Reading Reviews for Without
14 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Dojh167 Argus Filch

20th June 2015:
Huffleuff House Cup 2015 Review

Oooh, an Argus Filch story? That is so unique! It's funny to me that he is one of the listed characters on the archive, but you never see anything about him.

I like that you gave Filch a noble heritage. I had never made that connection before. Although we know he's from a magical family, I don't think I've seen the name Filch mentioned anywhere else in the series. I wonder what happened to the rest of the family. I doubt they'd be happy about him working at Hogwarts, as that means that all the students who go through that school would associate the family name with him.

I really like the gravity that you gave to this. In the book the discovery that Filch is a Squib is treated like a joke, but it really is very serious in social context.

It is definitely interesting to me that Filch chose to work without magic in the wizarding world instead of seeking out a place in the muggle world. Through the work you've done here, you make it clear that the latter would have been much more difficult and unbearable for him.

I thought it was very interesting that the way you structured this story, Filch was essentially begging for understanding, which he had been denied all of his life. It made him very sympathetic.


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Review #2, by HeyMrsPotter Argus Filch

20th June 2015:
Hello again!

Well, goodness me. I was totally not prepared to end this story almost feeling sorry for Filch. What did you do?!?!

The first person narrative is really effective here, that coupled with the questions directly for the reader really helped me to feel sorry for Filch. It's no wonder he's so mean and bitter! I think the reasoning that you had for him being the way he is was really realistic. Of course being a squib in a long line of well-respected witches and wizards is going to make him bitter and hating of all magical children, watching them do what he never could must be awful.

You know a story is good when it changes a person's whole perspective on a character :p

Hufflepuff House Cup 2015

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Review #3, by DracoFerret11 Argus Filch

20th June 2015:
Hello there! This is DarkRose from the forums, here to review for you for the House Cup 2015! So, let's go over things:

Grammar/Spelling: A few errors stood out to me, such as: "the muggle's mundane world" where it should be "Muggles'." Also, this might not be a mistake, but you say, "They do know the ache of hands" -- should it be "do not"? And finally, this sentence: "I don't see my parents because of something beyond my control, my job makes me miserable, yet it's the only one available with my background and my only friend is an animal." should be "I don't see my parents because of something beyond my control; my job makes me miserable, yet it's the only one available with my background; and my only friend is an animal."

Plot: This was a great explanation for why Filch is so bitter! I think people would have assumed something like this, but isn't it interesting to think of how hard things would have been for him? Man...that's miserable.

Characterization: I loved how you characterized Filch. I thought it was really realistic. His love of Mrs. Norris is something I would have liked to see even more of. He really does care about her, and it's sad that people treat her so badly when she's all he has. That really affected me.

Emotions: Poor Filch! I know he's a total jerk, but you definitely made him relateable and sad. I wanted to apologize to him for everyone being so awful! Poor guy...

Overall, in 600 words, you gave Filch a great backstory. I might even take the idea of exploring his life and run with it in a longer story, if you wouldn't mind! Of course, I'll think differently of his backstory and future, but the concept has kind of inspired me. Good job!

--Emily (DarkRose)

Ravenclaw, House Cup 2015

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Review #4, by TreacleTart Argus Filch

20th June 2015:
Hey there!

I'm here for House Cup 2015- Amazing Race Round 2 - Gryffindor!

Wow. This was pretty depressing. I never thought I'd be saying this, but I actually feel sorry for Argus Filch. I had really never given much consideration to why he was such a bitter person before, but this makes complete sense. I think anyone might be bitter in his shoes.

I really like that you talked about his bloodline and how he was spoiled as a child. It gave a very clear picture of the type of family he came from and made it all the more heartbreaking when they abandoned him. Surely, most people wouldn't punish their child for something that was completely out of their control. It's just so awful.

The ending was really a heartbreaker. I mean to think that his family has abandoned him, the students are cruel to him, he hates his job, and his only friend is a cat is just so sad. I really want to give Filch a hug now.

Again, I just wanted to point out that there was some strange formatting going on in this. (I noticed that in another story of yours.) Going through and deleting the gaps between chapters would help make this a bit easier to read.

Good work! I need to go find a box of tissues now.


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Review #5, by SereneChaos Argus Filch

17th July 2013:
I really liked this story! I think your characterization of Filch is good, and in particular I think the strongest moments are when his monologue mention the 'brats' at school. Keeping in mind that your Filch would have been from a well educated pureblood family, I think his voice was perfectly fine and accurate! His history makes a lot of sense as well, and I liked how you drew together that his resentment towards the students stems from realizing that he will never have what they have. And what a good point about his punishments being ways to show the students what it's like to be without magic!

Something I think that could make this story better would be to give quick glimpses into Filch's life--the way his parents treated him, for example. Just quick, specific details to show us more than tell us that his parents abandoned him.

Other than that, great work!

Author's Response: Hello! Thank you so much for reviewing! I'm so glad that you liked this story.

It's always interesting for me to try and understand that background of a character. Particularly in Filch's case, the understanding is very helpful in knowing how they will act and speak.

Thank you for pointing that out! If/when I do go back and edit this, I will definitely think about including more moments from his past!

Thank you once again for reading and reviewing! :D

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Review #6, by daliha Argus Filch

26th January 2012:
You characterize Filch correctly, you got me to feel something you know usually we overlook Filch but here with this story you simply can't over look him. (And you mentioned Mrs, Norris)

Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing- I'm glad that you think that I characterized Filch correctly and that I made it so that you couldn't overlook him. I was trying to give him that depth of character and it's nice to hear that it came across.

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Review #7, by academica Argus Filch

29th December 2011:
Hey! I've gotten around to doing your prize reviews :)

You know that I love your work, and I love reading about under-loved characters, and to see the two combined? I was super excited to read this. You've created an interesting look into Filch's background, and I like this version of him, the picture of him as a once-beloved child who fell from grace when he never received his Hogwarts letter. (Which kind of makes me wonder... d'you think any children ever got admitted to Hogwarts only to find out later that they were actually Squibs? Y'know, like Neville once thought about himself? Sorry. Random thought.)

I also really like this idea of him being between two worlds. I could definitely see it -- it would be torture having to live in the magical world, totally unable to participate in magic, and be too informed to live in the Muggle world, devoid of magic. You really did a good job of emphasizing his loneliness and his resentment for the children, who don't value their gift.

Great work! :)


Author's Response: Thanks so much for reviewing! I'm so glad that you enjoy my work- I enjoy yours as well, though I don't read it nearly enough.

I'm glad that you liked my version of Filch. This idea sprouted from the idea that squibs only come from magical ("pureblood") families and it's well known that pureblood families value magic above almost everything else. I definitely thought that this was a probably history for Filch and it would explain his grumpier disposition.

I don't think that any children would be admitted to Hogwarts if they were squibs because I think that there's a magical device that detects the amount of magical ability a person has & then notes their name- that's how I imagine they would find the muggle-born children. If that is the case, then a squib's name would never show up on the register.

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Review #8, by Singularity Argus Filch

23rd August 2011:
This was a really great story. I'm a sucker for stories like this, giving backstories and humanizing the unliked characters. I mean, seriously, if my parents disowned me for being a squib, I'd probably be a bitter old git too.

Your characterization of Filch is great. I love the history you've given him. Your writing style is quite lovely as well. The story flowed beautifully and I think the series of questions kind of helped tie it all together.


Author's Response: Thanks so much for taking the time to review! I really enjoy writing stories like that- I love exploring the backgrounds of familiar characters, especially the unliked ones. I have an idea in the back of my head for an Umbridge one-shot... Definitely one of the most disliked characters!

I'm glad you think my characterization is great and that you liked my writing style. I agree- the series of questions really helps the flow. One of the questions is actually what sparked the whole idea behind the story.

Thanks once again for reviewing! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

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Review #9, by writeyourheartout Argus Filch

4th August 2011:
This was really just lovely and powerful. Truly, I was actually quite blown away by how completely you flipped my view of Argus Filch. It wasn't even a struggle converting me because your words, your phrasing, the power behind each sentence, and the back-story you gave to him... all of it held me from the beginning sentence to the very end.

I've never read a story that was focused around Filch before because his character has never exactly intrigued me. I never cared for his background, about where he came from, or about why he is the way that he is. But you've really opened up a new door for me with this story. You gave his character layers and dimensions and a reason for the why. And you completely opened up my eyes along with it.

The writing is to die for. You have an absolute way with words - you know exactly which word will place the perfect amount of description and emphasis to create maximum impact. And the phrasing of some of these sentences - they blew me away. Again, it's so clear that you understand how to manipulate words and sentences to work powerfully and that made this story such a joy to read. The flow of it was effortless, so fluid, with each moment running smoothly into the next - exactly how a story should be told and read.

The repetition of asking us questions - asking us if we could maybe understand why he is the way that he is - it was really heavy and persuasive and I did learn to understand. With every knew 'Can you blame me? Can you understand it?' I was pulled closer in, accepting his person more and more fully as the story continued to unravel. You had such a clear grasp on the character and I can see how fully you did your homework for him - you really turned this person, who was formerly to me very 2-dimensional, and gave him this rich, heartbreaking tale. I would trust you with just about any character now, knowing how carefully you worked with someone who played a relatively insignificant part.

You made every moment count, and that's something that a lot of author's don't know how to do. Nothing was a throw away; everything had a purpose.

Some of my absolute favorite moments were when you talked about how Filch was born into this pureblood family who placed their future into his hands as their heir, who were all relying on him to carry on the line and do them proud. And then to be a squib after having all of that pressure and prestige thrust upon him - it was just so terribly sad. My heart really broke for him. You were so clever about choosing that background for him, too, because it really did allow for the most convincing reasons as to why he grew up and became this person.

And the moment when you talk about how selective the magical world is, how rigid with rules and how it's cruel to those that don't fit perfectly within - Wow. I've never really considered that much... it almost reminds of Petunia watching Lily get accepted as a witch, only to be told she didn't belong in their world. I don't know why it's taken me until now to realize it, but it must have been truly awful to know of the magical world and then also know that you could never be a part of it. And then you hit us with this line: "I was trapped between two worlds, not fully belonging to either." Unbelievably powerful and stunningly phrased. Again, it's right back to your incredible ability to take a handful of words and craft them into these moments that just drop our jaws, that make us rethink everything! I'm so jelly! ^.^

I really love that you kept bringing Mrs. Norris into it without ever actually calling her by her name. You kept saying that this cat was his only friend - I found this so interesting because it seems almost like if Mrs. Norris wasn't his only friend, he may not care for her much at all. He sounds almost resentful of her, but still knows that without her he'd be completely alone, and it's better to have some darn cat than have no one at all. I don't know if you meant it to sound that way, but it definitely gave their relationship another very intriguing level.

And then when you brought it back to Hogwarts, back to the fact that he is working in a place where he is constantly surrounded by the thing he wants most in the world but can never have, the thing that probably haunts his entire life, that destroyed his relationship with his family - Wow. It makes you think 'Why are you still there, then! Leave! You're torturing yourself!' but what if because that's his only connection to that world anymore, he simply can't let it go? He takes all of the hits from those kids who continue to drive him insane because cleaning and disciplining the kids at Hogwarts is perhaps all he truly has left. And his cat. Gah, he makes so much sense to me now because of you! He hates these kids and wants to punish them for having the chance at the life he never got - the life he almost had... And while it doesn't excuse his sadistic manner or his general disregard for doing what's right, it at least makes some sense now.

Some tiny details:
"Iím a bitter mess with nothing to look forward (to) in the future."
"They do (not) know the ache of hands . . . and trampled on by ungrateful brats."

To sum up, I really just thought you were so clever with each of your choices and so beautiful with each of your words, and that combination really made me reevaluate our little caretaker. I'm really glad I took the chance to read this story because it's going to be one of those ones that stays with me long after I've finished reading.


Author's Response: Thanks so much for giving me such a fabulous review! I'm so flattered! I'm so glad that I changed your view of him in such a good way.

Thanks so much for your compliment on my writing. My smile is so wide... Thanks so much for your praise. I've recently fallen into the habit of including questions (apparent in my other one-shot, Ugly Glory). I think they add continuity and help the flow of the story.

No, I didn't mean to have Mrs. Norris seem that way, but that's not a bad interpretation. I agree with you- a very interesting slant to their relationship!

I'm so glad that I gave you a different view of Filch. I think that's the wonder of minor characters- you can do just about whatever you want with them, so long as you keep to what little you know of them. It's great that you thought my backstory made sense.

Thanks for letting me know about the small typos- I'll be sure to go back and fix them once I have the time.

Thanks so much for your review and all the time you put into it. I'm so glad you took the time to review.

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Review #10, by ilharrypotter Argus Filch

1st August 2011:
Hello there! ilharrypotter/polkadot from the forums with your requested review.

I've always wondered about Argus Filch - it's nice to see a one-shot that's trying to expose a bit about his character. Looking forward to reading and reviewing!

You do a great job exposing Argus' pain and sadness when he realized he had no magic. I can only imagine - being part of a magical family, only to never recieve my letter to Hogwarts. It would break my heart. I feel for him in this piece - honestly, I do.

It makes so much sense, and you created Filch so well. I hurt for him - and I even feel bad for disliking him as much as I always did throughout the series.

Great job!



Author's Response: Thanks so much for your review!

I know- Argus Filch is present in the books but his character is hidden. I'm glad you think that I do a good job of characterizing him. And (I know this sounds horrible) I'm glad my Argus Filch affected you.

I'm so glad you think it's believable and thanks so much for the compliment.

Thanks once again for reviewing!

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Review #11, by Phoenix_Flames Argus Filch

30th July 2011:
Hello there! I'm here with your review as requested. And wow!

This was brilliant! A very well done piece, and I enjoyed it so much! I had never read anythin focusing solely on Filch before, and this was such a great and interesting take on his story. You did a very good job with it, and I feel like this could easily be how it went down for Filch and how he feels about the whole situation.

You made him actually sound quite articulate, and I like that take. It's like he is quiet on the outside, but really does have a lot to say. Really great job! This was so good and so enjoyable!

Thanks for requesting! :)

Author's Response: Thanks so much for your review! I'm so glad you enjoyed it and that you thought it was realistic.
Filch has just such potential- a Squib working in Hogwarts. I'm glad you liked the story.
Thanks once again for reviewing!

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Review #12, by MadamePuddifoot Argus Filch

23rd July 2011:
I thought this was very interesting and I like how you detailed Filch and his sorry history. 10/10

Author's Response: Thanks for the review! I'm glad you liked it!

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Review #13, by ekroman Argus Filch

18th July 2011:
This was beautiful! And guess who is the random character on the top of my page at this exact moment :D quite funny actually xD

Author's Response: Thanks for the review- and what a coincidence! Mine happens to be Hagrid... I'm glad you think the story's beautiful- makes me smile. :) Thanks!

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Review #14, by Iloenchen Argus Filch

14th July 2011:
I love Filch's background how you described it in this story. There were times when I wished you had dived a bit more into it, maybe written out a few key scenes because you picked my interest. Minor characters are so interesting! Thanks a lot for writing this great piece and bringing Filch to my attention.

Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing- I'm glad you liked this one-shot. The reason I didn't go more indepth in certain scenes (as would have been interesting) is that I wrote this for a challenge which stated that the story can only contain one character. That character cannot interact with or name another character. Limits what scenes I can do (at least I think so).
But yes, I definitely agree that the minor characters can be the most interesting- there's so much you can do with them while still leaving them canon!
Thanks for the compliment! And thanks once again for reviewing!

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