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Reading Reviews for Maggots
2 Reviews Found

Review #1, by nott theodore Maggots

2nd April 2017:
CTF Jailbreak Review

Hello! Wow, this story was a lot more powerful than I was expecting when I saw the title and read the first section. I thought I was just going to feel sorry for Hagrid struggling through at Hogwarts with the Carrows in charge, but this was a lot more than that.

I was surprised that the Carrows would even want to bother with a feast, let alone get students to help Hagrid - they seem like the sort to put him down but not to suggest anything to make his life easier. Still, I'm glad that it was Ginny and Neville and Luna who showed up to help Hagrid. It was probably a lot easier for them than some of the other things that they had to do during this year, but having read the whole story, I suspect that the Carrows may have been using it all along as an excuse to get them out of the way while they prepared their own Halloween decorations.

I loved the way that you used the maggots as a metaphor for what is happening at Hogwarts. Though it's still standing and still going as a school, the rot is on the inside now and the Carrows are doing what they can to make sure it continues. It's like even the pumpkins knew that after Dumbledore's death something was going wrong.

The descriptions of the Halloween decorations were horrible - I mean, the description was great, but I struggled to read the way that they had seen fit to decorate the hall. It must have been awful for all the students to be surrounded by that, and the staff too, and none of them could do anything to change it. How powerless they must have felt. I think you did a great job of capturing the way that the Carrows managed to make life terrible for the students even on the most fun occasions, and the terror that filled Hogwarts during that year.

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hi, Sian.

Thank you so much for writing a review for my story about Hallowe'en under the regime of the Carrows. It is plain that they held the feast only to be able to display their horrific revenge scenario about what they would like to do to the Muggles after the victory of Voldemort. Who knows if they held a Christmas feast? Probably not; how could they top the Hallowe'en feast?

My thought about the interaction between Hagrid and the Carrows was that they were just trying to insult/humiliate him because he was not a pureblood wizard and because they believed he did not have a wand. So they assumed that he had always carved the pumpkins laboriously by hand, and their suggestion that he get help from the students, who were "better" wizards who did have wands, was a way of insultingly suggesting that Hagrid was too stupid to have thought of that before.

Of course Hagrid, who 'lost' his wand when he was expelled at age 13, did have a wand (either the old one mended or a replacement) which he kept concealed in his umbrella and used at need. This fact was not openly acknowledged, although some people knew it (Dumbledore, Harry, probably others), but the Carrows did not know it, and Hagrid was canny enough not to enlighten them.

So he instantly played dumb when he saw where the Carrows were coming from, stating that he stayed up all night to carve the pumpkins in previous years, and when they sneeringly asked if it never occurred to them to ask for help from the students, he accepted the sneer and said, "That's a good idea." They were just trying to rub it in that the students, though children, did have wands, while Hagrid, an adult, did not. I do not think that the Carrows had any ulterior motives in suggesting the students as helpers, other than their own nastiness and prejudice.

I wondered whether the Carrows had the slightest belief that the students would approve of taking revenge on the Muggles for the sins of long ago (probably not), or whether they were just trying to shock and demoralize the students with a display of evil power (probably). Your word "powerless" says it all; every week a new and terrible development, every custom corrupted, and yet the students and staff found it in themselves to continue to resist.

Thank you again for your long, thoughtful review.


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Review #2, by Pixileanin Maggots

2nd April 2017:

Wow, I never thought that the Carrows would be interested in having the older students carving pumpkins before, but then, who knows what the Carrows would really be thinking about? It's not something I like to ponder much, them being evil and all. I'm sure Hagrid is a bit confused too as to why Professor Carrow would suggest he needs help... unless he's suggested the older students as spies to see what Hagrid is most likely up to. Hmmm...

Ah, I am so relieved that friendly students showed up to help Hagrid, and that his pumpkins didn't rot on the vine. That would have been an absolute tragedy. But I see where you may be going with this. The maggots might be symbolic of the whole year being a big mess for everyone. So messy that even the crops won't grow correctly. There's a disease at Hogwarts, and it's systemic.

Your descriptions of the effigies were truly horrific. I had to squint to get through them. What a nightmare! I would feel the same way as Hagrid did, ashamed that I had contributed, even innocently, to anything that had anything to do with the horrible "decorations" that the Carrows had put up. I'm surprised that anyone had the stomach to eat under those circumstances. Though, I wonder if the students were thinking that if they didn't at least try to eat, their punishment might be something equally as horrific. What a horrible thing to live through! So the maggots were an adept symbol for the evil at Hogwarts. Well done with the symbolism and the vivid descriptions.


Author's Response: Hi, Pix.

Thank you so much for your kind review of my story about Hallowe'en during the regime of the Carrows. You are right in wondering if anyone could have any appetite to eat, surrounded by such horrible images. I feel sure that the Carrows noticed the subdued atmosphere among the students and were pleased to conclude that their display had shocked and cowed the students and staff. Who knows what Professor Snape was thinking?

But even though the pumpkins were stunted and maggot-filled, the students and Hagrid managed to make the best of it and salvage something from the blighted crop, to try to keep the happy custom going (at least until they saw the extra decorations). That was a sign of the spirit that was in them and remained in them all year long, no matter what the Carrows did.

There are many stories about the events at Hogwarts during the final year of the war, all of them imaginative and yet constrained by the parameters of the scant information that JKR provides about that time and place. It would be interesting to compile them into a book, and I wonder if any of those stories correspond to what JKR envisioned (but never wrote for us).

Thanks again for your lovely review!


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