At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. Spoilers will be present within the article.
Professor Aurora Sinistra was a witch who taught in the Astronomy department at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Professor Sinistra was teaching by September 1985, and her take on teaching the subject included studying the night sky with telescopes.
The professor was present at many important events throughout Harry Potter's time at Hogwarts. In the 1992–1993 school year, the professor was present at the discovery of a petrified student, Justin Finch-Fletchley, and helped transport him with Filius Flitwick, the Charms Master, to Madam Pomfrey in the Hospital Wing.
In 1994, Sinistra attended the Yule Ball with "Alastor Moody", and danced a nervous two-step, careful to avoid his wooden leg. Sinistra prepared fifth year's for their Ordinary Wizarding Levels by demanding large amounts of homework. She was probably good friends with Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank, who she was found chatting with numerous times throughout the year.
It is unknown if Sinistra participated in the Battle of Hogwarts alongside the students and fellow staff. If she did, then she witnessed the final defeat of Lord Voldemort at the hands of Harry Potter. It is also unknown what she did after the Second Wizarding War.
Little is known about Professor Sinistra's early life. She presumably excelled at Astronomy during her student years, being either homeschooled by her parents/guardians or educated at a wizarding school.
Career at Hogwarts
Before September 1985, Sinistra applied for a teaching position at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and was accepted, becoming a Hogwarts Professor. She taught many of her lessons at midnight at the top of the Astronomy Tower, the highest point of the castle. 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, and Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank, the Care of Magical Creatures professor and later substitute for Professor Rubeus Hagrid. She was known to give large amounts of homework to students in their fifth year and to those who continued Astronomy for sixth and seventh.
1985–1986 school year
1989–1990 school year
1991–1992 school year
She later attended the Gryffindor vs Slytherin Quidditch match, sitting 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 did not openly show 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 she was in earlier in the year, and watched as Gryffindor won the House Cup.
1992–1993 school year
- "Justin Finch-Fletchley was carried up to the Hospital wing by Professor Flitwick and Professor Sinistra of the Astronomy department..."
- — A petrified Justin is moved locations[src]
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 student 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.
1994–1995 school year
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. She attended the Yule Ball with Bartemius Crouch Jnr, who was posing as Alastor Moody. Sinistra danced a nervous two-step with him, careful to avoid his wooden leg, and seemed rather uncomfortable.
Second Wizarding War
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 is 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.
That year, Hogwarts was the reluctant host of Ministry of Magic bureaucrat 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.
1996–1997 school year
At the end of the 1996–1997 school year Hogwarts was invaded by Death Eaters and the students and staff where threatened. It is unknown if Sinistra participated in the Battle of the Astronomy Tower alongside students and fellow Professors. During the battle Dumbledore was killed by Severus Snape and his funeral was held within the grounds of the school. It is also unknown whether or not Sinistra attended the funeral, although it seems likely as Dumbledore was her employer.
1997–1998 and the Battle of Hogwarts
- "I know that you are preparing to fight. Your efforts are futile. You cannot fight me. I do not want to kill you. I have great respect for the teachers of Hogwarts. I do not want to spill magical blood. Give me Harry Potter, and none shall be harmed. Give me Harry Potter, and I shall leave the school untouched. Give me Harry Potter, and you will be rewarded. You have until midnight."
- — Lord Voldemort's ultimatum[src]
This year Hogwarts had fallen under Voldemort's influence. Voldemort made Death Eaters, Amycus Carrow and Alecto Carrow teachers at Hogwarts. On 2 May 1998, Voldemort and his army of Death Eaters and Dark creatures attacked Hogwarts, in order to capture Harry Potter. It is probable that she, along with the rest of the faculty, fought in the Battle of Hogwarts. If Sinistra did in fact stay to fight, then she witnessed Voldemort's final defeat and death at the hands of Harry Potter and therefore the end of the Second Wizarding War.
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 and her Boggart assumed his form. She was also proven to have been a highly competent teacher, as her lessons inspected by Dolores Umbridge were deemed satisfactory enough that she was not subject to disciplinary action by her. Her competency as a teacher was also proven by how she taught her subject for at least ten years at Hogwarts, showing her to have been highly experienced and skilled in her field.
Magical abilities and skills
- Astronomy: Aurora was a highly accomplished professional Astronomer who was very knowledgeable and experienced in her scientific field, and taught the subject for at least ten years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
- Charms: Aurora was able to conjure a non-corporeal Patronus, a very advanced piece of magic and a mark of superior magical ability, given the immense difficulty of casting such a powerful protective charm.
Professor Sinistra's surname originates from the Latin "sinister", meaning "left" or "with a direction to the left". 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 "evil" or "menacing" and can be a synonym of "dark" (like in "dark events" for example). Here, the name "Sinistra" probably refers to the fact that Astronomy is mostly practised at night, when the sky is dark.
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.
Behind the scenes
- Professor Sinistra was played by an unidentified actress in the the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, appearing as an unnamed background extra. In an instance of additive retroactive continuity, the physical appearance of this extra was later used to depict Sinistra in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and, later still, in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery.
- Professor Sinistra's first name only appeared on a list of the Hogwarts professors which was released on J. K. Rowling's official site.
- Sinistra's name was written on a page written by Rowling by the names considered for the post of Defence Against the Dark Arts.
- Aurora's first name was originally supposed to have been Aurelia.
- 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.
- Professor Sinistra's physical description is not given in the book. In the first film and the video games, she is depicted as a tall witch with dark hair, eyes, and skin, with a slightly circular face with cheek bones and a prominent, sharp nose. Her dark skin implies she could be of African descent, and if Professor Sinistra was born in Africa, it is possible that she attended Uagadou School of Magic, whose students are known to be skilled in Astronomy.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Possible appearance)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter
- J. K. Rowling's official site (Mentioned only) (First identified as Aurora Sinistra)
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)
- Wizarding World (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
Notes and references
- Professor Sinistra must have been born before 1968 in order to be old enough for a job at Hogwarts (older than 17) by 1985.
- "World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling," South West News Service, 8 July 2000 - "Hogwarts just serves Britain and Ireland."
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 11 (The Duelling Club)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 23 (The Yule Ball)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 2
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 12 (The Triwizard Tournament)
- J. K. Rowling's official site
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 8 (The Potions Master)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 1 (Year Six Begins)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 25 (Written in the Stars)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 25 (Written in the Stars) - Astronomy Lesson "Lunar Phases"
- Sinester on Wictionary
- Aurora on Wictionary
- Early draft of J.K. Rowling
- See this image
|Professors: Aurora Sinistra|
|Astronomy at Hogwarts: Astronomy classroom · Astronomy Corridor · Astronomy Club · Astronomy department · Astronomy homework meeting · Astronomy reading room · Astronomy Room · Astronomy Stairs · Astronomy Tower|
|Astronomers: Aurora Sinistra · Copernicus · George von Rheticus · Perpetua Fancourt · Hesper Starkey|
|Objects: Globe of the Moon · Lunascope · Moon chart · Orrery · Sextant · Star chart · Telescope|
|Planets: Jupiter · Mars · Mercury · Neptune · Pluto · Rogue planet · Saturn · Uranus · Venus|
|Satellites: Callisto · Europa · Ganymede · Io · Moon|
|Constellations: Aquila · Bartholomeus · Cetus · Crater · Dark cloud constellations · Orion · Ursa Major|
|Other topics: Black holes · Cosmic ages · Dark energy · Dark matter · Eclipse · Lunar phases · Meteor showers · Space weather · Wormholes|