- I don't think I've introduced myself? Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington at your service. Resident ghost of Gryffindor Tower."
- —Sir Nicholas greets the Gryffindor first-years
Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, known after his death as Nearly Headless Nick, (d. 31 October, 1492) was a wizard who attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and was sorted into Gryffindor House. He was a wizard of the royal court as an adult. He was executed by an improper decapitation, after he had a magical mishap with Lady Grieve, in which she grew a tusk. Since then, he is the resident ghost of Gryffindor Tower at the Hogwarts Castle.
In his adulthood, Sir Nicholas openly associated with Muggles. He was knighted and was a courtier at King Henry VII's royal court.
Sir Nicholas met Lady Grieve while strolling in the park on the evening of 30 October, 1492. She was certain he could straighten her crooked teeth, but his attempt to do so backfired, causing her to grow a tusk.
Sir Nicholas was immediately taken into custody and sentenced to death as a result of this mistake. Before being locked in a dungeon, his wand was taken from him, thus preventing him from using magic to escape. Throughout the night he cried that he would soon undo the damage done to Lady Grieve.
A priest came to Sir Nicholas's cell to comfort him and escort him to the execution site at dawn the following day. He became a "gibbering wreck" when the executioner told him to kneel before the block. However, the executioner's axe was blunt, as the grindstone used to sharpen it had been misplaced. Thus, it took forty-five hacks to kill Sir Nicholas, and even then his head was only partially severed.
Sir Nicholas chose to linger as a ghost rather than "go on", because, by his own admission, he feared death. He became the resident ghost of Gryffindor Tower at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. "Nearly Headless Nick", as he was called by the majority of the student body, was always happy to point new Gryffindors in the right direction when late to class.
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