HEY GUYS! Thank you so so much to every single one of you who followed/favourited/reviewed the last chapter. I was definitely not expecting that D: I want to thank the reviewers especially because as I told some of you, I was so scared about rejoining this site after such a long time but you guys made it worth it and so much more. Also an extra thank you to the guest reviewers because I couldn't reply to you separately like I did with the others. Just...wow. I wasn't going to post the next chapter so quickly but you were all so brilliant I couldn't resist, so here it is! ENJOY :D

Chapter 2: Trying not to sniff Jace

I don't say a word as Jonathan drives me to school Monday morning. In all honesty, the weekend wasn't actually that awful. After I'd left the practice room, I went straight over to Isabelle's house and we plotted ways to get back at Jonathan late into the night. It's still early days though so I'm not going to reveal our devious plans until we have all the details ironed out. But trust me, he's not going to know what's hit him. Other than that, we spent the majority of Sunday at Simon's house having our annual back-to-school Lord of the Rings Marathon: Extended Edition. It was twelve hours of pure bliss. We even dressed up. So really, I only had to deal with Jonathan twice since I'd last seen him with the band. There was an annoying twenty minutes I had to wait last night while he was too busy in the bathroom straightening his hair, and then there was breakfast this morning. That part I actually enjoyed.

Our parents came home pretty late last night, so it was only this morning that they finally got a chance to see what Jonathan had done to his hair. He tried to play it cool, keeping his hoodie up at all times, but the idiot had forgotten that his side-fringe was still perfectly visible and our father had a fit.

"Jonathan Christopher Morgenstern!" Dad gasped, dropping the thermos of coffee he always takes to work on the floor, as Jon sat down at the breakfast table. "What in heaven's name have you done to your hair?!"

"What are you talking about?" Jonathan slumped lower in his chair, checking that his hood was still up. "All I did was comb it."

"And steal my straighteners," I grumbled, between bites of toast.

"Do you take me for a fool, son?" Dad reached forward to grab a section of Jonathan's fringe. "Jocelyn, have you seen this?"

"What was that, dear?" Mum said, sauntering into the room. Dad threw back Jonathan's hood to reveal the rest of his dyed black hair.

"By the Angel," She breathed, placing her hand upon her heart.

"Your son has had the audacity to dye his hair! This," Dad fumed, indicating his own white-blonde hair. "Is the legacy of the Morgensterns. Do you not care for our legacy? We are Swiss and proud. You and me. We are the only ones left. Your sister is ginger!"

"Hey!" I protested, slamming my toast down on the table. "What's wrong with that?"

"Yeah," Mum came to my defence, snapping out of her trance. "What exactly is wrong with being ginger, Valentine?"

"Nothing, nothing!" He held up his hands, eyes flicking nervously between us redheads. "I am merely referring to that as being a mark of your British heritage. This fine shade of blonde your brother and I have inherited, however, is a mark of my heritage. Do you hear that Jonathan? Countless generations of Morgensterns have had this unique hair colour, and you have just disregarded the blood of your ancestors as if it was trivial!"

"Relax, Dad, it's wash-out!" Jonathan backed away, looking genuinely terrified. Meanwhile, I was having the time of my life.

"Wash-out!?" Dad bashed his fist on the table. Jonathan fell out of his chair.

"That's mahogany!" Mum scolded him.

"Sorry, dear." He bashed his fist on the table again, though with a little less force this time. "Did you just call our Swiss blood wash-out? I don't get you teenagers with your strange words but I'm pretty sure that's insulting-"

"Err, Dad?" I managed to choke out between fits of giggles. "He means the dye."


"The hair dye. It's only temporary. It washes out."

"Yeah!" Jonathan scrambled up off the floor. "Three washes and it's back to being Swiss."

"Is that so, Clarissa?" Dad looked to me for confirmation. I could only nod.

"Right, well." Dad straightened up, grabbing his thermos. "In that case, you are washing your hair three times tonight, do you hear me boy?"

"Yes, Father." Jonathan rolled his eyes.

"Good. Jocelyn, you take it from here. I'm off to work." Then he stalked out of the room. Mum actually wasn't as forceful as I hoped she'd be. She chided Jonathan for upsetting Dad, but contrary to what I was hoping, she rather liked the fact that he was trying to express himself through colour. Even if that colour was jet black. Jonathan sulked all the way to the car and only made a move to turn and glare at me when I burst into laughter as soon as he left the driveway. That was fifteen minutes ago.

"Earth to Clary," I start as Jonathan waves his hand in front of my face. "I know you're off with the faeries half the time but we're here now." Sure enough, the car is now standing still in the school parking lot. Dozens of excited students bustle through the main gates, the majority of them wearing uniform since they are still in lower school. I guess getting to wear my own clothes will make this year somewhat better.

"Ugh, fine." I swat his hand away and step out of the car, grabbing my book bag.

"No dawdling after school!" He says over his shoulder as he walks off towards his class. "I will drive off without you."

"I won't!" I yell, as I see some girls from his year approach him. "We don't want you to miss the gynaecologist appointment again!" I snicker to myself as the girls halt in their tracks and look at him curiously. Jonathan stands there dumbstruck as I wander off in the opposite direction. Ah, the perks of being at the same school as your brother. Granted, there are few, but I like to make the most of bad situations.

School starts up again as it always does. My Form Tutor for the year, Mr Wayland, hands us all our timetables, gives the same speech he always does about starting the year afresh and working hard and then he sends us off to our first class. I glance down at my timetable, smiling when I see that it's English Lit. Since I'm in my last two years of Secondary School, I only have four subjects to take for the year. My options are English Lit, Biology, History and of course, Art. Walking into the classroom, I choose a table near the front – classes are much smaller in Year 12 so it's frowned upon to sit at the back – and settle down with my books. There are only a few other people around so I decide to get out my sketchbook and add some finishing touches to some of my drawings. I'm so immersed in my artwork that I don't even notice when the chair next to me is pulled out. What I do finally notice is the horrific voice I hear whisper right next to my ear, "Fancy seeing you here, Midge."

"Ah!" I jump back, hitting Jace over the head with my book as he laughs away to himself. He's dressed as he usually is for school, wearing black skinny jeans that look uncomfortably tight and a loose-fitting black hoodie. I wouldn't be surprised if he and Jonathan phoned each other every morning for wardrobe advice. This particular hoodie has the words 'All Hope Is Gone' written across the front. His blonde hair falls around his face in stark contrast to the darkness of his clothes. I sigh inwardly; as much as I hate to admit it, Jace is gorgeous. He's the kind of gorgeous that rarely exists outside of the public eye. It's just a shame how arrogantly aware he is of that fact. "Herondale, what the hell are you doing in my class?"

"Aw how sweet, I've missed you too, Midge."

"Jace," I compose myself. "Seriously, you do realise this is a Year 12 class, right? Or are they holding you back a year?"

"Holding me back?" Jace smirks. "Ha! They wish they could keep me for another year! No, the truth is I had a free option, so it was either taking another first-year class, or writing a 5000-word essay on a subject of my choice. I picked this."

"You picked English Literature, a class that requires you to write multiple essays a term, over a one-off project you probably could have written about yourself?" I ask, incredulous.

"Written about myself?" Jace's eyes widen. "Crap, why didn't I think of that? It would have been so easy. Content: me. Citations: me. Bibliography: me. Damn it. And there's no way they could mark me down for it because it'll all be 100% accurate!"

"What a shame, I guess you're stuck with me for the rest of the year instead," I roll my eyes at him.

"Hey, I'm doing you a favour," He grins. "Now instead of suffering through English Lit alone, you get to stare at me to pass the time."

"Speaking of, why are you sitting next to me anyway?" I raise both eyebrows at him, because despite my best efforts, I am incapable of raising just the one. I know, my life sucks. He doesn't say anything. "Could it be, perhaps, that I'm the only person you know in this class?" My voice gets louder as the look in his eyes confirms my words.

"Don't be ridiculous, Shorty. It is not a question of what you can do for me, but rather what I can do for you. I don't generally make it my business to know people in the years below me, but they sure as hell know who I am." He winks at me. "I'm doing you a favour Midge. You'll be the talk of lower school."

"Why, thank you so much Jace." I deadpan. "That is all I ever wanted. However will I repay you?"

"I'm sure I can think of something." He wiggles his eyebrows, leaning in close to me. He smells of aftershave and something a little fruity. Mango? Must be his shampoo. His aftershave is the most over-powering though. You know those adverts where they get some poor guy who has no luck with the ladies, and then after spraying on some special new cologne all the women from miles around flock to him? Yeah, well they weren't joking. I don't know what brand Jace is wearing but it's certainly doing the trick. As if he even needed the help! It's all I can do not to move closer to him, just to get a good whiff of that stuff if nothing else. His scent combined with the intensity of his golden eyes is clearly too much for me to take this early in the morning. I think I may stop breathing for a second. But I know it's just for a second because a shrill cry explodes my little bubble not soon after.

"Clary!" Aline runs over to me, shock plastered all over her face. "I've missed you so much!"

"Oh, h-hey there A-Aline." I cough a little to stop my voice coming out so hoarse. Get a grip, Clary, I chide myself. What the hell just happened? Jace chuckles next to me. "How was Beijing?"

"Oh, you know, the usual…" She trails off as she notices Jace next to me. "Errm…lots of Chinese people. But anyway, hello Jace! Remember me?" I groan internally as I remember Aline's little crush on Jace. When she first found out that he was best-friends with Jonathan, she'd always insisted on coming round my house at every opportune moment in the hope that she might run into him. Though Sebastian actually happened to be her cousin, Jace didn't visit his house nearly as much - probably because of his aunt. Of course, it soon became pretty clear to her that Jace and I weren't on the best of terms, so any association with me might actually prove to be a disadvantage. She seems to have forgotten all that now though as she makes googly eyes at him.

"Errm, Aline, is it?" Jace smirks at her, surreptitiously nudging me.

"Oh my god, yes!" She gasps. I roll my eyes and continue with my sketch as she gushes over him. "I love your hoodie, by the way. All hope is gone. It's so deep."

"Thanks," He flashes her a crooked smile. "It's Slipknot."

"Yeah," She nods, looking a little confused. "It's so slipknot…"

"Oh god, Aline, no!" I snort. Jace's grin widens. "Slipknot is a band. It's not an adjective."

"I…err knew that…" She laughs nervously. I almost feel bad for her, except for the fact that I have worn my Slipknot shirt numerous times around her. For a friend of mine to not know who they are by now is a sin. "I was just messing with you. Anyway, Clary," She turns to me, changing the subject. "I didn't know you were friends with Jace now!?"

"I'M NOT!" I choke out, a little too loud. Some people a few seats away turn to look at me.

"She's right," Jace adds, leaning back in his chair. He runs a hand through his tousled blonde hair. "We're not friends. We're lovers."

"You're what?!" Aline exclaims at the same moment I screech, "WHAT THE HELL?"

"Wow, I mean, it did feel like I was kind of interrupting something there earlier." Aline looks at me wide-eyed. I shake my head violently at her.

"No, there's nothing going on! We're not lovers!"

"What?" Jace tips his chair forward to slam his hands against the desk. His face looks pained. "So last night meant nothing to you?"

"I-…w-wha-…huh-" I splutter, completely mortified, then resort to just smacking his shoulder repeatedly.

"Errm, okay, it definitely seems like I've gotten in the middle of something here," Aline backs away, eyes still shining from all the gossip I've undoubtedly provided her with. "I'm just going to sit way over there. Later, Clary."

"No wait, Aline!" I call, but then our teacher, Mr Aldertree walks in and it's too late to explain. I stamp Jace's foot under the table, satisfied when he lets out a small yelp of pain and then turn to face the board, ignoring him for the rest of the lesson. I can see this year is going to be more difficult than I thought.

Oh she has no idea... -laughs evilly-

Ah don't we all love a little bit of sexual-tension-Clace?! :P There's plenty more where that came from! I've also got some Simon and Izzy drama waiting for you in the next chapter...

Thanks to all of you for sticking with me! I'm working on the first round of the band contest right now, and this is where you guys come in. I was wondering, how many of you have read TID? Just to make the story a little more hilarious, I was thinking of including some TID characters as members of competing bands. They'd only be minor roles so it won't give anything away from the plot of TID, but I think it would definitely make things more interesting. So I'd like your thoughts, yes or no?

Review and I'll love you forever. Cheers! -smim out-