Emma Watson in London

Emma Watson

London, England
Permanent Resident(s)

* Kreacher
* Walburga Black's portrait


* House of Black
* Order of the Phoenix

Behind the scenes
First appearance

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Latest appearance

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

12 Grimmauld Place is the ancestral home of the Black family. It is located in London, in a Muggle neighbourhood, and the location is protected by a Fidelius Charm. As the house is invisible to the neighbourhood residents, the local Muggles have long since accepted the mistake in numbering which landed number 13 next to number 11.

In 1995, the home became the headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix, with consent of Sirius Black, with Albus Dumbledore becoming Secret-Keeper.

* 1 History
o 1.1 Under Walburga Black
o 1.2 Under Sirius Black
+ 1.2.1 His Imprisonment
+ 1.2.2 The Order of the Phoenix
o 1.3 Under Harry Potter
+ 1.3.1 Use as a Hide-out
+ 1.3.2 Post-War
* 2 Layout
o 2.1 Ground Floor
o 2.2 Kitchen
o 2.3 First Floor
o 2.4 Upper Floors
* 3 Contents
* 4 Etymology

Under Walburga Black

Number 12, Grimmauld Place was the ancestral home of the House of Black for many generations. The previous matron, Walburga Black, makes her disgust of having anyone less than pure-blood in her home through the hostile shrieks of her portrait, which is affixed to the wall of the home with a Permanent Sticking Charm. For decades, the house was the home exclusively to the Black family house-elf, Kreacher, who wandered around the building still remaining faithful to his old mistress' portrait, muttering insults about the "blood traitors" and "Mudbloods" which displeased his mistress so.
Sirius Black and Harry Potter in front of the Black family tree tapestry in the drawing room.

Under Sirius Black
His Imprisonment

During Sirius Black's imprisonment in Azkaban, the house was unoccupied. After his escape, Sirius gave the home over to the Order of the Phoenix to be used as a headquarters. The home required an arduous cleaning up to make it even remotely habitable. Much of this work fell to Molly Weasley and her children. The home was in such disrepair that doxies and boggarts had made themselves quite at home.

The Order of the Phoenix

After Sirius Black was killed by Bellatrix Lestrange in 1996 during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, the house was inherited by his godson, Harry Potter. He continued to allow the Order of the Phoenix to use it as a safe house. After the murder of Albus Dumbledore, Grimmauld Place's Secret-Keeper in 1997, each of the members of the order to whom the secret had been imparted became Secret-Keepers themselves, giving them the power to reveal the house to others.
Under Harry Potter
Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley in Harry's bedroom in 12 Grimmauld Place.

This unfortunately included Severus Snape, who was believed to be on Lord Voldemort's side and therefore would allow Death Eaters into the Order's headquarters. Alastor Moody placed a number of enchantments on the house to keep Snape from entering it. These were a Tongue-Tying Curse to prevent him from telling others of the place and a dust-composed form of Dumbledore, which disintegrated when the person it advanced upon said the word kill or a variant, the point of this being that Moody believed that Snape would be too overrun with guilt to say that he had killed Albus, forcing him to retreat. However, the Order did not know that Albus Dumbledore's death was prearranged with Severus Snape. Despite these enchantments, the Order ceased use of the house as headquarters as they still could not risk being ambushed by Death Eaters.

Use as a Hide-out

When Harry, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger escaped from the Death Eater attack on Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour's wedding ceremony on August 1, 1997, they hid at Grimmauld Place. They were able to remain hidden there for a month, though Death Eaters, who were staking out locations linked to the Order, skulked about the street outside, unable to see the secret location. After retrieving Salazar Slytherin's Locket from Dolores Umbridge, they Apparated back to Grimmauld Place, but Yaxley grabbed Hermione's arm in the process. She struck him with a Revulsion Jinx and Disapparated away with Harry and Ron, but the house's location had been revealed to Yaxley, and they were forced to abandon it.


It is unknown if Harry ever moved back into 12 Grimmauld Place after the Second Wizarding War. It may have been the home he shared with Ginny Weasley and their children.


Ground Floor
Molly Weasley and Harry Potter at the bottom of the stairwell.

The front door opens into a long hallway, lit by a large chandelier and gas lamps. By 1995, its wallpaper was peeling and the carpet had been worn thin. Walburga Black's portrait hangs in this hallway. There is also an trolls leg umbrella stand which on numerous occasions Tonks tripped up over, usually causing the portrait of Walburga Black to awaken and start screaming.

On one side of the hallway is the dining room, which features a dresser holding the family crest and china. It became filled with spiders when the house was abandoned. At the end of the hallway are the stairs to the upper floors, decorated with a row of shrunken house-elf heads, mounted on the wall on plaques.


The kitchen is below the ground floor and accessed through a narrow staircase at the end of the entry hallway. The kitchen is a cavernous room with a large fireplace at one end and a large wooden table in the centre. There is also a large pantry and a small room used by Kreacher as a bedroom.

First Floor
The heads of house-elves mounted on a wall in the Black family home.

The wall of the staircase leading to the first upper floor is decorated with the heads of house-elves mounted on plaques. On the first landing, there are at least three rooms: a drawing room, a bedroom once shared by Hermione Granger and Ginny Weasley, and a bathroom. The drawing room has long windows facing the street in front of the house, a large fireplace, and the tapestry of the Black family tree.

Upper Floors

The second floor features at least one bedroom, which was shared by Harry Potter and Ron Weasley in the summer of 1995. It featured a portrait of Phineas Nigellus Black until Hermione removed it to take on her, Harry, and Ron's journey.

It is unknown what is on the third floor, but it is likely filled with bedrooms, given that Arthur, Molly, Fred and George Weasley all slept a floor above Harry and Ron in 1995, and the topmost landing features only two bedrooms. These were the bedrooms of Sirius and Regulus Black. The former was decorated with Gryffindor colours and banners and posters of bikini-clad Muggle girls, while the latter was decorated in Slytherin green, with the Black family crest over the bed and newspaper clippings about Lord Voldemort on the walls. Both were once ornate, but had decayed by the late 1990s.

The master bedroom where Buckbeak stayed may have been on the third floor as well.

Salazar Slytherin's Locket, once in the possession of Regulus Black.

Number 12, Grimmauld Place held many Black family heirlooms and possessions, such as a music box that played a sickly tune and attempted to put the listener to sleep, crested goblets, a biting silver box containing wartcap powder, and an unopenable locket which turned out to be Salazar Slytherin's Locket, one of Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes. This was where Kreacher put the object after he drove himself mad not being able to complete his master, Regulus' orders to destroy the locket due to the fact that it had to be damaged past the point of repair which was beyond the capabilities and understanding of the house-elf.

Another object of note is the portrait of Walburga Black, which has an unpleasant habit of loudly screaming about the "Mudbloods" and "blood traitors" of the Order of the Phoenix that inhabit the house, due to Walburga's prejudice against such people. The portrait is usually closed off with curtains, which aim to keep the portrait quiet, but are not very effective; any loud noise in the vicinity will cause the curtains to fly open, and Walburga to start raging and howling again until someone forces the curtains shut.

Many of these family heirlooms were stolen and peddled by Mundungus Fletcher, including the locket which the thief was forced to give to none other than Dolores Umbridge to avoid prosecution for trading without a licence, she used the locket to enforce her pure-blood credentials, claiming that the 'S' stood for Selwyn, which she claimed was a pure-blood family to whom she was related. In fact, the locket was an heirloom of Salazar Slytherin as well as one of Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes, which Regulus Black stole when he abandoned the Death Eaters.


The name is another of J. K. Rowling's puns: Grimmauld Place can be taken as "grim, old place" or "grim mould place."