Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Places/St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries

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Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Place
St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries
Location London
Permanent Residents After spoiler warning
First Appearance Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (mentioned), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (visited)

General Overview[edit]

St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries is the wizard's hospital founded by Mungo Bonham. It is located in London.

Extended Description[edit]

Beginner warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

While we don't actually see the hospital in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, it is mentioned by Professor Dumbledore that Neville's parents are long-term residents of St. Mungo's Hospital.

To Muggles, the hospital appears to be the store Purge and Dowse Ltd., which is "Closed for Refurbishment". Wizards and witches working in this hospital, who work directly with the patients, are called Healers; they can be recognized by their lime green robes. The hospital can treat a wide range of magic-related illnesses and injuries.

Floor Guide (as it appears in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix):

  • ARTIFACT ACCIDENTS...................... Ground Floor

(Cauldron explosion, wand backfiring, broom crashes, etc.)

  • CREATURE-INDUCED INJURIES............... First Floor

(Bites, stings, burns, embedded spines, etc.)

  • MAGICAL BUGS............................. Second Floor

(Contagious maladies, e.g. dragon pox, vanishing sickness, scrofungulus)

  • POTION AND PLANT POISONING.............. Third Floor

(Rashes, regurgitation, uncontrollable giggling, etc.)

  • SPELL DAMAGE............................ Fourth Floor

(Unliftable jinxes, hexes, and incorrectly applied charms, etc.)

  • VISITOR'S TEAROOM AND HOSPITAL SHOP..... Fifth Floor

If you are unsure where to go, incapable of normal speech, or unable to
remember why you are here, our Welcome Witch will be pleased to help.

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Mr. Weasley is taken to St. Mungo's after Harry reports seeing him attacked by a snake. Harry, Ron, Fred, George, Ginny, and Hermione visit him there, along with Mrs. Weasley, Mad-Eye Moody, and Tonks. Mr. Weasley is in a ward with other people who have received bites from magical creatures, including a werewolf and a woman who won't say what had bitten her.

When Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and the Twins return to St. Mungo's some time later to visit again, Ginny and the Trio end up on the wrong floor of the hospital. There, they find the long-term spell damage patients, including one-time Professor Lockhart, still suffering from his own mis-fired memory charm, and Broderick Bode. They also run into Neville and his grandmother Augusta, there visiting Neville's parents.

Broderick Bode later dies in the hospital when a Devil's Snare which had been sent to him as a pot plant (US: potted plant) strangles him. The hospital is unable to explain how a Devil's Snare could have been accepted.

We actually only enter St. Mungo's in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. We do hear of it in many places, though; in particular, Professor McGonagall goes to St. Mungo's after she has been hit by multiple Stunners during Professor Umbridge's attempt to arrest Hagrid, Katie Bell is sent to St. Mungo's to recover after she touches a jinxed necklace, and it is said that Neville's grandmother had put the Auror Dawlish in St. Mungo's when he had tried to arrest her. In addition, it is mentioned that if Professor Dumbledore's sister Ariana had been injured, she should have gone to St. Mungo's; the apparent fact that she did not lends weight to the belief that there was something shameful wrong with her.

It is during the Trio's attempt to find the tea shop that we hear a portrait of an ancient Healer chasing Ron around the stairwell, diagnosing him with Spattergroit. While we believe this to be a fictional or archaic disease, like "the vapours" in the Muggle world, we will see later that it is a very real disease, but luckily one that is not commonly encountered.

Analysis[edit]

As it is a hospital, the intent is to care for people while they heal, so there should not be any permanent residents, only those who are taking longer to heal than others. We do see one ward for people with long-term spell damage, and see four people there that are mentioned elsewhere in the series: Gilderoy Lockhart, Broderick Bode, and Frank and Alice Longbottom. These four, among others, could be considered long-term residents of the hospital, but attempts are being made to return Bode and Lockhart to a more normal life.

Questions[edit]

Study questions are meant to be left for each student to answer; please don't answer them here.

Greater Picture[edit]

Intermediate warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

It is actually the presence of the long-term ward at St. Mungo's that explains why Kendra, Ariana's mother was so reluctant to take her to St. Mungo's when she was injured by the Muggle boys. Kendra was certain that the Healers at the hospital would deem her a long-term case and effectively lock her up in a ward similar to the one where we find Lockhart and the others, dooming her to a life away from her family, with only visits from her parents and brothers for company. The earlier description of the Longbottoms' case, and our visit to their ward, reinforces for us the idea that magic is not a panacea, it cannot cure all ailments, particularly those that are caused by magic. Having seen the long-term care ward and its denizens, we start to understand Kendra's fear, and understand also her willingness to take care of Ariana herself, even at the risk of having Ariana believed to be a Squib, rather than risk losing her to the bureaucracy of the hospital.