Hold on, the stars are about to change
Author’s note: I’m not sure how many of you are fans of Jim Butcher’s the Dresden Files, but I’ve been hooked on them since way back when (Harry Dresden, he’s the original badass wizard as far I’m concerned) and I bought the latest book in the series last week, already almost halfway thru since I have no internet.
I’ve been wanting to write a Glee/Dresden Files crossover since forever and this is what I came up with. For those who don’t know already: Harry Dresden is Chicago’s only wizard for hire, who seems to just attract trouble. Best friends are his brother Thomas (an incubus), Butters (a timid mortician), Karrin Murphy, his obvious love interest and Chicago detective who usually gets him the odd job now and then and Molly, his apprentice (she’s a sensitive, Harry’s a magical thug, crap at delicate magic) and his faithful dog, Mouse ( who actually is some ancient Chinese magic dog) and his huge cat Mister.
Harry is basically Chicago’s personal bodyguard against all things evil and bad and things that go bump in the night and usually helps out Chicago PD with any weird case they find.
So this oneshot is basically a crossover with my two favourite Gleeks as Dresden’s new apprentices, and a slight change as to what happened to Harry just before Ghost Story (book 13) and beyond. I hope you manage to get the gist of what the Dresdenverse is like, and happen to fall in love with it too. POV is Murphy’s cuz she reminds me of Rachel, tiny and petite – except she’s a badass, blonde, carries a gun and doesn’t take any bullshit. And she and Harry totally need to just get together once and for all!
Disclaimer: Glee nor the Dresden Files are mine. Just uniting them for creative folly and fun.
hold on, the stars are about to change
Leave it to Harry Dresden to find the two most pathetic apprentices in Chicago.
What little she knows about magic she’s almost sure she could do ten times better than these two. They’re hopeless.
She’s knows they’re magical, there’s no doubt about that. Neither of them fare well with electricity. If Finn even goes near a cellphone, pops, clicks and sizzling emit. And Rachel, even if she barely passes by a speaker it starts wailing. Like cats scraping on zinc wailing. It happens with everything electrical they come in contact with or go anywhere near. They can’t help it, it’s all that magical energy swirling around inside them.
If only they could do something besides blowing up electronics.
So far in their training, they’ve managed squat. Nothing besides blowing up a bottle of water and setting Mister’s tail on fire. And Finn’s managed to give himself a headache and a nosebleed every time he attempts magic.
Molly was a breeze, never mind she first did magic rather unintentionally back in the day. And as stubborn as she was, at least she learnt the basics a whole lot quicker than these two. Even with foci, Finn and Rachel were horrible apprentices, and Harry complained every time he had to work with them.
But if he didn’t, then who would?
With Luccio off on her personal missions, Wardens were few and scattered over the country. Lima hadn’t had a wizard in centuries and all of a sudden two just happen out of the blue. The bumbling football jock and the overzealous future starlet. Two completely different people from different sides of the high school spectrum.
So Harry Dresden, being the stand-up wizard he’s always been (read: never) grudgingly went to Lima, and under guise of being a tutor had charmed the Hudmels and the Berry’s into letting their children travel through the Nevernever three times a week for magical practices. (Actually, that last part, they just assumed they were heading to the Lima library on weekdays, Molly usually picked them up by opening a portal between the library in Lima and Harry’s office in Chicago.
After a month, Bob was the contact at Harry’s office so Finn and Rachel could travel together when Molly was out on assignment. Or whenever she’d disappeared.)
Murphy was used to Harry’s weirdness by now. She was used to seeing Dresden in his element – however scary it actually was. She was used to the average practitioner calling up demons and getting themselves so deep in trouble it took Harry and friends to get them out of it. And she was rather used to seeing Harry’s apprentices attempting spells or veils or physical magic.
But with these two, Harry sure had his work cut out for him. Neither Rachel nor Finn could concentrate long enough with the will or determination it took to properly focus on getting a spell correctly.
Rachel burnt water. Finn fainted often.
Quite the pair weren’t they?
So imagine her delight (not) when she showed up at the wizard’s office and found them instead of Dresden. Oh joy.
She shook her head at the sight before her. Finn was using drumstick as his focus, twirling one in his fingers. It kept falling from his large hands. Rachel had a princess wand (yes, really – complete with gold star on the top) flicking her wrist as she hummed, prancing through the room.
They looked ridiculous actually. Then again, so did harry whenever he was actually doing magic, so she didn’t hold it against them.
But the longer she looked at them, the more she could see something else. That reminded her of her and Harry. Not quite the same, but it was there.
The two were obviously in love, or there was some attraction there. Finn kept sneaking glances at Rachel who would blush every time their eyes met. Small gold strands appeared in Rachel’s brunette hair, and every time one of Finn’s drumsticks fell it would roll back into reach of his fingers, no matter where he’d accidentally tossed it.
Murphy groaned and dropped her forehead against Harry’s office door.
Great. Inexperienced teen wizard apprentices with crushes. Harry really was a poster boy for disaster.
But, she needed help, Harry’s kind of help. The most these two could know was nothing. She sighed and pushed the door to Harry’s office open, pasting a smile on her face as they both turned to look at her.
“Detective Murphy, hi,” Rachel smiled. Finn nodded, a dimple deepening in his cheek. He was very attractive.
“Hey. I didn’t know you guys had training today.”
Finn’s drumstick flew from his fingers as she spoke, landing behind the desk. As she watched him get up to walk towards it, Rachel’s lips moved silently and the drumstick rolled to stop by Finn’s feet. Frowning, he bent down to pick it up.
Rachel turned back to her, beaming. “We didn’t, but Harry was a no show yesterday and Butters and Bob suggested we come again today.”
Rachel was way too perky. And happy. Like a squirrel on caffeine.
She managed to smile at the petite brunette and ran her hand over her face. It wasn’t like Harry to not be where he said he would be. Not one for punctuality, but Harry was nothing if not reliable. And after two days of not hearing from him, so much so that not even Thomas had heard from him, she was worried. And of course, needed his help too.
She should probably try Carlos or one of the other Wardens. Or ask Bob to check out Little Chicago. Or maybe Molly.
She nodded, a plan forming in her head.
Before she could say anything though, a stocky man hurried in, looking around wildly. Barefoot and naked from the waist up, the minute she saw him the little hairs on the back of her neck stood at attention and unconsciously she started moving towards the little closet Harry had towards the back of his office.
Billy usually wore clothes in public.
Relief washed over his face when he saw her. “Murphy! Finn, Rachel. Er, where’s Harry?” He asked looking around.
Finn shrugged, dropping his lanky form onto the old beaten couch. “Dunno. He wasn’t here yesterday and he should have been here hours ago.”
Billy looked towards her, amber eyes alert but questioning.
Murphy shook her head and crossed her arms over her chest. “Just got here. I need his help on a case. Why? What’s the matter Billy?”
“Can you call – er, right.” Billy shook his head at himself when he saw her raised eyebrow. “How about Thomas? You can call him, or the nearest Warden.”
“I would, but I left my cell in the car. Last time I brought it inside with me it burned a hole through my jacket.”
Harry hadn’t gotten around to fixing his old rotary telephone, not since the last vampire he’d thrown it at. With little in the way in calling for help, she wasn’t liking their options against whatever unknown Billy was sensing.
She glanced out into the office hallway and seeing nothing but darkness encroaching, frowned. It was after three pm, it should be bright and sunny outside. This was not good. The hair on her arms and the back of her head all stood at attention.
“Billy, what is it?” She asked carefully.
Billy glanced behind him, sniffing the air. He growled and slammed the office door closed then strode further into the room towards her. “The Fallen.”
“Aww, crap,” she hissed.
Rachel squeaked and fell onto the couch beside Finn who looked frozen in his seat.
“How many and how far away?” Murphy asked, trying to see through the darkness outside. It was impenetrable.
“Three, and right behind me. I came as soon as I caught their scent,” Billy growled again. As they stared at him he seemed to shimmer before their eyes, his form getting broader, shorter and hairier as he shrunk into himself, leaving a huge, lean brown-haired wolf standing in front them.
Look, she’d been friends with Harry Dresden long enough that things like this barely fazed her. She’s also been friends with Harry Dresden long enough to know that when she saw things like this, trouble was usually not far behind.
Quick as lightning, she pulled the cupboard door open, her fingers closing around the glowing scabbard inside. Power thrummed at her fingertips as she pulled it out and slung it over her back between her shoulder-blades.
Rachel whimpered and Finn just stared slack-jawed at the huge wolf in the room.
She cursed and strode over to them.
They were kids, barely sixteen and with little experience in wielding magic. But if little old her could wield Fidelacchius then she hoped some kind of miracle would help the two apprentices in surviving this night.
“Listen, I’m not sure how much you already know about what’s coming, and I’d love to give you a crash course in magical baddies, but right now, I need you to muster up every single cell of courage inside you and buck up because those baddies coming in right now are nothing to gawk at. I’m sure you two want to go and make nasty elsewhere but until we find out where Harry’s gone and hopefully someone sends help, we’re it.”
She looked from one to the other. They glanced at each other and after a second, some silent thought seemed to pass from one to the next. They both looked scared, but the lift in Rachel’s chin and the slight set in Finn’s shoulders gave her some kind of hope.
Murphy gone up against these baddies before. And it took everything in her to fight them. She was mortal, just a regular human with no magical know-how except for the protective charm Dresden had given her and the ability to wield a Holy Sword – that was a surprise, Harry kept trying to tell her she had some linkage to Sir Arthur of the Round Table. (Come on, really?) But she was never one to back down from a fight and not when they were innocents around. Chicago was still her town. Magic and all. She stepped back up beside Billy, her eyes darting to the darkness outside Harry’s office and back to the two teenagers on the couch.
Finn touched a finger to Rachel’s cheek and gave her a lopsided smile. Then she stood up, tucking her princess wand unto her hair, casting frightened eyes at the doorway. Rachel looked towards Murphy, looking so young and innocent, her smile nervous.
Murphy had known Harry a long time, and whenever he was the most scared, that’s when he was strongest. When he could better control the unpredictability of magic inside him. Strange, right? But Harry had had years of experience, and tutelage under one of the strongest wizards known worldwide; even on his worst day Dresden still had skill and knowledge to help him out.
Finn and Rachel had been training for less than two months.
But they were Dresden’s apprentices. That had to count for something.
Something shimmered in the air in front of them, a bright silvery light that seemed to emit from Rachel’s fingertips. It coalesced into a faint wall, around the four of them, a little box of bright silver thrumming with silent power. Billy huffed and Rachel glanced at him before looking back at Finn. Murphy followed her gaze.
His eyes were closed, brow furrowed in concentration. He spun the drumsticks slowly in his hand and got up.
Murphy blinked. Even though Finn had stood, striding over to Dresden’s fireplace, he was still sitting there, drumsticks slowly spinning in his hand. As she watched, six more versions of Finn got up, moving throughout the office, arming themselves with whatever makeshift weapons they could find. The couch was empty, but the office behind them was crowded behind’s Rachel’s forcefield with tall, hulking Finns with weapons scattered throughout the room as the darkness piled up against Dresden’s door.
Colour her impressed.
The kids weren’t that useless after all.
Murphy jumped as three loud knocks banged at the office door.
Harry always had wards all over the place. Wards were stronger where you lived, she remembered Harry telling her. But this was his office. Public domain. Wards wouldn’t be much use to them here, but if whatever was knocking couldn’t come in, then it was some comfort. Unless whatever was outside had magic of its own and the sill and time to disarm the wards or one of them invited it in, then maybe they could hold it off until help came.
With all the negative energies that the Fallen carried around with them, someone magical must have sensed it and alerted the White Council.
A cold sensation in her belly worked its way out to her fingertips as realization slowly dawned on her.
Someone magical had sensed the intrusion, and had come to alert the White Council. But since Dresden, as Warden of the White Council was AWOL, his apprentices would act in his stead.
“Finn, Rachel, under no circumstance must you invite inside whatever is outside that door! No matter what shape or form it takes, or what it might say to you. And for the love of god, do not tell it your name,” she warned through pursed lips.
A wolf, a godly sword, her and two apprentices against three Fallen. She should have stayed in bed.
A cold, crisp voice spoke.
“Harry Dresden, I bid thee entry to thy place of work.”
No one answered but three sets of eyes turned to Murphy. She shrugged and glared at the door. Three more knocks and the voice spoke again.
“Harry’s not here. Come back another time, won’t you?” She called out.
The door blasted inward, and the thick blackness outside seemed to take form. A pretty girl with shiny blonde hair and piercing blue eyes peeked in.
“Karrin? What are you doing here?”
It might have looked like her sister and spoken like her sister but it didn’t feel like Brittany. It felt wrong somehow, like it was something wearing Brittany like a suit. Dread crawled over her skin and she took a deep breath and reached behind her to rest her hand on the hilt of the swords and took a step forward.
“Det. Murphy, don’t.” Rachel pleaded.
“You may try to convince me with your lies Fallen, but you shan’t come in.” She felt ballsy, certain the sword at her back was lending her strength. But the last time she had gone up against these baddies, she had help, lots of help, including two more holy swords, a Knight of the Holy Cross, a hell hound and an invincible island that had somehow favoured Dresden. And Harry.
She’d really give anything for Harry to be here now.
The Brittany-Fallen turned its eyes onto the Finn nearest the door. “Finn, why do you have a coat-stand in your hands? What’s going on? Why can’t I come in?” She asked in a scared voice.
The Finn holding the coat-stand turned back to them. “Detective, it’s your sister, why don’t we let her in? If that thing is outside won’t it hurt her?”
“That’s not Brittany, Finn! It might look like her, but trust me, it’s not,” Murphy muttered.
“Rachel?” The Brittany-Fallen cried out, looking around her wildly. Blackness started to surround her, closing around her throat and arms as she struggled. “Help me! Please! Someone! Help!” she screamed, thrashing as she fought against its hold. Her neat blonde hair came free of its ponytail, haloing her face as ugly red welts appeared all over her arms and legs.
“Karrin! Please!” Wetness streaked down Brittany’s face as she fought against the blackness enveloping her.
Billy growled and took a step forward and she almost reached out to grab onto his furiously wagging tail.
“Det. Murphy! You have to help her!” Finn cried out.
“No! That’s not my sister Finn!”
“Are you sure? She looks like she’s in pain!” Rachel cried out. Murphy looked over at her, watching the fat blobs of tears as they ran down the apprentice’s face. Finn looked pained, like he was about to grab for the girl still hollering in front of them.
This was how the Fallen drew you in. By deceit. Pretense. Making you care. Once you tried to help, they’d dangle the coin in front of you, promise you greatness and once you touched it, then you were trapped forever. Or until the coin sought a new master or you were killed.
One slight step in the wrong direction, and you were caught.
Billy starting yipping, his ears pointed forward as more of the blackness swirled around Brittany, almost obscuring her from view. Stifled sobs and choking gasps was all they could hear as the black started forcing its way inside through her mouth and nose and ears.
Murphy wanted to reach out and grab the girl, as much as she knew it wasn’t really her sister, watching someone suffer like that was unbearable. All her years on the force had not prepared her for the ugliness magic could sometimes create.
Finn and Rachel were still young, and hadn’t seen anything like this. They were pure, innocent, vibrant and alive. Exactly what the Fallen sought out.
One last desperate cry choked from Brittany’s lips and she saw what going to happen too late to stop it.
Even though Finn had created copies of himself, each of them could bleed, die and reacted independent of Finn’s consciousness. She wasn’t sure which Finn was the real Finn – the other copies would disintegrate once it was killed – but the second the one nearest the door reached out and grabbed for Brittany’s hand, all hell broke loose.
Blackness poured into the room, rebounding in front them against Rachel’s shield. One of the Finns behind Rachel gripped his head as the Finn at the door screamed and disappeared. Loud snarls and barks echoed from Billy and the bright light of Fidelacchius pushed the darkness back as she released the sword from its scabbard.
Dark laughter washed over them as the blackness took shape again, three figures materializing inside the room. Two men and a woman, in beige robes with dirty feet emerged from the receding darkness.
“I thank thee for the invite young sir.” The woman snarled maliciously. Billy growled and threw himself at her.
Murphy lost track of him as one of the men darted towards her, the other throwing himself at Rachel. She slashed and twirled the heavy blade in her hands, the bright glow splashing the room with light. The Fallen advancing on her snarled and backed away, shielding his eyes as she swung towards him. His figure seemed to elongate and throb as long hands grabbed at her.
She slashed upward and was rewarded with an unearthly shriek as the holy sword made contact. Just as she was about to make another strike, the man backhanded her, throwing her up and over Dresden’s desk, the sword slipping from her grasp.
She pulled her sidearm and shook the daze from her head, pointing towards the grossly misshapen man walking towards her amidst the melee in the small room. She emptied her clip into the body, then lunged toward the sword as the huge blob dove behind the desk at her.
She slashed and sliced the air in front of her, barely able to make out the others in the fight going on around her.
Two Finns were fighting with swords with another tall, elongated, multilimbed Fallen while Rachel shot beams of fire from her outstretched arms, throwing up a shield when a heavy arm came towards her head. She was tiny, compared to the others but holding her own.
“Forzare!” Rachel cried out, a lance of flame flying straight towards the heart of the Fallen. It shrieked and spasmed wildly about the room the same time the Fallen Murphy was fighting with gripped her ankle and hoisted her in the air.
Again Fidelacchius slipped from her fingers. She kicked out, hitting the Fallen in the head and rolled into a crouch when it let her go.
Brighter light engulfed the room and loud shrieks coming from the other two Fallen joined the one that Rachel had wounded.
Two more figures came into the room and the loud hum of another holy sword reached her ears as she recognized the Knight of the Holy Cross battling back to back with the Hellhound.
Would you look at that.
Amoracchius hummed in the din and she reached her hand out, willing the sword’s brother to call to her. Her fingers jerked to the left and she threw herself sideways as the Fallen’s leg stomped the ground where she was crouched.
She heard Kincaid call out and saw one of the Finns fall to the ground, arms gone as it dissipated.
There was a loud metallic shriek and the other arm of another Fallen fell behind her the second her fingers closed around Fidelacchius’ hilt.
The sounds in the room got louder and brighter before the din receded. Blackness poured out of the room, mad cackling laughter following it outside. Murphy blinked, her eyes adjusting to the changing light in the room. A Finn threw itself towards Rachel as a bright coin few towards her. It brushed against her little finger before he knocked her aside, the coin hitting his cheek, making him howl in pain. Rachel crumbled to the floor, her eyes slipping shut as the Finn on the floor screamed once then faded away, as did the other two still left in the room.
Murphy dropped a hand onto the desk, watching Billy’s tail wag as he barked at the door, blood coating his muzzle. Michael held Amoracchius in front of him while Kincaid pointed his large gun towards the body on the floor.
As she watched it started to shrink finally resembling a human man with an arm and a leg missing, deep gashes and gunshot wounds in his torso. The Fallen was dead, the source of its power gone from its grasp.
A strangled sob came from the last Finn in the room. Covered in blood and ichor he whispered something unintelligible before looking around him.
He got up from the floor, pushing Kincaid out of the way as he dropped to the ground beside Rachel. He tipped her chin up, then pulled her small form onto his lap. Michael walked over, resting his hand onto her forehead.
“She’ll be fine, Finn. Fighting hand to hand with Tessa would have been worse for so inexperienced a wizard. Let her mind rest.”
Finn glanced up, tears streaking in the dirt on his face, blinking up at the Knight.
“This Tessa? Who is she?” he growled.
Murphy looked around the room, surveying the damage around them. The other two Fallen had escaped. Rachel had seared a whole the size of a hula hoop into the wall, whoever the fire had hit would have been in a huge amount of pain. Murphy hoped it was Tessa.
It was Billy who replied, having taken back human form. He wiped blood from his face and hands, glaring at the sudden sunshine making its way inside the windows.
“She was the wife of Nicodemus, head of the Fallen. Dresden had suspected that she had stolen a few of the Denarii before she ran away. We know now she has.” He pointed his chin towards the floor where the Finn who had saved Rachel had fell
Michael bent and using a white handkerchief with a black cross embroidered on it, picked up a blackened silver coin. He slipped it into a pouch hanging beside his scabbard, and then looked around the room.
“So she’s back?” Murphy questioned. As far as she remembered, Tessa was one cold bitch. Who’d left her husband, and was siding with the even worst bad guys.
Kincaid grunted, wiping the black ichor from his sword. “And she has lots more where that came from. She’s gone to lick her wounds but she’ll be back.”
“We need to find Harry.” Finn said softly, brushing Rachel’s hair off her forehead.
“No shit, Sherlock. Why do you think we’re here? And you’re welcome for us saving your life by the way.”
Finn glanced up at him, his eyes narrowed. All of a sudden a kaleidoscope of colours and a cacophony of sounds surrounded Kincaid, loud and painful to look at while Kincaid fell to the ground screaming as he tried to shield his eyes and ears.
Just as suddenly as it appeared, it vanished and Finn’s eyes flashing dangerously as he glared at Kincaid.
“Ow,” he muttered.
She snickered as Michael helped the Hellhound to his feet, feeling a swell of emotion for Harry’s apprentice.
“Right. Any ideas where Chicago’s favourite wizard could be?” Murphy asked. Silence answered her, every eye except Finn and Rachel looking back at her.
She had no clue where Dresden could be. And with almost all of his allies here in his small office, the chances of finding out were dwindling by the second.
Maybe Thomas would have an idea. If Harry’s brother didn’t know, chances were they were looking at magical kidnapping and the White Council would definitely be involved. She sheathed Fidelacchius and raked her fingers through her hair, walking towards the door again.
“There’s one person who might.” Finn’s soft voice stopped her. She looked back.
“The Leanansidhe,” he offered.
“Harry’s godmother?” Michael asked.
“Why would she know?” Murphy wondered out loud.
“Maybe because the other side of the Nevernever of Harry’s apartment is her front garden? And if I can’t sense him in the mortal world, he could be in Faerie. And you know nothing happens in Faerie without her knowing.”
“How do you know this ? You’re just an apprentice,” Kincaid sneered. Finn’s eyes flickered over to him and the Hellhound stepped back slightly scowling down at Finn.
“He’s a sensitive,” Michael murmurs. Finn ignored him, looking back down at Rachel and caressing her forehead lovingly.
“Come again?” Murphy asked, walking back over to the Knight. Michael turned to her.
“Finn. He’s a sensitive. He’s more adept at sensory magic, illusions, mind control, veils. And Rachel is more skilled at practical magic, spells and physical strength. She’s better at controlling fire and water, more like Harry.”
“Tough luck buddy, looks like you lucked out in the talent department.” Kincaid grinned.
“On the contrary,” Michael offered quietly, “he’s just as skilled as Rachel, possibly more so. He can control your senses, make you believe whatever he wants you to.”
Michael’s eyes darkened as he rested his hands on Amoracchius. Finn looked up and met his eyes.
“It’s good that you’ve chosen to apprentice under Harry Dresden.”
“He can help.” Finn muttered, turning his eyes back to Rachel.
“Yes.” Michael crouched down and put his hands on Finn’s shoulder. “Child, I know what you want to do. But she will be fine. Her mind will be alright. She’s not as strong as she can be, and she is more easily manipulated than you are. Her finger merely grazed the coin, and your illusion blocked it before it could inflict more harm. She will sleep and she will wake and she will be alright. I swear it.”
It felt like she was intruding as she watched Finn curving his palm on Rachel’s cheek. Murphy fidgeted nervously, a pang of regret and longing from deep inside as she thought of Dresden. She needed him to be alright.
“How did your illusion know to block Rachel touching the coin?” Billy asked.
Finn shrugged. “I don’t know. I just felt it was dangerous and it was going towards Rachel -,” he broke off, closing his eyes as more tears slipped down his face. He looked up to the Knight again, desperation on his face.
“She’ll be alright,” Finn whispered.
“I swear it,” Michael repeated.
“She has to be. Because someone is tearing a doorway between the Nevernever and Harry’s basement right now,” he murmured, lifting his eyes to Murphy.
“Trouble?” Billy asked, rolling his shoulders.
“The Leanansidhe,” Finn answered.
“Trouble,” Murphy grunted.
Author’s note 2 : So, um, confused? Leaving it open just in case I continue it, ya know?
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- Hold on, the stars are about to change - January 8, 2014