The Institute
a multi-chapter fan fic by ariviand

Authors's Note: So I was re-reading parts of City of Bones in order to write the sequel I was considering to When the Ball Drops. But as I did, the idea for this fic struck me. I know that CCHS was one of the first serious fics being written about the TMI cast going to high school. Now it's like an outbreak of herpes taking over FF. Ugh. Yeah. Tell me if this is too much? If I really shouldn't be adding to the sickness. It's just, I realized the one thing I miss in writing CCHS is that they're all human, perfectly human, and a huge part of what makes the Mortal Instruments is missing. I miss a Magnus with power and a Jace, Alec, and Isabelle that kick demon ass - not just kick a soccer ball around and punch a few haters' heads in. So, I was thinking of taking the humor from the books and the characters, and keeping who they are and what they do essentially in tact, while still utilizing the Gang Goes to Highschool scenario. At the same time, I'm kind of thinking of it in a Harry Potter sort of framework, like the Institute as Hogwarts, a place for special people. Not delinquents, mind. Just Downworlders and Shadowhunters. So, we'll see how this goes.

My goals: To begin each chapter with the letter I. Big surprise. To keep the relationships for the most part intact. To introduce as many of the same characters in as close to their original role as possible. And finally, not to fail horribly in the process. Please tell me what you think.

This first chap is a shorty. They'll get longer from here on out.

Chapter One:

A cluster of teenagers stood outside what appeared to be a run-down building in the middle of York avenue. They clutched at their coats and clung to their bags, the fall weather unforgiving and bleak.

Their eyes all stared ahead of them beyond the street, looking intently at the same thing. There was a run-down building, boarded up, graffitied, the windows taped - at least where they weren't broken. There even looked to be a sign posted on the lawn, and another over the door.

But the small group wasn't staring at the condemned site with pity or disgust or even curiosity, wondering why it had been allowed to sink to such a sad level of disrepair. Instead, they looked towards the lot in horror, anxiety, and a few in awe - as if they were seeing something else entirely.

"F my life," the tall blond boy muttered under his breath. "I'm going to ditch after dinner. Maybe before if the food sucks."

"Shut up, Jace," hissed the dark-haired boy, standing beside the blond and nearly matching him in height. He seemed to reach inside his pocket for something, but he thought the better of it, merely making a fist. "No one is going anywhere," the boy said, trying to sound authoritative, though it came across more as sullen and moody.

Suddenly there was a loud crack against the sidewalk and the crowd parted for a girl carrying a gold whip. She smirked as a shorter girl flinched out of her way, looking at the whip with apprehension. The dark-haired boy shot her a disapproving look.

"You're late."

"Lighten up, Alec. It's not like we haven't been forced to go to school before."

"Sure. Mundane schools are perfectly safe. Boring lectures, multiple choice quizzes, over-exposure to dry erase board fumes - no problem. This is another thing entirely."

"You're right," a low voice interrupted. A man with a funny-looking nose and an oddly serene bird perched on his shoulder broke into their conversation. Even the dark-haired girl with the whip regarded him as if she was a little afraid.

"Welcome to the Institute, children." He paused to gesture to the building behind him. It wasn't a dilapidated or abandoned after all. It was just glamored to look this way to passing human eyes. In actuality, it was a rather large, rather old-looking cathedral, what appeared to be fire dancing behind the dark stained-glass windows. Candlelight lit the interior, making the already creepy-looking school appear that much more creepy, like they were about to walk into a Druid sacrifice or a dark mass or something.

The prospect of spending their first night at the infamous Institute was just as foreboding to the band of teenagers. Not an one looked quite so carefree or confident as they had moments ago.

"I'm Hodge Starkweather. And this is Hugo." The man stroked his dark bird fondly, the raven allowing it while staring back at the new students. "I will be your history professor. I also fill in at the library, and it's always my pleasure to greet the first years."

"What is that?" the short redhead asked, pointing a tentative finger at the bird.

"Hugo?" Hodge smiled patiently, cheek inclined in the direction of the bird. "He's a raven."

"Why didn't you call him Poe instead?" The tall blond retorted, lip twitching.

"It seemed too predictable," the professor replied, his steady smile not quite reaching his bright black eyes.

"Not a fan?" The blond pursued, brow raised.

"No, actually. I thought his work was a touch on the dark side."

"But you have a raven for a pet," the dark-haired girl added, coiling her whip around her wrist.

"Touche," Hodge replied with a friendly laugh. "Now, shall we go inside?"

"Lets!" The blond replied, his enthusiasm obviously sarcastic. The boy beside him nudged him hard in the ribs. The blond merely chuckled, heading the line that followed Hodge Starkweather towards the Institute.