So yesterday I finished plowing through the fourth book of J.K. Rowling's series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Good stuff, that.
Two passages in particular were timely enough that they had me turning to the front of the book to double-check the copyright date — 2000. The book was written before 9/11 and before the march to war in Iraq. Yet in these passages, Rowling seems far more prescient than her Professor Trelawney ever hoped to be.
(Warning: The second quote is a bit of a spoiler if you plan on reading the book. Both involve a bit of Hogwarts-ese, but the gist of both passages is clear even if you don't know a Muggle from a Malfoy.)
from pp. 526-527
"No, Barty Crouch was always very outspoken against the Dark Side. But then a lot of people who were against the Dark Side … well, you wouldn't understand … you're too young. …"
"That's what my dad said at the World Cup," said Ron, with a trace of irritation in his voice. "Try us, why don't you?"
A grin flashed across Sirius's thin face.
"All right, I'll try you. …" He walked once up the cave, back again, and then said, "Imagine that Voldemort's powerful now. You don't know who his supporters are, you don't know who's working for him and who isn't; you know he can control people so that they do terrible things without being able to stop themselves. You're scared for yourself, and your family, and your friends. Every week, news comes of more deaths, more disappearances, more torturing … the Ministry of Magic's in disarray, they don't know what to do, they're trying to keep everything hidden from the Muggles, but meanwhile, Muggles are dying too. Terror everywhere … panic … confusion … that's how it used to be.
"Well, times like that bring out the best in some people and the worst in others. Crouch's principles might've been good in the beginning — I wouldn't know. He rose quickly through the Ministry, and he started ordering very harsh measures against Voldemort's supporters. The Aurors were given new powers — powers to kill rather than capture, for instance. And I wasn't the only one who was handed straight to the dementors without trial. Crouch fought violence with violence, and authorized the use of the Unforgivable Curses against suspects. …"
from pg. 707:
"Voldemort has returned," Dumbledore repeated. "If you accept that fact straightaway, Fudge, and take the necessary measures, we may still be able to save the situation. The first and most essential step is to remove Azkaban from the control of the dementors –"
"Preposterous!" shouted Fudge again. "Remove the dementors? I'd be kicked out of office for suggesting it! Half of us only feel safe in our beds at night because we know the dementors are standing guard at Azkaban!"
"The rest of us sleep less soundly in our beds, Cornelius, knowing that you have put Lord Voldemort's most dangerous supporters in the care of creatures who will join him the instant he asks them!" said Dumbledore. …