Final chapter! And no, I still don’t know what’s up with 27 chapters popping up all the time.
Morgan’s face was over mine, and I realized he’d been giving me CPR. Eww.
Harry really needs to have one of those wrist bracelets: Allergic to non-hot-chick CPR, may provoke fatal attack of no homo.
“I did what I could,” Morgan said, “but there were no hot chicks around and I had to respect his wishes. Let us take consolation in the fact he died as he lived: stupidly.”
“You saved me.”
He grimaced. “Yes.”
He looked at me again, then stooped to pick up his sword and slip it into the scabbard at his side.
“Because I saw what happened in there. I saw you risk your life to stop the Shadowman. Without breaking any of the Laws. You weren’t the killer.”
I coughed some more, and said, “That doesn’t mean you had to save me.”
He turned and blinked at me, as though puzzled. “What do you mean?”
“Well, I’d have jumped at the technicality iiiiiiiiiii mean I just thought uh no I mean uh hey so it’s raining huh? Definitely wouldn’t kill people if I had the chance!”
His hard expression never changed, but he said, “You weren’t guilty. You’re a part of the White Council.” His mouth twisted as though the words were fresh lemons.
Aside from the obvious terrible writing of “his expression never changed, here’s how it changed”, I choose to interpret this as being Morgan’s general disgust with wizards. Just because you try to enforce justice doesn’t mean you think your superiors are virtuous – if anything, he’s well positioned to be wholly aware of how bad some of them are and just unable to act. (In fact, knowing that wizards in good standing are pretty much immune to justice would go a long way to explaining why he’s so fanatical about stalking Harry – he’s sure the guy is bad news and wants to prove it before something else happens that gives Harry full membership and takes him out of justice’s reach.)
He knows Harry is a scumbag, but he is not, in fact, guilty of a capital crime, so he felt he couldn’t in good conscience let him die, but it’s still galling when he’s sure Harry is still generally a scumbag.
“I wasn’t the killer,” I said.
“So,” I wheezed, “that would make me right. And then that would make you-”
Morgan scowled. “More than ready to carry out the Doom if you cross the line, Dresden. Don’t think this has gotten you off the hook, as far as I’m concerned.”
“So. If I remember correctly, as a Warden, it is your duty to report on my conduct to the Council, isn’t it?”
His scowl darkened.
“So you’re going to have to go to them on Monday and tell them all about what really happened. The whole truth and nothing but the truth.”
“Yes,” he snarled. “It is even possible they will lift the Doom.”
I started laughing, weakly.
“You haven’t won, Dresden. There are many on the Council who know full well that you have consorted with the powers of darkness. We, at least, will not relax our vigil on you. We will watch you day and night, we will prove that you are a danger who must be stopped.”
I kept laughing. I fell over on my side, I laughed so much.
And really, isn’t my interpretation only aided by the fact Harry’s response is HAHA CAN’T GET ME NOW? Or even the “I’m right” and not “I’m innocent”.
The whole thing becomes pretty depressing. Harry may not consort with black-color-coded magic, but he sure consorts with Bob the Rapist Skull and his only objection to rape potions is it’s cheating, which is pretty much the same objection men use for why they don’t want to just pay for sex (which leads us merrily back to the potion itself needing a fifty-dollar bill). Morgan’s general sense something is horribly wrong with this guy is totally true, it’s just really hard to pin down wizards so his particular accusation was inaccurate.
Morgan arched an eyebrow and simply stared at me. “Are you all right?”
“Give me about a gallon of Listerine,” I choked, “and I’ll be just fine.”
Morgan just stared at me, and I laughed harder. He rolled his eyes and growled something about the police being here any moment to provide medical care. Then he turned and stomped off into the woods, muttering to himself the whole way.
Morgan, you should’ve stomped on his ribs a few times before going. Other people are showing up with medical care, a little further maiming’s not a big deal.
I realize you’re all paladiny and yes, it’s definitely wrong to brutalize people just because they talked back to you and this is all generally good behavior living up to the standard all cops should. But it’s Harry, it’s okay to have an exception for him.
The police arrived in time to catch the Beckitts trying to leave and arrested them for, of all things, being naked. Later, they were implicated in the ThreeEye drug ring, and prosecuted on distribution charges. Just as well for them that they’re in the Michigan justice system. They wouldn’t have come out of a cell alive if they’d been in Chicago. It wouldn’t have been good for Johnny Marcone’s business.
I’m not sure if this is the universe being an idiot or Harry being an idiot, but yeah, apparently mobsters have a deep respect for state lines.
Meanwhile, mobster daddy burns his place down to get the insurance money and not have to directly pay for any of the shit Harry fucked up, and also simultaneously passed around the rumor he’d hired Harry to take out his competitors.
I didn’t try to deny it. It was a cheap enough price to not have to worry about anyone bombing my car.
Harry continues not to have any consistent ethics but self-aggrandizement. Getting paid money not to take a case he was planning on ignoring as much as possible? HOW DARE YOU GOOD SIR I AM NOT THAT SORT OF PRIVATE DICK. Supposedly hired by the mob to murder a rival gang? Yeah okay.
We’re informed that, of course, the council heard he was so super great and decided to lift the whole one-strike thing, so Harry now can go do a bunch of black magic, yay.
Seriously, am I the only one who remembers it only triggers if you do something horrible in the first place? Oh boy, baby murder’s back on the table!
Harry’s all haha stupid Morgan.
Murphy was in critical condition for nearly seventy-two hours, but she pulled through. They gave her a room right down the hall from me, in fact. I sent flowers to her hospital room, along with the surviving ring of her handcuffs. I told her, in a note, not to ask how the chain between the rings had been so neatly severed. I didn’t think she’d buy that someone cut it with a magic sword.
“I mean, she knows magic exists, and swords cutting metal isn’t even outlandish, and she’s repeatedly stated her biggest problem with me is the thing where I refuse to explain stuff for no reason, so obviously it was just the nicest thing to do for her poor frail woman brain to tell her not to bother her precious little head about it.”
The flowers must have helped. The first time she got out of bed was to totter down the hall to my room, throw them in my face, and leave without saying a word.
How completely unforeseen! It’s so hard being Harry doing all these nice gestures and having ball-busting hot bitches be angry at you for no reason at all.
She does drop the arrest thing and continue to hire him.
I guess that means we’re friends again, in a professional sense. But we don’t joke anymore. Some wounds don’t heal very quickly.
There really never was a “we” joking, Harry.
What we really see here is that Harry’s been thinking they were “friends” who “joked” because clearly saying something shitty and having the other person tell you to stop is both people having a great time. The only thing that finally convinces him otherwise is her amping up her “no, I fucking hate you” all the way to the point of trying to get him arrested for murder, and he still treats her with unnecessary familiarity even while she’s rummaging through his office looking for evidence against him.
Women are put in the position when any civil objection is simply ignored but the level of vitriol needed for the guy to even register they’re speaking is just gets them accused of being evil over-sensitive bitches.
It’s interesting that you see characters in Japanese stuff handle this very differently. In both Battle Royale and Fate/Stay Night, we have girls very quickly jumping to nuclear-option levels of dialogue in response to creeps and being, as far as I can tell, supported in this choice. The problem seems to be identical across the two cultures, but in one you see sympathy and understanding for the female characters, and in the other you get Harry’s oblivious pity party.
The police found the remains of the huge ThreeEye stash in what was left of the lake house
What stash? You told us you were mostly seeing the ingredients. And three-eye(tm) can’t possibly register as being made of those ingredients or it’d be fatal. I guess he did say he figured the potion was set to remain inert, so maybe they arrested dealers and when they tested the drug got that list of ingredients, but any toxicology lab would immediately say the stuff couldn’t possibly be what the three-eye(tm) users get.
Hm. That raises another question – what happens if you analyse the body of someone who died after drinking a potion? I guess the simplest answer is that muggle science sees all the regular ingredients that were originally put in the potion because those are there the whole time and there’s just an additional magical effect changing what they do to the human body, although Harry’s description suggests potions are physically changed in some way.
Monica Sells and her children vanished into Witness Protection. I hope they’ve got a better life now than they had before. I suppose it couldn’t be much worse.
You can really tell how invested he was in helping others.
Bob eventually came home again, more or less within the twenty-four-hour time limit, I suppose. I turned a deaf ear to rumors of a particularly wild party at the University of Chicago which lasted from Saturday night to Sunday night, and Bob wisely never mentioned it.
I honestly do wonder what exactly the author’s picturing here. Like, obviously having Bob literally possess a single person and rape his way through college students the usual way wasn’t acceptable. Raping college students is very very wrong and everyone knows that.
No, Bob’s just going to go perve on hot college girls have lots of totally consensual sex at a party!
A party that takes place over an odd time interval for college students, unless classes have universally shifted over to a Tuesday through Saturday schedule. One starts when he’s released and ends the instant he comes back.
A party that is “particularly wild” to the point even Harry is hearing people talking about it, as if no one normally acts like this.
Just don’t think about what those people are saying and how hushed and frightened their tones are.
Haha, wild college parties with slutty college kids! That’s all they’re saying! Nothing about the sobbing and the deaths. None of that happened! Humans are totally built and willing to have sex for twenty-four hours straight. Or twenty-five. Or twenty-six. Definitely somewhere near twenty-four hours, more or less, and not a moment longer so it’s all good.
Look, the important thing is that Harry’s no longer under surveillance and so doesn’t need to worry about any consequences for any wrongdoing which didn’t happen.
I think what’s most astounding here is the thoughtlessness. There was absolutely nothing stopping the author from instead writing, “I turned a deaf ear to Bob’s endless talk about the day-long party he’d watched.” Bob doesn’t have to be a rapist for the council to dislike the idea of him running loose, he doesn’t even have to cause any actual problems every time he’s out, he just needs to have the capability to do things they don’t like even if in practice he’s more interested in spying on naked girls. It even makes sense that Harry would personally hate letting him out on the basis he doesn’t want to listen to exactly who did what.
But that’s not how it works here. If she doesn’t say no, it’s a yes, and that still counts if you magically prevent her from saying no. If Bob wants to grab a bunch of eighteen year old girls and force them to reenact his favorite pornos, hey, no one managed to say no and they’re college girls, they wanted it. I’m sure he only picked girls who were already going to a party, ie, easy chicks, and we all know if a girl isn’t a virgin, it’s not really rape. She probably only refused because she’s a gold digger who wanted more money first. Bob didn’t make them do anything they weren’t willing to do, because girls at a college party are willing to do anything.
the cast that held my hips immobilized until the docs could be sure that there wasn’t too much fracturing (the X-ray machine kept fouling whenever they tried to use it on me, for some reason)
Also it’s okay that he broke this repeatedly, costing the hospital lots of money (an apparently non-profit hospital doing charity jobs given Harry, who there is no fucking way has insurance, is there) and possibly killing other people by screwing up one of the delicate components without the doctors realizing.
The best case scenario here is Harry passed out for long enough for them to try to take multiple x-rays and finally give up and put him in a cast, and even then, an actually considerate person would have one of those wallet cards explaining they were of a religion that banned x-rays and any other fancy diagnostic equipment. And it’s really unlikely that’s the scenario because he sure seemed awake when Morgan left in disgust, so Harry appears to have thought it was just funny to keep agreeing to x-rays and watching the machine blow out, as well as whatever other foulups happened as a result of him being transported. Hope they didn’t go by anyone with a pacemaker.
Speaking of no consequences, Rodriguez somehow is interested in a second date, possibly because she either can’t remember much of the event post-potion or she’s told herself the love potion was something he had for some other, legitimate reason. In other circumstances I might consider she’s deluding herself that the fact he didn’t rape her then proves he’s not a bad person, but I think she’s smart enough to understand he was just trying to stay in the circle.
That time, we were not interrupted by a demon. And I didn’t need any of Bob’s love potions or advice, thank you very much.
Regardless of her reasoning, Harry shows she has horribly misjudged him.
We’re then informed of the very important information that Mac’s fancy car wasn’t wrecked and has been returned, and also Harry’s car is fixed.
I made sure to send pizza out to Toot-toot and his faerie buddies every night for a week, and once a week ever since.
Surprisingly, I think Harry’s dealings with fairies are the closest he gets to having a coherent moral compass. He tricks the fairy into the circle, but he baits it lavishly and only uses the power of the name to get the guy to come close enough to see it. What he asks for from the fairy doesn’t seem to be anything fairies aren’t already doing for their own amusement, and the refusal seems more an issue of fairies feeling it makes them look like idiots to get caught in the first place. Expand it a little to explain why it’s not an option to just directly negotiate with them and the entire thing would look downright kind.
I’m pretty sure the kid from Pizza ‘Spress thought I was a loony, having him drop off pizza by the roadside. Heck with him.
I’m pretty sure the kid from Pizza ‘Spress thought you were having him drop pizza off to some fugitive or for a Satanic meeting. “Put this down here where there’s no visible human to receive it” is not the same thing as “Put this down here where you are certain there are no humans at all.” Anyway, I just hope he’s the sort of guy who thinks that’s cool and Harry isn’t accidentally terrifying some delivery boy.
And me? What did I get out of it? I’m not really sure.
I escaped from something that had been following me for a long time. I’m just not sure what. I’m not sure who was more certain that I was a walking Antichrist waiting to happen-the conservative branch of the White Council, the men like Morgan, or me. For them, at least, the question has been partly laid to rest. For myself, though, I’m not so sure. The power is there. The temptation is there.
Right but also more concretely you got the kill order lifted, everyone thinks you’re a badass, and Murphy gave you lots of money for helping the investigation.
That’s just the way it’s going to be.
I can live with that.
Rest of the world might not, though.
See, Harry has spent the book bitching about how Morgan unfairly thinks he’s going to go evil. He now tells us that yes, he totally may go evil. But he doesn’t say that um, yeah, maybe Morgan should continue to have authority to murder me if he catches me actually doing black magic, provided we avoid a repeat of him getting me killed for being attacked by dark magic.
But I guess you can say that this is why there’s a good chance Harry may go evil – that currently he’s chosen positive magic, but he doesn’t want anyone else stopping him if he changes his mind. He’s only worried about the harm the evil might do to himself, not the bystanders, so having a failsafe to stop him wouldn’t even cross his mind – the part where the rest of the wizards would try to kill him and could possibly manage it may even be one of the things he views as negative about going over to evil magic.
The world is getting weirder. Darker every single day. Things are spinning around faster and faster,and threatening to go completely awry. Falcons and falconers. The center cannot hold.
This seems out of nowhere but actually fits perfectly with the opening crazy ninety year old man rant about how they knew how to make stuff in the forties, by gum! Kids today with their pop and their x-rays and their car radios!
I don’t want to live in Victor’s jungle, even if it did eventually devour him.
The writing of this final chapter is incredibly, incredibly crappy. It’s like the author’s all, well you must have paid for the book to have gotten this far, I can pretty much just shit on the paper now and you’ll still have given me money!
I don’t want to live in a world where the strong rule and the weak cower. I’d rather make a place where things are a little quieter.
Which is the one aspect of Harry that isn’t all ALPHA MALE. It’s just pure MRA. Harry wants to be the dominant person in every interaction, wants to have a nice harem of hot chicks, but he has no interest in competing with other men for it. Part of it may be that competing comes with the possibility of losing, while most of it appears to be sheer laziness.
My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure by it at your own risk.
When things get strange, when what goes bump in the night flicks on the lights, when no one else can help you, give me a call.
I’m in the book.
I do like the ending. Another story might’ve ended with “I can help you” in there somewhere, but Harry doesn’t promise that. Just that if you’re grasping at straws, think of him! He will definitely answer your call, in that he will pick up the phone to tell you he will provide services for monies, and he will probably then provide some sort of service in return for those monies. Possibly the service will even help, but hey, he never promised it would.
But you’re desperate, and he’s an option you’ll find yourself resorting to.