Disclaimer: Nothing that might be recognized from JRRowling's books or the Doctor Who serie is mine. I know this story starts nearly completly like the crossover "Reach for the Stars" of .Xanda but I've got her permission to write this. I really liked the way she began her story and I hope this version is worth something too.
He looked up and locked eyes with a pair of the greenest eyes he had ever seen. They looked like the purest emeralds, and he would know, he had seen emeralds.
"Hello." he replied, noticing that the emeralds belonged to a child. A child with a mop of dark black hair that seemed to defy gravity with the way it stuck up in every direction.
"You're sad." the child stated, with all the bluntness children are known to have.
"What makes you say that?" he asked the small child. It had been lifetimes ago since he had interacted with a child. He didn't remember how to talk to them, though he was almost sure that it wasn't the way he was doing it.
"Your eyes." he replied.
"What happens with them?"
"They are old, and sad."
Smart, brilliant child. He smiled.
The little boy seemed to study him for a few moments, those incredibly green eyes never leaving him, and then he nodded to himself. A determined look appeared on his little face.
He put his hand in his pocket and took out a small globe. It wasn't more than five centimetres wide.
"Here." the child said, handing him the globe.
He took it and saw that there was a small galaxy floating around inside the globe.
"It's for you." the small boy said and he looked up, his surprise showing, "When I'm alone and feel lonely and sad I always look at the stars. They are always there, they make me less sad. So if you have the stars always with you then maybe you'll be less sad too." the child explained, smiling shyly.
"Boy!" the shout broke the peaceful air around them and the boy looked around, a frightened look appearing in his eyes.
The child threw him a last smile, a whispered goodbye left his lips and then he was running.
He kept staring at the place the boy had been for a few moments, then he glanced at the sphere still in his hand and a small, soft smile appeared on his lips.
And that is how The Doctor met Harry Potter, the boy who gave him the stars.
They met again.
On the same date, exactly one year later, they met on a bench in the playground of Surrey. Well, it had been one year for little Harry, though a mere few months for The Doctor.
He hadn't really meant to meet the child again; however he talked himself into it. It was rude after all not to thank someone when they gave you a gift. However, as was often the case, he overshot the date by a whole year.
He took a seat on the bench beside the boy. He was a little taller, but still far smaller than many boys his age.
"You know, I never thanked you for giving me those stars." he remarked, as if it hadn't been a year since the child had seen him. He was half expecting for the child not to remember him, but something told him that the boy would.
Those green eyes, more shadowed than the last time he had seen them, looked at him.
"Did it work?" came the soft question and he blinked.
Such a truly brilliant child.
"Yes." he replied honestly.
It had worked, although probably not in the way the boy had meant it. That globe had reminded the Doctor of the stars that that he himself loved so much and had made him travel again.
"Then you're welcome." the boy smiled softly.
"Freak, we're going home." A big and fat boy shouted making the child sigh.
"Goodbye." he whispered softly and the next moment he was gone, lost in the midst of the other children running and playing.
Another year passed, at least for the little child, and they met yet again.
"So, I was thinking," The Doctor started as soon as he sat on the bench beside the little boy, "You gave me your stars, which means that you have none when you feel sad or lonely. That doesn't sound like it's particularly fair, does it?"
The child smiled at him, his eyes far older than they should be but still just as green.
"It isn't about it being fair." the child told him, "It's about it being right. I thought you needed them, so I gave them to you. Not because it was fair; it was the right thing to do."
Really, he had to wonder how such a small boy managed to give him hope, to bring back the faith that he seemed to be losing. Not even his companions could do that. Rose did her best, but she was far more in love with the idea of him than with him. He liked her, he could even fall in love with her, but knowing that she would never truly love him hurt far too much to risk getting closer.
But this child, with his shy smiles, his shadowed, but so very green eyes, his goodness, gave him hope. Even after all that he had lived through, he couldn't understand it.
He smiled at the boy and got a slightly brighter smile in return.
The child looked at the clock across the playground and sighed. He got up, whispered goodbye and left yet again.
"I think I'm a rather fair person," The Doctor said as soon as he sat down, gaining the green eyed boy's attention who smiled at him, "Though I understand doing the right thing too." he continued the conversation as if another year hadn't passed. "So I believe that what I'm about to do is both fair and right." he took a small box out of his pocket and gave it to the boy.
Almost as if he were afraid of touching it the child took it. He stared at it for a moment, looking completely lost, and both his hearts broke a little. Had no person ever given him a gift?
"Well, go on... open it." he encouraged.
With trembling hands the child did.
Inside was a necklace and dangling from it was a leaf with a white star engraved. What the child didn't know was that the whole necklace was actually made from a dead star. He had gone there specifically to collect the cooling metals for it to be crafted.
"Now you too will always have a star with you." he smiled, "Let me put it on you." he also didn't mention that those despicable people he lived with wouldn't be able to see it. Perception filters were such handy things.
Big beautiful green eyes looked back at him while he closed the pendant around his neck. They were filled with tears but the child didn't let them fall.
He seemed to bring himself together and pulled him down slightly. The boy gave him a fleeting kiss on the cheek, blushed bright red and then ran from the park.
The Doctor couldn't quite stop the chuckle that escaped him.
Really, such a brilliant, brilliant child.
"I never asked," not counting that first time, The Doctor was always the one who started their conversations, maybe because the child was already there when he arrived, "Why do you like the stars so much?"
"I don't really know, I just always have." a small content smile on his lips, "I can't think of anything better than to travel amongst the stars. Visit all the galaxies throughout the universe, uncover its mysteries only to find new ones in every travel. Can you imagine all the wonders out there?"
The Doctor had never seen the child show so much emotion. So much passion, joy, excitement. It was fascinating to watch. Not even his companions showed such pure emotion when they travelled through time and space.
He couldn't help but wonder if it was because of his childhood innocence that he could have such pure emotions. Then he remembered the shadows in those greener than leaves eyes and he knew that it couldn't be it. The child knew suffering, was used to it.
In his eyes that made this child even more special; so much suffering, yet still so fundamentally innocent.
"So you believe that there is something more out there?" he asked curiously.
The child almost jumped from his seat, then turned around to face him. His smile open and warm. A delighted laugh escaped his lips and The Doctor was mesmerized. He had never heard the child laugh, never heard such a sweet, pure sound.
"Of course I do." laughing green eyes blinked at him, "The universe is ever changing and expanding. Almost infinite in its vastness and time is never ending. It will always be, always beginning, always ending. With all that time, all that space, wouldn't it be such a waste if there was nothing but us out there?" the child laughed again, free and joyful, "Just imagine the possibilities."
He didn't have to imagine; he knew them, he had seen them. But recently he had found it more and more difficult to find anything more fascinating than the child in front of him.
The child looked at the clock behind him and sighed.
"Bye." green eyes dimmed a little.
"Bye." he whispered back when the child had left the small playground, his mind on laughing green eyes belonging to a child who dreamed of traveling amongst the stars.
He was starting to worry a little. Well, maybe more than a little.
The child wasn't there.
When he arrived and noticed that Green-Eyes wasn't sitting on their usual bench he thought nothing of it. He took his usual seat and waited. That in and on itself had been strange. He usually never waited for anyone; still the little human wasn't just anyone. And so the Doctor waited.
Then time started passing and the child didn't appear.
When one hour had come and gone he was standing ready to go search for the child. However before he could he felt a small body collide with his own.
He looked down and saw a mop of silky black hair and almost sighed in relief.
"Well, hello to you too." he said, his arms circling around the little body.
"I'm sorry I wasn't here." came the mumbled reply.
"It's alright." his arms tightened just a little before he let go, "Come, let's sit."
They took their seats, the child sitting much closer than usual but The Doctor didn't mind. His hearts were still beating a little quicker than they normally did and having the child close assured him that nothing had happened to him.
Both were silent for a little while, enjoying each other's company, then the little boy looked at him, his eyes brighter than he had ever seen them and smiled.
"You waited." he stated, the happiness in that single word almost overwhelming.
"Of course I did." he replied, "You gave me the stars, how could I not wait?" he smiled at the child and winked, getting a laugh for the boy, "So, why were you late than?" he was curious. No, scratch that, he was really, really curious.
The shadows in those green eyes were deeper, and he seemed even more mature.
"My parents were murdered." the child told him, he sounded pained and his hearts broke for the child, "I knew they were dead, but I had been told by my aunt that they had died in a car crash while driving drunk. I found out that they were murdered. It's... it's different. They are still gone, dead, but even so it changes everything."
"How so?" he asked, knowing that the child wanted and needed to talk about it.
"I thought they left me because they were being irresponsible, what kind of parents drive drunk with their toddler in the car? I couldn't help but resent them a little for leaving me. But now... they died protecting me. They were murdered but did everything they possibly could to keep me safe." green-eyes sighed and looked at him, "I feel ashamed of ever doubting them."
"You shouldn't." The Doctor stated firmly, his eyes never leaving the boy's, "You had no way of knowing. Your aunt should be the one ashamed. She should never have lied to you."
"She hates my mum." the child whispered, "I think she was jealous."
"Jealousy more often than not leads to hate." The Doctor replied, "I'm sorry you have to live in such a home."
"It's alright," the boy smiled at him, "I have my star." he gripped the necklace that was around his neck and The Doctor smiled back.
The boy got up after looking at the clock, gave him a quick hug and left.
This time it actually felt like he hadn't seen the boy in a year. That new maturity that he had noticed last time was still there, but much more pronounced. His eyes were even more shadowed than before, though there was a spark in them that had previously been absent. Something in those eyes said that he had seen more, knew more.
"I've met the man who murdered my parents." the child said as soon as he sat, for once beginning their odd little conversations. "Is it strange that I don't hate him?"
"I wouldn't call it strange." The Doctor replied, trying not to think about how or why they met, "What did you feel?"
"For him?" emerald orbs closed, hiding the emotions swimming in them, "Sad, heartbroken." he whispered, "He is brilliant. I wish that he hadn't opted to kill. I wish someone had saved him."
The Doctor closed his eyes as well. How could this little human understand something that most people never grasped? How could he feel compassion for his parents' killer when most people couldn't feel compassion for anyone but those they loved?
"Maybe you can save him."
The child's answering smile was bittersweet, tinged with sadness.
"I don't think he wants to be saved."
"Why the long face?" he asked as soon as he sat beside the boy.
"I met him again." The Doctor didn't need to ask who, he knew.
"Oh?" he wanted to say so much more, but he was slightly afraid of saying anything else. He was afraid that green-eyes would notice just how angry he actually was.
Just what were the people around the child doing? How could they let him meet his parent's killer, not once but twice?
"Yes, he said we were alike." the boy replied.
"You are nothing alike." he stated fiercely.
"I told him the same thing." there was a bitter smile on his lips, "I was lying,"
"What do you mean?"
"He and I are rather similar."
"You would never kill."
"I would." green-eyes stated with such certainty that it surprised him. They locked eyes and The Doctor could see the truth in them. "For those I love, for the better of the whole. Sometimes there is no other choice."
He hated the fact that a thirteen year old knew that. He hated seeing those emeralds orbs looking so much older than they should.
"I'm so, so sorry." he said, because there was nothing else he could say.
"Don't be." he didn't deserve the sweet, gentle smile that was aimed at him, "It's hardly your fault."
That day he got his second farewell hug from the child and instead of the goodbye he usually got, he got a whispered thank you.
"I have a godfather!" was the excited exclamation he was greeted with as soon as he entered the playground. The child... well, he wasn't really a child anymore.
The teen laughed joyfully, his eyes shining with happiness. Eyes that weren't hidden behind glasses anymore. Those emeralds became quite distracting when they weren't hidden behind glasses.
"Yeah!" another laugh, "His name's Sirius. Isn't that awesome? He's named after a star! It's as if I got my own personal star now."
The Doctor let the joyful laughter wash over him. He ignored the slight jealousy that flared, because the only thing that mattered was that the teen was happy. What did it matter who the one responsible for it was?
When tear filled eyes locked on him and he heard the muffled sob he ran. He was beside the teen in little over a second and pulled him into a hug. Even when the teen tried to get free he held him close. He whispered sweet nothings into his ear, trying to calm him. What felt like eons later but was no more than five minutes the teen sagged in his arms.
Shattered emerald orbs looked at him and his hearts broke. He never wanted to see that look in the teen's eyes.
"He looked just like you. Exactly like you." came the whisper, "He tried to kill me. He didn't. And then he was dead. And I thought..." a small, delicate hand touched his cheek, "You're alive." the relief in that simple sentence was so profound that he felt overwhelmed. "You're alive." the teen buried his face in his chest, "My most precious star." it was said so low that he almost missed it. But he didn't and his arms tightened around the slender teen.
The teen's breathing evened out and when The Doctor looked down he found him asleep. The Doctor pulled him a little closer, adjusting the teen on his lap. Almost without conscious thought his left hand went to the mop of silky black hair and started stroking it.
He was rather thankful that the teen fell asleep. He didn't know if he would have been able to conceal for much longer the murderous rage that had consumed him the moment he heard that someone had tried to kill the precious teen.
"Sirius' dead." the voice sounded hallow and the Doctor nearly flinched. He didn't like hearing that tone in his voice.
The teen leaned into his side, his head resting on his shoulder.
"It's hardly your fault."
"It isn't yours either."
"Who said it was?"
"I know that look."
"I walked into a trap, he went to save me."
"Then he has my eternal gratitude."
"My life isn't worth more than his or than anyone's."
"All life should be treasured, true. But to me, yours is worth more than the universe."
That got him a startled laugh. Brilliant emeralds looked at him, shining as they should always shine.
"Oh, you are a flatterer that is for sure. I bet you say that to everyone. You must be a real heart-breaker, with that charming smile and silver tongue." the teen teased.
He laughed as well, freely, joyful. Something he hadn't done in years.
"Just you, my little emerald." he replied and it was true. He had lost many because he believed the universe was more important.
Rose being the last on a long list of people that either left him or that he left behind. At least she was alive and with her family. With time she would get over him, find someone who would love her the way she deserved to be loved, grow old with her, and have a life with her.
But this teen... he didn't know if he could ever give him up. He didn't know if he would ever want to give him up.
Green-eyes must have seen the sadness in his eyes when he thought of Rose because soon he found himself receiving a hug. The Doctor was once again surprised by his perceptiveness.
"What is it that has you so sad? Did something happen?"
"I… nothing important."
The Time Lord could tell that the teen knew it was a lie, but he didn't push him. That was another thing he liked from him, he always seemed to know when to let him be and the Doctor appreciated it. He had someone to speak to if he wanted, even if he preferred to simply hear.
The teen looked to the clock and the Doctor knew that he would be gone soon.
Suddenly the teen looked a little nervous and the Doctor was startled when he spoke again.
"A girl kissed me."
What surprised the Time Lord the most was the jealous feeling and desire to pay that girl a visit that flared to live inside him. She had no right, nobody had a right... the teen was his.
The though surprised the Doctor. Emerald eyes full of lives and shadows peeked at him through strands of silky black hair. The teen must have seen what he had been looking for because a second later he continued.
"I didn't like it."
The teen shook his head. For a moment the Doctor felt like smiling but restrained.
"She is a girl."
"And you don't like girls?" inquired the man feeling strangely more happy with every moment that passed.
"I'm not sure. I have only ever liked a person." muttered the teen.
The Doctor felt sad at the thought of his little emerald liking another.
"And I am fairly sure he is a man. "whispered Green-eyes looking at him rather intently.
The Doctor felt hope flare to live in his chest and couldn't help but smile a little. He looked to the side, ready to say something, but the teen wasn't there.
The Time Lord looked up just in time to see the gate of the playground closing after a lithe body and sighed.
The teen wasn't there, instead he found a letter. It was directed to "my Star". Strangely, it seemed to have been written with a quill in parchment.
"It's funny but when I started writing this letter I didn't know who I had to direct it to. We never exchanged names. Never needed them.
I'm sorry I can't be there today to meet you. I wish I could be. I would give anything to see you one more time, but right now it's not possible. So much happened this last year… So much I want to tell you. And to ask you. I always thought we would have more time.
But I started to write this letter two hours ago and I still don't know how to put it with the right words. I suppose that I only wanted you to know that our days together were the best of my life. You were the only person that I could be really myself with.
I have made arrangements for the future and, if something happens to me, someone trusted by me will seek you out. He will tell you everything, even what I have not been able to tell you these last years.
I don't know if I'll survive this, but I want you to know that I'll try my best. I want to survive this mess… I hope to survive it, if only to see you again. And maybe then you can tell me your name in person.
Thank you for making my life worth living.
Harry... his little emerald was named Harry.
He stormed into the TARDIS, the letter clutched in one of his hands.
Normally, he would have waited at least a few months before going to meet his green eyed teen again, but not this time. This time he needed to see that he was okay, he needed to know if he had survived. And if not…
"Come on, girl. Please, land on the right date." he almost whispered.
It seemed that his lovely spaceship understood, because only less than a minute later he was on the right date.
He needed Harry. He couldn't lose him, he had to be alive. He had to be there. Without a second of hesitation, he ran out of the TARDIS.
He ran all the way to the playground.
A relieved laugh escaped his lips. It was enough to get his attention and breathtakingly beautiful emerald eyes looked at him. The blinding smile aimed at him made him run again and in a matter of seconds he had Harry in a hug.
"You're here." he whispered, feeling overwhelming relief.
"So are you." came the reply.
He pushed Harry a little away, taking him in. There were much darker shadows in his eyes and he was thinner, so much thinner that it concerned him.
He had let his hair grow out a bit, but not too much. He was still a head shorter than him and still had the greenest eyes he had ever seen. And around his neck there was his leaf with the star engraved.
He had changed so much in that year, but everything that he had found fascinating about him was still there.
"Harry..." he whispered the name for the first time, he got a brilliant smile in return, "I am The Doctor."
"You named yourself." Harry stated more than asked.
"Won't you ask what my real name is? Or Doctor who?"
"Don't you want to know? Aren't you curious?"
"Of course I am curious, but your name has never mattered before so, why should it matter now? Besides, the name one gives oneself tells much more about a person than any name he is given. Why would I push you into telling me something you obviously do not want to talk about?"
He laughed again, his eyes sparkling. He should not be surprised, taking into account the way he had reacted to all of their encounters.
"Normally, people don't care about that. They only want to know."
"Well, then I suppose I am not normal people."
"No, you aren't." laughed again the Doctor.
He pulled him into a hug again, his arms tightening just a little more.
"Come with me." he whispered, "I'll take you to see the stars."
Harry just smiled and nodded, letting The Doctor pull him along without releasing him. The Time Lord needed to feel the young man besides him; heart beating and lungs breathing, alive.
And that's how Harry Potter left with the Doctor, the man who gave him the stars.