St. Hilde's Academy

Chapter 1

~Year 69, New Mid-Childan calendar~

Five girls walk out of the house together, chattering in a language unknown to the common residents of Mid-Childa. The group makes its way down the road at a leisurely pace, taking in the beautiful scenery around them. A park across the house the five just exited was empty, save for a rather old man walking his dog. Typically, that very park had at the very least five to six small children running around with their mothers making small talk on the benches. But that was of no surprise to the group. Today was the first day of school at St. Hilde's Academy.


Bells rang, signaling the start of school. Students both new and old hurried through the gates and into their designated classrooms. Greetings were exchanged, as were names. Stories of adventures that had happened over break were told as laughter broke out here and there. And in a certain classroom held the group of five girls mentioned earlier. Now, instead of speaking that foreign language, they spoke what seemed to be a dialect of English. The differences were almost imperceptible unless you were a native speaker. Their new classmates were all shocked at the five new students. "Hey, aren't they wearing the sorcery studies uniform too?" murmured some guy. True, it was a new school year, but new students usually only applied for the lower grades -when it wasn't as hard to get in. Lessons are demanding even then. But for five to enter the intermediate course, when all the basics had been covered… There was something that was unnerving about the group.

Oblivious to the stares, the girl in the front with a lopsided auburn ponytail cleared her throat and said, "Pleased to meet you all! My name is Nanoha Takamachi, but you can call me Nanoha. I hope we can get along in the future." Said girl gave a dazzling smile.

A stunned silence continued as the twelve year olds tried to comprehend what just happened. Just about everyone jumped when laughter was heard from the back. A boy of slightly above average height was doubled over from laughing so hard.

A confused Nanoha asked, "Was there something funny about my introduction?"

Whipping away a stray tear, the boy straighten up. The group of girls now began to observe the boy. He had dark, jet black messy hair. His now open eyes revealed a startling golden amber color. "Introductions are supposed to happen once the teacher arrives. That should be common sense," he said with a smirk. "But since this is an escalator school, as long as you pass, you can move to the next grade with ease. So, everyone basically knows everyone else. It's been a while since I've heard such a serious self introduction." His eyes softened at that. Everyone had already broke into their own little circle of friends, leaving the five girls isolated in a new environment.

"I meant every wor-" exclaimed an incredulous Nanoha, only to be interrupted by the homeroom teacher opening the door, indicating the start of class.

"Miss Takamachi? Is there something wrong?" The teacher said with a quizzical look on her face.

Nanoha, now the only one left standing besides the teacher, realized that class was starting and hurried to her seat with a blush. "S-sorry about that!" she stuttered out. The girl, seated at her desk, looked down while her vivid blush spread to even the tips of her ears.

The teacher sighed, and began class.


~After morning lessons~

The signal for lunch break chimed throughout the school, and students began to gather around the mysterious transfer students. Due to the fact that the seating chart was made based on last name, Suzuka, Nanoha, and Hayate were relatively close. That also meant Fate and Alisa had to make their separate way towards the three. Everyone seemed to start talking at once when the five finally gathered together.

"Where did you all transfer from?"

"What was the place like before you all transferred?"

"What type of magic can you all use?"

"How old are you two? You both look younger than us." (This statement was towards both Hayate and Nanoha, as Alisa and Fate were taller than average, while Suzuka was of average height. Needless to say, Hayate gave an indignant huff at that.)

"Do you have devices?"

"How did you pass the entrance exams?"

Questions bombarded the group at an astounding rate.

But before Alisa could start barking out orders, a girl with dark green hair interrupted everyone, effectively silencing the classroom. "That's no way to welcome new students! Interrogating them like that is a big no-no." The girl made gracefully weaved her way through the crowd and planted herself firmly between the five girls and her other classmates. "Mah name's Hanna Schmidt, and it's nice ta meet'cha! Now follow me!" A mischievous glint flashed in her eyes as she pushed the five girls through the crowd somehow. Perhaps by intuition or keen observation, the girl called Hanna knew that just pulling one girl would get the rest to follow. And so she continued to lead the startled five down the halls and outside corridors, her high ponytail swayed left and right as she ushered them along.

The place she finally stopped at had a behemoth of a tree, just barely within the premises of the school. Only a few more meters was the start of the forest -otherwise known as the academy's boundary line. The forest that surrounded the school and the road in front of the school marked its borders.

"Nanoha, are you fine? Did you push yourself?" murmured Fate. A worried glance came from the other three girls.

"Jeez, I'm fine! It's okay, so don't worry about it. We barely did anything to strain ourselves," states Nanoha. She smiles reassuringly, but Fate was still watching her, concerned.

Slightly out of breath, Hanna was surprised to see that Fate and Nanoha were breathing evenly, giving no indication that they had just ran about a kilometer in about three minutes. The school's winding corridors and large grounds could easily cause students to become lost, if not for the students' devices (if they had one) and the "you are here" maps posted everywhere. The school would loan devices to students during class, but as they were expensive, they didn't have enough to give out to every student.

Even though Hayate, Alisa, and Suzuka were somewhat winded, the group showed a level of fitness that would without a doubt place them at the top tier level, where everyone was at least a C ranker in magic. Fate and Nanoha especially. This, in turn, piqued Hanna. Interesting~ Just what kind of training did they put themselves through? They couldn't have passed those entrance exams with potential alone.

"Thank you for saving us Ms. Schmidt, but is there some reason you brought us here?" A cautious Nanoha questioned. A level gaze fell on the green haired girl. Unconsciously, a shiver ran through said girl's spine.

"I don't think you needed to drag us this far away from the classroom," continued Fate, "so could you tell the two boys above in the tree to come down and introduce themselves?"

Immediately after Fate's words, the two jumped down from their hiding spot and began to observe the new girls. "Ohhh… How cool~" whistles a familiar black haired boy, and along with him was a seemingly timid boy that had silky brown locks obscuring half his face. "We were going to jump down anyways, so no need for the hostility. After all, we're fellow students, right?"

"Idiot! It's all yer fault fer sayin' such provocative words earlier!" A smack sound echoed slightly as Hanna hit the black haired boy. "Now 'pologize fer yer inexcusable behavior!" With those words, Hanna forced an annoyed boy to bow, her slight frame belied the strength she used.

"Calm down already, I was about to~ You really are so violent, it's no wonder you have no boyfriend." He teased as a smile appeared on his face. Perhaps it was irritation or embarrassment, or even a combination of both that caused Hanna's face to glow a bright red. Now, she matched her uniform in color -her hair was of the same shade as the green on her uniform while the shade of her blush was not unlike her necktie. At the bickering, both Hayate and Suzuka shared a slight chuckle. Perhaps they aren't as bad as they seemed was an unspoken thought that occurred to the 5 girls.

Amiably, he takes a small step towards Nanoha. "As I said before, we're your classmates, so let's get along, right?" One more step. "I don't know if you remember, but I'm James Brandt." James points to the brown-haired boy, "and this here is our friend and classmate, Bryse Aston."

"He-hello." With a small wave of Bryse's hand, he smiles at them. "Y-you all c-can call me Bry. Th-that's what m-my friends call me, an-anyway." He timidly looks down, not used to the 5 pairs of eyes staring at him. In the few seconds he kept his head up however, the girls saw the kindness and in his pale gray eyes. "Th-that is, i-if you all w-want to be our f-friends?"

Immediately, Alisa spoke up. "It's bad manners to not look at the person you're speaking to, you know. Stand up straight and look them in the eye!" With that, she proceeded to take Bry's hand and shook it firmly. A startled gasp came from the boy as he straighten up out of his slouch. With his back straight, he was tall. Before, he stood only half a head taller than Alisa. But now, he towered over her with her eye level barely going to his shoulders. She was still ranting even after that.

As usual, her bluntness was overwhelming, sighed Suzuka, who had already tuned out what Alisa was saying. She says that even though she hasn't really spoken since classes started. Even she can be quiet sometimes. The new environment was intimidating for her. An entertained smile rose as she mused to herself.

Perhaps we can be friends, all 5 girls thought.

It was in that moment with James and Hanna bickering about clothes and Alisa still taking out her morning's frustrations on poor Bryse that the remaining 4 girls thought, they at the very least will make for a fun school year. Looks and giggles were swapped as Nanoha spoke up, cutting off Alisa mid rant. "Sure Bry! As I said before, please call me Nanoha." A compassionate gaze fell on Hanna and James, who had finally stopped squabbling when they had heard the giggles. "After all, the first step to becoming friends is calling each other by his or her name, right?" Nanoha winks, trying to look cool.

"Tryin' ta look cool?" grins Hanna, not skipping a beat. "Well, gestures 'side, ya sure do have a way with people!" The jubilant hazel-eyed girl stepped up and pulled the mentioned girl into a side hug. "Come on, class is startin' in 10 minutes! We got 10 minutes ta eat before af'ernoon lessons start!" She turns around at an alarming speed, glaring at James. "Kaiser, James! If ya were more like Bry, we might'a had more time ta eat," proceeding to use the very little time they had left for lunch to wrangle James. Bry had a panicked look on his face while he tried to calm Hanna down. Sadly, she was on a roll, and a stuttering Bryse was not going to stop her. "Ya know, you an' Bry already got ta eat before I brought 'em here. And why were ya hidin' in a tree? Ya couldn't just stand there like normal, civilized people?!" Mercilessly, she shot forth complaint after complaint, giving him no time to remark nor time for herself to breathe.

"Isn't it nice, Nanoha?" says a smug Alisa. "You didn't have to 'befriend' them like you usually do."

"Th-that was uncalled for, Alisa! Besides, I had no other way of making you listen!" Defended a flushed Nanoha. "And Fate wouldn't talk at all! It was the only way I could make her listen!"

"Ohhh? So Nanoha is the type to resort to force?" Hayate remarks innocently. "That's no good, Nanoha. Violence isn't always the answer. If you're so violent, you'll never get married~"

Even Fate couldn't resist teasing. In a serious but gentle tone, "They're right, Nanoha. You need to learn to use more peaceful ways to make friends. Just look how well it went today. You made three new friends! Besides, your usual…methods might cause you to strain yourself."

"! Even you, Fate?" pouted an irritated Nanoha. Too bad it did nothing to stop her friends from poking fun at her. "And how else was I suppose to get you and Vita to talk?! You two are as stubborn as rocks! Just because I've had little …disagreements with everyone doesn't mean I always resort to force!"

"Now Nanoha, you can be just as stubborn, if not more. Also, name a time you became friends with someone that didn't involve and fighting, whether against said person or someone else," chimes in Suzuka. Full-on smiles had settled on everyone's face by now. All five knew Nanoha couldn't rebuke that.

"…"

Luckily for Nanoha, the warning bell rang to signal classes resumed in 5 minutes. However, that also meant that the six girls didn't have any time to eat their lunch. Temporary truces were called as the new group of friends ran back to the classroom.

Needless to say, all six girls were ravenous by the time school had ended for the day.


A/N -… So? How was it? To anyone who bothered to read this, thank you! This is my first fanfic, and I hope you'll enjoy it. PM me for any mistakes!