Alphard passed away from unknown causes sometime in 1976 or 1977. In his will, he left a "decent amount of gold" to his nephew Sirius Black, who was seventeen at the time. He was posthumously disowned and removed from the Black family tree tapestry by Sirius' mother, Walburga, and Sirius believed that this act of charity towards him was the reason why.
Judging from Alphard's action of helping his nephew when he ran away from home, it can be deduced that he was, at the very least, capable of love and fondness. It can therefore be inferred that he might have been kind and compassionate in his life, which made Alphard vastly different from his sister Walburga Black and his younger brother Cygnus Black III for that matter, in that he wasn't bothered about his nephew being a blood traitor. He did not seem to fear being blasted off the tapestry, thus indicating that, like his nephew, he himself had a rebellious or brave bone. He shared similarities with his niece Andromeda Tonks and his distant relative Cedrella Black, in that they were all the middle child of three, sorted into Slytherin, and disowned.
Like many members of the Black family, Alphard is named after a star. Alphard is the brightest star in the constellation Hydra, and is known as the heart of the serpent. Its name is derived from the Arabic فرد|الفرد (Al Fard), meaning "the solitary one".
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film) (Appears on Black family tree tapestry)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) (Seen on Black family tree tapestry)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game) (Seen on Black family tree tapestry)
Notes and references
- The Black family tree does not show Alphard's date of birth, but it does show that he was born sometime after his sister Walburga, in 1925, and before his brother Cygnus, in 1938.
- Harry Potter Glossary at the Bloomsbury Harry Potter website: exact quote: Sirius Black's uncle who died when Sirius was seventeen, leaving him 'a decent bit of gold'. Sirius turned seventeen on 3 November 1976 and eighteen on 3 November 1977; Alphard must have died at some point between these two dates.
- Black family tree
- In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 4, 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 teaching at Hogwarts. As revealed in Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies, Chapter 3 (Horace Slughorn), Slughorn had "completed half a century of service" at the time of his retirement in 1981, meaning he started teaching there circa 1931. Alphard, born sometime between 1925 and 1938, would have attended Hogwarts starting in the late 1930s or 1940s, and thus would have been a student of Slughorn. 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.
- Walburga's portrait states that 12 Grimmauld Place is "The house of my fathers" meaning that her father and his father in turn (and so on and so forth until the line met at Phineas Nigellus Black) owned it; this means that Alphard, like Walburga and Cygnus, would have grown up in the house.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, US hardback page 111