Disclaimer: Nope. Don't own.

An Interesting Year

Chapter 16

Last Time:

With a wide yawn, Winry entered the office and went through the door that led to her room. She stood up long enough to change, and then fell into bed, exhausted.

Ed sighed as he rolled slowly out of bed the next morning. Keeping his eyes closed, he stretched, feeling the kinks in his back and shoulder pull themselves out and hearing his left shoulder pop. Yawning deeply and then mumbling about the ungodly hour that he had awoken, he dragged himself to his trunk placed at the end of his bed and pulled out the school robes (Mustang had told him the night before that they were required).

He then stumbled out of the doorway and to the bathroom stationed conveniently a few steps down from his room. He went to the first shower stall he could find, deciding that a cold shower would get him at least partly awake. Turning on the water, he eased under it and gasped at the frigidness. Turning the water to hot he soon relaxed under the warm stream. Knowing that he didn't have too long, he hurried through the shower and dressed, towel drying his hair as he went back to his room to retrieve his gloves and watch.

As he entered, Ed noticed that he hadn't woken anyone and quietly made his way over to his bedside table. He opened the drawer and took out the watch and his gloves and grabbed the hair tie that he had placed on the table the night before. Giving his hair a final rub, he tossed the towel on the floor, deciding to deal with it later, and combing his left hand through his slightly damp hair. He pulled on his gloves as he eased his way back to the door, opening and the shutting it quietly behind him.

As he made his way down to the common room, Ed braided his hair and tied it off and then opened his pocket watch.


Deciding that is was late enough, he made his way out the portrait hole and slouched his way to Mustang's office. He wasn't quite sure why the Fuhrer had decided to call back all State Alchemists but him, and why the Colonel? He was here on a mission, wasn't he supposed to complete it? Shaking his head at the early morning confusion he was suffering, he looked up to find that he was in front of Mustang's classroom. Sighing, Ed opened the door a crack and peered in.

"Brother! I didn't expect to see you up so early!" Al whispered from his perch in the back of the room. Ed opened the door the rest of the way and walked inside shutting the door softly before turning to his brother.

"Yeah. I've been ordered to wake up this early. Of course, if Mustang doesn't I don't see why I should have to." Ed yawned as he made his way to the back of the room and sat down on the desk next to his brother. Al chuckled.

"The Colonel's been up since six. He and everyone else left here around six thirty Winry's the only one left and she's still asleep." Ed gave him a confused look.

"Where did they go?"

"To talk to Professor Dumbledore about Mustang leaving tomorrow. They want to announce his leave at dinner and introduce the school to their new teachers." Ed nodded and a faint smile grew on his face.

"I feel sorry for those poor kids that Riza's going to teach. They've been so sheltered until now." Al chuckled with his brother.

"But you'll be in there too brother. Won't you be one of those 'poor kids' you were just talking about?"

"Nah. I'm fit and I already know how to fight and I know all the statistics that the military has to offer. That class will be a breeze. Well… all my classes are easy, but you get my meaning." Ed scratched the back of his head. "I wonder if they have coffee around here?" Al shook his head.

"You're addicted to caffeine brother." Ed's eyebrow twitched.

"Am not! I just need it in order to function and such. I could quit anytime I wanted. I just don't want to right now." Al laughed at the mock-offended look on his older brother's face.

"Do you think we should wake Winry up?" Al asked as he looked toward the office door. Ed pulled out his watch.

"It's seven forty five and breakfast starts at eight, so I guess we should." They looked toward the door and then Ed gave Al a little push.


"Don't you remember what happened last time we tried to wake Winry up?" Al thought for a second and then laughed.

"Oh yeah! She threw her wrench at you!" Ed nodded.

"Exactly. Which is why it's your turn to wake her up."

"But she's your girlfriend brother!" Al whined as Ed turned as red as his jacket.

"So? She would feel bad if she injured me. Another reason why you should do it." Ed reasoned as he pushed Al from behind. Al sighed and walked toward the door with Ed following behind, carefully making sure that Al was completely in front of him and would block all shots. Al opened the office door and went to the room he knew was Winry's. He knocked on it softly.

"Winry? It's time to get up, breakfast is about to start." A low mumble came from inside along with the sounds of someone stumbling out of bed and over to the door. Winry opened it enough to allow her voice to penetrate the office space.

"I'll be out in a minute." Then the door closed. Al turned and walked out of the office with a stunned Ed following behind him.

"How did you do that? She didn't even throw anything at you!"

"Well, I didn't bang on her door and demand she get up. You might want to try a bit of an easier approach next time." Al suggested as he sat down on one of the tables at the front of the room.

"Yeah… well… whatever." Ed grumbled out as he sat down next to his brother and crossed his automail leg over his real on and propped his head up on his hand. They sat in companionable silence, just enjoying each other's company while they could. Ed looked up when he heard the office door creak open.

Winry walked out into the classroom and closed the door behind her. She had exchanged her usual short skirt and yellow tank for a pair of worn flared jeans and a half-sleeved black shirt. Her hair was in its usual ponytail. She walked across the room to the brothers, yawning slightly as she did so and stopping beside of Ed.

"Good morning," she managed to mumble out as she took his left hand in hers and offered Al a smile. Ed's face softened as he held her hand and he pulled her close for a morning hug.

"You ready for breakfast?" He asked as he let go of all of her save her hand. Winry nodded and the group headed for the door.

"How was your night?" Ed asked when they entered the hall. Winry shrugged her shoulders.

"It was fine. I wish we could sleep longer here though. What time do the classes start here?" She asked as Ed led both of them down the hall.

"Around nine. But my first class isn't until ten thirty." Winry nodded.

"How are you this morning Al?" She asked looking up at the armor that was walking next to her.

"I'm fine Winry. It's you and brother I'm worried about. You're both so tired in the mornings. I don't know what either one of you will do if they don't have coffee in the mornings." Winry blinked at Al.

"They might not have coffee? What kind of people are these wizards?" Ed snorted beside her.

"Morning people apparently." Winry giggled at his joke as they joined the small groups of people making their way into the Great Hall. Ed directed the group over to the Gryffindor table, but more specifically to where Harry, Ron, and Hermione were sitting.

Yawning again, Ed plopped down next to Ron and across from Harry as Winry sat down next to him.

"Morning." Ed said as he looked up and down the table. "Do you guys know where the coffee is?" Hermione shook her head.

"Only the professors get coffee. And good morning to you to, and to Winry and Al of course." Winry smiled at Hermione who was sitting across from her and Al conveyed his 'good mornings' as well.

"Dang it. This sucks. What kind of place is this? How can they expect anyone to function without coffee in the mornings?" Ed moaned as he sat his head on the table. Winry massaged her temples with her hand as Ed's whining.

"It's just coffee Ed. No big deal." Ed grunted and sat up, starting to pile anything within reach on his plate.

"What's the deal with the Colonel now?" Harry asked as Ed started shoveling scrambled eggs in his mouth. Swallowing, Ed looked up.

"He's supposed to leave tonight or early tomorrow morning. But he met with Dumbledore this morning, so he might be leaving earlier than that. I know the Fuhrer wants him back as soon as possible. Can't figure out why though. What with the school being attacked and all." Ed looked up to the head table and noticed that Mustang and all of his subordinates were sitting at the table and earning stares from a great number of the hall. "I'll be right back." Ed said as he stood up and headed for the head table. Havoc and Breda were the first to notice him.

"Morning chief! Don't you look all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this morning!" Breda called to him. Ed glared at him as Havoc laughed and he made his way over to Mustang.

"Fullmetal." Ed rolled his eyes. The Colonel was definitely not in the best mood this particular morning.

"What are the plans? You going back tonight or tomorrow?"

"I'll be leaving when breakfast is over. I talked to the Fuhrer this morning and he wants a few select State Alchemists to head squadrons of men and find these Homunculi. He wants me to organize the whole thing and have all the squad leaders report back to me. He seems to think that they all will have come back to Amestris." Ed shook his head.

"That doesn't make sense though. They wouldn't go back. They would stay here! Just because Wrath was sent back doesn't mean that Envy or one of the others isn't here. When is the backup coming?" Mustang gave a sigh of annoyance.

"He's not sending anyone. And on top of that, they've lost Wrath as well!" Ed banged his fist on the table, earning him a disapproving look from Hawkeye who was sitting next to Mustang.

"What?! How could they lose him?" Mustang sat back in his chair.

"He escaped and killed the two men guarding him. It looked like he had accomplices though. The men were stabbed through the head with something small, bullet sized, but it went all the way through and there wasn't any debris from a bullet or a bullet hole in the wall. I'm guessing that they were killed and then Wrath was freed. Would you have any idea who could do this?" Ed nodded.

"Lust can extend her fingernails into razor sharp points, I would bet it was her. Was anyone else killed?"

"No. The receptionist and all the guards on the hallways close to where Wrath was held were knocked out. They don't remember anything." Ed sighed.

"Of course. She wouldn't have killed anyone else so that it didn't look as suspicious. But how did she get in past the guards? Are there any unprotected back ways into Central Headquarters?"

"Not that I know of. That's why I'm leaving early. I'm going to help investigate, but I don't want to make a big deal out of leaving, so I'm going to slip out in a few minutes. But before I go… listen Fullmetal. I need you to send me coded reports every two weeks. I need to know anything suspicious that might be going on here and use a code name. I want these reports to be off the book." Ed nodded sharply. "And help Lieutenant Hawkeye with her class if she needs help. I'm counting on you to hold down the fort over here. You'll be the highest ranked officer; they'll be looking to you for guidance. If you need help, go to Hawkeye. She usually has good advice."

"Understood. Have a nice trip back and keep me posted. Something that happens over there might be a clue as to what might happen over here." Mustang gave a short bob of his head.

"Good luck Fullmetal." Ed gave him one of his famous smirks.

"Same to you Colonel." And with that, Ed turned around and headed back to the Gryffindor table sliding back in next to Winry.

"So?" Ron prompted from across the table. Harry, Hermione, Winry, and Al looked at him expectantly as well.

"He's leaving in a few minutes. A lot's happened in the past few days and the Fuhrer wants it taken care of now. The rest I'll have to tell you later. Too many prying eyes and ears." Harry nodded in understanding and Ron went back to his breakfast while Hermione picked up the book she had been previously reading. Winry's hand found his under the table and she gave it a gentle squeeze.

"Would you like to go for a walk Ed?" She asked as students started to leave the Great Hall for their first class. Ed nodded.

"I'll show you the lake."

"That class is so easy!" Ed moaned after Potions was over. Ron came up behind him.

"Easy? That was hard! I'm still not sure how you and Harry were able to make perfect potions!" Ed shrugged.

"It's like cooking and it's said that Alchemy was born in the kitchen so Potions is like Alchemy, which I'm good at therefore it's easy." Ed commented as he made his way out if the dungeons and toward Hawkeye's class. Hermione huffed behind him. She still wasn't happy about not being the best at making potions anymore. Coming upon the door to the classroom, Ed opened it and stepped inside. He immediately groaned.

Hawkeye had taken all the desks out of the room in favor of a few punching bags, mats, and weight lifting equipment. Ed went and sat his bag down next to the small teachers desk that still remained in the room and plopped down beside it. Harry, Ron and Hermione sat their bags down next to his as the class entered the room and gazed around, all of them setting their bags down against the wall or in a corner. Right before the bell rang Hawkeye entered and stood in front of the class.

"I want all the girls to go in the office and change into one of the uniforms in the bin. The boys will change out here using the uniforms from this bin. Shoes are provided here if you need any." She pointed at a container filled with black shirts and long black, loose-fitting shorts. Havoc came out of the office and stood next to the door as the girls filled in the room to change along with Hawkeye and shut the door.

The boys all began to grab their new uniforms with confused looks on their faces and mummers. Ed grabbed a pair of the shorts and a shirt and quickly changed out of the uniform and into the pair of tennis shoes he had grabbed. He didn't like how short the shorts were; they showed off too much of his leg. They almost came up to the port. Rolling his eyes he walked over to lean against the wall with Havoc and watch the Hogwarts students try to figure out what was going on.

"So… what are you going to do to help the class?" Ed asked Havoc who laughed.

"Nothing. I'm going to sit up here and smoke. I haven't had a light all day with Hawkeye watching me."

"Those thing's will kill you. You know that right?" Ed asked in a bored tone. Havoc shrugged.

"If they do they do, if they don't they don't. I've cut down though. Apparently women don't like the smell." Ed snorted as the door opened and the girls filed out, intermingling with the boys and wearing the same thing. Ed moved over to stand with Harry, Ron, and Hermione as Hawkeye blew her whistle to get the attention of the class.

"Welcome to Self-defense/ Military Statistics. From now on in this class, you will be expected to meet me outside on the Quidditch field wearing your uniform. We will only have class in here if you are notified the day before. Now, we're going down to the field now so move on." The first Lieutenant ordered from the front of the class. A few of the Slytherins tried to complain, but all Hawkeye had to do was glare at them before they thought better of it and made their way outside.

"Ed? What exactly is she having us do?" Ron asked nervously as they walked down the corridor and towards the staircase.

"Well, she'll probably have us run first to warm up, then she might do a demonstration and then she'll probably teach us some stuff today before we leave." Ron gulped.

"Running? We have to run?" Hermione rolled her eyes at him.

"It's a great way to stay fit. Hogwarts has need a physical class like this for a long time." Harry laughed.

"I never pegged you as a exercise person Hermione. Unless the muscle you were exercising was you brain." Hermione frowned at him as they made their way out the doors and across the lawn to the field.

As they stopped inside the field, Hawkeye came up behind them and blew her whistle to get their attention.

"I want a lap. I'll go easy on you today, but you'll be running more in no time." The class stared at her, dumbstruck at her orders. Eye twitching, she pulled out her pistol and cocked it before firing it into the air, making the class jump. "I didn't just say that for my health! Move!" Slowly, the class started moving around the field at a slow jog, grumbling about it.

Ed chuckled as he jogged beside Harry and a wheezing Ron. Hermione ran next to Harry and was easily keeping up with both Harry and Ed.

Ed relished the feeling of his muscles pulling gently as he ran around the field. It was the first real warm-up and workout he had gotten in the last few weeks and he planned to take advantage of it. He looked Hawkeye's way and noticed that Al had joined them on the field. Ed waved at his brother who raised a hand in greeting before looking down at Hawkeye and talking to her.

By the time that everyone had finished running, most were panting and sitting on the ground trying to catch their breath. Ed was stretching and trying to loosen up his muscles more. There were a surprising number of kinks in his left leg and right knee.

At the front of the group, Hawkeye shook her head at the pathetic bunch that was before her. She blew her whistle for attention again and Ed stopped stretching to look at her.

"I would like to introduce my assistant for the class, Alphonse Elric." Al nodded in greeting to everyone as they took in his tall stature. "If Edward will agree to it, he and Alphonse will be our example today for self-defense." The class turned to look at Ed who nodded and walked to stand next to Al.

"You'll call time I assume?" Hawkeye nodded and stepped off to the side, having the class move back as well. Ed and Al went to opposite sides of the field, each one taking a starting pose.

The students watched eagerly. They had seen Ed fight Wrath, but that was more Alchemy than actual fighting. All was quiet for a brief moment and then Ed charged at Al, jumping up and kicking him in the chest with his automail leg in an attempt to knock him back. Al stumbled back but caught himself and swung his arm out to knock Ed back.

Ed back flipped to dodge the punch and ran towards Al's right only to swerve to his left at the end, throwing a punch toward his shoulder. Al caught his fist and tossed him back. Ed landed on his automail arm and leg and turned to face Al, but Al caught him in a headlock before he could turn around. Ed struggled against Al's grip for a moment before using his leg to sweep Al's feet out from under him. Al stumbled and loosened his grip enough for Ed to break out. Ed turned to take another swing at Al But Hawkeye blew her whistle. Effectively stopping everyone from watching the spar and drawing attention to her.

"I want all of the Gryffindors to line up in rows of eight. Ed will show you a basic kick or punch combo and you will repeat it. Slytherins will do the same with me on the other side of the field. Let's move."

A/N: I haven't updated this story in a really long time. But I decided to update it now. This chapter has been in the works for the last two or three months at least if not longer. I couldn't seem to make it the way I wanted it, but I think this is the best it's going to get anytime soon.

If you see any errors I've made please point them out to me! It can be any error at all! I'm also looking for a Beta for this story if anyone's interested.

I was rereading the first few chapters and I was like 'When did this story start to suck so much?!?'. So, it's going to be rewritten at some point. If you want to be my Beta it would be much appreciated if you would help me with rewriting the first fifteen chapters.

Thanks to:

Ranchi Blade, kk-kuns little sis, bidouillette, yumeniai, Shadewolf7, Athina Dark-Angel of Death, roocullen, Atemu'sLotus, Ms. Anna, wishfulliving89, Fishin4DP, and CleverPhoenix.

You guys are all amazing for reviewing!!

On a side note, the hits count for this story is at 20,470! Thanks for reading everybody!

I don't know when the next chapter will be out. Hopefully soon, but no promises.

Happy Readings!