Greetings all! First and foremost I wish to plug two stories I thoroughly enjoy:
Dahlia Evans & the Broken Bridge by Forensica X- "Assumed dead, the last Potter grows up an orphan until she finds a home with the Grangers. The family explores magic together, but not all is wonder and enchantment. A killer stalks the streets of Crawley, and the Dark Lord isn't as gone as everyone thinks. Fem!Harry/Hermione. POC!Hermione. Slytherin!Hermione. Grey!Dumbledore. Violence & Suggestive Themes."
Forensica X has been reviewing my stuff for years and I can't help but support their own works, which are well written, planned out, and innovative. Frankly, saying that they have failed to bore me yet is praise I can give very few and I honestly wish they'd update more often, fully embracing the hypocrisy there, heh.
The Unbroken Savior by ElegantlyDone- "Harry Potter gets captured in his 6th year, only to die and get sent back in time.. with a twist. He is reborn a girl with wild and uncontrollable magic while trying to stop Voldemort's rise to power with the help of Dumbledore. Can he change the future? Or is it set in stone?"
Seriously this story is epic with Dumbledore taking on a positive leadership role and taking the changed Harry's warnings to heart while doing his best to try and make the now young girls burdens manageable. I'm not going to ruin it for you, read it.
And with that, week one! Now we are definetly going to have year jumps soon, spending just enough time to get to know Iris's class and solidify her relationships before they get drawn into the Second World War, which will be, all told, epic in scope since Harry was a history nerd before he was drawn into the magical world.
After receiving their schedules from Professor Slughorn Iris and Tom's Hogwarts careers began fairly similar to Harry's, which is to say their classes were initially nothing to really write home about.
Which was, all told, honestly rather disappointing as far as Iris was concerned.
Tranfiguration with Professor Dumbledore was amusing sure, but he kept focusing on Tom and Iris which made the pair of them uncomfortable, which in turn made Alphard somewhat hostile towards the professor in question. Say what you will about the Black family, when you chose your favorites, they stayed your favorites, and Alphard Black had always held his little cousin Iris in the highest regards. It warmed her heart a bit that her cousin cared so much, but at the same moment it annoyed her to no end that she and Tom were being singled out by a teacher like this.
It wasn't that Iris didn't understand why they garnered so much extra attention, the Heiress Black and the Heir Slytherin being all comfy cozy really should draw some attention after all, but still...
The fact was, they were both only eleven, they had never done anything to earn anyone's ire, and she was starting to wonder if mayhaps this overt hostility was one of the reasons the original Tom took the path he did...something to think on at the very least.
Charms was, much like in Harry's time taught by Professor Flitwick, who at this time happened to be much younger, more excitable, and just as much fun as his later incarnation. It was odd, really, that Iris really didn't gain anything new from her experiences with him, honestly it was almost depressing how static the class seemed to be. She pushed that away for now though, after all it was only first year right?
Defense Against the Dark Arts was taught by a Hit-Witch loaned out by the Ministry, and she was terrifying in ways that Madeye Moody wished he had been. Professor Able was someone Iris had decided to never, under any circumstances cross and did her best to keep her head down in class, obviously due to being a Dark Witch and all.
Survival instincts, she had them.
Herbology was herbology, the teacher, one Professor Cutting was concise, informative, and ultimately boring. Iris honestly felt Pamona Sprout had been better at the job, but she didn't really care enough to make comment on it.
History was taught by Professor Binns yet again, which meant she and all her fellow students learned nothing of value. The more things change, the more they stayed the same it would seem.
Potions was...well... It involved interacting with Professor Slughorn, which automatically made the entire ordeal creepier than it truly needed to be. He gave the exact same speech he had Harry's sixth year, and offered a classroom of eleven year olds the Felix Felicis elixir as a prize for the best brewed potion.
Thank Morgana Tomcat won it, at least Iris would know when it was being used, how that idiot man was allowed to be around children boggled Iris's sanity. Like many things she had encountered in the magical world, she pushed it out of mind in hopes the idiocy would go away, it really was the only hope she had at this point.
Introduction to Alchemy though, that was a new one.
Alchemy was honestly something Iris knew next to nothing about, and she would readily admit to it. Sure Harry knew of Nicholas Flammel and had saved the Philosopher's Stone from Voldemort his first year at Hogwarts, but really that was as far as her knowledge went. So this new class was, well...not new at all really. In all actually it was fairly well established at this point in history but had been rid of by Harry's time, thus it was a complete unknown to her and all the more interesting for it.
With that thought in mind Tom and and Iris approached the 'Introduction to Alchemy' classroom, and when they crossed its threshold Iris couldn't help gasping a bit as she took in the vast swaths of posters and tapestries lining the walls. All of them were decorated with intricate runic arrays and had indecipherable incantations swirling about them. It was incredibly hypnotic and the young girl could feel the power practically oozing from the walls in pulsing waves.
Shaking her head to clear her senses, and feeling rather foolish for having to do so, she grabbed Tom's hand and rushed to the front of the room only to see that Minerva had beaten them to the front desk.
So they had this class with the Gryffindors, good to know. Dropping to the seat beside her friend Iris waved to Minnie while whispering a hello, Tom seating himself beside her as he ignored the Gryffindor boy who took the only remaining seat on his opposite side.
After they were settled in Iris quickly chirped out, "So Min, How are you doing?"
Minerva grinned and shrugged a bit as her fingertips gently rapped across the desks surface, "Ello love! Do'in pretty good, feel'in a bit of a charge about me at the moment though, this room is...different."
Iris could only nod as Tom 'hmm'd' while he glanced about the rooms many glowing arrays before replying, "Yes, this place feels...different...I just don't know how to describe it..."
Before either girl could respond to him the office door swung open and a tall blonde man in a period appropriate suit and brown overcoat walked into the classroom mumbling to himself in German. He approached the desk and dropped a stack of parchments on its top before turning his gaze to the class to assess his new crop of students.
Golden yellow eyes that burned with untold knowledge glinted as he set himself at a military rest, broad shoulders locked into place as he tilted his head to the side, his long messy blonde hair framing his face in light shadows the entire time.
Every female in the classroom, Iris included, gulped when he flashed a brilliant bright white smile as his eyes closed a bit, clearly pleased with what he had seen.
"Hello students! My name is Professor Edward Elric, and I will be your Alchemy instructor for the duration of your tutelage at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry." His voice was clear and concise, with only the faintest of accents, and as he began role call Iris couldn't help squeaking a bit in response when her name was called.
Thoroughly embarrassed she did her best to hide her blush in the shadows of her hair and tried not to meet Minerva's knowing gaze, not like her friend had any room to talk regardless since she was essentially in the same position as her.
It was with this thought that Iris came to an absolutely horrific realization, and had to fight down a panic attack as she processed it all.
She was having her first girlhood fancy. It was probably best that she didn't notice Tom's dark glare being shot towards the focus of her interest, at least for now his innate jealousy was offset by the fact that her free hand was currently gripping his own.
On that note her inner Harry screamed in despair, then relented a few moments later in resignation. It could be worse after all, it could have been a Lockhart situation like with Hermione, and with that thought Iris regained her composure and focused on her professor as he coughed to regain everyone's attention.
"Now with that out of the way, I'd like to ask you kiddos something, what is the primary rule of alchemy?" No one raised their hand, the children glancing at their neighbors in hope that someone could answer the question, but it wasn't to be.
Nodding knowingly Professor Elric snatched up a piece of chalk and turned to the blackboard quickly writing two words across it, when done he turned back to his pupils grinning widely once again.
"Equivalent Exchange. It is the very basis of alchemy and what separates it from the art of transfiguration, since with transfiguration you can make something out of nothing, but it never lasts. Alchemy though requires something equal in exchange for what you wished to create, the benefit to this is this change is permanent."
Iris couldn't help herself as she pulled a Hermione and shot her free hand up earning a raised eyebrow from Tom and a suppressed snicker from Min, looking slightly amused Professor Elric pointed to her while nodding once.
"A question Miss Black?"
Shifting about a bit suddenly feeling uncomfortable under the classes combined scrutiny she coughed into her hand before replying with, "So what you're saying is you reap what you sow when it comes to alchemy?"
He hummed to himself a moment before nodding slowly, "I suppose that is one way of looking at it, another is that you get what you put into it. If you supply raw materials that are closely related to what you want to eventually transmutate, while also supplying an adequate amount of power your end result will be much closer to what you had intended to create."
Pausing he tapped his chin a couple time before smiling again while dipping his hand into the dustbin next to his desk, quickly removing a wadded up ball of parchment that he tossed up and down a few times before turning back to the class.
Meeting Iris's gaze he nodded once while gesturing to the ruined wad of parchment, "This is obviously organic material, yes?" After the class murmured their agreement he dropped it on the desk while whipping out a piece of chalk, and in a few swift movements had drawn a simple array around it on the wood surface.
Placing a finger on the array he turned back to the class and smirked as a flash of blue light enveloped the parchment, and a moment later what looked to be a small stone gargoyle appeared in its place. Snatching it up he tossed it in the air a few times before whipping it at Iris, and Harry's years of playing seeker paid off yet again as her hand released Tom's and shot out snapping the small statue out of the air.
"I wanted it to be granite, what do you think about the end result?" Iris opened her hand to stare down at the small figurine, Tom speaking as he bent his head down to examine the item critically.
"The detail is amazing...can transfiguration do that as well?" He jumped a bit as Professor Elric spoke up, staring down at the pair with a smirk crossing his lips.
"Yes, but it won't last, someone like Professor Dumbledore could probably get it stay as is for a few years, but after that the magic wears off and it reverts to what it originally was. Now, Miss Black, the verdict?"
Iris poked at the statue a few times, and frowned as she noticed there was a bit of give to the item in question, "It...it isn't granite, it's kind of squishy..."
Professor Elric nodded as he walked back to the front of the room and began writing on the blackboard again, "Organic to Organic, mineral to mineral. Sure you can crossover the two, but you'll never get a perfect end result, so unless you're in a hurry try to think through what you're about to do. It will save you a headache in the end I assure you."
He paused for a moment before smiling yet again as he extended a gloved hand towards the enraptured first years as he continued on.
"Something else Alchemy has on Transfiguration is that with organic to organic transmutation you can turn something like grass clippings, which are indigestible to humans, into bread. It isn't changing the nutritional value of the items in question, but it does change them into something compatible, and most importantly, permanent."
Minerva gasped while covering her mouth, emerald eyes widening in shock, "It circumvents Gamp's First Exemption of Transmutation!"
Professor Elric glanced at the small Scottish girl a moment before nodding in approval, "That it does Miss McGonagall, and five points to Gryffindor for catching on quickly." He glanced at Iris before nodding once again in recognition, "And five points to Slytherin for Miss Black's curiosity, never lose that drive for knowledge young one. It will lead you to many misadventures, but I guarantee you'll never regret them."
Eventually when class let out the gathered students gathered their things and left, Minerva following along with Tom and Iris as the trio soon caught up with Al who was leaving History for magic, and was thus energized from his obvious nap.
"My good man and dear ladies! How was your afternoon?" The grinning boy asked as he snaked his arm around a now blushing Minerva's while Tom did the same to Iris. Tom spoke up first, and honestly his words struck true so initially Iris felt no need to add her opinion.
"Well, after taking all our first year courses, outside of flying mind you which I'm still iffy about, I can honestly say I like Potions and Alchemy the most. Although I may be a bit biased, this is Professor Flitwick's first year teaching so he is inexperienced, and Professor Able isn't really a teacher, and Professor Dumbledore is..."
"Creepy is the word you're looking for Tomcat," Iris interjected with heavily hooded eyes, looking for a split second like her future niece Bellatrix, "his interest in us is creepy..."
"Aye, glad I wasn't the only one to notice that. He keeps staring at ya two dur'in meals, it's offsett'in is what it is," Minerva threw out with a shake of her head, Tom nodded in agreement while Al let out a tired sigh."
"That it is, but it's something we'll have to contend with for the time being, what did you lot think of Professor Elric?"
"He's brilliant," Iris stated immediately with a sharp nod, she did notice Tom tense up slightly at this so she rolled her eyes and pulled him closer to her while gripping his hand tightly. This seemed to settle him down a bit so she continued on, "I think he was active military and spent little to no time sequestered in a magical community. Frankly, he has too much common sense to be like your average magical."
"He was military, actually, before he punched out the Chancellor for Magic of Germany when he attempted to recruit Elric and his brother." All four children let out an 'Eep!' as they jumped a foot in the air, turning around they met the gaze of a bemused Abraxus Malfoy who nodded to them once in recognition.
"My apologies, I didn't mean to eavesdrop, but rather wished to answer your questions. Professor Elric and his entire family recently emigrated to the UK from the city state of Amestris because Chancellor Grindlewald and himself came to conflicting conclusions on what path should be taken in magical Germany. Their loss is our gain though, the man is a genius, and his wife is the most skilled artificer enchantress this side of the Maginot Line, ah but I'm holding you four up, do enjoy dinner."
The quartet nodded slowly as the blonde heir walked past them followed by his retinue, eventually Iris shook her head slowly sending her crimson tresses swaying, "I just do not know what to think of that man..."
Minerva snorted as she bumped her friends shoulder lightly, "Almost like he's a Slytherin, ain't it lass?" This earned a giggle from her and snorts of amusement from the boys, and soon they found themselves sitting together at the Ravenclaw table. As the friends tore into their dinner Iris glanced up to the High Table and observed the Headmaster speaking quietly to Dumbledore and promptly ignored them for the time being.
Professor Flitwick met her gaze and gave her a brief salute with his goblet which she returned, Professor Able ignored her existence, but it was Professor Elric that caught her attention. His gold gaze locked onto her and he nodded once, and with a flick of his wand sent a folded note to silently float towards her without being noticed by anyone but Tom, Min, and Al.
Opening the note with slight apprehension Iris read its one simple line in confusion, but turned to her Professor nodding once, and he only grinned in return. Dropping the note to the table Iris dug into her meal as her companions read the brief message, 'Would you and your friends like to find out your elemental alignments?'
She wasn't sure why she and her friends were being singled out, but she'd never heard of elemental alignments before in either of her lives, and the man's smirk screamed that it was going to be something interesting for sure.
Well, it was the professor in question that told her to sate her curiosity, and while curiosity killed that cat, satisfaction had brought it back. Hogwarts, it would seem, was going to be very interesting in the coming years.
I'm back! Lily and I were kinda, well...stuck for a bit on this one, but we got through it and I promise next chapter will be longer, it was just the hurdle of getting through all the 'Same old same old' and introducing Iris's passion course, namely Alchemy, that held us up.
The Elemental Alignment may seem a bit random but keep in mind that they're only in their first week so they don't quite understand the importance of Ed's questioning, namely that Iris is going to eventually be channeling a Pyromaniac Colonel much to Edward's chagrin.
Anyway I hope you all enjoyed, and please, review!