The Face of Boe: I have seen so much, perhaps too much. I am the last of my kind, as you are the last of yours, Doctor.

The Doctor: That's why we have to survive, both of us. Don't go.

The Face of Boe: I must, but know this, Time Lord: You are not alone.

From Gridlock.

--

The temporal eddies fluctuated. The machine that spent it's life in the vortex read the currents, saw the signs, and pondered the possibilities; it cross referenced these with the disposition of it's owner, and then, finally, made it's decision.

--

The Doctor ran around the TARDIS console, a rather messy collection of chess pieces, junk and snow globes, frantically pressing buttons, pulling levers, and twice using the hammer he kept under the console for when his ship got out of hand, like now. The song Don't Stop Me Now, (the Queen version, because the Doctor, like many Queen fans, thought the idea of covering Queen blasphemy), was playing in the background, and the Doctor knew full well it was a message from the TARDIS herself, because she was funny that way.

We hit upon the crucial point, now; the Doctor wasn't driving the TARDIS to it's destination, he was trying – vainly – to stop it. He knew it was hopeless – the TARDIS wanted to go somewhere, and nothing - not rain, sleet, snow, atomic bomb, end of the world, end of the universe, start of the next - would stop it now; hence the song.

If it wasn't so annoying, he might have grinned. As it was, after a third run with the hammer failed, he resorted to pleading.

"No, no, no, no, no!" he yelled desperately. "Where are we going?! Stop, please! STOOOOOOOP!!"

It was no use, he knew, but he had to try.

After the longest time, (although time was relative in a time machine) the TARDIS slowed down over its selected destination, and slowly materialised.

The Doctor sighed. She had been getting increasingly temperamental, perhaps because he had been getting increasingly grumpy. But then, he had a right to be grumpy! Rose had gone, and Donna had declined top come with him in the TARDIS, leaving him utterly alone; until Martha anyway, but then, finally, her one trip had ended, and he had dropped her off in her house, happy as Larry. Well, actually, no, not happy as Larry, she had wanted to continue. Actually, he thought, it might have been good if she'd stayed…

Bah. Might-have-beens were useless. As always, he thought bitterly.

"Where have we ended up this time, old girl?" he said softly to the TARDIS. She didn't answer; not in words. He imagined he'd have to go out. Normally, he wouldn't have complained, but... it was the principal of the thing.

He shook his head. Trying to predict the TARDIS's actions was like trying to predict what he would look like next time he regenerated - pointless and impossible.

"We're not staying. We're really, really not staying", he said, pulling the lever to send them back on their way.

The TARDIS, however, steadfastly refused to move. The Doctor tried talking to it, threatening it, and bashing the console with a hammer, but it just wouldn't work. She wasn't going anywhere.

The Doctor sighed. Oh for the days when he could have traded her in for a type 57...

"Oh well. Might as well get it over with..."

He picked his long coat off the wall, adjusted his tie, and walked out of the door, to face whatever might be out there.

--

Idyllic beauty. That was what was out there. A large, glittering lake, white-topped mountains, forests… England, if he wasn't mistaken. Or maybe Scotland; England wasn't known for massive mountain ranges. He turned around the TARDIS corner, and saw a massive castle stood towering nearby, with lights in the windows, tall, beautiful… idyllic.

The Doctor smiled. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad. Certainly, there were no Dalek invasions, no Cybermen plots, no Sontarans, and no Master...

Well. Of course there was no Master.

"Oi!" came a booming voice from behind him, shocking him out of his reverie.

The Doctor turned, hoping to God it wasn't a cliched farmhand with a shotgun like in the films. Suffice to say, it wasn't. It was, in fact, a massive man (really, absolutely massive; couldn't possibly be fully human. Maybe Magantarian…), in a long coat, aiming a pink umbrella at him threateningly. If it is possible to aim a pink umbrella threateningly.

"Who are ya?" he yelled, brandishing the umbrella like a weapon, keeping the point trained on the Doctors nose. The Doctor stared cross eyed at it for a moment, then snapped his eyes up to the Giant's.

"I'm the Doctor," he said, brandishing a smile.

"Doctor who?" asked the giant, puzzled, the umbrella not moving. The Doctor grinned at him. Oh, the times he had heard that, and the places...

"Everyone says that," he grinned. "I'm just the Doctor."

"Yer here for the job interview?" said the giant, still brandishing the umbrella.

"Yes!" said the Doctor suddenly, struck by inspiration. "I'm here for the job interview, and I got a little lost, after all, it is a big place, isn't it? And I was wondering..."

He trailed off. The giant was smiling, all trace of hostility vanishing from his features.

"Well then!" he boomed. "Why didn't you say so? I'll guide you up. Oh!" he added suddenly, as if he had forgotten something drastically important. "I forgot to introduce myself. Rubeus Hagrid is my name, gamekeeper and Care of Magical Creatures teacher."

He smiled, and turned back to the castle, beginning to walk in long strides.

"Now, if you'll just follow me Doctor, I'll have you to Professor Dumbledore's office in a jiffee..."

The Doctor shrugged to himself. 'No harm in going for a job interview, I suppose', he thought, and then it struck him; something this… Rubeus Hagrid had said. 'Magical creatures'?

Oh, this sounded good.

He followed Hagrid up to the castle, his curiousity piqued.

--

He entered the office of Professor Dumbledore.

"Ah, excellent, how nice to see you!" said Dumbledore as the Doctor entered. He was standing, looking out the window. He was a tall man, with long silver hair and a longer silver beard, with little half moon specs hanging on his nose. His clothes were… eccentric to say the least; long robes, in silver.

"Nice to be welcomed", replied the Doctor, happily.

"Well, I know that you want to get on," said Dumbledore, sitting down, "you do have a whole school year to plan for, so I won't keep you..."

The Doctor blanched. What?

"Hang on, I thought this was an interview!" he said, bemused, bewildered, befuddled, and a whole load of other b-words.

"Well, it was," said Dumbledore, smiling, "but since no one else has even considered the job, then you get it by default."

"How do you know I'm good enough for the job?" asked the Doctor, now rather worried.

Dumbledore stopped for a second, as if it had never occurred to him.

"You know, that is actually a good point," he said. "Oh well, I'm sure you know what you're doing. You wouldn't have applied if you didn't, after all!"

The Doctor laughed nervously, now completely buggered.

"Well, it's something of an honour," he laughed, high pitched, "I just expected it to be difficult to get..."

"Well, when you're the only applicant, it isn't," replied Dumbledore. "What's your name, might I ask?"

"Er..." stammered the Doctor, still stunned, "Smith. Dr John Smith."

"Smith. Splendid," smiled Dumbledore. "Anyway, I'll let you get on."

The Doctor walked out, and headed for the grounds, hoping that he could deal with the challenge presented to him...

He didn't hear Dumbledore murmur the words, "hello again, Doctor."

--

The Doctor read furiously. He had now read, by his reckoning, one hundred and twenty five books on magic. It was a fascinating subject, you could be sure of it. Absolutely fascinating. But how was he supposed to teach defence against the dark arts?

Well, he thought to himself, if the past nine hundred years have tought me anything, it's that improvisation is always your best option.

So he got reading.