Disclaimer: Nothing related to Doctor Who or the Harry Potter Series is mine. I swear. I wish I owned them, cuz then I might have a bit more money, but I don't.
Warnings: Book Two of Three (Main books anyway). Swearing. Sarcasm. I have only watched the new series, no knowledge of early Doctor Who. EWE, kind of...
Dedication: To the Writers and Producers of Doctor Who, thank you for giving me something else to obsess over, now that Harry Potter is long gone. And to the lovely people who encourage me to continue writing in their reviews. To the lovely people who encouraged me to post the next chunk
Book 2: Stories of A Shop Girl
Summary: A Death too soon. A woman who steps up to save the world.
Rating: Dark T
A/N: Alright everyone, unlike the last book, this one is separated into three parts. I have part one complete, and that's as far as I'm publishing until the next part is done, and so on.
A/N 2: So, the first part of the book is Nineth Doctor centric, with brief glimpses of the Eleventh Doctor, and memories of the Tenth.
A/N 3: And I have never lost a child before, I have no idea what it is like. Please don't flame me.
Part 1: Just a Replacement?
Chapter 1: A False Rose
"I'm the Doctor, by the way. What's your name?"
I'd waited almost 18 months for him to say that. 18 months of waiting, pretending to be a dead girl. 18 months, and all I wanted was to tell him my name, my real name, be able to tell someone.
But I can't.
There are a few reasons. For one, telling him something else would create a paradox and possibly destroy the whole world. For another, he doesn't know me yet. He's never met me. The only reason why he took me along was to be able to take her along. Rose Tyler.
Because no matter what I look like, I was never going to be Rose Tyler.
My name is Hermione Jean Granger. My school mates called me 'Mione, a midget giant called me Hermy, and he called me Mia. So many names, but the one that I have to give, the one that has to be said is none of them.
So I say what I have to, "Rose."
"Nice to meet you Rose. Run for your life." And there was the crazy grin, the grin I would recognize anywhere.
I turn, tears in my eyes, and run. And while I run, I think about how I came to be here.
Last the Doctor saw of me, and last I saw of him, he'd been staring at me, and I'd been dissolving into time and space. He was confused, and I promised to find him again, to explain everything to him. And then I ended up somewhere in London.
With a quick charm, I was able to determine what year it was (2004). It was then that BB felt something. A pull. Something was happening that should never have happened. I apparated, following the feeling to a street corner.
It was the middle of the night, the neighbourhood was horrible, and there was a girl lying under a street lamp, bleeding out. I ran towards her, and began examining her. Peroxide blonde, and just about dead. I run to a door, and tell the people to call the police, someone was stabbed.
The police rolled up, and I got questioned. Did I know her? Why was I here? Who was I? It wasn't until one of the other officers came by and whispered something in the man's ear that I knew why BB had pulled me there.
After the other officer left, the man turned to me and asked, "Do you know the name Rose Tyler?" I shake my head, and can barely breath.
He turns to get up. I stop him.
"Is she going to be alright?" I ask, looking at the man. He frowns.
"I'm sorry, she was announced DOA." I fight not to cry. The officer comes close and rubs my back. "It's okay, there was nothing you could have done."
But it wasn't that I'd been too late. It was that she was never supposed to die. She was supposed to live, and thrive, and end up in an alternate universe. None of which she could do dead.
Jackie Tyler, Rose's mother wanted to have a word with me that night. She asked if I'd like to go get some tea, and offered her place given the late hour. Which is how I came to be sitting in her living room.
"I'm sorry about the mess. I was going to get..." She stops, and I can predict the words that she was going to say next. She seems more in shock than anything else. "Anyway, I'll get you that tea."
"Thank you." I said, sitting down on the couch. She came in with the tea a few minutes later.
"I'm sorry, it's just hard to believe she's gone. I keep expecting to hear her voice as she comes in." Jackie looks close to tears.
I sympathize. "I lost my parents a few years ago. I can't imagine what you're going through, with the loss of your daughter." Jackie goes, and busies herself in the kitchen, not wanting to be caught crying. I glance around the room, looking for something to do, anything other than wait for Jackie to come back when I see it.
It shouldn't be here. It shouldn't even be anywhere near this time or place. But it was for some reason. My cauldron from 1913, still bubbling with the last of my polyjuice potion. And then I had an idea. A crazy horrible idea, that might actually work and keep the timelines from imploding.
"I know when I lost my parents, I'd give anything to get them back." I comment, staring at the potion. "Jackie, I'd like to offer you something." Jackie comes in, confused.
"What do you mean, offer me something?"
I sigh, knowing no good way of putting this. "I want to offer you the change to get your daughter back."
"What?! How dare you?! Who the hell do you think you are!?" Jackie exploded, snarling at me.
I sigh. "I'm a time-travelling witch who knows what your daughter does in the future." Jackie seems to deflate.
"Jackie, I know how crazy that sounds. I know how crazy I sound. But I ask for five minutes and your daughter's hairbrush." I give Jackie a pleading look. "Five minutes, and the hair brush. If you still think I'm completely out of my mind, you can kick me out, and I'll go on my merry way." Jackie looks at me, closes her eyes and looks about ready to cry.
"Alright, you've got five minutes." Jackie said, getting up and going down the hall into a room we'd passed. She comes back out, holding the hair brush, and I take it from her, I empty my cup of the tea, and scoop my potion into it. Jackie's eyes widen when she sees the potion. I drop one of the hairs from the hairbrush into the potion and pause for a moment.
"I'm going to change into your daughter. I'll still have all her memories, I swear, you can ask me anything you want." I said, before downing the potion. Instantly it hit, and I felt everything start stretching and contracting. It took almost two minutes, and when I looked at Jackie, she was sobbing.
"Oh, Rose!" She cried, and wrapped her arms around me. I held her tight, a mixture of trying to make her feel better and the natural instinct of Rose Tyler now in my brain. Oh dear, this was interesting. It took Jackie a few minutes to recover from sobbing. "Alright, I believe you. But why Rose? Why is she so important?"
And so I explained. Rose would meet an alien called the Doctor, who looked completely human, and she would save his life.
And then Jackie decided to ask what was going to happen.
"Well, I was hoping to pretend to be your daughter until he comes around. You have Rose's burial in secret, don't tell anyone, and I just step in."
Jackie looks at me. "I keep forgetting she's dead. You look exactly like her."
"I wish there was another way Jackie, I really do. I don't want to put you through this. It's horrible that I'm even asking you, but I have to, because otherwise this whole universe goes up in smoke. And that would be horrible."
Jackie looks away. "I'll do it. For Rose."
Since then, Jackie and I had gotten along fairly well. It was strange, suddenly having a mother after being an orphan for more than a century, but I got along. Jackie sometimes stopped talking to me a moment, and I knew she was remembering the real Rose Tyler.
We got on, and we continued with out lives. Until, one day, after work, I was attacked by manikins. And a man grabbed my hand, looked into my eyes, and said "Run."
He wasn't the same man, and I honestly didn't think he was really the Doctor at first. But it was the eyes, and the smile that made me believe. And a glimpse of the TARDIS.
Running again felt good on my (technically Rose's) legs. I ended up back at the flat, in which Jackie greeted me tearfully.
"It's alright Jackie, I'm fine." I said, patting her on the back. She nodded and went to go get cleaned up, while I sat on the couch.
Jackie runs around the room, talking on the phone, when Mickey enters. Putting on the front of being Rose again, I go to greet him, but he gets pissy.
"I've been phoning your mobile. You could've been dead. It's on the news and everythin'. I can't believe that your shop went up!" I roll my eyes.
"I'm alright, honestly, I'm fine! Don't make a fuss." He flops down on the couch next to me.
"Well, what happened?"
I sigh. Obviously I can't tell him about the plastic men and the Doctor, so I settle for an old stand by. "I don't know."
"What was it though? What caused it?" I sigh.
"I wasn't in the shop. I was outside. I didn't see anything."
Jackie interrupts us, telling me about an interview.
"Oh, that's brilliant! Give it here." I say, and she passes the phone to me. I end the call, handing it back.
Jackie glares. "Well, you've got to find some way of making money. Your job's kaput and I'm not bailing you out." The telephone rings again, and Jackie's back to yacking on the phone. Mickey offers a drink down at the pub, but I know that trick. Ron used that trick.
"There's a match on, ain't there."
Mickey blinks. "That's not the point, but we could catch the last five minutes."
I sigh. "Go on, then. I'm fine, really. Go." I comment. He notices a fake arm. "Get rid of that." We kiss, and Mickey takes the arm, waving goodbye.
I wake up the usual time, glancing at the clock. I fall back into bed as Jackie yells, "There's no point in getting up, sweetheart. You've got no job to go to."
After crawling out of bed and getting in a shower, I'm sitting having tea at the small dinning table. Jackie's throwing out suggestions on where to work, and I'm turning down all of them.
There's something at the door, and I check to see what it was. I glance down, to see the cat flap waving a little.
Because I'm too close to the door, I yell "Mum, you're such a liar. I told you to nail that cat flap down. We're going to get strays."
Jackie protests. "I did that weeks back!"
"No, you thought about it." I crouch down and see the screws lying on the floor. The flap moves and I jump. I slowly open it the other way, only to be met with blue eyes. I growl, get up and open the door. The Doctor! Or maybe not...
"What're you doing here?" For a second, I thought he recognized me.
"I live here."
The Doctor frowned. "Well, what do you do that for?" I sigh. Definitely not the way I wanted to be recognized.
"Because I do. I'm only at home because someone blew up my job." I hiss the last bit.
He looks at his sonic screwdriver and frowns. "I mustta got the wrong signal. You're not plastic are you?" He raps on my head. "No, bonehead. Bye then." I frown, grabbing his arm.
"You. Inside. Right now!"
Jackie stops us, and I try to explain who it was. He stops, talks to her for a few minutes.
"Don't mind the mess. Do you want a coffee?"
"Might as well, thanks. Just milk."
I get started making the coffee, and talking. "We should go to the police. Seriously. Both of us." He's rummaging around in the room, muttering to himself. "I'm not blaming you, even if it was just some sort of joke went wrong." Out of the corner of my eye, I see him flip through a paperback. "They said on the news they found a body."
He glances at himself in the mirror, and looks in shock. I frown. Maybe he just regenerated? Or something. "All the same, he was nice. Nice bloke. Anyway, if we are going to the police, I want to know what I'm saying." I grab the mugs, and head into the living room. "I want you to explain everything." I see him, standing with the cards fluttering around him. I sigh. "Oh, I forgot your milk." I run into the kitchen and he calls after me.
"What's that, then? You got a cat?"
I frown. "No. We did have, but now they're just strays. They come in off the estate." I walk back in with the milk to see him pretending to be strangled by the plastic arm I got Mickey to throw away last night. "I told Mickey to chuck that out. You're all the same. Give a man a plastic hand. Anyway, I don't even know your name. Doctor, what was it?" I turn to him. I still have doubts about him being who he says he is, but I just want to be certain.
He's still pretending to struggle with the arm, only to pull it off. It hovers for a second, before going after me. I hold it back, reflexes still good even though it's been eighteen months. He takes the sonic to it, and it stops.
"It's alright, I've stopped it. There you go, you see? Armless." He gives me a smile.
I smile back, before taking the arm. "Do you think?" I whack him with it.
"Ow!" He takes it back, tries to say a quick goodbye and walks off.
"Hold on a minute! You can't just go swanning off!" I follow him down the stairs.
"Yes I can. Here I am. This is me, swanning off. See you." I glare at him.
"But that arm was moving. It tried to kill me."
"Ten out of ten for observation."
I groan. "You can't just walk away. That's not fair. You've got to tell me what's going on."
He stops, and I almost run into him. "No, I don't."
We end up on the outside of the building. "Alright, then." I try to bluff. "I'll go to the police. I'll tell everyone. You said, if I did that, I'd get people killed. So, your choice. Tell me, or I'll start talking."
He turns and looks at me. "Is that supposed to sound tough?" Damn.
I sigh, he's walking off again. "Who are you?"
"Told you. The Doctor."
"Yeah, but Doctor what?"
"Just the Doctor." I inwardly smile and do a dance.
"The Doctor?" I ask, pretending to go along with the introduction.
I laugh. "Is that supposed to sound impressive?"
"Sort of." He grins at me.
"Come on, then. You can tell me. I've seen enough. Are you the police?"
I knew the answer to that one. "No, I was just passing through. I'm a long way from home."
"But what have I done wrong? How come those plastic things keep coming after me?"
He turns back to me. "Oh, suddenly the Earth revolves around you. You were just an accident. You got in the way, that's all."
"It tried to kill me." I sound angry, rather than upset. His words hurt a little.
"It was after me, not you. Last night, in the shop, I was there, you blundered in, almost ruined the whole thing. This morning, I was tracking it down, it was tracking me down. The only reason it fixed on you is 'cos you've met me." I grit my teeth together, a wholly Hermione trait.
"So, what you're saying is, the entire world revolves around you."
"Sort of, yeah."
"You're full of it."
"Sort of, yeah."
"But all this plastic stuff. Who else knows about it?" Subtly asking if he's got any companions...
"What, you're on your own?"
"Well, who else is there? I mean, you lot, all you do is eat chips, go to bed, and watch telly, while all the time, underneath you, there's a war going on." And at that moment, all I want to do is slap him.
I sigh. "Okay. Start from the beginning. I mean, if we're going to go with the living plastic, and I don't even believe that, but if we do, how do we kill it?"
"The thing controlling it projects life into the arm. I cut off the signal, dead."
"So that's radio control?"
"Thought control." I blink, not liking that. He notices, "Are you alright?"
"Yeah. So, who's controlling it then?"
"Long story." I sigh.
"But what's it all for? I mean, shop window dummies, what's that about? Is someone trying to take over Britain's shops?"
"It's not a price war." He said grinning. He turns serious. "They want to overthrow the human race and destroy you. Do you believe me?"
It took him by surprise. "Really?"
"Really. Doctor, tell me, who are you?"
"Do you know like we were saying about the Earth revolving? It's like when you were a kid. The first time they tell you the world's turning and you just can't quite believe it because everything looks like it's standing still." He pauses looking at me. "I can feel it. The turn of the Earth. The ground beneath our feet is hurtling round the sun at sixty seven thousand miles an hour, and I can feel it." He grabs my hand. "We're falling through space, you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world, and if we let go." He drops my hand. "That's who I am. Now, forget me, Rose Tyler. Go home." He walks away, towards the TARDIS. I sigh.
"It's damn near impossible to forget you, you arse." I mutter, turning around.
I end up going to Mickey's who seems a little off, but I ignore it. We go out for pizza.
"Hell if I know what I'm going to do Mickey." I comment, looking at the menu.
"So, where did you meet this Doctor?" I blink. I hadn't mentioned the Doctor to him.
"I'm sorry, wasn't I talking about me for a second?"
Mickey continues on, oblivious to what I just said. "Because I reckon it started back at the shop, am I right? Was he something to do with that?"
I frown. "No."
I sigh, frowning. "Sort of." I doubt that second that this is really Mickey. I play along anyway.
"What was he going there?"
I look at him. "I'm not going on about it, Mickey. Really, I'm not, because I know it sounds daft, but I don't think it's safe. I think he's dangerous."
Mickey twitches a bit. A waiter comes up, offering champagne.
"We didn't order any." I wave him away, concerned for Mickey.
I glance up, and see the Doctor. Mickey glances up too. "Ah. Gotcha."
The Doctor shakes the bottle, and points it at Mickey. "Don't mind me. I'm just toasting the happy couple. On the house!" He opens the bottle and the cork goes flying into Mickey's forehead. Who apparently is plastic.
"Anyway." Mickey says, getting up. His hand turns into a chopping block. I am tempted to scream. The Doctor wrestles with him a moment before pulling off his head. The rest of the customers flee, screaming. I roll my eyes. I run to the fire alarm and pull it.
"Everyone out, now!" I yell. The Doctor grabs my hand and we run through the kitchen and out the back door, where the TARDIS is parked. The Doctor jogs over to the TARDIS. I follow him.
Rose would say something like "You can't hide inside a wooden box!"
And then I get in. The TARDIS somehow recognizes me instantly, and I feel her mental presence in my brain.
"It's going to follow us!" I yell.
"The assembled hoards of Genghis Khan couldn't get through that door, and believe me they've tried. Now, shut up a minute." The Doctor talks a mile a minute, and I barely understand a word he's saying, he's talking so fast. "Right. Where do you want to start?"
I sigh. "It's beautiful." His eyebrows go up. Apparently that was different. The ship purrs, and I smile.
"Nothing like, it's bigger on the inside?"
I shake my head. "That's kind of dumb to say, stating the obvious. Given that, I'd say it's either future tech, or alien. Given that, you're either from the future or an alien."
He blinks. "Or both."
I nod. "Or both." I glance to the console. "Your head's melting." He frowns hands going to his face, before realizing what I meant.
"No, no, no, no, no!" He's starts the TARDIS, and I grab on to something out of habit.
"What are you doing?" I yell.
He doesn't glance back. "Following the signal. It's fading. Wait a minute. I've got it. No, no, no, no, no! Almost there, almost there. Here we go."
He runs to the doors, past me and I follow.
"I lost the signal. I got so close."
I sigh. "I'm going to have to tell his mother. And my mother." He gives me a blank look. "About Mickey. He's probably dead, and you've forgotten him!"
"Look if I did forget some kid called Mickey-"
I cut him off, furious. "Yeah, he's not a kid!"
"It's because I'm trying to save the life of every stupid ape blundering on top of this planet, alright?"
I sigh. "Alright."
"Yes, it is."
"If you are an alien, how comes you sound like you're from the North?"
"Lots of planets have a north."
"And this living plastic, what's it got against us?"
The Doctor frowned. "Nothing. It loves you. You've got such a good planet. Lots of smoke and oil, plenty of toxins and dioxins in the air, perfect. Just what the Nestene Consciousness needs. It's food stock was destroyed in the war, all its protein plants rotted, so Earth, dinner!"
I roll my eyes at his dramatics. "Anyway of stopping it?"
"Anti-plastic." He said, holding a vial of blue liquid.
"Anti-plastic. But first I've got to find it. How can you hide something like that in a big city this small?"
I sigh, he was jumping ahead of himself. "Hold on. Hide what?"
"The transmitter. The Consciousness is controlling every single piece of plastic, so it needs a transmitter to boost the signal."
"What's it look like?"
"Like a transmitter. Round and massive, slap bang in the middle of London. A huge circular metal structure like a dish, like a wheel. Radial. Close to where we're standing. Must be completely invisible."
I look and see the London Eye. I give him a look. He looks behind him. "What?" He turns back to me. We repeat this process until he realizes what I am staring at. "Oh. Fantastic!"
We run over the Westminster Bridge, and he stops me.
"Think of it, plastic all over the world, every artificial thing waiting to come alive. The shop window dummies, the phones, the wires, the cables."
I can't help but continue: "Breast Implants." He shoots me a dirty look. I grin.
"Still, we've found the transmitter. The Consciousness must be somewhere underneath." I begin scanning the area, looking for a manhole or something. Spotting it, I point it out to the Doctor, who agrees. We go down the hole, and into sewers (which is fairly common when working with the Doctor).
We end up going down the stairs and I see a large vat. The Nestene Consciousness.
The Doctor confirms my suspicions.
"So, then, do we talk to it? Ask it to leave?" I ask, and the Doctor nods. He walks further down the stairs, and begins talking to the vat.
"I seek audience with the Nestene Consciousness under peaceful contract according to convention 15 of the Shadow Proclamation."
The vat makes a series of sounds, and the TARDIS translates it for me. "Allowed."
"Thank you. If I might have permission to approach?"
"You may." I look down and spot a familiar head.
"Oh, God! Mickey!" I yell, running down past the Doctor. Mickey seems to be in shock. I'd check, but with the potion running through my system, I had no access to my magic.
"That thing down there, the liquid. Rose, it can talk!" Mickey said, eyes wide.
I roll my eyes. The Doctor continued until he was level with the vat of living plastic. "Am I addressing the Consciousness?"
"Thank you. If I might observe, you infiltrated this civilization by means of warp shunt technology. So, may I suggest, with the greatest respect, that you shunt off?" I groan at his pun. I pick Mickey up and lead him towards where I knew the TARDIS was.
"It is my constitutional right to be here."
The Doctor growled. "Oh, don't give me that. It's an invasion, plain and simple. Don't talk to me a bout constitutional rights."
"How dare you-"
"I am talking!" The Doctor yelled over the living plastic. "This planet is just starting. These stupid little people have only just learnt how to walk, but they're capable of so much more. I'm asking you on their behalf. Please, just go."
I glance down, to see two shop dummies coming up behind the Doctor. "Doctor!" I tried calling, but it was too late. They got him. One held him, while the other pulled out the vial of anti-plastic.
"That was just insurance. I wasn't going to use it."
"You were going to attack!"
"I was not attacking you. I'm here to help!"
"I'm not your enemy. I swear I'm not."
"Is this not your ship?"
A door slides beside us and the TARDIS comes into view. "Yes, that's my ship."
"Then it is your fault that my planet is gone."
"That's not true."
"The Time Lords could have saved it."
"That's not true. I should know, I was there. I fought in the war. It wasn't my fault. I couldn't save your world! I couldn't save any of them."
Generators started sounding and I yelled down to the Doctor. "What's it doing?"
He looks up at me. "It's the TARDIS! The Nestene's identified its superior technology. It's terrified. It's going to the final phase. It's starting the invasion! Get out, Rose! Just leg it now!"
I frown. Like that was ever going to happen. He may not be my Doctor, but he still needs help. I glance around the room, looking for assets. My eyes land on a chain and I grin. Perfect.
Doing a fair impersonation of Tarzan, I swing from the chain into the plastic dummy holding the anti-plastic. He falls backwards, and I grab the anti-plastic at the last second. The Doctor throws the other dummy off him.
After landing in a roll, I walk up to the Nestene Consciousness. "Alright Mister. I know I can't understand you, but I bet you understand me. Now you have two options. You leave Earth, or I use the anti-plastic. Got it?" I call.
"Human girl. You think you can tell me what to do!" I turn to the Doctor, pretending not to have understood.
"I doubt he said anything friendly..." I comment. I turn back to the living plastic. "Make your choice now, because all your dummies are gone, and the only thing that is stopping me from pouring this vial into you is the fact that you haven't answered yet." With that, the Consciousness disappeared. I sigh, and am about ready to collapse.
He leads Mickey and me back into the TARDIS, because as the Consciousness left, some form of self destruct started. Mickey stands their gaping, and the Doctor runs to the console. A few minutes later, we were landed and Mickey runs out and tries to hide behind a pallet of some form.
I sigh and walk over to him. "Fat lot of good you were."
The Doctor comes and leans on the TARDIS doors. "Nestene Consciousness? Easy."
I laugh at him. "You were useless in there. You'd be dead if it wasn't for me." I smile. He wasn't yet my Doctor, but I knew, then and there, he still was the Doctor.
The next words out of his mouth surprised me. "Yes, I would. Thank you." I stop, staring at him. "Right then, I'll be off, unless, er, I don't know, you could come with me. This box isn't just a London hopper, you know. It goes anywhere in the universe, free of charge."
Mickey pipes up. "Don't. He's an alien. He's a thing."
The Doctor glances down at him. "He's not invited. What do you think? You could stay here, fill your life with work and food and sleep, or you could go anywhere."
And really, when I think back on this day, however long in the future, I know that I would have said yes if he invited me. It just made me want to say it more. But there were things I had to ask, that I hadn't thought to ask before.
"Is it always this dangerous?"
I knew the answer to that one, but I felt I should ask it, even if it was two and a half years too late. "Can I stop at home and pick up a few things, tell my mom where I'm going?" He sighs.
"Yeah." I grin.
"Then, yes." I tear myself away from Mickey, and run into the TARDIS.
He looks at me. "Alright then, where's home?"
"You've already seen it, silly." I grin. He nods, and the TARDIS does her version of magic. When we land, I get out, glancing around to see that the apartment was empty. "Be back in a few minutes." He nods, and I run to Rose's room.
I pick up my still transfigured beaded bag/purse, and slip it into an old backpack. I then slip six months worth of vials into the bag, as well as my cauldron, and all the ingredients I would need to make more. I slip in enough clothes to make it seem normal, and to not break the potions, and I zipped the bag up. I run to the dinning room, and write Jackie a quick note:
Like I told you, Rose Tyler would find the Doctor, and so I have found him. I promise to visit, and possibly see if I can call.
And with that and a weight to keep it in place, I put it on the table, and ran back into the TARDIS.