Doctor Who, Special Series; Episode 1: The Missing Piece
A/N: In my defence, I moved into the dorm this Thursday and my life's been a bit hectic. The new (new) plan is to update something over the weekend, whether it's this, or Serpent's Tears. Either way, here you go!
To give them their due, this really was not their job. They were Aurors, the best of the best, the wizarding equivalent to the British Special Air Service. They weren't gaolers, or Healers, used to dragging comatose bodies hither and yon at the beck and call of a man they didn't vote for. They weren't trained to monitor their prisoners for anything other than consciousness and danger-level. Still, all of that did not save them their jobs when it was discovered the next morning that a man whose soul had been eaten by a dementor had somehow escaped.
Propping the body up against a wall, Auror Wiggins looked at Auror Smith – one of five Auror Smiths, actually, this one being Jack Smith. "You wanna check him or should I?"
This, at least, was standard operating procedure. At the end of every raid, the Auror team stripped the bodies to check for spare wands, magical artefacts, or Muggle explosives. It was Auror tradition to then keep the confiscated items, as no one who went to Azkaban with a life sentence would ever care about 10 sickles change again.
Smith shrugged. "Go ahead. We're splitting the gain, though." He leaned back against the opposite wall, tucking his wand under his arm and pulling out a cigarette. "You think Mad-eye'll recover? Nine months in a trunk, honestly."
Wiggins began going through the massive trench-coat. "Not our job to speculate." Of the pair, he was the more staid, rule-bound one. Not a citation on the record in ten years on the force. He wasn't sure he approved of Minister Fudge's pre-emptive ruling on the removal of what-had-been Barty Crouch's soul, but so long as Fudge was his minister, he would obey. Pulling out a sneakoscope, he chucked it at his partner. "I've got five of the things, you can have that."
Turning the sneakoscope over, Smith groaned. "You're a rule-bound prat, you know that?"
"Auror Captain," Wiggins shot back, pulling out a pocket watch from the coat. "Hold on, what's this?" He flipped it around, occasionally holding it by the long chain, occasionally flat in the palm of his hand. "That's odd." He held it up to his ear. "Not ticking." Opening it, he continued flipping it around. "Fascinating design, even if it is broken," he told his partner.
Smith grunted. "You're keeping it, I gather?"
Wiggins clicked it open and closed several times, finally leaving it open to better inspect the design on the inside of the casing. "Yep. Could fetch a pretty penny if I market it right. Or, if it starts working, the missus has been asking about a watch for young Henry."
Neither of them noticed the golden motes swirling out of the watch and into the body on the wall. They weren't supposed to.
"Don't just stand there," Smith protested, "keep on looking."
Wiggins glared at him. "You wanna do this? Didn't think so. We're not on schedule right now. Doesn't matter how long we take."
Propped against the wall, the body took in a deep shuddering breath.
Smith frowned. "Do they normally do that?" He had never been stationed on Azkaban, focusing instead on bodyguard duty.
Wiggins turned and stared. "No," he said slowly, "no, they don't."
The body opened its eyes.
"Before you ask," Wiggins said, a tick starting in one eye, "they don't do that either."
Smith took a deep breath. "Right, so the dementor didn't finish the job. Okay, but no big deal, we just go track down the stupid thing and do it properly."
The body – they couldn't call it a body any longer and pretend that it was dead – the convict, that was better – the convict shoved itself off the wall and promptly fell over.
Wiggins shook his head, drawing his wand. "No. I saw it. I saw his soul. I saw the dementor eat his soul! Little –" He stumbled over the word. "Little – like flecks of stuff came off him. This – what's happening!"
The convict seemed content to ignore them. Trembling a bit, it stood up, blinking, and leaned against the wall for support. Mouthing words to itself, it ran a hand over its face and then through its hair. Suddenly it looked up sharply. "This is new," it croaked. "Never resurrected in the same body before."
Smith only barely forced down a scream. This wasn't happening. This couldn't be happening. Soulless bodies just didn't do this. It wasn't possible.
Wiggins, older with more experience, said, "I demand that you surrender, sir. You are under arrest by order of the Minister of Magic and you will submit to our authority."
The convict looked him in the eyes, head cocked slightly. "No," it said, savouring the word. Its eyes flicked downward rapidly, and then back up to meet Wiggins'. Head lolling back on its neck, it said, "That's my watch."
Taking a step backward in spite of himself, Wiggins swallowed. "You, sir, are under arrest! I demand that you surrender!" The convict was mentally dead! It couldn't be doing this! Wiggins was unpleasantly reminded of Inferni.
Blinking, the convict forced its head back into an upright position. "No." It stepped forward towards Wiggins, wobbling significantly. "And I want my watch back. I need that watch. It's a – it's a – a very important thing."
Trembling, Wiggins levelled his wand, all the blood gone from his face. "Surrender! Now! Or I will resort to force!"
The convict's head flopped sideways. "No, you won't."
A vein throbbed in Wiggins' temple. "I – I – I'm warning you!"
Bringing its head upright, but swaying slightly, the convict stepped forward. "You won't attack me. Neither will your companion." It wobbled, leaning on Wiggins' shoulder for support. Wiggins tried to step away, to no great success. "You know why?" The convict grabbed the tip of Wiggins' wand. "I won't let you." It grinned, staring shakily into Wiggins' eyes.
"Stupefy!" Smith shouted, wand pointed at the convict.
Far too fast, the convict spun, placing Wiggins in the way of the spell. "See?" the convict said, still smiling. "You can't hurt me. I win."
Smith trembled, forcing his wand back up. "I – I am an Auror! You can't do this!"
The convict dropped Wiggins, letting him fall to the floor. Still noticeably shaky, it walked up to Smith. "Yes. Yes, I can, Auror." Without any discernible effort, it jerked Smith's wand out of his hands. "You made a mistake," it said, head flopping backward again, "in letting your partner open my watch. You really shouldn't have done that. You see," it dropped the wand on the floor, "before, I was nothing. Now," the grin spread, "I am the Doctor."
With that, the convict grabbed Smith's head, shoving something at his mind. Smith collapsed to the floor, unconscious.