Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or Full-Metal Alchemist. I give props to EroSlackerMicha, because his story Fullmetal Fox inspired this story, and kyugan, because I took his idea for the gate scene from his Herwald von Einzbern series. I wish them both good fortune in their lives.
Human kind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain something of equal value must be lost. That is alchemy's First Law of Equivalent Exchange.
In those days, I thought was its one and only truth, how wrong I was.
Harry Potter "Full-Metal Wizard"
Seven year old Harry Potter ducked into a nearly unused alleyway before climbing into a manhole to escape from his obese uncle who was bound and determined to harm him for a minor infraction.
'All I did was score higher than Dudley on a test,' the dirt covered raven haired boy thought. "Got to get to the Den." He said through clenched teeth, as he moved through the long forgotten sewers.
His right arm hung useless at his side, it was bent at an odd angle, and a broken bone was sticking out of it
He couldn't hear his uncle or cousin anymore, and he prayed that they had given up. Looking around he realized that he was close to his destination he set off at a brisk pace.
His arm was completely numb, and the lacerations on his back from the belt were steaming as they closed.
He continued to walk with precise careful movements. 'This reminds me of the time when I got locked out in that storm.' He shuddered at the thought. He noticed the slight difference in the wall that meant that the Den was nearby. Pushing on the wall he fell though and landed on his hand and knees. While he didn't hit his damaged arm, he had landed with enough force to jar several of the other bones.
"Argh," he cried as he fell.
Gritting his teeth Harry steadied himself. He stood and moved into the large workshop that resided under Privet Drive. Globes sprang to life with soft glowing light as they sensed his movement. He saw the chamber was bigger than Number Four if it were doubled in size. Calming his breathing he moved further into the chamber, the globes sputtering to life and he looked around.
He saw a desk next to a large series of shelves crammed with books and scrolls. Near the right of the desk was a blackboard covered in hundreds of mathematical equations.
Harry moved further in to the giant cavern and moved to the spot where he had prepared for such an occurrence as his arm being as mangled as it currently was. A large runic array surrounded a pile of metal.
He stepped before the array he'd drawn in the stone and kneeling he clapped his left hand to his broken right and then slammed the left down upon the chalk lines. Blue lightning danced from the circle connecting to the metal and dancing around it. Harry watched as the components began to form together. Soon a skeletal shape of fingers, forearm and upper arm began to form. The light kept pouring on and Harry watched as the metal melted and slithered over the skeletal parts and he watched as the arm formed.
He wasn't prepared for a bolt of blue alchemical energy to surge from the array and strike his useless arm. He screamed as pain flowed through him. While he screamed a second bolt of energy struck him in the face, more specifically his scar. His world went white as pain far greater than any he had experienced at the hands of his uncle, cousin, or even his uncle's sister.
Harry screamed; his back arching painfully as he struggled against the sheer, gut-wrenching agony that was threatening to tear him apart at the seams. He screamed, but this meant little, as all around the screams of the tortured, screams of the damned, screams of the innocent and guilty alike echoed, an endless cacophony of sorrow and hatred that refused to end, which took his meaningless, insignificant cries of displeasure and drowned them in the torrent of their endless grief.
For how long had he been here? How many days? Months? Years? Time had apparently lost all meaning, one sec seemed to last an eternity, and yet an eternity seemed to pass in an instant. All Harry knew was that pan comprised his entire existence, and that HIS agony was nothing compared to the sheer magnitude of the suffering which was going on around him.
'Shut up…' he swore, words no seven year old should know, even though the words never reached his lips, he certainly didn't hear them himself over the din of the multitude of screams 'I'm not responsible for your pain! It's not my fault you're suffering! SHUT THE HELL UP!"
"You're a noisy one, aren't you?" A voice asked, neither male nor female, yet laced with a sense of amusement that was unnerving "And so young…I can't recall the last time someone so young came here."
Harry blinked, his emerald eyes opening wide for what felt like the first time in millennia, his shock at the sudden silence so prominent that for a moment he feared he'd gone deaf. Looking down at himself, he found himself dressed in the clothes he'd been wearing in the Den when he had tried to make a replacement for his arm.
'What is this?' he wondered idly, looking down at his near dead hand, almost not recognizing it, even with the Transmutation array painted onto his palm and fingers like macabre tattoo 'Am I…am I dead?'
"You are." The voice noted, Harry's head snapping up, his emerald eyes as he found himself standing in a strange, off-white world, bereft of any form of features. "And yet, at the same time, you are not."
"What is this?" the young alchemist demanded, looking around for the source of the mysterious voice, desperate for any clue as to what was going on "Where is this?"
"This is the gate." The genderless voice called out, Harry turning only to blink at the sight of the strange, off-white human shaped silhouette, if such a thing could be called such, squatting in front of the largest, most ominous looking gate imaginable.
The overall shape of the silhouette was human, about the same size as Harry actually, almost as if his outline had been roughly sketched onto rough paper and then brought to life. But that was where the resemblance ended. It had no features, no gender; it didn't even have any defining details. There was no skin, no hair, not even bones or muscle, simply a white outline against the off-white background, one 'arm' resting on its 'knee', it's unseen gaze boring into the young man like a laser.
"The Gate?" he repeated, his curiosity as a Alchemist overriding his confusion and fear, a typical failing of Alchemists everywhere really, stepping forward, heedless of the weight of the being's sightless stare as he looked around warily, noting with surprise there was another gate located behind him, though this one was less impressive, and bore only a single glyph, what appeared to be a runic crest in the shape of a lightning bolt "The gate to where?" And to the left of the gate was a bundle wrapped in a dirty yellow blanket.
"Who knows?" the being shrugged, the 'shoulders' rising almost noncommittally, it's genderless voice devoid of emotion, though Harry got a feeling of smugness from it, as if it knew something he didn't, which at that moment seemed more than likely "If you want to find out, you'll need to open it and find out."
"And how do I open it?"
"You pay the toll of course."
"Yes the toll." When the figure finished speaking the giant gate behind it opened to reveal a mass of shadows with giant purple eyes. Hands made of darkness shot forward and grabbed Harry pulling him into the mass.
Images flashed before Harry's eyes and knowledge flowed into his head. The hands unraveled his broken arm as he traveled, his screams of pain nearly blocking out the information flowing into him. All of a sudden he was back before the gate. The figure now had his old arm attached to itself. "And now it's time for you to pay the second piece of the toll." The gate opened and a single hand shot out and grabbed the bundle of blankets, dragging it into the dark abyss inside the gate.
Harry felt his scar tingle, before he noticed the genderless figure was in front of him. That moment of hesitation was all the figure needed to push him into the gate behind him.
Once Harry was gone and the gate lightning bold gate had disappeared, the gate opened again and a shadowed figure stepped out, its golden eyes set it apart from the rest of the shadows. "Are you going to torment him like you did me?" the shadow asked.
"No, this will probably be his only trip to the gate."
Harry groggily opened his eyes and sat up. He took a moment to study his new metal arm and how it meshed with the flesh of his shoulder. He sighed. "Looks like I'll be wearing long sleeves from now on."