Title: Diversity
Author: homesweethomicide13
Rating: T
Pairing: None in focus
Warning: Minor profanity
Disclaimer: I love my boys, but they're not mine.
Summary: AU-Oneshot. How 'High School' stories should be written.

Author's Note: This was written to show people how to write a decent AU high school story for Deltora Quest. First of all, be creative with the school name – 'Deltora High' is pretty lame. Don't make the school particularly famous, exceptional, etc. Most schools are boring, and average, and nothing special. Stick to the majority here, people! Next, don't have any of the main characters be new kids at the school – overused, and not that interesting. Have all the main characters already at the school, and DO NOT make them all friends in this really tight little group that follows each other around. Yes, groups of friends like that exist, but if you think about it, they're usually full of people who are pretty much the same. Take a look at our regular Deltora Quest cast. They're not the same. They're all different. Therefore, not likely to all be in one huge group at school. Be realistic, people.


Deltora Community College, the largest school in the area. It's nothing special, really, just an average school with average students – of course we have an exceptional few who are pretty smart, but that's to be expected. We're not particularly famous for anything here, and there're only a few former students who are now in the newspapers and on TV or whatnot. Like I said, we're pretty average.

Hi there! My name's Lief. I guess you could say I was one of the more popular kids here, but I don't act it. Well, okay, I sometimes push around the younger geeks, but doesn't everyone? I'm into sports mostly, so a lot of my friends are from the couple of teams I'm on. Allow me to introduce you to some of the students that stand out around here.

See that girl there, sitting in the tree? That's Jasmine. She's a little weird, but I think she's pretty cool. Not many people talk to her, cause she's like, a total ice queen to most people, but she's nice enough to me, and she's pretty cute too.

Let's see, who else… oh, yeah. See those three over there, sat at that table? The girl and two boys? Those are the book nerds. Marilen's pretty smart, she does my maths homework sometimes if I ask her nicely, but the other two are complete losers. Especially the little one, Josef. He's always at the back of the library with these really old books, studying them like they're the bible or something. Ranesh, that tall dark kid, he's always hovering around one of them. He doesn't speak much.

Who else is nearby? Oh! That tall girl over there, with the fur cap? That's Lindal. She's really scary, cause she's got this really short temper and takes offence quite quickly. The hockey stick? Oh yeah, forgot to mention, she's the captain of the girl's hockey team. For a reason. She's put a few people in hospital with that thing.

Oh, here come the Head Girls and Head Boy. Sharn and Anna both applied for the Head Girl position, but the headmaster couldn't decide which of them would be better suited, so he just gave them both the position. Endon's the Head Boy, and I swear he's got something against me. Probably cause I'm more popular than he is.

Those two boys fighting over there are the twins, Glock and Gers. They're always fighting with each other, cause they're like, rivals in everything. Both of them are in my little gang of friends, cause they're both on sports teams – Gers does football and rugby, and Glock does basketball and hockey. They're both pretty good, too.

Oh – that dark girl on the bench? That's Zeean. People call her a witch cause she practices magic. I think it's just some little phase she's going through, but it might not be, cause her whole family's a bit weird like that. They all wear these really weird robe things too…

Word of advice, don't even think the word 'short' around this gang coming towards us. The ringleader is Gla-Thon – weird name, I know – and she really hates being called short. They're a few years younger than me, but I swear they rule this school from behind the shadows. They're all really aggressive, so be careful what you say when you talk near them.

The short boy waving at me now is Manus. He's not really the sort of boy you'd expect me to be friends with, cause he's shy and he plays the flute and sings in the school choir, but he's pretty decent. He helped me with a project for school once and he's actually kickass with that flute of his. He should totally play in some big, famous orchestra or something.

Hear those girly squeals? Nanion must be around. He's one of the best looking guys in school. Seriously, he has model-quality looks and he knows it. He's a bit arrogant, but when you look that good, who wouldn't be? He always has a flock of girls following him wherever he goes. Guess I'm a bit envious of him sometimes.

The girl running up to Manus now is Tira, another member of the school choir. I don't think I've ever heard her say more than a few words. She's really shy, and she has this totally quiet voice, so when she does speak, you can hardly hear her. And she's terrified of small, furred creatures for some reason.

Oh, god. Don't look now, but the resident freaks are heading this way. No, I'm not being rude, they actually are freaks. They're triplets, but they look nothing alike, not really. The tall thin boy is Tom, and he's really sneaky. I don't like him. The shorter boy is Jack, and everyone around here calls him Laughing Jack, cause he tells jokes like, every five seconds. The girl clutching at Tom is Ava. She's the youngest of the three, and she was born blind or something. But she's creepy, cause it's like she can see you even though she can't actually see.

The two big students over by that wall are Joanna and Orwen. They're dating, but it's weird to think about cause they're both so tall and strong. They're on the wrestling team here, and they've won us a few trophies in the past. We would have made the championship if it hadn't been for that Bri from Lees Technology College.

Oh, great. Neridah's about. Neridah is the most popular girl here, but she's really snotty and I don't like her. Thing is, she sorta likes me, and keeps trying to get me to go out with her, but I'm like, no way. She's too rude for a start. Besides, she's already tried it on with two other guys in the last few weeks – I'll tell you about them later.

Hey, see those three on the school roof? They're Nak, Finn and Milne – and they're always causing trouble. Seriously, everyone knows that if a prank has been played, those three are behind it. Or Jinks. Jinks is the year below them, and practically worships them – except Jinks is worse. Nak, Finn and Milne will own up and say they played the prank, hell they practically brag about it, but Jinks will place the blame on someone innocent to get out of trouble. He's nasty work.

Oh, Fardeep has joined Jasmine in the tree. The two of them get along well cause Fardeep adores anything to do with nature and animals. His family are hippies or something. He's a complete pacifist, and he's usually the one who steps between Glock and Gers whenever they start fighting. The boy sat at the bottom of the tree is Doran, and I've no doubt that the book in his hands is about dragons. The kid's obsessed.

Ugh, now here's a group you really don't want to get involved with. They're all related, and they're all nasty work. They were brought up really bad, like, cause they're all cruel. The two tallest boys are Prandine and Fallow, and the slightly shorter boy is Drumm. They're all brothers, but I've no idea who is the oldest or anything. The two kids following them around are Dain and Faith, brother and sister, and cousins to the other three. Dain really annoys me, especially when he talks to Jasmine.

Bet you're wondering who the people in the masks are, right? Well, the ringleader is Bess. She's in charge of school plays and all that, and I think they're doing a masked-carnival type show next month, hence the weird animal masks and circus acts they're doing over there.

Oh, here we are. Remember I told you Neridah tried it on with two other guys in the last few weeks? Well, they both shot her down in an instant, neither of them are even remotely interested in her. Yeah, they're pretty intimidating, aren't they? The taller one with the cigarette is Barda. I've talked to him a few times, but I always get the feeling he doesn't want me there. See those dog tags around his neck? He's actually in the army already – he's pretty damn tough and I certainly wouldn't like to make him angry. Neridah really tried for him, you know, so maybe she was actually interested in him properly, but Barda was having none of it. I imagine his type of girl is more like Lindal, to be honest. The guy next to Barda, in all those dark clothes? That's Barda's best friend, Jarred – but he's known around here as Doom. Even the teachers call him Doom, cause he refuses to answer to any other name, except when Barda calls him Jarred. Those two have been best friends since they were like, five or something, and they're pretty close. Doom was working towards the army, too, but he doesn't have the same capacity for discipline that Barda does, so he just wants to explore the world and travel. They're both kinda like outcasts, but outcasts that everyone respects. Hell, if you didn't respect either of them, Barda would beat the shit out of you. He's kinda a bully when you think about it. The only people he actually likes are Doom, Lindal and Manus.

Those are just a handful of our students. We have a load more, obviously, and I'm sure some of them are just as interesting, but I don't know them. I've come across a few others in my time here, like Brid and his little gang of guys he likes to hang around with, or Bede and the two sisters who are always fighting over him.

Oh, shit. There's Mrs Brightly, the deputy head. Guess lunch is over and it's back to the hell that is class. Hold on, let me just check my timetable… oh, that's just fantastic. Please note the sarcasm here. I have History next, and I sit between Barda and Doom for that. Not only is it a really boring class, but I hate sitting between those two.

I think I'm the only one in the entire school who knows about their little secret…

I'd better run, otherwise I'll be late for class. It was nice talking to ya, I guess. Maybe I'll see you around sometime.

Author's Note: So there you have it. That's how an AU high school story should be set out. No new kids, nothing spectacular that stands out, and not everyone are friends with each other. Cause that just wouldn't happen in real life. And it doesn't just follow the same storyline as DQ itself, so that makes it somewhat ORIGINAL. And this is only an AU Oneshot cause I do not want to get myself into another series story that I'll never bloody finish. Plus I don't really see how I could carry this on without it getting boring, so I'm leaving it here.

- homesweethomicide13