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Question - "Grim, old place" or "Grim Mold Place", as in "Place" like a neighbourhood type? Is this a direct quote or conjecture, just wondering because i always considered it to be a play on "Grim Mold Pl." Mafalda Hopkirk 15:39, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

I've always seen it as "Grim Old Place". Grimm from the Brothers Grimm, Auld from the old Scottish for old (as in "Auld Lang Syne"), and Place a common suffix for locations, like street, road, etc. - Cavalier One(Wizarding Wireless Network) 17:36, 13 December 2007 (UTC)


After further investigation, I am convinced that Jo made a mistake in the interview, as I don't see how it can match the timeline we know from the novels, and nobody I posed this to has an answer either. Whether it's worth making a note of or not, I leave to you.

(Sorry for posting this again, but I wasn't sure if editing a page counts as a new post and was seen).

(Original discussion reposted below)

Stevehim 04:44, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

If it was due to a question of accuracy, my assertion was based on the timing of Snape acquiring the picture of Lily (from which he ripped the image of James and Harry off). Harry found the ripped picture before Yaxley gained entry to Grimmauld Place, and so the enchantments would still have been there. We learn from Snape's memories (assuming they are in chronological order, which they are portrayed to be) that he took the picture after the Battle over Little Whinging, which would be after Moody had set the 'anti-Snape' enchantments. We can assume from the circumstances of Dumbledore's demise (that it was planned and that we are told that Snape didn't really kill Albus), that Snape was able to get by the dust-form Dumbledore the same way Harry, Ron and Hermione truthfully claiming he did not kill the former Headmaster of Hogwarts.

Thanks again for your help.

Stevehim 08:42, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for the clarification. I dug up the interview and you are correct...she did say that. It seems odd, however, that Snape's memories (as shown in the Penseive) would all be in chronological order except that one, so I'm guesing that JK made a mistake there. Of course, I wouldn't expect that to be posted unless she herself claimed that, so investigations will begin shortly. ;)

Stevehim 16:52, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

After the War

It seems highly unlikely that Grimmauld Place was used as Harry's family home after the war, considering James offered to share a room with Albus to allow Teddy Lupin to move in, suggesting that Harry's home only had four bedrooms, and Grimmauld Place had more than that.--Miraitrunks766 07:26, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree with your logic, and believe that Harry wouldn't have wanted his family to live at Grimmauld Place, due to its history. However, it's still possible that he chose to live there, and that there was no space for Teddy because Harry and Ginny used the extra bedrooms as offices, or because Harry insisted on keeping Sirius and Regulus' rooms untouched to preserve their memories. Starstuff (Owl me!) 09:55, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

It is unlikely that he moved back in, but we don't know for sure so all options must be included. Jayce Carver Slytherin Prefect badge Talk 13:32, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Well, in the DH epilogue Harry said, "when we tear down the house" when he was rejecting James' option about moving in with Albus. This suggests that by the epilogue he was still living in Grimmauld Place, because why would he want to tear down his house if he had only been living there for 19 years?--L.V.K.T.V.J.Hogwarts(Send an owl!) 01:58, March 19, 2010 (UTC)
Err, no, he doesn't say that. When James offers to share a room with Albus, Harry sarcastically replies: "Yeah, when I want the house demolished". There is nothing in the epilogue that suggests the Potters are living in Grimmauld place, and, given that Harry absoloutley hated the place I find it very unlikely. Jayce DarkmarkAvada KedavraCrucioImperio 10:51, March 19, 2010 (UTC)
After rereading the statement, it actually said, " 'No,' said Harry firmly,'You and Al can share a room only once I want the house demolished. '" I find no sarcasm in that statement.--L.V.K.T.V.J.Hogwarts(Send an owl!) 21:28, March 19, 2010 (UTC)
Then I suggest you work on your sense of humor. The fact that James offers to share with Albus proves that the Potters were not living in Grimmauld Place, as it has at least six bedrooms. Jayce DarkmarkAvada KedavraCrucioImperio 07:33, March 20, 2010 (UTC)
Yes it can. Read the above comment by Starstuff above about maybe Harry keeping Sirius' and Regulus' rooms as monuments. Also, I am not saying this is true, it is only a suggestion that they were living there. By the way, I have a great sense of humor about things like that.--L.V.K.T.V.J.Hogwarts(Send an owl!) 12:54, March 20, 2010 (UTC)
Sorry that was a stupid comment. No offense meant. Even if Harry kept Sirius and Regulas's rooms there's still the room he and Ron shared, Fred and George's and Ginny and Hermoine's. Also, when Sirius goes to feed Buckbeak he mentions his mother's room. To me that suggests Walburga and Orion slept in separate rooms. That leaves at least four spare bedrooms that Teddy could've stayed in. No, as far as cannon is concerned the Potters lived in a three bedroom house. Jayce DarkmarkAvada KedavraCrucioImperio 14:01, March 20, 2010 (UTC)
No offense taken.--L.V.K.T.V.J.Hogwarts(Send an owl!) 14:40, March 20, 2010 (UTC)
I think it is a museum now Abrawak 17:18, April 29, 2010 (UTC)


Since the highest on the black family tree is Phineas Nigellus, it should be speculated that either he built the house or past generations before him have. since his brother sirius I died, he became owner and from that im guessing owner of the house must be oldest(from his children) and male in the family. During sirius III's time, his father would hav been owner. and since it was hinted by dobby that orion died before regulus in deathly hallows, the owner would have been walburga. and when she died, it would hav sirius III, even though he was disowned. and when he left it to harry, harry would have been owner. if he wasnt, then it would hav been bellatrix, then andromeda. SEATTLE WIZARD, 17:05 PM, JUNE 12, 2009

It most definitely should not be suspected that Phineas Nigellus Black was the person who constructed the house. JK Rowling gave Warner Brothers a more detailed family tree that goes back 8 generations, 2 more than the one we have. Also, the tapestry was described to go back 7 centuries (I think Kreacher mentioned that) so Phineas born back in 1847 would never encompass those 700 years prior.
I am slightly confused about how exactly the house passed after Walburga's death. When Sirius's parents were alive, so was their grandfather, who I would assume own the house. His grandfather outlived Sirius's parents and his brother, so I think Walburga never owned the house, but she just lived their at the same time as her father-in-law/first cousin once-removed. Yes, inbreeding, we know. Anyway, Arcturus (the grandfather) passed in 1991. His daughter was still alive until 1992, so perhaps she still owned it. Then Sirius must have gotten it in 1993 when he escaped. So it might be incorrect that the house remained unoccupied between Walbura's death and Sirius's escape. Why Sirius would have inherited the house? Maybe Lucretia Prewett, his aunt, was not as prejudice as the rest of the family... maybe she thought it should go to her only relative left even if a blood traitor... or perhaps she thought, along with most of the Wizarding World, that Sirius was working for You-Know-Who. Hmm, interesting speculation.... 20:10, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Magical Protections and the Second Wizarding War

We know from the books that 12 Grimmauld Place was protected by various magical means, one of them being the Fidelius Charm. What we don't know, and I've been increasingly interested in finding out, is how those protections could have withstood the Taboo that was placed upon Voldemort's name. That Taboo was supposed to strip all protective enchantments and Harry and Hermione collectively said Voldemort about 5 times while they stayed there during Deathly Hallows. We also know that the Taboo and Trace were in place before they began staying there. Since the Taboo is such a highly powerful spell, with the might of the Ministry behind it, how is it that the Grimmauld Place enchantments could have survived when so many others had failed? Mr Norrell 17:55, December 8, 2009 (UTC)

I believe it is due to the Fidelius Charm. While weakened in power after Dumbledore died, I think it still was so powerful and complex that it wasn't affected by the Taboo Curse. User:Simen Johannes Fagerli.

Technically, it didn't withstand the Taboo; there were Death Eaters outside. The Taboo alerted the Death Eaters that Harry was in that position, but the Fidelius Charm prevents anyone who doesn't know where it is from seeing it. There's also the fact that Sirius says his father put lots of spells on the house - who knows what magic Orion did? --HarryPotterRules1 (talk) 15:19, December 8, 2013 (UTC)

Possible inheritance answer

Why would Walburga ever permit even the remote possibility of Sirius inheriting the place? My thought : Her stubbornness. After Sirius gave his family ye olde middle finger, her solicitors would from time to time broach the subject of disinheriting him. But Walburga was so incensed by her son's actions that even the merest mention of his name flew her into a fury as bad as her worst. In effect, she hated Sirius so much, she forgot to formally and legally disown him, focusing instead on non-legally binding gestures like blasting away his image on the tapestry. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Gojirob (talkcontribs).

Entailed Estate

Under English Common Law, the inheritance of ancestral properties (usually held by the aristocracy) is almost always governed by the concept of an entailed estate. Under this legal mechanism, the property passes to the designated heir, and this inheritance cannot be prevented by disinheritance, or any other legal means. The current English television "Downtown Abbey" (currently being shown on PBS) is in large part based on the concept of the entailed estate and the problems it can cause. A current example of a case that in some ways matches the Black inheritance can be seen in the eventual inheritance of Blenheim Palace in England by the Duke of Marlborough's disinherited son.

I am almost certain that this "aristocratic" concept was adopted by the "pure blood" House of Black (who certainly considered themselves to be aristocratic) and was enshrined in magical law. Once the entail was broken - that means there were no more males with the last name of Black who could inherit it - then the property could have been willed by Sirius to any person he chose. In this case it was Harry Potter. To put it very simply, a legal entail is the (muggle and most likely magical) legal equivalent of a Permanent Sticking Charm.

Wva 22:14, February 18, 2012 (UTC)

Street Numbering

In the USA and - according to my limited skimming of Google Maps for London - also in England, even numbers are on one side of the street and odd numbers are on the other side. So the statement that 12 should have been between 11 and 13 doesn't make sense; it should be between 10 and 14, with 11 and 13 on the other side of street. 12:55, June 26, 2012 (UTC)


My sister has been asking around, yes in England the street numbering is the same there.Ewokscanfly (talk) 21:15, June 11, 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure, but I think that 12 would be between 11 and 13 because Grimmauld Place only has houses on one side of the street: on the other side is a small and shabby square of unkept grass. --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 23:01, June 11, 2013 (UTC)

Knocking through the party wall?

  • What would happen if the same Muggle bought 11 and 13 Grimmauld Place, and then tried to knock a gap in the wall between them? Anthony Appleyard (talk) 12:28, September 10, 2013 (UTC)

I suspect that muggles would be magically prevented from even wishing to do so, as per the Fidelius Charm's protection (if not the Fidelius, then another charm of some sort). If we consider the Potters' cottage as an example, it has charms to prevent muggles building over it / wanting to build over it, despite the fact that to them it is an empty plot of land. 

Now, this is pure speculation, but I would suspect that any Muggle who considered knocking through the wall of 11 and/or 13 would suddenly "realise" that it was a load-bearing wall that could not be knocked down or damaged in any way without causing great damage to the entire estate. 

That said, I have my own question to pose; can a Fidelius charm on a property be lifted, and if it can, what is the usual practice to deal with all the muggles who would suddenly notice a number 12 sitting there that they thought missing? My first thoughts would be memory modification, but there's an awful lot of muggles who would need their memories modified, including past residents, former postmen, and various council members and ex-council members. Fidelius charms appear to be very messy business once unnecessary. Lugia61617 (talk) 17:14, November 2, 2015 (UTC)


I think we need to clarify Walburga's posession of this house: that is, I think it is clear that she did not inherit the house.  The inheritance of the house is described as "down the direct line, to the next male with the name of 'Black." I think we can say with certainty that she never inherited the house, since she was not male.  When her husband, Orion Black, died, the house was immediately inherited by her son, Siruis.  As I pointed out in the material on an "entailed estate", nothing (well, almost nothing, there were some incredibly complex ways to break an entail in English Common Law, but that is irrelevant) could prevent Sirius from inheriting the house.  She certainly posessed the houes, as Sirius was a bit occupised at the time (Azkaban), but she was not the legal owner  (Just to be absolutely clear, when I speak of "posession", I do not mean Voldemort-style posession.)

Some might argue that she refers to the place as the "house of my fathers."  However, given the above, I think we can be clear that she is not talking in a literal sense.  For example, we speak when people speak of their "forefathers", they speak in a very general sense and do not necessarily mean their actual paternal line of fathers.  However given the inter-marriage of the Black's, you would probably not have to go far back in any case to find literal fathers.Wva (talk) 21:02, May 24, 2016 (UTC)

I agree with this interpretation, although it should only be in the BTS section, not the main article IMO.
From HBP Ch3, "Black family tradition decreed that the house was handed down the direct line, to the next male with the name of ‘Black.’", but we know that Harry does inherit it by the "give Kreacher a command" test. So the path of inheritance would go Cygnus Black I (possibly) > Phineas Nigellus Black > Sirius Black II > Arcturus Black III > Orion Black > Sirius Black III > Harry Potter? If so it appears to be eldest, living sons only? (Sirius Black I was eldest son of Cygnus Black I but died around age 8) --Ironyak1 (talk) 21:25, May 24, 2016 (UTC)
This is technically known as "Salic Law" inheritance ("male line"), where inheritance can only be by a male and cannot pass through a female.  So, if the current male holder of the property dies without a male heir, you back up to his next oldest brother, and if there is not a brother, you back up to his next oldest uncle, etc., etc.  Now, if you do that, and you back up to the person who created the entail, and there are no male heirs, then the entail breaks.  At that point, the holder of the property can do whatever he wants with the property.  That is will it to whoever he likes, sell it, etc.  So when Sirius died and there was no male heir (doing all those backup steps), he could "legally" will the property to Harry.  
BUT, if Regulus was still alive when Sirius died, he would have inherited the house and there was nothing Sirius could have done about it.  In the same way, if either had a son, it would have automatically gone to the son.  To clarify one point, it must be "male line."  So say, for example, that Sirius had a sister, and that sister had a son.  That son COULD NOT inherit the property through the entail since it went through a female line (the sister).  Sirius, of course, would have been perfectly free to will the property to that hypothetical nephew, in the same way he willed it to Harry.  But it would not have been through the entail Wva (talk) 21:43, May 24, 2016 (UTC)
Interesting - thanks for the extra insight! This would mean that Sirius Black III inherited 12 Grimmauld Place in 1979 upon the death of his father Orion, although he doesn't return home at that time. Sirius goes to Azkaban in late 1981 so Walburga would be in possession (but not ownership) of the property from 1979 till her death in 1985. Feels like new details for the timeline, maybe also a succession box at the bottom of pages for "Owners of 12 Grimmauld Place". Thoughts? --Ironyak1 (talk) 21:59, May 24, 2016 (UTC)
If that is correct, it should be noted that Orion Black (d. 1979) predeceased his father Arcturus Black III (d. 1991). So, Sirius wouldn't really have inherited the house until his grandfather died, sometime during or shortly before the events of Philosopher's Stone, and Walburga would have been living in her father-in-law's house. --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 03:42, May 25, 2016 (UTC)
Good catch and an interesting point - can ownership only pass down upon the owner's death or can it be transferred while they still live? I don't think we have any information about Arcturus Black III living at 12 Grimmauld Place at the same time as Sirius, Regulus, and/or their parents. Also, he only died two years before Sirius' escape which doesn't seem like the long time hinted at for Kreacher to be living alone with Walburga's portrait. All this suggests that Arcturus III did not live at Grimmuald Place during this time, although he may have still owned it. Overall however, we might not have enough info about the conditions needed to transfer ownership to make a clear chain of custody before Sirius & Harry. --Ironyak1 (talk) 04:10, May 25, 2016 (UTC)
Under an entail, change in legal ownershp occurs only upon the death of the person who currently holds the property.  However, it is not unheard of for the legal owner to vacate the property and let his child live there.  For example, in the British aristocracy, it is not unheard of for the older generation who legally owns the house to move out into a smaller property and let the younger son who is starting a family live in the "big house."  (It doesn't always happen that way, but occassionaly.)  Basically, they realize the son who is starting a family needs the bigger space, and the older parents don't want to deal with the hassel of a big house.  So it would not have been unheard of for Arcturus to let his son live in 12 Grimmauld Place when he - Orion - married while Arcturus (and his wife if she was still alive) decided to "downsive." Wva (talk) 14:36, May 25, 2016 (UTC)
Having re-read all of Kreacher's dialog (aren't ebooks great :) he constantly refers to it as his mistress's house, which of course can't be true given the rules of inheritance, but there doesn't seem to be any indication that Arcturus III is around or the owner of 12 Grimmauld Place from his view. This also lines up the long time Kreacher was described as being alone, so it's not clear from the text IMO if it belonged to Orion or his father Arcturus III before being passed to Sirius. I guess all that can be said is that it never belonged to Walburga despite her living there on her own with Kreacher for several years. --Ironyak1 (talk) 02:11, May 26, 2016 (UTC)

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