A/N: My new Higurashi fic is here! It's another SatoShion fic, this time in an AU setting. I've noticed a distinct lack of proper AUs for Higurashi, and Umineko for that matter. Wonder why... regardless, here we go. One more note, I'm going to do my best to do this with the American/Japanese school system. If I make mistakes with it, please feel free to correct me.

Higurashi High, Prologue

Shion sat by in her usual seat, next to Rena in the row of four at the back of the class. On the other side of Rena sat her sister, who was busy arguing with the boy in front of her: Keiichi. Shion yawned. It was their first day back after the summer, their only summer as first-years at high school, gone by so quickly. She leaned against to her left, where there was an empty seat. It was always like this, they would always sit just like this. The four of them had been friends for a good three years now, and by some miracle, had always ended up in the same homeroom classes.

The high school they all went to was perhaps the dullest place this side of Tokyo. It was supposed to be a very good school, but it did not really seem like it. None of the four of them had ever found it particularly good as far as schools ever were. To Shion, the only good thing about it was that it was where her grandmother was not. Being the younger sister, her grandmother never liked her as much as Mion, and it showed. Their family owned a large business, and their grandmother was always trying to groom Mion to take it over when she was an adult, shunning Shion as a result. In spite of this, Shion bore no ill-will towards Mion. It was hardly her older sister's fault that she was a whole five minute older than Shion.

Shion was currently watching Mion and Keiichi's argument develop into a physical conflict of sorts. To be more accurate, Mion had just punched Keiichi, but of course, Keiichi could not hit a girl, that would break rule number one for being a man, so her just complained at Mion until she hit him again. Everything was just like normal, with Rena saying that "Maybe Mii-chan shouldn't be so violent, so violent."

Yep everything was just the same as normal. So normal that Shion thought maybe somebody was deliberately doing it to build up to something abnormal that would happen in about three minutes.

Just as she thought that, the teacher came in, and they did their usual standing and bowing routine. Then the teacher said, "Class, we have a new transfer student who has come to Tokyo recently. Hojo-san, you may come in now."

A blonde boy entered. The first things that struck Shion were his dark eyes, in such great contrast to his blonde hair. She examined his face carefully, noting his thin cheeks, his rounded chin, carefully making a mental map of every detail of his face. She liked what she saw, a kind, handsome face. She thought he was probably the sort of person she would like to get to know.

The boy stood at the front of the class. "I'm Satoshi Hojo," he said, "I'm pleased to meet you."

Shion thought that his voice had a slightly odd tone. It was strained almost, as if saying just that was a great effort.

"Hojo-san, please go to the seat at the back," the teacher said. Shion realised that the teacher meant the seat next to her. Something different had happened that morning, and in the space of, Shion glanced at her watch, 2 minutes 43.

Satoshi walked over to the desk and sat down. Shion smiled at him, he did not return it, he just sat and looked to the front. Shion raised an eyebrow, 'He really is an odd one, mysterious even.' She looked back to the front, as the teacher took the role-call. She took another side-glance at Satoshi, 'What a nice name,' she thought, 'and such nice hair and his eyes,' it was then that she noticed something strange. In his eyes was something that she had seldom seen before. Fear, worry and above all, sorrow.

It took three days of Shion greeting Satoshi in the morning before she got any sort of response, but on the Thursday, she got him to reply, it was only a simple 'Good morning,' and then he went back to staring at the board at the front. Shion, feeling good about him finally replying decided to try pressing him for a little more.

"Hey Satoshi, did you get that English homework done?"

Satoshi turned to her, "Yeah, I managed it."

"Well I was wondering, could you give me a bit of help? The only other person I could ask is sis and, well she's not the brightest person ever."

"Sure," he replied. It had not been much, but Shion had got him talking, it was her chance to get to know him. It was a start.

Bis Bald