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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 27)

Chris from Chicago; If you go back a bit Dumbledore says to Harry as they walk in to slughorn's room "Something terrible has happened here." Meaning that he complately fell for Slughorns trick, before realising that the Dark Mark was not outside the house. He also says in one of the books (can't remember which) that he does not care if they take awya his Order of Merlin, just as long as they dont take him off the chocolate frog cards. His card has been known to reveal things before (PS Nicholas Flamel) why not again.

I think that Aberforth was impersonating Albus (Possibly Polyjuice potion.) and therefore didn't recognise the dragon blood on the walls.

Posted by Tarz from Sydney, Austalia on July 12, 2007 7:53 PM

Also, in book 6, when Voldemort is at Hogwarts asking Dumbledore for a job, Dumbledore knows that Voldemort's eaters are waiting for him at the Hog's Head. Voldemort says that Dumbledore is omniscient as ever, and Dumbledore replies that he is simply friendly with the local barman. This makes more sense if the barman is Aberforth

Posted by Colby from Colorado on July 13, 2007 10:29 AM

the theory that aberforth was impersonating albus is interesting. in HBP, when harry tells dumbledore he's gotten Slughorn's memory, dumbledore's face is frowning. could this be because aberforth is trying to remember what albus told him of the lessons?

Posted by arav from singapore on July 13, 2007 10:13 PM

arav from singapore;

I completely agree with you, Albus has definitely not been himself for most of HBP. I was wondering who it was impersonating him, until i read this article, and i'm convinced that it's Aberforth.

Question: Does this mean that Aberforth is ? instead of Albus?

Posted by Tarz from Sydney, australia on July 14, 2007 9:38 PM

what if dumbledore and aberforth exchanged souls?

Posted by Anonymous on July 14, 2007 9:55 PM

I'm not sure if Aberforth is the barman of the Hog's Head or not, but I think it might be a good possibility. Also, everyone is saying that Aberforth is the member of the order, but has anyone considered that maybe it might be Regulus Black?

Posted by Emily Davis from Santa Fe, New Mexico on July 15, 2007 4:45 PM

I'd like to also point out that Harry "recognized the barman who worked in the other Hogwarts pub, the Hog's Head" buying goods stolen from the Black house off of Mundungus. Many think that we caught a glimpse of the locket at the Black house; is Mundungus unknowingly selling a Horcrux to Aberforth Dumbledore?

Posted by Greg from Boston on July 15, 2007 8:13 PM


That is an awesome theory, its really unlikely but i think that its awesome all the same. Maybe theyre sharing the same soul?

Emily davis;

I personally think that Aberforth is the member of the order, (he was after all, in the previous order) and Regulus Black, is R.A.B and has his own reasons for destroying a piece of Voldemorts soul.

Posted by Tarz from Sydney, australia on July 16, 2007 02:40 AM

Aberforth is the barman at hog's head. J.K. confirmed it.

Posted by Anonymous on July 16, 2007 2:53 PM

I just thought of something. what if Aberforth is the person that learns magic later on in life? He is pretty old, and was illiterate. Maybe because he was illiterate he couldn't learn magic!

Posted by Anonymous on July 16, 2007 3:01 PM

Perhaps the reason Dumbledore questions whether Aberforth could read has less to do with illiteracy and more to do with poor eyesight. After all, being Dumbledore's brother, he would have to be pretty old. He may also choose to forego glasses for some reason or another.

Posted by Brad from Arlington, VA on July 16, 2007 10:06 PM

Just another link between Albus Dumbledore and the barman: a Rowlinguistic.
Albus is HOGwarts HEADmaster: The barman works at the Hog's Head.
It's so clever: JK really does make you smile at her witty use of language and subtle uses of philology!
Not sure how that feeds into the "Aberforth-is--but Albus-isn't-theory" and I'm not sure if I subscribe to it, but there you go.
Personally, Dumbledore and staying remains in tune with the rest of the series, in terms of plot structure, because it makes Harry just that much stronger and playes into the whole Harry is alone/is the Chosen One theme if all guardian-like figures leave him to stand by himself. And for that reason, I doubt JK off Harry. It's a slap in the face to his parents, Sirius and Dumbledore, who all d to save or protect Harry in some way, if Harry just s at the end.
But lets consider the idea that Dumbledore was one of Voldemort's horcruxes somehow (perhaps Marvolo's ring was protected by transfering Voldemort's soul to whoever tried to destroy it), and Dumbledore knew it, and so required Snape to him. Thus making Snape loyal to Dumbledore and not a Eater.
I'm also curious to find out if Dementor's have any importance with the Horcruxes - given that Dementor's suck out your soul as their particularly nasty way of (not)ing someone: Kiss of . The link between a horcrux (a part of someone's soul encased within an object) and a dementor (with the ability to remove souls from bos) seems well-defined if unexplained. There is much in the series that deals with the soul and these threads, i think, need to be drawn together.

Posted by Lauren from Australia on July 17, 2007 9:19 PM

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