*** Summary *** Harry Dresden’s newest client isn’t there for a wizard’s expertise but for a ghost’s.
*** Spoilers *** Season 7 BtVS, (sigh-I can’t believe that I’m doing this) Season One of SciFi’s Dresden Files.
*** Disclaimer *** I'm playing with someone else's toys. No Copyright infringement intended. No money made. Hopefully everyone will treat this like a plug for Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files.
*** Warning *** None, little language.
*** Distribution *** TtH
*** Author’s Note *** I have been very wary of the SciFi Dresden Files (‘cause the books are so much better –always), but I suppose when I write a story based on the TV show and not the books, that they’ve sold me on the characters -to a point. So here it is:
The ding of the bell warned Harry that someone had entered his office area, but since he was busy in his hidden lab, he hoped that the (paying) client would leave a message and return soon.
” a female voice called. “Hey! Anybody home?
Harry winced and added another ingredient to his potion.
“Come out, come out, wherever you are!
“She is persistent,” Bob said drolly.
“I’m in the middle of this,” Harry replied. “And she’ll see me leave the lab with the way she’s scouting out my apartment.”
“Fee, fie, foe, fun. I smell a stinky potion.
Bob winced at the forced rhyme. Harry chuckled.
A thud on the lab door made both Bob and Harry jump. “Wizard! I need to talk to you! Open up. I know you’re in there.
Harry stared. His apartment had been tossed by police and they had never found his laboratory. This stranger had found it in minutes.
“Wizard! If you don’t come out, I’ll have to come in!
Wide-eyed, Harry looked to Bob. “She can’t get past the wards, can she?”
Bob started to shake his head no. CRASH!
Something impacted the outside of the lab hidden door and the whole room shook. Dust fell from the ceiling and several delicate charms warbled on their stands.
“You might want to let her in before the house falls on you,” Bob commented. Then he disappeared into his skull.Crash!
“I’m coming!” Harry yelled. He hurried to door and opened it part way. A woman was standing there. She was short, blonde, pretty. Her hair was in a high ponytail. It gave her the look of a female much younger than her actions hinted at. She was wearing form-fitting, dark-colored clothes and had a back pack slung over one shoulder.
“Finally,” she muttered. She stuck out her hand. “Buffy Summers, you’re Harry Dresden and you’re really a wizard and I need your help.”
Harry stared and shook Buffy’s hand in shock. This was not a skeptic. Ninety-five percent of Harry’s clients really didn’t believe that Harry was a Wizard even after the case was done. Hell’s Bells, Murphy had been working with Harry for how long? And she still didn’t believe in magic. “How can I help you?” He tried to gracefully exit the lab and lead Ms. Summers into the living room/office area.
In a blur, Buffy slipped by Harry and into the lab. She snooped around, took a sniff of Harry’s potion and continued her observations. “At least image dusts don’t go boom
when they’re interrupted.”
“Excuse me? Image dusts?” Harry wasn’t sure what the woman was saying.
She pointed to Harry’s boiler plate. “That’s what that is, isn’t it? The dust you throw on a place of high emotional impact and it lets you see some of what happened there.”
Harry blinked. “You’re exactly right.”
Buffy sent Harry a blinding smile. “I know.”
“Ms. Summers, why are you here?”
“Duh! I need a wizard.”
“Aha.” Buffy practically dove across the table and picked up Bob’s skull. “Aren’t you going to introduce me?”
She held up the skull. “It’s rude to ignore a third person in a conversation. And I can’t say hi, until you introduce me to your roommate. So what’s his name?”
Harry shook his head. “Please put that down. Would you like some tea?” He motioned to the main living area. “How do you know the gender of the skull anyway?”
Buffy put the skull down and started digging in her backpack. “We can have tea later and when you’ve seen as many bodies as I have, you pick up some things. Look! Matched set!”
Harry stopped. Buffy had pulled a skull out of her pack and set it beside Bob’s. The runes and markings matched exactly. Buffy’s skull was smaller. “A female?” he asked softly.
Buffy nodded. “Now will you introduce me to your friend? I’ll show you mine if you show me yours,” she offered with a wry grin.
Harry thought about it. “Bob?”
Bob revealed himself and bowed with all the courtly manners of his time period. “A pleasure, Ms. Summers.”
“You’re old,” Buffy said with disgust and disappointment. “I told Willow this wouldn’t work. Why go after people still stuck in their skulls?”
“Willow?” Harry tried to keep Buffy talking and distracted while he retrieved Bob’s skull away from the stranger. He didn’t like how Buffy talked about going after
Buffy tapped on the female skull and a fine-boned, red-headed human female shimmered into existence. She was probably half the age of Bob had been at his time of imprisonment. She was also from this modern era if her clothes were any indication. Buffy motioned to the men. “Willow, this is Harry Dresden and Bob. Guys, this is my friend Willow. We’re hoping that you’ll share your research so that Willow can not
be stuck in her skull.”
“The White Council won’t like that,” Bob intoned.
Buffy set her jaw. “I don’t care. They had no business sticking their nose in my business.” Her feelings quicksilvered before Harry’s eyes. “How ‘bout that tea now,” she asked brightly. “So that Willow and Bob can talk?”
Harry looked to Bob. He silently asked if Bob wanted the privacy. Bob nodded. “Then please follow me Ms. Summer.”
The woman bounced up the steps. “Only if you call me Buffy.”
Bob watched them go and then turned his attention to the woman in front of him. “Ms…. Willow.” He suddenly realized that Buffy hadn’t mentioned a last name.
“Rosenberg, but please call me Willow,” she smiled shyly.
They examined each other closely. Bob finally shook his head. “Willow, I must admit that I am very surprised at your very existence.”
The pixie glared at Bob. “Because I’m young, or because I’m a female or because I did my crime recently?”
“All of the above. You were-are very young to have accomplished such magics and I thought that the White Council had destroyed all of the books pertaining to those Black Magics.”
“Not all of them and I was-am an overachiever.” Willow obviously didn’t like Bob’s line of thought. “So who did you resurrect,” she asked bluntly.
Bob breathed deep, bracing himself, before he answered, “The woman I lost my heart to.”
Willow deflated. “Oh. I tried to do that too but Osiris wouldn’t let me have her back.”
Bob was confused. “Is the White Council stricter? Imprisoning for attempting the Black Magics?”
“Oh, I succeeded,” Willow said. “My first time, I brought Buffy back.”
Bob’s gaze shot to the open laboratory door. Was Harry in danger? “Did you do anything else to Buffy that she’s trying to help you escape?” Did Willow adjust her thinking? Or not tell Buffy of the crimes committed against her?
“No,” Willow grumbled. “Buffy… Buffy’s Buffy. She’s been my best friend since high school. She needs me out and casting and she forgave me. She doesn’t think that the White Council has any business punishing someone who cause her
the pain.” Willow folded her arms over her chest. “’Sides, if I really thought that I should be out, why would I ask for help from someone who has been in his skull for a century or two and still hasn’t found the exit door?”
“You don’t want out?” Bob was flabbergasted.
“Not yet. It’s less scary being the magic and not being influenced by the magic.”
Bob really looked at Willow. Here was woman who had seen the blackest of magics and knew their affects. She was pretty, had been powerful and would probably be an asset to finding a solution.
“Welcome to Chicago, Willow.”