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You Don't Die For Your Friends... You Live For Them!



• Dallas •

Magic ~ Fire Dragon Slaying

• Paige •

Magic ~ Sky Dragon Slaying

• Katie •

Magic ~ Static Ice Make

• Iris •

Magic ~ Celestial Magic

• Cassidy •

Magic ~ Requip

• Taylor •

Magic ~ Water Magic

• Alison •

Magic ~ Solid Script

• Anika •

Magic ~ Animal Take-Over


Chapter 1


"Can you believe that we're really going home tomorrow?" I asked, while sitting cross-legged on the hotel room floor and pulling off my socks and shoes. I rubbed my feet, which were sore from walking all day long, and stood up, looking around at my friends.

"We only have one more guild left to see," my best friend, Paige, said, from where she sat on one of the beds. She was holding a paper -- probably the schedule -- in her hands. "It's called... Fairy Tail?" She frowned. "What a strange name."

One of my other roommates, Iris, looked up from her suitcase, which she had been rummaging through, trying to find her pajamas. "At least it sounds better than some of those weird guilds we saw earlier," she pointed out with a shrug, "like Blue Pegasus. Their leader is freaky."

My good friend, Katie, sitting on the bed opposite Paige, laughed. "Hopefully Fairy Tail is better," she commented. "I'm really hoping to have chosen a guild by the end of this trip, and so far, it's not looking so good!"

I stood up and went over to sit beside Paige, peeking over her shoulder at the schedule. "Master Makarov Dreyar," I read from the list of people that we were supposed to meet, "and... Mirajane Strauss?! Isn't she like, a super-famous model for the Sorcerer Magazine?!"

"I think so," Iris said, fishing her toothbrush out of her suitcase and vanishing into the bathroom.

Paige trailed her fingertip down the list of names, murmuring a few to herself. She sighed, obviously disappointed. "I didn't see any Dragon Slayers on there," she mumbled to me, folding the paper into a neat little square.

I looked across the room to see if the Katie had heard, but she was busy braiding her hair. Not many people knew of her, no our secret. See, our friendship goes way back, through elementary school, too. One day, around the middle of fourth grade, Paige and I were hanging out together, as we often did, but we had wandered a bit past our normal boundaries. We soon found ourselves lost, with no familiar landmarks to guide us back to my house. We probably would've been stuck there for quite a while if not for the arrival of two dragons.

One was a magnificent, snowy hue of white, and the other was a dark purplish-reddish color. They told us their names: Grandeeney and Igneel. At first, they were angered by us; two ignorant little kids who didn't have the faintest idea how to use magic. But then, they softened. We made a promise, the four of us. They would teach us magic in exchange for us not blabbing our mouth about our discovery. Of course, we accepted.

So, over the course of the next few months, Grandeeney and Igneel trained us. Whenever they could, after school, in between meals, during playtimes. We learned a lot, and it was clear that we were growing. But one day, they disappeared, without a trace. They haven't returned since and now, being on the school trip that took us to meet a few different guilds, we were hoping that we would find at least one Dragon Slayer. No luck.

I groan. "Didn't Grandeeney and Igneel both have one other student?" I whisper to her, hoping that I remembered right.

"Yeah, Wendy Marvell and Natsu Dragneel," Paige replied quietly. "I thought they were in Fairy Tail..."

"They might be," I tried to assure her. "Maybe they are, and they just aren't one of those people that we're meeting."

"I hope so..." Paige muttered. "Otherwise, we're going to have to choose one and learn a whole new type of magic!" She sighed and flopped back on the bed. "This is so difficult... I don't want to have to restart. I want to continue my training!"

"Same..." I mumbled, then swung my legs around and rested my feet on the soft carpeted floor. "We should really get ready for bed. After all, we have a long day tomorrow..."


Chapter 2


The ride from the hotel to the Fairy Tail guild was almost an hour total, and by the time the bus finally started slowing down, I was eager to get off. Both of my feet had long since fallen asleep, and it took a lot of jumping to bring the feeling back into them. A couple kids gave me weird looks as I hopped about, but I managed to ignore them.

"That took forever!" I heard the familiar voice of my good friend, Cassidy, and I turned to see her, Taylor, Alison, and Anika, approaching us. They were all in room 1408 together, right next to us. "And I'm absolutely exhausted!" she added.

"Why didn't you sleep?" Iris asked, grinning at Katie. "The seats were nice and comfortable!"

"For you, maybe," Taylor laughed. "I couldn't even rest for a second before some speed bump or something made me hit my head on the window!"

"Quiet in the back, there!" our teacher, Mr. Roberts, barked, glaring at us over his wire-rimmed spectacles. "We're very close to the guild! I want you all on your best behavior. Some of the greatest wizards in the world call this their home. Come along, now."

After a few minutes of walking and constant lecturing, we were there. I was panting, as was most of the group. The quick scramble up that steep hill had clearly taken a toll on everyone. Even Katie and Cassidy, who were really athletic, were breathing hard. That reassured me a bit. Maybe I'm not as out of shape as I thought.

"They should be here soon," Mr. Roberts announced in his deep voice, checking his silver wristwatch. "But they may be busy. They are wizards after all, and our coming is just a distraction to their work. So be ready to have to wait."

"Can we take a break before they come?" some boy in the crowd called out. "My feet feel like they're about to fall off any time now!"

Mr. Roberts scowled. He clearly expected us to be resilient, and to make a good first impression on the guild, but that wasn't happening. Not after two whole weeks of being dragged around the many towns and cities of Fiore. "Fine," he muttered after a moment, disgusted.

I breathed out a sigh of relief as I sat down, cross-legged, on the sidewalk. It was stone, but anything was better than standing up in the blazing hot sun. I took the time to fix my hair, which was beginning to stick to the back of my neck with sweat, and pulled it into a neat ponytail. My eyes strayed to the guild.

It was a magnificent building, from what I could see. It was made out of different types of stones, and was at least three stories high. A proud bell tower sat atop the highest roof, gleaming bronze against the bright blue sky. The entire thing was surrounded by a wrought-iron fence. A gate loomed up in front of us, with a sign reading FAIRY TAIL in big, bold letters.

"Look!" I whispered, nudging Dallas sharply in the ribs with my elbow. I pointed upwards, at the orange-and-gold banner fluttering in the wind. It had a strange white symbol imprinted on it. "Isn't that the guild mark?"

"Yeah," she replied, narrowing her eyes against the slanting rays of the sun. "A fairy with a tail."

Just then, a male voice that didn't belong to Mr. Roberts, nor any of the immature boys in my class, rang out. "Greetings, children, and welcome to Fairy Tail."


Chapter 3


I stared in awe at the three people standing before us. The one on the left had to be Mirajane. She had long silky hair in the brightest snowy hues, and dark blue eyes. She wore a red dress with a cute pink trim, and a sapphire gemstone dangled from a silver chain around her neck. I heard a few of the girls whispering to each other, and managed to make out a bit of their conversations.

"That has to be..."

"She's so pretty..."

"I wish I looked like her..."

My eyes moved to the next person; the short man in the middle. He wore a rather bizarre blue-and-orange striped jester hat, with a bit of white-turning gray hair peeking out from underneath. His neatly trimmed mustache, overshadowing his smiling mouth, was the same color. He wore an orange vest with blue sleeves that matched his hat, and a white shirt with a black Fairy Tail guild mark underneath.

The last person wasn't nearly as friendly-looking as the other two. She had long, flowing red hair and narrowed dark brown eyes that scanned us distastefully. She wore silver armor with a golden cross on the side, and a blue skirt. On her feet were a pair of knee-length black boots. She's actually quite pretty, I thought to myself. If only she'd lose the scowl.

"Hello, everyone," Mirajane greeted us cheerfully. "Why don't you all come inside, and we can introduce ourselves there?"

That turned out to be quite the mistake. A lady with dark brown hair, wearing nothing but a blue bra and red pants, was challenging a humongous man to a drinking competition. Several empty glasses already stood on the counter next to her. Nearby, two men were having a vicious fight, kicking and punching and shouting insults at each other. One of them was only wearing his underwear!

A second later, the red-haired woman who had met us at the front gates walked between them and pushed them apart, sending them staggering to the side. "Wow, she's strong," Katie whispered.

"I know," I murmured back. "That must be Erza, then. She's a very strong wizard. And stern, too! There's actually rumors about her taking over the guild when the Master retires, but I don't know if it's true or not."

"Oh my," Mirajane giggled. She was clearly used to all of this. "Erza, come back! You have guests to meet, remember?"

Immediately, all the heads in the room snapped towards us. Their expressions held everything from amusement, to shock, to confusion. They stayed unnaturally silent as the short man from earlier spoke. "I am Master Makarov," he announced, "and as of right now, I am the leader of Fairy Tail. I assume you already know Mirajane?"

We all nodded; everyone had picked up a Sorcerer Magazine one time or another to see what was going on in the magic world, and seen her on the front cover, usually in one of the bathing suits that she sported so well.

The Master gave us a toothy smile. "This is Erza Scarlet," he went on, gesturing to her. "She's is in S-Class, which is a group of Fairy Tail's strongest wizards. As you can see, she's pretty strict with Natsu and Gray over there."

I heard a faint gasp from where Paige and Dallas were standing, and gave them a confused look. What was so good about those two fighting idiots? I shrugged, turning my attention back to Makarov.

"Now, why don't you all meet the rest of our members?" he was saying. "Just stay out of Cana and Elfman's way. It's not very pretty when they're drunk." He gave an odd sort of laugh and walked away, with Mirajane trailing after him.

I noticed that Paige and Dallas had immediately taken off for where Natsu and Gray were standing. "Come on, Katie," I said, tugging at her arm. "Let's go see what they're doing."

"We'll come, too," Cassidy announced, speed-walking up to join us. "I don't know who to talk to, anyway."

By the time we got there, Paige and Dallas were already deep in conversation with one of them. He had spiky pink hair and no shirt, but at least had a sort of black vest on. As we approached, they spun around and said, "We've decided we're going to join Fairy Tail. Please, say you will, too."

I looked at Katie, then at the other four girls, and from the excited light in their eyes, I knew that we had all reached a decision. It wouldn't be any fun with part of the group somewhere else. I turned back to them, knowing that I spoke for all of us when I said, "Count us in!"


Chapter 4


"Ouch, ouch, ouch, that burns!" I complained. Just a few minutes ago, we had all decided to join Fairy Tail with Paige and Dallas, and now my skin felt like it was being singed right off. I gripped the edge of the seat so hard that my knuckles turned white, trying to tough it out and prove that I was strong enough to be a part of the guild.

Once it was over, I cautiously lifted my shirt sleeve. There, imprinted into my right shoulder, was a dark blue mark. A fairy with a tail. I winced. It still stung a bit, but not so much.

"Do you need some help, miss?" I heard a very masculine voice coming from somewhere beside me, and turned around to see the dude that had been fighting with Natsu earlier. I screamed. He was sitting so close to me, and still hadn't put on his shirt and pants! What a pervert!

"Gray, your clothes," Cana, the drinking lady, said as calmly as if this happened every day. She didn't even bother to look away from the glass of beer that she was downing.

Gray yelped and jumped up, his face red. "Uh, sorry, uh, ma'am! I didn't mean, uh, anything, I swear!" he yelled and ran off. I facepalmed. What could Paige and Dallas possibly have seen in this mess of a guild? I thought hopelessly.

"Don't worry about him," Natsu, sitting at a nearby table with a pretty blond-haired girl, laughed to me. "He's always been quite the stripper. Even when we were little. Anyway, this is my best friend, Lucy--" He was cut off as a blue blur flashed down towards him, slamming into his stomach. "Hey, Happy! Why'd you do that for?!" he whined, rubbing his belly.

Now that it had stopped moving, I realized that the blue blur was really the fur of a rather cute-looking little cat. He had a small green bag tied around his neck, but what was really surprising were the snowy-white angel wings sprouting from his back. I stared at him, but he didn't seem at all distracted by me. "I'm your best friend, remember, Natsu?" he was saying in his high-pitched voice. His little white tail-tip quivered with anger, and he stomped his paws. "I am, I am, I AM!"

"Can't you two shut up?" I turned to see Erza glaring at Natsu and Happy, her hands on her hips. "The Master is about to speak!" She pointed towards the second-floor balcony where, I now noticed, Makarov was standing. His frowning mouth was just barely visible beneath his mustache. I gulped. This cannot be good...

"I am gravely disappointed in all of you..." he began, his eyes closed. An eerie hush immediately fell across the room. He opened his eyes suddenly, and I was startled to see the almost childish grin spreading across his face. "We only received twenty-one letters from the Council this month!"

Cheers flooded the room, but my head was reeling. Twenty-one? Isn't that a lot to receive in a month? I thought, remembering back to a few of the other guilds. Most of them got two or three letters a month... so how does this place get twenty-one?

Makarov ripped open all of the envelopes at once and started reading them. "Cana, two were about you taking 'breaks' from your jobs to steal liquor from the local bars. Gray, you have five complaints about turning different parks into ice statues," he said, tossing each letter to the side as he read it. "Elfman, three because of your full-body Take-Over in the middle of a town and terrifying the residents. And Natsu..." He paused, his brow furrowing. "The rest are for you."

"Alright!" Natsu laughed. "That's two less than last time! I'm getting better, aren't I, Gramps?" He and Happy high-fived, while the Master continued with his announcement.

"Also, we have eight new recruits," he was saying. "Although they are rather young, I see their faith and determination. However... due to their age and inexperience, I am appointing mentors to each of them. One, to show them the ropes and teach them about Fairy Tail and two, to enhance their magic abilities. They will be determined based on the magic type that I believe will best suit the apprentice. Let's not waste any more time and get straight into it, shall we?"

"Dallas... your mentor will be Natsu Dragneel."

"Paige... your mentor will be Wendy Marvell."

"Kaitlyn... your mentor will be Gray Fullbuster."

"WHAT?!" I yelled as I heard his name again. "Why do I have to get the stripper?!"


Chapter 5


"Cassidy... your mentor will be Erza Scarlet."

I froze. My mind was racing. Isn't Erza, like, the super-scary lady that goes around punching everyone?! God. I've never been so terrified of a single person in my entire life. A single bead of sweat dripped down the side of my face. I took a deep breath, my entire body shuddering as I imagined the torment that I would go through, and tried to calm myself. My hands, which had been balled into tight fists, slowly relaxed and came to rest at my sides.

But she wouldn't be feared for nothing, I reminded myself. She is one of the best wizards in Fairy Tail, or so I've heard. If she's really that strong, than surely some of her power will be passed down to me when she trains me... right?

I heard a sort of robotic clanking noise, like metal hitting against metal. I immediately knew who it was. "Y-Yes?" I stammered, not daring to look up. Did I somehow disappoint her already?

"Come on, Cass!" The voice that I heard belonged to Katie, not Erza. "Snap out of it! I've never seen you like this before!" I lifted my head to see her grinning at me. "Besides, you're missing out on all the fun. While you were up in the clouds daydreaming, things got real steamy real fast. I don't know how you didn't get hit yet!"

"Get hit by what...?" I mumbled in bewilderment, sort of scared to ask. Then I looked around. It was a full-blown massacre!

Gray was chasing after Natsu, who was waving... his underwear? Ew! I looked away immediately, to see a woozy-looking Elfman staggering around, throwing punches at random people, and usually missing. Lucy was standing on a table, waving a golden key in the air, clearly trying to summon one of her spirits. A moment later, a man with bright orange hair and blue-tinted sunglasses landed neatly beside her. At Lucy's command, he jumped and vanished into the crowd.

I saw a lady with unnatural blue hair jumping from table to table, flinging balls of water everywhere. I watched one of them, which flew in an arc headed directly for Cana. Without even looking over her shoulder, Cana lifted a single card over her head and yelled something that was drowned out by the sounds of fighting. She flung it backwards, and it morphed into a shuriken that sliced through the ball of water. She took another swig from her beer, as if nothing had happened.

I spun around to face Katie. "What the hell?!" I exclaimed. "When did all this happen?!"

"Eh, I don't know," she replied with a nonchalant shrug. "Ol' Elfman got drunk in his competition with Cana, and then he got angry at the Master for not assigning him an apprentice, too. Everything sort of escalated from there."

"Why are you so chill with this?!" I shouted at her. "What if they get hurt?!"

"Nah." She glanced at the battle. "They won't. Gray told me that this happens all the time."

"And where is Gray now...?" I asked pointedly, recalling him trying to get his underwear from Natsu.

"Aw, shut up," Katie muttered, crossing her arms and flopping back in a seat. She scowled, but I knew that her anger was only temporary, so I ignored her.

"Looks like it's about to end, anyway," I commented, nodding towards the opposite wall. Erza was standing there, her hands balled into fists and her dark brown eyes narrowed to mere slits. At her feet was a squashed slice of strawberry shortcake, which had obviously been trampled on by the crazy mob. I got nervous immediately. The look on her face wasn't good. What the heck is she going to do now?!

She stepped forward, and as she did so, a gleaming golden light flickered near her hand. A second later, her stereotypical sword appeared in her grasp. "Shut up, all of you, or I will make you!" she yelled. Everyone fell silent almost immediately. All except for Natsu. He hadn't noticed her yet. Uh, oh.

"Hah! All of you are such weaklings!" he was yelling. He threw Gray's underwear in his face and climbed up on a table, flexing the muscles in his arms and grinning. "And it looks like Natsu Dragneel takes the crown again! Oh, hey, Erz--"

He didn't get to finish his sentence because, before he could complete her name, Erza punched him in the stomach so hard, I could hear it. His eyes rolled back in his head and he gave a little groan before collapsing on the table. A slight smile crept across her lips as she gazed out at the hushed crowd. "Looks like I win again."


Chapter 6


"Well, that sure was interesting." A sweet voice came from behind me, and I turned to see a young woman standing a little ways away. Her blue hair was roughly shoulder-length and was held back by a bright yellow headpiece with a pink flower on it. She wore an orange dress with white trimming, and had a happy smile. She seemed much friendlier than some of the other people that I had met so far.

"I'm Levy McGarden, but you can just call me Levy," she continued. "And who might you be? I haven't seen you around the guild before."

I was already taking a strong liking to her so, despite my immense shyness, I decided to talk to her for a while. "I'm Alison, or Ali for short," I said quietly, adjusting my glasses on my face. "I just joined Fairy Tail today, with seven of my friends."

Levy's brown eyes lit up, and she clapped her hands together enthusiastically. "Oh, so you're Alison! Well, nice to meet you, Ali. I just so happen to be your mentor!" She squealed. "I'm so excited to be working with you! You seem like such a nice person, and just my type, too!" She paused, and blushed. "Sorry! I know I talk a lot, but I'm just so eager to start training!"

A tiny smile crept across my lips. "That's alright," I murmured. "Although, I am wondering what you're going to teach me." I looked down at my lap. I didn't want to seem like a weakling in front of her before we had even started, but I just couldn't bring myself to hurt anyone, even if it was unintentionally.

"Huh?" Levy came and sat next to me, resting her arm comfortingly around my shoulders. "It's alright... Would you like to tell me what's bothering you?"

"Uh... it's nothing, really," I mumbled. "It's just... I don't really like fighting, but if that's all you can teach me, that's okay, too..."

"Oh!" I was surprised by Levy's reaction. At first, I thought she was laughing at me, but a quick sideways glance showed her looking at me in sympathy. "That's completely fine!" she giggled. "I'm glad to have finally found someone that doesn't like fighting! I can tell we're going to be the best of friends. Anyway... the sort of magic that I use is called Solid Script. It can turn words into actual, real-life things! It doesn't necessarily have to be used to fight, either. For example, I can write 'flowers' if I wanted to give someone a rose!"

"That sounds really cool!" I exclaimed, meaning it. But there was something else on my mind, too... "Hey, Levy?"

"Yeah? What's up?" She looked at me, her brown eyes bright and cheerful.

I hesitated. "Do you mind teaching me a bit about Fairy Tail?" I asked timidly after a moment.

"Wow," Levy breathed out. "We are so much alike! Yes, of course, I would be glad to! Well, first off, you should know about jobs. Once you've been practicing your magic for a while, you're free to take job requests, which is basically completing tasks for jewels."

"What kind of jobs are there?" I hope there are at least a few well-paying ones that don't need me to kill one thing or another!

"Oh, don't worry about that!" Levy replied, clearly knowing that I meant. She smiled genuinely at me. "Not all of them are violent. Some of them require muscle, but others require brain, like you have. And plus, later on, when you're a bit more experienced, you'll be able to form a team with some of your guildmates! They'll probably be more than willing to get their hands dirty for you. I wouldn't be in yours, but I would probably come along on a few of your adventures, anyway. Y'know... keep you and your friends safe."

I blushed. "Thank you..." I whispered.

Levy grinned. "Don't sweat it! I'll be there to guide you, every step of the way. And that's a promise I don't intend on breaking any time soon!"


Chapter 7


"How was your guys' first day here?" I wrapped my hands around the cup of fruit punch that Mirajane had given me and glanced down the long bar table at my friends, who were all seated on the tall stools beside me.

Dallas swallowed her gulp of lemonade and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. "It was good," she said. "Great, really. Natsu and Wendy showed Paige and I around the guild hall, and we even got to start practicing our magic already! Here, look..." She trailed off as she lifted one hand so that we could all see. A small, yet brilliant, fire appeared on her palm, the flames twisting and writhing as if it were alive. "Pretty cool, huh?"

"It's not just pretty cool, it's awesome!" Katie laughed as Dallas effortlessly extinguished her little fire. She paused, then continued, "Do any of you know what kind of magic Gray uses?"

"Something called Static Ice-Make," Cassidy replied with a shrug. "No idea what it does, though." She leaned forward, using her fingers to tilt her straw at a certain angle so that she could reach the last drops of her drink.

"It's a form of Maker Magic," Alison piped up. She adjusted her glasses, blushing, before going on in a softer tone, "It allows the user to make objects, inanimate ones in Gray's case, out of ice."

"Mmm," Katie mumbled. "Hey, Paige, you've been pretty quiet this whole time. Something on your mind?"

Paige jerked her head up, as if startled, then relaxed and let out a faint sigh. "No, not really..." she murmured, "it's just that... I was wondering where we're supposed to live now... since we're apart of a guild."

We all fell silent as the weight of our situation slowly started to sink in. Without our parents to provide shelter and food for us, a very scanty amount of money to purchase it ourselves, and little to no prior magic experience to go on jobs, the path ahead seemed next to impossible. That is, until Mirajane butted in.

"Don't worry, girls!" she interrupted as she wiped the countertop with a cloth. "Most of Fairy Tail's female members actually reside in our own special dormitory, called Fairy Hills. If you'd like, I can take you all to visit it right now, and we can see if there are any rooms available."

I smiled, grateful for her kindness. "That'd be great, thank you so much." I rose from my seat and slid my cup across the table to Mirajane, who grabbed it and started rinsing it out in the sink behind her. As I moved, I noticed that there was a pile of dirty dishes half-hidden in the soap suds floating on the top of the water, and I immediately felt guilty. "Are you sure you're not too busy?"

"Don't worry about those old things. I'll have enough free time on my hands to wash twice that amount tomorrow anyway," Mirajane said in a gentle, reassuring way, drying her hands on a towel and coming out from behind the bar. "Are you girls ready to go?"

Taylor grinned. "Of course we are!"

* * *

About ten minutes later, we were there. My curious gaze wandered around, taking in everything, from the I-like shape of the entire building, to the smaller details like the dark red letters spelling FAIRY HILLS in a slight arc above the front door. To be honest, it wasn't nearly as spectacular as the guild hall, but it was still pretty impressive.

"We get to live here?" Dallas breathed out, staring around her in complete awe. "I knew it would be nice, but I never imagined something as big as this!" She shifted the straps of her backpack to a more comfortable position on her shoulders and leaned over to whisper something to Paige, who smiled and murmured something back.

Mirajane walked forward and pushed the front doors open, gesturing to us with her free hand. "Come on in, before it gets cold," she called out. I noticed that she was still smiling, and I silently wondered how she managed to be so happy and perky all the time. But I didn't question it as we all filed quietly inside.

The main room was nice and cozy, and was made even warmer when Mirajane let the door fall closed behind us, sealing out the cold night air. A table that looked vaguely like a reception desk stood by the far wall, and made everything feel like a sort of hotel, but there was no one behind it. Alison must've noticed me staring at it, because a second later, I heard her mumble, "Levy told me that we don't have to check in and out, but we should probably tell our mentors when and why we are leaving."

"This way." Mirajane was already walking down a nearby hallway that I hadn't noticed before. Five doors stood on either side, but I immediately presumed that they were occupied, since we didn't stop at any of them. We then continued to go up a short staircase to the second floor, where three young women stood in the corridor, talking to each other. One, who had long dark blue hair pulled into pigtails, was noticeably shorter than the rest, and had a small white cat standing at her side. The other two were roughly the same height, and I saw right away that one of them was Erza Scarlet, the scary lady we had met before. The last girl had wavy, medium-blue hair that fell to a point just slightly past her shoulders, and was wearing a long sleeve shirt with fluffy white cuffs. Judging from the battle that had gone down just a little while ago, I guessed that her name was Juvia Lockser, a water wizard.

"Hello!" Mirajane greeted them as we approached. "Do you happen to know if we have any vacant rooms for our new members to stay in?"

Erza cast a sideways glance at us, as if we weren't worth her full attention. "We do," she said slowly, "but I'm afraid that only two are available at the moment." She folded her arms across her chest and turned away, rather indifferently, if you ask me.

Meanwhile, Juvia was staring rather creepily at Katie, who was looking more and more uneasy by the moment. "You're Gray's new apprentice, aren't you?" she finally said after a moment. Actually, it was more like a hiss than anything.

"Er, uh, yes, I am," Katie stammered nervously. "...Why?"

Juvia took a threatening step closer, so that she loomed over Katie. "You better not try any funny business, you hear me? Because Gray darling is mine, and mine alone. If anyone tries to get in the way of our love, they will pay the consequences," she went on darkly. "Got it?"

"Y-Yes, m-ma'am," Katie stuttered, "y-you can have the p-pervert all t-to yourself, d-don't worry."

"Good." Juvia opened a door, which must lead to her room. She looked over her shoulder at Katie and added, "I'll be keeping my eye on you," before the lock clicked behind her.

"That was weird," I commented the moment she had gone. A thought suddenly struck me, and I looked around. "Hey, doesn't one of us have her as their mentor?"

Taylor, who had been relatively quiet the entire time, rubbed her head and sighed. "Please... don't remind me," she groaned. "She seems like she's pretty strong, but I don't want to have to deal with her nonsense just to learn a couple of watery spells."

Cassidy gave her a pat on the shoulder. "Hey, don't worry, we can be in this together, Tay," she pointed out mildly. "Don't forget, I'm probably going to die in the first week of training, with..." She lowered her voice a bit and jerked her thumb at Erza, "that monster."

Iris gave a small yawn. "It must be getting late," she commented, blinking tiredly. "We should probably just go with our hotel roommates and get some sleep. We're bound to have an..." She yawned again. "exciting day tomorrow," she finished sarcastically.

"You're right," Paige agreed. She wandered over to a door and knocked gently on it, then when there was no answer, she pushed it open. "Come on, guys!" She vanished inside, with Dallas, Iris, and Katie trailing wearily after her. I heard their voices talking quietly to each other for a moment before it became muffled by the closed door.

"Seems like you four have this one," Mirajane said, startling me. I'd almost forgotten that she was there. She walked forward and gestured us into the last room in the hallway, the farthest one from the stairs that we had come up. "Goodnight, girls. Sleep tight, and don't let the bed bugs bite."


Chapter 8


I awoke to the gentle warmth of the morning sun's rays shining down on my face, and I sat up, rubbing the sleep from my eyes. I looked around, expecting to see my school clothes draped on the footboard of my bed, but all I saw was a wall, and the thing that I had been lying on wasn't my own mattress, but a simple sofa! I didn't move for a while, confused, but slowly, everything started coming back to me.

We had joined Fairy Tail, one of the most prestigious guilds in Fiore! But that didn't account for the fact that I was sleeping on the couch in an unfamiliar living room... Oh, right! We live in the Fairy Hills dormitory with the other female mages now, silly me! I did a mental facepalm. How could I forget? Yawning slightly, I swung my legs out to the side and stood up, stretching my arms high above my head.

Just then, Cassidy appeared in the doorway leading to a separate room, wearing her pajamas and brushing her teeth. "Morning, Tay," she greeted me. She looked me up and down, and then she grinned, I think... it's hard to tell with her toothbrush in the way. "You should probably start getting ready. I think Mirajane said something about having breakfast together at 8:00. It's 7:30 or something."

"Alright, thanks," I replied, crossing the room and kneeling down beside my suitcase. I unzipped it quickly and fished out my day clothes and the toiletries that I would need for the morning. I sat back and turned my head to gaze out the window at the pale blue sky beyond. I wonder what's in store for us today...

* * *

"Did you remember to bring a swimsuit?" were the first words out of Juvia's mouth when I arrived at the beach for the day's training. She was already dressed, wearing a cute purple two-piece set with white polka dots. Her dark blue eyes stared disdainfully down at me.

I nodded; Mirajane had told me that I would be doing a lot of water activities during breakfast earlier that morning, and suggested that I dress appropriately. I took off my normal clothes, revealing my pink-themed rashguard and bikini bottom that I had been wearing underneath. I kicked my slippers off to the side and looked up at my mentor, wondering what we would be doing that day.

For a moment, Juvia remained silent, looking me up and down. Finally, she said, "Well, that'll have to do. Come on, there's something important I need to teach you before we learn any real combat moves." She turned and led the way down to the ocean's edge, so that the waves just barely brushed her toes. "To become a Water Wizard," she began, "you have to be one with your element. Watch." She stepped forward so that her ankles were mostly submerged, and closed her eyes. A moment later, her body seemed to turn into a liquid, and she melded into the water, so that all I could see of her were her eyes.

"Wow, that's neat," I said, really meaning it. I was trying to be positive despite the fact that she clearly wasn't taking a liking to me, but it sure was difficult. I blinked as Juvia's body took form again, and she rose out of the waves to stand in front of me.

"My body is made entirely out of water," she told me. "When I have had enough to drink, I am nearly invincible to most physical attacks. You, too, shall someday be able to wield power like this." She paused for a moment before continuing, "To do this, you must feel yourself, and the sea all around you. You must will yourself to become what you wish to be. Now you try." She moved back a bit, giving me more space.

I took a deep, slightly shaky breath and stepped forward, feeling the softness of the damp sand beneath my feet. I closed my eyes, feeling the gentleness of the waves brushing against my skin and the light breeze on my face. I concentrated hard on what I wanted to do: to be one with the ocean. Finally, I released all of that pent-up energy. I felt myself melting into the water around me, and I felt a tiny tremor of pride run through me. I'm going to be the best out of all of my friends!

The moment my thoughts strayed from the task at hand, I felt a sort of tingle rush through my body, and I was forced back into my normal form. I sighed. "Sorry, Juvia..." I mumbled, feeling like I had let her down. "Maybe I'm just not cut out for this sort of stuff..."

I didn't expect her to do anything, so when I felt her hand rest comfortingly on my shoulder, I was quite startled. "It's alright," Juvia's voice said reassuringly to me. "Even I didn't get it on the first try. As you practice more, it'll get easier, and one day, you'll be able to do it within a snap second, just like that. You just have to believe you can, okay?"

I looked up at her, shocked by her sudden kindness. "Thank you..." I murmured quietly. My hopes flared like a newly rekindled bonfire, and I clenched one hand into a fist. "Okay, then... I believe I can become a Water Wizard!"

"Great!" Juvia responded, every bit as enthusiastic as me. "Now that your spirit is in the right place, I won't let you eat, drink, or sleep until you are just as fast at it as I am!"


Chapter 9


"Fire Dragon Roar!" I yelled, blowing outwards with all my might. I was quite pleased when I saw a medium-sized column of flame bursting from my mouth, completely engulfing the rock that I had been aiming for. I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand and glanced back at Natsu, who was standing beside me. "How was that?"

"Pretty soon, you'll be strong enough to challenge me, y'know," Natsu replied with his usual childish grin. He leaned closer and whispered, "Hey, and guess what? If we're ever stuck in a bad situation, we can just eat each other's fire! We'll have an unlimited supply of power!" He lifted one hand invitingly.

"For sure!" I laughed, meeting his high-five. "Now I'm definitely fired up! I'm gonna train extra hard so we can go on jobs together real soon!"

"You better," Natsu replied, smirking. "And I have just the thing to give you the experience you need!" He jerked his thumb over his shoulder, and I stood on my tiptoes to try to see what he was pointing at.

Appearing over the crest of a hill were the Sky Dragon Slayer Wendy Marvell, her exceed, Carla, and... Paige! I glanced at Natsu. I already knew what he had planned. "Am I supposed to fight Paige or something?" I asked, narrowing my eyes at him.

"No, you're going to have a tea party." He rolled his eyes sarcastically, but I knew he was joking.

"She's my friend, you know," I continued carefully. "I don't want to hurt her."

Natsu shrugged. "Who cares? You're probably gonna have to fight one of your guildmates sooner or later," he said nonchalantly, waving his hand as if it were no big deal. "And plus, Gray is my friend, and it's not like we're always on the best of terms either," he pointed out.

"Fine, fine," I muttered, a bit irritated by his shortsightedness, although I had to admit, he did have a point. Trying my best to keep a straight face, I turned away from him and raised my voice. "Hey, Paige! Are you ready or what?"

"Course I am!" Paige shouted back, breaking into a run until she stood only a few feet from me. "On the count of three! One... two..." She took a deep breath. "Three!"

"And try not to destroy the guild hall, you two!" Carla warned us in her chiding voice as she circled overhead on snowy-white angel wings. "Erza will have your heads if you do!" She wagged one front paw threateningly and then drifted down to land gently on the grass beside Wendy.

"I'm not gonna hold back, you know!" I reminded Paige, then took a quick battle stance and yelled, "Fire Dragon Roar!" Scorching hot flames burst from my mouth and raced towards her at astonishing speeds, so quickly I was afraid she wouldn't have time to retaliate.

But Paige has always had excellent reflexes, and even now, she wasted no time in responding with "Sky Dragon Roar!" A controlled whirlwind of air exploded out and countered my attack with a small explosion. I jumped back, panting a bit, and then used the move "Fire Dragon Wing Attack", making an X shape with my arms before pushing them outwards, causing similarly shaped flames to sweep across the battlefield.

Paige leaped to avoid it, though her left foot did get a bit singed, causing her to land awkwardly when she fell. She teetered for a moment before straightening and shouting, "Sky Dragon Wing Attack!" She did the same motion that I did, except this time, she sent powerful gusts of air in my direction. I barely managed to dodge, doing a sort of cartwheel with one hand and skidding across the ground. I rose and dusted myself off, then suddenly jerked my head up and yelled, "Fire Dragon Roar!"

A raging column of fire sprang forth and sped towards Paige. Her eyes widened in shock, and I felt a stab of fear pierce my heart. No! You have to move! I screamed inwardly.

From the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of pink, then there was a great sucking noise as Natsu stood in front of Paige, swallowing all of my flames with ease. He wiped his mouth. "Hey, that's some good fire you got there!" he called to me, "I'll be sure to order from you again!" He winked.

"I think that means that this match was a draw," Wendy said, stepping forward. "Well done, Dallas. I can see that Igneel taught you well," she told me, before turning to Paige. "I'm proud of you, too, and I'm sure Grandeeney would be if she were here." She glanced down at the burn on her foot. "Would you like me to heal you?"

I sat on a nearby tree stump and pulled out a sheet of paper from my back pocket. Earlier that day, I had written FRIENDLY FIGHTS across the top. This is where I would keep track of who won which battle. I decided that if there was a draw, both sides would get a point. I picked up my pencil and, in tiny, but neat, letters, I made a tally mark beside both my name and Paige's, before folding it up again and slipping it into my pocket.

I stood up and walked over to join the others, scratching my head as I approached. "That was a good match," I said to Paige. "I hope to do it again sometime." I looked down at her foot. "Are you okay? I'm sorry if I hurt you."

"Hah, it's fine," Paige laughed, leaning back and resting her hands on the grass. "That just means I have to try even harder."


Chapter 10


"It's time for us to have a little break from all of the hassle of training, don't you think?" Wendy asked. She was sitting cross-legged on a tree stump across from me, as per the meditation portion of our training that Carla had so cleverly suggested, and she now opened her dark brown eyes to wink playfully at me. "We can always go to the pool or the bath house."

I grinned. "Sure, all of this hustle and bustle is really tiring me out," I agreed, laughing as I stood up and quickly dusted a few stray leaves and pieces of bark from my leggings. "That sounds like a lot of fun, and plus, I'd love to see what the pool looks like." I stretched each of my arms in turn. "I'll go and change into my swimsuit and then I'll meet you back here again in ten minutes."

"Alright, I'll be sure to tell Juvia and Taylor, too," Wendy said, kicking her legs in the air. "From what I heard, they've been undergoing some pretty intense training regimens lately, and I'm sure your friend could use a little relaxation time." She paused for a moment, thinking. "Maybe Lucy and Iris will want to come along, too."

"Sounds good," I replied, starting to walk away. When I had taken a few steps, I suddenly remembered something, and turned to call over my shoulder. "Don't forget about Natsu and Dallas!" I shouted.

Wendy smiled back. "I won't, don't worry!"

* * *

"So, what have you guys learned so far?" I asked, eager to know about what all of my friends had been working on during the day. Even though I knew how to swim, I was still pretty tuckered out after my little sparring match with Dallas, and I merely held onto a doughnut-shaped floatie and drifted around the pool lazily.

"Lucy taught me how to open different celestial spirit gates," Iris responded. She was lying on her back on a watermelon-colored raft, her face towards the sky, but her eyes closed, even as she spoke. "And get this, she even said that since she has ten zodiac keys, she would give three of them to me! I get Taurus, Gemini, and Capricorn."

"Neat!" Taylor exclaimed. She was clinging onto a light blue pool noodle and half-kicking, half-paddling around. "Juvia is pretty strict, but look what I can do!" She released the noodle and closed her eyes, and after a moment, she had completely disappeared! I gasped, wondering where she could possibly have gone, until I saw her face on the surface of the water. It was both freaky and amazing at the same time.

"Woah!" Dallas stared in amazement, as did the rest of us. "How do you do that?"

Taylor giggled and transformed into her normal self, her body taking solid form again. "Can't tell you," she laughed. "You have to focus on learning your own magic for now. It's called Fire Dragon Slaying, right?"

Dallas smirked. "Yep! Here, watch." She took a deep breath, then tilted her head upwards and yelled, "Fire Dragon Roar!", blowing outwards with all of her might. A column of blazing fire burst from her mouth, and even though she had directed it away from everyone, I could still feel the heat. I noticed that the orange and yellow flames were a bit bigger this time than when we had fought earlier that day. She was getting stronger quickly.

Not wanting to let her steal the spotlight, I grinned and shouted, "Sky Dragon Roar!" A whirlwind of air sped upwards, crashing into Dallas's fire and causing a small explosion as they countered each other. "We're gonna be even in power for a while," I commented as a few stray sparks fell from the sky, sizzling into nonexistence the moment they hit the water.

I noticed that it had become awfully quiet, and I glanced around, worried someone had been hit. But Iris and Taylor were fine and unharmed, just staring in open-mouthed shock. After a moment, Iris whispered, "Wow... I knew Dragon Slaying magic was strong, but that's crazy!"

"I know!" Taylor breathed out. "I'm gonna have to practice a lot more if I want to ever hold a candle to either of you!"

Dallas was blushing intensely. "It's not that great," she mumbled, embarrassed. "I mean, we're in a pool. I bet Taylor could blow us all out of the water with one blow if she wanted to, and I heard that Capricorn is a pretty buff spirit himself!"

Iris blinked. "But he wouldn't be nearly as buff if you roasted him like a hairy marshmallow over a campfire!" she pointed out. She pouted, but in a joking way. "I wish I were a Dragon Slayer."

"Me, too," Taylor agreed, swimming away and snatching her pool noodle again, which had been tossed back by my wind attack. She paddled back to us. "I bet Dallas and Paige could take out all six of us if they put their minds to it."

I looked down at the rippling surface of the pool. "I honestly really doubt it," I murmured. "We're just twelve-year-old wizards struggling to understand magic, the same as the rest of you."


Chapter 11




Chapter 12



Chapter 13



Chapter 14



Chapter 15