Chapter 1

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Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist, State Alchemist and Alchemy prodigy, sat with the most bored expression on his face in Colonel Mustang's office.

"You want me to go to an orphanage?" he repeated.

Mustang nodded. "The people who own the place say that a child living there has been using Alchemy, and from the sounds of it, she's good. We want you to go pick her up and bring her back here," he explained.

Ed took this in, his expression getting more skeptical by the moment. "I'm a State Alchemist...and you want me to go to an orphanage? Why not get Havick or Hawkeye to do it?"

"Come on brother, it would be interesting to meet her," Alphonse Elric, Ed's younger brother, said excitedly. Ed looked at him, taking in the giant armour that sat across from him.

"Al, it's an Alchemist. In an orphanage. So she's female. So what? I dont understand what's so interesting about that."

"I'm asking you because no one else knows about this. Though it pains me to say it, you're the only one i trust besides Havick and Hawkeye, and the orphanage owner has asked a State Alchemist to go, not a soldier."

"Why dont you go then, if it's so important.." began Ed before Mustang cut him off.

"I have work to do. Now stop being a stubborn child, Fullmetal, and just go pick that girl up!"

Ed and Al sat in the train as it rushed towards their destination. "Honestly, that Colonel, shoving me with a job like this..." Ed muttered, gazing out of the window.

"Dont complain, brother. Maybe we can stop by a library, if there is one, and we could ask around to see if anyone's heard anything about the Philosopher's Stone," said Al brightly. Ed humphed, though his golden eyes glittered with interest. Al laughed, amazed at how easily Ed could change his mind about something.

They got off the train, looking around. Ed reached into his pocket, his long red coat with the alchemic symbol rustling as he did, and brought out the map with the directions written on the back. "Okay, so...we go over here," Ed said, leading the way. Al followed, his footsteps clanking behind Ed's soft ones. They walked down several streets, getting lost a couple of times before finally ending up outside the door to the orphanage. Ed reached out and knocked on it before waiting.

The door was opened shortly by an elderly lady with brown hair tied back in a bun and cold grey eyes. "Yes? What business do you have here?" she asked.

"I'm the Fullmetal Alchemist, ma'am. Colonel Roy Mustang said he received a call from this orphanage about a young girl with alchemic abilities?"

"So he sent you, did he? Can I have some certification?" Ed pulled out his pocketwatch and let her inspect it. "Alright, you're the real deal. Come inside, I'll bring the little troublemaker down for you to take with you." The two of them stepped inside and waited as the woman hurried off. A few minutes later there was a yell of, "I dont want to!" and a huge bang.

Ed and Al glanced at each other before running towards where the commotion was. The woman was standing facing a young girl, around ten or eleven, with long gold hair and bright gold eyes. Al gasped. "Brother, she looks just like you!" he cried in surprise. Ed looked at him angrily.

"You calling me small?!" he yelled. Al backed away nervously.

"N-No, I'm not saying that.." he began as Ed stalked towards him before suddenly Ed went flying.

"Are you calling me small?" the girl challenged. Ed stood up, facing her, his temper flaring.

"Look missy, we just spent hours walking around town looking for this dumb orphanage so we could find you and drag you back to Mustang, because for some reason he was a strange interest in you! So dont start shouting at me just because you're too stubborn and proud!" he shouted. The girl looked taken aback.

"Who the heck is Mustang?" she asked in confusion. Ed looked surprised.

"Colonel Roy Mustang. Ever heard of him? He's a State Alchemist, like me. The file said you'd been informed you were going to meet him..." Ed trailed off. The girl shook her head.

"Miss Elda said that a family was adopting me. She didnt say anything about a Colonel Mustang." The two of them looked at the old woman. She sniffed and stuck her head in the air.

"I dont want a troublemaker like you in my orphanage any longer. You just bring trouble to the other kids, and never listen to anything I say. When this boy takes you to the Colonel, I dont want you to return here." The girl looked suddenly downcast.

"But Miss Elda, this is my home! I live here! I have friends, and all my belongings.."

"I've packed your belongings while you were in the waiting room, and I suppose you can say goodbye to your friends..."

"But I dont have anywhere to live! What do you want me to do, live on the streets?!" the girl cried.

"That's your problem. Just dont come back to me."

Ed watched as tears sprung to the girl's eyes. The old woman walked out past them and the girl fell to her knees, sobbing. He stood there, watching her for a while, then turned. "Go on, go get your bags." The girl looked up in shock, anger in her eyes.

"You.." she began before Ed cut her off.

"You're travelling with us from now on."


Hi guys! Me here! Did you enjoy the first chapter? I hope so, I'm rather excited about writing this one! Sorry that I havent finished Hidden Power before starting this, but I have no ideas for it *bows* Anyway, happy reading!

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