- Sirius Black
ch11">HP3, chapter 11] HP5, chapter 28] and "carelessly handsome"HP7, chapter 10] prior to his imprisonment; Harry also noted that as a teenager, Sirius always had a slightly spoiled, haughty look on his face. His long years in Azkaban made his face gaunt, and lack of grooming resulted in long, dirty hair and yellow teeth. Harry's first impression of Sirius is of a corpse.HP3, chapter 17]
As a student at Hogwarts, Sirius was well-known for being a troublemaker, and once mentioned to Harry that he, James, Lupin, and Pettigrew "were all idiots."HP5, chapter 29] He once stated that he had never been appointed a prefect as he always spent too much time in detention with James.HP6, chapter 24] Sirius is protective of Harry, but also encourages him to take unwise risks and sometimes - inappropriately - acts with him as he used to with James.HP5, chapter 17] On this, the author commented that "what Harry craves is a father." [ [http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2005/0705-tlc_mugglenet-anelli-2.htm The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Part Two] ] Rowling has stated that though she likes Sirius, "I do not think he is wholly wonderful." [http://www.jkrowling.com/textonly/en/faq_view.cfm?id=61 Do you like Sirius Black?] ] According to her, despite being brave and loyal, Sirius is also reckless, embittered, and "slightly unbalanced by his long stay in Azkaban." When asked if Harry has a godmother, Rowling replied that "Sirius was always too busy being a big rebel to get married." [ [http://www.jkrowling.com/textonly/en/news_view.cfm?id=80 J K Rowling at the Edinburgh Book Festival] ]
Unlike his parents and brother, Sirius detested the Dark Arts and did not believe in the so-called purity of blood. Rowling has said that Sirius has also proven to "be very good at spouting bits of excellent personal philosophy, but he does not always live up to them." This primarily has to do with his treatment of Kreacher the house-elf; because Kreacher was a reminder to Sirius of the home he had always hated (and also due to Kreacher's parading of the attitudes and views of Sirius's parents), Sirius is hateful to Kreacher and consistently mistreats him. This in turn comes back to haunt him, as Kreacher eventually betrays Sirius to Voldemort, leading to Sirius's death. Rowling has also stated that unlike Lupin, who is the same age as Sirius and appears more mature in nature, Sirius never really grew up, as he was placed in Azkaban during his early twenties and therefore had not had a very normal adult life. Despite all of this, Rowling states that Sirius's "redeeming quality is the affection that he is capable of feeling. He loved James like a brother and went on to transfer this attachment to Harry."
Most of the members of The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black were advocates of blood purity, and many were involved with the Dark Arts. The Black family home at
Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place, London, contains many artefacts of dubious origin and/or dangerous ability. The family motto is "Toujours Pur", which is French for "Always/Still Pure," because the Black family is one of the few remaining completely pure blood lineages.
The Blacks intermarried with several other pure-blood families, including the families of known Dark (or at least, malicious) wizards such as Flint, Bulstrode, Malfoy, Crabbe, Rosier, Yaxley, and Lestrange, but also non-Dark families such as Potter, Crouch, Longbottom, Macmillan, Prewett, and Weasley. This was done to ensure that pure-bloods would last in the years to come. That is why most of the pure-blood families are interrelated; because their ancestors married other pure-bloods. The last several generations of Blacks all trace their ancestry back to
Phineas Nigellus Blackand Ursula Flint. The Blacks believed in Voldemort's idea of "purifying the Wizarding race", but many, such as Sirius's parents, refrained from outwardly supporting him once they saw what he was willing to do for power. Sirius's brother, Regulus Black, was a Death Eater, but later reconsidered after Voldemort tried to kill the house elf Kreacher. Although there are several living Black family members throughout the series, all are either female, female-line distaff Black descendants, or descendants of disowned family members, and none of them has the name of Black. The last known surviving bearer of the family name, Sirius, is murdered by his cousin Bellatrix in " Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix".
The family tree is described in the fifth book, but it came more directly to public attention in January 2006 when the author donated a version she had hand-drawn to a Book Aid International charity auction. The tree shows the members of one of the oldest magical families, and their links by marriage to a number of other families whose members also appear in the books. The tree described in the books extends back some seven hundred years, but the version drawn by Rowling only covers approximately one hundred fifty years. Exact details of the tree were kept secret during the charity auction by publishing only incomplete or partially blurred images of the item for sale. However, a number of people attending the auction made notes that were used to confirm the details upon it, and a compilation of the details was published. This was later amended by further information from another copy of the tree incorporated into the film set for "Order of the Phoenix" where the tree appears displayed in the Black family house, Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place. The tree caused a considerable stir amongst fans as it provided new information about elements of the plot of the series in between publication of volumes six ("
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince") and seven (" Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"). It was eventually purchased for £30,000 on behalf of British actor Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter in the film series. [cite web | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4739474.stm |title=Potter star buys Rowling document |publisher = BBC news 24 | date= 22 February 2006 | accessdate= 2007-06-02 ]
The following is not a complete family tree—the Black family extends back to (as far as Harry can see) the
Middle Ages. However, this tree shows the last few generations before the line ended. It shows the oldest generations on the left and the younger ones on the right.
The names in bold are members of the family have been stricken from the family tree tapestry chronicling their common blood for various reasons:
* Isla Black of the first generation shown was disowned for marrying Bob Hitchens, a Muggle.
* Phineas Black of the second generation shown was disowned for supporting Muggle rights.
* Marius Black, third generation son of Cygnus and Violetta Black, was disowned as he was a Squib.
* Cedrella Black, also third generation and cousin of Marius, was disowned for marrying a blood traitor, Septimus Weasley.
* Alphard Black of the fourth generation shown was posthumously disowned for leaving gold in his will to his "runaway nephew", Sirius Black.
* Sirius Black of the fifth generation shown, ran away from home and was subsequently removed.
* Andromeda Black, cousin of Sirius, was disowned for marrying "Muggle-Born Ted Tonks".
* [http://www.hp-lexicon.org/wizards/sirius.html Sirius Black] at the
Harry Potter Lexicon
* [http://www.harrypotterfanzone.com/?ID=info/siriusblack Sirius Black at Harry Potter Fan Zone]
* [http://www.jkrowling.com/textonly/en/faq_view.cfm?id=61 Rowling on Sirius Black]
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