Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
— CHAPTER EIGHTEEN The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore—
Barely two months into their great new friendship, Dumbledore and Grindelwald parted, never to see each other again until they met for their legendary duel (for more, see chapter 22). What caused this abrupt rupture? Had Dumbledore come to his senses? Had he told Grindelwald he wanted no more part in his plans? Alas, no.

‘It was poor little Ariana dying, I think, that did it,’ says Bathilda. ‘It came as an awful shock. Gellert was there in the house when it happened, and he came back to my house all of a dither, told me he wanted to go home the next day. Terribly dis- tressed, you know. So I arranged a Portkey and that was the last I saw of him.

Neither Dumbledore nor Grindelwald ever seems to have referred to this brief boyhood friendship in later life. However, there can be no doubt that Dumbledore delayed, for some five years of turmoil, fatalities and disappearances, his attack upon Gellert Grindelwald. Was it lingering affection for the man, or fear of exposure as his once best friend, that caused Dumbledore to hesitate? Was it only reluctantly that Dumbledore set out to capture the man he was once so delighted he had met?



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