The Ghost of Ochs (available on Archive of Our Own, FanFiction.net, and DeviantArt) is an ongoing Fire Emblem: Three Houses Alternate Universe Fic written by Willy Four Eyes, first published on January 12, 2020.
It starts sometime after Chapter 6: Rumors of a Reaper, when Flayn is rescued from the Death Knight and the Flame Emperor's army. During the rescue mission, a second hostage is recovered - a former Officers Academy student named Monica, daughter of the baron of the Imperial House of Ochs. Unlike the Monica who appears in the game (who is presumably killed and replaced by Kronya of "those who slither in the dark" and her identity and appearance used to infiltrate Garreg Mach Monastery), the Monica who appears in Ghost is the real one, and is revived by Flayn after they are both brought back to safety. The story is told from Monica's perspective as she attempts to reintegrate with the school to finish her education, figure out why she was kidnapped, and become strong enough so that she (and others) never have to deal with similar horrors again.
Adaptation Deviation tropes related to this story:
- Adaptational Heroism:
- Monica/Kronya was depicted in the game as a sadistic killer and a Smug Snake who was quickly killed off in her only major battle. In this story, Monica is a separate character from Kronya, and is reasonably polite and good-hearted.
- The same goes for Baron Ochs, who appears as the boss of Balthus and Hapi's paralogue in the game, and is killed after transforming into a Demonic Beast in a manner mirroring Miklan's death. He's still initially distraught over his missing daughter in Ghost, but he doesn't resort to smuggling or shady black-market deals to save her.
- Demoted to Extra: Although Byleth is one of the main characters, the story isn't told from her point of view, and thus Sothis gets very little screentime.
- Named by the Adaptation: Baron Ochs is only referred to by his title in-game. Ghost gives him the name "Nicolaus".
- Spared by the Adaptation: Again, Monica and Baron Ochs. In the game, Monica was the victim of the machinations of "those who slither in the dark", and Baron Ochs appears in a post-Cindered Shadows DLC paralogue as a boss that has to be killed in order for Balthus to earn his Hero's Relic.
- Accidental Pun: In Chapter 23, while the heroes have a friendly fish-off before their houses' missions, Monica, as the last person to cast her line, says to herself that she needs to "finish strong". Leonie picks up on the pun and says she's used to hearing jokes like that from Alois, who also wishes he'd thought of it first.
- Artistic License Geography: Somehow, Monica's party is able to get from Garreg Mach to Fódlan's Fangs in less than two days. This is hand waved by the caravan driver telling her that he's behind schedule and needs to move quickly to get to their destination.
- Big Damn Reunion: After spending almost a year in captivity and not getting a response to the letters she sent out after her return, Monica decides to pay Baron Ochs a personal visit when she hears of a group of bandits terrorizing the Fódlan's Fangs area. When she drops by his workshop after defeating the bandits, the baron is beside himself with joy when he learns that his daughter is still alive, and he treats her, Edelgard, Ingrid, and Leonie to dinner as a show of gratitude for helping reunite them.
- Black Cloak: Flayn and Monica both describe being attacked by mages wearing feature-concealing black robes, hinting at the existence of "those who slither in the dark".
- By the Hair: Monica asks Flayn to re-braid her hair specifically to avoid having this happen to her.
- CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Flayn uses a combination of CPR and Healing Hands to revive Monica. When a nurse attempts to do a follow-up exam, Monica doesn't show any ill side effects from Flayn's healing other than a severe coughing fit after she wakes up.
- Do You Want to Haggle?: Constance bargains with Anna to reduce her markup on a rare magic tome from 20% to 10%.
- Every Proper Lady Should Curtsy: Monica does this the first time she meets each of the three lords. Ingrid also does this when she first meets Baron Ochs, and has to remind Leonie (a commoner who doesn't deal with nobles very often) to do the same.
- First Kiss: Monica and Constance share theirs after their first date in Chapter 14. Monica is so excited about it afterward that she has to remind herself to keep calm on her way back home to avoid arousing suspicion (especially since the town outside the monastery was still cleaning up from a monster attack).
- Healing Hands: Basic healing magic works like this, although Linhardt advises against direct contact with an injury victim's wounds.
- Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: After gathering Crest Stones with Monica and Linhardt, Bernadetta tells them that she plans to go back to her room to "study". Monica doesn't believe that's all she's doing since Bernadetta told her earlier in the day about Linhardt's upcoming birthday, and she heard some unusual noises coming from Bernadetta's bedroom before their meeting.
- Implied Death Threat: Starter Villain Raine threatens a caravan driver into handing over all of his goods. When the driver tells her that he doesn't have anything valuable enough for her to steal and that she "wouldn't like what's back there", she says:"Oh, you wouldn't be lying to me, would you? Because empty caravans don't hold much value to me. They tend to catch fire easily... and so do their drivers."
- Initiation Ceremony: When a student completes their certification exam, they are treated to a quiet and dignified ceremony in Rhea's audience chamber, with their professor, and sometimes also their peers, attending as witnesses. Monica receives one (and a cool new robe) when she gets promoted to Priest.
- Is That What They're Calling It Now?: A non-sexual (maybe) variant occurs when Edelgard is eating lunch with Claude and she's thinking far into the future about her plans when she becomes Emperor:Edelgard: It's true that I have a lot on my mind, and that hasn't given me much time to socialize with others. As the future emperor, there is much I need to consider. Not just for today, but one, two, five...even ten years ahead. I'm sure you and Dimitri must have the same concerns.Claude: Okay, you got me. I've been known to do a fair bit of strategizing myself. I'm probably not thinking as far ahead as you are, though.Edelgard: 'Strategizing', you say? That's an interesting way of putting it.
- Legally Dead: Seteth informs Monica that Baron Ochs called off the search for her when he feared that he would never see her again. They attempt to write letters to the baron to reassure him that Monica is in safe hands. The issue is eventually resolved by Monica (and a few friends) visiting the baron in person.
- The Main Characters Do Everything: Subverted. While the story assumes Byleth selected the Black Eaglesnote , Dimitri mentions that his house was the one who participated in putting down Lonatonote and Miklannote , as both battles took place in Faehrgus territory and involved family members of two of his housemates (Ashe and Sylvain, respectively).
- Pun: The Ochs family motto is "Be strong, be stubborn." That is, "strong/stubborn as an ox/Ochs".
- Reality Ensues: While the game allows Byleth to make Flayn participate in the Battle of the Eagle and Lion shortly after joining their house, Monica isn't granted the same courtesy in Ghost. Missing out on half the school year due to being kidnapped wouldn't give Monica much time to bond with her classmates or with her professor, and since Byleth knows next-to-nothing about her new student's abilities at first, she can't incorporate Monica into the game plan without ruining the Black Eagles' team chemistry and jeopardizing their chances at winning the big mock battle.
- The title of Chapter 2, "Maybe I'm a Ghost", is taken from the song "Maybe I'm a Lion" from Final Fantasy VIII.
- In Chapter 8, Monica decides against telling a merchant in Drachen Village "It's me, Monica", dismissing it as insufficient to prove her identity.
- Chapter 15, "Non-Fatal Three-Way", references WWE's "Fatal 4-Way" matches.
- Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: Played for Laughs in that Monica wishes she had a business card as proof of her identity, but resorts to this when identifying herself to a merchant in Drachen Village: "Monica von Ochs, Daughter of Baron Nicolaus the First, Student at the Garreg Mach Officers Academy, and Liberator of Trade Routes". To everyone else, she simply addresses herself with her family name, and nothing more.
- That Cloud Looks Like...: In Chapter 6, Monica and Linhardt engage in a brief game of cloud-watching while on weeding duty.
- Title Drop: The page quote comes from Chapter 2, when Monica learns that her father declared her Legally Dead but complains that it can't be so because Flayn healed her. Flayn, innocent and naïve as she is, takes the "ghost" statement literally and tells Monica not to scare her like that.
- Waking Up Elsewhere: The story starts with Monica waking up in Garreg Mach's infirmary in an Only Mostly Dead state.
- What If?: The story hinges on Monica surviving her ordeal with "those who slither in the dark" and Kronya failing to use her as a means to sneak onto the monastery.