat. Name "Dora" appears before Dorea: her great-aunt was named Elladora and her cousin was named Callidora.

Behind the scenes

  • There is some speculation that Dorea Potter was the mother of James Potter and the paternal grandmother of Harry Potter, given that J. K. Rowling has said that James's parents were older when they had him[3], and Dorea would have been forty years old when he was born[2]. However, Rowling also said that James's parents died of natural causes when they were elderly, presumably around the same time[4]. Dorea died at the age of fifty-seven[2], which is not elderly in wizarding terms. This may be a mathematical error, as Rowling has also admitted that maths is not her strong suit[5] and inconsistencies have been noted in the timeline.
  • Also, if Dorea was James' mother, James would be the first cousin of Cygnus Black III and Walburga Black (who are about a generation older than James) and first cousin once removed of Cygnus' daughters (Narcissa, Bellatrix and Andromeda) and Walburga's sons Regulus and Sirius Black who attended Hogwarts around the same time as James.
  • Another possibly is that Dorea was an aunt (via marriage) or a distant cousin-in-law to James. If so, then this leaves us with the mystery of what happened to the son of Charlus and Dorea. Since Harry was not supposed to have any living family other than the Dursley family, we could assume that Charlus, Dorea, and their son must have died before 1981.
  • However, it is also unlikely that Dorea is James Potter's mother as James's parents took Sirius Black into their home after he ran away from his family. As Alphard Black (Sirius' uncle and also Dorea's nephew) was disowned for simply giving Sirius "a decent amount of gold" when he ran away, it's likely that Dorea would also have been disowned for allowing Sirus to live with them.
  • Also, if Dorea and Charlus were the mother and father of James, surely he would have been disowned for marrying muggle-born Lily Evans, however from what we have heard of the Potter family, they were not averse to mixing pure and Muggle blood unlike the Blacks, and Dorea, a Slytherin, married Charlus, a Gryffindor, so mixing between houses also wasn't an issue for Dorea.
  • It was also stated that Lily and James had a "quick marriage" and, if it was after Dorea's death, then none of the Black family, apart from Sirius, would have known about it. Then, after this, Lily and James had about a year of marriage, until, somtime in 1979, Harry was conceived and they went into hiding for their own safety, thus keeping them from the world and keeping their marriage a secret.


Notes and references

  1. In Chapter 4 of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Horace Slughorn states: "The whole Black family had been in my house, but Sirius ended up in Gryffindor!" This implies that all Blacks except Sirius were Sorted into Slytherin while Slughorn was Head of House. Dorea, born in 1920, presumably attended Hogwarts c. 1931 or 1932 to 1938 or 1939, and thus would most likely have been a student of Slughorn, who was stated to have begun teaching at Hogwarts around the same time as Albus Dumbledore in Chapter 5 of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, in 1938 or earlier.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Black Family tree
  3. Leaky Cauldron: 30 July 2007 Webchat with J.K. Rowling
  4. 16 July 2005 Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet Interview
  5. F.A.Q. at J.K. Rowling's Official Site

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