Harry Potter was...contented.
Bored was not a word he tried not to use, even think, especially not since the last time when Judith turned up needing a 'hand' when something from her past had turned up. Not that he'd minded the road trip through Europe, ending up in Öregrund and needing a new set of tyres had been somewhat annoying.
In the middle of last year he'd been asked to complete a magical and alien threat assessment for the London Olympic Games this year. The request had come via the security services. He'd struggled, somewhat because aliens tended to come out of the woodwork to surprise, you couldn't prepare for something that literally dropped out of the sky.
None of the information he had suggested anything significant, Harry did recall that the Doctor had told him he'd carried the Olympic torch when it had been in London.
He'd considered putting it in the report, but there would already be enough security around the torchbearers and the Doctor, from what he recalled, as the story had come while he'd been recovering from Voldemort's ministrations, the Doctor had just carried the torch. Also he couldn't recall which London Olympic Games the Doctor had said, he was only vaguely certain it was the 2012 games. He'd decided to merely add that the Olympic Committee should 'liaise with UNIT regarding extra-terrestrial interference issues'. It was a little bit the case of fobbing it off onto another organisation, but UNIT, under Kate's leadership was getting better.
Of course there were some things that he knew would happen, that he couldn't interfere with, well, probably couldn't. Somewhere there was the 'last Dalek' under Utah.
When the Doctor had told him about that Dalek, he'd been triumphant about it. The end of the Daleks. At the time, he'd not really mentioned the Time War, but since then, he'd pieced together what he'd been talking about.
Harry leaned back in his chair as he looked again through the scroll that Hermione had written up for him. A magical analysis and archaeological search of all the sites around the Olympic venues.
All of it had been done prior to the games even being won for London and again during the construction and preparation works.
Even more work had been done with the Ministry because of the cross rail works, which was providing endless troubles for the Ministry according to Hermione, supposedly it was going to be tunnelling through some ancient wards that were around London and creating a headache for everyone.
Still, Hermione had provided him with a new assessment of the venues. A separate set of scrolls was from Senior Auror Æthelflæd Fenwick detailing her assessment of the potential threats for the Olympics. It at least wasn't too inflammatory. He could, Harry fancied pass it on to Harry Pearce. Except it was a little to 'wizarding' for him. There weren't any dangers posed from magical animals during the games. All the venues were in pretty built up areas, which limited any large magical incursion. A lot of the sites around London had limited apparition points, London was fortunate for these, it limited witches or wizards just popping in.
The Ministry already had sites and locations set aside for wizards to view most of the events that interested wizards. Available for a fee, of course.
Harry didn't want to know where that fee went and if any of it went to the Olympic committee, he really didn't want to involve lawyers or anything like that in this. This was security pure and simple, anything involving the law could go...elsewhere, preferably somewhere he didn't have to think about it.
He tossed the scroll aside and decided to go and make his fourth mug of tea for the day and maybe eat something that wasn't biscuits. Maybe some fruit.
Just as he was making his way into the kitchen he saw, rather than heard someone knock on the door.
Or rather he saw a being approach the door and walked over and opened it before she could announce herself.
"Darla von Karlsen. Hello, why don't you come in?" Harry gestured. "Cup of tea?"
"Harry Potter," she said in that unfathomable accent that wasn't quite European or Russian but was somewhere around there, maybe. "The Eternal requests your presence."
Harry looked at her, surprised, though he shouldn't be he supposed as he looked around the kitchen making sure he'd not put the kettle on and grabbed a few pieces of fruit from the bowl, stuffing them into a pocket as he slipped his wand and sonic screwdriver into opposing pockets as well.
"Outside," he gestured. "No transmatting inside the house."
Darla just gave him a semi-amused look and walked out.
"So how does this work, have you got a communicator or a teleport bracelet or-" Harry was saying to her back as she walked away from the house when she reached a point and turned around with inhuman speed and grabbed his wrist.
Then everything turned white and he found himself blinking away the white and looking out a window; a triple height, or maybe more, it was hard to tell window looking out to space.
"Whoa..." Harry continued to blink as he walked across to the window to gaze out of it; outside was space, a lot of it, and ships; a lot of those as well.
"You find it impressive Harry Potter?" Harry almost jumped, Darla had managed to sidle up beside him silently, looking down Harry found it amazing given her leather shoes. Or what looked like leather, who knew what it was actually made out of.
"You don't?" He asked her.
"You have not seen this many Dalek vessels before?" She asked curiously.
Harry shook his head. "I've seen this many before, but not like this," he looked around trying to see further than the windows would allow. That fact also gave him pause for thought, that there was a window in this spacecraft was somewhat interesting. "This is something fascinating," he turned to her. "Is the Eternal lurking around or am I here to gaze at the Dalek's fleet?"
"I am here Harry Potter," the Eternal announced as it glided with grace out of the darkness.
Harry stepped over to it and shook its plunger. "How long have you been lurking in the darkness?"
The Eternal briefly looked at his hand and said, "Awaiting your arrival."
"And my gazing out of your windows, that didn't signal to you that I had arrived into what?" Harry paused looking around the room "Where have I been transmatted into?" There was a single control panel which he'd missed as he'd walked over to the window, but nothing else that he could see in the room, it looked somewhat vast or possibly just theatrically lit so the Eternal could hide in the shadows.
Harry turned around to look at the Eternal after a longer than usual amount of silence. "Or is this your office?" Harry mused. "Your sanctum?" Harry stared at the Eternal's eye. "Your Dungeon? Tower?" He paused again. "Lair?"
Darla was of no help, she just stood there impassively, not even making a wry comment. No sass. He wished that Judith was here. Or Ros even.
Actually, Harry thought to himself looking out the window again it might be a little overwhelming even for Ros. It was somewhat overwhelming for him.
"I'm literally surrounded by hundreds-"
"Thousands." Darla cut in.
"Thousands of Daleks," Harry let himself laugh, just slightly as he turned around and looked at the Eternal Dalek again, he forced himself to keep a handle on it. This wasn't something he was going to escape from, or even need to escape from. He'd walked into this, eyes open, perhaps somewhat greedy for knowledge. But he was here in the seat of the Daleks' power and not, for the most part in danger of being exterminated. Others might not be able to say the same. Although others might not have arrived at the agreement he had with the Daleks.
"Why did you summon me Eternal?" Harry decided on a direct question, looking hard at the Eternal Dalek.
It glided past him over to the control panel extending its plunger arm to it. "Following the initiation of the agreement and the encounter on Earth in your native time, a search was conducted of Dalek records concerning individuals with your abilities."
Harry nodded. "I did the same."
The Eternal's eye stalk swiveled sharply at him. "Explain."
"It's a lot harder searching for 'Daleks' and 'Dalek stuff'. Human reports only have a definitive word for what a Dalek looks like following the Shoreditch Incident." Harry admitted.
The Eternal looked at him. "Explain 'Shoreditch Incident'."
"Earth year 1963, location London." Harry rattled off. "Renegade Daleks commanded by a Black Dalek and Imperial Daleks lead by the 'Emperor' Davros, they battled for control of the Hand of Omega."
"The false Emperor," was all the Eternal said for following his summary.
Harry filed that away in his mind, he'd use it for his book, maybe a chapter title he thought briefly to himself 'Davros – The False Emperor?' Harry allowed himself a smirk.
"Not all humans write reports or know what a Dalek is, even after the recent invasion, there are plenty who wouldn't even know what a Dalek is," Harry paused in his musing and rubbed his hands together. "So I'm curious, what'd you find?"
The Eternal operated a control on the console and several panels along the wall opened up to reveal pictures, paintings or photos or something. Harry couldn't quite see as they were moving; coming down to eye height, as they were moving the Eternal explained; "These artworks were retrieved from the Kar-Charrat Archive."
"Presumably that's on the planet Kar-Charrat?" Harry pondered to himself.
"No," the Eternal interrupted and countered.
Harry raised an eyebrow and looked to the Eternal. "So what's so significant about these?"
"These 13 artworks detail the Time War between the Daleks and the Time Lords," the Eternal explained as some of the art works drew level with him.
Harry leaned in and felt the world tilt slightly. That may have had something to do with the weird 3D nature of the art work, but as he shifted his gaze to the one next to it, he felt the world drop suddenly and sharply and whatever the Eternal had been saying seemed to have gone in one ear and out the other, possibly. He wasn't sure, actually felt a bit hot. Or maybe it was a buzzing sound that had suddenly started in his ears from his heart thumping loudly.
Stumbling backwards he collided with the Eternal that had crept up beside him.
"Do you require support Harry Potter?" The Eternal asked as Harry grabbed on to the Dalek as he felt like his legs had been paralysed.
"Yes..." Harry trailed off as he wondered if the Daleks could do a good drink. In fact, he'd settle for a bad drink.
At some point he felt the Eternal push him towards something and he fell on to it. Not knowing what he was being pushed on to he just let it happen.
An indeterminate amount of time later, not long, Harry fancied, as he didn't think entropy had started to effect the universe in any major way he realised he was sitting on a somewhat musty smelling sofa.
"What am I sitting on?" He asked the surrounding room, which currently held a Dalek and several paintings that he didn't want to think about for the moment.
"You are seated on the Sofa of Reasonable Comfort," the Eternal provided.
Harry repeated the name, mouthing it to himself as he leaned back on it, then felt around in the cushions as something was digging into his back. "The Sofa of Reasonable Comfort?" He repeated as he felt around behind him. "Is it Dalek?" He asked with a smile that threatened to turn into a hysterical laugh, though not because of the sofa, but rather the same reason that made him stumble backwards.
"No," the Eternal began.
As it spoke Harry dug out what had been irritating him behind the cushions. It looked like a half sphere of red plastic, like a clown's red nose or some such.
"It was retrieved from the planet Tersurus, a Dalek squad investigated the presence of a temporal event involving a Dalek force present there."
"And?" Harry pushed the red nose back into the sofa cushions, deciding it could continue to live there.
"Nothing was discovered except the Sofa of Reasonable Comfort, created by the Tersurus inhabitants," the Eternal explained.
Harry pulled himself up out of the sofa, which, aside from smelling a bit musty was more than reasonably comfortable, it was quite comfortable. He'd considered extracting the orange or apple from his pocket and to eat it while the Eternal explained further. But that might have been a bit odd.
Then as he stood he wondered if that's what he needed right now. A worry about where to put the orange peel.
"You recognise the individual in the art works Harry Potter?" The Eternal asked as it sidled up beside him.
"Yes. I know the individual. I dated her once. She tried to kill me. I tried to kill her. I thought she was on Earth," Harry pondered as he stepped forward. "How did she get there?"
"What is the individual's designation?" The Eternal pressed.
Harry was silent for longer than he intended before speaking her name. "Ginny Weasley," he provided with some finality.
"She fights for the Time Lords," the Eternal explained without much fan fare.
Harry stepped back and looked at the other works. Some were displayed and some were just a fuzzy blur. "Are those a special style of art work?" He stepped up to them, but they remained blurry and it was as he looked at the others that a sudden dread of realisation started to form in his mind.
Each scene painted or whatever it was, however these paintings, these art works had been created, they each showed Ginny fighting, battling things, Daleks and other people, things, aliens, whatevers. Some she was supported by Time Lords, or what he assumed to be Time Lords in battledress, and then in others she was alone fighting. 13 works. As many as a Time Lord has lives. Fitting he supposed.
"Oh, Merlin. I'm in some of these works aren't I?" He asked turning around to face the Eternal. "That's why you've brought me here and why those works are blurred, so I don't see myself." Harry could feel his heart beating fast again, "But the Time War's over, it's time locked, I can't get in..." Harry trailed off to turn around and look at the art works again. "She shouldn't be able to either."
The Eternal seemed to study him for a long time. "You have significant knowledge of temporal matters Harry Potter."
Harry snorted and sighed "She and I have form," he didn't elaborate any further than that.
"Explain." The Eternal demanded.
Harry opened his mouth and paused trying to figure out how and why he should explain, he asked the Eternal the latter.
It stared at him for a moment. "Very well." Was all it said.
Harry walked up to one of the art works that wasn't blurred and tilted his head. "This art work it's-"
"Time Lord artistry, modelled on transdimiensional engineering," the Eternal explained.
"Bigger on the inside art work," Harry smiled as he pondered something silently to himself; Wizarding art work allows paintings to move from one to the other, through different flat dimensions...and this is bigger on the inside that's... Harry mentally and physically shook his head, things were getting far too complicated. He stepped aside to another of the art works, one in between two of the blurred ones. This looked more...realistic, in a painting sense, more like a landscape artwork. Ginny was featured as one of the combatants along with various Daleks. There were half a dozen saucers in the background; battle damaged and scarred. This one didn't move around like the other one had.
"Is this a different artist?" He asked the Eternal.
"Yes," the Eternal almost drawled, or at least Harry fancied it drawled, it certainly used a different tone of voice.
After, he wasn't sure how long studying the paintings, including the blurred ones he rounded back to the Eternal Dalek who had been watching him in silence; observing his movements he fancied, or maybe studying his reactions. For the few minutes, or maybe several minutes Harry didn't care, he was trying to absorb everything, what the paintings looked like, what they featured, whether or not they were Ginny. This last question he was quite sure of. That passion, that contempt, that...insanity, that rabid snarl, that raised wand like a whip, those blazing locks and fiery eyes.
"Well, now what? Why have you summoned me here to show me these art works?" Harry asked it.
"You were sexually pair bonded to this individual?" The Eternal asked.
Harry looked at the Eternal and wondered why it was so fixated on the question of his relationship with Ginny. "We had sex. Our pair bonding ended when she discovered the reality of aliens," Harry paused. "She attempted to alter the web of time through time travel."
"You pursued her?" The Eternal asked.
Harry nodded but didn't elaborate, as much as he thought that the Eternal wanted him to. He had learnt from the Doctor, at least a little, not to let his mouth lead him into strife. Or rather the Doctor had told him that megalomaniacs liked to talk a lot, the Doctor also liked to talk a lot so who was he to judge.
"Why have you brought me here to whenever and wherever this is?" Harry asked, repeating his earlier question. "Not just to look at your art collection?"
"No," the Eternal said as it turned around and some lights at the back of the room clunked on.
They illuminated a sort of cuboid vessel, one he had seen before. One he had seen on Earth and one that the last time he'd seen it was in a temporal prison.
Harry laughed. "You have a sense of the dramatic Eternal."
"The Dalek Timeship retrieved from Earth has been repaired and updated," the Eternal said needlessly stating the obvious that was in front of both of them.
"And?" Harry asked, even though he'd worked it out in his head and was dreading the answer.
"You will travel into the Time War, combat and destroy the individual you have identified as 'Ginny Weasley'," the Eternal explained.
Harry nodded, he thought as much. "If I don't, what happens?"
The Eternal turned to look at him, its sucker arm wiggling slightly as though he'd asked a world-shattering question. "You are a part of events Harry Potter."
Harry looked back to the paintings. "I've fallen into that trap before, is the past immutable?"
"You have free will," the Eternal paused, which was neither an answer nor a statement. "The Parliament of the Daleks exists as a result of the Time War. Your agreement forms part of that. Your recent events-"
Harry waved a hand to stop the Eternal continuing. "I know. The information and assistance provided," Harry reached back rubbing the back of his neck and wondering if the tightness was because he felt like he was now in a problematic maze of his own making.
If these Daleks didn't exist then he wouldn't have had help removing this Timeship. If that hadn't happened then Merlin knew what damage that would have done. Going further back to Hyspero, had the Strategist not been there then he wouldn't have got the Terran Federation spaceship off of Hyspero and rescued Draco, and he wouldn't have met River Song for the first/second time. And somewhere in that mess the Eternal wouldn't have told him about the bees disappearing.
"This is a complete mess, no wonder no one tries to write a history of the Daleks," Harry said mainly to himself and looked back to the Eternal. "How will I not die in the Time War, how did Ginny get into the Time War in the first place?"
"Unknown," the Eternal answered in a short tone.
"Which one?" Harry asked, a part of him wanted to go and have a nosy in the Timeship, but there were questions he needed answering first.
"It is unknown how Ginny Weasley entered the Time War. Supposition; via Time Lord technology," the Eternal pondered.
Harry frowned. "But..." he trailed off. The Master and all of that stuff with Rassilon suggested they couldn't just pop out of the Time War, not easily...so how?
"What of my first question," Harry put to the Eternal. "How will you ensure I'm not exterminated on sight in the Time War? I'm not a Dalek and I'm not a Time Lord."
"You will be given Dalek rank and an associate," it explained simply.
Harry was about to open his mouth and question the former, but the latter came in such quick succession that he didn't have time to say more than "What?"
But the Eternal had already moved over to its console and the paintings had folded away to be replaced by a single gigantic screen. It was now displaying a graphic of a woman and a Dalek beside it.
The woman was in a red dress and the Dalek was the bronze ones that had popped up during the Cult of Skaro incident and the recent invasion of Earth along with the Eternal and Strategist's Earth visitation. These soldier Daleks were, he'd gathered from the Doctor the foot soldiers of the Time War.
"A woman and a Dalek? Am I to get two associates?" Harry asked looking up at the graphic. Amongst the Dalek words on the screen was a word he'd not seen before, but it was in the same position in the sentence structure where a rank would usually be placed. He frowned pondering the letters that made up the word trying to puzzle it out.
"No. She is one individual," the Eternal said in slightly halting tones.
"She?" Harry queried.
"Oswin Oswald is an individual from...our immediate future," the Eternal said with the briefest of hesitation.
"By 'our' you mean your," Harry asked needlessly. The Eternal didn't confirm or deny anything. "Isn't that breaking some laws?"
"Time Lord laws," the Eternal said simply.
Harry wondered if the Eternal could enlighten him on the Time Lords' Laws of Time. Jack had said in the past when he'd pressed him about them that the 'time agency had its own laws, old ones and new' but hadn't elaborated further on that question. The Doctor was always a bit vague about them.
"Who is Oswin Oswald?" Harry asked looking up at the screen. "Is she human or Dalek?"
"Yes," the Eternal drawled again. "She escaped from the Asylum of the Daleks following an encounter with the Doctor."
"An encounter that hasn't happened yet." Harry pondered to himself and looked hard at the Eternal. "How do you know who she is, if this is your personal future?"
"I am the Eternal." Which of course explained everything Harry thought sarcastically to himself.
Harry frowned to himself. "I've read of the Asylum, it's meant to be inescapable, where the..." he trailed off and spoke a Dalek phrase that he'd not been able to translate very well. "are sent."
"You have studied Dalek culture well Harry Potter," the Eternal praised.
Harry nodded. "All the better to understand you."
The Eternal then explained she'd used an emergency temporal shift to escape the Asylum of the Daleks when whatever happened in the future with the Doctor. Either it didn't know or it didn't elaborate.
"Like the Cult of Skaro used to escape 21st century Earth?" Harry asked attracting the attention of the Eternal again. He'd long since not been worried about attracting it's attention. Fear of the Daleks was not something he had, at least not in this situation.
"Yes." Its lights lit up for a long time as it answered with this single word, he would have a whole chapter on 'Dalek single word answers' in his book he realised. "She has relocated to Dark Space 8." The Eternal manipulated the controls on its panel and the images above were replaced by a somewhat boring looking space station. It looked like it had been built on a budget by people with little imagination.
"What's Dark Space 8 famous for?" Harry wondered aloud, not expecting an answer.
"It hosted the 309th Intergalactic Song Contest," the Eternal answered immediately and Harry almost punched the air.
"Is there footage?" He asked hopefully.
"What purpose would vision serve?"
My own amusement. Harry thought to himself. "Cultural insight."
Harry was sure the Eternal sighed but the screen switched to some footage of...something, the caption said was 'Gholos'. It looked like the smoke machine was in overdrive. "Can I have a copy of this?"
A moment later Harry patted his pocket, at least Judith couldn't claim he never got her anything special.
"A spacecraft will be provided to you Harry Potter, you will travel to Dark Space 8 and retrieve Oswin Oswald and then travel into the Time War to combat Ginny Weasley and preserve the timeline."
Fun and games it seemed were over, Harry thought to himself and wondered if the Eternal could turn Gholos back on.
"Not yet," Harry looked at the Eternal firmly in its eye.
"Explain," it demanded in an annoyed tone.
"I want to investigate on Earth, how Ginny escaped," Harry said firmly. "I want to know how I'm not going to be exterminated when I get into the Time War and I want to know how I'm going to get in there in the first place and how I'll get out." Harry finished as he listed off things on his fingers.
Some of his questions were fairly simple, a fancy 'bioengineered cloak and accompaniments' that felt very odd, but would protect him against most attacks by Time Lords' weapons fire or Dalek crossfire.
"This device will be installed within the Timeship, it will encode your rank on your body for identification." It looked like a modernist lamp and had no controls, bar a sucker pad on it.
"Can it do it onto finger nail?" Harry asked. He didn't really want to go around with a big 'I work for the Daleks' sign on his head.
"Explain?" The Eternal demanded.
"So if I get captured I can rip my finger nail off," Harry reasoned.
The Eternal looked at him. "That will cause you significant distress."
"Better than death by the Time Lords, if it comes to that," Harry said, he had mostly resigned himself to this path, but he had questions he needed answering on Earth and he needed to see Daphne.
"This will be implemented. You will now be returned to Earth." It said suddenly.
"Hang on," Harry held up a hand, deciding to push his luck a little bit, and satisfy his curiosity, because that never went wrong. "What about my rank that you've been banging on about and while I'm here do I get to meet the PM? I assume he knows about my little mission." He'd read about the Prime Minister of the Daleks, but thus far had met a Scientist (which he'd dropped a spaceship on) a Strategist and an Eternal and many soldiers.
"'PM'?" The Eternal quizzed.
"Prime Minister." Harry supplied.
"Very well," was all it said before turning around to a door, which Harry hadn't seen opened.
"And my rank?" Harry asked as he followed the Eternal out into the corridor.
When he was told it, it asked many more questions, more so than a single word should.
Walking along the corridor behind the Eternal they passed a few Daleks.
"Not very busy is it," he said to the Eternal's back.
"Parliament is not in session Harry Potter," the Eternal said, its eye stalk turning around to look at him before resuming looking forward.
They passed a small group of Daleks before one peeled away and came up to them.
"Strategist," Harry greeted brightly to it.
The Strategist looked to the Eternal and Harry wondered if they were communicating wordlessly.
"Why has Harry Potter been brought here?" The Strategist finally said.
"Harry Potter wished for a meeting with the Prime Minister," the Eternal answered Strategist's question.
"Very well, I will accompany," the Strategist said after a moment.
They glided with him as they entered what Harry assumed to be a lift. It was completely round and very obviously had no sides; he could see the walls rushing past. The floor was completely white.
It must have been a bugger to clean Harry thought to himself; then his memory irritatingly hit back with a remembrance from his past; on his hands and knees cleaning the toilets at the Dursley's, the texture or maybe the colour of the lift floor the same colour as the toilet; that bright white or porcelain. He dragged his booted foot over the floor. It wasn't smooth like porcelain, it had some texture to it, despite his eye unable to find purchase on its texture.
Then, suddenly without any real sensation of slowing down he was suddenly inside...the Parliament of the Daleks.
Again Harry was awed by where he was, empty though it was. It was also dominated by a huge window looking out on the fleet.
"Harry Potter." Boomed a quiet voice.
It was then Harry felt his eye drift around to a Dalek, visible inside a glass or something container. A white Supreme Dalek to its side.
Harry stuffed his hands in his pockets to find a gift, he was relatively sure that was what one did in this situation.
Or not get exterminated. One or the other.
"Greeting Prime Minister," he held out an apple.
It was at this point the Supreme Dalek freaked out and started advancing shouting "Explain! Explain!" It collided with Harry's booted foot with a loud 'clunk'.
"A gift, Supreme, that's what you usually do, isn't it? Meeting the leader of government." Harry decided he really should have eaten something after the shock of seeing Ginny displayed in art, instead of meeting the PM.
"Display the weapon," the Supreme said looking down at his foot and then reversing, a light drifting down from the ceiling to illuminate his out stretched hand.
Harry turned around and looked at the Strategist and Eternal, neither of whom had said anything. Probably waiting for him to put his foot in it.
"It contains small amount of cyanide," Harry said idly as the Supreme took it from his hand with a surprising amount of gentleness.
"You have visited to exterminate the Prime Minister?!" The Supreme exclaimed again.
"Harry Potter has an agreement with the Daleks," the Strategist came up beside him.
"Harry Potter has agreed to the proposal." The Eternal came up on the other side of him.
"Provisionally," Harry added as he stepped up face to eye with the Prime Minister. "A bit inconvenient Prime Minister. Like the Emperors of Skaro; immovable."
"You have made a study of Dalek history Harry Potter." It sounded like praise. It was odd to hear this tone so unadultered from a Dalek.
"I'm writing a book on Dalek psychology. I want to understand my associates." Harry explained. "Does anyone truly know the full history of the Daleks?"
"You do not fear the Daleks?" The Prime Minister asked curiously.
"I fear you. But if I were to be exterminated I would already be dead." Harry paused and turned around and looked at the Supreme. "And if the Supreme tried anything I would make sure you died with me Prime Minister."
The Supreme edged slightly forward, training its weapon on him.
Harry grit his teeth and hoped he'd not over played his hand.
"Few would make such an open statement Harry Potter," the Prime Minister gurgled.
"Do you get many visitors in the Parliament?" Harry countered.
"Few visitations are relevant to the Parliament of the Daleks," the Strategist said from behind him.
"What does Sorcerer mean in the Dalek context?" Harry asked the PM and Daleks around him. It had been niggling him since the Eternal had presented him with it.
"An ancient rank of Skaro," the Supreme answered with some, Harry wasn't sure what sort of tone in its voice.
"One of the highest order, only below that of an Emperor." The Prime Minister finished.
Harry frowned in thinking.
"Explain your knowledge of this rank," the Supreme demanded.
Harry spun around to look at the Strategist and Eternal. "Doesn't he know what I'm being sent on?" Harry looked back to the PM. "Does the Prime Minister?"
"The Eternal has knowledge beyond that of the Parliament," the Prime Minister said obliquely.
"Okay," Harry said looking around and dug his hands into his pockets again and had an urge to peel the orange he had in there. It felt like this were getting needlessly complicated and political.
Looking over to the Eternal and Strategist he voiced his internal thoughts "You'd better send me back before things become more complicated or political."
"You are in the Parliament of the Daleks Harry Potter," the Supreme pointed out.
"And everything I will be doing seems to lie outside the Parliament." He countered as everything washed out to white and the Parliament where he stood flared out until he was stood in his driveway once more.
-/ - \\-
Harry Potter stalked through the corridors of power.
Of wizarding power.
Judith and Ioan were waiting upstairs in the Defender, he wanted a word with the Minister first.
If he wasn't forthcoming, then he'd bring Judith in.
Earlier he'd explained everything to them. For Daphne he'd have to wait, she'd be back in a few days, she was off captaining a ship back from the Faroe Islands after picking up some delicate supplies there. Made out of puffins no doubt.
Judith had just looked at him surprised perhaps.
Ioan more so, worried too. "And you've decided, to go in and get her?" Ioan had asked.
Judith had shook her head, looking, watching, analysing him. "No, you've decided she needs to be dealt with, if she's in that war."
He'd nodded, he had decided that.
In retrospect he'd been too light, too lenient during his time in the past. Despite eliminating her followers, ostensibly because of the damage they could do to the timeline, he couldn't bring himself to deal with Ginny, despite the damage she had posed to the timeline, because...well it was Ginny.
That darkened alternate universe that he had been given a dream of, the vision into that future revealed sometimes you had to make the bad decision, and sometimes choices unmade came back to bite you.
Harry continued up to the door of the Minister, his assistant suddenly surprised by his appearance.
"Mr...Mr Potter, the Minister is not expecting any visitors. He's busy preparing-Harry waved a hand in front of the man, he could potentially be the same age as him Harry realised with a small amount of surprise. "He'll want to see me."
The man carefully studied Harry's expression. "What is it concerning?"
The look on the man's face suggested he didn't know why such a name would carry anything beyond vague recognition and why such a name would be said with such dread by the man stood before him, but he nodded and stepped inside the Minister's office.
Barely audible Harry heard Kingsley's voice; an exhalation of air followed by the muffled resignation of "allow Mr Potter entry. No one to come in until he leaves...yes, I'm sure, you'll have to make room in my schedule."
Inside Kingsley's office Harry waited for the door to shut and muttered a locking charm at it, just to be sure.
Kingsley watched him carefully. "Are you worried we are to be interrupted Mr Potter?"
"Where is Ginny Weasley?" Harry demanded.
Kingsley studied him carefully. "You're aware she is missing from the Ministry of Magic?"
Harry nodded. "You're also aware," he observed as he relaxed slightly into the chair, realising that this would be a conversation of...intelligence. The type Draco preferred in his dealings with the Ministry and other entities. Harry gathered that Draco, and his father before him liked to sit back and know what their opponent was going to say. Although Draco preferred a somewhat different style. Not as condescending, at least not so much as his father had been.
Harry however wanted the information now and pondered stunning the Minister and simply looking for the information himself.
"Indeed," the Minister paused looking intently at him. "Are you aware of what happened to Ms Weasley following her retrieval and medical procedures?"
Harry had been asked the same question by Ioan. He'd admitted then as now that he didn't. He'd put thoughts of Ginny Weasley out of his mind and moved on with his life. That part of his life was closed, at least that's what he'd thought until he'd found himself back in the 1970s with Daphne and Draco. But again he'd not really considered Ginny.
To mimic Draco, Ginny Weasley was beneath him, beyond his consideration. He had delivered her back to the present, he'd delivered her back to her family and her beloved wizarding world.
That had been enough, he had more important things and even more so less important things than Ginny Weasley to occupy his mind, he did not want to think about her.
"Unspeakable." Kingsley spoke the single word, watching for his recognition.
Harry exhaled. "Of course she is, of course that's what you did with her."
"She was an excellent case for them Mr Potter. Her experiences with you in the past made sure of that. We have few wizards expert in the way of death and time as she was," Kingsley explained.
Harry raised an eyebrow. "I thought you abhorred that side of things Kingsley?"
"I have learnt to be pragmatic during my time as Minister," he intoned.
"Coming to an end is it?" Harry asked, a slightly worried tone in his voice. He still liked the man, more or less. He had been there during his Hogwarts fight against Voldemort. Kingsley and he, while they'd argued, Kingsley trusted him enough to give money for LPI and ensure it was provisioned for going forward.
Kingsley laughed. "I still have plans for the future Harry, and only a few grey hairs."
Harry nodded. "Let's assume I don't care much of what Ginny got up to between her being retrieved and when she disappeared, is it enough to say she learnt a lot and was probably as proficient as she was dangerous, albeit controlled?"
Kingsley thought for a moment. "Properly trained, no wizard is dangerous Mr Potter."
Harry looked at him. "When did you realise she was missing?"
"After Harold Saxon's election and following his assassination it was noted that something, some such had gone awry." Kingsley explained.
What a fabulously understated way to explain that. Harry thought to himself. "An unspeakable showed me the Veil after that."
Kingsley nodded. "You were meant to have been informed then, however-"
"Events got in the way?" Harry wondered. "Why wasn't I informed later?"
Kingsley now leaned back in his chair and looked at him. "An investigation was conducted into her disappearance. At first it was thought the event that resulted in such a temporal upheaval had resulted in cracks, fissures that occasionally devour wizards, and that nothing could be done to retrieve her."
"Does that happen often?" Harry asked curiously in a low tone.
"Not often," Kingsley admitted.
"And then, after the investigation had taken place?" Harry pressed.
"That she had been taken beyond any wizarding means," Kingsley explained ominously. "I chose not to inform you. You had made your intentions clear Potter. Ms Weasley was no longer a concern of yours. One you could have dealt with at the time."
One it seems I will now have to. Harry thought to himself as the Minister pulled out a key. Tensing Harry readied himself to draw his wand, or gun, whichever he could fire first.
Kingsley looked at him as he opened a door. "You're in no more danger from me now than at any other time Potter."
"How reassuring," Harry commented as the Minister removed from a cabinet a large glass phial and walked over to an empty pensieve at the back of his office.
"This was the result of an exhaustive investigation. Assembled by my best investigators their memories were modified following compiling of this memory and a report," Kingsley tipped the memory into the pensieve.
Harry looked at the swirling morass in the pensieve as Kingsley drew out his wand.
"Join me, and this will reveal everything I know concerning the disappearance of Ms Weasley Potter, whether or not it will enlighten you."
The fringing mish-mash of memories was something to get used to, it wasn't anything he'd experienced before in a pensieve, even extracting his own, those darkened memories from his own mind; a weird experience at times hadn't prepared him for this.
"I am informed these compilations can make one feel nauseous," Kingsley said as he gestured with his wand. "Several memories have been collected, overlapped and prepared to show this," he gestured towards what Harry realised was the Veil.
It was hard to tell as at times the images, the memory around him thundered and juddered, wobbling around like an old VHS tape, its tracking not able to find a picture lock to hold on to.
Harry felt his perspective, though not the vision around him seem to coalesces somewhat so he could focus on what was happening. Ginny and another Unspeakable were working around and near the Veil.
He could only tell it was Ginny by her hair, which was spilling out of the hood, and the fact that the other one was a man.
Walking around he realised who the other Unspeakable man was.
"Penis man," he said to himself drawing the attention of the Minister.
"I'm sorry Potter?"
"He was the Unspeakable who led me to touch the Veil," Harry then added. "To investigate it."
"I see," Kingsley looked a him carefully. "He leaves to conduct further investigations, although we have not been able to confirm this."
"Of course not. He's probably disappeared," Harry muttered to himself.
It was then that a noise began, the memory having been mostly silent, aside from his and Kingsley's talking.
"This sound was isolated as emanating from the Veil, at least initially." Kingsley explained needlessly.
Honestly, Harry thought to himself it was like being in a Captain's Log voice over while looking at a montage.
But it was the noise that had begun softly but was building. Like a trumpeting of elephants, the groaning of an old sea ship and the announcement of something joyous yet mysterious. The parting of the barriers of time and space itself as a craft slowly faded, wheezing and groaning, vworping its way out of the Veil until a rounded column of a craft found purchase before them. Before Ginny Weasley in this reconstructed dream.
"We don't know what is said, most of this was captured from the gallery above and corridor outside, seen and heard by witches and wizards who should not have known what was within this room or been anywhere nearby." Kingsley explained as the memory they were in became more fuzzy and more one dimensional.
There was a jump in the memory, between the TARDIS materialising and seeing Ginny – the Minister explained a piece of seen memory.
"She's gesturing to them," Harry observed and caught, just a brief look at Ginny's face. It didn't look like one of coercion as she moved aside he was better able to look at the Time Lords.
"Obviously this drew the interest of someone," Harry pondered as the clarity of the memories had improved. They had some sort of battle armour on. He couldn't make out the symbol on their armour but he was willing to bet a bag of jelly babies it was the Seal of Rassilon, that weird spiral or curves that adorned several of the books within the Doctor's TARDIS, many of which he'd read. Forbidden texts of the Time Lords.
There was an extremely jarring moment when Ginny started gesturing and then walked out the door behind them. The effect was that the memory seemed to have a jump cut again and suddenly everything was in colour, bright and with sound.
It seemed like Ginny was raiding one of the Ministry's store cupboards.
Harry tried for the first few minutes to count and keep a mental record of what she took, but it became far too much.
"I assume you've itemised everything?" Harry asked the Minister idly.
He just nodded and gestured with his wand upwards. "Let us return to the Veil room, she was observed more so when what follows."
The space they were in heaved and they were back in the room with the Veil. Everything was a much more rich black but he still couldn't quite hear what they were saying.
"She speaks of a 'righteous war' against the 'mechanised horde'," Kingsley helpfully explained.
"Of course she does," Harry said as she watched Ginny look around the room before following the Time Lords into the TARDIS.
It then slowly faded, warping in and out as he moved into the Veil, the noise of dematerialisation gone as it went into the Veil.
Back into the Time War Harry thought to himself as he and the Minister exited the memory.
"You recognise that cabinet that she entered into," Kingsley stated as he handed him a thick scroll. "Everything she took."
Harry took the scroll glancing over it. It was thick, not because it was long but because it was on thick parchment, well, that and it was long. "Not that specific one, but the aspect of it," Harry admitted in thought as he placed the scroll back on the Minister's desk and fixed him with a look. "She was your problem."
"You delivered her to us," Kingsley countered.
"I delivered her back from whence she came, I did not deliver her to you," Harry countered back.
Kingsley opened his mouth and then closed it, nodding to Harry, conceding this point.
"I will need many potion ingredients, many of those that she took and some others." Harry removed a list of his own from his pocket, neatly folded in an envelope. This he'd come up with along with Ioan.
"Why? Harry?" Kingsley asked, he'd not picked up the envelope.
Harry looked at him hard. "Where she has been taken, allowed herself it seems is into a war, more complicated than either of us could fathom," Harry paused. "If she tips the scales we could see a return of that planet in our skies."
"The red sky full of nightmares? Or the many planets?" Kingsley asked a worrisome terror in his tone.
"The former," Harry said calmly though his mouth formed a quirky smirk for a moment, that Kingsley had to ask, to clarify which planets in the sky, that it was such a frequent thing to need clarification.
"I see, how do you know this Potter?" Kingsley leaned forward.
"The League, we know about stuff so you don't have to Minister," Harry fixed him with a look and sighed. "Pursuing her will be dangerous, I think I'm underestimating how dangerous. I will need to step into a war of the most dangerous variety."
Kingsley looked at him studying him, but he didn't say anything.
"It makes what Voldemort did in either war look like a chess game," Harry explained.
"I don't think I can fathom that Potter," he paused. "Or what I can do to assist."
"Get me everything in that list. My associates will return to the Veil, work out how to isolate it, protect it, just in case." Harry rose from his chair.
"Just in case what Harry?" Kingsley asked.
"Just in case they return, if they got in once, we don't want them coming again."
"A door into an unimaginable war, it doesn't bear thinking about," Kingsley said to himself.
The question of what to do with a very old thing that had almost killed him once was something else.
"Do we even know where this came from? Could the Time Lords have put it here deliberately?" Judith asked while they were each stood back from it.
"Plucked from an arsenal of weapons and bolt holes, just in case, and left on Earth to be uncovered when the time was right?" Harry asked, thinking to himself.
"Like that thing the Doctor left on Earth that started the Shoreditch Incident." Ioan pondered.
"The Hand of Omega," Harry answered and wanted to say 'but that's different, that was the Doctor'.
"Luring the Daleks to Earth with a weapon to wipe them out," Judith finished his thought.
Harry wanted to say that no, it couldn't be like that. But the Doctor was a Time Lord and the Time War was fought between two parties.
"This is getting rapidly complicated." Harry massaged the bridge of his nose.
"Back to first principles then?" Judith wondered aloud.
"What are we trying to stop? The Veil or the Time Lords?" Ioan asked.
"We didn't know what to do about the Veil the last time we were here," Judith mused.
Harry nodded, "A TARDIS, the Time Lords then...A TARDIS is bigger on the inside, what it doesn't like is things like it, complicated things. Two TARDISes together and time ram..." Harry trailed off.
"Put expanding bags and things like it near the Veil and hope for the best?" Ioan asked.
Harry frowned and shrugged. "Better than nothing I suppose."
"And if we end up with lots of temporal sheep we know it's worked," Judith mused.
-/ - \\-
Harry looked over at Daphne, somewhat worried. He had been honest with her. More honest than anyone else he'd told of what he was going to do. Even more so than with Judith, although she had told him she knew he was holding some things back.
Maybe his fears, his worries, the concern that he might meet his end in the Time War.
It didn't matter that it had already happened and the Doctor had survived it or that the Daleks hadn't, nor had the Time Lords.
He would be going in, coming out hopefully.
He wanted, nay he needed to do this.
Ginny was his responsibility; he'd brought her back from the brink, from the 1970s. Well, technically he'd put her in temporal stasis and then unlocked her when he'd returned to the present. But it was essentially the same thing as bringing her back to the present, unchanged from her passage through time. Unchanged physically, except for the changes that had happened to her by the Patron there.
It was all a bit of a mess when he'd come to re-summarise it all, in part for Daphne, in part for himself.
"You're a passionate, determined wizard Harry Potter, it is why in part that I love you." Daphne finally said after some time considering everything he had said. "You would face another war, to deal with her?"
Harry nodded. "I don't believe it'll be easy Daphne, but she could change the outcome of the war. We saw Gallifrey overhead, what the Master did in that darkened alternate world, what he did to the world again. What the Time Lords wanted to do."
"And the Doctor, perhaps there are Time Lords that represent his view of the universe?" Daphne asked.
"I have learnt the Doctor is a complicated individual and he does not represent all Time Lords," Harry countered with a heavy heart.
"If Ginny had changed things in this Temporal War, would we not experience its affects?" Daphne asked looking to him.
Harry shook his head. He had asked this of the Doctor in the past and of the one he'd travelled with, especially so he'd written in the diary of the convention that he and Draco had attended on Earth, the one they did not recall. "It doesn't work like that, even more so for people who've travelled in time..." Harry trailed off. "There are links, like threads of wool, connecting us, we experience time's changes differently, or something like that," Harry shook his head. It sometimes gave him a headache, he tilted his head in deep thought.
Daphne lifted his head up gently to look into his eyes. "You and I have very different lives Harry, shared as we are, I would not prevent you from pursuing something which was your wish or need to, never." Daphne kissed him. "But I will be very distraught and angry if you come to permanent harm pursuing her."
Harry smiled softly in her embrace. "Maybe, when the time is right, when I return, we should change that. Embrace and link closer."
"When, remember that Harry Potter, never if. You will return, or so help Merlin I will..." Daphne trailed off breathing a deep breath and rose from the sofa they were sat on, taking his hand. "Come now, the night is dark and you are rushing off to save the universe," she said in a teasing tone.
-/ - \\-
Harry appeared back in the Eternal's...space, office, room, whatever it was. Four large expanding bags in hand he dropped them on the floor of the room he was in.
"You have returned Harry Potter," the Eternal stated needlessly.
"Did you think I wouldn't?" Harry asked curiously.
"There was a 28.3 percent chance that you would not, and escape to employ other methods to deal with the Ginny Weasley threat," the Eternal announced watching him.
"Not even 30 percent," he smirked at it. "I have a demand before we move forward."
"Demand?" It advanced on him.
Harry jabbed a thumb over at the time craft. "The Timeship, when I return from the Time War it will remain mine and Oswin Oswald's property. You will maintain it, service it and whatever else to keep it operating, forever." Harry paused watching the Dalek.
It was silent for a moment. "Very well, you will depart now. A craft has been provided to transport you to Dark Space 8." It spun around to the computer console and the screens above them appeared.
"I'm not going by Timeship?" Harry asked.
"Utilising the Ttimeship to Dark Space 8 would be..." the Eternal paused. "Provocative. You were observed by the Strategist to be proficient in piloting this craft. Its control systems have been adapted for single pilot use."
Harry looked up at the somewhat familiar shape of a Terran Federation Pursuit Ship.
"I see. I'd like to keep that as well." Harry said idly, the Eternal had agreed very easily to his demand. He'd thought continuous servicing of a Timeship would be a big demand. Maybe, he thought to himself he should have asked for a battlefleet or something like that.
"Understood," was all the Eternal said.
"Our agreement will remain in place, following my return from the Time War?" Harry asked.
"Yes," the Eternal looked at him to say.
"And do you know if I will survive?" Harry asked, unsure if he actually wanted to know the answer.
"That information is not recorded," the Eternal said.
"But you know I'm in the Time War." Harry pressed again and shook his head. "You can give me copies of the art works when I return."
"The originals will be available to you," it said, somewhat oddly.
Harry didn't say anything, he just put it down to the Eternal being...the Eternal.
"Well, I might as well get started, on this grand adventure and all that. Into war." Harry said to himself.
This chapter has been a long time in planning.
Initially, when I saw the War Doctor and started getting questions in reviews about the Time War and the War Doctor I couldn't work out how I'd have Harry meet him. Considering he's confined to the Time War and The Day of the Doctor neither of which really allowed for the War Doctor to pop off and meet Harry or vice versa.
The Time War is too is locked off, nothing in or out.
But a lot of reviewers asked about it and in conversation with them I did start to think about how I might get Harry into the Time War.
There's enough wiggle room about the Time War that I think there's ways in and out of it.
I'd left the question of Ginny hanging a little, basically because I wanted the option to do something with her, even though I'd not really thought of what to do at that point, she just seemed far too good a character not to keep around.
The 'Harry working with the Daleks' plotline is something I actually built into the story even further back, before we even knew many of the details of the Time War. This wasn't quite what I had in mind originally for Harry and the Daleks, but again I knew I wanted to do something with him and them quite a while back. What I've done thus far and going forward is far better than what I had planned.
In Chapter 65 there's a few references to people wanting to tell Harry something about someone missing, they're very fleeting and I actually edited away some references to Ginny, so when people start they're cut off before they can even start saying Ginny's name.
Oswin Oswald will appear next chapter. Harry had to have an associate, a travelling companion for this arc of chapters. It had to be someone who has the ability to protect him in the Time War and someone with an unusual skill set.
I also really liked Oswin Oswald, both the human and the Dalek and I was sad that she didn't go on to travel with the Doctor.
I know I've had to do a small cheat of Asylum of the Daleks so she escapes the Asylum, but it's not too much in the grand scheme. I feel with the Eternal it's a plausible cheat.
The Timeship looks like the Dalek's time craft that appeared in The Chase and to a lesser extent The Daleks' Master Plan. The exterior / interior looks more like The Chase one and there's more visual record existing of it than The Daleks' Master Plan.
Dark Space 8 appeared in the audio Bang-Bang-A-Boom!, the Intergalactic Song Contest also appears in that.
Thanks for reading.