This is honestly my favorite page in this whole book, let alone the whole series, so let me break down the various reasons why:
1. Peeves and Lupin clearly already knew each other. This page is your first hint that Remus Lupin may have been a bit of a trouble maker. Peeves already has a song and nicknames for him, and Lupin isn’t a bit surprised.
2. “Rude and unmanageable as he almost always was, Peeves usually showed some respect toward the teachers.” This reminds me of the way Fred and George relate to each other, or to Ginny. Its no surprise that F and G are the closest of the Weasleys, and what good friends they are with Ginny. They offered to send her a toilet seat, they are constantly pranking one another. They don’t show each other respect in the way they would a teacher per say, but respect between pranksters also includes some pranking and teasing among each other right?
This page is your first hint at the relationship between the Marauders and Peeves, and it delights me. Look at instances later of the way Peeves and the twins relate. Its similar.
3. Its like this scene is almost a test from Peeves to Lupin - is Lupin the same as the pranking teenager Peeves once new, or did he grow up?
4. And his answer is in that wonderful spell of Lupin’s. I cannot believe that this teacher, at his first lesson with these students, forcibly shoved a piece of chewing gum up Peeves’ nose. Lupin is clearly not the straight-laced, “play by the rules” type we in this fandom like to characterize him as.
5. Also, what better way to relate to and get on your students good side than to one-up the school poltergeist? Especially when your class is full of thirteen year olds.
6. REMUS. ALREADY. KNEW. DEAN’S. NAME. At this point, Lupin had not yet had a class with the Gryffindor third years. And, with seven years worth of classes times four houses - thats 28 classes worth of students whose names he had to learn. There is no reason he should already know the names of his new students - and yet he does.
And not like it’s Harry’s name either - Dean Thomas is kind of a nobody at this point, but Remus Lupin made it a point to KNOW HIS STUDENT’S NAME BEFORE HE HAD HIM IN CLASS.
7. This whole scene is a DIRECT CONTRAST to the scene before, in Snape’s class. In Snape’s class, we see him play favorites, we see him insult his students, we see him attempt to poison a child’s pet. Here, already, and we’re not even in class, we see Lupin relate to his students, treat them with respect and dignity (on the previous page he says, “Would you please put all your books back in your bags” - he uses “please” and other words that indicate respect). And we see him bother to learn his students names.
Remus John Lupin should’ve been a professor, alright? He should’ve. He’s so good at it. I love him. I love this page. I love POA.