A Bend In Time Book 4 Chapter 299


Volume 4: Volume 4 Chapter 299 Master Belby

A haggard middle-aged wizard with spectacles hanging off the bridge of his pale nose furrowed his brow as he took out a quill and used red ink to mark the journalist article before him. The door suddenly slams open as Miss Twinkle, his secretary, a witch with bright pink lipstick stands there a bit breathlessly.

"Yes, Miss Twinkle?" Said, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Prophet, Barnabas Cuffe.

"A missive from the Minister of Magic, sir!" Miss Twinkle excitedly said. "They want the Daily Prophet to hold the morning edition as they'll be making an emergency announcement in thirty minutes!"

"What?!" Cuffe shouted causing his chair to slide back with a screech. "Give me that!" Cuffe said as Miss Twinkle eagerly shoved the missive into his hands. "Get me Skeeter! I want her there in less than five minutes to meet me there!"

"Yes, Editor Cuffe!" Miss Twinkle said, before scurrying off to try to find Rita Skeeter.

Grabbing his coat off his chair, Cuffe pulled on his coat as he hurried out the door only slamming the door behind him. He rushed past the startled members of the office as he made his way to the printing room to a skidding stop. In the doorway, he roared, "Stop the front-page presses!"

The middle-aged manager in charge of the Daily Prophet presses stares as shoves his spectacles up his nose. "What is the meaning of this, Editor Cuffe?" The manager asked rather unhappily.

"The minister is making an emergency announcement!" Editor Cuffe said. "If it's that important, we're going to at least need the front page."

"Understood, Editor," the manager said, before shouting out to those in the room. "I want everything to be ready lickety-split. We'll be running on crunch time people!" The members of the printers rush off to make the needed adjustments as Cuffe marches out the door and leaves them to their work.

Cuffe makes his way to the nearest floo portal and floo's away into the ministry. Other small newspapers were already present in the main lobby as they eagerly whispered and waited for the announcement to be made. Cuffe glances around before finally spotting Rita Skeeter already in place along with her photographer.

"Skeeter," Cuffe said as he strides over. "I feared that you would be late. How in merlin's name did you arrive faster than I did?"

"I didn't stop at the presses, sir," Skeeter beamed as her crocodile handbag was in her stubby, red clawed hands. She was impeccably dressed in her usual green leather with fur at the cuffs and at the collar. "On that note, sir, any inkling as to what the news might be about?"

"I'd hazard to say that they've either caught the attackers or there's been another attack," Cuffe hazard to guess.

"Not the Quidditch World Cup, sir?" Skeeter said in surprise.

"The people are getting tired of the same old rehashed topic; they love drama and gossip!" Cuffe wisely said. "And besides I doubt the Ministry would dare to make any other kind of announcement at this time."

"Fair enough, sir," Skeeter replied as she intently glanced around. "And will you like for me to cover the ending of the Wizengamot trial in regard to the accused attacker? I do believe it's in two days."

"No," Cuffe dismissively said. "I'll have a junior reporter cover the scene instead."

"Thank you, sir," Skeeter said with a great deal of satisfaction.

They grow rather quiet as the main lobby fills with public officials until the appointed hour. Exactly on the dot, the Minister of Magic Eugenia emerges with an entourage. Her usual two guards, three members from the Ministry of Magic, four unknown men, and a rather tall, thin, sharp-looking man with sleeked back hair in dark jade robes.

The stout witch with thickly bobbed hair steps forward and addresses the flashing room. "My dear citizens of the wizarding world, I am proud to introduce the five men behind me," Minister Jenkins said as she pointed to Master Belby closest to her. "At my side allow me to present, Potions Master Belby, who is not only genius in his field but a man who has tirelessly worked on finding the cure for the curse known to werewolves." Skeeter's quill seemed to be working overtime as that of the other journalists as everyone held their breath.

"With the greatest of honor and awe, I am pleased to announce that Master Belby has found a cure to werewolfism," Minister Jenkins said causing the room to explode with questions.

Gesturing to them to quiet down, Minister Jenkins says, "I know all of you have questions and they will be answered in due time. Please allow me to finish." The reporters reluctantly quiet down as Cuffe eyes seem to bulge in disbelief still. But a wide grin slowly creeping on his face told another story. This morning's edition was going to sell like hotcakes.

Pointing to the other four men by Minister Jenkins side, she says, "Allow me to present, the four individuals who will go down in history forever as the first werewolves ever cured. Allow me to present wizards, Twizzle, Banks, Smythe, and Glackin." There is a hush over the crowd as if they're expecting the four men to transform into vicious werewolves and attack them.

"These four brave men were cured via a potion that is required to be taken during three full moons for the cure to take into effect. The curse is removed leaving behind a wolf animagus form," Minister Jenkins announced to the crowd's shock. "These gentlemen have happily complied with the existing ministry laws, and early this morning registered their new forms with our animagus registration office. These gentlemen's animagus forms are indeed that of wolves, but that is all they are now. Simple wizards who once again can relive their lives without fear of being hunted down nor of harming their loved ones."

The crowd is a bit silent until Minister Jenkins says, "Questions will now be answered at this time."

Instantly dozens of hands go up as the press secretary steps forth and points at one journalist. "Minister Jenkins, can we seem them transform?"

Minister Jenkins turns and glances at the four men. "None of you have too, but if one of you would like too that would be preferable."

One of the men, Banks, a tired-looking man who had a great big smile on his face stepped forth. Closing his eyes, he was still for a moment, before turning into the original white, greyish, brown color the now-extinct British wolves looked like. The crowd gasps, before Banks, transforms back into a man with a bit of pink to his cheeks.

"There you have it," Minister Jenkins said as she turned back.

"Minister, but how does the cure work?"

"The cure works in three stages; the first potion removes the curse of the bite. The second potion removes the forced transformations. While the third, rewrites the curse on the body and tricks the curse into submission via the animagus process. Allowing the former cursed to still transform into wolves fulfilling the requirement of the curse as ordinary animagus," Minister Jenkins replied.

Skeeter is called upon next and not one to mince her words, she says, "Minister Jenkins but what of those still cursed. Aren't they still a danger to society?" The crowd eagerly turns back as if scenting blood in the water.

Minister Jenkins frowns as she solemnly replies, "For too long fathers, mothers, children, husband and wives have had to suffer in silence watching loved ones transform all with the fear of protecting them and keeping themselves safe. The world at large has already punished them enough and we the Ministry of Magic will not take away their hope. For this is an illness, a disease that can at last be cured.

As the Minister of Magic, I solemnly vowed to protect and better the wizarding world. And so, I shall. To all those who are cursed, I say, please come out into the light and we will receive you. For too long you have been alone and afraid, please know that you are welcomed with open arms."

Minister Jenkins paused as she turned to say, "And yes, Miss Skeeter, I understand what you are referring too. If any werewolf such as the deceased terror known as Fenrir Grayback bit another wizard or muggle with the intention of cursing with the curse. They shall first be cured and then be charged and sentenced for the crimes. I believe Azkaban will be a suitable place for them to pay for their offense. For we are a people of order and we have laws already in place for such crimes."

Skeeter visibly deflates as she unhappily writes the carefully spoken answer, before the next question is asked. "And what will the Ministry of Magic be doing for the Werewolves in the meantime?"

"As the potion can only be administrated during the next full moon, we request that those cursed please either sign up at their local potions guild or with the Ministry of Magic. For those that cannot afford the potion, the Ministry will pay for the cure provided the cursed register with the Ministry of Magic in our official department of Werewolf Registration.

The Ministry is also offering use of our holding cells to any werewolf during the first two required potion dosages. As the cursed individual will still transform during the first two times, we request that they be used as this will provide a safe environment for themselves and others. We would hate for an accident to happen now that the cure is within sight. And as for the third and final potion, the reason for our not offering is that the potion can be taken in the privacy of the home. And I do believe that most special moment will want to be shared with their family," Minister Jenkins firmly stated.

"And what about after the cure?"

Minister Jenkins chuckles and answers, "Why they are regular citizens of course. With the side addition of their being registered as animagus. For I don't need to remind anyone that an unregistered animagus form is punishable up to ten years in Azkaban." Skeeter slightly flinches at that as she pointedly doesn't glance in the direction of the Minister.

"What about sharing the cure with the world?"

"Given that we don't want any incidents occurring, the Ministry of Magic will be turning over copies of the formula cure directly to the officials from all over the world that will be in attendance during the Quidditch World Cup. This will not only preserve Master Belby's credit as the sole creator but also give Master Belby the recognition that he is owed. And not to mention to promote the ongoing exchange between all the wizarding Ministries of the world," Minister Jenkins coolly answered.

The questions continued for some time before at last, the reporters were satisfied. Naturally, Cuffe was thrilled as he ordered Skeeter to write a proper report. Not that Skeeter was pleased as the Minister of Magic had cleverly avoided all pitfalls. But with a snarl, Skeeter did as she was told as the morning edition of the Daily Prophet went out a bit late that morning. And with it the wizarding world was unknowingly changed forevermore.