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Harry Potter and the Years of Rebellion
From the notes: The Most Honourable and Courageous House of Potter [SPOILERS]
By Mike [FP]
Fics begun in 2003 (post-OOTP)
I had mentioned long ago that I would likely post some material from my notes, given the minimal likelihood that Years of Rebellion will ever be completed. I've always been a serious nerd regarding backstory, but much moreso with Years of Rebellion than Last Horcrux (Muggle Britain's political/monarchic milieu in Last Horcrux is ripped straight from the Years of Rebellion notes, for example). I frequently fleshed out significant backstory elements in the form of narratives, and a few - like this one - were structured as fictional book excerpts or encyclopedia entries. The Potter family backstory is referenced in passing a number of times throughout Years of Rebellion. An extended family tree is included. The "family tapestry" referenced by Luna in Years of Rebellion would not include the branches that terminate with Greengrass and Bones.
**SPOILER ALERT**: This book excerpts contains more than a few spoilers with regard to the intended fates of certain characters, although - as befits a chapter in a dry historical tome written more than 20 years after the fact - there is little to no detail regarding how those certain characters arrived at said fates. If you don't want to know, then don't read this. Consider yourself alerted.
Excerpted from: Atkinson, D.G. (2023). The Most Honourable and Courageous House of Potter. In A.K. Hess, F.A. Villaume & H.J. Granger (Eds.), Great Families of the Western Wizarding World, 409th ed. (pp. MCCCXLVII – MCCCXLIX). Edinburgh, UK: Obscurus Press.
THE MOST HONOURABLE AND COURAGEOUS HOUSE OF POTTER
The Most Honourable and Courageous House of Potter is the fourteenth oldest remaining family house in Great Britain. It is arguably the most well-known wizarding house in the world presently, owing to the exploits of its current head and the sacrifices of his parents.
As of the time of publication, the House consists of the Head of House; his consort and her parents; the Head's designated magical heir; seventeen persons who have sworn fealty; and five persons who were members of the House of Black at the time it was consolidated into the House of Potter. The House had seven human employees and three house elves in its service. The House is entered into nine reciprocal relationships involving house room and protection, most notably with the Houses of Longbottom and Pucey. The House holds regency for the Original Noble House of McIlvaine, one of the nine so-called 'compact families'.
Most of the House's assets in the wizarding world were consumed or lost during the Riddle War of 1997-1998. A 2019 report by the Ministry for Magic of England and Scotland estimated that the House's net worth was approximately 6,000,000 galleons. It is widely understood that the majority of the House's assets are held in the non-magical world, and Ministry for Magic estimates do not take such assets into account.
The House of Potter controls six hereditary seats in Magical England and Scotland's 88-member House of Peers. The current Head also holds a Life Peerage, one of eight allowed to stand at any given time. As of 2022, the hereditary seats were held in proxy by the Head of the House of Longbottom. Under the governing arrangement put into force after the Riddle War, the House of Peers is primarily responsible for judicial matters and agreements between Britain and other wizarding governments and organisations.
As of 2022, three persons who have sworn fealty to the house held elective seats in the 108-member House of Commoners. The House of Commoners maintains oversight of the Ministry for Magic of England and Scotland, and the Minister for Magic serves at its pleasure.
The Wrights and the Potters
The magical lineage of the House of Potter is generally held to begin in 1292, with the birth of Bowman Wright (1292-1360). Wright and his two siblings, Edmund (b. 1294) and Elinor (b. 1296) , were the offspring of Ambrose and Catherine Wright, a non-magical couple; Mrs. Wright died in childbirth in 1296. The neighboring farm belonged to a Squib, who recognised that the three children were likely magical and arranged for Mr. Wright to take on a house maid in order to care for the children. The young house maid, Gillian Brodnax, was a witch who eventually married Mr. Wright. Mr. Wright was a tinkerer as well as a farmer, and the two Wright sons were mechanically inclined as well as magical. Bowman Wright introduced his father to Quidditch in 1306; both were appalled by the use of the Snidget, and thus began Bowman Wright's quest to craft a suitable replacement. He married Avis Waldegrave (1293-1383), a third-generation witch, in 1314.
By 1323, when Mr. Wright's Golden Snitch made its competition debut, Madam Wright née Waldegrave had borne four daughters. Two years later, Wright took on an apprentice enchanter in order to keep up with demand for his Golden Snitches and innovative Bludgers and Quaffles. Mathias Potter (1303-1394) became part of the Wright household during his apprentice and journeyman years, and a junior business partner upon completion of his mastery in 1337. Philippa, the eldest of Wright's daughters and twelve years' Potter's junior, began a relationship with Potter after having left home for several years. The two married in 1341 and produced six children in ten years. The eldest child, Samuel (1342-1420), was the first Potter to attend Hogwarts; he entered the family business upon completing at the school in 1361.
For the next three generations, the senior line Potters produced single children; fortunately for the future of the House, all were male. Brendan Potter (1385-1457) and Nicholas Potter (1412-1500) continued to slowly grow the family business. Bartemius Potter (1447-1509) married the last of the Brodnax family, Edith (1452-1536) in 1472 and proceeded to produce six daughters in fourteen years.
William Potter (1488-1599), also known as The Potter, was born at the ancestral Wright home in Wales. William was reputed to be extraordinarily competitive as a child. He was also exceptionally tall for his era: 5-feet-6 inches upon entering Hogwarts at age 11, and 6 feet-5 inches upon leaving at age 18. First of the Potters to compete in professional Quidditch, he played as a Beater for the Caerphilly Catapults from 1506 until 1509. He was forced to enter the family business upon the death of Bartemius, and took on the next phase of his life with the same competitive spirit as he demonstrated on the pitch. He began crafting custom brooms in 1510; prior to that time, Quidditch players had charmed their own brooms, frequently with lethal consequences. In 1512, William attempted to market the first standardized broom. William's design, called the Broadsword, was based on his own Beater broom. It was chiefly purposed for families as it easily accommodated two riders or an adult and two children. Although the cost was prohibitive for most magical households, the attempt bolstered William's fortunes and drew the attention of Emma Molyngton, widow of the last Head of the House of Molyngton. Madam Molyngton reintroduced her eldest daughter, Beatrice (1489-1600), to William; the two had attended one year apart at Hogwarts.
Through a group of his friends, William became involved in an effort to quash an outbreak of dark wizardry in the south of England. By 1514, the outbreak had erupted into an organized and violent opposition to the Wizards' Council [predecessor of the Ministry for Magic of England and Scotland]. Though neither a trained duellist nor an exceptionally gifted tactician, William found himself at the forefront of the effort to break the opposition. At six and a half feet tall and armour-clad, he was doubtless intimidating. Accounts of the day described his appearance in battle as 'fearsome' and 'enough to turn a man from boasting to terror'.
The wizards working to defend the Wizards' Council won the day, at the cost of three bloody battles over a five month period. William was credited at the time with slaying ninety-one opponents. It was almost certainly a reference founded in arithmancy [seven times thirteen], and was disputed thus in 1528 by William himself: 'My fearsome reputation was surely borne of alchemy, for those who first spake it transfigured shyte to gold'. Contemporary scholars of magical combat place the actual number who died at William's hand between ten and fifteen. There is no doubt that he benefited from his reputation following the battles. On December 8, 1514, he was offered a hereditary seat at the Council that he immediately accepted.
Madam Molyngton's efforts increased, and William took Beatrice Molyngton in marriage on October 31, 1515. Beatrice was not only the heiress of the House of Molyngton but also the House of Piggott by consolidation. The marriage brought three lines of seven or more generations together, and William was solidly eligible to declare a House of Potter. However, he was determined to wait until an heir was produced. The Potters produced twin girls in 1517 and a third daughter in 1520. The House of Potter was publicly declared and acknowledged within a year of the birth of William's heir, Daniel (1522-1604). Daniel was followed by two more sons and an additional daughter by 1530. In honour of the Potter's original magical lineage, William formally named the family business as Wright and Sons in 1531.
Daniel Potter showed little interest in Wright & Sons, and it was left to William to lead the family business until he took ill in the spring of 1593. At 71, Daniel was ill equipped to take William's place, and management of Wright & Sons fell to Daniel's younger brother Richard.
A Controversial Succession
Daniel and his wife, the former Lettice Bartelot, produced two children: Humphrey (1555-1600) and Isabel (1559-1647). Isabel became a gifted healer and married the renowned Mungo Bonham in 1588. Humphrey, a gourmand who was rarely seen in the company of women, never married and never took a role within Wright & Sons.
When William Potter died in 1599, both 77-year-old Daniel and 44-year-old Humphrey were in ill health. Under the terms of succession, the House of Potter would have fallen to Isabel Bonham née Potter. Were that the case, the House of Potter would by Council rule have yielded to a new House of Bonham. Both Isabel and Mungo Bonham had long made clear that they had no intention of joining Wright & Sons.
Given their disinterest in the family business, Daniel's brother Richard Potter – who had worked for Wright & Sons for forty-five years and had led it for six – argued that he and his sons should inherit in the event that Humphrey died without issue. While Richard was talented in the world of business, he had no gift for family politics; all but one of his siblings loathed him. Daniel in particular had openly bemoaned the thought that the family legacy might pass through Richard.
Humphrey and Isabel came to an agreement that Isabel and Mungo's third son, Geoffrey (1599-1693), would become Humphrey's son by blood adoption but would be raised by the Bonhams. The blood adoption was carried out on March 22, 1600, and Humphrey died six days later. Richard fought the arrangement for nearly twenty years; when he died in 1619, he was estranged from his own children over the matter. Richard's eldest son, Marcus Potter, welcomed Geoffrey Potter into the family business upon the younger man's graduation from Hogwarts.
During his Hogwarts days, Geoffrey inadvertently quashed the 1612 Goblin Rebellion; his casual mention of a gathering of goblins in Hogsmeade at the end of a student visiting day led to a quick intervention. Geoffrey was an extraordinarily talented spell crafter; he went on to marry Marion Blane, the daughter of renowned charms master Balfour Blane. Madam Potter née Blane was a gifted charms mistress in her own right, and under Geoffrey and Marcus' leadership Wright & Sons expanded into the manufacture of charmed household items.
Geoffrey's third child and heir, Hugh Potter (1643-1711), played a token role in Wright & Sons. Richard Potter's extended family were allowed to direct the business until Hugh's grandson, Henry Potter (1718-1801), assumed leadership in 1753. Hugh Potter's most notable activity was his vigorous opposition to the International Code of Wizarding Secrecy, which caused the House of Potter to lose influence within the Wizengamot for more than thirty years.
Hugh's son, Giles Potter (1690-1768), was a key figure in the Goblin Rebellion of 1726. Giles led negotiations on behalf of the Ministry for Magic; the goblins later gifted Giles with an honorary true name, Fingerthief. In 1766, Giles served for eight months as the caretaker Minister for Magic during a contentious transition of power. He remains the only Potter to serve as a Minister or Deputy Minister.
Henry Potter's son, John (1763-1843), consolidated the family lineage with the ancient House of Stanwix upon his marriage to the last Stanwix heir, Felicia (1774-1923), in 1794. The Stanwix line was well known for being exceptionally long-lived. Though Felicia Potter's life was brief in comparison to her younger sisters, she was nonetheless present at the wedding of her great-great-grandson Alexander in 1919. Ursula Hensel née Stanwix died at the age of 163 in 1951. Griselda Marchbanks née Stanwix (1799-2016) had a notable career in government service that spanned more than 160 years; at the age of 197, she returned to her first love of teaching and served on both the final faculty of Hogwarts and the founding faculty of the Royal Academy.
A Legacy of Courage
Both John Potter and his son Martin (1800-1876) played significant roles in Wright & Sons, but Martin's son Roger chose otherwise. Roger Potter (1831-1886) was a highly skilled spell crafter and had a remarkable career as a duellist on the international circuit. Most experts cite the 1850s and 1860s as the most competitive decades in the history of the sport. Against opponents of extraordinary skill and renown, Roger captured the world title four times (1859, 1861, 1865, and 1866). The Marquis de Maupassant famously proclaimed him to be the second greatest duellist of the nineteenth century. Roger left the duelling stage and joined the Ministry for Magic of England and Scotland as a Hit Wizard in 1869. When the rise of the Dark Lord Tramposo in the 1870s threatened all of Europe, Roger was recruited into an international force led by the Marquis de Maupassant that also included such notable wizards as Albus Dumbledore, Boris Karensky, Tiberius Ogden and Silvestre Goya.
Roger's son Zebulon (1857-1939) took the helm of Wright & Sons upon Martin Potter's death. Zebulon and Roger's already tattered relationship was destroyed when both Roger and Ariadne Potter née Longbottom (1831-1895) left England in 1880 to recruit and train local resistance movements in Germany. The two men never spoke again. In 1885, Roger left Germany to join the Marquis de Maupassant's gruelling advance against Tramposo's self-proclaimed kingdom in Catalonia. He was killed on October 31, 1886, the final day of the Battle of Barcelona and less than ten minutes before the Marquis and his four remaining lieutenants took Tramposo's life. Ariadne Potter's health quickly deteriorated after Roger's death; she was admitted to St. Mungo's long-term ward in 1888, where she spent the final seven years of her life.
The Lord of Business
Zebulon Potter was considered a ruthless and disagreeable man by most who knew him. He was also the single most important figure in European wizarding business in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1881 he married Gladys Boothby (1859-1943), a cutting-edge enchantress who created the Moontrimmer broomstick in 1901. Madam Potter née Boothby led Wright & Company's first subsidiary, the Comet Broom Company, for the first forty years of its existence. In 1906, whilst sailing on a trans-Atlantic sailing ship operated by non-magicals, Zebulon became aware of 'radio-telegraphy', a new non-magical means of communication that allowed one speaker to reach many listeners. A year later, Zebulon demonstrated his 'magical wireless transmitter' by broadcasting an address by Minister for Magic Sheffield Aldicott into the chambers of the Wizengamot [predecessor body to the House of Peers]. Within two years, Wright & Sons had produced the first wizarding wireless receivers available to the public and launched the Wizarding Wireless Network.
Zebulon's eldest son Alexander (1889-1978) completed his education at Hogwarts in 1907. He was brought into Wright & Sons for one year, at which time he was abruptly dismissed. Alexander's younger brother Charlus (1909-1970) was born shortly thereafter. In 1921, Zebulon began dismantling Wright & Sons and selling its various assets. By 1926, the Comet Broom Company was the only business wholly owned by the House of Potter. Potter retained the licensing rights for wizarding wireless transmitters until 1928 and receivers until 1931. As a result of the sell-off, the House of Potter's liquid assets in 1929 exceeded fifty million galleons. A 1976 analysis conducted by Gringotts estimated that the rights to wizarding wireless transmission and reception charms generated an average income of five million galleons per annum over the forty year period following sale of the rights. In an interview shortly before his death in 1939, Zebulon Potter said that the sale of those rights was his second greatest regret, while his greatest regret was the 'utter lack of business acumen and good sense on the part of my elder son.'
Alexander married the House of Henshawe heiress, Elizabeth, in 1919; this was one of the very few decisions taken by Alexander of which his father approved. The wizarding world experienced the same economic upheaval in the 1920s and 1930s as did non-magical Europe. Alexander Potter quickly made a name for himself as a philanthropist, much to Zebulon's rather public dismay. The elder Potter cut off his son's access to the family trust at least five times between 1921 and 1937. Despite the rancor between father and son, Zebulon never followed through with threats of disinheritance or disownment and Alexander received the remains of Wright and Sons upon his father's death in 1939.
The House of Potter kept a low public profile from Zebulon's death through the end of the Grindelwald War and the associated non-magical Second World War. The Potters were widely seen as neutral parties. Scrolls declassified by the Ministry for Magic of England and Scotland following the Riddle War of 1997-1998 tell a different story, however. Alexander Potter was in fact the principal financial backer behind the efforts of Albus Dumbledore and his colleagues to eliminate the threat of Grindelwald. Elizabeth Potter and a network of her friends on the continent engaged in a clandestine effort from 1940 through 1945 to evacuate as many as five thousand members of the Veela, Romany and Hebrew magical communities and others targeted by Grindelwald.
Charlus and Dorea Potter née Black gave birth to David Potter in 1942, at the height of the wartime period. By then, Alexander was 53 years old and without issue. David was therefore presumed to be the next Potter heir. After the Wars, in addition to continuing their philanthropic efforts, Alexander and Elizabeth Potter began to invest in new businesses in an attempt to spark the weak wizarding economy. Many of these flourished, and the House of Potter's coffers began to grow once again.
In the summer of 1956, David Potter drowned whilst swimming with school friends. The loss of David left the dwindling Potter family without an heir. Alexander quietly sought a blood adoption from an allied family, without success. Most unexpectedly, James Potter was born two years later; Alexander Potter found himself a first-time father at the age of 69.
In 1967, the Potters made the greatest of their casual investments when Alexander staked a 22-year-old broom designer named Devlin Whitehorn. This gave the House of Potter 34% ownership of the Nimbus Racing Broom Company. Alexander restructured Wright & Sons in 1969 as a holding company for the Comet Broom Company, his share of Nimbus and other investments.
James Potter (1958-1981) became the second Potter in four generations to marry a so-called 'Muggle-born' witch. James and Lily Potter née Evans (1959-1981) were Head Boy and Head Girl respectively for Hogwarts' 1976-77 school year, and married three months following the end of their studies. The six months following their marriage were remarkable for their losses. Alexander and Elizabeth Potter both contracted dragon pox during the catastrophic outbreak in the fall of 1977, as did Charlus Potter's widow, Dorea. By February 1978, all three had succumbed. This was followed closely by the mysterious deaths of Lily Potter's father and mother, which are now attributed to the work of the Dark Lord Riddle's followers. In June 1979, a column in England's Daily Prophet observed that the much-lauded House of Potter consisted of James Potter, his wife, and a house-elf.
The current Head of House and plans for the future
The deaths of James and Lily Potter on October 31, 1981 and the unlikely survival of Harry Potter (1980- ), which concluded the Riddle War of 1976-1981, as well as the younger Mr. Potter's eventual defeat of the Dark Lord Riddle in 1998 are subjects of considerable documentation and speculation, and will not be elaborated upon here.
Harry Potter assumed his place as Head of the House of Potter in July, 1996 upon legal emancipation by his late guardian, Sirius Black. Mr. Potter also assumed headship for the House of Black [see pp. MCLXXI - MCLXXXIII] at that time. Mr. Potter completed six years of studies at Hogwarts prior to the beginning of active hostilities in the Riddle War of 1997-1998. Like many others, he received an honorary certificate of completion following the war.
Mr. Potter has been in what is understood to be an exclusive relationship with Hermione Granger (1979- ) since 1997, and the couple have shared a permanent residence since 2000. Mr. Potter and Ms. Granger were handfasted from September, 1997 through August, 1998, but allowed the handfasting to expire and have never recorded an ICW-recognised marriage or binding.
Mr. Potter and Ms. Granger's ongoing engagement in the non-magical world is broadly known but incompletely documented. Various reports have suggested that Mr. Potter and Ms. Granger married under non-magical auspices sometime between 2001 and 2006, but no records to support these claims have ever been publicly presented. It is widely rumoured that Mr. Potter attended a non-magical school in London between 2002 and 2005 that specialises in the study of economics and politics; no records have been located, which suggests that either this rumour is false or that he studied under another name.
According to the non-magical United Kingdom's Companies House, Mr. Potter is director of Wright and Sons, Ltd., which reported 16,520,000 Euros [approximately 3,000,000 Galleons] in net profit for 2022. Mr. Potter is also listed by the Ministry for Magic of England and Scotland as director of Wright and Sons; as a legacy business [founded prior to 1692], it is not required to publicly report performance. Mr. Potter is known to be engaged in philanthropy under the auspices of Wright and Sons in the magical world and via PGW Charities, Ltd. in the non-magical world.
Ms. Granger is in the periodic employ of Obscurus Press where she has edited more than 40 books and scrolls, including several sections of this publication. In 2013, Ms. Granger completed an advanced course of study relating to ancient history and languages. As a result, she was awarded the title of Doctor of Philosophy, and is customarily identified as Dr. Granger in non-magical settings and publications.
As of the time of publication, Mr. Potter and Ms. Granger are reported to have no children; however, it is impossible to state this with absolute certainty, as the pair are extraordinarily private and do not reside in a wizarding enclave. In 2016, Mr. Potter named Ronald Longbottom (2012- ), the third son of Neville Longbottom and Susan Longbottom née Bones, as magical heir to the House of Potter in the event that Mr. Potter has no surviving issue of his own at the time of his death. According to an information request directed at the Ministry for Magic of England and Scotland in 2022, this agreement remains open.
No similar agreement is known to be in place for the House of Black. This is a matter of some controversy within the House of Peers; some have argued that Mr. Potter cannot consolidate the much-older House of Black into the House of Potter, and must either explicitly name a Black heir or surrender the family to a cadet line.
There may be a designated heiress of the House of McIlvaine, but no public registry requirement is imposed on the remaining so-called 'Compact families'. Despite their close friendship, it is thought unlikely that Mr. Potter would turn to the family of Mr. Longbottom for more than one magical heir. Speculation regarding the identity of a McIlvaine heiress in recent years has centred around Brìghde Duke (2009- ), the daughter of Kirley Duke and Heather Duke née Magruder, and god-daughter of Mr. Potter and Ms. Granger. Allegra Pucey [daughter of Adrian Pucey and Anna Pucey née deFlandres] and Rachel Goldstein [daughter of Anthony Goldstein and Ginevra Goldstein née Weasley] have also received mention but are thought less likely given that both are being raised and educated outside of Britain.