The Dursley's found out that I couldn't use magic outside of school. Guess I can't use that to scare them anymore. I just barely got all your letters, Ron and Hermione's as well. Apparently, a House Elf named Dobby thought that keeping my letters from me would keep me from coming back to Hogwarts. Ron and the twins broke me out in their flying car, and I'm staying with them at their house, the Burrow. It's really nice. Ginny's acting weird, though. Ron says she fancies me.
I'm worried about you, Ed. I know you said that you couldn't tell me what your project was, but I do hope that nothing too bad happened. I mean it must be pretty bad if you can't come back to Hogwarts this year.
Please write back to me, I want to know that you're okay.
I don't like Harry's relatives. I know that he wrote to you when he got here, but did he tell you that his uncle put bars on his bloody window? The man's mad, I tell you. So the twins and me got him out with a flying car we borrowed from Dad (and Mum was livid when we came home, but was happy to see Harry). We're going into Diagon Ally and meeting up with Hermione. I know you said that you're not coming back, but it'd be good to see you again.
Ron and Harry are upset that you haven't written in weeks – and don't try and excuse it as not having an owl, Errol and Hedwig have been delivering to you with no problem. Ed, we're really worried about you! We miss you. I miss you.
We had a run-in with Draco Malfoy and his nasty father at Flourish and Blotts. Mr. Weasley doesn't get along with Mr. Malfoy at all. We also saw our new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Gilderoy Lockhart. I believe you read some of his books with me near the beginning of the term last year. He really will be a wonderful professor.
I wish you would come back, or at least tell us why you're not. It won't be the same without you.
Don't listen to anything Hermione may have sent you. Lockhart is a crackpot, and will be gone before the year's over.
Dear Ron, Harry, and Hermione,
How was the sorting this year? Wasn't your sister coming to school this year, Ron? I'm going to take and say that she ended up in Gryffindor as well. This year would have been Al's first year, too, but he had to stay behind. By the way, I've gotten myself lined up for a job within the next few months, so by probably this spring, I'll be a working man.
I do miss you guys, and maybe I'll be able to visit with you in the near future, but for now, I need to focus on fixing the mistakes I've made. I'm not going to tell you what they are, so don't even ask (especially you, Hermione).
Harry has a fan, a little first year boy who wants to take his picture all the time. It's rather funny, actually. What's not funny is that stupid Draco Malfoy is on the Slytherin Quidditch team this year because his father bribed them all with really good brooms. I don't like that little Slytherin rat. And that DADA professor, Lockhart? He's just as stupid as I thought he'd be. He released Cornish Pixies into the classroom on the first day. I don't like him. With any luck, Harry will kill this one, too.
That was a joke.
There's something wrong at the school. I know it's been months since you've gotten a good update, so I'll fill you in. When I had detention with Lockhart (he's and arse, by the way) I kept hearing voices in the walls. On Halloween, Hermione, Ron, and I went to Nick's death day party instead of the Halloween feast (Hermione's insistence) and we found Filch's cat hanging by her tale outside of the girls' bathroom. She wasn't dead, but petrified, Dumbledore said. Ginny's taking it real hard. It's not just the cat, though. Colin Creevey, a Muggleborn first year, was petrified after a Quidditch match. I was in the hospital wing because Lockhart removed all the bones in one of my arms, so I saw them bring him in. This isn't looking good, Ed.
Write to you soon,
Hermione's been petrified. We'll let you know what happens.
I'm so sorry that I'm not there to help you guys out. I really wish I could be, you have no idea. Please keep me up to date.
Ed gingerly walked into King's Cross Station and headed straight to Platform Nine and Three Quarters. With every step he took, a dull ache shot up his left leg, and his right arm felt like one enormous bruise. The recovery from the automail surgery was going quite well, aided by some healing potions Ed had Pinako get him from Diagon Ally. He had just barely passed his State Alchemist exam, and he knew that he wouldn't have much of a chance to visit out of the country, so he might as well take advantage of his small amount of freedom before his real work began. He stood on tiptoe, ignoring the pain in his leg, looking for his friends. He was glad that his boots gave him an extra couple of inches in height. Not that he was short. Because he wasn't. The twelve-year-old boy grinned when he caught sight of his three friends.
"Hey, guys," he said as he walked over to him, a weak smile on his face.
They just looked at him in shock for a moment, as if he had come back from the dead. Hermione finally flung her arms around him, and he was dismayed to find that she was a good two inches taller than him, even with his kick-ass boots.
"What on Earth have you been doing?" Hermione demanded, releasing him.
"And what the hell are you wearing?" Ron said with a raised eyebrow and a smirk.
Ed looked down at his boots, black leather pants, black jacket over a black shirt, and his red coat with the Flamel symbol on the back.
"What's wrong with my clothes?" He defended.
"Nothing. Ronald, leave his clothes alone."
"So," Ed looked at them. "I told you that I couldn't come back. I probably won't be able to visit you for a while, so I thought now would be best, since you're all here. I've got a job, an important one."
Harry gave him a scrutinizing look.
"Who would give a twelve year old kid a job?" he asked curiously.
"Ah, what's the fun in telling?"
He checked his silver pocket watch, and Harry's eyes rested on the Amestris crest, the dragon.
"I've got to go," Ed informed them. "I have to catch a ferry back to Amestris, and Al will be upset if I'm late." He gave them all quick hugs. "Later."
And then he was gone.
The three friends blinked in surprise and shock at his retreating back. Finally, Ron said, "Did he get taller?"
Happy birthday! I know it's been a while since I've written you, but my job's been keeping me pretty busy. I've been traveling all over with Alphonse, which has been an experience. I've also been spending a lot of time in East City. It's nothing compared to Diagon Ally or Hogwarts! Well, I've got to go; a pyromaniac bastard is yelling me at.
I'll try to write soon,
Sorry for not writing sooner, I wasn't able let Hedwig out too often or she'd attract attention from the neighbors. I wanted to have a relaxing summer this year after everything that happened with the Chamber of Secrets, but nothing ever goes my way, does it? I accidently blew up my aunt. Not like a grenade, luckily, just like a balloon. So I'm staying at the Leaky Caldron right now.
You probably haven't heard, being in another country and all, but a really dangerous wizard named Sirius Black escaped Azkaban (wizard prison) this summer and he even made it on to the Muggle news. I just thought you'd like to be kept up to date with everything going on.
I'll write later,
Hermione got a bloody cat. It has tried to eat Scabbers at least three times today. I don't like that mad thing one bit. My family and I went to Egypt this summer to visit my oldest brother Bill, who is a curse breaker for Gringotts. It was really wicked, the twins almost shut Percy inside a pyramid. Mum yelled at them something awful for that, but I don't blame them for wanting to get rid of the prat.
It's been an entire year since we've seen you, mate. I wish you'd visit more often, or that we were able to come to you. I'll see if I can't convince Mum and Dad to take us to Amestris next summer.
How has your summer been? I spent a great deal of time reading about Amestris from books that I found in the Muggle library near me. Only one of them even mentioned anything about alchemy, and even then it was very brief. Why do you think that is? Anyway, I expect to here from you soon, I want to know if you've found any good books lately.
Write me soon!
Hagrid's a professor now, Care of Magical Creatures. He really enjoys it, but I think he might've come on a bit strong. The first thing he brought out was a Hippogriff, and it did a fair bit of damage to Malfoy (git deserved it). How are things going with you and your brother? We have a really interesting DADA professor this year, and he knew my parents, so I think I'm going to talk with him about them.
Don't wear yourself out,
Dear Harry, (and Hermione and Ron),
I don't have too much time, so I'm writing to all of you at once. Just to warn you, I probably won't be able to write very often. Al and I are in the West right now, and so far it's not too much different from Risembool – the town I grew up in. I actually did hear about Black, the military was informed about him just in case he tries to flee Brittan. Tell Hagrid congratulations. Also, tell that Hippogriff thanks for me. I'm glad that you don't have to deal with Voldemort (or his memory or whatever you said it was) this year. It'll be a nice break, I think. I've got to go, I have a train to catch.
I'll write when I can,
Sirius Black is innocent! Basically, we found out that he used to be the Secret Keeper for my parents when they were in hiding, but passed the job on to another one of their friends, Peter Pettigrew. They and my dad were animagi (like McGonagall) so they could help with Professor Lupin (he's a werewolf). And guess what Pettigrew was? A rat, more specifically, Ron's rat. We were going to get Sirius's name cleared, but Wormtail (that's Pettigrew) escaped so he's on the run again. It's a real shame. I found out that he's actually my godfather, and I could've gone to live with him. Hermione misses having someone to talk about books with, you know. Ron misses playing chess with you, even if you do cheat. It'd be great to see you again.
You have had such a messed up school year, my friend. Congrats on finding Sirius, and sorry about the little bastard Wormtail disappearing on you. I've had an … exciting year myself. Busy, so I don't get much of a chance to write, but interesting nonetheless.
I do miss hanging out with you guys. Try not to do anything stupid this summer,
My parents and I are going to France this summer, I'm so excited! I can't wait to learn about the magical system there. I'm going to try to convince my parents to take a quick stop in Amestris so that I can see you. Let me know where you'll be in the later part of July.
Ed crossed his arms under his warm coat as he waited at the East City train station. It'd been two years since he'd seen anyone from the Wizarding World, so it was natural that he would be nervous. He was very glad that he was wearing his coat and gloves, though. He didn't want Hermione to feel sorry for him, or worse, be angry with him for his stupid mistake. Not that he didn't deserve it. Al was waiting for him at the hotel, and Ed swore, if his little brother brought home another stray kitten, he was going to-
He straightened up when he heard Hermione call his name, and he saw her exiting the train with two adults, whom he assumed were her parents. He grinned and raised a hand in acknowledgement.
She, as customary, flung her arms around his neck before releasing him, giving him a scrutinizing look.
"Hmm," she observed. "It might be the shoes, but you are almost as tall as me. Not quite, though."
Ed puffed out his chest, drinking in the rare positive comment on his height.
"But, you're still very short."
"Who are you calling so small that a growth charm wouldn't have any effect!" he yelled.
A few people walking past stared at him for a moment, but shrugged and went on their way. They were used too much stranger things then a small boy yelling.
Hermione laughed at him and waved her parents over.
"Mum, Dad, this is my friend from Hogwarts, Edward Elric."
Ed nodded in their direction.
"Mr. and Mrs. Granger," he said, "your daughter has been a good friend to me."
Hermione's mother smiled at the blond.
"Well, dear, it's very nice to meet you." She said sweetly, in a way that reminded Ed of Gracia Hughes.
They walked to a little café to have lunch, and as they did, Hermione leaned in to whisper into Ed's ear.
"I researched that watch," she said quietly.
"The watch, Ed, the silver watch you pulled out in King's Cross two years ago. I looked it up in the library, both at home and at school."
Ed felt the pit of his stomach grow cold. He hadn't told any of his friends, besides Winry, that he'd joined the military, especially those from Hogwarts. What would they think of him? Normally, he didn't give a rat's ass what anyone thought of him, but this was different.
"Oh?" he managed to say after a while.
Hermione gave him a look that he couldn't quite decipher.
"That's a military watch, Edward. How did you get that?"
He considered for a moment what to tell her, but she would figure it out soon enough, so he sighed and explained the partial truth.
"That job I told you guys about? That's with the military. I'm the youngest State Alchemist to ever pass the test." He said finally.
Hermione looked at him, pale faced and wide eyed, but didn't get a chance to say much more before they and her parents had arrived at the café.
"I'll try and explain it later," Ed promised her.
I'm sorry that I didn't tell you the truth from the beginning. It's really difficult to explain, but I thought that you, Ron, and Harry would reject me if I told you what I'd done. I'm still not going to tell you the exact reason that I joined, but I will tell you what I'm doing right now.
I'm researching the Philosopher's Stone. That's right, the same as the one from First Year. It's an alchemical amplifier, and it might help me fix a problem that I've created. That's all you need to know, for now.
I'll try to stay in touch, but I make no promises,
My dad got free tickets to the Quidditch World Cup! All my siblings are coming, and so are Harry and Hermione. I thought It'd be harder than it was to convince Harry's relatives to let him come, but all it took was an exploding chimney and they basically chased him out of the house. I hope you've had a fun summer. Hermione says that she saw you when she and her family stopped in Amestris for a day. She said that it was nice to see you, and I hope that you can visit us sometime soon.
I'll write in a few days,
Harry's name has been called for the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Do you remember reading about that our first year? It's incredibly dangerous, and he could very well be hurt. Ron thinks that Harry put his name in on purpose, even though he most definitely did not, and now they both won't speak to one another. I don't remember them ever fighting this badly. You should write to Ron, and try to talk some sense into him.
It's been a while since any of us have written you a letter, so sorry about that. We've all been so busy trying to figure out how to help Harry. He's actually done really well in this first task, and we're talking again which is good. You need to right to us, mate, it's been a while.
Harry won the tournament. The last task was a maze, and the cup at the end ended up being a portkey. He and Cedric Diggory, from Hufflepuff, touched it at the same time, and they were sent to You-Know-Who. I'm not quite sure what happened, but Harry came back with Cedric's body and now You-Know-Who is back. Stay safe, Edward.
Dementors have attacked Harry. He's all right, but he could be facing expulsion for using magic in front of a Muggle, which is stupid because it was his own cousin, who already knows about magic. Dad's going to try to make it so he gets a hearing, but we don't know what's going to happen. We're going to bring him to Headquarters though, so that he's safe. We'll let you know what happens.
Harry is going to get a hearing, and he's been brought to the Headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix – an organization who fights against You-Know-Who. I can't write much, in case the letter gets intercepted.
You haven't written anyone in a really long time, Ed. Please write soon.
Ed finished reading the latest letter from Hermione; the letters weren't coming as often anymore. Ed couldn't blame them; it wasn't like he was that great at writing back, but… it almost felt like they had forgotten about him, and he wasn't sure how he felt about that. He shivered against the cold that still crept into the Briggs station as he pulled out a pen and paper and wrote a quick reply while the small owl waited for him.
Dear Harry, Hermione, and Ron.
My job's been keeping me real busy, especially these last few weeks. Right now, I'm in Briggs, which is the farthest North of Amestris. It is really cold here, even more so than Hogwarts in winter. I know I haven't written in ages, and I'm sorry. Hopefully, I'll be able to talk to you soon, just as soon as I finish fixing my mistake. I look forward to hearing from you again.
How long had it been since he had held a wand? Ed turned it over in his hands, a ghost of a smile twitching his lips as he remembered the day that he had purchased the wand, the day he had been thrust into the Wizarding World.
It had only been that morning that he had been called back to Central by Mustang. Al urged his older brother to go, despite Edward's protests.
"C'mon, Colonel Bastard, it's only been three months since Al got his body back, I deserve a break." Ed complained loudly, arms folded across his chest.
Roy Mustang raised a single dark eyebrow at the teenager.
"Fullmetal, I know you know my correct title," he said. "I would appreciate it if you would address me as such."
Ed smirked at him.
"Fine, Brigadier General," his voice took on a teasing tone. "Really, though. You're already sending me somewhere?"
The Flame Alchemist leaned back in his desk chair, grinning evilly at his subordinate.
"Well, he did ask for you, specifically."
Ed's brow furrowed as he stared at Mustang.
"My, Mr. Elric, you certainly have grown."
The oh-so familiar voice came from directly behind him, and he quickly turned around to face Albus Dumbledore. He looked exactly the same as when he'd last seen him five years ago. The only difference he could spot was the shriveled skin covering his hand. Ed stared at it, but quickly returned his gaze back to the Headmaster's face.
"Professor?" He questioned, a little confused. "You had Colonel – I mean Brigadier General – Bastard bring me here?"
Dumbledore seemed to almost smile at Ed's brashness.
"Mr. Elric, I have decided that alchemy needs to – once again – be taught to the students of Hogwarts. I know that you are the best person for the job."
Ed stared at him, opened his mouth, and then shut it again.
"You want me," he said finally, "to teach? To be a professor?"
Dumbledore smiled and nodded.
Ed shook his head slowly.
"I don't know, Old Man," he said.
"I suppose I could always give the job to your commanding officer here?" He gestured towards Mustang, who smirked at Ed.
"Hell no!" Ed shouted. "Alright, I'll teach. But, my brother…" he trailed off.
"Ed," Roy said, "Don't forget that Alphonse has a crowd of people eager to help him in his recovery. I think he'd be fine without you for a few months."
Ed thought for a moment.
"Would you like to talk this over with your brother, Edward?" Dumbledore asked him gently. Ed looked at him for a moment before nodding.
Dumbledore smiled, before he Dissaperated out of Mustang's office.
Chapter by CheshiresArrow (TheWriterEs), TheWriterEs
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
"You're going." Al didn't even consider any other options. As soon as his brother told him what he'd been asked to do, his mind was made up. No way in hell was he going to keep his brother here.
Ed frowned at him, tugging on his shirt absently.
"Al, are you sure?" he asked. "I don't want something to happen to you."
Al let out a snort.
"Yeah, well," he said, "I have Granny and Winry looking after me and making sure my body gets what it needs. Plus," he added slyly, "What would Winry say if she knew you've been offered a job and aren't going to take it."
"Well then, don't tell her!"
"Don't tell me what?"
Both brothers turned their heads to see Winry standing in the doorway, quietly observing them. Her arms were crossed, a brow raised, and she held a wrench loosely in her hand. Ed eyed it with some apprehension, not eager to receive a smack on the head with her weapon of choice.
"Ed got a job," Al said brightly, and Ed shot him a look of betrayal.
"Traitor," he hissed, and Al merely shrugged, a hint of a smile on his face.
Winry looked at Ed, impressed if not a little confused.
"Did you quit the military or something?" she asked curiously, and Ed shook his head. Well, now he'd have to take the job, if he didn't want his girlfriend whacking his brains out.
"Remember the magic school I went to, Hogwarts?" he began, and continued on when she nodded. "I, um, I've been offered a teaching position there, I'd be an alchemy professor. The Bastard was the one who called me in to discuss it."
"And did you accept?"
"Er, not exactly…" at the withering look she shot him, he hastily continued onwards, "I wanted to talk with Al first! I'm gonna say yes though." This last part was said with grudging resignation.
Winry grinned. She walked over to Ed and gave him a quick peck on the lips. Ed was pleased that she had to stand on tiptoe to reach him.
"It'll be good for you to get out," she said. "You know, see some sights, do something fun, and not break your automail." Her voice took on a semi-threatening tone, but Ed knew she was not joking. He kissed the top of her head.
"I'll try not to bang it up too much, but you know me," he gave her a sheepish grin and she rolled her eyes.
Later that evening, Ed sat down in the Rockbelle's kitchen with a blank piece of paper and a pen in front of him. He frowned at it, wondering what he was going to say.
'Hi guys, I'm teaching alchemy'? 'Guys, I just saved the world, now I'm a teacher'? "So, I'm back… and I'm your professor'?
Finally, he decided that surprise might be the best course of action. Sure, Ron, Harry, and Hermione would probably be moderately pissed at him for keeping it a secret – Hermione wouldn't appreciate any more secrecy, not after finding out that he was with the military (even if she didn't know exactly what he did).
It was the next morning, as Ed poured himself a glass of water, that Dumbledore Apperated into the Rockbelle's kitchen. Ed jumped in surprise, and the glass he was holding dropped on the floor and shattered.
'Holy shit!" Ed swore. "Warn me next time, would ya?"
Dumbledore watched him apparently amused. He pulled out his wand.
"Let me get that for you," he offered as Ed crouched over the broken glass.
The blond alchemist waved him off.
"Nah," he said, "I've got this."
He brought his metal and flesh palms together and touched them to the shattered pieces, restoring them in a flash of blue-tinged light. Ed picked the glass up and set it on the kitchen table, his gaze returning to his former Headmaster, who looked moderately impressed.
"No chalk. I was correct in my assumption that your skills as an alchemist had grown." The old man said, a smile quirking his lips upwards.
Ed eyed him for a moment before nodding.
"Have you decided on your answer about my offer?" Dumbledore asked him.
"When do I start?"
"The very best of evenings to you!" Dumbledore said, smiling broadly, his arms opened wide as though to embrace the whole room.
Dumbledore ignored the whispers that filled the Great Hall as the students caught sight of his ruined hand. He merely smiled and shook his purple-and-gold sleeve over his injury.
"Nothing to worry about," he said airily. "Now, to our new students, welcome, to our olds students, welcome back! Another year full of magical education awaits you…"
Ed tuned him out as he almost fell asleep in his hand. He ran his flesh hand over his braided hair, trying to stay awake. He could see Hermione, Harry, and Ron discussing something – more than likely Dumble's dead hand. He wondered if they had caught sight of him yet. Several of the professors were giving him odd looks, and Hagrid was looking at him, puzzled.
"We are pleased to welcome two new members of staff this year, Professor Slughorn," A bald man, older and with a big belly, stood, "is a former colleague of mine who has agreed to resume his old post of Potions master. Professor Snape, meanwhile," said Dumbledore, raising his voice so that it carried over all the muttering, "will be taking the position of Defense against the Dark Arts teacher."
Ed blinked in surprise. Well, this was new. He had just assumed the fat guy was going to be the new Defense professor. He looked to Snape who looked vaguely smug about the whole ordeal. Ed glared at him, but he didn't see.
Harry yelled out "No!" so loudly that many heads turned in his direction.
Dumbledore cleared his throat. The whole Hall had erupted in a buzz of conversation at the news that Snape had finally achieved his heart's desire. Seemingly oblivious to the sensational nature of the news he had just imparted, Dumbledore said nothing more about staff appointments, but waited a few seconds to ensure that the silence was absolute before continuing.
"Now, I would like you to welcome our newest professor, who will teach the newly instated alchemy class, Professor Elric!"
Show time. Ed stood feeling slightly awkward. Mustang had apparently told Dumbledore that Ed was to wear his military uniform for this job, and it was driving Ed crazy with how much it itched.
He saw his three friends all look at him in shock and lean in to whisper amongst one another. Indeed, many of the sixth and seventh years that remembered him – including Malfoy and his goons – were muttering to each other about Ed's arrival.
Ed smirked. This was going to be a fun year.
I'm so so so sorry for not updating.
I'm not going to tell you everything that happened -- because I don't want to be THAT person -- but I did break up with my boyfriend and the last semester of school really took a lot out of me. I'm actually taking a few semesters off so that I can figure out what the hell I want to do with my life, but I'm also working full time, so I can't say that I'll be prompt with updates.
So, as an apology, I posted two chapters. I hope you enjoy them!