|"Are you a wizard or not?"
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- "My mother saved me. She knew she was dying. She persuaded my father to rescue me as a last favour to her. He loved her as he had never loved me. He agreed. They came to visit me. They gave me a draft of Polyjuice Potion containing one of my mother's hairs. She took a draft of Polyjuice Potion containing one of my hairs. We took on each other's appearance."
- — Mrs Crouch's loving sacrifice[src]
Mrs Crouch was born into a pure-blood family. She married Bartemius Crouch and had one son, also named Bartemius. Mr Crouch was so focused on his career within the Ministry of Magic that he gave little devotion to his duties as a husband and father. As such, Mrs Crouch was namely responsible for home and raising their child.
First Wizarding War and aftermath
Shortly after Lord Voldemort's first downfall, in 1981, Barty Jnr was caught amongst a group of Death Eaters who were convicted of torturing Aurors Alice and Frank Longbottom into insanity. Mrs Crouch was present for her son's trial in Courtroom Ten, sitting next to her husband, who presided as the judge, sobbing. She suffered the terrible and sad experience of watching her husband renounce their nineteen-year-old son and condemn him to life in Azkaban without listening to boy's crying pleas and explanations. After the sentence was passed, she collapsed in shock and grief of what had happened.
Rescuing her son and death
- "My mother saved me. She knew she was dying. She persuaded my father to rescue me as a last favour to her."
- — Barty Jnr describing his mother's last favour.[src]
About one year after their son's imprisonment, Mrs Crouch's health deteriorated drastically from the stress. In the last few weeks of her life, Mrs Crouch convinced her husband to allow her to trade places with her son in the wizard prison during their deathbed visit of their son that was permitted due to her husband's high status in the Ministry. Both mother and son drank Polyjuice Potion to take each other's appearance, and she went to Azkaban while Barty Jnr went to live in hiding with the help of their House-elf Winky. Mrs Crouch drank the remaining potion slowly and sparingly, to ensure herself not to be exposed for the other prisoners to see, and died shortly thereafter in Azkaban. She was buried by the Dementors outside the walls under her son's name and appearance, as Sirius Black witnessed.
Since Barty Snr could not have retrieved his wife's body from Azkaban without exposing what they had done, he staged her death, and then held a quiet, private funeral for her, with an empty grave.
Winky would use Mrs Crouch's dying wish for her son's freedom to persuade the elder Barty to allow his son attend the 422nd Quidditch World Cup. Though Crouch eventually relented, this led to a downward spiral of negative events that led to both father and son to be destroyed along with Voldemort's return to full power, leaving Mrs Crouch's efforts for her son to be tragically wasted.
Mrs Crouch was a short, frail and wispy-looking witch. When she swapped places with her son in prison, she took on his 20-years old appearance for the remainder of her life, and died bearing his form and name.
Personality and traits
Mrs Crouch was a frail and emotional woman, as she was sobbing when her son was accused of crimes punishable by life sentence, to the point of fainting when her husband ruthlessly carried out the sentence and denouncing their son. She was a very loving mother, as she swapped places with her son to allow him to escape prison while suffering in his place and desiring him to live out his new life for the better. According to Winky, Mrs Crouch would have wanted her son to enjoy some fresh air and freedom, not to be imprisoned by the Imperius Curse. However, despite her love for her son, she had a poor judge of character, being oblivious or in denial to her son's true nature, with her act in rescuing him from Azkaban ultimately resulting in Voldemort's return and the downfalls of both both her son and husband.
Barty Crouch Snr
- "He loved her as he had never loved me."
- — Barty Jnr describing his father's love for Mrs Crouch.[src]
Mrs Crouch's husband, Barty Crouch Snr, was very neglectful of his family life due to his devotion in the Ministry of Magic's eradication of the Dark Forces such as the Death Eaters. She was crushed when he dismissed their only son and sentenced him to Azkaban for life. However, they clearly loved each other deeply, no matter how the public views Mr Crouch's ruthlessness, as he agreed to his wife's dying wish to save their son in exchange for the last few weeks of her terminally-ill life. As Barty could not retrieve his wife's corpse without fearing exposure of the jailbreak, he had to stage her death and hold a quiet, private funeral for her with an empty grave. Barty would be persuaded to let his son attend the Quidditch World Cup when his wife's wishes were brought up by Winky, showing he still love her despite thirteen years have passed.
Barty Crouch Jnr
- "She said my mother would have wanted it. She told my father that my mother had died to give me freedom. She had not saved me for a life of imprisonment."
- — Barty Jnr reiterating what Winky claimed Mrs Crouch would have wanted[src]
Mrs Crouch loved her only son, Barty Crouch Jnr, very much. She was sobbing uncontrollably when he was convicted of a crime, and collapsed in shock and grief when her husband sentenced their child to life in prison. Mrs Crouch's love was what led to her health to deteriorate, and made her sacrifice her own life to rescue her son, while hoping that he would be able to live a second chance of freedom and a new leaf. She died bearing his appearance and name.
Originally, Barty Jnr seemed to have loved his mother in return, as he was crying for her help during his sentencing, and was screaming for her for the first week in his cell. However, as time passed, with the combination of the Dementors' negative effects and his father's cruel and ruthless disinheriting, this caused Crouch Jnr to suffer a severe mental decline, changing him into an insane and psychopathic murderer who was fanatically loyal to Lord Voldemort, thus blinding him from those who truly loved him, namely his mother and the house-elf Winky. This renewed hatred led Barty to forget his mother and commit more crimes, such as patricide and reentering Voldemort's services, and then receiving the worse-than-death Dementor's Kiss. Conclusively, Mrs Crouch's love, sacrifices and good intentions were tragically wasted.
Behind the scenes
- Mrs Crouch and the role she played in her son's escape from Azkaban was omitted from the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First appearance) (Appears in flashback(s))
- Pottermore (Appears in flashback(s))
- Wizarding World (Appears in flashback(s))
Notes and references
- She is referred to as "Mrs Crouch" meaning that she and Bartemius Crouch Snr were married. Presumably, she had, at least, graduated from Hogwarts at the time. Adding on a nine month (assumed) pregnancy places her around eighteen at the birth of her son - assuming she married right out of Hogwarts.
- Barty Crouch Jnr: My mother died a short while afterward in Azkaban. She was careful to drink Polyjuice Potion until the end. She was buried under my name and bearing my appearance. (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum))
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 36 (The Parting of the Ways) - "Your dementor has just destroyed the last remaining member of a pure-blood family as old as any —" The Crouch family was a pure-blood family, listed in the Sacred Twenty-Eight directory, so its members would need to have been pure-blood or half-blood, like the Malfoys. (see Writing by J.K. Rowling: "The Malfoy Family" at Wizarding World)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 27 (Padfoot Returns)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 28 (The Madness of Mr Crouch)