Sunday, October 12, 2003

Additional 10/12: Lupin part added.

Their Most Desperate Desires

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Additional 10/12: Lupin part added.

As promised, I am going to write about what I believe Dumbledore sees in the Mirror of Erised. However, I think I am going to do this as part of a larger picture. I'm going to examine what individual characters in the series would see in the mirror (as of the end of the fifth book). I will post up desires one at a time.


When Harry first meets Lupin, he is riding the Hogwarts Express in ragged clothing. As a werewolf, it is difficult for him to get a job and he has recently accepted a position as Defense Against the Dark Art's teacher from Dumbledore. Lupin quickly takes a mentor role for Harry, teaching the young hero to fight his fear and anger. We know that Snape hates him, and we slowly come to learn that this loathing comes from an old childhood enmity. Lupin was one of the mischievous Marauders that taunted Severus Snape as a child. Yet, we also learn that Lupin was often the voice of reason and restraint among the four friends. By the end of the third book, Lupin makes amends with Sirius Black and teaches the stronger lessons of courage and friendship to a very confused Potter. Lupin returns in the fifth book, more impoverished than ever and still the benign werewolf.

Yet, the truth is that little is really known about Lupin. How does he think and feel? What is most important to him? The books are all done from Harry's point of view, and the mentored often only sees limited dimensions of the mentor. We know that Lupin is forgiving and loving, a great friend and a gentle man. He hates hurting people, even when it is beyond his control (i.e. the full moon changed him). What we don't see is how did he react to the death of James and Lily? How quickly was he to accept Sirius' guilt, back when all the evidence convicted his dear friend? What we also don't see a complete reaction to Sirius' death beyond his the initial shock (paleness and broken voice). The one Marauder that is left alive and good has finally fallen leaving Lupin to bear life alone. How much anguish does he feel inside, and how does he deal with this anguish? How benign is he? We know that he was nearly brought to murder when it came to dealing with the betraying Marauder, Peter Pettigrew. Had it not been for Harry's pleas, Lupin and Sirius would have killed the traitor.

When all of the above is taken into account, it is hard to tell what Lupin would see when he looks in the mirror. I would like to conjecture that he might see the Four Marauders back together, healthy, safe, happy, and on the side of good. He would see all Four Marauders back before things got complicated by marriages, betrayals, and death. He loves Harry and often treats him as a son, but much like Sirius had a hard time accepting that Harry was not his father, I think Lupin wishes that James was still there by his side. Lupin is alone in this world, shunned by wizard-kind for his illness, loathed by many, impoverished, and unemployed. Dumbledore trusts him and befriends him, as does Molly and other characters throughout the story. Yet, none of these characters could ever offer Lupin the friendships he used to embrace.

Lupin was lowering his wand, gazing fixedly at Black. The Professor walked to Black's side, seized his hand, pulled him to his feet so that Crookshanks fell to the floor, and embraced Black like a brother.
Book Three, pg. 344 US

The Four Marauders, or at least three of the four, shared a special friendship that Lupin can never have again on this earth. This is why he will see his friends back together in the mirror, just like the days of yore.

(This is also why I believe Lupin has a high chance of dying before series end. 20:80, life:death ratio)

For the full post, including Dumbledore and Voldemort, click here.