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-13 for a bad word
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. Beta'd by the loverly avondster
Chapter 5: In which Dom has breakfast, makes his debut as a teacher, and comes out of the closet.
The next morning when Billy picked Dom up for breakfast, his pleasant face was all compassion as he handed Dom his timetable.
“Please don’t shoot the messenger.”
Dom groaned. His very first class of the day were the dreaded Gryffindor seventh-years.
He looked up at Billy with resignation. “Oh well, at least it’ll all be easier from then on.”
His friend clapped him on the shoulder. “That’s the spirit, mate! Don’t let them get you down, they’re only kids.”
But Dom still felt anxious. To Billy, the seventh-years were perhaps ‘only kids’, but to him they were people not so much younger than himself. Not that he felt like he couldn’t handle them, but he’d still have appreciated it to start with something easier, second-years or something.
As he poured tea and buttered his toast, Dom pulled out the list of names in his first class. The oldest of the lot was eighteen: only four years younger than he was. He looked at the name: Elijah Wood. Oh, that’s right, The Eyes were in that class, too. Bloody fantastic.
Dom watched the oldest Gryffindors as they took their seats in his class. They looked curious, some eager, but not malicious or intimidating. But then, Billy had said they were not bad kids, just tricky and cheeky. This thought calmed him a bit, seeing as how these two traits pretty much described Dom as well. In truth, the young people in this class were about as close to him in personality as one could get. So why should he worry?
Dom still remembered his own last year at Hogwarts quite clearly, and he thought they might appreciate it if they were treated like adults; he knew he would have liked that.
He started his class by reading out the names, trying very hard to memorise them at the same time, then continued to introduce himself. He didn’t bother writing his name on the blackboard, these weren’t first-years.
“Right then,” he said to his class. “As Professor Potter told you yesterday, or at least those of you that were listening, I am Professor Monaghan. I just graduated at the Institution last year. I’m twenty-two; that’s only four years older than the oldest in this class, so I won’t expect you to look up to me the way you do to, say, Professor Lee, although he’s a bit of an extreme in that case.”
A few people grinned at this; they all knew what he meant. Professor Lee’s very gaze demanded order and respect.
“However,” continued Dom, “I am still your teacher, and I expect you to treat me as such. I don’t want to have to treat you like you’re children; I know you’re not. You’re promising young people about to enter the wizard society, and I am here to help you make the best of that. Allright?”
He stood up, walked around his desk, and sat down on top of it, leaning forward slightly. “Now I’ll be honest with you. I’ve been warned about this class by the other teachers. Told me you were a menace. Sound familiar?”
A snicker went through the class, and many people were grinning guiltily.
“I thought so. Well, this is my first class of the year and let me tell you lot, I am determined not to mess this up, and I can be pretty obnoxious myself;”- he allowed himself a cheeky grin here - “just ask any of the older staff members here at Hogwarts.”
There was a round of appreciative laughter at that, especially since the glint in Dom’s eye told the students that he wasn’t bluffing on this one.
He waited for the laughter to die down before he took on his more earnest expression. “I’ll tell you a bit about myself, since that will be a lesson all of its own. Please take out ‘The Finer Points of Transfiguration’ and turn to page 176.”
The students looked a bit bemused by the remark, but took out their books and turned to the desired page. As they did so, one by one the heads went from the book to their teacher, and Dom saw comprehension dawn in twelve pairs of eyes.
“As some of you may know,” he began, “a specialisation degree at the Institution is quite hard to achieve, and four years is a short time to do so, especially in Transfiguration. Yet I did, and that was largely due to what I am.”
He paused, and tapped his wand lightly on the picture in the book of a girl in the front row. “I am a Changeling. Can anyone give me a correct definition of that term?”
A few hands shot up, and Dom pointed to a blond boy in the back. “Yes, Mr. Benzon?”
“Um… isn’t that, like, someone who’s been exchanged with a human baby by woodspirits, or something?”
There was some giggling and whispering at that, and Dom had to force himself to smile indulgingly at the youth.
“Only partly correct, I am afraid, Mr. Benzon. That is the explanation Muggles used to give for them, because they were usually ashamed to admit the baby was theirs. They blamed the woodspirits because a woodspirit is one of the few creatures in the world that can recognise a Changeling in any form it might have. Miss Malfoy?”
“A Changeling is a person who has the gift of turning into anything or anyone they are thinking of,” said Morgan in a bright voice.
“Very good, Miss Malfoy,” said Dom, and proceeded to demonstrate by turning into a few things he randomly thought up: John Lennon, a black labrador, an archangel he had once seen on a painting, Professor Blanchett, the Lizard from Spiderman, and David Beckham.
When he changed back all the students were staring, open-mouthed.
“Wow,” said Merlin softly. “Cool.”
Dom grinned wryly. “That’s what you say now, Mr. Weasley. But being a Changeling is usually only called a ‘gift’ by wizards who are normal. It’s not all fun, far from it. You see, it takes a great amount of self control every moment of the day, or I’d be changing shape non-stop. Changeling-children are usually kept hidden, until they’ve learned to stop turning into whatever they are thinking of at that time. And that is very hard, because it is what they do by nature, they can’t help it.”
Elijah Wood raised his hand. “Professor, if you don’t mind me asking… what we are looking at right now, is this your true form, who you really are?”
Dom turned, surprised, and looked straight into Elijah’s eyes, unflinching this time. The boy looked just as fascinated as his classmates, but there was also kindness in the expressive eyes, and Dom fancied he saw the beginnings of gentle understanding. He returned the look with a smile.
“That is a very good question, Mr. Wood. No, this is not who I really am. Changelings do not have a true form, at least not physically. That is their curse: they are always something else, and have no body of their own.”
“That sounds really sad,” said Lily softly.
Dom smiled at her. “It is, a bit, Miss Potter, but I’m used to it now.”
Even as he said this, he tried not to think about the scorn that still followed him everywhere he went, and the harsh words that still stung, deep inside his soul, because he had always known them to be true, in a strange sense. There had always been that little voice inside him, that told him so:
You are nothing, Dom Monaghan. You are literally nobody.
Dom looked back at Elijah, whose eyes were still fixed, unblinking, upon him, as if they could see his every thought. He felt a strange and sudden need to make this young man, especially, understand, though Dom couldn’t say why.
He concentrated on the cool, soothing blue of Elijah’s eyes as he forced himself to continue speaking. He would make him understand. He would make them all understand.
“I have manufactured the body that you see, put it together from different aspects of the appearances of the members of my family. In a sense, I have made this my own form, the person I am.”
There. I am somebody, dammit. I made myself a fucking somebody.
And for once, the voice was silenced.
The class stared at him in awe, and Dom saw many questions starting behind their eyes, some most likely along the lines of ‘then why haven’t you made yourself better-looking?’, but he didn’t feel like explaining every aspect of his life to them. Instead, he sat back on his desk and picked up the book, prompting the students to pick up their quills. Of course he didn’t read from the book – he knew more of his own kind than the people who wrote about them – but he really just needed something to wave around while he was talking.
“Changelings are very rare; usually only two or three are born worldwide each decade. Like Animagi and Metamorphmagi, the Ministry keeps a close record on them. They are registered even before they are born, as the coming of a Changeling is always foretold by a Seer. The parents are informed as soon as possible, and if they are Muggles, like mine are, they are given guidance and supervision by a specially trained unit of the Ministry…”
All heads were down as Dom spoke, scribbling on their parchment – save one.
Elijah Wood was still studying him through his glasses, but Dom found he didn’t mind as much anymore.