Author's Note: Hello! I'll be honest, this is only my second story for Attack on Titan. I (kind of) liked how the first one turned out, but I knew that I had a lot to improve on. I hope that I am able to put that knowledge to use while writing this story, and I hope that it will be more enjoyable to you! Please go easy on me, but do not hold back your true feelings!
Trigger Warnings: Mentions of blood, violence, death, murder, suicide, and curse words may appear in this fanfiction. Please bare in mind that these all take place in a school setting, so if you are triggered by school violence, such as school shootings or stabbings, then you may be triggered by this story.
Against tiled floors, the unmistakable sound of heeled shoes clacking could be heard. Hanji Zoe, with a young looking face and an energetic smile, bopped down the main entrance of an unfamiliar highschool. Without missing a beat, quick glances were shot from wall to wall, so as to not miss a single detail of the building.
Though the lighting was incredibly dim, it was still just bright enough to see one's surroundings. On the left side of the hallway was a large bulletin board cluttered with sloppily written notes. In bold printing, visible to even those passing quickly by, phrases such as "Join Student Council!" were printed. Few pages that had fallen from the board were now laying quietly on the floor, as if waiting patiently for a stranger to come along and pin them back up where they belonged.
The right side of the hallway featured a long mural that had a very simplistic and abstract design. A mixture of what could be assumed to be the school colours; beige, green, and black, mixed together to create a curious combination of swiveled lines and shapes. If given more time to analyze it, Hanji would likely have tried to extract some sort of meaning from the painting but there was no time to waste.
Almost immediately upon entering the vacant school, Hanji had noted that it had an unusual atmosphere. St. Maria, as it was called, had a long-standing reputation for being home of some of the brightest and most well-behaved students in the district. Though it had been many years since anyone had uttered such a phrase regarding the school. Naturally, the only information Hanji had in relation to the school had been acquired through rumour.
The one thing that all people seemed to agree on was, quite simply, that St. Maria had been plunged into the depths of hell several years ago after the massacre of a class known as 3-B. Hanji knew nothing of this story, only that it was likely to be the reason for being personally called in to the school. Naturally, it could be assumed that some sort of supernatural activity was taking place inside the school. Regardless, Hanji entered the job with an open mind.
"Hanji-san?" A deep, sonorous voice suddenly echoed through the barren hallways.
Hanji practically fell to the floor in a hasty attempt to face the owner of the voice.
Standing at the end of the hallway Hanji had just passed seconds ago was a tall, lean man with wheat blond hair that was neatly parted to the right side of his face. Although he had a serious look, he wore a very kind expression and had a gentle look in his eyes. "Hanji Zoe?"
"Ah! Yes, that's me." Hanji answered a bit awkwardly.
The man looked relieved. "My name is Erwin Smith." he stated, as he casually strode forward. "I'm sorry, my office is a bit hidden so a lot of people don't see it at first. I saw you pass by just now. I hope I didn't startle you too badly."
As if not having been frightened a moment ago, Hanji waved a casual hand. "Of course not! I'm just peachy! It takes more than that to startle a medium, after all!"
Not that Hanji was any ordinary medium. On the contrary, the bouncing brunette was known for causing quite some dramatic shenanigans not without getting the job done, of course.
"Shall we head to my office then?" Erwin smiled gently, as he began to lead the way.
"Lets!" Hanji followed along, with a humble bounce in each step.
Arriving shortly at the office of , Hanji was quite surprised to see that two other men were present. "Oh, friends of yours?"
Erwin gave a short laugh. "I'd like to think that we are." he joked. After receiving only confused glances, he added, "These are some men I wanted you to meet. They also work here."
The first man was one with tremendous height, something notable even while he was sitting. He had long, sandy blond bangs that framed his upper face and curled behind his ears. His face seemed to be well-groomed, with his thinly shaped eyebrows, and neatly trimmed stubble.
"This is Mike Zacharius. He's our first vice-principal." Erwin explained.
Mike stood from his seat and approached Hanji, who held out a hand politely.
"It's so nice to me-" the voice of the medium was cut off by Mike, who had suddenly leaned forward and took in a long, deep breath. He pulled away, as the corner of his lip curled upwards slightly.
"-et you..." Hanjis voice drifted off in startled confusion.
Erwin placed a friendly hand on Hanjis shoulder. "It's a bit of a habit of his, so don't mind it. He means you no harm, I can assure you that much." He stated in a gentle tone. Becoming a bit more serious, he added, "And this man here," he turned Hanjis body to face the second man in the room. "is our second vice principal, Levi."
Unlike the first man, Levi was quite short in stature. Despite this, the build of his body and the structure of his face was altogether masculine. He wore a very serious expression, and behind his thin black bangs he had cold brooding eyes that suggested he had no time for joking around. All told, this man was intimidating in every sense.
"Ah, you have two vice principals?" Hanji asked, while turning to face Erwin.
Erwin nodded his head. "We do. This school is a bit unique, after all." he explained, finally relieving his hand from Hanjis shoulder. "Now, if you'd take a seat, there are some things I'd like for us to discuss."
Hanji was quick to obey Erwin's order, not wanting to delay the conversation any longer. "Please tell me everything right from the beginning!"
"Well," Erwin took a seat at his desk. His laid back demeanor had suddenly been replaced with a sedate, grim one. "There was a particular incident that occurred at this school many years ago. Seventeen years ago, to be precise."
Hanjis gave a small nod while listening.
Erwin continued. "The lives of twelve sophomore students were lost on a cold November night. None of them had yet turned sixteen. The incident is commonly refered to as ' St. Maria's hellish massacre.' But the most horrifying thing about it being," he took a bit of a pause, "Nobody knows what happened that night. There were no survivors, no witnesses, only twelve mysterious corpses that were found the following morning."
Hanji's eyes widened with surprise. "Were there any weapons at the scene? Anything like that?"
"A few." Erwin answered shortly. "Six of the students, half of them exactly, were found with weapons on their person. Even then, only some had appeared to be used. There are some sketches if you'd like to see, but I'll have to warn you that they are quite morbid."
"No, no." Hanji quickly denied. "Actually, preferably, I'd just like to see the spot where this all took place and then I can see everything I'll need to."
Erwin gave careful thought before speaking. "There are a few more things I should mention before we go see it."
"Alright. What is it?"
"Well, actually, to be frank, we've never had to resort to calling a medium here before." Erwin was cautious with every word. "I don't know what kind of things you've dealt with in your career, but I feel like this case might be a bit... unique. You see, up until this point, these have been very peaceful spirits. They remained quiet in the comfort of their own classroom, albeit a few who prefered to wander the hallways, but they had always existed here without any signs of malice until recently. I'm not sure what's going on myself, I don't think anybody is certain, but it seems as if something has suddenly awoken within that otherwise silent classroom. I am quite confident in one fact, though. They intend to witness more blood shed."
The room remained silent after Erwin's chilling words. The one to break this silence would be the man sitting on the left of Hanji, Mike Zacharius.
"You've probably noticed already, but this school is now vacant. That's because, at this moment, it's not a safe place for people to be. There have been a lot of student and staff injuries related to the children of 3-B."
"Oh my. How terrible." Hanji let out a sympathetic sigh. "Well, I hate to rush things but I really would love to check out that classroom. I can't get any work done without getting straight to it, after all."
Erwin stood from his desk. "Of course. Lets go ahead. Levi, Mike, come with us."
The two men stood immediately, and were surprisingly obedient to Erwin's words. Mike exited the room first, and Hanji was eager to follow suit. Levi, however, stayed behind to walk with Erwin. The two men spoke quietly amongst each other.
The walk to the classroom felt oddly long and eerie. The only sounds to be heard were the muffled whisperings of the two men, and the lights flickering above their heads.
Dark blue light illuminated the hallways through the large paneled windows on the right wall. Trees from the schoolyard visibly blew in the wind. The view was oddly chilling, and didn't help to soften the ominous feeling that filled the air.
"Hanji, one thing." Erwin suddenly warned. He approached the medium quietly. "The spirits... Well, some of them are a bit shy about showing themselves, you could say. It's best to approach them with silence and caution."
"Roger that." Hanji nodded with a look of determination. "You can count on me!"
Erwin gave a reassured smile. "I'm glad."
Finally arriving at the classroom marked '3-B', Hanji did not hesitate to rush to the front of the group. With an eager grin, the medium slowly reached for the classroom door handle with visibly shaking hands. Then, with a sudden burst of nervous energy, Hanji burst the door open and shouted, "Hello, children! I am Hanji Zoe!"
Awaiting the group on the other side of the door was nothing more than a dark, empty classroom. Hanji's shoulders slumped in disappointment. "Ah man. They're not here."
"Of course not, you idiot." Levi hissed. "Were you not told to be quiet two seconds ago?"
Hanji gave a strained laugh while turning to face the men with a look of apology. "I got a bit too excited, I guess. My bad, I'll b-"
"Excuse me..." A quiet voice suddenly intervened. "I'm sorry, could I please get around you?"
Standing in the middle of the group was someone who was not present seconds ago. The boy was bitty in size, and his fair hair was cut in a short, almost bobbed, style. Judging from his youthful features, and the school uniform he wore, it could be easily assumed that this child was a student of the school.
"Ah. This is Armin Arlert." Erwin interjected. He placed his hands on the boy's shoulder, all while giving Hanji a very stern gaze. "He is one of the students of 3-B."
"One of my students?" Hanji blinked multiple times, and as if suddenly cluing in, added "O-OH. Right. It's so nice to meet you, Armin!"
Hanji extended a hand towards the boy. Armin politely reached forward and shook hands in response. The shock of Armin's extremely cold hand nearly made Hanji jump, but the medium was able to keep a straight face.
"It's nice to meet you too, uhm.." Armin glanced up at Erwin.
Erwin gave the boy a gentle smile. "This is Hanji Zoe, your new teacher."
Armin turned his head to face Hanji again. "That's nice. I'm really happy to meet you, Hanji-san. It's been so long since we've had a teacher in our classroom."
Before getting a chance to respond, a voice suddenly boomed from the vacant classroom. "Armin! Hurry up."
"Oh, that's my friend, Eren. He's in this class too. It was nice to meet you." Armin smiled as he waved goodbye to the four adults. "See you later, Erwin! Ah... I mean, Mr. Smith!"
With that, Armin hurried into the classroom and joined two other students. The first was a boy a bit taller than Armin. His boyish chestnut locks of hair were unkempt and rough. He looked as if he was scolding Armin for talking with outsiders.
The second friend remained silent, and simply stared at the group standing outside the classroom. She was a slender female with dainty facial features and short-cropped black hair. Her body structure looked strong, even through her school uniforms long skirt.
"You're quite familiar with these students, aren't you?" Hanji asked Erwin after a moment's silence.
"More or less." Erwin answered flatly. "You can enter the classroom, I'm sure they won't mind."
Deciding to listen to the mans words, Hanji took a few cautious steps into the classroom. All at once, the conversation that had been taking place inside suddenly halted. The three teenagers stared at Hanji with blank eyes.
Only a few steps behind, Erwin, Mike, and Levi also entered the room.
Hanji wasted no time in surveying the classroom. In every sense, it was an ordinary room. Nothing about it stood out in particular. At the front of the room was a large chalkboard that was so clean that it was almost as if it had never been used. Rows of desks filled the center of the room all the way to the back, where a single cabinet stood. The only thing that stood out was the large padlock that kept the cabinet closed.
With hesitance, Hanji moved gaze from the back of the room. It held a very unsettling, haunting aura that the medium didn't particularly like. Regardless, it was time to move on to the rest of the room.
Catching Hanjis attention in particular were two mysterious slender silhouettes sitting just outside the classroom window. The figures appeared to be ever-so transparent, making it hard to distinguish any specific features. The one thing that was clear, however, was that these two had female forms.
The two female formed spirits remained silent, and sat completely still. Deciding it best not to disturb the two in such a peaceful state, Hanji turned to face Erwin, Levi, and Mike.
"Well then, I've had a nice good look at this room, so why don't we head back?"
A half hour had passed since the visit to 3-B's classroom. Night was breaking into dawn just outside the window of Erwins office. The group was silent, save for the occasional sound of someone sipping at their tea.
Breaking the silence, in a very irritated tone, had been the most silent patron until this point, Levi. "You're not a very good medium, are you?"
A moment of silence passed. Hanji looked around at everyone in the room, until gaze fell upon Levi once again. "You mean me?"
"Who else in the room could I possibly say that line to?" Levi retorted.
"Oh." Hanji responded in surprise. "I can assure you that I certainly am a genuine medium."
"Yeah?" Levi leaned forward, a look of boredom on his face. "Why couldn't you detect Arlert, then? You should have been able to feel his presence if you're a medium. But you haven't actually done a single thing all night, despite having run into five of the twelve kids."
"Well..." Hanji's voice drifted for a moment, before continuing. "Erwin was right. These are quite unusual spirits. They conceal themselves so well. After all, they've had seventeen years practice."
Levi sat back in his seat and sighed. "Even so.. This is your profession, is it not? We called you for results, but you've done nothing useful thus far. How can we be so sure that you're not just one of those cult freaks obsessed with snooping into this case?"
"Levi, please." Erwin cut in. "Lets be a bit more polite to Hanji. It's an unusual case, so it might take some time."
"It's okay." Hanji smiled gently, teacup in hand. "I do have some things I'd like to say, and maybe in turn, I'll end up proving that I do have some usefulness."
"By all means, please tell us." Erwin urged.
"Well, it's related to something you'd mentioned to me earlier. You'd asked if I'd wanted to see the sketches of the crime scene weapons." Hanji began to explain. "That's because the actual crime scene photographs kept getting destroyed, isn't it? And then all crime scene evidence related to the case suddenly disappeared over night."
All eyes in the room widened. "That's right." Erwin responded. "You were able to sense that without being told? That's very protected information."
"Yes, I could feel it. But that's not my entire point. I was able to learn a bit more. The truth is that-" Hanji was cut off by a very instant chill down their back.
Immediately, the mediums eyes widened. "Something is...!" the words were once more cut off, but this time not by choice.
Some sudden force sheathed itself around Hanji's mouth It was not visible to the human eye, but the feeling resembled that of a male human's hand. The shock caused the teacup to fall from the medium's hands.
All three men quickly jumped from their seats. "Hanji?!" Erwin bellowed.
"What do you want with us?" a pitchy female voice echoed. Judging by the confused glances of the three men in the room, Hanji could tell instantly that they had not heard the voice.
"Nothing good comes from snooping. Please leave before you get too far into this. I beg you. This is a warning, and you'd be smart to obey it. This is no place for a person like you!"
Author's Note: I hope you all liked the opening chapter for this story! I wonder how many people will notice what "class 3-B" is a reference to. But, of course, you don't have to understand the reference to enjoy this story!
Also I noticed that my mentions of the school name "St. Maria" were erased every time I had written it for some reason. I'm not sure if I managed to put it back in every time, but I hope so. If not, don't hesitate to tell me!
So what do you all look forward to seeing in this story? Anything you don't like? Please don't hesitate to tell me! I always keep every review in mind while writing future chapters, so I'd love to hear any thought you have! :)