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Hermione Granger: "I understand that you're trying to send The Unforgivable a message, but are you sure taking action without discussing the possible consequences first was smart? Their "suggestion" to stop meddling with the Calamity didn't contain any specific threats, but I doubt they'll let this slide..."
Harry Potter: "I'm not afraid of The Unforgivable, but I am afraid of what could happen if they're allowed unfettered access to the Calamity. By the time we made a decision on what to do, who knows what they might've unleashed? There's a good chance their threat was just a bluff anyway."
Hermione Granger: "I don't know, Harry, The Unforgivable doesn't seem like the kind of group to make empty threats. I just hope we don't find that out firsthand..."
— Harry and Hermione discuss the Unforgivable and the threat it poses[src]

The Unforgivable was a 21st century organisation that appeared to be responsible for the Calamity.[2]


A mysterious organisation that was discovered to have been involved in the Calamity, little was known about the origins, motives or members of The Unforgivable, except from the fact that it was made up of some of the wizarding world's most rich and powerful, including members of the Sacred Twenty-Eight, and that their goal was to maintain and increase their wealth and status. At some point in the early 21st century, the goals of the organisation was said to have shifted, and it began recruiting more broadly, and members were commanded to help each other "acquire what they most desire."[3]

Its leader, known only as Theus, and other members communicated through notes delivered through Foundables and false memories. These communications revealed that two members used the codenames Lethifold and Barghest. "Barghest" was possibly the codename of Grim Fawley, a suspected member and the person originally accused of casting the Foundables Spell.[4]


Although the British Ministry of Magic had no records of the their existence as of November 2020, it was implied by one of its most respected members that the organisation began as a ancient cult of Dark Wizards and Witches that, according to legend, could transfer knowledge and power from generation to generation through ominous-looking masks.[1] When Lord Voldemort became active in the wizarding word during the 1960s, The Unforgivable, or at least some of its members native to the British Isles, was already pursuing power through forbidden practices and realised that their goals aligned with those of the Dark Lord and allied themselves with his cause. When he fell at the Battle of Hogwarts on 2 March in 1998, however, those of them who evaded capture was forced to go into hiding, at which point rumours began circulating that they continued to plot and scheme.[1]

At some point between the unsolved murder of the world-renowned Maud Ashborn in 2002 and the early 2010s, the current incarnation of The Unforgivable discovered that an Unspeakable at the Ministry of Magic, Gareth Greengrass, was in desperate search for a cure for his daughter's ailment, and successfully recruited him into their ranks by dangling the promise of helping him with said undertaking.[5]

After Penelope Fawley, an Auror at the Ministry of Magic, began closing in on the mysterious cabal in 2015 after she found a connection between several apparently unrelated cases she had been working on and confronted Greengrass about his involvement in several illicit activities that linked them together, The Unforgivable ordered Greengrass to cover his tracks. In compliance to their demands, he abducted her, as well as another Auror, the Ministry's Records Officer, the Head of the Department of Magical Artefacts, and a reporter from the Daily Prophet whom she had involved in her efforts to expose them, with the five victims going missing within a few hours of one another.[6]

Distraught by Penelope's disappearance, her husband Grim pressured the Ministry of Magic to continue their investigation into the disappearance long after the case was shut down. Gareth Greengrass, who would later be revealed as the one who targeted Penelope, manipulated Grim towards an ancient spell which, when cast, caused the Calamity and possibly Grim's own disappearance. Gareth's hope was that the spell would help find a cure for his daughter's blood malediction, and he used Grim as a guinea pig to cast it.[7]

In the winter period of 2020-2021, Muggle journalist Brice Badeaux became witness to multiple Foundable traces and reported them online in a serious breach of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy. This was in spite of Statute of Secrecy Task Force members taking all precautions against discovery. When caught with a Triwizard golden egg Foundable, he attempted to run away with his evidence, but was caught and Obliviated. Brice seemed to have foreknowledge regarding the wizarding world and knew that he would be stopped and Obliviated, raising concerns that he had been aided by the Unforgivable.[8]

In the spring of 2021, The Unforgivable threatened Harry Potter and Hermione Granger after the two began wrenching control of Calamity surges away from the cabal. The two feared that their children would be targeted, but Harry insisted on continuing to fight against the Unforgivable. Harry redirected a Calamity surge and controlled it using memories of the Marauders. When Minerva McGonagall was uncharacteristically late in reporting to the SOS Task Force, Constance Pickering, Harry Potter, and Hermione Granger feared she had been attacked. By April, it became apparent that while Minerva was unharmed, Ginny Weasley had been attacked and Ronald Weasley had been abducted.[9]

Following their attack on Harry's wife and Hermione's husband, the Unforgivable unleashed a surge of Dragon Adversaries. While this was disastrous, it allowed Harry to tap into somebody's memory of being forced to abduct Ron.[10] Shortly after, the Unforgivable unleashed a surge of Foundables related to Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes where Ron worked. While the Unforgivable succeeded in intimidating Harry and Hermione, Harry even enlisted the help of MACUSA in the hopes of finding his best friend, this attack only made Hermione even more determined to bring the cabal to justice.[11] The Unforgivable began a campaign of harassment and manipulation to secure their position preceding negotiations for Ron's returns, including implanting false memories in Molly Weasley of Ron crying and begging her to tell Harry and Hermione to listen to the Unforgivable so that he could return home. Molly instead instructed Hermione to "give them Hell". [12]

By the end of April, the Unforgivable had delivered their list of demands via notes dispatched within Foundables. In exchange for Ron's safe return, they not only wanted full command of the Calamity but for London Five victim Kit Gerrard and the defector informant Flavius Flint to be delivered to them. Hermione decided that she and Constance should use Polyjuice Potion to take the places of Gerrard and Flint as a means to infiltrate the Unforgivable, with Harry delivering them in exchange for Ron. It seemed the Unforgivable were aware of this deception, as well as where the Ministry's defences were weakest, however.

Whilst duelling against members of the cabal, Constance was hit with a Blasting Curse but luckily came away with only mild burns. While Ron was recovering, albeit unconscious, the real Flavius and Kit were taken. When Constance returned from having her injuries healed at St Mungo's, she reported that Ron had woken up and his memories had been completely Obliviated, to the point where he could not even recognise his wife.[10] Hermione wondered if everything, including rescuing Ron, had been part of the cabal's plans all along. She and Harry considered the possibility of a mole in the Ministry or a Legilimens among the Unforgivable's ranks.[12]

In May 2021, Calamity surges surrounding baby magical creatures created the impression that the Unforgivable were involved in illegal poaching and trading of rare beasts. Fragments of a note apparently from Grim Fawley contained co-ordinates to a location in Cape Town, to where Harry Potter led a team of Aurors in order to stop a potential auction, and to find members of the cabal. Unfortunately, no auction took place, adding weight to the theory of a mole in the Ministry. The return of Mountain Troll and Acromantula fragments caused Ron Weasley to remember events from his past, though he still could not remember the names of people close to him.[13] Following this, Hermione resorted to drugging various Ministry members with Truth Serum then erasing their memories of being interrogated by her. This method outed Gareth Greengrass as not only the mole but a high ranking member of the Unforgivable.[14]

Hermione hoped that the detention of Gareth Greengrass would put a stop to the appearance of Adversaries, however instead the SOS Taskforce was inundated with an unprecedented surge of all known Feared Adversaries over the course of a week (14-21 July 2021). Hermione speculated that perhaps Greengrass was capable of manipulating the Calamity without a wand, though Constance thought it might be that Greengrass was not the one responsible. Hermione also claimed that "anyone who could bring Darkness like this into the world must be capable of powerful magic".[15]

Following his detention, Gareth Greengrass repeatedly proclaimed innocence and his colleagues in the Department of Mysteries called for his release, even going so far as to accuse Harry and Hermione of using the Imperius Curse to obtain a false confession. As testimony procured under Veritaserum was inadmissible and there was no paper trail or actual evidence of Greengrass's involvement with the Unforgivable, Hermione turned her attention to helping Ron recover his memories of the 1992-1993 school year. During this time, an Auror discovered that Gareth's strange habit of delivering Interdepartmental Memos via owl was part of a ruse. Gareth's owl was a Transfigured potions cabinet containing Polyjuice Potion. When tested, those who imbibed the potions turned into Hermione and the editor-in-chief of the Daily Prophet, linking Gareth Greengrass to the abductions of Ginny Potter and Ron Weasley. A complication arose, however, when it became apparent one of the Polyjuice Potions had been tampered with during the month that Gareth was detained. Hermione concluded that this was part of an escape attempt and alerted Harry.[16]

Gareth Greengrass was eventually caught out and taken into custody in an official capacity, but remained tight-lipped until Harry Potter rose the issue of Gareth's daughter. It was discovered that Cereus Greengrass suffered a blood malediction. Gareth and Harry formed an Unbreakable Vow, sealed by Constance Pickering, whereby Harry would find a cure for Gareth's daughter and in turn Gareth would help Harry uncover the identities of the Unforgivable. Harry visited St Mungo's and placed a large donation, securing special care for Cereus. By the time he returned, however, Gareth Greengrass was dead. During these events, Hermione Granger contemplated the likelihood of Gareth hiding information in their conversations, and concluded that Penelope Fawley might be trapped in an image much like Kit Gerrard had been. She went to check a photograph of Grim and Penelope that was on Gareth's desk, only to find it had gone missing. A mysterious male figure was implicated but not identified.[7]

In January of 2022 it was discovered that the Unforgivable were lead by Constance Pickering's grandfather. Constance herself had, at some point, infiltrated the organisation and taken her grandfather's place - hiding him and using Polyjuice Potion to disguise herself much like Barty Crouch Jnr once did to Alastor Moody. She felt that the organisation was too selfish and intended to use it to benefit all people. She planned the Calamity as a way to reveal magic to the Muggle world in the idealist belief that Wizards and Muggles could come together and help one another. She helped create the SOS Task Force and caused the appearance of various Death Eaters and dangerous enemies through the Calamity in order to help SOS Task Force members live their dreams of "being Harry Potter." She thought herself just to the very end. After her incarceration, Penelope and Grim Fawley were reunited and the Calamity subsided. Unfortunately, the rest of the London Five were confirmed dead. It is unknown what happened to the Unforgivable as an organisation without its leader.[17]

Magical abilities and skills

Known members

Name Notes Current status
Matthias Pickering Alive
Constance Pickering Alive
Gareth Greengrass Deceased
Head Auror for the French Ministry of Magic
Curse-Breaker for Gringotts Wizarding Bank
Captain of the Japanese National Quidditch team
Flavius Flint


Notes and references

Death Eaters
Dark Mark Pottermore.png
Leader: Lord Voldemort
Death Eaters

Avery (II) | Alecto Carrow | Amycus Carrow | Crabbe | Bartemius Crouch Junior (deceased) | Antonin Dolohov | Gibbon (deceased) | Goyle | Gareth Greengrass's brother | Jugson | Barnaby Lee's father | Barnaby Lee's mother | Bellatrix Lestrange (deceased) | Rabastan Lestrange | Rodolphus Lestrange | Walden Macnair | Mulciber (I) | Mulciber (II) | Nott | Pyrites (possibly) | Augustus Rookwood | Rosier | Evan Rosier (deceased) | Thorfinn Rowle | Selwyn | Merula Snyde's father | Merula Snyde's mother | Travers | Wilkes (deceased) | Corban Yaxley | Unidentified Death Eaters

Death Eater defectors

Regulus Black (deceased) | Igor Karkaroff (deceased) | Draco Malfoy | Lucius Malfoy | Peter Pettigrew (deceased) | Severus Snape (deceased)

Death Eater allies

Borgin | Vincent Crabbe | John Dawlish | Delphini | Golgomath | Gregory Goyle | Fenrir Greyback | Mafalda Hopkirk | Narcissa Malfoy (defected) | Ismelda Murk (unofficially, supposedly) | Nagini | Mr Padgett | Mrs Padgett | Pansy Parkinson | Quirinus Quirrell | Albert Runcorn | Stanley Shunpike (Imperiused) | Scabior | Serpent of Slytherin | Pius Thicknesse (Imperiused) | Dolores Umbridge

Other affiliations

British Ministry of Magic (under Voldemort's control) | Daily Prophet (Under Voldemort's control) | Dementors | Draco Malfoy's gang | Kreacher (formerly) | Tom Riddle's gang | Gang of Slytherins | Giants (Golgomath's control) | Inferi | Charmed skeletons | Muggle-Born Registration Commission | Theodore Nott (possibly) | Snatchers | Werewolf army | The Unforgivable

Death Eater establishments

Abandoned nuclear power plant | Borgin and Burkes | British Ministry of Magic Headquarters (under Voldemort's control) | The Cave | Chamber of Secrets | Forbidden Forest | Gaunt Shack | Lee family house | Lestrange Vault | Little Hangleton graveyard | Malfoy Manor | Misty Dell | Riddle House | Snatcher Camp | Spinner's End | The Abandoned Substation | The Ruins | The Quarry