Author's Note: This has been the works for a while. And given the fallout of the U.S. election, I need a distraction between protests and rallies. So I'm gonna start working on it in earnest. The first four chapters are written, and they will be released weekly on either Sunday or Monday. So that's four weeks of updates right there. Because the first Harry Potter character doesn't appear till chapter two, I will likely post that on Wednesday. So I guess we're down to three weeks of updates. But whatever.
Disclaimer: WolfishMoon does not own the rights to Fullmetal Alchemist or to Harry Potter. She never claims the contrary and makes no money off of the online publication of this free-to-read fanwork.
The Scientist's Lament
A Fullmetal Alchemist and Harry Potter Crossover Fanfiction
The Truth had told them that they needed to get to England. That was all he had told them, even as Ed glowered and held to Al's emaciated shoulders. So when Ed and Al woke in Germany, slumped against the red-brick side of a bar in the disreputable part of Berlin, Ed's first instinct was to get Al to a hospital and damn the consequences.
"Brother," Al said, weakly brushing long hair over a - human! - bony shoulder. "We don't know how long a hospital visit will take. And you know what the Truth said!"
They'd never had reason to find out before, but it seemed the younger Elric was just as disregardant of his own health as the elder. Ed's shoulders sagged. "Fine. Priority, however, is clothes. Then food. Then sleep. Fast."
Al nodded tiredly as Ed pushed himself to his feet. "Can you stand?" he asked.
"Yes," Alphonse said, putting a hand beside his jutting hip bone and pushing at the ground. He slumped. "No."
Ed sighed. "I didn't think so." He pressed his hands together, feeling out the components of concrete, and of the earth below it. The equation balanced, and he put his hands to the pavement. The patch of sidewalk Al sat on sunk into the ground. Alphonse looked up, gold-brown eyes a question.
Ed took the concrete and smoothed it over the hole, leaving about three inches open for air.
"It should hold, if someone walks over you," he said. "Stay here, Al. I'll bring you clothes and food."
For a moment longer than was reassuring, there was silence. Then, "Be back soon, brother."
"Of course, Al."
The dialectic difference was more than usually annoying - more difficult to comprehend than the mushy Amestrian he'd found in Liore, even. It might have also been that most of the chatter around him was, in fact, drunk.
"Go get yourself back to the university, kid." This from the bartender. Normally, Ed would have blown up, but he rolled his eyes and put his arms on the bar. He was a bloody, sweaty mess. But at least his exposed arm was of flesh and blood. Even if it was stupidly thin.
"I'm not from the university," Ed said. "I need directions to the closest twenty-four hour store." Because the Truth didn't have it in him to send Ed to somewhere at midday.
He was given directions along with 'shorty' comments and was told to stop reciting the periodic table. Bullshit. He was only at Beryllium, and he still felt full ready to punch the man in the face.
The convenience store was hardly better. There were a few cheap t-shirts in offensive colors piled in a corner, and the food was bad. He could transmute the t-shirts. And maybe rework the food a bit too. It would have to do. He grabbed a few cans of chicken soup, and enough t-shirts to make two full sets of clothes. An atlas was added to his armload as an after glanced to the counter, felt in his pocket for his watch and cursed. He supposed there was no such thing as a State Alchemist's tab, where ever it was the Truth had seen to put him. He scowled.
In the end, Ed just transmuted a door in the back wall and hoped to hell no one noticed.
The walk back to the patch of sidewalk in which E had hidden Al was quiet and nerve wracking. He'd transmuted one of the shirts into a rucksack for the pile of cans and shirts he'd acquired, but he still felt awkward and naked. He was covered in blood and dirt, basically shirtless, with one weak and shriveled arm. But it was better than Al, completely naked and unable to even walk.
He found the patch of sidewalk and transmuted himself inside. Alphonse looked at him with tired eyes.
"I brought soup. And transmutable fabric."
"Thank you, brother." Alphonse said. And rolled his eyes when he was presented with black, more black, and a bright red coat.
It only took one eye-roll for Edward to sheepishly remove the red dye, and mix it to brown. He'd use the red for his own clothes. He alchemically brought the soup to a boil, inside its aluminum container, using a shirt to make it safe to hold.
"Start slow, Al. This is gonna be really tough."
It only took a day for Ed to get his bearings, false records putting his age at a very false nineteen, and a job. They were in Berlin, Germany, and soon enough he'd get them to England.
Three months later, and they were in England. They had a rented flat paid for with the meager amount Edward had managed to save working at the University of Berlin.
Finally, they were in the country the Truth had wanted them to go to. But despite being on some sort of interdimensional mission for an incredibly sick god, Edward and Alphonse needed to provide themselves with the necessities. So Edward was waiting on a job interview, resume filled with fake credentials and an even faker age.
Edward nervously fingered his trench coat. It was a plain beige, and he found himself desperately wanting to transmute it. The chair was red. He could swap the colors if he wanted. Before he knew it, he found himself feeling the fabric chair upholstery. The coat was mostly cotton, so that was mostly carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen like almost all organic matter. The dye of the upholstery was... ah got it!
He had just brought his hands together when Al hissed at him to stop. He was here for a job interview. In a world where no one knew about Alchemy. They wouldn't appreciate him stripping the chair of its dye, and he chose the beige strictly because it was boring and professional.
A woman in professional blacks came out of the office and called out his name. "You're up next," she said when he looked at her. "Good luck."
Al clasped Ed's shoulder. "I know you'll get the job, brother," he said.
"Thanks," Ed said to Al in Amestrian and again to the woman in English, stood, and walked through the door, hoping that his false paperwork would hold up.
The office was plain, almost spartan in it's furnishings. There was a desk and a few chairs. Soft lavender wall paper with delicate white swirls going through it adorned the walls. "Edward Elric?" asked the woman behind the desk. She fit the spartan furnishings, but not the lavender wall paper. Not at all.
"Zat is my name," he replied. "Ms. Jenkins, correct?" He extended his hand, and she shook it firmly.
"You're rather young to be a Chemistry teacher."
"Am nineteen, vhat of it? My credentials are in order, you vill see."
She inclined her head, said, "Yes. Your resume is quite impressive. Humboldt University of Berlin, specializing in science education."
Edward nodded. He'd worked in the library there for two months and The head Librarian had agreed to help him with this shenanigan, in Equivalence to working there, on top of locating Schieska's double as his replacement.
"Indeed. Had I extra funding, I vould have liked to go into education at the college level. As it is, I am more zan qualified. Just young. I graduated high school at sixteen, and completed my college courses two and a half years avter zat. Vas too easy. Am here now."
"I take it you've had trouble getting hired. Why is that?" Ms. Jenkins twirled a pen in her fingers as she looked at him. Ed found himself looking away from the gaze.
"Age. No von vants teenager teaching teenagers, but I am legal adult," Ed said, twiddling with a button on his coat. What a lie that was. Ed felt his sixteen years of age very sharply and instead relied on falsely stern demeanor to age him.
"Well," Jenkins said after a moment of silence. "I don't really have any other options. Lots of people want the job in the English department, but no such luck for Chemistry. I'll hire you. Conditionally. You'll teach a summer school chemistry class. If I like how you teach it, you stay. I know you won't want to deal with the students who take remedial summer chemistry, but, tough."
Edward grinned. "Is Equivalence. You give me chance, I teach your delinquents. Thank you."
"Equivalence, you say," Jenkins said; a puzzled, but amused, smile came to her face.
"Conservation of Energy and Mass," Edward said, stood. "I've turned it to somezing ov a vilosovy." He extended his hand, and again they shook.
"Thank you, Ms. Jenkins."
"Don't thank me, Mr. Elric," she said, looking over purple rimmed glasses. "Classes start on Monday."
Ed's eyes widened almost uncontrollably, but he was a military man and took the news as he would an order from Colonel Bastard. Or rather, the exact opposite of how he would take an order from Colonel Bastard. He maintained his professionalism and nodded once.
"I vill be zere," he said. "I trust you have textbooks for ze children? Goot. Give me von of zem, so I may plan my lessons."
She gave him directions to the school bookstore and a note, as well as a pile of paperwork to fill out. This time, the image of Colonel Bastard did superimpose itself over the image of Jenkins, and Edward cursed. Jenkins laughed and ushered him out of the door.
"Get a Miss Erica Carlan for me," she said. "I'm interviewing her for English."
Edward nodded, said, "Just so you know, I'm bringing mein bruder viz me to class."
Jenkins gave him a hard look before pushing him fully out of the door.
Alphonse was standing when Ed looked his way, having evidently stood at the first sign of Edward's emergence. Ed smiled at him, and called out for Carlan. When that was taken care of, Ed turned his attention back to Al.
"How did it go?" Alphonse asked in Amestrian.
"Surprisingly well," Ed said, switching to the same. "I actually have the job."
"Well, there is a catch." Ed adjusted the base of his braid. "I have to teach remedial summer chemistry first."
Alphonse smiled. "I'm sure you'll do well, brother. And I'm sure your students will too. They probably haven't ever been given the chance to push themselves."
Ed laughed and ruffled his brother's now-short hair. "You always see the best in people, Al. I hope you're right."
Word Count: 1756
For those of you chomping at the bit, the first Harry Potter character to enter the story will enter in the next chapter.
Please review and tell me what you think!