First off I would like to say that that any of the Characters that appear in The Dresden Files are owned exclusively by Jim Butcher. These include but are not limited to: Harry Dresden, Carlos Ramirez, Anastasia Luccio, Mab, and Titania. Any characters that appear in the Twilight Saga are owned exclusively by Stephanie Myer. Again these include but are not limited too: Bella Swan, Charlie Swan, Edward Cullen, Alice Cullen, Carlisle Cullen, and The rest of the Cullen family as well as the werewolf pack. I claim ownership to the main character, Aaron Marsdon, Katherine Ahris, the plot, and all ties formed between The Dresden Files and The Twilight Saga (unless of course the authors want to claim the connections, at which point they own them). This disclaimer goes for all chapters! I gave credit of ownership where it was due. I don't feel the need to do it ever again! At no point in the foreseeable future will I own them; but rest assured if I do I will let everyone know!
One last and very important thing. I wrote this to appeal to fans of both worlds; this means that you don't have to be familiar with BOTH Twilight and The Dresden Files to enjoy this story.
I remember the day I got my grey cloak. At that moment I knew that I was a right and true wizard! I was a warden! My greatest dream had come true and at only nineteen, that wasn't necessarily a good thing. Well it had only been my greatest dream for two years, but still. The White Council had fought a long and hard war against the Red Court vampires, and now that there was a ceasefire we had a chance to replenish our ranks. The first order of business was to get wardens where they needed to be, this meant promoting young wizards who had shown a gift for combat (like me!)
I had hoped to be placed somewhere in Midwest (maybe Kansas, I don't think anything magic related happens in Kansas), but no got stuck in middle-of-nowhere-Washington. I didn't have a problem with the regional commander out here, but my sometimes mentor and teacher Harry Dresden was the regional commander of the Midwest. Oh well I guess this place would have to do. I was assigned to keep watch over an area larger than most New England states, from La Push in the West to Seattle in the East, Port Angeles in the North to Olympia in the South. How the hell was I supposed to enforce the law in several Metropolitan cities plus the Olympic National Forest/Park oh I forgot an Indian reservation too?
What the hell it might be fun! Before I packed up everything I owned, which admittedly wouldn't fill the U-Haul I rented; I called Carlos Ramirez (he is my boss after all.) He was the youngest of the regional commanders in the U.S.
"Password?" said a crackled voice on the other end of the line. That seems to happen a lot with a wizard on both ends of the phone. Wizards and technology mix slightly better than oily rags and a Zippo lighter. No ones quite figured out the reason. Some think that it has to do with how accepted technology is in the collective consciousness; I think it has to do more with field of energy wizards emit that screw with delicate electric gizmos.
I gave my password to the voice it only took four tries and a little shouting before he understood it, and before you ask, I'm not going to tell, I don't give my password out all willy-nilly.
"Marsdon," Ramirez's voice crackled on "what can I do for ya?" he said in a deep voice with a barely recognizable Mexican accent (what do you expect his name is Carlos Ramirez and he's from California).
"I was wondering what intel you had on the area I'm assigned." I asked specifically choosing the word 'intel' to appeal to his militaristic ideals of being a warden. After all we are the wizard equivalent of a police force and an army. If I had talked to anyone else on the White Council I would have said information or news; really anything beside 'intel'.
"Not much I'm afraid. There are only a five or six wizards in that entire area, there are about one hundred or so non-council practioners. There pretty well connected to each other; someone set up a network so they can protect each other." Near a small town called Spoons or some nonsense small hick town are a coven of eight or so vampires." He replied
"Did you not want to begin with bad news?" I asked the sarcasm dripping from my mouth. Wonderful, vampires it wasn't like we had a tenuous peace agreement at best with them. Oh wait ya we do! "What court are we dealing with?" I had to ask this question two times before Ramirez understood it. I really shouldn't have gone with the cordless phone. I need to scour garage sales for an old rotary dial phone.
"Aaron, I'm going to be honest with you, I don't know. As far as the Council's concerned they are not affiliated politically with any court. They're not signed onto the Unseelie Accords. We have no intel on their motives or their names for that matter. What we do know is that they are somewhere between Red Court vampires and White court. I nicknamed them Rose court. Pretty clever, right?" I grunted my approval. "They have human form that is strikingly beautiful, but feed on blood. We believe that they are physically very strong, but they may not even know that the magic community is anything more than the stuff of fairy tales. Like I said there are eight of them. The youngest is a male approximately 110 years, physically he's seventeen, he's an empath; we're not sure how strong his gift is or how well he can read minds. A female, slightly older, 115 maybe also seventeen physically is a seer again we don't know how powerful. Marsdon be careful if they need to be taken down call in backup."
"Gotcha boss." I replied, "Any ideas on how to conceal myself, I don't want them to know about me until I'm good and ready. If they don't have control over them it might be a moot point, but I'd rather live to tell the story."
"I'm not that good at concealment. Call Harry, his new apprentice Molly is supposed to be some sort of prodigy when it comes to concealment." For some strange reason Ramirez came through crystal clear. It didn't last very long before a huge static burst nearly destroyed my ear drum.
"Ya, that shouldn't be to hard," I said with sarcasm dripping from my mouth. What was I supposed to say? 'Hey Harry, sorry I tried to kill you. I thought that you actually took up the Knight's mantle for the Winter Court and got twisted with power.' Maybe I could skip the middleman and call Molly directly. After all I think that we're still reasonably good friends. Oh that's right I never met her.
"Alright if you find anything let me know. Ramirez out"
"Marsdon out." One of these day's I'm going to convince Ramirez that being a wizard and a warden is nothing like the old spy movies; good-bye, bye, see ya, really anything else is a hell of a lot better.
I then hung up the phone before disconnecting it and putting it in the box marked kitchen stuff and sharp things. Most of my stuff was packed and already in the U-Haul outside. This was the last box that I was going to toss into the back. The rest were my magic supplies: staff, blasting rod, potion making ingredients some precious metals, candles that held my emergency wards. That doesn't include cloak and sword. These were going to ride up front with me. Since I picked up Harry Dresden's knack for getting into trouble all the time, I like to keep my magic 'stuff' close to me.
I decided that calling Harry when I got to Washington was soon enough. January in central California meant that there was a fog blanket that would make London proud. Driving in this would be a challenge even if I didn't have to worry about my headlights going out on me. Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time I like being a wizard, love it even, but there are times when I miss being able to use a computer or listen to the radio while driving. I came into my power in a big way when I was 16. That's pretty late in the wizarding world most come into their powers at eleven twelve, maybe as late as fourteen, but not much later.
At the time I was working at Best Buy in Columbia, Missouri. No one ever determined a cause to that fire, it was ruled an 'unpreventable accident' which I think is code for no clue; however I have a feeling it started when the TV's I was standing by exploded. I was tapped fairly quickly by the White Council after that, with power like that they couldn't risk me going rogue and hurting innocents. That was during the height of the war against the Red Court. I had seen more combat during those three years than most wizards see in their unnaturally long lifetime. I found that I had a knack for combat magic, and was fighting along side wizards five or six times my age. If you want to know I prefer fire and lighting magic and let me say I can put on a mean light show when I want to.
Let me see that was most of my life story and I wasn't even to the Oregon border yet. Sigh. This is going to be a really, really, really long drive.
I pulled into a rest area just over the Washington border to find a place to set up. I pulled a map of Washington State out of my coat pocket and unfolded it. I was surprised how easily I found the town I was looking for; Ramirez was wrong, sort of, it wasn't Spoons it was Forks and it was in the middle of freakin' nowhere. I couldn't find a town that I could blend in anywhere close enough to scout out the vampire activity.
I checked around the rest area for a payphone and found one near the bathrooms that hadn't been cleaned since Moses was wandering around the desert. I fished out change and made a call. Had I been on good terms with Harry I would have called collect.
"Hello" came a voice that belonged to a person that was either half asleep or had one terrible cold. In other words, it sounded like Harry.
"Harry," I gulped at least he was probably too tired to hang up on me, "its Aaron. I need your help." I held my breath as I waited for a response.
"Why, have you decided to try and kill me again, so you want me to tell you how to do it over the phone?" Oh god what did I get myself into.
"Harry, I… I… I'm sorry, but I think I'm in over my head. I'm assigned to go scout out some serious vampire activity, one of them is a seer and another is an empath. I didn't know who else I could call." Let's hope that he would accept and be willing to help me. I knew I was taking one hell of a chance, but I figured I would be as good as dead if I didn't get any help
"Kid, two things; first slow down, second, I forgive you, you did exactly what I would have done, what I taught you to do. Come on your talking to the guy that blew the head off of Captain Luccio without really knowing that a necromancer had taken over her body. Don't get me wrong this doesn't mean that I'm not pissed but I do forgive you. What do you need?" Oh thank god that worked. Ok where to start. I knew he would forgive me; that's what a friend/teacher/mentor is for. I still haven't forgiven myself yet.
"I need to know about seers or more specifically how to avoid them seeing me. And I kinda need to know how to avoid an empath reading my thoughts" I responded.
"Well I'm glad you only have a small problem. Hell's bells kid I don't have the slightest idea. You should avoid intending to go anywhere near the seer. They see a person on their chosen path if you 'choose' not to go anywhere near them then they won't see you. The empath unless he's trained probably can't get past the most basic thoughts. I would continue to sing a song in your head if you have to go anywhere near them." For someone who was either half asleep or half dead he was on top of his game. I knew I learned from the best.
The pay phone started demanding more money which I begrudgingly gave. I think that the payphone wants more money from me than from normal people. "Any ideas on how to actually surprise them? There isn't a town of decent size within fifty miles."
"Oh you should know this. You were a damn actor in high school and you do a better British accent than half of the Brits I've met. Pretend you're a foreign exchange student. That will get you into the town and draw some suspicion off of you." Son of a bitch he was right I could easily pull that off. Except for my wardrobe, I'm not exactly up on the latest fashion, definitely more so than Harry. What the hell I have everything to win and nothing to lose. The worst case I just disappear into Seattle.
"Please insert twenty-five cents for three more minutes." The computer voice chirped. Damn it, damn it, and double damn it! I knew I should have called him collect.
"Harry I gotta go, the machine is taking all my money and I need to get a storage unit and call a cab, or something."
"Alright kid, I'll talk to Bob and see what he can…" Sigh, of course the phone would cut him off. Okay phone book time. First things first storage unit, it's not like I can show up as an exchange student with a box marked kitchen stuff and sharp things. Ok 'S' senior care, no, sports equipment, no not really, here we go storage. U-Store (people should realize that putting U in front of something doesn't make it clever) should work; cheap, small, no question, and good ole fashion pad locks. Of course it's over a hundred miles from Forks, in Aberdeen. That means if I need any kitchen stuff or sharp things I'm pretty much screwed over. Some things you just have to sacrifice.
Well now I guess I have to get back on the road. Man I hate driving through Washington, well I hate driving period (but I digress), it's nothing but green. Green leaves, green dirt, green trees, green grass, green sky. Okay, okay the sky is slightly grey but my eyes are permanently tinted green. The only highlight in this gruesome trip is that I got a chance to come up with a decent back-story for the new Brit. Name, Aaron Brown (Have you ever heard a more English name?) from Maidstone, Kent, just south-east of London for those people not familiar, or just too lazy to Google it. I was 'educated' at the Bower Grove School. All that I got out of an atlas from 1995. Coming up with the cover is the easy part, selling it is far, far more difficult; plus I have to somehow forge transfer papers from not one but two different countries. Its times like these I wish I could just go into Kinko's and photocopy what I need; I mean I could try, but I would in all likelihood blow the place sky high the moment I walk in. Ideally I could whip up a spell and magically forge the transfer and enrollment papers, but that's damn near impossible I simply don't have the control. Oh well I'll try and wing it!
One of these day's I'll try to come up with a magic that keeps all other magic out without frying the electronics inside. I have one that works for a little while but not for more than an hour. This is the time I wish I had real world contacts that I could count on to do computer type (pun emphatically indented) things. I could only get so far playing the 'my papers got lost' card; sooner or later I would have to show someone actual papers. I'm beginning to think going undercover was a seriously bad idea.
One, I have no papers (wow am I beginning to sound like a scratched CD, I would say broken record but not many people understand that any more;) two, I have no host family; three, if I get host family I doubt I can cast any magic around them; four someone will eventually notice a bunch of circles around; five, how long before I fry something at the school; six, okay I don't actually have a six but come on aren't five damning reasons enough.
Harry would be pissed at me for actually trying to plan something, he preferred flying by the seat of his pants.
I'm regretting my decision to do my job and investigate a possible problem. Maybe I should just go straight to Seattle and become a PWI (that stands for private wizard investigator clever I know) like Dresden. No, no I forgot I have a little insanity when it comes doing what is right, for all I know those vampires are responsible for most of the deaths in Washington State, they are Rose Court after all. Ramirez would be beaming if he knew that his new vampire type had caught on.
I found my way to the storage place and left all but my essentials there. I packed my blasting rod and a couple of magic texts pertaining to vampires into a leather satchel. My staff and sword went into a long leather carrier I had made to conceal them, really it was just a bat bag I butchered and put back together. I put all of my clothes into a couple of suitcases (not even the fancy ones with the rollers plain ole fashion suitcases); I had to leave most of my potion supplies and magic texts behind. If only I had a spirit of intellect like Harry had Bob. I changed into green striped button-up, kaki slacks and a black pea coat, and slung all of the crap back into the U-haul.
Destination Aberdeen then Forks!
I wish that wizards would hurry up and find a faster way to travel. I could have gone through the Nevernever, but then I would have to deal with the fae as well as the other nastier things that live over there.