Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Shades of Gray

Chapter 10: The Classes

by Shadow_Rebirth 9 Reviews

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres:  - Characters:  - Published: 2008/10/16 - Updated: 2008/10/17 - 6334 words

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Title: Shades of Gray: The Schedule
Author: Shadow Rebirth
Rating: T/PG-13
Warnings: Death, blood and gore, language, spoilers
Word Count: 6,820
Last Edited: October 4, 2008
Posted: October 16, 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.

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Shades of Gray

Chapter 10
The Classes

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The next morning Harry woke up groggily. He froze for a moment as he sat up bed, wondering where he was; if there was one thing that he hated, it was not knowing his surroundings. He quickly woke up completely though, and then relaxed as he recognized his new room.

From there Harry sped through his daily routine, taking a shower and getting dressed. Finally, he wrapped his cloak around his shoulders and then told his serpent that she would have to stay in the room today. They hissed in annoyance at him, but quickly accepted what he was saying and curled up in their glass cage to go back to sleep.

Harry glanced around the room to make sure that he hadn't forgotten anything, his eyes smoothly sliding over the features of the room. He then checked to make sure that the door to his balcony was magically locked before turning on his heel and striding through the Curtain of Mist that separated his bedroom from the front room.

As soon as he stepped through the doorway, Harry abruptly stopped, starting in surprise. Ryan, Zahra, Damion, Senka, and Azrael were all sitting on the various furniture of the room, chatting amicably.

Hearing Harry enter the room, the group looked up and greeted him. Harry just continued to stare.

"Uh..." he began hesitantly, "...What the hell are you all doing here?"

The group shared a look. "Waiting for you, of course," Damion replied after a moment, smirking lightly. Harry stared at them for another moment before shaking his head amusedly and joining them around the table.

"Look," Ryan said excitedly, holding up a sheet of paper, "You've got a couple of classes with me!"

"And with everyone else," Zahra put in with a roll of her eyes. Ryan grinned sheepishly at her and the two proceeded to delve further into their bantering conversation. Damion rolled his eyes at Ryan before reaching over and yanking the paper that the American werewolf had been waving around out his hands. Ryan didn't even notice. Damion then slide the paper across the table toward Harry.

"This is your schedule," he commented. He then leaned back and proceeded to simply watch Harry.

Harry nodded his thanks to Damion and then picked up the paper. The first thing on it was a list of which period he had each class. Below that was a time table of which periods were held what day. Harry quickly scanned over the list of his classes.

Period 1: Physical Arts - taught by Professor Cordula in room D7
Period 2: Magical Theory - taught by Professor Brenton in room A34
Period 3: Transfiguration - taught by Professor Darya in room C41
Period 4: Magical Control - taught by Professor Ciar in room B12
Period 5: Magical Creatures - taught by Professor Talbot in room D15
Period 6: Elemental Manipulation - taught by Professor Daiyu in room B4
Period 7: Enchantment - taught by Professor Aetius in room C23
Period 8: Soul Magic - taught by Professor Aglaeca in room B37

Harry nodded his head absently, remembering the classes that he had signed up for when he had first met the Headmistress Mikhailov. His eyes drifted down toward the timetable that took up the second half of the paper.

From what Harry could tell, he had Physical Arts everyday, first thing in the morning--and that included weekends. The rest of the classes, however, weren't everyday and instead were fairly scattered. Fortunately, the timetable listed the time and length of the classes as well, so Harry could make sense of things a bit easier.

Harry glanced down at the muggle wristwatch on his wrist. It was just 6:00 now, so they could easily go and down and get breakfast before heading out to Physical Arts. Speaking of which...

"How do we know where the classrooms are?" Harry asked the room.

Surprisingly--or not, depending on how you looked at it--it was Senka who replied to him. "The letter in the room number stands for the building that it's in," the dark haired wood elf said, looking up from her own schedule. "A for Alpha, B for Beta, C for Gamma, and D for Delta. The room numbers themselves are posted above the classroom doors in the buildings; you just have to find the one that you're looking for."

Harry nodded in understanding; that made sense to him. "Well," he said after a moment more, "What classes do you have?"

Senka silently handed over her schedule. Harry took it and passed his over as well or scanning over the periods that she had.

Period 1: Physical Arts
Period 2: Enchantment
Period 3: Transfiguration
Period 4: Magical Control
Period 5: Magical Theory
Period 6: Herbs and Poisons
Period 7: Healing
Period 8: Soul Magic

Hmm, so they had Physical Arts, Transfiguration, Magical Control, and Soul Magic together. Well, it definitely was good to have someone that he knew in one of his classes, and, by the sound of it, the others were in some of his classes as well.

Harry spent the next couple of minutes exchanging schedules with everyone else. He found out the he had Physical Arts with everyone; apparently everyone--including the other years--had Physical Arts in the morning.

Harry also found out that with Ryan he had Magical Theory and Magical Creatures; with Zahra he had Magical Theory and Elemental Manipulation; with Damion he shared Transfiguration and Elemental Manipulation; with Azrael he had Magical Control and Enchantment. It seemed that he had at least on of them in everyone single one of his classes.

Once everyone had finished Harry stood up. "Well," he began, "I suppose we should get down to breakfast then..."

The group murmured their agreements and tucked their schedules away. Harry quickly strode over to where his books and supplied were lying on his desk. With a slight wave of his hand, he moved the items into a nearby bag, shrunk the bag, and then placed the bag in his pocket.

Once that was done, Harry followed his friends out the door. He didn't have to lock it this time though, as it was now permanently locked to all except those whom he had keyed into it. That, actually, brought up the question as to how his schedule had wound up in his room. Of course, he was just a student whereas one of the professors--or even the headmistress herself--had probably sent the schedules to all the rooms. Harry was good, but he wasn't that good.

...Not yet anyway.

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It only took a minute to get down to the Crossways. This morning the Crossways were much busy than they had been the night before. That made sense though, considering that all of the students were now housed in the dorm building and heading down to breakfast.

Harry himself strode confidently through the crowds of people heading toward the Banquet Hall. Getting to the same seat that he'd sat at the night before passed without incident, as did ordering and eating the breakfast itself.

However, just before 6:30, many of the students suddenly stood up and left. A quick scan of the room showed that almost all of these students were upper classmen--third and fourth years. It was Damion who, once again, answered his unspoken question.

"The advanced fighting classes start at about 6:30, rather than 7:00," the long haired vampire stated. "All fourth years take the advanced classes, and some third years get in, but only the best second years get in. And even fewer stay in."

The next twenty or so minutes passed smoothly, but before long it was time to head down to their first class. Harry and his friends stood up from their table and started to make their way toward the Crossways again. Harry's schedule had said that the class was held in room D7, which meant that they needed to get to the Delta Building.

"We're lucky," Zahra murmured, looking down at her schedule.

Ryan stared at her. "Huh?" he said blankly. There others were staring at her, confused, as well, so she elaborated.

"All students have Physical Arts first period, so even amongst each year everyone is split up into different classes. We're really lucky that we all managed to get the class together. Granted, there are only three separate classes for each year, but still..."

Next to Zahra, Senka nodded her agreement. "Yes, we are," she murmured quietly while staring straight ahead.

Not a second later the group approached the Crossways. A large sign in the middle proclaimed that the path straight ahead lead to the dorm building, the path they had come from led to the Alpha Building, the two paths that led to the left led to the Beta and Gamma Buildings, and that the single path that led to the right led to the Delta Building. That particular Building was second in size only to the dorm building and had multiple large fields surrounding it.

Harry immediately took the turn toward the Delta Building, along with all the other students. It appeared that Zahra had been right' everyone did have Physical Arts first thing in the morning.

The inside of the Delta Building was just like the Alpha Building, only instead of one main hall, their was multiple smaller ones. Following the numbers on the doors, it only took Harry and his friends a few more minutes to find room D7. By that time, the students around them had thinned out to only a small number of teens navigating through the stone halls.

Harry pushed open the tall wooden door and stepped into a large stone room. Harry couldn't help but raise his eyebrows. The room was almost as large as the Banquet Hall, and the floor was completely covered with mats, making it a huge gym.

Already more than fifty students were gathered in the room, with a few more trickling in behind Harry. Harry and his friends moved to stand against one of the silver stone walls.

A few minutes later the last few students trickled into the large classroom. Just moments after their entrance the door suddenly slammed shut, causing everyone to quickly spin around to face it, surprise on their faces. However, due to their shift of attention, they were all once again surprised when they heard a voice speak up from the other side of the room. Harry himself heard his neck crack as he whipped his head around quickly.

"Welcome to Physical Arts."

Stranding there on the other side of the room was a large man who looked to be around the age of 40 or so. He had short brown hair and amber eyes, which identified him as a werewolf. He was of very large stature, standing nearly 6'4 with large, toned muscles. It was quite obvious that he was a fighter by nature.

The werewolf watched the children before him with narrowed eyes for a moment before striding forward with strong, measured strides. He stopped in the middle of the room and stood with his feet spread and his arms crossed before him.

"I am Professor Bernhard Cordula," he introduced. Harry noted that he had a deep, gruff voice that held a slight German accent. "I will be your Physical Arts instructor for the rest of your stay at Silvermoor, unless you manage to get moved up to one of the advanced classes." The werewolf, Professor Cordula, narrowed his eyes even further as his gaze continued to sweep over the new students. "And believe me when I say that I will be shocked if more than a couple of you manage to move up. Also know that this is not a Physical Education class. If you want to get stronger, faster, or learn some Martial Arts crap, do it on your own time. This class will solely be about learning to master a weapon."

Professor Cordula stared hard at the students for another moment, as if allowing time to let his explanation to sink in. Finally, when he seemed satisfied, he turned on his heel and began to walk back the way he had come, across the room.

"Come," Professor Cordula barked over his shoulder to the wary students. "The locker rooms are this way."

And indeed, as the group moved forward as one, Harry noticed that there were multiple doors along the back wall. Professor Cordula led them all to the large dark blue one in the middle and directed all the boys to enter. He told the girls to go through the gray door that stood to the right of the blue one.

The blue door, it turned out, led into the boys' changing and shower room. There they were each given a small locker--which opened only to their own magical signature, quite similarly to the way that Harry's trunk worked--which held a pair of work out clothes. Once all the boys had changed, they were told to head back out into the main chamber of the classroom. All the girls were already out there in similar dress, waiting.

Professor Cordula waited until everyone had gathered on one side of the room once more before speaking up again.

"Every morning when you enter this classroom," he began, "The first thing you will do is get changed out. Then you will come back out here and wait. Following this we will begin with stretches, sets of sit-ups and push-ups, laps around the room, and then finally we will begin on whatever we'll be doing for the day, most likely katas. Katas, if you don't already know, are a set combination of positions and movements performed as an exercise, and they're how you will be learning to master a weapon. I'll explain more when we actually get to that.

"For the first couple of weeks however, we will be working solely on conditioning. We will not start on any actual learning until I somehow manage to get you pansies into shape." Many of the students looked affronted by this statement, but, of course, no one actually spoke up. Ignoring the teens, Professor Cordula continued on, "So, let's get started. Everyone spread out across the room, turn to face me, and I'll start with teaching you how to stretch properly."

From there the rest of the period flew by. True to his word, Professor Cordula didn't have them do much beyond basic work out and running laps. Despite this however, by the end of the two hours everyone--even Ryan and Azrael, who were two of the most fit students out of all of them--were exhausted and breathing hard.

Fifteen minutes before 9 o'clock Professor Cordula let them all return to the locker rooms, where they took showers and got changed back into their original clothing. Just moments after the last of them finished up, a loud bell suddenly rang through the air startling some of them.

'/Sounds like a muggle school bell,/' Harry thought as he and the rest of the students began to pour out into the main chamber of the classroom. '/Well, at least there is one thing here that's similar to muggle lifestyle. I can't really say the same for wizards.../'

Everyone continued to move through the main room, out the door, and into the hallway, which was quite quickly filling up with innumerous students. Seeing this, Harry hung back a bit and his friends came over to him.

"Blake, Ryan, and I have Magical Theory next," Zahra commented brightly.

Immediately, Ryan groaned. "Noooo!" he wailed. "I hate theory!" Everyone stared at him and he sniffled quietly, before a grin suddenly came to his face. "What?" he asked.

The group just shook their heads, chuckling quietly, though Damion rolled his eyes at the werewolf. The group exchanged words for another minute or so before finally exiting the classroom. The crowds had drastically thinned by then, which was a good thing.

Harry, Zahra, and Ryan made there way quickly down the path toward the Alpha building, which was where the class was held. After only a minute they came across a door labeled A34, and entered it.

The classroom that the door led to reminded Harry of Hogwarts a bit. It was an average sized room filled with rows and rows of desks. The wall in the back of the room held a large chalkboard, which the professor's desk was stationed under.

Harry took stock of the room around him for a moment before he and his two friends slid into seats on the left side of the room. There they waited as the room filled with students, until finally almost every seat was taken up.

There really were students from all races, Harry observed from his spot next to the wall. Ryan sat to his right and Zahra on the werewolf's right. He'd noticed this in the Banquet Hall and in his Physical Arts class of course, but now, as he watched students walk through the doorway, he was really able to see each and every one of them.

There were werewolves, vampires, elves, and fayeries of course. Each of them were quite easily distinguishable due to their distinct appearances. The ones with no such features Harry knew were mages. Harry also saw a couple of veela walk into the classroom. This surprised him; veela were magical beings too? Then he remembered how they'd managed to create fire at the Quidditch World Cup, and realized that they had to be. And doubtless, Harry though with a smirk, wizards thought that the fire was just an ability of veela. He'd have to ask Fleur about that if he ever saw her again.

Finally the bell rang, signaling the start of class. Moments after it, one last person walked into the room, closing the door behind them. It was a woman, Harry observed, and a mage most likely. She appeared around the age of 27, which meant that she was the professor.

The woman strode down the center isle toward the back of the room--or front, technically, since all of the desks were facing it. Once she reached it, she turned on her heel so that she was facing the students. As the mage's eyes roamed over her new batch of students, Harry took the time to study her himself.

She was definitely a mage, judging from her bluish-green eyes. Her hair was a pale blonde color--though no where near the white shade that fayeries had--and was held back in a messy bun that had a pair of obsidian ornamental chopsticks going through it. She was slender and tall, standing at nearly 5'9.

Just as Harry finished summing up her appearance, the woman spoke. "I am Professor Abagail Brenton, and I will be your professor for Magical Theory," she said in a strong voice that easily carried throughout the room. She spoke with a New York accent, though Harry didn't recognize it as such, having never been to New York.

Professor Brenton swiftly moved over to her desk and leant against on of its corners. She then picked up a stray pen and began to absently twirl it in her hand. "This class," she continued. "Is one of your core classes for a reason. I know that many of you don't like theory and find it boring..." She paused to give them all a hard stare then. "...But what you will learn in hear will have drastic effects on your magic ability. Here you will learn how magic works and why it works the way it does. You will then be able to use what you've learnt here and apply to the rest of your classes and your general magical performances."

Professor Brenton set her pen down and moved to stand in front of the middle of the chalkboard once more. Harry could easily see that she was quite passionate about her teaching, despite her--comparatively--young age.

"First of all," the mage began, "Can anyone tell me exactly what magic is?" Silence and confused faces answered her, which caused her to grin. "Exactly. No one can, because no one knows, at least not for sure. Magic is an unknown quantity whose existence cannot be explained through normal means. Through centuries, nay, millenniums of study however, we have managed to come to a basic understand of how magic works and why it causes the reactions that it does.

"Magic is energy, plain and simple. When it is used it affects other matter and energy around it, causing them to change to create a desired effect. Each and every person in this world has a magical core inside them which holds this energy for them to access--and yes, this does include muggles." Suddenly, Professor Brenton waved her hand at the chalkboard behind her, causing a piece of chalk to appear and begin to write quickly on the board. "And this brings us to the first topic that we will be discussing." Professor Brenton gestured at the question that was now written on the board behind her and repeated it aloud: "What is the difference between magical beings, wizards, and muggles?"

The mage looked around at the class and saw them all contemplating the question. "Well?" she asked. "Anyone?"

Finally, an ice elf who sat in one of the front rows raised his hand, and Professor Brenton gestured for him to speak.

"Well," he began in a tone that clearly stated that he thought that the answer was obvious, "We can use magic and they can't. Or at least we can use it a lot better than them." He smirked then, letting everyone know exactly what he thought of wizards.

"But why?" Professor Brenton asked in rebuttal. "Why, if we all have magical cores, can we use magic while muggles can't? Why can we as magical beings use magic to such a higher extent than wizards can? Why?"

The elf's smirk faltered and he obviously had no idea how to answer. Professor Brenton let her gaze sweep the room, asking with her eyes if anyone had an answer. When only silence met her, she grinned once more and then entered what Harry would come to know as her "lecture mode".

"What separates wizards from muggles and us from wizards is simply our access to our magical cores. You see, the way that we access our cores is through what have come to be known as magical pathways. These are pathways in the body that generally run along about the same lines as our veins and are what our magical energy run through when we pull it out of our cores.

"Muggles have absolutely no magical pathways; no connection to their magical cores. It just sits there inside of them for their whole lives, never really doing anything. Wizards, on the other hand do have magical pathways, though they are very thin, thus causing them to have only a thin connection to their magical cores." Professor Brenton paused and then began to pace in front of the chalkboard, really getting into her explanation. "It's so thin in fact that they very rarely can directly access their core. The magical energy simply can't be forced through such small pathways. It's when they experience extreme emotion that the magic is instinctually forced through the pathways, and even then this usually only happens when the witch or wizard is young. The wizards have come to call this 'accidental magic'.

"In order to substitute for this, wizards came up with the idea of wands. Wands--which contain parts of magical creatures--act like a bridge to their cores, allowing them to wield their magic. However, in order to be able to properly wield this magic, wizards have to use incantations and wand movements to mold their magic to do what they want it to do. This limits their abilities down to certain spells, instead of them just being able to do whatever they want with their raw magic.

"However, we, as magical beings, have no such limitations. We have very wide magical pathways, allowing for a direct connection to our magical cores. In having this, we're able to directly call on our raw magical energy and wield more of it with much more accuracy and precision." Professor Brenton paused her pacing then and turned to smile brightly at the class. "So," she continued. "To sum it up, we all have cores, but muggles have no connection to that core. Wizards have only a thin connection and have to use wands to bridge the cap. And finally we, as magical beings, have direct access to our magical cores and thus are able to wield our magic with nearly no limitations." She paused for another moment, to let everything set in. "Are there any questions? They don't have to pertain specifically to what I just said." The class mulled everything over before one student finally raised their hand.

"What about squibs and muggleborns wizards? How do they fit into everything?"

Professor Brenton nodded brightly. "Good question," she commented. "It actually all has to do with genetics. Wizards produce other wizards who are capable of similar magic due to the genetics that they pass on. Muggleborns result from two muggles whose genetics combine to allow the person to have wide enough magical pathways for them to access their magic. Squibs, on the other hand, result from two parents whose genetics combined to create magic pathways that just aren't wide enough to support any type of magic. Unlike muggles these squibs do indeed have magical pathways, they're just not good for anything.

"We'll actually be going into the genetics behind magic a bit more later on, so I'll go a little bit more in depth then."

The students murmured among themselves for a minute, exchanging their thoughts. After a moment however, another student shot out another question: "And how about mages? They're the closest to the rest of the human race except for their magical ability. How does that all work out?"

"Mages," the professor replied, "Are indeed human in every aspect except for their magical capacity. It is because of this that they have a very delicate balance in their genetics which allows them to have the magical ability that they do.

"By basic definition, mages are humans whose genetics combine to create extra wide magical pathways to the point that the mage is able to connect directly to their magical core, making them magical beings. Because of this, mages who mate with mages--or any other magical being for that matter--have offspring that will undoubtedly be a magical being as well. When a mage mates with a wizard, however, there is a 50/50 chance of their child being either a mage or a wizard. If they do turn out to be a wizard they will be a very strong one, quite often prone to 'accidental magic' even as an adult.

"In all of time there have been only a rare couple of cases of it working the other way around, where two wizards produce a mage. In these cases, magical beings are generally able to quickly find the young mage and take them into the world of magical beings, where they can be properly taught."

Professor Brenton continued on for a bit, but Harry didn't even hear her, so caught up in his thoughts he was. This was interesting, he thought. It seemed that most likely he was one of those "rare cases" of a mage born from two wizards. That was, of course, unless one of his parents had actually been a mage all along and had just hid it from the whole world, but Harry highly doubted that that was the case. Finally, Harry drew out of his reverie enough to hear someone asking another question.

"Why is it that having part of a magical creature in a wand allows wizards to access their magic better?"

Professor grinned again before answering. "It's to do with the magic that magical creatures have and the difference between magical creatures and magical beasts. I won't go into it right now--though we will at a later date. Those of you whom are taking the Magical Creatures class that it offered here will probably get a bit of an explanation today though in that class."

The rest of the class continued in similar way, with different students asking questions and Professor Brenton answering them in length, effectively painting a pretty good picture of just how magic worked. By the end of the period, Harry was in a state of slight awe. Why had they never been taught anything like this at Hogwarts? Never mind the fact that wizards probably didn't know any of this theory--this stuff was just amazing! It all made so much sense now. This was why he was able to use magic the he was. This was why he was so different from wizards.

Soon the bell rang once more, signaling the end of the second period. Harry stood up with a fairly blank face, thoughts still running through his head, coming to some own conclusions about his magic. He followed Ryan and Zahra out of the classroom.

Zahra was excitedly babbling about the class, actually pretty interested, while Ryan was groaning and wearing and expression that made it seem that he'd been physically hurt by attending the class.

In that moment, Harry suddenly imagined that it was Hermione and Ron walking before him. All of them were so alike, it really was amazing. But at the same time, they were so different. Unlike Hermione, Zahra was in no way a bookworm; she actually didn't like reading that much. And Ryan, unlike Ron, didn't really have any temper problems. He was actually probably one of the more relaxed and even-tempered people that he knew.

Harry sighed and turned his head away from his friends, feeling just a little bit homesick. He wondered if Ron and Hermione--or anyone else for that matter--knew that he was gone yet. For some reason, he doubted that they would learn that he was missing until the beginning of the school year, if even then. In fact, he wouldn't be surprised if Dumbledore just left him at the Dursleys' until the end of summer.

Well, he thought with a smirk, at least that was one good thing about Silvermoor starting earlier than Hogwarts; he was easily able to get out of England without anyone being the wiser.

Before Harry knew it, they were already exiting the classroom among the hoards of students. Harry, Zahra, and Ryan, then headed the short way down to the Banquet Hall, knowing that they had lunch next.

Harry smiled lightly as they sat down at the table they'd eaten at the night before and that morning, and then pulled out his schedule to see just where he needed to go next. Period 3: Transfiguration - taught by Professor Darya in room C41, it read. Harry sighed slightly. He just hoped that he managed to make it in time after lunch, considering as the Gamma building was on the other side of the school grounds.

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It was just as Harry was entering the Gamma building that Senka came up next to him.

"Hey," the dark haired elf murmured. Harry nodded in reply and greeted her as well. The two then walked in silence towards the classroom. Harry remembered that he had Transfiguration with both Senka and Damion.

Senka, Harry decided, wasn't like anyone that he knew. She was quiet, yes, but it wasn't a shy sort of quiet; it was more like an "I'll speak when I feel like I have something to say, and not before" sort of quiet. Harry watched her from the corner of his eye, and noticed that she was intensely watching everything around her, her eyes flickering over the faces of people that they passed.

And in that moment, Harry realized that he didn't really know anything about Senka other than the fact that she was half wood elf and half ice elf and came from Colorado in the United States. He knew nothing about her parents, nothing about what she did and didn't like, and not even that much about her personality, considering as she didn't talk all that much. Harry decided that he would try to find out more about the elf; he would probably know her for the next four years, after all, if not longer.

Soon the pair came across a door label C41 and stepped inside. The room, it turned out, was along the similar design of the Magical Theory classroom, with all desks facing a large chalkboard in the back of the room. And again, like the other classroom, the teacher had yet to arrive.

Harry saw some motion from the corner of his eye, and when he turned his head, he saw that Damion was already seated, and was waving the two of them over. The mage and the elf quickly complied and Harry sat to Damion right, and Senka next to him. From there the three chatted quietly until the bell rang.

Almost at the same moment that the bell rang, the professor swept into the room. For some reason, Harry had a feeling that a lot of professors were going to be doing that.

This professor was again a younger woman, though this one appeared to be around 36 or so. She was a werewolf too, Harry knew from her golden eyes. She had short, curly black hair and stood around 5 foot 7 inches. She also had fairly tan skin, leading Harry to wonder if she was from the Middle East or somewhere around there.

The woman strode to the front of the room, where she stood with her arms clasped behind her back and a light smile on her face.

"Welcome," she began, "To Transfiguration. I am Professor Arren Darya, and I will be teaching you the art of transfiguration for the next four years, so I suggest that you don't piss me off." Professor Darya smiled brightly then, her teeth flashing and showing her slightly pointy canine teeth. Harry could help but raise one eyebrow in interest.

Still grinning, Professor Darya continued, "I suspect that most of you have at least some experience with basic transfiguration. Most of you, however, don't know the intricate workings of the art. Here, in this classroom, you will how to manipulate objects to your will, changing the very way that they're made. Now, before I go into what we're going to be doing today, I'm going to explain a bit about the basics of Transfiguration.

"The first thing you've got to understand is that magic is energy. You will never be able to tame it, only control it, bend it to your will, temporarily. I'm not going to go into too much detail over this since you'll learn about it in your Magical Theory class, but you have to understand why you're here. The entire reason why you're attending school is to learn how to control various aspects of your magic. It will take many years for you to build up this control, but by the time you leave you'll be full-fledged magical beings.

"As all of you know, this school issues a warning to parents about its death rate. That rate is not just for this school but for most of the magical world. 30% of you will not survive to graduation not because of fights--which are restricted on campus, but rather because you can't control your magic. I've seen more students than I can count attempt something far beyond their abilities and pay the price for it. Once a werewolf was attempting to transfigure air into water but, because the feat was beyond his control he accidentally transfigured all the air around him, including that which was in his lungs. He drowned."

All of the students winced, which doubtlessly was what the professor had been going for. She smiled grimly, glad that her message had gotten through to them.

"For these very reasons, human transfigurations will not be until your last year of school if any of you attempt it before then, I will kill you myself. Now--" She clapped her hands together suddenly, a bright smile on her face. "--Onto what we will actually be doing here. Today, we're going to start off with something that is very important for your magical performance. In fact, in many ways it will be what will allow you to perform magic on a 'higher level', if you will. Today you're going to be getting your focus."

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A/N: Egh, once again a chapter with a lot of info in it. The whole magical theory thing is very important though, since it basically outlines how magic works in this story. If anyone is confused or didn't understand something, please don't hesitate to ask me about it; I'll be glad to clear things up.

Please note that this chapter and the next one will be the only ones that will actually show what goes on in the classes. After this I'll probably mention things now and again, and maybe show a couple important classes, but most of the plot of the story doesn't actually have to do with the classes, just how Harry improves.

For those you who like Naruto, I have a new story called Failing Twilight up. Actually, both the prologue and the first chapter are up, since the prologue is so short. Please check it out if you're interested and give me feedback!

Please review!

--S.R.
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