He was chained to the stone ground. When he opened his eyes, all he saw was a blur. Blonde bangs were stuck to his face and he could feel the dry blood on his skin.
It hurt, everywhere.
That was the first thing his mind registered, before his eyes made out the sickly red glow that came from all around.
He peered around, making out the transmutated black chains, carved out array under him and a man standing in the middle of the crimson light.
He saw four more figures.
Doctor Marcoh, shaking like a leaf, or like the coward who must have done human transmutation. Sensei, kneeling on the ground in a pool of her own blood. Hohenheim, the bastard, who didn't seem conscious. And…
"Al!" he responded, but couldn't clap his hands thanks to the restraints. "Damn it!"
A blow landed on his cheek.
"Shut up, ochibi-san," said an extremely hated voice. "It's starting."
The promised day.
The five sacrifices.
Ametris was doomed.
Damn it! He was cursing in his mind. He was not going to let his country become the ingredient for an immortal army. He was not going to let Winry and Pinako and everyone die. He was not going to let anything happen to his brother. He made a promise.
So what will you do now, Fullmetal?
He tugged desperately at the chains. He pulled, kicked and twisted but nothing budged. He felt blood trickling into his gloves and metal being scratched.
Is this the end of all hope?
He realized the wrist joint of his automail was loose. Winry is so gonna kill me for this. He thought as he lifted his fake arm and smashed it on the ground. His nerves were on fire.
A red stone flew out from the sleeve and landed on the ground.
Heck, everyone's gonna slice me into bits when they find out what I'm about to do.
Edward slammed the stump of his metal arm to the palm of his flesh one. A circle.
A red light, the last of the screams.
And everything was gone.
He at first was too afraid to open his eyes. The great Fullmetal Alchemist was afraid.
Why? Well, he couldn't feel any pain. He sort of figured that was how the afterlife felt. And even if he did die, he probably be sent to the Gate. And he did not want to go back to the Gate.
What happened to Al? What happened to everyone? What happened to Ametris?
Edward Elric could have, for once in his entire life, prayed.
He opened his eyes.
"Good morning, Mr Alchemist."
And he came face to face with a featureless body, with only a solid arm and leg. His arm and leg.
"Congradulations, you passed."
He gritted his teeth.
"Now, now don't look so angry."
Edward was not convinced. Hard to be when you are conversing with the one who controlled the Gate. The one who took his limbs and his brother's body.
"Ametris is fine. The people are fine. The homunculi won't bother them again. Izumi Curtis is probably searching high and low for the Elric family. Doctor Marcoh will probably commit suiside out of the guilt. Van Hohenheim is where he belongs. There's some news, he's no more the Philosopher's Stone. He's 100% human looking for you and your brother."
"What?" was the only thing that came out of Ed's mouth.
"Ametris' biggest news: The Elric brothers are missing. Other than that, everything's normal."
The being chuckled.
There was a silence.
"So I'm dead?"
"What?" he said for the third time.
"Half-and-half, Mr Alchemist. Equivalent exchange, there is no such thing. It's simple. You wish, you pay the price. It may be fair, it may not."
"Where's Al?" he asked, suddenly feeling really exhausted.
The being laughed. "Sins cannot be erased, Edward Elric! If you wish for something wrong to become right, you must pay the price!"
The gate swung open.
The bony figure was staring straight at him, accusing eyes jabbing him hard, hurtful.
"You're not my soul..." A finger was pointed at him. "Give back my soul..."
And the Gate was closing again. Now, slow-mo, shutting carefully, squeezing out the malnourished boy's last words.
It came out as clear as day. "NII-SAN, HOW COULD YOU? MY SOUL! YOU ATE MY SOUL!"
Edward's eyes widened. He clutched his golden hair, trembling.
"The sins, Mr Achemist. Your own, your brother's, Hohenheim's, the homunculi's, everything. You bare them in your mind and body."
"The soul!" The featureless shadow pointed at him with his own arm. "Sins cannot be erased. It is a PRICE!"
The being laughed. "Edward Elric, you choose to trespass God's territory! You choose to walk down that path!"
The Gate opened again. This time, black hands reached out and grabbed him, lifting him into the darkness of the Gate.
"Until the next promised day, Edward Elric!" The being was grinning widely. "I almost forgot to reintroduce myself! I am known as the 'World', or 'Truth' or 'God'. Most importantly..."
"I AM YOU!"
Edward Elric, 21, Fullmetal Alchemist, ex science professor at the Cambridge University, the new Philosopher's Stone, has recently moved to Little Whinging in Surrey, 4 Privet Drive for research purposes.
But living next to the Boy-who-Lived will surely cause some trouble.
Edward is a trouble magnet. A rather short one, in fact.
He lives in mostly silence these days, hearing only the torment of the sins carved upon his soul.
The Gate really screwed him good this time.
I don't own FMA or HP!
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