Harry Potter: 20 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About The Potters

Everyone knows the story of Harry Potter. A young boy from humble beginnings who grows to be a great wizard at Hogwarts. When you think of Harry, you think of the cupboard under the stairs and him wearing Dudley's hand-me-downs. Of his adventures with Ron and Hermione at Hogwarts. Of his regular fights with his middle-aged nemesis, Voldemort.

You think of his famous phoenix-feather wand that just so happens to be the twin of Voldemort's wand. This information about the characters and the series is all common knowledge. However, there are many things that even the most diehard fans might not know about the series and the Potter family at the center of it all.

For example, did you know that Harry's grandfather invented a hair care potion later used by Hermione? Probably not. Or that the Potter family being in Gryffindor did not start with James and Harry? Or that James and Lily are both skilled at transfiguration and dueling and got married at the young age of 18? What about the new generation of the Potters, Harry's children? Did you know that poor Albus Severus is the only one to break the family tradition of being in Gryffindor? It's true. Or that a mischievous James Sirius took the Marauder's Map out of his father's desk? Also true.

There are many things you may not know about the Potters, but you're about to find out all of them right now with 20 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About The Potters.

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Robbie Jarvis as a young James Potter in the Harry Potter films
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20 James Potter is an only child

Robbie Jarvis as a young James Potter in the Harry Potter films

Yes, it's true. Harry's father, James, is also an only child. He was born to Fleamont and Euphemia Potter when they were older, even by Wizarding standards. Due to his only child status, James was doted on by both of his parents. He was pampered and that could account for his arrogance later on in life.

Never having any siblings must have made poor little James lonely,  which he would have been glad to rectify at Hogwarts. Having so many surrogate siblings must have improved James' life and indeed his personality. Having to think of others makes all the difference in a person's life. And given how close the Marauders were, James must have been thinking of his friends often. This is shown, in fact, by the Marauders becoming Animagi to help Remus Lupin, one of their own, through his werewolf transformations. James was clearly thinking of his friend's safety and happiness when making that decision.

19 James and Lily's Patronuses match

James is the stag to Lily's doe. Awwh! This Patronus matching is not simply a coincidence that JK Rowling thought was cute so she left it in. According to the author herself, one's Patronus often takes the form of the love of one's life. The reason for this is simple: those you love are often the inspiration behind the happy thought that forms your Patronus. So it makes sense that for soulmates like James and Lily, their Patronuses would match.

Some fans do wonder when and how Lily's mind changed about James and how much. If it's enough to make Lily's Patronus match his, it's certainly enough to satisfy even the most die-hard Harry Potter fan. Speaking of fans, if you've ever wondered how you figure out who your soulmate is in the world of Harry Potter, now you know.  Apparently all that's needed is to look at your Patronus and your boyfriend or girlfriend's Patronus and see if they match. Oh, boy. Now Potterheads all over the world will be asking their dates for their Patronuses.

18 James and Lily had a lot of money

Harry Potter in Gringotts

It's good to be a Potter. Especially when you have access to the entire Potter fortune, which would have been the case for James after his parents died of dragon pox soon after he married Lily. It also must be handy, while on the run from Voldemort and his Death Eaters, to not have to worry about commuting to work in addition to hiding from the Dark Lord and his minions. Speaking of work, Remus Lupin, unable to get a job due to being a werewolf, also relied on the Potter fortune to support himself for a while. James must have been very generous at this point in his life to support his friend like that. Clearly, by this point, he had grown out of his arrogant and selfish stage.

Having access to the Potter fortune also meant that James and Lily had nothing but time to devote to Harry when he was born. Even though they died young, they gave Harry a good start in life. At least one of his formative years was spent with parents who loved him and were willing to do anything for him. James and Lily clearly show their willingness to do anything for Harry by defying Voldemort yet again and dying to save Harry.

17 James and Lily got married at the age of 18

Harry Potter Couples James and Lily

Yes, it's true. James and Lily were only 18 when they got married.  As they're clearly soulmates based on their Patronuses, of course, they would get married right after Hogwarts. Add to their soulmate status the pressures of fighting a war with Voldemort and the Death Eaters, and you've got a recipe for youthful marriage.

Yet some fans might wonder why they would choose to get married. After all, fighting a war isn't exactly the most romantic time. However, the war likely made James and Lily realize that life is short and that however long or short their lives were destined to be, they wanted to spend them together. This legacy of love was passed on to Harry.

16 Harry is not the first person to name his children after people who passed away

In fact, Harry himself may be named after his great-grandfather, Henry, also known as Harry. Henry's son, Fleamont, is named after Henry's mother's maiden name which would otherwise die out. It was her wish to have her name carry on. Perhaps due to his own unfortunate name, Fleamont decided to give his child the name James, a much more normal name, so he was not likely to get one teased in the halls of Hogwarts.

It is good to know, however, that the unfortunate naming tradition in the Potter family did not start with Harry's decision to name his son Albus Severus. Apparently, the Potters have been giving people unfortunate names for generations. So perhaps poor Albus Severus isn't doing so badly in the name department. It could be worse. His name could be Fleamont, which sounds like some kind of magical flea remover.

15 Harry's family is good at potions

Harry's grandfather, Fleamont, made potions for a living in fact. His father, James, seems to have inherited his father's talent, while Muggleborn Lily simply excelled in the subject. In fact, Professor Slughorn remembers her as being even better than Professor Snape, which is amazing. With all this potions talent in the family, it's surprising that Harry didn't ace the subject. Of course, he did have Snape as a teacher most of the time. It would be hard to do well in any subject with the teacher glaring at you.

It's good to know, though, that Harry comes from a family of such good wizards. Potions is difficult, especially some of the potions James brewed like the Animagus potion.  And Slughorn surely witnessed Lily brewing some difficult potions in his time.

14 they were always good at dueling

Harry Potter - Harry and Draco duel

No wonder Harry's such a good wizard. He comes from a long line of duelers. Fun fact, Harry's grandfather Fleamont was so good at dueling because he would often get teased for his name at Hogwarts. He would, of course, defend himself from those teasing him. James most likely did not have a similar history. His name is, after all, perfectly normal.

Yet he is also great at dueling as is Lily. James, Lily, and Harry can all produce corporeal Patronuses, which is a famously difficult form of defensive magic. James and Lily also succeeded in defying Voldemort three times before they were killed by him, showing their magical ability. Harry also defied Voldemort many times, showing that his parents' legacy continues through him.

13 James and Lily Potter were both skilled at Transfiguration

McGonagall cat in Harry Potter

It should come as no surprise that James and Lily were also skilled at Transfiguration, given what skilled wizards they were. They were, after all, Head Boy and Girl, and for that, they'd need to be good students in at least most of their subjects.  James also became an Animagus at the age of fifteen, showing his skill in the subject.

Lily spent her time outside of Hogwarts turning teacups into rats and changing lily petals into fish. Harry definitely inherited his parents' abilities, which he has to use regularly in his career as an Auror. So once again the Potters have a legacy of quality that is passed on. Harry is clearly a true product of his parents and possesses the same skills.

12 Harry and Voldemort are distantly related

Harry Potter Voldemort Dramatic Wands

Talk about an awkward family reunion. If those happened in the world of Harry Potter, Harry and Voldemort would be in trouble.  The reunion would be made so awkward because of how different Harry and Voldemort are, morally. Harry isn't perfect, but he's a good person. Voldemort, on the other hand, is pure evil.  They are, of course, related through the Peverell family which is part of the Potter's and the Gaunt's--think Voldemort's mother--family trees.

Ignotus Peverell is Harry's ancestor while Cadmus, his brother, is Voldemort's. Though this may seem unlikely, it's true. Most likely because the wizarding world is such a small place. This makes families reappearing and intermingling very likely, especially if, as was the case with some, wizards only married other wizards. It becomes even more likely if wizards only married pureblood wizards, or wizards with no Muggle ancestry.

11 Harry lost his ability to speak to snakes

Everyone knows that Harry can talk to snakes. What you might not know is that he lost that ability after Voldemort died.  Harry only had the ability because of the fragment of Voldemort's soul inside him. It makes sense, then, that Harry was glad to lose this ability of his. Especially given its connection to his nemesis.

Harry losing this ability was proof that Voldemort was truly gone and therefore made Harry very happy. He could finally relax and live his life without worrying about the Dark Lord coming after him. Still, it was a cool ability. Many people wish they could speak to animals, though perhaps not many would choose snakes as the animals they would speak to. So perhaps Harry's reluctance to have such an ability is something we can all relate to after all.

10 Lily Luna Potter resembles her mother in appearance

Lily Luna Potter has her mother's red hair and eager attitude. She shows this when her brother Albus is going off to Hogwarts and she is impatient and wants to go to Hogwarts right away instead of waiting. This is much like how her mother, Ginny, was when Ron went to Hogwarts.

However, her resemblance to her mother does not stop her from being close to her father, Harry. She holds his hand when seeing her brothers off to the train to Hogwarts in 2017, showing that they have a close bond. She is clearly his little girl and he dotes on her. Like her mother, she is the only girl in the family, which likely earns her a special place in both of her parents' hearts.

9 James Sirius Potter sneaks the Marauder's Map out of his father Harry's desk

It's true. James Potter II seems to be every bit as mischievous as the man he was named after. He takes the Marauder's Map out of his father Harry's desk and no doubt uses it to have mischievous adventures at Hogwarts. It's hard to blame him for taking the map. After all, he must have grown up hearing about his father's exploits at Hogwarts and wanted to have some of his own. Still, one might wonder what made him take the map specifically. Had he heard about it from his father or one of his father's friends?

Or was he snooping around in his father's desk one day and thought it looked cool so he took it? Either way, James Sirius is sure to have plenty of adventures with the Marauder's Map in his possession. Mischief managed.

8 Harry and his cousin Dudley are on good terms

Well, when we say good terms that may be stretching it a bit. They're not the best of friends or anything. But they do see each other regularly and though they may just sit silently and let their children bond, that's much more than you'd expect from Dudley.

It's nice to know that Dudley grows out of his bully phase and into a mature man. It's also very telling about Harry that he can forgive Dudley for the way he treated him when they were younger. Harry is clearly a very compassionate and forgiving person. Although Harry's children don't enjoy visiting Dudley and his children, they keep in touch. It is nice to know that they can be normal--well as normal as a half-wizard, half-Muggle family can be--family and spend time with each other.

7 Ginny had a say in naming her and children

Harry and Ginny Potter Family

It may be hard to believe but read this. JK Rowling herself describes Ginny as "tough...gutsy"  and as "the ideal girl for Harry."  Now does that sound like the type of woman who would let Harry name their children all willy nilly? No doubt they discussed it and Ginny eventually saw how important it was to Harry to name their children after people he'd lost. No matter how pathetic a name Albus Severus is, even that one had to have gotten past Ginny.

She may not have known Albus Dumbledore the way Harry did but she did know and admire him. She didn't know James and Lily, but no doubt her caring and compassionate nature would have led her to understand how important it was for Harry to honor his parents. As far as middle names go, yes, Severus is tragic. Yet Ginny would have also understood Harry's desire to honor Snape. As far as James Sirius and Lily Luna go, many fans forget that Ginny knew Sirius and is good friends with Luna.

6 Albus Severus Potter is the only one to break the family tradition

Harry and Albus Severus Potter

Yes, we all know that he was named after two Headmasters of Hogwarts. That one of them was a Slytherin and he was the bravest man Harry ever knew. Yet it would've been nice if Albus had kept the Gryffindor tradition going. James Sirius and Lily Luna are both in Gryffindor and it would've been nice for Albus to be with his siblings. Though no doubt the mischievous James would still find a way to tease his brother. And what about the Sorting Hat taking your thoughts into account?

Surely Albus would have been thinking about how scared he was to be sorted into Slytherin when the Sorting Hat was on his head. Either he wasn't, the hat didn't notice, or the hat didn't care. Poor Albus Severus. Not only does he have a weird name, but he's in a different house from the rest of his family, including his parents. At least he has his best friend Scorpius to hang out within Slytherin.

5 The Potter family went to the 2014 Quidditch World Cup final

It might be surprising that the whole family supported Bulgaria. Well, all of them except Albus, who supported Brazil due to his admiration for one of the team's Chasers, Goncalo Flores. A fact that Rita Skeeter simply had to point out.  Of course, she would. Why the rest of the family supported Bulgaria, though, is clear. Viktor Krum, an old friend of Harry's, is the seeker for the Bulgarian team.

Harry most likely wanted to support his old friend and his family joined in. Except for Albus. Poor kid. Always the odd one out. It must be middle child syndrome. The majority of the family was happy at the end, though, since Bulgaria won the game. Harry was seen smiling--Rita Skeeter noticed it, of course--and no doubt his family joined in on the celebrations.

4 Lily Luna Potter is the most well behaved Potter child

This is shown by the fact that she's not mentioned even once by Rita Skeeter at the Quidditch World Cup final. And everyone knows that Rita Skeeter is always looking for a scoop. Albus and James are mentioned a few times but Lily is never mentioned. So she must be behaving well or at least not behaving in a way that catches the watchful eye of Rita Skeeter. She made her family proud and behaved in a way that shows that she has the best qualities of both of her parents.

The Potters never disappoint and Lily Luna shows that by her behavior. She comes from good people, people who know when to behave and when to misbehave for the greater good. She had two good examples in her two namesakes, Lily Potter, and Luna Lovegood, both of which her parents no doubt speak highly of. Lily Potter was Head Girl in her seventh year at Hogwarts so she must have been well-behaved enough to earn that honor.

3 Fleamont was also a Gryffindor

House Gryffindor crest

Yes, the Potter family tradition of being in Gryffindor did not start with James and Harry. Fleamont Potter, Harry's grandfather, was also in Gryffindor when he attended Hogwarts.  So Gryffindor appealed to many Potters and the Sorting Hat agreed with them. The Potters must be full of the daring, nerve, and chivalry that makes up Gryffindor House.

Even though Harry did not know of this legacy, he carried it on anyway. Good for Harry.  What are the odds that so many members of the same family in a row would be in the same house? Uh oh. Now Potterheads are going to be even more eager to know their parents' and grandparents' Hogwarts houses to see if they have a row of Gryffindors. Or Ravenclaws. Or Hufflepuffs. Or even Slytherins.

2 Fleamont invented a hair care potion

Emma Watson as Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Fleamont Potter was certainly busy. Between dueling those who teased him at Hogwarts and inventing Sleekeazy's hair care potion, there was never a dull moment for Fleamont. Not only did he invent something that actually worked but he also "quadrupled" the family fortune. 

This most likely came in handy for James and Lily as time went on and they depended on the Potter fortune for their income. Just as the hair care potion came in handy for Hermione, who wanted to straighten her hair for the Yule Ball. Fleamont clearly made his mark on the Potter family history and became an important member of the family through his inventing genius. So we can see where Harry gets his ingenuity from.

1 The Potters are a prominent wizarding family


In fact, two of Harry's ancestors were on the Wizengamot, the Wizarding World's highest court. Ralston Potter served on the court from 1612-1652 and was a strong proponent of the Statute of Secrecy. This is, of course, the statute that keeps the wizarding world a secret from the Muggle or, non-magical, world.

More militant members of the court wanted to go to war with the Muggles but Ralston Potter would not allow that to happen. Henry Potter, Harry's great-grandfather, also known as Harry himself, served on the court from 1913-1921 and caused a scandal by condemning the Minister for Magic for not allowing wizards to help their Muggle neighbors during the First World War. The Potters seem to always be pro-Muggle and not against them the way some pureblood wizards are. It's good to know that Harry comes not only from good wizards, but moral ones too.


Is there anything else worth knowing about the Potters from Harry Potter? Let us know in the comments!

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