Title: Dust in the Sky
Part: 1 of 6
Beta: Shara Lunison
Pairings: Harry Potter/Tenth Doctor (with mentions of Rose/Tenth Doctor, Martha/Tenth Doctor and Jack/Tenth Doctor)
Warnings: Slash, minor Ginny!hate
Summary: Sequel to Hanging by a Thread. Harry has a life to live now with a wife and children, but he can still find time for the Doctor, no matter what he looks like.
Disclaim Her: I own neither the characters of Doctor Who, nor of Harry Potter. Both worlds belong to their respective creators/controlling entities and I am only borrowing them for my own amusement. No money is being made off of this piece of fan fiction.
Some quotes in this fic are taken directly from episodes in Doctor Who, others have been changed to better fit Harry's inclusion.
A/N: This is a sequel to a one-shot by me titled Hanging by a Thread. You don't, necessarily, have to read that fic to understand what's going on, but there are some pre-developed, non-canon relationships that might need explaining.
Okay. I've decided to divide the 10th Doctor up into parts based on who his companion is in the show. I'll try not to completely re-hash everything that happens in each episode where I insert Harry, but some things will have to be mentioned a bit.
A few of you were a bit thrown by the end of Hanging by a Thread when I said that Harry would never see the Doctor again. I meant, specifically, the 9th Doctor, since they're really, sorta different people. So it's like meeting a whole new person who remembers everything about you from before and you just have to learn to like them.
Anyway, sorry that bit wasn't as clear as it could have been. Here's the next instalment. XD
Harry was bouncing Albus on one knee while James played with some toys from his grandparents when the phone rang. Harry sighed and rested Albus more comfortably, then summoned the wireless phone to him from where it had gotten shoved under some books – Ginny didn't understand the point of having a phone, but Harry and Hermione liked to use them to talk, sometimes, so she tolerated it, but that didn't mean she took care of it in any way, especially since she was as capable with it as Ron was, which said very little.
"Harry Potter," he said, absently wiping a bit of spit from Albus' chin when the baby gurgled.
"Harry! Thank God!"
Harry glanced up at the doorway and, once seeing Ginny wasn't there, muttered, "Rose?"
"Yes. Listen, can you come to my place? The Doctor's... He's not doing well, Harry. Mum and Mickey and I, we're trying, but things are getting weird. The Christmas Tree just tried to attack us and he stopped it and all, but then he sort of collapsed again and... I didn't know who else to call!"
"Shh..." Harry said, standing up and going in search of Ginny. "Look, I've just got to tell Ginny something came up, have her watch the boys. Where are you, then? The address."
Rose rattled off her address while Harry searched around for his wife. When he couldn't find her with an initial search, he rolled his eyes. "Listen, Rose? Calm down, okay. Give me five minutes. I'll be there. Promise."
"Okay." Rose took a deep breath. "Thanks, Harry."
"Don't worry about it," Harry replied, then hung up the phone and started searching a little more thoroughly for his wife.
He found her outside, staring at the line of their neighbours walking steadily down the road. "Harry?" she whispered, turning to look at him.
"Fuck," Harry swore, then handed over Albus. "Ginny, I've got to go in. I'm sure this is something to do with it. Just stay inside with the boys, okay?"
Ginny swallowed nervously and nodded. "Okay. Be safe."
"You too, sweetheart," Harry replied, kissing her on the cheek. Then he apparated to the address Rose gave him.
There was a giant spaceship in the sky.
"Oh, hell," he muttered, then took off, looking for Rose or the Doctor. "Rose!"
"Harry!" he heard from above him. When he looked up, he saw her and some boy struggling with someone in pyjamas. "We're putting him in the TARDIS! Just... Just stay there for now! We'll be right down!"
Harry sighed and looked around him. It didn't take long to spot the TARDIS and he hurried over to see if the door was open, which it wasn't. He sighed and knocked his head against the door, once, then pointed his wand at the lock. "Alohomora," he muttered, and the door clicked open.
He held the door open for Rose and her boyfriend (?) and a woman who must have been her mother. And then there was the man Rose and her boy were holding between them. "Who–?"
Rose sighed as she set down the man. "The Doctor," she offered. "Or he was. And now this is him."
Harry blinked a bit in disbelief even as Rose's mum ran back out to get one last thing. "He said, once..." he murmured to himself.
Rose looked up from where she was staring down at the new Doctor. "Harry?"
"When I first met him," Harry continued, staring at the prone form, "he told me a bit about before. He said... sometimes he's a different person. He dies, but his people can be sort of reborn, I guess. Same memories, different person."
"Wait, so you travelled with him?" the boy asked.
Harry eyed the boy, then nodded. "I'm Harry, by the way."
"Mickey." He looked around the TARDIS, then touched the view screen. "What's this, then? Think we can see what's happened? Maybe we've surrendered."
Harry and Rose walked over to see. Rose touched the controls while Harry took the container with the tea and poured himself a cup. "Well, it's doing something," Mickey commented when it started beeping.
"Are you going to be a misery the whole time?" Mickey asked.
"Yes," Rose agreed drily.
Harry snorted and leaned on Rose's shoulder. "Cheer up, hm? He's still here, just a bit sick."
Rose turned to him, upset. "But he's not our Doctor. He's someone else."
Harry nodded. "Yes. But he's still the Doctor. Different face, different sense of humour, but still the Doctor." Harry looked over at the man lying on the grating. "Don't think that'll ever change."
Rose smiled then, just a bit, and said, "He's not northern anymore."
Harry grinned. "More's the pity. I liked that accent."
Rose laughed a bit, then looked around, realising something. "Where's Mum?"
Mickey shrugged. "Getting more food, probably."
Rose sighed and hopped out of her chair. "I'll go get her," she decided. "Never know, it might start raining missiles out there."
"Be careful," Harry offered, walking over to check the Doctor. "So bizarre," he muttered to no one in particular.
Then they heard a scream outside and both Mickey and Harry ran for the door. They found themselves on the alien ship and Rose was being dragged off by one of the aliens. "The door!" she screamed.
Harry turned and shot a spell at it to close it, then he and Mickey were both grabbed as well and dragged up after Rose. There, they found themselves faced with a line of the aliens, as well as the prime minister and one of her aides. Rose was being checked over by Harriet Jones and Harry and Mickey stepped over to them, Mickey shooting his captor a dirty look.
"Prime Minister," Harry said brightly, grin widening when she looked at him and gaped a bit. "It's been a couple months. How're the new recruits treating you?"
"They're still confused by the copy machine," Harriet said, shaking her head. "Auror Potter. You're the last person I expected to see."
"You know each other?" Rose asked.
" 'Auror Potter'?" Mickey repeated, a disbelieving look on his face.
"Government," Harry reminded Rose. "I worked for a bit in your minister's office when she first came to office." He grinned. "Had to leave, though. People started guessing who I was. Caused a right riot."
"I'll bet!" Rose laughed, shaking her head.
"Rose, you know Auror Potter?" Harriet asked, looking startled.
Rose nodded, grinning. "Harry travelled with the Doctor for a bit. He introduced us when that fake alien landed in the Thames."
The alien who seemed to be the leader of their group yelled something loudly and Harriet's aid translated it is, "Enough babbling. The yellow girl, the one with the clever blue box. She will speak for your planet."
"Rose, no!" Harriet hissed as Rose made to step forward.
Rose shook her off, then looked at Harry, daring him to stop her. Harry grinned and pulled out his wand. "I've got your back," he promised and she grinned back before turning and stepping forward to try and talk to the Sycorax leader.
"Is that what I think it is?" Mickey whispered.
"Yes, it's a wand. Yes, magic is real. Yes, I'm really the Harry Potter and no, you can't have my autograph," Harry replied drily, eyeing Mickey with an almost amused look. "Now shush."
They listened to Rose list off the words she knew from travelling with the Doctor, most of which made no sense to the onlookers, and when the Sycorax leader laughed and threatened to kill her, Harry stepped forward and got between Rose and the aliens.
"I'm afraid I can't let you harm her," Harry said quietly. "Least, not without getting through me, first."
The Sycorax laughed again.
"Funny, am I?" Harry muttered.
The Sycorax leader started speaking and the humans all turned their ears to Harriet's aid, who read off the translation, "You think to defeat me with your puny sword. Your people are pathetic and will now bow down to the Sycorax!"
But the humans were frowning by the end of his speech. "That was English," Rose said, coming up next to Harry.
"Yeah, yeah I think it was," Harry agreed, surprised.
"I would never dirty my tongue with your primitive language!" the Sycorax leader roared.
"Definitely English," Rose decided.
"I speak only Sycoraxic!"
"Then if we're hearing English, that means..." Rose turned to look back at the TARDIS and the others in the area did as well, even the Sycorax.
As if waiting for their attention to be turned to it, the TARDIS doors opened and the Doctor stepped out, grinning. "Did you miss me?"
The Sycorax leader let out a roar and moved to send his whip towards the Doctor, but Harry snapped, "Petrificus Totalus!" and the alien froze. There was a roar from the crowd and the Doctor peeked around to grin at Harry. "Ello, Harry."
"Ello, git," Harry replied good-naturedly.
"Mickey!" the Doctor said, turning to look at the others with them. "And Harriet Jones, MP for Flydale North!"
"She's Prime Minister now, you know," Rose helpfully pointed out.
The Doctor grinned at her, then looked back at Harriet. "Good job!"
"Who are you?" Harriet demanded.
"I'm the Doctor," the Doctor said.
"He's the Doctor," Rose agreed, somewhat disbelievingly.
"Is Doctor like a title that's handed down or something? Where's my Doctor?" Harriet asked.
Harry coughed. "His people have the ability to regenerate after death. They keep their memories of their past lives, but have a new face and personality."
"Of course I remembered, you git. Someone has to. Not like there's anyone else about that we can ask these questions of."
The Doctor grinned.
A growl came from the frozen Sycorax and Harry glanced at the Doctor curiously. When the Doctor nodded, Harry cast the disarming charm, sending his whip and staff flying, then ended the petrification.
"Witchcraft," the Sycorax hissed.
"Wizardry," Harry corrected, looking almost smug.
What followed was a fair bit of male posturing between the Doctor and the Sycorax leader – Harry seemed content to answer to the Doctor, so the Sycorax leader decided he must be in charge. The Doctor babbled on about all manner of nonsense, freed the controlled humans on Earth, then proceeded to duel it out with the leader for the future of the planet. He lost his hand, but grew back a new one without any trouble, then beat the leader.
Before they knew it, they were all back on Earth and watching the spaceship fly away. Hugs went around, and then Rose's mum, Jackie, showed up and there was a bit more laughing.
And when the alien weapon blew up the retreating spaceship, they all turned to Harriet Jones and told her what they thought of her.
"Sure you won't stay for supper?" Rose asked. She and Harry were standing outside her apartment. Her mum and Mickey had already gone in, and the Doctor had gone to get changed and move the TARDIS a bit closer.
Harry sighed and shook his head. "I'd love to, but I just can't. I left Ginny home alone with the boys. Told her to stay indoors. I can't just leave them on Christmas. Not after all this."
Rose sighed and nodded. "I guess. Will you at least stay long enough to say goodbye to the Doctor?"
"Ah, he'd never forgive me else," Harry replied a bit teasingly.
The TARDIS chose that moment to appear in front of them and the Doctor stepped out in a suit and a trenchcoat. "What do you think?" he asked the two humans.
"You look brilliant," Rose assured him.
Harry grinned and nodded. "I like it. Suits you."
The Doctor winked, then pulled something out of his pocket, which he tossed to Harry. The wizard caught it and looked it over curiously. "It's a mobile phone," the Doctor explained.
Harry rolled his eyes. "I am aware of the muggle world, Doctor. I know what a mobile is."
The Doctor grinned. "I put Rose' number in there, in case you needed to reach us."
"Now I just have to find some way to keep it from Ginny," Harry replied, stuffing it in a pocket. "Thanks."
"I didn't know you had a mobile in there," Rose commented.
"Lots of things in there," the Doctor commented. "Whole attic full of junk."
"But you had a mobile this whole time," Rose said.
"Ah, last incarnation never would have used one," Harry pointed out with a grin, then pushed himself off from the building. "Well, I should be off, then. Wife to calm down, kids to put to bed."
Rose nodded and hugged him. "You've got my number now," she told him. "Call if you want to get away from Miss Crazy."
Harry laughed. "I will. And you'll have to ring me when you're in town, yeah? I'll pop by. Maybe stun a couple of aliens for you." He winked.
"Yeah." Rose kissed his cheek, then turned to the Doctor. "Don't take too long, you," she ordered him, then started up the stairs back to her apartment.
The Doctor and Harry just stood there for a long moment, watching each other.
"Look, Harry, I know I'm not–"
"Doctor, shut it," Harry ordered, then pulled him down for a kiss. "And stop being so tall."
The Doctor grinned and hugged the smaller human. "Sorry, then. I'll work on it."
Harry grinned back. "I know a spell that would work just fine."
"Let's save that for other aliens, hm?"
Harry laughed. "Oh, alright. And you will tell me when you're about, yeah? No more of my having to listen for the TARDIS or just watch for something to come crashing to Earth?"
Harry nodded, then stepped back. "I'll see you around, then," he said and apparated home.
When Harry went back to work after the holidays, an Unspeakable was waiting for him in his chair. Harry leaned against the wall of his cubicle and cocked an eyebrow at the man. "Can I help you?"
"Auror Potter?" the Unspeakable replied.
"The one and only. You're sitting in my chair."
The Unspeakable stood. "Please come with me."
Harry looked at the piles of paper on his desk – he'd just known the Sycorax incident would end up creating more paperwork. Bloody aliens. "Yeah, alright. But make it quick, won't you? I'll have to finish this before I leave tonight, and I don't fancy staying late."
The Unspeakable shrugged, then brushed past Harry to lead him towards the lift.
"What have you done this time, mate?" Ron Weasley called from his own cubicle, grinning madly.
"With my luck, one of my idiots broke the copier in the muggle minister's office again," Harry called back as he stepped into the lift.
They were silent on their trip down to the Department of Mysteries. There, Harry was silently directed towards an office door, then left to continue on his own. Shrugging, Harry opened the door.
Harry blinked at the room, startled. Technology working in a magical building? He let the door close behind him and looked around at a couple of the machines stacked against the walls. All of them were running and some were shooting out various forms of data.
"Welcome, Auror Potter, to alien tech," a voice said from behind Harry, and he spun to face them, wand out. The woman standing there smiled and held up her arms to show she was unarmed.
"Alien tech?" Harry asked, putting his wand away.
The woman nodded. "Like the muggles, we have been finding things that fall to Earth over the millennia and have created safe houses to store them in. Everything in this room was found at a crash site and reconstructed to the best of our ability."
"Hm..." Harry reached out and touched a machine he vaguely recognised from a future space station food centre. "This shouldn't be here," he commented, then touched a button and said, "Chips with vinegar."
The machine let out a quiet whine, then the food appeared in Harry's outstretched hand. He taste-tested one, shrugged and decided it wasn't too bad, for a machine from the future.
When he turned back to the woman, she was staring at him in awe. "How did you...?"
"It's a food processing station from the thirty-fifth century," Harry replied. "Should even exist yet, but there you go. Probably fell through during the Time War or something." He patted it gently. "Long way from home, this machine."
The woman cleared her throat. "Auror Potter, if I didn't know any better, I'd say you're not of this time frame."
Harry grinned. "Nah. Just travelled a bit. Chip?" He held out the little cardboard case to her.
The woman took one delicately and nibbled on it as she looked over a clipboard. "Can you help us identify any of these other machines?"
Harry leaned back against the food processor. "To what end?" he asked. "So you can use it against alien invaders like Minister Jones did against the Sycorax?"
"Yes, yes," Harry replied, cutting her off with a frown. "You fully intend to use these machines as you see fit. If that means burning a couple of aliens out of the sky, so be it. The only reason you haven't managed a weapon the scale of the muggles is that you don't understand technology. Not like they do. Alien and future tech is the only stuff you can find that will work with magic. So you hook it all up and hope you can find a use for it."
"Really, we just want to use all this for the betterment of wizarding-kind, Auror Potter. You'll be helping the future!" the woman cried.
Harry really wished he had the Doctor's sonic screwdriver at that moment, and then he saw one. It was a bit burnt at one end, but when he walked past the woman, who was still nattering hopefully on about saving the world, and picked it up, it still turned on. He considered the settings on the side for a moment, then walked over to the plug they had all the machines running through. It was protected from magical damage, but it wasn't deadlock sealed. "Brilliant," he muttered, then used the screwdriver to shut it down.
All the lights went out, except for a single emergency glow around the door and the blue glint in Harry's hand. He considered the sonic screwdriver while the woman ran around a bit, banging into things. After a moment, he fired it at the ceiling light and it flickered back to life.
He found himself surrounded by no less than ten robed Unspeakables, plus the woman, who was smiling at him. "Bloody hell," he muttered.
The woman's smile only seemed to get larger and, as far as Harry was concerned, more dangerous. "Well done, Auror Potter. That took less time for you to cotton on than we'd predicted."
Harry scowled at the lot of them. "What in Merlin's name is going on here?"
A man stepped forward and held out a cloak. "Welcome to the Unspeakables."
Harry was still fuming during his lunch break. He'd gone back to his desk in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement shortly after having a long talk with the Unspeakable director. According to him, the magical world had something a bit like UNIT, which was run out of the Department of Mysteries in various countries. Their job was to find new ways to neutralise alien threats and to help UNIT decipher alien tech. The little game Harry had gone through had been to test him. To see if he would be right for the job.
All he had to do now was accept it. And the director seemed sure he would.
Harry had heard of UNIT before, of course. The Doctor had mentioned them once, in passing, and his own curiosity since then had led him to learn a fair bit more about them. The Unified Intelligence Taskforce. They were created by the United Nations to handle any and all alien threats. Harry couldn't help but wonder if they'd had a hand in the destruction of the Sycorax ship.
And that was a large part of the problem. Harry was willing to kill for the safety of his people – fighting Voldemort had taught him the cost of not doing so – but he'd also learned how to handle aliens from the Doctor, which meant trying to solve things with as little bloodshed first, then bring out the guns later. But UNIT had a shoot first policy, and the Unspeakables' section was the same way. Harry wasn't sure he could work with them. The aurors, yes, the Unspeakables, no.
Harry rubbed at his eyes. "I wish the Doctor was here," he muttered.
"Who's the Doctor?" Ron asked, head poking over the edge of Harry's cubicle. "You look like shit, mate."
"Cheers," Harry replied drily. "And the Doctor is a friend of mine."
Ron blinked, then sighed. "Friend, like the one Ginny's always ranting about?"
Harry snorted. "Does she really? He'd actually like that, you know."
Ron rolled his eyes and summoned a chair so he could join Harry in his cubicle. "Can you blame her? He brought you back a day late for your wedding."
Harry shrugged. "Yes. Perhaps. But that doesn't make him any less a friend."
Ron sighed again. "You could invite him over one time, you know," he suggested. "Have us all meet him properly. Maybe then Ginny will calm down a bit about him."
"Or at least you'll be able to shut her up when she starts," Harry replied and Ron grinned. "I dunno. He's changed a fair bit, really. Bit of a make-over, if you will. I almost didn't recognise him when I saw him over the holiday."
Ron groaned. "Ginny is going to kill you if she finds out you spent time with him on your two weeks off."
Harry shrugged. "So don't tell her."
Ron groaned again.
"Anyway, dunno that I'd be able to get in... contact..." Harry trailed off and pulled out the mobile he'd shoved in his pocket when the Doctor had given it to him. "Oh. I forgot."
Ron blinked at it, confused. "What is it?"
"Mobile telephone," Harry replied, then found Rose on his contacts and rang her. He tapped his cubicle wall and a silencing barrier went up over it. Ron rolled his eyes at him.
Rose picked up after the third ring. "Harry?"
"Hey, Rose! Is the Doctor about?"
"Mmmm... I think he's working on something in the TARDIS. Mum was driving him nuts."
"You're still at home? I'd have thought you'd have left by now."
"Oh, he wants to. Really wants to. But Mum insisted we stay until New Years–"
"New Years was yesterday," Harry helpfully supplied.
"Mmm... And he really wants to leave. Like, now. Except Mum's being... Well..."
"She's being like a mum?"
Rose laughed. "Pretty much. He's so much more mild now. Mum just pulls out her really sad eyes and starts to tear up and he goes all 'Whatever' and walks off to go work on the TARDIS or something."
Harry snorted. "Oh, dear. Mild with your mum, a real hard-arse to the Sycorax. We know who he likes better."
Rose laughed again. "Oh, God! Don't tell Mum, though, she'll go mental."
"You mean she'll rub it in his face every chance she gets."
Ron poked Harry on the arm. "One mo', Rose," he said to the phone, then looked over at his friend. "Hm?"
"Lunch is going to be over soon."
"Ah, good point," Harry agreed. "Hey, Rose?"
"Hunt down the Doctor for me and ask if he'd be willing to be a bit domestic for an evening with my family. You're invited too, 'course. It's just, they want to meet my mysterious friend who Ginny's always ranting about."
"If it'll get him away from Mum, he'll be happy to," Rose agreed.
Harry nodded. "Call me back when you know, okay? I'll try and get a time and date by then."
"Tonight okay? He's really itching to leave."
"I'll check. Call me back when you know."
"Ta." Harry hung up the phone and grinned at Ron. "So, think Mum'll be okay with tonight for a dinner party?"
Ron snorted. "Are you kidding? Mum's ready for a dinner party every night. You want me to owl her?"
"Sure. And see if you can catch Dad, too?"
"Course. What about 'Mione and Ginny?"
Harry sighed and looked up at the ceiling. "I've got something to take down to the DoM anyway, so I'll get 'Mione. And I can probably owl Ginny."
Ron patted Harry on the back with a grim smile. "Good luck, mate."
"Oh, Ron!" Harry called as his friend started for the owl room.
Ron glanced back, curious.
Ron shrugged. "Six-thirty?"
Harry was waiting just at the end of the drive for the TARDIS. He'd mostly managed to keep the Doctor's visit a surprise from his wife, but he had a feeling she'd know as soon as she heard the sound. So he'd asked the Doctor to park his box just outside the wards – partially because of Ginny, partially because he wasn't sure what the TARDIS and the wards would do to each other.
After about five minutes, the TARDIS finally materialised and the Doctor and Rose tumbled out.
"Did you get plastered first?" Harry wanted to know.
Rose shook her head and Harry had to catch her when she stumbled. "Whoa. No. He just hasn't quite got the hang of driving yet, so she goes a bit all over."
The Doctor grinned and pulled Harry into a hug. "Lovely to see you, Harry! Thanks for inviting us out!"
Harry rolled his eyes. "Let's see if you're still thanking me after Ginny realises who you are."
The Doctor's grin faltered briefly, but he forced it back by shear will. "After Jackie, I'm perfectly content to face down your wife."
Harry patted his arm. "Brave man. Oh! And if she starts up on any name calling or says you're a pervert, let me know. My godson's there and I really don't need him picking up on that kind of language. His grandparents will kill me."
"You have a godson?" Rose said, then, "Wait! Remus' kid, right?"
"Teddy," Harry agreed. "You read them."
"You know you're supposed to have a daughter too," Rose offered with a smug look.
Harry snorted. "Yeah. Sometime next year, apparently. S'all I know. Well, I know I'm somehow going to talk Ginny into letting us call her Lily..."
"Good luck with that," the Doctor offered.
Harry and Rose both laughed.
A woman suddenly stormed out of the house and towards them. "Harry James Potter!"
"Oh, bugger," Harry muttered, making Rose and the Doctor snort in amusement.
Ginny stopped directly in front of her husband. "What's this I hear about you inviting that perverted, old–"
"Oiy! Who're you calling old?" the Doctor demanded.
"Thank you, Doctor." Harry sighed.
Ginny looked suspiciously up at the Doctor, then looked back at Harry. "What's this, then? You magicked him to impress my family?"
"Ah, no. It was all him," Harry replied. "And they're my family too. Moreover, they're the ones what wanted to meet him, so if you've a complaint about my guests, take it up with Mum. Now, I'm starved, so why don't we go inside and eat?"
Ginny glared at Harry and the Doctor for a moment, then spun around and stared stalking back towards the house.
Harry sighed and rubbed at his forehead. "That woman," he complained.
The Doctor grinned. "TARDIS."
Harry smiled at him. "Oh, come on. Time to face the music."
Rose skipped forward so she could walk next to Harry. "You okay?"
Harry smiled at her. "Fine. It's just been a very long day. Which reminds me!" He did a full stop and spun to face the Doctor, who blinked at him in surprise. Harry pulled out the sonic screwdriver he'd filched from the Department of Mysteries and asked, "Can you fix this?"
The Doctor pulled out a pair of spectacles and looked it over. "Should be able to, yeah." He glanced back up at Harry. "Where'd you get it?"
"Department of Mysteries," Harry said grimly. "They've got their own little magical UNIT down there."
"Does UNIT know about it?" the Doctor asked, putting the screwdriver away.
"So far as I can tell, yes."
"Oooh... Not good," the Doctor decided, putting away his spectacles. "How'd you find this out?"
"They want me to join them."
The Doctor rose and eyebrow at him. "Oh? What'd you say?"
"Haven't. They gave me a week to decide before they Obliviate me." Harry ran a hand through his hair. "Doctor, they've got a food processor from the thirty-fifth century down there."
The Doctor grimaced. "We'll talk after supper," he decided.
"Thank you," Harry replied, forcing a smile and turning back to Rose, who was watching them with a concerned look. "Come on, Rose. We've got to be cheerful for the family."
"Here we go," Rose agreed with a smile, then took Harry's offered arm and let him lead her into the house. The Doctor followed behind them, whistling.
Dinner went remarkably well, all things considered. Molly Weasley had set up the seating so that Ginny sat next to her, and she would shut Ginny up when she became a problem. There was some minor surprise at the Doctor's change of appearance – some of the family remembered him from the wedding – but he just cheerfully asked if they liked his new face. "Got it changed for Rose's mum. She doesn't like me much, not really. But she's better now. New face. It works wonders." And everyone had laughed.
There were, of course, the expected questions: "What do you do for a living?" from Molly.
"Travel, mostly," the Doctor said with a grin. "My parents left me quite the inheritance and I invested it in a couple of businesses while I was in college, so it's only been growing since then. Gets a bit boring on my own, of course, so I occasionally take someone with me. Show them the world. Works out well on both behalves: They get to see more of their world, I get someone to blabber on to."
"What did you study in college?" Hermione asked.
"Oh, little bit of everything, really. Bit of the sciences, some medicine, couple languages... That sort of stuff."
"All muggle?" Arthur asked, leaning forward curiously.
The Doctor blinked, then looked at Harry, who snickered. "The Doctor and Rose are both muggles," he commented.
There was a bit of an uproar at that, since they'd been acting so calm about the little bits of magic in the house. Most muggles – and muggleborns to some degree as well – never quite got over seeing magic performed. Of course, what the Weasleys didn't know was that the Doctor was an alien and Rose had seen the stars, so a bit of magic wasn't much to them.
Arthur quickly got over the shock and looked rather like he wanted to ask any number of questions pertaining to muggles, so Harry said, "Dad, quiz them after dinner, yeah?"
"Oh, yes. Of course." Arthur smiled a bit sheepishly.
"So, did you get your doctorate in medicine, or science?" Hermione asked.
"So, how did you and Harry meet?" Molly asked, glancing between the two.
Harry and the Doctor glanced at each other and Harry grimaced. "I was sitting in the park and he was stumbling down the road. Got caught up in our war a bit. Took care of him for a few days and he suggested going to see the world a bit. I've never been off the island, so I followed him. Lots of fun."
"What about you, Rose?" Hermione asked the girl. "How'd you meet the Doctor?"
Rose smiled mischievously and the Doctor sighed. "He blew up my job."
Harry snorted and looked at the Doctor, who looked a bit resigned to his fate. "You really do pick them, don't you?"
Harry laughed and looked around the Doctor at Rose, who was grinning. "Henriks?"
"How'd you know?" Rose asked.
"That was you?" Ron asked, disbelieving.
"We had clean-up duty," Harry explained. "Some of the mannequins were still moving a bit, so they called our department in. Thought it was magic."
"It wasn't, though," Ron commented drily. "No magic on those things. Thought it must have been some sort of muggle thingie."
The Doctor looked curiously at Harry, who shrugged. "Department of Mysteries took it when it kept trying to kill people even in the Ministry building. That was the last I heard about it."
Hermione cleared her throat. "It stopped moving the next night. They'd contained it and set a watch on it."
"Same night more mannequins were trying to kill people?" Ron asked, frowning. "Got called to look into that one, too, but they'd stopped before we got there."
Harry looked at the Doctor, but he shoved his thumb at Rose. "Good job, Rose," Harry said and grinned. She grinned back.
"So, what was it, then?" Hermione asked.
"Top secret," the Doctor replied with a straight face.
Hermione frowned for a moment, then her eyes widened. "Oh."
" 'Mione?" Ron asked, looking a bit worried.
"Oh," Hermione repeated, looking at the Doctor as if she was seeing him for the first time.
The Doctor leaned over next to Harry and murmured, "I think she works with UNIT, then."
Harry sighed. "Yeah." He stood from the table. "Sorry, everyone. 'Mione, a word?"
Hermione, eyes a little wide, stood herself and followed Harry up the stairs to the guest room. After Harry had warded the room, she said, "He's that Doctor, isn't he? The one who works with UNIT sometimes against alien threats? He's got a blue box?"
"The TARDIS," Harry agreed. "Look, Hermione, you mustn't tell anyone. Promise."
"I have to tell my superiors," she insisted.
Harry shook his head. "No. They already know."
Harry sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "Yeah. Well, they know I know him, at least."
Hermione blinked. "They recruited you, didn't they?"
"Will you join?" she asked. "Please? I'd like to have someone who I can talk to about this stuff. Harry, it's mindboggling. I mean, some of the stuff they have down there–"
"Oh, I've seen the stuff they have down there," Harry said a bit more sharply than he'd intended. When Hermione flinched back, he sighed. "Look, 'Mione, I'm sorry. I don't really want to join the Department. I don't like their methods."
"It's the same as with the aurors," Hermione insisted.
"No. It's not."
"It is. You find a hostile alien, you go and take care of them. Find a way to do it better next time."
"But maybe they're not here to be hostile," Harry snapped. "Maybe they want to leave in peace here, but their culture is just so different they're doing all the wrong things. It's like if someone from our country went to Japan or something. What we consider proper behaviour here, isn't there. There are bound to be problems. But you lot, you don't try smoothing things over. You just go in wands and guns blazing and maybe, if one of them lives, you ask them what they're doing here."
"And the aurors do things differently, do you?" Hermione snapped back.
"Yes! We collect facts first. And, more often than not, we face repeat offenders, or people who know our laws and are purposefully disobeying them. And, even then, we don't go in wands blazing. Look, consider the Sycorax ship what just appeared over London last week. What would have been your chosen course of action?"
"Order them to go away before we fire. It's basically what we did, too."
"What, the ordering, or the firing? 'Cause I saw the last and I'm not happy."
"They threatened to kill a third of the population!"
"It wouldn't have worked!"
"We didn't know that!"
A knock came at the door and they both turned to glare at it. After a moment, the door popped open and the Doctor poked his head in. "I can hear you yelling, by the way."
Harry sighed and waved him in. "We're arguing about UNIT's way of doing things with aliens."
"Good luck," the Doctor commented. "I've been trying for decades."
Harry muttered under his breath for a moment and shook his head. " 'Mione, have you ever met an alien face-to-face before?"
Hermione frowned at him. "No. Don't think so."
"Great. Hermione, this is the Doctor. He's an alien."
The Doctor grinned. "Hello."
"Oh, he doesn't count!"
Harry just glared at her.
The Doctor rolled his eyes and walked over to lean on Harry, smiling when the wizard just rolled his eyes at him. "So you're part of the Department of Mysteries working with UNIT?"
Hermione stared at him for a long minute before nodding. "Harry told you that?"
Hermione frowned at Harry. "You're not supposed to tell anyone outside the Depart–"
"The Doctor works for UNIT," Harry reminded her tiredly.
"And I've been arguing with them since their inception about their shoot first policy. Harry, it's not going to work."
Harry sighed and looked somewhat helplessly at Hermione. "Yeah, okay. I can understand UNIT, but, Hermione?"
Hermione sucked some hair into her mouth to chew on. "I don't go out and fight them, myself," she admitted. "I assist with the tech we find. But I've seen one of the few groups who tried talking peacefully with the aliens they were sent out to deal with, and only one of them came back alive. They had to send out another two groups to deal with the aliens and bring back the pieces of the first group."
"Some aliens are here to cause trouble," the Doctor agreed quietly. "Far too many, if you ask me. Perhaps, in some cases, using force is the only solution, but I don't think it should always be the first solution. That's just me. And maybe I've worn off on Harry with that." He smiled at Harry, who smiled back. "I'm glad about that, personally. But it's still something of a personal choice. Just like it's a personal choice to not work with your department, Hermione. You can still talk to him about what's going on, since he knows aliens, but he doesn't want to join."
Harry shrugged. "There're ways around Obliviate," he agreed.
Hermione wrung her hands. "Harry, what did they tell you about the Obliviate?"
Harry blinked. "Just that it would happen if I said no. Why?"
Hermione sucked more hair into her mouth to chew on. "When they Obliviate you, they'll aim for everything, Harry. Everything that made you a candidate for the Department. Everything you know about aliens. And if you find a way around the Obliviate, they'll just do it again. They'll keep doing it 'til you stop. They don't want anyone who knows about them and aliens outside of the Department."
"They what?" the Doctor asked very, very quietly. When Harry and Hermione looked at him, they both flinched back from the pure fury in his eyes.
"Doctor," Harry tried.
The Doctor turned to Harry, forcing himself to calm down some. "I'm going in with you tomorrow. And you're going to take me down to the Department of Mysteries and I'm going to have a nice, long talk with them."
Harry nodded wordlessly.
The Doctor grinned. "Brilliant! Now that's figured out, let's go back down, hm? They're probably wondering what's taking us so long!"
As they filled back out, Hermione touched Harry's shoulder. "Do you think he can protect you, then?"
Harry shrugged. "I think he'll try his best, and the Doctor's best is pretty impressive." He grinned at her. "If that doesn't work, he'll probably just shove me in the TARDIS and you'll never see me again."
Hermione sighed and shook her hair. "Aliens."
The Doctor was waiting for him when Harry apparated outside Rose's place. He didn't look pleased with the world, but he managed an honest smile for Harry. "Hello there, Harry. How's Miss Ginny?"
"She still hates you," Harry assured the Doctor with a grin. "Do you think it'll be safe to apparate you? Don't want to do it, then find you've left a heart behind or some such."
The Doctor grinned a bit wider. "Oh, I should be fine. You lot don't need to study human physiology to apparate, so it shouldn't be a problem for me."
Harry nodded and took the Doctor's arm. "Just checking. No Rose?"
"Nah. She's upstairs, talking to Jackie. We're leaving tonight."
"Ah. I'll miss having you around."
"You've got Rose's number," the Doctor reminded him. "We're never too far."
Harry nodded again, then apparated them to the Ministry atrium. "Alright. I'll have to check you in as my guest."
"Of course," the Doctor agreed, shoving his hands in his pockets and following Harry over to a desk set up to the side of the lifts. "Place looks a bit different from the books," he commented.
"Had to re-do it after the war," Harry replied. "Talked Shacklebolt into doing away with that bloody fountain." He turned to the wizard behind the desk. "This is the Doctor. He's my guest for the day."
"Doctor who?" the wizard asked.
"Just the Doctor," the Doctor replied, grinning.
"Right." The wizard muttered an incantation under his breath, then held up a hand. "Wand?"
"Oh, sorry," Harry said a bit sheepishly. "He's a muggle."
The wizard turned to look at Harry like he was mad. "A muggle?"
Harry shrugged. "Yup."
"Bloody hell, Potter," the man muttered, then handed over the badge he'd made and waved them on.
Harry handed the badge over to the Doctor. "I'll have to go up to the office first. Let them know I'm in. Then we can drop by the Department." He glanced at the Doctor, who was admiring the badge. "Is that okay?"
"Look, it even says I'm here being your guest," the Doctor said, pointing at the writing on the badge.
"Doesn't blink at food that serves you, but is amazed by a button," Harry muttered, taking the button and pining it to the Doctor's coat. "Did you hear me?"
"Auror office first, then Department," the Doctor recited.
Harry sighed and led them into a lift. "Sometimes I wonder about you. Git."
The Doctor laughed and shoved his hands in his pockets.
After checking in with his boss and waving Ron away when he demanded to know why Harry brought the Doctor to work, the two made their way down to the Department of Mysteries. In the long hallway towards the door, Harry stopped them. "Do you actually have a plan, here?"
The Doctor shrugged. "Not really. Do I ever?"
"Mmm... Good point," Harry decided, then continued on.
In the room of doors, they paused and watched the doors turn. "Do you know which one it is?" the Doctor asked.
"Not really," Harry admitted. "But anyone in the Ministry can technically come down here and call out the section they want and the door will open."
"The head of that section usually has a list of who can and can't request their section. Can't go in if you're not on the list."
Once the room stopped spinning, Harry called out, "Auror Harry Potter for the Department of Extraterrestrial Life."
"Bit of a crap name," the Doctor commented as a door popped open.
Harry shrugged. "Perhaps."
"Another good reason not to join them."
Harry rolled his eyes.
"Ah, Auror Potter," the woman who'd run the test on Harry said, coming to meet them at the door. "And this must be the Doctor."
The Doctor grinned. "Hullo."
"You've come with your answer, then?" she asked.
Harry cocked his head to one side. "I have," he agreed.
Then his phone rang.
"Oh, bugger. Sorry," Harry said, then picked up. "Rose?"
"Rose?" the Doctor said as well, frowning.
"Harry! Have you told the Department of Mysteries your answer yet?" Rose asked.
"Mmm... No. Why?"
"Thank God. Here, talk to yourself," she said.
There was the sound of the phone being handed over, then, "Okay, Potter, listen to me–"
"Future, or past?" Harry demanded.
"Future. Twenty-twelve. It's the day the torch-bearer passes by Dame Kelly Holmes Close. Remember that."
Harry nodded. "Okay. Consider it remembered. Why?"
"Can't tell you, might ruin things. Future vs. past. You know how it is."
Harry grinned at where the Doctor was frowning down at him. "Oh, I know. So, why are you calling me?"
"Join the Department."
"You heard me. Join them. You can work out some sort of agreement with them about not always working with them; Merlin knows we're too visible to work with them full time. But you need to be on the staff," future Harry insisted.
The was a pause, then, "The Doctor can't hear this bit. Put up a silencing ward."
"He proved last night he can hear through those," Harry pointed out.
"Only when you're shouting," the Doctor replied. "I know the laws of time. Put it up."
Harry glanced at him, then nodded and put the ward up, adding a localised silencing charm on top of it. "Done. Why am I joining the Department?" he asked as the Doctor turned to explain what was going on to the woman who was waiting on them.
"Because you need to be on the Valiant the day the Toclafane arrive, and only UNIT troops can be up there. Do you understand?" future Harry said, dead serious.
Harry swallowed and looked at the Doctor, who smiled back at him. "I understand."
"Good luck, Harry," future Harry said.
Harry laughed. "You too. Say hello to Rose and the Doctor. From both of us."
"I will," future Harry agreed, and he sounded so horribly sad that Harry almost asked what would happen.
But he didn't. He just hung up the phone and took down the ward. "Right. I'll join your department, however, we all know I'm too visible to leave the aurors."
"You'd like to suggest something different?" the woman asked, her expression almost disbelieving.
Harry smiled. "Something of a part-time deal. I work for you, but I also work for the aurors. So, I dunno. I'm your eyes in the aurors or some such."
The woman sighed and shook her head. "No. Either you work for us, or not at all."
Harry considered her for a moment, then looked at the Doctor and cocked an eyebrow. The Doctor grinned and turned to their host. "You work as a part of UNIT, right?"
"We do," she agreed, smiling.
"So you'd answer to an order from a ranking UNIT member?"
"And I'm a member of UNIT," the Doctor continued as her face fell, "A pretty high ranking member if I remember correctly. So I could, technically, order you to take Harry on as just part-time. What was it?" He glanced at Harry. "Ah, yes. Your eyes in the aurors." He turned back to her with a grin. "Couldn't I?"
The woman grit her teeth. "Yes. Sir."
"Brilliant!" The Doctor turned to Harry with a winning smile. "You're welcome."
Harry laughed. "Never doubted you for a moment." He looked at the woman, who looked rather displeased. "Is there paperwork or anything I need to sign?"
She sighed and looked down at the papers on her clip board. "Yes. They'll have to be re-written, of course." She glared at the Doctor, who just smiled back. "I'll have Mrs Weasley deliver them to your desk. For now, I need an oath that everything you learn while working for this department won't be shared with anyone outside of us."
" 'Us' includes UNIT?" Harry asked.
The woman sighed and nodded. "And, yes, the Doctor."
Harry glanced down at his cell phone. With this promise, he could only ever talk with the Doctor or Hermione about aliens. That was it. No talking to Rose. He swallowed, then looked back up, determined. "I, Harry James Potter, swear upon my magic that I will only share the secrets of the Department of Extraterrestrial Life and UNIT with those either working for or authorised by either a ranking member of UNIT or the Department of Extraterrestrial Life. So mote it be."
"So mote it be," the woman agreed grumpily, then turned around and walked away from them.
Harry smiled at the Doctor. "What do you think, oh member of UNIT. Is Rose authorised?"
The Doctor grinned and hugged him. "Brilliant!" he whispered. "Yes, Rose is authorised. All because I say so."
Harry nodded, then motioned that they should leave the department. Back out in the room of doors, he glanced at the Doctor. "Are you heading out now?"
The Doctor considered that, watching the doors streak past. "Probably. I really only came to make sure you were okay." He looked back at Harry as the doors stopped. "You could take me back. Need someone to."
Harry nodded. "Exit," he said, and one of the doors popped open. They walked out and up to the lifts, which they took to the atrium. There, Harry apparated them back to Rose's place. "Well," Harry said, "I should be heading back to work, then."
The Doctor sighed and nodded. "I'll be back before you know it," he promised.
Harry smiled. "I know." Then he apparated back to the Ministry.
A couple of months later, his phone rang. "Rose? What are you lot up to, then?"
"Oh, saving Queen Victoria from werewolves, letting myself be possessed. The usual," Rose laughed. "We're back in London now. Checking out my old school."
Harry leaned back in his desk chair and waved at the junior auror who popped stuff onto his desk. "Oh? What's going on there?"
"UFO sightings, too clever students. The usual."
Harry laughed. "Sounds brilliant. And I'd love to help, but I'm a bit swamped right now."
"Oh. Well, we're doing a bit of night-time investigating tonight. Sure you've got too much to do?" Rose suggested.
Harry hummed, flipping through the newest pile of paperwork. "You drive a hard bargain, Miss Tyler. Well, fine. What's the school, then?"
"Deffry Vale," Rose reported.
Harry nodded. "Call me tonight when you're starting making trouble. I'll let you know then if I can make it."
Rose laughed. "Will do!"
Harry was, in fact, able to make it over. But not until they'd left the school. He met them, instead, at a cafe. "Good evening!" he called, stepping inside.
The Doctor looked up from fixing what looked to be a metal dog. "Harry! How'd you know we were about?"
"Rose called me this afternoon," Harry replied, walking over to Rose and hugging her before stealing a chip. "You didn't tell him you'd called me?"
"You weren't sure you'd make it," Rose replied, moving her chips out of his reach. "Get your own chips."
"Nah. Rather steal yours. Hey, Mickey."
Mickey nodded. "Harry. Didn't think you'd make it."
"Ah..." Harry shrugged. "Didn't think so either." He grimaced. "Bit of a difficult night."
"Oh?" the Doctor said. "What happened?"
Harry shrugged again. "Bit of this, bit of that. You've a metal dog and a confused woman, you know."
The Doctor grinned and straightened from his work. "Harry, this is Sarah Jane Smith and K-9. Sarah, Harry Potter."
Harry smiled at her. "Sarah Jane Smith. He told me about you. Snuck into UNIT using your aunt's name."
"Oh, so he told you, but not me?" Rose demanded.
Harry shrugged. "I had him trapped in my house for four months."
Mickey snorted. "That's lovely."
Sarah Jane cleared her throat. "Harry Potter?" she asked.
Harry nodded. "Yup. From the books. Real thing. In the flesh and all that. So, why are you playing with a metal dog?"
"Trying to fix him," the Doctor muttered. The was a faint click, then the lights that acted as K-9's eyes lit up and he rose his head. "Now we're in business!"
"Master," the dog responded.
"He recognises me!" the Doctor exclaimed, then he waved at where Harry was standing with Rose and Mickey. "Rose, give me the oil."
The Doctor had K-9 identify the oil they found in the cafeteria, which allowed him to recognise the aliens as Krillitanes. After explaining what they were to his group, they sort of separated, Sarah Jane and Mickey going to put K-9 away while Harry stayed back with Rose and the Doctor. And Rose wasn't too happy.
"So how many others are there?" she asked. "Besides Harry and Sarah Jane? How many?"
"Rose," Harry tried.
"No, answer me!"
The Doctor sighed. "A few. Why does it matter?"
"Because if you're just going to leave us all behind like that–"
"Rose," Harry said, "stop it."
"You do that with all of us?" Rose demanded, pushing the Doctor in the chest. "With me too?"
"No," the Doctor said, pained. "Not with you. Not with either of you," he added, looking at Harry to include him.
Harry just smiled and shook his head.
"But you were that close with Sarah Jane once. And you never mention her."
The Doctor sighed. "I don't age, Rose. I regenerate. But humans decay. You whither and you die. Imagine watching that happen to someone you–" he choked and cut himself off.
"What, Doctor?" Rose asked, shrugging off the hand Harry put on her shoulder to try and get her to leave the Doctor alone.
"You can spend the rest of your life with me, but I can't spend the rest of mine with you. I have to live on. Alone. That's the curse of the Time Lords."
There was a sudden screech and they looked up as a creature on a building took flight, right towards them. They ducked down and watched it fly off without touching them.
"Was that a Krillitane?" Sarah Jane asked.
"It just flew off. We didn't even touch it. Why'd it do that?" Rose said.
The Doctor just stared after it for a long moment, then cleared his throat. "We should move on," he said.
"And I should head home before Ginny calls the office," Harry agreed, shaking his head.
Rose looked at him, pain in her eyes. "You're leaving?"
Harry sighed. "Give us a moment," he said to the Doctor and the two Smiths, then pulled her back. "Rose..."
"He left you behind, didn't he?" she hissed.
"No! No, he didn't. He wanted me to keep travelling with him, but I couldn't. I have a life, Rose. I have people to protect, a world to rebuild. Even back then, when I wasn't sure I wanted anything to do with them. I had to go back. But even then..." Harry shook his head. "Rose, he's nine hundred years old. We can't live that long. Can't even get close. Either he watches us die like he watched his people die and suffers because of it, or he just lets us go. Hopes we live a wonderful life without him. With pain or with hope, that's how he leaves us. Which would you rather, if you were in his place?"
Rose swallowed. "I don't want to leave him."
"No," Harry agreed. "Neither did I. And he's a wonderful, wonderful man. But you have to be ready, one day, to let him go. You must. It will hurt, but it will happen. And there's nothing we can do about it."
"He still comes to visit you, though," Rose whispered. "Drops in, from time to time."
Harry nodded. "I find him, used to be. Stop by alien incidents and hope he shows up. Hope I happen to see him. Doesn't always work, but sometimes it does. And now you ring me when you're here. And that's wonderful. I love that I can see you both. But it won't last. He'll have to move on. For one reason or another, he'll just have to."
Rose shook her head, eyes damp. "No..."
"Oh, Rose..." Harry pulled her into a hug. "Rose, sweetheart. I promise you, when he finally leaves, I'll still be here. You'll always have me. And then, in the future, we can go about hunting him down together." He pulled back and smiled at her. "Beat him over the head for leaving you. Okay?"
Rose nodded. "Promise?"
"Promise," Harry said, smiling. "But for now, you enjoy life! You've got all of time and space to see, not to mention a school full of super-smart students to save."
Rose laughed and hugged him again. "Thanks, Harry."
"Hey, that's what I'm here for." He led her back over to where the others were waiting.
"Alright?" Mickey asked, looking worried.
Rose nodded and wiped at her eyes. "Yeah."
"Well, I'll be off. Don't blow anything up," Harry ordered, waving a finger in the Doctor's face.
The Doctor grinned. "No promises."
"If I have to clean up another one of your messes, I'll hang you upside down in nothing but your pants. You understand?"
"Perfectly. If I blow something up, avoid you for a while," the Doctor replied with a mad smile.
"Git." Harry rolled his eyes and looked over at everyone else. "Mickey, great to see you again. Sarah Jane, lovely meeting you. We should meet up some time. Talk a bit about the old loon."
"I'd like that," Sarah Jane replied.
Harry grinned and waved, then disapparated.
He did, in fact, have to help clean up the mess left behind, and the Doctor had, indeed, made himself scarce. Harry had considered calling Rose so she could ream the Doctor a new one, but ended up deciding not to. Instead, he called up Sarah Jane and they went out for tea a few times, both relieved to have someone they could talk to about the Doctor. (Harry had also been pleased to find that she had once been a member of UNIT, which meant he could tell her whatever he wanted.)
About a month after the Doctor blew up the school, ghosts started appearing around the world. They didn't seem to come to the Ministry, but they were everywhere else, including St Mungo's. Three days after the start of the phenomenon, Harry got a memo from the Department of Mysteries saying, "TORCHWOOD BUSINESS. KEEP YOUR NOSE OUT."
So, of course, Harry tried to find out what Torchwood was, which proved to be not a lot of help. Since the ghostly forms didn't seem to be hurting anything, he didn't bother calling Rose and the Doctor, but he did tell Ginny to keep them out of the house and away from the boys, which she did most of the time.
Several months later, the ghosts took a proper form and started walking around, rounding up the people of the Earth for some sort of 'upgrading'.
That's when Harry finally tried calling Rose, but the line was busy. "Damnit, Rose," he muttered, making his way towards the lifts and the Department of Mysteries.
"Harry!" Ron shouted, jumping up to walk with him. "Do you have any idea what's going on out there?"
"None. I'm going to try and find out," Harry replied, calling the lift.
"How?" Ron asked.
Harry took a deep breath. "Ron, know how Hermione always tells you she can't tell you?"
"This is one of those times," Harry said as the lift doors closed behind him.
Down in the Department, people were running around everywhere. Hermione practically ran into him, but he grabbed her and managed to keep her upright. "Harry! Thank, Merlin! Have you heard from the Doctor?"
"No. Line's busy. Look, do you lot have any idea what's going on?"
"None," Mary-Beth reported, walking over with her constant clipboard. She'd been the woman who tested Harry all those months ago and was now his superior in the department. "Keep trying the Doctor. Knowing him, he's right in the middle of this."
"Yeah. That's what I'm afraid of," Harry muttered, pulling out his mobile and trying again. He got nothing, not even a busy signal, so he shook his head and looked at Mary-Beth. "Tell me about Torchwood."
"Top secret organization created by Queen Victoria because of the Doctor."
"Oh, it would be his fault."
"They're a bit like us, but they've got more of a complex about themselves. Like to think they're better than us government agencies."
"Not government, so, on their own? No higher authority?"
"Used to be the Queen, but they've since cut loose." Mary-Beth picked a slip of parchment out of the air and attached it to her clipboard. "That's all we know about them. Now keep trying the Doctor."
"I'm trying, I'm trying," Harry replied as Mary-Beth walked away. He dialled again, only to get that same nothing. "Damnit, Rose."
Hermione touched his shoulder. "Maybe it's the Department shielding," she suggested. "Let's go upstairs. See if that helps."
Harry sighed and nodded. "Mary-Beth! I'm going back upstairs!"
"Memo if you hear anything!" she shouted back from inside a crush of people.
Harry and Hermione made their way back out of the Department. "I knew those ghosts were bad news," Harry muttered. "Told Ginny to keep them out of the house. With my luck, they've already upgraded her, or some such."
"Stop that," Hermione ordered. "Ginny's fine."
Harry glanced at her. "Yeah? I hope she's smarter about those ghosts than she has been about the Doctor," he said, stepping into the lift.
Hermione hopped in after him. "I hardly blame her, you know. You've changed a lot since you met him."
"I happen to like how I've changed," Harry replied sharply.
They got off at the atrium and found a relatively quiet corner so he could try Rose again. It was a bit hard to find one, of course, because magical families were evacuating to the Ministry, so the place was a bit of a madhouse.
Finally, Rose picked up. "Harry?"
"Rose! Thank Merlin! Where are you two?"
"In Torchwood! We're running from the Daleks. And the Cybermen!"
"Daleks?" Harry hissed. "When did the Daleks show up?"
"Came through with the Cybermen. The Doctor's got a plan, I think. Oh! Harry, here," she said and handed the phone over.
"Harry, where are you?" the Doctor asked.
"In the Ministry. Seems to be the only place they can't get to. Practically the entire magical world is evacuating to here."
"What? No! Doctor, what are you up to?"
"Harry, for once, listen to me. Stay there. I have to go." He hung up.
"Doctor! Damn it!" Harry shoved the phone in his pocket and tugged at his hair.
"Harry?" Hermione whispered.
Harry turned to look at Hermione, grim-faced. "Go tell Mary-Beth the ghosts are something called Cybermen and the Daleks are here too." Then he turned and headed for the lift to the muggle world.
"Harry! Where are you going?"
Harry pointed up as an answer, then hurried into the phone box lift and took it up. There, he could see Cybermen marching on the street and Daleks flying above. Hundreds of them. "Merlin's beard..." he whispered, then ducked for cover as a Dalek started firing at the nearest battalion of Cybermen.
It only took a moment before something started pulling the Daleks and the Cybermen up and away. Harry ran out into the street to see if he could spot where they were being dragged to, then apparated to the building. Inside, he made for the top floor.
When he finally reached it, out of breath, he saw Daleks and Cybermen streaking past into a wall while the Doctor held on to something attached to the wall and Rose held on to a lever.
"Rose! Hold on!" the Doctor shouted.
Harry ducked under and Dalek and ran towards Rose. "Rose!" he shouted, grabbing for her hands, which were slipping.
The moment Harry reached her, her grip slipped. He made one last desperate grab for her hand and managed to brush her fingertips, but then she was gone and flying away towards the wall.
At the last minute, she was saved by a man who popped in out of nowhere, leaving Harry and the Doctor to stare after her while the wall rippled.
Once everything had fallen still, the Doctor walked over to the wall and rested against it for a long minute before turning back to look at Harry. "You never listen," he murmured.
Harry shook his head and reached out to touch the Doctor's arm. Instead, he got pulled into his embrace and he buried his face in the Doctor's jacket. "I'm sorry," he whispered. "If I'd just been a little bit quicker..."
But the Doctor shook his head. "Brave until the end. The both of you."
Harry closed his eyes. "Didn't even get to say good-bye."
The Doctor swallowed. "There... There might be a way."
Harry looked up at him. "How?"
"Hole that big, there's bound to be a sliver somewhere else. Some way to reach her. A chance to say good-bye." The Doctor looked down at him, eyes ancient and sad. "But only one of us can go through. Talk to her."
Harry nodded. "I'm coming with you," he said firmly. "I don't care if I can't talk to her, I'm coming with you."
"One last ride in the TARDIS?" the Doctor asked, managing a crooked smile.
Harry managed his own crooked smile back. "It's never the last one."
Harry called Hermione while they were finding a way to power the transmission. He got her voicemail and left a message, " 'Mione, it's Harry. Sorry if I miss a couple of days of work. I'm off with the Doctor. Saying good-bye to Rose. Tell Ginny I'm sorry, but I'll be home again soon. Won't be long."
He hung up and looked back at the Doctor. "Found something?"
"Super nova," he said, waving at the view screen.
Harry came over to look and whistled. "Use what's left of its power, then?"
"Yeah." The Doctor sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "Well, here we go..." He flicked a couple of switches, then stared off into nowhere. After a moment, he spoke, and Harry was treated to a painful one-sided conversation.
At the end, when it seemed the transmission had cut off just before the Doctor could finish speaking, Harry stepped forward and gently touched a streak of tears on his face. "You really loved her," he murmured.
The Doctor sighed and pulled Harry into a hug, burying his face in Harry's hair. "I love both of you," he whispered. "Always will."
"And we'll always love you," Harry promised. "You're a bit hard to top."
The Doctor laughed, then, somewhat painfully. "Oh, I dunno. You managed."
Harry pulled back just enough to punch him. "Git!"
The Doctor grinned. "Could have a re-do."
Harry laughed. "You want me to cheat on my wife?"
"You're the one who married her," the Doctor pointed out. "And you don't even like her!"
Harry laughed again. "Don't I know it. Well, I suppose, if I had to cheat with anyone, it might as well be you." He waggled his eyebrows. "But not if this is 'I'm feeling sorry for myself 'cause I just lost Rose' sex."
"Doctor..." Harry sighed and leaned against the railing. "I know you miss her. So do I. But sex doesn't make everything better."
"You think I don't know that?"
"On the contrary, I think you know it and are trying to forget it."
Someone squeaked and they both turned to see a woman in a wedding dress.
"What?" said the Doctor, disbelieving.
"Who're you?" replied the woman.
"Where am I?"
"Oh dear," Harry said, rubbing at his face.
"Where the hell is this place?"
A/N: Aaaaaaaand, enter Donna, part one! XD
Next part will probably Donna's mini episode, as well as all of Martha. Unless it starts getting too long, in which case, it'll just be Donna's episode. Then Martha will be all of part three. We'll see how it goes.
'Til next time!