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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 9)

JKR never said that Aberforth could not do magic. In fact he was caught doing that illegal charm on a goat. I assume he does magic. On every team there are those that do more undercover work, while others are more out the open. Clearly Dumbledore is out there, while i would suggest that his brother Aberforth was a covert operator. He's in the Order---just undercover.

As for the one who may do magic later in life, I am suggesting Dudley. We know Petunia not (as per JKR), but many of us have thought that even though their parents were muggles, somewhere in there history Lily and Petunia have magical blood. I think that this magic may trickle down to Dudley, and one day while under great duress (not enough sweets or food in general---lol) he may perform some magic. maybe to save himself? or save Petunia?

Posted by Heather from NJ on February 28, 2007 6:40 PM

Wow! This article almost entirely convinced me that the barman of the Hog's Head is really Aberforth! Everything makes sense now. I'm almost sure that we'll learn about Dumbledore's past with the help of Aberforth. The barman was at Dumbledore's , and it's likely that his own brother would go, so it makes a lot of sense. I don't think Aberforth is RAB because it seems unlikely for him to be called by his middle name. I'm just wondering why we don't see Dumbledore interract more with the barman if he's his brother. Aberforth won't be the guy learning magic late in life because he already practiced magic when he cast the charms on a goat.

Posted by Dumbledore's Fan on March 1, 2007 04:06 AM

Dudley do magic. I don't think so. We'll see pigs fly before anyone in the Dursley family does magic. But that's just my opion.

Posted by Jeff from Tennessee on March 1, 2007 07:10 AM

I don't think Aberforth is the one that do magic later in his life, because he already did some. My best bet would be Filch.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on March 1, 2007 10:16 AM

I agree with Jeff. I'd fall out of my chair if a Dursley ever did magic. I don't think anyone ever said Aberforth was dumb. He just doesn't appear to be very smart. This can be very helpful if you're trying to gather information. People don't realize how shrewd Aberforth may really be. It's part of his cover as a barman for the Order of the Phoenix. He doesn't do a lot of fancy magic either. The goat incidence is the only thing we know about and you didn't hear it from Aberforth. Why would a wizard barman wipe his glasses by hand? Aberforth runs a bar where unseemly charcters come not be seen and partake in criminal activies. Selling dragon eggs and the like. Kind of like Snape hanging out with known eaters! Pretty good cover for someone wanting to spy on Voldemort and his buds. Both Aberfoth and Snape I mean. Can you tell me anyone Dumbledore trusted more than Snape. Think about it! Snape knew everything. The only thing Snape didn't know about was Sirius after he fled on Buckbeak. Dumbledore probably didn't tell him this one piece of information because he knew that Snape LOATHED Sirius. Well sorry about that, I could talk about Snape all day and only just get started. I could go on about Aberforth too if only we knew more. I'm sure we'll learn a lot about him in DEATHLY HALLOWS!

Posted by D. L. from Knoxville, TN on March 1, 2007 10:42 AM

I do not think Dudley do any magic whatsoever. Jo was asked if there was more to Dudley than meets the eye and she said:

"No. [Laughter]. What you see is what you get. I am happy to say that he is definitely a character without much back story. He is just Dudley."

Posted by Michael Brinkley from Oceanside, CA on March 1, 2007 11:03 AM

While I don't think Dudley would do magic myself, everyone is in the spotlight at the moment, are they not? It would not do to dismiss any character lightly.

For a time Petunia was fingered until JKR said came out with a definite 'No' to her being a squib. However, I can't remember anyone asking if Petunia was an actual witch though, perhaps they did (?) my memory is dreadful so I would not be surprised.

Aberforth I think, is coming to the fore much more (although if you were not on the internet this entire thread of thought has largely passed you by) and as a mentor to Harry he is a definite possibility. Basically the focus of ly Hallows (people I think) be 1) Harry finding the Horcruxes and 2) ing/Being ed/Battling Voldemort and Aberforth would be a good way for JKR to expedite something that might otherwise take forever to come to light i.e. giving information to Harry. I still think he have the help of Dumbledore via the chocolate frog cards (they are mentioned regularly - including in OotP by (paraphrase):- Bill joking Dumbledore would not mind anything except being taken off the cards)

Posted by Marjorie from New Zealand on March 1, 2007 11:28 AM

Jo said that Petunia has never done magic and never . However, when asked if Petunia was a squib she said, "No, but that is very close." So, that gives reason to wonder about several things.

I have seen several people mention communication using Chocolate Frog cards. I may be wrong, but I seem to have a vague memory or someone commenting in the books that the images on the cards could not talk.

Posted by Michael Brinkley from Oceanside, CA on March 1, 2007 1:20 PM

In the Chamber of Secrets English edition on page 145, it reads, "A squib is someone who was born into a wizarding family but hasn't got any magic powers." From what we understand Lily and Petunia's parents are muggles. There for Petunia CAN'T be a squib because she was not born into a wizarding family.

Posted by Kyle from Kearney, Ne on March 1, 2007 3:50 PM

Kyle: It's confusing, because then where did Lily's magical powers come from? All her family besides her APPEAR to be muggles, but Lily's power had to come from somewhere, so can we be sure Petunia and the parents are all muggles?

Here's another interesting question: How do you classify Lily and Hermione (wizards from apparently muggle families)? They're the opposite of Squibs, aren't they?

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on March 1, 2007 4:55 PM

This is my first post here, but I've been lurking and reading for a while. I just love the ideas being exchanged here.

I like the idea of Albus and Aberforth being twins. The difficultly with this theory would be the blackened hand. But what if both of them had their hands injured? I'm reminded of the movie 'The Prestige'. Maybe both destroyed the ring together and had hands dammaged or, in order to make it so they could switch places as twins, Aberforths hand was damaged to match Albus's hand. Just a thought I had as I was reading.

Posted by Tim from Flagstaff, AZ on March 1, 2007 4:59 PM

The article misses one other time he see Aberforth. We see him talking to Mudungus right before Harry catches him with Sirius' goblets. So he's just sliding in and out of this ain't he? I have a feeling I'm going to like him. Even Moody thinks he's weird.

Posted by Nathan from Los Angeles on March 1, 2007 5:19 PM

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