James Potter
James Potter
Biographical information

27 March, 1960[1]


31 October, 1981[1]

Blood status


Marital status


Also known as




Physical information




Hair colour


Eye colour


Skin colour


Family information
Family members
Magical characteristics



Mahogany, eleven inches, pliable[7]





James Potter I (27 March, 1960 - 31 October, 1981[1]) was a pure-blood wizard[2], an Animagus[3] and the husband of Lily Evans and the father of Harry James Potter[1].


Early lifeEdit

James was born on 27 March, 1960[1] to Charlus and Dorea Potter[6], two pure-blood wizards[2]; as both of his parents were very elderly and retired by the time they had him, he was a surprise to the two, who were nonetheless overjoyed[10]. He was badly spoiled, and raised to believe that he was an extra treasure to the world[10].

First yearEdit

James began attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry on 1 September, 1971; he was Sorted into Gryffindor House along with his new friend Sirius Black[9]. The two would later become friends with Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew[5].

On the Hogwarts Express, the large red steam engine that brings the students to Hogwarts Castle, James and Sirius were introduced to a ridiculously bat-like, sharp-tongued boy named Severus Snape[9]. Although they initially ignored him, when he mentioned a desire to be in Sytherin house, they began mocking him to the point that he left[9].

Second yearEdit

In his second year, James was made a Chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team[4], and was more than aware of his outstanding talent on the field[5]. Despite his high position, in his fifth year he stole a Golden Snitch from the referee's office and played with it after completing his examinations; it is likely he did this more than once[5].

However, despite the time Quidditch practices took up, as well as the amount of time his homework would require, James and Sirius began noticing something odd about their friend Remus[3]. After some careful research, combined with their intellect, they realised that he was a werewolf, but instead of abandoning him as most would have done, they began working hard to help him[3].

Third yearEdit

Snape, who James had been bullying since the incident on the train, took a keen interest in the four friends, trying his utmost to have them expelled[3].

Fifth yearEdit

Three years after James began the long and very dangerous process, he finally mastered the ability to become an Animagus[3]. Illegally, he was able to become a large stag; Sirius could become a dog and Peter was able, with much help from his friends, to become a rat[3]. With their new-found ability, they encouraged Lupin to adventure with them, and he reluctantly agreed[3]. Soon they began sneaking him out of the Shrieking Shack where he stayed under the full moon, and began wandering around the Hogwarts Grounds and Hogsmeade Village[3]. With this knowledge of the grounds, they wrote the Marauder's Map, an enchanted document that showed the entire school and village, as well as all those who were present in those areas[3].

Seventh yearEdit

Early into his seventh year, James began maturing due to the war outside[11] and eventually gained the interests of Lily Evans, to whom he had been attracted for years[5]. By late December, the two were dating and were ready to meet each other's families[12]. The meeting between James and Lily, Lily's sister Petunia and Petunia's husband-to-be Vernon Dursley went very badly[12]. James was amused by Vernon's normality and was unafraid of showing it; this infuriated Vernon, who tried and failed to patronise him[12]. After a couple of minutes, the engaged couple stormed out of the restaurant, leaving the two wizards very upset[12].

James and his friends, Sirius, Remus and Peter had, two years prior, created a magical document known was the Marauder's Map with the help of their Animagus ability as well as James's Invisibility Cloak[11]. Snape had continued to try to have them expelled, and was angrier than ever after the incident at the end of their fifth year, and eventually discovered their wanderings[11]. He consequently informed Argus Filch, the school's caretaker, of them, and he cornered the four friends, demanding that they hand over the map[11]. Thereafter, they found it impossible to get the map back, but were barely concerned about it at all due to problems outside the school[11]. Voldemort had been gaining power, and the four friends wanted to prepare themselves[11].


Almost immediately after graduating, James and Lily, as well as their three childhood friends, were introduced into the Order of the Phoenix, a renegade organisation founded by their former Headmaster Albus Dumbledore[11].

James and Lily were allowed to attend their sister-in-law's wedding, and did so, but Lily was hurt by her sister's decision not to have her as a bridesmaid, and Vernon insulted James within earshot[11]. When James and Lily got married in August of 1979, the only one to attend was Sirius Black[13].

Lily became pregnant a month after the wedding, in September of 1979[14], and on 31 July, 1980 gave birth to a boy, Harry James Potter. She consented to having Sirius as the godfather[13]. Around that time, Sybil Trelawney met with Dumbledore for a position as Divination teacher at Hogwarts School, and made a prophecy about the newborn baby; Snape, now a loyal Death Eater, reported what he had heard of the prophecy (only the first half) to his master[9]. Upon learning of who the prophecy referred to, he informed Dumbledore, who bought a cottage for the Potters in his own hometown of Godric's Hollow, and placed various security enchantments on it, the most powerful being the Fidelius Charm[9]. While Sirius was the original Secret Keeper, he convinced the Potters to make Peter the Secret Keeper instead, believing it to be a reasonable decoy[15].


Peter, unknown to anyone, was secretly a spy for Voldemort, and immediately informed him of the location of the Potter cottage[16].

On Hallowe'en night, at a very late hour, Voldemort came to the front gate, any sound of his approach masked by the leaves on the pavement outside[16]. James was producing coloured smoke for Harry, when Lily told him it was time for the baby to go to sleep[16]. James left his wand on the couch, yawning and bringing the baby into the hall to go to the cot in the nursery[16]. Before they could reach the nursery, the front door was blasted open by Voldemort, and James passed Harry to Lily, stating that he would hold Voldemort off[16]. This caused mirth to Voldemort, as James did not have his wand; he therefore laughed as he cast the curse that ended James's life, causing him to drop like a marionette whose strings had been cut[16]. His death was quick and painless, and he did not even have time to warn his family of their impending deaths[16].


James did not live to see his wife being blasted aside by Voldemort, nor to watch as his infant son redirected Voldemort's curse and blew up the top right side of the cottage[16].

Whenever his son looked in the Mirror of Erised from 1991 until 1995, he saw his family, including James[17]. Likewise, whenever Harry passed a Dementor, he would revisit his parents' deaths, first hearing James during his Anti-Dementor Lessons with Lupin, who by then was a Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts[18].

A large stone statue had been erected in the centre of the town square of Godric's Hollow, visible only to wizards and otherwise disguised as a war memorial, depicting James in a loving embrace with his wife, smiling down at his infant son, a happy family once more[1]. The couple were buried in the local churchyard, with a large white marble tomb[1].


Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Chapter Sixteen - Godric's Hollow)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Chapter Sixteen - A Very Frosty Christmas)
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Chapter Eighteen - Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Scholastic Interview
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Chapter Twenty-Eight - Snape's Worst Memory)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Black Family Tree
  7. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Chapter Five - Diagon Alley)
  8. 2007 Bloomsbury Chat
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Chapter Thirty-Three - The Prince's Tale)
  10. 10.0 10.1 2005 Mugglenet Interview with J. K. Rowling
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 Pottermore - New From J. K. Rowling - The Marauder's Map
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Pottermore - New From J. K. Rowling - Vernon & Petunia Dursley
  13. 13.0 13.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Chapter Ten - The Marauder's Map)
  14. A woman is pregnant for nine months before having a baby, and nine months prior to July is September.
  15. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Chapter Seventeen - Cat, Rat and Dog)
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 16.7 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Chapter Seventeen - Bathilda's Secret)
  17. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Chapter Twelve - The Mirror of Erised)
  18. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Chapter Twelve - The Patronus)