Both one and the other (lostlollipop) wrote,
Both one and the other
lostlollipop

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Enchantment (48/50)

Title: Enchantment
Genre: Lotrps AU/Harry Potter future!fic crossover
Pairing: Domlijah
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
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 still sticking with me, to the bitter end (which is coming closer). Also: another character death warning! Actually, it's still the same one. But for real this time!







Chapter 48

Now that they had been caught, Dom felt no inclination to deny the facts. He pulled Elijah even closer to him, glaring possessively around at all of them, looking away only when Elijah gasped: “Dom?”

Looking down at his lover, Dom saw that his eyelids were sliding shut, his consciousness slipping away from him. He lifted Elijah off the ground completely, feeling his limbs go slack.

“He needs the hospital wing,” he told the clearing at large. “Now.”

“I’ll take him,” said Billy at once. “You two, Mr. Weasley, Miss Malfoy, come with me. It looks like you could do with a checkup as well.”

He conjured up a stretcher, on which Dom carefully placed Elijah, tenderly caressing his face before pulling away from him. “I’ll see you in a bit, yeah?”

Billy nodded, touching his friend’s shoulder for a moment, before herding the two still-gaping teenagers in front of the stretcher, and moving towards the castle with it.

Andy and Harry were still rooted to the spot, looking at Dom, who looked impatiently back at them. Finally, Andy broke the silence by nervously clearing his throat.

“The… the centaur has asked for you, Dom. He hasn’t got long. If you still want to say anything to him…”

“Oh God!” exclaimed Dom. In the commotion, he had totally forgotten about Karl. He dashed away without another word, leaving Andy and Harry to hurry along in his wake.

The centaur was still lying in the same spot, his entire body drenched with sweat and his face ghostly pale, but when he opened his eyes and saw Dom dropping to his knees beside him, he smiled.

“He brought you back…” his voice was a feeble whisper, nothing compared to his usual deep, booming tones.

Dom nodded, grasping his friend’s weak hand in his. “I’m so sorry, Karl…”

“All is as it should be,” said the centaur. “This is how it must happen, Changeling. I have no regrets, and therefore neither should you. I chose this path for myself a long time ago.”

He smiled fondly up at Dom. “You have grown so, Changeling, since first I set eyes on you. I feel such pride for you. It has been an honour to be called your friend.”

“More than just a friend,” said Dom, tears flowing freely. “You have saved me so many times, Karl. I wish that I could do the same for you.”

“You owe me nothing. I only ask that you make sure my wife and son are well looked after. And you, yourself, but that is a task I know I shall leave safely in the hands of young Elijah.”

Dom’s lip trembled as he watched the centaur’s eyes close. “I don’t want you to go yet, Karl.”

“The workings of the universe are beyond us mere mortals,” said Karl softly, sighing. “Even one such as you, Changeling. But grieve not overmuch. At night, look to the stars as I taught you, long ago, and think of me. Then turn back to your home, enlightened, and savour your happiness once more. In this way you shall honour me, and I shall be content.”

He opened his eyes once more and looked up at the heavens. “See, already the stars are appearing. They call for me, and no longer shall I delay.” He looked back at Dom, his eyes bright already with starlight. “Goodbye, Changeling. Until we meet again.”

“Goodbye, my friend,” Dom whispered. “May the stars light your final path home.”

And with that, he closed the centaur’s unseeing eyes, and sat silent and unmoving for some time.

***

As darkness slowly fell around him, Dom remained with his friend’s body, the sounds in the clearing of no meaning to him. Then, distant but unmistakeable, he heard the sound of beating hooves coming closer, felt it in the slight tremblings of the earth under him.

The sound grew louder, and suddenly from all directions, centaurs appeared from between the trees, gathering silently around Dom and Karl. Harry, Lily, Andy, Viggo and Orlando respectfully kept their distance, as their prisoners gasped in dismay.

“Changeling,” said a large, dark brown centaur, and at last Dom turned and faced him. The centaur bowed deeply, looking sadly at Karl. “When we looked up to the heavens as the stars appeared, we knew he had gone from us. How did this come to pass?”

“He died fulfilling the Ancient Oath he had made to me,” said Dom, feeling pride shine through his grief. “He gave his life for mine. For this, he must be honoured, and his wife and son with him.”

The dark centaur bowed his head again. “It shall be so. But who dared assault you, Changeling? Who is responsible for the death of one of our own? They shall suffer the same fate.” Here, he cast a dark look at the bound prisoners.

Dom shook his head. “They shall be tried according to the justice of their own kind, Ferguson.”

“Human justice!” spat a smaller, jet-black centaur, his sky-blue eyes clouded with grief. “That can hardly be called justice at all!”

“Peace, Craig,” said Dom, his voice soft but authoritative. “I know how much the death of your brother affects you, for he was also like a brother to me. But suffering has been brought on many by the hands of these people tonight, myself and my mate included. It shall be as I say, and Headmaster Potter will see to it that the culprits be tried fairly.”

The centaur called Craig looked rebellious, but only muttered softly: “Harry Potter knows from experience how flawed human justice is.”

“That may be true,” said Harry, now standing beside Dom. “But Dominic is right; these people must be brought to justice by their own kind. Dominic shall be a witness for you at the trial, if he’s willing.”

Dom nodded gravely. “I will see it done. But now I must return to tend to my mate. Honour your fallen brother, my friends. I shall come back if I can.”

With that, all the centaurs bowed deeply and, taking their fallen fellow on their shoulders, disappeared into the Forest without another word, though Craig took a moment to shoot a glare at the bound prisoners which clearly told them that human justice, as far as he was concerned, would cease to matter the moment they set foot in the Forest again.

Viggo and Orlando now started Levitating the bound prisoners, but Dom stopped the groundkeeper with a hand on his shoulder. “Not the youngest ones, Vig. They were forced, and did no harm to me, or anyone else. They don’t need to be tied up.”

He gestured at Walter Nott and Mephistola Zabini, who were still clutching each other tightly, looking at the teachers with wide, fearful eyes, and the two slightly older girls, both of whom seemed to be in a state of utter shock, not responding to anything anymore.

Viggo nodded and led the way to the castle, Orlando behind, Levitating seven tightly bound figures and one stretcher on which they had strapped the wounded Lucretia. Behind Orlando followed the four younger students, who were followed by Lily, who was clutching her wand inside her robes pocket. Dom and Harry brought up the rear.

They walked in silence for a long time, until they reached the dark grounds of the castle, and saw its lights twinkle in the distance. Harry stopped the whole group for a moment.

“Viggo, please escort these - miscreants -” he jerked his thumb at the bound prisoners, “to the castle. I want you to lock those who are underage in the Astronomy Tower, and the others in the dungeons. Orlando can help you. Lily-love, please go to the Owlery and send a message in my name to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and ask that they send a team here immediately. Andy, if you would be so kind as to take these four,” he pointed at the students in front of him, “to my office, and stay with them. I will be there shortly.”

As their companions marched up to the castle to attend to their various tasks, Harry and Dom remained behind. Dom looked apprehensively up at the Headmaster, who seemed sad rather than angry. Dom didn’t know if this should make him feel any better.

He cleared his throat. “So… what happens now?”

Harry just sighed, and then looped an arm around Dom’s shoulders, pulling him along towards Viggo’s cabin. Once inside, he lit a few candles and closed the curtains, before taking a chair opposite Dom at the kitchen table.

“Now, Dominic, you are going to tell me the whole story.”

***

The first thing Elijah did when he woke up, was to close his eyes again straight away. The room he was in was very white, and also very light, which made no sense because he recalled the sun setting before he passed out.

“Well, look who finally decided to ease my loneliness.”

Elijah’s eyes snapped open again at the sound of the voice, and he blinked a few times to clear the mist in his vision, but it stubbornly remained. Then he realised someone had taken out his lenses, which he had been wearing during the Quidditch finale that already seemed years ago.

A hand came out of nowhere and put on his glasses, and the room came into focus immediately. He was in a bed in the hospital wing, bright sunlight shining in through all the windows. Madam Otto was bending over him, peering intently into his eyes, and in a chair beside his bed, wearing blue pyjama bottoms and a white T-shirt with the Star Wars logo, was Dom.

Elijah made to sit up but Madam Otto mercilessly pushed him back down. He peered around her skirts at Dom. “Are you okay?”

“Fine, considering,” said Dom with a small shrug. “But Miranda here just can’t get enough of me, so she insists that I stay a little longer.” He smiled winningly at the nurse, who blushed.

“You can sit up,” she told Elijah. “Though don’t wear yourself out.” She shot a stern glance at Dom, who gave her another winning smile. “I’ll go and get you some food.”

Dom helped Elijah prop himself up with several pillows, and after making sure he was comfortable enough, sat back in the chair.

“So, I’ve been out all night, huh?” Elijah asked, gesturing at the sunlight streaming in.

“A night and a day, actually,” said Dom, his over-casual tone telling Elijah that he’d not been so cool about it at the time. “They kept you asleep to treat your burns.”

Elijah reached up to feel his face; some parts of it felt smooth again but others were still rough and uneven to the touch. He examined his hands and arms. He still had scars, but they didn’t look quite as bad as they had before.

“We could save most of your skin, thanks to Morgan’s quick thinking,” said Madam Otto, who had by now returned with a tray of food. “Not all, sadly. Burns like that need immediate treatment to be healed entirely. But at least we kept the scarring to a minimum.”

“Do I look different?” Elijah asked apprehensively, once she had returned to her office.

“A little,” Dom admitted. “And you can forget about going sunbathing. You’ll never get an even tan now.”

When Elijah looked back at him, pained, Dom got up and sat down on the bed, taking his lover’s face in his hands, smiling reassuringly. “It doesn’t matter, Elijah, not to me. Yes, you have scars, I know that, and I will love every single one of them until the day I die. But do you really believe that I, of all people, would judge you by the way you look?”

Elijah had no defense against this logic, so he simply rested his face against Dom’s chest, rejoicing in the fact that he could do so, now.

“What about you?” he asked after a while. “Did Potter fire you?”

“Not yet,” said Dom, rubbing his lover’s back. “There’s to be an inquiry about the whole thing, so we’re both suspended until then.”

“Oh.” Elijah thought he’d be more upset about this, coming right before his exams, but things like that didn’t matter so much to him at the moment. The point was that he was alive, and that Dom was alive and was with him.

Madam Otto came out of her office again, looking sternly at the two of them, and Dom meekly slid off the bed and back into his chair to let Elijah eat his food.

She had just taken the tray away and fluffed up the pillows at her patient’s back before retreating to her office with a fond look at the pair of them, when Dom looked over his shoulder, frowning. “Looks like someone’s come to visit.”

Elijah looked at the entrance and, seeing who it was, his eyes widened. “Oh shit. Quick, hide me!”

He looked around for a good hiding place, found none, and finally as a last resort childishly pulled the blankets up over his head.

“Elijah,” said Dom, half-laughing as he tried to pull them away. “What is it?”

“It’s my Dad!”

Dom stopped tugging at the blanket and looked with more interest at the figure now striding down the ward towards them. Sure enough, closer examination revealed him to be an older, taller, and burlier version of Elijah, with the same large eyes, except that his were brown.

Oliver Wood came to a halt in front of his son’s bed, sighing deeply. “Elijah.”

“Hi, Dad,” said the Elijah-shaped lump of blankets.

“Will you at least look at me?” said Mr. Wood, and Dom was surprised to hear the clear Scottish brogue coming from the father of Elijah, who was so obviously American himself.

In response, Elijah pulled back the blanket a tiny bit, so that the top of his head became visible and his blue eyes peered out at his father. Mr. Wood pursed his lips in a way that made Dom smile, reminding him again of the son he so resembled.

“I came as fast as I could when I heard what happened. Elijah, is it true what Harry tells me? You’re having an affair with your teacher? And will you please look at me, lad?” he added in exasperation, as Elijah was still holding the blanket up to his face.

“He’s got burns on his face, sir,” Dom clarified politely, earning him a glare from his lover. “There’s some scarring, and he’s a bit shy about it. Maybe you can talk him out of it.”

“And who, may I ask, are you?” asked Mr. Wood not unkindly, looking back and forth between his son and Dom.

“I’m the teacher you just mentioned,” said Dom proudly. “Dom Monaghan.” He held out his hand for his lover’s father to shake.

As realisation dawned on the man’s face, Dom also detected another emotion: relief. Clearly, with the term ‘teacher’, Mr. Wood had had quite a different sort of person in mind.

“Ah,” he said, quickly shaking off his surprise and accepting Dom’s hand. “I see. And if I might ask a personal question, Professor Monaghan, how old are you?”

“Twenty-three, sir.”

The relief was now evident on the man’s face. It was obvious he had been afraid that his son had fallen into the clutches of some dirty old man. “Aren’t you a bit young to be a teacher then, lad?”

“I am fully qualified, sir, I do assure you,” Dom replied. “You can ask the Headmaster for my credentials, if you like.”

“Oh, I’m sure that’s all perfectly fine,” said Mr. Wood, a grin tugging at the corners of his mouth. “I must say, Professor, that you’ve taken a load off my mind. For a moment I thought my son had fallen back into his earlier… well, he’ll have told you.”

“So he has,” said Dom, smiling slightly. “But have no doubt sir, that I truly love your son. I would never do anything to hurt him. He means the world to me.”

Elijah’s father looked pleased, nodding his approval. “I am glad to hear that, Mr. Monaghan. My son deserves no less.”

Elijah had been watching the exchange between his father and his lover over the edge of his blanket, and now slowly lowered it. “I love Dom, Dad,” he whispered. “And I don’t care if I get expelled over it. Well, not much,” he amended, thinking of his dream to become a Guide.

“Hmm, yes, well, I’d still prefer that doesn’t happen,” said his father, taking the place on the bed Dom had so recently occupied, and examining his son’s now exposed face, sighing.

“You mean it’s not yet certain?” asked Elijah, exchanging a hopeful look with Dom.

“Well, Harry and I talked it over, and we checked the school rules, and we’re pretty sure you’re safe,” said Mr. Wood, sitting back. “You are of age, so you can pretty much do whatever you want, as long as you don’t break school rules while you’re doing it.”

Elijah’s look of relief was wiped off his face almost instantly as his father continued: “unfortunately, in Mr. Monaghan’s case, it’s a tougher call. School rules clearly state that teachers are to treat all students equally. So there’ll be an investigation into that, as well as… other charges made against him.” He grimaced.

“But they can’t get him fired… can they?” Elijah’s eyes went from Dom, who looked resigned, to his father, who shook his head gravely.

“I don’t know, Elijah. I really don’t know.”


Tags: au, crossover, enchantment, fic
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