Since I am a poor chickadee with no wealth to speak of, I think it's safe to say that neither Doctor Who nor Harry Potter are mine. ^^;Summary:
Long fingers uncurled from their clenched position; they stretched out to the cool glass, and they stroked across a vision only he could see. The Doctor wept deeply, falling to his knees as he stared up into the mirror.Author's notes:
Set post "The Angels Take Manhattan," and during "Philosopher's Stone."
"The sky 's burnt orange," an old voice echoed, quiet and wise in the emptiness of the room. "The leaves on the trees silver. Beneath the twin suns, the mountains go on forever, slopes of deep red grass-"
"Not any more." Sharp and decisive, a tone laden with pain, and regret. Saddened eyes, no longer twinkling, watched the deceptively young face turned back to the silver front, dismissing the interloper. Watched him shut out the rest of the world as he returned his focus to the vision before him. The old wizard had never before seen this particular face, but he knew the man, could never fail to recognize the soul beneath the form, even had the blue box not stood in the corner of the room. And though it had been long since this soul had crossed his path, he could still read what lay behind that steady gaze perfectly.
"So I had heard." He stepped forward in a shuffle of brightly colored robes, to stand behind the lord of time, to examine the face in the mirror. Age shone in his friend's green eyes, so much older than when Albus had seen him last. Centuries, it seemed, or a life lived. Of pain and horror, tragedy and tears. So many lost, and sometimes found, but more often taken away forever. And that- that was the key, was it not? "The centaurs spoke of its disappearance from the sky, so many years ago. I had hoped you would come, as your name continued on despite the loss of your home, but- that isn't what brings you to this place, Doctor."
Silence was his answer- at first. Trembling in his hands, balled together at his sides, as he fought to remain in place. The corners of his eyes tightened, muscles above his lips twitching. Nostrils flared, and still he didn't move, didn't answer. Whatever he saw before him, what Albus could never see himself, it nearly broke him. And then, finally- he did break. Long fingers uncurled from their clenched position; they stretched out to the cool glass, and they stroked across a vision only he could see. He was tender, and something that could only be a tear reflected the dim light of the room as it slid down his gaunt cheek. It was only then that words escaped him again.
That single utterance broke him once more, a step further than before, and the single tear became lost amongst the flood. Albus' heart clenched in his chest, breaking itself for the sorrow in the Doctor's hearts, in his eyes and his weeping. For he wept deeply, falling to his knees as he even still stared up. Into the mirror. The wizard laid a hand upon his friend's shoulder, a strong touch despite the age wrinkled appearance, and squeezed the thin shoulder beneath the tweed. Regret colored his next words.
"Though I am glad to see you, you should not have come here, my friend." He paused, to find the words, "It does not do-"
"I've lost them," the Doctor halted him mid-thought, and continued on, without a pause. "I've lost them all. As I always have, and I always will. And it happens because of who I am, and what I make people. Because a very wise man told me once, what I do. What
I make people." He turned, finally, breaking contact with the deepest desire of his hearts, to face Albus in a whirl of anger. "I make them dangerous, Albus. And not just in any kind of dangerous- I make people destructive to themselves. I make them push themselves to bleed, to fight, to scratch and claw, and destroy themselves
! And I've destroyed too many people, Albus Dumbledore. Too many! I've pushed them, to sacrifice themselves, and I will not do it again. So if I choose to sit here, to dwell on everything and everyone that I have lost and destroyed, then no mere wizard will stop me."
"Then I shall leave you to your dwelling." Pain, in both their hearts now, matched in blue and green eyes, and he pushed past it. "I shall have this room moved to the third floor; the students will arrive soon, and it would be better that they not discover the presence of a stowaway in the castle. Although this particular stowaway- in the humble experience of a mere wizard- has an old habit of making those he meets better
And so he left, and the castle bent her being to the shape of her headmaster's will, hiding away both lord of time and mirror of desire. And every day, the headmaster devoted a bit of his time to his old friend, even if he did nothing more than look in on him for a moment or two. The students arrived in the fall, and he kept an eye on one in particular. And when that singular student, a first year who had lost so much already in his young life, found the mirror... he waited. He waited until the third night to confront the boy. And he did so with the full knowledge that, in the corner, a broken lord hid within an invisible box, listening all the while.
"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that."
After young Harry left- Albus was treated to the whooshing echo of a blue box as it faded away into time.