This is a crossover of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series of books and TV show on SciFi. I have written it in a way that even if you haven't read or seen Dresden Files you'd be able to follow what is going on.

The books and the show are narrated in first person, and told in a very casual way. You find out about Dresden Files verse in pieces as he narrates his story, and I have tried to duplicate this style.

Please take a look at it to see if I have been able to give enough to start building at least a half formed world for the reader. And second how my attempt at first person is.

A.N. I started writing the chapter weeks before Strom Front was aired, so the similarities in the opening are coincidental. My proof reader can vouch for that.

Begins with Harry Dresden's POV, he is the protagonist in the Dresden Files verse.

Demon's Feign, Merlin's Pain

A Harry Potter, Dresden Files Cross Over

"Harry! Harry! There's someone at the door" Bob stood above me, while I was unceremoniously sprawled on my couch. Mister, my thirty pound cat, jumped on my stomach, finally waking me up.

"What? Who?" I mumbled, while habitually checking my shield bracelet.

"Dresden!" Murphy's voice finally broke through, followed by sharp raps on the door. Bob, the spirit imprisoned in the skull, disappeared before he was seen. I stumbled out of the couch tripping over Mister who seemed to be waiting for just that, he gave him a disgruntled look. Ah! Life's inequities, I'm a wizard but I can't get my cat to respect me.

My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure by it at your own risk. When things get strange, when what goes bump in the night flicks on the lights, when no one else can help you, give me a call.

"Sorry to disturb you your highness," I affected an air and went to the door shirtless. I don't have fans or air-conditioning; electronics don't mix well with me. Things seemed to short or blow up every time I get close to them. It makes summers unbearable. It was also why I don't visit old people homes – pacemakers.

"Detective Murphy, what a pleasant surprise!" I greeted the woman standing five feet nothing on my door step. Karen Murphy was the original tough chick. She went shoulder to shoulder with Chicago's finest and had earned her rank fighting through the male dominated system. She was also very cute, but I kept that to myself, she would kick my ass if she ever found out I thought she was too cute to be a cop.

"Dresden," Murphy greeted short and professional, arching an eyebrow at my wardrobe. "Put your shirt on, we have work." She turned away walking to the squad car. The Chicago Police Department brought me in as a consultant when something unusual or strange would occur, after all I am the only person listed under "Wizard" in the phone book.

"But I haven't had breakfast yet!" I whined. Was it my imagination or did Murphy just check me out. The short brunette crossed her arms and glared at me before reaching into the car and chucked a donut at me. I caught the pastry and looked at Murphy who was steadily looking away.

"Murphy," I admonished mockingly. "You're supposed to be breaking stereotypes not perpetuating them."

"If you're not in the car in two minutes I'm arresting you and taking you with me!"

Within two minutes we were on the road and away. Murphy didn't say much, she was in her on the job mode, not that I knew about any other mode. Still, I expected her to say something about where we were going.

"So Murph, what's the case?" I asked, watching her closely. She didn't say anything but her body tensed. After a moment she met my eyes and very seriously told me "Let's just say you'll pay for eating all my donuts."

Murphy lit up the lights and burned through traffic. I quietly buckled myself in and kept my silence. It had been close when Murphy had looked in my eyes; I had had to look away quickly before the soul gaze began.

It's a drawback of looking a wizard in the eyes, we can see things, and you would be caught until the soul gaze lasted. For that time we can see deep inside you to your soul and you can see inside our souls. And what you see always stays with you, you never forget and it never dulls with time. That's why I avoided looking people straight in the eye. Besides there was no way I could explain what had happened if I let Murphy see into my soul.

Murphy pulled into a popular shopping district past a bookstore storefront marked off by police tape to a bakery, also marked off by police tape. Further down the street I saw another shop front with a couple of squad cars in front. Without a word Murphy stepped out motioning me to get out. I hurried and opened the door of the bakery for her, I still believed in opening doors for women, and besides it annoys Murphy. She gave me a terse 'Thank you' and a disgusted look.

Inside, the boys from crime scene investigations were waiting and shot me a suspicious look. I waved to them cheerily.

"Good morning fellas, you're not waiting for me, are you?" I asked innocently. Murphy had probably stopped them from examining the body before I could.

"Dresden!" Murphy snapped and I finally looked at the scene. The portly owner of the fine establishment was on the floor; his face was drawn in pain. Blood had trailed from his eyes, ears, nose, mouth and the only other orifice left. I turned away quickly, and sincerely regretted the four donuts in my now queasy stomach. An odd though occurred to me and I looked at the shelves to find duplicates of the donut box Murphy had. That takes nerves to get food at a homicide scene, but then this was her life. I coughed and cleared my throat, trying to ignore the smell and the roiling in my stomach.

"Two other vics just like this, one up and the other down the street. Witnesses say they suddenly started spouting blood and screaming, within minutes all three were dead. One witness swears she saw the blood vanishing wherever it fell on the floor." Murphy nodded outside to a uniform standing with a middle aged lady who was obviously coming down from the experience.

"Un huh," I walked around the body paying more attention, and realized for the first time it wasn't just the smell that was making me queasy, the black magic in the air was practically crawling under my skin. "Thaumaturgy?" I asked quietly. Thaumaturgy is the branch of magic where you do something at a small scale and make it happen on a bigger scale some where else – voodoo dolls fall in this category.

"You see something?" Murphy asked.

"Maybe…doesn't he look a bit dried up?" I shook my head, fighting the urge to get out of there.

"The tech guys noticed it right away, they're waiting to figure it out. Butters is ready to do the autopsies as soon as I send the bodies over to him. So…this have anything to do with your spooky stuff?"

"No such thing Murph," I snorted. High Council, the governing body of the white council of wizards, ordered that no one who did not know about magic was to be told about it. "Do you think…I could look at the autopsy report, you know when Butters is done?"

"Not if you don't have anything for me," Murphy crossed her arms giving me a hard look.

"C'mon Murph," I pleaded. She didn't relent and I sighed in defeat. "I have no idea." There was no way I was dragging her and her team into what I thought had happened here.

"What do you think Butters would find?" Murphy shrewdly questioned.

"I don't know, something odd I'm sure." I was a bad liar, and knew it, so did Murphy.

"I see, Mr. Dresden, you will be compensated for your time. If you wait outside someone will drop you at your office." With that she turned on her heel and headed out herself.

Keeping her from knowledge of the magic world and safe from things she could not fight was always a strain on our friendship and lately it had gotten worse. Dejected, I walked past her where she was holding the door for me.

"Listen Murph-"

"No, Harry. I told you, no more lies. Now if you know something that will help me bring in whoever did this, you better tell me, and now!" And that's what it came down to, Murphy had a deep seeded sense of duty, if she thought I was standing in her way of catching the bad guy, she would give me no benefit of doubt.

I opened my mouth trying to say something right, and shut it and tried again. Only a few months back she had been possessed by an ex-con using ancient Egyptian black magic. She had nearly died but I was just in time to exorcise him from her. She didn't have much memory of the experience but knew I was involved somehow. I had sworn to keep her safe from my world, but I couldn't lose her friendship either. I had few friends as it was, and my practical side reminded me that she was also my only steady pay-check.

"You know what, Dresden? Forget it, just leave," Murphy whirled away, leaving me feeling very small. I punched the air in frustration and stalked away eating up the pavement with my long legs.

"Well, if you're going to keep her safe, then you better do it right!" I spoke out loud. "Who in Chicago is powerful enough to do that to three people at the same time?" I pondered the question and caught a cab back to my place.

Once home, I showered and readied for the day preoccupied by the less than perfect morning. Already I was planning my next move, Murphy had a bad habit of being too good at her job, if I didn't figure out what was going on before her, it was likely she'd get hurt finding the right answers.

"So did it work? Did she fall for it?" Bob, the spirit, suddenly appeared in my bedroom. Bob is the imprisoned spirit of a very powerful warlock that I inherited from my uncle.

"What are you talking about? And can you not come in when I'm changing?" I threw a sock through Bob's intangible form.

"You know, answering the door shirtless, a bit tacky stratagem in my opinion but I know you're desperate. Anyway, did it work? Is Miss Karen Murphy coming for an overnight visit?" he solicited.

"Bob!" I protested. "Its Murphy, she's, you know…Murphy. We're friends that's all! And just for the record, I have much better moves than answering the door shirtless."

"Of course." Bob was obviously unconvinced. "That would explain your dreadfully long dry spell, and while we're on the subject denial is foolish for a wizard."

"Bob, you're a spirit, why do you care so much about my love life?"

"Well, I was hoping you'd let me watch…I mean you could always give me permission to go out for a night and-"

"No and no! Get back in your skull!" I ordered throwing my robe at the spirit.

"As you wish, you know if you listened to me you'd get laid a lot more often." With that he disappeared. Everyone was on my case.

I waited for late afternoon and then headed over to give Butters, the medical examiner, a visit. I had to be careful; Murphy would not appreciate finding me talking to Butters about the case. I rolled in on my decrepit old blue beetle, and made sure I had the pass CPD had made for me.

The receptionist gave me a suspicious look but dismissed me as soon as he saw the pass, waving me to the ME's offices. I peeked into the labs looking for my quarry and finally found him bent over a table. It was my lucky day Murphy was no where in sight.

"Hello, Butters!" I walked in greeting loudly.

"Oh! Hi, Harry, I should've expected you. Weird stuff, man. Murphy will be down soon, she wanted the results right away." Butters greeted still bent over the table.

"So, what'd you find?" I asked as casually as possible, looking over my shoulder for any sign of the petite detective.

"It's what I didn't find…there's no blood. All three bodies bled out all their blood, its all gone." He exclaimed, wiping his forehead.

"That can't be right, can it?" I said, but inside I cursed knowing my suspicions were coming true. Someone had harvested a lot of human blood for sacrifice, and had gone out of their way to do it publicly. "Anything common about the vics?"

"All I know is they were killed where they worked. I just get the body, Dresden, not the story." Butters went over to wash his hands. "There is something freaky about all three of them, look at the tongue."

I walked over to the opened up body on the table, it was a younger man than the one I had seen at the bakery. I assumed this must be one of the other two. Nervously, I pried open the jaw and tried to look inside.

"The photograph, Harry." Butters chuckled and pointed to pictures he had taken. Relieved I didn't have to look into a dead man's mouth, I shuffled through the pictures and found what I was looking for and my blood ran cold. The tongue had a burned brand on it of a trident with its points turning left. It could only mean two things, one that some wannabe cult decided to be cute or someone very real and powerful, and unafraid to mess with the blackest of magic was in Chicago. Having seen what had happened earlier that day, I knew this was the latter. And that meant that this might be too big for me.

"When was this branded on them?"

"Ah, you notice it was branded, probably right before or around they died." Butters informed happily.

"Doesn't shit like this bother you?" I asked genuinely, seeing how the pudgy ME was unaffected.

"Of course it does, or it did, then I started listening to polka!" Butters grinned at me; he's a little weird, in a good way really. "I figured you'd know what that was."

"Yeah, it's a demonic sign, you've got a nasty group of people doing this," I muttered, unable to look away from the picture.

"Oh! Some devil worshiping whackos?"

"Something like that, hey, can I borrow this?"

"Sure, I have copies anyway, I'll make another one."

"Thanks, Butters, I've gotta go, I'll see ya." I left quickly, not wanting to be caught by my friend.

"Come back and tell me when you catch them!" Butters yelled after me.

"Hell's Bells...literally! Shit!" I swore to myself and drove back to the office to pick up my tools. In my time as a private investigator of the paranormal and all manner of things that go bump in the night I had seen and dealt with many dangerous beings and creatures. I had even dueled warlocks and sorcerers and come out on top, the first wizard I had killed was my uncle turned warlock, but that is a part of me locked away far and deep in my mind. Still that one duel to death against Justin, my master, had taught me that I am no light weight in magical power. But I had to wonder how I would match up against the ones or more who had perpetrated the latest magical atrocity in my town.

To cast black magic this powerful, in the daylight on several targets frightened me. The fact that they had done nothing to hide their work frightened me more. It was practically a thumb in the face of the white council and its wardens, and that was a group you did not antagonize lightly. I should know, they have taken a dislike to me and now I live under the one strike and certain death sentence hanging over me.

Back home I went to my staff stand, for a moment I picked my older staff then dropped it in favor of the one I had shaped like a hockey stick. Somehow people were more comfortable seeing a man carrying around a hockey stick rather than a tall staff, go figure. Next I picked my blasting rod with sigils I had carved myself, and the magic ring that could store magic as kinetic energy, if hit with the ring when it was full it was like being hit by a troll. Once again I made sure I had my mother's shield bracelet and I was off back to the scenes of the crime.

It seemed that three inexplicable deaths in the area had taken some of the steam out of the shopping district and the street was quieter than it should have been. It was evening now, and it would be night fully soon. I walked between the three crime scenes but there was a black and white parked at the end of the street and I didn't risk trespassing. Instead knowing that all that harvested blood had to go somewhere, and most likely close I looked for the best location for a collection point.

Suddenly I spotted a cloaked figure in the middle of the street kneeling over a manhole. As I watched the robed figure disappeared in through it. No one acted out of the ordinary.

"Must be a veil," I muttered and hurried after the figure. Unfortunately, veils are not my forte and I was not very good in magical methods of concealing oneself. So I drew some odd glances as I ran after the suspicious person, blasting rod in one hand and staff tucked in the crook of the elbow.

At the bottom of the manhole I heard feet splashing quickly away from me. I followed quietly, alert in the darkness, a spell on my lips. I followed the sound until I couldn't hear movement anymore. Unbeknownst to me I was at a point roughly equidistant from all three crime scenes under street level.

Fire magic is the easiest of the elemental magic for me, and in this situation none other was better. I lit up the end of my staff with a soft light and found myself in the middle of a broken circle surrounded by flasks of blood.

"So this is where it happened, but why would they leave the blood here…" I spoke to myself, as is my habit.

"You!" a familiar voice accused, and I was at the wrong end of a sword. "I should have known it would be you. Did you think I would not notice your blatant use of black magic? You have broken the first law, this time the council will not be lenient!"

"Morgan, this isn't what it looks like!" I defended myself to the tall warden of the High Council. "I followed someone here."

"Freeze, put you weapons down!" Flash lights poured into the sewer, momentarily blinding me. But soon I saw Lieutenant Murphy's silhouette outlined by the light- crap!

"Murphy, get your men out of here!" I shouted.

"Your police will not protect you from council law!" Morgan growled and thrust his hand forward shouting unintelligible words. Evocation, is the direct and colorful form of magic, Morgan is incredibly good at it, even without a focus. Me? I can do two spells and I need a focus for them too.

"NO!" I jumped in front of Murphy holding my bracelet up. The invisible force struck my shield and threw me back on to Murphy and her men. Morgan was on them in an instant.

The wardens did not let something small like non magical authorities stand in the way of white council law. They would go through anything and anyone to bring black magic users, warlocks, and sorcerers to judgment. And right now my one strike had just expired in the eyes of Morgan the Chief Warden, and was to be executed, not withstanding the police.

"Have you lost your mind? You're going to kill somebody!" I shouted at the powerfully built man, who was nearly a century my senior, not that he looked it. I blocked a slash with my staff and hit Morgan full in the face with my kinetic ring. Morgan flew back disappearing in the darkness and right at that moment something cold and hard hit me in the back of my head. Lights out Harry Dresden, courtesy Chicago Police Department.

I woke up in a cell and found Karen Murphy on the other side of the bars.

"What the hell Murph?" I demanded angrily.

"We had a tip off. Some one told us where we would find the killer. You have no idea how surprised I was to find you down there." Murphy sounded angry and betrayed as well.

"You don't believe it was me, do you?" I was shocked. "It's me; I would never do something like that."

"Butters said you went to see him, said you looked at the bodies. What did you take, Dresden?" she coolly questioned.

"Nothing, Hell's bells Murphy, I was set up! I followed someone down there. I found all that crazy cult stuff down there!"

"Well, you have a staff and a wand. I don't think you can call anyone crazy, do you? Who was your friend who attacked us?"

"If you didn't notice, he was trying to chop off my head. Friends don't do that usually!" I massaged the back of my neck; I was beginning to get nervous. "You have to let me out of here, that guy will be back for me."

"Can't do that Dresden." She actually sounded a mix between sorry and disappointed. "What were you up to?" she asked softly, this time it was my friend asking the question not the police officer.

"I swear to you, I was tracking down the killer. I was looking for clues and saw this guy in robes and a cloak go down the manhole and followed. Then before I know it he's disappeared and I'm standing in the middle of all those flasks. "It's the truth, you have to believe me," I pleaded.

Murphy considered me for sometime. "I want to believe you, I do. But you lied to me this morning when I asked you twice if you knew something, you went to Butters, when you shouldn't have. I find you with flasks of the victim's blood and a man who attacked my men with a…a sword!" She paced outside and shook her head.

"It was a set up Karen," I usually didn't call her by her first name, but I was desperate. If she left me without my weapons and tools in the cell I would not be able to protect myself when the wardens came for me.

"Something doesn't smell right and-"

"Well we were in the sewers," I quipped.

"This isn't funny, you think this is funny? We're getting a warrant for your place. There had better not be anything suspicious in there. If I find any occult material linking you to the trident mark I'm taking you down." The fire had gone out of her words, and we both knew she was not feeling as tough as she was talking.

"Murph, think about it…how could I've done it?"

"Magic," she answered straight faced. "I saw some strange things tonight, it was dark but I know what I saw. That wasn't a blow torch in your hand, it was that stick, and fire came out of it like a flame thrower. Maybe you really are a wizard." There was a long silence between us, Murphy kept trying to catch my eyes but I never looked at her.

"Look me in the eyes Dresden, and tell me you had nothing to do with this!" she ordered.

"Trust me, you don't want me to look into your eyes. You don't want any wizard doing that," I told her gravely and my shoulders sagged, knowing that that was as good as admitting it to her. She scoffed and walked away but I stopped her. "If you leave me here tonight Murphy, I will be dead by morning."

"It won't help you to lie anymore, Dresden." She walked out the heavy metal door and the guard locked the holding cells behind her.

I finally knew why the killer or killers had been so obvious. It was a trap, for one Harry Dresden; the one known person in Chicago who would have the power to do something like that, if he chose to. Dread filled me, any moment now the wardens would arrive.

For sometime I sat defeated by how stupidly I had walked into it and the lack of faith from my own people and Murphy. But knowing if I did not do something soon to help myself I wouldn't have a lot of time for self pity I finally started looking for anything that could help me.

At the least I needed chalk or something to draw a protective circle, but even that Morgan might be capable of taking down. He was one man who could be more stubborn and obstinate than even me, and between us there would be a true battle of wills.

I looked high and low, and in every corner of the cell for something to make a mark on the ground. Finally, I found a sharp point sticking out of the bad welding job on the bench and cut my hand on it. Wincing at the sharp pain, I pinched the flesh around the cut forcing more blood out and drew a circle in the cemented floor. Then I gathered my magic and willed it closed.

A loud clang sounded lights out and I waited sitting hunched over within the circle.

I sat waiting for them, all I wanted to do was lie down but I had only so much blood to draw the circle and for a guy who's nearly six feet and half it takes a mighty big circle to lie in. It was two hours later that I noticed something. First the outer gate to the holding area slid aside, without any sign of someone opening it, then the door to my cell slid aside, and finally I heard their footsteps.

Wardens, most pretty good at casting veils, but not seeing them doesn't mean you can't hear them. And whoever these guys were they weren't exactly trying to hide the fact they were there, not from me anyway. The normals wouldn't have seen them come in, and frankly your average cop isn't looking for invisible intruders.

"Harry Dresden," one of them called my name and I looked up from my cramped place on the floor. They dropped the veil and I saw them standing in the gray cloaks of their office and holding swords that gave them their authority.

"By law of the White Council we are to carry out the Doom of Damocles placed on you. You have broken the first law!" I don't care who you are if you have three wardens telling you they will chop off your head, you're afraid, very afraid.

I did not know this group, Morgan was suspiciously absent. All three were new, last time I was at a white council meeting they were all still in their brown apprentice robes.

"And a good evening to you too fellas…must be my faulty memory but I do believe there is that annoying little detail called a trial I'm supposed to get." I annoy people when I'm nervous, and nothing irritates wardens more than people not taking them seriously, it's stupid, I really should take them seriously.

"I have some details for you too, warlock. The Doom of Damocles was placed on you for killing your master, one slip-up and your head was to come off. Second detail, you killed three mortals with magic, by law the doom falls on you!" The bald warden unsheathed his sword. Behind him the younger man and woman also drew their weapons.

I don't take kindly to being accused of using black magic, and now I was angry. Anger is good, it gives me power for my magic - I can use it. "Don't be so melodramatic, you'd think after a millennium the council would have a better name than Doom of Damocles." I stood to my full height and was satisfied to see I was at least a head taller than all of them. "I didn't kill anyone and I don't appreciate being called a warlock, warden." I stared him in the eye and he looked away, as a wizard he knew he didn't want to get caught in a soul gaze with me. "Tell me are you ready to murder me?"

They hadn't noticed my protective circle, I couldn't wait to see the arrogant bastard attack me. I guess my words made an impression because he looked nervous and shared an uncertain glance with his comrades.

"Morgan said he would try to talk his way out of it. Finish it!" the heavy set woman ordered, I guess she was the one with rank. Baldy brought his sword down in a perfect swipe at my neck. I was ready for it, but suddenly a shot rang out and then the warden was on the floor clutching his arm to himself screaming. I could see blood shining on the hand cradling his arm. I'm good but not that good.

"Put your weapons down and get on your knees!" Murphy stood in textbook shooting stance with two uniforms flanking her. She was the one to shoot ol' baldy in the arm – my hero! The other two wardens didn't miss a beat, the heavy set woman squared off against the police holding her staff horizontally – I hadn't seen that before. The other jumped and twisted in the air with his saber, making up for the difference between my height and his, he was quick but I only had to think to summon my will.

Just then Murphy and her boys opened fire, but the bullets stopped visibly in front of the lady warden. I had my own neck to worry about, the blade coming at me hit my barrier and my circle flared red, his sword and he were repelled backward into the bars opposite me. The ranking warden saw she was the last one standing and thrust her staff in Murphy's direction sending a blue force which knocked out Murphy and her boys.

It's one thing to try and take off my head, it's entirely another if you mess with my friends. I tend to do something stupid and dangerous. I broke my circle, very stupid, picked up the long sword and leveled it against baldy's neck, also stupid.

"Don't touch her or he gets the beheading he was itching for!" I can sound scary when I want to, and I needed to then. Wardens have a carte blanche when it comes to dealing with witnesses.

"Fuck you Dresden!" Baldy doesn't like me too much. He was grunting in pain and I saw Murphy'd shot his elbow, his arm would never be the same. I've said it once I'll say it again, Murphy is good people.

"We'll be back for you warlock! You can't hide behind the police." She picked up the rookie I'd sent flying into the bars and disappeared from sight. I filed away the knowledge that it was she who'd cast the veil, I waited till I couldn't hear their footsteps anymore and then knocked out Baldy.

Their inexperience showed, any warden worth their weight would have noticed my circle, would not have been distracted by the normals and would have cut us all down.

"Murph! Murph!" I had to slap her awake. I had her gun between my eyes before I knew it.

"Hey now, that's no way to treat your savior." I grinned at her; relieved she was alright and held my hands up.

"Dresden, what?" she was dazed.

"Easy there, Murphy, the other two took off, you alright?"

"Yeah, where did they go?"

"Hey point that thing somewhere else! They went that-a-way" I pointed to the open gate leading out and just then the cavalry arrived with guns drawn.

"Maloney, Horton, lock that bastard up!" she ordered the fresh arrivals pointing her gun at the warden she'd winged earlier.

"Dresden, drop the sword and come with me."

"You're the boss!" I can never really say no to her, not for long, good thing she doesn't know that.

"Lieutenant, he's under arrest," Maloney pointed out. I nodded, the man had a point.

"As of now he's in protective custody. Dresden will be cooperating fully with us." She turned and fixed me with a look that dared me to say anything. "That one tried to behead him, how the hell did they get in and out without anyone seeing them? Get me the tapes!" Murphy shouted at Horton who was on front desk that night, he'd signed me in, great customer service.

She stalked out of the holding area and I followed, almost giddy that she defended me…and that I still had my head. That was before she slammed me into the guard office, no easy thing, she's hardly over a hundred pounds and a foot and half shorter than me.

"The tape won't show me anything will it? You know how I know that? Because I was watching the monitors and didn't see anyone come in.

"Your head shouldn't be attached to your neck. You know how I know that? Because you shouldn't have been able to throw a man through the air without doing a thing.

"And then somehow my bullets were stopped and two of my men and I were downed by a woman shouting some Latin! Which didn't happen because things like that don't happen!" she shouted jerking my collar. She sighed and fell heavily in the guard chair; I dropped my hands and kept leaning against the wall.

She looked vulnerable; I'd never seen Murphy like that. I'm usually good at taking care of women, I listen well, I do, but I really didn't know what to do for her.

"Thanks," I said, she looked at me confused, "for shooting that guy!' I added awkwardly. She snorted, should girls be allowed to snort? Go Dresden! you got her mind off of it.

"I need to know," she said quietly but firmly and looked up at me, she'd almost caught my eyes again but I hung my head just in time. "I need to know," she repeated.

"What do you want me to say?" I tried to think of something. "If you believe there is something to know then you already know it." There! A perfectly ambiguous wizard response, sometimes I really do live up to my title. Murphy kicked me in the shin for that.

"What the hell, Murph!" I looked up and she grabbed me by the ears and caught my eyes. Hell's Bells! Murph, you really are too smart for your own good. The soul gaze began quicker than it had ever before; maybe I was just tired of hiding from her.

I saw her standing in a rolling green meadow, there was darkness creeping like tar on the edges of the meadow. She was holding it back with an outstretched hand that focused the force of her will; she was protecting hundreds of faceless people behind her.

Then I saw a little girl watching her father holster his revolver and ruffle her hair before leaving through the front door, I saw her looking longingly after him. I saw her grown up a little, her hand clenching a police badge standing over a grave, crying. I saw her grown up again, sitting in a wicker chair, her gun held in one hand and a single tear on her face – alone in endless gray.

Finally, I saw her as she is now holding her hand out to me, the corner of her lips quirked up in an amused half-smile. The soul gaze ended, and she stumbled back.

I stepped forward to steady her but she shrunk away from me and fell into the plastic chair. Her face had paled and she looked at me with wide frightened eyes. Yeah, and that was the real reason I didn't want her to see my soul, most people have that reaction, and I couldn't stand the thought of her looking at me like that.

"I – I didn't know," she whispered, still looking at me, now with less fear.

"What's there to know?" I shrugged carelessly, though I really wanted to know. I've don't things I don't like to think about, things have happened to me that I don't think about – the kind of things that leave a stain on the soul. I've always wondered what people see in my eyes.

"Nothing," she said after a long time, and now her eyes held sympathy. I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding; maybe I'd make out of this with her still my friend. "Did you see…something in me too?" she asked me, I nodded yes, knowing she'd want to know what. "What did you see?"

I couldn't tell her that I saw the pain that she carried of her father's death and the strength she drew from him. And I couldn't tell her I knew she was alone, with no one holding her hand or protecting her. But I still wanted to tell her I saw her kindness, I saw the courage in her soul as she stood against the terrible things she saw everyday and protected so many people she didn't know.

"You look cute in pigtails," I smirked at her; that was all I could manage to say. She frowned at me and we shared a meaningful look; neither of us was ready to share what we had seen. Finally, she smiled and nodded.

"You didn't do it," she simply stated.

"What?" I cupped my ear, pretending to be hard of hearing.

"You're innocent," she ground out crossing her arms. Murphy doesn't apologize. "You looked guilty as hell," she muttered.

"Well, great, I'm off then before my would-be be-headers show up again. Can I have my things?"

"Dresden, I can't just let you go. I have to explain how this happened, and you need to tell me what is going on," she snapped, regaining her usual composure.

"This is not the time, trust me," I pleaded. "Those guys, you saw what they can do, they're coming back for me, and if I don't have my things I can't protect myself."

"That's why you are in protective police custody!" she steadily returned.

"Murphy, are you out of your mind? Did you forget what you saw in there? Those were only rookies. Do you think you can stand up to them?" That was the wrong thing to say, Murphy's expression closed off. You'd think I'd be smarter than telling her she was powerless after I'd just read her soul. "Look, I don't mean you're weak…" I really should just shut my mouth.

"That's big of you," she retorted sarcastically. "You'll get your things, but you're staying with me, even if I have to cuff you to myself, is that clear?"

"Well when you put it that way, of course!" I winked suggestively – she kicked my shin again. Damn, I can't even claim police brutality, they'd never believe little Murphy is a bully.

The precinct was buzzing. There would be hell to pay for what happened. As I was at the center of it I didn't really want to be there when the top brass arrived or worse the press. Murphy ordered everyone on alert and sent them looking for the two wardens. I expected they were long gone but didn't stop her from looking. She wouldn't have appreciated my input.

I looked over to the clock and saw it was about to strike midnight and a chill went up my spine, all manner of terrible things are conjured and done between the witching hour and three in the morning. I had a feeling anyone who set me up would be moving on to do whatever they needed to do to while the high council's wardens were tracking me down.

They don't call wizards 'The Wise' for nothing, we know things, we can see things; and it so happened the little chill I had was a nudge of the premonition kind. Two hours later, having drunk cold coffee and eaten old donuts I was sitting in Murphy's cubicle – I had shorted her computer already, luckily she didn't notice. This is when Murphy's partner was lucky enough to pass by someone calling in about a weirdo convention by the docks.

The Good Samaritan was fairly concerned they were in zoning law violation and besides they were weird. Showing more inquisitiveness than usual he asked what was weird and lo and behold the weirdoes were wearing robes carrying staffs and were singing drinking songs.

"More wizards, Dresden?" he asked me in his typical skeptical manner. Of course, he'd missed the whole show in the holding cells and didn't believe anything he saw in the sewers.

"Can't say, didn't get an invite." I smiled and shrugged. "But I bet money the people we're looking for are probably the inebriated weirdoes." He didn't buy it and honestly I didn't want him to. The last thing I wanted was to have the regular police show up to a gathering of warlocks. But it also meant I had to get away and catch the real bad guy for the wardens.

Now I've probably mentioned this before but I'm not very good at veils, I'm more talented in finding and tracking down things and then blowing them up. Veils are delicate and fine work, but then I had no choice but to concentrate and cast the best veil I could.

Pretty soon there was an illusion of me nodding off in the visitor chair and I was off with my staff and blasting rod to the lake front. I had the sense to leave Murphy a note telling her where I was going, at the time I was sure I'd have it all in the bag and she could pick up the bad guys when I was done with them - silly me.


The night had cooled down enough that I was actually missing my duster, something I usually never went anywhere without, but the hot summer had forced me to give it up. I paid the cab with the little cash I was carrying and made my way over to the warehouses.

I had just started when I felt the first wave of black magic like a sick intoxicating perfume. I quickly controlled the urge to reach out and take the magic and do with it what I willed. That is the nature of black magic, it is seductive, the power is hard to ignore; once you've tasted it you always want more. Right then it became a beacon for me to follow and I did as quietly as I could.

I found Morgan, I was wondering where he was. It seemed that the Wardens, the fully ranked ones, and I had managed to end up in the same place again. Unfortunately for me, Wardens don't believe in coincidences, so I stayed hidden to save myself from the usual attempts of legal execution.

Morgan and three of his oldest lieutenants were flanking the small door that led into the warehouse through a flight of stairs going down. Seeing this group I realized he had no one to spare but the rookies for me, my ego was not so bruised anymore. They slipped inside the door, their gray cloaks flapped behind; I didn't envy the warlocks inside. I had to admit I was excited to see the wardens take down some bad guys, now that the bad guy wasn't me; there was bound to be some awesome magic.

So I sneaked in right after them, I was more than a bit curious about who framed me and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to say 'told you so' to Morgan. I should have been more careful; I had an idea what kind of people we were dealing with and what they were capable of. Needless to say, I lost all excitement when I got a good look at what was happening.

There was a summoning circle in the middle of the open floor. From where I stood hidden behind crates I could see a bodies lying on the north, south, east, and west axis. The bodies were small, I was very afraid they were children…and from the looks of it I was too late to save them. Flasks, like I'd seen in the sewer, were sitting inside the edge of the circle – they were full. I felt my blood boil, the sigils on my blasting rod began to glow; it takes a twisted warlock to do human sacrifice.

Seven warlocks stood with linked hands and staffs around the circle, a joined summoning is a dangerous and difficult task. I was taught how to do it, but always warned against it. Whatever they were trying to summon was powerful enough that they would need a magical number of people to bend it to their will.

The wardens understood that and moved in, it says something for the seriousness of the situation given how risky it is to interrupt a summoning like this. Anything could happen, none of it good.

Morgan moved his staff in a steady arc and the earth quaked terrifically, another called a great wind and the last two added fire. In a moment I was standing on the brink of a miniature cataclysm. Even used to magic I couldn't help being scared of the incredible power unleashed and got on all fours to steady myself.

When the firestorm and shaking stopped I was stunned to see the warlocks continuing their summoning, they had created a circle of protection outside the circle of summoning. But it isn't possible to maintain a protective circle and be part of a ritual circle inside it – no one is that powerful.

"Watch out, it's a veil!" I shouted at the wardens, realizing only a moment before it was too late that there were others we could not see inside the first circle.

"Dresden! What the fuck?" Warden Rasmussen swore, before three warlocks showed themselves. Lucky me, I think Morgan and his other lieutenant Guzman were going to attack me. The formerly invisible warlocks broke their circle and walked through to face us, two old women and a man so ancient looking I had to stop myself from using my third eye to see if he was veiling his walker.

Morgan raised his hand shining a blinding disorienting light; I saw his lieutenants leap on the warlocks with their swords before all I could see was white. There was a horrible scream of a woman and then a gurgle, quickly followed by someone's pained gasp. And then darkness so deep I couldn't even find my hand in front of my eyes hid everything – that was definitely not Morgan's work.

"Leave here you white council dogs," the old warlock spoke with a strangely strong voice. And then my tongue and throat were on fire, as if someone had taken a hot poker and pushed it inside my mouth. I wasn't the only one screaming, the warlock had managed to curse all of us. I tried to cast a shield, but the agony was too much, I couldn't gather my will.

The earth started to quake again, and with it came a freezing wind chilling me to my soul, even with my tongue and throat burning. Whatever Morgan was doing broke the concentration of the warlock and I drank the cold air greedily. Morgan is one of the few who has the control for earth elemental magic, and compliments it with water.

I was done watching, I had enough fear, pain and anger in me to blow the roof off. My blasting rod was in my hand and I aimed where I'd seen the warlocks last and cried my spell.

Fire burst from the rod uncontrolled, and a huge ball flew threw the air fighting the darkness around us. I saw the badly aimed fireball fly between the old man and the woman on his right but it was powerful enough to make her jump out of the way.

The old warlock stood where he was simply bringing his staff up. Whatever spell he'd used to cast the thick darkness was lifted and the blue flames flickering on the wardens' staffs lit up the room. Morgan gave me an incredulous look unsure of who he should attack. His lieutenants were still recovering, and for the moment he was without back up.

Just to reassure him I whipped my staff at the warlock sending out blue force. Instead of shielding himself the warlock copied me and sent his own spell back at me. But his was wider and more powerful; it knocked me off my feet and sent me flying in the air. I'd paid for trying a simple attack, should have learned when he shrugged off my fireball.

Morgan and his two standing lieutenants were thrown with me; I found the fourth of their group next to where I fell. I didn't know him by name, didn't look like we'd have time for introductions though. He had been killed in the darkness; his body was contorted as if someone had twisted him like a wrapper from head to toe. The summoning continued with earnest chanting, magic began to escape the circle, I had to stop them.

"We summon the vessel, accept the blood and take our master, we summon the vessel, we summon the cursed!"

Morgan jumped to his feet calling wind to propel him in the air. He was furious, he raised his hand and staff and shouted in a guttural tongue, and I kid you not, jagged rock tore through the floor and crashed into the two surviving warlocks outside the summoning circle.

"We summon the vessel, accept the blood and take our master, we summon the vessel, we summon the cursed!"

Before she was killed the second woman threw some dark small thing at Rasmussen and hissed words I did not know. Whatever it was grew into thorny vines and wrapped around him even as rock cut through the woman's shield and chest. She died but she took Rasmussen with her. He had tried to burn it with conjured fire but her thorny vines stabbed six inch thorns into him and he fell buried in the evil bramble. He was a decent guy, I disliked him the least.

"We summon thee, speaker of the fallen tongue! We summon thee, speaker of the fallen tongue!"

Morgan and his right hand man Guzman were left besides me, the old man was alive but the two women were dead, one had been cleanly beheaded. I didn't see that happen, but it must have been when Morgan blinded us all. Two wardens were down and two warlocks, this duel hadn't started well. Guzman shot electricity through his staff at the leering old warlock.

"Even if you kill me, it's too late to stop us!" he wheezed finally showing his age, he hadn't been able to block all of Morgan's rocks and was weakened by Guzman. "You have no idea what we have called, and once my master takes it, we will be unstoppable!"

"Who is your master?" Morgan demanded, leveling the point of his sword at the old warlock. I wanted to know too, but just then in the turbulent summoning circle a shape started materializing and we had to stop it from coming through.

"We summon thee, speaker of the fallen tongue! We summon thee, speaker of the fallen tongue!"

I ran crossing the protective circle and felt the remnants of magic in it, the old warlock saw me. He dropped his guard against Guzman and like the old dirty black magic evil son of a bitch that he was pulled out a berretta and started shooing at me.

Now using guns against wizards is a good idea, most of them don't think about them because they can use magic, that is why I usually kept a gun – I hate finding a like minded fella. He got me square in the shoulder but didn't stop there.

"We summon thee, speaker of the fallen tongue! We summon thee, speaker of the fallen tongue!"

Luckily, my mother's bracelet came up to deflect the next three shots which went straight into the circle of the seven warlocks busy chanting – and then they were five. The old man made a mistake turning his back on Morgan, I only saw the sword catch the light from the fire for a second, and then the old man slumped to the ground in two pieces.

My shoulder was killing me but the anger and fear of being shot at helped me deal with it, those two emotions are too good to lay waste when magic needs to be done. Behind me three warlocks broke away from their circle, leaving two to continue the ritual. One of them closed the protective circle but not before Guzman crossed over and the other two made for me and the warden. Morgan was stuck out side and was striking the circle with his sword trying to break through.

"We summon thee, speaker of the fallen tongue! We summon thee, speaker of the fallen tongue!"

Their spells were getting desperate. Magic was leaking off the circle in torrents and shaking us deep inside our bodies. And, of course, while we had a potentially massive magical meltdown three feet from us we were all trying to kill each other. Guzman was matching literal fire with fire with one warlock; I was amazed how in control he was of his preferred element without a staff. I'm more…explosive, so casting it without a focus is like pulling a grenade pin and playing catch with it.

My tormentor displayed some traditional black magic ickiness and produced blood sucking bats that darted around me, scratching and biting and growing more and more vicious. She stood back calmly controlling her necro pets – I was losing spectacularly. They dodged my fire, bounced back from my kinetic blasts, bit my knuckles when I punched them, flew under my staff when I swung it, I admit doing the last two was silly.

"Accept our blood offer, speaker of the fallen tongue, we have summoned thee!"

I sneaked a peak and looked like something was standing in the dark cloud, twisting within the circle. I had no time to fool around; I channeled all my pain and frustration and called wind, "Ventas Servitas!"

I swung my staff and crashed it on the ground and the wind flew with vengeance at the warlock. Her bats got caught up in my handy-dandy twister and master and pets skidded into the one maintaining the protective circle. Morgan stepped through as soon as it fell, and in his typical unfazed manner plunged his sword in her stomach, pinning her to the floor.

She screamed so horribly that my heart ached with pity. I watched horrified as she grasped the sharp blade trying to pull it out but only cutting her hands on it. Blood trickled out of the corners of her lips and my hands shook at the sight of Morgan looking coldly down at her – this was justice of the high council. It made me sick.

"Get away from her!" I shouted, not knowing when I had brought to bear my staff at Morgan's neck. I can't see women in pain, and whatever mark black magic had left on her was gone from her agonized whimpers. She died clutching the double edged blade of the sword and looking me in the eye. There was no soul gaze...she was gone before it could begin.

In that moment I could have killed him without regret, there was enough black magic in the air that I could feel it coating my skin, it was only the difference of a thought and not that I needed to call it to me. Morgan stared at me with disgust, I could have cared less.

"She was beaten, why did you kill her?" I snarled.

"She was a warlock," his deep voice didn't waver in the least, and I understood he was calling both her and me a warlock. I met his eyes, after all he had forced a soul gaze on me years ago, and it doesn't happen with people who you've seen already.

"Goddamn you, she was human!"

"Accept the blood and take our master, we summon thee, speaker of the fallen tongue! We summon thee, speaker of the fallen - agh!"

That interruption in the chant distracted me; Guzman had been busy. I saw blood sputter out of the warlock's throat he had just cut and left to bleed, and just over there was the one Guzman had been fighting burned below the waist moaning in magical handcuffs.

There were now two left still summoning, and they could not control the magic, the shape in the dark cloud was doubled over inside the circle. If the warlocks had thought it would take seven of them to summon and bind this being or creature to their will then there was no way only two could control it. Morgan and I would have to settle our differences later.

"We summon thee, speaker of the fallen tongue! We summon thee, speaker of the fallen tongue!"

Guzman was already ahead of me. He shocked the warlocks by joining their circle, showing an incredible ability and power, and began countering them.

"I banish thee demon, return whence you came, I banish thee demon, return whence you came!" He began, and I took a place opposite him. I let myself feel the flow of the disrupted magic, trying to guess where I should make myself part of it. It was impossible to predict, finally I just barged in – that strategy hadn't failed me yet, I was alive wasn't I?

"We summon thee, speaker of the fallen tongue! We summon thee, speaker of the fallen tongue!"

"I banish thee demon, return whence you came, I banish thee demon, return whence you came!" I chanted along with Guzman, Morgan was probably wondering what I was playing at. I just hoped he knew not to kill the last warlocks; we needed them to keep the circle from going nova. Guzman had already blundered by cutting down the magical number of three to two when he had slaughtered his latest warlock.

"We summon thee, speaker of the fallen tongue! We summon thee, speaker of the fallen tongue!"

"I banish thee demon, return whence you came, I banish thee demon, return whence you came!"

"We summon thee, speaker of the fallen tongue! We summon thee, speaker of the fallen tongue!"

"I banish thee demon, return whence you came, I banish thee demon, return whence you came!"

The two warlocks were powerful and chanted fanatically, but then again no one ordinary stays alive as a warden as long as Guzman had and I'm not too shabby myself. The creature inside the circle was confused, being pulled and pushed at the same time. I really hoped we'd win, because if he came over he'd be mad as hell. Speaking of hell, he could be from hell, or the Netherworld or some other creature of the Nevernever. Either way demon or Faerie, it'd be one powerful son of a bitch.

"We summon thee, speaker of the fallen tongue! We summon thee, speaker of the fallen tongue!"

And that was it, whatever they had called decided to throw its own weight into the equation and with an incredible deafening bang it stood in the circle. My ears were ringing, and my head was spinning, I felt like I wasn't really where I was while some part of me was yelling at me to get a hold of myself. The dark cloud disappeared in a vortex, and we all stood stunned most by the magical lash but also by what had come through.

I loathe demons who take human shape, it's not for them. This one could have been one of the old gods or a Fae from deep in the Nevernever to take a human shape so well. Couldn't be a skinwalker, all this was a lot more than what's needed to call one of those.

He hadn't attacked the circle yet to break through, but his manic green eyes under the lightning scar on his forehead promised that the main event was just about to begin…Hell's Bells!


Kudos to Litha for thinking this could be a good cross over. Let me know what you all think – this is a lot different from my usual style.

Next chapter will go into Harry Potter's POV. So all you Harry Centric fic fans, he will continue his dramatic entrance.