Walburga Black
Walburga Black
Biographical information



1985[1] (aged 60)

Blood status


Marital status


Physical information




Hair colour


Family information
Family members



House of Black[1]

"Stains of dishonour, filthy half-breeds, blood traitors, children of filth!"
Portrait of Walburga Black screaming at members of the Order of the Phoenix[src]

Walburga Black (19251985) was a pure-blood witch, the daughter of Pollux Black and Irma Crabbe and sister of Alphard and Cygnus. Walburga was probably raised in Grimmauld Place, since she called it the "House of my fathers". She married her second cousin Orion Black, thus her married name was the same as her maiden name, and had two children, Sirius and Regulus Black.[1] She died in 1985; her portrait still remains at 12 Grimmauld Place.


Early lifeEdit

Harry: "Were — were your parents Death Eaters as well?"
Sirius: "No, no, but believe me, they thought Voldemort had the right idea, they were all for the purification of the wizarding race, getting rid of Muggle-borns and having pure-bloods in charge… I bet my parents thought Regulus was a right little hero for joining up at first."
Sirius Black to Harry Potter on his family's views[src]

Walburga was a member of the traditionalist pure-blood House of Black, who looked down on any except other "respectable" pure-blood wizards. She was the daughter of Pollux Black and Irma Crabbe, and sister of Alphard and Cygnus. She married her second cousin Orion and they had two children, Sirius and Regulus.

Family life and deathEdit

Her elder son Sirius Black was a severe disappointment to her because he did not agree with the ideology of blood purity and was sorted into Gryffindor house at Hogwarts, rather than the family's traditional house, Slytherin[2]. He was disinherited and removed from the Black Family tree when he left home at the age of sixteen to live with the Potter family. Walburga maintained a habit of blasting people from the Black family tree which stood in the hall of the family home at 12 Grimmauld Place if they displeased her; she did so to her brother Alphard simply because he left gold to Sirius. According to Kreacher, Walburga was heartbroken by this abandonment.

Her younger son Regulus followed the family traditions and became his mother's favourite, and heir to the wealth, position, and traditions of the Black family. Regulus became a Death Eater during the First Wizarding War; although neither Walburga nor Orion were followers of Lord Voldemort themselves, according to Sirius, they thought he "had the right idea"[3], until they saw that Voldemort was ruthless in his pursuit for power, at which point they got cold feet. Regulus was killed in 1979 after trying to destroy Voldemort's Horcrux. As Regulus forbade Kreacher from telling this to anyone, Walburga thought Regulus died trying to leave the organisation. Walburga's husband Orion and brother Cygnus also died in the same year. She died in 1985.


Walburga: "Freaks."
Kreacher: "There, there, mistress."
Walburga: "Scum of the earth. Not like it was in the days of my fathers."
Kreacher: "Kreacher is here."
— Portrait of Walburga on the people[src]
File:Kreacher portrait OOTP 1.jpeg

Walburga's portrait remained magically fixed to the wall in the hallway of her family home, using a Permanent Sticking Charm. The picture, which was covered in canvas when inactive, showed an insane old woman, prone to screaming insults at anyone who disturbed the portrait. This happened several times when the Order of the Phoenix use Grimmauld Place as their headquarters after her death, and they tried unsuccessfully to remove the portrait for quite sometime. She survived the deaths of her family, but the destruction of it may account for her final madness. After their deaths, she was alone in the house except for the family house-elf, Kreacher, who seemed equally deranged due to his parroting her beliefs, until Harry Potter came to know and treat him better one year after inheriting him.[3]

Personality and traitsEdit

"My mother didn't have a heart, Kreacher. She kept herself alive out of pure spite."
Sirius Black on his mother[src]

Walburga Black, like most members of her family, was obsessed with blood purity, and her portrait would often scream insults at blood traitors, half-bloods or muggle-born wizards. She had little affection for her son, Sirius as he was viewed as a blood traitor by the Black family but appeared to have a fairly good relationship with Sirius' younger brother, Regulus and was proud of him when he joined the Death Eaters. Although she was not a Death Eater herself, she was convinced that Voldemort was doing the right thing by trying to eliminate Muggles and bringing wizards and witches out of hiding. Walburga was kind to her house elf, Kreacher who shared her views on blood purity. Kreacher was very loyal to her.

Magical abilities and skillsEdit

  • Charms: Whilst the true extent of her skill in this field is unknown Walburga Black was proficient enough to have placed a Permanent Sticking Charm on the back of her portrait to prevent anyone from taking it off the wall. The charm held in place for more than a decade after her death.


  • Walburga is a variation of the name Walpurga, who was a saint for whom Walpurgis Night is named. Historically, Walpurgis Night was considered to be a time when the barrier between the living and the dead was weak and when witches held celebrations.Also, the Knights of Walpurgis (later known as the Death Eaters) were named after Walpurgis Night.
  • Walburga was also the given name of the mother of Josef Mengele, a Nazi doctor who conducted horrific experiments on prisoners in concentration camps. She was said to have been extremely cruel and a Nazi supporter, rather like Walburga Black's views on retaining blood purity.
  • 256 Walpurga is a large Main belt asteroid. It was discovered by Johann Palisa on April 3, 1886 in Vienna and was named after Saint Walpurga.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Walburga's portrait was not heard screaming, but she could be heard muttering behind her curtain, and Kreacher still talked about the "scum" in 12 Grimmauld Place, such as "Mudbloods" and "Blood-traitors".
  • Walburga's father was only thirteen when Walburga was born, although it is possible this is a mathematical error on Rowling's part (Rowling has admitted she lacks skills with mathematics).
  • On the tapestry from the film, Walburga and Orion are depicted together, and their heads looking in different ways, although they are in marriage. This is likely because both Walburga and Orion were born into the House of Black.
  • Walburga was probably educated at Hogwarts as Horace Slughorn mentions that he has taught the whole Black Family.
  • Since Walburga and Lucretia Black were born on the same year, it is more likely that they were classmates at Hogwarts
  • Walburga may have known Tom Riddle as he was one year younger than her so she could have encountered him at Hogwarts.


Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 Black family tree
  2. 2.0 2.1 In Chapter 4 of Half-Blood Prince, Horace Slughorn states: "The whole Black family had been in my house, but Sirius ended up in Gryffindor!" This implies that all Blacks except Sirius were Sorted into Slytherin while Slughorn was Head of House. Walburga, born in 1925, presumably attended Hogwarts c. 1936 to 1943, and thus would have been a student of Slughorn, who was stated to have begun teaching at Hogwarts around the same time as Albus Dumbledore in Chapter 5 of Half-Blood Prince, in 1938 or earlier. Sirius Black also states "My whole family have been in Slytherin" and in Chapter 23 of Deathly Hallows, confirming that at least those Blacks closely related to Sirius were in Slytherin.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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