Walk In Eternity
Chapter Three:First Impressions
Disclaimer: I do NOT, and sadly probably never will, own Harry Potter, Torchwood or Doctor Who, nor am I profiting in any way shape or form from this entirely fictional story involving the characters in the aforementioned Book/Series. Thank you.
Summary: Even after the War with Voldemort was over and done with, everyone had lost, everything Harry knew and loved had been destroyed and so he resorts to a very complicated and dangerous bit of magic in order to save the world. He goes back in time, trying to prevent the whole War from ever happening. Of course, after everything is done and over with, he is still stuck in the past with no way back and who should he meet there but a certain Captain Jack Harkness?
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18th January 1941 – London
After their battle in Cardiff, Harry's squadron had made it back to London for some time off – a couple days of leave, which might not be much but for tired soldiers, it was a blessing. It really wasn't surprising to find most of them – along with just about any other soldier on leave – at a bar. There was music, there were women and there was alcohol and Harry had long since come to understand that, where there were at least two out of these three, there would be men looking for a good time as well.
Personally, he was there mostly for the drinks.
He was drinking – a nice, amber-colored liquid he could almost pretend was firewhiskey, if he didn't know better – and chatting with his men, all of them roaring in laughter at just about every joke. They were trying to live, all of them, live and laugh and love while they could, because they had all already seen what waited out there, outside the comfortable bubble of pretended safety, and they wanted to forget.
Harry wished them all good luck, even if he knew that, those who did survive would probably carry the scars of this war for the rest of their lives. He knew he would.
He noticed his glass had somehow been emptied – and it might be possible that it was him who emptied it, because he had probably drank enough not to notice when he drank more – and decided to remedy that as soon as possible.
He was already at the bar, having just ordered another whiskey, when he remembered his current lack of funds. It really wasn't that he didn't have any money – he did have a little bit of it stashed away for emergencies – it was simply that he knew better than to take it all with him to a bar. Gods above knew that once he got into a sulking mood he could really drink his weight in liquor – which really wasn't all that much, if you considered the fact that he'd always been, and now would probably always be, a bit too much on the lean side – and no good ever came of having a drunk, sulking wizard loose in the middle of a war.
"Ah…" He started awkwardly as the ordered drink was placed in front of him.
It must have been a bit too obvious what kind of predicament he was in because it took about five seconds for a crumpled note to suddenly drop right next to the glass. Harry blinked and then looked up.
There was a man there – another soldier of course, hardly anyone else went out at night these days – smiling the single most charming smile Harry had ever seen on a man. He blinked again.
"I'll get that for you." The man said, still smiling like a bloody model on one of those gossip magazines Harry knew his aunt Petunia secretly read. It was a nice smile though, so he answered with one of his own.
"Thank you." He said sincerely and just slightly embarrassed at having to have someone else pay for his booze.
The man's smile became wider and his light blue eyes shone with something a bit like cheerfulness but not as they traveled down and then back up Harry's form, measuring him. It would have made almost anyone uncomfortable, but Harry had really been though way too much real discomfort to be undone by some man staring oddly at him.
"It's my pleasure." The blue-eyed man practically purred at the end. Harry actually raised an eyebrow in amazed curiosity…Was he being hit on? He really wasn't sure because it did sound a lot like it, but he'd so far never even heard of one bloke hitting on another one in this bloody time period. Good luck he wasn't from this time then, or he might have been a bit too lost.
Now what to do about the flirty soldier? At that point, it might have been the whiskey talking, but Harry figured there was no harm in flirting back. It felt a bit like playing with fire and he had always been a bit of a thrill-seeker.
"Thanks." He said, his expression going from a sheepish grin to an 'I might be interested' smile. He made a point of returning the earlier measuring stare with one of his own, purposefully checking out the charming stranger with slightly mischievous eyes. To be honest, it made him feel young again, which was always nice. "Harrison Evans, pleased to meet you." He made sure to add an extra bit of huskiness to his tone then, and was rewarded with an even wider charming grin.
The man offered his hand, blue eyes firmly set on Harry's green ones as he proceeded to introduce himself. "Captain Jack Harkness, pleasure's all mutual…I guarantee it." He said, but Harry didn't hear the obvious innuendo or even the words after the name.
Instantly, whatever haze had been brought about by the alcohol he'd been consuming most of the night vanished, his eyes cleared of any and all flirtation as they narrowed on the other man, who was understandably taken by surprise at the sudden hostile looks he was now getting from his might-have-been-something.
"No, you're not." The wizard said, his attention entirely focused on the man as he tried to conceal a wince before becoming the very picture of innocence, all wide-eyed confusion and polite smiles.
"I'm not sure what you're talking about but I assure you…" Harry didn't let him finish. He grabbed the man by his – probably stolen – coat and forcefully dragged him to a corner of the room. To be perfectly fair, the man's distinct lack of struggling was probably a key factor in Harry, with his smaller build, being able to do so.
"I know Captain Jack Harkness, he's a friend, and you're not him."
He could see it the moment the man decided to give up the pretense, something in his eyes seemed to harden, suddenly losing the false innocence and charm. And Harry knew then that he would have to be careful now, because he'd – literally – cornered this man and Harry knew well enough that cornered men often reacted as cornered animals, if the situation was dire enough. Oh, it wasn't like the man could kill him or anything, but he would really much rather avoid a bar fight that would most likely end with an official reprimand…he hated official things of just about every kind, reprimands were about at the top of his list.
The man, fortunately, didn't start throwing punches…yet.
"Look…" The stranger started, his voice lacking all hints of flirtation now. "I'm not trying to hurt you or anyone else, I just want to get out of this place, alright? Now, I'm not sure how much you've had tonight but obviously…" But whatever the false Captain was going to say – and Harry had the suspicion that it would be something that would only anger him further – it got lost in the ear-piercing sound of an air raid siren.
Instantly, every single occupant of the bar tensed. The siren was something most of them heard in their nightmares, and no one had the slightest desire of hearing it in the waking world as well. Still, duty and all that.
Harry let go of the man-who-wasn't-Jack-Harkness, his attention now completely taken by the sound coming from the outside. It took him all of three seconds to start making his way to the front door. He was the first to do so, but soon enough others had joined him, running out of the building and into the streets, some directing frightened civilians to the nearest shelter, some running back to their posts and some simply bracing themselves for what they knew was to come.
The bombs fell.
They whistled through the air and then shattered stone, wood and bone, anything in the path of their explosion. Debris rained down alongside the bombs, covering anyone still outside with dust and ashes and blood. It was chaos, terrible and frightening, and just the kind of thing Harry was used to.
Oh, he didn't thrive in it – far from it, he absolutely hated it – but he was used to it, nonetheless. He'd been born during a war and then fought in another during most of his teen years and straight into his adult life, and then of course he'd gone and got himself involved in bloody World War Two. Sometimes he was masochistic like that.
"I need help here!" He shouted out, his voice most likely unheard amidst the sounds of the hellish night, but he had to try at least. Without waiting for response or aid, which he wasn't sure would come anyways, he ran to a partially demolished building, part of which he'd just seen fall on fleeing people. They might be dead already, but they might not be, and that possibility was enough to warrant an attempted rescue by Harry's books – not like he was risking his life for them, after all.
He started to move pieces of wood, stone and glass away, using part of a broken wooden beam as makeshift shovel to at least try to keep his hand in one piece this time – the doctor back at base had a thing or two to say about Harry's disregard for his health. The sudden appearance of another wooden-beam-made-shovel startled him for a moment, but it was the sight of the blue-eyed man from the bar, using said beam to help dig out either survivors or bodies, that really took him by surprise.
He had thought the impersonator would have made his escape the second Harry left. Apparently he wasn't as good judge of character as he'd thought. He offered the man a single nod of acknowledgement, and perhaps gratitude as well, and kept on working.
The bombing lasted all of fifteen minutes, if that, but it made for a long, dark night; the wounded were many, the dead just slightly less. Digging people out of the rubble – as Harry had chosen to be his job for the night – was hard and exhausting work, usually rewarded with another dead body to add to an ever-growing pile followed by another hill of rubble to work on. Every once in a while – not often, not often at all, but some rare and precious times – he was also rewarded with relieved eyes looking back at him, an alive if hurt person who might have died if he hadn't been there.
Harry lived for moment like those, for some little reminder that he might still be of some good for someone in the world, that his continued – forced – existence could mean something.
They worked all through the night, together. 'Jack' – he had no other name to call him and no desire to refer to him as 'hey you!' – had insisted several times that Harry should rest before he dropped dead of exhaustion. 'Jack' didn't know any better, of course, and Harry didn't listen, of course.
By the time dawn was breaking and most of the emergency work had been done, Harry did feel like he was about to drop dead, and he and 'Jack' stumbled together – leaning on each other even though the other was just as tired and unstable on his feet as themselves – to the nearest barracks where they proceeded to throw themselves into what might have been a bed and promptly fall into deep, though obviously troubled, sleep.
Sometimes the greatest friendships are those forged during the worst of times.
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Author's Notes: Congratulations to those of you who guessed that last chapter Harry actually met the original, 20th Century native, Captain Jack Harkness; and now he's finally met our other dear Captain Jack. I thought about making this chapter a bit longer, to be honest, but then I realized that Harry and Jack actually, properly introducing themselves to the other would have to have some humor and it just didn't match with the mood in this chapter so we'll leave that for the next one, eh?
A great bit thank you to all the lovely people who take the time to review, I love reading said reviews and they make my day better, so please keep them coming!