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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Chapter Two:
In Memoriam

"Stripping away the popular image of serene, silver-bearded wisdom, Rita Skeeter reveals the disturbed childhood, the lawless youth, the lifelong feuds and the guilty secrets Dumbledore carried to his grave."

Notes by Michele L. Worley
Page editor Belinda Hobbs

U.S. hardcover edition: pages 13 - 29
U.K. hardcover edition: pages 19 - 30
Timeframe: Sunday, July 27, 1997

In which Harry is preparing to leave Privet Drive, emptying his school trunk and packing a rucksack with the items most important to him. In the process, he also sorts through the newspapers of the past few weeks to re-read and save Dumbledore's obituary. At the end of his packing, he notices an interview in the current day's paper in which Rita Skeeter is talking about her upcoming tell-all biography, The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore.

illustration by Mary GrandPré

Interesting facts and notes about the text of this chapter:

I met Albus Dumbledore at the age of eleven, on our first day at Hogwarts.

So Elphias Doge was in the same year as Albus, and therefore is very close to the same age.

Scarcely a year previously

That is, when Albus Dumbledore would have been ten years old. From Elphias' phrasing, it sounds as though the incident happened around the same time of year as the beginning of the Hogwarts school year.

his father, Percival, had been convicted of a savage and well-publicized attack upon three young Muggles.

According to Aberforth (DH28), Ariana Dumbledore was six years old at the time, so she was four years younger than Albus.

Three years after we had started at Hogwarts, Albus' brother, Aberforth, arrived at school.

So Aberforth was three years younger than Albus and therefore a year older than Ariana.

When Albus and I left Hogwarts we intended to take the then-traditional tour of the world together

In the Muggle world, that sort of thing used to be referred to as a "Grand Tour" (although the Muggle version was concerned chiefly with Europe).

kept telling me to watch out for trout

Elphias' version, when he first meets Harry (DH8), is that "[t]hat woman, or vulture might be a more accurate term, positively pestered me to talk to her. I am ashamed to say that I became rather rude, called her an interfering trout, which resulted, as you may have seen, in aspersions being cast on my sanity."

A flash of brightest blue.

This would have been Aberforth Dumbledore (DH28).

Characters introduced in this chapter:

Characters returning in this chapter:

Characters mentioned in this chapter:

Settings and locations introduced or returning in this chapter:

Settings and locations mentioned in this chapter:

Exceptional character moments:


  • (mentioned) how to repair wounds

  • (mentioned) Dark Arts

Links and Resources:

Memorable lines:

Strictly British:


Since Harry has "four days left of being unable to perform magic", it is four days before his birthday on 31 July, so it is 27 July.


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