When Harry Met Eve
By Evelyn Raith
I walked down the hall slowly. I was grasping at straws and I knew it. There's no way that someone on the White Council would dare help me out, at least not any of them that knew who I really was. I paused at the door to the office I needed, read the sign and rolled my eyes involuntarily (yes, invented that and passed it on to my daughters).
It read "Harry Dresden, WIZARD". From just the sign I could tell a lot about the man I was seeking for help. He really didn't give a rat's ass what people think. I like that in a mortal.
I knocked on the door, three solid knocks, by the third knock the door opened. The tall man on the other side of the door was putting on a black leather duster the likes that I hadn't seen anyone seriously wear since 1920 in Texas. He was obviously preparing to leave as I knocked.
He gave my white hair a double take and stepped back quickly, reaching for a staff leaning against his desk that was as tall as I was. Hey, it happens a lot. Humans aren't use to white hair on a young face. This wasn't just that sort of reaction though.
I could feel the power pull in around him. Felt it blow past me, like a breeze off a desert plateau. Hot and wild. Wow, this kid had serious magic muscle. I had to fight to keep from flinching out of instinct. Thousands of years of experience still doesn't trump the hard wired human instinct I possessed. I was, after all, the prototype for it.
After a quick second, and a few blinks of his dark eyes, his shoulders relaxed and he stood up to his full height. He was a tall one. I was slightly over six feet without shoes on and he still made me feel short. Dark hair and dark eyes, two days of beard growth that only made more clear his sharp chin and hawkish nose. I doubt his hair ever looked like it was properly brushed even when it was.
I smiled softly and extended my hand to him. "Harry Dresden, I presume?"
He looked at my hand, not taking it. So he still wasn't sure his eyes weren't playing tricks. He nodded, "Yes, Ma'am".
"Oh, well," I dropped my hand. "May I come in?"
"I was just on my way out, walk with me to the stairs." He grabbed up the staff, and brushed past me somehow without ever touching me.
I frowned at the back of his head as his long strides took him down the hallway. A few strides of my own and I caught up, reaching the elevator slightly before him and hitting the button.
He walked past the elevator to the stairs and opened the door and headed in. Right, wizard, stairs, got it. Wizards are notoriously bad on technology. Elevators would be considered a bad idea if he was worked up about something.
I stayed on his heels, not one to be brushed off easily. "I was hoping, Mr. Dresden, you could help me out. I need to find something that's been lost a long time, I hear you're good with finding lost items."
He paused a moment on the landing of the 4th floor. "Just a lost and found?"
I nearly ran into the back of him. "Well, it's not quite that easy."
"It never is." He replied, but his demeanor suddenly changed. I felt him let go of a bit of power from around his staff and his left hand. He started down the stairs again, slower this time. "What is it you've lost?"
My rightful home? My humanity? My mind? I decided to keep on target. "A book, a very old book."
"Well, of a sort, yes. It was given to my ex a long time ago. "
He leaped the last few stairs to the ground floor, standing in front of the door that led to the lobby of the building, blocking it, looking much larger than he had at the top of the stairs. His stance had changed, he was obviously use to trying to look harmless, but it was an effort. He was now standing full and tall, his arms no longer tucked into his sides, his stance open and wide. I'm sure most people wouldn't be pleased to run into him in a dark alley.
"What's the name of this book?" It was more of an accusation than a question
I stopped one step up from the floor so I could look him directly in the face, not into his eyes though, I didn't dare chance what a Soulgaze with me would do to his mortal mind. I stood there, on my high ground. "You have to promise me something first."
He almost smiled, he fought it off though. His face read 'so here's the catch'. He clearly should never play poker. He just waited for me to continue.
"You cannot tell The Watchman what it is that I seek." Moment of truth, he would either laugh at me, call me crazy, or simply turn and keep walking like he never heard me.
He smirked, "Yeah, we all know what a gossip Uriel can be."
I flinched at the name. Dresden saw it. I clearly shouldn't play poker either.
I lifted my chin defiantly at him. "Either promise on your power that you will not inform him, or I will find someone else to pay to help me in this endeavor. I hear there is a promising woman in California who has cheaper rates and is easier to work with than you are anyway."
Take that, kid.
After a moment, after making sure he was composed, he answered, "I promise, on my power, that I will not tell Uriel what you seek as long as you pay half in advance."
I rolled my eyes again, honestly, I can't help it. "Good enough. I'm looking for a book titled 'Sefer Raziel HaMalach'."
He looked at me through lidded eyes and crossed his arms over his chest, his staff leaning across him. "You want me to help find the Book of Secrets? The one that the Archangel Raziel allegedly gave to Adam and Eve when they were tossed out of Eden on their keisters so they would know how to heal their mortal bodies and find their way back to God?" He shook his head in disbelief, "Lady, who do you think you are?"
I extended my hand out to him again, "I don't believe we've met, but you apparently know much about my keister. I'm Eve, nice to meet you.
Disclaimer: Harry Dresden and all established characters, settings, etc. are the property of Jim Butcher and ROC publishers. The original characters and plots are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.