Genre: Lotrps AU/Harry Potter future!fic crossover
Pairing: Domlijah, eventually
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.
Rating: PG for now
Warnings: Like I said, AU and crossover.
Disclaimer: This story is about as real as Michael Jackson's face. Harry Potter was written by JK Rowling, the boys and girls of the LOTR cast all belong to themselves, and I use their names and faces for the characters that are made up in my crazy head. I make no money off this.
Feedback: Makes me happy.
Author's notes: This story came to me while reading HP to my kids, and it's about the strangest thing I've ever written. Generally beta'd by the loverly avondster , though this part is unbeta'd.
Chapter 3: In which school starts, and Dom feels anxious.
The weeks preceding the start of term were some of the happiest in Dom’s life so far. He and Billy had fast become the best of friends, and he also got along quite well with the other teachers, who started arriving one by one. Serkis, as reported, was indeed barking mad, but Dom quite liked that in a person. Astin, for all his paranoia, had something very endearing about him, and considering Dom’s own love for trees and plants, they never lacked for conversation. The other teachers were also very friendly to him, but Dom still had to get used to the idea that they were now his collegues, and it took a long time before he was able to look into Professor Lee’s eyes without feeling he could be given detention any moment.
He also felt completely accepted, for the first time in his life, and not just as a person or a wizard or a… well, that. His collegues were all informed about his ‘condition’, obviously, and they accepted him for that as well. If anything, they appreciated him more because of the way he was dealing with it.
Dom just hoped the students would be as open-minded about it.
There was really only one thing about him he was afraid would earn him negative points with his fellow teachers, but that matter was quickly resolved during one dinner with his closest collegues at the end of august.
When Serkis mentioned that Dom should under no circumstances show signs of human weakness in front of one of the girls in Ravenclaw five (“no matter what she might offer you, mate, and she’s a lot to offer, that one, let me tell you”), the younger man chuckled softly.
“I’m not the kind of bloke to be sensitive to that sort of thing, Andy,” he said, looking straight at his collegues to look for any negative responses.
Astin blinked. Serkis took a swig of his drink. Billy smiled. It was clear that they all understood what he was implying, though.
“Well,” said Billy matter-of-factly, “that’s one thing less you’ll have to worry about, then. Anyway, how are the lessons coming, mate?”
And that was that.
The first of September arrived, and the school had become a flurry of activities: House-Elves and teachers putting the last decorations up in the Great Hall, some last-minute lessons to be prepared, and the Houses made ready for new students. The Owlery was almost empty, what with all the letters that had to be sent out.
Dom was more than a bit nervous. He had once again pulled out his best set of robes, though he hated wearing them, because they were hot and itched like hell. Wearing them made him want to turn himself into something cold-blooded and covered in scales, but then again, that wouldn’t give such a good first impression to the students.
He sat in his office, trying to concentrate on the finishing touches on a lesson for the third-years, when after a knock, Billy entered, also already dressed up for the feast. Dom hated his friend for being so utterly composed, while he himself couldn’t even hold his quill steady.
“Evening, Dom,” said Billy cheerfully. “How are you feeling?”
Dom turned violently green.
“Ah, don’t fret, mate, best save the nerves for your first lesson to Gryffindor seven.”
Dom turned back to normal and grimaced. “You sure know how to cheer a bloke up, Boyd.”
In response, Billy smiled sunnily. “Well, I can distract you at the very least. Need you to do something for me.”
Dom jumped up, eager to keep himself busy. “Sure, name it.”
“Run up to Harry’s office, and fetch me the Sorting Hat and its stool. I need to await the first-years when Viggo brings them, so I can’t go myself.”
“I’m on it, thanks Bills.” He was already out the door and on his way to the stone gargoyle. He still knew the way perfectly well.
“Padfoot and Prongs,” he said to it, and it jumped aside to let him pass.
Harry’s office was deserted; he was probably downstairs supervising the goings-on in the Great Hall. But Dom still remembered the exact place where the Sorting Hat was kept from all his past visits to the Headmaster’s office. Indeed, it was still on the same shelf.
“Hello, hat,” he said, bowing politely to it. “Um… I’m here to take you downstairs, to start the Sorting. You all finished, got your song ready and all?”
The tear near the brim opened, and the hat replied: “of course it’s ready, Monaghan. It’s not as if I don’t have all the time in the world to think about it, you know.”
“Sorry,” said Dom, picking it up. “Just being conversational here.”
He suddenly remembered vividly the last time he’d held the hat: eleven years ago today, with the trembling hands of a terrified child, so nervous he feared he might turn himself into something by accident and be expelled immediately, or ridiculed, or that the hat would tell him they didn’t take the likes of him into Hogwarts.
The hat seemed to be thinking along the same lines. “Didn’t take me very long to recognise the Gryffindor in you. Very intelligent, I saw that immediately, and desperate to prove yourself, but your courage was what stood out most. Determined to overcome all the boundaries you’d encounter because of what you are, even though you feared you might not be up for it. And you turned out all right in the end, didn’t you?”
Dom grinned, the memory heartening him. “You might say that.”
“Well,” said the hat briskly. “Enough of the good old days for now, I’ve some Sorting to do. Don’t forget my stool!”
Dom picked up the desired item, and made his way back to the Hall.
Students were already pouring in when he arrived downstairs, and they all turned to stare when he passed with the hat, whispering to each other. Dom ignored them and carried the hat and stool into the Hall, setting it in its proper place.
Billy and the first-years had not arrived yet, though Viggo had, so it couldn’t be long. The gamekeeper mock-saluted him as Dom took his place between Billy’s empty chair and Serkis, who looked particularly wild this evening, as if he’d just had a violent brush with a rabid Hippogriff.
Dom decided not to ask as this might simply be Andy’s personal style, and sat down just as the double doors opened.
Billy entered, leading a throng of terrified first-years. He briskly took the list of names Orlando handed to him, and waited for the hat to do its thing.
Dom listened to the song of the hat with interest, as he respected the time and effort it always put into its performance, but began slipping when Billy started reading the names. Somewhere halfway through the ‘D’s, Dom’s attention began to wander, as it usually did, and it was then that he discovered them.