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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 16)

I think the Albus Dumbledore switcheroo theory can be discounted... Dumbledore displayed far, far too much familiarity in going over his own memories with Harry than a brother could have done.

Posted by Aman from Housotn on March 19, 2007 01:58 AM

It is Aberforth Dumbledore who is (JK only said Dumbldore is ....but dint mention which Dumbledore) but not Albus Dumbledore..Albus is still alive and he has got a lot to do with vol 7.
It was Aberforth who moved around with Harry during his last days...and his hand was a bit different because he was working with some goat potions...(might be..i'm only thinking that)...

Does anyone out here agree with me?

Posted by Pavan Srivatsav from Hyderabad on March 19, 2007 07:20 AM

I agree with you David on the incredible amount of things Dumbledore knows, considering he isn't often to be seen in Hogwarts corridors. I have released earlier on this site the idea that in fact Argus Filch is Dumbledore in disguise. That would explain how he knows everything (Argus was a mythologic creature who had a hundred eyes).

First, we have some hints that show Dumbledore stayed at Hogwarts while he was pretending to be out: two clues and a good reason.

First clue: in CoS, Dumbledore tells Lucius Malfoy "I have only truly left Hogwarts when none here are loyal to me"; at the end of CoS, and again in HBP, Jo insists on Harry remaining loyal to Dumbledore. She also gives a second hint: "Help always be given to those who ask for it". That’s exactly what happens to Ron and Harry (in front of Aragog), then to Harry (the basilisk). I’m pretty sure that in both cases, help came from Dumbledore.

Second clue: in OotP, to McGonagall: "I’m not going into hiding". McGonagall was perfectly right in asking Dumbledore: the best place for hiding out of Hogwarts was 12 Grimmault Place (unplottable, not to be revealed but by Dumbledore himself). Since Dumbledore doesn’t go to 12 Grimmault Place, he must have stayed in Hogwarts. And even there, if you trust him, he was not hiding himself.

Good reason: Trelawney. When power shifted to L Malfoy (a eater) in CoS, then to Umbridge in OotP, Trelawney was at a high risk to be expelled from Hogwarts. Especially, Umbridge needs for authority should have resulted in Trelawney’s departure. Dumbledore had to stay there to prevent this from happening: for a reason that I don’t understand, it seems capital that Voldemort hear not the full prophecy.

If Dumbledore is still there at Hogwarts, and if he is not hiding, we probably "meet" him from time to time. Is he an animal? A magic creature? Another wizard? Someone who pretends to be a squib? I like the idea of Filch, because he’s such a different character, he’s free of his moves (easier if he has to come back immediately as Dumbledore), he never punishes Harry (the only time Harry gets a detention due to Filch - in PS/SS - is well deserved), he never reports to Dumbledore and he seems to never be present at the sorting hat ceremony (although it’s slightly different in the movies).

Posted by herve from strasbourg on March 19, 2007 07:42 AM

I do not agree with you...mainly because at the Harry sees the Barman from the Hog's Head.

I was reading last night the first book, and it makes a statement that I thought was interesting to the question of Does Harry Die? It states after exam time, that "in the years to come, Harry would never know how he made it through" That sounds as though JK is referring to more then just 6 years ahead of time, but perhaps when Harry is grown. Of course, I suppose that book 7 might span a time period longer then a year.

Posted by Amy from P. Kentucky on March 19, 2007 08:50 AM

I believe there are much simpler explanations to most of the happenings in the Harry Potter series than most. As it gets more complicated there is more explaining necessary. Dumbledore knows a lot of the goings on at Hogwarts because it's his job and he makes Harry particularly hes business. He doesn't need an Invisibility Cloak to not be seen. He may have actually been near by (but invisible) for a lot of major events ready to step in if needed. Perhaps this is away he guided Harry's training with out being noticed. Also there are many other ways for him to monitor what's happening at the school. There's Chocolate Frog Cards (I think we see a lot of these in DH), all the Portraits throughout the castle, maybe some of those instruments in his office are spying devices, and of course he could do what Harry did and use the House Elfs which was very affective. Just my opinion for what it's worth.

Posted by Jeff from Tennessee on March 19, 2007 4:50 PM

ok, we know next to nothing about Aberforth and it's possible, if not probable that he knows, and is capable of, a lot more than he is currently credited for..

I think there's a strong possibility that Aberforth is in possession of slytherin's locket horcrux, if you buy - as i do - the Hog's Head barkeep theory. Otherwise, why would JK have put the following 3 elements together in the space of 2 pages?:

1. Mundungus
2. The loot from Grimmauld place
3. Aberforth

My point being that this, to me, looks like a significant thread for Aberforth's involvement in book 7. Will Harry help Aberforth destroy it? Will Aberforth present it to the order and come out of hiding? Will Aberforth Destroy it alone? Will he present it to Harry?

Posted by Ted on March 19, 2007 6:54 PM

I think it would be pretty cool if somehow Harry was able to destroy Voldemort's final horcrux in front of him.

Posted by Amy from P. Kentucky on March 20, 2007 08:59 AM

Amy: I don't think Harry destroy any of the remaining Horcruxes, but he - I don't know how - get Voldemort's soul out of them. Horcruxes are relics from the founders, historical treasures, and I don't think Jo would make a story in which you have to destroyed historical relics to save the world.

Maybe, if you gather the four relics in Hogwarts, they produce enough magic to release Voldemort's soul. I wouldn't be surprised if the founders used Hufflepuff cup, Gryffindor sword, Ravenclaw wand and Slytherin locket (or a stone that is now inside) to cast the greatest charms at Hogwarts, including the Sorting Hat.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on March 20, 2007 11:17 AM

Herve - you're kind of nitpicking.. by 'destroy' we all MEAN removing the soul (or at least i do) as opposed to melting down the locket, or hitting it with a very big hammer!

Posted by ted on March 20, 2007 7:07 PM

Many people have said in their comments that Albus Dumbledore might be a house-elf. This idea seemed impossible to me until I read something: the word ‘elf’ (or ‘alfar’ in Norse mythology) is actually derived from the Latin word ‘Albus’ which means ‘white’ and is a symbol of goodness. So this could mean that Albus Dumbledore is not exactly a house-elf, but he is an elf. This would explain his age and some of the powerful magic he is able to perform even without a wand sometimes. He can also become invisible without a cloak, which we have only seen house-elves do, and he can also see through invisibility cloaks.

The other meanings of his name: Percival – one of King Arthur’s knights in the quest for the holy grail (We know Albus Dumbledore has been on the quest for the horcruxes for many years). Wulfric – means ‘wolf ruler.’ Brian – a Celtic name which means “noble.”

Posted by Javed from Vancouver, Canada on March 20, 2007 8:55 PM

Javed from Vancouver....Thanks. After posting my thoughts on Dumbledore being 1/2 or part house-elf I thought I may have been thinking too far outside of the box. With everybody not agreeing with me I thought I may be wrong.

The reason I came up with that idea was because him being an Anamagas to a phoenix was just too obvious. JKR is way to sneaky to allow something that obvious to happen, so I came up with the theroy of the house-elf.

I guess we get to wait until July to find out for sure.

Posted by Chris from Walla Walla on March 21, 2007 07:48 AM

Javed: nice theory, I think and hope that it come out true. It also goes along with Herve's theory about Dumbledore still being at Hogwarts when he wasn't supposed to be!

Posted by Kyle from Kearney, Ne on March 21, 2007 11:00 AM

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