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- "He was tipped as the next Minister for Magic. He's a great wizard, Barty Crouch, powerfully magical — and power-hungry. Oh never a Voldemort supporter. No, Barty Crouch was always very outspoken against the Dark Side. But... I would say he became as ruthless and cruel as many on the Dark Side."
- — Sirius Black regarding Crouch's ruthlessness and extreme methods[src]
Bartemius "Barty" Crouch Senior (d. 27 May, 1995) was a British pure-blood wizard, the father of Bartemius Crouch Junior, and an influential British 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, and a candidate for the highest role, but when the war ended he was demoted to the Head of the Department of International Magical Co-operation. He had a reputation for "fighting fire with fire", exhibiting the sort of ruthlessness and brutality against criminals that could be compared to some Death Eaters to their victims.
He was cast aside after the First Wizarding War and was put in charge of Department of International Magical Co-operation. He was eventually murdered by his Death Eater son, Barty Crouch Jnr, who despised him. He and his son were the last members of the pure-blood Crouch family.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Physical appearance
- 3 Personality and traits
- 4 Magical abilities and skills
- 5 Relationships
- 6 Media
- 7 Etymology
- 8 Behind the scenes
- 9 Appearances
- 10 Notes and references
Bartemius was born to the pure-blood Crouch family. He was trained in the magical arts, most likely in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and pursued a highly successful career at the British Ministry of Magic.
He was married to a "wispy-looking little witch" and they had a son, who was named after him, Bartemius Crouch Junior. Crouch quickly rose through the ranks of the Ministry of Magic and became the judge in 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. According to Sirius Black, he "dedicated his whole life to becoming Minister of Magic".
First Wizarding War (1970-1981)
During the downfall of the Death Eaters in the First Wizarding War, Bartemius convicted several suspected criminals to life imprisonment in Azkaban, including Sirius Black, who did not even receive a 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 Ludo for his previous achievements in a Quidditch match, though it should be noted that Bagman was merely an unwitting informant 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 the 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 cruelly claiming that he had no son: his decision was met with the roaring approval of the court. In Sirius's opinion, and by all accounts, this court was nothing more than a sham trial for Crouch Snr. to express his hatred for his son and to publicly disown him in front of the entire Wizengamot.
Hiding his son (1981-1994)
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 Junior and Mrs Crouch, in case any of the prisoners were watching from their cells, and then Barty Snr 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 Jnr, his father only saved him as a favour for his wife and that Crouch Snr himself "loved her as he never loved [his son]", though due to Crouch Jnr's mental instability and biased hatred for his father at the time it is likely this take on things is not completely accurate. However, since the Crouch's house-elf Winky was able to gain concessions for Barty Jnr through evoking the name of Barty Snr's deceased wife, it is safe to assume that he was respecting his wife's wishes in allowing her to sacrifice herself by spending her last days in a place like Azkaban for their son's sake and in risking his own position in the Ministry despite his hatred for the Dark Arts and all who practise 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 Voldemort and was eventually forced to utilise the Imperius Curse to keep Barty Jnr 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.
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 Jnr for his father's neglect, Crouch Snr lost his popularity and chance to become Minister for Magic and was shunted sideways to the Department of International Magical Co-operation, 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 Jnr. She heard enough to guess that it was Crouch Jnr 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
Sometime later, Winky convinced (after months of efforts) Crouch Snr to take her and Barty to the 1994 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 the 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 Potter, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger, 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. Peter Pettigrew and Voldemort travelled to the Crouch home, placed the Imperius Curse on Crouch himself which removed the one placed on Barty Jnr.
The Triwizard Tournament and death (1994-1995)
- "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 Jnr confessing under the effects of Veritaserum[src]
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 and his department 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 the scheduled Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor Alastor Moody using Polyjuice Potion 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.
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. These letters said that he was sick and this resulted in 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 some unexplained illness, but no investigation was made.
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, saying that his son had gained twelve O.W.L.'s. In a short sane state, Crouch begged to speak to Dumbledore, claiming that it was "all his fault". and saying that "the dark lord was rising.
While Harry went to get him, Barty Jnr arrived (as Alastor Moody) and stunned Viktor Krum. Barty Jnr then murdered his father and transfigured the corpse into a bone, burying it in Rubeus Hagrid's garden.
Bartemius Crouch Junior 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 by Cornelius Fudge's Dementor which he took into Hogwarts for his own safety when he heard there was a Death Eater in the castle.
Post-mortem and legacy
Crouch's act in rescuing his son from Azkaban for his wife and Winky's sake had indirectly ensured that a path to help Voldemort return to power was sealed, which ultimately did come to pass after Crouch's death. However, as Crouch Jnr was captured after Voldemort's return, he was sentenced to the Dementor's Kiss which permanently ended the Crouch family bloodline. After Crouch Snr disappeared as a result of his capture and subjugation by Voldemort's Imperius Curse, along with his secret murder at the hands of his son, his popularity and legacy within the Wizarding community and Ministry had reached its lowest level. This was because his warnings about Voldemort getting stronger were not taken seriously as he was in a delusional state at the time and the Wizarding community and Ministry had both lost already trust in him due to the fact that he put his Ministry career before his own son's welfare, which at the time had resulted in him sentencing his son to life imprisonment in Azkaban.
This loss of trust for Crouch along with the lack of physical evidence of Voldemort's return indirectly caused the Ministry, encouraged by Cornelius Fudge due to his paranoia and refusal to accept Voldemort's return, to launch a smear campaign against Dumbledore and Harry Potter believing they were all lying about Voldemort's return, and proved to be one of the major factors to Voldemort eventually seizing control of the Ministry a few years after his return. A year later, the true circumstances of Crouch's death and disappearance were likely exposed to the Wizarding community after there was evidence of Voldemort's return when he appeared in the Ministry of Magic himself. However, this still didn't do much to improve Crouch's legacy as the community still lost trust and respect for Crouch due to Crouch helping his son escape from Azkaban and consequently sealing a path for Voldemort's return, contrary to him imprisoning his son earlier to protect his career.
Even though Crouch's popularity and legacy was largely tainted with the wizarding community by then, some of Crouch's misguided policies were adopted by the Ministry when Rufus Scrimgeour succeeded Fudge as Minister for Magic since he allowed the arrest of innocent people like Stanley Shunpike just for making boastful claims of knowing Voldemort's plans, similar to what Crouch had done throughout his career. This was one of the reasons why Harry Potter refused Scrimgeour's attempt to recruit him into the Ministry to serve as a "mascot" to raise public morale and claim that the Ministry was winning against Voldemort, despite the contrary, with Harry pointing out that Scrimgeour and the Ministry had learnt nothing from either Crouch or Fudge's mistakes. Fudge's refusal to accept Voldemort's return and Scrimgeour's inability to take enough action against Voldemort both resulted in a downward spiral of corruption which ensured that Voldemort seized power in the Ministry a few years after Crouch's death and was only undone after Voldemort's final defeat, when Kingsley Shacklebolt was appointed as then acting Minister for Magic.
However, while Crouch's plight played a major role in Voldemort's return and eventual rise to power in the Ministry due to the Ministry denying his return to power, his act in attempting to warn Dumbledore of Voldemort's rising power and alerting Harry Potter to it before his death also inspired Dumbledore to reinstate the Order of the Phoenix to help fight against Voldemort. This was down to the fact that Dumbledore knew that Voldemort would eventually return to power, his empathy towards Crouch's family history and other evidence of Voldemort's rising power due to the surrounding disappearances of Bertha Jorkins, Frank Bryce and Crouch himself. Dumbledore also realised that he could not afford to let Voldemort influence and tear apart other families the way the Crouch family had been influenced and destroyed and was able to take Crouch's claims that Voldemort was getting stronger seriously due to this and his empathy and trust for Crouch.
Even others like Sirius Black and Harry Potter were able to take Crouch's claims seriously and eventually fight against Voldemort when he returned to power, despite Sirius having a huge grudge against Crouch for imprisoning him in Azkaban without a trial, and Harry being shocked at some of Crouch's actions. This was especially important for Harry as he was the chosen one destined to defeat Voldemort which he ultimately succeeded in doing after destroying all of Voldemort's Horcruxes. Thus in a way, despite the critical fall in popularity and trust for Crouch within the wizarding community, Crouch's actions and legacy left both a negative and positive influence on the wizarding community after Voldemort's return as they helped shape both Voldemort's return to power and his ultimate defeat.
The only one who truly mourned for Crouch's demise was Winky, who was horrified when she heard of it from his son. Winky sank into further depression, her alcoholism on Butterbeer led on for years before finally ceasing (though she never truly recovered from it).
Barty Snr's death led to his son being the last living heir of the Crouch family, and Barty Jnr was eventually exposed, leading to him suffering the Dementor's Kiss. The family thus became extinct by mid-1996.
Crouch had short grey hair with a neat parting, which was described as "almost unnaturally straight" and a narrow toothbrush moustache. In certain lights, such as in semi-darkness, he took on a skull-like appearance.
While disguised as a Muggle for the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, he wore a black suit and highly polished shoes, making him look like a Muggle businessman, to the point that Harry Potter 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.
However, Crouch's appearance suffered after Voldemort put him under the Imperius Curse. When he appeared in Hogwarts for the choosing for the Triwizard Champions, Harry noted after seeing Crouch up close that he appeared ill with a papery look in his skin and dark shadows under his eyes, to the point that he partially agreed with the rumours that Crouch was ill until he eventually learnt the truth after Crouch Jnr was recaptured. After he fought the Imperius Curse and escaped from Voldemort's control, Crouch became almost unrecognisable in his final moments, sporting a weak, dishevelled and unshaven appearance with overgrown hair and ragged clothes due to the effort of fighting the Imperius Curse and travelling for many days between his house and Hogwarts before he was murdered by his son.
Personality and traits
- "Crouch fought violence with violence, and authorised the use of the Unforgivable Curses against suspects. I would say he became as ruthless and cruel as many on the Dark Side."
- — Sirius Black on Crouch's actions as Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement[src]
Crouch spoke in a curt voice, and seemed to be an overly serious person in contrast to his peers and colleagues: 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, though this probably had something to do with the Imperius curse he was under. 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.
- "If he’s ever taken a day off work because of illness before this, I’ll eat Buckbeak."
- — Sirius Black on Crouch's dedication to work[src]
Having devoted his entire life to eradicating the dark forces, Crouch was well known for despising the Dark Arts and those who practised them, but the methods he used were just as brutal and cruel as those he worked to prosecute. He legalised the usages of the Unforgivable Curses and went under the principles of kill rather than capture, shoot first and ask questions later. Crouch would unethically imprison many people, including Sirius Black, without trials. To this end, he disregarded true justice for no good reason other than to make himself look good in the public's eyes, so as to further his own career and work his way up to becoming the Minister for Magic. If anything even looked like it might destroy his reputation, he would make it his first priority to remove it, even to the point of publicly disowning and imprisoning his son in order to make it clear that he had nothing to do with anyone who was 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 since she had almost let his subjugated son get away). In order to make progress, he even accepted a plea bargain with Death Eater Igor Karkaroff, granting him pardon in exchange for the names of other Death Eaters.
Despite his ruthlessness and apparent selfishness, he was not completely unreasonable, as he was capable of feeling true love, since 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 to use the son, breaking the rules to restrain his son, breaking the laws he was so adamant in enforcing. He was willing to listen to Winky's persuasion of letting Barty Jnr to see the Quidditch World Cup for a taste of freedom and fresh air, though it did take her many months of effort to achieve this. In this sense, he was more of a hypocrite than anyone but Sirius could have imagined. The reason he was seen as an unloving workaholic was 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. Indeed, Sirius found it extremely 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's rule-abiding, ruthless, selfish and neglectful nature however ultimately turned out to be his undoing, especially after losing his popularity in the Wizarding World and keeping his son under the Imperius Curse for years to fulfil his wife's wish and to prevent him rejoining Voldemort's service. After Voldemort freed his son from the Imperius Curse Crouch put on him, Crouch's sanity was damaged by the Imperius Curse Voldemort put on him, leaving him in a delusional and weakened state after he managed to fight the Imperius Curse, and resulted in his death at the hands of his own son. While he became delusional to the point that he was at times unaware of his point in time, his location and mistook a tree for Percy Weasley, in one of his sane moments, he expressed remorse over his mistakes and attempted to warn Dumbledore by telling Harry Potter about Voldemort's rising power. This demonstrated that in spite of his ruthlessness and hypocrisy, his ability to feel true love meant that he was still capable of realising and admitting his own faults.
Magical abilities and skills
Bartemius Crouch Senior was noted by Sirius Black to be a great wizard, magically powerful, and his accomplishments and skills have once made him very close to achieving the position of Minister for Magic.
- 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. Furthermore, he could produce a non-corporeal Patronus, a mark of superior magical ability. He was also capable of casting the Stunning Spell proficiently.
- 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 Crouch to legalise the Unforgivable Curses during the First Wizarding War, effectively allowing many Death Eaters to be captured and killed. Amos Diggory also implied that Crouch had at least cursory knowledge on how to cast Morsmordre when accusing him of having his servants cast the curse during the Quidditch World Cup.
- 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.
- Indomitable willpower: Crouch was able to shrug off the Imperius Curse cast on him by Voldemort himself, after a much shorter span of time than the one he had cast on his son, showing that he had an exceptionally strong willpower. However, it should be noted that 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
- Barty Crouch Jnr: "I'm your son! I'm your son!"
- Barty Crouch Snr: "You are no son of mine! I have no son!"
- — Bartemius Crouch Jnr trying to convince his father that he is innocent while being arrested[src]
Bartemius did not pay enough attention to his son, until the day Crouch Jnr was caught in the company of three Death Eaters after the torture of Alice and Frank Longbottom. Crouch Snr 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 Snr simply used the trial as nothing but a sham 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, plus Crouch Snr's neglect of his son proved to be his undoing, as Lord Voldemort learned of the whereabouts of his servant and freed him, turning the tables on Crouch Snr 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 Snr 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 Snr 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 Jnr 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 Snr to be persuaded by her dying wish to smuggle their son out of prison, in exchange of her.
All of Crouch Snr's neglect of his son and ruthlessness as a Ministry official to imprison his own son brought a negative impact on Crouch Jnr's psyche, leading the boy to genuinely despise his father enough to kill him. Barty Jnr would later comment that Crouch Snr was disappointing as a father, that he suffered the indignity of being named after that father and that he greatly enjoyed killing his father. Before Crouch Snr died, he blamed himself for what his son had become, as it was his neglect which led to Crouch Jnr joining forces with Voldemort and turning against 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's argument with Hermione, disdaining Winky in public[src]
Winky the house-elf was an extremely devoted servant of Barty Crouch Snr. She was 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 have surpassed 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, entrusted Winky with the importance of guarding and caring for his son. Although he respected her to grant her requests to reward Junior for good behaviours, such as letting him go to the Quidditch World Cup (with months of persuasion), he also expected her to follow her duties without fail, regardless of her acrophobia. When she failed to restrain Barty Jnr, Barty Snr lost all his respect and trust in her and publicly dismissed her, treating her as nothing 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. Being the only one who truly mourned Crouch Snr's death, her devastation over her dismissal and Crouch's death resulted in a Butterbeer addiction which (even though it later reduced) she never fully overcame.
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, could not, or simply didn’t care to remember Percy's name: as a running gag, he referred to his protege as "Weatherby". Percy's admiration of Crouch was so strong that he defended Crouch when his brothers mocked him and when Crouch sacked Winky, putting his friendship with Hermione Granger under strain when she condemned Crouch's seemingly unreasonable act.
After Voldemort subjugated Crouch and forced him to write letters to declare sickness, Weasley obeyed the 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, and it is unknown how Percy reacted when learning of his death.
Crouch also indirectly proved to be a major factor for Percy's huge loyalty to the Ministry and his temporary estrangement from his own family, especially as his twin brothers Fred and George Weasley started teasing him more and his younger brother Ron stopped trusting him after learning of Crouch's son. Additionally, the trouble Percy got into over Crouch's disappearance only made him more ambitious to the point that he accepted the post of Junior Assistant to the Minister for Magic under Fudge without question, and put his Ministry career before his own family when Voldemort returned to full power, just as Crouch had done.
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 Memory Charm on her that damaged her brain and memory permanently. While this was done to prevent Jorkins from exposing his secret, Crouch was remorseful over this act and her death, blaming himself for her fate.
- "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. Nonetheless, Crouch referred to him using the nickname "Ludo", instead of his full name "Ludovic" or the even more formal use of his surname.
Albus Dumbledore had a mixed relationship with Crouch, as he was relatively civil with him but disapproved of his methods, especially during the First Wizarding War when Crouch was the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and attempted to become Minister of Magic. This disapproval was mostly because of Crouch's methods to catch Death Eaters and enemies which including using the Unforgivable Curses to torture or kill enemies, and the fact that Dumbledore disliked the use of Dementors within the Ministry while Crouch was interrogating captive enemies further complicated matters.
However, despite disapproving of Crouch's methods, Dumbledore still trusted him as he was aware that although Crouch was fully capable of cruelty and ruthlessness it was for the good of the whole wizarding community of Britain. In addition, from his own tragic experiences with his family, it was only natural that Dumbledore was empathetic towards Crouch's family history, especially with his son. Henceforth, Dumbledore maintained a civil and working relationship with him and was both suspicious and concerned over Crouch's supposed illness and disappearance after he was intercepted by his son and Voldemort. It was this trust and empathy which allowed Dumbledore to believe and take Crouch's claims seriously that Voldemort was slowly regaining power along with other evidence presented to him at the time when the other Wizarding community, including most of the Ministry officials, had lost trust in Crouch due to his family history. Crouch in turn also placed great trust and respect in Dumbledore, as Dumbledore was the only person whom he decided to approach regarding his family history and Voldemort getting stronger after fighting Voldemort's Imperius Curse, despite being in a delusional state at the time, although he was killed before he could do so.
As a result, Crouch proved to be one of the major factors to Dumbledore reinstating the Order of the Phoenix in order to fight against Voldemort after he regained power, realising that other families could not afford to be torn apart and destroyed through Voldemort's influence the way the Crouch family was, especially after Crouch's son was sentenced to the Dementors kiss after his recapture. Also, despite his mixed relationship with Crouch, he was utterly disgusted when he learned of Crouch's death at the hands of his own son and Crouch Jnr's callousness. Despite his disgust of Crouch Jnr's actions, Dumbledore however was disappointed with Fudge's decision to sentence Crouch Jnr to the Dementors kiss as it meant that Voldemort's return could no longer be testified and that the Crouch family line was permanently ended.
Cornelius Fudge held an intense hatred for Barty. This was because of Barty being one of his main competitors during the election for Minister of Magic in 1990, where he was jealous of how much Crouch was admired in the Ministry. Despite winning, the election left Fudge with such a strong dislike of Crouch that Fudge's very first act as Minister of Magic was to have Barty reassigned to the Department of International Magical Co-operation, using Crouch's falling popularity after Crouch's son's trial to his advantage. Fudge's dislike of Crouch was strong to the point where he refused to take Crouch seriously for when Crouch vanished after trying to warn Dumbledore about his son and Voldemort despite being in a delusional state, Fudge simply dismissed his warnings as the ramblings of a lunatic, and refused to believe the real reason he was gone until he was forced to acknowledge Voldemort's return the following year.
This dislike also extended to Crouch's son, as he believed Crouch Jnr was not a true Death Eater and that he only acted through insanity rather than his loyalty to Voldemort, classing him as a lunatic just like his father, and had no regret about Crouch Jnr receiving the Dementors Kiss and therefore ending the Crouch family line, even though Crouch Jnr could no longer testify Voldemort's return as a result. Despite his dislike of Crouch Snr, Fudge apparently required Crouch for translating foreign wizards and creatures who didn't understand English, as he struggled to communicate with the Bulgarian Minister of Magic (who was pretending to not understand English in order to prank Fudge) during the Quidditch World Cup while Crouch was absent. It is unknown what Crouch thought of Fudge, although given his serious and rule abiding nature, he likely disliked Fudge in turn for his bumbling and incompetent nature, and for reassigning him to the Department of International Magical Co-operation, which permanently ruined any further chances of Crouch becoming Minister of Magic despite his fall in popularity.
Hermione Granger initially respected Barty for being rule-abiding. This respect was destroyed when she learned how he sent Winky to the Top Box despite her acrophobia, and this was further complicated when Crouch attacked Hermione, Harry and Ron and accused them of casting the Dark Mark before discovering it was his son. When he dismissed Winky despite knowing she didn't conjure the Dark Mark, Hermione was absolutely disgusted and lashed out at Crouch in Winky's defence, although Crouch coldly responded that he had no use for a house elf who disobeyed him. This disgust increased when she learned about Barty Snr imprisoning Sirius Black in Azkaban without a trial, and about how he gave Barty Crouch Jnr to the Dementors.
When Harry told her about how he kept saying stuff was his fault and mentioned his son she simply stated "Well that was his fault." It is unknown how she reacted after learning how Crouch had helped his son escape from Azkaban, learning that the true reason he sacked Winky was due to her failure to prevent Barty Crouch Jnr from casting the Dark Mark, and his murder at the hands of his own son. However, two years after Crouch Snr's death, Hermione was visibly horrified when Harry brought up the transfiguration of Crouch Snr's body when they were discussing the manner of Alastor Moody's death and the disappearance of his body, showing that although she severely disliked Crouch, she didn't actually hate him either and found the idea of such a cruel way of disposal undeserving even for him.
Harry Potter had a somewhat mixed relationship with Crouch, initially respecting him due to his position in the Ministry and due to him being one of the Triwizard Tournament judges and organisers, and appeared more tolerant of Crouch than his friends. However, he gradually lost respect for Crouch after witnessing his treatment of Winky, after learning he imprisoned Harry's godfather Sirius Black without a trial, and when he learnt about his son Crouch Jnr They also briefly came to blows when Crouch attacked him, Hermione and Ron and accused them of casting the Dark Mark before discovering his son did it. When he saw Crouch up close after his name was selected from the Goblet of Fire, Harry noted that Crouch appeared ill, unaware that he was under Voldemort's Imperius Curse, and partially agreed with the rumours and reports that Crouch was ill although he was suspicious over the time Crouch was off work and his apparent appearance in Snape's office (which was actually his son disguised as Alastor Moody).
Crouch also appeared indifferent and mildly surprised by Harry's name appearing out of the Goblet of Fire, stating that while it was unexpected, he and the other Hogwarts staff members should just stick to the rules and allow Harry to participate in the tournament as Harry had entered a binding, unbreakable magical contract despite Harry being underage and not putting his own name in the first place. Crouch also gave Harry a high score during the first task of the Triwizard Tournament, being impressed at the skills Harry displayed despite his relative indifference towards Harry's position in the tournament. Harry was notably the last person Crouch spoke to before his death, even though he was in a delusional state at the time due to fighting Voldemort's Imperius Curse, with Crouch in one of his sane moments expressing remorse over his mistakes and begging Harry to warn Dumbledore that Voldemort was getting stronger, although Harry was irritated by Crouch's repeated attempts to warn him by physically grabbing him. Regardless of Harry having lost much of his respect for Crouch, however, he was still somewhat concerned when he disappeared and expressed nothing but utter shock and disgust after learning about Crouch's death at the hands of his own son, although Crouch's information about Voldemort ensured that he would fight against him after Voldemort returned to power.
After his death, Crouch was indirectly one of the reasons why Harry refused Rufus Scrimgeour's attempt to recruit him into the Ministry of Magic as a mascot to raise public morale, citing that Scrimgeour was making the same mistakes as Crouch by arresting and imprisoning innocent people like Stan Shunpike. After Alastor Moody was killed by Voldemort, Harry again referenced Crouch after they were unable to locate Moody's body, suggesting that the Death Eaters transfigured Moody's body and disposed of it in their own way, similar to how Crouch's body was transfigured and buried in Hagrid's Hut.
Unlike his friends and older brother Percy, Ron Weasley did not have much respect for Crouch since his brother would not stop pestering him constantly about him, and because of Crouch's strict rule-abiding policy and lack of humour as Ron was a polar opposite of Crouch. Due to this, Ron once made a sarcastic remark that Percy and Crouch would one day announce their engagement, and stated that he would rather work for Ludo Bagman rather than Crouch as Bagman was more humorous and less strict. Despite not having as much respect for Crouch as his friends, Ron was more defensive of Crouch compared to Hermione and even Harry in regard to Crouch's treatment of Winky. This was due to Ron's pragmatic nature as he acknowledged the fact that Winky was happy working for Crouch and liked being told what to do by him to point where that why she held a seat for him despite her acrophobia and that this was because she wasn’t human and as such didn’t think like one as well as even claiming that Hermione just didn't like Crouch because of Winky.
When he, Harry, and Hermione were present when the Dark Mark was cast by Crouch's son, Crouch attacked them and accused them of casting the Dark Mark before discovering his son did it, with Ron demanding Crouch why he attacked them. However, when Sirius revealed that Crouch imprisoned him in Azkaban without a trial, and what he had done to Barty Crouch Jnr, Ron was horrified to the point where he began referring to such actions as "doing a Crouch" and stopped trusting Percy as a result. This eventually resulted in the brothers estranged relationship when Percy disowned his family due to his loyalty to the Ministry until they reconciled after the Second Wizarding War ended.
Sirius Black had a strong grudge and hatred against Barty. This was mostly because Crouch was the one responsible for sentencing him to a life imprisonment in Azkaban without a trial, denying him the opportunity to appeal his frame-up, and because of his disgust about Barty Crouch Jnr. However, his hatred of Crouch didn't stop Sirius from taking Crouch seriously for when Harry told him about Crouch's ramblings and him vanishing afterwards he instantly realised that Crouch was trying to warn Dumbledore and that the reason he vanished is because someone wanted to stop him from seeing Dumbledore. He also was knowledgeable of Crouch's tactics to catch Death Eaters and other enemies while he was Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, including using the Unforgivable Curses against them. Sirius stated that despite his disdain towards him, Crouch's principles may have been right to start off with as they were fellow opponents against Voldemort at the time, although he also said that Crouch became just as cruel and ruthless as the forces he was fighting against. Sirius also knew Crouch's demeanour well enough to be suspicious over Crouch's disappearance and the rumours of Crouch's illness, knowing that Crouch would never miss a day of work for any simple reason such as sickness. Even after Crouch's death, Sirius was still resentful of Crouch's decision to sentence him in Azkaban without a trial, commenting that he was unsure he would accept an apology from the Ministry of Magic even if they acknowledged Voldemort's return.
Not much is known about Crouch's relationship with Amos Diggory, but it obviously happened to be a rather strict one. When Amos thought Crouch's house-elf Winky had conjured the Dark Mark, Crouch was offended by this and reprimanded Amos, especially since Crouch had proved and demonstrated throughout his long career that he detested and despised the Dark Arts and those who practise them.
Not much is known about Crouch's relationship with Arthur Weasley, but it seemed they must have been on civil terms somewhat as Crouch was seemingly polite to him.
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 personal grudge against Crouch for sentencing him to Azkaban without a trial, losing an opportunity to appeal to the frame-up he had been caught up in. Crouch also attracted political opposition from Cornelius Fudge, who was his rival for the Minister for Magic post and was jealous of Crouch's popularity.
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 his own son managed to fall so low. As such, Crouch's declining reputation led him to be reassigned to the Department of International Magical Co-operation once Fudge became the new Minister for Magic.
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 failed to prevent his son from firing the Dark Mark into the sky during the 1994 Quidditch World Cup and was in the scene of the crime along with his reputation being nearly tarnished due to his connections with the elf, he publicly fired her, causing Hermione Granger to lash out at him with disgust for his seemingly unreasonable firing of Winky. Ron Weasley, who had the least respect for Crouch among his friends, also fully lost his respect for Crouch when he learned about Barty Crouch Jnr and stopped trusting his older brother Percy as a result. Harry Potter, who was more tolerant of Crouch than his friends, also lost respect for Crouch due to these reasons and when he learnt about Crouch imprisoning Sirius Black who was his godfather. Near the end of his life, Barty's mental stability was damaged from Voldemort's subjugation and the Ministry simply classified him as insane and refused to believe the true circumstances of Crouch's disappearance and death until there was evidence of Voldemort's return the following year, showing how much Crouch's status had fallen within the society's standing.
While he disapproved some of Crouch's methods to catch Death Eaters along with his use of Dementors in the Ministry, Dumbledore was one of the few people who maintained trust in Crouch after his popularity in the Wizarding community fell as he believed Crouch's claims that Voldemort was gradually regaining his former strength and eventually used that as a platform to reform the Order of the Phoenix to fight against Voldemort after he regained power. It is unknown how the Wizarding community reacted when learning of Crouch's secret and his death after there was evidence of Voldemort's return, although given how much his status had already fallen due to the community accusing him of being a neglectful father, it is likely that while the community was shocked when learning of his death, Crouch's reputation was permanently tarnished once his past came to light, especially as it was Crouch's act in rescuing his son from Azkaban which eventually caused both Voldemort's return and the Second Wizarding War. Despite this, the Ministry still did not learn any lessons from Crouch's or Fudge's mistakes once they acknowledged Voldemort's return, with some of Crouch's misguided decisions being adopted by the Ministry under Rufus Scrimgeour's tenure as Minister for Magic, which included arresting and imprisoning innocent people like Stan Shunpike.
- 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, and specifically to his son.
- The surname Crouch is a variation of the English surname Cross. This could refer to the gibbet where criminals were executed in ancient times, this word being connected to the Latin verb cruciāre, which means "to put to death on a cross", but also "to torture, torment"; and could also refer to Crouch's extreme brutality against Death Eaters, those who practice the Dark Arts, and generally speaking criminals.
Behind the scenes
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Crouch is portrayed as a somewhat more cheerful and less ruthless character and a generally more likeable man. He congratulates Harry after the latter successfully completes the Second Task, but Barty Jnr, in the guise of Moody, interrupts their heartfelt 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 Jnr and 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-sane and subsequently disappearing without a trace, Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Hagrid later find Crouch's dead body in the Forbidden Forest.
- Also in the film, Dumbledore said that it destroyed Crouch to send his son to Azkaban and he is indeed shown to be utterly crushed and emotionally devastated when his son being a Death Eater is revealed to him. In the book, however, he seemed fully willing to do it and had no qualms or 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.
- Finally, because Winky was omitted from the film, his rather abusive treatment of her is also absent (which in turn eliminates the entire sub-plot of Hermione becoming a crusader and advocate for House Elf's rights).
- In the film of The Goblet of Fire, Crouch was portrayed by the late actor 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 Jnr 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.
- Crouch is one of the very few wizards able to convincingly disguise themselves in Muggle clothes. The "impeccably crisp suit and tie" he wore at the Quidditch World Cup were so credible "that he could have passed for a bank manager", and Harry doubted that even Uncle Vernon could have spotted him. Also, when Harry saw him at Hogwarts, he thought that Crouch "looked strange in wizard’s robes".
- 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 Snr took over the roles Percy had in the book of attending the Yule Ball and Second Task for the film. In the book, Crouch Snr had disappeared due to a supposed "illness", which was actually him being placed under the Imperius Curse by Voldemort and had to be hidden away due to signs of Crouch Snr 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 unknown if Barty Crouch attended Hogwarts and, in that case, which House he was sorted in, but it is worth noticing that he was ambitious, cunning, determinate, put his self-preservation above everything else and he was a natural-born leader; all these traits were particularly admired by Salazar Slytherin himself and pertain to his House, which is normally connected also to what Crouch Snr hated the most: the Dark Arts.
- According to his own words, his grandfather had an Axminster flying carpet which could seat twelve people — "but that was before carpets were banned, of course".
- He was one of the few Pureblood wizards who did not care about continuing the blood line: he himself sentenced a life imprisonment at Azkaban to his only son without hesitating, which generally means a conviction worse than death.
- By dismissing Winky, Crouch effectively doomed himself to Voldemort's subjugation, as this prevented her from saving him or reporting to the Ministry for help.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First appearance)
- 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
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault (Mentioned only)
- Wizarding World
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Notes and references
- Barty Jnr was born in c.1962, by which time Barty Snr was married to his wife, who he was known to be older than. He had to have been at least 20 years old, having graduated from his magical school at 18, adding this with it being known that one must work in the The Department of Magical Law enforcement for at least two years to receive a promotion.
- Explore the Story: "Barty Crouch Sr." at Wizarding World
- Harry Potter Lexicon timeline
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 36 (The Parting of the Ways)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 7 (Bagman and Crouch)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 7 (Bagman and Crouch) - "Barty Crouch was a stiff, upright, el-derly man, dressed in an impeccably crisp suit and tie. The parting in his short grey hair was almost unnaturally straight, and his nar-row toothbrush moustache looked as though he trimmed it using a slide rule."
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve).
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 9 (The Dark Mark)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 27 (Padfoot Returns)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 16 (The Goblet of Fire)
- This according to the book canon. In the film adaptation, Karkaroff sold both Rookwood and Crouch's son to the Ministry in exchange for his life.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 16 (The Goblet of Fire)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 17 (The Four Champions)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 28 (The Madness of Mr Crouch)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 1 (The Dark Lord Ascending)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 16 (A Very Frosty Christmas)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 18 (Dumbledore's Army)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 17 (The Four Champions)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 5 (Weasley's Wizard Wheezes)
- In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 36 (The Parting of the Ways), Albus Dumbledore states that Barty Crouch Jnr was the last remaining member of the Crouch family.
|Department of International Magical Co-operation employees|
|Bartemius Crouch Senior · Percy Weasley · Mr Slughorn · Unidentified Ministry Wizard (I)|
|Level 10 employees|
|Amelia Bones · Elphias Doge · Albus Dumbledore · Cornelius Fudge · Griselda Marchbanks · Tiberius Ogden · Ralston Potter · Henry Potter · Dolores Umbridge · Two elderly witches · Dumpy, heavily-moustached wizard · Frizzy-haired witch|
|Council of Magical Law members|
|Albus Dumbledore · Alastor Moody · Bartemius Crouch Senior · Female juror · Male member · Clerk|
|Muggle-Born Registration Commission members|
|Dolores Umbridge · Yaxley|