Why didn't Dumbledore show his memory of Barty Crouch Jr's confession to Cornelius Fudge to confirm his point that Voldemort returned? Wouldn't that just prevent all the mumbo-jumbo happening in the 5th book?

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    Remember, Fudge was adamant that Vold has not returned, it would have ruined his entire worldview. Dumbledore quite likely did show him, however, in book 6 (and 7) we learn of the existence of the false memory charm - no matter what proof / testimony he was given, Fudge would have found a way to deny it
    – NKCampbell
    Jul 26, 2017 at 17:06
  • Could you be clear about what mumbo jumbo you're talking about?
    – Edlothiad
    Jul 26, 2017 at 17:06
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    'mumbo-jumbo' = the entire plot of book 5 ;)
    – NKCampbell
    Jul 26, 2017 at 17:08
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    A similar question would be why didn't Dumbledore just show Harry's memory of actually physically seeing Voldemort's return? Or even why, in any criminal case, they don't just pull memories from the witnesses (or the defendant, for that matter) to see what really happened? Like when Harry was expelled for Dobby using magic, or expelled again for Dementors using magic? Jul 26, 2017 at 17:15
  • @DaaaahWhoosh If memories can be manipulated or completely fabricated, then they should not be introduced into criminal court cases as reliable evidence. (Which I find odd since they accept verbal testimony that is based on memories.) Anyhow, if everyone knows memories are not reliable, Cornelius Fudge won't believe memories shared by people he does not trust.
    – RichS
    Jul 26, 2017 at 19:19

2 Answers 2


Memories can be altered and Dumbledore is a skilled wizard, whom Fudge also didn't trust.

We see later on that Slughorn was able to modify his memory of telling young Tom Riddle about Horcruxes. In his case, since it was done rather poorly, it was very clear which parts of the memory were modified, and which were left unchanged.

“Sir, I wondered what you know about … about Horcruxes?’

And it happened all over again: the dense fog filled the room so that Harry could not see Slughorn or Riddle at all; only Dumbledore, smiling serenely beside him. Then Slughorn’s voice boomed out again, just as it had done before.

‘I don’t know anything about Horcruxes and I wouldn’t tell you if I did! Now get out of here at once and don’t let me catch you mentioning them again!”
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 17 (A Sluggish Memory)

Dumbledore later explains that memories can be tampered with, and that Slughorn did a rather crude job of it, which is why it was so obvious. From what he says, we can also deduce that a skilled wizard would be able to modify their own memory with little to no evidence.

“As you might have noticed,’ said Dumbledore, reseating himself behind his desk, ‘that memory has been tampered with.’

‘Tampered with?’ repeated Harry, sitting back down too. ‘Certainly,’ said Dumbledore, ‘Professor Slughorn has meddled with his own recollections.’

‘But why would he do that?’

‘Because, I think, he is ashamed of what he remembers,’ said Dumbledore. ‘He has tried to rework the memory to show himself in a better light, obliterating those parts which he does not wish me to see. It is, as you will have noticed, very crudely done, and that is all to the good, for it shows that the true memory is still there beneath the alterations.”
*Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 17 (A Sluggish Memory)

Slughorn, while a capable wizard, is nowhere near as skilled as Dumbledore. In addition, Dumbledore is known to do things that most other wizards can't, or better than most wizards would be able to. Especially considering that he said Slughorn's modification of his memory was poorly done, there's no reason for someone to think that a wizard as powerful as Dumbledore couldn't modify their memory leaving no evidence that it was ever modified. Adding to that, Fudge already doesn't trust Dumbledore. So even though it would actually be unaltered, Fudge, who already was doubtful of Dumbledore, would have likely suspected Dumbledore of altering the memory.

  • I was your answer yesterday, I already had accepted the other as answer. Bu-u-u-t, your answer is indeed more detailed, so you can continue your detailed patronage =P Jul 28, 2017 at 14:26
  • @VadzimSavenok Thanks so much! :D
    – Obsidia
    Jul 31, 2017 at 17:16
  • I forget the exact scene in the book, but weren't there other people in the room during Crouch's confession (Harry and I thought Snape too?). It would presumably be difficult to alter memories from different people in exactly the same fashion. It seems the real answer is simply Fudge didn't want to hear it.
    – Kapler
    Aug 24, 2017 at 21:48

In Half Blood Prince we are shown a memory from Slughorn that has been manipulated by Slughorn himself. Since memory can be manipulated and Fudge was predisposed to disbelieve Dumbledore we can probably safely assume that Dumbledore sharing the memory would have probably been pointless.

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    I'm pretty sure this is the answer. I think Dumbledore specifically called out Slughorn's fake as "badly done", implying that if Slughorn had had more time (or skill) he'd have been able to craft a fake memory that was much more difficult to detect - something that Dumbledore himself would likely be capable of.
    – Adam V
    Jul 26, 2017 at 17:34
  • Yeah, I remember memory altering in book 6, I thought, there were any other theories why it did not happen. Jul 26, 2017 at 17:39
  • In-universe, I think the answer is just that Fudge probably refused to see or acknowledge any possible evidence, be it eye-witness testimony, recovered memories, or anything else. It's only when Fudge himself sees Voldemort in the Ministry that he finally comes to his senses.
    – Adam V
    Jul 26, 2017 at 17:43
  • Looks like this answer, and comment are only valid point on my question, I see no more room on discussion here. Jul 26, 2017 at 17:59

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