The Search for Credence Barebone was an objective that led to a series of events occurring in early September 1927. Gellert Grindelwald and Porpentina Goldstein both sought him, but Nagini found him first. During the manhunt, Grindelwald and his acolytes killed a family and used their home.


Background information

The birth of an Obscurial

"A son cruelly banished
Despair of the daughter
Return, great avenger
With wings from the water.
—A prophecy regarding Credence, from The Predictions of Tycho Dodonus[src]
Credence Barebone was born around 1901, allegedly to the Dumbledore family, as Aurelius Dumbledore.[1]
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Young Leta Lestrange with infant Aurelius in her arms

Switched in the crib by a young Leta Lestrange for her half-brother Corvus during a voyage to America in 1901, when the ship that Leta, Irma Dugard and her brother had chartered passage on sank during a storm, the life boat with Corvus capsized, drowning him and his aunt. Baby Credence was taken to America and put up for adoption in Corvus's place, unbeknownst to anyone but Leta.[1]

Barebone family

Credence with his adopted family

On 21 October 1905, he was adopted by Mary Lou Barebone, an American No-Maj woman who led the New Salem Philanthropic Society, a hardline anti-witchcraft group. She renamed him Credence Barebone, raising him in New York alongside her two other adopted children, Chastity and Modesty. Credence was the eldest of the three. Whilst under Mary Lou's care, Credence was physically and mentally abused by her who attempted to suppress his magical abilities. She often used his own belt that left marks on his hands. The frequent abuse would cause him to become an Obscurial.

The Obscurial and the revolutionist

In 1926, Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald infiltrated MACUSA by assuming the identity of Auror Percival Graves. Grindelwald believed the mysterious attacks occurring in New York City to be the work of a powerful Obscurial, which he felt would be a great asset for his plans of world domination. Using his disguise as Graves, Grindelwald came into regular contact with Credence Barebone. He believed Credence to be connected to the Obscurial due to a vision he received. Believing Credence was an orphaned Squib, Grindelwald emotionally manipulated him into helping him find the Obscurial. He did this with the promise of protecting him from his abusive adoptive mother and teaching him magic.


Grindelwald adopted the identity of Percival Graves and befriends Credence Barebone in order to find the Obscurial

During this time, Grindelwald (as Graves) arrested Newt Scamander, whose escaped beasts were believed by the MACUSA to be the cause of the Obscurial's attacks. During his interrogation, Grindelwald discovered the Obscurus within Newt's suitcase, and in an effort to hide his tracks, had him and Tina Goldstein sentenced to death. Afterwards, he approached Credence after Mary Lou Barebone was killed by the Obscurial and had him track down his adopted sister Modesty Barebone, believing her to be the source of the Obscurus.[2]

Obscurial attack on New York City

Once they found Modesty, Grindelwald cruelly rejected Credence, as he had no further use of him. This angered Credence, who then revealed that he was the Obscurial, much to Grindelwald's surprise. Grindelwald attempted to convince Credence that he had nothing to fear anymore and to join his ranks, but this further angered Credence who began rampaging through the city.

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Grindelwald astonished by Credence's power

Seeing the attack unfold, Grindelwald followed Credence, intriguing Jacob Kowalski and Queenie Goldstein, but more so Newt Scamander and Queenie's sister Tina, who pursued both the Obscurial and the Dark wizard. Watching the attack unfold, President Seraphina Picquery feared for both the peace and secrecy of the wizarding world and instructed her Aurors to contain the threat.

Credence disappeared into a subway station. When Tina and Newt were finally close to calming down Credence, Grindelwald appeared out of nowhere, ambushing Newt and torturing him with the Dark Arts. Provoked by the fight, Credence resumed his Obscurial form, but it was short-lived. President Picquery and her other Aurors appeared on the scene, and she ordered them to attack the Obscurus. Acting on her orders they did as they were told and unleashed a torrent of blinding spells, only stopping when they believed he was destroyed. However, a single shred of his Obscurus form fled the scene, unseen to anyone but Newt. This attack resulted in Grindelwald's capture and the believed destruction of Credence. Ultimately, thousands of No-Majs were obliviated in order to protect wizarding secrecy.[2]

Credence reborn

Credence reborn

Without everyone's knowledge, except Newt, Credence survived, because Obscurial can't be killed while being in his Obscurus form. Barebone as a single shred fled away from the subway station to the destroyed Second Salem Church. When all shreds of his Obscurus connected together, Credence returned to his human form. He desperately searched the collapsed building until he finally found what he was looking for: his adoption papers.[1]

The search

Escape from Circus Arcanus

Attack on Irma Dugard

Hoping to draw out Credence, Grindelwald orchestrated an incident by hiring Ministry bounty hunter Gunnar Grimmson to kill Irma Dugard in front of Credence, so that he would turn against the Ministry of Magic.[1]

Infiltration of the French Ministry of Magic

Newt disguised as Theseus

Newt disguised as Theseus entering the French Ministry of Magic with Tina

When Gellert Grindelwald began rallying his supporters, Newton Scamander came to the conclusion that he should go with Porpentina Goldstein to the French Ministry of Magic to find a box, which would tell them who Credence Barebone really was.

In order to enter the Ministry without being recognised, Newt drank Polyjuice Potion containing the hair of his brother Theseus Scamander, allowing him to temporarily take his form. When the potion ceased to work and Newt was reverted to his true form, they were discovered by Theseus, who happened to actually be in Paris in a delegation, including Leta Lestrange and Torquill Travers, due to the rumours of Newt's potential trip to Paris. He chased them, but Tina reacted more quickly, striking him with a non-verbal Stunning Spell and tying him up to a chair, remarking that he needed to control his temper. Overjoyed, Newt claimed that might have been the best moment of his life.

Newt Leta and Tina escaping Matagots

Newt with Leta and Tina escaping from the Matagots

Later, Newt and Tina introduced themselves to Melusine, the Ministry of Magic employee, as Theseus and Leta. When they went to the Records Room to find the Lestrange family box, they were covered by Leta Lestrange, who was searching for the box too. They found out that the box was taken to the Lestrange Mausoleum, but Melusine knew Newt and Tina had lied about their identity and sent the Matagots, creatures responsible for defending the French ministry, after them and Leta. Newt told them that if they did not fight the Matagots they wouldn't hurt them, but Leta had already attempted to stun one, which caused it to multiply. When a hoard of angry Matagots began to chase them, Newt sent Leta and Tina into the suitcase and with the help of the Zouwu, that he had saved earlier he fled to the Pere Lachaise Cemetery.

Pere Lachaise Cemetery

COG HQ still Yusuf Tina Leta Newt

Newt with Yusuf, Leta and Tina in the Lestrange Mausoleum

When Tina and Leta came out and Newt packed Zouwu inside the suitcase, they all head to the Lestrange tomb and Leta found the Lestrange box which was taken, but they were not alone. They crossed paths with Jacob, Yusuf, Credence and Nagini. Leta stopped Yusuf, her half-brother, from killing Credence, who thought he was her other half-brother, Corvus Lestrange. Showing a box with her family tree she finally confessed to accidentally causing the death of Corvus, proving he and Credence were not the same person and that she had no idea who Credence actually was. Newt told her that it was not her fault that Corvus died, to which she responded that he had "never met a monster [he] couldn't love".[1]

Locating the Obscurial

Gellert Grindelwald gathered like-minded wizards to a rally in the Lestrange Mausoleum in the cemetery Newt, Tina, and Leta were already in, as he hoped they would attend. However, the most important of Grindelwald's 'guests' was the Obscurial Credence Barebone, a wizard who had been abused by his adoptive mother for his magic and whose power was great enough to allow him to survive the attack of MACUSA's Aurors in New York. Most of all, Grindelwald hoped to convert Credence to his cause, as he needed his power to defeat the only wizard who represented a threat to his cause: Albus Dumbledore, his old friend.

Credence Barebone attended Grindelwald's speech with his Maledictus companion Nagini and decided to join him to find out the truth about his identity, despite Nagini's protests. He crossed a circle of cursed blue flames into Grindelwald's open arms, who whispered that everything he had done had been for Credence's sake. With the search proving fruitless for his enemies and far more productive for himself, Grindelwald was nearly ready to strike against Hogwarts (thus ridding himself of his nemesis, Albus Dumbledore) and the whole Wizarding and non-magical worlds.[1]


Notes and references

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