Hey, sorry for the delay. I got sick and had camp all in the same week. =[ And then got even sicker. Not a good two weeks, I assure you. My mom is always using this laptop and I have summer homework that I need to do, but I'll try and update as much as possible, I swear. Oh, and for the record, that last line wasn't meant to be important, but I'll make it so if you want. I warn you that Dumbledore will get extremely nosy in this chapter. I couldn't think of anything to do (go honesty), so if it annoys you or something, I give you permission to tell me. I won't take offense.
I don't own FMA or Harry Potter.
Dear Al AND Winry,
Hey, I'm sorry for not writing to you. I've just been really busy lately, so it's hard to reply to tons of letters, since I'm also writing to Mustang and Havoc at the office. I'll find a way to make it up to you, I promise. And if you want, you can laugh at me because of my fan club. I've done a pretty good job of avoiding them, mostly by trying to ignore them. So yeah, I'm really sorry. I'll just double up letters for now I suppose. It's easier that way.
Al, I don't know why they bother with liking a teacher. It's not like they have a chance. Besides, I'm gone by the end of the year anyway. They haven't really pulled anything yet, but I'll be on my guard. I've been warned about some of the things they can do by a few students. The ones that I like, I mean.
And hey, I'm fine. Don't worry. I've told you this before.
Whatever. So we're on even ground, I suppose. Even so, I do like my authority. Not that I ever use it. So I guess it doesn't matter either way.
I'm about to have my first Halloween. I feel like a little kid saying that. But I saw the Great Hall (the place where everyone eats), and it looks really cool. There are these floating pumpkins with faces on them and these bats that I could swear are real. Dinner's in about ten minutes so I better finish this up quickly. It doesn't really look good when a teacher's late.
I can't deal with giggling either. I hate it. It's all high pitched and fake-attention-seeking sounding. I don't get how girls do it. At least Winry doesn't. I have yet to be trapped and I'm praying it won't happen anytime soon (or ever), but run like hell seems like a good idea to me.
And hey, do my a favor and tell Roy that yeah, it has to do with plants and to wait until my break before playing matchmaker. I have to tell him something else in his letter, so it'd be better if you could just do it for me. And check to see if he laughs after he reads my letter. Thanks.
Ed shoved his letters into envelopes and left them lying on the desk, deciding not to mail them until he wrote back to Roy, which he would do after dinner, or tomorrow or something. He could try to make something up, but if what he said was true, Ed had no chance at lying. So why bother trying? He would just write it later.
"Doesn't it look wonderful?" asked Sprout as he sat down, looking out across the Hall. It really did, better than before now that all the tables were ladened with food. He grabbed what he usually ate for dinner and double checked his hands, extremely paranoid that his sleeve rolled up and his automail was visible or there was blood on one of them. There was nothing; he breathed a sigh of relief.
"Yeah, it really does," he answered, smiling widely. "My last class kept counting down how long until it ended so they could get down here. I didn't realize that Halloween was such a big thing here."
"It really wasn't meant to be, I don't think," she said, taking a bite of whatever she was eating. "But kids will do anything for candy, even at this age."
Ed laughed. "Not to mention the sugar rush that follows."
"I suppose that too. So how does your stomach feel today?"
Stomach feel...oh yeah! He'd lied. The worst part about lying was remembering what it was in the first place. "Oh, it's better. Must've been a twenty-four hour thing."
"That's good to hear. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to enjoy all the Halloween sweets."
Sweets. Yeah. He didn't really want a hold burned though his mouth. But there really wasn't a tactful way to say that. He took up the time thinking to eat something. It was good that he finally found something he liked, because he'd dropped a lot of weight in the past few weeks, and he'd never been all that big in the first place. This damn school was tearing him to pieces. If only he'd cheated a bit more and won the largest straw instead of Falman. Then Armstrong would be the one here. He sighed inwardly. Oh well, it wasn't like he could turn back time. And he'd already spent two months here--he should probably stop complaining.
"I'm not too big on sweets," he said. "Never really have been either." He shrugged. There was a pause. Ed didn't know what to say and Sprout apparently didn't either.
"So how are your friends back in Amestris?" she asked, cheerful sounding as always. That's why he didn't mind talking to her; she always seemed happy.
"They're fine," he answered. "My brother Al's staying with a friends of ours and he seems pretty happy there. And the other two are officers like me. Havoc, he's a lower rank than me, finally got himself a girlfriend and Roy, my superior officer, is trying to avoid paperwork as usual. Besides Havoc getting a girlfriend, nothing much has changed."
"You call your superior by his first name?" She sounded surprised; most people were, when they realized it. "I thought everyone was referred to as last when in the army."
Ed shook his head. "Usually," he explained. "And I didn't used to. I call everyone else by their last, but we ended on friends terms a while back, so don't ask how, but it just happened. He still address my letters as Fullmetal, but he actually calls me by my name too. Fullmetal's my State Alchemist title," he added at the end, not sure if she remembered him saying it at the beginning meeting.
Sprout nodded as the main course was replaced by desert. Her face brightened with a smile and she immediately dug in. Well, someone had a sweet tooth.
"Are you sure?" she asked, indicating all the wizarding candy that covered the table in a colorful variety. He shook his head.
"Actually, I'm pretty tired," he answered, seeing Slughorn look over, shocked. His plate looked like it had exploded into a mess of sugary goodness. Okay, perhaps Ed had lied when he denied his like of all such things, but the sight of that almost made him feel sick. "I think I'm going to had out. Bye."
He immediately stood up.
"Are you sure?" she asked, surprised. He nodded. "You always leave meals so quickly..."
A smile lit up his face, the one he always used to take people off guard. Winry had complained how well it worked on numerous occasions and Sprout hadn't seen it enough look past it. "I eat pretty fast, and I'm not one to stick around. See you tomorrow. Enjoy your chocolate frogs!" And with that he left before she could say anything else to delay him. What to do? He wasn't really all that tired. He sighed.
Well, back to array drawing, he supposed.
Pomona watched as he left, shocked at his abrupt departure. She was beginning to wonder if he had anything wrong with him besides that physical problems. Being introduced into the world of adult so early could very easily left him mentally scarred. Shaking her head, she realized that she was being ridiculous. It didn't matter, because even if that was true, it meant he needed a friend and she would be happy to fill in that space, even though he seemed a little withdrawn.
"Pomona, Albus is gesturing for you to sit next to him," Severus said next to her, causing her to jump. When she looked over, she saw that the headmaster was indeed trying to catch her eye.
"Thank you, Severus," she answered, giving him a small smile and discreetly moving her seat. "You wanted to see me, Albus?" she asked, slightly concerned that he wanted to talk to her now rather than later in his office.
"How are you today?" he greeted serenely.
"Very good, and very filled. And you?"
"I must say that I'm quite in the same state. Now, is it okay if I were to ask you something?"
"Yes, of course," she answered politely, very confused. There was a pause.
"It's about Edward." Pomona was expecting this, for it very strange that he didn't call her over until after he left. But what was so important that it needed to be asked now? "Have you noticed anything particularly unusual about him? Information on him is very difficult to gather, and it's causing me to feel quite worried."
She nodded, for it was very understandable. "Not a lot," she answered honestly. "He doesn't talk much about himself, and when he does, it's very little. And the moment the conversation turns to him, he changes the subject. He often claims to be tired, but rarely looks it."
"Do you know the reason why he leaves?"
"Either he says he's tired, he's sick, or he has to write a letter to someone back in Amestris. Usually, he's sick. I don't think he's in good health."
"Yes, I've heard that from Poppy."
"Apparently he need bandages a lot. He says it's something he developed from work."
"I'm sorry to be rather nosy about this and drag you in, but he talks mainly to you, so I must ask." Once again, she nodded. "How often does he mention his alchemy?"
"Most of the time that's the subject. His life goal is to find out everything about it. He doesn't understand magic and he doesn't seem to trust it for healing."
"Hm. Interesting." There was another pause and he looked like he was thinking deeply. "Is there anyone else he's on good terms with?"
"I'm not quite sure," she answered. "But he's mentioned Potter, Granger, and Weasley a few times. I think he may communicate with his own age more easily than he does with us."
Albus nodded. "Yes, I'm sure. Perhaps I should ask them?"
"Yes, it may be a good idea," she said as students began to get up and leave the Hall, many yawning in sleepiness.
"Well, now we shall leave each other for the warmth of our beds. Thank you very much and I will see you tomorrow."
"Good night, Albus," she said as they parted, him smiling at her before slipping away in the direction of his room. She sighed, for this was all very confusing. But if Albus needed to know more, she would get nosy herself and ask subtle questions.
Now if only it was truly that easy.
"Hey, Harry!" someone called from behind him, causing him to stop suddenly and turn around. Colin Creevy, his number one fan, almost ran into him, but not looking even the slightest bit annoyed. "How've you been, Harry?" he asked eagerly.
"I've been fine, Colin," he said with a sigh, not really in the mood for this. He was muddy from an absolutely horrible practice and had to repeatedly remind himself that Ron was his friend and not to blow up at him for letting his nerves get the best of him. "How about you?"
"Great, absolutely fantastic! I have something for you." He pulled out a scroll of paper from behind his back. Immediately, Harry recognized the handwriting.
"I've got to go," he said quickly, leaving before Colin could say anything else and running off to the common room to find Ron and Hermione, or at least one of them. They were sitting together for once, but not speaking, backs turned to each other instead. Why, oh why did they have to fight? "I have a letter from Dumbledore," he told them quietly.
"Is it another memory?" Hermione asked.
"Open it, Harry." Ron reached behind him and pulled up a chair for Harry to sit on just as a first year was about to sit down. He received a glare.
"To Harry," he read. "I would like you and possibly your friends to join me upstairs at eight o' clock to night. It's rather important. From, Dumbledore. P.S. I am still searching for your next lesson."
"That's strange. What could he need with us?" Ron looked confused, as did Hermione, and Harry had a feeling he looked the same way.
"It's almost eight," Hermione added. "We should probably leave now." Harry nodded and the three stood up, hurrying away, Harry in the middle. He felt slight disappointed, thinking that maybe a trip off to Dumbledore's talk to each other again in their excitement. Well, maybe afterwards. There was always hope.
"Acid pops," he told the gargoyle. It retreated, leaving a staircase behind it.
"Come in," Dumbledore said even before they were able to knock. Awkwardly, Harry pushed open the door, wondering for the first time if they were in trouble for something. They hadn't done anything wrong lately, had they? Could this be about Katie and the neckless? No, that happened weeks ago, unless they were given an update on something. But why call them in now?
"Hello, Professor," they said politely as he summoned two extra chairs from Ron and Hermione to sit in.
"Good evening," he greeted. "I am terribly sorry to have taken you away from your homework and the knowledge you will reap from it, but I would appreciate if you were to answer a few questions. If you can't, don't worry. And I promise you that this will not take long."
Harry fidgeted slightly. Oh god, they really must have done something bad. But what? "Yes, Professor?" he said nervously. Hermione and Ron didn't know what to say, because their mouths were both tightly shut.
"It's about Professor Elric," he explained. Harry fidgeted again. Was it really a bad thing that they were on friendly terms with him? "Oh, please don't misunderstand me, it's nothing that could cause you trouble." He, Ron, and Hermione all that out small sighs of relief. "It's just that information on him is terribly scarce and, seeing as he's my staff, I must know as much about him as possible. And I have heard that you three are on good terms with him. Is there anything that you have learned from him besides his wonderful lessons?"
He glanced over to Ron and Hermione. What to say? He and Hermione had already agreed not to tell Dumbledore about the cut on the back of Ed's hand, and certain things wouldn't be helpful at all.
"Well, he said he didn't need an array because there were exceptions to everything," Hermione answered tentatively from his left.
"And he's always writing letters," Ron added.
"When someone mentioned transmuting humans, he seemed to get really upset," Harry said, remembering. "He said it was because he wasn't used to people talking when someone else was, but he's never been like that during other lessons."
"Transmuting humans...interesting. Has he mentioned the subject since then?"
They shook their heads. "No, nothing," Harry answered.
"Is there anything else?"
"During class once, he said that he picked up really hard types of alchemy really quickly," Hermione said. Harry tried to think of anything else, but all he could remember was the bleeding hand. "And besides that, we haven't learned much." Harry felt horrible, like they were betraying him or something. Well, technically they were.
Dumbledore sighed. "Thank you," he answered. "I am sorry to ask this of you, and I promise I won't ask you again. Goodnight, you three."
"See you soon, Professor."
"Oh, and one more thing," he said just as Ron's hand touching the doorknob. They turned around. Dumbledore was smiling slightly. "It's okay to befriend a teacher, when situations are appropriate. And I think, due to the closeness of age, that this is one of those times."
Harry grinned. "Thank you, sir," they all said (separately of course), and left.
Ed groaned slightly and tapped his pen to no obvious rhythm against his desk. He had to write his letter to Roy, but didn't exactly want to. Was there anyway out of this? By principle, he wasn't one to go blurting out his problems. In fact, he was one of those idiot who just didn't mention them at all, preferring to deal with them on his own. It worked, too, usually. The only time it didn't was when something was very that was right out there in the open, such as his automail getting shattered into a thousand pieces by a serial killer as he tried to defend his brother. Hiding that would be foolish (and impossible), so he never bothered. But this would be more complaining than anything else. But, then again, maybe it would fine to tell someone. And Roy wouldn't laugh, he wasn't that kind of person. Hopefully. It wasn't exactly stupid either. Though who would ever have expected the great Fullmetal Alchemist to be homesick of all things?
I hate that you figured that out because of my handwriting. I honestly do. You're evil, you know that? And I bet you enjoy every minute of it. And most of all, because of that, I can't lie to get my out of this, can I? Just don't laugh.
I want to go home. Everything about this place is wrong, from the magic to the lack of things to do. The only teacher I talk to is constantly asking if I'm okay, I speak more to those students I told you about than the staff, and I can't even finish a meal. I'm getting way too paranoid about being found out or something, so I always leave the meal times so early. And I'm treated like a kid, as in I'm always being called 'dearie' and other things like that. Yesterday I couldn't eat at all because I realized at the last second that my hand was bleeding so I had to keep it under the table. I must've dropped ten or more pounds since I got here. And, though they aren't saying it, I can tell that the other teachers have been talking about me. I don't mean in the simple gossip way either. It's like they're trying to piece together as much information about me as possible, making me even more worried. I miss Amestris. At least there I didn't need to watch everything I said because it was rare that I ever had to explain about what happened. And there it was warm, too. I think I miss that more than anything.
My cuts are reopening too. I don't know why and I can't figure it out. But I go through more bandages in two months that most normal people do in a year. That's why my hand was bleeding. It wasn't a new cut of anything, but one that just randomly split again. A student had to point it out to me. I'm falling apart. I thought I was done with this mess with the Gate, but it keeps coming back. And my weird obsession has come back, so I'm constantly redrawing the transmutation circle I used on Al and making it better. I can't even get a good night's sleep.
Okay, you happy? There, I told you the truth. Never thought in a million years that I'd do that. Sorry about all the complaining that just went it there, but here you go. You better not say I left anything out, because I didn't. So deal with it.
He read and reread his letter again and again, trying to make up reasons in his head not to send this. But no, that wouldn't work. He couldn't just send a letter to Havoc without also having to send one to Roy too. This sucked. It sucked so much. Mumbling to himself, he picked up an envelope, stuffed the letter inside and grabbed the other two. Off to the owlry as usual. He did this way to many times, but oh well, he supposed. It was better than nothing. And gave himself something to do. Ed found that he wasn't a big fan of lesson plans, and liked making it up as he went along to be much more enjoyable. But then again, he'd always been someone to make decisions on the spot. Actual in depth planning always went wrong. Improvising was much easier.
"Get back to your dormitory," he said to a first year he didn't know as he shuffled around, looking guiltier than should be necessary.
"You're not a prefect," the kid pointed out, voice snotty. And, as much as he hated to admit it, the first house that came to mind was Slytherin. Stereotypes were such horrible things. "Why should I listen to you?"
"No, I'm a teacher." Shouldn't the boy recognize him from meal times? Not that eleven-year-olds really paid attention to anything that didn't interest them. "For Alchemy. What house are you in?"
"H-Hufflepuff!" he answered, voice squeaking.
"Five point from Hufflepuff for being out past curfew and insulting a teacher. Now get back to your common room." The first year ran off without another word.
"Stupid kid," he said to himself, shaking his head.
Okay, I'm sorry this is short, but the reasoning is written above.