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Science and Magic by Princesss
Format: Short story
Chapter 1: Chapter 1
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There were beads of sweat forming upon her forehead and neck. She could hear the uneven sound of her breathing and feel the adrenaline pumping through her veins. This was it. The day she, Hermione Granger, would die. After all she'd been through with her friends, Hermione never thought that her death would be caused by something like this. Which was the reason her guard had been down. Looking past the great creature in front of her she saw her wand 5 feet away laying on the hard, cold ground. She could attempt to dive for it, Hermione thought, but there was no guarantee she'd get past the hideous monster and her odds did not look great.
Ugh it was a hideous thing to look at, and even more violent than a nesting-mother Dragon. It was stronger than a Giant, and far more stupider than a Troll. Yet it had still beat her, which was the funny thing. The creature advanced towards her smelling of, what she would imagine to be, rotting flesh and vomit. This is it, she thought, I am about to die. Hermione closed her eyes, conceding to the death she knew was imminent and whispered one last desperate word.
In that instant she knew that death had come for her. Then, unexpectadly, she felt someone take her hand in theirs. It felt warm and somehow a comfort to her shaking form. Opening her eyes, confusion clouded her brain. There the monster was in front of her, disgusting as ever, only a few yards away. Yet someone inexplicably was also holding her hand. Whipping her head to the side she found herself face to face to the owner of the hand, a tall man with messy brown hair dressed in a deep blue suit who was looking at her intently. There was a gleam in his eyes that made her think the man was enjoying himself slightly but there was also something about his face that made her trust him completely. Then he spoke one word to her. A word of which she would remember forever.
The monster lunged towards the two of them just as the tall, erratic man managed to pull her out of the way. He manoeuvred the two of them past the hideous creature and made to run through the door. Hermione managed to snatch her wand up from the ground as they sprinted through to the next room. The roar of the monster was deafening as it attempted to chase after them. Hermione pointed her wand up towards the ceiling above the door. A mixture of rubble and metal fell to the floor, blocking the door and trapping the monster behind it the instant Hermione cast the non-verbal reducto spell.
Not waiting to see if that held the creature the two of them continued to run through the increasingly sparse rooms. During all the chaos Hermione's mind was filled with mountains of questions. Who was this strange man? He seemed to do this often yet he did not seem like any Wizard she knew. Did he have prodigous skill? She didn't know but she wanted to find out. Pulling back she forced the strange man to face her.
"Who exactly are you?" Hermione asked, eyes narrowed in confusion.
"I'm the Doctor, and we've got to run," The man who called himself the Doctor replied.
He grabbed Hermione's hand again and forced them both towards the exit. Before they had taken two steps the monster appeared through a door to the left of them, blocking their escape. Without hesitating the Doctor ran for the side door but Hermione could see that the monster was going to catch them.
"PROTEGO" Hermione yelled, blocking the monsters path.
The Doctor stared at Hermione, hesitating for just a second in bewilderment. Quickly recovering he dragged them both through the emergency exit and into the little alleyway down the side. They continued running down the alleyway and through a few small roads finally stopping in small dead-end road. The Doctor turned towards Hermione, hands in his pockets and a huge grin on his face. Hermione suddenly noticed that he was leaning against a large, blue police box.
"So," the man smiled, "what's your name?"
Hermione blinked twice before realising he was actually real and talking to her. She had begun to wonder whether this entire thing was happening or if she was just experiencing an extremely bad nightmare.
"I'm Hermione, H-Hermione Granger," she stammered, slightly in awe.
"And how exactly did you cause that shield thingy, Hermione Granger," he asked, crossing his arms.
"Well... I...." Hermione began, unsure of what to do.
"Because it seems like you used magic, but that is absolutely impossible. I mean, it's just illogical," he mused, not really talking to her anymore. Circling Hermione he seemed to be appraising her, trying to find another possible solution.
"I just, I," Hermione muttered. trying to form words.
"Yet, that is the only possible solution," he finished, "You can do magic. You used that wand to save us. It's clearly come from the earth and this planet does not have the technology to be that advanced. The question now is, how do you do it?"
The Doctor continued to stare at her intently, apparently oblivious to Hermione's obvious discomfort. She knew what she had to do and yet, oddly, this muggle did not seem like a muggle at all. He was not magical and he looked human yet, there was something about him. This man did not seem to be acting as a normal muggle would once they had found out that magic exists. Though, Hermione thought as he began to point a screwdriver with a lazer on the end of it at her, that may be because his mental capacity is that of Xenophilius Lovegood's.
"Do you," Hermione started, "I mean, is there anywhere I could take you?"
"Nah, I'm fine. Got her parked right here," the Doctor said, standing up and patting the blue police box.
"Um..." Hermione was worried now and began racking her brain for excuses to leave. Who would believe a mad man anyway?
"Do you want to look inside?" he smiled, eyes twinkling.
"Oh... okay" Hermione stammered, wanting to placate him.
He opened the door and nodded his head towards the entrace. Hermione cautiously moved forwards, intending only to poke her head through the door and gather a quick look. As she reached the door frame the man smiled encouragingly at her. He doesn't seem mad, Hermione thought. With one hand resting on the frame of the door Hermione leant into the room. What she saw was not what she had expected to see. Slowly she walked further into the cavernous room and stared around at what could not possibly fit inside a small blue box. Running outside she circled the strange room to determine any hidden doorways.
The man merely smiled at her and shrugged slightly, clearly amused by the look on Hermione's face. She could feel her eyes widen and her mouth set in that awed 'o' shape. How could this man pretend not to know of magic when this was clearly a magical object. Though she'd never seen or expected a wizard's house to be that inconspicuous before.
"Did you enchant it yourself?" asked Hermione.
"Enchant it? What?" the Doctor replied, his eyes quizzical.
"What spell did you use? I've seen tents and cars expanded but never to this level. You must be an extraordinary wizard. But why did you pretend not to know of magic?" said Hermione, clearly confused.
"Because I'm not a wizard. Magic it's just not possible and yet...here you are."
The two of them surveyed each other skeptically. Hermione could see that he was telling the truth, that he had no idea of magic and didn't want to believe it exists. Yet, there he was, a magical object owned solely by him. The question now was how did he get it.
"How does a Muggle, like yourself, come by such a magical object then?"
"A muggle? What does that mean?" he asked, genuinely curious, "Also this is no magical object, it is purely made from technology you could not possibly begin to understand."
"Technology? Like what muggles have? A muggle is a non-maical human. This has to be magic, it just has to be. There is no way that box could be so large inside without it," Hermione claimed.
"Well that's what it is. It's technology from my home planet, Gallifrey. Something that humans do not possess and never will," he replied.
"But... you're human."
"Yeah, no I'm not. I'm a Time Lord. The last of my kind. Nice to meet you."
Chapter 2: A Choice
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Abruptly, the Doctor flew into the large, blue box and left Hermione standing in the road utterly perplexed and speechless. What does he mean 'not magic'? It has to be magic. Perhaps he just has no idea of what he possesses. Yet he seems so sure, Hermione's thoughts rushed around her brain. She could not understand how he could possibly not know that this Tardis was clearly a magical object. Only a few seconds had passed though it seemed a lot longer to Hermione when she was brought out of her thoughts. The Doctor stuck his head out of the blue box's doors and a cheeky twinkle brightened his eyes.
"Um, sorry, but are you coming? Or are you going stand out here all day?" he asked, disappearing back into the Tardis.
Hesitating for just a few seconds more, Hermione walked cautiously into the giant box. This time she looked around the oddly decorated room with far more concentration than before in an attempt to drink every single detail in. She noticed the odd round shaped objects plastered over the walls and ceiling, the strange but perfect curve of the entire room, and all of the strange objects including the giant round table type thing that was covered in hundreds of knobs and buttons while being connected with a strange, glowing tube. The Doctor was running around this area, pressing the buttons and pulling at some levers. He then grabbed the long brown coat that was lying on one of the chairs and threw it over one of the railings surrounding the two of them. Turning to Hermione, the Doctor looked deep into her eyes a little apprehensive.
"So," the Doctor began, "what do you think?" It took a moment for Hermione to be able to find her voice.
"I- I-," Hermione began. After taking a deep breath everything she had been thinking in the last few minutes came pouring out in a rush, "I don't know what to think! First you appear out of thin air and save me from that hideous creature, the likes of which I have never seen before and hope never to see again. Then, it appears, that you are a muggle who has no idea of magic yet when I performed magic you barely seemed surprise. It was as though you had been expecting to see it for a while. Then I think you must be a wizard but you deny it and you deny being a wizard even though you clearly have a magical object in your possession right here," Hermione gestured around the room without breaking stride, "and I don't know how you acquired me and you say that it isn't magical but what you are suggesting is utterly ludicrous. It's not plausible. Another planet? Strange machinery? None of it can exist. It is just. Not. Possible."
All of this was garbled and barely understandable since Hermione had said all of this without drawing a breath. There she stood, pink cheeks flushing in confusion and her heavy breathing the only sound in the entire room. The Doctor merely looked at her with a slightly wary expression on his face. He walked towards her, eyes wide with excitement and a maddeningly knowing look that clouded his dark eyes. Hermione stared back, waiting for the crazy man to finally say something. To tell her that she was right and that this had all been a poor joke. He really was a wizard. He just had to be.
"Hermione Granger," he finally broke the silence, saying her name with some kind of reverence, "you are so human. So unbelievably and amazingly human…. And yet you are like no other human I have ever encountered." The Doctor paused, looking intently into her face as though willing her to understand, "I am not a wizard. I cannot do magic. I have never even encountered magic before, not real magic anyway, and I am finding all of this," the Doctor waved his hand in her direction, "extremely hard to believe." Again he paused but Hermione was barely breathing now, "Everything I have told you so far is true. I am a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey and this is my space ship. It is not run by magic but pure alien technology that is a mystery to your people and always will be," the Doctor continued, "Clearly we are both as flummoxed as each other so how about, rather than talking, I just show you?"
The Doctor grinned cheekily at her and his eyes were similar to that of a small, eager child at Christmas. Hermione hadn't even begun to process all of this yet. Not magic? It has to be magic. Perhaps he is just not familiar with it…. Perhaps he is completely ignorant. I'll just have to prove to him that what he is talking about is impossible, Hermione thought. Then she furrowed her brows in confusion at him. There is no way he'll be able to prove any of this, but he seems so sure….. so confident. Hermione thought all of this extremely quickly and managed to recover equally as fast.
"What do you mean 'show me'?" asked Hermione.
"How about we go on a little trip?" the Doctor grinned. Hermione stared back perplexed.
"A trip to where?" confusion coloured her tone.
"Anywhere! Through time or space! That's what T.A.R.D.I.S. Stands for, after all. Time and Relative Dimensions in Space. So, it's your choice."
"Time or space?" Hermione scoffed as she took in what the Doctor had said, "That's not even remotely possible. Witches and wizards can go back in time by using a time turner but no more than a few hours. Perhaps yours is bigger so it may be able to travel back a few months or so but to suggest any time at all is absolutely ridiculous." The smile on the Doctor's face had grown as Hermione had spoken.
"Is that what you think?" he asked. Hermione gave a small, curt nod in response. "Well then," the Doctor continued, "I suppose I'll have to show you."
"What do you mean…. Show me?" asked Hermione tentatively.
"I'm going to take you on a trip, anywhere in the universe. I could take you to another planet. I could take you to the past," the Doctor said suddenly serious again, "I could even take you to the future. Fancy it?"
Hermione looked into the Doctor's face and saw the honest sincerity there. Could he be telling the truth? No, was her immediate answer, it's just not possible….. and yet there is something about his face that I can't help but believe. For a second Hermione was seriously considering going with him. Why not? she thought, I could see for myself whether or not he is telling the truth and if, as I suspect, this is all a clever ruse then I'll know…. But if it's all true then I'll be able to see so much, learn so much. I'll be able to study this powerful magical object that the Doctor has in his possession and prove to him that it is magical. He will have to believe me. Hermione's mind flew over these thoughts extremely fast and she had all but told him that she would come when realisation hit.
"I can't go…" Hermione sighed, "If I disappeared my family would worry…. My friends would look for me. I can't do that to them." The Doctor continued to smile at her, unaffected by her speech.
"You did hear me when I said it travels in time, right?" he asked and Hermione nodded, pursing her lips in defiance. Does he think I'm an idiot? She thought. "Well then you know that I could take you to Ancient Greece or 50 million years into the future and get you back here in 10 seconds. I could get you back yesterday if you really wanted."
"Really?" asked Hermione slightly intrigued.
"Yep," shouted the Doctor as he jumped up and ran around the large, round table. "So," he asked, "where to?"
Hermione stared at him. Where to? There are so many places. How can he possibly expect me to decide? There are so many places I want to go. So many I seem to not even know of. On top of that what if I decide on somewhere and all he has been saying really is not true? He sounds so sure, so truthful and yet it is completely illogical. Through her entire thought process the Doctor had merely stared at her with that excitable puppy-like expression on his face. As she stared back at him Hermione felt his enthusiasm affecting her. She grinned back at this strange and possibly insane man unable to disapprove.
"Anywhere," she shouted back. The Doctor's grin widened and he let out a loud, joyful laugh. Running around the gigantic, round table-like monument he continued to flick and push buttons. The large, glowing tube connected to it had begun to move and make an indescribable noise that filled the entire room. Hermione watched the Doctor as he worked, running this way and that. The Doctor abruptly stopped beside her and looked down into her face, holding onto a strange lever but not pulling it.
"Ready?" the Doctor asked. Hermione hesitated for only a second before answering.
"Ready," Hermione confirmed. That same old grin illuminated the Doctor's face.
"Then hold on!" he shouted, pulling the lever and letting out a large 'HA!'.
The room suddenly jerked to life and Hermione clung on to the side of the round table for dear life, wrapping her hand though a large hole in the metal. Next to her the Doctor stood, also grabbing hold of a spare chunk of metal smiling at her. He let out a great whoop of laughter as the room threw the two of them around, so infectious that Hermione joined in. Time for another adventure.
Chapter 3: Hazard on the Rinovambh
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She clutched on to her hand hold for dear life, her initial euphoria had disappeared almost instantaneously. The Doctor was whirling around the strange table with all the odd bits and bobs attached to it, pressing buttons and pulling levers again. It wasn’t long before there was one last gigantic jerk, that almost forced Hermione to fall to the ground, and the room came to a sudden standstill. For a moment, it seemed that the Doctor had quite forgotten her. He raced around the room, grabbing and throwing things here and there, before finally grabbing his long, brown coat and throwing it on as he ran towards the double-doored entrance. Hermione hesitated not sure what to do. As he placed one hand on the door, it seemed that the Doctor had remembered she was there at last. He turned to look at her with an intensely serious expression upon his face. Slowly, the Doctor walked towards Hermione and halted directly in front of her. His face was only a few inches from her own, he was so close that Hermione could feel his warm breath on her cheeks.
“Outside that door is a world you’ve never imagined in your wildest dreams. A world you’ve never even given a thought to the possibility of existing,” said the Doctor, his dark eyes boring into hers. “If you step out of that door, your view of the entire universe, even life itself, will change. You will change. Are you sure that you’re ready for that?”
Hermione met his gaze and she knew that there was no trace of uncertainty in her eyes. “Yes.”
The Doctor grinned and grabbed Hermione’s right hand, pulling her over the small bridge and hesitating for just one moment before pushing open those blue double doors. He looked at her, an expression of undiluted excitement in his eyes and Hermione took one last deep breath before the Doctor pulled her through the doors and she stepped out in to the place just beyond. Looking around, Hermione saw that she was in an unfamiliar land. She wished that she had about 10 more eyes just so she could see everything. They were in some kind of market place, with stalls selling odd things in every available space. Shoppers were sporting strange fashions, though that wasn’t the strangest part. Hermione had seen all sorts of people since she had found out she was a witch. Hags and Ghouls, Vampires and Werewolves, even House-Elves and Goblins. Yet the people she saw in front of her now were like nothing she had ever seen. There seemed to be humans dotted around here and there but other than that every stranger looked different. She could see people with purple skin who had talons instead of fingernails. There were some that had four eyes or two eyes or no eyes. One person had no arms or legs and, instead, slithered across the floor like a giant slug. Yet, oddly, she could still understand every single word the strangers around her were saying and, now she had noticed that, the signposts all seemed to be written in English.
“So,” the Doctor murmured low enough so only she could hear, “What do you think?”
“I- I-,” Hermione stuttered, attempting to find the right word. “It’s almost…… magical.”
His answering smile was magnificent. Still Grinning the Doctor put his hand into his pockets and walked through the crowd, leaving Hermione rooted to the spot. “Come on then,” the Doctor called. Hermione jumped and quickly followed, not wanting to be left behind in this foreign place. They walked past rickety wooden stalls selling everything from live animals she’d never seen the likes of before to foods that smelt strange but delicious. There were things that she would never have imagined existing but they did not look out of place as they would usually. After walking around for a while the feeling she hadn’t been able to shake suddenly became clear. I feel completely at ease…. Hermione thought, I should be panicking but here I am… just, sort of, accepting everything. Shouldn’t I be more scared? This is absolutely crazy and yet I can’t deny the evidence.
“Where are we?” asked Hermione, interrupting her own thought.
“We are in the biggest marketplace in the Universe. On the planet Xahiri, in fact,” the Doctor answered, “About thirty thousand years into the future, give or take a few.” Hermione gaped as he spoke. “I think we’re on…” He took a deep sniff, “Ah, yes. The Rinovambh level - silent BH. I can tell from the distinct smell of satsumas,” he answered her silent question. “It’s one of the lower levels. Here is where merchants and proprietors from all over the galaxies come to trade,” the Doctor continued as he gestured to the stalls, “Though it is actually all a part of one bigger business. On the upper levels of the city there are the headquarters for almost every single intergalactic company in existence, or so I’ve heard. All under one roof…”
The Doctor trailed off as Hermione stared at him uncomprehendingly. That just can’t be right, Hermione thought. Can it…… Yet, after all I’ve seen, can I really doubt him at this point? She opened her mouth to ask him more questions when he suddenly took off running again, his long brown coat flying behind him. Hermione followed, hurrying to keep up. He seemed to be searching for something important, something she hadn’t noticed or couldn’t see. They twirled past bakers and butchers, while running around talking Rhinos and merchants wearing robes made of live bats. The Doctor led them down a side-street and through a small alleyway which opened out into a beautiful courtyard. In the centre stood an enormous fountain made of some kind of substance she had never encountered before. Next to her the Doctor was wildly spinning around, his eyes darting everywhere, before running his hand through his dark hair in despair.
“Doctor….” Hermione began cautiously, “What’s wrong?”
“I- I…. She’s…. Just….” He trailed off again. “It doesn’t matter.” For half a moment the two of them stood in silence until the Doctor abruptly smiled that same goofy smile at her and gave a small wink. “Come on then, let’s go. We’ve not seen the best bit yet!”
“What’s the best bit?” asked Hermione, half-running to catch up with him.
“No idea,” he said, grinning. “But I’m positive we haven’t seen it yet.”
With that last thought, the two of them continued to roam the marketplace together. The Doctor kept up a running commentary of everything they saw, and answered her questions eagerly even if some of the answers she could tell were obvious to him. One of the things that greatly fascinated her was the Chameleon circuit which, she now knew, was the reason she could understand everyone and everything. It seemed to be some form of magic that translated everything for her to understand and, in turn, it translated everything she said when speaking to the natives of the planet they were on. The planet we are on, Hermione thought, I would never have imagined that I’d ever have cause to put those words into the same sentence. She smiled and continued to survey the strange fruit she had been absentmindedly holding in her hand. It was a deep midnight blue, no a beautiful fir green, no a mesmerising purple. The colours continued to change before her eyes, it was absolutely amazing. She wondered idly what enchantment this could be or what magical properties it beheld. As she turned to the Doctor to ask, Hermione found him watching her with a peculiar expression on his face.
“What?” Hermione asked with a slight frown.
“Nothing,” replied the Doctor.
She continued to stare at him questioningly before rolling her eyes and giving up. Turning back to the stall, Hermione placed the strange fruit back on the stand and smiled at the merchant who gave her a toothless grin in return. It looked odd because the man seemed to have a shark’s head, and a toothless shark was something she had never seen before. However, she seemed to be adapting to the oddness rather well, that wasn’t so surprising since she’d had to do the same thing at age eleven when she had found out that she was a witch. I’ve missed this feeling, Hermione thought. As she continued to browse the goods on the stalls Hermione found herself thinking about her friends and family back home. That beautiful vase with talking flowers in reminded her of her mother. The alien who seemed to be smoking a pipe that looked exactly like her father’s. A boy with dirt on his nose played with a foamy ball made her remember the first time she ever met Ron. Slight homesickness gripped her but the wonders she could see overpowered it.
“You remind me a lot of myself,” the Doctor began out of nowhere, “So eager to learn, eager for adventure, eager to do what’s right.” Hermione wasn’t sure what to say and so waited for him to continue. He smiled at her before getting to his point, “I am extremely clever but there are a lot of things I don’t know of myself. Things you might have more knowledge of.” For a moment he just stared at Hermione until she understood.
“Magic,” she confirmed. The Doctor merely nodded in reply. “I can’t teach you, it doesn’t work that way.”
“But you can show me.” He didn’t say it as a question.
“Yes,” Hermione answered, “I can show you.”
The Doctor grinned and began to speak again though was cut off by a huge crashing sound to their right. With one fleeting glance at her he was off, with Hermione tailing close behind, running towards the ruckus. Hermione had taken her wand out from her pocket and gripped it tightly as they raced through the market. Danger was toxic in the air. Merchants began packing up their wares as quickly as possible and customers hurried towards the exits. Yet, for some strange reason, all Hermione could feel was excitement. This feeling was foreign to her in this context, usually when danger struck all she could feel was worry. She supposed that it had something to do with the Doctor’s now euphoric mood. Hermione narrowed her eyes towards the direction of the noise and had one lingering thought.
Let’s do this.