When Pottermore first came online in 2011, it made accessing the Wizarding World even easier for us Muggles. With a J.K. Rowling-approved Sorting Hat quiz, fun facts and trivia, and the occasional new writing from the author, Pottermore has been a hub for Potterheads far and wide.
This morning, Pottermore relaunched and is all kinds of bright, shiny, and new! The website opens with an intro from J.K. Rowling promising fresh information, introductions to new characters, and a daily dose of magic for those in need.
In addition to a brand spanking new website with a beautiful new design, Rowling has also gifted us with some previously unknown information regarding the Potter family.
Here are a few things we learned from J.K. Rowling's new writing:
It all started with Linfred of Stinchcombe in the twelfth-century
Linfred lived among Muggle neighbors and offered them medical services and cures to their ailments. Eventually, these potions initiated the Potter family's wealth.
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.
The Potter family's wealth may have started a long time ago, but Linfred wasn't the only one of his family tree to use potion-making to turn a profit.
The Peverells and the Potters
Linfred's eldest son, Hardwin, married Ignotus Peverell's granddaughter, Iolanthe. You might recognize Ignotus Peverell's name as the first owner of the Potter's famed invisibility cloak.
In the absence of male heirs, she, the eldest of her generation, had inherited her grandfather’s invisibility cloak. 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.
Ignotus was the only one of the three Peverell brothers to manage to keep his Deathly Hallow within the family.
Two of Harry's ancestors held Wizengamot seats
The wizarding Britain's high court of law has had two Potters acting as members. Ralston Potter who served from 1612-1652 and was an advocate of the Statute of Secrecy, then Henry Potter who served from 1913 - 1921 (often called Harry by close friends).
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’.
The Sacred Twenty-Eight is essentially a Pure-Blood Directory created in the 1930s so that Pure-Blood families would know which families to procreate with in order to keep their bloodline 'clean.'
Harry's family helped Hermione tame her hair for the Yule Ball
Invented by Henry's son, Fleamont Potter, the Sleekeazy’s Hair Potion (famously used by Hermione Granger for the Yule Ball to tame her unruly mane) quadrupled the already bountiful Potter family fortune. He only had one son with his wife Euphemia, James Potter.
He sold the company at a vast profit when he retired, but no amount of riches could compensate him or his wife Euphemia for their childlessness. They had quite given up hope of a son or daughter when, to their shock and surprise, Euphemia found that she was pregnant and their beloved boy, James, was born.
Although the pair only had James to carry on their legacy, we all know the Potter family name was only going to become more prominent.
Harry never met his grandparents
Although Fleamont and Euphemia lived long enough to see James marry the Muggle-born Lily Evans, they sadly never met their grandson Harry or saw the great man he came to be.
Dragon pox carried them off within days of each other, due to their advanced age, and James Potter then inherited Ignotus Peverell’s Invisibility Cloak.
So, now we officially know how the Peverells and the Potters became one family, where Harry and James inherited the invisibility cloak, why Harry never met his grandparents, and where the Potter family fortune came from.
That's a lot to take away from just one rundown of a family tree! To read even more interesting facts and character profiles, visit the new Pottermore site and check it out for yourself!