In an epic quest to fill all the nooks and crannies of the wizarding world with rigorous insight, J.K. Rowling has taken her writing endeavor to the gates of Pottermore. Since it's launch, it's become not just a wizarding site that sorts you into your houses, but a platform in which Rowling regularly regales her fans with new information and developments in the world of Harry Potter. Her latest tidbit reveals that #HarryPotter of Number 4 Privet Drive is not the first Harry Potter to make headlines.
J.K. Rowling Reveals There Are Two Harry Potters
Harry Potter entered the hearts and minds of readers everywhere back in the late 1990s when #JKRowling wrote about the 11-year-old boy whose name was known in the world of witches and wizards as the "Boy Who Lived." However, Rowling recently released a chapter on the Potters' predecessors and in it, she claims that the Harry Potter we all grew up with is not the first of his name:
“Henry Potter (Harry to his intimates), who was a direct descendant of Hardwin and Iolanthe, and served on the Wizengamot from 1913 - 1921. Henry caused a minor stir when he publicly condemned then Minister for Magic, Archer Evermonde, who had forbidden the magical community to help Muggles waging the First World War. His outspokenness on the behalf of the Muggle community was also a strong contributing factor in the family’s exclusion from the ‘Sacred Twenty-Eight’.”
His political aspirations don't exactly mirror the famous Harry Potter's career path, but they both seem to have a knack for trouble, particularly when it comes at the defense of Muggles. Henry (a.k.a Harry #1) eventually has a son named Fleamont (just... don't ask), who went on to develop the magical potion Sleekeazy’s Hair Potion. You may remember this name from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Hermione undergoes a glorious Yule Ball transformation, thanks in part to Harry's ancestor's doing.
This hair product is actually what gained the Potters' their initial pile of gold. The fortune continued to grow and went to Fleamont's son, James (surprise!) who married Muggle-born Lily Evans. The gold, as we know, remained in the Gringott's vault, which Harry #2 was startled to discover when he saw the mountain of wealth with Hagrid back in the Sorcerer's Stone.
Pottermore continues to be a forum on which Rowling grows her magical universe, one unicorn hair at a time. The whole Potter family tree history can be found here dating back to the twelfth century, along with magical transports and places. There's also an extensive section on the North American wizarding school, Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which played a role in the development of the latest Potter film, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.
It's fascinating to see how Rowling continuously weaves the destiny our favorite characters back into the Harry Potter stories we have loved throughout all these years. We can surely expect her to reveal more fascinating facts as #FantasticBeasts2 heads into production.
What else don't we know about Harry's family tree? Reveal your fun facts in the comments below!