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Reviews for A Bludger to the Gut

SamusAran 2007.09.08 - 06:39AM 1: A Bludger to the Gut Signed
Oh, very nice. I like it. Of course, given what we know now, some further mention of Lily might be appropriate. Perhaps a small rewrite?

Author's Response: I don't plan to rewrite any of my old stories to fit DH, even the one-shots, where it would actually be possible to be completely canon-compliant. That's mostly because I loathed DH, both as a book in itself and as an end to the series. It was non-compliant to previous canon (fidelius being a typical example), so I don't feel a need to comply to it.

chimaera 2006.03.02 - 09:13PM 1: A Bludger to the Gut Anonymous
Wow. That's a powerful little story that convincingly presents how Snape might have felt when Lupin was hired. Betrayed by the kindly, short-sighted (or perhaps stubbornly blind to Gryffindor failings) headmaster once again. Snape's bitterness makes sense and his dogged determination to go on despite having no stomach for life is rather heart-rending.

Author's Response: PoA just burns me up now, because Dumbledore treated Snape so badly. I'm thinking particularly of the end, where Dumbledore shielded Lupin from the consequences of his crimes (And no, I don't think that's too strong a word! By keeping silent about the means through which Sirius could enter the castle at will - to whit, Sirius's animagus ability and form, the secret passages they both knew and the surveillance tool of the marauders' Map - Lupin became an accomplice to the activities of someone even he thought was a crazed mass-murderer.) at Snape's expense. He made no real effort to protect Snape's reputation to Fudge, nor to ensure that he received his Order of Merlin, which he had indeed earned (and which Dumbledore's influence on the Wizengamot and as Supreme Mugwump, etc, probably could have ensured.) He was justly served therefore when Snape's attempt to back him up the following year only hardened Fudge's resistance.

chimaera 2005.11.28 - 12:05AM 1: A Bludger to the Gut Anonymous
Hi, I haven't even read the story yet, but just from the reviews, I can tell that I'm going to like your Snape. A lot of what you said about Dumbledore's behavior and attitudes, especially his (non-)action vis-a-vis Sirius' teenage "prank" accords with what I think.

Author's Response: I find Dumbledore's behaviour in PoA quite inexplicable. (Actually I could say the same of the entire series.) In the very year that a supposed mass-murderer escapes Azkaban to come and kill Harry, he appoints said convict's erstwhile best buddy and weak-willed follower. Then the entire year, he refuses to entertain suspicion that his new employee might be helping the con in some way, despite several successful infiltrations. And finally, he helps Sirius escape, on no fresh evidence but his own recognisance (if he trusted Sirius so much then why did he let him rot in Azkaban for 12 years?), and exonerates guilty Lupin (whose silence made him an accomplice before the fact to any crimes Black might commit that year) at Snape's expense. And after that, he spends the next three books telling Harry that he trusts Snape implicitly! But Harry knows better than to believe him; actions speak louder than words.

KarenDetroit 2005.11.16 - 06:24AM 1: A Bludger to the Gut Signed
Very true. Sigh. Dumbledore has a lot to answer for, and he has conveniently died, leaving the whole mess in the hands of a fairly clueless boy and a repentant cult slave. Sounds like real life.

Author's Response: In retrospect, it's very hard to account for some of Dumbledore's decisions, especially in PoA. Considering how submissive Lupin had always been to Black, why would Dumbledore hire him in the year Sirius escaped from Azkaban with the apparent intention of killing a Hogwarts student? (We can't even argue that perhaps he did it before Sirius escaped because he refused even to entertain any suspicion about Lupin, even after Sirius had repeatedly breached castle security.)

Trickie Woo 2005.09.26 - 07:59PM 1: A Bludger to the Gut Signed
One thing I've always wondered is if Dumbledore was aware of everything that happened at Hogwarts and he let such bullying happen and let the perpetrators off the hook with little or no punishment, how did he retain his position of headmaster? Many, probably most, of of the incidents of them bullying Snape were witnessed by other students. Even if Severus was unpopular, I can't believe that there wasn't one student with enough of a conscience or values to report it to their parents or the Board of Governors. Even though she is far from a favorite of mine, Hermione is the only one of the students we know well that I would be sure to try to do something about it. Boys may collude together and consider it a matter of honor to keep silent about it. Girls' minds don't work that way. I imagine Lily may have done something about it if he hadn't called her a mud blood, but there had to be other girls who would feel the need to do something about it. In the real world once that happened Dumbledore would have been thrown out on his ass and the 4 Marauders expelled. Even McGonagall would most likely have been put on probation since all 4 were Gryffindors and she was head of Gryffindor House. Just because he was a Slytherin and unpopular was no reason for Dumbledore to tolerate and show favoritism to the gang of Gryffindor bullies. I can't remember right off the top of my head if it was stated in the books that Hogwarts is the safest and most secure place in the Wizarding World, but almost all of the Potter fan fic I read makes that point somewhere in the story. If they tolerate bullies there, hire a werewolf for a teacher, and worst of all produced something like Voldemort from their ranks how can it be considered safe for children. Are wizarding parents that delusional, do they al reside on boats in that river in Egypt? In Harry's first 3 years there was a troll loose in the castle, a teacher possessed by Voldemort, a basilisk under the castle in a secret chamber, a self absorbed DADA teacher who put the students in more danget than he taught them to defend from, a werewolf as the next DADA teacher, and an escaped convict masquerading as a dog. Then it started to get infinitely worse. I think that the Wizarding World should have faced whether Hogwarts was a viable and useful institution long before the end of HBP. Under Dumbledore it was more like the boarding school from hell. St. Trinians was a safer school for kids than Hogwarts. Now to my biggest question, why did Snape go to Dumbledore that night when he left Voldemort? Dumbledore had never seemed to care about him before, why didn't he just leave the Wizarding World altogether and become a muggle? I'm sure with his skills he could have faked a degree in chemistry including having the necessary paper work and transcripts appear in the files of the institution from where he claimed to have graduated. A new name, a nose job when he could afford it, and a newly manufactured background and voila ! his own witness protection program for wizards who want to leave Voldemort. That's much better than all those thankless years at Hogwarts or risking his life as a double agent while being looked on with disrespect and distrust by most of the Oop, none of whom could have done the indispensable job he did as a spy. This is what I like about what you write, it makes me stop and think things out about how I feel about the characters and the situations. I haven't trusted Dumbledore for quite a while and while writing this I realized the main reason why, he disregards the safety of the children entrusted to him to acheive his goal of defeating Vodldemort. He's completely Machiavellian, too blind to see the real danger in front of his eyes at Hogwarts. I wonder if he's any better than Volemort when it comes right down to it

Author's Response: How old are you? I'm 48, which makes me two or three years too old to be a contemporary of Snape and old enough to remember when bullying was considered just normal childhood behaviour. Blaming the victim was common (and not completely stamped out even now. I've had a headmaster tell me that one of my kids was the problem, not the victim, when others were pushing him down the stairs or throwing his bag in the wheelie-bin. "If he'd change, they'd stop." Of course with that attitude, the only way to make it stop was to leave. BTW, the bullies mostly grew up to be pleasant respectable adults; he's friends with some of them now.) Hogwarts is an atrocious school and Dumbledore a negligent headmaster. When he gets angry with Harry for suggesting he doesn't take proper precautions about student safety, I smiled with grim satisfaction. If I went to that school I'd be with Percy. It doesn't surprise me he distrusts Dumbledore; the surprising thing is that everyone else in the family does. However my son argues that Dumbledore has to disregard their short-term safety in favour of the long-term safety engendered by defeating Voldemort. Hogwarts would be a battleground anyhow - Voldemort wants to possess its magic and its artefacts - so Dumbledore has to place Order work above headmastering. Though we're still left with the question, couldn't he at least make sure they learn proper DADA to defend themselves in case of attack? There must be teachers capable of training them as an extra-curricular task, even if it's impossible to get good staff for a cursed job. Why did Snape go to Dumbledore? Because he wanted to undo what he'd done, not merely run away from it, and there's no one else to go to for that. He'd have had a pleasanter life in the Muggle world but he'd always have been a man on the run. Besides, if Voldemort wins then the Muggle world is no hiding-place.

whitehound 2005.09.24 - 06:26AM 1: A Bludger to the Gut Signed
You're right, of course - Molly is fairly sensible (so is Arthur, for that matter) - and McGonagall's common-sense flies out the window whenever house-points are concerned (partly, of course, because Snape keeps teasing her about the Quidditch Cup etc.!). But of course, they *daren't* expel Harry, for tactical reasons. Even Snape doesn't want to. He pretends to, to look good to the Death Eaters, but on the three occasions when he has something serious against Harry he glosses over it and doesn't apparently even tell Dumbledore.

I *hope* Snape would have the sense to take his concussion to Poppy. He probably wouldn't if it was just a headache - but my personal experience of concussion was that it entailed measuring your length on the ground because the floor had unexpectedly rotated 45, swung up and hit you in the face.

Author's Response: He may not have realised how badly he'd been hurt. Concussed people don't always and of course they're very unlikely to be thinking clearly. He probably didn't know how long he'd been unconsciousand attributed any other symptomsto the splitting headache he no doubt had.

whitehound 2005.09.23 - 06:00AM 1: A Bludger to the Gut Signed
I don't think it neccessarily follows that Lupin had to be subservient only because they'd all been roving around in animal form. Since Snape doesn't know the other three are animagi, that tells us James saved him from were-Lupin in *human* form, not as a stag. That strongly suggests that James-as-James still has pack-authority over Remus-as-wolf, and that it is safest if Lupin is low-ranking in the group, irrespective of whether or not they also hunt together. I agree the others were being very irresponsible in just turning Lupin loose and assuming they could control him, but I don't suppose Lupin himself had much choice in the situation - since he can't *not* turn were every month, and once he's turned he no longer has a human mind or anything much in the way of self-control. Even if he thought the whole thing was a bad idea when he was in human form, psycho-Sirius would only have to wait until he was in wolf-form and then he wouldn't be able to resist. Many people in the wizarding world seem to be spectacularly irresponsible and immature anyway. Dyce thinks this is cultural - that it's because they grow up thinking that their mistakes will be reversible - and that seems logical to me. The only level-headed ones out of the whole central group of characters seem to be Hermione, Snape and McGonagall. Hermione and Snape both grew up in the Muggle world (and even Snape's a wee bit childish) - so where did McGonagall learn sense, I wonder? As re. Madam Pomfrey, I think fanon is being silly. The fact that Snape didn't go to her when he got bitten by Fluffy just tells us she wasn't in on the whole Philosopher's Stone thing, and he didn't want her asking prying questions about exactly what had bitten him. And it was the middle of the night, wasn't it? He may just have been diffident about waking her up.

Author's Response: True, but he could have tried to stop them between times by laying down the law or threatening to tell Dumbledore. (Of course he never would, both because of the schoolboy anti-dobbing culture and because of his habit of knuckling under to whatever his friends want.) It was his responsibility to dissuade them because it was his neck on the line if anyone died as a result of their roaming. If all else failed he should rather have left the school than stay under such circumstances and if he'd ever put it to them in such terms maybe they'd have seen reason. I totally agree about the "spectacular irresponsibility" of the wizarding world and I might include Molly and Poppy amongst the level-headed ones (though I'm not really a Molly-fan) but I sometimes have my doubts even about the three you mentioned. Hermione's ocasional fits of folly, eg the polyjuice, can be attributed to her youth but what excuse does McGonagall have for letting Harry off so lightly from expellable offenses? (She could have given him detentions as well as a place on the Quidditch team when he flew unsupervised and one measly detention for something which was a crime under both national and international wizarding codes of secrecy, and for different reasons under Muggle law also, only served to encourage his reckless behaviour.) And how could any sane person give him points for having dashed off to the Department of Mysteries and got his friends injured and Sirius killed? There's no way of knowing whether Snape let Poppy know of his concussion. The time of night didn't dissuade him because he had to wake her anyhow to see to the children but I'm inclined to suspect that it didn't even occur to him to seek treatment for himself. Since he was well enough to function he probably just swigged a headache remedy and got on with things. if he'd said anything to her about it she'd have insisted on checking him out but he was much more preoccupied with bringing Sirius to justice (as he thought) and attending the Minister.

whitehound 2005.09.21 - 09:34PM 1: A Bludger to the Gut Signed
I think this is exactly how Snape would see it - and your description of how scared he had been throughout his schooldays is nastily vivid, as it should be. But I'm not sure that giving Lupin a job which he knew to be cursed was a particularly friendly act on Dumbledore's part - I'm rather tending to assume that the manipulative old buzzard put him in that post precisely so Snape would watch him 24/7, and told Snape not to because that would absolutely guarantee that he *would.*

I had wondered if the bang on the head could account for Snape's very wild and almost incoherent behaviour later that night, and I see I was right - but in the wizarding world it would presumably only be a short-term problem, provided he had the sense to take himself and his concussion to Madam Pomfrey.

I do think, though, that as reprehensible as Lupin's behaviour seems, he probably *had* to be subservient to Sirius and James - because their ability to control him in were form depended on him being the lowest-ranking member of thepack.

Author's Response: Yes, the HBP confirmation that the job is cursed puts a different light on Lupin's appointment. Maybe Dumbledore didn't fire him that night because he knew he would leave at the end of the year anyway? It's fanon that Snape doesn't take himself to Madam Pomfrey if he can avoid it, based on a single canon incident (Book 1, Quidditch) where Harry sees Filch bandaging Snape's leg. Even if he would normally have gone, factoring in the concussion-induced confusion and the fact that he had to get Black to justice and the kids treated I'm inclined to suspect he didn't actually tell Madam Pomfrey that he'd been knocked out. She wouldn't have any reason to suspect anything as she would just put down his excitability to Black's capture and Lupin's transformation. Lupin "had to be subservient" only because he and his friends were breaking the law (and betraying Dumbledore's trust) by getting together during the full moon to roam the countryside. So his reprehensible behaviour can be attributed to his earlier reprehensible behaviour.

marina 2005.09.21 - 05:27PM 1: A Bludger to the Gut Signed
I really like it. It's all that I can say about your works! I never really liked Sirius because he tried to use his friend as a murder weapon. And I would have liked if Lupin had been better than weak. And Dumbledore, I really don't understand why he didn't expell them. At least Sirius.

Author's Response: I find Sirius to be too much of a bully for my taste and Lupin's passivity makes him a most untrustworthy teacher. Most people just seem to slide over the fact that Lupin was silent all year about information that was needed to keep safe the students under his care, not only Sirius's animagus abilities but even the secret passages that could let him sneak in. There is no excuse! He believed Sirius to be a murderer, he believed the students to be in danger, he was a teacher and thus charged with their safety, yet he said nothing! I think Dumbledore didn't expel Sirius because that might have led to Lupin being outed and persecuted. Also he was afraid that Sirius would be lost to the dark. Also remember he indicates at the end of PoA that he didn't know of their animagus abilities and therefore didn't know of their risky full moon excursions so he probably assumed Sirius didn't quite realise that it was attempted murder, not just a prank. Not only didn't he expel any of them but he elevated James to Head Boy, probably because of his "brave rescue". (Not so brave though when you consider that he could have saved himself at any time by transforming.)

winna 2005.09.21 - 04:07PM 1: A Bludger to the Gut Signed
Yup. That's Snape. Once again, you've captured that combination of bitterness and noble adherance to duty. I don't suppose you plan on covering the end of Harry's 3rd year from Snape's point of view? I've always thought he outed Lupin over concern for student safety, rather than for petty spite.

Author's Response: A little personal dislike perhaps but mostly student safety. It bothers me that most people judge him a villain rather than a whistleblower. No responsible headmaster (a description that excludes Dumbledore) could keep Lupin on after that night. Not only had he endangered three students and a colleague by neglecting to take his Wolfsbane but he admitted to having betrayed everyone's trust the entire year by his silence. He could not have confessed to Sirius's animagus abilities without incriminating himself - nevertheless, he should have confessed - but his knowledge of Hogwarts' secret passages could have been shared without shame. We can be certain he did not share them. If he had, they'd have been blocked and also Snape, one of the castle's prime defenders, would have known why Harry was loitering near the entrance to one. Colluding with Harry to help him escape Snape's discipline was unprofessional but far worse was his action in then keeping the Marauders' Map secret from the other teachers instead of sharing the surveillance with them. He wanted a chance to intercept Sirius and warn him away, a very clear proof that his past friendship (with someone he believed to be a murderer coming to kill a student) outeighed his concern for student/Harry's safety. It should also be pointed out that Snape had been badly concussed the night before outing Lupin (a Grade 3 concussion, judging by the length of time he was out, and made extremely dangerous by the frequent knocks of his head against the ceiling that Lupin, through allowing Sirius the task, was complicit in). Concussion after-effects can last for weeks, months, permanently, and include confusion, over-excitability and loss of emotional control.

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