The Harry Potter world is brimming with intricate patterns and relationships that often intersect. This is probably most evident in the web of wizarding families whose bloodlines cross paths. With only a few original pure-blood families not mixed with non-magical Muggles, it’s no wonder they somehow all genetically connect. Even half-bloods can’t avoid a genetic connection to the Sacred Twenty-Eight, the original pure-blood British wizarding families. What’s less obvious is which specific characters are actually closely related to each other and likely didn’t know it.
Even among Muggle-born characters, there are some intriguing ties to be acknowledged. By blood or marriage, many of the people we both love and loathe share familial bonds. In some instances this is a jarring realization, and in others it makes a lot of sense. Either way, fans may have easily overlooked these relationships or have never known them at all. Since J.K. Rowling revealed extra information about her characters after the series was over, many of these connections went unnoticed by even the most hardcore Potter fanatics.
Beyond being interesting trivia, this analysis perhaps emphasizes the absurdity of Lord Voldemort’s attempted revolution. His goal of eliminating Muggle-born witches and wizards from magical society seems all the more self-destructive. With such a small pool of pure-blood families, it’s necessary for the wizards to include Muggle-borns or marry Muggles themselves. The society can only survive for so long without them, and a lot of these unexpected relations show that there is not much wiggle room in these family trees.
Here are 20 Harry Potter Characters Fans Forget Are Related.
20 Draco Malfoy and Sirius Black
These two never really interact in the series, so it can be weird to recognize that they have familial ties. As Draco’s mother, Narcissa Malfoy, was originally Narcissa Black, she is Sirius’ first cousin. This means Draco and Sirius are in fact closely related as second cousins.
The two likely have nothing in common, so it’s not too surprising they don’t have a relationship. After all, Draco comes from a family that supports Lord Voldemort, since Draco’s father is a Death Eater. Sirius, on the other hand works, against everything the Blacks stand for with the Order of the Phoenix. Fans can only imagine the kind of interactions they would share if lines hadn’t been so heavily drawn.
19 Harry Potter and the Peverell brothers
The oldest information we have regarding the Potters’ lineage dates back to the famous Peverells. Though we hear of them in The Tale of the Three Brothers, a legendary fable about the Deathly Hallows, they are, in fact, very real. Ron suspects Harry’s invisibility cloak is the very same as the Hallow in the tale, and J.K. Rowling confirmed this outside of the novels.
The Potters are a pure-blood family whose lineage can be traced back to Ignotus Peverell. This brother owned the cloak that helps Harry weasel his way out of countless circumstances. It’s a wonder it survived being passed down through the Potter line for centuries, eventually ending up in Harry’s hands thanks to Dumbledore. For someone who always felt like he had no family, Harry was more connected to his ancestry than he realized.
18 James Potter and Sirius Black
These two best friends probably had no idea they were distant relatives, and neither did many hardcore Potterheads. But this is the wizarding world after all, and pure-blood families are bound to connect at some point or another. Buried within the Black family tree is Charlus Potter, who married Dorea Black (Sirius’ great aunt). It’s unclear how exactly Charlus is related to James.
This gives a whole new meaning to Sirius being Harry’s godfather, as they are related by blood as well. Harry had always assumed the Petunia and Dudley Dursley were his only remaining family members by blood, which is a miserable thought. If Harry had known of his genetic relation to Sirius, it might have made his passing an even harder blow.
17 Voldemort and Merope Gaunt
It’s easy to neglect the fact that Lord Voldemort ever had a family, let alone non-magical parents. Merope Gaunt was only his mother for a few hours before she passed, but perhaps contributed to Voldemort’s built-up resentment. Merope was a squib, and had no magical powers, despite being born to the pure-blood Gaunt family. The Gaunts can be traced all the way back to Salazar Slytherin, yet Merope herself was meek and abused by her father and brother.
Voldemort was certainly not satisfied with his mother’s presence in his lineage. Although, he was proud to be a descendant Slytherin himself. Merope also conceived Voldemort with a Muggle, Tom Riddle Sr, which added to Voldemort’s bitterness. For someone who goes to violent lengths to preserve pure bloodlines, Voldemort himself didn’t quite have the genes he valued most.
16 Arthur Weasley and the Death Eater Yaxley
The Weasleys have always been considered a pure-blood family on the good side of the Wizarding Wars. While they never waver in their views, they are definitely not immune to having wicked ties. Arcturus Black married Lysandra Yaxley, whose daughter then married Septimus Weasley (Arthur’s father). These means the Weasleys are also distantly related to the Blacks. Despite marrying a pure-blood, Lysandra was still removed from the Black family tapestry due to the Weasleys being "blood traitors."
The Death Eater of the Yaxley family, Corban Yaxley, went on to become the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement during Voldemort’s reign. Coincidentally, Arthur Weasley worked in this very same department, but in the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office. Despite a pretty close relation, the two could not be more different in terms of values.
15 Nymphadora Tonks and Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange
The bubbly metamorphmagus Tonks grew on fans since her first appearance in The Order of the Phoenix. Given that she is aligned with the Order, she never interacts with her aunts Narcissa and Bellatrix. It also doesn’t help that her mother, Andromeda, was burned from the Black family tapestry for marrying Muggle-born Ted Tonks.
It's baffling that Andromeda grew up with both Bellatrix and Narcissa as sisters, given that the former is a Death Eater and the latter is married to one. It’s hard to say why Andromeda ends up having starkly different morals than her siblings. In the end, Nymphadora’s lack of contact with her aunts or any of the Blacks likely helped her grow up to become a hero.
14 Luna Lovegood and Newt Scamander
Luna’s offbeat interests and obsession with rare magical creatures make it pretty believable that she married into the Scamander family. The Scamanders aren’t even in the original Harry Potter books, so it was impossible to see this one coming. Rolf is the grandson of Newt Scamander, author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Just like his grandfather, Rolf became a Magizoologist, as did Luna.
We can assume she was able to maintain her curious attitude and sense of wonder throughout her life. They must have had many world travels together searching for creatures that may or may not exist, like the infamous Crumple-Horned Snorkack. Considering her lonely background, it’s nice to know Luna found someone with the same wild beliefs and wanderlust.
13 Gellert Grindelwald and Bathilda Bagshot
Grindelwald is the evil wizard Dumbledore defeated, while Bagshot is the author of A History of Magic who Voldemort murdered. On the surface, the two seem to have nothing in common, but Bagshot being Grindelwald’s great-aunt actually plays an important role. Rita Skeeter steals and publishes Bagshot’s photos of Dumbledore and Grindelwald together as young friends, back in the days when they were planning a revolution. This didn’t bode well for those who don’t yet trust Dumbledore about the Dark Lord’s return.
The connection between Grindelwald and Bagshot also led Harry into a trap at Godric’s Hollow, as he believed she would have more information for him from Dumbledore himself.
12 Neville Longbottom and Bellatrix Lestrange
It’s a cruel reality that Neville is related to his parents’ tormenter. Bellatrix’s use of the Cruciatus Curse on Alice and Frank Longbottom left them insane and hospitalized for life. Neville has every right to harbor resentment toward her, especially when she threatens him with the very same curse.
It’s unclear precisely how Neville and Bellatrix are related, but the family ties are undeniably there. The Black family tree reveals that Harfang Longbottom married Callidoria Black, who is Bellatrix’s first cousin, twice removed. If Neville knew about this relationship, it would likely only deepen his animosity toward someone so contrary to his kind nature.
11 Victoire Weasley and Teddy Lupin
These are two characters we unfortunately never get a chance to follow, but they are an intriguing match given their parents. Victoire is the daughter of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour. Edward “Teddy” Lupin is the son of Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks.
At the tail end of The Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling alludes to the fact Victoire and Teddy end up together. It’s a natural direction for Rowling to take considering both sets of parents fought with the Order of the Phoenix to defeat Lord Voldemort. It’s reassuring for fans to know these beloved wizard families remain closely knit after the war ends.
10 Sirius Black and Millicent Bulstrode
This seemingly random association makes sense when considering the extensive Black family tree. Potter fans may remember Millicent as the Slytherin girl Hermione planned to impersonate. Instead of using bits of Millicent’s hair in the Polyjuice potion, Hermione had accidentally plucked cat fur off her robes. Later in the series, we recognize Millicent as part of Umbridge’s vile Inquisitorial Squad.
It may come as no surprise that many of the families related to the Blacks are Slytherins on the wrong side of the Wizarding War. It seems such values are widespread in this wizarding bloodline. This makes it all that more impressive that Sirius became a sympathetic Gryffindor.
9 Molly Weasley and Bellatrix Lestrange
Molly was not always the Weasley mother we admire. Her maiden name is actually Prewett, a family related to the Blacks through Lucretia Black. It’s wild that this means Molly and Bellatrix have some family ties, whether they’re genetic or not.
Not only are Molly and Bellatrix on opposite sides of the Second Wizarding War, but they also share an iconic scene in the series. One of Molly’s shining moments is when she eliminates Bellatrix during the Battle of Hogwarts. This brave act was very satisfying for fans after witnessing Bellatrix torment so many throughout the novels. Still, there would have been an added layer of interest had fans known about this bizarre correlation sooner.
8 Severus Snape and Eileen Prince
We don’t know much about Snape until Rowling reveals some of his familial history in The Half-Blood Prince. The very title gives it away, as Snape’s mother is Eileen Prince, but many forget whom this refers to. Snape’s self-given nickname does not allude to an actual prince, but the Prince family. The Princes are the only magical side of Snape’s lineage, as his father is Muggle.
This brings up questions as to why Snape chose this alias. At the young age that he wrote the “Half-Blood Prince” in his potions book, he seems neglected and does not have a good home life. It’s uncertain why he would choose to pay tribute to his mother. Perhaps he was ashamed of the Muggle side of his family, but this does not explain why he would also advertise being half-blood. Much of Snape’s personal life remains a mystery despite this known connection.
7 Neville Longbottom and Hannah Abbott
Given Neville’s fairly subdued nature, it’s not out of character for him to have married a Hufflepuff. Though there are no signs of him being interested or even friendly with Hannah Abbott at Hogwarts, they end up together many years down the line.
Potterheads may have been skeptical about this match, especially since Hannah was a background character. It was also a disappointment for many that Neville didn’t end up marrying Luna Lovegood. She has a genuine friendship with him throughout the latter part of the series, which fans hoped would lean toward a more serious relationship. It could have been a match that pleased the fandom, but in the end Rowling thought Hannah was more suitable for Neville.
6 Dudley Dursley and Lily Potter
This connection is not hidden in the series, but it certainly is easy to forget. Lily, as Petunia’s sister, is technically Dudley’s aunt. However, Lily was slain about one year after Dudley’s birth, not to mention she and Petunia were estranged. It’s unclear if Lily ever met Dudley even as a baby, but it’s highly unlikely.
It’s hard to imagine that Dudley has any of the same genes as Lily. While he’s whiny, demanding, and known to be a bully, Lily was always a kindhearted and compassionate soul. She was able to befriend everyone around her, including the angsty teenage Snape. It would be interesting to see how different Dudley might be if she had any sort of influence on his life and upbringing.
5 Rowena Ravenclaw and the Grey Lady
The Grey Lady had been a staple of Hogwarts castle along with the other ghosts who head different houses. Still, nothing is revealed about her history until the last moments of the final book. Harry searches for Ravenclaw’s diadem, which Voldemort had transformed into a Horcrux. Harry consults the Grey Lady because she is head of Ravenclaw house, but ends up finding out so much more about her. She is actually Helena Ravenclaw, the daughter of one of the original Hogwarts founders, Rowena Ravenclaw.
In the first six books, the only Hogwarts ghost with a clear backstory is Nearly Headless Nick. It’s an enlightening tidbit that Rowling chose to expand on the storylines of one of the Hogwarts founders and a classic Hogwarts ghost.
4 Dolores Umbridge and the Selwyns
Umbridge’s arrogance and condescension toward Muggle-borns is somewhat strange given that we don’t know much about her own blood status. It isn’t until The Deathly Hallows that she claims to be related to the Selwyns, a pure blood family of the Sacred Twenty-Eight. However, the way in which she goes about proving this is nothing short of suspicious. It’s no wonder fans may not have taken this connection seriously.
After Umbridge steals Salazar Slytherin’s locket from Mundungus Fletcher, she claims the engraved “S” stands for Selwyn. This locket is no family heirloom, however, as it turns out to be a Horcrux Harry later destroys. Maybe Umbridge is actually related to the Selwyns and is just lying about the locket. It's also possible that the whole thing is a sham. Either way, it’s all we have to go on as far as her personal history is concerned.
3 Ernie Macmillan and Sirius Black
If the Black family tree doesn’t lie, there’s another somewhat random connection between the Blacks and a recognizable character at Hogwarts. This time, though, it has nothing to do with Slytherin house. Ernie is a familiar character who is a proud Hufflepuff, despite a distant tie to the Black family. The Macmillans, a pure-blood family of the Sacred Twenty-Eight, relate to the Blacks through Melania Macmillan. Melania also happens to be Sirius’ grandmother.
We never see Sirius interact with the Macmillans, but maybe they would have had a lot in common given that they seem to have dodged the Slytherin trait.
2 Zacharias Smith and Helga Hufflepuff
It’s easy to overlook Zacharias' presence in teh books, let alone his relation to Helga Hufflepuff, another Hogwarts founder. He is in Hufflepuff house, so we don’t see much of him through Harry’s perspective. However, no matter who he is, it’s very out of the ordinary for someone to be tied all the way back to a Hogwarts founder. Smith claims to be related to Hepzibah Smith, who is a descendant of Hufflepuff herself.
This is strange considering the only thing Zacharias is really known for in the series is his haughty arrogance. During his time in Dumbledore’s Army, the rest of the club becomes annoyed with his commentary. It’s a wonder he’s in Hufflepuff house at all, but then again it would be interesting if there were a hereditary aspect to sorting.
1 1.Voldemort and Harry
Everyone knows Voldemort and Harry’s destinies intertwine due to the prophecy, but it’s also fascinating that they share common ancestors. The Potters descend from the Peverells, but so do the Gaunts. This means Harry and Voldemort are genetically related, making their relationship even eerier.
In The Chamber of Secrets, it seemed for a while that Harry could be the heir of Slytherin. He speaks Parseltongue, which was evidence enough for some. This would mean Harry and Voldemort both descend from Salazar Slytherin. However, the three brothers Peverell ended up being the common connection, which is perhaps more fitting. In the end, Harry’s Parseltongue abilities were only due to him being Voldemort’s horcrux.
What are some other unexpected family connections in Harry Potter? Let us know in the comments!