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"An extraordinary assortment of people had already settled into half of the chairs: shabby and smart, old and young. Most Harry did not recognise, but there were a few that he did, including members of the Order of the Phoenix: Kingsley Shacklebolt, Mad-Eye Moody, Tonks, her hair miraculously returned to vividest pink, Remus Lupin, with whom she seemed to be holding hands, Mr and Mrs Weasley, Bill supported by Fleur and followed by Fred and George, who were wearing jackets of black dragonskin."
— Description[src]

The funeral of Albus Dumbledore was a ceremony conducted to pay respect and give tribute to Albus Dumbledore for his works and his achievements after his death in 1997. The event was held at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, to honour Dumbledore's wish to be laid to rest there,[2] and it was presided by a small, tufty-haired wizard.[3]

All lessons at Hogwarts were suspended and all examinations were postponed, every student (with the exception of those taken from school early and Draco Malfoy) was present, as were all Professors, excluding Severus Snape. Dress robes were worn.[1]


Background information

Dumbledore's death

"A jet of green light shot from the end of Snape's wand and hit Dumbledore squarely in the chest... he was forced to watch as Dumbledore was blasted into the air... he seemed to hang suspended beneath the shining skull, and then he fell slowly backward, like a great rag doll, over the battlements and out of sight."
— Description of Dumbledore's death[src]

Harry and Dumbledore in the Horcrux cave, retrieving the locket

On the evening of 30 June, 1997, Harry Potter and Professor Dumbledore went to a mysterious cave, where they believed one of the Horcruxes made by Voldemort was hidden. They successfully obtained a locket from a lake inside the cave, where Dumbledore weakened himself by drinking a potion and they narrowly escaped from a group of Inferi.[4]

Harry and Dumbledore escaped together and managed to Apparate back to Hogsmeade. When Harry moved towards the location of the castle, Madam Rosmerta (who was under the Imperius Curse) appeared and warned Dumbledore that the Dark Mark had been cast over the school. Using a pair of Rosmerta's broomsticks, Dumbledore and Harry flew up to the Astronomy Tower.[5]

When they landed, Dumbledore commanded Harry to get Snape, and talk to no one else. But when Harry headed towards the door leading to the spiral staircase, they heard footsteps coming up the stairs. When the door burst open, Dumbledore immobilised Harry nonverbally. At the same time, a cry of Expelliarmus went up and the Elder Wand flew out of Dumbledore's hand and over the battlements.[5]

Albus Dumbledore's death

The person who disarmed Dumbledore was soon revealed to be Draco Malfoy. Dumbledore pleasantly made conversation, revealing that he already knew Malfoy had been tasked to kill him. While Dumbledore tried to convince Draco to defect, promising to protect his family, Death Eaters Alecto and Amycus Carrow, Thorfinn Rowle arrived, along with the werewolf Fenrir Greyback.

The Death Eaters congratulated Draco for disarming the Hogwarts Headmaster, and questioned why he had not yet killed him. In arrogance, Greyback attempted to attack Dumbledore, but he was blasted out of the way; Alecto ordered Draco to fulfil the mission, but he was unable to strike the killing blow. A few moments later, Snape arrived. After a plead from Dumbledore, Snape walked forward and pushed Malfoy roughly out of the way. After a few tense moments, Snape then cast the Killing Curse and Dumbledore's dead body fell off the Tower.[5]

Discovery of Dumbledore's body

"Dumbledore's eyes were closed; but for the strange angle of his arms and legs, he might have been sleeping. Harry reached out, straightened the half-moon spectacles upon the crooked nose, and wiped a trickle of blood from the mouth with his own sleeve. Then he gazed down at the wise old face and tried to absorb the enormous and incomprehensible truth: that never again would Dumbledore speak to him, never again could he help..."
— Description of Dumbledore's broken body[src]

Harry Potter kneeling next to the body of the recently deceased Dumbledore

After killing Dumbledore, Snape ordered Draco and the Death Eaters to retreat. After they vanished from the Astronomy Tower, Harry was able to move again and gave chase. Reaching the grounds shortly behind Snape, he tried to curse the Potions master, but Snape was able to counter the jinxes. While one of the Death Eaters set Rubeus Hagrid's cabin on fire, Harry and Snape continued to duel; Snape then revealed that he was the Half-Blood Prince. After the Death Eaters managed to escape, Harry helped Hagrid extinguish the hut fire with the Water-Making Spell.[6]

Harry then told Hagrid that Snape killed Dumbledore; Hagrid refused to believe it, but Harry was adamant. Reaching the base of the Astronomy Tower, Hagrid learned the Headmaster was indeed dead. Noticing the locket had fallen out of Dumbledore's pocket, Harry picked it up and opened it. He found a note from an anonymous "R.A.B.", which said the real Horcrux had been stolen. Harry crumpled up the note in anger, feeling his trip with Dumbledore had been for nothing. As Harry knelt and cried beside Dumbledore's body, Ginny comforted him, rubbing his back affectionately.[6]

Preparation for the funeral

The lament of Fawkes

Professor Flitwick: "Hogwarts should be Dumbledore's final resting place."
Harry Potter: "And in that case, you shouldn't send the students home until the funeral's over. They'll want to say—"
Professor Sprout: "Goodbye."
— Discussion of the upcoming funeral[src]

After Dumbledore's body was removed from the grounds, Ginny prompted Harry to go to the Hospital Wing. On their way, Harry was pleased to learn that no one on their side was killed, but shocked and saddened that Bill Weasley, Neville Longbottom and Professor Flitwick were all injured. Arriving at the hospital wing, he saw Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Nymphadora Tonks and Remus Lupin gathered in front of Bill's bed. Madam Pomfrey was slowly applying a green ointment on Bill's wounds. They had little conversation until they also learned that Dumbledore was dead.[2]

Fawkes the phoenix singing his lament

A few moments later, Professor McGonagall arrived and informed the group that Arthur and Molly Weasley were on the way to the hospital. She then asked Harry what had happened, and Harry informed her that Snape had killed Dumbledore. Arthur and Molly then arrived, along with Fleur Delacour. After a few more conversations, McGonagall decided to leave to prepare for the arrival of the Ministry officials. She ordered Hagrid to call the other Heads of the Houses to meet them all in the Headmaster's office and summoned Harry to come with her.[2]

When they arrived at the Headmaster's office, McGonagall asked Harry what he and Dumbledore were doing before the tragic incident. Harry steadfastly refused to explain, telling her Dumbledore asked him to remain quiet. He also informed her that Madam Rosmerta was under the Imperius Curse. When professors Sprout, Flitwick, Slughorn, and Hagrid arrived, the group discussed what should happen regarding the school remaining open.[2]

The arrival of guests

The news of Professor Dumbledore's death spread over the wizarding world. A few days after Dumbledore's death, the scheduled day for Albus' funeral came. In the late afternoon before the ceremony, a powder-blue carriage the size of a house, pulled by a dozen giant winged palominos, arrived flying from the sky and landed on the edge of the Forest. Harry saw Professor Olympe Maxime from the Beauxbatons Academy of Magic leave from the carriage and fall sobbing into the arms of Rubeus Hagrid.

Meanwhile a delegation of Ministry officials, including the Minister for Magic himself, was being accommodated within the castle, though Harry made a point of avoiding them.[1]

The funeral


The beginning of the funeral

The place where the ceremony was held was set up outside of the castle near the Black Lake. Hundreds of golden chairs had been set out in straight even rows. An aisle ran down the centre of them: there was a marble table standing at the front, all chairs facing it.[1] An extraordinary assortment of people had settled into half of the chairs: shabby and smart, old and young. Most of them Harry did not recognise. The Ministry of Magic delegation was seated in the front row. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny filed into seats at the end of a row beside the lake, with Harry sitting closest to the edge. People were whispering to each other. Fawkes could still be heard singing aloud from afar.[1]

Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Ginny Weasley attending the funeral

There were many attendees of the funeral. A delegation of Ministry officials, including: Cornelius Fudge, Rufus Scrimgeour, Dolores Umbridge, and Percy Weasley. Also Madame Maxime from the Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, some residents of Hogsmeade, Tom the landlord of the Leaky Cauldron, Donaghan Tremlett the bass player of the Weird Sisters, Ernie Prang the driver of the Knight Bus, and Madam Malkin of the robe shop in Diagon Alley.

Those who also attended included: Aberforth Dumbledore who was Albus' estranged brother and barman of the Hog's Head Inn, the lady who pushed the trolley on the Hogwarts Express, and Arabella Figg. The centaurs attended as well (including Firenze) the Merpeople of the Black Lake, Hagrid's half-brother giant Grawp, Rita Skeeter of the Daily Prophet, most of the Hogwarts' students, most of the Hogwarts' staff, Hogwarts' ghosts, most members of the Order of the Phoenix, members of Weasley family (including Fleur Delacour), and the Ceremony official.[1]

The ceremony

"Bright, white lights had erupted next to Dumbledore's body and the table upon which it lay: Higher and higher they rose, obscuring the body. White smoke spiralled in the air and made strange shapes: Harry thought, for one heart-stopping moment, that he saw a phoenix fly joyfully in the blue, but in a second the fire had vanished. In its place lay a marble white tomb, encasing Dumbledore's body and the table on which he had now rested."
— Dumbledore's body being entombed[src]

Hagrid carried Professor Dumbledore's body before the assembled guests

At the beginning of the ceremony, strange music was performed by the Merpeople from the lake. The tune of the music showed the loss and despair that many felt. Rubeus Hagrid walked slowly up the aisle between the chairs, crying and carrying Albus Dumbledore's body wrapped in purple velvet spangled with golden stars. Most of the attendees, including Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Ginny Weasley, were crying too.[1]

After Hagrid placed the body upon the table in front, a little tufty-haired man in plain black robes appeared and stood in front of Dumbledore's body, giving a speech that Harry paid little attention to and regarded as most inappropriate for the man whose funeral service it was. Centaurs and Merpeople had come to pay their respects as well. The centaurs were seen standing quite still, half-hidden in shadow of the forest, watching the wizards, their bows hanging at their sides, and the Merpeople rose from the water to sing.[1]

The White Tomb, Dumbledore's final resting place

At the end of the ceremony, bright, white flames had erupted around Dumbledore's body and the table upon which it lay: higher and higher they rose, obscuring the body. White smoke spiralled into the air and made strange shapes.[1]

When the fire vanished, in its place was a white marble tomb, encasing Dumbledore's body and the table on which he had rested. There were a few more cries of shock as the centaurs sent a shower of arrows through the air as a sign of respect, but they fell far short of the crowd.[1]


Afterwards Harry told Ginny they could not see each other anymore and they broke up. Scrimgeour asked Harry if he would join him again, but Harry said he was Dumbledore's man through and through. Harry then talked with Ron and Hermione that he was not coming back to Hogwarts and that he was going to track down the Horcruxes to kill Voldemort, that he might visit his parents' graves at Godric's Hollow, and that Severus Snape would be in big trouble if the two met. He did not want Ron or Hermione to come with him, but Ron said, "We're with you, whatever happens, mate", and reminded him of Bill and Fleur's upcoming wedding.[7]

See also

Behind the scenes

  • Although the funeral does not appear in the film, concept art has been made and released to the public.
  • When asked what Muggle song would have been played at Dumbledore's funeral, J. K. Rowling replied "My Way" by Frank Sinatra, a song commonly played at British funeral services.[8]


Notes and references