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Why didn't Remus Lupin seek Harry out before PoA? And why didn't he reveal to Harry that he was friends with his father before Sirius came along?

"You heard James?" said Lupin in a strange voice.

"Yeah..." Face dry, Harry looked up. "Why -- you didn't know my dad, did you?"

"I -- I did, as a matter of fact," said Lupin. "We were friends at Hogwarts. Listen, Harry -- perhaps we should leave it here for tonight. This charm is ridiculously advanced...I shouldn't have suggested putting you through this..."

Why does he answer Harry's question dismissively and not give him more details? I would assume it was because he wants to avoid questions about Sirius at that point. And let's say Dumbledore stopped him from contacting Harry until he started school at Hogwarts, to keep him out of contact with the wizarding world and safe.

He could still have contacted Harry during his first two years at Hogwarts. Why didn't he, considering his closeness with James and Lily, and that he was the only thing close to a family connection that Harry had?

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    As a stylistic observation; throughout the novels I find that whenever Rowling introduces new characters, creatures, or places; they seem to appear from nowhere but suddenly become such a large part of the story. For instance; we don't hear anything about dementors or azkaban before book 3; but as soon as they are introduced they become such a major part of the universe; (i.e. attack on harry+dudley on toad-face's orders, voldemort recruiting them, etc); nor do you hear one whit of luna lovegood before book 5 yet suddenly she's everywhere; (DA, locked with ollivander, etc..) – Joshua Lin Jul 8 '17 at 20:07
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    You could say the universe expands as time goes on; but other authors usually clue in things that become important later with side remarks and hints at truths; for Harry Potter it's always felt to me that important things just materialise out of the blue and before you know it become all important – Joshua Lin Jul 8 '17 at 20:09
  • Lupin might have had to cut the conversation short if it was on the night of the full moon. He says, "perhaps we should leave it here for tonight." Does he show up in any scenes later that night? Such is the life of a wereman, he has to avoid any social events once a month. – RichS Jul 9 '17 at 5:09
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He was a werewolf, and therefore an outcast. Note that in the world of Harry Potter, werewolves are not harmless creatures, and they can't even control themselves during full moon. Going by Remus Lupin's Pottermore page (by J. K. Rowling), he spent most of the time before the events of Prisoner of Azkaban changing meager jobs, in order to survive and in order not to be recognised as a werewolf.

Remus now lived a hand-to-mouth existence, taking jobs that were far below his level of ability, always knowing that he would have to leave them before his pattern of growing sick once a month at the full moon was noticed by his workmates.

Of course, the was now the Wolfsbane potion, which limited the werewolves transformation to purely physical one, allowing them to retain their sanity. However, the potion is expensive and hard to obtain (without disclosing being a werewolf), so it was off-limits to Remus because he was hiding, and barely had a source of income.

However, the Wolfsbane Potion was complex and the ingredients very expensive. Remus had no chance to sample it without admitting what he was and so he continued his lonely, itinerant existence.

The potion was the only thing that made Lupin accept the position of the DADA teacher:

He was only persuaded to accept when Dumbledore explained that there would be a limitless supply of Wolfsbane Potion, courtesy of the Potions master, Severus Snape.

Yes, Remus was a friend of James and Lily's; yes, he was devastated when he heard Sirius betrayed them. But a reasonable person such as him would not risk the life of Harry, which was already a difficult one, by subjecting him to the company of a werewolf, for a few moments of sentimentality. Remus must have figured that knowing about his father wouldn't help Harry much at that time (during his first two years), and I must say I'd agree with him.

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    Even in Prisoner of Azkaban, Remus isn't chomping at the bit to introduce himself to Harry as one of his father's best friends. In fact, we only really find out once Harry's discovered the Marauder's map. Clearly, the guy has his own issues and priorities, and probably doesn't think highly of himself enough to offer his friendship straight away. – Ghoti and Chips Jul 8 '17 at 19:23

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