New Department, New Struggles

In history, it is the odd-couple relationships that often leave an impression. For the muggles, such couples can range from Desi Arnez and Lucile Ball to Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Wizarding history is certainly marked by their own odd pairings, but in recent memory none stand in such stark contrast as the leaders of the newly created Department for Parks and Magical Creature Preservation.

Christened last Thursday and the sprawling estate of Banister Culpepper, a longtime advocate for the care of magical creatures and wilderness preservation, the PCMP seemed to be off to a great start. The exclusive guest list for the event brought out the biggest names in Wizarding Sports, Arts and Entertainment and even the Secretary of Magic himself made an appearance at the beginning of the night. Seraphina Marks held a commanding presence and gave a speech during which she graciously accepted the position publicly and set the tone for the expansive department, emphasizing a commitment of large scale resources to department’s long-term goals.

Marks was the star of the show, dressed to kill for her debuted in the latest fashion from a certain 5th Avenue clothier. Her speech, given shortly after sunset, was followed by a brief question and answer session. All seemed to be going well for Marks until an unidentified voice asked how Marks felt about the choice of Jake Winchester as her deputy. “”I’m looking forward to working with Jake again. He still seems a little rough around the edges, but I think we’re definitely coming together toward the common goal.” Before she could move on, there came a follow up question. “Winchester has been quoted as saying that he “thought the party was a big waste of money” and that the direction of his new post could be hallmarked by being “too big, [costing] too much, and [moving] too fast.”

Marks was all smiles, pausing briefly before replying. “Once he sees the bigger picture, he’ll fall in line and it’ll be great,” she replied, her tone warm but pointed. Marks concluded the questions.

Winchester, formerly Lieutenant Winchester of the Auror Corps and second to Anton Toveretski, had crept in as the speech was nearly concluded. Opposite Marks, and nearly everyone else at the gala, Winchester showed as he most always has, donning a leather jacket with blue jeans and a pair of boots still muddy from his day. He lingered in the wings of the gala, trying desperately not to draw attention to himself.

To top off the evening’s festivities a grand fireworks display was launched to light up the night to the amusement of lookers-on. Not long after, Marks and Winchester met for what seemed to be the first time in many months in a reunion that felt somewhat chilly. It started with pleasantries but escalated as Winchester doubled down on his comments without a second thought. Culpepper, the host for the gala was quick to strike up the band before the exchange boiled to shouting.

The new department has strong goals and a healthy room for growth. Marks is a clear choice to head the department and her vision, if brought to fruition, will be one that last for generations. That is, if she can win over her closest supporters who are likewise her biggest hurdle.