Harry Potter and the Half-blood Homunculi
A HP/FMA xover by Annethy
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Chapter Four: Betting and Potatoes
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(3-6-07) - I suck and I know it!
The little "- - - - -" things usually represent a change in point of view or setting. And there was that big gap in the timeline from October to June right? Well, some stuff happened that won't be explained till later. :3 Yeah… heh…
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Colonel Roy Mustang was very much aware of the fact that there were betting pools in and about his office. He was also conscious that he (and how many women he dated during the week) was often the subject of the betting. In fact, he even took part in some betting occasionally, so when Lt. Havoc told him that Breda, Falman, and Fuery were betting on him being killed or gravely wounded by Ed that day, Roy wasn't too surprised.
Truth be told, Roy had asked Havoc which side he was betting on that day and said he would split his winnings with Havoc if the Lieutenant betted for and with him. Havoc had agreed, but then there was the problem with assigning Edward the mission, giving Edward the uniform and Roy's bad habit of making fun of Edward whenever possible. This resulted in three near death experiences so far that day, not including Roy's usual procrastination punishments from Lt. Hawkeye.
Havoc had already displayed his loose allegiance with his superior officer by giving Edward a handgun in revenge for being dumped by the girl at the bakery who had decided that the Colonel was undeniably sexier than the Second Lieutenant was. Roy had decided that he did not wish for any more bullet holes in his desk, burn marks on the walls, or traumatizing experiences that day, so he had devised an ingenious plan to stay alive and earn (win) some money. His masterful plan was… not saying anything that might make Ed want to blow the older man's head off with a large cannon, which was anything he would normally say.
So, Roy watched in silence as a disgruntled Fullmetal Alchemist entered the office followed by a wary teenage wizard. His lips were sealed against teasing remarks when Ed's mechanic asked to speak to him in the hallway. He mutely watched as the boy slid the miniature tool kit into his briefcase and the oil can into his pocket. Finally, the old man poofed Edward's luggage somewhere else, pulled out what looked like an old sock that was an obnoxious shade of green, and whisked the two adolescents away from East Headquarters and to who knows where. Ten minutes later, Havoc pocked his head into the room.
"I assume that by the lack of gunshots and Ed cursing your existence, you didn't say anything? Shall I call Fuery, Falman, and Breda in to finish the bet?"
Eventually the not-so-golden trio stood in front of the Colonel's very large, slightly charred, and important desk, which had a bottle of scotch in the bottom left-hand drawer. Lt. Hawkeye had left the office just after Edward went to get his luggage, so procrastinating was safe... for now.
"Gentlemen," Havoc began dramatically, "as you can see by the lack of charred flesh, copious amounts of blood, fresh bullet holes, and the very alive man in front of you, that Colonel Mustang, the Flame Alchemist, has not been brutally murdered by Major Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist!"
"Havoc, you lost me at the copious amounts of blood part…"
Mustang sighed in exasperation. Sometimes Lt. Havoc went over the top with theatrics, almost as much as Major Armstrong did. "I didn't get killed by Ed. We win the bet, so pay up."
The three subordinates groaned, reached for their wallets, and gave both Roy and Havoc 200 cenz from each of them.
"All right, you're dismissed." Roy ordered. The four men left the office, one extremely jubilant, and the others miserable. The door was left open, allowing Roy to hear snippets of conversations in the hallway. Most of it was dull gossip about the news and some kind of discovery the state alchemists in Central had made.
Roy blocked it out and stared lazily at the paperwork on his desk, wishing he could burn it. He spent the next hour or so like this until he heard an intense argument in the hallway. It was between Alphonse and Winry and apparently was quite a case of controversy.
"-- wasn't exactly totally dressed. It looked like you and Nii-san were--"
"Alphonse! It. Was. Nothing."
"But you were on top of Nii-san and--"
"I tripped! Seriously Al, get your helmet out of the gutter! That's gross!"
"Then how did you end up first-basin' with--?"
"SHUT UP! Alphonse Elric, if you tell anyone what you saw, I swear, you are going to be scrap metal!"
Roy blinked several times, sat up straight, and shook his head, just in time to see Winry stomp past his office, her face an impeccable shade of red. Fullmetal making out with his mechanic. That bit of information was interesting… and totally unwanted.
That didn't mean it wasn't blackmail worthy.
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"What in the name of Shamballa was that?" Edward gasped, while his head spun in two different directions.
"That, as you so eloquently put it, was a Portkey." replied Professor Dumbledore.
"Yeah, I'll stick with trains, thank you very much." He muttered darkly.
"What was that?"
"How does it work?" the young alchemist questioned, "I mean, the necessary amount of energy to move three people as far and as fast as we did must be enormous and…" Edward trailed off while his eyes glazed over as he theorized.
"Edward, any questions you have will be answered at the school when term starts."
"Huh? Oh, gotcha."
"Good. Now, Harry would you please step in here for a moment?" Dumbledore was referring to a nearby shed, which was apparently was filled with… brooms? Edward shrugged and took a moment to examine his surroundings. It was night, much different from the mid afternoon he had left in East City. He was standing in front of a building that defied the laws of physics. The house (?) looked like someone had welded a bunch of boxes together lopsided and painted it to somewhat resemble a dwelling.
Edward stared at the house that made Envy look mentally secure until a flurry of movement caught his eye. Something was creeping towards him. To an onlooker, it would look like a potato with legs. To Edward however, it was a chimera, the likes of which he had never seen before. The alchemist squatted down as the potato-chimera shuffled up to the larger being.
The potato-chimera was humanoid, and when Ed went to poke it with his right hand, it made a noise that sounded like "geroff" and clamped down on the index finger with sharp little teeth. It then proceeded to tear the glove to shreds as Ed simply began to jab it with his human hand. It felt like a potato and definitely was a chimera, but there weren't any alchemic energy traces to show what had bound the two organisms (whatever they were) together.
'Maybe they used magic… I couldn't find any energy traces on that damn sock thing, so I guess it makes sense I can't tell what was used to fuse this… Damn wizards… They should know better than to mess with life like this… I'll bet my watch that they didn't even worry about backlash or repercussions. And how the hell did they manage to fuse animal cells with plant cells?'
Meanwhile, the potato-chimera had given up on drawing blood from the metal appendage and was now trying to eat Edward's boot. Ed stood up and stared at the current engagement between his boot and the warped creature, before kicking it over a fence. Ed examined the glove. It was useless now, revealing the dull shine of his automail to gleam in the darkness.
Ed sighed and glanced over his shoulder to the shed where Dumbledore had led Harry. The two still had not come out so Ed quickly clapped his hands together and transmuted the glove back into its normal un-shredded state. He was immediately attacked by another potato-chimera, just as the two wizards exited the shed.
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Dumbledore was giving Harry some last minute words of advice.
"-- lastly, while you are here, the Burrow has been given the highest security the Ministry can offer. These measures have caused a certain amount of inconvenience to Arthur and Molly –- all their post, for instance, is being searched before being sent on. They do not mind in the slightest, for it is their for your safety. However, it would be poor repayment for them if you risked your neck while staying with them."
"I understand," Harry said quickly, before continuing, "Professor, I don't understand why Ed came here with us."
"I believe the alchemic techniques he and his teacher have will be beneficial to our fight against Voldemort. Also, I have the feeling that he will be a very good friend and asset, that is, if he lets you…"
"You will see what I mean eventually."
"Very well then," said the older wizard, pushing the door to the broom shed open and stepping out into the yard, just in time to see a gnome get booted over a fence by a blonde alchemist.
"Nice shot," said Harry. Ed glared over his shoulder at the boy behind him and then to where the gnome had landed.
"What the hell are you people doing making chimeras like that and letting them wander around!? Do you have any idea what the consequences for unlicensed chimera creation are? It's a freaking firing squad! I mean-" Edward's tirade was cut short by Professor Dumbledore.
"Edward. That was not a chimera. It was a magical creature called a gnome. They are fairly common and I highly doubt the Weasley's are going to get a firing squad for having them in their garden."
The alchemist processed this for a moment before turning slightly red. He looked down at the ground abashedly and mumbled, "Sorry,"
"It's quite alright. Come on, I'm sure Molly can't wait to lament over how thin you two are."
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The three approached the back door of the house, which was surrounded by boots and rusty bucket things. Dumbledore knocked three times, paused, and then knocked twice more as the curtain in the window twitched in a flurry of red and white checkers.
"Who's there?" ordered a voice. "State your business!"
"It is I Dumbledore, bringing Harry and the alchemist."
The door burst open at once. In the entrance stood a short and plump woman with read hair in an old bathrobe.
"Harry dear! Goodness Albus, we weren't supposed to expect you till seven!"
"We were lucky," said Dumbledore, ushering Harry and Edward over the threshold. "Horace proved much more persuadable than expected, and Roy had had Edward ready the same day he was informed of his coming. Hello, Nymphadora!"
Edward glanced about the kitchen and saw that the red haired woman was not the only person in the room. A young woman with a pale face and mousy brown hair sat at the kitchen table, clutching a large mug.
"Hello Albus," she said wearily, "Wotcher Harry."
"Hi Tonks," Harry replied. Personally, Edward thought she looked a little bit ill, and her smile was obviously forced.
"I'd best be off," she said quickly, standing up and pulling a cloak around her shoulders. "Thanks for the tea and sympathy, Mrs. Weasley."
"Please don't leave on my account," said Dumbledore courteously, "I cannot stay, I have urgent matters to discuss with Rufus Scrimgeour."
Edward had noticed something ginger twining itself around his ankles and was now watching an ugly cat inspect his left boot.
'What is it with these animals and my boots?' he thought. 'Or maybe it's just the automail…' Edward knelt down on the ground and offered the cat his hands. After a quick sniff of the left, the cat promptly began to nose and paw the right. 'Damn, that's a smart cat! Though the oil I use is kind of strong smelling…'
Now finished with it's the investigation of the automail, the cat began to rub its head against his hands, asking to be scratched. Edward smiled softly and obliged. Then he realized he had been very ignorant of his surroundings. The brown haired woman had left and now Dumbledore was speaking to Harry.
"—at Hogwarts Harry. Molly, if you could give this letter to Arthur when he gets here, I would much appreciate it. Edward?"
"Yes, sir?" Edward stood up and saluted the elderly man.
"Really, there's no need for that here. You aren't in a military setting any more."
"Sorry, sir," Edward apologized, relaxing and lowering his hand.
"Colonel Mustang told me to give this to you." Dumbledore handed Edward a small box bearing the military crest and a letter with the same insignia. "Now, I must be off. Goodnight."
Dumbledore bowed to Mrs. Weasley and hurried out the door, vanishing with a pop a few paces away. Edward frowned. Between getting his weapons kit and being dragged off to the shooting gallery, he had had time to read the report Roy had given him in the office that morning. It had not mentioned Portkies, but there was something called Apparition, which allowed the wizard to instantly teleport one's self to anywhere they wanted. It sounded like they were reversing their atomic structure to its basic elements and then transferring energy to a certain place before rearranging their atoms. It would be high-level alchemy under the field of human transmutation, but since wizards didn't follow equivalent exchange…
Meanwhile, Mrs. Weasley was cross-examining Harry.
"—Stretching Jinxes on you. I swear, Ron's grown four inches since I last bought him school robes." She then turned her attention to Edward. "I'm sorry; I don't believe we were introduced properly. I'm Molly Weasley."
"Are the two of you hungry?" she asked.
"I am," said Harry.
"Anything's better than that crap they feed us in the mess hall."
"Sit down dears, I'll knock something up."
The two boys sat down at the table and the cat from earlier jumped up on Edward's lap. Ed smiled and began to scratch it behind the ears.
"Hermione's here?" Harry asked happily.
"Oh yes, she arrived the day before yesterday," said Mrs. Weasley, rapping a large pot with a stick— 'Wand,' Edward corrected himself. 'Wizards use wands, not sticks.' The pot bounced on to the stove with a clang and began to bubble as Edward twitched. This was his fourth display of magic in twenty minutes and it still freaked him out. The pot could have been magnetized, but how was it filled with the liquid?
Theoretically, the heating of the pot could be achieved with a simple transmutation circle, the one for transferring heat through conduction. Harnessing the heat already in the stove, it would speed up the process dramatically. However, there had been no traces of alchemic light, blue, gold, or red, and Mrs. Weasley hadn't drawn a transmutation circle, but seemed to be in possession of all her body parts.
"Huh?" Ed snapped his head up to see Mrs. Weasley looking at him curiously. "What?"
"Aren't you going to eat, dear? I doesn't look like they feed you very well in that Academy of yours…"
"What?" Ed said be fore he realized there was a bowl of onion soup on the table in front of him and Harry was eating with gusto. "Oh, don't worry, I'll eat…" Edward picked up the spoon and proceeded to consume almost all of his soup in three minutes despite the fact that it was a large bowl of soup and quite hot. Because of the mission, he had been forced to skip lunch, so he was hungry.
Edward turned his attention to the letter Dumbledore had given him. The letter was addressed to "Shrimp" and inside were several sheets of paper. The first one was a letter from the Colonel.
Due to the fact that this mission doubles as diplomatic business, you and I are going to have too meet with the Minister of Magic on July 13. I know it's a bad day for you and I, but this wasn't under our control so suck it up. Professor Dumbledore has arranged to have on of his supporters take you to the Ministry that day. however this gesture may symbolize an "alliance" with Dumbledore, who isn't the most popular man in their world so don't be surprised if we aren't welcomed too warmly. Also, under no circumstances are you to use alchemy "your way", just use transmutation circles, and even then, only if absolutely necessary. I suggest you make some gloves with arrays on them.
Moving on past the diplomatic stuff, all your expenses will be forwarded to your paycheck and research funds. Enclosed in the box is a Red Stone. Put it in your watch. Because your watch was damaged in Lior and wasn't repaired until after the Drachman Border incident, you alchemic amplifier was never replaced. I know what it is made of, but it's orders from the top brass, so don't complain. And keep it secret, shrimp.
Colonel Roy Mustang
Note: You'll also have to send me a report on whatever crackpot lie you've made up about the "Academy". We don't want our stories mixed up.
Edward picked up the box. He could feel the gentle pulse of alchemic energy surging through his hand, just like a heartbeat.
'Well, duh,' he thought, ignoring the conversation Mrs. Weasley was having with Harry. 'Red Stones and the Philosopher's Stone are made the same way. A human has three parts, body soul, and spirit. The spirit keeps the body and soul connected. If you translate that to alchemic terms, the spirit is pure energy. To create a stone you simply take that energy and solidify it into a liquid or a crystal.
'The homunculi don't have a soul, just a body. They draw on the energy in their Red Stones to keep their bodies functioning, just like a normal human. However the energy that would be used to connect the soul has to go somewhere, hence the regenerative abilities and powers. And because there is more than one spirit in the Stones, they can come back to life. Still, there isn't a limitless amount of spirit in a Stone, so in theory you can kill a homunculus without the special array if you try long enough.
'Their powers could probably be duplicated, but they would be classified as human transmutation, and therefore are illegal. The Homunculi each have abilities like that of a human's normal bodily function, but they can manipulate the odds in their favor. Lust's claws are nails reinforced with protein and carbon, able to grow quickly and shed their cells, allowing the illusion of them shrinking back. Gluttony is a matter of extreme metabolism. Greed was bodily carbon composition. Wrath has Alchemy and muscle control, and Envy has bodily growth and immense hormone manipulation.'
Edward sighed. That had been an impressive and depressing internal monologue. Mind still on the homunculi, he wondered if Winry and Al had gotten to Rizembool all right.
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A/N: Well, I'm really sorry it took so long to update! First, I had the chapter written on notebook paper, but then I got grounded from the computer. Then I got grounded even longer because of me report card. When I finally got my computer back, my schedule was full with yoga, roll practice (kayaking), kickboxing, and homework. Finally, we got some snow days, which was enough time for me to revise, edit, and type this copy up.
Enough with my personal life. I'd like to thank all of my reviewers for reviewing:
shinigami109, Beccann, Black Blood Alchemist, Damgel, Shadewolf7, Wolven Spirits, KatarasHomegirl, feefee223, Sukoshi Kiajuu, iceprincess421, EdElricRules, Lunamora, Dark Rurouni Alchemist, SadA4aru-SamA, nightmare70, Marz1, and cricketchick1990.
And because I forgot to thank my reviewers from chapter two, thanks to Marz1, Sukoshi Kiajuu, nightmare70, Fullmetal Fangrl, Vulpix1000, Joanne, and Kestrel Faeran.
Please review! And feel free to add suggestions or ask questions!