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07 May 2011 @ 07:17 pm
Dresden Files/The Sentinel 3/7  
Third part of Shaman You.

Part One be Here
Part Two be Here

Nothing you recognise is mine.

Thank you to aeron_lanart for being a great beta and all round hoopy frood.

Shaman You Part 3

The next morning, I was woken by a pounding on the door of my hotel room. At least, I assumed it was morning; since it was still dark out I wasn’t entirely certain. It didn’t bother me, I’m lucky if I get any sleep when I’m on a case, but I wondered what could be so urgent.

“Harry! You awake?” called Jim from the other side of the door. By the sound of it he was two seconds from breaking down the door, and since I’d put up warding spells last night, that wouldn’t end well for him. What? I already told you I’m paranoid. Sure, the vampire courts probably didn’t know where I was, but better safe than dead.

“Just give me a second,” I called out and quickly disabled the spells as I crossed to the door. I’d no sooner turned the handle than Jim bundled into the room, followed closely by a more apologetic Blair. “Hey, where’s the fire?”

“There’s been another murder,” Jim replied tersely.

“Already? That can’t be right. He has a schedule,” I replied.

“We know,” Blair agreed “Up to know he’s only been killing at the full moon and the new moon.”

“Lunar cycles give rituals extra power,” I explained almost automatically. “Could it be a copycat?”

“None of the details have been released,” Jim answered.

I nodded. My mind was racing through possibilities and one awful one occurred to me.
“Stars and stones,” I muttered.

“What?” Blair asked.

“This is my fault,” I said. At the glare I got from Ellison, I felt I needed to clarify. “When we went out to the woods, that hex that attacked us…”

“Is that what that was?” Blair asked, curiosity plain on his face. I nodded.

“It was a booby trap, probably triggered when I used magic to feel about the scene. But it wasn’t just there to attack us. I should have realised. It was there as an alarm system.”

“So we just let the guy know we’re onto the fact that he’s using magic.”

“More to the point, I let him know that a wizard is after him. He’s scared, so he’s stepped up his schedule.”

“Something else has changed,” Jim added. “This time, the guy’s internal organs were missing.”

“That’s not good,” I said. “I’ll need to look at the body, if that’s okay.”

Jim shrugged and then Blair nodded. If the organs showed signs of being eaten, it meant that Fenris had finally agreed to the bargain with our wannabe sorcerer. He probably hadn’t taken him seriously up to this point, but now that it looked like he might actually be freed he was willing to agree to whatever this guy was demanding.

I thought for a moment and then pulled out my map of the city.

“Tell me, was the kill still here in Stanley Park?”

Blair and Jim looked at each other and had another of those silent conversations, like the day we first met, before Blair nodded and smiled.

“We figured he was drawing a pentagram,” he said confirming my earlier suspicion. These cops were smarter than your average flatfoot. But then most cops don’t have graduate diplomas in anthropology.

“But the symbol is only half of it. He’s creating a magical gateway for something and it means he will have to perform one more ritual,” I explained as I unfolded my map. I pointed to the central space of the pentagram. “Here.”

I looked to the two detectives who had visibly whitened.

“Harry, this final ritual, would it require a bigger sacrifice than the others?” Blair asked. I nodded enthusiastically, pleased that Blair was accepting my theory so readily and that he was keeping up with me.

“He’ll want to kill as many as possible,” I answered. At the look on their faces a cold pit formed in my stomach. That had been happening too much this week. “Why? What’s here? It isn’t marked on the map.”

“It wouldn’t be, it’s only just finished,” Jim replied. “It’s the new Cascade Stadium. And in three nights is the inaugural Jags basketball game. Half the city’s going to be there.”


I gave Jim a list of books that the killer might have found the ritual in and a list of bookstores that I thought might stock it. It wasn’t much, but it was a start. I could tell that Jim was still sceptical about the magical aspects of the case, but he didn’t say anything about it, just took the list with a nod. It was weird; respect and trust are not things I expect to receive from cops; with the exception of Murph.

From what Bob had told me about Sentinels, I guessed that Jim had seen enough of the mystical to at least be more open-minded than your average cop. Blair seemed not only willing to be open-minded, but seemed to believe in magic. That was going to make my next task a little easier. I asked Blair if he could stay and help me.

“I don’t see how I can help,” he began.

“Go ahead, Chief, it won’t need both of us to run down this list,” Jim interrupted and there in his tone was the suspicion I was used to. I could read the subtext as clearly as Blair probably could. What Jim was really saying was ‘keep an eye on this guy’. Suited me just fine.

“If you’re sure?” Blair hedged. Jim smiled and nodded then left the room. “So, how can I help?” Blair asked once we were alone.

“Actually, Blair, this is about how I can help you,” I replied. Blair looked confused and chuckled nervously.

“What’s this about?”

“It’s about you being a Shaman,” I said. He started to argue, but I put up my hand to stop him. “During our soulgaze I met Incacha, or at least the part of you that calls itself that.”

“Really? Wow, what did he say?” Blair asked with curiosity. I doubted his partner would have so readily accepted the idea.

“You have power, Blair. I felt that the day we met. But you’re only using it subconsciously; you’re capable of so much more. And if we’re going to beat this nut then I need all the help I can get,” I finished. Sure, it probably sounded desperate, but we were up against the clock and after what I’d learned about Guides and Sentinels I figured appealing to Blair’s duty to the city was the best way to get him on-side quickly.

If it came down to it, I wasn’t sure I could beat Fenris on my own, so I’d take any help I could get. Part of me thought I should contact the Council; this was really something they should take care of. But since the Wardens didn’t seem to be involved already, I figured they had enough to do fighting the war I’d started. Besides which, knowing my luck they’d probably try to pin it on me, no matter how innocent I was.

Blair pushed a hand through his hair and thought for a moment.

“But I haven’t done any magic,” he answered eventually. I smiled in what I hoped was a reassuring and knowing way.

“You do every day, you just don’t know it. Come on, we’ll go to your apartment and I’ll show you.”


“Why exactly did we come back here?” Blair asked as we rode the elevator up to the loft the detectives shared. I’d kept a stoic and enigmatic silence on the journey over, simply because I still wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to do this. I’m not exactly the nurturing type.

“Three reasons. First, I need to show you something here. Second, guarantee of privacy. Third, this is your home, it’s a place of strength for you,” I answered

We exited the elevator and Blair began reaching for the key, but I stopped him.

“What? Something wrong?” he asked, suddenly on alert and his hand going to his gun. I shook my head.

“Put your hand out, about an inch from the door and tell me what you feel,” I said, channelling my inner Yoda.

Blair did as instructed and after a moment he closed his eyes in concentration. He shook his head.

“I’m sorry, Harry, I can’t…wait!” he exclaimed and his eyes flew open. “Just here, it’s like a build up of static or something.”

I nodded.

“That’s the threshold to your home. You created this Blair, instinctively put up a shield around your home to stop magic that intended to harm,” I explained. “We can go in now.”

“Shame it doesn’t work on guys with guns,” he said as he got out his key and opened the door.

“I can teach you some warding spells that will keep out anyone,” I replied.

“Seriously?” he asked. I nodded. “Cool.”

We entered the apartment and crossed to the dining table where I took off my duster and hung it over the back of a chair.

“This is going to be pretty intense, Blair. We don’t have time for the wax on, wax off approach; I need to teach you in a few days what most practitioners spend years learning,” I explained. “I’m going to need you to take a lot on trust. I’m sure your scientist mind will want to ask questions but there’ll be time enough for all that after we save the city, okay?”

Assuming we survived, of course.

“Sure, Harry,” Blair answered.

“Okay, before we start I need you to find something you can use as a focus. Metal usually works best and jewellery is the most convenient to carry,” I explained and showed him my bracelet and amulet to demonstrate. “It works better if it has personal meaning,” I added as Blair nodded and headed into a room off the kitchen area. He emerged a few moments later carrying a pendant on a leather thong.

“Jim gave me this for my last birthday. Will it do?” he asked and dropped it into my hand. It was a native representation of a wolf’s head, I’m no expert but I’d guess Haida or some other Northwest tribe. I smiled as I recognised the significance.


I dropped the pendant back into Blair’s hand and motioned for him to sit at the table. I sat down and he took the seat opposite me.

“Most Shamans have a leaning toward defensive and nurturing magic, that’s why you were able to protect your home without trying. Do people tell you you’re a good listener, good at knowing what others are feeling?” I asked. Blair nodded.

“I think it’s part of what makes me and Jim such a good match – he’s not such a touchy-feely guy,” he answered with a grin.

“Empathy is no surprise. With time and practise you might even be able to pick up surface level thoughts, know if people are being honest with you. Your powers are probably a reason why you’re a Guide.”

“Incacha told you about that too, huh?”

I nodded and smiled.

“When this is over I’ll teach you some skills and spells that will help you to understand Jim’s gifts, to be a better Guide, if you’d like. But for now we need to focus on what will be useful against our wacky ritual killer,” I said. Blair leaned forward and looked at me intently.

“What do I need to do?”

“If we can get you to produce a strong enough shield to protect the civilians, it leaves me free to take the offensive; shields take concentration and if we can’t find this guy before the game we’ll need a huge one to protect the people in that stadium,” I answered. Blair looked nervous.

“Me? Can’t we just say there’s a bomb threat?”

“Nice idea, but with all the money that must be involved in the stadium can you really see them agreeing to postpone for a vague threat?” I replied. Blair nodded reluctantly.

“You’re right. So, how do I do this?”


Blair and I worked for the rest of the day, stopping only when Jim arrived home. Looking out the window, I realised it was almost dark; Blair and I had been so engrossed in what we were doing we’d not even stopped to eat. I decided Blair had done enough and called it a day.

He’d made good progress and naturally wanted to show off to his partner. I didn’t see the harm; after all, Ellison was probably going to see a hell of a lot more magic in two days time.

Blair took his pendant in his hand and I could feel him feed his will through it to form a shield as I’d taught him. It was strong, although only a few feet in circumference; he’d have to work much harder to create one big enough to protect an entire stadium, but I was surprisingly confident that he’d be able to do it.

“Hey, Jim, throw that apple at me,” he instructed, pointing to a bowl of fruit on the kitchen table. Bemused, Jim held aloft an apple. “Yeah, throw it at me.”

At you, Chief?”

“At me. Hard, like you mean to hurt me. It’s ok, big guy,” Blair confirmed.

Jim stared at Blair for a second like his partner had gone nuts, but Blair insisted and Jim shrugged.

“Okay, Chief, it’s your head,” he replied and pitched the apple at Blair. It hit the shield about two feet from Blair and bounced across the apartment where it splattered against a wall. “What the…?”

Unsurprisingly, Jim was stunned. Blair laughed triumphantly as he let the shield go. He then looked to me so I nodded my approval. After only one day, that was pretty impressive, it was clear that Blair did have a natural talent for defensive magic.

“Cool, huh? Harry’s teaching me to be a Shaman,” he explained to his partner. Jim stared first at Blair and then glared at me. I avoided eye contact, so he resumed glaring at his partner.

“He is, is he? And how does he even know that you are a Shaman?” he demanded.

“Ah. I’m guessing you didn’t tell him about the soulgaze. I think I should leave you to talk,” I said and beat a hasty retreat to the door.

“Just wait a minute, Dresden,” Jim began, practically growling.

“Don’t worry, Sentinel, I won’t tell anyone your secret,” I replied and slipped out the door before he could stop me. Last thing I heard as I headed for the stairs was Jim yelling at Blair.

“And how in the hell does he know about that?!”


I decided to take a stroll past the new stadium and check out my potential battleground. A lot of magic is in the preparation and knowing the area would be a big help.

I’m not exactly what you might call a connoisseur of modern architecture but when I arrived at the new stadium I greatly admired this particular designer’s work. Set into the ground was a band of metal inscribed with the names of athletes and contributors to the stadium. It was made of copper and it formed a perfect circle around the entire stadium; a three-pointer for the home team. I have a much smaller copper circle in the sub-basement of my apartment that I use to create magical holding cells for various demons and creatures of the Nevernever I’ve had cause to summon. This circle was going to make protecting the stadium a much easier task. All it would take would be for someone to channel their will into the circle to create a protective circle that would be nearly impossible to break. It looked like things were starting to go our way.

I spent an hour or so walking the grounds, finding suitable spots to take on the would-be wizard and then returned to my hotel. When I collected my key from the desk the clerk handed me a message that read:

M.E. agreed to meet, will pick you up here @ 0700 hours.

So, Jim Ellison was a man of few words on paper too, but it looked like the good detective wasn’t throwing me off the case. I’d almost forgotten about my request to see the latest body and part of me wished that Jim had too. But it needed to be done so with a sigh I headed upstairs to bed.

Shaman You continues in Part 4
Black Rookgrachonok on May 7th, 2011 06:28 pm (UTC)
You know, I could get spoiled with good work:).
But, I don't want to be a pie,: pleased hamsteridontlikegravy on May 13th, 2011 02:26 pm (UTC)

Thank you! :)
Rhivipersweb on May 7th, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC)
Nice. I like that Blair is so accepting of Harry's announcement that he is a shaman and that he takes to the training so well. Should be exciting to see what happens next. :)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: pleased hamsteridontlikegravy on May 13th, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)
I will call her George: Psych - Lassiestrangevisitor7 on November 13th, 2011 02:37 am (UTC)
Lovin' this. Your characterization is terrific