Text 4: Karkaroff's hearing
Goblet of Fire, p. 507-513
[Harry] wanted to touch [the contents of the Pensieve], 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 from the inside of his robes, cast a nervous look around the office, looked back at the contents of the basin, and prodded them. The surface of the silvery stuff inside the basin began to swirl very fast.
Harry bent closer, his head right inside the cabinet. The silvery substance had become transparent; it looked like glass. 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.
The room was dimly lit; he thought it might even be underground, for there were no windows, merely torches in brackets such as the ones that illuminated the walls of Hogwarts. Lowering his face so that his nose was a mere inch from the glassy substance, Harry saw that rows and rows of witches and wizards were sat around every wall on what seemed to be benches rising in levels. An empty chair stood in the very centre of the room. There was something about the chair that gave Harry an ominous feeling. Chains encircled the arms of it, as though its occupants were usually tied to it.
Where was this place? It surely wasn't Hogwarts; he had never seen a room like that here in the castle. Moreover, the crowd in the mysterious room at the bottom of the basin was composed of adults, and Harry knew there were not nearly that many teachers at Hogwarts. They seemed, he thought, to be waiting for something; even though he could only see the tops of their pointed hats, they all seemed to be facing in one direction, and nobody was talking to anybody else.
The basin being circular, and the room he was observing square, Harry could not make out what was going on in the corners of it. He leant even closer, tilting his head, trying to see
The tip of his nose touched the strange substance into which he was staring.
Dumbledore's office gave an almighty lurch - Harry was thrown forwards and pitched headfirst into the substance inside the basin -
But his head did not hit the stone bottom. He was falling through something icy cold and black; it was like being sucked into a dark whirlpool -
And suddenly, he found himself sitting on a bench at the end of the room inside the basin, a bench raised high above the others. He looked up at the high stone ceiling, expecting to see the circular window through which he had just been staring, but there was nothing there but dark, solid stone.
Breathing hard and fast, Harry looked around him. Not one of the witches and wizards in the room (and there were at least two hundred of them) was looking at him. Not one of them seemed to have noticed that a fourteen-year-old boy had just dropped from the ceiling into their midst. Harry turned to the wizard next to him on the bench, and uttered a loud cry of surprise that reverberated around the silent room.
He was sitting right next to Albus Dumbledore.
'Professor!' Harry said, in a kind of strangled whisper. 'I'm sorry - I didn't mean to - I was just looking at that basin in your cabinet - I - where are we?'
But Dumbledore didn't move or speak. He ignored Harry completely. Like every other wizard on the benches, he was staring into the far corner of the room, where there was a door.
Harry gazed, nonplussed, at Dumbledore, then around at the silently watchful crowd, then back at Dumbledore. And then it dawned on him
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
Harry raised his right hand, hesitated, and then waved it energetically in front of Dumbledore's face. Dumbledore did not blink, look around at Harry, or indeed move at all. And that, in Harry's opinion, settled the matter. Dumbledore wouldn't ignore him like that. He was inside a memory, and this was not the present-day Dumbledore. Yet it couldn't be too long ago
the Dumbledore sitting next to him now was silver-haired, just like the present-day Dumbledore. But what was this place? What were all these wizards waiting for?
Harry looked around more carefully. The room, as he had suspected when observing it from above, was most certainly underground - more of a dungeon than a room, he thought. There was a bleak and forbidding air about the place; there were no pictures on the walls, no decorations at all; just these serried rows of benches, rising in levels all around the room, all positioned so that they had a clear view of that chair with the chains on its arms.
Before Harry could reach any conclusions about the place in which they were, he heard footsteps. The door in the corner of the dungeon opened, and three people entered - or at least, one man, flanked by two Dementors.
Harry's insides went cold. The Dementors, tall, hooded creatures whose faces were concealed, were gliding slowly towards the chair in the centre of the room, each grasping one of the man's arms with their dead and rotten-looking hands. The man between them looked as though he was about to faint, and Harry couldn't blame him
he knew the Dementors could not touch him inside a memory, but Harry remembered their power only too well. The watching crowd recoiled slightly as the Dementors placed the man in the chained chair and glided back out of the room. The door swung shut behind them.
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. He was not dressed in sleek furs, but in thin and ragged robes. He was shaking. Even as Harry watched, the chains on the arms of the chair glowed suddenly gold, and snaked their way up his arms, binding him there.
'Igor Karkaroff,' said a curt voice to Harry's left. Harry looked around, and saw Mr Crouch standing up in the middle of the bench beside him. Crouch's hair was dark, his face was much less lined, he looked fit and alert. 'You have been brought from Azkaban to give evidence to the Ministry of Magic. You have given us to understand that you have important information for us.'
Karkaroff straightened himself as best he could, tightly bound to the chair.
'I have, sir,' he said, and although his voice was very scared, Harry could still hear the familiar unctuous note in it. 'I wish to be of use to the Ministry. I wish to help. I - I know that the Ministry is trying to - to round up the last of the Dark Lord's supporters. I am eager to assist in any way I can
There was a murmur around the benches. Some of the wizards and witches were surveying Karkaroff with interest, others with pronounced mistrust. Then Harry heard, quite distinctly, from Dumbledore's other side, a familiar, growling voice saying, 'Filth.'
Harry leant forwards so that he could see past Dumbledore. Mad-Eye Moody was sitting there - though there was a very noticeable difference in his appearance. He did not have his magical eye, but two normal ones. Both were looking down upon Karkaroff, and both were narrowed in intense dislike.
'Crouch is going to let him out,' Moody breathed quietly to Dumbledore. 'He'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. Let's hear his information, I say, and throw him straight back to the Dementors.'
Dumbledore made a small noise of dissent through his long, crooked nose.
'Ah, I was forgetting
you don't like the Dementors, do you Albus?' said Moody, with a sardonic smile.
'No,' said Dumbledore calmly, 'I'm afraid I don't. I have long felt that the Ministry is wrong to ally itself with such creatures.'
'But for filth like this
' Moody said softly.
'You say you have names for us, Karkaroff,' said Mr Crouch. 'Let us hear them, please.'
'You must understand,' said Karkaroff hurriedly, 'that He Who Must Not Be Named operated always in the greatest secrecy
he preferred that we - I mean to say, his supporters - and I regret now, very deeply, that I ever counted myself among them -'
'Get on with it,' sneered Moody.
'- 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, turning all of them in,' muttered Moody.
'Yet you say you have some names for us?' said Mr Crouch.
'I - I do,' said Karkaroff breathlessly, 'And these were important supporters, mark you. People I saw with my own eyes doing his bidding. I give this information as a sign that I fully and totally renounce him, and I am filled with a remorse so deep I can barely -'
'These names are?' said Mr Crouch sharply.
'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.'
'Indeed?' said Karkaroff, his eyes widening. 'I - I am delighted to hear it!'
But he didn't look it. Harry could tell that this news had come as a real blow to him. One of his names was worthless.
'Any others?' said Crouch coldly.
there was Rosier,' said Karkaroff hurriedly. 'Evan Rosier'
'Rosier is dead,' said Crouch. 'He was caught shortly after you were, too. He preferred to fight rather than coming 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.
'No - no more than Rosier deserved!' said Karkaroff, a real note of panic in his voice now. Harry could see that he was starting to worry that none of his information would be any use to the Ministry. Karkaroff's eyes darted towards the door in the corner, behind which the Dementors undoubtedly still stood, waiting.
'Any more?' said Crouch.
'Yes!' said Karkaroff. 'There was Travers - he helped murder the McKinnons! Mulciber - he specialised in the Imperious curse, forced countless people to do horrific things! Rookwood, who was a spy, and passed He Who Must Not Be Named useful information from inside the Ministry itself!'
Harry could tell that, this time, Karkaroff had struck gold. The watching crowd were all murmuring together.
'Rookwood?' said Mr Crouch, nodding to a witch sitting in front of him, who began scribbling upon her piece of parchment. 'Augustus Rookwood of the Department of Mysteries?'
'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 -'
'But Travers and Mulciber we have,' said Mr Crouch. 'Very well, Karkaroff, if that is all, you will be returned to Azkaban while we decide -'
'Not yet!' cried Karkaroff, looking quite desperate. 'Wait, I have more!'
Harry could see him sweating in the torchlight, his white skin contrasting strongly with the black of his hair and beard.
'Snape!' he shouted. 'Severus Snape!'
'Snape has been cleared by this council,' said Crouch coldly. 'He has been vouched for by Albus Dumbledore.'
'No!' shouted Karkaroff, straining at the chains which bound him to the chair. 'I assure you! Severus Snape is a Death Eater!'
Dumbledore had got to his feet. 'I have given evidence already on this matter,' he said calmly. '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. He is now no more a Death Eater than I am.'
Harry turned to look at Mad-Eye Moody. He was wearing a look of deep scepticism behind Dumbledore's back.
'Very well, Karkaroff,' Crouch said coldly, 'you have been of assistance, I shall review your case. You will return to Azkaban in the meantime
Mr Crouch's voice faded. Harry looked around; the dungeon was dissolving as though it was made of smoke; everything was fading, he could see only his own body, all else was swirling darkness