HARRY POTTER: THE PREQUEL
"He was sure that somebody close to the Potters had been keeping You-Know-Who informed of their movements," said Professor McGonagall darkly. "Indeed, he had suspected for some time that someone on our side had turned traitor and was passing a lot of information to You-Know-Who."
Part One - Before Hallowe'en 1981
2. THE SPY CIRCLE
(Professor McGonagall about Dumbledore, PoA, 153)
"YOU'D BEEN PASSING INFORMATION TO HIM FOR A YEAR BEFORE LILY AND JAMES DIED! YOU WERE HIS SPY!"
(Sirius Black to Peter Pettigrew, PoA, 274)
I'm here operating with the assumption that when Dumbledore began to suspect that one of the Potters' friends was a spy, he told the Potters of this. Also, the spy circle found this out. This makes sense because Sirius said he suspected Lupin of being the spy, which he probably wouldn't have done if he didn't know there was a spy (unless he was really upset with Lupin).
Dynamics of the Circle
It is extremely odd that Pettigrew managed to avoid suspicion so successfully, when he wasn't very bright and was actually the spy (so any clues would have pointed to him). It's also extremely odd that Lupin was suspected of being the spy, when he seems to have been such a good friend of Lily's as well as James's, and the others always knew that being a werewolf didn't make him evil. And it's extremely odd that Dumbledore didn't know who of the spy circle was the actual spy, suspecting Sirius as much as he suspected the others - you'd think that he'd have some inkling that it was Pettigrew. You'd think his Dspy would have picked it up - from the sounds of PoA, all the Death Eaters knew that Voldemort went to Godric's Hollow on Pettigrew's information.
An explanation that seems to fit these three oddities (aside from the last point about why the Dspy didn't know who the Vspy was) involves Pettigrew framing Lupin so Lupin would be suspected of being the Vspy. Think about it - Pettigrew didn't really have the wits or talents for deception and framing, but he did have Voldemort on his side. It was very important to Voldemort that Pettigrew didn't get suspected when he was so essential to Voldemort's plans for little Harry. So Voldemort helped frame Lupin as the spy. It would have been easy to lay some misleading information for a Dspy to pick up, or do something that signaled that Lupin was on his side, or put Lupin under the Imperius curse for a short spurt - and Pettigrew, bumbling, stupid, and innocent, would have pointed it all out to Sirius and James, pretending not to know what it meant. Sirius and James would think Pettigrew too stupid to fabricate such evidence.
But there's a huge risk (and we know Pettigrew doesn't like to take risks - he goes with whatever's the best chance for his safety). If Sirius and James were as close to Lupin as they were back in Hogwarts days, they wouldn't have wanted it to be Lupin. They wouldn't have believed it - just like James didn't believe Dumbledore that the spy could be Sirius. They would have looked for an alternative explanation - and found themselves staring at the possibility that Pettigrew was framing Lupin. They know he's stupid, but they also know that Voldemort is very intelligent and could help out. But they don't think of this. They just pass Pettigrew off as stupid, like always, because they believe that it's Lupin. Why? Well, as I said, if they were as close as always, they wouldn't have believed it so easily - this suggests to me that they weren't quite as close these days.
I don't know why. I've read a few fanfictions which have had some good ideas. Sirius and Lupin fall in love with the same girl - and Sirius hates Lupin for whatever happens. So when he hears that Lupin might be the spy, he jumps to agree.
'Luvygrifindor' on the Chamber of Secrets discussion board for When the Prophecy Was Made talked at length about why Lupin might be suspected. She referred to the PoA movie, where it becomes obvious that Lily meant a lot to Lupin. There's of course the idea that he was romantically interested in her, or that perhaps they had once been romantically involved before the DADA OWL as seen in "Snape's Worst Memory" (maybe that's how James got to know Lily - through Lupin), but this person instead goes with the idea that they were never more than friends, and rather, that James was uncomfortable with their close relationship. "Maybe on some deep level James preferred for Lily to not be so close with one of his best friends ... on the surface he could put on a face of understanding that they were only friends, but deep down and not on a large aspect (I don't think he was jealous), maybe just a tiny little bit of him did not prefer it." (Thanks, luvygrifindor!)
To me it seems like there were huge conflicts over something. Maybe Lily's friend, the other person in the spy circle (more on that later), was the romantic interest. Maybe Sirius loved her but she loved Lupin. Anyway, I say huge conflicts because it's necessary for Pettigrew to fool not only Lily, James, Sirius and Lupin, but also Dumbledore. Dumbledore is aware that one of them has been a spy for some time - but can't identify who it is. (Let's leave out the complicating issue of why he doesn't just use Legilimency to find out.) If Dumbledore didn't automatically suspect Lupin when the others did, and didn't turn his attentions to Pettigrew for long enough to uncover the truth, this suggests that he looked elsewhere. And whom did he object to becoming Secret-Keeper? Sirius. It seems to me like Sirius wasn't the model Order member either. Maybe Dumbledore looked at Sirius's readiness to suspect Lupin and thought it seemed a bit shifty. Maybe Sirius hasn't acted as though he can be trusted. So, it was all a big mess - and everyone was so confused, that the only person who seemed to be behaving as normal was Pettigrew. Silly, naïve Pettigrew. Eternally asking, "What's going on?" James and Lily didn't hesitate to trust Pettigrew as Secret-Keeper, knowing there was a spy in their midst, because they already thought the spy was someone else - Lupin.
Then comes the issue of whether or not Lupin realized he was suspected of being the spy.
"Remus!" Pettigrew squeaked, turning to Lupin instead, writhing imploringly in front of him. "You don't believe this... Wouldn't Sirius have told you they'd changed the plan?"
"Not if he thought I was the spy, Peter," said Lupin. "I assume that's why you didn't tell me, Sirius?" he said casually over Pettigrew's head.
"Forgive me, Remus," said Black.
"Not at all, Padfoot, old friend," said Lupin, who was now rolling up his sleeves. "And will you, in turn, forgive me for believing you were the spy?"
"Of course," said Black, and the ghost of a grin flitted across his gaunt face.
There are some very interesting choices of words here, possibly indicating how Lupin saw the situation at the time. (However, I also acknowledge that this may be too obscure a way of obtaining information to be accurate.)
Let's start with the first possibility: that Lupin realized bH81 that he was suspected of being the spy. So, in this conversation, Pettigrew brings up the fact that Sirius didn't tell Lupin the change of plans. Lupin goes, "Yeah, but that makes sense because he thought I was the spy back then" (translation: "Not if he thought I was the spy, Peter"). Then he double-checks it as an explanation - not as a fact - with Sirius. (In other words, he's checking that the spy thing accounted for Sirius not telling him, rather than checking that the spy thing is actually true.) "That'd account for it, wouldn't it, Sirius?" (Translation: "I assume that's why you didn't tell me, Sirius?")
However, there are three factors here that suggest Lupin didn't realize before this night that Sirius thought he was the spy. The first is in the choice of words: "if he thought I was the spy". That's an "if". He could have easily said, "Not while he thought I was the spy," or "No, he thought I was the spy". But he didn't. That alone isn't very significant, but there's more.
The second is the fact that Lupin checks it with Sirius. Picture yourself in Lupin's position, having known the whole time that everyone thought you were the spy. Pettigrew says, "Wouldn't Sirius have told you?" You scoff and think, "Of course not! Why would he tell me when he suspected me of serving Voldemort?" You say as much to Pettigrew - you might even use the word "if": "Not if he thought I was the spy, Peter". But as this conversation is all about Pettigrew, it makes no sense for you to then turn to Sirius and say, "That's right, isn't it? If you thought I was the spy, you wouldn't have told me, would you?" You know the spy thing is a fact, so you're checking it as an explanation for Sirius's behavior, when you really don't need to check it because it's the perfect explanation.
The third is the fact that Pettigrew brings it up. Now, if it was common knowledge in the spy circle that everyone thought Lupin was the spy, then Pettigrew wouldn't later say, "Sirius would have told you if we'd switched!" because he'd know Lupin would just reply, "Uh, no, he wouldn't! I was the spy, remember? Duh!"
No, it wasn't common knowledge. Pettigrew brings this up on the off chance that Lupin doesn't realize he was suspected. He's hoping that Lupin will say, "Hey, you know, that's a good point! Why didn't you tell me, Sirius? That doesn't make any sense! Maybe you didn't really switch after all ... alright Peter, you're free to go and I'll just take Sirius back to the Dementors." Pettigrew's just unlucky because Lupin realized and accepted that he was suspected, and that's why he wasn't told. (And because Lupin isn't stupid enough to suddenly decide Pettigrew's telling the truth and let him go.)
This fits much better with Lupin checking. He says, "Nah, Sirius probably just thought I was the spy," then checks this with Sirius: "I assume that's why you didn't tell me, Sirius?" Sirius confirms this by asking for Lupin's forgiveness. And then Lupin says, "Not at all, Padfoot, old friend." He's saying, "Hey, it's no drama, not that big a deal" - which doesn't for me translate into "It was hell being your friend and trying to make you see I wasn't the spy and knowing you didn't trust me, but now I'm okay with it". It translates into, "Well of course I can forgive you for that - it didn't really affect me at the time, and after all, I did much worse by believing everyone all these years saying you were the spy and letting you rot in Azkaban!"
And then there's the thought that if Lupin knew he was the spy, he would have said to James and Sirius, "Hey! No, I'm not! Pettigrew's making it all up! He's framing me!" Lily - who seems to be the rational one who wouldn't have jumped to conclusions - would have said, "You know, we should at least hear him out, see if his story checks out." And so James and Sirius grudgingly turn their attention to Pettigrew, bringing him under suspicion. But Pettigrew doesn't seem to have ever been suspected, or else James and Lily wouldn't have switched over to him as Secret-Keeper so easily. My conclusion is that Lupin didn't realize at the time that he was thought to be the spy.
This has implications because Lupin himself would have suspected someone in the spy circle of being the spy. He obviously didn't suspect Pettigrew (no one really did, it seems) and he knew it wasn't himself. Could he have suspected Sirius?
If he did, we might have heard about Lupin objecting to Sirius as Secret-Keeper, along with Dumbledore. Not necessarily though. Let's go back to the conversation above. Lupin asks Sirius to forgive him for "believing you were the spy". Now, vocabulary again. The word "believe" can, according to my computer's thesaurus, be used fairly interchangeably with "think". In other words, Sirius "thought" Lupin was the spy, and Lupin "believed" Sirius was the spy, and they essentially mean the same thing. But that doesn't really seem right in this context. Lupin seems to be using the definition of "believe" which translates to accepting someone else's ideas or testimonies as fact. A person says, "I think Sirius is the spy" (or just "Sirius is the spy") and Lupin "believes" it. So from whom did Lupin borrow the idea that Sirius was the spy?
Well, who could have told him that Sirius was the spy bH81? Not James, that's for sure. Pettigrew - yes, it's possible. Pettigrew gets everyone to suspect Lupin without Lupin realizing - and then Pettigrew becomes Lupin's confidante and gets him to suspect Sirius. There are a few problems here. This behavior would make Pettigrew seem cunning and mistrustful to Lupin - exactly the kind of thing that would bring him under suspicion. No, he's got to behave normally with Lupin, just like with everyone else. Then, if Pettigrew did give Lupin the idea - perhaps more subtly - there's still the fact that Lupin knew about Sirius being made Secret-Keeper. Surely Lupin would have gone to James and said, "Look, I think Sirius is the spy - don't make him your Secret-Keeper," to which James would have replied, "No, we already know it's someone else," and Lupin would have realized (they don't think it's Sirius, they don't think it's Pettigrew...) that he was suspected. Or James could have said, "Okay, we'll make Dumbledore the Secret-Keeper," but Lupin obviously knew this wasn't the case - he knew that they'd make it Sirius. (Except that they didn't, of course.)
I think it's much more likely that Lupin "believed" Sirius was the spy only after the Potters' deaths, when he assumed that Sirius was the one who betrayed them, and then believed the evidence that followed - Dumbledore's testimony, Sirius's murder of thirteen people and his hysterical laughter.
This means Lupin thought someone else was the spy - someone other than himself, Sirius and Pettigrew (and James, Lily and Dumbledore, of course). Not only that, but he also assumed that everyone else suspected this person. So, now we have Person X - probably a friend of Lily's, seeing as there were only four Marauders, possibly with some suspicious behavior that leads Lupin to assume it's her (or him, I suppose). Of course, there may also be others in the spy circle, but the minimum is four: Sirius (framed as spy aH81), Lupin (suspected bH81), Pettigrew (actual spy) and Person X (whom Lupin thought everyone suspected).
Tell you what, with all those complications of who suspects whom, it's no wonder Dumbledore couldn't figure out who it was! The only thing I still can't figure out here is how the Dspy couldn't have known who the Vspy was when it seems that all the Death Eaters knew that Voldemort went to Godric's Hollow on Pettigrew's information. I thought perhaps that only a few Death Eaters knew, and told the others later, but then the Dspy still probably could have found it out and told Dumbledore that Pettigrew was the real Vspy. It doesn't make sense to me why the Dspy (probably Snape) would be the only Death Eater who didn't know who the Vspy was. I'm going to have to put it down as a plot hole, despite how much it saddens me. :-( I just like to think JKR's perfect, that's all!
Posted by: Nicole
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