Killed Dumbledore Grindelwald

Did Dumbledore ever kill anyone?

After Dumbledore thought he had killed his sister, he tried very hard to stay on the "right" side of things, choosing to teach instead and rarely engaging in actual combat. He worked against the Dark Lord, but usually not directly in combat.

When we see him in battle, he never seems to aim to kill him or seriously injure him. He didn't kill Grindelwald, of course, but that alone doesn't prove that he would never kill anyone - Grindelwald was his old friend (and had a crush on a JKR interview) to make him feel more personable towards him. In the Department of Mysteries, however, he does not attempt to kill Bellatrix, instead he traps her under a statue and does not seriously injure her either.

"Voldemort raised his wand and another beam of green light fell on Dumbledore, who turned and disappeared into a swirl of his cloak. In the next second he had reappeared behind Voldemort and waved his wand towards the remains of the well. The other statues came to life. The statue of the witch ran towards Bellatrix, who screamed and useless spell poured from her chest before dipping on top of her and holding her to the ground. "
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, chapter 36 (The only one he ever feared)

She was certainly a dangerous Death Eater, and Dumbledore had no special relationship with her as he did with Grindelwald. So if he were willing to kill Death Eaters, she would likely be a candidate. She was both powerful and extremely loyal - she would be one of the Death Eaters, deadliest and least likely to change sides. He could have done more damage or killed her if he wanted to, but he didn't. (He's not trying to kill the Dark Lord either, but that's most likely because he knew about the Horcruxes).

Since he didn't kill her, I very much doubt that he would be willing to kill other Death Eaters who were most likely less powerful than them and easier to defeat. It's hard to imagine that if he were willing to kill, he wouldn't kill her or really hurt her.

Dumbledore blamed himself for his sister's death, but it's unclear who actually cast the spell that did it (and Fantastic Beasts may reveal another reason for her death). However, he blamed himself for it. He felt responsible for the circumstances of her death and didn't know who killed her, but he was afraid that he might find out it was him. Pottermore suspects, however, that it was likely Grindelwald - and freed Dumbledore from being the one who actually killed her.

The only thing that implies anything that Dumbledore might have killed at any point seems to be more of a question of formulation than an actual implication that Dumbledore intentionally killed at some point.

"Was I better than Voldemort in the end?"

"Of course you were," said Harry. “Of course - how can you ask that? You never killed if you could avoid it! '

"Right, right," said Dumbledore, and he was like a child seeking reassurance. "
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 35 (King's Cross)

Harry is the one who chooses the phrase "you never killed if you can avoid it" to confront Dumbledore with the Dark Lord who was certainly ready to kill those who opposed him. It's true that Harry didn't say "you never killed" but didn't know all that Dumbledore did, so he couldn't make a statement like "you never killed" with certainty - he didn't need to I know someone Dumbledore killed to choose that phrase. Once Harry said it, Dumbledore wouldn't have told Harry that he didn't kill at all as he felt responsible for his sister's death, so he wouldn't have believed a statement that he never killed was correct.


Good answer Miss Bella! But I would add that at least when I read the words, someone killed what I believe to be murder; and to me, a three-way duel that ends in someone's death is not the same as murder. He was definitely grieving, blaming himself for the rest of his life, desperately regretting it, and wanting to see his family in full. And it must be remembered that he got into the duel to protect Aberforth. So the question is: did any of the three actually want to kill Ariana? I don't really think they were up to this - but unfortunately someone did.


@Pryftan Thank you very much! :) I don't think Ariana was really "murdered" either. The only one who would possibly consider killing her on purpose is Grindelwald, and there didn't seem to be any reason to either. It certainly had an impact on Dumbledore - it made him unwilling to take power and he likely avoided "questionable" actions later. It also completely deterred him from an ideology like that of Grindelwald. I would describe Ariana's death as an accident, whoever it was, but I thought it was important to mention since Dumbledore did feeling had to have killed someone.


Surely he felt guilty. Even if he wasn't part of the duel, maybe he would feel that way because he saw what Grindelwald was but turned a blind eye out of love (as he admits in Deathly Hallows). Easy enough to do. And he definitely turned from power, disapproving of the MoM position more than once. That shows how afraid of reality Fudge was and, frankly, outraged when he actually believed Dumbledore wanted his position as minister. And while he wasn't Dolores, his passivity (since he did nothing against Voldemort) caused a lot of suffering ...