The Grand Neopian University
Chapter 1: Orientation
Years ago, a council of the smartest individuals in all of Neopia would form, with the intent of searching for those eager for a higher learning. King Hagan of Brightvale, King Altador, The Library Faerie, and naturally, Queen Fyora, would be but a few members of this council. They discussed for weeks about their school plans. A college for the brightest, wisest, and most talented of neopets would be formed, allowing them the opportunity to be recognized for their excellence.
The biggest topic, of course, would be where the college would be located. Of course, King Altador wished for it to be in Altador, as it would add great historical value to the school. King Hagan, however, wished for it to be located in Brightvale. After all, with as many bookshops and libraries as there were, it would be easy for any neopets to acquire any needed knowledge. The Library Faerie wished for it to be in Faerieland, as it would provide great protection to students.
Discussion of the location of the school continued on for quite awhile, a few arguments occurring. Seeking to put a stop to these childish and needless arguments, Queen Fyora decided that the university in question would be it's own city. Numerous buildings would provide not only rooms for learning, but also dorms for living, a couple of restaurants, book stores, and other amenities.
After finding an uninhabited patch of land, a group of faeries began to work on building the new land. Of course, King Altador would not forget to bring up the idea of a Yooyuball team for the new college town. Queen Fyora was certainly not against it, letting him be in charge of developing the details of it. After the place was completed, of course. It would take months before all of the buildings were completed and furnished.
The council would than begin the little finishing touches. During their meeting, they had decided that the school colors would be a mixture of gold and purple. Banners draped everyone had the school colors, a crest in the middle of each one. The crest would be of an opened book with the planet of Neopia centered in the middle, floating above it slightly. Thus, the Grand Neopian University was created. With a new land made, the only thing that was left was to find residents for the college town.
Throughout Neopia, many leaders would help with this search. Naturally, they started by sending over known heroes, not only to learn, but to teach if they so wished. Aside from them, accomplished fighters and well known authors were next. For awhile, it was almost as if only celebrities were allowed there. Soon after, as more and more neopets began to show true skill and knowledge and power, they were soon offered an invitation to the GNU.
Of course, not everyone was as earnest about attending. A few neopets who received the offer decided to instead auction the invitation off to any other high paying neopet, willing to spend all their neopoints on an opportunity to attend. A few others were desperate for attendance, but were not given the offer. Many times, this often resulted in thievery, which many rulers couldn't catch or apprehend.
After a few semesters, though, there became a larger balance of well meaning neopets, usually outweighing the ones who merely bought their way in. Soon, many neopets would work as hard as they could, wanting to get the chance to move to this place. Gaining skills and knowledge that wouldn't be given otherwise, chances to meet various heroes and celebrities, and even free tickets for future Altador Cup games! Who wouldn't love that?
Years passed as more and more neopets joined attendance with each new semester. While many often graduated into very high paying jobs, it wasn't unusual for graduates to remain in the GNU, if only because alumni were allowed to live there as long as they needed. Many often said an infamous phrase of the GNU: "If you're brought in, you'll be set for life." It was quite true, indeed, as it was quite rare for graduates to leave the campus. Those that did, however, were often shown to have vastly superior knowledge and skill than anyone else, even if they had lots of it beforehand.
...so how did I get here?
A lone blue Acara stood near the entrance of the GNU, glancing over his papers and ticket in his paws as he thought to himself. He had to adjust his glasses to examine his ticket once more, making sure that it wasn't a phony dropped off by some prankster. The papers that came in the envelope he received had congratulated him on being one of the few neopets selected to be allowed residence at the university. While he was certainly thrilled, he felt like he shouldn't even be there.
Of all the rumors that surrounded the great college, one of them would be that there would be little to no residents who came from Neopia Central. It made sense, though. Neopia Central was more well-known for it's shops than it was it's residents. Anyone who happened to live in that place would most likely be keen to stick to shop keeping, rather than pursue higher education. The Acara, named Lucky, would be the assistant of one of these shops. A game shop, to be precise. He helped stock up shelves of various cards, board games, and sometimes video games. It was a nice little gig, though he never really felt like he would be able to keep this as an actual career. After all, the owner himself, a chubby, yet joyful, Kacheek, didn't seem like he would step down any time soon.
Education was quite limited for residents in Neopia Central as well. The only school building would be a single room building, teaching bare fundamentals of maths, reading, history, and history. While it certainly wasn't much, Lucky took in as much as he possibly could. A few times, he felt like he just barely passed by tests and quizzes, a few other students showing more skill than he. Not that he cared too badly, since he was used to being blended into a crowd. Nothing too special about him. Even in his own small group of friends, he tended to stick to the sidelines, staying quiet and listening to them converse.
One morning, after brushing his shaggy brown hair and getting dressed for another day of work, Lucky was greeted by the Kacheek, who had a wide, surprised look on his face. He said nothing, but handed him the letter. On the front written in gold letters, the purple and gold emblem stamped on the side, was addressed to him.
From the Grand Neopian University.
It wouldn't take long for him to rip open the letter and quickly read through it, his heart just about ready to beat out of his chest. The shop owner was excited as well, wanting this letter to be confirmed. With a single nod from the blue Acara, the man let out laughs of happiness, eagerly gripping and shaking his hand. He rambled on about how proud he was of his assistant, not only happy to see him be able to accomplish more than a mere shopkeeper, but the fact that someone from Neopia Central actually managed to get in!
After allowing Lucky to get his stuff ready, giving him his final pay (with a little extra for good measure), the game shop owner let Lucky leave the store, giving one last handshake before sending him off to travel to the GNU. Of course, many other residents of Neopia Central came up to him, asking if the rumors were true. With such a tightly knit community, it seemed news traveled fast. The sudden wave of popularity made him feel quite... uncomfortable. It was not something he was used to, and with everyone flocking to him, he merely felt like getting to the university as soon as possible.
Of course, he would still wave and smile politely, carrying his bags and pouches with him as he moved towards the edge of the city. A few neopets looked on in envy, wondering how someone of such little importance could get into such a prestigious school. His friends were the most happy for him, though, each one pulling him into one final group hug, wishing him the best of luck. With tears, cheers, and laughs of great fortune, Neopia Central sent Lucky on his way.
Now he found himself at the gates. Even though his excursion would last for quite a few days, it wouldn't be until now that the whole weight of the situation came down on him. How had he managed to get an invitation? Not only that, but he was way out of his element. So many neopets around him, talking to each other about classes they would be taking, as well as Yooyuball practice, fighting practice, study sessions, and other such similar events. It made his head spin a bit.
Lucky caught his breath as he rested against a fence, inhaling a little to mentally prepare himself. He was here now, wasn't he? He might as well see this through. He looked down over his attire. The Acara had dressed himself in a plain blue jacket to match his fur, as well as a plain white t-shirt and regular khaki pants. Around his neck hung, what he called, his good luck charm. It would be the bright blue symbol of the Water Faerie. A present he had received one year for the Holidays. He figured he was just a fake, but wore it nevertheless. Lucky liked water related things, which made sense his species tended to be attracted to water anyways.
He gripped his charm in his paw as he looked around at all the other students. Some looked just as surprised and lost as he was, being fellow freshmen. Of course, plenty of them would be carrying more bags, and sometimes would have rather fancy colors for their fur or scales. Personally, Lucky didn't mind being blue, though if given the chance he wouldn't mind being purple. Or a faerie. He was a fan of those wings.
The Acara gathered up everything and made his way inside the main building. A banner was set up that said "Freshmen Sign In", showing newcomers where to go. Lucky followed the signs before he came up to a large table. Three lines were formed as three different neopets helped get everyone signed in. After waiting in one of the lines for a bit, he finally made it to front, where he was helped by a friendly pink Nimmo lady.
After showing his letter, his envelope, his ticket, and his ID, she looked everything over. At one point, her eyebrow seemed to raise, looking back up at the Acara. "...where did you previously reside?" She had asked simply.
Thinking it was a standard question for them to ask, he answered, "Neopia Central." He kept his voice low, but even then, a few standing around murmured in curiosity. Again, quite rare to have someone come from there.
The Nimmo blinked and smiled politely, holding up a finger. "One second, if you please." Soon, she lifted up a giant binding folder, quickly turning to a certain page with a brown colored tab. She scanned her finger over various names, which were sorted by alphabetical order, as well as region. She stopped in the shortest section of her binder, reading the name.
Unsurprisingly, his was the only name in that specific section. She gave a surprised smile, shutting her book and grinning. "Well, we're glad to have you here, Lucky. Living up to your name quite well, aren't we?" She continued, giggling a bit. Lucky chuckled politely, feeling a bit awkward. It was just a region, he didn't feel like it made him special or anything. Nevertheless, the Nimmo reached behind her and handed him a large parcel, a key and number taped to the top of it. "Here's your dorm key, as well as a welcome gift. I hope you don't mind having a roommate." Without waiting for a response, she reached back under the table and handed to ribbons to pin on his jacket. One would be the purple and gold emblem of the GNU, while the other would be the rainbow emblem of Neopia Central. She smiled brightly at him as she waved him off. "I don't get to hand those out often, y'know. I suggest you get to your room to unpack: orientation is in a couple of hours."
With that, Lucky walked off with the package in his arms. Like usual, he blended into the crowd rather well, not being too special to pick out. It was relatively easy to pin him down as a freshman, though, since he carried the parcel in his arms. Since it covered his ribbons, not many actually knew where he would come from, though in all honesty, they wouldn't care. He was just a freshman, after all. The Acara didn't mind that no one bothered him. He had gotten used to being a bit of a loner.
A small trip to the dorms later, he stood in front of his room. He had to go up a couple of stories, managing to get up to the 6th level of the large building. He looked at his paper to make sure the room was right. "Room 6-D..." He muttered to himself, double checking. Lucky reached for the key and began to unlock the door, stepping in. Inside, he'd see someone already starting to unpack their stuff. From the clothing they wore, it looked very... nature oriented. A vine and leaf covered green dress with matching leggings, to be specific. They also wore a flower in their hair, which was a grassy green. For that matter, they themselves had a fur texture that almost looked like... wood!
The sound of someone entering the room made them quickly turn their head, blinking their big brown eyes at the Acara as their tail twitched. Upon being able to see their face, Lucky immediately recognized his roommate as a Xweetok. He noticed on the front of her dress, besides the GNU ribbon was a blue and red ribbon, adorning the Meridell colors.
Before the Acara could make an awkward greeting, the Xweetok straightened themselves up and faced him, smiling brightly and waving excitedly. "Oh my goodness, hiya! You must be my new roommate, right?" It was apparent with the high pitched, rather squeaky voice, this was a girl. It wouldn't be long before she bounded up to him, her tail twitching eagerly as she shook his hand vigorously. "I'm May! It's such a pleasure to meet you!"
Lucky was a bit taken back by her sudden burst of energy, but smiled and fixed his glasses, which were knocked slightly askew. "L-likewise..!" He began, grinning to her. He felt somewhat uncomfortable, since she was really close to him. Still, he managed to back up a bit and gather his bearings (which didn't do any good, as she quickly stepped forward to refill the gap). "Well, uh, my name's Lucky. I take it from the ribbon, you're from Meridell?" He said, breaking the ice.
"Yup yup! That's my home!" She said, nodding eagerly. "I'm one of the biggest followers of Illusen, y'know! I think that's why I was allowed to come here!" She rambled on, her large eyes looking directly into his. This put him off a little, but let her continue. Soon, her eyes went down to his jacket, gasping as she saw the rainbow ribbon. "Woah... are you from Neopia Central?" She asked excitedly. He merely nodded, rubbing the back of his head. "Wooooah! That's super cool!" May continued, hopping up and down some. "I've heard that it's, like, really rare for someone from that region to be admitted. You must've done something super big and important!"
The Acara shook his head, trying to side step his overeager roommate and set his stuff inside the dorm. "Well, no not really. All I really did was help run a game shop." He explained simply. Her face seemed to fall a little, though more so out of confusion.
"That's it? Hmmmm..." May hummed, putting her hand on her chin as she looked thoughtful. She soon shrugged and giggled, skipping over to his side quickly. "Well, whatever the reason, it's great to have you as a roommate, Lucky!" She quickly pulled him into a tight hug, which surprised him. The Xweetok's tail twitched a little as she finally let go, beaming up at him. "So hey, we got some time before orientation! Let's talk while we unpack!" She said, going back to her bags to pull out clothes.
Lucky shrugged and unzipped his bag, nodding with her. "Okay, sounds fine with me," He said simply. Was this girl always this energetic?
At one point, Lucky and May opened their welcome gifts, revealing a book guide to the school, a free copy of The History of GNU, a purple and gold hoodie and matching scarf. Getting into the spirit, Lucky replaced his jacket with the hoodie, pinning the welcome ribbons to the front. May had taken to pulling it over her dress, not bothering to place the ribbons to the hoodie.
After a bit of a time to unpack and talk to each other about various topics, May quickly realized that they only had 20 minutes before orientation started. She told him to follow before zipping out of the room to the auditorium. Lucky blinked at her speed, shrugging at this as he soon followed, running after her. He certainly wasn't as fast as a Xweetok, but that didn't really matter to him.
In no time, he finally made it inside the crowded auditorium, May waving him over with a large grin. It seems she had saved a seat for him, which he gratefully took with a smile. Beats having to spend too much time looking for a free seat, that's for sure. Soon, a stout, red, elderly looking Yurble stepped out onto the stage, moving his hands up to get everyone's attention. The noise quieted down and he spoke.
"Freshmen, welcome to the Grand Neopian University! You have all been selected by the council because of your outstanding performances and your accomplishments," He called, speaking in a loud, regal voice with a very noticeable Brightvale accent. Lucky shifted a little in his seat, knowing that he did not have such accomplishments, but the Yurble continued.
"Today, you will all be given the opportunity to start your days in our prestigious society. Schedules will be mailed to your dorms by tomorrow morning, along with a book list, a map of the campus, and a set of rules. Be sure to follow them, as we are quite strict about them," He warned, looking out upon the crowd. He gave a smile as he went on with his ramble. "You will meet some of the strongest, most intelligent, accomplished individuals during your stay here, in hopes that you will rise up to the occasion and be like them. You will make new friends and partake in activities that only you will be allowed to join in on."
Lucky listened to him, taking a bit of time to look around. It was quite clear that there were some very interesting neopets attending. Various colors, different regions, all of whom dressed quite differently. Soon, the Yurble was finished with his rather long winded speech, waving them off. "Go, young freshmen, and see what your new home has to offer you!" With that, everyone began to speak up, starting to stand and walk out. May joined Lucky's side as she talked excitedly about potential classes she would take.
"Yooyuball practice team for sure! I've always wanted to join in on that sport, but never had the opportunity back in Meridell. Oh! Agriculture also! There are so many choices to pick from!" She squeaked excitedly, the Acara smiling at her eagerness. As usual, he kept silent, willing to listen to her. The wooden Xweetok's ears twitched a little as she looked up at him. "What about you, Lucky?"
He gave a simple shrug. "Not too sure, at the moment. Maybe magical arts, or something like that." Truth be told, he had no idea what the school had to offer in regards to magic. Such a prestigious place was bound to have something regarding magic. The thought was quite exciting, though, since there was so much to sign up for. The big question in his mind was whether or not he would actually be good at anything.
"Ooh, cool! Maybe some battle related classes could help us out too!" May squeaked on, skipping eagerly beside the Acara. "For now, though, let's go get somethin' to eat, I'm starving!" With a nod, he followed the Xweetok to a nearby food court.
With a little grip on his good luck charm, the thought of what an interesting year it would be filled his head. He already had a new friend, so to speak. Before he could get lost in his thoughts and doubts again, he shook his head and kept walking. Food first, thoughts of classes later.
Author's Notes: Hey! Hope you all enjoy my new fiction featuring Neopets! This will be an entirely new idea that is certainly noncanon to actual Neopian lore. This fic may have a few more swears or other situations that could make younger readers a bit uncomfortable. If that is the case, I suggest reading something else, although I will be sure to put a warning at the beginning of a chapter if it does feature something more adult.
In any case, hope you all enjoy and thanks for reading!