This story starts after a slightly alternate version to the movie Conqueror of Shamballa (not CoS as in Chamber of Secrets, sorry to disappoint). Instead of the whole pre-WWII deal going on, this deals with a more fanatic offshoot of the Golden Dawn in the UK (caused by Hohenheim approaching them for rumors of their more "magical" qualities and their scholarly interest in these things) . They begin to explore alchemy, and Ed becomes involved similarly to in the movie (Envy the dragon). Noah is pursued for her more mystical skills, and Alfons works as a space engineer alongside Ed. The basic story layout is the same, it's the setting that's different. This may affect the plot of this later on, considering that the Golden Dawn especially emphasized magic (which was never proven to be a certainty to Ed and Al), and the world of Harry Potter operates on magic being real. So, it gives this story some more depth that I can work with, and plus, it gets rid of that nasty time skip that was present in the previous version. Convenient how it all works out, isn't it? Anyway, no offense to anyone who might take offense. If you know more about the Golden Dawn then I do, feel free to tell me stuff!
Most of it should be explained through the prologue, though if you have any questions throughout, just hit the review button. I'll PM you back :)
Ed had never understood Halloween.
Sure, as a child, he had celebrated it as readily as the next kid, but he had never quite grasped the point of it all. Visiting house to house to get some candy? Something to do with the devil? It made absolutely no sense. The pastor claimed it was sinful, so why was it so prevalent throughout Amestris?
He had thought he had understood that at least. After all, all kids wanted candy, right? It had become a precious custom, and if it were ever taken away, the adults may have a revolt on their hands.
Now though, he wasn't so sure.
"Is the portal ready?" one of the so-called "magicians" said. Or perhaps this one didn't claim the title. Some of these "Golden Dawn" members did, while others didn't. It had become too difficult to keep track of.
"Perhaps." The second man's eyes shot to him. Ed's body tensed; were they finally going to ask him to do something? It wasn't like he was here, all tied up and pretty because they wanted him to watch. Obviously it had something to do with alchemy – a theory that was only reinforced by the giant transmutation circle etched into the ground. It's purpose was all too clear for his trained and weary eyes: to open the Gate to his own world. Yet he could see slight faults: the chalk was too faded, the lines too curved. It didn't matter anyway; it was never going to work. In this world it was impossible.
"Is it ready, Mr. Elric?" Suddenly, the other man was in Ed's face, leering with damp breath. He felt a snarl form at his face, anger course through his veins. What the hell did this guy think he was doing? It was an invasion of personal space.
Before he knew it, he had pulled back his foot and hit the man in the guts. The "magician" doubled over, wearing a pained expression.
"Mr. Elric, I would appreciate it if you did not –"
"What the hell?" the angry words slipped out far too easily. "You kidnap me for no reason, leave me here tied up without telling me anything, and suddenly you just ask something weird and creepy about this," – no, he couldn't tell him he knew what it was – "thing that you have there? What is that anyway?"
The man laughed. He freakin' laughed.
"You should not feign ignorance, Mr. Elric. Your father has already told us what we need to know."
"Oh yeah?" he taunted. "Then why do you need me?"
Silence. Ed felt a victorious grin form on his face.
"See? You don't know anything, you kidnapping bastard–"
He felt his eyes widen with shock. Only a moment later, they narrowed suspiciously.
"You're lying." The Bastard couldn't be dead, not yet. "He still had some time left." He heard a sigh, and the man began pacing from side to side.
"Mr. Elric, do you know why we chose today to activate the portal?" Ed remained silent, and the man smirked. "You see, on Halloween, the veil between worlds is thinnest. It's the easiest day to get through. Unfortunately, your father could not wait for this–"
"Bullshit." The curse came out easily. "He's not dead." Not to mention there were so many other things wrong with that statement. The veil between worlds? There was no veil. It was a Gate, and Halloween had nothing to do with it. Even if it had been Halloween when Ed had ended up in this world the first time...
"– this day," the man continued patiently, as if Ed had never spoken. That pissed him off more than anything. "So I'm afraid we have to request your assistance instead."
"Oh? My assistance? What a nice way to put it." Ed smirked, even as he felt his blood run cold. "So how are you going to claim the old man died, huh? Heart attack? Shot a bullet into his brains? Lab accident?" As if the Bastard would let himself be killed before Ed could level a good punch at him.
Wordlessly, the man pointed up. Ed's gaze was drawn to the large turquoise dragon arranged in a circle on the ceiling and he cursed fervently. That he could believe.
"Envy," he hissed. Strangely, the homunculus did not respond, instead it's vision gazing forward blankly. He wondered why that was. Last time he had seen the monster, it had been in this world, and despite the form change, he had still been alive and squirming.
"Yes, that is the monster that killed your father." A humorless grin. "I'm afraid it would be impossible to allow you your revenge."
Ed snarled. The man raised an eyebrow, then jerked his head to the transmutation circle on the floor.
"Well? Are you satisfied that we require your help? That we really don't know about your magic, this 'alchemy?' Yes, we know what it is," he said, seeing his shocked look. "What do you say?"
"Go to hell." There was a ghost of a smile on the man's face.
"Very well." He turned to the other man. "Bart, go get Noah."
Noah? Ed's eyebrows furrowed together. No, they couldn't mean...
But sure enough, just minutes later, there she was. The dark-haired gypsy girl who had been staying with him the past few weeks. He had wondered how she had fared after he'd been taken. Well, now he knew.
"Sorry, Edward." Her face was turned down, so it was covered in shadow and he couldn't see her eyes. "But I can't stay here. I want to see your world."
"My world?" he said in disbelief. "But I thought –" He bit his lip to stop the words from escaping, glancing to the Golden Dawn members. He didn't trust them.
"Thought what?" she demanded. He chose not to answer the question.
"What are you doing here, Noah?" he asked instead. Now, the other man returned to his little game of annoying-the-hell-out-of-Edward, putting a hand onto Noah's shoulder with a smile.
"This girl possesses the unusual talent of being able to read minds." He gestured towards Ed. "Noah, would you please?" The girl bit her lip, but nevertheless walked forward. As she approached, Ed thrashed in his bonds, trying to loosen the rope as fast as possible.
"Wait, Noah! They're going to use my world – all they want is to be able to use alchemy. There's no telling what could happen – Noah!" She had already placed her hands on his arm. Desperately, he tried to block out the images of alchemy, the knowledge, the Gate, but the more he tried, the more the memories resurfaced. He looked desperately into her brown eyes, begging for her to not do it.
"I'm sorry, Edward." She turned away. "The lines need to be reinforced. And –" she hesitated, her mouth opened to say the words Ed most wanted to stop, "There should be a Gate on the other side."
Ever since then, he couldn't ever think of Halloween in quite the same way. It was a day of many terrors, betrayals, deaths (Oh, Alfons, you were so innocent), yet also in a way, a day that contained victories, at the cost of many lives. This offshoot of the Golden Dawn had been fanatical – Ed had been right to warn Noah not to do it. As soon as they had gained the power to do what they had dreamed of and spent their whole lives studying, they had run rampant across Amestris. The only, wondrously bright highlight had been Alphonse.
His little brother. For two years, he had been stuck in this world, never knowing for certain if his final transmutation had succeeded, if Al was even alive. He had been alone save for Hohenheim, and hated nearly every second of it. His only light had been Alfons, a mere shadow of what his real brother had been to him. He had existed in a world without color, a boy who had lost the dream world he had lived in all his life.
On that Halloween, all that terror and uncertainty had ended. Al was alive, human, and with him.
It was only a year after that when things began to change...