A/N: Why the heck do I need a disclaimer? If I actually owned this stuff, would I be posting it here? Obviously, I'm a FAN, and thus own NOTHING. Other than this story, that is. And I certainly don't make money off of it. This is done purely for the fun of it.
The golden haired youth knew one thing for sure, and that was: He was bored.
Two more weeks of this. Just. Two more weeks and I can get back to the research, he thought as his golden eyes drooped.
His left hand held his head up on the desk, and, once again, the teacher droned on and on with the lesson on the board for the others forced to take the class. He himself had completed the course in minutes, shortly after he had had his sentence passed to him. The judge of this place gave him a choice: Summer school or juvenile hall. What choice was that, really?
He was beginning to think that the prison..Juvenile Hall..what was it with these weird names for the same thing?...would be just slightly more interesting. At least the last time he was a prisoner he had learned something new...namely, how to eat with his feet. He wasn't about to starve then just because his hands were chained to the wall. But that was a world away from here. This...utter...repetitive...dullness.
He glanced at those around him while the teacher's back was turned. They were a scruffy lot. Mostly the type he would call "street toughs".
Probably in here for the same reason as me. He thought.
Except, maybe the guy next to me. He looks too, well, neat.
The youth was tall. Had short dark hair brushed in a way for the bangs to cover a scar on his forehead. And he wore round eye-glasses. Green, sharp eyes. There was intelligence there, unlike with the "street toughs". He smirked.
Wonder what he did? He thought.
He blinked his eyes and quickly looked back to the teacher.
"Answer the question, please, Mr. Elric."
He carefully made his face blank, and raised his head slightly off his left hand. Trying to guess what the question was in the first place. He looked at the board behind the teacher...maybe that held a clue..?
Mercifully. The bell rang at that moment, and, instead, he got up to exit the class along with the rest of the group.
"Mr. Elric, and...Mr. Potter. Stay a few moments. I need to speak with you both."
He stopped walking a let out a sigh. Damn. He took the few steps back to his desk and flopped down into the chair, arms folded across his chest in irritation. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw that Potter had remained seated.
Like he doesn't want to go in the first place.
Once the classroom was clear, the teacher crossed his arms and took a breath.
"You two. Remember you need my signature for you to get your records cleared, or it's juvenile hall. I expect you both to pay more attention in this class while it's in session. "
Ed took a breath. But before he could say a single word, the teacher continued.
"I know you've already completed all the assignments, Elric. It's the principle of..
"So. Vhat." Ed said. "This vhole thing is absolutely pointl..."
"You're in this class to get you to interact normally in society. Nor-mal-ly. THAT's the whole point of all of this."
Ed snorted and looked out the window.
"Vaste my time, vhy don't you." Ed said.
"Potter. You're his class partner, as of now. I expect you to make sure he participates more. From now until the end of the session."
The dark haired young man nodded and turned his green eyes to Ed's gold.
Great, Ed thought. Just what I need. Someone else who'll get hurt. Because of me.
Ed frowned and looked back out the window.
"Call me Harry."
Ed stood with his arms crossed over his chest, making Harry stand with his hand out for a few moments, unsure of what to do next. He eventually withdrew it, and placed it in his pocket almost sheepishly.
"Fine, Harry. Call me Ed."
Ed turned away and began walking, making Harry rush to catch up. To walk beside him rather than behind.
"Where you going? Aren't we..."
"I don't know vhere you're going, but as for me...I'm going to library."
"But..it's summer... You should.."
Ed shot Harry a glare. His golden eyes like molten fire. Harry blinked, and nearly drew his wand. Remembering at the last moment that he was on Summer Break..And that magic was not allowed to be used by underaged wizards during this time.
This Ed. He was strange one. For a muggle. Almost wizard-like in that he didn't know how to act, well, "normal", and muggle-like. Always dressed in long sleeves and long pants, even in the heat. Gloves always on his hands. He even had long hair. Right now, it was pulled back in a braid, bangs an unruly mess. And those gold eyes. Harry had never seen gold eyes before. There was almost certainly something...
Ed stopped suddenly, which made Harry stop mid-step, and almost fall over. He looked over at what Ed was looking at. It was just a muggle woman. Blond. Brown eyes. Pretty. Carrying a bag of groceries. Harry looked at Ed's face and saw faint recognition there.
So...this guy IS human. Harry thought. This guy was pretty much as non interactive in the class as a person could get without becoming a..a piece of furnature or something.
"What? You..know her..?" Harry said.
Ed blinked and shook his head slightly.
"N-no. She..reminds me of somevone. " Ed said softly, sadness tinged his voice slightly.
"Then..maybe she's related to who you know..let's.."
Ed suddenly continued walking, head down and both gloved hands in his pockets.
Huh. New in town, and yet he causes trouble enough to get stuck in that class right away. What a great start. Thought Harry.
At that thought, Harry sighed. He missed Hogwarts so much. He couldn't wait for school to be back in session. See his friends. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was where he felt truely at home, he knew. Not here, with the Dursleys, constantly walking on eggshells over the tiniest little things that may upset his non-magical blood relatives. Not that they liked him all that much anyway. He was usually the one that did the cleaning and cooking in the household, forced to most of the time really, as a way to make up for just existing.
Harry saw movement. Glancing up as Ed's head move back to look forward. Was he just looking at me? He thought. For three weeks, as far as he knew, the guy hadn't spoken at all to anyone in the class.
"So. What'd you do to get a waste of a class like that?" Harry said.
He heard a snort.
"Punched out police officer. You?"
Harry widened his eyes.
He hadn't thought that this Ed was capable of that, and nearly stopped walking. The very idea of it...! Most of the time, whenever he glanced over at him in class, the guy had his nose in a thick book of one type or another. He seemed...as bookish as his friend Hermiome, which was really saying something.
Ed turned his head and smirked slightly at Harry.
"He started it. Called me short. Vhat of it?"
"A police officer. You just don't..!"
Ed waved dimissively with one gloved hand over his shoulder.
"Vhatever. I pay for it now. Equivalence, no?"
Harry noticed then that he stood a good foot taller than the blond. He blinked. Ed flashed a toothy, and very evil looking grin at Harry. He's daring me, thought Harry. He wasn't sure just how old the blond was, but now...he wasn't sure if he wanted to ask. Once again, Harry found himself reaching for his wand. Ed's golden eyes quickly flicked to his hand, catching on to the movement, and he raised a single eyebrow. Then his face scrunched in confusion.
"That a...stick..?" Ed said.
Harry froze, not sure what to say. He supposed to a...muggle, a nonmagical person, a wand would indeed be just a stick.
Ed snorted a rough laugh, shook his head, and said something in a language Harry couldn't understand as he turned and resumed walking. Harry found himself following. In spite of himself, he joined the blond in the local library.
In the remaining weeks, it had become something of a habit. It helped that a note from the librarian kept the Dursleys at bay when he went home later than they liked. His relatives always liked to accuse him of the worst things imaginable. And the punishments, however creative, were something he'd rather avoid.
Today, it wasn't long before he heard the blond snort in contempt in the hush of the building. Harry was leaned back in a chair at the time. He had managed to find, of all things, "Hogwarts, A History", and was actually reading through it for once. He looked up at Ed as he came to the table, nose in very thick, dusty volume of something called "Advanced Theoretical Physics and Calculus: Theorms of Fractals".
"Vey off. Vey off. Vrong. Tch. Vat a load of crap.....Can't they even carry the 2 right..? Humph..." He heard Ed mutter to himself, along with words in a language he didn't recognise except is sounded much like what Ed had uttered before when irritated. They had but a few days left of the class.
Ed looked over at Harry, and raised his eyebrows. Harry looked back.
"Found good book, ya? "
Harry thought quickly, knowing the book was forbidden to be seen by muggles. He smiled.
"Just for fun. Light reading you might say."
"Me, too. You have paper? I vant to vork on fixing this...uber crap."
Harry raised his eyebrows but provided the paper from his bag. He had that much from the Dursleys at least.
"...thank you." Ed said.
Harry nodded slightly. That was indeed a rare thing to for him to hear from Edward. If there was one thing he learned about the guy, it was that he had all the manners of an angry bull. Most of the time.
Harry watched as the pages of the notebook slowly filled up with Ed's lefthanded, barely legible, yet neat, scrawl. He was facinated and bored with watching the process at the same time. He vaguely remembered the spelled pens that wrote by themselves in the Hogwarts offices. How very different it was here.
"So. Class partner. You never told me. Vhat did you do to get that useless class?" Ed said with his head tilted down over his work.
Harry blinked. That was true. He'd forgotten. His answer at that moment was a quite intelligent.
Ed stopped writing a moment, and looked up.
"Equivalent trade. I told you my own stupidity..."
Harry grimmaced, and looked away. By the corner of his eye, he saw Ed lean back into the chair and fold his arms across his chest. Work forgotten for now.
"I..should be going...it's late. " Harry said.
He saw Ed nod a slight nod. And then turn back to writing in the notebook.
"Don't forget the note from the librarian... " Ed said.
Harry nodded, seeing the slight smirk on Ed's face. Then got up to leave. He hesitated by the door.
He hoped Ed wasn't too hurt. It just...wasn't something he really wanted to talk about. And really shouldn't, either. Ed was a muggle. How could he even begin to understand the volitility of magic when anger and rage were involved? That's all he felt when he thought of his Uncle, Aunt, and spoiled rotten cousin.
Why was he even thinking this? He just met the guy a couple of weeks ago! It wasn't as if they were friends, close or otherwise, now were they? They were assigned to be class partners, for crying out loud....That's all.
Harry sighed. And then he went out into the night.
Ed watched as Harry's shoulders tensed up ahead of him, and noting that they were getting tenser with every step he took up the street.
The houses along this place looked nice and neat. Nearly every one of them had a car. (Facinating contraptions, but so very very different than those he was used to seeing.) Some were lighter and smaller. Others...well, they looked so heavy, they may as well have been tanks. They made good things to hide behind, though. Along with the manicured bushes and other foliage and whatnot. Especially in the dark. The only thing he had to do was avoid the artificial lights that were all around, which made following the boy somewhat more of a challenge that it otherwise would have been.
No problem. Ed thought.
Of course, sneaking like this was greatly helped by the fact that the street was relatively deserted at this time. And that this Harry kid seemed to have no situational awareness. What. So ever.
Harry finally arrived at a door, and Ed crouched down low behind a handy, manicured bush. The porch was dark. After a moment's hesitation, Harry reached for the doorknob and turned it. The door opened with small creak. Harry entered and closed the door softly behind him. The lights inside blinked on.
It won't be long, now. Any moment. Ed thought.
He took out his silver pocket watch from his pocket and flipped it open. 8 o' clock.
Ed had watched as Harry walked for hours after he left the library. Walking aimlessly. Ed closed his watch with a snap and replaced it into his pocket. He settled back into a more comfortable crouch, waiting for the inevitable. This wouldn't be the first time he'd overhear it, and it caused him deep concern. How Harry had reacted to his question in the library only confirmed what he had suspected the second day Harry joined him at the library.
This...really doesn't concern me. Ed thought, not for the first time. Then sighed as the yelling began.
"I DON'T CARE WHATCHA SAY!! THERE'S NO WAY YOU WERE AT THE LIBRARY ALL THIS TIME!!!!"
He winced a little as he heard the first blow land, audible, even from this distance. Must be a face slap. Ed stood up and brushed himself off lightly. He approached the door, and knocked.
"YOU HOOLIGAN!! YOU HAD TO BE ROBBING...!!"
The man who opened it was red in the face with anger. Slightly balding with most of the hair clinging to the sides of his head, wearing a shirt called a "wife beater", suspenders, and some long pants that barely contained a generous belly.
"WHAT DO YOU WANT?!?" He yelled.
Ed clenched his fists at his sides, and gave the man his most intimitating stare. Never wavering his golden eyes.
The man blinked. And took a step back.
"Hello." Ed said, voice low and calm. "I vas vondering if Harry vas here."
The man stuttered, and pointed at Ed's chest.
"Y-y-you're onna..t-them...? A-aren cha..?" The man said.
"Vhat are you talking about?"
Before his eyes, the man began to shake. The man quickly looked left and then right, fear clearly on his face.
Ed was perfectly aware that there was no one else out in the night with him. Well, except maybe a few cats, the odd owl, stray dog or even...rat. He didn't even feel the presence of..well those weren't here anyway, now were they? In short, Ed's concern for Harry skyrocketed at that moment, and he knew for certain that he was in the right. Especially when the man eyed him once more, and clearly said.
"Who're you, boy?"
BOY!!!??? Ed felt a vein pop out on his temple, but he bit back the anger. Now was not the time to indulge, so he blinked a slow blink instead. With much effort, he willed his temper down. Taking a deep steadying breath first, he began.
"My name is Edvard Elric. Your son Harry's..."
"He's not my son. He's my nephew-in-law." The man snapped.
"Fine. I'm his study partner this summer. Is he here?"
"Study partner..? What?"
The man blinked in confusion.
Ed heard Harry's voice within. Angry, hurt, tense.
"I'm in summer school, Uncle Vernon...Remember? You signed.."
The man blinked again.
"Summer...school? For that weir.."
"M..NORMAL summer school." Harry spoke softly, almost bitterly.
The man smiled brightly at Ed suddenly. Eyes wide and..friendly, even. Ed blinked as he was slapped on the shoulder and pulled inside.
"Well...! That changes things! Petunia! Dudley! We have a guest!"
If there was a picture that went with the definition, Ed looked "bewildered" to Harry. At least his eyes did. The rest of his face held a smile as the Durlseys introduced themselves and nearly forced him to sit on the overstuffed couch. Harry himself tried to disappear, slowly creeping up the stairs..before..
"Harry! Lazy brat! Get the refreshments out! It's not everyday that you have a normal friend over."
Harry sighed, and caught Ed's quick glimpse at him before he turned back to the very much over-plump Durleys.
"Yes Uncle Vernon"
"Sir, Brat. Don't forget sir."
"Yes Uncle Vernon. Sir."
Harry then decended the stairs and entered the kitchen, and soon had a tray laden with all sorts of munchies. Along with four cups. He knew better than to include himself in there, so five was out of the question. He carried it out carefully, trying to decide on the drink.
"Zhere's..vreally no neet to go trew zhis muk truwble. I jeest.." Ed began, accent punctuating his discomfort.
"Nonsense! Eat up!" Uncle Vernon announced jovially.
"Your english is very good. But that accent...Is it German?" Aunt Petunia asked as she grabbed one of the small sandwiches.
"Um..No. Yes...um.." Ed stumbled as he reached for something on the tray. Before he could land a finger, Dudley snached it from beneath his gloved hand.
"Where you from?" Uncle Vernon asked.
"It za...verzy zmall kontree. You probzably haveznot heardz of zit." Ed said, leaning back on the couch and smiling politely at Uncle Vernon.
That began a discussion, utterly loud, annoying to Harry's ears, and certainly uninformed if he knew the Dursleys, regarding world geography and politics. The three Dursleys happily arguing with one another. Harry tuned it out as he took his normal seat in the darkened corner, as far away from the Dursleys as he could possibly get. Ed's face was unreadable, and he added little to the conversation, except the occasional nod, "Oh", or "Uh-huh." His mouth busy...slowly chewing the one morsel from the tray of goodies he managed to grab...a piece of celery. Harry watched him nibble it for well over an hour, golden eyes darting from one speaker to the next.
Harry absently rubbed the slap on his cheek with his hand...it still stung...and looked out to the kitchen. That is when he hit on a grand idea.
"Uncle Vernon..?" Harry began.
"Shut up brat, we're talking here. Go to the kitchen or something..." Uncle Vernon said.
"But Uncle..I promised Uncle Sirius I'd write him today, and I'm almost out of time...He'll be so...disappointed that..." Harry said.
It certainly wasn't magic, but it worked. The room fell silent as all the Dursleys looked over at him with shock and fear plastered on their faces. Ed blinked his golden eyes and looked at their reactions, eyebrows raised. Harry was surprised when he added...
"Ve...alzo neet to zudie. Zere zat test tomorrow."
The Dursleys moved fairly quickly after that, clearing the room. Harry saw Ed let out a breath and glance at him when he reached for the now empty tray.
"No. I'll get that." Ed said, picking up the tray and heading for the kitchen.
"But...!" Harry said.
"Equivalence." Ed called over his shoulder. Harry soon heard the sound of water running in the sink.
Then he heard a tapping at the window. He looked over, and saw an owl.
"Bloody well time." Harry said under his breath.