And this is it! Final chapter.

Thank you so much for everyone's support. To all who have reviewed, followed, favourited and those who have just read it, I can't express my gratitude. Feedback has been wonderful and very educational.

The overhaul is now finished. Chapters that have been added are: Trials and Errors, Seeing is Believing, the Midday Duel, An Unconventional Field Trip & Dreams and Arrivals. All the chapters have been changed a bit.

Without further ado, here it is!

Home is where the heart is

Ed tumbled through the blackness that was the space behind the gate, feeling as though his head being pulled apart. He gasped as he was thrown once again in to the never ending whiteness that was Truth's home. Looking round, Ed saw the huge door behind him closing quietly and the black tentacles like that of an octopus retreating quickly back into its domain, before the door shut completely with an echoing clang.

"Bravo!" a voice said and Ed turned back to see Truth sitting cross legged, a huge smile on his blank face.

"Take me home," Ed demanded.

"Of course, of course," Truth laughed. "I just wanted to tell you: you did brilliantly." Ed frowned, confused

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"I do have to admit, it was more of a personal request than a payment…" Truth started, his tone suddenly serious.

"What?!" Ed wanted to scream. He had spent a year away from Al for a personal request?

"But it will work out well for you too, Fullmetal Alchemist," Truth said. Ed thought it was a little strange, being called by his title after all that time. "What's in your pocket?"

Ed blinked. It took a few seconds for him to react, putting his hands into his coat pocket. To his shock, his hands closed on the familiar wooden surface of his wand.

"I'm sure it has just enough magic left in it to give Curtis's organs back… and Mustangs eyes. As for your payment for your brother, that has already been sorted."

Ed stared, confused.

"Tom Riddle. You know him as Lord Voldmort." Truth pointed at Ed. "You brought with you two fragments of his soul. Lord Voldemort was causing a bit of trouble – always cheating the price. It was going to rebound sooner or later."

Harry (or rather, the thing in his scar). The locket Sirius had in his pocket as he went through the veil.

"Wildly fluctuating energy, giving or taking more than what was originally intended," Ed muttered. Truth's grin widened.

"A perfect wave to ride home on, don't you think? Of course, when Voldmort pays his price, the debt will be repaid in full."

"You said I would be paying Time," Ed pointed out, recalling the conversation he had had with truth at the beginning of the year, when all this had started. Truth's ghostly arms stretched out into a shrug.

"Equivalence is more of an abstract concept than you alchemists make it. Do you know what dictates equality? In your terms, you paid time and effort to acquire the magic you used to arrive here, just as every alchemist will pay time and effort to learn the techniques they use."

Truth didn't react to Ed's confused expression.

"So what did you want me to do?" Ed asked, carefully considering his words.

Truth's smile stopped being quite as impossibly wide. The lightness of the air (if that was even possible by the Gate) dropped, replaced by a sinister mood.

"The world you visited was really being quite a hassle after Hohenheim punched through the gate to the other side and especially with all those extra souls coming through the portal. Magic is an unpredictable force."

Ed nodded. He had worked this out at Grimmauld place.

"It was connected to the inside of the gate. If it was opened wide enough, it could have torn both worlds apart," he said. "I released the souls propping it open and unstabilised it by coming through so that it would collapse behind me."

"The archway has been destroyed. Everything balances again. Well, as balanced as a world of magic can be," Truth said.

Ed paused, his mind whirling to make sense of what had been said. He opened his mouth to say something, unsure how to comment. Could it be? Could it really be true? Was it even possible for everything to be so right?

Truth wasn't as considerate as to wait for Ed to process everything.

"Goodbye Fullmetal. I'm quite sure we'll meet again."

Ed felt more than saw the door behind him opening. There was the familiar, unnerving sensation of a hundred hands grabbing onto him and tugging at him sharply, their power growing the more Ed stood his ground. He wanted to ask Truth so many unanswered questions but he was already being pulled through.

One final statement caught his attention.

"It isn't over yet." Then Truth was gone.


Ed was standing on what felt like carpet, still clutching the hems of his school robes. His eyes were on his feet and he saw that the robe was too small, up to his ankle and showing his shoes. Had he grown?

"…Brother?" the voice was familiar, achingly so, yet lacking in its usual metallic tang. Slowly, as though this were a dream and doing anything would break it, Ed looked up.

"Al?" Tears stung in Ed's eyes. There, in front of him, as though the last five years had never happened, was Al. Human Al: brown hair and hazel eyes, shining with iridescent tears. He stared at Ed. Ed stared at him.

"Al…" Ed said. He smiled. "I'm home."

"Brother!" Al screamed, then ran to Ed. Without a single warning, he scooped him up in a hug. His arms were warm. It was so weird; for the first time in as long as he could remember, Al's form wasn't cold or angular (or bigger, which was a nice addition). In this instance, Ed thought he could lose himself to the relief of returning home after so long.

They pulled away. Ed placed his hands on Al's shoulders and looked him in the eye, studying him closely. He looked almost identical to the ten year old that Ed remembered but taller, somehow fuller and rounder… more mature. His eyes were older too.

"Welcome back, Fullmetal." The second voice was surprised but Ed would always recognize the snide undertone. He looked up. As he thought, Mustang was there, sitting on his desk twirling his pen. The way he acted, Ed could have strolled in from a walk in the park, not from a year of being missing.

Looking around for the first time, Ed saw that he was in Mustangs office, the familiar desk lined with stacks of paper in front of him, the large window, the smells, the sounds. There was Hawkeye in the corner, eyes wide with shock. She had a clipboard in her hand, pen hovering over in unsteady hands.

"Hello Mustang. Did you miss me?" Ed asked cheekily.

"The paperwork was hell," was the Colonel's reply.

"Ed? What happened? The man…" Al asked, worry slipping into his tone.

"Man?" Ed asked. "What man?"

"He called himself Sirius Black. He was sitting right there until you popped up," Mustang explained. Ed looked at him, shocked.

"He's alive. He's actually alive?"

In his mind Ed cursed Truth for omitting this piece of information but it was a half-hearted in maliciousness. Ed couldn't bring himself to hate the omnipotent being when his veins were full of such relief.

Comprehension flooded Ed's mind.

"Of course! He was holding the locket when he went through! That must have been the toll," Ed said. "Then he was pulled back with the rest of the souls as I went through!"

Although how on Earth he managed to come all the way through to the other side when the portal was supposedly sealed was a mystery. Perhaps they would never find out.

Mustang's eyebrows were raised. Al looked like a snowstorm had struck and Hawkeye was completely blank.

"Would you care to explain?" Mustang said.

"It's a long story…" Ed said. There was something Ed was missing and it took a while for the facts to click together. The whole shock of being back home, in Amestris had delayed his thinking.

"Your eyes? How did you get them back?" Ed asked. Mustang looked at Hawkeye. Hawkeye looked at Mustang. Their faces were grim but determined.

"I made a promise," Mustang said. "I needed my eyes to fulfill it." Truth! That cheat. So he didn't need magic for this part after all.

"He gave Ishval back to the people," Al explained. Ed looked at Mustang, a grin on his face.

"Don't tell me, I need to give you back your money?" he asked, recalling the few coins he had borrowed over a year back. Mustang gave a short barking laugh.

"When I've brought world peace, maybe," he said.


Ed was worried about Curtis so the first thing he did was phone her. As expected, the voice at the other end was shouting at him.

"I can get your organs back!" was hardly the most sensible way to start a conversation. After the five minute (one sided) shouting spree, Ed was exhausted but relieved. It had taken a while to convince his teacher that she was not forgetting her sins when she agreed to let Ed heal her. But Ed told her calmly that it was the only way for magic in this world to be eradicated and for balance to be restored and she agreed with a deep sigh.

Ed visited Dublith the next week and conjured a set of organs for Curtis. For Ed who was not a skilled healer, should have been impossible, even with magic, but some subtle force pushed Ed onwards. When he was finished, his holly with a dragon heart string core wand was cracked down the centre and unusable.

So Truth had kept his promise. It was more than he could ever have asked for.

When Ed asked his teacher whether she wanted to have a child, now that she could, the answer had been no.

"I learnt my lesson," she had said. "And no interference from you can change that."

Ed felt a little empty inside, but it was Teacher's choice after all. He supposed, in a sort of sad, unexplainable way, it made sense.

Afterwards Ed went outside for a stroll with Al. Breathing in Amestris air. Walking the earth that was so familiar.

Ed looked up at the tall central building that Ed remembered being a complete wreck a year ago. It was sleek and pristine, and there were some obvious new attachments – a new extension had been built on the right hand side and the windows weren't sparkling in the sun.

"They rebuilt it after… you know," Al explained. Ed nodded. "I looked for you, you know. For a while I thought you had sacrificed yourself for me." Ed stared at him for a long while.

"Al, I would never do that." Al nodded.

"I know," he said softly. His face brightened. "Tell me what happened. I heard a bit from Sirius but he didn't have much time to explain. It was all very confusing." Sirius had had quite a conversation with Mustang it seemed. It was knowledge of Ed that had led Al to trust him, or so Mustang had said.

"Oh Al, you wouldn't believe me if I told you," Ed said with a grin. Al gave an equally wide smile.

"Tell me anyway," he laughed. "And I'll try to keep up."

Afterwards, reunions were quick.

Winery cried again, but it was happy tears this time. It was as though the year had never happened, that after a small pause the last piece of the puzzle had finally been fitted and everything was okay again. It took a while for Al to come to terms with Ed's story but he did in the end and magic was a new curiosity for them to explore.

His school uniform and broken wand was kept in a cupboard. Stored away, safely.

The Hogwarts uniform was his only connection to that world. Ed probably wouldn't use it again. But he might meet Harry and his friends. Alchemy was developing, and quickly too, so one day, it was quite possible that they would be able to cross into the other world and meet him (hopefully with a way back, next time).

It would take time. Ed didn't worry though.

He had a life time, after all.


Harry looked out of the window that in its pitch black shade reflected his face perfectly, his gaze distant and unfocused. There was nothing that could be seen behind the plane of glass, and it stared at him like a portal to another world.

Another world.

He wondered where Ed was, what he was doing and whether he was alright. If the transmutation had worked, than he should be with his brother, back home where he should be. There were so many things that Harry wanted to say to him – thank you for teaching defence, sorry for shouting at him, but more than that, so much more, to thank him for Sirius's life.

Sirius was fine, if a little shocked; understandable seeing he had ended up in a different world. Ed's world, going by his talk. It was interesting. Sirius spent hours in Dumbledore's office trying to explain everything he had seen in the past week.

Harry missed Ed. He was a good friend.

Hermione could no longer use alchemy – just as Ed had warned – but the contribution he had made was priceless. Two Horcruxes had gone, Sirius was back. What would happen now that Voldemort was out in the open? What would happen now that the Ministry had finally admitted to his existence? Harry didn't know.

"But it's alright." Hermione.

"We've got each other." Ron

"It'll work out." And Ed.

However hard fate tried to make Harry's life miserable, things would work out in the end. As long as they kept refusing to accept all was bleak, combined with enough time and effort, they could forge their own path. Destiny was theirs to make. Perhaps even prophesies could be avoided.

Ed would have certainly said so.

Harry didn't believe that this would be the last time Ed came to Hogwarts. It probably was, but still, there was nothing wrong with hoping. Harry scoffed, and then smiled.

"Till next time," he whispered at the silent window.

And finally, feedback is appreciated:)

It was pointed out in a review that the Horcruxes used here are only very small portions of Voldemorts soul. My theory is that the toll to go through isn't that big - Ed only needed a leg for a trip into the Gate and back.

Does 1/64 of a soul equal a leg? Equivalence is hardXD