The conversation continued in the empty corridor.
“I don’t blame him, but Barty Crouch’s practices and concepts in other things are definitely beyond your imagination!” Sirius lowered his voice and said gravely, “Evan, I don’t know how much you know and what you want to do, but you have to know that Crouch is a tough, ruthless man, even more vicious than his opponents, the Death Eaters who use black magic. He advocated violence against Violence and authorized the use of Unforgivable Curses against suspects.”
“Yes, that has given him a lot of supporters!” Mr. Weasley said uneasily, looking around and making sure that no one was eavesdropping on their conversation. “At that time, plenty of people thought he was going about things the right way, and there were a lot of witches and wizards clamoring for him to take over as Minister of Magic. His own reputation has already far exceeded that of others in the Ministry. When Voldemort disappeared, it looked like only a matter of time until he got the top job!”
“But the irony is…” Sirius smiled grimly. “Just then, Crouch’s own son was caught. He was with a group of Death Eaters who’d managed to talk their way out of Azkaban. Apparently they were trying to find Voldemort and return him to power.”
The smile on his face did not fade, staring at the heavy cubicle not far away. A lopsided sign on the cubicle read AUROR HEADQUARTERS.
“Next thing, you should all know!” Sirius continued, “You can imagine that this was a real blow to the old man. He 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 to know about his own son.”
“Yes!” Evan nodded.
Not only Crouch, but everyone should know more about Batty Crouch Jr.
If Mr. Weasley and Sirius knew his true face and his position among the Death Eaters, they would be shocked.
“I’ve seen that boy, a coward who only knew how to cry, who looked very weak.” Sirius recalled, “I was in Azkaban myself when he was brought in, and he was next to my cell. I remember him crying every day. When the boy was arrested, all the people with him were Death Eaters. I can bet that the poor fellow has been in the wrong place at the wrong time!”
“Maybe he is not as simple as you think!” Evan said cautiously. “My findings show some very interesting information. He was locked into Azkaban because he tortured the Longbottom couple with the Cruciatus Curse. I asked Professor Lupin to help me get in touch with the witnesses of that incident…”
Evan knew so much. Mr. Weasley and Sirius were obviously very surprised.
“All in all, Barty Crouch Jr. is not simple.” Evan concluded, retelling the information he had received.
“Maybe, but what does this mean?!” Sirius said impatiently. “I saw the Dementors bring him in. I watched them through the iron railings of the cell door. He was at most nineteen years old, and they threw him into a cell next to me. In the evening, he screamed at his mother. But a few days later, he was silent, and he remained silent all the time. In that ghost place, everyone would become like this, only occasionally screaming in his sleep…”
“Everyone knows that after being locked into that place for a year, he died and paid for his crimes!” Mr. Weasley said hastily. “Well, we can’t just stand here and talk about these things.”
“Yes, what you need to do now is to write a letter to your parents!” Sirius patted Evan’s shoulder. “Maybe, you should write a letter to Remus, too.”
“Come on, what do you want to drink? I have there…”
“Hold on, there’s more!” Evan hurriedly raised his voice and shouted, “Barty Crouch Jr. may not be dead!”
Mr. Weasley and Sirius both stopped, their eyes firmly fixed on the serious-looking Evan. There was a funny expression on their faces, with a strong desire to laugh, but they strove to hold it back.
“He must have died, right in front of me. I witnessed his death with my very own eyes.” Sirius said bitterly. “Since you want to know, then I’ll tell you. He was not the only one. Most go mad in there, and plenty stop eating in the end.”
Sirius looked at Evan’s eyes, and his hoarse voice slowly described the past events.
“They lost the will to live. You could always tell when a death was coming, because the Dementors could sense it, they got excited.” Sirius said, “That boy looked pretty sickly when he arrived. Crouch being an important Ministry member, he and his wife were allowed a deathbed visit. He half carried his wife and walked past my cell. She died herself, apparently, shortly afterward out of grief. Wasted away just like the boy. Crouch never came for his son’s body. The Dementors buried him outside the fortress. I watched them do it.”
Evan wanted to talk, but Sirius stopped him.
“Think about it carefully, isn’t it very sad?!” His face showed a cruel smile. “Just when old Crouch thought he had it made, he lost it all. One moment, a hero, poised to become Minister of Magic… In the blink of an eye, his son died, his wife died, the family name was dishonored, and there was a big drop in his popularity.”
“I remember the newspapers at that time, all reporting on this matter.” Mr. Weasley added, “Once the boy had died, people started feeling a bit more sympathetic toward the son and started asking how a nice young lad from a good family had gone so badly astray. The conclusion was that his father never cared much for him. So Cornelius Fudge got the top job, and Crouch was shunted sideways into the Department of International Magical Cooperation.”
“Well, after knowing all this, what are you still questioning now?” Sirius asked Evan. “I don’t know how much information you have, but there’s no doubt that Barty Crouch Jr. died.”
“No, that’s not the whole story. Barty Crouch may have brought his son out of Azkaban!” Evan gasped and decided to say it directly, “According to Barty Crouch’s character and style of action, we can reason out…”
“Reasoning?! It’s ridiculous. I saw him die before me, and you’re here to reason with me!” Sirius sighed and said in a heavy tone, “Evan, you may have been under too much pressure recently, I think…”
“It wasn’t him who died, it was his mother!” Evan said loudly. “When you saw that visit, Barty Crouch switched them up!”
Translator Note: Hey there! Translating_Wizard here! I hope you’re doing great and enjoying the chapters. Want to read up to 140 more? I’ve just released chapter 522 in Patreon! If you’re interested in supporting me and reading more chapters, feel free to click the button bellow ^^