- "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."
- —Elphias Doge in Dumbledore's obituary[src]
Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, O.M. (First Class), Grand Sorc., D. Wiz., X.J.(sorc.), S. of Mag.Q. (c. Summer, 1881 – 30 June, 1997) was the Transfiguration Professor, and later Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Professor Dumbledore also served as Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards (?–1995) and Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot (?–1995; 1996-1997). He was a half-blood, Muggle-supporting 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 wielder and 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. He was killed by Snape during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower.
Though he was no longer alive at the time, it was through Dumbledore's manipulations 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. Harry Potter later named his second son Albus Severus Potter after him.
Early life (1881-1892)
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. For this, Percival was sentenced to Azkaban where he later died.
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.
Hogwarts years (1892- 1899)
- "By the end of his first year, he would never again be known as the son of a Muggle-hater, but as nothing more or less than the most brilliant student ever seen at the school."
- —Elphias Doge on Dumbledore's school years[src]
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 the aftermath of Dragon pox at the time (greenish skin and pockmarks), 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 that he had never liked them anyway).
Tragedy and friendship (1899- pre.1930s)
After graduating from Hogwarts in June 1899, 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 harboured romantic feelings for the other boy, but regretted his relationship with Grindelwald later in life.
However, after two months, Albus's 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 (pre. 1910s-1970)
After Grindelwald's flight, Dumbledore returned to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as Professor of Transfiguration. He was offered the position of Minister for Magic several times, but he turned each chance down since he had learned that his desire for power was his weakness.
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 Hagrid's expulsion and ensuring that Hogwarts remained open. Dumbledore was never able to uncover hard evidence implicating Riddle, however, he nonetheless kept a very close watch over Riddle, preventing him from opening the Chamber of Secrets again during his remaining years at Hogwarts. He was also able to convince the Headmaster to allow Hagrid to remain at the school as the groundskeeper-in-training.
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 terrorise the continent. 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 his possession of the Elder Wand. Grindelwald was imprisoned in Nurmengard and Dumbledore kept the Elder Wand for himself. For this, Dumbledore was awarded the Order of Merlin, First Class, by Leonard Spencer-Moon's administration.
Dumbledore was appointed Headmaster of Hogwarts in approximately 1957, succeeding Armando Dippet. 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 after Dumbledore became Headmaster, 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, believed that as long as special precautions were taken, there was 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.
As headmaster, Dumbledore would help students with their homework in Classroom E-13 every Friday.
First Wizarding War (1970-1981)
After Lord Voldemort started his first rise to power in 1970, Dumbledore founded the Order of the Phoenix, a secret organisation 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, Dumbledore was the perfect leader of the organisation 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 applied to become the new professor of 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 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 at Voldemort's hands. However, as Voldemort attempted to murder 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 Dursleys, despite them not being selected as his guardians in the event of James and Lily's death, 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 influence 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' deaths, Dumbledore discovered that James's Cloak of Invisibility was in fact one 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. To that end, he borrowed it from James while James and Lilly were in hiding. He confirmed that it was indeed the cloak of legend, but before he could return it, James and Lilly were killed by Voldemort. This unfortunate occurrence provided Dumbledore with ownership of two of the Hallows.
Between the wars (1981-1995)
- Harry Potter: "But why couldn't Quirrell touch me?"
- Dumbledore: "Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn't realise that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign… to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin. Quirrell, full of hatred, greed, and ambition, sharing his soul with Voldemort, could not touch you for this reason. It was agony to touch a person marked by something so good."
- — Albus Dumbledore on the power of love[src]
Ten years later, Harry started attending Hogwarts, as happy as Dumbledore had hoped (despite suffering Child Neglect and some forms of Child Abuse), 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; coincidentally, on the same day that an attempted break-in was made upon the vault. It was retrieved by Hagrid, who was also taking Harry to buy his school supplies.
Dumbledore and several teachers (McGonagall, Flitwick, Sprout, Snape and, dubiously, Quirrell) at Hogwarts planted magical security methods to protect the stone. Dumbledore was behind the final, 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. He also anonymously returned James's Cloak of Invisibility to Harry as a Christmas present.
Over a series of nights, Harry Potter proceeded to visit the Mirror of Erised as often as he could to see his parents' faces. Dumbledore found Harry visiting the mirror one night, and after explaining to Harry what the mirror was all about, told him that the mirror was to be moved and requested that Harry not go looking for it. Before heading back to bed, Harry asked Dumbledore what he saw when he looked into the mirror. Dumbledore claimed to see himself holding a pair of thick, woollen socks, telling Harry that "one can never have enough socks." If this had been true, it would suggest that Dumbledore was so content with life that the only things he wished for were small things. However, Dumbledore was joking — the matter being a very personal one. As revealed to Harry in 1998 Dumbledore always, since the incident in his youth, saw his family whole and intact, free of any pain or suffering.
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 murder 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 sacrificial 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 murder 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 (although this would actually later turn out to be a mistake).
At the end-of-year feast, Dumbledore awarded an extra 170 house points to Gryffindor students, Harry Potter (60), Ron Weasley (50), Hermione Granger (50) and Neville Longbottom (10), respectively for bravery and logical skills, prompting Gryffindor to win the House Cup, ruining Slytherin’s chance of the cup for the seventh year in a row. This may have shown an unprofessional amount of bias towards Gryffindor to announce their win in such unusual circumstances.
- "It is our choices Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
- —Dumbledore's advice to Harry Potter[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 dwelt within; Salazar Slytherin's basilisk. He also destroyed the diary with one of the basilisk's 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 truly loyal to the Headmaster would be capable of summoning his pet phoenix Fawkes, who provided the tools needed for Potter to defeat Riddle and the basilisk.
Dumbledore mysteriously returned to his position as Headmaster after the memory of Riddle was revealed as being behind the attacks. He commended both Harry and Ron for solving the mystery with the Special Award for Services to the School and two hundred points each for them, securing Gryffindor for the House Cup for the second year running and again ruining Slytherin's chances, fuelling the hatred and rivalry between the two houses. He also secured Hagrid's release from Azkaban and cancelled exams as a special treat.
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.
During his final talk with Harry in his office, Dumbledore came close to telling Harry about his connection with Voldemort but refrained from doing so as he felt that twelve years old was still too young to learn the truth and he wanted Harry to enjoy this night of triumph.
- "Now, pay attention. Sirius is locked in Professor Flitwick's office on the seventh floor. Thirteenth window from the right of the West Tower. If all goes well, you will be able to save more than one innocent life tonight. But remember this, both of you: you must not be seen. Miss Granger, you know the law — you know what is at stake... You — must — not — be — seen. I am going to lock you in. It is — five minutes to midnight. Miss Granger, three turns should do it. 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, afraid that he was going after Harry Potter, 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.
However, the Dementors violated Dumbledore's decree when they entered Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff, causing Harry to fall unconscious and fall from the sky. Dumbledore was able to prevent Harry from hitting the ground and repelled the Dementors with a Patronus.
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, locked in the highest tower, and sentenced to the Dementor's Kiss. Dumbledore believed Harry and his friends about Sirius's innocence, but the Minister did not and Dumbledore was incapable of over-ruling the Ministry's decision, despite him being Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, granting him the power to order a trial. Instead, he told Hermione Granger to use her Time-Turner to save Sirius and in the process Buckbeak as well. The rescue was a success, Sirius escaped on Buckbeak and the Dementors were removed from the grounds for their attack on Harry and the attempted removal of his soul.
Dumbledore saw Remus Lupin, the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, off after Snape leaked his identity as a werewolf to the school. Harry was also seeing Lupin off too and Dumbledore could tell that Harry was troubled. Harry explained how guilty he felt allowing Pettigrew, the real culprit who had framed Sirius, to escape, which coincides with a prediction Trelawney made. Therefore, he feared that he may have indirectly given Voldemort a servant to return him to power. Dumbledore assured Harry that he did a noble thing in saving Pettigrew's life, forging a deep, magical bond between them, and he promised Harry that one day he'd be glad he spared Pettigrew.
At the end of the year Dumbledore began to feel uneasy about concealing the truth of Sybill Trelawney's prophecy because even though Harry was still young, he had proven himself to be exceptional, and he would have to be told soon.
- "It is my belief — and never have I so hoped that I am mistaken — that we are all facing dark and difficult times. Some of you in this Hall have already suffered directly at the hands of Lord Voldemort [...] A week ago, a student was taken from our midst. Remember Cedric. Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory."
- —Dumbledore regarding Cedric Diggory who was murdered during the 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 artefact 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 final task it would be him to touch the Triwizard trophy first; 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. Using the Portkey, 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 never would have done in such a traumatic situation) that the headmaster realised that it was not Moody who had been at the school the whole year. Dumbledore, Snape and Minerva McGonagall quickly overpowered the Death Eater. It was in that moment that Harry realised exactly why Dumbledore was the only wizard that Voldemort ever feared. Barty then truthfully revealed the entirety of Voldemort's plot and his participation in it under the influence of Veritaserum.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, Minister for 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. Despite this, Dumbledore knew that Voldemort's return was real and, in response to Fudge's failure to act, reformed the Order of the Phoenix, an alliance brought together during the First Wizarding War to fight against Voldemort and his followers. Dumbledore chose to reform the Order as he feared that the start of the Second Wizarding War was lingering and inevitable to happen.
Again, Dumbledore was reminded of Harry's exceptional skill and knew that he would surely have to be told of the prophecy soon, but again he chose not to, out of a desire to spare Harry an additional burden.
Second Wizarding War (1995-1997)
- Remus Lupin: "They're trying to discredit him. Didn't you see the Daily Prophet last week? They reported that he'd been voted out of the International Confederation of Wizards because he's getting old and losing his grip, but it's not true; he was voted out by Ministry wizards after he made a speech announcing Voldermort's return. They've demoted him from Chief Warlock on the Wizengamot, and they're thinking of removing his Order of Merlin, First Class too. "
- Bill Weasley: "But Dumbledore says he doesn't care what they do as long as they don't take him off the Chocolate Frog Cards."
- — Lupin and Bill explaining to Harry Potter about Dumbledore's discredit[src]
The Ministry immediately began to deny Dumbledore and Harry's claims that the Dark Lord had returned, starting a smear campaign designed to slander and vilify them; 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. He confessed that he believed that Fudge's persecution of him was of his own free will and not due to the Imperius Curse, though this was small comfort.
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 attended Harry's trial at the ministry, arriving three hours early at five a.m by a handy mistake. He presented Arabella Figg for Harry's defence and offered to call Dobby to testify that Harry had not used a Hover Charm in 1992, and reminded Fudge that he himself had pardoned Harry's accidental inflation of Marjorie Dursley. He also commented the unusual behaviour of the court holding a full criminal hearing for a simple case of underage magic. After the Wizengamot had ruled in Harry's favour Dumbledore left without having so much as spoken to Harry or looked at him.
When the time came to choose the Prefects from the fifth year Dumbledore considered Harry, but out of sympathy for the ordeals he had faced and the ones still to come, he chose to spare him the added responsibility and passed it on to Ron Weasley. This decision confused some people who had assumed Harry would naturally receive it, and would have shown solidarity with the young wizard.
Dumbledore had come 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 Fudge's Senior Undersecretary, Dolores Umbridge, to the post of Defence Against the Dark Arts professor. Umbridge and Fudge slowly passed laws that syphoned 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 organisation was known as Dumbledore's Army, in order to frighten the Ministry.
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 stated that he would not come quietly and 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 and took full advantage of her position and authority over students and staff alike.
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 perceived 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 battled with the Death Eaters.
Near the end of the battle, Dumbledore himself arrived and personally captured all the Death Eaters; except Bellatrix Lestrange, who murdered 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's curse, however, 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 immobilise 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 inflicted pain on Voldemort, prompting the Dark Lord to remove himself and block his connection. Voldemort fled with Bellatrix, but not before he was seen by Ministry officials, including Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge. With Dumbledore's credibility realised once more, Fudge's was permanently lost. Dumbledore demanded that Fudge remove Umbridge, pardon Hagrid so he could return to Hogwarts and that himself would be reinstated as headmaster. Once he was back at Hogwarts, Dumbledore consulted with a distraught Harry, explaining the meaning of his connection with Voldemort and asserting the meaning of the prophecy. Before the end of the year, he also had the Inquisitorial Squad disbanded and their damage reverted.
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. Dumbledore revealed to Harry that he 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 based on Voldemort's ego and his long interest in Hogwarts: Tom Riddle's Diary, Marvolo Gaunt's Ring, Helga Hufflepuff's Cup, Salazar Slytherin's Locket, Nagini, and an object of Rowena Ravenclaw's (later revealed to be her lost diadem). They dismissed the idea of a Gryffindor artefact as unlikely as only the Sorting Hat and the Sword of Gryffindor remained as items from Gryffindor himself.
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. During this time, Dumbledore also shared his insights on Voldemort with Harry by showing him the various memories he had collected, giving Harry a greater knowledge of Voldemort's psychology that would help him in his future conflicts.
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 on an evening in early June 1997, he and Harry 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. The drink also was weakening him and made him extremely thirsty as well and caused him great pain (the whole purpose of the potion). He couldn't bear it, but Harry succeeded at getting it down this throat, by telling him it would be over soon. On his last drink he fell unconscious. After a failed attempt by Harry to revive him with Rennervate, Dumbledore woke up after his period of unconsciousness wanting water.
Harry then attempted to summon water for Dumbledore with an Aguamenti Charm, but this proved ineffective as the water, for some reason, was scooper-resistant. 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 with the horcrux
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. Once at the Astronomy Tower, Dumbledore and an invisibility-cloaked Harry were confronted by Draco Malfoy, and before Harry could reveal himself, Dumbledore immobilised 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 and falling to the ground below.
A while later after the battle was over, Harry found Dumbledore’s body lying dead on the ground in front of hundreds of staring people, Harry found the locket and read a letter written by R.A.B. and realised that it was not a Horcrux, meaning the locket was a fake. Harry neither knew nor cared what this message meant and he felt that he and Dumbledore had accomplished nothing that night and that the latter had weakened himself by drinking the potion for nothing. Harry started crying over Dumbledore’s corpse as well as straightening his half-moon spectacles upon his crooked nose and Harry wiping a trickle of blood from the dead Headmaster’s mouth with his (Harry’s) own sleeve.
The next day after Dumbledore’s death, a funeral was held for him, attended by Hogwarts students and staff, Ministry of Magic officials (including Cornelius Fudge, Rufus Scrimgeour, Dolores Umbridge and Percy Weasley), centaurs, members of the Order of the Phoenix (except Severus Snape, due to his covert status, and Mundungus Fletcher, due to his imprisonment in Azkaban), Hogsmeade residents including Dumbledore’s brother Aberforth, Fawkes, Hagrid’s half-brother Grawp, Merpeople, Tom the landlord of the Leaky Cauldron, Madame Maxime from Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, Bass player of the Weird Sisters Donaghan Tremlett, driver of the Knight Bus Ernie Prang, Madam Malkin of the robe shop in Diagon Alley, the lady who pushed the trolley on the Hogwarts Express, as well as many other witches and wizards.
- "To the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure."
- —Albus Dumbledore regarding the afterlife[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. In 1998, shortly prior to the start of the Battle of Hogwarts, Lord Voldemort attempted to force the whereabouts of the Elder Wand out of its previous owner, the same Gellert Grindelwald. Despite Grindelwald's refusal to disclose its location, Voldemort deduced that it would have been won by Dumbledore after he defeated Grindelwald in the 1940s. He broke into Dumbledore's tomb, and stole the Wand in hopes of gaining access to its full power.
As it turned out, the night of Dumbledore's death was not the last time Harry saw him. 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, just as Dumbledore had (reluctantly) planned. 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 nature of the Deathly Hallows, his friendship with Gellert Grindelwald, and a number of other things.
Most significantly, he revealed that Harry was not dead because, when Voldemort had used Harry's blood to restore his body, he had unintentionally linked Harry's life to his own, with the result that Voldemort's curse had 'killed' only the fragment of his soul that had remained in Harry all these years. Harry also attempted to console Dumbledore when his old teacher asked if he had been any better than Voldemort in his quest for power; Harry pointed out that Dumbledore had never killed if he could avoid it, and argued that Dumbledore's search for the Hallows, as opposed to any attempts to create Horcruxes, made him completely different from Voldemort.
After he had finished his talk, Dumbledore and Harry parted ways: Harry returned to the mortal world and Dumbledore boarded a train to leave the limbo state. He was the only Headmaster to be laid to rest on the Hogwarts grounds, after Hagrid argued that no other Headmaster had ever given as much to the school as Dumbledore had. His portrait also remained at Hogwarts. After Voldemort's death and Harry revealing that he was the true master of the Elder Wand, he said to Dumbledore's portrait that he was going to return the wand to his tomb where it would remain until he died and, should he be undefeated, he would be the wand's last master which would break its power. He only used the wand for one feat: to repair his own wand which had been broken earlier.
Albus Dumbledore was tall and thin, with silver hair and beard (auburn in his youth) so long that they could be tucked into his belt. He had a very long and crooked nose that looked as if it had been broken at least twice. (It is speculated that his brother's punch during their sister's funeral may have played a role in shaping his nose.) He was also said to have long and skilful fingers. His eyes were described to be a brilliant, soul-piercing shade of blue, and usually twinkled with kindness and mischief.
When he became genuinely angry, however, Dumbledore would transform from a benign-looking, bright-eyed old man into a wizard even more terrifying than Lord Voldemort himself, with a face that was a classic portrait of cold fury and an aura of power that made him seem as if he was giving off burning heat. Indeed, Harry had — after witnessing a rare moment of Dumbledore's furious rage — confessed to fully understanding why people always said that Dumbledore was the only wizard Voldemort had ever feared.
Dumbledore wore half-moon spectacles and a colourful array of robes, ranging 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, but whether or not he actually did is unknown. His demeanour was often — if not always — serene and ethereal, and he usually spoke in a calm, pleasant voice even when Harry thought that he was actually furious.
During the last year of his life, Dumbledore's right hand was scarred when he donned Marvolo Gaunt's Ring, which was cursed. Had Severus Snape not intervened with a counter-curse, Dumbledore would have died much more quickly. Regardless, the curse left his hand blackened and dead-looking, and no amount of healing could repair the appearance. According to Snape, the curse would eventually spread itself from the contained hand, and Dumbledore was doomed to die in no more than one year's time. Whether this means the blackening dead-look appearance would spread throughout the entire body is unknown.
Death, however, served to restore him to full health and strength: his spirit was described as walking sprightly and upright, with hands that were both whole and white and undamaged, and looking exactly how Harry remembered him to be.
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 to be the most powerful wizard of his time, Dumbledore was benevolent and wise, a good wizard in the style of Merlin. He almost constantly gave off an aura of serenity and composure, rarely displaying intense emotions of anger or fear yet even he had his limits and did not attempt to hide his disgust when Snape, begging for Lily Evans life revealed he begged Lord Voldemort to spare Lily in return for her husband and son's life. He spoke in a calm, collected voice, being reasonable and kind, but firm. Yet, despite his benign nature, it is said that Dumbledore was the only wizard Lord Voldemort ever truly feared.
Dumbledore was very eccentric and even slightly effeminate; he was very fond of knitting patterns and frequently wore flamboyant clothing (at one point, he is seen wearing a flowered bonnet). In particular, he had an odd taste in sweets: he enjoyed Muggle sweets relatively unknown in the wizarding world such as sherbet lemons, and the password to his office, supposedly that of his current favourite sweet, was often peculiar choices such as Acid Pops and Cockroach Clusters. He was also known for his odd displays of whimsicality; he often used humour to make people feel comfortable in his presence. Dumbledore has been known to be quite philosophical; often, very few people have the understanding (or patience) to comprehend his philosophies.
As a supremely talented wizard, Dumbledore showed numerous examples of extraordinary abilities. His capabilities 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 arrogant, self-important, or pompous, and in this he stands above the other great wizards of his day. He was however very aware of his supreme talent and intelligence, and did not hold back when reminding people of this fact. Dumbledore acknowledges that everyone has their own weaknesses, with him being no exception. At the same time, he also acknowledges that people become strong by first accepting said weaknesses.
- "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."
- —Dumbledore talks to Harry about his Horcrux theory, and the possibility of his making a mistake[src]
More than anything else, Dumbledore was motivated by his belief in the power of the human spirit. Because of this after discovering Draco Malfoy's plans to assassinate him, he asked Severus Snape to kill him instead, as Dumbledore understood the act of killing would indeed crush the poor boy's soul. He also had a deep capacity for love, frequently reminding Harry that love was the greatest magic of all. 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 believed in the good in everyone and insisted on giving second chances. The greatest example of this is Dumbledore's relationship with Severus Snape, in whom Dumbledore was willing to hold a considerable amount of faith after having shown remorse. Dumbledore even saw a possibility for good in Voldemort as a child, and was open to giving him a second chance, despite the fact that Voldemort had already revealed himself to be a cruel psychopath even at that young age.
Dumbledore was highly perceptive and emotionally intelligent; his knowledge of people's true personality went beyond being simply a good judge of character. This is never more apparent than in his complex insights into Voldemort's psyche, which he pieced together with Harry to deduce where the Horcruxes were hidden. However Dumbledore also underestimated people as he failed to realise the amount of love Severus Snape felt for Lily Evans, he simply thought that Snape's guilt-ridden defection from the Death Eaters was over his accidental involvement in Lily's death, a woman he used to love. Dumbledore only discovered Snapes immense capacity for love while discussing Lily's sons fate.
As well as him having little fear of death believing it was the 'next great adventure' he was also very brave and resilient against some of the things he did fear. For example, he discussed with Severus Snape that he would rather have a peaceful, painless and respectful death and arranged it with him, he was willing to sacrifice his comfort, health and sanity and subject himself to severe pain if he thought it was needed. An example of this was in The Cave, when knowing that the Potion would cause him severe pain and distress (without knowing exactly what would happen to him), he was not hesitant in deciding that it must be him to drink it not Harry. However, he knew Harry's life was more important as Dumbledore already had only a few months to live.
In spite of Dumbledore's many extraordinary qualities, he was also a somewhat Machiavellian figure. He could be stoically pragmatic and prone to lies and secrecy, despite some of the people around him having proven themselves to be deserving of his trust. He spent a short portion of his youth concocting plans with Gellert Grindelwald for global domination over Muggles, in the process treating his ill sister with neglect. Dumbledore was not a deliberately cruel man, but at times he was too far-sighted, making choices that he believed to be for the benefit of humanity even if it deeply hurt some of the people around him. Though his tendency towards this type of behaviour decreased with age, he somewhat manipulatively took advantage of Severus Snape's emotions. He also avoided direct contact with Harry Potter following Lord Voldemort's rebirth, fearing that Voldemort could use the connection between them to discover the true nature of Dumbledore and Harry's relationship and use it against Dumbledore.
Though he was not vain or conceited, he displayed no false modesty regarding his power and intelligence. He openly acknowledged that he thought of himself as having "high brainpower" and that he was "rather cleverer than most men." It should be noted however, that though he was fully aware of his extraordinary intelligence and power, he was also well aware of his own flaws and he went out of his way to keep them in check. For instance, on the occasion when he stated that he was cleverer than most, he immediately followed this statement with the caveat that his brilliance caused his mistakes to be correspondingly spectacular.
- "I knew my brother, Potter. He learned secrecy at our mother's knee. Secrets and lies, that's how we grew up, and Albus... he was a natural... How can you be sure, Potter, that my brother wasn't more interested in the greater good than in you? How can you be sure you aren't dispensable, just like my little sister?"
- —Aberforth Dumbledore bitterly describes his brother's inner nature[src]
Dumbledore's greatest personality flaw, which he explained to Harry in 1998, was his desire for power. This stemmed primarily from his understanding of how exceptionally talented and intelligent he was, which led to a desire for fame, acknowledgment and glory in his younger days. He eventually found that those best suited for power are those who do not seek it. When he and Gellert Grindelwald were in school, they made plans to enslave Muggles and re-establish wizards as the natural rulers of the world. However, when his sister Ariana Dumbledore was killed during a duel between himself, Aberforth Dumbledore, and Grindelwald, any desire to accomplish this goal left him. In fact, the incident led to him declining any attempts by others to offer him any more power beyond that which he held as the Hogwarts headmaster.
Dumbledore was haunted by his sad family history. In particular, he was riddled with guilt over the circumstances surrounding the death of his sister. He felt enormous remorse for his selfishness and was tortured for the rest of his life by the possibility that he might have been the one who cast the spell that killed his sister, to the point that he delayed facing Grindelwald until there was no other choice because he was afraid of what his former friend might know about the death of Ariana. When he looked into the Mirror of Erised, he saw himself redeemed in the eyes of his brother and his entire family alive and together.
At time Dumbledore could feel the pressure of his role in the world acutely, and relied on his Pensieve to deal with them. He kept vials of memories which he could view in his Pensieve, some of which were his own. He often used this to find connections he might have missed before, and also when he felt he had "too many memories".
When asked by a fan if Dumbledore ever found true love, J.K Rowling said she always thought Dumbledore to be gay, but after reflecting that falling in love with Gellert Grindelwald in his youth had led him to lose his moral compass, he no longer trusted his own judgement in such matters. As a result, he became "quite asexual," and lead a "celibate and bookish life."
Dumbledore's office houses "a number of curious [...] instruments." Among them is a Pensieve, a stone receptacle used to store and review memories, which witches and wizards are able to extract from their heads as a type of fluid. Harry first discovers this device to witness Dumbledore's memory of Igor Karkaroff's trial before the Wizengamot, and also uses it to view Severus Snape's memories of childhood. During the private lessons between Harry and Dumbledore, the Pensieve is used to view a variety of memories about Tom Riddle's past.
Dumbledore was also seen using the Deluminator, a device for removing and later returning light, and for use as a homing device. It is confirmed when the object is inherited by Ron that the Deluminator was of Dumbledore's own design. Dumbledore was the possessor and master of the Elder Wand, an extremely powerful object known also as the "Wand of Destiny" or the "Deathstick", and one of the Deathly Hallows, until he was Disarmed by Draco Malfoy at the top of the Astronomy Tower. The wand's allegiance was then transferred to Harry Potter nearly a year later.
Unlike many of the wand's previous owners, Dumbledore kept its identity a closely guarded secret. He also had a pet phoenix named Fawkes, who left Hogwarts Castle after Dumbledore's death. It is revealed in that two of Fawkes' feathers form the magical cores of both Harry's and Voldemort's wands.
Professor Dumbeldore also kept a journal in which he would have written in regularly.
Magical abilities and skills
- Tom Riddle: "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 Potter: "Albus Dumbledore is the greatest sorcerer in the world!"
- — Harry Potter and Voldemort fighting[src]
Dumbledore was considered by many to be the most powerful wizard of his time, and his incredible powers were admired and feared by even others of outstanding magical talent. Even the Dark Lord Voldemort, who thought himself as the greatest and strongest wizard of them all, had acknowledged that Dumbledore was a very great wizard and secretly feared him. However, it was later confirmed that old age had somewhat diminished Dumbledore's abilities since his legendary defeat of Gellert Grindelwald, though they were still indeed were admirably high and comparable with those of Voldemort.
- Magical mastery: Albus Dumbledore was considered to be one of, if not, 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 already known to be prodigiously talented in the magical arts, and considered nothing more or less than the most gifted student the school would ever see. He returned to the school later to serve as the Professor of Transfiguration, a complex and difficult field of magic. He later proved to be admittedly more skillful than the second most powerful Dark Wizard of all time, Gellert Grindelwald. He was also the only wizard to ever be feared by the most dangerous Dark Wizard of all time, Lord Voldemort, whom he forced to 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 Voldemort noted that Dumbledore was not fighting to kill during the duel.
- Intellectual genius: Dumbledore was not only a great wizard, but also possessed an incredible intellect, capable of devising an elaborate master plan to defeat the seemingly unbeatable Lord Voldemort and was also particularly brilliant at guessing, hypothesising, and predicting. 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 and Harry Potter) 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 genius was mainly noticeable even after his death through his will. He bequeathed Ron Weasley his Deluminator, understanding that even though Ron would initially walk out on the Horcrux hunt, he would be just as likely to return to it. He knew that Hermione Granger's thirst for knowledge would lead her to investigate the symbol that he had drawn in the copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard that he left her. This ultimately brought Harry to not only learning of the Deathly Hallows, but of how to obtain the Resurrection Stone through the Golden Snitch Dumbledore had left him, giving Harry the emotional support he needed to sacrifice himself to the Dark Lord. This indicates an incredible degree of foresight.
- Duelling: Dumbledore was an exceptionally skillful duellist, capable of capturing several Death Eaters at once effortlessly and out-dueling Lord Voldemort during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, though Voldemort managed to flee the duel. That being said, Voldemort possibly fled from the duel because he realised, for the very first time, that Dumbledore was far too powerful or skilled to defeat in a man-to-man duel, and did not want to be seen as the defeated party. He also easily defeated Cornelius Fudge, Dolores Umbridge, Kingsley Shacklebolt, and John Dawlish when they attempted to arrest him (though Kingsley was secretly on Dumbledore's side). He did all these things even though he was very old and not quite as strong as he once was. However, it should be noted that he was wielding the Elder Wand on these occasions and that he did not want to kill any of his opponents. Arguably, the most impressive display of his duelling skills was shown when he defeated Gellert Grindelwald, despite the fact that Grindelwald was the master of the Elder Wand. Eyewitnesses claimed it was the greatest wizard duel ever fought. Albus described himself as being "a shade more skillful" than Grindelwald. Dumbledore's duelling style often involved employing the element of fire, though he used water during his duel with Voldemort.
- Invisibility: Albus had 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 the Human-presence-revealing spell, wandlessly and non-verbally to detect the presence of people who were invisible, even if they were under an Invisibility Cloak. .
- Occlumency and Legilimency: Dumbledore was also accomplished in both 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. However, some of Lord Voldemort's followers, such as Barty Crouch Jr, proved to be excellent Occlumens capable of effectively hiding their thoughts from him.
- Master of the Deathly Hallows:Albus Dumbledore should be noted as the only person besides Harry Potter to possess all three Deathly Hallows, although like Harry Potter he did not possess all three Deathly Hallows at the same time. He first obtained the Elder Wand after he defeated the infamous Grindelwald. He had possession of the Cloak of Invisibility after he borrowed the it from James Potter, and after the deaths of James and Lily Potter he kept it safe until he returned the Cloak to Harry Potter on Christmas in his first year at Hogwarts. Finally he obtained the Resurrection Stone after locating and destroying the fragment of Voldemort's soul contained within the ring when it served as a Horcrux.
- Wandless and non-verbal magic: Albus could cast magic without the use of a wand, and was highly skilled at non-verbal 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 Cave, Dumbledore proved capable of foiling the defences set up by Lord Voldemort, using wandless magic. He also performed the Aresto Momentum spell, 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.
- Spell creation: Dumbledore was known for having created unique magical spells and devices. His deluminator was considered to be unique, and was of his own invention. Furthermore, after it had been bequeathed to Ron Weasley, he discovered that he could sometimes hear Harry and Hermione's voices through it, and that it also allowed him to Apparate to their location. He also developed a method to communicate using Patronus charms, which he taught to the members of the Order of the Phoenix.
- Fire magic affinity: Albus' weapon of choice appeared to be fire, and he was incredibly talented at utilising it. 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 pet, Fawkes, is a phoenix, which dies and is reborn from the ashes. Although Dumbledore favoured 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 only protect Harry.
- Magical multilingualist: Dumbledore could also speak Mermish and Gobbledegook. He can recognise Parseltongue, the language of snakes, as he demonstrated while he and Harry were inside Bob Ogden's stored memory; he was able to quote verbatim a Parseltongue phrase uttered by Morfin Gaunt in a later stored memory.
- Potioneer: Dumbledore was also proficient at Potions, as, according to the obituary written by Elphias Doge, his papers were published in The Practical Potioneer. This was likely instrumental in his discovery of the Twelve Uses Of Dragon's Blood.
- Charms: Albus was known to be a master in Charms, as his papers were published in Achievements in Charming. He could cast a corporeal Patronus charm (in the form of a phoenix) and created new parameters for said charm, allowing it to be used as a form of communication (with the caster speaking with their own voice through the Patronus). He was also capable of performing the extremely complex Fidelius Charm.
- Transfiguration: Before becoming headmaster, Albus was the Hogwarts Transfiguration teacher, showing that he had a high level of skill in that area. During his battle with Voldemort in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, Dumbledore was even able to cast a glass to sand shield that immediately transfigured the thousands of glass shards that were directed at him and Harry by Voldemort into mere sand en route. He was also able to transfigure the Slytherin banners in the Great Hall to that of Gryffindor's simply by clapping his hands.
- Apparition: Dumbledore could transport himself from one place to another with pinpoint precision, even when locked in combat. He used this ability to avoid some of Voldemort's spells during their duel before counter-attacking. He could also apparate silently which only a master of Apparition could do. He could apparate within the Hogwarts Grounds.
- Flying: Dumbledore was a skilled broomstick flyer. Shortly before his death, he flew to the Hogwarts Astronomy tower, despite being weakened by a potion. He also was able to cast jinxes during flight.
- Leadership skills: Dumbledore was considered by many to be the greatest Headmaster in Hogwarts' history. He founded and lead the Order of the Phoenix against Voldemort and his Death Eaters in both the first and second Wizarding Wars. He was also offered the position of Minister for Magic several times, but declined as he felt he could not be trusted with that sort of power. Following his death, he noted that he considered himself an inferior leader compared to Harry Potter, as he deliberately sought power where Harry led others only after he was elevated to the position of leadership by outside circumstances.
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 acknowledge that he had correctly warned that Voldemort had returned. He holds the Order of Merlin, First Class, for Grand Sorcery.
|"Well, I think we should put it back in order for them, don't you?"|
- "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 was not very clear. However, it can be theorised that he probably did not hold his father in high regard, as he was imprisoned in Azkaban for magically attacking three Muggle boys who had inflicted permanent psychological damage on Ariana. According to Aberforth, their mother taught Albus secrecy. Her death made Albus feel angry and bitter, as it left him with the responsibility of a damaged sister and a wayward brother, and he thought himself trapped and wasted.
Later on, during his conversation with Harry in limbo, he confessed that he truly loved each and every one of his family, but was blinded by his ambition and his madness. He had originally intended to use the Resurrection Stone to bring back his parents, so that the heavy responsibility on his shoulders would be lifted. After Ariana's tragic and unexpected death, he planned, instead, to use the stone (if he ever found it, that is) to bring back his parents and his sister to apologise to them. This desire, however, ultimately caused his death: the Resurrection Stone had become part of a ring whose curse infected him the instant he put in on, and slowly killed him.
- "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 duelling 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. Although Albus loved him, 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 realise 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, which Harry Potter disagreed with.
- "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 not known if Grindelwald shared this affection.
- "Gellert —
Your point about Wizard dominance being For the Muggle's own good — this, I think, is the crucial point. Yes, we have been given power and yes, that power gives us the right to rule, but it also gives us responsibilities over the ruled. We must stress this point, it will be the foundation stone upon which we build. Where we are opposed, as we surely will be, this must be the basis of all our counterarguments. We seize control [[For the Greater Good|for the greater good]]. And from this it follows that where we meet resistance, we must use only the force that is necessary and no more. (This was your mistake at Durmstrang! But I do not complain, because if you had not been expelled, we would never have met.)
- —One of Albus Dumbledore's letters to Grindelwald in their school years as they plotted Muggle domination[src]
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 terrorised 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 Riddle (Lord Voldemort)
- Voldemort: "You do not seek to kill me, Dumbledore? Above such brutality, are you?"
- Dumbledore: "We both know there are other ways of destroying a man, Tom. Merely taking your life would not satisfy me, I admit."
- Voldemort: "There is nothing worse than death, Dumbledore!"
- Dumbledore: "You are quite wrong. Indeed your failure to understand that there are things much worse than death has always been your greatest weakness."
- — Lord Voldemort and Dumbledore during their duel during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries[src]
Dumbledore personally approached Mrs Cole, the caretaker of the orphanage in which Tom Riddle resided to enrol 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 which was proved by the fact that Tom had used his magic to hurt the other children in the orphanage. 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.
- "The time is long gone when I could frighten you with a burning wardrobe and force you to make repayment for your crimes. But I wish I could, Tom, I wish I could..."
- —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 dangerous 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.
- "I cared about you too much. I cared more for your happiness than your knowing the truth, more for your peace of mind than my plan, more for your life than the lives that might be lost if the plan failed. In other words, I acted exactly as Voldemort expects we fools who love to act."
- —Dumbledore explaining his feelings for Harry[src]
Dumbledore was well known for care and steadfast championing of Harry Potter. It was Dumbledore who planned and wanted the infant Harry to be taken 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, placing Harry on the doorstep of their home, despite them not being named guardians in the event of James and Lily's death. Despite being aware of the criminal abuse Harry had suffered while living with the Dursley family through a contact, Arabella Figg, he did not step in to prevent the abuse Harry suffered as a child, leaving him to suffer with his magical hating Aunt and Uncle and bullying cousin Dudley. Throughout Harry's years at Hogwarts, Dumbledore provided him with protection and guidance, and supplemented Harry's schooling with additional information about the forces of Darkness.
After the Rebirth of Lord Voldemort, Dumbledore, in an effort to prevent Harry from finding out, 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. When Dumbledore was killed, Harry was devastated.
- "You are talented, famous, and powerful — everything Horace values."
- —Albus Dumbledore's opinion of Harry Potter[src]
Harry and Dumbledore forged a strong Student — Headmaster bond, comparable to that between two close family members (most likely case of a great-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. Dumbledore in return considered Harry to be a talented and powerful wizard who had inherited his parents' best qualities, noting that Harry was a leader of superior quality to himself, as Harry led because others looked to him to lead them rather than because he had ever sought power or authority for himself. He also had great faith in Harry as shown when Dumbledore was in a weakened state and Harry, who had never Apparated beyond a few feet, had to Apparate them both back. Dumbledore told Harry that he wasn't worried because he was with Harry.
Before the final event of the Battle of Hogwarts, after Harry sacrificed himself and was struck by Voldemort's 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's trust in Hagrid[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: "Professor Dumbledore is a very great wizard, Potter, he has many demands on his time —"
- Harry Potter: "But this is important."
- — Minerva McGonagall regarding Dumbledore's feelings towards Harry[src]
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 the magical hating 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.
Dumbledore discovered Minerva in tears in her classroom late one evening, after she found out about the marriage of a young love to another woman. She confessed the whole story to him and Albus Dumbledore offered both comfort and wisdom; telling Minerva some of his own family history, previously unknown to her. The confidences exchanged that night between two intensely private and reserved characters were to form the basis of a lasting mutual esteem and friendship.
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: "I thought...all those years...that we were protecting him for her. For Lily."
- Albus Dumbledore: "We have protected him because it has been essential to teach him, to raise him, to let him try his strength. Meanwhile, the connection between them grows ever stronger, a parasitic growth. If I know him, he will have arranged matters so that when he does set out to meet his death, it will truly mean the end of Voldemort."
- Severus Snape: "You have kept him alive so that he can die at the right moment?"
- Albus Dumbledore: "Don't be shocked, Severus. How many men and women have you watched die?"
- Severus Snape: "You have used me. I have spied for you and lied for you, put myself in mortal danger for you. Everything was supposed to be to keep Lily Potter's son safe. Now you tell me you have been raising him like a pig for slaughter..."
- Albus Dumbledore: "But this is touching, Severus. Have you grown to care for the boy, after all?"
- — Severus addresses Dumbledore's manipulation of Harry Potter[src]
Snape's relationship with Dumbledore was one of close, but not indefinite trust. After indirectly and accidentally sending Voldemort after Lily, Snape turned to Dumbledore to keep her safe. Dumbledore chose to capitalise on Snape's remorse and initiated him into the Order of the Phoenix as a double agent.
As a spy for the Order, Snape silently kept his place within the ranks of the Death Eaters, while informing Dumbledore about their movements. He also adopted the role of secret agent for Voldemort, and supplied him with strategic scraps of information about the Order. The content of these reports was often dictated by Dumbledore. It is implied that Snape withheld little, if any, information from Dumbledore that was relevant to the Order's success, while Snape deliberately did the opposite for Voldemort.
It is notable that Dumbledore did not confide completely in Snape, thereby minimising the potential damage that might occur if Snape was compromised. Snape resented Dumbledore's secrecy and was offended by this lack of faith in his abilities. However, when Snape discovered that he had been used as a pawn in Harry's own destruction he was horrified seeing it as a calculated betrayal of Lily's memory.
Dumbledore clearly underestimated Snape's capacity for love, and years later was very surprised to learn that Snape still maintained his devotion.
In 1996, Dumbledore was cursed by putting on Marvolo Gaunt's Ring, which was a Horcrux (he put it on when he was distracted by finding out that it was the Resurrection Stone, hoping to talk to his dead family). He managed to contact Severus who was able to contain the curse in his right hand. However, Snape knew and told Dumbledore that the curse would get stronger and stronger and eventually kill him painfully, giving him a prognosis of about a year. By this time Dumbledore was aware of Voldemort's plan to kill him through assigning Draco Malfoy by threatening to kill his parents. Knowing that he was going to die in a year and to save Draco Malfoy's safety and his soul, he ordered Snape to give him a quick and painless death when the time came. Snape, although resistant at first to killing Dumbledore, carried it out at the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, when Draco Malfoy had managed to bring Death Eaters into Hogwarts. Dumbledore also entrusted Snape with protecting the students once Hogwarts fell into Voldemort's control.
It is notable that despite trusting Snape had reformed, Dumbledore never allowed him his coveted position of professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts, ostensibly under the concern that it would cause him to revert to "old habits". However, it is more likely that he did it out of a desire to protect Snape from the jinx he believed Lord Voldemort had put on the job after failing to acquire the position himself. This same jinx prevented any teacher from lasting more than twelve months at the post, sometimes with fatal results. After being cursed by Marvolo Gaunt's ring and ordering Snape to kill him, Dumbledore finally granted him the Dark Arts post, knowing that if Snape were to kill him he would be vilified by the wizarding public and forced to resign.
- "Thought the sun shone out of my brother's every orifice, he did."
- —Aberforth Dumbledore on Elphias Doge[src]
Elphias Doge became a close friend of Dumbledore's 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 many early losses endowed him with great humanity and strong sympathy, as he stated in an obituary he wrote for Albus Dumbledore, after his death.
Elphias pitied Dumbledore about his father, mother, and sister, and had a highly opinion of him. Elphias soon became a member of the Order of the Phoenix, an organisation that Dumbledore had led. He also attended Albus Dumbledore's funeral.
Elphias also told Harry to never believe Rita Skeeter and Muriel's slanders about Albus Dumbledore's family life, including that Ariana was a Squib. It is possible that Elphias Doge 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 artefact 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.
Apart from Ron, Dumbledore was respected greatly by the rest of the Weasley family. They considered him as the greatest wizard of all time and supported him through everything (except Percy who disbelieved him about Voldemort's return) and was even the Hogwarts Headmaster during the times in which all the Weasleys attended Hogwarts.
Arthur and Molly Weasley always respected Dumbledore and were very loyal to him. Arthur, like Dumbledore, believed in the equality of all witches, wizards and Muggles while Molly considered him a great wizard who doesn't make mistakes. When the Ministry of Magic began to disbelieve Dumbledore and Harry, they supported the two famous wizards rather than the Ministry and became members of the second Order of the Phoenix.
Dumbledore's relationship with Bill happened to be a friendly one since they were both Gryffindors and liked each other. It is very likely that he also had a good relationship with Charlie.
Percy also thought of Dumbledore as a great wizard, but sometimes odd. In 1995, Percy's relationship with Dumbledore became antagonistic when he and Harry claimed that Voldemort had returned, Percy was loyal to the Ministry and participated in discrediting Harry and Dumbledore altogether. When the truth was revealed, Percy learned he had made a mistake and in 1997, attended Dumbledore's funeral.
Fred and George appeared to respect Dumbledore very much. Dumbledore also appeared to like the twins, despite their mischief-making, but knew they were good people at heart. They even joined the second Order of the Phoenix and even Dumbledore's Army.
Ginny Weasley admired Dumbledore a lot and became his student in 1992. Dumbledore comforted and reassured Ginny after she was possessed by a fragment of Voldemort's soul and manipulated into opening the Chamber of Secrets during the 1992–1993 school year. Ginny was one of the first people to learn about Dumbledore's death, and the only one able to console Harry afterwards. Ginny also named her younger son, Albus Severus Potter after Dumbledore.
James and Lily Potter
- "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 the Headmaster. Dumbledore had a good relationship with both of them, knowing them both to be pure souls. James had lent Dumbledore his Invisibility Cloak one of the three Deathly Hallows. After James's death Dumbledore returned the cloak to James's son, Harry.
When the Potters became Voldemort's targets due to a prophecy made about their son and the Dark Lord, Dumbledore attempted to protect them by casting the Fidelius Charm and offering to be their Secret Keeper, but the role of Secret Keeper went instead to Peter Pettigrew, which turned out to be a fatal mistake, as Peter turned out to be a spy, and he betrayed Lily and James to Voldemort, who killed them. Dumbledore was very saddened by their deaths and dedicated the rest of his life to protecting their son, Harry without giving him any happiness in his childhood. He often told Harry about the great goodness of his parents, and repeatedly consoled him with the assurance that his parents would never ever truly leave him because of their love for him. Dumbledore also believed that Harry's love for his parents was his greatest power.
- "Remember my last, Petunia"
- —Albus Dumbledore's Howler to Petunia Dursley, reminding her of the protection that she gave Harry[src]
Dumbledore had been known to have at least some correspondence with the Dursley family before the birth of their nephew. In 1971, Petunia Evans wrote a letter to Dumbledore asking if she could attend Hogwarts along with her sister. Dumbledore kindly rejected her request due to her being a Muggle, which had likely contributed to Petunia's already growing hatred of magic. Ten years later, Dumbledore illegally dropped Petunia's nephew at her doorstep shortly after the murders of her sister and brother-in-law, despite the fact they were not named guardian candidates of Harry in the events of James and Lily's death. Dumbledore had hoped that doing so would ensure an ancient form of magic that Lily's willful loving sacrifice for her son had created. However, Petunia and her own husband both resented Harry's presence for the next ten years.
After Harry had received his letter from Rubeus Hagrid, Vernon had denounced Dumbledore as a "crackpot old fool" and refused to pay for Harry's school funds. In response to this irreverent outburst, Hagrid gave a pig's tail to Vernon's son, Dudley Dursley. In the summer of 1995, Vernon was about to throw Harry out of the house when Petunia received a Howler from Dumbledore simply stating "Remember my last, Petunia." Less than a year later, Harry and Dumbledore were talking about why the former had to stay at the Dursley house despite his miserable existence he endured there.
A couple of months later, Dumbledore met with the Dursleys for the final time in his life. During his visit to their house, Dumbledore went over the protection that the Dursleys were affording Harry, Harry's inheritance of Sirius Black's possessions, and current updates in the wizarding world. In addition, Dumbledore chastised the Dursleys for their indulgence of their son, Dudley. Vernon and Petunia were likely indignant at Dumbledore's remarks.
Dumbledore had also a good relationship with Sirius Black, James Potter's best friend and Harry Potter's godfather, as well as a member of the Order of the Phoenix, an organisation that Dumbledore led to oppose Voldemort and his followers. Like the rest of the wizarding world, Dumbledore initially believed that Sirius was the one who betrayed Lily and James to Lord Voldemort (and helped to condemn him in Azkaban with unproven statements and lack of evidence about his supposed betrayal), but, in 1994, he learned that it was actually Peter Pettigrew. As he had no way to prove Sirius' innocence, despite being Chief Warlock and having the power to give him a trial, Dumbledore compensated by helping Hermione and Harry save Sirius from the Dementor's Kiss, and to escape from his Ministry captors, by means of a Time-Turner and Buckbeak.
The two resumed their friendship, and Sirius helped Dumbledore to recall the Order of the Phoenix an hour after Voldemort returned. However, their relationship was soon strained: Dumbledore forced Sirius to stay at 12 Grimmauld Place on account of his being a wanted convict, and because he had a tendency to act rashly, which could lead him to put himself in great danger. Though his intentions were noble, Sirius could not bring himself to appreciate Dumbledore's thoughtfulness, as he utterly despised the home which brought him many bitter, unhappy memories, and the fact that he was to be alone in the house most of the time made it all the more intolerable. Nevertheless, he still trusted Dumbledore enough to confide in him about how Harry felt Voldemort awaking inside him the night that Mr Weasley was attacked. Dumbledore was devastated when Sirius died, believing that it was mostly his fault and comforted Harry to the best of his ability, and expressed his belief that Sirius was a lively man of wit and courage, with a deep and genuine concern for his loved ones, and would not hesitate to come to their rescue even if it meant putting himself in danger. Sirius' death was also a factor that led to Dumbledore confessing to Harry several things that had been kept secret from him, mainly about the true power of his mother's sacrificial protection, and the prophecy about him and Voldemort.
Another good friend of Dumbledore was Remus Lupin, one of James's and Sirius's dearest friends, and a werewolf. It was Dumbledore who, by several special precautions, ensured that Remus was able to come to Hogwarts to receive a proper magical education despite his werewolf status. He became a member of the Order of the Phoenix after his graduation. Later on, in 1993, Dumbledore gave him the post of teaching Defence Against the Dark Arts, a decision some considered questionable. He even helped Remus control his werewolf-side by having Snape brew the Wolfsbane Potion for him on a regular basis. On his part, Remus confessed that Dumbledore's trust and exceptional kindness towards him meant everything to him, when the vast majority of the wizarding world shunned him because of the deep prejudice against werewolves. He rejoined the Order of the Phoenix when Dumbledore re-instated it in 1995, and they both fought in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, where Remus suffered a devastating loss: Sirius died in the hands of Bellatrix Lestrange. Later on, upon overhearing a conversation about Harry's misgivings of Snape, he told Harry that to doubt Snape would be to doubt Dumbledore. In 1997, Remus was devastated by Dumbledore's death after the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, and later demonstrated his faith and loyalty to Dumbledore by fighting in the Battle of Hogwarts.
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 attempted to strangle Harry during the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor, but he hesitated, causing his silver hand that was made by Voldemort to strangle and kill him.
Alastor Moody was a prominent Auror and Dumbledore's close friend. They fought together in many battles, and the intimacy of their friendship can be demonstrated by an instance where the usually formidable, no-nonsense Moody actually teased Dumbledore for his hatred of the 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, where they suffered a devastating loss: Sirius, one of their dear friends, was killed by Bellatrix Lestrange. Moody turned out to be the next member of the Order to die after Dumbledore.
Albus Dumbledore had a very strong bond with Fawkes, his pet phoenix, who served as a messenger and close companion. Dumbledore always looked after Fawkes when he was reborn after his countless deaths and in return Fawkes was extremely loyal to him. Fawkes was willing to take a Killing Curse in order to protect Dumbledore, and did so in order to defend him from Lord Voldemort. He also helped Albus escape from several members of the Ministry of Magic when they tried to arrest him. When Dumbledore died Fawkes mourned him by singing a lament and then left Hogwarts and was apparently never seen again.
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 (and heard about the abuse Harry suffered while doing nothing); 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 in 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; Herbert Beery, the Herbology Professor, who later resigned his teaching post at Hogwarts to go teaching at the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts; Galatea Merrythought, the Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor, who retired before Dippet's death; Silvanus Kettleburn, the Care of Magical Creatures Professor; and Horace Slughorn, the Potionsmaster, 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 exception of Dolores Umbridge, both respected and held a high opinion of Dumbledore.Other staff were Argus Filch, the caretaker; Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank, the Care of Magical Creatures Substitute Professor; 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.
Another Professor was Sybill Trelawney, who taught Divination. Dumbledore planned on discontinuing Divination but went to her job interview out of politeness, by the end of the interview however, he has summed her up as a fraud. When he heard her conceiving Sybill Trelawney's first prophecy, he hired Trelawney to protect her from the Death Eaters. In 1995, when Dolores Umbridge sacked Trelawney and tried to banish her from Hogwarts, it was Dumbledore who stepped in and told Umbridge he wished that Trelawney remain at Hogwarts.
Quirinus Quirrell was the Muggle Studies Professor, before he started to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts. He met Voldemort when he travelled 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 by the Ministry of Magic. 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.
- 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 discussing Dumbledore's Army[src]
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. Three of the members were killed: Fred Weasley, Lavender Brown 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
- "...or dear Bellatrix, who likes to play with her food before she eats it..."
- —Dumbledore regarding Bellatrix Lestrange's sadistic personality[src]
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 ferocious 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 Malfoy: "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 attempts 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. Dumbledore was also Hogwarts Headmaster during Lucius's time as a Hogwarts student, as well as the latter's wife, Narcissa. In 1991, Lucius's son, Draco, started attending Hogwarts. The Malfoys had a strong dislike of Dumbledore due to the man's love and acceptance of Muggle-borns and belief in Muggle rights. In 1992, Lucius gave Tom Riddle's Diary to Ginny Weasley, a Gryffindor student, in order to stigmatise 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 attempted 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 hidden by the Order of the Phoenix. Draco would most likely have accepted, 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 attempted 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. They both have one thing in common, they found out about Voldemort's horcruxes though they never knew that they knew. They both also drank the Emerald Potion. Had Dumbledore survived, he might have learned what Regulus had done. Harry found out about RAB just after Dumbledore's death.
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 torturing 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 Snr, Mulciber Snr, Rosier and Lestrange were deceased 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 Battle of Hogwarts and was either killed or imprisoned in Azkaban (except the Malfoy family and the people who claimed they were under the Imperius Curse).
Dumbledore's given names could be interpreted as representing the four primary divisions of the British Isles:
- Albus could refer to bright, or white.
- Albus may be the masculine form of "Alba", the Gaelic 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.
- Clodius Albinus was a Roman usurper proclaimed emperor by the legions in Britain and Hispania upon the murder of Pertinax in 193.
After Pertinax was assassinated, the praetorian prefect Aemilius Laetus and his men, who had arranged the murder, "sold" the imperial throne to wealthy senator Didius Julianus, effectively crowning him emperor, but a string of mutinies from the troops in the provinces meant the next emperor was far from decided. Immediately afterwards, Pescennius Niger (possibly Phineas Nigellus Black) was proclaimed emperor by the legions in Syria; Septimius Severus (Severus Snape) by the troops in Illyricum and Pannonia; and Albinus by the armies in Britain and Gaul.
- 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. Dumbledore was also severelly wounded by the potion in The Cave and the orphaned follower is obviously 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.
- The male name Albus can also come from Latin origins and means pure or white. Albus can also be associated with the Greek Goddess Aphrodite (the Goddess of Love) and viewed as having been "graced" by her. According to Rowling herself, the first names of Albus Dumbledore and Rubeus Hagrid were chosen based on "the white" and "the red", which were considered essential mystical components of alchemy. Dumbledore was given the white for asceticism, "a spiritual theoretician, brilliant, idealised, and somewhat detached".
Behind the scenes
- Dumbledore is portrayed by Irish actor Richard Harris in the film adaptations of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets. When Harris died of Hodgkin's Disease in 2002, Michael Gambon was recast as Dumbledore and portrays him in the film adaptations of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Part 2. Therefore, Dumbledore is one of the 14 characters to appear in all 8 film adaptations.
- A younger Dumbledore is portrayed by Harris in Chamber of Secrets and Gambon portrays a younger Dumbledore in Goblet of Fire and Half-Blood Prince. Toby Regbo portrayed an even younger Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
- 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, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
- Gambon’s physical portrayal as Dumbledore is also slightly different, opting for a somewhat Bohemian look, including a fez-like tasselled hat, 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. Dumbledore doesn't always wear his spectacles in the films (except the third where he was wearing them during every on-screen appearance in that film, while in the fourth movie he wore his spectacles at different times, in the fifth movie he wore them only during the Start-of-Term Feast and in the sixth movie, he wore them just during the Start-of-Term Feast and for a brief moment in his office examining Tom Riddle’s diary just before Harry entered and sees Dumbledore’s memory of meeting Riddle. Also, just after Harry is seen entering and the next shot of Dumbledore comes, his spectacles have gone which is one of the movie’s mistakes). 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.
- Dumbledore does not say Harry Potter's name at all in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This is the only film in which this happens, although Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 would not count, due to Dumbledore having died near the end of the previous film and flashbacks and voices of Dumbledore saying hints and the like.
- In the early drafts of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore would not resist arrest by the Ministry of Magic, after the discovery of Dumbledore's Army, and would've uttered: "Then to Azkaban I must go. I trust I'm allowed a toothbrush?"
- In the films, Dumbledore has the distinction of being the first character to appear in the film 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 was gay, and harboured 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 film 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.
- Ciarán Hinds, who played Albus's brother Aberforth, claimed that Dumbledore was 123 years old when he died. This would make his year of birth 1874.
- In one interview, J. K. Rowling said that Dumbledore was a sprightly 150. This is possibly referenced in the Half-Blood Prince film, when the trio humorously speculates 150 as his age, before cracking up.
- At the end of the first part of the Deathly Hallows film, it is shown that Dumbledore is buried on the island in the Black Lake that Harry and Lupin take a stroll through in the Prisoner of Azkaban film.
- Albus Dumbledore has a scar above his left knee which is a perfect map of the London Underground.
- Dumbledore is similar in appearance and role to Gandalf from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. His resemblance to Gandalf is perhaps strongest in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and he also resembles Gandalf the White in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. The fire attack he uses to fight the Inferi could also be compared to Gandalf's "Flame of Anor". Many used Gandalf's supposed death (as he survived) to support their theories that Dumbledore survived, but J.K. Rowling said to not expect him to "pull a Gandalf".
- Dumbledore and Harry Potter are also quite similar in some ways: They were Gryffindor students, they wear glasses (Harry wears full moon and Dumbledore wears half-moon), both are half-bloods, both their mothers were Muggle-born and both were brilliant Hogwarts students.
- Evanna Lynch, who plays Luna Lovegood in the film series, named her cats after Harry Potter characters: she has a cat named Luna and another named Dumbledore.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore tells Draco Malfoy: "Years ago I knew a boy who made all the wrong choices." There has been some debate about who he is referring to. Possibilities include Tom Riddle, Gellert Grindelwald, Severus Snape and himself.
- Per his Famous Wizard Card, Dumbledore enjoys chamber music and ten-pin bowling.
- In addition to the portrait of Dumbledore that was hung in his office automatically after his death, a second portrait of him was hung in several places in Hogwarts castle and could also been in the Headmaster's office.
- J. K. Rowling has said that if she could meet any character in the Harry Potter novels for dinner, it would be Dumbledore, as she feels she would have a lot to discuss with him and she would love his advice.
- The LEGO version of Albus Dumbledore makes a cameo appearance in the 2014 film The LEGO Movie alongside other characters from popular LEGO sets. In the film he is a Master Builder and sits next to Gandalf at a meeting of the other builders and when addressed by [] becomes irritated by the latter's inability to pronounce his name properly. He, along with the other Master Builders was captured by the villains and latter rescued. He speaks in a high effeminate voice.
- Dumbledore shares many characteristics with the character Jiraiya of the Naruto franchise. They had key similarities such as their white hair, tall stature, and their roles as mentors to the protagonists and their fathers. In addition, Jiraiya's turning down of the position of Hokage multiple times is quite similar to Dumbledore having turned down the position of Minister of Magic many times as well. They also both experienced deep love that was never reciprocated: Jiraiya's love for his comrade Tsunade, and Dumbledore's young love for his later enemy Gellert Grindelwald. Their students are also both remarked for looking extremely similar to their fathers, while having mothers with dark red hair. Both also died at the hand of a former student: Pain for Jiraiya, and Snape for Dumbledore. They also both left secrets for their students to discover after their deaths to aide in their journeys, and put their protege as the main inheritor of their will. Neither were married, nor had any children. Both were intensely loved by their students. They also both considered themselves inferior in both character and purpose than their student, and both had enemies with snake-like physical characteristics that sought to obtain immortality: Voldemort for Dumbledore, and Orochimaru for Jiraiya, and neither one managed to defeat their foe while alive.
- 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 (Appears as a corpse, a ghost or a spirit and in portrait(s))
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Appears in flashback(s), as a ghost or a spirit and as a corpse)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game) (Appears as a ghost or a spirit)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Appears as a ghost or a spirit)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game)
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Wrote preface and notes)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (Wrote preface)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) (Mentioned only)
- Quidditch Through the Ages (Wrote preface)
- Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter
- Wizard of the Month
- Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter for Kinect
- LEGO Creator: Harry Potter
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- LEGO Harry Potter
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- The Making of Harry Potter
- The LEGO Movie
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault (mentioned only)
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 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 (1 September – 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.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Pottermore - Albus Dumbledore fact file
- ↑ Harry Potter Limited Edition (See this image)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 According to Scrimgeour (and Hermione) in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 7 (The Will of Albus Dumbledore), the Ministry has the right to maintain possession of Dumbledore's bequests for thirty-one days only, in accordance with the Decree for Justifiable Confiscation. Dumbledore's bequests were delivered to Ron, Hermione and Harry on 31 July 1997: Harry Potter's seventeenth birthday. As it is referred in that chapter that the "thirty-one days are up", Dumbledore died exactly thirty-one days earlier, in the evening of 30 June.
- ↑ Both of his parents are wizards, but his mother Kendra was a muggle-born, making him a half-blood.
- ↑ Pottermore introduction for Gryffindors (transcription available here)
- ↑ Harry Potter Film Wizardry
- ↑ Harry Potter Limited Edition
- ↑ 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ second trailer of the film adaptation of Fantastic Beasts and where to find them.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- ↑ Pottermore - Writing by J.K. Rowling: "UNKNOWN ARTICLE - Add to Template:PM"
- ↑ In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 20 (Lord Voldemort's Request), Dumbledore indicates that Voldemort visited him to ask for the Defence Against the Dark Arts job ten years after his murder of Hepzibah Smith, which itself occurred one or two years after Voldemort left Hogwarts in 1945. On Pottermore, it was stated that Minerva McGonagall was offered a "a job in the Transfiguration department, under Head of Department, Albus Dumbledore", implying Dumbledore was not yet the Headmaster at the time of her employment. It is known from a statement in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 15 (The Hogwarts High Inquisitor), that McGonagall started teaching at Hogwarts in December 1956. It is thus probable that Dumbledore succeeded Dippet as headmaster in 1957.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- ↑ Harry Potter's Author J. K. Rowling Meets With L.A. Students, Plots Her Next Move Retrieved on 16 April 2008.
- ↑ J.K. Rowling and the Live Chat, Bloomsbury.com, July 30, 2007
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 J. K. Rowling at Carnegie Hall
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 21.2 J. K. Rowling interview in the Student
- ↑ The Tales of Beedle the Bard (real)
- ↑ J.K. Rowling Web Chat Transcript
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- ↑ LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (chapter 35)
- ↑ MuggleNet transcript of Bloomsbury Webchat
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- ↑ Pottermore - New from J. K. Rowling - Colours
- ↑ Harry Potter Film Series
- ↑ Deathly Hallows Casting Updates: Teen Dumbledore Cast, Chris Rankin Returns and More
- ↑ "Revision of the plan of 'Order of the Phoenix'", by J.K. Rowling
- ↑ 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
- ↑ 16 October 2000 Scholastic Chat with J.K. Rowling
- ↑ Harry Potter Information Sheet provided by Bloomsbury to those who write to Rowling, see this PDF
|Professors: Albus Dumbledore · Minerva McGonagall|
|Textbooks: A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration · Intermediate Transfiguration · A Guide to Advanced Transfiguration|
|Known practitioners: Emeric Switch · Circe · Falco Aesalon · Mirabella Plunkett · Thaddeus Thurkell ·|
|Transfiguration spells studied at Hogwarts: Chair to cat · Match to needle · Snail to Teapot · Teacup to Rat · Switching Spell · Transforming Spell · Avifors Spell · Mice to Snuffboxes · Beetle Buttons · Rabbit Slippers · Vera Verto · Teapot to tortoise · Draconifors Spell · Lapifors Spell · Vanishing Spell · Owl to opera glasses · Guinea fowl to guinea pig · Hedgehog to pincushion · Small Child to Rat · Meddling Man to Monkey · Crinus Muto|
|Branches of Transfiguration: Transformation · Vanishment · Conjuration · Untransfiguration|