So in the last chapter, I was so behind in everything that I forgot to answer some lovely reviewer's question. But yeah, in the last chapter they were 6. I always have an age or time update in my A/N if there's a change.

And yeah, I guess teachers would be concerned about parents, but basically one of the points I'm trying to make in this story is how oblivious and ignorant people can be about things that are right in front of them.

Mr. Ma'zin= That's wonderful sweetie:) Do you also drive a white van?

This chapter takes place two years after the last.










Mother had been gone for two days.

True, she was never home much anyway, save for a few hours, but still. I was worried.

She'd kissed me quickly on my cheek, murmuring she wouldn't be home for a little while and in a flurry of short skirts and suitcases, was out the door, her stinky perfume trailing behind her.

What if she never came back?

"Clary?" I whispered, plugging my Adventure Time nightlight into the outlet. "Where do you think my mom is?"

She poked her freckly face out from beneath my bed; she'd moved there from the closet, claiming she liked it better. I think she just liked reaching her hand out and grabbing at my feet in the middle of the night and scaring the crap out of me.

"I think she's passed out in an alley," she told him, her green eyes serious. "My mom used to do that. She'd be gone for a few days, and then we'd find her behind a Dumpster, sleeping."

I wrinkled my nose. "Mother's too clean for that." I yawned. "If she never comes back, all we'll have to eat is Oreoes and Spaghettio's."

Clary grinned her gap-toothed grin at me. "I'm fine with that."

"You'll get fat."

"You're already fat."

I rolled over onto my stomach to glare down at her. "Am not!"

She snorted. "Are too."


"We should throw a party," she suggested, sleepily. "Like teenagers."

"A party?" I frowned down at her. "What kind?"

Clary's eyes lit up. "We could camp! And have Magnus over, he likes parties."

She continued to babble about this "party" and I found myself dozing off to the sound off her excited voice.

I invited the boy that had moved in down the street last week to my sleep over, telling him that he should bring a bunch of sugary snacks to keep him awake; Magnus had gotten an evil glint in his eyes while leaving the bathroom with a tube of my toothpaste. Weirdo.

Clary was pitching up the one-person tent while Magnus laid on the grass and chewed on a stem when I showed up, Alec in tow; he'd insisted on walking behind me.

Magnus's eyes immediately landed on Alec, and he sat up. "Well, well," he drawled in a terribly Southern accent. "What'd we got here now?"

Clary snorted. "Idiot." She waved at Alec. "Do you have a high pain tolerance?" She asked.

Alec blinked at her, and I grabbed his arm and pulled him closer. "Be careful around her," I whispered in his ear. "She's very dangerous."

He nodded.

Magnus stood up and walked over to us, circling Alec and squinting at him. "You're quiet," he commented. "Which means you think a lot. What are you thinking about?"

Alec blushed and looked down. "I didn't bring a sleeping bag," he muttered. "I'm not allowed to sleep outside."

Clary wrinkled her nose. "I used to sleep outside," she told him. "It's nicer than a closet or under a bed."

I frowned at her. "You probably got lots of gross stuff on you."

She nodded in agreement before ducking into the tent. "I fell asleep on a piece of got stuck in my nostril."

Magnus giggled loudly. "That's disgusting," he exclaimed, grinning. "Did you chew it?"

"Ew! No."

Alec glanced over at Magnus. "I would've chewed it."

I gave him a high-five. "Whoa."

Magnus stared at him. "I think I love you."

Alec's face turned red but looked pleased.

Clary started the fire - nobody asked her how she knew how, I was frankly a little scared by what her answer would be - and we made s'mores.

We laid on our stomachs in a circle next to the little fire, Clary pressed against my side and Magnus showing Alec how to roast his marshmallow.

"So you're mom's alright with you doing this?" Alec asked, his face covered in melted chocolate and marshmallow.

I shrugged. "I guess."

Clary laid her head on my shoulder. "Alec, if you want something really bad you don't ask permission. Otherwise you'll never get it."

Magnus nodded in agreement, taking a sip of his blue lemonade. He was always putting food coloring in his drinks for some reason. "I wanted this Super Monkey Ball game," he said. "And I knew my dad would never get it for me. So," he shrugged. "I took it."

Alec gaped at him while Clary and I gave him a thumbs up.

"That-that's stealing," he protested.

Clary nodded. "Magnus is a thief, Alec," she stated bluntly. "But so are you. So why don't you give Magnus back his rhinestone headband?"

Magnus leaped to his feet and jabbed an accusing finger in Alec's direction. "Of all the backstabbings I've experienced-"

I interrupted him through a mouthful of s'mores. "Overreaction gives you away. Give it back, Magnus."

He shot me a betrayed look. "And you," he cried out, pointing at me next. "My best friend. Are falsely accusing me of stealing from the new boy!"

Magnus really spent a lot of his time watching TV, which taught him a bunch of new words that were always confusing me and Clary.

She rolled her eyes, licking her fingers clean. "It's in his left pocket."

Alec reached into Magnus's pocket and pulled out a necklace with a small cross hanging from the string. His eyes widened and he immediately clutched it to his chest, glaring fiercely at him. "You thief."

Magnus wrinkled his nose, looking mutinous. "Whatever. You took my rhinestone-studded headband. Butthead."

Clary rolled over on her side and looked at me. "Are they flirting?"

I scratched my head. "I dunno how people flirt," I told her. "Magnus is acting strange though." And with Magnus, that was kinda scary.

She nodded in agreement. "He's blushing."

Magnus pulled his headband on and looked over at us. "What're you gonna do if you're mom doesn't come back?" He asked curiously. "Do you wanna live with me?"

Alec scowled. "Why would he wanna live with you? He lives with Clary."

Clary smiled. "I'll take care of you." She poked my arm.

I sighed. "I don't know if she wants me anymore."

Magnus shook his head. "Biiiiitch."

Alec's mouth fell open, and I threw a marshmallow at Magnus. "Don't cuss around Alexander," I scolded him lightly. "He's innocent."

Clary snickered and pressed her cheek against mine, and I felt my cheeks grow hot. "You used to be innocent." She teased.

Magnus gave her an air high-five. "We took care of that."

I shook my head and gave Alec a sympathetic look. "Do you wanna be our best friend?"

He blinked and nodded eagerly. "Yes." His eyes darted over Magnus and I, his eyes narrowed.

Clary smirked. "There's a little 'initiation' you have to pass first..."

I woke up the next morning with my sleeping bag pressed against Clary's, her hair in my mouth and my nose pressed against her jaw.

It was nice. Uncomfortable, but she smelled nice. Like chocolate and fire and earth.

Alec was snoring in Magnus's sleeping bag, his nostrils filled with glue.

His reaction would certainly be an interesting sight when he realized that he'd passed the initiation in his sleep. The lucky duck.

I glanced down, noticing a sticky sensation on my belly.

What the heck?

Someone had emptied a tube of toothpaste in my bellybutton.


Yes, yes, I have a perfectly reasonable solution to Jace's missing parent situation.