Okay, before I get yelled at by everyone about Roy being a CAPTAIN at the time Lily meet him, this was before the war with Ishbal where the State Alchemists were first deployed. Roy never actually gave her his rank, she just assumed he was a Captain because of his age. Also, I would like to point out that I never got past the point where Ed sees Maes ghost in the anime, and would have to reread the manga. There's a reason why it's mainly set in Hogwarts, with bits of Ed's home thrown in.
It was the single most important letter of her life, easily trumping her Hogwarts letter.
Her mother informed her that her father might not be her father, and that she had to undergo a very specific ritual in order to bypass whatever it was keeping the two worlds apart.
Lily, having been an Unspeakable before her pregnancy (chosen among the group for the dubious fact that she was muggleborn and therefor expendable in the eyes of the Ministry) had met a man on the last day of the assignment and woken up without her clothes and with the worst hangover you could imagine.
Naturally, she immediately assumed she had gotten rather drunk and slept with the man she had been chatting with. A captain in the military force in a place called "Central" which was in what the Ministry believed to be an alternate world.
There, alchemy (a long forgotten and not very popular branch of magic) not magic, was prevalent.
The man she had been chatting with, a Roy Mustang, was a bit of a flirt but still a better conversationalist than her husband.
After realizing what must have happened, Lily had known better than to inform her husband. Instead she made it look like their 'reunion' upon her return had produced the child, since what little she remembered of the Mustang was that he had black hair about the same shade as James. In fact he looked quite a bit like her husband, only without the Potter's penchant for having a bird's nest for hair.
Since James had no idea that there was a chance the child wasn't his, he registered his 'son'...let it be said that at the time he had gotten very, very high on pain potions from the way Lily had broken his hand five times, which meant he couldn't just vanish it since she had an iron grip on him since "he" got her in that state to begin with)... with the goblins, thus making her the Potter heir even if James wasn't the father.
Now, even if she didn't know the specifics of pure blood society, she did know one thing about the Ministry.
If they found out there was a chance James Potter wasn't her father, they wouldn't hesitate to try and use that as an excuse to take her inheritance away from her and make her life harder than it needed to be in the long run.
So she kept her silence, however she did one thing that most of her supporters would have looked askance at.
She moved anything she might feel an iota of anger or pain losing into a shoulder bag that she kept on her at all times. And when it wasn't with her (like say, when she was in the shower), she kept it hidden under her invisibility cloak.
Inside the bag was enough gold to give her a nice chunk of whatever currency was used, the photo album, books she often used for reference material (both mundane and magical), any potion she thought might be useful in any given situation (namely of the healing variety), a sharp knife, food, water, and whatever clothes she found 'acceptable' to wear.
Needless to say Dudley's cast-offs did not make that short list.
Shortly after the end of her fourth year, Angel "Harry" Potter had enough of magic and never wanted to see Hogwarts again.
It had started shortly after her name came out of that thrice damned cup.
A week later everything she had lying in her trunk was destroyed, by one of her dorm mates. Because everyone and their grandmother assumed Angel was a boy, she had been placed in the male dorms.
She didn't have to go far for the culprit. Unknown to Ron at the time, after the incident with Ginny and the diary she had had the store that sold trunks place a security charm on hers so the next time she would know who broke into her things...as well as a subtle curse that would give the thief a nasty surprise. Depending on the level of damage or amount of theft, the more taken/destroyed, the worse the curse got. And unfortunately for the youngest Weasley boy, there was a time limit on how long until the curse became permanent.
In this case, it rendered him sterile and turned his Weasley-red hair to a very vibrant Slytherin green and silver.
It would have just settled for being stuck with Slytherin colors for a month, had he not taken until after the First Task to apologize.
Now she had severed all ties with him, even going so far as to sleep on the common room's couch to avoid being anywhere near the bastard.
McGonagall hadn't liked it, but technically Angel wasn't breaking any rules.
She had to be in the tower after curfew, but there was nothing that said she had to sleep in her dorm if she felt unsafe around her dorm mates.
That had lasted all of two months, before the other three occupants did something she hadn't expected.
They threatened to sleep in the common room as well unless Ron was removed. Apparently she wasn't the only one had it with his behavior...and lack of personal hygiene.
Ron had always wanted to be famous in his own right. He was now officially the first (and quite possibly only) Weasley in the family that had been put into a room very few even remembered.
Well, outside of people like Hermione, who had been quick to inform her fellow lions as to the purpose of what had once been called the 'penitence room'.
The Penitence Room was a dorm that had fallen out of use primarily because it was something no student wanted to be caught dead in. If you had done something to land in there, then your behavior had to be truly abhorrent and possibly ex-communication from your own family worthy.
Being told that until you learned better manners and personal hygiene, you would be forced to live in the Penitence Room as your dorm was considered one of the worst humiliations a student could endure.
So in a way, Ron had finally made his own mark on the Weasley name, all because of his jealousy and immature behavior. Just not in the way he expected.
And Hermione...well, for some reason she kept trying to get Angel to change her mind about kicking Ron out of what many had come to call the "Golden Trio". And after one particularly memorable attempt, Angel had essentially ex-communicated her as well.
Last she saw Hermione, she was brushing up on her French, having found Hogwarts was much less inviting and warm when her own best friend, who had unknowingly shielded Hermione from the brunt of the abuse most muggleborns suffered from the pure bloods, mainly the Slytherins and some of the Ravenclaws, had told her to go to hell.
She had filled out a form so she could attend Beauxbatons, but Angel didn't see her time there being any better. From what she heard, the French school was very strict, and she would be starting out an outsider. An English outsider no less.
Which was why, shortly after leaving the school, Angel made sure she had all the ingredients for the ritual needed to breach the worlds, solo.
Thanks to Ron's destruction of her personal property and school supplies, Angel was able to slip some of the ingredients needed into the list of things destroyed. McGonagall was so eager to slip the incident under the rug that she had sent Hagrid to buy everything.
And Hagrid, having limited education thanks to the machinations of Voldemort at sixteen, hadn't even questions the list. Coincidentally Ron found himself on the short list of people now banned from Hagrid's hut, and the gentle half-giant made a point to dole out extra homework for Ron every lesson. And only Ron was on the receiving end of the 'extra homework', which he got because he generally had trouble finishing the previous lesson's homework now that he was on the bad side of the two people who used to let him borrow theirs.
At this point it was highly doubtful he would pass his OWL's, never mind his NEWT's exam.
The howler Mrs. Weasley sent upon hearing the FULL circumstances both from the twins and McGonagall was particularly memorable, as Ron's summer wasn't likely to be any better.
Something about visiting his less-than-fun aunt who had far too many kneazles. She would be on him all summer to do his homework and various chores around her house, with little to no time to have any fun whatsoever.
And if he couldn't handle that, his mother had a large list of things to keep her youngest son busy and under control.
Angel had to time this carefully. Thanks to the return of Voldemort...which the Minister would have denied, if she had been stupid enough to say he was back, hence why she only said a Death Eater had tried to kill her for his 'death'...she was being watched. Not by any Death Eaters, she would have sensed them, but by Dumbledore's band of idiots.
She knew one of them, and frankly the fact she hadn't picked up on it after second year was something she almost kicked herself for.
The other was definitely a drunkard under an invisibility cloak. She had heard him snoring the day before and smelled the firewhiskey on his breath.
So she waited until it was the drunkard (who promptly went to sleep fifteen minutes into his shift) she went to work.
It took her an hour to properly set up the ritual circle far from Surrey in an area avoided by pretty much everyone because of the fact that it was inhabited by wild, very unpleasant dogs that hated people as a rule.
This was her safe area, because the dogs rarely bothered her since she was smart enough to bring scrapes of food with her every time, even if she was starving.
They recognized her as a fellow survivor, at least by her reckoning.
She cut into her hand with a clean knife, activating the circle. There was a hum in her bones that seemed to come from inside of her and from without.
The circle flared red and in the distance she heard the sound of the friendliest of the dogs barking, before it belted into her circle too late for her to stop it.
After about ten seconds of the hum growing worse, she blacked out...and found herself in an expanse of white with an imposing gate.
Well, well. So the child has chosen the path of the alchemist. And what's this? You even come bearing the mark of the Old One.
Where am I? What is this place?
The human-shaped figure smirked, if you could call it that.
This, child, is the Gate of Truth. Long sought after by your father's people, and yet feared at the same time. Only those that commit the Great Taboo ever come here. Only those foolish enough to bring life into death.
It didn't take a genius to figure out what that meant.
Human alchemy. The creation of a homunculus, neither living nor dead, she said grimly.
Even the magicals knew of the Great Taboo of all alchemists. Human transfiguration, such as animagi, was dangerous. Human alchemy was forbidden because all alchemy came at a steep price.
Trying to bring life back into the dead usually created a homunculus, a step above inferi only in that they could easily disguise themselves as a normal human and were almost impossible to kill.
But they were not alive. They could no bear children and mortal injuries they walked off without a thought. Never mind the older ones, which had abilities that made them extra dangerous.
The last homunculus in the world of magic had been forcibly destroyed. They were too dangerous to live.
Indeed, little witch. Now the choice is yours...shall you enter the Gate, or simply pass through?
What is inside the Gate?
Truth. Knowledge. Power. Depends on who comes here for what,the Gatekeeper said with a shrug.
I have no need for power. I've seen what it does to those who have it, but not the wit to use it the right way. I have little need for knowledge, because all the knowledge of the world is of little use if you don't know how to use it. But I've been lied to ever since that hypocrite killed my parents. If there is any justice in this world, it should be that there is always truth. Even if it's not what you wanted to find.
The Gatekeeper smiled.
So young, and yet much wiser than those who claim to be wise themselves. Go then, young alchemist, and learn the truth of the world. That which you seek will be very close indeed, for you and your...companions.
Angel turned and noticed the dog and her pet owl Hedwig waiting.
She walked towards the Gate, which creaked open.
All at once, a flood of information hit her like a brick. She could feel something inside of her reach out and grab a very large chunk of whatever was inside the Gate. It was a miracle she didn't go insane from the information overload. Then her mind snapped back, having taken as much as it could reasonably hold...and she felt herself practically ejected from the place and lying flat on cold hard ground in an alley.
She found the scruffy-looking mutt and her owl sitting nearby, along with her bag.
She looked up, and found herself in a place that was so similar to where she had come from, but the technology was quite a bit out of date.
On the plus side, she didn't think she would have to worry about underage magic restrictions here. They didn't have a Ministry!
Angel found out what the Gate had given her when she realized with dismay that her wand had been snapped on landing. She felt a brief twinge of loss, before burying it someplace she could recognize later if she had to.
But when she looked into her bag, she discovered a book that hadn't been there before...and a stone she had only put in there as a whim glowing. She touched the stone and it abruptly shrunk into a necklace with a simple string holding it up. She wasn't going to question it.
A few hours later she tried a simple circle meant to repair her glasses...and felt the same odd power that had risen in response to the Gate.
Somehow she could read the words of the book, even if it wasn't in English.
And since she didn't exactly have anything better to do, she decided to read.
Alchemy was fascinating.