Exploring the line of Slytherin.
Salazar Slytherin was one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He was a champion of blood purity and believed magical education should be kept within magical families. Slytherin left the school over the issue, but not before he built the legendary Chamber of Secrets.
Morrigan was a famously powerful witch from Ireland. She was an Animagus who took the form of a crow when she transformed. Her love of the natural world and affinity with all living things appeared to be inherited by Isolt Sayre, who herself went by the name ‘Morrigan’ when she founded her school of witchcraft and wizardry in America.
A direct descendant of Salazar Slytherin, Corvinus Gaunt was a student at Hogwarts around the eighteenth century. He was instrumental in protecting the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets while the castle was being remodelled to fit a new plumbing system. Tom Riddle, a descendant of Corvinus, later accessed the Chamber via the girls’ bathroom.
Rionach was an Irish witch born in the late sixteenth century. She married a pure-blood wizard named William Sayre and they had a daughter together named Isolt. Rionach was a loving mother and a good neighbour to the village Muggles, quietly aiding them and their livestock with magical cures. She died when her home was set on fire by her estranged sister, Gormlaith.
Unlike her sister, Gormlaith detested Muggles and would jinx any who dared to wander near her cottage in Hag’s Glen. After starting the fire that killed Isolt’s parents, Gormlaith attempted to raise her niece in the correct pure-blood fashion, refusing her a place at Hogwarts because of the school’s pro-Muggle leanings. Gormlaith was furious when Isolt ran away and pursued her niece all the way to America, where she was met with fierce resistance from Isolt’s adopted sons. She died when a Pukwudgie named William shot a poisoned arrow through her heart.
William was a direct descendant of the witch Morrigan – an Animagus who took the form of a crow. He married a witch named Rionach Gaunt and nicknamed their daughter, Isolt, ‘Morrigan’ on recognising her affinity with the animal kingdom. William was killed in a fire that engulfed the family home in the village of Coomloughra, County Kerry.
Born in County Kerry around 1603, Isolt came into the care of her cruel aunt Gormlaith after her parents died in a fire. She escaped, disguised herself as a boy and fled to America. There she befriended many creatures, including a mysterious Horned Serpent and a Pukwudgie she named ‘William’. She also met two orphaned wizard boys named Chadwick and Webster, and a No-Maj called James Steward whom she eventually married. Together they founded Ilvermorny: the first American school of witchcraft and wizardry.
James was a young No-Maj from the Plymouth settlement. While searching the woods for his friends, he had an accident with a broken wand and awoke under the care of Isolt Sayre. After initially planning to Obliviate James, the pair fell in love and eventually married. Despite his lack of magical powers, James and Isolt founded Ilvermorny where they worked as joint headmaster and headmistress.
The eldest twin daughter of James and Isolt turned out to have no magical abilities of her own. This made life difficult for Martha, who felt she didn’t belong in the school of wizardry where she was raised. She later married a No-Maj from the Pocomtuc tribe and went on to lead a magic-free life.
The youngest of James and Isolt’s twin daughters, Rionach grew to be a formidable witch who taught Defence Against the Dark Arts at Ilvermorny. She was rumoured to be a Parselmouth, a trait she could have inherited from her distant ancestor, Salazar Slytherin. Fearing her own heritage, Rionach never married and never had any children.
Chadwick and his brother had a narrow escape after they were attacked by a Hidebehind. They were found by the witch Isolt Sayre, who nursed them back to health and later gifted them with their own wands. True to his favourite creature – the Thunderbird – Chadwick was highly adventurous and grew up to embark on many travels. He was also the author of all seven volumes of Chadwick’s Charms.
Webster’s parents travelled to America in search of adventure – however, they met a terrible fate. The Boot family was attacked by a Hidebehind, an ordeal Webster and his brother would not have survived without the aid of Isolt Sayre. His favourite animal was the Wampus cat, and Webster embodied its warrior spirit when he took up the role of a magical law enforcer, which would these days be known as an ‘Auror for hire’.
Josefina was a skilled Healer from Mexico who married the accomplished traveller Chadwick Boot. Their family, known as the Calderon-Boots, are among the most prominent wizarding families in America to this day.
While repatriating a Dark wizard to London, Webster Boot met a beautiful Scottish witch who worked for the Ministry of Magic. They fell in love and settled their family there, with the members of the Boot family attending Hogwarts for several generations.
Unnamed No-Maj, Pocomtuc tribe
Though other members of his tribe may have attended Ilvermorny, Martha’s husband was a No-Maj. As she had always felt out of place as a Squib living at a school of witchcraft and wizardry, Martha was happy to live a non-magical life with her spouse.
Marvolo and his family were pure-blood descendants of Salazar Slytherin who lived on the outskirts of Little Hangleton. Despite living in squalor, he was immensely proud of two family heirlooms he had inherited: Slytherin’s locket and the Peverell ring. Marvolo was sent to Azkaban for injuring several Ministry officials. Upon his release six months later, he discovered that his daughter had run away to marry a Muggle.
Morfin was the son of Marvolo, a pure-blood fanatic who believed the Gaunts were superior wizards. Like so many descendants of Salazar Slytherin, Morfin was able to speak Parseltongue – though he clearly had no respect for the animal, given that he nailed one to the door of the family home. After several run-ins with the Ministry, Morfin went to Azkaban twice: once for an attack on a Muggle, and the second time for the murder of the Riddle family, a crime he actually did not commit. Morfin ended up dying in prison.
Believed to be a Squib, Merope suffered terrible treatment at the hands of the Gaunt family. She became infatuated with Tom Riddle, a wealthy Muggle man, with whom she eloped after enslaving him by magical means. While pregnant with his child, Merope was abandoned by Tom and she ran away to London with her family’s prized golden locket. She died shortly after giving birth to her son, who she named Tom Marvolo Riddle.
Proud and haughty, Tom Riddle was born to a wealthy family in Little Hangleton. He became the subject of a local scandal when he eloped with the daughter of the hostile Marvolo Gaunt. Tom eventually left his wife, Merope, along with her unborn child, claiming he had been ‘hoodwinked’ into marrying her. Years later, Tom was murdered at the family home by the same son he had abandoned.
Tom Marvolo Riddle
The younger Tom Riddle was raised in a Muggle orphanage, where he quickly became aware of his magical powers, and was eventually invited to Hogwarts by Albus Dumbledore. From an early age he demonstrated a cold and cruel nature that did not improve during his time at Hogwarts: however, he was able to mask this with his charming demeanour. He would go on to become Lord Voldemort, the most feared Dark wizard in all of history, until his defeat at the Battle of Hogwarts.