McCarthyism, Magical Style…

 “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” by J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré –

““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. I would say he became as ruthless and cruel as many on the Dark Side. He had his supporters, mind you —plenty of people thought he was going about things the right way, and there were a lot of witches and wizards clamoring for him to take over as Minister of Magic. When Voldemort disappeared, it looked like only a matter of time until Crouch got the top job. But then something rather unfortunate happened. . . .”

Sirius smiled grimly. “Crouch’s own son was caught with a group of Death Eaters who’d managed to talk their way out of Azkaban. Apparently they were trying to find Voldemort and return him to power.”

“Crouch’s son was caught?”gasped Hermione.

 “Yep,”said Sirius, throwing his chicken bone to Buckbeak, flinging himself back down on the ground beside the loaf of bread, and tearing it in half. “Nasty little shock for old Barty, I’d imagine. Should have spent a bit more time at home with his family, shouldn’t he? Ought to have left the office early once in a while . . . gotten to know his own son.””

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