A dark memory

Harry witness Karkaroff on trial in Dumbledore's Pensieve memory

Extract from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

by J.K. Rowling

Harry looked down at the man now sitting in the chair, and saw that it was Karkaroff.

Unlike Dumbledore, Karkaroff looked much younger; his hair and goatee were black. He was not dressed in sleek furs, but in thin and ragged robes. He was shaking. Even as Harry watched, the chains on the arms of the chair glowed suddenly gold, and snaked their way up his arms, binding him there.

‘Igor Karkaroff,’ said a curt voice to Harry’s left. Harry looked around, and saw Mr Crouch standing up in the middle of the bench beside him. Crouch’s hair was dark, his face was much less lined, he looked fit and alert. ‘You have been brought from Azkaban to give evidence to the Ministry of Magic. You have given us to understand that you have important information for us.’ Karkaroff straightened himself as best he could, tightly bound to the chair.

‘I have, sir,’ he said, and although his voice was very scared, Harry could still hear the familiar unctuous note in it. ‘I wish to be of use to the Ministry. I wish to help. I – I know that the Ministry is trying to – to round up the last of the Dark Lord’s supporters. I am eager to assist in any way I can ...’ There was a murmur around the benches. Some of the wizards and witches were surveying Karkaroff with interest, others with pronounced mistrust. Then Harry heard, quite distinctly, from Dumbledore’s other side, a familiar, growling voice saying, ‘Filth.’

Harry leant forwards so that he could see past Dumbledore. Mad-Eye Moody was sitting there – though there was a very noticeable difference in his appearance. He did not have his magical eye, but two normal ones. Both were looking down upon Karkaroff, and both were narrowed in intense dislike.

‘Crouch is going to let him out,’ Moody breathed quietly to Dumbledore. ‘He’s done a deal with him. Took me six months to track him down, and Crouch is going to let him go if he’s got enough new names. Let’s hear his information, I say, and throw him straight back to the Dementors.’

Dumbledore made a small noise of dissent through his long, crooked nose.

‘Ah, I was forgetting ... you don’t like the Dementors, do you, Albus?’ said Moody, with a sardonic smile.

‘No,’ said Dumbledore calmly, ‘I’m afraid I don’t. I have long felt the Ministry is wrong to ally itself with such creatures.’

‘But for filth like this ...’ Moody said softly.

‘You say you have names for us, Karkaroff,’ said Mr Crouch. ‘Let us hear them, please.’

‘You must understand,’ said Karkaroff hurriedly, ‘that He Who Must Not Be Named operated always in the greatest secrecy ... he preferred that we – I mean to say, his supporters – and I regret now, very deeply, that I ever counted myself among them –’

‘Get on with it,’ sneered Moody.

‘– we never knew the names of every one of our fellows – he alone knew exactly who we all were –’

‘Which was a wise move, wasn’t it, as it prevented someone like you, Karkaroff, turning all of them in,’ muttered Moody.

‘Yet you say you have some names for us?’ said Mr Crouch.

‘I – I do,’ said Karkaroff breathlessly. ‘And these were important supporters, mark you. People I saw with my own eyes doing his bidding. I give this information as a sign that I fully and totally renounce him, and am filled with a remorse so deep I can barely –’

‘These names are?’ said Mr Crouch sharply.

Karkaroff drew a deep breath.

‘There was Antonin Dolohov,’ he said. ‘I – I saw him torture countless Muggles and – and non-supporters of the Dark Lord.’

‘And helped him do it,’ murmured Moody.

‘We have already apprehended Dolohov,’ said Crouch. ‘He was caught shortly after yourself.’

‘Indeed?’ said Karkaroff, his eyes widening. ‘I – I am delight- ed to hear it!’

But he didn’t look it. Harry could tell that this news had come as a real blow to him. One of his names was worthless.

‘Any others?’ said Crouch coldly.

‘Why, yes ... there was Rosier,’ said Karkaroff hurriedly. ‘Evan Rosier.’

‘Rosier is dead,’ said Crouch. ‘He was caught shortly after you were, too. He preferred to fight rather than coming quietly, and was killed in the struggle.’

‘Took a bit of me with him, though,’ whispered Moody to Harry’s right. Harry looked around at him once more, and saw him indicating the large chunk out of his nose to Dumbledore.

‘No – no more than Rosier deserved!’ said Karkaroff, a real note of panic in his voice now. Harry could see that he was starting to worry that none of his information would be any use to the Ministry. Karkaroff’s eyes darted towards the door in the corner, behind which the Dementors undoubtedly still stood, waiting.

‘Any more?’ said Crouch.

‘Yes!’ said Karkaroff. ‘There was Travers – he helped murder the McKinnons! Mulciber – he specialised in the Imperius curse, forced countless people to do horrific things! Rookwood, who was a spy, and passed He Who Must Not Be Named useful information from inside the Ministry itself!’

Harry could tell that, this time, Karkaroff had struck gold. The watching crowd were all murmuring together.

‘Rookwood?’ said Mr Crouch, nodding to a witch sitting in front of him, who began scribbling upon her piece of parchment. ‘Augustus Rookwood of the Department of Mysteries?’

‘The very same,’ said Karkaroff eagerly. ‘I believe he used a network of well-placed wizards, both inside the Ministry and out, to collect information –’

‘But Travers and Mulciber, we have,’ said Mr Crouch. ‘Very well, Karkaroff, if that is all, you will be returned to Azkaban while we decide –’

‘Not yet!’ cried Karkaroff, looking quite desperate. ‘Wait, I have more!’

Harry could see him sweating in the torchlight, his white skin contrasting strongly with the black of his hair and beard.

‘Snape!’ he shouted. ‘Severus Snape!’

‘Snape has been cleared by this council,’ said Crouch coldly. ‘He has been vouched for by Albus Dumbledore.’

‘No!’ shouted Karkaroff, straining at the chains which bound him to the chair. ‘I assure you! Severus Snape is a Death Eater!’

Dumbledore had got to his feet. ‘I have given evidence already on this matter,’ he said calmly. ‘Severus Snape was indeed a Death Eater. However, he rejoined our side before Lord Voldemort’s downfall and turned spy for us, at great per- sonal risk. He is now no more a Death Eater than I am.’

Harry turned to look at Mad-Eye Moody. He was wearing a look of deep scepticism behind Dumbledore’s back.

‘Very well, Karkaroff,’ Crouch said coldly, ‘you have been of assistance. I shall review your case. You will return to Azkaban in the meantime ...’

Mr Crouch’s voice faded. Harry looked around; the dungeon was dissolving as though it was made of smoke; everything was fading, he could see only his own body, all else was swirling darkness ...

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

By J.K. Rowling