Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Shades of Gray

Chapter 1: The Book

by Shadow_Rebirth 13 Reviews

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Characters: Harry - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2008/06/11 - Updated: 2008/06/24 - 4859 words

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Title: Shades of Gray: The Book
Author: Shadow Rebirth
Beta Reader: StormyBabe1988
Rating: T/PG-13
Warnings: Death, blood and gore, language, spoilers
Chapter WC: 4,624
Story WC: 4,624
Last Edited: November 13, 2008
Posted: June 14, 2007
Summary: Harry has a dark secret: He isn't a wizard. But that certainly doesn't mean he can't do magic. It was too bad it also meant that in the face of fanatical governments and enraged demigods, Voldemort was going to be the least of his problems. AU, Gray!Harry, foreign school, vampires, werewolves, politics, no pairings.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. This work has not been endorsed by J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury Publishing, Scholastic Publishing, Warner Bros., or any of the others holding copyright or license to the Harry Potter books, movies, and products. No connection is implied or should be inferred. Other names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author receives no financial gain from its production or distribution.

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Shades of Gray

Chapter 1
The Book

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A fist sized glass ball floated in the air, spinning. Abruptly, it jerked upward, then to the side, then to the other side. A few seconds later it was flying in every which direction, doing loops and fancy tricks in the air.

A pair of deep emerald green eyes intensely watched the glass orb, though their owner didn't appear to be concentrating very hard. Instead, he was glaring off into space past the ball, lost in thought.

Suddenly a door off to the side opened, causing light to spill into the previously dim room. Instantaneously, the glass ball dropped out of the air and into a fifteen year old Harry Potter's hand. Said boy then quickly looked up at the door, fixing his expression into that of neutrality.

"Hey," Dean Thomas said as he closed the door to the Gryffindor fifth year boys' dorm. Harry, who was lying on his stomach on his four poster bed, nodded to him in reply. Dean stood awkwardly with his back to the dorm door for a moment before coughing into his hand and striding across the room to where his own bed was. He rooted around in his trunk for a minute, uncomfortably aware of the intense stare that was directed toward his back via the infamous Boy-Who-Lived. Once he'd found what he'd been looking for, he quickly moved to leave the room.

Against his own instincts, Dean stopped before the door. Clearing his throat slightly, he turned around to face Harry.

"Hey..." Dean began hesitantly. Harry cocked his head to the side, indicating that he was listening but otherwise making no move to speak. Dean opened and closed his mouth a few times before finally gathering the courage to continue. "Are you okay, Harry? 'Cause...you know..."

Harry studied Dean for another moment before turning his attention back to the glass ball in his hands. "...I'm fine," Harry replied. When Dean didn't make any move to leave, he glanced up at the dark skinned boy again. "Really I am," he added.

Dean didn't look as though he believed him. He shifted uncomfortably for another moment and looked as though he wanted to say more, but in the end the uneasiness of the situation won out over him. With just a simple nod, Dean slipped out of the dorm room, closing the door soundly behind him.

As soon as his dorm mate's footsteps on the stairs had faded away, Harry let out a deep sigh. He had nearly been caught that time. Glancing at the nightstand behind him, Harry took note of the wand--his wand--that was resting there innocently. Other times he'd had his wand near his hand so that he could easily come up with an excuse if someone noticed him doing anything odd, but this time...

Sighing once more, Harry shifted his attention back to the glass orb in his hands and his expression quickly shifted into that of a glare. He snarled quietly, not because of anger over anything to do with the glass ball, but just in anger over the direction--or rather downward spiral--that his life had taken recently. In a fit of unrestrained anger, he tossed the glass ball at the far wall, but stopped it with his magic just centimeters before it made contact with the wall. Harry called the ball back to him and caught it deftly in his hands. It wouldn't do to damage to glass orb; it was Neville's remembrall, not his, and he had it for no reason other than that it was something to practice his magic on.

Why was Harry practicing magic on a glass ball? Well, Harry had a dark secret. It was something that he'd never told anyone, not even his closest friends. It was something that no one would ever guess about him, and partially for that reason he held it close to his heart. And if things continued as they had for years, then no one would ever find out.

You see, Harry Potter wasn't a wizard. He never had been. For as long as he could remember, Harry had been able to use magic. And it wasn't like the accidental magic that all young witches and wizards experienced, but rather something much more controlled. In fact, he'd have to say that he had just as much control over his magic today as he did when he was three.

Now, one might say that this just meant that Harry was more powerful that usual. This was exactly what Harry had thought when he first found out about the Wizarding World, and about how witches and wizards had to use wands to accomplish feats of magic.

The problem, however, ran deeper than that. Harry discovered this when he went to Ollivanders: None of the wands did anything for him. They were like dead pieces of sticks in his hands and didn't react at all to his magic. After going through several dozen wands, Harry got so fed up that he just used his own magic to make it look as though one of the wands had "chosen" him. It was pure irony that that particular wand just so happened to be Voldemort's brother wand. Fate seemed to hate him that way.

Since discovering that he was different, Harry had gone to great lengths to hide his differences from the rest of the Wizarding World. It wasn't that difficult, really, considering as he'd been doing the same for all of his life to hide his abilities from the Dursleys. Harry had figured out at a very young age that the Dursleys--and humans in general--hated and feared anything that was different from what they considered normal. Because of this, Harry had been careful to never show his abilities to his family or anyone else. He had experimented with them in private, figuring out what his limits were and exactly what he could do.

Another thing that Harry had had to hide from the Dursleys was his intellect. Harry had always been an incredibly bright boy, which wasn't surprising since his entire life had been a fight for survival. When one grows up in such a situation, they tend to be very observant and able to use most anything to adapt to survive. Harry was no exception and he'd found that he generally caught onto things a lot quicker than others his age.

Harry had, however, pretended to be normal in order to avoid notice. But this didn't stop him from going down to the public library in his spare time and spending hours upon hours reading anything that he could get his hands on. He learnt a lot this way; in fact most of what he'd learnt in primary school was not from school itself but from that library.

Harry was also fortunate that he usually had a lot of time to go to the library. Contrary to what he had told his friends, his relatives hadn't given him very many chores when he was younger for fear that the neighbors would notice. Instead they would just kick him out of the house and leave him up to his own devices. This was actually how the rumors that he was a "hoodlum" had started; after all, what kind of a child spent barely any time at home? Harry couldn't help but chuckle at what the neighbors would think if they found out where he'd spent all his time.

One would probably wonder that, if Harry was so bright, why was he only an average student at Hogwarts? The answer to this frustrated Harry quite a bit. He knew that he could do quite well if left to his own devices, but he had to follow the Hogwarts curriculum, and mimicking the spells that they were supposed to do was more difficult than most would think.

You see, Harry did magic differently that anyone else. For wizards, it was as simple as an incantation, a wand movement, and an intention. For Harry to cast a spell he had to understand what he was doing almost on a molecular level and how and why the results that he had wanted to happen would happen. For even a simple spell he would have to spend quite some time in the school library researching the spell and what it did so that he could mimic the result accurately, and waving a stick around while doing so certainly didn't help his concentration.

Doing the amount of work for every spell that Harry did left him with very little time to experiment on his own. Because of this, Harry was bound to the work that all Hogwarts students did and he couldn't work on finding out more about what his own powers did. Harry did, however, get several ideas that he never would have thought of before coming to Hogwarts--the Fidelius charm was a prime example of this.

With a sigh, Harry shifted his position so that he was lying on his back. Hiding the fact that he was different had been much more difficult than he'd thought when first deciding to come to Hogwarts. Just in the first year he'd had to get used to attempting to mimic the spells that. On top of that he'd had difficulty fitting into the Gryffindor house. This in itself was something that he'd completely understood: during the sorting ceremony the Sorting Hat had been completely adamant about putting him in Slytherin, insisting that it was the only place for him, more so even than the Ravenclaw that Harry had originally guessed he'd be placed in.

Harry did have to agree with the hat's decision; after all he had grown up having to be as cunning as possibly in order to survive. However, contrary to what many people believed, Harry was neither stupid nor naïve. He knew that if went into the so called "dark house" then many people would believe him to be dark and thus shun him. Not to mention it'd place a lot of extra scrutiny onto him, and that was something that he definitely didn't want.

No, Harry knew that he had to be placed into Gryffindor in order to appease people's curiosity. In the end, the only way that'd he gotten the hat to do so was by convincing it that a true Slytherin would be placed in Gryffindor, since no one would expect that.

'A snake in a lion's den...' Harry thought with a dark chuckle.

After that, the year had only turned stranger and stranger and he had eventually become friends with Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger. Harry had to admit that they were the closest friends that he'd ever had. They may have been different from him and in reality didn't even really know the "real" Harry Potter, but they were still good friends, if not the best.

Of course, simple school yard drama wasn't the worst of the year. No, instead all of the strangeness accumulated in the end of the year, when Harry's curiosity had gotten the better of him and he and his two friends had gone to try to "save" the Philosopher's Stone. There, when Quirrel had attempted to kill him, the professor had found that he couldn't touch Harry without being hurt himself. Harry still wasn't sure why exactly that was, and didn't believe for a moment the "love" bull that Headmaster Dumbledore had fed him.

After that, Harry knew that he should have expected that his second year would be strange as well, but nothing could have prepared him for the opening of the Chamber of Secrets. The school year itself had been okay--if one ignored the terror that had spread throughout the student body.

He had to admit though that finding out that he could speak to snakes had been fairly interesting. At first he had thought that it was just another strange thing about him, but then he'd been told that it was an ability inherited by "dark wizards". To this day Harry wasn't sure whether his ability to speak Parsletongue was connected to Voldemort or his non-wizard-like abilities.

At the end of the year the strangeness had once again accumulated to one final meeting. This time he had had to fight off an ancient Basilisk and destroy Riddle's memory. The Basilisk itself hadn't been very difficult to defeat; that had only taken a few minutes. He'd had to make up a story about using Gryffindor's sword to kill the beast though, since Riddle had had his wand during the fight and thus he shouldn't have been able to use magic. Plus, saying that he'd pulled out Gryffindor's sword helped to cement the belief that he was a "true" Gryffindor.

Fortunately, Harry's third year had been much quieter, and thus much easier to keep his abilities hidden. His meeting with his Godfather had made it a year to remember though. Also, finding out about Time-Turners had been interesting, and had caused several ideas to begin whirling around in his mind. Would it be possible to mimic the effects of time turners without having to use one? The only problem was that he'd probably need to understand how time works for that, and that was something that no one knew.

Learning the Patronus was definitely a highlight of that year. It was quite easily the hardest spell that he'd ever had to master, especially since there was little to no know background on the spell. The main reason as to why he'd finally been able to master the spell was really just instinct and desperation.

In contrast to his third year, Harry's fourth year had been the most active of them yet. Unfortunately it also put a lot of spotlight on him and his magical ability. It was very lucky that no one had caught onto to the fact that he was different, especially considering that he'd had to get through all of the tasks with everyone's attention solely on him.

After completing the third task, Harry had had to fight with a fully revived Voldemort. That was easily the most terrifying experience Harry had ever had to go through, and for him that was really saying something. The strangest part about that encounter meeting was when he'd dueled with Voldemort. For whatever reason--though most likely because his wand and Voldemort's were brothers--his wand had literally taken control of his magic, causing a golden beam to connect.

Harry squeezed his eyes shut as his thoughts shifted to his fifth year at Hogwarts, a year that was only just ending. This year had been his worst year at Hogwarts yet, if not as active as his fourth. The reason for this was because Sirius, his Godfather, had--

Abruptly a sharp cracking noise erupted to Harry's left, causing the dark haired teen to shoot up in his bed. Looking off to his right, Harry cursed as he saw cracks in glass of the window there. Sighing once more, he concentrated and caused the glass to instantly mend itself back to its flawless state. Harry then slumped back onto his bed, his face in his hands.

This was why he had to be careful and keep his emotions in check; Harry had a tight control over his magic, but his magic also reacted strongly to his emotions. Whenever he got too angry or emotional, things around him tended to either break or react strangely. Because of this, he usually attempted to keep his emotions relatively neutral while reacting differently on this outside.

Harry rolled over once more, this time onto his stomach again so that he could hide his face in his pillow, and forcefully turned his thoughts back to the events that had happened just a couple of weeks ago. Fighting in the Ministry had been hard, considering that he'd, once again, had to keep his abilities under wraps. But then, Sirius had been killed and he hadn't been able to stop him because he'd been too damn slow. Harry had only turned just in time to watch horrified as Sirius fell through the veil, unable to do anything about it.

As if that tragedy wasn't enough, Hedwig, the faithful owl that she was, had followed him and his friends to the Ministry. Harry hadn't even known that she had until she swooped down just before a killing curse hit Harry, courtesy of Lucius Malfoy, taking the hit for him. That night Harry had lost two of the beings closest to him: his Godfather and his first friend. And though he wasn't sure if he should, Harry couldn't help but blame Dumbledore.

The old Headmaster had been a direct cause for many of the things that had gone wrong in his life and, on top of that, he'd waited far too long to tell Harry about the Prophecy. Harry did understand why Dumbledore hadn't told him earlier--if he'd been told during his first or second year he'd probably have just up and left the Wizarding World--but if he'd told him even during the beginning of this year then several lives could have been saved.

Harry really was amazed that Dumbledore hadn't even explained what was going on when he'd assigned Harry to take Occlumency lessons with Professor Snape. That experience had been nerve wrecking on Harry, since he'd been sure that Snape would find out his secret. Harry was sure that it was only because Snape had been only looking for embarrassing memories that he'd gotten away scot-free. The experience did, however, make him determined to master Occlumency so that he could protect the secret of his abilities even better.

The one time that Harry had truly lost all control over his emotions was just after Dumbledore had told him about the Prophecy. At that point his anger completely exploded. He'd then begun to destroy the Headmaster's office, partially because of his anger, but also mainly to hide the damage that his unrestrained magic was doing to the office. He'd only stopped once he'd finally gotten his emotions--and thus magic--under control once more.

And now here he was, two weeks later, on the last day of school. Tomorrow morning they'd leaved on the Hogwarts Express for London and the cycle of summer and schooling would start all over again. With a groan, Harry buried his face even further into his pillow.

He just couldn't wait to see what next year would bring.

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Harry lay staring blankly up at the top of his four poster bed. The sky outside was dark; Harry guessed it was about two in the morning. The rest of his dorm mates were asleep and Ron's loud snores were reverberating through the room. With an almost inaudible sigh, Harry realized that he wouldn't be getting any sleep tonight. So, casting his version of a silencing spell around himself, he slid out of bed.

Unheard by anyone else in the room, Harry opened his trunk and pulled out his invisibility cloak and the Marauder's Map. He then slid the cloak around his shoulders and opened the map with a tap of his finger and the whispered password. Giving it a quick scan, he was glad to notice that there were no teachers or Prefects patrolling anywhere near the Gryffindor tower.

Still silent, Harry moved quickly out of the Gryffindor common room and into the cold, damp halls of Hogwarts. He traveled silently down the corridors, checking the map every now and then and acting accordingly to what he saw. After only five to ten minutes he arrived at his destination--the library--and slipped in.

Harry breathed in deeply as he looked around at the hundreds upon hundreds of bookcases that made up the library. He always felt at peace here, perhaps because he'd spent most of his childhood within a library. Harry moved forward then, navigating through the isles of books with an ease borne from many a sleepless night spent doing exactly what he was doing now. Before long he had ducked into the restricted section.

Harry wandered through the rows of books for another minute, not quite sure what he was looking for. Eventually, he wound up in a dark, dusty corner of the section. With a sigh--something Harry noticed he'd been doing a lot recently--the green eyed boy sat down with a slump against one of the bookshelves and randomly pulled out an old tome that was directly across from him. He stared dispassionately at the title scripted in gilded letters for a moment, before exactly what he was reading hit him and his eyes immediately widened.

Branches of Magic by Eoly Riellendri. Branches of Magic. Harry felt his heart beginning to race in his chest. This meant that there really were other branches of magic besides wizardry? That perhaps there were others like him? Excitedly, Harry opened the book and began to read the introduction. One part in particular caught his attention.

...There are two main different types of magic: that of wizards and that of magical beings--which are not to be confused with magical creatures. The magic that they all use is essentially the same, but how they access it is different.

Wizards and magical beings alike all have magical cores--which is the source of their magic--and magical channels which their magic runs through their bodies, very similar to a person's veins. The difference between wizards and magical beings is due to this system. Magical beings are directly connected to their magical cores via their magical channels. It is because of this they can directly access their magic. Wizards, on the other hand, have no such connection between their magical pathways and their magical cores. As such they must use wands to bridge this gap. In essence, wands act as a conduit for wizards in order to allow them to use magic.

Harry paused, shocked. Wizards couldn't directly access their magic? No wonder there was such a difference between them and these magical beings. Shaking off his thoughts, Harry dove back into his reading, eager to find out more.

Within the division of magical beings, there are many different branches. The main branches include mages, born vampires, born werewolves, elves, fayeries, dwarves, goblins, veela, and centaur. For more information, see their respective chapters.

Harry paused again, curious as to why the book specified born vampires and born werewolves. He hadn't even known that vampires and werewolves could be born! Weren't they only changed when bitten? And how could werewolves be considered magical beings in the way the book had described earlier? Remus certainly didn't fit that explanation as far as he knew.

Harry also couldn't help but wonder why merpeople weren't on this list of magical beings while centaurs were. Didn't the Ministry classify them as magical creatures only because they refused the classification of "being"? Harry had a feeling that this book was written by someone with absolutely no connection to the Ministry though. Already, in just a few paragraphs, he had learnt a lot more about how magic worked that wasn't taught at all at Hogwarts. He could understand why, Harry thought with a smirk. Most wizards would absolutely be appalled at being told that they had less connection to their magic than those that they considered to be monsters.

Making a split section decision, Harry turned to the first chapter, which was about mages.

Mages are the magical beings closest in physical make-up to wizards. Indeed they are often times mistaken for wizards, since they are basically humans with a strong connection to magic. The only other difference between mages and wizards is that mages tend to have much larger cores and much better control of their magic than wizards, as most magical beings do. Even less than magical beings, mages cannot use wands. While in the hand of a magical beings wands will at least have some affect, but for mages the wand would have more of a reaction in the hand of a muggle.

Harry breathed in sharply, his eyes going wide with shock. This description...it was so accurate. This was almost exactly how Harry would describe himself, without all of the technicalities of course. Did this...did this mean that he was a mage? It would certainly makes sense and explain why his wand was so useless to him, if not why it reacted the way it did when he dueled Voldemort in his fourth year.

Positively thrilled at the idea that he might finally be figuring out what he was Harry went to lunge back into reading the book, when the something at the bottom of the next page caught his eye.

Currently the only school for mages is Silvermoor Academy of Magic. For more information, please see Magical Schooling.

Harry's mouth twisted slightly. He was caught between reading more about mages and checking out this schooling thing. Eventually curiosity won out and after a quick check of the index, Harry flipped toward the back of the book, where the chapter on Magical Schooling was and scanned through the text until he found the section talking about this "Silvermoor" place.

Silvermoor Academy of Magic, while not one of the oldest schools, is one of the most prestigious, founded by the mage Merlin himself. Enrolling is fairly difficult, as almost the entire student body is made up of prominent clans of many species and highly talented students. The school accepts almost all species classified as magical beings, though the main species that attend include mages, born vampires, born werewolves, elves, fayeries.

Silvermoor Academy's current Headmistress is Silvia Mikhailova, an ice elf of notable power. She...

Harry stared at the page before him, a large grin spread across his face. This was perfect! He could just imagine the type of things that he could learn at such a school. That was, of course, if he was a mage. Harry was also a bit wary about the fact that vampires and werewolves went to this school too, but they were just magical beings too...right?

Harry's thoughts were abruptly cut off when the teen noticed a ray of light falling across the floor on the other end of the isle. Quickly, Harry scrambled to his feet and peeked around the bookshelf he was leaning against to get a glimpse of the window he knew was visible from his spot. Sure enough, Harry was able to look out the window and his eyes immediately widened at the lightness of the sky outside.

No! Harry thought, surprised. It couldn't be sunrise already! He was sure that he hadn't been wondering around for that long before he'd found the book he'd been reading. Regardless of his astonishment, Harry knew that time had indeed flown. Quickly, Harry moved to shove the Branches of Magic book back in his place, only to hesitate, frown on his face. This book was a wealth of knowledge and Harry knew that he'd be leaving Hogwarts for the summer today. Was it really wise to just leave it?

Harry paused for another moment before shoving the book under his arm, a slight smirk twitching at the corners of his lips. No one would notice if he took it anyway; it didn't look as though anyone had even been in this corner for many a year. Harry then slung his invisibility cloak around his shoulders and left the corner in which he may have just found the answers to some questions that he'd been asking for as long as he could remember.

As he hurried back to his dorm room, the only thought on Harry's mind was, 'There has got to be some way for me to contact this Mikhailova person...'

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A/N: Hmm, I really shouldn't be posting this right now as I wanted to get a few more chapters done before I did...But I've got around 10 chapters (almost 60k) done for this so far, so why not (shrugs) Please note that this story is not about wandless magic. As for what it is...Well, you'll see. I'll be going in depth about magical theory later on in this story. Please review!

--S.R.
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