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 beta'd by the incomparable pinkegogirl, who is great.
I loved writing this chapter, because it's so much fun to play with Changeling!Dom. Also... next chapter, people! *nods*
Dom pulled Elijah along by the hand for a few yards, through the deep darkness between the trees. The young man did not see a thing, but he trusted the hand that was leading him. Dom would never lead him astray. He would not let him go.
They came into a little clearing, and by the small amount of moonlight filtering through the canopy of leaves Elijah was finally able to see. What he saw took his breath away.
Before him stood a magnificent centaur. Its smooth cream-coloured body seemed to shimmer faintly in the sparse light, so that Elijah could see the muscles ripple underneath as it moved. The upper body was bare of hair or cloth, its beauty not marred even by the leather straps centaurs used for carrying weaponry. The naked shoulders were broad, well-toned and muscled, the belly flat and hard. Elijah feasted his eyes for a moment before looking, awed, into the face just above. Dom smiled.
“Well, what’d you think?” he asked, gesturing down to his horse-body. “Pretty cool, eh?”
“You’re beautiful,” breathed Elijah, before he could help himself. He reached out a tentative hand to run it over the place where man merged seamlessly into horse.
Dom seemed to shiver under the touch; certainly his voice was hoarse when he said: “took me quite a while to perfect this one, too.”
“Well, in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve two extra legs to manage,” replied the Changeling, kicking his backlegs for emphasis. “But once you’ve got that right, it’s a great shape to be running around in. Gets you from place to place quite fast, too. But where are my manners?”
He got down onto the knees of his forelegs, so that he was at eye level with Elijah, and kissed him softly. “Happy birthday, love.” Then, with a jerk of his head: “climb on up. We’re going for a ride.”
Elijah felt distinctly awkward, having to climb onto Dom’s back. He didn’t quite know where to put his hands and fidgeted for a while, until Dom sighed audibly, reached back, took his hands and folded them around his chest. “Like this. Now hold on.”
He pulled himself up onto all four legs again and sprang away into the foliage, quick as a deer, pushing branches out of the way as he went, with Elijah hanging onto him for dear life. He ran, sometimes at a trot, sometimes at a full gallop, and Elijah saw little of their ride but the back of Dom’s neck and the trees sweeping past.
“Isn’t there a path we could take?” he shouted close by the Changeling’s ear.
“Aye, there is,” replied Dom. “But the centaurs often use it; and though I’m on friendly terms with them they wouldn’t appreciate me carrying a human around while pretending to be one of them. Bad for their reputation, see? Ah, here we are, then.”
Their pace slowed to an easygoing trot, and Elijah peered cautiously over Dom’s shoulder.
They had arrived at the edge of a clearing, perhaps half the size of a Quidditch pitch. It was surrounded by trees on all sides save the far end, where the ground petered out to a body of water; though whether it was a pond, river, or lake it was impossible to make out in the dark. At the water’s edge, leaning down from the shore, was a huge and magnificent weeping willow, and between its outstretched roots was a small house, leaning against the tree-trunk. Light was filtering through the curtains of its two small windows.
Dom twisted his body around to look at the younger man on his back, and smiled. “Elijah, welcome to my home.”
“This is fantastic!”
Elijah had gotten off Dom’s back and was walking towards the willow to get a better look at the little house. It seemed to be made of nothing but wood, rocks, and river clay, and its walls were not entirely straight, but it was a good, sturdy building, supported firmly by the tree-trunk that it seemed to have been built around, rather than against. The simple but pretty roof of reeds and straw, and the light filtering through what looked suspiciously like Gryffindor common room curtains, gave it a very homely look.
“When did you build this?” he asked Dom, who had changed back into fully human form again and was now standing behind him, still smiling, and still bare-chested even though it was freezing.
“Over the years,” replied the Changeling, running his fingers affectionately over the red and yellow curtain that was hanging in the doorway. “I finished the basic building in my second year, but I continued to improve it during the rest of my schooltime.”
He moved the curtain aside. “Get inside, it’s cold. I have to go into the Forest for a bit, but I’ll be back soon. Make yourself at home. Maybe you could build a fire while I’m gone.”
“Where are you going? Can’t I come with you?”
Dom smiled and kissed him. “No, love, you can’t. Just wait for me here, yeah? And stay inside. It’s not safe for you here without me.”
He kissed him again and gave him a little shove. “Go on, then. I won’t be long, promise.”
Elijah did as he was told and stepped inside the house, and the curtain fluttered closed behind him as he got a good look around.
The light he had seen from afar was in fact coming from several Blue Flame Charms in jamjars, placed strategically in little niches in the clay wall, and by their light he could study his surroundigs.
Dom’s little house only had one room. The earth floor was almost entirely covered with animal skins and pelts, except where a shallow pit had been dug in the center. In it were the blackened and charred remains of cold firewood, and suspended right above by an ingenious structure of branches, was an iron cauldron large enough for a grown man to sit in. Directly above it was a round hole in the roof, to let the smoke out and, presumably, the rain water in. Beside the large cooking pit was a smaller one, meant for (if Elijah knew Dom well enough) boiling water for tea. Low wooden benches were set on either side of it.
Beside the doorway stood a roughly made but sturdy wooden table and one stool. On it were an almost burned-down candle and a stack of books. More books were on shelves lining the walls, and looking closer Elijah recognised some as old and tattered schoolbooks and books about Quidditch and broom-handling. One shelf was filled entirely with leather-bound volumes that looked like journals.
And at the far end of the room, on a somewhat elevated platform to accommodate the roots where it was built against the massive tree-trunk, was Dom’s bed. It was so large that it could easily sleep three people, and it was covered luxuriously with furs. Elijah ran his hand over one: it was the softest and finest he had ever felt.
And suddenly as he was standing there it hit him: Dom wants to make love to me. That’s why he brought me here. He wants to make love to me in this house, in this bed, tonight.
The thought staggered him; it filled him with a mixture of love, gratitude and tenderness, but also of trepidation, anxiety and… could it be fear? But I wanted this… I want this. I am ready for it… aren’t I?
He shook his head to try and clear it. What did Dom say he should do? Build a fire, right. After some searching he located a small pile of firewood beside the door, and he pushed a few logs under the couldron, into the pit. Pointing his wand at it he muttered: “Inflammare”, and watched as it set the wood ablaze almost at once.
As the fire crackled merrily in the pit, the little house quickly became comfortably warm. Either it was perfectly isolated, or else helped along by magic. Elijah suspected the latter, patricularly because the curtain in the doorway did not even flutter despite the brisk wind that was blowing around the house.
He ran his fingers over the fabric and smiled as he felt the familiar tingle of magic in his fingertips. Definitely an Impervius Charm, and probably made Impertubable as well. He pushed against the curtain. No resistance.
Pushing it aside, he stuck his head out of the doorway and breathed deeply of the cool night air. The sky was clear and full of brightly shining stars, the moon a silver crescent. It was a beautiful evening.
Elijah took a few steps forward to take a second look at the clearing and its surroundings. The water behind the house was, as he could now see, a small lake surrounded by rocks on all sides save the one where he was standing, where there was a narrow strip of sandy shore, like a tiny beach. In the distance he could hear the pleasant song of a small waterfall.
Smiling, he turned back towards the house, only to find out that there was an obstacle in his way that had not been there before. Closer examination revealed that it was a handsome centaur with a bow in his hand. On the bowstring was an arrow, and this arrow was pointed directly at Elijah.
“What business does a young human have in the Forest?” asked a deep, sonorous voice. “Speak quickly!”
“I… um… well…” Elijah tried to speak, but was rather distracted by the arrowhead that was inches from his face.
“There is a reason why your elders call this the Forbidden Forest, youngling,” said the centaur menacingly. “We do not take kindly to strangers in our lands.”
“I know, but I’m with…” began Elijah, but at this point his voice failed him again, because another shape loomed up from the shadows behind the centaur. The young man gasped as the shape came forward and he looked upon the largest wolf he had ever seen.
It was not a werewolf, he knew that much. Dom had drilled him sufficiently on the subject that Elijah could recite all the werewolf’s characteristics without even thinking. Still, he didn’t feel very comforted with the idea that he would ‘only’ be ripped to pieces as opposed to living a life in agony.
The wolf, however, did not seem much in the mood for ripping throats out. Two dead rabbits were dangling from its mouth, which was a pretty clear indication that it was not lacking in food, but still Elijah dared not move.
The centaur seemed completely unaffected by the appearance of the large predator, but then he had little reason to be: he was larger, stronger, and faster, not to mention armed, but he made no move and continued pointing the arrow at Elijah, acknowledging the wolf only with a curt nod of his head.
“Good evening, my friend. I found this stranger trespassing on your land. What should I do with him?”
And then, to Elijah’s utter astonishment, the wolf rose onto its hind legs as the silvery fur disappeared to reveal smooth skin, and Dom was standing beside the centaur, taking the rabbits from his mouth with one hand as he pushed down the centaur’s bow with the other.
“It’s all right, Karl, he’s with me.” And turning to Elijah: “This is why I told you to stay indoors, you twat.”
“Sorry,” muttered Elijah, feeling a bit embarassed, but Dom waved his apology away. “It’s okay, no harm done. Though you would do well to remember that most creatures here attack before they ask questions. They aren’t all as polite as Karl here.”
He clapped the centaur on the back. “Elijah, meet Karlurban son of Ronan, my friend and self-appointed guard of honour. Karl… this is Elijah.”
The younger man noticed that Dom inclined his body towards him in the same manner as when he had ‘introduced’ Elijah to his cats. The centaur Karl certainly seemed to understand more than just the words spoken.
“Ah… so this is the one you spoke of, then, Changeling?”
Elijah noticed that Karl used the term quite differently from what he had heard so far. The word was not spoken with disdain or spite; on the contrary, he made it sound like a nobleman’s title.
Dom smiled. “Yes, he is.”
“Then I owe you an apology,” said Karl, bowing to Elijah. “I am honoured to make your aquaintance, mate of the Changeling.”
He turned back to Dom. “I shall leave you now, and perhaps contemplate the heavens for a while before returning to my herd. Will you be mating tonight?”
He asked the question matter-of-factly, in the same tone one might use when inquiring about the possibility of rain or the menu for the next evening. Elijah’s eyes widened to a huge size, and Dom looked quite mortified.
He glanced nervously at Elijah, and their eyes locked. And at that moment Elijah knew he had been right in his assumption: Dom had brought him here for that very reason, to make this day special for him. A sudden rush of excitement and desire flared up in his belly, and before he knew what he was doing he had crossed the small distance between them. He stopped a hairsbreadth away from Dom, leaned forward, and without further ado licked the blood off the Changeling’s teeth.
Though not quite as subtle as Dom’s use of body language, the centaur seemed to get the message all the same. He smiled, and gave another bow. “I shall make sure that no creature will disturb you this night.”
He turned and walked away, disappearing into the darkness beneath the trees. Dom shook his head a few times as if he did not quite understand what had just happened, but then he bent over and picked up the dead rabbits from where he had dropped them.
Elijah looked at them doubtfully. “Are we actually going to eat those?”
“Hmm? Well yes, after I’ve skinned them, of course. You haven’t had any dinner at all, aren’t you hungry?”
Elijah realised that he was indeed quite hungry, though the woefully staring eyes of the rabbits sort of put him off the idea, really. But Dom had caught them for his supper, which was sweet, and after all he knew that rabbit was quite a tasty dish.
Dom chuckled as he opened the curtain to let Elijah into the house again. “Don’t go all vegetarian on me now, mate. There isn’t much on the menu here for that, this time of year. So I hunt for supper.” He shrugged and sat down on one of the benches by the fire, pulling a knife out of his pocket.
“Why don’t you go get some water for tea while I skin these? You don’t have to sit and watch.”
“Yeah. Yeah, okay.” Feeling slightly nauseous, Elijah took the kettle and went to fill it at the edge of the lake, taking care to work slowly. By the time he re-entered the house something was simmering in the cauldron, and Dom was folding the rabbitskins away. He looked up at Elijah and smiled, taking the kettle from him and setting it down beside the smaller firepit.
“It has to stew for a while,” he said, gesturing to the cauldron and then spreading his arms and grinning. “So I am now at leisure, Mr. Wood.”
Elijah grinned back. “What do you propose we do, then, Professor?”
“Well, I could of course get an examination paper and test your knowledge on the dwelling and domestic habits of woodcreatures…”
He was knocked backwards off the bench, legs in the air in a most unattractive manner, with Elijah atop his chest, squashing him. “You wouldn’t dare.”
“… but since it’s your birthday,” Dom wheezed on despite lack of breath, “I’ll let you decide the manner in which we spend our time. We can do anything you want to do.”
“Anything?” asked Elijah with a cheeky grin, though his eyes betrayed his anxiety.
“Anything,” said Dom firmly, all hint of jest now gone from his voice and features.
Wordlessly, Elijah got up and extended a hand to help Dom up. The Changeling let himself be pulled to his feet and took the younger man’s arms, pulling him close until their bodies were a mere hair’s breadth from touching.
For long moments they stood together like this. Neither could tell afterwards who had made the first move, but all of a sudden they were kissing, kissing like the other was oxygen and food and water all at the same time, tongues and teeth and lips colliding messily, both their breaths loud and harsh in the silence.
Reluctantly breaking apart, Dom gripped Elijah’s biceps firmly, and slowly but steadily led him towards the great tree-trunk, where his bed stood ready to receive them.