Author: Shadow Rebirth
Warnings: Death, blood and gore, language, spoilers
Word Count: 4,721
Last Edited: August 12, 2008
Posted: August 14, 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
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.
As soon as Professor Cyan had placed a hand on the handle, Harry had felt a shiver go down his spine; in that instant, the power that he had been feeling rolling of the gate in waves had suddenly spiked, before turning into a more welcoming sensation. And, once again, it didn't appear that anyone, not even the professor, had felt it.
Holding the gate wide open, Professor Cyan motioned for the group to enter. As Harry himself passed through the gateway he felt his eyes widen. Stretching out before them were many different shops. Some of them were surprisingly similar to those that he would see in Diagon Alley or Knockturn Alley, but an equal amount of them were very similar to shops that he would see in the muggle world; it appeared that magical beings definitely didn't hold the same aversion of muggle technology that almost all wizards did.
The apparent layout of Myrddin was also pretty interesting. From what Harry could tell, there was a wide stone road that ran all the way along the perimeter of Myrddin as well as two main roads that cut the area into four equal sections. Within each of those sections were many other smaller streets that crisscrossed each other depending on where the many stores were set up. Harry guessed that at the end of each of the main straight roads were the four gates.
Professor Cyan led the group down the main road that was laid out before them toward the center of Myrddin. As they walked, Harry took the time to glance around at some of the shops that they passed to get a feel for what they sold.
Harry also noticed that some people whom were most likely older students walking around. That was good; it meant that the following year they could arrive on their own. There were also a few people who looked to be about their age. Harry guessed that they were first years who had siblings or parents that went to the school and as such already knew their way around. That made perfect sense to Harry; he knew that some of the first years would be arriving by different methods of travel. The fact that there were no fayeries besides Professor Cyan amongst their group was proof enough of that.
Finally, after about fifteen minutes of walking, they reached the center of Myrddin, or the Square as Professor Cyan informed them that it was ironically called. The Square was fairly wide and was filled with many different people whom were milling around as they went about their business. The entire area was filled with a hum of voices.
Professor Cyan ignored the people around her and headed straight for a large building that faced out onto the Square. Standing at about seven stories tall, the building quite easily dwarfed all the other buildings around it. It also strongly resembled a muggle hotel.
When Professor led the group through the gilded doors of the building and into a large lobby, Harry suspicion was only increased. Looking around, he saw that there was a counter across from them on the far wall, just as there would be in a muggle hotel, and to their left there were three elevators.
"This," Professor Cyan told them, as they stood in the lobby, "Is the Caelestis Hotel. It is where you will be staying tonight and where you will also stay before school in following years. Due to the amount of students staying here you will have to share a room with one other person. And, due to problems that have up come before, you have all already been assigned to a room.
"On the wall to your right," Professor Cyan paused to gesture to said wall, "There are lists of the assigned rooms are posted. They are by year, and then by surname. Once you have found your room, go to the front desk to get your key.
"You have tonight and most of tomorrow to settle in. However, all first years are to be down here in the lobby tomorrow three in the afternoon; first years always leave for the school first, followed by the second years, and so on.
"As a final warning, starting any fights before school begins will be punished harshly. You'll have more than enough time to do so during the school year, so just hold off one day. You are dismissed." And with that, Professor Cyan strode out of the lobby, leaving the group up to their own devices.
Everyone immediately rushed over to where the lists were as she as she was gone and began clamoring around to find their names. Ryan and Harry shared a look and hung back, waiting for everyone else to finish.
"Well," Harry murmured. "This has certainly been...interesting...so far."
Ryan let out a bark of a laugh. "Heh, true enough," he replied with a grin. "I've never been to Myrddin before; my parents didn't get into Silvermoor you see. Damn proud when I got accepted, they were."
Glancing over at the wall, Harry noticed that most of the people were gone now. He motioned Ryan to follow him while the young werewolf continued to talk.
"Well," Ryan said as he began to look over the lists. "It's doubtful that we'll manage to be roommates, since they're picked at random...I'll meet you down here tomorrow then? To take a look around Myrddin?"
Harry nodded as he too scanned the lists. "Sure; sounds good. We might at least have rooms near each other anyway."
Harry suddenly paused as he caught his name. "Here we go," he murmured. Gray, Blake, it read, Room 214. It didn't say who his roommate was, but Harry figured that he would find out who it was when he got to his room.
"You found it?" Ryan asked, coming up beside Harry.
"Yep; room 214. How about you?"
"247," Ryan sighed. "Well, at least we're on the same floor--the second one--even if far apart."
Harry hummed his agreement. "Let's go get our keys then, shall we?"
Ryan nodded his agreement and the two quickly headed for the desk. It took only a minute to confirm their names and receive their keys and then the two headed up the stairs to the second floor. They decided to forgo the elevators because so many people were using them and it was only the second floor that their rooms were on.
Once on the second floor, they were confronted with a long hallway which countless doors faced out onto. They walked only a little bit farther before reaching the room labeled 214.
"Well," Ryan said. "See you tomorrow morning then?"
"Yeah. Does about nine sound good?"
Ryan grinned again. "Sure! That way we can get breakfast and then go out and explore." The brown haired werewolf then set off further down the hall. "See you Blake!" he called back.
Grinning, Harry waved to his new friend, before turning back to the dark wooden door before him. He took a deep breath before inserting his room key into the lock and turning the handle.
The room on the other side of the door looked fairly similar to what a muggle hotel room would be like, though quite a bit fancier. There were two beds in the room, up against the wall, and, across from them, were two wardrobes. The wall across from the door held a sliding glass door that led out to a balcony overlooking Myrddin.
Harry stepped into the room and closed the door behind him. Was his roommate not here yet...? Just then, however, Harry noticed a black trunk that was resting at base of the bed closest to the far wall. At the same time, the glass door to the balcony slid open.
Jerking his head up, Harry blinked in surprise at the person who would apparently be his roommate for the night as they stepped into the room.
It was a vampire--/that/ Harry recognized immediately from the pure white skin--and a guy around his age. He had high, aristocratic cheekbones and dark brown eyes. His hair was as deep a black as Harry's own, but was much longer and was held back in a braid that hung to the middle of his back. He also had a long pair of bangs which framed his face.
The vampire was dressed in very traditional, formal clothes. He had on a pair of black slacks, a white dress shirt, and a pair of black boots. Harry noticed that there was a black cloak hanging on a chair against the wall.
Overall, he was kind of like the cliché, dark vampire. He was pale and slender but moved with an inhumane grace. Despite all this, there was something distinctly...young...about him. Harry was suddenly reminded that the vampire before him was the same age as him; much more deadly, but just as young nonetheless.
Harry and the vampire stood awkwardly in front of each other for a moment. Or at least Harry stood awkwardly. The vampire kind of just stared with one raised eyebrow, waiting for Harry to speak.
"Er, hello," Harry finally forced out. Suddenly he realized how hesitant he was and quickly straightened his back and squared his shoulders. Keeping his face serious but polite, Harry stepped closer to the other teen. "I'm Blake Gray," he introduced, inclining his head slightly.
A slight smirk crossed the vampire's face before he returned Harry's nod equally. "I am Damion Noctis, of the Noctis clan. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance." Harry immediately noticed that he had a thick Italian accent.
So he spoke formally as well as dressed it? And it sounded like his last name was Latin, so...Harry guessed that he was most likely from one of the older clans. He'd have to do a bit of research to find out though.
"Gray..." Damion said contemplatively. "I don't believe that I've ever heard of the Grays..."
Harry felt his eye twitch. He really hoped that this guy wasn't going to suddenly turn into another Malfoy...But then again, most vampires did have a sort of fixation about clans and family names, considering as their entire government was centered around them.
"You wouldn't have," Harry replied stoically. "My parents died when I was young and I have no idea who they are."
Damion's eyes widened in genuine surprise and he seemed to be at a loss for words. "I-- I apologize for my ignorant words."
Harry shrugged. "I don't remember them, so it really doesn't matter."
Damion nodded, still leaning against the doorway to the balcony. "That's rare though," he said after a moment, apparently caught in thought. "For a mage to become an orphan with no family, that is."
"Yeah, well," Harry shrugged again as he turned away from the vampire. "Until I figure out what happened I can't explain it either."
Damion grinned, flashing completely normal teeth. Harry was surprised for a moment, before remembering that vampire's teeth only lengthened when they were going to feed or when they were really angry.
Harry chuckled in reply and then pulled his shrunken trunk from his pocket. He rested it on the floor before his bed and then, with a bit of concentration enlarged it back to its original size.
With a satisfied smile, Harry looked up but caught Damion staring at him out of the corner of his eye. Turning his head, he saw that Damion, who had been entirely composed up until that point, was actually gaping at him.
"Y-you..." Damion stuttered. "You just enlarged that trunk! But magic like that...We don't learn to do until at least second year; the rearranging of each molecules takes too much control!"
Harry blinked in surprise and then found himself rubbing the back of his head sheepishly. "Ah, well, I've kind of had to use magic to survive for the past sixteen years, so I guess I've just learnt a lot."
Damion's eyes narrowed. "You've been using magic since you were young...?"
"Like I said, I've had to in order to survive," Harry replied with a shrug.
"Still..." Damion hesitated "To be able to use magic at such a level of control..."
Now Harry was really starting to get uncomfortable. So, after a moment of a hesitation, he spoke up again. "Well," he said. "Part of the reason is because for the last five years I've attended a small wizarding school."
Damion's eyebrow rose and some of the tension was released from his body. "Really? Now how in Merlin's name did that happen?"
Harry smirked lightly. "Well, being as I was an orphan, I was believed to be a wizard rather than a magical being--"
"Of course," Damion murmured to himself. Upon seeing Harry's questioning glance, he elaborated. "From birth, mages are protected by their parents from beings detected by wizards. However, if you had no one to protect you, and grew up in an orphanage as you said, then you would be mistaken by the wizards as a wizard yourself. A wizard with an abnormally large amount of power, but..."
Harry chuckled. "Yes, that probably is what happened. And after that I spent five years pretending to be a wizard. Quite literally, since I knew I was different, but didn't want anyone to find out. And let me tell you that attempting to copy the results of wizard spells is damn hard."
Damion smirked, though there was a slightly calculating look in his eyes, as if he was reevaluating his original opinion of Harry. "Interesting," he murmured. "Interesting." Raising his voice he looked Harry straight in the eye and continued, "I have a feeling that this is going to be one curious year."
"Honestly, I'd be more surprised if it wasn't," Harry muttered wryly. And if his track record meant anything, then this year would be no different from his last five.
Harry turned his attention back onto his trunk. He crouched down before it and placed his hand on the lock before quietly murmuring out the password for the third compartment so that Damion couldn't hear it. Granted it wouldn't actually matter if the vampire did since the trunk was keyed into his magical signature, but it was the principle of the matter.
Once the lid popped open, Harry reached his hand down as far as he could. Just moments later he felt cool scaled against his skin and his runespoor wound herself...selves...around his arm. Harry then retracted his arm from the trunk compartment and closed the lid.
As Harry stood back up, he became aware that Damion's eyes were on him once more. Gliding across the floor, the vampire stopped next to Harry, staring down at the serpent with curious eyes.
"An albino runespoor?" he questioned. "I don't think that I've ever seen one before; runespoors are rare enough as it is..."
Harry smirked. "This is Layla, Kiya, and Isis," he introduced.
Damion returned the smirk, raising his gaze to meet Harry's. "You just keep get more and more intriguing, especially for a human."
Harry shrugged in reply, though his smirk stayed firmly planted to his face. "So I've been told."
Harry turned back to his trunk as his runespoor began to slither her way up his arm until she was draped around his shoulders. As she clung onto him, Harry was momentarily glad that she was still young; apparently only about a year old. As she grew older she would grow to the length of six to seven feet and then she'd be even more difficult to handle.
"/He smells funny,/" Isis complained from her spot near Harry's ear. "/Like...like.../"
"/Like blood,/" Kiya murmured sleepily.
Layla just sighed, and then turned her calculating gaze to the vampire who had just pulled out a book and was lounging on his bed. "/He could be a good ally,/" she hissed. "/He is from a strong clan, I can smell it./"
Isis frowned and watched the teen as well. "/For once, you just might be right./"
Layla put her head high in the air. "/Of course. I'm not considered the planning head for nothing, you know./"
From there Layla and Isis degenerated into their usual squabble. Harry tuned them out at that point, though their earlier comments did interest him and he couldn't help but agree. The blood comment didn't bother him as much as it probably should have; he understood too much about vampires now to do anything other than simply accept it. As for the ally comment...Well, that was very true, especially if he was from a good clan as Layla believed.
Padding silently across the room, Harry pulled open the sliding glass door and stepped out onto the balcony and into the cool night air. Scratch that, it was the freezing cold night air. It was Greenland after all, even if it was the middle of the summer. Letting out a sigh and ignoring the goosebumps that popped up all across his skin, Harry leaned against the balcony. He was finally here. He might not be in the actually school yet, but he was close enough.
And the only thing that he was going to regret was missing the look on Dumbledore's face when he realized that Harry Potter was gone.
The next morning Harry woke up to harsh sunlight streaming into his face. With a groan the dark haired mage sat up, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. He then reached to grab his glasses, only the freeze in mid motion as he realized that he could see perfectly. Oh, right, he'd gotten them fixed. He blinked, thinking about how strange it was to not need his wiry frames.
Once he'd finally completely woken up, Harry glanced up and saw that Damion was already up and dressed. The young vampire was dressed just as formally as he had been the day before, with his hair in the same long braid.
Hearing that Harry was up, Damion turned around to face him. Then, upon seeing the mage's state of disarray, he raised an eyebrow.
"So you're finally awake?"
Harry murmured something unintelligible under his breath. He took a moment to yawn and then finally noticed what Damion was doing: putting on an amulet. Harry stared; just like he could at the gate, he could feel magic coming off the amulet. This magic, however, gave off a feeling of heat and warmth.
"What..." Harry began slowly, his gaze fixed to the gold amulet, "...Is that?"
Damion looked up, surprised and confused. "You don’t...?" the vampire trailed off before a look of comprehension dawned on his face. "You don't know much about the society of magical beings, do you?"
Harry shrugged. "I know enough," he replied. "But not the little details."
Damion nodded in understanding. "Well, this is a Heat Amulet. It's an amulet that had been enchanted to keep my body temperature at a warm temperature. All vampires have them."
Harry furrowed his brow in confusion. "But...why? I mean, I understand that it's cold here and all, but...?"
Damion grinned. "Good, you catch on quickly then." He hesitated then, as if he didn't want to continue. After a moment however, he let out a sigh and spoke. "Vampires have one major weakness: we cannot survive in extreme colds. This is the main reason why we mainly live in areas around the equator; it stays warm all year long there. You'll find very few vampires living in Canada, Russia, or even the northern parts of the United States. However, in order to solve this problem, we vampires wear Heat Amulets so that our bodies don't fail." Damion looked Harry straight in the eye then, as if challenging him to say one thing about vampires' apparent major weakness.
Harry, however, just shrugged. "Makes sense to me," he commented. Then, just he opened his mouth to continue, something dawned on him. "What time is it?"
Damion glanced down at the golden wristwatch adorning his wrist "8:56. Why?" he asked.
Now that really woke Harry up. His eyes wide, Harry shot out of bed and immediately opened up his trunk. He rummaged inside for a moment before pulling out some clothes and quickly trying to put all his clothes on at once. Damion just stared on from the background, highly amused.
Finally, just a minute later, Harry was done and dressed in a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and a black cloak--one that had a heating charm on it, of course. He hooked his mokeskin moneybag onto his jeans and slipped on his dragon-hide boots. Looking around to make sure that he had everything, Harry was just about to dash for the door when he remembered something else.
"Where's my runespoor?"
Damion grinned from where he was leaning against the wall, watching Harry's panic. "On the chair, I believe."
Harry's gaze swiveled around to said chair and then he immediately let out a breath as he saw his familiar intertwined around the chairs arms, apparently just as amused as Damion was. His mouth tightened in annoyance, Harry strode over to the chair and allowed his chuckling snake to wind herself around his arm, up under his cloak, and around his shoulders so that she was out of sight.
Harry turned his attention back to Damion. "So, I'll suppose I'll see you around Myrddin then?"
Damion cocked his head, a smirk on his face. "Yes," he murmured. "I believe you will." Harry stared for another moment before inclining his head toward the vampire and slipping out of the room.
Just as Harry closed the room door behind him, he heard a voice from down the hall calling out his name. Looking up, he saw that it was Ryan, who was coming down the hall toward him.
"Hey," the mage greeted as Ryan stopped next to him.
The werewolf replied in a similar fashion, while staring at Harry amusedly. "I, uh...It's interesting to see you with your hair down."
Harry blinked and realized that, in his rush, he had indeed completely forgotten about his hair. Grimacing, the teen pulled a rubber band from off his wrist and tied his hair back. And so, with Ryan snickering--and Harry glaring at him--the two headed back down to the lobby.
Upon stepping off the stairs, Harry was fairly surprised to find that the lobby was filled with different magical beings, all around his age, though many looked to be couple years older. Upper years, he realized belatedly. There were many tables and couches set up all around the large room that people were lounging in, chatting with others.
Scanning around the room, Harry quickly identified those who stood with more pride than others--aristocrats, people from more prominent families---as well as those who stood with confidence--those who had strong abilities, and knew it. These were all people that he needed to keep on good terms with, and possibly even become close to, if he wanted to go far in Silvermoor. Unlike at Hogwarts no one knew who he was, so he would have to make his own way and having connections was great was to do just that.
As he continued to look around the room, his eyes landed on a confrontation that was happening close to where he and Ryan were standing. From what he could tell, a female mage--at least he thought that she was a mage; he couldn't see her eyes since she was facing away from him so she could have just as easily been a werewolf--was snarling angrily at two sneering male vampires.
Seeing what Harry was staring at, Ryan's eyes immediately narrowed. He quickly sauntered up to the group, his head held high.
"Hello everyone," the werewolf greeted while casually resting his elbow on the girl's shoulder--he was much taller than her. The two vampires stared warily at Ryan for a moment before sneering again and walking off. Ryan grinned and then turned his attention onto the mage, only to see her glaring furiously at him.
Now that she had turned, Harry could see that she was indeed a mage. She stood only about 5'2--not even up to Ryan's shoulders--and was very petite and slender. She had mid-shoulder length curly ebony black hair and a pair of slanted honey brown eyes. Her skin was very tan and from her over all appearance Harry guessed that she was Egyptian, or something of the like. She wore a pair of loose white pants and a low-cut blue blouse with golden edging. She also had a pair of soft-soled sandals on her feet and a pair of black fingerless gloves on her hands.
And, currently, she was glaring at Ryan with even more venom than she'd focused on the two vampires. "Who the hell do you think you are?" she hissed, poking Ryan in the chest. The werewolf just continued to stare wide-eyed at her, completely dumfounded. "I can take care of myself, thank you very much!"
The Egyptian mage glared at him one last time before turning around so that she was facing away from him. Harry just chuckled.
"Sorry about him," Harry said to her. Her glare softened a little then and she looked him up and down before finally sticking her hand out, a small smile on her face.
"I'm Zahra. Zahra Sadiki."
"Blake Gray," he returned with a smirk.
Ryan had bounced over to them, looking slightly like a kicked puppy. Upon hearing her name however, he perked up slightly. "Doesn't Zahra mean flower in Egyptian?"
Instantly, Zahra's glare was back on full blast and focused completely and Ryan, who quickly shrank back again. Harry couldn't help but chuckle at the sight; Zahra was only half the size of Ryan, and yet the werewolf was terrified of her.
"And this," Harry continued. "Is Ryan Henderson."
"Hi," Ryan greeted weakly, waving slightly. Zahra just continued to glare at him for a moment before dropping and giving him a small, albeit tight, smile.
"So," Zahra began, "Both of you are first years, right?"
Harry nodded in reply and Ryan did as well, though his was much more enthusiastic. Once again, Harry couldn't help but be reminded of a puppy. He carefully hid his sniggers, even though Ryan was too entranced by the petite Egyptian to even notice.
"Hey," Harry suddenly said, an idea popping into his head. "Ryan and I were just about to go out and explore Myrddin. Would you like to join us?"
Zahra blinked in surprise, clearly not expecting the invitation. She stared at the two teens before her for a moment as if sizing them up. Finally, she nodded.
"Alright," she replied with a shrug. "Why not."
Ryan looked as though he was about to do a jig out of happiness, so Harry quickly grabbed his arms. "Come on," he said motioning Zahra to follow while he dragged Ryan away. "Let's get moving; we only have a few hours."
"/Only,/" Ryan snorted as he allowed himself to be dragged out. "It's basically shopping for the Mother's sake. Even a single hour of shopping is too much."
Working off a hunch--and years of being around Ron--Harry grinned. "Unless it's shopping for sports, right?"
Ryan looked distinctly uncomfortable. "Well, yeah, but that's sports. It's different."
"/Sure/ it is," Zahra commented sarcastically as she followed the two.
Harry chuckled as Ryan attempted to find something to say in return. Something, however, suddenly occurred to him. "Hey," Harry began, "What do you mean by 'The Mother'?"
Ryan looked at the dark haired mage in surprise before grinning again. "Ah, that's right; I still need to teach you some more about magical beings' cultures. Well, the Mother is the Mother Moon. She is our goddess and our Mother."
Zahra rolled her eyes. "Strange werewolf customs," she muttered under her breath. Speaking up, she continued, looking Harry straight in the eye. "Be glad that we're mages, Blake. We don’t have to deal with all that shit."
Ryan looked infinitely confused. "But...but...It's the Mother Moon. How can you not...?"
Harry simply smirked and continued to walk out the double doors of the Caelestis Hotel with Ryan and Zahra following behind him. This was already turning out to be an interesting day.
A/N: Thanks for the review for the last chapter! As for the whole thing about vampires not being able to survive in cold whether...Well, the reasons why humans have the temperatures that we do (enabling us to survive) is mainly because of the warm blood flowing through our veins. Vampires don't have any blood in their veins though, which makes them a lot like cold blooded reptiles. And thus, similar to cold blooded reptiles, they have to get their heat from other sources--usually the sun.
The next chapter will be the last of the in-between chapters before the whole Silvermoor thing starts. It'll also introduce the last of the main characters for this story--there are two more, I believe.