Disclaimer: I don't own Dr. Who or Harry Potter. Blast.
The Doctor sprinted wildly down a stark white hallway, straining to pick out a tell-tale noise. Folded paper birds flew past his head and somewhere ahead of him a voice screamed in what sounded like Latin. Finally, as he pounded around a corner, the Doctor heard the unearthly shriek he had been listening for. Unfortunately, he also met a body coming around the corner from the opposite direction full-force, and their combined inertia sent them sprawling to the floor. The Doctor immediately pulled himself into a sitting position and, upon seeing his assailant, felt an intense surge of jealousy—the little idiot was ginger.
"Watch where you're going!" snapped Ginger. They both rose to their feet and discovered that they were almost exactly the same height, although Ginger was considerably stockier than the Doctor. They might have had a fight if a large, angry-looking specter hadn't appeared in the hall behind Ginger, followed by a crowd of people waving sticks and screaming Latin words.
"Come on!" gasped the Doctor, grabbing Ginger's arm and taking off in the other direction.
"Hey!" he protested, but kept pace with the Doctor as they ran from the creature behind them.
"What's all the Latin for?" demanded the Doctor as they rounded a corner.
"What's all the—what's all the—" Ginger sputtered in disbelief, "they're shooting spells at it, obviously. What kind of a wizard doesn't know what a spell sounds like?"
"What do you mean by spells?"
"What do I—what kind of a wizard are you?"
The Doctor grinned and yanked Ginger into an empty conference room. "I'm not."
Ginger opened his mouth to protest, but was cut off by the Doctor slamming the door behind them. He immediately tried again.
"Look, if you're not a wizard then you don't have authorization to be in this building!"
"Oh?" said the Doctor, looking spectacularly innocent. "And…what is this building, exactly?"
Ginger's face was rapidly approaching the color of his hair. "Oh, for Merlin's sake—we're in the bloody Ministry of Magic—"
"Are we now?"
"—and if you aren't the guardian of an underage wizard or being accompanied by an adult wizard, you aren't authorized to be here! Are you either of those things?" Ginger demanded, ignoring the Doctor's interruption.
"I certainly am. I'm being accompanied by you, aren't I?" and then, before Ginger could protest, "Now, Ginger. What exactly is this magic thing you keep talking about?"
Ginger clenched his jaw as the specter and its pursuing crowd stampeded past the closed door they were hiding behind. "My name isn't Ginger. It's Percy."
"Ah!" the Doctor said brightly, beaming and pumping Percy's hand up and down unexpectedly. "And what a pleasure it is to meet you, Percy…"
"Weasley." Percy offered uncertainly.
"Percy Weasley! Good strong name. I like it. I'm the Doctor. Now, if you don't mind getting back to the topic at hand, what is this magic you keep telling me about?"
Percy made an irritated noise in his throat. "Look, my last year in school I wrote a thirty page paper on the subject 'what is magic'. It's not an easy concept to explain."
The Doctor looked down at Percy over the tops of his glasses. Percy was grudgingly impressed that he had managed to do it without actually having a pair of glasses on his face.
"Summarize it in one word." he suggested dryly.
Percy frowned in thought for a moment, then nodded in seeming satisfaction. "Energy would be the best spur-of-the-moment definition, I suppose."
The wide-eyed look on the Doctor's face was so completely and suddenly hilarious that Percy actually had to stifle a laugh. The Doctor's next comment wiped the smile from his face, though—
"Are you people stupid?" he demanded in disbelief. "You've got a creature made of energy running around your little government building causing chaos, and you're feeding it?"
"Well," Percy admitted nervously, "technically you could say that. But it's not like we knew what it was! Magic is the only defense we have against this kind of thing."
The Doctor rolled his eyes. "Bloody stupid humans…Well, nothing we can do about that now. We've just got to figure out some other way to get rid of it."
"Well, since you know so much about it, shouldn't you be able to get rid of it yourself?"
The Doctor flashed Percy a bright grin. "Oh, no. I'm just a man with a screwdriver and a banana."
"Then why are you even here? You don't know anything about magic, you can't stop the monster—why even come here at all?" Percy was having a hard time understanding why this strange person would stick himself in the middle of a dangerous situation that obviously had nothing to do with him.
The smile faded from the Doctor's face. "The sensors on my ship picked up that it was here. Maybe I can't do anything, but maybe I can—and if I might be able to help someone, why not take the chance?"
Before Percy could try and really wrap his mind about that thought, though—and ask about the ship the Doctor had mentioned—the strange little man was bouncing on his heels, all smiles again. "So. Would there happen to be anything in this building that neutralizes magic?"
Percy pondered this for a minute. "I've heard rumor…well, it's probably not true." he hesitated uncertainly.
"Look, anything you can offer right now is better than I've got. You're the one who knows your way around, right?"
Percy straightened slightly. "I'm the Minister of Magic's personal assistant."
"Ohhh. Well. Um." the Doctor muttered, suddenly looking rather flustered. "And what do you, er, do as the personal assistant to the Minister of Magic?"
Percy brightened at this easy topic. "Oh, I do lots of important things. I run errands for him, you know, take papers here and there, and I get to go with him to all the important wizarding events so that I can bring him coffee and butterbeer and so that he looks more important because he's got a person to order around, and he confides all his policies in me, and sometimes I get to turn unimportant people away from his office. It's really a good job. I think I'm well on my way to promotion!"
"Ah, that's all right, then. So. Rumor has it?" The Doctor breathed an internal sigh of relief. For a second he had been worried…
"Right. Rumor has it that there's a room in the Department of Mysteries—that's where all the secret government experiments go on—some people say that there's a room there that sucks magic out of things. They say that the Unspeakables—that's people who work in the Department of Mysteries—take life-timers from Azkaban prison and run experiments on them in the room, and when they come out they're Squibs." By the end of his little explanation, Percy was leaning forward with an almost eager look on his face. It was a little alarming.
"What's a Squib?" the Doctor inquired, carefully not backing up.
"Oh, sorry. A Squib's a person who has wizard parents but no magic. Isn't it a scary thought?"
"Sure. How do we get to this Department of Mysteries?"
"You get in the elevator and go straight down."
The Doctor stuck his head out of the room and gave a thoughtful glance in the direction the energy creature had fled down the hall. "Elevator, huh? Are there, by chance, stairs that lead to the same place?"
And when Percy said yes, he wasn't quite sure the smirk that appeared on the Doctor's face was a good thing.
TEN MINUTES LATER
Percy hovered nervously behind the Doctor has they hid around the corner from the energy beast. The Doctor's plan was to lure the creature down to the magic-sucking room in the Department of Mysteries. Percy had pointed out—rather frantically, once he realized that the Doctor was completely serious—that they didn't even know if the room really existed, and the Department of Mysteries was like a maze and nothing was marked, and wouldn't it be a much better idea to stop and think of a plan that was less life-threatening?
The Doctor, of course, had disagreed. Had been offended, even, that Percy would doubt his plan. And when Percy had finally, desperately pointed out that he understood that he wanted to save people, but that he was only human, the Doctor had laughed at him.
So he hovered behind him and braced himself to run, and wondered if this was what his youngest brother felt like when he followed that Potter kid into certain danger.
If so, maybe he should stop being so harsh. This was not a feeling that should have extra stress added to it.
"Ready…ready…now!" the Doctor muttered, then leapt out from around the corner and waved his arms around. "Hey! You! Big guy! Come on and get me if you want some real energy!" He then spun around, wiggled his tiny bottom at the creature, and yelled "Run, Percy!"
He ran back through the maze that was the Ministry of Magic, as fast as he could, and behind him he could hear the Doctor running and yelling at the creature, and the creature itself shrieking indignantly.
He ran until they reached the staircase, and then they ran down six flights of stairs to reach the Department of Mysteries, taking the steps two at a time and wishing the stairwell contained a little more oxygen.
It wasn't until they reached the rotating room that led to the heart of the Department that Percy skidded to a stop, the Doctor nearly running into him. He could hear the monster closing in on them from the hallway. He glanced back, nervous, and when he turned back to the front the Doctor had stepped forward and appeared to be scanning the various doors with a small device that was emitting blue light.
"What are you doing?" he demanded breathlessly, then as the monster finally lumbered into the room, "Show me a way in!"
The sudden spinning in the room distracted the monster long enough for Percy to drag the Doctor further straight ahead where, after a long moment, a single door appeared. They ran ahead, leaving the door open so the monster could follow.
"What was that?" the Doctor gasped as they continued to run. He kept the strange device out and was now waving it in an arc in front of him as though scanning for something.
"The doors…the doors are voice-activated. That way people not authorized to be there get trapped in the room. Cos' the doors stay locked until you ask, you know?" Percy wheezed in reply.
As he talked, the Doctor had been scanning the hallway, and he came to a sudden stop. "This one!" he gasped and focused the blue light coming out of the little device on the doorknob until it gave a small 'click'. "NO! Don't go in!" he grabbed Percy by the back of his black robe at the last minute, using the young man's momentum and grip on the doorknob to open the door. He then shoved Percy against the opposite wall as the monster tore past them and into the open room, the door of which the Doctor immediately slammed shut.
"How—why—" sputtered Percy, completely thrown off by what had just happened.
"How did I find the room? Well, it was pretty easy, considering that I knew I was looking for an absence of energy—don't give me that look, if magic is energy and we were looking for a room that sucked the magic out of things, it would obviously be void of energy. It's simple logic. As for why I didn't let you go in—"
At that moment, the Doctor's rambling was interrupted by an ear-splitting shriek from inside the room.
"—well, I wouldn't have wanted that to happen to you. Anything else you want to know?" The Doctor was bouncing again, grinning from ear to ear in an unbearably smug way.
"What was that thing you were using?" Percy asked faintly, the realization of what he almost walked in to finally hitting him. Perhaps he should take the rest of the day off and go lay down…
"Oh, that's my sonic screwdriver. Handy little thing." The Doctor grinned wider.
The grin faltered, however, when Percy collapsed in front of him.
When Percy next opened his eyes, he came to the quick realization that he was no longer in the Department of Mysteries. In fact, he appeared to be lying on a couch in the Minister's office, and seated in a chair directly across from Minister Fudge himself was the Doctor.
"Wha?" Percy slurred, bewildered by this sudden turn of events.
"Oh! Percy!" and then his vision was filled with the Doctor, who was quickly superseded by the blue light being shone in his eyes. Before he had time to protest, the light was removed from his eyes and moved down the rest of his body instead, and through the sun spots Percy realized that the Doctor was scanning his body with the same device—sonic screwdriver, he thought—that he had used to find the magic-sucking room.
"Ah, good. You seem perfectly all right. Just the shock of the day setting in, I imagine. Now—"
"Doctor—er, what did you say your name was again?"
"Just the Doctor." the Doctor muttered from his position over Percy, irritation at being interrupted in his voice.
"Well, Doctor, I think our business here is concluded. Weatherby will show you out."
"Oh," the Doctor frowned, disappointment lining his voice, "I had hoped that Percy here could walk me out."
"He means me." Percy said hastily, ears burning. He swung his legs off the couch and stood up, brushing off his robes. "Follow me, then."
The Doctor obediently followed Percy out of the office. They walked in silence until the Doctor couldn't stand the quiet anymore.
"So is Weatherby your middle name?" he inquired cheerfully.
"It's not any name at all," Percy muttered, ears turning an even darker red. "Minister Fudge just…forgets, sometimes."
"Oh." the Doctor said meekly, and the rest of the walk went on in silence.
Whey they reached the lift, Percy made to leave. "Well, here you are. Just go straight up and you'll be out. It was nice meeting you, sir."
The Doctor beamed and pumped Percy's hand up and down again. "Say, Percy. How'd you like to come up with me? Show me out proper, yeah?"
Percy knew that he should politely decline and go back to the Minister's office. He had missed a lot of work and there was no logical reason to prolong this break. The hopeful look on the Doctor's face, though, was making him seriously consider complying.
"Well…" he hedged, wrestling with himself.
"Great!" the Doctor exclaimed, and before Percy had a chance to protest the Doctor had him by the hand and was pulling him into the lift.
The Doctor hummed cheerfully and bounced on his heels as the lift took them to the surface.
"So," Percy said uncertainly, "earlier today you mentioned a ship…"
"Right, I did." then, with a sudden mischievous grin, "You want to see it?"
As soon as they exited the lift the Doctor pulled Percy down a back alley and towards an old-fashioned police box. They came to a stop right in front of the antique box. "And here it is. Isn't she just gorgeous?"
"Er…Well, it's a very nice police box." Percy offered helplessly.
"Oh, not just a police box. Take a look inside." then, at Percy's hesitation, "Go on, take a look."
The Doctor leaned in front of him and unlocked the door, nodding towards it to urge Percy forward. Percy hesitantly pushed the door open and stepped inside.
The Doctor simply leaned against the outside and waited. After a few seconds, Percy reappeared looking slightly stunned. "It's—"
"Bigger on the inside?" the Doctor suggested with a grin.
"Oh, well, yes, that, but that's only surprising because you said you were a muggle—I mean, my family rents a bigger-on-the-inside tent every year for camping—what's all the blinky flashing stuff inside? Is this a spaceship?"
Despite Percy's non-enthusiasm about the size of his ship, the Doctor was impressed with his deductive reasoning.
"That she is." he said proudly. "Her name's the TARDIS."
Percy blinked curiously at the Doctor. "Does that make you an alien?"
That earned him a real smile. "That I am."
Percy looked between the Doctor and the TARDIS. On the one hand, this was an alien and therefore something he should be wary of. On the other hand, the Doctor had already saved his life two or three times.
"Can—can I come aboard?" he asked finally, a little hesitantly.
The Doctor grinned from ear to ear. "I thought you'd never ask. Come on!"
He led Percy into the console room and watched in amusement as the ginger-haired man circled the console, examining all the levers and gauges.
"Hey—hey, Doctor—is this a time apparatus?" Percy gestured excitedly at the time rotor. "It kind of feels like a time-turner – we use those for small-scale time travel – oh! Does this thing travel in time?" Percy's eyes had widened and he suddenly looked very excited.
"Yeah, it is. The TARDIS travels in space and time – how could you tell?"
"Oh, I can kind of feel the magic in things – very faintly, it's nothing special – this thing has the same feel as a time-turner. That's pretty neat!"
The Doctor beamed and squeezed Percy's shoulder. "Percy Weasley, you're a star!" Here—touch this hear and tell me what you feel."
The Doctor and Percy slowly checked the consol, the Doctor eagerly encouraging Percy to touch this doodad and that sparkly thing and what did he feel when he touched that doohickey?
By the time they finished exploring the console, the Doctor was beyond bouncing in excitement. He was actually trembling.
"I've never seen a human that was so in tune with energy signatures! You're amazing, Percy, a star!" He laughed delightedly.
Percy felt his ears burn again, but this time it wasn't in humiliation. It had been a long time since someone had been proud of him, and he had forgotten how nice it felt.
"It's really no big deal –"
"Oh, but it is. I'll tell you what, Percy – how would you like to take a trip with me? We can go anywhere in time or space that you want and I can have you back in just a few hours from now. Whaddaya say?"
Percy looked at the proud look on the Doctor's face, then he looked at the glowing TARDIS consol, then he thought about the minister who couldn't remember his name and the fight he had with his father in the past week which had ended in him being not able to send letters to his siblings or mother anymore.
"Don't worry about the time." He said, and took a deep breath as the next chapter of his life began to the sound of a wheezing alien spaceship.