Bartemius "Barty" Crouch Senior (d. 24 May, 1995) was Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement during the First Wizarding War, but demoted to the Head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation afterwards. He had a reputation for "fighting fire with fire;" exhibiting the same sort of ruthlessness and brutality against criminals as some Death Eaters did against their victims. As he and his son were the last of the pure-blood Crouch family, it is nearly certain that he was the son of Caspar Crouch, by wife Charis Black. He was eventually killed by his Death Eater son, Barty Crouch Jr., who despised him.
Nothing is known about Bartemius's childhood, though it is possible that he was the son of Caspar and Charis Crouch. If so, he had two sisters. At an unknown time, he got a job at the Ministry of Magic.
He was married to a "wispy-looking little witch", and they had a son, who was named after him, Barty Crouch Jr. Crouch quickly rose through the ranks of the Ministry of Magic and became the judge on the Council of Magical Law whilst heading the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Crouch spent much of his life in his career, and as such, did not pay enough attention to his family, especially his son.
First Wizarding War
During the downfall of the Death Eaters in the First Wizarding War, he convicted several of them to life imprisonment in Azkaban, including Sirius Black, who was sent to Azkaban without trial. He authorised Aurors to use the Unforgivable Curses on their opponents if necessary, and went under the principles of "kill rather than capture" and "attack first, ask questions later". Crouch oversaw a trial where he had the Death Eater Igor Karkaroff set free in exchange for the names of several other Death Eaters, including Augustus Rookwood. He also oversaw the trial of Ludo Bagman, but much to Crouch's fury, the Council cleared Bagman of all charges, though it should be noted that Bagman was merely an unknowing dupe rather than an actual Death Eater. Although Crouch's tactics were cruel, most people believed that he was doing the right thing, as there would be no way to defeat Lord Voldemort otherwise. Many people predicted that Crouch would be the next Minister for Magic, since Albus Dumbledore refused the position multiple times.
However, after Lord Voldemort's fall, Crouch got news that his own son had helped drive two Aurors - Alice and Frank Longbottom - insane through use of the Cruciatus Curse alongside with the three Lestrange Death Eaters, trying to learn where their master was in hiding. A trial being the closest to fatherly affection he can give, Crouch did not make any difference for it despite his son being among the convicts. Ignoring his son and wife's pleas, as well as the apparently not completely certain evidence that his son was guilty in the first place (it was later stated that there was some ambiguity about whether his son had taken part in the torture or merely been in the wrong place at the wrong time), he sentenced all four Death Eaters to Azkaban for life; his decision was met with the roaring approval of the court.
Hiding his son
For one as a favour to his dying wife, Crouch smuggled their son out of Azkaban. His wife, in failing health, used Polyjuice Potion to pose as Barty Jr. in the prison cell until she died. Because of the public reaction after his "son" died, Crouch Sr. lost his popularity and chance to become Minister for Magic and was shunted sideways to the Department of International Magical Cooperation, with Cornelius Fudge succeeding Millicent Bagnold as Minister instead. Crouch Jr would later claim that his father saved him only as a favour for his wife, and that Crouch Sr himself "loved her as he never loved [his son]", though due to Crouch Jr's mental instability and biased hatred for his father at the time, it is possible that Barty Sr loved his son more than it appears, as he was able to sacrifice his wife into spending her last days in a place like Azkaban for their son's sake, and risk his own position in the Ministry despite his hatred for the Dark Arts and all who practice them.
Crouch took his real son home, where for twelve years he was placed under house arrest via the Imperius Curse, hidden under an Invisibility cloak. As he never went to retrieve his wife's body from Azkaban, he staged her death, shortly after his son's assumed death. Crouch held a quiet, private funeral for his wife with an empty grave.
Discovery and aftermath
At some point while serving as Department Head, a Ministry worker named Bertha Jorkins called at the Crouch home with Ministry paperwork. Crouch was out, but Bertha heard the family house-elf, Winky, talking to Barty Crouch Jr. She heard enough to guess that it was Crouch Jr. hiding under an Invisibility cloak.
Upon his arrival home, Crouch assessed the situation and, fearing exposure, cast an extremely powerful Memory Charm on her, which accidentally caused Bertha some brain damage, although it was not noticeable except for a new tendency of forgetfulness. Bertha went to work for Ludo Bagman at the Department of Magical Games and Sports.
Quidditch World Cup
Some time later, Winky convinced Crouch to take her and Barty to the Quidditch World Cup final, which was being held in England that year. Crouch remained in his tent while Winky took Barty, hidden under an Invisibility cloak, up to a top box. She covered her eyes for the duration of the match because she was so afraid of heights. Barty, however, had awoken from the Imperius Curse and proceeded to steal Harry Potter's wand from his pocket, as Harry was sitting right in front of the invisible Barty. He later used Harry's wand to cast Morsmordre.
Crouch saw the effect the spell had - the Dark Mark was hovering overhead - and hurried to the place where it had just been cast. It was there that he found Harry, Ron and Hermione, as well as Winky in the bushes nearby with Harry's wand. Crouch also found his invisible son on the ground, unconscious. Crouch publicly dismissed Winky (ostensibly for disgracing him, but in reality for failing to supervise his son). After the witnesses to Winky's dismissal left, Crouch recast the Imperius Curse on Barty and returned home.Meanwhile, Lord Voldemort had found and tortured Bertha Jorkins into telling him vital information about the present state of the Ministry, including the fact that Barty was alive and still loyal to the Dark Lord. Wormtail and Voldemort travelled to the Crouch home, placed the Imperius Curse on Crouch himself and removed Barty to a separate location.
The Triwizard Tournament and death
Crouch was ordered to go to work and do all his usual jobs as if nothing had happened. This included becoming one of the judges in the Triwizard Tournament, which he, as the head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation, had helped plan out. When Crouch, along with Ludo Bagman, came to Hogwarts, Crouch was unable to get as much applause as Bagman did, probably partly because he was not a very pleasant-looking man. While this was happening, Crouch's son was also in Hogwarts, impersonating Alastor Moody and plotting to help his master rise to power. Crouch showed no sign of surprise, exhaustion or any emotion at all when the name of Harry Potter came from the Goblet of Fire, as a part of Voldemort's plan. Presumably due to Voldemort's influence, Crouch insisted that any person whose name came out of the Goblet had to compete in the tournament.
- "Yes. After a while he began to fight the Imperius Curse just as I had done. There were periods when he knew what was happening. My master decided it was no longer safe for my father to leave the house. He forced him to send letters to the Ministry instead. He made him write and say he was ill. But Wormtail neglected his duty. He was not watchful enough. My father escaped. My master guessed that he was heading for Hogwarts. My father was going to tell Dumbledore everything, to confess. He was going to admit that he had smuggled me from Azkaban."
- —Barty Crouch Jr. confessing under the effects of Veritaserum.[src]
Crouch soon started to resist the Imperius Curse, just like his son had done during his time under Crouch's control. Voldemort, fearing that people would become suspicious, ordered him to stay home and write letters, saying he was sick, with his duties as a Tournament judge being primarily carried out by Percy Weasley. This brought suspicion to some people, such as Sirius Black, who knew that Barty would never take a day off work simply because of illness.
Eventually Crouch escaped and fled towards Hogwarts to warn Dumbledore about Voldemort's plans. Exhausted and slightly mad from the effects of Voldemort's mind-controlling spells, he staggered through the Forbidden Forest onto the Hogwarts grounds, eventually coming across Harry and Viktor Krum. Crouch's resisting of Voldemort's spells caused him to continuously talk to a nearby tree, thinking it was his assistant "Weatherby" and to think his wife and son were still alive and well. In a short sane state, Crouch asked to speak to Dumbledore, claiming that it was "all his fault". While Harry went to get him, Barty Jr. arrived (as Alastor Moody) and stunned Krum. Barty Jr. killed his father and transfigured the corpse into a bone, burying it in Rubeus Hagrid's garden.
Personality and traits
- "A wizard had just Apparated at their fireside, and he could not have made more of a contrast with Ludo Bagman, sprawled on the grass in his old Wasp robes. Barty Crouch was a stiff, upright, elderly man, dressed in an impeccably crisp suit and tie. The parting in his short grey hair was almost unnaturally straight, and his narrow toothbrush moustache looked as though he trimmed it using a slide rule. His shoes were very highly polished. Harry could see at once why Percy idolized him. Percy was a great believer in rigidly following rules, and Mr. Crouch had complied with the rule about Muggle dressing so thoroughly that he could have passed for a bank manager; Harry doubted even Uncle Vernon would have spotted him for what he really was."
- —Harry's observations of Crouch's appearance[src]
Crouch was a highly intelligent and powerful wizard, but he was also somewhat megalomaniacal and intensely preoccupied with presenting the appearance of respectability. He was a narrow, inflexible man who stiffly followed the rules. Crouch took his job very seriously and would never miss work for anything, be it family or sickness, which led Sirius to suspect something was wrong when Crouch started to take days off under Lord Voldemort's bewitchment. Crouch was also known to speak a large amount of languages. Crouch was known to be immaculate in his personal grooming and wore a silver pocket watch during his tenure as Head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation.
Although Crouch despised the Dark Arts, the lengths that he was willing to go in order to disassociate with anything that might blemish his reputation often led him to behave as cruelly as many of Lord Voldemort's followers. He "fought violence with violence", and gave Aurors the powers to kill instead of capture. He was also known to send people to Azkaban prison without a trial. He sometimes was as brutal as some of the worst Death Eaters. But he detested the Dark Arts to the point that he sent his own son to the dementors of Azkaban upon being suspected of being a Death Eater. His fatherly affection for his own son only stretched enough to give him a trial. Crouch spoke over two hundred languages, including Mermish, Gobbledegook and Trolls. Many of these traits earned Crouch the admiration of his assistant "Weatherby."
Despite his authoritarian nature, he loved his wife immensely, and was persuaded by her to break their son out of Azkaban. The son believed it was because the father had always loved his wife more than he had ever loved him, but this was the truth only in the son's eyes - not necessarily the accurate truth. Barty was also willing to use the Imperius Curse, one of the darkest of magics, in order to restrain his son from returning to Lord Voldemort and to protect him from being revealed and sent back to Azkaban, and as the curse makes its victim feel happy and careless, the father likely used it also to make up for the mental torture he had abandoned him into for a year, as the curse gave the son a relative peace of mind. Barty appeared to have a certain respect for Harry Potter due to his defeat of Voldemort, stating on one occasion at the Quidditch World Cup that Harry was the only person present- in a group including other Ministry officials such as Amos Diggory- less likely to have cast the Dark Mark than himself.
Magical abilities and skills
- "Couldn't do me a brew, I suppose? I'm keeping an eye out for Barty Crouch. My Bulgarian opposite number's making difficulties, and I can't understand a word he's saying. Barty'll be able to sort it out. He speaks about a hundred and fifty languages."
- —Ludo Bagman speaking with the Weasley's at the Quidditch World Cup[src]
Crouch was considered a great wizard, and was noted by Sirius Black as "powerfully magical."
- Imperius Curse: Despite despising the Dark Arts, Crouch was capable of casting an immensely powerful Imperius Curse. Indeed, Crouch's own son, a Death Eater and practitioner of Dark Magic, took twelve years to build up enough resistance to break free of his father's power.
- Memory Charm: Crouch was also capable of using a Memory Charm to such a high degree that the power of the charm he placed on Bertha Jorkins left her brain permanently damaged, though subtle enough that it appeared she was simply an exceptionally forgetful individual; this overpowering effect was due to his lack of training in the art of erasing memories.
- Imperius Curse resistance: Crouch quickly built up a resistance to the Imperius Curse placed on him by Lord Voldemort, after less than a year under its influence, although the effort left him somewhat delirious. This indicated that he possessed a stronger will than his son, who had taken a lot longer to overcome the curse his father had put on him. However it was possible that because Voldemort's powers were still relatively weak at the time, he was not able to use the Imperius Curse at full power.
- Magical multilinguist: Like Albus Dumbledore, Crouch was capable of speaking the language of a variety of magical beings. In fact, Crouch was noted to speak over two-hundred different languages, including Bulgarian and those of the merpeople, goblins, and trolls.
Wife and son
Bartemius did not pay enough attention to his son, until the day Crouch Jr. was caught in the company of three Death Eaters after the torture of Alice and Frank Longbottom. Crouch Sr. gave his son little more than the courtesy of a trial, something he did not always give other suspects, and oversaw it personally. In the end, Crouch Sr. merely used the trial to publicly disown his son, and showed no mercy as he sent him to Azkaban. However, he fulfilled his wife's dying wish and smuggled their son back out, keeping him hidden at home under the Imperius Curse for several years. This proved Crouch's undoing, as Lord Voldemort learned of the whereabouts of his servant and freed him, turning the tables on Crouch Sr. by Imperiusing him instead. Although Crouch eventually escaped, he was murdered by his own son when he attempted to warn Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore of what had happened.
His son felt like Barty Sr. loved his wife more than he had ever loved his son, but this was only the truth in the son's eyes and not necessarily the accurate truth. However, Barty Sr. seemed to put his public image first, as despite his son's pleas, he still sentenced him to Azkaban for life. Dumbledore lets on there was generally some doubt if Barty Jr. had been guilty or just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but this was only Dumbledore's point of view while he may not have known all the evidence. However, the love for his wife and son allowed Barty Sr. to be persuaded by her dying wish to smuggle their son out of prison, in exchange of her.
Winky the house-elf is an extremely devoted servant of Barty Crouch Sr.. She is very willing to help her master take care of his renegade son, and even obeyed his orders to stay on the Quidditch World Cup's top box, despite her acrophobia. Her loyalty may surpass the mere magic-bound duty of an average house-elf.
Barty, in turn, treated Winky with no respect, and considered her nothing more than a slave. When she failed to restrain Barty Jr., Barty Sr. dismissed her, and thought of her as nothing as more than "something filthy contaminating his over-shined shoes" when she was screaming and begging for mercy at his feet. Winky was devastated by this dismissal, considered it a disgrace to her mother and grandmother, and this devastation worsened when she heard that Crouch was murdered by his own son.
- "Enjoying it? I don't reckon he'd come home if Dad didn't make him. He's obsessed. Just don't get him onto the subject of his boss. According to Mr. Crouch ... as I was saying to Mr. Crouch ... Mr. Crouch is of the opinion ... Mr. Crouch was telling me ... They'll be announcing their engagement any day now."
- —Ron discussing with Harry Percy's new job with Crouch.[src]
Percy Weasley worked for Bartemius Crouch during 1994-1995. Percy had several traits in common with Mr. Crouch's personality, namely his love for the rules and procedure, as well as respect for authority. Because of this, Percy idolised Bartemius in many ways and even got into arguments with people over some of Crouch's decisions. Although he was a small individual in Crouch's division, Percy spoke highly of him and always talked as if they knew each other very well. Despite Percy's similar nature, Mr. Crouch did not know his name or any other details about him, and continuously referred to him as "Weatherby." Percy was, however, close enough to take over for Barty as the judge in the second task, but later got in trouble for not noticing his superior was losing his sanity. How Percy reacted when he found out that Crouch broke his son out of prison and then lost his sanity is unknown.
- The name Bartemius originates from the Biblical name Bartimaeus, who was permanently blind all his life, until Jesus healed him. Reasons for naming after a blind man may be due to the fact Bartemius was quite oblivious to his family until his position of authority lowered. Crouch is a word which mean to stoop, particularly with the knees bent. This name may have been chosen due to how Crouch walked with a cane, and slightly hunches over a bit.
Behind the scenes
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Crouch is portrayed as a somewhat more cheerful character and a generally more likeable man. He congratulates Harry after the latter successfully completes the Second Task, but Barty, in the guise of Moody, interrupts their heartful conversation, asking whether Crouch was trying to get Harry into a summer internship at the Ministry. At this point, Crouch sees Moody twitch like Barty Jr, and actually seems to recognise it as his son. Instead of arriving in Hogwarts driven half-insane and subsequently disappearing, Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Hagrid later find Crouch dead in the Forbidden Forest.
- Also in the film, Dumbledore said that it destroyed Crouch to send his son to Azkaban. In the book, however, he seemed fully willing to do it and had no regrets about it. But the truth about the accurate case on that was not revealed. Also, the film version had no mention of Crouch's or the mother's part in his son's escape from Azkaban.
- In the film of The Goblet of Fire, Crouch was portrayed by Roger Lloyd-Pack who is best known for his roles as Trigger in Only Fools and Horses and Owen Newitt in the Vicar of Dibley. Lloyd Pack also appears in the revamped Doctor Who series episodes Rise of the Cybermen and Age of Steel along with David Tennant (who plays Barty Crouch Jr. in the Goblet of Fire film). In the latter appearance, the respective actors' roles are reversed however, with Tennant playing the main hero and Lloyd Pack playing a villain. Lloyd-Pack played John Lumic (ambitious leader of Cybus industries, formed his own version of the Cybermen) while Tennant played the Doctor
- In the novel, Crouch constantly refers to Percy Weasley as "Weatherby". This is very similar to Roger Lloyd-Pack's Only Fools and Horses character Trigger, who constantly refers to Rodney as "Dave". This is not seen in the film, as Percy was cut.
- Due to Percy's omission, Crouch Sr. took over the roles Percy had in the book of attending the Yule Ball and Second Task for the film. In the book, Crouch Sr. had disappeared due to a supposed "illness", which was actually him being placed under the Imperius Curse by Lord Voldemort and had to be hidden away due to signs of Crouch Sr. being able to resist it. It was through falsified letters that Percy took over the responsibilities in Mr. Crouch's place for those tasks in the book.
- It is a possibility that Crouch was a Slytherin and fought the Dark Arts only because he wanted to gain power in the ministry just like Merlin who fought for Muggle rights despite being a Slytherin. Crouch was power hungry and ambitious, he was the type of person who is most likely to be sorted in Slytherin.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4