Author's Note: Hi there! Before you start reading, I just wanted to thank those who reviews the last chapter. It meant the world to me, really. So, many thanks to LoKi 7000, lalala445, I-am-happy, all the lonely people, Silver Sparke, and of course Amiri. And sorry for not updating in a while. My life got ridiculously busy. But! I have returned. So, onward to Chapter 2 of As the Sun Rises. Enjoy~

The next few weeks were spent shopping for clothes and school supplies. Anandi had insisted they go shopping right away, surprising Safiya one day with her plans to go on her own to a nearby shopping mall. Safiya quashed this idea immediately, but then relented so long as they went together. They'd returned with large bags full of newly purchased goods, ranging from new clothes, to notebooks, to a waffle iron.

And now the day was here. September 20th.

Getting ready in front of the long mirror in her room, Safiya remembered that the Battle of Châlons took place on September 20th. She sighed as she tugged on a simple black hoodie over her plain magenta t-shirt. Her sensitivity to light meant she easily got headaches in bright sunlight, which meant that when she had to spend any prolonged period of time outdoors, she'd be wearing her hood up to shield her eyes. She'd planned on investing in a pair of sunglasses, but she'd yet to find a pair that suited her face. She then pulled on simply blue jeans and light running shoes. She'd briefly considered putting on a little makeup but eventually decided not to, preferring to blend-in behind Anandi, who always stood out with her shining black hair and bright green eyes, which were a particularly stunning combination with her slightly darker skin. She'd also taken to adding mascara and eyeliner to her cosmetic repertoire recently, resulting in a very stunning first impression for anyone who laid eyes on her.

"Safiya? Are you ready?" Anandi's voice echoed down the hall from her room.

"Yeah, I'll be right there." Grabbing her backpack off the floor, she left her room.

Entering her friend's room, Safiya was amazed. Beautiful on a normal day, Anandi now looked gorgeous, but not in an overly obvious way. She'd gone the route of some basic eye shadow and lip-gloss, and was wearing jeans and a button-up lavender dress shirt. Casual business wear. Safiya approved.

"You'll make a good first impression." She said happily.

"What about you?" Anandi asked, looking Safiya over. "Not dressing to impress I take it?"

"The only person I'm interested in impressing is you, and that's a lost cause." She grinned impishly and Anandi laughed. "It's better that you look all put-together and studious. I'm just the tagalong friend, remember?"

"Mm. I suppose."

Safiya perked up at the grandfather clock in the living room started its reverberating chiming. "It's time to go!"

Anandi groaned. "Do we have to walk?"

"It's only a fifteen minute walk. Don't be a baby."

Fifteen minutes later, the had their first in-person look at the Academy. Safiya had studied the school map extensively (something hard to do considering that as maps went, it was very basic. She'd compensated by adding copious notes to it) but it was different to see the multi-floored buildings in person. She'd eventually made her own sketch of the campus. Her sketch was basically the same as the map of the school, but smaller, taking up part of a half-sheet of paper, with her notes on the different buildings and rooms. She pulled it out now to examine.

Her writing in places had been a little hurried but it was still mostly legible. The only complaint Anandi had had when Safiya had given her a copy was that she wrote her a's strangely, something Safiya knew would seem strange to most people, since they wrote theirs differently.

But that was how she wrote her letters and she had no intention of changing the way she wrote. "Oh well." was all she'd told Anandi in response, and her friend had good-naturedly let it drop.

Staring at her sketch and comparing it to the school spread out before her, Safiya felt overwhelmed for a moment. She'd seen pictures but it somehow seemed much larger in person.

"There's the office." Anandi pointed. "A Building, right?"

"…Yeah." Safiya trailed in her friend's wake, observing their surroundings carefully, taking in as much as she could. Which wasn't nearly as much as she would've liked since the other five hundred plus students were also arriving, creating a scene of strangely organized chaos.

They entered the two story building that housed all the official offices except for the nurse and psychologist. They went up to the receptionist, a woman who looked to be somewhere in her mid-thirties, with her hair a dark reddish brown cut into a short bob. The nameplate at the front of her desk identified her as 'Susan Rollins'.

"Hello." Anandi said easily as she stepped forward.

"Hi. How may I help you?" Susan smiled at them.

"I'm Anandi Johnson, and this is Safiya Williams. We sort of transferred into the sophomore class?"

Susan's face lit up. "Oh! Yes, I remember. Do you have your paperwork?"

"Here you go." Anandi handed over their paperwork, which they'd put into two labeled manila folders.

"Wow, you two are certainly professional." Susan said with another cheerful smile as she took the folders. She flipped through them to make sure everything was there before setting them to the side and pulling two more sheets of paper out of a blue binder on her desk. "Here are your schedules. The class arrangement here is a four-by-four schedule, meaning you have four classes 1st semester, then another four next semester."

"I see." Anandi smiled. "Thank you."

They left the office and Anandi handed Safiya her schedule. "What've you got?"

Safiya looked at the paper. "1st period World History."

"Me too!" Anandi said excitedly. "That's good right? We can start off the day together."

Safiya managed a smile in return, even though inside she was still nervous. "2nd period English 10 Honors."

"I have pre-calculus."

"Dork."

Anandi stuck her tongue out. "How about third?"

"Algebra 1."

"I have regular English 10. Fourth?"

"…Physical Education…. P.E.? They still do that?" Safiya demanded of no one.

"No complaints from you." Anandi scolded. "You'll ace easy with your abilities."

Safiya glowered but remained silent. She jumped as the bell rang. "What room is our history class in?"

"D6."

"Ah. It's on the second floor of D building."

"Do we have to walk up stairs?"

"Nope." Safiya said cheerfully. "They have elevators. Though you should consider the stairs anyway. Good cardio."

Anandi ignored this and followed Safiya to the D building, where most of the other students were going as well.

"It's basically the building that houses all the rooms." Safiya explained when she noticed Anandi gawking. "The only classes that aren't here are the science ones, because they have their own building with labs and everything."

"How many people are in this building?"

"All the rooms are always full, so…..almost four hundred? If you want a specific number, it's a little over three seventy-five, I think."

"Wow."

Wow indeed, Safiya thought. In this building alone there were almost four hundred potential risks. "We should get going." she said out loud. "Don't want to be late on our first day."

The made it to their room in time, and took seats at the front on the far side of the room, near the windows. Safiya sat by the window and had Anandi sit a row over so she wasn't visible from anyone looking up from outside. Safiya could hear whispers behind them, and tilted her head slightly to hear better.

"Those're the new girls?"

"Yeah, I hear they transferred from some middle of nowhere place. And they're attending for free."

"They must be pretty smart then, for Ackerman to let 'em in no charge…"

A young woman of twenty-four with pale orange hair breezed in through the doorway. "Good morning!"

The class quieted.

"My name is Anastasia Holly, though you can all just call me Anna. As I'm sure you figured out I'm your teacher for World History." She gave a bright smile and Safiya noticed that Anna's eyes were a bright blue.

They spent the entire class going over the syllabus and course expectations, with the hour and a half class ending with Anna handing out textbooks. Then the bell rang and everyone stood up, grabbing backpacks that now weighed a good bit more.