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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 22)


"I am not worried, Harry, said Dumbledore, his voice a little stronger despite the freezing water.� I am with you." (the cave page 540 uk version)

I do not think aberforth would have said this. it surely is Dumbledore, the bond of love shining through.

Posted by anonymous from uk on April 22, 2007 05:59 AM

hey, twins can be fraternal.
i agree with a previous comment that there's something like a sin between the two brothers when dumbledore and harry went to hogsmeade to apparate going to that cave, and the hogs head sign moved even if there wasn't any breeze

Posted by kit from phil on April 22, 2007 06:08 AM

They are not identical because harry would not have vaguely remembered the barman he would have recognized him as albus dumbledore, they met the barman in Ootp and HBP who is definately aberforth and there is no possibility that Albus and Aberforth could be identical they might have the same features but they are definately not identical.

Posted by Arjun Srivastava from Mumbai, Maharashtra on April 22, 2007 07:44 AM

Dave Porter,

Thanks for your coment Dave.

I might have taken Harry's Statment to literaly, but you might be right in thinking he would be back to Hogwarts, but it have to be under preasure from the Order Members and his friends, and Having an Order member teaching him DADA would be a very good incentive to go back.

Arjun Srivastava from Mumbai,

My brother and I are very, very, very different, we don't have anything in common, except our parents, we don't like the same music, movies, books, sports, etc., but we are both good at what we do, I don't like crouds, he lives for them...

This could just be the case with Albus and Abeforth, it might be that Albus liked to teach, liked to be on the spotlight, and Abeforth simply enjoys the peace and quiet that anonimity brings.

If this is the case, maybe Albus took advantage of his brother's "Quality's" and encouraged him to work for the order anonimously.

As David Potter mentioned "Making negative comments about his brother would actually help Aberforth hide his identity"...

Posted by Emilio from Mexico City, Mexico on April 23, 2007 10:33 AM

I have no doubt at all that Aberforth Dumbledore is in fact the member of the Order whom we are yet to meet - the one to which J.K. refers.
But in knowing that Aberforth is the barman at the Hog's Head, we can come to the realisation that we have in fact seen him on another occasion - in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, outside the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade, it is noted that Mundungus Fletcher is selling what we presume to be items which he looted from 12 Grimmauld Place to THE BARMAN OF THE HOGS HEAD! I think it likely that amongst these is Slytherin's locket (the real one), which is of course one of Voldemort's Horcruxes.
For this reason, I think it very likely indeed that Aberforth Dumbledore come into play as a very impressionable character in the final installment of the Harry Potter series.

Posted by Amy from Perth, Western Australia on April 24, 2007 12:59 AM

I had noticed these things about Aberforth too and am convinced that he is the barman in the Hog's Head. One thing that I'm intrigued by though, when Harry and Dumbledore go in search of the locket/horcrux and they make their way into Hogsmead, they stop outside the Hog's Head and Dumbledore says something along the lines of "this do Harry, we do not need to go inside". Is it possible that Dumbledore's absences over the year can be attributed to the fact that he and and his brother have swapped identities?

Posted by Jeanna from Tenerife on April 26, 2007 08:57 AM

I think this is an incredible, brilliant theory, that Aberforth is the Hog's Head barman, and he found Snape overhearing the prophecy, and I think it ties in with the theory that there is an Unbreakable Vow between Snape and Dumbledore, and that Aberforth was the third party in that vow. FASCINATING!

Posted by Elaine Johnson from Mojave, California on April 26, 2007 10:13 AM

Just out of interest, has anyone heard J.K Rowling say ALBUS Dumbledore is ?
How many Dumbledores are there? If Aberforth d instead of the professor, he would still be alive.
As for identity problems, there's the Polyjuice Potion.
Sorry. Farfetched theory, but Albus Dumbledore CANNOT be .
There's no proof. We can only guess.

Posted by Agatha from Sydney on May 1, 2007 12:58 AM

everyone is saying IF Aberforth is the barman, but JKR has said he IS! Also in regards to ALBUS Dumbledore, no, I don't think JKR has said "Albus Dumbledore is ", just "Dumbledore", however, other characters are called by their last names eg Snape, Malfoy, Hagrid. If Hagrid were to you could always argue it wasn't Ruebeus, but Hagrid's father, as just the name Hagrid was used. Professor Dumbledore is known to us, and the wizards more often as Dumbledore, than Albus. I'm not saying you're wrong, good idea, just not sure how it'd be pulled off.

Posted by mmc from sa on May 4, 2007 10:49 PM

Identical, maybe not, but it could be the polyjuice potion doing its magic. Highly possible and maybe Aberforth is the "Dumbledore" that d.

Posted by Kevin Reilly from Arlington Heights, IL on May 8, 2007 06:36 AM

Up to now, I thought that Aberforth and Albus were only brothers and not twins. But I'm not so sure now.

In OOTP, when Fudge asks Dumbledore about Harry, he wonders ironically whether Harry's identical twin was in Hog's Head. Of course, I don't believe the least that Harry's identical twin was there, but this statement could have a hidden sense, revealing something about Albus's identical twin (Aberforth) being at Hog's Head.

Albus and Aberforth are very different, physically speaking. I don't think that Aberforth could have changed his physical appearance. Albus could have. Here is a theory, probably wrong but funny anyway, which could fit with most of the canon.

When he was young (more than a century ago), Albus Dumbledore made a few experiments and he performed what RL Stevenson described in 1886 in "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" (inspired by Dumbledore's work).

At that time, Dumbledore split into two persons, one very nice, kind, full of humour (the one we know), the other nasty and full of anger. They were at the same time one person (one soul, one memory) and two persons (two s, two characters, different physical and magical abilities). Being two different characters, they got different names and those names would appear on the marauder's map for what they are (not like using polyjuice potion).

Having left away his bad side, Albus became a powerful and inspired wizard, while his alter ego remained a weak wizard, maybe even a squib (a powerful evil wizard would commit some unforgivable acts, that Dumbledore would regret; he could even be dangerous for Dumbledore himself: see Mr Hyde).

When he was named headmaster at Hogwards, Dumbledore saw all the benefits he could get through this situation. A caretaker would get a lot of inside information that a headmaster usually can't have. He would be very free of his moves. He would just have, from time to time, to use a time-turner and make both appear on the same scene. Hermione said that facing yourself would be dangerous. Here, the situation is different: Dumbledore wouldn't attack his own creation, and his alter ego would be too weak to be dangerous for Dumbledore.

So, Dumbledore named his alter ego "Argus Filch" and got him at Hogwarts. When he had to disappear (in CoS, in OotP), he could still be at Hogwards as Filch.

When he had to meet Filch, he used a time-turner. In the first six books, I could pick only three or four scenes in which Filch and Dumbledore appear together. They are never together on the marauder's map.

Then, we know that there is still an Albus Dumbledore there, because Filch was at his .

Aberforth knows probably a bunch of things about Albus's past, that harry should know.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on May 9, 2007 12:24 AM

I found another interesting piece of information about the barman of the Hogs Head (Aberforth). Sirius is talking to harry through the fire in the Gryffindor common room for the second time. Speaking about Mundungus he says: "He was banned from the Hogs Head twenty years ago," said Sirius, "and that barman's got a long memory...." (OotP pg 370 U.S version) Perhaps Sirius knows the barman, even more evidence that he could be Aberforth.

Posted by Jordan from Oak Park, California on May 10, 2007 7:31 PM

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