He held a wand as if he had never used it before in his life.

(Hermione noticed Elric after she had finished the assignment- wingardium leviosa, please; it was almost too easy- his golden hair catching her bored eyes flicking across the room, her feather swimming lazily over her head. His expression kept her curiosity rooted.)

Elric's wand teetered loosely in his gloved hand, barely balancing in his grip. His wrist was limp, his fingers trailing down the wood base in a hesitant manner. He seemed almost afraid of the wood in his palm, eyes flicking up and down the wooden base, obvious distrust clouding his piercing gold gaze. Lazily floating feathers surrounded him, guided by determined swish and flicks, but he made no move to copy the students around him. He was frozen in his own world of hesitance and distrust, spellbound by the magical conductor in his hand.

(What an odd way to react to a wand.)

"Mr. Elric? Do we have a problem? Or is there a reason for why you're not practicing your spellwork?"

The class hushed around Elric as McGonagall descended upon him, eyebrows up in speculation and mouth set in a serious line, ready to right the wrongdoer in her class.

(Hermione winced.)

"Yeah, actually." Elric looked up from his wand, golden eyes locking onto the professor's steel ones, silently accepting the challenge of authority.

(Either he was extremely stupid or extremely brave.)

"Well, Mr. Elric, pray tell, what is bothering you to the extent to which you cannot complete your work?"

(But if he was brave, then what was he doing wearing green instead of red?)

Edward faltered slightly, looking back down at the wand teetering in his hand, wavering for a moment. "…What's the point behind it?"

"Excuse me?" The Professor seemed shocked.

(What disrespect!)

"I said, whats the point?" The blonde repeated, looking up at his teacher, eyes piercing. "What's the reason? The explanation?"

"I'm sorry Edward, I'm afraid that I do not understand your question. The explanation to what, exactly?" The frown had dug itself deeper into the professor's face, making her expression steelier.

"Magic." His gaze became fiercer at the word, his jaw clenched, as if it made him angry. "How does it work? How do a few words and a jab with this thing," he waved his wand, the stick still loose in his palm, "transcend the laws of physics and nature? What's the theory behind it? How does it work? What's the point?

(Why would he be asking such a question? Of course, magical theory was interesting on its own- she had read a few books on it herself- but it shouldn't exactly be on his mind when practicing such an easy spell.)

"I will ask you to not use that tone with me, Mr. Elric!" McGonagall snapped. "And I'm afraid that this class does not delve too deeply into magical theory. If you wish to learn more about the reason for magic, then you should ask a professor during your free time, or perhaps look into the library for your answer."

Edward scowled. "So you don't know."

(Hermione felt her heart lodge in her throat, her pulse jump- but why was she worried for a Slytherin?)

"If you would please watch your tone, Mr. Elric, or I will be forced to deduct points! And, as I said, if you wish to know more about the subject, you should look into it during your free time and use this class to practice-"

"I refuse to practice a-a ridiculous thing without any proof! Why does it work? You can't just take a damn piece of wood, swish it around, and get whatever you want, no matter how many damn flicks you do! Where's the equivalent exchange? What do you have to give? How does it work?!" Elric's eyes were blazing now, more deadly then any killing curse, glowing in anger. He stumbled over his words, and his fist clenched tighter and tighter around his wand, almost snapping it in two.

(She heard the squeak of metal.)

"10 points from Slytherin, and another ten if you continue on this asinine topic! Please get back to work or I will be forced to give you detention!"

Angry muttering burst out around Edward, Slytherins hissing threats for the deduction of points from their house, threats of what they would do to the mudblood, the enemy in their territory, as soon as he would enter the common room later that night.

Ed paid no attention, however; the furious glint in his eye was still there.

(Hermione hoped that he would shut up before he said something stupid.)

"I don't care about points or detention," The angry muttering around him worsened, "I refuse to do this without some sort of explanation!"

"Very well then." McGonagall's voice became clipped, her frown lessened.

(Hermione felt fear shoot through her heart at her professor's cool demeanor, the calm before a storm.)

"If you feel so passionate about this subject, enough that it interferes with your learning, you can make it up to me later. Detention every Saturday this month, and another twenty from Slytherin."

Elric only scoffed as his housemates gained looks of pure hatred, plots of murder on their minds.

(Hermione resisted the urge to get up and grip Edward by his shoulders and shake some sense into him.)

"And-" McGonagall wasn't finished. The muttering died down into an atmosphere of pure, icy silence, fragile and easy to break, as the students waited for the professor to give the final verdict. "You can get out of my classroom, if you have no intention of working."

The ball dropped and the muttering came back, jeers filling the room as Elric turned a confused, angry red. Muttering under his breath, he shoved his things into his bag (She winced at the careless treatment of his books, really, does the boy have no decorum?) and grabbed his wand. He still held it untrustingly, but now it was gripped violently, loosely held in a manner that could poke someone's eye out.

McGonagall watched over the entire event coolly, undisturbed by the looks Elric and the other students were giving her- some of awe, some of fear, and of hatred and grudging respect, in Edward's case.

Edward looked at his teacher one more time (Hermione shivered at the cool gaze, like a predator), and turned to leave. But as he was halfway out of the room, the atmosphere petrified as everyone quieted to watch the blonde leave, he turned toward his desk, where the forgotten feather lay, and swish and flicked.

"Wingardium Leviosa!"

The feather rose lazily to the ceiling, and stayed there long after Edward left the room.

(What an odd boy.)

AN: So this is my first fic… I probably won't extend this or anything, since I'm a pretty lazy writer. Also, I realized that McGonagall doesn't teach the wingardium leviosa charm, but I kept her there anyway, since I feel that she and Ed would have a real fun time going at it with each other. Maybe she was substituting for Flitwick? Anyway, enjoy!