It was something to do with density.
Harry looked up at the thick tall trees that towered above them, they were like eucalyptus trees tall and thick with bark peeling off. Their canopy and branches created significant cover but didn't quite block out the sun's light that was falling onto this planet.
He had to remember that it was a moon, not a planet. He was so used to thinking of moons as lifeless rocks, like 'The Moon'.
Supposedly this moon had been terraformed, or whatever you called it when your home wasn't Terra.
According to the Dalek battle group it was within the Gamma Protectorate, but had been seized by the Time Lords for their experiments. Harry wasn't sure how much of that he believed. The Daleks were as capable as the Time Lords and anyone else to edit and alter their language and reading of history.
Right now the shadowy lighting, along with the rivers that crisscrossed this moon gave everything a grim sense to the atmosphere. It also looked like it was going to rain Harry thought to himself ruefully.
"The only Gammas I know of are the Gamma Forest, makes sense if they're behind this, big on the water," Oswin was saying as they were walking along. They'd had to park the Timeship a long way away, because of what this facility was researching. It was also the reason why he didn't have any of his expanding bags nor was he wearing a jacket with any pockets that were bigger on the inside.
"Much media interest?" Harry asked and almost added 'any baking interest?' they were the two subjects that often piqued Oswin's interest. She'd admitted that she liked a good, or even a bad soufflé. "Gravitational density instability," Harry mused to himself thinking on a different topic. That was the reason why they were walking in, and why he couldn't even risk apparating in. They had seen in the vortex a very narrow approach aperture for temporal vessels; TARDISes no doubt.
The Daleks had created a distraction in normal space for them to land on the planet, but then they were on their own, the Daleks didn't want to contribute resources to their surface operation, this facility, to them at least had no strategic value.
A planet, nay a moon, terraformed with very deep rivers, or chasms or something like that.
Why this fact made it an ideal location for gravitational engineering research Harry didn't know. All he had garnered from the Dalek intelligence on this area was it wasn't traditional Time Lord gravitational engineering like their stellar manipulators but some other sort of gravitational engineering, Time Lord related, or maybe not. And it was the most likely location of his biodata source that he and Oswin had been chasing.
One Ginny Weasley.
One of the Ginny Weasleys more accurately.
But even her presence didn't explain why the Time Lords' facility had to be here, on a commandeered planet.
The Daleks didn't really offer an explanation of that either. Only to say 'The Time Lords have conquered many worlds for their war against the Daleks'. There was a sense of respect in their tone when they talked about the Time Lords conquering. Respect wasn't the right word, he'd tried to question some of the Soldier Daleks before he and Oswin had departed the battle group about what exactly it was or how they felt about it. Both were hard things to interrogate out of the Daleks, out of Soldiers even more tricky. The Daleks...didn't so much respect that the Time Lords were doing conquering, it was more like...the Time Lords were, seeing the value in conquering planets to further their war effort. Something the Daleks had been doing for ages. But according to what Oswin had been reading (and telling him about) the Daleks were also rediscovering the value of strategy rather than just conquering and destroying was at times a better path to pursue.
Although Harry doubted anyone would be accusing the Daleks of behaving diplomatically but they were being more strategic than they had once been.
Strategically this moon didn't hold much value, whatever gravitational stuff was being researched here, the Daleks didn't care, or there wasn't an all knowing smug Time Controller nearby who could see far enough ahead to know whether this facility might become useful.
Harry fancied he and Oswin could have used their rank to order the Daleks to invade this moon. And while he did take some comfort in having a Dalek attack squad with him, sneaking in also had its advantages.
Not having Daleks shout 'Seek, Locate, Destroy' was one of them.
"I don't have my fingers in all the media in the sector Harry," Oswin was saying, interrupting his musings about Dalek battle psychology.
Harry held up his hands. "You read my mind, I only got the edited highlights of yours Oswin." Harry looked to her, she'd turned around to look at him; walking backwards as she did.
Oswin gave him a challenging look. "From the sneaky Eternal."
"Doesn't help you like being secretive Oswin," Harry commented idly.
Oswin gave him a playful look. "You like being the secretive one Harry."
Harry shook his head, unsure how to counter that, except to confirm it.
"You know it's weird right? Us, in all of this, you instantly trusting me but not knowing the basics," Oswin finally said after many moments of silence.
Harry looked over to her. "I didn't and don't want to press, your history is your own..." Harry trailed off for a moment. "I didn't want to push, you're already here in this...this war, that you didn't ask to be involved in" Harry exhaled. "I just dropped in on you and asked you run for your life into the plungers of the Daleks."
"Manipulator arms," Oswin corrected playfully, though in a small voice.
"Now we're trudging through a wet forest, we're wandering around a war, I didn't want to pry into your history, didn't want to piss you off," Harry finally finished in halting tones.
Oswin grabbed him gently. "I'm armoured and made of tougher stuff than you think magic boy. I'm not worried about ghosts from the past. I could have turned you down," she looked at him in the eyes. "The Doctor did, and I learnt from it, and it led to you and me."
Harry looked up at the canopy of trees. "In a war."
"If you could, would you wish yourself away?" Oswin asked following his gaze.
Harry thought for a few moments. "No, I need to deal with Ginny, whatever happens," he paused. "Even if I might be tempted."
"Very well," Oswin intoned. "I should tell you something about me then."
"Oswin stop!" Harry lurched himself to a stop and grabbed out to Oswin to stop her, only to find her grabbing his hand.
"I was about to say the same, clever boy," she grinned looking sideways to him.
They had been trudging along through the wet bracken for what seemed like hours.
Oswin had just about covered how she'd got onto the Alaska, the ship that had crashed into or onto the Daleks' asylum, but she'd been skipping around a bit in her tales, to where she had set up shop on Dark Space 8, but not a lot immediately post-escaping the asylum.
Harry had felt the barrier in front of him, more so than really detected it.
"It's a force barrier," Oswin held her hand out in front of her, Harry could almost feel a fizzing in the air.
Harry shook his head. "It's not just that, there's a fizzing, not just technical, something magical as well, something..." He trailed off trying to think of what it might be. It wasn't something to ward them off, he wasn't wanting to run screaming into the woods, no this was something else something different, yet still magical, only just.
Extracting his wand he checked, again to see whether he could appartate. The results of his spell were somewhat inconclusive. It probably wasn't dangerous enough to be deadly, but he'd not brought barely any magical supplies with him certainly none that could extricate him from a splinch if he were wrong.
Only the basics; weapons, sonic screwdriver and a tiny first aid kit containing some chewable pepper up potion which he and Ioan thought was only about 50 percent effective and a blood restorative along with basic first aid. The restorative might be able to help if he was to splinch himself, but he wasn't ready to test it just yet.
"How responsive do you think it is?" Harry finally asked as he looked at the region in front of him where he imagined it to be, there wasn't anything to be seen.
"It doesn't look like it's emitting enough energy to report incursions," Oswin was looking at the air in front of them. "It's a barrier, even if we had walked into it, it's possible no one would have noticed."
"Unless there's a noticeable power pull when something does," Harry mused carefully aiming a minor diagnostic spell at the area in front of them, hoping they wouldn't be inundated with Time Lord soldiers.
"Well magic man?" Oswin asked as the spell's affects died down.
Harry wrinkled his nose. "It's like a barrier."
Oswin gave him a look. "Said that already Harry."
Harry shook his head trying to recall what it was, or where he'd seen it in place before. "Somewhere in the Ministry, used something like this, something..." he muttered to himself and looked around them. "Come on, I think I've got an idea."
"Do you need a bubblehead?"
"Excuse me?" Oswin looked at him. "It's hardly the time. And you have a girlfriend."
Harry gave Oswin a look.
Oswin sighed theatrically and smiled playfully at him. "Are you going to strip off Harry?"
Harry shook his head, Oswin he was sure had some weird desire to get him to take off his shirt.
"I'll hold my breath, the water's only almost freezing," she said casually.
Harry looked at the murky brown slow moving water. That was only part of it. It was also deep, it went somewhere down, further down than he could fathom let alone measure. But that was the fortunate part for them, the force field, barrier, or whatever it was didn't reach far beyond the surface. He couldn't quite put his finger on what it reminded him of, but he could feel Ginny's hand in it, or at least someone who'd had magical contact, which, in this war meant Ginny, there wasn't anyone else around here who had had magical contact.
Wrapping the bioengineered coat around himself tightly he cast the bubblehead over himself.
He'd have preferred Oswin to go first, at least she was equipped to fight through the water, or at least the Dalek side of her was, he assumed. There wasn't a lot of information, anywhere about Daleks being submersed in water.
Ian and Barbara had told him that they'd seen one come out of the Thames, aside from that there were some references in the Daleks' history to aqua and submarine Daleks used on marine or water planets. But those references were few and far between.
Oswin wasn't going first in case there was some sort of magical defence below the water that they couldn't see, which he'd have a better chance of getting through than she did.
Breathing slowly through the bubblehead charm he stepped into the slowly moving water and suddenly panicked a little as he realised below the surface it was much more faster moving than he'd first thought.
Kicking out at the water as hard as he could he felt the barrier, it was much less of a ward and much more of a physical barrier than he'd expected, but he could feel, rather than see water and other materials passing through it. Even with the bubblehead he couldn't see much, the rushing water, stained with the forest's detritus meant he couldn't see much.
The cold was also starting to seep though the parts of his body not covered by his cloak.
Then, as he pushed, swam and kicked under the barrier he felt his bubblehead collapse, just as he was taking a breath of air...
Harry coughed up a lungful of water and realised he wasn't dead.
"Oh good, you're not dead," was Oswin's voice.
Harry grabbed at his wand, banishing and drying himself of water. "Did I inhale?"
"Most of the river, we're through though." Oswin gestured.
-/ - \\-
They'd had to split up, that had been a mistake, Harry knew, but the vagugely ziggurat-shaped facility was huge, and really, it could have been bigger on the inside, literally.
They had set one another a time frame for what they needed to do, their method of getting into the facility hadn't exactly been subtle. Someone would eventually notice a huge hole they'd had to blast into the side wall, even though he'd placed a lot of notice-me-not charms, you couldn't completely hide things like the smell of a forest or the wind whistling in.
After all their sneaking around and under rivers, it irked him a little that they'd not been able to find a subtler way in.
Thankfully the facility wasn't a TARDIS, or a TARDIS-like building, at least not in construction. It was made out of some sort of concrete or something. Oswin had said it looked like 'modified plasticrete'. She hadn't explained further.
Harry did wonder if that was what it was like to be around him, when he just said something casually, around people who weren't in the know completely, like Hermione. When he dropped a technical term or something without really thinking about it.
It made him just want to ask questions of Oswin, although probably not while he was in deadly danger like he was now. The questions should be left until later, when he could properly ask Oswin what plasticrete was, as it sounded like, just some form of polymer concrete.
This place didn't seem like a Time Lord facility, not that he had a lot of experience of ones. It didn't feel like a TARDIS. Harry thought that it was going to be like one, if this was a gravitational research facility, it'd make sense it'd be like a TARDIS. Though why it wasn't on Gallifrey or somewhere near Gallifrey's system was just one of many questions he had of it.
It was less like a tap on the back and more like someone had punched him, hard in the back.
It was different too, to the last time he'd been shot at.
He had heard and then felt the staser blast hit him and was supremely thankful of whatever genetic engineering the Daleks had done on his coat that meant it would stop the energy of the Gallifreyan staser from killing him.
Of course, the Eternal had said, he was relatively sure, it had said that you couldn't do a lot with the physical energy.
Actually, Harry was pretty sure the Eternal hadn't said anything like that.
Harry fired back at the guards, his wand in one hand and a Cybergun in his other hand.
He aimed a few choice spells at the floor, trying to collapse it and hoped it wasn't integral to the building, or the rooms nearby.
He was approaching his time limit, the one he and Oswin had set for themselves.
He'd established where Ginny might be within the facility, but it was a series of seemingly endless and unplottable corridors.
He had decided to go to plan B.
"And if we can't find her?" Oswin had asked before they'd gone in.
Harry looked at the building. "It's not that big, we can blow it up, hopefully without compromising too many of the whatever research gravity systems." He'd looked to Oswin, wondering if she was willing to actively participate in his quest against Ginny like this. But she'd just nodded with a smile and a shrug.
"Point me outside," Harry whispered to the wand as he took another staser blast, this time to the shoulder, he gritted his teeth and fired back with the Cybergun felling one of the soldiers and then started running as soon as his wand shifted back and forth on his hand as it sought out the exterior.
It had started to rain.
It wasn't helping.
Not his escape. Harry thought ruefully to himself as he threw himself through a gate or checkpoint and fired his Cybergun and wand backwards at the door he'd come out of the facility through, he didn't chance a look back but he hoped the amount of spells and energy weapons fire he'd aimed at it had nobbled his pursuer's pursuit of him for a short moment. At least long enough for him to escape.
Just as he was pushing himself to run an explosion from behind him threatened to draw him backwards and then threw him, with some speed outwards.
He felt himself flying towards a tree and it took all of his effort to adjust his trajectory to stop himself from impacting head first with it.
"Harry." A voice in his ear said with some urgency.
Harry sniffed at the bracken and wondered if it was talking to him, then he remembered the communicator that Oswin had slipped onto his ear when they'd parted.
"Oswin," Harry groaned as he became aware of alarms in the distance.
"Was that you?"
"The explosion?" Harry groaned. "No, where are you?" He looked around.
"Same way we went in. I've set charges."
Harry nodded, pulling himself up and casting a notice me not spell around him so he could catch his breath and assess the situation and checked the time.
Another explosion went off.
"That was me."
"Harry, what did you target?" Oswin's tone was odd.
Harry frowned to himself. "Secondary power systems and structural integrity, I thought it would compromise the facility and destroy the inner supports, some of it looked pretty ancient."
"Harry, I put bombs on the primary systems, if we've both targeted the power systems then this whole gravitational facility will cascade." She sounded almost amused by it, with a hint of panic.
"If we put bombs on the power systems then who-" Harry began to say as a figure rushed past him, he almost created a vortex of his own in how fast he was running.
"Who?" Oswin pressed.
Harry didn't have time to answer as it seemed that the figure who'd run past him had brought guards with him and they'd decided to shoot in his direction.
Harry broke into a run.
"Not. Sure. Where. I. Am." Harry gasped between breaths of air and water as the rain seemed to increase.
"10 seconds till my bombs go off Harry." Oswin said in his ear.
There was a whoomph a few seconds later as Harry realised his bombs went off.
Whatever he and Oswin had done seemed to have a drastic effect on the planet.
Everything seemed to lurch, surrounding him was the sound of cracking wood and rushing water.
Harry forced himself to stay upright as he ran, he wasn't sure in which direction he was going, away from the big explosions that he and Oswin had set off.
And the mysterious man.
"Harry..." Oswin's voice drifted in his ear.
"I'll try and get to the Timeship-" Harry began as there felt like, just for a moment the gravity shifted backwards, Harry swung his arm around transfiguring stray branches from the trees around him into ropes that swung out as the gravity shifted; allowing him to grab a hold of them and support him.
In his ear he heard Oswin exclaim. "Massive gravitational shift, we've disturbed something within the facility Harry, I think this is going-"
"Tits up," Harry finished with a grunt as he pulled himself up and in a moment of the gravitational shift affecting them again he threw himself forward. 'Away' from the gravitational shift and more importantly in the vague direction of where the mysterious man was running.
Harry felt himself 'falling' down along the slippery ground as the rain and gravity changed direction. Then there was another explosion and a sound of sloshing water and gravity felt like it returned to normal.
Harry barely broke movement, pulling himself up from slipping along to running in the direction of where he thought that the mysterious man had been running.
Harry wasn't sure why he was attracted to the mysterious man, but said man had been running away from the facility.
The facility both he and Oswin had accidentally-on-purpose blown up, each of them both deliberately, though not together had done so.
In the back of his mind as the gravity fluctuated again Harry pondered that, given the man had also been running it stood to reason that he had also done something to the facility.
There was a crackling around him as the gravity shifted again, this time too much for the swampy ground and the trees around him and branches began snapping off, crashing down around him as Harry summoned his reserves of strength and pushed himself away from the ground that seemed to be trying to hold him down and in the direction of where the man had been running.
It was in a clearing, after a few minutes of half stumbling, half diving and rolling away from falling branches that Harry saw him.
A man in a long frock coat and messy hair, running towards a battered Police Box.
Harry stopped himself from shouting out to the man, remembering when he was and who he was working with.
Just about as the man reached the Police Box and started going through his pockets for the key an almighty crack thundered throughout what seemed to be a forest ripping itself apart and around the clearing started to be showered by branches the size of normal sized trees.
Harry was frozen in awe and terror for a few moments. A few moments too many as he only realised that several of the branches were heading for the man at the Police Box. Reacting as fast as he could he tried to slow the descent of the branches.
He managed to somewhat, several of them crashing on top of the Police Box, but shards of them struck the man beside it, knocking him to the ground.
Harry rushed toward to the man beside the Police Box, bloody wounds on the man's head and shoulder.
Swearing repeatedly to himself he gestured roughly with his wand to clear a path to the doors of the Police Box.
"Harry, I've got to the Timeship, the forest I'm sure you're aware is tearing itself apart." Came Oswin's voice in his ear.
"I know," Harry bit out against the rising panic that somehow he'd just disrupted the timeline.
"You don't sound good, Harry-"
Harry cut her off as he felt for the man's pulse. He had a double heart beat, fast but no where near the fevered beat of a Time Lord in crisis.
"The Doctor's here. He's the one who must've set extra charges," Harry explained quickly.
"The Doctor?" Oswin seemed to pause. "Of course you're sure."
Harry was patting through his own pockets, not wishing to go through the Doctor's pockets for his key. Harry wasn't sure why he'd brought his TARDIS key with him, into the Time War or with him onto this moon, especially as he'd left so much of his kit inside the Timeship. But the TARDIS key wasn't just a key that opened the doors of the TARDIS. Or at least that's what the Doctor had told him on more than one occasion, it was more than that.
"He's been injured, I need to get him into the TARDIS, I'll dematerialise the TARDIS," Harry explained as he fished out his key slipping it into the lock. There was a feeling, unlike when he'd previously unlocked the TARDIS, or maybe it was just the different iteration of the TARDIS, but as he turned the key the door unlocked.
"Can you fly it Harry?"
"I can demat it," Harry said with some surety. "use the time path detector in the Timeship to track this TARDIS."
"And getting in to pick you up?" Oswin asked a very good question, which Harry didn't immediately have an answer to.
There was a groan nearby, it wasn't the Doctor, it was the forest around them.
"I think our time here's up Oswin."
"Look after yourself Harry, I'll find you."
"Of course," Harry said as he levitated the Doctor and gestured him into the TARDIS.
Harry allowed himself to be awed by the space of the TARDIS for a moment, before remembering that he was levitating the Doctor.
Looking around he saw a ragged looking arm chair and floated the Doctor over, gently putting him into it.
The chair wasn't the only thing that looked a bit ragged.
The interior of the TARDIS looked awesome. Harry hadn't seen the interior of a lot of iterations of the Doctor's TARDIS, but this one was very Edwardian adventurer; he'd set the Doctor down beside what looked like a set of filing cabinets and a library, other bits were a bit Gothic with candelabras next to iron girders going up to the Time Rotor.
But around the walls he could see battle damage, fissures showing through to...what Harry couldn't discern, but there was some white light showing through.
A rumble from outside reminded him that he needed to get the TARDIS off of the moon it was on before it disappeared up a gravimetric singularity, or something like it.
Harry had hoped to be well away from the moon, having dealt with Ginny and thinking about a nice cup of tea.
Instead here he was, in the Doctor's TARDIS.
Carefully approaching the console he tried to remember Grace Holloway and Chang Lee's debrief reports that UNIT USA did with them following their encounter with the Doctor in 1999.
This was the room they described, he realised looking around.
"The TARDIS likes you." Was what the Master had said to Chang Lee.
Prowling around the TARDIS console, which was finished all in wood, with dials and burnt wires spilling like spaghetti from the innards Harry looked for telepathic circuits which could at least help him show intent.
There was another, much more violent rumble from outside throwing him against the girders holding up the Time Rotor.
That was when he felt it, just for the briefest moment, something indescribable and complicated touching his mind and then the outer doors closed with a creak of their hinges and all the panels of the console came to life.
Along with a creeping smell of wires burning out and overheating.
Beaming to himself and sparing a look to the unconscious Doctor whose wounds at least appeared to be clotting, Harry did another loop of the console, trying to recognise something in the console.
Harry had only ever made a study of two iterations of the console of the TARDIS.
The one that the Doctor had designed with parts from UNIT in the 1970s which had been recorded in meticulous detail by Doctor Elizabeth Shaw and somewhat less meticulously by Josephine Grant.
The other was the one he knew the basics of operating, how to pilot it through a vortex fold and dematerialise while in the clutches of a Vortisaur. The latter while the Doctor was luring it in the other direction, he'd had the gentle coaxing by the android Master on that occasion.
Everything sort of seemed like it was in a similar position.
Despite both this console and the one he was used to containing copious amounts dials, brass and switches, this one still seemed complicated.
The burning smell had at least died down.
Grabbing a big lever that seemed like it was meant to be pushed, he pushed it across, lights lighting up along the length of the panel and above him, the exterior of the TARDIS revealed itself.
"Wow..." Harry looked from the sky to the small TV set that was hanging from the ceiling; it currently had what looked like explosion damage on it and was displaying static. Harry wondered if the ceiling above him was the secondary scanner.
The world displayed outside seemed to be tearing itself apart and inward at the same time; cascades of water and trees ripping themselves apart, gravity let rip to tear a world apart. Harry couldn't divert his thoughts at this moment to allow himself to worry about who had triggered it.
Maybe it was just some form of temporal synchronicity.
"Okay," Harry said to himself as he stood in front of what he thought was the coordinate entry panel, which now looked like a mass of typewriter keys. It was either coordinate entry or the chameleon circuit interface. When he and Draco had travelled with the Doctor that had been hidden below one of the lights on the console and didn't work.
There were also a series of rollers near by the console, but they were all burnt out or in other forms of disrepair.
Carefully he typed in the coordinates he recalled which were basically 'zeroed for the vortex', not nothing coordinates, just coordinates for no where specific in the vortex. Hitting the final key and then the enter key he received for his trouble a confirmation 'ding' from the console.
"Dematerialisation, synchronitic feedback to override," Harry said to himself as he walked around the console closing his eyes and letting his hands drift to the various areas of the console. "Thermo couplings to ready and fluid links..." Harry shook his head, he couldn't remember what the fluid links did, just the Doctor said if they fell out to kick them back into position. Then as he walked around the console he came to a very big and obvious handle; one labelled for obviousness. It said 'Handbrake'.
"Here goes nothing and hopefully not death," Harry said as he grabbed the handbrake and released it. For a moment there was the briefest nothing and then the room started to vibrate as energy seemed to build and the rotors within the glass time rotor began to mesh together; the noise of the dematerialisation filling the console room and the vision of the moon outside was replaced by the swirling patterns of the vortex.
'A groovy swirling pattern of colours, it was like everything was merging and meshing together, and the Doctor was out there, somehow, and the TARDIS brought him back' That was how Jo Grant had described the vortex in her reports. Harry had a rather different experience of it, and looking at it now, it seemed more muted than when he and Oswin had gazed at it through the Timeship's scanner.
Grabbing the control arm he dragged it back across, closing the ceiling and returning the lighting in the console room to candle light and whatever lights were still lighting the room and the console from the ceiling.
Now, Harry thought to himself he needed to help with the Doctor.
Looking around him again Harry tried to think where the Doctor might have hidden the first aid kit. According to Jo it was either kept in a cupboard or behind one of the roundels. When he'd been rescued by the Doctor and Martha Jones all he remembered was being in the TARDIS sick bay, a dedicated room of machines and other things. At least, that's what he thought it had been, his memories and recovery of that were mired in the pain of what had happened that night.
Harry went to drag a hand through his hair and stopped, remembering how dirty both his hands and hair were as he looked around him again. The TARDIS console and the space it was in was huge. Bigger than even the TARDIS console room of the TARDIS he and Draco had travelled with the Doctor in, and that seemed huge, especially once you were stood on the spiral staircase looking down at the console.
His eye seemed to drift to the various filing cabinets near where he'd put the still unconscious Doctor.
Walking over to them he stared along their length; like the rest of the TARDIS' interior they looked like they had begun as antiques and now were much worse for wear with big chips taken out of it and some sort of blast damage on the front of them.
From the war, Harry thought to himself.
Looking first in F thinking of First Aid it wasn't until he'd got to M, evidently for medical that he found what he'd been looking for. Long ago Susan had told him about a special bandage that her grandfather had used, with special medications that would get absorbed as needed. He'd remarked he'd needed something like that after what Dudley and his friends did to him. Susan had just smiled mysteriously and said that hopefully wouldn't be a problem any more.
Looking back to the Doctor and the wound in his shoulder Harry walked quickly along the filing cabinets' length to S, hoping there would be what he was looking for.
Under many socks that'd make certain house elves very pleased and parts from a sonic screwdriver he found a rough clay pot with some symbols on it. But it looked similar and the contents within too smelt like the Sisterhood Salve the Doctor had given and used on him in the past.
Walking carefully back over to the Doctor, the TARDIS having settled into the vortex, but there was still something of an ebb to its flight making him feel a little uneasy when walking Harry returned to the Doctor.
First wrapping the bandage around his head, then ripping open his shirt to apply the salve to the wound on his chest and shoulder. A quick reparo of the ripped shirt returned it to its untorn state, though it was still somewhat rough and dirty.
Now he just had to hope that he could contact Oswin before the Doctor recovered.
While it would be fantastic to speak with the Doctor again, Harry did not look forward to explaining why he was here, and more to the point who he was working with.
Meanwhile, Oswin Oswald was not enjoying piloting the Timeship alone.
She had read Harry's operating manual and piloted it fine when he was asleep or otherwise engaged.
The Timeship was also more or less perfect for her normal attire, although it had been adapted somewhat by Harry's Eternal mate. But there was still something missing; Harry and without him in it...it was odd.
The time path detector was not something that they used day to day, and was something enabled on the secondary control panel. Which hadn't really helped as it seemed like it had been designed when there were a lot fewer TARDISes flying around in the general vicinity than now.
She had managed to get the Timeship to home in on Harry, or the Doctor's TARDIS, she wasn't quite certain, and locked on image reading that had appeared on the main scanner which had allowed her to focus in on the Police Box shape of the Doctor's TARDIS.
It was much more battered and damaged than any accounts she'd seen of it when she'd been researching the Doctor, after her own encounter with him.
That clever boy with the bow tie and the cute companion, and his wife, wishing he'd taken her off with him the bow tie boy and his wife in the TARDIS.
It was ironic, now Oswin thought that she felt some trepidation, piloting the Timeship towards it, a Gallifreyan time vessel. Somewhat ironically given the past she'd been speaking to Harry of, she had become used to having the backup of at least a Dalek attack squad or saucer when approaching something dangerous.
The Predator of the Daleks was, or would be, or probably is, that; a dangerous Time Lord.
Who would one day in the future rescue her, and now here she was on the other side of the their war. It was something she was comfortable enough in her shell, to be so.
After so many years, inside said shell, she was comfortable enough in it, not to have turned Harry away when he'd come knocking, comfortable enough not to exterminate him there and then.
She had lived, and escaped the asylum, not with the Doctor, but she'd been touched by his influence enough. She wasn't sure if it was his inspiration or sheer instinctual reaction that had helped her initiate an emergency temporal shift from the Asylum.
Whatever it was, this was where she was now; close enough to the Doctor's TARDIS to see it. Not close enough for Harry to get out of the Doctor's TARDIS and into their Timeship. The time winds within the vortex would rip him to shreds and she couldn't extend the Timeship's force fields to the Doctor's TARDIS, not without taking down other protections, which the Timeship needed to ensure no other time vessels saw it while it was hanging here in the vortex.
Twisting the communications control she tried again to contact Harry, hoping that now she was on a line of sight with the Doctor's TARDIS she would be able to get through to him. It had felt like an age, that it had taken her to demterialse the Timeship and locate the Doctor's TARDIS but she knew and the Timeship had a record that it had only been no more than about 15 minutes. Give or take.
It began as a crackle in his ear, and then Harry remembered the communication piece sitting on the back of his ear.
Harry mused to himself he'd prefer something he could actually hold and use his sonic screwdriver on rather than this piece of bio-technology that used his body heat or some such like that to power itself. Perfect for infiltration, but not so much good for people who liked to meddle with this, or grasp it in frustration when someone was trying to get through to him.
"Harry, can you hear me now?" Finally said an exasperated tone of Oswin.
Harry nodded a relieved nod and said "Yes Oswin," he said as he glanced over at the still unconscious Doctor as he walked back over to the console pushing the lever across again so he could see the swirling mass of the vortex around the Doctor's TARDIS. "And I see you."
"This is the problem Harry, hope you've got a clever way out."
Harry frowned to himself and looked up and the ceiling. He hadn't, not really thought of how to get around this problem.
It would probably kill him if he tried to jump between the Doctor's TARDIS and the Timeship. Even if somehow they managed to get right up close, the time winds would as Oswin had said 'rip him to shreds'.
They couldn't risk materialising in normal space, the TARDIS was unreliable at the best of times. With the war damage Harry couldn't be certain what might happen. Doing the jump between the temporal vessels might even be safer. Well, moderately so.
Walking around the TARDIS console he pondered to himself.
"We'll need to disable the vortex shield resonators if we're going to get this vortisaur out of the TARDIS." Harry was relatively sure that was a memory rather than voices talking to him.
"What was that Harry, you were muttering to yourself, again. Maybe you should talk to someone about that."
"I'm talking to you Oswin, what do you know about time ram?" Harry asked as he prowled around the console. It was different, but the same as he crouched down to get underneath one of the panels.
The Doctor's TARDIS that he had travelled with was much easier to get to and get at the things within. This he wondered again if he was about to get the full force of the Eye of Harmony through him while prodding around in its guts.
"Is it a temporal goat?" Oswin joked, but then followed up with a comment. "I know what it is Harry, I've read the Dalek battle reports."
"Good, don't do that, I'm going to lower he TARDIS's vortex shields," Harry started.
Oswin interrupted. "You want me to materialise the Timeship inside the TARDIS? Is that wise?"
"No" Harry answered simply, he looked over at the still unconscious Doctor and hoped he remained that way as he poked his sonic screwdriver into the console against the vortex shield resonators. "Get ready."
"I have my hand on the controls Harry."
"I'll count down to zero."
Then with a soft whine, like electrical tension in the air, the Timeship ripped its way into the TARDIS. As it fully solidified Harry re-soniced the vortex shield resonators.
"Now we're in we're not going anywhere," called Oswin's voice from the now open Timeship doors.
"I wouldn't come out, just in case," Harry called.
"I'm not stupid Harry, who knows what the TARDIS will do to me," Oswin called. "Are you working something out?"
"I hope," Harry said.
In the end he'd rigged up some string that would rip the connections for the temporal vortex generator out. He'd connected the string up and was making one final check of the console when as he was walking back to the Timeship after checking the console and the Doctor, only then did the latter reach out and grab him.
Harry looked at the Time Lords eyes wide, but the Time Lord, his friend, the Doctor didn't have his eyes open.
"Harry, I know footsteps anywhere, why, how can you be here?" He asked in a woozy half awake tone.
Harry looked over at the Timeship door where Oswin was stood with a worried expression.
'Get ready to dematerlialse' Harry mouthed at her and hoped she could read his lips, or maybe he'd whispered it he wasn't sure.
"Dematerialise Harry?" The Doctor continued.
Harry mentally cursed himself, he'd obviously whispered it when he'd mouthed it.
"I'm not here Doctor, I'm a dream, a vortex manifestation, a..."
The Doctor laughed a rough cynical laugh as he spoke. "A ghost? I've seen plenty of those...ghouls even, Harry."
Harry looked down at his arm, which the Doctor was still holding onto very tightly. Almost too tightly.
Slipping his sonic screwdriver out of his coat with his other hand he aimed it vaguely at the console. He briefly considered hitting the Doctor on Gallifreyan nerve cluster, but it was in an awkward position to do so while he was seated, plus his injuries would mean it might kill him. That would be problematic at best.
The Doctor couldn't die yet, he still had whatever to do that so shook the Doctor who'd travelled with Rose and Jack to happen. They were too early in the Time War for him to regenerate now.
"Too many ghosts of the past and present, nightmares tormenting..." The Doctor was muttering as he loosened his grip on Harry's arm enough for Harry to slip carefully out of the Time Lord's grip and slowly and quietly walk over to the Timeship.
Oswin was waiting on the threshold of it as Harry slipped in. 'Ready?' Harry mouthed. Oswin nodded.
Harry looked back at the restless Time Lord, the Doctor, his friend and wondered what would come for him, but knew he couldn't interfere. Just being here in his TARDIS was dangerous enough.
With that he yanked the string and the TARDIS's vortex generator controls fused and the cloister bell began to toll.
Harry stepped back as the Timeship door shut as Oswin dematerialised it.
This was one of the harder chapters to write. I interestingly had the beginning, middle and end worked out, it was just stitching it all together. Well, I had three settings, the outside, the base and the Doctor's TARDIS. The outside was going to be another dusty/muddy/quarry-like setting, but thought I'd do something different. Plus I needed something to hit the Doctor to injure him enough for Harry to sweep in and rescue him.
Regarding Harry and the Doctor's non-meeting. This is the Eighth Doctor, at some point before Night of the Doctor. Harry and the Doctor don't meet here because, well, it'd be complicated if they did.
Of course though, Harry will meet the War Doctor, that was part of the reason why I began this Time War arc, so I could get a meeting in between Harry and the War Doctor. But I wanted it to be a surprise for both of them to see one another in the Time War (as Harry doesn't know about the War Doctor).