Class Begins Part 1
It was well past twelve o'clock now, and the Doctor regretted reading all this year's textbooks (and all of his next years, next next years, and so forth) so quickly. He'd also finished the Silmarillion, and the last few days newspapers (there was an interesting piece about a vault that was broken into at the Gringotts bank, a really important – if horridly outdated – bank. That piqued his interest, for nothing was stolen. But beyond that, nothing, although it would be worth thinking about). And he was bored. And untired.
"Don't do it," he muttered to himself, leaning back on his chair. Dumbledore had been kind enough to include a chair, and a bathroom. Though he no doubt had another motivation for the separate room, which the Doctor couldn't blame him for.
"You can get a map today when you have a chance," he reasoned. "Although it is today…" He had been at this for quite some time, trying to reason himself out of investigating the castle. He had one disadvantage, however. He was arguing with himself. And no-one ever manages to win an argument with the Doctor, do they?
He sighed. "Oh, who do I think I'm kidding?" he grinned. He hopped up, pulling on his coat. There was a hat stand, upon which he'd hung his hat and umbrella. He flipped his hat on, and chucked his umbrella from his left hand to his right.
He snuck towards the door, and took a hold of the bronze door handle.
"I wouldn't do that, if I were you."
The Doctor spun around. He saw no-one. He squinted, and magical energies began to be visible. There were dozens upon dozens. There were many for keeping the room as it was now, but the Doctor saw one thing that stood out profoundly. A rectangular mirror that hung on a wall. It had the usual spells, keeping it intact, and clean, and producing a startling, though possibly meretricious, reflective effect. But there was more.
Of course, all spells look relatively similar to the Doctor, who had never studied them much before. But he was quite capable of compare and contrast. And noticing what stood out. And the spells on this mirror certainly stood out.
"Hello," he called out to it, after a while. "Are you the one who talked to me?"
"I am," replied the mirror. It sounded prideful. "And I'm warning you: don't you dare try and sneak out, or I'll make a racket!"
"You're awfully sure of yourself, for someone who shatters easily," said the Doctor. The mirror was silent, and the Doctor imagined it would be gaping in shock if it had a mouth.
"You wouldn't dare," said the mirror, sounding less sure of itself now. "I'm school property."
"You're in my room," said the Doctor, giving a half smile. "And I'm known as a bit of a troublemaker."
"You'll- you'll get seven years bad luck," stammered the mirror.
"I've weaved through seven regenerations of bad luck," he countered swiftly. "I have a habit of balancing out bad luck."
The mirror was silent, and it felt like a rather moody silence, so the Doctor tipped his hat and bid it a goodnight.
"I'll be back soon," he said cheerfully, leaving the sulking mirror alone.
I'll have to fix that, as soon as I can, he thought to himself. A talking mirror! Of all the absurd things. Why not a magical lock? Or an un-animated alarm? Why make it a whiny mirror?
The answer came in an instant. Dumbledore was testing him. Of course. Uncertain times and all. Anyone could've shown up with an enchanted letter, pretending to be an obscure historical character that very few people in the world know about. This way, he proved he was actually who he said he was. A magical alarm or a magical lock wouldn't really have the same effect; you can't talk your way out of a magic lock or alarm.
He continued silently, years of experience coming into play as he opened the door without so much as a squeak. The Doctor smiled. He thought he'd need to pick the lock. With that thought in mind, he resolved to learn the lock picking spell, Alohomora. He left the door slightly ajar; there was a spare stone lying o so conveniently besides the door. He wouldn't say that password in a thousand lifetimes, not without desperate reason.
The Doctor slunk along the quiet corridors and hallways, taking note of the remarkable architecture. He kept an ear and an eye open for anyone, or anything. The castle was remarkably similar to the Tardis, in the sense that it didn't like staying the same in all places. The stairs, at least, showed this tendency. Perhaps it to was living? Or rather, animated. He would have to investigate.
Three hours later, and a good deal of investigating and avoiding Filch and Norris later, the Doctor decided that now would be a good time to get a couple hours of rest. He hadn't found anything of interest, save for a direction to the Great Hall, and the room Dumbledore had warned against. He also had a theory of how the stairs moved, but he would have to try it another time. It was all-in-all a rather disappointing night.
He'd just come to the staircase that lead down to the dungeons, when he felt a rather frustrated presence behind him. The Doctor spun around.
"Ah, Professor Snape," said the Doctor cheerfully. "I didn't see or hear you. Most impressive."
"Doctor," hissed Snape. "Can you explain to me exactly why you are out past curfew?" The potions master glared at the Doctor. The Time Lord smiled.
"Certainly," he said with much cheer, putting his umbrella in front of him, leaning on it. "I was bored, and not tired in the slightest. A side-effect of my condition, I'm afraid. I don't require as much sleep as other people. And I get bored easily. So, I went for a stroll." The smile didn't quite waver, but the Doctors eyes were calculating and cold.
"Don't," said Severus, dangerously. "You are now a student at Hogwarts, Doctor. You have rules to abide by. Any deviation will result in punishment."
The Doctor sighed. "Very well. I shan't go out on any more early, early morning strolls."
"And any time past curfew," growled Snape. The Doctor frowned.
"Well, how am I meant to get to class?" he asked. "Or breakfast?"
Snape's glare turned ever fiercer. "You understand what I mean, Doctor."
"Quite," sighed the Doctor. "Very well, you've made your point. Goodnight, Severus."
"That's professor," said Snape. The Doctor shrugged, and turned, to the annoyance of Snape.
Morning came and so did breakfast. As the Doctor sat at the head of the table, enjoying a jam sandwich and a cup of English breakfast, when Draco came up. He glared moodily at the Doctor.
"Good morning, Draco," greeted the Doctor. "Sleep well?"
"Yes," grumbled Draco. The Doctor smiled, and offered him a cup of tea, which the moody child accepted.
"I believe we have Charms this morning," said the Doctor. "It should be very interesting. I wonder if they'll explain the theory behind it. I suppose not. This is earth, after all. Not Gallifrey."
Malfoy looked at him like he was mad. "What's Gallifrey? Is it in Ireland or something?"
The Doctor looked at the child, and decided simply to agree, as he walked onto an oncoming staircase without hesitating, unlike Malfoy and his lackies, who started at the swinging stair. They followed soon after, though, but fell to their knees as soon as they were only a few steps in, as the stairs began moving again.
"Come along!" called the Doctor, further up the stairs, "We don't want to be late!" Truthfully though, they had plenty of time.
The Doctor stepped through the doors of the charms, surprisingly enough the second person there. Hermione was already in her seat, reading through a Charms textbook. The professor, Flitwick, stood upon some books and a chair, flicking through an absurdly ancient looking text. He had terribly combed whiskers that were so (quite literally) last century.
"Ah, just on time," said the professor, barely flicking his eyes up for a moment. "Take a seat."
"Where to?" asked the Doctor, abruptly.
"Excuse me?" asked Flitwick, looking up.
The Doctor smiled innocently. "Where do I take the seat to?"
Professor Flitwick stared at the Doctor, frustrated, before saying, "Sit down. And keep in mind you are, despite your appearance, a first year student. So be very, very careful."
The Doctor smiled, and sat down next to Hermione. Soon Malfoy and his goons came in, and the Doctor waved them over; they did so reluctantly. Soon enough, students began to pour through the doors, and Harry and Ron arrived, sitting on the other side of Hermione. Ron gave some rather nasty looks towards Malfoy. As the students all finally arrived, the class began in earnest.
"And don't forget," called Professor Flitwick as they all left the room, "To enunciate: 'Wingardium Leviosa'."
Charms was finished now; it was a rather boring start, of course, due to the professor needing to explain a great deal. That was how it would be with all the classes in the beginning, of course. It was bound to be rather easy in theory. The Doctor could already begin to understand the basis of charms, and creating new ones in particular. It was all a matter of using the right words, firstly, the right movement of the wand, secondly, and finally using it enough so that it becomes engrained in the shared psychic network inherent in wands. Of course, that was a rather simple and basic theory.
The very next class on the roster was potions, taught by Professor Snape. The Doctor smiled at the knowledge. It was remarkably similar to chemistry, if lacking in various intellectual departments.
"A remarkable class," said the Doctor to Draco as they walked. "I'm sure we won't need our textbooks for these classes."
Draco snorted. "Why not?"
"Well, I imagine that Snape, despite his grouchy demeanour, is a rather intelligent fellow," said the Doctor. "Far more than the average wizard or witch, though that isn't too difficult. It's quite likely he disagreed with the textbook, or found a better way to go about making a potion. It's quite a delicate business, potion making. Sort of like chemistry."
"Sort of like what?" asked Draco. "Is that another muggle thing?"
The Doctor sighed. "Not quite. It's more of a universal thing. It's a science, which deals with figuring out what the universe is made of. What chemicals there are, how they interact with one another, and so forth. It's a rather beautiful thing."
Draco stared at him for a moment, then shook his head. The Doctor repressed a sigh. Such a shame, this society. It was such a pity they would only reveal themselves to the greater public out of necessity many decades in the future. If only the revealed themselves now, and save themselves and the world from greater problems.
Still, that was neither now nor then. He had about seven years, and plenty to do. If he could change just Draco's mind, and help save Britain, then he'd have done a good enough thing.
It was a rather dismal room, the Doctor thought, though no doubt much to Severus's liking. It's gloomy atmosphere really instilled a feeling of weariness and fear. Well, almost. He took a seat next to Harry and Ron, the latter of who looked at him suspiciously. The Doctor ignored it, as Snape burst through the door.
"There will be no foolish wand waving or silly incantations in this class," the professor informed, strangely cross. "As such, I don't expect many of you to appreciate the subtle science and exact art that is potion making. However, for those select few who possess the disposition…" he glanced at Draco, and covered himself in his cloak. "I can teach you how to bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses. I can tell you how to bottle fame, brew glory, and even put a stopper in death."
He turned his gaze to Harry Potter, growing crosser. The Doctor knew almost exactly what Snape was up to.
"That is, if everyone can. Pay. Attention!"
Hermione elbowed Harry, who looked up, nervous. The Doctor frowned inwardly. He'd have to act quickly.
"Our new celebrity," said Snape ominously. "Tell me, what—"
"—counts as paying attention?" asked the Doctor suddenly. Snape's head snapped towards the little man.
"Excuse me?" he asked ominously, beginning to loom over the Doctor.
"What counts as paying attention?" repeated the Time Lord. "Would taking notes count?"
"Yes," hissed the potions master.
"Excellent," beamed the Doctor. "Then you'll notice that Mr. Potter here was taking notes."
Snapes' lips thinned considerably, and he peered over Harry's desk, looking at the notes.
"So it would seem," he muttered, sounding disappointed. "Very well, Mr. Potter. Keep this up, and you might at least pass this class."
The potions master strode back to his desk, and began to write out some instructions, saying, "Today we will start by reading about the properties of…"
And so the class went on, with the Doctor and Hermione being the two most prominent question answerers in the class, the former occasionally helpfully correcting the latter. By the end, they had formed something resembling the beginnings of friendship.
Ron, of course, was very wary of the Doctor, even suspicious. The redhaired boy had an unreasonable suspicion of everyone in Slytherin, although not entirely unfound, merely remarkably out of proportion. It was unhealthy. He'd have to change that, he would. Perhaps if he made Draco go on this first adventure with them… yes, that might work. But how, that was the question.
The very next class they had was transfiguration. He and Malfoy managed to make it on time, though he had to hurry Malfoy up a bit. If there was one thing he didn't want to be late to, it was the Formënian collision, a collision meant to happen between four galaxies in the fifty-ninth century. But next to that was a transfiguration class.
Professor McGonagall was a stern lady indeed, and explained in no uncertain terms that if anyone was found fooling around in transfiguration, they'd leave and never return.
'Drat,' thought the Doctor. 'Oh well, it's only one class. I can manage that.'
She gave them a remarkable example of transfiguration when she transformed her desk into a large dog, and then back into a desk. She explained it was one of the most difficult subjects around. She then told everyone to take out their books and get to reading chapter one on transfiguration safety. She then turned into a cat, and gave Harry and Ron a proper fright, when they arrived late to the class.
The Doctor noted that transfiguration was similar to block-transfer computations, though slightly more limited in scope.
The very next day, the Doctor woke Draco up early.
"Come on, come on, we don't want to be late for breakfast!" he ushered. Draco groaned.
"What time even is it?" he bemoaned.
"Six o eight," said the Doctor, forgetting the circadian rhythm of human children.
"WHAT?" cried Draco in alarm. "What're you waking me up at six in the MORNING for?"
The Doctor blinked. "Is that too early?"
"Yes, that's too bloody early!" yelled Draco, subsequently waking everyone else.
"Shut, it, would you?" called one of the students.
"Sorry," apologised the Doctor, before Draco could say anything. "Right, sorry. I'll just leave, shall I?"
"Good idea," muttered Draco angrily.
The Doctor turned and exited the Slytherin dorm, heading towards the Great Hall. His thoughts were focused chiefly on the first class of the day. History of Magic was today, and he was eager to learn. He knew only a little of the magical world's history, and only the interesting parts. But knowledge of magics history may be very useful in defeating Voldemort. History usually was in these situations.
But as he wandered down the corridor, the Doctor saw Professor Quirrell. He was walking up with a frightened look, whispering to himself. He hadn't noticed the Doctor yet, for he was looking down at his feet. The Doctor hid behind a wall, listening carefully. He couldn't quite make it out, but as the professor passed by him, he managed to hear:
"I can't, there's no time."
Then he turned a corner, and the Doctor couldn't hear him. He frowned, and continued walking down to the Great Hall. This was an interesting development. Who was he talking to? What couldn't he do? Why wasn't there enough time?
'Well, why can be easy enough,' the Doctor thought. 'He needs to get ready for his class. As for the other questions, unless there was someone under an invisibility cloak, or cast a spell upon themselves, he was talking to himself. Unless someone didn't need an invisibility cloak, or a spell. Hmm, this has gotten interesting already.'
"Ah, Doctor," said an old voice behind him, as he rounded the corner. "You're up rather early."
He turned, a smile on his lips. "Ah, Dumbledore. I could say the same for you."
"Ha, well, a teacher's sleep pattern is virtually non-existent, much less a headmasters," chuckled Dumbledore. "But it's rather unusual for a student to be up so early. I believe you had a rather late night a little while back."
"Ah, well, I don't need as much sleep as humans, even wizards," replied the Doctor. "And I tend to get rather restless after a while. In fact, I daresay I annoyed Draco only moments earlier, having woken him up. And besides, I'm in a giant castle. What else is there to do at night but explore?" He gave a small shrug.
Dumbledore, for his part, gave a hearty laugh. "Indeed, Doctor, indeed. I have spent more time in these halls than most, and yet I still feel I haven't uncovered its every secret. I suspect that I never shall. But that's the joy of life, isn't it?"
"Very true," said the Doctor. "Tell me, headmaster, why did you hire Professor Quirrell? He's the professor of the Defence against the Dark Arts, isn't he?"
Dumbledore nodded, then began to move towards the teacher's table, speaking in an undertone. "Yes, he is. You see, he was the professor of Muggle Studies. Then he left for a year. When he returned, he was not the same. You see, he was a remarkably clever student, and a remarkably clever professor. He knew that there were some part of Voldemort that still existed, and intended to find it. Partly for noble reasons, such as curiosity, but also because he desperately wanted to be seen as important; he was bullied as a child, you see.
"However, when he returned, he was very different," continued Dumbledore, somewhat sorrowful. "I am quite certain that he found Voldemort. Alas, intelligent as he was, he could not have been clever or powerful enough to resist the mind of that dark spirit." Dumbledore clasped his hands behind his back. "You've heard of the break into the vault in Gringotts?"
"Yes, what a curious event, don't you agree?" remarked the Doctor. "You think he's the guilty party?"
"I'm all but certain of it," answered Dumbledore. "I suspect that he is after the Philosopher's Stone."
The Doctor frowned. "So it exists, then." This was indeed curious news.
"Yes," said Dumbledore. "It is the only thing that can create the elixir of life, which can grant immortality, if drunk regularly. It can also, of course, transfigure any metal into gold."
"I see," muttered the Doctor. "A remarkably useful tool for someone seeking immortality and riches. I suppose you've hidden it here, then."
"Indeed," answered Dumbledore. "I had it removed from the vault the same day the vault was broken into. A stroke of good fortune, I must say."
"Yes," mused the Doctor. "But why bring Quirrell into the castle. Surely it would be easier to keep him out. Unless…"
Dumbledore stopped and turned, raising an eyebrow. "Unless?"
"Harry is the only one who can stop Voldemort, no?" wondered the Doctor. "But you need to test him, don't you? It won't do to have a chosen one who won't fulfill his prophecy."
Dumbledore smiled sadly, continuing on to the teacher's table, sitting on his seat. The Doctor took one next to him. "Yes. Harry is the only person in the world who can kill Voldemort, I'm afraid. But I must be careful. Harry must become Voldemort's opposite, you see. As you must be aware, there are many children in Slytherin with less than admirable beliefs regarding muggles, or anyone not of 'pure' blood."
"Yes, a ridiculous notion," said the Doctor. "I intend to rid at least Draco Malfoy of it."
"I'm glad to hear it," remarked Dumbledore. "Draco shall need a good influence. His father was an extremely high up Death Eater, though he escaped punishment by claiming he was under the Imperius Curse. His disdain for muggles is well known throughout wizarding Britain."
"I see," said the Doctor. "Such a pity. Eleven years under the influence of a man like that. I can see that I'll have my work cut out for me. No matter. I'm sure they don't call me Merlin for nothing."
"Do they now?" asked the headmaster, his eyebrows shooting up in surprise. He gave a hearty chuckle. "In that case, you ought to be in my position."
"Well, I'm not Merlin yet, anyhow," remarked the Time Lord. "I'll presumably be him in my future. Which may be my past."
They fell silent now, and looked on the tables. The Doctor was thinking about how he might incorporate Draco into the Golden Trio's friendship, and make them the Golden Quadruple. Then a thought came to him.
"Oh, and by the way, that was an amusing little touch, the talking mirror," he said to Dumbledore.
"Oh, yes," laughed Dumbledore. "Yes, I hoped that might be amusing."
"Hoped?" asked the Doctor, already guessing the reason behind that choice of word.
"If you hadn't found it amusing, then you might not have been who you said you were," was all Dumbledore said. The Doctor found himself agreeing; his hunch was, after all, rather correct.
"Also," continued Dumbledore, "I have asked Snape to keep an eye on Quirrell."
"Excellent," said the Doctor. Another thought occurred to him. "I don't suppose you'd tell me where the stone is."
Dumbledore shook his head. "I cannot risk this information getting out. If you want to search for yourself, then by all means. But I would prefer you left the greater part of everything to Harry, Ron, and I imagine Hermione. Not everything is completely set up, yet."
The Doctor nodded. "Understood. But I must also ask that, if it is possible, you find a way to include Draco into your plans. Now, I think it's about time you and I had breakfast, don't you agree?"
"Completely." Albus and the Doctor stood up, and headed off on their own paths.
To be continued…
Thank you too all who read this. Please leave a review. Constructive criticism is always welcome. I decided to split this into two parts because it wouldn't really flow well, in my mind, as one.