Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald revealed Credence Barebone is Aurelius Dumbledore, but what if he's actually Albus Dumbledore's son instead? From the start of the series, J.K. Rowling and the rest of the creative team behind the Fantastic Beasts movies have been playing fast and loose with the Harry Potter timeline, changing certain story arcs and even breaking Harry Potter canon, sometimes when it doesn't need to be.
Now that the Fantastic Beasts series is in full swing, plenty of big-name characters are starting to be introduced, such as Dumbledore, who played a somewhat small role in The Crimes of Grindelwald but should have a much more significant role as the story progresses in the following three Fantastic Beasts films. And considering that his family as at the crux of the entire franchise, it will be interesting to see how the latest twist plays out.
In Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald's ending, Credence joins Grindelwald in his mountain fortress, desperate to find out what his true identity is. After spending the entire film being led to believe that Credence was a member of the LeStrange family, fans were shocked (and fairly unimpressed) by the final bait-and-switch, as Grindelwald turns Credence's chick into a Phoenix (now the bird of the Dumbledore family), and tells him that he's Aurelius Dumbledore.
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Credence Being Albus Dumbledore's Brother Doesn't Make Sense
Grindelwald's revelation to Credence seems quite conclusive, and that has led to plenty of fans theorizing how on earth Dumbledore has a secret brother, and who else in the Harry Potter world he is probably related to. On the face of it, this is pretty simple; Albus's parents (Kendra and Percival) either had another son together, or one of them had a child with someone else. However, there are some big questions that this raises, especially as Albus's parents didn't exactly lead long and happy lives. Kendra died in 1899, and Percival was sent to Azkaban around 1890, and died shortly thereafter. Given that Credence/Aurelius was born in 1901 at the earliest, there is no way that Aurelius can be a full brother to Albus.
The fan-favorite theory, then, is that Aurelius is a half-brother to Albus and Aberforth, and the son of Percival and Voldemort's grandmother. However, there are some big issues with this theory; starting with the fairly huge assumption that it would be possible for a witch and wizard in Azkaban to be intimate, to carry multiple children to term in prison, and that the Dementors would be happy to see children ferried out of the prison. From everything we know of Azkaban and the Dementors, this just doesn't make sense. Plus, should Merope Gaunt's mother have been in Azkaban, it's highly unlikely that she would have stayed sane enough to be able to have a relationship and two children in 1901 and 1907.
So, if it's not possible that Percival fathered Credence/Aurelius, thanks to being locked away, then could Kendra be his mystery mother? The short answer is no - Kendra was killed in June of 1899, and, again, Credence/Aurelius wasn't born until 1901 at the earliest, so it's not possible that Kendra is his mother. Which means that it doesn't seem possible is Credence/Aurelius is Dumbledore's brother. Unless Dumbledore isn't Kendra and Percival's son (which would rewrite his entire story), Grindelwald is lying... but about what? He could be lying about the connection entirely, using a transfiguration spell on the chick to turn it into a phoenix and laying some devious plan to get Credence/Aurelius to hate Dumbledore. Or, he could be lying, but only about the "brother" part.
Credence Is A Dumbledore - Is He Albus' Son?
Instead of being Albus' brother, Credence/Aurelius is much more likely to be Dumbledore's son - a secret love child that only Grindelwald (and potentially Aberforth) ever knew about. Dumbledore was born in 1881, thus making him about 19 years old when Credence/Aurelius was born. It's possible that Dumbledore could've fathered a child around the time, and perhaps chose not to be with the young witch after she became pregnant. The prophecy about Credence/Aurelius describes him as "a son cruelly banished," which perfectly fits with a child sent back to America after Dumbledore didn't want him. Perhaps the woman on the ship with them was actually his mother, not his aunt, or was an aunt sent to collect the child after his mother died in childbirth.
With Credence/Aurelius being born in 1901, it's also probable that Dumbledore's affair with Credence's mother was going on in 1899 at almost the same time that he was with Grindelwald - or, as Grindelwald fled at the end of their summer together, after Ariana was killed, immediately afterward. Rowling confirmed that Dumbledore was in love with Grindelwald; locked in grief over the loss of both his lover and his family, did Dumbledore turn elsewhere for affection and comfort? And, having done so, did he write to Grindelwald and tell him about the situation?
This would certainly explain how Grindelwald knew of Credence/Aurelius's connection to Albus - he may even have met the witch in question. As for why no one else knew about it: Dumbledore didn't tell anyone, and this would have been such a short-lived fling that, in the drama surrounding the deaths of his mother and sister, no one would have paid too much attention to a witch passing through. Dumbledore himself wouldn't have told anyone, either - because he was ashamed, and then later, because he believed his son died because he rejected him.