Chapter two! It's so much longer than the original! Enjoy.
Disclaimer: If I owned FMA, no one would watch it... seriously.
Chapter Two: Awake at Last
Harry, Ron, and Hermione were all lounging in the Gryffindor common room, and like every other student, they were discussing the boy who fell from the sky. Even five days later, the topic was fresh on everyone's mind. None of them had classes at this point. Now, our favorite trio was dead silent.
"Where d'you suppose he came from?" Harry finally asked.
"Dunno," Ron yawned, "But I think he looked like a muggle, don't you?" Hermione tilted her head quizzically.
"Yes, I believe he did, but we can't be too sure..." she sighed, shrugging.
"Well, I want to know more about this boy," Harry declared, standing. "I'm going to go to the Hospital wing to see what I can find out. Are you coming."
"What? Do you want to get in trouble Harry? Why now? You've been out of it all year, why not keep it that way. You know no one's allowed there unless they're injured..." Hermione stopped, "Oh no! You're not thinking about-!"
"Thanks for the idea Hermione," Ron grinned. Hermione groaned placing her hand on her forehead.
"Let's get going, then," Harry began walking to the exit, Ron right at his heels.
Hermione sighed, "Boys..." The witch laid her head in her hands, "What idiots..."
Harry limped triumphantly to the Hospital wing. He and Ron had successfully sprained his ankle. It hurt, but Harry figured it was worth it. He really wanted to see the boy again. He had piqued Harry's interest, and Harry had to figure out at least who he was. Ron had left, hearing something about Ginny, and he rushed off, leaving Harry to trudge his way along. Alone. What a friend.
The Hospital Wing was empty when Harry arrived. He slowly limped over to the bed where the blonde-haired boy was. He was curled up, bandaged back facing Harry. The boy shifted his position slightly, revealing the shoulder of his right arm vaguely. Whatever it was glinted in the light. Harry couldn't tell what it was, but it was covering his arm. The wizard reached out to the boy, just to check whatever was on the boy.
"What do you need dearie?" a voice asked sharply. Harry spun around to face Madame Promphey.
"Oh, sorry!" he said a bit too quickly. He pointed to his sprained ankle, "My ankle... I fell on it..."
Madame Promphey sighed, hurrying over to close the curtain around the boy. "Sit over there," she indicated to one of the beds.
As Harry sat down, Madame Promphey kneeled in front of him. She pulled up Harry's pant leg just enough to where she could see his swollen ankle. Muttering, she grabbed a potion, making Harry drink it. He could immediately feel the relief in his leg.
"Just be careful from now on, fine?" Harry nodded, standing.
A groan emanated from where the boy was sleeping.
Madame Promphey stood abruptly. Addressing Harry, she hastily spoke, "Oh, my! He's waking! Please go fetch Professor Dumbledore, I need him. Tell him it's about the boy! Hurry now!"
Harry nodded again. He began to run out the door, but Madame Promphey stopped him.
"Quickly, but don't run!" she warned, so Harry began his trek speed walking.
Rushing through the halls, Harry brushed past all, not bothering to see who he was making contact with. The halls began to fill up. Class time. Harry guessed. As quickly as they were full, the halls were empty, giving Harry a clear path to Dumbledore's office. Just as he walked up to Dumbledore's guarding statue, it moved from its former position.
Coming down from his office was Dumbledore himself, talking to a ghost. This ghost wasn't like any other ghost that Harry had seen at Hogwarts. She wore modern dress: a dress that reached right under her knees, and apron, and simple sandals. Her hair was bunched together, pulled over her shoulder, and bound near the end.
"I assure you, he shall be perfectly fine under our care," Dumbledore held out a hand, indicating the ghost to go first.
"Thank you so much Professor!" She exclaimed, turning to face the old man. Though her voice wasn't as full as a living person's would be, it was so sweet and caring, Harry immediately though of his mother.
Dumbledore noticed Harry and said, "Ah, Harry, what brings you here?"
"Oh! Madame Promphey says for you to go to the Hospital Wing immediately! She says the boy might be waking," Harry said breathlessly.
"R-Really?" the ghost's face brightened at Harry's words.
"Then shall we visit Edward, Trisha?" Dumbledore asked the woman.
"Yes! Let's!" Trisha cried.
Their progression through the halls was slow, and seemingly drawn out. The ghost, Trisha, seemed to be shaking with anticipation.
As they reached the doors, Dumbledore turned to Harry, as if he just noticed the boy, "You may leave now, if you wish."
"Right," Harry turned as if to leave, while the headmaster and ghost entered the large room. Harry crept close to the door, placing an ear on to listen, if only for a bit.
"His breathing has steadied. he shows signs of waking, but I think he is now in pain!" Harry heard Madame Promphey voice.
"Ah, that's good," Harry made out as Dumbledore voice.
"Oooh, I hope he's okay," said the voice that Harry guessed was that Trisha woman's voice.
There was a pause, then a scream, "AAAAAAGGGGHHH!" It was the boy!
Harry hurried to Potions class with Ron and Hermione. As he departed, he heard the ghost mutter a few words, then there was silence.
Seeing as Snape would not allow "petty gossip" in his classroom, immediately after they left the dungeon, Harry told his friends of what happened, "When I went to the Hospital Wing, it was empty. I saw the boy in the bed. He had bandages wrapped all over his mid-section. I went closer, and there was something shiny on his arm. I couldn't see what it was because out of nowhere, Madame Promphey came in, closing the curtain around the boy, as if to hide something. The boy groaned, and she sent me to get Dumbledore."
"Well? What happened next?" Ron asked apprehensively.
"Okay, I went to Dumbledore, and there was a ghost with him. She looked nothing like the other ghosts. Well, when we got to the Hospital wing, they went in and I listened. They were talking, and I guess the boy, no wait, Dumbledore said his name was Edward. Anyways, I guess Edward woke up, and I think he fainted again, since everything was silent. I don't think he'd ever seen a ghost, since he screamed so loud," Harry shrugged.
"Wow... that's interesting." Hermione gasped, realizing that they were the only ones in the halls, they'd been walking so slow, "Oh no, we're going to be late for Defense Against the Dark Arts!"
The three hurried to Professor Huff's class before they got in trouble.
Ed turned around. There was his brother! He looked normal, not in armor! He looked at himself; full, no automail!
"AL! We're okay!" the blonde began running to his brother. He extended his hand for the boy, "Al! Come here! NO!" His brother began drifting away.
"Brother... it's all your fault..." Al said before his body began to disintegrate. His arms started to melt off, separating from his body. His face, though, was neutral as he spoke, "Why couldn't you just listen?"
"Al, no! I'm sorry! Please come back! AL!" Ed ran after his brother.
A purple light surrounded Al as only his head was left. The slowly disappearing boy's lips moved slowly; deliberately, "It's your fault..." And he was gone. An eerie blackness fell, obscuring Ed's vision.
Ed turned his head in all directions, "Huh? Mom?!"
Then he saw it. The grotesque, deformed shape of their failed transmutation. Ed's eyes widened, the breath caught in his throat. He felt himself close to wretching.
"No, no, no!"
"You did this to me... son..."
Ed woke up with a scream. Cold sweat ran down his face.
"That dream..." he shivered. Why did he have it now, it hadn't haunted him in a while. "Wait! The other dream... the man... the woman... and... No! It couldn't be real, right?"
The alchemist took a look around. Where was he? Stone walls and large windows surrounded him. Beds were in neat row on each side of the room. It reminded him of a hospital.
Ed shook his head, but a pain in his chest stopped him. He looked down at his body. His torso was bandaged all around, and he only wore pants. He realized his automail was out in the open in this strange place, so he covered them with the covers hastily. He came to the conclusion that no one was there with him, so he sat up in the bed once again.
Ed's golden-blonde hair was down, and some separated themselves from the rest of his bangs, falling more in his face than usual. He blew them away, annoyed. Beside him was a chair with all his things on it. He took his hair band, ponytailing his hair. He pulled on his ebony boots and ivory colored gloves. He donned his crimson jacket. He still felt strange, so he pocketed his watch. Content, Ed walked to the huge double doors to explore.
The hallways were completely deserted. Ed decided, judging just by the interior, that this was most likely a castle.
I'm in a freakin' castle... great. Ed groaned.
The young alchemist felt looks aimed towards him. "Who're you l-" he started, turning.
He stared was staring straight at a painting. He walked forward, the painting's eyes followed.
"Great, now I'm imagining things," he grumbled, walking still.
As he departed, a portrait of an Englishman spoke to another, "Strange fellow that was." The other painting nodded in agreement.
Minutes ticked by, and nothing! Ed had searched for at least fifteen minutes, passing empty rooms, creepy paintings, and an owl. An owl stopped its flying to sit on a windowsill and stare at Ed. Yes, this place was definitely heartwarming.
Finally, Ed heard a voice passing through a thick wood door, "And that is what you do if you are faced with these types of hexes. While they are very uncommon, it is important for you to be prepared. Now if you you'll-" Ed opened the door slightly, sticking his head through the crack he made. The door made a creaking noise that stopped the teacher's words.
What Ed perceived was a classroom. A classroom in a castle. That's not strange, noooooo. Kids about his age were all seated in rows and there was a man with musty grey hair, his back to the class, reading, at the head of the room. All were wearing robes. The classroom itself was the strangest, adorned with shelves and shelves of books, and a skeleton. There was a skeleton of something hanging from the ceiling.
The man cleared his throat in an annoyed manner. He placed the book on a desk. The robed man didn't even turn to face Ed as he spoke, "Would you be kind enough to take your seat," started the man with a heavy accent which Ed couldn't identify, "seeing as you are over thirty minutes late!"
Not one student had even turned to look at Ed. I guess this happens often... Ed chuckled lightly.
"What is so funny, sir?" The man slammed the book back on the desk after he had just retrieved it again.
"I dunno. What's your problem? I just wanna know who's in charge of this creepy... castle... thing..." Ed spoke with doubt.
Heads turned. Now, instead of paintings, dozens of eyes stared at Ed, making him reel back, sweating. Okaaay, these people are as creepy as the castle itself...
"What?" the man asked incredulously.
Ed sighed, stepping into the classroom, "I just walked around this place for a very long time," that of course was his temper talking, "and I want to know who is in charge, because I have no idea what I'm doing here," his voice took on a sarcastic tone, "and I thought since you looked like a figure of authority, you would know, but I guess you don't, so I shall take my business elsewhere..." Ed finished somewhat expectantly. Al would've commented on how Ed was acting immaturely in this situation, but Al wasn't with Ed, was he. Apparently not.
"It's you!" a boy finally said. He looked geeky, with messy black hair and glasses. Ed could faintly see a red line-ish thing on his forehead. He was sitting close to the back and closest to Ed.
Ed took a blank look on his face, "Yes... it's me... How do you know me?"
"Ah yes, the mystery boy," the man said. "Mr. Potter, could you take him to Professor Dumbledore, please?"
So now I'm a mystery boy, huh? Well! Ed thought with fake offence. He snorted out loud.
"Sure...I guess," the mop top boy responded. He made himself sound hesitant, but Ed could detect some kind of eagerness. These people kept getting stranger to him.
"Where the hell am I?!" Ed asked obviously irritated. He did not get an answer because the Harry boy ushered him out of the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom.
"Um, let us continue our lesson..." the man said, looking at his book once more. The teens followed, minds still on the ill-tempered mystery boy.
"Well, I guess we just have to wait for Harry, again," Ron sighed. He and Hermione were once again left behind to work. Life was not fair!
There they were. Walking. Together. Nothing strange. Both averted their eyes from each other, silent. This boy, Harry, was leading Edward through halls and that blah. Five minutes they had been walking. Ed recognized some of the stretching... stretches and the paintings on the walls. He was revisited again by the tingling feeling from the paintings. Staring at him. Their eyes following him. Wherever he went. Creepy, still. It was still silent. Silent like a ladybug is silent after it has been crushed.
Ed decided to break the ladybug-like silence as best he could. He coughed to get Harry's attention. Harry looked at him strangely.
"Uh, the name's Ed... Elric," the blonde said tersely. He stuck out his hand to Harry.
"I'm Harry, Harry Potter," Harry said, shaking his hand.
Ed gave him a look that said, 'Who? Oh, just another nobody.'
"Where am I?"
"...Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry." Harry now stared at Ed strangely. His look said, 'Duh, where else would you be?'
Ed stopped. He looked at Harry, then burst out laughing. Wiping a tear fro m his eye and simultaneously clutching his gut, Edward responded, "Hooo, that's funny! Okay, so tell me where I really am." He held out his hands in an expectant shrug.
"Right where I said," Harry looked serious. Ed stared at him dumbly. "Well, I guess Dumbledore can explain everything to you. Now."
Harry came to an abrupt halt. Ed nearly ran into him. Looming over them was a gargoyle. To it, Harry muttered a word softly, and it began to move. Ed gasped, stunned. How did he do that?
"Come in," a voice called out to them. Ed recognized the voice. It belonged to the old man Dumbledore. The two teens entered into a strange office of a sort. There, sitting was Dumbledore. Again he spoke, "Ah, young Edward has awakened. Thank you, Harry, for escorting him to me. You may return to Professor Huff, though there won't be much class time left."
The old man's eyes let of a sort of twinkle from behind his spectacles. Ed shuddered lightly. That twinkle reminded him of someone who never had his shirt on for more than two minutes. Ugh.
Harry gave a little wave to Ed, turning to leave.
Dumbledore turned to the state alchemist that stood in front of him. "Alas, I suppose it is time for me to shed some light on your situation now. It may seem fantasy-like, but I assure you, it is all true, but first, tell me how you came to be here."
"Um, alright. I come from a place called Amestris, where alchemy is practiced by many. Me and my brother Al were walking the streets of Central when I saw a transmutation circle, I went up to it, it flashed red, and I woke here. I don't remember anything else..." Ed looked aside. He doubted the man would believe him.
"Ah, yes, Amestris. I've been told by one of its residents it is a very lovely place. He visited here for a year or so years ago. On that subject, the boy taught a class on alchemy to the students here. I was hoping as you searched for a way to get home, you could do the same," Dumbledore offered.
"Wait, how did that boy come here?"
"I brought him here and sent him back, but I have lost the ability to do so again. I think for that period of time, the dimensional barrier between our worlds was weaker, and has strengthened."
"Oh," Ed looked disappointed as he talked. "Well, before I agree to anything, explain to me about your world." Anyone else would have been frantic in this situation, but Ed believed it made sense, and decided to listen.
"This is Earth. Most of the population are muggles, or people without magical abilities. This is a school for those who do have those powers..."
Ed was fascinated by this information. They did things that ignored Equivalent Exchange completely. It was quite a revelation for the alchemist.
"That's amazing! Is that how the portraits stared at me?" Ed shivered at the thought of these creepy paintings.
"Yes, it is all magic," Dumbledore confirmed.
"So I'm okay to stay here and research until I can find a way home, right?" Dumbledore nodded. "And for the class... No, I'm sorry. I'd rather do it with my brother. It wouldn't feel right without him..."
"I understand," Dumbledore's eyes twinkled once more as he spoke. "You can sleep on that sofa over there for now. I will fetch the rest of your clothing for you, and you can eat in the morning. Until night, you may investigate any of my things in here."
Ed nodded and said quiet thanks as the man glided away from the blonde alchemist. When he left, Ed plopped on the sofa, which was extremely comfortable. Usually, he would've never passed up the chance to investigate, but for some reason, he was exhausted. Though it probably wasn't even noon, Ed fell into a deep, undisturbed sleep until the next morning.
I'm sorry if the ending was bad. It's past midnight. Altogether, I am pleased with these results. I believe these chapters are longer than the fic was before. Yay!
Also, I do not hate ladybugs or anything, it's just they do become silent if you squish them, unlike cockroaches.
Review, please! Every time you do, Ed gives you a cookie! They're made with love!