Fans may have heard by now there is a giant twist sitting at the end of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, a "Snape Kills Dumbledore" level moment for the Potter Pantheon. Like some of the most significant Potter reveals, Rowling has done a number on her story, adding in a brand new character which, if true, completely changes everything Potterheads thought they knew about Albus Dumbledore's past. Who is Aurelius Dumbledore? Seriously, don't read any further in this article if you haven't seen the movie yet, Spoilers For Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Follow.
So who is Aurelius? Oh, only an entire new Dumbledore sibling Rowling added to Albus' history.*
(*Listen, if you need a moment to scream over this, it's fine. I'll wait. I understand.)
It turns out all those marketing spoilers fans thought were carelessly leaking Credence's real identity as Corvus Lestrange Jr. were just a red herring. Corvus Lestrange Jr. died as a baby, when the ship went down across the sea to America, because Leta, in a fit of childishness, switched him with another baby. The real Corvus was in another lifeboat that capsized. The Lestrange's nanny adopted a child to Mary Lou Barebone who was someone else's wizarding heir, also being taken across the sea to America to hide.
So who were Credence's real parents? According to Grindelwald, they were Dumbledores. Credence's real name is Aurelius, and he is Albus' long-lost brother. The proof is in the phoenix who comes to Credence during the film. Phoenixes always come to Dumbledore family members in their hour of need.
But is Grindelwald telling the truth? It's hard to know without more information because the timeline is a little foggy in this area.
Here's what the Potter Wiki lists as established fact:
- Albus' father Percival is thrown into Azkaban before Albus is old enough to go to Hogwarts. He supposedly dies in prison, but no date is given.
- Kendra, his mother, is killed in a year before the three-way duel when Albus is 19. Albus' birth year is 1881, so this was 1899.
- Leta came back to England to attend Hogwarts in the 1908/1909 school year. She looks to be somewhere between 5-7 on the trip to America. So the earliest it could have been was 1902-1904.
Now, Leta could have been 3 years old, and the trip is the same year Kendra dies. But wouldn't Albus have mentioned his mother had a whole extra baby? And who did she have it with? Did Percival escape and call upon Kendra for conjugal visits? Or did he get someone else pregnant while in Azkaban? Does Albus have a half-brother he doesn't know about?
(Wouldn't it make more sense if Alberforth has a kid and sends it away for fear of what his brother might do, after the whole "three-way-duel" nonsense?)
The sheer amount of questions this cliffhanger leaves (including if the phoenix who came to Credence turns out to be Fawkes) will have to wait until Fantastic Beasts 3: The Dumbledore Bombshell, coming in 2020.