He had crept away here, burning, miserable, and his Gran had sent him to bed early, convinced he was falling ill. He had not had the courage to tell her what he had heard, or ask her further about his father. His illusions had fallen as he lay tossing that night, the words playing themselves over and over in his head. Left her…coward…abandoned them…helpless…
He arose the next morning with a new image in his head; that of a skulking, round-shouldered, rather balding man with a weak mind and heart. He knew that his father had been tall and broad-shouldered, but it soothed the ache a little to imagine his father worthless, undeserving of pity or compassion. He knew that there were parts of the story he was missing, but he knew that there was no excuse for what his father had done. And so he put Remus Lupin to the back of his mind, degraded and dethroned from the pedestal on which he had been raised.
—from ForgottenMoonbeam92’s Searching for Remus (x)
This past week, the universe has been doing its damnedest to remind me that no, I will never truly leave the Harry Potter fandom. By far, my favorite reminder has been the countless number of posts I’ve seen lately that reveal Remus Lupin’s full name to mean “Wolfy Werewolf McWerewolfpants”. I share a love in the irony that all of Rowling’s werewolves have names that translate roughly to “I am a werewolf”, but for me, it adds another layer of ridiculous to one of my favorite characters; which I severely needed after the character assassination Lupin received in the last few books. Of course, there’s no way I can understand a character better than the author, and I don’t claim to. However, I always felt that Lupin’s later abandonment and sudden unwillingness to act like an adult—despite that being one of his main character traits—was a product of sloppy writing. For better or for worse, though, that’s what we got. And the dislike of said later Lupin’s actions is totally a fanfiction topic I can get behind.
Now, true, ForgottenMoonbeam92’s Searching for Remus did first catch my eye because it addressed Lupin’s cowardly behaviors, but where it really kept my attention was in showing this all through the perspective of Teddy, Lupin’s son. Teddy never had the chance to meet either of his parents, and if I was in his position I’m sure that I’d be more drawn to Tonks than Lupin to be completely honest. However, in this story Teddy is raised without given much information on his parents due to the fear that he might try to bring them back or spend his life drawn to the Mirror of Erised: a temptation that his godfather, Harry Potter, knows all too well. Yet, when Teddy starts coming to the conclusion that he may actually hate his father, Harry decides to let him know just what kind of man his father was.
Although there is a sense that Searching for Remus tries a bit hard to redeem Lupin, it’s logical given that Harry is the one showing Teddy all the memories. Harry is a man that idealizes the people in his past, especially the ones who helped him survive and were connected to his family. Honestly one of the only issues I have with this fic is that I wish that more attention was given to addressing the fact that yes, Lupin did some terrible things. It shouldn’t be glossed over that he totally try to ditch Tonks because he was a coward, nor should any of the other negative aspects of his character development be forgotten simply because Remus was, in the end, a good person. Overall though, I truly enjoyed seeing ForgottenMoonbeam92’s take on Remus’s past.
Though Searching for Remus is much more serious in tone than I was originally looking for, the included moments of humor help make sure the story isn’t too somber. At almost 13k words, it won’t take too much of your day to read. If you’re a fan of Lupin or interested in possible interpretations of Teddy after Deathly Hallows, then I would recommend giving this fic a read.