Accusations from Amos

Amos Diggory accuses Winky, and then Harry, of conjuring the Dark Mark

Extract from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

by J.K. Rowling

‘Where did the Mark come from, you three?’ said Mr Weasley quickly.

‘Over there,’ said Hermione shakily, pointing at the place where they had heard the voice, ‘there was someone behind the trees ... they shouted words – an incantation –’

‘Oh, stood over there, did they?’ said Mr Crouch, turning his popping eyes on Hermione now, disbelief etched all over his face. ‘Said an incantation, did they? You seem very well informed about how that Mark is summoned, missy –’

But none of the Ministry wizards apart from Mr Crouch seemed to think it remotely likely that Harry, Ron or Hermione had conjured the skull; on the contrary, at Hermione’s words, they had raised all their wands again, and were pointing in the direction she had indicated, squinting through the dark trees.

‘We’re too late,’ said the witch in the woollen dressing-gown, shaking her head. ‘They’ll have Disapparated.’

‘I don’t think so,’ said a wizard with a scrubby brown beard. It was Amos Diggory, Cedric’s father. ‘Our Stunners went right through those trees ... there’s a good chance we got them ...’

‘Amos, be careful!’ said a few of the wizards warningly, as Mr Diggory squared his shoulders, raised his wand, marched across the clearing and disappeared into the darkness. Hermione watched him vanish with her hands over her mouth.

A few seconds later, they heard Mr Diggory shout.

‘Yes! We got them! There’s someone here! Unconscious! It’s – but – blimey ...’

‘You’ve got someone?’ shouted Mr Crouch, sounding highly disbelieving. ‘Who? Who is it?’

They heard snapping twigs, the rustling of leaves, and then crunching footsteps as Mr Diggory re-emerged from behind the trees. He was carrying a tiny, limp figure in his arms. Harry recognised the tea-towel at once. It was Winky.

Mr Crouch did not move or speak as Mr Diggory deposited Mr Crouch’s elf on the ground at his feet. The other Ministry wizards were all staring at Mr Crouch. For a few seconds Crouch remained transfixed, his eyes blazing in his white face as he stared down at Winky. Then he appeared to come to life again.

‘This – cannot – be,’ he said jerkily. ‘No –’

He moved quickly around Mr Diggory and strode off towards the place where he had found Winky.

‘No point, Mr Crouch,’ Mr Diggory called after him. ‘There’s no one else there.’

But Mr Crouch did not seem prepared to take his word for it. They could hear him moving around, the rustling of leaves as he pushed the bushes aside, searching.

‘Bit embarrassing,’ Mr Diggory said grimly, looking down at Winky’s unconscious form. ‘Barty Crouch’s house-elf ... I mean to say ...’

‘Come off it, Amos,’ said Mr Weasley quietly, ‘you don’t seri- ously think it was the elf? The Dark Mark’s a wizard’s sign. It requires a wand.’

‘Yeah,’ said Mr Diggory, ‘and she had a wand.’

‘What?’ said Mr Weasley.

‘Here, look.’ Mr Diggory held up a wand and showed it to Mr Weasley. ‘Had it in her hand. So that’s clause three of the Code of Wand Use broken for a start. No non-human creature is permitted to carry or use a wand.’

Just then there was another pop, and Ludo Bagman Apparated right next to Mr Weasley. Looking breathless and disorientated, he spun on the spot, goggling upwards at the emerald green skull.

‘The Dark Mark!’ he panted, almost trampling Winky as he turned enquiringly to his colleagues. ‘Who did it? Did you get them? Barty! What’s going on?’

Mr Crouch had returned empty-handed. His face was still ghostly white, and his hands and his toothbrush moustache were both twitching.

‘Where have you been, Barty?’ said Bagman. ‘Why weren’t you at the match? Your elf was saving you a seat, too – Gulping gargoyles!’ Bagman had just noticed Winky lying at his feet. ‘What happened to her?’

‘I have been busy, Ludo,’ said Mr Crouch, still talking in the same jerky fashion, barely moving his lips. ‘And my elf has been Stunned.’

‘Stunned? By you lot, you mean? But why –?’

Comprehension dawned suddenly on Bagman’s round, shiny face; he looked up at the skull, down at Winky and then at Mr Crouch.

‘No!’ he said. ‘Winky? Conjure the Dark Mark? She wouldn’t know how! She’d need a wand for a start!’

‘And she had one,’ said Mr Diggory. ‘I found her holding one, Ludo. If it’s all right with you, Mr Crouch, I think we should hear what she’s got to say for herself.’

Crouch gave no sign that he had heard Mr Diggory, but Mr Diggory seemed to take his silence for assent. He raised his own wand, pointed it at Winky and said, ‘Enervate!’

Winky stirred feebly. Her great brown eyes opened and she blinked several times in a bemused sort of way. Watched by the silent wizards, she raised herself shakily into a sitting position. She caught sight of Mr Diggory’s feet, and slowly, tremulously, raised her eyes to stare up into his face; then, more slowly still, she looked up into the sky. Harry could see the floating skull reflected twice in her enormous, glassy eyes. She gave a gasp, looked wildly around the crowded clearing and burst into terrified sobs.

‘Elf!’ said Mr Diggory sternly. ‘Do you know who I am? I’m a member of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures!’

Winky began to rock backwards and forwards on the ground, her breath coming in sharp bursts. Harry was remind- ed forcibly of Dobby in his moments of terrified disobedience.

‘As you see, elf, the Dark Mark was conjured here a short while ago,’ said Mr Diggory. ‘And you were discovered moments later, right beneath it! An explanation, if you please!’

‘I – I – I is not doing it, sir!’ Winky gasped. ‘I is not knowing how, sir!’

‘You were found with a wand in your hand!’ barked Mr Diggory, brandishing it in front of her. And as the wand caught the green light that was filling the clearing from the skull above, Harry recognised it.

‘Hey – that’s mine!’ he said.

Everyone in the clearing looked at him.

‘Excuse me?’ said Mr Diggory, incredulously.

‘That’s my wand!’ said Harry. ‘I dropped it!’

‘You dropped it?’ repeated Mr Diggory in disbelief. ‘Is this a confession? You threw it aside after you conjured the Mark?’

‘Amos, think who you’re talking to!’ said Mr Weasley, very angrily. ‘Is Harry Potter likely to conjure the Dark Mark?’

‘Er – of course not,’ mumbled Mr Diggory. ‘Sorry ... carried away ...’

‘I didn’t drop it there, anyway,’ said Harry, jerking his thumb towards the trees beneath the skull. ‘I missed it right after we got into the wood.’

‘So,’ said Mr Diggory, his eyes hardening as he turned to look at Winky again, cowering at his feet. ‘You found this wand, eh, elf? And you picked it up and thought you’d have some fun with it, did you?’

‘I is not doing magic with it, sir!’ squealed Winky, tears streaming down the sides of her squashed and bulbous nose. ‘I is ... I is ... I is just picking it up, sir! I is not making the Dark Mark, sir, I is not knowing how!’

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

By J.K. Rowling