Death Eaters Ministry of Magic and the Wizard's Council Notable Witches and Wizards Wizarding Culture

The Pensieve

- Chapter 30

"One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one's mind, pours them into the basin, and examines them at one's leisure."
-- Albus Dumbledore

GF30: The Pensieve

Harry, left alone in Dumbledore’s office, sees some glimpses of the past in Dumbledore’s Pensieve; Karkaroff giving evidence before a court of wizards, Crouch’s son being sentenced to Azkaban. Harry tells Dumbledore about his dream, and the headmaster speculates on its meaning.

Interesting facts and notes

The Pensieve is a brilliant plot device, allowing JKR to show rather than tell the reader about various events for which Harry was not a direct witness without sacrificing the use of Harry as the viewpoint character.

Note that JKR has employed an interesting means of providing exposition to the reader: Karkaroff, spilling his guts to the Ministry of Magic in his desperation to avoid a life sentence in Azkaban. If Dementors don't provide a plausible motivation for a character to tell everything he knows, it's hard to say what does.

This chapter, thanks to Karkaroff's testimony, is one of the main sources of information about the Death Eaters and their crimes during the first war against Voldemort. Others include GF27 and OP9.

He had been inside Dumbledore's office once before...

...immediately after the basilisk's attack on Justin Finch-Fletchley and Nearly-Headless Nick (CS12). (The meeting between Harry, Dumbledore, and the Weasleys after Harry's rescue of Ginny took place in McGonagall's office, not Dumbledore's, despite CS/f's suggestions to the contrary.) was a very beautiful, circular room, lined with pictures of previous headmasters and headmistresses of Hogwarts, all of whom were fast asleep, their chests rising and falling gently.

As Harry is to learn before Christmas of the following year, the apparent sleep of the portraits in Dumbledore's office is often a pose.

The painting shows Dumbledore's office, with Dumbledore and Harry.

"Harry!" said Fudge jovially, moving forward. "How are you?"

Fudge's hypocrisy becomes apparent later on. Right now, Harry is enjoying a high approval rating in the press, so Fudge has time for him. After Rita's hatchet job just before the Third Task, though, Fudge won't even meet Harry's eyes.

...looking at Dumbledore, who gave him a swift, searching look.

This may have been an instance of the use of Legilimency, but we have little evidence on this point.

Fawkes, Professor Dumbledore's phoenix, was standing on his golden perch beside the door. The size of a swan, with magnificent scarlet-and-gold plumage, he swished his long tail and blinked benignly at Harry. Harry sat down in a chair in front of Dumbledore's desk. For several minutes, he sat and watched the old headmasters and headmistresses snoozing in their frames...

Whether JKR intended the effect or not, this bit of scene-setting is reminiscent of Digory's experiences in the garden in C.S. Lewis' The Magician's Nephew (which is either volume 6 or volume 1 of The Chronicles of Narnia, depending upon whether the annotator is old-fashioned enough to number the books by publication order rather than the modern renumbering). While in the garden - which contained a tree with apples that could grant eternal youth - Digory was authorized to pick exactly one apple to bring back to the person who had sent him on his quest. Digory at first fancied that he was alone and unobserved, and was tempted to take another apple for himself, but then noticed that a phoenix was sitting in the tree's branches, watching him. Digory later observed that in magical places one can never be sure that one isn't being watched - as, in fact, Harry is being watched here, not only by Fawkes but by the portraits.

Fawkes the phoenix.

Harry hesitated, glanced at Fawkes...

Harry himself is aware that he isn't unobserved, of course, but even so he is taking only Fawkes into account. The fact that the portraits do not speak up and tell Harry to stop can be accounted for by the fact that once he began fiddling with the basin, they had little time in which to abandon their pose of sleep before he had been sucked into the memories the Pensieve held.

A shallow stone basin lay there, with odd carvings around the edge: runes and symbols that Harry did not recognize.

Harry, as we know, does not take Ancient Runes, so we don't know whether someone who has taken that class would be able to understand the Pensieve's markings.

The silvery light was coming from the basin's contents, which were like nothing Harry had ever seen before. He could not tell whether the substance was liquid or gas. It was a bright, whitish silver, and it was moving ceaselessly; the surface of it became ruffled like water beneath wind, and then, like clouds, separated and swirled smoothly. It looked like light made liquid - or like wind made solid - Harry couldn't make up his mind.

The thought-stuff in the Pensieve sounds something like the descriptions we've had of the substance of which a Patronus is formed.

He wanted to touch it, to find out what it felt like, but nearly four years' experience of the magical world told him that sticking his hand into a bowl full of some unknown substance was a very stupid thing to do. He therefore pulled his wand out of the inside of his robes...

Prodding an unknown substance with a wand isn't a much smarter move than touching it barehanded, but Harry is, after all, only fourteen years old at this point.

The surface of the silvery stuff inside the basin began to swirl very fast... The silvery substance had become transparent; it looked like glass.

Harry did not use any specific incantation, and did not in fact have any idea at this point what the Pensieve was or what it could do, so it seems somewhat unlikely that the selection of memories that appear in the Pensieve have anything to do with a conscious or even unconscious command of Harry's. Judging from Dumbledore's demonstration later on, he had been examining these specific memories just before Fudge's arrival.

He looked down into it expecting to see the stone bottom of the basin - and saw instead an enormous room below the surface of the mysterious substance, a room into which he seemed to be looking through a circular window in the ceiling.

As we are to learn shortly, this is a memory of Dumbledore's, who is present on one of the benches lining the room. It is worth noting that Harry's initial entry into the memory is from a viewpoint and an angle that Dumbledore himself couldn't have seen.

An empty chair stood in the very center of the room. There was something about the chair that gave Harry an ominous feeling.

Harry himself will be sitting in it facing the Wizengamot before the summer is out (OP8).

Not one of the witches and wizards in the room (and there were at least two hundred of them) was looking at him.

In this particular memory, Crouch remarks that Karkaroff is giving evidence before "the Ministry of Magic", rather than, say, specifically the Council of Magical Law or the Wizengamot. Given Moody's presence, it seems quite likely that some of those attending are not members of the body making the official decision on Karkaroff's fate, so the size of the audience may not reflect the size of the body making the decision.

Once before, Harry had found himself somewhere that nobody could see or hear him. That time, he had fallen through a page in an enchanted diary, right into somebody else's memory . . . and unless he was very much mistaken, something of the sort had happened again...

From the description of the enchanted diary in CS, it was not visibly marked with runes and symbols as were noted in the description of the Pensieve - and Hermione checked the diary for hidden writings and markings as carefully as she could. It is not known whether the memory-recording technique used to create the diary is related to that used by the Pensieve.

And that, in Harry's opinion, settled the matter. Dumbledore wouldn't ignore him like that.

A rather poignant observation, in light of what Harry is to learn from Dumbledore a year later (OP37): that Dumbledore knew, from the moment he left Harry on the Dursleys' doorstep, what sort of a life Harry was being condemned to lead for the next ten years.

And even more to the point, immediately after Harry's hearing in this very courtroom the following August, Dumbledore does ignore Harry completely.

Harry looked around more carefully. The room, as he had suspected when observing it from above, was almost certainly underground - more of a dungeon than a room, he thought.

As Harry will learn in August (OP8), this is courtroom ten at the Ministry of Magic in London, which is indeed several levels below ground.

There was a bleak and forbidding air about the place; there were no pictures on the walls...

This might be a security measure, since it ensures that wizarding portraits cannot spy on the place.

The door in the corner of the dungeon opened and three people entered - or at least one man, flanked by two Dementors.

Since courtroom ten is located in the heart of London, this means that the Dementors accompanying Karkaroff had to be brought into a Muggle city. From OP8 and OP35, however, we know that the Ministry has a large and active Floo connection, and that Portkeys work on the premises. It seems unlikely that Azkaban would have a Floo connection, but a Portkey might explain how Karkaroff and his jailers were brought to London.

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.

Since the timeframe of GF is less than fifteen years later, Karkaroff's aging seems somewhat premature. If Karkaroff was not released from Azkaban immediately after this hearing - and it seems from Crouch's remarks that Karkaroff was sent back for at least a short period - Karkaroff's changed appearance may be due to further exposure to the Dementors before his release.

He was not dressed in sleek furs, but in thin and ragged robes.

Judging from this hearing and from Sirius' experiences, the British wizarding criminal justice system at first glance takes an old-fashioned approach with the issue of prison uniforms: prisoners held in Azkaban for a significant time period have always been shown in ragged gray robes, rather than (as in the Muggle world) in eye-catching, conspicuous colours. On further reflection, however, given the wide range of colours and styles used in the adult wizarding world, it would be difficult to choose a bright colour that wouldn't turn up in legitimate use.

Even as Harry watched, the chains on the arms of the chair glowed suddenly gold and snaked their way up Karkaroff's arms, binding him there.

Note that no mention is made of any witch or wizard present speaking an incantation or otherwise doing anything to make this happen. From Bagman's hearing later in this chapter, and Harry's experiences during his own disciplinary hearing - less than three months after his experience with the Pensieve - we know that the chair does not automatically bind everyone who sits in it.

Crouch's hair was dark, his face was much less lined, he looked fit and alert.

Crouch's appearance suggests that Karkaroff's trial took place before that of Barty Crouch junior and the Lestranges. On a more trivial note, the elder Crouch as a young man had dark hair, whereas his son was blond.

"You have been brought from Azkaban to present evidence to the Ministry of Magic. You have given us to understand that you have important information for us."

So the wizarding world's criminal justice system includes the concept of plea-bargaining, something confirmed later (OP27) by Willy Widdershins having been allowed to talk his way out of punishment for his Muggle-baiting activities.

He did not have his magical eye, but two normal ones.

Interesting information, in terms of Moody's personal timeline. Since Karkaroff's trial in the Pensieve is set after the fall of Voldemort, Moody lost his eye after the first war against Voldemort, not during it.

[Crouch]'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.

Given Moody's distinction even among fellow Aurors, the fact that he spent six months pursuing a single Death Eater seems significant. It would be particularly interesting to know if this was an official assignment by the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and whether Moody was dedicated to working only on this one case for that length of time.

"You must understand," said Karkaroff hurriedly, "that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named operated always in the greatest secrecy...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, from turning all of them in," muttered Moody.

An as-yet-unexplained aspect of the second war against Voldemort is that Voldemort appears to have discarded this basic security rule - that of maintaining the Death Eaters as a cellular organization, so that one traitor could not betray the identities of all the other members.

In OP35, for example, Lucius Malfoy and his companions are arrogant enough to unmask in front of all six DA members, on the assumption that no witnesses would survive.

"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."

Dolohov, as stated in the Daily Prophet in OP25, was convicted of the brutal murders of Gideon and Fabian Prewett, for which he received a life sentence in Azkaban. According to Mad-Eye Moody in OP9, four other Death Eaters participated in the murder, but their names had not been given as of the end of OP.

Regarding the matter of names, it is common knowledge that few witches or wizards refer to Voldemort as "Voldemort", and fewer still by his birth name. It is significant, however, which nickname a witch or wizard uses to refer to Voldemort. Note that only here does Karkaroff slip and refer to Voldemort as "the Dark Lord", a term that seems to be used primarily by the Death Eaters (current and former). He is trying very hard, as indicated by his stumbling speech at this point, to try to use "politically correct" words, knowing that his freedom hangs on the impression he is creating.


"Evan Rosier."
"Rosier is dead," said Crouch. "He was caught shortly after you were too. He preferred to fight rather than come 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.

So Moody participated in the attempt to capture and arrest Rosier.

There was Travers - he helped murder the McKinnons!

According to Mad-Eye Moody in OP9, Marlene McKinnon was a member of the original Order of the Phoenix, and was killed two weeks after the "team photo" was taken, along with her entire family. Hagrid in PS4 named the McKinnons among "the best wizards and witches of the age" who had been killed by Voldemort.

Mulciber - he specialized in the Imperius Curse, forced countless people to do horrific things!

See further remarks below.

"Rookwood, who was a spy, and passed He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named useful information from inside the Ministry itself!"

Considering the matter of names, one of the meanings of "rook" is to con, fool or trick - apt, for a spy. "Rookwood" also suggests a rather sinister passage from Macbeth (an appropriate play to provide any wizard's name, particularly a Dark wizard), act III, scene 2 -

Light thickens, and the crow
makes wing to the rooky wood.
Good things of day begin to droop and drowse,
whiles night's black agents to their preys do rouse.

Very apt quotation to provide a Death Eater's name, isn't it?

"Augustus Rookwood of the Department of Mysteries?"

Rookwood's position in the Department of Mysteries was to provide Voldemort with crucial information about the security measures taken to guard the Hall of Prophecy, after Rookwood's escape from Azkaban during the winter of Harry's fifth year (OP25).

"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 -"

Rookwood's own usefulness as a mole within the Ministry would have ended with his arrest, but it is not known whether any of his agents remained in place. As demonstrated by Ludo Bagman later on, some of Rookwood's agents may not even have known that they were agents.

"But Travers and Mulciber we have," said Mr. Crouch.

Travers and Mulciber were evidently taken alive prior to Karkaroff's capture, since Crouch says that the Ministry "has them" and not that they've been killed. Neither is named in the list of Azkaban escapees in the mass breakout in OP25. However, Mulciber is among the Death Eaters named by Lucius Malfoy at the Battle of the Department of Mysteries (OP35), so it seems a fair deduction that Mulciber was imprisoned in Azkaban after his capture by the Ministry, and escaped in the mass breakout of OP25.

"Severus Snape was indeed a Death Eater. However, he rejoined our side before Lord Voldemort's downfall and turned spy for us, at great personal risk."

It's perhaps worth noting that Karkaroff left Snape until last when naming names to save his own skin, and that Snape is on speaking terms with him during Harry's fourth year (even if not publicly so).

"He is now no more a Death Eater than I am."

This remark is truly disturbing, if considered in light of the question of whether Snape ever truly abandoned Voldemort's cause at all.

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

Again, note that Dumbledore apparently could not have seen this at the time, which raises the question of how the incident was recorded by the Pensieve.

His nose wasn't broken now; he was tall and lean and muscular.

From the experiences of Harry's classmates over the years, we know that medical magic can be used to mend broken bones, including broken noses (Neville's, OP36, was repaired by Pomfrey afterward). Why does Bagman in the present day have a nose that was apparently broken but not set properly? (The same question, of course, can be asked about Albus Dumbledore.)

"Ludo Bagman, you have been brought here in front of the Council of Magical Law to answer charges relating to the activities of the Death Eaters," said Mr. Crouch. "We have heard the evidence against you, and are about to reach our verdict. Do you have anything to add to your testimony before we pronounce judgment?"

The form of words used by Crouch here differs from that used to open Karkaroff's testimony in the previous memory. While Karkaroff was offering testimony as part of an attempt to plea-bargain his way to a lighter sentence after having been sent to Azkaban, here Bagman is in the sentencing phase of a trial.

Harry couldn't believe his ears. Ludo Bagman, a Death Eater?

Harry has oversimplified Crouch's very carefully phrased remark. Bagman has not, in fact, been accused of being a Death Eater, but of passing information to one (Rookwood).

"Only," said Bagman, smiling awkwardly, "well - I know I've been a bit of an idiot -"
One or two wizards and witches in the surrounding seats smiled indulgently. Mr. Crouch did not appear to share their feelings. He was staring down at Ludo Bagman with an expression of the utmost severity and dislike.

Note that putting the description of Bagman in later life together with that in this memory, as a young man at the top of his Quidditch-playing form Bagman was tall, lean, muscular, with blond hair (GF7) and blue eyes - in fact, he sounds somewhat as an athletic Dudley Dursley might look, and is being indulged in the same sort of way.

On the surface, Bagman is likeable and Crouch is not, but look at the facts. Bagman has been giving information to the Death Eaters, and is being let off with a slap on the wrist because nobody - not even Moody - expects him to use his brain to act like a responsible adult. How many people were hurt or killed by this irresponsible celebrity's actions?

"Ludovic Bagman, you were caught passing information to Lord Voldemort's supporters," said Mr. Crouch. "For this, I suggest a term of imprisonment in Azkaban lasting no less than -"

What sort of sentencing guidelines, if any, is the Council of Magical Law subject to? If they operate anything like a Muggle court of law, they would need such guidelines to attempt to ensure equal justice under the law - that similar offenses were punished by the same standards.

"Old Rookwood was a friend of my dad's . . . never crossed my mind he was in with You-Know-Who!"

This suggests that Rookwood belongs to Ludo Bagman's father's generation, and thus is quite a few years Ludo's senior. We don't know whether Bagman senior was accused of any Death Eater involvement.

Note that Bagman refers to Voldemort as "You-Know-Who", the least ominous-sounding of his nicknames, in keeping with Bagman's tone of (literally) wide-eyed innocence.

"I thought I was collecting information for our side!"

If Bagman is telling the truth, Rookwood appears to have been fairly subtle in running his agents - even his spies didn't always know who they were.

"And Rookwood kept talking about getting me a job in the Ministry later on ... once my Quidditch days are over, you know ..."

And Bagman knew better than to look too closely at any strings attached to that job offer. Note that this scenario also suggests that other retired professional Quidditch players may be employed at the Ministry of Magic, at least in the Department of Magical Games and Sports.

It would be instructive to know, in light of this particular scandal, how Bagman did eventually get his job with the Ministry, since Rookwood certainly wasn't in a position to offer a job recommendation from inside Azkaban.

"We'd just like to congratulate Mr. Bagman on his splendid performance for England in the Quidditch match against Turkey last Saturday," the witch said breathlessly.

The impression left by the gushing witch here is that Bagman was popular with the ladies at this time in his life. A somewhat disturbing bit of information supplied is that whatever equivalent to jury selection has been employed to select those hearing the case, it isn't effective at ensuring an impartial jury.

Rookwood get him a job indeed...The day Ludo Bagman joins us will be a sad day indeed for the Ministry...

It would be interesting to know what Crouch said at home on the day that Bagman became head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports!

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...

Putting our information from GF and OP together, one of these men is Rodolphus Lestrange (Bellatrix's husband), and the other is his brother Rabastan, but we don't quite have enough information to tell which is which.

...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 this is Bellatrix Lestrange herself, just before her imprisonment in Azkaban.

...and a boy in his late teens, who looked nothing short of petrified. He was shivering, his straw-colored hair all over his face, his freckled skin milk-white.

As indicated by his remarks while the sentence is being read, this is the elder Barty Crouch's son, Bartemius Crouch junior. The fact that Crouch junior's own father is running the trial's sentencing phase speaks volumes about weaknesses in the wizarding criminal justice system. In the Muggle world, he would have been required to disqualify himself from hearing the case.

"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 -"

We don't know why Crouch junior and the Lestranges believed this.

"You are further accused," bellowed Mr. Crouch, "of using the Cruciatus Curse on Frank Longbottom's wife, when he would not give you information."

This would have served a dual purpose: to attempt to persuade Frank to talk to spare Alice further pain, and to force information out of Alice herself. As Neville's gran will remark during their next Christmas visit to the closed ward, Alice too was an Auror (OP23).

"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 -"

So this case's sentencing phase is technically a trial by jury.

"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.

Despite the guilt of Crouch junior and the Lestranges, this more closely resembles a lynching than a just hearing.

The boys' 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!"

As the memory of Tom Riddle, Voldemort remarked that he had always been able to charm the people he needed (CS17), but the fact that he can inspire this degree of loyalty even after falling from power goes far beyond ordinary charisma.

"I sometimes find, and I am sure you know the feeling, that I simply have too many thoughts and memories crammed into my mind...At these times," said Dumbledore, indicating the stone basin, "I use the Pensieve. One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one's mind, pours them into the basin, and examines them at one's leisure. It becomes easier to spot patterns and links, you understand, when they are in this form."

This sounds as though Dumbledore uses the Pensieve as the equivalent of a journal in organizing his thoughts.

"D'you - d'you know why my scar's hurting me?"
Dumbledore looked very intently at Harry for a moment, and then said, "I have a theory, no more than that. ... It is my belief that your scar hurts both when Lord Voldemort is near you, and when he is feeling a particularly strong surge of hatred."

Harry, of course, will learn far more than he ever wanted to know about this sort of thing over the course of the next year, as any strong emotion felt by Voldemort begins crossing the link between them. It may be worth noting that the pains Harry experiences in his scar have corresponded with periods when Voldemort was either in possession of someone else's body (Quirrell's in PS7), in a rudimentary body of his own (throughout most of GF), and back in his own body (GF32 through the remainder of GF, and the whole of OP). The strength of these sympathetic vibrations appears greater depending on the strength of Voldemort's hold on the host body: infrequent during his possession of Quirrell, more frequent during GF, and commonplace during OP.

"But. . . why?"
"Because you and he are connected by the curse that failed," said Dumbledore. "That is no ordinary scar."
"So you think . . . that dream . . . did it really happen?"
"It is possible," said Dumbledore. "I would say - probable."

Note the missed opportunity for Dumbledore to have told Harry about the Lost Prophecy - with the best intentions, of course, as it would've distracted Harry from preparing for the Third Task.

"Harry - did you see Voldemort?"
"No," said Harry. "Just the back of his chair. But - there wouldn't have been anything to see, would there? I mean, he hasn't got a body, has he? But. . . but then how could he have held the wand?" Harry said slowly.

The obvious reason for Dumbledore to ask this question at this point is that he is following the line of thought Harry is shown pursuing. A more sinister reason, as will be demonstrated the following Christmas (OP21), might be that Dumbledore wished to learn whether Harry was seeing through Voldemort's eyes.

"Professor," Harry said at last, "do you think he's getting stronger?"
"Voldemort?" said Dumbledore, looking at Harry over the Pensieve. It was the characteristic, piercing look Dumbledore had given him on other occasions, and always made Harry feel as though Dumbledore were seeing right through him in a way that even Moody's magical eye could not.

Harry's intuition serves him well, here, considering Dumbledore's status as a Legilimens.

"And there was a third disappearance, one which the Ministry, I regret to say, do not consider of any importance, for it concerns a Muggle. His name was Frank Bryce, he lived in the village where Voldemort's father grew up, and he has not been seen since last August. You see, I read the Muggle newspapers, unlike most of my Ministry friends."

The prevailing anti-Muggle attitude at the Ministry of Magic, as commented upon by Dumbledore here, dovetails with Molly's remarks later on how Arthur's liking for Muggles has hampered his career all these years.

"No," said Dumbledore, his voice full of a bitterness Harry had never heard there before. "They are insane. They are both in St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. I believe Neville visits them, with his grandmother, during the holidays. They do not recognize him."

As Harry will see for himself next Christmas (OP23).

Dumbledore was standing over the Pensieve, his face lit from beneath by its silvery spots of light, looking older than ever. He stared at Harry for a moment, and then said, "Good luck with the third task."

Although at the time this sounded like a simple indication of Dumbledore's concern, in retrospect one wonders if Dumbledore almost told Harry about the Lost Prophecy at this point.

Exceptional character moments

Bellatrix Lestrange, holding firm to her loyalty to Voldemort in the presence of Dementors, knowing that she was about to be condemned to a life sentence in Azkaban.

The elder Bartemius Crouch, showing only rage and rejection, without sorrow, when condemning his only child to Azkaban.

The younger Bartemius Crouch, crying out to his mother to save him from Azkaban, denying all connections with the Death Eaters in a desperate attempt to escape the Dementors.

Neville Longbottom, who has spent most of his life raised in the shadow of what happened to his parents at the Lestranges' hands.

Memorable lines

Dumbledore added this fresh thought to the basin, and Harry, astonished, saw his own face swimming around the surface of the bowl. Dumbledore placed his long hands on either side of the Pensieve and swirled it, rather as a gold prospector would pan for fragments of gold.... and Harry saw his own face change smoothly into Snape's, who opened his mouth and spoke to the ceiling, his voice echoing slightly.

"Curiosity is not a sin," he said. "But we should exercise caution with our curiosity..."

"So, Harry," said Dumbledore quietly. "Before you got lost in my thoughts, you wanted to tell me something."

Characters Introduced


Related images:

The painting shows Dumbledore's office, with Dumbledore and Harry.

Pensieve (Comments)

Tags: curious exposition memories trials

Editors: , , and

The Harry Potter Canon