Last chapter. The end is nigh, readers. I hope you enjoyed this story, which was my first ever fanfiction, and so holds a special place in my heart. This is my favourite chapter, by far, so enjoy!
The Time that never was
Luke woke up when the front door banged shut. He jumped, sending his book to the floor with a loud clatter. He laughed at himself. He must have fallen asleep while he was reading. This was a strange thing in itself. He never fell asleep while reading.
'Luke, I'm home! Any visitors?' called his mum, Sarah Jane, as she headed straight for the kitchen to make herself a cup of tea. Luke opened his mouth to say no, when he stopped suddenly. That couldn't be right, could it? The Doctor had come through the fireplace, asking for his help… then everything came rushing back.
'It's not your mum I need. It's you.'
'You still haven't told me your name.'
'You're going to be my project. We'll have you skating if we have to practice all winter.'
'This, my dear friends, is a book.'
'Yes, I think we'd got that far already.'
'Don't leave me!'
'You're very quiet, Luke. I thought you fancied Bree?'
'I do. I just don't know what to do now.'
'If she gets back her Time Lord self, she won't be Bree anymore. She'll be someone else. The Time Lord she used to be. Not Bree the human.'
'My name is Rodageitmososangsulves, but you can call me Roda. Most people do.'
'Of course, you regenerated! And you stayed the same!'
'Not exactly. I now have a small mole on my left ear.'
I WILL REMEMBER
'Luke?' Sarah Jane walked into the lounge, and found Luke on the floor, clutching his head as a whirl of memories and emotions overtook him. Then, suddenly, it stopped, and went as quickly as it had come. Except now he remembered. All of it.
'I'm fine,' he said, smiling at his mum. 'I just had a bit of a headache, that's all.'
'Ok,' she said, not entirely convinced. Luke really hoped she'd leave it at that. He would tell her someday… but not yet. He felt that if he remembered too much, he would miss them all too much. Hermione, Harry, Ron, Ginny, Bree… and Roda. All of whom had died, but were now alive. And the cruelty of the universe meant he would likely never see them again, and if he did, by chance, meet them in the street, they would not remember.
'Would you like a cup of tea?' she asked him, and Luke sighed, glad she had let it go for once. He would tell her, but today didn't seem right.
'Yes please,' he said, and she bustled off into the kitchen, calling behind her,
'I'll get the nice biscuits out, shall I?'
Hermione woke with a start, tears coursing down her cheeks. Disorientated for a few seconds, she climbed out of bed and lit her wand, much to the annoyance of her fellow roommates, who all groaned at her to turn it off. Then she stopped, took a few deep breaths, and looked around.
It had been a dream? It had felt so real. Hermione was sure that losing Ron, Harry and Ginny had been just as painful as if she had in real life. Maybe she was in heaven? But it looked an awful lot like her dormitory.
She glanced at Lavender, asleep on the bed next to hers, snoring softly. Hermione was so happy to see her alive and well she forgot for a few seconds that she was going out with Ron. Then she remembered. If none of… that had ever happened, Lavender was still going out with Ron. Hermione decided, after the brief moment of happiness at her not being dead, that she didn't like her anymore.
Hermione couldn't get back to sleep, so she put on her dressing gown and padded down the stairs to the girls dormitory until she reached the common room. A small figure with blazing red hair was already sitting in an armchair, staring into the fire. Hermione approached her cautiously.
'Ginny? Are you ok?' Ginny turned around, and nodded, Hermione could see dried tear tracks on her face.
'I had the most horrible dream,' she started, and then she stopped. 'Well, it started out all right, and then it went completely downhill. I was going out with Harry, and you were going out with Ron, and everything was perfect…' Ginny screwed up her face, as though struggling to remember something, 'and there were other people, but I just can't remember…' Hermione struggled to remember her dream, and sure enough, there were three faceless figures, two about their age, one older beyond anything Hermione had ever known, who, the more she tried to remember, the more they slipped away.
'And then Ron died, and Harry, and you…' Hermione trailed off, as a confused look appeared on Ginny's face.
'And then me,' Hermione whispered.
'You had the same dream?' Ginny exclaimed. Then she screwed up her face again, as though trying to remember more.
'No, don't try,' said Hermione, putting her hand out. 'The more you try to bring it up, the more you'll forget. Just leave it, and we'll remember someday.' Ginny nodded, and the two girls sat in the common room, staring at the fire, until light started to appear through the windows.
Up in the sixth year boy's dormitory, Harry jerked awake, breathing heavily and sweating. He sat upright for a few seconds when he realized he couldn't remember what his dream had been about. All he knew was that it had been awful. He lay down again, and settled himself back in bed.
Little did he know that just before he'd woken up Ron had twitched, yelled out loud, then turned and continued to snore.
Captain Jack groaned and rolled over, promptly falling out of his office chair. That woke him up fully, and he promised himself he would get himself a proper bed and never sleep in his chair again. He made this promise to himself every morning.
He ran his tongue around his teeth, and grimaced at the taste of old coffee. Taking a long draught of water from a plastic canteen in his desk (old army issue) he slammed out of his office with his old coffee cup, looking for either Ianto or the coffee machine.
All of a sudden he remembered the dream he'd been having. Not all of it, but some bits just came rushing back. He was, in fact, so surprised he dropped his mug, which promptly shattered on the floor.
'Damn it!' he shouted, as the noise had snapped him out of whatever it was he had been in and he could not remember a single thing about his dream.
'When the others get here,' he hissed from between his teeth as he marched off to find a dustpan and brush to clear up the broken china, 'I'm going to get them to buy carpets for the whole hub, so that breaking coffee cups will not cause vital information to just go swirling down the drain!' He found the dustpan and swept up the mug violently, banging the brush against the pan quite unnecessarily, before dumping the china unceremoniously into the bin.
But by the time the others arrived, looking like they'd all had a bad night's sleep, Jack had completely forgotten about his dream and the cup, so when Gwen found her favourite coffee mug in the bin later on, Jack had no clue how it had gotten there, even though Gwen insisted that he had it last.
The Doctor woke up sprawled on his chair in the TARDIS. The machine's constant humming comforted him as he tried to remember the dream he had. It had felt very real, and he was sure he'd left someone very important behind…
But try as he might, he couldn't remember who it was.
Definitely a dream, The Doctor thought as he got up, stretched and started fiddling with the TARDIS console. Everyone important to me is lost now.
He started feeling the same ache of loss, but the humming from the TARDIS grew louder, almost as though it was comforting him.
'I'll always have you, old girl,' he crooned, as he fiddled with the screen 'Ooh, Felspoon, now there's a place we haven't been in a while. D'you remember that? Mountains swaying in the breeze?' he said softly, before suddenly jumping into action. 'Felspoon, here we come!' And the TARDIS whined and groaned away from the dark, misty street where a young girl was running for her life. She heard the strange noise and followed it, scrambling up the stairs to a large building that appeared to her out of the fog, and she stumbled through the double doors into a police station.
Where just moments before the TARDIS had been parked in front of.
Optional ending… (Not really sure I like this much, but whatever. It is a bit pathetic, but to read the sequel you have to read this first. Your choice.)
Luke was walking by his own in the park, and the leaves, which had been brown and gold when he'd woken up from that time paradox, were now small buds of green on the branches.
He passed the children's playground and heard them laughing and screaming as they clambered on the frames and swung on the swings. He smiled ruefully. Sometimes he wished he'd had a proper childhood, but right now he knew he wouldn't swap his life for anyone else's. Yes, he was too clever and had to hide it, and his lack of a belly button made it hard to have fun at public swimming pools. But if he hadn't been who he was, he would never have met Roda.
He was torn from these thoughts, ones that he had almost everyday, when he heard a squeal of brakes come from the road that ran parallel to the small park, and lots of shouting and yelling. As he ran closer, he heard an angry voice complaining.
'How is it my fault? She just stepped into the road!'
'You should have been watching where you were going!' yelled a woman's voice, high and shrill.
'It's fine, Aunt, I'm ok,' said another voice, one that Luke recognized. His heart leaped into his throat as he ran out the park gate and saw what had happened. A large moving lorry was parked outside a house that had recently come on for sale, on the road near his. A van was skidded sideways in the middle of the road, with a growing line of cars behind it, and a balding man was shouting angrily at a sharp-looking woman who was clutching the shoulder of a girl who looked about 16. She had a large gash across one cheek but was otherwise unharmed, but Luke stopped dead at the sight of her.
It was Roda. Well, Bree. But she looked exactly the same age as she had when he'd met her at Hogwarts, even though that wouldn't be for a few years, for her. But then she looked him dead in the eye, and he realized. This was Roda, and the shining silver locket around her neck was empty.
'She just stepped out from behind the lorry, I had hardly any warning…' the van driver kept shouting, but Roda had pulled herself from her aunt's grip and had ran over to Luke, throwing her arms around him.
'How…how did you…' he stammered, his mouth not yet connected to his brain, which had already worked it out.
'The Doctor,' she said simply, and he nodded and grinned.
'How did he remember?' Luke asked, curious.
'The TARDIS decided that he needed his family, so she took him to me, and he freed me and took me and my foster-aunt,' she gestured to the shrill woman still arguing with the van driver, 'back to moved here because of you.'
'Are you ok?' he asked, wiping some blood off her cheek.
'Yep. The van just clipped me and span me onto the ground. I keep forgetting that I can't really regenerate if people watch me die.' She grinned. 'I already did that once. Aunt Millie had to tell them they'd inhaled too many fumes.'
'Aunt Millie?' Luke asked, raising an eyebrow. 'What happened to Malice?' Roda shrugged.
'We made up. The Doctor visits me whenever he gets too lonely, and I think she has a bit of a crush on him,' she giggled.
'So, you're staying around now?' Luke asked.
'Staying around, going to your school… you won't be able to get rid of me,' she said.
'Have you remembered?'
'The Doctor opened my mind. I can remember everything. Ron, Hermione, Harry and Ginny will never remember,' she sighed, 'but at least they have each other. Now, I really do want to meet your mum.' Luke grinned and took her hand.
AN: And we have reached the end of the line, faithful readers. Keep posted for the sequel, but I'm preoccupied with the series Merlin at the moment, so it might be a while. Thanks for reading, and thanks to all those who reviewed. You've been, in the words of the Doctor, fantastic.