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16 December 2011 @ 10:37 pm
Discworld/Dresden Fic 1/1  
It's all silvercobwebs fault, dontcha know. I did the meme that's going around about fic I haven't written and she asked for " Granny Weatherwax berating Harry Dresden for not using some headology and just plain showin' off". So here it is:

Witches and Wizards and Trolls, oh my!

Granny cast a weathered eye over the basement and nodded.

“I’ll give you this much, you’ve got the Boffo down well. For a wizard,” she added after a brief pause.

I didn’t think it was possible for ‘wizard’ to sound like an insult, but there it was. Granny Weatherwax was an imposing woman and one who carried the title ‘witch’ like it was both the greatest honour and the world’s biggest millstone around her neck. And she didn’t have a high opinion of wizards.

Right now I couldn’t blame her since she’d appeared in my city, literally out of nowhere, and I didn’t have the first clue as to how or why.

She wandered around my basement and examined objects, seemingly at random, while I thought about how I could get this witch out of my basement and back to the place she’d come from. A place called Discworld, apparently, where magic was everyday and there was even a university where you could learn it.

And where there were trolls.

I’ve dealt with a troll or two in my life; they occasionally come through from the Nevernever, either by accident or by the design of one of the Fae Queens. They’re big and aggressive but also a bit stupid and often quite slow (although not always), and I’ve usually sent them packing with a few well-placed spells.

Trolls on Discworld aren’t like that.

Oh, they’re big and aggressive, but they’re essentially living, moving rock and they’re only slow and stupid in a warm climate. Something Chicago in December is not.

How do I know all this? Ah yes, I forgot about that part; one of them came here with Granny and is currently running around loose in Chicago somewhere.

So the task was simple: find several tons of angry troll that was currently cold enough to think and move fast before it did serious damage to the people and/or property of Chicago and then somehow subdue it enough to wrangle it back to mine and then transport both it and Mistress Weatherwax back to Discworld.

Isn’t it great being a wizard kids? Bet you want to be one when you grow up.

The fastest way for me to find the troll was a location spell using Little Chicago and a hunk of the troll that had chipped off him when he charged out of my door. Sorry, I meant through my door. And since that was a slightly battered but nonetheless sturdy reinforced steel door that had withstood a horde of zombies, you’ll understand my concern about finding this troll quickly.

It didn’t take very long to perform the spell; the inhabitant of Discworld had a lifeforce that stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the denizens of Chicago.

“Oh great, he’s in a mall the week before Christmas,” I said.

Granny looked puzzled so I explained the significance.

“Like Hogswatch,” she declared. I shrugged noncommittally and headed up toward the living room and the front door.

“Whatever. We should hurry.”

We left in the Blue Beetle after Granny had complained about ‘horseless chariots’ and that a broomstick was a much more appropriate form of travel. I pointed out that a car was a more incognito mode of transport and in December it was a much warmer one than flying through the air on a domestic appliance. This seemed to mollify her for a moment or two as she fell into a sullen silence, her arms wrapped tightly against her chest. But she wasn’t tutting anymore.

“You didn’t have to be so flashy in finding him,” she said as I pulled up outside the mall. The people running screaming from the building led me to suspect we were in the right place.

“Flashy? It was just a little location spell,” I replied, distracted, as I pulled my staff from the back seat of the Beetle and we headed toward the mall.

“It would have been just as easy to use headology though. Anything else's just showin' off,” she said with a finality that led me to believe she’d declared an end to the matter. I had an idea what she meant by ‘headology’ and I had to stifle a smile.

Granny rolled up her sleeves and strode alongside me, keeping pace, not an easy feat given that I had a good foot height advantage. We walked through the rapidly emptying mall, simply walking in the opposite direction to the fleeing public and following the trail of carnage.

So far it only seemed to be property damage; there were chunks taken out of the building and various statues and other stone-looking things.

“Looks like he’s hungry. Trying to find something he likes,” Granny commented, indicating the nearest damaged pillar. On closer inspection I saw there were teeth marks in the concrete.

“They eat stone?”

“What else would they eat?” came the reply.

We found the troll in a Dairy Queen, trying to eat various solid lumps of ice-cream straight out of the freezer. I guess in that state, they do kind of look like lumps of stone. The troll didn’t seem to be a fan of chocolate chip though; as we watched, he tossed the carton over his shoulder and picked up a different flavour. Where the cold air from the walk-in freezer had hit the warm air of the mall, it had condensed and formed a pool at the troll’s feet.

“Watch this for headology,” I said to Granny and pointed my staff toward the puddle the troll was standing in. “Fuego!”

The resulting stream of fire turned the puddle to steam that rapidly heated the troll. The effect was immediate; the troll slowed to a standstill and stood scratching his head placidly.

“Oh very clever, Mr. Wizard,” Granny said sarcastically. “Now how do you propose we get him back to your home? Strap him to the roof of your ‘beetle’?”

“I’m not done yet. Ventas servitas,” I incanted and used the resulting gust of wind to push the hulking great troll into the walk-in freezer. I walked in behind him, followed closely by Granny and I shut the door behind us. “Now he’ll be smart enough to talk to but he won’t be able to hurt anyone.”

“Except us,” Granny pointed out. Oops. She shouldered me aside and stepped toward the troll before I could stop her. “Igneous? Is that you?”

“Yessum,” replied the troll. And I swear he was instantly placid and even, dare I say it, cowering away from Granny.

“What would your dear old mother think of you carrying on like a city troll high on Slab? I know you trolls all have a name for me, and I’m guessing you don’t want a first hand demonstration of why they call me it. You will come home with me right this instance,” she remonstrated and something in the tone of her voice left me fearing ever crossing this formidable woman. So I wasn’t entirely surprised when Igneous hung his head in shame like a naughty schoolboy.

“Yes Mistress Weatherwax,” he answered glumly.

Granny nodded, turned sharply on her heel and headed out of the freezer. Igneous followed and I brought up the rear.

We walked back to my place; no choice since the Blue Beetle would never take Igneous’ weight. I managed to cast a veil over him to avoid any trouble on the way back, much to Mistress Weatherwax’s disgust.

She can talk about headology all she wants, but the on the world she inhabits people live side by side with trolls. In Chicago he’d be a little harder to explain. Maybe I could have got away with some kind of costume for a movie or publicity stunt, I guess… huh, damn that woman, she was right, we probably could have hidden him without magic.

Once safely back at my place, I left Igneous to be watched by Thomas and Mouse and went down to the basement. Between me, Granny and Bob we managed to come up with a spell to send Granny and Igneous home. Ok, so when I say ‘we’, I mean Bob and Granny. But I helped a little.

Once everything was ready, I brought Igneous down to the basement

“Can I ask you something before you go?” I asked quietly, hoping Granny wouldn’t hear. Igneous nodded. “What is it you all call her?”

Igneous looked over to check Granny wasn’t listening. She seemed to be deeply in conversation with Bob.

Aaoograha hoa. It lit’rally ‘she who must be avoided’. Is not meant as disrespectful tho’. We trolls all respect Mistress Weatherwax, or else,” he answered. I hid a smile and nodded.

A cough got our attention and I turned to see Granny was standing in my summoning circle.

“Ready when you are, Wizard Dresden,” she said, and this time it sounded like a formal address rather than an insult when she gave my title. I gave her a short bow.

“It’s been an honour and a privilege, Mistress Weatherwax. A weird one, but a privilege anyway,” I said. I directed Igneous into the circle and began the spell to send them back to Discworld.

“One more thing, Dresden,” Granny said as she began to fade from view “Wizards should take care to respect me too.”
crashtestskater: launchpad treecrashtestskater on December 17th, 2011 12:12 am (UTC)
Hee hee. I loved this. Anyone who can make Harry wary is awesome in my books. Very cool. I don't know Granny Weatherwax, but she seems really cool.
The other Weird Al: discworldaeron_lanart on December 17th, 2011 05:45 am (UTC)
Wonderful! I kind of feel sorry for Harry, even while I want to giggle at him and the way he deals with Granny Weatherwax. Even so, he certainly would to well to respect her...
Kay: Death -- FANCY A CURRY?silvercobwebs on December 17th, 2011 02:38 pm (UTC)
Yay! What a treat. Thank you - I wasn't epxecting a full-blown fic! And of course trolls would be wary of Granny Weatherwax. Wouldn't you? ;)