|"Well, I think we should put it back in order for them, don't you?"|
|Bartemius Crouch Senior|
Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement
- "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 "Barty" Crouch Senior (d. 24 May, 1995) was an influential Ministry of Magic official during the mid-to-late 20th century. He was the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement during the First Wizarding War, but was 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. He was eventually killed by his Death Eater son, Barty Crouch Jr., who despised him. He and his son were the last of the pure-blood Crouch family.
Nothing is known about Bartemius's childhood; however, he was trained in the magical arts, most likely in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and received a career 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, and even applauded for his previous achievements in a Quidditch match, 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, while claiming that he has no son; his decision was met with the roaring approval of the court.
Hiding his son
Shortly after the imprisonment, the Crouch couple was permitted a deathbed visit due to Crouch's high status as a Ministry official. Mrs. Crouch's health was failing at the time due to the stress, and begged her husband to rescue their son from prison as one last favour, to which he agreed out of love for her. The two took advantage of the deathbed visit by using Polyjuice Potion to switch Barty Jr. and Mrs. Crouch, in case any of the prisoners were watching from their cells, and then Barty Sr. smuggled his son out of Azkaban. Mrs. Crouch died shortly afterwards, posing as her son until the end, and because Barty never went to retrieve her body in fear of having the breakout exposed, staged her death and held a quiet, private funeral with an empty grave.
According to Crouch Jr., his father only saved him 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, having his house-elf Winky to nurse the boy back to health. After that, Crouch searched long and hard for methods to restrain his son from returning to Lord Voldemort, and was eventually forced to utilise the Imperius Curse to keep Barty Jr. under house arrest for twelve years, and his visual body hidden under an Invisibility cloak. He then assigned Winky to become the boy's keeper and carer. Winky would try to persuade her elder master to award his son for his good behaviour, despite it all being a byproduct of the subjugation.
- "So old Crouch lost it all, just when he thought he had it made. One moment, a hero, poised to become the Minister for Magic... next, his son dead, his wife dead, the family name dishonoured, and [...] a big drop in popularity."
- —Sirius Black on what he heard about the Crouch's misfortune.
Because of the public reaction after his "son" died, with the ambiguity of the imprisonment starting to overtake the rash decision of the trial, not to mention that people starting to take pity on Crouch Jr. for his father's neglect, 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.
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 secretly overheard Winky talking to Barty Crouch Jr. She heard enough to guess that it was Crouch Jr. hiding under an Invisibility cloak.
Upon returning home, Crouch was confronted by Bertha. Crouch took drastic measures by casting 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 (after months of efforts) Crouch to take her and Barty to the Quidditch World Cup final, which was being held in England that year, stating that it was what his wife would have wanted. 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. After Harry's wand was determined to be the culprit, 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 the one placed on Barty Jr.
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]
A short time later, however, Crouch 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 broke free of the curse, and due to Wormtail's neglect, managed to escape 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, among the other facts of the breakout and Voldemort's plan. Soon afterwards, he was subjected to the Dementor's Kiss.
After his son's confession, it is unknown if Crouch Sr.'s corpse was retrieved and untransfigured, though Fudge did deem him mad and delusional from what he heard Harry describe.
Personality and traits
Crouch spoke in a curt voice, 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. 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 highly devoted and loyal house-elf.
Having devoted his entire life to eradicating the dark forces, Crouch is well known for despising the dark arts and those who practice them, but his methods used are just as brutal and cruel as those he worked to prosecute, as he legalised the usages of the Unforgivable Curses and went under the principles of kill rather than capture, attack first and ask questions later, and imprison many without trials. To this end, he was working his way up to becoming the Minister of Magic at the time, and could not have anything that would tarnish his reputation, to the point of dismissing and imprisoning his son in order to make it clear that he has nothing to do with anyone who is even remotely suspected of being connected to the Dark Arts. He would later dismiss his devoted House-elf just for being at the wrong place at the wrong time (though the true reason is he deemed her unreliable).
Despite his ruthlessness, he was capable of true love, as he agreed to his wife's dying request of saving their son from prison, despite his high position, reputation and general dislike for the Dark Arts, and was willing use the Imperius Curse to restrain his son, breaking the laws he was so adamant in enforcing. The reason he was seen as an unloving workaholic is due to him placing his public image and career over his family, having set his entire life into following rules and eradicating dark forces, and would spend little to no time on his family life; Sirius Black found it weird when Crouch was calling in sick, as the Barty he (and the public) knew would never miss a day of work for any simple reason such as sickness. This tough love for his family made his own son see it as neglect, leaving a negative impact on the young man's perception and choices.
Crouch had short grey hair with a neat parting, which was described as "almost unnaturally straight", and a narrow toothbrush moustache. While disguised as a muggle for the World Quidditch Cup, he wore a black suit and highly polished shoes, making him look like a businessman, to the point that Harry described that even Vernon Dursley would not be able to tell the difference.. Due to this first impression, Harry thought Crouch looked weird in wizarding robes. In certain lights, such as in semi-darkness, he took on a skull-like appearance.
Magical abilities and skills
- Multilingualism: Ludovic Bagman stated in August of 1994 that Crouch can speak one hundred and fifty languages; the same day, Percy Weasley corrected him by boasting that Crouch could speak over two hundred, including Mermish, Gobbledegook and Troll.
- 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". His Memory Charm was so powerful that it caused Bertha Jorkins permanent memory damage.
- Dark Arts: Despite his loathing for the dark arts and those who practise them, 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. His understanding of this branch of magic's potency led him to legalise the Unforgivable Curses during the First Wizarding War, effectively allowing many Death Eaters to be captured and killed.
- Willpower: Crouch able to shrug off the Imperius Curse cast on him by Lord Voldemort after a much shorter span of time than the one he did on his son, showing that he has a very strong sense of self. However, Voldemort was in a weakened form at the time, and Crouch's resistance to the curse had led to him becoming delirious and maddened.
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.
All of Crouch Sr.'s neglect and ruthlessness to imprison his own son brought a negative impact on Crouch Jr.'s psyche, leading the boy to genuinely despise his father. Barty Jr. would later comment that Crouch Sr. was disappointing as a father, that he suffered the indignity of being named after that father, and that he greatly enjoyed killing his father.
- "I have no use for a house-elf who disobeys me. I have no use for a servant who forgets what is due to her master, and to her master's reputation."
- —Crouch disdaining Winky in public.[src]
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, as she showed genuine affection for Barty even long after her dismissal.
Barty, in turn, treated Winky with no respect, and considered her nothing more than a slave who was expected to follow orders unquestioningly. When she failed to restrain Barty Jr., Barty Sr. dismissed her, and thought of her as nothing as more than "something filthy and rotten 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 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. Crouch, however, cannot remember Percy's name; as a running gag, he referred his protege as "Weatherby".
After Voldemort subjugated Crouch and forced him to write letters to declare sickness, Weasley started to take orders via these letters unquestioningly. This eventually got Percy into trouble, as when Crouch escaped and was seen delirious on Hogwarts ground, the Ministry accused Percy of being irresponsible and unperceptive, that he should have seen the written orders as potential forgeries, and that he should have informed a superior of Crouch's questionable status.
It is unknown what Percy thought of Crouch after the man had been found insane in the Forbidden Forest, and participated in breaking out his criminal son from Azkaban, though most likely Percy lost his respect and admiration for him due to these lawbreaking going against what Percy believed in.
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. Crouch's employee Percy Weasley stated that Crouch appeared to be rather fond of Bertha, though when Bertha discovered Crouch's secret he was forced to cast a brain-damaging Memory Charm on her.
- "Despicable, Rookwood get him a job indeed... the day Ludo Bagman joins us will be a very sad day for the Ministry..."
- —Crouch scorning Bagman.[src]
Barty had a rather negative relationship with Ludo Bagman, who was a polar contrast in personality with Crouch himself. Crouch himself was serious and strictly adhered to rules, while Bagman took everything lightly and disregard rules from time to time. To this end, Crouch once tried to have Bagman sentenced to Azkaban for unwittingly giving information to Death Eaters despite the circumstances, and was infuriated when the entire court voted for Bagman's acquittal.
During the First Wizarding War, Crouch was the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and he fought violence with violence: he authorised Aurors the usage of the Unforgivable Curses, to kill suspects rather than capture, attack first and question later, and imprisoned many without trials. It was a time when the Death Eaters were terrorising the entire community, and what Barty did was seen as the only way they could be victorious. Due to his effectiveness, he was incredibly popular, rising within the Ministry to the point he almost secured the post of Minister for Magic. Even when he sentenced his own son for life in prison, the community cheered him on for giving the impression of progress. Sirius Black, on the other hand, held a grudge against Crouch for sentencing him to Azkaban without a trial, losing an opportunity to appeal to a frame-up.
However, after Voldemort's first downfall and sometime after Barty's son was labelled deceased in prison, his popularity within the community dropped critically, as citizens and colleagues alike were able to calm down from their savage approvals after the terror ended, and they accused Crouch for being too neglectful as a father and was the reason own son managed to fall so low. As such, Crouch's declining reputation led him to be demoted to being the Head of the Department of International Magical Co-operation.
By the 1994-1995 school year, Barty Crouch received much less applause from the students than Ludo Bagman, mostly due to his appearance of a strict rule-follower, as opposed to the more cheerful Bagman. After Winky was caught at the scene of the crime where the Dark Mark was fired into the sky of the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, and his reputation was nearly tarnished due to his connections with the elf. Near the end of his life, Barty's mental stability was damaged from Voldemort's subjugation, and the Ministry simply classified him as insane, showing how much Crouch's status had fallen within the society's standing.
- 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
- 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 suspect that Moody is actually his son (having apparently played no part in his escape from Azkaban). 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 his wife's part in their 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.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
Notes and references
- ↑ 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 27th. See this page for source on the year.
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 36 (The Parting of the Ways)
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 7 (Bagman and Crouch)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 16 (The Goblet of Fire)
- ↑ 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 30 (The Pensieve)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 27 (Padfoot Returns)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 9 (The Dark Mark)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 17 (The Four Champions)
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 5 (Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes)