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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 24)

Megan, the idea has merit, and all but for the bit about being born as the seventh month s, it might work. Severus was born on January 9th (I remember because it's my sister's birthday), and we also don't know if his mother (or Muggle father, but very unlikely anyway) ever had any contact with Voldemort, much less "thrice defied".

Posted by Monkeeshrines from orlando fl on June 3, 2007 05:50 AM

I have a really interesting theory about Abertfoth. This theory considers the following:
1- Aberforth is in fact the Hog�s Head barman
2- RAB is Regulus Black
3- Regulus left the locket in Grimmauld Place

The theory is that Aberforth helped RAB to destroy the horcrux. We saw him (actually we saw the barman of Hog�s Head) struggling with Mundungus in Hogsmeade (HBP), grabbing him from his neck, just before Harry appeared. Then Harry approached to Mundungus and realized he has taken some objects from Sirius�s place. What if Aberforth saw the locket in Mundungus neck and recognized it and therefore tried to recover it? Even more he could have helped RAB by making a bezoar power enough to prevent him form or whatever when he should drink the potion in the cave.

Posted by Karina from Chile on June 5, 2007 1:24 PM

I have always wondered about this bit of the prophecy. The wording of it is one of those tiny loopholes you can't help but want to crawl through. How it says "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches" and not "The birth of the one with the power the vanquish the Dark Lord approaches.

I do NOT, however, believe the prophecy was all about Snape. Perhaps that line, maybe, but not the whole prophecy. That takes the "Harry Potter" out of the whole series.

Posted by Ashley R. from Missouri on June 5, 2007 7:33 PM

More evidence that Dumbledore is a fake. In the sixth book Dumbledore says (not exact words) "I see you have not asked me my favorite flavor of jam to see if I am trully Prof. Dumbledore and not an imposter." then "For future reference, Harry, it is raspberry, although if I were a eater impersonating myself, I would probably reaserch my jam prefrences before hand." This is like in book four when the fake moody is saying how Harry could have gotten into the tonament. saying it exacly how he had done it. I think JK may be hinting that that IS a eater making private jokes about impersonating Dumbledore.

Posted by Oatmeal from Chapel Hill on June 6, 2007 2:31 PM

Oatmeal: A eater wouldn't have made sure that Harry knew about the six Horcruxes.

You have a good point with rasberry jam. I think it shows that we haven't ended up with Dumbledore, and rasberry jam be useful to identify Dumbledore, whoever he's disguise as.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on June 7, 2007 01:19 AM

Megan said:
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches..." Could be referring to Snape, since he was "approaching" the room, i.e., sneaking up on it?

Snape is born in January, but even if you use Druidic calendars and such, that doesn't really add up.

But when was Aberforth born?

We don't even know Albus' birthday... which could be a 'giveaway', if Aberforth and he are twins. Aberforth would have been approaching the room right behind Severus. So, if that theory is correct, then Aberforth could be the one the prophecy spoke of.

Posted by karlii from Great Lakes Region, USA on June 7, 2007 06:50 AM

karlii from Great Lakes Region,

Even if Albus and Abeforth where twins, which I doubt, they where born long before Tom Riddle, and the prophesy says "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches... Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month s..."

In order for it to be one of the Dumbledores THEIR PARENTS should have defied them three times, which is simply not possible.

Posted by Emilio from Mexico City, Mexico on June 7, 2007 3:37 PM

Okay I was really bored today so I re-read a bunch of Harry Potter stuff, including the prophecy, to make sure I had my facts straight. Good thing I did, because my facts were NOT straight.
At the end of the prophecy, Trelawney closes by saying:
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord be born as the seventh month s..."
Which really kind of s the whole theory of someone was approaching the room. It says " be born", which is future tense, referring to someone who is not born yet, as opposed to someone who is, i.e. Aberforth or Snape.
Sorry to the mood.

Posted by Ashley R. from Missouri on June 7, 2007 5:37 PM

Do you think that a man whom Dumbledore is not even sure can read has any capacity to either prove useful to Harry or the Order and maybe be able to aid in vanquishing the Dark Lord? If he cant read, it means he hasnt stud at Hogwarts, and hence knows no magic...

Posted by Aayush from Ahmedabad on June 11, 2007 02:48 AM

Aayush from Ahmedabad,

I always took that comment as a joke, and eventually as part of Aberforth's cover. Remember that Moody showed Harry the picture of the original Order Members, and there was Aberforth, mentioned as "a strange character" or something similar.

As Aberforth is never seen to use magic we do not actually know of his powers, but he was important enough to be one of the original Members of the Order.

Now, Tom Riddle, living in a muggle orphanage, already had understanding and control of some of his powers, even before he went to Hogwarts, so Aberforth, living in a Magical home would be used to hear spells being cast and would know some spells even before attending school, specially if (as I believe) his older brother Albus was so gifted.

Posted by Emilio from Mexico City, Mexico on June 12, 2007 1:50 PM

I believe that Aberforth be very important to the plot of the story but about the prophesy, I think it's very clear that it's talking about Harry and voldemort (perhaps Neville) and no one else.

I do believe that its not important if maybe he cannot read, he must do some magic. Maybe Aberforth be useful in another way, different than in battle. If the barman of hogs head is Aberforth then he MUST have alot of information. Alot of eaters pass through that place, it's a perfect place to be anonymous, that's why hermione chosed that place for the first D.A. meeting.

Aberforth must have some information about eaters or maybe he has contacts, so he could tell harry some of that information.

Posted by Daniella from Venezuela on June 13, 2007 12:48 PM

On pages 173 - 174 of the first US edition of OotP, Moody describes the photograph of the original Order of the Phoenix to Harry and talks about the members depicted in the photo, but he does not say who took the photograph. Could the member of the order who took the photo be the one we have not yet met properly? Of course, the camera could have been operated by magical means, and we know in the muggle world that cameras have timers so as to make it possible for even the camera operator to be in the photo.

I agree with many of the previous posts that Aberforth is indeed the bartender of the Hog's Head, and have thought so since I first read about the DA's first meeting set up by Hermione at the Hog's Head in the OotP.

Posted by LKat from Colorado on June 16, 2007 09:09 AM

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