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Potter family

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Potter is the surname of an old wizarding family. They were once pure-bloods, but James Potter married Muggle-born witch Lily Evans, thus their son Harry was half-blood. The Potters have traditionally been sorted into Gryffindor house at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry[1], and are very wealthy, with a vault at Gringotts Wizarding Bank containing a great deal of gold[2].

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 their son went on to be the leader of Dumbledore's Army and the one to defeat Voldemort once and for all.

Recent generations of Potters

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

Known members

Family tree

Ignotus Peverell
      │
      ?
      │
    Potter                Evans                           Dursley
      │                     │                                │
      │             ┌───────┴───────┐               ┌────────┴────────┐
      │             │               │               │                 │
 James PotterLily Evans     Petunia EvansVernon Dursley   Marjorie Dursley
              │                              │
              │  (See Weasley Family Tree)   │
              │              │               │
       Harry PotterGinny Weasley   Dudley Dursley
                    │
          ┌─────────┴────────┬──────────────────┐
          │                  │                  │
James Sirius Potter   Albus Severus Potter   Lily Luna Potter  

James harry Lily

James, Harry and Lily all aged fifteen via the use of Pensieve.

It is unknown who James Potter's parents were. They may, however, be Charlus Potter and Dorea Black, who are shown to have had one son on the Black family tapestry.

It is known that James's parents were older when they had him, and Dorea would have been forty years old when she had a child if James was her son. However, it is also known that the Potters died of natural causes when they were old in wizarding terms, but Dorea Potter was only fifty-seven years old when she died, although, going by the ages that members of the Black Family - from which Dorea descended, did die - she lived to "old age" since most of them died in their fifties, possibly due to incest within the pureblood families.[3]

If Charlus and Dorea Potter were James's parents, James and his best friend Sirius Black would have been first cousins, once removed. Harry and Sirius, his godfather, would have been second cousins. Also, Harry's best friend/brother-in-law, Ron and wife, Ginny Weasley would be his third cousins. Harry would also be related, albeit distantly, to the Malfoys, Longbottoms, and Lestranges.[4]

Gallery of members

Recent family history

First Wizarding War

Godrics Hollow

The Potters' home in Godric's Hollow.

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 Order of the Phoenix, an organisation created and led by Albus Dumbledore 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]

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 to Voldemort, who attacked the family in Godric's Hollow on 31 October, 1981. Voldemort slaughtered 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 Lily for years. When she refused, Voldemort killed 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 scar on Harry's forehead, inadvertently making him into a Horcrux.[7]

74

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

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."

Second Wizarding War

Despite his relatives' efforts to force him to be "normal", Harry was a wizard, and was informed of this fact by Rubeus Hagrid when it came time 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 power.

HarryPotter5

Harry James Potter.

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.[9]

Voldemort eventually overcame this by using Harry's blood to regenerate his own body in 1995.[10] 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 Halloween night in 1981. Harry 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.

The two duelled one last time, and Harry defeated Voldemort once and for all.[7]

After the War

After the end of the Second Wizarding War, Harry Potter became an Auror and married Ginny Weasley. 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 world.[7]

Family heirloom

CloakSS

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]

Etymology

  • "Potter" is a very common surname of English origin.[11] It traditionally refers to the occupation of making pottery.
  • 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.[12]

Behind the scenes

Notes and references

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