Ravenclaw is the surname of a wizarding family that existed circa one thousand years ago in Britain. It is unknown if they were pure-blood, or if they had Muggle as well as magical heritage. It is also unknown if this family remains extant in either the male or female line, though the Ravenclaw name is well known, as Rowena Ravenclaw founded Ravenclaw house at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The Ravenclaw family's earliest-known member was Rowena Ravenclaw, a prominent witch in the wizarding world and one of the four legendary founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, along with Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, and Salazar Slytherin. Rowena eventually had a daughter named Helena by an unknown man. Helena attended Hogwarts, where she captured the fancy of a Baron in Slytherin house.
When she became older, Helena became jealous of her mother's intellect, which was enhanced by her famous diadem. Helena stole the diadem and ran away with it to Albania. Around the same time, her mother became fatally ill, possibly due to heartbreak caused by the departure of her daughter. Rowena sent the Baron, who loved her daughter, to find Helena and bring her to home.
The Baron found Helena in an Albanian forest, though she refused to come back with him; in a fit of rage, he killed her and then took his own life when he was overcome with remorse for what he had done. They both returned to Hogwarts Castle as ghosts, where they became known as the Grey Lady, ghost of Ravenclaw house, and the Bloody Baron, ghost of Slytherin house. Rowena died before ever being reunited with her daughter.
By the early twentieth century, the Ravenclaw family was not known to have any surviving members, although Helena's ghost still haunted Hogwarts as the Grey Lady. In the 1940s, a student named Tom Riddle managed to convince the Grey Lady to tell him where she had hidden her mother's diadem in the forests of Albania. Years later, as Lord Voldemort, Riddle found the diadem, turned it into one of his Horcruxes, and hid it in the Room of Requirement at Hogwarts after being refused the position of Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts by Albus Dumbledore.
During the Second Wizarding War, the Grey Lady revealed what she had done to Harry Potter, clearly distressed by her mistake; Harry assured her that she was not alone in being taken in by Riddle's charm, then went on to find and destroy the diadem.
Ravenclaw Family Tree
Rowena Ravenclaw + Unknown male | Helena Ravenclaw
Rowena Ravenclaw was a witch of Medieval times and one of the four founders of Hogwarts. She was noted for her cleverness and creativity, and was described by Xenophilius Lovegood as "beautiful." The Sorting Hat introduced her as "fair Ravenclaw, from glen", suggesting she was from Scotland.
In life, Helena Ravenclaw was the daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw, and was killed by the man who later became the Bloody Baron, ghost of Slytherin House. After her death, she became the Grey Lady, the ghost for Ravenclaw House at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
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