Disclaimer: I own neither Harry Potter (he belongs to J.K. Rowling) nor anything to do with Doctor Who (which all belongs to the BBC). The only thing I own is the plot, and even that's derivative.

author's note: Some content of the first chapter is quoted from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. This text is in italics.

(edited June 15 2011 to correct a spelling gaffe)

Chapter 1: Snipping the threads

Privet Drive was completely dark - all the street lamps were out, and all the residents were asleep. There were, however, two people awake in front of Number Four...and one other, concealed in a hedge. The sharp-featured woman had been drawn by an uneasy prickling of senses that the ancient man and the woman in the green cloak didn't possess, as well as a rather over-sized helping of curiosity. Uneasily, the woman curled herself a bit more comfortably into the hedge, movements timed to coincide with a light breeze, and settled in to listen closely as the ancient man and the woman beside him continued their conversation.

The ancient had been gazing at a pocket watch, and snapped it shut the moment his observer stopped moving. "Hagrid's late. I suppose it was he who told you I'd be here, by the way?"

His companion nodded. "Yes. And I don't suppose you're going to tell me why you're here, of all places?"

"I've come to bring Harry to his aunt and uncle. They're the only family he has left now."

"You don't mean - you can't mean the people who live here?" That seemed to have distressed the woman with the square glasses, as she'd spoken nearly loud enough to wake a very light sleeper. "Dumbledore - you can't. I've been watching them all day. You couldn't find two people who are less like us. And they've got this son - I saw him kicking his mother all the way up the street, screaming for sweets. Harry Potter come and live here!"

"It's the best place for him," the old man - Dumbledore - said in a no-nonsense tone. "His aunt and uncle will be able to explain everything to him when he's older. I've written them a letter."

The observer missed most of the reply as she was occupied in scoffing at the very idea of a letter being at all capable of explaining anything acceptably. She frowned at the other two people and returned to paying them a considerable amount of her attention.

"...famous - a legend - I wouldn't be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter day in the future - there will be books written about Harry - every child in our world will know his name!"

"Exactly. It would be enough to turn any boy's head. Famous before he can walk and talk! Famous for something he won't even remember! Can't you see how much better off he'll be, growing up away from all of that until he's ready to take it?"

That seemed to have stumped the bespectacled woman, although if the observer had been part of the conversation, she would have had plenty to say. Isolate a child away from the knowledge of where he came from? Ridiculous! Keep him ignorant in the name of sheltering him from fame? Of all the insane things...she scoffed silently and regretted not having some of the more interesting things she'd invented in centuries past directly to hand. That Dumbledore would make a most excellent tree, indeed he would. Idiotic human - there were a number of ways to keep a famous child safe, and still let him have knowledge of his past and why he was famous.

The roar of a motorcycle nearly startled the woman out of the hedge, and she silently scolded herself for missing something that obvious. The flying(!) motorcycle landed, and a very, very large man was revealed as the driver. Though how he'd flown safely with a bundle of blankets in his arms was a bit of a mystery.

"Hagrid," said Dumbledore, sounding relieved. "At last. And where did you get that motorcycle?"

"Borrowed it, Professor Dumbledore, sir." The large man named Hagrid dismounted the motorcycle, still gently cradling the bundle of blankets. "Young Sirius Black lent it to me. I've got him, sir."

"No problems, were there?"

"No sir - house was almost destroyed, but I got him out all right before the Muggles started swarmin' around. He fell asleep as we was flyin' over Bristol."

The observer's constant frown deepened as the other two peered into the bundle of blankets in Hagrid's arms. She couldn't see what they were looking at from inside the hedge, and all she could do was assume that the bundle contained the Harry Potter that had been the subject of much fussing. And, annoyingly, no one was speaking loudly enough at the moment that she could hear past the rustling of the hedge in the recurrent breeze.

That problem continued until after the bundle was passed over to Dumbledore, and Hagrid bent far over to kiss the child within the blankets, then let out a howl reminiscent of a wounded dog.

"Shhh!" the bespectacled woman hissed, rather like a cat. "You'll wake the Muggles!"

"S-s-sorry," sobbed Hagrid, taking out a large, spotted handkerchief and burying his face in it. "But I c-c-can't stand it - Lily an' James dead - an' poor little Harry off ter live with Muggles-"

"Yes, yes, it's all very sad, but get a grip on yourself, Hagrid, or we'll be found," the woman was whispering as she patted Hagrid on the arm. Meanwhile, Dumbledore had stepped over the low garden wall and had taken the blanket-wrapped child to the doorstep of Number Four. A letter was tucked inside the blankets, then Dumbledore rejoined his companions. A full minute passed with all three standing there looking at the bundle, then Dumbledore spoke again.

"Well, that's that. We've no business staying here. We may as well go and join the celebrations."

"Yeah," said Hagrid in a very muffled voice, "I'll be takin' Sirius his bike back. G'night, Professor McGonagall - Professor Dumbledore, sir."

The observer nodded to herself as Hagrid left, flying away on the motorcycle. So, the green-cloaked woman was a teacher, named McGonagall, likely working at the same school as the man Dumbledore. Still, they had no business leaving an orphan on a doorstep in the dead of night. She'd have to do something about that as soon as they left.

After Dumbledore restored the street lamps and left, the Rani continued to wait and watch. She'd seen McGonagall become a cat and slink off down the street, and she didn't want to be caught in the act of removing an abandoned child. Half an hour later, with no signs of returning felines, she exited the hedge and strode to the doorstep of Number Four for her first sight of the blanket-wrapped child.

Black and mussed hair moved as Harry turned in his blankets, and the Rani sighed and shook her head. "Come along, Harry," she murmured, and knelt to pick him up. "it's time to depart this haven of stultifying conformity." She sneered at the houses all alike as she strode briskly away, the clicking of her boot-heels the only indication that someone was there at all.