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In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, chapter 30, Amycus Carrow says

‘We can push it off on the kids,’ said Amycus, his pig-like face suddenly crafty. ‘Yeah, that's what we'll do. We'll say Alecto was ambushed by the kids, them kids up there,’ he looked up at the starry ceiling towards the dormitories, ‘and we'll say they forced her to press her Mark, and that's why he got a false alarm … he can punish them. Couple of kids more or less, what's the difference?’

But you can't just lie to the Dark Lord, for he knows … he always knows … and he probably won't suffer it from his servants. As a Death Eater, Amycus should have known this. How could he ever think lying could be a good idea?

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    He most probably didn't; it was probably just a panicked ramble – user13267 May 30 '15 at 14:03
  • I agree with @user13267, although I wouldn't put it past Amycus to be stupid enough to try, he is after all not described as particularly witty. – BMWurm May 30 '15 at 14:10
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    Because he's a schmuck. – Valorum May 30 '15 at 20:19
  • See also scifi.stackexchange.com/q/134315/4918 "Why did Bartimaeus try to fool Uraziel?" – b_jonas Jul 11 '16 at 8:50
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Amycus was panicking, and panicked people are likely to ramble. But he also was probably not very bright. The books offer no indication that Amycus was particularly close to Voldemort--Voldemort cared about people based on how useful they were, and the Carrows were far less useful than someone like Bellatrix (for instance). They were relegated to indoctrinating students, rather than working to find Harry, control the Ministry, or wreak havoc around Britain. Neither was a capable teacher (Amycus couldn't even use correct grammar!), and if either had previous teaching experience, the books do not reference it. The Carrows seem to have been rather like Umbridge--less intelligent Slytherins who are ambitious, but not very competent. They gain greater control over the students than Umbridge did, but only because they are allowed to be extremely violent with them (Umbridge was cruel, but much more discreetly). There is also no evidence they had any success indoctrinating the students--only the Death Eaters' children, already indoctrinated by their parents, even liked their classes. Many more students rebelled outright. The Dark Arts had enticed many Hogwarts students in the past, but in the hands of the Carrows, the Dark Arts became just another way to bully the students. The things that attracted Voldemort, Lucius, Bellatrix, Snape, and so many others to the subject disappeared in the Carrows' incapable hands. They do not understand how their students think, so it should be no great surprise that their poor knowledge of people extends to Voldemort.

Voldemort's ability as a Legilimens seems to have been common knowledge among his followers, and Amycus should have been able to figure out Voldemort would be far more angry if he failed and lied about it than if he simply failed. But Amycus apparently didn't think that far. Lucius Malfoy, Bellatrix, and a number of more talented Death Eaters told Voldemort the truth about their mistakes and faced his anger: even in their panic, they knew better than to lie. Only Amycus was foolish enough to consider deception a plausible alternative.

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Amycus panicked and wanted to redirect the Dark Lord’s wrath.

Amycus likely didn’t think his plan through entirely. Once he felt that Alecto pressed her Dark Mark and had summoned the Dark Lord, me immediately attempted to find her, and grew increasingly panicked as he went and found that she didn’t have Harry and was Stunned.

“I dunno, do I? Shut it!’ snarled an uncouth voice that Harry knew was that of the Carrow brother, Amycus. ‘Alecto? Alecto? Are you there? Have you got him? Open the door!”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 30 (The Sacking of Severus Snape)

He realized that if the Dark Lord came and they didn’t have Harry to hand over to him, he’d be furious with them, and they’d be faced with whatever punishments he chose.

ALECTO! If he comes, and we haven’t got Potter – d’you want to go the same way as the Malfoys? ANSWER ME!”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 30 (The Sacking of Severus Snape)

He was very afraid of what the Dark Lord might do to Alecto if he got there to see she’d called him with no reason. His main concern was how angry the Dark Lord would be, so he was desperate to find a way to get the Dark Lord not to direct his anger at Alecto. Blaming the students, though it was unlikely to work, would have absolved her of any blame.

“She’s only Stunned,’ said Professor McGonagall impatiently, who had stooped down to examine Alecto. ‘She’ll be perfectly all right.’

‘No she bludgering well won’t!’ bellowed Amycus. ‘Not after the Dark Lord gets hold of her! She’s gorn and sent for him, I felt me Mark burn, and he thinks we’ve got Potter!”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 30 (The Sacking of Severus Snape)

Though lying to the Dark Lord, a skilled Legilimens, wasn’t a good plan, Amycus wasn’t particularly intelligent, and was also panicking. The Dark Lord was already on his way there, so Amycus had needed to think of something quickly, and that was the best he had come up with.

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I agree with E. J. that Amycus was panicking and came up with a bad plan desperately. But there's also another factor.

I think Amycus cared for his sister Alecto, and wanted to grab any chance to protect her, even if he had to suffer instead. If Amycus told the Dark Lord the truth, Alecto would be punished, because he's made a mistake: she's either summoned the Dark Lord in vain, or let Harry Potter slip and allowed the students to stun him. If Amycus didn't want to allow this, then her sister was probably important to him.

If Amycus made up a lie, then the Dark Lord will see through him and torture him, but there's a chance that in his anger he might not care about Alecto's original mistake too much. It's a slim chance, but it might just work, and he couldn't come up with anything better on the spot.

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