Disclaimer says: I don't own Harry Potter or Fullmetal Alchemist! I just rearranged a few things.

…okay, I rearranged a lot of things…

…but I still don't own them!

I know that Risembool is a town in the FMA world, but I tossed it into England for the sake of this story. Some things stayed the same; there's automail, but it's different from in FMA.

No, this is not going to be a Severitus (or however you spell it), or even a "Severus mentors Harry" story.

And so…onward!

The Alchemist

Chapter 1: The Rescue of Harry James Potter

Privet Drive was a quaint, small neighborhood. The houses were neatly arranged, and there were fences around some properties. Cars were parked in driveways most of the time, and the lawns were always trimmed properly. In fact, there wasn't a single unusual thing about it.

Except at the house labeled "#4".

Harry Potter was eight years old, and currently hiding for his life under the cupboard under the stairs. Tears rolled down his dirty cheeks, and his clothing was torn and much too large for him. Not that he cared at the moment, because he was fearing for his life, as his uncle had been quite upset that he had scored above Dudley in science.

Harry hadn't meant to do such a thing…he knew better than to show that he was actually smart! That, and he learned his lesson the first time his Uncle Vernon beat him for it. However, the beatings didn't stop. If Harry did something "strange" or "unusual", like the time he accidentally somehow teleported himself to the school roof, he was beaten for it.

Even if he didn't do anything worthy of a beating, and managed to do all his chores before dinner, he was still the man's whipping boy. Nobody helped him, either, and nobody ever believed him. The one teacher that had questioned his bruises, oversized clothing, and smell wound up being fired for some mysterious reason when the Dursley's got involved with the entire thing, and Harry was left with broken bones as a result of that little mishap.

So, he just stopped talking. It wasn't worth it in the long run, as nobody seemed to believe him, and typically, talking just got him into even more trouble.

He didn't like to get into trouble, because that meant pain.

His uncle would hit him, and his Aunt Petunia would scream at him or make him do even more chores. He had burnt countless fingers learning how to cook, and even afterwards.

Petunia's punishments didn't involve beatings, but she had once held his arm over the stove while it was on, which resulted in a burn which he still had a slight scar from.

His cousin, Dudley, was never punished for doing things like pushing him down the stairs or beating him up. In fact, the boy was rewarded for doing those things.

At first, Harry had been resentful, but that just turned to hurt, which caused him to retreat into his own world of flying motorcycles.

He thought that he would never be safe again, as long as he was with his aunt and uncle.

However, one day, he got a pleasant surprise.

It was warm out, but Harry was out on the lawn, hand-weeding said area of grass. He had finished with the flower bed, and was now instructed to do the same with the lawn, itself. Though their lawn wasn't immensely huge, it was still large for such a small boy.

When a shadow fell over him, he first thought that it was his Uncle Vernon, home early, or his Aunt Petunia to give him a crack over his knuckles with a ruler.

Harry looked up with wide, green eyes, to fearfully peer at the blob of a person in front of him. Since his glasses needed replacing years ago, he could never make out any defining features.

However, these two people have very distinct features.

The taller one was male, and wore all black, from his long sleeve shirt to his pants and shoes.

Harry thought it was a strange color to wear in the summer, but he could have been mistaken on said color since his eyesight wasn't 100%.

The tall man also had black hair, from what Harry could tell, and perhaps a large nose.

The woman was much older, Harry realized, and had gray hair pulled into…was that a bun? A bun, he believed. She wore a green dress with matching shoes, so at least she was dressed for the weather.

The woman took a sharp breath, then spoke to the boy. "Harry Potter?"

Harry knew Dudley was told not to talk to strangers, but he figured that nothing could be worse than the Dursley's, so he nodded hesitantly.

The man in black muttered something under his breath.

"Severus!" the elderly woman exclaimed.

Harry, whose ears were sharper than normal to compensate for his vision, nearly grinned at the muttered curses the man had made in relation to his aunt and uncle…mostly his aunt, though.

The woman sighed, then smiled at the boy. "Is your aunt and uncle home?"

Harry nodded, then shook his head.

"Which is it?" the man in black asked impatiently, with a sharp edge to his voice.

Harry, reminded of his Uncle Vernon, drew back as if expecting to be hit.

"Severus!" Again, the woman admonished the man. "Watch your tone with the boy! You know very well the reason we're here!"

The man, Severus, sighed. "Of course…"

The woman turned back to the frightened child. "Don't worry, Harry. My name is Minerva McGonagall. I'm a teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry…"

Harry caught her mutter under her breath something to the extent of "not that you know what that is, since those horrid muggles probably told you nothing".

The little boy almost smiled, but was still too nervous around these two to do so.

"This is Severus Snape, who also teaches at Hogwarts." Minerva's voice softened as she told the child, "It's the school your parents went to."

Harry's green eyes widened. He wanted so badly to ask about it, but figured he would be punished badly if he was caught talking. Besides…he knew that talking got people into trouble; especially him.

"If you'll come along with us, you can gather your things."

Harry gave Minerva a blank look.

Severus scowled, not that Harry could see it clearly. "We're removing your from this loathsome place. Your…current relations…have been found unfit to care for you after some observation."

Minerva looked fairly proud of herself, but Harry couldn't remember anyone strange hanging out around the house. He only saw a frequent tabby cat that visited, but figured it was one of Mrs. Figg's cats.

"It just so happens that you have another relative, which is suitable for living arrangements…" Severus started.

Harry paled. They couldn't mean Aunt Marge, could they? She wasn't even related by blood! She and Ripper would torture him worse than Uncle Vernon!

Minerva gestured for him to follow. "The sister of your aunt's parents, apparently, had a daughter. She was our first choice to place you with, but she had been living in Germany at the time. However, now she's back in England, so you can be moved."

It was obvious by her tone that she thought Harry should have been placed with this other aunt, regardless of what country they lived in.

Harry wasn't an idiot, and knew that these people had a say in why he was with the Dursley's. Besides…they were the only blood family he had. However, if there was someone else out there that was his blood family, he would jump at the opportunity to live with them.

Heck, he would have gone with this woman and the scary looking man if they had offered!

The boy was a little more hesitant when they reached the door. He opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came out. He wanted to tell them the door was locked, but he was always beaten every time he talked, and constantly told that talking got him into trouble, so he had just stopped. Part out of fear of beatings, and part out of the fact that it did nothing but, true to his uncle's words, get him into trouble.

However, the language barrier didn't seem to deter Minerva and Severus. Rather, Severus just looked down directly into the boy's eyes.

Harry pulled away almost immediately, afraid of making eye contact with anyone.

However, it was long enough for Severus, who cursed under his breath before informing Minerva that "the sodding muggles turned him mute".

Harry wondered how the man knew that, and was even more shocked when Severus pulled out a stick and somehow unlocked the door with a wave of said stick.

"What is the meaning of…?" Petunia Dursley pulled up short when she saw the two strange people in her house. But what really caused her to stop were the sticks in their hands, which she paled at.

"Hello, Tuney." Severus sneered at her. "Remember me?"

Harry, who took to hiding behind the less scary Minerva, peered out to see what in the world they were talking about. That man knew his aunt?

Petunia turned whiter than Harry had ever seen her turn. "Y-you…!"

"Yes, me. Unsurprisingly, you're still the same as you were all those years ago."

Minerva decided to intervene before old grudges got the best of Severus and he wound up hexing a muggle. "Severus, remember why we're here."

Petunia looked between the two in fear of her life.

"Now, if you will be so kind as to step out of the way so that we may gather Mister Potter's belongings…" Minerva, though she made a request, sounded more as if she was demanding it of the woman.

Petunia pursed her lips as if she had swallowed a lemon. "Then…you'll be removing that…freak…from our house? For good?"

Severus's lip curled dangerously, but Minerva interrupted.

"Indeed. However, the only 'freaks' I've ever laid eyes on was your family. I have no problems with muggles, but you, and your husband, are the worst sort." Minerva glared down her glasses at Harry's aunt.

Harry looked up at Minerva in awe. These people were standing up to his aunt, and she was even afraid of them!

"Just…just get his things and get out of my house!" Petunia screeched.

Harry flinched, but felt Minerva's hand slide into his, which calmed him down. These people…no…these wizards…were amazing superheroes as far as he was concerned.

"With pleasure." Minerva turned to look at Harry kindly. "Harry, dear, let us gather your things."

Harry nodded, and shyly led the way to his cupboard. He could still hear Severus threatening Petunia, and saying how this wasn't the end of it, as they would be facing child abuse charges from both the muggle and wizarding worlds.

"…particularly, when it involves someone so…well known…" Severus sounded extremely smug.

Minerva, on the other hand, tried to control her temper when she saw the cupboard. There was a tiny cot with a thin blanket, a ratty old school bag thrown in one corner, and various broken objects like toy soldiers missing legs or arms, as well as crayons that were stubs or just as broken. Minerva didn't need Occlumency to know that Harry wasn't responsible for the sorry state of the toys, as they were on shelves as if revered.

Harry went into the room and pulled a small, blue blanket off one of the shelves and stuffed it very carefully into the backpack, then looked around the "room" hesitantly, as if trying to decide if he should bring the broken toys.

Minerva shook her head, and said gently, "It's up to you if you want to bring those toys, Harry. But, I dare say, you'll receive plenty of toys, in working order, at your new home. I looked it over, myself…there'll even be a boy your age, and one a year younger."

Harry was hesitant about there being a kid his age. What if this person turned out to be another Dudley? However, he reckoned that superheroes didn't rescue sad kids just to stick them in an even worse situation.

So, the child zipped up his bag and ignored what was on the shelves. They were just some of Dudley's old toys that he had managed to filch while cleaning, so he really didn't feel much attachment to them. The blanket, however, was different, as he knew it wasn't from the Dursley's. It had his initials sewn into the corner in gold lettering, and from what he heard, he had been found with it.

That meant it was the only memento he had of his parents; he wasn't letting it go.

"Is that everything? You sure?" Minerva asked gently.

Harry nodded.

"Take my hand, Harry." Minerva was thankful towards Arabella Figg. If it weren't for her reports on Harry's odd condition, and Minerva's own snooping in her animagus form, then this could have gone on until the boy reached Hogwarts age. At which point, he might very well have been too mentally gone.

Severus seemed to be enjoying himself, holding his stick, which Minerva told Harry was a wand, towards Petunia.

"Severus. We're leaving," Minerva stated with a hint of finality.

Severus sneered at the pale woman in front of him. "Don't worry, Tuney…you'll be hearing from a variety of law enforcers soon enough. I, for one, will take great pleasure in watching, and though I am a busy man, I will gladly make time in my schedule to see you get what you deserve. You can try to flee, but I can assure you that the Aurors will find you, even if your own law does not."

Harry thought Petunia was going to pass out on the ground right then and there, but he really didn't care. He just wanted to get away, and fearfully squeezed Minerva's hand.

Minerva smiled down at him, and led him out of the house with a final call to her colleague. "Put your wand away, Severus. Let them get what's coming to them. If you curse them, they have a fighting chance of having a reduced punishment."

Severus looked torn, as he considered that whatever he could do to them would be far worse than their "punishment". However, he knew the rules, and knew what would happen to him if he even meddled just a little with their minds. As tempting as it was to give them weeks of nightmares where they were put in Harry's shoes, his Slytherin side that planned things out knew that it would be reckless to do so.

Besides…perhaps he could subtly suggest such a punishment to the Aurors…

Thus, with a final, triumphant sneer, Severus followed after Minerva.

Harry was surprised to see them headed towards Arabella Figg's house, and glanced up at Minerva in question.

The woman seemed to understand, and smiled. "Arabella, though you probably know her as Misses Figg, is what we call a 'squib'. She was born from wizarding parents, but has an extremely low magical ability. In other words, she cannot cast spells like we can, but can see the wizarding world and be a part of a few things in it."

Arabella waved to them when they arrived, tears in her eyes. "Albus agreed? He really, truly agreed? When you told me, I thought it was a joke…"

Minerva put her free hand on the woman's shoulder. "It is, indeed, not a joke. Severus will be returning to Hogwarts to inform Albus of the progress, while I shall take Mister Potter to relatives that will care much greater for him."

Arabella wiped her eyes, then smiled down at the shy boy. "It's wonderful, Harry! You're finally free of the Dursley's…"

Harry, still a bit confused, nodded.

Severus tapped his foot impatiently near the fireplace. "We do not have all day, Arabella."

Minerva filled the woman in. "Since you will no longer need to watch over Harry here, Albus is going to meet with you. Perhaps there is another family that can be helped."

Arabella wiped tears from her eyes again. "I'll miss Harry, but I'd enjoy that."

Minerva turned to Harry, who watched in fascination as both Severus and Arabella took turns grabbing a handful of what looked to be soot, throwing it into the fire, then stepping into the green flames and declaring their destination.

With a whoosh of green fire, they were gone.

Harry looked up at Minerva with fearful, wide eyes.

Minerva chuckled. "No worries, Harry. We'll be taking another method of travel. This might feel a wee bit uncomfortable, but it'll be over soon enough. Keep hold of my hand, now. One, two, three…"

Harry felt like he was being sucked into a tube that was a bit too small for him, and channeled along it. It was very uncomfortable, and he was grateful when his feet touched grass.

The two stood in a field, near a shed of gardening supplies, hidden between the shed and the trees on the other side.

Minerva gently led him out after making sure he was alright after the Side-Along Apparition, then up the dirt path. They passed people in the fields that waved to them, and occasionally, went past fences that contained goats, sheep, and horses.

Harry even though he had seen pigs and the other animals in books before, couldn't help but marvel at them. He had never been to a zoo, and so this was the closest he had ever been to animals that he didn't see at school, which amounted to squirrels, chipmunks, and deer.

After passing a few houses, as well as one at the bottom of the hill labeled as "Rockbell Automail", they came to a two-story house that was painted a cheerful yellow, with flowers in the garden at the front, and a wooden swing hanging from a tree that was also in the front yard.

Minerva smiled reassuringly at the boy; she knew the woman who lived at the house, as she had the lady in her classes. Not her house, but Trisha Elric was certainly a very pleasant Hufflepuff, and always had a kind word for everybody.

Harry looked up in awe, and tried to scrub at his glasses in a futile attempt at making them work better to get a better view of the cozy looking house.

Minerva noticed, and took the glasses from him. "Let me see those, Harry." She made a sound of disapproval after some wand waving over both the glasses and Harry, himself, then tapped the glasses and said something in another language.

Instantly, the glasses were repaired from the cracks, bends, and tape that held them together.

When Harry put them on, he was excited to note that he could actually see. He looked up at Minerva with a big smile on his face, and bobbed his head in gratitude.

"You'll need a new prescription, but that will suffice…oh, you don't have to thank me, Harry. Now…let's have you meet your new family."

With that, the old witch knocked twice on the door sharply, and Harry waited with baited breath as he hoped that his new family would be kind. What sort of people were they?

There was noise behind the door, and Harry reckoned he would find out in a minute.

A small surge of energy nearly made Harry start, and when he blinked, he saw a hole in the door, the size of a peephole, at around his height. There was an eye behind it that watched them.

This was odd, as Harry had sworn there was no hole in the door.

Then, another surge of energy, and the hole vanished. The lock clicked, and the door finally swung open.