One might call it an identity crisis.
He called it a nightmare. He woke up every morning with memories that weren't his. With a girl that loved someone who shared his face, who had adventures with someone else.
Rose might love the Doctor, but he wasn't her Doctor. And he was reminded of that fact every day.
Yes, he had all the memories, experiences and even his body, but the simple fact was that the original was back where he belonged and he was stuck here living the life of another man.
And he hated it.
Rose never said anything, but he could see it in her eyes every time she listened to his single heartbeat at night.
She didn't mind when the wanderlust he inherited from the original kicked in. What she didn't know was that he had been going to a therapist twice a week trying to sort out his own head.
Sometimes humans could be more insightful than half the alien races put together. It probably didn't hurt that he was half-human himself.
There were days he wished he were a full Time Lord or full human, if only to get rid of the uncertainty in his life.
"I'm breaking up with you."
Six words...five you counted the first as one...that he had been expecting/dreading for several years now.
Rose tried, she honestly tried, but he wasn't her Doctor. He had all his memories, his face and his clothes, but there was also human in him.
He blamed the fact he got half of Donna's DNA for that.
So no, he wasn't exactly surprised when Rose got tired of someone who had her Doctor's face but was far more human. It still hurt though.
Still, at least Rose let him take his travel bag with him. To be honest, he had been anticipating this for months, but had covered that by claiming he had the Doctor's wanderlust. Something Rose knew full well. So he left.
Rose would never say it out loud, but she was disappointed and angry he didn't even look back.
For years he would travel, looking for something to fill the void of not being the Doctor. He was a pale imitation of a great man, one stuck wearing the face of another.
And he hated it. How was he supposed to make a clean break with the face of another?
So he spent more time than he cared to think about on time travel. Anything to give him a chance to make a name for himself. A name that didn't involve the word 'doctor'.
He knew magic existed of course, but it vanished after the Carrionittes had been sealed away. Apparently the same couldn't be said of this world.
Still, he was intrigued. For years, he had looked for a scientific way to change things. But he had failed at every turn. Even finding Gallifrey (although it was completely empty) hadn't helped. The only thing that could change his appearance properly would be regeneration, and Donna's human DNA had locked that as well as kept his second heart from starting.
Perhaps magic could activate the Time Lord powers he had been unable to use? His body was getting a bit frayed after all.
It took him three years to track down their world...and nine months before he finally found a way to hopefully kick-start his Time Lord DNA beyond his appearance and mind.
Now he would just have to hope his new body would open up the watch once he was grown up enough to use it. Thank you magical adoptions and accidentally-on-purpose destroying the large time turner in the Ministry!
He grinned. This was more like it. An entire timeline that wasn't run by idiots glued to their technology. A place where people wouldn't recognize him or his face, a place where she didn't exist.
It took him very little time to track down a way to permanently de-age himself. It wasn't that it was illegal, just really, really expensive.
Fortunately with his stolen sonic screwdriver (pilfered from Gallifrey...along with an experimental TARDIS he had found. Thanks to the technological superiority of the Time Lords, he had a way to get around without having to rely on the police box he had used.
The year was 1977, and he had a lot of work ahead before he could get his freedom and hopefully his life back.
It was amazing how little these magicals thought of those without it. So the fact he was able to waltz into the 'bank' with several hundreds of pounds of gold bullion and had it converted to whatever the hell currency they used meant that everyone assumed he was an odd old wizard. Having seen the face that haunted his every waking moment in the alley earlier had told him deaging to the point he had been when he was first 'born' was a bad idea. He didn't want to be associated with 'that man' if he could help it.
"You want a specially locked vault, one that would require a riddle to open?" said the goblin incredulous.
"Is there a problem, Master Goblin?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Well no, but most wizards these days are so lazy they stick with a simple key. Even the former Ravenclaws. It's just surprising is all."
"I don't like people undeserving of the artifacts to even look at them. If they aren't going to put in the effort, then they don't deserve a single coin, let alone the real treasures I'm leaving behind. Now, who am I going to talk to about certain potions?" he asked.
"Third hall and take two lefts and a right at the fifth intersection," came the immediate reply. He slid two gold coins for the trouble. "Pleasure doing business with you good sir."
This man knew the rules of the game. Definitely one the goblins would watch out for.
He walked with a purpose. So long as he acted like he belonged, no one would question his presence.
"What do you want, wizard?" demanded the irate goblin potion-master.
"Let's talk shop Master Goblin, and perhaps you might come out of this day several hundred galleons richer."
"I need a potion that would allow the body to de-age and change appearances based on whichever family it lands in."
"You're talking about a magical adoption along with some form of metamorph potion. Very dangerous for a wizard of you age. It would be easier to do a reincarnation ritual, though odds are you won't even remember yourself once it's done."
"Let me worry about that. I have a way to restore the memories," he replied.
"Very well. You should know this is a very risky and considered Dark ritual...though finding a ritual that wasn't automatically labeled dark by those idiots is near impossible these days."
"I don't care how risky it is. Once I've set up my vault and sealed the memories away, I intend to make things right. Even if it means I have to lose something in return."
"Come back in a week, and we'll have the ritual room prepared for you."
He nodded and passed the goblin what was half of what was left of his gold coins.
His next stop was to create a sealed vault that could only be opened with the right password.
The watch would go in last.
It was a very happy Christmas that year, as Lily announced to their friends she was pregnant. They had all but given up hope, seeing as how James was very nearly infertile due to inbreeding issues.
She had told him going to a muggle specialist would help. Being validated was the last thing on her mind at the moment. Hearing her friend Alice was also having a child simply made the Christmas that much brighter.
However she wasn't so joyful when it came time for their son to come out.
"JAMES POTTER I AM NEVER LETTING YOU TOUCH ME AGAIN!"
"FRANK, YOU ARE NOT COMING NEAR ME WITH A TEN FOOT STAFF!"came Alice's quick accompaniment. By some strange stroke of luck, both of them were delivering their sons the same day.
Then again, they did somehow end up syncing when it came to pregnancy hormones.
James and Frank winced at the amount of cursing and strength the women had in their hands. James just knew some of his finger bones had to be broken, or cracked.
Frank honestly had no idea his wife could swear worse than Black on a bender.
Around ten at night, Alice gave birth to her son Neville. And at exactly 13 minutes and 13 seconds past midnight on July thirty-first, Lily gave birth to her son Harry.
Harry James Corvus Potter.
Apparently it was a Black family tradition to name their children after star constellations. (Case in point, James second middle name was Pavo, which Lily thought was highly appropriate.)
"Why the crow constellation?" asked Lily, a few months later. She would have expected Draco, considering how much James loved watching the Dragon Heart movie she rented.
*Apparently Remus did a bit of acting after he graduated Hogwarts, seeing as how it was one of the few things he could get a job at. He played the selfish king with the dragon's heart and made the mistake of telling his friends about it.
"Because his eyes remind me of an old crow, one who's gotten a lot of wisdom...and because I heard Narcissa mentioning how she's going to name her son Draco and there's no way in hell I'm having my son share the same name as a bloody Malfoy."
Lily rolled her eyes, but she could agree to that.
Besides, when she first looked in her son's eyes, she could definitely see what her husband meant. He did have the eyes of a wise old man in an infant's body.
A flash of green light. That's all it was. However it was the power behind that light that caused so much heartache and despair.
The Killing curse took away his parents, but because of the unique nature of the ritual, it could not kill him. He knew how easy it would be to killed as a human. They died every day, sometimes in the most bizarre and ridiculous of ways.
So he had an extra added to the reincarnation ritual. Because of the climate he had found himself in, if he were ever hit by one of the three Unforgivables, then one of three effects would happen.
If he were hit with the Imperius, he would develop an automatic Occulmency shield that couldn't be broken unless he allowed it.
If he was hit with the Crucio, then he would develop his mind at an accelerated rate, until it was back to the level he originally started with.
If he were hit with the Killing Curse...his second heart would be forced to start up in response, hopefully keeping him alive. For some reason the heart that was beating happened to be the right one when he reincarnated, not that his 'parents' knew about that.
Where one door closes, another opens. In this case it killed Voldemort at the expense of restarting a heart that had grown but hadn't started because of human DNA. It had just been a random cluster of muscle in his body until now.
The amount of energy to start up an up-till-then unused muscle was enough to wipe the poor child out cold.
When Sirius Black arrived, he found the boy unconscious and to all appearances not breathing. However he wasn't cold, which meant he could still be alive.
Unknown to James (but not to Lily, who had helped him get into the classes) Sirius knew CPR. He had seen a good friend drown when he was a boy and was unable to help him because none of the adults he rant to get were certified healers...and when they were finally called it was too late.
Determined not to repeat the incident, Sirius asked Lily to help him learn how muggles dealt with the issue. She immediately enrolled him into life guard classes...which he now put to use.
He applied just the right amount of pressure under the left side of the chest and waited a few moments to make sure the boy was breathing. The child gave him one of his many odd looks after the second try.
Unknown to Sirius, he had inadvertently restarted the heart that Voldemort had shut down with his curse, giving Harry both hearts to use.
It would baffle muggle doctors for years after, but for the moment, Harry had both of them working properly for the first time in years.
It would be the first in a long series of events that would give Harry all the things he had been denied because of the way he had been initially 'born' in that other universe.
*(A/N: Look it up if you don't believe me. The actor who played the king in Dragon Heart also played Remus Lupin. And if that weren't freaky enough, the one who plays Sirius Black also played the main terrorist in Air Force One. The last one to die via a snapped neck when Harrison Ford tells him "Get off my plane" before releasing him in his parachute.)