Chapter 1: Decent into Insanity
Edward Elric flipped open his pocket watch to check the time. He'd been waiting 15 minutes for Al now. If he didn't hurry up, they'd be late for their train.
"Brother, over here!" Ed's ears perked up, and he looked to see his brother waving at him.
"Al!" He ran over to him. "Geez, Al, where've you been?"
"Sorry." The younger boy said. "They said we could bring a cat, and we had some extra money, sooooooo…"
Edward noticed that Al was hiding something behind his back. "You didn't."
Al revealed a small carrying crate, which held a gray cat with white face and paw markings. "I did." He smiled.
Edward sighed, then smiled back. "What'd you name him?"
"I didn't give him a name yet, I thought we could name him together." Al looked around. "Manage to find platform Nine and Three Quarters yet?"
"Nah." Ed huffed. "Knew it was just a stupid prank."
3 weeks ago an owl had arrived in Central Headquarters, where Edward oversaw the 'Misuse of Alchemy' Department. The Owl was holding a letter, requesting that both Edward and Alphonse attend 'Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry' in some far off country called 'Scotland.' Both immediately dismissed it as a prank, until several hundred more owls filled Edward's office with letters. Having no choice but to go, the two had arrived where they are.
"But Brother," Al argued. "What about all those countries we never knew about until we went as far west as we could?"
Once reaching the west border of Creta, a land to the west of their country of Amestris, they found themselves in a place known as China. As it turned out, the continent Amestris was on was located between the continents of America and Asia.
"Okay, got me there. We'll ask someone." Edward walked up to a red haired woman and her family. "Excuse me." He asked her, hoping he wouldn't be regarded as an idiot in a few seconds. "Do you know how to get to Platform Nine and Three Quarters?"
Just then, another boy walked up to the woman. He was rather scrawny, dressed in clothes that were too big for him. Ed noticed a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead under his messy, jet-black hair. Ed's sharp, golden eyes met the almond-shaped, green eyes and the younger boy flinched.
"I can have a scary stare, sometimes…" He thought, and smiled at the boy. Al walked up behind him.
"Hello, dear," She regarded the younger boy first. "First time at Hogwarts? Ron's new, too. And you…" She turned around to Ed and Al. "You two must be Amestrians."
Al's eyes widened. "How did you…"
"All us wizards know, dear. I suppose you'll find out more later." She smiled. "You need to know how to get onto the platform, right?"
"Y-yeah." Ed nodded.
"Not to worry. All you have to do is walk straight at the barrier between platforms nine and ten. Don't stop and don't be scared that you'll crash into it, that's very important. Best to do it a bit of a run if you're nervous. Go on, go now before Ron."
"Sure you're not just making us out to be stupid?" Ed smiled at her.
"Of course not, dears. Go on now."
Ed took a deep breath and started at the wall before him. He closed his eyes and broke into a run. He braced for impact. Instead, he was met with a sound of a steam engine blowing its whistle. Ed opened his eyes. In front of him was a deep scarlet train engine, a sign above it saying "Hogwarts Express, eleven O'clock. Another sign was labeled "Platform Nine and Three Quarters."
"Impossible…" Ed gaped, looking around him. Soon, Alphonse joined him.
"Woah!" He stuck a hand out in front of him. "Is this real…?"
Ed whistled. "Looks like it. We should go get our tickets."
Tickets bought, Ed and Al soon were sitting in a train compartment.
"Seems like old times, eh Al?" Ed started out the window, a nostalgic look in his eyes.
Soon, the boy they met earlier walked in.
"I'm sorry, can I sit here?" I mumbled.
"Sure." Ed told him as the train began to move.
Another boy opened the compartment door. He was tall and scrawny, with a long nose, red hair and freckles, and large hands and feet. "Anyone sitting here?" He pointed at an empty seat next Al's cat. "Everywhere else is full."
"Sure." Al responded. "Hang on." He picked up the cat's cage. The boy sat down and stared out the window, not saying anything.
"Hey, Ron." Two twins walked into the compartment. "Listen, we're going down the middle of the train- Lee Jordan's got a giant tarantula down there."
"Right." The boy, who Ed assumed was named Ron, mumbled.
"Harry," Said one twin. "Did we introduce ourselves? Fred and George Weasley. And this is our brother, Ron. And you…" He looked at Ed and Al. "You must be the Amestrians Mum was telling us about."
"Yeah, I guess…" Ed said, not really paying attention.
"I'm Alphonse Elric, and that's my older brother Edward Elric." Al introduced. "Pleased to meet you."
"Same here. Welcome to the Wizarding World. See you later, then."
"Bye." Al said.
"Are you really Harry Potter?" Ron blurted out, talking to Harry. Harry nodded. "Oh- Well, I thought it might be one of Fred and George's Jokes. And have you really got- You know…" He pointed at Harry's forehead. Harry pulled his bangs back to reveal the lightning-shaped scar. "So that's where You-Know-Who…?"
"Yes, but I can't remember it."
"Well- I remember a lot of green light, but nothing else."
"Excuse me…" Al spoke up. "But what are you talking about?"
Ron looked at him as if he just asked what a human was. Then realized something. "Oh, you're Amestrian. "Course you wouldn't know."
"Amestrian?" It was Harry's turn to ask questions.
Ron explained the situation to Harry.
"How'd you not know about wizards for so long?" Harry asked.
"Well, our country's been in a lot of conflicts ever since it was founded. I guess they never let the owls get in. The last Führer, Führer King Bradley, was especially militaristic. But, with the recent revolution of sorts, our current Führer is more interested in making peace with other countries than conquering them." Ed explained.
"So…" Ron started. "How old are you?"
"I'm 17, Al's 16."
"Really? But, why are you going to Hogwarts when you're so old?"
"I dunno. Guess they just want us to go. I don't really believe in this magic crap, anyways." Ed put his arms behind his head and yawned. "so, about that You-Know-Who guy…"
"Well…" Ron started. "You-Know-Who was a dark wizard, the darkest wizard there ever was. Anyone who opposed him ended up dead. Of all the people he tried to kill, only one survived…" He trailed off and looked at Harry.
"You?" Ed lifted an eyebrow, staring at Harry. Harry nodded at him.
"Voldemort killed my parents." He said. Ron flinched.
"Don't say his name!" He looked frightened.
"Why are you afraid of a name?" Ed asked nonchalantly. "That's kind of pathetic, really."
"Brother!" Al scolded. "Don't be so rude!"
Al sighed. "I'm sorry, he's always like this."
Ed checked his watch. Half past 12. He sighed and leaned against the window. "So booored…" He moaned. A clattering noise outside the compartment brought him into awareness. A woman pushing a cart slid open the door.
"Anything off the cart, dears?" She smiled at them. Ron mumbled something about bringing a sandwich, Ed and Al were currently broke, but Harry bounced up and went into the hallway, coming back into the compartment with the largest assortment of sweets the other three had ever seen.
"Holy shit." Ed gaped. "How much money do you have?"
Harry's ears went pink as he sat down. "I didn't have breakfeast."
Ron pulled out a lumpy package and pulled one of the sandwiches inside apart. "She always forgets I don't like corn beef."
"I'll take it!" Ed smiled from the corner.
"You don't want this, it's all dry." Ron said. "She hasn't got much time you know, with the five of us."
"As long as it's food, I'll eat it." Ed reached for a sandwich but had his hand slapped away by Al.
"No. We'll eat when we get there." Though in reality, Al was staring at Harry's food.
"You can have some." Harry finally told him. Al dived for the Pumpkin Pasties.
Ed picked up a box of candies. "Chocolate Frogs?" He opened the box.
"They're not real frogs, don't worry. What card did you get?" Ron inquired, half of his mouth full of Pumpkin Pasties.
"Every pack of Chocolate Frogs comes with a card, to collect. They've got famous witches or wizards on them. There're about 500. Did'ja get Agrippa or Ptolemy?"
Ed looked at his card. "Dumbledore."
"Dang." Ron looked disappointed and grabbed a Chocolate Frog.
Ed began to read his card out loud. "Albus Dumbledore; Currently Headmaster of Hogwarts. Considered by many the greatest wizard of modern times, Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945, for the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon's blood, and his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel-" The rest of the card was left forgotten. Al's Pumpkin Pasty landed on the ground with a splat.
"What's wrong?" Ron asked.
Al gained the ability to speak again, which had previously been lost due to shock. "N-Nothing. I'm fine." He looked at Ed, who shared the same look. He older blond read the card over and over again, conversations being lost in his ears, unaware of the bushy haired girl who burst in on them. He finally slipped the card into his pocket. He'd have to talk to this Dumbledore guy later. The compartment door slid open and a pointy faced kid, with dirty blond hair walked in.
"Is it true?" He asked. "They're saying all down the train that Harry Potter's in this compartment. So it's you?"
"Yes." Harry answered him, looking at the two figures that Ed assumed to be Gorillas standing behind him.
"Oh," The boy noticed where he was looking, "This is Crabbe and this is Goyle. And my name's Malfoy. Draco Malfoy."
Ron stifled a giggle with a cough, Ed just straight up laughed, causing Al to look at him with a scorning look.
"Think my name's funny, do you? No need to ask who you are. My father told me all the Weasleys have red hair, freckles, and more children then they can afford."
"Maybe your father should shut his big mouth and learn how to not raise his kid into a whiny little prat." Ed scoffed.
Draco glared at him. "Don't talk to me, you uncivilized Amestrian scum."
"How the hell do these people know!" Ed thought.
Draco turned to Harry. "You'll soon find out some wizarding families are much better than others, Potter. You don't want to go making friends with the wrong sort." He suck out his hand. "I can help you there."
Harry didn't take his hand. "I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks."
A pink tinge appeared in the pale boy's face. "I'd be careful if I were you, Potter. Unless you're a bit politer you'll go the same way as your parents. They didn't know what was good for them, either. You hang around with riffraff like the Weasleys and that Hagrid, and it'll rub off on you."
"At least it'd be better than hanging out with you." Ed stood up.
Draco scoffed. "Like I'd want to have anything to do with you. You're like an uncivilized animal."
"If you don't want to have animals as friends, why are those two Gorillas following you?"
Malfoy stepped back. "Crabbe, Goyle, show him what happens to scum." The two stepped forward, cracking their knuckles in a threatening manner.
"Oh, I'm so scared." Ed rolled his eyes.
"Take it easy on them, brother." Al said, knowing he couldn't stop his older sibling.
"I'll try." Ed said. Goyle flung out a fist, which Edward immediately caught in his own hand. Crabbe lunged at him, but the blond ducked under the boy and elbowed him in the stomach, sending him reeling. Ed pushed Goyle towards Draco, and the two collided onto the floor. Crabbe followed suit. The three boys, flustered, stood haphazardly up and ran away. "That's what happens to scum." He called after them and sat back down, Harry and Ron looking at him incredulously the whole while. Seconds later, Hermione Granger, the bushy haired girl from before, walked in.
"What has been going on?" She questioned.
Ed picked up Ron's pet rat, Scabbers, who had fallen to the floor during the fight, up by the tail. "I think I knocked your rat out. Sorry." He handed him to Ron.
"He's just asleep." Ron said after eyeing him.
"So." Ed sat down and put his arms behind him. "Who was that brat?"
Harry explained how he had met Malfoy while getting fit for his School Robes earlier.
"I've heard of his family," Ron said, a dark look washing over his face. "They were some of the first to come back to our side after You-Know-Who disappeared. Said they'd been bewitched. My Dad doesn't believe it. He says Malfoy's father didn't need an excuse to go over to Dark Side."
"And now he's teaching his son to be a snobbish little ba-"
"Do you need anything Miss, er… Hermione, was it?" Al cut off his brother before he could say anything else.
"You'd better hurry up and put your robes on, I've just been up to the front to ask the conductor, and he says we're nearly there." Hermione turned to Ed, "Have you been fighting? You'll get in trouble before we even get to the school!"
"Great!" Ed smiled, "Think they'll expel me? I'd love to avoid the Magic Nuthouse."
"Why wouldn't you want to go to Hogwarts? I think the whole idea of magic is amazing!"
"I think the whole idea of magic is stupid, honestly." Hermione look aghast and glared at Ed as if he had just said something forbidden. "I'm not gonna change, but these three are, so you should probably leave." Ed pointed at the door, which Hermione huffily left through.
Ron, Harry, and Al pulled their cloaks on as a voice echoed through the corridors, "We will be reaching Hogwarts in five minutes' time. Please leave your luggage on the train, it will be taken to the school separately."
Harry's stomach lurched, Ron paled. Ed simply got up and yawned. "Ready to throw away your dignity, Al?" He asked his brother, one eye open.
"Who knows." Al shrugged. "It could be fun."
The train lurched to a stop, and people pushed their way out onto the platform like rabid dogs attacking their prey. Al shivered in the night's cold air, which prompted Ed to hand him his coat.
"Firs' years! Firs' year over here! All right there, Harry?" A giant appeared in front of the four, beaming at all the students. Ed simply gaped up at the sight. "C'mon, follow me- any more firs' years? Mind yer step, now! Firs' years follow me!" Everyone followed the giant down a dark, narrow path. "Yeh'll get yer firs' sight o' Hogwarts in a sec, jus' round this bend here."
Ed and Al stopped. In the distance stood an enormous castle, the sight causing many of the First Years to gasp.
"It's… Beautiful…" Al muttered, eyes glued to the sight.
"It looks pretty nice, for a Magic Nuthouse." Ed said sarcastically, though he would never admit that it was one of the most beautiful sights he ever met.
"No more'n four to a boat!" Hagrid called as the group approached a small fleet of boats. Harry, Ron, Ed, and Al again sat together. Ed sat nervously on the boat, trying to shift his weight.
"You three sit over there." He told the others, motioning to the boat's bow. "I… Weigh a lot, I don't want the boat to tip over." He smiled. Harry and Ron shrugged, but followed orders.
"Everyone in?" Shouted Hagrid, confirming they were all there. "Right then- Forward!" The boats gilded across the lake soundlessly. After going through a tunnel, they arrived at the shore. After returning a toad to a pink faced boy, the giant led them up some stairs. They stopped at a huge, oak door. The giant knocked three times. The door swung open.
In front of them stood a stern looking woman in green robes, who reminded Ed and Al very much of a certain, frightening woman they knew.
"The firs' years, Professor McGonagall." The giant said.
'Thank you, Hagrid. I will take them from here." She motioned the group inside. They entered a large hallway, with a ceiling so high it couldn't be seen, and a great marble staircase leading to the upper floors. Torches on the walls completed the atmosphere. The door to their right muffled the sound of hundreds of voices, but they were lead to an empty chamber at the end of the hall. They crowded in. "Welcome to Hogwarts," McGonagall greeted. "The start-of-term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your Houses." Ed tuned out her explination, only noting that the four houses were called 'Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, and Slytherin'. Any good behavior from a person would lead to their house scoring points, bad behavior would take away points. The house with the most points at the end of the year would win the house cup, which was a great honor. McGonagall told them that the Sorting Ceremony would take place in a few minutes. Ed stood there, thinking about the situation he was in, when he heard a yelp behind him. He look to see several pearly white, transparent people floating through the walls.
"That's impossible!" Ed thought, his mind racing. "They're just like in any old ghost story, but ghosts don't exist!"
"Move along now," McGonagall's sharp voice broke Ed out of his surprise. "The Sorting Ceremony's about to start." The ghosts floated away through the walls. "Now, form a line and follow me." The group formed a line and marched behind McGonagall. They walked into the doors they had seen before. Ed had thought he had seen it all so far. Until, that is, he walked into the Great Hall. All around them, candles floated in the air, over four long tables. At the very end of the room was a fifth table, where the staff sat. The First years were lead up to the front, facing the four tables, the staff to their backs. Ed looked up, to see that the ceiling looked just like the starry sky outside. Someone whispered about it being bewitched to look like the sky above. Professor McGonagall placed a four legged stool in front of them, and put a ratty old hat on top of it. There was silence for a few seconds. Then, the hat sang.
"Oh, you may not think I'm pretty,
But don't judge on what you see,
I'll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.
You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all.
There's nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can't see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.
You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;
You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
If you've a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends.
So put me on! Don't be afraid!
And don't get in a flap!
You're in safe hands (though I have none)
For I'm a Thinking Cap!"
The whole hall burst into applause as the hat bowed to each of the tables and became silent again.
"So we've just got to try on the hat!" Ron whispered. "I'll kill Fred, he was going on about wrestling a troll."
Ed laughed. "That sounds more fun."
Professor McGonagall stepped forward, holding a long piece of parchment. "When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted." She called out the first name, a girl named Hannah Abbott. It was just after Millicent Bulstrode when Ed and Al were met with a surprise. "Chang, Mei!"
Al froze. He looked up to see the small, Xingese girl, her long black hair in braids, walk up to the stool and put the hat on her head. She looked at the crowd in front of her, and spotted Alphonse, mouthing his name with a loving look on her face. Al blushed. Ed nudged him with an elbow.
"Looks like your girlfriend followed you here, Al."
"GRYFFINDOR!" The hat shouted, and Mei walked to the far left table.
"Elric, Alphonse!" McGonagall called out.
"Gryffindor, Gryffindor, Gryffindor…" Al crossed his fingers and chanted as he walked up.
"ALPHONSE ELRIC!" A voice angrily shouted from the crowd, and a wrench flew up and nearly hit Al's head. "WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME YOU WERE GOING TO HOGWARTS!" The voice came from a lemon-blond haired girl. "IS EDWARD HERE TOO! HOW DARE YOU-"
"Young Lady!" McGonagall scolded. "Calm down immediately! No throwing muggle items!"
"Oh." The girl flinched. "Sorry."
Al gulped. Winry was here, and she was mad. He already feared for his life. He pushed the thought out of his head and put on the Sorting Hat.
"Hmmm… This one is difficult…" A small voice in his head made Al jump. "You've got the friendliness of a Hufflepuff, the smarts of a Ravenclaw, and the bravery of a Gryffindor… I'd say you should go in…"
"GRYFFINDOR!" The hat screamed to the hall. The Gryffindor table cheered and clapped as Al took a seat next to Mei.
"When'd you get here?" He asked her.
"We'll talk later, Alphonse." Mei said.
It was Ed's turn to put on the hat. He placed the ratty old thing on his head and sat on the stool. "Just put me in Gryffindor and be done with it."
"Quite the snarky one, aren't you?" The hat said in his head.
"Woah! What the hell!"
"Now, now, don't be frightened."
"Think I'm afraid of a hat? That's like being afraid of saying 'Voldemort'." The hall went into a silence at this.
"Aren't you brave?"
"You don't need to be brave to say 'Voldemort.' Voldemort, Voldemort, Voldemort." Almost everyone in the hall was mortified. "What, are you all scared? Really?" Ed laughed.
"My, my. You do love to cause a scene, don't you? Quite cunning, yes… Perhaps Slytherin?"
"Oh hell no. Slytherin can kiss my ass!"
"Well, then, I guess the only thing left is…"
"GRYFFINDOR!" The hat yelled.
"Since you're new here, you won't be punished, but swearing is not allowed Mr. Elric." McGonagall instructed.
Edward's journey to the Gryffindor table was met with subdued applause, except for Fred, George, Al and Mei, who were clapping quite loudly. Three more Gryffindors joined the table, Hermione Granger, Ronald Weasley, and Harry Potter. Draco Malfoy went to Slytherin.
"At least blondie's not with us." Ed mused.
"Rockbell, Winry!" McGonagall called. The lemon-haired girl walked up and put the Sorting Hat onto her head. She was soon sitting next to Edward at the Gryffindor table.
"So." She growled.
"Oh, hi, Winry…" Ed said nervously. "Didn't see ya there…"
"Hello Edward. How's life been?" She glared at him.
"Oh, just fine." Ed began to sidle away from her.
"Anything you wanna tell me?"
Ed continued to look petrified as Winry scolded him, the whole hall looking at the two. He only snapped out of it when 'Yao, Lan Fan' was called.
Ed and Al looked over at the stool, and sure enough, the young Xingese girl was sitting there. The hat called 'Gryffindor' and she sat on the other side of Winry.
"Edward, Alphonse." She nodded to them.
"Wait." Ed stopped. "If you're here, then that means-"
"Oh god, no!" Ed banged his head on the table. "Please let him be in another-"
"Why me!" Ed hid under the table. "I'm not here, okay Al?"
"Hello Edward, Alphonse!" Ling greeted as he sat next to Lan Fan. "Why are you under the table, Edward?"
Ed groaned and sat back up. "Just vomiting."
Al made a move to stand up and bow, along with Mei, but Ling stopped them. "No formalities here, you two. We can't have people knowing anything, okay? We're just normal kids."
"Yes, Emp-" Al caught himself. "Ling."
With Blaise Zabini ("What the hell is with all these weird names?" Ed asked.) being a Slytherin, the Sorting Ceremony was over. An old man with a long white beard stood up, opening his arms, looking pleased.
"Welcome!" He said. "Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!"
"Equivalent Exchange!" Ed added in, causing all the teachers to look at him incredulously.
Dumbledore looked at Edward, his eyes twinkling. "Ah, yes, another great one. Thank you, Mr. Elric." Ed smirked, hoping he had got the message.
Suddenly, the golden plates before them became filled with food. Ed forgot everything else, preferring to stuff his face with food. He only snapped out of his trance when Harry hissed the word 'Ouch'.
"Is everything alright, Harry?" Alphonse asked.
"Y-yeah. I'm fine." Harry lied.
Edward looked up to where Harry was staring. A hook-nosed, sallow-skinned teacher was looking at Harry. The light shown on his greasy black hair, which ran down to his shoulders. He turned to meet Edward's gaze. Something seemed familiar about him.
"Hey, Al." Ed spoke up.
"Yes, brother?" Al answered.
"Do we know that guy? The one with black hair."
Alphonse looked up at the teacher. "No… I don't think so… But he does seem familiar, doesn't he?"
"Yeah." Still staring at the teacher, Edward noticed the same question on his face. It seemed that he recognized them as well. "Percy." Ed addressed Ron's older brother. "Who is that guy talking to Mr. Turban up there?"
Percy looked annoyed at Ed's nickname for the teacher. "That's Professor Snape. The man in the turban in Professor Quirrell."
"Oh yeah? What does Snape teach?"
"Potions, but he doesn't want to teach it- everyone knows he's after Quirrell's job. Knows an awful lot about the Dark Arts, Snape."
Edward continued to stare at the man. "Who are you?" He mouthed, making no noise.
"Who are you, boy?" He mouthed back.
"Amestrian. Ever been to Resembool? Eastern Area?"
Snape shook his head and mouthed no more words. Edward went back to his meal, but still searched Snape's face. When the deserts disappeared, Dumbledore stood back up.
"Ahem- Just a few more words now that we are all fed and watered. I have a few start-of-term notices to give you. As you may have noticed, we have many new students. They are from Amestris, as I assume you've all heard about by now. And if not, well, you'll learn soon enough. I ask that we all give them a warm welcome. Many of them seem older than most first , I years. That's because they are. All Amestrians will be entering the first year, regardless of age. I hope we can get along. I personally welcome all Amestrians to Hogwarts, and to the Wizarding World." Dumbledore cleared his throat. "Now, onto business. First years should note that the forest on the grounds is forbidden to all pupils. And a few of our older students would do well to remember that as well." Dumbledore's gaze turned to the Weasley Twins. "I have also been asked by Mr. Filch, the caretaker, to remind you all that no magic should be used between classes in the corridors. Quidditch trials will be held in the second week of the term. Anyone interested in playing for their house teams should contact Madam Hooch. And finally I must tell you that this year, the third-floor corridor on the right-hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a very painful death."
"Something causing a painful death in a school? There's another thing I'll have to ask about." Ed thought.
"And now, before we go to bed, let us sing the school song!" The teacher's smiles had become plastic. Dumbledore flicked his wand and a long, gold ribbon came out and floated in the air, forming words. "Everyone pick their favorite tune, and off we go!"
The whole school then sang:
"Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts,
Teach us something please,
Whether we be old and bald,
Or young with scabby knees,
Our heads could do with filling
With some interesting stuff,
For now they're bare and full of air,
Dead flies and bits of fluff,
So teach us things worth knowing,
Bring back what we've forgot,
Just do your best, we'll do the rest,
And learn until our brains all rot."
Everyone finished singing at different times, the Weasley twins finishing last with a slow funeral march. Everyone clapped, Dumbledore clapping the loudest. "Ah, music," He wiped a tear from his eye. "A magic beyond all we do here! And now, bedtime. Off you trot!"
The Gryffindor first years followed Percy through the halls. Edward was wondering when they'd get to the dormitories when they stopped completely.
"Hey, what's the holdup!"
A bundle of walking sticks was floating in the air. Percy walked forward and they started flinging themselves at him.
"Peeves, a poltergeist." Percy whispered. "Peeves- show yourself!"
A loud, rude sound answered him.
"Do you want to go to the Bloody Baron?"
There was a pop. A little man with wicked, dark eyes and a wide mouth appeared. He was floating in the air, holding the walking sticks. "Oooooooh!" He cackled. "Ickle Firsties! What fun!" He swooped down at them; Everybody ducked.
"Go away, Peeves, or the Baron'll hear about this, I mean it!"
Peeves stuck his tongue out at Percy and vanished.
"You want to watch out for Peeves. The Bloody Baron's the only one who can control him, he won't even listen to us prefects. Here we are."
At the end of the corridor hung a portrait of a fat lady in a pink dress. "Password?" She asked.
"Caput Draconis." Percy answered. The portrait swung forward, revealing a hole in the wall. They all scrambled through and ended up in a cozy, circular room. It was covered in velvety red. On one side, there was a fireplace, and several squishy armchairs and couches were littered around the room. Percy showed the girls' their dormitories through one door, boys through another.
"You're lucky I'm too tired to kill you right now, Ed." Winry yawned. "Maybe I'll forget to in the morning. Goodnight." She went through the girls' door.
"I'll miss you, Al…" Ed groaned as Al laughed.
"Nice girlfriend you get there, Ed." George said.
"W-what! She's- She's not my- She's just a childhood-"
"Yeah, yeah, sure…"
Ed stomped up the spiral staircase, looking around the hallways. 'Where the hell are our rooms?" He asked no one in particular.
"Ah, Edward, Alphonse, Ling, James." Percy walked up to them. "Follow me." Percy led them into the first year's room. A door had been placed on the west side of the room. "Dumbledore had this installed about a month ago. It's for all the Amestrians, since we didn't have enough room. All of your luggage is in there. Have a nice night." Percy smiled and left.
Ed went into the room, and sure enough, all his stuff was there.
"How've you been, Ed?" Ed turned around to see the boy called James waving to him. "Remember me"
Ed thought for a moment. Then his face lit up with recognition. "James? James Smith?" Ed stuck out his hand. "How ya been, man?"
"Just fine! You?"
"I'm doin' alright. Hey Al!" Ed motioned towards his brother. "Remember James?"
"Oh yeah!" Al smiled at James. "I haven't seen you in a while."
"You know him?" Ling questioned.
"Yeah, we used to play together when we were little, back in Resembool."
"Nice to see you again. We should catch up later, but right now-" Ed yawned. "I'm sleepy. Lemme change." Ed began to take off his trousers, and got out his night clothes.
"Hey Ed, d'you-" Ron began to open the door, but had it immediately shut in his face.
"Don't come in here!" James snapped. "I- Sorry, but you can't come in here without knocking. What did you need?"
"I-" Ron stammered. "I was just wondering if Ed took any food from the feast. I'm still hungry."
"No, I didn't." Ed called out. "Sorry."
"Okay… Well, g'night."
James sighed and looked at Ed's left automail leg. "You don't want them knowing, do you?"
"Nah. They don't need to know." Ed lay down on his bed and pulled the cover over him. "Thanks."
"Anytime." James too lay down on his bed. Within minutes, everyone was asleep.
Edward had a strange dream that night. It didn't seem like a dream, though. More like a memory. A fuzzy one. He was a child at least 3 years old. He was yelling at a bespeckled boy, defending a friend, it seemed. They were in a castle. A red haired girl was holding a 2 year old Alphonse, looking sadly over at a figure standing next to Ed. Ed grabbed the boy's pale hand and hid him behind himself, as if he were protecting him from an attacker.
"Leave him alone, you jerk!" He remembered screaming.
Ed woke up. It was early in the morning, the sun had just risen. Ed yawned and tried to go back to sleep, but he couldn't. Reluctantly, he dressed, and waited for the others to wake. He wasn't looking forward to this day. Either it would be a waste of time, or throw every scientific rule he knew about out the window. But even if the latter happened, he still wouldn't leave behind the science of Alchemy. He would continue researching it, even if he wasn't an Alchemist anymore. After all, even if he was just one puny human, he would still be able to help people.