Cold. Why was it so cold? Summer had only just begun to come to a close, and fall in Vale was never particularly harsh. But this was a bitter, biting cold that burned straight to her heart. Pyrrha Nikos wrapped her arms around her chest and shuddered. This frigid weather wasn't right, nothing felt right.
There was a flash of light, and a clap of thunder. Pyrrha's eyes snapped open and she gasped for air, arching her back in agony. That was no cold she felt, it was a pain in the center of her chest, one that rapidly faded. Soon it was no more than a dull pain that throbbed in time with the beat of her heart. Pyrrha got her breathing under some measure of control, and slowly slid back down onto the ground.
Her hands trembled as she reached up to her chest where the pain was. The touch of her fingers showed no wounds though, only smooth pale flesh. Pyrrha let out a shaky breath of relief. She hurt, but there was no visible injury she could find. A doctor would be better for finding any internal injuries.
She realized that for a doctor to help her though, she'd need to get moving. Pyrrha started to get her hands under her. The asphalt dug into the bare skin of her hands, but she pushed and started to get her legs under her. Light flashed in her eyes, pain shot up her leg, and Pyrrha fell onto her side, fire racing up her left leg.
Teeth clenched, she took a glance down at her leg, and quickly identified the problem. A hole the size of a golf ball had been punched clean through her calf. That would certainly explain the intense pain she was feeling.
It did not explain why she was completely naked.
The young woman immediately covered herself to preserve some measure of modesty, and tried to remember how she had wound up how she was. All her armor, her clothes, and her weapons were gone. Pyrrha was stark naked in the middle of… actually, she had no idea where she was.
A quick glance up showed tall buildings stretching up and up above her, into a night filled with dark clouds. A glance to her left showed a dirty brick wall, and a glance to her right showed the exit out of what must have been an alleyway, where the only source of light was available. A near empty dumpster and a handful of trash cans almost blocked the exit, but besides that, the alley was abandoned.
Pyrrha took a deep breath, "Okay Pyrrha, obviously you're in a city, most likely Vale. D-don't make any assumptions until you know otherwise."
A cool breeze made her shiver again, and made her grateful she was alone. If her friends saw her as she was, Pyrrha didn't think she'd ever live it down. Jaune's reaction might make it worth it, but that was irrelevant at this point. Her first priority, she decided, was to get to the nearest hospital.
While Pyrrha's aura might be preventing her wound from being life threatening, without proper medical treatment it could get infected, or leave her crippled. No waiting around for her, she was going to have to get out of here on her own. Easier said than done.
Pyrrha looked at her injured leg again, and winced. It was a surprisingly neat wound, and seemed relatively clean. The skin around it had already begun to pucker around the edges, and the bleeding was surprisingly minimal. Slowly, she moved the leg, and while the pain spiked once again, it was bearable.
Resting her hand on the wall behind her, Pyrrha sucked in a breath, clenched her teeth tight, and mentally counted to three. On two, she quickly hauled herself up, and bit back a scream of agony. Stars flashed in her vision, her left leg quickly went limp, and she fell back to the earth. At the last moment, she managed to push herself back against the wall, and leaned limply against it, breathing hard.
Sweat coated her forehead, and her long red hair had quickly fallen into a dirty mess around her, matting against her back and arms. It was one of those times she wished she'd cut it shorter. In a combat situation, it was just a liability, and now it was a mess that served no purpose but to get in her way.
"Okay, okay," Pyrrha sucked in a breath, "It hurts, but I-I can handle it. B-besides, it can't get much worse than this…"
Naked in the middle of the city with a large injury on her leg? It was rather hard to top that. Thunder boomed overhead, and rain began to fall, quickly soaking her in the downpour. Pyrrha leaned against the wall, and silently fumed. With a puff of anger, she flicked her hair out of her face and began to move forward, using the wall as her personal crutch.
For every step she took, electric pain shot up her leg, and made her bite back another scream. She may have been a champion fighter, but Pyrrha had never taken an injury this intense before. The trip from where she'd woken up to the nearest trash can, was some of the longest moments of her life. But she pressed on, and when she reached the steel cylinder, she collapsed against it with a hollow 'twang!' of impact.
Trembling still, she struggled to push herself up, while the rain continued to pour on her. The ground was growing slick, and the blood of her wound had colored it a dark red. She was getting tired with every passing minute, but she pressed on anyway. When safety and medical attention were within reach, then she would rest.
A few more steps brought her to the dumpster, and she felt relieved. An old blue rain tarp, cracked and frayed from years under the elements, was draped over the far side of the dumpster. Pyrrha limped forward, pulled it free, and tied it around her chest into a makeshift dress. At least it would preserve her modesty, and provide a mild protection from the rain.
The rain, however, was the least of her problems. As Pyrrha started forward again, feeling a little more comfortable, and a little more confident, she heard a familiar noise. A deep growl that came from the back of the alley. This was not the growl of an animal, but of an ancient beast, a creature filled with nothing but hatred and rage. This growl was the embodiment of that creature, for it was nothing but hate. No sense of life, meaning, or thought, just pure, raw hatred.
Pyrrha froze, and her heart began to beat faster, "A Grimm? In Vale?"
Such a notion was impossible, yet Pyrrha knew with one hundred percent certainty that she had heard the growl of a Grimm, a Beowolf to be specific. There was, of course, only one way to be sure. So Pyrrha turned around, slowly, to make sure.
Gleaming red eyes burned at the far end of the alleyway, locked onto Pyrrha. They narrowed when she saw them, and the wall suddenly moved. No, not the wall, merely the shadow that had been standing before it. The Grimm moved forward, into the light, and Pyrrha knew that she was dealing with a Beowolf, one of the most common Grimm in existence.
It had a bipedal shape, but was obviously not human. Greasy black fur hung from its limbs, pressed flat by the rain. Bone white protrusions grew from its arms, legs, and back. Its face was a red lined skull, glittering under the little light that was cast on it. The beast was huge, larger than most car. Clearly it was an older Beowolf, which was why it hadn't immediately attacked her. It had waited to see how much of a threat she would pose and came to the obvious conclusion that she wasn't one.
Far as Pyrrha was concerned, it was right. In any other situation, she could handle it. But she had no weapons, her Aura was exhausted from keeping her leg together, and she barely had enough energy to walk down an alley, let alone use her Semblance to defend herself from it. There was only one option available to her.
Run as hard and fast she could.
There was no debate, Pyrrha turned and ran. Or rather hobbled, given the state of her leg. She limped out of the alley onto the sidewalk and saw the streets were surprisingly empty. Behind her, the Grimm howled and lunged, its powerful legs launching it right at her. It easily caught the crippled Huntress in one leap. Pyrrha's honed instincts managed to save her from a rather messy end, but the Grimm's arms clipped her head.
More flashes of pain, and she went down in a pile of limbs and rain tarp. The Grimm dug its claws into the asphalt and twisted around to face her. It let loose a furious snarl, peeling its lips back to expose unnaturally large and sharp fangs.
Pyrrha pushed herself up slowly, and blinked rain out of her eyes. She saw the Grimm crouching forward, saw its muscles rolling under its hide, and she knew she was done for. This was not how she had expected to die. A blaze of glory perhaps, a final stand, but not cold, wet, and afraid.
"Someone!" she screamed, a last ditch effort, "Help! Please! Anyone!?"
No response, but she had expected that. The Grimm tensed, Pyrrha closed her eyes tight, and…
There was a squeal of rubber and shrieking steal. The Grimm howled in surprise, and the ground shook a moment later. Something had hit the oversized creature and sent it flying. She opened her eyes and saw that, indeed, that was what happened. A small, bulbous, car was parked in front of her, its hood caved in from where the Grimm had hit, and the windshield had shattered.
Across the street, the Grimm pulled itself back to its feet and while one of its arms was bent at an unnatural angle, it was otherwise unharmed. It turned to the car, and let loose a roar that shook the street.
The car door flew open, and a man in a large leather duster stepped out. He was very tall, and he held a large wooden staff in his right hand. Runes smoldered on its surface, and though Pyrrha couldn't make out his features very well, she could tell that he was angry at the Grimm. Frankly, she could agree with him on that front.
The man slammed his staff into the ground, and Pyrrha felt power flow through the ground. Whoever this guy was, he had plenty of power to spare. He retrieved a small wooden rod from his coat and pointed it at the Grimm.
"So, you like chasing teenagers, do ya Snoopy?" he demanded.
The Grimm howled in response, and charged forward. Pyrrha opened her mouth to warn the man, but quickly realized it was a pointless gesture. With a flick of his wrist, a field of shimmering blue energy stopped the Grimm in its tracks. The force of its impact sent ripples of blue energy over this strange shield, but it remained firm. In fact, all that energy was quickly reflected back at the Grimm, and it bounced harmlessly off it.
Pyrrha's jaw remained hanging as she watched the man step forward and raise his rod again, "Right, that's what I thought."
The air shivered around him for a split second, and then…
A stream of fire no thicker than her fist lanced forward, hissing under the rain. It cut through the air, and the Grimm with surgical precision. The beast had time to let out a strangled yelp, then fell to the ground in two pieces. Inky smoke began to rise from its corpse almost immediately. The beast was dead.
"…Oh my…." Was all that Pyrrha could say. Obviously she was in the presence of a graduated Hunter, who could use his Aura so effectively, and without even moving from his spot too. Her luck looked to be turning around.
The man stared at the corpse for a moment, to make sure it was dead, and then turned to the injured young woman lying at his feet. The anger on his face vanished, and he quickly moved to her side, kneeling next to her.
"You okay kid?"
Pyrrha swallowed and nodded, "Y-yes, thank you, sir."
The man chuckled, "You're welcome, but please don't call me sir, I'm not that old yet. Just call me Harry. Harry Dresden."
A/N: I've returned from my long hiatus with a new story, improved writing skills, and a new drive. College has been tough on me, and I won't deny that looking back at my old stories... They're terrible. Absolutely terrible save for a few. I don't intend on updating them save for a select few maybe. If someone is interested in adopting them, send a PM my way, and we'll talk.
Back to the story at hand though. The above was thought of when I realized my other story, Heroes and Wizards, had a crucial flaw. I'd brought someone far too powerful into the Dresdenverse. I love Power Girl, but she's a league all her own and takes away a lot of the fun of a Dresden File crossover. Couple that with my recent binge of RWBY (Again) and the result is this fic. I've planned this one out in advance though, and have a plan. I've already written a few chapters ahead of this one in anticipation for when I released it, so here's how updates will work.
Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday you can expect a new update. Hopefully I'll be able to keep this schedule consistent, as I am writing this fic and working on my actual book at the same time. If I can't maintain the schedule, I will give you all an update and take a hiatus so that I may accumulate more chapters in the future. I will also be taking a break after my twelth chapter goes live. Until then, I should be keeping consistent. At least, that's the plan.
I hope you've all enjoyed the story, and I look forward to your thoughts and comments!