Grimmauld Place

From ArticleWorld


Number twelve Grimmauld Place, London is the ancestral home of the Black family in the Harry Potter series of books written by J.K. Rowling. The Black family is an ancient family of pureblood wizards. It is first referred to in ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’. The name is believed to be a pun on “grim old place”.

Number twelve Grimmauld Place was inherited by Sirius Black, who was the “white sheep” of the family. Since there were no inhabitants, as Sirius was in Azkaban for thirteen years, the place was unkempt and had fallen into disrepair. The house was infested with pests, covered in dust and dangerous magical objects.

Among other things, the house contained an enchanted portrait of Sirius’s mother who was a hysterical lady with a hatred for mud – bloods and muggle – lovers. Also, a house – elf named Kreacher lived there who was mad himself and an avid lover of all that the Black family stood for.

Number twelve Grimmauld Place had an immense number of security measures placed on it to prevent an unwarranted entry. The house appeared to be a modest dwelling to disguise it from muggles. In reality, it was a plush manor albeit one that had fallen to ruins. It was made magically unplottable on a map. Because of its security, it was selected as the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. Albus Dumbledore further strengthened its security by using a Fidelius Charm and he himself became the Secret Keeper. As J.K. Rowling revealed on her site on 21st February, 2006 :

“When a Secret-Keeper dies, their secret dies with them, or, to put it another way, the status of their secret will remain as it was at the moment of their death. Everybody in whom they confided will continue to know the hidden information, but nobody else.”

A portrait of Phineas Nigellus, a former headmaster of Hogworts, hung at Grimmauld Place. Another linked portrait was at the headmaster’s office at Hogworts. Dumbledore used these to communicate with the members of the Order of the Phoenix.

After Sirius’s death, Harry inherited the house as revealed in ‘Harry Potter and the Half – Blood Prince’. Meanwhile, Dumbledore ceased to use the house as headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. Dumbledore performed a simple test to see if Harry really owned it. When Kreacher reluctantly but did follow Harry’s direct orders, it was certain that Harry had become the owner of Number twelve Grimmauld Place.