Beyond the Doors of a TARDIS
They were sat in a circle on the TARDIS when it happened.
The walls shook, and the console burned hot, startling the inhabitants out of their pow-wow formation.
"Honestly!" said the Doctor, looking irate and not at all surprised. He began to point the sonic at things, and the twins just seemed delighted with the new turn of events, not at all upset for having been interrupted in their telling of just exactly how one makes a bat-bogey hex work.
That was the slashing of a knife, it was it was it was I know it was I can hear her voice-
When Sexy started making rattling noises, Clara was startled from her distraction. She knew Sexy had something to say that was certainly going to be heard, whether the Doctor liked it or not. Clara would to ignore the feeling that something was very, very wrong, and she would ignore it well.
"Dear," said Clara, "I do think that she's trying to say something."
"Oh, well, Clara I'm so glad you said so, because I'm absolutely sure that I wouldn't have figured that out on my own!"
"Honestly, I don't know why you fight her on it so terribly." said Clara, at a Doctor who had started shoving metal panels, swearing at shiny knobs, and generally yelling at the ceiling.
Rolling his eyes a bit, Sirius leaned in toward Clara and asked "is he this way- ah- always? Flailing, I mean. And loud."
Laughing, Clara responded "Yes, he is. However unfortunately, we're stuck with him like this until he next regenerates."
"Regenerates? What? Time- thingies can do that?" asked George, who'd been rattling on the grated floor to confuse the poor Doctor further.
"Yes!" yelled the Doctor, from the other side of the console room, causing all heads to turn in his direction. "I've found it, the blasted thing!"
Holding up a beaten-up, old, tablet-like thing, the Doctor was grinning triumphantly.
A triumphant hiss, a woman's sound of victory-
"I've been looking for this for ages, I've been without it since we, well, since you crashed on Azkaban Prison."
Clara startled again, but recovered in record time.
At the confused looks he was getting from the wizards in the room, the doctor elaborated. "It's my outside monitor. It sees what we cannot, while we're on the inside. Hence the name. Anyhow, I'd like to see what's going on out there, if you don't mind."
The monitor flicked to life at the buzz of the sonic, and the pow-wow circle reformed around it.
On the display was the murky outline of a watery shore. Cold, black ripples met dark, lush grass that had grown over, obviously magically kept lush, and definitely not looked after by anything human. Trees grew at the eastern edge of the lake, and Clara would have sworn she had seen something silver flickering between the leaves. Beyond the lake, on the southern side, rose the hazy silhouette of a grand castle, backlit by the full moon.
"Hogwarts." breathed Sirius.
"Home." said the twins.
An air of calm had come over the room when Clara turned to look at the Doctor, and said "I guess we know what Sexy was on about. We've fallen straight into it. Again."
Always this way, always tired before we begin. I wonder if I'll ever get three minutes to myself around this man.
It was testament to how enraptured Sirius was by the image on the screen that he didn't bother asking who Sexy was.
"Well then." said the Doctor, looking about at the others. "I am now quite sure, really quite sure that we are not in Kansas anymore."
"As soon as we step out that door they'll know we're here. We'll have to put something in motion, and quickly." said Sirius.
"Oh, I like this one, Clara, really thinks on his feet."
"Shut it, you." she said, winking at him.
"Really you two, we need a plan." said Sirius, again.
"No, we don't." said both Clara and The Doctor, in unison, as they ran for the door.
"Hey, I thought it was just us who could do that." called Fred, rushing forward to follow them.
"Fucking merlin's pants." said Sirius, as he ran with them, throwing up a cloaking spell with a stolen wand.
Soft footfalls on the grass, rushing, rushing as the five of them began a mad dash across the castle grounds.
Clara hadn't expected it to be so quiet when she had burst out the TARDIS doors with the Doctor in tow, but now she could hear every insect, and the rustling of the leaves in the trees, and the swooshing sounds her shoes made in the grass. All those sounds were set under the quiet- the loud, obnoxious quiet that had Clara's nerves racing and the blood pounding in her ears. Just the way she liked it.
Someone could catch them at any moment.
She daren't speak. What if they heard?
Then she remembered that she'd heard Sirius throwing up a spell as he'd darted out the doors.
Thank god, she thought. Sirius, always prepared in the face of danger. Who would have thought it of him?
They were almost to the outer edges of the grounds proper when the Doctor slowed his approach, and the others followed suit.
So much running, always running, and was that a howl she heard?
Mostly slinking now, they were all on their guard, checking this way and that for a stray student, a stray someone.
And that's when Clara felt it. The Dementors. The crushing weight.
How could she have forgotten the pain? How could she have forgotten the empty hollowness inside? Distantly, she heard Sirius' strangled yell of anguish. She wished she could go to him, but she could not.
Clara was drowning, falling, and she couldn't see anything but the pale, pale moon and the darkness descending upon her.