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In Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Dumbledore says:

"Well, I've always felt an affinity with the great magical birds. There's a story in my family that a phoenix will come to any Dumbledore who is in desperate need."

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - Original Screenplay - Page 43<

When Ariana Dumbledore was attacked by the Muggle boys, why didn't a phoenix come to her aid, but Fawkes came to Harry (who is not a Dumbledore) in Chamber of Secrets?.

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Because it's simply a myth, presumably one that came about because of Dumbledore's long-dead relative owning a phoenix.

DUMBLEDORE: Well, I’ve always felt an affinity with the great magical birds. There’s a story in my family that a phoenix will come to any Dumbledore who is in desperate need. They say my great-great-grandfather had one, but that it took flight when he died, never to return.

Dumbledore's phoenix (Fawkes) came to his aid because he had one. Ariana didn't have one, hence there wasn't one to defend her in her time of need.

  • It doesn't say the Dumbledores had to own a phoenix; it merely says a phoenix will come to a Dumbledore in desperate need. Also, I didn't ask about Dumbledore being in great need - I noted that Fawkes came to Harry in Harry's time of need. Harry definitely didn't own a phoenix.. – Slytherincess Nov 16 '18 at 23:26
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    @Slytherincess - It came to Harry because it knew him and was, presumably drawn by his self-sacrifice in Dumbledore's name. Note again that there needs to be a Phoenix in the vicinity. – Valorum Nov 16 '18 at 23:32
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    That's the thing about myths and stories. They grow in the retelling. Dumbledore's relative (and possibly other relatives) owned them and hence the story that they come to help Dumbledores. It's possible a self-fulfilling prophecy since he claims to have a familial affinity for them. – Valorum Nov 16 '18 at 23:35
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    @Lefteris008 - [citation required] – Valorum Nov 17 '18 at 9:37
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    @Lefteris008 - You've fallen into the small world trope. Just because it's a phoenix doesn't mean it's the only phoenix mentioned somewhere else in the books. – Valorum Nov 17 '18 at 9:54

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