J.K. Rowling continues her quest to excavate — from the back of her mind — everything that she may have missed in the upwards-of-4,000-pages Harry Potter series, sharing tidbits about events in characters’ lives on Twitter, outing Dumbledore posthumously, and declaring that Harry and Hermoine would have been a better match than Hermoine and Ron. Today, with the relaunch/redesign of her website, Pottermore, Rowling has now revealed the whole story of the Potter family.
The approx. 750-word fictional, er, essay, reveals a great deal, beginning with the fact that the Potter family was never ranked amidst the “Sacred Twenty-Eight” list of pureblood families, because whatever prejudiced listicle writer compiled it suspected they came from “tainted blood.” The Potters, she also informs, were descended from Linfred of Stinchcombe, a twelfth-century (secretly magical) apothecary.
The famous Invisibility Cloak, meanwhile, became a family heirloom through a witch named Iolanthe Peverell, who married Linfred’s son. (She’d inherited it from her grandfather). The Potter family, the essay reveals, also developed a trend of marrying their neighbors — muggle and wizard alike. One Potter — Henry (who, incidentally, was nicknamed Harry) — caused a stir while serving on the Wizengamot, for having challenged the callous politics of the Minister of Magic, who’d refused to help the Muggles out during WWI. Between the family’s small pharma money and a new invention — a magically effective hair styling gel — by a certain Fleamont Potter, by the time James Potter was born, the family was quite wealthy. (You may recall that the gel, called Sleekeazy’s Hair Potion, was a product Hermoine used — which should give disappointed Harry/Hermione shippers even more reason to regret their separate marital fates.)
Hopefully we can all stay tuned for the likes of the origins of Luna Lovegood’s pinky toe, the 13th anniversary of Professor Umbridge’s second cousin three times removed, and a recipe for spooky chicken.