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The Mystery of Aberforth

by David Haber

During the interview after the launch of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling said, "There is one member of the Order of the Phoenix that you have not yet met properly, but you will meet them in seven." Is this person Dumbledore's mysterious brother, Aberforth? What do we know about Aberforth, and how is he involved in the story?

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Reader Comments: (Page 12)

I had the same thought as Amber. Only what if Aberforth is Crookshanks? Its pretty farfetched but crookshanks was helping Sirius get scabbers. And they all said he was pretty smart.

Posted by Kyle from Kearney, Ne on March 5, 2007 12:37 PM

Come on we have to draw the line somewhere, there were three unregistered Animaguses; Padfoot, Prongs, and Wormtail. I have an obsessive theory that Dumbledore is a phoenix Animagus; so I don't think that Aberforth could be an Animagus, but rather that he has doing something involving bezoars.

Posted by Ashley from Missouri on March 5, 2007 1:32 PM

I have always wondered if Crookshanks would turn out to be more than a Kneazle, but interesting though the proposal is, I can't really see it. As has been pointed out there are a limited number of animagi, BUT as we have seen from Rita, unregistered animagi are a different matter altogether.

My main conflict is 1) I believe Dumbledore to be -- after all JKR really labours the point when he pleads with Snape to go through with it and him (I think anyway) and I think we can assume him - opinions differ on this as we all know. 2) However, I cannot reconcile this with the fact that I keep wondering if Albus IS actually Aberforth in disguise - partly through other comments, partly through my re-listening to OotP at the moment. Dumbledore escapes from Fudge et al via Fawkes - and we do not know the rules pertaining to Fawkes and magic, Fawkes also reappears at Dumbledore's and sings, then disappears.

Posted by Marjorie from NEW ZEALAND on March 5, 2007 5:18 PM

In what book does Dumbledore say nitwit, blubbler, oddment and tweak? I don't recall reading that ever..

Posted by Lyle from Bismarck ND on March 6, 2007 08:25 AM

In PS/SS, when he welcomes everyone at Hogwarts after the sorting ceremony. Actually, he says more: "Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you!" He never says thank you in anyother speech. I presume that here "thank you!" is part of his words, and not a conclusion for the aunce.

That's why I think those four words represent four persons, and there is no reason to thank them except if they do outstanding things in DH, like providing the Horcruxes.

If he doesn't foresee the future, then he already lived DH. Hence, he must have lived DH prior to SS/PS.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on March 6, 2007 2:08 PM

I like the idea that Herve has. But in PoA, when Harry and Hermoine go back in time they stress not to be seen by themselves or really anybody. But maybe if Dumbledore came back in time he took up the position at the Hogs Head, where he could still keep tabs on things.

Posted by Kyle from Kearney, Ne on March 6, 2007 5:17 PM

That's what happens when you read too quick. I completely missed the fact that it was Harry's glasses. And to think that I am always on my students for not reading carefully. It's a good thing they are not reading over my shoulder!

I seem to remember reading somewhere (maybe JK's site) that Crookshanks is NOT an animagus.

Posted by Kim from Manchester on March 6, 2007 6:55 PM

"Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!" could probably be four house elves at Hogwarts. So Herve, you may be right that the words represent four people. Sounds like the names of house elves - "Dobby, Kreacher."

Posted by Javed from Vancouver, Canada on March 6, 2007 7:15 PM

Even if those are people who can help Harry, I doubt that he remember that Dumbledore even said that. Being his first year time at Hogwarts, he was so excited and anxious I don't see how he could remember something that was said in the first hour upon being there.

Posted by Kyle from Kearney, Ne on March 6, 2007 9:44 PM

"Nitwit, Blubber, Oddment, Tweak" Could it be that we are reading TOO MUCH into this? I don't have PS/SS in front of me at the moment, but, as I remember, Dumbledore said something like "I'd like to say a few words" before these four were spoken. When I read the passage (the first of many times) the idea of hidden meanings/clues/etc. never occurred to me. I took it as an example of JR's humor, no more than that. I fear that all this analysis is taking away some of the charm of the series, for me at least.

Posted by Thomas from Jeffersonville, IN on March 7, 2007 05:57 AM

Kyle: At the end of HBP, Harry remembers the four words "Nitwit, Blubber, Oddment, Tweak" (but not the final "Thank you!"). A repeated clue is often a good one.

The great talent of Jo is to make things appear differently than what they really are. Everybody thinks, like Percy, that Dumbledore is a little bit foolish (just like Doc in "Back to the future"). My two cents he is serious.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on March 7, 2007 10:02 AM

Kim, you're right that JK did say that Crookshanks is only a kneazle in one of her many interviews. I don't understand why so many people are so quick to dismiss what JK has to say. After all she did write the books and she has never lied to us before! Her integrity remains intact.

Posted by D. L. from Knoxville, TN on March 7, 2007 10:09 AM

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