The noise of the helicopter's blades above them was loud, not deafening loud, but definitely loud, they couldn't pretend they weren't in a passenger aircraft.
They weren't in the Xecotcovach because they wanted something simpler to hover above the fort, something they didn't need to worry about.
Something that was consistent, even through they hadn't quite come up with a working hypothesis, as each approach had elicited a different response. Making everything somewhat inconsistent.
Consistently inconsistent, irritatingly so.
2 weeks ago...
Judith peered out over the window of the Whomobile. Ioan was doing research into the Southwell sea fort, as he'd sounded like he knew something about the various forts' uses. It was something Harry admitted he never really looked into. Grindelwald and his actions during the Second World War was something that he only really knew of peripherally, and really wasn't sure how muggles and wizards functioned together during that war. After the Deathly Hallows and the Elder Wand...and everything it was something he felt was firmly in his past, along with any considerations of Gellert Grindelwald. He'd done his best to go forward, despite spending a bit of time in the past.
What the conditions were that lead up to the creation of the sea fort and its history was something he wanted to know, but Ioan could research better while he and Judith investigated in something more advanced than a broom, and more advanced than the aircraft of the last 50 years. That the air space around it was restricted suggested something dangerous. The Civil Aviation Authority listed it as restricted no-fly and had prosecuted a few sky diving planes in the last couple of years for breaching it. One lost power and everyone on board had to make an emergency jump. According to the report he read they were also fined for the mess their plane made in the sea and the ensuing clean up that was required.
So he didn't want to make too many costly mistakes, even as a League associated with the security services he was sure the Ports Authority or something would come after him, only the heritage organisations were worse.
Damage one 'Grade I' listed building and you never hear the end of it from them.
It was at that moment in his musings about listed buildings they hit turbulence.
"That's odd," Judith said of the feeling.
Harry flicked a couple of switches on the dashboard. "Very. Anything?" He asked peering over at the various scanners that were mounted in front of Judith on her section of the dashboard.
"Energy reading a little bit above standard background, temporal readings...not a lot, same as most other places around the UK," she reported with a shrug.
"There's definitely something that wants to pull us down." Harry said as he adjusted the throttle to elevate them, it was at that point a warning light came on. "Uh oh, Christmas tree."
What followed was almost all the other warning lights.
The whole Whomobile suddenly tipped forward heading at some speed out of the air towards the sea fort.
"Anything?" Harry asked as he pulled the cover off the emergency controls.
"Energy and temporal readings all over the place, not extreme," she reported. "Are we planning on investigating today?"
"Not with a splat." Harry said as he twisted the emergency controls and some solid fuel boosters cut in and Harry pushed hard left rudder to pull them away from the sea fort.
Around 3 kilometres away from it everything came back online.
Harry breathed a sigh of relief.
"Untighten that sphincter Potter," Judith muttered.
"I am completely relaxed Judith," Harry lied; his heart was beating a little faster than he liked, but Judith didn't need to be told that.
1 week ago...
He'd decided to take a different approach for his second attempt, he was still convinced an aerial investigation was the way to go. Ioan had discouraged investigation by sea. Supposedly the wizards who'd helped defend this sea fort and others had dropped the magical equivalent of sea mines or proximity depth charges that didn't quite go all the way down, they just sort of sat there, a little ways below the surface and then 'bang' or drop suddenly under the water. "Or something," that's what Ioan had said. The information was sparse, it seemed few wizards had survived World War II or were willing to talk about what they got up to.
Judith had surprised him somewhat by agreeing to his new plan.
There was no sound, ahead of them were four wizards on brooms, whose brooms were attached to the tow rope.
Along with Ioan three of them had helped out with the Cardiff incident, and again relished the chance to fly high in the open skies, during the day with full permission.
There was, however a small chance they would need to rescue Harry and Judith, if something happened.
But nothing would, Harry was 80 percent sure of that.
There was no propeller, nothing holding them up, except physics of course, they'd brought up was the heaviest shielded scanners which Harry intended to test somewhere like Hogwarts or something. Some of it had come out of the Xecotcovach project that was able to withstand a lot of magic, but it had its own counterbalances.
Hopefully nothing would happen.
"Hopefully," Judith echoed his thoughts.
"Hopefully, yes," he said he watched the altimeter and readied the tow rope release. "This is a nice way to fly, silent," he mused.
"Not enough power for you Harry," Judith commented, he could tell she was grinning.
"No," he admitted as he pulled the tow release.
The glider they were in coasted forwards towards the sea fort, unencumbered by any means of power it was somewhat like being on a broom, without any of the wind noise.
Harry shifted his gaze to the instruments as they approached the fort, they were nearing the coordinates from the fort, though were much higher than they had been in the Whomobile.
Judith had the bulk of the scanners in front of her so he called back asking her if she was seeing anything. "Not a sausage, according to everything we're gliding and there's just the background energy and temporal fluctuations."
Harry nodded. "We'll loop around then and try lower down."
Minutes later; the glider having quite a tight turning circle they were back over the sea fort.
"Uh oh." Judith's voice presented a worrying tone. "Weird energy readings, EMP level fluctuations. Temporal scanner reads..." she trailed off.
"Well?" Harry asked. Judith had the view of most of the scanners, they'd hooked up the receivers underneath the glider and in the cabin to get a wide reading on what was going on.
"I think there might be a pattern." Judith said. "Loop us around."
"It'll be closer, physics and all that." Harry commented. They were still high enough that they could do a few more passes, but at some point soon they would need to glide away to land or be towed back to land by Ioan and his chums.
Their researches in the glider and Whomobile had given them enough data to establish a ceiling for their approach. It was too high to winch down and as Ioan had elaborated the sea around the sea fort was 'potentially lethal'.
There was a window of whatever energy and temporal pulses that came off the sea fort for them to get through.
They were somewhat in disagreement as to what the origin might be, whether it was, as what records that mentioned it suggested; a muggle-wizard project during the war. Harry was willing to agree with that, as there had to be some instances of muggles and wizards working together and ignoring the Statute of Secrecy. But Judith had raised the possibility that it might be a purely technological something in it, with magic influencing the random pattern of energy pulses. They'd run all the data they'd gathered through their computers and it hadn't revealed anything that suggested a pattern.
Unless the randomness was a pattern in and of itself, something that they'd not discovered. And probably wouldn't until they had 'boots on the ground'.
Thankfully the temporal pulses were a little more predictably random allowing them to land on the sea fort without getting minced by the temporal ripples.
"We've reached the target height sir," said a voice in his ear.
"Understood. Let's get ready to jump," Harry said looking to Judith and Ioan who like him were wearing parachutes and sat similarly within the helicopter waiting.
It had been Judith's suggestion they make the jump, he and Ioan had been considering apparating or riding up on brooms and using charms to slow their descent when the brooms dropped out of the air.
But a controlled jump with the British armed forces assisting was simpler and could do all the messy calculations to make sure they actually got to the sea fort.
Of course they'd still need to control things, but Harry had made sure they'd done a several 'preparatory practice jumps' in the past, he'd claimed it was 'team bonding' and Judith had said he'd read too many management books.
Harry wanted to say something challenging that to her now, but the noise of the helicopter prevented that, he could have used the radio, but chose not to. A few years ago it had all been about preparing LPI for any situation, in case they might not be able to drive into locations or whatever, they could instead parachute in. But as they'd worked through things ingenuity worked better than lateral thinking. But now here they were; lateral thinking around the problem of technology.
Mostly technology and magic dropping out of the sky.
Once they were onto the sea fort, which hopefully wouldn't kill them they could work out the next problem.
But first they had to deal with this problem.
Not really a problem.
They'd already practiced it from the same height to a similar target location.
The difference was they wouldn't be able to abort and definitely wouldn't be able to apparate or portkey away.
Though they all had portkeys with them, just in case.
One of the men pulled the door open and gave him a thumbs up.
"Time to go." Harry said to Judith and Ioan who nodded.
-/ - \\-
Inside a blue 1960s box, which wasn't from the 1960s, and strictly speaking wasn't a box either, a mad man, who lived inside the box that wasn't a box moved around the console within.
"It's all weird," he exclaimed out loud, he thought he was talking to his two travelling companions.
They were sitting, each cupping a mug of tea.
"I thought he was fixing the console," Rory said watching the Doctor.
"After the weird big doll things, yeah?" Amy said. "He said he was trying to fix the brakes."
"The steering! That's the problem!" He shouted back again. "Weird bleepy thing."
"Come on." Amy stood up pulling her husband with her. "Let's find out why we're not going to the bakery planet."
"I was looking forward to cake," Rory grumbled.
"Cake! We can have cake later Rory, Pond, you can have some cake too. But not yet," the Doctor said as he swung the television set around for them to look at.
On the screen was an illustration that looked like it'd been drawn using bits from Super Mario Bros.
"Water level?" Amy asked.
"Looks more like the sky land world," Rory mused.
The Doctor walked around between them and looked at the screen. "Sky world? This is a representation of the thing that's acting weirdly!" He exclaimed.
"Where?" Rory asked.
"When?" Amy gave him a look.
"Earth, near your time," the Doctor called.
"Oh," Amy sounded disappointed.
"Recalibrating, that's what we were doing," the Doctor gave Rory a look. "Not coming back, I don't want to be stuck in one place, one time. Had enough of that in the 1970s. Something drew the TARDIS back. A signal," the Doctor explained as he stalked around the console. "Something wobbly and weird."
"What does the pipe mean?" Rory asked.
"Warp zone?" Amy wondered looking at the screen. "Have you got some controllers? I was always Mario."
The Doctor looked between them. "Controllers? This pipe is a narrow approach vector, it's wobbling through all of the local time and space."
"And we're heading right for the middle of it I guess?" Rory looked at it and wondered if he should be bracing.
"Yes Rory, exactly. Glad to have you here, on board, with us, I mean..." The Doctor turned away from them to adjust the console. "Here we go soft landing, wouldn't even ripple the skin on custard."
The TARDIS began to groan and shake, the noise of materialisation shaking through the room and then there was a beep.
The Doctor spun around to the married couple grinning at them. "Come on, you two, out we go."
Amy and Rory watched as the Doctor bounded down the steps towards the doors.
"Another exciting adventure." Amy said holding her hand out to her husband.
"Wouldn't be a day with a Y without it," Rory said as he followed her out, taking it as they went out the door.
Outside the TARDIS the Doctor was waving his sonic screwdriver around listening to it as he did so.
"Weird pulsing in the upper Silverberg range," he was saying.
Rory looked around them and then up to the sky. "Uh...Doctor, is there um, there looks like there's someone coming towards us."
"There shouldn't be anything coming towards us, we're on a sea fort. Unless it's a ship, but this wobblyness they shouldn't be able to see us. The TARDIS had enough problems," the Doctor said distractedly as he listened to his sonic screwdriver.
"I think Rory means up there Doctor," Amy pointed.
Three things, people were flying downwards towards them.
The Doctor was shading his eyes. "People! Hello!"
"Can they see us?" Rory asked.
"No, they shouldn't even be able to see us," the Doctor looked around them. "We're in a different time zone. It's all wibbling about," he said listening to his sonic screwdriver.
"Maybe they're parachuters," Amy shaded her eyes as she tried to see the people coming towards them.
It was at this point the three people's parachutes came out of their backpacks. Two were plain black, but one, as they unfolded Amy saw that one was the red, white and blue of the Union flag.
"It's a bit James Bond," Rory commented to his grinning wife.
Harry looked up at the canopy. It was a bit audacious to have a Union flag parachute. But there were few occasions where you could be audacious when parachuting, it might as well be onto a mysterious sea fort that had weird temporal and whatever else energy pulsing from it.
Harry looked left and right of him to Judith and Ioan, they were coming down in a tight formation, just in case the sea fort did something weird and disappeared like Count Duckula's castle of something like that.
Judith gave him a thumbs up, so they pulled on the sides of their chutes, narrowing them and bringing them down towards the sea fort at a faster rate.
Harry rolled as he landed and unbuckled the chute waving his wand at it, drawing it back up into the pack that he'd pulled off.
Then just as he was about to pull out his energy scanner something hit him and he nearly shot it.
What hit him turned out to be a man with floppy hair in a tweed suit.
"Harry Potter, it's you, what are you doing here?" The Doctor broke away from him and looked at him curiously.
"It's a big sea fort that's giving off curious temporal and other energy fields." Harry explained. "Hello Doctor," he looked past the Doctor, "Amy, Rory, hello."
"Hi," Rory waved.
"Harry?" Called Ioan.
"Over here," Harry shouted. "I've found some interlopers."
"Interloper?" The Doctor muttered to himself. "I'm not an interloper, I'm me. Harry, the Doctor, your friend."
"Of course, you're my friend," Harry turned around and grinned at the Doctor as Judith and Ioan came up from the other side of the fort.
"I just saw a Police Box over there, does that mean..." Judith said as she approached.
"Yes," Harry said. "It does." Harry looked back at his friends. "Amy Pond, Rory Williams, my associates, Judith and Ioan," Harry paused. "And of course, the Doctor, the one who stole the fire truck."
"That was one time and it was an emergency! Tell them Amy," the Doctor complained pointing at them.
Amy just seemed as amused as when he'd first met her. Though both Amy and Rory looked the same as when he'd last met them.
"Uh, what does it mean, if you're here as well?" Rory asked. "Is this magic involved stuff?"
"Like the floating tray?" Amy wondered.
"No!" The Doctor exclaimed. "This is time stuff, there was a big...thing-"
He was cut off, by Judith. "Through the Silverberg range."
"Yes! Judith was it?" The Doctor fixed her with an intense look. "Have we met before? I never forget a face and yours is..." he trailed off and continued to look at her.
"We've met Doctor," Judith said in a short dismissive tone. "Here and now isn't the time for remembrances."
"No. No! There's a weird temporal approach over this whole fort," the Doctor continued to wave his sonic screwdriver around.
"Yes, it's what we were called in for," Harry explained. "I didn't expect it'd attract you, Doctor," Harry finished redrawing the Doctor's attention.
"No, well, you know me Harry," he grinned, throwing an arm around Harry's shoulder. "Love an adventure me," he paused. "this is new, isn't it? You and me, an adventure together, with our friends, it's like we're in a gang. Always wanted to have a gang of mates. Friends and chums to adventure and investigate together."
"Very Scooby-Doo," Judith interjected.
"Supposedly he used to have a tin dog that he travelled with," Amy commented, holding her hand out to Judith as Rory did so to Ioan.
"That's no way to talk about Mickey," Harry chuckled.
The Doctor gave Harry a puzzled expression. "I would never..." he paused, grinned to himself. "Maybe, occasionally. Ricky the rover."
"Well-" Harry began as the Doctor seemed to become distracted by something.
"Well, yes! Now that you're here and we're here we should split up," the Doctor began.
"Yes, we're on a dangerous possibly deserted fort that has weird temporal and unknown energy wobbling around. Let's split up," Judith said in a sarcastic tone briefly startling the Doctor by how close she was to him when she spoke.
Harry shrugged. "We were going to anyway, now we can work together and hopefully not end up down a rift or battling kaiju."
"Because lampshading it worked so well last time," Judith commented as she pulled out an expanding bag from her pocket and started to unpack the energy and temporal scanners.
The Doctor led his companions a short distance away to have a word with them as they did so.
"Amy, Rory, go with Harry," Amy watched the Doctor who was watching the grey haired woman; Judith pull unfathomably large things out of a bag.
"Why Doctor, don't you want to hang out with your friend?" Amy asked.
"Wouldn't it be safer to stay together Doctor, like that Judith woman said, splitting up never results in something good," Rory commented reasonably.
"Splitting up? We're not splitting up Rory. We're letting the situation explore us, it's exciting and interesting. We can't all wander around together, it'd take too long. That's boring, that's...stuffy," the Doctor paused mid-thought.
"Is Judith someone you know from your past? She said remembrances. Does that mean something?" Amy quizzed the Doctor.
The Doctor looked at Amy. "Maybe, nothing dangerous Pond, just something from long ago," he finished in a dark tone.
"How long ago? Is she like River from your past?" Amy asked in a tight voice.
"No!" The Doctor exclaimed. "Nothing like River, no. If she is who I think she is she's from a long time ago. Someone I met, should've looked into, a friend, she comforted while I was being big and Scottish," the Doctor mused to himself.
"Scottish?" Amy looked at him oddly. "You were Scottish?"
"I've been lots of things Pond, Scottish, Northern, I even hung out with the toffs scoffing red wine and dressing in velvet!" The Doctor ran a hand down his jacket. "Maybe I should wear a cape again," he wiggled his eyebrows around. "Maybe not," he paused. "Now come on Ponds, Harry looks like he's raring to go."
"And if he's a friend of yours then he'll start wandering off without us and only remember when he's half way down the corridor," Rory commented to the Doctor's back who'd already bounced off away from them.
"Come on husband, let's go and have an adventure without the Doctor," Amy said leaning onto Rory.
"He looks a lot more intense, dressed up, military like than when we saw him last. Professional," Rory said as they followed in the Doctor's footsteps slowly. "Harry doesn't owe the Doctor a debt, not like Vastra and Strax I guess," Rory continued, thinking of the Doctor's assembly of people on Demon's Run.
"Maybe now's a chance to find out something more, his wizard girlfriend wasn't that forthcoming about him and the Doctor," Amy said.
"They're wizards. Witch and wizard," Rory mused.
"Not that Judith woman, what do you think she is?" Amy asked.
"Dangerous, when she needs to be," Amy almost jumped at Harry Potter's voice.
"Seems like the Doctor wants us to pair up," Harry said having successfully crept up on Amy and Rory.
"What about your friend?" Rory asked looking towards where Ioan had set up a tent.
"Ioan's going to try and map this sea fort, the maps we had of this location might not be accurate to what's here," Harry explained. Ioan would be using some of the potions and map solutions he'd created working out the missing streets and Lady Me's streets in London. It would also be useful to have someone on the top of the sea fort as a base of operations. He also wanted Ioan to make sure the TARDIS didn't do anything weird. Harry had told him to set up the energy buffers around it if anything weird happened. The buffers wouldn't have a hope of stopping the TARDIS, but might moderate any energy interactions, should something weird and wobbly happenen.
He'd also made sure Judith didn't have a problem teaming up with the Doctor, but it seemed he wanted a chat with her and she, she didn't seem to care. Both she and him had discussed in some detail what happened back in 1963 with the Daleks and she seemed to be at peace with it, the alternatives, what might have happened to her, were it not for the Daleks' intervention would have been much worse.
"What is here? The Doctor wasn't very enlightening," Rory asked as Harry handed them each a torch, he didn't bother offering them a weapon and they wouldn't, he assumed know what to make of the energy and temporal scanner that he had with him.
Harry looked over and saw that the Doctor had chosen a door and soniced it open, Harry gestured around to the other side to what appeared to be a closed fire exit door. "What did the Doctor say was here?" He asked as he muttered Alohomora at the door. A loud thunk sound thumped from the door as some bolts disengaged.
"Something vague and temporal, wobble something," Amy said swooping her torch around. "What are you looking for here?"
"We're investigating-" Harry was about to explain when something bleeped on his energy scanner. It wasn't magic and it probably wasn't the Doctor who'd taken off in the other direction.
"What...what is it?" Rory asked carefully.
"Some sort of energy source," Harry clipped in the temporal scanner, it was still something that sucked a lot of power and checked the area. Just one large temporal source at the moment. The TARDIS. "Hopefully the TARDIS will moderate whatever wibbly wobbly things are going on here."
Then the whole space shook and a dull roar rumbled beneath their feet.
"Spoke too soon," Harry muttered.
Amy patted him on the back. "You get used to it, shall we follow the noise?" She asked leading the way.
Harry looked in surprise to Rory who shrugged. "Fine, Amy, you lead the way, I'm only the one in charge of a paranormal investigative league," Harry called towards her back.
"Yup, right you are mate," she called back.
Elsewhere in the sea fort the Doctor was walking along with Judith.
"I should have come back for you, not left you, alone on Earth," he was saying as he walked along sniffing the air with a wrinkled nose.
"Ace comforted me after you broke the Black Dalek's control signal," Judith paused looking at the energy scanner. There was something odd coming from the centre structure and something further down. The plans they'd got from the Ministry of Magic had not been updated since the war, and anything beyond that was just a list of materials and elements. Nothing to state what was actually going on here with any certainty. But what had been done during the war suggested the wizards and regulars had tunneled down into the sea bed. "You had your own agenda Doctor when you were short and Scottish."
"That was me, back then, agendas, plans, notes for myself. I used to be able to roll my Rs. And I had an umbrella! Haven't used one of those in ages," he beamed.
"What do you do when it rains?" Judith asked the Time Lord curiously.
The Doctor looked at her. "I don't know, get wet, I think I do, or maybe just avoid the rain."
"Sometimes you can't avoid it, it's like a thunderstorm rolling in," Judith pondered.
"Sometimes, there shouldn't be a thunderstorm," the Doctor said to himself. "I would never have left you, after the battle."
Judith turned to look at the Doctor. "Something's happened to you, something that's changed your outlook."
The Doctor suddenly looked at her. "What? No, nothing's changed, not with me," he extracted his sonic screwdriver from his pocket pointing it around. "There's something odd here though, weird," he flicked it deftly, looking at some indiscernible display on it. "Weird."
Judith smiled looking at the energy scanner. "Our investigations showed this whole place is odd here, and you might try Doctor, but distracting from the subject is not something done easily."
It was at this point that the thing they feared the most folded itself out of the darkness, roaring with passion and fear and slowly oozed its way at them like a rolling cloud of energy and mist.
"Rory!" Amy exclaimed in a tone that suggested to Harry she'd encountered something dangerous. Or possibly exciting, he wasn't sure. He wondered if he sounded like that when he was running towards danger.
Checking his energy scanner there was something, something he'd yet to perfectly map. While he'd mostly succeeded in rebuilding the energy scanners that LPI now used out of contemporary materials, the core analysis engines of them were made out of Dalek, Drahvin and other bits and bobs he'd collected. Whatever was out there was probably something psychic, or maybe some sort of radiation.
It wasn't deadly per se, just dangerous.
Rory had already started running as Harry clipped his torch to his gun and ran ahead wand in his other hand.
"Harry? What is it, what's out there?" Rory asked from where he was holding Amy.
"What did you see Amy?" Harry asked as he shone the torch around the room they were in.
"Just a corridor, it was nothing," she answered.
"Corridors, right, awful, can't have too many of those," Rory commented.
"Don't start," Amy blinked and looked at them. "I felt scared, like really scared and now, it's gone."
"That's odd," Rory said.
"Fear switched on and then off..." Harry mused as he walked forward. "Where'd you start to feel it?"
"Just over there," She gestured with her torch as Harry walked towards it.
"Uh, should you walk towards the fear inducing corridor?" Rory asked in a concerned tone.
"I fancy if you travel with the Doctor long enough you'd either start to enjoy corridors a lot or develop some sort of traumatic association disorder about corridors. I wonder if any of the Doctor's former travelling companions live in open plan-" Harry's musings aloud were cut off by him coughing, then turning around to face Amy and Rory.
"You felt it didn't you?" Amy looked at him.
"A dull, rising bile in the stomach," Harry shook his head, it wasn't magical, at least he didn't think it was as he turned and aimed a few choice spells in the general area of the space. They weren't anything damaging, just very disruptive to electronics.
Then his radio started to crackle. "Harry, we've encountered a boggart, yours or Ioan's assistance would be useful. Or I could use a grenade." Another voice interjected. "No, grenade, not that, in a confined space? We just need to understand it, not blow it up!"
Harry raised an eyebrow and looked at his energy scanner. "Be there quickly," he said turning around tilting the energy scanner as he did so. "Amy, Rory, time for a bit of-"
Both were by his side. "Running, yeah, used to that with the Doctor," Rory said.
"What's a boggart?" Amy asked.
Harry strode off at speed pointing his torch down the corridor towards what looked like a containment door. "Something that messes with your emotions, pulls out something that you fear."
"Is it dangerous?" Rory asked. "Like deadly danger?"
Harry shook his head, then tilted his head to one side. "Only if you've been around the block a few times."
"Like the Doctor? Or your friend?" Amy asked.
Harry smiled. "I wouldn't say that of Judith, and the Doctor's timeless, that's how he's always seemed to me. Older than he should be and younger than he appears. Most of the time," he finished as they reached the metal door. "Alohomora," he said waving his wand at the door, even though there was no sign of a lock to unlock. But the door wouldn't move with shove.
"Too bad you don't have a sonic screwdriver magic man," Amy commented as she extracted her phone from her pocket.
"Are you going to call a locksmith?" Harry asked as he pocketed his wand looking between Amy and Rory.
"The Doctor left his phone in the TARDIS remember, he said he didn't like it vibrating at him, said it reminded him of...I can't remember, he started muttering to himself and went off to make a cup of tea," Rory commented.
Amy scowled at him. "So how're we going to get through, go back up to the surface and go around?"
Harry grinned at her and extracted his sonic screwdriver from his pocket, twisting the bottom and adjusting the settings he activated it and held it around the door.
There was a thunk and hiss and the door slowly opened along with a spinning green light. It was weird, for the room to be suddenly bathed in green light. From their research there wasn't any power connected to the sea fort from the mainland and no generators or solar panels currently working that they could detect.
Then, came the roaring of something inhuman and unknowable.
"Come on, let's go chat to the fear," Harry said rushing off.
"He's definitely the Doctor's friend," Rory said, pausing from a look from his wife. "He's running towards the scary noise."
"Come on husband," Amy said running after Harry Potter.
"Oh great," Rory looked around and up at the door for a moment before rushing after the two people who he had been wandering around with for the past however long it had been.
"Expecto Patronum!" Harry exclaimed as burst into the room. Technically it wasn't the spell for a boggart, but whatever it was that was advancing on Judith and the Doctor needed driving away first before he could collect his thoughts in order to cast "Riddikulus!" He cried out as the boggart turned its attentions on him.
Harry was glad that it didn't have time to reform and attack him. He didn't want to think about what his fears made manifest might look like, but he fancied it would be something from that destroyed darkened Earth, the one where the Doctor failed and Daphne was murdered, amongst other things.
"Harry!" The Doctor embraced him. "That was! Amazing! Just..." The Doctor spun around pointing his sonic screwdriver. "Amy, Rory! You came too!"
"Yep, lots of running, it's like we're wandering around with you," Rory commented.
"Doctor, Harry's got a sonic screwdriver. Do all your friends have a sonic?" Amy asked.
"Harry's got a sonic?" The Doctor frowned and spun around.
Harry, who was conversing with Judith turned around and looked at him and flicked his sonic screwdriver back and forth in his hand. "Yes," he said simply as the Doctor rushed over and prodded it with his.
"But it's so, retro," the Doctor grinned to himself.
"Maybe Harry doesn't need a tricorder in a screwdriver?" Judith wondered.
"A what?" The Doctor frowned. "Where'd you get this Harry?"
"On Hyspero..." Harry trailed off looking for some recognition on the Doctor's face. "Maybe it's in your future?"
"Canon, continuity and all that?" Judith wondered.
The Doctor stared at her for a second too long. "Come on Judith, corridors to investigate."
"Uh, hang on, shouldn't we stick together, now that we're back after you wandered off?" Rory asked.
"How about you boys go off and I'll go with the Doctor, Jude and I-" Amy began.
She was cut off coolly by Judith. "My name is Judith," she paused and Harry felt the air freeze between them. "Do not call me Jude, Amy Williams."
"Best to spilt up, I always say, the best thing to do is split up, safest, Rory, Amy," the Doctor looked between them. "Judith, come on."
Then the Doctor had wandered off, back down the path Harry, Amy and Rory had been following.
"What was that, with your friend there, is she some sort of wizard too?" Amy asked once Harry had studied his energy scanner, there was still something down here, something unidentifiable and weird.
"She likes her name, no nicknames," Harry said simply.
"No nicknames," the Doctor was thinking aloud to himself. "They don't use nicknames."
Judith looked to him. "The Daleks? Saying their name isn't going to summon them from the darkness."
The Doctor fixed her with a look. "No, that's not what that boggart came at you with, you don't fear them do you?"
"Should I?" Judith asked as she clipped her torch to her now un-holstered gun.
"They captured you, stole away your childhood, made you a puppet for their war," the Doctor seemed to be both talking to her and himself.
Judith looked at him and countered. "The Black Dalek used my creativity."
"And abilities," the Doctor interjected, watching her carefully.
"Hardly," she dismissed.
"Hardly, Judith, not Harry's abilities, no, but you retain it don't you?" He asked her an expression of curiosity on his face.
"Why do you care now Doctor? You by your own admission abandoned me," Judith paused and looked at him, her tone briefly shifting. "I remember Ace, you had the military cleanup after the Daleks."
"Never did find the time controller though," he muttered.
"Rest assured, had the Daleks not intervened, my life would have been significantly different," Judith said in short tones. "Do not concern yourself with my life Doctor," Judith looked to him. "It's interesting that you are. Harry's noticed it."
Then there was a crackle on her radio. "Judith, Harry, I'm washing off the map now. There's definitely a lot of magic here, it's forming hard lines in the map, also unknown things. It goes below the surface, further than muggles could have done."
"Any clear passage down?"
"Central lift shaft and stairs on the north and south sides."
"Understood, Ioan, keep going with the layers, I feel like this is a layer cake of concerning things." Harry's voice this time.
"We'll check the rooms along the outside and make our way down," Judith said into her radio. She had tried her own sources to locate any plans of this sea fort, as had Harry, but Ioan had concluded that if muggles and wizards had worked together on this place, any record of it would have been thoroughly expunged from the record. Especially now in recent times this had been a solely wizarding venture, whatever it was that was here.
"Excellent, love a good fossick through a room," the Doctor rubbed his hands together.
"Deadly danger waiting to pick us off when we're not looking, and you're not even armed," Judith commented.
The Doctor swung around; waving his sonic screwdriver at her and grinned at her.
"Ostentatious, are you compensating for something Doctor?" Judith pondered as she swept around the corridor and looked at her energy scanner. "There's an energy source through there and a dead zone, possibly magical there," she pointed to another.
"We'll split up, faster that way wouldn't, or," the Doctor started.
"Stick together, I don't want to have to find you Doctor," Judith looked at him carefully.
"No, right, so, door one or door two?" He gestured around with his sonic screwdriver looking at the side of it with a puzzled expression.
"Dangerous energy first, you can step through the door before me," Judith gestured.
"So I can investigate first? Lucky, I always like a mysterious force," the Doctor beamed.
"Then think of me Doctor as an unstoppable object, pushing you in," Judith gestured with her torch.
Up on the surface Ioan hung up another of the map sections.
Harry's development of these mapping potions, serums and solutions was a lot more creative and unusual than Harry gave himself credit for. A combination of a lot of different magical pathways to map something that didn't actually need to be walked, instead it fed in from the magical energies and other vibrations present.
At least that was what he'd understood after going through Harry's notes with him and developing what they'd brought with them to the sea fort.
Harry had freely admitted that there was probably something deadly and dangerous hiding below the sea fort. If it could warp time around it, that meant it had to be pretty powerful.
What Harry hadn't quite said, but had implied, that Harry didn't want him in this dangerous situation.
Ioan did have his wife and child to think of, and he thanked Harry for that consideration. LPI's work was dangerous, but usually it was Harry who was running towards the danger. Ioan preferred to be the magical backup.
Especially today, that the Doctor was involved.
Ioan preferred the Doctor as a person Harry knew, and they interacted with the results of his interactions with the world.
Ioan had read UNIT soldiers' accounts of the Doctor, when he turned up, it was like a hurricane sweeping down the Thames; all hell breaks loose.
At least Judith was with him, she would keep a close eye on him.
Walking out of the tent to grab one of his bags he walked back in out of the wind outside.
Reaching in he extracted one of the brooms from within.
He'd picked it up while he and Harry were in Russia doing research into the Tupolev Tu-144 as an alternative airframe for their Xecotcovach developments. The Xecotcovach project had been very expensive, even with Osric Greengrass's contribution. According to Harry Osric's enthusiasm had waned, though he didn't want his money back, but like LPI Osric had decided that the Xecotcovach X-1 would be used for special deliveries, very fast ones that his business could provide for a price.
But the Harry still wanted to mess around in the aircraft field, they'd learnt a lot about how muggle technology interacted with magical sites.
While, Ioan had freely admitted his heart was still somewhat with brooms, he was also growing to enjoy the sheer speed offered by the Xecotcovach projects, especially what Harry was trying to do with the gravity bubble and energy weapons tech on the X-2.
While they'd been out in Russia they'd gone out to Kazakhstan, Harry had said he'd wanted to look into 'something in Baikonur' but they'd become distracted with a huge magical bazaar. Harry had wandered off to find some rare potion ingredients while Ioan had wondered around the broom salesmen.
What was sitting on the floor of the tent was called either 'tiny wind' or as Judith had offered 'big fart', it had been sourced from Russia somewhere, but the seller didn't elucidate further on his questions of its origin. It was a broom practically half the size of a lower end Cleansweep, but with similar speed and handling characteristics. It wasn't amazing in those terms. But the size was what made it amazing, barely large enough for an adult, but with the lifting power of a larger broom.
He'd brought it 'just in case'. Which was the mantra of LPI and their expanding bags.
Even though Hermione Granger thought they were something of a perversion of her development he had still thanked her. Although expanding bags were a mainstay of the wizarding world, both Granger and Harry had turned them into something really special and especially useful. Harry by wrapping them into and around muggle tents and other structures made them much more useful than say a wizarding tent.
They were much less luxurious than a wizarding tent, very functional.
Perfect for LPI's uses.
Though he had used what he'd learnt from LPI and Harry to create his own bespoke travelling tent, it was almost a tiny house that he and Akilina had used multiple times.
"You two wouldn't be able to enlighten me about something," Harry asked as they continued along the corridor. He hoped to find a junction box or one of the supposedly many rooms that the fort contained. It couldn't all just be corridors.
Although according to Sarah and Tegan that was what happened when you spent time with the Doctor, there were a lot of corridors. Also, he reflected UNIT had a lot of corridors with doors with tiny names on them. You had to know where you were going in UNIT's top secret headquarters.
"You're not the all knowing one you mean?" Rory asked.
Harry shook his head. "I've never claimed to know everything, I'm not the Doctor."
Amy gave him a look. "What'd you want to know Harry?"
"Who is 'Mels'?" Harry asked and turned as both Amy and Rory paused to look at him. "I saw your message to the Doctor, crop circles is something wizards like to do and blame on regular people, LPI had to investigate." Harry explained. Technically they didn't have to investigate. "Found a square the same size as the TARDIS, car tracks and two cars. One of them your Mini Rory and one that Mels was seen stealing."
"She's my best friend," Amy explained simply.
"And our daughter." Rory continued in a tone that suggested he still found it somewhat amazing.
"Your daughter?" Harry repeated. "But, River's your daughter..." he trailed off as the associations and connections slowly came together in his head.
"She was shot, by Hitler." Rory continued in a casual yet still surprised tone.
Harry blinked and wondered if the sea fort was warping perceptions and then Amy spoke again.
"She regenerated into River Song," Amy said as though this were matter of fact.
"..." Harry turned around, mouth agape unable to work out what to say.
"That's how we felt, especially with Hitler in the cupboard," Rory paused, as though that was a completely normal sort of sentence before he continued to elaborate.
Harry just tried to walk on without thinking to hard and just tried to listen.
No one, none of the other people who travelled with the Doctor had as much of a complicated life as these two. According to Sarah and what little bits he and Hermione gleaned from Fitz Kreiner in San Francisco some 'weird shit' had gone on with Samantha Jones. But according to Sarah Sam Jones had returned to Earth and then drifted off into the maelstrom that is normal life.
"I think I'll need a piece of paper and a chart," Harry turned around, holstering his gun and wrapped the pair in a hug. Stepping back a moment later and smiled. "Just seemed like the right thing to do, I don't know how..." he trailed off.
Amy smiled. "Thanks."
"Yeah, you're the first person we could really speak to about this, that knows, well you know, River, the Doctor, everything," Rory had a tone of relief.
"What about the Silurian you mentioned when we last met?" Harry asked as he returned to the corridor.
Amy and Rory stepped up to be level with him, seemingly more confident now with him.
"She lives in the 1880s," Rory answered.
"Ah." Harry paused. "Ah ha," he said triumphantly. "Junction box." Harry said and tried to open it.
"Rusted shut?" Amy asked.
"Can you know, spell it open?" Rory asked gesturing with his hands in a florid way.
"Sonic screwdriver for this, in case there's electronics in the way." Harry explained. "Magic disrupts some unshielded electrical stuff."
"So wizards don't have the internet?" Rory asked curiously.
"Nothing more advanced than the steam train," Harry said as he tried his sonic screwdriver and attempted to open the box, it remained stubbornly closed. Twisting the shaft of the sonic screwdriver he tried again.
"Still nothing?" Amy asked.
"It's got a lance setting, I'll just melt the locking mechanism off," Harry explained.
"Why does your sonic look so different to the Doctor's?" Amy asked.
Harry wrinkled his nose "'Sonic'? Is that what he's calling it now? It's a sonic screwdriver it's not just any sort of sonic device. It's destroying the grand majesty of a tool of an engineer and discoverer, to call it just a sonic, it's a travesty of language, the lexicon, dulled from a great multicolour coat to...tweed." Harry blinked and wondered where that came from. "Hopefully that outburst is from the building."
"Yeah, unless you like to rant like that all of the time." Rory looked at him.
"Not often," Harry admitted. "I got my sonic screwdriver from a different Doctor, maybe an earlier one, or a later one, or something," he'd almost finished lancing the mechanism. "I travelled with the Doctor for a short time, sounds like you've been in the TARDIS rooms a bit, have you found the Zeppelin hanger? Or the library?"
"Zeppelin hanger?" Amy asked puzzled.
"The books in the library sometimes scream at you," Rory mused with dread.
"That just made me want to look at them more," Harry reflected back. "Danger calls and all that," he said as he pried open the door and checked his energy scanner. There wasn't anything running through. "Okay, time to power this place up."
"Weird energy readings, if your scanner picking it up too?" The Doctor asked looking at his sonic screwdriver.
"Your tone suggests that our scanners aren't worth a salt Doctor," Judith commented.
They'd managed to find a lift shaft and a set of stairs, diabolical but they could transverse it easily enough, but it seemed like the darkness was eating their torchlight at the moment. There was also a higher concentration of temporal energy, but nothing dangerous, at least not for either of them who had both been exposed to a temporal field.
"It's fine, if that's what you've got, Harry designed it didn't he?" The Doctor continued to question.
"Yes," Judith answered simply.
"Dalek components in the design, some symbols," the Doctor leaned over wrinkling his nose.
"Harry's made a study of the Dalek language," Judith commented.
"Not something you cared for?" The Doctor wondered.
Judith shrugged and answered his original question. "There's some odd readings up the end of the energy scale, unknown."
"Love unknown I-" the Doctor was cut off by a very crackly radio.
"...fzzzt...found...ion...box. Powering up." Harry's voice barely came through.
"No point in answering I suppose." Judith wondered as there was a thud throughout the sea fort.
They were suddenly bathed the flickering glow of very old lights.
"Thank you Harry, we've gone from X-Files to horror movie," Judith muttered to herself.
"Love a good movie, Amy's got dozens stacked up on the DVD player," the Doctor grinned to himself.
"Your companions are watching DVDs in a time and space vessel?" Judith looked at him curiously.
"I know," he shook his head. "Humans," he turned to look at her. "All of space and time and it's tea and special features."
"So, what is this place meant to be?" Amy asked as Rory held his torch for Harry as a smell of burning wire wrapped itself around them. "The Doctor'd have that wired in quickly."
"A friend of the Doctor's once told me his TARDIS is held together with gaffer tape and string. Considering her TARDIS used tights to hold it together she's one to talk," Harry commented as he sonically welded another of the connections up to the battery pack's cables. Said battery pack was on the ground. He didn't want to power up the whole sea fort, Merlin knew what was lurking, but enough, so nothing could creep up.
"What?" Rory properly asked him. "There's other TARDISes?"
"Some look like London busses or horse floats," Harry commented in a teasing tone. "It's probably a relic of a war, World War II was when it was built, some sort of secret project between wizards and regular people," Harry explained as he looked puzzled at one of the extra wires he'd pulled out of the junction box. He didn't feel like saying 'muggles' would help explaining things in this context.
"What sort of secret project?" Rory asked in a tone that suggested he didn't like whatever was associated with the intention of the phrase. Harry found himself rather liking Mr Williams, especially when he wasn't being quizzed about the whereabouts of the Doctor.
"Exactly what you think it is; worrying. We've no idea. Co-operation between wizards and regular people is quite rare, World War II there was some because the regular and wizarding world coincided with certain events," Harry explained.
"But this place kept going, the government put money into it?" Amy asked.
Harry nodded. "The British government cut off funding some years ago, but the sea fort was kept out of bounds. Wizards it seems continued to ply this place with a lot of rare and valuable resources," Harry stepped back. "Stand back Rory," Harry said as he bent down to the battery pack and pushed the on button.
There were several sparks and then a humming throughout the sea fort and then the lights slowly started to blink on bathing then in the glow of very old incandescent globes.
"Oh, great, that's so much better than gloom," Rory switched off the torch and looked around.
They'd taken the stairs; down. The Doctor's reasoning that any of the really interesting stuff would be stored in the lower levels.
"Good place to hide things, down in the lower depths," he'd said, to her or to himself he wasn't sure.
"Very odd energy readings," Judith said vaguely in the Doctor's direction.
"Seen it before somewhere," he said as he prodded the larger, thicker power cables that he'd decided to follow. She had allowed him to lead the way. "This place has an odd feeling."
"Yes, strange, that you think it's strange," the Doctor looked at her with a piercing gaze for a moment.
"These cables are carrying a lot more power than should be possible with the energy pack Harry had," she turned the energy scanner around to show the Doctor.
"Okay, that's a lot more, what's Harry using?" The Doctor wondered. "Not Dalek?"
"Sontaran, UNIT used it for one of their Project Indigo devices," the Doctor didn't need that information but Judith was curious what expressions and response he would have when presented with that information, given that his interaction with Project Indigo through Martha Jones was in his previous incarnation.
"Project Indigo," the Doctor paused, "Transmat technology, not something humans should be messing around with."
Judith smiled at him, she wondered if he knew exactly what humans and in particular Harry was messing around with in his shed.
"Nah, that shouldn't provide this much power..." he trailed off running down the corridor and putting his ear up against one of the cables that was affixed to the wall.
"Hear anything?" Judith asked.
"Resonance...smells like Veganite," the Doctor stood up and straightened his bow tie.
"Veganite?" Judith repeated at the grinning Doctor, which she suspected that's what he wanted her to do. She was not going to fall into the companion trap. "The wizards and humans could have been messing around with something like Project Infinity?"
The Doctor was looking down the corridor, but at the mention of Project Infinity he spun around to face her. "How do you know about Project Infinity? That's in the future, of a universe or two ago, how do you know about that?" He waved his sonic screwdriver around him like a drunk wizard.
Judith fixed the Time Lord with a cold look. "I was the Daleks' battle computer. They were searching for the Hand of Omega on Earth that you hid for them. I had access to their remembrances, their gambits of past and future," she paused, and she'd also looked through the history files Harry had got from his agreement with the Daleks to re-familiarise herself with some other things. "Don't question me, Time Lord," she finished and smiled at him, having successfully made him back away out of her personal space and lower his sonic screwdriver.
"Well, you don't have to go all..." he held his hands up, "big, moody."
"That's all you'd listen to, when I first met you, sometimes you need talking down to Doctor, you showed the Daleks that, I still remember that," she said.
"And I'm sorry, Judith, that injured you, I..." he exhaled. "I don't think I even thought about it when I faced that Dalek. Too single minded, plotting, that's what I was back then."
Judith squeezed her radio. "Better try and tell Harry that we've found something," there was just static.
"Whatever's been activated would block out everything, Veganite was never subtle," the Doctor grimaced.
"Onwards then," Judith gestured.
"Onwards!" The Doctor spun around and grinned pointing down the corridor.
Now that the lights were on, albeit glowing, pulsing and occasionally blown out, they could do a better investigation of the rooms on this level.
There were some bedrooms with a lot of rotting beds in them, a few laboratories with nothing much of interest.
There was the remnants of some biological stuff that his energy scanner indicated might have been alive at some point, but anything that had been going on here on this level of the sea fort had ceased long ago.
"Harry, uh, this looks like something out of place," called Rory from down the corridor.
As the Doctor's friends and travelling companions Harry assumed they could do some corridor discovering without him being beside them every step of the way.
It had given him a chance to explore on his own and also better consider what they'd told him about River Song, Melody Pond and Mels. Also known as the same person.
Really, the Doctor should...Harry wasn't sure, but he hoped his friend carried some guilt over that situation. Ace had told him, at Bernice Summerfield's wedding over a glass of something very strong and horrible that he should be careful around the Doctor, that he messes people up, she learnt that and made sure she got out.
Harry wondered if he could call in Time's Vigilante.
Putting down what looked like one of three dragon eggs; ones that had hardened to rock or been petrified or something, there was no life in them but had been bedded down carefully by the previous occupants in straw regardless, Harry headed outside and down the corridor.
"...it just looks like a wardrobe." Harry could heard Amy's voice.
"But with a ramp up and fire doors here, right near the lifts," Rory was saying as Harry walked in; observing the reinforced unlocked fire doors, which, unlike the rest of the fort looked like the might actually work.
"What do you think Harry, Rory thinks it's something magical," Amy asked about to put her hand on the double door handle.
Harry quickly waved his wand at it locking it and walked over extracting some heavy duty cable ties from his pocket. "It is, it's something that lets wizards pop in, without all that messy temporal or apparition trouble," he explained what this magical cabinet was as he secured the door firmly against anyone opening it. Hermione had said that all funds had been cut to this place, but he really didn't want whoever, whichever witch or wizard had been messing around her to pop up, especially now that he'd got the power on.
"So, it really is a magical cabinet?" Amy asked incredulously.
"Thanks, don't need to sound so surprised I was right," Rory commented. "You're worried someone is going to come out and stab you in the back."
"I always worry about that," Harry answered. "But no, not really, but it's never too bad to worry, just in case." Harry backed himself to the back of the vanishing cabinet, LPI could investigate where it went later.
Thumping his boots down on the metal ramp which was very much not a wizard construction he looked towards the doors, through which he could see the cargo lift. "So you'd come out of the vanishing cabinet and into the lift."
"No, the other way around, look" Rory pointed at the floor, even through the murky light and grot that was on it Harry could see that the marks in the floor indicated the opposite of what he was musing.
"So whatever's here, is something they were taking out," Amy finished as she walked towards the lift and pushed the button. "Shall we investigate?"
"Or we could just head back upstairs and sit with Harry's friend?" Rory asked.
Amy looked at her husband and smiled wickedly.
"But what would be the fun in that," Rory said walking over and joining his wife.
"Indeed," Harry joined them. "But you can head back up, there's fire stairs through that door-" he was cut off.
"Checked those, rusted beyond use," Amy reported.
"Down into the dangerous depths of this place then." Harry pondered as the lift arrived. There were several buttons, but one was much more worn than the others, he jabbed it before Amy could take more control of the situation.
"This place feels weird, does anyone else feel...weird?" Rory asked as the lift slowly dropped down into the depths of the sea fort.
"Like someone's reaching into your grave and stirring it with a swizzle stick?" Harry pondered.
Amy nodded. "Like after the Pandorica, everything was weird, different."
Harry didn't bother to ask what the Pandorica was he suspected like everything involving these two and the Doctor it was complicated beyond belief. "Likely it's whatever is lurking down in the cellar."
"I really hope it's nothing, but travelling with the Doctor makes me think it'll be a multi-tentacled monster," Rory said as Amy pulled him into a hug.
"It's never Cthulhu,' Harry tried to say in a positive way. "It's not always stuff from the depths of time. What about..." Harry had to pause and think, Amy and Rory hadn't really mentioned the bits they enjoyed from travelling with the Doctor, just the bad, shocking and...River Song parts, that was something he still couldn't quite wrap his head around.
"He said we were going to planet of the cakes before we came here," Rory said.
"Barastabon!" Harry exclaimed.
"You've been?" Amy asked curiously. "I thought you didn't travel with the Doctor, that's what he says."
"Briefly," Harry said as the lift shuddered to a halt and the doors screeched open.
Judith felt it more than saw it, a change upwards in temperature and a change in sensation in the body. She didn't like it, but couldn't quite put her finger on what it was. Her energy scanner was all over the place. High levels of energy were pulsing through the energy cables, from what she knew and what the Doctor had revealed Veganite already had massive amounts of energy. It was those massive stores of energy and the ability to utilise it that made it so useful for Project Infinity. The reaction they were seeing may have begun by Harry introducing energy to the fort, but it felt like things had already been in motion before they had arrived.
But given everything she'd seen with Harry and the League of Paranormal Investigations thus far it did leave her a little concerned.
Especially as when this sea fort was constructed was during World War II, when heaven forbid the regulars and magicals worked together, they must've been worried.
"But what were they worried about? To build something with this amount of power?" The Doctor was either talking to himself or listening in to her musing.
"The Nazis, Gellert Grindelwald, Albus Dumbledore, the nuclear weapons programmes, the Cold War that some saw coming," Judith listed off.
"Paranoia. It'd be much easier if everyone just got along," the Doctor pondered.
Judith did not even think, very loudly, to herself, what she thought of the Doctor saying this.
"What's your energy gizmo saying?" He asked peering over at her.
"That there's a lot of energy fluctuating, nothing too dangerous, but," she paused and slotted the temporal scanner into the side along with a heftier battery pack. "The temporal one's all over the place."
The Doctor waved his sonic at the temporal scanner. "Harry's been busy, that's pretty advanced for when he's at now," he looked at his sonic screwdriver. "Wobbly, it's all fluctuating around here."
"Then we should walk calmly towards it," Judith began.
"An excellent idea Judith," the Doctor began.
"And shoot it in the face," Judith finished and enjoyed the way the Doctor's expression fell.
Harry had asked if Amy or Rory wanted a weapon beyond their torches, they'd both declined.
Amy had decided to wander slightly ahead as she did so Rory sidled up beside him. "Do you think there's something really dangerous here?"
"Uneasy, weird, unsettling," Harry pondered through the feelings he was currently feeling. "I don't know what's here Rory, but I like to go with my eyes open and a means to defend myself. It's almost never a foam monster or a giant maggots."
Rory gave him a look. "What?"
"Oi you too, I think we've arrived," Amy was calling, she was stood in front of a large bulkhead sort of door, her hand hovering over a button that was in the right place to make it open.
"Seems too obvious, I wonder if it's practical," Harry looked at the button.
Amy smiled at him. "That's what I thought, like it wants you to push it."
"'This facility was overseen by Edwin Bracewell, the defence of her majesty's people, all of them'." Rory was reading off a something behind them.
Both Harry and Amy spun around. "What?" They both asked; surprised.
"You know who Bracewell is?" Amy seemed surprised that he recognised the name.
"He was Churchill's science officer, or something like that, he came up with some interesting tech ideas." Harry answered.
"He also worked for the Daleks," the sentence that Amy said didn't surprise him, not too much, it suddenly made the partial drawings of the 'Ironsides' eyepiece make a lot more sense. Most of said drawings had been lost in a cabinet room flood.
"So is this a big Dalek trap?" Harry wondered as he waved his wand at the door; forcing it open, ignoring the inviting button.
"Come on in, glad you could make it," called the voice of the Doctor.
Judith looked up from where she was standing, which was as far away from the...shadowy void suspended between two large retro cooling stacks in the room. She was also trying to keep her distance from the Doctor and the control panel he was gesturing his sonic screwdriver at.
Then the door on the far side of the room was almost wrenched off its rollers and the Doctor called out.
Presumably he knew it was Harry standing on the other side of the door and not a Myrka.
"Amy, Rory! You're here!" The Doctor exclaimed as Harry came striding over to her.
"Bracewell seems to have had a hand in this, he's some sort of sentient android duplicate according to Amy." Harry explained in a low tone.
"I think this is some sort of alternate dimension viewer," she said.
"It's Veganite, of course it's dangerous, and it's interesting." The Doctor walked over to the smokey void.
"Should you be getting so close it Doctor it looks..." Rory trailed off.
Amy continued. "Like nothing and a cloud and..."
"Like water," Harry had a sudden jolt of realisation of what it looked like while the Doctor was waving his sonic screwdriver around.
Just too late before the Doctor was sucked into it. "Like a penseive." Harry finished, mostly for himself.
Ioan had found that the sea fort had a lot of layers.
But according to the colours that the potions and the map were now changing there was something that lay on the sea floor, something that was very magical.
It was probably something that muggles had worked on as well, just from what they knew about this building.
But it was something very big and magical that had obviously had a lot of money and items thrown at it.
The colours kept on shifting as he consulted his and Harry's written up key of what they thought all the colours meant. Harry's notes only detailed a dozen or so colours that correlated with something magical that he'd been able to test.
Just as he thought the colours had settled down a phone rang.
Which was odd, because they knew that nothing was getting out of this sea fort or the general area due to the temporal distortion.
"Ioan, I'm using Amy's phone, it routes through the TARDIS or something." Harry explained quickly. "We think whatever it is down here is some sort of pensieve dimensional possibility canon...or something. It's making us all feel very uneasy."
"Oh," Ioan said.
"And the Doctor got too close and it's eaten him." Harry continued very casually. So much so Ioan knew what Harry was going to say next and therefore wasn't surprised when he said it. "I'm going in after him."
"I see, should I bring down the platted rope?" Ioan asked looking around, it was something he'd seen while he and Harry had been overseas. A platted combination rope of willow fibres, various magical creature hair and various other things. It seemed impervious to every spell he and Harry had tested a piece on was almost impossible to cut and was incredible strong for its thickness.
"No, find the central lift shaft and push it down on the cable bag. Just in case, not sure how clever it is, look into a plan B, the cooling on this looks massive. It's also messing with paranoia. Keep that in mind." Harry finished and the call ended.
"This is a terrible idea," Judith said as Harry slipped on a harness and connected the very thin rope to it.
"You're going into that thing?" Rory asked. "Do we have any idea what it is?"
"An idea," Harry said as he tugged the rope. He and Ioan had bought supposedly a couple of hundred 'fathoms' of rope from the seller at an exorbitant price, especially considering the seller had created the rope from various scraps and off cuts along with bits of magical hair he'd found. But Harry fancied if you had enough of it you could create a space elevator cable with it. Maybe.
"We should go with you," Amy immediately said.
"Um, hang on, should we?" Rory asked.
"Yes." Amy looked to her husband. "We should."
Harry smiled in the best possible way. "No."
"What?" Amy looked at him with a look of annoyance.
"I'm going after the Doctor, not you." Harry said simply and checked the harness again. It squashed his delicate parts in irritating ways.
"What, that's it?" Amy asked crossing her arms.
"Maybe we should just let Harry deal with it, they are the professionals." Rory stepped back holding his arms up in a defensive pose that only Harry and Judith could see.
"No, the Doctor would go after us Rory, Harry, you know him he'd-" Amy began.
"If I don't come out after..." Harry waved a hand and shrugged to Judith, "you know, plan B." Harry began to walk towards the weird whatever it was. "Oh, and Amy, Judith will shoot you," Rory interjected to say 'hang on' "on stun mind," Harry continued "if you try to follow me." Then he stepped into the weird whatever it was.
This was...odd, he thought it might be like touching the Veil – dangerous and possibly lethal, but it hadn't reacted to the Doctor like that. But it also wasn't what he'd thought it was going to be.
From the information Judith had provided to him regarding what the Doctor had been either muttering to her or himself along with her own suppositions this...whatever this was, was some sort of alternate dimensional research device. This, what he was standing in was probably the filter, or some sort of interface.
The controls outside were mostly to do with power regulation, where that power was coming from was another question of its own. It certainly wasn't coming from his power pack, which might be good, but it wasn't that good. Certainly not enough to tap into other dimensions, but that might be down to the Veganite stuff.
Whatever this was, it was something the British government and all its scientists in a time or war and either the magical government or a group of dedicated wizards, also during a time of war had constructed.
Either out of fear, paranoia or a healthy mix of both, whatever it was, this was it.
If the world was, or seemed to be heading towards a deadly war, why not team up and look into alternate dimensions or universes? Harry wondered to himself as he reached out, felt with his magical senses, that other sense that was barely mentioned in their Hogwarts education. You were meant to use your wand to check before apparating. But there were things to feel for. He also didn't want to draw his wand until he at least had a vague sense of what was going on here.
It wasn't like a vanishing cabinet, which is what he assumed it might be, given there was one upstairs. Maybe some sort of deconstructed Vanishing cabinet, that Churchill's chief scientist had come up with. It wasn't impossible, however the earliest crossover of alien transmats and British scientific experimentation into transmats had been following the Shoreditch Incident, this was much earlier.
The potential military exploits for a vanishing cabinet couldn't be ignored and whatever else they were capable of, especially in light of his and Draco's travelling both in space and time to Hyspero using one.
Harry exhaled roughly, annoyed that he was letting his mind wander and tried to focus on what he was experiencing.
"Ah, Harry, you've come to find me, good." A voice and a figure drifted out of the gloom.
It looked like the Doctor, he had a bow tie on and everything. But there was something, Harry couldn't put his finger on it. Maybe his bow tie was a different colour?
"Yes. I know you'd probably say I shouldn't have come looking for you," Harry said crossing his arms so he could grab his wand.
The Doctor smiled and pointed at him. "Right you are."
"But better me than your companions," Harry left the sentence hanging.
The Doctor clapped his hands together. "Amelia Pond and Jeff, Jeff the drummer!"
Harry began to back away from whoever he was, not the Doctor, not his Doctor.
"I see you've worked out he's not your Doctor, how special for you, shall we all don eye patches?" The smarmy voice behind him didn't make him jump.
"And you are?" Harry looked the short man up and down. "Quirky with your bow tie and jump scare appearance?"
"Oh, you're good, better than the kissagram and Roman," said the smarmy git.
"And off limits to you, apparition of adolescence, ghastly ghoul of psycholmerty, you've no place here," said another voice. Harry recognised this one and was rewarded by a face and curly blonde hair to match, he also chanced a look back and the smarmy git had disappeared.
"You're not really here either," Harry realised as he also kept his distance from the Doctor who while he wore the face of his friend, the coat was not one of many colours, but rather dark Gallifreyan robes.
This Doctor smiled a dark smile at him, "No, I'm not and you should have kept better-"
Harry jumped back as this Doctor lunged at him, and disappeared into a fizz something.
"Best keep watch, I've got my etheric beam locators tuned for any other apparitions, but you should be quick Harry," A woman rushed up grabbing her chest and gesturing around wildly.
Harry opened his mouth to wonder many things but instead decided on the most obvious. "Doctor is that you?"
"You recognise me," she beamed at him. "I almost didn't after this," she grabbed at her breasts again.
Harry wondered if this whatever this was, was actually just a weird void that sprayed you with mind-altering drugs and then sapped your life-force like an imagination vampire.
"Harry Potter!" Shouted a voice who came bouncing out of the fog, mist or whatever it was, pausing briefly to look at the Doctor, the one with breasts. "Hello Thirteen," he straightened his bow tie.
"I think my etheric beam locators are tingling, that could be the Master's signal, he's got my sonic screwdriver after all," she said and rushed off into the mists.
Harry looked at the Doctor, this one who didn't seem to be menacing, but that didn't mean anything. "Those were breasts, not etheric beam whatsits."
The Doctor raised his eyebrows at him.
"Is that Delphon for 'I don't know'?" Harry asked and prodded the Doctor was the end of his gun.
"I'm real Harry," he said looking around.
"And I shouldn't have come after you?" Harry asked.
"No! Yes, maybe. This isn't made for Time Lords," he said looking around warily.
"I came so your companions didn't," Harry began.
"Amy Pond! And Rory the Roman!" The Doctor exclaimed. "Good, they shouldn't see me, mes, this is something dangerous Harry, wizards and humans probing the edge of reality."
"Paranoid of what was to come," Harry paused and said in a low tone. "Is this a portal to another universe?"
"No!" The Doctor wrinkled his nose. "You don't have enough power to go to another universe, not in a sea fort, even with a bit of Veganite lying around."
Harry looked at him. "Do we have to turn it off in here or is this just the interface?" Then it occurred to Harry what this was like, it was like a pensieve.
"The underlying matrix in here takes objects," he waggled his hands around. "It's like a football net, kick a ball at it and it catches it,"
"Okay." Harry said and wondered where the Doctor was going and swore he was forgetting something about why he was here.
"Well, sometimes the ball stays in the net, and sometimes it'll go through."
"If the net's badly maintained?" Harry wondered.
"Yes, except no, but sort of. And sometimes it will bounce out, if the conditions are right," the Doctor continued.
"Right, so particles and waves?" Harry asked.
"Nothing like that, but yes, sort of like soccer and surfing," the Doctor finished.
"And you've got a lot more ripples than a wizard who can mentally prepare themselves and their magic operates on different psychic level preventing people like Mr alternate, smarmy git, creepy black robes and the breasts from turning up?" Harry asked and then remembered the harness he had on, and the fact that he hadn't mentally prepared himself going in, even though he'd mentioned it.
"Yes! Though they all have names," the Doctor paused.
Harry grabbed in in a hug. "You better be the right one," he said.
"Not enough power for full materialisation of a corporeal figure, just small things, items, ideas," the Doctor continued as Harry held onto him.
"I just realised I came in here to rescue you, hold on," Harry said yanking the rope to signal to Judith.
Ioan looked at the collected items he had for Plan B – destroy the cooling systems for the dimensional viewing bridge. That was what Judith had called it before Amy Pond's phone fully disappeared into a mess of static while Harry was within said thing.
Leaning over he pulled up one of the first maps he'd 'developed', it gave an indication of the energies around the sea fort. He was relatively sure this was a 'eye of the storm' situation, so as long as he remained close to the sea fort he could fly out and get near the exhaust chimneys on the one side of the fort.
There were several problems with looking at the map, chief amongst it was scale.
Magical maps didn't do scale very well, certainly not these spelled, generating with potions and ingredients and speciality inks maps.
Gesturing at the Tiny Wind as he'd decided it was called, and cursed Judith for making him think anything else it leapt into his hand. It was a lot more responsive than other larger brooms, wordlessly responding to his magical gestures.
Flying outside the tent was easy enough, flying close around the outside of the fort was not. But he was at least able to find the cooling towers' chimneys. They were huge and obviously had some advanced form of occulusion spells that meant you couldn't see them from the outside, because if they had that would surely have been where they'd have started their investigation.
Only just large enough to get in to though, Ioan tucked his feet under the broom and against the small bristles and grabbed his wand casting a bubble head charm over his head and then gingerly entered the pulsing cooling ventilation shaft.
As he flew in he had to wrestle with the Tiny Wind against the buffeting, but as he slowly descended it became easier.
He'd decided to use a combination of magical and regular explosives, if he could disable the cooling the hopefully the rest of the mechanism would shut down. Or explode, that was always an option.
The magical component would hopefully seal the ventilation shaft, but if it failed the standard explosive would do the trick. He'd grabbed both because the former was something that he and Harry were still playing around with. Harry had purchased a variety of items from George Weasley's business to assist Ros Myers and LPI's outpost in Cardiff. Ioan had agreed with Harry, they didn't need to manufacture everything, some things they could adapt.
Although the explosives weren't perfect, George's item set off an explosion of confetti birds, Harry and himself had messed around with the charm making the birds coalesce and form an extremely dense expanding foam.
It was a little bit disturbing as they continued to tweet even as a mass of orange solid foamy mess.
-/ - \\-
"What have you done?" Asked Amy Pond looking at her curiously.
Judith had gloves on and had allowed some slack on the rope, which was also tied to the opposite wall's supporting beam.
"Ever since Amy's phone died you've changed a bit," Rory observed.
Judith gave him a careful smile, she had to give it to him, reading her expression and body language like that, she usually kept a careful grip on it.
"Plan B, explain," Amy looked at her.
"LPI needs to plan for all eventualities," Judith explained. "Ioan will be preparing to disable that from outside, as we've failed to do so in here."
"Harry and the Doctor're still in that thing," Rory pointed out needlessly.
"Harry also understands that," Judith countered, he was the one who gave the order in the first place. "He gave the order."
Then two things happened at once, there was the satisfying thump of explosives doing what they were designed to do and a forceful tug from the cable.
Amy and Rory rushed to help her and quite quickly Harry and the Doctor came tumbling out of the dimensional canon.
"Ah Amy, Rory, you're alright," the Doctor sounded relieved.
"Yeah, you were the one who jumped into the shadow book." Amy observed.
There were a death rattle from the machine.
The Doctor looked over at Harry who was being helped up by Judith. "What have you done Harry?"
"Blown it up," Harry said with a smile, "we should get out of here, hopefully it'll just take out this area."
Then a red light and a buzzer started to sound.
The Doctor whipped out his sonic screwdriver, studying something on the side that Harry couldn't see. "Overheating, the Veganite will reach critical entropy and then-"
"Explode, we got that, can we go?" Amy was asking quickly looking towards the door.
"Will the breasts and the others be okay?" Harry asked as he gathered up the rope, and as much as he wanted to pull off the harness there wasn't time so he just left it on with its chafing buckles loosened.
"Just echoes, ghosts of the faraway and never wished," the Doctor said as they quickly made their way for the lifts.
-/ - \\-
There was a pervading smell of burning cheese, a slight side affect of the magical explosives Ioan had used and the regular ones going off in a secondary explosion. The dimension canon had been mostly destroyed, but they'd need to do a more thorough exploration of it for any alien tech, once the Doctor was gone.
He was in the TARDIS making sure there was nothing else that was on the sea fort that might have been causing the weird wobbles.
He'd said it was probably the Veganite breaking down in odd ways because it hadn't been supplied with a constant amount of power.
Just what whoever, the wizards who'd continued to use this sea fort could muster. Or maybe the Veganite was stimulated by magical energy as well as regular energy.
Harry didn't know and Judith couldn't enlighten further on the specifics of what Veganite did.
"All done, there's nothing weird here any more," the Doctor said stepping out of the TARDIS.
"Give me a call you two, when he takes you back home for a change of clothes or tea bags or whatever he does, now that he can pilot the TARDIS." Harry teased.
"He can barely fly her now," Amy teased and pulled him into a hug. "We will, there's hardly anyone to talk to about this," Amy said to him,
"Yeah, we can...I don't know," Rory said taking Harry's hand in a half hug.
"Go see a Quidditch match or something," Harry finished.
Rory looked suddenly terrified and puzzled at the same time.
"Come on," Amy took Rory's hand and lead him into the TARDIS.
"Well, Harry," the Doctor stood before him slightly awkwardly before Harry pulled him into a hug.
"It's always amazing to see you Doctor," Harry said honestly standing back.
"And you, and LPI, in full action, all spy stuff, the Paranormal. Investigators," he grinned at him and looked for a brief moment older, seemingly in thought.
Harry didn't want to press his friend. But did, because they were. "Is everything alright Doctor?"
The Doctor seemed surprised. "Me Harry? Everything tickity boo," he shook his head. "Never saying that again. Don't worry about me, Harry, you've got cheese and clean ups to think about and what will happen with this place, another secret hide out?"
Harry shook his head. "We'll clean out the alien tech and anything else, the Ministry can't manage this stuff."
"Maybe I'll ask Winston about it the next time I see him, and Bracewell!" His tone suggested he'd relish the idea. Then he opened the door to the TARDIS, gesturing the inside.
Harry peered into the brass-coloured interior.
"Fancy a spin?" The Doctor asked.
It was tempting, especially as Amy and Rory suggested the Doctor was good with the pin-point landings, some of the time.
Harry shook his head. "River Song, Melody Pond, Mels."
The Doctor abruptly shut the TARDIS door again looking ashen faced. "River." He had a mixed expression on his face and body. "They told you."
Harry nodded. "Who else would they tell? 'Our lives are different to everybody else's'." Harry quoted. "I knew River was complicated. Meeting her, out of order like you," Harry sighed. "But those two, I don't know..." he shook his head watching the Doctor. "But you know something else about her?"
The Doctor looked up at him with an almost sad expression on his face. "Spoilers."
Harry laughed. "Well, Doctor, off in your mad box then," he gestured at the TARDIS.
"Till next we meet Harry Potter," the Doctor said looking briefly at his watch.
Harry thought to himself 'hopefully not a new face when next we meet'. He didn't say this, he just let the Doctor slip into the TARDIS and stood, watching as it dematerialised from in front of him.
-/ - \\ -
I had to go and rewatch Series 5 and 6 to get the speech patterns down for the Doctor, Amy and Rory. Rory was something of a revelation, he's fairly genre aware and actually has some pretty cutting observations of the Doctor, which I tried to continue in this chapter.
When I started this chapter I wasn't going to have Harry have too much to do with Amy and Rory after this chapter, but they'll definitely meet again when Amy/Rory return to Earth after The God Complex.
I found this chapter hard to write initially, having the Doctor, Amy, Rory, Judith and Ioan in the story. So I obviously had to split them up.
I also wanted this to be mostly a character driven story, with just the bit of plot in there, to get a lot of things out in the open. Which I feel thematically works in with Series 6 of Doctor Who.
Of the alternate ghosts of Doctors that appear, the first is a bog standard alternate Eleventh Doctor where Amy ended up with Jeff rather than Rory, next is the Dream Lord, the following is the Sixth Doctor but as 'Lord Burner' (an alternate version of him from Big Finish's Gallifrey audio series) and finally the Thirteenth Doctor as played by Joanna Lumley from The Curse of Fatal Death.
Thanks for reading.