Fantastic Beasts: 20 Things Fans Didn't Know About Dumbledore's Hidden Brother

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald revealed that Albus Dumbledore apparently had another sibling that even he did not know about: Aurelius Dumbledore. Aurelius appears to be the youngest member of the Dumbledore family, being around 15 years younger than Albus's late younger sister, Ariana.

Aurelius had previously been one of the highlights of 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, where he was known as Credence Barebone, the Obscurial wizard who lived in an abusive foster home in New York City. Much of The Crimes of Grindelwald focused on "Credence" trying to learn more about his heritage, with a good chunk of the movie making it look as though he was descended from the Lestrange family and was actually the estranged brother of Lita Lestrange.

However, as revealed by Grindelwald, Credence actually descended from the Dumbledore's, creating a much richer history about his past than we had previously anticipated. While most of Aurelius Dumbledore's heritage is still kept secret, likely only being known by J.K. Rowling herself, there is still quite a bit we know about this mysterious character.

One of the best part's about J.K. Rowling's writing is that she almost always seems to have a plan, so the details we know about Aurelius now will more than likely help to give us a better idea of where Aurelius will be going in future installments to the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

With this in mind, here are the 20 Things Fans Didn't Know About Dumbledore's Younger Brother.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

20 He's 26 During The Events Of Crimes of Grindelwald

According to the script of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the voyage where Aurelius was switched from his crib took place in 1901. Considering that Aurelius appeared to be a newborn during this voyage, there's a very good chance that 1901 was also the year that he was born.

Considering that The Crimes of Grindelwald takes place in 1927, that would make Aurelius about 26 years old. This actually makes quite a bit of sense as his actor, Ezra Miller, is also currently 26. While this is a bit older than some fans thought he was in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (where he would've been 25), the timeline still fits perfectly fine, even if it means that he was still living in his foster home in his mid-20s.

19 He's Only A Half Sibling Of Albus

Via: Mashable

Considering that Aurelius was born in 1901, his Dumbledore heritage kind of messes up the timeline of his birth. If he really is Albus Dumbledore's brother, he can only be his half brother. Albus's mother, Kendra Dumbledore, notably passed away in the summer of 1899 after an outburst from her daughter Ariana.

At this time, Albus' only living parent was Percival Dumbledore, who was sentenced to life in Azkaban in 1890. While it was first believed that Percival lived out the rest of his life in Azkaban, it now seems possible that he escaped at some point around 1900, in which time he met Aurelius's biological mother. Hopefully, the details of this will be revealed later down the road, but for now, it's safe to say that Kendra Dumbledore is definitely not Aurelius's mother.

18 The Woman With Baby Aurelius On The Boat Was His Aunt

Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald Credence Barebone Grindelwald

During the voyage flashback scene in The Crimes of Grindelwald, baby Aurelius Dumbledore is shown being accompanied by an unknown woman, who ultimately ends up drowning trying to rescue Corvus Lestrange, who she thought was Aurelius. Though the flashback never revealed who this mysterious woman was, her identity was revealed in the credits.

This character was played by actress Linda Santiago, who was credited as "Credence's Aunt." More than likely, this was not his aunt on the Dumbledore side of the family. More than likely, this woman was the sister of Credence's biological mother, who presumably ended up falling in love with Percival Dumbledore. It's still unclear why Aurelius's aunt was taking him on a voyage to America, but we now at least know that she was not his mother.

17 He Was Too Afraid To Leave His Foster Home

One of the more confusing aspects of the Crimes of Grindelwald timeline is the fact that Credence appeared to be 25 during the events of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, where he still lived in his foster home. Initially, many fans thought that Credence was only about 18 during the events of the first Fantastic Beasts, but the fact that he was 25 actually reveals a bit more about where his character was emotionally.

In America, most foster kids are allowed to leave their home once they are 18, but this wasn't the case of Credence. More than likely, his adoptive mother, Mary Lou Barebone, brainwashed him to fear the outside world for his entire childhood. It's also possible that Mary Lou never even allowed Credence the option to leave, considering how abusive she was in the movie.

16 Mary Lou Barebone May Have Known He Descended From Wizards

Credence's adoptive mother, Mary Lou Barebone, may have actually known about his magical heritage from the beginning. When Credence was first delivered to Mary Lou, it was by Irma Dugard, the half elf working for the Lestrange's. Presumably, Mary Lou would have caught on rather early to Credence's connection to magic after her interaction with the half elf.

While it was never explicitly stated in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them that Mary Lou knew that Credence was magic, the abuse he faced since his childhood made it seem as though Mary Lou knew about his magic the entire time, which would explain why she abused him more than any of her other foster children.

15 He Likely Fled New York Via The Circus

The time between Fantastic Beasts and The Crimes of Grindelwald featured Credence travelling from New York City to Paris in secret, seemingly inexplicably. When The Crimes of Grindelwald opened up, it was revealed that Credence had joined a circus. However, Credence joining the circus was actually foreshadowed in the first Fantastic Beasts.

During the first movie, a poster was briefly shown advertising the Circus Arcanus, which was the exact circus that Credence was with at the beginning of The Crimes of Grindelwald. More than likely, this magic circus was how Credence managed to escape New York unseen, trading his labor for secrecy. This was a small detail that really helps to show how great J.K. Rowling is at planning ahead.

14 He May Be In Love With Tina

It's very subtly hinted at, but there is quite a bit of evidence that Credence actually had feelings for Tina. It was briefly covered in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them that Tina had lost her job as an Auror after trying to protect Credence from Mary Lou. Presumably, this would have been one of the first acts of kindness that Credence would have seen first hand for his entire life, which is actually quite depressing to think about.

The subtext of the interaction between Credence and Tina throughout the rest of the movie implied that Credence actually thought fondly of Tina after their previous interaction. Fans hoped that this relationship would have been expanded upon in The Crimes of Grindelwald, but were disappointed to find that Tina and Credence only interacted with each other briefly throughout the course of the movie.

13 He Has The Name Of The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius

It's no secret that J.K. Rowling likes to include secret meanings behind the names of the characters she creates, and the meaning behind Aurelius Dumbledore's name may actually give clues to his future in the franchise. The name "Aurelius" is best attributed to the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, who lived from 121 AD until 180 AD.

Marcus Aurelius was one of the last highly respected Emperors of Rome, but one of the most interesting attributes of Aurelius was the fact that he was well known for ruling Rome alongside his brother. Typically, monarchs do not share their power with their siblings, which made Marcus Aurelius stand out during this time. This is possibly foreshadowing for the relationship that Aurelius may end up having with Albus.

12 He's Likely Not The Only Dumbledore To Be An Obscurial

Obscurials are rare creatures in the Wizarding World, with Aurelius being believed to be the last one in existence in 1927. The fact that they were never mentioned in the Harry Potter franchise seems to back up this theory. However, though Obscurials are hard to find, it's widely believed that he is not the only Obscurial to be part of the Dumbledore family.

After Obscurials were first introduced to the Harry Potter lore, many fans of the franchise started theorizing that Dumbledore's sister, Ariana, may also have been an Obscurial. Much like Credence, Ariana was forced to hide her abilities at a young age and went on to have large outbursts of magic as she grew older, the most notable of which ended the life of her mother.

11 He's One Of The Only Obscurials To Survive Past The Age 10

Typically, Obscurial's do not survive past the age 10, which really made Credence stand out. In fact, Credence has one of two Obscuruses to ever be recorded to survive past the first decade of their lives. The other Obscurus was the one that Newt Scamander kept in his case during Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, even though that Obscurus had already ended the life of its host.

If the theory that Ariana Dumbledore was also an Obscurial is true, it would mean that she was another Obscurial who lived past the age 10, as she lived until she was 14. However, the details of Ariana's life were kept very secret, so she was never officially recorded as an Obscurial. It's more than likely not a coincidence that the only two Obscurial "hosts" to live past the age 10 are both members of the Dumbledore family.

10 Grindelwald's Interest In Aurelius Likely Has To Do More With Ariana Than Albus

While the final moments of The Crimes of Grindelwald made it seem like Grindelwald had recruited Aurelius Dumbledore just as a way to get back at Albus, his interest in Aurelius's Dumbledore heritage may have more to do with Albus's younger sister than with Albus himself. Assuming again that Ariana was indeed an Obscurial, Grindelwald would have seen first hand the true power that an Obscurial harnesses at a young age, as he had actually been close to Ariana back when he was still friends with Albus.

When Grindelwald discovered not only that Aurelius was an Obscurial, but a Dumbledore as well, he likely became incredibly interested in using Aurelius's power. He had more than likely seen Ariana as a missed opportunity, and saw Aurelius at his second chance.

9 He's One Of The Last Dumbledores

Aberforth Dumbledore with Ron and Hermione in Harry Potter

While the Dumbledore family was historically a well known family in the Wizarding World, the generation including Albus and Aurelius is actually the final generation of the family. Ariana did not live long enough to have children, Albus never had kids before he passed away in the 1990s, and Aberforth was single for his entire life. This means that Aurelius is one of the final members of the Dumbledore family to ever live.

It was briefly recorded that Albus had an aunt named Honoria, but Honoria, much like Aberforth, never married or started a family as far as we know. All things considered, Aurelius Dumbledore has quite the legacy to live up to in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts movies.

8 He Had A Strong Connection With His Adoptive Sister Modesty

Credence's entire childhood seemed rather depressing, with him being mistreated by his foster mother and by the other foster children. The only member of Credence's foster family that ever showed him any sympathy was his younger sister, Modesty. In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we see that Modesty and Credence have a strong relationship, with Modesty comforting Credence after he was beaten by Mary Lou.

The reason why these two are so close is primarily credited to the fact that both of them had a deep interest in magic, which went against the beliefs of everyone else at the foster home. This shared interest kept these two foster siblings close, with Modesty even stepping up to defend her brother near the end of the movie.

7 The Name Credence Means "To Trust" Or "Believe"

When baby Aurelius Dumbledore was given to the Barebone's, his first name was changed to "Credence." Much like the name "Aurelius," the meaning behind "Credence" actually fits his thought process and motivation during the first two Fantastic Beasts movies. The name "Credence" is rooted from the Latin word "credere," which means "to trust or to believe." More specifically, the name came directly from the word "credentia," which means "belief."

During the time when Aurelius went by the name "Credence," he was lost as a character, desperately believing what the people around him told him, being seemingly unable to follow his own free will, going so far as to suppress his magic because he "believed" that his powers were to be feared. At the end of The Crimes of Grindelwald, Aurelius finally abandoned the name "Credence," and, at the same time, abandoned the fear of himself that he was forced to believe his entire childhood.

6 He Could Be The Most Powerful Wizard Of All Time

Fantastic Beasts 2 Aurelius Dumbledore

As already mentioned, Aurelius is the longest living Obscurial ever recorded. Typically, the Obscurus would destroy its host after ten years, yet Aurelius was able to stay alive 16 years longer than expected. This not only hints that he is able to control the Obscurus inside of him, but that he may even be stronger than the Obscurus itself.

Another example of his incredibly powerful magical strength was the spell he cast at the ending of The Crimes of Grindelwald. As seen in the first Harry Potter, most wizards and witches show some slight outburst of power when they hold a wand for the first time. For example, Harry's wand briefly lit up the first time he held it in Olivander's shop. Aurelius, on the other hand, managed to send a massive blast of magic into a mountain, causing a monstrous avalanche, which is certainly a much greater magical feat than lighting up a wand for a couple seconds. There's no telling what Credence can accomplish with proper training.

5 He's Most Likely Not Pure Blood (But Neither Were The Other Dumbledores)

Fantastic Beasts Credence

Assuming that Percival Dumbledore is indeed Aurelius's father, it's quite likely that his mother is a Muggle. If both of his parents had magical heritage, Aurelius's childhood likely would have been a lot different, with Aurelius growing up in the Wizarding World rather than in the Muggle / No-Maj world.

During the flashback voyage scene in The Crimes of Grindelwald, there was no indication that anyone else on the ship was magic other than Aurelius and the Lestranges. It would also make sense for Percival Dumbledore to seek out a relationship with a Muggle, as any member of the Wizarding World would have likely recognized him. In addition, Kendra Dumbledore, Percival's late wife, was also a Muggle, implying that Percival was attracted to non-magical people.

4 He May Have Been Romantically Involved With Nagini

The relationship between Credence and Nagini in The Crimes of Grindelwald was incredibly vague, with Nagini actually feeling out of place in the movie. However, brief subtext implied that these two characters may have been romantically involved during the time between the two Fantastic Beasts movies.

Shortly before Credence and Nagini escaped the circus, they were shown being physically close to each other before Skender, the circus's owner, split them up, getting angry at Credence for trying to talk to Nagini "again." This brief scene implied that this was not the first time that Nagini and Credence had been caught together. Perhaps future Fantastic Beasts movies will go a little more in-depth with the forbidden romance between these two characters.

3 He May Be Albus' Cousin Rather Than His Brother

While it was exciting to learn that Credence was actually the lost brother of Albus Dumbledore, there were a number of Harry Potter fans who weren't convinced by Grindelwald's revelation. The fact that Kendra Dumbledore had passed away in 1899 and that Percival Dumbledore was supposedly in Azkaban over a decade before Aurelius was born made a number of fans skeptical.

One explanation for Aurelius' heritage claims that when Grindelwald referred to Albus as Aurelius's "brother," he actually meant "kinsman," as that was what "brother" once meant centuries ago. In this sense, Aurelius and Albus would actually be cousins rather than brothers, with Aurelius possibly being the son of Albus's aunt Honoria. This theory may be a stretch, but it would certainly explain Aurelius's parentage issue.

2 His Adoption Certificate's "Date of Birth" Differs From His Actual Birthday

While the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald revealed that Aurelius Dumbledore was born in 1901 at the latest, a small piece of art direction from the first Fantastic Beasts seemed to claim otherwise. A leaked prop from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a piece of paper that appears to be Credence's adoption certificate, labeling his date of birth as "November 9th, 1904," at least three years after his actual birth year.

Fortunately, this adoption certificate never actually showed up clearly in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and was more than likely only sitting somewhere in the background of the foster home where audience members couldn't actually read it. Canonically, Aurelius was still born around 1901, making the adoption certificate inaccurate.

1 Rowling Vaguely Teased Aurelius's Existence Back In 2005

JK Rowling Hufflepuff

In an interview back in 2005, J.K. Rowling briefly brought up that there is a deeper story for the Dumbledore family than she had revealed at the time, saying, "Dumbledore's family would be a profitable line of inquiry, more profitable than sweet wrappers." Rowling than said she would say nothing more on the matter.

While most people later presumed she was talking about the revelation regarding Ariana and Aberforth in The Deathly Hallows, which released two years later, their inclusion in the book wasn't exactly "profitable." However, a five-part movie franchise focusing on Dumbledore's incredibly powerful younger brother does fit the definition of "profitable." Though it's unclear if this is actually what Rowling was referring to back in 2005, the author is known for planning ahead, so it's certainly possible.


Are there any other interesting facts about Aurelius Dumbledore that we forgot? Let us know in the comments!

More in Lists