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Credence Barebone

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"His name's Credence. His mother beats him. She beats all those kids she's adopted, but she seems to hate him the most."
—Tina Goldstein regarding Credence's family life[src]
Credence Barebone[2] was an American wizard who lived during the 20th century.[3][4] He was the adopted son of Mary Lou Barebone. Mary Lou was the leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, a No-Maj anti-witchcraft group.[3][4]

Credence had two adoptive sisters, Chastity and Modesty Barebbone. He lived with them and his adoptive mother in New York city in 1926. Credence was the eldest, followed by Chastity and then Modesty.[5]

Credence was an Obscurial, a wizard who had developed an Obscurus. An Obscurus is a magic parasitical force created through the repression of magic. While most obscurials die before their tenth birthday, Credence lived into adulthood which was previously unheard in wizardkind and a possible testament to his power.


Early lifeEdit

Credence: "Ma. . . "
Mary Lou: "I'm not your ma! Your mother was a wicked, unnatural woman!"
— Mary Lou's opinion regarding Credence's birth mother[src]

Credence was born to a loving unnamed witch. He was well loved during the time that he was with her, which was not long. She died of unknown reasons when he was still a child. He was later adopted by Mary Lou Barebone. Mary Lou was the leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, a No-Maj anti-witchcraft group. She was overly zealous in her crusade against magic.

But there was more to this act than meets the eye. Mary Lou knew what his mother had been and knew that Credence might hold the same taint as she had. Mary Lou considered his mother a "wicked, unnatural woman." How Mary Lou came to believe that Credence's mother was a witch remains unknown. Mary Lou did everything in her power to force Credence to suppress and hate magic. She physically abused him. She would often beat him with a belt that left marks on his hands. The abuse he suffered forced him to suppress his magic and ultimately he developed an obscurus, a powerful magical parasite.

Obscurus manifestationEdit

Gellert Grindelwald: "You can control it, Credence. "
Credence: "But I don't think I want to, Mr. Graves."
Grindelwald (disguised as Percival Graves) urges Credence to control his Obscurus[src]
Fantastic-beasts-credence tina

Tina Goldstein comforts Credence Barebone after attacking Mary Lou

Sometime before 1926, Porpentina Goldstein, an American Auror for the Magical Congress of the United States of America took to observing the activities of the Second Salmers. During one meeting, Mary Lou used a belt to hit Credence when the witch Porpentina Goldstein rushed forward to his defense. Tina magically assaulted Mary Lou, saving Credence from that beating and comforts him with a hug. The open use of magic in front of a group of muggles required extensive obliviation and was a major scandal resulting in Porpentina's demotion. Even though he had been obliviated afterwards, Credence found himself dreaming of the woman who had saved him from his mother wrath frequently after this event.


Credence secretly talking with with Gellert Grindelwald

"You want to join the wizarding world. I want those things too, Credence. I want them for you. So find the child. Find the child and we’ll all be free.(...) Do this and you will be honored among wizards. Forever."
—Grindelwald manipulate Credence[src]

By 1926, Credence was losing control of his Obscurus, and it manifested in outbursts that were wreaking havoc in New York. During this time, he was contacted by Gellert Grindelwald, disguised as Percival Graves, who asked him to help find the Obscurial child in the Second Salem Church; with "immense power." Grindelwald promised to help him to join the wizarding world someday and to make him free from his adopted mother if Credence found that magical obscurial Child. Grindelwald told him that that the magical Child somehow was connected to his mother Mary Lou, which he had seen in a vision. Convinced he was the "key" to finding the Child, Credence begin to study the orphans who came to eat at the church, such as a boy with a birthmark trough to be a "witch's mark."

On 6 December , Langdon Shaw, a believer in magic, brought Credence and his family into his father's office. Mary Lou asking to garnish the support of Henry Shaw Senior to publish in the newspaper about a dark mass in New York to let the people know about that danger of witchcraft. But Henry Shaw refused. While he sends the family away, Credence drops a leaflet. his son the senator, puts the leaflet into Credence his hand and offended him by calling him a freak. This night, Credence's Obscurus manifested and attacked the fund-raising dinner at City Hall, killing the senator.

"Credence scrabbles to get underneath Modesty’s bed. He looks among the boxes and objects hidden there, then suddenly stops, staring...(...) Credence has found a toy wand. He stares, unable to draw his eyes from it."
—Credence found a toy wand.[src]

The next day, Credence was looking in Modesty's room. When he looks under her bed, and moves the boxes and other objects out of the way, Credence found a toy wand. When Modesty enters the room, he asks her where she got it. Modesty admitted it was hers and that it was just a toy, asking him to give it back. Credence refused to give it back and held it in his hands. Mary Lou enters the room, shocked about what her son was holding. Credence had never seen his foster mother so angry that he became fearful. As Mary-Lou prepares to punish Credence, Modesty admits to Mary Lou it was hers while Credence crouched down behind Modesty on the floor in a corner, hugging his knees and shaking. But Mary Lou assumed it was his. The belt was torn from Mary Lou's hand. Credence's Obscurus burst free at that moment and killed both Mary Lou and Chastity.[6]


Credence's eyes roll over white as he unleashes his Obscurus

Grindelwald: "You're a squib, Credence. I could smell it off you the minute I met you(...)You've magical ancestry, but no power."
Credence: "But I tought you could teach me."
— Grindelwald betrayed Credence by calling him a squib[src]

Utterly traumatized by his obscurus accident, Credence clutches his pendant with the Sign of the Deathly Hallows on it that Grindelwald gave to him so he could locate him if he found the Obscurial child by touching it. Still in the form of Graves, Grindelwald came for him. While he is shaking and sobbing, Credence pleads to Grindelwald for help. Grindelwald slaps Credence hard across the face, asking where the Obscurial child was who he believed was Modesty. Credence took him to Modesty, who had fled the destruction to her home before she was adopted. Once there, Grindelwald told Credence that he had no further use for him and called him a squib. This betrayal caused Credence to reveal his Obscurus, to the surprise of Grindelwald. Although Grindelwald attempted to apologise and offered to train him, Credence lost control and transformed completely into an Obscurus, going on a rampage of destruction trough New York, knocking down buildings and overturning cars.


"We see Credence from within the black mass, his face contorted, screaming. The barrage of spells continues and Credence howls in pain.(...)Under this pressure, the Obscurus finally seems to implode—a white ball of magical light taking over from the black mass.(...)All power subsides. Only small tatters of black matter are left—floating through the air like feathers."
—Credence's death[src]
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While Grindelwald pursued him, Newton Scamander, assisted by Porpentina Goldstien, her sister Queenie, and a No-Maj Jacob Kowalski, tracked Credence's trail of destruction to the New York City Subway near New York City Hall. Newt tried to talk with Credence to calm him down, saying that he would help him. Because of Newt and his kindness and understanding, Credence becomes soothed by the magizoologist's words. Slowly, his Obscurus disappears, leaving only a frightened Credence. However, Grindelwald's appearance caused Credence to resume his rampage. Tina managed to calm Credence once more while he reached out to her, the only person who he trusted and who had ever done him an uncomplicated kindness by saving him from a beating. President Seraphina Picquery and Aurors from MACUSA arrived to contain the situation and proceeded to attack Credence with spells, only stopping when they believed he was destroyed, until Credence burst out into a million of pieces.

Surviving deathEdit

"As Newt follows Madam Picquery’s gaze, he sees a tendril of black matter, a small part of the Obscurus, floating down through the roof. Unnoticed by anyone else, it eventually floats up and away, trying to reconnect with its host"
—Credence - a sign that he may still be alive[src]
18194593 1279748095473219 2619144860744415458 n

While everyone thinks he was destroyed, a single shred of his Obscurus form fled the scene, trying to reconnect with its host, unseen to anyone but Newt. A day after this horrible accident, Credence boards a boat and leaves New York City.

Personality and traitsEdit

He was both "troubled" and "mysterious."[3][4] Shy and withdrawn, this made him far more vulnerable to the abuse that came in response to the slightest infraction of his adoptive mother's strict rules. His timid personality also made him susceptible to manipulation by Gellert Grindelwald, who took a personal interest in him.[2]

After years of abuse at the hands of his adoptive mother, Credence Barebone became a very timid and socially awkward young man. Credence's life was also micromanaged by his repressive and abusive mother, so he didn't know how to handle situations outside of the norm. He was very withdrawn and easily intimidated by people in positions of authority. He was quiet and suffered from anxiety whenever he was forced into stressful situations.

Credence was scared, lonely, and down right terrified of making any mistakes that would displease his mother. He had no friends outside and had been publicly humiliated more than once by his mother's open abuse in front of the Second Salemers. Credence was compliant and passive in most situations as he already knew the punishment if he decided to step out of line or defend himself.

However, when Credence was insulted or threatened, his Obscurus form was unleashed, which was triggered by his negative emotions which he acted violently on, causing wide-spread destruction and death to those who provoked him. Namely, he attacked Mary Lou Barebone because of the abuse the latter inflicted on him for so long, and Henry Shaw Junior for the way he mocked him.

Credence was actually quite desperate for love, affection, and acceptance to the point that he was easy to manipulate and control, particularly by Grindelwald, to the point that he was willing to risk the wrath of his mother to help his manipulator or friend.

While Credence would keep his head down in most cases, name calling affected him far deeper than one might think reasonable and betrayal even more so. He was easily overwhelmed and has been known to have emotional breakdowns that were usually done in private where no one could see unless he was with someone that he truly trusted.

Despite the tragedy and negative influences in his life, Credence was quite curious regarding magic and the wizarding world. Called observant and intelligent by Grindelwald, he listened closely to Grindelwald's words and eagerly believed his promises to teach him magic and allow him to be part of the wizarding community.[7] He was also exceptionally polite and well mannered (probably because of Mary Lou's strict up bringing) and followed the rules given to him unless they interfered with more important matters.

Magical abilities and skillsEdit

  • Obscurus Transformation: Credence was an Obscurial, prone to unleashing or embodying an Obscurus due to years of being forced to suppress his magic. According to Newt Scamander, he was notably more powerful than other known Obscurials, living longer than any previously known.
  • High Magic Capability: While Credence never developed his magical abilities, his ability to survive for so long despite being an Obscurial indicated he had an immense amount of latent magical talent.


Credence Barebone's motherEdit

Credence doesn't remember his biological mother, as she died when he was young. Credence was said to have been very loved during the time that he was with her.[citation needed] It is unclear whether he knew she was a witch. Mary Lou tells Credence that his birth mother was a "wicked, unnatural woman". Implying that he may share the same qualities.

Mary Lou BareboneEdit

"As if on autopilot, Credence removes his belt. Mary Lou stands and extends her hand, taking the belt. In silence, she turns and walks up the stairs—Credence obediently following."
—Mary Lou punishes Credence for coming home late.[src]

Credence feared his adoptive mother due to years of emotional and physical abuse. She beats him with the intent of teaching him to suppress and be ashamed of his magical traits. By suppressing his magic, he developed an Obscurus. It was noted by Tina Goldstein that out of all Mary Lou's adopted children, Credence was the most hated, most likely because of his magic. Credence learned over the years to willingly surrender his belt for a beating when he knew he did something wrong. He tended to be passive when it came to the beatings and he learned to take them without complaint. Despite living in an environment where magic was shunned, Credence tended to explore the ideas of wizardry and even entertained the thought of becoming part of the wizarding world. Mary Lou seemed to be aware of Credence's interest in magic and did not hesitate to beat him for it.

Modesty BareboneEdit

"Behind Credence, Modesty’s eyes burn. She clutches Credence’s hand protectively."
—Modesty took protective Credence's hand after being offended by Senator Shaw.[src]

Credence shared a closer relationship with Modesty, as she did not possess the same zealous attitude Chastity did in regards to their mother's anti-witchcraft stance. Modesty was young and curious, she shared Credence's secret interest in magic. Because of this shared interest they trusted each other. When Henry Shaw Junior insulted Credence, she took his hand to reassure him. Modesty often witnessed the beatings he got from their mother and attempted to comfort him. Modesty occasionally confided in Credence that she missed the nine brothers and sisters she had before she was adopted. When Credence found the toy wand under Modesty's bed, Mary Lou believed it to be his and bet him, despite Modesty's attempt at convincing her it was hers. After the Obscurus took control of Credence and killed their adoptive family, she became fearful of him.

Chastity BareboneEdit

The relationship between Chastity and Credence is unknown. They attended their mother's anti-magic rallies and meetings together and passed out leaflets, but not much interaction happened. Chastity witnesseed Credence's beatings but made no attempt at intervening or to defend him.

Gellert GrindelwaldEdit

"Graves pulls Credence into a hug, which, with his hand on Credence’s neck, seems more controlling than affectionate. Credence, overwhelmed by the seeming affection, closes his eyes and relaxes slightly."
—Grindelwald manipulates Credence to find the obscurial child.[src]

Grindelwald disguised himself as Percival Graves and used Credence to try and locate the Obscurial, whom he believed was Modesty Barebone, promising him entrance into the wizarding world and training to perform magic. To Credence, Grindelwald was his only friend and the only person who truly understood and supported him. He healed his hands and comforted him when he confided in him about his mother's mistreatment. When the Obscurial attacked, Grindelwald told Credence he had no use for him, calling him a squib, and went after Modesty. Because of the emotional strain, Credence lost control over the Obscurus and Grindelwald realized it was him, offering his partnership and training in wizardry. Credence was deeply hurt by his manipulation and ran at the sight of him. MACUSA's Aurors chased and attacked him, and when Newt and Tina attempted to calm him and protect him, Grindelwald interrupted them to provoke Credence to cause more destruction; his goal was always to use the Obscurus to use in a war a war between magical and non-magical people.


Credence is derived from the Latin credere meaning to trust and to believe, and from credentia, meaning belief.[8] Barebone is an Anglo-Saxon surname, thought to be taken from the name of an English village, Barbon or Barbourne.[9]

Behind the scenesEdit


Notes and referencesEdit

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