Harry witnesses Ludo Bagman's trial (among others) as Dumbledore's memory in the Pensieve (Goblet of Fire ch30 "The Pensieve").

At the end of the trial, Crouch says "Despicable" to Dumbledore:

Mr. Crouch looked furious. The dungeon was ringing with applause now. Bagman got to his feet and bowed, beaming. "Despicable," Mr. Crouch spat at Dumbledore, sitting down as Bagman walked out of the dungeon.

There is no mention of Dumbledore explicitly doing anything in this scene.

Why was Crouch's comment directed specifically at Dumbledore, when everyone else was also supporting Crouch?

Dumbledore wasn't part of the jury for this case, either:

And then, the dungeon returned. Harry was sitting in a different seat, still on the highest bench, but now to the left side of Mr. Crouch.

"It will be put to the vote," said Mr. Crouch coldly. He turned to the right-hand side of the dungeon. "The jury will please ...

2 Answers 2


I don't think Crouch is accusing Dumbledore of having done anything despicable, certainly not over and above anybody else.

No I think he is saying that the fact that Bagman has got off (from Crouch's perspective apparently because he's a famous Quidditch star - I mean one person even congratulated him on his recent performance in a match) is despicable. He's commenting on the events of the trial. (See Andrew's existing answer.)

The reason he appears to be saying this to Dumbledore is presumably because he respects Dumbledore and perhaps hopes and assumes that Dumbledore sympathises with his perspective.

If you were watching a game of Quidditch football and your team gave away a goal by playing poorly, you might turn to your friend in the stands and say something like "bloody ridiculous!" Obviously you're not accusing your friend of being ridiculous.


Dumbledore (and everyone else in the room) is allowing a famous athlete be cleared of all charges for a crime that Crouch felt Ludo was guilty of; Crouch considered this despicable favoritism (one of the jury complimented Bagman for his Quidditch skills immediately after the acquittal, which gives Crouch's suspicion of favoritism some credence).

  • But why would Crouch say this specifically at Dumbledore, when everyone else was also supporting Bagman? Jan 17 at 4:21
  • 2
    Possibly because it's Dumbledore's memory. I'll look into this a bit further (tomorrow)
    – Andrew
    Jan 17 at 4:23
  • Interesting. So viewing memories in the Pensieve isn't necessarily an exact record of what happened, but could be affected by how the user remembers (or not) it? Jan 17 at 4:28
  • @transcendentals139 Isn't that what happens with Slughorn's memory?
    – Tashus
    Jan 17 at 17:13
  • 4
    @transcendentals139 Dumbledore was next to him. If he wanted to tell someone else it was despicable, he'd have to shout (or send an owl).
    – Sneftel
    Jan 18 at 10:49

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