- "The Dark Lord will rise again, Crouch! Throw us into Azkaban; we will wait! He will rise again and will come for us, he will reward us beyond any of his other supporters! We alone were faithful! We alone tried to find him!"
- — Bellatrix Lestrange declaring the loyalty of her, Rodolphus and her brother-in-law Rabastan to the Dark Lord[src]
Rabastan Lestrange was a pure-blood wizard, brother of Rodolphus, and brother-in-law of Bellatrix Lestrange. He was a Death Eater who fought in the First Wizarding War. The Lestranges were among Lord Voldemort's most loyal and trusted servants, the only ones who searched for him after his first downfall.
After Voldemort's first downfall, Rabastan, Rodolphus, his wife Bellatrix and Barty Crouch Jnr participated in the torture and permanent incapacitation of Alice and Frank Longbottom and were sentenced to life imprisonment in Azkaban.
Rabastan later escaped with a group of Death Eaters and fought in several battles of the Second Wizarding War, including the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, and possibly the Battle of Hogwarts.
After Lord Voldemort's final defeat, Rabastan was presumably killed, imprisoned in Azkaban once more, or defected.
Rabastan presumably attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and was sorted into Slytherin house, like his brother Rodolphus. It is possible that he didn't attend Hogwarts at the same time as Rodolphus, as he was not mentioned among a small group of Slytherins and future Death Eaters, as Rodolphus and Bellatrix were.
First Wizarding War
Soon after the conflict ended in late 1981, Rabastan was put on trial with his brother Rodolphus, sister-in-law Bellatrix, and Barty Crouch Jnr for being a Death Eater and for participating in the torture of Alice and Frank Longbottom. They were all sentenced to life imprisonment in Azkaban.
Second Wizarding War
Escape from Azkaban
Battle of the Department of Mysteries
He later participated in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. He went with fellow Death Eater Crabbe Snr to find six D.A. members, and went to the Time Room, where Harry, Hermione, and Neville, were hiding. He may have been the Death Eater whose head fell into the bell jar and turned into a baby's head. He was presumably returned to Azkaban afterwards, though he was at large once again by late 1997 after another Azkaban break-out.
Presumably, Rabastan participated in other battles in the Second Wizarding War, including the Battle of Hogwarts. It is unknown what happened to Rabastan after Voldemort's death. He was either killed or imprisoned again in Azkaban.
Rabastan was described as a quite thin man. It is unknown if Azkaban took a toll on his appearance. As a Death Eater, he bore the Dark Mark on his left inner forearm, which had faded to a mere scar upon Voldemort's death.
Personality and traits
Rabastan was a very loyal Death Eater, willing to use the Dark Arts to commit atrocities for the sake of his master Lord Voldemort. He didn't appear to be as brave or calm as his brother, given how he was said to be "nervous-looking" during his trial in 1981, with his eyes "darting around the crowd" whereas his brother Rodolphus "stared blankly" at the crowd.
Magical abilities and skills
- Dark Arts: Being a Death Eater, Rabastan was highly proficient with dark magic and dark charms, being a powerful Dark Wizard. Rabastan could cast the Cruciatus Curse, an exceptionally dark curse which requires power, ability and malice to perform, to devastating effect on Alice and Frank Longbottom, rendering them both insane from the torture.
- Duelling: Rabastan participated in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, showing he was a competent duellist with considerable talent in martial magic. He likely participated in the Battle of the Seven Potters and helped his brother duel Nymphadora Tonks. If Rabastan fought in the Battle of Hogwarts he most likely fled when the reinforcements arrived or was overwhelmed by them.
The name Rabastan may be a play on Rastaban, the traditional name of one of the stars of the constellation Draco. It is derived from an Arabic phrase "Rās al-Thu`bān (رأس الثعبان)" meaning "head of the serpent"; the snake is a symbol strongly connected with Lord Voldemort and Slytherin. The star is also known as Alwaid, meaning "who is to be destroyed" in Arabic.
His name might otherwise be derived from the Germanic elements hraban ("raven") and stein ("stone"), the latter of which became stan in Old English. The Germanic origins of his brother's name might support this theory.
The name "Lestrange" echoes the French phrase l'étrange, literally "the strange one." In Old French, estrange means "foreigner." The surname may allude to English journalist Roger L'Estrange, who was known for opposing religious toleration and for being involved in plots against the government of William and Mary, similar to the Lestranges' intolerance about blood purity and involvement in the Death Eaters organisation.
Behind the scenes
- During the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, Rabastan was paired with fellow Death Eater Crabbe during the pursuit of the Dumbledore's Army members. He and Crabbe pursued Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Neville Longbottom into the Time Chamber. It is unknown whether Rabastan was the Death Eater whom Harry stunned, or the one whom Hermione knocked into a bell jar, causing the head to continuously age and de-age. It is likely to be the former, as Rabastan is said to be thin while the baby-headed Death Eater's arms are said to be thick, and Rabastan likely would have been recognised and referred to by name in the book (as Dolohov was) if it was he who took his mask off.
- Interestingly, Sirius Black does not mention him as a member of the gang of Slytherins during his time at Hogwarts, though Rabastan's brother and sister-in-law were. It's possible that he did not attend Hogwarts at the same time as his brother, though it's also likely that Sirius simply did not name the entire group.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First appearance) (Appears in flashback(s))
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (First identified as Rabastan Lestrange)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) (Masked)
- Pottermore (Appears in flashback(s))
Notes and references
- Both Rabastan and his brother Rodolphus were of-age (17) by the end of the First Wizarding War in 1981, since they were tried on charges of capture and torture of Frank and Alice Longbottom, with no apparent aggravation for the use of underage magic.
- J.K. Rowling and the Live Chat, Bloomsbury.com, July 30, 2007
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 35 (Beyond the Veil)
- Behind the Name: French Surnames
- See Forum:Baby-Death Eater.