Don’t let the long white beard fool you! This Hogwarts headmaster was always young at heart.
Dumbledore smiling from the Philosopher's Stone

Professor Dumbledore’s Chocolate Frog card told us he enjoyed ‘chamber music and tenpin bowling’. Yep, Dumbledore wasn’t exactly a wizard of traditional taste.

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore was wise, refined and greatly respected – and yet it was all balanced out with a childlike demeanour and an ability to find joy in life’s simple pleasures. Here are a few things that put the twinkle behind those half-moon spectacles…

Sherbet lemons

‘Would you care for a sherbet lemon?’
‘A what?’
‘A sherbet lemon. They’re a kind of Muggle sweet I’m rather fond of.’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

As the old saying goes, a little of what you fancy does you good. Dumbledore definitely had a sweet tooth and he could never help indulging in a few of his favourite sugary treats. Many of us can absolutely relate to that feeling.

‘Sherbet lemon’ and ‘Acid Pops’ are used as passwords to Dumbledore’s office, and his preferred jam flavour could be used as a question to check his identity – it’s raspberry, just in case you want to know. Unfortunately, he had more mixed enjoyment when it came to Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans. If only toffee and earwax weren’t so close in colouring.


‘Ah, music,’ he said, wiping his eyes. ‘A magic beyond all we do here!’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

The Hogwarts school song is an ode to unimaginable chaos – everyone picks their own tune and belts it out at the top of their lungs. Nobody loved a round of ‘Hoggy Warty Hogwarts’ as much as the headmaster (well, except for maybe Fred and George) but the rest of the staff never seemed too keen on the mayhem, as indicated by their ‘rather fixed’ smiles. Their loss, we say. Dumbledore showed that just because you grow old, doesn’t mean you have to grow up.


‘It’s a shame you had to see him on a Burning Day,’ said Dumbledore, seating himself behind his desk. ‘He’s really very handsome most of the time: wonderful red and gold plumage. Fascinating creatures, phoenixes.’
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Fawkes had been Dumbledore’s loyal companion for goodness knows how long. Though his owner must have seen him through countless regenerations, Fawkes never failed to amaze him. And could you blame him? The phoenix had many practical properties (which did come in incredibly handy throughout the stories), but the bond between Fawkes and Dumbledore was first and foremost that of friendship. Fawkes’s lament upon his master’s death told us how strong that bond was.

Thick, woollen socks

‘One can never have enough socks,’ said Dumbledore. ‘Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

When Dumbledore looked into the Mirror of Erised, he claimed to see himself holding a pair of lovely woolly socks. Granted, he may not have been completely honest, yet he did have a point.

As children, we might have groaned when we received them as gifts, but a nice pair of socks should never be taken for granted – in fact, we deeply appreciate them when we grow up and have to buy our own! And if you’re still not convinced, just ask fellow sock enthusiast Dobby how he feels about them. Socks are not to be sniffed at. Especially if they’ve been worn a few times in a row.

Silly words

‘Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

For those who knew him best, Dumbledore’s playfulness and surreal sense of humour were what truly made him special. In a world where words literally have the power to heal, harm and even kill, it was delightful to hear them used just to make people smile.

Roald Dahl once wrote, ‘A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men,’ and there are few men wiser than Dumbledore.

The Invisibility Cloak

‘Ah – your father happened to leave it in my possession and I thought you might like it.’ Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

The Invisibility Cloak held different meanings throughout Dumbledore’s life. As we discovered, the Deathly Hallows were a youthful obsession of Dumbledore’s, even if he only ever desired the cloak to ‘complete the trio’ once upon a time.

After many years however, Dumbledore learnt the cloak’s real value – to protect loved ones from harm. In the cloak and in Harry himself, Dumbledore saw the enduring power and hidden wisdom of the selfless and the humble. It took a lifetime to fully appreciate and gave Dumbledore hope for the future of his kind.

Knitting patterns

‘I was merely reading the Muggle magazines,’ said Dumbledore. ‘I do love knitting patterns.’
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Because why not?

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