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Aug 21, 2019 3:38 AM
Veron Chandler and Harry Dresden
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Oh, good, he's not actually needed here at all, that's much preferable to the alternative.

"The one upstairs is also dead. All coins of baddies present and accounted for? If they're not quite dead my sword can apparently get 'em."


Harry counts. "One corpse two corpse, one coin two coin. Looks like we're good." He warily picks up the coins one by one and drops them into a small purple bag, which he then tucks back into his coat.

Hendricks speaks up. "This house isn't safe anymore. And Sigrun needs somewhere secure to recover."

"Yeah, I think I know a place. Charity's going to want to kill me, but what else is new."


David walks down the stairs, very carefully carrying Gard in his arms. "Can someone take this woman from me before my skin touches her and I have a panic attack and drop her?"

Hendricks does so.

"Thank you."


Veron nods. He's not sure that's the best idea, but he doesn't have a better one, and can't exactly bring everybody here to the Plane of Shadows or something, so. Yeah, he guesses bothering Charity again is probably the thing to do.

"I'm going to look around and see if there are any more skulking about plotting an ambush nearby, I'll catch up."


There are no additional Denarians nearby unless they're invisible and being very quiet. And emitting no scent. And not disturbing the snow. There probably aren't any Denarians.




Okay, just checking. This verified, he catches back up with everyone else. He guesses they can all go pile onto Charity and her husband.


They make decent time to the Carpenter house. Michael's in the front yard before Harry gets there, and gives him a level look as he gets out of the car. "Harry. Why are you here?"

Harry jingles his bag of coins. "Special delivery of three rusty nickels."

Michael grimaces. “I had a feeling they might be in town. You killed three of them?”

"I had some help," Harry admits. "Veron the Mysterious Stranger stabbed one of them with his very unpleasant sword, and Hendricks shot two of them in the head with his ridiculous gun. So I kind of did nothing, actually."


"You were excellent moral support," calls Veron from the car, loyally.


Harry grins. Michael smiles very slightly.

The door opens. A tall black man steps out, a gym bag slung over his shoulder. He squints at Harry for a second, then bear-hugs him. "Harry!"

"Sanya!" Harry says back, somewhat awkwardly. "Good to see you again. Please to be letting go of me."

Sanya releases him from his grip, laughing. "So! You have slain some demons, eh? Show me their coins, so I can identify them."

Harry does so. Sanya gasps. "Akariel and Charasiel and... that's Imariel. You killed Tessa."

"...that's good? Hey Veron, you did a good apparently."

"Tessa is- was on a level with Nicodemus," Michael says seriously. "She controlled half of the Denarian host."

Harry considers. "Veron, you apparently did a really good."


"Yeah I needed the mean sword to kill her, she kept wiggling after she was down."


"Knew that thing would come in handy," Harry says sagely, putting the coins back in the bag.

Michael peers through the car window at Gard. He gives Harry a look.

"She's wounded, Michael," Harry says quietly. "I don't really have anywhere else to turn."

Michael sighs heavily. "I'll put her in the workshop, there's a cot and a heater. I'm not exposing my children to this."

"I understand," Harry says.

"Do you?" Michael asks gently.


  "Pardon!" says David's possum scarf, poking her head out of David's coat. She clears her throat and looks critically at Veron. "Ahem."

Veron winces. "Yes ma'am." He steps out of the car. "Uh, hey, it felt weird to overstep since this kinda isn't my place or, thing, or anything, but, there is probably actually an alternative? If, uh, she's up for hanging out in a freaky shadow place for a bit." He looks at Gard. "Want to hang out in my freaky shadow estate thing?"


She raises her eyebrows. "With such a tempting offer, how could I refuse? I'll take a look at the place, certainly."

"I'm coming too," Hendricks growls.

"I don't think that was in question," Gard says.


"Sure, let me just warn some people we're coming." He starts speaking to the empty air. "Hey uh, the guest rooms open?"

   Something in the shadows whispers back in a language that only one person present speaks. "Guests? You? Really?"

"Yeah, yeah, one of them's bleeding, it's me, what do you expect."

  The shadow chuckles. This is perfectly intelligible, and also a bit disconcerting."Very well. Your estate, as ever, is at your disposal. Do you need assistance bringing them in?"

He glances at Gard. Gard is six feet tall. Veron is not that tall. While he is athletic, he's really got more of a wiry build than anything built for proper weightlifting. Yeah, he could use some help carrying her in, he's secure enough in his masculinity to ask for help. "... Yeah that'd be great, if you're not in the middle of any—"


He stops mid-sentence. David's scarf hisses, whispers, "Be back in a bit," and disappears.

Veron turns and fixes his eyes on one shadow in particular.

"Excuse me," he says, loudly. "This is a private conversation. You get one warning. LEAVE."


The shadow looks as innocent as a shadow can look.


Veron rolls his eyes. "Okay, hard way it is, then," he mutters to himself.

He raises his voice. "I am Veron Chandler, Lord of Shadows. Do not presume to trespass in my presence. I said—"




The shadow is now actually innocent.


"Yeah I thought so. Git." He huffs, then realizes that he totally just made a scene. Well that's.... embarrassing.

He clears his throat, awkwardly. "Sorry, some guy was trying to spy through shadows. He's not doing that anymore."


Michael pales. "I had thought that Nicodemus' ability to hear what is said in the shadows was a myth."

"I didn't know there was a myth," Harry comments. "Very impressive."


"Thanks." A little dragon appears on his shoulder in a shower of golden light, gets a tiny scritch, then flounces back to David's shoulders to resume being a scarf, phasing through the car in the process.

"Okay, back to business. Ksxksskrth?" That word does not sound like a human could make it, but apparently Veron can. "Are you—ah, thanks, you're a lifesaver, mate."

The nearby shadows draw together and darken, then rise up to form a thin, wiry, seven foot tall silhouette of darkness. It looks at the assorted people with its glowing white eyes, then bows politely to Veron. "Hello," hisses the terrifying shadow being, to everyone else.

"If it's all right with you, ma'am, I'm going to have Ksxksskrth take you there so you don't have to walk." Or be dropped by a man shorter than you, he doesn't add. "And Hendricks can come with me."


Harry nods to the terrifying shadow being.

Gard nods as well. "Go ahead, Ksxksskrth." (She says it without any apparent regard to the impossibility of her actually saying it.)

Hendricks grunts, prepared to follow Veron.


Veron opens the door for Ksxksskrth, who carefully leans forward to gently pick Gard up. The terrifying shadow being is chilly, but solid, and certainly strong enough to carry her. Then Ksxksskrth and Gard darken, and both sink soundlessly into the ground.

Then Veron offers his hand to Hendricks, and then he can come, too.


Hendricks follows without hesitation.


He is taken to a cold and quiet place. The air is still and hushed, and what colors exist in this grey space are muted. The feeble lights that burn are a pale, cold blue. Nonetheless, the place is comfortable and even downright cozy. Perfect for recuperation.

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