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While Dumbledore was a skilled duelist who possessed the Elder Wand, Lord Voldemort had several aces in the hole, as it were.

Firstly, Voldemort spent much of his time during the First Wizarding War undercover, hiding in the shadows and causing havoc through his loyal minions.

Secondly, Voldemort had created 5 horcruxes by the time he murderd Harry Potter's parents and was stripped of his body. Due to the horcruxes tethering his soul to this world, howver, he was essentially immortal. The most Dumbledore could have accomplished was fighting him to a standstill, which would have been extremely difficult and risky in the case of Voldemort, the most powerful dark wizard of all time.

Finally, it was not the job of Albus Dumbledore to apprehend Voldemort, though he worked tirelessly to that end. The Minstry of Magic, it's Aurors and the Order of the Phoenix were tasked with that. Albus' prime concern was the safety and maintenance of Hogwart's School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. A headmaster's duties are great and varied at the best of times, and maintaining order in the school with a full blown evil rebellion going on would have made things much more complicated.

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