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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."
—Crouch's ruthlessness and extreme methods[src]

Bartemius "Barty" Crouch Senior (d. 27 May,[8] 1995[1]) was a pure-blood wizard 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, but was demoted to the Head of the Department of International Magical Cooperationafterwards. 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 Cooperation. He was eventually murdered by his Death Eater son, Barty Crouch Jr, who despised him. He and his son were the last members of the pure-blood Crouch family.


Early life[]

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

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 pursued a highly successful career at the British Ministry of Magic.[7]

He was married to a "wispy-looking little witch" and they had a son, who was named after him, Barty Crouch Jr.[9]Crouch quickly rose through the ranks of the Ministry of Magic and became the judge in the Council of Magical Lawwhilst heading the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.[9]. Crouch spent much of his life in his career and as such, did not pay enough attention to his family, especially his son.[10]

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.[10] 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".[10] 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.[9] He also oversaw the trial of Ludo Bagman, but much to Crouch's fury, the Councilcleared 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.[9] Although Crouch's tactics were cruel, most people believed that he was doing the right thing, as there would be no way to defeat 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 sonhad 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.[9]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 has 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)[]

"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

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 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 Jr, 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 Jr's mental instability and biassed hatred for his father at the time, that Barty Jr's account of events was biassed. Furthermore, Barty Jr was in gaol at the time that the exchange between his parents went down. However, since the Crouch's house elf was able to gain concessions for Barty Jr 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.[4]

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 Jr under house arrest for twelve years and his visual body hidden under an Invisibility cloak.[4] 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.[4]

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 Snr 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.[4]

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.[4] Crouch was out, but Bertha secretly overheard Winky talking to Barty Crouch Jr.[4]She heard enough to guess that it was Crouch Jr hiding under an Invisibility cloak.[4]

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.[4] Bertha went to work for Ludo Bagman at the Department of Magical Games and Sports.[5]

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.[4] Crouch remained in his tent while Winky took Barty, hidden under an Invisibility cloak, up to the Top Box.[4] She covered her eyes for the duration of the match because she was so afraid of heights.[4]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.[9] He later used Harry's wand to cast Morsmordre.[11]  Barty Crouch Snr at the Quidditch World Cup campsite after the riot Crouch saw the effect the spell had — the Dark Mark was hovering overhead  and hurried to the place where it had just been cast.[11] It was there that he found HarryRon and Hermione, as well as Winky in the bushes nearby with Harry's wand.[11] Crouch also found his invisible son on the ground, unconscious.[4] After Harry's wand was determined to be the culprit, Crouch publicly dismissed Winky (ostensibly for disgracing him,[11] but in reality for failing to supervise his son).[9] After the witnesses to Winky's dismissal left, Crouch recast the Imperius Curse on Barty and returned home.[9]

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.[9] Wormtail and Voldemort travelled to the Crouch home, placed the Imperius Curse on Crouch himself which removed the one placed on Barty Jr.[9]

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 Jr 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 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.  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. In a short sane state, Crouch begged 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 then murdered 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 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.

After his son's confession, it is unknown if Crouch Snr's corpse was retrieved and untransfigured, though Fudge did deem him mad and delusional from what he heard Harry describe.