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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 17)

Herve, I really don't think that Dumbledore could possibly be Filch. Mainly because we see them both in too many scenes together. Second he's ! Yes, I know we'll see him again in some form but my guess is as good as anybodys and there are some really good ones.
Also the Horcruxes must be destroyed as the ring was. No not blown to smitherines. The ring was damaged when the horcrux was destroyed as evidence by the cracked/broken stone that Harry saw in Dumbledore's office.

Posted by Jeff from Tennessee on March 21, 2007 9:03 PM

I wonder if the person from the Order who we haven't yet met properly is not Aberforth, but Mundungus?
He has a lot to answer for, and can probably point Harry in the right direction of a relic or two.

Posted by Patty from Quincy,Massachusetts on March 22, 2007 08:35 AM

Jeff: I don't pretend that Dumbledore is Filch. At least, I can't prove it. I just think it would be a great idea, make sense, and provide a very nice plot for book 7 (like Filch asking Harry to give him magical lessons and starting to practice wizardry). I don't recall if we see often Filch and Dumbledore together in the movies, but in the books, there are only three scenes, as far as I could find some:
In CoS, when Mrs Norris is stunned by the basilisk
In PoA (I think), when Ron, Harry, Dumbledore and Filch eat at the same table for Christmas (this one is funny, because if Dumbledore is Filch, then Trelawney's fears about 13 at table are not founded, there are only 12 different persons).
In GoF, Filch brings along the relics for the GoF ceremony.
For those three scenes, Dumbledore could easily use a time-turner, the same way Hermione did all year long in PoA.

In every Sorting Hat ceremony, Dumbledore quotes Filch (Filch asked me to remind you of the 455 things that are forbidden in Hogwarts) and never mentions him as being present. Since everybody is there, what would the point of Filch being somewhere else?

And how could Filch repair the magical Fat Lady portrait, as he is suppposed to have done in PoA, if he is a squib?

Last, on the Marauder's map, Filch or Dumbledore is almost every time quoted as one of the persons appearing, and so is Mrs Norris. Never Filch and Dumbledore together, but sometimes Dumbledore and Mrs Norris.

Of course, all that can be coincidences.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on March 22, 2007 2:18 PM

I have to say that if it turns out that Dumbledore or anyone else, besides Hermione, has been using a time-turner through any of the seven books I am going to be extremely disappointed in Jo. She is a better writer than that. That would not only be sloppy story telling, but a horrible cop out. Inexperienced writers rely on time travel, or suddenly waking from a dream, to resolve the elements of a story. A professional Author, like JKR, would never dream of falling back on such sloppy devices.

Posted by Michael Brinkley from Oceanside CA on March 22, 2007 2:53 PM

Herve - my wife just pointed something out. The Marauder's map would never show that filch was there if it was actually Dumbledore. Just like it showed Barty Crouch instead of Moody, or Peter Petigrew instead of Scabbers.

Posted by Michael Brinkley from Oceanside CA on March 22, 2007 8:22 PM

I just thought of something. Dumbledore told Harry that he has been keeping a closer eye on Harry than Harry knew. What if either Albus or Aberforth were Hedwig. It might be farfetched, but Hedwig is white, just like how both of the Dumbledores have white hair. And as far as we know, Hedwig is the only white owl ever mentioned in the Harry Potter series.

Posted by Kyle from Kearney, Ne on March 22, 2007 10:07 PM

There might be a really simple explanation for Dumbledore's ability to keep an eye on Harry. We all know that the paintings can visit each other; what if Dumbledore asked the portraits in his office to keep an eye on Harry. Just a thought and perhaps simpler than Hedwig being an animagus or Dumbledore being filch. Is it Occam's Razor that states that the simplest explanation is usually right?

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on March 22, 2007 11:48 PM

I must say that I agree with you regard to time-turner. it could make an easy way out of almost any situation, like you I would be most dissapointed

Posted by gordon from uk on March 23, 2007 01:06 AM

I have a hard time believing that Filch is Dumbledore. In the OOTP, Filch is almost drooling at the opportunity to whip the Weasley twins at Umbridge's orders. If the twins didn't escape, would a Dumbledore/Filch actually whip them. I don't think Dumbledore would, especially when it would make Umbridge happy.

Posted by Linda from Fort Wayne, IN on March 23, 2007 08:37 AM

Linda: Filch always pretends to be nasty, but in fact he's never really. I believe the reference to whipping is in fact a reference to Santa Claus. In some european countries, Santa Claus is accompanied by a servant who is supposed to whip children. this servant is an elf (hum hum) and he's called Black Peter (Sirius and Wormtail?).

About time-turner: you can't use them to turn to your advantage every situation, because in using them, you have to be very careful. Look at how Harry was in the verge of being in big trouble when he came back in PoA. And Hermione almost turned crazy.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on March 23, 2007 2:37 PM

being a bartender is hardly the lowest-profile position someone could take - every wizard using the pub would see him, and if the same bartender's been at the pub since the day of the prophecy and before (15 years+), don't you think a few wizards would have noticed the resemblance to Dumbledore? esp. if they were so similar they could impersonate each other.
Nice theory, and its probably right, but JKR had better come up with a good reason for why Aberforth's cover wasn't blown a long time ago...

Posted by Ollie from London on March 25, 2007 4:51 PM

I think the local adult wizards do know that it is Dumbledore's brother, but like you said, he's been there for 15+ years, so it's old news now and they just don't talk about it anymore because it's no big deal.

Posted by Amy from P. Kentucky on March 25, 2007 6:54 PM

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