Hi! We’re Your Companions Now! Part Two

Hermione rolled her eyes again. “What do you mean a witch? How did she look like a witch?”
“Cackling, flying on a broom —”
“Not all witches fly on brooms,” Hermione muttered. Luna looked at her sympathetically, remembering a particular incident involving the eleventh Doctor and a piñata.

LONDON, 1599

“Hang on, will I be OK here?” Martha asked as the five of them made their way through the city street.

“What do you mean?” The Doctor asked, turning to face her.

“Hello, not exactly white? I don’t want to get carted off as a slave or something,” Martha snapped.

“Well—” The Doctor’s response was cut off by Harry covering his mouth as Hermione threw an arm around Martha. Luna skipped slightly ahead of them.

“The Doctor, bless him, quite regularly takes the form of a white man, and is going to tell you that this is not unlike our time. What he’s leaving out of the narrative is that racists exist there too. As a general rule, Martha, we time travellers can make our way existing outside of the norms of the places we drop in to, but be sensible about it. When you’re in the future it’s less of a problem, but especially when in the past, pick a white person as your buddy and stick with them if you don’t want to get ‘carted off’ as you say. And don’t be surprised if people mistake you for a mistress.”

Martha looked mildly startled at the beginning of the speech, but nodded. “Thanks Hermione. I appreciate the honesty. You’ve travelled with him a lot then? How come he doesn’t seem to know you though”

“We’ve spent a lot of time with the Doctor, he just hasn’t met us before,” Hermione replied. Martha was about to respond to that argument because it made no sense when Luna returned to them.

“It’s just up there! The Globe!”

“The Globe?” Martha asked.

“Oh, yes, the Globe Theatre! Brand new. Just opened. Through, strictly speaking, it’s not a globe, it’s a tetradecagon. Fourteen sides. Containing the man himself.”

“Whoa, you don’t mean —”  

“Didn’t he tell you, Martha?” Harry asked. “We’re to see the Bard.”

“Shakespeare?”

“William Shakespeare!” The Doctor cut in. He was more than a little put out by these people who really just seemed to have popped out of nowhere and were stealing his thunder with regard to impressing Martha. He didn’t like to admit it, but he was a bit of a showoff, and he wasn’t able to do his usual level of showing off with an entourage that seemed to be able to predict his almost every move. Honestly he had half a mind to leave them back where he found them, but the trio was an interesting bunch, and he wanted to solve the mystery of who they were and how they had acquired the massive amounts of information that they seemed to have. If there was anything that the Doctor loved, it was solving a mystery.

“Miss Jones, will you accompany me to the theatre?”

“Mister Smith, I will!”

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Watching the Doctor flirt with Shakespeare made Hermione roll her eyes, out of fondness more than anything else. He admonished Jack for being flirtatious, but the alien needed to look into a mirror more often. This Doctor was ever the dashing hero wasn’t he? A romantic, tragic figure. His whole manner seemed to ache with loss. 

Musing over what she knew of his timeline, Hermione figured that this was right about when he lost Rose for the first time. She knew that the other woman would return at some point, and leave again, but the Doctor had always been cagey about the details. Something about affecting someone’s personal timeline and spoilers. Then he grumbled about meeting people out of order and adjusted his bowtie before shouting about who ate the last of the jammy dodgers? To which Harry replied you’re a time traveler, you’ll never run out of jammy dodgers. But the Doctor just got this pensive look on his face and told them that everything has its time, and everything ends and Luna said we’re being far too serious here, especially when there are so many kinds of cookies in the world

“Hermione, what a lovely name, for such a lovely lady.”

Oh gods, was it her turn to be flirted with?

“It’s Greek,” Hermione replied, trying her best to remember that Shakespeare was a person like anyone else, and that she had been named after a woman from Greek myth and not from a play written by the man in front of her.

“Yes, the daughter of the most beautiful woman in the world. I daresay that you, too, have a face that could launch a thousand ships.”

“Well, if everyone is interested, six is enough to constitute an orgy, and that’s something I’ve been wanting to cross off the list for a while,” Luna interjected.

And Hermione was brought back down to earth. She let out a sigh and evaluated the room. Harry met her eyes and gave her a bemused smile, weary and resigned to their partner’s antics. Martha was shocked and looked like she was starting to doubt herself and wonder what kind of people she was traveling with. The Doctor was flabbergasted and more than a little disturbed, and Shakespeare seemed intrigued, but Hermione was trying not to read into that too deeply.

Before anyone else could get a word in edgewise, Lynley, the Master of the Revels, burst in and demanded to see the play that Shakespeare was composing. It was apparently not fully approved, and in his outrage Lynley declared that no one would ever see Love’s Labour’s Won.

In all the confusion, Luna’s comment was gracefully dropped from the conversation, and they moved on to evading questions from Shakespeare about their land of Freedonia, most of them borne from the rather strong reactions of both Martha and Hermione at Shakespeare’s clumsy attempts to compliment them while being inadvertently racist and sexist. This was broken up by a scream from outside, and the discovery that Lynley wasn’t going to be able to stop the play in quite the fashion that he had hoped.

“This isn’t our kind of witchcraft,” Hermione concluded after a quick, but thorough examination of the body, using a basic wandless scan to avoid panicking any Muggles about further witches in their mist by pulling out an obviously magical instrument. “It’s alien. We’ll talk more inside.”

The five time travellers made their excuses to Shakespeare before convening in Harry and Luna’s room. The trio decided that, due to delicate sensibilities, Harry and Luna would be the couple this time, and Hermione roomed with Martha, while the Doctor got a room to himself. Harry paid the barmaid generously and ahead of time, knowing the Doctor’s tendency to dine and dash, and knowing that wasn’t exactly a great policy to have when using the hospitality of those still recovering from a plague. 

“What do you mean, ‘not your kind of witchcraft?'” Martha asked curiously.

“Eh, yeah, I suppose we haven’t explained that bit yet, have we, loves?” Harry looked sheepishly to Hermione and Luna, who shrugged.

“The three of us are wixen. Witches, since you are most likely more familiar with that term. Mostly. Some of us are a little bit more than that,” Hermione said slyly. 

“Let’s not mention that dear. No need to frighten them.”

“You’re witches?” Martha asked, with a tone of disbelief.

“If by witch you take the definition that we can perform the typical earth magic of humans, then yes, we are witches,” Luna replied airly, pulling out her wand and neatly producing a flower crown, which she promptly placed on Harry’s head with a levitation charm.

The Doctor added another mental note to his file on the trio that had declared themselves as future companions. Mages. He could barely remember the last time he had encountered true human mages, let alone traveled with any. Generally he tended to stay away from magic, the draw of it being a temptation he found hard to resist.

“Great, well, if you’re all magic then, what kind of magic was that?” Martha asked, apparently deciding to move on and accept the impossible in order to solve the problem at hand.

The fond smile that had appeared on Harry’s face at Luna’s antics vanished. “That was an abomination. There is a kind of magic that we refuse to practice. Black magic, or dark magic it is sometimes called. It seeps into the soul of someone and rots them from the inside out. The poison of the magic comes from the words of the spells themselves. The universe can break apart just from the right word, and that’s what that magic was. Harnessing the right words to drown Lynley from the inside. Whoever these witches are, they are using a power far older and far darker than I am willing to touch, and I’ve dealt with a fair bit of darkness in my time,” Harry replied solemnly.

“We all have, and we’re not going to solve this tonight — it’s already quite late, and I can tell that those who need sleep are getting tired. Come along Martha. Doctor, I think your room is across from ours,” Hermione led Martha and the Doctor out of the room and gave Luna a pointed look, to which the other woman nodded before taking their partner, who looked rather haunted, by the hand and leading him to the bed with a murmur. Hermione knew they would take care of one another, and she needed to nip in the bud what looked like another young woman who had fallen in love with the renegade time lord. 

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At the sound of yet another scream the five were up and out of their beds, this time arriving in Shakespeare’s room. 

“What? What was that?” Harry and Hermione rushed to Shakespeare and Martha rushed to the window. The Doctor and Luna were tending to Dolly, who had collapsed. Luna pulled her into her lap and shook her head at the Doctor, who said to the room at large:

“Her heart gave out. She died of fright.”

“Uh, guys?” Martha said dubiously.

“What did you see?” the Doctor asked, gently closing Dolly’s eyes before walking over to the window.

“A witch.”

Hermione rolled her eyes again. “What do you mean a witch? How did she look like a witch?”

“Cackling, flying on a broom —”

“Not all witches fly on brooms,” Hermione muttered. Luna looked at her sympathetically, remembering a particular incident involving the eleventh Doctor and a piñata.

“A woman has died , can we stop speaking of witches?” Shakespeare said, sitting down in his chair wearily. “Oh, sweet Dolly Bailey. She sat out three bouts of the plague in this place when we all ran like rats. But what could have scared her so? She had such enormous spirit.”

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light,” the Doctor mused.

“I might use that,” said Shakespeare.

“You can’t. It’s someone else’s,” the Doctor quipped.

The trio quietly took Dolly’s body out of the room and began to make arrangements as Martha and the Doctor continued to speak with Shakespeare. Knowing the Doctor, he would be off on some sort of trail, discovering what was happening next, but in the meantime Dolly undoubtedly had a family, and they needed to be taken care of too.

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By the time the trio caught up with the Doctor and Martha on All Hallows Street, where they had tracked down the home of the witches, the twosome had already sent Shakespeare ahead to stop his own play, because the aliens had enchanted it to release even more of their kind.

“Great. So we’re preparing to fight an entire horde of black magic users from the dawn of time. It’s times like these when I almost miss when the worst thing we had to worry about was Voldemort,” Harry groaned. 

Harry you say that about every alien invasion, it’s getting old,” Hermione sighed. Luna, meanwhile, seemed to be running some sort of calculation using her wand, and interrupted what would surely devolve into unnecessary amounts of banter.

“Indeed it is, but we should probably confront the alien witch now, before that horde gets released. She oh so nicely opened the door for us,” Luna pointed to where the door to a nearby house had opened, and the five time travelers entered a home that definitely would have won a prize as a haunted house in a Halloween competition. 

The Doctor and Martha entered first, with the three mages hanging back on the first floor, casting silencing and invisibility spells on themselves. Distantly they heard: “…the power of a name works only once. Observe. I gaze upon this bag of bones and now I name thee Martha Jones!” Once they realized that Martha was down, but alive, the three made their way up to the second floor via advanced self-levitation (a less impressive way to say that they flew without brooms) and situated themselves in a way to lay a trap for the Carronite. They allowed the Doctor to extract the useful information from her — that Shakespeare’s grief had released only three Carronites, but they planned to use Love Labour’s Won to release the rest — but once she took the Doctor’s hair, the stakes got too high, and Hermione, Luna, and Harry each hit her with synchronized stunning, sleeping, and petrifying charms. That particular cocktail was one they had perfected under the tutelage of an old friend, and had proven effective in disabling many an enemy. To completely mitigate the threat, Luna transfigured the Carronite into a Barbie, and stuck her into a reinforced iron cage. Meanwhile, Harry cast a rejuvenation charm on Martha, in order to not only wake her from the sleeping spell, but also wake and cheer her, given the negative after effects. 

“Grab hold then,” Harry gestured for Martha to take his arm as Luna grabbed the Doctor’s.

“What for?” Martha asked curiously.

“Try not to be too alarmed, and don’t forget to breathe out once it’s over,” Harry replied.

“What do you —” in the next instant Martha’s words were cut off as she felt as though her whole body was being squeezed and wrung through a tube, a sick and horrible sensation coursing through her. Then it was gone in a flash and she was left heaving. She faintly noticed that they were now outside the Globe and the Doctor was off running, Harry and Luna at his heels. Hermione had stayed behind and was rubbing her back sympathetically. 

“One’s first experience apparating is never pleasant, I’m sorry. Harry was a bit of a tosser to go about it that way, but there’s really nothing that could have prepared you on such short notice. How are you feeling?”

“Like I know what a towel feels like. But I don’t want these alien witches from the dawn of time to take over the planet, so no use worrying over me. Let’s get a shift on,” Martha drew on her resolve and stood upright, moving with Hermione toward the Globe.

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In the end, things were rather simple; they managed to save enough time by apparating that they stopped the play long before the ending activation code was read out, and so the horde was never released. Instead, Harry and Luna snuck up on the remaining two Carronites and disabled them, stealing their orb before giving the Doctor the signal to stop the play, which he did with far more success than Shakespeare had via convincing the crowd that its performance had been banned on the orders of the queen herself, and that any who saw or spoke of its contents would be put to death. A rather dramatic stance, but the Doctor could be rather persuasive even without the perception filter and compulsion charm he currently had at his disposal. 

All copies of the play were summoned via a superpowered accio charm and summarily burned, and the Carronite Barbies were placed back inside the orb, which the Doctor locked up in a trunk in the TARDIS for safe keeping, right next to his Agatha Christie books.

All in a day’s work.

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The trio were lounging in a TARDIS kitchen, waiting for Martha and the Doctor to get back from saying their goodbyes to Shakespeare. They had already had an extended farwell the night before, and didn’t see the need to prolong things, especially when they rediscovered (discovered for the first time?) their favorite of the TARDIS kitchens, which featured entirely yellow 1950s style furniture and appliances, for all that the underlying tech was cutting edge. Well, it was more accurate to say that Hermione and Luna were lounging, Harry was making banana pancakes and singing off-key pop songs from the late twenty-teens. They felt a shift as the TARDIS took off in flight, and realized that they must be leaving 1599.

“I wonder where-to next?” Luna mused.

“Well, the Doctor did say he was only going to take Martha on one trip,” Hermione replied in a sensible tone of voice, sipping on a milkshake. She kept a straight face for about ten seconds before cracking a smile and laugh. “So we’re going to at least one more planet in the far future before we see our earth again.”

Minor edits on 10/21/2020