Pure-blood (most likely)
Mr. Borgin was the co-owner of Borgin and Burkes, a shop in Knockturn Alley which bought and sold objects of dark magic and other dangerous magical artefacts. Borgin seemed to operate the shop mostly by himself, and it is unknown what happened to his co-owner Caractacus Burke.
Borgin and Burkes was established in 1863, but it is unknown whether Borgin was one of the founders of the shop, and, if not, when he started working there. From the 1920s to the 1940s, Caractacus Burke seemed to have been the one who handled business at the shop, as he bought Slytherin's locket from Merope Gaunt and was Tom Riddle 's employer until the latter left to pursue his own schemes c. 1947.
In 1992, Lucius Malfoy came to Borgin and Burkes to sell him several objects related to black magic, fearing that the Ministry of Magic would soon be investigating his mansion. Borgin seemed displeased that Malfoy did not want to buy anything, but tried to convince Malfoy's son Draco to buy the Hand of Glory. Once the Malfoys left, Borgin showed signs of disliking Malfoy, thinking that the objects Malfoy had brought him was only a small bit of what Malfoy was hiding in his mansion.
In 1996, Draco Malfoy came to Borgin to reserve the Vanishing Cabinet, which he planned to use to smuggle Death Eaters into Hogwarts. He also asked for instructions on how to repair the other Vanishing Cabinet, located in Hogwarts. Borgin was not sure how this would be possible without having the cabinet with him, but became much more cooperative when Draco showed him his Dark Mark and threatened to send Fenrir Greyback on regular checks if he would not succeed. He also sold the Opal necklace and Hand of Glory to Draco, the former being used in a failed attempt to assassinate Albus Dumbledore, and the latter being used in combination with Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder.
Hermione Granger tried to trick Borgin into telling her what Draco had been doing inside the shop, but Borgin easily saw through it and threw her out of the shop.
Borgin is a stooping man with oily hair. He would put on a pair of pince-nez when reading is required.
Personality and traits
Borgin is described to have a voice as oily as his hair. In the presence of important and intimidating customers, he would bow deep and flatter them. Only upon departure would he drop his oily manner and express and disdain with dark muttering. He is also greedy and money-minded, as he was jubilant when Lucius Malfoy entered his shop, only to be disappointed that the man was selling instead of buying, with Borgin even swiping a coin back without Lucius or his son's notice.
Borgin can be intimidated easily by customers with powerful influence, as Draco threatened him with the Dark Mark on his forearm and Fenrir Greyback, both of which led Borgin to cower to Draco's whims. However, when dealing with obviously less influential people, such as Hermione Granger, Borgin can be very cold and rude, as he booted her out of his shop after she made a poor attempt to coax information from him.
Borgin is a pure-blood supremacist, as he stated to Lucius that blood purity was as significant to him as ever. This also suggest that he was a pure-blood wizard, or at least a half-blood clinging onto his wizard heritage.
Magical abilities and skills
- Dark artefacts knowledge: Borgin, being the proprietor of a shop devoted to dark arts, is knowledgeable of artefacts related to the field, such as the Hand of Glory and the Opal necklace.
- Magical repair: Borgin is quite versed in repairing magical artefacts that cannot be simply be done with the Mending Charm, as with the instructions he gave to Draco, the young wizard managed to repair the Vanishing Cabinet, though it took about a full school year to do so.
As the Malfoy family is full of wealthy dark wizards, they commit many dealings with Borgin. In their presence, the shop owner would put on his over-flattery personality and sweet talk them at every situation possible. However, behind their backs Borgin rather resents the patriarch Lucius due to his haughtiness.
When Lucius's son Draco came to him for repairing the Vanishing Cabinet, the young wizard intimidated Borgin into unquestioned cooperation, all the while Borgin could barely hide his resentment, and even less his fear.
Borgin is a pure-blood supremacist, and as such, disdains muggle-borns. He was cold and rude towards Hermione Granger when she visited his shop, though her poor attempt to coax information out of him was also quite insulting in return, which is most likely the reason why he booted her out.
Behind the scenes
- Mr. Borgin was portrayed by Edward Tudor-Pole in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but his scenes were cut.
- In one of the deleted scenes in the film, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Borgin is seen taking back a coin from the stack when Lucius Malfoy isn't looking.
- In the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Borgin owns the Lumos spellbook.
- If Borgin truly founded the shop with Caractacus Burke in 1863, he would be well over 129 during 1992. While wizards have been known to live this long, it is unknown if he is intended to be this ancient or if he became Burke's business partner well after the shop was already established and eventually put his name first, possibly after Burke's death. However he could also be a descendant of the original Borgin.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) (Deleted scenes)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) (Mentioned on sign) (Possible appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (Mentioned on sign)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (Cutscene only)
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
13B Knockturn Alley · Beard Trimming · Betting shop · Borgin and Burkes · Cobb & Webb's · The Coffin House · Dystyl Phaelanges · Moribund's · McHavelock's Wizarding Headgear · Mr. Mulpepper's Apothecary · Noggin and Bonce · Potage's Cauldron Shop · The Spiny Serpent · The Starry Prophesier · Wizarding Supplies · Ye Olde Curiosity Shop · Msaw Ætare