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Without a Trace by ad astra
Chapter 5: Plans of Action
“There’s no trace of you on our records, sir.”
“Well, of course there won’t be,” Terry said impatiently. “I’m not going to be born for another hundred and seventeen years.”
“Can you prove you have magic?” the elderly man across the desk from Terry continued.
“I levitated a horse onto a building, isn’t that proof enough?”
“You are aware that’s a criminal offence under the Statute of Secrecy? Deliberate use of magic in the presence of Muggles?”
“What are you going to do, prosecute me?” Terry folded his arms. “I just want to get back to my own time, is that too much to ask?”
“As a matter of fact, yes. Mr…Boot, the Ministry of Magic has not mastered the art of time travel.”
“But what about the Department of Mysteries?” Terry asked, growing slightly desperate.
“The works of the Department of Mysteries remain unknown to us until such time as they choose to share their findings,” the man said sternly.
“Well, it’d be really appreciated if they could hurry up.”
“Mr Boot, how did you travel back in time?”
“I told you, there were these statue things….”
“We’ve never heard of such a thing.”
“Nor have I, believe me.”
“Mr Boot, what assistance do you require from the Ministry?”
“I was hoping you could send me back, but apparently you can’t, so…” Terry shrugged. “Somewhere to stay would be handy.”
“Try the Leaky Cauldron.”
“Oh, I know that place!” Terry said enthusiastically. “Well, as long as it hasn’t moved. Could the Ministry owl me if there are any developments in the field of time travel?”
Upon reflection, Terry realised, that was probably one of the weirdest requests he’d ever made in his life. He made his way to the Leaky Cauldron, which was thankfully in the same place he’d always known it to be, and checked into a room upstairs. He was pleasantly surprised to find that the Galleons, Sickles and Knuts he used were not only still in circulation, but worth a heck of a lot more now than they had been – would be? – in his day. He paid up front for a week’s accomodation with two Sickles and retired to his room, not entirely sure how he felt about the whole thing. Things could be worse, of course, and he had every belief that someone would be coming for him –
Wait a minute.
They didn’t know where he was. Or, more specifically, when he was. Seized by sudden inspiration, he hurried out into Diagon Alley and Apparated to the cemetery where he’d disappeared from.
It was still a cemetery – Terry had remembered seeing names dating back to the turn of the 19th century, so he knew he was safe. Glancing around to make sure he was alone, he walked over to a particular elaborate tombstone, and, with a muttered apology to the deceased (Lionel Wlliam Reeves, died in 1814) he cleared the writing from the stone and replaced it with his own:
TERRY BOOT, 1863. WAITING.
“We have to trap the Angels,” the Doctor began, having brought Michael and Genevieve into the group and introduced them. “I’ve done it before but it’s tricky – and dangerous. The Angels can’t move if someone’s looking at them. If we can somehow trap them into all looking at each other, we can immobilise them forever. But we need to absolutely stop anyone from going in there. Detective-Inspector, can you do that?”
“I can try,” Lestrade said. “But we’d have to have police guarding the cemetery all day, every day, crime scene tape doesn’t keep them out.”
“No, can’t do that, I’m afraid. Not unless you want the Angels to attack and kill all your officers. Get the message out there that nobody’s allowed in, and fence off the area. Might need the Government on your side.”
“I’ll text him,” Sherlock offered, whipping out his phone.
“Text who?” the Doctor asked.
“You said we might need the Government on our side.”
“Wait. Since when is the British Government one person?” Rory asked. “Do you know the Prime Minister?”
“Prime Minister? No, Prime Minister’s useless.”
“Who is the Prime Minister now, anyway?” the Doctor asked.
“No idea,” Sherlock replied dismissively. “Doesn’t matter.”
“No, don’t suppose it does. Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to have a word with Michael and Genevieve, back in a moment. Stay where you are, don’t wander off – rule one. And don’t go near the cemetery. Rory, you’re in charge.”
The Doctor disappeared round the corner with Michael and Genevieve, and Rory cleared his throat, glancing around at the men before him – Detective-Inspector, army doctor and consulting detective. “Well, obviously I’m not actually in charge,” he said meekly, “But if you could wait for the Doctor, that’d be, uh…great.”
“Any magic you do is going to have to be in secret,” the Doctor explained as they arrived at the cemetery. “Could you two put a wall up? We need to make sure the Angels don’t spread and only magically built walls can contain them, ordinary ones won’t do.”
“Won’t they ask questions?” Michael asked, nodding in the direction of The Detectives, as he’d dubbed Sherlock, John and Lestrade.
“Probably. No, definitely. They definitely will ask questions but let’s just say I did some timey-wimey thing that only aliens can do. Sorry for taking all the credit but that’s just how it is.”
“Doctor, we are going to get Terry back, aren’t we?”
“Yes. Somehow. Haven’t really thought about the how but yes, we’ll get Terry back. Haven’t you wizards mastered time travel yet?”
“We did. We had these things called Time Turners but the whole lot of them were destroyed in the war and nobody’s got round to making new ones.”
“The war? What war? You had a war?”
“Back in the nineties, the Second Wizarding War. Terry and I fought in it. Well, in the final battle anyway.” Michael raised his wand, conjuring a thick wall around the outside of the cemetery. Genevieve was already halfway down one side doing the same thing.
Once the wall was completed, the Doctor led them back to where he’d left the others, who had been joined by a haughty-looking man with a receding hairline and an umbrella.
“Ah, Doctor, good to finally meet you,” the man said, extending his hand. “I’ve heard a lot about you from the Torchwood team—”
“You’ve heard about him?” Sherlock asked incredulously. “How have you heard about him, he’s an alien!”
“Don’t be ignorant, Sherlock, we’ve known about the existence of aliens for a very long time. Do our best to keep such knowledge from the public, of course, you can only imagine how they would respond. Mycroft Holmes, Doctor, at your service.”
The Doctor shook Mycroft’s hand absently. “Are you two related?”
“Unfortunately,” Sherlock replied, looking bored with the conversation.
“Oh, do try to be civil once in a while, Sherlock—”
“Guys,” John interrupted. “Could we leave the sibling rivalry out of it, please?”
“Yes, quite,” Mycroft agreed, earning him a glare from Sherlock. “Now, Doctor, could you explain the situation? I understand you need to seal off a graveyard…”