There was a palpable excitement in the air Saturday morning as an enormous crowd huddled outside of St. Mungo’s Hospital amidst the torrential downpour and gusting wind.
Despite Mother Nature’s wrath on this bleak November morning, the brave souls in attendance had the excuse of a good cause to keep their spirits warm as the Remus Lupin Ward for Werewolves was opened today before a smiling portrait of the late Lycanthrope.
Many sported signs and banners of support along with steaming cups of tea as they faced the large makeshift stage where a very pale, yet very proud Edward “Teddy” Lupin stood, positively beaming out at the masses.
Teddy’s father was responsible for starting the long and very slow uplifting of ingrained prejudice and stigma towards Lycanthropes within the Wizarding Community when he valiantly died fighting to defeat the Dark Lord at the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998.
Before Remus’ selfless sacrifice, Werewolves were treated like a walking plague - forced to live marginalized, impoverished lives.
“It was absolutely archaic,” scoffs Jeanie Holt, head of the Department of the Control and Regulation of Magical Creatures. “People thought that Lycanthropy could be spread through something as innocuous as a handshake.”
The thirty-year-old shakes her head in what seems like pity, but she has little to feel sorry about as her 7-year struggle to transfer Werewolves into the ‘Beings’ division finally came to fruition this past summer.
“Everyone needs to remember that these people are first and foremost victims - and as Mr. Lupin reminded us - not inherently evil.”
Indeed, Remus was posthumously awarded the Order of Merlin, First Class for his truly heroic deeds and proved that his condition did not define him - nor does it define those who share his affliction.
While there is still no actual cure for Lycanthropy, the opening of the Ward at St. Mungo’s marks the first step towards advancements to make their monthly transitions as pain free as possible.
"We’ve got scores of Pain Relief and Wolfsbane Potion on hand,” says Derya Čiplak, a lovely young Adminstrator at the new Ward. “We’re hoping to make the week before and after the full moon as comfortable as we can for them.”
The Ward for Werewolves was privately funded by a group of anonymous donors and is equipped with over a hundred beds, a state of the art recreation facility and an enormous cafeteria where chocolate- recently discovered to ease the onset of mood swings before the full moon - is served alongside every meal. Moreover, the full treatment for Lycanthropes has been subsidized by the Ministry - including the cost of the once nearly unattainable Wolfsbane Potion.
The legislation was enacted following Holt’s ‘Werewolves Are Us’ Campaign, and was received with mostly positive support throughout the community.
However, there are still some who oppose the entire movement.
Why are my hard earned Galleons being spent on a day spa for some monster?” Spits John Erickson, a middle-aged office worker who is joined by a small group of like-minded protestors outside of the main crowd. “They should be helping out the average citizen, not blowing it all on potions and chocolates!”
Despite the dissent, Edward Lupin cuts the ribbon with a flourish amidst tumultuous applause as the Wizarding Community marks this momentous occasion with enthusiasm.
The twenty-year-old Hogwarts graduate and former Head Boy fought to hold back tears as he gripped tightly onto the hand of his blindingly beautiful girlfriend, Victoire Weasley - both of their fathers having been savaged by Fenrir Greyback.
The grand opening brought out many famous and familiar faces; Ron and Hermione Granger-Weasley holding hands as they cheered enthusiastically while Harry and Ginny Potter marked the moment with a warm embrace - surrounded by their clapping children. Also notably present was Draco and Scorpius Malfoy, the former standing a little further from the crowd than his bright-faced son.
All in all, the day was a success and with the next full moon on November 23rd, the staff at St. Mungo’s are looking forward to making any and all of their new patients feel welcome.
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