Chapter 4

Murphy sat down. "So…" she trailed off. "Everything you told me—or didn't tell me—about… about magic. It was all real."

Dresden glanced at Silver beside him, then Bob—the ghost. "Yeah, that about sums it up."

"And you never told me because this 'Council' would have had me killed."

"High Council," Dresden corrected, seemingly automatically. "Yeah."

"And you can tell me now… why?"

"Because I do not forbid it, Connie Murphy." The voice was light and sylvan, inhuman and powerful.

Murphy's eyes fell on the speaker as the Silver moved, light catching on her coat and making a vague halo around her body—complete theatrics, of course.

"Harry Dresden no longer falls under the dominion of the High Council. He is mine, now."

Too calmly, Murphy turned to look at Dresden. "Your dog is talking."

He winced, "Yeah, about that…"


Murphy had long since resigned herself to insanity where the self-proclaimed Wizard was involved, but this was ridiculous. Dresden had a ghost and belonged to his dog, who happened to not be a dog at all and was instead some kind of magical dragon from fairytales. She sat on the edge of the chair, rubbing her temples.

"… All right, I believe you."

Not like she had much choice, at this point. The ghost had introduced himself by walking through a wall and the dog had grinned at her and shapeshifted into a silvery tiger before going back to oversized dog form. That wasn't proof of a dragon, but Harry had said that the dragon-form was probably too big to fit in the room. So she'd give the magical shapshifting canine the benefit of the doubt.

"Good," said magical shapshifting canine stated briskly, standing. "Now, Harry Dresden, the ward I broke at the crime scene…"


The sharp sylvan glance Murphy received shut her up.

Silver fur shifted as the dragon-turned dog shook her head in a very human gesture, "Yes, ward. There was no bomb; it was a ward designed to short-out a Wizard's power in much the same way Magic shorts out electronics."

Harry winced.

Silver glanced at him and finished her explanation for the Mundane's benefit, "It would have caused an extremely painful death. I… overloaded it. Perhaps not the best idea, as it did cause the explosion, but it was the swiftest way to destroy it and my Wizard was… uncomfortably close to it."

"So… you blew up a ward—which brought in the bomb squad and ruined the crime scene—because otherwise Dresden was going to accidentally kill himself."

"Yes. The ward was not Black Magic and therefore he was not as wary as he perhaps should have been."

"Right. I'm not going to ask," Murphy was back to rubbing her temples.

"It wasn't Black," Dresden muttered, standing and starting to pace, frowning. "What color was it?"

"White," the Silver returned calmly, "Though the Intent was darker than any I have before felt."

Bob winced. He knew the implications of being able to turn the White to evil. That took talent, power, and ingenuity. More so by far than the same with the Black—the Black was expected to be evil. Like using the Black for good cause, using the White for malicious intent was possible, but difficult.

"And the perpetrator must have known that a Wizard would be on the case," Bob muttered aloud, "Or he or she would never have left a trap such as a Magic Reversal ward, especially not by going to such lengths to conceal its true purpose."

"Right," Harry agreed, continuing to pace, "Which means whoever it is is good—really good."

Silver nodded once, falling silent and moving to go lie near Murphy's chair, allowing the ghost and Wizard to theorize on their own.

"And it also explains why the Council hasn't picked up on it yet."

A silver ear flicked slightly as Murphy's hand came to rest on the top of the apparent canine's head, absently rubbing.

Amused, Silver allowed the minor indignity, deciding that the human woman needed some semblance of normality in her suddenly overturned view of reality.

"So this 'High Council' only picks up on Black Magic?"

"Not precicesly, my Lady," Bob corrected, "but the Black is the… simplest to watch for. They also look for the misuse of Magic, but the misuse of the White is almost unheard of. It would be… more difficult to pinpoint."

"Right," Murphy shook her head, slightly creeped out, "Like killing with a needle full of air."

"… Right," Dresden agreed after a moment. They seemed to be saying that a lot lately. "But we don't have enough information. I have no idea who or what we might be looking for."


My puppy's gone.

The friend I was bording her at—well, her boyfriend got rid of my puppy one day while she was out. Apparently they'd been fighting over said puppy for a while and he finally just gave her to a co-worker of his who was looking ofr a high-energy dog. He was a friend, too, but I was mad at him—and, before I found out where he sent her to, he got killed in a car crash.

I felt terrible—but at the same time, I'm still mad at him for not telling where my puppy went. But at least she's alive and, from what I heard, well.

It is… enough. For now.

But I miss them both—him and the puppy.

Short chapter, and I apologize, but I'm stuck. Suggestions?