What? Shara Raizel has written a non-Digimon fan fic? :O Good Gracious! XD

Alrighty... For those of you who don't know me, HI! I'm Shara Raizel and this was my first attempt at a true series crossover. I'd mostly done Digimon season crossover fan fics up to this point in time, but being a fan of both Fullmetal Alchemist and Harry Potter I thought that I'd give this fic a go... I came up with the idea for this fic before FMA brotherhood aired on Adult Swim here in the U.S. while I was sitting around in my Grandma's house writing it out on scrap paper my sister had given me. I'd written about a page and a half in cramped writing from top to bottom on the back of one of her old progress reports and some random half sheet of paper. I'd of course typed it all up later when I got home, but it just sat in my files until I rediscovered it. I'd go back over it reminiscing and would toy with the idea that I should continue writing it. It wasn't until I was rediscovered it AGAIN while searching for a document I had misplaced at the beginning of my winter break that I thought that I should clean it up a bit and try to continue writing it. The end result of my messing around is what I've got posted right here!

Just to be clear this is a crossover concerning the Harry Potter series (based mostly off the books but movie snit bits will be in there as well) and the first/original Fullmetal Alchemist anime. Edward Elric will be the main character and will be interacting a lot with our favorite Potions Master and the Boy Who Lived. ;D

I hope you all enjoy this fic since I've done my damnedest to keep it as close to the original story lines as possible to make this fic feel like it really could have happened should both of these worlds have collided. PLEASE ask questions if anything appears to be too confusing or needs to be cleared up. I plan on doing one for every Harry Potter book, so it'll (eventually) be a 7 story series if it gets a big enough response so PLEASE review after reading and tell me what you thought and if you found anything confusing. Hopefully not. I edit the crap out of this fic every time I go back over it. XD


(Edited October 19, 2017)

Chapter 1: The Alchemist

Edward woke with a start and looked around at his surroundings. His golden eyes searched for his brother, Alphonse, but no one was in sight. He was sprawled out on his back in the middle of a country road, but the landscape was foreign to him. This did not look like Amestris. It appeared to be summer, but the temperature was cooler then he was used to for the season, and there was a grayish-green mountain range in the distance. Edward knew for a fact that there were no mountains like those in Amestris. The mountains in Amestris were either in the snow-covered north or in the desert wastelands in the south. Perhaps he was in Xing, but something told him he wasn't. He tried to remember how he got there but came up blank. He closed his eyes and tried to recall the last thing he did remember.

The most recent memory he could recall was when he'd woken up and saw Rose. She had told him that his brother Alphonse had used the Philosopher's Stone to transmute his body and bring him back to life after Envy had killed him. Al was gone and the Philosopher's Stone with him. In return for his sacrifice Edward was whole again. He had his arm and leg back, but at the cost of Al's life. That was something he knew he couldn't allow. He had told Rose to leave and set the room up so that he could destroy it and bring Al back. The last thing he remembered was activating the transmutation circles he'd drawn on his body so that he could sacrifice his own life in exchange for Alphonse's. After the ruins were activated he saw the doors of Truth's Gate open for him and that's where his mind goes blank. But if it had worked then why was he still alive?

"Something must have gone wrong," Edward groaned, placing his right hand over his face, but something felt wrong. For one, he was wearing different clothes than the ones he'd worn in his last coherent memory. He was wearing a white button up shirt under a light brown vest, tan pants, a brown trench coat and brown leather shoes instead of his custom black boots, pants, sleeveless shirt, overcoat and red cloak. The only articles of clothing that he even remotely recognized as his own were his usual white gloves and the chain latched to his belt loop that was connected to a pocket watch that marked him as a State Alchemist of Amestris.

He looked at his right hand and removed the glove. Instead of the flesh and blood hand that he had been given back after Al had sacrificed his life to revive him, it was his automail hand again. It was then he realized that he couldn't feel his left leg. It too was an automail prosthetic limb again. Had the exchange worked after all at the expense of him having to live with automail prosthetics again? If so, where was Al? Where was he for that matter? Why was he wearing different clothes? Had he actually gone through to the other side of the Gate like Hohenheim? If so, was this the effect of some sort of exchange for going through the Gate? There were too many unanswered questions and no clear way to receive any answers.

With a sigh he pulled himself up off the ground and inspected his automail limbs to make sure that they were in working order. He was pleased to find that they were. It was as if Winry, his childhood friend and mechanic, had just finished tuning and oiling them. He did a few experimental kicks and jabs to make sure that the movements were fluid and natural. Once he was satisfied with the functions of his prosthetic limbs he wondered if he was still able to perform alchemy. He transmuted the guard plate on his automail forearm into a blade and back to normal again perfectly. He tried a few other simple transmutations, relieved but also confused as to why he still had this ability. Even if he had passed through Truth's Gate surely it would have cost him more than two limbs and a change of clothes.

He then figured that since it was unlikely that he'd be getting any answers to these questions anytime soon he might as well find shelter for the night. He began to look around at his surroundings more carefully for signs of civilization and noticed a rucksack nearby. He didn't recognize it as his, but, then again, he was wearing clothes that he didn't recall owning in the first place. He looked through the questionable bag and discovered that its contents were unmistakably his. Inside it he found his missing black clothes complete with his boots, a couple of his prized photos that Winry had insisted that he take with him on his travels, and a maintenance kit for his automail that had also been given to him by Winry. He decided to follow the road towards the mountains in hopes of finding a town or village at its base.

After a few hours of walking he found what he was looking for. A signpost outside the nearest building told him that the village was called Hogsmeade. It was twilight so some of the shops were closing up for the evening. Edward walked through the streets looking for an inn. He observed that the village was full of people dressed in strange brightly colored robes and hats.

'I'm definitely not in Amestris,' Edward thought.

He then unintentionally bumped into a mountain of a man while he was gawking at the villagers' strange clothing.

'Shit!' Edward gaped. 'That man is huge!'

"Well 'ello there," the giant boomed in a language he wasn't, and yet somehow was, familiar with. "Sorry 'bout that. Didn't mean ta knock ya over."

The man held out a spade-sized hand and pulled the amazed Edward to his feet.

"I'm Rubeus Hagrid."

"Edward Elric," the boy managed to spit out, finding he was apparently fluent in whatever language it was that the man spoke. He had no problem understanding what was being said by this Hagrid person and found he could also speak that same language without a hint of a foreign accent. It was as if it was his primary language, but he knew that it was a far cry from the Amestrian dialect. Just what was going on here?

"Who's your new friend Hagrid?" a soft voice asked in the same language.

A tall old man, possibly the oldest looking man Edward had ever seen, appeared from behind the giant's great bulk. He was dressed in purple star patterned robes and wore a matching hat. He had a long well kept silvery beard and wore half-moon spectacles on a crooked nose in front of stunning blue eyes.

"Says 'is name is Edward Elric, Professor," Hagrid replied promptly.

"Ah," was all the old man said, smiling as he looked at Edward over the rims of his glasses. "Would you care to join us for a drink, Mister Elric? I'm buying."

Edward felt that it would be rude to say no, so he reluctantly agreed. He was ushered into a pub called the Three Broomsticks behind the old man by Hagrid and sat down with them at a private booth. They ordered a drink called Butterbeer and were served by a lovely woman who turned out to be the proprietor of the place, Madame Rosmerta. The old man promptly paid her and wished her a good evening. He handed out the drinks and Edward took his eagerly, realizing just how thirsty he was after seeing how good the drink looked and smelled. It tasted even better.

"Thank you, ah…" Edward paused looking at the old man.

"Oh, forgive me," he chuckled. "My name is Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. Most call me Dumbledore or Professor."

"And what is it that you are a professor of exactly?" Edward asked.

"Ya mean ya don't know who this man is?" Hagrid asked amazed. "He's only one of the most famous wizards of our time!"

Edward choked on his drink.

"Excuse me, but did you say 'wizard?'"

Hagrid's expression became perplexed.

"Indeed," Dumbledore smiled, a knowing look creeping into his eyes. "I am the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And what, if I may ask, is your occupation, young man?"

"I'm an alchemist," Edward answered slowly, deciding that if these people believed in magic, alchemy wouldn't be that far of a stretch. "But that's a science. Wizardry is just – lunacy! It's impossible."

Hagrid looked amazed.

"'Ow can ya say tha' magic don' exist if yer 'n alchemist? Alchemy an' magic go hand 'n hand don' they, Professor? You don't think ee's a muggle, do ya?" he asked Dumbledore.

The old man shook his head.

"He would not have been able to enter this village if he was," came the reasonable reply.

"What's a muggle?" Edward asked.

"They're non-magic folk," Hagrid answered automatically, still staring at Edward in bewildered amazement.

"It would seem we have a lot to discuss, young alchemist." Dumbledore smiled gleefully while signaling Madame Rosmerta for another round of Butterbeer.

After a few more drinks, idle chatter, and a rather tempting offer of a free place to stay, Edward accompanied the two men out of the little village to a nearby castle that turned out to be the school they'd mentioned earlier. Hagrid took his leave once they reached the grounds and headed for a hut at the edge of a forest. Edward followed Dumbledore through the castle's many halls, amazed by the moving staircases and the talking paintings that hung on the walls on the way to the headmaster's office. He realized that, if he was not simply dreaming, he was not only in a different country but possibly another world or dimension altogether like Hohenheim had tried to tell him about the first time he was on this side of Truth's Gate. But hadn't his father ended up on this side of the Gate as well in a place called London? If he'd actually gone through the Gate as well for a second time then why hadn't he ended up where his father was like he had the first time? Putting these questions aside for the moment, Edward followed Dumbledore into the headmaster's office and asked him about this world that he now found himself in.

He listened long and hard to the old man's lecture, trying hard to absorb as much information as possible no matter how impossible it seemed. He was reluctant to do so, but in exchange for the information he'd been given he told Dumbledore about his ever-growing theory of coming from a different world. He spoke about his country and it's alchemy, which sounded a little different from this world's. Dumbledore, surprisingly, didn't find his theory one bit crazy, and rather seemed to agree with him about the existence of other worlds or "realities" as he'd put it, seeing as he'd never heard of Amestris, but thought it sounded very similar to a country he knew as Germany. He also told Edward that there was indeed a city called London in this world, but that he had never heard of a man by the name of Van Hohenheim. They began to talk long and hard about alchemy. Dumbledore quickly became impressed with the young man before him and decided to offer him a job.

"Who? Me? A teacher here?" Edward asked incredulously.

"Yes," Dumbledore nodded. "I want you to teach alchemy. It's not a subject many are familiar with in this world and I know that not many of the students will develop a knack for it, but it will be viewed as an impressive class for us to offer here at Hogwarts. And who better than you to teach it? Besides, this school has some of the best resources that you could use to help find a way back to your own world. As a teacher here, even of the student-teacher variety, you'd have unlimited access to our library's books and records in the restricted section and even some higher than average privileges at the Ministry of Magic's library."

"But, sir," Edward protested, stumbling over the ridiculous and improbable sounding words that a younger Edward would have sneered at. "This is a… wizarding school. I don't know any… magic and I'm only seventeen!"

"That is a problem," Dumbledore agreed, "but one that can easily be remedied. The summer break has only just begun. I'm sure that you're more than capable of completing a basic education in magic before the start of term and pass the standard here. Of course the Ministry will come to inquire about you due to your young age, but, again, I'm sure you are more than capable of passing their tests for a teaching license to work here. Of course, you'd be hired as a student-teacher until you reach the age of twenty, but I'm sure that if you prove your worth to the ministry, they'd make an exception and appoint you an official teacher after your first or second year here if you mentor under a more practiced teacher for a time. Are there any other concerns?"

Edward sighed. He should be thrilled about the opportunities that a job at this school could offer him in his efforts to return home, but he felt Dumbledore had the right to know just exactly who he was signing on. He could tell that the old man had been completely honest with him this whole time and deserved an equal amount of honesty in return. He removed his right glove and rolled up his sleeve, revealing his mechanical arm. Dumbledore analyzed it wordlessly before smiling.

"I hadn't realized that you'd lost that limb. Muggle made isn't it? It's built amazingly well. No one needs to know about it, except perhaps the ministry's inquiry staff and Madam Pomfrey, this school's residing healer. I see no problem having you on my staff with a prosthetic."

"I have two actually," Edward muttered, raising his left pant leg a little to reveal the automail. "My leg is like my arm. I'd be of no use to you if either of them should break down. My mechanic isn't… accessible."

"Not to worry. We have spells that can fix them. How'd you lose your arm and leg?" Dumbledore asked, intrigued.

"I lost them during a time of civil war within my country," Edward lied easily. He'd been telling that story for so long that he almost believed it himself.

"I see," Dumbledore replied. "During an alchemy attempt?"

Edward hadn't expected a follow up question, but, not wanting to lie any more than he had to, he nodded.

"You could say that."

Dumbledore could tell that the boy didn't want to explain any further about the loss of his limbs and let the matter drop. He informed Edward that since he was going to be tutored in magic over the next two months he would need to go out and get supplies with Hagrid later. They had dinner together in the office and after a few drinks Edward was brought to one of the school's guest suits that would be his during his stay over the summer. The next day Dumbledore sent Edward off to London with Hagrid where they shopped in the wizarding market place: Diagon Alley.

After looking around the curious surroundings before him the first thing that Edward acquired was a wand. The young alchemist had scoffed at the very idea of a stick that could perform 'magic' like some silly street magician until he picked up the first wand handed to him and watched it blast a bottle of ink to smithereens seemingly of its own accord. He became more cautious and open to the concept of a 'wand' after that, deciding to think of the fancy stick as a medium to channel energy much like a transmutation circle was used in alchemy. To him it felt like hours before he finally found one that he could wield without it either blowing something up or having it snatched out of his hands by the shopkeeper, Mr. Ollivander. In fact he was quite relieved and pleased to see one spouting silver and gold ribbons from its end the moment it touched his hand. Ollivander had found out about the automail arm when he took Edward's arm measurements and claimed that the wand would work better in a real flesh and blood hand. So, even though Edward was ambidextrous, the wand that Ollivander ended up giving him was a sturdy left-handed wand made from flexible willow, eleven-and-a-half inches long with a unicorn hair core.

Edward and Hagrid bought other important items as well like potions supplies, quills, ink, parchment and books. Edward ended up purchasing many books. Quite a few of them were on alchemy. He wanted to know what this world's use of alchemy was like and see which texts he might find useful for his class should he pass Dumbledore's rather high expectations. The only thing he refused to get were wizard's robes, preferring what he was already wearing. He later entered a 'muggle' store on their way out of London and bought more practical clothes similar in style to what he already had on.

When he returned to Hogwarts Dumbledore wanted to introduce him to two of the teachers working at the school: professors Minerva McGonagall and Severus Snape. The headmaster also wished to inform them of Edward's prosthetics. He assured the young alchemist that none of the other staff members would know about his arm and leg unless he told them himself. Because McGonagall and Snape were two that Dumbledore trusted the most, Edward agreed to let them in on his ever-growing "secret."

Over the next month he studied hard under the two teachers while also taking additional wizarding cultural classes with Dumbledore. It had started agonizingly slow that first week simply because he couldn't get past the idea of 'magic' being real and not pure fantasy no matter how many demonstrations he was given. After a few personal one-on-one's with Dumbledore, he became a little more accepting, but was still mentally trying to find a logic and reason behind the so-called "spells" and "charms." Dumbledore reasoned that it shouldn't surprise him that something like magic could exist, after traveling through a mystic dimensional gate that could be considered magical. Edward finally decided that while he remained in this world, or at least while he was trying to become a certified teacher in this place, that he should store away some of the nagging scientific logic into the back of his mind and learn to adapt to this world's ways. Once he was determined to do that, he quickly breezed through what were now simple lessons that appeared to be mere child's play for his genius mind. McGonagall later remarked at what a quick study he was and even Snape was impressed when Edward completed all first year courses as well as reaching high second year grading standards halfway through the first month. By the beginning of July, Edward had completed all the second year courses and met high third year standards.

"I hate to admit it Headmaster, but, despite being an insufferable skeptic his first week here, the boy is brilliant," Snape mused over the lunch he was having with Dumbledore and McGonagall while Edward was holed up in the library studying.

"Meeting third year standards after only studying a little over a month is incredible," McGonagall agreed. "The boy is a genius. I've never seen anyone with such an incredible work ethic. I'm amazed that the boy has gotten any sleep!"

"Indeed," Dumbledore nodded. "He is certain to pass the ministry's standards as well."

"When will they come to examine him, Headmaster?" Snape asked.

"A week before the school year begins," Dumbledore replied. "I imagine that he'll have reached fifth year OWL grading standards by then."

"It wouldn't surprise me if he reached the seventh year NEWT grade standards," McGonagall joked.

At the end of the coming weeks before his examination for the ministry, Edward had actually reached high sixth year educational standards and low seventh year standards. The Ministry's inquiry officials were clearly impressed with the young man and became even more so when he revealed to them his "handicap." He passed their inspection and examinations with flying colors and earned his right to teach at Hogwarts for the coming year as an intern/student teacher, but if he wished to continue teaching after that, he'd have to submit to another exam and be reevaluated for the official teaching job they'd be willing to offer him in spite of his age should the record of his first two years prove to be exemplary. Since he couldn't be considered an official teacher and, therefore, teach a new introductory subject with a full class schedule, Dumbledore informed the ministry that Edward would also be assisting the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher as an intern while also working as the teacher of his own Alchemy class on a part time scale. The entire staff threw Edward a party that night to officially welcome him to Hogwarts as a member of their ranks.

He was then shown to his new classroom in the dungeons and its adjoining office next to Professor Snape's. His living quarters were through a portrait hole in his office and Dumbledore told him that this would be his home until he found a way back to his own world. Edward thanked the headmaster, but informed him that he would continue to refuse wearing the standard wizard robes, still preferring to wear the "muggle" clothing that reminded him of his homeland. No one denied him this and the women staff members had actually found a tailor who could recreate the clothing designs to the alchemist's satisfactions. He was able to get away with the attire so long as he wore his red cloak that could have been passed off as a robe if it didn't have a hood. It passed muster with the other staff members as well so no one bothered to bring the issue up again.

Edward's first order of business now was to figure out what materials he wanted the students taking his class to have so that Dumbledore could send out the books and supplies list to the students that evening. He hadn't liked any of the useless texts he had bought on his first trip to Diagon Alley and had returned them all except for one. The alchemy principles written in the text were amazingly similar to the ones he had practiced in his world. All of the other books he had read appeared to be knock-offs of this one, but missed the key points entirely. It was titled Alchemy At It's Core written by a Dr. Van Licht, a German alchemist that had made a name for himself in the 1920's. The current year was 1991. He looked at the date the book was published and wasn't surprised to find that it was dated well over 25 years ago. He made the decision to make it his class's textbook. He would also require them to purchase a notebook for writing their alchemical equations in.

He brought this curriculum to Dumbledore to be approved. The headmaster looked at the book choice and smiled.

"Ah, Dr. Licht's work," the headmaster smiled. "I learned what little alchemy I know from him. He was known as the creator of modern alchemy back in the day and not a soul has yet to surpass him or further his research. He did great work with my colleague Nickolas Flamel. He was very much like you. You even look like him."

Edward stiffened.

"You wouldn't happen to have a picture of him would you?" he asked.

"I do, in fact," Dumbledore nodded, rising from his high-backed chair to pluck a picture off a nearby shelf. "Here you are."

Edward took the picture hesitantly, afraid that his suspicions were correct. They were. Standing next to a much younger looking Dumbledore was none other than his father, Van Hohenheim. He muttered the name under his breath and Dumbledore noticed. Nothing got past those sharp blue eyes of his.

"I take it you know Dr. Licht?" he asked.

"He's my father. He must have changed his name. No real surprise there though," Edward mumbled. "I knew that he'd made it to a different world that lay on the other side of the Gate from our own in a place called London. I must have made it through the same gate again, but further along the timeline than he did. You wouldn't happen to know where he is now, would you?"

Dumbledore gave him a sad smile.

"I'm afraid I do not know his current whereabouts. Dr. Licht had mentioned he had two sons. He moved to a small town in Germany just before the events of what the Muggles know today as World War II. That is where he resided the last time I saw him. It was there where he did most of his research and made great headway in the wizarding world through alchemy. He was no great wizard, but he was a master alchemist. We became close friends and together helped Nickolas improve his Philosopher's Stone."

"Hohenheim had no use for a Philosopher's Stone," Edward growled.

"No, he didn't," Dumbledore agreed. "He wanted nothing to do with it as a matter of fact."

"He had good reason not to," Edward said darkly. "A stone like that brings misery everywhere it is harbored. Only a fool would want to possess the stone."

"Which is why the stone that we helped create is being entrusted into my care," Dumbledore sighed. "Nickolas wants me to keep it safe for him. Hagrid will soon be moving it from a special vault in Gringotts to here at Hogwarts. I will be asking Professors Snape, McGonagall, Flitwick, and Sprout, as well as Hagrid, to help me place the stone in a safe location and under numerous protections. Speaking of assignments, I have a special assignment for Professor Snape that I want you to assist him with."

Edward glanced up from the photo.

"And that would be…?" he paused.

"I want you to assist Severus in watching over a new student that will be starting here this year. Have you heard the story about Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived?"

Edward nodded. It was a famous wizard story about a baby boy who had somehow brought down a dark wizard only known ominously as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Every staff member had been babbling about it for the past couple of weeks. Now he knew why.

"Why do you want me spying on this boy?" Edward asked wearily.

"Not spy, Edward," Dumbledore corrected. "I simply want you to keep an eye on the boy. Severus will be too busy at times to watch over him, but you, as a student teacher, would have no problem getting near him. You could even offer to tutor him if that's what it takes. He's destined for great things in this world and we cannot afford to lose him."

Edward internally sighed.

"Is Snape that incapable of looking out for the kid on his own?" he asked.

Dumbledore chuckled.

"No, Edward. Severus is highly capable, just not too keen on the job. He has a bad history with the boy's father and Harry looks remarkably like him. Except for his eyes. I'm told that his eyes are as green as his mother's were."

Edward sighed aloud this time.

"Fine," he grumbled. "I'll watch out for him. Anything else?"

"Yes," Dumbledore nodded. "I just wished to inform you that since alchemy can't be an official class until you take up an official teaching position, you'll only have a couple of your own classes to teach. It will be considered an elective class for years three through seven. You won't have any students for alchemy until they sign up for it during their first week with the heads of their houses, but alongside your internship with our appointed Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Quirrell, and trying to find a way home, you should still be quite busy. I also suggest that you spend that first week sitting in on some of Minerva and Severus's classes on your off time to see how they teach and learn the tricks of the trade, as it were."

"Got it," Edward nodded. "Watch Potter kid, intern under Quirrel, no class of my own until the second week, and sit in on Snape and McGonagall's lessons. Did I leave anything out?"

Dumbledore smiled.

"No, that's all for now. Oh! Hold on for a moment," he said as he reached underneath his desk and pulled out a large flat rectangular package. "This came in today. It is my welcoming gift for you. I hope you like it."

Edward took the package and opened it immediately. It was a recently finished portrait. He could still smell the fading scent of fresh paints. The subject was an older version of his little brother, Alphonse, in front of a suit of armor that looked like the armor that had housed Al's soul the last time Edward had seen him. Al was grinning at him from the elegant frame, waving every now and then. His heart clenched tight in his chest, and his breathing hitched for a moment, rendering him speechless.

"I saw some pictures of the two of you among your belongings and had a friend paint an aged portrait of him with the suit of armor that was in some of the pictures. He was painted to look the age he would be if he were with you now. I hope I didn't over step any lines or bounds. I know you miss him greatly and that is why you desperately wish to return to your own world. I had hoped that this would make an acceptable portrait for you to hang in your office as the entryway to your private rooms. I'm afraid I had borrowed these in order to get you this," the wizen headmaster said as he handed Edward a couple of photos that he'd been missing only recently.

"Thank you, sir," Edward managed. He wasn't even mad at Dumbledore for taking some of his most personal and prized pictures. "This… means a lot. Thank you."

Edward left Dumbledore's office with his new portrait in tow and managed to bring it to his office without falling over and wrecking it. He was eager to install it (the muggle way) over the uncovered portrait hole to his private rooms, but his height – or rather the lack thereof – became an issue. This aggravated him to no end. Fortunately Severus Snape chose that moment to pay him a visit. The Potions Master helped his new colleague install the portrait without magic while muttering exasperated comments about Edward being too stubborn to use the magic he had worked so hard to master. Afterwards they triumphantly admired their handiwork while sipping some tea that Edward had whipped up (with magic this time).

"Who is that a portrait of?" Snape asked him.

"My younger brother, Alphonse Elric." Edward smiled sadly. "Dumbledore noticed how much I was missing him and had this portrait made for me."

"The headmaster has a way of caring for his staff," Snape mused in his monotone voice. "I'm here to talk to you about our assignment concerning the boy, Harry Potter."

"Are you going to dump the entire thing on me?" Edward smirked jokingly.

Snape frowned a bit.

"As much as I'd like to, no," he said crisply. "Dumbledore has given me permission to let you in on a little secret that has been kept between the two of us and very few others for some time. We believe that the Dark Lord is not as dead as everyone believes. He feels that the Dark Lord will try to return and regain his powers. His first target is bound to be the boy we're supposed to be watching over."

"So this is really a bodyguard job," Edward snorted. "He's only an eleven-year-old boy for Pete's sake. What trouble could he possibly get into?"

"I suppose you never got into any mischief at that age?" Snape asked in his usual monotone drawl and raised a skeptical eyebrow.

Edward hated to admit it but the man was correct. He'd been that age when he and Al had tried to revive their mother. He couldn't help looking at the grinning portrait of Al and absently rubbed his right shoulder where his automail met flesh. Snape noticed the gesture and nodded.

"I thought as much," he sighed.

Edward ignored the dig, neither confirming nor denying Snape's implied remark.

"So is that all?" Edward asked. "You just wanted to let me know that I should be taking this task of babysitting the kid seriously?"

"No," Snape said in a patient manner. "I also came to warn you that the boy might prove to be a troublemaker. If he's anything like his father, he will be one."

Edward smiled, amused.

"If he makes trouble, I'll make trouble for him," he commented, stretching his metal arm making it creak slightly under the strain he placed on it.

Snape actually allowed himself a small smile.

"I'll be keeping an eye on you too, by the way," the Potions Master stated.

"And why is that?" Edward asked, surprised.

"You're just as likely to make trouble as Potter is," Snape sneered when saying the name. "Just because you are some sort of genius that doesn't make you any better than the rest of us. In the end you're still viewed as a student and it is my job to keep students in line."

Edward rolled his eyes.

"Well this student has a teaching position here when it comes down to it," he said gesturing around the office they were in. "Or is this your way of being a good next-door neighbor by making sure that I don't disturb the community?"

Snape allowed another small smile.

"Cute," he said sarcastically. "But know that I've been assigned to evaluate your capabilities as a teacher by Dumbledore."

"Is the headmaster having second thoughts about hiring me?" Edward asked, feeling a little concerned, but tried not to show it. "Or is this just procedure?"

"Procedure," Snape sighed, dropping his intimidating act and settled into his chair again. "When I applied for a job here, Minerva was my overseer. It's only for the first month of your first year. I'm just going to see how well you can juggle your responsibilities as a teacher, how well or poorly you discipline your students, and how well you perform overall. I'm sure you'll have no problems. You managed to cram six and a half years of an education here into two months. I imagine teaching here will be a walk in the park for you."

Edward smiled at the small praise. Coming from Snape it meant a lot. Very little ever passed muster with the Potions Master.

"So this Potter kid," Edward sighed, getting back on track. "You knew his parents?"

"Yes," Snape sighed. "I went to school here with them. James Potter was popular with his fellow students. He was a star Quidditch player for Gryffindor and everyone thought that in spite of his childish antics he was brilliant. He thought he was above everyone else and always had a certain disregard for the rules. Lilly, on the other hand, was one of the brightest witches of my generation. She was muggle born, but had proved her worth as a witch. I could never understand why she married Potter. She was witty and smart-"

He stopped abruptly, but not in time to stop Edward from catching the longing tone in his voice.

"You loved her," Edward mused.

Snape managed to look fierce even while his face paled at his slip.

"It must have been hard for you to lose her to someone you obviously hated," Edward continued, ignoring the glare he was receiving.

"Shut. Your. Mouth," Snape said menacingly. "You have no idea what you're talking about."

Edward shrugged.

"True," he admitted, "but that doesn't make it anything less than fact now does it?"

Snape fumed silently in his chair, glaring daggers at the young alchemist, but he cooled down when he noticed the far off expression on Edward's face.

"I know what that's like," Edward sighed. "I wouldn't know anything about what you've been through and I don't see how it's any of my business in the first place, but I know what it's like to lose someone you love. Someone you'd give anything to see again. I can sympathize with you on that level at least."

Snape's gaze was brought back to the portrait of Al who was now dozing lightly in his frame with a peaceful and angelic expression on his face.