Wow this was really something different! I loved the insight and new perspective into Argus Filch's life, and I thought the plot itself was brilliant! I loved how he had only just begun as a caretaker, meeting Rosmerta and all that happened, and I particularly think you did a fantastic job conveying Filch's thoughts about how he's a squib - you made me really sympathise with him.
All in all, this was just a really nice one shot- definitely something not seen much, so it was nice to have this story be about filch, and I liked how Rosmerta accepted him :)Author's Response: Hey :)
Filch's early years, to me, have the potential to be very intriguing because something must have happened to him for him to become the Filch we all know, and well...don't like. I think he might've had a lot of chances at happiness, and some people who considered him a companion. It was Christmas, and I thought he should at least have a nice time.
Of course the issue with him being a squib will come up, it's just a matter of how he deals with it. Here, he bristles and assumes that he will be abandoned. I imagined that's how things were when he was younger that he managed to end up working at Hogwarts - Heaven knows where before that. I thought a young, fiery Rosmerta might spice things up a bit - because that's what he needs - spice!
Thank you so much for reading my little one-shot!
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Alright, first of all, I have to say how sorry I am to finally getting to review this and I really appreciate you writing this for me. My computer broke back in december and I've only just got it back this march.
YOU WROTE FILCH! I adore him, I really do and your take on it was perfect, you nailed him right on the head, the characterization was outstanding. The imagery, wow, I adored it, you paint a beautiful picture. Rosmerta? What an interesting way to add her to the story, I've never thought of them as a shipping before, but I loved it so much. I love the fact that you've made him human, you've made him into a real person. You're so talented, there aren't a lot of writers who could take such a minor character and transform him like you have. I'm so glad it ended happy too! Happy ending are always my favourite.
Thank you so much for writing this for me, I loved it so much, it's going on my favourites, also this is my 450th review! Thank you so much again and I am very sorry for getting around to thank you now, I hope you'll forgive me.Author's Response: 'Ello, Keely.
That's no problem. These things happen. I'm glad you got to read it though.
This is actually the third time I've written him. All of them depicted different parts of his life. This one, I happen to like a lot because I doubt anyone has thought about writing Filch in the romantic capacity with someone other than Madam Pince. He's a character that you can do a lot with too. Behind all the grumbles, and glowers is the unfortunate past of an unfortunate man. I heard someone say once that all Voldemort needed was a hug as a child, maybe the same could apply to Filch.
I picked Rosmerta because I figured a man like Filch needed some fire, and she was the only woman who could do that - needless to say, I have no idea what Pince might have up her sleeve ;). As a young woman, I think she might have been unstoppable, and Filch at that point in his life, needed it. He needed to live.
Happy endings or hopeful ones? :)
You're welcome. I'm really glad you like it!
I'm back! This is prize review #4 :)
I've contemplated trying to tackle Filch a time or two, and I'm impressed by your characterization of him. Right off the bat you introduce those elements of uncertainty and weakness that I've always felt were boiling just underneath the surface, as evidenced by his concern that he is disliked by (most of) the professors and disrespected by the students at Hogwarts. His anxiety about the pretty girl he met was really adorable. I like the detail you gave his history, especially the mention of his sister and his shame concerning his non-magical condition.
I love Rosmerta as well. They would make sort of an interesting pair, I suppose, though I usually ship him with the school librarian instead. I love her carefree attitude and the way she pities him and simultaneously maintains an interest in him. It's a nice complement to his awkward nature.
The imagery here is beautiful. I really got a great picture of the wintry scene there at the beginning and again at the end. Your flow is very smooth, as well. I have no complaints! :)
AmandaAuthor's Response: Hey Amanda!
I think you should tackle Filch - there's quite a bit you can work with there.
Most definitely. He's six months in to starting a new job in a place far out of his depth, and he's very self-conscious. There's bound to be some anxiety building up inside him. He's had an interesting few months, to say the least, and it was about time to blow off a bit of steam, even if it meant sitting in a dark corner of a pub having a drink on Christmas Eve.
It does! I said the same thing in a response earlier about Rosmerta being a foil character. His awkwardness with her again shows the type of person he really is - granted he's much younger than the grizzly version we were introduced to in the books, so that lends a lot to his characterisation here. She's also one to get him out of his comfort zone, and try something new. I suspect he went back to the Three Broomsticks pretty often after that kiss.
I'm glad you think so. It's something I still have to get used to writing even after all this time.
Thank you for reviewing!
Hey, Lia! I'm here for the review exchange, and I might as well tell you that I was super excited to see that I'd gotten you to swap with, because I already knew from the Christmas swap that I love your stories. And this certainly didn't disappoint!
I think one of the things I admire most about your writing is the way that you're able to take these characters that we either don't know a lot about, or don't really think about -- like Filch and Rosmerta -- and give them very lasting and realistic personalities. Filch always sort of annoyed me in the books, but for some reason I'd never before really considered the Squib angle of things, and it made me really feel for him. I was really interested in the reactions of others, too, like his sister's husband. The voice inside my head was like HOW CAN YOU MAKE YOUR WIFE DO THAT, YOU RUDE MAN, and then I remembered this was fiction and I needed to calm myself the heck down. :P
I love Christmas one-shots -- they just make me feel so warm and fuzzy. :3 I'm so glad Filch got a happy ending, if only for one night in his life (and I've no idea where your characters end up down the road, so maybe for many more nights!). Your writing style fit your story very well too, I felt -- nothing overstated, but there was a sort of loveliness to it all the same that fit with the warmth and coziness I would expect from a pub atmosphere. Very well done!
I enjoyed this story immensely -- your one-shots certainly do not disappoint! I think I'll be stalking your author's page in the future for stories such as this, if you'll pardon the creepy implications that can be taken from that. :) I really enjoyed this story very much, and I'm glad I got the chance to read it!
-- JaneAuthor's Response: Hey Jane :D
I find that once I start writing a particular character, I can't stop. This is actually my /third/ Filch story. I wrote another one for 2010's house collab. It's also the second time I wrote this character because someone happened to like him.
I wasn't sure about what I'd write about, but then I figured that no one ever wrote about Filch in his youth being all stud-like and making eyes at a girl who was not Madam Pince. He's been miserable his whole life, so at Christmas he deserved to have some fun. Rosmerta was a fun character to work with - a nice foil to Filch's sulkiness. This fic also showed his 'inexperience' . Only JKR really knows what happened to him, but for me - given his general disposition towards people - he would only open up to anyone who had been kind to him, and he was so shy in this, I almost melted. The students certainly didn't respect him. Oh yes, the brother-in-law. It's amazing what girls do for a guy, isn't it? Seriously speaking, I wanted them to do something horrible to him, something that he would think about for years to come. LOL at your reaction! I'm sorry, but it's one of those necessary things.
I tend to avoid Christmas one-shots, writing them is a bit awkward because when I think of Christmas, I think of joy and happiness and all those things and I usually am a lean mean angst machine. But I'm happy you enjoyed it!
Haha, no creepy implications taken! We all do it, though we don't always admit it ;)
In all honesty, I was searching Christmas stories and I was afraid to read this one. But I did. It's very nice, too. A good portrayal of Filch as something other than a nasty old hateful janitor who looks like he lives in a rubbish heap! Very well done. Good job with "impossible material" to work with.Author's Response: Hi!
I try not to make him so miserable. Young Filch is better (and safer) to work with because we really don't know what happened to him back then. I don't think he was so vile throughout his life, it would've had to have built up from somewhere, and moulded him into what he was when we all first met him.
Thank you for your kind comments!
Lia Report Review
I enjoyed reading this little story. It was nice to see Filch written more as a human being with feelings, and not some crazed cartoonish caricature hanging around in the background for the purpose of being annoying and intolerant. I like that he was still new enough at Hogwarts to not be so jaded, but I could see the process that got him to the way he was by the time Harry Potter rolled around. Your writing displays his emotions perfectly - his defensiveness, his shame, his shyness. One can surmise that in order to protect his bruised feelings, he built up a massively thick skin and decided to lash out against students to alleviate all of his resentment. For a squib born into a magical family, surrounded by magical people, it's a very brave thing to voluntarily submerge yourself in their company 24/7. I was really cheering Argus on in this story and was delighted when I saw that it was Rosmerta he was eyeing, as we know she's an attractive sort and it was nice for Filch to be able to land her attention - if only for a short while. Superb characterization, and a very sweet Christmas story.
Merry Christmas! :)Author's Response: Filch is a minor character I didn't think I would actually like to write. When we see Filch in the series, he is a bit long in the tooth, and by that time he obviously has been through a lot, as you've rightly said. He's never been very significant in the series to have much of a background - except for CoS when Harry discovers he's a Squib.
For this story, I thought it was perfectly acceptable for Filch to have feelings of such a nature, he was a young man after all. Shy is an interesting word to describe such a character. I can imagine how overwhelmed he might feel in such a magical atmosphere, knowing that he has nothing to add to it. Again, shy works well because of what he is, he intentionally chooses to isolate himself from people for fear of prejudice, and that everyone would be like his 'brother-in-law'. I agree with you completely about him growing a very thick skin. You also raise a very interesting point - why /would/ he choose to work at a magical school when he resents anyone who can do magic? It's rather self-destructive, if you think about it, but on the other hand his intentions when he started might have been different than what he expected.
I'm glad you liked Rosmerta's inclusion. They are both young here, and it's nice to have someone other than your cat and the school's librarian on Christmas Eve. She was the shake-up he needed too, if only for a little while. I saw someone mention this pairing a long time ago, and thought that I would give it a try.
I'm glad you enjoyed reading! Thanks for reviewing! :)
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