Here we go, a nowhere near original Harry Potter/Fullmetal Alchemist crossover. Forgive me; I just wanted to have a stab at it. There are plenty of amazingly well written stories in this category, so I'm sorry about writing much of the same. Also, shamelessly, I must admit to not having read all of the Harry Potter series (only up to book five) so any inaccuracies on that side of things I can only apologise for.
And hey, I've taken huge liberties with the plot anyway. But what is fanfiction for, if not to act as a playhouse for budding authors to wildly throw together a bunch of what ifs and then hide under their desks while the once so perfectly sculpted worlds of brilliant authors clash and collide and explode in a bizarrely ugly fashion?
Takes place at the end of FMA Brotherhood, fifth Harry Potter. I've never written any Harry Potter or Fullmetal Alchemist before, so feedback would be much appreciated!
Chapter One: A Deal with the Devil.
Ed clapped his hands, discharging a blinding flash of alchemical light that fizzed and crackled like threads of blue lightning in the air. And then there he was, standing before The Gate where a white childish figure sat cross-legged, perched on the expanse of white nothingness as if he were floating in midair.
"Come to see me again so soon, Mr. Alchemist? Do you finally have something to trade for your brother?"
"Yeah, I've got your payment right here," said Ed unable to hold back a smirk as he brandished his newly acquired flesh right hand to the large ornate stone door standing solidly behind him.
Truth laughed. "You would give up your alchemy so willingly, little alchemist?"
Ed thought only of all of the people clamouring him on; of sweet Al and fiery Winry and Granny, of that jackass Mustang and his smirk, of Hawkeye's sharp eyes and Havoc, Fuery, Falman and Breda's steadfast loyalty. Even Hohenheim. Their stupid rotten father with those sad eyes that have seen too much. And finally, of their Mother, with her kind heart and love for her two mischievous boys.
"Who needs Alchemy," he said, "When I have them?"
And he meant it. The smile on his face was the most genuine and happy he had expressed since before that fateful day when they were children, when he and Alphonse's lives were carefree and simple.
"But you'll be normal." Truth prodded, "Without alchemy you will cease to be special. You shall be worthless; a tiny little insignificant human."
Ed didn't even bristle at the dreaded word. He stood tall, because he knew, just knew that for once in his life, he was doing completely the right thing. It was his selfishness that had caused all of this mess, and it was his selflessness that would finally set Alphonse free.
"That's all I've ever been," he murmured, his golden eyes soft, "a tiny little insignificant human. I was a fool to think we could bring Mom back, and I've paid for my mistakes. I want my brother, so take my Gate and get the hell outta my life."
Truth grinned his gargantuan white smile full of shimmering teeth. Like a shark before the kill. "Ha!" he laughed, and this time Truth didn't sound like a harmony of oily clamouring voices, he didn't sound contemptuous or mocking, in fact he almost sounded happy. Edward could hear himself echoing in that voice. "That was the right answer, well done!" Truth grinned, "You have beaten me! You have won Mr. Alchemist."
Ed grinned, his heart lighter than it had been in days. He knew Al's body was here and he couldn't wait to finally head with him proudly out into the world. The cold suit of armour everyone had loved would be replaced finally with the young kind beautiful boy that Alphonse had always been.
"But," said Truth, "I cannot let you take your brother home yet."
Edward's head snapped up in alarm and that quick anger he was so infamous for sparked in his eyes, "What?" He managed to spit out, clenching his fists. "But I beat you – you just said I -"
"I am being compassionate, Mr. Alchemist, I know all and see all. A few years from now you will need your alchemy to save the ones you love. It seems cruel of me to promise your brother his body back, when the very thing you used to pay for its safe return, is the very thing you will need to keep it."
"You're saying that… that I can't give up my alchemy?" Ed grit his teeth, fist coming up threateningly in front of him. He wanted to punch that stupid grin of that bastard's smug face! "After all this time I finally get the right answer and you throw it back in my face! What the hell do you want from me? Haven't we given up enough!"
"It is unfortunate." Said Truth.
Unfortunate! That Bastard! He'd give him bloody unfortunate. Ed nearly lost it right then and there, he bared his teeth in a growl born from years of pain and hope and endless struggling.
Truth spoke before Ed could put his fury into words, or lunge wildly at the white figure, fists flying, "I am willing to compromise. No one has beaten me for centuries, nobody has ever had the gall to stand before me so many times, and you have won, little alchemist. I owe you some equivalence. I shall return your precious brother, but you shall not return with him, the laws of equivalent exchange must still be adhered to."
At the mention of Al, Edward calmed somewhat. Well, the vein in his forehead stopped throbbing, at least. All he had ever wanted was for his little brother to be himself again, to have what Edward had stupidly and carelessly stripped away from him when they were only children.
"Al." He said, bowing his head slightly. All of this was for Al, and if he couldn't give up his alchemy to save his little brother then he would pay whatever other price Truth asked of him."So, come on then, if there's still a way to help Al then what is it?" Edward bit out; this time his golden hair obscured his face, dark golden eyes lowered.
"We shall make a new deal. I will take away your arm, and restore your automail; this is sufficient to give your brother back his soul." Said Truth, calculatingly. Voice back to its cold chime of a hundred voices.
Ed looked at his new hand; the one returned to him by his brother's sacrifice, and clenched his eyes shut. He hated to give back the arm his brother had so lovingly won for him.
Truth continued, leaning on a white hand, his elbow resting on his folded knees. "Your body, however, is not equivalent to his. You lack two limbs. Not to mention the power it takes to bind a soul to its true form once they have been separated. To balance the equation I shall use you for other purposes. A Job proposal, if you will."
A job proposal? From Truth? Ed blinked his golden eyes in surprise. He had expected nothing short of being ripped to pieces by those crawling, thieving, snatching dark hands that shot out like black tendrils from the Gate.
"What?" He said, nonplussed. "You want me to run errands for you or something?" he snorted, eyes hard, "Somehow I can't see that happening."
"The job is this, little alchemist. Instead of keeping you here at the Gate I shall send you to another world, a world where I cannot interfere. This world has its own Gate which deals in something other than alchemy, and this other energy has its own separate rules."
What a pile of junk, thought Ed, the only rules that matter are those of Equivalent Exchange.
"All of these Gates are linked despite being separated by worlds, and the demise of one will inevitably cause the downfall of the others. A domino effect; one Gate cannot stand long while another falls. You will go there and save that Gate from crumbling. An alchemist may just act as the catalyst that dark world needs. These are the terms, Mr. Alchemist."
So Truth wanted to send him to another world. This was starting to sound decidedly iffy. Ed wanted to look up and sneer at the bastard, but he knew that Truth's face would be as expressionless as always, unless you counted the tombstone like teeth pulled apart in a venomous smile. So he didn't raise his head and give Truth the satisfaction of seeing his anger, instead, he stared at his new arm and its soft pale skin and long fingernails, and thought about his brother.
That bastard Truth didn't give a damn about fairness, about how much he and Al had given up for this one moment. How both brothers had suffered so much from one stupid mistake. Edward had learned his lesson the hard way to now that nothing comes without a price. He let his new arm fall back at his side, and clenched his hands into stiff fists. If he was in this other world would he ever get to see Al again?
"You bastard." He bit out angrily. "Haven't we been entertaining enough for you already? Or do you just like to play with our lives like you're some kind of sick puppeteer?"
"Your feeble attempts to insult me are amusing, little alchemist. Your words have no meaning here. I am being compassionate; I assume you do want to save the lives of those you love? If you assist in the saving of this world for me, I will find this equivalent for your brother's safe return, and send you home."
"And Al?" Ed lifted his head, golden eyes bright, "Will he be all right? He'll have his body back and his soul, just like we always wanted?"
"Your brother's soul will be reunited with his body and returned to your world, Mr. Alchemist. I assume we have a deal?"
Ed grinned. It was a feral grin, anger still running deep in his golden eyes, but the thought of Alphonse, beautiful Alphonse, free from his armour, still alive and happy and – damn, he could finally pet all those kittens he was so fond of, and actually feel them purr instead of tentatively asking his older brother what it felt like, because he couldn't quite remember. He could eat Mrs Hughes' stew, Winry's apple pie, Granny's oat cookies.
And his little brother would finally be his little brother; no longer a towering metal suit evoking fear from strangers, but a kid, a loveable, feeling, laughing, smiling, tumbling in the grass, kid.
Ed would do anything for Al; he would cross worlds to finally see his little brother smile again. He stuck out his chin defiantly, golden eyes ablaze.
"Deal. Now give me back my little brother you unfeeling bastard, and at least have the decency to let me say goodbye."
The tombstone toothed grin widened. "As you wish, Mr. Alchemist."
"Al," he breathed. His little brother was so… so… he made an effort to close his mouth that had fallen open at the sight of his Alphonse, and swallowed to keep tears at bay. He almost didn't trust himself to speak in case this was an illusion, one of those nightmares he was so fond of having, where Alphonse would be returned all smiles and bright eyes only to crumble in Ed's arms, destroyed by those clawing arms of the Gate. "Al," he repeated, his golden eyes shining.
"Brother, I knew you could do it!" Al stood, so thin and pale but with that bright shining grin of his that Ed had known so well once, and almost forgotten. Ed's answering grin was just as wide and he laughed, running to his little brother, all worries suddenly forgotten.
Alphonse was the only thing that had ever really mattered.
"We finally did it!" Al cried, "You finally did it!"
They embraced and Ed found himself not wanting to let go.
Al laughed into his shoulder, breathily. "Brother, you can let me go now, there'll be plenty of time for hugs later!" he giggled.
But Edward couldn't let go, not yet. He was trying to memorise the way Alphonse felt, the smell of his hair, the jubilant lilt of his voice. After all this time, his little brother was himself again. He never wanted to forget this moment; it was the happiest moment of his short disastrous life.
Alphonse, however, could read his brother like an open book. Years of watching and caring for his older brother and years of being stuck in that armour had left Alphonse attentive to every detail, appreciative of the things he still had in life. He picked up on the sudden stiffness of Ed's shoulder pressed against his cheek and the desperation in the arms that clutched his small body close. Alphonse always knew when something was wrong. And something was deathly wrong with Edward.
"… Brother?" he asked tentatively, "What is it?"
"Al, I…" Ed sighed, arms still wrapped protectively around Alphonse, "I'm so proud of you. You'll wait for me, won't you?"
Al stiffened in shock, pulling out of his brother's comforting embrace, the first comfort he had felt in years. "What – what do you mean, brother? You said we'd always come out of this together – you promised me." Alphonse's amber eyes grew wide and fearful; he had never been able to control Ed's brash actions, and now terrible thoughts about what his brother could have done were forefront in his mind. "You promised we'd be together."
Edward felt the hot well of guilt rise up inside him; Alphonse always had the ability to make him feel this way. Whether it was for not letting him keep any stray kittens, or for not looking after himself when he was sick, or for practically selling his soul to the devil to finally see Al reunited with his body. "Hey," he defended hotly, "it's not my fault Al, I swear! I tried to do things right but that bastard Truth tricked me out of it. Alchemy's caused us nothing but heartache and to be honest I - I don't need it, I don't need anything, I just wanted you back."
"You tried to give up your alchemy for me?" Al said, eyes widening in realisation, "Oh brother, I'm not worth all that."
"Of course you are Al!" Ed's eyes flashed with anger, "I would have given up anything, even a couple of inches off my height!"
At that Al smiled.
"But that bastard Truth said I'd need my alchemy later on, so until then I can't give it up. Not even to save you, Al. I'm sorry..." he hung his head, braid hanging loose.
"But brother," it would take a while for Ed to get used to Alphonse's voice without the chiming metallic ring and soft echo to it. He sounded so young. "I don't understand. If Truth's still letting me go, then what did you give up? Why can't you come back with me?"
Ed's eyes softened at Al's sadness. He hated causing his brother pain. "I'll be back, I promise. He's making me do his dirty work for a bit, that's all. Like a job… with pretty lousy hours and a really crummy location… kind of in another world…" He rubbed the back of his neck with his hand; he hated trying to explain things when he barely understood it himself.
"Will it be dangerous?" Alphonse asked sadly, "We only just found each other again brother, I don't want to lose you! There must be something else we can do - we can wait until later. I can stay here at the Gate until you can pay with something else – or Truth could send me there instead -"
Ed shook his head sharply to stop Al's anxious gabbling, golden bangs swaying. "This is a one time deal Al, and if I wait any longer your soul will be lost to The Gate…" Edward had weighed the decision in his mind, and was determined to see it through with no further hurt to his brother. "Besides," he put on a wide grin that didn't reach his eyes, "it'll be a piece of cake, Al. You'll see. I'll be back in no time at all, I promise."
The white world started to fade a little, and Alphonse's sad amber eyes looked washed out. He didn't have long left.
"Time's up Mr. Alchemist." Came the thousands of warring voices; Truth.
"I have to go." Said Edward, bringing his golden eyes to meet his brothers and wanting to say so much to him, but not being able to find the words. So he just hugged Alphonse close again, trying desperately to hold on to his little brother. To him, it seemed as though Alphonse was fading out of his arms. "I love you, Al."
A sniffle in his shoulder, he could barely feel it, "I love you too, brother."
And then there was a tinny ringing sound in his ears, and Alphonse's face grew fainter still, as though he were nothing but a reflection on a foggy window. Even though now their faces were so close that their noses could touch, Edward could barely make out his brother's face anymore, and Alphonse's voice was soft and distant and desperate.
"Brother, please, don't leave -"
And then the world fizzled out completely and what was once a blinding white to Edward, was dark and empty.
Thanks so much for reading, obviously the Harry Potter stuff will start in the next chapter. Tell me what you think :)