In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry, Hermione and Dumbledore have a conversation.

Dumbledore: [...]We have no chance of overturning Sirius' sentence.

Harry and Hermione: But you believe us.

Dumbledore: Yes, I do.

Does this mean Dumbledore knew that Black was innocent? If he did, how did he know?

  • This is not a duplicate of the linked question. That question, and its answers, discuss Sirius's original conviction, while this question is asking if in Prisoner of Azkaban Dumbledore knew that Sirius was innocent.
    – Alex
    Commented May 27, 2019 at 20:21
  • He only knew after the fact. The only people that knew that Sirius was innocent were Lilly, James (...they unfortunately couldn't testify), Wormtail, and Voldemort
    – NKCampbell
    Commented May 27, 2019 at 23:00
  • Related (not dupe)...
    – user112267
    Commented May 27, 2019 at 23:48
  • maybe it was magic?
    – Kwola-T
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 13:02

1 Answer 1


Not until the events of Prisoner of Azkaban.

As stated by user I N T E R E S T I N G in his answer to a similar question, he couldn't possibly have believed that Sirius Black was innocent, because Albus Dumbledore had presented evidence that Sirius Black was the Potters' Secret Keeper:

‘There is not a shred of proof to support Black's story, except your word — and the word of two thirteen–year–old wizards will not convince anybody. A street full of eye-witnesses swore they saw Sirius murder Pettigrew. I myself gave evidence to the Ministry that Sirius had been the Potters' Secret Keeper.’
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - chapter 21 - page 287

He's only sure that Sirius Black is innocent after the three trustworthy protagonists say as such:

‘Sirius has not acted like an innocent man. The attack on the Fat Lady — entering Gryffindor Tower with a knife — without Pettigrew, alive or dead, we have no chance of overturning Sirius' sentence.’
But you believe us.’
‘Yes, I do,’ said Dumbledore quietly.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - chapter 21 - page 287

It's quite possible, however, that Albus Dumbledore had his suspicions before then (relevant question: Why did Dumbledore believe Sirius' version of events in PoA?).

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