|"Are you a wizard or not?"
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|Sirius Black's Will|
Sirius Black was born into the House of Black. He quickly began to distance himself from the politics and blood mania of his parents. At the age of sixteen, he ran away from the family home at 12 Grimmauld Place. He went to live with the Potters, and his uncle Alphard Black left him a considerable estate. Sirius was disowned and his younger brother, Regulus, became the heir of the Black fortune, but he joined the Death Eaters and died soon after deciding to leave the organisation. This made Sirius the sole heir of the Black estate whether either party wished it or not.
Knowing that when he died, someone likely associated with Lord Voldemort would inherit the Black estate (and with it, the once headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix), Sirius bequeathed all of his possessions to his godson, Harry Potter. When Sirius was killed by his cousin, Bellatrix Lestrange, during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, his will went into effect, and Harry inherited the Black estate in entirety.
In July of 1996, Albus Dumbledore informed Harry of the will's contents and that Sirius left him 12 Grimmauld Place. Harry said the Order of the Phoenix could continue using the house, because he wanted nothing to do with it. When informed of what would happen should he refuse, or should something have gone wrong, Harry said specifically that he did not want Sirius's killer, Bellatrix Lestrange, to have the house. After Dumbledore's death at the hands of Severus Snape, the Order was forced to abandon the house as Headquarters, because Snape could enter the property. In case he tried, Alastor Moody set up a number of jinxes to tie Snape's tongue and prevent him from gaining entry. While the Tongue-Tying Curse proved effective, Snape still gained entry to the property and searched the house.
Later, after the Skirmish at Luchino Caffe, Harry and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger hid out in Grimmauld Place for a month, while searching for Horcruxes. They planned their Infiltration of the Ministry of Magic there, but as they were escaping, Death Eater Yaxley grabbed Hermione, and when the trio Apparated back to Grimmauld Place, he was brought within the Fidelius Charm's boundaries, granting him access to the secret.
When Dumbledore told Harry that he owned 12 Grimmauld Place, he also told Harry that along with the house came Kreacher. Harry, who had previously only disliked the elf, came to harbour a deep hatred for him after it was revealed that Kreacher was in on the plot to lure Harry to the Department of Mysteries that eventually led to Sirius's death. He wanted nothing to do with Kreacher, but knowing the elf (and all he knew about the Order) might fall into the hands of the Lestranges or the Malfoys if freed, Harry ordered Kreacher to join the Hogwarts house-elves and work in the kitchens. In the spring of 1997, Harry ordered Kreacher to tail Draco Malfoy along with Dobby. When Kreacher did only the minimum duty and refused to report the information Harry wanted, this only served to increase Harry's distaste.
During the following summer, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were forced to use Grimmauld Place as a hideout. When Salazar Slytherin's Locket was traced to Regulus Black, Harry summoned Kreacher to ask what he knew. Upon seeing the obviously distraught elf, Harry, taking Hermione and Dumbledore's advice, began to treat the elf with kindness. This produced immediate results as Kreacher returned in three days with Mundungus Fletcher, the man who had a stolen countless Black family heirlooms shortly after Sirius's death.
Among the possessions Mundungus Fletcher stole from 12 Grimmauld Place was Salazar Slytherin's Locket. When Regulus Black defected from the Death Eaters, he used Kreacher's information about what had happened when the Dark Lord had required the house-elf's services, and ventured to the Horcrux cave to replace the locket with a decoy. Kreacher took Salazar Slytherin's Locket back to Grimmauld Place, as Regulus had order him to, but found himself unable to open and destroy the locket. He did, however, manage to preserve it from the thorough cleaning the house received at the hands of the Order of the Phoenix.
In June 1997, Harry and Dumbledore recovered the fake locket from the Horcrux cave. When Harry realised that the locket was a fake, he was distraught, thinking that Dumbledore had weakened himself for nothing. The first morning after the trio arrived at Grimmauld Place, Harry uncovered that R.A.B. was in fact Regulus Arcturus Black. In questioning Kreacher, after which Harry bestowed the fake locket upon the elf, and sending him to fetch Mundungus Fletcher, they discovered that the locket had been confiscated by Dolores Umbridge, a senior Ministry of Magic official. The locket would not be recovered for another month until the trio infiltrated the Death Eater-controlled Ministry.
All the possessions inside 12 Grimmauld Place became Harry's as well. These included objects such as the letter from Harry's mother, the photograph of Harry's father and his friends, Sirius's motorbike, and all his other worldly possessions.
- The Last Will and Testament of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore
- Sirius Black
- House of Black
- Harry Potter
- Potter family