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.
Rating: This chapter PG-13
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.
As I said last week, my beta avondster won't have much time anymore to look over my chapters, so this chapter (and hopefully those still to come) is beta'd by my sparkly new beta pinkegogirl. Thank you so much, darling!
Chapter 10: In which there is more angst, but also sympathy, and just a little bit of romance...
Hallowe’en was approaching quickly now, and with that came the first Quidditch game of the season, so apart from classes and homework and the ever-looming exams, Elijah now also had four training sessions a week to keep him occupied. He didn’t mind too much, since it was a perfect distraction from the fact that his feelings for Professor Monaghan were still very much there. After all, there was nothing like two hours of testicle-crushing broom-riding to take one’s mind off anything having to do with the lower regions of the body.
Dom was also valiantly trying to keep his mind off things, but often found his gaze straying from the homework he was grading to the window of his room, from which he could see the Gryffindors practicing on the pitch. And his wistful looks, this time, were not directed at Elijah Wood.
The first Hogsmeade visit of the year was scheduled on Hallowe’en, and everyone in the castle – both students and teachers – was looking forward to it. Every child above the age of thirteen could be heard in the corridors, making plans: loudly if they wanted to show off, in hushed whispers if they were planning something illegal.
For their harried caretakers, the outing also provided a more than welcome break. The Heads of Houses – McKellen, Lee, Hill and Rhys-Davies, each one of them sensible and respectable – shocked the other teachers by announcing they were going to the Hog’s Head to get well and truly plastered. Harry, Astin, and Serkis each had their families coming over, and Billy went on and on to Dom about his girlfriend coming to visit.
“You really should come to the village with me,” he insisted. “It’ll do you some good, mate, you’ve been looking pale for weeks. You deserve a bit of a break. Besides, I want you to meet my Ali! What d’you say?”
“Nah, Bills, I’m good,” said Dom evasively. “It’ll be nice and quiet here, and I am way behind on my marking anyway. You go and have fun with your girl, yeah? Tell her I said hey.”
Billy’s brilliant smile disappeared and a frown appeared on his high forehead. “Dom… don’t you think you’re taking this a wee bit too serious? You work too hard, lad. Come on, come with us. Take a break.”
Dom looked up again at his friend, eyes now morosely raincloud grey. “This is my break, Billy. Hogsmeade may be relaxing for you and everyone else, but to me it’s just another crowd. And you know I’m not too keen on those.” His voice was firm, though tinged with sadness and regret. “Believe me; it’s best for me to stay here.”
Billy bit his lip, looking at Dom with green eyes full of sympathy, and squeezed his friend’s shoulder affectionately. “Aye, Dom, I understand. It’s not easy for you, mate, is it?”
Dom just shook his head, staring determinedly at the floor.
The day of Hallowe’en dawned bright and clear, but cold. The castle was buzzing with anticipation, and not just for the Hallowe’en feast.
Students were already lining up by the front door when Dom came back from breakfast. They were wrapped up in cloaks and scarves, talking excitedly amongst themselves, cheeks red and eyes glittering. Bloom was standing next to the double doors, eyes darting nervously from side to side, as if he was expecting a hitwizard to pop up between the students and blast him to smithereens at any moment.
“Do you need a hand, Orlando?” yelled Dom over the heads of the students, causing the young caretaker to jump in fright and nearly fall over. He managed to stay on his feet, however, and waved feebly at Dom. “No, thank you, Professor Monaghan. Professor Boyd should be here at any moment to…”
“Dom!” a voice shouted at that moment, echoing through the hall, making Orlando jump again. Dom turned to see Billy coming up to them, followed by a pretty girl he could only assume to be his girlfriend.
“There you are!” said Billy, grinning. “I’d hoped to catch you before we go, since I don’t know when I’ll see you again today. I’d like you to meet Ali. Ali, this is Dom.”
Billy’s girlfriend was just as Dom had imagined her to be: a little faerie of a girl, small, delicate and very graceful, with a sweet smile and an even sweeter character. He felt comfortable with her immediately as they talked in a corner of the Hall while Billy was supervising the goings-on at the door.
At last, when the castle seemed to have been emptied entirely, Billy and Ali took their leave of Dom and set off towards Hogsmeade, hands clasped as they walked.
Dom gazed after them wistfully for a while, once again feeling that stab of regret he had become so familiar with. But he let it go, as he always did; no point in dwelling on what might have been.
He set out into the corridor towards his office, having half a mind to actually go and get some marking done, then stopped as the distinctive smell of cloves reached his nostrils.
He wasn’t alone in the castle after all.
In one of the small enclosed courtyards that lined the corridor to his office, there stood a lone figure, exhaling a cloud of smoke every few seconds. Dom recognized him at once.
Elijah was not dressed in his usual school robes, but in a pair of artfully bleached jeans and a grey hooded jumper that said ‘Pullover United’. His hands were shaking with cold even as he raised his cigarette to his mouth to take another drag.
Dom cleared his throat loudly, and the boy nearly dropped his cigarette, making a funny sort of pirouette to face Dom, who was frowning.
“I thought I was the only one left here.”
“I thought I was,” replied Elijah with wide eyes, bringing the cigarette to his mouth again.
Dom raised his eyebrows. “Even so, it is still forbidden to smoke in the castle.”
“Well, I’m not in the castle, strictly speaking,” said Elijah, gesturing to the storm-grey sky above, but he put out his fag nonetheless.
“Hm,” said Dom, wishing he could think of a wittier remark. “You do know that stuff will kill you, right?”
Elijah shrugged, bending over to retrieve the cigarette where he had stamped it out. God, he had a gorgeous ass. Hold on, Monaghan, not going there.
Dom searched his mind for something sensible to say. “Why aren’t you in Hogsmeade?”
“Didn’t feel like it, really,” said Elijah curtly, not looking at Dom as he threw the remains of his fag in the nearest litter bin. Dom noted that his cheeks went suspiciously pink, and concluded, once again, that Elijah was a terrible liar.
“You’re right, it’s none of my business anyway,” he said, waving his hand, and he should have continued saying something like ‘have a good day’ or ‘see you around’, but what came out instead was:
“Would you like to come and have tea with me?”
Shocked by his own words, he looked at Elijah anxiously. The boy was watching him, head cocked, a tiny frown above his nose, as if considering his options. Then…
“Yeah, sure, why not. It’s not like I’ve anywhere to go.”
“Great!” said Dom, just a little too high-pitched. “Um… follow me, then.”
He continued his way towards his office, because taking a student to his own room would be a bit… suggestive. Not that he was planning to do anything immoral to said student, of course. Because he had agreed with himself that such an action would result in more trouble than it was worth. Right? Right.
They entered Monaghan’s office, and the older man fetched Elijah a chair before rolling up his sleeves and busying himself with the kettle. Elijah plopped down and started biting his nails distractedly as he watched his teacher tap the kettle with his wand. It started steaming almost immediately, and Monaghan, conjuring up mugs and a box of teabags, turned back to him.
“Just out of curiosity: how were you planning to spend a day alone in the castle? Apart from trying to catch your death by either smoking or frostbite, obviously.”
Elijah shrugged again. “Dunno. Homework. Reading. Maybe a bit of last-minute practice for tomorrow’s game.”
“Oh, right, Gryffindor versus Slytherin, innit?” said Monaghan, and Elijah looked up in surprise at the obvious excitement in the older man’s voice. Clearly he liked Quidditch, considering the way his eyes started to shine at the mention of the game.
“I think you stand a very good chance, I’ve seen you training. You’ve the stronger team at any rate. And you’re a far better Seeker than young Nott.”
“Well, I’m not bad,” admitted Elijah, blushing slightly. “But there have been better Seekers than me. My reflexes sometimes aren’t what I wish they’d be.”
“True,” admitted Monaghan, looking thoughtful. “But your Chasers are superb. A very strong trio of formation-fliers indeed, and their passes, almost seamless! Your friend Lily is one, I believe, and one of the Longbottom girls… Frances, right? And that rather adorable fifth-year girl, what’s her name again…?”
“Emilie,” said Elijah, surprised at his teacher’s expertise. “You’re right, they’re awesome. If you see how they work together, you wouldn’t say that Frances has only joined us last year.”
Monaghan nodded. “But your strongest point, without a doubt, is your Keeper. She’s one of the best I’ve ever seen. Excellent flying work. Who is she?”
Elijah grinned proudly. “That would be Morgan Malfoy.”
“Really? Hadn’t recognized her from afar. So she’s beautiful, intelligent, very nice, and a top-sportswoman to boot. Some people have everything, eh?”
There was a silence, in which Elijah noticed a slightly bitter expression flash over his teacher’s face, before he gathered himself and continued just as enthusiastically. “Your Beaters, however, have room for improvement. Their cooperation isn’t as it should be, and they often leave huge holes in the defense…”
Over an hour went by without either of the young men noticing. They had found a common ground in Quidditch, and were soon engrossed in a heated discussion about tactics and moves, all awkwardness forgotten along with their cold tea.
Elijah was delighted. Even though many of his fellow students were avid Quidditch-fans, none of them had displayed such expertise of the game itself as Monaghan had. The only one he could think of who knew more of the game would be his father, who owned the only Quidditch Academy in the world. Elijah had missed the long talks with his dad and his older brother, who played professionally. Being able to talk with someone the way he talked to them made him feel very much at home.
“Professor Monaghan?” he said as his teacher paused his passionate speech about the importance of Beaters to a team to take a sip of his tea, only to spit it back out, grimacing, “can I ask you something, sir?”
“Sure you can, Elijah,” said Monaghan, wiping his mouth. “Only… call me Dom, yeah? All that formal stuff sounds a bit silly outside of the classroom. I’m only four years older than you, mate.”
“Okay… Dom,” said Elijah, “have you played Quidditch yourself? I mean, what with the way you talk about it and…”
He trailed off when he saw Dom’s expression darkening. “I’m… I’m sorry; it’s none of my business…”
“I was a Beater,” said Dom, cutting off his apology. “In the Institution home team. I’d loved Quidditch ever since I learned about it, but I didn’t play at Hogwarts because I was too scared I might lose control, you know, because of the excitement and all. I did practice, though, on my own, and that went great, so when I left school and got accepted at the Institution, I figured I’d give it a go. I got into the team, and we trained, and it all went splendidly… until the first game.”
He paused for a moment, closing his eyes miserably, taking a deep breath. “It was all too much, the nerves, the noise, all those people… I couldn’t handle it all. I just snapped, lost control completely. It scared everyone senseless; one girl even fell off her broom and was injured. We were disqualified for using magic during the game.”
“But it wasn’t your fault!” said Elijah furiously.
“No one could prove that, Elijah,” said Dom softly. “They only had my word, and as you may know, the word of a half-human doesn’t weigh too heavily for some people. So I resigned from the team before they could kick me out themselves. After losing a game like that they didn’t stand a chance in the championship anymore. You can imagine why I didn’t make many friends during my remaining time there.”
“But you’ve got friends here, now,” said Elijah. “Professor Boyd, and Serkis and Astin, and Mortensen…”
Dom tried valiantly to smile. “True. But still, you know? People don’t seem to want to look me in the eye, once they know what I am. I think I scare them. They aren’t very comfortable with a creature that can be this unpredictable.” He laughed mirthlessly.
Elijah didn’t smile. Instead, he leaned forward and, never breaking eye contact, reached over the table, putting his hand on Dom’s bare forearm. “You don’t scare me.”
Dom didn’t wince or flinch away at Elijah’s touch or look. His eyes, however, once again turned bright blue, and then darkened. Elijah found himself drawn to them, irresistibly, and he didn’t realize he was leaning forward even more until he noticed that Dom was, too. The eyes, now almost black, came closer and closer, Elijah could feel breath on his face, began to close his eyes…
The image of a purple heart, drawn on a parchment envelope, popped suddenly and vividly into his fuzzy thoughts, roughly interrupting the moment. He remembered Tara Sullivan who was waiting for this man back in Wicklow, and froze abruptly.
For seconds they stared at each other, breathing heavily, faces only millimeters apart.
Then Elijah jumped up, knocking his chair over, and ran out of the room.