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Wands and Screwdrivers

Harry Potter + Doctor Who

I chapter The second life changing day in the life of Donna Noble had only just started few minutes ago. Though of course she didn't know it at the time - nor did she know that she had already experienced one completely life altering day two years in the past. But before this particular day would be over she'd know it was one of the strangest and most interesting days of her life - most horrible perhaps as well. It was middle of the night and somewhere in the distance a church bell sounded the end of December the twenty third and sounded the start of Christmas eve. Donna, walking along a barely lit street with slightest sway on her steps, groaned. Christmas, she hated Christmas. And judging by the pass evening and the feel of her now, she was going to experience this one with a hangover - which, on other thought, wasn't that bad. Spending most of the Christmas in bed moaning about headaches and every now and then rushing to worship the porcelain altar in the temple of bathroom it could've been worse. She could've been in sound state of body of mind. She laughed a little at the thought while hitting the toe of her high heeled boot into a niche in the concrete and almost falling over. Christmases, Christmases, Christmases. They were weird these days. During the last time London had been emptied and people had actually been telling afterwards that a flying replica of the titanic had almost crashed into Buckingham Palace. And the previous Christmas, a great big web star thing had apparently flied over London and shot out bolts of electricity. And the previous Christmas there had been the whole Christmas invasion thing with people walking to their rooftops to jump Scoffing, Donna kicked a piece of rock out of her way. Weird way of marketing Christmas, setting up alien invasion hoaxes and what not. Though on other hand, it wasn't just Christmas, was it? No, there was the bleeding Earth Move and then there had been the Atmos thing - though that obviously had just been human error, not aliens - but then there was also the Adipose Industries thing and fat walking all over the streets. Hah. The people who came up with these things were on crack, had to be. Donna nearly jumped out of her skin when, right in middle of her annoyed musings about aliens and Christmases, a loud crack resounded in the alleyway, accompanied by flash of blinding white light. Yelping out with surprise and glancing up, Donna wondered when the storm clouds had sneaked up on her and since when the sound came before the light. But there was no clouds, hadn't been for days - it was the Christmas Drought or whatever else the telly had called it that morning. "What in blazing" Donna muttered and looked around to see what had caused the sound and the light. Some kids playing with firecrackers maybe? There was none to be seen. Though she did notice a man, who was now lying in the middle of the half broken pavement. Blinking with surprise and taking a moment to take the sight in, Donna took a hesitating step forward. "You okay there, mate?" she asked just to see if the bloke was actually alive. It would've been really annoying if this was one of those suicide jumpers and she had just sort of witnessed his suicidal leap of idiocy. "Did you fall or something?"

The man groaned and Donna sighed with relief. Good, not dead then. Walking forward with more confidence, she crouched beside the man and nudged his side. "You okay? Is something broken or something, should I call an ambulance?" she asked. "Oi, can you hear me?" "Yes, yes, I can," the man groaned and with a grunt of pain, turned around top his back. "Bleeding balls of Merlin, that hurts," he grunted, his left hand bracing the right side of his ribs. "Word of advice to you, lady, don't run into dark rooms when you don't know whether they have solid floors in 'em. I find it to be hazardous to one's health." "Okay, I'll keep that in mind," Donna promised while running her eyes over the man. He was a handsome fellow, she wouldn't have minded meeting him back in the pub, definitely not. Strangely dressed though. "Have you been in a costume party or something?" she asked, raising her eyebrows at his leather robes? Yep, they were definitely robes. "What?" the man asked, frowning a moment before taking her in. Realisation spread to his face and he grinned. "Oh yeah, I dressed as the wizard," he answered while trying to sit up. "Very strange party. I don't think I'll be going there again anytime soon." He didn't manage to get up before grimacing in agony and falling back to his back. "Ookay, moving, not good," he muttered and swallowed. "Broken ribs. I think. Maybe hip too. Does my shoulder look good?" Donna glanced at the said shoulder. "Looks alright to me, mate," she answered before taking out her phone. "That must've been one hell of a party. How about I call that ambulance for you now? Get you to hospital and get you fixed up and all that." "Nah, I don't think so. I'm fine," the man said, waving his hand at her. "Don't really like hospitals, you see. They're all white and smelly and the people tend to be patronising. Besides, it's just broken rib or two and probably cracked hip bone, I'll heal." The woman stared at him for a moment. "You're insane," she then said. "Absolutely bonkers." "Thank you," he answered with a smile while trying to sit up again. "Seriously though, I'm fine. I've been worse and besides --" he cut off as his attempts of getting up failed once more. As he fell back down with a grunt, he did so with a slightly dismayed look about his face. "That is getting bit annoying though." "I can imagine," Donna muttered with a snort. "How about I help you up?" "I think that might help, yeah," he agreed with a hopeful look thrown at her direction. With a soft laugh, Donna shook her head before taking his left arm into hers and then lifting it over her shoulder. "Alright then," she said. "On three. One, two --" she huffed out a breath as together they forced themselves back to their feet. The man didn't seem overly steady though and the moment they were actually standing, he almost fell over. "You know, mate, I don't think it'd be wise to leave you alone like this," she noted. "You can barely move and by the looks of it you're on brink of falling unconscious." "Yeah, I noticed that too. Things are going bit out of focus," the man nodded, making a wiggly motion with his fingers. "Hazy. I like hazy. It makes things pretty."

"And you're starting to talk nonsense too," Donna noted. "Good thing for you, I'm drunk. So I'm going to take you home - I mean, my home, I don't know where yours is and don't particularly care anyway. But anyway, my home. It's close by, few blocks that way. You can pass out in peace there." "Sounds nice," the man agreed, letting out a wheezing breath as they started painstakingly walk forwards. "You're pretty nice for a drunken woman. What's your name?" "Donna," she laughed. "Donna Noble." "Noble Donna. Fits you," the man said with a solemn nod, his eyes now slightly crossed behind his glasses. "I'm Harry. I have a last name, I know I do, but things are getting a bit fuzzy around the edges and I can't really tell what it was sorry." "How about you tell me in the morning," Donna chuckled. "Just concentrate on staying conscious, okay? I need to get you up three flights of stairs and that won't be too easy if you're unconscious by that time." "I can imagine," Harry muttered, his head drooping slightly. "Is there a husband or something?" he then asked, looking up. "Because I don't really fancy the notion of being beaten up in the morning by a jealous spouse or something like that. Stuff like that tends to get nasty and I have these broken ribs and all" "No, there's nothing. Just me," Donna laughed. "Still, just to be on the safe side, you're taking the couch." "Okay, that seems reasonable," the man nodded before frowning. "You know, I think I've broken my ribs a little." "Oh, really? Fancy that," she laughed. "It's not really funny," he accused with a sloppy pout. "Broken ribs are serious business. I might have concussion too, though. Or it might be shock. My head's going all funny." Donna frowned. "Are you sure I shouldn't call an ambulance?" she asked. "If you have a concussion you should be taken care off. By someone who actually knows what they're doing." "Phhsh," the man muttered, waving hand haphazardly. "Not lethal, gonna be okay in the morning, I swear," he answered. "It's kind of fun actually. It's been a long time since I've last had a concussion. Have you ever had a concussion?" "Not that I know of," Donna answered. "You should try it sometime. It's kind of fun," Harry answered solemnly. "I think I'm going to pass out soon." "Not yet - we're almost there," she answered, motioning at an apartment building not far away. "See, I live there. We just need to get up the stairs and once we're inside you can pass out. Come on."

Harry stayed conscious - though barely - all the way up to the house and up the stairs to the third floor. That was about it, though. He half collapsed the moment they were inside Donna's two-room apartment, and she had to drag him to the couch mostly by her own strength. By then he was nothing but a dead weight and Donna had no hope of getting him out of his odd robes - all she could do was to undress the boots he was wearing and undress the odd utility belt thing he had wrapped around his waist. "That really must've been one strange party you were in," she murmured while holding the heavy leather belt up. It had four pockets at each side and a sheath for a thin knife or something like that on the right - the knife was missing through. There was also a small leather satchel hanging from the left side and what looked like small glass phials on both sides, twelve of them altogether. Taking one of the thin phials to her hand, Donna eyed the colourless liquid inside. Water. Or perhaps booze. "Very strange party." Shaking her head she set the belt down to the table beside the couch before getting up to get a blanket for her unconscious guest. After spreading it over him, she headed to the bathroom to get ready for the night. While washing her teeth, she wondering how the man had managed to sneak up on her in the street and where the light and the sound had came from. They hadn't really covered that in the conversation. "Well, I can ask about it in the morning," she murmured after washing her makeup off. "If I remember." Much like she had predicted, she did woke up with a horrible hangover and the first thing she did was worshiping the porcelain altar. Hell of a way to start Christmas eve. It wasn't until after she had emptied her stomach, washed her face and teeth and regained some of her senses that she noticed that she wasn't alone in her apartment. "Hello!" the man lying on her couch greeted her, lifting one hand in sloppy salute. His glasses were askew and his hair was pointing at all directions and he looked distinctively dishevelled. "Top of the morning to you." "You!" Donna snapped. "You... you you! Who are you and what are you doing in my living room? Tell me quickly before I call the cops!" "Good memory, huh?" the man chuckled, eyes wide with amusement. "I'm Harry. You rescued me yesterday. I think. It's all a bit fuzzy, but I think you did. Donna, right?" he tilted his head to the side. "Noble Donna." "Uh" she frowned, trying to remember. With a pounding head and churning stomach, it was hard to concentrate. "Hold on a minute," she snapped before marching to the kitchen where she tore through the cupboards in search for her migraine medicine. After finding the bottle and taking two, she returned to the living room. "Okay, now, say that again." "You rescued me," the man said solemnly. "I think. I'm in the state of needing rescuing, so I think you did. Broken ribs, possibly cracked hip - hell of a bruising along my right shoulder too, it's a wonder it didn't dislocate or break or anything like that," he rubbed his left hand briefly over his shoulder. "Hurts like several expletives which aren't polite to use in company of a lady," he added with a grin.

"Lady my ass," Donna muttered while collapsing to armchair next to the couch. "So. I rescued you after you got beat up? Why the hell did I do that? Why didn't I just call an ambulance or something?" "Well, I didn't actually get beat up and I think I told you not to," Harry shrugged. "I'm not particularly fond of hospitals." "If you didn't get beat up, what happened to you?" "I fell. Really long way. I think," the man frowned before shaking his head. "Not particularly important, that, though. Over now and so forth. So," he trailed away, looking around. "Where exactly am I? In your home obviously, but which part of, um, world is this?" "Chiswick - London," Donna frowned. "How can you not know where you are?" "I fell a really long way," Harry answered solemnly before frowning in thought. "London, huh? Maybe a natural Floo-like portal then or freak quirk in nature. Brilliant, that saves me the trouble of flight back home I suppose," he muttered before grunting softly and trying to sit up. "Ugh. Broken ribs. I hate having broken ribs," he grunted while managing to steady himself against the backrest. "Listen, I don't want to be a bother." "You have broken ribs and a cracked hip," Donna snorted. "And you don't want to be a bother? This being rescued thing, you're not doing it very well." "Yes, well, it's not usually me who needs rescuing but who's doing the rescuing," Harry grinned. "But anyway, I'm being a bother and I don't want to be. So, my, um" he motioned towards the utility belt. "My things. I'm missing something. It must've dropped somewhere along the way - a piece of wood, about this long," he held his hands apart from each other. "Polished, with a nice handle. Um. I need it back." "You dropped your magic wand huh?" Donna snorted. Harry scratched the back of his head. "Well, um yeah. Kinda. Probably. Listen, I really need it. Once I get it I'll be on my way and won't trouble you anymore," he looked up hopefully. "Promise." "And because you can't even sit up properly, you need me to go and get it? Well, that will have to wait," Donna said while sitting up. "Because I need something to eat, something I can hopefully keep down too. I can get your little wand after I've gotten a cup of coffee, eaten something and made myself presentable. You want something to eat? Coffee, or may be some tea?" "Yeah, tea would be lovely. And I would appreciate a piece of bread if you can bear to share," Harry sighed, leaning his head back and closing his eyes. "So, do you do this sort of thing often? Rescuing strangers and all that." "No, not really. I think you're the first person I've actually rescued," Donna mused while heading to the kitchen to thrown together some bland, tasteless food which hopefully wouldn't disturb her stomach. "I don't know what came over me, though. Any person with any sense would've just called ambulance."

"Or just left me there," Harry answered with a cough. "I appreciate that you didn't. Passing out in the pavement isn't exactly pleasant. Not to mention about the waking up." "So, have you done that sort of thing often?" Donna asked with a snort. "Your so called fall which cracked bones, I mean. And almost passing out in the pavement." "Yeah. Actually, yeah, that's something of a normal day for me," the man agreed. "I wasn't expecting to end up in a street in Chiswick of all places though, that's something new." Short silence followed before he chuckled. "You think I'm a nutter, don't you?" "A little bit," Donna agreed. "But don't worry, I've met nutters before - some of them are pretty nice too. How do you take your tea?" "With milk," Harry answered. "So, tell me about yourself, Noble Donna. What do you do for living?" "Just Donna is fine," she answered. "There's not much to tell. I work as a secretary in a small publishing firm not far from here - used to be a temp but they hired me permanently after their former secretary left. Small wage but it pays the rent." "It's a nice place you got. Smallish but nice. I like the decoration, it's very cheery. So, any possible love interests?" the man asked cheekily. "You're hitting on me while you're injured?" Donna asked with disbelief, throwing a look at the living room over her shoulder. "You need to straighten your priorities, Casanova." She muttered when he just laughed. "And to answer your question, no. There isn't any love interests. Not since my ex-fianc." "Ex-fianc? Not ex-husband? Do I sense a story there?" Harry asked curiously. "Maybe," Donna snorted. After piling the bland sandwiches she had made to one plate and the cups to another, she returned to the living room and placed the items to the table. "Two years ago I was all set to marry a man from my work place of the time. Lance, his name was, Lance Bennett. It was a bit rushed thing, we'd been dating only six months and all, but well, anyway," she handed the tea to him while leaning back with her own coffee cradled in her hands. "It's a bit fuzzy for me, but people say that I ran from the altar. And Lance went sort of missing the same day." Harry threw a surprised look at her. "You wouldn't have had anything to do with him going mysteriously missing?" "I honestly don't know," Donna murmured, tracing the edges of her cup with her fingertips. "I have a lacunar amnesia. Gaps in my memory here and there, you know. Bits and pieces missing, things fuzzy, whole weeks and months I can't recall. Or so the doctors say. Anyway, I can't remember most of the wedding but since the police haven't arrested me for murder" she shrugged bef ore grinning at the look he gave at her. "Bit of a turn off, huh?" "Are you trying to throw me off?" he asked curiously. "Maybe a little," she mused, tilting her head to the side. "The amnesia was discovered few months ago when I figured out I was missing certain bits and pieces of the last two

years. After that dating has been, well, let's say complicated. So I figured if I'd lay down the facts immediately, I might avoid some of the problems later on. If it goes anywhere." "That might make your dating scene a bit difficult to maintain, you know," Harry mused. "But no, that's not as much of a turn off for me as, say, possible murder. You sure you had nothing to do with the disappearance of your fianc?" he asked, looking at her thoughtfully. "Because if you did, then we might have a problem." Donna laughed. "Who knows," she shook her head before looking at him curiously. "What about you? With your odd costume parties and mysterious injuries seems like you lead an interesting way of life." "Well, I suppose it could seem like that," the man mused, all wide eyed innocence. "But it's not really. I'm just. Uh I'm just a traveller. Sort of." "Who goes to odd costume parties," Donna remarked, throwing a look at the man's odd leather robe. Then she frowned, taking in the cloth. It looked well worn and very well made, actually. Like something you could wear for years and years without having it break. It was way too well made for a mere costume. "It's not a costume is it?" she asked when he just looked at her, apparently loss at words. "Well, uh well, I suppose it's sort of a costume I wear pretty much always?" he more asked than said, running his hand over the leather. "You got to admit, it's pretty nice, though. Cost me a small fortune to get it made - and worth every knut." "Is that real leather?" Donna asked with amazement before leaning forward and touching the sleeve of the robe which had been tightened around the man's wrist with straps. It didn't look like real leather. What sort of animal had a skin like this one, all scaly and dark green? There weren't any snakes big enough - maybe it was crocodile hide? "It can't be real leather." "Well, you know" the man shrugged before grimacing and touchin g his side gingerly. "Ow," he said for good measure. "You know I'd appreciate if you would get my, uh, wand. Sometime soon. Really." "So that you can wave it to make yourself all better?" Donna asked with a grin while reaching for a piece of bread. "Yeah, um, sort of?" Harry grinned while opening the clasps in front of the leather robe and pushing it aside to get better access to his ribs. "Oww," he murmured while feeing around under the robe. "Two no, three ribs. Doesn't seem like the two lower ones a re that bad, but the topmost one is totally cracked no wonder it hurts this much." "There is something seriously wrong with you," Donna mused, eying the man thoughtfully. "Yeah, cracked ribs. And hip bone too, though that's probably just a hair fracture, otherwise I wouldn't have been walking at all yesterday," Harry grunted. "Nothing I can't fix though, once I have the, um the wand," he murmured, closing his eyes momentarily before turning his attention to the food. "Can I?" he asked, motioning towards the sandwiches.

"Help yourself," Donna nodded and the man leaned to take one of the slices. "So, where do you think you dropped your magic wand?" she asked with a grin. "Probably where I collapsed. I had it in my hand before that, I remember that much," the man mused, opening and closing his right hand before sighing. "And of course I didn't bring a spare with me. I usually carry one with me at all times, but this time I just happened to decide that no, I don't need one. I'm an idiot." Donna smiled. The man was obviously a bit of a lunatic, but he seemed nice enough in slightly wacky way. It wouldn't be too much of a trouble to go and look around for the man's stick - she needed to take out the garbage anyway, so she could do it in the same time. "Everyone has the right to be one every now and then," she mused while finishing her coffee. "Finish up those, why don't you?" she motioned at the sandwiches while standing up. "I don't think I can eat another one without throwing up. Now excuse me, I shall change into something proper and then go out and see if I can find your magic stick." "You're an angel, Noble Donna," Harry sighed while immediately reaching for another sandwich. "I'll pay you back!" he promised while Donna headed to her bedroom to change. "Oh, that would be nice. I accept priceless jewellery and precious metals," she answered over her shoulder while closing the door. "And the random outrageously flattering compliment." "I'm sure I can supply you with some," the man laughed. "Let's see, where do I start? Hmm I really like this place," he said suddenly. "Did you decorate it yourself?" Donna laughed. "Either your attention span is tiny or you suck at complimenting," she snorted while rummaging through her closet in search for her favourite green jumper. "But yeah, I did. Most of its cheap stuff - you know, from second hand shops and stuff like that. Couldn't afford much with secretary's wages and all, but I like it well enough." "I really like it too. It tells a lot about person, their home, you know," Harry mused. "And this place tells that you're a very lively and spirited woman. It's in the colours, you know. You've chosen nice colours, peach, orange, beige warm, en ergetic colours. That tells a lot about your personality - not that I haven't noticed how lively you are. You have a hangover, and still you're pretty nice and energetic. Kind too, taking me in, letting me stay, serving me tea and sandwiches - which, by the way, are excellent." "Energetic? Keep it up," Donna snorted. "You're not doing half bad yet." As if not hearing, the man continued. "And then the pictures. Family pictures by the window sill, pictures of foreign places and items on the walls. That's that's pretty nice. Most people put their family pictures to bookshelves and then they just are there, part of the decoration, half forgotten, but when you put them on the window sill they're basking in the light of sun. And you've left your bookshelves for books - and is that a logic puzzle? Very interesting. I take it you like to challenge your mind then?" "Shut up," Donna muttered though she couldn't help but grinning. He was good, she had to give him that.

"I like the fact that your carpets are for comfort and not for show," Harry continued on cheerfully. "Big fluffy carpets, probably nightmare to wash and they don't match the rest of the decoration but carpets like these, they feel wonderful under your feet in cold mornings when you can't find your slippers. This isn't just an apartment or home, this is a place of comfort. I like that." "Well, aren't we the psycho analytic. I suppose you can get into the head of anyone by taking look at their homes," she mused while walking out of her bedroom, now wearing clean trousers and jumper. "But maybe, just maybe, I selected everything here because it was cheap and I left my pictures to the windowsill when I was cleaning the bookshelf?" "Nah," the man smiled, shaking his head while rubbing his ribs absently. "You don't seem like the person to forget things like that. Everything here is in perfect order. Besides people only tend to buy the things they like, even if the things they don't like are cheaper." "You're not bad, Casanova," Donna laughed while sitting down to pull her socks on. "You're not bad at all." "Thank you," the man grinned, nodding his head. "What sort of place you live in then?" Donna asked. "No, wait, don't tell me. It's all dark and murky and you have dead animals all picked up in the cabinets?" "No, that would be the office of one of my teachers - deceased these days, but the memory of his office lives on," Harry said seriously. "And I don't really live anywhere anymore. Well, I suppose I have a place, sort of, but I hardly ever visit it - inherited it but don't like it much to be honest - so I just travel." "I suppose having a house like normal people would ruin that mysterious wizard aura," Donna snorted while standing up again. "I'm going to take out the garbage and see if I can find your little stick while I'm at it. Try not to blow my house up while you're here." "I solemnly swear that I shall not blow up your house," Harry grinned. "Thank you Noble Donna. I don't know what I've had done without you." "I know. You would've passed out on the pavement, and probably frozen to death during the night," Donna laughed while deciding that she rather liked the way he said her name. Noble Donna. It sounded like some sort of knighthood title or something. "I'll be right back," she said while grabbing her keys. "And help me god if I find you gone with my DVD player." "Never!" Harry answered before adding, "What's a DVD player?" with honest confusion. Donna turned to look at him with disbelief, but he seemed to honestly not know. She snorted, making him frown. "Hey, I'm serious. What's a DVD player?" "Never mind that," she shook her head with a chuckle while grabbing her coat. What kind of man didn't know what a DVD player was? Either a very backwards or very interesting one - or one who had lived in a cave for the past ten or so years. "I'm going now. Don't die while I'm out. Or pass out."

"I'll try not to," Harry answered happily. "And when you come back, you can explain that DVD player to me." "Will do." With a wave Donna left the flat, carrying her keys in one hand and the garbage bag in another. There was a crowd of people outside. While confused Donna took the bag to the bin, she craned her neck to see what they were all staring at. Seeing one of her neighbours among then, she approached the crowd. "Linda? What's going on?" she asked. "There, see. They've closed the road up ahead - some sort of special forces people," her neighbour said, motioning down the street. And true enough, the road had been blocked by yellow tape and what looked like army vehicles with people standing in guard. "Entire block's worth of street, all closed off." "It's the military," a man within the crowd said, nodding sagely. "You know, those people you see in the background when ever there are reports of aliens and all that. They were all over London during the Earth Move. Some sort of special military sect just for aliens. UNIT I think it was called." "UNIT" Donna frowned. Even though she had never really believed in all that stuff about aliens, she too had heard of the UNIT. It was all over the whole alien thing, all over the internet too. Hell, a girl in her workplace had even bragged about dating with an UNIT private. "What the heck are they doing here?" she asked with confusion. "That's what we've been wondering," Linda snorted. "Though wouldn't it be the day? Aliens in Chiswick!" Donna huffed out agreeing laugh before frowning. "Wait, that's oh damn it," sh e groaned. That was the street where she had encountered Harry. The exact part of the street even. And she had promised to find Harry's little stick. "I'm going to go talk to them," she decided. She was failure at many things but so far she had managed to keep her promises. Well mostly. Besides it got her close enough to see what the UNIT was doing. "What, wait, Donna!" Linda called after her. "What are you doing?" "Friend of mine dropped something just over there, I need to get it. I'll be right back," Donna shrugged while bravely marching forward. When she got closer, the two soldiers standing in guard took a somewhat intimidating step forward but Donna wasn't a woman to be intimidated. "Hello," she just said, holding her hand up in a wave. "Can I have a word with you?" "I'm sorry, Ma'am, but this area is currently off limits to civilians," the closest of the two soldiers said, holding his machinegun tighter in his hands. "I'm going to have to ask you to back away and return once UNIT has cleared off the street." "No, no, no, I don't want to butt in or anything. It's just a friend of mine" Donna trailed away. The truth wasn't going to get her anywhere. "Well, my friend's son dropped something right over there last night," she motioned to the street behind the two soldiers and their yellow tape and their army vehicles. "It's sort of wand, a stick of wood about a foot long with a nice handle - it's his favourite toy, you see, he goes

absolutely bonkers without it," she made a haphazard motion to the apartment complex. "He's throwing fit in my apartment about the thing and he's driving us mad." The two soldiers glanced at each other while Donna gave them imploring smile. "Please?" she asked. "Please, please, please. It's just a stick of wood and I'm kind of worried about my telly," she grinned sheepishly and even brought her hands together for good measure. "Please?" "I'm sorry, ma'am" the first soldier started to say before the other waved him to be quiet. "What's your name, ma'am?" he asked, looking Donna strangely. "My name? I don't see what it's got to do with anything," she murmured but shrugged her shoulders. "Donna Noble. I live in those apartments over there - you can check if you'd like I'm sure it's logged in some database somewhere where you can hack it," she waved her hand. "I just want the darn toy, nothing else." "Donna Noble?" the soldier number two nodded slowly before snapping his attention to the soldier number one. "Tennison, stick to your position. Ma'am, please wait for a moment, I'll be right back," he said before turning, slipping under the yellow tape and jogging to the closed off street while Donna and soldier number one looked after him. "I'm guessing he has kids of his own then?" Donna asked. "Twin boys," Tennison nodded. "Never shuts up about them." "Newborns?" Donna asked and the soldier nodded. "Figures. New parents, you never hear the end of it with them," she rolled her eyes, thinking about the many married people she knew and all the times they had bragged on and on about their kids. It was aggravating to listen most of the time, like they were rubbing it in. "It gets tiresome to listen sometimes." "Tell me about it," the soldier snorted before nodding behind himself. "Don't tell him, though." Donna grinned. "It's our little secret," she promised. "Just out of curiosity, there aren't aliens or anything like that happening over there?" she asked, pointing to the closed off street. "Because aliens in Chiswick that's insane." "No, ma'am, no aliens," Tennison nodded, though Donna wasn't sure if he was telling the truth or sprouting out the standard cover story stuff they always spewed at people in movies. "We should be clearing the street in few hours," the soldier continued. "There's really nothing here so it shouldn't take long." "Alright, good," Donna nodded before snorting. "They're going to be talking about it for weeks around here, though," she said, glancing back towards the crowd made mostly by her neighbours. "UNIT, making appearance here? It'll keep the rumour mill running for a while, I'll tell you that." She shook her head and glanced at the man. "And during Christmas of all time. Which reminds me, you're working during the holidays? How's that working out for you?"

"Part of the job. These days facing the unknown seems to be the common Christmas spirit around here," Tennison mused with a shrug. They chatted away for a while, waiting for the other soldier to return. He did after about ten minutes. "I'm sorry, ma'am," he said while lifting the yellow tape and walking under it. "I found the toy but it seems that one of the trucks ran over it," he said, holding out his hand to show. In his hand he was holding two pieces of well polished wood, one piece smaller than the other and other fortified by sturdy leather woven handle. They were connected something which looked like half broken feather. "Oh boy. Well hmm I think it might be fixable," Donna mused while taking the item and giving it a thoughtful look. It didn't look like it could be repaired though. The middle part, where the wand had snapped, had shattered completely. No amount of glue could put it together now. "Well, at least I got the handle back, we might be able to put it into a new stick," she shrugged. "Thanks guys. Oh and merry Christmas." "You're welcome, ma'am. Merry Christmas," the soldier number two said and Tennison nodded after Donna when she turned to leave. She could hear them talking under their breaths as she headed back, but didn't pay much mind to it while examining the wand. She had a feeling Harry wasn't going to like this. "What did they say? Donna, did they tell you what's going on?" Linda asked when Donna walked back into hearing range. "Hm? Oh yeah, they said that it was a false alarm and they're going to clear off in few hours," she shrugged. "Or something like that." Throwing a look back at the road block, she shook her head. "Well, it's not useful standing around here, staring. I'm going back inside - where it's warm. Bye Linda." When she got back to the apartment, Harry had yet to manage blow it up. Like a true man, he had managed to get the telly on, though. "Men. Even while wearing leather robes, they always find a way to get the telly on as the first thing they do" she murmured while kicking off her trainers and heading inside. "Funny thing, out in the street," she started. "UNIT's there. They've got a whole section of the street closed off funnily enough the same part where you, uh, fell." "Unit?" Harry asked. He had managed to wiggle his way out of his leather robes and how was sitting in the couch wearing only pair of dark green trousers and a white button up shirt. "What's Unit?" "You've never heard of them? It's one of those secret government agencies or whatever, I don't know. People say that they go around hunting aliens and stuff like that. You know, weird stuff," Donna said. "They wouldn't even let me get into the street, but one of them was nice enough to find me this," she held her hands out, showing the pieces of wood. "Apparently car ran over it. Is it yours?" Harry stared at the pieces of wood with shock all over his face, before slumping in the bed with a groan. "It's broken. Again. Brilliant," he sighed mournfully. "That thing has some sort of affinity to being broken in half, I swear. This is the second time it's snapped. Give it here." Donna handed the pieces of wood over and watched how examined it. "If it's been broken before, does that mean you can repair it?"

"Well, back then I had something to repair it with. That particular item has been long since destroyed, for a very good reason too," Harry murmured while gently tugging the thin feather out of the wood pieces. "I can't repair this," he murmured sadly. "I've had this thing since I was eleven, and" "I'm sorry," Donna shrugged. "Can't you get a new one?" "I could, if I were still at home," Harry answered before nodding towards the telly. "That, though, tells me I'm not." Donna turned to face the telly, frowning slightly. There was a recap of old news on, some sort of documentary from the pass Christmases. The Christmas invasion by the so called Sycorax in two thousand and five, the whole Christmas Star thing from two thousand and six and finally the replica Titanic incident from the previous year. There was even mention about the Night Living Dummies, the crash-landing on Big Ben, the Canary Wharf thing and so on and so on all the way to the latest incident, the Earth Move. "You know, that's all just hoax," Donna said. "It's a busy world you got," Harry mused. "You have aliens and invasions and secret government agencies and what not. It's different bloody year too" he sighed leaning back with the wand pieces lying on his motionless hands. "Do you believe in alternate realities, Donna? Parallel universes, different time lines, things like that?" "No, not really, no," she answered, giving him a nervous look. "Harry, are you alright?" "Probably not," he answered before shaking his head and turning his attention back to the wand. He lifted the handle piece and examined it closely. "And by the looks of it, I'm not going to be anytime soon," he added, turning the piece in his hand. "If this thing wasn't broken, I could use it to fix my ribs and my hip and even give myself a shave but yeah. This is not one of those good days, is it?" "That is just a piece of wood, you know?" Donna said, eying the thing in his hands. "It can't fix anything." "Yeah. Yeah, I suppose so," he murmured, closing his eyes for a moment before giving her a look. "So, tell me about this Unit. Why were they down in the street? It was really the same street where you picked me up?" Donna sighed. "I don't know, I really don't. I don't really follow those conspiracy theories and all that stuff. They just say that UNIT is like one of those secret organisations which capture aliens and stuff like that. I always thought it was load of bollocks," she frowned. "Really odd to see them here. I mean, this is Chiswick. What ever happens here?" "So, they didn't say why they were there?" Harry asked. "No. One of them said that they'd be clearing away soon, because there was nothing there, or something like that. Maybe a false alarm," Donna shrugged.

"Or maybe they somehow detected my arrival," Harry mused before frowning in thought. "Muggle technology here can do that? How very frightening," he pursed his lips and spent a moment in silence before turning to her. "You didn't tell me it was Christmas eve," he added almost accusingly. "I thought you knew," Donna said. She had also thought that the man was semi sane, but apparently she had been wrong about plenty of things. "You know, maybe I should call you that ambulance after all - or borrow a car from someone and get you to hospital," she said. "You might still have a concussion." "You think I'm a loony," the man smiled. "A little bit, yeah," she agreed. "Well, I'd still appreciate if you didn't throw me out just yet," he said, sitting up a bit straighter and grimacing in pain when he put weight on his bad side. "Just give me few hours. I'm going to try and get this working," he mused, eying the wand again. "I've heard that it's possible to make a working thing out of the pieces if you're clever enough - and I know just enough about wandlore to maybe get it right. Won't be as good as the real thing, of course, but if I can get it working" "Alright, insane man. Have a go," Donna sighed, rolling her eyes while making herself comfortable in the couch and reaching for the remote. "I might kick you out of the house before night, though. Just so that you know." "I shall keep that in mind," Harry answered while reaching for his odd utility belt and going through the pockets. From one of them he pulled out a roll of tightly wrapped leather, which was way too big for a small pocket like that. Donna stared with mild curiosity and shock while the man unrolled the wrapped leather to reveal a tool kit of over forty tools. Except the tools were the oddest things she had ever seen. Tiny chisels and mallets and hammers and hooks and whatever, some of them looking like they had been made of gold and silver and others like they had been made of precious stones and crystal - one of them, a small drill, even looked like it had been made of amethyst of all things. "Wh-what is that and how did?" she motioned between the tool kit and the utility belt. "The pockets are bigger on the inside," Harry answered with a shrug. "And this is a well, it's a curse breaker's tool kit actually. Not that you know what that means. Let's just say that they're tools for very special circumstances. Got it cheap from a friend, only had to pay, uuh forty gall eons? Yeah, I think it was forty galleons." "What's a galleon?" Donna asked, wondering where she had heard the "pockets being bigger on the inside" bit before. Harry shrugged, taking something out of the satchel tied to the utility belt and handing over to her. "That's a galleon," he said while she stated at the heavy golden coin in horror. "Pretty, isn't it?" "It's its bloody huge is what it is!" Donna gasped, holding the coin up and staring at with disguised horror. "Is it? No, it can't be. Absolutely can't be," she said, turning wide eyes to him. Harry raised his eyebrows and shrugged. "You're not telling me," Donna ground out, "that this is real gold. Absolutely not!"

"O-kay, shan't say a word," Harry grinned. "You really paid forty of these for those?" Donna asked, nodding to the tool kit. "But, but, but forty of these, it would" she opened her mouth and closed it. "How much one of these weights?" she asked then, narrowing her eyes. "And and is this is" she swallowed. "Is this?" she then asked, holding the galleon up. "Solid gold?" Harry asked and shrugged. "Probably. And it weights about quarter of a pound, I think. Maybe more. I'm not sure, I've never weighed them." "Quarter" Donna said, lifting the coin. "Are you telling me that this thing is basically quarter of a pound of pure bleeding gold?!" "Um maybe," Harry shrugged while examining a small item which looked like miniature saw made of striped stone. "I wasn't supposed to say, was I? You told me not to." Donna opened her mouth, closed it again and then opened it again. "Right," she said, swallowing and eying the coin again. Quarter of a pound of gold. Right. Of course. Brilliant. "How many of these do you have again?" she asked while trying to calculate how many pounds she was holding in her hand. What was the price of pure twenty four carat gold in pounds sterling? "With that gleam in your eyes, I'll say just the one," Harry grinned. "You can keep it though, if you want to." "What? Wait, what? I can have it? Really?" Donna asked with shock, eying the coin. "That sort of gives your little bluff away, though, you wouldn't hand it over if you didn't have more," she then noted before frowning at the tool kit. "If these galleons are really pure gold, then you paid thousands and thousands of pounds for that thing," she then said with sort of breathless disbelief. "Thousands and thousands. I mean, blimey two of these, these galleons, just one of them probably worth two thousand pounds! And you paid forty of them for a tool kit?" "I suppose gold isn't as rare for me as it is for you," Harry shrugged. "Or as valuable. Different world and all. Besides the tools aren't well, you can get them to turn bigger. If you have the the right tool to do it." "If you really come from another world, and gold is common enough for the coins to be hundred percent, then I want to go there," Donna murmured with shock, still eying the galleon and wondering where she could get the thing checked and then exchanged for pounds. In case it actually really was gold. Which she couldn't quite believe, not yet. "Me too," Harry said while examining the handle part of his wand. "Hmm might end up bit crude, but I should be able to do it," he murmured to himself while peering into the handle. "What do you think? I'll make it a handle-wand. Take away the rest of the wand and stuff the core into the handle. Well, not stuff-stuff, but you get the point. Blimey, it'll be short but at least I'll have a good grip if nothing else." "I have no idea what you're trying to do, but go for it," Donna said, still staring at the galleon. She smiled brightly while closing her fingers around the coin. Hers, hers, all

hers. Quarter of a pound of pure gold, all hers and no one else's. "You just became my favourite person in the whole wide world. You can do what ever you want!" "There's more to life than money, Noble Donna," Harry chuckled while taking a tiny stone saw and starting to gently take off the broken bits of wood from the handle. "Probably, but still" Donna shrugged, grinning while jumping up. She needed a good place to put the coin in, somewhere where it would be safe. While looking around in the room, her eyes landed on the telly. The news were on - the actual ones, not the recapped ones from previous years. They were showing a picture of vacant faced man being escorted into an ambulance. The man looked like his brain had dribbled out of his ears or something. "What's this?" she murmured while taking the remote and turning the volume up. "the fifth victim was recently discovered not far from London down town ," the anchorwoman was saying in the telly. "The officials have yet to give a statement on the manner, but sources indicate that the symptoms are similar to the four earlier cases. We have Dave at the hospital with doctor Ellison, who examined the first and the second victim" Harry glanced up as well as the scene in the news was switched away from the studio and to a hospital. After the reporter on the scene introduced the doctor again, he asked for details about the symptoms. "Well, as far as we can tell, all the victims are conscious and as healthy as you and me," the doctor said while image of a woman staring at nothing with vacant look about her face was shown. "There is no indication of any sort of infection or physical ailment that might be causing their state, and yet the victims are all lacking anything resembling awareness. So far the tests have been inconclusive, but the first two victims are even losing the most basic brain functions and their brain waves are barely registering" "What the" Harry murmured, leaning forward and stopping mid motion to touch his ribs. "Is this recent?" "Yeah, it's coming on live even," Donna said, motioning at the icon saying live which was flashing in the corner of the telly. "Some sort of disease? Like a, uh, flu maybe?" "The government has yet issue an statement on the matter, but the rumours are flying," the anchorwoman in the studio continued. "As far as anyone knows, this could be anything from a rabidly spreading disease to some sort of alien attack, and yet no one has any sort of solid answers to give. Five victims of this mysterious ailment have already been discovered within the last six hours and it is so far impossible to tell when the ailment struck them or how fast But it can safely be said that the Christmas Mystery of two thousand and eight has revealed itself ." "Oh, no," Harry murmured, staring at the telly. "No, no, no, that's not good at all." "What?" Donna asked, turning to look at him. "You know what that is?" "Oh yeah, I know what that is," he said, still staring at the telly. Then he swallowed before turning his eyes to the wand. "I really need to fix this now, and I mean now," he said while grabbing a tighter hold of the stone saw. "And then I need to go out and fix the mess I've apparently managed to make. Again."

"What do you mean?" Donna asked confusedly, little worriedly. "Does that disease have something to do with you?" "It's not a disease," Harry said, sawing the wand with more vigour. "It's a creature, which apparently followed me. I don't fall through natural dimensional portals on purpose you know - well not always. I was running away from that thing, didn't look at where I was going, fell through accidentally - and that thing followed," he grimaced. "And it's a brand new world, an open feast. And I let it in. I need to fix my wand, fix myself and then get going and fix this before it kills more people." "But but they said they weren't dead," she answered, glancing at the telly and then back at him. "They showed a woman, she seemed perfectly fine. Wasn't she?" "Ah, no. Well, sure, she's alive, but because of that she's worse off than dead. She's gonna be like that for the rest of her life however long or short it'll be. All of them are as well as all the rest the goddamned thing attacks, and it is going to attack again, trust me," Harry said, throwing away a piece of wood before taking the amethyst drill and examining it for a moment. "Now, my Noble Donna I need to concentrate." Donna blinked sharply, for a moment watching how Harry discarded the amethyst drill and took another one, this one made of some sort of green stone. Then she shook her head. "One of those Christmases then," she murmured, turning to look at the telly again. Why did she have the oddest feeling that this, or something like this, had happened before? II chapter Donna watched how Harry worked for a while. He used a odd little saw to cut off the broken parts of his little wooden stick until only the leather woven handle remained. After using a brown shaded stone file to smoothen the edge he had made, he used a drill made of some sort of light green stone to widen the hollow inside the handle's wood. She could only take the use of three very obscure looking tools before she finally had to ask. "Why are they made of stones and stuff like that?" she inquired while taking a little red chisel into her hand. Carnelian maybe? "Wouldn't they be easier to make from metal, steel or something? Besides, doesn't tools like these, made of stone, break easily?" "I suppose so, but in some cases you need something else. With wand making you can't use any sort of commonly metal, not even silver or gold. It ruins the wood," Harry answered, motioning at the little saw he had used. "Jasper is good for cutting wand wood - it heals and preserves the wood's properties and doesn't do as much damage. Tiger's eye," he motioned at the brown file, "to give strength and heal the cut, good for perfecting the details, and turquoise -" he motioned at the drill he was holding, "to prevent internal damage to the wand." Donna blinked. "It's just a piece of wood," she said. "And that's just bit of voodoo." The man glanced at him with a brief smile before shaking his head. "I suppose so," he said while examining the wand and blowing gently to get the saw dust out of the hollow. "But it's a piece of wood I need in order to function properly and that bit of voodoo pretty much governs my life. I'm from a different world, Noble Donna, and things work differently there."

She shook her head, running her hand through her bangs. "You're not quite right," she muttered. "Explain it to me again, though. Why do you need that thing?" "If I get it working I can fix myself with it, heal my ribs and hip and so forth," Harry answered while peering into the hollow. Then he reached out to take a clear stone needle file before using it to smoothen the inside. "And after that I can use it to combat the creature that followed me." "The creature, right. What is the creature again?" Donna asked. "And how can it do that what ever it did to people?" Harry hesitated for a moment, concentrating onto the delicate work he was doing, before sighing. "It's called a Dementor," he answered quietly before shaking his head. "It doesn't matter. It won't do you any good to know what it is and what it does, there's nothing anyone around here can do to stop it. Which is why I need to fix this thing as soon as possible" he examined the wand. "You wouldn't happen to have quartz?" he asked. "Crystal quartz, as clear as possible. Maybe in jewellery or something?" "What for?" Donna asked. "Once I put the core back in, I need to use something to stopper the wand," Harry tapped the open end. "It's not commonly used in wands, usually they're just solid wood, but I don't have any proper way to seal this with wood - and adding extra piece would interfere with the energy flow, dull it and make it go bit wonky. So I need something else, something that won't block the flow crystal quartz might just be conductive enough to work." She shook her head while sitting up. "Well, I have some jewellery but I'm not sure what it's all made off," she murmured while heading to her bedroom and searching for her jewellery box. Once she found it, she returned to the living room where she started to go through the jewellery. Discarding most of her necklaces and bracelets, she encountered one made of clear and pitch black beads. "How about these?" Harry glanced at the bracelet only once before shaking his head. "Glass," he answered, glancing at the jewellery box. "Those earrings," he then said, nodding towards a little box inside which were beaded earrings, both with four clear beads in them. "Let me have a look at them." Shrugging her shoulders Donna took the box and opened it before handing it to him. Harry eyed the beads for a moment before nodding. "These will do. I will need, hm three of the beads. Maybe four. If you don't mind that is." "I don't. I never use them anyway - and besides, you gave me a lump of pure gold, I think I can give you my ugly earrings in return," she answered while examining the earrings to see how to detach the beads. After a moment of thought she took one of the few metal tools in Harry's kit and used the pliers to bend the metal of the earrings until it snapped open. "Here you go," she said while handing the beads to the man. "Thanks," Harry nodded, taking one of the beads and giving it a thoughtful look. "Good thing these are cubic beads, that'll make it easier to arrange them just right Thanks, my Noble Donna."

"You're welcome," Donna said with a snort of confused amusement. "I'm still not sure what exactly you're doing but you're welcome." The man just grinned briefly at her before using a small brush from the toolset to clean the wand handle's inside. Then, taking a long thin crystal forceps from the tool kit, he took the long thin feather into his hand. "Next thing, getting this inside the wand," he murmured, examining the feather thoughtfully. It was about three times longer than the handle. "This might be tricky, "What is that thing anyway?" Donna asked. "Looks like a feather." "It is a feather. Phoenix feather to be exact," Harry answered, taking hold of the feather's thicker end with the forceps. "Magical conduit. You know, like wire. Or something like that." He pursed his lips, turning the feather thoughtfully. "I can't bend it in half, it'll make the wand backfire. And I can't snap it in half, that'll take away half of the power. Hmm Maybe if I made it spiral inside the wood? That could work Yeah, that could work." "Phoenix," Donna murmured. "They have phoenixes in y our world. Like real proper phoenixes, the sort that are reborn from fire and all that?" "Yeah. When they die they burst into flames and are born anew, rising from their own ashes. I saw it happen once, magnificent thing to see too. It was actually the same phoenix this feather came from, Fawkes. Nice bird that Fawkes, saved my life a few times when I was younger," Harry murmured while carefully starting to ease the feather into the hollow inside the wand. "Burst into flames and are born anew," Donna spoke softly, frowning. There was something significant about that, but she couldn't quite remember what. Born anew "Damn it," she murmured as the memory slipped away, rubbing her forehead. "What?" Harry asked confusedly. "Something wrong with phoenixes?" "No, it's just sometimes I get these dj vus," she said, running her fingers over her face. "About the things I've forgotten. It's like a taste just on top of your tongue but you can't quite but your finger around it, can't remember what it is, what tastes like it" she trailed away and shook her head. "It just I think I've head something similar before. Or seen or something, but I can't remember where or how or what or anything. Just that I have. Maybe." "I can imagine that could be aggravating," Harry mused while peering into the wand and slowly pushing the feather inside bit by bit. "You get dj vus like that often?" "Sometimes. They usually don't make sense," Donna murmured, turning her eyes to the family pictures on the windowsill. "Like when I see families or think about them. I don't mean mothers and their kids or anything like that, but brothers and sisters - you know, siblings and stuff like that. Sometimes I get the oddest feeling that I've lost my brother. Except I've never had a brother - I'm the only child, always have been." "That's an interesting dj vu to get," Harry remarked, giving her a look. "You said you had selective amnesia. How much of your memories are missing, exactly?"

"Bits and pieces here and there - and most of the last summer, actually," Donna answered, frowning in concentration. "It started with the wedding, though. That's the first thing I can't remember fully, the rest of that day. Then along the following year I remember doing things but I can't recall why I did them. I went to Egypt at one point, I had a reason for it, but I can't remember what it was. Then the last summer, ever since the Adipose incident --" "What incident?" the man asked. "The Adipose industries thing," Donna shrugged her shoulders. "It was one of those dieting plans. Pills which were supposed to help people lose weight but they actually sort of caused people to give birth to these little fat-creatures. I can't remember anything about it even though it happened right here in London and everyone saw it. I can't remember much what happened afterwards either. I'm missing whole months, all the way up to the Earth Move Those four months are the longest gap in my memory." "Four months, huh," Harry murmured, frowning at the wand while easing the last bit of the feather inside. "Bits and pieces from the year before and then full four months. That doesn't sound like normal amnesia." "I know. And I've told about it to the doctors but they seem to think that I've suffered a traumatic event and my mind chose to forget certain things, whatever that means," Donna sighed, leaning back. "They also told me not to trust anything I think I remember because my mind can make things up." "So they basically said you're a loony, huh?" Harry asked. "Pretty much," she agreed. "Hmm," he mused while setting the forceps down and examining the wand's insides. "If we were back in my world, I'd say someone has tampered with your memories," he said. "We have ways of doing that. Obliviating it's called, erasing memories. Commonly used when people find out about things they ought to know nothing about" he glanced at her. "Though, this is another world and as far as I can tell, there's none of my kind around. So that can't be it." "But it's possible somewhere?" Donna asked, leaning forward. "Is there is there way to - do you know a way to check if something like that has been done to me? You wouldn't even believe how many times I've tried to remember, to get back what I've lost. I've tried everything, read books about it, searched the internet, I even had few appointments with a shrink but none of the usual methods work on me and no matter what the doctors said, my memories aren't coming back to me on their own." "If I can get this thing working, I can check," Harry promised, nodding to the wand while reaching for the crystal beads. "But the Dementor is sort of the priority." "Right," Donna murmured before frowning. Did she actually believe the man now? About the so called creature and that the wand actually as what the man said it was and that he could really use it to fix injuries? Thinking about it for a moment she shrugged her shoulders. She'd believe it if it worked. "Now," Harry murmured while examining one of the beads. "I need just the right arrangement and make the beads direct the magic to same direction" he turned the

bead in his fingers before reaching for another and examining it as well. Soon after he started carefully to fit them into the mouth of the wand's hollow. "Right, they don't all fit, of course not," he muttered before taking the Tiger's Eye file and starting to widen the opening. After a moment he tried again, this time fitting three beads into it pretty smoothly. "Ha, perfect fit." "Congratulations," Donna said rather dully. "Now what?" "Now I test it," Harry said, glancing around before settling his eyes onto a cushion next to him. "You don't mind if I use your pillow in a little experiment?" he then asked while pointing the wand's handle at the cushion. "Be my guest," Donna said, folding her arms. This she had to see. "Alright then," Harry smiled before frowning and waving the wand at the cushion, staring at it intensely. The pillow did nothing and for a moment Donna was about to laugh at the man. Then her eyes were drawn to the movement next to them and turning her eyes to the coffee table, she saw that the empty plate on top of the table was floating about foot over it's surface. She blinked at the sight, opened her mouth, and closed it again before letting out a disbelieving laugh. "It's floating!" "It's not what I was aiming for though," Harry answered, looking between the wand and the plate. "Slight aim issues maybe, I arranged the beads bit wrong apparently. Um how about you take the plate before I drop it and break it?" Donna reached out hesitatingly and grabbed the plate from midair. It seemed weightless in her fingers, like it wasn't actually there, but when Harry turned the wand in his hand, the plate suddenly turned heavier. While Donna stared at it in amazement, something else fell and shattered. Turning to look towards the sound, she saw one of her picture frames on the floor, the glass in it shattered all over her carpet. "Hey!" she snapped, nudging Harry's shoulder. "Did you do that?" "Ah, maybe?" Harry asked, looking at the broken glass over the couch's backrest. "The spell hit two things at the same time, huh? Must be the effect of the three beads, they split the spell into three parts. One part went to the plate, one to the frame" he eyed the wand with a frown. "I wonder if that makes this thing weaker or stronger than a normal wand. Does it actually split the spell into three parts or does it multiply the spell by three?" "You're going to pay for that," Donna said sternly. "That's one of my favourite frames." "Don't worry about it, once I can configure this thing just right, I can fix it," Harry promised, frowning at the beads. "Now, which bead is directing which way how can I tell? Wait, I know," he muttered and frowned slightly. The end of the wand suddenly lit up with bright white glow which shattered into two direction, one going left and one, slightly brighter glow, going right. "Light charms, gotta love 'em." With a grin Harry quickly started to rearrange the beads, turning them in the wand until they were pointing at the same direction.

"So, you can use that thing to make things float, you can use it as a torch," Donna murmured while staring at light coming out of the short wand. "And you can apparently fix things with it, and heal. What else can you do with it?" "Pretty much anything I want," Harry answered. "Well, anything I know how to do anyway. Magic doesn't have that many limitations, to be honest. If you have the power and the incantation, pretty much anything is possible." "But you need a wand to do it, otherwise you would've fixed your ribs already," Donna said. "Yeah. Weakness of all magicians, we all need something like a wand. An outlet, a conductor. Without it, magic is next to impossible," Harry answered, holding the wand carefully while estimating how straight the beams of light were going. "I think I've gotten it now," he murmured while the light stopped pouring out of the wand. "One way to know for sure, though." Donna watched eagerly how the man pointed the leather woven stick at the broken picture frame. There was a flash of yellow light before, with a strange shattering sound, the glass shards were dragged back into the frame. Quickly going around the couch, Donna picked the frame from the floor to see that the glass was perfectly hole. "It doesn't have a scratch on it," she murmured with amazement. "That's brilliant! Can you teach me how to do that?" "No. Magical ability can't really be taught, it's something you have to be born with," Harry said apologetically. "Now, there's one more thing left to fix, and that would be me" He twiddled with the wand for a moment before aiming it at the right side of his chest. "This is going to hurt," he murmured, closing his eyes tightly. Clutching to the frame, Donna watched with wide eyes as Harry released a burst of golden light out of the wand, which shot right through his shirt and into his chest. The man convulsed slightly, letting out a grunt of pain, before stilling. With a wheezing breath, he quickly examined his ribs through his shirt before laughing. "I think I got it. That was fast too!" he marvelled before eying the short wand with amazement. "You know, I think I actually made this thing a bit better than it was before! Wicked!" After another golden blast, this one aimed at his right hip, the man more or less bounced to his feet. Donne watched with slight trepidation how the man hurriedly examined himself to see if he had any other injuries, before healing the bruising of his shoulder and grinning widely. "All better now," he said. "What do you think, Noble Donna?" "You really are a wizard," Donna murmured, her eyes wide with awe. "You you can do magic? Real honest to god magic! That's that's brilliant!" "Yes, well yes," the man agreed with a mockingly humble smile. "Harry Potter, the wizard extraordinaire. Well, it's not that extraordinary back home, there are thousands of us back there, but anyway I have things to do," he muttered, pushing the wand into his pocket and looking around. "And a Dementor to hunt down." "You mean that Dementor thing you told about is real?" Donna asked.

"As real as me," Harry said while taking his robe and throwing it over his shoulders. "So, my Noble Donna, it has been a pleasure, but I think I must get going. I have work to do." "Wait, wait, wait. First of all, you can't go out wearing that," Donna said, looking up and down the robe. "People will think you're a lunatic. And secondly do you even know where to start looking? You can't exactly go around the entire London looking for this Dementor thing." "You're you're right I suppose - but what's wrong with my robe?" Harry asked, looking down. "It's a perfectly good robe! Dragon hide, Welsh Green, cost me a small fortune!" "It's a robe. If people see you walking around wearing it they will think you're a complete nutcase." Donna said flatly while placing the picture frame back to it's place. "Not that you aren't one. Just sit down for a moment. I'll ask my neighbour if he can spare you some proper coat. And maybe proper shoes too - you can't walk around in those" she waved him to sit down while walking to the front door. It took her about seventy pounds, but her neighbour did hand over one of his coats as well as pair of shoes that might fit Harry. When Donna returned to her apartment, Harry had undressed the robe again and was now going through the pockets, brining out small boxes, more phials, random satchels and even a book or two. "Here," Donna said while throwing the dark grey coat to the man. "Not your colour but it should fit. Now, tell me what exactly is this Dementor," she demanded while fetching her laptop from her bedroom. "If it's noticeable enough there must be some reports about it on the internet." "Oh, internet. Right. Well, the difficult thing about Dementors is that normal people can't see them. They're little bit out of phase with the normal world, so only wizards can see them," Harry answered. "But knowing where the victims were found could help. Also if there are some odd mists or maybe random bouts of frost here and there I'd like to know that too. Dementors can manipulate local temperatures - they need everything to be below zero or they start to rot." Donna carried her laptop to the living room table and quickly started it up. "Location of the victims, odd weather phenomenon. Got it. Anything else?" she asked while opening a browser. "Well Dementors feed of on emotions - I know it sounds ridiculous, but just run with it. they sort of suck all the positive emotions out of people close enough to them. So odd bouts of depression" Harry shrugged. "You have some odd monsters where you come from," Donna muttered while quickly searching for the victims. She snorted. "They're calling it the Soulless Sickness," she noted. "Fitting," Harry muttered grimly, eying the coat before pulling it on and starting to stuff things into the pockets. "Because that's exactly what they lost." "You're kidding," Donna gasped.

"I wish," the man sighed before crouching beside her. "So, the victims? Where were they found?" he asked. Donna glanced over the news report before settling her eyes on a map next to the article. "There, it shows them all," she said. "There's six victims now. And the first one was found not far from here, just about quarter of a mile away. I guess you were right about it coming with you." "Hmm" Harry murmured, frowning. "The victims are going in almost straight line. A nd predictably enough, it's going where there's more people. Scroll that down, I want to see what they say about the last victim." Donna did as asked. The last victim had been found in a tube station about half an hour ago. "In a tube? Do you think it's gone under ground?" "Oh boy," Harry muttered. "That's not good. Hundreds and thousands of people down there, all in a hurry, all very lively. That's a open feast for this thing." "What do you think it'll do?" Donna asked worriedly. "Depends on how reckless it is. If it can control itself, it will sit there soaking up on the emotions of people around it. If not, it's going to attack again - and judging by the trail of soulless people it has left behind so far, it's not being exactly cautious," Harry grimaced before his eyes landed on another report. "They're closing the underground?" "Just in that section apparently. Closing the entire underground on Christmas eve, that wouldn't go too well," Donna mused, frowning at the picture. She pointed at a man standing in the corner. "There, see that man? That's UNIT. They're in the underground." "If they've closed that section, then the people have left. Which means that the Dementor won't stick around there either," Harry murmured, running his hand over his chin in thought. "But if they closed the place maybe they managed to trap the Dementor in?" Donna asked. "It'll take more than what people here have to stop a Dementor. They can't be harmed physically - and I doubt there is a person in this Earth who can even see them, except for me. If there were, it would've been stopped already - my people don't let things like this get into the telly," Harry muttered, standing up and folding his arms. "The Dementor will probably head for the nearest concentration of humans next. Place with lots of people being, you know generally energetic. You wouldn't happen to know where that would be?" Donna shrugged before opening a map of the area and giving it a look. "Well, there's a mall here," she said, pointing area not far from the underground station. "And another over here - and here there is a park. And with it being Christmas and all there's probably some sort of festiveness going on there." She grimaced. "I need to check them out," Harry murmured, frowning at the map. "If this is anything like the London I know, I think I can get pretty close before I need to continue on foot" he murmured. "Well then, time to go."

"Wait, wait, wait, Mr. Wizard, you're not going anywhere without me," Donna said, bolting up and hurriedly grabbing her coat. "With luck you'd probably just get lost or manage to crack your ribs again or something. You need my help." "There's nothing you can, my Noble Donna," Harry said apologetically. "You're just a --" "Just a what, a woman?!" she snarled. "Finish that sentence and I'll show you what just a woman can do!" "I was going to say that you're not, you know you don't have magic. You can't even see the Dementor," Harry said meekly. "I bet there's something I can do. Either way, I'm not letting you out of my sight," Donna said while toeing her sneakers on. After checking that she had her phone, keys and wallet - and mace, just in case - she looked at him. "Well then, aren't we going? Mind you I don't have a car or anything so we might have to take a bus or something" she said, turning to head to the door, before a hand grabbing hold of her forearm stopped. "No, no," Harry laughed. "What kind of wizard would I be if I used a bus?" he snorted while clasping her hand to his. "Nah. I have something much better than public transportation. Brace yourself." "Wha--" It was all Donna managed to say before the world twisted and turned and her body felt like it was being compressed into tight space. It lasted only about a second, but even then it was too long. With a uncomfortable crack, the feeling vanished and jolt of nausea Donna looked with shock. They weren't in her apartment anymore. "Apparition. Or teleportation, if you prefer," Harry explained. "Disappearing on one place and appearing in another. Peace of cake, as long as I've been in a place, I can take myself there pretty quickly. And it just so happens that I've been on this street before - or at least one which looks exactly like it back in my world - and this street, I think, is about two blocks away from the under ground station. Neat huh?" "I'm going to be sick," Donna groaned, grabbing hold of her stomach with one hand. the other she used to punch Harry to the shoulder. "You dunce! You should've warned me if you were going to do something like that!" "Sorry, sorry," Harry answered cheerfully, rubbing his shoulder. "You get used to it after few tries, I promise. The first time is the hardest," he mused while looking around. "Now, if I have any sense of direction, the station is over there. I think we should take a look what do you say?" "Let me throw up first," Donna grunted, feeling her head spin. "Ah yes. Apparition, hangover, bad combination" chuckling Harry pulled out his wand again and aimed it at her. Dark orange light hit Donna's stomach and immediately the feel of nausea vanished. "Better?" Harry asked while she rubbed her stomach with surprise. "Antinausea," he explained, shrugging his shoulders. "Shall we go then?" "I love magic. And sort of hate it too," Donna said, straightening her back. "And I would've loved you to do that this morning when I woke up."

"Didn't have a wand then, remember?" Harry asked with a laugh. "Come on. Every second we waste gives the Dementor slightly longer head start. We need to get going." Donna nodded, jogging after him as he started striding towards the station with fast steps. "So, these Dementors," she said. "They're common in your world?" "Well, I wouldn't say common, but there are more of them than we generally prefer," Harry shrugged. "They're nearly impossible to kill, so usually we limit their numbers by making it impossible for them to breed but there was sort of expansion in the population about twenty years ago and since then they've roaming around in larger numbers than usually. I was actually hunting this one down when I fell through the portal - well, sort of." "You said you were running away from the thing when you fell to this universe," Donna pointed out amusedly. "Change of plans?" "Yes, well I was hunting it, it was hunting me, same thing really. In the end I was trying to lure it into tight space - found these old caverns, they seemed like a perfect place to trap it in," Harry sighed. "Didn't quite turn out that way." "I'll say," Donna murmured. "So, what will we do once we find it?" "Get it away from people, trap it Only way to really defeat a Dementor is to keep it from moving - though even then it's dangerous, so even if I manage to trap it, don't go near," Harry hummed thoughtfully, frown on his face. "First things first we need to know where it is. Oh, and if you see chocolate on sale anywhere near, grab some. A lot of it." "Chocolate? Why?" Donna asked confusedly. "It's the only remedy to the effect of Dementors. Dementors make you feel like there's nothing in the world worth living for and chocolate makes you feel like you're in love," Harry shrugged. "Logical really," "Right," Donna muttered, giving him a slightly worried look before nodding ahead. "There's the entrance to the under ground. And by the looks of it they've closed it off." "Let's get closer. I don't need to get inside, just close enough to use a Supersensory charm," Harry said. "A what charm?" "Supersensory. It boosts the six senses," Harry shrugged. "If I'm lucky I can still feel the remnants of the Dementor's presence and maybe, just maybe, tell which way it went." Donna eyed him disbelievingly. "Six senses?" she asked. "Wizard. I naturally have a sixth sense," he shrugged, tapping his temple. "Well, of course, cast the charm a person like you, one without any magical abilities, and it only boosts the five senses. Unless you have innate psychic abilities, but those are pretty rare."

"Right" Donna murmured, following him as they crossed the street and joined a small crowd of people who were trying to look into the station. "You know, I think one of us is mad. Or maybe both of us are. No, you're mad and you've infected me too because I actually believe you. How weird is that?" "It's not weird, it's wicked," Harry mused, craning his neck to see over the crowd. "I think I'm close enough," he murmured before taking out his wand. "This many people around this is going to hurt," he murmured before aiming the wand at the underside of his chin. "Ah well, here we go." There was a small flash of bright blue light which passed from the wand's tip to the man's chin. Immediately after Harry wobbled a little and Donna had to grab a hold of his arm to keep him steady. "Harry?" she asked. "Don't speak. My hearing's been enhanced and blimey my ears hurt," Harry murmured, pressing his eyes tightly shut. He took a deep breath and coughed, faintly disgusted look about his face. "Merlin it stinks in here and damn I really should've brushed my teeth this morning. Urgh. Give me a moment, I need to concentrate" The man next to them gave them an odd look, but Donna ignored him, watching her companion's face instead. Harry went from slightly pained and disgusted expression into concentrated one before his eyebrows rouse in realisation. "I can feel it," he murmured with a shudder. "Oh yeah, it's been here about hour ago and it was here for a while. Huh, I knew it. It was here for a while, just sitting still and soaking it up." "Can you tell where it went?" Donna whispered as quietly as she could. Harry frowned, turning his head to the side. "I don't I'm not" he murmured before suddenly turning his head to another direction. "Someone's watching us," he murmured, his eyes opening. He winced slightly before quickly whisking his glasses off his face and looking around. He stopped for a moment, staring towards the underground entrance, before shaking his head. "Stupid charm, always gets me distracted by little things," he muttered and closed his eyes again. "Concentrate, concentrate." Donna waited nervously, watching how the man's eyes moved underneath his eyelids. Then, finally, Harry drew a breath and released it before opening his eyes again. "I found it, the trail," he said, shaking himself before slipping his glasses back on. "It's fading but we can still follow it. Come on." Donna followed the man as Harry skipped away from the street and into a small alley way. "Do you know where it's going?" she asked. "Not really, but there was a mall this way, wasn't there?" Harry asked, still holding his wand ready. "It's probably heading there. Merlin I hope it doesn't just go right inside. That would be a chaos." He ducked out of the alley and into open street. "Pretty," he remarked, nodding at the Christmas decorations. "Well, you know, Christmas and all," Donna muttered. "Are you still following the trail?" "Yeah, now that I got the scent I can hang onto it even without the Supersensory charm. This way," Harry nodded, heading across the street. "This reminds me, why aren't there any decorations in your flat? I wouldn't have even noticed it was Christmas eve if the telly hadn't told me."

"I hate Christmas. I don't celebrate it if I can avoid it," she shrugged before giving him a thoughtful look. "It wasn't Christmas in your world?" "Nope. It was July actually," Harry answered. "And the year was two thousand and nineteen." "What?" Donna asked with disbelief. "You're from the future?" "Well, future of a parallel world. I imagine time gets bit wonky when you go from reality to another," Harry shrugged. "Besides, it's not like time travel is impossible. It might be that the doorway I fell through wasn't only a gate between two realities but two times as well. Who knows." "Does this mean that you know the future?" Donna asked. "Of course not. I told you, parallel reality," Harry answered. "Things went way different in my world. We have never encountered aliens and what not back in my world. And your world doesn't seem to have my kind, so" he shrugged his shoulders. "Nothing I know about the future of my world is can be applied to this one." "Pity, it could've been interesting to know someone who knows the future," Donna murmured. "I don't know. I've never much cared for Seers. They tend to turn into know-it-alls before long - either that or they become overly dramatic and then you can't have a normal conversation with them," Harry before pointing ahead. "The trail leads there. What do you think?" "You think it went to the underground parking garage?" Donna asked. "Why?" "It's under the ground, out of the sunlight, hidden and still close of major concentration of humans," Harry shrugged. "It's being hastier than Dementors usually are, but now that I think about it, it's been taking some caution. Dementors aren't exactly rocket scientists but they do have measure of intelligence, and I bet this one knows enough to avoid capture. That might be why it went to the tube too it thought that it wouldn't be found there." "So, it's going under ground to hide?" Donna asked. "Why? You said that humans can't see them." "They can't, but the Dementor might not know it's in another world. It thinks it's still back home, where there are still greater predators than it. The Unit might've scared it too," Harry mused. "Well, better for us. It would've been a mess if it had headed straight up to the mall." "Well, let's go get it then," Donna said, grabbing hold of his hand and pulling him along. Together they jogged to the garage entrance and inside, neither noticing the uniformed man looking after them. "What will we do once we find it?" Donna asked as they ran. "Just trap it in a cupboard somewhere?" "I actually have no idea," Harry answered and grinned at her. "I'll think of something."

"Why doesn't that exactly reassure me?" she muttered. "Have you at least done this before?" "Yeah, loads of times. They give good rewards for capturing rogue Dementors, so I hunt them when ever I'm low on cash. I've just never done it in a place like this," Harry answered cheerfully stopping as they arrived to the parking hall. "Now let's see" he murmured, peering into the hall. "I don't think it's still here." "You sure?" Donna asked worriedly, looking around cautiously. "Trust me, you'd notice if it was near by," he answered while walking forward and taking a deep breath as if it was possible to smell the Dementor. "The air gets chilly, everything moist freezes over and of course you feel like it's the worse day of your life when ever there's a Dementor close by. And this one has eaten six people already, so it's not exactly low on strength at the moment" Taking another deep breath, he turned left, and Donna wasn't sure if he was following his mysterious sixth sense or his nose. Then she too smelled it. "God, what is that?" she asked, lifting her hand to her nose. "Smells like --" "Rotting flesh. Yeah," Harry nodded. "Normally Dementors are rather like withered husks. They wear cloaks to cover themselves up but underneath them they usually look like mummified corpses." "Thanks for that mental image," Donna muttered. Harry threw a grin at her direction before frowning. "That's how we prefer to keep them. The drier a Dementor is, the weaker it is, easier to control. This one though, this one is getting stronger. So, it's less mummified now and more well, it'll look like lot younger dead body now, probably. Rotting body." "Does that mean that if it eats enough people's emotions and, um, souls, it will look like it's alive?" Donna asked with a grimace. "I actually don't know," Harry answered with a shrug. "The only time Dementors were allowed to actually get anywhere near to that point, their populations expanded so explosively that in the end there wasn't enough food for all of them, so they ended up starving all over again" he shook his head while stopping next to a door and looking around. "Dementors aren't allowed to feed this often inside such a short period of time for a reason, though." "What are you looking for?" Donna asked. "I'm trying to figure out where it went," he answered. "It's been all over this hall, the trail is crisscrossing. I can't tell where it went." "Well" she looked around thoughtfully. "Where do you think it went? You know these creatures, right? Where would one go in place like this? And why didn't it stick around? Because there aren't any people?" "You're good," Harry remarked, giving her a look of appreciation before glancing around. "Why didn't it stay here? Hmm well, it might be anything. Because there are no people, because of the artificial lightning, because of the ventilation - Dementors

prefer dark and damp Though if it wanted darkness and dampness, it would've just taken one of the subway tunnels." He walked around in small circle. "It left the station because of the Unit, probably, but it could've gone into the subway tunnels. But instead it came here. And specifically here, instead of up to the mall, it came down here" he frowned before raising his eyebrows, realising something. "Into a place smack underneath a lot of people. Oh dear." "What?" Donna asked, but without giving answer Harry turned around and started running along the walls, touching them every now and then. Confused, Donna followed him, wondering if he had found a trail. But instead of taking any of the stairs or lifts up, he circled around the entire mall until coming back to the spot where they started. "What is it?" Donna asked while catching her breath. "What did you figure out? You must've figured out something, because if I did all that running for nothing, I'm going to smack you." "We're underneath a large sum of people. Yet it didn't go up to the mall," Harry answered. "It could've used the stairs if it had wanted to, nice and away from the sunlight, but it didn't. So it doesn't want to feed. And Dementors only have two basic drives. First, to feed. Second is to breed." "To breed," the woman muttered before frowning "You don't really think? It's all alone, it can't exactly breed on it's own, can it?" "Oh yes it can," Harry answered darkly. "Dementors, they don't actually give birth like normal creatures, they don't even lay eggs or anything like that. They, uh they spore." "Like fungi or something?" Donna asked with disgusted expression. "Your rotting corpse monsters grow like bleeding mould?!" "Well, something like that. Anyway, one Dementor is more than enough to start a whole race anew and this is the perfect place for it to start. Plenty of people and none of them with ability to see a Dementor, just ideal for them," the man grimaced. "Thankfully I think I found where it went," he added, pointing downwards. He was standing on top of a manhole. "I'm not going down there," Donna said sternly. "Not in a million years." Harry smiled at her while crouching down beside the manhole. "No one says you have to," he said while aiming his wand at the lid. With a metallic clonk sound, the heavy lid detached itself and floated aside, falling to the concrete floor loudly. Directing the wand at the opened hole, Harry did that thing where the wand turned into a torch and in it's light he peered inside. "It would be waste of time, anyway," he mused. "Sewers aren't exactly simple system, and who knows if it used this particular manhole - I saw at least four ones in this hall. Besides, it's one thing to trap a Dementor in closed space, another to get locked in with it." "Then what?" Donna asked, covering her mouth with her hand while crouching down as well. She could see nothing in the manhole. There was nothing particularly interesting at the bottom "What are we going to do?" "Hmm I think we might have to flush it out," the man hummed, still eying the manhole. "And we need to do it before it starts to spore. Thankfully, Dementors need

about six hours of peace and quiet before they can spore and after that it takes about a month before any new Dementors are born, so if it is doing what I think it's doing, it's not that we're in immediate hurry, though." "Alright, six hours. That's better than immediate infestation of walking corpses. Since it came here before we did how long would you say we have?" Donna asked. "Five hours, approximately," the man answered with a brief smile. He kneeled down and breathed in the air coming from the manhole. With a mildly disgusted cough he straightened himself up again. "And we can safely say that it is down there, so that's good." "Alright," the woman nodded, giving him slightly repulsed look. Was Harry one of those odd adventurer types like in the telly who licked everything? "So we know where it is, how long it is going to be there how can we flush it out?" "Two ways of doing that. First is fire, which we obviously can't use. And second, wellthe second isn't that safe either," Harry mused while rummaging through the pockets of his coat. "Dementors don't breathe, but certain gasses make them decay up a little quicker. So if I cook up a little cocktail of gas and drop it down, it should drive the thing out. The problem with that is" he pursed his lips while taking out the round phial he was examining earlier in Donna's apartment. "The problem is, the gas is a little bit toxic to humans." "So" Donna eyed him worriedly. Little bit toxic? That didn't sound good. "We can't use it either?" "No, of course we can. We just need to get people out of here before we do," Harry answered, throwing the bottle into air and catching it. "Shouldnt bee too easy to manage. Before we do it, though, I actually need to cook up the cocktail. And for that I need --" "Hey, you two. What are you doing?" a male voice interrupted them, making both Harry and Donna look up from the manhole. It was a soldier wearing UNIT's uniform, walking towards them. "I dropped my car keys into the hole," Donna lied. "Inspecting the level of maintenance of the local sewerage system," Harry said in the same time. They glanced at each other and Donna snorted. "Well, either way, it's not exactly illegal, is it?" she asked, standing up and settling her hands to her hips, giving the UNIT soldier a highly unimpressed look. "It's a public place, isn't it? Hm? Well then, off you go Rambo, off you go to bother someone else. We have stuff to do." While the soldier gave her a confused look, Donna looked down to Harry. "So, what do we need?" she asked. "First of all, we need to go shopping. Thankfully it seems that we're conveniently underneath a mall of all things. You think there's a grocery store up there?" Harry asked, standing up as well. "I could do with some chocolate. And little bit of lime, some salt" he hummed thoughtfully while kicking the heavy cover back on top of the

manhole. "You think they'd sell hydrogen chloride up there?" he asked while heading towards the nearest stairs. "I rather doubt it," Donna answered, hurriedly following him and trying not to laugh at the look the soldier was giving at them. "Well, I have to do with something else," Harry murmured, the corner of his lips twitching. "I think they know we know something," he whispered amusedly once they were out of hearing range. "Is that a problem?" Donna asked worriedly. "It might be if they intend to get in the way," the man mused before frowning. "We didn't do anything to attract attention, though, did we?" "I don't think so. Unless they saw us appearing out of nowhere," she snorted. "I think someone would've noticed, what with the big crack and all." "Nah, Apparation is hard to spot unless you've done it yourself. Magic prevents some of the things like that from being seen too easily, so it usually goes unnoticed by normal folk," Harry shrugged as they came to the stairs and started going up. "I think it was something else. Hmm oh well, I doubt it's important. We just need to flush the Dementor out, trap it somehow and then we can be off our merry way. Hey, you do have cash, right? Because I rather doubt they accept gold here." "Yeah, I do have some - but you're so paying me back," Donna said sternly as they arrived to the mall. "So, what do we do once we get all this stuff you need?" "Well, I need to mix it all up. I was hoping to use your kitchen if you don't mind - I'll make sure to clean it up afterwards, I promise," Harry said. "Will take about half an hour to do, so. Half and hour worth of shopping, another half an hour worth of cooking and then we go Dementor hunting. Again." He looked around. "Ah, a shop. So, will want some fresh lemons, bag of fine salt, some good chocolate - and then I want to take a look at the chemicals. Some cleaning detergent might have what I need" "There is something seriously off about breaking this hunting trip so that we can go shop," Donna muttered. "Puts things into perspective, doesn't it?" Harry asked cheerfully, grabbing a basket as they entered the grocery store. "There's a soul sucking monster on the loose, and people still shop. Now, let's see I think I see veggies over there. Tell me if you notic e any fruits." Donna huffed. "You're the fruit." And so they shopped. Harry hand picked dozen of healthy looking lemons before grabbing a bag of salt and heading off to the chemical section. He spend then some ten minutes reading labels before selecting two bottles of strange looking dishwasher detergent and heading off to the candy section. "Pick the brand you like most," he said while grabbing hefty amount of chocolate bars. "Dark chocolate works the best, of course, but I find it that positive effect is quicker if you actually like the chocolate."

"I don't much care for chocolate in general," Donna murmured while picking few Mars bars. "You sure it really works?" "Oh yeah," Harry nodded while adding the chocolate to the basket and off hand grabbing a bag of small chocolate covered candies. "Trust me, never face a Dementor without chocolate. Especially if you don't have magical abilities to use against the thing. Now," he looked down to the basket. "I think we have everything we need." Donna sighed as the man handed the basket to her with a bright smile. "I expect another of your galleons for my troubles," she said while taking it and marching to the nearest available cashier. Grinning happily, Harry followed and while she paid for the purchases with long suffered smile, he packed them up. "Now, let's find a nice quiet corner and I can Apparate us to your apartment," he said as they headed out of the store. "Again?" Donna sighed. "It won't be so bad this time, and I can fire another antinausea at you if you want me to," the man said calmly. "This'll do," he then decided and dragged Donna into small corridor which lead to the public bathrooms. There, without entering the toilets, he grabbed her hand to his and with a grin made the world spin around them. Thankfully this time Donna had a couch to collapse onto after the world stopped spinning. "Is this how your life is like?" she asked while the man hurried to the kitchen. "You pop in and out of places as it suits you fancy, skip to a random store to restock and then go on popping away again?" "Yeah, pretty much. Apparation makes life nice and easy, don't you think? None of that walking and driving and sitting in busses," Harry answered while apparently opening her cupboards. "Now, I need a metal bowl of some sort" "There's one in the lower shelf next to the sink," Donna answered. "Can you go everywhere by using that Apparation thing? Can you pop to the other side of the world?" "Nah. Popping to the other side of the Earth takes enormous amounts of magic. I can go anything within about thousand mile radius as long as I've been there before, but after that I start running out of energy," Harry answered. "So, to put it in perspective, I'd need to make twenty five jumps if I wanted to get around the Earth by Apparating." "Could you really do that?" Donna asked with amazement. "Apparition is instant, right? So, that would only take like a hour, right?" "Well, no, not really, I'd pass out after third jump - drop dead after fifth one if I didn't pass out before," Harry answered casually. "Just one apparition of thousand miles drains wizard severely. Most are unable to Apparate that far anyway, best most can do is about five hundred miles before they need to stop to have a good healthy meal and some rest. No wizard or witch has ever had enough power to actually Apparate around the world in less than a month." "Wow. So it has limitations," Donna murmured.

"Magic is the energy of life. If I use all of mine up, I die," Harry answered. "Thankfully as long as I'm healthy, well fed and have had my rest, my magic replenishes." "So, it's really your magic?" Donna asked curiously. "It's not, like I don't know, some ambient energy of the Earth or something like that? It doesn't come from some deity or something like that?" "I don't really believe in deities, never have but planets do have their energy, moons as well and some asteroids really have a mean sting - and of course, the stars are powerhouses of magic on their own right. A wizard's power, though, comes from within them," the man answered. "If there ever was a person who could use the magic of a entire planet well, that would be pretty scary." "Hmm" Donna nodded, though it didn't make much difference to her. "So, do you do this sort of thing all the time? Is it like your job or something? You hunt down these Dementor things?" "Well, not exactly. I told you, I travel. I was hunting down this particular Dementor for the money. It was bothering a small village, so it had hefty price on it's head, two hundred galleons," Harry answered. "Well, I wasn't exactly in need of money, though. maybe a little, but mostly I was hunting it because, well I was asked to." "So you do that sort of thing? You travel, solving people's monster problems?" Donna asked amusedly. "Well, that's part of it. Mostly I travel just to travel. See new places, do new things. So, I do the odd rescue, monster hunt, bodyguard job and little bit of espionage in every now and then" Harry trailed away. "But that's not what it's about." "What is it about then?" Donna asked, but the man didn't answer. "Well, keep your secrets then. We wouldn't want to damage that shroud of mystery of yours," she muttered. "How's the cocktail coming along?" "Well enough. It's been a while since I've tried this sort of potions making, it's sort of fun - and pretty thrilling, what with toxic gas and all." "Toxic wait, you're making toxic gas in my kitchen?" Donna asked, hurriedly getting up to her feet and to the kitchen door. there she froze to stare with shock. "What in blazes is that?!" "This?" Harry asked, glancing up. He was elbow deep in some sort of half-sphere bubble which was covering most of Donna's kitchen table. Inside the bubble he had the bowl along with the lemons and the bag of salt and strange shaped empty phials - the round one among them. The man smiled. "This is a vacuum bubble." "A what?" Donna asked, stepping closer and tentatively reaching out to touch the bubble. It felt like soap bubble, except not. "A vacuum bubble. No air or temperature inside it," Harry asked. "The cocktail vaporises when it touches with air and little bit of warmth makes it boil. So, a vacuum," he shrugged while adding bit of salt into the odd coloured liquid in the bowl. "Neat, huh?"

"A vacuum right. But what about your hands? If if it's a vacuum then shouldn't your hands freeze or something?" "Well, vacuums don't really work like that. There's no substance to sap the warmth from my hands, so the worse I got to worry about is my surface blood veins. But as it's my spell, I don't even need to worry about that." Harry shrugged. "I can keep the vacuum from harming my hands." "Okay What is in those?" Donna asked, motioning at the phials. "Or what were in them?" "Aah, various things, sleeping gasses, combustive liquids, stuff like that. Things every magical adventurer needs. This isn't exactly normal potions making, mind you. I don't have any raw materials so I'm sort of throwing together what I have and hoping for the best," the man chuckled. "Hopefully it will be close enough to what I want to work the way I want. If not, well " He shrugged. "You are either completely mad or incredible," Donna muttered while poking the bubble with her fingertip. "I'm leaning towards mad. How long will it take you to finish this up?" "About twenty minutes. I need to let it simmer for a moment before I try to add that," Harry said, pointing at a small phial or pitch black liquid. "You don't want to know what it is, though, trust me." Donna opened her mouth to ask regardless, when the phone in her jacket pocket started to ring. "Hold on," she murmured while quickly fishing it out and checking the number. "It's my mother," she murmured, for a moment seriously considering not answering. Sylvia probably just wanted to give the traditional 'have you been drinking again' Christmas speech. "But then again it could be granddad too," she murmured. They did live in the same house after all. "You should answer it," Harry said, turning his attention back to what he was doing. "If you come with me, you might not have the time for it later on." Shrugging her shoulders, Donna lifted the phone to her ear while turning to return to the living room so that she wouldn't bother the wizard. "Hello," she answered to the phone, sitting down to the couch again. "Mum, is that you?" "Of course it's me. Who were you expecting, the Santa Claus?" was the highly unimpressed answer. "It seems that you've managed to drag yourself out of the bed this Christmas eve, madam. Let me guess, you have a hangover? No surprise there. You didn't even answer the phone last night, must've been drinking. Always with the drinking. You're not getting any younger anymore, you know, all that so called partying isn't doing you any favours these days --" Donna rolled her eyes. "Was there any particular reason to call me?" she asked. "It's your grandfather. He wants to know whether or not you're coming to the dinner this evening," Sylvia asked. "I've been cooking all morning, you know, and we have visitors coming you know - Bertha is coming with Daniel and their kids, the twin girls, you know? Diana might come around too, but she's visiting her mother just before coming around so she might be late"

After listening her prattling away for a while, Donna glanced at the kitchen. With Harry there and with the whole Dementor thing, she had forgotten almost all about Christmas. Well, it certainly hadn't seemed like normal Christmas. "I'm not sure if I can make it," she finally said once Sylvia stopped for breath. "I, sort of have company." "What? A man? Oh, god, you met some lush in the pub didn't you? Well, I suppose you must be congratulated, I didn't think you still had it in you. Just kick the guy out, would you Donna?" Harry laughed in the kitchen. "Do tell your lovely mother that I can hear her, would you Donna?" "Good hearing you have," Donna commented before turning back to the phone. "He can hear you," she informed dutifully. "Besides we did not have sex and I am not kicking him out, thank you very much. Is gramps there? Can you put him on?" "Oh, alright. But be careful - and I expect you to at least try and make time for the dinner today. And if not, then tomorrow," Sylvia snapped. "I'm handing over to dad." "Sweetheart?" Wilf asked on the other side. "Hey gramps," Donna answered with a smile. "Listen, I don't think I can make it to the dinner tonight, I've gotten a bit tangled with something," she glanced at the kitchen. "And I will probably be busy for the rest of the day. But I will try to see you tomorrow, alright?" "What can you by busy with in Christmas eve?" the old man asked confusedly. "I think you oughta spend your time with your family, especially considering how the Christmases tend to be these days. With them aliens and invasions and all" Donna smiled, leaning her head back and closing her eyes. "You really believe in all that stuff, huh? About aliens and invasions Well, it's definitely not aliens I'm busy with. But I am busy. Or going to be soon anyway," she murmured. "I promise I will try to make time to drop by tomorrow." "Alright then," Wilf sighed, before coughing. "Have you seen the news today? About the Soulless Sickness?" "Yeah, I have. It started not far from here, didn't it?" Donna asked as if not knowing and for a while they talked about the news and about whether or not it was the aliens or the government. Donna, figuring she couldn't exactly say that it was a magical monster from a parallel reality, ended up supporting the side of government conspiracy whilst Wilf took the side of aliens. While they were talking, Harry finished with what he was doing, and eventually came out of the kitchen, carrying four large phials of grey liquid with him. "I'm done," he said while pushing two of the phials into the pockets of his new coat, handing one of them to Donna, and strapping the last one to his hip. "Time to get going." "Gramps, I got to go now," Donna said. "I'll call you back when I have the time, alright?" She hung up without waiting for an answer and eyed the bottle Harry had given to her. "What am I supposed to do with it?"

"It's just in case. Any one of these is enough to fill the sewers within quarter mile radius with the gas, but in case I can't do it, I need you to do it for me," Harry said. "They won't only flush out the Dementor but make sure that it can't spore in the smoke flooded sewers - which in the end is actually more important than flushing out the Dementor." "No arguments there," Donna said, rolling up to her feet and pushing the bottle to her pocket. "How does it work? Do I just break it?" "Break it or take the stopper of. The glass is pretty endurable though, so no little bump will break it. I think it's best that you take the stopper off if the time comes, drop it into the sewer and cover the manhole as quickly as possible," Harry answered, pushing few bars of chocolate to his apparently bottomless pockets. "You good to go?" "Yeah," Donna nodded, checking that she had her Mars bars with her and that the bottle was secure in her pocket. There was really something weird about going to save the world from the threat of soul sucking corpse monsters, by using toxic gas, magic and chocolate, but she could deal with it. Probably. "I'm good. Let's go."

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