Title: The Perfect Sky is Torn
Part: 1 of ?
Beta: Shara Lunison
Pairings: Harry Potter/Eleventh Doctor (Jack/Ianto, Amy/Rory)
Warnings: Slash, spoilers for season 5 of New Who
Summary: Sequel to Dust in the Sky. Between the Doctor's companions throwing themselves all over him and Harry's life on Earth, their love always manages to bring them together.
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 and a chaptered fic titled Dust in the Sky. 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. Please also note that there's a series of side-stories under the title The Future Doesn't Scare Me that covers some of the relationships between the Torchwood members that Harry works with in this fic. There is also an adventure or two that Harry goes on during that series that may be mentioned in this one. Just a heads up.
Before we get started, let me apologise for the wait. Honestly, I haven't felt much like writing for a couple months now, and the end of this season of Who managed to fall somewhere in the middle of all that. -shame- I also had some trouble figuring out how to include Harry in this season, since most of it took place either away from Earth, or away from present time. I've done my best to try and include him where I could, without completely screwing cannon.
ALSO! Caz251 made a one-shot of this season, which was pretty funny. Link is in my bio.
It happened slowly, and they hadn't even noticed it at first. It wasn't until Ianto happened to walk in on a quiet discussion about Canary Wharf and not react any more than roll his eyes in the way he always did when he caught those who had travelled with the Doctor discussing things from their travels.
It was Jack that called their attention to it by asking, "Ianto? You remember Canary Wharf, right?"
"Jack!" Martha hissed.
But Ianto shrugged. "Nope," he said, then turned and left them with the tray he'd been carrying the coffee on.
"He doesn't remember Canary Wharf?" Harry asked, looking disbelievingly after the man. "How could he forget Canary Wharf?"
Jack shook his head. "I don't know. But I don't think he's the only one. I mentioned the day the Daleks stole Earth to Johnson and she looked at me like I'd lost my mind. How could anyone completely miss that event?"
"Snorkelling off the coast of Spain," Harry supplied, remembering one of Donna's many excuses for missing important events back when he'd first met her. "But, even then..."
"You don't just miss something like that," Martha agreed.
"But, we still remember these events," Mickey pointed out.
"We've travelled in time," Jack immediately offered. "Time travel gives you some immunity to changes in important events."
"Only some?" Mickey repeated, looking worried.
"If an event that's been altered is something too personal, you may still forget it," Jack explained. "Say if you got married and then, somehow, your marriage was erased from time. Chances are you won't remember your wedding, because it would have been too close to your heart for you to remember a life with it when you didn't have it."
"Sometimes, time travel still makes my head spin," Harry muttered, rubbing at said head.
"We should compile the important events we remember, just to make sure none of us were affected," Martha suggested.
"And then maybe run the list by the others?" Mickey added. "See what else they've forgotten."
"I'd rather we not worry them," Jack decided, shaking his head. "Feel free to bring events up around them and see if they react, but don't start reading off a list. Let them think it's a 'Doctor Thing'."
"Speaking of the Doctor," Harry added while Martha pulled a pad of paper and pen out of her medical coat, "we might want to try getting in contact with him. Perhaps he knows what's going on."
"We'll leave that to you," Jack replied. "Everyone remember the year that never was? Except Mickey."
"Because someone could really forget that nightmare," Martha muttered, writing it on the list while Harry nodded next to her.
And so it went.
Harry tried the Doctor a few times over the next week, but the phone always went straight to the voicemail he knew the man never checked. He did leave one message there, though, in case this incarnation was the sort who would check it. (Honestly, he just hoped this Doctor didn't completely forget about the mobile. He wouldn't put it past him, but he knew Martha would kill him if he did that.)
Despite not hearing back, Harry really wasn't all that surprised when he popped into his flat one evening and found the TARDIS taking up space next to his front door. "Doctor?" he called, setting his jacket on the hook next to the door.
A man with a brilliant grin peeked out of the kitchen. "Harry!" he crowed and hurried around the dining room table to hug Harry.
Harry laughed and returned the hug, then pulled back a bit. "Well, let's see you, then," he said and laughed a bit more when the Doctor gleefully spun on the spot. Harry had to grab his arm to make him stop. "You're going to make yourself dizzy!"
The Doctor just grinned. "Haven't been dizzy yet!" he replied and tugged away to spin around some more.
"You're getting more and more barmy, aren't you?" Harry asked rhetorically.
The Doctor grinned at him and opened his mouth to comment, but the screech of the kettle stopped him and he spun and hurried off into the kitchen.
Harry followed him curiously and stopped in the doorway when he saw the minor mess his friend had made of his kitchen. "Do I want to ask?" he inquired of the piles of used tea bags surrounding the sink. The boxes the tea bags had come from were piled next to the stove where two mugs, the carton of milk and sugar pot sat.
"None of this tea tastes right," the Doctor explained, pouring himself another two cups and setting in new tea bags. Both cups had milk added to them, but only one got sugar.
"Have you tried it without the milk?" Harry asked, leaning back against the doorway and idly casting a cleaning spell at the mess around the sink.
The Doctor gave him a scandalised look. "Of course not! I'm not some American."
Harry snorted. "Doctor, you're not even human." He stepped forward and waved the tea boxes back into the cupboards, rolling his eyes when the Doctor tried one of his new cups and promptly spat it out in the general direction of the sink. "Here," Harry said, pulling down a box he'd never bothered opening. He magically filled the pot with water and heated it, then poured some into the cup the Doctor had just washed out. He dropped in a tea bag, then handed over the cup, smacking the Doctor's hand away from the milk. "No milk."
"No. Milk," Harry ordered, waving the milk back into the fridge. "Drink that."
The Doctor pouted for a moment, then eyed the drink in his cup oddly. "It hasn't finished seeping," he reported.
Harry glanced into the cup. "Yes it has. Drink it."
"But it's not–"
"It's green tea."
"Oh." The Doctor took a sip, blinked, then downed the whole cup. Before Harry could do more than laugh at the expression on his face, the Doctor was reaching for the pot again to pour himself another cup. "This is good!" he reported while waiting a minute for the tea to seep.
Harry waved the box at him. "It's all yours, then. I don't much care for it."
The Doctor sipped at his tea for a moment, happily taking the box. "Why do you have it, then?" he inquired once he'd finished the cup again.
"Charlie went to a convention of a sort of dragon tamers in China. He brought everyone back some green tea as a gift. Hermione and Hugo both like it, but the rest of us just sort of tried one cup, then shoved the boxes in a cupboard." Harry shrugged, busying himself with cleaning up the mess of his kitchen by hand.
The Doctor nodded and held out the tea pot for Harry to fill it again. At Harry's disbelieving look, he smiled. "Please?"
"At least you know where the bathroom is," Harry muttered, tapping the pot to fill it with hot water.
The Doctor grinned at him and poured himself another cup, then set the pot back on the stove. "So, I had a small alien invasion I had to fix up, but then I came to see you. I sort of ruined the TARDIS when I regenerated, but she's all fixed up now. Do you want to see?" He bounced a bit on the balls of his feet.
"What, you came by just to see little old me?" Harry teased. "I'm touched. And of course I'd like to see her."
The Doctor grinned and led the way out of the kitchen and around the table to where the TARDIS was parked. He snapped his fingers to open the doors, making Harry roll his eyes. "Go on, then," he said when Harry didn't immediately walk in. "She missed you."
"And was she the only one?" Harry inquired with a touch of teasing in his voice. When the Doctor just smiled a bit crookedly, Harry chuckled and slipped past the false wood doors.
Harry stopped just inside the door to look around, amazed. The Doctor came up beside him and dropped a hand over his shoulders. "What do you think?"
"She's beautiful," Harry whispered, gently pulling away and hurrying up the stairs to the console. "Absolutely stunning," he said to the central pillar.
The TARDIS purred in response and Harry felt as though a cat had just rubbed all over him happily.
"She missed you," the Doctor said again, walking up behind Harry.
Harry turned to him, smiling. "And did you?" he asked.
"Always," the Doctor said and leaned forwards just the slightest bit.
Harry met him halfway without a moment's hesitation and they fumbled for a moment, trying to match their mouths together – they were both used to the Doctor being almost a head taller. But when they managed, they stayed locked together for what felt like an eternity before Harry had to pull back to breathe. Once he'd caught his breath, he grinned at the Doctor and commented, "I like you this way, you know. You're just my size."
"Are you saying I'm short?"
"No, you silly fool. I'm telling you you're perfect." Harry tugged on a lock of brown hair. "And, I never thought I'd say this, but you look good in a bowtie."
The Doctor grinned. "I do," he agreed, nodding. "I look smashing. And what do you think about the suspenders?"
"You're wearing...?" Harry pulled back the jacket so he could see the suspenders and laughed. "You're something else."
"But they look good, right?"
"They look brilliant," Harry promised and rested his head on the Doctor's shoulder. "Tell me about this saving the world you did."
"You want to hear about something boring like that?"
Harry shook his head, amused. "Your life is never boring."
"Sure it is. Save the world from this alien threat, scare off that alien threat. That's boring. What have you been up to?"
"Oh, saving Cardiff from this alien threat, bagging up that alien threat... Bit boring, really."
The Doctor chuckled. "Aliens are boring," he decided. "Oh! I think I need to use the loo." He slipped away from a laughing Harry and made a dash out of the console room and out of sight.
Harry shook his head and leaned back against the console. "I told him so," he told the TARDIS, "but he had to keep downing tea. He's a bit mad."
The TARDIS purred a bit.
Harry smiled. "Course we still love him. Hard not to love a lunatic."
The TARDIS made a chiming sound that translated in Harry's mind as laughter.
"Are you two talking about me?" the Doctor demanded, poking his head out a window along the hallway.
"Why would we do something like that?" Harry replied, pushing off to console and walking to meet the Doctor. "How about you give me the grand tour?"
"I don't quite know where everything's gotten to, yet," the Doctor warned.
Harry grinned. "No better time to figure it out, then, is there?"
The Doctor grinned back. "You have a point. What shall we find first?"
"I was thinking your bedroom would be a good place to start."
"I think we can manage that."
When Harry and the Doctor finally walked back out of the TARDIS, three hours had gone by. "Are you getting hungry?" the Doctor asked as he closed the TARDIS doors behind him. "Because I'm getting hungry."
Harry glanced at a clock and nodded. "Yeah, me too. You want to wait while I whip something together, or would you like to go out?"
"Are you asking me on a date?" the Doctor teased.
"Oh, I guess I am. I know this cute little café just down the block..."
"I know an even better café on the moon," the Doctor offered.
"About seven thousand years from now. Give or take a few days."
Harry shook his head, chuckling. "Alright then. Take me to the moon. Will I need to pack my space suit?"
"Do you actually have one?" the Doctor asked, opening the TARDIS up again and motioning Harry in.
"Not yet. Will you buy me one?"
The Doctor laughed. "I'll buy you anything you want. But, really. What are you going to do with a space suit?"
"Put it on display for my kids, of course."
"How are the little buggers, anyway?"
Harry groaned and leaned back against the railing as the Doctor input their coordinates. "Bloody hell... James has made friends with a couple of bullies at his school and he keeps coming home with notes about how he's bullying other kids. It doesn't help that he's managed a reasonable handle on his magic, so he can get away with more."
The Doctor grimaced. "I take it yelling doesn't seem to help?"
Harry shook his head. "No. And neither does anything else Ginny and I have threatened. He's taken to shoving Albus around at home, though he's still as sweet as ever to Lily. If nothing else, he only seems to pick on other boys. The only good reports we get about his behaviour are that he stops the other boys from beating up the girls."
"Well, I'm afraid parenting is not really my thing," the Doctor said, then fell silent to land the TARDIS. "Have you considered just pulling him from the school?" he asked, stepping around the console and taking Harry's hand to lead him out into the space station.
Harry took a moment to grin at the surroundings before he let the Doctor continue leading the way to the café he'd mentioned. "We discussed it, yes. I don't really want him to lose the experience, though. And even if he stops going, the kids still live in the neighbourhood. I'm at a bit of a loss about what to do," he admitted.
The Doctor shook his head, leading them over to an open table and nodding to a waitress who called that she'd be right over. "I wish I could be more helpful."
Harry smiled at him. "Don't worry about it. I didn't really expect you to be able to solve it. It's nice to just talk to someone about it."
"What, you can't talk to Jack about it?" the Doctor teased, eyes glinting madly.
Harry snorted and shook his head, taking the offered menu with a quiet, "Thanks." They placed their drink orders and both opened the menu to look it over. "Jack would suggest getting James a girlfriend," he commented, considering the sandwich choices.
"Ah. Good point. What about the others you work with?"
"Gwen's the only one who's expecting kids anytime soon, and Ianto's niece and nephew are pretty well-behaved. Martha gave Albus some tips on how to deal with bullies when I brought him to work with me, and Mickey happily told us all about how he used to get beat up as a kid and saved by Rose..." The Doctor laughed and Harry shot him a grin. "Nah... Not the most helpful bunch, that lot. And the school is pretty useless when it comes to things like this, too. Though they do seem to have gotten better about spotting bullying since I went there."
"I don't suppose you can use the same trick on James as you did on Dudley, can you?"
Harry snorted. "Introduce him to a dementor? Sure, I could do that. Ginny'd kill me, though."
The Doctor nodded. "Let's aim for staying alive then, hm?"
They discussed the various aliens they saw while they ate, trading stories with their dealing with the species. While the Doctor's adventures far outstripped Harry's own, Harry had encountered far more aliens and their technology while working for Torchwood, so actually had something to add that the Doctor wasn't there for.
After they'd paid, the Doctor led the way over to an ice cream shop and bought them both a cone. They then found a wall to lean against to people watch.
"Do you have any idea how someone could completely forget a major event in history?"
The Doctor looked over at Harry curiously. "No. Shouldn't be possible. Not unless they've got Alzheimer's or something. Why?"
Harry glanced down at his ice cream. "Just wondering a bit."
The Doctor considered him for a long moment, then sighed. "It's possible to change an event a bit, like Rose did with her dad – she told you about that, I'm sure?" Harry nodded. "People who haven't travelled in time will remember the changed event and not how it was originally, if that happens. But you can't just completely forget an event. Not possible."
Harry managed a smile. "Brilliant. Mickey owes me three pounds."
The Doctor chuckled. "Glad to help. Now, I've a question for you?"
"Go on, then."
"Do you want to travel with me again?"
Harry glanced at the Doctor for a moment, then looked off towards the Earth that could be seen floating above them through the glass ceiling of the station. Did he want to travel for a while? He'd just been on one hellish trip thanks to the Rift. And while travelling with the Doctor was a little safer...
"Not right now," Harry found himself saying. "Maybe in a couple of weeks. Months, even. But not right now."
The Doctor nodded, firmly looking away from Harry as if it would keep the response from hurting. "Okay." He pasted a smile on his face and looked back at Harry. "I'll just have to drop by again in a couple weeks."
Harry smiled back. "Sounds good."
"Well, I should probably get you back to your flat, then," the Doctor decided, pushing off from the wall.
Harry grabbed his arm before the Time Lord could take more than a step or two. "Don't take it the wrong way?" he whispered.
The Doctor shot him a crooked smile and took Harry's hand in his. "I know. Sometimes..." He swallowed and shook his head. "Sometimes I forget you have a life to go back to."
Harry smiled and stepped forward to kiss him. "Just as long as you don't go forgetting that you're a part of that life. Right?"
"Right." The Doctor managed a full-fledged grin then and squeezed the hand in his. "Let's get you home. And I'll just have to drop by again in a few weeks and cart you off somewhere. Somewhere exciting."
Harry laughed. "With you, Doctor, everything is exciting."
"I'll take that as a compliment."
True to his word, the Doctor left Harry alone for a couple of months. Between himself and Ginny – as well as school ending for the summer – they were able to get James to stop being such a bully. It helped that one of James' 'friends' decided Lily was fair game one afternoon while Ginny was distracted with another mother at the park. James had been too far away to protect his baby sister, but Albus hadn't been. In an impressive show of accidental magic, Albus had sent the bully slamming into the side of the slide. James had mellowed quite a bit around his brother after that display, and since he was no longer talking to the boy who'd tried to pick on Lily, the group had less of an influence on him.
May boiled into June and June was heading towards July before the Doctor reappeared in Harry's life. In fact, Harry was just heading for bed on Friday night, looking forward to seeing his kids the next morning when the grating sound of the TARDIS made him spin around and run for the door out into the living room. He stood there and watched as the blue box slowly materialised, wondering how much time had passed for his friend since they'd last spoken.
It wasn't the Doctor who walked out the doors, however, but a young woman sporting hair almost the same shade as Harry's family's. "Where are we, then, Doctor?" she called back over her shoulder.
"Someone's flat?" another voice, not the Doctor's, offered and a young man poked his head out around the woman.
"Just here to pick someone up!" the Doctor called and slipped past the two humans in the doorway. He grinned when he spotted Harry leaning against his bedroom doorway. "Harry! Has it been long enough? Can I steal you away for a night?"
"Just one night?" Harry repeated, ignoring the two in the TARDIS doorway who were staring at him. "Going to be a short trip then, what with the night already half gone."
"But, it's a time machine..." the young woman explained.
The Doctor nodded. "Harry knows that. Don't you, Harry?"
"And here I thought it was just a box that's bigger on the inside," Harry replied, smirking a bit. "Introductions, Doctor. I know you're getting up there in years and all..."
The Doctor rolled his eyes at Harry, but turned and obliged, "Amy, Rory, this is my very good friend, Harry. Harry, Amy Pond and Rory Williams. They're going to be married in the morning."
Harry snorted. "Once per incarnation? You're making a habit of this, Doctor."
Harry grinned. "Third time's a charm."
"I said shush."
"Wait. Doctor, you said this was supposed to be a sort of a date," Amy cut in. "So..."
"Why am I inviting Harry along?" the Doctor finished for her. "So I have someone to talk to while you two go have fun, of course!"
"And by 'someone to talk to', he means 'someone to cause trouble with'," Harry supplied. "Where are you taking us, then?"
"You'll come?" the Doctor replied.
"Depends on where you're planning to drag me."
The Doctor's eyes danced. "The city of romance!"
"You're taking me to Paris," Harry said flatly.
"No, that's the city of doing the dirty in alleyways," the Doctor shot back, making the two humans in the door of the TARDIS squeak in surprise.
Harry grinned. "Alright, then. Let me get my trousers."
"There's plenty of clothing in the TARDIS!" the Doctor called after him as Harry slipped back into his bedroom.
Harry poked his head around the door. "With the way you drive, I'll end up with them on my head while trying to put them on my bottom. I'll change here, thanks."
"I'm not that bad!" the Doctor complained, then turned to Amy. "Am I?"
"You have your moments," Amy replied.
Harry laughed from the bedroom, having heard the comment.
As soon as Harry was dressed, they piled back into the TARDIS and zipped off to places unseen. When the Doctor commented that the place they were going might be cold, Harry wandered back into the TARDIS to find a jacket. He came back out with a familiar leather jacket which had the Doctor grinning a bit madly as they made for the door together.
"You sure you want to wear that jacket?" the Doctor asked after they'd gotten their identity checked by a gentleman in the streets of Venice. "I was quite pitiful when I wore it."
"I liked you when you wore this jacket," Harry replied. "Most of us did. Well... Except Mickey. He thought you were an arse."
"I was an arse. I went around calling humans apes."
"Yes, well... We sort of are glorified apes," Harry replied and the Doctor grinned at him.
"It's not something you say to people you like," the Doctor replied, leaning against a stone fence and watching the line of Calvierri girls be accosted by a gentleman looking for a specific girl. "Hmm..." the Doctor said, then turned and hurried off, Harry moving to follow him.
"What are you thinking?" Harry asked.
"I'm thinking there's something not quite right," the Doctor replied. "And we can check it out while Amy and Rory reconnect."
"The dates you take me on are never lacking in excitement, at least," Harry decided, shaking his head.
The Doctor grinned and hopped up on some steps behind the man they'd seen accost the line of girls. "Who are those girls?" he asked the man.
The man turned and looked at the Doctor suspiciously for a moment, gaze flickering to Harry, who stood at the bottom of the steps, only briefly. "I thought everyone knew about the Calvierri School," he said.
"Our first day here," the Doctor said by way of excuse, borrowing Harry's shoulder to steady himself as he hopped off the steps and walked closer to the gentleman. "So, parents do all sorts of things to get their children into good schools. They move house, they change religion." He paused and waited for another man to pass them by before asking, "So why are you trying to get her out?"
The man's eyes flickered with indecision for the briefest moment before he said, "Something happens in there. Something magical. Something evil. My own daughter didn't recognise me. And the girl who pushed me away... her face... like an animal..."
The Doctor glanced at Harry who nodded at the question in the sharp brown eyes. He turned back to the man with a grim smile. "I think it's time we met this... Signora Calvierri..."
"But how?" the man asked as the Doctor led him back towards the building the girls had come from.
"Can you distract the guards?" Harry said by way of explanation, envisioning the entrance to the building. "There was a side gate they weren't guarding that we should be able to sidle past."
"You're going to sneak in?" the man hissed, horrified.
"Oh, yes," the Doctor agreed, looking a bit excited. "Sounds like fun, doesn't it?"
"Can you distract the guards?" Harry asked again.
"Well, yes, but–"
"You worry about the guards," the Doctor offered. "Harry and I can take care of ourselves just fine." He grinned over at Harry who just rolled his eyes in amusement.
They snuck in together, then split up, the Doctor going down a flight of stairs while Harry crept through the main floor. It didn't take Harry long to get lost, however, and eventually trapped as the line of girls came back from their walk. With the group congregated in the circular bedroom, Harry sighed and found himself a place out of the way. He probably could have managed to sneak past them and back out of the house, but he wasn't really sure he wanted to chance it. Anyway, he might learn something if he stayed. He just hoped the Doctor was faring much better than him.
Harry was still sitting in the room, avoiding the creepy girls to the best of his ability, when a young woman he recognised was admitted. When all but Amy and one other girl filed out, Harry hopped down from his perch on the window sill. "Amy?" he hissed.
Amy jumped and stared around. "Harry?" she hissed back.
Harry glanced at the other girl in the room, who was turning to stare at Amy, surprise creeping slowly over her face. "Yeah. What are you doing here?"
"Where are you?" Amy demanded.
Harry rubbed at his face, eyed the other girl in the room, then pulled off his cloak, grinning when both girls jumped in surprise. "Right here, of course."
"I thought you were human," Amy complained.
"I am, you silly girl." He rolled his eyes. "Merlin. Why are you here?"
Amy glanced back at the girl on the bed and asked, "Isabella?"
The girl nodded. "Yes. Who..."
"I'm Amy, and I came to get you out of here." She glanced back at Harry, who was frowning at her. "And him too, I suppose. Why are you still in here, anyway?"
"I got trapped when they all came back in here. Now, tell me. Why. Are. You. Here?" Harry tapped his foot impatiently to add emphasis to his demand.
Amy sighed. "The Doctor's friend, Guido, your father," she said to Isabella, "said there's an underground passage into here, but it's locked from this side. We need someone to open it so we could rescue Isabella."
"And, let me guess, you volunteered yourself?"
"I did. What of it?"
Harry shook his head. "Never mind. So, where's the tunnel entrance?"
"I was going to go hunt for it," Amy replied.
Harry blinked. "Yeah? Okay, then. I will go search for it, you act like you belong here and stay out of trouble."
"The hell I will!"
Harry frowned at her. "And what if they catch you wandering about, then? You think they'll just slap the back of your hand and send you to bed without supper?"
"You don't even know what we're dealing with here!"
"Neither do you!"
"Of course I do! They're vampires." Amy smiled a bit smugly.
Harry rolled his eyes, unimpressed. "No they're not. I've met vampires in my time, and these aren't it."
"You've met– Get off the grass."
"You could both go," Isabella suggested before they continued to argue about what they were facing. "But it had best be quickly, before the steward comes back."
"She's got a point," Harry allowed. "Amy, why don't you change? Isabella, is it alright if I attach a bit of magic to you so we can find you later?"
"Magic?" Amy hissed, looking suspiciously over her shoulder, partially to make sure Harry wasn't watching her change.
"Magic?" Isabella echoed, fear in her voice.
Harry nodded, deciding to ignore Amy for the moment. "It's nothing bad, just a little spell to help us find you again. You won't even notice it. May I?"
Isabella chewed on her lip for a moment, then nodded. "It won't hurt?"
"You have my word," Harry promised, then cast a tracking charm on her. The girl glowed for a moment, but by the time she'd brought her hand up to study it closer, she was back to normal.
Amy's hand closed over Harry's arm and she smiled at Isabella. "We'll be off, now. Wait for us, okay?"
Isabella nodded. "Be safe."
"You as well," Harry replied, letting Amy drag him out of the room. Once they were out of sight, he pulled his cloak back over his head. "You lead," he decided, if only because Amy couldn't see him.
Amy nodded and led the way past a few of the other girls, eyeing them warily. Once they'd gotten far enough away from the other occupants of the house, she said, "I thought magic didn't exist."
Harry sighed. "The Doctor didn't properly introduce me earlier. I think he enjoys watching his companions be confused by me. My name is Harry Potter."
Amy stopped and turned to stare at where his voice was coming from. "Harry Potter?" she repeated. "The Harry Potter? The wizard from the books?"
Harry grinned. "Yes. I attended Hogwarts and fought Voldemort and married Ginny Weasley and had three children. All of that."
"Then how did it end up in a book? I thought it was against your people's rules to let muggles know about you?"
Harry chuckled and gently tugged on her arm, silently suggesting they keep moving. "That was the Doctor's fault. He knew all about the series – time traveller and all that – and he talked me in to going back in time and putting the idea about my story into the mind of a struggling writer. So I did." He shook his head, remembering that Doctor and his insistence that Harry give his story to the muggle woman. "It tends to make explaining who I am to the Doctor's companions a bit easier, if nothing else."
"So, wait. How long have you known the Doctor?"
"Mmm... Thirteen years, off and on. We first met just after the war. He was a different man, then. Not as insane as he is now."
"It's hard to imagine him being anything but like he is now," Amy commented.
Harry smiled a little sadly. "It's hard to see him after he changes, if you ask me."
"Why? Wasn't it a gradual thing? Or did you not see him for a while between?"
Harry shook his head. "The thing you have to realise about the Doctor, Miss Pond, is that when I say he changed, I don't mean his personality changed as he got older, I mean everything changed. When I first met him, he looked to be in his mid-forties, had a military haircut and big ears and hated everything he saw, practically. He went around calling humans 'stupid apes' and generally being grumpy about life. A few years back, he... Oh, I guess you could say that version of him died, and the Doctor became a bit crazier and had a full head of hair and liked to wear a trenchcoat. And now he's even crazier, if you can believe that, and has more hair and is shorter than he used to be."
"And he wears a bowtie."
"I like that bowtie."
Amy laughed. "He really is an alien, isn't he?"
Harry chuckled. "You have no idea, my dear."
Amy sighed and set her lamp on what appeared to be a raised storm drain. "This seems to be it," she commented and pulled the bolt free.
"Behind you!" Harry hissed as Amy picked up her lamp.
Amy turned to look and hurriedly backed up as the steward approached her. "Come now, young lady," he said, eyes hard even as he smiled at her. "Signora Calvierri wishes to see you."
Amy let out a surprised shout as she backed up into Harry, who was still under his cloak. His wand slipped from his fingers when she jarred him, and since she'd dropped the light when she startled herself, he couldn't begin to guess where the stick was. "Harry?" Amy whispered, still trying to back away from the steward.
"I dropped my wand!" Harry hissed, holding on to her arm and backing up with her while he looked about hopefully.
Amy swallowed and stopped moving. "Wait here for the Doctor," she whispered, tugging her arm free.
"Amy, no!" Harry hissed back, grabbing again for her arm, but she moved too quickly and all he touched was air.
He waited angrily as the steward led Amy back into the house, then pulled out his laser pen and switched on the torch to look around for his wand. He found it in a crack between the stones and grabbed it, muttering to himself about stupid girls with death wishes.
He didn't need to wait much longer for Rory and the Doctor to start climbing out of the hole. As soon as the Doctor's head appeared over the top of the grating, Harry jumped forward and grabbed the hand to help him out.
"I was wondering where you'd gotten to," the Doctor commented as he finally pulled himself out.
"I got trapped in the bedroom the girls share," Harry replied as they both leaned over to help Rory out.
"Oh, so you got to watch all the girls – including Amy – dress and you got to kiss Amy," Rory muttered as he pulled himself up and out of the hole.
Harry gave the Doctor an unimpressed look. "You kissed her."
"She started it!"
"Did you kiss her back?"
"No, no. I already tried that," Rory offered.
"No, I didn't return the kiss," the Doctor hissed. "And where is she, anyway?"
"She got taken by the steward," Harry allowed, eyeing the Doctor suspiciously. "We should probably go and find her, as well as Isabella. Isabella I can find easily. Amy, not so much. Is there a single companion you haven't kissed?"
"I didn't– Yes! I haven't kissed Rory. Or Mickey."
"Any female companion you haven't kissed?"
"Plenty," the Doctor replied. "Can we go find Amy?"
"Before the vampires drink her dry?" Rory added.
"They're not vampires," Harry said, rolling his eyes.
"What are they, then?" Rory demanded.
"How should I know? But they're not vampires, I can tell you that."
"How can you tell?" the Doctor inquired, walking over to a chest where a bony hand was peeking out.
"Vampires can't be awake during the day. They just can't. As long as the sun is up, they sleep," Harry explained. "Oh, and their teeth are wrong."
"You say that like you've seen vampires before," Rory muttered.
"He probably has," the Doctor offered, checking over the corpse he found in the chest. "Oh, this is interesting."
The other two walked over. Rory jerked back at the sight of the corpse, but Harry knelt down next to the Doctor and pointed at the teeth. "Vampire teeth look a lot like our teeth do, except a bit sharper. This looks more like a..." He frowned and nodded his head from side to side. "Like a shark or something. But this is no vampire."
"So it's an alien," the Doctor assumed.
"Looks human, has teeth like a shark?" Harry grinned. "Alien."
"See, this is why I like having you along!"
"You mean it's not for my winning personality?"
"Who are you?" a chorus of voices interrupted.
"How about finding Amy?" Harry suggested.
"Lead the way!" the Doctor called, waving his stick of ultraviolet light at the girls that had popped out of the stonework.
Harry grabbed Rory and dragged him away from the nearest girl, who hissed. "Don't stare, run!" he snapped, then turned and led the way up the stairs, retracing the path he'd taken with Amy and hoping she was along one of the corridors somewhere.
They ran into the Signora on the way and stopped, finding themselves between the woman and the girls. "Come for Amy Pond?" the Doctor tried, then jumped back to wave his stick at the girls coming up behind them.
"Not a very good rescue plan, is it?" Signora Calvierri commented, smiling rather smugly.
Amy and Isabella chose that moment to run up to them. "This way!" Isabella called and led them down a hallway.
"They're definitely aliens!" Amy reported from where she ran with Isabella, Rory hot on their tails.
"Brilliant!" the Doctor called back, using his sonic screwdriver to lock a door behind them.
"Is that new?" Harry asked, eyeing the object with interest.
"Yeah. Broke my old one." The Doctor grinned at him, then paused to wave his stick at the group pursuing them.
"You're always breaking that thing," Harry commented, then turned around and shot a ball of light behind them. "Anti-vampire spell. Never thought I'd use it on an alien," he said as he linked hands with the Doctor and hurried after the rest of the group. Behind them, the aliens cowered and hissed in the face of the magical sun.
"I'll kiss you later," the Doctor promised, grinning.
They caught up to the others at the doorway to the canal and hurried past Isabella, who was holding the door open for them. As soon as she turned to follow behind, she shrieked and cowered from the rising sun.
Harry pulled off the leather jacket he was wearing and tossed it to the Doctor, who was closer to the girl. The Doctor grinned and used the jacket to help shade Isabella from the sun, helping her down the stairs to where her father waited. "Get in the boat," he ordered everyone else as Guido helped Isabella.
By the time Harry's spell died out and the group of aliens got to the door, the boat was long gone.
The Doctor told Guido and Rory to take the girls back to Guido's house. When asked what he would be doing, the Doctor said, "I'd like to speak with Signora Calvierri. Harry's coming with me." He'd smiled at Harry then, and Harry just smiled back, shaking his head. It was the first he'd heard of such a plan, but he wasn't going to say no to a chance to spend more time with the Doctor.
So they found themselves in the receiving room of the Calvierri House. The Doctor took the chair while Harry leaned against the back of it, intending to stay just out of sight unless he was needed for a quick escape or something similar.
As soon as Signora Calvierri entered, the Doctor whistled and said, "Long way from Saturnyn, aren't you? Sister of the Water."
Calvierri glanced up at the Doctor, mildly surprised. "No, let me guess. The owner of the psychic paper." The Doctor shrugged, neither agreeing nor denying. "I take it you're a refugee, like me."
The Doctor shifted in the chair. "I'll make you a deal; an answer for an answer." When Calvierri nodded, he continued, "You're wearing a perception filter. It's doesn't change your features, but manipulates the brainwaves of the person looking at you. But seeing one of you for the first time in, say, a mirror, the brain doesn't know what to fill the gap with, so... leaves it blank. Heh. Hence, no reflection."
"Your question?" Calvierri asked.
"Why can we see your big teeth?"
Calvierri laughed. "Self-preservation overrides the mirage. The, sub-conscious perceives the threat and tries to alert the conscious brain. Now, my turn. Where are you from?"
The Doctor smiled a bit sadly. "Gallifrey."
Calvierri blinked. "You should be in a museum." The Doctor let out a faint snort. "Or in a mausoleum."
"Why are you here?" the Doctor asked, ignoring the comments on the rarity of his people.
"We ran from the silence," Calvierri admitted. "Why are you here?"
"Wedding present. The silence?"
Calvierri considered that for a moment, then said, "There were cracks. Some were tiny. Some were as big as the sky. Through some, we saw worlds with people, and through others, we saw silence... and the end of all things. We fled to an ocean like ours." She glanced up at the Doctor. "And the crack snapped shut behind us. Saturnyn was lost."
"So Earth is to become Saturnyn Mark Two," the Doctor figured out.
"And you can help me," Calvierri said, voice bordering on hopeful while the Doctor smiled without humour. "We can build a new society here as others have." She smiled. "What do you say?"
"Hmm." The Doctor knocked on the back of the chair. "What do we say?" he asked.
Harry stepped around the back of the chair, eyes sharp with anger. "You aliens are all alike, trying to take over Earth. Frankly, I'm sick of your lot."
Calvierri smiled, unconcerned. "We don't want the whole planet, just this city."
"And destroy millennia of history?" Harry replied, leaning on the edge of the chair, hand resting on the Doctor's shoulder. "This city has a place in history; you can't just take it away."
"And you intend to stop me? A human?"
"We intend to stop you," the Doctor corrected, standing from the chair at last. "I'm as fond of this planet as Harry here is, and we'll protect it to every extent possible. But I can find you another planet. A planet where you can populate without killing off the original species."
Calvierri didn't stop smiling. "I don't think so, Time Lord. It's too late for us to move again, and I will bend the heavens to save my race. Carlo!"
"If only giving them a choice actually worked," Harry complained as he and the Doctor were herded out of the House of Calvierri.
"It does, sometimes," the Doctor offered.
"Where am I when this happens?"
The Doctor shot him a grin. "Playing blocks with the kids?"
"Har, har." Harry rolled his eyes. "But really, Doctor. When do they agree to a peaceful surrender?"
The Doctor sighed and stopped walking. "Usually on other planets," he admitted. "But... well..."
"Not on Earth," Harry said for him. "Humans like their wars too much to ever have a peaceful resolution to a hostile take-over. Even when you manage to keep Torchwood and U.N.I.T. uninvolved, human nature is just so violent."
"Most species who are looking to take over other planets are hostile, and, yes, things tend to get out of hand when you have two hostile species facing off against each other." The Doctor shook his head, as if it would ward off his gloomy thoughts. "Let's go check on Isabella and Amy. We need to make sure they're both okay."
Harry nodded and they hurried off.
Amy was perfectly okay, but Harry had to burn the alien cells out of Isabella's bloodstream to save her. When faced with the choice between horrible pain and becoming a creature like the other girls, Isabella chose the pain. As soon as she was clean, Harry handed over a blood replenishing potion as well as a pain relieving potion and pointed her towards the bed in the room while everyone else sat around the table.
When Harry finally joined them, the Doctor went through everything he knew and, with a little help from what Amy had been told while waiting for her rescue, was able to figure out something of what Calvierri was planning to do. Before they could figure out what to do with the knowledge, however, the Calvierri girls started breaking through the windows. When Isabella screamed in terror at the arms reaching above her, Harry stood with a muttered curse and cast an over-powered anti-vampire spell into a couple of the girls' faces.
"Do you have to go about killing them?" the Doctor complained as the girls he'd hit turned to ash.
Harry rolled his eyes. "I'm sorry if Jack is rubbing off on me," he retorted. "But I'm not about to let them kill us."
The Doctor groaned and darted forward to help Isabella away from the windows, leaving Harry to deal with the rest of the girls. "At least he doesn't have you carrying around a gun, yet."
"I don't use guns," Harry said, "it's in my contract."
Once the girls were all gone, the impossible storm clouds moved in.
"We've got to do something," Amy said, looking out the window in horror.
"You two are getting married soon," Harry cut in, looking between Amy and Rory. "Why don't you leave this madness to the Doctor and me and get back to the TARDIS. You'll be safe there."
"And what does a wedding matter if there's no one to take us home?" Amy snapped in reply.
"Go back to the TARDIS," the Doctor ordered. "Harry's right. You'll be safe there, and the TARDIS will take you home if something happens to me."
"I'm not going to just let you sacrifice yourselves–"
"Go back to the TARDIS," the Doctor repeated, then turned to Harry. "Your family–"
Harry rolled his eyes. "Shut up, Doctor," he ordered, getting the smallest of smiles from the man. He turned to Guido and Isabella. "Find a boat and get out of Venice."
Guido shook his head while Rory dragged a quietly protesting Amy down the stairs to the front door. "We are Venetians. We were born here and, if it is our fate, we will die here."
Harry nodded. "Good luck," he offered, then allowed the Doctor to lead him out of the house and back to the Calvierri House.
Signora Calvierri met them there and left them after refusing to give them any assistance in stopping the storm. The Doctor led them out onto one of the towers and stared around for a moment before suddenly turning to Harry, eyes bright with knowledge. "Tear the throne apart. Just destroy it. I'm going after the secondary generator."
Harry nodded and, grabbing the Doctor's jacket lapels, pulled him forward for a kiss. "Don't you dare die on me again," he ordered.
The Doctor grinned. "Right back at you," he replied, then turned and ran for the stairs up. Harry hurried back down to the receiving room.
There, he almost ran into Amy and Rory. "What are you two– No! Never mind! Help me trash that chair."
"Can't you blast it with a spell?" Amy asked as they all attacked the wires that were poking out of the chair.
"Probably," Harry agreed, "but this makes me feel better. There's something about physically tearing something apart..."
The other two humans couldn't help but agree with that, so they finished shredding the chair by hand, then stepped back so Harry could completely blast it out of existence. Then they ran outside and looked up towards the tallest tower to where the Doctor was dealing with the second half of the alien device.
When he finally got switched it off and the storm clouds disappeared, everyone cheered. The Doctor turned around, grinned, then pointed at Harry, who waved at him, and jumped.
"Doctor!" Amy screamed, jerking away from Rory, who she was hugging.
But Harry just pulled out his wand and caught the Doctor in a spell, slowing his fall to a safe speed for him to hit the ground. "You're going to give someone a heart attack," Harry admonished him, putting his wand away.
The Doctor just shrugged. "I couldn't help myself. And I knew you'd catch me."
"Completely bonkers," Harry laughed.
Amy stalked up to the Doctor and smacked him on the arm. "Don't do that!"
The Doctor grinned a bit. "I won't do it again if Harry's not here to catch me," he promised, then blinked and ran back into the building.
"What's he doing now?" Amy asked, looking back at where Rory and Harry stood.
"He's going to try and keep Signora Calvierri from killing herself," Harry said, looking past the woman to where the Doctor had disappeared.
"But, if she survives, she'd just try this again, right?" Amy asked.
Harry smiled a bit grimly. "Amy, the Doctor always tries to save everyone. Always. He can't help it. Even if someone holds a gun to his head, he'll try to save them in the end."
"He didn't for the Daleks," Amy replied, frowning. "Or the Weeping Angels."
Harry shrugged. "There are some creatures that can't be saved, if only because they refuse to be. Daleks and Weeping Angels..." He shrugged again. "Even the Doctor knows better than to try with them." He smiled. "Anyway. If you saw the Daleks, you know how much he hates them. Not that he hasn't been known to give them a second chance before, mind..."
"But he just can't let himself save them against their will," Amy realised.
Harry nodded and turned his attention back towards the gates of the Calvierri House.
The Doctor hadn't been able to save the last of the Saturnynians, and the pained look in his eyes as he walked back through the gates silenced any further comments from the three humans. "Let's go back to the TARDIS," he said and quickly turned his feet in the direction they needed to go.
Harry traded looks with the other two, then hurried to catch up to the Doctor, grabbing the Time Lord's hand in his and squeezing it wordlessly. The Doctor shot him the briefest of smiles, but didn't do or say anything further until the TARDIS came into sight. At that point, he pasted a smile onto his face and looked back at Amy and Rory, gleefully commenting on their soon-to-be wedding.
When Rory suggested that the Doctor should just take him back to where they'd come from, Amy turned to him and told him, "Stay. With us, please. Just for a bit. I want you to."
Rory turned to where the Doctor and Harry stood, watching the two with matching smiles. "Fine with me," the Doctor said.
"Yeah? Yes. I would like that," Rory agreed and shared a kiss with Amy.
Amy then turned to Harry. "And are you going to stay?" she asked him.
Harry considered that, glancing up at the Doctor. "I don't know," he admitted.
"Give us a moment," the Doctor requested. When Amy and Rory nodded, the Doctor gently led Harry down the street, away from the TARDIS. When they were out of hearing range, he turned to Harry and said, "What is it?"
Harry sighed. "Doctor, do you remember what I asked you when we were eating ice cream on the moon?"
The Doctor nodded, eyes darkening. "Yes. Amy is having the same problem. I take it you, Jack, Martha and Mickey can remember things that others can't?"
Harry nodded. "Yes. And what Signora Calvierri said about the cracks that led to silence..."
"The cracks are caused by some event that happens the day of Amy and Rory's wedding," the Doctor informed him, running a hand through his hair. "Something to do with tomorrow. And if you fall into a crack, you're erased from all of time and space. You never existed."
"And that's what happened to the day the Earth got stolen?"
"That, and a hundred other important events throughout time and space. When I first met Amy, she had one of those cracks in her bedroom wall. I closed it, but there's still hundreds of them, everywhere. I don't know what caused them."
Harry nodded. "Take me back to my time," he requested, firm in his resolve. When the Doctor opened his mouth to argue, Harry shook his head. "No, take me back. I know you, Doctor. You're going to take the long way. You're going to try and find a way to keep whatever happens from happening and, with our luck, that'll be just the thing to cause it. Take me back and I'll go to Amy and Rory's town and look around. Maybe I can stop it from happening just by being there. Maybe I can't. But I can't just sit around and travel while the universe ends."
"It's not going to end!"
"What else did she mean by 'the end of all things,' then? What is silence but the absence of noise?" Harry shook his head again. "Let me face this my own way. Please."
The Doctor closed his eyes. "You want me to leave you to face what you think is the end of the universe without me."
Harry sighed and leaned forward to rest his forehead against the Doctor's. "No. I want you to leave me to stop the end of the universe on my own terms. I don't intend to leave you, Doctor. Not as long as you don't leave me."
The Doctor smiled a bit grimly. "And what about when you reach the end of your life span? You remember what I told Rose."
Harry laughed. "I'll start looking for ways to make a Philosopher's Stone," he promised.
The Doctor laughed and shook his head. "Maybe I should just take you back in time so you can keep Dumbledore from destroying it in your first year, hm?"
Harry smiled. "That'll be the first thing we do after attending Amy and Rory's wedding. We'll leave them to go on their honeymoon while you and I go and steal a Philosopher's Stone."
"It's a promise," the Doctor agreed and stood up straight so their foreheads could no longer touch. He searched Harry's eyes for a long moment, then nodded. "I'll take you home."
Harry reached up and touched the Doctor's face. "Thank you."
"But if you die on me..."
Harry shook his head. "I'm not going to die on you."
"Good." And the Doctor leaned forward and pressed a bruising kiss against Harry's lips, which Harry was perfectly happy to return. After a long few minutes, he pulled away and whispered, "We should go back... before they come looking for us."
Harry laughed breathlessly. "Oh, fuck you. You can't just kiss me like that and then–"
The Doctor dropped another kiss onto Harry's mouth, then stepped away, eyes twinkling. "You can fuck me after the wedding," he promised.
Harry laughed again and made a grab for the Doctor's hand. Once he had the hand in his grip, he nodded towards the TARDIS and they started back to the blue box. "Call me, if you find something out while you're taking the round-about way."
"Ah... I'll have to find the mobile..."
"Do I need to tell Martha that you lost the mobile she gave you?"
"No! It's... I'll find it! I will. Uhm... If I can't find it right away, I'll ring you on the TARDIS phone."
"I suppose that's acceptable. But look for that mobile. Or else."
The Doctor laughed.
Harry stopped in his flat long enough to restock his potions kit and grab some food for a stake-out. He didn't know how long he would be sitting around in Leadworth before some yet unknown event would occur that would crack the universe. Just as he was about to apparate out, his mobile rang and he popped it open. "Potter."
"Harry! How long has it been?" the Doctor said through the phone.
Harry rolled his eyes. "Uhm... About twenty minutes. Why?"
There was a brief pause on the Doctor's end, during which Harry thought he heard the Doctor talking indistinctly to someone. Finally, he returned to the phone, but he was whispering, "Listen, I reached into a crack and pulled out what looks to be a piece of the TARDIS' door. I'm going to try and keep the TARDIS away from Leadworth for all of today."
"Okay. And what if I happen to somehow see her around, then?"
"See what she's doing there?" the Doctor suggested, clearly not having a better idea. "Run inside and smack me. Something like that."
Harry snorted and rolled his eyes. "Yeah, okay. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Tomorrow," the Doctor agreed and hung up.
Harry shoved his mobile back into the pocket of the leather jacket he had 'borrowed'. He pulled the jacket tighter around himself and apparated to the coordinates the Doctor had written down and slipped to him before the TARDIS had hurriedly left his flat.
And, what do you know? There, sitting in front of him was the TARDIS.
"Bloody hell," Harry complained and hurried forward to shove the doors open. However, instead of the Doctor standing by the console, Harry saw a woman he'd never seen before. "Who the bloody fu–"
"Harry?" the woman said, blinking in surprise.
Harry shook his head. "Who..."
Both of them looked towards the phone, which the woman was holding loosely in one hand. "Yes. Sorry, Doctor," the woman said into the phone. "I was just..." She shook her head. "Listen, it's a trap. It's has to be. They used Amy to construct a scenario that you would believe."
"Every thing's a bloody trap!" Harry snapped, taking the short flight of stairs up to the console in two quick lunges. "What's going on here?"
"River? Why is Harry there? Harry–"
"I don't–" the woman started, but whatever she was going to say got cut off as the console sparked and the TARDIS jerked sideways.
"Shit," Harry hissed, rubbing at his back and lurching towards the console. "Look," he said to the woman, "I don't really care who you are or how you got here right now, but we need to get the TARDIS out of here."
"Out of where?" the Doctor's voice demanded over the phone.
"Doctor, you remember our trip to Venice? When you left me behind to wait for that date you saw as the beginning of the cracks?" Harry asked into the phone the woman was still holding.
"Yea– Crap! River, get the TARDIS out of there. Any time. Any place. I don't care. But get her out of there!"
"I can't! The engines aren't heeding me!" the woman – River, the Doctor was calling her – shouted into the phone. She pointed to a lever just out of her reach. "Pull that," she ordered Harry.
Harry grabbed the lever and pulled, but it wouldn't budge. He looked up at the central column. "Come on, sweetheart..."
"You're driving her wrong!" the Doctor shouted through the phone.
"I'm driving her perfectly!" River grunted, fingering a couple of controls. "You're the one who taught me!"
"Well, then... Shut her down! Shut off all her systems!"
"I can't," River replied, flicking a switch angrily. She looked up at Harry, who was pulling out his wand to see if he could do anything by the way of shutting her down.
Before Harry could think of a spell to cast, a voice said, "Silence will fall. Silence will fall."
"The hell?" Harry whispered, looking over at the only other person in the TARDIS, but River looked just as confused and worried as Harry felt.
River looked back at the phone. "Someone else is flying her. An external force. I've lost control," she said.
"But why? How?" the Doctor asked over the phone.
"I don't know," River hissed back.
"Listen to me. Just land her. Emergency landing. Now," the Doctor ordered.
River motioned to Harry. "Take the phone?" she requested.
Harry dashed around her and took the phone, sighing as the Doctor kept talked about the cracks. "He says to land. Wherever!"
"It's not safe!" River shouted back.
"It's us or the bloody universe!" Harry snapped. "Land her!"
River stared at him for a briefest of seconds, then nodded and dashed around the console, inputting the commands she needed.
As soon as he felt the TARDIS stop moving, Harry turned back to the phone and said, "We've landed. Now what?"
"Get out of there. Leave the TARDIS and she'll automatically shut down."
"Right." Harry waved at River. "Doors. Go!" he ordered, setting the phone down next to the cradle.
River ran for the doors and tugged at them, but they wouldn't open. "Harry!"
Harry snapped out his wand and shot a spell at the doors which would open them, but the only thing on the other side was solid rock. "...fuck..." Harry whispered.
"I'm sorry," River said, turning back to look at where Harry stood at the top of the stairs. "I'm so sorry."
Harry smiled back grimly and closed his eyes as the last explosion started at the console behind him.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, the Doctor said, "Sorry I'm late."
Harry's eyes snapped open and he, as well as River, stared at the Doctor, who was standing just off to the side of one of the open doors. "Where have you been?" River demanded as Harry jumped down from the console platform to join the other two.
"Here and there. Come on, then. We're on a schedule."
"Lunatic," Harry commented as he and River stepped forward and grabbed onto the wrist strap.
As soon as they landed, River breathed out in relief. "Amy. And the... plastic centurion."
"It's okay, he's on our side," the Doctor replied.
"Really? I dated a nestene duplicate once. Swappable head. It did keep things fresh."
"Bloody hell. You're like a female version of Jack, aren't you?" Harry muttered.
River shot him a smile which was rather reminiscent of Jack, then turned to everyone else. "Right then. I've got questions. But number one is this: What in the name of sanity have you got on your head?" She turned to look at the Doctor.
"You ask that like you think sanity has anything to do with it," Harry commented.
"It's a fez," the Doctor explained. "I wear a fez now. Fezzes are cool."
"Lunatic," Harry sang while Amy snatched the fez off the Doctor's head and tossed it for River to blast.
A Dalek floated up under the destroyed fez, sending them all scrambling for the exit. Once they were all down the ladder, the Doctor used his sonic screwdriver to seal the hatch.
"Doctor, come on," River ordered, gun still pointed at the hatch.
"Shh. It's moving away. Finding another way in. It needs to restore its power before it can attack again. Now, that means we've got exactly..." the Doctor trailed off to check his watch. "Four and a half minutes before it's at lethal capacity."
"How do you know?" Rory asked as the Doctor dashed past them and started down the stairs.
The Doctor paused and looked back up at them. "Because that's when it will shoot to kill me," he informed them, starting back down the stairs to a startled chorus of, "Kill you?" from both River and Harry.
"Nope, never mind!" the Doctor called back over his shoulder. He then proceeded to distracted them all by discussing how he could use the Pandorica to rebuild – or 're-boot', as he put it – the universe.
River, being the quickest to understand his techno babble, immediately started debating the finer points, all of which he smiled off and explained that, really, it wasn't so impossible. Before he could properly explain everything, though, the Dalek appeared down the hall and shot him.
"I hate Daleks!" Harry snapped, then shot off a Killing Curse towards the creature.
Amy and Rory were left staring at Harry in shock, but River wore the air of one who'd seen Harry use that curse before. At any rate, she was far more worried about the Doctor.
The very same Doctor who used his vortex manipulator to shift himself twelve minutes into the past, according to a nervous Amy. The same Amy who also assured them that the Doctor had died when he'd shown up.
River demanded they lead the way towards where the Doctor had appeared. Amy and Rory turned to do as demanded, leaving River and Harry to bring up the rear.
"You don't think that killed him," Harry commented.
"I've seen him shot by a Dalek before. He doesn't just croak."
"And, even if he had, he'd have regenerated," Harry agreed.
"They're gullible," River said, shaking her head.
Harry's lips twitched. "He's only had them for a month or so. Cut them some slack."
River eyed him. "How long did it take you to figure him out?"
"Ah, but I originally met him two incarnations ago. Different man, different rules."
When they reached the spot where they'd left the Doctor twelve minutes ago, they found Rory's jacket, but no Doctor.
"But he was dead," Amy insisted, standing over the lone jacket.
"Who told you that?" River asked as she and Harry started down the stairs to join the younger two companions.
"Rule one: The Doctor lies," River said and walked right past them to the hall where the Pandorica sat. Inside, the Doctor had already hooked himself up to the box so he could take it with him into the exploding TARDIS.
River spoke with him first, helping make sure he was properly hooked up and everything was ready to go. Then she waved Harry over and he leaned against the side of the box, frowning. "You promised me," he said.
"I'm sorry," the Doctor whispered, closing his eyes.
"Me too," Harry whispered back, then turned and motioned to Amy. "Go on, then," he told her, then took up a spot next to River against the wall. "Back to life without the Doctor, then," he said to her. "Except, this time, he'll never have existed at all."
River glanced at him. "Someone once told me that those who have travelled in time see the universe in a different way from normal people."
Harry blinked and considered her. "I've heard that before, somewhere."
River shot him a crooked smile. "I heard it from you," she admitted, then turned back towards the Pandorica to warn the Doctor that it was time to go, leaving Harry staring at her in surprise.
As soon as the Pandorica closed, they hurried out of the way, River grabbing Amy as the girl continued to stand there. Shortly after the Pandorica cleared the roof, River's computer beeped and she pulled it out to look.
"It's from the Doctor."
"What does it say?"
Harry woke to glaring sunlight and a pounding headache. "Bloody hell. What did I have to drink last night?" he muttered.
"One hell of a drink," a voice offered from behind him.
Harry glanced around the trellis he was leaning against and blinked at the woman who was looking back at him through eyes narrowed in pain. "Who..." He shook his head. "You're... River?"
River grimaced and managed the faintest of nods. "Cheers. I don't suppose you've got anything on your belt for the pain?"
"Potions," Harry agreed and shuffled through his belt. It took him a moment to sort out the line of potions, what with the sun glaring off the glass bottles, but he did finally manage it and passed a pain potion over to the woman before downing his own serving. "Ugh. I feel like I've been trampled by a hippogriff."
"More like interstellar class star ship," River corrected, handing the empty bottle back over.
"When have you been hit by one of those?"
"When have you been trampled by a hippogriff?"
"I see your point." Harry groaned and pulled himself to his feet, then looked around. "Where in Merlin's name are we? And how did we get here?"
"Leadworth, I think," River offered, holding up a hand so Harry could help her up, which he did. "What's the last thing you remember?"
Harry blinked and considered that, then shrugged. "Killing a bloody Dalek in a museum."
"The Doctor was going to use the Pandorica to fix the universe," River muttered, rubbing at her temples.
"By flying it into the exploding TARDIS," Harry recalled, then glanced over at River. "We remembered."
"We've both been travelling in time for years. We've practically got the vortex in our blood."
Harry shook his head. "Time vortex in my blood or not, I still feel like there's nothing more than cotton between my ears."
"We're trying to remember stuff that never happened," River suggested. "It's going to be a bit fuzzy."
Harry sighed and leaned back against the trellis they were still standing next to. "River, can you answer a question for me?"
"Ask away, but I can't promise to answer."
Harry's lips twitched knowingly. "We've met before. Or, really, you've met me before." He glanced over at her.
River nodded. "I met the Doctor years ago, in my past."
"Your past, our future," Harry replied.
River nodded again. "You're important to him, always have been, always will be." She smiled a bit crookedly. "I met you a long time ago."
Harry smiled. "Are we friends, then? Or rivals?"
River snorted. "The Doctor is a wonderful man, and he naturally draws people to him."
Harry cocked an eyebrow at her when she didn't continue. "You didn't answer my question, River."
River smirked at him. "Spoilers."
Harry laughed and shook his head. "Oh, I think we'll get on swimmingly," he decided. "Have you ever met Jack?"
"Not yet, but you've mentioned him before."
Harry smiled. "We'll have to rectify that. However, first! I think we have a wedding to attend."
"What about your family?"
Harry pulled out his phone and checked the time. "I'm already two hours late. I was busy saving the universe; Ginny will understand."
"Not if she doesn't remember the Doctor, she won't."
"Good thing my shield spells are so good then, hm?"
River chuckled, then glanced down at her battle gear, as well as at Harry's jeans and t-shirt. "We need better clothing, first."
Harry grimaced down at his clothing. "I don't have anything to wear to a wedding," he admitted.
"We'll have to go shopping, then."
"I hate shopping with women."
"Be careful, Potter. This woman has a gun."
Harry snorted, unimpressed, and took her arm to apparate them to a fancy clothing store.
They got back in time to slip into the church and watch the vows be exchanged. "I'm always late for weddings," Harry muttered.
"I'm sure your timing will improve," River offered.
Harry grinned at her. "Spoilers."
River grinned back, then pulled a book out of her pocket. "I'm going to give this to Rory."
She flipped the book open to show nothing but blank pages. "The Doctor once told me that when I attend a wedding and my journal is blank, I should give it to the groom. Say it's a lend."
Harry blinked and took the book and flipped through it again. "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue..."
Harry smiled and handed the book back. "The Doctor borrowed the TARDIS from his people ages ago, but he never gave it back, and he destroyed it in his last regeneration, so she was just rebuilt."
"And she's blue," River realised, then shook her head. "Sometimes I forget how clever he is."
Harry leaned back as much as he could in the pew. "He's a tricky bastard," he agreed, "and just a little bit mad."
River did, indeed, leave it with Rory, smiling at his confusion about not knowing her. She met Harry back at the door of the community centre and they walked around the building, intending to go back to Amy's home, where the Doctor was certain to park his TARDIS eventually.
Shortly after they reached the lonely swing in the yard, the TARDIS' engines sounded. Harry considered his next action for a long moment and, when the doors opened and the Doctor stepped out, Harry punched him in the arm. Hard.
"Ow! What was that for?" the Doctor demanded, rubbing the abused arm.
"That was for being a self-sacrificing lunatic. Again," Harry snapped. "Next time you do that, I reserve the right to hex you. Understood?"
The Doctor winced. "Yes, Harry."
River chuckled. "You two never really change, do you?"
"River! Still hanging about, I see." The Doctor grinned at her.
"Well, the groom does have my book. And you still have my vortex manipulator."
The Doctor glanced down at his wrist. "Ah. So I do." He pulled it off and handed it back to her. "And am I expected to get your book back, as well?"
River glanced at Harry, a smirk curling her lips. "Let's say it's a part of your punishment."
The Doctor looked between the two a little nervously. "What have you two been talking about while I was gone?"
Harry and River just smiled.
The Doctor sighed. "No, never mind. I don't want to know. Well! I've got a book to obtain and I wanted to dance a bit. Are you two coming?"
Harry took the vortex manipulator from River with a smile. "Perhaps in a little while. I missed my time with my kids today, and I intend to make it up."
"And what about River?" the Doctor asked a bit suspiciously.
"There's someone I wanted her to meet."
The Doctor sighed and looked down at his watch. "Two hours," he warned.
"We'll be back by then," River agreed, setting a hand on Harry's arm.
Harry waved, then apparated them to the back door of Torchwood Three's base. "Come on in," he said, using his key to unlock the door.
It only took a few moments for Jack to appear, peering over the railing of the third floor. "I was wondering if you were ever going to show," he called down. "Fancy dress?"
"Went to a wedding," Harry called back. "I brought someone back with me that I thought you might enjoy talking to."
Jack frowned. "Harry, we do have rules about who we let know about the Hub. You remember those rules, right?"
Harry snorted. "I'm pretty sure Doctor's companions was on the 'Okay to Invite In' side."
Jack paused for a moment, then hurried around the railing. Moments later, the lift hit the ground floor and the immortal man hopped off. "Doctor's companion? You've seen him lately, then?"
"Fairly recently," Harry agreed, then stepped back to let River and Jack see each other properly. "Jack, this is Dr River Song. River, Captain Jack Harkness. Both of you were – or will be – companions to the Doctor, and you're both originally from the fifty-first century."
"Seriously?" Jack asked, holding out a hand to shake.
"Of course." River replied. "And what's your story, then?"
Harry snorted and shook his head. "River, I'll be back in two hours. Jack, if you even joke about cheating on Ianto, I won't be held responsible. Ta!" Then he hit the button on the vortex manipulator, which he'd pre-set to the time he usually visited his family.
When Harry and River made it back to Amy's house two hours later, the Doctor was waiting for them, River's book in hand.
"Did you kids have fun?" the Doctor asked teasingly.
"It was fantastic," Harry replied with an overly-bright smile. "I got to see my kids, avoided a chewing out by Ginny and then we saw Jack and had an orgy."
The Doctor blinked. "You wouldn't have an orgy with Jack."
"Hm. I was hoping for a better reaction," Harry replied.
"Harry James Potter, are you trying to make me jealous?" the Doctor asked, amusement warring with pleasure in his eyes.
Harry smiled. "Is it working?"
The Doctor considered that. "If I say no, what will you do?"
"Try someone else."
The Doctor nodded and held River's book out to her. "Excuse us, River. Lovely seeing you again."
River took the book and laughed as the two men practically fell into the TARDIS, the doors clicking shut behind them.
"I thought you and the Doctor were married..." Amy said from under the archway a few feet in front of the TARDIS.
River smiled at her. "Harry won't be around forever, you know," she replied, shoving her book in the pouch on her hip. "I'd give them a couple of hours if I were you," she added, then used the vortex manipulator to shift back to her own time.
"We could go back and dance some more," Rory suggested.
Amy gave him a dry look.
Rory smiled nervously. "You're right. No more dancing."
Amy nodded and grabbed his arm. "Come on," she said, dragging him towards the house behind them.
A/N: That was fun. Everyone gets it on in the end. -insert mad cackle here-
I know a few people didn't much like River, and I'm a bit off and on about her myself, but if I discount her supposed relationship with the Doctor, I find her bearable. I hope those of you that really don't like her didn't mind her so much in this fic.
I also have to admit that I've always been a bit iffy about Amy, especially after she randomly decided to go and kiss the Doctor. S'why she might've come off as a bit irritating. Didn't mean to offend anyone who actually liked her. ^.^"
So! I'll be back after the Christmas special. Give or take a couple of weeks.
Until then, luvs!
P.S. - This fandom needs art. Somebody should make some. (I am, by no means, an artist. Or this issue would no longer be an issue. XD)