15263/Willow's visit

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Willow's visit
Date of Scene: 26 June 2023
Location: Harry Dresden's Office, Kingston Falls
Synopsis: Willow came by to discover she had the same dream Molly had. Headaches for everyone.
Cast of Characters: Harry Dresden, Willow Rosenberg, Molly Carpenter

Harry Dresden has posed:
     Harry doesn't have paperwork tonight. It's good to have a padawan to take care of that. He is coming up from the sub-basement where his lab is. He reaches for the carpet on the way up so he doesn't have to bend back down to get it. Mouse is laying on the floor waiting for his return.
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
Willow was outside for some time before she worked up the nerve to knock. It's not that she thought he was scary (he is! but that's a different tale), but the closer she got to his door, the more paranoid she became.

What if the whole dream was just a fluke, brought on by a late night pizza.. and a coffee.. and two donuts.. okay, /three/ donuts! But she was working, and needed the sugar. That was her story, and she was sticking to it!

Of course, she could start with the strange stuff with Buffy. And from there, she could slip the dream in? That might do it!

With a plan in place she finally worked up the nerves to knock on his door.
Molly Carpenter has posed:
... and said Padawan /has/ been busy doing paperwork. Lots and lots of backlogged paperwork. Things had gotten busy since the last time she and Harry had spoken. The phone call had been a client, and they'd put a pin in their conversation. Then Harry needed to go to the lab, and Molly had gotten distracted on other things.

Now Molly's sitting at the desk, the stacks of receipts neatly organized into piles that are sorted by client.

And then there's a knock at the door.

"On it, Boss!"

She'd heard the shuffling of the trap door and the carpet, Mouse's big feet on the floor, so she knew he was coming up, but she was already on her feet, headed to the front door.

Therefore, the first face Willow sees is Molly's six-foot frame, all tri-colored ombre and warm smile in her tank top and ripped jeans.

"Willow! Hey!"

Her lips twist into a grin and she steps back to let her in.

"What's up?"
Harry Dresden has posed:
Harry looks towards the door when Molly opens it and then settles the basement door in place. The carpet covers it and he pats Mouse on the head before heading over to see what is going on,"Good evening Willow. What can we do for you tonight?" He walks over to the desk to check an appointment card.
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
Oh. That's right! Molly worked here. And by the hour, she was working late. Then again, Willow worked off hours too - after all the Scoobies did their main scans of the neighbourhood after dark! And the work that she does on the computer often does better for answers late at night.

"Molly!" To tell the truth she was glad that she wasn't having to face Harry alone! "Can I come in? I have some stuff to ask you.. well.." Here she looks at Harry. "..to ask you. If you don't mind?"

Of course, so saying, she comes on in. "Do you have sigils? Some day we should compare. I've got a whole bunch from friends." Once she is in, she thinks. "Actually you.. don't you have supernaturals as clients? Might not be of interest then."

Taking a chair, and taking her time to get comfy (witness: to figure out how to bring either topic up), she finally decided to blurt it out. "I have a question about my friend, and even though it's part of the second thing.. does your dog have a collar with his name, and that he belongs to you?"

Please be no.. please be no..
Molly Carpenter has posed:
"We try to only pull out the Lesser Key of Solomon as a last resort," Molly says, humor glinting in her eyes. "Why? Needing some face time with Morax or Zagan?"

She closes the door behind Willow and tucks her hands into her back pockets as turns to catch up, spotting Harry at the desk. "Break my piles, break my heart," she sing-songs to him, offering a honey-sweet little smile amid the break before Willow's explanation.

She'd led Willow into the bookshelves-and-comfy-seats area.

/Does your dog have a collar with his name, and that he belongs to you?/

That question made Molly freeze. She hadn't even taken a seat, herself, yet, and the question prompts only a single word response:


The big dog took his name as a prompt and marched across the room towards her, his massive head almost the size of her own, but she still wrapped her arms around his neck warmly, scratching his neck and behind his ears. He drools some, but Molly doesn't seem immediately concerned by it, even though it ends up leading to slimy forearms.

There is, in fact, a collar. It does, in fact, have Mouse's name, Harry's name, and the address. But that's not nearly as interesting as the haunted look on Molly's face as the color drains out of it. It looked like was considering trying to turn into a ghost.

Harry Dresden has posed:
Harry pauses as Willow starts talking. He knows she can talk fast, but he tries to keep up. He starts to answer one question, then dead stops.

He looks at Willow and then at Mouse. Crossing his arms and tells the dog,"All right that's two. What have you been doing?" Of course Mouse just eats up attentiuon like a sponge.

Harry looks at Willow and nods,"Yes. That's his name and all the information you are asking is there." He crosses his arms and leans on the desk,"Tell me what you saw."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
Drats! With Molly looking at Willow /that/ way, she didn't even need Harry's answer.

She answered the question about needing to have Morax or Zagan first. "No.. just having chit chat before the real big topics. I would give you some sigils and wards if you wanted them, though. Our apartment is pretty much tight against most of the things we would normally fight.. You do know who my roommate is? Who I am.. Well.. what I am. I can't remember if I told you?"

Come to think of that, she probably didn't. Ooops?

Harry knows though.

Looking between Molly and Harry, she sighs. "One place that our apartment isn't proof against is dreams. They are pretty tricky to pin them down. Besides I think Buffy would have a fit if I closed off her dreams." *sighs* "I think I dreamt something important for you to know."

That to Harry.

"Your dog was in it at the end, that's how I know it has something to do with you."
Molly Carpenter has posed:
At the bit about the dog being in it, Molly stands and lets Mouse amble over to Willow, wiping her own forearms on her jeans as she's turning to face Harry, too.

"I told you."

She looks more than a little worried.

"It's not just me, now. What /are/ the chances that Mouse has become a night-time vigilante demon-fighter with a secret identity and the ability to dreamwalk?"

The question, however, is barely out of her mouth before the phone rings.

Why did the phone always ring when she was talking about this?

"I've got it."

And then she's heading over to it, answering it in hushed tones so that Harry can continue the conversation in her absence. Her worried expression doesn't get any better, and it isn't long before she's hanging up again.

"That was Debbie Renfield," she tells Harry, naming one of their clients. "I'll go and be back as soon as I can." She pauses to look over at Willow. "I had a dream with Mouse in it, too. I told Harry about it. We should compare notes when I get back."

But she was already headed to go collect her jacket and her backpack, because whoever Debbie Renfield was, she was apparently in a hurry to get out the door.
Harry Dresden has posed:
Harry watches as Molly answers the phone and then heads out. He nods to her and then turns his attention to Willow again,"You need to dream. If you don't it will make you more dangerous to the world and also to yourself. You are meant to dream."

Harry considers the dog, walking over and petting him,"OK Willow. Talk to me. He was in the end, what happened before?" He touches a door jam and sigils light up, casthing all sorts of protections over the building,"Why do I have a feeling that it starts in a desert somewhere?"
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
"Well, yes! But my dreams aren't from outside myself." She doesn't mention Buffy's dreams though.

As Harry ponders the desert, Willow turns her memory on the dream. "That could be. It was arid. Though I don't know where. There were goats though. And ..teenagers watching them. It was dark. And they were quiet until these.. I'm not sure what they were - I thought they were gremlins. They definitely were smaller than a man! They were drinking blood, and they were dragging the goats off."

She frowns. "They weren't the real thing that the dream was about. Unless they all came by the same portal." From hell. From an alternate universe. Whatever. "The things that had Mouse up in arms were these .. two.. they weren't werewolves, though they had lupine features to them. They were big - bigger than me!" Which isn't saying anything if you know that Willow is a petite young woman!
Harry Dresden has posed:
He doesn't comment furthur on the dream need. He considers the situation and her words,"Somewhere arid." he concurs. He listens to her describe most of the same things Molly described and almost misses the new information. He raises a hand and says,"Drinking goat blood?" he asks.

Shementions the large non werewolf things and he frowns deeply,"So they looked like werewovles, but we too big. Molly mentioned they look more canine, like a dog." he muses softly. The second critter still has him stumped, but the first one. That one starts to light as understanding.
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
"They remind me of Anubis come to think of it. Servants of." Willow nods as she thinks of it. "Either way, they stared at me too real to be a figment of my imagination."

As for the other, "Yes, they were drinking the blood, not eating the meat. It was gross!"
Harry Dresden has posed:
"I know who Anubis is." he tells her with a wink and listens. He sighs and says,"Molly had a similar dream, almost identical." He walks over to the book shelf and starts thumbing through things. A frown and he looks at the carpet,"All right. I think I know at least part of it, but let's go talk to Bob."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
"Bob??" Willow may have meant her inside voice, but instead used her outside voice. Ooops? "Should I know him?" She wasn't quite certain that she wanted to know who 'Bob' was. For various reasons. Ahem!

Either way, she followed Harry.
Harry Dresden has posed:
Harry touches the wards into place and the security sigils as well. He looks at Mouse and tells him,"Try to stay with us for a while. Keep an eye out." THe dog chuffs and walks into the main office. The sound is derisive and makes Mouse sound like a spurned teenager.

"Fortunately for you, no you haven't met Bob." he replies and takes the throw rug from the floor, revealing a hatch that leads down to a basement lab,"Flicum Biccus." he mutters and the candles comes to life,"Bob is a spirit of wisdom and knowledge. He's also a leacherous pain in the tail so don't let him get to you."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
"Oh. One of *those* spirits. Just once I would like to meet some helpful spirit that /wasn't/ a letch." Willow about it. "I guess Glenda wasn't a letch."

She notes his command words, and nods. "I have Giles, and John. John was definitely a letch. Except not to me. It's weird. I have a special power that makes people treat me like a little girl. Or close. It's not at all a good thing."

She doesn't have any such power. Just her complaining.
Harry Dresden has posed:
Harry takes a candle to a wall shelf and sets it down. He takes a rag off the shelf and reveals a skull. Next to the skull are various smut books and mags. A few pieces of ladies lingere sitting on or near the skull,"I don't know how he got those and I am afraid to ask." Harry mutters.

"Wake up Bob, you're needed." The skull suddenly has two lights starting to come to life in the eye sockets,"What do you want Harry, I was just getting into..." the voice pauses and the lights get bigger,"Harry...she's beautiful and...potential." His voice sounds awed. A loss for words. There's a first.
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
"Who knows. I mean, there are all sorts of things like gremlins, and lesser demons who would be happy to do his bidding if they got some too. Probably, though, he reached about space and folded it to reach into a room and yoink it from someone else. Someone will always take a picture of lewd people and sell them. Usually the woman are underpaid for the amount of skin they have exposed."

A pause.

"Why they have to hide doesn't make sense. We.. I.. went to a couple of skyclad rituals. It wasn't a big deal. To pay for the magazines seems so silly.."

Of course she chatted on the way down.

When Bob made his first impression of her, Willow had to look back where they had come from, expecting someone else. "Huh?"
Harry Dresden has posed:
Harry looks back at Willow, avoiding her gaze directly. He frowns and nods,"Something to look into later." he tells Bob. He looks at the skull and tells him,"Desert or arid climate. Smallish creature, attacks live stock. Drink the blood of goats. Tell me something other than what I am thinking."

Bob is quiet still, lights staring at Willow,"Boss. She could potentially..."

Harry smacks the wall,"Focus Bob."

The eyes settle a bit and Bob finally gets his head in the game,"They pay those girls for people like me." He finally says,"Harry. You know what I think. Goat Sucker. Seriously. Where did you see that?"

Harry has Willow explain to Bob about her dream and adds on at the end,"Molly had the same dream."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
Potentially? Who? Willow?

This was one of the topics she usually skirted around. She pretended that she wasn't very good because most of her magic was self-taught. And the little bit she had had formal trailing (like from John, and Tala) she pretended, again, that she had troubles following directions, and ingredients, and whatnot. The only time she forgot to pretend was when it was very important and she didn't have time to think.

"Why do you have magazines when you can.. oh." Asked and answered.

As for the dream, Willow nods and conveys that Harry was right. "But they didn't appear to be with the others. They were a bit scary." When she finally clued in on the two huge monsters at the end being whole and cognizant unlike a dream.
Harry Dresden has posed:
Bob is quiet again. Twice in one night. People should take notes. When he talks he admits,"The big ones don't sound like lycanthropes really." he admits,"What I am hearing is strange and cryptid lore is the only thing that comes to mind. Crypo Zoology is not my strongest subject. The smaller ones though. Goat suckers. Also cryptid creatures assumed to be myths. Chupa Cabra is their more common name."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
Willow chews at her lower lip. "If you asked me, I would say the goat sucker took advantage of the portal being open. And, I dated a werewolf!" It's true! "They do not remind me of them, at all. They had more dog-like features, but superimposed? Kinda? Like that. Then gain it could have been a by-product of the dream. Or else they took something to use the senses of a dog going through people's dreams - especially people who knew or may have been a friend of Harry's?"
Harry Dresden has posed:
Bob and Harry are quiet for a moment and the lights dim a little bit in the skull,"Harry, the only thing I can think of is a dogman."

Harry snorts and shakes his head,"Come on Bob. Let's try to stick to the usual ridiculous. We have enough problems without..." he sighs and hangs his head a little,"...it fits the profile. I know, but there has to be something else."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
Willow is confused enough that she doesn't hide it. "A dogman? What is that? And what do two of them want with you?"

Or more. There is no reason to expect that the two she's seen were the two Molly had. It is most likely, but if Willow had learned one thing, and only one thing, it was this: never assume that the paranormal work on regular rules.
Harry Dresden has posed:
Bob snorts a little and says,"I doubt they wanted Harry. If you saw Mouse it was likely because he came to protect your dreams. There is nothing that his breed to know when they are needed."

Harry nods,"Makes sense. He went to Molly and Willow both. He is familiar with both of them. Both have been known to catch dreams." He frowns and admits,"They are an urban legend, but damned if that isn't what they seem to be. Always in canine form, never human. Destructive and damn near indestructable by most means."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
"I don't know.." Willow is not convinced. "Did I meet Mouse before?" She didn't remember. "And besides, what would Mouse be protecting MY dreams?" Buffy was more likely than Willow. And right now, if Willow were dreaming prophetic dreams, wouldn't she be dreaming about the book? Or at least about Buffy?

"Wouldn't it be more sensible for Mouse to be attuned to dangers against Harry?"

She mentally filed the dogman away as Harry described.

"Tell me though, if I dreamed, and Molly dreamed of them, wouldn't it be more sensible to find what we had in common, than how we dreamed of dogmen separately with no commonalities tying us together?" The dogmen could be more then two yes, but the odds are they were entangled, somehow. And even if she couldn't make Harry listen, she still thinks he was the lynchpin for her and Molly.
Harry Dresden has posed:
Harry nods as he admits,"Not sure how Mouse connected to you. Maybe he scented you on Buffy or something. Maybe he is really just that good. Maybe he just ties the dreams together somehow."

"Mouse does attune to me and those around me. He has seen Buffy before. I wouldn't swear he hasn't at least seen you for sure." he muses.

"Dreams don't usually make sense per say." he comments,"It makes less sense that they link together." Bob says, almost respectful sounding,"This means more than we are giving it credit for."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
Phew! At least she has Harry looking at it from the correct way now. Willow still doesn't know what connects her to Molly.. Unless..

"I haven't been around you for at least a year or two. But.." And here was the big 'but'.. "Molly just came into The Magic Box. Now supposing that whatever, or whoever, wanted to keep track of you, Harry. And I still think that the piece we need to focus on is you Harry - if Molly was being used to track you Harry.. wouldn't I be looked at because you had sent her to the Box, and she thought that you had tricked her. Wouldn't I be looked at as well?"

Something still didn't quite work with that explanation. But she felt it was closer to the truth.
Harry Dresden has posed:
Harry reaches over to cover Bob,"Get some rest Bob, read a book or something." He turns towards Willow and indicates the steps back out of the cellar,"This whole thing is weird and I want more time to think about it."

"Two known cryptid creatures that allegedly appear and start haunting two local magic users. Maybe it has something to do with me, but I don't know what."

He sighs and puts out the candles while he waits for Willow to exit to the main floor,"If anyone else turns up with the dream I am going to start thinking someone is definately calling out. Maybe you can meet with the JL: Dark. You know what happens when I get around tech. It is never good."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
"It could be power, I guess. Though, even if we put you in the group, Mouse doesn't fit. He still doesn't fit in my dreams, unless you are accounted for." Mouse still was Harry's, and he wouldn't be flitting around Willow's dreams - just for the h-e-double hockey sticks of it.

Still, Willow nodded.

"To tell the truth, I may be unique with combining magic and technology. I think you are in with the majority crowd there."
Harry Dresden has posed:
"Hard to say. I want a night to think about it." Harry says in regards to Mouse,"He might be the one that figured it all out and sent an all points you the local magic talent other than me. Waiting to see if Zatanna calls about it at the moment. Anyone that has prophetic dreams too. Buffy or Faith might fit that bill."

Once they are upstairs, he closes the door and covers with the throw rug,"I have met several people that can hurt tech, but nobody on the level that I do it on. I am glad you can handle both though. Useful for you."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
"Sometimes. I must say it has been useful. Send a note, or Molly if you still want me to gather up the JL: Dark if tomorrow you still think I should. Sorry this wasn't a regular visit." Willow walks to the door. "Bob isn't so bad. He reminds me of John." And with that, she is gone.