Shelter From The Storm
pervy werewolf fancier
PG, Doctor Who/Harry Potter crossover. The first time for Remus
is not the first time for the Doctor.
The first time for him is not the first time for the Doctor. The converse is
also true; the Doctor steps out of the TARDIS in the summer of 1989 and a man
wearing some sort of quasi-religious garb appears like a wraith out of the
The Doctor is, by this time, used to strangers addressing him by name. “Hello!”
he says cheerfully. “Do I know you?”
“Not yet.” The man grins, and his face lights up. Absently, the Doctor notes
that he’s too thin, too pale for this time period – even Thatcher should keep
him better fed than this – and quite apart from that, there is something about
him, a sense of otherness the Doctor knows too well to ignore.
“I should introduce myself,” continues his new friend. “My name is Remus Lupin.”
“Hello, Remus Lupin.” The Doctor grins.
“And I’m a werewolf.”
The Doctor blinks, but the grin gets broader. “Are you? Are you an alien too?
Was that too personal? Am I being rude?”
“No more than usual.” Remus laughs, suddenly. “Do you want a cup of tea?”
The Doctor nods fervently. “I like you already!”
Over the tea, Remus explains. And soon there are notebooks and pencils and large
pieces of paper of the sort that the Doctor hasn’t seen since the fall of the
Roman Empire, and he’s drawing diagrams and squiggly timelines and linking
things with drinking straws. And Remus thinks he’s talking out of his arse,
which he is some of the time, and then when the Doctor gets it, when he puts
Bendy Straw A into Time Vortex B with a grin of triumph, Remus sits back in his
chair ands nods and laughs. He looks faintly ethereal in the late-evening
daylight, and the Doctor wonders.
“What did we do, these other times we’ve met?” he asks.
Remus smiles, licks his lips, and somehow the Doctor doesn’t think it‘s the
temporal paradoxes that keep him from answering.
The Doctor touches Remus’s arm, softly. “Take a moment,” he says. “You’re
working too hard.”
“I can’t help it.” Remus leans back, pushes a fretful hand into his hair, closes
his eyes. “There’s so much to do. If we don’t find something soon, England is
going to be overrun, and since the last battle we’re falling back further and
further. I don’t know what to do. Except poke about in dusty old books and wait
for a miracle.”
“I wish I could help,” says the Doctor, and at this moment, the Doctor wishes it
more than anything else. All he can do is make tea and make Remus laugh,
sometimes, and lend a hand pulling down the dusty tomes from the bookcases
lining the Bodleian. He looks up at the top shelves with their occasional gap,
watching the dust motes swirling in light filtered dusty and ancient.
“I wish you could, too. But it’s my fight.”
“Maybe it’s mine as well,” says the Doctor hopefully. “These Death Eaters of
yours – do any of them have funny-coloured eyes? Triangular heads? Large gaping
sphincters in unhygienic places?”
Remus laughs, and the sound is a sudden silver bubble. “They’re not aliens,
Doctor.” He pauses. “It would be easier if they were....”
“Yes.” The Doctor nods. “Yes, it would be.”
Later, he buys Remus a newspaper – The Guardian, April 15th, 1996 – and
gets him some tea leaves from Sainsbury’s, because there are smaller ways of
saving the world.
September, 2020. The Doctor walks through a garden planted thick with wolfsbane
and pansies. He picks one, a purple flash of colour on his palm, and lets it
drop. His footsteps are leaving dew-marks on the grass, and the soft, sopping
squelches are small eddies of noise in the grey, bleak morning.
For the moment, no one comes. The garden and the cottage are deserted, with no
sound but the world, the calling birds and odd, distant rustles. The sea is
somewhere close, and the Doctor concentrates on the roar of that, waves lapping
in, lapping out, before he reaches the door, the red-stained, gouged-deep claw
marks in the wood.
He doesn’t knock. He can’t stay for this.
On November 1st, 1981, the Doctor crashes in, weight and strength doing for the
door what the sonic screwdriver can’t, running through the hallway, ends up
kneeling on the tiles, picking Remus off the kitchen floor and out into the
It’s only when they’re facing each other over a steaming kettle, tap running in
the silence, that the Doctor dares ask, quietly, “Are you all right?”
Remus shakes his head. “No,” he says softly, desperately, and the Doctor
realises how young he is. He looks so different in this time, in this place, a
washed-out photo negative without the softened edges of time.
With an ungraceful thump, the Doctor gets up and sits on the table-edge, puts an
arm around Remus’s shoulders, and sighs deeply as he feels the tension in
Remus’s body ease. The room is cold.
Breathing in time, they sit still as what is left of the night slips quietly
away. The dawn is muted and beautiful.
“Remus,” the Doctor says, fingers trailing into Remus’s hair, “listen to me.”
Remus says nothing, but the Doctor feels him nod.
“My TARDIS is outside. I’ve told you about it, I think. Goes anywhere in space
and time. Fantastic pick-up line but it’s true at that. Do you remember?”
“Yes.” Remus’s head tilts as he looks up.
“I could take you with me,” the Doctor says quickly. “I could take you away from
here as long as you wanted. You could...” – he flounders – “you could see the
universe. You could get better.”
For a long, long minute, Remus doesn’t say anything. In the early morning
dew-time, the Doctor dares to hope.
“No.” Remus sighs, and the Doctor feels it deep within himself. “I can’t. Harry
is still here.”
The Doctor nods, and he doesn’t ask again. He stays for three days, and when he
goes Remus watches him, unsmiling, from the kitchen window. The Doctor doesn’t
dare look back.
The last time – and he knows it has to be the last time, for all timelines wind
down to the spool in the end – Remus is standing in a London doorway at night,
smoking with lazy, lip-licking nonchalance. There are other boys in the house,
laughing and talking, but none with his pallor, his eyes that see only time. He
shifts from foot to foot, leaning to one side. The cigarette tip flares.
It’s March 10th, 1978. Remus is eighteen, and the Doctor feels every day of nine
hundred. But his footsteps crunch, deliberately, and something quickens in his
hearts as Remus looks up at the sound. His eyes are lined with kohl, and his
voice, when it comes as a whisper in the dark, is oddly pleasant, blurred with
the smoke. “Who’re you, then?”
“A friend.” He consults the psychic paper. “Of Sirius’s. I’m the Doctor.”
Remus nods, steps out into the dimness. His lips are ruby-red in the light from
the doorway, then gleaming black in sodium glare. There is grace in his
movements, sensuality in the lines of skin that disappear beneath cotton. He
gives the Doctor a long, intense stare. “I suppose you’d better come in.”
He turns, taking the light with him. The Doctor follows.