Burning out the Dark, 2/?
Starts after OOP
JKR owns them; I'm just having a little fun (not for profit)
"What?" Harry stared at Remus, sure he'd misheard.
"You're a Dark Elf, Harry. You'll come into your magical inheritance when you turn sixteen, and I promised your mum --" He broke off as a man appeared next to him. "Arwen!" Remus grinned and hugged the man.
Harry looked on, still in shock. His surprise increased when he saw the pointed ears on the 'man' and realized he must be an Elf. His dark hair fell just past his shoulders, and his skin had a similar tone to Harry's. He wasn't overly tall -- a couple inches shorter than Remus, but he looked strong and wiry.
"This is Harry," Remus said, a real smile on his face for the first time since Sirius died.
Harry held out his hand, strangely nervous.
The man -- Elf -- took it in both of his. "Harry James Potter," he said, his tenor voice rich and full. "How wonderful to meet at long last."
Harry glanced at Remus, confused. "You know me?"
"I'm Arwen, your great-uncle -- of course, I know you."
"My great-uncle." Harry swallowed, wondering if Remus had slipped him a potion or something to make him dream or hallucinate. Arwen laughed, as if he could read Harry's mind.
"Listen, you're probably feeling a bit strange right now. Why don't we go to the village, and after you've rested, we'll talk." He held out his arm, as if ushering them into a room. Harry didn't see anything, though, except the grey peaks and summer-washed green hills. Then Remus pulled Harry with him into Arwen's outstretched arm, and everything shimmered. When Harry could see clearly again, they stood in the midst of stone cottages along the grassy knolls, still bordered by the mountains beyond.
"What happened?" Harry asked. "Did we Apparate or something?"
"Elf magic," Arwen said, with a wink. "The village is invisible in every way to non-Elves. Once you come into your heritage, you'll be able to see it, though."
"My heritage?" Harry looked between the two men. "I'm not an Elf. I think there's some mistake."
"No mistake, Harry," Remus said, as a young female Elf danced up, her face alight.
"Papa!" she cried, throwing her arms around Arwen.
"I've been out a bit," he explained. "They don't know you're coming." He raised his voice. "We have guests."
Immediately, dozens of Elves appeared, coming from within the cottages or the hills behind them. Harry blinked, still thinking Remus had done something to him. This couldn't be real.
Arwen laughed again, probably at the stupid expression on Harry's face. "Come, you must be tired." He led Harry and Remus into one of the nearby cottages, everyone smiling and nodding as Harry went by. "This is your home while you're here. We'll keep you safe, and later tonight, we'll talk." He showed Harry a back room with a soft-looking bed. Remus pulled out the shrunken trunk and returned it to size, setting it against the wall at the end of the bed.
"Rest, Harry," Remus said. "Arwen and I need to talk. Stay here until I return, even if you don't sleep. All right?"
Harry didn't want to -- he wanted to understand what was going on. But something in Remus's eyes reminded him that Remus didn't have to do this -- that he could have forced Harry to stay with the Dursleys. "Fine," Harry said, sitting on the bed. He laid down, not planning to sleep. He wasn't a baby, after all, who needed naps. But as soon as the sound of their voices faded, the sounds of the last fight filled Harry's mind. He heard the screams, the taunts, and saw the final look of shock as Sirius slipped through the Veil. Harry squeezed his eyes shut, fighting the sorrow, the anger, the pain.
He must have fallen asleep, because when he opened his eyes again, the light had changed into that deep gold that came in the summer evenings, especially this far north. He sat up, surprised at how much better he felt. Remus told him to stay put, but surely he could explore the cottage. He left his room and wandered around, finding a bathroom with a large tub (with clawed feet even), a short flight of stairs to a lofty area above, a living area, and a kitchen. The loft area held a bed, also, and he wondered if that's where Remus would stay. As he came down the stairs, Remus came through the front door.
"Harry. Good, you're awake. Come on out -- everyone's getting ready for dinner."
"Everyone?" Harry asked, following Remus outside. Then he stilled, again surprised by what he saw. A group of Elves worked on the hillside, not too far away. They stood around a large oven-like structure, pulling out flat boards with breads, vegetables, and some kinds of meat on them. Others standing nearby took the food and split it among wooden bowls; from there, the bowls were handed out to everyone within range. "They always eat like this?" Harry asked.
"In this village they do," Remus said. "At least they have every time I've been here."
"Oh." When they'd gotten their bowls and wooden utensils -- a smooth, dark wood like Harry'd not seen before -- they sat at one of the smooth stone tables set randomly throughout the village. Arwen joined them soon after they started.
"You look well rested, Harry. Once we've eaten, I'll take you through our village and into the upper hills. There we can talk, all right?"
Harry nodded, his mouth full of meat and vegetables, all cooked in an interesting blend of spicy and sweet. He'd never tasted anything like it -- but it was delicious. It didn't take him long, and by the time Remus had also finished, Harry was getting impatient again. Arwen gave him a look, an amused smile on his face. "Shall we?"
Remus joined them, to Harry's relief. He wasn't quite ready to be alone with Arwen yet, great-uncle or not. They wandered among the tables and cottages, everyone smiling or saying a warm hello. They slowly climbed up the hillside, passing the outdoor oven, a large fire pit, an area filled with what looked like stone tools and work benches, and then higher still past a few more cottages. When they reached the crest of the hill, the village lay mostly below them, spread out in grey-stone simplicity. "It's pretty neat," Harry said, breaking their silence. "I mean, I like how the cottages match the mountains behind us."
Arwen grinned. "But of course," he said. "We used the stone from the mountains -- smoothed it and cut it ourselves with Elven magic." He gestured at the soft-looking grass. "Let's sit. This could take a while." The sun was angling behind them, getting ready to drop below the peaks. The water in the valley sparkled and shone, and Harry didn't think he'd every seen anything quite so lovely before.
"So, I'm a Dark Elf, huh?" he said, tearing at a blade of grass.
"You are," Remus said. "You get the heritage from both your mum and dad, actually. Arwen here is your great-grandmother's brother -- your dad's grandmother. Your mum's tribe is also on Skye, but not our village. Like all Elves, your parents came into their heritage when they turned sixteen -- but your dad refused it. He had the Potter pride sometimes, and he didn't want to be different from Sirius, mostly. Since he and your mum weren't together by then, he didn't know that she was an Elf too."
"Wait." Harry took a deep breath, trying to understand. "My mum was Muggle-born. How could she possible have Elf blood?"
Arwen spoke up. "Your mum's great-great-grandfather left his tribe. He wanted to live in the wizarding world, and he met his mate out there and married her. But when she died in child-birth, in his grief, he gave his baby to a Muggle couple, his wife's brother. The Elven heritage remained recessive until your mum, the first Evans child with magic."
"She knew?" Harry asked, shocked. He'd seen the memory of his mum in Snape's mind, and she didn't have pointed ears. "Did she refuse too?"
"No. She accepted it," Remus said quickly. "Lily loved the magical world, was fascinated by it. She wore a glamour to conceal her changed features, and James never knew. It was the only thing she kept from him -- and in hindsight, it's too bad she didn't reveal herself. Who knows how things might have been different."
"What do you mean? And how do you know all this?"
Remus sighed. "I met Lily on my own, you know -- not only through James. Lily and I were friends, just like Severus and I were."
"What??" Harry leaned away from Remus, disgusted. "How can you be friends with him? He turned you in!"
"He's not perfect, by any means - -but then neither am I." Remus rubbed his hands on his knees. "Can we talk about that part later? Right now, what's important is that your mum told me about her Elf heritage when she learned I was a werewolf. She wanted me to know that I wasn't the only magical creature at Hogwarts." He gave a sad smile. "She was kind that way -- like you are, Harry."
Harry stared at the water as the sun's rays slowly moved further away. Was it really possible that he knew his parents even less than he'd thought? Would he ever understand them or know what they were like? He hated this feeling of being so separate from them, of feeling once again like an orphan, alone in the world.
Remus talked on. "She told me she was a Dark Elf, and she made me promise to bring you here when you turned sixteen, so you could see for yourself the heritage within you. So you could make an informed decision when your time comes."