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Bloodlines for Sam Johnsson
dresden_mod wrote in dresdenficathon
Author: kitsuneyujji
Recipient: Sam Johnsson
Title: Bloodlines
Rating: G
Word Count: 1,391
Pairing/Character(s): Ancient Mai, Morningway
Notes/Warnings: I used the TV canon as my foundation. So Justin is Harry's uncle and Harry is the last of the Morningway line. I hope you like it! Merry Christmas!
Summary: Mai knows the danger in trusting a Morningway.

London, England,
September 2, 1666

Mai woke, sluggish and heavy in the head. Something tickled the bare flesh of her hip, patterns traced over on her skin that she felt she should have recognized. That she would have recognized if it wasn't so difficult to think through the fog.

"Do be still, my dear. This is delicate work."

It took a moment to understand, to recognize the voice. "M-morningway..."

His chuckle was condescending and he patted her hip. "Best save your strength. I can't have you expiring on me too soon, Mai."

Forcing her eyes open was hard, but she managed it. Dark wisps of hair fell into her eyes as she tilted her head to peer at him. The simple movement sent a wave of dizziness spinning through her skull and her eyes fell closed again. She tried to reach for her magic, for her will, but it was like trying to grab mist. "Wha... what... feel wrong..."

"Yes, that would be the wards on your magic. Unpleasant, but quite necessary. Pain and helplessness are all rather vital to the ritual. I can still feel a bit of leakage, but that's not unexpected. You're quite powerful, my dear."

The struggle to wrap her mind around the implications of that had little to do with the fog his wards had settled over her mind. Morningway was a warden, one of the few that had made her feel welcome since she'd arrived on the London docks only a year before, broken and battered and seeking shelter.

He'd stood for her at the council when they'd turned their nose down at her gender and her exotic origins, when they'd questioned her reasons for fleeing to their corner of the world and the trouble they feared she'd bring on their heads.

Clucking his tongue, he finished a last brush stroke and ran warm fingers over the pattern he'd made. "That looks about right..."

The first cut of the blade was almost too much of a surprise to hurt. Once the piercing agony finally penetrated, the pain cut through her scattered thoughts, gave her focus.

This time she recognized the patterns he'd outlined, the runes he was cutting into her skin. He was creating a gateway, a path he could use to separate her magic from her body.

Morningway had no idea what he'd unleash once he began to siphon off her magic.

Taking a deep breath, Mai concentrated on blocking out the pain of his blade. She watched him through slitted eyes. "Why? You... were my ... friend."

"I'd sacrifice my own mother if she had any power that I could use. And she'd do the same to me. We're Morningways. It is what we do. The relentless pursuit of power is in our blood." He chuckled and offered her the same benevolent, warm smile that he'd always given her. "If it makes you feel any better, my dear, I am quite fond of you. I shall miss that sharp wit of yours."

His attention refocused on his task. She hissed as he dug the blade against a nerve, but forced herself to breath deeply through the spikes of agony it sent ricocheting through her hip.

"There's no need to hold it in, Mai," he said, his voice almost gentle. "It won't effect the ritual. As long as you feel the pain, it is enough."

A growl bubbled up in her throat, but she did her best to bite it back.

Mai knew that she couldn't give him any warning, any indication that anything was out of the ordinary. He couldn't know that her magic was the only thing that held her in this form. Warded inside her own body, she'd been trapped, unable even to release the spells already in place.

Under her skin, she could feel the shift building as the last line was carved.

Unrelenting, Morningwood pressed down hard until he'd forced a cry from her. Only then did he stand and move away.

The stink of black magic was heavy in the air and it only thickened as he settled somewhere out of her sight. When the chanting began, Mai smiled. As the first ripple of magic spooled away from her, the threads of her own enchantments and glamours began to fall away.

One after another, Morningway's dark ritual pulled away the magic holding them.

There was none of the control or finesse that Mai usually managed in a shift. One moment she was a petite human woman. The next, a dragon-kin exploded from her skin with a roar of triumph.

Morningway whirled from his altar, disbelief and disbelief and burgeoning fear stark on his face. "No! Your magic is mine! What are you doing?"

Laughing, Mai easily tore her bindings away and rolled to the side. "I don't need magic to deal with the likes of you, human. Did you honestly think that I'd shared all of my secrets?"

She stretched her wings wide and roared again, this time sending a plume of green fire arching across the room. The dark wizard managed a quick shielding spell, but that simply sent her flames into the wooden framework of the room. Vials and bottles burst under the heat.

Grabbing up his cane, Morningway swung it at her hip, catching the open wound of his carved runes. Though it was enough to make her shriek in pain and anger, it wasn't enough to slow her down as she went for his throat. She was too furious to care that only his surprise kept him from leveling a death curse on her head.

Claws flashed and blood sprayed. It was almost pathetic how quickly he went down. She kicked the body over and dropped the warm heart back onto his gaping chest. With a grimace, she wiped the blood from her claws. Without the intended vessel, the magic Morningway had stolen returned to its proper home and for a moment, it made her dizzy.

Then she glared down at the runes. It wouldn't do to leave an open doorway to her power that anyone could find and use.

Another roar escaped as she raked across the pattern with her own claws, breaking the outer circle of it and disfiguring the entire shape.

Shifting back into human form, she stepped through the fire that was spreading but made no move to stop it. It was better for everyone that Morningway and all his dark implements burnt to so much ash.


Present day

"I just don't understand why everyone's so dead set against him, that's all. Ancient Mai doesn't even give him a chance to explain anything, she just assumes he's guilty."

Mai paused at the top of the stairs at the sound of her name. She wasn't surprised to hear Amber questioning such things. Not after the day they'd spent trapped in Dresden's home. Amber was young, impressionable. She would learn.

It was Morgan who answered her, his deep voice a soft rumble. "He's reckless and hot-headed. The black is too easy for him."

"But he could have killed us, Morgan. He could have killed all of us and he didn't even try. He saved us."

"He's killed before." There was hesitation in Morgan's tone and Mai frowned. It was one thing for Amber to have doubts. It was another thing entirely when it was Morgan. He was her most staunch ally and the vanguard she trusted to keep an eye on Dresden.

"Maybe things aren't so black and white."

Mai didn't wait for Morgan to answer. She descended the stairs, eying the pair as Amber looked away guiltily. "He's a Morningway. Good intentions or bad, they always fall to the corruption."

Looking back with renewed determination, the young warden took a step forward. "Maybe he's more Dresden than Morningway. Maybe if everyone wasn't always waiting around for him to fall, he'd have a chance to stay on the right side. Ma'am."

"Maybe it won't be today. Maybe it won't be tomorrow. But someday, he'll succumb, just like all the others of his family." Mai stated, one hand sliding down to stroke over her hip and the ridged scar she could still feel. "Blood will out in the end. Always."

And when it did, she'd be ready.

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(stupid new style eating my comments.)

Oooh. I love the little things in here, like the implications that Morningway's been around a long time, and the (accurate) hints of doubt Morgan now has, and the grudges-as-politics that are so inherent to the High Council. And I love the "blood will out" reference, considering everything we think about Mai!

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