'You'd think that, in a big modern city, everyday work for an investigative wizard would be pretty scares and you'd be right: Lost and found, follow a cheating wife, divination and ghost hunting were all well and good but there were dozens of guys out there who claimed to do the same thing and they didn't have a two day minimum. But, every once in a while I got hired for something none of those others could. By someone who truly believed in what I could do. Those days made everything else seem worthwhile.'
Harry stood at the work bench in his lab, a look of fierce concentration on his face. He held his palms down on either side of a circle chalked on the table. Inside, a silver disk glittered as energy flowed into it. Behind him, Bob stood with his arms folded, uncharacteristically silent so as not to disturb the delicate spell. This was the final stage in a month long process and any mistake would ruin everything and they would have to start over. They had already had to do that once and Bob wasn't sure how he could put up with the complaints a second time.
The glow faded and Harry let out a tired breath and sagged onto the stool directly behind him. The first time he hadn't put it there and he's fallen right on his ass. Being a wizard and supposedly wise, he had learnt from his mistake. Bob stepped forward and bent over to inspect the focus of the spell.
"Well?" Dresden croaked and tried to swallow. His mouth was dry and he reached for the glass of water he had left on the side. See, learning.
"Hmm, not bad," The ghost mused as Harry drank, "Surprisingly adequate in fact. One might even go so far as to say 'good'"
"Careful Bob, that was almost a compliment" he drained the glass and stretched his aching muscles
"Well, I still don't understand why you couldn't manage it the first time. Even given the energy requirements, creating permanent incantations shouldn't be beyond you" Harry dropped his arms and smirked.
"That's more like it" He murmured and picked up the new talisman. It was about twice the size of a silver dollar and was not unlike the disks on his shield bracelet, although the symbols he had inscribed on it were aimed more towards spiritual energy rather than physical. It had taken a while to get a combination that would suit the clients' needs and still be stable. Speaking of which…
"Best get this to Jen before she fires me for taking so long" Bob turned his head sharply
"Is that wise?" He asked as Harry stood cautiously and groaned slightly
"Bob, if we don't get paid for this then the last two months have been a bust" The ghost closed his eyes and took a completely unnecessary breath
"No, that wasn't what I meant. You need time to recover yourself after a spell like this although I am personally more concerned with the fact that we still don't know exactly what Jen 'No-Last-Name' intends to do with that" Harry left the lab as Bob spoke and shook his head.
"Bob, it's a protection symbol. There isn't a whole lot of bad that can come from that."
"And it never crossed your mind to ask what, precisely, she or her sister need protection from?" The pair walking into the store and headed for Harry's desk
"If it was anything serious then she would have told me."
"Hm, yes. Because she is so forthcoming with information" Bob stopped and folded his arms again.
"Jen is a very private person and I respect that" Harry responded.
"And you're opinion has nothing to do with the tight trousers and the medical uniform?" He asked. Dresden reached his desk and picked up the phone. He gave the old spirit a knowing look.
"I have no idea what you're talking about" he said and started dialling.