The wizarding families of Harry Potter are a huge part of why the Potterverse feels so rich, magical, and never-ending. From their obsession with blood status to generations of magical adventures to retell, these fictional families are a godsend for anyone hungry for weird Potter facts. But of course, not all of these family stories are so whimsically pretty—the history of magic has plenty of darkness too. Cast a spell on these 43 secretive facts about the Wizarding families of Harry Potter.

1. 28 Reasons Why

It’s no spoiler to say the Wizarding World is obsessed with “blood purity.” In fact, wizards who were especially concerned with the “issue” in the 1940s published a list of 28 families whose blood was considered pure enough to pass as marriable among self-respecting wizards. This roster would be called the “Sacred Twenty-Eight.”

2. One Big Happy Family

Naturally, the Sacred Twenty-Eight feature elite and “no Muggles allowed” families such as the Malfoys and the Lestranges. However, less wealthy and more muggle-allied families such as the Weasleys, Longbottoms, and Shacklebolts also made the list—almost like blood snobbery is a choice.

3. Not to Stir the Potter

The Potters are an established wizarding family, but they are not on the “Sacred Twenty-Eight” list of established purebloods. Why? According to J.K. Rowling, it’s because “Potter” is a very common Muggle surname, so “the anonymous compiler of that supposedly definitive list of pure-bloods suspected that they had sprung from what he considered to be tainted blood.”

4. Empathy Runs in the Family

The Potter family has a much longer tradition of defending Muggles and Muggle-borns than most people realize. Harry’s ancestor Henry Potter condemned the Ministry of Magic after they forbid helping Muggles during World War One. Likewise, another ancestor, Ralston Potter, who sat on the Wizengamot in the 17th century, supported the Statute of Secrecy while many wizards wished simply to wage war on Mugglekind.

5. Not to Split Hairs About It

Believe it or not, Harry Potter is the heir to a magical hair gel fortune. His grandfather, Fleamont Potter, managed to quadruple the Potter family’s already impressive wealth by inventing “Sleekeazy’s Hair Potion,” a magical substance that slicks back locks in only two drops. (Side note: considering how many times the books emphasize Harry’s mop of untidy hair, I hope you find this as hilarious as I do).

6. Keeping It In the Family

Pure-blood families have an ugly history of inbreeding to keep the family tree Muggle-free. One such example is the House of Black, who frequently marry cousins. It’s rumored this is the cause of the family’s recent legacy for instability (*cough* Bellatrix *cough*). The practice is likewise found in the legendary House of Gaunt, Voldemort’s maternal family. By the 1920s, it’s believed that inbreeding led to the disintegration of the Gaunt offspring’s mental and physical capacities, which led to the loss of their fortune.

7. Black Magic Widow

Slytherin student (and Malfoy pal) Blaise Zabini is the son of a legendarily beautiful witch. Mrs. Zabini has been married seven times and her husbands all have a habit of mysteriously dying and leaving her huge amounts of money…

8. A Very Tudor Potterverse

One of the Malfoys—the first Lucius Malfoy—plotted to marry Queen Elizabeth I of England. So much for being too good for Muggles, right? The Golden Age ruler rejected Malfoy’s offer; it’s rumored the wizard jinxed her with frigidity in response, explaining (in the Potterverse at least…), why Elizabeth turned down every offer of marriage before dying single at the ripe age of 69.

9. I Put My Malfoy In You

The surname “Malfoy” is Old French for “bad faith.” Real subtle, Rowling.

10. I Owe It All to My Willy

As much as they poo-poo non-magic society, the Malfoy family has a long history of cavorting with Muggle royalty. For instance, the founder of Malfoy Manor, Armand Malfoy, came to the British Isles alongside William the Conqueror during the Norman Invasion.

11. Home Sweet Land Grant

It’s believed Armand Malfoy performed various “services” to William the Conqueror (Probably magical services; get your mind out of the gutter). In exchange for their loyalty, King William bestowed Malfoy Manor upon the wizarding family. In other words, the Malfoys are hypocrites who owe their fortune to Muggles.

12. We’ve Got Bad Blood

Draco Malfoy’s wife, Astoria Greengrass, died in 2019 due to a blood curse that was cast on her ancestor generations ago. #FirstWorldWizardingProblems, am I right?

13. Join the Hate Club

Despite their inclusion in the Sacred Twenty-Eight list of pureblood families, the Weasleys condemn their own status. The family’s outward sympathy to Muggles and Muggle-borns have made them persona non grata to many of the other 27 families.

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