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Old July 25th, 2007, 9:42 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin - Character

Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
But contrast this to when Harry called Snape a coward. The small knocking curse Lupin made was nothing in comparison to the whips Snape pulled out and used. I think it was written this way to show us that despite his anger, he loved Harry and cared about him a lot, which we all knew, and it was as if he were striking a friend for saying something that tore him apart (I could totally see the Marauders using this on one another in anger, lol).
The parallel with Snape there was probably the most shocking thing about that scene for me, that Harry would choose the word "coward" to describe him when it was the same word that most set off Snape. Apart from the literal response of curses in both cases, though, I think the big difference is that Remus obviously took something away from that experience and learned from it.

The more I think about that scene, the more interesting it is. First, we have Harry calling Lupin by his first name. Up to that point, their relationship was still quite obviously dictated by the line between student and teacher, but here we have Harry making a definite decision that they are now on some kind of equal footing. Then, Harry makes another leap by initiating an argument, something which definitely indicates that he feels like he has that right and responsibility to call him out if he feels he's doing something wrong. Likewise, Remus makes that same leap by cursing Harry, which we know he never would have even considered had he not felt that Harry was somehow his peer rather than his pupil or charge. Finally, although I think we can all agree that there are bits of what Harry says that are pretty out of order (like urqu says above, his accusation that Remus is trying to be more like Sirius really doesn't fit the situation at all), he definitely gives him the wake-up call he needs; Remus's moment on the wireless broadcast shows us that. It's almost like we've seen a reversal of roles where the student becomes the teacher. But above all, this whole shocking incident which has frustrated so many of us in some way has actually asserted what so many of us have been hoping for ever since the end of PoA: that one day, Harry and Remus might break down that barrier and see each other simply as friends.

Of course, my first instinct with this scene was to agree with you, wickedwickedboy, that JKR just side-stepped character boundaries to create something plotwise, and maybe a lot of my rationalization of it is merely my wanting to make sense of something that before we never would have expected to see from Remus. However, I definitely think that, at least on some level, she wanted to show us a progression in their relationship, if for no other reason than the fact that Harry does address him as "Remus" rather than "Lupin". It's also notable to that the same thing happens at the end, when we see "Remus and Tonks" dead, rather than "Lupin and Tonks".

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