The Dumbledore family were secretive, mysterious and suffered their fair share of tragedy. Using what we do know, we’ve put together a recap of each member of the family.
Kendra was the wife of Pervical and mother to Albus, Aberforth and Ariana. Her life was forever changed by the attack on her young daughter which left Ariana unable to control her magic. Not only did her husband end up being incarcerated in Azkaban, but the whole family had to move from Mould-On-The-Wold, to Godric’s Hollow to try and protect her youngest. Afraid that her daughter would be seen as a threat to the International Statute of Secrecy and locked up in St Mungo’s, Kendra kept Ariana hidden from the rest of the world. She spent her days trying to keep her calm and she only allowed her outside in the dead of night. Tragically, Kendra was accidentally killed when Ariana was fourteen and had one of her outbursts, leaving Albus to take care of his two younger siblings.
Percival was the husband of Kendra Dumbledore and father to Albus, Aberforth and Ariana. Not much is known about him before the attack on his young daughter which changed the course of his life forever. He took revenge on the three Muggle boys who had permanently traumatised Ariana and was sent to Azkaban as a result. He never revealed to anyone why he had attacked the boys as he was afraid that if the truth came out, Ariana would be sent away forever – which led some people to speculate that he was just another wizard who hated Muggles. Percival ended up spending the rest of his life behind bars and died whilst he was in Azkaban.
Where to begin with Albus Dumbledore? He was the oldest son of Kendra and Percival and older brother to Aberforth and Ariana. He was known as one of the most talented and brilliant wizards in the wizarding world and his achievements (including the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon’s blood) seemed to be endless. Although, he almost strayed off this path as a young man to go down a much darker road.
After he left Hogwarts, Albus was set to go on a world tour with Elphias Doge when his mother suddenly died. He had no choice but to stay and take care of his two younger siblings. While he loved them, he resented having to look after them. It was during this period that he encountered Gellert Grindelwald, and they both began to dream up their ideas for reforming the magical world for ‘the greater good’ – which involved keeping Muggles subservient. They were also obsessed with the idea of the Deathly Hallows. Their intense relationship meant that Ariana was neglected, and they went their separate ways after the terrible argument between Gellert, Albus and Aberforth that ended in Ariana’s death and Grindelwald fleeing.
Though Dumbledore eventually defeated Grindelwald in a duel, the circumstances surrounding the death of his younger sister stayed with him and influenced his future choices and decisions. He even turned down the position of Minister for Magic as he felt he should not be trusted with that kind of power. Instead, Dumbledore became a teacher and eventually held the post of Headmaster of Hogwarts. He was regarded as one of the greatest Headteachers that Hogwarts had ever had. There he taught everyone from Tom Riddle (who became Lord Voldemort) to Harry Potter.
Dumbledore was instrumental in the defeat of a second Dark wizard – Lord Voldemort. He set up the Order of the Phoenix when Voldemort was first gaining power and was one of the most prominent figures to resist him. In fact, Dumbledore was the only wizard that Voldemort feared. He realised that this Dark wizard was not truly gone the night his Killing Curse failed to kill Harry. He also knew just how important Harry would be in bringing about his downfall. When Voldemort returned, Dumbledore immediately brought back the second iteration of the Order of the Phoenix. He was the one to realise that Voldemort was using Horcruxes and set out to destroy them – with help from Harry. Though he died before Voldemort was defeated, he set the wheels in motion that enabled Harry to kill him once and for all.
After his death, Rita Skeeter may have tried to tarnish his memory with the awful book The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore, but to many he was still seen as one of the greatest magical figures to have ever lived.
Aberforth was the middle child of Kendra and Percival, younger brother to Albus and older brother to Ariana. He was owner of the Hog's Head Inn in Hogsmeade and kept a much lower profile than his older brother – with whom things were rather strained. While their relationship was troubled, there was no doubt that Aberforth loved his sister deeply. Whenever he spoke about her, it was always with great fondness, and he seemed proud that he was the one that could always calm her down. It was her death that cemented the tense atmosphere between the two brothers. At Ariana’s funeral he even broke Albus’ nose. While they did reconcile as they grew older, old resentments kept a wedge between them.
There was more to Aberforth than just the relationship he had with his family. He was widely known for love of goats, crochety personality and he played a key role in helping Harry Potter defeat Lord Voldemort. He was the one that sent Dobby to Malfoy Manor to help rescue Harry, Ron and Hermione. He sheltered them when they arrived in Hogsmeade just before the Battle of Hogwarts. He fought in the battle himself (though he did threaten to keep the students from Slytherin hostage). And he was critical in keeping Dumbledore’s Army going in Harry’s absence.
When members of the DA were forced into hiding in the Room of Requirement, Aberforth supplied them with food through a tunnel which suddenly appeared and was connected to his pub. That tunnel also allowed Hogwarts students to be evacuated before the fighting began, as well as allowing those who wished to fight (such as the Order of the Phoenix) to enter the castle. Though he wasn’t as famous as his brother, he was a hero in his own right.
Ariana was the daughter of Kendra and Percival and the younger sister of Albus and Aberforth, who lived a short and tragic life. When Ariana was just six years old, she was attacked by a group of Muggle boys who had spotted her doing magic in the back garden of her family home. That attack was incredibly brutal and left Ariana with irreparable damage. From that moment on she didn’t want to use magic again, but she also couldn’t rid herself of it. Her magical ability ‘turned inwards’ and according to her brother Aberforth, she was ‘driven mad’ by it. When she lost control, magic would explode out of her which meant that she could be dangerous at times. Sadly, as we mentioned previously, it was during one of her rages that her mother was accidentally killed.
After that, her brother Albus took care of her – with a lot of help from Aberforth (who was supposedly her favourite sibling). However, when Grindelwald came into their lives, hers was cut short. In an argument between Albus, Grindelwald and Aberforth that turned into a duel, Ariana lost control once again. Aberforth believed she just wanted to help but didn’t know how to and ended up dead in the commotion. Nobody can be sure who cast the final curse that ended up killing her, but when Harry spoke to Dumbledore in King’s Cross after being hit with Voldemort’s Killing Curse for a second time, he hinted it was most likely Grindelwald. The death of Ariana had a profound effect on her both of her siblings and arguably influenced their actions for the rest of their lives.
And here's something to chew over. According to Gellert Grindelwald, Credence Barebone is actually the long-lost brother of Albus, Aberforth and Ariana, as was revealed at the end of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. But whether or not he's telling the truth remains to be seen...