Dorea Potter (née Black) (1920 – 1977) was a pure-blood witch, the youngest child of Cygnus Black II and Violetta Bulstrode and the youngest sister of Pollux Black, Cassiopeia Black, and Marius Black. She attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where she was sorted into Slytherin House.
Sometime after Hogwarts, she married Charlus Potter and they together had one son. Dorea was the paternal aunt of Alphard, Cygnus, and Walburga Black, thus she is the great-aunt of Sirius Black III and Regulus Black II, as well as Bellatrix Lestrange, Andromeda Tonks, and Narcissa Malfoy. As well as this, Dorea is the great-great aunt of Draco Malfoy and Nymphadora Tonks and the great-great-great aunt of Scorpius Malfoy and Ted Lupin. Also, she is related in some way to James Potter and his son, Harry Potter.
The name Dorea may come from the names Dora ("gift") or Dorothy, which mean "to see a gift" in Greek (as opposed to "Theodora" which means "a gift from god" in Greek), or from dory, a type of small boat. The name "Dora" appears before Dorea: her great-aunt was named Elladora and her cousin was named Callidora.
Dorea can come from Irish Doireann, which means "sullen" or "daughter of Fionn". Fionn means "fair, white." "Sullen" and "fair, white" can relate to many of the Black family's traits.
Black can be considered a colour, and is the result of the absence of, or complete absorption of, light. In Western culture, the colour black has typically been associated with evil, darkness, and witchcraft, but also with prestige and sophistication — appropriate for the House of Black. Black has also been associated with life and prosperity by other cultures. In ancient China, black was the symbol of the element of water, which also corresponds to Slytherin, the Hogwarts house of almost all members of the Black family. In English heraldry, black represents darkness and ignorance; a possible allusion to the prejudice common to members of the House of Black.
However, the English word black is derived from either the Old English blœc, meaning "black", or blac, meaning "pale".Pallor is associated with sickness and the colour white, which is usually held to symbolise purity in Western and Indian culture, and death in East Asian cultures. This mirrors the typical colouring of members of the House of Black — dark hair and pale skin.
Dorea's married surname is Potter. Potter is a very common surname of English origin. It traditionally refers to the occupation of making pottery. Beatrix Potter was a well-known English children's author. Potter's Field is the name for a burial ground for the unknown or unclaimed dead, particularly soldiers and orphans; it is first mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew. The Potter family had many members that fit that description. The Potter Box is a model for making ethical decisions developed at Harvard University. J. K. Rowling has also commented that she has liked this name since childhood, due to a relationship with two friends who were named Ian and Vikki Potter.
Behind the scenes
- According to a statement by Horace Slughorn, all the members of the House of Black except for Sirius were sorted into Slytherin. Dorea attended Hogwarts from 1931-1938, which would have made her one of the first ever Slytherins Horace taught when he became Potions teacher and Head of Slytherin.
- In addition to that given her marriage to Charlus Potter, she is technically the first ever Potter known in canon to be sorted into Slytherin House.
- There was some speculation that Dorea Potter was the mother of James Potter and so the paternal grandmother of Harry Potter. However, the actual names of James's parents were revealed to be Fleamont and Euphemia Potter, via Pottermore. In spite of this, it is still more than likely that Dorea was possibly an aunt or a cousin by marriage of James.
- Dorea was not featured on the Potter family tree on Pottermore. She does, however, appear on the Black Family tree that was released.
- Her first cousin Cedrella Black married the "blood traitor" Septimus Weasley and was disowned, but Dorea Black married Charlus Potter but was not disowned thus implying that the Potter family was a "respectable" pure-blood family. Many families who various members of the House of Black married into would now be seen as blood-traitors such as the Longbottoms, the Macmillans and the Prewetts.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film) (Appears on Black family tapestry)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) (Seen on Black family tree tapestry)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game) (Seen on Black family tree tapestry)
Notes and references
- "World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling," South West News Service, 8 July 2000 - "Hogwarts just serves Britain and Ireland."
- Her blonde hair can be seen in her tapestry picture.
- In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 4, Horace Slughorn states: "The whole Black family had been in my house, but Sirius ended up in Gryffindor!" This implies that all Blacks except Sirius were sorted into Slytherin while Slughorn was teaching at Hogwarts. As revealed in Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies, Chapter 3 (Horace Slughorn), Slughorn had "completed half a century of service" at the time of his retirement in 1981, meaning he started teaching there circa 1931. Dorea, born in 1920, presumably attended Hogwarts from 1931 to 1938 or 1932 to 1939, and thus would have been a student of Slughorn.
- Black Family tree
- Writing by J. K. Rowling: "The Potter Family" at Wizarding World