Thanks to Alex for writing this post for me – excellent research into a new topic.
Teddy Remus Lupin was the first and only child of Remus and Nymphadora Lupin (Tonks).
Remus and Tonks were both killed shortly after Teddy’s birth in the Battle of Hogwarts, leaving Teddy as an orphan, an orphan of war. Teddy was named after Nymphadora’s father, Ted Tonks. He was raised by his grandmother but also by his God Father – Harry Potter.
Being an orphan of war was something Harry was well aware of, after all he was orphaned in a very similar way.
I am sure we all believe kids are innocent and more than anyone else they do not deserve to feel pain but we also all know it does happen, both in the stories of Harry Potter and in real life.
It is something that, last year especially was in a lot of people’s minds with 2014 being the 100th anniversary of The First World War. Although very few people born in that time are still alive today, there were many orphans of that war. And even more after WWII due to the increased female activity in the war.
But even today, without a world war on our hands there are orphans of war out there, in our world, right now. Children in orphanages because their parents were killed by war, often they would not even have been fighting in the war, just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is one massive example of how unfair our world can be.
And when you realise the UN describes an orphan as “ a child who has lost one or both parents.” The number grows even more.
Teddy was very lucky to have Harry as a God Parent, not many orphans have the chance to be cared for and watched over by someone who understands their situation through personal experience and I am sure this helped Teddy grow in to a fantastic wizard. But it will have still, at many times in his life cased him pain, upset and distress – this is natural.
But as hard as the situation is to deal with and for many even imagine we learn a huge amount from Teddy (and Harry too).
The ability to value friendship as much as they both did. To protect those relationships and understand their importance. To realise your past does not define who you are, it may contribute to who you become but it does not have to rule your life. And to use personal experiences to help and support others.
Lumos – a charity set up by J. K. Rowling is devoted to children. J. K. Rowling believes no child should be denied a family life because they are poor, disabled, an orphan or from an ethnic minority. And she created Lumos to help the 8 million children in institutions worldwide to regain their right to a family life and to end the institutionalisation of children.
One of her aims is to replace these institutions with community based services which involve the community. She might not be able to whip up parents with a spell but she knows that a family isn’t always blood. It is those who are within your community. Relatives, friend, or just those you live near, and have things in common with. Family (either blood or created) gives children things they often cannot receive in an institution or orphanage. Things like a caring hug, love and feeling like they belong with others.
Denying children this is proven to be detrimental to children. It can delay emotional development.
And for those children who are orphaned by war it can leave them with a hatred and feeling like they have been cheated.
Several others are orphaned, left, abandoned due to poverty and disability which also can cause problems.
J. K. Rowling points out some harsh statistics on the Lumos website including;
“One study found that young adults raised in institutions are 10 times more likely to be involved in prostitution than their peers, 40 times more likely to have a criminal record and 500 times more likely to take their own lives.”
Which is why Lumos is so very much needed. So children, orphans can turn out like Teddy who was raised by his extended family, friends and community rather than (potentially) like Tom Riddle who, after all was raised in an old, dark, dingy orphanage!