The Harry Potter Compendium

"Professor Grubbly-Plank was chatting to Professor Sinistra, the Astronomy teacher ..."
—Sinistra during 1995.[src]

Professor Aurora Sinistra (fl. 19741996) was a witch, member of the Sinistra family and member of the Astronomy department at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from at least 1991 onwards.[4]

From 1991-1992, Professor Sinistra taught Astronomy every Wednesday at midnight. Topics included studying the night sky with telescopes and learning the stars names through their deductions.[8] The following year, the professor was present at the discovery of a Petrified Justin Finch-Fletchley, and helped transport him with Filius Flitwick, the Charms Master, to Madam Pomfrey in the Hospital wing.[4] In 1994, Sinistra attended the Yule Ball with "Alastor Moody", and danced a nervous two-step, careful to avoid his wooden leg.[6] As preparation for her fifth years' Ordinary Wizarding Levels, Professor Sinistra gave out large amounts of homework, and was seen chatting to Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank numerous times throughout the year.[9]

Professor Sinistra may have taken part in the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998[3]. Her ultimate fate is unknown.


Early life

Aurora was born into, or married into, the Sinistra family, being a possible relative of Sinistra and Sinistra Lowe. She appeared to have some African ancestry.

She presumably excelled at Astronomy during her student years, being either homeschooled by her parents or educated at a school.

Career at Hogwarts


Sinistra, along with Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall, singing the Hogwarts school song.

At some point, Sinistra applied for a teaching position at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and was accepted, becoming a Hogwarts Professor. She taught her lessons at midnight at the top of the Astronomy Tower, the highest point of the castle.[8] Her students each required a telescope for her lessons, and she taught all about the different stars and constellations, as well as moons and planets.

She regularly attended the Start-of-Term Feast, where she appeared to enjoy socializing with other teachers, such as Pomona Sprout, the Herbology professor,[6] and Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank, the substitute for Professor Rubeus Hagrid.[9] She was known to give large amounts of homework to students in their fifth year and those who continued Astronomy for sixth and seventh.[9]

1991-1992 school year

Aurora sat at Professor Dumbledore's left hand side while Harry Potter and his classmates were being Sorted. She was rather emotionless and clapped unenthusiastically.

She later attended the Gryffindor vs. Slytherin Quidditch game, sat near the Headmaster again. When Angelina Johnson was fouled, she stood up with the rest of the teachers and gasped. However, when Harry Potter appeared to lose control of his broomstick, she showed no signs of emotion.

File:Sinistra and Dumbledore.png

Professor Sinistra listening to Professor Dumbledore.

Later that year, the professor's fellow colleague, Quirinus Quirrell, was revealed to be a servant of Lord Voldemort after the Sorcerer's Stone which was hidden inside the school. Apparently, Sinistra was not chosen to protect the Sorcerer's Stone Chambers. She also attended the End-of-Term Feast, in the same seat as last time, and watched as Gryffindor won the House Cup.[5]

1992-1993 school year

"Justin Finch-Fletchley was carried up to the Hospital wing by Professor Flitwick and Professor Sinistra of the Astronomy department..."
File:MM AD AS.png

Professor Sinistra sat with Dumbledore and McGonagall.

During the 1992–1993 school year, Professor Sinistra continued her career as Astronomy teacher. This year, however, the Chamber of Secrets was opened once again, having killed a Ravenclaw named Myrtle in 1943. Sinistra was present when Muggle-born student Justin Finch-Fletchley was discovered, petrified after an attempted attack on him by the Basilisk. Together, she and Professor Filius Flitwick, the Charms Master, removed Justin's body and took him to the Hospital wing where he was to be treated by Madam Poppy Pomfrey. The Chamber was closed at the end of the year and the Basilisk slain.[4]

1994-1995 school year

"Mad-Eye Moody was doing an extremely ungainly two-step with Professor Sinistra, who was nervously avoiding his wooden leg."
—Professor Sinistra at the Yule Ball.[src]

Aurora Sinistra at Hogwarts.

During the 1994–1995 school year, the Triwizard Tournament took place at Hogwarts Castle. For the Start-of-Term Feast, Professor Sinistra sat in between Severus Snape and Pomona Sprout, and was seen talking to the latter. [6] She attended the Yule Ball with Bartemius Crouch Jr., who was posing as Alastor Moody. Sinistra danced a nervous two-step, careful to avoid his wooden leg, and seemed rather uncomfortable.[6]

1995-1996 school year


Professor Aurora Sinistra sitting up at the staff table

"Professors McGonagall, Grubbly-Plank and Sinistra gave them even more homework..."
—Sinistra and her colleagues preparing their fifth years for their O.W.L.s.[src]

The following academic year, she gave large amounts of homework to her fifth years as preparation for their Ordinary Wizarding Levels. One of these known pieces of homework was a project on Jupiter's moons. Throughout the year she was seen talking to Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank, the stand-in professor for Rubeus Hagrid, the Care of Magical Creatures teacher.[9]

1997-1998 and the Battle of Hogwarts

This year Hogwarts had fallen into Voldemort's influence, who made the Death Eaters, Amycus Carrow and Alecto Carrow became teachers at Hogwarts. On 2nd May 1998, Voldemort and his Death Eaters attacked Hogwarts. It is likely she, along with the rest of the faculty, fought at the Battle of Hogwarts.

Physical appearance

File:Aurora sinistra 1.JPG

Aurora in the Great Hall

Aurora was a tall witch with dark hair, eyes, and skin. She usually wore olive-coloured robes and a pointed hat.[5]

Personality and traits

Sinistra was a serious and strict woman. She feared the Dark Lord Voldemort. Her Boggart assumed his form.[7]

Magical abilities and skills

  • Astronomy: Aurora was a skilled Astronomer, very proficent in the subject, and teaching the subject for at least five years at Hogwarts School.
  • Defence Against the Dark Arts: Sinistra had mastered many defensive spells, including the complex Patronus Charm, though only in a non-corporeal form.[7]



Aurora during the selection of Harry Potter.

Professor Sinistra's surname originates from the Latin "sinister", meaning "left" or "with a direction to the left".[10] The most probable explanation for this is that most planets of the solar system rotate anti-clockwise. Sinistra is also the name of a star of the constellation of Ophiuchus. The contemporary meaning of the word "sinister" is "having bad intent""[11] , but considering Professor Sinistra's uninvolvement in the plot this likely has no meaning to the story.

The first name 'Aurora' indicates a relationship with the dawn, however it is probably derived from 'Aurora', a phenomena which occurs when solar winds interact with the earth's magnetic field.[12]

Behind the scenes

File:Aurora Sinistra.jpg

Aurora as a Lego minifigure.

  • Sinistra is portrayed by an unidentified actress in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
  • Professor Sinistra's first name only appeared on a list of of the Hogwarts professors which was released on JK Rowling's website.
  • Aurora's first name was originally supposed to have been Aurelia.[13]

Aurora and other teachers on Hallowe'en.


Notes and references

  1. Professor Sinistra must have been born before 1975 in order to be old enough for a job at Hogwarts (older than 17).
  2. As Aurora was presumably related to the witch or wizard Sinistra, she was most likely at least a half-blood. If she was also related to Ms. Sinistra Lowe, who was a pure-blood supremacist, this supports the fact that Professor Sinistra was not Muggle-born.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 If this witch is, indeed, Professor Sinistra.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (film)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
  8. 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  10. Sinester on Wictionary
  11. Sinester on Wictionary
  12. Aurora on Wictionary
  13. Early draft of J.K. Rowling

Astronomy Classroom.jpg
Professors: Aurora Sinistra
Astronomy at Hogwarts: Astronomy department · Astronomy Tower · Astronomy Room · Astronomy Stairs · Astronomy Corridor · Astronomy reading room ·
Astronomy classroom
Astronomers: Aurora Sinistra · Copernicus · George von Rheticus · Perpetua Fancourt
Objects: Globe of the Moon · Lunascope · Moon chart · Orrery · Star chart · Telescope
Planets: Jupiter · Mars · Mercury · Neptune · Pluto · Saturn · Uranus · Venus
Satellites: Callisto · Europa · Ganymede · Io · Moon
Constellations: Bartholomeus · Orion