Author's Note: REVISED VERSION! (Much longer than the first!) This is the result of watching Princess Princess. Blame the muses.
Warning: Yaoi and Lovino's cursing
Pairing/s: I already mentioned some... Other pairings are secrets for now but multiple pairings are everywhere!
Disclaimer: not mine.
Summary: Hetalia Gakuen is an elite boys' school with a secret. Within its high walls are its greatest treasures, the source of strength, confidence and purpose that continuously make its students unparalleled.
meru meru meru Page Break meru meru meru
"Fratello! Fratello, look! Our letters are here!"
Lovino looked up from his book as his younger twin bounced his way into their shared room, a pair of large white envelopes with the Hetalia Academy insignia pressed against his chest. Oh, so it was that day already, he realized.
"Fratello, aren't you excited?" asked the exuberant Feliciano, nearly bouncing on the balls of feet.
He shook his head at his twin, snorting. "They probably say almost the same thing as they did last year, Feli. No need to be excited."
Feliciano, still all smiles, beamed at him. "Come on, fratello! Don't you want to know your schedule at least? Maybe we'll have some classes together!" If possible, the younger Italian boy's smile got wider. "Maybe Ludwig and I have the same schedule again like last year! I'll have to call him and check!"
"Are you still dating that potato bastard?" Lovino asked surprised, the prominent, Vargas curl straightening with his sudden outrage. He really couldn't see what his twin found so attractive about that German guy. For one, he was such a stiff necked, no nonsense jerk- the exact opposite of his baby brother. He couldn't quite figure out how they had managed to get along since last year let alone actually have a relationship.
Feli giggled, snapping him away from his thoughts on why that potato didn't deserve his charming, little brother. "Of course, I am! You're being very silly, fratello!"
The younger twin carefully placed the envelope beside Lovino and left him to open it up on his own. Once he was downstairs, he thought carefully about what to make for dinner. He had decided on making classic spaghetti with meatballs and was already preparing his ingredients when he heard his brother yell from upstairs.
"Oh, no! Hell, no!" Feli dropped the meatball he'd been rolling accidentally. "That bastardo! I'm gonna kill that fucking Brit!"
meru meru meru Page Break meru meru meru
Matthew read through the catalog of hockey gear, mentally calculating his allowance for that year and how much he was going to have to save up for the really cool hockey stick he'd seen.
"Mattie, look what I got!" his older brother yelled from the hall outside before bursting into his room. "Our letters are here!"
Surely enough, the stark, white envelopes were in his hands. Always the cheery one, his older brother flopped on his bed and handed him his envelope, looking at him expectantly.
"Aren't you going to open yours?"
Alfred shook his head, the errant curl on his head fluttering in the air. "Nah," he said, waving a hand dismissively. "I know what's in it already. I wanna know what Arthur put in yours, though. Come on, open it up! Don't leave me hanging here, Mattie!"
Matthew raised a brow suspiciously. The only time his brother looked so eager and excited like a chipmunk on drugs was when he knew something no one else knew. Damn. What could Arthur have put in here?
He looked at his envelope warily and decided to just go through with opening it. Careful as always, he lifted the flap and took out what was inside. There were the usual things one would find: his letter of acceptance, list of required supplies, elective subjects he was qualified to accept during the year and... huh. A pale pink colored envelope with the imprinted symbol of the Queen of Hearts.
Double damn. He heard his brother squeal in the background before strong arms squeezed the breath out of him. He was so going to murder Alfred.
meru meru meru Page Break meru meru meru
Enchanting piano music echoed through the halls of the Edelstein family's summer home, the servants enjoying the lovely music while they went about their chores. Inside the music room, the heir to the family's fortune sat in front of the grand piano, long, slender fingers breezing through the keys with amazing expertise.
A knock on the door followed by the creaking of heavy oak made him pause, turning blue-violet eyes to he elderly butler carrying a tray. The tray had a white envelope with the Hetalia Academy's insignia imprinted on the front.
"Young master, your school letter has arrived," announced the servant, approaching him and setting the envelope on the low table inside the room. "I shall leave it here. Do you require anything?"
The boy closed the shutter over the piano's keys almost lovingly before standing up. He walked gracefully toward the butler and thanked him, taking the envelope in his hands.
"I don't need anything, thank you, Michaels. You may leave now," he said, opening the envelope on his own.
The usual things were there and something else that made dread bloom in his chest. A rose-colored envelope... he'd heard from older students what it meant when you received one. He hoped valiantly that this was all a mistake.
Opening the smaller envelope, he found his name written on a piece of scented stationary and his hope that it was all a bad joke died a little.
"Messr. Roderich Edelstein,
Congratulations for being accepted to Hetalia Academy for your second year. It would please us greatly if you'll be able to join us for afternoon tea at the Rose Lounge on the third of June at three o'clock as we have much to discuss for the incoming school year.
Failure to attend would mean forfeiting your enrollment.
The Former Queen of Hearts
& The Reigning Queen of Cloves"
This was no invitation. It was a threat! The heir crumpled the note with as much grace as he could muster.
meru meru meru Page Break meru meru meru
Hetalia Academy was a remote school in an island off the coast of Japan, connected to the rest of civilization only by bridge. Its students come from all over the world and most stay in the dormitories long before the school year officially starts.
Deep inside the dormitories of Hetalia Academy was a room no one save a selected few could enter. It was right in front of the expansive flower gardens and away from most students' sight. Cream-colored wallpaper covered the walls from top to bottom and blue velvet curtains webbed with golden thread hung from the large bay windows. Classic, wooden furniture was placed strategically throughout the room.
Sitting by the open bay windows of the room, two blondes were enjoying a nice cup of tea, eagerly waiting for their guests though they didn't show it.
"I'm sorry if I caused any trouble asking you to come here on such short notice, Tino," said one blonde as he stirred his tea. "I hope you weren't busy."
The other blonde, Tino, shook his head with a pleasant smile, selecting a sandwich from the platter prepared for them. "It's no trouble at all, Arthur. Although, I have to admit, Berwald wasn't very happy about it. It was fortunate that Alfred called him at the same time you did. Of course, he'd have declined if Ivan wasn't there."
Arthur smirked. "Yes, what a coincidence."
"I'm sure," Tino replied pleasantly, his eyes mischievously bright. "So, when will they be arriving? I'm really looking forward to meeting them in person."
Arthur checked his watch, rather prominent eyebrows furrowed. "They should be here any moment now."
As soon as the words escaped his lips, hurried stomping met their ears and the doors slammed open, admitting a flushed, furious Italian boy.
"You fucking asshole!"
The boy was simply beautiful, the Finnish appraised critically, eyeing the newcomer with interest. Dark brown hair, tinged slightly red when touched just right with light framed the small, heart shaped face. Expressive brown eyes burned with rage and Tino found himself thinking that he'd be the perfect partner for the new King of Spades.
Tino nodded his approval imperceptibly at Arthur and smiled at the Briton who coughed into his hand, both suddenly remembering the former Queen's own litany of curse words when he had received his own rose envelope. It would have made all his brothers proud had they been there to hear it.
"What's the big idea, sending that fucking envelope to me, you bastard?" the Italian yelled at Arthur. "It better be a mistake 'cause there's no way I'm doing any of this shit!"
Tino couldn't help it. The Queen of Cloves promptly fell into giggles as Arthur rolled his eyes. Lovino Vargas looked so adorable, like an angry, little hamster and he was definitely perfect for their job.
"What's so funny?" the bad tempered boy asked defensively, brows furrowed.
Tino wiped a tear at the corner of his eyes, taking deep breaths as he gathered himself. "I'm sorry. It's just that you remind me so much of Arthur back then."
"WHAT?" Lovino yelled, the errant strand of hair standing straight up as if in protest. Ah, so that was the legendary Vargas curl. "There's no way in hell I'm like that stuck up pansy!"
"Tino, I resent that. I am, in no way, like this brat," Arthur said derisively. "I was much, much worse than him." He turned acid green eyes toward the Italian, who promptly stepped back from the venomous gaze. "And for your information, Mr. Vargas, in the next two years of your life here in the academy, you'll be a so-called pansy."
Whatever retort Lovino had, died a swift death at the approaching sound of footsteps and two voices, one definitely excited and the other uncertain. All eyes turned to the open doors expectantly where a boy with sunshine gold hair burst in, dragging a younger boy behind him.
"The hero is here!" announced none other than Alfred F. Jones, himself, student council president and star quarterback of Hetalia Academy's football team. Behind him, stood his younger brother, looking around the room with awe. "Hey, Iggy, Tino!"
"Hello, Alfred," Tino returned with a nod. "How's the meeting with Berwald?"
"Meeting?" Alfred repeated, confused, before he remembered, face suddenly alight by the wide grin on his face. "Oh, that! Ivan's taking care of it. He won't need me for a while."
"I hope that doesn't mean you left him with all the work like last time," Arthur asked wth a raised brow, arms crossed over his chest.
The president laughed nervously. "Ahaha, nothing like that, Iggy, I mean, he's doing great- anyway, this is my little bro, Mattie." He pulled the slighter boy forward and held him for Tino and Arthur to see, beaming proudly. "Mattie, you already know Arthur and you probably saw Tino last year."
Purple eyes shyly met the kind gazes. "Um, hi."
"It's nice to see you again, Matthew," Arthur greeted.
"It's great to finally meet you," said Tino, both the greetings making the younger boy blush. His eyes were an unusual color and they were vivid even with the glasses on. His blonde hair was longer than his older brother's and they curled and waved around his elfin face and he had such a sweet smile that Tino wondered if he'd be alright as the Queen of Hearts. He'd heard from Arthur that the new King of Hearts was quite a handful but then again, Matthew wouldn't be chosen if he couldn't handle it. "This is Lovino Vargas. We will be working together from now on with one other from your year."
"Hey, I never agreed to any of this!" came the loud protest from the Italian boy Matthew recognized from one of his classes.
"It's not like you have any choice," Arthur muttered, ignoring Lovino's variety of Italian and English curses. He'd heard and said much worse and Tino could attest to that.
"Um, I didn't know we had a room like this," Matthew whispered shyly, more to himself but Alfred heard him.
"Of course we do, Mattie. You just haven't seen it before," said Alfred cheerfully. "Where do you think Iggy and Tino disappear to when they have to dress up and stuff? Well, you'll be spending most of your time here anyway." He didn't notice his brother and the small Italian blanch at the idea as his eyes zoned in on his wristwatch. "Whoa, look at the time! I'd better get back to the meeting before I miss the whole thing!"
"I hope you don't regret choosing those three as the new kings," said Arthur.
"Nah, they're good. Just a handful but not worse than us back then," said Alfred. He strode over to the smaller blonde and dipped his head low enough to give him a peck on the lips. "See you later, Iggy," he murmured against soft lips, ignoring the Italian's dropped jaw, his brother's wide-eyed stare and Tino's knowing smile. He turned to his brother and Lovino and gave them a wink and a thumbs up. "You guys do your best, okay?"
Without turning back, he rushed out of the room and went on his way to his own meeting, leaving the four boys in a slightly awkward silence.
Arthur cleared his throat. "So, the only one we are waiting for is Roderich Edelstein. We'll officially begin our own meeting when he arrives."
"So, are you two, like, together?" Lovino prodded carefully, watching the blonde closely for a reaction. This might be good blackmail material, after all. He turned to Matthew, noticing how surprised he was and said, "aren't you living with your brother? Didn't you know?"
Matthew shook his head hard. "I knew they were close. I just didn't know how much."
"I'm surprised you only just found out," Tino remarked. "They've been together for almost three years now and they weren't exactly hiding their relationship. They weren't called the King and Queen of Hearts for nothing, you know."
"That's true and the whole school already knows it so don't get any ideas, Vargas," the Briton added as he sat himself on one of the settees in the room, signaling for the others to follow. "You'll just make a fool of yourself."
"But what about the King of Diamonds?" asked the Italian, a little confused. "I heard you have something going on with him."
Lovino supposed being gay in an all-boys school was pretty natural but he really couldn't understand how anyone could be attracted to the scary Russian guy. Sure, he was handsome and he seemed friendly but there was just something about him that made his skin crawl. In the few times that he'd seen the guy last year, he was friendly only with Kirkland and there was some kind of rivalry going on between him and Jones after the Queen of Diamonds left.
"It was complicated," said Arthur, drifting into the memories of the past.
"Still is," Tino quipped.
"But it's getting better," said Arthur with a nod. For a moment, gone was the stern, stiff Briton. His face softened and a small, soft smile lit his face up, his green eyes alight with a gentleness witnessed only rarely and by chance as he stared at nothing, deep in thought.
The change was so dramatic, Lovino and Matthew thought they were looking at a different person. Suddenly, they were not looking at Arthur Kirkland but at the Queen of Hearts. They had seen that look only once on different occasions last year. It was the smile that the Queen of Hearts bestowed on his King, the smile that made him a legend among the past Queens.
Lovino could have sworn he could see white feathers floating about him. And just as suddenly, it disappeared behind the usual frown.
"Not that it's any of your business," he said curtly. Just like that, the moment was broken.
There was a slight knock from the doors and they turned to the elegant brunette, standing proud and aloof like the last Queen of Spades, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose as his eyes roamed the room.
"Ah, you're finally here, Mr. Edelstein," said Arthur. "Please come in so we can begin."
meru meru meru Page Break meru meru meru
Arthur and Tino sat on the settee together while the other three boys settled themselves on separate chairs opposite them. The tea service which had been prepared earlier was already cold and forgotten but none paid any more attention to it.
All of them were keen on finishing this business as soon as possible.
"We haven't exactly introduced ourselves properly yet," Arthur started. "I am Arthur Kirkland, secretary for the student council and former Queen of Hearts."
"I'm Tino Väinämöinen, current Queen of Cloves," said the Finnish boy with a slight nod. "You probably already know why you were asked to meet us today and that is to take the positions of the remaining queens."
Roderich scoffed. "I hardly call threatening to bar us from enrolling 'asking'. If anything, it makes me wonder how Hetalia Academy became an elite school with this process in effect."
"We were threatened much the same way," Tino informed him happily. "And you really can't decline the position if you want to stay in the academy. If by any chance you were allowed to enroll, though, ten points will be taken out of your average every semester that you should be in position. Seeing as our lowest possible grade would be eighty-five percent, you should maintain a grade of at least ninety-five to pass."
Arthur nodded his agreement at Tino's explanation.
Lovino and Matthew paled and Roderich was livid.
"But that's unfair!"
"This is preposterous! It's unheard of!"
"Say what you will but that's the policy of this school way before we got here," Arthur said flatly, crossing his arms over his chest. "And don't bother going to the Board to complain or some government agency or something. They don't care what the school does as long as it maintains its high standing. I know for a fact that most of the Board of Directors were Queens themselves."
"We met them last year," Tino added helpfully as he saw the confused and stricken looks of the three boys in front of them. "You'll meet them sometime soon, too."
Roderich coughed. "Assuming that we would take the position."
"Like I said, you really don't have a choice," said Arthur with a shrug. "Assuming that you want to stay in this school. If you don't, then we'll just find replacements."
Tino raised his hands to appease the now fuming brunette. "Why don't you hear us out first before rejecting the idea?"
Lovino stood from his chair. "Well, why not look for a replacement now? We obviously don't want the job!"
The green eyes that had been so soft if only for a second, hardened like chips of ice and Tino, who had been so welcoming and so pleasant, frowned disapprovingly. Tension was thick at the sudden silence and time seemed to crawl.
It was Tino who spoke. "You were chosen first and for good reason. We've never had to look for replacements before and would prefer it that way. The replacements would be just that- replacements."
"But how?" Matthew muttered before anyone else could speak. "How were we picked?" He stuttered as everyone's attention shifted to him. "I-I mean there should be a lot of us you can choose from. Right?"
The two older boys thought for a moment. "Well," Arthur started, chin cupped in his hand, "primarily, you were picked because of your physical appearance." He ignored the younger ones' indignant squawks. Tino covered his chuckles with a cough. "The rest, though, is a secret. You'll know someday."
"Anyway, we're getting ahead of ourselves," said Tino. "We'll start with what a Queen actually is." He turned to Arthur who nodded for him to continue. "As you know there are four Kings chosen for their exceptional talent and academic excellence. They are the voice of the student body and they work with the student council to make life better for the students. They are chosen leaders and they represent the best among the best of our students.
"Of course, even the strongest need support and that's where we come in." Tino took a deep breath. "Your most important duty is to take care of your Kings, to be their helping hand, to give them encouragement and strength."
"And be their common sense whenever applicable," Arthur helpfully added grimly.
Tino laughed a little. "Yeah, that, too."
"Amongst other things, Queens are the inspiration of students. If the Kings are their ideals, we- or you, rather, are the idols of the school. You'll understand it better once school starts and Tino and I will be working with you," said Arthur. He rolled his eyes as Lovino gawked at him. "Yes, Vargas, it's true. I don't want you ruining our reputations."
"A Queen's term ends once he graduates or if he is deemed no longer able to perform his duties," Tino paused as Matthew raised his hand.
"If that was the case, then there should have been a new Queen of Diamonds right after Wang Yao left for China, shouldn't there?"
Tino shook his head and Arthur's eyes darkened at the mention of the name. "Simply put, a Royal Pair will not be broken even if one of them is already gone. Ivan would still be King if he wasn't elected as the Vice President for the student council and he would have to do his duties without a Queen."
"We can only select replacements before the new term begins but never afterward," Arthur helpfully supplied. "Now, we'll discuss one of the very important aspects of this job I think you'll enjoy."
Tino nodded. "Let's talk about the benefits."
meru meru meru Page Break meru meru meru
Author's note: So this is a little plot bunny that had wanted out since last month. I just had to write it or else it would bug the hell out of me until I can't write anything at all.
Tell me if it's worth continuing and don't worry about Scarves and Roses, I'll finish it. I just had to get this one out of my system.
Reviews are very much appreciated!
Phew! Much longer than the first post!