Death Eaters on trial

Bellatrix, Rodolphus and Rabastan Lestrange stand trial along with Barty Crouch Jr. for torturing the Longbottoms

Extract from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

By J.K. Rowling

'Bring them in,’ he said, and his voice echoed through the silent dungeon.

The door in the corner opened yet again. Six Dementors entered this time, flanking a group of four people. Harry saw the people in the crowd turn to look up at Mr Crouch. A few of them whispered to each other.

The Dementors placed each of the four people in the four chairs with chained arms which now stood on the dungeon floor. There was a thickset man who stared blankly up at Crouch, a thinner and more nervous-looking man, whose eyes were darting around the crowd, a woman, with thick, shining dark hair, and heavily hooded eyes, who was sitting in the chained chair as though it were a throne, and a boy in his late teens, who looked nothing short of petrified. He was shivering, his straw-coloured hair all over his face, his freckled skin milk-white. The wispy little witch beside Crouch began to rock backwards and forwards in her seat, whimpering into her handkerchief.

Crouch stood up. He looked down upon the four in front of him, and there was pure hatred in his face.

‘You have been brought here before the Council of Magical Law,’ he said clearly, ‘so that we may pass judgement on you, for a crime so heinous –’

‘Father,’ said the boy with the straw-coloured hair. ‘Father … please …’

‘– that we have rarely heard the like of it within this court,’ said Crouch, speaking more loudly, drowning out his son’s voice. ‘We have heard the evidence against you. The four of you stand accused of capturing an Auror – Frank Longbottom – and subjecting him to the Cruciatus Curse, believing him to have knowledge of the present whereabouts of your exiled master, He Who Must Not Be Named –’

‘Father, I didn’t!’ shrieked the boy in chains below. ‘I didn’t, I swear it, Father, don’t send me back to the Dementors –’

‘You are further accused,’ bellowed Mr Crouch, ‘of using the Cruciatus Curse on Frank Longbottom’s wife, when he would not give you information. You planned to restore He Who Must Not Be Named to power, and to resume the lives of violence you presumably led while he was strong. I now ask the jury –’

‘Mother!’ screamed the boy below, and the wispy little witch beside Crouch began to sob, rocking backwards and forwards. ‘Mother, stop him, Mother, I didn’t do it, it wasn’t me!’

‘I now ask the jury,’ shouted Mr Crouch, ‘to raise their hands if they believe, as I do, that these crimes deserve a life sentence in Azkaban.’

In unison, the witches and wizards along the right-hand side of the dungeon raised their hands. The crowd around the walls began to clap as it had for Bagman, their faces full of savage triumph. The boy began to scream.

‘No! Mother, no! I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it, I didn’t know! Don’t send me there, don’t let him!’

The Dementors were gliding back into the room. The boy’s three companions rose quietly from their seats; the woman with the heavy-lidded eyes looked up at Crouch and called, ‘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!’

But the boy was trying to fight the Dementors off, even though Harry could see their cold, draining power starting to affect him. The crowd were jeering, some of them on their feet, as the woman swept out of the dungeon, and the boy continued to struggle.

‘I’m your son!’ he screamed up at Crouch. ‘I’m your son!’

‘You are no son of mine!’ bellowed Mr Crouch, his eyes bulging suddenly. ‘I have no son!’

The wispy witch beside him gave a great gasp, and slumped in her seat. She had fainted. Crouch appeared not to have noticed.

‘Take them away!’ Crouch roared at the Dementors, spit flying from his mouth. ‘Take them away, and may they rot there!’

‘Father! Father, I wasn’t involved! No! No! Father, please!'


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

By J.K. Rowling