Summary: After Clarissa Morgenstern lost herself in drugs, alcohol, and anorexia problems, her parents Jocelyn and Valentine decided to ship her away to the Shadow Institute, a boarding school full of kids who have their fair share of issues ranging from alcoholism to being overly violent. As she grows close to some of the other kids in the school, she learns more about friendship, love, and what a real family is supposed to be like. But what happens when she's stuck in one of the most compromising situations possible? She has to make a choice among two boys she's fallen hard for, her brother she hasn't seen in years, and her parents. Join Clary Morgenstern as she discovers herself and the people who truly matter to her.

May change POV occasionally to clear things up. Infernal Devices characters ARE in this story. Rated T for now because I'm not sure it'll go to M, but if it does, I'll be sure to inform you. Also, this story is sure to touch on A LOT of issues ranging from drugs to eating disorders and more, so be prepared for it. Reviews are greatly appreciated, and I love to hear what you all think, so please review if you read this. This story will probably end up being my baby. I want to know what I can do to fix it and everything. So thanks for clicking on my story!

Is this what you call a family?
It's been seven years wishing that you'd drop a line
But I carry the thought along with you in my mind
Is this what you call a family?
Is this what you call a family?
Why are you walking away?
Was it something I did?
Did I make a mistake cause
I'm trying to deal with the pain
I don't understand this, is this how it ends?
- 'A Trophy Father's Trophy Son'
by Sleeping With Sirens

I stared at the menacing building in pure fright. With my small bag in one hand and my heart on my sleeve, I fought back the angry and hurt tears. My mom and dad stood behind me with fake smiles plastered across their faces. I couldn't stand the sight of the two of them; they seemed more than delighted to send me off to a boarding school, never to see me except on the holidays, as if I would actually come back to see them.

"We love you, honey! Call us the first chance you get." Jocelyn, my mother, flitted over to me and kissed my cheek. She was dressed up in bright colors despite the dreary occasion. Her green dress billowed around her knees and her red hair was clipped back from her face. She happened to be one of the most famous artists in New York, and that was probably why she was sending her only daughter away.

I bit back the crude words that had formed on my lips. "Yeah, love you too." Pushing myself away from her, I mumbled. I wasn't going to play nice with her. I began to walk through the large iron gates, leaving my deranged parents behind. The only good that came from being sent here was what I learned about my parents. When things get tough, they just toss the messed up parts—me—away.

"Clary, you're forgetting Mr. Bananas." Valentine, my dad, said from behind me. I spun around to face him with tears in my eyes. His tall frame hid in the shadows of the building. His blonde, almost silver, hair reflected the very little light. With his broad shoulders and dark eyes, he was handsome, but at this moment, the very idea of him standing there sickened me. My dad and I used to be close until he started his own corporation. As soon as he started making money, the family was no longer important. He held out the ragged stuffed monkey that he had gotten me ten years ago towards me.

"Keep it." I spat. I didn't need reminders of how much my parents didn't give a crap about me. If I would have said something like that before the family had begun to crumble, it would've affected him. Now, he just lowered his arm and remained standing in front of the limo that had carried us from the airport to California. His face betrayed no emotion, and I'd never felt more hatred for him than I did in that moment. "Don't expect me to call. I have nothing to say to the two of you, and I won't any time soon. I hope you enjoy yourselves without me around. It must be such a relief to know you won't have your messed up daughter around anymore." I allowed all the pent up venom in my voice to leak out, meeting eyes with both of my parents.

"Clary, that's not—" My mom began, but I interrupted her quickly.

"Save your lies. This is why Jonathan hasn't spoken to you since he graduated." I knew it was a harsh thing to say, but they had pushed me over the edge. Jonathan's image floated in my eyes. He was almost an exact copy of Valentine except his hair was a little longer and fell over in small curls around his head. I hadn't seen him since he graduated high school three years ago, but I was the only person in our broken family that he'd contacted since he left. He always refused to tell me where he had gone, afraid Valentine or Jocelyn was tapping the line.

Jonathan was only three years older than me, and we had been inseparable before he left. His abrupt departure caused the beginning of my despairing spiral downward. After he left, I had slumped into a depression; then when I realized neither of my parents seemed to care he left, I decided to rebel. I partied a lot, involving myself in drugs and alcohol and other sorts that didn't help the situation. After my best friend died from drug abuse, I dropped every illegal substance cold. I was about a year and a half clean. The loss of drugs threw me into another depression, though, and soon I stopped eating and developed anorexia.

That's what pushed my parents over, I suppose. I almost died from malnutrition, dehydration, muscle atrophy, and ketoacidosis. My kidneys also failed, and I developed anemia. After the full New York press coverage over how I was a troubled and deeply afflicted teen, Jocelyn and Valentine decided sending me to a boarding school would "straighten me out." It showed how much they truly cared when they didn't even bother to try to help their daughter out in the most dire of times, and, instead, pushed her off on a boarding school across the country.

My mom's gasp broke my thoughts. "Oh, and since I can't talk to him now because of this school you're sending me to, make sure to tell him when he calls the house where I am and why. He'll absolutely love to hear that." I sneered before smirking at the hurt expression on her face. Serves her right for doing this to her daughter. Valentine, I hardly considered him my dad anymore, remained stoic, obviously unaffected by any of my words; it was almost like he didn't even have any kids. Turning away from my parents, I stomped through the iron gates up to the front door.

The building was gigantic and old but looked brand new. It was obvious that it had been built for the children of rich parents to be deposited because they were a disgrace to their family. The building was painted in scarlet red, pure white, and dark black. In large, golden letters the words "The Shadow Institute" were printed above the church-like double doors. The grass was a plush green like it was watered every hour on the hour.

Refusing to look back at them, I shoved through the doors ready to face a year of pure hell.

The inside of the building was even nicer than the outside. The entrance opened up to a large hotel-like lobby with a theme of brilliant shades of red and gold. Posh cream chairs were set up in one area where adults, presumably the parents of the kids, sat and attempted to have conversations with their children. Two carpeted stairs facing opposite of each other curled up the wall across from the front doors. A large reception desk took up the center of the room.

"May I help you?" An old, screechy voice asked from behind the desk. I moved my eyes up to get a look at the woman. She was bone-thin and tall. Her face scrunched up in a sour sneer. It only took one look to know how much this woman hated her job.

"Yeah, my name is Clary Morgenstern. I'm supposed to move in today." The woman sniffed haughtily and shuffled through some papers occasionally glancing back up to narrow her eyes at me.

She clucked in displeasure as she pulled out a paper. "Ah, here you are Miss. Morgenstern. You have quite a record, huh?" My mouth dropped open in surprise. Where did she have the right to go around judgingyoung people?

A couple kids came running by whooping and hollering. Their ages seemed to range from eight to eleven. One of the smaller boys accidentally ran into me. Stopping and blushing, he stared at me. "I'm so sorry!" he apologized quickly. His large glasses took up most of his face, seeming too big for all his small features. His dark, messy hair wasn't very long, falling right above his eyes.

I smiled at him. "It's okay. I know you didn't mean to." I patted his shoulder.

He grinned up at me. "How old are you?"

"I'm seventeen. How old are you?"

"Nine, I know I look small for my age, but I'll be ten in exactly two months!" he exclaimed pushing his glasses back into place.

"I'm small for my age, too. I just had my birthday a little bit ago." Despite everything that had happened just moments before, I lightened up some. I loved children of all ages.

The boys light blue eyes widened. "When's your birthday?"

"August 2nd. Is yours October 4th?" Crouching down to be the same height as him, I asked.

His mouth opened in a small 'o'. "How'd you know?" he gasped in wonder.

"I'm a physic." I laughed lightly touching his nose.

He jumped up in excitement. "No way! What's your name? I'm so telling my brother about you!"

"Clary Morgenstern. What about you?"

"I'm Max Lightwood. My brother and sister are the same age as you! Maybe you'll meet them in classes next week." Grabbing my hand, he said, "What room number do you have? Can we hang out later?"

I couldn't help but smile at Max's eagerness. "I don't know yet. That's what I'm finding out now. How about you give me your room number, and I'll visit you later?"

"Okay! It's 225. You'll probably be on the top floor. That's where the oldest kids stay."

"Max, c'mon! We have something to do." Another kid ran up to us and punched Max jokingly on the arm.

"Okay, I'll see you later, Clary!" Max hugged me quickly before running away with the other boy.

"Now that you're done, would you like your stuff?" the woman snapped. I had almost forgotten about her. Rolling my eyes, I stood up and faced her. "Those brats run through here all the time causing disruptions and making a mess. All you kids are is trouble with a capital 'T'; that's why I never had any children."

I couldn't bite my tongue any longer. "Then why do you work in a place that houses children?" I growled, sick of hearing about how much trouble I was.

She seemed taken aback that I had the nerve to talk back. "Here's all your stuff. Just go to your room." She hissed sternly, shoving papers in my hands.

"Thanks." I mumbled sarcastically walking away from the ugly woman and her desk.

I stared down at the papers. The first seemed to be about the rules and regulations for the school. Skimming over that one, I flipped to the next one which had my classes and room number on it. Room 890 was printed at the top with a number combination to get inside the room. I didn't bother looking at any other papers.

Pulling my bag up a little higher and stalking to the elevator, I brushed by parents and mostly younger kids. As soon as I stepped inside the elevator, I pressed the button for the eighth floor and waited as patiently as possible for the doors to shut. The doors began to shut slowly, but a hand shot out and stopped them. A boy who looked about my age slid inside next to me. He went to push a button but pulled back in surprise.

His black hair swept around his face in long layers that went to the middle of his neck and covered his ears. With pale skin and smooth features, he was easily a very handsome guy. He had a tall frame with a nice amount of muscle to top it off. His dark eyes searched mine imploringly.

"I'm sorry, but are you new?" he asked as the elevator doors shut. He pushed some of his bangs back and waited for me to reply. His voice was thick and deep with a bit of a southern accent.

"Yeah, just got here a couple minutes ago. Is it obvious?"

He grinned and gestured to my bag. "Well, the bag gave me an idea, but usually we don't see many new faces. Most of us have been here for years."

"Really? That sucks. It must get boring." I sighed already dreading spending the next year at this place.

He chuckled. "Only during the day." I wondered what he meant by that, but he continued effortlessly. "Hm, maybe you should come to the party tonight. What room do you have?" He tapped his cheek in thought.

"890. Are the rooms co-ed?" I asked him as the elevator made a loud ding and the doors opened.

"No, but the floors are. The girls' rooms are on one side and the boys' rooms are on the other. My room is 895, so we'll be seeing a lot of each other." He winked coyly as we walked down the long hallway. Surprisingly the floor was decorated just as nicely as the lobby; gold trim followed the top of the white walls and the carpet was a deep red. Each door was a dark mahogany with a silver plaque at the top with a number on it.

"Who usually throws the parties? You?" I threw him a quick smile and began counting the doors. 850, 852, 854. The boy's strides were long, and I struggled to keep up with his pace. Since I stood at a mere 5 foot exactly, he was probably a whole foot or so taller than me.

"Everyone does. Well, at least everyone who goes to them does. We all kind of just bounce from room to room. We all know each other's combinations to get in the rooms, so we just chill in whatever room." he scoffed as we passed room number 878.

"Is everyone really close?" The idea of just parading through the hallways and into other people's rooms at any time didn't settle right with me.

"We're all kind of a big screwed up family…" he trailed off as he stopped in front of a door. I glanced up to see the number 890. "Most of us haven't really seen our family in years. The ones that see their parents regularly don't really involve themselves with us. It's weird because their rooms are conveniently at the other end of the hallway, away from all of us who were sent here because we're delinquents." He put air quotes around the word and rolled his eyes.

Shrugging, I typed the code in the keypad located above the handle to the door and opened the door. The room was quiet and empty, no sign of another person being in the room at all.

"Do you know who's in this room?" I asked setting my bag on the bed that seemed unoccupied. The bed on the other side of the room had big, fluffy pink and purple pillows and a hot pink blanket thrown sloppily over it. My bed was plain white with no apparent uniqueness to it at all. The belongings of my roommate were scattered around the room. Clothes and books were strewn about on the floor, and I knew instantly that this was going to be a difficult living style.

I had to wait for whomever to bring the rest of my belongings to my room, and the only things I had in my small bag were a picture of Jonathan and me, my notebook for drawing, and a few books. I pulled them out and set them on my bed. Taking the desk closest to what my side of the room would probably be, I picked up the stuff lying haphazardly on the desk and placed the things on the other desk.

Turning back to face the boy, I saw he had the picture of Jonathan and me in his hands. "Who's this? A boyfriend you left?"

"Definitely not," I snatched the picture out of his hands and carefully set it on the bedside table. "That's my older brother."

"Oh, were you two close?"

"You ask an awful lot of questions. Before you write a book about my life, could I at least learn your name?"

He snickered at my quick remark. "Sebastian Verlac, and darling, you are?" He took my hand and kissed it smoothly. Although the touch sent shivers up my arm, I pulled my arm back as nicely as possible.

"Clary Morgenstern." I answered softly, avoiding his eyes.

"So what landed you here, Clary?" He sat down on my bed and stared at me with compelling dark eyes.

"Yeah, that's something that I'll save for another day…"

He patted a spot on the bed next to him, an indication that he wanted me next to him. I paused, the idea of being close to a stranger holding me back. Slowly, I sat down and gazed at him. "If it makes you feel any better, we're all here because we're all a little messed up. Most of our parents got sick of trying to help us and just threw us in here without a parting word." His words sounded sickeningly familiar. I swallowed loudly. "Look, you don't have to explain now, but just know that none of us here are saints. We're probably the exact opposite. Ya know when you were younger and your mom warned you about those kids that would just drag you into trouble…? That's us." He smirked at me. "And obviously, you're one of those kids too. Please come to the party tonight. It'll give you an opportunity to meet everyone, and we can all tell you our stories. Maybe I'll get lucky and get to hear yours." He lightly touched my chin and stood up.

"You really don't want to hear it." I mumbled as he headed towards the door.

"You probably wouldn't wanna hear ours either, but we're gonna tell you anyways. My room, 895, at eight. Oh, and I wouldn't expect your roommate to be back any time soon. You're just gonna love her." he murmured, slipping out the door with a wink. By the manner of his voice, I could tell he didn't mean it.

Lying back on my bed, I stared at the picture of Jonathan and myself from his graduation. He looked so happy; it came as a shock to all of us when he disappeared in the middle of the night just a week after his graduation.

A knock on my door broke through my thoughts, so I slid off the bed and opened the door. "Miss. Morgenstern?" An older man asked looking at me with boredom apparent in his eyes. I nodded my head. "Here's all your belongings." He gestured to my two giant suitcases, my laptop bag, and the stuff for my bed.

He didn't bother to offer help and just spun around and walked down the hall. "Well thanks, asshole." I muttered as I grabbed my laptop bag and the bed stuff. I threw the comforter, sheets, and pillowcases onto my bed and set the laptop bag on my desk. I unpacked my laptop and set it in front of the rolling chair. As I turned it on, I plugged my charger into it and found my iPod. I put my earphones in my ears and turned the volume all the way up.

When I turned around, I had to hold back a scream only letting out a small yelp. Yanking my earphones out of my ears, I stared in surprise at the sparkly figure at my door. It was a long, lean boy who wasn't very skinny, but instead had a lightly muscled body. He was wearing tight black pants, a bright green shirt, and black army boots. His hair was dark and slicked up in a faux-hawk. His hair was long, and he was covered head to toe in sparkles. His yellow-green eyes resembled that of a cat's eyes and were heavily lined in eyeliner.

"I'm sorry if I frightened you. I just saw these suitcases out here, and I wanted to know if you needed any help." he pointed at my two large suitcases and frowned apologetically.

"It's okay. I didn't see anyone down the hall when the man who dropped my stuff left. Are you new too?" I asked when I saw he had a backpack slung over his back.

"Why, yes! My name is Magnus Bane, and yours?" He grabbed my suitcases and brought them inside my room.

"Thanks. I'm Clary Morgenstern. It's nice to know I'm not the only new person here. I talked to this one guy, Sebastian, and he said that they don't see too many new faces here." I went to open the closet doors on my side of the room to see it completely full of clothes. "You're kidding me…" I growled walking over to the dresser also on my side of the room. Every drawer was so full that I could barely close it.

Muttering a string of obscenities, I stalked over to my bed. "What's wrong Clary, dear?" Magnus sat down beside me on my bed.

"I'm going to end up killing my roommate… and I haven't even met her yet!"

Magnus glanced over to the overflowing closet. "Let's just throw all her excess clothes on her bed. She must've known that she was getting a roommate."

"I don't need enemies already." I shook my head and hid my smile.

"Okay, well, if she doesn't move all her stuff by tomorrow, I'm coming in here and moving all her stuff for you." He grinned and hopped up spreading sparkles all over my bed and myself. "It was nice meeting you, but I must be off to unpack my own stuff. I was able to snag a room without a roommate." He grinned, revealing stunningly bright, perfect teeth.

As he turned to leave, I remembered about the party. "Hey! Since you're new too, you should come to the party that Sebastian invited me to tonight. He said it would be a chance to meet a lot of people before classes actually start." Magnus's eyes sparkled with glee, and he clapped his hands together cheerfully.

"I shall be there! What time does it start?"

"He told me to be at his room at eight." I replied as he chirped in excitement.

"My first day here and there's already a party… how delightful! I will be back in your room not a minute later than 7:30. I'm dressing you and doing your make-up! Oh, and do shower beforehand, please. I like working with damp hair most. See you soon!" He kissed both of my cheeks and was out the door in only a matter of seconds.

I looked at my iPod for the time. It was only four, so I had a good three hours to kill. I shut the door to my room and turned back to my laptop. Logging onto my email, I searched for Jonathan's email address. I hardly ever had a reason to email him, but drastic times call for drastic measures.

Jonathan, don't bother calling the house. Mom and Dad will probably lie to you about everything anyways. They sent me away to this boarding school in California called The Shadow Institute. I don't know what the calling hours are… I haven't really bothered looking at the rules and regulations yet. So much has happened, and I wish I could just see you to tell you everything. I just wanted to tell you what was happening, so I guess I'll talk to you as soon as possible. I love and miss you. -Clary

I sent the message and got up. Since the only thing I really could do to my room at the moment was make my bed, I began pulling off all the white sheets and covers and replacing them with my bright blue, green, and purple bedding set.

After my bed was made, I lay on top of it and closed my eyes, thinking of how awful my roommate was going to be. My train of thought drifted off to how lucky I was to have met Sebastian and Magnus. I carefully avoided any thoughts from derailing toward my parents. Then I drifted off into sleep, imagining the other people I would meet tonight.