Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Fullmetal Alchemist. They belong to J. K. Rowling and Hiromu Arakawa respectively.

Speaking = "blah blah"

Thinking = blah blah

Speaking German (when not written in actual German)= "~blah blah~"

~ Ch 20 - Never ~

A loud bang echoed through the empty alchemy classroom as Harry punched a door open forcefully. There was a deep, fist shaped indentation in the sturdy door of the former alchemy professor's office. Blood dripped from his clenched fist. Even the toughened skin of his knuckles gave way due to the force behind his blow. Harry acknowledged neither the blood nor the pain as he stomped through the classroom. His eyes were alight in a righteous furry and he would not be deterred from his path.

"Harry, wait! Please, just calm down!" Hermione pleaded, but he didn't even act like he had heard her. Hermione looked at Ron imploringly and he shrugged. Hermione shoved him towards their friend.

Finally getting the hint, Ron had to quickly jog to intercept Harry just before he reached the double doors leading to the hall. He stood in the path of his enraged best friend and had to fight the urge not to shudder from the glare now being leveled at him. Pushing through said urge, he threw his arms wide to emphasize his intent to block Harry's path. "Look Harry, Hermione's right. You need to calm down before you go..."

"Move," Harry growled out and his scowl deepened.

"N-no." Ron squeaked, completely caught of guard by such a deadly tone coming from the bespectacled boy. He cleared his throat. "You won't get anywhere by rushing in and yelling at professor Dumbledore. We need to sit down and figure out how to approach him so that you get what you want."

"I said move." Harry repeated a little louder, determined to clear the wizard from his path.

"No!," Ron yelled. The act of defiance seemed to startle everyone at his sudden forcefulness, even the redhead himself. Taking the chance to continue while his friend had been distracted, he continued with what he had been trying to tell Harry. "Like I was saying," Ron said as he crossed his arms. "If you go running in their and throwing a fit... And I know you have good reason, but let me finish!" he defended as Harry made to protest. "If you do that, then Dumbledore will only look at you like just that. A child throwing a fit. You need him to see you as an adult or he's never going to let you in on the details. He won't see you as ready for it."

"He has no idea what I'm ready for or not," Harry grumbled as he crossed his own arms. At least he wasn't trying to storm out anymore though, much to his friends' relief.

Hermione walked up beside the angry wizard and tried to calm him further. "Please Harry, just wait till you've had time to calm down and think over what you want to say before you confront him."

Harry took a deep breath and let it out in a sigh. His brows were still furrowed in anger, but when he spoke his tone was lighter, less dangerous. "Fine, I'll wait," he complied. "Ed would have kicked me for not manipulating the situation anyways." The idea gave him a brief flash of amusement, but it was soon replaced by the anger again. His master's situation was one of the reasons he had been so mad in the first place.

"Thank you," Hermione smiled at him, but it was tinged with sympathy. Harry had allowed his friends to view the memories with him and they knew what he saw as well.

Harry walked back to the office to collect the things he had left lying about in his haste. It wouldn't do anyone any good if the wrong people stumbled across those things. The wrong people apparently including someone he once thought of as an ally and mentor. As he was replacing the memories where he had found them, deeming it the safest place for now, he listened to his friends suggestions. The only thing he didn't put back was what he had come here for in the first place... Ed's leather bound notes.

Harry was ready to jump for joy when McGonagall finally left the Headmasters office. He had been standing alone in that hallway for a couple hours now, just waiting for someone to give the new password. For some reason, Harry hadn't been able to catch even a glimpse of Dumbledore and none of the staff involved in the Order had been exactly helpful in regards to his need to speak with the man. Forget that he was the bloody "chosen one" they would all end up depending on in the end. Why would they give him the time of day? It only made sense.

He had tried just about every candy name he could think of earlier, but the Gargoyle refused to budge. Finally he gave up and decided to get his cloak of invisibility. After that, it was just a matter of waiting. Harry could have smacked himself when he heard the transfiguration professor speak the password though. 'Jellybeans' How could he have forgotten to try that? It didn't matter now though. He had what he needed and he would get what he wanted out of this meeting.

After shoving his cloak in his satchel, next to Ed's notes, Harry walked over to the 'hidden' entrance. "Jellybeans," he said in a clipped tone and the gargoyle moved obediently. Harry didn't even bother to knock when he reached the door of the Headmaster's office. The scarred boy pushed in without care for manners. He may have been willing to calm down a bit before coming here, but that by no means meant he wasn't angry anymore. In fact he was still quite livid and the little act of rebellion gave him a small bit of pleasure.

Dumbledore looked up from his desk in surprise at the somewhat rude intrusion. He seemed to easily overcome it though. "Harry, to what do I owe the pleasure?" He asked in a kind voice.

Harry, taking a page out of his master's book, decided to try and 'play the game.' He took a seat in one of the chairs opposite Dumbledore and fought to keep his voice somewhat calm and somewhat respectful. "I'm sorry about the intrusion," No he wasn't. "But I really need to ask you about a few things." He normally would have said sir or professor, but he really didn't want to push the limits of the leash he was keeping on his emotions.

"Could they not wait until tomorrow perhaps?" The older wizard prompted.

"No, I'm afraid they can't." He dead panned. His tone was slipping and Harry found himself wondering how Ed had been able to act so thoroughly when his emotions had been raging against him. Application was definitely harder than theory.

Dumbledore, seeing that Harry wouldn't leave until he had been placated, leaned back in his chair to get more comfortable. "All right then," he said gently. "What would you like to ask of me?"

"I want to know why you never told me that I would be the one who has to kill Voldemort." It may have been a bit blunt, but he wanted to approach the matter head on and talk about it reasonably. If he could make it seem like the pressure of the situation wasn't effecting him, then perhaps Dumbledore would be more willing to recognize Harry's own maturity.

"Who told you such a thing? You shouldn't let other students..."

"The Prophesy." Those two words had the older man's jaw nearly clipping shut mid word. "I know what it said and I know what is expected of me now. What I want to know is why you never deemed it necessary to tell the one person who should really know about the details of it." He leaned forward in his seat slightly as he stared directly into the Headmaster eyes. "I also want to know why you would go so far as to make my Alchemy master take an unbreakable vow to keep it from me."

The kind look that was normally present on Dumbledores face when talking to a student was no where to be seen. His expression was more guarded, stern even. Harry felt as if the man was trying to reprimand him with that look for finding out what he had. If anything Harry felt the Headmaster was the one that should be reprimanded. How dare he look at him like that!

"I have no idea how Edward made it around the vow, but it was unfair of him to put such a burden on you," the older man said gravely.

"Don't you dare speak bad about Ed," Harry snarled, loosing his cool for a moment. The venom in his voice must have shocked the Headmaster because his bushy white eyebrows rose slightly. Harry was able to collect himself and carry on in a somewhat calmer fashion. "You are the one who is being unfair. You and all the other members of the Order that think I'm too young to handle it. You all treat me like a child. All you are doing is setting me up for failure."

"That was never our intention Harry. We only ever wanted you to be able to have a normal childhood without the responsibilities of an adult thrust upon you," he tried to placate. "We only had the best of intentions in keeping it from you."

Harry's eyes narrowed. His head was killing him and this man was pushing all the wrong buttons. Harry was still being bombarded with the knowledge the gate had "gifted" him and with the added anger coursing through him, he was dangerously close to loosing his temper. To close to acting like the child Ron warned him he would appear as if he did.

Instead of yelling he purposefully spoke in a lower, softer tone to keep from exploding. "First off, I am not a child. Secondly, since when have I ever had anything close to resembling a normal childhood Dumbledore?"

The man actually did look saddened by the question. "Your situation is truly an unfair one. There is no denying that, but you still had a chance to think about normal things like test scores, friends, and quidditch. You should not have to endure the burden of defending all of the Wizarding world at such a young age."

Harry finally lost his patience. "But it is still by burden to bare!" He yelled as he stood from his seat. Image be damned, he was too tired and angry and overwhelmed to deal with any games, despite his master's teachings.

"Please take a seat and calm down," Dumbledore said in a calm yet commanding tone.

"No! I will not calm down." He yelled as he clutched his throbbing head. "You're telling me you would just sit by, waiting for me to grow up, while innocent people die at his hands! And for what? So I could enjoy a couple more years of "normal childhood." I have never, in my life, had such a thing. Why would you sacrifice lives to protect something that doesn't even exist?" As he finished his mini rant he noticed that Dumbledore was focused more intently on the hand clutching his head than Harry's actual argument. Not only did it anger the green eyed teen further, it also lead him to his next line of questioning.

Harry spoke again before any defense to the previous questions could leave Dumbledore's mouth. "And another thing professor." There was a bit of sarcasm added to the respectful title. "Why have you been avoiding me? Not just all summer and school year, but even after Umbridge was taken away. You can't say you are worried about the media anymore." Harry fought off the smug smirk threatening to curl the edge of his lips. "Are you still afraid that Voldemort is spying on you through me?"

The leader of the Light finally did look surprised, truly surprised. He closed his eyes and sagged back in his seat, seeming exhausted. Finally he looked upon Harry with regretful eyes. "I suppose that was another gift of information from Edward then? It doesn't matter now though does it? What's done is done. I am sorry if my absence has been a burden on you."

More like you're sorry I found out why you were avoiding me. Harry huffed in his mind as he threw himself back in his seat. He crossed his arms as he looked back to the man across from him. "Well, like you said, it doesn't matter now anyways. I don't think we have to worry about that anymore," he added before the Headmaster could make anymore excuses.

Dumbledore was alert in his seat again. "What do you mean by that?" He questioned, a look of hope dancing in his eyes.

"I don't want to talk about it," Harry grumbled.

"Come now," said Dumbledore lightly, "You have come to me expecting, neh, demanding answers. The least you could do is answer this one of mine."

"You'll only get more upset," he warned.

"I think I can handle it my boy. Please, why do you think your connection to Voldemort is no longer a threat?"

Harry stared him down for a moment, truly looking at the man in a new light. He let the feelings of betrayal and unfamiliarity wash over him. He realized he no longer considered the man his mentor in any fashion. No, Harry's mentor lay broken in a bed, all in the attempts to free himself from this man's clutches while helping Harry. Dumbledore was now an obstacle to him. An obstacle, but also a means to get what he wanted. 'Fine, if he wants full disclosure then he had better be willing to pay the price.'

He smirked in a very Ed like fashion. "What are you wiling to give me in exchange for this information?"

"I see you have been quite the student to your alchemy professor," Dumbledore noted in almost amusement. "What is it that you want?"

"I want to join the order."

"No," he answered clearly. "You are still underage and attending classes.

"What good are classes if the whole Wizarding world goes up in flames while I'm taking them!"

"You do not need to rush into battle just because you've learned the truth of the prophesy," Dumbledore said sternly.

"But I do need to prepare! I need to face Voldemort before he can grow too strong. I need to take him down before he destroys everything. He has years of experience in battle and the dark arts. All you've been doing is holding me back, treating me like a child. You are setting me up for failure. Do you want me to die!"

"Never Harry. I have been hoping that we could find another way. Even if it was to force him into hiding again until you were ready," he said passionately.

Harry tried to decipher if he was telling the truth or not, but he just couldn't be sure. This man had held back so much. How could he ever fully trust him now? "Let me join the Order or you'll never find out why I think my tie to Voldemort is broken." He said calmly. He would either get his way now or make it happen himself.

"If that is your requirement then I am afraid I'll have to go without knowing," was Dumbledore's answer.

Damn him! Harry thought.

"However," he began again, "I think it would be better for you to share any knowledge on Voldemort with me and, by extension, the Order. If your intentions are indeed for the greater good, then you should help in any way you can. Though you may not be allowed to join the order yet, you could help it in this way."

Harry's eye lids drooped slightly with disdain. He was doing it. Harry finally saw it. Maybe before his time with Edward or maybe even before the glance in Edward's pensieve, he would have just obediently helped. He would have been mad, but he would have wanted to help the good side to save others no matter what. He would have blindly and obediently done the "right thing." But now... He saw the manipulation for what it was.

Harry was displeased to say the least. The burning furry that had filled him before grew into cold apathy and a calm fell over him. Now he understood how Ed could do what he did in these situations. Besides the dull ache from trying to holding back the information tied to alchemy, Harry's head was clear now. He knew what he had to do to get what he wanted. It was obvious this master manipulator would remain an obstacle.

"Fine," Harry conceded. "I won't ask to join the Order again, but I have to at least go stay with Ed."

"You still have classes," Dumbledore reminded him.

"I don't really care. You need to send me now."

"I think I've let this go on for long enough. I am still your Headmaster after all and demanding..."

"You don't understand," he raised his voice enough to talk over Dumbledore. "It's not that I want to see my Alchemy master, it's that I have to." He sat back in his seat, propping an elbow on the arm rest and covering his eyes as his headache grew into a full blown migraine. "Or did you not want to know about the issue of my missing connection?" He asked as he peaked out from behind his fingers wearily.

Dumbledore merely gestured for him to continue.

"Like I said, you won't be happy when you find out what I know," he warned, "but I promise to tell you if you promise to let me go to Ed. Besides, if he's getting better I think he'll be wanting his wand back," he added fondly.

Dumbledore nodded and motioned for him to continue. Harry dropped his hand form his face completely. He did not want to miss the expression on the old man's face when Harry told Dumbledore he knew personal things about him. The man did like his secrets after all. "I know that you understand what happened to Ed when his magic/transmutation hybrid went wrong, why his arm and leg were taken." Dumbledore nodded and, much to Harry's annoyance, did not show any signs of emotion. Though disappointed, he continued. "Then I'm sure you'll be wanting to know... Ed wasn't the only one that faced the Gate that night."

Dumbledore did react to this, giving Harry some form of satisfaction. "You faced the Gate of Truth?" He asked in disbelief.

Harry looked away from him then. Even though he had enjoyed getting such a response, the subject matter wasn't exactly a pleasant one. "Yes," the teen answered quietly. "...Ed also wasn't the only one that paid a price," he added even more quietly.

"Are you hurt?" was the immediate question.

"Not in a physical sense, no. Not like Ed." He trailed off. "I think... I think it took the connection between me and Voldemort for some reason." He said hesitantly, unsure of his own conclusion. "At least, it seems like that had to be it. It attacked my scar and pulled something... foul from it. I haven't had problems with my scar since then. But why would it have done that? The way Ed talked it shouldn't have helped."

Harry heard the rustle of fabric, but he didn't look to the other man. He was too wrapped up in the imagery of the incident. It wasn't until Dumbledore had grasped him up in a hug that he realized the man's intent.

"P-professor?" Harry stuttered out, shaken by the abnormal gesture from the man.

"Thank merlin Harry." The older wizard breathed out.

"Um," Harry didn't really understand why he was doing it, but he felt a bit awkward at the gesture. Thankfully, Dumbledore soon relented his grasp and took a step back. His eyes were twinkling, but moist. Was he about to cry?

"I can't tell you why Harry, but you should be very thankful. Very thankful indeed." He said the last part to himself as he turned away and paced over to one of the twirling, golden magical items on a nearby shelf. "Though what happened to Ed is of course tragic, his pain was at least not waisted." The Headmaster turned around then and sent the teen a kind smile. "Thank you Harry. You have given me new hope for our cause."

"I don't understand," Harry said confused.

"And thankfully, now you may never have to." He came back and leaned against his desk before Harry, still smiling. "You have nothing to worry about Harry." He assure. "You should put your mind at ease and enjoy your time at school for now. You and Ed have given a jumpstart to a very important mission."

Harry felt his anger rising again. He was being waved off just like that now that the Headmaster had the information he wanted. Harry, on the other hand, was only left with more questions now. "I told you what you wanted to know, now you have to let me see Ed."

"There's no need for that. I assure you, everything is as it should be for the time being."

Harry stood up angrily. "You don't understand!" He was yelling again, the volume only increasing the pounding in his head. "Something went wrong." He half yelled, half pleaded for the man to understand. Not knowing what else to do, he pushed his point in the same way he had with his friends.

Harry clapped his hands and slammed them into the chair he had just vacated. This caused it to decompose in an explosive burst of sawdust, splinters and stuffing. "Tell me Dumbledore. In you time with Flamel, you obviously discover how someone gets the ability to transmute without a circle, right?" If he knew about the price and the Gate, then he had to.

"I'm afraid so," he answered calmly. His voice was no longer joyful.

"Good, then at least I don't have to explain Everything to you!" He started pacing while holding his aching head again. "Well, something went wrong for me. I think I saw something I should never have been able to and now it's all messed up in here!" He pointed to his head with the hand that wasn't already clutching it. "I need to talk to Ed. Maybe he knows how to fix it, maybe he doesn't, but I have to try something before I go insane!" He turned to glare at the older wizard. "Take me now or I'll find my own way." It wasn't a threat. It was a promise.

Dumbledore finally conceded with a nod and held out his arm for Harry to take.

Harry looked at him inquisitively before he realized what the headmaster was suggesting. "But I thought no one could apparate inside Hogwarts."

"Ah, but I'm not just anyone. I am the Headmaster." He said airily. "Come, I think we are both in need of a chat with Edward."

Ed was sitting at the table with his automail arm in a makeshift, cloth sling. He still didn't have proper fine motor use of the fingers and using it was tiring and painful. The fact that he was able to limp his way into the kitchen spoke volumes however. If it weren't for the healing potions and medimagic spells, Ed would still be bed ridden, recovering from the surgery its self. Hell, to do this much the first time around had taken him months.

His quick recovery and being able to get out of bed helped to let his mood lighten briefly. Sirius and Remus's amusing company was also helping. They had just finished dinner, so Molly and Arthur were there as well, but the matriarch was busying herself with the dishes while her husband sat a few seats away laboring over reports from the ministry. This left the three to entertain themselves with small talk.

Sirius and Remus had regaled him with tales of their Hogwarts days. The stories were quite amusing and he especially loved the ones involving Minerva. He loved to imagine the woman's feathers ruffled, but ,hey, he considered her a friend so it was all in good fun. Sirius was now poking fun at the other two for having become the very professors the marauders would have raised hell for.

"It's just to bad I never had you for a professor," Sirius smirked.

"You vould have made my life a living hell, I'm sure," Ed smirked back. "Don't vorry though," he cast his eyes at the supposedly busy redhead a couple seats down. "Someone's sons seem to have taken up the mantle for you." A smile tugged at the corner of Arthur's mouth, but he still pretended not to have heard. Ed just shook his head and turned his attention back to the other two when Sirius asked him a question.

"That's right. I remember you saying something about a hair prank was it?"

"Ja, added something to my shampoo that took me hours to undo. That vasn't their first attempt either, not that I knew it vas them until vinter break. The hair prank vas just the only one they got me vith," he added with amusement. He may have been mad about it before, but he could laugh about it now. Well, at least when the perpetrators were absent. He did owe them some payback, so having them fear him a little never hurt.

"What else did they try?" Asked Lupin in amusement.

Ed held up his flesh hand and put up a finger for every incident. "There was the prank chocolates, the cursed cookie, and something in my coffee that I expect would have been bad for my digestion. Vhat else? Oh yes, they cursed my coat vith some kind of sticking spell and color changing charm. There vas also an incident vith..." His train of thought derailed at the sight of his apprentice entering the room. His smile fell and his amusement vanished. He unconsciously lowered the hand he had been using to keep track of the attempted pranks.

His light mood quickly dimmed as he felt the guilt eating away at his heart. The boy looked upset and he wondered if Harry had come hear to yell at him. Would he tell Ed he hated the blond and never wanted to see him again for what he put him through? I wouldn't blame him if he did, he thought dejectedly. It's nothing less than I deserve.

He wanted to say something, anything, to break the silence that had fallen over the room, but he couldn't. All he could do was stare into the turmoil filled emeralds and wait for the tongue lashing that was sure to come. He vaguely noticed Albus stroll in behind the teen, but Harry had broken his gaze to stare at the floor and was walking purposefully towards Ed now. The alchemist was too concerned over his (ex?)apprentice to care about anyone else at that moment.

He watched as Harry's fists balled at his sides and the young man seemed to be struggling to find words. Edward winced slightly. Harry was never afraid to speak his mind to him, even under threat of hot coals. He must be mad if he was shaking and unable to even form the ability to just start yelling already. No longer able to take the silence, he spoke out to him softly. "Harry..." His words seemed to spur the boy into.

Ed almost flinched again as Harry quickly pulled a wand from his school robes. However, instead of the hex he thought would be aimed at him, he was now staring at his own wand being proffered to him by a kneeling Harry. Ed was thoroughly confused until Harry opened his mouth.

"I'm so sorry for what happened Ed," Harry said with a sorrow filled voice. "Please forgive me." He asked with a small shaking in his shoulders. It hadn't been anger, but sorrow? Fear that Ed was mad perhaps?

What the hell is he thinking? Ed thought in anger and guilt. He should hate me for what I put him through, but he's blaming himself?

Harry must have taken Edwards stunned silence as a bad thing because he was trying to get him to take the wand while apologizing again. "I brought your wand as soon as I could," he said as he lifted the wand a little higher, but continued to keep his eyes on the floor. "I'm so sorry Ed, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean for you to have to take my payment. If it wasn't for me..." His words were cut short as the wand was taken from his grasp. He even seemed to curl in on himself a bit as he dropped his now empty hands.

The sound of wood clattering to the floor had his head snapping up though. Ed had tossed the wand aside carelessly. He wasn't worried about some stupid wand. The teen looked up from his kneeling position in worry. Ed did not like the look on his face nor their positions. Ignoring the pain it caused him, he dropped down to his knees to be level with his apprentice.

"Never. Apologize. To. Me. Again." Ed told him sternly, but it only caused a broken hearted look to flash across Harry's features. Ed suddenly jerked him into a tight, one armed embrace and hated himself even more because of Harry's own feelings of guilt. "I'm not vorth your guilt Harry. You have no reason to apologize after vhat I put You through."

Harry hugged him back tightly after that. "No," he protested, "if it weren't for me you wouldn't have gotten hurt so badly."

"Nein," Ed said sternly as he pulled away to look the teen in the eyes. "I vas hurt because I messed up. You are the one who paid for my mistakes. I forbid you from blaming yourself. Am I clear?" He said in the tone he used as a Master and Professor when he needed to stress an important rule.

"But," Harry tried to protest again.

"Shhh," Ed shushed him. "Get it out of you head apprentice," he said the word apprentice fondly as he ruffled the teen's hair. "Now, help me up. I think I'm stuck down here," he tried to joke, but it only caused the boy more distress. Ed realized he shouldn't have brought attention to his injuries. "I said forget about it. Now seriously, help up so I can get a better look at you."

Harry did as asked, lending him a hand to stand up from his position on the floor. After making sure he was steady, Ed began looking the boy over. He checked for legs, arms, and difficulty breathing. Not finding anything out of place, he turned his attention to the one place he was certain the gate had affected. He ran a finger down Harry's scar, causing the boy to blush a bit at all the attention Ed was giving him in front of their audience. Ed was more concerned with his inspection though.

"Hm," he said out loud, "I vas sure..."

"That's one of the things I came to talk with you about," Harry said shyly.

"I have a few questions about that as well," added Dumbledore. "Why don't we all sit down and make ourselves comfortable."

"Right," said Molly with moist eyes who had, at some point, came in to over to observe the scene. "I'll get some tea going. It's good to see you Harry dear and you too Albus," she said with a kind smile.

"Hi," Harry said lamely to everyone in the room.

"Hello harry," said Mr. Weasley before turning to greet Dumbledore as well.

"Good to see you again Harry," Remus greeted as well.

Sirius stood and walked around Ed who was sitting down again. "What, I don't get a hug too?" His godfather joked as he approached, trying to lighten the mood.

Harry blushed, but returned the hug none the less. "Hey Sirius," he said fondly. "Sorry about all this."

"If you're not aloud to apologize to him, your damn sure not allowed to apologize to me!" He reprimanded in a serious tone. "Can't have your "master" one upping your godfather now can we?" The smirk on his lips made Harry smile and Sirius laughed. "That's better, now take a seat."

Harry did as he was told and Sirius returned to his own seat. "The tea is on," Molly said, "Is anyone hungry? I can just pull out what's left of dinner. No? Ok then, the tea will be done in a minute." She went to finish up after ensuring everyone was set.

Since Dumbledore was busy discussing something with Arthur about the paperwork he had been reviewing, Sirius took the opportunity to get some quality time in with Harry while he could. "You just missed it Harry. We were telling Ed here about some of our own adventures at Hogwarts." The way he said adventures, he was sure to mean 'up to no good'.

Ed watched Harry with a critical eye. Harry smiled as he listened to his godfather, but it seemed almost half hearted. In fact, with a closer look, Ed saw the classic signs of fatigue and insomnia. The thought made him sick to his stomach. This was his fault as well. He remembered the nightmares and terror he had suffered from his first experience with the gate, still suffered from in fact. Now he had cursed Harry with that burden as well. Ed felt like the lowest of assholes, but he sucked it up for now. His apprentice was here for a reason. He needed to ask him something and it was most definitely about what had happened. So that's why he completely ignored Sirius's next question. Really, he was so focused on Harry he hadn't even heard him.

"Before you came in, Ed was telling us how the twins have been unsuccessfully trying to prank him all semester. Isn't that right Ed?"

"Vhat did you vant to ask me Harry?" He asked ignoring the other man as the Black's smile faded. "You said you were here to ask me about," he looked up to the teen's lightening shaped scar, "but you seemed like you had more to ask. You're not... missing anything I hope?" He asked cautiously. There were a lot of people around. Even Molly was listening now, having just brought the tea in.

Harry looked at the others wearily before attempting to answer. "Well, you know your special, uh, ability? You know, circle-less alchemy... so to speak?"

"So then you?" Harry nodded and Ed's brows furrowed. "I was afraid that might have happened."

"What happened?" Sirius interrupted.

"I'm able to do alchemy without a circle now. It's something not many people can do."

"That's wonderful Harry," congratulated Sirius.

"You are vrong. It's horrible," Ed said quietly.

"Something's not right though," Harry added before his alchemy master and godfather could get into a debate. "I'm having... trouble with it."

Ed held up a hand for him to stop. It was obvious the boy didn't want to talk about it in front of everyone. He used the table for support and pushed himself onto his feat. "Get my vand for me and ve vill talk in another room." Harry retrieved the discarded wand before following the slowly limping alchemist out of the room, leaving the others to mutter amongst themselves.

IVX: Yay, hugs for Harry. Poor boy needed them I think, lol. Sorry about the long delay. At first I just got swept away with my other story, but then classes got in the way as well. I warn you now that updates will continue to be slow until finals are over. I'm taking 14 credit hours with a four year old at home and my husband gone. I've got very little free time as you can imagine. Thank you for your continued support though. I really do love you all for sticking with me! Don't forget to let me know what you think...^_~