Jace dug Astronomy, partly because it involved a lot of sitting in the fake outside and wondering how fake it actually was. Plus sometimes there was snow, which basically never happened back home in ol’ Bowling Green, Missouri. Okay yeah sometimes the snow was purple which just didn’t happen, but Jace figured that was just the teachers pranking them or something. It was the sort of thing Professor Rob would do. Well okay maybe not, because the purple snow hadn’t resulted in anyone sticking to anything, or getting numb tongues, or hallucinating - that was more of Professor Rob’s thing. Yeah Jace took it back, purple snow probably wasn’t Professor Rob. It was probably something like Headmaster Toby thinking he was being ‘whimsical’ or some shit. Really, Jace didn’t mind Headmaster Toby half as much as he would have guessed but he also wouldn’t have been surprised if Professor McKindy was secretly controlling the school by putting a very powerful Cheering Charm on the headmaster every morning.
Just like, ninja-ing him in the bathroom or something. Jumping out from behind the shower curtain because Headmaster Toby had probably never seen Psycho and didn’t know not to close the shower curtain because that was how you got axe-murdered.
So dressed in shorts and sneakers and a band tee, with a plain black sweatshirt thrown on because it might get cold, Jace walked over to the Outdoor Classroom part of the fake outside with Beth, who he’d run into in the commonroom as he was leaving. Jace had a casual prank war going with Beth (just before midterm he’d replaced her quill with a Nipping Quill he’d ordered special just for the season so he was waiting for her retribution) but outside of that they were chill. Her parents had an apple orchard so going home for Christmas was more like going back to nowhere than it was for Jace, which was pretty impressive because there were like six entire people in Bowling Green that he wasn’t related to. Well all right, there were actually somewhere around five thousand people but that didn’t compare to where most kids went home for Christmas, in actual cities with actual people.
Once actually at the Outdoor Classroom, Jace and Beth split up because Beth saw Emilia, one of the other girls in their year. Jace would’ve put down a Sickle that Beth was going to ask Emilia out soon. He didn’t know for sure that either of them was like that, but what was going on sure looked like flirting to him. The knowledge that he was a thirteen year old boy and perhaps not the best expert on flirting was entirely lost on him.
Jace noticed the new professor just before class started. Well the guy wasn’t new-new, he’d taught like sampler class things to the third years because they had to decide what classes to take next year, but Jace still hadn’t actually talked to him. So he was kinda new. Because of Jace’s stupendous attention to the world around him, he only had a second to contemplate why Divinations Guy was here when Divinations Guy himself (okay, Professor Luksa, whatever) told them. They were doing astrology? Raaaaad.
Natal charts weren’t anything he knew anything about but when Jenna left her dumb girl magazines around the house, during the approximately six months she’d done dumb girl stuff like that, Jace had definitely read bits and pieces, and part of what he’d read were the horoscopes. They always said weird stuff about dating. Which yeah, Jace wouldn’t mind doing, kissing girls sounded great, but he didn’t think it was likely to happen to him anytime soon. Although if they were legit enough to be taught in class, horoscopes probably did say something more than that in real life.
There was nobody near him, so Jace took his telescope over to the nearest, least-obnoxious classmate (aka not That One Firstie who looked like she was talking someone’s ear off already anyway). “Partner up?” he asked. “I was born on July 9th so I’m a Cancer but I don’t know anything about the rest of it. Crabby crab, y’all.” With the hand not holding his telescope, Jace made a pincer-snapping motion.