Lesser of Two Evils: From the Dresden Files #4

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.

The last two weeks had been exhausting for Harry Dresden. On top of his fruitless search for Azrial and scouring through his rather eclectic library looking for a way to contact Bob, he was also dodging the increasingly impatient summons of the White Council. What they wanted Harry had no idea, but it probably wasn't good. Hell, everyone on that council had it in for him with the exception of his mentor, who Harry wasn't on the most friendly terms with still. Make that definitely not good, probably not healthy. The only one who wasn't on his case in fact, was Murphy, and it was only a matter of time before she got frustrated with the lack of progress.

It was no wonder that when Morgan appeared inside his office without knocking that Harry was a bit out of sorts.

"Dresden."

"I don't have time for you right now Morgan." Harry ignored the looming presence behind him as he continued to take notes from the tome he was immersed in. Harry had already read through the book on summoning and most of the books on location charms. His current reading was general information about spirits and their abilities.

"The summons to the Council was not a suggestion."

"Have Mai come here herself if she wants to talk to me so badly." Harry snarked half-heartedly over his shoulder without turning to look at the other wizard. "I'm a bit busy at the moment."

Had Harry been paying proper attention he would have appreciated the effort Morgan was making not to attack him as he stalked closer to the still sitting wizard.

"If Ancient Mai has to come here I really do-" Morgan stopped short as he finally got a good look at the book Harry was looking at. "Why don't you just ask the skull any questions you may have instead of wasting my-"

This time Morgan was interrupted by the large forearm against his throat. Unfortunately, Harry had taken Morgan's sarcastic question as a sly dig.

"What have you done with Bob?"

"You've lost the skull again?" Morgan questioned harshly, thoroughly exasperated with him.

"I didn't loose him, he's incorporeal."

"Impossible."

"Obviously not since it's happened." Harry told him smugly. "So as you can see I'm a bit busy…"

"How did this happen?"

"Bob got in between Azrial and me as he was trying to suck my magic dry. Somehow Bob summoned enough magic to banish him, but he didn't have enough to keep his spirit together."

"Impossible."

"I don't think that word means what you think it means." Harry rasped a la the Princess Bride. Although the quote was incorrect it flew right over the humorless wizard's head. "So like I said I have things to do."

"The council needs your skills in a small matter-"

"What death, destruction, and property damage?"

"Yes. Perhaps we can come to a truce for the moment."

"I'm listening." Harry agreed reluctantly. Although he did not get along with the Council, he didn't want to needlessly alienate them any further that he'd already done.

"Our library is considerable, the information contained therein vast. After you help us you may use our books to help look for the skull."

"Sounds downright neighborly of you, but there's still Azrial to consider. He's running loose in Chicago as we speak and I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop." Harry responded cynically as he released his hold on Morgan's throat.

"We will stop Azrial while you solve a problem for us. The Black Court has kidnapped Marcone. We want you to retrieve him before his men start a war."

"Stars and Stones. Like I didn't have enough to worry about."