Chapter 5

Curious about his reaction to the situation, Harry glanced over towards his ghostly mentor, taking care to make sure his look went unnoticed.

He drew in a sharp breath at the sight that met his eyes, but quickly had to disguise it to keep his friend from noticing his reaction.

He'd caught Bob in an off-guarded moment, one where he was being neither snarky nor sarcastic, his face open, and Harry could not deny the stunning stark beauty of the man, though ghost he may be. His white hair and pale eyes, along with his pale skin, made him seem as though he'd been carved from marble and then covered with sheer curtains.

He could tell, even in the clothes that Bob covered himself with, that the man had been in very good physical condition when he'd died.

The trousers that he consistently wore were of a material that clung to his legs when he moved, revealing firm calves and thighs that had probably been used many times. Harry couldn't also help but notice the breadth of his shoulders beneath the fitted suit, and for some odd reason felt his fingers aching to move at the sight.

He wondered how much of it was accurate, and how much of it was simply Bob's projection of himself the way he remembered being…it was intriguing question, but one that was not easily asked or answered.

Quickly, he tamped down on his reaction and instead tried to focus on the words that Elizabeth was speaking behind him.

His Gaelic was a bit rusty, but he was catching enough of it to understand the basics, and vowed to review his Gaelic. He had a few spells that required him to be fairly fluent in it. Incongruously, he suddenly remembered that she had no clothes on.

Feeling self-conscious, yet again, he moved his gaze from looking towards his office back to the floor, briefly wondering what was going on in his ghostly friend's mind…

Bob, as soon as Elizabeth had started the incantation, had let himself get lost in thought, trying to distract himself from the fact that she was naked.

For some strange reason, he felt no urge to look at her, which was extremely odd considering his usual penchant for all things inappropriate.

However, he thought of her as a friend, and to look at her in such a way would feel wrong. No matter how much of a crush she may have on him, which was something that he was still coming to terms with. He'd never considered himself attractive, and when he'd been alive he hadn't attracted anyone simply with his physical charms.

He'd attracted people usually through his abilities and his power, something that he had in spades.

As he thought of this, he glanced over at Harry from the corner of his eye.

Harry, on the other hand, was able to attract people to him with just a wink and a smile.

He would have looked out of place in Bob's day, as he was so tall, but he still would have attracted people to him. He was a tall, dark, mysterious type of figure; guaranteed to have women around him at nearly all times.

A man that could command a room with a look…and yet, he was the last man to ever want that. He had so many good qualities, but they were buried beneath his horrible self-esteem, and so he could never see them; even though they were numerous.

Sometimes Bob felt as though if he could simply touch Harry, a squeeze of his shoulder, a grip on the arm…or even the grasp of a hand, that he might be able to tell Harry how much he truly meant to him, and how much a good person that he really was, but the man would do nothing but deny it, no matter how hard he tried. It was as though Harry didn't believe he deserved to have anyone care for him. Perhaps that was the reason why he sometimes pushed Bob away when he got too close, emotionally speaking.

Harry seemed distracted and unnerved, moving his hands restlessly over his jeans and shirt, as though brushing off unseen dirt.

Bob wondered at this, and finally came to the conclusion that it was simple nerves at the fact that Elizabeth was sans-clothing behind him.

A small grin appeared at the corner of his mouth and he bit his lip slightly, trying to keep Harry from seeing it.

Luckily, Harry didn't seem to notice Bob's amusement, so the deceased necromancer took it in stride and waited a moment longer before asking, "Elizabeth? Are you nearly done? It's been quite some time, and even I know that runes don't take that long to replace."

They heard a rustle of movement and then her clear British tone said,

"You can turn around now. I'm decent, I swear it."

As they exchanged a look between the each other, both of them unknowingly mirrored each other's expression, with a single raised eyebrow and a slight smirk on their lips. They then turned to face Elizabeth and both of them were slightly confused by the slight smirk on her lips, but neither said anything about it.

"So," said Harry, breaking the silence that was beginning to be awkward. "You need to go anywhere, or do you want to stay for lunch?"

Her smirk spread into a wide grin.

"Lunch sounds great."

And with that, she picked up her bag and walked past them and down the hall.

Harry grinned at Bob.

"Lizzy's staying for lunch," he said, and then they heard from down the short hall… "Don't call me Lizzy!"

Part 5/?