The First Task

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I'm back, y'all! So sorry for the break, but it was much needed, and I honestly feel so much better. I hope you enjoy this chapter!!!

I let out a huff as I pulled my red coat tighter around me, trying to stave off the cold, as I followed the other teachers down to the Forbidden Forest. I grumbled curses under my breath as, despite the winter set of automail Winry had me on, the cold still felt like it was sinking deep into my bones. Even my right shoulder tingled a little bit where the scar was.

"This is stupid," I grumble, half at the cold and the other half at the absurdity of this entire situation. I had finally come to terms with teaching wizards of all people the art of alchemy, but this whole "dragons" business I was hearing about was testing my limits. They were probably just chimeras. I shivered, but it wasn't from the cold.

"Can't handle the cold, Elric?" I heard a snide voice ask from my left. I spared a quick glance over to that side to see Severus walking beside me. I rolled my eyes and shook my head as I popped the collar on my red trench coat, shopping to block some of the wind. "Just wait until the first snow, Elric. It will be ten times worse than this, you know," the potions master continued.

"Yeah, yeah, I know how damn cold it gets here. Doesn't mean I have to like it," I muttered, picking up the pace in an effort to lose the greasy man. Unfortunately, that led me to walk next to Moody. Though I had been wary of Severus since I had come to the school, the defense against the dark arts teacher was another story entirely. I didn't like the way that glass eye spun around in his head. I didn't like the way that eye always seemed to gravitate toward my left leg whenever I was around the other professor. Even now, I could feel his eyes on me. There was something about the man I didn't like. If I hadn't known better, I would have chalked it up to the man being weird. But I had seen my fair share, and I now knew better than to brush aside my gut feelings. Nine times out of then, they were correct. I would rather be wary for nothing than to get caught with my pants down.

"Elric," the man said gruffly as I fell into step beside him. "That leg movin' alright?" he said, startling me greatly. My golden eyes went wide as I nearly tripped over my own feet at the suddenness of his question.

"I don't know what you mean, Alastor," I said as I used my newly returned hand to run a hand over the top of my head, trying to smooth any fly away hairs. It was also to conceal my nervousness, but no one needed to know that.

"Yeah right, Elric. One amputee to another, I can tell," he gruffed, "even if I couldn't see through that pant leg." My eyes narrowed, and I had to resist the urge to throw him up against the nearest tree. He seemed to hear my unspoken question as he continued. "I can see it in the way ya walk, lad," he muttered, still hobbling along. "And this eye can see through anything," he said, tapping the side of his glass eye. I had to suppress a shutter as it went whirling around in his head. "What I would give to be movin' that well on a fake-" he tried to continue, but I cut him off before he could say a word more.

"Not a word to anyone, Moody," I snarled. "Or you'll be looking for a new glass eye," I warned before jogging ahead to walk beside Dumbledore as he led the procession through the woods. I could hear some sort of growl coming from the distance, and the ground was trembling. We were getting close.

"Everything alright, my boy?" Dumbledore asked, looking down at me through his half moon glasses.

"Alastor knows about my damn leg," I muttered, shoving my hands in my pockets, finding the State Alchemist pocket watch I still kept there. I flipped it open to look at the time before slamming it shut. Seconds later, I realized I hadn't even processed the time. It had just been something to get my hands moving. The man only hummed, so I continued. "I do not want to explain to anyone, including you, why I actually have automail," I explained. In fact, I don't even want anyone to know that I even have automail. It's bad enough Minevera and Poppy already know about it," I groused.

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