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Sirius Black
Born 3 November 1959
Died 18 June 1996
Species Human
Parentage Wizard parents
Family Members Phineas Nigellus Black, Orion Black, Walburga Black, Regulus Arcturus Black, Bellatrix Lestrange, Andromeda Tonks, Narcissa Malfoy, Weasleys
Affiliations Hogwarts, Order of the Phoenix
Hogwarts House Gryffindor
Wand 15 inches, rest unknown
Special Abilities Animagus (black dog, unregistered)
Hobbies Enchanting Muggle motorbikes

Sirius Black is Harry Potter's godfather. He was the best friend of James Potter while they were both at Hogwarts. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Sirius lends Hagrid his Flying Motorbike so the half-giant can take baby Harry to Privet Drive. He is also the titular character in the third book.



Sirius Black is first discovered in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 1, "Harry is Delivered".

Sirius Black is the wizard from whom Hagrid borrows a flying motorbike; Hagrid uses it to fly the baby Harry Potter to Privet Drive.

From the Story

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Discovered in chapter 3, The Knight Bus

Sirius Black is an escaped convict from Azkaban. Considered extremely dangerous, both the wizarding and Muggle worlds are warned of his escape. One of the prison's most infamous prisoners - and a suspected supporter of You-Know-Who - Black was convicted twelve years earlier of the murder of thirteen people, killing them with a single curse. Twelve Muggles and one wizard died, and yet Black reportedly just stood there and laughed.

Discovered in chapter 8, Flight of the Fat Lady

Peeves reveals that is was Black who slashed the painting of the Fat Lady as he was angry that she wouldn't let him in to the Gryffindor common room. Despite the teachers conducting a full search of the castle Sirius evades capture.

Discovered in chapter 10, The Marauder's Map

According to McGonagall, Black was an exceptionally bright student when he was at Hogwarts. Best friends with James Potter, the pair were terrible trouble-makers. James trusted Black above all others, and asked him to be his best man, Harry's godfather and the Potters' Secret-Keeper.

Discovered in chapter 17, Cat, Rat and Dog

Black stands in the shadows of the room in the Shrieking Shack when Hermione and Harry burst into the room. He reveals himself to Harry and Hermione only after Ron tells them that the dog that attacked them is an Animagus, shutting the door as he does so. He appears almost corpse-like, with long, matted hair, yellow teeth and starved features. Black disarms Harry and Hermione using Ron's wand. He tells Harry he was sure he would come to help Ron, just as James Potter would have done for him. He shows surprising consideration for Ron, not wanting him to further injure his leg.

Black doesn't raise his wand in time when Harry lunges at him, and he falls backwards, ending up sprawled on the floor. He asks Harry whether he is going to kill him, and starts to sound desperate he won't deny that he killed Harry's parents but he urges Harry to listen to his side of the story.

Black doesn't speak when Lupin questions him, merely pointing towards Ron when Lupin asks where 'he' is. He and Lupin appear to have a conversation that only they can understand; he merely nods when Lupin asks whether 'they' switched places without telling anyone. The two men embrace after this confession. Black informs Ron that Scabbers is not actually a rat - he is an Animagus called Peter Pettigrew.

The Marauders: Remus Lupin (werewolf), James Potter (stag), Sirius Black (dog) and Peter Pettigrew (rat)

Discovered in chapter 18, Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs

Black tells those in the Shack that he had meant to kill Peter Pettigrew but that Peter got the better of him. He is adamant it won't happen a second time, and lunges towards Scabbers. He is reluctant to let Lupin explain things to the trio, and wants to wait until after they have killed Scabbers. He struggles as Lupin restrains him, clawing in the air as he tries to grab the rat. He finally agrees to let Lupin explains things to Harry, Ron and Hermione, but tells him to be quick, as he wants to commit the murder he was imprisoned for.

Black insists that the witnesses to Pettigrew's murder didn't see what they thought they saw. Lupin tells the trio that Black's nickname at school was Padfoot, and that he was one of the creators of the Marauder's Map. Along with James Potter and Peter Pettigrew, Sirius became an Animagus so he could keep Lupin company during his transformations. Lupin goes on to explain that when they were at school, Black played a cruel joke on Severus Snape. Sirius believed that Snape deserved to be tricked as he was always trying to find out what the four friends were up, hoping to get them expelled. Black told him how to immobilise the Whomping Willow, very nearly resulting in Snape running into a fully fledged werewolf.

Discovered in chapter 19, The Servant of Lord Voldemort

Black is furious when Snape restrains Lupin and attempts to defend his friend, but stops dead when Snape threatens him with his wand. Black tells Snape that he will come to the castle quietly, as long as Ron brings Scabbers with him. His face drains of all colour when he realises Snape doesn't intend to let him even reach the castle, and plans on letting Black receive the Dementors Kiss before his story is heard.

Black unties Lupin after Snape is knocked unconscious by Harry, Ron and Hermione, and tells Ron to give him Scabbers. When Lupin asks him how he found out where Scabbers was, Black shows them the picture of the Weasley family from the Daily Prophet article, which he has been carrying around. He tells them that Cornelius Fudge gave him the newspaper when he visited Azkaban the previous summer, and that he immediately recognised Pettigrew in his Animagus form, having seen him transform countless times as a student. He points out Scabbers missing toe, and tells the group that on the day he supposedly died, Pettigrew framed Black, cutting off his own finger before fleeing as a rat into the sewers.

Black feels incredibly guilty about the deaths of Lily and James Potter, and tells Harry that he as good as killed them. He persuaded Lily and James to change Secret Keeper at the last minute: to use Peter Pettigrew instead of him as a bluff. Black arranged to check on Peter on the night they died but when he got to the hiding place Pettigrew was gone. Uneasy, he set out to the Potters' house at once, but only realised that Pettigrew had betrayed them when he arrived to find the house destroyed, and his friends dead.

On the day after the Potters died, Black tracked Pettigrew down, and cornered him in the street. Before Black could curse him, Pettigrew shouted for everyone to hear that Sirius was the one who betrayed the Potters. Pettigrew blew apart the street with the wand hidden behind his back, killing everyone standing near him. He severed his own finger as proof of his death, then transformed into a rat and fled into the sewers.

Sirius and Lupin cast the spell to transform Scabbers together and watch as Scabbers transforms into a man. He struggles to restrain himself as Pettigrew attempts to deny what he did twelve years before. Sirius thinks the real reason Peter has been hiding is because he is afraid of Voldemort's supporters. He is disgusted when Peter accuses him of being a spy for Voldemort, believing that he should have realised from the start that weak, talentless Peter, who always liked having big friends, was the more obvious spy.

When Hermione asks how he managed to escape Azkaban, he tells her he isn't sure. He says he retained his mind because he knew he was innocent, and as that wasn't strictly a happy thought, the Dementors couldn't suck it out of him. Knowing he was innocent kept Sirius sane and helped him keep his powers, so when it became too much for him, he was able to transform into a dog. Sirius tells them that the Dementors could tell that his feelings were less human, but that they would have assumed it was because he was losing his mind. When he slipped past them in his canine form, he confused them, and was able to escape. He swam to the mainland, and travelled towards Hogwarts in his dog form.

Sirius asks Lupin to forgive him for not telling him about changing the Potters' Secret Keeper and admits that he had assumed that Lupin was the spy. He is unmoved when Pettigrew begins to plead with him, and is enraged when Pettigrew does the same to Harry. He roars at Pettigrew that he dare speak to Harry and tells Pettigrew that he should have died rather than betray his friends, as they would have done for him.

When Harry tries to prevent Sirius and Lupin from killing Pettigrew, Sirius admits that Harry is the only one who has the right to decide Pettigrew's fate. As the group prepare to leave the Shrieking Shack and make their way back along the passageway, Black tells Pettigrew that he and Lupin will kill him if he tries to transform and Harry nods his agreement. Sirius conjures manacles from thin air and chains Pettigrew to Ron and Lupin.

Discovered in chapter 20, The Dementors' Kiss

Sirius levitates the unconscious Snape along as they leave the Shrieking Shack. He makes little effort to make the journey comfortable for Snape, allowing the teacher to continually hit his head on the ceiling of the tunnel.

As they walk through the tunnel towards the Whomping Willow, Sirius hesitantly mentions to Harry that, once his name is cleared, there is a home available with him, if Harry wants to leave the Dursleys. Sirius is surprised but thrilled when Harry is more than enthusiastic about the idea.

Once out of the tunnel Sirius freezes when he realises that, under the full moon, Lupin is starting to transform. He tells the children to run, throwing Harry backwards when he attempts to get to Ron. Sirius attacks the werewolf in his canine form, pulling him backwards and away from Ron and Pettigrew. He and Lupin are locked jaw to jaw as they attack each other. He lies bleeding on the ground, covered in gashes, as the werewolf disappears into the Forbidden Forest. When Sirius is told that Pettigrew has escaped, he scrambles up and dashes away across the school grounds.

Injured from his fight with Lupin, Sirius initially stays in his canine form, making pained whimpering sounds that travel across the grounds. He turns back into his human form quite suddenly, and is found crouched on all fours by the lake shore, his head in his hands. Sirius moans in terror as he, Harry and Hermione are surrounded by at least a hundred Dementors. He gives a shudder as the Dementors close in, then rolls over and lies motionless on the ground, as pale as death.

Discovered in chapter 21, Hermione's Secret

Sirius Black is brought back to the castle by Professor Snape, bound and gagged. According to Madam Pomfrey, Black is locked away somewhere in the castle, and is going to have the Dementors' Kiss performed on him at any moment.

During his conversation with Harry and Hermione, Dumbledore tells them that Sirius is locked in Professor Flitwick's office on the seventh floor of the school.

Sirius is transported back to the castle on a stretcher by Snape. He is locked in Professor Flitwick's office after being taken to the castle.

Sirius is shocked when he hears a tap on the window of the office, and sees Harry, Hermione and Buckbeak hovering outside. He leaps from his chair and rushes to the window. Finding it locked, Sirius steps back as Hermione opens it using her wand. He can't believe what he is seeing, and wonders how they managed to get there. He climbs out of the window and pulls himself onto Buckbeak's back, behind Hermione. They fly away from the office window, coming to land on the battlements of the castle.

Sirius remains on Buckbeak when Harry and Hermione slide to the ground. Sirius starts to ask how he can ever thank Harry and Hermione, but is urged by both of them to leave quickly before his disappearance is noticed. He tells Harry that they will see each other again, and tells him he is truly James's son. He and Buckbeak take off into the air, flying away from the castle into the night.

Discovered in chapter 22, Owl Post Again

Sirius sends Harry a letter, which arrives whilst the trio are on the Hogwarts Express. In the letter, he tells Harry that he is currently in hiding with Buckbeak, but won't divulge where in case the letter is intercepted. He believes the Dementors are still looking for him, but is confident they won't find him. He writes that he plans to let some Muggles glimpse him soon, somewhere far away from Hogwarts, so that the security on the castle can be lifted.

Sirius tells Harry that it was he who sent him the Firebolt. He asks that Harry considers it thirteen birthdays' worth of presents from him. Sirius also explains that he was the dog Harry saw in Magnolia Crescent. He had wanted to see Harry before he started the journey up to Hogwarts, and apologises for scaring him.

Along with the letter, Sirius encloses a note that gives Harry permission to visit Hogsmeade at the weekends. Sirius offers the owl who delivered the letter to Ron, as he feels it is his fault that Ron no longer has a rat.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Discovered in chapter 3, The Invitation

Hedwig delivers Harry's finished letter to Sirius, which lets him know about the dream that Harry had and that Harry will be staying at the Weasley's home for the rest of the summer, after they attend the Quidditch World Cup.

Discovered in chapter 14, The Unforgivable Curses

Sirius sends Harry a letter to tell him that he is flying north immediately having read Harry's previous note. He writes that the news about Harry's scar is the latest in a series of strange rumours he has heard where he is hiding, and says that he will be in touch soon.

Discovered in chapter 15, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang

Sirius responds quickly to Harry's letter; he doesn't believe Harry's lie about his scar not hurting, and is back in the country. He tells Harry he is well hidden, and that Harry shouldn't worry about him. Sirius asks Harry to send constant updates about everything that is going on at Hogwarts.

Discovered in chapter 18, The Weighing of the Wands

Sirius sends Harry a letter asking him to be alone by the fire in Gryffindor Tower at one in the morning on the 22nd November. He writes that he can't say everything he would like to in his letter, as the owl may be intercepted, and thinks they need to talk face-to-face.

Discovered in chapter 19, The Hungarian Horntail

Sirius breaks into a wizarding house to use the fireplace to talk to Harry. His head appears to sit in the fireplace in the Gryffindor common room. He looks healthier than when Harry last saw him; his hair is short and clean, his face fuller, and he looks much younger. His eyes, however, have not yet lost the deadened, haunted look that Azkaban gave them. Sirius is concerned about the events at Hogwarts over the previous few weeks and is worried when Harry tells him about the dragons. Sirius warns Harry that Professor Karkaroff used to be a Death Eater and tells Harry to be wary of him. He suspects that Karkaroff might have put Harry's name into the Goblet of Fire. Sirius has been hearing strange things whilst he has been on the run - Death Eaters have been more active than usual lately and he is concerned that Bertha Jorkins went missing in the area Voldemort was last rumoured to be. Sirius's conversation with Harry is cut short when Harry hears someone coming, and he quickly disappears from the fireplace.

Discovered in chapter 23, The Yule Ball

Sirius sends a reply to Harry with Pigwidgeon. He congratulates Harry for getting past the Hungarian Horntail during the first task, but tells Harry not to get complacent. He reminds Harry that he has only done one task, and that whoever put his name in the Goblet of Fire has plenty more opportunity to harm Harry.

Discovered in chapter 26, The Second Task

Sirius sends Harry a note before the second task, asking him to send the date of the next Hogsmeade weekend by return owl.

Discovered in chapter 27, Padfoot Returns

Sirius sends Harry a note asking him to meet him by the stile at the end of the road out of Hogsmeade at two o'clock on Satuday afternoon. He asks Harry to bring as much food as he can with him.

Sirius greets Harry, Ron and Hermione at the stile in his Animagus form of a dog. He leads the children across the scrubby patch of ground that rises to meet the foot of the mountain, and up onto the mountain itself. For nearly half an hour he leads them up the steep, winding path, finally slipping out of sight into a narrow fissure in the rock. Sirius has been staying in the cave in the mountain with Buckbeak the Hippogriff. Sirius turns back into his human form in the cave; he is wearing the same ragged grey robes he wore when he left Azkaban, and his black hair is longer and matted once more. He looks very thin, and falls hungrily onto the bundle of chicken legs and bread that Harry has brought with him. He tells Harry that he has been mostly living off rats, as he would draw attention to himself if he stole too much food from Hogsmeade. He tells Harry that he has returned to do his duty as a godfather, and wants to be on the spot in case anything happens at Hogwarts. He is less concerned than Harry about being discovered; he is pretending to be a lovable stray dog, and knows that only Harry, Ron, Hermione and Professor Dumbledore know that he is an Animagus.

Sirius is interested in what Harry, Ron and Hermione tell him about Barty Crouch, and about the Quidditch World Cup. His face is looks menacing as he reveals that Crouch was the one who gave the order for Sirius to be sent to Azkaban without a trial twelve years before. He tells the trio about Crouch's career at the Ministry of Magic, during and after the first wizarding war, and reveals what he knows about Crouch's family. Sirius was in a cell near to Barty Crouch's son in Azkaban. When it is time for Harry, Ron and Hermione to leave, Sirius tells them that he doesn't want them to sneak out of Hogwarts to see him, just to keep him informed by sending notes. He transforms back into his Animagus form to escort them back to the edge of Hogsmeade, then sets off at a run around the outskirts of the village.

Discovered in chapter 31, The Third Task

Sirius sends Harry daily owls in the run up to the third task. He appears to want to concentrate on getting Harry through the third task before they concern themselves with anything else, and reminds his godson in every letter that the goings on outside Hogwarts are not Harry's responsibility, nor within his power to change. Sirius writes that his priority is to ensure Harry's safety before anything else. He sends Harry a good-luck card on the morning of the third-task - a piece of parchment bearing a muddy paw print on the front.

Discovered in chapter 35, Veritaserum

Sirius is waiting in his Animagus form in the pumpkin patch by Hagrid's house after the third task. He is brought to Dumbledore's office by Professor McGonagall and is told that Dumbledore will be with him soon.

Discovered in chapter 36, The Parting of the Ways

Sirius is waiting in Dumbledore's office when Harry and the Headmaster arrive. His face is as white and gaunt as it was when he escaped from Azkaban. His hands shake as he helps Harry into a chair in front of Dumbledore's desk, deperately worried about his godson. He attempts to make Dumbledore wait to question Harry about the events of that day, but is overruled. Once or twice during Harry's narrative, Sirius makes a noise as though about to say something, but each time he is stopped by Dumbledore. When Harry tells them about Wormtail piercing his arm though, Sirius lets out a vehement exclamation. Sirius is curious as to why Harry and Voldemort's wands connected, and is intrigued when Dumbledore mentions Priori Incantatem, as he is vaguely aware of the spell. His grip on Harry's shoulder tightens when he hears that Harry saw a shadow of his parents appear from Voldemort's wand.

Sirius accompanies Harry and Dumbledore to the hospital wing after Harry's story is over. He transforms into his Animagus form for the visit, to keep his identity hidden. Sirius observes the argument between Dumbledore and Cornelius Fudge in his Animagus form, only transforming again after Fudge has left the hospital wing. He glares at Snape in dislike when he sees the professor. The two men eye each other with similar looks of loathing, but reluctantly shake hands when Dumbledore reminds them they are working for the same side, and asks them to lay aside their differences. Sirius is sent by Dumbledore to alert the Remus Lupin, Arabella Figg and Mundungus Fletcher of the events that have occured. He agrees to lie low at Lupin's house for a while, to await further instructions from Dumbledore, but promises Harry that they will see each other soon. He transforms back into the black dog and hurries out of the hospital wing.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Discovered in chapter 4, Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place

Sirius is a member of the Order of the Phoenix. He comes charging through a door into the hallway of number twelve, Grimmauld Place when the portrait of his mother is woken up. The portrait of Mrs Black is horrified when she sees him, and considers Sirius to be a blood-traitor. Seizing the open curtain around it, Sirius yells at the portrait to shut up, eventually managing to force the curtains closed again with the help of Remus Lupin. As the screeches of the old woman die down, Sirius turns to greet Harry.

Discovered in chapter 6, The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black

Sirius enters the drawing room at number twelve, Grimmauld Place, holding a bloodstained bag of what appears to be dead rats. He tells Harry that he has been feeding Buckbeak, who is living in his mother's old room. He begins to help with the cleaning of the room, but is distracted by the noise of his mother's portrait, which is woken by the doorbell ringing. He rushes out of the room, exasperated, to let Kingsley Shacklebolt into the house.

Sirius eventually comes back and sees the children talking to Kreacher. He impatiently tells Kreacher to stand up straight, not appreciating the house-elf's ridiculously low bow, and wants to know what Kreacher is up to. He doesn't believe Kreacher's claim that he is cleaning, knowing that every other time the house-elf has been 'cleaning', he has sneaked something into his room so it can't be thrown out. When he realises that Kreacher is trying to protect the tapestry, he looks at it disdainfully, and tells Kreacher that he will get rid of it if he can.

Sirius examines the tapestry with interest, having not looked at it in a long time. His name has been burned off the tapestry, leaving a hole rather like a cigarette burn. He tells Harry that his mother erased him from the family tree when he ran away aged sixteen. Sirius went to the Potters' house, and lived there during the school holidays, getting a place of his own when he turned seventeen. He was considered by Mr and Mrs Potter as a second son, and was always welcome at their house for Sunday lunch. His Uncle Alphard left Sirius some gold, which helped him a great deal. Sirius ran away because he hated his family and their pure-blood mania. He tells Harry about his brother, Regulus Black, and about the various members of his family. Sirius doesn't like being associated with some members of his family, ashamed that they are related. He doesn't like being back at number twelve, Grimmauld Place.

Sirius is not concerned about throwing away family heirlooms; he gets rid of an Order of Merlin, First Class that was awarded to his grandfather for 'services to the Ministry', contemptuously stating that it was earned by giving the Ministry a lot of money. He attempts to prevent Kreacher from smuggling various artefacts to his room, wrestling a large golden ring bearing the Black crest from his grip, causing the house-elf to burst into tears.

Much to Sirius's disgust, Dumbledore doesn't think Sirius should accompany Harry to the hearing the next day. He stabs moodily at his plate at dinner, annoyed that Molly agrees with Dumbledore.

Discovered in chapter 34, The Department of Mysteries

Harry, Ron, Hermione, Luna, Ginny and Neville travel to the Department of Mysteries to find Sirius, who is supposedly lying injured somewhere inside. When the group eventually find the room from Harry's dream, Sirius is nowhere to be found.

Sirius falling through the veil in the Death Chamber ("The Tattered Veil").

Discovered in chapter 35, Beyond the Veil

Sirius sprints into the Death Chamber with Remus, Mad-Eye Moody, Tonks and Kingsley. They rain spells down on the Death Eaters, hurrying down the stone steps towards the sunken floor of the room. He duels fiercely with one Death Eater as he passes Harry and Neville, his wand a blur. Sirius protects Harry from Antonin Dolohov, one of the Death Eaters, eventually defeating the man with Harry's help. He tells Harry to take the prophecy, grab Neville, and run, before dashing away to face Bellatrix. He taunts Bellatrix as they duel on the dais, daring her to do better, and is hit in the chest with one of her spells. The laughter doesn't quite die from his face as he falls backwards through the veiled archway, though his eyes are widened with shock, his body curving in a graceful arc. Sirius disappears behind the veil, and does not reappear.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Discovered in chapter 34, The Forest Again

When Harry turns the Resurrection Stone over in his hands three times, apparitions of James and Lily, Sirius and Remus appear around him. Sirius assures Harry that it does not hurt when you die, that it is quicker and easier than falling asleep. They promise to stay with Harry until the end, invisible to anyone else, and accompany him to the clearing in the Forest.

See also