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The Disturbing Part Of Dumbledore's Past That Harry Potter Fans Ignore

For as much as fans love the titular wizard of the Harry Potter series, there's no denying that many of his friends and foes are just as popular. Take, for example, the wise Headmaster of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Albus Dumbledore — portrayed by Richard Harris for the first two films, then by Michael Gambon for the remaining six following Harris' death, and most recently by Jude Law in the Fantastic Beasts prequel franchise. No matter the incarnation or his role in the story, Dumbledore remains one of the Wizarding World's most beloved and recognizable entities.

Considering he's hardly the main focus of the saga, Dumbledore's past doesn't get too much exploration in the Harry Potter films. Brief mentions of things like his time in the Order of the Phoenix or his presence during the rise of Tom Riddle, aka Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), are about all moviegoers get to hear. That's where the Fantastic Beasts movies have come in handy, filling the gaps in Dumbledore's personal history and enlighten curious Potterheads as to what he was like before becoming the kindly old wizard they'd come to know. As it turns out, he was quite the busy man in his younger years, one whose moral compass was in dire need of fine-tuning.

Here's a rather disturbing element of Dumbledore's backstory that proves this point but doesn't get nearly enough attention.

Dumbledore once subscribed to Grindelwald's evil vision

A major focus of Dumbledore's Fantastic Beasts journey has been his complicated relationship with the villainous Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp, now Mads Mikkelsen). As young men, the two promising wizards struck up a strong friendship, eventually becoming lovers and remaining very close for some time. This comfort with Dumbledore allowed Grindelwald to share his plan with him, one that involved overthrowing and enslaving the Muggle populace "For the Greater Good" of magic users. Shockingly, Dumbledore agreed with this proposed revolution, going as far as making a blood pact with Grindelwald to solidify their alliance.

Thankfully for Muggles everywhere, Dumbledore quickly snapped out of it and abandoned Grindelwald's plan, helping to thwart it before it could come to fruition. This led to them becoming bitter rivals and engaging in one of the most legendary wizarding duels of all time, severing their once strong bond. Well into his golden years, as pointed out by Screen Rant, Dumbledore still shouldered a deep, enduring regret over his choice to align with Grindelwald in the first place. Try as he might, he could never shake the embarrassment that came with that foolhardy decision.

With his morals in check, Dumbledore went on to become an esteemed leader at Hogwarts and in the magic community overall. Even though his past mistake haunted him all the while, he managed to hide his guilt so well that it makes sense why even die-hard Harry Potter fans rarely bring it up.