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Albus Percival Wulfuric Brian Dumbledore was a character in the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling.

Dumbledore was a powerful wizard and the renowned Headteacher of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He guided Harry Potter to help him gain an understanding of Voldemort and how to defeat him, a feat that he achieved even in death.

Biography

Early life

Albus Dumbledore was the eldest child of Percival and Kendra Dumbledore and the elder brother of Aberforth and Ariana Dumbledore.

When Ariana was six years old, she was attacked by Muggle boys who saw her use magic, and the truma caused her to lose control her powers. Percival found the boys and hurt them back using magic. He didn't tell anyone why out of fear that Ariana could be sent to St Mungo's Hospital. He was sent to Azkaban, and Kendra took the family to Godric's Hollow. Albus and Aberforth could not speak about what happened to Ariana, she was kept in the house and their neighbours had no idea that Kendra even had a daughter.

In September 1892, Albus began attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and he was sorted into Gryffindor. He was an exceptionally talented and academic student and achieved many things at school. He graduated at the beginning of summer 1899. However, around the same time, Kendra was killed when Ariana lost control of her magic, leaving Albus and Aberforth her primary guardians.

Albus and a school friend, Elphias Doge had plans to go travelling which he had to cancel to stay at home for Ariana. Aberforth wanted to drop out of school to look after her, but Albus didn't want him to. Aberforth began acting wayward and Albus had to tey and control him. He started to feel trapped in Godric's Hollow looking after them and it made him angry and bitter, hoping for a way out.

Grindelwald friendship

Then during the summer of 1899, Albus befriended Gellert Grindelwald, the great-nephew of Bathilda Bagshot who was staying at her house. He was searching for the Deathly Hallows. Grindelwald was a very persuasive person and he encouraged Albus to help find the Deathly Hallows to take control of the wizarding world. He wanted to end the International Statute of Secrecy and thought it was the duty of wizards to rule the world.

Grindelwald was a talented and brilliant wizard and Dumbledore was in awe. He supported Grindelwald's ideas and joined him towards achieving these goals. He proposed they adopt a slogan which Grindelwald adopted, "For the Greater Good". He sent the suggestion in a letter, explaining how the slogan could support and justify any of the actions they needed to take.

However, when Aberforth found out about their plans, he was upset. He thought Ariana was being neglected and abandoned, and that Grindelwald was dangerous and he needed to wake up. Albus understood what Aberforth was saying, and he admitted decades later that he knew then that he and Grindelwald were wrong, but he was unable to accept it at the time.[2]

Grindelwald argued back to Aberforth, saying that Ariana wouldn't have to hide away when he and Albus controlled the wizarding world. Aberforth continued to argue that their plans were wrong, causing Grindelwald to get upset and put the Cruciatus Curse on him. Albus was angry and engaged Grindelwald in a duel. Aberforth then joined in and they had a three-way duel, in which Ariana intervened to protect Aberforth. When she run into the fight, a stray curse hit her and killed her.[2]

Grindelwald run away and abandoned Albus. Aberforth held Albus accountable for her death, and punched him in the nose at her funeral.[2] Albus was devastated by her death, and he felt guilty about what happened. He was unable to find the courage to tell Aberforth that he was sorry for the part he played in her death. Because of that, Aberforth thought he was cold-hearted and that he was happy he was finally no longer obligated to look after him and Ariana.[2]

In 1926, Newton Scamander caused an incident in New York that broke the International Statute of Secrecy and caused him to have to confront Grindelwald. Dumbledore then persuaded Newt to join him in order to defeat Grindelwald. The wizarding world thought that Dumbledore had sent Newt to New York in the first place, but they both denied that.[3]

In 1945, Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald in a legendary duel.[4]

Teaching Tom Riddle

In 1942, Tom opened the Chamber of Secrets and a student was killed. Dumbledore suspected Tom was responsible but he was unable to persuade the Headteacher of the day, Professor Dippet. In June, Dumbledore found Tom wandering near the Great Hall late in the evening. He asked Tom what was up to and he told Dumbledore he had to go and speak to Professor Dippet. Dumbledore told Tom he should be heading back to the Slytherin common room because it was dangerous, sighing heavily.[5]

First Wizarding War

James and Lily were found and killed by Voldemort when Peter betrayed them. But when Lily was killed, he gave her the chance to step aside per a promise he made to Snape. Her death caused an ancient force (a blood protection) to shield and protect Harry. The Killing Curse bounced back and struck Voldemort instead. Dumbledore worked out what had happened and knew that Voldemort had Horcruxes that ensured that he could not be killed. He worked out too that a piece of Voldemort's unstable, broken soul had latched to Harry, making him another Horcrux. But Voldemort no longer had a body: he was now powerless and he run into hiding.[6]

Knowing that Voldemort would be back one day, Dumbledore began to put a plan together. He wanted Harry to be kept safe and for Lily's protection to stay strong. He thought that sending him to be raised by the Dursley family was the best option because Petunia Dursley was the only blood relative that Harry had and the closest relative to Lily. He had Hagrid take Harry from Godric's Hollow to Privet Drive.[7]

He went through 12 parties to confuse and escape anyone who might have followed him. He used a Put-Outer to dim the lights of Privet Drive. He noticed Professor McGonagall in Animagus form nearby. They had a short conversation about the Dursley family, the celebrations now the First Wizarding War had ended, and Dumbledore confirmed that James and Lily were killed. McGongall shared her doubts about Harry being given to such a family, but she accepted it when Dumbledore pointed out that it was better to Harry to grow up not knowing the level of attention he would get.[7]

He advised McGonagall that it was time to start saying Voldemort instead of "You-Know-Who", pointing out she was smarter than that. Hagrid then arrived and handed them Harry. McGongall pointed out that Harry had a scar and Dumbledore told them he would have that scar for life. They each said their goodbyes to Harry and he advised McGonagall and Hagrid to join a party. He then put the lights back on, said good luck to Harry and Apparated.[7]

Achievements

Dumbledore was thought to be the greatest wizard that ever lived when he defeated Gellert Grindelwald in 1945. Academically, he was known for many important achievements, including finding twelve uses of dragon blood. He and a good friend, Nicolas Flamel worked together in Alchemy research.[4]

In 1990, Dumbledore was very popular and the wizarding community wanted him to accept the job of Minister for Magic. Dumbledore had the opportunity to accept the role many times but he had never wanted to and kept declining. Cornelius Fudge was given the job instead but he lacked confidence and many thought he was incompetent. Due to that, Fudge sent many, many owls to Dumbledore to ask him for advice.[8]

Dumbledore had sources who kept tabs on potential locations of Tom Riddle. He found out that Tom was hiding in the forests of Albania.[9]

Philosopher's Stone

In the summer of 1991, Dumbledore suspected that Voldemort was going to steal the Philosopher's Stone. He and Nicolas Flamel put the Stone in Gringotts and then Dumbledore began securing Hogwarts for the Stone to be kept there. He asked Professors to put their own security in each section of the underground chambers. Rubeus Hagrid loaned him Fluffy to guard the trapdoor to the underground chambers in the third-floor corridor.[10]

Dumbledore wanted to put the Stone in the Mirror of Erised. He wanted to enchant it to give the Stone to a person who wanted to save the Stone rather than use it. He put the mirror in the fourth-floor classroom until he found a way to enchant it.[11][10]

In September, Dumbledore welcomed new students including Harry Potter, who saw him at the High Table for the first time. He informed the students that the third-floor corridor was out-of-bounds unless they wanted to suffer a "painful death". Harry was one of the few who laughed, but thought Dumbledore was very eccentric and crazy.[12] In October, Harry was given special permission from Dumbledore through Professor McGonagall to be a Seeker in the first-year.[13]

During the Hallowe'en feast, Professor Quirrell run up to Dumbledore's chair at the High Table totell him that a troll was in the school and then fainting. Dumbledore calmed the school and asked them to go to their common rooms. Professor Quirrell had feigned fainting, hoping to use the event to sneak away to the third-floor corridor. He was intercepted by Professor Snape, who was bitten by Fluffy in the process.[14]

Harry and Dumbledore speak about the Mirror of Erised

In December, he sent Harry the Cloak of Invisibility and a note to "use it well".[11][10] Later, Dumbledore found out that Harry knew about the Mirror of Erised. He went the mirror on the third night to tell Harry how it worked, and gave him the advice that it "does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live". He then had the mirror taken to the underground chambers, and put the Stone in the mirror. He asked Harry not to go looking for it again.[11][10]

Dumbledore was sent a note from the Ministry of Magic asking him to go and speak to them. Quirrell, possessed by Voldemort, put a plan in action to steal the Philosopher's Stone.[15] Dumbledore eventually worked out that he should go back to the school, and he went to the underground chamber that contained the Philosopher's Stone in time to save Harry from Quirrell. He dragged Quirrell away from Harry, and Voldemort abandoned him and fled. Harry woke up three days later, and spoke to Dumbledore in the Hospital Wing.[10]

Dumbledore explained what he had done to keep the Stone safe and what had happened that evening. He and Nicolas agreed that the Stone had to be destroyed. He warned Harry that Voldemort will try to get be back in power one day. He wouldn't tell Harry why Voldemort targeted him in the first place, even when he told him about Lily's protection. Harry asked him about Snape. Harry found out that Snape and James Potter hated each other, and that Harry's father saved Snape's life. He lied to Harry, telling him that Snape probably saved him earlier in the year to pay back that debt.[10]

At the End-of-Year Feast, Dumbledore gave Harry, Ron and Hermione fifty points each for saving the Stone, and gave Neville Longbottom ten points for having the courage to stand up to friends.[10]

Chamber of Secrets

In September 1992, Dumbledore heard about how Harry and Ron had flown the Ford Anglia to school and broke the International Statute of Secrecy. He joined Professor Snape and McGonagall in speaking to them, and he told them he was not going to expel them but gave a warning that if they done anything that serious for a second time, he would have to expel them. He then let McGonagall tell them what punishment she thought they should have. Harry and Ron felt ashamed in front of Dumbledore and apologised to him for their behaviour.[16] Dumbledore then wrote a letter to their family.[17]

Later, Dumbledore found Filch near Mrs Norris who was Petrified, and a warning that "The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the Heir beware". Filch thought Harry had killed her but Dumbledore told him the truth. Harry would not have the skill to use such a Dark force. Dumbledore watched Harry but then told everyone how the petrification could be undone using the Mandrake Restorative Draught.[18]

Then during a later evening, Dumbledore went to get a hot chocolate when he found Professor McGonagall shaken at the foot of stairs leading up to the Hospital Wing. McGonagall had found a Petrified Colin Creevey and together they took him to Madam Pomfrey. Dumbledore looked at the film in Colin's camera but it was completely destroyed. Dumbledore told McGonagall it was proof that the Chamber of Secrets was opened again and she asked who would do such a thing. Dumbledore confused her by asking not who, but how.[19]

Professor McGonagall took Harry to Professor Dumbledore when another two people were Petrified and Harry was at the scene. He introduced Harry to Fawkes and Hagrid showed up to argue for Harry's innocence. He told Hagrid that he thought Harry was innocent too. But before Harry left, he asked him whether had had anything he wanted to tell him. Even though he had lots of things he wanted to ask Dumbledore, he told him he had nothing to tell.[20]

In April, two new students were Petrified. It called for a plan of action by Cornelius Fudge and the Board of Governors. Fudge wanted to speak to Hagrid so Professor Dumbledore accompanied him to Hagrid's Hut. Fudge explained he had to take Hagrid to Azkaban for the time-being. Dumbledore told Fudge that he had full confidence in Hagrid's innocence, and Fudge told Hagrid he would send him back if that was proven. Lucius Malfoy then showed up to speak to Dumbledore. He was Chairman of the Board of Governors and he informed everybody that they had voted to suspend Dumbledore, giving him a signed Order of Suspension.[21]

Hagrid correctly deduced Lucius had threatened the other people on the Board, and Fudge objected to Dumbledore's suspension but the Board's decision was final. Dumbledore accepted the order but announced that won't be truly gone at the school so long that people stay loyal to him, and that help will given to anyone at Hogwarts who asked for it. He looked in the direction of Harry and Ron when he spoke, implying he knew they were hiding under the Cloak of Invisibility.[21]

Professor McGonagall was given a role of temporary Head[22] and he gave her instructions to keep the school running how it usually it would and ensure normal education continued.[23] He was later given permission to go back to Hogwarts School by the Board of Governors who told Dumbledore how Lucius had threatened them. They contacted Dumbledore because Ginny was supposedly killed by the Basilisk and taken into the Chamber of Secrets. He and Professor McGonagall spoke to Mr and Mrs Weasley in her office.[9]

During their talk, Harry and Ron and Professor Lockhart showed up having saved Ginny. Dumbledore was smiling and Harry told the story of how he found the Chamber of Secrets and what happened. Dumbledore told the group what he knew about Tom Riddle and how he enchanted Ginny by using a Diary. He sent Ginny to the Hospital Wing and Professor McGonagall was sent to organise a great feast in celebration of the end of the Chamber of Secrets, leaving Dumbledore to speak to Harry and Ron.[9]

He gave Harry and Ron two-hundred House points each and a Special Award for Services to the School. He then asked Professor Lockhart why he was being so quiet. He was told by Harry how he had erased his own mind when he was trying to do the same to Harry and Ron. Dumbledore told Lockhart he was impaled on his own sword, knowing Lockhart's tendency to erase people's minds to get what he wanted. Lockhart told him he doesn't have a sword, but Harry does and Dumbledore sent Ron to take Lockhart to the Hospital Wing.[9]

Dumbledore thanked Harry for being so loyal, and how he imagined Tom was very interested in Harry. He explained he was and Dumbledore told him how the evening Tom wanted to kill Harry and failed, he unknowingly transferred powers to Harry including being able to speak Parseltongue. He reassured Harry he wasn't Tom and he could decide who he wanted to be. He wanted to Harry to join a feast in the Great Hall so he could compose a letter to Azkaban to get Hagrid back.[9]

But Lucius walked in unimpressed Dumbledore broke suspension and was back at the school. Dumbledore and Harry told Lucius how they knew he was responsible for everything including giving Tom Riddle's Diary to Ginny and threatening governors to get Dumbledore suspended. Lucius then gave up arguing and walked away. He gave Harry permission to give the Diary to Lucius and secured Hagrid's return. At the feast, Dumbledore told everybody Lockhart wouldn't be coming back to teach next year, causing the whole school to cheer.[9]

Appearance

DumbledoreJimKay.jpeg

In middle age, Dumbledore had long auburn hair. He was very tall.[5] In elderly age, Dumbledore wore half-round glasses, had a long crooked nose and silver hair.[4]

Trivia

  • Dumbledore was known for having an eccentric character. He loved chamber music and tenpin bowling. He was fond of the Muggle sweet, sherbet lemon.[24]
  • In 1991, Dumbledore saw the whole Dumbledore family alive and well again (Percival, Kendra and Ariana) in the Mirror of Erised. Ariana was happy and in control of her magic and he and Aberforth reconciled.[25] He also claimed that he was holding a pair of woollen socks once when he looked in the mirror, but he probably he made that up in order to persuade Harry not to look in the mirror again.[11]
  • Possessions included:

Notes and sources

  1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 17
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 35
  3. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2017 edition)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 6
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 13
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 1
  8. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 5
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 18
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 12
  12. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 7
  13. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 9
  14. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 10
  15. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 16
  16. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 5
  17. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 6
  18. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 9
  19. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 10
  20. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 12
  21. 21.0 21.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 14
  22. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 15
  23. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16
  24. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 1 - "A sherbet lemon. They’re a kind of Muggle sweet I’m rather fond of."
  25. J.K. Rowling's Bloomsbury web chat
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