Lyall Lupin (fl. 1929-1981) was a wizard who was a world-renowned authority on Non-Human Spirituous Apparitions. During the prelude to the First Wizarding War, the Ministry of Magic called on his expertise of Dark creatures to help contain the threat, and he eventually joined the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. He married a Muggle woman, Hope Howell, and had one son, Remus, who was bitten by the werewolf Fenrir Greyback in retaliation for a negative comment about lycanthropes that Lyall made.
Marriage and career
By the age of thirty, Lyall had become a world-renowned expert on Non-Human Spirituous Apparitions, which included poltergeists and Boggarts. On an expedition to a remote Welsh woodland to investigate reports of a very fierce Boggart, he met his future wife, Hope Howell, a Muggle who worked for an insurance company in Cardiff. Upon hearing her scream, he rushed to her aid and banished the Boggart, turning it into a field mushroom with a wave of his wand. Afterward, he escorted her home, wishing to ensure her safety.
A few months later, he admitted to Hope that the Boggart had not posed any serious danger to her, but this did not negatively impact her opinion of him — by this time the pair had fallen in love with each other. Eventually, Lyall gathered the courage to propose, and Hope accepted, enthusiastically committing herself to planning their nuptials. Their wedding took place in early 1959, and included a cake featuring a Boggart-shaped topper. One year later, on 10 March 1960, the couple's first and only child, Remus John Lupin, was born.
By the mid-1960s, Lord Voldemort's power was growing, and his followers were recruiting a wide variety of Dark creatures to further his cause. The Ministry of Magic called upon experts on Dark creatures in the hope of better understanding this threat and keeping it in check. Lyall was asked to join the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures and did so happily.
At some point during his career at the Ministry, Lyall got rid of the Screaming Bogey of Strathtully, a Boggart that had fed on the fears of local Muggles to the point that it had become an elephantine black shadow with glowing white eyes, by trapping it in a matchbox.
Incurring a werewolf's wrath
One day in early 1965, Fenrir Greyback was brought in for questioning at the Ministry of Magic following the deaths of two Muggle children, apparently after being caught with a werewolf pack. Greyback was himself werewolf, but because the Werewolf Registry was not maintained very well, the Ministry did not know this fact. He insisted that he was a Muggle tramp, and all members of the questioning committee, save Lyall, accepted this story. Lyall recognised characteristic signs of lycanthropy in Greyback's appearance and behaviour. He voiced his concerns to the committee, recommending that Greyback be detained until the next full moon, which was only twenty-four hours away. However, the other committee members laughed at him, and he lost his temper, declaring werewolves to be "soulless, evil, deserving nothing but death." Consequently, Lyall was expelled from the room, and Greyback was released. But while being seen out by a Ministry wizard, who intended to erase his memory of having been brought in for questioning, Greyback escaped with the help of two accomplices.
Greyback quickly hatched a plan to get revenge on Lyall for his derogatory remark. Shortly before his son Remus's fifth birthday, Greyback forced open the boy's bedroom window, attacking him. Lyall reached his son in time to save his life, repelling Greyback with powerful curses, but Remus was left a full-fledged werewolf.
Raising a lycanthropic son
Along with his wife, Lyall tried all manner of treatments for his son Remus's lycanthropy, but in those days, before Damocles's invention of the Wolfsbane Potion, there were none that were actually effective. Thus, the couple was forced to take drastic measures to conceal Remus's condition, moving to a new village or town whenever their neighbours began to take notice of the boy's strange behaviour. They forbade him from playing with other children, and consequently, despite having the love of his both parents, his early childhood was marked by loneliness.
Initially, Lyall was able to keep Remus under control during the full moon by placing him in a locked room and casting several Silencing Charms, but as the child grew, he became more difficult to contain. By the time he was ten, Remus was capable of knocking down doors and breaking windows during his monthly transformation, requiring Lyall to use ever more powerful spells. Lyall and his wife grew thin worrying for their son, whom they loved dearly, knowing that the wizarding community would react severely if it were to learn of the existence of an uncontrolled werewolf.
The Lupins feared their son would not be able to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry due to his condition. Lyall tried to provide his son with a magical education at home as a result. However, shortly before Remus's eleventh birthday in 1971, Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster of Hogwarts, showed up unannounced at the Lupins' door. The couple tried frantically to prevent him from entering their home, but within five minutes, he had found a way inside. Dumbledore told the couple that he knew of how their son had been attacked by Fenrir Greyback (Greyback had boasted of his actions to spies that Dumbledore had planted among the Dark creatures). He assured them that Remus would be able to attend Hogwarts, since he had already seen to it that the boy would have a safe, secure location to spend his monthly transformations.
Sometime prior to Voldemort's fall on 31 October, 1981, Hope died, leaving Lyall a widower. Although Remus was unable to find stable employment to support himself following the end of the First Wizarding War, he refused to move back home with Lyall, fearing that doing so would threaten his father's "peaceful" life. However, he still saw Lyall from time to time, which made his father happy. Eventually, Remus died in the Second Wizarding War, leaving Lyall with only a grandson; whether Lyall was dead by 1998 or whether he ever met his grandson is unknown.
Personality and traits
Lyall was described as a shy and clever man. Though usually mild-mannered, he had a hidden fierce temper which could assert itself when he was sufficiently upset by a situation, and was not afraid to challenge his professional superiors when he knew them to be in the wrong on an important matter.
Though he did not bear any prejudice against Muggles, he subscribed to the negative view of werewolves that was prevalent in the wizarding community, until his eyes were opened when his own son was left a werewolf as a result of an attack carried out in retaliation for an anti-werewolf remark he made. Lyall proved himself to be a devoted father who loved his son unconditionally and was willing to go to great lengths to protect him despite his condition.
Lyall sometimes found it difficult to reveal things to people if he thought it would make them think less of him. He refrained from telling Hope that the Boggart wasn't a real danger for several months after meeting her, presumably because he didn't want her to think that he had simply been playing the hero to try to win her affections. He also refrained from telling Remus the true circumstances of his attack and the identity of his attacker for many years out of fear of his son's condemnation.
- "Lyall" may be from a Scottish surname which was derived from the Old Norse given name "Liulfr" (which was derived in part from "úlfr", meaning "wolf"). "Lyall" is also a common surname (most common in America).
- "Lupin" is derived from "lupus (/lupa)", Latin for "wolf". Lupin thus means "wolf-like" in Latin, and is also the name of a flower. "Canis Lupus" is the scientific name for wolf. To be described as "lupine" means to "resemble a wolf". This alludes to the lycanthropy in the Lupin family.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- Pottermore (First identified as Lyall Lupin)
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 Pottermore - New From J. K. Rowling - Remus Lupin
- ↑ Pottermore: New From J.K. Rowling - "Boggart"
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 18