Characters: Harry Dresden, Bob, Fay, Mal, Mouse, Gramma Katie
Summary: The Dresdens scare away a storm.
Author's notes: Written for the 'metal' prompt on my occhallenge table. Set in the mini!dresden's 'verse. Short, and written a bit fast in a fit of inspiration. Apologies for any rough patches.
I woke up to the sound of a huge clap of thunder. Rain pounded down on the roof and a bolt of lightning cracked down from the heavens, momentarily lighting up Mal's distressed face at the side of the bed. He was making small whimpering noises, his hands clinging to the bedspread but he was unable to either get up on the bed or to reach me in the middle of it. Another thunder clap rent the air and he buried his face in the covers.
“It's okay,” I assured him. I scooted over to the edge of the bed and pulled him up into my arms. He stuck his face into my shoulder.
“Big noise, Daddy!” He complained. “No! I don't yike!”
Mal hated loud noises or what he classified as 'bad' noises, which included things like the tea kettle whistling (Mira hated that too) or a police siren or even the telephone ringing if he was overdue to go to bed.
“I'm sorry, buddy,” I said, rubbing his back. “I know you don't like it.”
Lightning flooded the room again and the power went out with a half-hearted wheeze. I got out of bed and carried Mal out into the hallway to see what was happening with the rest of the household. Fay's door opened just before I reached it and she stumbled out, hugging her pillow.
“Storm,” she mumbled. “Can't sleep.”
The thunder boomed again and Mal put his hands over his ears with a whimper of protest. Fay latched onto the bottom of my t-shirt and used it to keep track of me as we continued down the hall to the living room. A small flame on a matchstick was waving around in the dark. Gramma Katie was visiting, and had been sleeping on the fold out couch in the living room, very insistent that she absolutely would be fine there and she would not take my room, Harry.
“Flickum bicus,” I muttered, holding out a hand.
All the candles around the room jumped to life. Katie gasped and put her hand to her chest.
“Oh my word!” she exclaimed. “Harry!”
I winced. “Sorry. Didn't think. Heck of a storm.”
“It is that,” she agreed. She blew out the matchstick and eyed the nearby candles with suspicion. “Blew up all of a sudden, too.”
“Chicago weather,” I said.
Mouse was sitting at Katie's feet with his tail swishing back and forth on the floor. Another clap of thunder boomed and he barked at it in warning. Fay moved to one of the chairs and sat down, resting her head on the pillow in her arms.
“Shhh,” she hushed Mouse. “Mal doesn't like big noises.”
Mouse made an apologetic noise, but looked very sternly at the next flash of lightning that came.
“Sometimes I swear that dog understands you,” Katie said, petting his head.
I sat down in an armchair and set Mal on the floor. He started to wander around haphazardly, unsure of what to do with himself. Mouse followed after him, taller than he was, and looking like a big sort of guardian spirit. I let them go to it.
“Bob?” I called.
His skull was on the mantle, and he popped out next to my chair, looking around in surprise. “Oh. Hello.”
“Hi, Bob,” Fay and I said together.
Katie made a small twitching movement and 'tsked' softly. Poor Katie. She really does try. Learning about magic at her age is like going through most of your life positive you know what an apple looks like and then suddenly being told, no that's an orange. It makes you question everything.
“That's quite a storm,” Bob noted. “It was muffled in there. Malcolm, do not walk through me.”
Mal ignored him and tugged on my hand to be picked up. I obliged and he curled up against me, hands over his ears. Poor Mal.
“It's okay,” I soothed. “It can't hurt you in here. We're safe.”
“No!” he said, pathetically.
“I can't tell if it's coming or going,” Katie said, standing at the window. She shifted slightly as Bob moved to stand beside her, but didn't say anything.
“It looks to be staying still,” Bob said. “The wind is strong, however. That doesn't make sense.”
“Don't say that,” I groaned. “Something bad will happen now.”
“Don't be ridiculous,” Bob and Katie said together. Katie laughed a little and Bob smiled at her.
The thunder and lightning came right on top of each other, over and over again. The storm had to be right over us, now. Mal full-on wailed in my arms, and nothing I did soothed him in the slightest.
“Well,” Katie said. “I think we're going to have to scare this storm away. How does that sound, Mal?”
Mal was too busy panicking to even acknowledge her, but Fay perked right up.
“How do you scare a storm away?” she asked.
“We have to tell it to leave,” Katie said. “Using its language. We're going to need some pots and pans, and a wooden spoon or two. Maybe you could get some, Fay?”
“Okay!” Fay said, eagerly.
She ran off to the kitchen. I gave Katie a questioning look, but she just smiled.
“I want stop!” Mal yelled. “I want stop!”
“I know, buddy, I know,” I said.
Fay returned with her arms full, and reported to Katie. “Is this right?” she asked.
“That's perfect,” Katie said. She took the pots and pans and spread them out on the floor, handing Fay a spoon. Mouse sniffed around suspiciously at the pots, and nudged one of them, before sitting down and looking up expectantly for instructions. “All right, Miss Fay. Now, the only way to reason with a storm is to make a lot of noise and scare it away.”
“Like Thurshanks!” Fay said.
Katie gave me the questioning look now, and I just shrugged. Thurshanks weren't something you could explain succinctly.
“They are evil penguins,” Bob said.
Well, maybe you could.
“Oh,” Katie said, uncertainly She gave a few quick beats to a pan, making a tinging drum sound. “Let's see what we can do.”
Fay gleefully joined in on the drumming. Mal relaxed a little. He may hate loud noises, but he loved music. He loved drumming. The quickest way to entertain him was giving him a stick and something to bang it on. Katie and Fay performed a little symphony, and Mouse barked in time. Mal lifted his head from my chest and looked over, but another clap of thunder made him hide his face again.
“Did you hear that, Mal?” I said. “I think it's going away. Gramma and Fay are scaring it away. I bet if you helped, we could scare it right off. Do you want to try?”
I got up and carried him over to the drums, getting down on the floor with him in my lap. I grabbed my wand and flipped it over to the non-acting end, and banged on a frying pan. Mal looked up again, this time turning around to see properly.
“C'mon, Mal, it's fun!” Fay said. “You can use my spoon.”
She offered it to him, and he took it.
“Boom, boom!” he said, and brought it down on the frying pan. “Boom!”
“Say, 'go away, storm'!” Katie said. “Tell it 'go away'.”
“G'way!” Mal said, his drum solo increasing in volume. “I big drums. Scary. G'way!”
Bob regarded us all with bewilderment as we banged away until the storm settled, Mouse barking in perfect time, with a howl here and there for good measure.
Finally, the storm calmed down to a dull roar, and we stopped banging. Mal was thrilled, extremely pleased with himself.
“Bob, I big scary,” he said.
“Yes, terrifying,” Bob said, dryly.
“You were awesome,” I said, holding out my hand for a high five. Mal hit it solidly, and Fay and I did the same.
“Did you know how to do that spell before?” Fay asked.
“No, that's one of Gramma Katie's spells,” I said, with a smile to Katie.
“I didn't know you knew spells, Gramma,” Fay said.
Katie grinned, and shrugged, modestly. “Grammas have lots of spells.”