Characters/Pairings: Ten2/Rose, Tony, Jackie
Author's Note: Ages back when this scandal broke, I had a discussion with bazcat89 that ultimately led to this. I would say none of the opinions reflected in this piece are my own, but that's not strictly true. I guess you'll just have to guess which ones. That said, I don't actually intend to offend anybody, this is just for lulz.
Rose was disrupted from her very nice, relaxing cup of tea by the Doctor bounding over and waving a book in front of her face.
“Have you read this?” he demanded, sounding outraged enough that she couldn’t immediately tell whether he was hoping for a yes or a no.
She pulled her head back and snatched the book from his hands, knowing full well that if she didn’t he’d never hold it still long enough for her to read the title. Probably it was some horrible sci-fi novel – somewhere along the line he’d gotten into the habit of reading them, only to explain to Rose later and in great detail why they were inaccurate, improbable, impossible and otherwise wrong. Rose usually responded by pointing out both that they were fiction and that most of the world did not have their own personal alien encyclopedia to check details with.
So when she looked at the title, she was rather surprised.
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?” she read aloud. She sent him a strange glance. “I thought you liked these books.”
“Well, I do,” he admitted, looking briefly placated. “But not – Rose, the ending is all wrong.” At her uncomprehending stare, he took the book from her hands and flipped towards the end. Pointing at the offending line with one finger, he twisted the book back towards her. “See? Harry marries Hermione.”
Rose did see, although the jumble of names meant very little to her. She’d never been much of a reader, really.
“And that’s… bad,” she said slowly.
“It’s wrong!” he insisted again. “Harry's supposed to marry Ginny!”
Rose stared, perplexed. She’d seen one of the movies, once, with Mickey, long before she’d met the Doctor. She hadn’t the faintest idea who Ginny was.
“And Hermione’s meant to be with Ron, everyone knows that,” the Doctor carried on, waving one hand.
“That red-headed boy?” she asked, and when he nodded, Rose made a face into her tea. “I always thought he was a bit funny looking.”
The Doctor stared at her, appalled. “Funny looking? It’s – that’s not – whether or not he’s funny looking has nothing to do with it, it’s -- that isn’t –”
“He’s just mad ‘cause I was right,” came the smug voice of Tony as he strolled into the room to take a seat across the table from Rose.
“That’s not true,” said the Doctor, in a tone that told Rose it was, in fact, very true.
“It was obvious anyway,” Tony said, shrugging and reaching over to grab a biscuit from Rose’s plate. She scowled and tugged the plate closer. “I dunno how you missed it.”
“It was not!” the Doctor insisted, and Rose listened with amusement as the pitch of his voice raised a bit in indignation. “Harry and Hermione are like siblings, that’s like – like –“
“You and Donna?” suggested Rose, raising her eyebrows.
The Doctor made a face.
“Ron and Hermione fight too much,” Tony deduced, munching happily on his biscuit in a way that would surely horrify Jackie. “Why would you marry someone you fight with all the time?”
“Mum and Dad argue all the time,” Rose reasoned, shrugging. “Most couples do.”
“You two don’t,” said Tony, jerking his chin towards the both of them and popping the last of his biscuit into his mouth.
The Doctor’s expression shifted from sulky to smug in a split second. “Well, yes, but Rose and I are obviously perfect for each other, so–“
“Don’t listen to him, Tony, we argue,” interjected Rose, rolling her eyes. A mischievous grin tugged at her lips. “Once he called me a stupid ape.”
The Doctor’s head snapped towards her, offended expression back in place. “Oi!”
“Really?” asked Tony, looking utterly delighted.
Rose had a strong suspicion “stupid ape” might crop up in the next argument he got into.
“That was a long time ago,” the Doctor noted, with a pointed stare in Rose’s direction.
She smirked. “We argued last Tuesday, when you–“
“Anyway,” the Doctor went on, turning back to Tony, “they argue because they’re teenagers and that’s what you lot do, it wasn’t some tragic love story.”
“I used to argue with Jimmy Stone,” said Rose with a lackluster swirl of her tea. “Definitely not a tragic love story there.”
Tony shook his head. “That’s rubbish. Hermione thinks Ron’s daft anyway.”
“She does not! She just wants him to live up to his potential, that’s all.”
“Harry and Hermione are way nicer to each other,” Tony went on, “and if Ron marries Hermione, what about Luna?”
“Who says Luna needs to marry anyone?” the Doctor asked, in what Rose had come to think of as his I am diplomatic! voice. Then he waved a hand. “But she marries Rolf Scamander.”
“Who’s Rolf Scamander? That’s not even a character,” said Tony, staring at the Doctor like he was completely mental.
As the Doctor went on to explain who precisely Rolf Scamander was, with the addendum that he had spoken to J. K. Rowling personally about it, it suddenly struck Rose what she was witnessing: the Doctor arguing with her little brother over the love lives of fictional characters.
She burst out laughing.
Both the Doctor and Tony turned to stare at her, but Rose, busy laughing at them, couldn’t seem to articulate what exactly was so funny.
It was then that Jackie walked into the room, her forehead scrunching as she watched her daughter laugh. “What’s so funny, then?”
Rose snickered and took a long sip of her tea. The Doctor continued to stare at Rose, perplexed; Tony turned his attention to his mother.
“Mum, who did Harry Potter marry in your universe?”
Jackie looked at him incredulously. “Well how should I know? I never read those.” She shrugged. “I don’t even think they were finished before we came here.”
The Doctor heaved a sigh of impatience. “I’m telling you, he marries Ginny!”
“But then who marries Malfoy?”
“Ginny would never marry Malfoy, that’s ridiculous–”
“Ron marrying Hermione is ridiculous–”
“It is not!”
Given the combined maturity levels of the Doctor and Tony, Rose rather expected the argument to carry on in a similar manner for quite some time. She was spared, however, when Jackie hit them both upside the head at the same time.
“Shut it, both of you!” She fixed both of them with her keenest motherly glare. “It’s just books, for God’s sake. Honestly!”
With matching pouts, the Doctor and Tony rubbed the backs of their heads. Looking satisfied, Jackie lowered one hand to her hip and pointed the other at Tony.
“And you’ve got football practice in twenty minutes, mister, now go get ready.”
Perhaps fearing for the continued safety of his head, Tony leapt up from his seat obediently and sprung from the room. Jackie watched him go, then reached over to take the last biscuit from Rose’s plate.
“It is weird, though, isn’t it?” she went on, breaking the biscuit in two. “Back home, I was reading these books by this American lady, yeah? There was gonna be four of them, they were great – then we wind up here, there’s only one and no one’s ever heard of it. It wasn’t even as good! No one would choose Mike over Edward.” She sighed. “I’d better go make sure he’s getting ready.” With a bite of biscuit, she left the room.
For a moment the Doctor and Rose sat in silence, Rose finishing her cup of tea and the Doctor still eyeing the book on the table with undue wariness. Eventually she shook her head, setting her cup back on its saucer.
“You’re ridiculous,” she said affectionately, nudging him with her elbow. “Everything different in this universe, and this is what bothers you?”
“It’s strange!” he whined, and she laughed. “This universe, it’s completely mad. Harry and Hermione?”
Rose grinned. “Y’know, I saw one of the movies once. With Mickey.” She rolled her shoulders innocently. “I thought it seemed sort of like he fancied her.”
The Doctor glared and folded his arms across the table, staring determinedly straight ahead rather than at Rose. “You’re horrible,” he announced. “You’re meant to be on my side. I took your side when you were arguing with Jake, despite the fact the absence of Mamma Mia!, on stage or on screen, is, in reality, quite a good thing.”
Rose’s only reply was to laugh, her forehead coming to rest against the Doctor’s shoulder. He stayed still, but when she peeked up at him with one eye, she saw him resolutely holding back a grin.
He shook his head. “Martha would understand.”