Author's Note: I do not own the characters, just the plot!

1996

Clary POV

I couldn't stop crying, and I wasn't entirely sure why. It's not like I had any friends in Florida anyway. People never seemed to accept me when they found out my last name. The other kids thought I was weird, with my flaming red hair and small frame. And their parents always got the same look on their faces when my mom introduced herself – a mixture of admiration and fear. I knew what they were thinking. My dad was a scary guy. He was powerful, rich, and intimidating. My family had been on the Miami social and business scenes for decades, but my dad was the ruthless one. He had a reputation - he would walk all over whoever he had to in order to make a buck. I always heard people saying that my grandpa would be rolling over in his grave if they saw how he handled his business. I knew all that about my dad, but I didn't care. He was the best daddy ever, and I was his little girl. He gave me everything I ever asked for and I was truly a princess. Too bad the other kindergarteners didn't agree with me. I was a lonely kid. I can't say I was unhappy being the spoiled, beloved only child of Valentine and Jocelyn Morgenstern. I was proud to be me and happy with my life, with being Clarissa Adele Morgenstern. But I was still lonely.

So why was I so sad to leave Florida? Why was the idea of moving to Washington, D.C. so terrifying for me? The only people I loved were there with me. I couldn't stop questioning why I was crying as I curled up on the window seat in my bedroom. It was raining outside, and the movers had just left. The house was beautiful. It had belonged to my grandparents. It was a three floor historic row house, with six bedrooms and 8 bathrooms. It had a rooftop deck and awesome pool. I could get used to it, I guess. It was totally different than my house in Miami. It wasn't beach front. There were no palm trees outside. But it was beautiful. My mom and daddy made sure that my room was perfect. I had a huge canopy bed covered with a bright pink comforters. My walls were cream colored and the wall that had my delicate white desk against it had bright pink flowers painted on it. The hardwood floors were cold, I would have to ask mom for a rug. I could definitely get used to my walk in closet and bathroom, they were way bigger than the one at home. But this wasn't home. Not yet. I cuddled with my teddy bear and absently stared into the window of the row house next door. The room I looked into was empty and dark.

I must have fallen asleep, because it was suddenly three in the afternoon. As I opened my eyes, I saw that it had finally stopped raining and the light in the bedroom next door was finally on. It looked like it was a boy's room. It wasn't pink, and there were sports trophies and pictures all over. It was so cool. "Clary, can you come down here?" My mom's voice ringing from downstairs snapped me back from my fascination with the room. I took the stairs two by two and met my mom at the bottom of the steps. There was another woman there that looked like she was as old as my mom. She smiled at me, "Hello, you must be Clary. I'm Maryse, I live next door with my family." She seemed nice and had the sweetest smile, so I flashed my bright smile back and said, "It's so nice to meet you. I'm Clary. I'm six and going into first grade in the fall!" She giggled and we walked into the family room, me, holding my mom's hand, leading the way.

As we walked in, I heard whispers coming from the couch. I walked around to the front of the couch and two kids popped up and screamed "BOO!" I jumped and my mom chuckled. "Mommy, they scared me," was all I could stutter out as I ran to her. Suddenly, the girl walked closer to me and said, "Hi, I'm Isabelle. But don't call me that, I think my mom was crazy naming me that. I prefer Izzy. I live next door! I didn't mean to scare you, Alec thought it would be fun." She was taller than me, but thin just like me. She had long, stick straight black hair and matching black eyes. She seemed really sorry, so I smiled at her, saying, "it's okay, it was actually pretty funny. I just wasn't expecting it. I'm Clary." The boy, who looked a lot like Izzy but with short black hair and bright blue eyes, stood up. "I'm Alec, Izzy's older brother," he mumbled shyly. I smiled at him and asked if they wanted to watch a movie. We started watching The Lion King while my mom walked Maryse around the house. A few minutes later, a blonde kid came storming in the door. "Izzy, Alec, Mom, where are you? You forced me here and then you're not even here anymore? Come on, I had to leave Seb's to come here!" he screamed.

I jumped up and ran to the entrance area. "Who are you and what are you doing in my house?" I screamed before looking up to see his face. I was stunned. I didn't know people could look like that, especially kids. He was golden. Literally. His hair was shaggy and gold colored. His eyes looked like gold too. And he was staring at me. As I was admiring him, and he was staring at me, my mom walked in. "You must be Jace" she said as he started nodding his head. "Clary," she said, turning to me, "this is Izzy's twin, Jace. He and Izzy are your age, isn't that cool? Jace, this is my daughter, Clary." She paused briefly, but I just stood there. Then she said "come on kids, your mom and I prepared some snacks for you all." We followed her into the kitchen and each took a seat on a stool at the kitchen island. Chips, dip, carrots, strawberries and peanut butter covered celery were all laid out for us. Immediately, the four of us dug in. An hour of silence latter, Maryse said they had to go home and they walked towards the door. As they were leaving, Izzy asked me if I could visit her house tomorrow, and my mom shook her head yes. I was really excited. Maybe I would finally have a friend!

A few hours later, after unpacking, eating dinner, bathing, and having story time with daddy, I was all tucked into my big bed, trying to sleep. I heard a faint noise coming from outside. I turned on my bedside table and darted to my window seat, then I opened my window. The light in the bedroom next door was on, and Jace was poking his head out the window with a handful of little rocks in his hand. He saw me and started climbing out his window. I gasped as he climbed quickly onto a close tree, balancing all the way across until he reached my window and climbed inside. "Jace, what are you doing? You could have died!" I exclaimed, a little too loudly. "Shhhh, you're gonna wake your parents. Don't worry, I've done this a hundred times before, my best friend used to live here." I couldn't help but notice the sadness in his voice. He continued, "I'm sorry I was rude earlier, I just really didn't want to leave my friend Sebastian's house. And I was mad that you guys moved into John's house. He was my best friend. But you're nice, so I was thinking we could be best friends now!" I started giggling, saying, "But you're a boy…" and he interrupted, "you're a girl. So? We can still be friends." I thought for a minute, before I smiled my brightest smiled and said, "I've never had a best friend before! This is so cool!" We decided to make a fort and fell asleep inside of it until morning. When we heard my mom calling me for breakfast in the morning, he got up, smiled brightly, and climbed back out my window. I couldn't stop smiling all day. I had a best friend named Jace and suddenly Washington, D.C. didn't seem so bad.