Gregor took his seat on the plane and sighed. He was going to miss New York, with it's towering skyscrapers and it's bright lights. He was going to miss the din of the crowds and the endless stream of motors. Most of all he was going to miss the faint hope that there was a chance that he could return to the Underland that he had help since they had left eight months before. He vaguely wondered if the peace had lasted, or if they were at war once again.
"This is your captain speaking, please buckle your seat belts. We should land in London Heathrow Airport in approximately seven hours and it is expected to be a calm flight. Remember the no smoking sign is on," the intercom roared.
Gregor's family was moving to Great Britain, where his aunt lived. His mother had moved to the United States as soon as she had come of age, but still kept in relatively good contact with her sister.
Since since the death of their grandmother, Grace had decided that they needed to start over, and upon learning that her husband's family farm would not be able to financial support everyone on a permanent basis, to take the family back to her homeland with everything that had happened in the past year. Her sister had agreed to let them stay with her until they could get on their feet.
He closed his eyes and let out a deep breath. A black and white image of the cabin came back to him. He wasn't practicing as much as he should of, but he still had it.
He started to drift off to sleep. He was so tired, he hadn't been getting proper sleep lately because of nightmares…
He was falling, and falling fast. It was completely dark, and his echolocation was failing. "Ares!" he called out right as…
"Hey, kid, are you all right?" the person next to Gregor as he shock him awake.
"Yes," the boy muttered as he gained his senses.
"You sure? You were screaming in your sleep," the man said.
"Yeah, I'm sure. Do you know how long until we land?" Gregor asked, turning in his chair so he see him properly. He noticed that though he was only about thirty, his light brown hair was already turning grey
"I think we're supposed to land in about an hour," the man said. "My name is Remus, by the way. Where's your parents?"
"Up there," Gregor said, pointing towards some seats closer to the front of the cabin. They had not been able to get seats all together. "M' name's Gregor. What you going for?"
"I'm actually returning, I had gone to the US to try to get a job. I got offered a teaching position by an old friend of mine, so I'm returning." The conversation continued in this manner until they landed, where they said their goodbyes.
Remus departed the plane with heavy thoughts on his head. There had been something about the boy seated next to him on the plane that had the wolf inside him practically howling. He was never the one to let his instincts keep him from being at least civil, especially to children, but there was something about the boy that made him suspicious. If only he could figure out what he felt suspicious of.
Gregor waited the majority of other passengers to get off the plane before getting up and walk up to where the rest of his family was sitting. He didn't bother to mention the man that he had met.
At baggage claim, Grace looked around for her sister. She then dragged them over to a bushy haired family of three, and hugged the woman.
"This is my sister, Monica, her husband Wendell, and their daughter Hermione," Gregor's mother introduced. "This is my son, Gregor, my daughters, Lizzie and Margret…"
"Me Boots!" the little girl interrupted.
"And my husband, Andrew," Grace introduced. Greetings were exchanged, luggage was grabbed, and they drove to the home of Grace's sister's family, the Grangers.
It is mid-July when Gregor gets the letter that surprises everyone. Professor McGonagall had shown up at the Granger household like she had three years previously to inform Hermione of her powers.
"Profess McGonagall!" Hermione gasped in surprise at the unexpected visit by the head of house.
"Who are you?" Gregor asked, watching from other room.
"Mr. Young, I have come to deliver your letter for Hogwarts. It is only a formality, as I am sure that the American government has already informed you about being a wizard," Minerva McGonagall stated.
"What's a wizard?" Gregor asked dumbly.
"You mean you don't know?"
"Magic, you mean, is real?"
"Yes. There are some people who can do powerful things," McGonagall said.
"How am I magical though?" Gregor asked.
"You are a muggleborn, a muggle being, in simplest terms, someone who cannot do magic. It is not very common, and I consider it to be something of a gift. More often, young witches and wizards have one or both parents that are magical. Here is your letter," McGonagall said, handing Gregor the parchment, "Hermione here can explain it more. I need to file a complaint with the American ministry about the matter of not telling you of your ability." She then stepped out of the building and disaparted away.
Gregor turned to his cousin and said, "So your a witch?"
The rest of the summer was a long one. Hermione explained the Wizarding World to Gregor's family, putting extra emphasis that Hogwarts would be the best way to continue her cousin's education. She did not do a demonstration, citing some wizarding law about minors not doing magic outside of school for anything but defense.
When it was brought up that they would never be able to afford to send Gregor to a boarding school for one year, much less seven, a letter was sent to Professor Dumbledore. It turned out there was a fund for the less fortunate members of the community to use for paying tuition and school items such as a wand, textbooks, and the student's first cauldron.
Grace was undoubtable nervous about sending Gregor away to Hogwarts for reasons obvious to her husband and children. Her sister, not knowing the real motivation for the uneasiness, tried to reassure the woman, claiming that Gregor would be perfectly fine (she had not been informer about her daughter being petrified in her last year).
Finally, it was the last week in August, and Hermione would be taking Gregor down to Diagon Alley to get his school supplies. With the money the school gave him, along with the money Mr. and Mrs. Granger had been kind enough to loan him for a trunk and potion supplies, Hermione took him to downtown London.
She brought him to through the Leaky Cauldron, and then outside to a back courtyard. "What are we doing here?" Gregor asked.
"This is the entrance to Diagon Alley," Hermione. When she saw the look of confusion on Gregor's face, she tapped the bricks on the wall. As the hole in the wall opened up to reveal the alley, the look on Gregor's face turned from confusion to mild surprise.
"Here we are, Gregor. My friend Harry, is staying in the Leaky Cauldron until school starts. Maybe we can meet up with him to get school supplies."
She looked around and dashed off into the street, letting Gregor to try to follow her. He managed to catch up just in time to see her hug and start speaking with a black haired, green eyed boy with glasses.
After about a minute of speaking with the boy, she dragged him over for introductions. "Harry, this is my cousin Gregor. Gregor, this is Harry," she said with a smile.
"Hullo," he said.
"Nice to meet you, Hermione's spoke a lot of you," Gregor replied.
"Hope it was good."
The three headed towards the book shop. Hermione had grudgingly let him use her copy of The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 1) and read some of her books on wizarding culture after promising he'd let her read them if she needed them (something he doubted), but they decided on getting the rest of them for him for connivence sake.
He was a little concerned about something falling on him in the bookstore with everything so much more tightly packed in there, but that experience was overall positive. The woman who fitted him for his cloths was bubbly and very polite. Everyone else had a polite, if forced, attitude.
What interested Gregor the most was the wand shop, owned and operated by the wand maker Ollivander. He couldn't wait to get his. Though he wished he could of gone back to the Underland to tell his friends there about this world, he doubted he'd ever get a chance to return to New York and ultimately the Underland. Though they had managed it, traveling to Great Britain had been difficult on his family financially.
When he entered the store with Hermione and Harry, the clerk at the counter called out the specifications of two wands.
"He remembers every wand he ever sold," Hermione clarified.
"Who is this young fellow? I don't believe I've ever met him before," Ollivander stated.
"He's my cousin from America," Hermione said before Gregor could get anything out of his mouth, "Due to problems in the American Ministry, he only just found out he was a wizard. Can we get a wand for him?"
"Of course, of course. It's always better to get matched with a wand between the age of ten and twelve, but it's never truly to late to get a first wand," he said before coming out from behind the counter and started to measure Gregor. After a few minutes of doing this, he went in back to grab some wands.
Gregor tried so many wands that he thought his hand would fall off. After about the tenth wand, Ollivander started muttering "curious" and "interesting" under his breath.
"He's trying ever more wands then I did," Harry whispered to Hermione, who was starting to get bored.
Ollivander went in back one more time, for several minutes. When he came back, he carried a beautiful dark brown wand. He gave the wand to Gregor, "A perfect fit. Rosewood, fourteen inches, Threstral tail hair core. I don't tend to make many wands with Threstral tail hair, they tend to have a higher affinity for dark magic, so I don't advertise I stock them. Sometimes, they are truly what a customer needs though" he said before quickly added, "Having one doesn't make the owner dark or evil though. Having one in your allegiance makes it easier though."
After they left Ollivander's, they parted ways and headed home.
September came quickly in the last week of August like it always does. Gregor, who had faced down giant sociopathic rats, an army of ants, two very annoying fireflies, and death itself, was actually finding himself nervous. He made Hermione tell him the basics about Hogwarts (in particular the houses and sorting system) and the wizarding world twice on the way to Kings Cross Station.
Gregor was uneasy about the thought of a magical hat looking at his innermost memories. It could see the Underland, and thus potentially reveal his secret. He didn't want to reveal that to anybody who didn't need to know, much less a school full of people he had never met.
Lost in thought, he followed Hermione almost aimlessly, almost not noticing walking through the platform.
He somehow got separated from Hermione while boarding the train. She probably went off to find Harry and her other friend, what was it? Rob? Each compartment seemed full as he passed, until he found one near the back with a single, blond girl around the age of twelve inside.
"Can I sit with you?" Gregor asked the girl
"Sure, you can sit with me, nobody else does. I'm Luna," she said almost absentmindedly.
"I'm Gregor," Gregor said. He put out his hand to shake hers, but quickly retracted it when he saw that she had no intention on shaking it.
"I haven't seen you around, but you look older than a first year. Are you new?" Luna asked.
"I just found out I was a wizard when I moved here over the summer. I'm pretty new at this," Gregor replied. The two continued on this way for most of the rest of the train ride.
The train compartment got real cold. and it went dark about halfway to Hogwarts. The darkness didn't really bother him because of his echolocation, but Luna seemed to be a little on the worried side though. Then a terrible feeling swept across Gregor, as if all the worst parts of his life came up and then swallowed him whole.
He felt the memories of the War of Time come to the surface, along with the horrible events that led up to it. He was about to pass out when a light from down the hall of the train came up and chased the feeling away.
"Are you all right?" Luna asked.
"Yeah. Do you know what caused that?" Gregor replied.
"It was a Dementor. It is a being of bad memories."
"Okay…" the rest of the train ride went on without a hitch.
"We travel from the train station to the castle and back in carriages pulled by Threstrals. You can't see them though unless you have seen and accepted death. First years go to the castle by boats, led there by Hagrid," Luna told Gregor as they got off the train.
As if on cue, a booming voice yelled "First Years over here! First Years over here!"
"See you at the feast," Luna said before walking up.
The sorting seemed to take forever. Though this year's incoming class seemed relatively small (there had only been two or three children of each gender sorted into each house except Gryffindor, which had no male children yet), but it felt like hours.
"Young, Gregory!" McGonagall cried out. He walked up and sat on the stool.
Gregor walked up to the stool and sat down. Aren't you a little old to be starting school? A voice said in Gregor's mind. He was taken aback, and started to hear the buzzing of his rager sense, but kept his cool.
I only just found out I was a wizard, thus the late start, Gregor thought back.
Of course, of course, the voice seemed to muse. Now where to sort you? I will take a close look within some of your recent memories to figure out where to put you.
That's not idea…
Death, it's death in it's most hideous form! To much death, to much destruction, more than any one person, much less a child, should experience in their entire life…yet you endure. I know exactly where to put you…
"GRYFFINDOR!" the hat cries out.
Gryffindor table erupts into applause, and Gregor walks over and sat down in a mild daze from his conversation with a hat that would last the rest of the night. He would not notice the familiar sitting on the staff table.
A/N: I'll start on the next chapter when there is a favorite, a story alert, or a positive review. I don't want to waste my time if nobody is actually interested in my story.