Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington
Biographical information

October 31, 1492

Blood status

pure blood (possibly)

  • Nearly Headless Nick
  • Nick


Physical description




Hair colour

Grey and curly

Skin colour



Gryffindor House Ghost




Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry


Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington (also known as Nearly Headless Nick or just Sir Nicholas) (d.October 31, 1492) is the resident ghost of Gryffindor Tower at the Hogwarts Castle.



Little is known about Sir Nicholas's past. As a child, Nick most likely attended Hogwarts himself and was sorted into Gryffindor House. In his adulthood, he was a wizard of the Court. [2]

Death (1492)Bearbeiten


Nick reveals his chopped neck.

Sir Nicholas was sentenced to death by beheading after a teeth-straightening spell went awry on Lady Grieve. Unfortunately, the executioner's axe was blunt. Thus, even after 45 hacks Nick's head was only partially severed. Sir Nicholas was excecuted on the dawn of October 31st, 1492; the same date that Harry's parents died, but 489 years prior.

The re-opening of the Chamber of Secrets (1992)Bearbeiten

Harry Potter, after befriending Nick the previous year, attends his Deathday Party (the 500th anniversary of the event) in a Dungeon at Hogwarts. To Nick's great annoyance, his head was not off enough to join in the games of the Headless Hunt, a society of ghosts who had been decapitated on earth (a source of annual vexation to the ghost). During the 1992 school year, when the Chamber of Secrets was opened, he was one of those petrified by the Basilisk, which suggests that he might be Muggle-born, though it might have been simply a coincidence as Justin Finch-Fletchley appeared to be the main target of the Basilisk. By the end of the year he was revived (back to being a ghost).

Nearly headless nick petrified basilisk

Harry Potter discovering that Nick was petrified


After Sirius Black, Harry's godfather, is killed, Harry asks Nick if he can return as a ghost. Nick explains that only a wizard afraid of death can become a ghost. It is most likely that Sirius Black is not afraid of death; he tells Harry that dying is "quicker and easier than falling asleep" when his spirit comes out of Resurrection Stone, along with 3 others, to speak to Harry as he went to what he believed to be his death in 1998. The alternative to becoming a ghost, or leaving an imprint of oneself on the earth, is to move on, or rather to move beyond the veil. However, such a thing did not happen to Lord Voldemort, though Voldemort's soul was so unstable there may not have been enough to leave an imprint on the earth. It is also possible that being a mere imprint, one with no power, may not have been appealing to Voldemort.

Behind the scenesBearbeiten

Sir Nicholas - Hogwarts-Ghost

Sir Nicholas pop out at the Great Hall of Hogwarts in 1991.

In the first draft of 'Chamber of Secrets', Nick sang a self-penned ballad explaining how his head had (nearly) come off:

It was a mistake any wizard could make
Who was tired and caught on the hop
One piffling error, and then, to my terror,
I found myself facing the chop.
Alas for the eve when I met Lady Grieve
A-strolling the park in the dusk!
She was of the belief I could straighten her teeth
Next moment she'd sprouted a tusk.
I cried through the night that I'd soon put her right
But the process of justice was lax;
They'd brought out the block, though they'd mislaid the rock
Where they usually sharpened the axe.
Next morning at dawn, with a face most forlorn
The priest said to try not to cry,
"You can come just like that, no, you won't need a hat,"
And I knew that my end must be nigh.
The man in the mask who would have the sad task
Of cleaving my head from my neck,
Said "Nick, if you please, will you get to your knees,"
And I turned to a gibbering wreck.
"This may sting a bit" said the cack-handed twit
As he swung the axe up in the air,
But oh the blunt blade! No difference it made,
My head was still definitely there.
The axeman he hacked and he whacked and he thwacked,
"Won't be too long", he assured me,
But quick it was not, and the bone-headed clot
Took forty-five goes 'til he floored me.
And so I was dead, but my faithful old head
It never saw fit to desert me,
It still lingers on, that's the end of my song,
And now, please applaud, or you'll hurt me.

Harry and Ron talks to Nearly Headless Nick

Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Sir Nicholas in 1996.

  • While most of the Hogwarts students call him "Nearly Headless Nick," he prefers the more formal "Sir Nicholas de Mimsy Porpington" or "Sir Nicholas." But, Harry also calls him Nick.
  • Nick's death was the same day as Lily and James Potter's, October 31st, but different years.
  • Although Nick claims that he has never been guilty of cowardice in his life, he also claims to have broken down sobbing when they told him that he would die.
  • He also admits to not being as brave as Sirius Black; Nick chose to become a ghost because he feared death, but Sirius would have "gone on" in Nick's own words.
  • He doesn't like Ron because he is always reminding Nick that he is dead.
  • It is unknown as to how he recovered from petrification by the Basilisk since he is unable to drink potions.
  • Professor Dumbledore explains in his notes on "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot" that muggle executions of wizards such as Sir Nicholas are rarely successful, given that wizards can magically protect themselves and escape. Sir Nicholas had his wand taken away, however, and was unable to leave his dungeon cell.


Notes and referencesBearbeiten

External linksBearbeiten

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Hogwarts Houses:
Gryffindorcrest Hufflepuffcrest Ravenclawcrest Slytheirncrest
Namesake Founder: Godric Gryffindor · Helga Hufflepuff · Rowena Ravenclaw · Salazar Slytherin
Head of House: Minerva McGonagall · Pomona Sprout · Filius Flitwick · Horace Slughorn
House Ghost: Nearly Headless Nick · Fat Friar · Grey Lady · Bloody Baron