Sirius Black is one of the most intriguing and mysterious characters in the Harry Potter series. He is the godfather of Harry Potter, the best friend of James Potter, and a notorious fugitive who escaped from Azkaban. But is he really related to Harry by blood? And what is his role in the wizarding world? Here are some facts you need to know about Sirius Black.
Sirius Black: A Pure-Blood Rebel
Sirius Black was born on 3 November 1959 to Orion and Walburga Black, a wealthy and influential pure-blood family that valued blood purity and supported the Dark Arts. He had a younger brother, Regulus Black, who followed his parents’ footsteps and joined the Death Eaters. Sirius, however, was different from his family. He rejected their elitist views and their reverence for Lord Voldemort. He also despised most of his relatives, especially his mother, who blasted his name off the family tree when he ran away from home at the age of sixteen.
Sirius attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from 1971 to 1978 and was sorted into Gryffindor House, much to his family’s dismay. He became best friends with James Potter, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew, who together formed the Marauders, a group of pranksters and adventurers. They also created the Marauder’s Map, a magical map that showed the location of everyone in Hogwarts.
Sirius was an exceptionally talented and charismatic wizard, who was popular among students and teachers alike. He was also very handsome, with black hair and grey eyes. He had a biting sense of humour and a rebellious streak that often got him into trouble. He enjoyed hexing and mocking his enemies, especially Severus Snape, whom he hated for his interest in the Dark Arts.
Sirius also had a secret: he was an Animagus, a wizard who could transform into an animal at will. His Animagus form was a large black dog, which earned him the nickname Padfoot among his friends. He became an Animagus to help his friend Remus Lupin, who was a werewolf. Along with James (who could turn into a stag) and Peter (who could turn into a rat), Sirius would accompany Remus during his monthly transformations and keep him company.
Sirius Black: A Loyal Godfather
Sirius was named the godfather of Harry James Potter, the only son of James and Lily Potter. He loved Harry as his own son and vowed to protect him from any harm. However, his life took a tragic turn when Lord Voldemort attacked the Potters on 31 October 1981. Sirius had suggested that they use Peter Pettigrew as their Secret-Keeper, a person who could hide their location from anyone except themselves. However, he did not know that Peter had betrayed them to Voldemort and revealed their whereabouts.
When Sirius learned of the Potters’ deaths, he was devastated and enraged. He tracked down Peter in London and confronted him. Peter faked his own death by blowing up the street with a powerful curse, killing twelve Muggles in the process. He then escaped by transforming into his rat form and hiding among the rubble. Sirius was blamed for the murders and for betraying the Potters to Voldemort. He was arrested by the Ministry of Magic and sent to Azkaban without a trial.
Sirius spent twelve years in Azkaban, where he was tormented by Dementors, foul creatures that feed on human happiness and memories. He endured the horrors of prison by holding on to his innocence and his love for Harry. He also used his Animagus ability to escape the Dementors’ influence, as they could not sense animal emotions.
In 1993, Sirius saw a picture of Peter Pettigrew in his rat form on the front page of the Daily Prophet. The rat belonged to Ron Weasley, Harry’s best friend. Sirius realized that Peter was still alive and had been hiding as Ron’s pet for years. He also learned that Harry was attending Hogwarts and that he was in danger from Voldemort’s followers.
Sirius decided to escape from Azkaban and find Peter. He managed to slip past the Dementors by turning into a dog and swimming across the North Sea. He then made his way to Hogwarts, where he tried to enter the Gryffindor Tower several times but failed. He also encountered Harry several times in his dog form, but did not reveal his identity.
Sirius finally confronted Peter in the Shrieking Shack, a haunted house near Hogsmeade village. He was joined by Remus Lupin, who had recognized him as an old friend and had learned the truth about Peter’s betrayal. They exposed Peter’s identity to Harry, Ron, and Hermione Granger, Harry’s other best friend. They also explained to Harry that Sirius was his godfather and that he had never betrayed his parents.
However, their reunion was interrupted by Severus Snape, who had followed them to the Shack. Snape was eager to capture Sirius and hand him over to the Dementors, as he still hated him for their past rivalry and for his supposed role in Lily’s death. He also did not believe Sirius and Remus’s story about Peter. A fight ensued, in which Harry, Ron, and Hermione managed to disarm Snape and free Sirius and Remus.
The group then left the Shack and headed to the castle, intending to prove Sirius’s innocence to the authorities. However, they were attacked by a large group of Dementors, who had been alerted by Snape. The Dementors overwhelmed them and tried to suck out their souls. Harry tried to fight them off with a Patronus Charm, a spell that conjured a silver animal that could repel Dementors. He saw a bright light in the distance and thought he saw his father’s stag Patronus coming to save them.
However, he soon lost consciousness and fell to the ground. He later woke up in the hospital wing, where he learned that it was not his father who had cast the Patronus, but himself from the future. He also learned that Sirius had been captured by the Dementors and was awaiting the Dementor’s Kiss, a fate worse than death.
Harry was determined to save Sirius. He was helped by Hermione, who revealed that she had a Time-Turner, a device that allowed her to travel back in time. She had been using it to attend extra classes during the year. She and Harry used the Time-Turner to go back three hours and change the course of events.
They managed to free Buckbeak, a hippogriff that had been sentenced to death by the Ministry for attacking Draco Malfoy, a Slytherin student who had insulted him. They then flew on Buckbeak’s back to the window of the tower where Sirius was held. They rescued Sirius and helped him escape on Buckbeak’s back.
Sirius thanked Harry and Hermione for saving his life. He also told Harry that he wanted him to live with him, as his legal guardian. Harry was overjoyed at the prospect of leaving his abusive relatives, the Dursleys, and living with his godfather. However, Sirius told him that they had to wait until his name was cleared by the Ministry. He also gave Harry a two-way mirror that he could use to communicate with him.
Sirius then flew away with Buckbeak, promising to keep in touch with Harry. He also sent him a letter later, in which he gave him permission to visit Hogsmeade village during his next year at Hogwarts.
Sirius Black: A Brave Warrior
Sirius remained in hiding for the next two years, as he was still wanted by the Ministry. He kept contact with Harry through letters and occasional visits in his dog form. He also rejoined the Order of the Phoenix, a secret society of wizards and witches who fought against Voldemort and his followers. The Order was led by Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts and one of the most powerful and respected wizards in the world.
Sirius offered his family home at 12 Grimmauld Place as the headquarters of the Order. The house was protected by powerful enchantments that made it invisible and unplottable to anyone who did not know its location. However, Sirius hated living in the house, as it reminded him of his unhappy childhood and his estranged family. He also felt restless and frustrated by being confined indoors and unable to fight alongside his friends.
Sirius tried to be a good godfather to Harry, who faced many dangers and challenges during his fourth and fifth years at Hogwarts. He gave him advice and support whenever he could, but he also acted recklessly and impulsively at times, putting himself and Harry at risk.
In 1995, Harry witnessed Voldemort’s return to power through a vision that connected their minds. He also learned that Voldemort was after a prophecy that concerned him and Harry. The prophecy was stored in a glass sphere in the Department of Mysteries, a secretive branch of the Ministry that studied various aspects of magic.
Harry had another vision in which he saw Voldemort torturing Sirius in the Department of Mysteries. He believed that Sirius was in danger and decided to go rescue him with Ron, Hermione, Ginny Weasley (Ron’s younger sister), Neville Longbottom (a fellow Gryffindor), and Luna Lovegood (a Ravenclaw student). They used the Floo Network, a system of fireplaces that allowed magical travel, to reach the Ministry.
However, they soon realized that it was a trap set by Voldemort. The vision was false and Sirius was not there. Instead, they were ambushed by a group of Death Eaters led by Lucius Malfoy (Draco’s father