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: Thanks to ismenin for the wonderful beta *hugs tight* and willdirect4food for the beautiful banner. Also: happy holidays, everyone!
“You’re one, as well.”
Dom’s voice was loud in the ominous silence, and sounded dull with defeat. His words were void of surprise, and they were not a question. He was looking at his best friend and colleague like he had never seen him before.
Professor Boyd looked back steadily, and Elijah now knew that the green blaze in his eyes was not imaginary. He nodded.
Dom’s shoulders slumped in defeat, and Geoffrey disappeared.
The shapeless creature standing beside Elijah cringed before every muscle went taut, like a cornered animal, and the younger man read its despair in two barely distinguishable eyes. Then Dom threw himself forward on all fours, knocked his friend over and out of his way, and fled out of the Room.
“Dom, wait!” Elijah cried, but at the same time he knew that his lover was already out of the corridor before he finished.
Boyd picked himself off of the floor. The blaze in his eyes extinguished, he now looked sad and tired rather than angry, and older than ever without his usual cheerful expression.
He held open the door for his two students. “Come with me, both of you.”
Lily, who had not moved from her position since entering the room, slowly lowered her hands from where they had flown to her mouth trying to stifle her scream at Dom’s transformation, and walked to the door without looking at Elijah.
Once outside, Boyd waited for the Room’s door to disappear into the wall before turning to his students with a sigh. “Miss Potter, please return to your dormitory. I must ask you not to speak of this incident to anyone. Is that understood?”
“You won’t tell my Dad?” Lily blurted, surprised.
Boyd’s expression softened. “No, I won’t. You only acted out of concern for your friend, Miss Potter. I cannot see why I should punish you for that. Off you go, now.”
Lily took off down the corridor, casting Elijah a look over her shoulder that he found hard to interpret.
Not that he had much energy to spare for that kind of thing, as most of his mind was focused on trying to process what had just happened.
First and foremost there was a feeling of dread; they had been caught, and he would be expelled and sent back to his disappointed parents in the States, separated from his lover and friends, with his dream of becoming a Guide shattered. Even worse: Dom would be sacked, and everything he had fought so hard for would be gone. He’d lose his lover, his beloved work, his reputation, and his best friend.
Elijah recalled all too well the tone in Dom’s voice when he talked about what would happen to Changelings who lost hope. He remembered all that Dom had told him, the memories he had seen in the Pensieve, and he knew what Dom would be about to do.
Without a backward glance at his teacher, he took off down the corridor at a brisk pace.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Boyd called after him.
Elijah rounded on him. “You’re going to expel us anyway, so I don’t really see the point in staying here any longer than I have to.”
“Mr. Wood, I haven’t even…”
“Look, I don’t have time for this,” Elijah snapped. “I’m going to try and find Dom before he does something stupid.”
“You won’t find him if he doesn’t want to be found,” Boyd countered. “I’m coming with you.”
“Like hell you are!” A small part of Elijah briefly felt shocked at speaking to his teacher like this. Then again, he wouldn’t be his teacher anymore after tonight. “What, so you can take him back to Potter when you rat out on him?”
The glow in Boyd’s eyes was back with a vengeance. “Jesus bloody Christ, boy! Don’t make this more difficult for me than it already is!”
“Why the fuck not? I might as well!” Elijah shouted back.
“Because I’m not going to rat out on anyone!” Boyd snarled.
The breath Elijah had gathered for his next retort left his lungs in a rush, as if someone had just dumped a bucket of water on his overheated head.
“Oh,” he said stupidly.
Boyd just glared at him, a pained look in his eyes. “Dom’s the best mate I’ve ever had, Elijah. Do you really think I’d do that to him? Knowing the stakes?”
“Um…” said Elijah. He didn’t feel this argument was going his way at all.
“True friends look out for each other,” Boyd went on, “like your friend Lily did for you, today. Like I do for Dom, right now. Which is why I am coming with you. Any questions?”
Elijah looked at him blankly, at a loss for words while his world was being turned upside down. He had broken, was breaking, and/or was about to break about every school rule in existence, and a teacher was offering him his assistance in doing so?
“That’s sorted, then,” said Boyd, all business again. “Let’s go.”
It was already starting to get dark when the two of them crossed the lawn into the direction of the Forbidden Forest. Elijah noted that the windows of Mortensen’s cabin were dark, and felt disappointed. He had hoped to enlist the gamekeeper’s help in tracking Dom down. He had the feeling that Viggo would have little trouble in finding the Changeling. Then again, he figured, neither would Boyd, when you took into account Dom’s final words.
“So…” he said as they entered the Forest, more to break the silence than because he really cared, “you’re also a Changeling, then?”
Boyd turned to him, and for a second Elijah could clearly see his eyes glowing eerily green in the dark before his wand-tip ignited, illuminating an oddly closed face. “No.”
Elijah lit his wand as well, and fell silent for a moment as he searched the ground for any tracks. Finding none, he said: “Well, Dom thought so. He said… you’re one, as well.”
“He meant one of the Folk,” said Boyd, not looking at the ground at all, cocking his head as if listening, his eyes closed. A breeze ruffled his hair.
“He went that way,” he announced, opening his eyes and pointing.
Elijah looked around him for any signs that would confirm this. “How do you know?”
“The wind told me,” replied Boyd matter-of-factly, as if communicating with the forces of nature was an everyday occurrence. “Come on, let’s move along.”
Trudging through the undergrowth, Elijah struggled to keep up with his teacher, who was moving at a brisk pace, the uneven ground and the wealth of other obstacles not seeming to bother him at all. In fact, the various thorny branches that seemed to have no problem attacking his student at every possible occasion, simply parted for Boyd so he could pass.
At one point, when Elijah’s robes got tangled in a particularly nasty thornbush, and slowed them down considerably, Boyd turned back to help him, and the moment his small fingers touched the branch, it let go of Elijah immediately.
No doubt there was an interesting story behind all this, but at the moment, all Elijah cared about was finding Dom.
Meanwhile, the sky was darkening rapidly. Within a few moments it would be entirely dark, and the younger man felt his hopes of finding his lover deteriorate along with the light. Dom could be anywhere, and Boyd was right; if he didn’t want to be found…
His teacher suddenly stopped walking, causing Elijah to nearly run into him. Boyd stopped him with a hand on his arm. “Quiet!” he hissed.
Elijah obeyed, and followed the older man’s lead to the edge of a clearing, illuminated by the light of the nearly full moon. Crouching in the bushes, he saw a sight he would not forget for the rest of his days.
About two dozen unicorns were grazing peacefully in the clearing, the moonlight on their gleaming white bodies making it seem like they were surrounded by a fine, silver mist. There were a few bright golden foals frolicking around some older mares, and the lead stallion stood in the centre of the herd, lifting his head with the magnificent long horn every now and again to scan the vicinity for any threats.
Elijah held his breath, afraid to disturb them. He had never seen an actual unicorn this close before, and a whole herd of them in the wild was a sight few humans were privileged to see.
“He’s here,” said Boyd in his ear, and for no reason at all Elijah’s eyes were immediately drawn to a fine young stallion standing a few feet away from him.
He wasn’t quite sure what made him do it, but all of a sudden he found himself getting out of his hiding place, and walking slowly but purposefully towards that unicorn.
The rest of the herd shied back immediately, gathering around the lead stallion, who lowered his head threateningly with the deadly horn aiming at him, but Elijah didn’t even see. He had eyes only for the young stallion, who had lifted his head but otherwise did not move.
Elijah stopped right in front of the unicorn, and without hesitation, put his arms around the gleaming white neck, pressing his face into the shining mane. “Please,” he whispered. “Please don’t give up. Don’t leave me.”
Then he felt arms going around him, and when he opened his eyes the stallion was gone, and Dom was looking down at him, his eyes bright.
“You knew me,” he whispered huskily. “How?”
“I love you,” said Elijah simply, and kissed him.
“Do you have any idea what kind of risk you just took?” asked Boyd, as they sat around the fire in Dom’s little house, some time later. “A male, adult human, walking right into the middle of an unicorn herd with multiple foals? If you’d have picked the wrong one, you’d have been skewered before you even knew it.”
Elijah shrugged. “I’m not sure. I just knew it was Dom, and that I had to get him back. I guess I didn’t think it all the way through.”
Boyd snorted. “Well, what else is new?”
“Bills…” said Dom warningly. He was seated beside his lover, still looking rather pale but more relaxed, now that he had talked to his friend.
“Look, Dom, just because you’re my best mate and I’m thrilled to see you happy, that doesn’t mean I think this is the best idea in the world,” the older teacher said calmly. “I still think that as far as bad ideas go, this one is potentially disastrous. And I still think you should have been honest with me.”
“Oh, like you were?” Dom retorted. “Ever hear that story of the pot and the kettle, Bills?”
Boyd did not reply. He stared into the fire, resting his head in his hands. “I’m sorry, Dom.”
“Why didn’t you tell me the truth about what you are? I could have…”
“I know,” Boyd interrupted him. “But I… I was ashamed.” He looked up at his friend, a sad smile on his face. “We’re not all as brave as you, mate.”
“Jesus, Billy,” said Dom in a choked voice, and in two strides he crossed to where his friend sat and pulled him into his arms, holding him close.
The two stood like this for over a minute, until Dom finally loosened his grip on his collegue to look him in the eye. “You know what this situation calls for, don’t you, Bills.”
The Charms teacher smiled. “Aye, of course.”
Elijah looked bemused. “What?”
The two Brits looked at him, then at each other, and grinned.
“Tea!” they chorused, and Elijah groaned.
“So, Professor…” Elijah began, once they were all seated again and provided with a mug of steaming chamomile tea.
His teacher held up a hand. “I’ve just seen you kissing with my best mate, Elijah. Out of the classroom, I think Billy will do.”
“Okay, Billy,” said Elijah again, blushing deeply. “If you don’t mind my asking… what exactly are you?”
Billy cocked his head at the question, as if pondering it, before speaking. “You know what a Dryad is, don’t you?”
Beside him, Dom let out a soft “ah!”of understanding.
“Sure,” said Elijah, feeling like he was back at one of Dom’s infamous surprise tests. “They’re Faerie Folk; tree-spirits, specifically. Each tree has one. But…” - and here he cast a quizzical look at both his teachers - “according to what I’ve learned, Dryads are all female.”
“Correct,” said Billy, smiling. “You’ve been taught well.”
“That song you sang at Christmas!” Dom exclaimed suddenly, slapping his hand to his forehead. “I knew I’d heard it before somewhere!”
Billy nodded. “The Dryads’ midwinter hymn. My mother taught it to my sister, who taught it to me. Long ago, my father heard it when he was lost in a forest at night. He was enchanted by the music, and followed it to the Dryads’ gathering. That was how he and my mother met.”
“So,” said Elijah, piecing it together. “You’re half woodspirit, half human.”
Billy sighed. “Aye. But enough about me. What we need to focus on right now is what exactly happened today.”
Elijah shrugged. “Probably those two kids following us thought it’d be funny to tell a teacher I’d sneaked my boyfriend into school. I mean, it’s not exactly a secret that I’m only one toe out of line away from being expelled as it is, and the Slytherins have reasons enough to want to help me get there.”
“That would be the most logical assumption,” said Billy. “But the thing is, lad, that whoever sent me this,” he produced the crumpled piece of parchment from his pocket, “I don’t think it’s you they’re after.”
He smoothed out the parchment and gave it to Dom. Elijah read over his shoulder:
Not everything is what it seems.
Go to the Secret Room, and you will see for yourself.