James Potter and Sirius Black are fan favourites in the Harry Potter world. Their confidence and rebelliousness made them the subject of many a fan’s idle daydreaming about what Hogwarts would have been like before Harry Potter’s time.
Remus has always been a bit underrated. He was more reserved, bookish and quiet than James or Sirius, but here’s why we think he was actually the best Marauder.
In the film Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Remus told Harry that his mother Lily was ‘uncommonly kind’ – but the same could be said of him, too.
Time and time again, Remus displayed how thoughtful, caring and compassionate he was. During one of his first lessons as Defence Against the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts, Snape couldn’t help but make a disparaging and cruel remark about Neville Longbottom. Remus tactfully stood up for Neville, leaving Snape speechless.
‘Possibly no one’s warned you, Lupin, but this class contains Neville Longbottom. I would advise you not to entrust him with anything difficult. Not unless Miss Granger is hissing instructions in his ear.’
Neville went scarlet. Harry glared at Snape; it was bad enough that he bullied Neville in his own classes, let alone doing it in front of other teachers.
Professor Lupin had raised his eyebrows.
‘I was hoping that Neville would assist me with the first stage of the operation,’ he said, ‘and I am sure he will perform it admirably.’
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Remus always stuck up for the underdog. Perhaps it was the wolf in him; they are pack animals, after all.
In Remus’s early years, he and his parents Lyall and Hope were always on the move and never settled in one place for too long. After Remus was attacked, and his monthly transformations became more dangerous, the family did everything to protect their son from detection – which also meant not letting anyone get too close.
When Remus was invited to Hogwarts, he discovered for the first time in his life what it was like to have friends. However, Remus never forgot what loneliness felt like and showed more sympathy to outsiders than either James or Sirius.
While James and Sirius took a certain kind of pleasure in tormenting Severus Snape during their Hogwarts years, Remus avoided joining in with his friends’ bullying behaviour. Dumbledore even made Remus a prefect, perhaps in the hopes that he might be able to exert a bit more control over James and Sirius. While that didn’t exactly work out, it’s a testament to Remus’s strong sense of right and wrong that he never condoned what his friends did.
When the Order of the Phoenix was reconvened in the fifth Harry Potter book, the old wounds from the Marauders’ era at Hogwarts were re-opened. Sirius and Snape, who hated each other as young adults, still regarded each other with animosity. Snape’s general popularity wasn’t helped – for obvious reasons – by the fact that the other members of the Order were aware that, for a time, he supported Voldemort.
Remus, despite knowing that Snape had his differences with James and Sirius, found it in himself to give Snape another chance. He knew that people could change and believed in giving people second chances – regardless of who they were or what they had done in the past. Dumbledore’s influence was clear. It was he who invited Remus to Hogwarts as a student in the first place, despite his lycanthropy.
Remus was pretty much good at everything. He received excellent grades during his time at Hogwarts, was made a prefect, helped create the incredibly detailed and magical Marauder’s Map, and could effortlessly cast a Patronus.
But beyond being a talented wizard, one of Remus’s greatest skills was helping others to realise their potential. He was considered by the students in Harry’s year at Hogwarts to be the best Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher they’d ever had (seeing as Mad-Eye Moody ended up being a Death Eater in disguise…). By the time Lupin left Hogwarts, Harry was casting advanced protective spells. Would Harry have ever become an Auror without Remus as a teacher?
We shouldn’t forget to mention that the final exam Remus set for his students was an obstacle course. A+ Professor Lupin – or we should say, Outstanding!
When Remus left his wife, Nymphadora Tonks, and their newborn son Teddy to fight at the Battle of Hogwarts in Deathly Hallows, it was because he wanted to create a better future for his family. He wanted to protect his son from a world in which Voldemort was in power.
When Harry used the Resurrection Stone, the recently-departed Remus appeared among Harry’s lost loved ones. Remus spoke of his newborn son, telling Harry, ‘I am sorry too … Sorry I will never know him … but he will know why I died and I hope he will understand. I was trying to make a world in which he could live a happier life.’
James and Sirius may be thought of as the charming, nonchalant ones in the Marauders, but Remus was just as witty. When Professor Snape discovered Harry carrying the Marauders Map in Prisoner of Azkaban, he tried to command the blank parchment to reveal its secrets. In return, the map insulted Snape using Remus’s words – with more snark than one might expect from the mild-mannered professor: ‘Mr Moony presents his compliments to Professor Snape and begs him to keep his abnormally large nose out of other people’s business.’
And let’s not forget the time that Remus responded to Peeves singing ‘Loony, loopy Lupin’ by shooting a wad of chewing gum up his nose.
Finally, Remus was also the type of teacher who carried chocolate around with him, just in case any of his students needed a pick-me-up after an encounter with a Dementor. Another reason why he was simply the best.