Disclaimer: i don't own the dresden files, this is created for purely fun purposes, umm Jim Butcher Rocks
This is my first leap into the fan fiction world of the Dresden files, quite possibly my favourite book series to date. This could hopefully continue but first i would like some feedback on this chapter which is going to act as a bit of a prologue. Any hints tips criticisms(constructive) will be listened to and appreciated. That said please enjoy
I heard the phone ring from somewhere next to my head. Despite having a pretty decent cellphone I kept the old phone hooked up as well, in my line of work you never know when a wizard could call. As it happens today was one of those days when a wizard decided to call, just not the one I'd been hoping for, ever since...Shaking loose any and all depressing thoughts in my head I answered the phone.
I growled the word into the phone, trying to instill at least some fear into whoever had woken me up
"Hey Murphy this is Carlos Ramirez, umm not sure if you remember me, with the Wardens, fought in the deeps together"
Every word out of his mouth was tense, like he was walking over thin ice and hoping it wouldn't crack. Everything I remember about the guy told me he was cocky, arrogant and an all round pain in the ass. Why the hell was this guy treading so carefully then? I realised with some satisfaction that he was trying to avoid pissing me off.
"Yeah I remember you, it's early what do you want?"
Dear god I'm as bad as Harry is-was, Dammit. I took a few more moments to stuff my depression back into it's cage and ended up missing the first part of Ramirez's reply
"...member of the paranet has identified a potential talent in Chicago, Fairly strong too, potentially a council member with the right training"
I cast about my mind for details of the paranet. I remember Harry told me about them, a big web of minor talents tied together so they could protect themselves when the wardens were busy, less of a problem now the wars over. Before he died Harry had suggested using this group of little fish to identify bigger fish, people who had enough power to break the laws of magic before someone told them there were laws. They had dredged up a new talent, that made sense in a city of millions, what didn't make sense was Ramirez calling me.
"OK that's good, one less kid to get his or her head chopped off by the 'good guys', but why are you ringing me?"
I was trying to be polite, but honestly after everything the council put Harry through, and the fact that it was 6am, I just wasn't in the mood for playing nice, even if Ramirez isn't as bad as the rest of the council.
"Right well, as temporary regional commander of the Chicago area it's my job to dispatch someone to speak with the family and, ah to hell with it i'll be blunt, the kid we found's a Murphy, more specifically your nephew"
A sudden surge of adrenaline nearly threw me out of my bed, Jesus no wonder Ramirez had called me, and no wonder he was nervous, i'd never had much patience for the council bullshit when it was just Harry who had to deal with them, family complicated things. My family were mostly oblivious to the supernatural world that surrounds them, having a wizard in the family was gonna change that fast.
"Oh hell Jamie. Lisa is gonna love this. Who are you sending down to talk with them"
My little sister was about as oblivious to the supernatural as a person could get. Her husband Rick was in a state of denial having refused to believe despite nearly being killed by a Fetch. Trying to tell the both of them that their only son was a wizard would cause some trouble to say the least, My relationship with them being what it was.
"Anastasi luccio, reckon you've at least heard of her, she's taken up full time in recruitment, seems she built a taste for it during the war. Reckon her combat skills are gonna come in handy now. She's using a Way to get to chicago, can you pick her up"
I quickly grabbed a pen and scrawled a pick-up point. I had never met Luccio in person, at least not for very long. Harry had told me-skating over the intimate details-that she was a good woman, willing to place herself in danger to protect her recruits during the war, now that the reds were out of the picture she had apparently continued where she left off. At least they were sending me someone experienced to brave clan Murphy.
"Alright i'll meet her there, thanks for the heads up"
Ramirez hung up and that left me in silence for a few moments. Aside from telling my family this wasn't really a bad thing, but I couldn't stop myself from worrying.
The only Wizard i'd properly known threw himself into danger as many times as possible and ended up broken, bruised and eventually dead. I tried to reason with myself,
the war was over, and most wizards live very long and happy lives. It was a very reasonable arguement, but my heart told me otherwise. Jamie had the familial streak of stubborness, if he found out about the supernatural, what was to stop him getting involved as well? What was to stop him getting hurt? Me. Once i'd decided on that I got up got dressed and went to meet Anastasia Luccio. It wasn't far to the meeting point Anastasia was waiting for me. Despite her young appearance I knew she was several times older than me, unfortunately some spook had swapped bodies and now she looked like she'd just left college. She opened the door and climbed into my car, I waited for seat belts before aiming the car towards my sisters house. For the first couple of minutes everything was silent.
"I confess I'm not sure how to address you, Ebenezar warned me not to call you miss under any circumstances, but..."
She kept her gaze calm and focused on the road in front of us. Something told me she caught the little glimpse of sadness in my eyes but chose to ignore it. I couldn't claim the tile of sergeant anymore.
"Karrin, my friends call me Karrin. And if you're willing to brave my family to help my nephew, well that makes you a friend"
She allowed a small smile to cross her lips. Without wearing any of the parephenalia of a wizard she looked just like a regular woman. I realised at that point that I really didn't have any female friends my own age.
"Thank you Karrin, please call me Anastasia. I'm not completely sure what to expect from your family, how would you suggest approaching them"
From as far away as possible, having a place nearby to hop into the never never wouldn't hurt either. My sister was going to freak out. But then again her son although oblivious, was always more open to things than his mother.
"talk to Jamie, he's gonna be most receptive to the whole idea, if these paranet guys found him then he's probably already done some magic, right?"
she nodded her agreement and mused on my words, children as a whole were a resilient bunch, they also respond most flexibly to change, the older you get the more set in your ways you become. We batted details back and forth, me giving more information about how to tackle my sister, Anastasia telling me about some of the other young wizards she's met and how she got through to them. All too soon we were at my sisters house. I'd much rather face down another loup-garou than this. Lisa opened the door and greeted me with a polite smile-about as much as I was expecting. She also cast a suspicious eye over Anastasia.
"Hi Lisa sorry for turning up uninvited, this is my friend Anastasia, may we both come in?"
I felt kind of sneaky for phrasing the question that way, but I knew enough about thresholds to know they could cause trouble for Anastasia on the way through, forcing her to leave most of her power at the door. My sister nodded curtly and welcomed us inside. Once seated on a large and comfortable couch she went about offering food and drinks and generally mothering us both. I couldn't deny she had grown into the role well, keeping the house well run while Rick earnt them a living. Our relationship had improved a bit over the years. So much for that. After receiving a nod from Anastasia I bit the bullet and told her.
"Lisa do you believe in magic, cause we think there's a chance that Jamie is a wizard"
All the pleasantries that had been bubbling on the surface disappeared, and she looked at me like I was mad. Anastasia got an equally withering look.
"What are you talking about? of course I don't believe in such nonsense, is this some kind of prank Karrin, are you trying to make fun of me just because of how your life ended up? are you jealous?"
It was pretty much exactly what I was expecting, denial followed by suspicion working it's way straight into flat out aggression. She continued this way for several minutes while we just sat there and waited for her to run out of breath. She didn't. Luckily Jamie appeared on the stairs, it looked like he had been listening in.
"Mum, I don't think they're lying to you"
Jamie walked quietly down the stairs so we could see him and he surveyed the room quickly, taking in myself and Anastasia. At fifteen he was already taller than his mum and myself, which isn't as impressive as it sounds as the pair of us stand at about five nothing. He had short cut blonde hair and bright blue eyes. the rest of him was pretty typical teenager, dark jeans and a dark hoody covered most of him, his hand were hidden in his pockets and he was refusing to meet anyone's eyes. Knowing what i did about soul gazes It sparked my curiosity.
"What are you talking about sweetie? this is just your aunt playing tricks, go finish your homework"
Despite her urgings the kid stayed put, I could see him trying to build up his nerve to speak. Hell this must be hard on the kid.
"They aren't playing tricks mum, look"
Jamie held out his right hand palm up and screwed up his face in concentration. the room darkened slightly and I felt the subtle signs of magic in the air. Although unlike my previous experiences this was tiny barely on the edge of my perceptions, something I would have missed if i wasn't looking for them. In my nephews hand was a tiny spark of light, hovering about and inch above his palm. After a second the light disappeared and he sagged visibly clutching his head. My sister just stared at him in shock.
"How? what was? that's not possible"
Lisa looked ready to collapse, Jamie moved to help her sit down, unfortunately in repsonse my sister did the worst thing she could in that situation. She flinched. it wasn't much of a movement. But Jamie was almost as perceptive as I was and didn't miss it. Hiding a tear in his eye he ran, grabbing his bag as he went, before I could leave my seat I heard the back door slam shut. That could have gone better.
"Karrin tend to your sister, I believe I will have more success speaking to Jamie"
I nodded my agreement and watched her disappear out of the back door
"Lisa please I know this is huge, too huge to deal with in one day, but he's your kid, you mustn't be scared of him"
She simply waved off my attempts to talk and made a cup of coffee in the kitchen, I let her go about her task. Once she had taken a sip she faced me with a serious look on her face.
"This can't be possible Karrin, what's happened to my little boy?"
For the first time in a long time I felt sympathy for my sister. I had reacted almost the same to having the supernatural shoved in my face, and that was without a child involved. sitting down next to her I put my arm over her shoulder and squeezed. Trying to give some sense of comfort in the gesture. Given how often I hug people my sister reacted with surprise but didn't shrug me off.
"I know this is big, but I know about this stuff, i can answer your questions when you're ready to ask, the most important thing right now is that you talk to Jamie,
tell him it's ok. This isn't a bad thing Lisa OK"
I felt fresh sobs wrack through my sister, but she was also nodding her head in agreement. once I was certain she was OK i got up from my seat and told her I was going to find Jamie, help bring him back to talk. I didn't have to try very hard to find him. Ever since he was little the kid loved the park, a huge wide open space, no boundaries, no crowds of people. It was a good place to be. I found him up one of his favourite trees and much to my surprise and amusement, I also found Anastasia.
The woman seemed perfectly relaxed and was laying along the length of one of the branches talking to Jamie, at the base of the tree I could hear them pretty well so I stopped and listened.
"She was afraid of me, cause I'm some kind of freak"
I remember Harry telling me some stories that started like this. Different and not knowing why, it's hard to deal with on your own, luckily Anastasia seemed to know just how to reassure him.
"You aren't a freak you're a wizard, and I can tell you from my experience and the experience of others that many parents react this way, it is fear of the unknown, not fear of you, My parents reacted the same way, your mother just needs time"
I couldn't see him but I could almost feel him raise the same skeptical eyebrow that I had flashed Harry a number of times. Call it a family trait. Anastasia merely chuckled clearly amused.
"I don't know about that, mum has never believed in this stuff. neither did I until...Are you sure I'm a wizard? sure we aren't both just crazy?
I felt a sharp pang of sympathy in my chest. Jamie had been slapped in the face by all of this just as hard as his mother. Puberty is hard enough, it was some twisted mind that made a wizards talents manifest at the same time.
"I could tell you yes, but I think I have a way of showing you instead, I want you to look into my eyes"
A soul gaze, I was half tempted to intervene at that point. I had made a point of avoiding soul gazes wherever I could, because for the most part they were unnerving experiences. For another I wasn't sure I wanted someone getting a peak at me soul. It was then I realized something important, a soul gaze would stick with Jamie forever,
but also show him the truth of anastasia, even if he doubted her words he couldn't doubt that. It would give him proof that he wasn't crazy or a freak. reassurance like that is a powerful thing. I've often wished to find some way of proving to myself that the world I live in is real. Silence reigned above my head an I realised the soul gaze must have begun. barely a few secons later I heard a scuffle of shoes and Jamie fell out of the tree. I had taught the kid something about how to fall, but whatever he saw had him too shocked to focus and he dropped like a rock.
"god Jamie are you alright?"
he nodded blearily and I helped him sit up. I checked for any injuries and let out a sigh of relief when I found none. Anastasia climbed down beside me and was shaking her head.
"Apologies young man, it would have been more sensible of me to initiate a soul gaze on the ground. The first time experiencing it is always a touch overwhelming"
Jamie still looked a bit zoned out, clearly he was still thinking about what he saw, taking Anastasia aside I asked her what he saw.
"That I cannot say for I have never gazed on my own soul, as for what I saw. He has a good heart, but his power roars inside him like fire, he fears it, and as long as he fears his power he is in danger of it consuming him, but he is not without strength. all he needs is a guide"
I nodded my agreement and felt another surge of relief when Jamie's eyes slid back into focus.
"Whoa that was just, whoa"
I felt a chuckle escape me and helped pull Jamie back to his feet. Once he was brushed off we started back towards my sisters house. I couldn't begin to guess at what the kid saw, but it had helped him none the less. the walk back was about 15 minutes and he talked the whole way, asking Anastasia a relentless stream of questions about wizards and his powers. When we arrived Rick was back and sat in the living room with Lisa. He reacted in much the same way as Lisa, but after almost an hour explaining he finally seemed to come to some sort of peace with the situation, Anastasia and I left them both in the living room to talk. Once outside I let out a breath of relief.
"Well that went better than expected, what happens next?"
Anastasia was relaxing against the railing on the porch, she looked up at my question and smiled.
"That's up to him really, he could become and apprentice if that is his wish, or he could continue with his life as it is, either way we will give him just enough training and understanding to make sure he can control his magic and knows not to break and of the laws. Beyond that the choice is his"
Rick appeared a little while later and asked us to come back inside, Jamie was sat between his parents grinning from ear to ear
"Ok this is still a bit much, but we want to know what happens next, what is gonna happen to our son"
I knew Rick well enough to see that he was freaking out internally about everything, but he managed to keep his cool on the surface. I decided to let Anastasia do the explaining.
"Well Jamie I know i told you about a few of the options available now, whatever path you take, the decision is yours"
Jamie looked between his parents again, I felt kind of bad seeing him having to make such a decision. After a second he grinned and looked at Anastasia
"I think, I want to know more about magic, become a wizard like you, i mean I still want to got to school and stuff, but i want to do magic too"
After that announcement Lisa made dinner for us all. Once seated round a table Jamie continued chatting animatedly with Anastasia and his parents about magic, just the idea of the supernatural still freaked them out, but they both smiled at their son. Anastasia left after dinner promising to be in contact soon. A couple minutes later I untangled myself and said goodbye as well. Once I had given them fair warning about technology around Jamie I departed. He was going to be alright, part of me wished maybe Harry could have been around to help, but the rest of me realised that I had been left enough knowledge to guide them through this on my own. With a snort of laughter I realised I had just been handed another troublesome wizard to look after, and this one was family too.
rule one in story writing, conflict is key, so i feel bad for not having much in the way of conflict, but don't worry this is just setting the foundations, the fun stuff is yet to come