In the universe of Harry Potter, Albus Dumbledore is widely considered to be the greatest wizard in history. He's mostly shown as a hero throughout the series. It was Dumbledore who defeated Gellert Grindelwald years before he went on to play a major part in ridding the world of Lord Voldemort.
However, a closer look at Dumbledore's history shows that he was far from a saint. He did some questionable things throughout his life and the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, revealed a lot about his past that showed us just how flawed he was. With that in mind, we've looked through the entire series to find the things he's done that probably should have placed him in Azkaban.
10 Allowing Abuse At Hogwarts
We're not entirely sure of all the crimes that could get someone thrown in Azkaban. if it's like muggle prison, then abuse could do it. Whether it's physical, verbal, or emotional, abuse is something that could put a person away for a while. Dumbledore routinely allowed various forms of abuse at Hogwarts.
For one, Professor Snape is constantly verbally and emotionally scarring his students. When Harry is sent to him to train in occlumency, it causes the student pain in both of those cases. Snape also sometimes physically harmed the kids. It never got to the point of being anything too harmful, but it's still too far. And Dumbledore allowed it all.
9 Keeping The Whomping Willow
When most viewers and readers found out about the Whomping Willow, they just chalked it up to the wild world of magic. A giant tree on Hogwarts grounds that attacks whatever goes near it is dangerous, but maybe that's just nature. The problem lies in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when we find out it was placed there to protect Remus Lupin.
It gave Lupin, and later his Animagus friends, a safe place to transform. It kept intruders out and shielded them from potential harm. And yet, after Lupin is gone from school, Dumbledore kept the tree. That
8 Not Closing Hogwarts With A Basilisk On The Loose
Sometimes, Dumbledore made a decision that left you wondering what the hell he was thinking. That was the case during Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. After a few students get petrified, Dumbledore confirmed that the monster in the chamber was indeed a basilisk. Though he knew that a massive snake was in the school, he left it open.
Why doesn't the welfare of the students matter? After one attack you might try some security measures. But when multiple students, a cat, and a ghost go down, you've got to protect the kids. Dumbledore is lucky that everyone was petrified and not killed. It was a reckless decision that led to Ginny Weasley's life being in danger.
7 Allowing Draco To Attempt Murder
A main plot point of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince saw Draco Malfoy tasked with killing Dumbledore as part of his initiation into the Death Eaters. Despite all of his flaws, Malfoy was never really evil enough to strike the final blow. Still, his attempts to do so were far from safe.
In the buildup to the final confrontation with Dumbledore, Malfoy tried to have him poisoned and cursed by a deadly necklace. Though both attempts failed, they nearly ended the lives of Ron Weasley and Katie Bell. Dumbledore eventually revealed that he knew those were both the doing of Malfoy. He was fully aware that a student was trying to kill people and did nothing about it.
6 Not Removing The DADA Jinx
A running thread throughout the series was the revolving door of Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers. Harry is taught by Quirinus Quirrell, Gilderoy Lockhart, Remus Lupin, Alastor Moody, Dolores Umbridge, and Severus Snape. Each only had a year run with the position for a variety of reasons.
J.K. Rowling revealed that Tom Riddle placed a curse on the position when Dumbledore refused to give it to him, starting the string of bad luck. For some professors, that meant losing their minds or having their lives changed dramatically. The powerful Dumbledore should've been able to remove that jinx and save a lot of people from suffering.
5 Using The Forbidden Forest As Punishment
We all understand that Hagrid is a nice, well-meaning giant. Walking through the Forbidden Forest with someone like him is somewhat safe. But that's still a wildly dangerous place for a child. Yet Dumbledore allowed it to be used as a place to send students when they had detention.
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Draco were all tasked with going into the forest with Hagrid. To add to the danger, Hagrid admitted that someone was killing unicorns in there. That's a big enough warning sign that this was a bad idea. Child endangerment should get you a trip to Azkaban.
4 Giving Harry An Invisibility Cloak
The invisibility cloak is one of the coolest things introduced in this series. When Harry first received it, readers were unsure about who sent it to him. It was ultimately revealed that Dumbledore gave it to him because it used to belong to his father. But is that really a good idea?
Being James Potter's cloak means that it should one day go to Harry. But not when he's 11 years old. Dumbledore gave a child something that would give him access to roam around freely and get into all sorts of antics. That's far from safe and has to be illegal. The books would've been less interesting, but that doesn't mean it was a good decision by Dumbledore.
3 Grooming Harry For Death
After years of preparing Harry for the big fight against Voldemort, Dumbledore was killed at the end of the sixth book. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the truth was finally revealed to Harry about what it all meant. Dumbledore set Harry up to stop Voldemort but failed to let him know that he was a Horcrux.
That meant that for Voldemort to be defeated, Harry would have to die. That's a harsh reality. It showed that Dumbledore had spent years with Harry just to send him to the slaughter. And Dumbledore he never let him know until after he was already dead. That's cruel and almost a guaranteed way to end up in Azkaban.
2 Putting Dangerous Traps In Hogwarts
During Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Hagrid pointed out that Hogwarts might be the safest place other than Gringotts. That's why the Sorcerer's Stone was hidden there by Dumbledore. To protect it, he added several deadly traps and challenges for anyone who wanted to seek it out.
The problem is that this all happened at a school. No matter how many times you tell a child that a certain section of the school is off-limits, they'll be curious. Harry, Ron, and Hermione almost die several times from either Fluffy the three-headed dog, devil's snare, or the big chess game.
1 Not Fighting Grindelwald
The relationship between Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald is an interesting one. Whether it was just a friendship or a romance, the important aspect is that it was a strong enough bond for them to make a blood pact saying they would never fight each other. As we saw in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Newt Scamander helps him retrieve a vial that they could destroy and break the pact.
However, this happened at a point where Grindelwald wasn't fully in power. He hadn't done all the terrible things he'd go on to do. While the pact played a part, Dumbledore also wasn't jumping at the chance to fight Grindelwald because of their relationship. And that cost hundreds, if not thousands of lives. Had Dumbledore acted earlier, he could've saved so many people.