Sirius Black’s Cause of Death? Sharing One Brain Cell with Harry

Sirius Black’s Cause of Death? Sharing One Brain Cell with Harry
Image credit: Warner Bros.

Don’t look at Kreacher! Both Sirius and Harry ensured the former’s death in many ways that could have been avoided if either of them stopped to think for a second.


  • The Two-Faced Mirror Sirius gifted Harry would have allowed them to communicate without hassle.
  • Harry could have traveled to the Grimmauld Place in person, which would have helped him either way.
  • Sirius must have instructed Kreacher properly, but he underestimated his house elf and didn’t do that.

Sirius Black’s death was among the most heartbreaking in the Harry Potter franchise, but we can’t ignore the truth: Sirius himself made it possible just as much as his godson. What a world it would have been if these two didn’t share a singular brain cell that happened to be on vacation that week!

How Was Sirius’ Death Harry’s Fault?

Harry Potter loved his newly-found godfather and wanted the best for him. He dreamed of reuniting and living together with Sirius — and losing him was Harry’s worst nightmare. Still, Black’s demise was Harry’s doing in many ways… All of which basically come back to his inability to think, especially when put under pressure.

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The most obvious slip on Harry’s part was, of course, not opening Sirius’s gift. His godfather might have been too cryptic when giving the Two-Way Mirror to Harry but still told Harry to use it if he needed Sirius. What did Harry do when he needed Sirius, instead? He came up with a Hogwarts-wide operation to use a damn fireplace.

But even then, Harry Potter missed the greatest opportunity of all time when he was already in Umbridge’s Floo Network access point. Instead of taking Kreacher’s words at face value, he could have put his entire body through the fireplace to travel to Grimmauld Place. Now, why was it a much better idea than conversing with the house elf?

If Sirius wasn’t home, Harry planned to go to the Ministry — alone, without his friends. That’s where he missed his chance: apart from having an easier time looking for Sirius, visiting the Grimmauld Place in person would have allowed The Boy Who Lived to travel to the Ministry easily should the need arise. No confronting Umbridge and no friends who follow him. And he would have already been in London!

How Was Sirius’s Death His Own Fault?

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But sadly, there was more to Sirius’s death than just his godson’s mistakes as Sirius Black himself did a lot to end up in that position. Like with Harry, we’ll go over two major things Sirius overlooked that could have changed the outcome for the better.

First, the Two-Faced Mirror. We’ve already mentioned it and we’ll say it again: Sirius should have openly told Harry what his gift was. And even if he didn’t, he must have addressed it after Harry’s first venture into Umbridge’s office to talk to him — like, “Come on, Harry, use the bloody thing I gave you, what do you need a fireplace for?”

Second, Sirius’s attitude to Kreacher became his downfall. This has been spoken about a lot, but we don’t mean it in a “Sirius treated Kreacher terribly” way. Black had all the reasons to hate his insane house elf; his mistake was underestimating him. The Grimmauld Place was the Order of the Phoenix’s HQ, and Sirius must have instructed his house elf properly: who to tell the truth to, and who to lie to.

Unfortunately, Sirius Black and Harry Potter did, in fact, share a singular brain cell between the two of them, and it was taking its sweet time off when the tragedy struck. Both the godfather and the godson messed up with the Two-Faced Mirror, but also made a handful of their own separate mistakes that led to Sirius’s death.