A/N: This is it! The chapter many have been asking for (and truth be told, the whole reason I started writing this story!) Warning: blatant copying from official sources ahead!

Chapter 22

The Doctor reached his next class, Defense Against the Dark Arts, the same time Professor Lupin did. "Running a bit late, aren't you, John?" asked Lupin.

"Not late if I arrive before the professor," the Doctor joked, and darted in front of him and into the room.

Lupin chuckled slightly and followed. John Smith was casually walking towards an empty desk, seemingly oblivious to the completely obvious stares from his classmates. Lupin cleared his throat as he walked to his desk. All attention shifted from John to himself. "Good afternoon. Would you please put all your books back in your bags. Today's will be a practical lesson. You will only need your wands." A few students traded looks. John, for his part, shrugged and stopped looking in his bag for his book. Lupin glanced around the room; everyone seemed ready. "Right then. If you'd follow me."

As the professor led them along a corridor, a few students tried to start a conversation with the Doctor. They did not get the chance, though, as they rounded a corner and were presented with the sight of Peeves stuffing a lock full of gum.

The Doctor had not yet had the dubious honor of meeting Peeves yet, (though Jack was already swearing vengeance and trying to sway the Doctor to his cause) so he stared in unabashed curiosity at the brightly colored spirit. The poltergeist was more interested in Professor Lupin than he was in the Doctor though and promptly broke into song: "Loony, loopy Lupin, loony, loopy Lupin, loony, loopy Lupin—"

"I'd take that gum out of the keyhole if I were you, Peeves," Lupin responded, apparently used to this sort of abuse from Peeves. "Mr. Filch won't be able to get in to his brooms." Peeves blew a raspberry and continued shoving gum into the lock.

The Doctor hid a grin. Despite Jack's dire warnings, he felt he could grow to like the troublemaker. Lupin sighed. "This is a useful little spell," he told the class. "Please watch closely: Waddiwasi!" he shouted. The gum shot out of the keyhole and up Peeves' nose. The Doctor snorted in amusement.

Eventually, the class reached their destination: the staffroom. Snape was inside. After the class had filed in, Lupin started to close the door. "Leave it open, Lupin. I'd rather not witness this." He strode past the class. As he passed by the students, his eyes fell upon the Doctor. A ghost of a smile crossed his face, and he almost seemed to change his mind about leaving, but then he noticed Longbottom. A sneer replaced the almost smile immediately. "Possibly no one's warned you, Lupin, but this class contains Neville Longbottom. I would advise you not to entrust him with anything difficult. Not unless Miss Granger is hissing instruction in his ear."

The Doctor's mouth dropped open in fury, fully intending to shout his disappointment at Snape (what was that delightfully descriptive Earth saying? Tear him a new one?) when a hand snaked around and clamped down on his mouth. "Don't say anything," a voice hissed in his ear. "Snape likes you for some reason. Don't mess it up. Whatever you think of him, keep it to yourself." The Doctor twisted around to look at his advisor and found himself staring straight into Hermione Granger's throat. Backing up and looking up slightly found her eyes.

His mouth opened again to retort, but Lupin had gotten rid of Snape and was starting the lecture. He was standing next to a wobbling wardrobe. "Nothing to worry about," he said. "There's a boggart in there."

Hermione immediately turned away from the Doctor and started taking notes on a scrap of parchment. The Doctor huffed quietly. Between his recent experiences with Snape, his long, boring, sleepless nights, and his dizzy spells, he was spoiling for a fight, one he had been about to pick with Hermione. Perhaps it was for the best that she had been distracted: she did not deserve his wrath; she had only been trying to help. This did not make it any less frustrating.

As the Doctor stewed in his frustration and anger, Professor Lupin continued lecturing. He was not entirely certain the first-year-cum-third-year was paying attention, but when he had the class practice Riddikulus, John followed along perfectly. Lupin sighed internally, hoping his choice on Monday to move the boy up had been correct. He continued to coach Neville and the rest of the class through boggart fighting. "I would like all of you to take a moment now to think of the thing that scares you most, and imagine how you might force it to look comical…"

John Smith looked up sharply and met Lupin's eyes. The boy's eyes skittered away almost immediately apparently lost in thought. Lupin was reminded of his reasoning to move him up: the boy definitely had inner demons. Coming up against a boggart might actually help him start to work through them, whatever they were. At the very least, it would give Lupin some insight into his psyche.

The Doctor wracked his brain. What scared him the most? Daleks? Cybermen? No and no. They were terrifying, but not insurmountable. Confidence was the key to them. His greatest fear would be something more personal. A memory flashed by: Rose, falling into the void. He shuddered. Yes, he decided: companions becoming lost. That was his greatest fear.

How to counter losing a companion? It could not be comical, but happy would work just as well. The Doctor remembered Rose running to him after the Daleks had moved the Earth. He recalled Donna, in her brightest moment: the Doctor Donna. Older memories surfaced. There was Adric, not as he died, trapped on a doomed spaceship, but alive and cleverly outwitting even the most foul of the Doctor's enemies. And Romana was not truly lost, was she? No, she had made her choice and left to accomplish great things in Z-space. By the time he ran through all his memories, he was grinning.

Lupin noticed the change. John was no longer scowling at the floor. He was smiling contentedly. It was time to get things started then. "Everyone ready?" he asked. "Neville, we're going to back away: let you have a clear field, all right? I'll call the next person forward… Everyone back, now, so Neville can get a clear shot—" The class shuffled back and lined up against the wall. "On the count of three, Neville. One—two—three—now!"

Neville performed well, forcing boggart-Snape into a dress. Lupin started calling students forward. He had already decided Harry would not go up; the idea of Voldemort being created by the boggart was too risky. And John would be last…

Ron's boggart-spider flopped in front of Harry. "John! Take it!" Lupin shouted. John stepped forward quickly and confidently, distracting the boggart from Harry.


The boggart turned into a tall man, with spiky brown hair, wearing what looked like an orange space suit. John blinked. "No, but… you weren't supposed to appear," he muttered.

"There are laws," the man said, facing the room at large. "There are laws of time. Once upon a time there were people in charge of those laws but they died." The man could have been giving a hurried lecture to the class, but his voice suddenly cracked, changing from a lecture to a sob. "They all died. Do you know who that leaves? Me! It's taken me all these years to realize that the laws of time are mine and they will obey me!" A feverish shine appeared in his eye and a half crazed grin on his lips. "We're fighting time itself… and I'm gonna win!" he snarled.

John made no move to cast Ridikulus and instead stood, staring in shock at the figure. Lupin started to move forward to distract the boggart, but it started speaking again, and he stopped, unsure of what to do: most boggarts did not speak, and when they did, it was never presented as a speech. For all he knew, cutting it off mid-speech could do more harm than good. "For a long time now, I thought I was just a survivor, but I'm not. I'm the winner. That's who I am. A Time Lord victorious." The half crazed grin vanished, becoming something else, something more serious and more sinister. He turned to face John directly and held out a hand.

Lupin started forward again. Somewhere, there was a booming noise, almost as if someone was knocking on a very large door. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

"NO!" screamed John suddenly, cutting off a fourth boom. "You are wrong! You are SO wrong! RIDIKULUS!" he thundered. There was the sharp crack of a boggart being forced into a different form. It was followed by a loud blast of a gun being fired, and suddenly, the boggart was an older woman, dead from a gunshot to the head. John let out a cry and fell heavily to his knees.

Lupin leapt between John and the boggart. Whatever was going on, it ended here. The body disappeared and became his standard boggart: a full moon. He dealt with it and then directed Neville to finish it off. "Well done, everyone," he said. He addressed the class, but kept glancing worriedly at John, who was only now shakily getting to his feet. "Uh, five points to Gryffindor for every person to tackle the boggart—ten for Neville because he did it twice… and five each to Hermione and Harry."

"But I didn't do anything," protested Harry.

"You and Hermione answered my questions correctly at the start of class, Harry. Now, everyone, for homework, please read the chapter on boggarts and summarize it for me. It's due on Monday. Now please, exeunt." He waved them to the door. As everyone started to file out, he caught John's eye.

The Doctor nodded. Of course the professor wanted him to stay. He tried to marshal his thoughts into order, but there were too many errant thoughts. Of course truly becoming 'Time Lord Victorious' was his greatest fear (was that what was meant by his song ending?). He was so scared of it that even the possibility of it happening was shielded and wrapped up in his mind to the point that he had not even considered it. When suddenly faced with it, all the shielding protecting him had shattered. Even worse than that though, he had no plan. There was no way to make it funny or clever. All he could do was make it go away. Lupin would want an explanation. The rest of the class had left the room, and he opened his mouth, ready to spout whatever nonsense explanation he had.

Then he was hit by another tidal wave of dizziness…

A/N: Hee hee... cliff hanger :P Hope you enjoyed! Please fav/follow/review!