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Hey, all! Sorry for the lengthy wait; it would have been out the other day, but my dad made me go to bed. Anyway, this chapter is quite a bit longer than I normally write, but I don't normally get to many complaints about that LOL. Well, I hope you enjoy this chapter!

I rested my chin in my right hand as I looked down at the papers in front of me, one being Winry's most recent letter, and the other being my own letter that was going to be sent back to her as soon as I could get my brain on track. I was trying to address everything in the letter Winry had sent me, but all I could think about was facing Winry when she finally got to Hogwarts. I hadn't seen the girl since my makeshift proposal right before I left, and though we had been sending letters back and forth, her arrival was no doubt going to be awkward. I had proposed for the girl for Truth's sake, and we hadn't even acknowledged the unspoken thing going on between us. It was a stupid move, but not one that I regretted.

From reading Winry's letter, it sounded like we were both on the same page about Alphonse traveling through the Truth; neither of us thought it was safe. Apparently, when Winry had brought the topic up to Al, it had sent him into a panic attack so terrible that he had been sick, his still frail body unable to handle the mental stress. Winry had assured me that Al was now fine, but I couldn't help but worry about my little brother, the person that had made life worth living since That day. I knew he was strong, but what kind of brother would I be if I didn't worry. That boy was my reason for living.

Winry agreed to come out to Hogwarts as long as I promised I thought it was safe, which I did. I hadn't known Albus for very long, but there was something about the man that told me I could trust him. I had only had that feeling a few times in my life, so I knew to trust my gut on this one. I had already discussed the decision with the headmaster, and he agreed to retrieve Winry when the Yule Ball got closer. That was another thing I had to add to the letter, to be ready for an old man in robes to show up randomly.

Winry had also agreed to find something suitable for me to wear to the ball as well as find something for herself. I told her to buy whatever she wanted, and I would cover the expenses. I owed the girl for every stressful and scary situation I had put her through. She deserved so much more than that though, and I only hoped I could use the rest of my life to make it up to her.

I nearly jumped out of my seat when the great bell of the castle rang, signaling the end of lunch and the five minute bell to get to your next class. I sighed and pushed the unfinished letter to the side and got up from my seat. I had pushed off getting the classroom set up for too long, and I still had boxes of chalk, blocks of wood, and paper to set out.

Today was the first day the remaining alchemy students would be trying their first transmutations. We had two successful transmutations in my first class of the day, one being from Miss Lovegood and the other from a very shy Hufflepuff student. Though both transmutations had been a little wonky, I could recognize the shape of the little birds I had asked them to make. Both students had been overjoyed, and I could tell it only caused the other students in the classroom to work even harder than before. Though there were no other successful transmutations that class period, I was impressed. When we first started, I didn't think I would be seeing any successful transmutations before winter break.

From my trip down to the Great Hall for lunch after my planning period, the news of what we would be doing in class this week spread like wildfire. I could hear students chattering about what they wanted to transmute in class, and I couldn't help but chuckle at their aspirations. It was good to have goals, but I didn't want them biting off more than they could chew. Alchemy could be dangerous, and you had to start small. Hell, my first transmutation had been that little wooden bird out of the floor of Hohenheim's study. Now, I could transmute objects larger than buildings. Practice certainly made progress.

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