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Dumbledore's Army
Reviews for: Squib Sequestered
Review(s): 10

Reviewer: EricaDate: 2005-03-20
Reviewid: 117266Chapter: 1
This story is fascinating, as is the discourse it has generated. It's different, it's dark in a unique way.

Reviewer: CheddarTrekDate: 2005-03-16
Reviewid: 116747Chapter: 1
Wow, I really like this story... a lot.

I like your explanation of why Filch works at Hogwarts, and why Dumbledore keeps him there. It had never really occured to me that what the students do for detention is what Filch does in his daily work, that is a fascinating observation.

"Dear Professor Dumbledore, I'm sorry for putting you through so much guilt and pain. I'm a bit mad at you for all that happened in OotP, but not as much as this fic makes it seem."
~My thoughts exactly. He's still my favorite character.

Reviewer: louisaDate: 2005-02-21
Reviewid: 114578Chapter: 1
Wow! This is a really moving peice. Poor Filch, all that bitterness. very well written.

Reviewer: reader2Date: 2005-02-07
Reviewid: 113181Chapter: 1
weird and amusing

Reviewer: WendelinDate: 2005-01-17
Reviewid: 111206Chapter: 1
Hey Honeybee,

First off, thanks for leaving me a great review. I feel lucky that my first negative review was a well-reasoned, polite, non-flame one.

I had my reasons for characterising Filch and Dumbledore the way I did.

I do believe Filch is actively evil. There are many reasons for this: in canon, Filch is heard to express support for hanging students by their wrists from the ceiling (or something like that), whipping (not just caning) and a general willingness to be as cruel as possible to students. His reaction to obtaining approval for whipping can only be described as an unholy glee. This is a twisted, sadistic person. It's my theory that he doesn't whip students at Hogwarts more out of fear and awe of *wizards* rather than respect for rules. He's accountable to Dumbledore, and that scares him into toeing the line. In the muggle world, Filch would experience a rare sense of equality and hence, freedom. He is on equal footing with the people around him, so he doesn't see them as threats. And in that scenario, as soon as he is in a position of power (wrt the children he is charged with caring for), he would be willing to abuse it.

Dumbledore, too, behaves the way he does because he is in extreme emotional turmoil. I do believe it was one of the most intense experiences of his life to talk to Harry that morning. He simply wasn't himself - as self-possessed and in control of emotions as we would usually expect him to be. This is evidenced by the fact that he *cries* openly in front of Harry. At the forefront of his mind at the moment is a deep sense of failure.

So when he considers his actions concerning Filch, he can see quite clearly that he judged the man wrongly before, and in his frame of mind, he readily admits to having made a mistake. It doesn't matter to whom he is admitting this, because, being Dumbledore, he *does* respect people enough to view them as equals - even a janitor. Then when he finds out that Filch has been trying to punish Harry for having been out fighting all might, he quite naturally loses control. His love for Harry and his acute sense of having failed him contribute to this loss of control. But immediately, we see him master his feelings and apologise openly for attacking Filch... I think all this is completely in character for him.

Hope this clarifies the reasons why I wrote the characters the way I did. I think there's enough evidence in canon for my portrayal of the two men.

Thanks again for your review.
Wendelin

Reviewer: HoneybeeDate: 2005-01-15
Reviewid: 110936Chapter: 1
Your premise is an intriguing one. Filch aligned himself with Umbridge, and he should have to answer for that. Although there's a lot of food for thought in this story, I don't really agree with some of the characterizations you have made. These characterizations provide the foundation for your story, making both Filch and Dumbledore going from characters to caricatures- Filch in particular.

You have written him as someone who is evil, a characteristic I don't see as supported by canon. Bitter, yes. Jealous, yes. Misguided by Umbridge, yes. But not evil. I'm curious as to why you made the choice to have Filch arrested for "repeatedly caning four year olds". As much as he may have wanted to use corporal punishment during his time at Hogwarts, he didn't, because it wasn't allowed. Caning children in the Muggle world isn't allowed. Why is Filch suddenly breaking rules he abided by before?

Dumbledore has gone from the wise headmaster admitting to his mistakes to an 'in-your-face' pit-bull bodyguard in just a few short moments. You have Dumbledore resorting to what amounts to a physical attack on Filch. I don't believe an action like this would be in his nature. Dumbledore has never shown anything but a level head in the face of adversity, even when Harry is involved. Harry has suffered cruelty at the hands of adults his entire life, and Dumbledore has always stood apart from the situation. I find it hard to understand why you have Dumbledore all of the sudden reacting the way he does, even in the face of what Harry went through in the Department of Mysteries.

I'm no great fan of Filch, nor am I too happy with some of the decisions Dumbledore made regarding Harry. However, I'm afraid that your obvious antipathy for these two characters and/or their actions in OotP may have clouded an objective view towards them.

Reviewer: katieDate: 2004-12-24
Reviewid: 108540Chapter: 1
WOW. i never could have imagined such a detailed and possible history for filch. very nicely done.

Reviewer: OzmaDate: 2004-12-24
Reviewid: 108534Chapter: 1
This is a much darker Filch than anything we've seen yet in canon. It's very well written. You've done a fantastic job of capturing the weight of Dumbledore's responsibilities and his guilt, Harry's loss and despair and Filch's deep frustration and barely suppressed rage. And you did a marvelous job with Peeves too.

When I finished this story I found that I felt quite deeply angry with Dumbledore. It was this bit that made me feel so angry with Albus:

"Albus closed his eyes. How could he have let a man such as Argus Filch wander free?

Filch saw threats in creatures like Peeves and in the mischief of young students, when they couldn't have hurt him in any lasting way. Albus had seen a threat in Filch, a squib who could no more have harmed his students under the protection of his enchantments than a pixie could hurt a hippogriff. Albus had fallen prey to the very weakness of which he had accused Filch."


When I was reading that, I couldn't help thinking about the conversation that Dumbledore had had with Harry about Kreacher near the end of OotP. I couldn't help thinking that Filch, like Kreacher, was what he'd been made by wizards. Filch's existence at Hogwarts was miserable. He served Dumbledore because he felt he had no other choices. He was treated without much kindness or respect by most of the castle's denizens, forced to clean up their messes and endure Peeves' taunts. The events of OotP, and Filch's decision to ally himself with Umbridge shows how isolated Filch feels at Hogwarts. When Dumbledore thinks that Peeves nor the students "could not have hurt Filch in any lasting way" I felt appalled by Dumbledore's blindness. Doing hard menial, thankless work day after day and day (even when Filch was ill with the flu in CoS or suffering from rheumatism, as is mentioned in OotP) constantly feeling powerless and put-upon and frustrated... these things can kill a person inside slowly, bit by bit. People much stronger than Filch wouldn't have been able to heal themselves under those circumstances, especially after an assault as brutal as the one you described in the beginning of your story.

Filch's outburst was very eloquent:

"You don't know... you can't know... You, with your wands and your magic! And I...!" Argus broke off, sputtering, and close to tears of frustration.



Albus sensed that the outburst wasn't over. He stayed silent.



After a minute, Filch said, in a bitter voice scarcely higher than a whisper, "Do you know what the teachers do to punish... your precious students? They are made to polish shields, scrub floors, clean the bedpans... without magic." He stopped and looked into Albus's face. "Do you know how they are cleaned when there are no students in detention?"

I felt frustrated with Dumbledore for hearing Filch's words, but not *listening*. Although, at that stage even listening would have been too little, too late for him to see the real mistake I think he made with Filch. Dumbledore said it himself in OotP when he was talking to Harry about Kreacher: "Indifference and neglect often do more damage than outright dislike."

Dumbledore's empathy and concern seemed only for the students and for Peeves. He might have given Filch a job and place at the Castle, he might have pitied Filch, but he felt no true compassion for him. It seems that, in Dumbledore's eyes, Filch was "nothing more than a servant unworthy of much interest or notice." Letting Filch leave Hogwarts was only the last mistake that Dumbledore made with Filch, it wasn't his first mistake with the caretaker, or even his worst mistake with the caretaker.

Anyway, thank you for a well-written, very haunting story. It's been staying on my mind ever since I read it.

Reviewer: Wendelin the WeirdDate: 2004-12-23
Reviewid: 108426Chapter: 1
Eh. You're right, the spacing is horrible. I'm going to try and fix that. :) Thanks for your review!

Reviewer: nightcrawler1089Date: 2004-12-23
Reviewid: 108338Chapter: 1
Oh my Gosh, I never really imagined Filch as evil! This is a great opinion, and some food for thought. I also like the weight you've placed on Dumbledore (well, not like, but feel it was a good idea). My only problem is your spacing...you don't need so much space between sentences ;-).

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