Disclaimer: Insert cleverly-worded disclaimer here (do not own).
An Interesting Year:
As Harry Potter walked through the doors of the Great Hall with the rest of the students, what had happened that summer kept playing through his mind…
"What do you mean I have to have a bodyguard when I return to Hogwarts?!" Harry demanded, exasperated at finding out he was going to followed throughout his entire sixth year.
"Harry, I'm sorry. You'll never even know they--." Dumbledore had started to say, trying to calm down the teen. He only succeeded making him even angrier.
"They? As in more than one?" Harry asked, frowning at his teacher.
"Yes, but as I was saying, you'll never even know they are there. To make thiseven easier on you, I have decided that I am not going to tell you who they are or what they look like. I actually believe that doing so will make their own jobs much easier." Dumbledore said, throwing Harry a sharp yet gentle look.
Harry sighed, "Do I really have to be followed?"
"It's for your protection as much as your friends."
"Fine, if that's what you think is best."
Dumbledore nodded. "I do. Just remember: this is disrupting their schedule much more than yours." Harry grunted and Dumbledore smiled.
"Well, now… on to other matters…"
Harry sat down with Ron and Hermione with a scowl on his face, and scanned the head table. There was one empty seat. "I wonder why that chair is empty," Harry wondered, almost talking to himself.
"Don't ask me, mate. We're not missing anybody. You said Slughorn was supposed to be the new Defense teacher, right?" Harry nodded just as the doors of the Great Hall groanedas they opened and the trio turned to watch as the new first years came in, looking very frightened by all the people watching them.
A sense of nostalgia hit Harry as he watched the sorting ceremony. He wished he could go back. Back before everything had happened, back to his first year when he didn't know of all the evil in the world, when the only worry he had at that he had at the moment was to not be sorted into Slytherin. He clapped along with the rest of his house when the new Gryffindor students nervously stumbled to the table and sat down red-faced and terrified of all the attention being given to them.
After the sorting was done Dumbledore stood up to make his famous start of term feast.
"To our new students, welcome! To the old, welcome back!" He looked around, smiling. "I can promise you all an interesting year. For this year, not only will we will have two new sixth year exchange students and a new teacher teaching an all-new Alchemy class, we will also be joined by a new staff member. But more about that later. Firstly, may I introduce, from theAmestris Military Academy,Brigadier General Roy Mustang and Major Edward Elric?" The Great Hall doors reopened and two men in blue military-style uniforms walked in, one slightly shorter than the other.
The first had silky black hair and charcoal eyes that shined, and was wearing a small smile that made all the girls sigh and stare. He walked through the Great Hall with a commanding and dignified nature about him. At the sight of him all the boys frowned,disliking their new competition for the girls' attention. The second one personwas a bit more interesting. He was a teenager with long blonde hair tied up in a ponytail. His eyes were a glistening gold and gazed around the room with a fiery intensity. Unlike the other man, he wore a deep scowl and pure white gloves. They walked to the front of the room and shook hands with Dumbledore before turning and facing the hall.
Dumbledore smiled and then continued."Our other student is also from Amestris. Will you help me in welcoming Jacob Lamb?" The students all turned again to see a boy with long spiky black hair and large violet eyes standing in the doorway. He started to walk towards the front of the hall with a smirk on his face. Harry noticed Major Elric tighten up and glare hole in Jacob, whose smirk grew even wider if possible. Dumbledore smiled and shook hands with the boy before turning once again and facing the hall.
"As I mentioned,General Mustang will be teaching a new class for sixth years and up called Alchemy. Major Elric is also an alchemist, and will be joining the Gryffindor house, while Mr. Lamb has been sorted into the Slytherin house. All sixth years and above wanting to take Alchemy may sign up on the sheet that will be waiting in your common room. Until then, tuck in."
Food suddenly appeared on every table as Major Elric and Jacob Lamb walked to their own tables. Harry looked down the table and saw the only free seat was next to him. Major Elric walked up and sat down with a small smile.
"Ed Elric, nice to meet you," he said, holding out his left hand. Harry took it and smiled, already having a good guess who his new 'guards' were.
"Harry Potter, same here," Harry said. "These are my friends Ron and Hermione." Ed politely shook both of their hands, then turned to look at the high table. To Harry, it seemed as if he was trying to get the General's attention, makinga weird hand signal towhich the General nodded and started to eat. Ed turned back around and looked at the food, grinning.
" Wow," he said, eyes sparkling, "I've never seen so much food in my life!" Harry chuckled at the look on Ed's face and started to eat.
"So Ed, what's it like being a state alchemist?" Hermione asked with a questioning look on her face. Harry saw Ed's eyes darken and he looked at Hermione.
"Then why are you still in the military?" Ron asked. Ed glared at him making Ron recoil as if struck.
"Because it's the only way I can get into the state libraries… legally," Ed said, a slight smirk touching his visage, still staring at Ron.
Hermione overlooked this and kept asking questions. "When I found out that state alchemists were coming to Hogwarts,I did some research and your name came up a few times. Is it true that you're the youngest state alchemist in military history?" Harry looked over at Ed expectantly, remembering his discussion with Ron and Hermione over the summer…
"There's going to be an Alchemy class this year?" Hermione asked with a unbelieving tone in her voice. "Alchemy is a dead subject, Ronald. It was a muggle science used to turn lead into gold, it doesn't actually exist." Ron vehemently shook his head.
"I'm serious. Dad said that word at the ministry was that Dumbledore had hired an alchemist from another countries military to come and teach an Alchemy class. In fact, he's even having him bring a student with him. It's kinda like an exchange program."
"What are their names?" Harry asked looking up from reading 'Quidditch Through the Ages' for the umpteenth time.
"Ummm… something Mustang and maybe an Elric? I don't remember their first names or ranks…" Hermione looked thoughtful.
"I wonder if I could find a book somewhere about them… What country are they from?" Ron blinked.
"Am- something… Amtries? Amsters… Amrets… Ametries… no, wait… I've got it! Amestris! It was Amestris for sure." Hermione looked doubtful but stood up and walked to the door nonetheless. Ron looked after her. "Oy! Where are you off too?"
"I'm going to go and order a book. If I'm lucky it might get here in a few days." She walked out the door and Ron turned back to Harry, who shrugged and turned back to his book.
Three Days Later
"It's here!" Hermione burst into Ron's room and turned on the lights, succeeding in waking up both Harry and Ron, the later of which swore and covered up his head with his sheets.
"Gods Hermione! What's so important that you had to wake us up this early?" Ron groaned from beneath his covers. Hermione opened up the blinds and the morning light spilled into the room.
"The book on Amestris came this morning!" Hermione all but squealed as she sat on the foot of Ron's bed and cracked open the heavy volume on her lap. Harry looked over at her curiously and even Ron peeked out to watch and listen. Hermione spent a few short minutes flipping the pages furiously before she stopped on one page towards the middle of the book titled "Amestris Military".
"Did you find it?" Ron yawned out, looking over her shoulder as she moved her eyes across the page at an alarming speed. Suddenly she slowed down and pointed her finger at a subtitle on the page.
"Is that the name you were talking about?" Ron looked at where she was pointing and nodded.
"Yes…" Ed switched his gaze to her from Ron, who looked relieved.
"I also read that you're the only state alchemist that helps the people of the state. The book called you the alchemist who was 'The Champion of the People' and the only state alchemist with a soul and so many other things. It also listed all of your achievements, like when you stopped the uprising in Liore, the red water incident in Xenotime, catching the master thief Psiren, helping to identify the mass murderer Scar… I really can't see how he can kill so many people, it just seems so wrong--"
"Stop!" Ed interrupted almost yelling. "Most of those people who Scar killed were state alchemists who had killed countless people and never cared! Most of them deserved what they got! Scar would never hurt an innocent person, or so he claims… he only kills state alchemists!!" Ed finished looking down at his, now empty, plate.
"Did he ever hunt you?" Harry asked putting down his fork and leaning forward as he tried to glen more information.
"Still does, he almost killed my brother and me once," Ed said looking up.
"I didn't know you had a brother, the book said that you had no family left!" Hermione said, unwilling to doubt a book.
"It's just me and my younger brother Alphonse," Ed said with a touch of happiness in his voice and a tender look in his eye. "We're all that we have." After realizing what he had said, Ed's face hardened quickly and he took on a more aggravated look.
Harry changed the subject after this,seeing that Ed was getting annoyed by all the questioning. The four of them had a fairly pleasant discussion afterward until Dumbledore stood up to make his after dinner announcements.
"Before you head to bed, I have a few start-of-term announcements to make," he said, looking over the hall. "As you all know, we lost our Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher last year, so taking over her post this year is none other than our own Professor Snape." Ed looked up at a man who he immediately disliked. The applause after this announcement was noticeably absent from the Gryffindor table, and Harry looked furious. "Potions, Professor Snape's previous subject, will be taught by an old friend of mine, Horace Slughorn." The students in the Great Hall clapped politely, and the noise slowly died down. "As returning students will remember, the Dark Forest is off limits to any and all students, and there is a list on Mr. Flitch's door of items prohibited at Hogwarts." With one last look aroundthe hall, Dumbledore dismissed them. Harry got up to leave and noticed Ed move towards the teacher's table.
"Hey Ed! Are you coming?"
"I'll be by later. I have to talk to Mustang for a minute," Ed said as he waved them off. Harry shrugged and started to the Gryffindor tower with Ron and Hermione behind him.
A/N: So what do you think? It took me forever to get this typed. Please R&R! I hope to have the next chapter out next week sometime! Thanks for Reading!!
A/N: Well, hopefully many of you will be able to tell a difference from before. The revised chapter has a bit more depth to it and has some new added scenes in it. Overall, I think it's much much better than before. I hope you enjoy reading it!!
By the way, the A/N above is from the original chapter.