Title: Atra Regnum
Author: Shadow Rebirth
Beta Readers: solunvar, Teufel1987
Warnings: Death, blood and gore, language, spoilers
Chapter WC: 5,005
Story WC: 28,877
First Written: November 2, 2009
Last Edited: April 19, 2010
Posted: April 19, 2010
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, no pairings.]
Beyond the Sun
A melancholic feeling filled Harry as he stared around the classroom. It reminded him of Hogwarts, and greatly so. The walls were made of stone and rows of desks filled the room. The main difference was the bluish-white balls of light hanging from the ceiling, illuminating the classroom. There was also a number of diagrams hanging on the walls, most of which he couldn't make sense of. The one closest to him showed the Earth and its atmosphere and was labeled in what looked like Latin.
And of course, the students filling the room were also quite different. Directly in front of Harry was a blue skinned fayerie and next to him was a silver haired veela.
"This is going to be boring," Ryan groaned. He was sitting on Harry's other side with his head resting on the desk. "I hate theory. Why can't we just jump straight into the actual magic? It's not like learning theory is actually going to do anything for us—"
"Well I'm sorry you feel that way, Mr. Henderson."
Ryan shot up in his seat, eyes wide with horror. Standing next to their desk was a tall woman with pale blonde hair—though nowhere near as pale as a fayerie or veela's hair—that was pulled back into a bun. She looked like she was in her early thirties, but as this was the Magical World there was no way of telling just how old she actually was. One of her eyebrows was arched as she stared down at Ryan.
"Er, umm— T-that is," Ryan stuttered, vainly trying to find a way to save face. "...Hi, Master Brenton."
The corners of the woman's mouth twitched upward. "Well at least you paid enough attention to your syllabus to know my name," she said dryly. "I just hope you put that same attention into the rest of my class, boring though you may find it."
"Yes Ma'am," Ryan replied meekly.
A small snicker slipped through Harry's lips at the sight of the usually energetic Ryan cowed by just a few words and a look. Harry regretted it a second later when the professor's gaze snapped over to him.
"The same goes for you, Mr. Potter," Master Brenton said pointedly.
Suddenly it seemed to Harry as though the entire class had collectively breathed in and forgot to breathe out. The hairs on the back his neck stood on end as a dozen gazes fixed on him. Master Brenton seemed to notice as well, if the frown on her face was any indication.
Abruptly Master Brenton clapped sharply while turning and continuing to walk up to the desk in the front of the class. Everyone's attention snapped back to her and the tension eased from Harry's shoulders as he was finally able to relax.
"Well let's get started, shall we?" Master Brenton queried. "I am Abigail Brenton and I'll be your Magical Theory Master." Despite her wiry frame, her voice easily carried throughout the entire room without the use of magic. She spoke with a vaguely familiar American accent that Harry couldn't quite place.
Master Brenton swiftly moved over to her desk and leaned against one of its corners. She picked up a stray pen and began to absently twirl it in her hand. "This class," she continued, "Is one of your required classes for a reason. I know that many of you don't like theory and find it boring..." Her gaze strayed over to Ryan, who wilted again. "...But what you will learn in here will have drastic effects on your magical 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 it to the rest of your classes and improve your overall magical performance."
Setting her pen down, Master Brenton moved to stand in front of the center of the room once more. Harry could easily see that she was quite passionate about her subject, despite her rather impassive expression.
"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 regular means. Through centuries, nay, millenniums of study however, we have managed to come to a basic understanding 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 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." Master 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 Master 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?" Master 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 has 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 runs through when we summon it from our magical 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." Master 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 access their core directly. 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. 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. 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." Master Brenton paused her pacing then and turned to smile brightly at the class. "So, to sum it up," she continued, "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 gap. 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 Muggleborn 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 genomes 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 genomes 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 stable enough.
"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 genes combine to create 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 procreate 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 fifty percent 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 has never been a case of it working the other way around, where two wizards produce a mage. At least not from birth."
Again Harry felt eyes stray over him. Even Ryan glanced at him from the corner of his eyes, though he quickly looked away when he saw the scowl beginning to form on Harry's face.
Master 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. But it didn't explain how he'd become a mage. He'd been told it had something to do with the Killing Curse—the death magic—but that didn't make sense to him. How could something that was supposed to kill him make him more powerful? That was, of course, unless one of his parents had actually been a mage all along and had just hidden it from the whole world. 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?"
Master Brenton 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 is offered here will probably get a bit of an explanation today in that class."
The rest of the class continued in a similar way, with different students asking questions and Master Brenton answering them in length, effectively painting a pretty good picture of just how magic worked. By the end of the class, 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 way he did. This was why he was so different from wizards.
When they were finally dismissed, Ryan and Harry stood simultaneously and began to exit the class. Harry didn't get more than a few steps however before an ice elf slammed into his shoulder while brushing by.
"Oi!" Harry exclaimed as he stumbled.
The taller guy instantly turned around and snarled, "What?" Harry was briefly taken aback by the sheer hostility in his expression. "Got a problem, wizard?"
"What the hell—?!"
Before Harry was even able to finish his sentence however, the ice elf had already left and the rest of the students were warily skirting around them. It wasn't too surprising, considering how Ryan was growling and glaring daggers at the doorway.
"What was that jackass's problem?" the werewolf snapped.
Though frowning heavily, Harry just shook his head. "Let it go," he said softly. There was no way he was going to get in trouble on his first day at school—regardless of whether or not it was his fault. Ryan still seemed upset, but he calmed down easily enough.
But that didn't stop him from giving Harry a warning to watch his back before exiting the classroom.
Transfiguration and Physics passed by for Harry in a blur of lectures and demonstrations. He'd sat with Damion during Transfiguration, but other than that nothing particularly interesting had happened. Or at least, nothing good.
Apparently word about him attending Silvermoor had finally gotten out. Suddenly it was like his first week at Hogwarts all over again. Students would whisper as he passed by and solemn gazes followed him wherever he went. Most students were just curious, but there were a number who seemed to harbor a serious grudge against him, just for being a former wizard. It was rather disturbing.
When Harry stepped into the Enchantment classroom, the first thing he saw was Master Aetius leaning back in the chair behind the desk at the front of the room, with his feet propped up. He was flipping through a book absently, paying no attention to the students as they filtered in. It figured Harry would just so happen to have Master Aetius as a professor.
Well at least the class should prove to be interesting.
"Hmm, Master Aetius...I've heard of him," Damion muse quietly. "I think my father might have mentioned him once."
Harry hummed thoughtfully in response. He'd kept hearing a lot about Damion's father in the past two days; Damion could hardly go an hour without mentioning him. It wasn't like how Malfoy had been, bragging about him and constantly reminding people who he was. Rather, it was as though his father was his entire world. Everything he knew seemed to be about something his father had told him or somewhere his father had taken him once. Ryan laughed at Damion for it, but it made Harry rather melancholy; would he have been like that, had his father still been alive?
And that invariably brought Harry's thoughts to the Wizarding World. He was starting to miss his friends already. Every time he saw a statue, wondered what Hermione would think of it. Every time he overheard a conversation about some magical sport, he wondered if Ron would like it. From different angles various professors reminded him of the ones he'd known. He'd catch a flash of red hair in a hallway and immediately turn, thinking it was a Weasley.
Despite this, Harry made no attempt to contact his old friends—nor was he planning to. He just couldn't take the risk. Harry was afraid that if they knew where he was, they'd try to get him to come back. And he couldn't do that. He needed to be here, to train his abilities. Plus, he couldn't specifically tell them what was going on even if he wanted to, thanks to the secrecy contract Christophe had had him sign. Maybe eventually Harry would write to them, but not yet. Not yet.
That didn't stop him from wondering. What would they say if they learned about the Magical World? If they knew that he was a mage?
The scraping of wood against stone brought Harry's attention back to the present. Master Aetius had pushed back his chair and stood up and was now surveying the class with a keen eye. A moment later that sharp look disappeared, replaced by a wide grin.
"Welcome, welcome children! This is Zeta year Enchantment. If you just suddenly had an epiphany and realized that you're in the wrong class, please leave now and scurry along to find the place you're supposed to be in. No? No one? Alright then, for the rest of you, I hope you'll enjoy this class. Enchantment is certainly my favorite subject, as should be pretty obvious from the fact that I'm teaching it. If you're one of those rare people who dislike enchantment...Well, who knows how your minds will change as time goes by. After all, 'If you can look into the seeds of time and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak.' Hmm?
"I'm Gaea Aetius, by the way. Briefly about me...? I'm the head Enchantment Master at this school. I teach the advanced class and you little guys, so that I have a chance to get my hands dirty with all sorts of students. And before anyone points it out, yes I do realize that with my fair hair, pale eyes, and white skin I look rather washed out, but guess what: I don't care! If you've really got that much of a problem with it, take it up with my parents for being vampires and thus giving me the inability to get any sort of a tan. Speaking of which, I hail from a small town in northern Italy. I've been teaching here for nearly fifty years now and I have Masteries in enchantment, physics, neuromagic, soul magic, and death magic."
From the way stents the students' jaws began to drop, Harry figure that it was rare for someone to have so many Masteries. If he equated it to a master's degree in the Muggle world then he could certainly see why; it was difficult enough for someone to get one degree, let alone five.
The rest of the class mainly consisted of Master Aetius talking and everyone else laughing at the random points he made. He'd been quite an engaging professor so far, even though they hadn't actually touched onto enchantment itself yet.
Following Enchantment, Harry had a short break for lunch. He followed Damion down to the Banquet Hall, which was now filled with students of all ages. Harry sat at an empty table with a wall at his back, not too far from the doorway. He'd grown paranoid during his time in the Wizarding World, so he now instinctively chose a seat with the most protection—where he could see everything and couldn't be snuck up on, while still being close enough to an exit in case he needed to make a quick escape. Harry thought his actions were probably irrational, considering that he was in a school, but that didn't make him stop. Damion humored his choice in seating without seeming to understand its meaning.
Once seated, Harry picked up one of the thin black booklets he'd first seen during the Zeta orientation. He had learned the day before that they were menus, listing numerous different types of food, everything from curry to lasagna, which made sense considering that the students came from all over the world. They operated similarly to a Muggle touch screen in that you tapped the items you wanted to select, then tapped Done once you were finished. Almost immediately after, the plates of food would appear on the table.
Not a minute after Harry had begun to enjoy a sandwich, Ryan stat down heavily next to him, across from Damion. He dropped his bag onto the floor with a clunk and instantly started ordering food. Damion watched with a faint expression of disgust as half a dozen plates appeared.
"Must you be so uncouth?" he finally demanded, once the werewolf had begun to eat.
Ryan paused, a half eaten slice of pizza in his hand. "Huh?"
Damion scoffed and turned away, muttering something in Italian under his breath. Harry frowned tightly, but said nothing; he was already growing used to their bickering, annoying as it was.
Harry's first class after lunch was Elemental Manipulation. He was curious about the class, having heard from Ryan during lunch that it was incredibly interesting—or, in his words, "a blast". Upon first catching sight of the professor however, Harry had to wonder if he should revise his initial opinion.
Chuntao Daiyu, the professor, had to be the strictest looking woman he'd ever laid eyes upon. She was an older Chinese elf with short graying hair and sharp gray eyes. Her mouth was stretched out into a permanent thin line that seemed to radiate displeasure. She was a bony woman who, despite being around five and a half feet tall, somehow seemed much smaller. That she walked around in short, quick strides didn't exactly help.
She was, however, counted among the most talented elemental manipulators in the world and when she spoke all of the students hung onto her every word.
"This is your first day of Elemental Manipulation," Professor Daiyu said once they all had been seated in the large classroom. "For those of you who don't know, in this class you shall learn how to manipulate the natural elements around us. These elements are fire, water, air, earth and—to a lesser extent—lightning, ice, air, and metal, for those of you who are talented with multiple elements.
"The first concept you must understand is that all people are more compatible with certain elements. You will all have one or two elements which you are able to control and others which you have no power over whatsoever. This has nothing to do with magic, only yourselves—your personal perception of the world shapes how you approach the different elements. And the elements require specific approaches in order to be manipulated. This of course means that with enough time, it's possible to control them all. In fact, that's a requisite for becoming an Elemental Master. Today however you will learn which elements you are able to manipulate. From there we will begin on precisely how you can control them."
Harry exchanged a glance with Damion, who sat next to him. They were both curious about the class, even more so now. Harry couldn't help but wonder which element he was compatible with.
"We will begin with fire," Daiyu said. She snapped her fingers and suddenly small flames appeared over each of the desks, floating about four inches in the air. "Manipulate the flame; make it move."
Harry frowned at the small flame, concentrating. If he added a bit of oxygen to the flame then it'd grow and—
"Manipulate the flame!" Professor Daiyu voice suddenly barked from directly in front of him. Harry jumped in surprise. "And only the flame." She glared at him for a second, as if she'd known what he was about to do. Harry quickly nodded his agreement and then released a relived sigh when Daiyu moved on. Her tense body language unnerved him for some reason. Actually, she reminded him a lot of Alastor Moody.
The flame flickered almost mockingly at Harry as he returned to staring at it. Manipulate only the flame? So just the energy then...
Manipulating the flame turned out to be harder than Harry expected. Because fire was pure energy, it was wild and uncontrollable. Harry had to use all of his willpower in order to get it in the direction that he wanted it to move, and even then it just seemed to slip through his control. Next to him, Damion made controlling the fire seem disturbingly easy. In a matter of seconds he was able to do almost anything with it.
The second exercise was for water. Professor Daiyu snapped her fingers for a second time and the flames were replaced by small bowls of water.
For Harry, the water turned out to be even more difficult to control. No matter what he did he couldn't control it with his magic any more than he could with his fingers. Had he been allowed to he could have easily used the air outside the water to move the liquid, but with the water alone it was impossible. His only respite was that Damion wasn't having any more luck than he was.
Next was the wind exercise, in which they were told to create a miniature whirlwind on their desks. For Harry this came surprisingly easy. Perhaps it was because he'd already been manipulating air for many years, or maybe it was because it was the element he was most "compatible" with. Either way he finished the exercise in a few scant seconds.
The final exercise that they were given was for manipulating earth. Professor Daiyu snapped her fingers again and this time a rock appeared on each of the students' desks.
"Break the rock," was all she said. She gave no other instructions beyond that and no one had the nerve to ask.
Harry stared blankly at the rock, wondering how to complete this task. Again he was surprised to realize that he knew exactly how to break it had he been using wind; he would have just shoved air into the natural holes in the rock and then expanded it outwards. But using only earth he honestly had no idea, so he decided to do what he did best: Wing it.
The dark haired mage concentrated all of his power onto the rock and channeled it through it, trying to get it to break. To his surprise the rock began to vibrate slightly before finally cracking into several pieces.
Harry blinked down at the rock. "Huh," he mused quietly. "Well I guess that works."
As Harry looked up from his own rock, he happened to overhear Master Daiyu congratulating—almost praising—a nearby Egyptian mage for her ability to turn the rock into a finely powered dust mixed with pebbled of various sizes. Damion leaned around Harry to get a look and found himself similarly gaping.
"Incredible," the vampire muttered. "She must be almost on par with some elves."
Harry turned to give Damion a questioning look. "...The elves? What do you mean by that?"
"Ah, well you might have noticed that there are not any elves in this class right?" Damion asked. Harry glanced around and suddenly realized that he was right; the class was made up of mages, werewolves, vampires, etc. but no elves. "Well that is because all elves attend a different sort of elemental manipulation class. You see, each race of elf has power over one element—and only that element. But the control that they do have over it far surpasses what most other races are able to accomplish."
Harry considered his explanation for a moment. "So then ice elves control ice and fire elves control fire?" he asked.
Damion nodded. "And wood elves control earth," he agreed. "Though a few have been known to control plants instead, but that's rare."
By the end of the Elemental Manipulation class all of the students had figured out which of the elements they were most compatible with. Harry's was without a doubt wind and Damion's was fire, though paradoxically he handled water pretty well too.
Professor Daiyu told them that from the next class onwards they'd be receiving instructions specific to their own element. They'd learn the basics in how to control all the other elements too, but would be focusing on their main one for the time being.
Damion absently ran a hand through his bangs as they walked out of the class. The rest of his hair was tied back in a waist length braid, as always. "It should be interesting to learn how to form fire from nothing," he commented. "Master Daiyu mentioned something about using raw energy and friction..." The rest of Damion's sentence turned inaudible as the vampire began mumbling, lost in thought. Harry chuckled once more and left the vampire to his musings.
For his part, Harry was also quite eager for their next class. He'd learnt throughout his life that the air around them could be used for so much, and so to actually be taught the specific ways to control air would doubtlessly only enhance his control.
Harry's next class was Magical History, which honestly piqued Harry's curiosity. Considering the age of the Magical World, he doubted the class would be like History of Magic at Hogwarts, which had only covered the past thousand years.
He had no idea just how true that would prove to be.
A/N: ...I would remark on the amount of time has passed, but there isn't really much I can say. Life happens, etc., etc. But for a partial explanation, check out the last paragraph!
Not much to say on this chapter, except ugh. Theory. Next chapter will have the only other classes in the entire story--for the most part. Following that we'll dive straight into the action. Also, to make up for my long absence, I've got to pieces of art for you, of Ryan and Damion. Much thanks to Adeene on Tinier Me for them! You can find the links on my profile page.
So, partial explanation/advertisement, with the advertisement part directed at those of you who are 1/2 Prince fans. Basically, I'm a part of a group that is working on creating a 1/2 Prince RPG video game. You can find the group, Second Life Project, here: secondlifeproject(DOT)ipbfree(DOT)com. We're currently looking for RPG Maker VX designer, RTP script writers, talented artists, and talented writers to work on the dialogue scripts. If you're interested in helping out, please apply!
(Please note that we are not looking for anymore playtesters at this time)
Thanks for your time!