Do we know anything about Sirius Black's profession, or did he just live off his inherited belongings before he went to Azkaban?

He must have been free for quite a period between getting a home from his uncle and getting into Azkaban.


3 Answers 3


He lived off his inheritance for the three years before Azkaban, as he was too busy fighting with the Order.

Sirius's Uncle Alphard left him a lot of money towards the end of his stay at Hogwarts. This was enough for him to buy a house, and later a Firebolt, with the remaining funds still adding up to a significant percentage of the Potters' fortune.

“Where did you go?” asked Harry, staring at him.
“Your dad’s place,” said Sirius. “Your grandparents were really good about it; they sort of adopted me as a second son. Yeah, I camped out at your dad’s during the school holidays, and then when I was seventeen I got a place of my own, my Uncle Alphard had left me a decent bit of gold — he’s been wiped off here too, that’s probably why — anyway, after that I looked after myself. I was always welcome at Mr. and Mrs. Potter’s for Sunday lunch, though.” Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Chapter 6

Immediately after Hogwarts, Sirius joined Dumbledore's renegade Order of the Phoenix to fight against Voldemort, and wouldn't have had time for any major jobs during the three years before he went to Azkaban.

By the time the four friends left school, Lord Voldemort’s ascendancy was almost complete. True resistance to him was concentrated in the underground organisation called the Order of the Phoenix, which all four young men joined.
Pottermore - Remus Lupin

  • 6
    I think I'm not wrong in saying that he was only 21 when he was arrested. Which means that there was only three to four years between his graduation and his arrest. Given that he was devoted to the Order and was pretty well off, that wouldn't have been a long period of time for him to be unemployed, if that's what he was. Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 17:22
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    Was Sirious involvement in the old Order of the Phoenix a full-time "job"? I think most people in the new Order had an official job in addition to their secret activities.
    – lfurini
    Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 18:39
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    @Ifrunini - Most of them a) already had jobs, and b) weren't independently wealthy.
    – ibid
    Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 18:42
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    "After that I looked after myself" could just as well be read as "after that I had enough gainful employment to cover my costs", especially if he'd sunk all his inheritance into a house (we know he could afford the house, we don't know if he had much left over). I don't think there's enough here for a conclusion either way.
    – Jon Hanna
    Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 10:47
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    @JonHanna - We do know how much he had left over. He had enough to purchase a motorbike and racing broom and then still had enough gold leftover that Dumbledore described it as a considerable fraction of the Potter's Gringotts account. So either he had plenty leftover or he found a very successful side job during the three years he was fighting with the Order.
    – ibid
    Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 11:59

Not known

We don't even know if he had one at all. The only thing we know for sure is that he eventually became self-sufficient (emphasis mine):

[W]hen I was seventeen I got a place of my own, my Uncle Alphard had left me a decent bit of gold — he's been wiped off here too, that's probably why — anyway, after that I looked after myself.

Order of the Phoenix Chapter 6: "The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black"

But whether he looked after himself" with Alphard's generosity, or if he buckled down and got a job1, is something we can't confirm one way or the other.

1 Heck, for all we know he might have done both

  • anything via JKR interviews or Pottermore? Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 16:51
  • @prakharlondhe Not that I've found. His Pottermore page is not very useful, and I checked Accio-quote, Rowling's Twitter feed, and a broad-spectrum Google; no luck Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 16:52
  • @prakharlondhe - He doesn't have a Pottermore writing because his backstory was already in the books (JKR only wrote them about the stuff she couldn't include.) Of course, there's some information to be gleamed from other Pottermore writings.
    – ibid
    Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 17:29
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    @Cubic Sure, but that doesn't change the context. He's not relying on the Potters or his parents, so he's relying on...himself; and possibly whatever money he inherited from Alphard, but I'm deeply uncomfortable asserting that as his only source of income (though I appear to be the only one). It may have been, but there are many other explanations Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 13:52
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    @JCRM I'm with you completely, up until the end of that last sentence. I'd find it easier to swallow if not for the several explicitly-employed Order members (not even counting the Aurors) Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 13:02

He worked for the Order full time. Although it is possible he was living off of gold his uncle Alphard left him, it is also possible that James supported Sirius financially as he did with Lupin. He might have also saved money from a job he had when he was younger because even if he did not have a lot saved up he might have stayed at the Order HQ. The last possibility is that the Order of the Phoenix paid him, but I find that unlikely as the Order was a volunteer group.

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