Albus Dumbledore, Order of Merlin First Class, Grand Sorc., Chief Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. Of Wizards, Headmaster of Hogwarts, school of Witchcraft and Wizardry is one of the greatest wizards there is. Dumbledore could have been Minister of Magic but preferred to be at Hogwarts. He is the only one He-who-must-not-be-named is afraid of, and throughout the books guides Harry (in his own way, sometimes telling him only some things but never all) to defeat Voldemort. He is powerful, wise (‘My brain surprises even me, sometimes’), perhaps not always straightforward and of course, a central character in the Harry Potter books.
Reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for the ???th time last week and this week, I realised consciously though, how little we encounter him in the first book. We first meet him in the book when he comes with Prof McGonagall and Hagrid to drop baby Harry off at the Dursleys, and then only come across his name when Harry gets his letter (or rather the one he can finally read after the many many letters that the owls bring to him), and find out who he is (other than that he is magic, and a professor, perhaps), and then we learn a little more when Harry gets his first Famous Witches and Wizards card—which also turns out to hold an important clue to a mystery Harry, Ron, and Hermione are faced with later. After that, Dumbledore only makes brief appearances and says very little as well (some of it to help Harry with what’s coming). But what I also noticed in this read was the humorous outpourings that seem to come from Dumbledore pretty much every time we meet him in the book (except perhaps when he is present at the famous Quidditch match refereed by Severus Snape—he says nothing there at all). From downright senseless-ridiculous to very funny, Dumbledore certainly has some rather remarkable lines in this book. And here are the ones that I noticed!
When he comes to drop Harry off:
Scars can come in useful. I have one myself above my left knee which is a perfect map of the London Underground.
The welcome banquet at Hogwarts
‘Welcome! He said, ‘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!’
At the mirror of Erisid
Harry: What do you see when you look in the mirror?’
Dumbledore: I? I see myself holding a pair of thick, woolen socks.
Harry stared. ‘One can never have enough socks, said Dumbledore. ‘And Christams has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books’.
And in the hospital wing, where Harry is recovering from his first major face-off with Vodemort
‘What happened down in the dungeons between you and Professor Quirrell is a complete secret, so naturally the whole school knows!’
Still at the hospital wing…
Ah! Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans! I was unfortunate enough in my youth to come across a vomit-flavoured one, and since then I’m afraid I’ve rather lost my liking for them—but I think I’ll be safe with a nice toffee, don’t you?
He smiled and popped the golden-brown bean into his mouth. Then he choked and said, ‘Alas! Earwax!’
Did you notice all of these when you read the book? Which one/s are your favourites? Any that I’ve missed that you can recall? Looking forward to your thoughts!