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: Huge thanks, once again, to my beta pinkegogirl, without whom Dom would have had far too many clothes on. ;)
A little over an hour later, Gryffindor seven were making their way back to their common room, chatting cheerfully, Hufflepuff four were happily comparing notes in the courtyard, and Elijah was racing down the stairs in his warmest pair of jeans and his faux-fur lined Muggle wintercoat his mum had sent him for Christmas last year (which was hideous, but warm).
Dom had not arrived in the Hall yet when he came down, but Professor Boyd was waiting for him at the bottom of the stairs, and visibly itching to make a remark about Elijah’s attire. He restrained himself, however, and merely inclined his head when his student reached him.
“From what I gathered, this will be an educative trip for you, Mr. Wood,” he said by way of greeting.
Elijah was in the middle of opening his mouth to inquire further, when Dom rounded the corner and speech suddenly failed him.
Dom had always been dressed in wizard robes whenever Elijah saw him; mostly the high-collared, black-and-grey teacher’s robes that billowed around him and gave the impression that he was much larger than he really was. He had gotten used to seeing Dom in them, and the Dom that came walking towards him caught him completely unaware.
The young teacher was wearing a pair of baggy, greyish jeans, a rather tight beige sweater that said ‘Dazzle’ on the front in large black letters, and over that a black, hooded jacket . His blond hair, which was normally slicked back or else at least moderately neat-looking, stuck up artfully in all directions, and his eyes were lined in black kohl.
Elijah goggled. Not only did Dom look good enough for a trip to the Muggle world, he also looked good enough to go clubbing in the trendiest parts of New York City.
Professor Boyd, who did not seem to be bothered by any outrageous hormonal upstarts whatsoever at Dom’s appearance, looked him up and down with distaste. “Christ, Dom, you look like you’re going to a concert instead of a family emergency. What’s with the makeup?”
“Disguises the changing eyes,” said Dom, looking over at Elijah, who only remembered to close his mouth just in time. “You ready to go?”
“How were you planning on travelling, anyway?” asked Boyd. “Seeing as how Apparating is out of the question…”
“Hey, I’ve had my license for two years!” interrupted Elijah indignantly. “I can Apparate!”
Dom smiled wryly. “I’m sure you can, Elijah. But I can’t.”
Elijah frowned. “You can’t Apparate?” He knew Dom well enough to know he was an exceedingly good wizard; the fact that he couldn’t do something as easy as Apparition surprised him.
Dom shrugged. “Well, I can, if I really have to. But it’s more difficult and more dangerous for me than it is for a human.”
“You see, Mr. Wood,” said Professor Boyd in a voice that transported Elijah right back to the classroom, “the art of performing the Apparition Charm is in being able to dematerialise and rematerialise. Humans, consisting of solid, unchanging material, can master it fairly easy. However, in the case of Changelings, their material being is submitted to constant evolution, even if they are doing an excellent job in hiding it,” he added with a nod to Dom. “Forcing this process to stop entirely, even for a moment, takes intense concentration, and since the Charm, too, requires a fair amount of that, it makes the process of Apparition not only extremely difficult, but also highly dangerous.”
“I could splinch meself over three countries at once and you wouldn’t even be able to tell what the different parts would look like,” said Dom darkly.
Elijah swallowed. “Okay, fair point.”
“So,” said Professor Boyd breezily, as if the subject they’d just been discussing hadn’t at all been gruesome and disturbing. “As I said, Apparition’s out. What about the Floo network? You could use my fireplace.”
Dom shook his head. “Can’t. It’s a Muggle house, they’re not connected.”
“Couldn’t we take a Portkey?” offered Elijah.
Another headshake. “With no autorisation for it, and in a Muggle-inhabited area? There’d be hell to pay if something went wrong.”
“You could call a couple of Thestrals,” said Boyd, a little impatiently now. “You’re on good terms with them, aren’t you? I’m sure they’d be willing to help.”
“I suppose so,” said Dom, staring dreamily at the patch of sky he could make out through the high windows and the open door.
Boyd caught the longing look in Dom’s eyes and seemed to understand exactly what it meant. His look of slight annoyance disappeared almost at once, to be replaced with an indulgent, fondly exasperated smile. “Oh, very well, you impossible git.”
He took out his wand and waved it, mouthing the words but not speaking aloud, though the wand flick was familiar to Elijah. For a moment, nothing happened; then there was a whooshing sound as two brooms came flying down the marble staircase. One Elijah immediately recognised as his own Falcon 9, custom-made as it was (hey, his father did own the Quidditch Academy), and the other, he assumed, must be Dom’s: a well-cared for, but also obviously well-used Firebolt 24. Dom’s long fingers stroked the handle tenderly.
“Are you absolutely sure about this, Dom?” asked Boyd. “It’s a long trip, and it’s fucking freezing out.”
Elijah, too, was feeling privately reluctant about a broom-ride to Ireland through a December evening, but Dom’s face when he looked up from his broom made any words unnecessary for him. He remembered Dom’s story about having to fly in secret, because he was afraid he might lose control in the exhilaration that was a flight; he also remembered the brilliance of Dom’s eyes and smile when he talked about flying.
So when Dom looked at him and said: “only if it’s okay with you,”, accompanied by a beseeching look, really, how could Elijah refuse him?
Although it was, indeed, as Boyd put it, ‘fucking freezing’, even when they were standing out on the lawn, with a clear sky and virtually no wind. Slipstream in this cold was always a bitch, though, and it would get colder after sunset. Yet Elijah made no sound of protest; instead he pulled the hood of his jacket up, framing his face with hideous fluffy fake fur. Dom did likewise, though he didn’t look nearly as ridiculous.
“Could you Disillusion Elijah, Bills? My charm never quite works as good as yours.”
“Of course,” said Professor Boyd, taking out his wand. “Shall I do you, too?”
“Just the clothes, please, ta mate. I have my own camouflage,” said Dom, grinning at his collegue. Then he turned to Elijah, looking intently into his eyes.
“Watch,” he said.
Elijah watched as Dom tilted his head upwards at the already darkening sky, studying it as if trying to predict the weather. Then, suddenly, the familiar features vanished amidst a swirl of shapes and colours, and the next moment Dom looked back at him, utterly unrecognisable now, out of his regular shape. His skin had turned a deep, dark grey to match the sky above, and he almost completely disappeared against it, had it not been for his unchanged clothing. He had also ceased to look remotely human, due to the fact that he had done away with hair, ears and nose.
And seeing the change, Elijah realised with a jolt that he had never really given Dom’s non-humanity any second thought. He had been told about it, had read about it, but never had he fully taken in the fact that Dom was not a human, like he was, and that his appearance was just a manlike shell, an illusion, nothing more. That what he had come to know as Dom had not been Dom at all, it was just a costume he was wearing, as much as this one. He realised it now, and the thought unsettled him. Watching the face disappear was like watching Dom disappear, and that couldn’t be right, could it?
Then the creature spoke, and the spell was broken, because it was still the same voice he knew so well, and Elijah felt certain that, were he to kiss the grey alien being that stood before him, the lips on his would still feel the same, the arms around him just as firm and yet gentle. He would smell the same. Because beneath the skin, it was still Dom.
Dom tried to keep from panicking as he watched the younger man’s face after the change, trying to read the thoughts behind those wide eyes. He knew he must look unsettling to say the least: his demonstrational changes had always been simple, defined creatures, mostly humans or other mammals. This shape was his own invention entirely, and it aimed more for efficiency than beauty.
“Elijah, talk to me. Am I frightening you? It’s just me, mate, just me.” His voice took on a pleading tone, and he had to fight not to break down and grab Elijah’s hands in front of Billy.
But after his initial shock, Elijah relaxed visibly and offered a shaky smile. “Sorry, I just… I hadn’t expected it to look like this.”
“What’d you expect, fireworks and sparkly clouds?” asked Billy as he walked around Dom to look at him from all sides. “Nice work there, mate. This beats any of my feeble old Disillusionment Charms, to be sure.” He tapped his wand on Dom’s clothes, camouflaging him completely. “There. Now it’s your turn, Eskimo Boy. Stand still, now.”
Dom watched as Billy rapped Elijah on the top of the head with his wand, and admired Billy’s charmwork as Elijah all but disappeared against the backdrop of the trees. “Good one, Bills.”
Billy just grunted in response and swatted Dom’s shoulder. “Off with you, now. There’s people needing you. Don’t make them wait.”
Seeing Elijah mount his broom, Dom did the same, grasping Billy’s hand as he did so. “Thanks a lot, Bills.”
“Don’t mention it,” said Billy. “You just take care, and behave yourself, both of you.”
Dom winked, though he knew Billy could hardly have seen it, and beckoning to Elijah he kicked off from the ground, feeling the cold air rush past his face as he watched Billy and then Hogwarts dissolve into tiny little dots far below him. Then he and Elijah sped off towards the sunset.
It was exhilarating, to be flying again. Dom hadn’t done it in quite a while, and had almost forgotten how much he loved it. It was like he’d left everything that was complicated down below, and up here life was simple, full of promise and freedom. Even more so now because of the company he was in. Because he and Elijah were now far away from Hogwarts, were no longer teacher and student, had no rules or responsibilities checking them. Up here, they were just two young blokes going on a trip together, and Dom relished that feeling more than anything else.
After some time of flying in silence, Dom checked the compass that was strapped to the handle of his broom to see if they were still going the right way, then closed in on Elijah until their shoulders were nearly touching. Unlike his companion, Dom did not need to trust on vision alone in order to know where the other was. The presence of the younger man’s solid body was as obvious to Dom as when he would have been plainly visible.
Elijah turned his head, staring just a little to the left of Dom’s actual eyes. “Am I looking at you now? This is so weird…”
“Right here,” said Dom, looking on in amusement as Elijah’s eyes shifted back and forth behind his camouflaged glasses, trying to locate the source of the voice. “Aren’t you going to ask me where we’re going?”
“I guess we’re going to Ireland,” said Elijah, having finally found the correct eyeline and squinting to make out a sign of Dom. “That’s what was on the envelope anyway. But why are we going there? Boyd said something about a family emergency?”
“That’s Professor Boyd, and yes, I suppose you could call it that,” replied Dom. “We’re going to visit my kid sister, she’s got a bit of a situation.”
“I didn’t know you had a sister.”
“Well, she’s not my actual sister,” said Dom, giving a shrug he knew Elijah did not see. “But she’s my kind, you know, so she feels like a sister to me. Known her since the day she was born. I try to look after her a little, like a big brother would, see? ‘Cause Tara… she needs someone to tell her it can work out, that there’s hope for people like us.”
“I thought the Guides did that.”
“That’s true, they do,” said Dom. “But they can only give us so much help. They can’t feel what it’s really like to live the life we have. Takes one to know one, so to speak. That’s how I help Tara; by knowing what it’s like.”
“How did you meet her?” asked Elijah, intrigued.
“Through my Guide. When I was in my first year at Hogwarts, Tara’s coming was Foreseen by one of the special Ministry Seers, and they wrote to me to ask if I wanted to be involved in her life. I accepted. In my second year my Guide took me to meet Tara’s future parents, talk to them, show them that their child had a chance of a normal life. I was there when she was born, and I often went to stay with them in the holidays. ‘Dommie’ was one of her first words.” He smiled fondly, remembering. “I teach her things about us, and I play with her, and I tell her about Hogwarts. She loves those stories.”
“Did you have another Changeling in your life when you were a kid?” asked Elijah.
Dom checked the compass again, sighing. “No. There are only two others of us living in Europe at the moment. One is a French woman, about Billy’s age. She’s trying to be normal, wants nothing to do with her kind, or the magic world. The other is this forty-something bloke in Sweden, living in solitude up some mountain.”
“And that’s all? There’s no others?”
“The others,” said Dom darkly, “have all given up trying to lead a normal life. Most just disappear into a forest one day, either to turn wild, or to die.”
There was a silence after these words, in which Elijah wordlessly moved closer to Dom, so that their shoulders were touching. He stayed in this position until they started their descent.