A New Case: From the Dresden Files #2

Rated T. Action, angst, fluff.

Pairing: Harry/Bob A/N: Takes place after the series opener. Is part of the 'Caring is Sharing' universe. Each of these pieces will be complete by themselves, but part of a larger universe. Depending on where they happen in the universe the amount of slash will vary. For right now it is pre-slash. I am sure the characterization is off, but hopefully I'll get a better grip on it over the next few episodes. Cheers, Slrmn82.

Energy-Sucking Fiend

It seemed to Harry Dresden that even with all of his powers, he spent an inordinate amount of time being beat up or thrown into brick walls. You'd think he had a sign saying "I'm a masochist please hurt me" hung around his neck. For once his current case was undertaken with the full disclosure of the police, and Murphy had actually hired him to look into a wave of murders over the past month or so. There had been a total of twenty bodies, but during the investigation of each no cause of death could be found. No murder weapon, fingerprints, signs of forced entry. Nothing.

What concerned Harry the most, and what Murphy wasn't aware of, was that a good number of them had been part of the mystical community. Not part of the council as such, but definitely not normals either. There were werewolves, witches and a vampire. In the witches' case both of their homes had been heavily warded using earth magic's. There should have been no way anyone could have entered without permission.

As the body count rose the police became more and more anxious, so much so, that Murphy actually hired Harry even though she often thought he was nuts. So it was that Harry and Bob were in the basement compiling the components for a spell to locate the mysterious assailant. Harry had been to each crime scene and at all accept one there had been no clues. At the last scene Harry found a piece of cloth gripped in the victims clenched fists. Enough material for a locator spell. Harry had no idea what he would do once he located the sonuvabitch, but he figured he'd worry about handling one thing at a time.

"You sure this is enough material to do the spell?" Bob asked worriedly. "With the amount of magic's you're going to need to trace this thing…"

"I don't have a choice. I need to find him before he kills again." Harry told him as he began to draw the circle. "If you see me loosing control of the magic pull me out."

"And just how would you like me to do that?" Bob asked sarcastically. "In case you hadn't noticed I don't exactly have functioning hands."

"You'll think of something."

"Good luck, Harry."

"See you in a bit." Harry acknowledged before beginning the spell. Bob watched him impassively. He knew Harry had the power to complete this spell, even with such a small component, but he wasn't sure if he had the control needed to keep it going. Harry's hair and clothing began to blow slightly in an unseen wind and the lights flicked overhead.

"Pull it back Harry. You're using too much power." Bob called out sharply. The wizard seemed to understand him somehow because the wind died down and the lights stayed on. Bob was so concentrated on Harry's meditative state that it took him a minute to notice that the wards above them were down. Even as a ghost he was still a sorcerer, powerful enough to sense a presence approaching, one with great power. "Harry wake up! Someone's here. They've knocked down your wards."

When Harry didn't awaked Bob attempted to shake him awake, but his had went right through the other man. Since he'd actually touched the wizard before, Bob assumed his emotional state was such that made a physical manifestation currently impossible.

"Bloody wonderful time to find this out." Bob snarled under his breath before attempting to strengthening the wards that were still up over the basement doorway with his meager reserves. Since the magic was helpful and not harmful Bob hoped it would be allowed. It even seemed to work… for a while. But the fact of the matter was the Bob was just a spirit, no matter how strong he had been in life, and his powers were extremely limited. "Harry wake the hell up!"

"Azrial!" Bob exclaimed in horror. The man that stepped inside the basement was massive and not a man at all. No, he was a demon made mostly manifest by sucking the energy from others until all that was left was an empty husk. "Harry, wake up!"

"M'kay. 'eard ya." Harry answered groggily, barely acknowledging Bob's frantic yelling. "I almost found 'm. He's-"

"Here." Bob told him sharply moving to kneel by the drained wizard. "It's Azrial, Harry."

Before Harry could recover enough to respond, let alone concentrate on just who that was, although Harry knew he'd heard the name before, a shadow fell over his still-kneeling body.

"Wizzarddd."

That was all Harry knew as his whole body convulsed in pain. Through the pain he could hear what seemed to be chanting in the background, but didn't pay it a lot of mind until he realized the chanting was in Bob's aristocratic voice. Only then did he force himself to begin to pay attention to the content.

"No…don't.." Harry whispered painfully. "You can't…"

But Bob paid no attention to Harry, if in fact he even heard him. Just continued to chant as Harry convulsed under a wave of pure power on the ground, until Bob was glowing gold. Before Harry could utter another word Bob had stepped directly in front of him and into the steam of magic. Harry had to close is eyes as Bob began to glow even brighter. Harry felt a sudden wave of magic and he was blasted backwards into the wall. Just before he fell unconscious he had two thoughts. He hoped Bob was okay and that here he was again being thrown into a brick wall. Sigh.