Harry brought the mug of tea into his office, he'd not properly needed to sit down and bring together bits and pieces of information for a while, there were lots of disparate pieces of information he and LPI had been collecting and this felt like an investigation to which he had some of the pieces which he needed to explore. And more importantly work out how they fit together, or if they fit together.
It was an irritating reality that he couldn't just go out and be shot at, locked up or chased around, or alternatively go and interrogate people who were peripherally involved with what might be a wizarding drugs trade. Especially as he didn't even know who to start pointing the finger at.
Except maybe the wizard in a purple get-up a couple of decades ago. Which wasn't a lot of help.
This was events in the here and now, things that had happened recently, time travel now would just get messy.
Then as he was about to start to open up his files a reminder popped up on his phone.
Harry frowned and then looked at it, it was a reminder of a meeting he had with Draco following their meeting with the Queen.
Harry looked at his mug of tea and then his work, and shook his head, he'd been getting too caught in his thoughts and wonderings on things again.
"Drugs can wait," he said to himself as he drained his mug of tea.
"It's weird, standing here, now, again," Harry said looking around.
"Indeed," Draco mused as he looked around with a pair of omnioculars.
Harry looked back to Clarence Hall with his own pair of technical binoculars and zoomed in and through the walls utilising its future century-tech. There was as the caretaker said just himself and his partner looking after the place. "It's like a half remembered story, with just notes from our own hand and the sensations of something having happened," he finished and looked to Draco, "Shall we take a turn around the grounds?"
Draco nodded. "See what, if any of our fortifications remain after..." he trailed off in thought "Merlin it was a long time ago," he shook his head and looked to him. "Such a change Potter."
"For the better?" Harry wondered as they set off on a walk.
Draco remained silent for a while as they walked. "Yes, I think so."
"You thought about that for quite a while," Harry commented looking to his friend curiously.
"It's a complicated question," Draco mused as they walked along in amicable silence. "I think were it not for some things, experiences and what not I might be in an unhappy marriage to a wizarding family by now Potter."
Harry looked to him. "An unhappy marriage? I feel like that might've been me and Ginny had things taken a different turn."
Draco snorted. "What a doomed world Potter," he paused. "Not quite as psychotic as I imagine my marriage would have been, my mother has given up suggesting I find a bride from lands afar to broaden the Malfoy influence."
"Daphne's mentioned once or twice that Astoria seems to be flirting her way around the world, you could join her hand in hand, metaphorically speaking?" Harry wondered with a smile.
Draco wrinkled his nose. "Don't be gauche Harry."
Harry chuckled. "Along another path we might have been brothers in law."
Draco looked to him and raised an eyebrow.
Harry shrugged his shoulders. "Wouldn't really worry me. You've seen my life, the company I keep," he paused and gave him a look. "What I've done, had done to me Draco, few people know those details."
Draco nodded. "I suppose you will never tell Granger or Weasley the details of that part of your life?" He mused.
Harry shook his head. "You and Daphne are the only wizards I fancy who will ever know things of that Draco," Harry skipped forward a bit and gestured around. "We're the only ones who know about what happened here, who are still here."
"And the Queen," Draco pointed out.
Harry turned around. "That's true, and as I drove here, I realised it'd be the perfect place to invite people for a party."
"And by people you mean," Draco paused and looked to him. "People from another time?"
Harry shrugged. "Perhaps?"
"Could you not just as easily," Draco paused to half smile. "Use your Timeship to visit them?"
Harry nodded. "But I'm not a temporal vagabond venturing out into the universe."
"And your brief adventure with Daphne we talked about?" Draco pressed.
Harry sighed and looked to him. "Maybe telling you everything wasn't a good idea."
Draco laughed. "We're two adults Potter who have been through plenty together, who else are you going to talk about this with?"
Harry sat down again at his desk, his and Draco's day out had devolved into finding a really nice gastro-pub experience sort of thing and him finding out that the gastro-pub place also had rooms, he could, he supposed have bagged up the E-Type and come home but what would have been the fun in that. Draco had elected to apparate home after their meal.
He'd spent the evening having a drink and going to a wander around the local area, hoping for ghosts of the past, dangers from the future or maybe something else that wasn't quiet, calm or safe. But aside from a gurgling drain which a quick spell dislodged a tangle of rubbish and weeds there was nothing of consequence.
Just as he was again going to begin his collating his phone rang.
"Yes?" He fumbled in his rush to answer it, anything for an additional distraction.
"It's Tegan Harry," she began, her voice tight.
"Oh, hey, how's-" Harry started in a friendly tone.
"Have you heard from Amy and Rory recently?" She asked, an edge to her voice.
"I heard from Rory's dad around New Year's, that they've started travelling with the Doctor again," he answered casually.
"I see," she said, she had an edge to her voice.
"What's the matter?" Harry asked.
"I've got a letter from them, I think we should talk about it Harry," she continued.
"I'll said the Xecotcovach to pick you-" Harry began.
"I'm already in the UK Harry, dealing with some things of Aunty Vanessa's that still needed sorting, can I come by tomorrow?" She asked.
"Of course," Harry said immediately.
Harry eyed the letter, it didn't look like the other letter he'd recently received which he'd tried his best to ignore, despite being given to him by a monarch.
Tegan looked at him and sipped her tea. "You're not going to open it?"
Harry sighed. "Pre-destination paradoxes and bootstrap paradoxes are something to be aware of," he explained vaguely. "Especially for time travellers," he paused. "Or those who dabble on the other side of things," he finished to himself.
"What?" Tegan narrowed her eyes at him. "You're going all like the Doctor."
Harry glared at her.
"And that," she smiled.
"You, I assume have read the letter?" Harry asked, as he half looked at it. "I assume it's been sent from the past?"
Tegan nodded. "Do you want me to read it to you?"
Harry frowned and shook his head. "Not just yet," he frowned again looking at the opened envelope that was currently tempting him to look at it "summarise it, and then we can work it out."
"Is this from some weird time traveller's handbook that I missed when I was travelling with the Doctor?" Tegan asked narrowing her eyes at him.
"I haven't travelled that much with him, I've learnt on the job," Harry commented. "And the only books I've read recently are in the field of comparative culture and sociology books, thought about writing my own."
"About what?" Tegan wondered curiously.
"Dalek psychology," he answered without thinking.
Tegan stared at him. "You're serious."
"Most of the time," Harry said.
"It says that they got stuck in the past because of these 'angels', that they've made a life for themselves in New York," Tegan explained.
Harry sat for a moment and then addressed Tegan "What do you want Tegan?" Harry wondered. "From this, telling me?" He looked to her curiously.
"You told me you have a TARDIS-" she began.
Harry cut her off. "I have a Timeship, it's not a TARDIS."
Tegan glared at him. "If they've done the Back to the Future thing, why not any other letters, and why hasn't he gone back for them?"
Harry leaned back, in thought and scowled to himself. "At least this doesn't seem to be a paradox, no mention of them being rescued by anyone, nothing pre-destined."
Tegan looked carefully at him. "That's the second time you've mentioned paradoxes, why the worry?" She asked, adding "The Doctor always pinched his nose in worry about them, and usually breathless added that they were dangerous."
Harry exhaled. "The people who like them are even worse."
"What?" Tegan looked critically at him. "What do you mean?"
Harry shook his head. "Nothing of your time probably," he eyed the letter again. "Does it say anything about anyone visiting?"
Tegan shook her head. "Why don't you want to open it?"
Harry looked from it to her. "Because if it says something like 'that River turned up on X date', it locks things in, in a way that is tricky to get around," he paused "And if you know the wrong people that can be exploited but it makes things more tricky."
"Tricky because...?" Tegan trailed off.
"Because...?" Harry repeated.
"Can you, I mean can we visit them?" Tegan asked.
He must've looked surprised, even though he was expecting this question from her.
Tegan looked strangely at him. "Because they're my friends Harry, I thought they were yours, not many survived to the present day the Doctor," she frowned seemingly realising when they were.
Harry sighed. "Yeah, I guess, I've made friends in the past, knowing that they died, and sort of...knowing the Doctor, and knowing him in all his different faces, different lives and know he dies, that one face, one body dies and another comes," he began in awkward halting sentences "I've known him through so many of those. And his stories, his tales of his different companions some are left behind, a few die, and some go home, but a lot don't..." he shook his head. "It didn't really occur to me that I could go and see them."
"Well?" Tegan pressed.
Harry leaned forward and looked at the envelope more closely, he didn't pick it up, he just leaned in closer to look at it. "This doesn't have an address on it, how did you get it?"
Tegan didn't look remotely unfazed. "I went to their house when they missed our video call and our phone call."
"I thought you said-" Harry began.
"They gave me a key Harry, just in case anything happened, that letter was on the pile of letters, and it does have my name on it."
Harry nodded. "That's true, it does..." he said as he reached for it. "Promise me there's nothing that mentions me, or anyone coming back and visiting them Tegan," Harry implored. "It's important."
"Rules of time travel?" She asked grabbing the envelope and opened it.
"Certain rules for certain time travellers, Amy and Rory are extra complicated," Harry began, even if were he fully honest he barely understood things, despite all his and Oswin's messing around in a Time War, temporal matters were still complicated.
"Because of their daughter?" Tegan asked.
"Yes," Harry answered immediately, even if he wasn't sure that was the most truthful of answers.
Tegan looked through the letter. "No, there's nothing about that, just when they arrived, a bit about their life at the moment and how they got back there," she held out the letter for him.
"If there is any identifying information about time travel, we don't go anywhere Tegan," Harry warned.
"You've changed your tune, after your time in-" She started.
"In a war Tegan," Harry cut her off sharply "I don't want you to have to face anything like it."
Tegan nodded. "I experienced plenty Harry," she waved the letter in front of him.
Harry begrudgingly took it and looked through the letter. "Let me do some research and then we can go from there."
Tegan nodded and looked to him. "This is a long time research thing isn't it?"
"I'll come back tomorrow morning?" She asked hopefully.
Harry nodded. "I'll have more answers then."
"Harry! You're bored already?" Oswin beamed at him.
"Not exactly," he said with a slight frown.
"What's wrong, that's a worried tone magic man," she wondered as she propped her communication device up on a desk or something.
"Found out Amy and Rory are dead," Harry said and then added. "I know that doesn't mean anything to you being in the future just..." he sighed.
"Hang on," she said as the call ended.
Then there was a knock at the door and she let herself in.
"Explain Harry," Oswin said as she walked into his house.
Harry shook his head and put down the communications device and explained his visit from Tegan.
Oswin leaned back in the sofa. "And now you know where they end," she frowned.
Harry nodded. "I mean, I knew as soon as Tegan said they were in the past in the 1940s, they couldn't be that long lived."
"And Tegan's request?" She wondered.
Harry nodded. "If there's nothing directing us there, we should be able to visit," he paused. "Why the Doctor hasn't visited is a good question."
"You and I both know that he sometimes just moves on Harry, that's him being a Time Lord and a time traveller," she commented. "Guess I'll get to meet them again," she smiled "long time past," she mused softly to herself.
"I'll have to put in some restrictions though, when Tegan gets here," Harry mused.
Oswin nodded. "You know when they die, there's proof?" Oswin wondered.
Harry nodded. He'd found some photos of their grave, Amy had become a prolific author, and Rory had become a pretty notable doctor. He'd just skimmed things lest he reveal anything notable to them. He explained all of this to Oswin.
Oswin just looked to him a grim slight smile on her face. "At least there's that."
"Yeah, it's weird, sort of knowing them, like I know other people from the past, and they're you know dead, I said to Tegan, it didn't really occur to me to be able to go back and see them, seems indulgent somehow, but..." he trailed off.
"But it's different for Amy and Rory, because they got there travelling in time?" Oswin pressed.
Harry nodded. "Yeah, I guess? Is that silly?"
Oswin smiled shaking her head. "Nah. It totally fits with our lives so far Harry."
Tegan turned up bright and early the next day and sat down at his dining table, as she took in his what he realised must be grim expression she said "They're dead aren't they?"
Harry looked to her, he wanted to say yes but he didn't "That is an entirely relative question."
"That's the sort of answer the Doctor would give," she narrowed her eyes.
"You asked if we could go back," Harry paused looking to her.
"You mean we can go back?" Tegan asked surprised.
"With some restrictions," Harry warned.
"Which are?" Tegan asked carefully.
"We can't bring them back to the present, whatever has happened there, that's where they stay," Harry began in a warning tone.
"Okay," Tegan started slowly "I understand that," she paused and added in an annoyed tone "but I don't like it."
Harry looked to her for a moment before continuing "You can't bring up the letter, or anything stupid like knowing when they die, unless they bring it up first," Harry continued.
"Why would they know when they die?" Tegan asked.
Harry shrugged. "Who knows?"
"Anything else?" Tegan asked in a demanding tone.
"As you brought up Back to the Future last time Tegan I'm sure you're aware of the outcomes in that of messing with the timeline, so we can't change things or help them in any major material way."
"Small hands up?" Tegan asked hopefully.
"We'll see, we need to find them first," Harry stood up from the table.
"We're going now?" Tegan asked surprised.
"I can come back whenever you're ready if you want?" Harry asked as he gestured to the door.
Tegan shook her head. "Don't you dare, I'm ready to go now, should I get a bag?"
Harry shrugged. "If you want," he said as he let her out the door and locked it as she went out to what looked like a hire car, a boring one at that.
"So where's your time machine?" Tegan asked.
Harry smiled and was pleased the notice me not and other spells he'd applied around the Timeship had worked.
Removing his wand he ended them.
Tegan looked around and was only mildly surprised when she saw it. "That's your TARDIS?!" She exclaimed.
"It's not a TARDIS," he countered. "And yes, it's my Timeship," he couldn't help but smiling as the door opened.
Oswin stepped out and smiled at him, they had agreed perhaps not best to show her other half to Tegan, despite her time travelling with the Doctor Oswin had suggested not everyone was as open as he was to her appearance. "I've prepared it so she won't be atomised," she said with a smile.
"This is Oswin, one of my best friends, Tegan Jovanka, Oswin Oswald," Harry introduced the two women.
"You're the one who went with him into the Time War?" Tegan asked shaking Oswin's hand.
"Yep, that's me, we've looked at alien skies, wandered the muddy battlefield and had cake after a particularly terrible night," Oswin explained gesturing into the Timeship.
Tegan followed him in to the Timeship. "It's a bit pokey," she commented.
"This is a craft that can go anywhere in the universe, give or take, and it'll get there, and it has a few more tricks up its sleeve than the Doctor's TARDIS," Harry said as he pulled out some notes, both on his phone and paper notes and went over the coordinate entry panel.
"I dunno what I was expecting, not concentric lines and a lot of greyscale colours," Tegan commented as she looked around the room. "When are we going to meet them?"
"Not immediately after they say they arrived," Harry paused what he was doing to look to Tegan.
"Why not?" Tegan asked as she continued to look around the space.
Oswin took some of his notes off him and gave him a look.
"They took time to establish themselves, and as much as I don't want to sound like the Doctor," he paused and sighed. "There are elements of the web of time to consider, there's some things about fixed points, and established events what we don't want to stick our oar in."
"They're just setting themselves up when they arrive, new place and time, trust me, that's rough, you don't want old friends materialising wishing death on you or whatever," Oswin added cheerily.
"So we add a couple of years onto that initial arrival, plus a few more, we don't want to turn up in the middle of World War II, that's definitely not a good time to turn up, mysterious strangers and all that," he continued.
"Yeah, I got all that when I travelled with the Doctor, 'who are you, what are you doing here, and then getting locked up," Tegan commented cynically. "So what do you do, look at your notes and key some things into those panels and away we go?" She asked looking at the controls.
"Something like that," Harry gestured to the side. "There's some chairs off to the side there you can relax while we finish entering the coordinates."
Tegan looked around the chairs and sat down, only to have a weird electronic noise start around her.
"What was that?" She demanded as she looked to Harry and his friend, all of the screens were now spinning.
"We're off," Harry gestured.
"Should be there in about 20 minutes," Oswin explained.
"That fast?" Tegan looked at them.
"We're not even going back 100 years, this is simple compared to others stuff," Oswin said.
"I'm just going to pop up, grab a hat and jacket," Harry said gesturing upwards and stepped into the lift.
"There's another level?" Tegan asked surprised.
"Thought you'd been inside a dimensionally transcendental craft before?" Oswin asked curiously.
"The Doctor's never had an upstairs," Tegan admitted.
"It's mostly full of Harry's collections," she explained.
Tegan was just starting to relax in the comfy chairs when a tone started to make itself known.
Pushing herself out of the chair she found Harry and Oswin looking at some screens, and then Harry said "Uh..." in a puzzled tone and it felt like they his something and everything started to shake.
"Now this feels like travelling with the Doctor," Tegan commented crossing her arms.
"Yes, thank you Tegan," Harry said as Oswin brought the Timeship out of the vortex.
"Where are we?" Tegan asked.
"Right time, we're in mid 1946," Oswin explained.
"Just looking and," Harry whistled and gestured to the screen he was standing in front of. "Look at that, not seen it that big since in the thick of it when we were sneaking past patrols," Harry commented to Oswin wistfully.
"It's a big one though, look at all the striations on those purple lines," she commented pointing.
"I didn't think I'd have to ask this again," Tegan muttered behind them. "What's all this mean?" She asked in a louder voice.
Harry and Oswin turned around and looked at her.
Oswin looked to Harry who shrugged and nodded. "It's a big...scar on the temporal landscape, we saw it as a result of weapons used in the Time War, it makes passage through time around that really tricky."
"What? All of Earth has that?" Tegan looked at the screens.
"Nah, all of New York, around the late 30s just when Amy and Rory arrived," Harry mused.
"I thought you said we didn't want to arrive then?" Tegan asked.
"It's still useful to have a look then," Oswin offered as she adjusted the controls. "There's still significant scarring along a lot of the upper dimensions and through the vortex," she said pointing as Harry watched the readings diminish slightly.
Harry winkled his nose. "A re-think I think," he said twisting the dial.
"Where are we going now?" Tegan asked.
Harry grinned. "Back to the future!"
Tegan rolled her eyes.
"Hey, I didn't get to know those references till I left Hogwarts, wasn't as though my relatives were big on culture," Harry challenged as the Timeship materialised.
"We're back at your place again? Why?" Tegan asked as she followed Harry outside.
"I need to go and pick up a few things, I've got an idea how to cheat our way around the time scars," Harry explained, and then looked to Oswin. "Do you and Tegan want to skip ahead or head into my house for a cup of tea?"
"You want me to time travel instead of waiting for a few hours?" Tegan asked incredulously.
"When I suggested it-" Oswin started and then laughed. "We'll go have some tea," she said.
"Or I could go with you?" Tegan asked.
"Yeah, do that, I'll have a nap," Oswin said eagerly.
Harry walked over to her and hugged her whispering. "You can come to," he said. "In your other guise," he said pulling back to look at her with a smile.
"You're the only one who likes both sides of me," she smiled. "Weirdo."
Harry laughed. "Come on," Harry gestured to the road.
"Why are we going up here?" Tegan asked as she walked up the drive as Oswin slipped back into the Timeship.
"You know I'm a wizard Tegan, I'm not just some guy with a Timeship?" Harry asked and offered her his hand.
"Yes I-" she started as she took his hand.
Then they disapparated.
"Where are we?" Tegan shook her head and laughed. "I swear the Doctor got off on people asking that," she paused "And no, I'm not surprised Harry, I've been through plenty of transmats in my past life travelling."
"Of course you have, this is a perfect 1960s village..." he said gesturing around them.
"So it was created by Autons, controlled by wizards as some experiment against aliens?" Tegan surmised. "And Iris Wildthyme helped you sort it out?"
"Seems like she's met everyone," Harry smiled in remembrance.
"She seemed like she wanted to get the Doctor into bed, and kept calling me the 'mouthy Australian' behind my back," she commented. "And where are we going?"
"To find one of Judith's travelling rambling mates who does some work here, best to keep bolt holes like this occupied," he commented idly.
"What's the town called?" Tegan asked.
"Ashfordly, it doesn't exist, I mean it exists here, but there's nothing that says it exists,"
"And you've just claimed it?" Tegan wondered as they walked along the street.
Harry shrugged. "Might as well, the pub still has proper 1960s beer, there's a little brewery that the Autons who were here were running, along with a little micro-factory that was churning out all the other little period-acurate bits and pieces, I think there were some witches and wizards managing some of the other stuff, but," Harry gestured. "Just here."
It was a mechanic and factory at the back, Harry went in through the mechanic building's open doors.
"Harry?" Called a woman.
"Hey Pats," Harry called out as a woman with dyed hair in purple and green hues came out from behind one of the car lifts. "Nice hair."
She laughed. "I've told Judith needs to dye hers."
"She likes the power grey, I think she does it to intimidate," Harry joshed.
She gave him a look. "She does the creep up on you too?"
Harry grinned and nodded. "This is a friend of mine; Tegan," he introduced.
Pats waved. "Won't shake, I've got 1960s era grease on m' hands."
"You maintain Harry's fleet?" Tegan asked curiously.
Pats laughed. "He was a mysterious benefactor when I first found out about this," she gestured around her "Judith set it up, wouldn't ever get to work on classic motors like this, it'll set me up good for the future work she said."
Harry nodded. "That's what Judith does," he paused "maybe when I'm not paying attention."
"So what do you need?" Pats asked. "You're not often wandering the streets."
"I need a car, no later than 1946, preferably left hand drive," Harry said.
"You don't know what's in your village?" Tegan hissed.
Pats laughed. "Way he and Judith explained it, the aliens running this place replicated or sourced it all, including the landed gentry and the old hoarder, me and Judith's mates are still finding barn finds which aren't."
"Any other requirements Harry?" Pats asked as they walked through one of the factories at the back of the mechanics building to another building. "Machine guns behind the headlights? Missile launchers."
Harry smiled. "I'd still like that, needs back seats."
"Going on a road trip?" She asked.
Harry nodded. "Going to visit some friends."
"And you need a pre-1946 car to do it?" Pats asked. "I'm not going to query more," she said shaking her head.
"I don't think I want something American," Harry mused.
"We're going to America!" Tegan exclaimed.
Harry looked at her. "And if we take a good looking American car we'll either blend in or we'll stick out, might as well find something nice to stick out in," Harry paused and called ahead. "Is Jayden around, I might need him to fake up some period-correct US cash for me just in case."
Pats just laughed.
"We'll look like a head of state," Tegan commented as Harry set up one of his larger expanding bags.
"It's a nice car Tegan; Lagonda V12, that or the Hispano-Suiza J12 would've given you great presence on the road," Pats commented. "It's probably one of less than a dozen in this configuration."
"Thought you wanted it left hand drive," Tegan challenged.
"Yes, thank you Tegan," Harry shook his head as he walked around the long wheel base car taking in the two large headlights, and long bonnet before nodding to himself and levitating the car into his bag.
"You don't find any of this weird?" Tegan asked Pats curiously.
"That Harry's a wizard and this town is in a time warp?" She asked shaking her head. "Nah."
Harry closed the bag and rolled it back up.
"How can you do that Harry? That's what a however many ton car, and you've folded it up?" Tegan asked.
"You travelled space and time in a Police Box with a bloke who changed his face, and this you question?" Harry gestured. "Come on, let's see if Jayden is doing his work."
"Counterfeiting?" Tegan challenged.
Harry looked over to where Tegan was dozing in his arm chair, they weren't actually travelling anywhere, or rather they'd arrived.
"Ready?" Oswin asked gliding in and swivelled her eyepiece to look at where Tegan seemed to have stirred.
"Yeah?" Tegan looked around and came over eyeing Harry and Oswin. "Thought I heard something?"
Harry shrugged. "Just about to materialise-"
He was cut off. "Where?" Tegan asked.
"New Haven, Connecticut," Harry reported.
"We thought we'd choose somewhere outside New York, just to be on the safe side, once we've taken some readings then we can make a better assessment," Oswin explained.
"And why all the faff with the car if you can just pop around?" Tegan pressed.
"Because this is an alien environment, and if I don't need to risk things I won't," Harry explained, "Now, if you don't mind I'll materialise my Timeship?"
Tegan nodded. "Go on then Harry, do your thing."
"Yale?" Tegan asked looking around where they'd materialised the Timeship.
"Or one of the older houses nearby," Oswin commented.
"And the TAR-," Tegan stopped herself. "Your Timeship?"
"Will be fine, no one could touch it even if they got through the spells around it, and the bloke who owns this house won't be back for another month," Harry jabbed a thumb back at the large house. As he gestured with his wand.
Tegan looked at him surprised. "You prepared?"
"Course I prepared, while you were using the toilet and grabbing a bite to eat," Harry said. "Going in blind is not something I wished to do," he gave her a hard look. "Did you think we were just going to wander into this?"
"There's nothing too dangerous around here," Oswin said walking up behind him. "There's a secluded area to the side of the house to unpack the car," she continued.
Harry patted his bag. "And the Timeship?"
Oswin smiled at him. "Nothing too lethal if anyone gets close," she leant in closer "And if any time travellers or enemies do something a bit more lethal," she continued.
Harry smiled and nodded.
"Not something to tell Tegan?" Oswin wondered softly.
Harry shook his head.
"Why am I in the back?" Tegan asked.
"Oswin's got my temporal scanner and the map, you can pretend you're the PM," Harry said as he started the car and pulled out onto the road.
"How many Prime Ministers have you met Harry?" Tegan wondered.
Harry smiled as he looked in the rear view mirror. "A couple of the British Prime Ministers, including the Master," he said as he turned onto a larger road. "Wish I'd taken this for more of a drive, and that it was something sportier."
"Your friend said this isn't exactly the sporty era quite yet," Tegan pointed out.
"Well if we come back we're grabbing something from 1950s collection, give me a bit more speed and acceleration," Harry commented.
"No alien Prime Ministers? The Doctor would always want to show off," Tegan continued as she looked out the window.
Harry looked to Oswin who smiled and leaned against the window, watching the world roll past. "I'm not the Doctor Tegan, and I haven't done that much travelling away from Earth, beyond my mission as I said."
"And this?" Tegan asked.
"You asked," he looked in the rear view mirror to see her gaze. "And you're right they are my friends too, if we can drop in occasionally..." he trailed off. "And I have met an alien Prime Minister, might even be the same one Amy and Rory have met."
"Small world the universe is it?" Tegan asked in a cynical tone.
"We run in similar circles, just with different settings at the table," Harry explained.
"What the Doctor's sitting down with them and you're blowing them up?" Tegan asked.
Harry smiled. "With regard to our mutual alien PM it's likely more of the reverse."
They were by his estimation more than an hour outside of New York city when his temporal scanner started to whine and make a noise he'd not heard often.
He found somewhere to pull off the road as Oswin read off the temporal scanner's readings.
"What language is that?" Tegan asked leaning forward from the back seat.
"Dalek," Harry and Oswin answered together.
"What?" Tegan asked in an arched tone.
"Yeah," Harry said as Oswin passed him the scanner.
"Those energy readings are high, not as high if we'd see if we brought the Timeship here, but..." Oswin trailed off in a slightly wary tone.
Harry nodded, they'd seen it this high in the past in the Time War, it certainly wasn't dangerous if you were a native, or spent time around stuff like this. Nor really as seasoned time travellers, that he and Oswin were, he wasn't sure about Tegan though and said so.
"You think I'll feel something?" She asked from the back. "I haven't been away from it for that long...have I?" She wondered.
"Time travel stuff does hang around," Harry mused. "It's the meta-temporal stuff that might not or might interact in weird ways, give us a shout if you feel something," Harry offered not exactly helpfully.
"What sort of something will it feel like?" Tegan asked in a weary tone.
"A sort of existential tugging that you feel like there's an attack somewhere far off, yet really close, it's there to come for you but you can't put it into words," Harry answered in a solemn tone.
"Or it might just feel a bit jazzy and excited, it's a bit of a mixed bag depending on what specific frequency of temporal energy it is that interacts with you," Oswin continued in a brighter tone.
"Yeah," Harry nodded "if you feel either of those shout out, I'll take you back to the Timeship immediately."
Tegan sneezed. That's all she'd felt as they'd driven towards New York City, an urge to sneeze, despite there not being much in the way of pollen or anything in the air, it seemingly being the end of summer.
If this was what Harry and Oswin had described it was a little...weird.
"It's increasing as we get closer, any thoughts?" Oswin was muttering to Harry as they drove.
"Lots, but nothing we've seen in the past," he muttered rubbing his chest. "Getting a bit of weird feeling in the chest though," he said as shifted to the side stretching slightly.
"I saw a sign for a diner ahead in a couple of kilometres," Oswin said softly.
"They use miles," Tegan said from the back.
"What?" Oswin looked back to Tegan.
"It's a measurement used in the UK, I think the Doctor taught me the wonders of the 'metric system'," Harry paused in thought. "Or maybe it was Ian Chesterton," he paused and then added "actually it might have been the Master."
"The Master taught you in school?" Tegan exclaimed from the back. "You've been messed up by both of them," she muttered.
Harry chuckled. "You're not the only one to suggest the Doctor's had a hand in messing up people's lives, but it was you that said that to me, especially about who we're visiting Tegan," he commented.
Tegan leaned back into the seat. "Why would we want to stop at a diner?"
Harry looked at Oswin and they both briefly turned to look at Tegan. "To eat?"
Harry and Oswin had ordered a stack of pancakes, because they were in the United States. There was unfortunately no option for a pot of tea, he and Oswin had settled for juice.
Tegan just had coffee and a omelette that she'd nibbled at.
"Any ideas?" Tegan asked.
Harry looked from his huge pile of pancakes to Oswin, they looked like a colourised photograph. He'd declined to have bacon with them, they were dripping with butter and syrup. He looked at Tegan and started to cut into the huge stack. "In what sense?" He wondered.
Oswin smiled at him, or maybe at the stack of her own pancakes. "Do we cheers pancakes?"
Harry shook his head and frowned. "I don't know, my history knowledge is a bit patchy."
"Ironic, knowing the Doctor," Tegan commented as she watched Oswin stuff a large amount of a pancake into her mouth.
Oswin closed her eyes with a smile.
Harry too smiled as he chewed and swallowed. "Never a nice diner when we last travelled," he shook his head and smiled and grabbed the little syrup jug and poured more onto the pancakes that seemed to have absorbed it all and turned it around to offer to Oswin.
"Ooo, yes!" She took it eagerly.
Tegan looked between them. "Did you not go anywhere before?" She asked and then added. "And aren't they going to think we're weird?"
Harry shrugged. "They already think we're weird, a British person, an Australian and a lady of curious origins walk in and order pancakes," he shook his head as he cut another piece of the pancake off. "I've cast a couple of choice spells, they're not hearing anything around us in detail, nothing aside from background chatter that they'll be expecting."
"So we're not going to be confronted by the local police?" Tegan asked warily as she looked around them; there were only a couple of other people not paying them any attention.
"Maybe," Harry shrugged. "but we can always deal with them," he said in a far too casual way.
Tegan looked to him carefully, with slight concern.
"Hypnotism, befuddlement, casual persuasion," Harry listed off.
"Stunning, paralysis, general dissuasion," Oswin continued. "We can't use mind altering substances in this era can we?" She looked to Harry.
He smiled and shook his head. "Probably discouraged, I think we're too early for that," he said.
Tegan couldn't believe the pair, Harry and Oswin sitting there, enjoying their pancakes with happy abandon. Oswin especially there was something she seemed to find joyous about the pancakes, it was really weird. There was something off with her.
Harry too, he seemed so animated, maybe it was just time travelling again, she'd not really thought about it properly.
This wasn't the aimless wandering with the Doctor, that's why she could never go back to travelling.
Harry promised this was 'a mission' to do something, a question to be solved.
"This isn's just about having pancakes is it?" She asked after she'd let them finish their stack.
Harry was sipping a glass of luridly coloured juice. He shrugged. "It is."
"And it isn't," Oswin said as she wiped her mouth.
"How'd you enjoy those?" The waitress came over beaming at them, she scowled slightly in Tegan's direction at her half eaten omelette.
"It was wonderful, just what we needed," Harry praised with a huge smile.
"You been on the road a while?" She asked matching his smile.
Harry nodded. "Just going to visit some friends, we're down from-" he was cut off by the phone on the wall ringing.
"Thought you might be Canadians," she said as she bustled off.
"Canadians?" Oswin wondered as Harry got up to pay.
"You don't sound like you're from anywhere," Tegan observed.
"And Harry?" She wondered.
Tegan frowned in thought. Harry sounded a lot like the Doctor some of the time, it was kind of disconcerting how much he could do the bullshit and bafflegab and sound like a normal person.
The three of them left the diner together and went back to where Harry had parked their mammoth vehicle.
Once they got in Harry turned around and looked to her. "Oswin and I think that we might be feeling affects of all that jagged temporal energy interacting with us, might be a bit like pressure equalising. Stopping for a bit to eat might equalise things."
Tegan looked at him annoyed. "And why didn't you explain this?"
Oswin looked around guiltily. "There's a psychosomatic component to some temporal travel, you can't will yourself to time travel, but if you've been exposed to a time sensitive in distress, or another significant temporal event if can effect things."
Tegan crossed her arms. "Hang on, so you think that I'm making myself sneeze or feel weird?"
Harry shook his head. "No, but you drank the coffee, nibbled the omelette," he gave her a look. "And generally got involved here, eased yourself in. Oswin and I have been used to recently bursting into quite violent temporal incursions..." Harry trailed off. "Usually feels a bit like a-"
"Like Golos at the Intergalactic Song Contest," Oswin offered.
Harry shook his head.
"I've heard of that," Tegan commented. "The Doctor tried to take us to one."
"Ooo which one?" Oswin asked looking around to her suddenly interested.
"Don't know, we ended up in a sort of steampunk industrial revolution on some planet, Nyssa ended up as Queen's consort and I was Regent," Tegan answered idly.
"And the Doctor?" Harry asked curiously.
Tegan laughed. "He was arrested as a heretic and carted off to a penal colony, he assured us it was part of his plan."
"How will you know where to go to find them? Your gizmo not working?" Tegan asked critically from the back seat.
"There is a lot of temporal energy wash out around here, there's evidence of emergency shifts somewhere in the vicinity as well," Oswin looked to Harry archly.
"The Cult of Skaro were in New York about 10 years ago," Harry explained casually. "There's a bunch of evidence collected around that time, all secreted away."
"What's the Cult of Skaro?" Tegan asked.
"They are, were?" Harry frowned as he paused for a moment to change gears, engaging the clutch each time. "A group of Daleks that were challenged to think...outside the normal realms of what Daleks think like."
"What does that mean?" Tegan queried critically.
"I saw what they could do and some of the aftermath, but from what I've read-" Harry started.
"In your cultural philosophy books?" Tegan interjected critically.
Oswin gave him a sideways glance.
"Yeah, I guess, it's interesting, they were a wily bunch, a black Dalek and a couple of off-siders, I met one of them a while ago when the Earth was moved, Caan was totally insane, I tried to kill Davros when I met Caan."
"What?" Tegan exclaimed.
"Mostly as a distraction, I didn't think the PM would mind," he continued casually.
"The PM? Why would the Prime Minister care?" Tegan wondered.
"I didn't bring it up when I visited the Parliament, I guess the PM wouldn't, we don't often get onto history, I've only met once," Harry commented.
"I thought you said you've met the Prime Minister a few times?" Tegan asked critically again.
Harry could feel her gazing at him and see her in the rear view mirror crossing her arms at him.
"Not the PM of the UK," he said simply.
They travelled along in silence for a while.
"How will you know where to go if your equipment doesn't work?" Tegan asked.
"I looked up records of where they lived," Harry answered simply.
"Hang on, what was all that about the rules I have to follow and you're looking up what happens to them?" She almost demanded.
"I've known time travellers for longer Tegan, and the option was to either come in here blindly and wander around and hope we could find the address that was on the envelope of that letter or to do preparatory research before we came, I for one would rather not put my foot in it or do anything that would compromise the timeline."
Tegan leaned back. "Alright," she sighed. "Alright."
"Alright?" Harry wondered.
Tegan shook her head. "Alright you seem like you know what you're doing more than the Doctor ever did."
"The Doctor wanted adventure, this is a mission you wanted to explore," he paused as she looked like she wanted to say something. "And I want to too."
Rory looked up as the door bell rang, Amy looked at him and frowned, they'd both just gotten in and wanted their feet putting up and relaxing. American hospitality was...nice, great, and they'd just moved in here, courtesy of one of Doctor John Smith's agents who'd helped them in a letter.
"You go," Amy waved towards her husband.
"What?" She heard him say as he opened the door to the apartment. "How can you be here?"
"Would you believe that we were just in the area and thought we'd drop in?" Came a voice that sounded like Harry Potter's.
Amy flung herself out of the chair and found her husband enveloping the man himself in a huge hug.
She pulled Tegan into a similar hug.
After they'd both hung onto them for however how long Amy pulled them into their apartment.
"Hey," said a woman in a red dress. "Nina?" She smiled. "I mean Rory."
"Soufflé girl?" Rory asked quizzically in an unsure tone. "How are you here, I thought the Doctor-"
"The Doctor says a lot of things," Harry cut in.
Amy wiped tears off her face as she stepped back to look at her two friends, and seeing the woman whose voice her and Rory had heard on the Dalek planet.
"Come on, you can come and have something to drink," she gestured towards the small kitchen.
"And you can explain how you got here," Harry asked gently.
"And you can explain how you got here Harry," Rory countered.
"...and then we both jumped off the building, a catastrophic paradox the Doctor and River said."
"Then I saw a grave," Rory frowned. "Mine, and then an Angel got me," he looked to Amy, she reached out and took his hand.
"And I followed, the Doctor said there's no way back," she said looking from Harry to Tegan and Oswin.
Harry leaned back in his chair. "If he hasn't come back for you, I don't know, it was hard getting here."
Rory nodded. "Thought so, can't cheat, not all of the time."
"We've made a life for ourselves here Harry," Amy explained with a smile as Rory squeezed her hand.
"Do you wanna go out for a walk?" Rory asked suddenly.
"Yeah, better than sitting around in here, you can explain how you got from wherever you landed," Amy said with a smile.
They were walking through Central Park, he'd let Oswin and Tegan do the talking, Harry kept catching someone out the corner of his eye until he saw it.
"I just want to go and talk to someone, lurking," he explained mostly to those around him.
"Problems?" Oswin called to him breaking away from Rory rushing over to him.
"That woman's weird," Tegan said to Amy and Rory.
"Met her on a planet of the Daleks, only ever heard her voice, the Doctor wouldn't say what she looked like," Rory admitted. Oswin was about to explain why he reminded her of 'Nina'.
"She and Harry seem protective of one another," Amy mused. "Not in a sleeping together way, there's something properly intense and intimate between him and Daphne."
Tegan nodded. An intense familiarity. It was something Harry and Oswin also had, but it was like it was professional and friendly, not intimate, not in that way, but close.
Just like she'd had with the Doctor.
"Over there, I think it's one of Faction Paradox," Harry said nodding towards the bridge.
"Do we need to do something about them?" Oswin asked. "I brought with me a few utensils, even if I can't swap out the bumps," she said casually.
Harry laughed and pulled her into a half hug. "You know I don't care, the patrons of the park maybe," he wrinkled his nose. "I kinda miss not caring about that, being on whatever planet and just you being comfortable."
"I am Harry, and I was and am much older as I keep reminding you," she teased lightly as she smiled. "But it's still sweet of you," she finished. "What are you going to do, really?"
"Wander a little bit I think, and have a chat," he said as he walked away turning. "I'll signal if I need any special weapons."
Harry wandered over to the person, a woman he realised, she had been wearing a mask when he'd been at a distance, but had pulled it off and slipped it into a bag when he and some other people were approaching.
"Don't lose the mask on my account, appearances and all that are something you people value," Harry commented casually in a threatening tone.
"The spirits maintain me in many guises Harry Potter," she greeted with a menacing smile.
"Not a little sister I trust, not here?" Harry wondered, not really looking at her.
"Cousin," she answered simply.
"I suppose anyone less senior couldn't be trusted with what's floating around here," he mused. "What do you want?"
"Perhaps I wish for nothing?" The Cousin of Faction Paradox wondered.
"And the Angels that are or were here?" Harry wondered. "And the paradoxes that abound around here?"
"You felt it?" She asked with reverence.
Harry nodded. "Felt the temporal pressure as we got closer, even being here, was hard to find equilibrium," he admitted as he absent-mindedly rubbed his chest.
"It is challenging," she agreed "the spirits protect me."
"Maybe you should get someone to assist?" Harry asked, still with a vague tone of threat.
"What is it you suggest?" She countered playfully.
Harry sniffed. "I once threatened to kill a little brother, that doesn't really work with you does it? Can't really threaten to drop you into the Time Lords' laps can I?" He finished in an amused tone.
"What would it cost to get them out?" Harry asked softly as he looked over to where Tegan, Amy and Rory were walking, and Oswin was watching him and the Cousin.
"Your friend could kill me, if she broke cover," she said casually, "And she's ready to do so."
"Yes, I assumed so, and the spirits?" Harry wondered.
"Would not intervene," she replied simply.
"No, I don't think they would," Harry mused and turned to properly look at her. "I assume they'd have to come to you, and that's too mucky for them."
The Cousin smiled at him. "And you?"
"I wouldn't indulge in your brand Cousin of Faction Paradox, I've met too many of you to care for yours," he paused "Or the Time Lords," he finished with a bitter tone.
She looked at him and nodded. "I won't offer to take that away, even if the spirits could, that is something of yours," she said with a slight tone of reverence.
Harry looked to her carefully. "The spirits should take note I take my attitude to time," he paused and added "and revenge seriously Cousin."
She nodded again. "But what of that envelope, you brought that with you," she paused. "You thought we would meet?"
Harry patted his pocket, he'd brought it with him considering it was a very large possibility. "This place is covered in temporal problems, and they are here for negating a paradox," Harry paused. "I don't know how the Angels figure into yours, the spirits of the grandfather's plans."
She looked at him with some appreciation. "You've made a study?"
Harry looked to her. "I have some time here and there to spend, when I'm not being shot at or tortured Cousin, and meeting other members of the Faction, leaves me time to prepare."
She didn't say anything, she just breathed in.
"I thought it might be a bargaining chip," Harry admitted. "But they're happy here," he paused. "The Angels won't try anything on them again?" He wondered, not completely expecting a response from her.
The Cousin seemed to consider him and then shook her head. "They have feasted well, and will not return, their potential energy in remaining here has sustained those lonely assassins quite well."
"Seeing their grave kinda makes that certain," Harry sighed. "Weirdly accepting, we couldn't undo this without going back beyond that, and so they say or-"
"Or the Doctor says?" She wondered.
"Yeah, might collapse this city into temporal anarchy," Harry pondered.
"It would be a wondrous sight," she breathed with reverence.
"But...?" Harry wondered.
"But nothing, as you say, we have a different perspective," she said as she slipped her mask back on and turned away from him.
"Back to the Eleven Day Empire, or Ordifica?" Harry called to her back as she paused.
"You are well travelled," she mused, her voice now muffled by the mask.
"Well enough Cousin," Harry paused. "May you live well to terrorise the Time Lords in their sleep," he called to her back.
She laughed and turned to him, smiling even though the nightmarish mask, then she twirled and turned away from him again.
"What was that?" Amy asked, nay almost interrogated when he rejoined them.
"What was what?" Harry asked.
"The creepy woman with the mask and the cape, you stood around chatting," Rory said looking to him.
"And Oswin, she was watching you really carefully," Tegan said looking to Oswin.
"Very observant," Oswin smiled and gave a half shrug to Harry.
Harry breathed in a breath. "What a nice day it is," he said looking up at the sky.
"The Doctor used to try that on, it doesn't work," Amy looked at him. "Explain," she demanded crossing her arms.
"She's a cultist who revels in paradoxes, I threatened to kill her, we talked temporal theory, she pulled on a mask and did a little twirl," Harry paused "Shall we go and get something eat?"
"What?" Tegan, Amy and Rory said together.
"Which part?" Harry asked.
"Maybe the part where you're casually threatening people?" Rory tried.
Tegan shook her head. "I think Harry does that regularly."
"Okay, cultist?" Amy tried.
"Yeah, all sorts hanging around temporally rich places like this," Harry explained casually. "Time for some cake?" He asked looking from Oswin (who nodded) to Rory.
"But why did you talk to her for so long, you looked pretty chummy," Tegan pushed. "For someone you said you threatened."
"Their daughter has threatened me, the Time Lords have threatened me, I still get on with both perfectly fine, I've kicked the Doctor in the knads and offered an alien PM an apple," Harry explained casually. "It's a funny old universe, met my former headmaster and bloke I was involved in a prophecy on a ghost planet and discussed ethics," he sighed. "I asked the cultist if you'd be safe from the angels, and wondered whether you could be rescued from here," Harry explained in a casually quick way. "Yes you are and no you can't, shall we get doughnuts?"
Rory walked along beside Harry, after his outburst they had indeed gotten doughnuts.
"So, we're safe here?" He had been wanting to ask this for a while.
Harry nodded as he bit into one of the doughnuts they'd bought.
"And how can we know to trust the creepy woman?" He asked.
Harry shrugged. "We probably can't, she's a cultist."
"Oh great," Rory shook his head.
"But I wouldn't worry," Harry offered.
Rory looked back. "You know I saw my grave, thought that would mess me up..."
"After all the time as an Auton and everything?" Harry offered. "Weirdness isn't quite the same as it used to be?" He wondered.
Rory shook his head. "Travelling with the Doctor, it opens your eyes," he looked to Harry, almost searching for something and then shook his head. "Broadens how you think of things, and times happening."
"Like River, or Melody?" Harry wondered.
"Always feels like Amy knows her better," Rory looked sad for a moment and then smiled. "But getting to know her, properly, and then knowing Mels and everything it all, was a mess," he sighed. "But a good sort of mess, like being here," he looked back to Oswin who was following them at the rear while Tegan was with Amy ahead. "Are you alright Oswin?" He asked as she walked up to join him and Harry.
"Of course Rory, just admiring your view," she continued playfully, coming up to walk beside them.
"What?" Rory frowned for a moment. "Oh," he said in sudden realisation. "Do you think the Doctor will come back?"
Oswin looked to him with a slight shake of the head that Rory didn't see and drifted back behind them.
"If he hasn't so far," Harry paused and shook his head.
"He left money, our place, things prepared for us, like that flat back in the 21st century," he looked towards to Amy. "I don't think Amy wants to think about it."
"You've lived the ages though?" Harry wondered.
Later they returned to Amy and Rory's apartment.
"Do you wanna stay the night?" Amy asked.
Harry shook his head. "We should probably head off while there's still daylight in the day," he said, even though it was only early afternoon.
Tegan looked to him. "Do we have to go?"
"Can you come back?" Amy asked.
Oswin looked to Harry and they both seemed to reserve an expression.
"That's the 'I don't want to disappoint you expression'," Tegan said knowingly.
"I don't know, I have to do some research and readings," Harry finally said.
"Your Timeship was able to land even though the Doctor said the TARDIS had trouble?" Amy asked.
Harry breathed in slowly. "The TARDIS and our Timeship work in different ways, for different purposes," he paused and smiled. "Also I'm sure you know the Doctor is perfectly capable of missing things directly in front of him, and to the side."
"And the Doctor can be wilfully ignorant when he wants to," Oswin added, a slight edge to her tone.
"But I also don't want us to hang around until I've taken some more readings, Oswin and I have been all over a temporal war but..." Harry shook his head.
"It gets a lot more dicey when even the magic man is worried," Oswin explained Harry's worried expression.
"Why are you so worried Harry?" Tegan asked as she got back into the Lagonda V12.
Harry was going through one of the expanding bags he'd left in the vehicle and handed his energy scanner to Oswin as he looked at the separate temporal scanner he'd put back into the bag while they'd visited Amy and Rory.
"I did my own scans while we were out walking around," she said to Harry.
"How'd you manage that?" Tegan asked.
Harry and Oswin turned around to look at her.
"You forgot I was around didn't you?" Tegan demanded in a knowing tone.
"I'm not going to pretend that Oswin and I aren't used to being on a mission together," Harry answered neutrally. "I didn't forget you were around, I just was focused."
Tegan muttered something inaudibly.
"There is a lot of energy around in this city, a lot of background temporal radiation, and a lot of temporal eddies everywhere, not to mention what we saw before we materialised," Oswin explained as she took his temporal scanner out of his hands.
Harry sighed and started the car and looked back to Tegan. "I want to get a distance out of the city and do some more scans and some test spells, if I can find somewhere I can apparate to, which might not be safe to materialise the Timeship we can always land at Yale then apparate close to the city and then drive the rest of the way."
"You mean we can come back?" Tegan asked optimistically.
"Depends," Harry began.
"On what?" Tegan asked critically.
"On what sort of temporal energies abound here," Harry mused. "And how they've been affecting us, my energy scanners and the everything else."
"What about that woman you were talking with, didn't she help?" Tegan asked.
"The cultist of Faction Paradox," Oswin added.
Harry turned onto a larger road and put his foot down, slowly making his way through another gear in the V12's gearbox.
"Who are they? This Faction Paradox?" Tegan wondered. "By the name they don't sound good," she narrowed her eyes at him. "Are these more questionable people you hang out with?"
Oswin gave Harry half a glance.
"No," Harry answered as he settled into the car seat. "I've met them here and there," he looked in the rear view mirror.
"You must know something about paradoxes Tegan if you've travelled with the Doctor?" Oswin wondered.
"Yeah, what about them?" Tegan asked.
"You know about the Time Lords, you've been to Gallifrey, hung out with them, you've met others that aren't the Doctor?" Harry continued.
"Yeah, they're as pompous as the Doctor describes, live up to their titles as lords," Tegan commented.
"Well Faction Paradox are sort of the antithesis of them, I only know this from reading some books, and a little bit of what the Doctor told me here and there," Harry added hastily as Tegan looked like she was going to interject. "They're anarchists, cultists and they like to break the rules, like revelling in paradoxes."
Tegan leaned forward. "You took the envelope and letter, to what, bargain with them?"
Harry must've seemed surprised.
Tegan sat back. "I've travelled enough Harry to be observant."
Harry nodded. "I admit I did bring the letter with me, and I suspected I might run into them, this place abounds with too much paradoxical energy, but Amy and Rory have settled here, and-"
"And?" Tegan asked.
"It's a bit...their brand is pretty strong and they are cultists, at least that's what the Time Lords and most texts say about them. They've got rituals, fancy dress and a lot of what the Time Lords don't. And it's all a bit much," he sighed "they've seen their graves, they've accepted their fate."
Tegan made a noise but didn't say anything for some minutes. "They still answered your question."
"They love to play around being knowledgable, and I've threatened them here and there. It's banter, the Doctor does it to plenty of people, I just do it occasionally here and there."
"And you don't stop him?" Tegan addressed Oswin.
Oswin frowned and turned to look at her. "I'm his friend Tegan, not his keeper. Faction Paradox are interesting from a cultural perspective, not really my field, I've flipped through Harry's books on them. Bit of classic anarchist culture on a larger scale, but..." she trailed off.
"Sorry," Tegan muttered. "Didn't mean to say it like that, you've both done over and above anything, bringing me here," she sighed. "Wouldn't have known any of this, the Doctor would have just disappeared them and that would have been it."
"Amy made her choice; to be with the love of her life, she could've turned her back and not come back," Harry continued in a neutral tone.
"And these rules of time travel and paradoxes can't be broken by you?" Tegan wondered.
"They're happy here, and no Tegan, I went into a war to stop adverse affects on the timeline from one of my own," he said in a colder than he wished for tone, Tegan looked at him through the rear view mirror with a sour expression "And Tegan, I've been into the past, my personal past twice, when my parents were still alive, and I could have met them, could've changed time, and I didn't," Oswin put a hand on his arm as his voice tightened, he just continued to focus on the road. "I have suffered in many ways to protect the sanctity of the timeline, something the Time Lords forgot about and many others haven't respected, so no Tegan, there's some rules I know not to break, much as I have considered it, and be injured because of it."
Harry wasn't sure exactly how long they'd been driving, about forty minutes or so at best guess, he'd been keeping half an eye on the temporal scanner that he guessed Oswin was holding in his eye line, she shifted around the energy scanner once they were on a straight piece of road and he started to look for somewhere to pull over in and stop.
He didn't say anything to Tegan as he stopped the car, but looked to Oswin and said in Dalek "I'm going to look around, see if I can get back to the Timeship."
"Understood," she said and took his arm and squeezed it gently and smiled at him.
After Harry shut the door Tegan spoke.
"He can speak alien languages? That's nothing Earth based?" She wondered.
"Yes," Oswin didn't elaborate. Harry had infrequently spoken of his travels back in time, into his personal history, although she'd seen those memories when she'd connected with his mind in the past. There was little anguish concerning that travel, more a resolution, to pursue the mission. Knowledge and acknowledgment that he could not interfere, not in his own history like that. A responsibility.
She'd felt that, his dedication to the mission and to her, as her friend, that they were travelling through this together.
"Have I put my foot in it?" Tegan asked looking out the window as Harry walked away from the road and disappeared.
Oswin turned around to look at her. "I can't answer for Harry Tegan, time travel is complicated, and many time travellers keep their own counsel," she paused. "There are also many things, real, imagined, of prophecy, law and imagination that come out to tempt and devour those who meddle."
"And those Faction people?" Tegan challenged.
Oswin shook her head. "Harry's met them more, they think they're protected."
"And we're not?" Tegan wondered.
"Amy and Rory are safe and happy," Oswin answered simply and opened the door and stepped out breathing in slowly as she did.
Tegan watched as Oswin looked around her. Harry had said when he'd come back that she'd protected him, they had both protected one another.
Tegan couldn't see how just tool belt, the only anachronistic feature to her era-appropiate dull red dress she'd seemingly donned for this outing could have protected Harry and herself.
Tegan watched and frowned as Oswin seemed to notice something and walk towards the trees.
Grabbing for the door handle she stepped out. "Hey, Oswin what-" Tegan started to shout as it looked like someone took her hand and then she disappeared.
"Harry?" Tegan called looking around and turned back to the monstrosity of a vehicle that Harry Potter had driven them here in and then back to the tree line. "Oswin?" She called.
She wasn't worried, she reassured herself. This wasn't like the days of travelling with the Doctor, she could turn around, in that monstrosity of a car and go back to Amy and Rory, then someone, hopefully Harry would turn up. She didn't want to have to double clutch the car as Harry had been doing.
She'd been in worse situations, she'd survived different centuries, different times and places, she'd eaten terrible foods and faced off against snakes, spiders and irritating men.
"Harry?" She looked around. "Oswin?"
"Yes?" Said Harry Potter as he stepped around from behind her with Oswin.
Tegan looked carefully at him, there was something different. "What's happened?" She asked in her best critical tone that she used to use on the Doctor which used to make him stop and give her some of his attention.
Harry merely raised an eyebrow. "In what way?"
"You've changed," she said, still not sure of what exactly, something...she hadn't been giving him her full attention when they'd been in the car but there was something.
"Yes," he said honestly.
Tegan glared at him again. "Where have you been, what's been going on? Something's happened hasn't it?" She demanded.
Harry just nodded as he pulled one of his bags out of his pocket and propped it up with some internal supports. "Any one around?" He directed the question at Oswin.
"Not for a couple of kilometres," she paused and smiled. "Or should that be region-specific measurements?" She wondered as Harry levitated the car into the bag and quickly folded it up.
Tegan still couldn't quite wrap her head around him doing that. "Well?"
"Well what Tegan?" Harry wondered looking to her.
"Where have you been...diverted to and doing?" She asked.
"Just a minor diversion," Harry answered off-handedly as he pocketed the bag.
"A minor diversion?" Tegan asked glared at him. "And you didn't think to involve me?"
"No," Harry said as he offered her his hand as Oswin came around and took his other, he tilted his head in acknowledgement to Oswin as she took his hand, something unsaid between them.
Tegan stumbled as she looked around. They were back at Yale. "The Timeship's moved," she observed and then looked sharply at Harry.
Harry was looking around carefully and looked past her, Oswin had already rushed to a nearby building. "Yes," he replied slowly. "The minor diversions are overlapping and are still ongoing," he muttered as he felt around in his jacket pocket.
Then she heard it, a noise of an energy disrupter whine as it powered up, Tegan cursed her past travels knowing what that sound was and the she felt a wave of something that pulsed through the environment shaking the trees nearby and then.
"A Dalek!" She couldn't help but exclaim as it shot at something behind them.
Harry looked at it, seemingly unconcerned. "Any more?" He called, Tegan was about to answer 'no I don't know who they are that are shooting at us' but she realised with a slight startled realisation that he was talking to the Dalek as it glided over.
"No," the Dalek looked at him, its lights lighting up for a long time. "But there is considerable energy distortion," it finished as its eye piece swivelled the area.
"We should've chanced it to go direct and pick Tegan up," Harry sighed. "Let's get into the Timeship," he said and gestured towards it.
"Hang on," Tegan warned and grabbed Harry's shoulder, he slipped out of her grasp quickly. "Why are you chummy with the Daleks and where's Oswin."
"Oswin's my friend," Harry turned around with a warning tone. "And she's keeping an eye around us."
Tegan realised almost in the background of the mental processing that she'd not needed to use since running down corridors and getting locked up had faded into the past that Harry had answered her question literally. The Timeship's door slipped open and Harry strode into the control room, followed by the Dalek.
Tegan turned and as the door shut and then...then Oswin was in the room with them. "What the fuck is going on Harry?" She narrowed her eyes at the woman. "Oswin?" Her voice cracking in realisation as to what was with them.
Harry turned from where he was standing in front of the controls. "You've travelled in time and space, you witnessed the Doctor regenerate Tegan, and you do great work on Earth. Appearances are a varied and perceptions are fluid," he said in the same cold tone of warning he'd used earlier.
Oswin had made her way into the room, she reached out and touched Harry's shoulder gently. "I am who I am Tegan," she said addressing her simply.
Tegan looked between them. The Doctor really messes up people, she thought to herself. She resolved to tell Harry that later. "When we're not in danger you and I Harry are going to have words."
"Hopefully full sentences too," Harry joked.
"Can we leave now?" She asked in a tired, annoyed and somewhat angry tone. The space in here suddenly felt tensioned, or maybe she just wanted to be an appropriate distance from Oswin.
"Leaving isn't the problem," Harry countered. "It's if the people who were and are shooting at us followed us, or are just annoyed that we're here."
"Is that what happened?" Tegan asked, remaining at the back of the room where she could see Harry and Oswin.
Harry turned around. "I came back to get the Timeship, there was someone nearby; I felt the shockwave go through the local environment, we fought, I called Oswin and grabbed her to help secure the area."
"We tried to lead them away from here," Harry continued as he nodded at the screens and controls.
"And then we came back about 30 minutes and picked you up," Oswin finished turning to look at her.
Tegan found herself trying to see the Dalek that was hiding in here, but her incredulity and anger overtook that. "You time travelled 30 minutes?" She shook her head. "You couldn't have called me?"
"My sonic screwdriver is more of a tool than the Doctor's current one, so I can't enable universal roaming on your phone," Harry explained, as if that was the reason. "And it's a Timeship, it travels in time, and it gave us an opportunity to look around the local dimensions, and a starting point," he mused. "Did the sensors around us pick up anything when we got shot just now?"
"Let me rewind and see," Oswin said by the controls.
"Rewind?" Tegan wondered taking a step forward, her curiosity overriding her suspicion of the pair.
"Oswin likes to humour my cultural terminology sometimes Tegan," Harry explained as an array of jagged lines in purple, green and blue appeared on the screen.
"What's that? There were purple lines before when we couldn't land," Tegan asked gesturing to the screen.
Harry nodded. "Purple equals bad, it's basically what the rest of the universe uses as red."
"Does red not exist?" Tegan commented sarcastically.
"It's sort of interesting, at one point in the Daleks' early history some accounts say no," Harry said as though he was quoting something before he realised his audience.
"You've really been messed up by the Doctor haven't you Harry?" Tegan said, towards the end of her sentence almost realising what she'd said, adding quickly a "Sorry," in a half tone as Harry turned around to look at her.
"You were the one to say the Doctor messes people up Tegan," Harry looked to her saying in a calm tone. "I asked if you wanted to come, knowing the history we have with the Doctor and to time travel," he said in a cool tone and turned back to the screens and looked to Oswin. "What about the regular sensors around the Timeship, or" he gave her a look "Anything you noticed."
"While you were shooting out there you mean?" Tegan asked in a harsh critical tone, almost like she couldn't help herself.
"I was shooting paralysis only," Oswin objected. "And a couple of stuns when they got too close," she said as she adjusted the controls. "Didn't get much of a view, but the Timeship recorded something," she said as five screens appeared in front of them, one tinged blue before adjusting and then another four screens showing the outside environment. The scenes of Yale skipped forward as three figures materialised, they were wearing large helmets and seemed to have a leather-like construction.
"Huh," Harry mused as he looked around the control room and extracted his wand summoning his 'outdoor time travelling coat' from where he'd left it off to the side.
Tegan let out a yelp as Harry caught it and slipped it on.
"What is that?" Tegan asked eyeing him carefully.
"It's a coat," Harry answered.
"It's his time travelling coat, he's been shot a lot wearing it," Oswin added.
"It's a useful piece of clothing, Time War tested," Harry patted it as he did it up. "I think I'll go out and meet the people who were shooting at us," he said as he felt around in his jacket he was wearing under the coat and checked what was in there.
"After they were shooting at us?!" Tegan exclaimed.
"They're Judoon aren't they?" Harry wondered.
Tegan shook her head before realising it was Oswin Harry was addressing.
"Yeah, should've recognised them sooner, I think they're using some sort of occlusion field, only when they got close to the spells around the Timeship did they get disrupted," she nodded to Harry in approval. "Something to note."
Harry nodded. "Yeah," he turned towards doors as Tegan stepped forward. "No Tegan, no need to come."
"I'm not asking, I'm coming Harry if I've been shot at-" Tegan started
"No Tegan," Harry shook his head again.
"Harry I'm not-" Tegan started as Harry slipped away and was out of the Timeship before she could finish. She started towards the doors.
"I wouldn't try, they won't open," Oswin called.
Tegan stomped back into the Timeship control room. "I could try the controls, I have been out there longer than him," she narrowed her eyes at Oswin, watching her carefully.
"I'm older than I look Tegan," Oswin challenged with the smile. "And Harry gave you ample opportunity, neither of us is the Doctor," she said with a slight tone of warning.
"But you've met him?" Tegan pressed.
Oswin nodded. "Yep, and I won't be telling you about it," she paused, then fixed her with a look. "Only a small handful of people look at me, all sides of me the same way, and an even smaller amount of people look to me like Harry does as an equal friend."
"I-" Tegan started, suddenly annoyed and embarrassed.
"You don't need to say, the micro-expressions said it all," Oswin gave her a small smile. "Don't worry, I know well what they are," she turned smoothly away from her. "Now let's watch and hope Harry doesn't get shot."
Tegan breathed in and out slowly, annoyed both by herself, her preconceptions, by Harry, and herself again for getting into a time machine, knowing everything that had happened in the past. "He does that regularly?" Tegan asked after a few moments.
"He has his moments," Oswin commented with a smile.
Harry stepped out of the Timeship and looked around, he had been tempted to take his energy scanner, but he suspected he'd need to use diplomacy.
"Hello? Judoon? I invoke Convention 15 of the Shadow Proclamation?" Harry called out in a hopeful tone. He could feel movement just out of sight and then three figures came stomping towards him.
The lead figure stepped up towards him and said something in another language that he didn't understand. Then all three removed their helmets.
Harry held out a hand to stop. "I am reaching into my coat to remove a psychic amplifier."
"Psychic amplifier?" The lead Judoon queried in a guttural tone.
"Silverberg energy?" Harry wondered as he removed his wand. "Just to stop the local populace taking notice," he explained as the Judoon tensed as he cast a few heavy duty notice me not charms around them.
"You invoke Article 15," the lead Judoon took off his helmet to look at him.
Harry smiled. "You and your troops shot at me and my associate, and attempted entry to my Timeship."
The Judoon commander blinked. "You are a time traveller," their mouth seemingly taking a moment to adjust their speech pattern.
"So are you," Harry countered.
"We are the law," the Judoon captain countered.
Harry smiled again and replaced his wand in his pocket and brought out his LPI identification along with his UNIT pass from the 1970s. "As am I," he held up the LPI identification. "And this is my home planet."
The Judoon held a scanner up to him. "Identity confirmed, human," he said and leaned into look at his identification. "League of Paranormal Investigations," he looked hard at Harry. "You are a..." whatever word the Judoon used didn't seem to translate.
"I am a wizard," he paused looking for recognition "a sorcerer, a..." he used the native Dalek word for it, that seemed to have some recognition as the Judoon's two underlings seemed to stand to more firm attention.
The Judoon commander nodded. "Your qualifications are recognised: Harry Potter. You fired on the Judoon," the commander stated in a slightly accusing tone as they watched him carefully.
"If you review your scans my associate fired paralysing and stunning shots only, and you shot first," Harry paused as the commander looked back to his underlings to confirm. He gave Harry a half nod.
"This is a level 5 planet, why are you shooting at all?" Harry challenged. "Maybe I can assist," he offered after a moment of them staring at him. He hoped this wouldn't become some wild goose chase.
"This environment is secured by temporal eddies," the commander began "squad followed your temporal craft through with narrow beam temporal transmat," the commander explained as he opened his palm. "Krasko" the commander explained as a hologram appeared of a male-appearing figure.
Harry leaned forward to look at it. "Vortex manipulator?"
"Affirmative," the commander said. "Neural restrictor implanted," the commander added.
"A what?" Harry queried not recognising the he assumed device medically added.
"Stormcage," the commander answered obliquely. "Punishment."
Harry wasn't sure if that was a translation error or the answer to his question. He was briefly distracted by the answer which sounded like where - 'Stormcage', rather than the 'what'.
Instead Harry decided to go for a more direct, and hopefully easier to help with question "Do you have a temporal destination he was aiming for?"
"Prisoner Krasko's psych-analysis suggests temporal manipulation of social structures targeting common Earth year 1955," the Judoon explained.
"You're a few years out," Harry explained. "This area is fraught with paradoxes and other things..." he trailed off.
"Explain Harry Potter," the commander said looking at him.
"Weeping Angels in the largest population centre to here I understand," he explained.
All the Judoon shifted. "Angels?" The commander said in a very guttural tone.
"None around here that I've seen, the city was rich in them, paradoxes abound," Harry explained watching them. "I would suggest you return to your original time, and if your..." he paused trying to think of the things Ginny had written about the Time Lords had used to allow them to break certain laws of time "...your Blinovitch compensators?" he wondered to himself "maybe try again, just not here, factor in the temporal eddies around here," Harry paused as he mentally patted himself on the back for his use of temporal jargon and bafflegab. "And use better camouflage or holographic disguises, this is a level 5 planet," he warned again giving them a careful look. "You might not encounter someone so understanding," he finished with some humour and a smile.
The Judoon commander looked down to him and nodded and put his helmet back on and then handed Harry a thick maroon disc.
"What's this?" Harry asked taking it gingerly.
"You have been of great assistance Harry Potter, call upon if assistance is required," he said as they all came to attention and then transmatted away.
Harry looked around and nodded and smiled.
"You didn't shoot anyone?" Tegan asked, still a critical tone to her query. "What were those rhino things?"
"They're sort of galactic police, they nicked the Royal Hope Hospital a while ago, I've also seen some in a Trap Street in London where a scary possibly immortal girl low key threatened me and my associates," Harry explained casually and looked past Tegan to Oswin. "Did they actually leave?"
She nodded. "Yep, far away from here, what'd they want?"
"I think an escaped prisoner; from Stormcage," Harry answered. "Oh," Harry snapped his fingers in realisation "River Song that's why I know that name of that place."
"Was it River they were looking for?" Tegan asked in a concerned tone.
Harry shook his head. "Guy called Krasko."
"Why're they looking for him?" Tegan wondered.
Harry frowned. "I assume he's a criminal," he answered. "I didn't ask them."
"You just talked?" Tegan asked critically, looking to him,
Harry nodded as he took off his coat. "Yep, that's what I do a lot of the time, that's what Oswin and I did a bit, and get shot at."
"What's that you've got?" Tegan asked.
Harry looked down and realised he was still holding the disc.
Oswin whistled. "Judoon card, rare you see it in that colour, when I was first setting myself up after..." she looked to Tegan and then to Harry "Stuff, had to produce a bunch of reality crime TV, the Judoon almost never hand out a maroon one."
"I assume it's safe?" Harry asked, eyeing it, he'd not been game enough to put it down, or let go of it, just in case.
"Perfectly, it's an almost free pass as far as the Judoon are concerned, you obviously helped them a lot out there," Oswin commented.
Harry frowned for a moment and then nodded. "I'll just pop up stairs and put it into one of the storage containers, just in case," Harry said heading for the central lift.
"Use the Dalek shell ones Harry if you want to be doubly sure, they'll protect it," Oswin called. "They're worth more than a lot, getting friendly with a Judoon."
"Xeno-porn's a bit of a racy way to get out of the law," he teased as the lift ascended upwards, his laughter carrying him away from Oswin's annoyed expression.
"Is this what it's like with you two?" Tegan asked in an annoyed tone.
Oswin turned to look at her. "Gotta keep things light, especially given the dark state of the universe at times Tegan," she paused to look at her. "How did you promote levity when you travelled with the Doctor?"
Tegan folded her arms, still annoyed, but wanting to answer her question "We didn't need to, travelling with the Doctor was..." she trailed off. "It was good alright, we didn't need to banter, I argued with him occasionally, but it wasn't bad until the end."
Oswin didn't say anything in response.
Tegan looked to her. "Do you take this Timeship when Harry's not using it, go off places or times?" She asked hint of suspicion in her voice, she crossed her arms as she watched Oswin, cautious of what she was.
Oswin smiled betraying little emotional response to Tegan's tone. "Not really, I take it because Harry says it's too much of temptation-"
"I have a lot of things on my to do list, and this and time travel is a temptation and a distraction," Harry finished as the lift came back down.
"Can we go now?" Tegan wondered in an annoyed-tired tone.
"Go?" Harry wondered.
"Back to our own time?" Tegan clarified. "You can do that, I'm not going to have to travel with you until we randomly get back?"
"Again, not the Doctor, we've already been back once remember Tegan" Harry commented as he and Oswin drifted over to the controls, their hands going over controls checking things.
Harry paused; his hand hovering over the coordinate entry.
"You're tempted to see what the Judoon were up to, that Krasko guy?" Oswin asked in a knowing tone.
Harry nodded. "It is tempting, but it's outside my jurisdiction, I'm not the Doctor and we're not time agents," he paused giving her a half look "the Judoon have a target and it's a big populated universe, someone will likely turn up."
"Probably the Doctor, he loves finding problems," Tegan commented her tone lifting slightly.
Harry turned to look at her and nodded. "You're right, maybe a TARDIS has turned up in 1955 and him and his companions have dealt with Krasko and whatever has happened there," he pushed adjusted the controls recalling their previous coordinates. "There we go."
"That's it?" Tegan asked as a noise began around them and the square screens started spinning.
"Yep, that's it," Oswin said. "We'll be back in your own time in an hour or three, we need to weave our way slowly back around the eddies."
Tegan had sat herself down into the chairs beside the control room while Harry and Oswin worked at the controls, she was silently annoyed, pissed off with Harry and angry with him, herself and Oswin.
"You look like you're silently fuming," the man himself said as he sat down opposite her.
"Where's Oswin?" She asked craning around to look at the control room.
"If her room," he answered watching her.
"Polishing her sucker?" Tegan commented sarcastically.
Harry gave her a hard look.
Tegan glared at him.
"I told you I went into the Time War Tegan, and that Oswin kept me safe," he said calmly.
"And that you were tortured by the Time Lords," she commented, still with an edge to her voice.
"Which side of the war did you think was backing me up?" He asked critically looking at her.
"I don't know! I didn't think that too much into it!" She exclaimed. "I wasn't expecting to come face to face with a Dalek!" She finished in a raised voice.
Harry breathed in a calming breath and exhaled slowly. "She's my friend."
"You friends with a lot of them?" Tegan wondered in a harsh tone.
Harry smiled oddly. "They have their moments, once you get over the general worry of being exterminated."
"Easy is it?" Tegan wondered cynically with an angry edge.
Harry smiled, it was still a cold smile. "Surprisingly, yes." He leaned back into his chair. "The Doctor, throughout his lives has said that humans need to look beyond what is simply in front of them, to look deeper and to look all around them. That the universe is much more complicated than the simple good and bad or black and white that we seem to like to attribute to it," he paused. "At least that's what he told me, in stories, tales from his life and his adventures."
"And I suppose the Master also told you friendly little Aesop's tales to go along with that?" Tegan wondered continuing her cynical tone.
Harry looked to her and raised an eyebrow. "No Tegan, his lessons came quite early in my life and were to do with surviving the Dursleys' guardianship," he paused "and in retrospect prepared me for the life towards Hogwarts. I've met the Master fewer times than the Doctor, but his lessons have also been useful."
"With people like that early in your life-" Tegan started.
Harry interrupted her with a look. "What do you want me to say Tegan? You met me when I was a kid remember? Back with Mrs Weasley and Nyssa." he challenged. "You didn't think it was weird then that the Doctor visited me? That I was okay with him changing his body? I fought a psychopath and died to defeat him before I'd finished school," he paused to breathe. "And as I told you, I went into a war and found and killed copies of my ex-girlfriend that the Time Lords created, 12 versions of her-"
"One for each of a regeneration?" Tegan wondered.
Harry nodded. "Plus the original psychopathic husk the Time Lords left in a cupboard," he chuckled to himself.
Tegan didn't seem to appreciate the humour. "And Oswin?"
"What about Oswin?" Harry asked. "She's one of my closest friends, we've been on the battlefield together, shared cake, she picked me up after I was tortured by the Time Lords-"
"Maybe if you weren't with the Daleks you-" Tegan started to say.
Harry cut her off. "I gave myself up so the Time Lords would stop attacking the Timeship and so they wouldn't detect Oswin Tegan," he explained in a cooler tone.
Tegan opened her mouth but didn't say anything.
A noise behind them began, making Harry throw himself out of his chair.
"Come on, we're arriving," he called.
Tegan found herself being bundled out of Harry's time craft and was standing in Harry's driveway before she'd really considered anything.
"Can we go back to see them?" She wondered.
"I don't know," Harry said honestly.
"Because of what I've said?" Tegan challenged.
Harry shook his head and gave her a sad look. "Because of what you meant, I'll talk to you later."
He stepped back inside the time craft and it faded away with a noise like electronic wind.
Tegan looked around herself. "Well Tegan, great work."
They weren't really going anywhere, they were just in the vortex in a temporal orbit.
Oswin walked out of her room to the control room. "Tegan's left has she?"
"Left her at my house," he looked to her. "I don't think she was expecting to see all sides of you," he finished with a gentle smile.
"Very few are Harry," she commented matching his smile. "And where are we off to now?"
Harry didn't say anything.
"Are you still thinking about that guy Krasko?" Oswin wondered. "It'd be really easy to set the coordinates and follow them," she offered with a slight smile.
Harry nodded. "It would," he paused and met her smile with a small one "but they're off to investigate that, do we really need to be following them?"
Oswin shook her head.
There was some brief silence as they stood.
It was Oswin to break the silence. "You forget, very few are open minded as you Harry, nor as understanding as Daphne," she looked to him. "And you're a rare one not to fear."
Harry smiled taking her hands in his. "I just..." He shook his head. "I never really asked Tegan exactly how she left travelling with the Doctor, it's probably recorded by UNIT somewhere. She just said the death and everything got too much 'when you stop enjoying it you need to give it up', she'd quoted to me."
"Wondering if it's Dalek related?" Oswin mused.
"Given she travelled with the Doctor it's a very big possibility," Harry paused, "Maybe I'll check my datacore and see what the Daleks were up to when she returned to Earth," he paused frowning. "I think it was to do with the Movellan virus and Davros..." he trailed off in thought.
"Or you could just talk to her," Oswin offered.
Harry gave her a look. "I'm still annoyed at her gaul to have a go at you and then ask for another trip in the Timeship to visit Amy and Rory again."
"You're still thinking about it?" Oswin asked curiously.
Harry shook his head, his shoulders slumping. "I don't know Oswin, I've not really thought about it, them, this, it's not like us living concurrent sort of lives, they're in the past," he paused shaking his head. "And dead. And alive," he finished.
"Should I offer up some sage advice at this point Harry?" Oswin wondered as he looked to her. "Something prosaic that will make us both feel better?"
Harry nodded with a knowing smile. "Doesn't work like that really does it?"
Oswin shook her head with half a smile. "We can go and pop in on the PM if it'll help."
Harry laughed. "Yeah, that'll work, pop in and ask them their thoughts and then go back to Tegan 'I just went and had a chat with my old mate the PM, no not the human one, not the Master, had a sit down about extermination and, why are you walking away Tegan?'"
Oswin smiled. "Maybe just tell Tegan you've got multiple spinning plates on Earth in your own time Harry, that distractions even with a Timeship are still distractions," Oswin reasoned.
Harry nodded. "That might work..." he trailed off and looked around them and sighed. "It was all so much more simple, being shot at."
Oswin nodded. "Don't forget all the blacking out and banter."
He smiled. "The banter, and chess, and all the friends we made along the way."
I wrote this chapter before I saw the trailer for the centenary special that features Tegan and Ace, in fact I started planning/writing it in early 2022. This chapter takes place in the past relative to the story they appear in (I assume), and any inconsistencies I'll work out a way around them between when this chapter is set and when that story is set.
I was careful in how Harry talked to Tegan about the Time War experiences to keep it a bit ambiguous about who he went there with to make the realisation more of a shock for Tegan.
There is a tiny gap between when Harry and Oswin first encounter the Judoon, and then time travel back 30 minutes to pick up Tegan. There might be a mini-adventure in there, there might not. It's there as a 'just in case I need it' as much as to illustrate to Tegan that Harry and Oswin are a little more casual about this time travelling lark.
Krasko is from Rosa. Just because Harry hasn't met the Thirteenth Doctor (although I am getting to her, and the Twelfth, Twelve will come first, then Thirteen), it doesn't mean Harry can't encounter other stuff from her era.
Thanks for reading, and apologies for the slow updates, I've still not been writing at the same rate I used to, creativity it a little harder to conjure of late. I still have many plans for future chapters, and still chipping away at them.