Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From Sirius Black

I am re-reading the Harry Potter series right now, from Sorcerer to Deathly Hallows. It has been years since I have read the books straight through. I am about to finish Prisoner of Azkaban, and I am super re-obsessed! So this week, in honor of the best fictional-wizard-godfather-escaped-prisoner ever, we take lessons from Sirius Black. Sirius is Harry Potter’s late father’s best friend from Hogwarts. He’s cool because he loves Harry, he loved his parents, he’s played by Gary Oldman in the movies and he rides a hippogriff named Buckbeak. Did I mention, he’s my favorite character?

EINTKILF Sirius Black

1. Flying motorcycles are the only way to travel 

I hate motorcycles. I think they are death traps, and not even remotely sexy. They just generally freak me out. That being said, I guess if you have a flying motorcycle, I will accept your life choice. It seems less dangerous to fly on a motorcycle than to drive on a road with one, but maybe that is totally backwards and I am insane. Regardless, Sirius has a flying motorcycle. I don’t really know why, but he let Hagrid borrow it to bring Harry to his terrible new life after his parents were murdered. So, that was nice of him.

2. Godfather knows best

Sirius is one of the first father figures in Harry’s life, and he truly does a great job making Harry feel like a part of a real family, even if only for a little while. Even if he does treat Harry like his best friend James, and not like a kid—it’s OK. We all get confused about stuff.

3. Friends > Death.

What was there to be gained by fighting the most evil wizard that ever existed?” said Black, with a terrible fury in his face.
“Only innocent lives, Peter!”
“You don’t understand!” whined Pettigrew, “He would have killed me, Sirius!”
–Straight outta Azkaban.

That line always gives me chills because it is so true! I am not going to act like I would die for all of my friends, but the Jameses to my Siriuses? Totally. In general, I am of the belief that you should basically never sell yourself to the dark side, even if it does not involve betraying your “best friend” and his family. There are a lot of Harry Potter characters that fill me with rage and vengeance, but I believe Peter Pettigrew might be the biggest offender. Backstabbing little rat.

4. How to judge a man

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

Amen, Sirius, though I will say I don’t really believe in “inferiors.”

5. Commit

Sirius took all of his promises to James straight to heart. Years after his best friend’s death, Sirius not only avenged his death as soon as he broke out of Azkaban, but he also went above and beyond as Harry’s godfather. Though Sirius’ life was cut short (sob, sob, sob), he managed to be a father to Harry, befriend his friends, and teach him more about his father than he ever would have known before.

Sticking to your commitments is super important, you guys.

6. Take the risk

Obviously, Sirius is a huge risk taker. He jokes about how Remus Lupin was the good one between the trio of Lupin, James, and himself. He clearly would rather risk his life to do what he believes is right rather than follow the rules, and he even gets upset with Harry when he is not as rebellious as his father.

“You’re a lot less like your father than I thought,” he said finally, a definite coolness in his voice. “The risk would’ve been what made it fun for James.”

. . .which is hard to imagine since Harry and Ron break about one million school rules even in their first year at Hogwarts.

Even though Sirius’ approach is not cool for everybody, I am still inclined to praise a dude who would rather a) get in trouble, b) get expelled, c) go to wizard prison, d) take risks instead of sitting at home, all safe and useless. That is my kind of person.

7. Choose who you are

“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”

You know when Harry says, “not Slytherin, not Slytherin” when the Sorting Hat is on his head for the first time? That is basically what Sirius is saying, books later. Harry should probably be like, “duh,” but he is respectful, and I guess still pretty young, so that is not his reaction to this perfect life advice. For those of us who don’t have a clear lesson to cite when it comes to good v. evil, I would imagine it is kind of like that feeling when you want to slash the tires of your ex boyfriend’s car, but then you think, “what would his mother think?” so you just blog about him instead.

God, wizards are so much cooler than Muggles.

8. Do not judge someone by their family

Because Sirius was the only “good” wizard in his family for like a thousand years, you can’t assume that because someone comes from a shady family, that person is also shady. I am super different from my family, though they are all good people (well, my immediate family), and I have been judged by my family’s choices all my life. Granted, my family would definitely not be Slytherins, it is still important to remember that everyone comes from somewhere, but not everyone shares the beliefs of their family members.

Even if you come from a long line of Slytherins, you can still be a Gryffindor.

9. Protect your people

“If I hear you’re using these Occlumency lessons to give Harry a hard time, you’ll have me to answer to.”


10. “The ones that love us, never really leave us.”

..and you can always find them in here.

Do I even need to reflect on this? Because I can’t see through my tears.

Miss you, Sirius. I still hope I have babies with a dude who wants to name our son Sirius because I’m sirius about it.

Oh, come on. I had to make one serious/Sirius joke. But I am serious about the Sirius thing. I love that name.

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