Michael Corner glanced up to see Genevieve standing in the doorway of the Wizengamot Administration office.
“Just thought I’d check. I’ll let you get back to what you were doing.”
Michael frowned. Terry didn’t have many friends – Michael was pretty sure he was the only person who spent time with him outside work – and Terry was usually meticulous in telling Genevieve where he was during work hours. “Everything all right?”
“I just sent him out on a case several hours ago and haven’t heard back from him. I’m sure he’s fine, I just wanted to make sure he hadn’t left without telling me…”
“What kind of case?”
Genevieve fidgeted uncomfortably. “I shouldn’t have sent him out on it…it looked a bit suspicious at the time but you know Terry, couldn’t stand the thought of giving something interesting to the Aurors. It’s been a slow year.”
“The Aurors?” Michael repeated in a low voice. He shoved his paperwork aside and stood, leading Genevieve out into the hallway. “What was suspicious about it?”
“It didn’t look like much – someone had just bewitched a couple of statues in a graveyard. Thought it was Barnabas Billesby, but Terry found an article in the Muggle paper about how people have been disappearing from there.”
Michael ran a hand through his hair. “Maybe we should go after him.”
“You don’t have to come.”
“He’s my best mate, I’m coming. I’ll just send an owl to the wife, let her know I might be home late.”
“I could lose my job over this,” Lestrade muttered as he led the Doctor, Sherlock and John back to the cemetery. “Bad enough I let you two in, never mind an alien in a bow tie.”
“Bow ties are cool,” the Doctor responded, as if by reflex.
Though Sherlock was a true skeptic when it came to alien life forms, there were some truths that he couldn’t ignore – like the fact the Doctor had two hearts and a sonic screwdriver that posed a major threat to national security. Convincing Lestrade and John had been another thing entirely – both were under the impression Sherlock was playing a massive prank on them. Of the two, John was the first to believe the Doctor was who he claimed to be – mainly because, as a medical man, he realised there was something about the Doctor that wasn’t human.
“You have a plan, I suppose?” Lestrade continued, addressing the Doctor. “I mean, you’ve dealt with these things before.”
“Yes, I have dealt with them before, no I don’t have a plan. I don’t usually have plans, I just have mad ideas that somehow work. Still don’t understand why, but I’m not complaining. Now, I need to get to my spaceship.”
Lestrade and John glanced up, as if expecting to see a large flying saucer hovering above London.
“No, no, it’s not up there. It’s just round the corner, little blue police box. Have to go get my friends, I should never leave them alone in the TARDIS for too long, they’ve probably broken something—”
“Friends?” Lestrade repeated. “You’re going to bring your friends into this? Are they…aliens too?”
“No, they’re from Leadworth. Same thing really. And if I don’t go and collect them now they’ll come after me anyway, so they’re part of this whether you like it or not.”
“I am in charge of this investigation—”
“No you’re not, Detective-Inspector, I am.”
Lestrade and John exchanged glances.
Rory Williams had learned long ago that when the Doctor was excited about anything, it usually wasn’t good news – it usually meant very unusual, very creepy monsters from which he’d barely manage to escape with his life – and sometimes he didn’t. The number of times he’d technically died wasn’t something he enjoyed dwelling on.
One thing worse than an excited Doctor, however, was a worried Doctor. And it was a worried Doctor who burst into the TARDIS after a suspiciously long absence that dreary Thursday afternoon.
“Ponds!” he called. “There’s something very bad going on, very bad indeed…”
“What is it?” Amy asked, hurrying down the stairs.
“Angels. Weeping Angels. In the cemetery round the corner. Six people have disappeared so far.”
Amy’s eyes widened. “Doctor, I am not dealing with those again.”
“Hold on,” Rory began, but the Doctor ignored him.
“No, I didn’t think you would. That’s all right, I’ve got Rory.” The Doctor clapped Rory on the shoulder and turned to leave.
“Weeping Angels,” Rory repeated. “Those statue things Amy told me about?”
“And if you blink, they kill you?”
“More or less.”
“Right.” Rory nodded. “Okay. Fine. Yeah.”
“Rory!” Amy called as he reached the doorway. He turned, and she ran across to him, hugging him tightly. “Don’t die, yeah?”
“I won’t,” he assured her. “And even if I do, I can probably come back.”
“All right everyone!” the Doctor said jovially. “This is Rory. I would tell you about him but you probably wouldn’t believe me—”
“What wouldn’t we believe?” Sherlock asked.
“Long story. I was a plastic Roman for two thousand years guarding a giant box with my wife inside.”
“On the contrary, that was a very short story, though I’d love to hear the details sometime,” Sherlock responded.
“Right. Yes,” The Doctor continued. “Rory, this is Sherlock Holmes, and Dr John Watson—”
“Hang on,” Rory interrupted. “The Sherlock Holmes?”
“You’ve heard of me?”
“Oh, yes, my website. The Science of Deduction—”
“No, it was, uh, Dr Watson’s blog, actually.”
Sherlock scowled. John just raised his eyebrows.
“Hang on,” Rory continued, pointing at Sherlock. “You were dead.”
“Haven’t updated the blog yet, John?”
“I haven’t read it in a while,” Rory explained. “Since the Doctor came back from the dead and we started travelling with him again.”
“Wait a minute,” John interrupted. “Doctor, you’ve faked your own death as well?”
“Well, time was collapsing, and— well, that doesn’t matter. They knew, anyway, Rory and Amy.”
“That you were alive?”
“See, that’s what you do when you fake your own death, Sherlock Holmes, you tell your friends so they don’t spend three years thinking you’re dead!”
Sherlock was saved from answering by Lestrade, who turned to the Doctor. “So let me get this straight. You’re basically the alien version of him?” He jerked his head in Sherlock’s direction.
“I’m nine hundred and eighty-three years old, I was here first. If anything, he’s the human version of me. Nice cheekbones, by the way.”
Sherlock glanced sideways at the Doctor. “Thank you.”
“All right, boys,” John interrupted. “Don’t we have to go…sort out vicious alien statues or something?”
“I’m sure he just went off for a pint or something,” Michael said bracingly as they arrived at the cemetery and saw no sign of Terry. “You know what he’s like.”
“Yes, but he usually tells us beforehand so we can all appreciate how badass he is,” Genevieve responded. “There’s a group of Muggles coming this way, what do we tell them?”
“The truth? That we’re looking for a mate who disappeared from here? They could be cops, for all we know.”
“They won’t let us do anything if that’s the case.”
“Do you just carry that wand around for decoration?”
“Oh, shut up. And put yours away, for goodness’ sake.”
The group of five Muggles approached, a middle-aged man with greying hair stepping forward.
“Detective-Inspector Greg Lestrade of Scotland Yard. This is a crime scene, what’s your business here?”
“We’re looking for our mate,” Michael said firmly. “Terry Boot—”
“Terence Blakely,” Genevieve corrected hurriedly.
“Oh, I see.” A striking looking man in a long black coat walked up to Michael. “Terry Boot, that’s his real name? Not bad as an alias – first name’s obviously the same but he normally goes by the abbreviated form, not too difficult to remember if he gets himself into a tight spot. I don’t suppose you’d happen to know why your friend was here earlier this morning impersonating a police officer? And doing a very poor job of it, I might add – you should tell him to update his uniform next time you see him. If you see him, that is, though that’s not looking very likely given the circumstances—”
“Sherlock!” a short man with closely cropped hair hissed. Michael got the distinctive feeling tact wasn’t this Sherlock’s strong point, but he didn’t much care.
“What do you mean, given the circumstances? What circumstances?”
“Can’t give you that information, sorry,” Sherlock replied dismissively. “Now I suggest you’d be on your way and stop hindering the investigation—”
“He’s my best mate, tell me what happened to him!”
Sherlock glanced at the short man, who gave an almost imperceptible nod.
“Perhaps the Doctor would do a better job of explaining the situation,” Sherlock said at length, gesturing towards a friendly-looking man in a bow tie and suspenders.
“All, right, yes, explanations. If you’ll just follow me over here a bit, give the others some space. Yes. Out of earshot of the Muggles. Now—”
“What?” Genevieve asked.
“What?” Michael repeated.
“Am I pronouncing it right? Muggles? Moogles? Mugglies?”
“Muggles, yes. Thought I recognised your kind. Wizards. Haven’t seen any of you since that thing was signed, what was it? Statute of Secrecy? I’m the Doctor, I’m a Time Lord and your secret’s safe with me. Don’t mention magic to any of this lot, they won’t believe you. Well, Rory might, but the others? Two detectives and an army doctor, no. They’ve had a hard enough time believing in me.”
“What’s a Time Lord?” Michael asked.
“An alien. I’m an alien from the planet Gallifrey. I don’t expect you to know where that is—”
“I’ve heard of it!” Michael said excitedly, almost forgetting his concern for Terry. “NEWT level Astronomy, we had to study the constellation of Kasterborous. Didn’t know there were any life forms out there though—”
“Yes. There are. Billions and billions of other life forms that humans haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of and there’s one particular species that lives right here, right now in this cemetery. They’re known as the Weeping Angels and they’re what we believe has got your friend. He’s been sent back into the past and the Angels are feeding off the energy of the life he will no longer lead. We need to find him.”