batsutousai: (DW-boom_Doctor)
[personal profile] batsutousai
Title: Dust in the Sky
Part: 4 of 6
Author: [livejournal.com profile] batsutousai
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] tsuki_no_suzu
Rating: PG-13
Pairings: Harry Potter/Tenth Doctor (minor Rose/Tenth Doctor, Martha/Tenth Doctor and Jack/Tenth Doctor)
Warnings: Slash, minor Ginny!hate
Summary: Sequel to Hanging by a Thread. Harry has a life to live now with a wife and children, but he can still find time for the Doctor, no matter what he looks like.

Disclaim Her: Nope.

A/N: A lot of you have commented that Ginny isn't really such a bad lass, considering what a bad husband and father Harry's been. Figured I should probably address that, as, yes, their problems are somewhat Harry's fault, but the fault doesn't lie with him alone.
A large part of their marriage has always been based on Ginny's long-standing awe of Harry Potter and Harry's love of the entire Weasley family. (This seemed true to me even in the books.) And, no matter who you are, that's no basis for a marriage. Add in a friend who Harry grew to love after travelling for a bit and it just gets more complicated, especially since Ginny hates the Doctor so much. Really, Ginny's demands that Harry stay away from the Doctor just made him want to see the Time Lord that much more.
Harry is very attached to his job. Even in canon, he seemed the sort to be attached to his job. Not so much because he loved doing it as that he needed to do his job for the future of his family, so he could live knowing his children and nieces and nephews and godson would all have a better world to grow up in than he did. Just because he's fighting aliens now instead of Dark wizards doesn't make that any less important.
I do hope that helps a bit.

-0-0-0-

-0-0-0-


"So why are we sneaking around this building again?" Harry asked as the Doctor led the way into the Adipose building.

"Because it's weird."

"What's weird about a diet plan that works?"

The Doctor grinned at him. "Other than everything?"

"Ah. Good point." Harry shook his head. "So, while you're creeping about upstairs, watching the presentation for Health and Safety, what am I doing?"

The Doctor blinked. "Coming with me?"

"What, and have two of us use one piece of paper? I think not!" Harry shook his head. "What's the name of the woman who owns this company? Foster?"

"Sounds about right."

"Good. I'll be in her office. Ring me," Harry held up his mobile, "when you're heading out and I'll meet you."

"Mmm... Stay out of trouble, you."

"Listen to your own advice for once!" Harry retorted, catching a lift up to the floor Foster's office was on.

-0-


The lock hadn't put up much of a fight, and neither had the guard, who Harry had stunned and Obliviated. The files behind Foster's desk had some incriminating information in them, but nothing the Doctor hadn't already surmised on their way over.

Harry was about to give it up as a bad job when he spotted something in Foster's pen-catch. "Hello," he whispered, picking the false pen up, "you don't belong here." He considered the pen for a moment, then clicked it. It made a curious noise, then a thin laser shot out the side where the pen tip would have been, making a hole in the ground right next to Harry's foot. Harry clicked it off and grinned. "Gotcha."

Voices sounded in the hallway. This was the only room down this hallway, so they must have been heading there. Harry shot a quick rennervate towards the guard, then apparated back downstairs to where he'd left the Doctor earlier. He leaned against a wall and pulled out his sonic screwdriver to examine the laser pen while he waited.

He didn't have to wait long. The lift dinged after a few minutes and the Doctor stepped out, mobile from Martha in his hand. "Ah. You beat me."

Harry grinned and tossed him the pen. "Laser. It was on her desk."

"Mmm. Aliens?" the Doctor surmised, using his own sonic screwdriver to examine the pen. "Ooh. It doubles as a torch. Look." He clicked the button again and the pen tip glowed with a pale white light. "Clever." He made to stuff it in his pocket.

"Oiy! Finders, keepers, git." Harry held out a hand for the pen.

The Doctor considered him for a moment, then handed it back. "What are you planning to do with it, then?"

Harry shrugged. "Murderous torch that looks like a pen? I think I'll use it to light dark tunnels when their are muggles about."

The Doctor laughed and handed Harry a sheet of paper. "Names and addresses of people using Adipose. Let's each try one."

Harry considered his sheet, then snorted. "She's a witch," he commented, pointing to a name on the list.

"Good. You take her, then, my very visible wizard friend, and I'll take..." The Doctor closed his eyes and randomly pointed at a spot on his own sheet. "This bloke, here."

"And here I was, hoping you'd spot an alien and take them on," Harry joked as they made for the exit.

"I can't, actually, spot aliens by looking at their names, you know. Anyway, seems like we'll be taking on an alien here in this very building."

"Ah. Point."

-0-


Harry was woken the next morning by his mobile. "Potter," he mumbled.

"Any updates on Adipose?" Mary-Beth asked from the other end.

Harry groaned and dropped his head back onto the pillows. An arm snaked around his middle and pulled him closer to the other man in the bed, instantly making Harry feel a little better. "We've only had a day on the case, Mary-Beth. You can't go around expecting miracles."

"This is you and the Doctor we're talking about," Mary-Beth retorted. "I can and do expect miracles."

"Miracles never come to those who expect them," the Doctor muttered.

Harry snorted. "We talked to some people yesterday. Found a laser pen in Foster's office that's too advanced for Earth. We're going back in tonight for some snooping after the lights go out. I'll ring you as soon as we know something."

"Potter, knowing how you work, the whole city will know when you've learned something," Mary-Beth replied drily.

"We'll try not to blow anything up this time," Harry promised, eyeing the Doctor over his shoulder. The Doctor just grinned.

"Don't go draining any bodies of water, either," Mary-Beth suggested, then hung up.

Harry dropped his mobile back on the table and turned around to snuggle against the Doctor. "What time is it?" he asked the man.

The Doctor considered that for a moment. "Seven."

Harry groaned. "Bloody woman."

The Doctor chuckled and kissed his human bed mate, then slipped out of the bed. "Might as well make our way over there."

"They don't open until nine," Harry replied, burying his face into a pillow.

The Doctor paused to consider that, then sat back down on the edge of the bed. "Good point. But I'm awake now."

Harry peeked an eye up at him from the pillow. "I've a couple of ideas."

The Doctor grinned.

-0-


"I still don't understand why we can't just wait to pop in until they close for the night. It's not like we have to go in the front door like your average muggle," Harry pointed out as the crept back into the Adipose building.

The Doctor shrugged. "The TARDIS scanned the building last night and noticed something odd."

"Is that why she was beeping at you so insistently when we walked into the control room?"

The Doctor grinned.

Harry rolled his eyes.

They stopped in front of a janitor's closet.

"Oh, I can make up so many bad jokes about this," Harry commented as they squeezed inside. "And I'll bet, if Jack were here, he could come up with even more."

"Best Jack isn't here," the Doctor replied, shoving at the false wall to open it. "We'd be a bit too cosy."

"I'm sure he wouldn't mind."

The Doctor eyed Harry curiously. "No, I dare say he wouldn't. You could vanish some of the clutter."

"Mmm... I begin to see why you drag me along on these sorts of trips," Harry commented with a grin, then started vanishing clutter.

The Doctor probed at the alien tech in the wall and muttered under his breath to himself a few times. Finally, after Harry had vanished all the cleaning supplies and was enlarging the room to amuse himself, the Doctor said, "Can't get in."

Harry finished his spell and knelt down next to the Doctor. "Deadlock?"

"Mmm... Triple."

Harry nodded and considered their options. "Well, you could spend all day hacking into it, or we can go out and have a bit of fun, then come back and try her office once everyone's gone home?"

"That's assuming she goes home," the Doctor replied drily.

"Either way, there'll be less witnesses if I stun her," Harry pointed out.

The Doctor considered the options for a moment, then sighed and nodded. "Right. Museum?"

Harry laughed and helped the Doctor to stand up. "You're a fun date."

"Oiy! I like museums!"

"S'ok. So do I. Come on."

"You're not just saying that, are you? Because we can go some–"

Harry grabbed the Doctor's arm and dragged him out of the closet. "Come on, you git. Museum."

The Doctor grinned.

-0-


Harry apparated them up to the roof shortly after six. "You're sure about this?" he asked, eyeing the window-washing contraption hanging over the edge.

The Doctor nodded. "She might have something to recognise other aliens wired up in her office, especially if she's doing something illegal. It won't be set for humans, so you'll be safe."

Harry sighed. The Doctor had a suspicion that Ms Foster was doing something illegal, and since she'd triple deadlocked the tech in the wall, that meant it was pretty likely she'd have booby-trapped her office. Which meant only Harry could get in without setting it off. So Harry would go in and poke around a bit more while the Doctor sat outside as back-up in case Harry either needed him to get into the tech – assuming it wasn't also deadlocked in her office – or needed a distraction to get out of there.

"Yeah, yeah," Harry said, shaking his head. "Motion to me when you're in position."

The Doctor grinned at him, then hopped up into the contraption and started down. Harry leaned over the edge of the building and waited until the Doctor waved at him before apparating into the office.

Harry was barely there long enough to walk behind Foster's desk to the wall which his sonic screwdriver said hid the tech, when the door of the office opened. With a silent curse, Harry made himself invisible and shrank back into a corner as Foster and her two constant goons came in, dragging a woman behind them.

It turned out the woman's name was Penny and she had noticed a lot of the same warning signs about the company that UNIT had. She was intending to print them in the papers and Harry rolled his eyes. Muggles.

Not to say that a magical reporter in Penny's position wouldn't have said the same thing. But, then again, a magical reporter wouldn't have cared about a muggle business, no matter how many magical customers they had.

Foster happily informed Penny about what Adipose was, doing a lot of Harry and the Doctor's research for them.

Harry was just thinking that he'd have to find a way out, since Foster seemed to be a bit busy with Penny and didn't look to be leaving anytime soon when Foster suddenly stopped talking. Harry looked up to see what had stopped her and saw the Doctor, apparently enthralled by something across from him, which Harry couldn't see.

"Are we interrupting you?" Foster asked.

The Doctor mouthed, 'Run!' and pulled out his sonic screwdriver to lock the door to the office to give whoever he'd been talking to time to escape, while Foster sent her goons after them. Then the Doctor used his sonic to zap himself back up to the roof.

Foster's goons shot the door down, then they and Foster herself left the office.

Harry figured that the Doctor could probably take care of himself and whoever he'd seen just fine, so he slipped around the table he'd hidden behind and tried to figure out how to open the wall.

"Who's there?" Penny demanded, still tied up.

Harry banished his invisibility and waved at her. "Hello. Fancy meeting you here."

Penny stared at him while Harry turned back to the wall. After a moment, she demanded, "Are you just going to leave me tied up, then?"

"Ah. Sorry about that." Harry waved his wand behind him to free her, not bothering to look away from the wall and the readings he was getting from his screwdriver. Definite alien tech, part of whatever was downstairs, and a gentle shove wasn't going to get this door open.

Harry turned around to check the desk for more alien tech, only to find Penny going through a file folder. He took a deep breath. "Look, you're best off running. Don't stay around and poke about in things. Just get out."

"And what about you, then?" Penny demanded, glaring up at him.

Harry rolled his eyes. "First off, I came with a partner, who is perfectly capable of both distracting Foster and keeping just out of her reach. Second, I'm with the government, so I have the papers to be in here. You don't. Now run along and let the officials deal with this."

"And never let the public know?" Penny snapped. "London must be told about the–"

"You reporters and your high horses!" Harry snapped back. "Always deciding what the public needs to know, never caring about government laws protecting some secrets or about the feelings of the people you're reporting about. You lot are despicable. And–"

Harry's rant was cut off by something kicking the window.

"The hell?" he muttered, walking over to the window and peeking up. It only took him a moment to recognise the woman hanging outside the window and he forced it open. "Donna?!"

The woman in question looked down at him. "Harry!" she wailed.

"Bloody hell, woman," Harry said, shaking his head. He pulled his wand out and cast the levitation charm. "Let go of the beam, Donna!"

"I'll fall!"

"No, you won't! I've got you!"

"I'll fall!"

Harry closed his eyes for patience then stuck his head out the window. "Donna, either you let go, or I make you let go!"

Donna considered that for a moment, then let go. She hung in the air for a long moment, then Harry gently levitated her down and helped her into the office. There, she hugged him. "I thought I was gonna die!"

Harry grinned. "Nah. Wouldn't have let you. You'd have come back from beyond the grave to scream at us."

Donna laughed a bit weakly at that.

The Doctor dashed in, then grinned madly when he saw Donna standing with Harry. "Good show. Wasn't sure you were still in here."

Harry shrugged. "Couldn't get that bloody door open."

"S'ok. I've got a sonic pen," the Doctor replied, twirling said pen.

"Fancy. Downstairs, then?" Harry decided, motioning that they should make for the door.

"Brilliant." The Doctor turned and led the charge back out again, leaving Penny with her files.

Out in the office, they met Foster and her goons. "Well then," she said, taking off her glasses. "At last. And you've added to your number."

"Hello," Donna said.

"Nice to meet you, I'm the Doctor," the Doctor said.

"Harry."

"And I'm Donna."

"Partners in crime," Foster said. "And evidently off-worlders, judging by your sonic technology."

"Oh yes. I've still got your sonic pen," the Doctor replied, pulling out said pen. "Nice. I like it. Very sleek." He grinned and wiggled it. "And if you were to sign your real name, that would be...?"

"Matron Cofelia of the Five-Straighten, Classabindi Nursery Fleet. Intergalactic Class."

"A wet-nurse," the Doctor realised. "Using humans as surrogates."

"I've been employed by the Adiposian First Family to foster a new generation after their breeding planet was lost."

"What do you mean, lost? How do you lose a planet?"

"Oh, the politics are none of my concern. I'm just here to take care of the children on behalf of the parents."

"What, like an outer space super nanny?" Donna asked.

"Yes, if you like."

"So, so those little things, they're made out of fat, yeah? But that woman, Stacie Campbell, there was nothing left of her."

"Oh, in a crisis, the Adipose can convert bone and hair and internal organs. Makes them a little bit sick, poor things," Foster explained, making a little pouty face.

"What about poor Stacie?" Donna asked.

The Doctor did not look amused. "Seeding a level five planet is against galactic law."

"Are you threatening me?"

"I'm trying to help you, Matron," the Doctor replied. "This is your one chance. 'Cause if you don't call this off, then I'll have to stop you."

"I hardly think you can stop bullets," Foster replied and her two goons cocked their guns.

"Hold on, hold on, hold on!" the Doctor shouted, reaching into his jacket pocket. "Do you know what happens if you hold two identical sonic devices together?" He pulled out his sonic screwdriver.

"The aurors come down on your heads," Harry replied drily, then shot off two quick stunning spells before grabbing Donna and the Doctor and apparating them down to the closet they'd found the terminal in that morning. "I swear to Merlin, Doctor, if you do that again, I'll kill you."

The Doctor grinned and pushed open the door to the closet.

"Well," Donna said, looking in after the Doctor. "That's one solution, hiding in a cupboard. I like it." She glanced around a bit. "Bit bigger than they usually are. Cleaner, too."

"Yeah, we were down here earlier," Harry replied as the Doctor shoved the wall back to reveal the terminal. "Great, big alien computer hooked up throughout the building. Couldn't get in, earlier."

"Yes," the Doctor agreed. "But now I've got this." He held up the pen.

"She does like her pens," Harry commented, leaning against the wall next to the Doctor and obediently holding a handful of wires the Time Lord gave him. Seeing Donna's confused look, Harry dug the laser pen out of his pocket. "Found this on her desk yesterday. It's a laser, but it can also act as a very cool torch." He shoved it back into his pocket, grinning. "These aliens come up with some of the coolest stuff."

"I'll take that as a compliment," the Doctor muttered, attaching wires to the terminal.

"Figured out what it's for, yet?" Harry asked.

"Nope." The Doctor grabbed a wire from Harry and sonic'd it. "Donna, I thought you were going travelling?" he called over his shoulder, to where Donna was still leaning in the doorway, watching them.

That got Donna talking. The Doctor kept working while she told them about her failed attempt at travelling. She finished with commenting that she must have been mad to turn down that offer.

"What offer?" the Doctor asked, not completely paying attention.

"To come with you."

The Doctor turned to look at her, blinking. "Come with me?"

"Oh yes, please," Donna replied, looking hopefully between the Doctor and Harry, who was looking just as surprised.

The Doctor blinked again, but before he could respond, the machine said, "Inducer activated."

"What's it doing that for?" Donna asked, stepping into the closet.

"She's started the program!" the Doctor said, then started working a bit faster to turn off the computer, talking about how Foster had switched the Adipose to full strength, which meant they'd convert everything. People would die.

He pulled out the little capsule he'd gotten from his last visit and hooked it up, but the power was just increased and the Doctor got a little panicked.

Harry grabbed his shoulder. "Breathe. We can still stop it," he said in a firm voice. "What do we need?"

The Doctor nodded. "Second capsule," he said.

Harry was just about to apparate up to the offices and hope he could find one when Donna pulled one out of her suit. They all froze and stared at each other before laughing a little. Then the Doctor grabbed it and hooked it up, killing the computer completely.

They were all breathing a sigh of relief when they heard something a bit loud and rather impressive above them.

"What's that?" Donna asked.

"The nursery," the Doctor replied.

"Oh boy," Harry said, rubbing at his forehead.

"Shouldn't we be going to stop them?" Donna asked as the terminal switched back on.

"Hold on," said the Doctor, leaning forward. "It's instructions from the Adiposian First Family." He read them quietly for a bit, then, "Oh. Oh. We're not the ones in trouble now; she is!" He dashed for the door.

Harry shook his head as Donna rushed after the Doctor. "Muggles," he muttered, then apparated to the roof. When the Doctor and Donna finally got up there, he rose an eyebrow at them and the Doctor grinned while Donna glared.

"What are you going to do?" Donna asked as they all stood there, watching the Adipose float up towards the spaceship. "Blow them up?"

"They're just children," the Doctor replied. "They can't help where they came from."

"Well, that's a change from last time," Donna commented.

"This time, they're not about to eat every human on Earth," Harry replied drily, then shot an innocent smile at Donna when she frowned at him.

A couple of the Adipose waved at them and they all waved back. "I'm waving at fat," Donna said, somewhat disbelieving.

"Actually, as a diet plan, it sort of works," the Doctor commented with a smile. "There she is!" He jumped forward as Foster came into sight, being held up by the tractor beam. "Matron Cofelia! Listen to me!" the Doctor shouted.

"Oh, I don't think so, Doctor. And if I never see you again, it'll be too soon," Foster replied.

The Doctor groaned. "Why does no one ever listen? I'm trying to help! Just... get across to the roof! Can you shift the levitation beam?"

"What? So you can arrest me?"

"Listen. I saw the Adiposian instructions. They know that it's a crime. Breeding on Earth. So what's the one thing they want to get rid of? Their accomplice."

"I'm far more than that," Foster replied. "I'm nanny. To all these children." She looked up at the ship, smiling.

"Exactly! Mum and dad have got the kids now. They don't need the nanny anymore!" the Doctor said.

Foster looked down to smile at him, but the tractor beam chose that moment to switch off.

"Harry!" the Doctor shouted, but Harry already had his wand out and was casting the levitation charm to catch Foster.

Harry carefully brought her over to the roof as the ship streaked away. Foster had a shocked expression on her face as she was set down on the roof and crumpled to her knees. Harry knelt in front of her, smiling. "Since you mentioned it, Matron, I think I will arrest you. UNIT will have some questions for you. But, don't worry, they're a bit nicer about it than, say, the Judoon." He shot some ropes at her from the end of his wand and grinned up at the Doctor and Donna. "Alright?"

The Doctor shrugged. "It's your planet."

"Glad we agree," Harry said, then pulled out his mobile to call UNIT Headquarters and request for someone to come out and pick Foster up for questioning.

After Harry put his mobile away, they stood around for a bit, Foster still looking shocked while the Doctor and Harry avoided looking at each other and Donna looked between the two men with a frown.

Finally, Donna turned to Harry. "You're travelling with him, then?"

Harry shrugged. "Have been, yeah. Need to get back home, though, for a bit. Haven't seen my kids in almost a year now. S'only been been a month or so for them, but..." He shrugged again. "You really want to go travelling with him?" he asked.

Donna nodded and looked at the Doctor. "If that's okay with you, Doctor?"

"Take her," Harry said, firmly. "I need some time with my family. Before Ginny strangles me, preferably." He grinned.

The Doctor smiled back. "Like I said before, just mention my name and it'll make everything better."

The two laughed and the last bit of awkward disappeared. They'd known when they started this mission that Harry would need to stay at home for a bit, and ignoring that had been easy while on the mission, but once it was over...

"Take her," Harry repeated, smiling at Donna. "You're happier when you've got someone around to jabber at. And Donna might actually be able to keep up with you. Possibly even surpass you."

The Doctor nodded. "Will you be okay?" he asked, referring to the reason Harry originally decided to travel with him again, which was to get away from the people who didn't remember the year they'd spent aboard the Valiant.

Harry smiled at him and nodded. "I'll be brilliant," he replied. "So stop worrying. You're worse than Mum."

The Doctor gave a mock shudder. "Worse than Molly Weasley? You wound me!"

Donna looked between them and shook her head. "Men," she said.

The Doctor chuckled. "Did you tell them you were on the roof?" he asked Harry.

"Nope." Harry shrugged. "Probably best take her down, hm?"

"Probably," the Doctor agreed.

So they all trooped downstairs, Harry leading Foster, and met the UNIT men sent to pick up their alien friend downstairs. The four men all saluted the Doctor and Harry, making the Doctor groan, then shuffled Foster into their convoy and drove off.

Harry turned to the Doctor and Donna. "Well, then! I'll be off. Probably have to explain the giant spaceship to Ginny." He gave a long-suffering sigh.

Donna grinned and they shared a quick hug. "Tell your wife hello for me," she said, sounding almost like she knew Ginny personally.

"Is there something I should know?" Harry asked, suspicious.

Donna shrugged. "Went by your house a few times, looking for you. But you were always off at work or, I guess, with the Doctor."

Harry snorted. "She probably thinks you're another stalker."

"You get stalkers?" Donna replied, looking incredulous.

"Are you kidding? Harry Potter, saviour of the wizarding world?" Harry laughed. "Get them all the time. Sometimes I see them at work, getting dragged off by some of the other aurors."

Donna shook her head. "Unbelievable."

Harry grinned. "That's me!" Then he turned to the Doctor. "I'll see you around, yeah?"

The Doctor nodded. "Yeah. You've got my number."

Harry nodded. "So I do," he agreed.

Donna rolled her eyes at them. "I'm going to grab my things from my car," she told them, then turned and walked off.

The Doctor blinked after her. "What was that all about?" he asked.

Harry laughed and grabbed the Time Lord's tie. "I think we were being transparent. Kiss, then I'm off."

The Doctor sighed and shook his head in disbelief, then leaned down far enough to kiss the wizard. "Don't go getting yourself killed by Dark wizards while I'm gone."

"And don't you get yourself killed by aliens," Harry replied, grinning. "I'd rather not have to get used to another new face, thanks."

"Makes two of us," the Doctor replied.

Harry laughed and, after checking for muggles, apparated back home.

-0-


"You know, Harry, you'd probably be better off if you officially transferred to the Unspeakables," Ron pointed out. "You're on missions for them more often then you're at your own desk here, and everyone already considers you one of them." He shrugged. "Might keep this from happening, too," he added, jerking his head towards the door they'd just walked out of.

On the other side of the door were a couple of teenage wizards who had been causing trouble starting during the month that Harry had been gone with the Doctor. The boys would do something stupid around a muggle, then apparate away as soon as the aurors showed up; until Harry had been part of the auror squad sent to grab them, then they both knelt in front of him and let him cuff them to be taken in for questioning.

It wasn't the first time they'd had a case like it, and the perpetrators had always acted out just so they could tell their mates that Harry Potter had arrested them.

"Don't think I haven't considered it," Harry replied, knocking his head against the far wall. "Do you know how embarrassing it is to have a friend out-rank you in a month?" he added, referring to Martha, who had joined UNIT shortly after the year that never was and currently out-ranked him. Of course, Harry was still on the official books as a part-time member of UNIT – even though they'd started using him like he was full-time since the year that never was – so he didn't really have a rank above civilian. Even Hermione out-ranked him.

Ron just shook his head. He still didn't get the whole alien thing, or why someone would want to be working in the Department when they could be working in the Aurors, doing the same things, but with a higher chance of survival. He understood Dark wizards, he didn't understand aliens. However, his best friend and his wife loved their job, and Ron did his best to support them, even if he did think they were barmy.

Harry shook his head. "Maybe I'll talk to Jeff," he decided, nodding towards the Head Auror's office. "Even he's treating me more like an Unspeakable, these days."

Ron snorted. "Yeah, really. I was actually surprised when he called you to help in catching those guys. We all were."

Harry grimaced. He, himself, had been rather shocked when he'd been called out. Even after almost two months back from his latest trip with the Doctor, he wasn't often called for auror duty.

Harry shook his thoughts away and waved at Ron, then wandered over to the Head Auror's office. He knocked on the door frame and poked his head inside the room. "Jeff? Can I talk to you?"

"Oh, Harry!" Jeff Branstien smiled at him from his desk. "Please, come in. I hear you and Ron finally caught those thugs."

Harry sighed and took the chair in front of Jeff's desk. "They sort of offered themselves up," he commented.

Jeff grimaced. "So it was that sort. Sorry, Harry. Should have sent you out sooner."

Harry shrugged. "Couldn't have known," he replied, then sighed again. "Jeff, would you be terribly cross with me if I transferred permanently to the Unspeakables?"

Jeff shook his head. "Not really. I'd half expected you to do it a couple of months ago, after you got back. Why all of a sudden?"

Harry ran a hand through his hair. "Feeling a bit out of place. And Ron is thinking that if I officially transfer, you might stop getting kids like these ones."

Jeff chuckled and leaned back in his chair. "Ron might be right." He pulled something out of a drawer and handed it over to Harry. "Official transfer form. Have at."

Harry considered the form, which had already been mostly filled out by Jeff and the Unspeakable Head. "You lot have just been waiting for me to bring it up, haven't you?" he accused.

Jeff nodded, unashamed. "Been waiting since you said you were going to take that assignment on that sky ship of the muggles'. Almost gave it to you then, but the Department of Mysteries Head suggested we wait until you came to one of us."

Harry sighed and stood. "Yeah, yeah. I'll finish filling it out and send it to Records. Am I expected to move downstairs today?"

Jeff chuckled at that. "Aren't you already mostly moved down there?"

Harry nodded. "Well, yeah. But, you know what I mean."

Jeff chuckled some more. "We'll have a party for you tomorrow. Go pack up what's left of your desk, Unspeakable."

Harry shook his head and wandered off to do just that.

-0-


Two months later, Harry was sitting in his new office in the Department, grinning around at the walls. He'd never had an actual office before, despite his official auror rank, but he'd just been promoted to major by UNIT, which not only got him a corner office, but also put him at a higher rank than both Hermione and Mary-Beth.

Technically, his rank was about the same as Martha's, who was a medical officer and not an actual soldier. Both of them had experience on the field, unlike some other officers who shared their rank, and they also had off-world experience, which no one else in UNIT seemed to have. (Well, except for a general Martha had heard about one afternoon who had been to the moon, once.) Both of them had joked, on occasion, that they should have higher ranks, since they had more experience than anyone else they knew of in UNIT.

Harry had almost been upset that his UNIT rank was lower than his auror rank, but had admitted, if only to himself, that the aurors were a smaller group, so ranks were generally a bit easier to come by than in UNIT, which was a huge organization. More-over, holding the rank of colonel in the aurors hadn't meant a lot, but holding it in UNIT meant he was expected to be in charge of a group of men, which Harry wasn't completely comfortable with. For now, he was content to have charge over the small group of men and women in the Department that he'd been given.

Harry was just about to pull out a file to work on when a knock came at the door frame and a grinning face poked in. "Hey, Harry."

"Martha Jones!" Harry hopped up from his chair and met her for a hug. "What brings you to my corner of the world?"

Martha took a seat as Harry returned to behind his desk. "Couple of things," she said. "Heard about your promotion and came to congratulate you, for one."

Harry snorted. "I'm only a major, Martha. Nothing special about that."

Martha winked. "Sure there is." They both chuckled at that. "But, really, I came to offer you a chance to cause some mayhem with me."

"Oh? I'm listening." Harry leaned forwards, looking eager.

Martha snorted. "You've been spending too much time with the Doctor."

"Oh, come on. I haven't even heard from him for four months."

"You know what I mean."

They both grinned.

"Okay, then. What's this mayhem we're causing?" Harry leaned back in his chair, still grinning.

Martha sighed and pushed something across the clean desk. "I know you don't own a car, but surely you've heard of ATMOS?" she replied in a serious tone.

Harry took the file, all signs of a smile gone as he flipped through it. "Yeah. We've got it in the Department van," he said, referring to the single vehicle the Department owned, just in case they needed to get somewhere in a muggle manner. "Bloody hate the thing, myself, but a couple of them love it. Purebloods, mostly. Drives the van for them." He motioned behind Martha to include everyone outside the office. "Ooh... That's interesting..." he murmured, reading over the specs of one of the boxes.

"It's almost as bad as Lazarus," Martha commented, referencing the too-advanced technology that Lazarus had been using which the Master had helped him create.

Harry nodded, flipping the page. "Fifty-two simultaneous deaths? All across the globe?" he asked, looking up at Martha in disbelief. "That's not statistically possible. Is it?" He frowned and looked back down at the report. "I may not know much about muggle cars, but even I know that shouldn't have happened."

"My thoughts exactly." Martha leaned forward. "Headquarters wants it checked out, so they've got Colonel Mace leading a team to take out one of the factories. I'll be with them and I think it would be nice if we had another experienced eye on board."

Harry hummed. "The Doctor?"

Martha laughed and leaned back in her chair. "Yes, him too, but I really meant you. You're experienced, same as me, but you've also got a weapon what no one else in this group will have; you've got magic."

Harry considered her. "Is it okay if I bring a couple of my people with me, do you think? Not so much soldiers – Merlin knows we'll have enough of those! – but people like Hermione? Scientists, like."

Martha nodded slowly. "I don't see why it would be a problem, really. I can phone Mace if you want to round up the people you want?"

Harry grinned and stood up from behind his desk. "Have you got one of the Doctor's special phones?"

Martha pulled it out. "Yes. Why?"

"Normal muggle phones don't work down here," Harry replied. "I'll be back."

-0-


"He put you in charge of calling the strike?" Harry asked, leaning against the wall next to Martha. The UNIT troops, as well as Harry's hand-picked magical group, were all waiting just out of sight of the giant factory they were standing near. Martha had just rung the Doctor and told him to come down, so she and Harry were waiting for the TARDIS to land.

"Yes he did."

"Blimey. Either he really trusts you, or you've got more weight to throw around in UNIT than I have in the Ministry."

Martha laughed.

They both turned at the sound of the TARDIS materialising. The door creaked open and out peeked a head of tousled hair. As soon as the Doctor saw them, he grinned and waved, then hopped out of the TARDIS and walked forwards. "Martha Jones and Harry!"

Martha hurried forward and got a hug, laughing a bit. "It's good to see you, Doctor."

"It's good to see you, too." The Doctor looked up at Harry, who was still leaning against the wall and grinning. "Both of you." He looked back down at Martha. "How's your family?"

"Recovering," Martha replied, still smiling.

Donna stepped out of the TARDIS, looking a bit uncertain. She saw Harry and smiled at him, waving a bit.

Harry grinned back and finally pushed off from the wall to walk over and hug Donna. "Hullo, Donna. Good to see he hasn't lost you or some such."

"Oiy!"

"So this is the mysterious Donna?" Martha asked, smiling at the older female.

Harry nodded. "Donna, Martha. Martha, Donna." He grinned up at the Doctor. "Oh, and, hullo. Git."

The Doctor laughed then and swept Harry up in a hug, earning him a cry of, "Put me down this instant, you bloody giant!"

"You were trying to ignore me!" the Doctor said, setting Harry back on his feet.

"Nah. Just letting everyone know who's more important," Harry replied.

"Now who's the git?" the Doctor demanded, but he was grinning like a loon.

"Mad, those two," Donna commented, then held out her hand to Martha. "Donna Noble. The Doctor talks about you all the time; it's good to finally have a face for the name."

Martha took the hand and they shook. "Martha Jones."

"Not for long, I see," Donna commented, holding up Martha's left hand. "Who's the lucky guy?"

"Lucky guy?" the Doctor asked, coming over with Harry.

"She's engaged," Harry said, casually leaning against the Doctor like he'd been leaning against the wall.

"To Tom Milligan," Martha replied, glancing up at the Doctor. "Works in paediatrics. He's off in Africa right now." She glanced back at Donna. "And, yes, I know. I've got a Doctor who disappears off to distant places. Tell me about it."

"He's an okay bloke," Harry commented, snickering when Martha turned to glare at him. "Well, okay. Real nice, then. Good catch." When Martha continued to glare, he asked, "What d'you want me to say, then?"

Martha looked like she might respond, but the radio at her belt crackled and said, "Doctor Jones, report to base please. Over."

"Almost forgot," Martha said, then picked up the radio. "This is Doctor Jones. Operation Blue Sky is go, go, go. I repeat, this is a go."

They all stepped forward out of the alley, Harry moving forward to stand with Martha, and watched as the troops rushed in and set up base outside the factory. Martha continued leading the main troops while Harry waved to his group and motioned for them to stick with the base for the moment. Hermione, who he'd put in charge, looked nervous, but nodded and hurried the tiny group of two magicals towards the base.

Martha eventually finished directing the troops and walked back over to Harry, the Doctor and Donna, the latter of which looked a little out of their depth. (Well, Donna looked out of her depth. The Doctor just looked mildly disapproving.) "We're setting up a field base on site," Martha told the Doctor. "They're dying to meet you."

"Wish I could say the same," the Doctor muttered as they all walked towards the truck that housed the base. When he passed her, the Doctor smiled at Hermione, who managed a smile back, then motioned Harry over.

"Go on," Harry told Martha, then stepped over to his group. "What's up?"

"You didn't tell me the Doctor was coming," Hermione hissed, watching the tan trenchcoat disappear into the truck.

"Mmm... Wanted to surprise you," Harry replied.

"Sure it wasn't a surprise to you, sir?" Aria Wells asked, smiling. She was a mistress of alien tech and had managed to get a fair portion of the Department's various machines working without any help from anyone else on staff.

Harry chuckled and shook his head. "Nope. Knew about it coming in. Martha – Doctor Jones to the rest of you – told me about it when she asked me along."

"Rumour has it you've travelled with the Doctor," Robert Crow, commented. He was a muggleborn, like Hermione, and had gotten certified in medical assistance, both muggle and magical. He also took great joy in finding ways to disrupt alien tech with magic, which made him invaluable to the Department.

"Hmm..." Harry shrugged. "Love those rumours. You know, if I believed even half of them, I'd practically be a god."

"That's a rather terrifying thought," Aria commented.

"Yes, he travelled with the Doctor," Hermione said, rolling her eyes. "Honestly, Harry."

Harry chuckled and ran a hand through his hair. "It's been about two years, all told, that I've travelled with him," Harry admitted. "Couple months here, couple there. Course, it's only been about two months of my missing for you lot, but that's 'cause this is the Doctor we're talking about and he can usually manage to get you back whenever."

"Except the day of your wedding," Hermione added.

"Could have been worse," Harry commented, wagging his eyebrows, "Rose missed an entire year. Three days, to her, but an entire year for those of us on Earth. Her mum was frantic."

"Occupational hazard," Robert offered.

"Just a bit of one," Harry agreed. "Well, I'm in to save the colonel from... Well, either the Doctor or Donna. Haven't decided which, yet."

"Good luck, sir," Robert called as Harry hurried up into the truck.

Harry got in just in time to hear Donna say, "Donna. Donna Noble, since you didn't ask. And I'll have that salute."

"Wish I could get him to do that for me," Harry said teasingly as he walked over to where the Doctor was standing. The colonel gave him a hard look and Harry grinned back – he'd learned regulation from the Doctor, which was to say, not at all. "Good show, Donna."

"Major Potter," the Colonel said, glaring a bit.

Harry was saved from the impending dressing down by the Doctor asking what was going on with the factory. He got the list of their suspicions and the group entered the factory, Harry waving for his team to follow them. Colonel Mace looked a bit disapproving, but Harry's group were special ops, and they might very well be needed. It was why Mace had allowed their involvement.

They brought the Doctor to a working model of the ATMOS and Martha commented that they'd found nothing wrong with it, so they'd brought in the Doctor as an expert to look it over.

The Doctor studied the ATMOS a bit and sonic'd it some. He also insulted Colonel Mace a bit by telling him to back off because he was wearing a gun. Harry, who was looking over another ATMOS with his group – they hadn't had the chance to study them yet, and Harry figured it was as good a time as any – snickered a bit and waved at Mace, who frowned at him.

"Stop antagonising him," Martha admonished Harry between admonishing the Doctor.

Harry snickered some more and walked over to them, leaving his team to play on their own a bit. "I can't help it," he told Martha. "And it's not 'cause he's got a gun," he added, looking at the Doctor, who smiled a bit. "He just reminds me of some aurors and politicians I've met over the years. Made a bit of fun of them, too."

"Did he ever," Hermione added.

Donna walked back in and gleefully told them all about finding an empty file which should have contained info on sick leave and the such. Mace had Martha set up a medical examining room and Donna went with her. Mace and the Doctor wandered off and Harry checked up on his team.

"Harry, we'll never get anything done with you hovering," Hermione commented. "Go follow the Doctor and irritate him and Colonel Mace."

"Cheers," Harry agreed, grinning. Just before he stepped fully out of the room, he looked back at the group, serious. "If something goes down, I want all of you apparating back to the field base right away. I don't care if a muggle sees you. You aren't soldiers and I won't have you in the middle of a minor battle. Am I understood?"

"Sir!" all three called, saluting.

"Now get out of here," Hermione added, then turned back to her work.

Harry chuckled to himself and hurried after the Doctor and Mace. He found them discussing going to Rattigan Academy and how the Doctor didn't want to have anyone going with him who was carrying a gun. He caught up with them properly as they were reaching the jeeps. "If you want, Doctor, I can take you," he suggested.

"Major Potter, are you cleared for driving a vehicle?" Colonel Mace demanded.

Harry cocked an eyebrow at him. "The Department does have us all certified, sir. I don't drive often, but I'm certainly capable of it."

The Doctor grinned. "Just like old times, then."

Harry smiled back. "Yes, except I'm driving instead of you. Should be a less sick-up inducing trip."

"Oiy!"

Mace sighed. "Very well, Potter. If the Doctor tells you to do something, you do it. Understood?"

Harry nodded and, with a straight face, said, "If the Doctor tells me to do something, be completely contrary. Yes, sir."

"Just like old times," the Doctor said again while Mace just sighed. "Donna!" the Doctor called, catching sight of the woman. They spoke for a moment and the Doctor completely misunderstood what she was trying to say, leaving Harry in stitches. Finally, they all climbed into the jeep and headed off.

"You can actually drive?" Donna asked in surprise as they left the factory behind them.

Harry sighed. "Muggle-raised? Live in a muggle neighbourhood?"

"But you don't own a car," Donna replied.

Harry rolled his eyes. "Work for a super-secret, alien-hunting department that collaborates with muggles regularly?"

"Is it really super-secret?" the Doctor asked.

"Most of the Ministry doesn't even know it exists," Harry replied. "They just think the Department of Mysteries is all the same thing. So far as most people know, we don't care about aliens. Muggle problem."

The Doctor grinned. "I love humans."

Donna elbowed him.

-0-


Fourth Part, second half

Harry & the Doctor Series:
Hanging By a Thread
Dust in the Sky Chapters:
One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six
The Future Doesn't Scare Me Chapters:
One | Two | ???
The Perfect Sky is Torn Chapters:
One | Two | Three
DISCONTINUED
Adrenaline Rush

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