Image Source: Everett Collection
Dear Remus Lupin,
There's always plenty of discussion about which Harry Potter character is the best, and names like Sirius Black and Hermione Granger usually top the list of candidates . . . but many of us believe the title belongs to you. From your first entrance into JK Rowling's magical world to your tragic, tear-jerking exit, you provided both Harry and us, the readers, with a wonderful role model. Your humble nature, relatable flaws, honest advice, genuine concern for those around you, and willingness to learn from mistakes are only the start of a very long list of reasons why we love you.
Image Source: Warner Bros.
It goes without saying that you were the best Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher that Harry had at Hogwarts, but you taught him so much more than how to banish dementors and boggarts. Because of your influence in his life, Harry also learned how to face fear itself. You showed him the value of seeing past appearances, and giving people second chances. You showed him that flaws, even those that have social implications, do not have to define your life — though we all have monstrous qualities within us, we don't have to become monsters.
Though we all have monstrous qualities within us, we don't have to become monsters.
You loved Harry and expected nothing from him in return; you simply wanted him to succeed, and to live the full, happy life that his parents were robbed of. In helping fight for the lives of others, you lost your own . . . but even in death, you exuded selfless grace. Little Teddy might not have known his father, but there's no doubt that he was proud to be your son.
You felt too poor, old, and dangerous to be worthy of love, and your struggle spoke to the many readers who carry our own scars. And in your most shameful moment, fleeing your wife and unborn child in a desperate hope that they would be better off without you, you taught us all a lesson in humility by learning one yourself. You saw the error of your ways, apologized, and made it right; not many adults in the Harry Potter series exhibited such humility, let alone adults who were proved wrong by a teenager.
Image Source: Warner Bros.
Your struggle with werewolfism has become a symbol of hope for those with HIV/AIDs, as well as for those with widely misunderstood conditions like mental illness. By rising above those who shunned you for reasons out of your control, building a happy life for yourself, and helping others despite their mistreatment of you, you've provided an example for anybody who has felt alienated and alone.
We could go on forever about why you inspire us, but it all boils down to this: despite having all the odds stacked against you, you used hard work, a gentle spirit, and a willingness to learn from your own failings as tools to emerge happy, and to help others along the way. We love you, Remus Lupin. Thank you for being the best example we could have asked for.
The Harry Potter fandom
PS: You keep chocolate in your briefcase. What's not to love?