Aberforth Dumbledore was a half-blood wizard, the middle son of Percival and Kendra Dumbledore, younger brother of Albus and older brother of Ariana. He attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1895. His father died in Azkaban when Aberforth was young, while his mother and sister were later accidentally killed. For many years, Aberforth didn't have a good relationship with his brother, Albus.
Aberforth was the owner and barman of the Hog's Head pub in Hogsmeade He was a member of the original Order of the Phoenix and may have been a member of the reinstated order, though he did not actively participate in the Order like the most members did; he initially didn't fight in any battle of the war, but assisted Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger get into Hogwarts in 1998. He later fought at the Battle of Hogwarts and survived the Second Wizarding War. He still lives at Hogsmeade, tending to his goats.
- "They were not alike: Aberforth was never bookish and, unlike Albus, preferred to settle arguments by dueling rather than through reasoned discussion... In fairness to Aberforth, it must be admitted that living in Albus's shadow cannot have been an altogether comfortable experience."
- —Description of the Dumbledore brothers[src]
Aberforth was the middle child of Percival and Kendra Dumbledore, younger brother to Albus and older brother to Ariana. Growing up, his favourite tale from Beedle the Bard was Grumble the Grubby Goat.  In his youth, he was often in the shadow of his extraordinarily talented older brother Albus. He later described himself as having been raised surrounded by lies and secrets, which may indicate that he did not have a happy childhood. The Dumbledore family was traumatized when Ariana was attacked by three Muggle boys who left her half-insane and unable to control her magic. Percival Dumbledore cursed the boys in retaliation, and was arrested for it. He did not reveal to the authorities the reason for his attack, as Ariana would have been taken from the family as a threat to the Statute of Secrecy and placed in St. Mungo's permanently. Percival was imprisoned in Azkaban, and Kendra Dumbledore moved the family to Godric's Hollow.
Aberforth attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1895 and was most likely sorted into Gryffindor house, like his brother. Unlike Albus, Aberforth preferred to solve his differences by dueling, rather than dialogue. He was also less popular than his brother.
Aberforth, who was Ariana's favourite, took part responsibility of taking care of her, but he was not present when Ariana lost control of her magic and accidentally killed their mother. Although Aberforth wanted to take over the care of his sister then, Albus Dumbledore did not allow it, as he wanted his younger brother to complete his Hogwarts education. By this time, Aberforth was described as a "wayward" young man, known to chuck goat dung at their neighbours and inclined to get into duels with those he had disagreements with.
When Gellert Grindelwald came to Godric's Hollow, he and Albus instantly struck up a friendship and dreamed of finding the Deathly Hallows and leading a revolution that would make Muggles subservient to wizards. When Aberforth pointed out that she was in no fit state to go with them, that their plans would leave Ariana behind, and argued against them, Gellert Grindelwald became furious and used the Cruciatus Curse on Aberforth. Albus tried to protect Aberforth, but while the three battled, Ariana came downstairs to see what was causing the commotion, and a stray curse from one of them hit Ariana, killing her. Aberforth blamed Albus for Ariana's death, going as far as to physically assault his brother at their sister's funeral and actually breaking Albus's nose. He continued to resent his brother for years, despite Albus's immense feelings of regret.
First Wizarding War
At some point, Aberforth became the barman of the Hog's Head pub in Hogsmeade village. When Tom Riddle returned to Hogwarts to apply for the Defence Against the Dark Arts post, Albus revealed that he had connections with the local barman, who told him about Riddle’s meetings in the Hog's Head. He joined the Order of the Phoenix when the First Wizarding War broke out.
In 1980, his brother Albus visited the Hog's Head to interview Sybill Trelawney for the position of Divination professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Severus Snape, a Death Eater, overheard part of Trelawney's prophecy about Harry Potter and Tom Riddle; Snape was unable to hear its entirety, however, as Aberforth caught him eavesdropping and threw him out.
In 1982, Aberforth was prosecuted by the Wizengamot for "using inappropriate charms on a goat," causing a "minor scandal" that was widely reported in the papers. According to his brother, Aberforth did not let the gossip get him down or force him into hiding. However, Albus was not certain if this was due to bravery, as he was not completely sure Aberforth could read.
Second Wizarding War
In 1995, Harry Potter and a large number of students arrived in the Hog's Head to discuss learning Defence Against the Dark Arts from Harry. Harry recognized Aberforth but it was never revealed if it was because he looked like his brother or because he was in Moody's photo of the first Order of the Phoenix. Harry later spotted Aberforth in the company of Mundungus Fletcher, who appeared to be selling stolen goods from 12 Grimmauld Place to Aberforth; one of those items was Sirius Black's two-way mirror. Later that year, Aberforth was one of the many who attended the funeral of his brother Albus.
Funeral of Albus Dumbledore
In 1997, the Battle of the Astronomy Tower took place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and Albus Dumbledore was killed by Severus Snape (in fact, under Albus's orders). A great number of people attended his funeral, including Aberforth; Hogwarts students, professors, old friends, Hogsmeade residents, Order of the Phoenix members and Ministry of Magic officials. It is unknown how Aberforth felt about the death of his last family member.
Voldemort's infiltration of Hogwarts
The next year, since Dumbledore had died and couldn't protect the school from Death Eaters, Lord Voldemort managed to take over Hogwarts. Snape became Headmaster and Alecto and Amycus Carrow, two Death Eaters, became Deputy Headmasters. The Carrows liked punishing students, and were cruel and sadistic. They used their power to torture the students who opposed them. Abertforth's pub was used as passage way into Hogwarts to the Room of Requirement, he supplied students in hiding with food and water.
Skirmish at Malfoy Manor
Although he described the Order as "finished" after Voldemort's take-over of the Ministry of Magic in 1997, he assisted them and Harry Potter in many ways; in 1998, Aberforth helped Harry first by sending Dobby to rescue him, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger from Malfoy Manor after Harry screamed for help while looking at the two-way mirror.
Battle of Hogwarts
- Harry Potter: "It's...he left me a job."
- Aberforth: "Did he now? Nice job, I hope? Pleasant? Easy? Sort of thing you'd expect an unqualified wizard kid to be able to do without overstretching themselves?"
- Harry Potter: "I — it's not easy, no. But I've got to —"
- Aberforth: "Got to? Why got to? He's dead, isn't he? Let it go, boy, before you follow him! Save yourself!"
- — Aberforth on the task his brother left to Harry Potter[src]
Later, Aberforth pulled them to safety after they arrived in Hogsmeade, which had a Caterwauling Charm placed over it and was being watched by Death Eaters should Harry try to return to Hogwarts. The Hog's Head then became the main transportation hub for the outgoing students and the incoming Order members prior to the Battle of Hogwarts through a secret passageway behind a portrait of his sister Ariana. Aberforth also fought in the battle; he entered Hogwarts to complain to Harry about how hundreds of evacuating students are thundering through his pub, and that they should have kept some Slytherin students as hostage against parenting Death Eaters, to which Harry countered that it would not stop Voldemort and that Albus would never do it. Aberforth sneered at the latter theory before leaving to defend the castle in the first round. He was later seen stunning and defeating Augustus Rookwood.
Aberforth Dumbledore, like his brother, wears glasses and has very bright blue eyes. He is also tall and thin, with a great deal of long grey hair and beard. Harry thought he was a rather grumpy-looking old man. He also has an appearance "like a goat."
Personality and traits
Aberforth is regarded by most people who are familiar with him as odd and gruff. Alastor Moody, who met him at the taking of the photo of the original Order, only described him as a "strange bloke". He has a curious fondness for goats, and deals with a great many dodgy customers at the Hog's Head. He also has a long memory; he once placed a life-time ban from the Hog's Head on Mundungus Fletcher for offending him. Aberforth had a sharp wit and was a talented duelist, though he had no interest in academic matters.
Aberforth generally seems cynical and bad-tempered, such as when he sarcastically pointed out to Harry Potter how little Albus Dumbledore had really told him even while putting an enormous responsibility on his shoulders. However, his actions sometimes seem to belie this. For example, despite generally disliking his older brother for his glory-seeking and blaming him for their younger sister's death, the two obviously maintained contact with one another and Aberforth joined the Order of the Phoenix, which Albus founded and led. Also, in spite of claiming earlier that "You-Know-Who's won, it's over, and anyone who's pretending different's kidding themselves", he fought bravely and selflessly at the Battle of Hogwarts. His unwillingly courageous nature shows itself in one of his last conversations with Harry; after Harry thanked him for saving his and his friends' lives twice, Aberforth gruffly retorted, "Look after 'em, then. I might not be able to save 'em a third time."
Magical abilities and skills
- Patronus Charm: Aberforth was capable of summoning a fully formed Patronus which took the form of a goat.
- Master Duellist: Though not as powerful as his brother, Aberforth was nevertheless a skilled duellist being able to survive the Battle of Hogwarts. It was also said that Aberforth preferred to settle things by duelling rather than negotiating. He also participated in the three way duel between himself, Albus and Gellert Grindlewald.
Aberforth's relationship with his parents isn't very well known. His father was imprisoned in Azkaban after he used illegal spells on three muggle boys who attacked Ariana. His mother was a described as a good woman, and it is possible that she and Aberforth had a good relationship; however, Kendra was accidentally killed by Ariana. Aberforth was devastated by her death.
- "I was her favourite... She liked me best."
- —Aberforth on his sister[src]
Aberforth Dumbledore was Ariana Dumbledore's older and favourite brother. After her attack, Aberforth was the only one who could calm her down when she flew into a rage, something even their mother could not accomplish. The two often fed goats together in their free time. Aberforth was not present when Ariana lost control of her magic and accidentally killed their mother. Afterwards, he wanted to take care of Ariana, but their older brother Albus insisted that Aberforth complete his education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry first. Soon after, Albus became friends with Gellert Grindelwald, and Aberforth stepped in when they began making plans for world domination and Muggle subjugation, pointing out that Ariana was in no state to be dragged along with them. This resulted in a three-way duel between Ariana's brothers and Grindelwald. Ariana tried to interfere, and was inadvertently killed by one of them, which devastated Aberforth and caused a permanent rift between him and Albus. At Ariana's funeral, Aberforth broke his brother's nose and shouted at him that her death was all his fault. Long after Ariana's death, Aberforth continued to keep a portrait of his late sister in the Hog's Head Inn. It conceals a secret passage to the Room of Requirement in Hogwarts Castle.
Aberforth and his brother had a strained, if not bitter, relationship most of their lives. Aberforth was resentful and bitter about the huge attention received by Albus, and spent most of his time caring for his sick younger sister, Ariana. After the death of Kendra Dumbledore, Albus was left to care for his brother and sister. When Albus and his friend, Gellert Grindelwald, announced their plan to travel and take Ariana with them, Aberforth bluntly told him that Ariana would not be accompanying. Grindelwald initiated a duel that resulted in Ariana's death, and Aberforth blamed this on Albus, shouting at him at Ariana's funeral and breaking his nose. After this, the two had relatively little contact, although Aberforth did join the original Order of the Phoenix during the First Wizarding War, as well as attended his brother's funeral in 1997. Aberforth forgave his late brother after Harry explained Albus' drinking of the Drink of Despair, and fought in the defence of his brother's school, the first of the Hogsmeade residents to do so.
Although Albus initially was resentful towards Aberforth for dragging him down from fame and glory with the responsibility of being head of the family, Albus loved his brother dearly, and came to respect and admire him greatly for his devotion to Ariana.
Aberforth disliked Gellert Grindelwald very strongly. Grindelwald was Albus's friend after Hogwarts. While Aberforth was taking care of Ariana, Albus and Grindelwald were planning to enslave the muggles. As the two boys were planning to travel around the world, they also planned to take Ariana with them. Aberforth opposed them, telling that he would be able to take care of Ariana once more. Then Grindelwald became very angry and used the Cruciatus Curse on Aberforth; Albus then defended his brother and the three boys had a duel, in which Ariana was accidentally killed by one of them. Grindelwald escaped and left the country. He was later defeated and sent to Nurmengard by Albus, and later killed by Lord Voldemort, during the latter's search for the Elder Wand.
Aberforth became friends with Harry Potter before the Battle of Hogwarts. Aberforth had previously helped Harry, Ron and Hermione while they were captured by Bellatrix Lestrange and other Death Eaters in the Malfoy Manor. Aberforth's possession of one of the two-way mirror became a great help to Harry and his companions.
Aberforth narrated Harry the story of his early life. Harry pitied him, and was very devastated when he heard it all. He thought that Albus wasn't as a good person as he believed until then. Harry also argued with Aberforth when he told Harry to leave Hogsmeade, in order to save his own skin. However, they later both fought at the Battle of Hogwarts and survived the war. It is possible that they remained in contact afterwards.
Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger
Aberforth met Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger in 1998, before the Battle of Hogwarts. As Ron and Hermione were Harry's friends, they visited Hogsmeade in order to get into Hogwarts. Aberforth helped them, while telling them the story of his family life. Ron and Hermione were both shocked. They later fought at the Battle of Hogwarts with Aberforth and they all survived the war. It is possible that they remained in contact later on.
- Aberforth Dumbledore: "Thought he'd be with you. Where've you left him?"
- Harry Potter: "He's dead. Bellatrix Lestrange killed him."
- Aberforth Dumbledore: "I'm sorry to hear it. I liked that elf."
- — Aberforth and Harry Potter discussing Dobby's fate[src]
Over the course of his employment at Hogwarts, Dobby, a house-elf, became close friends with Aberforth, and spent much time at Aberforth's home in Hogsmeade, getting to and from the school through a secret tunnel. As Aberforth was an old and grumpy person, he didn't have a good relationship with many people. However, Aberforth himself stated that he liked Dobby. In 1998, Harry Potter and his friends were captured by Snatchers and imprisoned at the Malfoy Manor cellar. Harry asked for help while looking at a two-way mirror; Aberforth had the other mirror. He sent Dobby to rescue them; the house-elf did so, but was killed by Bellatrix Lestrange. After that, Aberforth told Harry, Ron and Hermione that he was really sorry, as he liked Dobby.
Order of the Phoenix members
Although he had a good relationship with some members of the Order of the Phoenix, Aberforth was described as a "strange bloke" by Alastor Moody. This is possibly because Aberforth was sometimes odd and grumpy. However, Aberforth fought in several battles with them during the First Wizarding War; he also fought in the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998. Aberforth seemed to know Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks and Fred and George Weasley. He saw Lupin fighting with Dolohov and he told Tonks so. He met many allies of the Order during the Battle of Hogwarts, when many people were getting into Hogwarts through a portrait-hole in a room of his pub. It is possible that Aberforth and those people started to have a good relationship.
Aberforth has a mixed relationship with Mundungus Fletcher. While Aberforth banned Mundungus for life from the bar for offending him 20 years ago, the two remained in touch, with Mundungus selling stolen goods to Aberforth.
In Gaelic, Aberforth means "from the river".
Behind the scenes
- Aberforth's favourite story is Grumble the Grubby Goat.
- Aberforth appears briefly in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix played by Jim McManus.
- Aberforth will be played by Ciarán Hinds in the upcoming two-part film version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (First identified as Aberforth Dumbledore)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard (real) (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- ↑ "JKRowling.com Section: News" from MuggleNet
- ↑ The Tales of Beedle the Bard, page. 94
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 24
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 2
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- ↑ 30 July 2007 Bloomsbury Webchat with J.K. Rowling
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, US hardback page 572.
- ↑ MuggleNet: Name Origins