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Dumbledore and Grindelwald seal their blood pact.

A blood pact is a magically binding agreement between two parties.

It could be made by wizards cutting their hands with their wands and interlacing them. Upon doing this, two glowing drops of blood would raise from their palms and mingle into one. Thereafter, a vial would take shape around it, enclosing the drop, signifying that the deal was struck.[1] Once made, the vial was perhaps impossible to destroy,[2] though Albus Dumbledore was willing to try to destroy the one he had once made with Gellert Grindelwald.

Known uses

Dumbledore and Grindelwald

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Dumbledore seeing himself and Grindelwald in the Mirror of Erised, sealing their blood pact.

During their teenage years, Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald made a blood pact in a barn where they swore an oath never to fight each other.[1][2] By 1927, Grindelwald possessed the vial for this pact, which he used to prevent Dumbledore from trying to destroy it so he could fight him directly.[3] However, the pact was a double-edged sword, as while it protected Grindelwald from Dumbledore, it also prevented Grindelwald himself from personally eliminating Dumbledore, the greatest threat to his cause. Although it served a purpose, as it prevented Dumbledore from being able to personally fight Grindelwald, and vice versa, the latter was determined to find a way to kill his opponent.

Eventually, Grindelwald discovered that the extremely powerful Obscurus Credence Barebone had the potential and capability of killing Dumbledore and planned to use him as a weapon against his rival. The blood pact vial was stolen from Grindelwald, however, without his knowledge by a Niffler belonging to Newt Scamander during the Battle in Lestrange Family Mausoleum of 1927, at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France, although at the time Grindelwald already had Credence and began molding him against Dumbledore.[4] Scamander brought it to Dumbledore at Hogwarts shortly thereafter, so he could destroy it.[2]

Although it apparently took years, Dumbledore clearly managed to abolish the blood pact, allowing him to finally defeat Grindelwald in a legendary duel in 1945.

Behind the scenes

  • The nature of the restrictions of the pact or possible consequences for breaking it are unknown.
  • The timing of Gellert Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore's pact is unknown and, if made in advance, whether it should have prevented the three-way duel between Gellert, Albus, and Aberforth that resulted in the death of Ariana Dumbledore.
    • It is currently unknown, but possible that Ariana's death was a consequence of Albus breaking the blood pact by trying to defend Aberforth from Gellert.
  • Considering how Dumbledore seemed unsure that he could destroy the blood pact between him and Grindelwald in 1927, it is currently unknown how Dumbledore was able to ultimately fight Grindelwald in their legendary duel in 1945, 18 years later. It could be that Dumbledore thoroughly researched blood pacts for years, eventually finding a way to terminate his. This could explain why it took Dumbledore so long to finally engage Grindelwald in one-on-one magical combat (though Dumbledore's lingering love for Grindelwald, and his fear of Grindelwald being able to reveal to Dumbledore who truly had killed Ariana, were additional reasons).
  • In many cultures, blood is seen as a prevailing symbol of life. The tradition to affirm a contract, alliances or vow in blood, was regarded as making the deal irreversible in nature, and involved a solemn ritual that involved the mixing of two bloods as a sacred seal.

Appearances

See also

Notes and references