- "Albus Dumbledore was never proud or vain; he could find something to value in anyone, however apparently insignificant or wretched, and I believe that his early losses endowed him with great humanity and sympathy. I shall miss his friendship more than I can say, but my loss is as nothing compared to the wizarding world's. That he was the most inspiring and the best loved of all Hogwarts headmasters cannot be in question. He died as he lived: working always for the greater good, and to his last hour, as willing to stretch out a hand to a small boy with dragon pox as he was on the day that I met him."
- —Elphias Doge[src]
Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore (Summer 1881 – June 1997) was the Transfiguration Professor, Deputy Head and later Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Order of Merlin, First Class; Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, and Grand Sorcerer. He was a half-blood wizard, the son of Percival and Kendra Dumbledore, and the elder brother of Aberforth and Ariana. His father died in Azkaban when Dumbledore was young, while his mother and sister were later accidentally killed. His early losses greatly affected him early on, even at his death, but in turn made him a better person. Albus Dumbledore was considered to be the most powerful wizard of his time. He was most famous for his defeat of Gellert Grindelwald, the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon's blood, and his work on alchemy with Nicolas Flamel.
It was through Dumbledore that resistance to the rise of Lord Voldemort was formed, as it was he who founded and led both the first and second Order of the Phoenix. Due to the fact that he had a keen mind and legendary power, Dumbledore became the only wizard that Voldemort ever feared. He was the master of the Elder Wand from 1945 until 1997 and considered by many as the greatest Headmaster to ever grace Hogwarts. As he was about to die by a cursed ring, he planned his own death with Severus Snape. Though he was no longer alive at the time, it was through Dumbledore's machinations that Voldemort was ultimately defeated and peace restored to the wizarding world. He is the only Headmaster that was laid to rest at Hogwarts. Albus Dumbledore's portrait still remains at Hogwarts.
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore was born to Kendra and Percival Dumbledore in the summer of 1881, in the mainly wizarding village of Mould-on-the-Wold. The early years of Dumbledore's life were marked by tragedy when his younger sister, Ariana Dumbledore, was attacked by a group of Muggle boys who saw her performing magic and were frightened by what they saw.
Ariana was left mentally and emotionally scarred by the event and her magical powers were left severely altered and would manifest themselves on rare occasions usually in random or destructive ways. Albus' father, Percival Dumbledore, was heartbroken and set out in search of his own brand of justice. He located the Muggle boys and attacked them, as they had his daughter. It is unknown exactly what he did to them, but it might be assumed he probably used the Cruciatus Curse on them as he was sentenced to life in Azkaban for the crime, and would later die there.
To escape the accusing eyes of the wizarding world, Kendra Dumbledore moved her young family to the village of Godric's Hollow which, like Mould-on-the-Wold, was a mainly wizarding village. Kendra rebuffed all her neighbours, with the eventual exception of Bathilda Bagshot, preferring to be left alone: and Albus learned not to mention his sister or father in public.
Dumbledore began attending Hogwarts in the autumn of 1892 and was Sorted into Gryffindor house. Dumbledore's first year was met with much whispering about his father's crime. Many of Albus' fellow students mistakenly believed that, like father like son, Albus too hated Muggles. Some praised his father's actions hoping to gain his trust, but they would not find favour with the young Dumbledore this way. Though later in his young life, under the influence of his love for Gellert Grindelwald, some anti-Muggle prejudice did develop, he soon saw the error of his intent.
He befriended a young Elphias Doge on his first day at Hogwarts; Doge was suffering from Dragon pox at the time, which discouraged most from approaching him. Dumbledore, however, demonstrated his uncommon kindness and willingness to look past the surface and find inner beauty in people. Dumbledore also became very well-connected during his Hogwarts years, making notable friends such as Nicolas Flamel, Bathilda Bagshot, and Griselda Marchbanks, who marked him in his N.E.W.T.s for Charms and Transfiguration and later recalled that he did things with a wand that she had never seen before. He also had several of his papers published during his studies.
During his school years, Dumbledore won the Barnabus Finkley Prize for Exceptional Spell-Casting, became the British Youth Representative to the Wizengamot, and received the gold medal for Ground-Breaking Contribution to the International Alchemical Conference in Cairo.
During his Fourth year, Dumbledore "accidentally" set the bed-curtains in his dormitory on fire (although he admitted he'd never liked them).
Tragedy and Friendship
After graduating from Hogwarts, Dumbledore planned to take the traditional "Grand Tour" of the world with his friend Doge. However tragedy ensued on the eve of the departure when Kendra Dumbledore was killed by an outburst of Ariana's uncontrollable magic, leaving Albus the head of his own broken family.
Albus returned to Godric's Hollow full of bitter resentment at his situation, feeling trapped and wasted. Fortune finally shone on Dumbledore in the form of Gellert Grindelwald, who was in Godric's Hollow to research the Deathly Hallows. Grindelwald was as talented and brilliant as Albus was. Dumbledore quickly became fascinated by Grindelwald's ideas of wizarding domination, obviously considering Grindelwald an unexpected new chance to show his own brilliance and come out of the local misery. Albus also harbored romantic feelings for the other boy, but regretted his relationship with Grindelwald later in life.
However, after two months, Albus' brother Aberforth confronted him over his neglect of Ariana over the past few weeks, telling him he couldn't carry out his plans with Grindelwald, as he would have to take her with him. Grindelwald then used the Cruciatus Curse on him. A violent duel erupted between the three teenage boys. Ariana herself tried to intervene in the fight, but couldn't due to her erratic abilities, and in the ensuing chaos was hit by a stray curse and died. No one knew whose curse it was that killed her, but Grindelwald fled immediately, as he already had a bad record back home, leaving the devastated Albus behind.
Career at Hogwarts
After Grindelwald's flight, Dumbledore returned to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as Professor of Transfiguration. He was offered the position of Minister of Magic several times, but he turned each chance down since he had learned that his desire for power was his weakness. He also served in recruiting students for the school. Most prominent among the students he recruited was Tom Riddle, who would eventually take on the name Lord Voldemort.
However, as Dumbledore was educating young wizards and witches, Gellert Grindelwald was still at large in Europe, building up an army, and had already found one of the Deathly Hallows, the Elder Wand, which he used to terrorize Europe. Dumbledore was afraid to face Grindelwald, not because he thought he couldn't defeat him, but because he was afraid that Grindelwald could reveal to him who had truly killed Ariana. However, by 1945 Dumbledore could no longer turn a blind eye to Grindelwald's deeds, and tracked his old friend down. He duelled Grindelwald in what later became known as the most legendary duel ever fought between wizards. Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald despite Grindelwald's possession of the Elder Wand. Grindelwald was imprisoned in Nurmengard and Dumbledore kept the Elder Wand for himself.
Alone of all the professors at Hogwarts, Dumbledore was not charmed by the natural charisma and cunning of Tom Riddle. In their first encounter, Dumbledore became immediately suspicious of his "obvious instincts for cruelty, secrecy and domination" and resolved to keep a close eye on him during his studies at the school. As Dumbledore was not so easily taken in by his charming façade, Riddle came to despise and fear him.
In 1943, several Muggle-born students were mysteriously petrified by a beast rumoured to have been released by the Heir of Slytherin from the mythical Chamber of Secrets. Indeed, the final victim of the beast, Myrtle, was actually killed; this act seemed likely to ensure the permanent closure of the school, forcing Riddle to go back to the Orphanage. While Dumbledore rightly suspected Riddle was behind the attacks, the aspiring Dark Wizard expertly framed Gryffindor student Rubeus Hagrid as the perpetrator. Riddle was able to pass off Hagrid's tamed Acromantula, Aragog, as the beast attacking students, resulting in the Gryffindor's expulsion and ensuring that Hogwarts remained open. Dumbledore was never able to uncover hard evidence implicating Riddle, however, he convinced the Headmaster to allow Hagrid to remain at the school as the groundskeeper-in-training.
After Armando Dippet left the post, Dumbledore was appointed Headmaster of Hogwarts. During this time, he was offered the position of Minister for Magic several times, but he turned down the offer every time, remembering how his quest for power had been his weakness in the past.
Shortly before the beginning of the First Wizarding War, Tom Riddle, now known exclusively as Lord Voldemort, approached Dumbledore with the same request he had proposed to Armando Dippet before him: to be allowed to return to Hogwarts as a teacher of Defence Against the Dark Arts. Dumbledore, who knew of Voldemort's illicit activities since he left Hogwarts, denied his application. This led to Voldemort cursing the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor, preventing anyone from holding the position for more than a single school year.
When Remus Lupin became of age to attend Hogwarts, he was afraid that he would be unable to due to being infected by the werewolf Fenrir Greyback. However, Dumbledore, being fair, states that as long as they take special precautions to the condition, there is no reason why Remus should be deprived of his education. As such, Dumbledore prepared the Shrieking Shack as a place for Remus' monthly transformation, with the Whomping Willow as guard. This would forever earn Dumbledore Remus' gratitude, as many other headmasters would simply forbid the boy from even setting foot into the school. When Severus Snape found out Remus' secret, Dumbledore forbade him from repeating it to anyone.
First Wizarding War
After Lord Voldemort started his first rise to power in 1970 Dumbledore founded the Order of the Phoenix, a secret organization of witches and wizards willing to risk their lives to fight Voldemort and his Death Eaters. As the only wizard Voldemort was ever truly afraid of he was the perfect leader of the organization and was a significant contributor to the fight against Voldemort.
Later on in the war, Dumbledore was approached by another person who also wanted a job at Hogwarts: Sybill Trelawney, who auditioned to become the new Professor for Divination, lessons that Dumbledore disliked and barely considered a part of necessary education for young wizards and witches. Dumbledore gave her a chance because she was the great-great granddaughter of the celebrated Seer Cassandra Trelawney. To his disappointment, when he was interviewing Sybill Trelawney at the Hog's Head, he came to the conclusion that she was not a real Seer. However, as Dumbledore was about to leave, Trelawney fell into a real trance and made a prophecy about the birth of the one that would have the power to vanquish the Dark Lord, who would be born to those "who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies". This astonished Dumbledore, but as it turned out, the Death Eater Severus Snape had overheard most of the prophecy, but had been caught in the act of spying and ejected from the tavern by Aberforth Dumbledore. Dumbledore hired Trelawney in order to protect her from the Death Eaters.
Later, Severus Snape approached Dumbledore, having already told Voldemort about the prophecy. Snape was shocked by the fact that Voldemort had concluded that the prophecy was about Harry Potter, the son of James Potter, and Snape's own loved childhood friend, Lily Evans. Dumbledore made arrangements to ensure the safety of the three; he advised them to stay hidden in their house in Godric's Hollow, which was protected by a Fidelius Charm. However, their Secret-Keeper (believed by Dumbledore and everyone else to be Sirius Black, but was in truth Peter Pettigrew) betrayed them, resulting in James and Lily's deaths on Voldemort's hands. However, as Voldemort attempted to kill Harry, the curse backfired due to Lily Potter's love for her son and destroyed his body, only keeping a part of his soul alive.
Dumbledore, who likely already knew by then that a part of Voldemort's soul had concealed itself within Harry, made sure that Harry would be kept safe with his family, the Dursley's, as his spells ensured that Voldemort could not harm Harry there as long as he could have a home with them. He convinced Snape to help him protect Harry although Dumbledore secretly planned to allow Voldemort to kill Harry in the end, which would destroy the piece of Voldemort's soul inside Harry. However, he also hoped to mould Harry into such a person who would willingly sacrifice his life for the greater good, allowing him the chance to choose between life and death in the end. Dumbledore gave Snape employment at Hogwarts as the Potions Master, and later defended Snape against the Ministry of Magic, who were rounding up and arresting remaining Death Eaters. Dumbledore attended many Death Eater trials, including that of the Lestranges and Barty Crouch, Jr.. He was also witness to Igor Karkaroff's testimony which secured his release from Azkaban in return for the names of fellow Death Eaters.
Shortly before the Potters' death, Dumbledore had borrowed something from James: his Cloak of Invisibility, something that Dumbledore saw was a part of the Deathly Hallows. Although Dumbledore had long given up his desire to unite the Hallows and become Master of Death, he could not resist the thought of studying the Cloak of Invisibility. But when they were killed, Dumbledore suddenly had two of the Deathly Hallows under his possession. Only the Resurrection Stone was left.
Between the Wars
Attempt to protect the Philosopher's Stone
- Dumbledore: "Harry, do you know why...Professor Quirrell couldn't bear to have you touch him? It was because of your mother. She sacrificed herself for you. And that kind of act leaves a mark... This kind of mark cannot be seen. It lives in your very skin."
- Harry: "What is it?"
- Dumbledore: "Love, Harry. Love."
- — Albus Dumbledore to Harry Potter[src]
Ten years later, Harry started attending Hogwarts, as happy as Dumbledore had hoped (with a few exceptions), and alive and well. That very year, Lord Voldemort formulated a plan to regain human form. Dumbledore and his friend Nicolas Flamel, the only known maker of the Philosopher's Stone, began to suspect that the disembodied Dark Lord was plotting to steal the invaluable object which would be capable of restoring him to full power. Dumbledore had the stone moved to a vault at Gringotts Wizarding Bank, but later had it moved to Hogwarts itself; coincidently, on the same day that an attempted break-in was made upon the vault. Dumbledore and several teachers at Hogwarts planted magical security methods to protect the stone. Dumbledore was behind the finale, and most powerful protection placed upon the stone. He enchanted the Mirror of Erised to contain the Philosopher's Stone, only to be removed by someone who did not intend to use or possess it, but only to keep it from the hands of evil. Dumbledore suspected that the Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor Quirinus Quirrell was behind the plot to steal the Philosopher's Stone, while working for the weakened Lord Voldemort, and as such he asked Snape to keep an eye on him.
In the end it was Harry who protected the Philosopher's Stone from Quirrell and Voldemort. Voldemort failed for the same reasons he had failed to kill Harry previously: due to Lily Potter's love for Harry. When Voldemort, who had possessed the body of Quirrell, ordered his servant to attack the young boy, the protection instilled within him at the point of his mother's death killed him and forced the Dark Lord's spirit to flee. When Harry recovered from the ordeal in the Hospital Wing, he questioned Dumbledore about why Voldemort had tried to kill him as a baby. Dumbledore did not believe that Harry was ready to know the truth about the prophecy Sybill Trelawney had made, and told him he would know when he was older.
Second opening of the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry: "You. You're the Heir of Slytherin. You're Voldemort."
- Tom Riddle: "Surely you didn't think I was going to keep my filthy Muggle father's name? No, I fashioned myself a new name, a name I knew that wizards everywhere would one day fear to speak, when I became the greatest sorcerer in the world!"
- Harry: "Albus Dumbledore is the greatest sorcerer in the world!"
- Tom Riddle: "Dumbledore's been driven out of this castle by the mere memory of me!"
- — Harry Potter displays his loyalty to Dumbledore in the Chamber of Secrets[src]
Shortly into the school year of 1992, students again fell under attack from a beast allegedly released from the Chamber of Secrets. Under the influence of Lucius Malfoy, the Hogwarts board of governors voted to remove Dumbledore from his position as Headmaster when he proved unable to uncover the culprit; Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge also had the groundskeeper Rubeus Hagrid taken to Azkaban, acting under the theory that it had been he who opened the Chamber in 1943.
It was later revealed that first year student, Ginny Weasley, had come into possession of Tom Riddle's Diary; a bewitched object capable of interacting with whoever wrote in it. The diary slowly drained the life force from Ginny, and when the memory it contained was nearly strong enough to take physical form, it had her journey into the heart of the Chamber. However, Harry Potter was able to find the Chamber himself, and there, defeated the beast that dwelled within; Salazar Slytherin's Basilisk. He also destroyed the diary with one of the basilisks fangs, saving Ginny and defeating the nearly fully formed memory of Riddle. Harry was only able to achieve these feats by displaying an extreme amount of loyalty to Dumbledore; for only someone truely loyal to the Headmaster would be capable of summoning his magical familiar, Fawkes, who provided the tools needed for Potter to defeat Riddle and the basilisk.
Dumbledore returned to his position as Headmaster after the memory of Riddle was revealed as being behind the attacks. However, Dumbledore was privately concerned by the phenomena that Harry described; a mere memory capable of taking physical form was unheard of. Dumbledore then began to suspect that Riddle's diary was in fact a Horcrux, and furthermore, considering the lack of care the Dark Lord had taken in protecting the diary, that he had created more than one.
Sirius Black's escape
- "Mysterious thing, time. Powerful, and when meddled with, dangerous. Sirius Black is in the topmost cell of the dark tower. You know the laws, Miss Granger. You must not be seen, and you would do well, I feel, to return before this last chime. If not, the consequences are too ghastly to discuss. If you succeed tonight, more than one innocent life may be spared. Three turns, should do it, I think. ...Oh, by the way. When in doubt, I find retracing my steps to be a wise place to begin. Good luck."
- —Albus Dumbledore helping Hermione in 1993.[src]
The year after, the Ministry of Magic took it upon itself to increase security around Hogwarts. Sirius Black, who had been sentenced to life in Azkaban for murdering Peter Pettigrew and several muggles with a single curse, had escaped from the wizarding prison. The Ministry of Magic, afraid that he was going after Harry, placed a large number of Dementors at Hogwarts to try to recapture him. Dumbledore reluctantly tolerated the Dementors on school grounds, but refused to allow them within the school itself.
As the school year drew to its close, it became clear to Harry and his friends that Sirius Black had been framed for his crimes. But Sirius was captured and sentenced to the Dementor's Kiss. Dumbledore believed Harry and his friends about Sirius's innocence, but was incapable of over-ruling the Ministry's decision. However, he told Hermione to use her Time-Turner to save Sirius. The rescue was a success, and the Dementors were removed from the grounds for their attack on Harry.
- "Cedric was a person who exemplified many of the qualities which distinguish Hufflepuff house, he was a good and loyal friend, a hard worker, he valued fair play. His death has affected you all, whether you knew him well or not."
- —Albus Dumbledore speaks about Cedric Diggory who lost his life during the Triwizard Tournament.[src]
Before the beginning of the new school year, the first Death Eater activity in years broke out at the Quidditch World Cup, causing Dumbledore to suspect that the second rise of Lord Voldemort was near. Later, Hogwarts played host to the first Triwizard Tournament since 1792. It was decided that only students of age would be allowed to enter their names to the Goblet of Fire, because of the dangers the tournament represented, and Dumbledore personally drew an Age Line around the magical artifact to ensure that this rule would be impossible to break. During this year, Dumbledore employed his old friend, Alastor Moody, an ex-Auror, as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor. Moody took this position only as a personal favour to Dumbledore.
However, unknown to anybody, a day before Moody was set to arrive at Hogwarts, he was overpowered by Death Eaters Barty Crouch, Jr. and Peter Pettigrew. On the orders of Voldemort, Crouch brewed Polyjuice Potion, which he used to impersonate Moody and take his place at Hogwarts. Crouch, in the guise of Moody, successfully fooled the Goblet of Fire and ensured that Harry Potter was chosen as the fourth champion of the Triwizard Tournament. Crouch secretly aided Potter throughout the tournament, so that in the finale task it would be him to first touch the Triwizard trophy; which he had bewitched to become a Portkey.
When Harry and fellow champion Cedric Diggory touched the trophy at the same time they were transported to the graveyard of Little Hangleton. There, Diggory was killed on the orders of Lord Voldemort, and Harry's blood was taken as the final ingredient in a potion the Dark Lord used to return to full power. Inexplicably, Harry was able to escape Voldemort and return to Hogwarts.
It was when Crouch, still in the guise of Moody, took Harry from out of Dumbledore's presence (something the real Moody would never have done in such a traumatic situation) that the headmaster realized that it was not Moody who had been at the school the whole year. Dumbledore, Snape and Minerva McGonagall quickly overpowered the Death Eater, who revealed the entirety of Voldemort's plan under the influence of Veritaserum.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge refused to believe that Lord Voldemort had returned to power and had Crouch subjected to the Dementor's Kiss before he could be forced to stand trial before the Wizengamot. In response to Fudge's stupidity, Dumbledore reconvened the Order of the Phoenix.
Tensions with the Ministry
- "Cedric Diggory was murdered by Lord Voldemort! The Ministry of Magic, does not wish me to tell you this. It is possible that some of your parents will be horrified that I have done so — either because they will not believe that Lord Voldemort has returned, or because they think I should not tell you so, young as you are. It is my belief however, that the truth is generally preferable to lies, and that any attempt to pretend that Cedric died as a result of an accident of some sort of blunder of his own, is an insult to his memory!"
- —Dumbledore defying the Ministry's wishes.[src]
The Ministry immediatly began to deny Dumbledore and Harry's claims that the Dark Lord had returned; in particular, Dumbledore was removed from his positions as Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot and Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards as punishment for his refusal to stay in line with Ministry propaganda. However, Dumbledore professed not to care, so long as the Ministry did not eliminate him from Chocolate Frog Cards. Before the beginning of the school year, Dumbledore was made Secret-Keeper of the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, and ensured that Harry Potter's friends did not divulge any information about the Order to him.
Dumbledore came to fear the connection that existed between the Dark Lord and Harry, and purposely avoided him throughout the school year. When signs of this connection became increasingly obvious, Dumbledore had Severus Snape attempt to teach Harry the art of Occlumency, rather than himself, as he feared that Voldemort may have been able to peer into his mind through his connection to Harry.
The Ministry also began to interfere at Hogwarts, appointing Senior Under-Secretary Dolores Umbridge as Defence Against the Dark Arts professor. Umbridge and Fudge slowly passed laws that siphoned the powers of the Headmaster, while increasing those of Umbridge herself, who had been granted the new position of High Inquisitor of Hogwarts. In response to Umbridge and the Ministry's refusal to teach practical defensive magic, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley created a group of students that met secretly to learn defence against the Dark Arts. This organization was known as Dumbledore's Army.
When this illegal society was uncovered, Dumbledore willingly took the blame; pointing out that it was named "Dumbledore's Army, not Potter's." While Fudge ordered his arrest, Dumbledore easily overpowered his would-be captors with a single spell, and went underground; working to aid the Order full time. In Dumbledore's stead, Umbridge was named Headmistress of Hogwarts.
Second Wizarding War
After Lord Voldemort came to power once again during the Triwizard Tournament in 1995 the claims of his return made by Harry Potter and Dumbledore were not believed and the two were slated as liars. However Dumbledore knew of his return and reformed the Order of the Phoenix, an alliance bought together during the First Wizarding War to fight against Voldemort and his followers, as he feared that the start of the Second Wizarding War was lingering and inevitable to happen.
Battle of the Department of Mysteries
Unfortunately, as Dumbledore had feared, Voldemort finally acted to use the connection between himself and Harry Potter. Using Legilimency, Voldemort created a vision that indicated that his beloved godfather, Sirius Black, had been captured by Voldemort personally and was being tortured by him within the Department of Mysteries. Harry, Ron, Hermione and their fellow Dumbledore's Army members Ginny Weasley, Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom then rushed to the Ministry in the hopes of saving Sirius.
However, the six students were ambushed by a group of Death Eaters, who hoped to force Harry to recover the record of the prophecy made about him and the Dark Lord; as only those who were the subjects of a prophecy could retrieve it, and Voldemort percieved that it was too dangerous to enter the heart of the Ministry of Magic himself. Fortunately, Severus Snape was able to alert the Order to this and several members, Sirius Black, Nymphadora Tonks, Alastor Moody, Remus Lupin and Kingsley Shacklebolt arrived in the Ministry where they did battle with the Death Eaters.
Near to the end of the battle, Dumbledore himself arrived and personally captured all the Death Eaters; excepting Bellatrix Lestrange, who killed Sirius and evaded a spell cast at her by the revered wizard. After binding the Death Eaters with an Anti-Disapparition Jinx, Dumbledore went to the atrium of the Ministry where Lestrange had been joined by Voldemort himself, who attempted to kill Harry.
Voldemort attempted to hit Harry with the Killing Curse, but the blow was prevented; Dumbledore quickly animated a golden statue to cover Harry and shield him from the curse. He animated the other statues from the Fountain of Magical Brethren to immobilize Bellatrix and alert Ministry officials. Subsequently an intense duel erupted between Dumbledore and Voldemort; arguably the two most powerful wizards of their time. Both wizards displayed a deep understanding of magic, though Voldemort was forced to flee the battle after Dumbledore imprisoned him within a dome of water.
As Voldemort fled, he briefly possessed Harry, hoping that Dumbledore would sacrifice the teenager in an attempt to kill him. However, as Harry dwelt on his grief for his late godfather, the power of his love forced Voldemort to release him. Voldemort took Bellatrix with him as he fled, but not before he was seen by Ministry officials, including Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge who was finally forced to admit that Dumbledore had been truthful in his assertions that the Dark Lord had returned, Dolores Umbridge was permanently removed from Hogwarts, and Dumbledore was reinstated as Head of Hogwarts.
Search for Horcruxes
Later on, Dumbledore made it his business to try and find out about Lord Voldemort's past. He did this by questioning people who had known him as a child and a teenager, and obtained Voldemort-related memories from them. He collected memories from Bob Ogden, Morfin Gaunt, Horace Slughorn and the house-elf Hokey. Using these memories, along with some of his own, he discovered that Voldemort had created six Horcruxes, and also figured out what they could be: Tom Riddle's Diary, Marvolo Gaunt's Ring, Helga Hufflepuff's Cup, Salazar Slytherin's Locket, the snake Nagini and an object of Rowena Ravenclaw's, later revealed to be her lost diadem.
During the summer of 1996, Dumbledore tracked one of Voldemort's Horcruxes to the house of the Gaunts. Dumbledore journeyed to Little Hangleton, where he found the remains of the shack hidden behind weeds and bush. Voldemort had placed many powerful enchantments around the former home of his ancestors, however, Dumbledore proved skillful enough to pass through them unharmed. When he found the Horcrux, a ring formerly owned by Marvolo Gaunt, he saw that the stone in the ring was one of the Deathly Hallows, the Resurrection Stone. This stone, according to legend, had the power to revive the dead (but in reality, a spiritual form of the person was brought back instead). His desire to see his family overrode his common sense for just a moment and he placed the ring on his finger, forgetting that the ring had been cursed by Voldemort. The curse quickly spread, and were it not for his own prodigious talents, he would have died within moments. Despite this injury, Dumbledore proceeded to destroy the ring, and with it, a piece of Voldemort's soul.
Dumbledore quickly returned to Hogwarts where the skills of Severus Snape managed to trap the curse in Dumbledore's hand. However, both Snape and Dumbledore knew that it would eventually spread to the rest of his body. Knowing that the curse would kill him, Dumbledore asked Snape, that when the time came, that he be the one to end Dumbledore's life; rather than Draco Malfoy, who had been given the task of assassinating the headmaster, in order to spare Draco's soul from being torn. Snape later objected to the plan, but was reminded by Dumbledore that it was the only way to spare him from great suffering.
Throughout the 1996–1997 school year, Dumbledore passed on certain pieces of information to Harry Potter that would be important for the boy in his quest to destroy the Dark Lord. Dumbledore held private lessons with Harry, revealing in them much of what he had learnt about Voldemort's past, life and Horcruxes.
After much searching, Dumbledore eventually tracked another of Voldemort's Horcruxes to a cave that as a young orphan, he had once visited. As he had promised, Dumbledore allowed Harry Potter to accompany him to the cave and help destroy the Horcrux. Setting off from Hogwarts in the evening, he and Harry Potter Apparated to just outside the cave, being unable to enter directly due to its protective enchantments. Once inside, Dumbledore located the Horcrux's second line of defence; a hidden doorway which only opened when it received an offering of blood. They next found themselves in a vast chamber containing an underground lake, with a solitary island at its centre from which a faint green light was visible. After a failed attempt by Harry at Summoning the Horcrux, Dumbledore located a carefully concealed boat that would allow them safe passage across the lake. During the crossing, Harry learned of the Horcrux's third line of defence; the lake was filled with Inferi, which would attack anyone who touched the lake's water. Dumbledore instructed Harry on the use of fire as the weapon of choice against the Inferi, should it become necessary.
Arriving at the small island, they found a basin filled with glowing green potion. This last defence could not be removed by Vanishing or being scooped out; someone would have to drink it to get to the Horcrux that lay within. Dumbledore ordered Harry to help him drink all of the potion, no matter what effects it caused, even if Harry had to force it down Dumbledore's throat. Dumbledore drank and he saw a vision of the duel between him Gellert Grindelwald, and Aberforth Dumbledore and Ariana's death. Also his insides burned and he had extreme thirst. He even shouted "Kill me!" When they finally got the locket, Harry attempted to summon water for Dumbledore with an Aguamenti charm, but this proved ineffective as the water disappeared before Dumbledore could drink it. In desperation, Harry filled a cup with water from the lake. After Dumbledore drank it, the Inferi climbed up from the lake and attempted to kill them. Harry panicked and attempted to fight back with a multitude of spells and curses, including Impedimenta and Sectumsempra, but none of them worked since the Inferi were too numerous and did not feel pain. Dumbledore, having regained consciousness, created a ring of fire around them that repelled the Inferi, driving them back into the lake while he and Harry escaped in the boat.
Harry used a small cut on his arm to reopen the hidden doorway, and once outside the cave they Disapparated back to Hogsmeade. They would find no rest there, however, as the Battle of the Astronomy Tower had already begun. Harry and Dumbledore took brooms from behind Madam Rosmerta's bar and flew to the Astronomy Tower.
Battle of the Astronomy Tower and death
- —Dumbledore pleads with Snape to end his life.
Once at the Astronomy Tower, Dumbledore and an invisibility-cloaked Harry were confronted by Draco Malfoy, and before Harry could reveal himself, Dumbledore immobilized him with a silent Full Body-Bind Curse. Malfoy disarmed Dumbledore, and admitted that he, Draco, was behind the series of attacks on Hogwarts students, and that Voldemort had ordered him to kill Dumbledore. Dumbledore revealed that he knew of Draco's mission and of the attempts on his life with the Opal necklace and poisoned mead, but allowed him to remain in Hogwarts for knowing Voldemort would kill him if he was exposed and expelled. Dumbledore offered Draco protection, and promised to hide Draco and his mother where Voldemort would never find them.
Draco ultimately could not bring himself to kill the Headmaster, even after the arrival and encouragement of several Death Eaters, whom were smuggled into the castle by Draco. However, Snape — who had been called by Filius Flitwick to assist the Order of the Phoenix — arrived into the Tower and after Dumbledore pleaded with him, in a way that did not expose Snape's true intentions, cast the Killing Curse, killing the Headmaster and blasting his body off the tower to the ground below.
- "To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure. "
- —Albus Dumbledore[src]
After his death, Dumbledore's reputation was smeared somewhat by Rita Skeeter, who wrote an insulting biography called The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore. This depicted him in several nasty ways, including suggesting that he delayed his attack on Gellert Grindelwald because he still held lingering affection for him.
Despite dying, this was not the last time that Harry saw Dumbledore. After finding out he was one of Voldemort's Horcruxes (Voldemort having accidentally made him one the night he tried to kill him), Harry bravely walked into Voldemort's camp to be killed. But Voldemort's Killing Curse once again failed to kill Harry.
Instead, Harry entered a limbo state where he spoke with Dumbledore's spirit. Dumbledore explained to Harry everything he had not told him when he was alive: the Deathly Hallows, his friendship with Gellert Grindelwald, and a number of other things.
After he was done explaining everything, Dumbledore and Harry parted ways: Harry returning to the mortal world and Dumbledore boarded a train, and left the world forever. He was the only Headmaster to be laid to rest on the Hogwarts grounds. His portrait also remained at Hogwarts. Harry and Ginny Potter's second son was named Albus Severus Potter, after Dumbledore and Severus Snape.
Albus Dumbledore was tall and thin, with long silver hair and a long beard (auburn in his earlier years). He had brilliant blue eyes, which usually twinkled with kindness and mischief. During the few times he became angry, his eyes would burn with a cold blue fire that made even Lord Voldemort falter. His eyes were also described as 'piercing' the viewer.
Dumbledore had a long and crooked nose, which looked as if it had been broken at least twice. (It is speculated that Aberforth Dumbledore's punch during Ariana Dumbledore's funeral may have played a role in shaping Dumbledore's nose.) His fingers were also long and skilled with holding a wand. He wore half-moon spectacles and a colourful array of robes, from purple to crimson red. He once claimed to have a scar above his left knee in the precise shape of a map of the London Underground, whether or not he actually does is unknown.
Personality and traits
- Albus Dumbledore: "Welcome! Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you!"
- Harry Potter: "Is he — a bit mad?"
- Percy Weasley: "Mad? He's a genius! Best wizard in the world! But he is a bit mad, yes."
- — Harry Potter and Percy Weasley about Albus Dumbledore.[src]
Considered the most powerful wizard in the world, Dumbledore was benevolent and eccentric, an archetypal good wizard in the style of Merlin. He almost constantly gave off and aura of calmness and composure, rarely displaying intense emotions of anger or fear; instead he appeared content and whimsical throughout. Yet despite his benign nature, it is said that Albus Dumbledore was the only wizard Lord Voldemort ever truly feared.
Dumbledore's Chocolate Frog card mentions that he enjoyed chamber music and ten-pin bowling. The card also reveals that he had a sweet tooth for treats both magical and non-magical. He frequently set the password for the entrance to the Headmaster's office to the name of one of his favourite sweets. However, he disliked Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans after coming across a vomit-flavoured bean in his youth. He was a fan of knitting patterns and once told Harry that one could never have enough woollen socks. His favourite flavour of jam was raspberry[HP6].
As a supremely talented wizard, Dumbledore showed numerous examples of extraordinary powers. His abilities as a wizard were combined with a kind of cunning and subtlety of mind that allowed him to comprehend human nature and turn the better aspects of humanity (trust, love, and friendship) to Voldemort's disadvantage in particular. Yet despite his many talents and accomplishments, Dumbledore was never in the least arrogant, self-important or pompous and in this he stands above the other great wizards of his day. Despite this fact, however, Dumbledore was quite aware of the fact that his power outmatched everyone else's and would not hesitate to remind others of this fact, if the situation demanded it.
- Harry: "But you think you're right?"
- Albus Dumbledore: "Naturally I do, but as I have already proven to you, I make mistakes like the next man. In fact, being — forgive me — rather cleverer than most men, my mistakes tend to be correspondingly huger."
- — Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore discussing Dumbledore's mistakes.[src]
Dumbledore believed in the good in everyone and insisted on giving second chances. For example, he hired Sybill Trelawney as a Divination professor even though her abilities as a seer were scant because he recognized a real, if highly sporadic, gift of prophecy. Similarly, he hired Rubeus Hagrid as Hogwarts Gamekeeper after he was expelled because he had no family to turn to. Additionally, Remus Lupin, a werewolf, was given education, and later temporary employment, at Hogwarts despite the potential backlash from the public, if they were to find out. Dumbledore believed each of these people had goodness within them and encouraged their goodness to come out.
His knowledge of people's true personality appears to go beyond being simply a good judge of character. Despite Snape's background as a Death Eater, and despite strong incriminating evidence, Dumbledore trusted him with many important tasks. Dumbledore also allowed Draco Malfoy to remain in school, wanting to save him from Voldemort, and offered him mercy and protection, despite the pure-blood supremacist student tried to kill him and harmed many others in the attempts.
In addition to Dumbledore's great trust in the power of the human spirit, he also had a deep understanding of the power of love. This perhaps stemmed from his "great tragedy" of his affections for Gellert Grindelwald, whom Dumbledore not only loved, but greatly admired for his innovative ideas.
Dumbledore showed Petunia Dursley love when, during her childhood, he sent her a personal letter tenderly explaining why she would not be admitted to Hogwarts along with her sister Lily Evans. It is exceptional that a Headmaster would send a Muggle girl such a gesture of kindness.
Although he tells Harry that what he saw in the Mirror of Erised is himself holding a pair of thick socks, something no one ever gives him as a present, what Dumbledore saw is in fact his mother and sister living, his father free and living, and his brother on once more established terms with him . Dumbledore's sorrow for the pain in his family reveals his great love for them.
Dumbledore admits to Harry that he has also withheld from him knowledge of Sybill Trelawney's prophecy which marked Harry as the only wizard who could destroy Voldemort. He did so out of love, in an effort to protect Harry from fear in his childhood. This was the same reason for which he hid Harry's true identity from him during his early life with the Dursleys.
Albus Dumbledore had a passion for teaching and studying, which he reflected throughout his years at Hogwarts school. His ambition was not to join the Ministry of Magic, as many thought he would do, but to teach and become a professor. He encouraged students to develop a thirst for knowledge and was seen by many as the best Headmaster Hogwarts had ever seen.
Dumbledore is known for his odd displays of his whimsical sense of humour. This humour is sometimes considered inappropriate by some of the other teachers, such as Professor Minerva McGonagall, who is serious at all times. Dumbledore uses humour to include people and make them feel more comfortable in his presence.
- "Even I, Albus Dumbledore, would find it easiest to refuse the Invisibility Cloak; which only goes to show that, clever as I am, I remain just as big a fool as anyone else."
- —Albus Dumbledore[src]
Dumbledore's personality flaw, which he explained to Harry in 1998[HP7], was his desire for power. Although he only ever desired to use this power for good, he found that those best suited for power are those who do not desire it. The prime example of his desire for power was when he and Gellert Grindelwald made plans one summer to take over the Muggle world, despite his own misgivings, and re-establish wizards as the natural rulers of the world. Dumbledore fell from this fantasy after his beloved sister Ariana Dumbledore was killed during a duel between himself, Aberforth Dumbledore, and Grindelwald.
Dumbledore was also haunted by his sad family life, most particularly the death of his sister, which would ultimately lead to his death. When he discovered Marvolo Gaunt's Ring and realised it contained the Resurrection Stone, he was overwhelmed by his desire to see the deceased members of his family once more. Completely forgetting that the Ring had become a Horcrux, and so was likely to be cursed, Dumbledore put it on, triggering the curse that would have killed him, had he not asked Severus Snape to make it quick for him.
Magical powers and abilities
- Dolores Umbridge: "But I daresay the Ministry of Magic will track him down soon enough..."
- Griselda Marchbanks: "I doubt it, not if Dumbledore doesn't want to be found! I should know... Examined him personally in Transfiguration and Charms when he did N.E.W.T.s... did things with a wand I'd never seen before..."
- — Dolores Umbridge and Griselda Marchbanks discussing Dumbledore.[src]
- Magic Mastery: Albus Dumbledore was considered by many to be the most powerful wizard of his time and he lived up to this title on many occasions. After his first year at Hogwarts he was considered nothing more or less than the most gifted student the school would ever see. Dumbledore was known to be prodigiously talented magically, and was admittedly more skilful than the second most powerful Dark Wizard of all time Gellert Grindelwald. He was also the only wizard to ever be feared by the greatest Dark Wizard of all time, Lord Voldemort, who he forced into retreat during their only known duel (this act was aided by Dumbledore's wielding of the Elder Wand, unknown to Voldemort at the time, although it is unlikely that Dumbledore was dueling with intent to kill, as he was already aware Voldemort would have survived due to his Horcruxes) Some of Dumbledore's many talents were:
- Patronus Messaging: Dumbledore devised a method of sending messages via Patronus which enabled the caster to speak with their own voice through their Patronus, a skill he taught only to members of the Order of the Phoenix.
- Genius-level intellect: Dumbledore was not only the most powerful wizard (arguable only when compared to Lord Voldemort) of his time, but was also a genius who possessed a superior intellect, capable of devising an elaborate master plan to defeat the seemingly unbeatable Lord Voldemort. This was seen quite predominantly during the events surrounding the Second Wizarding War, when Dumbledore, through various strategical plans and an almost Machiavellian manipulation of key persons (such as Severus Snape) before his death, is able to set the path for Harry Potter to locate Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes. His intellect, or at least his strategic thinking, is one of his key talents. His vast and extensive knowledge on subjects such as Love and his acceptance that there are worse things than death makes him wiser than Voldemort.
- Master Duelist: Dumbledore was an exceptionally skilled duellist, capable of capturing several Death Eaters at once and duelling Lord Voldemort during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. But his duelling skills were shown at their best when he defeated Gellert Grindelwald, who was wielding the Elder Wand (eyewitnesses claimed it was the greatest wizard duel ever fought).
- Invisibility: He claimed the ability to render himself invisible without the use of an Invisibility cloak. To achieve such a state, Dumbledore merely used an extremely powerful Disillusionment Charm. He was also capable of using Homenum Revelio, wandlessly and nonverbally to detect the presence of people who were invisible, even if they were under an Invisibility Cloak.
- Occlumency/Legilimency Expert: Dumbledore was also skilled in Occlumency and Legilimency. Many people, particularly Harry Potter, often noted that Dumbledore sometimes seemed to see right into their mind and correctly decipher what they were thinking. Some people argue that this ability to decipher people's thoughts is merely due to Dumbledore's vast experience and superior intellect, rather than any means of magic. Some of Lord Voldemort's followers, such as Barty Crouch Jr., were also skilled enough Occlumens to hide their thoughts from him.
- Wandless/Non-Verbal Magic Expert: He could produce magic without the use of a wand, and was highly skilled at nonverbal magic. While some people, such as Antonin Dolohov, as seen during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, seemed to produce lesser magic when using it non-verbally, Dumbledore was capable of extraordinary feats such as conjuring hundreds of squishy purple sleeping bags to accommodate the students of Hogwarts, without saying a word. While in the Horcrux cave, Dumbledore proved capable of foiling the defences set up by Lord Voldemort, using wandless magic. He also performed the extraordinary spell Arresto Momentum, without a wand, to save Harry from falling to his death at the hands of the Dementors. He could also light and put out candles, both with the wave of his hand.
- Signature spells: Dumbledore was known for having created unique magical spells and devices. In particular he was the only known user of a spell that stuns several people at once, bearing the sound of a gunshot; he also used a spell in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries to yank a fleeing Death Eater back to him with zero physical effort.
- Fire Magic Affinity: His weapon of choice appeared to be fire. In his duel against Voldemort he used a fiery rope; when he displayed his Wizarding powers to young Tom Riddle, he did so by setting Riddle's wardrobe on fire, without actually burning anything; he once used a vast amount of fire to hold off a throng of Inferi. He is known to be able to conjure Gubraithian Fire. His magical familiar, Fawkes, is a phoenix, which dies and is reborn in flames. Although Dumbledore favored fire, during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries he used water to encase Voldemort; that was possibly because he did not want to harm Voldemort, but merely protect Harry.
- Magical Multilingualist: Among all these talents, Dumbledore also possesses the ability to speak Mermish[HP4] and Gobbledegook. He can recognize Parseltongue, the language of snakes, as he demonstrates while he and Harry are inside Bob Ogden's stored memory; he is able to quote verbatim a Parseltongue phrase uttered by Morfin Gaunt in a later stored memory.[HP6]
- Potioneer: Dumbledore is also proficient at Potions, as, according to the obituary written by Elphias Doge, his papers were published in The Practical Potioneer.
- Charms master: He is known to be a master in Charms, as, his papers were published in Achievements in Charming, and he is able to perform the extremely complex Patronus Charm.
Other notable capabilities
While he was by no means vain, Dumbledore also exhibited no false modesty, readily acknowledging that he was unusually intelligent and an exceptionally powerful wizard. He admitted that he made the occasional mistake, and since he was rather more clever than most, his mistakes tended to be "correspondingly huger".
Albus Dumbledore was a famous alchemist who has worked with Nicolas Flamel, the only known maker of the Philosopher's Stone and was trusted in ensuring that this stone was well protected. Dumbledore was credited with discovering the twelve uses of dragon's blood. He was also capable of conjuring a Patronus, one that took the form of a phoenix.
Dumbledore became the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot and Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards. He was removed from these posts during his conflict with the Ministry of Magic under Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge, but was reinstated when the Ministry was forced to concede that he had correctly warned that Voldemort had returned. He holds the Order of Merlin, First Class, for Grand Sorcery.
- "Do not misunderstand me. I loved them. I loved my parents, I loved my brother and my sister, but I was selfish"
- —Albus Dumbledore[src]
Albus' relationship with his parents is not very well known. His father was imprisoned in Azkaban after he used illegal spells on three muggle boys who attacked Ariana. His mother was described as a good woman, and when Harry saw a photo of her he thought she could be of Native American descent. However, she was accidentally killed by Ariana. Albus was devastated by her death. It seems as though Albus did not hold his father in high regard, as he was convicted of using spells on muggles.
- "They say he feared me, and perhaps he did, but less, I think, than I feared him... You see, I never knew which of us, in that last, horrific fight, had actually cast the curse that killed my sister... I dreaded beyond all things the knowledge that it had been I who brought about her death, not merely through my arrogance and stupidity, but that I actually struck the blow that snuffed out her life. I think he knew it, I think he knew what frightened me."
- —Albus Dumbledore to Harry Potter about his guilt over Ariana's death[src]
Albus Dumbledore was Ariana Dumbledore's eldest brother, and was not nearly as close to his younger siblings as they were to each other. Although he loved his younger sister, Albus was resentful when he had to take responsibility for her after their mother's death, which forced him to stay at home, and thus abandon his ambitious plans. When he and Gellert Grindelwald made plans to subjugate Muggles and take power in the wizarding world, Albus planned to bring Ariana with them, but Aberforth pointed out that she was in no state to go. This launched a three-way duel between the brothers and Grindelwald, and Ariana was accidentally killed in the fray. For the rest of his life, Albus lived with guilt over the part he played in her death, and with the fear that it had been him to kill her.
- "They were not alike: Aberforth was never bookish and, unlike Albus, preferred to settle arguments by dueling rather than through reasoned discussion... In fairness to Aberforth, it must be admitted that living in Albus' shadow cannot have been an altogether comfortable experience."
- —Description of the Dumbledore brothers[src]
Aberforth Dumbledore was Albus' younger brother. The two brothers were not close to each other and became worse after the tragic death of Ariana. Albus was heartbroken and Aberforth blamed him for Ariana's death. Aberforth only changed his opinions of his brother when Harry Potter helped him realized what Albus' intention really was. He participated in the Battle of Hogwarts, in which he helped the students and faculty of Hogwarts and the Hogsmeade residents to protect the school where Albus served as Headmaster for almost half of his lifetime, from Lord Voldemort, as well as to allow Harry time to find what he thought to be the last Horcrux.
After their sister's death, Albus came to believe that Aberforth was a better person than he was. But Harry did not believe that.
- "Did I know, in my heart of hearts, what Gellert Grindelwald was? I think I did, but I closed my eyes."
- —Albus Dumbledore to Harry Potter, about his friendship with Gellert Grindelwald[src]
Dumbledore first met Gellert Grindelwald when he was seventeen. They were introduced by Grindelwald's great aunt, Bathilda Bagshot. They got along almost instantly, according to Bagshot. They were ultimately united by their desire to have the Deathly Hallows. It has been stated that Dumbledore had romantic feelings towards Grindelwald, although it is unsure whether or not Grindelwald shared this affection. They got along for two months until Aberforth, Dumbledore's brother, confronted them over the neglect of Ariana Dumbledore. Grindelwald lost control during the argument and attacked Aberforth. Dumbledore rushed forward to defend his brother, and during the duel his sister, Ariana was killed. Grindelwald fled and Dumbledore ended their friendship.
Grindelwald spent a number of years gaining power in Europe while Dumbledore spent his time teaching young wizards at Hogwarts. While Grindelwald and his army terrorized Europe, Dumbledore refused to face him out of fear that Grindelwald knew who had really killed Ariana. But after five years, Dumbledore could no longer stand idly by, and went after his old friend. When Dumbledore found him, they engaged in the legendary duel of 1945, eyewitnesses said no greater duel was ever fought between wizards. Dumbledore won in the end, and took possession of the Elder Wand and imprisoned Grindelwald in his own prison Nurmengard.
Years later in 1998, Grindelwald refused to give any information to Lord Voldemort about the Elder Wand despite the fact that he was imprisoned, wandless and face-to-face with the only Dark Wizard ever considered more powerful than himself. This seems to indicate that Grindelwald no longer held with the views of those who practised the Dark Arts. It was speculated by Harry Potter that Grindelwald had given his life to prevent Voldemort from desecrating Dumbledore's tomb.
Tom Marvolo Riddle (Lord Voldemort)
- "The time is long gone when I could frighten you with a buring wardrobe and force you to make repayment for your crimes. But I wish I could, Tom, I wish I could..."
- —Albus Dumbledore[src]
Dumbledore personally approached Mrs. Cole, the caretaker of the orphanage in which Tom Riddle resided to enroll the latter in Hogwarts. Dumbledore met Tom Riddle for the first time there and apparently was unaware that he had just met the most dangerous Dark Wizard of all time. He was however intrigued by Tom Riddle as his powers were surprisingly well-developed by such a young wizard who had begun to use them consciously. Dumbledore was also disturbed by the fact that Tom was a Parselmouth, a rare ability supposedly connected with the Dark Arts, although not as much as the fact that Tom had obvious instincts for cruelty, secrecy and domination. Dumbledore then returned to Hogwarts intending to keep an eye upon Tom Riddle, as he was alone and friendless, a dangerous situation.
When then-headmaster Armando Dippet confided in Dumbledore about Tom Riddle approaching him about staying on after graduation to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts — which he only refused due to Tom's age, suggesting he ask again in a few years — Dumbledore advised him against it. Though he explained none of his reasons to Professor Dippet, for the headmaster was just as charmed by Tom as the other professors, Dumbledore felt uneasy about the request and did not want Riddle back at Hogwarts in a position of power.
- "Yes, I certainly do know that you have seen and done much since leaving us. Rumours of your doings have reached your old school, Tom. I should be sorry to believe half of them."
- —Albus Dumbledore[src]
While Dumbledore was aware of Tom Riddle's transformation and rise to power, he still maintained contact with the latter, even allowing him to visit the school for a supposed job interview. Although Voldemort certainly wanted the job for various reasons — which was proven later when the position ended up cursed following Dumbledore's refusal — the headmaster correctly suspected him of coming for other reasons as well. In fact, Dumbledore intended to discuss with Tom his ulterior motives and to gently make him repent for his crimes.
It was clear that Dumbledore viewed Tom Riddle as a former student of his to be pitied for his childhood, and that he never understood love, as he had never received any. Dumbledore understood the evil in Tom as a result from a string of unfortunate events and performed intensive research on him, eventually discovering his Horcruxes. After Riddle's transformation into Lord Voldemort, contrary to the rest of the wizarding community's fear of saying the Dark Lord's name, Dumbledore, as the only person Voldemort (secretly) feared, refused to be intimidated by the Dark Lord, referring to him as "Voldemort" to others and as "Tom" in conversation with Voldemort himself, a subtle but steadfast refusal to allow Lord Voldemort to dictate the terms of their relationship and a trait that would later be inherited by Harry Potter.
In 1996, Dumbledore and Voldemort met face to face in the Ministry of Magic. Voldemort started a deadly duel during which he tried hard to murder his former teacher. Dumbledore was able to block Voldemort's spells, and the pair fought to a draw. A short while later, Dumbledore became aware of Voldemort's plan to use Draco Malfoy to kill him. Dumbledore requested to Snape that he should be the one to kill him instead of Malfoy. Despite dying to Snape in 1997, Dumbledore's legacy allowed Harry Potter to defeat Voldemort once and for all in 1998.
Dumbledore was well known for his steadfast championing of Harry Potter. It was Dumbledore who arranged for the infant Harry to be rescued from the cottage at Godric's Hollow where Harry's parents had been murdered. He then left Harry in the care of Harry's Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon in Surrey. Throughout Harry's years at Hogwarts, Dumbledore provided him with protection and guidance, and supplemented Harry's schooling with additional training against the forces of Darkness.
After the Return of the Dark Lord, Dumbledore, in an effort to save Harry more pain, refused to disclose certain details to the young wizard. This caused some friction between the two. When Dumbledore explained to Harry that he had done so, because he cared a great deal for him, Harry was still angry but was more understanding.
By Harry's sixth year, Albus Dumbledore took on the role of providing Harry with additional insights into the origins of Lord Voldemort, as Voldemort's power was growing enormously stronger. He did this largely through the use of the Pensieve. He entrusted Harry with the task of getting a final, crucial memory from Horace Slughorn regarding Voldemort's knowledge of Horcruxes.
Harry and Dumbledore forged a strong mentor-pupil bond, comparable to that between two close family members (most likely case of a grandfather-grandson), in spite of the century in age difference. Harry felt comfortable enough around the impressive, intimidating figure of Dumbledore to shout at him in frustration, cry out of grief, admit to his fears, and entrust him with his life.
Before the final event of the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry was struck by the Killing Curse and nearly died back in the Forbidden Forest, his soul went to a place resembling King's Cross Station, where Dumbledore was waiting to speak with him. The fact that Dumbledore himself was there to meet Harry in a place between life and death attests to the bond of fellowship between them. After the war, Harry also named his second son after Dumbledore.
- "I would trust Hagrid with my life."
- —Albus Dumbledore[src]
Dumbledore displays an innate trust of Rubeus Hagrid in every situation starting from when Hagrid attended Hogwarts. Dumbledore believes that Hagrid did not open the Chamber of Secrets and asks the former Headmaster Armando Dippet to train Hagrid as the gamekeeper so he could stay. Since that time Dumbledore has shown many examples of his faith in Hagrid. For example, Hagrid is the one tasked to protect Harry Potter as he is brought to live with the Dursleys, in addition he is asked to bring the Philosopher's Stone back from Gringotts. Dumbledore also sends Hagrid on other important missions, such as attempting to persuade the giants to join the side of the Order of the Phoenix. Hagrid was also devastated by Dumbledore's death in 1997. He was also right about telling Harry that Snape was on Dumbledore's side.
Minerva McGonagall knew Dumbledore for the majority of her life. She attended Hogwarts as a student during Dumbledore's time as the Transfiguration Professor and later went on to replace him when he took the position of Head of the school. She served for many years as his Deputy Headmistress, standing in for him and even replacing him as standing Headmistress on several occasions.
Minerva had great faith in Dumbledore, placing great stock in the differences between him and Voldemort. However, she did not hesitate to disagree with him when she felt the need to do so. She was extremely opposed to his decision to place Harry Potter with Petunia Dursley and her family, calling them the "worst sort of Muggles imaginable." She also served more than once to bring Dumbledore back on track when he became distracted from the matter currently at hand.
Minerva had no qualms about displaying her loyalty to Dumbledore. When Cornelius Fudge brought Aurors to arrest Dumbledore in 1996, she boldly stepped forward and announced her intention to fight the Aurors on his behalf. She only stepped back at Dumbledore's insistence when he reminded her that Hogwarts and her students would need her in his absence.
Minerva was devastated when Dumbledore was killed in 1997 during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, and attended his funeral. A year later, when Harry Potter returned to Hogwarts on a mission given to him by Dumbledore, she did not question the decision of her dead friend, but immediately sought to provide whatever assistance she could.
Severus Snape first met Dumbledore as a student at Hogwarts. After he became a Death Eater, he sought Dumbledore and begged him to save Lily Evans from Lord Voldemort. In return, he would become a double-agent for Dumbledore. However, despite Dumbledore and the Order's attempts to save them, Lily was killed by Voldemort, along with her husband. Snape was devastated by her loss, and became loyal to Dumbledore, forever.
In 1991, Snape saved Lily's son, Harry Potter from Quirinus Quirrell. Snape seemed to hate Harry, for being James's son, but Dumbledore told him that Harry's deepest nature looked most like his mother's. Snape became member of the Order of the Phoenix, while Voldemort thought he was loyal to him.
In 1996, Snape saved Dumbledore's life from a cursed ring, which was in fact a horcrux. As Dumbledore knew that his life would soon end, and that Draco Malfoy had to murder him, he asked Snape to kill him. Snape was surprised, but, in the end, accepted. After Dumbledore's death, the portrait of Dumbledore told Snape the plans they should make. Snape also gave Harry Godric Gryffindor's Sword, in the Forest of Dean.
Snape was killed by Lord Voldemort's magical familiar, Nagini, under Voldemort's orders, during the Battle of Hogwarts. Voldemort believed that mastery of the Elder Wand had passed to Snape upon Dumbledore's death, when in fact it had actually passed to Draco Malfoy moments before.
Some years later, Harry Potter gave his son both Dumbledore's and Snape's names.
- "Thought the sun shone out of my brother's every orifice, he did."
- —Aberforth Dumbledore on Elphias Doge[src]
Elphias Doge became Dumbledore's friend during their first day at Hogwarts. Elphias suffered from Dragon pox, and everybody avoided him. Elphias thought Dumbledore was a very great wizard, and a very great person, and believed that his early losses endowed him with great humanity and sympathy, as he stated in an obituary he wrote for Dumbledore, after his death.
Elphias pitied Dumbledore about his father, mother and sister, and had a highly opinion of him. Elphias became a member of the Order of the Phoenix, an organisation Dumbledore led. He also attended Albus Dumbledore's funeral.
Elphias also told Harry not to believe Rita Skeeter and Muriel's slanders about Dumbledore's family life, including that Ariana was a Squib. It is possible that Elphias fought in the Battle of Hogwarts.
Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger
Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger were Harry Potter's best friends and, like Harry, they thought Dumbledore was a great wizard. Dumbledore liked them too, despite that he wasn't as close to them as he was to Harry. After his death, he left Ron his Deluminator (a unique artifact created by Dumbledore himself) and Hermione his copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard. These gifts were proven very useful, as Ron abandoned Harry and Hermione formerly to find his family, and, when he wanted to come back to Harry and Hermione, the Deluminator showed him the way. The trio also read the Tales of Beedle the Bard, and learned about the Deathly Hallows. Harry, Ron and Hermione also visited Dumbledore's portrait, after the Battle of Hogwarts.
James Potter and Lily Evans
- "James had showed it to me just few days previously. It explained much of his undetected wrongdoing at school"
- —Albus Dumbledore to Harry Potter[src]
Dumbledore first met James Potter and Lily Evans during their first year at Hogwarts, where he was a headmaster. Dumbledore had a good relationship with both of them, and he knew they were good people. James had lent Dumbledore his Invisibility Cloak, one of the three Deathly Hallows. After James's death, Dumbledore gave the cloak to James's son, Harry.
Dumbldore failed to save Lily and James from Lord Voldemort, as they were betrayed by Peter Pettigrew. After their death, Dumbledore always told Harry that his parents were great people. He also became a mentor of their son, Harry and would often understand Harry's grief caused by his parents' death. Dumbledore also believed that Harry's love for his parents was his greatest power.
Dumbledore had also a good relationship with Sirius Black, James Potter's best friend and Harry Potter's godfather. Until 1994, Dumbledore believed that Sirius had betrayed James and Lily to Lord Voldemort, but, in 1994, he learned by Remus Lupin it was Peter Pettigrew. Dumbledore trusted Sirius, and the latter was a member of the Order of the Phoenix, an organisation Dumbledore led. Dumbledore also told Hermione Granger and Harry Potter to use the Time-Turner, to save Sirius from the Dementors. Dumbledore also comforted Harry after Sirius was killed by Bellatrix Lestrange and thought Sirius was a very good person.
Another friend of Dumbledore was Remus Lupin, a friend of James and Sirius, and a werewolf. Remus was a member of the Order of the Phoenix, and, in 1993, Remus accepted Dumbledore's offer, to become the Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor. Dumbledore also trusted Lupin, despite the fact he was a werewolf, and he told Snape to give Lupin a Wolfsbane Potion. Remus and Dumbledore fought during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, where they saw Sirius Black die, at the hands of Bellatrix Lestrange. Remus told Harry Potter that he trusts Snape, because Dumbledore does. In 1997, Remus was devastated by Dumbledore's death after the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, shouting: NO!. Remus fought in the Battle of Hogwarts, showing his faith to Dumbledore.
Peter Pettigrew was a member of the Order of the Phoenix and a friend of James, Sirius and Remus. It is possible that he was a friend of Dumbledore, before he betrayed James and Lily to Voldemort. Dumbledore learned of his betrayal in 1994, and told Harry that, after he had saved Pettigrew's life, he would requite. Dumbledore was true: Pettigrew attemped to strangle Harry during the Battle of Malfoy Manor, but he hesitated, causing his silver hand that was made by Voldemort to strangle and kill him.
Alastor Moody was an auror and Dumbledore's close friend. They fought together in many battles, but Moody teased him for hating Dementors. In 1994, Moody accepted Dumbledore's offer to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts, but was captured and imprisoned by Barty Crouch Jr., who impersonated him during the 1994-1995 school year, in order to send Harry Potter to Lord Voldemort. Dumbledore and Moody fought along in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. Moody was the next member of the Order to die after Dumbledore.
Order of the Phoenix
The Order of the Phoenix was an organisation Dumbledore formed to oppose Voldemort and his forces. He had good relationships with most of the members, such as his brother Aberforth, Elphias Doge, Minerva McGonagall, Rubeus Hagrid, Severus Snape, James and Lily Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Alastor Moody.
He was also friends with Kingsley Shacklebolt, who believed in equality and fairness for all wizards and witches and muggles, Arabella Figg, whom he trusted to watch Harry Potter during his years at the Dursley's house, Nymphadora Tonks, an auror, Dedalus Diggle, Hestia Jones, Emmeline Vance, Sturgis Podmore, Mundungus Fletcher and the Weasley family. Emmeline Vance was killed by Death Eaters during the Second Wizarding War.
Other possible Dumbledore's friends who were killed or seriously injured during the First Wizarding War were Edgar Bones, Caradoc Dearborn, Benjy Fenwick, Marlene McKinnon, Dorcas Meadowes and Fabian and Gideon Prewett, and Alice and Frank Longbottom, who were tortured into insanity by Bellatrix Lestrange and Barty Crouch Jr.
Dumbledore was also friend of many allies of the Order, including Olympe Maxime, the headmistress of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, whom he met during the Triwizard Tournament, his co-workers Filius Flitwick, Pomona Sprout and Horace Slughorn, Augusta Longbottom, Ted and Andromeda Tonks. Other allies of the Order were Dumbledore's students, Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, Lee Jordan and Percy Weasley. He also liked the house-elf Dobby, and pitied the house-elf Kreacher, asking them to work at Hogwarts kitchens.
It is possible that all the members and allies of the Order who were neither killed nor imprisoned, fought in the Battle of Hogwarts (except Arabella Figg, who was a Squib, and couldn't fight. However, she might have helped by another way.)
Except the already mentioned Minerva McGonagall, Rubeus Hagrid, Severus Snape, Remus Lupin and Alastor Moody, Dumbledore had many co-workers during his career at Hogwarts. Some of his earliest co-workers were: Armando Dippet, the previous Headmaster, Galatea Merrythought, the Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor, who was retired before Dippet's death, and Horace Slughorn, the Potions master, who was hired twice, and gave Harry Potter his memory, helping him and Dumbledore find and destroy Voldemort's horcruxes.
After Dippet's death, he became the new Hogwarts headmaster. He also had a friendship with Filius Flitwick, the Charms Professor and Head of Ravenclaw House, Pomona Sprout, the Herbology Professor and Head of Hufflepuff House, and Poppy Pomfrey, the nurse. Every Hogwarts staff member, with the exceptions of Dolores Umbridge, both respected and held a high opinion of Dumbledore.
Other staff were Argus Filch, the caretaker, Silvanus Kettleburn, the Care of Magical Creatures Professor (until 1993), Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank, the Care of Magical Creatures Professor (substitute for Hagrid), Firenze, a centaur and the Divination Professor, Rolanda Hooch, the Flying Instructor, Aurora Sinistra, the Astronomy Professor, Bathsheda Babbling, the Study of Ancient Runes Professor, Septima Vector, the Arithmancy Professor, Irma Pince, the librarian, Cuthbert Binns, a ghost and the History of Magic Professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, the Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor (1992-1993), Charity Burbage, the Muggle Studies Professor, and Tofty, the examiner for the Wizarding Examinations Authority.
Another Professor was Sybill Trelawney, who taught Divination. Dumbledore thought she was a fraud, but when he heard her conceiving the Prophecy about Voldemort and Harry Potter, he hired Trelawney to protect her from the Death Eaters.
Quirinus Quirrell was the Muggle Studies Professor, before he started to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts. He met Voldemort when he traveled around the world, and shared his body with him. Since then, he served him faithfully, trying to steal the Philosopher's Stone and kill Harry Potter. He was killed by Harry Potter in 1992, being burned by Harry's touching.
In 1995, Dolores Umbridge was appointed the Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor. She was a sadistic woman who enjoyed punishing students. Umbridge became High Inquisitor of Hogwarts, and later Headmistress. In the end of the year, she was chased by centaurs, and left Hogwarts forever.
- Albus Dumbledore: "Well, the game is up. Would you like a written confession from me, Cornelius — or will a statement before these witnesses suffice?"
- Cornelius Fudge: "Statement? What — I don't —?"
- Albus Dumbledore: "Dumbledore's Army, Cornelius. Not Potter's Army. Dumbledore's Army"
- — Albus Dumbledore and Cornelius Fudge dicussing Dumbledore's Army[src]
Dumbledore's Army was an organisation formed and led by Harry Potter, in order to protect the students of Hogwarts from Lord Voldemort. Its members were Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, Fred and George Weasley, Cho Chang, Dean Thomas, Seamus Finnigan, Parvati and Padma Patil, Lavender Brown, Hannah Abbott, Ernie Macmillan, Susan Bones, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Michael Corner, Terry Boot, Anthony Goldstein, Katie Bell, Alicia Spinnet, Angelina Johnson, Colin and Dennis Creevey, Zacharias Smith and Marietta Edgecombe.
All of the members of Dumbledore's Army were devastated by Dumbledore's death, and it is possible that all of them fought in the Battle of Hogwarts. Two of the members were killed: Fred Weasley and Colin Creevey. The two defectors, Marietta Edgecombe and Zacharias Smith, are the ones who did not believe in Dumbledore from the beginning, and did not participate in the final battle.
During his life, Dumbledore became friend of many famous wizards and witches, such as Nicolas Flamel and his wife, Perenelle, Bathilda Bagshot and Griselda Marchbanks. Nicolas Flamel and Perenelle were over 650 years of age, when they agreed to destroy the Philosopher's Stone to thwart Lord Voldemort's return. Bathilda Bagshot died a few months after Dumbledore, being killed by Voldemort.
Death Eaters and enemies
Death Eaters were Voldemort's servants, and Dumbledore's enemies.
Bellatrix Lestrange was a Death Eater who fought in both Wizarding Wars. She was fanatically loyal to Lord Voldemort and so, although acknowledging Dumbledore as a very powerful wizard, considered her master as the superior being. Bellatrix was among the few people who knew of the plan to assassinate Dumbledore, and that Draco Malfoy had been assigned the task of murdering him. She participated in the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, and reacted to Dumbledore's death with utter glee. Bellatrix did not live to discover that her initial suspicions of Snape's loyalty had been correct, dying during a ferocius duel with Molly Weasley. Dumbledore recognised Bellatrix as an incredibly dangerous and sadistic Death Eater, commenting to Severus Snape that, given the choice, he would prefer to die a quick and clean death rather than fall prey to Bellatrix who tended to "play with her food".
Albus Dumbledore also encountered the savage werewolf, Fenrir Greyback. It is implied that they had dealings in the past as Dumbledore was shocked that he, of all people, had come to Hogwarts the night that the Death Eaters entered the Astronomy Tower. He was also disgusted that Greyback had started to attack outside the full moon and enjoyed the taste of human blood. Greyback offered to 'do Dumbledore for afters', indicating that he would, possibly, maul him to death after attacking children within the castle. In fact, Dumbledore seemed somewhat disappointed when he incorrectly believed that Draco would invite Greyback into the castle.
- Dumbledore: "Draco, years ago, I knew a boy who made all the wrong choices. Please, let me help you."
- Draco: "I don't want your help! Don't you understand? I have to do this... I have to kill you... otherwise... he's going to kill me..."
- — Dumbledore and Draco Malfoy, when Draco attemps to kill Dumbledore.[src]
Dumbledore knew Lucius Malfoy, a Death Eater, since the First Wizarding War. He was among the Death Eaters who avoided Azkaban. In 1991, Lucius's son, Draco, went at Hogwarts. In 1992, Lucius gave Tom Riddle's Diary to Ginny Weasley, a Gryffindor student, in order to stigmatize Arthur Weasley, her father and kick Dumbledore out of Hogwarts. However, he failed. In 1996, Dumbledore and Lucius fought in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. Lucius was stunned and imprisoned in Azkaban, failing to give Voldemort the Prophecy about the Chosen one, so Voldemort became angry and made Draco a Death Eater and ordered him to kill Dumbledore, otherwise he would kill his family. Draco attemped to kill Dumbledore, telling him that the Death Eaters would kill him, if he didn't so. Dumbledore suggested him to abandon Voldemort, and that he and his mother would be hide by the Order of the Phoenix. Draco would accept, but was interrupted by Death Eaters. A year later, the Malfoy family changed sides.
Igor Karkaroff was a Death Eater in the First Wizarding War. Dumbledore participated in his trial, and saw him betraying many Death Eaters to avoid imprisonment in Azkaban. After his release, he abandoned Voldemort and became the Headmaster of Durmstrang Institute. He again met Dumbledore in 1994, when he went at Hogwarts, during the Triwizard Tournament. He thought Dumbledore was a fraud, who put Harry Potter's name in the Goblet of Fire. He left Hogwarts after Voldemort's rebirth. He was killed by Death Eaters in 1996.
Another very loyal Death Eater was Barty Crouch Jr. Crouch was imprisoned in Azkaban by his father, but escaped with the help of his mother. Crouch played a key-role in Voldemort's rebirth, after he captured and imprisoned Alastor Moody, and took his form, to teach at Hogwarts, while Dumbledore thought he was dead. Crouch put Harry's name in the Goblet of Fire, and helped him with the tasks of the Triwizard Tournament, sending him to Voldemort. When Harry escaped, Crouch attemped to kill him, but was stopped by Dumbledore. Barty Crouch was given the Dementor's Kiss in 1995.
Regulus Black was Sirius Black's younger brother and a Death Eater. When he realised who Voldemort truly was, he escaped from the Death Eaters and learned about Voldemort's horcruxes. He stole Salazar Slytherin's Locket in order to destroy it.
Other known Death Eaters were Antonin Dolohov, Augustus Rookwood, Walden Macnair, Crabbe, Goyle, Avery Jr, Mulciber Jr, Jugson, Thorfinn Rowle, Travers, Yaxley, Evan Rosier, Gibbon, Nott, Alecto and Amycus Carrow, Selwyn, Wilkes, Rodolphus and Rabastan Lestrange. Rodolphus and Rabastan were two of the four Death Eaters who tortured the aurors Alice and Frank Longbottom to insanity. Dumbledore also disliked Fenrir Greyback, a sadistic werewolf and a Snatcher. Greyback enjoyed torturng and killing young children.
Evan Rosier and Wilkes were killed by Aurors in the end of the First Wizarding War, and Gibbon was accidentally killed by Thorfinn Rowle in the Battle of the Astronomy Tower. It is possible that Avery Sr, Mulciber Sr, Rosier and Lestrange were desceased before the Second Wizarding War.
It is also possible that every Death Eater, Snatcher and creature that was under Voldemort's orders fought in the Batle of Hogwarts and was either killed or imprisoned in Azkaban (except the Malfoy family and the people who were under the Imperius Curse).
Dumbledore's given names could be interpreted as representing the four primary divisions of the British Isles:
- Albus may be the masculine form of "Alba", an ancient name for Scotland or an Italian word meaning "sunrise", possibly alluding to the rebirth symbols associated with him (see Phoenix). It is also a Latin word for white, and thus could be meant to invoke Good as traditionally associated with white, or merely to refer to his long white hair and beard.
- Percival is a legendary Arthurian knight from Wales involved in the Grail quest. In Le morte d'Arthur by Thomas Mallory, Percival is both hero of the quest for the Grail and narrator of the tale, as is the case for Dumbledore in parts of the story. It is a name which presumably comes from his father.
- Wulfric is an Anglo-Saxon name found in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and could be representative of England. Wulfric translates literally as "wolf-power", and is reminiscent of another similar name, Beowulf, which means "powerful wolf-bear". The legendary hero Beowulf slew the monster Grendel as a youth, a name similar to Gellert Grindelwald, the dark wizard Dumbledore defeated in his own youth. Beowulf was fatally wounded by a dragon in a sea cave, and the only one who would help him was his squire, an orphaned son of some loyal followers. This is a parallel to Dumbledore's life, as he was mortally injured by the potion protecting the fake Horcrux in a sea cave as well, and the orphaned son would of course be represented by Harry.
- Brian is the name of the legendary Irish high-king and hero Brian Boru who defeated the Vikings at the Battle of Clontarf near Dublin. Dumbledore himself was a veteran of many wizarding battles against the forces of Darkness. However, this name was probably chosen because of its comic mundanity compared to his other four names.
- Dumbledore is an old 18th century English word for 'bumblebee'. It is still used in Newfoundland, Canada, to refer to a bumblebee. Rowling stated she imagined him flitting about the castle humming to himself.
- "Albus Dumbledore" could also be inspired from JK Rowling's old school headmaster, Alfred Dunn.
Behind the scenes
- In the first two Harry Potter films, Albus Dumbledore was played by actor Richard Harris. When Harris died of Hodgkin's Disease in 2002, Michael Gambon was cast in the part of Dumbledore, playing in the film version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and all subsequent films. The young Dumbledore will be portrayed by Toby Regbo in the film adaptations of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
- Michael Gambon's portrayal of Dumbledore is noticeably different from both Richard Harris' and from the books'. In the books, Dumbledore is noted to have been very calm and collected in nearly all circumstances. He has also been known to have worn a pointy wizard's cap, long majestic robes, and have a lengthy untethered beard. However, Gambon's Dumbledore is somewhat different in that regard. Though still calm and collected most of the time, he tends to traverse further into the emotional spectrum of his character. This can be seen clearly in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix where he sometimes raises his voice at Harry Potter and the students respectively. This somewhat uncharacteristic behaviour is wholly absent, however, in his portrayals in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
- His physical portrayal is also slightly different, opting for a somewhat bohemian look, including a fez-like tassel hat (as of fourth film) along with long and flowing robes that seem to have subtle Indian/Arabian influences. His beard is also tied with a thread-like chain, the ends of which feature miniature bells. What can also be noted is that Gambon's Dumbledore is far more energetic than Harris' Dumbledore which is more in line with the character from the books. Discounting the special case of Tom Riddle/Voldemort, Dumbledore is, to date, the only major core character in the series to be recast.
- In the films, Dumbledore has the distinction of being the first character to appear in the movie series, as opposed to Vernon Dursley in the books.
- Both actors who have played the adult Dumbledore have been Irish. In an interview on the DVD of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Gambon mentions that his Irish accent is quite pronounced as Dumbledore, but no one asked him to change it. (The Irish tones of Harris' accent are less pronounced.)
- In 2007, J.K. Rowling revealed that Dumbledore is homosexual, and harbored romantic feelings for Gellert Grindelwald. No comment was made upon Grindelwald's sexuality or whether Grindelwald returned his feelings, so the status of the relationship is unknown. Rowling also commented that "this added to Dumbledore's horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was." This love was caused by Dumbledore meeting someone "as brilliant as he was." Only the subtlest of hints can be found in Deathly Hallows relating to this. Reportedly the earliest indication of Dumbledore's orientation came when Rowling vetoed a line of dialogue in one of the recent movie scripts that would have referenced a romantic involvement with a woman. Rowling explains this further by elaborating on the motivations behind Dumbledore's flirtation with the idea of wizard domination of Muggles: "He lost his moral compass completely when he fell in love and I think subsequently became very mistrustful of his own judgement in those matters so became quite asexual. He led a celibate and a bookish life."
- The published version of The Tales of Beedle the Bard reveals that Lucius Malfoy tried to assure Dumbledore would be removed from the post of Headmaster of Hogwarts after he had ensured the inclusion of pro-Muggle tales in the book. Dumbledore, in turn, commented that he worked hard to make Malfoy "Voldemort's least favourite Death Eater".
- In J. K. Rowling's web site Wizard of the Month archive, Albus Dumbledore was the Wizard of the Month before Harry Potter, which was the last. In that page, Dumbledore's death is incorrectly written as if it happened in 1996, when it actually happened in 1997.
- Ciaran Hinds, who played Albus´brother Aberforth, claimed that Dumledore was 123 years old when he died. . This would make his year of birth 1874. Actually, he was born later.
- Wizard of the Month
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (as spirit and portrait)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (film) (as spirit and portrait)
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard (wrote preface and notes)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (wrote preface)
- Quidditch Through the Ages (wrote preface)
- Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup
- Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4
Notes and references
- ↑ In an interview after the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling said that Hogwarts had a different Head by the time Harry Potter's children arrived in 2017, saying that Minerva was "getting on a bit".
- ↑ Hermione gives this information to Harry in Philosopher's Stone on the Hogwarts Express.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Dumbledore was described in Chapter 18 of Deathly Hallows as being near his 18th birthday at the time he left Hogwarts. Since his birthday did not fall during the school year (September 1st – mid-June), he must have been born in the summer, likely in either July or August, as he was still seventeen when he befriended Gellert Grindelwald.
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- ↑ in a recent web chat Jo Rowling
- ↑ The Tales of Beedle the Bard (real)
- ↑ 
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (chapter 35)
- ↑ MuggleNet transcript of Bloomsbury Webchat
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- ↑ Deathly Hallows Casting Updates: Teen Dumbledore Cast, Chris Rankin Returns and More
- ↑ J. K. Rowling at Carnegie Hall
- ↑ Amini, Adeel (2008-03-09). Minister of Magic. Mugglenet.com. Retrieved on 2008 March 14.
- ↑ J.K.Rowling Official Site
- ↑ http://www.movieline.com/2010/03/ciaran-hinds-on-the-eclipse-ghosts-and-being-a-directors-actor.php?page=2%20