This is my first story, so I hope you enjoy it. Please read & review!

Disclaimer: I do not own anything regarding The Mortal Instruments series.


-Clary-

Coffee. Paint and coffee. These are the smells filling my room as I wake up. Two of my favorite things in the world waking me up. Not bad. The sun is already rising, but it's almost impossible to tell with the clouds and buildings nearly entirely covering it. I look over at my alarm clock right before it starts blaring. I groggily yawn and reach over to hit the snooze button before curling back into a ball on my bed, covering my head with a pillow when my mom starts calling out my name.

"Clary! I heard the alarm, let's go!"

I groan into my pillow, still able to smell the paint and coffee mixture that has become almost second nature to smelling every morning. How does she wake up this early and have the ambition to paint?

Granted, it is her job, but I mean, she could wait and hour or two, not that I didn't love the smell.

I don't move a muscle, silently praying I can just stay wrapped up in pillows and blankets for the day and avoid another first day of school. Scratch that. Another first day of school at another new school.

As I'm contemplating how long I can get away with pretending I'm still asleep, I hear a knock on the door followed by a stream of light gradually growing as the door opens.

There, in her usual paint splattered attire is my mom, Jocelyn Fray. Even in oversized overalls with a messy bun on the top of her head, she is beautiful. I groan into my pillow again.

With the door opened, the aroma that had awoken me is even stronger, waking me up even more, and forcing me to accept the fact I will not get one more ounce of sleep this morning.

I sigh dramatically as my mother smiles at me from the doorway.

"Come on sweetie, it's the last first day of school! You don't want to be late!"

I internally groan and roll over off my bed, showing her that I am moving. Moving at a snail's pace, yes, but it is still moving.

She smiles knowingly and heads back into the kitchen, or maybe her studio, but either way, she graciously leaves the door wide open, implying that she'd be back if I didn't really start getting ready.

I walk over to my closet and grab a pair of jeans and a graphic tee before shuffling into the bathroom across the hall. As I'm opening the bathroom door, Luke comes walking down the hallway, grinning from ear to ear.

"There she is! The big SENIOR!" as he picks me up into a bear hug.

"Luke-"

"Hm?"

"Air-," I try to say with the little bit of oxygen in my lungs. I do manage to laugh though as his grip loosens and he sets my tiny frame back onto the hallway floor. I smile back at my step dad.

"Are you ready for the last first day of high school?"

I laugh at his enthusiasm. "I'm ready to get another first day of school at a new school out of the way," I sigh.

He smiles, understanding. "Don't worry kiddo, it will be over before you know it. I know you'll be fine."

I try to smile back, but the knot in my stomach just seems to keep growing.

"It's just that, I've never had to start at a new school before without Jon, and-"

"Hey, hey," he says as he puts his arms on my shoulders and looks straight at me, "You talked to him last night, and he told you the same thing I'm going to tell you now. You can handle yourself perfectly fine without him. You're strong, and you won't take any sugar honey ice tea from anybody."

This time I give him a genuine smile at his word phrasing. He's still under the impression that it's inappropriate to curse in front of me, even though I'm seventeen, almost eighteen.

I think about the conversation I had with my brother last night via video chat. He's a year older than me, and had to stay down in Miami when we moved to New York a month ago because he was starting his freshman year at the University of Miami. Mom got a job opportunity with an art dealer she couldn't pass up, so we made the move to New York, but it would have been pointless to move all of his stuff up north just to move it back a month later. This was the first time Jon wouldn't be by my side as I walked into a sea of unknown teenagers.

I told him just as much last night, to which he responded, "You Clarissa Adele Fray, do not need me, Jonathon Christopher Fray, to protect you. You are perfectly capable of kicking anybody's ass that tries to mess with you."

I laughed, because he was right. My mom had been really big on the both of us taking self defense classes a few years back since we moved so much, so I wasn't worried about that, but he could still tell I was nervous. Even if he wasn't in the same room as me, he was always able to tell when something was wrong with his little sister.

"Listen fireball," his nickname for me because of my flaming red hair, and my fiery personality, "you have that new friend of yours, what's his name? Seymour?"

I laughed again, "His name is Simon! Jon, I've told you, like, a hundred times," I say between giggles.

"Yeah, yeah. Anyways, you're still starting the year with at least one other person that you know. Yeah, it's not me, but I will allow for this Seamus dude to take on the duty for me," he says as he smiles at me on the computer screen.

I rolled my eyes at him, still laughing. I missed him. I missed him so much, but I would never tell him how much, because he would be the one to catch the first flight to New York City if I needed him, and he needed to be there in Miami, enjoying his first touch of the college experience.

As if on cue, I saw his roommate come into the room asking him if he's going to dinner. As Jon's about to tell him to go on without him, I stop him.

"You go ahead," I said, "Go meet a cute girl or something," I tried to joke.

He looked back at me on the screen and smiled affectionately at me.

"Ya sure? Because you know, I don't know how often I'll be able to talk on here with classes starting up tomorrow…"

My smile fell a little, but I would not get in the way of him enjoying the college life.

"No, go eat! Mom will freak if she thinks you're skipping meals already."

He laughed. "Okay fireball, get some sleep. I know you'll think I'm just saying this, but you're going to have fun tomorrow. It's not like you have a hard time meeting people."

Yeah, if only he knew my only friend here so far was Simon Lewis, our geeky next door apartment neighbor who taught me more about video games in the month that I have known him than I could have learned through years of actually playing them. But he's right, I never had a problem getting friends at all the other schools we went to, so I shouldn't worry. Plus, I think I'd be happy if it was just Simon and me against the world. I felt like he was my best friend, even in the short time that I have known him. We clicked from the first day Mom, Luke, and I moved in.

"I know. Call me tomorrow night if you get a chance okay?" I asked.

"Will do fireball. Love you," he said.

I smiled back, "Love you too." And with that, the screen went black.

"Clary? Earth to Clary…" Luke shakes my shoulders as I'm brought back to the present.

"I'm back," I laugh. "I've got to get ready! Simon will be here any minute!"

And with that, I leave Luke in the hallway and run into the bathroom to get changed and try to tame the mess on my head. I laugh at myself in the mirror because it really does look like I have a fireball on top of my head. There's no denying that I got my red locks from my mom. People always say that I look just like her. Honestly though? I don't see it. The only other thing I got from her is the love of art, but even then, as much as I love painting, I could draw in my sketch book for hours and hours.

Then there's Jon, whose hair is so blonde it's practically white. He's very built for a nineteen year old, and looks like my dad. Well, at least, from what I can remember of him. Anyways, so there's my beautiful mom, my very handsome brother, and then me. Simple Clary with her pale skin, freckles, and vertically challenged stature. It never made sense to me how my brother could be 6' 2'' and I could barely hit the 5' 0'' mark. Jon always makes fun of me for lying on my license and saying I was 5' 0'' when I still have that quarter of an inch hanging over my head.

The only thing I really have going for me is my eyes. My mom always calls them 'her emeralds,' saying that my eyes are the purest green she has ever seen, and that no emerald could ever compare.

I stare at my reflection for a second more, then change into the clothes I had grabbed from my room. I finally tame my hair enough to get it into a French braid and run out of the bathroom back into my room to grab my red high tops and a jacket. I can still feel the knot in my stomach, but I try to ignore it.

I run down the small hallway in the apartment into the kitchen to find Simon sitting at the table with my Mom and Luke, just finishing up saying something about Star Wars.

Simon. Simon with his messy brown hair and glasses propped up on his nose. He's tall like Jon, but is far lankier. Like me, he's wearing his typical outfit of jeans and a gamer t-shirt, only today there's a brown suede coat too. I try to understand the saying on his shirt, but it's beyond me. He really looks like the typical nerd, but he's my typical nerd. He will get me through today. He will watch out for me.

He smiles when he sees me, handing me a portable mug of coffee. The coffee that woke me up this morning. My smile widens at the glorious liquid in the mug.

Breaking my coffee trance, he gets up, saying, "Ready to go?"

I look at my mom, with paint smudged on her face, and Luke, with his glasses crooked on his nose, both looking at me happily. Sometimes I can see hints of worry in their eyes or faces, but today, they seem genuinely happy. I turn back to Simon, and muster the happiest smile I can, saying "Alicante High, here we come."


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