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 for now
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. Other chapters are in my journal. This one, once again, is unbeta'd. Sorry!
Chapter 8: In which Elijah can't lie to save his life, Dom is amused, and an owl's ego is deeply hurt.
Dom felt rather cheerful on his way to the Owlery. The rest of his first day had gone rather well, considering. He’d had Ravenclaw five and Slytherin seven after lunchbreak, and even though the girl Andy’d warned him about had flashed him an outrageous amount of cleavage as she bent over his desk to get a spare piece of parchment, and the oldest Slytherins had looked at him as if he were unworthy of their attention, he figured it could have been worse. He could have had another incident like the one he’d had with Elijah.
The young Gryffindor had been on his mind all day, as Dom tried to figure out why the boy had made him lose control, even for a second. Because he’d gotten too close, obviously, but Billy had often sat just as close to him, and Dom had never had any trouble with that.
Was it the obvious interest the American had in him? Dom was not stupid, most definitely not blind, and pretty much an expert in body language (not having your own body tended to make you look closer at those of others), and it wasn’t as if it was very hard to notice.
He was sure any other teacher – hell, any other person on the planet – might feel flattered by the attention of Elijah Wood. But Dom knew to have no illusions; people were often interested, even fascinated by him, not so much for who he was, but for what he was. This, no doubt, was no different.
Except that it is, a little voice inside him insisted, because he already showed interest in you at the feast, before he knew who you were.
Dom silenced the uplifting thought. For all he knew, Elijah might have Seers in his family, or perhaps he’d some woodspirit in him; Dom would not put that past him either, with his elfin, otherwordly looks. In that case he would at once have seen Dom for what he was.
But the question was not really about why he was so interesting to the boy, but why it had affected Dom the way it had.
He was still pondering this as he opened the door to the Owlery, and unexpectedly stood face to face, for the second time today, with Elijah Wood.
Dom startled violently, and for a moment his control slipped.
At moments like this, when the change was unexpected, Dom usually had no idea, after, what he’d changed into, but since the one on his mind and the one who gave him such a fright were the same person, it wasn’t very hard to figure out this time, especially with Elijah’s eyes going unnaturally wide the way they did. Dom covered his face.
“Jesus, that was freaky!” the boy blurted out, eyes still roughly the size of saucers.
Dom winced inwardly at the remark, though he doubted it had been intentional, and molded himself back into the familiar shape before grinning rather humourlessly.
“Do you insist on spooking me every time I see you?”
Now it was Elijah’s turn to wince, visibly, and Dom immediately regretted his semi-jesting words. Elijah was staring at the floor and mumbled “I’m sorry”.
“Hey, don’t apologise,” said Dom quickly, touching his shoulder. “’s not your fault. You just startled me is all, and that’s what happens then. I suppose it must indeed have looked ‘freaky’ to you.”
Elijah looked up and winced again. “I shouldn’t have said that, sir, sorry.”
“Nah,” Dom waved his hand dismissively. “Like I said, nothing to be sorry for. You startled me, and I startled you. We both reacted instinctively. No harm done.”
“Okay,” said Elijah, smiling hesitantly, before a mischievous spark came into those disconcerting eyes and his smile turned into a grin. “I don’t know, to be honest, if I should feel flattered or insulted that you turn into me when someone spooks you, sir.”
Dom laughed genuinely at that, his nerves calming. “Cheeky fucker, aren’t you? Well, if you’d paid more attention in class today, Mr. Wood, you’d have found out that I change into whatever is on my mind at the time. So when I open the door, expecting to find an empty Owlery at this hour, and instead I almost crash into you…”
He paused and frowned. “What are you doing here, anyway?”
The relaxed stance the boy had assumed quickly evaporated, and he lowered his eyes. “Oh, nothing. You know, just thought I’d, um, get away from the noise a bit, you know…get a bit of fresh air…”
Dom narrowed his eyes in suspicion. Elijah was a piss-poor liar, and his excuse damn well near laughable. Dom imagined that if one would want to have some peace from the noise of the common room, there were better places to go in the castle than the Owlery, with its constant racket of hooting and screeching.
His own eyes now glinting evilly, Dom drew an exaggerated deep breath through his nose, followed by a long exhale that nearly left him gagging. “Ah, yes, that fresh air here, nothing like it, really.”
He watched in amusement as Elijah’s pale face began to blush a vivid shade of pink. Also, during his little act, Dom thought he’d caught a whiff of something quite different than the usual smells of the owls, and he suddenly realised that the younger man’s foot had been twisting and shuffling on the same spot since their meeting.
Dom sniffed again, and there was no mistaking it. Elijah looked up at him, biting his lip in anxiety of his teacher’s judgment.
“Hmm,” said Dom thoughtfully. He really didn’t feel like dealing out punishments on his first day. “Well, Mr. Wood, next time you decide to go for some fresh air, I suggest you go somewhere that hasn’t got a wooden floor. Understood?” He frowned severely for good measure.
Elijah’s head shot up, and he nodded frantically, his relief evident. “Yes, sir.”
Dom smiled at him again. “Allright then. No harm done.”
Elijah couldn’t believe his luck. Here he was, caught in the act of breaking a school rule that could easily have had him expelled, considering his criminal record. Caught by a teacher, no less, and one he had already had trouble with twice today. And still, Monaghan would not turn him in? Why?
He looked thoughtfully at the young teacher, who was now browsing the rows of school owls, trying to select one. It wasn’t until then that Elijah discovered Monaghan was holding a small package and a letter in his hand.
“Uh, Professor Monaghan, sir?” said Elijah. “If you need an owl, you can borrow mine if you like.” He owed this guy big time now, and felt the need to do something in return.
Monaghan smiled again. He may not have taken on the looks of a supermodel, but he’d sure given himself some smile, Elijah thought absently.
“Thanks, that’d be nice. My own owl is already out on a journey, and this is a special delivery that is rather important to me.”
Elijah nodded and turned, his eyes scanning the rows of owls until he located his own, sleeping with his head under his wing. “Eeyore! Eeyore, come on, work to do!”
He watched the owl open his eyes lazily, stretching his wings, and then Eeyore was flying towards him, onto his outstretched arm. He was a particularly handsome tawny owl, roughly twice the size of Elijah’s fist.
Monaghan raised one eyebrow. “Um… are you sure he can manage it? I mean, it’s quite a burden for him, and it has to go all the way to Ireland.”
Elijah giggled as Eeyore ruffled his feathers indignantly, glaring at the stranger who’d hurt his pride.
“How can you say that, sir!” he exclaimed in mock outrage, winking at his teacher. “He may be a bit on the smallish side, but Eeyore here is made to carry heavy burdens over incredibly long distances. He’s a phoenix in pocket-size, really!” The owl on his arm drew himself up haughtily.
Monaghan snorted with laughter. “Eeyore? As in the donkey from ‘Winnie the Pooh’?”
“Yeah, so?” said Elijah defensively. “He was my sister’s, and she gave him to me when I came to Hogwarts. His name’s actually Iorhael, she got it from some book or other and thought it was pretty. I think it’s too long for him, so I kinda shortened it.”
His teacher nodded, still snickering. “Well, all right, you’ve convinced me. Here, let me…”
He reached out to take Eeyore from Elijah, but the little tawny bird snapped at his fingers, clearly irritated at being laughed at.
“Eeyore!” Elijah tapped his owl’s beak sharply with his index finger in reprimand, and stretched out his hand for the letter and the package. “Let me do it. His Highness is cranky.”
This earned him a sharp nip as well, but Elijah didn’t care. Monaghan had given the apparently precious items to him, and he felt strangely curious about them. On the back of both envelopes, a little heart had been drawn in purple ink, and both were addressed to the same person: Miss Tara Sullivan, Wicklow, Ireland.
Elijah felt a strange feeling of disappointment. So Monaghan had a girlfriend then, in Ireland, that he was sending letters and presents. Well, of course he had. Strange really, how students never really thought or cared about whether their teachers had lives and families outside school. But now, Elijah found himself curious. He wondered who this Tara was, what she looked like, and what it must be like for her, having a Changeling for a lover. Not this Changeling specifically, naturally.
He finished tying the compact but still rather heavy package to Eeyore’s leg and carried the small owl to the window, barely minding the wing that smacked him in the face rather hard as his owl took off in a huff.
He turned to find Monaghan smiling at him. “Thanks, mate, I really appreciate it. Though I do hope I haven’t insulted your owl so badly that he’ll ‘accidentally’ lose his burden just as he’s flying over the Irish Sea.”
Elijah laughed. “Nah, he’s more likely to show up on your windowsill in a day or so, nearly dead with exhaustion, just to show off that he can do it that fast.”
The young teacher laughed with him, then checked his watch. “Well, it’s almost time for dinner, and I must say I’m starving. You guys have worn me out today. I’m off to the Hall before that bastard Boyd’s eaten all the best stuff. You coming?”
“In a moment, I just need to…” Elijah trailed off, kicking the dirt.
“… get rid of the evidence,” Monaghan finished for him, his eyes twinkling with barely concealed amusement. “Well, I’ll leave you to your business then, Mr. Wood. Easy on the ‘fresh air’, yeah?”
And he was gone, snickering evilly, leaving Elijah blushing furiously while he finished covering up the remains of his cigarettes.