This chapter is a...lot longer than the others, but hopefully it's worth it.
This is the finale! The characterizations get a little better towards the end, but in any case, enjoy! A little action for those who like that, tension for fans of that, and moments which I, at least, think are fairly emotional.
Oh, and Rory gets his moment.
Hee, anyway, the crossover set in Year 3 is confirmed: it will be called Darkness. keep an eye out!
"You're not meant to be here," the Doctor said suddenly, peering out from under the fez Lucius had spelled into existence.
Dumbledore looked through the time machine, towards where the Doctor also faced. Against the brilliant gold walls, a streak of crimson was visible. Fawkes, the phoenix.
"You're supposed to be in the Chamber," the Doctor said in a haunted whisper; "How are you supposed to save Harry's life, when you're here?"
The phoenix turned a huge, round eye towards the Doctor, unblinking. A pale claw reached down the metallic console, twisting a dial before the Doctor could reach him.
"Oh, yeah, thanks," the Doctor rolled his eyes, "That's just cheating. You do realize that jammed the circuits? Come on, you're a bird, not a me- wait, are you? I wonder, does it count as regeneration?" the Time Lord paused in thought, more interested in the philosophical idea of phoenixes regenerating by flame, than in the matter at hand.
Quietly awed, Albus Dumbledore walked around the outside of the interior of the grand TARDIS. Bronze and gold lights shone onto him, accentuating his argent hair.
"Pretty impressive, huh?" the Doctor hopped up behind the headmaster
"Truly," Dumbledore murmured, "Such a design, unlike the outside."
"Oy!" the Doctor pouted, "What's wrong with the police box?"
"It is not as…" Dumbledore paused, "charming."
"I could take you back there right now!" the Doctor seemed irritated for a moment, before frowning, "Actually I couldn't. Fawkes saw to that. It won't let me go back to the last place I landed. Did you tell him to do that?" the Doctor peered sideways, frowning.
"A phoenix is a truly wise creature," Albus replied, enigmatic.
Rolling his eyes, the Time Lord gave up with the conversation. Instead, he fiddled up and down the console, flying through the time vortex and attempting to become more specific with the landing coordinates.
Fawkes flew up from his perch, circling the time rotor, slowly ascending, and then again descending to a roundel on the side wall. Looking around with black orbs, the phoenix swooped beneath the glass floor, crimson feathers bringing a dash more spectacular colour to the time machine.
Seconds later, he darted up, turning around near the door, and landing on a metal staircase. He looked around, turning his fiery plumage to survey the box.
"We're here," the Doctor's voice sounded, chiming darkly. It seemed almost to crack with pressure; as if passing a sentence rather than stating a travel destination. "Had to flick the blue boring-ers. The noise might be distracting."
The ship was crude, no doubt about it. Grey and brown and black; charred, dirty metal, with splotches of sanitized silver from a real star-ship, the Slitheen craft which took them to Earth. Added together, the craft was even uglier; the tarnished earthly metals, and alien technology unnaturally forced together.
Though practicality was the aim; not sleekness.
It was not decorated at all. The ship was no more than a dirty tube; the TARDIS at one end, with the engines salvaged from the Slitheen ship just behind it. A little heat could be felt through the wall.
Opposite it, a chair, and an intricate wall, full of arrays of buttons and levers. One button shot out a pod; one holding both the Deluminator, and the hand. Others were boxes of food and entertainment, most used up on the long journey to the Sun.
On the floor, just past half way, there was a thick pane of glass. Through it, visible past all the security shields and lenses, was a huge flaming ball of gas, growing gradually closer. The Sun. Its heat could almost be felt.
On the far end of the ship, as far from the TARDIS as anything could be, there was another clear strip; either plastic or glass, tinted, hiding any harmful radiation or light. The Sun was visible there also.
And sitting on the chair, turned away from the TARDIS, and the opposite end of the craft to the time machine, there was a Slitheen. Claws hung loosely to its sides, visibly scraping the primitive, cannibalized walls. And it just stared forwards, absent-minded, half-asleep from the long journey.
The Doctor stepped out of the TARDIS, door creaking. Suddenly awake, the Slitheen turned.
"Hello, I'm the Doctor" he grinned, stepping sideways to let Dumbledore out.
The green alien opposite them stood up, neck bent so as to not hit the ceiling. It lifted one ungainly arm, pointing half-threateningly towards them.
"We need to talk," the Time Lord's expression turned seriously
"How did you get aboard?" the Slitheen said with a frustrated curiosity
"TARDIS," he beamed, tapping the blue box, "Quite handy. But that's not the point; I could talk about her if you want though. Should I talk about her? I could go on a while," he looked sideways at Dumbledore, "Best not. So, you and the Sun?"
"It is necessary," the alien spoke.
No one moved; keeping the same distance apart, tense, watchful. Dumbledore, Slitheen and Doctor.
"Our ship crashed," the Slitheen spoke, "We require power. This will work: and we will also gain profit."
"What, by turning off the Sun with a Deluminator?" the Doctor rolled his eyes, "That's got to be the worst business move ever. And for profit?"
"It is necessary," the Slitheen repeated, blinking.
A quiet few seconds passed. A beep from the console behind it. Quickly, the Slitheen raised its other arm, backwards now, towards a button-
"Stop," the Doctor's word ended the movement. He lifted his sonic screwdriver; still transfigured to look like a wand. "I can help," the Time Lord spoke, "Just let me. My TARDIS: I can take you, your friend, to wherever. A second chance. What do you say?"
The Doctor and the Slitheen glared at each other. Not blinking. Not stopping; a battle of wills as much as anything. Never stopping, never faltering, never giving in.
"No," the Slitheen said, quite simply, resolutely. And jabbed a claw back, pressing the button.
A whoosh of steam, as the small spherical pod was flung away; Deluminator inside.
They could see the ball on the screen behind the Slitheen; some kind of composite, like glass, only with a much greater melting point. Transparent.
Inside it, the robotic hand was fixed to a small podium. It held the Deluminator in a loose grip; thumb just on the top. The heat of the Sun around it rose; the hand tensed, ready to flick, ready to absorb all the light of the star.
"No, no, no," the Doctor babbled, running across the rocket, ignoring the Slitheen.
The alien stumbled out of the way, past Dumbledore also as the Time Lord and headmaster fiddled with the console.
"There has to be some way," the Doctor was muttering, "Reclaim the Deluminator. Just like how they did something to survive without the heat of the Sun: using the Deluminator? No, that's no good. Hopefully they did it a different way," he was flicking switches like mad.
"Goodbye Doctor," the Slitheen's voice came from the other side of the passage.
The Doctor and Dumbledore turned, to see a lever, just next to the still-open TARDIS gripped by a claw. The alien yanked it down.
There was a hiss of air escaping; a crack appeared in the roof, walls and floor of the rocket.
"So that's how they were going to grab it," the Doctor grinned to himself at the revelation, before pausing. "Ah."
"Protego!" Albus Dumbledore boomed, raising a shield along the crack around the ship.
With little fanfare, the rocket split in to two separate segments; one, with the Doctor, Dumbledore and the controls in, the other with the Slitheen and TARDIS in, with an automated force-field.
If things had gone to plan, this would have been the method of collecting the Deluminator: raise the force-field on the other side, and steer the half through the space, empty without any star, until picking up the Deluminator. Hopefully life support would work for that long; and then the little device would supply plenty of heat for the voyage back to Earth.
The Slitheen had transformed the procedure into a trap. He cut the Doctor and Dumbledore off from their TARDIS, and almost exposed them to vacuum; saved only by Dumbledore's spell.
Still, the alien was happy. It'd left them there: and now it had an escape. The blue box the Doctor had arrived in.
Smug, the Slitheen moved to enter the TARDIS, pushing the ajar door further open-
And being struck in the face by a bright, twirling bird, brilliantly glowing feathers seeming at home this close to the Sun.
Without breaking the glide, the phoenix shut the TARDIS door with tail feathers, and darted straight past the alien. Past the force-field, for it was only meant to keep air in.
And into space.
The Doctor and Dumbledore watched, awed by the graceful, unimpeded flight of the phoenix.
Supported by innate magic, Fawkes easily navigated the vacuum, drifting as much as soaring, pulled inexorably towards the Sun by its immense gravity.
The wings of the phoenix started to flicker with flame, smouldering as it neared the star. And still, Fawkes drew closer.
"That's an amazing bird," the Doctor remarked conversationally to Dumbledore.
"Thank you Doctor," the headmaster bowed his head, "I completely agree."
Seconds of silence, Fawkes disappearing into the Sun's corona.
Then, a moment of beauty which staggered even the Doctor.
Wearing a halo of flame, Fawkes rose from the Sun, wings fully ablaze. He'd grown several centimetres, alight, giving off no smoke; just the fire of the Sun. And gripped in his paws was the Deluminator, sealed shut by one talon, rescued from the grip of the mechanical hand.
The flaming phoenix dimmed as he neared the shuttle; becoming the still-brilliant shades of gold and crimson, as he normally was, by the time he dropped the boiling Deluminator onto the floor of that half of the ship.
"Nice one, birdie," the Doctor grinned, moving to scratch the phoenix's head. Several seconds later, he recoiled; the feathers still retained much heat.
Fawkes chirped, looking at both of them.
Despite the joy of saving the Earth, they still had a heaviness in their heart. For, because of the Slitheen, they were nowhere near the TARDIS: a gulf of empty space, close to the flaming Sun, to cross.
"Bee in your bonnet, Draco," the Sorting Hat spoke.
"I came to talk to whoever's the headmaster here, not to you," the blonde retorted.
That was mostly true; he'd come from his risky escape from the Chamber of Secrets, straight here, to warn them of the Basilisk and other, green creature. And Lellorian.
The Doctor seemed like the best choice. Draco was hardly a fan of his, but he did seem to be the most interested in the centaur and other issues. Plus the Time Lord was supposed to be here. And as a Slytherin with connections, he found it easy to acquire the password to this Office: he had done quite a while ago, just in case.
"I am afraid you may be waiting a while," the Hat said dryly; "the Doctor has left. He is quite far from here. The nearest you may wish to talk to is Rory Pond, but he is heading for the Chamber of Secrets."
"The Chamber?" Draco suddenly span around.
The Hat inclined its point, in an approximation of a nod.
"I don't think I can do this," Harry muttered.
Ahead of him, Rory turned; they were walking over the bones and shed skin near the entrance to the chamber. It was not a good time to be having second thoughts.
Then again, Rory had almost forgotten he was just a schoolboy: Harry wasn't like Rory, used to travel, and facing exotic monsters. He was a child. Guilty, distracted, Rory stopped, turning to look at Harry.
"Don't worry about it, `k?" Mr Pond mumbled.
"I could try," Harry murmured, "Don't know how well it'd work. I'm…" he paused, "Scared."
"Don't be," Rory said, urgently.
The Doctor had given him a quick summary of this part of the plot: Harry to slay the Basilisk with the Sword of Gryffindor, taken from the Sorting Hat. But he needed courage, he needed to be brave to pull out the Sword.
Fear, while in any other case was expected, even encouraged, here it would doom them.
"You dealt with Voldemort," Rory said. Harry seemed a little surprised by Rory's casual use of the name. "Twice," he continued, "This is nothing."
Just then, Gilderoy Lockhart stumbled over a rat's skull. Irritated, Ron moved to help him up-
And the teacher snatched the wand away from the redhead, taking a few steps away from the students. "The adventure ends here, boys," he looked around, semi-wildly, waving Ron's taped-together wand.
Rory rolled his eyes. The Doctor just had to skim over this bit of the book, didn't he? Lockhart's betrayal. Great. What to do…
"I shall take a bit of this skin back up to the school," he waved his free hand at the husk around them, "Tell them that I was too late to save the girl, and that you two so tragically lost your minds at the sight of her mangles body. Say goodbye to your memories, boys!"
He raised the wand above his head, and brought it down with a thunderous shout.
At the same instant another, boy's, voice cried out a spell.
Lockhart fell forwards, stunned, but a moment too late; the spell had been cast. However, Ron's wand had been broken, shattered by the Willow at the start of the school year. The memory charm Lockhart attempted to cast instead rebounded, with a blinding flash of light, bringing the ceiling of the Chamber down.
The dust slowly cleared.
"Ron?" Harry shouted, from one side of the stone-fall, "Ron!"
"I'm here," the student's voice sounded, "I'm fine. Lockhart's not though; he got blasted by the wand. And you'll never guess which git cursed him."
Harry frowned, peering through a small gap in the rocks, just catching a glimpse of Ron. The Boy Who Lived felt a little reassured by the sight of the other student; at least he'd managed to escape the rock-fall. But who was the other person who yelled the spell?
"Trust you, Potter," Draco's familiar, semi-sneering tone came through the wall of fallen stone
"Malfoy," Harry muttered, "I thought you'd been taken."
"Taken to here," the Slytherin's voice unwittingly exposed a tone of fear, "But I got out. It left a wand near m; and this thing insisted I take it to you."
A moment later, the dusty black Sorting Hat was stuffed through a gap in the wall.
Frowning, but relieved, Rory was the one to take the Hat, holding it for a few moments.
Amy flashed through his mind.
She'd been petrified by the Basilisk; the Basilisk residing here, in this Chamber, with a fated death coming towards it. And because of that, Rory allowed Harry to converse with Ron and the reluctant Draco, muttering for a minute or so, planning out what to do if Harry didn't return in an hour. But Rory wasn't listening; he walked further into the Chamber of Secrets, in a kind of daze.
About a minute later, Harry Potter had rushed to his side, hissing parseltongue to open a magical, metal, serpentine door. Emerald eyes glinted, and the snake drew away.
Behind it was the Chamber of Secrets.
A grand, flat surface, as impressive as any of Hogwarts despite its immense age. Snakeheads reared from the sides, emerald eyes glaring, glinting in torchlight.
And then a person flickered into being, just above a small black book.
Rory tensed; as the real Diary had been destroyed, the Doctor's holographic book had instead been placed here, completed with clips of the Harry Potter movie playing. The actor to play the young Riddle stood there, glaring.
"Una memoria-" the recording began. The Doctor had used the Spanish recording of movie. Voldemort from Spain. Something was wrong.
Apparently TARDIS translators were disrupted in the Chamber. Maybe it was an effect of the dark magic, meaning the Spanish and English movies were no longer indistinguishable.
Whatever the case, the video was soon cut off as a huge, snarling serpent, the Basilisk, slithered over it. Reacting quickly, Harry and Rory looked away, covering their eyes.
Rory sighed. There was nothing he could do; the sudden courage which had possessed him to walk here, had all but evaporated. The tale made no mention of him: Harry was the one to face and defeat the Basilisk.
Mr Pond threw the Sorting Hat over to Harry; the black haired boy frowned, but took in nonetheless, running to the side of the Chamber. Rory mirrored the action; going to the opposite side, and hiding behind a snakehead. He risked a glance; the leathery serpent moved towards Harry.
Rory closed his eyes, bringing his knees up to his chest and sitting by the snakehead. Now to wait; he'd accompanied Harry down here, which was all he'd been expected to do. When Harry had won-
A scream pierced the Chamber.
The time traveller opened his eyes, looking across the Chamber suddenly; the snake had darted forwards, bitten down. Envenomed fangs had pierced Harry's arm.
Time seemed to stop.
The Doctor had described this bit, now he thought of it; there was a cure for Basilisk venom. Just one. Phoenix tears; and Fawkes was supposed be here. The phoenix was meant to take the Hat here, not Draco.
Harry moaned again, from the venom coursing through his system. The Basilisk reared up above him, hissing, almost smug.
With gritted teeth, Harry grabbed the Sorting Hat, waving it at the Basilisk, as if to ward it off. And-
In a flash of flame, Fawkes rocketed out from the dusty Hat, cawing, fiery wings outstretched, and talons wide.
The phoenix had been summoned, as it should have been, by Harry's need. Dumbledore's promise had truly been fulfilled; help would always be available at Hogwarts for those who needed it. And even when worlds away, Dumbledore would be able to help.
The Basilisk roared, screeched, reptilian head batting out against the grand firebird, yet screeching when its moist flesh touched the scalding body of Fawkes. The phoenix fought back; talons digging into the deadly eyes of the king serpent.
Rory stared, amazed by the spectacular creature's arrival. It had soared, out from the Hat: magic. But Harry was still unable to see the splendour; his vision was growing foggy, sensations indistinct.
Somehow, Fawkes found time to cease circling the Basilisk; leaving the serpent momentarily reeling.
The firebird slowed, and descended, hooking its claws around Harry Potter's punctured arm. Burnt orange feathers peered down at the gruesome wound; unaffected by the hissing serpent above it.
One solitary tear fell from the round, lonely eye of the phoenix.
Slowly, gently, Harry's eyes gradually focused once again. "Thanks Fawkes," he murmured weakly, eliciting a cheerful caw from the bird.
A sensation of unutterable relief passed through him; restoration. The cure of a phoenix tear. The only way to survive Basilisk venom.
At a speed at odds with the urgency of his surroundings, Harry looked up, realizing a moment too late the danger, yet surviving. Fawkes had blinded the Basilisk; its eyes were no threat now.
"Now would be the time for the movie to gloat," Rory muttered to himself, watching intently as the serpent hissed, trying blindly to locate Harry.
"Tom Riddle!" Rory shouted suddenly, voice echoing across the chamber; "It's Voldemort!"
Harry frowned, looking up at him as he ran around the back of the Basilisk. The serpent began to move towards Rory's voice.
"You're sure?" Harry cried back. The great serpent paused in indecision, hearing tow targets.
"Yes," Rory shouted, irritated. Apparently the movie was meant to explain it. But no, it had to be Spanish, and it had to be crushed by the Basilisk.
Harry Potter's brow furrowed: Voldemort… He whispered the words to himself, an anger growing within him. Yet it was more than just anger; it wasn't blind fury, it wasn't indignation, it was something, somehow, more noble.
The Sorting Hat sagged in his hand.
Surprised, Harry looked at the dirty black headwear in his hand. For a moment, he didn't care about the oncoming Basilisk; he just cared about the Hat. The thing within the Hat. The shining silver, like a mirror, with a ruby set at the end.
Harry gripped the tip, the hilt, with one hand; making sure he was securely holding the silver item. Then, with a flourish, he pulled it out from the Hat.
Rory grinned at the Arthurian moment, watching Harry Potter wield the Sword of Gryffindor at the lightning-fast serpent.
A split-second of tension.
The Basilisk roared across the floor of the Chamber, hissing, spitting, snarling, fangs bared. Its target was the seemingly serene Boy Who Lived: who just stood, transfixed by the ancient blade, holding it in one hand, absent-minded dropping the Sorting Hat.
The distance between them shrunk to one metre.
The Basilisk made a move, as if to bite down, an almost vampire-like gesture, hissing. Harry looked up, as if waking up, raising the sword.
He thrust the perfect silver up, into the maw of the serpent. A screech of agony came from the creature; it thrashes, leathery tail lashing out, whipping at Harry, knocking the Hat flying across the Chamber, trying to again pierce Harry's skin with its envenomed teeth. To no avail.
Blood dripped from the wound, settling over the ruby; an eerie appearance. And then, even that was silent. Still.
Sword of Gryffindor firmly embedded through it's head and brain, the Basilisk of Salazar Slytherin lay there, lifeless in the Chamber of Secrets.
Several, thankfully quiet, seconds passed. Rory watched, feeling somewhere between useless, and privileged to watch the confrontation.
Fawkes came down from circling the Chamber, perching lightly on the Basilisk's still face. He looked around, eyes somehow mournful. Tearful.
"Fang," Rory at last found his voice. Harry turned to him; "Get a Basilisk fang, stab the diary. Stop Riddle- Voldemort coming back with it."
Mildly mystified, but trusting, Harry obeyed; simultaneously wrenching the Sword away from the snake. While carrying the blade, he took a fang from the great serpent, taking it to the abandoned diary. Then, with a cry of exertion, he forced the envenomed tooth into the book. It bled ink.
Taken straight from the movie, they were treated to the animation of the young Tom Riddle, shouting, crying out as he was worn away by the cuts in the Diary. Until there was nothing; he was worn away by the light and venom.
Panting softly, Rory crossed the Chamber, moving around the serpent, as he went to the line of snakeheads, the opposite side of the grand hollow.
"What're you doing?" Harry was breathing heavily as he spoke
"Looking for the Hat," Rory replied; "Don't worry. You go back; use Fawkes. He can help you get Ron, Lockhart and Draco out of here. I'll follow later."
Rory didn't turn; looking into the shallow, murky water around the stone he stood upon.
Harry left after several minutes; Fawkes chirped, and followed. Rory didn't. He was partially absorbed by staring into the water, and partly, he felt out-of-focus, as much as anything.
He'd done nothing. Amy was paralyzed in the castle far above, and he'd done nothing to help her. Guilt reigned in his heart.
But not only that; there was a hint in the corner of his mind. A hint that he might prove able to do something. For, didn't the Doctor warn him of aliens? And Draco said he'd been taken here… It stood to reason one of the aliens might be residing in the Chamber.
Rory took a tentative step into the water in front of him; wincing at the noise piercing the silence. Still, it helped him continue; helped him look, and focus a little more. And there, he could see it; the tip of the Sorting Hat, emerging from the murky water.
He bent his knees, reaching down to pick it up.
"I say, this is a conundrum," the Hat's voice murmured. Rory frowned at it, as he turned towards the main part of the Chamber, holding the dripping headwear.
"I don't know what you mean," Rory rested on a huge, bronze snakehead.
"Do you wish to be Sorted?" the Hat spoke
"Huh? No," Rory shook his head
"Oh, well then," the Hat shook off a little water, "It is not often strange hands pick me up. Hm. Especially not Muggle hands."
"Long story," Rory muttered, about to move.
Blue light filled the Chamber.
Caught off guard, the man moved behind the snakehead, hiding; the light was coming from the Basilisk's mouth. And a noise accompanied it; a noise like some huge zip, gradually pulling undone.
Rory tried to control his breathing, as he held the Sorting Hat close. Still, blue light rebounded off the wall in front of him. Past the snakehead. And the buzzing reached a crescendo-
Tentative, Rory peered around the snakehead. A shadow greeted him; a figure, cloaked in the darkness of the cavern, just by the maw of the Basilisk. As if having clambered out; it wasn't human. Too tall, barely any neck, and long gangly arms, finished the predatory claws. To finish all that off, there were strings, almost, of flesh, tying it to the Basilisk. Not natural; they didn't appear it at all. More artificial; added, to try and help it control the Basilisk.
Mermaids, though Rory didn't know it. As the Doctor said in the Forest, due to the lack of viable hosts, the Slitheen had used their advanced biological technology on themselves, to aid mergence with the creatures.
The Slitheen stepped further away from the Basilisk.
An emotion, as blazing as Fawkes' flame, burned through Rory.
This was the creature who petrified Amy. It controlled the Basilisk. And, by conscious choice, not a need at all, just choice, it had gone after Amy. The crime of extinguishing the Sun paled in comparison, in his mind.
Two thousand years had been spent guarding his wife from any and all threats. Two thousand years. Rory would not stop now; not ever.
The words blazed in his mind; and a weight formed in his palm.
The dry, dusty voice of the Sorting Hat whispered in his mind: "Whether you wanted to be or not, you have been Sorted. What other possibility was there?"
"Stop!" Rory shouted, voice carrying strongly through the Chamber of Secrets.
With that, he stepped out from behind the snakehead, facing the Slitheen, as the alien turned. An expression, more of shock then fear, passed over the creature's face.
Rory Pond wielded the Sword of Godric Gryffindor.
It felt somehow right to hold a weapon, like this sword, again. He'd spent a long time as a Roman, even if just a plastic one. Traits never rubbed off completely, especially not when practised for two thousand years. He held a sword in his hand for the time between his death and being reunited with Amy. Following that, he again held a sword for two thousand years, in her protection.
He was used to the weapon. He could wield it; and as if to prove the point, he span the Sword in the gesture Amy affectionately called his 'sword-y thing'.
Righteous indignation, a blaze demanding justice, soon faded, to be replaced with guilt. Would she want this?
No. That was why she travelled with the Doctor; she'd demonstrated time and again how much she agreed with his pacifist stances. So maybe the sword wasn't the right choice.
Or at least, no inherently the right choice. Still, there was more than one way to use it.
Rory Pond took another step towards the Slitheen. The alien was moving towards the stone face of Salazar Slytherin in the wall; Rory stood the opposite side of the Chamber, the opposite side of the serpent.
Fawkes and his healing tears had perched on the Basilisk's face earlier. While tears would not restore it to life, they would heal some of the damage. Especially one thing; judging by the wisdom of the phoenix.
The only problem was, there was no way to find out, except to try it. He couldn't look down to see.
Slowly exhaling, Rory pressed the Sword to the ground, tip chipping the floor. The reflective, perfect silver rested by the head of the king serpent, facing the Slitheen.
The Slitheen glared across the Chamber, at the human who dared challenge her. She began to wail, to shout, to charge, raising her claws. And then she saw the blade.
Yellow light was reflected in the Sword.
Fawkes the phoenix had let healing tears fall onto the eyes of the Basilisk. They still retained their potential from that inherent magic, even if not permanently. But it was enough; the Slitheen had looked into the mirror-like silver of Gryffindor's Sword. She had seen the eyes of the Basilisk reflected.
Poetic justice. Petrified; just like Amy.
Half of the Slitheen crafted drifted for the Sun. The other half was lost; unseen.
The Doctor and Dumbledore sat together, alone, abandoned by the wall. Fawkes had left them quite some time ago, sucked into a flash of light. They didn't speak to ask or say why. Conserving air: they did not know how much was left.
"Did I ever tell you how this ended?" the Doctor eventually murmured, "Not all this stuff, the Seventh book?"
"Is it wise to tell me?" Dumbledore frowned, looking sideways at the Time Lord
"Oh, why not?" the Doctor shrugged, "This one we might not be getting out of. And I've broken the Laws of Time before."
"If it is your wish," Dumbledore replied, "Though I already know much. I read the books."
A few seconds of silence. The craft drifted closer to the Sun; Dumbledore's shield charm soon wouldn't be enough to protect them.
"You might want to know some of this," the Doctor shrugged, "Harry, Ron and Hermione go after Voldemort by themselves. It doesn't start off well, nothing ever does. Ron leaves them. Which is a bit whiny, but makes up for things; it used to be Hermione, all grotty like that. But that's not the point, even if it should be. Ron left them at one point. Disapparated straight away."
The Time Lord exhaled.
"He didn't come back for a while," he continued, "And you wouldn't believe how he got back. You gave him this thing," the Doctor tossed the Deluminator from one hand to the other, "And he took a lot of light with it. Then, it let him disapparate again; it took him straight to-"
The Doctor paused.
"Al!" he grinned
"Albus," Dumbledore laughed a little, "Yes?"
"The Deluminator!" he threw the little, powerful light-giver up in the air; "It took him to where he wanted to go! Couldn't it do the same for us?"
"I believe so," Dumbledore spoke slowly, "But much light would be needed. And I do not think we should risk taking sunlight."
"No trouble," the Doctor grinned again, tossing the Deluminator in the air, withdrawing the transfigured sonic screwdriver, and catching the Deluminator in the same hand. "Do you mind turning this back?"
Smiling, Dumbledore tapped the 'wand' with his own; light washed over it, and soon it was the familiar, scientific instrument.
"I'll want this back," the Doctor muttered dryly, flicking the sonic on. Just beside it, he activated the Deluminator; drawing a steady stream of light from the implement, until the sonic had been put out.
"Ready?" the Doctor linked arms with the headmaster, grinning.
With a flick of the Deluminator, they disapparated.
Rory sat beside his redheaded wife in the Hospital Wing. She should be waking up soon.
He didn't know he was crying, until the tears had visibly spread through the sheets. By then, he didn't really care. All that mattered was Amy. If, when she awoke.
"Heya Rory," the redhead croaked. Her husband looked at her, speechless. "You mind, you're getting my leg all wet," she made a faint attempt at humour.
Wordless, Rory leant forwards, lips meeting. Amy raised a hand, brushing the back of his head weakly, as if to prolong the kiss.
"I ought to try it more often," Amy quipped once Rory had withdrawn, "If that's what I get."
In response, Rory kissed her once more.
Lucius Malfoy paced down the Hogwarts corridor, irate, heading as far away from Dumbledore's Office and the doctor's counterfeit Diary as he could.
"I was wrong, you know," the Time Lord's voice sounded from a side corridor. He sprang into step alongside Lucius, and the struggling house-elf Dobby to his side.
"You kept the fez," Lucius spoke, lips pulled back tightly
"Of course," the Doctor tapped the red hat, "But that's not what matters. Actually it is, fezzes always matter, but not right now."
"What is it?" Lucius murmured, irritated
"You're better than the green creatures," the Doctor spoke with all seriousness. "So much better. You listened to reason; you didn't continue blindly."
"And?" Lucius glared at the Time Lord, though his expression softened somewhat.
"Just…remember that," the Doctor took off the fez, giving it to Draco's father. "And, try it again. Listen to reason. Remember what it felt like, to be their prisoner."
With that, the Doctor walked away. Lucius looked after him, before looking back down at the hat in his hand.
With a scowl, Lucius dropped the fez to his side, in a specifically aimed gesture.
Dobby looked up, from beneath the unorthodox hat.
"Go," Lucius said the one word, not kindly, but far from the anger he normally reserved for the elf.
Silent, wide-eyed, the freed Dobby vanished with a pop, wearing the fez, unexpectedly grateful to his old master.
From a distance, bathed in the sunlight, the Doctor watched and smiled.