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The Purist Pillar
Portrayed by Kevin Spacey
Name: Arcturus Nigellus Black II
Aliases: Nigellus. Nigel, if you dare.
Birthday: June 18, 1884
Position: Owner of The Prestige
Lineage: The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black


Arcturus Nigellus Black II is a hard man who has seen more than than half a century. His skin is lightly tanned but sallow. His frame is nigh-on six feet tall and solid. Dark brown hair is starting to gray in streaks at his temples. His hair's part does nothing to hide his high forehead. Deeply set, hooded brown eyes watch from above a hawk nose. Below that nose are thin upper and full lower lips. His cheeks are creased and drawn inward, while his jaw is wide with a blunt rounded chin. There is a black scar running the length of his left forearm, from elbow to wrist, and another, much more rarely displayed, along his left hip. He walks with a pronounced limp.


Eleven and three-eighths inches, hornbeam, unyielding, with a dragon heartstring core.


Vigil Black

This tuxedo cat believes himself the true owner of The Prestige and all that Nigellus possesses.


Today he wears a midnight black velvet robe belted with a dark iron clasp. A cravat of black silk disappearing into his robe forms a four-in-hand Ruche knot, itself held in place by a black-stone pin. Black wool uncuffed trousers break at the ankle over patent leather dress boots. A lacquered black-walnut cane with a top of polished jet is rarely far from his hands.


Arcturus Nigellus Black II was born June 18, 1884, the second of three sons. His parents, Phineas Nigellus Black and Ursula Black nee Flint, had high expectations. Nigellus shared part of his father's name and much of his serious nature. While solemn (some would say grim), he was far from antisocial, forming many study groups. Pure-bloods looked to a Black for cues, and he provided a fine example of disdainful courtesy to Muggleborns and grudging tolerance of half-bloods.

After Hogwarts, he joined the Ministry as an auror. His service was marked by planning, teamwork, carefully-orchestrated interrogations, and efforts to disassociate the Dark Arts from blood purity. He met Lysandra Yaxley through a colleague. The marriage of two overly-serious pure-bloods led to three daughters. Complications at birth led to the death of the son and mother in 1923. He has worn black ever since.

Injuries sustained in battle with two dark wizards left a scar on Nigellus's left arm and a more serious one on his left hip. St. Mungo's saved his life, but he will limp and bear deep scars forever.

He held his daughters to the same high standards he faced, a tough but fair father. When Cedrella's husband Septimus turned blood-traitor and she refused to leave him, Nigellus burned her out of the Black family tree.

Nigellus still opposes the spread of Mugglish ideas with letters to the editor of The Daily Prophet. Now he prepares for the opening of his aristocratic club, The Prestige.

Regarding the Name

Named for Arcturus I, but grew up being called Nigellus to lessen the confusion. Then with Arcturus III coming after the First had passed, everyone called the boy Arcturus while Arcturus the II kept with his nickname.


Friends High & Low The Ministry, criminal informants from his auror days, and fellow pure-blooded aristocrats.
Loyalty: Black Family He does whatever it takes to see that his family prospers and maintains respect. Whatever it takes.
Uncompromising Purist He erased his daughter from the family tree with fire when her husband turned blood-traitor and she refused to leave him. He will never forgive Septimus for making that necessary.
Wealth: Well-To-Do Running an exclusive club: it pays the bills and then some.

RP Hooks

  • A Slytherin in the Class of 1902: Did you know Nigellus during school? He studied relentlessly and socially - with pure-bloods and even some half-bloods. Were you a Muggle-born student? You might remember his scorn.
  • Hunter of Dark Wizards: Nigellus spent his time in Magical Law Enforcement combating the most dangerous foes. If you were in the Ministry of Magic between 1913 and 1939, you likely encountered him. If you were in the M.L.E., you worked alongside him. He was very careful, never flashy, and favored traps. He was injured in 1935 by a dark curse that moved him to desk duty.
  • Owner of the members-only parlor The Prestige: Nigellus created this aristocratic club as an escape in London for the magical elite. Have you visited? Are you a regular patron? Would you like to become one?
  • Reader & Writer: Sometimes Nigellus pens letters to the editor of The Daily Prophet. They are usually published. Occasionally they become an opinion piece in their own right.


Logs featuring Nigellus Logs that refer to Nigellus



Phineas Nigellus Black


Ursula Black nee Flint


Elder Brother.
The smart one.


Younger Brother.
The savage one.


Lysandra Black nee Yaxley
Wife - Deceased. Died in 1923 at 39 years old. It would have been nice if they had a son, but she died in the attempt at doing just that, leaving Nigellus colder than ever. He still wears black.


Eldest Daugher. - Married Harfang Longbottom. Shame about the last name. At least the blood is pure.


Middle Daughter (Disowned). Never Spoken Of. - Cedrella was once Nigellus's princess. A sweet and loving girl, he had a way of thinking she could do no wrong. When she wished to marry Septimus Weasley, the son of his former schoolmate, he gave his blessing…but now regrets it. The boy turned blood traitor. Nigellus demanded that the marriage be dissolved. But when Cedrella refused to leave her husband, Nigellus disowned her, receiving his elder brother's permission to burn her image from the family tree.


Youngest Daughter. - Married Caspar Crouch, good lad.


Son-in-Law (Disowned). Unforgiveable. - Husband to Cedrella. Nigellus curses the day that he gave his blessing for that union. He had always worried that the soft-hearted Septimus would turn blood traitor. At a Black family dinner, Septimus directly criticised Enceladus Malfoy for shunning a Muggle-born at a party. This was the final straw for Nigellus, and he angrily banished Septimus from the house.


A madame. Do they have a relationship at all? One wonders if anyone would hold it against him, if they do. He has been a widower for seventeen years.


Married my colleague Herbert Burke of the Auror Office.


Herbert Burke is a good man. I introduced him to my sister Belvina, in fact, many long years ago.

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