Author: Shadow Rebirth
Warnings: Death, blood and gore, language, spoilers
Word Count: 3,938
Last Edited: July 24, 2008
Posted: July 25, 2008
Summary: Harry Potter has a dark secret: He isn't a wizard. At least not in the traditional sense. One day, however, he finds a book that just may be the answer to his problems. AU, Gray!Harry, foreign school, vampires, werewolves, politics, no pairings.
Shades of Gray
Harry stared blankly out the plane window and into the clouds. He had been on this airplane for over six hours. And, as it turned out, flying in a plane was nothing like flying on a broom. It was actually quite boring, especially with the large woman sitting next to him snoring loudly in his ear.
So, to occupy himself during the long flight, Harry was staring out at the clouds as they flew through them. That, at least, reminded Harry of flying on a broom, though he was sure that he'd never flown as high on a broom as they were now. Fortunately, Harry knew that they would be landing soon; the flight was supposed to be seven hours long and that time had nearly passed.
At that exact moment the plane broke through the clouds and Harry saw that they were just beginning to fly over land. Harry leaned over slightly in his seat to get a better look. So this was America, the "land of the free". It was funny to think that this would be the first country other than England that he had ever been in, and it was all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. He wasn't sure why, but Harry had always expected that if he went to another country it would be somewhere in Europe.
It only took about fifteen more minutes until the plane landed in Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Harry felt himself sighing slightly as he stood up with everyone else on the plane. He had to get up now and change to another flight--Greenland Air, he believed. At least, he thought as he shuffled off the plane, he didn't have any luggage to carry with him since everything was in his shrunken trunk.
Once he was in the terminal, Harry had to stop for a moment. He was in America. He was actually standing on an entire other continent from where he'd lived his entire life. Harry took a deep breath and then pushed his thoughts out of his mind. He was here to do something, even if it was just getting onto another flight. Still, he thought as a grin came unbidden onto his face, this was /awesome/. Who knew the widening your horizons could be so much fun.
It took Harry another half an hour to get through the crowded terminals--during which time Harry realized that Americans had really strange accents--and onto his next airplane. It was unfortunate that he could just wander around the airport for a bit and get used to the feel of America. After all, who knew when he'd be back here next? However, the flight to Greenland would be leaving within the next ten minutes so he couldn't. It was times like these that Harry that it was a real pity that people couldn't Apparate across large distances and continents.
Walking onto the Greenland Air plane, Harry made his way down the isle of the smaller plane toward where his seat was in the economy section. It was too bad that he didn't have a better seat, but this was his first time flying and he hadn't paid for the tickets so Harry didn't particularly mind. Well, technically he had paid for them since he had had to pay tuition for his schooling, but that was beside the point.
Checking his ticket one more time, Harry found the seat that he was supposed to sit in. It was a window seat again, which Harry was fortunate for. He thought that'd probably go crazy if he had to be cooped up the plane with out the ability to look outside.
Harry dropped down into his seat and let out sigh. He had another few hours of flight to look forward to, and it was already three in the afternoon, local time. Harry closed his eyes and simply sat, waiting for the next five minutes until another passenger stopped beside his row. Harry held back a sigh; this plane only had two seats to a row, so whoever this person was would be the person that he'd have to spend the rest of the flight with. Slowly, Harry opened his eyes and looked at the person standing in the isle.
And promptly blinked.
Whoever he'd be expecting, it wasn't this person. It was a guy whom appeared to be about Harry's age. He was tall--around 6'1"--with a slender build, broad shoulders, and tan skin. From what Harry could see he also had wiry muscles; a hidden strength. The teen had shaggy sandy brown hair that fell into his eyes slightly. He was wearing a pair of loose blue jeans, a tight black t-shirt, a pair of black tennis shoes with their laces undone, and there was a pair of black arms bands on his wrists.
"Hey dude," the brown haired guy greeted cheerfully with an American accent. Without an ounce of grace he slumped into his seat. Resting his arms on the arms rests and easily looking as comfortable as he could be, the teen then turned toward Harry again, showing--to Harry's shock--as pair of bright golden eyes.
Harry had to forcefully stop his eyebrows from rising. A werewolf? Well, unless he was wearing contacts; that was the only thing that he could be; all werewolves had golden eyes, even Remus Lupin.
"I'm Ryan Henderson," he said with a grin, holding his hand out.
Harry shook Ryan's hand and found himself grinning as well. "Blake Gray."
Hearing Harry speak, Ryan's eyebrows rose. "A Brit, eh? Now that's interesting."
Harry simply smirked. "Yeah, well, where are you from?"
"The good ol' US of A, of course," he chuckled, "But, more specifically, from a small town in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California." Ryan paused and looked Harry over. "So, you're heading to Silvermoor, I'm guessin'?"
This time it was Harry's eyebrows that rose. "Yeah, I am. How'd you guess?" he asked curiously.
Ryan grinned. "Not many teens fly alone to Greenland of all places, unless they're originally from Greenland or somethin'. And I don't even have to ask to know that you already know that I'm a werewolf." He sighed. "The eyes always give it away. But then, it's fairly obvious for other races too. You, for example, are obviously a mage. You have none of the defining traits that us other races do...Unless you're an elf who has managed to hide his ears that is." Ryan paused and looked hard at Harry. "...Are you?"
Harry quirked a grin. "No," he said. "I'm a mage, last time I checked."
Ryan let out a bark of a laugh and placed his hands behind his head. "Well, Blake," he began. "You're a first year, right? You look to be about my age."
"Yeah, I am. Are you a first year as well then?"
Ryan nodded and hummed under his breath. "Yep, I'm a sweet sixteen like most other first years."
Ryan and Harry proceeded to chat for the next hour or so. They flitted from subject to subject, though most of it was centered around Silvermoor. Finally however, they managed to land on the topic of their backgrounds.
Ryan, as Harry found out, had lived in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with a fairly large pack all his life. His parents were a part of said pack as well, but he had no other relatives.
"--But," Ryan said with a grin, something Harry had found that he did quite often, "Of course I'll probably join or form my own pack while at Silvermoor." He paused and then looked to Harry. "So, how about you? What's your story?"
"Well," Harry began, rubbing the back of his head sheepishly. He was quite glad that he'd planned out a thorough background for himself earlier. "It actually is kind of complicated...You see, up until just a few months ago I had thought that I was a wizard." And, of course, a lie that was closest to the truth was always the easiest to keep.
Ryan's eyebrow climbed into his hairline. "Really? I don't think that that's ever happened before; mages and wizards are too different."
Harry chuckled. "Yeah," he said. "But part of the reason for it is that my parents died when I was just a baby and I grew up in a muggle orphanage." That was true enough--the Dursley's had been like an orphanage. "When I was eleven the wizarding community apparently found me and thought that I was a wizard. They sent me off to one of those smaller wizarding schools in the southern area of Great Britain, where I proceeded to pretend to be a wizard; I'd known I was different from them." Well, that was a bit more off, but he had been sent to a school.
"Huh," Ryan commented. But then, a look of confusion came onto his face. "But isn't it supposed to be impossible for mages to use wands?"
"Oh, it is," Harry assured him. "Like I said, I'd known I was different; since I was young I've been able to use magic, which already was quite different from what wizards were like. On top of that, when I was taken to get my wand, none of the wands reacted to me. Eventually, I just got so fed up and bored that I used my own magic to get make it appear that one of the wands had reacted." Harry shrugged. "I've spent that last five years doing similar in order to make myself appear 'normal'."
Ryan nodded in understand and Harry stopped himself from letting out a sigh; though his excuse was quite close to the truth, he'd been afraid that people would see through it.
"Well then" Ryan said, looking at Harry with a look of slight surprise. "You must have pretty good of control over your magic then; having gone to another magic school and all. Plus, if you were able to achieve good magic results at the age of /eleven/."
Harry shrugged. "Yeah, Headmistress Mikhailov was surprised as well when I spoke with her about it." At Ryan's questioning look, he elaborated a bit. "I had gone to speak her when I figured out that I might be a mage and that if I was I would want to attend Silvermoor Academy. Anyway, she said that it was unusual for magical beings to have almost complete control over their magic at the age of four or so."
Ryan's eyes widened. "Unusual?!" he gasped. "Blake, that should be impossible!"
Harry shrugged uncomfortably. "Yeah, well, it's partially how I survived in the orphanage; I had to conjure food and stuff..."
Ryan's eyes went even wider. "Conjure?! You're messing with me, right? No child should be able to transfigure air to food at such an age. Hell, even I could do it until fairly recently and transfiguration is one of my best subjects!" He paused, seeing Harry's sheepish look, and then suddenly chuckled. "You're not kidding, are you?" he asked as he slumped back into his seat.
"Sorry..." Ryan shook his head in bewilderment. "In order for you to be able to use such magic as such a young age, you must be damn powerful. It's too bad that you don't know who your parents are." He paused. "...Do you?"
Harry smiled sadly. "No, I don't."
"Ah..." Ryan paused awkwardly, before suddenly grinning. "Sweet," he practically howled. "This year's going to be /interesting/!"
Harry blinked and then shook his head while chucking. Interesting didn't even begin to explain it. At least he'd already made a friend of a magical being, and he hadn't even landed in Greenland yet.
"Well," Ryan suddenly spoke up after a moment's pause. "Since you grew up in the muggle world and had schooling in the wizarding world, I'm guessing that you don't know too much about us magical beings?"
Harry chuckled. "No," he replied, "I don't. Though I have read a book by the name of /Branches of Magic/."
Ryan let out a feral grin. "Well then," he said. "I suppose I'm just going to have to teach you the basics."
"That'd be great," Harry said with a laugh and the two shook hands as if completing some deal.
"Well," Ryan began, "I suppose that I should start with us werewolves." He flashed a grin and then sunk into contemplation. "Hmm...How much do you know about werewolves?"
"Umm...Well, a little bit, because a friend of mine in the wizarding world was a bitten werewolf."
"So then you do know the difference between bitten werewolves and true werewolves?" Ryan asked. Harry nodded his reply. "Do you know about alpha werewolves?"
That made Harry pause. "Um...no..."
Ryan grinned again. "Well, you see, there are two different types of true werewolves: alpha or submissive. Whether a werewolf is alpha or submissive determines what their place in society will be. Submissive werewolves join packs; either the one they were born into or another at school. Alpha werewolves, meanwhile, almost always create their own packs at school, because they are pack leaders. There are a few alpha werewolves who take over old packs, but they are quite rare and usually only the brightest and most powerful of their age."
Harry blinked. "Hmm, interesting...It does make sense though; I'd been wondering how werewolf packs were structured. But it doesn't quite make sense; considering the size of most packs, won't there be a bunch of alphas whom are either in a pack under another alpha or just on their own?"
"No, actually. You see, most werewolves are submissives. Less than like 7 percent or something of all werewolves are alphas. And you were correct in your assumption on the size of packs; packs are always made up of one alpha leading a bunch of submissives. Granted, there are always some alphas were don't have a pack, be it because they don't want one, because they're too weak, or because they're simply not fit to lead. Submissives always join a pack though; it goes against their nature not to."
"And how about you?" Harry asked. "Are you an alpha or submissive?"
Ryan sent Harry another grin, flashing his teeth. "Why, alpha of course."
Harry shook his head slightly. "Eh, I should have guessed. You certainly don't seem like the 'submissive' type."
Ryan howled with laughter. "Of course! I am the great Ryan Henderson after all!"
"Really? Then how come I'd never head of you before today?"
"Because you've been stuck it the wizarding world with all those bigoted idiots. You haven't had the joy of hearing my name spoken before today."
Harry sniggered. "Yeah, that's definitely the truth. Well then, it is an honor to finally meet you, great Ryan of California."
Ryan threw his arms up into the air. "Of course! It is such a joy to allow all you little people rest your eyes on me."
Before they could continue their banter, to two glanced at each other and then suddenly broke down into laughter. Harry, as he wiped his tears away--he was laughing just that hard--felt a smile come to his face. His friends at Hogwarts had been good friends, but he had never been able to laugh with them like he was laughing with Ryan now. In fact, most of them would be indignant about their banter, not understanding the teasing.
It was only another hour before the pilot announced that they were flying over Greenland. Surprised, Harry looked out the window--with Ryan leaning over his shoulder to get a look too--and saw that they had indeed just approached the cold and rocky land. Leaning back in his seat, Harry realized that he hadn't even looked out the window the entire time that they'd been in the air; he'd been conversing with Ryan the entire time.
It only took a few minutes after that to reach Nuuk, the capital of Greenland; the city was on the edge of a bay after all. And so, ten minutes after that Harry and Ryan found themselves standing up to get off the plane. Harry didn't have any carry-on bags--at least not officially--but Ryan had a backpack which he said everything he needed was in. The two quickly excited once they had their things, still chatting while they did. Harry noticed as the moved out into the terminal that many of the people who had been on the plane were teenagers like him and Ryan. Were they students too?
"So," Harry began as he and Ryan walked through the airport. "Do you know where we're supposed to go next?"
Ryan glanced around. "There's supposed to be someone obvious magical who comes to pick everyone up..." Suddenly he caught sight of someone and pointed them out to Harry. "Ah, there we go; a fayerie."
And indeed it was, Harry saw when he looked over to a woman standing in a shadowed corner. She had all the distinguishing features of a fayerie; namely bluish green skin and very pale hair. In particular, her hair was long, wavy, and even paler than usual--nearly white. She looked to be about 30, which probably meant that she was around 400 or so years old, considering that fayeries lived to be somewhere between 500 to 800 years old.
She didn't actually have wings of course; that was just a myth humans have come up with because fayeries' magical aura did take the shape of a pair of glowing wings on their back. The fact that fairies did actually exist and looked just like the myths didn't exactly help either. Fayeries were the superior relatives of fairies, doxies, pixies, erklings, leprechauns, etc. It was sort of like how human were the superior relatives of primates.
The fayerie was wearing a simple pair of white pants and purple top whose sleeves were embroidered with elegant designs in gold. For a moment Harry glanced around, wondering if people would get curious about seeing a person with strange skin like her. It quickly dawned on him, however, that she was using magic to hide herself and Harry immediately felt like hitting himself over the head; how could have not realized that in the first place?!
Without wasting any more time, Harry and Ryan headed over to the fayerie. Several other students were already standing around her, waiting. They all appeared to be around sixteen so Harry guessed that they were first years too. He couldn't help but glance around at them as he and Ryan stopped to lean against a wall where the group was; these were some of the students that he would be attending school with for the next four years.
Harry and Ryan spent the next five minutes in silence, waiting for everyone to arrive. To Harry's great amusement, he found that Ryan began fidgeting after only a minute; it seemed that he really couldn't keep still.
Finally, once the fayerie was sure that everyone had gathered, she turned to address the group. "I am Professor Gemma Cyan. I teach the Healing class at Silvermoor Academy of Magic. Today, however, I will be your guide of the magical section of Nuuk. I know that many of you have questions--and they will be answered--but they will have to wait until we get to the Elysia Hotel, where you all will be spending the night, along with all the students."
Everyone kept respectfully quiet, and Professor Cyan let out a grin, showing off that all of her teeth were sharp and pointed. Harry made a point not wince; after all, he already knew that fayeries most distinguishing feature--besides their skin--was their pointed teeth.
Without another word, Professor Cyan turned and began walking off. Harry and Ryan shared a glance before quickly hurrying off with everyone else after her.
To Harry's surprise, Professor Cyan didn't go to customs--and for that, Harry was glad; he wasn't quite sure how he'd explain that he had no luggage--but rather she headed straight toward a door that was off to the side, but still in the terminal. No one else seemed to be noticing it, so Harry guessed that it was spelled only for magical beings to see, kind of like how the Leaky Cauldron was spelled only for wizards to see.
When Harry passed through the door right after Ryan, he had to hold back a gasp. He knew that the area behind the door had definitely not connected to the outside, but outside was definitely where he was now. Glancing around, Harry saw that they were apparently in an alley. The airport was no where in sight.
Completely ignoring the questioning looks of the teens, Professor Cyan strode down the alley to where a large black metal gate was. As Harry and the rest of the new students followed after her, Harry noticed that he could feel pure power coming off the metal. It made him hesitate for a moment and, after a glance around him, he noticed that no one else seemed to be noticing the power.
Leaning over toward Ryan, he caught the werewolf's attention. "Can you feel that?" he whispered.
Ryan furrowed his brow. "Feel what?"
Harry's mouth tightened. How come he was the only one...? At Ryan's questioning look, he shook his head, dismissing the feeling for the time being.
Professor Cyan stopped just before the gate and turned to face the group of students whom had followed her. "This is one of the gates to the magical section of Nuuk, better known as Myrddin's Circle, or just Myrddin. If you're really interested in the story behind the name, then ask someone else--I'm not here to give you history lessons."
Harry couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow. He could already see how different the teachers of Silvermoor were going to be from those of Hogwarts; this one, at least, was much harsher. And she was supposed to be the teacher of the Healing class. For a moment, Harry was glad that he hadn't decided to take that class this year, though he hoped to in a year or so; he wanted to take at least a crash course since he seemed to get injured so often.
"The tall black fence that you see behind me surrounds all of Myrddin," Professor Cyan continued. "It has been enchanted by some of the best and most powerful magical beings over the centuries to keep muggles and wizards out and ignorant of our existence. There are a total of four gates, including this one, around the area allowing access.
"Myrddin itself is a vaguely circular area with a diameter of about two miles. Within its perimeter you will find many shops that will provide just about anything you need or want. This includes a branch of Gringotts that is available solely to magical beings.
"During the school year all students are allowed to visit Myrddin--and anywhere else in the world, generally--so long as it does not interfere with your studies. The transport between Silvermoor Academy and Myrddin will be explained tomorrow."
Hearing this, Harry had to grin; being able to leave whenever he needed would make some things a whole lot easer for him. Glancing at Ryan--and some of the other students--out of the corner of his eyes, Harry noticed that they all looked a bit pleased about this as well.
Finished with that part of her explanation, Professor Cyan turned around once more so that she was facing the gate. She then placed her hand on the large silver handle, turned, and then pushed the gate open.
A/N: Thanks to all those who reviewed, but I want to thank Draeconin from FF.net in particular for pointing out some British cultural mistakes that I've made. If anyone notices any other culture, canon, grammar, or spelling errors, please don't hesitate to mention them.
Oh, and Myrddin is another name for Merlin, by the way. And ironically enough, I hadn't known that when I first decided to call the magical sector of Nuuk "Myrddin's Circle".