Clean Slate

Jul. 3rd, 2011 12:41 pm
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"You missed a spot," said the ghost.

"Where?" Harry scowled at the wall. "I don't see anything."

Bob extended a pale finger, indicating a minute section of brick.

"There's nothing there."

"Look closer."

"I am looking!"

"Not well enough."

The boy turned to glower at his mentor, a heated denial on his tongue, only to find that the sorcerer had vanished.

"Closer, Harry," admonished the wall.

Startled, Harry turned back to his work and gave a shout of surprise at the disembodied head staring back at him. Partially bisected by the wall from crown to chin, Bob's ghostly visage regarded his student with a stern expression.

"Closer," he advised. "Just there, to the left. Your right."

"Okay! Okay!" said the boy, hands high in surrender. "Just … Jeez, don't do that, okay? It's creepy."

The face nodded then vanished, leaving the brick wall unmarred once more. No, not quite unmarred. When Harry leaned lean forward for a closer look, his nose nearly touching the brick, he saw the tiniest fleck of darker red on the porous surface.

"You're right! There's something there."

"Exactly so." Bob stood behind him once more. "Now do you realize my concern?"

"But it's just a spot. It wouldn't have actually done anything … would it?"

"Perhaps you should discover the answer for yourself. By all means, inscribe your rune on the wall. It doesn't matter where." He glanced over at the grandfather clock standing sentry in a corner of the study. "Your uncle will be home in approximately two hours. I advise you do so quickly if we're to have time to reverse the damage."

"But, it's just a speck!" Harry protested.

The ghost frowned his disappointment at his pupil's apparently lack of perception.

"Master Dresden," he said in that imperious tone that he reserved for those occasions when the teenager was being especially dense. "Place a rune or sigil anywhere on a surface where there remains even the slightest non-neutralized aspect of a previous spell, and you will corrupt your present working. You might suddenly discover yourself with warts, transformed into a newt, or reduced to a puddle of ichor."

"Ick-what?"

Bob sighed. "In your quaint vernacular, 'goo'."

"Oh." Harry looked once more at the tiny speck on the wall. "So, um, I should probably be more careful. Right?"

"And?"

"Where there's one mistake, there's probably others?" It was less of a statement than a question.

"Bringing you at long last to what inevitable conclusion?"

Harry blew out a martyred sigh. "I need to scrub the whole wall. Again. Just to be sure."

"Precisely." Bob rewarded the young wizard with a curt nod. Harry had come to the proper conclusion in considerably less time than usual. A vast improvement. "If you can somehow manage to keep from turning yourself into a newt, I might yet make a serviceable wizard out of you."

"You probably say that to all your students," grumbled Harry as he reached for the copper cauldron with the neutralizing potion.

"Only those that still had ears to listen," the ghost replied pointedly.



Title: Clean Slate
Fandom: The Dresden Files (TV-verse)
Muse: Hrothbert (aka Bob the Skull)
Musing_Way Prompt: 68 - Cleaning
Word Count: 511
Disclaimer: The Dresden Files do not belong to me. Just passing through.
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