Appearences Aren't Everything (An Ouran Story)

Ouran High School Host club is a club based almost entirely on appearences alone. But they new girl, Amaya, discovers that the members of the club are far more than simply handsome faces and a shallow personality.

Chapter 1

Ouran

Amaya walked up the carpet-covered stairs of her new school, Ouran Academy. ~Oh no, I'm late!~ she thought, panicked. She checked her watch again. Was it not working? She had just gotten it that weekend, but it said six-thirty, and the campus seemed empty. The only thing that accompanied her was a cool breeze swirling around her ankles. She began to run to the administration office.
"Am I late?" she cried as she burst in. A receptionist, who had been making coffee, looked up, startled.
"And who are you?"
As she always did when put on the spot, Amaya blushed and stammered. "M-my name is Kimura Amaya. I just transferred from Lobelia Girl's Academy." She looked around. They were the only ones there. "I am late, aren't I?"
The receptionist looked amused. "No, my dear. You're a bit early, actually. Classes don't start until seven... tomorrow."
Amaya closed her eyes with embarrassment. ~This is worse than I thought...~
"Would you like to get your schedule now, or wait until tomorrow to find out your classes?"
She opened her eyes again. "Oh, I'd like to get it now, if it's not too much trouble."
She contemplated her own stupidity as the woman printed out a list of classes. ~Why didn't I look at the date more clearly? I should have read it myself again this morning, instead of letting Tora read it.~ Her face got redder as she thought of her younger sister, Tora, snatching the paper from her that morning. "Yep, you'll be right on time, Onee-chan!" ~Right on time... sure, Tora...~
"So why did you transfer from Lobelia?" the friendly secretary inquired politely, interrupting her thoughts.
Her face paled involuntarily. "Er... I moved. My parents moved to a different location, so I transferred here rather than make the long commute."
The woman nodded, smiling, and handed over the list of classes. "These will start tomorrow. I've included a detailed map of the school to help you get from class to class without getting lost. Also, here is your on-campus living assignment. You get a room to yourself. I hope you enjoy your first day!" She smiled again and gently shoo-ed Amaya out of the office.
Examining the map, she walked to her room and let herself in with the key that had been attachedto the map. It was a large room, with a nice-looking queen-sized bed and several armchairs. A desk with a lamp sat in one corner. A door led, she presumed, into a private bathroom. Thick curtains covered the windows. She pulled them aside and gasped at the view.
It was a beautiful campus. The trees were just starting to lose their leaves, covering the sidewalks with a carpet of vibrant color. Off in the distance, the imposing clock tower stood proudly, casting an enormous shadow over several of the buildings. The sun, newly risen, washed the lovely scene in pale lemon light. Although empty of people, Amaya could picture it bustling with activity, the halls filled with laughing students, the courtyards brimming with the sounds of intelligent conversation. It was a picture that sent quivers to Amaya's stomach, and she suddenly had the desire to explore it a bit before it was mobbed with other humans.
Quickly she changed from her formal uniform dress to a skirt and blouse. Grabbing a small bag and stuffing her cell phone, some money, her key, and a small pair of binoculars in it, she slipped out the door and ran out of the building as quietly as she could.
Once outside, she breathed deeply and smiled. Keeping a light lookout for questioning staff, she started to explore the first courtyard she came upon. It had a stone wall running along its outer perimeters, old and slightly crumbling. Ivy overran parts of it, while others were bare. The rest of the area didn't hold much, just a few wooden benches and a fountain. The fountain was running, and the water was icy cold. Amaya was unable to resist dipping her fingers into it and swirling them around. Once her fingertips were blue and numb with cold, she moved on.
A large building stood in front of her now. A small sign informed her that this building contained most of the recreational rooms; the library, the music rooms, the reading rooms. At the word "library", she was caught. If there was anythig she loved more than her family, it was a good book. And the library at the presigious school promised to be fantastic. ~But what if I get in trouble? I don't know if I'm allowed... Come on, Amaya, you coward!~ she scolded herself. ~You've always been too timid, too afraid! Here's your chance! But...~ She sighed. ~If the door is locked, I won't go in. If it's unlocked, I'm at perfect liberty to explore.~
She skipped up the steps two at a time, then reached out and tugged on the handle. It turned willingly, almost joyfully, in her hand. She smiled and strode through the door.
Although she had called herself a coward, she was not. In fact, she had always tested rules, poked at authority, defied logic. However, she was constantly comparing herself to her younger sister, Tora. Tora's name meant tiger, and so she was. At age seven, she had already mastered the art of judo, broken six bones, run away from home, been expelled, and was not afraid to speak (or yell) her mind at anyone who made her angry. By contrast, Amaya had only gotten a red belt in karate and broken two bones, one of which was a finger, which she didn't count. She had been suspended once (in middle school, for fighting). And she was a sophomore. Alone, it was an impressive record. Compared to Tora's, however...
She interrupted her own thoughts by finding the library. This door, too, was open. She smugly let herself in. The sight that awaited her was, in her opinion, one of the most beautiful she had ever seen. Thousands of books lined the walls, filling the room with the dusty-sweet aroma of the written word. The books waited for her. They always waited for her. Waiting, not judging... there were many reasons to love books.
Without hesitating this time, she walked to the first wall and reached up to it. As she touched the spines, spreading her fingers out, a shiver ran down her own spine. It was such a magical moment that the piano music, for a second, seemed to just belong.
Then she really heard it, and realized that she was either going insane, or someone was playing the piano somewhere in the building. The insanity theory was quiet possible, she reasoned, since she had just been shivering at books. Still, she was intruiged enough to leave the library and attempt to follow the sound. The melody was very beautiful. It wove around Amaya, consuming her senses. She felt it was almost familiar, but just as she almost figured it out, it escaped her. She continued walking, glancing into various rooms, as the music grew louder.
She ended up at the door of the third music room.

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