I love this - I love reading about tying British myth and lore into the magical world. And this story was just...wow. It was perfect. I love the characterization of your main character, and the narrative style. It's all very unique, very different - and very fun to read. I though at first it was the head of the headless hunt (no pun intended) talking at first - but...wow.
I enjoyed the incorporation of lore we got in the books too - about the Unicorn blood, and the slaying of the unicorn. Perhaps the one thing I miss or regret about this story is we don't really get to see what happens to George once he has tasted the blood - what would his 'half life' be interpreted as.
I am in serious awe of your writing style, so far, I've read several of your stories, and they all seem to take on different, interesting ideas about broadening the magical world, and not just with the characters we already know and love. It's so much fun getting to read them all. Report Review
I really enjoyed this, it's very medieval which is something I like, I really like medieval stories so I was glad that this was basically one of them. I also liked that it was a story about a ghost, from reading the summary it's not something I would have expected and I really liked it when I found out that it was in fact Sir Patrick, one the ghosts of the Headless Hunt.
The way that it was written, retelling a story was really good. I also like how he was beaten by a muggle, although the muggle wasn't exactly noble, neither one of them were. What type of noble person would kill a innocent horse just to prove a point? It just sort of reminds me that back in the medieval time, that some of the wizarding world wasn't hidden from the muggles, that dragons and unicorns and the like were still seen and believed to exist by them and wizarding world didn't make them forget.
I would really like to know how George killed all those dragons though. It was always said that it took a large amount of strong magic both dark and not to bring down a dragon or I am guessing the poison which Patrick used, which I have a feeling isn't something a muggle could readily get his/her hands on. So I wonder how he killed so many, did he cheat sort of like how Patrick did?
Also, I sort of felt sorry for Patrick, that a muggle had taken everything a way from him, and a dishonest one at that, no noble person would strike a man when they are disarmed.
This was really well written, how you brought present and past smoothly together without any break. It really gave insight into the life of a very old ghost and how it really does get boring.
Great job. It's definitely one of my favourites. Report Review
Hahaha...Again, I loved this piece! :) You wrote this in a sort of satirical way (right?), which absolutely adored. "Nothing major, mind you, just a little Avada Kedavra aimed at the underbelly to disorient itó". Little avada? haha :P
This one-shot was so different from the previous ones'; it really is amazing how you can right so many different genres so wonderfully. The narration was fantastic; I really drew me in to keep reading. You've created such a unique character in form of Patrick! :)
George- oh my, he is a sneaky li'l person, isn't he? I wonder how he defeated all those dragons without magic-- not in a honest way, I'm sure :P
Again, I really enjoyed this one-shot. Thanks for sharing this with us, Alopex! :)Author's Response: Yes, this is supposed to be satirical/comical/funny. I love funny stuff, and though I can never seem to write funny things on purpose, I like to put in things that amuse me. I didn't set out to write a funny story, but Patrick developed such a sarcastic voice that it turned out that way.
I wonder how George defeated all those dragons too. ;-) It definitely wasn't honest, especially not after the unicorn . . .
I'm glad you enjoyed this story, and thank you for the remark about writing different genres. I don't write much, so I suppose you could say that I'm still experimenting! Report Review
What a scoundrel indeed, to kill that poor horse! Ack!
"You living people can be so touchy" - that was fun. My favorite line. This poor guy was so miffed with that George fellow. shame on him for stealing all the hard-earned glory of another man! Shame! I thought it was a nice touch to have him join the headless huntsmen at the end. All for the taste of unicorn blood.
This was a fun read. I enjoyed the ride!
pixileanin (Gryffindor)Author's Response: Hahaha, I love the little situations you picked out of this story. Obviously, anyone who would stoop to killing an animal must be a scoundrel, and ghosts are allowed to be grumpy. :P I do enjoy humor a lot, and even though I don't think of myself as particularly funny, I like to include at least one funny thing when I write (even if I'm the only one who finds it funny).
Thank you for reviewing, and sorry for the late response! Report Review
This was such a funny story. I'm not sure if you meant it that way, but I was chuckling the whole way through. I really, really like this Sir Patrick, even though he seems like a bit of a scoundrel. You just characterized him so well that even though he wasn't the nicest of men, he had me convinced he wasn't in the wrong :P I would love to see more of him, to be honest!
This particular story is different from your others, and the writing is different too- but once again I liked it just as much! You have a way with words, and its a good way :P But most of all, from this story, I really want to know how George did it- being muggle and all. I find this whole story just so intriguing!
Anyways, I was definitely tickled with this one! Great story, once again :) Notice I never have anything constructive to say because you do such a great job already :P I can't help improve something that doesn't need fixing!
Forum Name: Drecklin
House: SlytherinAuthor's Response: Haha, yes, this was meant to be a funny story. There is a darker aspect to it too, sort of, but the humor is definitely important. I didn't really intend it to be humorous at the start, but Sir Patrick just developed that way as a character.
Hm, you know, I never really considered how George did it! He really is a sneaky bugger, isn't he? Maybe he purchased some sort of protective charms? Whatever the case, I suspect he wasn't entirely pure in his tactics . . . especially not after tasting the unicorn's blood.
I like this story because I hope it makes readers think a bit. Neither of the two characters is particularly likeable, so I want readers to have a tiny struggle even as they sympathize with Sir Patrick.
Anyway, once again, thank you for the reviews, and I'm so glad you seem to have enjoyed the stories. :D Report Review
Such a unique idea! And so well executed, too!
Your summary was very eye catching and I'm glad I clicked on this story.
The voice you gave to Sir Patrick was so human, so very real. It was almost as though he was talking right in front of me! And then to Sir George... this felt like one of those "alternate tales"; the "Three Little Pigs" from the wolf's point of view. I don't know who is more to blame, but I do feel for Sir Patrick. And wonder how George did kill those dragons.
The ending was perfect for this story. "Saint George? Hah!" sums up wonderfully the whole story, Sir Patrick's feelings for him. And the paragraph before was such a great last ditch effort (or perhaps just a summary of) to convince the reader that George was the worse one.
This was such a pleasure to read!
Roots in Water (Hufflepuff)Author's Response: Haha, yes, I wanted it to feel like Sir Patrick was talking in front of you. I wrote this story as if he was telling the story. I had this mental image of him standing there in the clearing talking to the reader, so that's what I tried to make it sound like: a conversation or storytelling session.
Neither character is a saint, obviously. (Joke intended.) Sir Patrick is not particularly likeable or admirable, but George definitely has his flaws as well. My intention obviously was to get readers to empathize with Patrick . . . but there is a struggle to decide which character is the lesser of two evils, so to speak.
I have come to like this story quite a bit, so I'm glad to hear you thought it was unique and nice to read. Report Review
Review for the snowball fight! First off, this is a brilliantly written story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The use of St George the Dragon Slayer was fantastic, and Sir Patrick himself is an amusing narrator. You've taken a minor character and crafted a believable and detailed life story for him, and you've managed to work that in with the little we did see of him in the books. His pride and indignation are well written and believable. An excellent story :)Author's Response: Oh, thank you very much! Once I decided that Sir Patrick had to be a dragon slayer, I couldn't very well write a story without mentioning St. George, now could I?
I actually prefer minor characters, in part because I can craft background details without worrying about complying with a bunch of pesky canon details. Report Review
This was really good you tell a great tale. I had no clue he was a ghost until he put his head under his arm very well done. Where did you get the idea for this? It also seems that even though Patrick is dead that he still has this need to feel power which is why he is still trying to hunt unicorns.Author's Response: Um, let's see. *checks summary* This was written for staff challenge 3! If I remember correctly, the prompt had something to do with ghosts. I thought it would be boring to write about the Grey Lady, the Bloody Baron, or Nearly Headless Nick, so I decided to go with an obscure ghost. After I settled on the character, I just started making stuff up.
Yep, Patrick definitely still has the need to feel power. Also, he's sort of stuck in his death scene, which was very traumatic for him. He keeps trying to re-enact it, but of course he can't. Report Review
Oooh, I love a good medieval tale. In stories where the divide between good and evil can be black and white, I like how this one is written from the "evil" side of history. It's so easy to hate Patrick, but just as easy to feel sympathy (or perhaps simply pity) for him and that in the end, I feel more disgust at George than anything. History written by the winners, indeed. But I also like how, true to his ghost form, Patrick hasn't let it go. He's still as prideful as ever, even though he's grown much more melancholy.
As always, you have such fresh characters! Thanks for the good read!Author's Response: I like that you put "evil" in quotation marks, because there is no clear good or evil in this story, is there? There is no glowing hero to love. Both your choices are rather horrible.
Patrick definitely isn't likeable, but I did want the readers to feel something for him. Despite his many shortcomings, there's something in him that speaks to us, I think . . . even if it is just his narrator's voice, haha.
Thanks so much for the review! :D Report Review
Hey Alopex! Here from the Snowball Fight Thread. ;)
Wow, this one-shot was incredible :O I can really feel Sir Patrick's hatred for Saint George, and even though Sir Patrick cheated and committed so many times I felt a strange...a strange empathy for him. What are you doing to me, Alo? Making me feel empathy for this terrible man. :P
Admittedly, when I first started to read I assumed that this story would be about Nearly Headless Nick. But then I remembered he was only Nearly Headless so it couldn't be.
This one-shot is so believable and if you popped it into the ages before Harry's time I would believe it actually happened. Just curious - does this actually have some sort of historical relevance? These names that you used sound like they do. ^__^
This story is really great, Alo. Can you believe that this is the first story of yours that I've ever read? I'm off to read more.
~foundriapenguinAuthor's Response: Hi foundriapenguin. Thanks for reviewing. :)
I can believe this is the first story of mine that you've read, because I haven't written many, don't update often, and don't really advertise my writing. Lol.
There is some historical relevance to this story, but just barely. About 99.9% is complete fiction. Saint George is actually the patron saint of England, and he's the figure in the legend of Saint George and the Dragon. So yes, I did borrow his name, although I twisted him to my purposes, rather than sticking with the traditional Christian portrayal. Sir Patrick is the head of the Headless Huntsmen in CoS, and he has no basis in history as far as I know.
Hehe, I'm tricky, aren't I? Yes, you should feel empathy for Sir Patrick. He is definitely not honorable. He's a glory hound, he's vain, he's a cheat and liar, and he's just not a very nice person. Who could like him? Despite his heroics, he's no hero.
However, I haven't provided a proper hero for you to attach your affections to. George isn't much better than Patrick. He's also vain and deceitful. You don't like him any better, especially after the end. And since you hear the story entirely from Patrick . . . I did want the readers to empathize with him. ;)
I think what Patrick experienced is a common fear for many people, which is the fear of becoming irrelevant and losing honor/face. Therefore, we can relate to him even as we recoil--and we wind up back in his corner, so to speak, because we can't accept George as a reasonable alternative.
That's my thinking (babbling) on it, anyway. Report Review
Hey, I loved this! It was very well written, and I can clearly see why it won Princess Padfoot's 'Minor Characters Matter Challenge'!
10 out of 10!
LunaLovegood2009Author's Response: Thank you very much! I was surprised to win, but I do prefer minor characters, so this was right up my alley. Report Review
OMG!!! This was sooo good!!! I don't usually like stories in first person but you did an excellent job!!! I really got into the story and it was exciting!
I will be posting the winner of the challenge shortly so be on the lookout!!!
PrincessPadfootAuthor's Response: Thanks for reviewing; I'm glad you liked it! First person can be a bit annoying, but I thought it worked here. Report Review
First and foremost, I don't have any exclamation point issues.
I like the story. But I'm unclear if you're going for comedy or angst or a mixture of both here. You list it as horror/dark, angst, but, it feels more comedic at points.
The whole head thing was great!
"Yes, I just tucked my head under my arm. Do you have a problem with that?"
The opening is excellent. When I realized he was trying to kill a Unicorn and drink its blood it really grabbed my attention. Even moreso when you made it clear he was a ghost.
Having Saint George be the antagoinst was a great flouish. And I thought the competition between the two was a good touch. As written, the reader must infer that poison was a no-no. Might help to make it more clear that this was an unforgivable tactic. Maybe somthing like:
Just enough to ensure a good, solid strike would be fatal; nevermind that poison was strictly forbidden. Who would even notice? Just everone, when...
This felt a little awkward: "You would kill a unicorn?" he bellowed. "This is a crime punishable by death!"
This too was well done and bluntly funny:
Ah, I see you leaning forward, anticipating the climax of my little tale. Here it is: I died.
I'd consider moving the "I died" and letting it be a two-word paragraph for effect.
A few more contractions would help the flow a bit.
This is a very unique tale, exceptionally creative. I enjoyed it and I hope my comments help.Author's Response: Thank you for your input. It's always great to get other opinions from people who see different things in the story.
I'm not clear on what genre this is supposed to fall in either. I originally intended to focus on actual dragon-slaying and action and to make it darker, but there was a 15+ constraint to fall within. As I revised my first drafts, I added in more and more things that amused me. I like the humor in this story, so the genre thing is definitely something to change. Also making it more clear within the story itself . . .
I'm glad the opening scene came off well. That's the mental image I built this entire story around.
You make a good point about the poison. Perhaps earlier when Patrick mentions the "minor" illegal things he does, he can include poison on that list.
The flow is a bit stilted, I agree. It's mainly because I figured Sir Patrick, if he was a dragonslayer, had to live in medieval times, so I tried to make the language more formal. I don't really know what I'm doing, though, so it would probably sound less contrived if I went for a more natural (to me) sound. As it is, I think I have too much summarizing going on, which also affects the flow.
Again, thank you. :-) Report Review
this is an superb read. It is written with such an eloquence. I felt as though I was in the period. What a imagination you must have to take an absurdly minor character and make something out of him. The incorporation of St. George is nothing short of brilliant. The very human qualities you've added to two characters who are so admired by their audiences (Patrick's fellow ghosts and George's Christian admirers) is incredible. This is the first story I've ever given a ten and I'll be sure to feature yo in my blog.Author's Response: Wow, that's very nice of you! I'm flattered by that ten! Yes, Patrick is an absurdly minor character, but in a way, I find the minor characters easier to work with. With minor characters, I'm free to do as I please (within reason), while with more prominent characters, there is the concern and pressure of keeping them consistent with JKR's versions
Even--perhaps especially--heroes are human. Harry himself is a great example. I did want to show how the world is usually more grey than black and white, and sometimes the difference between the good guys and the bad guys is thin and fuzzy.
I couldn't very well have a dragon story without St. George, now could I? Although I took great liberties with his . . . aura, if you will. Report Review
This was a very intriging story. It held a large amount of creative, with just a touch of humor. I was able to feel as though I was standing with the characters throughout the tale. Your descriptions are amazing, and you captured the beauty of unicorn so vividly. I was very impressed with this story.Author's Response: The scene with the unicorn is what I built this story around. That was what was in my head first, so I'm glad you enjoyed the description. Thank you for reviewing. :-) Report Review
"The Dragonslayer's Story" is aptly yet ironically named, because in the opinions of Sir Patrick and George there can only be one heroic dragonslayer, yet it's both of their story. Alopex gives a beautiful reminder to readers: every argument has two sides, but sometimes it's the untold viewpoint--such as that of a ghost, whose story we wouldn't normally hear--that is most important! (9/10)Author's Response: This is a very unusual review for these forums. When I first started reading here, long before I had an account, I tried out a similar third-person style, but I quickly abandoned it, mainly due to the style of author responses. Anyway, I really appreciate getting a review of this tone! It makes me feel official somehow. Thank you very much.
I'm so happy that you commented on irony. Irony is one of my favorite literary devices, and I was definitely trying to incorporate irony in this story. To me, the main irony is that both George and Patrick are heroic in their own eyes, yet neither one is truly heroic in the way we usually mean the term.
That leads straight into the main point I was trying to make, which you picked up on as well: This world comes in shades of grey. Few situations are clear-cut black and white. What seems true at first may not actually be so. In this story, George seems like a "better" hero than Patrick until the end, where I hope readers will wonder and decide for themselves whether George is the better man or not. Report Review
This was FANTASTIC. The last paragraph (or rather, second to last, if you count that last bit as a paragraph) really made it. But everything was just perfect, really. This is easily one of the best things I've ever read on this site. Wow. I don't even know what else to say. I'm not sure WHY I read this exactly. It's not my type of fic (Where's the romance?! The Marauders?!) and I forget how I found it, but I am SO glad I read it. I don't even know how to express how much I love this. Perfection. Wow.Author's Response: Wow, this review is amazing! It made my day. Yeah, there are no popular characters from any era in this story, but I figure I've gotten more reads than otherwise just because it was a staff challenge piece. Thank you so much for taking the time to review. :-) Report Review
Oh Merlin, this was good! I mean really good ;D .
Sir Patrick is evil and he freely admits it. But George, well that's another story... He seems like a good guy but then again, he also wanted to drink unicorn's blood. It's like he also killed the unicorn.
I do feel for Sir Patrick, I mean, to be bested in his own job by a Muggle really is something that would call for desperate measures.
Anyways, I enjoyed reading this and it is very well written ;D .
~ DeaVanityAuthor's Response: Yes, Patrick is a very unpleasant fellow. One trait that George definitely shares with him is vainglory. I wanted a character that could be rival who would really be a thorn in Patrick's side, so I felt I had to make George a not-totally-good guy as well. I thought the kicker with the unicorn's blood would ensure Patrick's continuing feelings of rage and desperation. I meant for the readers to identify with Patrick, even though he's difficult to sympathize with.
Many thanks for the lovely review. :-) Report Review
This is quite a different tale of the patron saint of England (St. George). I really like his portrayal here. He's a glory-seeker and a publicity hound. In modern terms he'd be all over the tabloids. I like that while he's a likeable figure, he's also not above dirty tricks.
The main character, Sir Patrick is quite a delightfully evil git. Someone who would 'cheat' so much in his job, just to grab glory is pitiful and pitiable. Even so, even with magic, it still takes guts to face a dragon and fight it. The chance of something going wrong is still there, so he still has some bravery.
Patrick's painted in such a way that the reader is interested in him and wants to know more, but we'll never like him. I've had many people tell me that a protagonist should always be likeable, but I never understood why. Grey heroes and villains who are slightly dingy interest me more than a shiny hero, full of cliche.
A very nice story and I can't believe that I'm the first to review it.Author's Response: Thank you very much for this first review! It gave me warm fuzzies to see it. :-)
Yes, I took great liberty with Saint George. I wanted a second character who could convincingly play the role of rival, so I had to do away with the pure, saintly image.
The way you reacted to Patrick's character is the way I hoped people would think/feel. He would make a downright lousy friend, he's rather frightening and nasty, and he's extremely vainglorious. He cannot see how immature and pitiful he is, but the reader can.
I think for a character like Patrick, it would have been slightly easier to accept a rival who really was snowy pure, rather than one who, while not as nasty, was certainly no saint himself. Report Review
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