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There Was Another HARRY POTTER, J.K. Rowling’s New History Reveals

There Was Another HARRY POTTER, J.K. Rowling’s New History Reveals

There’s no more famous last name in the wizarding world than that of The Boy Who Lived, but who or where that name came from has long been a mystery. Until today that is, because according to a new history from author J.K. Rowling the name Potter has a long and (literally) rich history in the magical community. And not only that, it turns out there was once another Harry Potter.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Letter

In the latest addition to Pottermore—which we first came across at The Wrap—Rowling has finally answered some long-held fan question about Harry Potter’s family. In a bit of a surprise, his very Muggle-sounding last name is a coincidence, as the family can trace their roots and surname back to the twelfth century and a very successful wizard named Linfred of Stinchcombe. He had the nickname “the Potterer,” which he earned from all the time he spent working with his plants. He used them to heal unsuspecting but grateful Muggles who thought him a merely talented—though strange—neighbor. His nickname “became corrupted” until he was simply known as “Potter.”

The spells he developed, like Skele-gro and Pepperup Potion, not only earned his family quite a bit of wealth that has been passed down and expanded over the centuries, they are still used to this day.

Harry-potter-09242015

Linfred Potter’s oldest son Hardwin married the granddaughter of Ignotus Peverell, Iolanthe, and that’s how the famed Invisibility Cloak of the Deathly Hallows came into the Potter family. It was Ignotus who had asked for it from Death, and since he had no male heirs it went to Iolanthe. From their it was passed down in total secrecy to the eldest Potter child, until hundreds of years later when it ended up in the hands of one Henry Potter—better known to close ones as Harry.

The original Harry Potter had a son, Fleamont, whose weird name was Harry’s mother’s maiden name, in an attempt to keep it alive. Fleamont quadrupled the family fortune and married a woman named Euphamia. He passed the Invisibility Cloak to their son James, who married a Muggle-born witch named Lily, our Harry Potter’s parents.

james-lily-potter

This new information doesn’t change anything about the novels, so there is no retconning going on here. It is fascinating however, because it answers many questions about Harry’s family, both those with more direct ties to him as well as his ancestors. We now know where he got his name, who his grandparents were, how he came to inherit so much money, and how the famed Invisibility Cloak of Ignotus Peverell ended up as a Potter family heirloom.

There’s a lot more in this new history for Potterheads to wade through, including an explanation for why—if they were such an old and prestige family—the Potters weren’t included in the famed list known as the “Sacred Twenty-Eight” pure-blood families. Quite fittingly, it seems to be in part thanks to the first Harry Potter being a real thorn in the side of the Minister of Magic, after the minister refused to let wizards help Muggles during World War I.

There just must be something about the name Harry Potter and being a pain in the wand to authority figures.

Harry-Potter-Young-09012015

We know some fans think Rowling should stop writing these new histories or backstories, but there’s no harm in knowing more about Harry Potter’s family. It’s just fun information to enrich the wizarding world we love; it’s not a Time-Turner that will ruin your enjoyment of reading the books.

And considering how much we love the famous one, it’s cool to find out there was a second Harry Potter.

But what do you think of this new information? And what other magical mysteries would you love to learn more about? Cast a spell with your thoughts in the comments below.

Images: Warner Bros. Studios

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