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 again to ismenin for the quick and thorough beta, and to willdirect4food for the banner. And to all of you, still reading.
ADDITIONAL WARNING ON THIS CHAPTER!! There is some violence, torture, and character death in this one! Proceed with caution.
Come to the Forest alone, if you know what’s good for him. I’m sure you can find us.
The words from the note were etched into Dom’s memory as he ran towards the Forest at full speed. How could he have been so careless? How could he have thought, even for a minute, that Elijah would be in less danger when he backed off? How could he not have seen this coming?
Reaching the safety of the trees, Dom’s doubt and self-accusation dissipated somewhat as his instincts took over. It was foolish of them to retreat to the Forest. It was Dom’s home, and he knew every inch of it intimately, was at his strongest and most powerful here. In the Forest, he was Lord and Master, and whoever had taken Elijah was now his prey.
They had his mate, and were planning to harm him. Dom would tear each of them limb from limb for that.
Adjusting his shape to fit his needs, the Changeling leapt up into the nearest tree, scaling it with the curved claws on his hands and then lightly leapt into the next tree, as swift and easily as a squirrel would. Lifting his head and sniffing the air, he followed the scent of Elijah, almost as familiar to him as his own.
Tracking down humans was incredibly easy: not only could he catch their scents, so alien among those of the other Forest inhabitants, but they were also making a great deal of noise, at least to Dom’s sensitive ears. To them, it must seem that they were being quiet.
They were in a clearing, not half a mile from Dom. He observed them silently from his perch on the sturdy branch of an oak tree that was looming over them. They were a larger group than he had expected, but more than half of them were younglings.
Students, his human sense corrected, they were students. He could probably come up with all their names if he cared about it at all, which he didn’t. All he cared about was the small figure that was standing, bound and gagged, surrounded by three large, broad young men, who looked more like they were holding him up than restraining him.
Liv was standing just below his tree, talking to a young man and woman Dom did not know. Mortianna Malfoy was standing opposite Elijah, smirking at him. Elijah glared back at her defiantly, though it seemed to take him every ounce of strength he had to do so. The rest of the group, all of them Hogwarts students, were posted as sentinels all around the clearing, most likely assuming that they would see Dom coming. The Changeling smiled grimly.
Without so much as disturbing a leaf, he jumped off the branch and dropped down, landing neatly in a crouch in front of Liv and her companions, who, he noted with grim satisfaction, were all startled by his unexpected arrival in their midst.
Several girls gave shrieks of fright at his appearance, but he made no effort to adjust it, knowing that he could use their fear of him to his advantage. His skin was dappled with greens and browns to match the forest, his hands and feet all had long, curved claws for digits, and he grinned ferally at them, showing off razor-sharp, feline teeth.
“You have taken something that belongs to me,” he growled, fixing his black eyes on Liv.
Liv quickly composed herself and smiled, though Dom could plainly see that she was unsettled. “Indeed we have.”
Dom looked over at Elijah, who was struggling to focus his eyes on his lover as soon as he heard his voice. “Are you all right?”
“I would worry more about yourself, if I were you,” sneered the young man next to Liv, a gloating, almost hungry smile on his face that did not reach his dark eyes.
Dom fixed him with an unreadable look, baring his teeth. “And why, Josh Hartnett, would I do so?”
Josh was momentarily thrown by the question, but recovered quickly. “Because we’ll kill the runt if you don’t do as we say, you fucking freak, that’s why!”
“Perhaps,” said Dom, his voice deceivingly calm while his body tensed as if for attack. “But if you have studied your adversary, which I suspect Livid has done, over the years” – here he looked back at Liv – “you will know that I can tear you all apart before you can so much as raise your wands. And I will, have no doubt about that.” He bared his teeth again in a mirthless smile as his eyes bored into the young woman’s. “Isn’t that right, Livid?”
Liv nodded curtly, her eyes burning with loathing and anger.
“Well, then,” said Dom, straightening up and taking on his human appearance, silently enjoying the startled gasps all around. “It appears we are at a stand-off.”
Everyone was silent for a moment, as though they were unsure of what to do next.
“Here is what I propose,” said Dom, in the same business-like tone. “I will surrender my wand and give you my word that I will not attack any of you, and in exchange, you will let Elijah go free.”
The blonde girl on Liv’s other side, who had not spoken so far, now let out a derisive laugh, as if his suggestion was the most ridiculous thing she had ever heard. Josh grinned, the hard lines in his face deepening, as he muttered: “yeah, as if.”
Liv, however, did not laugh. She looked from Dom to Elijah in consideration, then back at Dom. “Done.”
Ignoring the outraged cries of Josh and Lucretia, as well as Mortianna’s furious “no!”, she gave a signal to the three brutes holding Elijah. When they simply blinked at her and then looked in confusion at Josh, she made an irritated sound and took a wand from her pocket (Elijah’s, Dom realised) and as she waved it, the ropes binding Elijah slackened and fell around his feet, so that he swayed dangerously.
At this, Dom took his wand from his pocket and wordlessly handed it to her.
“You can’t do this!” Josh yelled, looking incensed. “He’s mine! I have waited for this for nearly two years!”
“Stop whining, Josh,” snapped Liv, pocketing Dom’s wand. “I have waited much longer than you have, and at least I am doing something for the good of all wizard-kind.”
She raised Elijah’s wand again and muttered: “Enervate.” At once, Elijah was able to straighten up and pull off his gag, and stagger forwards a little more steadily than before.
Dom turned to him, looking him critically up and down. “Did they hurt you?”
“Other than crack my broom on my fucking head?” said Elijah, shooting a furious glare at Josh. “I’ll live. What are we going to do?”
For the first time since his arrival, Dom’s careless façade cracked a little. “We are not doing anything, Elijah. You are going to get the hell away from here. I’ll stay.”
“What? No!” said Elijah, furiously. “They’ll kill you!”
Dom shrugged, trying (and failing) to look unconcerned. “If that’s the price I have to pay, I will do it gladly.”
“But you can take them, easily!” Elijah’s voice cracked. “I know you can, Dom!”
“I gave them my word,” said Dom simply. “Go, Elijah. Now.”
Elijah shook his head.
“I’ve had enough of this,” said Liv, pointing the wand at its owner. “Get the fuck out of my sight, Wood, or I’ll make you watch first.”
Elijah took a few steps back, his eyes remaining fixed on Dom. “I love you.”
Dom’s secret little half-smile appeared, and his eyes grew soft. “I know.”
There was a message in those eyes and those words, and Elijah recognised it. Dom did not use Star Wars quotes lightly.
Elijah swallowed his tears, then turned and ran from the clearing as fast as his legs would carry him. He would go and get help, find Billy and any other teacher he could think of. He just hoped fervently that it wouldn’t be too late.
Josh watched Elijah go, seething. He turned to his cousin, eyes blazing. “What the fuck, Liv?”
But Liv was still ignoring him; she pocketed Elijah’s wand with Dom’s, and then took out her own, muttering an incantation.
At once, the ground split beneath Dom’s feet, and several thick, metal bars shot up like beanstalks, arching high over his head to form a domed cage around him. He swallowed hard, his eyes darting automatically in every direction for an escape. There was none.
Being restrained or imprisoned was the greatest fear of all the Folk, and Dom was no exception. It took every bit of his considerable strength not to throw himself against the bars, and he prowled around in circles like a tiger in a zoo.
Liv lowered her wand, grinning at her handiwork, then turned to face Josh, Lucretia, and the others, all of whom were looking murderously at her. She rolled her eyes at her cousin, unimpressed. “Oh come on, Joshie. Do you really think I would not hold to my end of the bargain?”
Josh’s merciless eyes lit up. “You mean…?”
“No…” growled Dom, desperately clutching the bars of his cage.
Liv smiled maliciously. “Go and catch him, then.”
Josh shot a look of cruel triumph at Dom, and sprinted off in the direction Elijah had taken, at a considerably higher speed than the younger man could ever hope of achieving, in his present state. Elijah was weakened by the blow to his head, maybe even concussed. Josh was taller, stronger, and at this moment, faster. Elijah had no wand to defend himself.
Dom dropped back onto the floor of the cage on all fours, then threw back his head and let out an earsplitting, inhuman wail of distress that made all the other occupants of the clearing clap their hands over their ears.
Liv and Lucretia looked at each other and laughed.
Elijah stopped dead in his tracks when he heard Dom scream. His heart told him to double back at once, but his head insisted that the cry was not meant for him.
As the echoes of the wail died away, another sound came to Elijah’s ears: that of thumping footsteps, coming towards him. His heart sank.
Josh grinned as he caught sight of his quarry, and his grin widened as Elijah turned and ran from him, darting between the trees.
He would catch him, and then he would kill him. First, it was time for a bit of fun.
“You traitorous bitch!” Dom screamed at Liv. “You promised me!”
“I owe you nothing,” she sneered. “You’re not human. I don’t have to keep any promise to you, Changeling.”
“Wood will pay for what he did to us,” said Lucretia, gloating.. “He was like you, didn’t know his place. Josh’ll teach him, once and for all.”
“We’ll wait for him to come back and tell you all about it,” said Liv conversationally, a manic gleam in her eyes. “And then you will die.”
“And while we wait, we might as well entertain ourselves,” continued Lucretia, raising her wand and grinning as she pointed it at Dom. “Crucio!”
Dom screamed as the curse hit him, twitching and convulsing violently as he clawed the bars of his cage. But almost worse than the pain that coursed through his body, was the thought of what that maniac would do to Elijah.
Suddenly the curse lifted, and Dom heard an anguished scream, a roar of fury and the beating of hoofs rapidly approaching the clearing. Blinking the tears out of his eyes, he saw Lucretia lying on the ground, an arrow protruding from the arm with which she had been holding her wand, and Karl standing in the middle of the clearing, another arrow on the bowstring, aimed at Liv, who looked a bit startled at this sudden turn of events.
“I came as soon as I heard your call, Changeling,” he said, his eyes still fixed on Liv. “Are you injured?”
Dom staggered to his feet, which seemed to be answer enough for the centaur. He tightened his grip on the bow. “Then the humans shall suffer as you have.”
His senses dulled by the impact of the curse, Dom saw a split second too late the movement of Mortianna’s arm. Before he could open his mouth to shout a warning, she had pointed her wand at Karl’s back.
There was a flash of green light, and the centaur fell to his knees and then keeled over sideways, crumpling on the forest floor a few feet from Dom’s cage, his arrow narrowly missing Liv’s head as the bow fell from his lifeless hands.
“Karl!” Dom screamed, stretching out his hands to his childhood friend’s still form. Tears welled up in his eyes and spilled down his cheeks.
He could not be dead, just like that. He just couldn’t be. He was Karl, the one constant rock in the maelstrom of his life. They were bound to each other by oaths of friendship and duty. How could one flick of a wand sever such a bond in a heartbeat?
But the centaur did not move again.
Dom keened as he fell to his knees, rocking back and forth in time with his sobs, just as he had done when he was younger. But there was no- one now to comfort him, no-one to put an arm around him or shake him awake, no wise words to guide him. He was alone.
If he had looked around the clearing, he would have noticed that he was not the only one affected by Karl’s death. Walter Nott was staring at the centaur’s body with wide, fearful eyes. Mephistola Zabini, the youngest in the group, was crying as silently as she could, with her hands over her nose and mouth.
But Liv smiled. This was working out better than she had hoped for. She would be able to see Dominic Monaghan break, after all.
Elijah was running from tree to tree, Josh’s thumping footsteps and frequently shouted taunts and threats ringing in his ears. There was no escape, he didn’t know the way out of the Forest at all, didn’t even know which way to run. His only chance was to hide, but where?
The answer came to him almost straight away, as he heard the distant murmur of a waterfall. They were close to Dom’s house! If he could just reach it…
Following the sound of the water, and keeping an eye out for trees he might recognise, he sneaked along as quickly and quietly as he could. After a while, he noticed the trees were thinning, and soon he was on the edge of Dom’s clearing.
He could no longer hear Josh’s voice or footsteps, and couldn’t see any sign of him nearby. Taking his chances, he sprinted across the clearing, reaching the doorway in seconds and pulled the curtain shut behind him.
Frantically looking around for a place to hide, Elijah cursed. Of course, Dom had no wardrobe in his house, no broom cupboard, not even a storage closet. There was no room for him to hide under the bed, and finally he decided he had no choice but to lie flat on the bed and cover himself with all the furs.
He had barely finished when he heard the sound of footsteps, and heard the rattle of the entrance curtain being pulled aside. Holding still and barely breathing, Elijah listened as the footsteps crossed the room, came up the steps of the bed-platform, and then retreat to the entrance. He breathed a silent sigh of relief.
Then, suddenly, Josh’s gleeful voice shouted: “Petrificus Totalus!” and Elijah felt his entire body go rigid, and knew all hope was gone.
The fur covering his face was pulled back, and Josh grinned down at him, grabbing hold of Elijah’s hair and speaking close to his ear.
“This is for Azkaban, you fucking rat. Consider us even.”
With that, he let go of Elijah’s hair and pointed his wand at the foot of the bed. “Inflammare.”
The dry fur caught fire immediately. Josh sniggered as he watched the flames lick at the furs covering Elijah’s legs, then turned and walked out without a second glance.
Feeling the heat of the flames close to his skin, yet unable to even blink his eyes, let alone scream or struggle, Elijah stared at the ceiling in an almost detached sort of way. He knew he was about to die painfully, yet his thoughts were with his lover, back in the cold clearing, surrounded by enemies. At least he, Elijah, would die in a place where he had known love.
But no matter what - he thought, gritting his teeth as he felt the fur covering his right arm catch fire - he and Dom would be together again, soon. And then no one would be able to part them.
With that thought in mind, he gave himself up to the flames and let them consume him.