The year is 1885, and New York is about to get a serious shock in the form of Magnus Bane. Coming straight from London, he makes a dramatic first impression - but as he settles in, he discovers a secret about the High Warlock of Brooklyn - a secret haunting him from his past. One of my entries for the Battle of the Fandoms.
Cover by ATarnishedSoul


2. House slave

Magnus strode through the streets of Brooklyn in the early hours of the morning, quickly passing through the crowds of people. He had an appointment to meet, and he wasn't going to miss it. Finally, he stopped, swinging into an apartment building. He opened the unlocked door and walked inside. The estate agent inside looked very surprised.


"Excuse me sir, are you lost?"

Magnus stopped, and spun on his heel.

"This is for sale, is it not?"

"Well, yes but-"

"And you are the estate agent, are you not?"

"Yes, but you see-"

"And you are expecting a Magnus Bane, are you not?" By this point the estate agent was extremely flustered.

"Well, yes but you see I was expecting-"

"A middle aged man with a monocle and a moustache? Sorry to disappoint."


He walked around the apartment. It was very spacious, a miracle no-one had bought it already. Four rooms led off the main space, and Magnus walked by them all slowly, thinking what he could use them for.

"Bodies," He murmured, "Explosions, summonings," he paused by the last one, painted a pleasant shade of blue. "Guest room. House slave?" The estate agent had, by now, decided he didn't like Magnus, and would be more forceful.


"Estate agent, sir."

"Don't have confidence, it doesn't suit you. The advertisement said six rooms, and I only count five."

"You noticed the stairs outside? They lead to another floor, which is being sold with this one."

"Two floors? How fancy."


"There is also a bathroom, if you'll follow me sir." The estate agent walked down the corridor with the four doors, and on reaching the end, grabbed the handle protruding from the wall. The door refused the move.


"Oh, not again. The last, resident, you know. I'm not sure how he gets in, but he does." He kicked the door, but failed pathetically in trying to get it open. "You usually have a bathroom. You just have to give it up once every twenty four hours."


Magnus, however, was not listening. He stood in the middle of the main room, perfectly still. A grin spread across his face, and he cackled happily to himself. He pulled out a large bundle of notes, throwing it at the estate agent.


"There you are, house slave. I'll move in straight away."

"Well, there are formalities to be taken care of-" Magnus thrust yet more money at the estate agent.

"Money. Money, money, money. I'm given to understand you Americans like lots of it. Leave. I have to unpack."

Cat eyes flashing, Magnus grinned spectacularly as the estate agent quietly shut the door.

"Oh yes," whispered Magnus, "I can do a lot with you."


The estate agent walked out onto the street, seething with barely contained rage. The audacity of that man! Some people simply had no respect. Such was his rage, he barely noticed as he turned at the wrong junction. He barely noticed when it started to rain. He did notice, however, when a hand gripped his throat. The vice-like grip was extremely strong, and he blacked out almost immediately. He did, however, notice one thing before the darkness descended. The hand had claws.

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