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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 19)

As I said before, there is certainly much more about Filch than meets the eye. How could a squib, hated by a hundred student wizards, could survive more than one year in Hogwarts?

Nice thought about the flag at Hog's Head. I hadn't noticed it.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on April 2, 2007 12:01 AM

I don�t recall many Muggles or squibs that appear on a regular basis throughout the series, so whom can it be?

Petunia, Vernon, Dudley, Mrs. Figg, Argus Filch, anybody else fall into the category?
If JKR said it would not be Petunia, we still have the other 4 possibilities.

Ashley from Missouri made a good point with her comment about Argus Filch, but it is the only one atempting to do magic, so let�s not rule him out so fast.

Mrs. Figg was already in a tight situation when the Dementors where after Harry and Dudley, so she had her �stressfull situation, in which she could have performed magic instinctively, but this didn�t happen.

Vernon hates magic, but might find himself in a position in which he might have to resort to it to save Dudley or Petunia, although he might prefer to than to perform that �freakish and abnormal thing, that is the �M� word�.

Dudley is afraid of magic, he has been taught that it is not normal, and has suffered it�s effects firsthand (Pig�s tail and Dementor attack, the tong engorgement toffee and Mr. Weasly�s attempts to correct it), but he might be able to use Harry�s wand to protect himself.

One more character that we have seen only once, but has been mentioned at least once more is �Aunt� Marge, whom I don�t see how her character fits into the story, unless it is to place her early on the series in order to have her come back for the final book with some magic under her sleeve.

Any comments?

Posted by Emilio from Mexico City, Mexico on April 2, 2007 10:06 AM

Also, Jim McManus has been cast as Aberforth Dumbledore in the upcoming movie, according to sources on the internet, and we know that Aberforth doesn't officially make an appearance in OotP, but the barman at the Hog's Head definitely does. There's no way around it, the barman has to be Aberforth.

Posted by Emily from Chicago on April 2, 2007 1:26 PM

Has anyone ever seen Trelawney with a wand? We have seen her accidentally make a good prediction on occasion, but is she even a witch? It doesn't seem that Dumbledore had any prior knowledge of her when she interviewed for the job when she made the original prophesy, so she must not be a former Hogwarts student. What kind of shock would she have had when she found out where she would be working if she was only a muggle? Since the whole storyline revolves around her prophesy, it would only be fitting if she did some magic late in life.

I do think Aberforth is the Hogshead barman.

Posted by Dave Porter from New Mexico, USA on April 2, 2007 8:25 PM

Can anybody place Abeforth in a specific House?

I don't think it has been mentioned in the books, but for the little bits we know of him, can anybody tell me to which house you think the sorting hat placed him?

Posted by Emilio from Mexico City, Mexico on April 3, 2007 11:03 AM

I think that Aberforth would either have to be in Gryffindor of Ravenclaw because Gryffindor has the brave students and Aberforth had to have been brave to be practiceing charms he knew were illegal for a good cause or Ravenclaw because that's where the smarted are supposed to go and even thhough the book says that Aberforth may not be able to read I think that he's one smart cookie. I just am getting that feeling I'm not sure why but as I said just a feeling on the Ravenclaw bit.

Posted by Zach from Vail, CO on April 3, 2007 3:30 PM

Dave Porter--
I think that Trelawny is a witch, mostly because of the two genuine predictions she has made in her life. That's a magical s, requiring her to have magic blood.
I think that Aberforth was a Hufflepuff. Unlike Zach, I don't think that him practicing his charms is Gryffindor level of bravery, but I do think it took some guts. Those daring Hufflepuffs are true and unafraid of toil.
I also don't think he is in Ravenclaw, although it would take a level of intellegence to invent charms of your own as well as "have a long memory", like the barman is said to have.
I don't think it would be possible for Aberforth to be a Slytherin, so I pretty much ruled them out.

Posted by Ashley from Missouri on April 3, 2007 3:44 PM

Zach from Vail,

Thanks for your insight, I also think that Albus was being sarcastic, and making a little joke about his brother when he mentioned that he didn't know if he could read.

Posted by Emilio from Mexico City, Mexico on April 3, 2007 4:24 PM


That's what I was getting at; the fact that Trelawny has to be a witch. But never a wand in sight. Who better than to do magic "late in life". But with who's wand? Maybe someone handing a wand to Harry on the US cover of the next book?

Aberforth would have to have been a pretty decent wizard to have been in the Order of the Pheonix. I don't think Albus would have let his brother be in the Order if he wasn't a decent wizard. Too dangerous. I think the off-color comment by Albus about his brother not reading was probably a family "inside" joke. Maybe just as Voldemort has his snake (venom), Aberfoth has his goat (bezoar).

Posted by Dave Porter from New Mexico, USA on April 4, 2007 9:39 PM

I really like this idea. It makes sense that Aberforth is the bartender of Hog's Head. Dumbledore also mentions to Harry in the sixth book that he oftens go to Hog's head and get a drink in the evenings. Maybe that's not just because he wants to have a good night, but when he's there, he can discuss everything about the Order with his brother?
Okay, you can get overheard as Harry and his friends discovered, but that would be one of the reasons I guess.
One thing I do think is a bit odd, is that Dumbledore nerver really talks about his brother. Not to anyone else I mean. And Harry has never interruppted when Aberforth is seeing Dumbledore at the castle either.

Posted by Anna from Sweden on April 7, 2007 12:40 PM

First of all I really like the Aberforth idea and think its probably right. I had some idea of this before hand but it was like the difference between having the key and actually opening the door.

Posted by E from Portland, ME on April 7, 2007 6:18 PM

2 things about the dumbledore brothers.

first of all we know that albus dumbledore's thing is fire, and that thanks to people on this site (hats of to all of you) water is probably aberforth's thing, so they're opposites.

Someone also asked what house aberforth was in (and it got me thinking), but has anyone stopped to wonder what house albus was in? I think Aberforth was probably a hufflepuff or ravenclaw and Albus was probably a gryfindor or ravenclaw.

Again hats off to all of you for the fire VS water connection.

Posted by E from Portland, ME on April 8, 2007 06:28 AM

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