Last chapter! For real this time. Apologies if you can find formatting issues, Microsoft Word has crashed utterly on my computer so I had to write this in the FanFiction editor.
I do have a few stories planned after this, but I might not be able to write them for a while if Word refuses to work. Still, enjoy!
Warning: this chapter will include some archaic terminology. They're needed, as will become apparent, but if you're curious to know what they mean, I've included a mini-glossary towards the end, for the more obscure. You don't need to understand them really, meaning should be clear by context, it's just there to help.
Anyway, enjoy! The (real) end of Fate!
Longest chapter yet too! Well, I think... Wasn't expecting it to be, but oh well.
The Doctor stood in the centre of the Chamber of Secrets. Stone snakeheads forced their way out of the floor around him, and shallow water surrounded it. The Basilisk's skeletal frame lay discarded, alone.
The Time Lord stared forwards; into the painstakingly detailed carving of Salazar Slytherin's face. He could feel a prickle; an innate sense. Something was here, something strange, unseen. Silent, he lifted one hand; lifted the sonic screwdriver. A buzz of green.
A pocket dimension; created by advanced, dark magic it seemed, sealing away any natural laws, laws of space or time. A bubble, a sanctuary: outside time, and just outside of space.
The cause of all this was here; of the Dalek, Hybrid Technology and all that it entailed. Here, in this impossible room.
The room didn't exist; that was the first thing the Doctor noticed. The second thing, was that it did. A strange mass of contradictions, natural laws being essentially suspended by evil magic.
It was a small, square room. The walls were made of the same, aged stone as composed the Chamber of Secrets; and the opposite end of this mini-dimension stood a man, wand held in one hand, drawing complex signs in the air. What amounted to computer screens covered the wall in front of him; screens created by magic. He watched all that happened outside, or at least, what he wanted to watch.
From behind, the Doctor watched this stranger. He had no hair adorning the top of his head; leaving it bare, slightly blemished and fairly pale. Grey, speckled hair was visible around the sides, thin and greasy; close to his face, yet visible over prominent bones and sallow skin.
He lifted one hand, waving it over one of the magical screens. The hand was pale, almost grey; it resembled more the hand of a corpse than the hand of a living man. Blackened, murky silver rings were around two fingers.
The wizard wore black; a deep sable, the only untarnished part of him. Robes. They seemed somewhat archaic; baggy around his elbows, triangles of fabric moving out from the sleeves, covering the tops of his hand. An equally dark collar rose, covering much of his neck.
And then he turned.
Human: unmistakably so. His head was hairless until thick, speckled grey eyebrows; and they rested atop deep-set eyes. Each rested in pits of darker skin, and he rarely blinked. Glaring. It seemed as though those eyes had remained open for many days; yet he did not seem tired. Merely irate, with those sunken eyes glowering.
Below, there were prominent cheekbones, and moving backwards, a thin layer of hair grew from almost the level of his eyebrows, down the sides of his face; forming a thin beard which fell the length of his concealed neck. It was pointed, severe; as sallow as his flesh.
His lower lip was bare; emphasizing what was perhaps the brightest part of his frame. Lips of a shade which seemed almost unnatural, paler than blood: thin, and curved. Not smiling, and not frowning.
Around his neck hung a thin, silver chain; culminating in a tarnished gold octagon. A locket; green emeralds formed a serpentine S.
"Another hath at long last found these four walls," his voice was indescribable. Indifferent, yet snide; confident, not a drawl, and not a monotone: yet almost emotionless. If anyone else had spoken, one would expect to see their lip curl; this man did no such thing. His eyes spoke all the emotion he deigned to show. No fear, no anger; barely even amusement.
"Yes I have," the Doctor replied, simple. He didn't move yet; but prepared himself for taking a step forwards. "Can't say I'm that surprised to see you here."
"Ah, he believes himself to be clever," the wizard spoke once more, examining the Doctor as if he were a specimen. "Withal what does he come?"
"Nothing," the Time Lord shrugged lightly; his manners were the exact antithesis of the man.
While the Doctor moved openly, expressively, the other stayed almost completely still. His hands rested above his waist; if he turned, they'd be just level with the magic he'd raised; and he moved nothing, save for his lips; and, every now and then, his eyebrows twitched.
"I don't need anything," the Doctor spoke lightly; realizing the gravity of the situation, yet doing nothing about it. He gave everyone a chance; even him. "Well, I've got a screwdriver. But I don't think that's what you mean."
Perhaps it would've been better if the wizard had laughed at that; even if he'd cackled. Yet he did not. Just silence. Cool, calculating silence.
"I am astonied," the wizard spoke once more. Neutral. "Perchance he has divined my name?"
"Of course," the Doctor paused for a moment. He wasn't grinning now; he was serious. "Salazar."
"He has!" the dark wizard's eyes lit up. "He is no fool, then. He descries the dead."
"Dead? Nah, you're not really, are you?" the Doctor was smiling now, enjoying the challenge to his brain. "Even if everyone thinks you are. If my history's right, you left Hogwarts once they decided to accept more than just Pure-Bloods. You vanished; well, they thought you did. That right?"
Salazar Slytherin's lips curled, for the first time. Almost a smile; not quite enjoyment however. He'd left such feelings behind.
The parselmouth had secreted himself inside his chamber, centuries ago: and, it seemed, was able to constructed this place. This little bubble, a pocket outside of the normal flow of time. Theoretically possible: after all, ancient wizards had been notoriously better at such grand magicks. The Department of Mysteries was filled with examples; perhaps none more striking than the Time-Turner.
"You know," the Doctor mused aloud, "I almost didn't figure out it was you. Nearly a good job, Salazar. It was only when things kept coming back to Tom that I figured it out; Heir of Slytherin, right? Your heir. You wanted to give him help: you gave him a Chamber and a Basilisk, but didn't want to stop there. Ooh, divination, am I right?"
Slytherin said nothing, turning back to his magical screens. He'd spent years in this pocket; just years however. He controlled how it interacted with the rest of time: decided when to touch the real timeline, and aid his Heir.
"No, don't look away!" the Doctor called; "I'm interested. Let me know if I'm getting it right," Salazar did not turn; but he slowed in his work, listening. He had not even secured the Doctor. "You saw Tom was in trouble and wanted to help. But, no, you couldn't just stick to plain magic. You wanted to give him power, real power: more than everyone else. So you scanned the universe, hm? The whole cosmos. Tried to find the best race you could to help. The nearest and most powerful; only it didn't go so well, did it? Whatever ritual you did, it summoned the Daleks to help, and yes, it worked to begin with. But they were still Daleks."
For a moment, the old man's fist clenched. Then released; only gentle. It had been the only display of emotion that the wizard had made.
"A wise race warned me about this. They said everything happened because of 'one man's mistake'. I thought that man was Riddle, but no; it was you. Right Salazar?"
Slytherin now no longer spoke. He remained silent, not quite ignoring the Doctor, merely refusing to acknowledge. He tilted his head; peering up. One screen suddenly flickered to show the Dalek: displaying it as it shot Voldemort. The scene replayed once, twice, pale blue light flickering from it: Slytherin clenched his fist once more. Rage.
It was then that the Doctor became aware of murmurings: the dark wizard mumbled to himself, quiet, thoughtful. "No, they were no of no use. Perchance that… No. Another may work in their stead. May I perforce them, or merely persuade? So many may rise. Possibilities. Moonshine. Were I to…"
The Doctor stopped listening to the soft, almost meaningless murmurs, looking back up to the screen: other races, other species now appeared on it. Ones which, presumably, Salazar was considering calling to help Voldemort.
Even now, he hadn't stopped. In such a time-immune bubble, he could go back; prevent the Dalek from coming, and replace it with something else. One of the creatures which now appeared on the screen.
Even the Doctor didn't recognize them all. Some were familiar: a serpent-like being, a man shining in pure light, something reptilian, a Daemon, an insect, a Sontaran, a creature the Doctor forgot an instant after seeing, yet couldn't shake a sense of familiarity… And they beyond that, creatures even the Doctor hadn't seen, nightmarish blends: perhaps conjured by magic, perhaps temporal abominations, erased from the timelines.
"Stop this!" the Doctor raised his voice; having had enough of Salazar ignoring him, of consider which race to play with next, which race to enslave. He took a step forwards; "You can't just-"
The Doctor's voice was cut off as Slytherin murmured dismissively. "He doth rantipole." A flick of the wizard's wand: and the Doctor found himself pressed against the cold, murky stone wall by unseen forces. Magic.
Salazar flicked his wand casually, causing the magical screens to flicker, each displaying strange glyphs, ancient writing. Archaisms; not surprising. More alien races flickered along the upper screen.
He was playing games with alien races. That's all it was. If he failed, pick up the pieces and start again: banish the Dalek, banish all it achieved, the good and the bad, and call something else, and something else. Continually: until the Heir of Slytherin, Lord Voldemort proved victorious.
Until Muggles were extinct and Pure Bloods, pure humans, ruled the Earth: and judging by the extent of Salazar's sight, perhaps far more than just this world.
Another race appeared on the screen; the Doctor strained to push himself forwards, pushing against the magical force which pinned him to the door.
"No! Salazar!" the Time Lord shouted, trying to pull himself away from the wall: "Stop! It's not going to work, surely you can see that? You're just bringing more and more aliens to Earth, more and more danger, more and more threats. You saw what the Dalek did, what do you think the next would do? I found you here. What if they do? Whatever creature you're planning to bring here, whatever help you want to get from it: just don't. It won't-"
"He believes that one wayward beast signifies a lack of control," Slytherin spoke seemingly to himself; yet it seemed he expected the Doctor to here. He did not even do the Time Lord the favour of acknowledging his presence. "How little is it possible to know? I control the serfs I summon. This one proved froward. The next will not. Troth. Perhaps he intends to scare me. Then he will learn I do not fear."
"Listen to me, Salazar!" the Doctor shouted again; any trace of good humour had gone from his voice. "It's not that easy, it's just not. Any life form will fight back: doesn't matter what you do. Even if you try Imperius, some humans can resist it. Whatever aliens you call here, they certainly will. Of course I'm trying to scare you! But only because there is something to be scared of!"
At that, Slytherin paused, the flickering screen hesitating on the image of a strange, gaseous creature: visible only by the dust it animated.
"Perchance he speaks sooth," Salazar murmured. Perhaps he was smiling cruelly; the Doctor could not see. It certainly sounded like it: though it was always hard to tell with this wizard. "And perchance he is weak. When he blenches, I may smile. Is he afear'd of ants?"
"Will I have to stop you?" the Doctor spoke again; eerily soft. The fury of a Time Lord. His voice burned.
Salazar Slytherin slowly turned around; and now he was smiling. The dark wizard flicked his wand once; the unseen manacles binding the Doctor tightened, flexing, making sure the Time Lord knew of his imprisonment.
"Now he doth threaten," Salazar's eyes appeared amused. "A portent of doom? He appears lacking. I wonder if he is capable. Could he perchance kill? He bears the semblance of a man of peace, and did not strike me down even as I stood undefended."
For the first time, Slytherin met the Doctor's eyes.
"Could he kill me?" the Founder was mocking. "Has he ever killed? Does he kill? Could he ever kill? Is this man capable?" the parselmouth's eyes bored into the Doctor's: "I wonder if he knows how murder feels. Does he know of power, and does he seek it? Ah, why would one so weak threaten me? Tell me, has he killed?"
Slytherin's eyes drifted. They stared upwards at the ancient stone; and back down to the Time Lord's eyes. His gaze continued; only now, Slytherin appeared to express some new emotion. Some kind of scathing awe.
"I see that he has," their eyes stayed locked together. "Yet he is still weak. How can a man be so tiny? He bears knowledge yet does not understand, and knows of death yet holds it back. Ah, why would one neglect power?"
Slytherin shook his head slowly. In principle, if not reality, he seemed to be tutting: either disappointed in the Doctor, or amused by him. The dark wizard turned slowly around, back to his screens; once again ignoring the trapped Doctor.
"Listen to me, Salazar," the Doctor cried out once more: he preferred to settle things with words, but what could he do against a man who didn't even do something so simple as listen?
"Ah, the fool still speaks," Slytherin continued to murmur to himself. It was strange; he expected no one to hear, and he barely even acknowledge the Doctor's presence, yet he continued to speak. "Does he seek to convince me withal but words? I may find such counsel in books or scrolls. Perchance he is an idiot. One possessed of keenest sight, yet an idiot nonetheless." He appeared satisfied with this conclusion.
The Doctor continued to strain against his magical bonds, ignoring the casual insults. The screen continued to flicker; multiple aliens now appeared there, and though the Doctor recognized many, he still could not recognize them all. A pelican-like creature, shrouded in fog. A faceless being in a sable cloak... Those that he did identify made him try all the harder to get Slytherin's attention.
"What is it you want?" the Doctor tried, desperately. "You don't need to hurt anyone! I know, I know, you want your Heir to succeed, but why? How about I take you to another world? I can, you know; take you to a world where they might share your views, or views as similar as you're going to get. You'll live, you might even flourish. Just, please, stop hurting the Earth! If you bring any of those creatures here, do you really think they'd help? Don't just dismiss the Dalek as 'wayward', anything called to Earth will resist. They won't make the distinction between Muggle and wizard. Please Salazar! Voldemort can't win; and even if he could, it needs to be by the terms of the prophecy. You won't be able to get anything else to help him. Didn't the Dalek prove that?"
Slytherin made no acknowledgement of the Doctor's impassioned plea. The wizard simply, occasionally, glance upwards: beheld the screen. Images were repeating now, the wizard pausing on a few that sparked his interest, reading illegible text on a black circle of magic below.
Cybermen, older Daleks, the Mara, Ice Warriors... Spiders and jellyfish and humans and wolves and gods. Whole hosts of creatures from the Doctor's past; and then there were more. The dust creatures, once-organic beings now composed of gaseous prosthetics, huge squids; great krakens of an alien world's sky, indescribable monstrosities: some beautiful, some repugnant.
The Doctor tensed at several he recognized. And at those he did not, those impossibly rare creatures perhaps from other dimensions or simply incredibly well hidden, he still felt a spark of fear. It seemed as if any of those creatures might dominate the Earth: and if it was somehow impelled to obey Voldemort, the consequences did not bear thinking about.
"Please, Salazar, stop this!" the Doctor shouted once more, pulling desperately on his unseen bindings. Oh, if only he could escape them. "I could take you to another world. Uninhabited of course; but you could rule that. Make it as pure as you want, make it look however you want. Just, please, stop this now!"
Slytherin still did not turn, have no sign that he'd heard; yet his mumblings changed.
"He intends to compel me. Ah, but the most puissant silvertongue could not dissuade me from purity. Yet he claims to be capable of removing me from this world. Such things may be common in the mind of a fool, but perchance he speaks sooth..." the dark wizard's voice trailed off; he flicked his wand once.
The upper screen immediately changed. Instead of scrolling through the images of monsters, it showed Earth: jumpily, it zoomed in, whirling around the planet. It was hard to focus on the individual images, yet Slytherin seemed to have no trouble: the display slowed after almost a minute, by which time the wizard's murmurings had ceased.
It showed the TARDIS. The blue police box, immeasurably old, in a variety of scenes. In an immense desert, in a field, in a manor, or inside ruins. The light on top slowly illuminated, and dimmed, flashing; and the box vanished. Or, on some occasions, it reappeared; and the Doctor, in various bodies, stepped out of it. Until, at long last, this Doctor could be seen to leave it: clad in a tweed jacket and bow tie, looking around a new world and smiling.
The screen froze on that; and, still silent, Salazar tapped his wand on the magical image. More text appeared, scribed on the air below him by a neat, stylish hand: the Doctor could not quite read it, yet it seemed to be of some interest to Salazar.
"So, he is called Doctor," the wizard murmured; thoughtful. "He belies himself. A fool who travels the winds of time may be no fool at all. Craven. Such powers he bears, yet he neglects to use them. Perchance he will do as I bid. Though he speaks of resistance, I see he as one who may be compelled."
"Salazar, no!" the Doctor wasn't scared; yet he did sound desperate. Normally he could talk to people, reason with them enough to either convince them to stop, or kill him. One of the two would be nice around now: yet neither applied to Slytherin. The parselmouth was utterly indifferent, uncaring.
"He durst resist," At this, Slytherin turned; and now his sunken eyes glared at the Doctor. Unblinking, unfeeling. It was hard to believe that he was human; yet, unmistakably, he was. Perhaps that was the worst thing. "It is sooth then. he is but a fool. All men break, even Lords."
The dark wizard lifted his wand; flicked it. Once. Instantly, the murky, tinged green stone of the chamber seemed to ripple; distort. The Doctor blinked, shivering beneath his magical manacles; and gasping as he felt them release. Falling forwards, the Time Lord hit the cold floor; and peering up, he froze.
Slytherin had gone. Now the Doctor lay alone in the surprisingly small chamber, the pocket dimension. Well, not the same dimension, at a guess: for a human of his time, Slytherin had discovered a remarkable amount of dimensional physics. It must have helped being able to examine and part them with magic: at present, the Doctor lay a tiny dimensional hop away from Salazar.
So, now he was alone. The Doctor stood, looked around; there wasn't much to see. Just four small, ancient walls, a floor and a ceiling. Slytherin must have managed to banish him here with magic; the same (or at least a similar) way that the Doctor had entered the first bubble dimension. Now however, the sonic would be useful. The Chamber of Secrets was Salazar's own place, and apparently where he'd built in the entrance and exit to this dimension. Here however, this tiny bubble-prison, the Doctor had been shuffled along to it, and could only be taken back on Slytherin's whim.
Well, the Time Lord reflected, that could have gone better. Sighing, he sat down, rested his back against the cool stone. And waited. And waited. Time seemed to pass unbearably slowly.
Stagnancy. The silence was perhaps the worst thing; no dripping of water, no distant murmur, no inexplicable scraping. Just silence. Empty silence. The Doctor closed his eyes, softly leaning back against the wall. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale.
Every now and again, he tried something; unsheathed the sonic and tried to stimulate the dimensional rip, buzzing, exploring the room with that small green light. Nothing. he was trapped, as he suspected; utterly trapped. Slumping, the Doctor collapsed against the wall of the inescapable room.
Nothing to do but wait. And wait; more and more. Waiting. Waiting. Seemingly eternal waiting. The Doctor might've screamed if it'd do any good. Seconds may have past, or minutes, or hours. Maybe a day or a year. No way to tell: he room was the same, and his alienation from normal time meant he barely felt any different.
He was alone too. That fought with the silence for being the worst. Not only was there no one there; but even the TARDIS was struggling to connect to his mind. Aside from the void he felt in that corner of his mind, Salazar's speech also emphasized that fact. Normally, even archaisms would be translated: yet now, a dimension away from time and the TARDIS, a dimension from the real world, the translators struggled to work. They made a somewhat valiant effort; but struggled. The TARDIS shouldn't be struggling. Maybe she was trying to get through; but to break the barriers between dimensions, especially a magical dimension such as this, one that ran counter to the laws in the normal world, it would hardly be easy.
Alone, surrounded by seemingly infinite silence, the Doctor could but wait. And think; though even thought soon became dry and meaningless. Why had Salazar forced him here? That was obvious, from his last words. To break him. Slytherin didn't have to do anything. Just wait in his own bubble until the Doctor next crossed his mind, and then call him back; and due to the loss of any real time in these pocket dimensions, he could be called back years from now.
He didn't age. Didn't eat or need to, didn't drink or need to. He didn't even sleep: he couldn't. This could be an eternal prison. There was just the waiting; and the worry. Had he been forgotten about? Would it be seconds or years until he was called back to Slytherin? Would he ever be called back?
He didn't know how long he was there. Maybe it was years. The lack of any marks, or any sign of weathering; the lack of time, in a sense, it was impossible to tell.
Then the air rippled; the stone distorted. Relieved, breathless, the Doctor stood up, just steadying himself as Salazar Slytherin again came into view. How much time had passed for the dark wizard? Evidently, very little. Those deep-set eyes still looked the same. Examining, indifferent.
"Hath he discovered troth?" Salazar mused, murmuring to himself once more; cold, unfeeling. "Doth he wish to abide for days more? Shall it be years then, before he obeys?"
"Don't," the Doctor reached out a hand, breathing heavily. "Just, don't. I just want to talk; or, if I have to, stop you."
In all honesty, the Doctor dreaded it. Salazar had left behind crude means of torture: from what he'd seen, it would be well within the wizard's power to make that dimension burn with agony, leave him in perpetual excruciation. Yet, instead, he left the Doctor with nothing. just void: and that, perhaps, was worse. You couldn't fight nothing. Pain gave you something to resist, gave you an enemy: pain could clean your mind, pain you could eventually adapt to. And he could handle pain. Such emptiness however; it was more than boredom. It was isolation, perhaps days, weeks, months, centuries of isolation. Inescapable.
"Ah, I am once more astonied," Salazar's cold voice once more sounded: "He durst threaten. He can not fight and nor can he kill. What moonshine is this? Perchance he desires the ability," Slytherin raised his wand; and drew a pale blue line in the air.
The magical line shimmered for a moment; before shrinking, coalescing, until it seemed tangible: still glowing. It formed a shape; pointed, the size of Salazar's fore-arm; slowly, the light dimmed. It was a blade; oddly crude technology for such a place. Chipped, imperfect, the sharp edge appearing like jade. A emerald rested in the silver hilt. Slytherin levitated it through the air, slow: and forced the Doctor's arm up with a charm forced his fingers open.
The Time Lord's fingers were forced to close around the cool hilt of the blade. The charm binding him had long since been rescinded: Salazar forced him forwards with a silent charm.
"If he wishes to kill, then let him," Salazar now smiled; striking lip curling upwards, eerie. "Does this Lord believe himself capable? May he look me in the eyes and kill me? Is he powerful, or craven? May I descry method to madness, does he belie power? I challenge him to end my life. I challenge this Lord to take my life."
The Doctor was forced into position by Slytherin's magic: he froze a step from the dark wizard, his arm raised, gripping the blade, holding it against Salazar's heart. And then the magic compelling him left; he stayed in position. Force prevented him moving back; there was no such limitation on moving forwards. A little force, a few centimetres, and the conjured knife would pierce the Founder's chest.
Salazar Slytherin met the Doctor's eyes. Glaring, unremitting. It was one of the few times Slytherin had acknowledged the Doctor's presence; and yet now, he did not speak. Those sunken eyes stared; urging the Doctor. Insofar as they expressed any emotion, they expressed loathing. In his eyes, the Doctor was weak for being unwilling to kill.
Perhaps he underestimated the Doctor: but perhaps not. He gambled everything, for fun: because to him, it was not a gamble. he had gauged the Doctor perfectly, and knew the Time Lord's unwillingness to kill in such a fashion. So he gave the Doctor a knife, held it to his own heart; and trapped the Doctor with magic. He could move only one way; could only move the blade forwards. Into Salazar's heart.
Slytherin didn't need to say anything, didn't need to mock. This wasn't for the purposes of mocking; this was for something between fun and curiosity.
The Doctor could not bring himself to do it. And he wasn't ashamed: Salazar appeared to be trying to make him so, but the Doctor was proud. He wouldn't, no matter how hard Slytherin forced him. Perhaps he'd even spend time in that empty hell the dark wizard had concocted. Resolute, the Doctor gripped the hilt of that silver blade, palm covering the emerald. He. Would. Not.
Perhaps almost a minute ticked past. And then, resisting he somewhat weaker magic barrier that Salazar had raised, the Doctor stepped back. He stepped away from the Parselmouth, moving through the spell as if it were treacle: and he dropped the weapon. It clanged once as it hit the cold stone floor; and dissipated like mist in the wind.
"Ah, it is sooth then," Salazar murmured coldly, indifferent to the Doctor. It was as he had expected; he'd put his life on the line, knowing he'd be safe. The Doctor shivered suddenly, frowning; something in his mind tingled. He felt as much as saw Slytherin meet his eyes; the dark wizard's eyes glared, almost ablaze. Perhaps, for the first time, he spoke directly to the Doctor: "Coward."
And the Doctor grinned. The Founder didn't blink, didn't flinch, didn't frown: his eyes continued to glare. The Doctor wished he could guess what was going through that indifferent mind.
"I'm a coward?" the Doctor tilted his head; now openly smiling. He met Slytherin's gaze with ease. "You sure I'm not just 'craven' now?" Slytherin frowned: to his ears, it sounded as if the Doctor had repeated himself. "TARDIS translators, handy little things," the Doctor tapped the side of his head, grinning. Slytherin did not understand, yet the wizard did not show it: "Don't just work on languages, they're pretty handy with archaisms too. Most of the time. Sentence structure, odd phrasing, yeah, but you hardly ever hear a 'thee' or a 'thou'. Lovely, small little things. And you called me a coward; you didn't say I was craven. And if I'm a coward, then that means your lingo's hopped forward several years. It's not like you Salazar, to just start using a whole different lexis."
The Doctor withdrew his sonic screwdriver, twirling it in his hand; pointing it at the dark wizard like a wand, clicking it once. A momentary green light; Slytherin, too distracted by the Doctor, didn't notice the magical screens flicker.
"Ah, the fool babbles," Salazar hissed, turning once more. he casually flicked his wand back; pinning the Doctor to the stone wall. The Time Lord still grinned. he sonic screwdriver, dropped, rolled abandoned along the stone floor.
"'Babbling' now? That's new too! The TARDIS is connected to your little bubble, whether you want it to be or not. And that gives me so many more options. I could just lie here, listen to you ramble on, and watch you rewind and send Tom more allies," the Doctor nodded at the magical screen: it had settled on one more race. Cybernetic humans; metallic, impassive faces, teardrop eyes. "Cybermen next, is it? Like they're going to listen to you. But anyway, I'm just going to warn you one more time. Listen to me; don't do it Salazar."
Slytherin paid no attention. He turned back, examined the magical screens. Then, ignoring the Doctor's plea, flicked his wand once more.
The whole room was illuminated in a sudden light; for less than a second, yet there light was unmistakably there. A light brimming with magic and information, crackling with energy; and it rushed upwards, to the distant sky, a dimension away. The Doctor's face fell; yet he did not seem afraid.
"Sorry Salazar," the Doctor had just enough time to say. And then the room began to shake.
It wasn't a minor tremor; it was like an earthquake. More than an earthquake. The walls themselves shuddered, the whole dimension shook, as if held in the paw of some titanic beast. A crack ran through one wall; and the wall was blown away. Beyond it, there was just another room, the exact same. The walls continued to crack, shatter, dissolve: nothing new appeared however. Just more and more of the same. The chamber grew, larger and larger, expanding to accommodate something, it seemed: the spell holding the Doctor back vanished, as Salazar focused his attention on protecting his bubble. The magical screens flickered away; the image of the impassive Cyberman vanished.
"What have you done?" Slytherin demanded, at long last speaking to the Doctor: those sunken eyes glared. The Doctor didn't smile; he met Salazar's gaze, unflinching. Dark, sad, resigned.
"I did nothing. When I sonicked? that was just a signal. I was giving you a helping hand, that's all. The TARDIS got the message, and amplified the signal: that Cyberman ship? It's coming, just like you wanted. Oh, it's coming: but they managed to read one more little thing from your message. Did your message include some variation of the Imperius curse? Well, that was left behind, they didn't get that, sorry," the Doctor winced; an almost guilty look. "They did get one other thing though: just one. Coordinates."
If it were possible, Slytherin's face paled; more so than it was. For the first time, the Parselmouth acknowledged the Doctor, referring directly to him, responding directly to his actions. He still displayed no emotion, not openly; yet was that a twinge of fear?
"They found the source of the transmission," the Doctor continued: a shrug. "You wanted the Cybermen, you've got them. They're coming here. Right here. Well, almost," the Doctor winced again, yet this time it was not comic. It was resolute, unforgiving: "Of course, they don't have the technology to move into a bubble dimension. But the TARDIS does," around them, the continually expanding chamber, the air began to shimmer. "Right now, she's opened a portal right into this dimension, right up in space where the Cybermen can see it: and they can detect the transmission coming through. And, you see Salazar, they're a bit like you. They think they're better than everyone else because of a little more power. You believe in Pure-Blood supremacy: they believe in Cyber-supremacy. And you must've been watching them a while before deciding to call them, you know what they're like."
The shimmering air around them began to solidify: shapes in the light. Metallic shapes. Transporting down through dimensions, bound to take a little longer. But still breaking through.
"I'm sorry, Salazar," the Doctor murmured, kneeling down to pick up the sonic. Slytherin seemed too aghast to speak. "But I tried to warn you. You did this," the Doctor's voice was oddly dark. Unsympathetic, even: if that were possible. "You were surprised that I didn't kill you. It's because I don't want to, I try not to. What's the point in murder? Take you, you could have been so wonderful. The students in your House, some of them, they're geniuses. You, you're a genius. Creating a little pocket outside of time; now that, that is impressive. If I'd killed you outright, the world would have lost a marvellous mind. I didn't want that: but when I have no choice..." the Doctor's voice trailed off.
The Cybermen at last solidified, the light condensing into their sleek, clean metal bodies. They brought their fists back against their chests: a resounding clang. And then they turned; Salazar was the first person they saw, the source of the transmission which, for want of a better word, offended the Cybermen.
You will become like us.
"I'm sorry, Salazar," the Doctor murmured, once. A pair of Cybermen appeared either side of him; faced him. Extended their hands, aiming their weapons, firing-
It took them less than a second to fire: but the Doctor had already clicked his screwdriver. He'd planned that way out for so long: the sonic was keyed to the frequency of the dimension's entrance and exit. Turning it on, he'd slipped through a ripple, leaving Slytherin's pocket dimension behind and falling, sprawling, to the stone floor of the Chamber of Secrets.
The Doctor stood quickly, turned, and ran.
Half a minute later, and he'd barrelled through the TARDIS doors. Amy and Rory stood from where they'd been sitting, just inside, in surprise: the Doctor ignored them. Instead, he ran to the TARDIS console, pulling a few levers, hitting a few buttons, occasionally just generally whacking the console; until the portal was deactivated, closed down.
Time hadn't changed; Salazar hadn't been able to manage that. Not quite, though he might've if the Cybermen hadn't arrived unexpectedly. And now he was trapped in that eternal chamber of his. With the Cybermen. The Doctor winced, shuddering at the thought of that fate: before stepping sideways, peering into the scanner: it showed the Earth once more. The Cybermen ship.
It was departing. Not equipped for an invasion, it decided not to stay. It might be back, some day; but that day was far from now. The source of the transmission had been neutralized, and several 'inconsequential' Cybermen had been lost. For them, that was the problem solved.
If only things for him could be so simple. The Doctor sighed.
"Well, that's that," the Doctor clapped his hands, smiling and stepping back: Amy and Rory stood up, frowning at him. the TARDIS lights dimmed, the Doctor sighed. "Well, mostly. Opened a dimensional portal, that's a drain on the poor thing," he tapped the console fondly. "Still, sounds like you two could do with a holiday, a day or two in Hogwarts," he shrugged; "I guess term time's over anyway. And you, Rory," he turned to Amy's husband, staring, almost accusing: "Try not to die, ok?"
"Um, I'll definitely try," Rory responded, hesitant, slightly caught off guard.
Nodding smartly, the Doctor smiled; and stepped outside the TARDIS. With just a quick, cursory glance around, he satisfied himself that the burning had been extinguished. Then, smiling, hands in his pockets, he went out to wander around the castle. Shrugging, amused, Amy and Rory followed.
Soon, they were in the courtyard, where wizards and witches roamed. the younger years were returning, satisfied it was now safe; McGonagall as Acting headmistress (and possibly soon-to-be permanent headmistress) helped order things, waving her wand, doing a remarkable job of keeping things under control. The time travellers smiled across at her.
"Hey," Neville walked up to the trio, almost shy. He looked up; "My Gran wants to meet you guys. To thank you. I don't suppose you do being thanked, do you?"
"Not normally," the Doctor confessed, "Still," he was smiling, "I think we can make an exception. So long as she doesn't slap me. Where is she?"
As Neville lead the way across to a tough-looking elderly woman, more and more students continued to enter Hogwarts school. The year wasn't over, though it was unlikely that they'd get any lessons in. Everyone was buzzing: the gossips were already starting, elder years making up grand, dramatic tales of the parts they'd played in the fight, mostly entirely fictionalized. Others constructed ghost stories, naming staircases or rooms cursed by the Death Eaters as they fought. In the girls' bathroom on one floor, a tap leaked.
Who knew what adventures awaited Amy, Rory and the Doctor tomorrow? For today, they could but wait on Earth, wait in the castle and on the world they'd saved. Maybe stories would be told; at least, told in the wizarding world. Rumours, tales, myths, legends. The eccentric man and his two companions, telling of how they'd defended and saved Hogwarts school. Or perhaps they'd be forgotten, fade into obscurity. Who could say what the future held?
For now, however, they were content. What more was there to wish for?
Moonshine: nonsense, in the sense of fantasy-like ideas.
Rantipole: wild, roving. Romping or rude.
Serf: peasant, but used to refer to slaves/servants
Belie: give a false impression
Anyway, that's it for the story! Whew, been a long one...
Hopefully you enjoyed it, including the final confrontation. I know Salazar's voice was inconsistent in era, that was intentional, just to say. And hopefully it wasn't an anticlimax, I wanted someone who you'd know, but who gave me a little bit of freedom with characterization. Um, if you enjoyed the story, let me know!
And yep, well, that's all folks! The real final chapter, world saved, etc etc. Hopefully suitably dramatic. Thanks for reading!