Disclaimer: I do not own anything pertaining to The Mortal Instruments or any of its associations.
Blood splashed across the grass amid the freshly accumulated dew, staining the blades a deep red even in the early morning light. The knife was pulled so viciously from the body it had been planted in that it sent an arch of blood through the air, and Clary felt it splash hotly across her legs and the hem of her white sundress as she ran across the lawn toward the fight.
Her brother's hair was braided among the grass, the fine white strands intermingling with the green in a fine dance of color, and she watched with her wide, innocent eyes as blood seeped down from his face to join it. His black eyes were twisted in pain and his mouth was wide open, and though she knew he was screaming, her ears were so clouded over from the shock of the scene before her that she couldn't hear anything at all.
The sun shone off the golden hair of her brother's attacker, but the locks fell down in his face and concealed his eyes from her. She could only see a slim fragment of his expression, and it was so twisted in grief and in anger that she felt her heart drop to her stomach.
She wanted to hug him. He was straddling her brother in the middle of the lawn in front of her home, sinking a knife into the soft flesh of his shoulder, and all she could think was that he looked like he needed her more than her brother did in that moment.
She reached for the boy, closing her hand over the wrist with the knife, and in his blind fury he swung the arm back to stop her.
She felt pain, but only distantly, as the hair had fallen back from his face and she found herself lost in his eyes. They were only a few shades darker than his hair, but they were so beautiful that she found she could not bring herself to look away.
The brilliant orbs widened when they took in the sight of her, and they dropped from hers to something before her, widening even further still. She followed his gaze down almost reluctantly, to her hands that she held out in front of her, and then she felt the pain that she hadn't really felt before.
A deep gash ran across both of the palms of her hands, and blood was dripping from them in rivets to join Jonathon's in the grass.
The boy looked back up to meet her eyes, his expression twisted in horror at what he had done, and the knife fell from his trembling hand. It dropped noiselessly to the grass beside her brother.
Clary felt hands grab at her from behind, and in a rush of sound her hearing came back to her. She looked down and knew the hands belonged to her father, as she had seen the backs of them too many times. For the first time in years, they were holding her with concern rather than in anger. His voice was a soothing presence in her ear.
People in uniform were shouting across the lawn, running past them to tend to her brother. A couple of officers were holding towels to his shoulder to stop the bleeding until the paramedics arrived, while others were shoving the golden boy onto the grass and pulling his arms behind his back.
Clary heard the snap of the metal cuffs on his wrists like gunshots in her ears.
Clary woke with a start, and found herself tangled in the sheets of her bed. She sat up slowly, her heart beating so hard that it was nearly choking in her throat, and she pressed her trembling hand to her chest and willed it to slow. Sweat was beaded on her brow and her chest, and she felt one of the beads drip slowly down her nose and another between the soft mounds of her breasts.
She used the back of her hand to wipe them away, and fell back down against her pillow with a sigh.
The dream was not so much a dream as a memory, one that she gained four years before. She had been twelve when Herondale had attacked her brother, and though he had lived through it, her life had never been the same.
She'd been plagued by nightmares for years after, and though they'd eventually stopped, they'd returned two weeks ago when her and Jonathon were told of Herondale's imminent release from the juvenile delinquency facility he had been held at since his arrest.
Their father, Valentine, had been beyond furious with the news. He lost his mind completely when he discovered that Herondale would be attending the same school as his children, though he assured them it would likely not be for long. According to him, Herondale had been released due to overflow, but he had been in so many fights in juvie that they would be forced to take him back in no time. Herondale was seventeen now, like Jonathon, and he was only a few months from being held as an adult.
Clary glanced at the clock beside her bed and groaned when the red light screamed 2:00 AM back at her. The first day of school was tomorrow, Herondale would be there, and she wasn't sure she was ready for any of it at all.
She closed her eyes, and after a long while, she was able to fall asleep again. She woke up later to the sound of her alarm clock blaring, and reached out a hand blindly from under her sheets to turn it off. She'd stayed up late working on a painting, and she was tired.
She blinked through blurry eyes at the numbers, and automatically glanced over the scar that ran across her palm as she drew her hand back. Her stomach turned nervously at the thought of seeing Herondale, but she brushed it aside as she got up to get ready.
Once Clary had showered and dressed, she stood in front of the mirror in her bathroom and pulled nervously at the sleeves of her sweatshirt, as if they would magically ride up on their own and expose all of her carefully kept secrets. She wished that she could hide the truth from herself, but she could still picture the discolored skin even through the thick gray fabric that covered her arms.
She heard her name being called from down the stairs, and dread crashed over her in a single, unforgiving wave. Thoughts of Herondale took a backseat to her more pressing fears, ones that she lived with on a daily basis.
She turned off the light in the bathroom and crossed through her room. She grabbed her backpack from the top of the chest at the end of her bed without breaking stride and ghosted down the stairs.
She had barely made it off the last step before she felt a hand grab her arm and thrust her down the open hallway toward the kitchen. She stumbled in surprise, but didn't fall to the ground or stop to look behind her.
''Good morning to you too, Father,'' she said through clenched teeth.
He emerged into the kitchen after her. ''That's the attitude that gets you into so much trouble, Clarissa,'' Valentine reminded her brusquely, before gracefully dropping into his seat at the kitchen table and unfolding the newspaper he had clenched in his hand. ''This paper should have been waiting for me, along with my breakfast. I had to go and get it off the driveway myself.''
''I know,'' she said tightly, going to the fridge and pulling out the ingredients she'd need for breakfast. She set them on the kitchen island. ''I make you breakfast and fetch the paper for you like a dog every morning. It's not like I forgot.''
Valentine turned the page of the paper, snapping it open in a silent threat. Clary flinched automatically, and started cracking the eggs she had set on the counter into the bowl to mix for his morning omelet.
''So what made this morning different?'' he asked, his voice calm and quiet, yet demanding all at the same time.
''I-I don't know,'' Clary stumbled, too caught up in her hurry to fix breakfast to make up a lie. To her horror, his head snapped up and he gazed across the room at her, his expression calm and his eyes furious. His nostrils flared, as if he could smell her guilt in the air.
''Did you stay up late painting again, Clarissa?''
But Valentine was already out of his seat and taking the steps two at a time with his long legs, and Clary stumbled up after him.
When she reached her room, he was already tearing apart her closet in search of her work. When he found the canvas from the night before that she had strategically slipped behind a bunch of clothes and an assortment of boxes, she reached for his arm to stop what she knew was coming.
He backhanded her without even hesitating, making her stumble back against the wall, and his fingers worked the canvas until it broke and ripped to shreds.
Her tears were hot and angry down her cheeks, but two strong hands on her shoulders stopped her from doing anything she would regret. She glared in anger at the remains of her artwork on the floor, refusing to look at her father as he calmly brushed his hands off and walked past her out the door.
''You knew what would happen when he found out,'' Jonathon said calmly from behind her, and she turned her head to the side until she could see the pitch black eyes of the boy that stood at her back. Though he towered over her by a foot and a half, he had his head tilted down toward her so that the eye contact was easy. ''You should know better by now.''
Clary didn't like her brother any more than she liked her father. She shied away from his hands and the momentary comfort that the touch had brought, knowing it wasn't real.
She turned her head away from the concern she saw in his eyes as he gazed at her, ignoring the urge to call him on the forced emotion, and sank down to the floor next to the remains of her painting.
Ever since her mother had died when Clary was ten, her father had denied her talent because it reminded him too much of her mother. Though her death had been an accident, he always got angry at even the slightest hint of her.
''You might want to go finish making breakfast,'' Jonathon reminded her. ''He won't let you leave until you do, and you don't want to be late for the first day of school.''
Clary grimaced automatically, and her stomach turned. She wiped hastily at the remnants of the tears on her face. ''I wouldn't mind not going at all.''
''What do you mean?'' Jonathon asked, but she didn't need to answer. Realization dawned on his face and anger flickered on his expression for brief a moment, before he pushed it away and feigned indifference. ''Oh. I almost forgot.''
Clary narrowed her eyes, and when she spoke her voice was slightly anxious. ''How could you forget?'' she demanded. ''After what he did?''
Jonathon looked down at her with surprise on his face, before it twisted and turned into an expression of poorly disguised condescension. ''Are you scared, little sister?'' he teased, amusement playing on his lips.
She felt her cheeks heat, and tossed the few scraps of her painting that she had been trying to salvage across the room in defeat. She sighed and set her mouth in a tight line, looking up at him with serious eyes.
''Not for me.''
Author's Note: Since I am hopelessly, incredibly in love with this series (as well as The Infernal Devices), I thought it was time to write my own fanfiction for it. I hope you enjoyed this chapter, and enjoy the rest that are to come. Please review :).