Magical Girl Pretty Julia

Author Notes: Whee, I make a (grand) return into the world of fanfiction! Note that this is an AU fic, so personalities might slip into OOC-ness at times, though I'll try to keep them as much IC as I can.

Disclaimer: I don't own Growlanser or it's characters, Atlus and Career Soft do. Much lurve to them.

Chapter 1: Battle's Beginning

"So to solve this problem, you input 6 in place of a, 2 in place of b, and negative 8 in place of c, creating the problem negative 2 plus or minus the square root of 2 squared minus 4 times 6 times negative 8 all over 2 times 6..." The teacher wrote the equation on the board, expecting the students to copy everything down.

About half the class actually wrote anything related to the equation down. One of those prudent students was 17-year-old Julia Douglas. She had gone as far as solving the problem before the teacher wrote the answer on the board.

"You get this far, and all you have to do is solve it, getting the answers of 1.01 and negative 1.34, both of which are rounded to the hundreds, so make sure you do that…Yes, Julia?"

Julia had raised her hand while the teacher was happily reading off the answer. The rest of the class stared at her as she spoke. "The answers you got are wrong…the actual answers are 1 and four-thirds."

"…No, I am sure I have the correct answer." The teacher smirked.

"Then explain how 4 plus 192 is 198." It was Julia's turn to smirk.

"…" The teacher turned back to the board and searched. Finding the mistake, he erased the mistake and re-did the end of the problem. Turning back to face the class, he stated, "I just did that to test you. Obviously, the majority of the class wasn't paying attention."

Julia sighed. This was the second time this week this had happened. She looked back up from her paper…and into the eyes of the boy sitting across the row and up one seat from her. The quite handsome boy smiled at her, and she smiled back, slightly blushing. The boy's name was Carmaine Fallsmyer, and every girl in the school had some form of a crush on him. Many of the girls didn't hide their feelings, but Julia was one that kept her love for Carmaine a secret from everyone.

The bell rang, signaling the end of class, and the end of the day. Julia gathered up her books, dropped them into her bag, left the classroom, and walked outside of the school. It was a beautiful spring day, the sun shining and the wind lightly blowing. Julia slowly started on her way home, enjoying the beautiful weather. She closed her eyes and turned around so the wind was blowing her hair back. Opening her eyes…she saw a dog. Specifically, a white dog with yellow eyes lying on the wall next to her. Julia stopped walking and stared at the animal, which had jumped down onto the sidewalk and walked up to her.

"Do you belong to someone around here? I've never seen you before and I walk this road every day…" She reached down and scratched the dog behind the ears, making him close all three of his eyes.

Wait…three eyes? Julia blinked and looked at the eye in the middle of his head. She definitely wasn't seeing things. Looking down the rest of his body, she found that the dog also had not one, but two tails, which he was wagging quite happily. Julia looked back and forth between the dog's face and his tails. The dog licked her hand, politely asking for more ear scratches.

"I-I'm sorry…I must be getting home now. You should too." Julia straightened up, turned around and started to walk away. Thinking she heard a clicking sound behind her, she turned around. The dog had been following her.

"No, you have to go home. You can't come with me." Julia resumed walking, but the clicking continued.

"Please, stop following me!" The dog cowered at her harsh tone of voice. This time when Julia walked away, the dog stayed put, sitting on the sidewalk. When she had gotten around the corner ahead, the dog dropped his head and whispered in a low voice.

"She is…the one I've been looking for…"

Julia finally reached her apartment and flopped on her bed. She stared at the ceiling, and thought.

'That dog…was it even a dog? It didn't look that much like a dog…why did it follow me? I don't have the money to keep an animal. I feel sorry for it…I hope it has a home…I wonder if I should have taken it in anyway.' Julia sat back up and grabbed her schoolbag. She mused to herself. "I should do my homework now…get it over with." Pulling out her books, she spread them out on her small desk, and got to work.

About an hour later, Julia was finally finished. She stood up and stretched, and looked out her small window. "Maybe…I'll go take a walk." She walked outside into the cool twilight air and headed for a nearby park. Julia wandered aimlessly through the park, thoughts racing through her head. 'Tomorrow…We're learning something new in science tomorrow…It's nice having such a good science teacher, unlike the math one…I wonder if we'll get a group project. I'd like to be assigned with Carmaine…then again, so would every other girl. I wish I could tell him that I like him…I wonder if he likes animals. Maybe he's seen that dog around. Speaking of animals, what's that odd looking one near the fountain?'

The odd-looking animal was a hunched over, light blue creature about three feet tall. Julia slowly walked closer to it. It hadn't noticed her yet…but the wind changed direction, and the creature smelled her. Lifting its head up, it turned to face her, growling loudly. Julia stared at the creature, as it stared back. The monster roared and charged at Julia. She quickly jumped to the side as it swiped at her.

"Wh-what's going on?" Julia said as she dodged another swipe. She kept dodging as the monster continued to come after her. The monster took a swipe, almost hitting her this time, and Julia slipped and fell. 'This is it…I'm going to die here…' She closed her eyes and waited for the final strike. Suddenly, she heard a voice from in front of her.

"Fire Arrow!" Julia opened her eyes, but shut them again as the monster in front of her was engulfed in flames. It roared and spun away from her to face its new opponent. Julia looked around the monster to see what had attacked it, and widened her eyes in surprise.

"It-it's that dog…" She whispered as she slowly edged away from the monster. The dog from before looked slightly different now, as it was wearing a robe-type thing around its neck and shoulders. The monster roared at the dog, and charged at it. The dog deftly jumped out of the way and moved behind it, in front of Julia. The monster, recovering from the sudden movement, turned back around. The dog closed its eyes started to twirl its two tails as the monster charged again. "Watch out!" Julia cried, but the dog didn't listen. Instead, a magic circle appeared under its feet as it cried out "Ice Barrage!" and sent ice missiles at the monster. The monster screamed as it fell to the ground, defeated. The dog quickly used another spell, sealing the monster's body in a round gem, which glowed brightly and then disappeared. This entire time, Julia had been staring in complete shock. The dog turned and walked up to Julia and nudged her, bringing her out of her trance. Julia looked down at the dog, and it looked back at her.

"…Exactly WHAT are you, and…why are you here?" Julia said after a moment of awkward silence.

"My name is Sereb…I am a creature from another world. The monster you saw was a Demi Yung, something quite common from where I come from."

"What do I have to do with monsters coming here?"

"I cannot defeat the monsters on my own; I needed help of someone here. You were able to notice that I'm not a normal creature, meaning you have the ability to use magic."

While the two were speaking, another Demi Yung had appeared in the park and was slowly approaching them. It stopped for a moment to sniff around, and then Sereb noticed it.

"Another one? They usually don't appear this quickly!" Sereb growled. Julia stared at the Demi Yung, which had started slinking over.

"You said I could use magic…could you teach me how I can go about using it?" Julia asked.

"I have to transfer some of my own power into you to activate it. I'll distract the Yung, and then we will try." Sereb said, and charged a spell. "Fire Capacitor!" A symbol appeared on the ground in front of the Yung. When the Yung stepped onto the symbol, fire surrounded it, and it jumped back, hissing. "That should hold it back long enough." Sereb turned back to Julia. "Place your hands on me and close your eyes." Julia kneeled on the ground and did what Sereb said. Sereb spoke in a mysterious language as a magic circle appeared underneath the two. Julia felt warmth spreading throughout her body as her magical powers were awakened. The spell finished just as the capacitor spell Sereb set earlier wore off, freeing the Yung to attack again.

"I…don't feel any different…Maybe a little warmer, but I don't feel stronger or anything like that." Julia said, standing up.

"There's another part to being able to use the magic." Sereb said, nosing under his robe, apparently searching for something.

"…What is that other part?"

A ring dropped out of Sereb's robe and rolled, stopping at Julia's feet. Julia bent over and picked it up. Sereb looked up at Julia. "You need to transform. Hold the ring up and say 'Grow Magic, lend me your strength!'" Julia was staring at the ring, half confused and half in shock. Sereb growled. "You have to hurry; it's going to attack again!" Julia blinked and slowly raised her arm up.

"This better work…Grow Magic, lend me your strength!" The silver ring started to glow, and Julia felt that same magical warmth spread across her body. Julia felt her body moving by itself. White, black, and purple ribbons wound around her body, forming a bodysuit, a skirt, and books. The colors swirling in front of her formed into a staff that had four jewels set in a circle around the top. Julia reached out and grabbed it, then got into a pose.

"Yes, it worked!" Sereb said. "Now, cast a spell on the Yung!"
Julia blinked a few times. "H-how did I get dressed in this…outfit? It's rather tight…and how is it supposed to protect me?" She looked at the staff in her hand. "And what is this thing?"

"A fire spell…" Julia pointed the staff at the plodding Yung. "Fire Arrow!" The red jewel on the staff lit up dimly as it formed a small carrot-shaped plume of fire, which slowly floated to the Yung. It exploded near it, causing it to flinch slightly.

Sereb sighed. "You need to concentrate harder. After time, your magic will be more natural, but for now you need to think while using it."
"Okay…" Julia closed her eyes, trying to form a fire arrow in her mind. "Fire Arrow!" This time, a large burst of flame erupted from the tip of the staff and hit the Yung head on, sending it tumbling back. It slowly pushed itself back to its feet and roared, lumbering at Julia. Julia sent out another Fire Arrow, which ignited the Yung's body. With a final roar, it disappeared in a gust of wind.

Sereb ran up to Julia. "You did it! For a beginner, you did very well." Julia glowed slightly as her battle outfit disappeared leaving her in her school uniform again.

"…Now what?" She said, slightly dazed. Looking down at her right hand, she saw that the ring was now on her finger glimmering in the moonlight.

"You will need to fight whatever monsters appear. I can still assist you some…though now my capability is limited."
"How limited?"

"I can cast the four basic elemental spells and four assist spells."

"…"

Sereb sighed. "They are Fire Arrow, Wind Cutter, Stone Shot, Ice Barrage, Attack Up, Shield, Resistance, and Cure. It is also just about the same magic you can cast right now without using up all of your power in one attack."

"I see…" Julia looked up at the starry sky. "I should go home now. I have school tomorrow so I need to get up early."
"I am coming with you."

"…" Julia stared at Sereb.
"I do not require much care, only the basics of food, water, and shelter."

"…Fine. Just don't make any noise during the day; I don't want people to get suspicious."

"Remember, to normal people I appear as a normal creature of this world."

"Right…but let's get going now. I'm…I'm starting to feel slightly dizzy."

Sereb leaned against Julia's leg like he was helping to support her. "It's a normal side effect from magic when you are just beginning to use it."

"As long as I don't sleep in…" Julia and Sereb walked back to the apartment together.

When they got there, Julia pulled out a blanket for a makeshift bed for Sereb, washed up and changed her clothes, then collapsed on her bed. Sereb walked next to Julia's bed. "If I sense any more monsters, I will wake you."

"I'm hoping that won't happen." Julia said with her face buried in her pillow. Sereb curled up on the blanket. "Sereb, if I don't wake up when my alarm goes off, push me out of bed."

"Why?"

"So I wake up. Now…" Julia yawned. "Good night…"

"Good night…"