Rachel Paige
September 22, 2015 9:12 am

It’s time to go back to school, but you’re going to love this history lesson. Early Tuesday morning, JK Rowling dropped some major knowledge on Pottermore, detailing the history of the Potter Family. I promise there will be no pop quiz at the end of this, but you’re most certainly going to want to pay attention.

We already know a great deal of information about Harry Potter and his parents, Lily and James Potter. We know a lot about Lily Evans and her upbringing with her Muggle-born sister, Petunia. But, through all seven books, not a whole lot of information is explained about the Potter side of the family.

So, Harry, what’s in your name? Where does ‘Potter’ come from? Haven’t you always wondered how Harry came to have a vault overflowing with Galleons in Gringotts?

As Rowling writes on Pottermore, the Potter lineage can be traced all the way back to Linfred Potter, who lived in the 12th Century, and was an “absent-minded fellow whose Muggle neighbours often called upon his medicinal services.” His neighbors had no idea he was curing them with magic instead of actual remedies. With his magical medicine abilities, “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.” Hey, Harry used Skele-gro A LOT.

Now, Linfred’s eldest son, Hardwin, married Iolanthe Peverell, from Godric’s Hollow. Iolanthe was Ignotus Peverell’s granddaughter, and if you know your HP history, Ignotus was one of the three Peverell Brothers responsible for the Deathly Hollows, and the brother who treated Death like a friend. Iolanthe inherited the Invisibility Cloak from her grandfather, and “from this time on, the cloak was handed down to the eldest in each new generation.”

There’s also Henry Potter (“Harry to his intimates”), who was a descendant of Linfred and Iolanthe, and served on the Wizengamot from 1913 – 1921. Henry and his wife, had a son called Fleamont, and it was Fleamont who brought the Potter family into its riches. Fleamont developed Sleekeazy’s Hair Potion  — and that’s what Hermione uses before the Yule Ball.

Fleamont and Euphemia had a son named James in their old age, and “lived long enough to see James marry a Muggle-born girl called Lily Evans, but not to meet their grandson, Harry.” The two died from Dragon Pox, and the Invisibility Cloak was given to James. James then loaned the Invisibility Cloak out to Dumbledore, and Dumbledore returned it back to the Potter family when Harry showed up at Hogwarts.

And that’s your lesson in Potter Family history for the day! If you want to read the full text, you can over at Pottermore (and it appears you don’t need a Pottermore log-in to do so). This an amazing little piece of information about Harry and his relatives. We’re going to have to go find a Mirror of Erised to see them ourselves.

(Image via Warner Bros.)

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