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Bellatrix Lestrange (née Black) a well known example of a Pure-Blood supremacist and another example of the unstable side effects of severe intermarriage between close relatives

The Sacred Twenty-Eight were, according to the author of the Pure-Blood Directory (widely believed to have been Cantankerus Nott), the twenty-eight British families that were still "truly pure-blood" by the 1930s.[1]

The Sacred Twenty-Eight comprised the families of:

Notes about the Sacred Twenty-Eight

Interestingly, the Ollivander family is considered one of the Sacred Twenty-Eight, despite Garrick Ollivander's mother being Muggle-born prior to the book's publication. It is possible, however, that the Directory's author was unaware of or overlooked this for other reasons.

The Potter family was excluded from the list because it was also a common Muggle surname, and that Henry Potter also took an outspoken pro-Muggle view during his time in the Wizengamot.[2] This was despite Dorea Black marrying Charlus Potter, and not being disowned, which would almost certainly indicate that the family had no known Muggle ancestors or relatives. Also, James Potter was a pure-blood.[3] One possible theory indicates that the author of the Directory considered the Potters and other "pure-blood" families (such as the Princes, the Crabbes, or the Goyles) to have some amount of Muggle ancestry.

Some families (most famously the Weasley family) spoke out against the list in spite of their inclusion, declaring that they certainly had muggle ancestry and were not ashamed of it. The families who were proud of being included or who wished they had been labelled them "blood traitors" in retaliation.

Although the Malfoys were noted as respectable members as one of the Sacred Twenty-Eight (a title they are proud of), they did not take the pure-blood supremacy to the point of inbreeding: they were willing to marry half-bloods, many of whom are shown in their family tree. As they had no Muggles or Muggle-borns in their family tree, they were still a pure-blood family, just not as fanatic as the Blacks, Gaunts, and Lestranges, whose members do not marry half-bloods, Muggles, or Muggle-borns.[4]

Current status of the Sacred Twenty-Eight

The Crouch and the Gaunt families are extinct, the first definitively, the latter in direct line. Bartemius Crouch Jnr killed his own father and was later Kissed by a Dementor; according to Albus Dumbledore, he was the last member of the family. Tom Riddle Jnr killed Morfin Gaunt, the last surviving male member of the family, who did not have children; Riddle had an illegitimate daughter, Delphini, who is currently in Azkaban.[5] So is the House of Black, which extinguished in 1996 due to the death of his last male member, Sirius Black. Andromeda Tonks, née Black, however, married a Muggle-born wizard, Edward Tonks, so they did not match up the policy of the Directory anymore. In any case, the House continues through several indirect lines, namely Scorpius Malfoy (grandson of Narcissa Malfoy, née Black), Edward Lupin, grandson of Andromeda Tonks, and Delphini Riddle, illigitimate daughter of Bellatrix Lestrange, née Black.

The Lestranges are probably extinct in male line, as neither Rabastan nor Rodolphus Lestrange, the last known members, had children.[6]

The Malfoy family continues in Scorpius Malfoy, only son of Draco Malfoy and Astoria Greengrass, which means that both families have been secured of an heir, although, in Greengrass' case, indirect. Scorpius Malfoy also indirectly continues the House of Black, his paternal grandmother being Narcissa Malfoy.

The Weasleys continue their tradition of being singularly prolific: with the only exception of Charlie and Fred Weasley (the latter died during the Second Battle of Hogwarts), all the children of Arthur and Molly Weasley got married and had children of their own. They however broke the rules of the Pure-blood Directory when Ronald Weasley married Hermione Granger, a Muggle-born.[7]

Neville Longbottom married Hannah Abbott, another member of the Sacred Twenty-Eight, but as of 2014 they did not have children. However, Abbott once stated that she was half-blood, meaning that one of her ancestors married a Muggle and thus the family was excluded from the Directory.

Appearances

Notes and references

  1. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Pure-Blood" at Wizarding World
  2. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "The Potter Family" at Wizarding World
  3. In any case, James Potter married a Muggle-born witch.
  4. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "The Malfoy Family" at Wizarding World
  5. Strictly according to the Pure-blood Directory's policies, the Gaunts should have been excluded from the Sacred Twenty-Eight as Merope Gaunt married Tom Riddle Snr, a Muggle. The fact that the directory was written during the 1930s and the Gaunts were included, even if Merope did already marry Tom Riddle at that time, proves that the author did not know that. In any case, Merope died giving birth to her son on 31 December 1926, Marvolo Gaunt died soon after his release from Azkaban (around 1926) and Morfin Gaunt was sent by his own nephew to Azkaban, where he died sometimes after 1943, extinguishing the direct family line.
  6. It is unknown if Rabastan Lestrange even got married.
  7. Possibly even before, when Bill Weasley married Fleur Delacour, who was part-Veela. The Directory's policy about half-humans is unclear. Bellatrix Lestrange once described Remus Lupin, a Werewolf, as a "beast", but this has little value, given the common repulsion for Werewolves among the wizarding community. Also, the Blacks were known for their extremely strict policy about blood purity.
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