Genre: Lotrps AU/Harry Potter future!fic crossover
Summary: Dom becomes a teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and finds himself strangely attracted to Elijah, one of the Gryffindor seventh-years.
Warnings: Like I said, AU and crossover. Also it's HP so, obviously, supernatural stuff.
Disclaimer: The wonderful HP world is created by JK Rowling who is not me, and the LOTR boys do not belong to me, both facts which I obviously regret but are nevertheless true. Sniff.
Feedback: Makes me prostrate myself at your feet and grovel pathetically.
Author's notes: Once again a huge thank you to pinkegogirl for the beta. You rock, luv!
Chapter 15: In which an agreement is reached, and a secret affair begun.
Dom opened the door of his office at the third knock and was rather surprised to see Elijah standing there, hair still wet from the shower, dressed once again in Muggle clothes. He looked very different without his glasses, Dom noted.
“Hi. Um… can I come in?”
“Sure.” Dom stepped aside to let Elijah in, closing the door carefully behind him. “Sorry, I wasn’t expecting you. I thought you’d be at the hospital wing with your friend.”
Elijah bit his lip. “I was on my way, I just… wanted to see you first, you know. Talk.”
Dom cocked his head. “What about?”
The younger man blushed an attractive shade of pink, and Dom just had to grin at the general adorability of the sight. “Oh, that.”
“Yeah,” said Elijah slowly, and Dom’s smile faltered when it wasn’t returned. There was a sinking feeling in his stomach. Had he made a mistake in kissing Elijah?
“I just wanted to know,” said Elijah earnestly, looking straight into Dom’s eyes, “if you’re sure about it… me… you know, about this.”
Dom frowned slightly before nodding his head slowly, feeling more than a bit anxious. “Are you?” he asked hoarsely.
For a few seconds all he was aware of was the sound of his own heartbeat, hammering in his ribcage, as he looked at Elijah expectantly.
Then the younger man’s mouth was on his, and he could feel a second heart beating against his chest. Elijah’s arms went around his neck, one hand on his nape and the other splayed on his back, kissing him in what Dom thought had to be the most enthusiastic ‘yes’ he had ever experienced.
After a few seconds of thorougly enjoying the kiss, Dom reluctantly pulled back, taking Elijah’s face between his hands, smiling like a lunatic. Elijah giggled giddily, then winced at the same time, which seemed highly comical to Dom.
“Don’t laugh at me, that hurt!” said Elijah, gingerly touching his cheek.
“That would be because,” said Dom, taking the younger man’s shoulders and turning him to face the large mirror on the wall, pointing out the purpling bruise that was blossoming below Elijah’s right eye.
“Oh,” said Elijah, sounding mildly surprised, bending closer to examine his face. “Ouch. Bastard got me good, huh?”
“Hm,” said Dom, reaching out and touching the bruise very gently with his fingertips, wincing as Elijah hissed. “You should go to the hospital wing, Elijah.”
“’S not that bad.”
“To see Lily, I mean.”
“Oh.” Elijah blushed again, then looked up enquiringly at Dom. “But, you…”
Dom chuckled. “I’ll still be here, you know. I have no intentions of going anywhere.”
“But… shouldn’t we talk about…”
Dom put a finger on Elijah’s lips, silencing him. “We’ll figure it out as we go, okay? We just need to be careful is all, and we’ll worry about the rest when we get to it, yeah?”
Truth was, Dom really didn’t want to dwell too much on it right now. Didn’t want to think about all the rules he would be breaking, confidences he was betraying, or the consequences for both Elijah and himself if they got caught.
Elijah was studying him now, biting his bottom lip. Dom noted absent-mindedly that his hand was still on the younger man’s cheek, then decided he liked it there. His thumb was stroking small circles near the corner of Elijah’s mouth.
“Thanks for sticking up for me today,” he said softly. “You didn’t have to.”
“Of course I had to,” replied Elijah, his voice also soft, though his eyes were blazing. “That Malfoy bitch, talking to you like you were some piece of dirt…”
“Nothing I haven’t heard before,” said Dom, removing his hand and trying to shrug as if he didn’t care.
“Well, that only makes it worse!” Elijah’s voice rose in volume and pitch as he continued that rant of justified indignance Dom knew so well, having heard it from almost everyone who cared about him. “You shouldn’t let her treat you like that! The way she looked at you! And talked to you, like you weren’t even…”
Elijah stopped abruptly, glancing uneasily at Dom.
“Like I weren’t even what?” asked Dom, crossing his arms over his chest, looking at Elijah with a frown. “Like I weren’t even human?” He allowed his facial façade to waver for a moment, never breaking his gaze. “Well, I’m not.”
“You know what I mean…” said Elijah uncertainly, his voice lowering back to normal.
Dom sighed and uncrossed his arms. “Yes, I know. But I want you to be aware of the fact that this,” he gestured into the small space between them, “cannot be taken further if you don’t fully understand and accept what it is that I am. And I won’t lie to you, Elijah; it will be difficult. For both of us.”
Elijah was silent for a moment, looking solemnly into Dom’s eyes. “Yeah, I know,” he said finally. “But you know what?”
He stepped closer, so close that Dom had to cross his eyes to look at him, and felt his warm breath on his lips. “What?” he whispered.
“I think it might just be worth it,” murmured Elijah, and kissed him again.
And so it began, what Dom jokingly came to refer to as their liasons dangereuses, while Elijah said it almost seemed like a big undercover operation, like in the old spy movies. It was a bit awkward for both at first, but as time progressed they developed what became a second language to them: stolen glances during meals, passing touches in the corridors, Dom leaning just a bit closer to Elijah during class while pretending to look at his notes or explaining something to him, Elijah bringing just that bit of subtext into casual conversation.
Elijah made a habit of slipping notes to Dom inside his homework assignment papers, or a book he would pretend to want to borrow. He wished they would at least have the chance to actually talk in private more often, but that proved almost impossible: not only would it draw unwanted attention, but neither of them was hardly ever alone. Dom was mostly accompanied by other teachers, and his best friend was Deputy Headmaster. Elijah, in turn, was almost constantly surrounded by his classmates, among whom was the Headmaster’s daughter.
So they started exchanging short letters through owl post, usually in the late afternoon after classes. They would write about simple, everyday things, describe their day to one another, tell each other about what annoyed them or what they enjoyed. Neither of them ever mentioned the other’s name in these mostly just stream-of-consciousness messages, or signed them, in case the letters would be intercepted. They were also careful to keep the notes neutral, like they could be written to a sibling in a different House, or a friend who was in detention. However, there would sometimes be an occasional I wish you were here tucked between the doings-of-the-day.
It was a good system, and though it greatly annoyed Eeyore to be used as a common carrier pigeon, it worked fine for Elijah and Dom.
Elijah also kept true to his promise to Dom and began to study Changelings more intensely. After reading the chapter on them in his Transfiguration textbook a few times, he started searching the library for more books about the subject, always watched by the hawk-like eyes of Mr. Noble, who seemed to find his interest for books extremely suspicious. However, Elijah soon enlisted his help in the search, and the old librarian immediately came up with a title: ‘Magical Afflictions: Gift or Curse?’ – the same book Elijah had taken off the shelf that day when he was hiding from Dom – saying that it was the most reliable source material available.
Elijah thanked Mr. Noble for his help and borrowed the book, then continued spending most of his scarce free time re-reading it. And indeed, it was focused on the personal aspects of the gift, rather than the scientific side of it, as was the case in most books. Elijah found many things in it, both useful and fascinating.
So fascinating, in fact, that he took to reading the book during his classes, keeping it tucked away between the pages of his textbook, pretending to be engrossed in the actual material of the lesson, while he was in fact learning more and more about Dom’s kind. Since Elijah had always been good at hiding, none of the teachers noticed that one of their pupils was studying other things than the subject they were teaching.
It was two weeks after the Quidditch game, and things in Gryffindor seven had almost returned to normal. Lily was up and about again, fully recovered and quite miffed that she’d missed their spectacular win. Merlin and Morgan were once again spending their breaks snogging in the courtyard, having made up after giving each other the silent treatment for over a week. Elijah had gone back to his own cheerful self, indeed even more cheerful than before, as his friends noted.
They were halfway through a double Transfigurations theory class, and Elijah had pulled out ‘Gift or Curse?’, and was reading the passage about domesticity while listening to Dom’s voice rumbling pleasantly in the background.
Suddenly a hand slapped down onto the page, and Elijah nearly fell out of his chair with fright. Looking up, he could see the faces of his classmates, all turned towards him and staring. Dom was standing in front of him, his hand still splayed on the page, his face stern.
“I would kindly request that you keep your attention on the source material, Mr. Wood, and plan your personal reading hour outside of your timetable, particularly when it concerns my time.” Dom was staring hard at him, fixing Elijah with his genuine stern-schoolteacher frown.
“Perhaps I am not interesting enough for you, Mr. Wood?”
Was that a flicker of amusement in Dom’s eyes? Elijah chanced another glance upwards, but Dom’s face was still hard and serious. He redirected his gaze to his desk. “I’m sorry, Professor. I won’t do it again.”
He reached out to pull the book away and put it in his backpack, but Dom stayed his hand and picked up the book himself. “You can collect it from my office after class.” He tucked the book under his arm and gave Elijah a pointed stare, before walking back to the front of the class. “Now, as I was saying, the specific rules of a Switching Spell mostly concern…”
When Elijah returned to Dom’s office after classes, he had begun to feel slightly apprehensive. The young teacher had completely ignored him for the remainder of the lesson, and had not even looked at him as the Gryffindors exited the classroom. It worried Elijah. Maybe Dom really was as angry as he seemed in class. Maybe he thought that Elijah was assuming, now that they were – involved? boyfriends? lovers? – Elijah could get away with more in his lessons.
So it was that his hand trembled slightly as he lifted it to knock softly on the oaken door. Dom’s gruff “come in” didn’t improve matters either, and Elijah opened the door timidly, peeking round to see the older man sitting behind his desk, head bent down over some homework assignments, Elijah’s book lying on a corner of the desk.
Elijah bit his lip nervously as he watched Dom look up slowly, push his hair out of his eyes, then get up and walk around his desk towards the door, and him. Elijah directed his gaze towards the flagstones, trying to look as penitant as possible.
But Dom merely closed the door behind him and, leaning his back against it, pulled Elijah to him for a quick, tender kiss. “Hey you.” He smiled, then frowned when his smile was not returned. “What’s the matter?”
“I thought you were… I don’t know, angry with me or something,” said Elijah sheepishly, already starting to feel rather stupid as he saw the puzzled look on Dom’s face and realised he’d been presuming. Again. He smiled sourly.
Dom’s brow smoothed out and he smirked. “I knew I should have gone to Hollywood instead of coming to teach a bunch of sorry little buggers who don’t even listen. My talents are completely wasted on you lot.”
Elijah grinned back. “So you’re not angry, huh?”
Dom lightly cuffed him on the back of the head. “No, you daft git, I’m not angry. However,” he picked up the book from his desk, “please tell me you were actually reading this and not just using it as an excuse to meet me after classes.”
Elijah opened his mouth and shut it again, stunned. That thought hadn’t even crossed his mind. Which was, in itself, rather stupid of him.
Seeing the look on his face, Dom laughed. “I guess not, eh?”
“How could you ever even think that of me?” mock-pouted Elijah.
“I didn’t. Not really.” Dom kissed him again, pressing the book into his hands. “So, what’d you think about it?”
“It’s really good. Very interesting,” said Elijah, idly flipping through the pages before looking up at Dom again. “Did you read it?”
Dom nodded, looking at the cover with fondness. “I helped writing it. Well, sort of,” he added, when Elijah’s eyes widened. “The Changeling section mostly consists of studies of and by me. It was written by my Guide.”
“My Guide. It’s a Ministry worker who is assigned to helping families who require… special care. They’re a bit like…” Dom paused, thinking, “like Muggle counsellors, y’know? They help kids like me to adjust, become a functioning member of wizard society.”
Elijah was impressed. “Wow. So they… like, help Changelings and their families?”
Dom shook his head. “No, it’s much more than that, much more than just Changelings. It’s… people who are different. Kids who are born different, like me, whether they’re half-humans or Changelings or Metamorphmagi or Seers. They are Guided until they’re adults. And then there’s kids who just fall into it, like when they’re bitten by a Werewolf or they get hit by a curse or a spell gone wrong. They get taught how to live with it.”
“And the Guides do all that?”
Dom nodded. “Yeah. Tough job, isn’t it? Especially considering that the kids are usually not all that cooperative.” He grimaced.
Elijah studied Dom’s pensive face. “I take it you weren’t?”
Dom looked up, smiling wryly. “I just wanted to be like normal children: go to school, play outside, make friends. That’s what every kid wants, isn’t it? They don’t want to be locked away in their room and kept hidden until they’re old enough to hide properly what they are. So yeah, my Guide’s had her share of my temper tantrums thrown at her. But she stayed with me, regardless. She helped me, she believed in me. I owe her so much.”
“She sounds like a great person.”
Dom chuckled. “Oh, she is. Has to be, to put up with a little brat like me for so long. I still can’t understand what she saw in me.”
“I do,” said Elijah immediately, edging closer. “You’re special, Dom.”
The Changeling smiled sadly. “Don’t I know it.”
“No.” Elijah shook his head fervently. “Not like that. Not just like that. You’re so much more than you think you are, and I think your Guide saw that, too. I know I do.”
Dom was looking at him, smiling, but Elijah saw the disbelief in his eyes, and he felt a pang in the region of his heart that Dom could still not believe how anyone could find him special, as a person.
One day, I’ll make him see, he thought. I’ll make him believe.