Magic friendship

So Your Best Friend is the Hero of an Urban Fantasy Novel

So your best friend is the hero of an urban fantasy novel. On the one hand, congratulations! Making friends is seriously hard as an adult. You’re ahead of the curve. On the other hand, my condolences. You’re in for a rough (and possibly short) life.

Here’s some advice to help you through it.

Cut Your Friend Some Slack

In the past forty-eight hours, they’ve been shot at, kidnapped by vampires twice, and nearly beheaded by an eldritch god. And don’t even ask about the swarm of demon bees.

So yeah, maybe they missed your birthday party, but try not to hold it against them. You can hang out later when they’re stuck at home recovering from their injuries.

Learn Some Self-Defense

You’re the hero’s best friend. Of course your life is going to be in danger at some point. Maybe the bad guys are threatening you to coerce the hero into investigating something for them like in the first Anita Blake book. Or maybe you’re on vacation with your buddy and get caught in the crossfire when he’s attacked by a horde of hellish monsters.

It’s not your friend’s fault. But you do want to be prepared.

Learn some martial arts. Buy silver bullets and practice regularly at the shooting range. Is your friend a witch? If not, do they know a witch? Ask them to cast some protective wards around your house or apartment. You’ll thank yourself later.

Prepare a Will

Let’s be honest: sometimes all the magical security and combat training in the world isn’t enough. There comes a time in many book series when the hero’s best friend needs to be killed off to lend some gravitas to the final confrontation with the villain. Maybe it’s your time. Yeah, it sucks, but you can at least make sure your estate is in order.

And hey—you live in an urban fantasy universe, so maybe you can come back from the dead later. All I’m saying is you’ve got options.

Teach Yourself a Useful Skill

So you don’t want to prepare a will. You want to prevent the author from killing you off in a dramatic fashion. That’s fair. But you’d better make sure you serve a narrative purpose.

Your best friend isn’t a witch? Consider studying magic so you can cast spells and create charms that will help them with their missions. Does your friend slay monsters with fancy swords and knives? You could be the person who makes their weapons. Your friend probably gets the crap kicked out of them a lot, right? Take some medical classes at your local community college so you can patch them up after their latest fight.

Your best bet is to become so necessary to the plot that the author needs to keep you alive for later books.

Don’t Let Your Friend Shut You Out

You got attacked. Those silver bullets and magic charms you prepared did some damage, but they weren’t quite enough. You’re seriously hurt and may never completely recover.

Your friend, of course, blames themself. They’re so wracked with guilt that they decide the only way to keep you safe is to break off your friendship and never see you again.

They don’t ask you for your opinion. Heroes can be inconsiderate like that.

Now, I’m going to assume they’re a good friend, that they’re generally trying to do their best by you even if they screw up sometimes. If they’re toxic, take this chance to cut them out of your life. (Sometimes protagonists are allowed to get away with a lot of crap just because they’re the “hero.”)

But if they’re a good friend, don’t let them shut you out. Yell at them, pester them, but be there when they need you. You might not be the most powerful character in the book series, but you can still save their life.

To quote My Little Pony, “friendship is magic,” and a good friend is worth fighting for.

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