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"The Potter family is a very old one, but it was never (until the birth of Harry James Potter) at the very forefront of wizarding history, contenting itself with a solid and comfortable existence in the backwaters. Potter is a not uncommon Muggle surname, and the family did not make the so-called Sacred Twenty-Eight for this reason; the anonymous compiler of that supposedly definitive list of pure-bloods suspected that they had sprung from what he considered to be tainted blood."

Potter is the surname of an old wizarding family. The Potters descended from a twelfth-century wizard named Linfred of Stinchcombe. They were once pure-bloods, but James Potter married Muggle-born witch Lily Evans, thus their son Harry James Potter was half-blood. The Potters have traditionally been sorted into Gryffindor House at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry;[3]they are also very wealthy, with a vault at Gringotts Wizarding Bank containing a great deal of gold.[4]

During the First and Second Wizarding Wars, the Potters supported the Order of the Phoenix and opposed Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters. James and Lily Potter were both Order members who defied Voldemort three times and fought in the First Wizarding War. On 31 October, 1981 James and Lily's fourth encounter with Voldemort was their last. He murdered them as they attempted to protect their infant son, Harry. Harry survived and went on to be the leader of Dumbledore's Army. He played an important role in many battles of the Second Wizarding War and was the one to defeat Voldemort once and for all.

After the war Harry married fellow Gryffindor and Dumbledore's Army member Ginevra Weasley. The couple had three children: James Sirius, Albus Severus, and Lily Luna Potter. All three of whom are named in honour of family, friends, and allies.

Early family history

"The wizarding family of Potters descends from the twelfth-century wizard Linfred of Stinchcombe, a locally well-beloved and eccentric man, whose nickname, ‘the Potterer’, became corrupted in time to ‘Potter’."
—The beginning of the use of the name Potter[src]

The Potter family descended from a twelfth-century wizard named Linfred of Stinchcombe, a locally well-beloved and eccentric man, whose nickname, ‘the Potterer’, became corrupted in time to ‘Potter’. Linfred was a vague and absent-minded fellow whose Muggle neighbours often called upon his medicinal services. None of them realised that Linfred’s wonderful cures for pox and ague were magical; they all thought him a harmless and lovable old chap, pottering about in his garden with all his funny plants. His reputation as a well-meaning eccentric served Linfred well, for behind closed doors he was able to continue the series of experiments that laid the foundation of the Potter family’s fortune. Historians credit Linfred as the originator of a number of remedies that evolved into potions still used to this day, including Skele-Gro and Pepperup Potion. His sales of such cures to fellow witches and wizards enabled him to leave a significant pile of gold to each of his seven children upon his death.

Linfred’s eldest son, Hardwin, married a beautiful young witch by the name of Iolanthe Peverell, who came from the village of Godric’s Hollow. She was the granddaughter of Ignotus Peverell. In the absence of male heirs, she, the eldest of her generation, had inherited her grandfather’s Cloak of Invisibility. It was, Iolanthe explained to Hardwin, a tradition in her family that the possession of this cloak remained a secret, and her new husband respected her wishes. From this time on, the cloak was handed down to the eldest in each new generation.

Ralston Potter a later descendant of the Potter family, served as a member of the Wizengamot from 1612-1652. He was a supporter of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy, instead of wishing to declaring war on Muggles like the more militant members of the Wizengamot.

Henry Potter (known as Harry to his friends), grandfather to James Potter I, also served in the Wizengamot, from 1913-1921. He condemned the Minister for Magic at the time, Archer Evermonde, for forbidding the magical community from helping the Muggles fighting during the First World War. His outspokenness on behalf of the Muggle community, along with the fact that Potter is also a relatively common surname in the Muggle world, led to the exclusion of the Potter family from the 'Sacred Twenty-Eight' list.

Recent family history

Fleamont Potter, a direct descendant of Hardwin and Iolanthe, attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where he was Sorted into Gryffindor House. It can be assumed that it was during his magical education that he met his future wife, Euphemia Potter. The couple's only child, James Potter was born on 27 March1960 into the pure-blood wizarding family of considerable wealth. Both James's parents were elderly, even by wizarding standards. They died at an elderly age within a few days after each other after contracting Dragon Pox, unfortunately this happened before they could witness the birth of their first, and only grandchild Harry Potter.

First Wizarding War

"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies"
Sybill Trelawney's first prophecy[src]

Harry Potter was born during the height of the First Wizarding War. His parents, James and Lily Potter (née Evans), were both members of the original Order of the Phoenix, an organisation created and led by Albus Dumbledore. The organisation was for those who wanted to battle Lord Voldemort and his followers, the Death Eaters. In 1979, Dumbledore witnessed a prophecy made by Sybill Trelawney that predicted that a child with the power to defeat the Dark Lord would be born to parents who had defied him three times "as the seventh month dies". Voldemort was told part of the prophecy by Severus Snape, who had been caught outside the door after the prophecy was heard.[5][6]

Godric flash

The Potters' cottage in Godric's Hollow under attack

At the end of July in 1980, two infants were born matching this description: Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom. Voldemort went after Harry, resolving to kill him, and thus marked Harry as his equal, as the prophecy foretold. The Potters went into hiding through use of the Fidelius Charm, first choosing their close friend Sirius Black as Secret-Keeper, but Black persuaded the Potters to use Peter Pettigrew instead, thinking that this less obvious choice would further protect the Potters. Pettigrew, however, betrayed the Potters and gave secret information about them to Voldemort, who attacked the family in Godric's Hollow on 31 October, 1981. Voldemort murdered James and then Lily with the Killing Curse, but he first gave Lily the opportunity to save herself, at the request of Snape, who had been in love with her for years. When she refused, Voldemort murdered her, unknowingly invoking ancient magic that protected Harry when Voldemort then attempted to murder him. The Killing Curse rebounded, leaving Harry its only known survivor and Voldemort temporarily defeated. The incident also caused a piece of Voldemort's soul to be embedded in the lightning-bolt-scar on Harry's forehead, inadvertently making him into a Horcrux.[7]


Albus Dumbledore leaves infant Harry Potter and a note on the doorstep of 4 Privet Drive

Sirius soon discovered what had happened and pursued Pettigrew, who faked his own death and escaped. Sirius was subsequently framed and imprisoned in Azkaban for Pettigrew's crimes.[8] Harry, who became known as the "Boy Who Lived" for his miraculous survival, was taken in by his mother's sister, Petunia Dursley, her husband Vernon and their son Dudley. Harry was raised in the Muggle world by the Dursleys, who treated him poorly and never told him about his wizarding heritage. Because they were blood relatives of his mother, however, Harry benefited from magical protections as long as he could call Number 4 Privet Drive "home."

In between the wars

"Yer a wizard, Harry, and a thumpin' good one I'd wager, once yer trained up a bit, o' course."
—Harry finding out he's a wizard[src]
Despite his relatives' efforts to force him to be "normal", Harry was a wizard, and was informed of this fact by Rubeus Hagrid when the time came for him to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1991. He entered the wizarding world, learned his family's history, and once again became a target of Lord Voldemort, who was still alive but in non-corporeal form and seeking to return to his former power.

James and Lily Potter as seen by Harry in the Mirror of Erised

Harry also viewed his parents for the first time through the Mirror of Erised. A mirror that depicts the hearts most desperate desire. When Harry looked into the mirror he saw himself surrounded by family, something he has never had. He saw people with the same features as him; the same green eyes, nose, and knobby knees.[9] He visited the mirror several times before it was moved to its new location in the Philosopher's Stone's underground chamber, where he once again glimpsed his parents faces in the mirror.

Voldemort's inability to touch Harry, due to the lingering protection from his late mother, continued all the way up to his resurrection in 1995. Professor Quirrell, acting as host to Voldemort's soul, attempted to attack Harry to gain the Philosopher's Stone in 1992, but was prevented from stealing the Stone when he came into contact with Harry's skin, leaving Voldemort forced to return to his non-corporeal state.[10]

Second Wizarding War

"I am the chosen one. I have to kill him."
—Harry Potter's future regarding Voldemort[src]

Voldemort eventually overcame this by using Harry's blood to regenerate his own body in 1995.[11] Unbeknownst to Voldemort, this act also anchored Harry's life to his own. This was brought to light when Harry and Voldemort had their final confrontation in 1998 during the Battle of Hogwarts. Harry had spent almost a year destroying Voldemort's Horcruxes with his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, only to discover during the Battle of Hogwarts that he himself was a Horcrux Voldemort made accidentally that fateful Hallowe'en night in 1981.

Voldemort's End Pottermore

Harry's final defeat of the most dangerous Dark wizard of all time, Lord Voldemort

Harry spoke with his parents briefly through the Resurrection Stone, were they provided him with words of comfort and support. He willingly stood before Voldemort and was struck with the Killing Curse. Because of this, the part of Voldemort's soul within him was destroyed. Because Voldemort had taken some of Harry's blood — and thus Lily's blood, with its magical protections for Harry — within himself, Harry survived the Killing Curse for a second time. Another result of Harry's sacrifice was the protection it offered the defenders of Hogwarts. The two duelled one last time, and Harry defeated Voldemort once and for all, thus putting an end to the Second Wizarding War.[7]

After the war

"The scar hadn't pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well."
—Harry's life after the war[src]

A 37 year old Harry with his family

After the Second Wizarding War, Harry was recruited into the Auror training programme by Minister for Magic Kingsley Shacklebolt. Harry became the youngest Head Auror ever appointed at age 26. Along with his friend Ron Weasley, Harry is considered an "expert" and helped reform and revolutionise the Auror department and the rest of the Ministry.

At some point he was featured on a Chocolate Frog Card for his accomplishments. He also married Ginny Weasley sometime before 2014. The couple had three children — James Sirius, Albus Severus, and Lily Luna Potter — and thus a new generation of Potters were born into a more peaceful and stable world.[7]

Family members

Main family

James Potter was the only child of Fleamont and Euphemia Potter. James married Lily Evans and they had one child, Harry, who famously defeated Lord Voldemort. Harry eventually married Ginny Weasley and they had three children: James Sirius, Albus Severus, and Lily Luna Potter.

Wizard(s) Notes
Linfred of Stinchcombe Nicknamed the Potterer. A twelfth-century wizard and pioneering potioneer, credited with inventing many medicinal potions. He was the founding patriarch of the Potter family.
Hardwin Potter A pure-blood wizard and the eldest son of Linfred of Stinchcombe. Upon his father's death, he inherited a sizable sum of gold. Hardwin met and married Iolanthe Peverell of Godric's Hollow.
Iolanthe Potter

(née Peverell)

A pure-blood witch and the granddaughter of Ignotus Peverell. She lived in Godric's Hollow, and inherited the Cloak of Invisibility from her father due to the lack of any male heirs in her generation.
Ralston Potter Member of the Wizengamot from 1612 to 1652. He was a staunch advocate of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy.
Dorea Potter A pure-blood Slytherin[2] witch, the wife of Charlus Potter. Daughter of Cygnus Black II and Violetta Bulstrode. A member of the House of Black. She has one son.
Charlus Potter The husband of Dorea Black. He has a son.
Charlus Potter's son The son of Charlus Potter and Dorea Black.
Henry Potter A pure-blood wizard, the father of Fleamont Potter, grandfather of James Potter, and great-grandfather of Harry Potter.
Henry Potter's wife A pure-blood witch, the mother of Fleamont Potter, grandmother of James Potter, and great-grandmother of Harry Potter.
Fleamont Potter A pure-blood Gryffindor wizard, father of James Potter, and grandfather of Harry Potter.
Euphemia Potter A pure-blood witch, mother of James Potter, and grandmother of Harry Potter.
James Potter A pure-blood Gryffindor who joined the Order of the Phoenix. Married Lily Evans, and they had one son, Harry. He and Lily were murdered by Voldemort on the night of 31 October, 1981.
Lily J.

[12] Potter

A Muggle-born Gryffindor who joined the Order of the Phoenix. Married James Potter and had one son, Harry. She and James were murdered by Voldmort on the night of 31 October, 1981. She has one Muggle sister, who is married, as well as a Muggle nephew. Married into the Potter family.
Harry James Potter A half-blood Gryffindor who famously defeated Lord Voldemort. Son of James and Lily Potter. He was the leader and teacher of Dumbledore's Army. Married to Ginny Weasley and father of James, Albus, and Lily Potter.
Ginevra Molly Potter A pure-blood Gryffindor who is the wife of Harry Potter. She is originally descended from the Weasley family and has six brothers, along with several nieces and nephews. She was a member of Dumbledore's Army. Mother of James, Albus, and Lily Potter. Married into the Potter family.
James Sirius Potter A half-blood Gryffindor[13], who is the eldest child and first son of Harry and Ginny Potter. He has a younger brother and sister. He is named for his paternal grandfather and his father's godfather.
Albus Severus Potter A half-blood who is to be Sorted in 2017. He is the second child and son of Harry and Ginny Potter. He has an older brother and a younger sister. He is named after Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape. Both former and latter were Headmasters of Hogwarts, their houses were Gryffindor and Slytherin, respectively.
Lily Luna Potter A half-blood who is the youngest child and only daughter of Harry and Ginny Potter. She has two older brothers. She is named after her paternal grandmother and one of her parents' dearest friends (Luna Lovegood).

Potter relatives

Wizard(s) Notes
Mr Evans The Muggle parents of Petunia and Lily, also the grandparents of Harry Potter
Mrs Evans
Petunia Dursley The Muggle older sister of Lily and aunt to Harry Potter
Dudley Dursley Harry Potter's blood related first cousin and son of Vernon and Petunia Dudley
Vernon Dursley Related through marriage, husband of Petunia, and uncle to Harry Potter
Arthur Weasley Previously employed by the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office, head of the Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects as of 1996.
Molly Weasley housewife/homemaker.
William Arthur Weasley The eldest child; works as a Curse Breaker for Gringotts Bank.
Charles Weasley Studies dragons in Romania.
Percy Ignatius Weasley Worked at the Ministry of Magic from 1994 to 1998 before reaffirming his loyalty to the Order of the Phoenix; later worked at the reformed Ministry under Minister for Magic Kingsley Shacklebolt.
Fred Weasley Co-owner of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. Died in an explusion during the Battle of Hogwarts.
George Weasley co-owner of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. Twin of the deceased Fred Weasley.
Ronald Billius Weasley Close friend and brother-in-law of Harry Potter; worked as an Auror and in Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes after the end of the Second Wizarding War.

Family tree

Peverell Family
Salazar Slytherin
Antioch Peverell
Cadmus Peverell
Ignotus Peverell
Linfred of Stinchcombe
Ignotus Peverell's son
Hardwin Potter
Iolanthe Peverell
many generations
many generations
many generations
Corvinus Gaunt
Mrs Potter
(née Fleamont)
Marvolo Gaunt
Black family
Henry Potter
Morfin Gaunt
Merope Gaunt
Tom Riddle Sr
Tom Marvolo Riddle
Septimus Weasley
Cedrella Black
Dursley family
Evans family
Euphemia Potter
Fleamont Potter
Apolline Delacour
Monsieur Delacour
Molly Prewett
Arthur Weasley
Marge Dursley
Vernon Dursley
Petunia Evans
Lily Evans
James Potter
Gabrielle Delacour
Charlie Weasley
Fred Weasley
Dudley Dursley
Fleur Delacour
Bill Weasley
Percy Weasley
Audrey Weasley
George Weasley
Angelina Johnson
Hermione Granger
Ron Weasley
Ginny Weasley
Harry Potter
Victoire Weasley
Dominique Weasley
Louis Weasley
Fred Weasley
Roxanne Weasley
Rose Weasley
Hugo Weasley
James Potter
Albus Potter
Lily Potter
Molly Weasley
Lucy Weasley

Harry with James and Lily Potter, his mother and father

James Potter's parents were previously thought to be Charlus Potter and Dorea Black, who are shown on the Black family tapestry.

However, with the new information posted on Pottermore, this is not the case. Instead, Charlus Potter most likely is a cousin to Fleamont Potter, James Potter's father.


Cloak of Invisibility

Cloak PM InvisibilityCloakIllust

The Potters' Invisibility Cloak

The Potters descend from Ignotus Peverell, whose Cloak of Invisibility is one of the three Deathly Hallows. Unlike most Invisibility cloaks, it has remained intact for centuries, passed on from generation to generation until it reached Harry Potter. Harry temporarily became the "Master of Death" in 1998, as he was in possession of the Invisibility Cloak, the Resurrection Stone, and the Elder Wand. The last item's loyalty to Harry was crucial to his defeat of Lord Voldemort, as the Elder Wand refused to harm its true owner and caused Voldemort's Killing Curse to backfire. Of the three Hallows, Harry only kept the Invisibility Cloak for himself, as it rightfully belongs to his family.

Through the Peverell family, Harry and Voldemort are distantly related, as the House of Gaunt descended from Ignotus's brother Cadmus Peverell, who passed the Resurrection Stone to his descendants in a signet ring.[7]

Vault 687

5249460 std

The Potter vault

"Inside were mounds of gold coins. Columns of silver. Heaps of little bronze Knuts."

This vault in Gringotts Wizarding Bank belongs to the Potter family. It appears to be of moderate depth and is deep underground, it is said to contain a small fortune.


  • "Potter" is a very common surname of English origin.[14] It traditionally refers to the occupation of making pottery.
  • Beatrix Potter was a well-known English children's author.
  • Potter's Field is the name for a burial ground for the unknown or unclaimed dead, particularly soldiers and orphans; the Potter family had many members that fit that description.
  • The Potter Box is a model for making ethical decisions developed at Harvard University. J. K. Rowling has also commented that she has liked the name since childhood.[15]

Behind the scenes


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Pottermore - Writing by J.K. Rowling: "The Potter Family"
  2. 2.0 2.1 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.
  3. In Chapter 33 of Deathly Hallows, it is stated that James' father was a Gryffindor. James, Lily, Harry, and Ginny were all Gryffindors as well.
  4. Philsopher's Stone, Ch. 5
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  9. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  10. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  12. Production note reproduced on page 74 of Harry Potter: The Artifact Vault listing names to be featured on prop trophies in the films.
  13. "JKR-twitter-Hufflepuff">[ Have just heard that James S Potter has been Sorted (to nobody's surprise) into Gryffindor. Teddy Lupin (Head Boy, Hufflepuff) disappointed.] posted by JKR on Twitter on 1 September 2015
  14. Behind the Name: Rankings for 'Potter'
  15. MuggleNet: Name Origins

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