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Hopes New Meaning

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"My name is Makoto Naegi! Thank you all for having me!"

He was tiny. Approximately 5'3". Had a cow lick that probably added another inch to him, and a dark green hoodie that went against the standards anyone who had good taste in fashion. He was also terrible at math, stuttered nervously whenever anyone called him by name.

Nothing that came out of his mouth was useful. He was a lost cause, an odd one that would usually answer questions with either a simple yes or solid no.

The new kid, Makoto Naegi, was Hopes Peaks Ultimate Lucky Student.

"He let me borrow some of his notes this morning. They actually were pretty cool." Leon took a bite of his sandwich - turkey, mustard, and tomato. No one liked the combination but him. Hagakure insists its a part of his odd American culture. "I passed that English test with flying colors!"

"So, you cheated." Asahina scoffed. "Pretty sure you were already warned about that-" The Ultimate Swimmer, and one of the many females who topped the charts on every guys radar. She had the bust and looks, not to mention her kind nature captured the hearts of many. She sat next to her best friend Sakura, the ultimate martial artist - opposite to many of her captivating physical qualities. "You already know English. Whats the point in cheating on something you're already fluent in?"

"I didn't cheat! They were notes! And besides, the shit English tests they give here are much different then what I know. Trust me."

Chihiro swallows a portion of her rice before speaking. "I thought Ishimaru warned you about doing this again." Her tone is soft, careful with every word, a technique that has melted the hearts of every teacher and student in Hopes Peak. "Leon, what do you think is going to happen again when you get caught?!"

The baseball star huffs. "Hey! I did nothing wrong. Notes are notes not cheat sheets!"

"Why did you ask for Naegi's notes?" Sakura points out. "It's rather odd knowing already that he isn't exactly accustomed to the language, much unlike yourself."

The swimmer nods in agreement. "Oh yeah! Where you afraid that if you stole Byakuya's again he would rat you out this time?"

"Oh, come on! Quit picking on me, I didn't cheat! I aced it fair and square! Oi, Hagakure, back me up here!"

"Nah dude. You're totally screwed." The clairvoyant has his head in one hand, arm propped up on his desk as the other carelessly flipped through one of his notebooks. "But your right, these are some pretty good notes."

Chihiro looks up from her meal. "You borrowed them too?"

"Yeah I forgot to study for some exam. I have to give this back by tomorrow."

The statement was simple, and yet it proved that yeah, the new kid wasn't as stupid as most of them thought he was, in fact he wasn't all that useless either. He was there at the right time when Chihiro, later that day, fell during gym class and sprained her ankle on the track field. He carried her to the nurse's office, but the nurse shooed him away back to class before she had the chance to thank him. The ultimate Biker Gang Leader, Mondo Owada, also lost his keys that morning, and Naegi just so happened to pass by him in the boy's bathroom when he asked, "Are these yours? They kind of match your jacket, so..." The Biker never noticed the hole in his pocket.

Only the first week in and half the school was familiar with his name. He wasn't popular, nothing but that ahoge of his was interesting about him. He was bland, plain in every way possible. From his looks down to his stereotypical personality. Nothing about him was remotely interesting, but because of a certain pop sensation that all changed fairly quickly.

"We knew each other back in middle school. He was such a quiet kid then. It's nice to see he's getting use to things here!" Her every move was mesmerizing, taking the world by storm with every concert, which also caught the eye of Hopes Peak. Sayaka Maizono spent most of her time with the new student. They became friends, and were usually seen together throughout most of the day when class wasn't in session, but it isn't long before work starts catching up with her, and now he's lucky enough to give the occasional 'hello' and small wave whenever they pass by in the hall.

Hopes Peak Academy was filled with gifted, more than talented students. They weren't all exactly considered 'normal', and having someone who was, was almost comforting in a way. The 78th class could take a break from their not-so-normal lives and have a regular conversation, one that didn't involve their talent. It was nice to occasionally take a break.

But then there were some who took advantage of that.

"So, if I put a gun to your head right now, missing only one bullet, would your 'luck' keep you alive?" Questions Junko Enoshima, and the answer is a most definite no.

He convinces himself that he was just like any other student, any other normal student, and tries to explain to the fashionista that the odds weren't always exactly in his favor, despite his given title. She doesn't believe him, suggesting that he tries it anyways, and that leaves Naegi speechless. He does his best to avoid her now, not that anyone would blame him.

One mundane afternoon the ultimate gambler persuades him into a simple game of Shogi. He's an awful player, but they're able to get in two rounds before the class bell rings. She admires his efforts none the less and was more than delighted to talk about her unique style of clothing when the question came up.

"He's foolish." The words of Byakuya Togami were nothing to be taken lightly. Always honest, straightforward. He holds a strong distaste for Naegi, refusing to have any sort of contact or interaction with the new student. Nothing about him was worth even mentioning, and whenever they even made the slightest of eye contact it always felt much of a waste of his precious time. His very existence was no different than the rest of his fellow classmates, and the ultimate affluent prodigy wanted nothing more than to finish his education as quickly as possible.

Ishimaru Kiyotaka caught him running in the halls minutes before their first class. "NAEGI! YOU ARE BREAKING THE SCHOOL VIOLATION OF RUNNING IN THE HALLS!"

"T-Taka wait! I was just-"


"I... I'm sorry?" He was given a stern warning, a quick lecture that noticeably had him staring at the clock every so often before the beginning and end of every class. Yes, he was now very much aware of the sternness of the school's ultimate moral compass, but when asked about it he instead gives him praise, admiring the dedication and hard work he not only gives towards himself but the other students as well. Mondo and a few others strongly recommend that he never tells Ishimaru that.

Yamada goes off on a three-hour conversation about the latest season of 'Squishy-Squishy Princess' when he spots Makoto merely skimming through the manga book he left on his desk. Kirigiri is almost impressed with the amount of patience he had. She was heading for the library when she heard the two conversing in the now vacant classroom, and was surprised to find them still there just as she was leaving. The fanfic creator at some point pulls out samples of his next work and urges Naegi into reading some of it, and to the females surprise the very next day he had a few comments and questions about it. Toko was certain he was doing this for the attention, wanting nothing more to do with him other than accept the compliment he gave her on her latest selling novel (which she later declined after realizing how disgusting her breath was when she spoke, and that he was probably just trying to make her feel better somehow).

They all gradually grow use to his presence as time went on, and soon enough the new student was no longer called 'the new guy' or 'that kid', but Makoto Naegi, The Ultimate Lucky Student. His seat was in the back of the classroom, right next to Yasuhiro and just in front of Asahina, so they were the first two to notice his absence before the start of homeroom.

When the teacher walks in and starts taking attendance, it becomes clear that none of them would be seeing the lucky student today. He was marked absent for the first time since his transfer.

The day goes on. No one's particularly affected by this, and soon enough any thoughts of him are quickly forgotten. But then the next day is the same, and the following day after that. No Makoto. It isn't until the fourth day does he return, explaining to everyone that he had caught a bad cold and needed a little rest, and just like that everything was back to normal again.


It was normal again. No wants to admit it out loud, but they liked normal. Normal was different, so having someone like that around wasn't necessarily all that bad.