THE BLACK FAMILY

written by Lily

IN THIS BOOK YOU WILL KNOW ALL ABOUT THE BLACK FAMILY HISTORY

Last Updated

12/31/21

Chapters

1

Reads

148

black fam

Chapter 1

Early history




"...my parents, with their pure-blood mania, convinced that to be a Black made you practically royal..."

— Sirius Black to Harry Potter on his family's values[src]




The Black family traces its origin back to the Middle Ages. They claim to have entirely magical ancestry, but as Sirius Black informed his godson Harry Potter, no true pure-blood families existed by the twentieth century. The pure-blood families like the Blacks simply removed Muggles and Squibs from their family trees.


The Blacks place a great importance on blood purity, considering themselves akin to royalty in the wizarding world and disdaining Muggles, Squibs, blood traitors, and Muggle-borns. The family motto, which can be found on the family crest, is Toujours Pur, which means "Always Pure" in French. Many members took this phrase very seriously.[2]


Recent history




Bellatrix Lestrange and other Black relatives are tried before the Council of Magical Law




Because of their views, a large number of the Black family members practised the Dark Arts and supported Lord Voldemort during the First and Second Wizarding Wars. A few Blacks even became Death Eaters, while many others never took the Dark Mark but believed in the "purification" of the wizarding world nevertheless.[2] The family went to huge lengths to keep their bloodline alive and "pure", even going as far as marrying their own cousins (for example, Walburga and Orion Black were cousins).


A few members of the family, however, disagreed with the traditional views of their family; Sirius Black, for example, joined the Order of the Phoenix, as did Andromeda Tonks, who married a Muggle-born, and Nymphadora Tonks, a distant member of the Black family. Both were murdered by Bellatrix Lestrange (née Black), Sirius's cousin and Tonks's aunt, in battle.


Supportive of Voldemort at first, the family loyalists who did not become Death Eaters got cold feet when they saw the levels he would go to achieve his goals. Their hatred towards Muggles is such that some members who are not outright Death Eaters would go to lengths to persecute them, such as Araminta Meliflua trying to pass a Ministry Bill to make Muggle-hunting legal. However, even those who originally supported Voldemort's actions to purge the Muggles got cold feet when they saw what he was willing to do for power.


Blasted off of the tapestry




"Blood traitor, abomination, shame of my flesh! ... Filth! Scum! By-products of dirt and vileness! How dare you befoul the house of my fathers!"

— The portrait of Walburga Black screaming at her "traitor" son[src]




The original tree described from Grimmauld Place was subject to some magical interference. According to Sirius Black, his mother Walburga blasted names of "blood traitors" off the tapestry without hesitation.[2] The Black family motto of Toujours Pur ("always pure") was followed assiduously by family members; any who disagreed with the notion of blood purity or married Muggles or people of different blood statuses were disowned and blasted off the family tree, as were any Squibs. Thus, family members that remain on the tapestry can be assumed to have married fellow ("respectable") pure-bloods. Some even married their own cousins; Orion and Walburga Black, for instance, were second cousins. Generations of this practice resulted in Inbreeding, which in turn has caused problems such as low fertility and emotional instability.


The known disowned members are Eduardus Limette Black (for an unknown reason); Iola Black, for marrying Muggle Bob HitchensPhineas Black, for supporting Muggle rights; Marius Black, for being a Squib; Cedrella Black, for marrying blood traitor Septimus WeasleyAlphard Black, for giving gold to his runaway nephew Sirius; Sirius Black III, for running away from home; and Andromeda Black, for marrying Muggle-born Ted Tonks.


Physical appearances


The Blacks were commonly described as having "great good looks" and a certain aristocratic elegance and haughtiness that reflected upon their personalities, for they considered themselves "practically royal".


The traditional look for the majority of the Black family is dark hair and dark eyes, though there were some exceptions: Sirius Black III was grey-eyed, Andromeda Tonks née Black had light brown hair, and Narcissa Malfoy née Black was blonde-haired and blue-eyed. Despite these differences, each and every one of these three cousins were still noted to be a beauty in their own right, being of tall and elegant stature, with attractive features. Besides this, even after their incarceration in Azkaban and subsequent escapeBellatrix Lestrange and Sirius were both described to have retained vestiges of these "great good looks", despite losing much of it in the depression of the prison.


Wealth


The Black family, as with many other pure-blood wizarding families like the Malfoys, the Lestranges and the Potter family, is considered to be very wealthy. This may be one of the reasons why the members of this family acted somewhat arrogantly.


In 1993, Sirius Black III used money from Vault 711 to pay for Harry Potter's Firebolt. This vault may have been property of the Blacks, since Sirius may have inherited this vault after his mother's death. However, he may have acquired it after being disowned, using the money given to him by his Uncle Alphard.


After Sirius died in 1996, his godson Harry Potter inherited all of Sirius Black's properties, including his house, his house-elf and his vault, which still contained "a reasonable amount of gold". Given its depth, it is likely a high-security vault.


Etymology


Black can be considered a colour, and is the result of the absence of, or complete absorption of, light. In Western culture, the colour black has typically been associated with evil, darkness, and witchcraft, but also with prestige and sophistication — appropriate for the rich and House of Black. Black has also been associated with life and prosperity by other cultures. In ancient China, black was the symbol of the element of water, which also corresponds to Slytherin, the Hogwarts house of almost all members of the Black family. In English heraldry, black represents darkness and ignorance; a possible allusion to the prejudice common to members of the House of Black.


However, the English word black is derived from either the Old English blœc, meaning "black", or blac, meaning "pale".[6] Pallor is associated with sickness and the colour white, which is usually held to symbolise purity in Western and Indian culture, and death in East Asian cultures. This mirrors the typical colouring of members of the House of Black — dark hair and pale skin[7].


Etymology


Black can be considered a colour, and is the result of the absence of, or complete absorption of, light. In Western culture, the colour black has typically been associated with evil, darkness, and witchcraft, but also with prestige and sophistication — appropriate for the rich and House of Black. Black has also been associated with life and prosperity by other cultures. In ancient China, black was the symbol of the element of water, which also corresponds to Slytherin, the Hogwarts house of almost all members of the Black family. In English heraldry, black represents darkness and ignorance; a possible allusion to the prejudice common to members of the House of Black.


However, the English word black is derived from either the Old English blœc, meaning "black", or blac, meaning "pale".[6] Pallor is associated with sickness and the colour white, which is usually held to symbolise purity in Western and Indian culture, and death in East Asian cultures. This mirrors the typical colouring of members of the House of Black — dark hair and pale skin[7].


Etymology of given names




Tapestry of the Black family tree. At the trunk is Phineas Nigellus Black, and at the left side are depicted even more ancient ancestors of the family.




Most Black family members are named after stars, moons or constellations. For example, the star Sirius is in the constellation Canis Major (the Dog). What's more, Sirius Black, an Animagus, could change into a massive black dog named Padfoot. Another example is Bellatrix, the third brightest star in the constellation Orion, which is also the name of Sirius's father and Bellatrix's uncle. CygnusAndromeda, and Cassiopeia are also constellations, and RegulusAlphard and Arcturus are named after stars as well. Phoebe Black is named after a moon of Saturn Phoebe.


Some members of the extended family have also chosen to follow this naming pattern. For example, Narcissa Malfoy née Black named her son Draco, which is the name of a constellation. In turn, he named his son Scorpius, which is one of the constellations of the zodiac, known as Scorpio in Western astrology. Narcissa herself, however, was not named in keeping with this convention. She was instead named for a plant, the flower Narcissus. Lycoris Black is also named for a plant.


However if a member of the family is disowned and blasted off the Black family tree then the name is never used again in the following generations.


 

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