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In the fifth book, Sirius tells Harry that his father was responsible for the house being unplottable.

‘It’s ideal for Headquarters, of course,’ Sirius said. ‘My father put every security measure known to wizardkind on it when he lived here. It’s unplottable, so Muggles could never come and call – as if they’d ever have wanted to – and now Dumbledore’s added his protection, you’d be hard put to find a safer house anywhere.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - chapter 6 - The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black

However in the following book, Dumbledore tells Harry that the Order were the ones who made the house unplottable.

‘Well, obviously we would prefer that she didn’t get it, either,’ said Dumbledore calmly. ‘The situation is fraught with complications. We do not know whether the enchantments we ourselves have placed upon it, for example, making it unplottable, will hold now that ownership has passed from Sirius’s hands. It might be that Bellatrix will arrive on the doorstep at any moment. Naturally we had to move out until such time as we have clarified the position.’
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - chapter 3 - Will and Wont

So who made No 12 Grimmauld Place unplottable?

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It's possible that Dumbledore mis-spoke, since the inconsistency hinges on his statement about the charms that "we ourselves" [e.g. the Order of the Phoenix] placed onto the house. It's clear from the first quote that the house was unplottable when he arrived and that Dumbledore then added additional (unspecified) protections to it.

When he speaks in the second quote, he appears to be assuming that it was the Order that placed the Unplottability Charm on the house, but unless there's some way to determine how old a spell is, and assuming no-one told him that the unplottability charm had been in place from before the Order took occupation, there's really no good way for him to know that it was put in place by Sirius' father rather than, for example, by Sirius himself.

Assuming the conversation went something like this...

"Hi Dumbledore," said Sirius. "We've got a new safe house, which happens to be my old gaff. It's been made unplottable but can you add any extra protection to it?"
"Sure," Said Dumbledore. "Right after I've finished my knitting, I'll nip right over".

There's no obvious reason he wouldn't presume that it wasn't the Order that laid the protective charms. Maybe he simply didn't ask or no-one thought to tell him.

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    For the record, the actual reason he said this is because JKR wasn't paying attention and her editor didn't notice. – Valorum May 2 at 9:54
  • It's possible that the Order weren't aware that it was unplottable, and therefore cast that charm as well. Don't know if that would have made it double-secret-uplottable, or if it would have been just redundant. – FreeMan May 3 at 15:48
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The Order did it.

Your first quote shows that the house is presently unplottable at that time, but doesn't mention who made it so. Sirius's father did put security enchantments on it, but that doesn't include making it unplottable.

In the highlighted part below, we see that his father put every security measure known to wizardkind on it when he lived there. It's possible that this is hyperbole, or that the enchantment to make a place unplottable was not known at that time (I'm inclined to think it was the second).

It’s ideal for Headquarters, of course,’ Sirius said. ‘My father put every security measure known to wizardkind on it when he lived here. It’s unplottable, so Muggles could never come and call – as if they’d ever have wanted to – and now Dumbledore’s added his protection, you’d be hard put to find a safer house anywhere.


On the other hand, the second quote clearly mentions that the Order made it unplottable (adding to the enchantments Sirius's father put).

‘Well, obviously we would prefer that she didn’t get it, either,’ said Dumbledore calmly. ‘The situation is fraught with complications. We do not know whether the enchantments we ourselves have placed upon it, for example, making it unplottable, will hold now that ownership has passed from Sirius’s hands. It might be that Bellatrix will arrive on the doorstep at any moment. Naturally we had to move out until such time as we have clarified the position.’

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    A purely semantic point: While the sentence structure would generally fit (security measures, full stop. AND it is unplottable), this would also mean that making the house unplottable was not part of "every security measure known to wizardkind", which seems odd, to say the least. Accordingly, it seems more fitting to understand it as "every security measure...THUS it is unplottable", don't you think? So there is at least some amount of inconsistency between the quotes. Your answer should at least discuss that oddity instead of merely stating "Dumbledore's right". – Philip Klöcking May 1 at 8:08
  • @PhilipKlöcking Is it clearer now? – Righter May 1 at 8:26
  • Much better, have an upvote 😊 – Philip Klöcking May 1 at 8:35
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    I don't think this is a valid interpretation of the first quote. Sirius says that the house was made unplottable as part of the stuff that his father did in the past to ward off unwanted muggles. It's listed before the "AND NOW Dumbledore added" part. – ibid May 2 at 8:25
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    Also for what it's worth, both the Lexicon and the Wiki seem to read that quote as saying that it was Sirius's father who made the house unplottable. – ibid May 2 at 8:30

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