rix_scaedu (rix_scaedu) wrote,

The Problems That Come With Acting Responsibly

I wrote this to aldersprig's first prompt and it has, of course, blown out to 787 words. Firenze Howie has previously appeared in Firenze.

They say that cycles of lunacy are tied to the full moon, hence the word itself. The human world knows that the police/accident and emergency/whatever are busier on the nights of the full moon because people act strangely then, and that’s in the human world. It’s worse if you’re dealing with fae because not only are do they have the usual stressors but some of them are tied to the moon and their powers, not to mention their very substance, waxes and wanes with that body’s aspect to the earth. However, the moon and its cycles weren’t normally one of Firenze Howie’s problems.

She had problems. She was a recently metamorphosed fae who wasn’t indentured to a Master and was trying to learn what she needed to know without becoming someone’s victim. She knew that a group of Maerchen had an Excalibur in a stone on the 56th floor of an office building in the CBD and didn’t know whether they were looking for Arthur or trying to keep the sword away from him. She didn’t know whether those Maerchen knew that she was fae. She was trying to get a full time job so she could afford to move out of her university student flat. She also suspected that her only known living fae relative would happily truss her up and sell her into slavery just to get Firenze out of her bailiwick.

Now, however, the moon was part of one of Firenze’s problems because somewhere within walking distance of her Camperdown flat, a werewolf was lairing.

It had started small, so that she hadn’t noticed at first, with feral pigeons and stray cats. Next month it had moved on to stray dogs and the local homeless population had started to shift. The following month, three people had died and that was when she’d really taken notice. The police had too. Firenze found out quite a lot from the police by casting illusions so that she wouldn’t be seen or noticed and then standing close enough to eavesdrop or read official documents. She even did a little indirect hacking, by hacking someone who’d hacked the police. All the evidence pointed to a werewolf, not that the police could see that.

So Firenze started her own investigation. Her best skills were in research and her best magic was illusion, so she started by reading up on werewolves, a lot. Then she started, very carefully, to look for one.

The method she chose was urine. Detection spells weren’t her best magic but she knew the basics and set herself to improving them. First, she went to each of the crime scenes and examined their surrounds, magically, for urine. Then she refocussed her spell for age of deposit, eliminating anything that had been placed outside the period of the full moon. Finally, she eliminated everything that wasn’t a werewolf; cats were easy but dogs and humans, not so much.

When she found herself with a remaining sample at each crime that had commonality not only of species but of individual, she was both surprised and ecstatic.

The next step was the hardest, requiring of her limited magic the portion she was least competent in. It was a finding spell.

Firenze set the spell in motion from a nearby park and walked away because the spell would take three days to work. Three days would give her time to make other preparations based on her research and still have matters well in hand before the next full moon. Basing the spell in the park would protect her from anyone trying to trace the spell back to her or to attack the spell’s caster. It also meant that she could concentrate on her preparations and if you were working with aconite, well you ought to concentrate.

A day and a half later, during the second evening after she’d cast her finding spell, there was a knock on Firenze’s door. Firenze thought nothing of it as it was quite common for several of her student neighbours to come asking to borrow sugar or flour and Firenze, being fae, was storing up the minor favours. She unlocked the door, swung it wide, said, “Hi,” and stopped.

He wasn’t one of her neighbours. He was a foot taller than her, built like whipcord, had pale skin and coal black hair with epicanthic folds on his eyes. His ears were pointed and set further out from his head than the ones she had hidden under her illusion. He was obviously fae. “Apparently you’re looking for me,” he said with anger she could almost touch. “You sent a spell after me.”

“The only person I’m looking for,” responded Firenze tartly, “is the werewolf. Is that you?”

Tags: firenze howie
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