A/N: Hello! I must warn you that most of the first chapter will be very similar to the book. I apologize for this, and it's the reason why I'm uploading two chapters at once. The second chapter will mostly be my creation.

Disclaimer: All characters and places belong to Lemony Snicket.

As Klaus walked along the sidewalk outside Prufrock Preparatory School, he realized that he would be surrounded by students his own age. Would they be kind and inviting? It had been so long since he had seen his friends. Oh, how he missed sitting in a real classroom. Klaus's thoughts were interrupted by a girl by the name of Carmelita Spats.

"Move out of my way you cakesniffers!" she shouted, shoving Klaus and his siblings aside.

Klaus watched her for a moment, wondering what exactly a cakesniffer meant, before he continued looking at the moss on the brick sidewalk. He remembered a book he once read on moss. He was so nervous, he didn't want to concentrate on anything else.

"Have you dropped something?" Mr. Poe asked, coughing into a white handkerchief.

"No, we haven't dropped anything," Violet replied. Klaus noticed that she, too, was observing the moss. He put his hand on her shoulder, a gesture that he knew she found comforting. Normally, he would've said something comforting as well, but his shyness got the best of him. A smile would have to do.

"I know why you're all so quiet," Mr. Poe said. "It's because you're excited, and I don't blame you. I always wanted to go to boarding school when I was younger, but I never had the chance. I'm a little jealous of you, if you want to know the truth."

The fact that it's a boarding school is the most terrifying part, Klaus thought. If no one liked him, he would be stuck with those people all year.

"You're very lucky to be here," Mr. Poe continued. "I had to call more than four schools before I found one that could take all three of you at such short notice. Prufrock Prep — that's what they call it, as a sort of nickname — is a very fine academy. The teachers all have advanced degrees. The dormitory rooms are all finely furnished. And most important of all, there is an advanced computer system which will keep Count Olaf away from you. Vice Principal Nero told me that Count Olaf's complete description-everything from his one long eyebrow to the tattoo of an eye on his left ankle — has been programmed into the computer, so you three should be safe here for the next several years."

"But how can a computer keep Count Olaf away?" Violet asked in a puzzled voice, still looking down at the ground.

"It's an advanced computer," Mr. Poe said, "Don't worry your little heads about Count Olaf. Vice Principal Nero has promised me that he will keep a close eye on you. After all, a school as advanced as Prufrock Prep wouldn't allow people to simply run around loose."

Klaus didn't have time to tell Mr. Poe how ridiculous this sounded, because Carmelita once again crossed his path.

"Move, cakesniffers!"she said.

"What does 'cakesniffers' mean?"Violet murmured to Klaus.

"I don't know," Klaus admitted. "but it doesn't sound very nice."

"What a charming word that is," Mr. Poe said, oblivious to Carmelita's nasty tone, "Cakesniffers. I don't know what it means, but it reminds me of pastry. Oh well, here we are."

The group reached the end of the mossy, brick sidewalk. The two teens and their baby sister gasped at what they saw. Maybe it was a coincidence, but the buildings of the school resembled something one such as Mr. Poe might call a thumb. Others, a gravestone.

"Rather odd architecture," Mr. Poe commented. "Each building looks like a thumb. In any case, you are to report to Vice Principal Nero's office immediately. It's on the ninth floor of the main building."

"Aren't you coming with us, Mr. Poe?" Violet asked.

Even though he was well over the age of which he needed an adult to go to a vice principal's office, Klaus appreciated that Violet asked. Who knows who could be lurking nearby.

Mr. Poe coughed into his handkerchief and looked at his wristwatch at the same time. "I'm afraid not," he said when his coughing passed. "The banking day has already begun. But I've talked over everything with Vice Principal Nero, and if there's any problem, remember you can always contact me or any of my associates at Mulctuary Money Management. Now, off you go. Have a wonderful time at Prufrock Prep."

"I'm sure we will," said Violet, bravely. "Thank you for everything, Mr. Poe."

"Yes, thank you," Klaus said, shaking Mr. Poe's hand.

"Terfunt," Sunny said, which was her way of saying "Thank you."

"You're welcome, all of you," Mr. Poe said. "So long." He nodded at all three Baudelaires, and Violet and Sunny watched him walk back down the sidewalk, carefully avoiding the running children. But Klaus didn't watch him. Klaus was looking at the enormous arch over the academy.

"Maybe I don't know what 'cakesniffer' means," Klaus said, "but I think I can translate our new school's motto."

"It doesn't even look like it's in English," Violet said, peering up at it.

"Racho," Sunny agreed.

"It's not," Klaus said. "It's in Latin. Many mottoes are in Latin, for some reason. I don't know very much Latin, but I do remember reading this phrase in a book about the Middle Ages. If it means what I think it means, it's certainly a strange motto."

"What do you think it means?" Violet asked.

"If I'm not mistaken," said Klaus, who was rarely mistaken,"Memento Mori' means 'Remember you will die."

"Remember you will die," Violet repeated. The Baudelaires shivered as they walked towards their new home.

Klaus and his siblings stood outside the vice principal's door, and he wondered what was being murdered on the other side. He listened more closely and realized that the sound was, in fact, a violin.

He thought of his father, the one night he told the three, "Children, there is no worse sound in the world than somebody who cannot play the violin who insists on doing so anyway."

Klaus watched Violet as she knocked on the door quite loudly. The door was opened by a man the Baudelaires assumed was their vice principal.

"Who dares interrupt a genius when he is rehearsing?" he asked, in a booming voice. If Klaus had gathered any courage, it was lost now.

"The Baudelaires," he said quietly, looking at the floor. "Mr. Poe said to come right to Vice Principal Nero's office."

"Mr. Poe said to come right to Vice Principal Nero's office," the man mimicked in a high, shrieky voice. "Well, come in, come in, I don't have all afternoon."

After more mimics and unfair rules, the teens, and baby, made their way to their sleeping quarters. It was a rather ugly shack with goo on the ceiling, bales of hay for beds, hideous walls, and small crabs about the size of a matchbox. It was a rule that you had to have a signed permission slip from a guardian to stay in the dormitories. The three tried to make light of the situation.

"This isn't such a nice room," Violet said, "but if I put my mind to it, I bet I can invent something that can keep these crabs away from us."

"And I'm going to read up on this light tan fungus." Klaus said. "Maybe the

dormitory library has information on how to stop it from dripping."

"Ivoser," Sunny said, which meant something like "I bet I can use my four sharp teeth to scrape this paint away and make the walls a bit less ugly."

Klaus gave his baby sister a little kiss on the top of her head. "At least we get to go to school," he pointed out.

"Me too," Violet agreed. "And at least we'll meet some people our own age. We've only had the company of adults for quite some time."

"That's true," Klaus said. "And who knows? Maybe the advanced computer really can keep Count Olaf away, and that's the most important thing of all."

"You're right," Violet said. "Any room that doesn't have Count Olaf in it is good enough for me."

"Olo," Sunny said, which meant "Even if it's ugly, damp, and filled with crabs."

They all sighed as they realized that maybe it wasn't best to be too optimistic.

"Well," Klaus said after a while,"it feels like it's about lunchtime. Remember, if we're late they take away our cups and glasses, so we should probably get a move on."

"Those rules are ridiculous," Violet said, "Lunchtime isn't a specific time, so you can't be late for it. It's just a word that means 'around lunch."

"I know," Klaus said, "and the part about Sunny being punished for going to the administrative building, when she has to go there to be Nero's secretary, is completely absurd."

"Kale!" Sunny said, putting her little hand on her brother's knee. She meant something like "Don't worry about it. I'm a baby, so I hardly ever use silverware. It doesn't matter that it'll be taken away from me."

The Baudelaires walked to the cafeteria, braving themselves to face a room crowded with students and staff. They observed the huge lasagna, not remembering a time they saw one bigger.

After they got their trays, they paused. Where would they sit? They recognized the girl that had shoved them aside earlier that day. They started to walk towards her table when she cried, "Don't even think of eating around here, you cakesniffers!" Several of her friends nodded in agreement. "Nobody wants to have lunch with people who live in the Orphans Shack!"

"I'm terribly sorry," Klaus said, feeling not sorry at all. "I didn't mean to disturb you."

Carmelita, picked up her silverware and began to bang it on her tray in a rhythmic way.

"Cakesniffing orphans in the Orphans Shack! Cakesniffing orphans in the Orphans Shack!" she chanted, and many other students joined right in. In a few seconds, it seemed like the entire cafeteria was banging their silverware and chanting, "Cakesniffing orphans in the Orphans Shack!"

The three siblings stepped closer together, craning their necks to see if there was any possible place to which they could escape and eat their lunch in peace.

"Oh, leave them alone, Carmelita!" a voice cried over the chanting. The Baudelaires turned around and saw a boy with very dark hair and very wide eyes."You're the cakesniffer, and nobody in their right mind would want to eat with you anyway. Come on," the boy said, turning to the Baudelaires. "There's room at our table."

"Thank you very much," Klaus replied.

They walked to a table that was almost empty besides a girl that looked identical to the boy. He sat down next to her, and the Baudelaires sat on the other side in front of them. The two identical teens both had notebooks in their sweater pockets. The boy's was green, the girl's was black.

"I'm Violet Baudelaire," Violet introduced, "and this is my brother, Klaus, and our baby sister, Sunny."

"It's nice to meet you," said the boy. "My name is Duncan Quagmire, and this is my sister, Isadora. And the girl who was yelling at you, I'm sorry to say, was Carmelita Spats."

"She didn't seem very nice," Klaus said.

"That is the understatement of the century," Isadora said. "Carmelita Spats is rude, filthy, and violent, and the less time you spend with her the happier you will be."

"Read the Baudelaires the poem you wrote about her," Duncan said to his sister with a smile.

Isadora opened her notebook and read:

"I would rather eat a bowl of vampire bats

than spend an hour with Carmelita Spats."

Duncan was the first to giggle, and something about his laugh Klaus found infectious, for he laughed very loud. He didn't realize how loud until he saw his sister look at him oddly.

"That was great," he said awkwardly. "I like the part about the bowl of bats..."

"Thanks," Isadora said.

"My father used to have a book on literary criticism, but it was destroyed in a fire."

The Quagmires looked at one another, and their eyes grew wide. "I'm very sorry to hear that," Isadora said. "My brother and I have been through a terrible fire, so we know what that's like. Did your father die in the fire?"

"Yes he did," Klaus said, "and our mother too."

Duncan put down his fork, reached across the table, and held Klaus's hand. Normally this might have embarrassed Klaus a little bit, but under the circumstances it felt perfectly natural.

"I'm so sorry to hear that," he said. "Our parents died in a fire as well. It's awful to miss your parents so much, isn't it? For a long time I was afraid of any kind of fire. I didn't even like to look at stoves."

Klaus smiled. "We stayed with a woman for a while, our Aunt Josephine, who was afraid of stoves. She was afraid that they might explode."

"Explode!" Duncan said. "Even I wasn't afraid as all that. Why aren't you staying with your Aunt Josephine now?"

Klaus's face fell. "She died too," Klaus said quietly. "To tell you the truth, Duncan, our lives have been very topsy-turvy for quite some time."

"I'm very sorry to hear it," Duncan said giving Klaus's hand a squeeze, "and I wish I could tell you that things will get better here, but between Vice Principal Nero playing the violin, Carmelita Spats teasing us, and the dreadful Orphans Shack, Prufrock Prep is a pretty miserable place."

"I think it's awful to call it the Orphans Shack," Violet said. "It's a bad enough place without giving it an insulting nickname."

"The nickname is more of Carmelita's handiwork, I'm sorry to say," Duncan said. "Isadora and I had to live there for three semesters because we needed a parent or guardian to sign our permission slip, and we didn't have one."

"That's the same thing that happened to us!" Violet cried. "And when we asked Nero to make an exception—"

"He said he was too busy practicing the violin," Isadora said, nodding as she finished Violet's sentence. "He always says that. Anyway, Carmelita called it the Orphans Shack when we were living there, and it looks like she's going to keep on doing it."

"Well," Violet sighed, "Carmelita's nasty names are the least of our problems in the shack. How did you deal with the crabs when you lived there?"

Duncan let go of Klaus's hand to take his notebook out of his pocket. Klaus felt the cold spot where Duncan's hand had been and shivered slightly.

"I use my notebook to take notes on things," Duncan explained. "I plan to be a newspaper reporter when I get a little older and I figure it's good to start practicing. Here it is: notes on the crabs. They're afraid of loud noises, you see, so I have a list of things we did to scare them away from us."

"Afraid of loud noises," Violet repeated, and tied her hair up in a ribbon to keep it out of her eyes.

After lunch, the Baudelaires had found two people to call their friends.

A/N: Okay, so I realize a lot of it was taken from the book. :{| I needed something good to start out with. Review? Don't go away! :)