Chapter 1 : Chapter 1
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When I turned twenty-two, I found out how badly misinformed I was. I had just moved to the United States for a work abroad program. For the next eight months, I would call Los Angeles - a large city in California - my home. I found myself a nice studio in a wizarding community, overlooking Venice Beach, and slowly started to orient myself with the massive city that surrounded me.
Shortly after my move, I was scheduled to start work. I showed up on my first day filled with apprehension and nerves. I had never held a job before; I would have no friends in the office to rely on. When I arrived there, my hands were shaking so badly I had to take a moment to calm myself down.
Once inside the massive office building, I met my boss. He was a nice, balding man in his fifties who spoke very rapidly. His strange accent made it hard for me to understand what he was saying at first, but I tried my best to keep up. As he talked, we walked around the office, where he paused periodically to introduce me to one co-worker or another. Honestly, it was such a whirlwind that I couldn’t keep any of their names straight. All of them seemed to blur together...except for one.
I had been introduced to almost everyone in the office before we walked up to John’s desk. He looked something like a Greek statue with his long flowing blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. He wore a beautifully tailored business suit that fit his chiseled physique well. We hit it off immediately.
As we talked, I felt suddenly self conscious. I kept tugging at my hair or smoothing over my clothes. Every time John smiled, my knees felt weak and my heart started to pound. He was intoxicating and I was drunk off of him.
Over the course of the next few weeks, John and I chatted endlessly at work. To tell you the truth I was quite smitten with him. Most of the time our conversations were light, but upon occasion we would talk about politics. John seemed particularly interested in the differences between politics in the UK compared to America.
One time we got into a particularly heated debate over werewolves' rights. He asked me for my opinion on werewolves and without thinking I spewed out everything I was taught in school: Werewolves were dirty, they liked the taste of flesh and if, any self respecting wizard found themselves bit by a werewolf, they ought to disappear into a deserted mountain cave to live out the rest of their life in shame.
John told me that werewolves were people too and that in the United States they were protected by anti-discrimination laws. I just couldn’t fathom it. I told him that just knowing a werewolf would be enough to make me die of shame. I didn’t understand it then, but he got really upset.
Finally, after weeks of flirtatious banter, he asked me on a date. Of course, I said yes. I won’t bore you with the specifics, but suffice it to say it was excellent and by the end of it I was thinking he might be the one. That date led to more dates and things started to progress rapidly.
After two months, I was head over heels for John. At three months we were practically living together. Everything was perfect in my world for the moment, but trouble was brewing on the horizon.
After we began living together, I noticed that John would disappear for about a week periodically. He said it was for work assignments and although I wanted to believe him, something in my gut told me that he was lying. I asked him about it repeatedly to see if his story would change, but it never did. I even went to my boss and asked him about these assignments; he told me he couldn’t discuss John’s work, but I should trust him. I wanted so badly to trust him, but I just couldn’t let it go.
As the months passed, I imagined him running off to some buxom brunette goddess and spending the week in her bed. As my jealousy grew, my actions became more and more insane. It all culminated when I called my cousin in Britain, who was once a high ranking official within the Ministry of Magic. I asked him if he had any contacts in California who could get me a copy of John’s floo record. It took a few weeks longer than I originally anticipated, but finally my cousin owled me the address.
I didn’t say anything to John. I just simply waited for him to leave on one of his supposed work assignments again. The day after he left I headed to the address that my cousin had given me. It was way on the outskirts of Los Angeles. When I arrived at the house, I was quite taken aback. It was small and it seemed that no one lived within a few miles of it.
Looking at it, I was filled with a sense of rage. There was nothing special here. No super model waiting in the doorway. It was just a quiet little house on an old abandoned road. As my anger boiled over, I ran up the steps and pounded on the door. Nobody answered, but I was certain I saw the curtains move. I whipped out my wand and whispered “Alohamora." The door popped open and I stepped inside.
I was just shutting the door behind me when I heard growling. I turned around to find myself face to face with a massive werewolf. Saliva was dripping from his glistening fangs, his mouth was pulled back in a cruel snarl and his eyes were locked on me. I held still trying not to panic, but fear was causing my heart to beat erratically in my chest. I tried to raise my wand, but the beast lunged at me.
After that, my memory goes blank for several days.
I awoke what must have been three or four days later, all alone in that stupid house. My body throbbed all over and when I found a mirror I could see that I was covered in bite marks. I took my wand and tried to use several different healing spells on the wounds, but none of them worked. With each attempt, my movements became more frantic until I was almost jabbing myself with my wand.
It was then that it hit me. I had been mauled by a werewolf, who at this point I was pretty certain was the love of my life. I sat down there in front of the mirror and cried until I had nothing left.
Once the tears stopped, I managed to find a bathroom, which thankfully had running water. I turned on the shower and let the hot water scald my back. No matter how long I stood there, I still felt dirty. John had hidden his condition from me -- no doubt due to my horrific ignorance on the subject, and this was the consequence of it.
Eventually I gave up on feeling clean and decided to leave. As I hobbled to the front door, I passed the spot where I was laying earlier and noticed a note on the floor. I snatched it up quickly and consumed every word written on it.
My Dearest Pansy,
You were right. I am a horrible, monstrous beast who cannot control my cravings for flesh. I have mauled the only woman I’ve ever loved and now I plan to die from shame. I will never forgive myself for what I’ve done to you. I wish I could’ve been better for you.
My stomach lurched and its acidic contents scorched my throat. I wrapped my knees up to my chest and rocked myself as the tears started to fall. Now that I was a werewolf, he was abandoning me. I couldn’t fathom it. I flew home as quickly as I could in my injured state only to find our apartment empty. All of his things were gone. I asked everyone that knew him, but no one seemed to know where he was.
After a full month of trying to find him, I gave up. Friends in the U.S. suggested that I stay, but I couldn’t face the reminders of the life I had destroyed. I returned to England a broken woman with a shameful secret. I was a bit stuck since I couldn’t go home to my Pureblood family. If they found out what I was, I would certainly be disowned, so I found a werewolf colony as far away from London as I could get.
I have been living here for over a year now and have learned the hard way how badly werewolves are discriminated against. For example, did you know it is legal to bar a werewolf from your place of business in England even when there is no full moon? If a landlord finds out that you are a werewolf, he can evict you from your property without proper notice. These types of laws are all specifically designed to keep the werewolf population on the outskirts of society.
Even more insidious is the general opinion of the public. I have heard very educated people saying things like, “You can catch lycanthropy by sharing a room with a werewolf," or, “Werewolves crave human flesh even when they aren’t in their werewolf state.” Neither of which are true by the way.
In Defense Against The Dark Arts classes at Hogwarts, students are still taught about werewolves as if they are dark creatures, not wizards suffering from a medical condition. It’s an antiquated curriculum that leads to more ignorance than actual knowledge.
At first I was terrified to share my story because, I was afraid to deal with the shame I felt at being a werewolf and the heartbreak I felt at being abandoned by my love, but I’ve come to realize that if we don’t speak out nothing will ever change. There are hundreds of us across the country in hiding. Many of us are educated and could be productive members of society, but instead we are living on the fringes.
I also want to take this opportunity to mention that there is treatment for our condition, but it is hard to make and expensive. Even though our country provides medical care, the Wolfsbane potion is not covered, leaving many of us without the treatment that we so desperately need.
It is time for this maltreatment to end.
This story was my very first one-shot and was written for The Lycanthropy Challenge. The character I was assigned was Pansy Parkinson. I really wanted to try and find a way for her to become a werewolf, but to really be changed and to grow from it. This was sort of what I came up with.
Originally, I had intended for this to be an article for The Daily Prophet, but due to site rules, I had to change that plan. That’s how this monologue came about.
I would like to give special thanks to the amazing, extraordinary Meg (Unicorn_Charm) who has been kind enough to beta this for me. If you haven’t read her work, you absolutely should because it’s fantastic!
Thank you as always for reading and I’d love to hear any feedback you have!
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