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Bartemius Crouch Sr.

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"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."
—Bartemius Crouch Sr.[src]

Bartemius "Barty" Crouch Senior[5] (d. 24 May, 1995[2]) was Head of the International Magical Co-operation in 1994[5].


Early life

"Should have spent a bit more time at home with his family, shouldn't he? Ought to have left the office early once in a while... gotten to know his own son."
Sirius Black on Barty Crouch Sr.[src]

Nothing is known about Bartemius's childhood; however, he was trained in the magical arts and received a career at the Ministry of Magic[5]. He was married tofgghh a "wispy-looking little witch", and they had a son, who was named after him, Barty Crouch Jr[8]. 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[8]. Crouch spent much of his life in his career, and as such, did not pay enough attention to his family, especially his son[9].

First Wizarding War

Bartemius trial

Crouch presiding over Igor Karkaroff's trial.

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[9]. 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"[9]. 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[8]. 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[8]. 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[9].

Barty Crouch Jr.: "I'm your son! I'm your son!"
Barty Crouch Sr.: "You are no son of mine! I have no son!"
— The final exchange between Barty Sr. and Barty Jr. before Barty Jr. was taken to Azkaban along with Bellatrix, Rodolphus, and Rabastan Lestrange.[src]

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[8]. 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[8]. 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[8].

Hiding his son

For one as a favour to his dying wife, Crouch smuggled their son out of Azkaban[10]. His wife, in failing health, used Polyjuice Potion to pose as Barty Jr. in the prison cell until she died[10]. 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[10]. 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[10]. 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[10]. 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[10].

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[10]. Crouch was out, but Bertha heard the family house-elf, Winky, talking to Barty Crouch Jr[10]. She heard enough to guess that it was Crouch Jr. hiding under an Invisibility cloak[10]. 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[10]. Bertha went to work for Ludo Bagman at the Department of Magical Games and Sports[6].

Quidditch World Cup


Bartemius learns that Harry Potter is chosen as a Triwizard Champion.

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[10]. Crouch remained in his tent while Winky took Barty, hidden under an Invisibility cloak, up to a top box[10]. She covered her eyes for the duration of the match because she was so afraid of heights[10]. 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[8]. He later used Harry's wand to cast Morsmordre[11]. Crouch saw the effect the spell had - the Dark Mark was hovering overhead - and hurried to the place where it had just been cast[11]. It was there that he found Harry, Ron and Hermione, as well as Winky in the bushes nearby with Harry's wand[11]. Crouch also found his invisible son on the ground, unconscious[10]. Crouch publicly dismissed Winky (ostensibly for disgracing him[11], but in reality for failing to supervise his son)[8]. After the witnesses to Winky's dismissal left, Crouch recast the Imperius Curse on Barty and returned home[8].


Crouch at the Quidditch World Cup.

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[8]. Wormtail and Voldemort travelled to the Crouch home, placed the Imperius Curse on Crouch himself and removed Barty to a separate location[8].

The Triwizard Tournament and death


Bartemius Crouch at the Hogwarts Halloween feast

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. Barty Crouch, Jr. was later captured and admitted, under the influence of Veritaserum, to having murdered his father. Soon afterwards, he was subjected to the Dementor's Kiss.

Personality and traits

Crouch spoke in a curt voice[12], and seemed to be a very serious person in contrast to his peers; he did not smile or wave when his name was announced in the introduction to the Triwizard Tournament at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, whereas Ludo Bagman, Head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports, waved jovially and enthusiastically[5]. He was known to be a strict rule-follower, someone who would not hesitate to either give his own son to the Dementors, or dismiss a House-elf that had been a loyal servant.[9]

Physical appearance

Crouch had short gray hair with a neat parting, which was described as "almost unnaturally straight", and a narrow toothbrush moustache. He wore a black suit and highly polished shoes, making him look like a businessman[6]. In certain lights, such as in semi-darkness, he took on a skull-like appearance[12]

Magical abilities and skills

  • Multilingualism: Ludovic Bagman stated in August of 1994 that Crouch can speak one hundred and fifty languages; the same day, Percival Weasley corrected him by boasting that Crouch could speak over two hundred, including Mermish, Gobbledegook and Troll[6].
  • Charms: Crouch was able to effectively use the Portus spell, a charm used to create portkeys; indeed, he created portkeys across five continents, which he later described as "no mean feat".
  • Imperius Curse: Crouch was able to cast an Imperius Curse powerful enough that even an extremely adept caster of the spell such as his son could only resist after twelve years.
  • Willpower: Was able to shrug off the Imperius Curse after a much shorter span of time than his son, showing that he has a very strong sense of self.


Wife and son

Barty Crouch Jr

Barty Crouch Jr.

Barty Crouch Jr.: "Hello Father!"
Barty Crouch Sr.: "You are no son of mine."
Bartemius Crouch Jr. talking to his father when he is being arrested.[src]

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.

House-elf, Winky (Concept Artwork for the HP4 film)



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.

Percy Weasley

Percival Weasley worked under Crouch for thirteen months, and was absolutely obsessed with him; indeed, Percy's brother Ronald joked in August of 1994 that he should be expecting their engagement any day[13]

Bertha Jorkins

Little is known of Crouch's relation toward Jorkins, although after her disappearance he spent some time convincing co-worker Ludovic Bagman to send someone out to look for her[6]. Crouch's employee Percy Weasley stated that Crouch appeared to be rather fond of Bertha[13]


  • 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.
  • The surname Crouch is a variation of the English surname Cross.


Behind the scenes

Barty Crouch Sr. LEGO

Crouch as a LEGO minifigure.

  • 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.


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Notes and references

  1. As one must be of age (seventeen years old) to be working at the Ministry, and he'd been working there for awhile, he evidently was older than seventeen by 1994.
  2. 2.0 2.1 As fourth-years have transfiguration on Thursdays, and earlier that day Harry got held back in transfiguration, that day was a Thursday. According to that same chapter, it was in the last week of May. If this is correct, it happened on a Thursday in the last week of May. According to this calender produced by the Harry Potter Lexicon, that day was the 22nd. See this page for source on the year.
  3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Chapter Thirty-Six - The Parting of the Ways)
  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Chapter Thirty-Two - Veritaserum)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Chapter Sixteen - The Goblet of Fire)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Chapter Seven - Bagman and Crouch)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Chapter Thirty - The Pensieve)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Chapter Twenty-Seven - Padfoot Returns)
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Chapter Thirty-Five - Veritaserum)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Chapter Nine - The Dark Mark)
  12. 12.0 12.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Chapter Seventeen - The Four Champions)
  13. 13.0 13.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Chapter Five - Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes)

Department of Magical Law Enforcement employees
Heads of Department
Justus Pilliwickle · Bartemius Crouch Sr. · Amelia Bones · Pius Thicknesse · Yaxley
Auror Office
Heads: Rufus Scrimgeour · Gawain Robards · Harry Potter

John Dawlish · Alice Longbottom · Frank Longbottom · Neville Longbottom · Alastor Moody · Proudfoot · Savage · Kingsley Shacklebolt · Nymphadora Tonks · Ronald Weasley · Williamson · Unidentified Aurors · Unidentified male Auror at Hogwarts · 3 Unidentified Aurors at Hogwarts · Director of the Investigation Department No. 61042
Other Personnel
Minerva McGonagall · Elphinstone Urquart · Alastor Gumboil · Arnold Peasegood · Mafalda Hopkirk · Honoria's fiancé · Rufus Fudge · Perkins · Hermione Granger · Travers · Bob Ogden · Arthur Weasley · Dempster Wiggleswade · Mafalda Hopkirk's Ministerial Superior · Arthur Weasley's ten subordinates

Department of International Magical Cooperation employees
Bartemius Crouch Sr. · Albus Dumbledore · Pierre Bonaccord · Percy Weasley

Level 10 employees
Wizengamot members
Amelia Bones · Elphias Doge · Albus Dumbledore · Cornelius Fudge · Griselda Marchbanks · Tiberius Ogden · Dolores Umbridge · Two elderly witches · Dumpy, heavily-moustached wizard · Frizzy-haired witch
Council of Magical Law members
Albus Dumbledore · Alastor Moody · Bartemius Crouch Sr. · Female juror · Male member · Clerk
Muggle-Born Registration Commission members
Dolores Umbridge · Yaxley

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