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08 February 2008 @ 01:47 am
Prologue: Of Stocks and Rowhouses  
Title: ...I don't know yet. XD
Fandom: FMA, and another... read to find ouuuut... >:D
Rating: Probably an overall R, just to be safe. Language.
Disclaimer: I do not own either of these series. Dammit.
A/N:This is purely experimental. If you guys like it I'll continue. I may even if you don't XD

I am taking a few liberties with Fullmetal Alchemist, here. I've made a few alterations to the movie's events, which you'll see later on. One is glaringly obvious in this chapter (characterrevivalftw). I don't want to give anything away, so I'll explain everything else atter the story.

Onwards to fic!!

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He sighed, trudging through the Manhattan financial district, making his way to the 14th street subway station. It was August 1993, and his life was like this every day. Wake up at the ass-crack of dawn, hop the subway to Manhattan, kiss ass and telemarket all day, then reverse the commute back to the cramped Brooklyn rowhouse(which probably hadn’t been renovated since the turn of the last century) he shared with his father and brother. Edward Elric worked for the New York Stock Exchange, and was inarguably among the lowest on the totem pole. It wasn’t terribly surprising, seeing how he and his family played the part of a poor, uprooted German family who had lost all in a tragic housefire (his father did an excellent ‘desperate, barely-speaks-English, penniless father with two kids to support’) and came to America for a new life. But that didn’t stop him from complaining about the minimum wage pay, crappy commute, and little to no benefits. He had worked his fingers to the bone to find some sort of employment, because not many people wanted a hotheaded 21-year-old handling their customers. And to make it even harder, German Marks circa 1920, however many they had, didn’t last long. No money did.

His father, on a stroke of obscenely rare luck, had become owner of a small, struggling bar near the house. But once purchased, however, the reasons for the strife were found to be minimal, and Hohenheim, being a wise old man, made a few adjustments and made the bar thrive. He managed it, and Alphonse waited tables, and tended bar. But despite the steps forward they had made, the money coming from the bar narrowly outstripped expenses, just enough for necessaries for three people. Between property tax, groceries, clothing and mortgage, they had very little money to spare. And, of course, being in the biggest city in the country, there was always the chance of getting mugged. Which Edward had. Twice. At gunpoint. This little ordeal was what pushed him to purchase the small handgun he concealed in his overlarge coat.

Edward made his way through the busy train junction as he was able to the street below. From there, it was a short walk to home. Fumbling for his keys, he opened the outer door.

The rowhouse they resided in was an odd one. There were two floors and a basement, each floor a separate apartment. He resided in the second floor, which also meant they had sole use of the rooftop porch, only accessible by a ladder in the broom closet.

All but dragging his feet up the stairs, he failed to notice the unfamiliar man sitting at the table conversing with Hohenheim.

“Hey,” he grunted, reaching the landing and making a beeline for the bedrooms.

Alphonse, standing in the kitchenette cooking dinner, turned and admonished him “Ed, we have company, be polite. Go change and wash your hands, dinner will be ready soon.”

Missing the first part, Ed gave a one-word assent, entering the room he shared with his brother. There was a small bookshelf to his left, and two beds up against the adjacent walls. He sat down on his own, sliding his right foot out of the high-arched, secondhand dress loafer with a hiss. These shoes always killed his feet when he wore them, and he walked home with a fairly noticeable limp, if he didn’t walk the last leg of his commute in socks. But he had only done that once, and promised never to again after Al, ever the housewife, scolded him for it. Extracting himself from his wool brown trenchcoat and starting on the (again, secondhand) suit, the smell of potatoes and chicken drifted into the room, making his stomach voice just how much it liked the smell. He groaned, tossing the clothing to any random point and rifling through the closet for his favorite shirt. It was black and decidedly simple, with a shallow v-shaped neckline, sleeves just a bit too long (which was how he liked it anyway) and a white stripe running down the left arm, intersecting another that wrapped around the elbow. Slipping this on, and donning a pair of once-used cargo pants, he trudged into the main room, hands in pockets, with a slouch typical of the young. He stopped dead, however, when he saw the unfamiliar man at the kitchen table.

Fully awake now, he stared. “When did you come in?” he queried, slightly bewildered.

The man was certainly old, that was for sure. A long beard of silvery hair came down his front, mirrored on his back by the rest of his hair, but tied in a low ponytail. He wore glasses with half-moon-shaped rims, which rested over a crooked nose and in front of bright, piercing blue eyes. Edward wondered how someone could have so many wrinkles and not bear a resemblance to a Shar-pei.

Hohenheim turned in his seat. “This is Professor Dumbledore, Edward. He runs a boarding school in England. And he’s been here the entire time.” He finished the sentence with a chuckle.

The Professor stood, and extended, curiously enough, his left hand to shake Edward’s. “It is a pleasure, Edward. Your father has told me much about you.” His voice seemed almost hoarse, and only slightly wheezy. Edward humored the formality, echoing the sentiments halfheartedly.

“Bragged unashamedly, more like.” Alphonse quipped jokingly from the stove, turning and grinning at Ed. He felt an unwarranted heat rise in his cheeks.

Dumbledore smiled kindly. “Yes, there is nothing wrong with being proud of one’s children. But all small talk aside, Edward, I have an employment offer for you. Your father tells me you are unhappy with your current arrangements.” There was a slight rise at the last word, indicative of a question.

Still feeling slightly uncomfortable (he was barefoot and gloveless, dammit!) he validated the statement. “Yeah, more or less. But why would you want me? I’m sure there are plenty of people in Britain who need a job.”

“Ah, but that is where you are wrong, Edward.” Dumbledore said, with an awfully aloof tone. “Yes, there are unemployed in England, but I would say with confidence that none are Alchemists.”

At this, Ed panicked. How did he find out?

Reading Ed’s stunned silence correctly, Dumbledore continued. “Do not be alarmed, I am not here to persecute you. I merely come with a proposition. You see, the subjects taught at my school, Hogwarts, are not the kind you are familiar with. It is a school of magic.” Ed skeptically raised his eyebrow, obviously unbelieving. Dumbledore smiled enigmatically. “I can demonstrate, if you do not believe me.”

Even more surprised now, he snorted. “Sure.” The concurrence was entirely sarcastic, but Dumbledore proceeded to extract a wand from his dark red suit. No way, this guy’s actually serious? And with a flick of the glorified stick- surprise surprise- nothing happened.

Edward was about to make a witty statement when something squirmed on his back. Turning his head slightly, he gawked. There was a golden snake slithering up his back, hissing at him. Panicking, he all but fell out of his chair trying to dislodge the thing and yanked on it before realizing it was attached to his head. Right where his braid had been.

“All right, all right, I believe you! Change it back, already!” he was holding the head of the thing as far away as he could, as it snapped at him.

With another flick of the wand, he found himself holding his braid with both hands, once again. Whipping it back behind his back furiously, he glared at Dumbledore, who, damn him, was grinning again, and hell if he couldn’t see laughter in those eyes. Livid, he snapped at the man, ignoring his brother’s stifled laughter from the stove. “So what’s your point?”

“My point is, Edward, that I am in need of an Alchemy teacher. We had previously planned to implement the subject this year, and had a teacher; however, he was forced to rescind his offer quite recently due to his failing health. So I am now asking you if you will take his place.” The man finished, folding his bony hands elegantly on the table, waiting for Ed’s response.

Completely forgetting his anger, Ed spluttered. “Wha- A teacher? Now I know you’re messing with me. Besides, if this other guy can’t teach, just cancel the class.”

Dumbledore sighed. “I’m afraid I cannot do that. A good portion of the older students have signed up for that class and expressed a keen interest in it. It would be very troublesome now to-“

His explanation was cut off by what looked like a streak of shiny silver vapor flying in the (closed) window and halting at the edge of the table, where it solidified into a shorthaired cat and sat down. And then, to Edward’s amazement, It talked.

“The Minister of Magic has arrived at the school. He says he must speak to you, and it is quite urgent. Sirius Black has escaped from Azkaban. Please return as soon as possible."

Mouth still slightly open, Dumbledore watched the cat dissolve into thin air and spoke. “Dear, dear, that is a problem. I hate to be rude, but I must return to my school. This is a very serious matter indeed.”

Alphonse turned to Dumbledore, still mildly startled from before. “Um... I just finished the food, would you like to take something with you? It’s a long trip back to London.”

Dumbledore smiled kindly. “Thank you for the offer, Alphonse, but no. And it is not so long a trip as you think, not for a Wizard.” There was a shadow of a wink. He turned back to Edward. “I had planned to explain the situation to you in detail, but since our time has been curtailed, I cannot. Instead, I will send an owl as soon as possible with all of the information and the syllabus and lesson plan our previous teacher created. Please consider my offer. For now, I must excuse myself.”

“Here, I’ll show you to the door. “ Hohenheim stood, following Dumbledore as he took his cloak and fedora (which matched his suit) from the coat rack and descended the stairs, leaving Ed in a shocked silence.

“Al.” He said, staring at the top of the stairs. “Let this be proof. I don't go searching for trouble, it finds me."

Noting the silence, Edward flopped down into the dining chair, picking golden scales out of his hair.

-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-

It had been three days since Dumbledore's impromptu visit, and the owl had already come by the second. It had a fairly small stack of papers with it, consisting of a letter penned by Dumbledore, and a lesson plan (which was undoubtedly written by an expert, he'd even included an index of materials and the strength of their atomic bonds, among other things.).
The very second he laid eyes on the average yearly wage, the deal was made. He was just barely scraping minimum wage as it was, so he was up for anything, really.

The owl had taken up residence in their coat closet, dominating the top shelf. At first, Ed was unsure how to approach it, but after a bit of coaxing, it perched on the table, took Ed's envelope in it's beak, and sailed out the window and out of sight.

Now waiting for directions, Ed had made a grand total of four trips to the laundromat, and was now packing his things into a traveling trunk. Al assisted, folding the clothes into small squares.

"Hey."

"Mm?" Ed looked up from his crosslegged position on the floor, tossing another book aside.

"I've been wondering... you know how we closed the gate three years ago?"

"Yeah."

"Well... If we did that, then how are you going to transmute anything? I mean..." Al sighed, staring intently at his hands, as he often did when deep in thought. "This place is different from home. It feels different. Like there's a kind of energy missing."

"I think I know what you mean. But if that's the case, I need to know now. Guess I was so excited I didn't even think of it."

He exchanged a look with Al, tossing his hair over his shoulder. He could just manipulate the melanin in his hair, that was a simple enough array. He visualized the runes, bringing his hands together quietly, sandwiching his hair between them.

He gasped when the trademark sparks flew, hair dyeing black in their wake as a warmth flared up around him. The surprise wasn't owing to to transmutation, however. When his hands came together, he caught a glimpse of a dark, looming figure, other images flying round after it. The images gave birth to thoughts, as they often did after his encounter with the gate. His mind's eye observed alchemists transmuting in a sweltering desert aside half-built pyramids, near an asian castle, and many other ancient scenes, right up until a large gathering of people, glimpsed walking toward-

"Hey!"

His eyes snapped open, and he was back in the bedroom with Al worriedly staring at him. "You alright?"

"Um... yeah, just zoned out for a second, sorry." He chuckled sheepishly. "Looks like it works."

"So the gate is still there. Great."

"Well, maybe that's bad, maybe it isn't. I'd be out of a job if it weren't there."

Al considered him in silence, worry flaring up in the form of a knitted brow. "Just... be careful, okay? We both know the havoc the Gate can wreak. I don't want that to happen. Not again."

"I will."

"Promise me.

"I promise, Al." Ed smiled slightly, worried, but at the same time, not. "Don't be such a worrywart."

"I just..." Al sighed and swallowed on a lump in his throat. "I don't want us to be seperated again."

The smile faded, and Ed gave his brother an affectionate but stern look. "We won't. I swear to you, Al, nothing will come between us. Not ever." He then slung an arm around Al's shoulders companionably. "You're my baby brother. I'll always be here to protect you."

Al grinned, punching Ed lightly in the side. They returned to their previous task, now sure of their next move. And if this last week was any indication, things were certainly going to be different now.


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Like I said, I've taken a lot few liberties. I know it was supposed to be November 1923 they returned to, but if I gave you the reasoning behind that, it would ruin the surprise! ;)
Also, I don't claim to know the intricacies of the Stock Exchange, or the New York subway system, for that matter. If I made a gross miscalculation, please tell me and I'll fix it.
AND, Edward, Alphonse and Hohenheim have been in the US since 1990. They have not had an easy time of it. Poor guys. Edward is three years older and a lot more mature and level-headed. Well, compared to how he was before. He's not a doormat, that's for sure.

I know the whole Harry Potter/ Fullmetal Alchemist crossover is a little overdone, what with all these weeaboos whose fics end up in FMA spork making crossovers with no plot, reasoning as to how Ed can roam freely between Amestris and Hogwarts other than a feeble "it's magic", and OOC-ness in quantities that where the words 'liberal amounts' don't even begin to cover it. Also, they invariably end up being made only because of OMGPHILOSOPHERSSTONE!!1! And then Ed goes on his merry way, and there was no point to the story in the first place. I've only come across a few that have substance and plot (One where Ed ends up teaching Tom Riddle, and I won't go any further than that). That's part of the reason I came up with my own. I also have nothing better to do with my time XD
Whew. That was long XD;;
Sorry for the rant.

Reviewplz? :) Be gentle.
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Feriowindferiowind on July 13th, 2008 04:14 am (UTC)
:DD Hehehe, I like where this is going! I'm definitely curious as to how they ended up in the future!