Lord Voldemort is known for using people to his advantage – either to give him vital information or to do his dirty work – and then dispose of them when they’re of no use to him anymore. One of those people was Bertha Jorkins, a low-level employee from the Ministry of Magic. So, where did Voldemort meet Bertha Jorkins, and how was she useful to him?
Bertha Jorkins revealed crucial information to Voldemort before the events of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. She told the Dark Lord about the Triwizard Cup being held at Hogwarts and about Barty Crouch Jr. being alive, hiding at his dad’s house.
Voldemort used that information to attack Harry during the Triwizard games and to get Barty to infiltrate Hogwarts, after which he killed Bertha in cold blood. There’s also a gruesome, horrifying fan theory revolving around Bertha Jorkins and Voldemort, but I’ll get to that in the last subheading. Let’s break down key pieces of information about Bertha Jorkins first.
Who Was Bertha Jorkins?
Bertha Jorkins was a character that briefly appeared in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire through Dumbledore’s memories and conversations, especially between Sirius Black and Harry.
She was a low-level employee at the Ministry of Magic, namely the Department of Magical Games. As Sirius revealed to Harry, she went to Hogwarts around the same time when himself, James Potter (Harry’s father), Remus Lupin, and Petter Pettigrew attended the school. Only, she was a couple of years older.
Sirius described her as “an idiot, but very nosy.” She wasn’t the brightest bulb in the room but had a nose for gossip similar to Rita Skeeter and had a very good memory – one she used to spread the gossip around.
At one moment, we see Dumbledore’s memory of Bertha, where she complained to him about another student putting a jinx on her because she followed him and his girlfriend, saw them kissing, and threatened to tell everyone in school.
As she grew older, she got a job in the Ministry of Magic, but not being the smartest witch around – and, seemingly abruptly losing her good memory – caused her to move back and forth between departments, eventually landing in the Department of Magical Games.
At one moment, Bertha took a vacation to Albania, from which she disappeared, never to return to the Ministry. The head of her department, Ludovic Bagman, claimed her memory was “like a leaky cauldron” and would “likely turn up sometime in October thinking it’s still July.”
That’s where things get interesting.
How Was Bertha Jorkins Useful To Voldemort?
Now, Bagman’s claims about Bertha’s poor memory didn’t sit well with Sirius, who knew her as an “idiot” but with a good memory. As it turns out, his doubts were true, and Bertha Jorkin’s nosiness got the best of her.
At one point before her disappearance, Bertha had a hunch that Barty Crouch Jr. – a former Death Eater who supposedly died in Azkaban – was actually still alive, hiding in his father’s house. She visited Barthemius Crouch Sr. to check it out and saw Barty there.
Worried she’d tell everybody, Barthemius put a Memory Charm on her, making Jorkins forget about Barty, but also severy depleting her memory in general.
Now, as Bertha went to Albania on vacation, she was intercepted and abducted by Peter Pettigrew, aka Wormtail, and taken to Lord Voldemort, who was still in his Wraith form. Voldemort took down Barthemius’s Memory Charm and tortured Bertha to reveal crucial information to him.
She eventually told him about Barty Crouch Jr. being alive. And, since she worked at the Department of Magical Games, Bertha also revealed that the Triwizard Cup would be held in Hogwarts. Voldemort used that information to get Barty on his side again and had him infiltrate Hogwarts, and he attacked Harry during the final game of the Triwizard Cup.
Finally, Bertha wasn’t useful just for the information. As the Memory Charm was broken, Bertha’s mind was utterly destroyed. She was no longer useful to Voldemort, so he used her one last time. The Dark Lord used Bertha Jorkins’ death to make Nagini – his beloved snake – the final Horcrux.
In Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince, Dumbledore said he believed the Nagini Horcrux was created when Voldemort killed an “old Muggle man,” possibly referring to Frank Bryce. However, that wasn’t the case, as Nagini was already a Horcrux when she killed Bryce.
Instead, JK Rowling revealed in an interview that Nagini became the final Horcrux in Albania after the murder of Bertha Jorkins.
Voldemort & Bertha Jorkins Horrifying Fan Theory
So, Voldemort used Bertha Jorkins for crucial information and used her death to create the final Horcrux with Nagini. However, fans theorize there’s even more to the story – and it’s as horrible as anything the Dark Lord had ever done.
When we first saw Voldemort at the graveyard in the Goblet of Fire, he appeared in sort of a fetus form, which Peter Pettigrew carried around and eventually dropped into the cauldron. Before that, we only saw Voldemort in his Wraith, bodiless form, or possessing others, like Professor Quirrell. So, how did he get into the fetus form?
Well, some fans theorize that Bertha Jorkins was actually pregnant and went to Albania to give birth and hide, either from the Death Eaters, Voldemort, or whoever was the father of the child. When the Dark Lord caught her, fans suggest he not only killed Bertha but possessed the fetus of her unborn child.
Now, the theory would make sense and explain how Voldemort turned into that particular form – added to the fact that JK Rowling said the first draft of the Goblet of Fire book was so gruesome that her editor was “sick to the stomach” when reading it.
The problem is that Bertha Jorkins was never revealed to be married or to have any particular lover, for that matter. The baby would have to come out of the blue, unbeknownst to the reader who the father is or even might be. It’s certainly a gruesome theory, but there’s not much proof surrounding it.