I am quite honestly suprised that I have still been getting somewhat consistent reviews and favs in the last...*checks calendar* 9 plus months I haven't updated this. So, wow. Thanks. Here ya go. ;)
EDITED BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE TAKE WHAT MOLECULES MAKE UP THIER WATER SO SERIOUSLY
Water appears blue because the darker end of the color spectrum has the longest wavelengths. The wavelengths of colors like red, orange, and yellow are too short to penetrate water. This is also why beaches usually have green or light blue water, while in the open ocean, where the water is thousands of fathoms deep, it appears to be dark blue, or even indigo. The water Edward was falling through was black.
In the years before a letter delivered by owl had changed his life, Harry had, like most children, gone to an ordinary school. One day the school had herded all the students into the auditorium for an assembly, one of the few times all the different grades ever interacted with each other. A paramedic had come to give a presentation. One of the things he had talked about was what to do if someone fell through the ice of a frozen lake. A lot of the kids went ice skating with their families in the winter, so it was a real danger. Harry had never been ice skating. It required a little too much physical exertion to be appealing to the Dursleys, and even if they had made a try of it, Harry knew he wouldn't be invited to go along. He hadn't paid much attention, instead his face turned upwards, distracted by the one light in any auditorium that never stops flickering.
It was this memory, something that seemed so insignificant at the time, which came to Harry now. He had forgotten all about it until this very moment. He vaguely remembered a voice and brief glimpses of a green or blue uniform, saying something about lying on your stomach to distribute your weight. If it was too dangerous to get too close, to throw a rope or something the victim could use to pull themselves out. Just like they do in the movies when the brave adventurer has to save his girlfriend from quicksand. But the teacher was not his girlfriend. For all his victories over Voldemort, Harry still wasn't Indiana Jones. And this didn't look like it was going to have a happy ending. If the man had mentioned any way to save someone who had already slipped below the surface, beyond the reach of grasping hands and ropes, it was not coming back to him.
McGonagall had already used the accio charm to summon a weighted rope, and dropped it down into the water. If the professor was still conscious, he might be able to grab onto it. Meanwhile, Dumbledore was speaking with some sort of…creature. It had grey skin and bloodshot yellow eyes. And really scary teeth. "It's a merperson." Hermione whispered in Harry's ear, frightened. "I guess Dumbledore must be asking them to help." The creature replied with an awful screeching noise that had all three students slamming their hands over their ears, and a noticeable wince from the teachers. Only Dumbledore seemed to not mind. "Your help will not go unrewarded." Dumbledore solemnly replied. The creature gave a wary nod before diving back under the dark water. "So what do we do now?" asked Ron. "Wait" came the reply.
Ed's lungs felt tight, and burned inside him, the searing pain flashing up his throat. His head felt light, and his vision was beginning to go black around the edges, but not before he saw a swarm of nightmarish creatures swimming towards him. 'If man had evolved to live in the sea, perhaps that is what we would look like…' mused the scientist side of the teenager, before the reality of what he saw before him checked in. He startled in panic, very nearly opening his mouth and dooming himself. He wasn't sure which fate was worse: drowning, or being torn limb from limb by creatures who by all the rules he'd ever known before coming here, shouldn't exist.
All the odds were against him, but no one could ever say the Fullmetal Alchemist went down without a fight. He somehow managed to bring his hands together to create the sword out of the top plate of his automail, and began to swing it at the creatures drawing near him. They dodged easily, more adapted to move through water. They edged toward him again, hissing and reaching out with their grotesque hands to grab his flailing limbs. He managed to kick one in the face, and slice another's arm. They couldn't avoid him every time if they wanted to get close. The strangely humanoid fish creatures grew enraged, and made another pass at him. Ed grew more furious in his attacks. He knew his air wouldn't last much longer, and he planned to wound as many as he could before that happened. After slicing one across the face, blinding it, one creature, the leader of the group, screamed in rage. In a surprising musical language, but nevertheless indecipherable to the Amestrian, the creature sang something that even he could recognize as full of venom and probably a good deal of swears. After what was probably one of those ancient curses that promised something horrible would happen to him and several generations of his children, the swarm of monsters swam off.
The alchemist was briefly relieved before coming to the conclusion that he was doomed anyway. He couldn't even leave any heirs behind to blame him for their cursed status. The exertion of the battle had left him unable to hold his breathe any longer. He would have to breathe in, and let the water flood his lungs. That he had been able to last this long in freezing water and not succumb was a miracle. And then he noticed the trail of bubbles left behind by the passage of the strange creatures.
The group waiting on the ice had begun to give up hope when they felt a rumble under their feet. A horrible look of understanding lit the headmaster's face as he rose to his feet and shouted "Quick! Get off the ice!" Startled, the other members of the group looked up, and then began to run as fast as they could. They had not made it back to land, but where thankfully out of range when the ice cracked open with a sound none of them would ever forget, and exploded. A rush of air erupted out of the hole, now nearly ten times the size it had been when Edward had fallen through, as ice shards began to rain down on the group. It was immediately followed by a sloshing thunderclap. A moment of silence, and then the explosion of air and thunderclap happened again. "What's happening?" McGonagall yelled. Hermione's face scrunched up in concentration before it lit up in comprehension. "It's hydrogen!" She shouted excitedly. "It's a cloud of hydrogen!" "It means" Dumbledore said delightedly, "that our resident alchemist has found a new supply of oxygen! He's breaking apart the atoms in the water, separating the hydrogen from the oxygen." Harry and Ron stared, not understanding a word, but Hermione nodded excitedly. "But we must hurry. He'll only get one breathe in each time before the surrounding water rushes in to fill the displacement. And I don't think our lake could take too many transmutations." "Doubtless he's already half dead of hypothermia" Snape cut in, his usual dour self, although apparently the idea of someone dying didn't appeal to even him. "Then we'd best rescue him now." McGonagall agreed.
Even with the burning in his chest somewhat relieved, Edward knew it was still no use. He was stuck on the muddy bottom of lake, incapabe of propelling himself to the surface. The water was too cold. He couldn't move his real limbs anymore. He couldn't even feel his fingers. The pressure had already popped his eyedrums enough that he thought they might have burst. He was dying. But just ahead, he could see a rope. He would have sighed, if he could. 'I must be hallucinating.' The rope was swimming downward, the tip twitching and turning like the head of a snake scenting the air. Nevertheless, with the last of his strength, he reached out. His fingers failed to respond as he told them to grip. Ed's world faded to black. So he did not notice as the charmed rope looped around his hand as it brushed the twined fibers, then again around his waist, and having found what it was looking for, began to rapidly retract upwards.
author's note: I realize it probably wouldn't really work that way, but I think I've mentioned before that physics, or chemistry for that matter, is not my strong suit. Also, I figure, I'm writing a story about an alchemist, set in a magic school, so science is going to do whatever the hell I tell it to do.