Eine Kleine Katze (now Ellersway)
Disclaimer: I own neither Harry Potter nor Fullmetal Alchemist.
This story is AU after Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix, and episode 51 of Fullmetal Alchemist.
Pairings are in the air- I'm always open to suggestions- though I will definitely be writing separate RoyEd, RonWinry and one sided WinryEd oneshots much later on which will accompany this fic, to be read along side it. These will be posted separately under my account, so that people who don't like pairings will be able to ignore them and read the story without them. Kay?
(Prologue re-written on May 1st 2009)
In every man and woman, there is a small part of their soul that remembers the old fear; a carnal, ancient terror left over from the days when man was young and superstition could still coexist with science. It is this part of us which remembers that every action has a consequence; with every life there must be death; and nothing, nothing comes without a price. Everything must be balanced; equal. Equivalent. This is the fear of the Gate, and the price we must all eventually pay for passing through it.
As man grew, it allowed itself to forget- except for one night of the year. On this night- this hallowed night, the world remembers a time when the veil was thin and the gate was barely formed, a time when Alchemy and magic were still inextricably intertwined and the boundaries between here and… there, were yet to be fixed. On this night, the gate opens once again.
It began much like any other evening- perhaps the wind was crisper, the cold a bit more biting, but there was little else about the scene that would warn the inhabitants of Godric's Hollow of their fast-approaching fate. As nights went, it was neither dark nor particularly stormy; the autumn clouds had given away to the crisp, clear skies of winter, and the stars were laid bare above the unsuspecting hamlet.
Perhaps- pathetic fallacy be damned- it should have gone without saying that bad things were going to happen that night, after all, it was Halloween and what time is more perfect for murder and misdeeds than the 31st of October?
It was, in fact, a coincidence that Tom Riddle decided to kill the Potters on this particular night- a trivial decision, one based on his vanity and appreciation for dramatic effect rather than any cosmic or 'prophetic' destiny. Had he chosen another night on which to murder the unsuspecting family things might have turned out differently.
But as it happened, he chose Halloween as the night on which to exact his revenge; and the consequences of his choice quickly began to unfold.
Starting with the death of Harry Potter.
Nobody noticed when the attack first started; seconds past and coloured lights flickered through the windows of the small thatched cottage, but there was no noise- no sounds that would suggest a struggle or fight. This silent illusion was shattered- however- with the destruction of the rear right wall, whatever silencing spells that had been placed upon the building were rendered useless when the one side of the house was missing.
"James!" A woman was screaming hysterically and a sheer green light shook the sky. This was followed by a frantic trampling sound as the woman threw herself up the stairs of her home, the floor shrieking in protest as its weighty timbers splintered under her feet. Then another light- an explosion within the house causing a fresh glut of water to gush from the second floor; the cottage's ancient plumbing groaning under the stress of its punctured, broken pipes.
"James? James! James- oh James- oh no, oh no nonono."
The words echoed down the empty country lane.
"Oh Harry- oh my baby. Oh James. Oh no-o-o…"
Five hundred yards away- at the vicarage of Godric's Church- Delyth Canning-Jones sat out on the decking of her back garden, chewing on the papery end of a cigarette. She was alone- having sent the kids up to bed earlier; and her husband lurked in the back of the house somewhere. He avoided the rest of the family on Halloween; the kids enjoyed it too much- Delyth was far too lenient with them, and he- as a man of the church did not appreciate his children being exposed to such... heathenism. David was not an unreasonable man, Delyth thought, he just liked his things the way he liked them.
Sighing she lit a new cigarette and shivered slightly. Holding the stick in her mouth she shrugged her mangy duffel coat closer around her shoulders, silently cursing the habit which had drawn her out here in the middle of the god-forsaken night wearing only a nightie and husband's Wellingtons.
Delyth took another deep drag and closed her eyes. She loved the sounds of the night-time, straining she waited for the coo of their resident barn owl- but the sky was eerily silent. Frowning, she exhaled deeply and listened closer. Nothing. Tutting, she took another-
"Y'Caaant- ahh! Ha-reee-"
The woman spluttered, sending a wave of phlegm and smoke up her nostrils.
"N-n-oo! NO! Hel--"
The words were faint and swallowed, but they were there, and Delyth recognised the speaker instantly. In a village as small as Godric's Hollow, one got to know pretty much everyone around, and Delyth would have found it particularly hard to forget the beautiful auburn-haired woman who occupied the next house up. She and her equally attractive husband had wanted to get their little baby (Harvey? Henry?) Christened at David's church- well, the red-head had seemed more keen on it than the fella mind you- not that it mattered though 'cause David would have none of it; he called them- good heavens- called them paga-
Delyth spat out her cigarette. Lily. That was the woman's name. Lily Potter. Gracious- was that her shouting back there? No- not shouting- screaming. She'd have be screaming to be heard from that place-
Jerking her frozen limbs from their foetal position she lifted herself up from the doorstep and crashed through the kitchen door.
"Dav'! David! Come quick! Dav'! Gracious where is that man- David!"
She stormed through the large, empty house towards her husbands study, trailing mud behind her. Delyth reached his door to find the man emerging dishevelled, his fine wispy hair flying in a halo which emphasised the expanse of his receding hairline. He was wrapped in a navy flannel dressing gown and wore an expression of confused annoyance.
"What Lizzy?" His words were clipped and Delyth floundered.
"It's uh- neighbours- I, uh- heard-" she started and frowned, "there was screaming. I think you should check-"
"In the middle of the night?" David interrupted.
"Yes." She bit. "I think somebody's in trouble-"
"Right. Okay- now which neighbours are we talking about anyway?"
Delyth grimaced. "The Potters."
Her husband turned slightly purple in hue. "O-ho! No surprises there then. I told you! Witches the lot of them- probably off doing some satanic ritual as we speak. Why I wouldn't be surprised if-"
"David!" she scolded; her husband was not the most rational man on the planet. "Would you please stop it- good gracious- how would you feel if come tomorrow something had actually happened to those poor people. And y-"
"I'd sleep easier that's for sure-" David started, but his wife cut him off with a fierce glare.
"- And you had just sat back on your larry and done nothing, how would you feel? Hmm?"
Her husband sniffed lightly.
"And, well, say they were doing some sort of voo-doo witchy… ritual thing," she added quietly, wrinkling her nose, "well then, isn't that all the more reason to go and check? I mean- think of their son Dav'… that poor little boy."
The lanky man visibly deflated. "Fine. Right- fine. Where are my keys?"
Delyth's smile brightened and she tried not to look smug, carefully she fished through the umbrella stand before throwing them to her husband in a silver blur.
"Thank you, popkin." She whispered as she ushered him out the door- (still clad only in his flannel gown and slippers) and into the land rover. Slamming the door behind him she rooted through her pockets for another cigarette. What a night. She was glad that she couldn't hear the cries of Lily Potter from this side of the house, they were frightening. Carefully she flicked open her-
The earth shook beneath her feet and she feel backwards against the wall. "Heavens! What in the-"
A giant spire of green light ploughed into the sky, lighting it up like the sky at New Years. In the distance, she could hear several car alarms going off, and there was a distinct orange glow to the sky line. Fire. Was the Potter house on fire? Delyth blanched. The nearest station was miles away past a swollen knotted mess of country lanes- they wouldn't get here in time would they? Wasting none, she ran back indoors, her discarded cigarette glowing against the ground, and picked up the land line.
"Bugger it." Delyth bit her tongue and ran back outside as another explosion rocked the sky, a giant fork of electric blue lightning reaching down from the heavens- Delyth was sure it must have hit the Potter house.
Fire, green explosions and lightning? Maybe the Potters were up to something unsavoury.
Worried now for David's safety (and for the poor family, whom the fire brigade would no doubt not reach in time) she hitched her floor-length nightie up around her knees and set off on a run. This quickly slowed to a lop-sided jog as her traitorous lungs burned in protest, but she pushed on- catching two of the other local 'on lookers' as she went.
"David!" she cried as the house came into view, the silhouette of the land rover standing out clearly in front of the burning pile of rubble that was once the proud Potter home. Her husband was leaned back against the door of the car, his face and clothes were blackened and he held something bundled up in the excess of his coat. Stumbling she reached out to him. "David!"
Slowly he turned to her, eyes wide and fearful. "Devil-spawn." He said.
"Knew it, all along, knew it. Look what they've done to him. Devil spawn." Her husband shoved something into her arms with a hoarse whisper.
It took her seconds to realise that it was a baby. "Harry…" she murmered, adjusting her weight, the baby was silent.
"Look at its eyes." The man urged, his eyes darting around her face to gage her reaction.
Carefully, Delyth unwrapped the baby slightly to look at his face- expecting him to be asleep. But no, it was simply silent, gazing sharply up at her with two perfect amber eyes. Beautiful. Beautiful- but curious, hadn't he had Lily's eyes? Emerald eyes? These eyes were chips of gold. Delyth frowned.
"Devil child!" The man bit out, and the woman turned her gaze to him.
"Where are his parents?"
"You- you mean they're still-" Delyth choked and looked towards the smouldering remains of the house.
"No. Dead. They're dead."
"Jesus Christ…" The woman shook her head and turned her gaze back to Harry. "Oh!" She gasped, "You're hurt! Oh poor baby…"
Softly she stroked the child's face, tracing the outline of a long and bloody scar which ran from his left eye down the middle of his cheek. Pushing his wispy fringe aside she saw it continue- jagged like a bolt of lightning- over his tiny forehead before disappearing into his hair. The baby opened its eyes. Green. Not gold. Had she imagined it before? But then her husband must have too… or maybe it had simply been a trick of the light. She shook her head and withdrew her withered hand- it was sticky with blood. Frowning, Delyth knew she would have to wait for the police to arrive before she could tend to the baby or take it home to change its clothes- if David let it anywhere near the house, that was. But the mounting crowd suggested that the authorities would soon be on their way anyway; sighing, she turned her attention to the remains of the cottage.
There had definitely been an explosion of some kind, two sides of the house were just simply missing and everything else seemed to have caved in around them. The roof was gone completely and all the windows had been blown outwards. The place was in ruins.
"What happened here, huh baby?" She said breathlessly, eyes fixed on the flickering building.
In the corner of her eye she noticed a young black-haired man push his way through the crowd viciously. He was obviously looking for someone and she hadn't seen him in the village before… Was he a friend of the Potters? Her heart ached. He was close enough now for her to see the dark shadow of stubble on his cheek. Furiously he snatched the baby from her arms. Delyth started to protest by the man was already completely involved in the infant, cooing at it in a rough, tear stained voice.
"It's okay now Prongslet. Everything's gunna be- okay now- okay- look see its Paddy, its Padfoot." He held the baby with awkward, shaking arms, and Delyth reached out to help him. The man flinched.
"What are you doing?"
Delyth reeled backwards, "-Gracious! I- uh, you looked like you needed some help there-"
"We don't need anything." The man snarled, nostrils flaring against gaunt grey cheeks.
"Okay..." she squeaked, and the man started to walk off with the baby still in his arms. Delyth marched forward, following him, "Now wait there! You cant just run off with-" But she was cut off by a large shape which obscured her vision; looking upwards she saw that it was a man. His bulk was colossal, and he had both large palms out in front of him in a hopeless gesture. Gruffly he exchanged words with the dark-haired man- or that's what it looked like anyway; their mouths were moving rapidly and a look of strain was on the younger man's face, however- Delyth couldn't hear a word that was being said; it was like watching a television that was turned on mute. Frowning she gazed up at the giant's ruddy face, it was red and slick with tears- so, another friend of Lily's then? She scrunched up her nose- word sure travelled fast…
She paused; sirens screaming in the distance.
The men continued to ignore her presence and the larger man put a gentle hand on his companion's shoulder, a look of resignation crossing his face. "I'm sorry." His lips read, Delyth recognised the shape of these words. "I'm so sorry."
The handsome, dark-haired man grimaced and lowered his head to the now sleeping baby, whispering into its neck before handing it awkwardly- carefully into the large arms of his friend. Silently they murmured their goodbyes and the younger man gestured to a hefty and threatening-looking motorbike that lay abandoned on the roadside just beyond the house. The giant gave him one last pat on the shoulder before trudging off towards the vehicle, and he stood staring at the man's retreating form. Quietly he shot a last lingering look at the ruins of the Potter house and sighed before slipping silently into the surrounding shadows.
When Delyth was later questioned about the events of that night, she did not recall the vibrant burst of blue lightning which had followed the sickly green glow, nor did she mention the colour of the infants bright, accusing eyes. In fact, she found it hard to remember anything about the night at all; after she had given her statement to the strange looking policemen in blue her mind had seemed to purge itself of the event entirely. The doctor said it might have been stress and her eldest daughter joked that her age must have been catching up with her- and for all she knew it might have been… Except that- in her dreams she remembered; every night for many, many years she would see those sad amber eyes, and wonder… whatever happened to Harry Potter?
For the folks of Godric's Hollow that night remained a particularly nasty though somewhat distant tragedy; a scar on the otherwise quaint visage of the tight-knit village community- one which they were all too happy to forget. If someone brought it up then the reply would always be: 'Awful, simply awful' and the subject swiftly changed.
For the citizens of the wizarding world however it became a night of celebration; immortalised as proof of the power of good over evil. The more unsavoury details were glazed over, but everyone knew the basics: You-Know-Who had visited the Potters intent on killing the family in a vicious act of violence. Both of the parents died, but Harry Potter lived- and in living (though no one truly knew how) he had somehow managed to destroy He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
Or something like that.
This widely-believed theory was not so far from the truth, though it was missing a few vital details. But only two people were truly aware of what actually happened that night- and one of these stalked the forests of Romania, stuck in a ghostly half life; while the other was merely a baby. Dumbledore had his suspicions but… no one knew for sure.
That night, James had been the first to fall; he was killed outright at the first curse thrown. Lily followed him, giving her life in a vain attempt to save her baby from his fate. Tom had given her a choice- a rare and unexpected gift, but the mother turned it down. "My baby- please, don't hurt my baby." She had begged, but her pleas fell on deaf ears. "My life- take mine-"
And he did; her words died on her lips as she fell gracefully to the floor, smothered by a flash of green light. Smiling lightly the reptilian man turned his attention to Harry Potter; pushing past the woman's lifeless form and down to the cradle behind her- where he fired the killing curse.
Legend tells us that what happened next left Voldemort dead, and Harry Potter the sole survivor of Avada Kedavra.
These are lies.
Harry Potter died instantly that night; his soul swept back to the Gate in a tidal wave of green light. The Gate reached out to the body of the child with a bolt of searing, burning blue- almost instantaneously its dead emerald eyes opened wide and it wailed as the green light bounced back upon to its caster. The wizard shrieked as his body slowly decomposed around him, flailing as he fought to stay in life. Within seconds all that was left of the man was a dark thin mist that rose gradually from the ground and an empty, battered cloak.
Then there was silence; the blue-green light gradually fading until only the small child remained, squirming in his cradle as the house around him burned.
That night, all around the world, men and women celebrated together as they heard of the darklord's defeat; raising their glasses they toasted in hushed voices: "To Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived."
But Harry Potter died that night… and as a million light-years away, a stone gate shut tightly, so did the fate of that poor little baby. Not Harry Potter- oh no. But the real survivor; a boy who had just started to play out the Prophesy… a boy named Edward Elric.
AN for takedown and re-upload is on the next page