?

Log in

 
 
30 August 2008 @ 10:04 pm
DVD Commentary: Addicted  
Commentary for Addicted as requested by donutsweeper for the DVD commentary meme.



Title: Addicted
Characters: Harry, Murphy, Bob, Miranda (OFC)
Rating: PG
Prompt: Ups and Downs
Spoilers: None
Word count: 2319
Summary: Nothing is normal when you date a wizard. Not even being stood up.
Author's notes: Done for the 'Ups and Downs' challenge at dresdenflashfic. It's from the POV of Miranda, who is the mother of Fay and Mal in my mini!Dresdens stories. This is set pre-them, however, when Harry and Mira have been dating for a few weeks.



{Preface: This story I posted very last minute for a challenge at dresdenflashfic. I was trying to come up with something and this was sitting in my folder and I went 'wait, she's being stood up! Up! It's in the title of the challenge!' So, I grabbed it, polished it off and posted it with the full expectation of people hating Miranda. So far they seem to actually like her, which is great. My biggest fear was posting this, people hating her and it ruining the entire mini!Dresden 'verse because people would be thinking 'how could he have married her'. So, um, thanks for not doing that, gentle readers!}

I’ve been stood up. If it was by anyone other than Harry Dresden, I’d be furious. I’d break up with him. I certainly wouldn’t be waiting outside his door with take-out, hoping that he comes home soon. Unfortunately, (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) it is Harry Dresden who’s stood me up and I’m leaning against the door to his shop, waiting while the food gets cold. My name is Miranda Faintree, and I’m addicted to Harry Dresden.

{Miranda's name is two-fold. I like names to have meanings to the characters. Miranda comes from the Tempest ('oh brave new world that has such people in it') as well as Mira meaning 'peace' in Slavic. I thought Miranda would be someone who is a calming element in Harry's life. Faintree is an old Medieval name I once used for a minor, throwaway character in a Harry Potter RPG and which I liked. Also, this is one of those stories that was instantly in present tense. There was no decision on my part, it wrote itself that way.}

Not really, of course. I have more self-control than that. I could totally get by without seeing him tonight, or even for the rest of the week. I am a strong, capable woman who does not need a man to justify her existence. I look down at my watch and sigh. I’m so pathetic.

The thing about getting stood up by Harry is that you know there’s a good reason for it. He’s not the sort of guy who forgets he has a date just because he’s a guy who forgets things. He’s a guy who forgets he has a date because he’s been running all over town tracking down bad guys and getting bullets shot at him, or worse. Because, don’t tell anyone, but my boyfriend is a wizard. A real one. Magic is real and my boyfriend can do it. How freakin’ awesome is that?

{One thing I wanted for Miranda was for her not to be wigged out by the magic, but find it fascinating and exciting and...uh...magical. Because I don't think everyone Harry meets would be inclined to put their fingers in their ears and go 'lalala' and I also thought it would be an attractive quality for him that she believes whatever he's telling her without him having to explain himself or convince her of it.}

So I stand and wait for Harry to return with an excuse like ‘there was this giant rosebush attacking these school children and it kidnapped me and took me to its leader in Candyland and that’s why I have all these thorns in my arms’. I mean, how do you really get angry at that?

I’m about to give up and call a cab to go home. It’s almost too late to be standing by yourself on a Chicago back street. I pull out my cellphone just as a car pulls up and a tough looking woman gets out. I know she’s Murphy, just by looking at her, even though we haven’t formally met. Any insecurity I have about my relationship with Harry stems from Murphy. I know he thinks she’s awesome and I sort of have this feeling like she’d be a better match for him than me. She can help him kick bad guy ass. The best I can do would be to carry along my violin and provide action sequence music.

{Miranda is an violinist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. That's a fact I've never been able to work in a story yet. Originally, when I was writing Family Dynamics, I had thought she would be a nurse. But when I read Ama some of my stories, she pointed out 'Her Kind of Magic' (my first Dresden story) would be a great intro to Miranda. I scrapped that idea in the end, because if Harry had helped her out, she wouldn't be a one night stand and I wanted her to be that. But the idea of her being a musician stayed with me and I liked the idea that there was a bit of magic to what she does that Harry doesn't understand in the same way she doesn't understand what he does.}

“See Murph, told’ja s’fine,” Harry’s voice slurs from somewhere. Murphy opens the passenger door and Harry half falls out onto the pavement, saved by his seatbelt. He frowns at it and tugs, then points a finger purposefully and jabs the button to release it. “’Sides, Bob’ll worry.”

“I’m sure he will,” Murphy says, in the same voice mothers use when their daughters ask for extra cookies for their imaginary friend. “C’mon Harry, let’s get you inside.”

“Alright, Murph,” Harry says, agreeably.

Murphy helps him out and gets him on his feet. He sees me (“Hi!”) and lurches over, planting a wet kiss on my lips. My spine tingles a little, even though it’s hardly the most romantic kiss I’ve ever had. I catch him as he overbalances and pull him up again.

“Harry!” Murphy scolds, rushing after him. She pulls him away from me and steadies him. “Sorry, he gets very affectionate when he’s drugged.”

{Drugged!Harry, aside from building on the glimpse we get of him in Soul Beneficiary, is based my brother when he's drunk. He gets extremely affectionate and adorable when he's drunk. Even Ama (his fiancée) noticed it, as when I read this to her, she went 'it's Adam!'}

A little twinge of irrational jealousy hits me that she knows how he is when he’s drugged, but is quickly replaced by the worry that he’s been drugged and apparently not for the first time. I help her keep him on his feet.

“Is he alright?” I ask her. “Did he do it to himself?” Harry doesn’t seem like a heroin addict to me, but I suppose I really haven’t known him that long.

{This section is lifted from a bit of a story I wrote when I was still thinking Miranda as a nurse. Murphy was actually bringing him to Emerg. where Mira was working. I snipped it out and rewrote it for this story after her backstory changed.}

“No, no,” Murphy says, quickly. “No, a client of his did it, I think. We found him in a warehouse by the docks.”

“Fairies,” Harry says, spitting out the word with vigour. “It was a fairy, Murphy. I toldja.”

“Right Harry,” Murphy soothes. “A fairy drugged you.” She looks to me again. “You must be Miranda.” I nod a confirmation. She smiles a little. “He talks about you a lot.”

My heart does a little flip-flop.

“S’Miranda,” Harry explains to Murphy, apparently just joining us. “She carries Band-Aids in her purse.”

{This is a reference to the story I have of them meeting, which I haven't posted because I'm not sure if it works yet or not. But Harry is bleeding and Miranda gives him a Band-Aid, in the bar where they're at.}

“That’s great, Harry,” Murphy tells him, affectionately. “Where are your keys?”

He shrugs helplessly and I start to rummage through his pockets. He takes the opportunity to kiss my forehead. I’m somewhat dreading what he might say or do in regards to me feeling him up, but he stands placidly and lets me work. His eyes watch me, sharp even through the haze and he smiles on and off, as though remembering something pleasant.

“Here we go,” I say, pulling them from his jeans’ pocket. “Which one opens the door, Harry?”

I hold them up one at a time. He squints at them and rattles off their purpose, ‘car’, ‘locker’, ‘bank’, ‘not telling’, ‘house’. I stick it in the lock, but he grabs my wrist with startling quickness and stops me.

{Some you may have noticed that the 'key' joke is very similar to one from due South. I didn't even notice until I watched Mountie on the Bounty again a few months after writing this. I swear it wasn't a blatant steal.}

“No,” he says, firmly. “Me.”

“Okay,” I allow.

He reaches around me and turns the lock, a look of concentration on his face. I can hear the click and he pushes open the door, overbalancing forwards from the effort. Murphy grabs his jacket and pulls him back on his feet again and we all go inside.

Harry reaches out his hand and opens his mouth. I know he’s going to do that thing where he says ‘flick ‘em, Bickus’ or something and all the candles light up. I put my hand over his mouth because: a) he’s stoned and in no condition to play with fire and b) as far as I know, Murphy isn’t in on the whole magic thing. He mumbles into my palm and nothing happens.

{Flickum Bicus is what Harry uses in the books to light his candles. I didn't even notice it was a pun until _medley_ groaned over it when I used it in Somnus. Also, Murphy is in on the whole magic thing at this point, she's just putting on a show because she doesn't know that Mira knows.}

“Shhh,” I tell him, softly. “No magic.”

“Booooo,” he says, grumpily.

I smile and help Murphy light a few candles to maneuver Harry around by. We get him to the couch and he flops down. He looks between me and Murphy, smiles and pulls us both into a group hug. I lose my balance and twist to land on the couch beside him. Murphy looks like it would take a small bulldozer to knock her down.

{I wanted to make it clear that I did not think Mira superior to Murphy or that I disliked Murphy in any way. The only reason it's Mira and not Murphy in this series is because I didn't want to kill Murphy. So this moment, when Murphy is more graceful than Mira and earlier, when Mira mentions that she thinks Murphy would probably be a better match for Harry was a sort of 'don't kill me' plea on my part.}

“I took him to the hospital,” she tells me. “They said it just has to run through his system and he wouldn’t stay overnight. They said he should be watched and woken up every couple of hours.”

“I’ll stay,” I offer. “I’m sure you have something better to do. Don’t you have a kid at home?” She looks surprised. “He talks about you, too.” She smiles.

“She’s not with me this week,” she explains. “But I do want to try and figure out who did this to him. Harry? I’m going to leave you with Miranda okay? I’m going to try and find your client. Do you remember what her name was or what she looked like?”

He looks thoughtful. “She was hot,” he decides, after a moment.

{Ama's comment here: "As everyone in a Dresden Files story must be".}

Murphy and I roll our eyes at each other.

“Alright, Harry,” Murphy says. “I’ll check on you tomorrow.”

He gives her cheek a fond pat. “’Kay Murph.”

“Nice to meet you,” she says to me.

“You too,” I say.

I walk her to the door and when I return, Harry has slumped over sideways, half asleep. I sit down on the coffee table and pull his shoes and socks off, then help him swing his legs up onto the couch. He pats the space in front of him, wanting me to lie down too. I shake my head.

“Not right now, Harry,” I say. “In a bit, alright?”

“Booo,” he says, again. This time it’s with even less energy.

He pillows his hands under his head and closes his eyes. He looks sort of adorable. I give him a kiss on his brow and run upstairs to grab a pillow and blanket for myself, plus his alarm clock so I can wake myself up to wake him up every couple of hours. I head back downstairs and stop halfway down, with a start. There is a man coming out of the hallway. My mind runs through a billion possibilities of who or what he could be in the space of a few seconds. I try not to move, but the stair creaks under my foot. He turns to look at me and has the expression of someone caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar.

{This was written while I was still under the delusion that Harry's loft was walled. Realistically, I don't think Bob would have ventured out knowing that all Mira had to do was look over the railing to see him. But let's just pretend his concern for Harry was that great.}

“Ah,” he says, vaguely apologetic. “I thought you would be longer up there.”

“Who - ?” I begin. “Wha -?...Huh?”

“I am Bob,” he replies. He says this in a matter of fact way and I note that he sounds British.

“Bob...” I repeat. It’s a common enough name, but... I think for a moment. I dismiss my immediate thought as not possible. Then I remember who I’m dealing with. “Harry...Harry had a teacher named Bob. He’s talked about him.” The man nods. “But he’s dead. Harry said he’s dead.” The man nods again. “So...you’re...?”

{This was a section a struggled with a bit - I didn't know if it was realistic for Miranda to jump so quickly to Bob being Bob. I mean, it is, as she says, a common name. But I decided that she's seen enough and Harry's probably talked enough about him for her to go there.}

“A ghost, yes,” Bob fills in, pleasantly.

The alarm clock falls from my hand and bounces down the stairs noisily. At the bottom, it rolls a bit. Directly through the man’s foot. I sit down on the stairs heavily and stare at him for awhile. He stares back with polite interest. He’s got white hair that suits him and unnerving pale blue eyes. He’s dressed sort of like Hugh Hefner if Hugh Hefner were a vampire count.

{That last line gets a lot of love from people. I could have sworn in one promo pic, Terrence was wearing a purple velvet smoking jacket which is where my comparison came from. However, I haven't been able to find said promo pic since and I have to live with the disturbing thought that I might have pictured him a velvet smoking jacket all on my own.}

“So...you’re real?” I ask, after a bit. It sounds very stupid in my mind. “You’re not, like, a hallucination or something?”

“No, I am quite real,” he assures me.

“Well, that’s what you would say,” I reason. “If you were a hallucination.”

He chuckles softly. “I suppose so.”

“I could be having a psychotic break. You could be a manifestation of my inner psyche. Apparently the nattily dressed British part.”

{That line was one of the ones I built the story around. I always thought for someone meeting Bob for the first time, especially if Harry was indisposed, the easiest explanation would be that he was a hallucination. I also like the term 'psychotic break'. I know it's not a pleasant thing, but it's just so descriptive.}

“I suppose it doesn’t help my cause any, but I think you’re quite sane,” he says. “In fact, in comparison to some of the other maidens Harry has dated, you’re perhaps the most level-headed of them all.”

“Thank you,” I reply. “If you are a hallucination, you should stick around. I like illusions that say nice things about me.” He chuckles again. “So...if you’re really this Bob guy. Harry’s teacher. Why are you here? I mean...I don’t know much about ghosts and things, but wouldn’t there be other people to haunt? Did he really piss you off or something? Glue you to your chair, shoot spitballs at you?”

“I am not haunting Harry,” Bob replies, in a patient tone. “He is in possession of my skull. I am bound to it and, thus, him.”

I’m not sure my mind could come up with something like that on its own, so I tentatively decide that it’s probably real. “Have you always been here? I mean, for as long as I’ve known Harry.” He nods. “And you just stay hidden?”

“I am not something most people are permitted to see,” he explains, gently. “Harry doesn’t speak of me not because he chooses not to, but because he is compelled to, it is...safer that way.”

{I've always felt that Bob, amongst his guilt about what's done, genuinely feels like he's a hindrance to Harry in a lot of ways. So I thought he would think that Harry never spoke about him, because he was ashamed of him. Harry, on the other hand, I think would be inclined to talk about him because he's the only family Harry has left.}

“But he does talk about you,” I point out. The ghost looks surprised. “Well, he didn’t say you were bound to a skull in his apartment, but he said you were his teacher. He said you taught him everything he knows. He said you were dead. I guess that wasn’t a lie.” I slap a hand to my forehead, remembering. “He said you’d worry about him. Earlier.”

“I am sorry to spring all this on you,” Bob says. “Especially while Harry is indisposed. I merely wished to check on him, to see if he was alright. I assumed you would be upstairs for longer than you were.”

I note that the ghost does indeed look worried. “He’s okay. He’s been drugged.” Bob rolls his eyes. “Lt. Murphy says he just needs to sleep it off.”

Bob looks relieved. “Thank you, milady.”

I blush at the title and smile at my feet. God, my life has become so weird since I met Harry. A ghost just made me blush. I stand up and my knees feel shaky, but they hold. I gather up the pillow and blanket and continue the rest of the way down the stairs. Bob steps out of my way. I pick up the alarm clock, which has stayed intact, amazingly. We walk over to the couch together.

“He said you looked after him,” I tell the ghost, looking askance at him. “When he was younger. He said you watched out for him. Do you still do that?”

Bob smiles. “I suppose I do.”

“Good,” I decide. I set Mickey Mouse’s arms on the clock for an hour from now. “Someone should.”

{This was where the story originally stopped, with a few more lines to close it off. I didn't like it though, so when I went to polish it off, I added this last section. I want to say that the Mickey Mouse alarm clock comes from the books, but I think I may have imagined it. It just seemed like something Harry would have had for ages, seeing no need to replace it because it still works.}

I lift Harry’s head and move the pillow underneath it. He stirs and opens his eyes, blearily.

“Bob?” He asks. I am exceedingly relieved Harry can see him too. “Dizzy.”

“It’s alright, Harry,” Bob says, soothingly. “Just rest.”

“’Kay,” Harry agrees. He reaches for my hand. “Come.”

{I thought it was important for Harry acknowledge Bob's presence, so Miranda would be more inclined to believe he was real. Plus, I liked the idea of Harry being calmed by Bob telling him it was okay.}

I oblige this time and sprawl out in the space in front of him. He’s skinny, we both fit. He slings his arm over my hip and pulls me in close to him. I throw the blanket over us. Bob inclines his head to me and disappears.

Harry breathes softly on the back of my neck and I watch the clock tick the seconds off, contemplating what just happened. Only while dating Harry Dresden could a girl get stood up and wind up meeting a ghost. I am totally addicted. I wonder if there’s a programme for girls who are addicted to wizards. Not that I would go. This is way too much fun.

{And that's it! Um...one more trivia fact to leave you with...Miranda has a big family. Lots of siblings and nieces and nephews. I liked the idea of Harry inheriting a family when he married her. The end, thanks for reading, I hope you feel enlightened!}
Tags:
 
 
 
donutsweeperdonutsweeper on August 31st, 2008 02:30 am (UTC)
oooh, this was interesting! I knew you said you 'created' Miranda so Murphy wouldn't have to die, but I hadn't realized so had so much thought out.
The Writer They Call Tay: DH: Coming Alongawanderingbard on August 31st, 2008 03:11 am (UTC)
Well, I didn't really have much thought out about her at first, just her name. After Family Dynamics turned out to be so popular, I decided I needed to know more about her. And, as Ama said, 'we know she's going to die anyway, so you might as well make her as awesome as possible', which is what I tried to do. :-)
donutsweeperdonutsweeper on August 31st, 2008 03:12 am (UTC)
I'm glad you listened to Ama!
Human Collaborator Flunkie Pool!fic Muse: Harry Dresden (by realtanala)joyfulfeather on September 3rd, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
Nice! I was actually going to request this one until I saw it had already been requested. I really do like Miranda, which as you said, is a little surprising given that she's not Murphy! But she's a great character. Great insights in here!

I'd love to see Miranda's family, either while she's alive or later, assuming Harry's still close to them. I think seeing Fay and Mal playing with hordes of cousins would be adorable. :D And if/when Harry and Murphy get together (I can't remember if that's happened in the timeline or not), would Miranda's family accept her or would Harry and company kinda get disowned at that point? Given Miranda's easy-going personality, I could see her family being nice and accepting, as well.

Aaaand there I go, running away with someone else's 'verse. Whoops. :)
The Writer They Call Tay: Dresden: wizard wizardingawanderingbard on September 4th, 2008 11:00 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you like Miranda. It still amazes me how easy-going the Dresden Files fandom is. But I'm not complaining!

I do sort of have vague fics in mind involving Miranda's family. We did see a bit of her mother (Gramma Katie) in Lost at Sea. I think Harry would remain close to them even after Miranda's death. Murphy and Harry haven't gotten together in my 'verse yet, I picture it happening when the kids are a bit older, but I think Mira's family would still be accepting. Certainly of the kids still, if not Harry. It's not like he left her or divorced her or cheated on her or anything. I do picture there being some tension after her death between her siblings and Harry, though. Sort of 'this is your fault'.

And I love it that you like my 'verse enough to run away with it! :-)