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Aurora Sinistra

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

Professor Aurora Sinistra was a witch who taught in the Astronomy department at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from at least 1991 onwards.[2]

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.[6] 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.[2] In 1994, Sinistra attended the Yule Ball with "Alastor Moody", and danced a nervous two-step, careful to avoid his wooden leg.[4] 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.[7]


Early life

Little is known about Professor Sinistra's early life. 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.[6] 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 socialising with other teachers, such as Pomona Sprout, the Herbology professor,[4] and Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank, the substitute for Professor Rubeus Hagrid.[7] She was known to give large amounts of homework to students in their fifth year and those who continued Astronomy for sixth and seventh.[7]

1991–1992 school year

Sinistra and Dumbledore

Professor Sinistra listening to Professor Dumbledore

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.

Later that year, the professor's fellow colleague, Quirinus Quirrell, was revealed to be a servant of Lord Voldemort after the Philosopher's Stone which was hidden inside the school. Apparently, Sinistra was not chosen to protect the Philosopher'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.[3]

1992–1993 school year

"Justin Finch-Fletchley was carried up to the Hospital wing by Professor Flitwick and Professor Sinistra of the Astronomy department..."

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.[2]

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.[4] 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.[4]

Second Wizarding War

"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]

Professor Aurora Sinistra sitting up at the staff table

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; during one lesson, she specifically stated that the moon Europa was covered in ice, but Harry Potter either misheard her or miswrote it as mice. Throughout the year she was seen talking to Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank, the stand-in professor for Rubeus Hagrid, the Care of Magical Creatures teacher.[7]

That year, Hogwarts was the reluctant host of Ministry of Magic employee Dolores Umbridge, who had been appointed to the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher but was in reality there to undermine Dumbledore and ensure Ministry control of the school. At the Welcoming Feast, Professor Umbridge interrupted Headmaster Dumbledore's usual announcement and proceeded to make an incredibly dull speech about the Ministry and Hogwarts, at one point making a little bow to the other teachers. Professor Sinistra, like her colleagues, understood the real meaning of the speech (the Ministry was interfering at Hogwarts) and neither returned the bow nor applauded when the speech was over. Umbridge was later appointed High Inquisitor by order of Minister Cornelius Fudge, which gave her the power to inspect and dismiss teachers who ostensibly were not up to scratch (in reality it was a means of eliminating teachers who were either too close to Dumbledore or who taught things she felt were inappropriate). Professor Sinistra presumably endured this intrusive inspection of her classes, but evidently proved a competent teacher as she was neither sacked or placed on probation. She was also presumably among the teachers who requested Umbridge's help in getting rid of rogue fireworks in their classrooms and those who cheered her eventual departure at the end of the year.

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 become teachers at Hogwarts. On 2 May 1998, Voldemort and his Death Eaters attacked Hogwarts. It is probable that she, along with the rest of the faculty, fought at the Battle of Hogwarts.

Physical appearance

Aurora sinistra 1

Aurora in the Great Hall

Aurora was a tall witch with dark hair, eyes, and skin. She had a slightly circular face with cheek bones and a prominent, sharp nose.[3] She often wore olive robes and a pointed hat spangled with astrological signs.

Personality and traits

Sinistra was a serious and strict woman. She feared the Dark Lord Voldemort. Her Boggart assumed his form.[5]

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.
  • Charms: Aurora was able to conjure a non-corporeal Patronus, a very advanced piece of magic.[5]



Aurora during the sorting of Harry Potter

Professor Sinistra's surname originates from the Latin "sinister", meaning "left" or "with a direction to the left".[8] 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"",[8] 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.[9]

Behind the scenes

Aurora Sinistra

Aurora as a Lego minifigure

  • Sinistra is portrayed by an unidentified actress in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
  • Professor Sinistra's first name only appeared on a list of the Hogwarts professors which was released on JK Rowling's website.
  • Aurora's first name was originally supposed to have been Aurelia.[10]

Aurora and other teachers on Hallowe'en

  • Sinistra's name was written on a page written by Rowling by the names considered for the post of Defence Against the Dark Arts. This may imply that she was also considered for the job.
  • As Harry Potter did not take her subject at NEWT level, it is unknown if Professor Sinistra also taught the sixth and seventh year students, or if this as done by another member of the Astronomy department.
  • Despite teaching Harry from the first-year, Professor Sinistra has only ever appeared as a background character, and does not have any lines in any of the books.
  • If Professor Sinistra was born in Africa, it is possible that she attended Uagadou School of Magic. Uagadou students are known to be skilled at Astronomy.


The Harry Potter Wiki has 20 images related to Aurora Sinistra.

Notes and references

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

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