Anyway, in that 100-word HP weekly story contest thingie, someone just posted one I really loved and that made me think. (In the book there's a mirror in which you'll see your fondest wish. The challenge is to write a story on what a character might see in it.) By serpenthe:
She knows the mirror is a bad thing. She knows because she watches his face as he looks into it, so full of longing, and sees how he pantomimes the wand movements. She wants to tell him to stay away, it only hurts you.
So many years she has walked by his side, and still he cannot let it go. She wants to tell him she loves him, that magic doesn't matter, but she can't.
So she stands beside him and looks, and she has lips to kiss his face, and fingers to hold his hand, and finally he knows.
The 'she' in this is Mrs. Norris, a cat owned by a... complex man named Filch. Both in the book and in the fan world, Filch is a rather unliked man. A wizard without magic powers, old when all the students around him are decades younger, not handsome, grumpy as heck, and seemingly mad at the world in general. All those negative things, and yet I can still identify with him and understand his actions. To me, he's a rather tragic character. He's surrounded by a bunch of kids with powers he doesn't have, he has to clean up after them (and I doubt there's been one who ever thanked him), and these little kids have no problem with letting him know how they feel about him.
Can anyone blame him for being grumpy back at them?
And even with all this bad stuff in his life, there's someone he loves. His cat. She follows him everywhere, they can communicate on some level, and when something bad happened to her, he had such a raw emotional reaction I almost cried at it.
I wish the HP books were a real world someplace, somewhere you could visit and spend more time talking to the characters. I'd like to meet Filch. I'd like to smile at him and show him that not everyone hates him. I'd like to bring him an unexpected cookie and cup of coffee. I know it's silly because he's just a fictional character (and just a minor one at that), but I'd like for him to have a friend.