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 beta. The end is in sight now!
"Gone?” whimpered Elijah, remembering Dom’s words about Changelings who went wandering into the woods. They turned wild, and died alone. “You mean I will lose him forever?”
“Not all those who wander are lost,” said Karl enigmatically. “Dominic and the Changeling are one and the same, but the Changeling has now hidden him away. You must find him again.”
“How?” asked Elijah desperately.
“Only you can do it, Elijah Wood,” answered the centaur. “If you do not find the way, no one will. You cannot delay. With each passing moment, he will wander further from you.”
Elijah nodded grimly. “Okay.”
He got up and moved towards the cage, where the Changeling still sat, unmoving, but following every movement with his eyes. He reminded Elijah strongly of a cat his sister had once owned when they were children. Hannah adored the animal, and vice versa, yet one day when the cat had been chased down and bitten by a dog, it had lashed out, terrified, at Hannah’s comforting hands, and run away from her. The little girl had been heartbroken, and had cried for days afterwards. The cat never came back.
Elijah knew for sure the Changeling would run, as well, as soon as he was released from the cage, but every instinct told him that continuing to keep him in it would not aid his case.
He had taken out his wand without even realising it and was raising it, when he felt Billy’s hand on his shoulder once more. “Lad…”
“He hates being restrained,” said Elijah. “I’m going to get him out of there, whether you like it or not. He’s suffered enough today.”
“I wasn’t going to stop you,” Billy replied. “But that’s my best mate in there, and you still have exams to sit before you’re a fully qualified wizard. I’d rather handle this myself.”
And with a deft and intricate wave of his wand, he Vanished the cage.
For a moment the Changeling seemed stunned by his sudden freedom; then he started backing slowly away from the group, fangs bared and back curved. Elijah was again reminded of a frightened cat. This inspired him to crouch down to Dom’s level, making eye contact while slowly moving forward, his hand stretched out.
Curiosity seemed to flicker across the Changeling’s features for a second, to be replaced quickly with the bravado of a scared animal. Dom gave Elijah’s hand a half-hearted swipe with his claws, then turned tail and pelted into the woods without a backward glance.
Elijah tried to keep his eyes on the retreating form for as long as he could, to make out in which direction he was going. Then he turned to the others.
Viggo was already on his feet. “I suggest that Orlando and I stay and guard this lot,” he nodded over to their bound captives, “and that Miss Malfoy and Mr. Weasley run over to the castle and fetch the Headmaster. He will want to hear about this. Andy will stay with the centaur. Miss Potter can stand guard.”
He turned to Elijah. “You will want to go after Dom, I expect?”
Elijah nodded, and so, he saw out of the corner of his eye, did Billy.
The Charms teacher caught his eye and smiled wryly. “Yes, I’m coming with you. Dom’s my best mate, and I won’t let him down now. Let’s not forget I made the Oath, too. Besides, he’d kill me if I let something happen to you.”
Elijah smiled gratefully. It would be a lot easier to track the Changeling with Billy at his side.
The two of them set off in the direction he had gone. Billy’s head snapped from left to right, listening to the rustling of the leaves and the sighing of the wind, which was all the direction he needed. Elijah noticed that his hair had turned green again. Apparently, no Muggle hair dye was a match for ancient Faerie magic.
The sun was already sinking slowly to the horizon when they reached Dom’s clearing again, and the orange glare illuminated the ruins of what had once been the Changeling’s house. The blackened walls seemed to be on the verge of collapse, the scorched trunk of the battered willow the only thing keeping them more or less upright.
Elijah felt a strange sense of pity, looking at the half-burned tree. He turned to Billy. “Will it live?”
Billy nodded. “She survived tougher battles than a mere fire, that one. She’s in pain, but she’ll be fine in a couple of years. They’re strong that way.”
He placed his delicate hands on the scarred bark and closed his eyes. “She is glad she could save you, though, by calling for me. She says she has loved the Changeling these many years. She considers it an honour to have been a witness to your love.”
Elijah swallowed the lump forming in his throat. “Can she tell us where he is?”
Billy shook his head, eyes still closed. “He passed this way, but did not linger. None of the other trees know where he’s gone either, which means he’s hidden somewhere, even the trees and wind can’t find him. But we’re in a Forest, how can that make sense?”
Elijah placed his hand on the bark of the tree, too, noticing they both bore similar scars, yet somehow feeling proud of this connection with Dom’s willow. And suddenly, as he stood there, he knew the answer: there, even the wind and trees couldn’t find him…
“I know where he is,” he said, letting go of the tree with a final caress to its bark. “Come on, I’ll show you.”
“Ah,” said Billy, as they reached the small rock formation on the opposite side of the inlet from the willow. “No trees, no wind. I get it.”
Elijah was already crawling on all fours through the tough, thorny bushes, trying to locate the hole in the ground he knew was around here somewhere. Of course, he found it by nearly falling headfirst down it, and he had to grab a branch for support, grimacing as he felt the thorns cut into his palm.
Carefully leaning over the edge to look down into the cave, he saw his guess confirmed: Dom was sitting on an outcrop of rock, a little above the water’s surface. He was rocking back and forth slowly, making little whimpering noises.
Elijah looked at Billy over his shoulder. “He’s down there,” he whispered, trying not to alarm the Changeling. “Can you find me something I can use to climb down?”
Billy crouched down and came up, moments later, with a sturdy-looking, yet thornless vine that seemed to be sprouting out of the ground at his feet. He handed the end of it to Elijah, who slowly lowered it through the hole, down into the cave. Then the young man grabbed the vine with both hands and climbed down the hole himself.
The Changeling tensed immediately when he saw Elijah coming down, and fell silent, so that the younger man became aware of another sound echoing through the cave. It was a soft, ceaseless tinkling, like that of tiny bells, and he realised it was coming from the miniscule, luminescent figures residing between the rock cracks all around him. The fairy eggs had hatched, as Dom had predicted, and the noise was coming from what Elijah supposed were called fairy infants, not a single one of which seemed to be paying the two strange visitors to their nursery any attention whatsoever.
Dom had still not stirred. He was watching Elijah with a wary expression, his head cocked slightly to one side, probably wondering why he did not attack him, like the other humans had done. Elijah thought it best to show he was harmless, and sat down on another outcrop significantly lower than Dom’s, to give the Changeling the impression that he was in charge in the situation. He made himself as small as possible and bowed his head, waiting…
After what seemed like a small eternity of hearing nothing but the incessant chattering of the little fairies, Elijah suddenly felt, without looking, that Dom had come nearer to him. Stealing a peek through his lashes, he saw that the Changeling was in fact inches from him, standing over him and examining him cautiously.
“See?” he whispered softly, hearing the sharp intake of breath at the sound of his voice. “I’m not here to harm you.”
A hand now made contact with his skin, his face, his hair. For a moment, Elijah’s thoughts lingered on how different he must look and feel, after the effects of the fire. But he knew Dom relied on more senses than just the obvious. Still, he waited.
That same hand came to rest on his cheek, and forced his face up a little roughly, so that he was now face to face with the Changeling. There was an odd look in his eyes, as if he was struggling to remember something, his hand still caressing Elijah’s cheek absently.
“Dom,” whispered Elijah, scared to move for fear he would break the connection between them. “Come back to me. I love you. Please.”
The Changeling cocked his head again in wonder, then leaned over Elijah again, running first his hands and then his nose over his face and hair. He stopped at the place where the young man’s neck met shoulder, breath ghosting over the exposed skin. Then slowly, hesitantly, he took the skin gently between his teeth, a barely audible growl vibrating in his throat. Elijah held his breath, but the pointed teeth did not bite down.
“Yours,” he whispered, slowly bringing up his hand to caress Dom in turn. “Yours.”
The Changeling released him and sat back, their faces barely an inch apart. He stared at the young man, eyes wide and deep blue, like Elijah’s own. This, more than anything else, made Elijah decide to do something either very brave or very foolish, but in any case very reckless.
He leaned forward and pressed his lips to Dom’s.
For a moment it seemed as though this had been a terrible mistake. He felt the Changeling tense up at once and then draw away, and he closed his eyes, waiting for him to pounce, but nothing happened.
He opened his eyes again, looking carefully at the Changeling, who was regarding him again with that wide-eyed expression, his mouth slightly open, breathing heavily.
And then: “Elijah?”
It was as if a curtain had been drawn aside behind the Changeling’s eyes, allowing the light back in, and allowing the younger man a look inside a place he had come to call home.
Dom had come back to him.
Seconds later, Elijah found himself enveloped in the strong arms he knew so well, and finally, he was able to break down, sobbing uncontrollably into his lover’s chest. “I thought I’d lost you…”
“I thought I’d lost me, too,” Dom whispered back. He released his hold on his lover and held him at arm’s length, hands coming up once more to caress him tenderly.
“But your face, Lijah… what happened?”
Elijah wiped his tears on his sleeve, wincing at the burn it chafed. “Later. Billy’s waiting.”
“Billy’s here?” Dom looked up at the hole in the ceiling eagerly.
“Where else would I be, you great pillock?” came the Scotsman’s voice from above, cracking with relief. Billy’s head appeared moments later, grinning.
Dom climbed nimbly up the vine, embracing his friend fiercely. “The call… I wasn’t sure if you knew what it meant.”
“To me, all those that owe me allegiance, to me,” said Billy at once. “I came as soon as I could, but I chose to save Elijah first. I hope you can forgive me for it, but I did what I thought you’d want me to do.”
“You were right,” said Dom, grasping his friend firmly by the shoulders. “Thank you, Bills.”
They both turned to where Elijah was scrambling out of the hole, Dom gasping as the fading daylight illuminated the damage that the fire had done to his mate. His eyes grew dark and for a moment, he resembled the wild animal again. “I’ll kill him.”
Elijah shook his head wearily, his exhaustion and pain rushing back as quickly as the adrenaline of the fight and the subsequent worry for Dom wore off. “You’re better than that, Dom.”
“Am I really?” asked Dom, fury evident in every line of his face. “Well, I think I can make an exception for him. He tried to burn you alive, Elijah!”
“Believe me, I am well aware of that,” said Elijah testily, stumbling against his lover as they made their way back to the clearing of Dom’s tree. He felt dizzy, every part of his body ached, and he was suddenly aware of how much his clothing chafed his damaged skin.
They had by now returned to Dom’s clearing, and tears sprang to the Changeling’s eyes as he saw his ruined house, and the half-burned willow. Slowly walking forward, he put both hands on the tree-trunk and rested his forehead against the blackened bark. Elijah, in his daze, almost fancied he could hear the tree give a sigh of relief at Dom’s presence.
Billy stood beside Dom, talking softly in a language Elijah did not understand. At first he thought it had to do with the fact that his head was spinning so much; then he realised Billy was answering something the willow apparently said to him.
“She tells you not to worry about her, and to look after your mate,” Billy translated for Dom. “She says his injuries are affecting him more than he knows,” here they both looked over at Elijah, who tried to make his leaning against the neighbouring tree look casual rather than necessary. “She says she hopes to see you both at the next full moon, or the one after.”
Elijah slid a few inches down the tree, unable to suppress the groan of pain that escaped him.
“Right then,” said Dom firmly, stepping away from the willow and wrapping his arms around his lover, holding him up. “I suppose we’ll both need to go and see Madam Otto.”
“Dom… don’t leave me,” Elijah whispered, sagging against him, the last of his energy focused on staying awake. “Please, I’m…”
The Changeling’s eyes softened at last as he gently cupped his lover’s face. “I’m not going anywhere, love. I’m here for as long as you’ll have me.”
“Promise?” Elijah’s voice was barely audible, but Dom heard him clearly.
“I promise you, Elijah Wood. On my honour as a Faerie.”
And he kissed his lover as the sun set over the tops of the trees, giving the pair of them a golden halo as they stood silhouetted against the brilliant light. Elijah leaned against Dom more heavily, but the Changeling held him up effortlessly, not in a hurry to end this moment between them.
It was not he who ended it, though, but Billy, who cleared his throat loudly. “Lads…”
Dom looked up and saw, to his horror, that they were no longer alone. Serkis stood at the other end of the clearing, gaping at the pair of them. Beside him stood Merlin and Morgan, wearing similar expressions of astonishment.
And in front of them, his eyes wide and mouth slightly open, stood Harry Potter.