OR Five Digs The Doctor Ruined For River Song, What She Did About It, And How Sonic Screwdrivers Were Involved
Fandom: Doctor Who / Harry Potter Series
Characters / Pairing: Tenth Doctor, River Song, cast of Harry Potter
Summary: Adventures at Hogwarts!
Author's Notes: Written for the lovely kingcreevey for the winning bid at help_haiti. More parts will be forthcoming! Sorry for the long delay!
Part One. Part Two.
I'm sorry my love.
The Doctor was struggling to understand what, exactly, made Colin Creevey so important.
Sure, he seemed like a bright enough boy, but he certainly wasn't anything spectacular. Any conversation he tried to have with the four other students they were walking with ended up related to photography or something nonsensical, like chocolate frogs. Even though he had a lot of enthusiasm, something the Doctor generally appreciated, he couldn't seem to reign it in and make his ideas remotely presentable. Maybe he had a lot of growing up to do between now and when the Doctor met him back in London.
"Why would he want to see us right now?" River asked the woman leading them.
"He's talked about this before," the woman, a very scary Scottish woman in black robes, said.
"Not to me he hasn't," River snapped.
"I'm sure there's a reason for that," the Very Scary Scottish Woman said.
The Doctor was also struggling to understand what, exactly, made River Song so utterly interesting to him.
She'd spent the entire walk back badgering him with questions he couldn't possibly answer about things he hadn't done with her yet. She was as clever as any companion he'd traveled with, but sometimes she could just be so stubborn. If the Doctor took Mel's intellect and dropped it in a blender with Nyssa's smugness and Tegan's stubbornness, he might get something resembling River Song. Maybe. From the glares she was shooting him over her shoulder, whatever blend it was needed to be served very cold.
"So where're we going, then?" the Doctor asked.
"Hogwarts," the young man with the scar on his head said. "It's up ahead."
"You can't say you've never heard of Hogwarts," the frizzy-haired girl spoke up. "Everyone's heard of it."
"Well, not me," the Doctor said. He turned around and began walking backwards so he could look at the five students with them. Three boys and two girls, each looking like they were very used to being summoned at a moment's notice to this Hogwarts place. The red-haired girl gave him a flirtatious smile which made the Doctor feel more than a little awkward. She was, after all, no older than fifteen and reminded him more of Jenny than he wanted to admit.
"Muggles can't see Hogwarts until we've reached the grounds," the Very Scary Scottish Woman said.
"He's a muggle?" the red-haired boy said, sounding positively astonished.
"Muggle, what's a muggle?" the Doctor asked.
"What you are, Sweetie," River said. She reached back and slapped his arm. "Walk correctly!"
He snorted at the chastising, but did as he was told. The students behind him giggled at this, which only made the Doctor feel more sour towards his archeological not-companion.
"You know what I think? You know what I think?" Colin said, all but bouncing as he approached the Doctor.
"What?" the Doctor asked as politely as he could.
"I think that Hogwarts is the best school in the world," Colin said.
The Doctor raised an eyebrow at him. "Uh-huh. Funny that I've never heard of it."
"I know! It's funny, right?" Colin agreed enthusiastically.
"Where is this school?" the Doctor asked. Ahead of them was a line of trees and a lake, but nothing else as far as he could see. No people, either. It made the hair on the back of the Doctor's neck stand up. Which, well, either meant it was going to rain or there was something very big that he was missing.
"Right there," Colin said, unhelpfully. "You know what I think?"
"No, but I have a funny feeling you're about to tell me," he replied.
"I think that---"
"That's enough, Colin," the Very Scary Scottish Woman snapped. The student silenced and went back with his peers. The Doctor decided he liked the Very Scary Scottish Woman, if for no other reason than the fact that she positively despised River Song. River was charismatic, he remembered, and his first worry was that when this "fellow teacher" of hers arrived in the middle of their argument, he would be immediately imprisoned or questioned or some such nonsense. The Very Scary Scottish Woman, instead, appeared more put out with River than anything else. So, yes, she was in the Doctor's good book.
Well, that and she silenced Colin, whom the Doctor didn't fancy all that much, either.
He sighed. "So where is this place?"
As he turned, they must have crossed some sort of perception barrier, because a huge castle that had not been there moments before appeared around him. It was impossibly high and impossibly old-looking, with various towers sitting precariously on various buildings with a variety of black-robe-clad students wandering about, looking at the group warily.
"Must be one hell of a power source keeping that perception filter in place," he said, surprised.
"No, it's just because you're thick," River replied, tartly.
"I'm thick?" the Doctor snapped.
"I'm so very glad you can admit it."
"Professor Song," the Very Scary Scottish Woman snapped, her voice like ice. "While I am aware you are unable to refrain from your typical behavior in the presence of your students and fellow faculty, I would appreciate it if you would at least restrain yourself for the duration of right now."
"Or else what?" River replied. The obvious distaste in her voice for the Very Scary Scottish Woman made the Doctor like her even more.
"Or else I may be forced to act in an atypical fashion," she replied calmly.
The door opened for her as she led the way into the castle. It was, by all accounts, a very nice castle. Big drafty hallways, lots of cracked stone flooring, and even the occasional ancient-looking tapestry. All it needed, the Doctor supposed, were a couple of kooky ghosts and the place would be pretty much perfect.
"So who're we meeting, exactly?" the Doctor asked, reaching out to touch one of the holographic paintings that appeared to move when he passed it.
"Headmaster Dumbledore," the Very Scary Scottish Woman said.
"Right, and he is…?"
The same exasperated look used on River a moment ago was now turned on the Doctor. He decided that maybe he didn't fancy the Very Scary Scottish Woman as much as he thought he did.
"Anticipating us. Potter, he needs to speak with you first."
Harry was the first to be led into Dumbledore's office. It was better this way, he supposed, since the Doctor and Professor Song argued more than Ron and Hermione on free-study Sunday. Ron had quietly asked if they'd suddenly met Professor Song's long lost husband, but he was quickly silenced by his sister, who was far too interested in the Doctor's trousers than Harry would've liked.
Dumbledore was standing near his desk when Harry was led in, staring at a photograph and smiling at it. It was a happily nostalgic look, something that Harry didn't often see on Dumbledore's face. Oh, Dumbledore could be nostalgic, and Dumbledore could be happy, but it was never something he saw together, not really.
"Ah, Harry," Dumbledore said, putting the photograph down. "Good of you to come."
"What's going on, Professor?" he asked. "Ron, Hermione and me---"
"Were all in the tavern when the Doctor arrived, yes," Dumbledore said. "These are trying times, Harry, but when the Doctor makes himself known, they're even more trying."
"Is he dangerous?" Harry asked.
"Oh, very," Dumbledore replied, though his voice didn't give off any inclination that he was afraid. But that was Dumbledore, wasn't it? He was too strong to be afraid of anything dangerous.
"Professor Song seems to know him, she thinks he's an impostor," Harry said.
"Oh, that's very River," Dumbledore said, shaking his head. "But she'll learn as we all do about the Doctor."
That didn't make any sense to Harry, but, as with most things his Headmaster said, he accepted it. "So we should stop him?"
"Oh, absolutely not," Dumbledore said. "In fact, Harry, I need you and your friends to help him."
"Help him?" Harry asked.
Dumbledore circled his desk, cautiously straightening a few things in an almost nervous manner. "The Doctor is a muggle, Harry, but he's a very important muggle. The whole world out there needs him. And right now, Hogwarts is going to need him, too."
That didn't make sense to Harry. Muggles were good people, yes, but they always needed the wizards' help, not the other way around. "What do we need him for?"
"I can't tell you that, Harry," Dumbledore said. Whether it was because of the consequences of that or because Dumbledore didn't know, Harry couldn't tell.
"How do you know?" Harry asked, cautiously.
Dumbledore stepped over to the nearby table and picked up a small necklace with an hourglass embedded in the center. Harry had thought all of the time turners were destroyed back at the Ministry of Magic, but he shouldn't have been too surprised, he decided, finding that Dumbledore still had one.
"Remember what we discussed about time travel?" Dumbledore asked.
"It's dangerous in the wrong hands," Harry said with a nod. "I remember."
Dumbledore offered the turner to Harry. "He doesn't need this for it to be in his hands." The magical item was placed carefully into Harry's palm, and Harry looked at it and then at his Headmaster curiously.
"What do I need this for?" he asked.
Dumbledore smiled. "Spoilers, Harry," he said, giving him a wink. "Let's just say it's all a matter of timing."
He turned away, raised his wand up to his beard and if Harry wasn't mistaken, he thought he heard Dumbledore mutter a smooth hair spell.
"Minerva! Show them in!"