Harry Potter Wiki
Harry Potter Wiki

"My mother didn't have a heart, Kreacher. She kept herself alive out of pure spite."
— Walburga's unpleasant personality[src]

Walburga Black (19251985) was a British pure-blood witch and a member of the noble House of Black, an old wizarding family and one of the Sacred Twenty-Eight. She was the eldest daughter of Pollux Black and Irma Crabbe, the older sister of Alphard and Cygnus, the wife and second cousin of Orion Black, and the mother of Sirius Black III and Regulus Black II.

Walburga lived in Grimmauld Place starting at an unknown point in her life, presumably after she married her second cousin Orion. She died in 1985, but her portrait still remained at 12 Grimmauld Place. Walburga's portrait made anyone not in the pure-blood elite quite uncomfortable in her home, by constantly shouting insults and epithets at them.


Early life[]

Harry Potter: "Were — were your parents Death Eaters as well?"
Sirius Black: "No, no, but believe me, they thought Voldemort had the right idea, they were all for the purification of the wizarding race, getting rid of Muggle-borns and having pure-bloods in charge... I bet my parents thought Regulus was a right little hero for joining up at first."
Sirius Black regarding his family's views[src]

Walburga was a member of the traditionalist pure-blood House of Black, who looked down on any except other "respectable" pure-blood wizards and believed in pure-blood supremacy. She was the daughter of Pollux Black and Irma Crabbe, and sister of Alphard and Cygnus. In her youth, she attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where she was sorted into Slytherin. Shortly after graduating Hogwarts, Walburga waited for her second cousin Orion to finish his education, planning on continuing her pure bloodline by marrying him in a practice of inbreeding that was popular in her family. Walburga married him at some point in the 1950s.[5]

Family life[]

Walburga and Orion Black on Black family tree OOTPF

Walberga with her husband Orion on the tapestry

Walburga gave birth to a son, Sirius, on 3 November 1959. However, Sirius was a severe disappointment to her because he did not agree with the ideology of blood purity and was sorted into Gryffindor House at Hogwarts, rather than the family's traditional house, Slytherin.[4] Growing up, Sirius constantly annoyed his parents, specifically Walburga, by decorating his room with posters from the Muggle world depicting bikini-clad women and motorcycles, and had stuck those to the walls with irreversible sticking charms that particularly infuriated her.

Walburga gave birth to another son, Regulus, around 1961. He followed the family traditions and joined the Slytherin House, and eventually became his mother's favourite, as well as heir to the wealth, position, and traditions of the Black family. Regulus became a Death Eater during the First Wizarding War; although neither Walburga nor Orion were followers of Lord Voldemort themselves, according to Sirius, they thought he "had the right idea",[5] until they saw that Voldemort was ruthless in his pursuit for power, at which point they got cold feet.

Sirius was disinherited and removed from the Black family tree when he left home at the age of sixteen to live with the Potter family. Walburga personally blasted her son from the tapestry. She maintained a habit of blasting people from the Black family tree which stood in the hall of the family home at 12 Grimmauld Place if they displeased her; she did so to her brother Alphard simply because he left gold to Sirius despite being disowned. According to Kreacher, Walburga was actually heartbroken by having to blow her son and brother off the tapestry, but nonetheless disowned both of them to cleanse the tapestry.

Regulus was killed in 1979 after trying to destroy Voldemort's Horcrux, and died childless without an heir. As Regulus forbade Kreacher from telling this to anyone, Walburga thought Regulus died trying to leave the organisation.[6] Walburga's husband Orion also died in the same year from an unknown cause. Walburga was obviously devastated when her husband and son died.

Son's imprisonment[]

In 1981, Walburga's disowned son, Sirius was framed for the murder of his friend, Peter Pettigrew and 12 Muggles and was thus captured and imprisoned in Azkaban.[7] It is possible that if Walburga heard of this, she would have been pleased, given that despite regretting having to disown Sirius, she was constantly made irate by his choices.


She died in 1985, leaving her house-elf Kreacher in her now abandoned house.[1]


Walburga Black: "Freaks."
Kreacher: "There, there, mistress."
— Portrait of Walburga on the people staying in her house[src]

Walburga's portrait

Walburga's portrait remained magically fixed to the wall in the hallway of her family home, using a Permanent Sticking Charm.[8] The picture, which was covered in canvas when inactive, showed a more negative version of Walburga who was prone to screaming insults at anyone who disturbed the portrait, particularly that of non-pure-bloods. This happened several times when the Order of the Phoenix used Grimmauld Place as their headquarters after her death, and they tried unsuccessfully to remove the portrait for quite some time.

Walburga survived the deaths of her family, but the destruction of it may account for her final madness. After their deaths, she was alone in the house except for the family house-elf, Kreacher, who seemed equally deranged due to his parroting her beliefs, up until Harry Potter came to know and treat him better one year after inheriting him.[9]

Personality and traits[]

"Stains of dishonour, filthy half-breeds, blood traitors, children of filth!"
Portrait of Walburga Black screaming at members of the Order of the Phoenix[src]

Walburga Black, like most members of her family, was obsessed with blood purity, and her portrait would often scream insults at blood traitors, half-bloods or Muggle-born wizards. She had little affection for her son Sirius, as he was viewed as a blood traitor by the Black family but appeared to have a fairly good relationship with Sirius' younger brother, Regulus, and was proud of him when he joined the Death Eaters.

Although she was not a Death Eater herself, she was convinced that Voldemort was doing the right thing by trying to eliminate Muggles and bringing wizards and witches out of hiding for them to rule both the Wizarding and Muggle worlds. Despite this, she is known to have become disillusioned with the Death Eaters toward the end of the First Wizarding War, showing that even she believed that they were going too far.

Walburga was kind to her house elf, Kreacher, who shared her views on blood purity, and as such Kreacher was very loyal to her. Based on her portrait's tendencies of screaming uncontrollably, she seems to have had a very violent temper, similar to her elder son when angered. Sirius justified this by claiming that his mother was an intensely spiteful and heartless woman, though Kreacher did say Walburga was heartbroken by Sirius' defection and did not want to disown him or be angry with him, but did so because she had to for the family.

Magical abilities and skills[]


Black family[]

The Blacks - Pottermore

The Blacks in the early 1970s. From left to right: Orion, Regulus, Walburga, and Sirius

Walburga and Orion had a happy marriage and relationship, especially since they shared blood purity ideology. Walburga was likely devastated when her husband died. Walburga's eldest son, Sirius was a huge disappointment to her and the rest of the family, since he disagreed with the Black family's beliefs in blood purity and was sorted into Gryffindor rather than Slytherin. When Sirius left home at the age of 16, she blasted his name off the tapestry. If she had heard about him being sent to Azkaban, she was likely pleased. Though she seemingly hated him, Kreacher did state Walburga was heartbroken by Sirius's departure and his views, so it is likely she didn't really hate him and was simply very disappointed in him.

Walburga greatly admired and favoured her younger son, Regulus because he remained loyal to the Black family traditions and was sorted into Slytherin. Walburga was obviously devastated when her son died. This event may have finally made her to begin doubting the cause of the Death Eaters and begin to think that they were taking things too far due to the death of her favoured son.


  • Walburga is a variation of the name Walpurga, who was a saint for whom Walpurgis Night is named. Historically, Walpurgis Night was considered to be a time when the barrier between the living and the dead was weak and when witches held celebrations. Also, the Knights of Walpurgis (later known as the Death Eaters) were named after Walpurgis Night.
  • Walburga was also the given name of the mother of Josef Mengele, a Nazi doctor who conducted horrific experiments on prisoners in concentration camps. She was said to have been extremely cruel and a Nazi supporter, rather like Walburga Black's views on retaining blood purity.
  • 256 Walpurga is a large Main belt asteroid. It was discovered by Johann Palisa on April 3, 1886 in Vienna and was named after Saint Walpurga. This loosely fits in with the Black family tradition of using celestial names for their children.

Behind the scenes[]


The Harry Potter Wiki has 12 images related to Walburga Black.

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Black family tree (see this image)
  2. 2.0 2.1 LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
  3. Must be her paternal first cousin as her surname is Black.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 4 (Horace Slughorn), 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. If Walburga, born in 1925, attended Hogwarts from 1936 to 1943 or 1937 to 1944, she likely would have been a student of Slughorn.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 6 (The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black)
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 10 (Kreacher's Tale)
  7. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 10 (The Marauder's Map)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 5 (The Order of the Phoenix)
  9. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  10. 10.0 10.1 LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7