Lupin the Legilimens?
by Shannon Brown
Mad-Eye Moody…was squinting suspiciously at Harry through his mismatched eyes…
“Are you quite sure it’s him, Lupin?” he growled. ”It’d be a nice lookout if we bring back some Death Eater impersonating him. We ought to ask him something only the real Potter would know. Unless anyone brought any Veritaserum?”
”Harry, what form does your Patronus take?” said Lupin.
“A stag,” said Harry nervously.
“That’s him,” Mad-Eye, said Lupin.
OotP, pp. 47-48, US edition
This short scene has enormous implications. Why would Mad-Eye Moody, notoriously suspicious of everyone, accept that Harry is Harry simply on Lupin’s word? Regardless of how much Moody trusts Lupin, how could Lupin possibly have known Harry was telling the truth without Veritaserum or some other magical device? It would be impossible, right? Well, yes, unless…
Unless Lupin is a Legilimens.
Think about it. If Lupin can perform Legilimency, that would certainly explain why Moody trusted his confirmation of Harry’s identity. Lupin would have been able to peer into Harrys mind and see the truth (since at this point Harry was blissfully unaware of magical mind-hacking), preventing anyone else who might have learned the shape of Harry’s Patronus from lying his or her way into the Order’s secret headquarters.
But the evidence goes further than one isolated incident. There are many examples of Lupin’s inexplicable perceptiveness.
“Why? Why do they [the dementors] affect me like that? Am I just–?”
”It has nothing to do with weakness,” said Professor Lupin sharply, as though he had read Harry’s mind.
PoA, pg. 187
As though he had read Harry’s mind, a phrase so casually inserted and then used again just as casually in OotP.
He also wondered why so many of them were there.
”A surprising number of people volunteered to come and get you,” said Lupin, as though he had read Harry’s mind.
OotP, pg. 50
We know from experience that JKRs details have the potential to be important plot points in later books. Remember that comments such as those above were also made about Snape, who we know is a Legilimens.
Could Snape possibly know they’d found out about the Sorcerer’s Stone? Harry didn’t see how he could – yet he sometimes had the horrible feeling that Snape could read minds.”
SS, pg. 221
This wasn’t the first time Snape had given Harry the impression of being able to read minds.
CoS, pg. 79
Ah, if only Harry knew…
So, back to Lupin. As I said before, the evidence abounds, and the scene in the Shrieking Shack is one of the best examples of Lupin’s (theoretical) mind-reading ability.
“But then…” Lupin muttered, staring at Black so intently it seemed he was trying to read his mind, ”…why hasn’t he shown himself before now? Unless …” Lupin’s eyes suddenly widened, as though he was seeing something beyond Black, something none of the rest could see, “unless he was the one…unless you switched…without telling me?”
Very slowly, his sunken gaze never leaving Lupin’s face, Black nodded.
PoA, pg. 344
Notice again the specific phrase trying to read his mind. Are we seeing a pattern here? If I am correct in my reasoning, Lupin was trying to read Black’s mind in an attempt to understand all the crazy circumstances surrounding Sirius, Pettigrew, Lily, and James. He was seeing something none of the rest could see, though it was inside Sirius (his thoughts) rather than beyond him. And Sirius returns Lupin’s stare. He doesn’t try to avoid Lupin’s eyes, which might have prevented Lupin from accessing his thoughts. (Like Snape said, “Eye contact is often essential to Legilimency.”) I have no idea if Sirius would have known about Lupin being a Legilimens, but if he did know his refusal to break eye contact would signal submission, a kind of, “Here, look all you want. I have nothing to hide.” My Lupin the Legilimens theory would also explain why Lupin was so quick to accept Sirius’ innocence. He wouldn’t have been judging on instinct alone, he would have known Sirius was telling the truth, because as far as we know, Sirius was no Occlumens.
I also have reason to believe that Lupin is proficient at Occlumency it seems to go hand in hand with Legilimency, and there is even an example in PoA.
Snape pointed at the parchment, on which the words of Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs were still shining. An odd, closed expression appeared on Lupins face.
”Well?” said Snape.
Lupin continued to stare at the map. Harry had the impression that Lupin was doing some very quick thinking.
PoA, pp. 287-88
This odd, closed expression would have been in response to Snape, the known Legilimens, attempting to get the truth out of Lupin’s mind. Lupin would have fought Snape with Occlumency, and he seems to have done a pretty good job. Snape didn’t come away with any concrete evidence – not that we know of, anyway. Notice how Lupin’s eyes remain fixed on the map for a bit. Harry thinks hes doing some quick thinking, but what if Lupin was simply going through the mental preparation necessary to keep Snape out his head?
So, if Lupin is skilled in both Occlumency and Legilimency, what does that mean in terms of future books? He could serve as Harry’s temporary tutor over the summer in HBP, since Snape will most likely not teach Harry. Dumbledore will probably instruct Harry once the school year has started, but he may be busy over the summer and Harry will need to continue his Occlumency lessons (he’s had no success as yet at keeping Voldemort out of his mind, and without Occlumency Harry’s mind will be a treasure trove of information Voldemort shouldn’t have). There is also the possibility, though I hate to admit it, that Lupin is a double agent similar to Snape. Lupin would be able to lie to Dumbledore without detection, as Snape lies to Voldemort. I don’t think this is likely, given what we know of Lupin’s character, but the possibility remains. The fact of the matter is, possessing skills in breaking into people’s minds while keeping them out of your own opens a huge array of possibilities beyond what any of us can conceive. It certainly makes Remus Lupin a character of great interest.
The question remains: Is Lupin a Legilimens and/or Occlumens? I strongly suspect that he is, though I have also resolved never to second-guess JKR. This could be one more of those elaborate ruses she loves to cook up to keep us away from the truly important matters. As none of us can break into her mind to find out the truth, we will simply have to wait and see.