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Entry #5

Discussion in 'Q4.2 2019' started by Xiph0, Dec 23, 2019.

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  1. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Yoda Admin

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    You Must Be A Weasley

    "Dad, a story? Pleeease?"

    "Voice down. Your sister's asleep." Arthur sat on a tiny child's chair beside his son's bed. He tucked the edges of the duvet under Ron so that he was snug and ran his fingers through the young boy's hair, "Just one, if you're quiet."

    Ron beamed up at him.

    "There were once three brothers, who were wandering down a long and winding roa—"

    "Not that one," whispered Ron, "I want a new one, please."

    Arthur paused. He didn't know any new ones. Had learnt and told them all, a dozen times, by the time Percy was two.

    "Ok," he said, after a moment, "I've got something."

    Ron wiggled down into his bed and looked up at him expectantly. With a tap of the wand, the lamplight dimmed to a low glow.

    "Once upon a time, far away from here, there was a wizard with five sons. This wizard was tall, and scandalously handsome, with thick red hair, like spun fire. He had muscles that would put a giant to shame, and his skill with a wand could make any witch blush—"

    "Daaaad, tell it properly," said Ron. Arthur laughed and smoothed the little scowl out with his thumb.

    "Despite this, the wizard and his beautiful wife lived in dark times. Danger lurked around every corner, and the wizard was afraid because his wife was pregnant with a child once more.

    "A month before the baby was due, the wizard's wife woke and told him she had had a special dream. She told him that their sixth child would be their final son and he would be very important. She told him that she had seen that if he was raised proper and good he would help save the whole land. But. If he was raised bad, and wrong, then dark times might continue forever, and everything would go to sh— would go not-well.

    "The wife told him that their child must have a godparent who could help him learn what was right, because all their brothers and sisters were already godparents to the older sons.

    "And so he left that very morning and set out towards the nearest town, looking for someone who might teach his son everything he would need to know.

    "On reaching the town, he met a proud wizard in thick black robes who was leaving, with his nose in the air. He had long silver hair and his wand he kept in a cane that he used to clack on the floor of the road, so no-one could ignore him as he passed.

    " 'hullo there,' he said, and they tapped wands. 'I am heading to town to look for a godparent for my son.'

    "And the rich wizard was very interested and said that he knew the right way of things. ‘Your family and mine are of a kind and we must preserve the right way, for the right way is entirely in the right families. Follow me from the town and meet my friends and your son shall want for nothing. Follow me from the town, wizard, and you shall want for nothing.’

    "And the wizard thanked him but declined. ‘Families may live the right way but cannot be the right way.’ The wizard knew that right-living needed kindness beyond the walls of only one home.

    "In the centre of the town there was a castle and market, and here wizards came to learn the goings-on in the land. There was a portly wizard in a green bowler hat, and he was the Crier, and he told the wizards passing by what to think and when to think it.

    “When the Crier saw the wizard, they tapped wands, and the wizard told the Crier about his beautiful wife and her dream. ‘Wizard,’ said the Crier, ‘you have found your godparent. Your mission and mine are of a kind and so I shall teach him the key to right living!’

    “ ‘And what is that?’ asked the wizard.

    “ ‘Favour is the right way, and felicity, and flexibility, too. And we mustn’t forget fulfilment, either. Fellowship is the right way, with a wide net, if ever your son wishes to enjoy the majority view.’

    “And the wizard thanked him but declined, ‘the majority may live the right way but the majority cannot be the right way’.

    "The wizard went on his way, travelling around the town and talking to many wizards and witches, but he could not find anyone who had all that his son needed to learn and he began to fear that he would fail.

    "After many hours the wizard found himself sat in the town park. He hung his head in his hands and it was like this that an old wizard found him.

    "The old wizard sat next to him and he had a big crooked nose, long silver hair and looked very wise. The wizard looked up at the wise man and saw that it was his old Headmaster. Perfect, he thought, and he asked him if he should like to be a godparent.

    " 'I expect I would be a very poor godparent,' said the old wizard, 'but why not tell me what you need and perhaps I can find someone who would serve you well.'

    "The wizard told him the right way. The godparent must be loving and kind and fair. He must teach the child the value of friendship and family, and more besides. He must value muggle and magic, and the value of strength, and its pitfalls too. He must understand right-living but, most of all, he must be happy with himself to be happy in himself. And this was a hard way but the right way.

    " 'But, Wizard,' said the old Headmaster, 'the man who best understands these qualities should be a very easy man to find then, indeed.'

    "And then the old Headmaster tapped him on the forehead with a knuckle and left, and the wizard laughed. Of course! The answer seemed as obvious to him now as his own red hair. Why should his son rely on a godparent? He had a good-parent already."

    Ron let out a snore. As deep and rumbling a snore as a boy so small could possibly produce.

    "Well, that's that," said Arthur. He looked down at his son. "The beautiful wife kissed him when he shared what he had realised and said he was right. At the christening the wizard plucked the Chief Gnome from the garden, who was as up to the task as either of the two wizards he had first asked.

    "The wizard and his beautiful wife raised the boy the right way. But it wasn't a year before a miracle came and the dark times passed by themselves. The wizard and his wife thanked magic that it should spare their son. And they had a daughter, very unexpectedly. And across the land, magical folk rejoiced that all their children should never live to see and suffer through such dark times as them. And this wizard, in particular, too."

    Arthur stooped to kiss Ron lightly on the forehead. He tiptoed to the door.

    "Goodnight, son,” he said. “Sleep easy."
     
  2. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    1207 words with the title, 1202 words without it using MS Word.

    Lucky for you the online Word Counter I double-checked with came out to 1200 exactly without the title. You lucky bastard.

    Neat story. I liked the framing and in particular the bit with the, uh, old Headmaster. But the climax fell slightly flat for me, I think.

    Heh, started off about to read the Three Brothers, eh?

    The “Dad, tell it properly,” bit felt slightly out of place, since that makes it sound like Ron has already heard it and wants to hear it the right way not with the embellishments, but this is a story he’s never heard before, right?

    Ah, this is a story about Ron’s birth then, as the sixth child? And that he might ‘save the whole land’ even? Bit over the top, but then it’s a child’s story.

    I liked reading the part about the father going around town looking for a Godparent, asking various people he found, and declining them all. Reminded me a bit of some children’s books like “Are you my mother?” and whatnot.

    And was the moral of this story… that Arthur and Molly are good parents, so they have no need of a Godparent? I liked the story and the framing of Arthur telling it to Ron, but that seemed an odd moral/point for the climax.

    Fun times.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
  3. Lungs

    Lungs KT Loser ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    This is a different interpretation of the prompt than I'd consider, so unlike most of the other entries, I don't think I'll judge it with the same metrics, which were that of an authentic fairy tale experience, a strong moral lesson.

    This idea is surprisingly poignant - Arthur Weasley apologizing to his son for not providing him with a godfather.

    The story would be too if, I confess, I weren't bored to tears by it.

    This starts off with some kind of attempt at clever wordplay and then turns into a highly editorial opinion on ethics which breaks out of the alliteration. Yeesh.

    So I do think it needs a bit of work but could potentially be good? The less said about garden gnomes the better.
     
  4. BTT

    BTT Viol̀e͜n̛t͝ D̶e͡li͡g҉h̛t҉s̀ ~ Prestige ~

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    I really like this entry.

    Firstly, you hit the nail on the head with there being both an obvious moral and hewing to fairy tale trademarks: things occuring in groups of three, each thing trying to impart a specific lesson, and finally the answer being inside you all along.

    So it works on that level. The godfather thing is a metaphor (or is it allegory?) for choices Arthur made in his life and roundabout explaining why they're so poor, with Lucius representing the blood purism doctrine, the middle man (a certain character? I dunno) representing not taking sides, and Dumbledore representing the side of the right. It's poignant, and I think you show admirable restraint in not making it melodramatic.

    I don't really have anything to say on a technical level. I do like the title, though.
     
  5. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Minister of Magic DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    Nothing really to quote from here. I liked it well enough. It made sense to me, I think. Didn't spot areas that were obviously technically wrong, though there was a space between " and ' where an in-speech speech was happening. I guess that was for clarity, and on purpose.

    A little unclear if you wanted us to believe that Molly actually had a prophetic dream about Ron's role in the second war or not. Either way, Arthur meets Lucius and Fudge. I agree with the BTT, representing the blood purism and the ministry as he travels through life and then the order or Dumbledore or just figures himself out in the end. Figures out his own moral code.

    It landed for me, even if I can't express it well. I feel like it made sense. I liked the wordplay of godparent into good-parent. It was stupid as shit, but it landed for me. So yeah. Good job, I guess.
     
  6. FitzDizzyspells

    FitzDizzyspells Fourth Year DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    I loved this story. It deserves a much better ending -- if anything, for poor Ron's sake, lol.

    As a matter of fact, the more I think about this ending, the more it makes me giggle. "Here's a gnome, kid, it's the best we've got." I mean, yes, Ron already has a great dad, but... so do the other Weasley children. Lol. Poor Ron. He's always getting short shrift.

    That being said, this comp entry is the first I've read so far that I really enjoyed. Your characterizations are perfect and so much fun. The story strikes exactly the right tone for an interaction between Ron and his dad. It's funny and warm in an everyday way. Sweet, but not saccharine; cute, but not cheesy.

    This opening is exactly the kind of opening I was thinking of having. I scrapped that idea because I didn't think I could pull it off. You pulled it off.

    The "fairy tale" itself, however, is a bit odd.

    I think the story begins to stumble here:

    Did you mean for Mr. Weasley to give the same response to Fudge as he did to Lucius Malfoy? I thought that was very odd. If you want this real story to sound like a fairy tale, Mr. Weasley should address each man’s uniquely problematic views in a different way.

    As for the ending, maybe you wanted Mr. Weasley to come to this "eh, fuck it" conclusion? Because it's essentially just the story of Ron's life, lol.

    I will say, there was one last little detail I liked.
    I think this disproves Ron’s long-held theory that his parents were disappointed that he wasn’t the baby girl they wanted. I think it shows that they weren't even considering trying for a girl. If so, I love it. I particularly like that Ron misses this, because he’s fallen asleep.
     
  7. Microwave

    Microwave Professor

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    Huh.

    I take back what I said about that last one. This one reads like a proper fàiry tale to me.

    This one is nicely structured. Ron and Arthur aren't sidenotes, they actually contribute to the framing of the story, because they are the story. The fairy tale is a parallel to that.

    I haven't much else to say about it. Good job.
     
  8. Gaius

    Gaius Fourth Year

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    I like a lot of things about your story. The prophetic dream of the importance of a child in the womb recall for me the birth of Jesus and John the Baptist, which have folktale elements as well.

    I liked Arthur’s search with generic figures—you made them recognizable by other markers. I like the idea that Arthur repeats “x may live that way, but x isn’t that way,” the repetition sounds like a fairytale but at times the phrasing can get clunky.

    I also like the frame narrative, using Arthur as a storyteller helps keep the tone consistent.

    good job!
     
  9. H_A_Greene

    H_A_Greene Professor –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    This was cute, had good characterization, hit the right notes to represent a fairy tale, and I enjoyed as much the second time as the first.
     
  10. Majube

    Majube Order Member

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    This one had the best fairy tale structure imo of all the entries and I can see others liked it, but while I did like it having the classical three trials/tries and all that I found the premise itself fairly boring. Like Ched I think the climax could've been built up more, but I can understand that the word count was a limit. This just feels like a fluffy oneshot though, it doesn't feel like a fairy tale in plot or prose.
     
  11. Niez

    Niez Slug Club Member

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    Hello :)
    I enjoyed this entry a lot. I liked that it was more a story about Arthur telling his son a story than merely a setting for the fairy-tale to be told, if that makes any sense. Unfortunately I feel that it doesn’t quite adhere to the prompt. The prompt is a magical fairy-tale, not ‘using a bedtime story to reminisce bout real life events/tell an allegory to turn your child into a good boy’. As a slice-of-Weasley-life fic it is very good though, and again, Canon compliant, something which always makes me happy. So yeah, I would not advise changing anything major, but I cannot in good conscience declare it a winner (in my head lol), maybe a runner-up alongside 1.

    Random tidbits:
    .Arthur is nicely characterized here, yet I feel he is not a very good story-teller, or rather, the story he tells is a bit confused, particularly for a small child (which is maybe why it puts Ron to sleep - a ‘lol’ for you if intentional, a frowny face if not). In-story wise I like it, given that he is making it on the fly at his son’s request, but for the reader I would clarify a little bit which portions of the story are simply allegories, and which are events which really happened. I mean his conversation with Dumbledore and subsequent realisation that Ron need not get a godparent seems like it did actually happen, but I very much hesitate to think that Malfoy would have offered to be godparent to any of Arthur’s children, nor Fudge, if for different reasons.

    All these are nice details though which I will surely keep in mind if I ever write something where Arthur is more than a very very secondary character (incredibly unlikely but take the compliment in the spirit it is given).

    This bit though:

    Seems the tiniest bit of a stretch, after six kids you would think Arthur would have learnt how to hold his tongue, especially on one on one conversations with his small children (really miniscule detail but I need to pad out the criticism if I am to avoid charges of favoritism).

    I’m pretty sure this is actually a foul, though we may need a VAR check. First the dreaded triple inverted comma (“‘) appears, which always looks wrong (you cannot change my mind). Second the tapping wands thing which I believe is from something which Taure wrote, lord of something something. That in itself is not the problem, the problem is that in Canon no one ever does that, marking it as indeed weird in this Canon compliant fairy tale/allegory thingy you have going on.

    .I like the characterisation of Malfoy, I like the rejection of blood purity in a very round about way, so as to not indoctrinate your own children (something that I support). Fudge’s one is a bit of cheap (green bowler hat -_-) though I suppose how else are we supposed to know its him, and I also like the rejection of majority views - speaks to my inner Braveheart. The last bit with Dumbledore is the only thing I would change. I feel it would be stronger if Arthur’s message of what is to be a good person was shorter, or at least, more simply stated.

    Motherfucker, you apparently must be a terminator of goodness to live the right way. Just tell him to be kind and value friendship. This is a story for a small child, after all.

    Lastly;
    Do wizards christen their children? Hmm. Also Ron’s godfather is the Chief Gnome, RIP Ron :(.

    PS:
    I understand I’m very late on this, but if you thumb every post then it is not hard for me to know that you wrote it isn't it, you muppethead. Now you must live with the doubt of whether I liked the story on its own merits, or simply because I like you.
     
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