A/N This is the first in a planned series of Harry Potter/Doctor Who crossovers. I wrote this for the Hermione's Haven (group on Facebook) #RollAPrompt Writing Challenge. I'm honored to say it won First Place in both Best Plot Development and Most Creative. The other stories up for consideration were amazing and it was an honor to participate. I'm currently working on fleshing out the other stories I want to include in this series. It was a lot of fun writing this one, and it's been even more fun plotting out the sequels/prequels.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Doctor Who.
Prompt: Hermione/10, Avoiding the War
No More Running
[Shell Cottage, April 1998]
The waves crashing on the shore and the gentle morning breeze soothed Hermione's tortured nerves better than any potion Fleur had given her so far. The unlikely group had escaped from Malfoy Manor some days ago, but Hermione wasn't entirely sure how long they'd been there. She'd been rather out of it the first few days recovering from her little chat with Bellatrix. The small house was stifling the young woman, though. She wanted an escape, desperately. From Harry and Ron hovering, the memories of her torture, the war. Looking across the water as the sky slowly lightened, she put her head down on her knees and covered her head with her arms, attempting to hide from the world.
A soft whirring, wheezing noise that was distinctly not the waves caught her attention. Holding her breath and closing her eyes tight she tried to squash the hope that he'd come, finally. She refused to acknowledge the sound of the thudding thump, or the creaking of a door nearby. Eyes squeezed shut tight against the tears, she sensed as someone sat in the sand next to her and wrapped their arms around her.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry," he whispered into her hair, kissing the top of her curly head. She finally broke down in tears, turning to the skinny man in a suit and converse shoes, and held onto him like he might disappear like his marvelous blue box. Eventually, she looked into his sad brown eyes and she plead with him. Barely heard over the waves, she whispered, "Take me away from here, please." He nodded his head, scooped her up, and carried her into the TARDIS to the infirmary. He was going to heal this broken girl and help her escape from the horrors of her war, even if just for a little while.
Hermione watched from the console of the TARDIS, trying to control her jealousy as her Doctor wined and dined Queen Elizabeth I. She knew the reasons behind the act, but seeing him cozied up with the beautiful woman made her insides turn sour. She watched and listened on the monitor as he jumped up to his feet only to drop to one knee and propose! Hermione huffed and turned away, patting the console in thanks as the TARDIS made a sympathetic hum.
Returning her attention when she heard him start rambling quickly, she chuckled quietly to herself. "One, the real Elizabeth would never have accepted my marriage proposal. Two, the real Elizabeth would notice when I just casually mentioned having a different face. But then the real Elizabeth isn't a shape-shifting alien from outer space. And," holding out a clockwork gizmo to the potential alien, "Ding!" he announced smugly.
"What's that?" asked the Queen.
"It's a machine that goes ding. Made it myself. Lights up in the presence of shape-shifter DNA. Also, it can microwave frozen dinners from up to twenty feet and download comics from the future. I never know when to stop."
"My love, I do not understand."
"I'm not your love," he replied, shooting an apologetic glance in the direction of the TARDIS, hoping Hermione would see and understand, "and yes you do. You're a Zygon."
"A Zygon?" Elizabeth asked, baffled.
"Oh, stop it. It's over. A Zygon, yes. Big red rubbery thing covered in suckers. Surprisingly good kisser. Think the real Queen of England would just decide to share her throne with any old handsome bloke in a tight suit, just cos he's got amazing hair and a nice horse? Oh. It was the horse." The Doctor stared at his former horse in shock. Hermione was laughing hysterically back in the TARDIS. "I'm going to be King. Run!" He grabbed the Queen's hand and pulled her away.
"We're being attacked by a shape-shifting alien from outer space, formerly disguised as my horse."
"What does that mean?"
"It means we're going to need a new horse." The Doctor was getting a tiny bit exasperated and wished Hermione would make an appearance, grateful when he heard a pop nearby.
"Where's it going?"
"I'll hold it off. You run. Your people need you."
"And I need you alive for our wedding day!" Elizabeth declared, pulling him in for a kiss before she ran off.
"Oh, good work, Doctor. Nice one. The Virgin Queen? So much for history," he moaned self-deprecatingly.
Hermione was clutching her sides and gasping with laughter when she released her disillusionment and silencing charms. "Oh Doctor, you do get into the strangest situations!" She gave him a quick hug and smile to reassure him that she wasn't upset about the mess he'd found himself in, again. They heard screams further in the woods and glanced at each other, grinning slightly. "Well looks like we better go find that Zygon. And your fiancée," she said with a snicker.
They paused their frantic search as the gizmo started dinging like mad. The Doctor stopped by a Flemish Giant, "Whoa, whoa, whoa. Oh, very clever. Whatever you've got planned, forget it. I'm the Doctor. I'm nine hundred and four years old. I'm from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. I am the Oncoming Storm, the Bringer of Darkness, and you are basically just a rabbit, aren't you? Okay, carry on. Just a general warning." As the Queen shouted for him in the distance he tried to ignore the poorly stifled laughter from his companion. Hermione was having far too much fun at his expense.
"That thing. Explain what it is. What does it want of us?"
"That's what I'm trying to find out. Probably just your planet."
A second Elizabeth walked up and the two Queens began to circle one another. As they traded remarks and barbs back and forth the Doctor glanced around and noticed Hermione had taken refuge behind a nearby copse of trees. He could just make out the blurred shape of her behind her disillusionment charm. She shook her head at him, not wanting to be seen by the two bickering Queens.
Suddenly, a vortex appeared in the air, alarming everyone. The Doctor stepped forward to shield the queens and his companion, though he was confident out of anyone there, Hermione could take care of herself if needed. "Back, both of you, now! That's a time fissure. A tear in the fabric of reality. Anything could happen." An object dropped at his feet and the Doctor stared at it in bewilderment. "For instance, a fez."
Hermione watched as another version of the Doctor fell out of the vortex. Well, this just got more complicated, she thought to herself. As the two compared sonic screwdrivers, she considered if and when she should make herself known. Only one Doctor knew she was there, so she decided to wait and see what happened. Smiling fondly, she remembered some of her previous adventures with the different versions of the Doctor she'd traveled with so far. Lost in memories she startled a bit as one of the Elizabeths ran past her suddenly. She chided herself for not paying attention to what is looking like a real mess. Suddenly a voice coming through the vortex, "Doctor, is that you?"
"Ah, hello, Clara. Can you hear me?" responded the younger/older Doctor.
"Yeah, it's me. We can hear you. Where are you?"
Weighting when she should make her presence known, the two Doctors and Clara discussed when and where they were and ponder if the rift went both ways. She watched as the younger/older Doctor - she really needed to come up with an easier designator in her own mind if there's going to be two of them around at the same time - threw his fez back into the vortex. Nothing happened. As both Doctors aimed their screwdrivers at the fissure in order to reverse the polarity, Hermione snuck closer as quietly as possible. If two doctors are here, and one has obviously been through this in his own past, does he remember I'm here? she pondered. Should I reveal myself or would that interfere with the timelines somehow? Time travel can be such a headache.
Suddenly an older, scruffy looking man dropped through the time fissure. "Anyone lose a fez?" he asked politely.
Her Doctor gaped, "You. How can you be here? More to the point, why are you here?" Both Doctors looked alarmed and concerned, which in turn concerned and alarmed Hermione as she slowly edged closer to the Doctor she began this adventure with.
"Good afternoon. I'm looking for the Doctor," stated the older man.
"Well, you've certainly come to the right place," replied her Doctor, with a raised eyebrow and a glance at his future counterpart.
The Warrior looked relieved. "Good. Right. Well, who are you boys? Oh, of course. Are you his companions?"
Incredulous, the bow-tie-bedecked Doctor cried, "His companions?"
With a slight chuckle, the wizened old man continued, "They get younger all the time. Well, if you could point me in the general direction of the Doctor?"
Both younger incarnations raised and demonstrated their screwdrivers, much to the Warrior's astonishment. "Really?"
"You're me? Both of you?" The Warrior's eyebrows crept up further.
"Even that one?" the older man asked, gesturing to the fez loving Doctor.
"Yes!" he cried, offended.
"You're my future selves?"
Both shouted "Yes!" at him, annoyed and thoroughly insulted.
Hermione felt like she might end up with whiplash as her head darted back and forth keeping track of the three Doctors. And I thought my third year was bad enough, good grief!
The Warrior, who Hermione decided looks like a war torn Ollivander seemed to be in disbelief, "Am I having a midlife crisis? Why are you pointing your screwdrivers like that? They're scientific instruments, not water pistols. Look like you've seen a ghost." Hermione bit her lip to keep from laughing. The younger incarnations did tend to brandish their sonics about quite threateningly.
A troop of soldiers ran up, led by a nobleman and demanded, "Which of you is the Doctor? The Queen of England is bewitched. I would have the Doctor's head."
"Well, this has all the makings of your lucky day," quipped the Ollivander look-a-like.
The nobleman gestured to the vortex, asking, "What is that?" The younger pair brandished their sonics once more, much to the older Doctor's exasperation.
"Oh, the pointing again. They're screwdrivers! What are you going to do, assemble a cabinet at them?"
At that Hermione almost bit through her lip to keep from letting her presence be known. Luckily she was a talented witch with a strong disillusionment charm with only the faintest of outlines if you know what to look for and where.
Bentham the nobleman again asked of the vortex, "That thing, what witchcraft is it?"
The youngest and yet oldest of the Doctors present jumped to answer, "Ah, yes. Now that you mention it, that is witchcraft. Yes, yes, yes. Witchy witchcraft. Hello? Hello in there. Excuse me. Hello! Am I talking to the wicked witch of the well?"
Hermione rolled her eyes. The only witch around was currently standing behind her Doctor, trying to reassure him of her presence while remaining invisible.
"Hello?" came a response from the swirling fissure.
"Clara, hi, hello. Would you mind telling these prattling mortals to get themselves begone?
"What he said," the voice timidly declared.
"Yes, tiny bit more colour."
"Right. Prattling mortals, off you pop, or I'll turn you all into frogs."
"Ooh, frogs. Nice. You heard her."
"Doctor, what's going on?" Clara asked, concerned for her friend.
Clara's Doctor nonchalantly explained to everyone, "It's a timey-wimey thing."
"Timey what? Timey-wimey?" The old man looked incredulous.
"I've no idea where he picks that stuff up." Hermione's Doctor reached back just slightly to touch her hand, acknowledging her and silently telling her to keep hidden with a gentle squeeze.
One of the Elizabeths strolled up to the assembled guards and demanded that the men be arrested and taken the Tower. The youngest Doctor excitedly agreed that this was a great idea and gestured wildly. The Warrior seemed to take offense at his older self's shenanigans and asked, "Are you capable of speaking without flapping your hands about?"
"Yes. No. I demand to be incarcerated in the Tower immediately with my co-conspirators Sandshoes and Granddad."
"They're not sandshoes."
Glancing down, the Warrior disagreed, "Yes, they are."
Elizabeth was getting annoyed. "Silence. The Tower is not to be taken lightly. Very few emerge again."
The three Doctors were dragged off, with Hermione staying close at hand. As they walked, her Doctor managed to hang back just enough to have a whispered conversation with his companion without drawing attention. "Hermione, you need to go back to the TARDIS. I don't even want to think about what will happen if they discover an actual witch in the Tower. Go back and wait for me in the TARDIS."
"No!" she whispered back furiously. "I can help you!"
"Absolutely not. I promised to protect you, and you'll be safest in the TARDIS. Besides, there's three of me, we'll be fine," he promised with a loving hand squeeze.
"You better be you stupid prat."
Despite not being able to see her, he heard the tears in her voice and felt her kiss his shoulder before a pop indicated she'd apparated away. Sighing in relief he drew up next to his future self.
"Is she safe?"
Back in the TARDIS, Hermione raged and cried in frustration. I should be with them! What if they need me? What if he doesn't come back? Fear gripped her heart. No, he has to be okay. His future self is still around, and I remember our adventures, so it has to work out. Right? Pacing through the control room she plopped herself down on a seat and buried her head in her arms, much like the position the Doctor found her in at Shell Cottage, which seemed so long ago. He'd helped her so much, especially with regenerating the nerve damage. Alien technology certainly has its perks. She tried to distract herself from her overwhelming fear that she'd never see either of her Doctors faces again. Please, Merlin, I can't lose him, them, whatever. But he's always saying time can be rewritten, so what if something happens and I lose them all? Her fretting was interrupted as the TARDIS was jostled violently. Checking the monitors she watched as horses dragged the cart the TARDIS now seemed to be on to the courtyard of a castle.
Eventually, she cheered in relief and happiness as all three Doctors and Clara walked into the courtyard. A frown crossed her face as she watched Queen Elizabeth escort the group to what looked to be a priest in front of a tent. "Oh bugger, he's actually going to marry her! We better not be sticking around long enough to consummate this sham of a marriage," she fumed in jealousy.
She knew she shouldn't be jealous. He'd told her how much he loves her, and even watched as he was essentially trapped into marrying the Queen, but still. Her insecurities eroded her confidence in their own relationship as she admired the poise and grace of the Queen. I'm nothing like that. Fiddling with the end of her braided hair she turned towards the doors as she saw her Doctor running around, the others slowly trailing behind. Utterly relieved and happy she jumped into his arms the moment he was through the doors.
In between fast and furious kisses she was talking, "I hated seeing her kiss you. I was so worried about all of you. I'm so glad you're alright. How did you get out? What happened?" But she never gave him time to articulate a response. Her hands in his hair and her legs around his waist distracted him from being able to speak.
The clearing of a throat and a laugh gave Hermione pause enough to look up and see Clara smirking at her, "Three of them and no one thought to try the door, can you believe it?"
Hermione jumped down and laughing pulled Clara into a hug. "Oh, I've missed you! None of them? Really!? Good thing you showed up when you did!"
The Warrior Doctor looked completely befuddled, glancing at his oldest incarnation, and wondered about the fond smile and loving look in his ancient eyes. Who was this girl that would seem to become so important to his future selves?
"Oi you! I don't know how long it's been since you last saw me, but you better get over here and give me a hug!" Hermione demanded of the youngest/oldest timelord. The 900-year-old timelord looked on in surprise at their familiarity, but he supposed it made sense. Time was awfully wibbly-wobbly, and he loved Hermione with both of his hearts in a way he'd never connected with another companion, not even Rose, he thought with a pang.
Turning to the Warrior, Hermione blushed a bit and straightened her jumper. She held out a hand to him and introduced herself, "Hello, I'm Hermione Granger, and you must be a younger version of the Doctor. We haven't met. Yet."
Taking her hand and bringing it up to kiss her knuckles he couldn't help but smile fondly at the girl, "It's a pleasure to meet you now, and I look forward to meeting you again properly in the future my dear."
Glancing around the control room, he looked to his future selves and commented, "You've let this place go a bit."
"Ah, it's his grunge phase. He grows out of it," defended the young/old Doctor.
Hermione's Doctor pat the glass center column telling the TARDIS, "Don't you listen to them."
After some glitching, the desktop set itself to the latest iteration of the control room, which Hermione's Doctor frowned at and pouted, "I don't like it," while she rubbed his back soothingly and smiled indulgently at him.
"So where are we going? What's happening? And why are there three of you? No offense!"
They got her up to speed about the Zygon invasion of the future and Hermione paled, stepping out the way of the Doctors piloting the ship.
The TARDIS was struggling to land in the Black Archive, much to everyone's annoyance. "I wish I knew what it looked like inside, then I could just apparate us all in," Hermione complained, holding onto the railing as the TARDIS was knocked about.
After Kate refused to allow the TARDIS in and cut off communications, the 900-year-old timelord explained to Hermione's questioning look, "The Tower of London, totally TARDIS-proof."
"How can they do that?" Clara and Hermione asked at the same time.
"Alien technology plus human stupidity. Trust me, it's unbeatable," explained Clara's Doctor, a look of frustrated disgust marring his face.
The Warrior Doctor looked at a stasis cube on the console consideringly. "We don't need to land."
The Doctor holding Hermione's hand scoffed, "Yeah, we do. A tiny bit. Try and keep up," flinching as she smacked his arm.
"No, we don't. We don't. There is another way. Cup-a-soup. What is cup-a-soup?"
[Tower of London, 2013]
Inside the Black Archive, unnoticed by the arguing humans and aliens, three figures began moving in the 3D Painting of Gallifrey Falls. They went unnoticed until the sound of shattering glass and dying Dalek interrupt the bickering.
"Hello," said the Warrior, calmly.
"I'm the Doctor."
"Sorry about the Dalek," the youngest Doctor quipped, not an ounce remorse on his face.
Clara stepped through the painting next, "Also the showing off." She turned around and helped Hermione through. The young witch was looking back at the painting at all the carnage, shaking and pale.
The 1200-year-old Doctor marched up to the party at the table, fuming, "Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, what in the name of sanity are you doing?"
"The countdown can only be halted at my personal command. There's nothing you can do," Kate bravely explained.
"Except make you both agree to halt it," stated the 900-year-old.
Jutting her chin out, she refused, "Not even three of you."
The Warrior pleaded, "You're about to murder millions of people."
Scoffing, Kate replied, "To save billions. How many times have you made that calculation?"
Looking down, ashamed, the oldest Doctor says, "Once. Turned me into the man I am now. I'm not even sure who that is anymore."
"You tell yourself it's justified, but it's a lie. Because what I did that day was wrong. Just wrong," the other Doctor adamantly says.
The Warrior Doctor turned to look at the Moment. Hermione noticed him looking off to her right but didn't see anything there. She could sense something, though. Not quite like another person in the room, but more like the feeling of a ghost being in the same room as you. Which she was more than familiar with from Hogwarts. Something there, yet not. Distracted, she missed the pair of Doctors going through their schtick until they mentioned memories.
The oldest Doctor declared, as his slightly younger counterpart agreed, much to Hermione's growing horror and dread, "So, for the next few hours, until we decide to let you out-"
"-No one in this room will be able to remember if they're human-"
"Whoops a daisy," cried Clara's Doctor as he jumped up on the table. All three Doctors pointed their screwdrivers at the memory filter on the ceiling and made the necessary adjustments. As the two Kates panicked and stopped the countdown of the bomb detonation, Hermione fell into a chair, tears streaming down her face.
A little while later, Hermione's Doctor noticed her off in a chair apart from everyone, crying silent tears and looking blankly into the distance. Walking up cautiously he pulled her into a hug. "What's the matter?"
"My parents. They're never going to remember me. You can reverse what you did to them, give them back their memories, but my parents are gone. They'll never remember me."
"You did it to keep them safe. You know they would have been in danger. You're so brave. So incredibly strong and brave, never forget that. I'm sure they would understand."
"But I never even gave them the choice. I didn't tell them so much about what was happening in my world. I lied and lied and lied."
He just held her and let cry herself out. Finally, she pulled away, smiled in thanks and kissed him gently on the lips before going to find Clara. She found her sitting in front of a large leather chair looking around, asking "Who's there? Who were you talking to?" Hermione watched the Warrior Doctor disappear like he'd never been there in the first place. Going over to Clara she asked what happened and Clara quickly explained the chat she had been having with the Warrior.
[Barn on Gallifrey, Last Day of the Time War]
The Moment had presented the Warrior with a Big Red Button, and was trying to further help the Doctor with making the hardest decision of his many lives. "You know the sound the TARDIS makes? That wheezing, groaning. That sound brings hope wherever it goes."
"Yes. Yes, I like to think it does."
"To anyone who hears it, Doctor. Anyone, however lost. Even you."
Two TARDISes parked themselves in the barn and out came two Doctors and two companions.
Clara smiled triumphantly, "I told you. He hasn't done it yet."
"Go away now, all of you. This is for me," the Warrior gruffly argued.
The 900-year-old time lord looked around the barn in trepidation, saying to his future self, "These events should be time-locked. We shouldn't even be here."
"So something let us through."
The Moment, unseen by all except the Warrior, and felt by Hermione, smiled, and cheered, "You clever boys."
The Warrior was annoyed, "Go back. Go back to your lives. Go and be the Doctor that I could never be. Make it worthwhile."
The two younger Doctors looked at each other, walking up to their older self:
"All those years, burying you in my memory."
"Pretending you didn't exist. Keeping you a secret, even from myself."
"Pretending you weren't the Doctor, when you were the Doctor more than anybody else."
"You were the Doctor on the day it wasn't possible to get it right."
"But this time-"
"-You don't have to do it alone," said the youngest/oldest Doctor as both put their hands over the Warrior's hand on the button.
A tremor in his chest, the Warrior simply nodded, "Thank you."
Hermione's Doctor looked solemn, "What we do today is not out of fear or hatred. It is done because there is no other way."
Clara's Doctor continued, "And it is done in the name of the many lives we are failing to save."
He looked at Clara, who shook her head, holding tightly to Hermione's hand. Both women's faces were stained with tears, looks of shock mixed with horror and dread in their eyes.
"What? What is it? What?"
Clara shakes her head, "Nothing." Hermione couldn't swallow past the lump in her throat. The sorrow in her heart feeling like a lead weight.
"No, it's something. Tell me."
"You told me you wiped out your own people. I just. I never pictured you doing it, that's all." Hermione nodded her agreement, lips trembling and eyes overflowing.
It suddenly went dark and they were surrounded by fear, destruction, chaos, and horror. Hermione's knees trembled and she finally let go of Clara's hand to rush over and take her Doctor's hand.
As they explain to Clara that there was no other way, Hermione fought to hold back her sobs. So much death, and destruction. All in the name of hate. In her own world and here. Is there no hope for any of us? she sadly wondered. Turning her attention back to the conversation going on around her, Clara was speaking, "-Be a doctor. You told me the name you chose was a promise. What was the promise?"
"Never cruel or cowardly," said Hermione's Doctor.
The Warrior responded, "Never give up, never give in."
As the images around them vanished, Clara's Doctor looked at the other two contemplatively. Eyes widening, the Doctor holding Hermione's hand let go and stepped towards this future self, "You're not actually suggesting that we change our own personal history?"
"We change history all the time. I'm suggesting far worse."
"What, exactly?" asked the Warrior.
"Gentlemen, I have had four hundred years to think about this. I've changed my mind," he declared as he soniced the big red button back into the Moment box.
The Warrior pointed out the obvious, "There's still a billion billion Daleks up there, attacking."
With a smirk, the Doctor began to gesture and move about excitedly, "Yeah, there is."
Understanding starting to clue in, his previous self continued, "But there's something those billion billion Daleks don't know."
"Because if they did, they'd probably send for reinforcements," the Doctor declared with a smugly triumphant wave of his arms.
"What? What don't they know?" asked Hermione, Clara nodding excitedly.
"This time, there's three of us."
All three Doctors exclaimed about their shared brilliance, much to Clara and Hermione's amusement. As they were celebrating their moment of inspiration both Hermione and her Doctor caught the mention the Warrior made of Bad Wolf. While her Doctor only paused for a moment on this, Hermione felt a ball of dread in her stomach. Bad Wolf was Rose. Her Doctor and the face he had previous to the one she accompanies now loved Rose desperately and her loss to the alternate universe had been devastating to him. Mention of the woman she felt she had no hope of competing with sent a sliver of dread coursing through her. But soon the three Doctors and Clara were scrambling back to their respective TARDISes and communicating with the Gallifreyan War Room. It was time to make a planet disappear and save billions of lives. Hopefully.
[Somewhere in the Time Vortex]
Back on their TARDIS, after having had tea with everyone in the National Gallery, Hermione and her Doctor embraced and rejoiced in cautiously hopeful triumph. Helping to save an entire planet had given the young witch the hope she needed to carry her through her own war to its own end. The Doctor still wouldn't tell her the outcome. It's not a fixed point and anything can still happen he explained repeatedly. But he promised to always be there for her.
They know that he won't be remembering this particular adventure, but she will. She hated knowing, if she survived her own war, she would have to keep this information from him. That in one great collaboration they may very well have saved his home planet, and he won't remember for hundreds of years. But the Doctor understood and does not fault her the secrets she has to bear. Finally breaking from their desperate hold on each other, Hermione softly whispered, "Thank you. Thank you so much for healing me, my wonderful Doctor. I'm ready, though. I need to finish my own war. No more running from my world."
With a sad, but understanding smile he set the coordinates for a few minutes after he took her from Shell Cottage, and they parted on the beach once more, sad but hopeful tears running down both their cheeks.
"This isn't goodbye. Not for a minute you clever witch. I promise I'll be seeing you again. Soon."
"Take care, Doctor, don't get into too much trouble without me."
One last lingering kiss and she started back to the house, pausing and looking back at the top of a sand dune to wave farewell at the TARDIS as it disappeared once more.