---Chapter 1: First Day At Bodhum High---
''Sixth Form. Great. Always wanted to get to this stage. To make things worse, I've had to move schools, seeing as the other school I went to didn't have a Sixth Form. My new school is Bodhum High, and my experiences with that place and it's pupils in the past have been...insightful. People say it is a good school, but I have only ever known of trouble to happen amongst the students. To make things worse, the only person here that I know is Serah, who's transferring along with me. I swear, if I hate this place, I am going to drop out before the next holidays. I already have a job, I'll manage without school if I need to.''
The school bus was filled with chatter from students who were generally sat in their social groups. Anybody who wanted quiet was in for thorough disappointment when they entered these buses, as there was no bus that didn't have it's share of preps and jocks. This was no exception for the two new pink-haired sisters that stepped onto the bus for their first day at Bodhum High. They were 16, and about to begin their Sixth Form life. Their names: Lightning and Serah Farron.
As the girls made their way to their seats near the back, people took notice of them and what they wore: Lightning was wearing a slim faded-black vest with jeans and boots, whilst Serah wore a plain white t-shirt, with a pastel pink skirt that was just above knee length, along with tights and cute pink heels, with a pink jacket to match the entire outfit. Both sisters wore the same necklace: a simple silver chain, with half of a blue heart on it. If the two sisters were to put their heart pieces next to each other, they would fit perfectly.
As they sat down at the very back of the bus, it took off for the school. The next few stops it made throughout the seaside city of Bodhum were uneventful for Lightning and Serah, but not too long before the bus was due to reach the school, it stopped to let a group of students on. Their cockiness and somewhat rebel attitude instantly irritated Lightning, and her mood only went further downhill as the group decided to sit right next to her and Serah at the back. Whilst Lightning turned up the music on her phone louder to try and block out the annoying chit-chatter of the newcomers, Serah was open to chat. One of the men from the group spoke up upon noticing this.
''Well hey there. You new to the school?''
''Yeah, me and my sister here are joining the Sixth Form-''
''Aww sweet! We're not new to this school but this is our first year of Sixth Form too.''
Serah smiled as the lone woman in the group hit the man talking to her.
''Stop freaking her out Snow. You haven't even given her a chance to ask who we are!''
Everyone laughed and the man spoke up again. Serah couldn't help but notice the fact that even though it was still warn weather outside, he had a black bandana on to cover most of his blonde hair, and he also wore a ripped white trench coat over his t-shirt and black jeans. As weird of a fashion sense as it was, Serah actually found it quite attractive.
''We're NORA. No Obligations, Rules Or Authority. Name's Snow, these guys are Maqui-'' Snow pointed at a young guy behind him with spiky blond hair and wearing snowboarding clothes.
''Gadot-'' He then pointed at the other tall guy with him, who in complete contrast to Maqui had fiery hair and teal clothes-along with a t-shirt that wasn't buttoned up.
''Yuj-'' Snow pointed at the other guy in the group, with blue hair and standard surfing clothes on.
''And Lebreau.'' Snow pointed at the woman who had hit him earlier on. Serah noted that Lebrau's fashion sense was similar to hers - she too was wearing a simple dark t-shirt, with a denim skirt and heels. Her black hair seemed to just fade into her black leather jacket.
''And you are?''
''Serah Farron. Nice to meet you all!'' Serah shook the hands of each of the NORA members in turn. For a moment, it almost seemed as if Lightning wasn't there - until Lebreau mentioned her.
''And who's miss no-word-girl over there?''
''She's my sister, Li-''
Everyone turned to face the other sister as she spoke her name. Lightning had been listening the whole time, and whilst not wanting to be one of the sociable type any time soon, she figured that if she wanted anything near a good start to Sixth Form, she better start introducing herself and making herself known at least. Nobody liked an anti-social mood killer. Lightning was still looking out the window, leaning her head against her right arm, but then she turned to look at Serah and NORA.
''How are the students at this school, in general?''
Serah thought that this was an odd question to ask, but she had no objections to finding out herself.
''They're generally alright. We each have our own social groups as such. People like you who are new to the school often just tend to fit in with a certain group. You'll see what I mean...why did you ask that, anyway?''
''My experiences with students from this school in the past have been...troublesome...for lack of a better word.''
Lightning turned back to looking outside the window and listening to her music, whilst Serah just shrugged at the others and continued talking to them.
Lightning and Serah had been put in the same tutor group for Sixth Form - and they were late to registration on their first day.
As they ran into the room, they were both surprised to see how small the room was. It was no bigger than the living room and kitchen combined back at the sisters' home, and it was pretty cramped too, with tables and chairs taking up half of the small space, the teacher's desk at one end of the room and an interactive whiteboard at the front.
Occupying all the chairs except two at the front were a mixture of students from different backgrounds and cultures, all of them staring at the two newcomers, but what was more scary to Serah was the woman sitting on the teacher's desk, looking directly at her and Lightning. It wasn't so much her appearance that was scary - she looked like a stereotypical teacher, with a blouse and skirt, accompanied by tights, heels and glasses - rather, it was her stern gaze towards the sisters that scared Serah.
''You two must be the new additions to the form. Why are you late?''
''Sorry, got lost.''
''Hhmph. Take a seat, Serah and Claire-''
''Lightning. Call me Lightning.''
Serah knew Lightning wasn't doing this for attention - it was simply because she associated bad memories with the name 'Claire' - but now her sister had one and truly attracted the attention of the other students in the room. No doubt, this would become the topic of conversation between them at break.
The teacher, on the other hand, wasn't so interested.
''I won't be so personal as to ask why, Miss Farron, but I will call you Lightning for now. Take a seat. You're lucky I haven't done the register yet.''
''Thank you, Miss...''
Lightning nodded and then she took her seat next to Serah. Miss Skye took the register, and then Lightning proceeded to daydream, up until she received her timetable. Once the students were allowed to talk for the last few minutes of form time, she immediately turned to Serah and the two began comparing their timetables.
''Have we got Maths together?''
''I'm not sure - everyone has it at the same time, apparently. It doesn't look like we have English or any of the Sciences together though, or PE.''
''I don't take Art, Business or Music - I take Economics, ICT and Philosophy instead-''
''But we both take Drama, so we're both in the same class! Lightning, I honestly didn't think you'd take a subject like that-''
''If I didn't pick a subject where I could be out of my seat for most of the lesson, I'd kill myself by the end of the week due to boredom. That's the only reason why I picked Drama. But if you haven't noticed already, we have History together.''
''And we have PSE together too, seeing as we have that with our tutor group. We also have Miss Skye for PSE as she's our form tutor-''
''Serah, how do you know so much about the school?''
''A friend of mine comes to this school - he's starting Sixth Form this year as well. He told me everything we need to know!''
Before Lightning could say anything more, the bell went off for first lesson and the two girls set off for their first lesson: Maths.
Serah and Lightning were in different Maths classes, but the friend that Serah had mentioned was in the same class as Lightning. The teacher had chosen to seat everyone in alphabetical order, so the two found themselves sitting next to each other. The boy's mouth opened in pure shock when he saw Lightning sitting down next to him.
''No way...you're Serah's sister, aren't you?''
''How do you know?''
''She's a good friend of mine-''
''Were you the friend that told her 'everything she needed to know' about the school? She's mentioned you already if so.''
The boy smiled sheepishly.
Trying to make himself appear more friendly, he held out his hand.
''Hope Estheim. Nice to meet you.''
The two shook hands, and all throughout the lesson Hope quietly talked to Lightning, trying to pry more info out of her. Unfortunately, all he got was a few words, and nothing more. By the time the bell for second lesson with, the only info Hope had gained from Lightning was that she and Serah were twins, and they didn't live with their parents.
Hope didn't have the same lesson as Lightning and Serah next, so he left for Geography. Serah caught up with her sister and they both walked over to History.
''So is Hope in your Maths class, Light?''
''Yeah. I got put next to him thanks to the alphabetical ordered seating plan too.''
''Well THAT is just amazing! So what do you think of him?''
''He seems a nice guy...but he was way too curious about me. Asked far too many questions for my liking. That aside, I may get to like him more in the future.''
Serah looked a bit downhearted at this, but she didn't complain. She was used to Lightning's somewhat dismissive manner of others, especially if it was someone she'd only just met.
As the two girls walked into History class, they noticed that the room was at least three times the size of their form room. This meant things were much more spaced out. The tabled were put in groups of anywhere between 4 and 8, and bagging the table right at the very back of the room were Snow and Lebreau. Upon seeing the sisters, they shouted them over, and, much to Lightning's reluctance, Serah grabbed her sister's wrist and dragged her over, with her sitting next to Snow and Lightning sitting next to her on the other side. Their group of tables were a group of 6, and Lebreau was sitting on the other side of Snow.
Lightning expected this to be it for their group, but then Snow decided to shout half-way across the classroom again.
''Hey, Vanille! Come sit over here, we saved a seat for you!''
The Farron sisters turned to see who 'Vanille' was, and were surprised with what they were met with - Vanille's hair was tied up in two pigtails, and her hair was of a similar shade to Lightning and Serah's hair, only with more of an orange hint in it. She wore a wavy peach-pink dress, with sandals on her feet. Lightning was surprised that, even though it was still warm outside, Vanille didn't seem to feel cold at all. When she spoke, her voice bared a very heavy Oerban accent.
''Hi guys! Who are these two?''
Snow introduced the sisters to Vanille, who sat down next to Lebreau and then held out her hand to Lightning and Serah, who took it and smiled at her.
''Nice to meet you guys! Name's Vanille. Yes, I'm from Oerba, no, I'm no Pulse immigrant! I moved here before the whole 'no pulsians allowed to move to cocoon' rule came into play!''
Lightning pretended to act friendly, but inside she was grimacing. The rule that Vanille mentioned came into place as the result of a war that had happened a few years ago, and Lightning remembered it all too well...
Before she could grimace any further, however, the door burst back open and everyone just looked on in silence as a man walked in, humming a tune to himself. He was dark skinned and had a massive black afro on top of his head. He did not look like a teacher one bit, with his jeans and black t-shirt with the words ''I LOVE CHOCOBOS'' on it. Almost as if on cue, a small baby chocobo flew out of his head and perched on his shoulder, giving a little bow when everyone's attention turned to it.
On the back table, everyone's mouths flew open in pure shock. It wasn't just the fact that their history teacher seemed too casual - it was also that they all knew him.
''Right kids, stop staring at the old man, attractive as I am!''
Everyone at the back immediately tried to make themselves look like they weren't just gawping at their teacher, but they were all still in disbelief as he continued to talk to the class.
''My name is Mr. Katzroy. This little fella on my shoulder is my pet chocobo. And you lot are in History class, though I suppose you already knew that last part seeing as you're in the right room and all...''
Everyone continued to look on in disbelief. Then a student near the front raised their hand nervously.
''You, at the front. What you want?''
''Err...Mr Katzroy...why have you got a chocobo with you?''
''Because, my friend, this chocobo is a surprisingly good assistant. She helps me keep things in order, and when all else fails, she sure as hell keeps you guys amused when I can't. You'll get to know her very well as time passes.''
The shock on people's faces were beginning to wear of, but Lightning, Serah and the others at the back were still gob smacked at the idea of someone they would otherwise consider their friend now being their teacher.
''Okay, register time. Sorry if I pronounce your names wrong - that'll just be my god-awful pronunciation skills at work. And sorry if it takes a while to remember your names too - that'll just be my old age getting to me. Right, here we go...''
As Mr Katzroy did the register, the back table started whispering to each other.
''I didn't know he was a qualified teacher!''
''Looks like the old man still has it.''
''It's good to see his chocobo here with him.''
''Wait, how do you know him?''
''We're regular visitors to the bar that he and his wife and son own.''
''Aww. Dahj is cute!''
''This is like living in the twilight zone-''
''AHEM. LIGHTNING FARRON.''
Everyone from the back table looked up to find the rest of the class staring at them. This was the third time that Lightning's name had been called out.
''Yes. As made obvious by the chitter chatter accompanying you and the rest of your table. Old man can still hear you, you know!''
The back table went silent and stayed that way as Sazh continued the register. Then he picked up a stack of textbooks and handed them out to the class.
''Right little minions. First topic we're gonna look at is the War Of Transgression. Yes, it was an awfully long time ago now - even longer than I've been alive for - but this is History class so we're gonna cover it! You'll all need to refer to certain pages in the textbooks that I've now forgotten the numbers for, but that's why those wonderful inventions called 'contents pages' were invented. And before we even get to that stage, I've got a nice short video to show you first...''
''Right, that's all for this lesson people! It's breaktime, so go eat and get fat! I'll see y'all on Friday!''
As everyone started to pack up, Sazh shouted one more thing over the increasing chatter.
''Oh, and I'd like to see the kids on the back table before they leave. Cheers!''
Everyone on the back table looked at each other before moving to the front. Sazh leaned back on his chair, kicked his feet up and smiled at them.
''Well what a surprise it is to see you guys here! Didn't think you guys attended this school!''
Snow was the first to speak up.
''Since when have you been a qualified teacher?''
''Since before you were born, my friend. I had to give it up for a while when my wife had Dahj, but now that he's slightly older and my wife has left her work, I've decided to come back. What you guys think of my teaching style?''
''Good to know you like it. And as for you, Miss Farron...''
''Try to smile a bit more, yeah? And I hope you don't mind me calling you Light instead of Lightning. Also, all of you - when there's no other teachers around and not many students around, feel free to call me Sazh. I hate the formality of being called Mr Katzroy but unfortunately that's part of my job.''
They all shared a smile.
''Go on. Don't let the old man keep you back any longer. Go and enjoy your break. See you all on Friday if you don't come to the bar sooner than that!''
Everyone smiled as they all left the room.
The rest of the day were uneventful for the two sisters. Lightning and Serah were in different groups for PE, English and the three Sciences, so with the exception of lunchtime and form time, they were separated for the rest of the day.
On the school bus back home, after NORA had got back off, Serah decided to talk to Lightning for the rest of the journey.
''So Light, what do you think?''
''It's...different. Not as bad as I expected either.''
''What do you think about Sazh being our history teacher?''
''That's definitely something I wasn't expecting! Sazh is crazy, but I think he'll turn out to be a good teacher. It's good to see that chocobo of his with him as well.''
''Yeah...what about Snow and NORA? And Vanille?''
''NORA remind me of wannabe rebels. They're gonna take a lot of warming up to. Snow is no different to them. Vanille seems nice enough, but I want to get to know her a bit more first before I decide if I should try to be friends with her or not.''
''You need to lighten up a bit more, Light.''
''Yeah, I do. But sometimes, I just can't help myself. You know how it is.''
''Well, if it makes anything seem better, we have two lessons together tomorrow instead of just one: PSE and Drama - A.K.A the lesson where, as I quote: 'I can be out of my seat for most of the lesson so I don't kill myself out of boredom by the end of the week.' Seriously, is that the only reason why you took Drama?''
Light was smiling now. And this time, it was a genuine, whole-hearted smile.
The two sisters laughed as they made their way back home.