The Youngest Quidditch Player of the Century: Dumbledore’s Biggest Secret?
The Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore trailer gave us quite the nostalgia when Hogwarts, the Room of Requirement, and even the Great Hall appeared.
But one clip stood out in particular – the Snitch that appeared for about half a second at the beginning of the trailer. Around halfway through the trailer, a Gryffindor Quidditch player is seen flying right by where the Snitch was.
We put those clips together, and there is no doubt that these scenes are connected.
It could be fan service, seeing as we are all fond of a certain Gryffindor Seeker who was the youngest Quidditch player in a century – Harry Potter.
But we were curious, so we traced back to see when Albus Dumbledore attended Hogwarts and realized that he must have known who the youngest player before Harry was.
Born in August 1881, Dumbledore would have started attending Hogwarts in September 1892 – exactly 99 years before Harry did. He was Sorted into Gryffindor and quickly went on to become one of the brightest students Hogwarts had ever had.
Interestingly enough, Dumbledore might not just know who this player was. The youngest player of the time could be Albus Dumbledore himself!
With some more digging, we found more instances that suggested that Dumbledore was an exceptional flier.
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, when Harry is in the hospital wing, he asks Dumbledore:
‘You got Hermione’s owl?’
‘We must have crossed in midair. No sooner had I reached London than it became clear to me that the place I should be was the one I had just left….'” (SS 296-297)
Cross in midair, eh? Now, it might be possible that Dumbledore took a Thestral to London. But it is not entirely strange to think of Dumbledore flying a broom either because we have actually seen him do that.
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, when Harry and Dumbledore returned to Hogsmeade and saw the Dark Mark over Hogwarts, Dumbledore asked for Madam Rosmerta’s brooms for quick transport back:
Harry and Dumbledore kicked off from the ground and rose up into the air. As they sped toward the castle, Harry glanced sideways at Dumbledore, ready to grab him should he fall, but the sight of the Dark Mark seemed to have acted upon Dumbledore like a stimulant: He was bent low over his broom, his eyes fixed upon the Mark, his long silver hair and beard flying behind him on the night air.” (HBP 582)
The description sounds very much like how a Quidditch player would act – sharp, focused, and balanced on a broom in tough situations. Let’s not forget that Dumbledore was unwell from the curse spreading through his hand and had just drunk the emerald potion in the cave.
Moreover, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Elphias Doge wrote in his obituary:
He (Albus Dumbledore) not only won every prize of note that the school offered, he was soon in regular correspondence with the most notable magical names of the day….” (DH 17)
Every prize of note that Hogwarts offered could include academics and sports: for example, the Inter-House Quidditch Cup.
According to our theory, in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, there might be a flashback scene showing 11-year-old Albus Dumbledore catching his first Snitch. Later on in the trailer, we see the older Dumbledore holding a Snitch, so we can also predict that he went on to keep it.
This would set up a good parallel between Dumbledore and Harry’s stories as Harry too got to keep the first Snitch he caught, left to him by none other than Albus Dumbledore. This would give a new meaning to: “I open at the close” (DH 134).