Harry's Parents and their Best Friends

A. James Potter and Lily Evans

James Potter and Lily Potter (née Evans) are fictional characters of the Harry Potter series. They are the late parents of Harry Potter.

James Potter was born c. 1960 in England. He attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry c. 1971 to c. 1978 where his best friends were Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew. Sirius fell out with his parents and instead came to live with James' family from the age of 16. They treated Sirius as a 'second son', suggesting that James had no other brothers. James was a brilliant student and was Quidditch Chaser on the Gryffindor house team. There is considerable confusion over whether James Potter was a Seeker or a Chaser. Rowling has confirmed that James was a Chaser, and that his being a Seeker was introduced in the Harry Potter films. Described by Severus Snape as exceedingly arrogant he eventually matured by the end of his schooldays. Scenes from James time at Hogwarts have shown him behaving as something of a bully towards Snape.

While at Hogwarts he met his future wife Lily Evans, who had entered Hogwarts c. 1971 as well. Lily's parents were said to be delighted to discover their daughter was a witch, but her sister Petunia was not. Lily was also a talented student, described by Professor Slughorn as having a natural ability at potions, being cheeky and always seeing the good in others. She became a member of the Slug Club, which was run by Slughorn for promising students. They were Head Boy and Head Girl when they were in their final year. For most of the time they were at Hogwarts, Lily regarded James as an arrogant fool but when he matured she changed her mind and fell in love with him. They married soon after leaving Hogwarts. J.K. Rowling has said in an interview that "James inherited plenty of money, so he didn't need a well paid profession." It has not been revealed what careers they took up after leaving school.

James and Lily had a son whom they named Harry, born on 31 July 1980. James and Lily belonged to an organisation called the Order of the Phoenix, which was created for wizards who wanted to battle Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters. This organisation was created and lead by Albus Dumbledore. Dumbledore was given a prophecy by Sybill Trelawney that someone had been born who would defeat the Dark Lord. Voldemort was told the prophecy by Severus Snape and determined two possible children who might fit the description, Neville Longbottom and Harry. Voldemort resolved to kill them. James and Lily escaped three times from attacks by the Death Eaters and Lord Voldemort, but on 31 October 1981, the Potters were betrayed by their friend Peter Pettigrew and were attacked without warning at their home in Godric's Hollow. Their confrontation ended with first James and then Lily dead and Voldemort himself barely alive. Harry was begrudgingly adopted by Lily's sister, who is married to Vernon Dursley.

Lily could have saved herself when the family was attacked by Voldemort. He offered her a chance to stand aside while he killed Harry. She refused, so he killed her, but her selfless act of love invoked an ancient magic that gave Harry an innate defence against Voldemort. The magic was extended so long as Harry remained living with his blood relatives, until he turned 17. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Professor Quirrell, acting as host to Voldemort, attempts to attack Harry to gain the Philosopher's stone, but is destroyed by the magic, and Voldemort returned to his prior non-corporeal state. Over time, however, Voldemort has learned to overcome some of Harry's defences.

James' Animagus form is a stag, like Harry's Patronus. James was therefore nicknamed "Prongs". Though Harry bears a great resemblance to his father, it is often noted that he has Lily's green eyes. Several rumours regarding the forthcoming events of the seventh Harry Potter book regard this detail as significant.

Though Lily was Muggle-born and thus should have been a prime target for Voldemort herself, Voldemort requested her to "stand aside" when he attempted to kill Harry. This was shown as a flashback sequence during Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The baby is his target, not her, but in the end, he was forced to kill her before approaching Harry. Given the fact that Voldemort kills any wizard without blinking an eye, this has given rise to speculation about his reasons for offering her a chance to live.

B. Sirius Black

Sirius Black (c. 1960 - June, 1996) is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series of novels. He is played in the film adaptations by Gary Oldman.

Sirius Black is one of the last people born to the House of Black, a prominent family of pure-blood wizards and witches. Known members of the family include Narcissa Black, who married Lucius Malfoy and gave birth to Draco Malfoy; Andromeda Black, who married Ted Tonks and gave birth to Nymphadora Tonks; Bellatrix Black, who married Rodolphus Lestrange; and Regulus Black, who, according to Sirius, tried to leave the Death Eaters and was killed on Lord Voldemort's orders.

At the age of sixteen, Sirius ran away from home, disgracing his family and prompting the removal of his name from the Black family tree tapestry.

Sirius Black was best friends with James Potter, Harry's father, and was also friends with Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew. When they discovered that Lupin was a werewolf, his friends helped him by secretly becoming Animagi because Lupin was not compelled to attack non-humans. Sirius's Animagus form was that of a dog and his nickname was therefore "Padfoot".

When James married Lily Evans, Sirius was his best man at the wedding and later became Harry's godfather. By making him godfather, James and Lily had appointed Sirius as Harry's guardian in case anything happened to them.

C. Remus Lupin

Remus John Lupin (born March 10, 1959) is a fictional character in the Harry Potter novels, portrayed by David Thewlis in the films.

Lupin first appeared in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, during which he taught Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. At the end of the year Severus Snape made public the fact that he was a werewolf and after that Lupin had to resign. He taught the class about dark creatures and gave Harry private anti-Dementor lessons. His students (excepting a few Slytherins) held him in extremely high regard and loved the hands-on style of his classes. He was considered by Harry and his friends to have been their only decent Defence teacher, although his competition was hardly stiff in this regard. Two were frauds, one was possessed by Lord Voldemort, Dolores Umbridge was appointed by the Ministry of Magic as a spy, and the latest was the intimidating Severus Snape. Lupin reappeared in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and in Half-Blood Prince, but his role in those books was smaller than in Prisoner of Azkaban.

Lupin was bitten by the vicious werewolf Fenrir Greyback as a child, thus becoming a werewolf himself. Though he and his parents were justifiably afraid he would not be able to attend school, Albus Dumbledore allowed him to enter Hogwarts. A house was built in Hogsmeade with a secret passage leading to it from under the Whomping Willow. Lupin was smuggled into this house for his monthly transformations to secure his safety and that of others. The transformation from human to werewolf is difficult and painful, and when isolated from humans or the company of other animals, the werewolf would attack itself with its teeth and claws out of frustration. The villagers mistook his screaming as that of extremely violent ghosts. The house was dubbed "the Shrieking Shack" and became known as the most haunted building in Britain. Although the house was not really haunted at all, Dumbledore encouraged this rumour to discourage curious villagers from ever exploring.

Remus kept his transformations a secret, but his friends (James Potter, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew) worked out the truth in their second year. By their fifth year they had learnt how to become Animagi to keep him company during his transformations. A werewolf is only a danger to humans. He was given the nickname "Moony" by his friends because of his condition. In their sixth year, Sirius Black played a prank on Severus Snape, whom all four of them loathed. He told Snape where Remus went every month, knowing full well it would lead to Snape's death. James stopped Snape, saving his life, but Snape still found out Remus was a werewolf and was sworn to secrecy by Dumbledore.

Remus was a prefect, though he had trouble exercising discipline over his friends. In an interview, J. K. Rowling linked this to Remus's desire to be liked by his friends, "because he's been disliked so often." Sirius said Remus was the "good boy" in Order of the Phoenix, and Rowling said he was the "mature" one. Sirius says that Lupin did not participate in his and James's bullying (of Snape, in particular), but Lupin regrets never having told them to stop.

In Prisoner of Azkaban, he is described as having "light brown hair" that is greying. In Order of the Phoenix, as having a pale face with premature lines. He has shabby, patched clothing. Few in the magical world want to employ a werewolf and almost all are prejudiced against them. With the addition of new anti-werewolf laws passed by the Ministry of Magic, finding employment became practically impossible and almost illegal. With Wolfsbane Potion provided by Snape during his time at Hogwarts, he can retain his human mind during transformations. Since he is a werewolf, Lupin's boggart takes the form of the full moon.

Lupin's werewolf form is often mistakenly believed to be a humanised wolf. This is likely due in part to the presentation of werewolf Lupin in the film adaptation, but the books inform us that there are only minor superficial differences between the appearances of a true wolf and a transformed werewolf in the Harry Potter world.

There is evidence to suggest that Lupin is a more powerful wizard than he lets on. While on the train during Prisoner of Azkaban, he summons fire without a wand (wandless magic being difficult to perform) and holds it in the palm of his bare hand. Later, in Order of the Phoenix, he is the only fighter besides Dumbledore who was not wounded, killed or knocked unconscious in the battle at the Department of Mysteries.

In Half-Blood Prince, it is revealed that he is hiding undercover as a spy amongst his fellow werewolves who are under the leadership of the very werewolf who originally bit him. Fenrir Greyback is now in the employ of Voldemort. Remus admits to Harry that he finds the werewolves' motives for siding with Voldemort hard to argue with, as he offers them more freedom than they are currently allowed.

At the end of the book it is revealed that Nymphadora Tonks is in love with Remus. He resists becoming involved with her because of the risks from his being a werewolf, and because he is too old and poor for her. However, the two are seen holding hands in one of the last scenes. The pairing of Lupin and Tonks was predicted before the release of Half-Blood Prince by some "shippers," but largely thought to be unlikely.

D. Peter Pettigrew

Peter Pettigrew is a fictional character in the Harry Potter series of novels. In the movies, he is played by Timothy Spall.

At first, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry is told that Peter Pettigrew was a friend of his father (James Potter) who confronted Sirius Black after the latter had betrayed Harry Potters's parents. Sirius Black supposedly cursed Pettigrew, leaving only a finger behind and slaughtering a dozen-odd innocent Muggles at the same time. For this crime, Sirius Black was sent to the wizard prison, Azkaban.

At the end of that book, however, Sirius and Remus Lupin reveal that Pettigrew is an Animagus who takes the form of a small rat. Called "Wormtail", he had become the secret-keeper for James Potter and his wife Lily Evans when Harry was a baby, in hopes that Lord Voldemort would pursue Sirius Black instead. However, it turns out that Pettigrew always tries to find powerful friends; he betrayed the Potters to Voldemort in order to gain favour. During the confrontation with Sirius on that fateful night, it was actually Pettigrew who blasted the muggles and then transformed himself to escape with the other rats down into the sewers. He left behind a finger, successfully faking his own death and framing Sirius Black for his and the Potters' deaths. Since then, Pettigrew had masqueraded as Scabbers, the pet rat owned at first by Percy Weasley, then by Ron Weasley. It has not been revealed how Peter, as Scabbers, managed to get into the Weasley family.

Pettigrew later faked his own death a second time, to avoid Crookshanks, who was trying to bring him to Sirius Black. After his capture in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry convinced Sirius and Lupin not to kill Pettigrew. However, Pettigrew managed to escape, and he sought out and rejoined Lord Voldemort. Peter has a life debt to Harry because he stopped Lupin and Sirius from killing Peter. Dumbledore describes this as ancient magic that forms a bond between the two.

In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Pettigrew helped Lord Voldemort in an elaborate scheme to capture Harry. Pettigrew then performed a complicated spell which allowed Voldemort to return to the flesh, sacrificing his own hand in the process. Shortly after his restoration, Voldemort created a silver hand out of thin air and attached it to Pettigrew to replace the hand he had sacrificed in the ritual. The hand is much stronger than Pettigrew's old one.

Pettigrew did not appear in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, except in Snape's memory. He is also seen in a portrait of the original Order of the Phoenix; he was one of the original members of that organisation.

He also makes a brief appearance in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. When Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange visit Snape, it is revealed that Pettigrew is currently hiding at Snape's home on Voldemort's orders. J.K. Rowling hinted that Pettigrew will make additional appearances in the final novel.

Peter is one of the few evil wizards who was not from Slytherin House.

The name "Pettigrew" is probably derived from the French word "petit", or small, and "grew." Hence, "grew small."

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