Lily evans potter

Lily evans potter DEFAULT

Lily Evans Potter, {FICT}

Fictional Character Appearing in the Harry Potter Book Series:

DO NOT merge with real people or into the "big tree"

"...Lily Potter (née Evans) (30 January, 1960 – 31 October, 1981) was a Muggle-born witch, the younger daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Evans and the sister of Petunia. She learned that she was a witch as a child, after Severus Snape, a wizard boy who lived nearby, recognised her as a witch and told her of the existence of magic. The two became close friends, but their friendship became strained over the years due to Snape's interest in the Dark Arts and his interest in joining the Death Eaters. Lily ended the friendship in their fifth year, after Snape called her a Mudblood. She attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from 1971 to 1978 and was sorted into Gryffindor house. A talented student, Lily was a member of the Slug Club and was made Head Girl in her seventh year.

After Hogwarts, Lily married James Potter and they had a son, Harry. She, James, and James's friends (Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew) all joined the Order of the Phoenix during the First Wizarding War; she and her husband defied Lord Voldemort himself three times. However, Lily and James were forced to go into hiding after a prophecy was made concerning Lord Voldemort and their infant son. James and Lily were betrayed by Peter Pettigrew to Lord Voldemort. Lily was murdered by Voldemort in 1981, along with her husband, while they were trying to protect their son. Lily briefly appeared again through the Resurrection Stone, along with James, Sirius and Remus in 1998. After the Second Wizarding War, Lily had three grandchildren through her son, Harry Potter; James Sirius Potter, Albus Severus Potter and Lily Luna Potter, who was named after her grandmother.



Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Lily Potter

Overview[edit | edit source]

Lily Potter (née Evans) was a Muggle-born witch and Harry's mother. She was born 30 January 1960 and died on 31 October 1981 at age 21. She was quite young, 19 years old, when she became pregnant with Harry, giving birth to him at 20.

Role in the Books[edit | edit source]

Beginner warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

Philosopher's Stone[edit | edit source]

At the start of the book, Albus Dumbledore confirms to Minerva McGonagall that both Harry's parents have been killed.

Harry has been told that his parents had been killed in a car crash, which is why he was living with his aunt and uncle.

In the hut on the rock, when Rubeus Hagrid arrives, there is a fair amount of discussion about Lily. Petunia Dursley, her sister, bitterly recounts how proud everyone else was that they had a witch in the family, and of the way she would come home with pockets full of frog spawn and do magic in the house, but she (Petunia) saw Lily for what she was: a freak. Hagrid is shocked that anyone could have believed that James and Lily could have died in a car crash, tells Harry that they were murdered by the evil wizard Voldemort, and mentions that James and Lily were head boy and head girl.

Lily's image (along with her husband James's) appears in the Mirror of Erised when Harry finds it the first time at Christmas.

A large number of pictures of Lily and James are in the photo album given to Harry by Hagrid just before Harry leaves the school for the summer.

Prisoner of Azkaban[edit | edit source]

Harry, in talking with Professor Lupin about Dementors, mentions that when they approach him, he can hear Voldemort murdering his mother. Lupin is apparently moved by this revelation. This causes some conflict in Harry; he misses his mother greatly, and would do almost anything to hear her voice and see her face, as we have already seen. But if the only way that can happen is for him to suffer attacks from Dementors? And is he going to be able to fight Dementors, if something he wants so dearly would be removed by that fight?

Lupin later comments that Harry looks extraordinarily like his father, except for his eyes. He has his mother's eyes.

In the Shrieking Shack, we hear Sirius Black's side of what happened when he was confronted by Peter Pettigrew. Pettigrew had yelled that Sirius had betrayed James and Lily, then blew up the street, changed into his rat shape, and escaped, leaving behind his own cut-off finger and robes. Sirius had then been taken to Azkaban, where he had served time for the murder of Pettigrew. It turns out that it was Pettigrew who had betrayed James and Lily to Voldemort.

Goblet of Fire[edit | edit source]

In the battle in the graveyard, while Harry is battling Lord Voldemort, shadows of the people Voldemort has killed begin appearing. Harry's father and mother both appear and speak with him.

Order of the Phoenix[edit | edit source]

At Grimmauld Place, during the party that Mrs. Weasley throws to celebrate Ron being made Prefect, Moody shows Harry an old picture of the Order of the Phoenix. Harry's father and mother are present in the picture. While Moody clearly intends this as something of a treat, Harry feels that he has been rather taken by surprise, and is evidently dismayed at having this picture presented to him.

In Professor Dumbledore's Pensieve, Harry sees Professor Snape's memory of an episode where his father and the other Marauders are bullying a teenage Snape. Harry also sees his then-teenage mother, who yells at Harry's father to leave Snape alone. She even goes to the length of aiming her own wand at James.

Half-Blood Prince[edit | edit source]

When Harry first meets Horace Slughorn, Slughorn appears to be biased towards pure-bloods, which is no surprise given that he was head of Slytherin house. However, that doesn't mean that he refuses to see qualities in the Muggle-born; Harry's own mother, for instance, was quite a powerful witch, though of Muggle parentage, and was one of Slughorn's favorites.

In Potions class, Professor Slughorn mentions that Lily had been truly excellent at potions, and attributes Harry's skill to his being Lily's son.

Deathly Hallows[edit | edit source]

While viewing Snape's memories in the Pensieve, Harry sees Lily as a child at her original Muggle home. Severus Snape, also then a child, informs Lily that she is a witch and that he had been spying on her and seeing her do incredible things. Snape explains the magical world to Lily and they soon develop the bond of friendship, despite the interference of Lily's sister Petunia. Later in the memories, when Lily is at Hogwarts, she explains to Snape that they can't continue their friendship because she has issues with the type of person Snape is becoming and who he associates with. Even though Lily marries James, she is Snape's unrequited love.

As he goes to meet Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest, Harry finds that he has the Resurrection Stone, and uses it to summon the shades of his godfather Sirius Black, Lupin, his father James, and his mother Lily. Lily tells him that he has been so brave, and the four of them accompany Harry to the clearing where Voldemort and his Death Eaters wait. Harry then drops the Stone, and the four shades vanish.

Strengths[edit | edit source]

In book six, it is repeatedly mentioned that Lily has extraordinary potions skills. Professor Slughorn, as mentioned, says she was one of his brightest and most charming students.

She was a beautiful soul, forgiving, kind, compassionate, but did not entertain evil. She was not a typically judgmental person. And everyone loved her; she was good with everyone.

Weaknesses[edit | edit source]

Lily loves too much to save herself. She gave her life to protect her one year old son, Harry. From a pragmatic view, that could be considered a weakness —it seems likely Voldemort would think so— though the philosophy of the books portrays it as a strength.

Relationships with Other Characters[edit | edit source]

Lily's parents are proud to have such a talented daughter, but her sister Petunia despises Lily for her magical abilities, seeing her as a freak. In the start of the first book, we learn that Vernon and Petunia have largely cut the Potters out of their family tree.

We learn that she met James Potter in Hogwarts, and although she leaves the impression that she dislikes him because he behaves like an arrogant bully, they eventually fall in love with each other, get married, and have a son, Harry.

As a member of the Order of the Phoenix that opposes Voldemort, we are told that she, with her husband, confronts him three times, and manages to escape. However, when The Dark Lord learns from Severus Snape about the prophecy, he starts looking for the Potter family. Pettigrew's betrayal leads Voldemort to Godric's Hollow, where he kills Lily and James.

She seems to have cherished her son, Harry, as she sacrificed her own life to protect him from Voldemort, refusing to stand aside. On those occasions when her shade was brought back, she said that she was proud of him and loved him.

Analysis[edit | edit source]

Lily Evans Potter is seen as kind and caring person who stands up to bullies, including Lord Voldemort. Her friendship with Severus Snape was a close one, though Lily never loved Severus; this friendship ended when Severus called her a "mudblood", the most discriminatory name in the Wizarding world. Even though Lily ended the friendship at that point, Severus still promised Albus Dumbledore "anything" in return for protecting her when Voldemort targeted her small son.

Knowing about the restrictions on magic done by students out of school, readers may be surprised by Petunia's assertion in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone that Lily was always bringing home frog spawn and doing magic at home. We must bear Petunia's anti-magic bias in mind here, of course. If Lily was born in January, she will have turned 17 and thus come of age in January of her sixth year at Hogwarts. She will have then been able to legally perform magic at home starting with the Easter Break that year, and all later vacations, including the summer between her sixth and seventh years. To our less biased eyes, one summer and three school breaks does not constitute "always", but one must remember that Petunia, already smarting from being shut out of the Wizarding world, as we discover in the final book, and seeing this as one more thing that she can't ever do, would have dwelled on these few periods obsessively, and they probably now appear in her memory to occupy far more time than they ever actually spanned.

Our only view of Lily's school days, seen as it is through the eyes of Snape, ends in her fifth year when she broke off her friendship with him. At that time, Lily hated James Potter because of his arrogance. We must assume that between then and her seventh year, James grew up, as she apparently fell in love with the man James became. They married shortly after they graduated Hogwarts, and they joined the Order of the Phoenix to fight Lord Voldemort and Death Eaters. When her son was born, she cared and loved him more than anything in the world, even to the point where she sacrificed her own life to save him.

Throughout Harry's life, he lacked the connection between mother and child which is so psychologically necessary to a child. It is possibly because of this lack that he reacts strongly to being surprised by the image of his parents presented by Alastor Moody in Grimmauld Place, during Harry's fifth year. Harry's loss has made his interactions with memories of his mother and father a very private business, and presentation of the picture in such public surroundings leaves him feeling that he must conceal his feelings on having these memories reactivated.

It is, perhaps, surprising that Harry turned out so well despite being reared by Lily's abusive sister. A number of times in the series, we hear that Harry inherited his mother's eyes, and it seems her personality, and good heart and soul. It may have been this gentle strength in himself that sustained him through the difficult times in the Dursley family home. Harry, perhaps, does not recognize this in himself.

Questions[edit | edit source]

Study questions are meant to be left for each student to answer; please don't answer them here.

Greater Picture[edit | edit source]

Intermediate warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

At least twice, it is noted that Harry has Lily's eyes. (Although the films are, as mentioned, not canon, it is worth noting that this characteristic is also mentioned in the film version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.) Clearly this is important, but we don't find out why, specifically, until the final book of the series. Snape, as he dies, asks to look into Harry's eyes. We shortly learn that Lily is the love of Snape's life, that his sacrifices over the years were for Lily's love, and looking into Harry's eyes he was able to see Lily looking at him in his final seconds. We can only assume that much of Snape's antipathy towards Harry was the result of this constant reminder of what he had lost and what he had surrendered for her.

We never discover the shape of Lily's Patronus, but we see that Snape's is a doe. As Dumbledore recognizes immediately that this means Snape's unrequited love for Lily has remained in force, we must assume that there is some relationship there. It is unknown whether Lily's Patronus would also be a doe, or whether Snape simply sees her in that light due to her being "mated" to James, whose Patronus is a stag. While the author has since stated that Lily's Patronus is, in fact, a doe, we should point out that the author, in interviews, often tailors her responses to the audience, and so we must lend less weight to this response than to the published work, in which the shape of Lily's Patronus is not mentioned.

When Harry brought Lily's shade back with the Resurrection Stone, she seemed to look at him hungrily and as if she was not able to look at him enough. She also told her son that she was proud of him, and that she will love him forever and be with him until the end of his life.

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"Your mother was there for me at a time when no one else was. Not only was she a singularly gifted witch, she was also an uncommonly kind woman. She had a way of seeing the beauty in others even, and perhaps most especially, when that person couldn't see it in themselves."
—Remus Lupin talking to Harry Potter about Lily Potter[src]

Lily Potter (née Evans) (30 January, 1960 – 31 October, 1981) was a Muggle-bornwitch, the younger daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Evans and the sister of Petunia. She learned that she was a witch as a child, after Severus Snape, a wizard boy who lived nearby, recognised her as a witch and told her of the existence of magic. The two became close friends, but their friendship became strained over the years due to Snape's interest in the Dark Arts and his interest in joining the Death Eaters. Lily ended the friendship in their fifth year, after Snape called her a Mudblood. She attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from 1971 to 1978 and was sorted into Gryffindor house. A talented student, Lily was a member of the Slug Club and was made Head Girl in her seventh year.

After Hogwarts, Lily marriedJames Potter and they had a son, Harry. She, James, and James's friends (Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew) all joined the Order of the Phoenix during the First Wizarding War; she and her husband defied Lord Voldemort himself three times. However, Lily and James were forced to go into hiding after a prophecy was made concerning Lord Voldemort and their infant son. James and Lily were betrayed by Peter Pettigrew to Lord Voldemort. Lily was murdered by Voldemort in 1981, along with her husband, while they were trying to protect their son. Lily briefly appeared again through the Resurrection Stone, along with James, Sirius and Remus in 1998. After the Second Wizarding War, Lily had three grandchildren through her son, Harry Potter; James Sirius Potter, Albus Severus Potter and Lily Luna Potter, who was named after her grandmother.


Early life

Lily: "I'm not a freak. That's a horrible thing to say."
Petunia: "That's where you're going. A special school for freaks. You and that Snape boy ... weirdos, that's what you two are..."
Lily: "You didn't think it was such a freak's school when you wrote to the headmaster and begged him to take you."
— Lily and Petunia argue before Lily departs for Hogwarts.[src]

Lily was born to Mr. and Mrs. Evans, two Muggles of the Evans family, on 30 January, 1960.


She had an older sister named Petunia, and the family lived in Cokeworth,[2]England. At the age of nine, Lily became friends with Severus Snape, who lived down in Spinner's End, which was within walking distance of the Evans' house. However, they were were apparently not as poor, since Petunia sneered at Snape for coming from that poverty-stricken neighbourhood. Severus was the first person to tell Lily that she was a witch, and he went on to teach Lily a great deal about the wizarding world while the two eagerly awaited the time when they could attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry together. Originally, Petunia and Lily were quite close, but her magical abilities and her friendship with Severus caused problems between the sisters. Envying her sister's abilities, Petunia wrote to Dumbledore, asking if she could attend Hogwarts with Lily.


Lily bought her wand from Ollivanders Wand Shop in Diagon Alley at the age of eleven. The wand was 10¼" willow, "swishy", and, according to Mr. Ollivander, good for charm work.

Hogwarts years

Severus Snape: "I never meant to call you Mudblood, it just —"
Lily: "Slipped out? It's too late. I've made excuses for you for years. None of my friends can understand why I even talk to you. You and your precious little Death Eater friends ... You've chosen your way, I've chosen mine."
— The end of Lily's friendship with Severus Snape.[src]
File:Lily Sorted.jpg

At the age of eleven, she attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where she was sorted into Gryffindor house. She became quite skilled at Potions and perhaps Charm, attracting the attention of ProfessorHorace Slughorn, who made her a member of his Slug Club.


In her fifth year, Lily stood up for her then best friend — Severus Snape — when he was being bullied by James Potter, whom she considered to be an arrogant toe-rag. She had addressed James by his surname —James himself having called Lily by hers — and attempted to stop his bullying. Snape lashed out at her in his humiliation, calling her a "Mudblood." [3] Severus begged for Lily's forgiveness and she, in turn, asked him if he still intended to join the Death Eaters. When he did not deny this, Lily realized that Snape did not understand what was wrong with the Death Eaters.

This led to a parting of ways between Lily and Snape, as the former had already become dismayed by Snape's fascination with the Dark Arts, and his friendship with his Slytherin house-mates Mulciber and Avery, both of whom were aspiring Death Eaters. Harry would later witness the scene of his father's bullying and his mother's ambiguous intervention twice via a pensieve, as well as other scenes depicting his mother's friendship with Snape.[4]

By Lily's fifth year, James was repeatedly asking her out, but she refused him, calling him an "arrogant toerag" because he bullied other students, particularly Severus Snape. James's best friend Sirius Black later commented that James could not resist showing off and making a fool of himself whenever she was around. Lily did not, however, hate James. While she didn't approve of his bullying, she did admire how James stood up for his friends and other people who were cruelly treated by Snape's aspiring-Death Eater friends.[3]

During their seventh year, James matured greatly, proving himself to be responsible and brave. This led to her finally agreeing to go out with him; and Lily's attraction to him grew into genuine affection and eventually love. The young couple were chosen to be Head Boy and Head Girl.[5]

In late 1977, Lily and James had a disastrous first meeting with Petunia and her then-fiancé, Vernon Dursley,[6] which presumably took place over Christmas break, as they were both still at Hogwarts. When Vernon tried to impress James with his car, the wizard in turn boasted of his own material wealth, and a row ensued.[6] The evening ended with someone storming out of the restaurant and Lily bursting into tears.[6]

Petunia was married by the end of 1977. Though Lily and James were invited to the wedding, Petunia refused to have Lily as a bridesmaid, upsetting her deeply. [6] At the reception, Vernon would not talk to James, but described him as "some magician" within his earshot.[6]

Marriage and the Order

Severus Snape: "The — the prophecy ... the prediction ... Trelawney... He thinks it means Lily Evans!"
Albus Dumbledore: "The prophecy did not refer to a woman. It spoke of a boy born at the end of July —"
Severus Snape: "You know what I mean! He thinks it means her son, he is going to hunt her down — kill them all —"
— Severus Snape warns Dumbledore of the danger to the Potters[src]

Sometime after graduating from Hogwarts in 1978, Lily and James married, with Sirius Black serving as James' best man.[7] Petunia and Vernon refused to attend the wedding.[6] Lily had little contact with her sister from that point.

Living off James' family fortune, the Potters became full-time members of the Order of the Phoenix, an organisation dedicated to fighting Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters, along with their friends Sirius, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew.[8] During the war, they defied Voldemort on at least three occasions, the first being when they refused to join his cause when he tried to recruit them.[9]

Life in hiding and death

Lily: "Not Harry, please no don't kill him, take me, kill me instead —"
Lord Voldemort: "This is my last warning —"
Lily: "Not Harry! Please ... have mercy ... Not Harry! Please — I'll do anything..."
— Lily Potter stands between Lord Voldemort and her son.[src]

Lily became pregnant in the autumn of 1979. Around the same time,[10]Sybill Trelawney made a prophecy in front of Albus Dumbledore, predicting that "the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches" and would be born at the end of July to parents who had "thrice defied" him.[3] The first part of the prophecy was overheard by Lily's ex-friend, Snape, who had since become a Death Eater.[11] He loyally reported what he had heard to his master, and was horrified when Voldemort came to believe that Lily's son was the subject of the prophecy.[11][12] It was the threat to Lily that led Snape to change sides, warning Dumbledore of the Dark Lord's plans, and vowing to do anything to keep the woman he still loved safe. It was this vow, based upon Snape's continuing devotion to Lily, that made Dumbledore certain of his double agent's true loyalties.

The Potters went into hiding while Lily was still pregnant.[8] Their son, Harry James Potter, was born on 31 July, 1980. Due to the danger they were in, Lily and James chose to keep Harry's christening a "very hurried, quiet affair" with Sirius Black as the only guest.[13][14] The couple also chose Sirius to be Harry's godfather.[7] Lily sent a birth announcement to Petunia; it was to be the last piece of mail she ever sent her sister.[6]

In a letter to Sirius dated around Harry's first birthday in July 1981, Lily mentioned that the family had a pet cat, and relayed a story about Harry flying on the toy broomstick Sirius had given him as a birthday present.[4] The Fidelius Charm was placed on their home in Godric's Hollow. Their Secret-Keeper, Peter Pettigrew, was chosen as a less likely choice than Sirius Black, but he betrayed the Potters by telling Voldemort of their whereabouts.[15]

"The Boy Who Lived. How lies have fed your legend, Harry. Shall I reveal what really happened that night 13 years ago? Shall I divulge how I truly lost my powers? Yes, shall I? It was love. You see, when dear sweet Lily Potter gave her life for her only son...she provided the ultimate protection. I could not touch him. It was old magic. Something I should have foreseen. But no matter, no matter. Things have changed. I can touch!"
—Voldemort reflecting on his first defeat[src]
File:Lily Evans moments before her death.jpg

On 31 October in 1981, Voldemort entered their home. James told Lily to take Harry and leave while he held him off. James, however, was killed before Lily and Harry could escape the house. Trapping mother and son in Harry's nursery, Voldemort, honouring Snape's request to spare her life, offered Lily a chance to step aside. She steadfastly refused to stop shielding her son, and Voldemort killed her. Because Lily's death was a pure sacrifice (she intended to die, and was not hoping to save herself) Harry was marked with the protection of her love, and Voldemort's Killing Curse rebounded off the one-year old, destroying the Dark Lord's body and temporarily defeating him. If not for Snape's love for Lily, which led to him to beg Voldemort for Lily's life, her death would not have been a willing sacrifice, and there would have been no Boy Who Lived. [4]


Lily: "You've been so brave."
James: "You are nearly there. Very close. We are . . . so proud of you."
— Lily and James Potter speak to their son through the Resurrection Stone[src]
File:Lily dead.jpg

However, that would not be the last Harry would see of his mother. During his first year at Hogwarts, he stumbled upon the Mirror of Erised and saw his parents beside him, along with his grandparents and other ancestors. At the end of the first year, Hagrid gave him a photo album filled with pictures of his family. In his third year, whenever he encountered a Dementor, he was forced to relive his parents' deaths.


In Harry's fourth year while duelling with Voldemort in the Little Hangleton graveyard, they experienced Priori Incantatem and shades of his mother and father and others which Voldemort's wand had killed came out of Voldemort's wand to help Harry in his escape from the graveyard. [Evans letter to Sirius Black when Harry got his first toy broom.]

In Harry's fifth year, he entered Severus Snape's memory of being bullied by James and Sirius via the use of Pensieve and saw his mother standing up for Snape. In 1998, he relived that same memory of Snape's, as well as many others containing his mother. [Evans letter to Sirius about Harry's first toy broom.]

File:Lily 1998.jpg

Finally, during the final battle when Harry believed himself to be walking to his own death, he used the Resurrection Stone to bring back the spirits of Lily, James Potter, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin. Both James and Lily told Harry that they were so very proud of him, proud of his outstanding courage and strength, and assured him that they would stay with him until the very end. Harry described their very presence as his courage, the reason he was able to keep putting one foot in front of the other, with Lily smiling at him, and James nodding encouragement.

"The things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not in always the way we expect."
—Luna Lovegood talking to Harry after Sirius's death.[src]

Lily's only granddaughter was named after her.[4]

Physical description

Lily was a very pretty woman with thick, dark red hair that fell to her shoulders and bright green almond-shaped eyes.[4] Apparently, her bright green eyes were extremely distinctive, because every person who knew Lily would always see them in Harry.

Personality and traits

"Lily. Lovely Lily. She was exceedingly bright... your mother. Even more impressive when one considers she was Muggle-born."
—Horace Slughorn told to Harry Potter[src]

Lily was known for being an exceptionally kind-hearted and talented witch, becoming Head Girl in her final year at Hogwarts. She also was an all-time favourite of her Potions Master, Professor Horace Slughorn, who noted that she was witty and charming, as well as having a knack for potions.[16] Remus described her as having a habit of seeing the best in others, even when they could not see it themselves, though her good opinion, once lost, was gone forever. On at least one occasion she called out James and Sirius for their bullying of Severus Snape while Remus sat by and did nothing. Her actions were not, however, effective.

When in a temper, Lily had a sharp tongue, and had no trouble standing up to others. She had strong principles, ending her friendship with Snape when she could no longer tolerate his fascination with the Dark Arts or his devotion to Voldemort's genocidal cause.

Lily and her husband were also brave and self-sacrificing, defying Voldemort three times as members of the Order of the Phoenix, and dying to protect their son. Dumbledore has claimed that she was very much like her son, Harry.

Magical abilities and skills

Lily Potter was an extremely talented and skilful witch. Her skills were such that, Lord Voldemort was willing to overlook her Muggle-born status and asked that she and her husband join him.[9][17]

  • Control of under-age magic: Before attending Hogwarts, Lily was revealed to already have a level of control over her magic, which was a rare skill. She was able to slow her descent through the air after jumping off a swing, and control the petals of a flower.
  • Potioneer: According to Horace Slughorn, Lily was an excellent potioneer.
  • Charms: Her wand was said to have been good for Charms work, which meant that Lily must have been talented at Charms.
  • Patronus Charm: Lily could conjure a Patronus in the shape of a doe, which is identical to Severus Snape's Patronus and the female counterpart to her husband's Patronus and Animagus form, as well as her son's Patronus.
File:HP7P1.rmvb Alta qualidade e tamanho Alrrtrtrta qualidade e tamanho ~2 0001.jpg
  • Duelling: Lily, along with her husband, James, was able to defy and escape Lord Voldemort three times. On the fourth encounter, however, she was killed (though it must be noted that she was not carrying her wand at the time).
  • Transfiguration: Lily also had at least some skill in Transfiguration. During her youth, she performed some Transfiguration spells in front of her sister Petunia during the holidays, doing illegal under-age magic. She gave Horace Slughorn a present, a lily petal floating in a bowl, and as he witnessed the petal fall towards the bottom of the bowl, it was transformed into a fish that he kept as a pet, until it disappeared on the day she was killed by Voldemort.



"You didn't just lose a mother that night in Godric's Hollow, you know. I lost a sister."
—Petunia showing her affection for Lily.[src]
File:Petunia DH.png

Lily had a close relationship with her mother and father and, initially, with her older sister, Petunia. The two girls played together, and when Lily began demonstrating magical ability, Petunia was "torn between curiosity and disapproval." Petunia was disdainful of the friendship Lily struck up with Severus Snape, the poor, young wizard who had taken to spying on Lily and who first informed her that she was a witch; in turn, Snape was quite insulting to Petunia for being a Muggle. When Lily was invited to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Petunia wrote to the headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, requesting that she be permitted to do the same. Although his refusal was kind, Petunia became very bitter, and jealously deemed her sister a "freak".[4] Their relationship seems to have deteriorated greatly afterwards, and even as an adult, Petunia resented that her parents were proud of Lily's magical abilities and took out her enmity on Lily's son, Harry. However, despite the bitterness on Petunia's end, the two appeared to still be in contact; Harry, as an infant, was said to have "smashed a horrible vase Petunia sent Lily for Christmas."[4] Petunia also grudgingly took Harry in, at Dumbledore's request, after Lily's death.

Severus Snape

Lily: "Does it make a difference, being Muggle-born?"
Snape: "No. It doesn't make any difference."
— Severus Snape discussing Lily's Muggle-born status as children[src]

Severus Snape lived near the Evans family when he was a child, and soon began spying on Lily after he noticed that she was a witch. The two became friends when he started telling her about the wizarding world, and were best friends until their fifth year at Hogwarts. Lily became increasingly dismayed by Snape's friendships with people such as Avery and Mulciber, who practised the Dark Arts and disdained Muggle-borns. When Snape called Lily a "Mudblood" in a fit of anger and humiliation, it was the last straw for Lily. When she later asked him if he still intended to become a Death Eater and he did not deny it, she severed all ties with him.


Despite the ending of their friendship, Snape still loved Lily. When he realised that it was Harry who Voldemort had fixated on as his enemy mentioned in the Prophecy, Snape begged him to spare Lily's life. He, however, showed no concern for the life of her son or husband. Voldemort agreed to this request and offered Lily several chances to step aside. Her refusal to do so even though she had a choice is what created the magic that protected Harry.

Lily loved Snape as a friend, and, tragically for him, might have returned his romantic love if he had not once been consumed by the Dark Arts[1]. The deep, unrequited love Snape held for Lily for almost all of his life also influenced his Patronus, which took the form of a silver doe-- the same as hers, caused him to spy on Voldemort for Albus Dumbledore, and protect her son, Harry, until his own death, where he told Harry to ‘Look at him’, wishing to see Lily’s eyes once more before he died as it was shown he was particularly fond of her green eyes, which Harry inherited.

Lily's grandson, Albus, has both Lily's eyes (like Harry) and the middle name Severus.

James Potter

Harry: "How come she married him? She hated him!"
Sirius: "Nah, she didn't."
Remus: "She started going out with him in seventh year."
— Sirius Black and Remus Lupin telling Harry Potter about his parents[src]

Lily's relationship with James Potter was initially a volatile one. They first met on the train just before the start of their first year at Hogwarts, where Lily was angered by James' and Sirius Black's mockery of her best friend, Severus Snape[4]. Although James was a popular student and a talented Quidditch player, well-liked by most, Lily considered him an arrogant bully and treated him with contempt. This was likely motivated partly by James' hostile relationship with Snape, and partly by his bad habit of hexing innocent students just for fun. By his fifth year, James started to have romantic feelings for Lily, and would show off to try to impress her, without success.[3] She refused to accept his many invitations to go out with him until their seventh year, when James and Lily were made Head Boy and Girl. It seems that, by that time, James had "deflated his head a bit" and stopped hexing people "for the fun of it"[3]. The two joined the Order of the Phoenix after graduating, in addition to getting married and having one child: Harry James Potter.

The Marauders

Lily met Sirius Black on the Hogwarts Express at the same time she met James. She disliked them both, as they quickly began teasing Severus Snape, Lily's best friend at the time, though it was Snape who had initiated the argument by mocking the other boys' preference of House. When Lily and Sirius were both sorted into Gryffindor House, Lily remembered him from the train, and turned her back on him when he made room for her at the Gryffindor table. However, during their late school years, they became good friends, and Lily eventually married Sirius's best friend, James. The Marauders themselves did not seem to be aware of Lily's past with Severus, as they were only blissfully aware of her past relationship and friendship with him, due to the latter being all but animosity for the four of them, particularly James. Sirius, Lily and the Marauders became members of the Order of the Phoenix during the First Wizarding War and fought in several battles against Lord Voldemort. When James and Lily cast a Fidelius Charm to hide from Voldemort, they originally made Sirius their Secret Keeper, as they knew him to be completely and utterly trustworthy, and Lily sent him at least one letter and a photograph of her family during her time in hiding. However, Sirius had proposed that Peter be made Secret Keeper instead, thinking that Voldemort would not expect a "weak, talentless thing" like Peter to be given a such crucial role. This turned out to be a fatal mistake, as Peter had turned traitor and become a spy for the Death Eaters; thus Peter betrayed James and Lily to Voldemort, leading to them being tragically killed. Sirius was deeply devastated; he attacked Peter and attempted to kill him.

Sirius was also godfather to Lily's son, Harry Potter, and they shared an intimate relationship; Harry regarded Sirius as a mixture of father and older brother, and Sirius viewed Harry as an exceptionally brave and matured adult with rights to knowing difficult truths, fully capable of shouldering burdens that many wizards much older and wiser than he could not.


Lily was also a good friend of Remus Lupin, paying no mind to the stigma surrounding his condition as a werewolf. Unlike his friends, Remus never took part in bullying students out of either dislike or boredom, including Severus Snape, though he also did nothing to stop it. When Snape insisted there was something strange about Remus, apparently having deduced the nature of Lupin's condition, Lily answered that she didn't care about what the Marauders did; most likely, she had also realised that Remus was a werewolf, but didn't want others to know. After graduating from Hogwarts, Remus helped James and Lily hide, and would have willingly died for his friends rather than betray them to save his own skin. When James and Lily died, Remus was devastated, and initially believed, along the rest of the wizarding world, that Sirius had been a traitor.

Later on, Remus grew close to Lily's son, Harry Potter. He taught Harry the Patronus Charm, and protected him throughout the Second Wizarding War, while Harry ended up becoming godfather to Remus's son Teddy.

Despite Peter Pettigrew's cowardly nature, Lily became more friendly with him as she warmed to James, even affectionately referring to Peter as "Wormy," from his nickname "Wormtail." When James and Lily went into hiding from Lord Voldemort, Lily and James trusted Peter enough to make him their Secret Keeper, though only at Sirius' suggestion to use someone less obvious than himself for the role. By then, however, Peter had already become a spy for Voldemort, and he betrayed his dearest friends out of fear for his own life; the last time Peter saw Lily and James, Lily noted that he "seemed down." After Voldemort killed Lily and James, it is possible that Pettigrew felt some regret for his treacherous, heartless betrayal; in 1998, Pettigrew unintentionally saved Harry from Lord Voldemort, who was trying to kill the boy through Pettigrew's silver hand, by briefly hesitating when Harry reminded him of his life debt. This one, tiny impulse of mercy, however, led to Pettigrew being killed by the same hand.

Harry Potter

Lily: "You've been so brave."
James: "You are nearly there. Very close. We are…so proud of you."
— Harry's parents speaking to him through the Resurrection Stone[src]

James and Lily loved their son more than anything, sacrificing themselves in order to save him when he was but one year old. Harry barely knew them, but nevertheless regarded them with great reverence and fiercely defended their memory if anyone spoke ill of them. In 1995, he punched Draco Malfoy for insulting his mother, and he was frequently at odds with Professor Snape, who taunted Harry that James was not the great man others made him out to be. An incident that Snape would have delightfully used as an example was witnessed by Harry in the spring of 1996, when Harry accidentally watched James bullying Snape with no provocation (other than the already-existing animosity between them,) in one of Snape's own memories, during Harry's Occlumency lessons. Harry began to question how his mother even came to marry James when she clearly despised him for acting in such a way, though Remus and Sirius later assured Harry that his father had changed his ways, having matured enough to become Head Boy and eventually win Lily over.

The few times he ever saw his parents were in pictures given to him by Rubeus Hagrid, through a vision within the Mirror of Erised, as spectral forms which came out of Voldemort's wand during Priori Incantatem, as stored memories within the Pensieve, and again as spectral forms when he "recalled" them during the Battle of Hogwarts, by using the Resurrection Stone. Lily's spirit was described as looking at Harry as if she couldn't do so enough, and Harry asked his mother to stay close to him as he approached the Death Eaters' camp, and certain doom. Both James and Lily told Harry that they were tremendously proud of him for being so brave and strong despite all the pain and suffering he had endured, and gave him the support he needed to sacrifice himself to Voldemort.

Harry eventually named two of his children after his late parents and godfather, James Sirius and Lily Luna.

Horace Slughorn

Slughorn: "Lily. Lovely Lily. She was exceedingly bright, your mother. Even more impressive considering she was Muggle-born..."
Harry: "One of my best friends is Muggle-born, and she's the best in our year."
Slughorn: "No, no! You mustn't think I'm prejudiced! Your mother was one of my absolute favourites!"
— Horace Slughorn to Harry Potter in 1996.[src]

During her time at Hogwarts, Lily demonstrated brilliance in potions, becoming one of Potions masterHorace Slughorn's "all-time favourites" and a member of his Slug Club. Slughorn considered her to be one of the brightest students he had ever taught, and knew her to be a vivacious, charming, talented, if sometimes cheeky, girl; he even stated, "I don't imagine anyone who met her wouldn't have like her...very brave...very funny...", though he was surprised by her Muggle lineage. Lily also gave Slughorn a present, probably as a token of her respect and love for him as her teacher: a bowl of water, on which a petal from a lily floated, and as the petal sank, it transformed into a fish, just before it reached the bottom. He described it as "beautiful magic, wondrous to behold", and named the fish Francis. When Francis suddenly disappeared one day, Slughorn realised that Lily had died[18], and her death haunted him for many years. Harry Potter used Slughorn's sympathy and grief for his mother's death to his advantage while under the effects of Felix Felicis, persuading Slughorn to give him the true memory of Tom Riddle's inquiry about Horcruxes, by encouraging him to be as brave as his mother was, and claiming that it would undo whatever great wrong he had done.

Albus Dumbledore


Albus Dumbledore was Lily's Headmaster when she was a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. When Dumbledore invited Lily to attend Hogwarts, her sister, Petunia, became jealous, and sent a letter to Dumbledore requesting to be enrolled in Hogwarts as well. Dumbledore answered Petunia that she could not, though in a way Lily found to be "very kind". During Lily's years at Hogwarts, Dumbledore became very fond of her, seeing her as an extremely talented witch with a pure, kind heart, and eventually appointing her Head Girl. After Lily and her friends graduated from Hogwarts, they became members of the Order of the Phoenix, an organisation Dumbledore founded and led. When James and Lily became targets of Lord Voldemort, Dumbledore offered to be their Secret Keeper in an attempt to protect them, but the role went to Peter Pettigrew instead, at Sirius' suggestion. This turned out to be the couple's death sentence, as Peter betrayed them to Voldemort, who found them and killed them. Dumbledore was deeply upset by their deaths, and dedicated the rest of his life to keeping their son safe. He eventually became Harry's mentor, often telling Harry of the love and goodness of his parents, and continually insisting that Harry's love for his parents was his greatest strength and a source of incredible power-- the power the Dark Lord knows not.

Minerva McGonagall

"Lily and James... I can't believe it... I don't want to believe it..."
—McGonagall on hearing the death of Lily and James[src]

Minerva McGonagall appeared to have a very close relationship with Lily during the First Wizarding War. McGonagall was the Transfiguration Professor and also the Head of Gryffindor House while Lily attended Hogwarts. During Lily's years at Hogwarts, she presumably became a favourite of McGonagall, as she was an extremely talented witch with a pure kind heart, and would neither participate in nor tolerate bullying, the qualities that McGonagall undeniably would have favoured in a student. After Lily left Hogwarts, both she and McGonagall became members of the first Order of the Phoenix and fought against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. After Voldemort found and killed the Potters, McGonagall was devastated to learn of Lily's death, and that of her husband, James, to which she actually broke down into tears. Professor McGonagall was fond of Lily's son, and protected him as best as she could throughout his time at Hogwarts.

Order of the Phoenix members

During the First Wizarding War, Lily was a member of the Order of the Phoenix and would have fought alongside many of its members during the First Wizarding War. She appeared to be friendly with some members, such as Rubeus Hagrid, Elphias Doge and the McKinnons; she also appeared to be very upset when she learned about the McKinnons' death, crying all night.



The given name Lily comes from the name of the flower, which is a symbol of purity.[19] Specifically, the lily is often associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary; one type of the flower is known as the Madonna lily. Greek mythology also links lilies to the Muses and to the goddess Hera, and the flowers continue to be representative of purity and love in Europe. In China, lily means "forever in love", and the flowers were thought to be capable of averting evil.[20]

Lily's maiden name was Evans. Evans is a Welsh or English surname derived from the given name Evan[21]. As a Welsh name, Evan means "young warrior"; it can also be considered a form of the name John, (named after the apostle John) meaning "God is gracious and merciful"[22].

Lily's married surname is Potter. Potter is a very common surname of English origin.[23] 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 the name since childhood, due to a relationship with two friends called Ian and Vikki Potter.[24]

Behind the scenes

  • In the films, Geraldine Somerville plays Lily as an adult, Susie Shinner plays her as a teenager, and Ellie Darcey-Alden plays an even younger Lily in the film adaptations of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows[25] and so is one of the 14 characters to appear in all 8 film adaptions. J.K. Rowling was asked to play Lily in the Mirror of Erised scene of the film version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, but she refused the part because she said that she was "not cut out to be an actress because she'd mess-up somehow."[26]
  • In the Harry Potter novels, Lily is mentioned to have died aged 21, yet in the films she appears much older. This could be that she is seen with Harry in the mirror at the age she would be at the time, had she been alive (31), though this doesn't make sense as she still appears to be older than 21 in flashbacks, photographs and during the Prior Incantatem scene. So it's most likely that just like Severus Snape in the films (the character is in his 30s, Alan Rickman is in his 60s) the character herself is still in her 20s, however she merely looks like she is in her 30s.
  • In the novels it is often mentioned that Lily had green eyes and that Harry had the same eyes. In the films however, Harry has blue eyes and young Lily has brown eyes.
  • In the film version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Remus Lupin
Lily Evans and the Eleventh Hour: Part One

Lily (Evans) Potter in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Lily (Evans) Potter

Affiliation: Order of the Phoenix

Though we've learned bits about James Potter throughout the series, it isn't until Book 7 that we really get to know Harry's mom, Lily (Evans) Potter. Like Hermione, Lily was a very talented Muggle-born witch. It was young Severus Snape, who lived near the Evans family, who first identified Lily as a witch. Through Snape's memories, we watch Lily grow up in Hogwarts. From her friendship with Snape, we see that Lily is compassionate and willing to look beyond appearances – she sees the good in Snape, rather than judging him for being a poor, insecure, and uncared-for child. A brave Gryffindor, she stands up to bullies (including James Potter and Sirius Black) to defend her friend. She also has good judgment and, unlike her childhood best friend, she isn't at all seduced by Dark Magic. What we're left wondering about, however, is what happened to her after she and Snape split ways.

Since the release of Deathly Hallows, many fans have been touched by Lily and Snape's tragic friendship (for example, you'll find tons of fanfiction about what might have happened if she chose Snape over James Potter). During a web chat, one fan asked Rowling if Lily returned Snape's affection. Here's what our author said:

Yes. She might even have grown to love him romantically (she certainly loved him as a friend) if he had not loved Dark Magic so much, and been drawn to such loathesome [sic] people and acts. (source)

At any rate, Lily is remembered fondly by nearly ever character in the Harry Potter series (unlike James, we might add) – her memory serves as a guiding light for Snape, everyone in the Order adored her, her former professors at Hogwarts were impressed by her, and Harry desperately wishes he could have known her. She acts as a model for the kind of loving, self-sacrificing behavior that Rowling promotes and that Harry practices in order to save the wizarding world.

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Evans potter lily

Lily Potter

Lily Potter is the mother of Harry Potter, who shared with Harry the most striking aspect of her appearance, her brilliant green, almond-shaped eyes (OP28). Lily was born to a Muggle family and grew up with her sister, Petunia, not far from Spinner’s End in the town of Cokeworth (Pm).

Severus and LilyWhen she was 8 or 9 years old, Lily met an odd, intense neighborhood boy named Severus Snape. It was through Severus that Lily discovered that she was a witch (DH33), a fact which allowed her to attend Hogwarts and made her parents very proud (PS4), though Petunia was quite jealous.

“You are a witch. I’ve been watching you for a while. But there’s nothing wrong with that. My mum’s one, and I’m a wizard.”
— 9-year-old Severus Snape (DH33)

As young girls, Lily and Petunia were very close; however, once Lily was invited to Hogwarts and Petunia told she couldn’t attend, a rift grew between them that never healed. Lily’s best friend soon became Severus Snape, even though he was a Slytherin, and fascinated by the Dark Arts. Lily and Severus remained friends until it became clear to her at the end of their fifth year that he had been seduced by Voldemort’s notion of pureblood supremacy. At Hogwarts, she also met James Potter, a very popular and talented student who was thought to be “the height of cool” — except by Lily, who considered him to be conceited and was disgusted by his rather trigger-happy attitude toward jinxing people. For his part, by the end of their fifth year James was very taken with Lily. Though Lily didn’t know it, Snape was deeply in love with her, and his heart broken when she started dating James in her seventh year (DH33).

Lily was considered by her teachers to be “bright,” “vivacious,” and a very gifted witch, especially at Potions (HBP4). She was Head Girl of Hogwarts her seventh year (PS4), and also very pretty (DH34). Dumbledore believed that though Harry looked very much like James, his deepest nature was one he had inherited from Lily, along with the color of his eyes (DH33).

After finishing Hogwarts, joined the Order of the Phoenix, together with James’ three closest friends: Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew. Reckoned among the best of Dumbledore’s loyal supporters in the first war against Voldemort, Lily and James were remarkable in that they defied Voldemort personally on three occasions and escaped each time, though narrowly (OP37). Lily and James probably married during the summer or fall of 1979. Lily did not see her sister Petunia after leaving Hogwarts, although some minimal contact appears to have existed between the sisters (PS1).

A prophecy made in the fall of 1979 by Sybill Trelawney changed everything when it was partially overheard by Severus Snape and reported to Voldemort. The prophecy foretold the birth of a boy “with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord” at the end of July, so as soon as Lily became pregnant the Potters went into hiding (OBT/CH). Voldemort waited to see what children were born, and began planning the murder of the Potter family (OP37, HBP25). Snape got wind of this and begged Voldemort to spare Lily, though he could not trust his assurances. Snape realized that in order to really protect his precious Lily, he needed Dumbledore’s help. Snape altered his own life and Voldemort’s when he offered Dumbledore his complete allegiance and informed the Headmaster that the Potters would be attacked soon by Voldemort himself.

Your Husband is DeadHowever, even Dumbledore could not guard against treachery. When Voldemort arrived at Godric’s Hollow on October 31, 1981, he quickly killed James, and headed for Harry’s cot. The Dark Lord remembered Snape’s pleas, but Lily would not stand aside. She shielded her child with her body and Voldemort was forced to kill her. Her sacrifice unexpectedly created “old magic” protection for her son that could ward off even an Avada Kedavra curse, so when Voldemort tried to kill Harry, his spell rebounded on him and destroyed his body. Lily’s sacrificial magic was so deep and strong that Harry was given the tools he needed to live under his mother’s protection for sixteen years, and eventually defeat Voldemort for good. Voldemort had created the very menace he was seeking to destroy (OP37, DH33, DH36).

After the deaths of Lily and James, Dumbledore stepped in, setting aside the legal arrangements the Potters had made for Harry’s care. (Since Sirius Black was almost immediately condemned to Azkaban without trial, however, changes would have been required in any case.) Dumbledore, feeling that Harry’s physical safety from Voldemort overrode any other consideration, chose the course he considered right over what would have been easier for him to live with: arranging for the strongest possible magical protection over the child rather than a loving home for him. Dumbledore cast a charm to reinforce the protection Harry gained from the shedding of his mother’s blood as long as Harry lived with someone of that blood. Ironically, this made the Dursleys — otherwise unfit as guardians in any other sense for the child — the only possible guardians to seal the charm and thus help keep the boy alive (OP37). Dumbledore explained the protection which Lily’s sacrifice gave to Harry with these words:

“Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign… to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin.”
— Dumbledore (PS17)

Born: 30 January 1960 (DH16).
Died: 31 October 1981 (CR, PS1) at the age of 21.

Eyes: brilliant green and almond-shaped, like those of her only son (OP28).
Hair: dark red, long and thick (OP28).
Distinguishing features: very pretty.

Lily and James' wedding - left to right, Lily, James, Sirius

Ancestry: Muggle-born witch .
Mother: A Muggle, died before 1981.
Father: A Muggle, died before 1981.
Husband: James Potter; they married very quietly sometime between summer of 1978 and fall of 1979. Sirius Black was their best man. James was killed the same night as Lily, 31 October 1981, by Lord Voldemort at Godric’s Hollow.
Siblings: An older sister (DH33), Petunia (Evans) Dursley.
Location of childhood home: Near Spinners End in Cokeworth, a rundown industrial area of the English Midlands (DH33, Pm).
Childhood: According to Petunia, their parents were delighted to discover that Lily was a witch.
Affiliations: Slug Club, Order of the Phoenix.

Years: 1971 - 1978.
: Gryffindor.
Awards: Head Girl her 7th year at Hogwarts.

Wand: Willow, 10 1/4", swishy (nice wand for charm work) (PS5).
Skills: Charms, possibly (PS5), or Potions (HBP9). According to Horace Slughorn, Lily had an "intuitive grasp of potion-making." (HBP18).
Unusual abilities: one of the few members of the Order of the Phoenix to defy Voldemort personally three times and survive (OP37).
Gringotts' Vault: 687 (PS/film).

Lily Evans and the Eleventh Hour - A Harry Potter Fan Film (Parts 1, 2 \u0026 3)


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