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Complete, detailed, and amazing Reader's Guides
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Chapter Thirty-Five:
Veritaserum

"Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery."


Synopsis by William Silvester
Notes and links by Michele L. Worley

U.S. hardcover edition: pages 670 - 691
U.K. hardcover edition: pages 582 - 600
U.K. paperback edition: pages 726 - 749
Timeframe: 24 June, 1995 [Y15]

In which Harry returns to Hogwarts, telling Moody what happened while returning to the castle. Moody reveals that it was he who put Harry's name in the Goblet, and that he stage-managed Harry's performance in all three Tasks. Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Snape arrive in time to prevent Moody from killing Harry. Dumbledore blasts Moody, sends Snape and McGonagall on errands, and opens the seven-lock trunk to reveal the real Moody in an underground pit. As the Polyjuice Potion wears off, the fake Moody is revealed as Crouch's son, who tells all when questioned under Veritaserum.

Veritaserum, GF35, by Mary GrandPré

Interesting facts and notes about the text of this chapter:

The moment of truth for the fake Mad-Eye Moody.

He had come back to the edge of the maze.

Since the maze was set up on the Quidditch pitch, the description of Harry's journey back to the castle tells us a little about where the Quidditch pitch is on the grounds.

...taking him back to the castle. Across the lawn, past the lake and the Durmstrang ship...

So one must pass the lake to reach the Quidditch pitch from the main entrance of the castle.

...as they crossed the Entrance Hall...Up the marble stairs...

So far this is consistent with other descriptions of the route to the DADA professor's office, which is near Myrtle's bathroom.

Harry heard a key scrape in the lock...

From the facts that "Moody" brought Harry here, that the room is referred to as an office, and the contents of the room, we know that this is the DADA professor's office.

Moody helped tip the stuff down Harry's throat; he coughed, a peppery taste burning his throat.

We are not explicitly told whether this is Pepper-Up Potion.

Moody's wand was still pointing directly at Harry's heart. Over his shoulder, foggy shapes were moving in the Foe-Glass on the wall.

The Foe-Glass is not responding to Harry, although he is looking straight at it. That is, unlike the Mirror of Erised, the Foe-Glass doesn't function for whoever is looking into it. From its behaviour in this chapter, the Foe-Glass is tuned to show just the foes of its owner (in this case, the fake Mad-Eye Moody).

The foggy shapes in the Foe-Glass were sharpening, had become more distinct. Harry could see the outlines of three people over Moody's shoulder, moving closer and closer. But Moody wasn't watching them. His magical eye was on Harry.

The Foe-Glass is showing the foes of its owner, the fake Moody. Notice that it is doing so even though he isn't concentrating on it to activate it, and isn't even looking into it.

Harry, still staring at the place where Moody's face had been, saw Albus Dumbledore, Professor Snape, and Professor McGonagall looking back at him out of the Foe-Glass.

The Foe-Glass is still responding to the fake Moody, even though he is now unconscious.

Snape followed him, looking into the Foe-Glass, where his own face was still visible, glaring into the room.

Again, this makes clear that the Foe-Glass responds only to its owner, rather than to any wizarding person who looks into it.

"Severus, please fetch me the strongest Truth Potion you possess..."

Since Snape brings Veritaserum, that tells us that it is the strongest Truth Potion in Snape's possession.

"Of course they would have needed to keep him alive."

This does not necessarily indicate that Polyjuice can only work if the source of the bit-of-someone ingredient is still alive; see below.

"Polyjuice Potion, Harry," said Dumbledore. "You see the simplicity of it, and the brilliance. For Moody never does dring except from his hip flask, he's well known for it. The imposter needed, of course, to keep the real Moody close by, so that he could continue making the potion."

Apart from ensuring a self-replenishing supply of Polyjuice ingredients, the real Mad-Eye Moody could be questioned under Imperius by the fake Mad-Eye Moody if the latter needed to know anything he hadn't previously been briefed on.

Harry saw a man lying before him, pale-skinned, slightly freckled, with a mop of fair hair.

This is consistent with Crouch junior's description from the Pensieve.

"Enervate."

The Bloomsbury UK paperback edition (which has corrected the "wand order error" in the previous chapter) gives the spelling as "Enervate".

"A witch in my father's office. Bertha Jorkins. She came to the house with papers for my father's signature."

This would have been while Bertha was still working for Crouch, then. Percy said earlier that Bertha had been "shunted from department to department for years" (GF5). We know that Crouch was a head of department before his son was sent to Azkaban, and that he was shunted sideways, not down, after his son's supposed death (GF27). As head of department, then, it was Crouch who was responsible for dismissing Bertha from his department after the memory damage affected her job performance.

"He was not at home. Winky showed her inside and returned to the kitchen, to me. But Bertha Jorkins heard Winky talking to me. She came to investigate. She heard enough to guess who was hiding under the Invisibility Cloak."

This is consistent with Sirius' memory of what Bertha was like as a youngster: nosy, but not very clever about figuring out when to keep her mouth shut. Instead of (for instance) going to the Aurors with what she knew, she confronted Crouch senior directly while she was alone in his home.

"He put a very powerful Memory Charm on her to make her forget what she'd found out. Too powerful. He said it damaged her memory permanently."

Since Bertha never received medical treatment for the spell damage, we only have Crouch senior's opinion for the statement that it was the strength of the Memory Charm that had long-term effects on her memory and not (for instance) some error on his part, such as not being specific enough about which memories of Bertha's he intended the Charm to effect.

"I had loved Quidditch."

This is a neat bit of characterization, that even an insane Death Eater can have such a normal interest as a love of the game; it helps flesh out Crouch junior as a person with interests other than "the continued rise of the Dark order".

"He tortured her until he broke through the Memory Charm my father had placed on her."

So the Memory Charm's "permanent" effects could be overcome, if not necessarily by humane means.

Characters introduced in this chapter:

Characters returning in this chapter:

Characters mentioned in this chapter:

Settings and locations introduced or returning in this chapter:

Settings and locations mentioned in this chapter:

Exceptional character moments:

  • none yet

Spells:

Links and Resources:

Memorable lines:

  • "I asked you," said Moody quietly, "whether he forgave the scum who never even went to look for him. Those treacherous cowards who wouldn't even brave Azkaban for him. The faithless, worthless bits of filth who were brave enough to cavort in masks at the Quidditch World Cup, but fled at the sight of the Dark Mark when I fired it into the sky."

Strictly British:

Timelines/Calendar:

This chapter takes place immediately after end of the preceding chapter. See Timeline: The Third Task.

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