Remus Lupin

All posts tagged Remus Lupin

A Different Kind of Magic

Published November 18, 2013 by A. Featherquill

Last November 2, I posted an article about Remus Lupin. This post sets the theme for the month, which, as I have stated in my earlier article, is about being able to transcend the discrimination that you have experienced.

As promised, on the third week, I will feature something related to the theme, but not coming from the world of Harry Potter. At the end of my former post, I have included a clue: It has something to do with magic, and you can collect it like Chocolate Frog cards.

Have you guessed what it was? Congratulations, if you have thought that I meant Magic The Gathering.

However, the focus of this article will only be the following card:

melira
The Sylvoks are known to have brown or green copper studs or laces on their skin, and often don metallic armor. Nevertheless, Melira, though born from this race, does not have those qualities. So, lacking of metal in her body, she has been left to perish at the forest of Tangle. Luckily, the troll Thrun took care of her. Yet, due to her condition, Melira has been branded an outcast.

Things changed when the Phyrexian contagion began. The metal bodies of the Sylvoks were very susceptible to corruption brought by the glistening oil while the very condition that made Melira an outcast has made her immune to the spreading disease. Thus, Melira became the hero capable of defending and helping the people of Mirrodin.

Like Remus, Melira has been viewed as a pariah. Yet she also has chosen to protect the very people who mistreated her.  She led the Resistance of the people of Mirrodin just like Remus who fought with the Order of the Phoenix. The former became labeled “Mirrodin’s last hope” and the latter became awarded the Order of Merlin, First Class.

Fortunately, these former outcasts had the chance to show the world their value. Others do not have that opportunity. Sometimes it is also because we do not let them demonstrate their worth and we do not bother to even notice them. However, let us allow Melira and Remus to remind us that even those who are discriminated can be valuable and deserving of acceptance. Let us hope that there will be no need of an event as great as the wizarding war or the Phyrexian contagion to remind us to love even those we find unlovable.

On the other hand, for those who have been mistreated and discriminated, there is hope.

So, with the shining examples of Remus and Melira, I end this post.

Stay magical,
A. Featherquill
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Image taken from Gatherer.Wizards.Com

Remembering the Man, Remus Lupin

Published November 2, 2013 by A. Featherquill

Here is a screen capture from the entry on Remus Lupin in Harry Potter Wikia:

remus

Now, here’s the one for Tom Marvolo Riddle (aka Lord Voldemort):

voldemort

It is painful for me to see that Remus Lupin is classified not as a human being but as a werewolf. Does he really deserve being stripped of the label “human”? I find it unfair that Tom Riddle/Voldemort, who is more dangerous than Remus, is classified as human, while Remus, who is more humane than the Dark Lord, is given a label that is categorized, according to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, under the heading of beasts. That his lycanthropy made life very much unfair for this talented, good-hearted wizard makes the issue all the more painful.

In Pottermore, I have read his backstory and I learned that, even as an infant, Remus has shown much brilliance and magical potential. His parents, a wizard father and a muggle mother, envision their son to soon attend Hogwarts and become a successful wizard like his father Lyall who is an authority on mysterious creatures and works for the Ministry’s Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.

Unfortunately, Lyall’s job at the Ministry has indirectly caused the lycanthropy of his son.

Suspecting that Fenrir Greyback is a werewolf, Lyall wanted to detain him until full moon. However, his colleagues laughed at him and ridiculed him by saying “Lyall, you just stick to Welsh Boggarts, that’s what you’re good at”. His workmates even decided to release Greyback. This series of insults angered Lyall and provoked him to say, in the presence of Greyback, that werewolves are “soulless, evil, deserving nothing but death”.

This harsh statement led Greyback to exact revenge on Lyall. One night, Greyback forced himself inside Remus’s room and attacked the boy during his sleep. Lyall was able to save his son from death but the effect of the werewolf’s bite could not be reversed. From then on, Remus became a werewolf.

All the family’s hopes were ruined. The prejudice against werewolves then was so great that, in order to ensure the secrecy of their son’s condition, the parents prevented Remus from mingling with other people. With this set up, Remus could never study at Hogwarts or in any school. While this decision was painful for the parents, they felt they had no other choice or else they would risk the exposure of their son’s lycanthropy.

So it became a surprise to the Lupins when, shortly before Remus’s eleventh birthday, Albus Dumbledore visited them and presented the arrangements that he had planned in order to allow Remus to attend school. This news made Remus very happy. Finally, he would meet other children and possibly be able to make a few friends.

In school, he became close to James Potter, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew who, along with him, compose the Marauders.Though the group was generally famous for mischief, Remus was clearly the most mature in the group. He did not join in teasing Severus Snape, although he would admit later on that he did not try enough to stop his friends from bullying Snape, because he valued so much the very few friends he was able to make.

With his good performance as a student and relatively mature attitude, he was made prefect of Gryffindor house in his 5th year. However, after graduating, he found it very difficult to find a decent job because of his being a werewolf.

Here, we return to the unfair discrimination that Remus experienced due to a condition which he did not deserve and had no control over.

Those who have read the books and watched the movies will know how great a teacher Remus Lupin is. He has a practical approach, an organized way of teaching, and, quoting Pottermore’s very apt description, “a profound understanding of his pupils”.

He contributed a lot in developing Neville’s confidence as one can see in the class about Boggarts. He taught Harry the Patronus Charm outside of the class because the student badly needed to learn the spell. Yet, possibly learning from his mistakes when still a student, he would not tolerate mischief-making. When Snape caught Ron and Harry with the Marauder’s Map, Remus helped the two escape from the Potions professor. But when left alone with the two, he reprimanded Ron and Harry without being too harsh and without embarassing them.

Sadly, his goodness and talents are usually overlooked. Some people cannot see through the shabby clothes and his sickly, dishevelled look. For instance, Draco and his friends has often insulted Remus because of his looks. He is not invited to dinner parties because of his “furry little problem”. Most of all, he cannot find a permanent job that suits his magical abilities. By the end of Prisoner of Azkaban, because his lycanthropy has been exposed, he had to resign from his teaching job and once more become out of work.

But discrimination only made Remus kind, fair, and humble. He surely had flaws as a teenager. Because he wanted to keep his friends so badly, he failed to stop them from bullying Snape even though he was against bullying. Learning from his mistakes, the older Remus practiced fairness and humility to all. Finally, if there is anything I admire so much about him, it is his never developing a grudge against other people, even those who hurt him.

He forgave Sirius for thinking that he was Voldemort’s spy. He did not lash out on Snape for revealing to the school his lycanthropy. He forgave Harry after their fight. He never exacted revenge on the students who insulted him due to his appearance. When he sees that he did something wrong, he admits his mistakes as proven by his expression of his regret for not stopping his friends from bullying Snape. When people do good to him, he knows how to be grateful. He remained loyal to Dumbledore and bravely tried to ask Greyback’s pack to side with The Order of the Phoenix. As I said in an earlier post, facing the werewolf who caused his lycanthropy is surely not an easy task. Even more difficult is trying to convince his pack to shift sides. Asking their alliance is like humbling himself in front of those who caused the root of all his problems.

Truly,  Remus is a great individual, someone who deserves the title Order of Merlin, First Class. It is sad that it is only after his death that his reputation has been redeemed. The Order of Merlin award would have opened a lot of opportunities for a gifted and capable wizard like him. Then again, he achieved something else: paving the way for the lifting of the stigma on werewolves in the wizarding world.

The story of Remus Lupin is a reminder of how damaging discrimination and strict (yet faulty) categorization can be.

It is true that we need to classify in order to grasp certain systems. It is likewise true that we have to be aware of type differences in order to know how to deal with the things, beings and situations we encounter. But we have to realize that we need to learn these things in order to grow in understanding. Here, I use the term ‘understand’ to mean not just intellectual understanding but an understanding that involves our whole being – social, emotional, psychological, etc. We learn not just to enhance our mental capacity but in order to become, as a whole, better persons.

Furthermore, I guess, whenever we create categories, we have to be mindful that a classification will most likely have some exceptions. So even though we encounter a representative of a type, we must also try to learn how this thing differs from the group where it belongs. In this way, our knowledge of the thing or being will be richer and more meaningful.

As we reach the end of this post, here are a few more questions that we can all ponder on: When do we judge people based on how they look or what qualities they have? When is it fair or unfair to do so? When does putting labels on people become harmful? What groups does society often treat like the werewolves in Harry Potter? Do we think that society is right in treating them as such? Finally, are we bound by what we are, or can we transcend into something greater?

I hope that we do not forget the lessons we learn from the life of Remus so that his death will not be in vain and his wish to create a better place may be possible in our world, too.

Stay Magical,
A. Featherquill

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For most of his life, Lupin has been almost like an outcast. Still, even though his kind has been scorned by the wizarding world, he has dedicated his life to protect its members, and has sown goodness in the magical community. Thus, the theme of the month is being able to transcend the discrimination that you have experienced.

On the third week of November, I will post a good example of this theme. I am supposed to be searching the internet for days until I find a good topic. Luckily, this month’s best-from-the-web feature will not anymore be a problem. Last night, I have been reminded of something that fits well with the theme and can be found online. Clue: It has something to do with magic, and you can collect it like Chocolate Frog Cards.

My HP Character House Pride Honor Roll

Published September 8, 2013 by A. Featherquill

Just a few days ago, Pottermore held the House Pride week. The determined and ambitious Slytherins conquered the world on September 2 while the intelligent and creative Ravenclaws celebrated their individuality on September 3. The bold and daring Gryffindors painted the online community red…and gold on September 4. Finally, the just and humble Hufflepuffs showed their pride on September 5.

The House Pride week has likely inspired the Pottermore members (a.k.a Hogwarts students) to help make their respective houses win the 4th House Cup which will be awarded on September 12.

While everyone is in competition mode, I will take on a different route by remembering that, at the end of the day, the four houses must act as one.

We’ve seen it in the Battle of Hogwarts in The Deathly Hallows. Even non-Gryffindors had to be brave. Non-Ravenclaws had to muster all their wits and talents to outsmart their foes. Slytherins had to find their inner Hufflepuff and realize that they had to side on what’s fair and good.

To celebrate the greatness of each house and how the ideals of each make one a better wizard and contribute to a better Hogwarts, I will list down 10 characters who exemplified their house traits well at critical moments and another 5 who embodied not only the virtues of their house but also of other houses. Enjoy reading!

10 characters who exemplified their house traits well:

1. Cedric Diggory (Hufflepuff)
Cedric has shown his fairness many times during the Triwizard Tournament. While some students joined Draco in his campaign against Harry’s being an extra Hogwarts champion, Cedric remained nice to Harry. He gave Harry a tip on how to figure out the second task and, instead of taking the Triwizard Cup for himself, preferred to take it with Harry.

2. Molly Weasley (Gryffindor)
“Not my daughter, you B****!”

The epic line she said to Bellatrix Lestrange, Voldemort’s most obsessed and, in my opinion, one of the scariest and toughest Death Eaters.

Bellatrix has done a lot of damage: tortured Neville’s parents to madness, killed Sirius, tortured Hermione (good thing she escaped!), killed Dobby…

Mrs. Weasley must be really brave and bold to end this Death Eater’s life and call her – in her face – a b****.

3. Luna Lovegood (Ravenclaw)
If not for her, Harry may not have found Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem on time. This girl does know things that most do not.

4. Garrick Ollivander (Ravenclaw)
Every student must know Mr. Ollivander, the maker of fine wands. His passion for the art of wand-making reveals his being a Ravenclaw. He can tell the owner of a wand by examing it and seems to have memorized who has which.

This knowledge may have been abused by Voldemort, but Mr. Ollivander redeems himself by telling Harry that the allegiance of Draco’s wand has changed. This info will help Harry figure out that he is the master of the elder wand.

5. Minerva McGonagall (Gryffindor)
In the final movie, she protects Harry from Snape and duels with the latter. In the absence of a headmaster, she takes charge.

6. Ron Weasley (Gryffindor)
Who will ever forget his sacrifice during the living wizard’s chess? Ron proves that age doesn’t hinder one from being brave.

7. Severus Snape (Slytherin)
This half-blood truly did everything to prove his worth. His old Advanced Potion-Making book is a proof of his determination to be a great wizard. Plus, we’ve seen him work to land his dream job, the Defense Against the Dark Arts Post, after many disappointments.

8. Remus Lupin (Gryffindor)
He takes on a dangerous mission which leads him to face Fenrir Greyback, the werewolf who bit him. Facing the reason for your sad predicament is already difficult. Even more so when you have to spy on him and eventually ask him and his pack to ally with the good side.

9. Neville Longbottom (Gryffindor)
From standing up to his friends in the first book/movie to standing up to the Dark Lord. Remembering his moment in the final movie and in the 7th book still makes me feel high and giddy. I think no one needs any more convincing why it’s so courageous.

10. Harry Potter (Gryffindor)
This entry is so obvious. I really hope you are not disappointed, but I feel the need to acknowledge Harry’s bravery. Just because he’s the protagonist does not mean we have to exempt him from lists like this. Anyway, walking towards your death for the good of all really takes a huge amount of courage.

5 characters who also embody the virtues of other houses:

1. Intelligence: Hermione Granger
“It’s Wingardium LeviOsa, not Wingardium LevioSA!”

Hermione is the only one to execute that charm correctly at first try. Also, the only student to raise her hand for Snape’s every question during their first class. Intelligent and always prepared, Hermione is the brains of almost all of the trios plans. She may be in Gryffindor, but she can easily pass off as a Ravenclaw. No wonder the Sorting Hat had a hard time deciding where to place her.

2. Bravery: Severus Snape
Pretending to Voldermort that he’s spying on Dumbledore while really spying on the Dark Lord for the Order of the Phoenix is not a job for the fearful and the weak. I think Harry is right in telling his son that Severus Snape is probably the bravest man he has ever known.

3. Fairness and humility: Remus Lupin
His shabby robes and demeanor may conceal the intelligence that Remus Lupin has. But check his description in Pottermore and you’ll learn how brilliant he has been even as a child. He has been called a competent teacher by no less than Prof. McGonagall. Yet despite his ability, he has remained humble.

In his class, he reassures and encourages the underdogs to do better. Sometimes he even goes out of his way to teach them. Prof. Lupin will surely not brag about it, but we have to credit him for teaching Harry the Patronus Charm which has become the boy’s most mastered spell ever.

4. Ambition: Cedric Diggory
This may come as a surprise, but, after much reflection, I think it is not wrong to say that the fair and humble Cedric has ambition and determination. He is a prefect, a seeker, and one of the Hogwarts champions for the Triwizard Tournament.

That he has qualified or tried out for all these positions means that he does have some ambition for himself. Cedric proves that having ambition does not always go with being aggressive and sly.

5. Everything: Albus Dumbledore
Dare disagree? Dumbledore’s wisdom had been Harry’s guide for most of his growing years. He was the reason why a werewolf like Remus had the chance to enroll in school. He acknowledged Neville’s bravery even when it was not yet that obvious. When he was younger, he had been fascinated with Grindelwald who may have mirrored a secret thirst to show his brilliance to the world. But, as an older man, he sacrificed his life in order to prevent Voldermort from realizing his dark plans. Indeed, no one represents Hogwarts better than a famous headmaster.

There you go! I’m sure you have other ideas in mind, too. Feel free to share them by commenting on this post.

Stay magical,
A. Featherquill

P.S. Continue showing your house pride by adding more points to your house in Pottermore.

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