In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we discovered that any witch or wizard with their magical powers repressed eventually turns into an "Obscurial". In the Half Blood Prince, we learned about how badly Merope Gaunt was treated by her brother and her father. She knew only rudimentary magic and ran away with a muggle when she got the chance.

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    maltreated != repressed. Merope is shown to be able to freely use magic. If her magic had been truly repressed in an 'Obscurus'-esque manner she would not have been able to run away in the manner in which she does – NKCampbell Oct 2 '17 at 17:17
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    Doylist explanation: because Rowling hadn't made them up yet. It's hardly the only thing. – Daniel B Oct 3 '17 at 3:35
  • “any [repressed] witch or wizard […] eventually turns into an "Obscurial"” — There’s a simple flaw here: the correct word is “some”, not “any”: some repressed witches/wizards turn into obscurials. And that explains it all. – Konrad Rudolph Oct 3 '17 at 9:57

Merope never suppressed her magical abilities

Obscuruses develop under highly specific circumstances, which don't appear to be satisfied by Merope's situation:

Newt: Before wizards went underground, when we were still being hunted by Muggles, young wizards and witches sometimes tried to suppress their magic to avoid persecution. Instead of learning to harness or to control their powers, they developed what was called an Obscurus.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

An Obscurus is the repressed energy of a child who is forced to hide his or her magical talent. This energy can manifest itself as an entity on its own that can erupt in violent, devastating fury.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Magical Movie Handbook "Beasts" The Obscurus

An Obscurus is developed under very specific conditions: trauma associated with the use of magic, internalized hatred of one’s own magic and a conscious attempt to suppress it.

JK Rowling's website FAQ

While Merope unquestionably suffered terrible abuse, and that abuse was related to her magical ability, she was never directed to supress it, or taught to hate it, the way Creedence Barebones was; quite the opposite, in fact (emphasis mine):

"Pick it up!" Gaunt bellowed at her. "That's it, grub on the floor like some filthy Muggle, what's your wand for, you useless sack of muck?"


"Lucky the nice man from the Ministry’s here, isn't it? Perhaps he'll take you off my hands, perhaps he doesn't mind dirty Squibs...."


"Is it true?" said Gaunt in a deadly voice, advancing a step or two toward the terrified girl. "My daughter — pure-blooded descendant of Salazar Slytherin — hankering after a filthy, dirt-veined Muggle?"

Half-Blood Prince Chapter 10: "The House of Gaunt"

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    I'd say that if you want to find an obscurus in the Harry Potter books, have a look at the story of Dumbledore's little sister. It seems to match the description of obscurus pretty well ... – sylvainulg Oct 3 '17 at 12:03

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