How did Bartemius Crouch Jr. know who Remus and Arthur were? Since he was a Death Eater, why would he know about them? All pages are from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, soft cover, Bloomsbury edition.

On page 186 Harry Potter: And The Goblet of Fire, he says:

I've had a letter from Professor Lupin about this class[...]

On page 187 he says:

You'll be Arthur Weasley's son, eh? [He says this after Ron blurts out in class]

On page 188 he says:

Ah, yes... your father would know that one. [In relation to Ron answering a question from Alastor about the Unforgivable Curses]

In chronological order of these events, why would Remus send a letter to a Dark wizard (if this story is true)? How did Bartemius Crouch Jr. know who Ron was, and who his father was?

  • 7
    As the previous DADA teacher, Lupin probably wrote to Moody, not Crouch Jr, to catch him up on what the class already knew. But Crouch was impersonating Moody, which probably includes reading all his letters.
    – alexwlchan
    Commented May 7, 2015 at 20:48
  • Presumably he got his intel from his master, who in turn had it from Wormtail, who knew both Remus and the Weasley family. And Remus assumed he wrote to the real Alastor Moody, not Barty jr., as @alexwlchan already said, 3 seconds faster then I managed to :P
    – BMWurm
    Commented May 7, 2015 at 20:48
  • As far as I know, canon doesn't indicate it was tradition for DADA teachers to write to their replacements. However, canon does establish that the Death Eaters and the Order members kept close tabs on each other and actively attempted to identify each other. Both Remus and Arthur were known Order members. I think it's more likely that while preparing to impersonate Moody and infiltrate Hogwarts, Barty Crouch Jr. was advised by Voldemort or Wormtail who the known Order members (& their families) were. $0.02! :) Commented May 7, 2015 at 21:43
  • Ran out of room, so excuse the second comment -- I don't think this is a bad question at all. It's something I hadn't considered before. :) Commented May 7, 2015 at 21:52
  • @Slytherincess Lupin was easily the best DADA teacher they ever had, and actually cared about their education (a radical notion, apparently). I'm not saying it was common practice, but I think Lupin would have done it. Especially if he and Moody were in the Order together, and were both personal friends of Dumbledore.
    – alexwlchan
    Commented May 7, 2015 at 22:20

3 Answers 3


First of all, remember that Barty Crouch Jr., Arthur, and Lupin all attended Hogwarts. Barty Jr. was 18 or 19 at the time of his conviction, and Lupin probably about 21, which would mean that they attended school together for at least four years. Assuming that Barty Jr. was not in Gryffindor (the books do not name his House), he and Remus might not have known one another well. Still, Remus was a prefect, and therefore would have been one of the more visible students in the school during Barty Jr.'s time there. Arthur, of course, was older, and his time at Hogwarts did not overlap with either Lupin's or Barty Jr.'s. Most likely Barty Jr. was familiar with Arthur through other means.

The Weasleys, like the Crouches, are a very old pureblood family. Given Barty's attraction to Voldemort's ideology, he would probably have known the family for that reason alone. (That Weasleys are famous for their red hair would make also make them rather easy to identify.) Additionally, Barty Crouch Jr.'s father was a high-ranking Ministry employee. He knew Arthur personally, and it is possible that Barty Jr. learned about Arthur through listening to his father talk. Alternately, Barty Jr. might be familiar with Arthur because he is considered a "blood traitor." Arthur was not known to have been active against Voldemort in the First Wizarding War, but his refusal to associate with the Death Eaters might have been enough to infuriate some of them. (And although Voldemort was not forthcoming about his plans, he had no problem letting others know when he hated someone.) After his escape from his father's custody, Barty likely learned the details of Harry Potter's close friendship with the Weasley family through Peter Pettigrew, which would have made him want to keep an eye on Ron as well as Harry. (The red hair, I'm sure, made his task simpler.) As Anthony notes, he was also able to observe them together at the Quidditch World Cup.

Barty Jr. may have known about Lupin's past involvement with the Order of the Phoenix, but as Lupin was away from Hogwarts, and therefore from Harry, Lupin was probably not a major concern. Very likely the letter that Barty Jr. mentioned to the class was indeed sent by Lupin--to the real Moody. Lupin would have known Moody since both were involved in the First Wizarding War. Even if they had not been acquainted, Lupin would have probably wanted to inform the next DADA teacher of where the students were academically. He knew firsthand how difficult it could be to walk into a classroom with little information on the students' prior instruction. Barty Jr. had only to steal the letter from Moody--and considering that he kidnapped the man himself, that would hardly have been difficult.

  • 3
    Another option for the letter is that Lupin never wrote it for Moody as such, but simply for the DADA teacher who was to succeed him. He could either have sent it to Hogwarts to await the arrival of the next DADA teacher, or he could indeed have written it at Hogwarts before leaving, leaving it in the DADA teacher’s office for when his successor arrived. Moody’s wording doesn’t unambiguously say that the letter was sent straight to him personally, just that he has received it. Commented May 9, 2015 at 10:19
  • Lengthy, but very well written and answers my question.
    – Jake
    Commented May 11, 2015 at 0:16

In chronological order of these events, why would Remus send a letter to a Dark wizard (if this story is true)?

Lupin didn't send a letter to a Dark wizard. He sent a letter to a retired Auror who was going to be taking over teaching the subject that Lupin has just recently retired from teaching himself. There's absolutely nothing unusual about that.

How did Bartemius Crouch Jr. know who Ron was, and who his father was?

E. J. comes up with lots of plausible explanations for this in their answer, but I think there's a simpler one that has been missed: He was sat behind them at the Quidditch World Cup. He would have seen the Weasleys enter with Harry and would have heard all of their conversations. He also would have interacted with Arthur on the night that he attacked Moody and took his place using the Polyjuice Potion.

  • Interacting with Arthur that one night and seeing Harry with the Weasleys would not have enabled him to deduce that “Oh yes, your father would know that one” remark, though; so some level of background briefing must have taken place also. Still, both are very good points. Commented May 9, 2015 at 10:21

I have an entirely speculative answer. Whilst the current answers do address your question, I have more of an overall general theory.

Barty Crouch Jr. was planning on impersonating Mad-Eye Moody for a year. He had a plan in place to ensure Harry got into the Triwizard tournament, came first and grabbed the cup in order to be transported to Wormtail.

That means that he needed to know Mad-Eye Moody well enough to be able to impersonate him until at least the end of the school year. Perhaps if he had not been found out, he could have spied on the Order for even longer impersonating Alistair.

In order to keep up the charade that he was Mad-Eye Moody, he would have needed to do meticulous research into his life. He was going into a place where dozens of people who knew Mad-Eye Moody well were going to be, and convince them that that was who he was.

He was in constant contact with previous Order of the Phoenix members and colleagues of Moody, not to mention Dumbledore himself, so he would have to have at least some idea about his life in case someone off-handedly said "hey, you remember that time that we did that thing?"

Whether he did this magically or not is not stated (I don't think. Barty may have forced out Moody's memories and seen them in a Pensieve or something), but he would have needed to have a good idea about Mad-Eye's past in order to keep up the act and not arouse suspicion, which he did very well.

In this case, knowing who Lupin was and who the Weasleys were would have been a trivial detail. If Alistair knew who they were, then Crouch needed to as well. This means he would have definitely known who Lupin was, as they served in the Order together.

Even if Mad-Eye didn't know who Arthur was personally, Malfoy knew who Ron was immediately just by his father's descriptions (presumably. Apparently one can spot a Weasley from a mile off thanks to their red hair and hand-me-down robes.)

  • Good points—but Moody’s first name is Alastor, not Alistair. Commented May 9, 2015 at 10:27

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