Hi all, this is a first for me, specifically the first fanfic...well...ever. But there always has to be a first, right?

Disclaimer: I don't own anything Vampire Knight, anything else that is referenced, or any other characters besides Asraella herself. If I did, though...man, that would rock...

summary: Asraella Mistout (As-ray-ella Miss-toe) is a new student at Cross Academy, transferring from the United States. As she slowly immerses herself in her new school and culture, she is drawn to the mysteries of the night class and specifically to Zero Kiryu. Why does she feel this way, and why did she leave the States in the first place?

Asraella walked slowly down the bridge connecting the Day class's dorms to the main school building, keeping her eyes on the ground and her pace brisk. She thought about where she was, and how far away it was from everything she'd left behind. "Damn".

"What?"

She nearly jumped a foot in the air, and lamented her lack of observational skills. She had a habit of cursing to herself, but normally kept her mouth clean around others. Well, that's one impression ruined, right? She looked up and almost jumped again. Directly to her left stood a tall, silver haired teen with clear violet eyes giving her a direct, blunt look. It was more than a bit of a shock. His eyes…seemed to beg someone to discover their depths while at the same time threatening death to anyone who tried. To be honest, it shook Asraella badly. She stuttered as she tried to formulate a reason for her exclamation: "I-I-I ju-just was wondering how I'm going to find my way to the chairman's office. This place is huge!" The blank look continued. "Straight ahead down the hall, then up 2 flights of stairs and it is the only office door there". He turned and walked away, back ramrod straight and pace even more brisk than hers had been. "Thanks?" she mumbled, "Who ever you are." She started walking forward again. She wasn't looking around, but she was sure that that guy was the first person she'd seen all morning.

She followed his directions; taking her time through the Gothic stone building as the sun's light crept slowly along its walls from the many large windows. It was beautiful…but it was a classic beauty, not a functional beauty. Her house back in the States was nicer…not bigger, or made of stone, but beautiful nonetheless. She stopped and looked out one of the windows along the hallway to the stairwell. She watched the light strike the trees, and cast flashes, like sparkles, from the minuscule drops of dew resting on the leaves. The water in the distance was reflecting the pale morning light like a mirror, and it became a mirror in her mind. In it reflected the people she had left, the people she had drowned in her memory. She wanted to go home, but wasn't sure how.

Wake up! You're here now…make the most of it! This is the best place you can be right now! She had to mentally shake herself to clear the nostalgia from her brain. She started walking again. She found the stairwell, and went up the two floors as the strange teen had said. There was a door at the top of the stairs, labeled "Chairman". Well, that's obvious enough…so where were the signs to get here? She mentally berated herself with her own sarcasm (a heady vintage, to be sure) as she mindlessly checked what she was wearing for the umpteenth time this morning, since putting it on. Her hands brushed the dark short skirt with the white lines, and straightened the cuffs on the jacket that sported the same pattern. Her unease became more pronounced. She didn't like the uniform—it showed too much skin. Back home, she didn't even wear shorts unless it was at least 90 degrees, and even then not outside the house. She felt that she didn't do this uniform justice. This outfit was not made for me. I so totally look fat in this…I mean, this is crazy! At least the jacket's fitted, or I'd look like I was a hippo in a trash bag. Assured that she was as put together as she was ever going to be, she prepared to knock on the door. Breathing in, she tapped lightly on the frosted glass and waited.

"Come in, please."

She turned the doorknob, for some reason preoccupied by the mission to not create any sound while doing it, and slowly pushed the door open with the same sense of care. Focusing on something she could directly control was soothing. She opened the door partway, and stepped in sideways, then shutting the door as she moved aside. "Good morning."

The man with long, ash blond hair and glasses looked up at her and no recognition registered in his eyes. Why should it? I'm new.

"Good morning. And you are…?"

"Oh, I'm very sorry, I'm Asraella Mistout, um, the—"

"Right, right! The new student. I'm so sorry I wasn't prepared for your arrival."

"Yes, sir, I'm sorry. I tend to arrive early to everything."

"I was going to send Yuuki to meet you at the gate to the main building, but I never got around it. I should be the one apologizing. This campus can be a maze." The Chairman reached for a pile of papers on his desk and gave her a smile. "Please, don't be uncomfortable. Take a seat. We have a few things to discuss before you attend your first classes today."

She slid into a chair placed in front of the desk, sitting very straight and at the edge of her seat. Part of her was mindful of the way her skirt fell on her thighs, and a hand distractedly flattened a panel of fabric that was immaculately ironed; another part of her mind followed every move the Chairman made, and watched as he pulled a rather large manila folder out of a stack and opened it in front of him. He returned his gaze to her.

"I'm sorry again, that took a while. Desks can get cluttered so easily!" His smile and tone indicated that he meant it as a funny comment, so she smiled back and gave what she thought was a small laugh. She realized after that it probably sounded more like a "huh" not a "ha". Goddamn her habit of not thinking everything through! She should have fully laughed. The chairman was talking again.

"…wonderful that you decided to join us here at cross academy. We are a proud institution with extraordinarily high standards, and on behalf of this school I want to thank you for coming. I was shocked to see the credentials you came with, and am excited to see where you will go while you are here. The schedule you picked out, however, confused me. You wrote down a concentration in literature, correct?"

"Yes, sir, I did."

"Yes, well, I noticed a distinct variation from that and I was wondering if you created your schedule like that on purpose, or if we should switch your classes around."

"I did, sir. I'm aware that my selected classes vary from my concentration, but I feel that they are necessary, and sir, to be honest, 'Literature' is so broad a spectrum that almost any topic will eventually fit into it or become an asset."

That garnered a smile. "Very true, very true. Well, on to the policy and campus life sort of things. Here is the handbook and list of policies for Day class students, and you should read those within the next week, then return the last page to this office signed by then, to show that you agree with the stuff included. Some things I'd like to point out: the Day class should be off the grounds by 5 p.m., and should not return until 6 a.m. the next morning, under any circumstances. Also, going to the Night Class dorms is strictly prohibited, at all times. Both of these rules are for your safety, you understand; because this is a boarding school, the insurance…well, we try to keep you on a tight reign. To enforce these rules, we have 2 prefects that will be patrolling in the evening and whenever they are not in classes. You will recognize them by—"

The door slammed open, and a shorter, brunette, skinny girl stood in the doorway obviously fuming. Behind her placidly stood the teen from this morning, eyes as blunt as she'd seen before. The girl was obviously trying to put her frustration into words, by the way her shoulders were moving and she appeared to be gathering herself for some sort of outburst. The chairman, with a wry smile, grabbed his chance. "Ah, Yuuki, I was about to send for you. I want to introduce you to our newest student, Asraella Mistout, from the United States. Asraella, this is Yuuki, my daughter and a prefect, and behind her is Zero, the other prefect." It was like a light switch was flipped in the girl named Yuuki. She smiled warmly and said to Asraella, "Hello. It's nice meeting you!" Asraella returned the pleasantries, smiling. Yuuki can be rather disarming. At that moment, her cell phone went off. Embarrassed, Asraella pulled her phone out of the pocket of her jacket and silenced it. She felt her ears get hot. How stupid was she? Not turning off her phone? Ugh! Yuuki laughed. "From the States, right? Well, someone back there sure wants to talk to you!" Yuuki was smiling, but Asraella's face became a mask. Her smile was fake, and her eyes went blank. A split second later, she snapped out of it, and hoped no one noticed her sudden lack of enthusiasm over this new situation. Looking around, it appeared that no one did.

What she didn't see was the flicker of something behind Zero's eyes.

She was following the two prefects down the stairs away from the Chairman's office, listening to their incessant light bickering. It was obvious that Yuuki didn't understand Zero's take on something, and Zero was declining to further enlighten her on his reasons. It wasn't mean, and to Asraella, it seemed as if this was the way the two normally interacted; the argument held no barbs, no pain-laden phrases intended to kill the victim's soul. It was almost pleasant. They were on the way to class, ending up here after the Chairman informed her that her first class was economics. Yuuki jumped into the discussion and said that her and Zero's first class was economics as well, so they would walk her there. She was grateful for the help, but also kind of wanted to find her way herself; she caved immediately when she realized that Yuuki was so excited at the prospect. Upon leaving, Yuuki had received instructions to hand her off to "Yori" after econ, and that this person would lead her around for the rest of the day. So they came to here, walking to her first class as a Cross Academy student. She zoned out after realizing the gist of Zero and Yuuki's discussion and went back to surveying her surroundings. She had already looked at this hallway, so she focused on the pair walking in front of her. Yuuki was in the same outfit as she was, the dark, lined skirt and jacket. Her brown hair and eyes were lustrous, and not in any way closed. Zero was much taller than Yuuki, and wore the same pattern clothing only as a suit. His grey hair and violet eyes were sere, and stable. Deep, but like ice on a lake, covered, contained. As Yuuki went from excited to angry to depressed during the play argument, her stance and eyes would change, showing exactly what she felt; Zero's stance and eyes would never change no matter what was said. They both wore armbands with the Cross Academy emblem on them, which must have been their sign of being prefects. As Asraella and the prefects approached the classroom, both of them slipped the armbands off and put them in their pockets. She realized that during class hours they were not prefects, and so probably didn't want to advertise the fact. It made sense. Why draw attention to yourself if you don't have to? As the door opened to the first class of the day, and Asraella went through it following Yuuki and Zero, she repeated this realization to herself; she hoped it would stick.

Why draw attention to yourself if you don't have to?

Hey, thanks for reading. Again, this is a first-time thing, so if you like (or if you don't...I can take criticism very well) please review. This is intended to be a longer story, and I will continue ASAP, but I'm a college student, so...okay, it might take awhile. The ideas exist, however, and I will try to get them into my computer as fast as I can. Hope you enjoyed this little chapter! Slomiti Andeo