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My Sister's Keeper

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Frontier – Ansel

Fire raged around him. Ash drifted slowly to the ground like bits of black and gray snow. The village, his home of Ansel, was engulfed in flames as each building burned as brightly as a roman candle. Jaune coughed and hacked, the smoke he'd inhaled as he pulled himself from the burning refuse of his home choking his lungs as he struggled to breath in unpolluted air. His eyes burned from the smoke and heat, watering profusely as his body reacted to the foreign substance. Before long he managed to struggle to his feet, gazing at the bonfire that had once been his home. Looking around he saw a similar sight as he gazed upon the fire that had spread to engulf the whole village. Panic filled his chest as he cried out, hoping someone else had survived.

"Mom! Dad! Saphron! Juniper! Sapphire! Rose! Anyone!"

His cries received no answer except for the sound of muffled coughing and crying. Feeling a surge of hopefulness, Jaune pushed himself to his feet and raced towards the sound. It didn't take him long to see the source of the noise as his eyes zeroed in on a young wolf Faunus girl barely four years old. She was laying on the ground just outside her home, her clothes singed from the flames and black soot marks on her skin. As far as he could tell she was relatively unharmed but she wouldn't remain that way for long. Struggling to her feet, the young girl looked towards her house, fear and panic painted across her features.

"MOMMY!" she cried out, stumbling towards her house.

"Jade, no!" Jaune yelled, rushing in to scoop her up in his arms and pull her away from the burning wreckage.

"Mommy!" she cried, struggling against Jaune's grip as she gazed back at her home.

"Jade, no, it's too dangerous," Jaune told her.

As if to accentuate his point, the roof of the house caved in, fanning the flames and confirming that no other survivors would be crawling out from the death trap. Jade's struggles began to weaken as she fell into a fit of crying. Jaune held her close, comforting her as best he could. They stayed there for most of the night, watching as the fires slowly burned out as the sun rose slowly over the horizon of the village of Ansel. No one else would be found come the morning. They were the only survivors.

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Jaune pushed the rubble and charred wood aside, using a large branch he'd found broken off from a nearby tree. Jade sat a few feet back, sniffling occasionally as she clutched a small stuffed bunny Jaune had managed to save from the ruins of another building. She starred at the ground, completely oblivious to the world around her. It may have been for the best. From the multitude of charred corpses he managed to unearth, it was certain that no one had survived. It was clear his family had all been killed in the fire and Jaune struggled to keep his stomach from expelling its contents at the sight of their burned bodies. He couldn't hold back his tears, however, and as much as he would have liked to take the time to give them all a proper burial, he knew that with the Grimm in the area and a lack of tools like a shovel, it would take him several days just to see to his family put to rest at all.

With a great shove he pushed aside enough of the rubble to expose a small trap door his father had built into their home for emergencies. Throwing aside his stick he pried open the door and was glad to see all of its contents were unharmed. Inside he found several backpacks prepacked with food, clothing, and other essentials needed during emergencies. He also found a good amount of lien, vital for two orphans who now had to make their way through Remnant on their own. Scoping his father's pack up as well as his own and a couple of his younger sisters, he threw them over his shoulder and began making his way out of the wreckage. With how unstable everything was, it was difficult for him to find his footing and he tripped once or twice, only to land on something hard. Looking down he found the morning sun reflecting off something in the rubble. Curious, he showed the charred wood aside and was astonished to find Crocea Mors, his family's ancestral sword, lying there, completely untouched by the fire. The steal felt cool in his hands and he hesitated for a moment, wondering if he had any right to take it.

It had always been his dream to one day leave his home to start his education as a huntsman. His father had been one and his father before him, going back generations to the time before the Great War. While he had no prior training nor any idea of what it took to become a huntsman, he nevertheless aspired to be one, even to the point of planning to run away to Vale to start his career. As he clutched the sword and sheath in his hands, his hesitation gave way to determination. He would become a huntsman that much hadn't changed. However, the circumstances had and, with only a year left before his seventeenth birthday, he would have a great deal of time to prepare himself for the road ahead. He strapped the sword to his hip, feeling its weight on him, as he made his way back out of the rubble.

"Jade, it's time to go," he said gently.

"But my mommy," she said, her lips quivering as fresh tears welled up in her eyes.

"I'm sorry Jade," he said, pulling her into an embrace as he stroked her hair. "They're gone. There's nothing left that we can do for them, but I can promise you I won't ever abandon you. We'll survive, together, and I'll make sure you grow up to have a life filled with happiness."

The little girl stifled her sobs, burying her face in his hoodie as he gently picked her up in his arms. Despite the weight of four fully packed backpacks and a large sword on his hip as well as a young child in his arms, Jaune didn't notice their weight pulling him down. Instead, he focused his sights on the forest ahead and marched forward, ready to face the world and carve out a life for himself and his little sister.

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Vale – 1 Year Later…

Jaune sat straight backed in his seat as the bullhead jostled from the turbulence. He hated flying more than anything. Why couldn't Beacon had been built on the ground where it was safe rather than up on a hill? Granted, he knew why it had been built that way. With the high elevation and the Emerald forest at their back, it ensured they would have a good view of any invading forces as well as Grimm incursions into the city and be able to respond immediately. That said, he could think of several other preferable moods of transportation that he would gladly take from a bus to riding a freaking donkey up a hill rather than a bullhead.

What made the trip even worse was his almost five year old little sister Jade who was completely unfazed by the turbulence to the point that she was standing on her seat, gazing out her window excitedly as the city of Vale drew further away and Beacon came into view. Her eyes widened as she took it in, looking up at the building like it was a castle growing out of the clouds, just like the ones in the various picture books Jaune had managed to get for her along their journey. While the whole thing made him feel uncomfortable, he couldn't bring himself to feel annoyed. On the contrary, seeing her face light up made him feel just as happy and he quickly began to forget his airsickness until another jolt from the airship jostled him back to reality.

"Jaune, Jaune, look," she said excitedly, jumping on her seat.

"I'm fine, Jade," he said, struggling to keep his composure. "Why don't you sit down? I think we'll be landing soon."

"Okay," she said, plopping down in her seat and bucking in.

To his relief he could feel the bullhead beginning to slow its descent and the tension that had been building inside of him quickly faded as he was comforted by the fact that he would soon be back on solid ground. The bullhead landed, giving Jaune one last jolt as it settled. He sighed in relief and quickly opened the side door before stepping out onto the landing pad just outside Beacon Academy. Breathing a lungful of air, he felt his nausea dissipate completely before turning back to his little sister. The young Faunus jumped happily from the bullhead, holding tightly to a small stuffed bunny in her arms as she quickly moved to stand next to her brother and guardian. The old bunny from their village had long since passed, the fabric and stuffing unable to withstand the hardships of their journey to Vale. Once they'd arrived, however, Jaune had quickly purchased her a new one, considering it an early birthday present as well as a way of celebrating getting into Beacon.

Well, that is to say he was asked to come to speak with the Headmaster after sending him his transcripts and a letter describing their situation. Their family situation was unique, one he hoped to work out with the Headmaster so that he and Jade might be able to stick together. They'd come this far and he was willing to fight just a bit longer if it meant carving out a stable life for her. All he needed to do was graduate from Beacon and he would be a full-fledged huntsman and with that came the ability to rent themselves a decent apartment and perhaps even look into sending Jade to school and possibly a prep school should she decide to take the huntress route.

As he gathered their bags from the bullhead, Jaune heard the distinct sound of heals clicking against the pavement. He looked up in time to see a woman with blond hair and glasses, wearing a white blouse with a black pencil skirt and nylons heading in their direction. She was quite a sight to behold and one of the most attractive women Jaune had ever seen. That said, the stern gaze she gave him said she was all business and he quickly prepared himself for such.

"Mr. Arc, I presume," she said, adjusting her glasses as she looked him over.

"Jaune Arc, yes, and this is my little sister, Jade," he said. The child in question peaked out from behind her brother's legs, having hidden herself behind him when she noticed the woman approach.

"Hello, my name is Glynda," the blond woman said, kneeling down to look at the young girl. Her stern face gave way to a warm smile as she held out a hand to Jade.

"H-hi," the girl said, tentatively reaching a small hand out to shack hers.

"I'm sorry, Jade gets very shy around strangers," Jaune apologized.

"That's understandable. She is only four, after all."

"Five," Jaune corrected. "Her birthday is in a few weeks."

"Really? That's wonderful," she said, flashing her a brilliant smile that helped to put the child at ease.

"Um, not to be rude but when will I be able to meet with the headmaster? I received a letter from him asking me to stop by and discuss our current family situation."

"Of course. I'm the deputy Headmistress of Beacon, and one of the people who helps keep it running in spite of Ozpin," she said. Jaune wondered it that was a joke of some kind but, from the look of annoyance that flashed across her face, he realized it was anything but. "If you'll follow me I'll show you to his office."

Jaune nodded, scooping up their bags and Jade into his arms before following after Glynda. Despite having his hands full Jaune kept pace with the woman as she walked with a sense of purpose through the empty halls of Beacon. The building itself was massive, certainly bigger inside than the exterior gave away. They could hear their footsteps echoing down the hall and Jade would occasionally look around, her eyes wide with wonder as she took in the entirety of the school. Jaune couldn't help the smile that spread across his face. It had been a while since he'd last seen her this lively. With any luck their time at Beacon would be secured and he'd be able to give her moment happy moments like this one. Until then, he would need to consider his moves carefully. While he'd heard quite a few good things about Beacon's headmaster, that didn't guarantee the man would make an exception for them. They're fate was up in the air.

Glynda lead them to the end of a long hall before stepping into an elevator. Jaune followed, watching as Glynda pressed the ascend button and noticing the peculiar absence of any other floors on the wall. It was several moments before they reached their destination and the doors opened up into the headmaster's office.

Jaune was instantly taken in by the look and feel of the room. A majority of it was devoid of walls, having windows in their stead that looked out on the campus and Vale itself. Overhead large cogs clicked by as the clock turned and below them a similar sight could be seen, albeit with a thick sheet of glass between them. The headmaster's desk was a half circle design behind which he could see a custom made chair and two seats opposite it, probably for himself and Jade respectfully. The headmaster himself stood near one of the windows, gazing out onto the scenery below with a steaming mug stamped with the symbol of Vale in his hand. Glynda cleared her throat, probably to garner the man's attention, before she spoke.

"Jaune Arc and his younger sister Jade are here to see you sir," she said.

The headmaster turned, green eyes set behind a pair of glasses regarding him. "Wonderful. Do have a seat, Mr. Arc, there's much I wish to speak with you about."

Jaune nodded his affirmation, setting their things down on either side of his chair before lowering Jade into hers. He took his seat as well, starring straight at the headmaster as he took his seat before them. Jade sat silent, occasionally fidgeting but otherwise doing her best to be polite. She was a smart girl and knew how important this meeting was for her and her brother. She didn't want to do anything that might make things difficult for them.

"Are you thirsty?" Glynda asked, catching Jade off guard as she kneeled down to eye level.

"Um," Jade considered the question and glanced over to Jaune. He nodded, giving her a warm smile that told her it was alright. "Y-yes please," she said.

"I'll be right back," Glynda said, smiling warmly before patting her lightly on the head and disappearing into the elevator.

"So, Mr. Arc, I take it this little angel is your sister Jade," Ozpin said, smiling fondly at the young girl.

"She is," Jaune replied.

"Any relation?"

"I'm afraid not. Ever since the fire that destroyed our village, I've acted as her guardian. We have no other surviving relatives, at least as far as I'm aware of."

"I see. Did you ever consider the option of placing her in an orphanage?" Ozpin enquired.

"Once," Jaune said curtly, his tone implying that it was a subject he had no interest is broaching again.

Jade remembered what had happened. Shortly after leaving their village, Jaune had taken them to the next town over. Compared to where they had come from, it was much larger and more densely populated than their previous home. The wall that surround them was even made of stone rather than timber and had gates that could be shut and locked to prevent Grimm from entering inside. Jaune had managed to find work there, renting them a room at a small inn as he performed odd jobs to keep the lien flowing. He had a large stash he'd brought with them from his home but he'd decided to save that for emergencies and had instructed Jade to keep that between them. There were people who wouldn't bat an eye at jumping a couple of kids and robbing them if they knew they were holding something of value.

Between work, Jaune had also met a local huntsman who helped him to unlock his aura. Hearing of the plight they'd just come from, he'd offered to train Jaune, showing how to properly wield his sword and even use his aura. They'd stayed there for a few weeks, working and building a life for themselves, when the Matron of the local orphanage came to their room. She told Jaune it would be better both for her and himself if Jade was left at the orphanage. She promised to take care of her and find her a nice family and Jaune would be free to pursue his dream of becoming a huntsman. Jaune had thanked her for her time and promised to think it over and for the rest of the night he was silent. Jade had hardly slept, wondering if Jaune would leave her at the orphanage before going off to Beacon. She understood and had promised herself that she wouldn't cry if he did but when morning came, Jaune never set foot in the orphanage. Instead, he'd sat Jade down and talked with her.

"Jade, I want to ask you something. That lady who came here, she runs the orphanage here in town. She watches over all of the kids who don't have parents and finds them new parents. Do you understand?"

Jade nodded her affirmation, preparing herself for what was coming. Jaune was leaving her.

"She offered to take care of you but I want that to be your decision. Do you want to stay with me or go with her?"

Jade was stunned by the question. She hadn't considered what she wanted. Back in Ansel, she'd lived with her mother and all she wanted was to stay with her forever and live a happy life together. Now, she was with Jaune. Things weren't like they used to be but she liked Jaune. He had always been kind to her. He cared about her and kept her safe.

"Jaune," she'd found herself saying without realizing it. "I want to stay with Jaune."

Jaune had smiled after that, embracing her and promising that they would always be together. It had brought a flood of relief to Jade, something she didn't know she needed. Confident in the belief that her big brother Jaune would protect her, she slept soundly that night. The next morning, Jaune had spoken with the Matron to inform her of his decision. The woman hadn't taken it well, getting cross of Jaune and arguing with him for a good while. Shortly after that, she had Jaune had left the village and moved on with their lives.

They would move from place to place, sometimes staying for a while where Jaune would train and fight Grimm, other times staying only for a short time. Things weren't always easy for them. Occasionally, people would give them strange looks or kick them out of places simply because she had animal ears. She didn't always understand why but Jaune would always smile and assure her everything was alright. She believed him but that didn't stop her from wondering why people didn't like her wolf ears. She would subconsciously touch them on occasion, wondering why she was born with them when her mother hadn't. Her mother had said her father had them and they reminded her of him which made them her favorite part of Jade. She liked that. It always made her mother happy and that made her happy.

"Here you go," Glynda said, bringing Jade back to reality.

She snapped to attention, her eyes wide with surprise as she took in the blonde woman as she held a small cup in her hands. Jade accepted in with a silent thank you before taking a tentative sip. Her taste buds were soon assaulted by the fruity beverage, causing her to gasp in excitement. She gazed up at Glynda whose smile had broadened at her reaction, obviously pleased to see she was enjoying her drink.

"Thank you," she said, louder this time.

"You very welcome Jade," she replied.

"So, legally you're her guardian?" Ozpin asked.

"Yes, we made it official just a few weeks ago" Jaune replied.

"I see," Ozpin said, looking through some of the papers he had set on his desk. "I also see you have extensive experience working outside the kingdom, helping eradicate Grimm in several small villages. While you don't have any background at a prep school, this is more than enough to qualify you to attend Beacon."

"Excellent," Jaune replied.

"That said, there is the matter of you sister Jade," Ozpin said.

Jade immediately looked up, hearing her name. She looked to Ozpin and then to her brother Jaune, curious as to why she had been mentioned. Jaune looked serious, more so than usual, and she knew that now was the time to be as polite as possible. Being with Jaune would make it difficult for her brother to get into Beacon and she knew she had to do everything she could to make it easier.

"I understand the situation, sir. It's also my understanding that Beacon allows for extenuating circumstances like this one."

"We do but that comes with certain expectations. Namely that you maintain moderate grades and refrain from causing any destruction to the school, its property or breaking of the rules. In short, you must uphold the schools rules and policies to the fullest. There are no exceptions to this whatsoever."

Behind Jaune where only Ozpin could see Glynda dramatically rolled her eyes, mouthing the words "team STRQ" as she did so. Ozpin simply ignored that and proceeded on with the interview.

"I completely understand Sir. You have my word that I will do everything I can to follow the rules and be a model student," Jaune said.

Jade nodded along with him, eager to help out her brother in whatever way she could.

"I don't doubt that, Mr. Arc. That is, of course, assuming you'll be able to pass initiation in the next couple of days. Until then, we have a room set aside for you and your sister to stay in. Once the rest of our students begin arriving you'll be expected to follow the initiation process which will include you sleeping in the main hall tomorrow night."

"I understand sir. I do have one question."

"Of course."

"Assuming I pass initiation, how do I go about setting my sister up with the on campus daycare you have?"

"That will all be taken care once you've been accepted," Glynda chimed in. "I'll handle all the details myself so you won't have to worry about anything."

"Thank you," Jaune said, visibly relieved.

"Well then, now that's all taken care of, let me be the first to welcome you to Beacon and I look forward to having you as one of my students" Ozpin said, rising from his seat extending his hand.

"Thank you sir. I look forward to it as well," Jaune said, rising and shaking his hand.

"Well, if there's nothing else, I'll have Glynda show you to your room."

"I'll show you two where the cafeteria is so you'll know where to get dinner tonight," she said.

"Thank you very much."

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"Wow," Jade said, looking around at the spacious room set aside for visiting dignitaries and other people of note.

Jaune couldn't hold back his own astonishment as well. He'd been expecting something more humble, given the fact that they hadn't exactly had a great many opportunities to enjoy a bed and running water with all the traveling they'd done in the past year. On more than one occasion they'd had to rough it with Jade using Jaune as a pillow while the older boy slept with his sword close at his side in case any Grimm stumbled upon their camp. This room, however, was much more lavish than they'd expected to enjoy, especially considering Jaune hadn't officially been accepted into Beacon just yet.

The room they'd walked into was the living room, adjacent to the bedroom. Two couches set opposite one another had a small coffee table set in the middle. Various paintings and lamps of exquisite craftsmanship were set throughout, all of which looked expensive as hell. Following Miss Goodwitch into the bedroom he found two large beds already made for them with several sets of throw pillows set on top. Jade took one look at them, kicked off her shoes, and clambered onto the nearest one before beginning to bounce up and down.

"Jade, be careful or you'll fall and break your neck," or something expensive he quietly thought to himself.

His warning went unheard by his sister who continued to bounce, giggling excitedly as she flopped down onto the soft mattress.

"Sorry about that," he apologized to Glynda.

"Don't worry about it. I'm glad to see you're sister's enjoying herself."

"Yea, though I'll make sure she doesn't break anything. Most of the furnishings here look pretty expensive," he commented.

"You might say that," Glynda replied, giving Jaune the impression that he wasn't wrong. "Dinner will be at 6:00 pm and will last about two hours. I trust you'll have no problem getting yourselves there."

"No, the map you gave us will be very useful," he said, holding up his scroll, "and thank you for the scroll, by the way. We've managed without one for some time but is it alright to be giving me this when I still haven't become an official student?"

"It should be fine. We always have some extras set aside should a student damage or lose theirs," she said.

"That's good to know," he said. "Speaking of which, could I make a small request?"

"Of course."

"Should I pass the entrance exam, could I get a scroll for Jade? Just something with the basic features on it, nothing too fancy. With how busy our lives are going to become, I figured it would be a good idea for her to have a scroll of her own for emergencies."

"That's a wonderful idea. I'll have one made for her as soon as possible," Glynda said, smiling at Jade before leaving the room.

"Jaune, catch me!" Jade yelled.

Jaune turned around just in time to catch Jade in his arms as she bounced off the bed towards him. She giggled loudly, completely missing the startled look on her brother's face as he gently set her down.

"Having fun?" he asked.

"Yea, lots of fun," she said.

"That's good," he said, picking her up and setting her on the edge of the bed. "Jade, we need to set some ground rules, okay?"

"Okay," she said, recognizing his tone and adopting a serious expression of her own that was more adorable than serious.

"Now, we're guests here at Beacon. That means we have to be very careful not to break any of the rules or any of the expensive things they have here. That means no jumping on the beds, alright?"

"Okay," she said, disappointed.

"That doesn't mean we can't have some fun, though. After initiation tomorrow, if I pass, we'll be able to stay here officially for the next four years. That's a long time. That means we'll be able to go to Vale together and do some fun things that we weren't able to before. That said, I'll be a student here so I won't always be able to play with you. Sometimes I'll have to study or train."

"Can I train with you?" she asked eagerly.

"I'll see if we can do some training. I might be able to get you a small sword of your own to practice with," he said, eliciting an excited smile from Jade. "I'll need you to be a good girl during that time, okay? Things won't always be easy but we'll at least be able to stay together and have a roof over our heads, beds to sleep in, and hot food to eat. Can you do that for me?"

"Yea," she said, nodding her head.

"Pinky promise?"

"Pinky promise," she said, wrapping her small pinky around her brother's notably thicker finger.

"Alright, I love you Jade," he said, embracing here warmly.

"I love you too," she said, hugging him back.

"And I promise we'll be together, always," he said softly. "Now, why don't we go get something to eat?"

"Okay," she said, jumping down from the bed and putting her shoes back on before following her brother out the door.

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Jade lay in the comfy bed, her breathing even as she slumbered next to her brother. Jaune lay beside her, stroking her hair as he hummed her a lullaby. The night have been fairly eventful for the two orphans. Walking into the cafeteria, Jade had been amazed just by how massive it was and nearly dove into the mountain of food she found set out for the Beacon staff and guests. Jaune had patiently walked her down the line, watching as the staff smiled and laughed good naturedly as the young girl marveled at the large assortment of food provided to them by the school. Jaune had been careful to choose foods that wouldn't be too much for her to handle and selected an assortment that would provide her with a balanced meal. He'd even allowed her to take a dessert, just one. That, perhaps, had been the hardest decision of her life. Looking over the wide assortment of cakes, cookies, pastries, and other sugary goodies, he knew that she wanted to try all of them and would no doubt be sick halfway through. She'd settled for a bowl of chocolate ice cream, something she hadn't had in a long time, and he'd managed to convince to save it for last.

He'd of course run into some difficulty when trying to get her to eat her vegetables. Jade was nothing if not stubborn when it came to eating her greens. Jaune figured it might have something to do with her being a wolf Faunus. She really loved eating steak and the bloodier the better. That said, he'd insisted she eat them and when she refused he'd countered with a well-intentioned threat to send her to bed without a bedtime story. That had done the trick, as it usually did, but not without some grumbling on her part. He didn't care. So long as she ate her vegetables he was satisfied. After a hot bath in a tub big enough for her to swim in (which she attempted to do, if the numerous towels he'd used to clean up the mess were any indication) he'd read he a quick bedtime story before she'd drifted off. Looking at her now, he couldn't help but feel some euphoria at having seen her in such a good mood. The two of them had been through a lot since their families were taken in the fire. She'd done her best to be strong and he had done what he could to provide for her. Now, they were on the cusp of reaching their goal that would eventually help him to provide her with a more stable home and life. As he considered this, he found himself softly singing the words to the lullaby as they came to the surface of his mind.

"Let me sing a lullaby as you close your eyes.

And as you're drifting off to sleep how I hope that the dreams that you find are bright.

Love, can we meet again soon in the bluest of skies where a tomorrow waits for you and I?

So hold me tight one more time but don't kiss me goodbye cause I know that I'll see you on the other side.

I will think of our song when the nights are too long.

I'll dream of you for that's where I belong.

Love, can we meet again soon in the bluest of skies?

Only in my dreams do we meet again."

Kissing her lightly on the forehead, and watching as her little ears twitched from the moment of affection, he laid down himself, ready for sleep to take him.

"Sleep tight my little wolf cub," he whispered.

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"Wow," Jade said, gazing out from the window onto the campus below.

Her gaze was on the massive commercial airship that had just arrived, bringing with it Beacon's students, most of whom already knew their way around while others, like Jaune, would make their way to the main hall where they would receive a speech from the Headmaster as well as instructions on what to expect from their initiation the following day. Jaune had already been up long before Jade, taking advantage of the time to get in some exercise and some light sparring practice before taking a shower and taking her down to breakfast. Their meal that morning had a bit of a repeat from the night before, albeit without the hassle of attempting to coax Jade into eating some vegetables. After that they'd wandered around the school, waiting until the prescribed time when the students would begin arriving and Jaune would have to hand Jade over to Glynda to watch her for him while he completed his initiation.

"There's so many," she remarked.

"Indeed. Every year Beacon receives hundreds of applicants, all of whom want to join and learn to become Huntsmen," Glynda said.

"Huh?" Jade asked, a little confused by Glynda's manner of speaking.

"She means lots of people come here to learn to fight Grimm," Jaune translated, giving Glynda comforting smirk.

"Oh, like big brother?" she asked.

"Yes, just like Jaune. They'll be tested tomorrow to see if they have what it takes but not everyone will pass."

"Why not?"

"Well, it takes real skill to become a huntsman and not everyone has what it takes. That's why we can only accept so many people each year because you need to be able to handle anything the Grimm throw at you, among other things," Glynda said, tailoring hers explanation a bit to help Jade understand.

"Big brother will pass," Jade said triumphantly. "He's very strong."

Both Jaune and Glynda shared a laugh while Jade looked at them with a confused look. Glynda bent down to stroke her hair and said, "I'm sure he is. Now, why don't you come with me? Your big brother has to prepare for initiation with the other students."

"Okay," Jade said, taking the woman's hand. "Bye Jaune," she called back as she waved to him.

"Be good, Jade," he said, a smirk easily forming on his face.

He watched them until they disappeared down the hall and he turned to look out at the students once more. Checking to make sure Crocea Mors was strapped securely to his side he took in a deep breath before letting it out.

"Alright, time to start my first day as a huntsman," he said.

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An explosion ripped through the air, drawing the attention of everyone around including Jaune. Off in the distance he could make out a cloud of smoke that was spewing fire, lightening, and ice for some reason. As the dust cleared two small figures could be seen, a girl in red and black and another girl this time dressed in white with white hair to match. They were coughing loudly, obviously from the explosion, before the white haired girl began yelling and pointing at her partner. Jaune couldn't exactly tell what was going on, though from the looks of things the situation was escalating and fast. Fortunately, a girl with long black hair wearing a large bow on her head intervened. From the looks of things she'd said a few things, obviously something that was enough to upset the white haired girl who immediately stormed off, leaving her red and black companion to walk away disheartened. Certainly, things were going to be rather interesting here at Beacon.

Watching the young girl walk off, Jaune decided to follow. He didn't know what to expect but he figured she could use a friend or at least someone to give her some advice after the fiasco that had just occurred. Sure enough she didn't wander off too far before collapsing in a depressed heap on the grass, grumbling something to herself that he didn't quite catch.

"Hey," he said, gaining the girl's attention, "you alright?"

"Um yes, no, I don't know?" she said, grumbling some more.

"Here, let me help you up," he said, extending a hand and pulling her to her feet. "The names Jaune Arc, nice to meet you."

"I'm Ruby Rose," she replied.

"Nice to meet you Ruby. So, not to be rude but, what happened back there. All I heard was an explosion and then a dust cloud before you and that other girl were bickering."

"Uge, that wasn't even my fault!" Ruby cried, going off on a tangent as she recalled the events that had lead up to the explosion. "It's all Yang's fault."

"That's your older sister, right?" Jaune said, attempting to get all the facts straight.

"Yea, I know she means well but I wish she hadn't just up and left me like that."

"I know what you mean," Jaune remarked, thinking back to some of the antics his older sisters would get up to when he was younger. "I'm sure she means well."

"Yea, but I'm not really great at making friends and having her abandon me doesn't make it any easier."

"Well, you have at least one friend now," he pointed out.

"Wait, what?" she asked, surprised.

"Yea, consider me your first friend at Beacon," he said.

"Oh, that is so cool," she said, leaping for joy before realizing what she was doing, her social awkwardness kicking in as she cleared her throat and said, "I'm happy to call you my friend, Jaune Arc."

"Alright, alright, no need to be so formal," he laughed. "Why don't we start heading to the main hall. The headmaster is supposed to be giving a speech soon."

"Oh, good, you know the way there. I was so worried I was going to get lost here and miss initiation, especially after Yang left me behind."

"No worries, Ruby. I got here a day early so I've had time to learn where everything is."

"Wait, you got here a whole day early?" she asked, surprised.

"Yea, I had some details I needed to work out with the headmaster before he was ready to accept me."

"Oh, so everything got taken care?"

"Mostly," he replied. "Things won't be set in stone until I pass initiation. After that, though, it'll be smooth sailing."

"Oh," Ruby said, curious about what he meant decided not to ask, thinking it might be rude of her to pry.

/-/

Despite the dust explosion outside the school (which was totally not her fault!) Ruby followed Jaune inside and down the winding halls towards the main hall. She couldn't believe her luck that on her first day at Beacon she would somehow make a friend and someone who already knew Beacon's layout. It was tough enough having been accepted to Beacon two years early and with that having to leave all her friends at Signal behind. She'd hoped her big sister Yang would have been around to guide but NOPE!, the blonde brawler had bailed on her the moment they landed and run off with her friends instead. Speaking of Yang, as they entered the main hall and saw all the students there waiting for the headmaster to arrive, she spotted her sister amongst the crowd instantly. Waving goodbye to Jaune, she rushed over to Yang to give her a good thorough chewing out.

"Hey sis, how's you first day going?' Yang asked cheerfully.

"Terrible!" Ruby squawked, causing her sister to flinch as she pelted her with the details that had transpired just moments after her older sister had abandoned her.

"Ouch, sounds like you've had a rough go at it," Yang remarked.

"Yea, no thanks to you. The only silver lining was Jaune."

"The guy who got here a whole day early, right?"

"Yea, though I'm not quite sure why," Ruby mussed, having thought it rude of her to try and ask the details of Jaune's reasons for arriving early.

"You!" a shrill voice cried.

"Oh gods, it's her," Ruby cried, leaping into her sister's arms.

"You're the bumbling dolt who blew us up!" Weiss accused, pointing a finger at her face.

"Holy crap, that actually happened?" Yang asked, not quite sure if she should be surprised or just laugh.

"Quiet please," a woman called from the front.

The fight Weiss and Ruby had been conducting was quickly put on hold as their attention was drawn to the stage. Standing at the microphone was a blond haired woman who Ruby immediately recognized as Glynda Goodwitch. She had meet the intimidating Huntress and Deputy Headmistress of Beacon academy the night she had thwarted a dust robbery being conducted by Roman Torchwick. She was dressed in the same outfit she'd seen her in before, albeit clean and freshly pressed. Even from this distance the woman cut a striking persona, ensuring that every eye was her and that no one dared to interrupt her while she spoke.

"Welcome, all of you, to Beacon Academy. As I'm sure you're all eager to get on with your day and find out what you'll be doing for initiation, let me inform you of the schedule you will be following for the next couple of days. Shortly after the Headmaster gives you his speech you will all be escorted to the cafeteria where you will be fed before returning here. For now you will all sleep here tonight before beginning initiation tomorrow and being split into your teams. Be sure to take the time to rest, stow away any equipment you have in your locker, and freshen up before tomorrow. Now, without further ado, Headmaster Ozpin."

Glynda sauntered off to the sound of applause, though whether it was necessary no one was willing to find out. Ruby watched as she took a seat with the rest of the facility sitting down between a portly man with an extravagant mustache and a slim man with disheveled green hair and an untucked shirt. What stuck out to her, though, was the little Faunus girl she had sitting in her lap. The girl couldn't have been more than four or five years old and was incredibly adorable. Glynda smiled warmly as she stroked the girl's hair, making her think she might be the girl's mother. The girl herself was gazing out towards the sea of students, her eyes wide with surprise at the sheer number before them. At some point she caught sight of something as she quickly broke into a smile and began waving frantically. Ruby looked around, hoping to see what she'd found, and saw Jaune standing not too far from them, smiling and waving back.

"Huh."

"What's up Rubes?" Yang asked.

"That girl sitting with Miss Goodwitch," she said.

"Yea, she's really cute. Kind of reminds me of you when you were that age. Think that's her daughter?"

"I don't know but she's waving at Jaune," she said, pointing him out in the crowd.

"Huh, maybe their siblings or something. You think she's there mother?"

"I don't think so. Jaune's last name is Arc not Goodwitch."

"Maybe she got divorced or something," Yang suggested.

"If she did, she has my admiration," Weiss commented.

Ruby didn't understand what Weiss meant by that comment but she ignored it regardless. By now the Headmaster had finished with his speech, which Ruby had completely missed, and the students began making their way towards the exits to the cafeteria. Thinking on it, Ruby decided she'd look for Jaune later and ask him about the little girl. Maybe she had something to do with his reasoning for coming to Beacon early? Regardless, she was cute and obviously liked Jaune enough to look for him in the crowd so he had to be a good guy, that much she knew for a fact. No way a kid wouldn't like someone who was already her first friend at Beacon.

/-/

Ruby lay in her sleepwear, starring at a blank piece of paper as she chewed on the pen in her hand. She'd been trying to think of what to write to her friends back at Signal but was coming up short. It was difficult, skipping two whole years of school to start attending Beacon and leave all of her friends behind in the process. Granted, she had her sister Yang with her and had made a friend but that still didn't make it easy for her being the youngest student to be attending. Not to mention they had initiation tomorrow and she was already worried about whether she would be good enough to pass or not. It wasn't long before her sister Yang flopped down next to her, her blond hair freshly combed as was her ritual each night.

"Hey sis, what you're doing?"

"Writing to my friends at Signal. I couldn't bring any of them with me," Ruby grumbled.

"Well, you have Jaune so that's one new friend."

"Yea, but with that fiasco that happened between Weiss and myself this morning I'd say she counts as negative one friend."

"You can't have a negative one friend. You usually call people like that enemies."

"That's even worse," Ruby moaned, burying her face in her pillow.

"Cheer up, things will get better. You've only been here a day," Yang pointed out. "You have a whole four years to make new friends."

"Yea, great," Ruby mumbled, not at all feeling bolstered by her sister's encouragement.

She instead turned her attention to the rest of the room. Looking around she could see both boys and girls in varying states of dress. Most of the guys were flexing their muscles and showing off, causing Ruby to roll her eyes. She wasn't at all interested in boys at the moment. Her only love in life was Crescent Rose, her scythe/sniper rifle. Looking around she caught sign of her friend Jaune, sitting in a corner with his weapon out. He had his sword in hand and was polishing the blade, obviously making sure it was in good shape for tomorrow. She chalked that up as a plus for her friend. Seeing how much care he put into his weapon, even if it was a relic by today's standards, was something she admired. Her attention was quickly drawn away as she heard a commission and turned to see what it was.

Ruby's silver eyes widened in surprise as the tiny Faunus girl from earlier, dressed in an oversized t-shirt with the pumpkin peat mascot emblazoned on the front and clutching a matching stuffed rabbit, picked her way through the crowd of teenagers. Most of them stopped to stare, with some of the girls cooing at how cute she was, or stepped out of her way. The little girl looked very timid, obviously intimidated by all the older kids, as she cautiously made her way through.

"Yang, look," she said, drawing her sister's attention.

"Hey, it's that little Faunus girl Miss Goodwitch had with her. She looks so cute," Yang said, joining with the other congregation of females who "oohed" and "awed" at the little girl.

"She looks lost. Think she's looking for someone?"

"Possibly. Maybe she went to the bathroom and forgot her way back to her room?"

Ruby figured she might be right but before she could answer, a familiar figure stepped into the little girl's path. Ruby's heart plummeted as she recognized the stark white hair of Weiss Schnee. Standing in her powder blue nightgown, she towered over the little girl. While her back was to Ruby, it wasn't difficult for her to imagine the icy glare she was shooting down her nose at the little Faunus. The girl herself look terrified, clutching her bunny a little tighter as she gazed up at the towering teenager before her.

"What are you doing?" Weiss asked.

"Um," the girl said, quivering slightly.

"You shouldn't be here. This is where students preparing for tomorrows initiation are sleeping. You need to go back to your room," Weiss said, crossing her arms over her chest.

"But I…" the girl said quietly, shrinking slightly at Weiss' gaze.

Various teenagers shot fierce glares of their own at Weiss, obviously unimpressed with how she was treating a child. However, no one rose to the girl's defense and as time ticked by, Ruby started to think no one would. Well, she had come to Beacon to become a Huntress, hadn't she, and Huntress' helped people in need, right? Stealing herself, Ruby rose in preparation to confront Weiss for what would be the third time today. Thankfully, and to her perpetual relief, someone else came to the girl's defense, appropriately enough a knight in, well, gym shorts really.

"Jade?" Jaune's voice called across the room.

Jade, the little Faunus girl, immediately recognized his voice, her little ears perking up at the sound. She looked out in his direction, a smile spreading across her face as she quickly scooted around Weiss and bounded across to room into his waiting arms.

"Big brother," she cried as he lifted her up into his arms.

"Big brother?" Ruby and Yang said, exchanging glances.

"What are you doing here?" he asked.

"I couldn't sleep," she said.

"Jade, you know you shouldn't be here," Jaune chided her softly.

"I know," she said, her ears drooping slightly, "but it's dark and scary and I didn't know where you were."

Jaune sighed, obviously realizing there was no arguing with her at this point.

"Alright, you can sleep here with me, but just for tonight, alright?"

"Okay," she said, instantly perking up.

"How you can have night vision and still be afraid of the dark, I shall never know," he muttered to himself.

"Now wait just one minute," Weiss snarled, stalking towards the blonde knight and his little sister. "You can't just let her sleep here. Only those of use attending tomorrow's initiation should be down here. She needs to go back to her room, now."

"I understand what you mean but I don't think she's bothering anyone. Honestly, I had no idea she was here until I heard you talking down to her," he said.

Mumbling could be heard from all around them as students gave their opinions in agreement with Jaune. The sudden lack of support had Weiss deflating slightly, especially as Jade clutched tightly to her brother's shirt, giving credence to the guardian-esc persona he gave off as he held her. It didn't take long for Weiss to regain her fire, though, and she quickly rounded on Jaune once more.

"Fine, but I'm holding you responsible should I lose any sleep due to any interruptions caused by your little sister," she said, pointing an accusatory finger at the little girl.

"I understand," he said, patting Jade's back protectively, "I can guarantee she won't cause any problems tonight. You have my word."

"Humph, very well then," she said before stalking off back to her sleeping area.

"She's a meanie," Jade grumbled to her brother.

"She's just grumpy," he replied though, from his tone, he didn't sound all that convinced.

Jaune let out a relieved sigh, taking himself and Jade back to his sleeping bag before settling down. True to his word the little girl didn't make so much as a peep, instead snuggling up to her older brother and using his chest as a makeshift pillow before quickly falling asleep. All around, Ruby could hear some of the girls silently voicing their admiration, obviously impressed with how he'd handled the situation and liking what they had seen from him as an older brother figure and potential father. One thing was for sure, Jaune's reputation amongst the female body had certainly gone up, save for Weiss of course.

"Wow, have to say I'm rather impressed. He didn't so much as flinch against her."

"I know. He looked pretty cool," Ruby remarked.

"But not as cool as me, right?" Yang asked.

"Sure. As far as big sister's go, you're alright," Ruby muttered.

Yang answered by throwing a pillow in her face, causing the two girls to fall into silent giggling before they both slowly drifted off to sleep.

Three weeks in a row. In three weeks I've posted three new fanfictions which I know must have some of you wondering if I'm either A) insane, B) desperately trying to gain as much traction and reputation as possible, C) running short on ideas and am now just trying to find something that might stick, or D) all of the above.

So, firstly I can say that all of the new fanfics I've posted including the ones I'm already currently working one will continue to be staples on my profile. I don't ever post something that I don't already have plans for with "Shattered Minds and Mended Hearts" being an exception (I honestly left that one alone for too long and lost an inspiration traction I might have had for it. It's been shelved until further notice). This is something I was inspired to pen after watching the first episode of "If it's for my daughter, I would even defeat a Demon Lord." That anime had my "cutesy" gears turning and TA DA! "My Sister's Keeper" was born.

Firstly, I'm really excited to be writing this. It's a different dynamic that I haven't explored before and opens up a lot of possibilities and potential for the story moving forward. It'll mostly follow the same teams at Beacon and the same episodes, albeit with moments of Jaune doing his best to be a guardian to his little sister while also juggling being a student.

Jaune in this fanfic will be different from how we normally see him. Think less of a flirtiest goof ball and more of a concerned older sibling and focused student. He's less focused on romance and more focused on becoming a huntsman so he can provide Jade with a better life. Yes, there will be some romance, especially when we get into the Mistral and Atlas Arcs, but for now he'll be doing his best to be a good older brother for his sister and keeping his grades up while at Beacon. That also means he'll be more skilled with his sword given the year he and Jade spent out on the frontier. Not exceptional but good enough to hold his own. This story will also be interchanged with "Maidens and Demons" which means on week I'll update "Maidens" and the next week I'll update this one. It's mostly to keep myself from becoming overwhelmed.

So, let me know if you reviews what you think of the story. Personally, I can't wait to share some of the more cutesy moments that have planned between Jaune and Jade. I'm sure many of you will see a part of yourself either in the way he acts around her or how she acts around him. Personally, as an older sibling myself, this is coming from a special place for me and I hope you all enjoy the first chapter.