Instead of waiting for Murphy to come back to kick my ass, I decided to get some work done. I couldn't put off the inevitable, but I could be productive in the meantime. I marched down the subbasement with the dogasaurus on my heels.
"Hey, Bob. Wake up, lazybones," I announced as I went downstairs.
"Harry," Bob practically growled with his non-existent throat, "I'm in the middle of something."
"What?" I asked.
"Two Icelandic twins and Marshall's quivering member," he said with a giddiness that could only be described as obscene. I almost tripped on the last step. I really should be used to this by now, but sometimes, Bob still managed to surprise me.
"This is not the time for an orgy. We got to get to work," I stated.
Bob sighed. His eyelights finally started flickering inside his skull.
"Have I taught you nothing, Harry? There's always time for an orgy," he replied patiently.
"What is it this time? Trolls, Fairies, Runaway Unicorns?"
"No, I don't plan on getting skewered anytime soon, but thank you for bringing up such a painful memory," I replied with equal snark.
"No one ever plans to get run through by a unicorn horn, but that happens to you anyway. Best to remain prepared," Bob replied.
I gathered a few old books and put them on my desk, "Noted."
"Now, if that's all for today, I have…"
"Not so fast, skullbrain. I need your take on this," I said and filled him in on the events of that day. It took longer than expected, mostly due to his insistence on a precise description on what Murphy and Molly were wearing that day.
"A motorcycle vixen and a naughty schoolgirl all in one day. My, what a charmed life you lead, Harry," Bob stated wistfully.
"Bob," I snapped, coming to the end of my patience.
"Alright, alright. All work and no lay makes you a very cranky boy," Bob commented.
"Bob, I swear I will replace all of your books with the entire Twilight series… in multiple languages."
Bob's eyelights narrowed at me, "You wouldn't dare."
I smiled at him.
"All the glow-in-the-dark vampires and teenage angst you could handle."
"You're an evil man, Harry Dresden," he replied.
I stepped back, "Am I really?"
"For threatening me with Stephanie Meyer novels, definitely. In a more general sense though, I suppose not. But, you know how the whole good/evil thing confuses me," he said.
"Yeah," I replied. Note: if you ever getting a lab assistant in the form a spirit of knowledge and air, never ask them for moral advice. Bob's job is to help me accomplish my goals, not necessarily tell me if it's the right thing to do.
"I need you to tell me everything you can about my mother," I said.
"Harry…" Bob replied with something bordering on concern coloring his voice, "Are you sure?"
"Listen, Bob, something's coming. Something big and it involves my mother," I said and touched at the silver pentacle hanging from my neck, "And probably some secrets I'd rather not know, but I don't think I have a choice."
Bob sighed, "I'll do my best, Harry. But your mother wasn't called Margaret Le Fay for nothing. She knew how to hide, even from the White Council."
"I guess that's one thing we don't have in common."
"Perhaps," Bob commented, "But Harry, it's not that you can't hide, you chose not to. In fact, before you became a warden, I think you liked being a pain in the ass of the White Council. You've always preferred frontal assault, your mother was more of a guerrilla warrior. Same goals, different tactics."
"What were her goals? I liked pissing off the White Council cause I don't like people trying to kill me. Especially when I didn't know better. What was her beef?" I asked.
"Her beef?" Bob commented, "My, Harry, you gotten eloquent in your old age."
I put my forehead into my hands in frustration.
"Bob," I growled.
"Your mother was a do-gooder at heart," Bob replied.
I lifted my head up, "I thought you didn't do the whole good/evil thing."
"I don't. But your mother liked making morals smile. She helped when she could and used magic, in the beginning, only on the rarest of occasions, when there was no way out," he replied.
I took a breath, "She helped people?"
"Then why does everyone I know give her so much bullshit?"
Bob let out a sound that similar to a huff, "Cause she helped humans, Harry. Vanilla mortals. And trust me, Harry, the White Council was even more apathetic to their problems then than they are now."
"So what happened?" I asked.
"She got angry. Everyone, including Ebenezar, thought she was wasting her gifts. She was apprentice of Blackstaff, and she was using her magic to help town build wells or fugitives to escape war. She also saw how magic was being used to harm moral, but as long as they stayed with in the laws of magic, they were never punished."
My fingers traced over my mother's shield bracelet, "And that's when she started making demands of the White Council."
"Yes, she even called The Merlin a yellow bellied coward," Bob recalled.
I laughed. Go Mom!
"I bet Ebenezar loved that," I said and then looked at Bob a little more closely.
"You know a lot about my mother," I said.
Bob sighed, "I'm a spirit of knowledge. That's what I do. I know things."
I got up, "Yeah, but this is different. It's not like you going through archives. You sound like you were there. Like you saw this happening."
"What aren't you telling me, Bob?" I asked.
"She never was involved. She never said yes," Bob started.
"Spit it out," I said, losing some of my patience.
"Kemmler had me follow her over a quarter century. She was strong and rebellious. He thought she's make a good disciple. Especially with her problems with the White Council," he said.
Bob paused and then continued, "After Kemmler was killed the last time in '61, Justin learned about Kemmler's interest in her and tried to… woo her."
I throw up in my mouth a bit.
"Yes, Harry. But your mother rejected him and just like Kemmler, Justin tried to get me to follow her."
"Tried? You couldn't?" I asked.
"Your mother was often in the Nevernever. And had taken up with Lord Raith," Bob stated, "Justin's watch was vigilant, if distant. Enough to know when you were born and when your power manifested."
"What else?" I asked, though I wasn't sure I could take anymore.
"Nothing that you don't already know," Bob replied.
I scratched my head, "What about me? My birth?"
"I know what you know."
"But there has to be something. I know my mother died cause of Raith's entropy curse, but there's more to it. I know it," I said with a conviction that surprised even me.
"Then you know more than I, Harry Dresden. If you want to know more about your birth, you should talk to your mother's midwife."
That wasn't a bad idea. Wizards can't go to hospitals. Our powers make modern technology go BOOM. So in order to make sure a wizard doesn't cut off someone's oxygen, when a female wizard gives birth, it's often at Edinburgh where Wizard McQuean serves as the midwife. She's been doing for at least 300 years, last I heard. She might have even midwifed The Merlin, back when he was just Arthur Langtry.
"Maybe, but going to Edinburgh would just be annoying," I said.
"Edinburgh?" Bob asked and then coughed, "Harry, I thought you knew."
I raised my eyebrows, "Knew what?"
Bob said the next words slowly, like he was worried about revealing this bit of info, "You weren't born in Edinburgh. Your mother gave birth while in the Nevernever."
I coughed and tried to take this in.
"Then who was the midwife?" I asked.
Bob said softly, "You tell me."
I thought and the answer was obvious. The midwife, the one who helped give birth to me, was the second-strongest figure in the Winter Court of the Fae, Leanansidhe. My godmother.