Hohenheim flipped through the book. It was black, leather bound, small enough to fit into the palm of his large hand. The cover was smooth against wrinkled browned skin, pages too white to be natural. There were no lines printed, not a single word written.

He was seated at his teacher's desk in the Alchemy classroom, a room he grew most comfortable in. Hohenheim was a troubled soul, unlike those times when he only worked as a slave and cared for nothing but his menial job. He fiddled the black book for ages, rapidly flipping the pages again and again and again. The leather turned wrinkled under the abuse, though becoming good as new in a flash.

Finally, he settled the book on the desk, spine pressed against the dark wood, at exactly the centre page. With a blue fountain pen (he absolutely hated using a quill), he scribbled.

The replies came almost instantly, words appearing on the next page in a child's scrawl, seemingly innocent but crude.

From there he learnt of the truth. His truth. Games have begun, Sacrifices have been chosen, choices have been taken away. To grant Hohenheim's wish, he must fulfil his given purpose.

And do the unforgivable, once again.

He always liked seeing his birdies struggle. Dance.


From the moment she arrived into the world from the Gate, Ai knew what she must do. Armed with the knowledge of the Game and the Sacrifices, she must first act as a beacon. Secondly, she must begin playing. Thirdly, she must win. All of this is to fulfil her one wish: to regain her memories, her sense of self, her humanity, her life to live. Free and boundless.

So begin playing the Game and be the last one standing. Hunt and kill them all without hesitation.

But of course there were limitations (no fun without a challenge). One, Hogwarts. Two, you'd think that having no memories would harden your heart. That it would rid all emotions. All attachments.

Edward caused strange warmth to spread throughout her chest. He made her feel alive when she wasn't living. With only a few scarce minutes, she knew she'd rather protect him then hurt him.

Being prohibited from entering Hogwarts was a physical limitation but Ed was an emotional one.

And now she doubted that she'd ever win this blasted Game.


I would never.

Hohenheim dug the nib of his pen so deeply into the paper it was threatening to rip it apart.

Then rot away, Hohenheim of Light. You will never fulfil your wish.

I warn you, you are dying. Your countdown is in your flesh. Your flesh will melt from you muscle. Your muscle will peel away from your bones. Your bones will crumble to dust. You will deteriorate and decay until you find the means to stop it. That is your Game.

I will never make another Philosopher's Stone!

He could hear manic cackling, combined with incessant giggling. It bounced of the stone walls, impossible echoes reverberating forever. It might just be in his head (no one could ever hear or listen). Maybe he was finally going mad. Mad with rage and desire and determination.

I will only give you one chance. So waste away. I don't care. I only want my darling Edward.

Hohenheim felt sickened to the stomach. A protectiveness rose on him, bound by fatherly instinct. Then so be it.

Over my dead body. You said I needed a Stone, not that I had to make one.

He wrote with vigour, gripping the pen with such zest his knuckles ached. The indent in the page formed and vanished when he blinked.

He knew his implication. And he knew better than to try and outsmart Truth. But this one idea rang out throughout his mind: Ed's Philosopher's Stone; he could take that burden away from his child. He could save his child! The only child he could save! He could feel Truth growl with anger at back of his mind.


He should have thought of the consequences of playing with Truth.

He should have known better.


It was an understatement that Alfons Heinderich felt a range of emotions. Edward Elric had been his teacher, his mentor, someone who at first was so distant from him yet held a sense of strange familiarity. True, they had rough beginnings but there was always something between them. And because of that they soon became friends, even brothers.

So how dare he decide to disappear into Scotland?!

Ed did give him two weeks notice before moving to Britain (just enough time to stuff him with all the warm clothing he could find) but this was too much.

Ed so deserved that humiliating knock in the head in front of everyone at the train station.

"You went missing for almost a year, barely kept in contact and sent owls to deliver your mail! I thought you were kidnapped and had to train birds into postal service! And you dare ask me to come fetch your ass! YOUR FREAKING OWL BIT ME!"

Ed could at least feel guilty, he and his sheepish grin and rubbing the nonexistent bruise on his forehead. Alfons forgave him immediately.

For they both had the same molten joy from a long put off reunion shimmering in their eyes.


Sirius Black was just floating in black, without a feeling or emotion. Nothing at St Mungo's could free him from this trance but he healed well enough. He was all alright actually (except for the constant coma) and Dumbledore requested him moved back into Grimmauld Place after he was finally cleared of all charges. For a more 'comfortable recovery'.

He needed all the comfort and rest he could get. It won't be pretty. Truth hated him. Truth wanted him dead in the first place. He was the last person Truth wanted for a Sacrifice. He may decide to make his Game the worst if them all. Maybe killing all the Homunculi he sent. Just so he could die a gruesome death and Harry would have to resurrect him.

He only wanted Harry, to break the every bit of Ed's resolve.

And to watch in glee as another pure soul bled and crumbled.


The house was covered in a layer of dust. Those grey annoying bunnies pranced on his tile floor and scurried into the corners when he flung the door wide open. Ed swatted the air with frustration, sniffing the musky smell of mould with disgust. His steel toed boots tapped loudly as he trod into his home (not home). He sat his things down on the dirt with a sigh; spring cleaning was in order. Then he rethought; he could just get rid of this useless pile of bricks. He would be travelling a lot in the future, living on the road like old times.

He would look forward to it more with Al by his side.

Alfons' cornflower orbs widened with utter horror. He immediately hung up his coat and dashed off somewhere.

"How can you not have a single cleaning supply in this hellhole?!" There came a yell from what Ed assumed was the kitchen. Or storage closet. He honestly couldn't remember.

Then again maybe he should keep this house. It would be nice to have some semblance of a home. And it would be a common place for Alfons and him.

It sounded nice, doesn't it? To go out to the world looking for a war and fighting; fighting to return home to family.

He might just muster enough courage and strength to survive.


Maybe not.

Truth danced along with his birdies.



This is just a little teaser (maybe trying to lure you all into a sense of peace and calm and happiness before loading a ton of angst). And I hope you would leave me a review or comment on what you think would happen. Thanks! I'll try to update soon!