Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, often referred to as Nearly Headless Nick, Nick, or Sir Nicholas, is the Gryffindor House ghost who in life was sentenced to death by beheading after a teeth-straightening spell went awry on Lady Grieve. Unfortunately, the executioner’s axe was blunt and Nick’s head was still attached to his neck by a thin strip of skin after 45 chops. Harry becomes friends with Nick when
he attends his “deathday” party (the 500th anniversary of the event) in a Hogwarts dungeon. Nick’s death date (31 October 1492) has the distinction of having served as the basis for the entire chronology of the Harry Potter stories, until the timeline was confirmed by the headstone of James and Lily Potter in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. His greatest wish is to become a member of the Headless Hunt, as mentioned in the second book. However, he is excluded due to the fact that he is not actually headless and would not be able to fully participate in the activities (such as Head Polo). In Chamber of Secrets, Nick is a victim of the Basilisk that Ginny Weasley unleashes under the influence of Tom Riddle. The stare of the Basilisk is lethal to anyone who looks it directly in the eye. All of its living victims meet its gaze indirectly, either from a reflection or by seeing it through something else, and are only petrified rather than killed. Nick is the only one to look directly at the Basilisk, but he too is petrified since he is already dead.
The character appears again in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix when Harry has been looking for comfort upon the death of Sirius Black, hoping he can see him later as a ghost. Nick explains that only witches and wizards who fear death and refuse to go on can become ghosts, dashing Harry’s hope of communicating with Sirius. He appears briefly in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Harry asks him to bring him to the Grey Lady.