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|Nicknames and aliases||Padfoot, Snuffles, 'Serious' Black|
|Birth||late 1959 or 1960|
|Parents||Orion and Walburga Black|
|Appearance||handsome; black hair; grey eyes|
|Special abilities||Animagus, and a brilliant student|
|Allegiance||Order of the Phoenix|
|Other affiliations||The Marauders|
|Portrayer in the movies||Gary Oldman (adult) and James Walters (teenager)|
|First appearance in canon||The Boy Who Lived (PS) (mention) / Aunt Marge's Big Mistake (PA) (in his Animagus form) / Cat, Rat and Dog (PA)|
- "Sirius" redirects here. For other uses, see Sirius (disambiguation).
Sirius Black was a Marauder, an Animagus, and a member of the Order of the Phoenix. His Animagus form was that of large, black dog; he was dubbed "Padfoot" by his fellow Marauders for this reason (PA19). Though heir to the prejudiced and traditional Black family, he rebelled against his family's ideals in his teenager years (OP6). At Hogwarts, he was best friends with James Potter, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew; he and James were particularly close. Sirius was best man at James and Lily's wedding, and godfather to Harry Potter. When the Potters died, Sirius took the blame for betraying (PA10), though the true culprit was Peter Pettigrew (PA19). He stayed in Azkaban for twelve years, and in 1993 became the first wizard ever to escape the wizard prison (PA3). Sirius eventually went to Hogwarts, where he convinced Harry Potter, Remus Lupin and Albus Dumbledore of his innocence, but failed to corner and kill Pettigrew (PA19, PA20, PA21). Sirius remained in hiding for the rest of his life, and offered his family home at number twelve, Grimmauld Place as Order headquarters after the Second War began (OP6). Sirius died at the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, killed by his cousin Bellatrix Lestrange (OP35); in his will, he left all his possessions to Harry (HBP3).
- 1 Characteristics
- 2 Childhood
- 3 Hogwarts
- 4 After Hogwarts
- 5 Azkaban
- 6 Escape from Azkaban
- 7 Life during early the Second War
- 8 Death
- 9 Ships
- 10 Images
- 11 See also
- 12 External Links
The Blacks were an extremely traditional pure-blooded wizarding family. Like many other traditional wizarding families, the Blacks were extremely prejudiced against whom they considered to be Mudbloods and half-breeds; Walburga, in particular, seemed to be particularly zealous in her bigotry (OP5, OP6).
The family inhabited a large, old house at number twelve, Grimmauld Place, which Sirius grew to loathe in his later years. Among other heirlooms, the house featured a tapestry embroidered with the Black family tree. The house-elf Kreacher, like his mother before him, served the Blacks around that time (OP6).
Aboard the Hogwarts Express
On September 1, 1971, Sirius met James Potter, while on his way to school for the first time. The two boys shared a compartment in the train with Lily Evans; Severus Snape joined them later. James and Sirius were too busy talking loudly to notice the other two at first. When Snape mentioned his hope that Lily would be Sorted into Slytherin, James intervened, saying that he would leave the school if such a thing happened to him. Sirius was unimpressed, and retorted that his entire family was comprised of Slytherins; a moment later, he admitted that perhaps he would go against this tradition.
Snape noticed that James wished to be in Gryffindor, and mocked him for it. Sirius taunted Snape in return, which irritated Lily and caused her to leave the compartment along with Snape. As they were about to slam the door shut, one of the two boys called out, "See ya, Snivellus!" to Snape (DH33); this became a nickname of Severus' that the Marauders used often (OP24, OP28).
Sirius, unlike the rest of the Blacks, was Sorted into Gryffindor. The Sorting Hat sent Lily to the same House shortly after this, and Sirius moved to make room for her on his bench in the Gryffindor table. Lily recognised him from the train, and turned her back on him.
Horace Slughorn, Head of Slytherin at the time, mentioned to Harry Potter years later that he was sorry to see Sirius Sorted into Gryffindor; though Regulus Black was a Slytherin, Slughorn would have liked to have the entire family in his House (HBP4).
The Marauders' conduct at school
James and Sirius were noticeably brilliant, and excelled in schoolwork with ease, though they showed little regard for it (OP28). They were arrogant, and took pride in their reputation (PA14); Lily once accused James of hexing fellow students who annoyed him in school corridors simply because he could (OP28), and this probably applies to Sirius as well.
Peter, on the other hand, struggled with every academic achievement, and this earned him occasional harsh treatment by Minerva McGonagall (PA10). Remus was the most well-behaved and the quietest of the four; in his fifth year, Dumbledore made him Prefect in the hope that this would help Remus control the other Marauders. Remus was unable to do so—he hardly ever had the courage to stand up to James and Sirius (OP9).
The Marauders were well-known trouble-makers at Hogwarts. James and Sirius were ringleaders of the group. They had a blatant disregard for school rules (PA10). Though the four Marauders occasionally got detentions together, James and Sirius were in trouble considerably more often, for a variety of reasons—including, for instance, a double detention for using an illegal hex on a fellow student named Bertram Aubrey, causing his head to grow twice its normal size (HBP24).
Both James and Sirius loathed Severus Snape, and the feeling was reciprocated. This animosity bordered on bullying, for the three students duelled frequently, sometimes for no reason other than mere boredom (OP28, OP29).
Making the Map
The Whomping Willow incident
Defence Against the Dark Arts OWLs
In the afternoon after the Marauders' Defence Against the Dark Arts OWLs—in which James and Sirius were certain that they would get 'Outstandings'—the two boys cornered Severus near the beech tree by the Great Lake, and used spells like Levicorpus, Scourgify and Impedimenta to humiliate him. The scene excited and amused Peter; Remus frowned upon it, but did nothing to stop James and Sirius.
Lily Evans intervened in Snape's favour, asking them to leave him alone; James asked her for a date in return, and she turned him down. Severus scorned Lily's intervention and called her a "Mudblood," causing her to turn against him and eventually leave the scene (OP28). This incident marked the end of Lily and Severus' friendship (DH33).
After Lily's departure, James, puzzled, wondered why she had rejected him. Sirius suggested that Lily thought James to be conceited, which irritated James (OP28).
The Marauders' final years at Hogwarts
Argus Filch confiscated the Marauder's Map before the four students graduated. He kept it in a drawer in one of the filing cabinets in his office marked 'Confiscated and Highly Dangerous;' the Map remained there until Fred and George Weasley stole it in their first year (PA10).
Work for the Order
When the Marauders left Hogwarts, the First War against Voldemort was at the height of activity. James, Sirius and Lily became full-time members of the Order of the Phoenix; James used the gold he had inherited from his parents to support the other two (CH).
Lily and James' marriage
Regulus Black joined the Death Eaters at the age of sixteen. According to Sirius, the Blacks agreed with the ideals Lord Voldemort claimed to defend, and probably thought Regulus a hero for joining with the Dark Lord (OP6).
A year after this, Voldemort borrowed the house-elf Kreacher from Regulus in order to hide a Horcrux—Slytherin's locket—in the Cave; the experience almost caused Kreacher's death (DH10). This horrified Regulus, who was not prepared for the harshness of life as Death Eater; he decided to turn against Voldemort.
Regulus guessed that Voldemort was making Horcruxes to secure his immortality (BLC), and asked Kreacher to lead him back to the Cave. He died there—he was dragged into the lake by Inferi—but not before ordering Kreacher to leave with the Horcrux and destroy it. Regulus also ordered Kreacher not to tell the family what had happened (DH10).
The Blacks eventually realised that he had died. Sirius was also informed of this, and after doing some inquiries of his own, he found out that Regulus had tried to leave the Death Eaters after realising what was expected of him. Sirius assumed that this had been the cause of Regulus' mysterious demise, and later voiced his doubt that Voldemort had even deigned to kill Regulus—a junior, unimportant Death Eater—himself (OP6). Remus also mentioned that Regulus had only survived a few days after turning his back on the Dark Lord (HBP6).
The Potters in hiding
The Fidelius Charm
Lily and James' deaths
Sirius went to Godric's Hollow, and met Hagrid at the Potters' ruined house. Hagrid had just rescued Harry from the rubble when Sirius arrived on his flying motorcycle, pale and horrified; Hagrid comforted him.
Sirius asked Hagrid to let him take Harry—he was the boy's godfather, after all—but Dumbledore had given Hagrid specific orders to take Harry to Privet Drive. Sirius protested, but eventually gave in, and decided to hunt Peter instead. He gave Hagrid the motorcycle, claiming that he would no longer need it (PA10). Hagrid flew to Petunia and Vernon Dursley's on the bike. After Dumbledore left Harry at the Dursleys' doorstep, Hagrid left, saying that he would return the motorcycle to its owner (PS1).
Confrontation with Peter Pettigrew
The following day, Sirius found Peter, and confronted him on a street full of Muggles in broad daylight (PA3). Before Sirius could do anything, Peter loudly accused him of murdering Lily and James and using a wand hidden behind his back, he caused an explosion that created a large crater on the street and killed twelve Muggles. Pettigrew also cut off his index finger, transformed into his Animagus form and used the sewers—rendered accessible by the depth of the crater—to escape. He left nothing but the severed finger and his bloodstained robes behind, and was presumed to be dead.
Hit Wizards cornered Sirius on that street; knowing himself to be hopelessly framed, he laughed manically as twenty members of the Magical Law Enforcement Squad arrested him and took him away (PA3, PA10, PA19). Dumbledore himself gave evidence to the Ministry regarding Sirius' guilt (PA21), and he was sent to Azkaban without a trial (GF27).
Cornelius Fudge, at the time Junior Minister in the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes, was one of the first Ministry officials to arrive at the explosion site. The Ministry had to Obliviate all witnesses (PA10); Muggles were informed that a gas explosion had taken place there (PA3).
Sirius spent twelve years in Azkaban. During his time there, he often heard other prisoners shouting in their sleep; he found out that many of them blamed Peter for Voldemort's disappearance, thinking that Wormtail had led the Dark Lord into a trap (PA19). He also saw the arrival of Barty Crouch, Jr., Bellatrix, Rodolphus and Rabastan Lestrange, convicted for the torture of Frank and Alice Longbottom (OP6, GF30).
Black was one of the best-guarded inmates in Azkaban. There were always Dementors outside his door (PA10).
Escape from Azkaban
When Fudge visited Azkaban, in the summer of 1993, he was surprised to see that Sirius, unlike other inmates, was not senselessly muttering to himself in the dark; the Dementors seemed to affect him little. Black spoke rationally to the Minister, and asked if Fudge had finished reading the copy of the Prophet he was carrying. Sirius claimed that he missed the crosswords (PA10); in fact, he had recognised Peter Pettigrew in a front page photograph.
The Prophet in question had a story on the front page about the Weasleys winning the Daily Prophet Grand Prize Galleon Draw, and a picture of the family in Egypt (PA3). Upon seeing the photograph, Sirius immediately recognised Pettigrew in his Animagus form, and was alarmed to realise that Peter spent a lot of time at Hogwarts, in the same dorm as Harry Potter, able to murder him whenever such an act became convenient (PA19).
Black became obsessed with the fact that Peter Pettigrew was at Hogwarts, dangerously close to Harry (PA19). The Azkaban guards informed Fudge that Sirius started talking in his sleep, repeating the words "He's at Hogwarts... He's at Hogwarts..." The Daily Prophet did not report this fact, because after the convict's escape the Ministry wished to keep what they interpreted as a serious threat to Harry Potter quiet (PA4).
Focusing on Pettigrew granted Black clarity of mind. One day, when dementors opened the door to his cell to bring him food, Sirius—in his dog form—slid between the bars and escaped the prison (PA19). He was the first wizard known to have done so (PA3), though Barty Crouch, Jr. had escaped with the help of his mother some time before Sirius (GF35).
Still retaining his dog shape, Sirius swam away from the island and reached British mainland (PA19). His first thought was to visit Harry in Privet Drive; he caught a glimpse of the boy on August 6, 1993, in the alleyway between Magnolia Crescent and Wisteria Walk. The sudden appearance of a large black dog frightened Harry, who took a step backwards and tripped, inadvertently raising his wand hand and summoning the Knight Bus to rescue him (PA3).
After meeting Harry, Sirius went to Hogwarts. He entered the school grounds as a dog (PA19). A Muggle saw him in human form not far from the school and phoned the British government hot line. Ministry of Magic officials were unable to arrive on time to capture him. The Daily Prophet reported this sighting on September 9, 1993 (PA7).
The Ministry's pursuit
When Sirius escaped, the Ministry warned the wizarding population, reinforcing that Black was an extremely vicious muderer and Voldemort's former right-hand man (PA3). The fact that he had been the first inmate to succeed in escaping from Azkaban Dementors reinforced the general notion that Sirius was a powerful Dark wizard of uncommon powers (PA10).
The Dementors' reports of Sirius nighttime mutterings led the Ministry to conclude that he planned to murder Harry (PA4); for this reason, special security measures were imposed on Hogwarts during the 1993-1994 school year (PA5).
Several Azkaban Dementors left the prison to try to capture Sirius. According to Fudge, failure had rendered the creatures furious, and they were anxious to retrieve the escaped convict (PA3). Dumbledore refused to allow them to enter the Hogwarts grounds (PA10), but one Dementor searched the Hogwarts Express on September 1, 1993, and many others were stationed at every exit of the grounds (PA5). However, no one blocked or guarded some passageways into the castle, notably that of the one-eyed witch, which led to Hogsmeade (PA10, PA14).
By the end of 1993, Dementors were patrolling Hogsmeade every night after sundown. They also searched the entire village at least twice. This, according to the Three Broomsticks barmaid Rosmerta, frightened away customers; she complained to the Minister of Magic, who claimed that it was a necessary precaution (PA10).
All Ministry workers were ordered to put aside their regular occupations and aid in the search for Sirius, to no avail (PA4).
Black was the subject of several Daily Prophet headlines in the months after his escape (PA3). He was the cause for much worry; some wizards were even concerned about letting their children leave the family house while Black was still on the loose (PA4).
Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic, warned the Muggle Prime Minister of the escape as well. Some members of the International Confederation of Warlocks criticised Fudge for this decision, but he defended his actions with claims that the danger potential of the escaped convict warranted such a measure. Fudge also requested the Prime Minister's assurance that Sirius would not be identified as a wizard to the general public (PA3).
The Muggle media reported news about Black, claiming him to be armed and dangerous; an emergency hotline was set in place for possible sightings of him. Upon seeing a news story about this, Vernon Dursley was particularly put off upon noticing that the prison from which Black had escaped had not been divulged (PA2).
Harry ran away from number four, Privet Drive on August 6, 1993, after accidentally over-inflating his aunt Marge Dursley. He believed that the Ministry would seek to punish him for this. In fact, when Fudge learned that Harry had arrived safely at the Leaky Cauldron, he was extremely relieved, and assured Harry that there would be no punishment for what had happened to Ms Dursley. He asked Harry to remain in Diagon Alley until it was time to go to Hogwarts, and Harry obeyed, though he did not know the true reason for this request (PA3).
Fudge insisted on not revealing to Harry the Ministry's assumption that Black had fled Azkaban to murder the boy that had caused Voldemort's downfall. Harry discovered the truth by accident, when he overheard a conversation between Arthur and Molly Weasley. Arthur voiced his concerns about Harry's recent decision to abandon the Dursleys' alone; he thought it best to warn Harry of the threat to his personal safety that Sirius represented, but Molly disagreed, thinking that Harry would be happier not knowing. When Harry heard the truth, however, he felt comforted with the thought of being at Hogwarts, under the protection of Dumbledore, while Black was after him.
Harry was not allowed to go to Hogsmeade during the 1993 school year, because the Dursleys had not signed the form that would allow him to do so. Fudge refused to supply this consent in their stead due to concern for Harry's safety (PA3), as did Minerva McGonagall (PA8).
Harry's glimpses of Sirius in dog shape (PA2, PA9, PA15), a book about omens he saw at Flourish and Blotts (PA4) and Divination lessons with Sybill Trelawney (PA6) led Harry to believe that the large black dog he'd seen was the Grim, a death omen (PA4, PA6, PA9, PA10).
No one informed Harry that Black was responsible for the betrayal of Lily and James Potter; he did not understand why people such as Draco Malfoy expected him to try to capture Sirius himself (PA7). Harry discovered this by accident, when overhearing Cornelius Fudge talking to McGonagall, Flitwick, Hagrid and Rosmerta in the Three Broomsticks (PA10). Harry was furious when he found out; his anger was heightened by the fact that frequent run-ins with Dementors had caused him to hear the old memory of his parents' last words. Ron and Hermione dissuaded him from doing anything rash (PA11).
Life in the Hogwarts grounds
During his time at Hogwarts, Sirius spent a lot of time in dog form. He befriended Crookshanks, Hermione Granger's half-Kneazle pet cat. Harry saw Sirius and Crookshanks in the Hogwarts grounds together in the early morning hours of April 16 (PA15).
After earning the half-Kneazle's trust, Sirius taught Crookshanks how to freeze the Whomping Willow (PA17), and told him about the true identity of Scabbers. Crookshanks had always been suspicious of the rat, and decided to aid Black in his attempts to get to Peter Pettigrew (PA18); Crookshanks tried several times to capture the rat himself, to no avail (PA5, PA8, PA9, PA11).
On November 6, Sirius went to the Quidditch pitch to watch a Gryffindor versus Hufflepuff match. He sat, in dog form, on the topmost row of seats. Harry saw him in the middle of the game, shortly before Dementors entered the field and caused the Gryffindor Seeker to fall (PA9).
Before Christmas, 1993, Sirius asked Crookshanks to take an order of purchase to the Owl Office. It was in Harry's name, but established that money to fund it should be withdrawn from Vault 711, which belonged to Sirius. The order referred to the acquisition of a Firebolt (PA22), an expensive racing broomstick released earlier that year (PA4). Harry received the package at Christmas and was thrilled. However, there was no note accompanying the broomstick, and Hermione suspected that Sirius Black had sent Harry the broomstick; she informed Minerva McGonagall, who confiscated the Firebolt to have it checked for hexes (PA11). Harry gets the broomstick back on February 3, in time for a match against Slytherin (PA12).
Breaking and entering
On Halloween, 1993, Sirius entered the Hogwarts castle, and tried to get inside Gryffindor Tower while all students were at the feast to search for Peter Pettigrew. However, he did not have the password to do so, and the Fat Lady refused to let him in; Sirius slashed her portrait in a fit of rage, and left. Peeves informed Dumbledore that Black was responsible for the painting's current state (PA8).
The Fat Lady was desolate and terrified after the incident; she hid herself in a map of Argyllshire. (Sir Cadogan replaced her at the door to Gryffindor Tower, for she was too scared to return.) The Hogwarts staff conducted an extensive search of the castle, but Black was nowhere to be found. All Gryffindors spent the night in the Great Hall.
After this event, Severus Snape approached Dumbledore, and reminded him of a conversation before the start of term, in which Snape had voiced his distrust of Remus Lupin. Albus reiterated his certainty that Remus had not helped Sirius enter the castle, but Snape was unconvinced (PA9).
On February 3, 1994, Peter Pettigrew realised that Sirius would soon get to him. He panicked, and faked his own death once more. He disappeared, leaving behind bloody sheets on Ron Weasley's bed (he probably bit himself to stain the sheets). Ron also found long ginger hairs in the room, which belonged to Crookshanks; he became certain that the part-Kneazle had attacked and killed Scabbers. Meanwhile, Crookshanks, realising that he had been thus far unable to capture the rat, stole a list of that week's passwords to enter Gryffindor Tower from Neville Longbottom's bedside table and gave it to Sirius (PA12, PA19).
Two days later, Black entered the Tower, and went to the third-year boys' dorm, holding a knife. He slashed the curtains of Ron's bed, and was furious not to find Peter. Ron woke up and was terrified to see Sirius Black standing beside his bed; he screamed loudly, and Sirius ran away before he could be caught. Ron's screams put the entire Gryffindor Tower in an uproar. The veracity of his tale was confirmed when Sir Cadogan admitted that he had allowed a man inside the Tower that night (PA13).
The Hogwarts castle was thoroughly searched for Black, but he was not found. Severus Snape reminded Dumbledore of his worry that Remus could be helping Sirius, but the Headmaster confirmed his trust in Remus. Hogwarts security was reinforced: Flitwick taught the front doors to recognise Sirius; Filch boarded up every hole, regardless of how small, in the castle walls; the Fat Lady, whose painting had been restored, returned to her usual place in the Gryffindor common room portrait hole, accompanied by a group of security trolls.
There was a scheduled Hogsmead visit on February 12, 1994. Draco Malfoy informed Snape that Harry had sneaked out to the village; Snape cornered Harry and confiscated the Map, not knowing its true function. When Snape tried to force the Map to reveal its secrets, writing appeared on it: each of the four Marauders—identifying themselves by their nicknames Prongs, Padfoot, Wormtail and Moony—insulted Snape, who realised at ones who were the creators of the artifacts. Snape summoned Remus to his office, who confirmed that Harry did not know the Map's true origins and took the Map under the pretence of studying it. Remus reprimanded Harry for not handing the Map in, implying that Sirius could have found a way to steal it, and for going to Hogsmeade despite the entire staff's efforts to protect him (PA14).
The Shrieking Shack
Sirius' escape caused Fudge to visit the Hogwarts grounds a few times in order to discuss the matter with Dumbledore (PA10, PA16). On one such occasion, Fudge was also asked to witness the execution of the Hippogriff Buckbeak, sentenced to death for attacking a student during a Care of Magical Creatures lesson (PA6, PA14, PA16, PA21).
On that day, Ron, Harry and Hermione visited Hagrid and Buckbeak in the gamekeeper's hut to voice their sympathy for Buckbeak's imminent death. During their visit, Ron found his pet rat Scabbers—Peter Pettigrew—hiding in the hut. The rat was clearly terrified, and not pleased to have returned to Ron's ownership (PA16). Crookshanks met the Trio soon after they left the cabin, and viciously chased after Scabbers, who jumped out of Ron's grasp; he ran after the two animals, and eventually rescued the rat.
Harry and Hermione chased after Ron; before the Trio could return to the castle, Sirius approached them in dog shape. Harry tried to reach for his wand, but the large dog threw his entire weight against him, jumping on the boy's chest with front paws outstretched. Sirius rolled off Harry, pushed him aside and locked his jaws on Ron's arm, dragging him down the Whomping Willow passageway, which led to the Shrieking Shack. (The rough manoeuvre broke Ron's leg.) Harry and Hermione followed them, with the help of Crookshanks, who knew the right knot to press on the Willow's trunk to make it stand still.
Once inside the Shack, Sirius transformed to human form, and took Ron's wand. The boy realised that Black was an Animagus and tried to warn Harry and Hermione of this the moment they arrived, but there was no time for Harry to flee. Sirius quickly Disarmed the children and thanked them for coming to Ron's rescue instead of seeking teachers' help. He mentioned that James would have done the same for him; Harry interpreted this as a taunt, and was furious. He lunged forward; Hermione and Ron held him back, and stated that Black would have to kill them as well if he wished to murder Harry. Sirius ordered Ron to lie down in order to rest his leg, and assured them that there would be only one murder that night. Harry lunged once more, and knocked him down; Sirius seized his throat, but Hermione kicked him and Ron threw himself on his wand hand. Harry reached for his wand—Crookshanks almost managed to get it before he did—and pointed it at Black after ordering Ron and Hermione to move away from the convict.
Sirius wondered if Harry meant to kill him, and Harry accused him of the Potters' murders. Black did not deny being guilty, but he stressed that Harry did not know the full story. Crookshanks sensed the danger Sirius was in, and sat on his chest to shield him from whatever spell Harry meant to cast next. Harry stood facing them for several seconds, knowing that he had to kill Sirius, but he did nothing. Suddenly, there was a muffled sound from the floor below. Hermione guessed that Remus Lupin had arrived, and shouted their location in order to guide him.
(Remus had been examining the Marauder's Map in his office—watching over Harry, whom he believed would sneak out of the castle to visit Hagrid before Buckbeak's execution—when he saw Sirius, Harry, Hermione, Ron and Peter make their way under the Whomping Willow to the Shrieking Shack. He immediately ran after them.)
Remus entered the room, surveyed the scene and cast a Disarming Charm to collect all the wands present. He asked Sirius for Pettigrew's location; Black froze for a while, and then pointed at Ron. Remus was bewildered. "But then... why hasn't he shown himself before now? Unless—unless he was the one... unless you switched... without telling me?" he asked, and Sirius nodded. Much to Ron, Harry and Hermione's shock, Remus pulled Sirius to his feet and the two wizards hugged. Hermione was livid, and accused Remus of helping Black enter Hogwarts, of wanting Harry dead and of being a werewolf. Remus attempted to explain his reconciliation with Sirius, and at first she would not let him, but he did not deny his lycanthropy. He returned the three students' wands to them as a sign of trust, and asked them to listen to his explanation.
Remus said that he had seen in the Map five people come to the Shrieking Shack that night, and not just the four ostensibly present. He quickly dismissed Harry's befuddlement at the realisation that Remus knew the Invisibility Cloak and the password to use the Marauder's Map, and asked Ron to show him Scabbers. The boy obeyed after some hesitation, and Sirius informed them that the rat was in fact Peter Pettigrew (PA17). They did not believe him. Sirius, anxious to commit the murder for which he had been sent to Azkaban, made for the rat, but Remus dragged him away from Ron and Scabbers, noting that the children had to understand what was happening first. Black resisted, urging that the explanation should happen only after Peter was murdered, but he subsided after Remus pointed out that Harry deserved the truth.
Remus ordered Ron to hold on to the rat while he and Sirius explained everything. Hermione noted that Peter could not be an Animagus, because the Ministry had no record of him as such. (At this point, Severus Snape entered the room, hidden under Harry's Invisibility Cloak.) Remus told them about the Marauders' friendship and their adventures as Animagi, including the Snape incident. He confessed not to have told Dumbledore about Sirius' Animagus form for fear of admitting that he had betrayed the Headmaster's trust while at school. All year, Remus had convinced himself that Sirius was using other, Dark means to enter the castle. This omission justified Snape's every concern about Remus' loyalty; Snape came out from under the Invisibility Cloak and pointed his wand at Remus (PA18).
The Shrieking Shack
Correspondence with Harry
Hiding in Hogsmeade
Life during early the Second War
After the Tournament
The Order at number twelve, Grimmauld Place
Sirius offered his old family home at number twelve, Grimmauld Place to Dumbledore, so that it could be used as Order headquarters. The house was well-hidden, and Orion Black had cast several protection charms around the place. Dumbledore added his own protections, in the form of a Fidelius Charm; the Headmaster himself was the Secret Keeper (OP4, OP5, OP6).
Dumbledore gave Sirus strict orders not to leave Grimmauld Place. The Ministry had not yet acknowledged his innocence; public appearances, therefore, were risky. This angered Sirius, who loathed being confined to a house that he despised. Grimmauld Place brought up many unpleasant memories, and Sirius' disposition during most of the time he was forced to spend there was sullen and bad-tempered. Nevertheless, his mood improved when Harry, Hermione, the Weasleys, Remus and other Order members were present (OP9, OP23).
From Harry's 1995 summer holidays until the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, Albus Dumbledore studiously avoid any proximity with him; he seldom spoke to Harry. The Headmaster feared that his closeness with Harry would encourage Lord Voldemort to use the mental connection between him and Harry to possess the boy (OP37). As a result, Harry was very sympathetic towards Sirius' restlessness and impatience (OP6, OP37).
King's Cross, 1995
When Harry's summer holidays came to an end, Sirius decided to escort him to King's Cross on September 1. Dumbledore ordered him not to go, but Sirius disobeyed; he transformed when the children were about to leave Grimmauld Place, and Molly Weasley gave up on dissuading him.
Sirius greatly enjoyed the freedom of walking to King's Cross; he scared cats and pigeons and chased his own tail, making Harry laugh. When they arrived at Platform Nine and Three-Quarters, Lee Jordan praised Harry's dog, and Sirius happily wagged his tail in response. Before Harry entered the train, Sirius stood on his hind legs and rested his front paws on Harry's shoulder; Molly pushed Harry away from him and reprimanded the dog for acting too human.
Once Harry was inside the Hogwarts Express, Draco Malfoy dropped a hint that his father had recognised Sirius at the train station; Harry was very worried.
Harry's fifth year
Attack on Arthur Weasley
The Battle of the Department of Mysteries
Sirius' will was discovered in the first week of July, 1996. He left all his possessions to Harry, including all his gold and the Black family home. Despite the clarity of the will's disposition, the Order vacated number twelve, Grimmauld Place; Dumbledore feared that there could be a charm on the house that would not allow anyone but a pure-blood to own it. If this were the case, the house would pass into the ownership of Bellatrix Lestrange.
On July 12, 1996, Dumbledore went to number four, Privet Drive to inform Harry of this. The Headmaster revealed that a simple test would reveal whether the house was Harry's; the house-elf Kreacher was connected to number twelve's ownership, and if he showed himself bound to obey Harry's orders, this would mean that Harry had inherited the house. Dumbledore summoned Kreacher, and Harry proved that Sirius' will was effective.
Mundungus Fletcher stole several items from the Black home after Sirius' death (HBP12), including several objects from Kreacher's personal den (DH10). In his defence, he claimed that Sirius had never cared for Black heirlooms (DH11)—which was true (OP6). Harry saw Mundungus selling some of these items in Hogsmeade in October, 1996, and was furious (HBP12); Dumbledore also sought to reprimand Fletcher, but he hid from the Headmaster, fearing the admonition (HBP13).
Fletcher took two items of particular value from Grimmauld Place: one of the two-way-mirrors Sirius and James had—Harry had the other (OP38)—and Slytherin's locket, which Regulus Black had stolen from the Cave (DH10). Aberforth Dumbledore bought Sirius' two-way-mirror from Mundungus in Hogsmeade (HBP12, DH28); he later used it to save Harry's life when the Trio was held captive in Malfoy Manor (DH23, DH28). Dolores Umbridge took Slytherin's locket from Mundungus as bribe when he was selling some of the stolen objects in Diagon Alley (DH11).
The house at number twelve, Grimmauld Place was used as headquarters until Dumbledore's death. The fact that Severus Snape—Albus' murderer—had been informed of the house's location made it a liability, and the Order abandoned the place (DH6).
After the Fall of the Ministry, Harry was forced to hide in number twelve for some time (DH9). He slept in Sirius' old bedroom while there (DH12). The Trio soon found that Death Eaters were watching Grimmauld Place, and Hermione guessed that this was because the Ministry of Magic had had access to Sirius' will, noted that Harry owned the place, and thereby concluded that he might return (DH11).
The Resurrection Stone
During the Battle of Hogwarts, when Harry obtained the Resurrection Stone and used it, the forms of James, Lily, Sirius and Remus appeared beside him in the Forbidden Forest. They were more corporeal than ghosts, but not quite flesh-and-bone.
The three Marauders and Lily comforted Harry and praised him, preparing him for what was about to happen. Sirius assured him that dying did not hurt. Harry apologised for their deaths, particularly Remus'; they promised to stay with Harry until he died, invisible to everyone else. Their proximity shielded Harry from Dementors.
Harry came out from under the Cloak and let go of the Stone when he faced Voldemort. Lily, James, Sirius and Remus disappeared seconds before the Dark Lord cast the Killing Curse on Harry (DH34).
- Sirius/Mrs. Lovegood