How did you guys read this? I'm cringing just rereading the old first line. Someone should have taken away my fanfiction rights until I learned to write better.
"Ready?" Jonathan called to his friends, who were approaching on the damp dirt path.
"What took you both so long?" Jace complained, smirking at his parabatai as he shoved Alec's shoulder. "We've been waiting for half an hour."
Isabelle rolled her eyes. "Shut up, Jace. Not all of us are able to talk our way out of things."
"You get caught?" Jon questioned, with a raised brow.
Alec shook his head. "Almost, but only because Izzy practically stomped down the stairs."
"I did not." Isabelle barked back, glaring at her sibling.
The group didn't exactly get permission to leave the Academy and go hunting. In fact, it was actually quite forbidden to leave the Academy's grounds without alerting a teacher or dorm advisor, especially to go into the woods. But no one in their small group, well except Alec, followed the rules very well, and besides it didn't really matter if they got caught anyway. The end of the school year was today, which meant that most of the shadowhunters attending were leaving during the break to go back to their families. They were headed back to New York as soon as Magnus opened a portal for them, which wouldn't be until tomorrow morning.
All of their parents lived at the New York Institute, which meant the four teenagers had always been close. Jon's mother was parabatai with Celine, Jace's mother and Robert was parabatai with Stephen, Celine's husband. It had just made sense that they all lived there together. Maryse, the Lightwood's mother, was the only one who didn't live with her parabatai, as she was killed in a battle with the Circle, a group that has committed obscene crimes. They all knew about what happened, and Jon's done his research to know about the Circle, considering who his father was.
Jonathan didn't exactly like to advertise that he knew exactly who his father was.
Not only was he the leader of the Circle, but he was the same man who took his sister and had them both killed, just to spite his mother. He didn't rmemeber much about his sister, but he would never forget what Valentine did to her. He was glad Valentine was dead. His mother couldn't talk about it though, and none of the adults would ever speak about it iwhtout getting uncomfortable.
"Come on, Jonny! Sensor's going crazy." Jace called a few paces in front of them, since everyone else had walked ahead while he was lost in his head.
Jon rolled his eyes and strided forward to catch up, before wacking Jace in the back of the head. "Don't call me that, asshole." Jace just smirked at his friend, looking down at the device in his hand. If there was one thing Jace liked more than annoying his friends, it was demon hunting.
Isabelle and Alec didn't have parabatais, but Jon knew that Isabelle was leaning toward her best friend, Rachel. She just had to talk to Maryse and Robert about it. Jon knew they weren't going to not approve, they wanted her to get one before it was too late. Alec, on the other hand, wasn't really adamant on getting one, and with about a year left, it didn't look too likely.
"Just through here." Alec announced quietly, holding up his sensor and pointing through an overgrown path. Izzy's necklace began to flare urgently with red light, as it usually did when demons were near. She had gotten the necklace from her mother on her fourteenth birthday, and rarely took it off.
The group moved slowly through the wooded path, senses on high alert, before spotting a clearing ahead. Alec held up a hand to stop them from walking any closer. "Someone beat us to it." He murmured, turning his head over his shoulder so they could hear him better.
Izzy narrowed her eyes, confused before catching onto what he meant. "Who is that? Do we know her?" She questioned, before Jon moved beside Jace to get a better look.
The girl fought with uncanny ease, her fiery, red hair whipping around her as she turned. Her swords slashed with fury as she fought two demons at the same time. There were at least eight of them, all surrounding her, but she didn't seem too bothered about it. From where Jon was, he couldn't identify what kind of demon they were, but from the sensors, they weren't low-grade.
"Shouldn't we help her?" He asked lowly, glancing at his parabatai.
Jace shook his head. "Looks like she's got it covered."
The group watched closely, unsure what to do, as well as-at least Jon felt slightly fascinated of the girl's fighting. He had an unsettling urge to run to her and help fight off the remaining demons, but he forced himself to keep his feet planted, watching as she continued with the grace of a dancer.
She wiped one of her katanas on the sleeve of her unusual gear, before continuting to hack away. Ichor flew as they were decapitated, falling apart into thin air. When Jon finally got a glimpse of her face, he was taken back.
She was grinning, even as ichor was burning into her skin.
When there was only one demon left, she surprised Jon when she cut off the legs before shoving her boot down onto the thing's throat. "You bitch." It snarled as it tried to claw through her boot and pant leg, but even with its claws, it barely made a scratch.
The redhead laughed humorlessly, almost sounding bored. "The only reason you're still here is because I want to toy with you. Want to go again? Maybe give it all you've got this time." She even had the audacity to yawn with a demon stuck under her boot. "You're quite boring."
"You're just as bad as he is, Valentine's Daughter." It growled out, the sound reminding Jon of silverware in a garbage desposal. The girl repositioned herself so most of her weight was on the demon's throat. She looked tiny, but Jon could tell that if she wanted to, she could suffocate the thing or crush its windpipe with no problem.
Valentine's daughter. Jon felt unsettled by that, and even more so when he didn't deny it. A bad feeling settled deep in his stomach. Jon throws a look at Jace, opening his mouth to ask but something catches his attention before he can.
"Work on your comebacks, alright? So maybe if you manage to make it back, I won't be so disappointed." She mercilessly pushes her sword blade down into the demon's head, ignoring its protests and screams, before it disappeared completely.
Its eerily silent in the woods now, as she makes a show of wiping her blades off on the sleeve of her gear before tensing. Alec shifted in his spot, causing the brush around them to rustle slightly. Her head turns to where they were crouched, eyes narrowing.
Jon noticed how her hands tightened on her blades. "I know you're there. Come out, or I'll come in." Her voice was taunting, not scared like he expected for some reason.
Jon shared a look with his three friends, none of them ready to move but all of them ready for a fight if it came to it. They all understood that there was something strange about this girl. Jace was the first to step out, no weapons in his hands but his fist was gripped tightly on the hilt of his blade. Jon followed suit, coming to stand right beside him, with the Lightwoods doing the same.
The girl tensed like a coiled wire, her muscles going taunt. She looked like she was thinking hard, forcing herself to remain calm. "And I thought this would be a challenge." She called out, her voice strong despite her facial expressions. "Unfortuately, I don't have time for this. Hope you enjoyed the show." She made sure not to leave room for argument in her voice, her words as sharp as his sword.
"Wait!" Jace called out, causing the redhead to stop, her stele in hand. The stele felt familiar, too familiar for it to be nothing. He racked his brain for where he'd seen it before, but couldn't quite grasp onto the memory. It was black, and from here he couldn't see any detailing, except for the emerald embedded near the tip.
The girl rose a brow. "Yes?"
"How'd you do that?" Isabelle prompted, and Jon knew she was just stalling. She was waiting for them to come to a consensus on what they should do. So far, he couldn't decide whether tackling her and forcing her to talk, or just trying to drag it out of her like this, would be better.
"What's your name?" Jace fired when the young woman didn't respond, making her drag her eyes up from her stele.
Then she locked eyes with Jon. His brows drew in, as the two analyzed each other. Jon knew she'd seen her before, he knew he had, he just couldn't put a finger on where. The Academy, maybe?
"How the hell do you think?" She snapped suddenly, a change from the cool demeaner she had on just a few seconds ago. "It's called training, surely you've heard of it." Isabelle's jaw clenched tightly, and she looked ready to slap the smirk off of the other girl's face with her whip. "Telling you my name would defeat the purpose of anonymity, you know."
Jonathan clenched his jaw, and the redhead noticed, her smirk widening. "Are you protective of your little friends? Scared I hurt their feelings?" She taunted, practically bearing her teeth in malice. "Is it because blue eyes likes you?"
Her taunting made Alec flinch, which hit a nerve in Jonathan. He snatched his weapon from his sheath and lunged for the girl, all in the same movement. He realized too late that this was what she wanted, to get someone to fight.
Jon shouldn't have been so surprised that she was quick on her feet, her reflexes almost cat-like. She played the defensive, not throwing any jabs but blocking everything Jon had to offer. He aimed a strong, weakening blow at her ribs, but she blocked it easily, a loud clang sounding through the clearing as his arm shook from the parry.
"You look familiar." She commented lowly, her green eyes locking onto his for a moment.
She was trying to distract him, he decided. He wouldn't let her get the upper hand. "Yeah?"
"Yeah." She finished.
Suddenly she stuck her sword into the grass, blade-down, before snapping a fist at his hand before sending one at his face. He was able to dodge the one aimed at his jaw, but didn't see her kick until it was too late. He hissed as his knuckles crashed with her boot, forcing him to drop the hilt of his sword which flew a good distance away.
Jon's jaw loosened for a split second at the girl's skills. She couldn't have been any older than Jace or Izzy, possibly younger since she was much shorter than them.
She retrieved her sword, and slid it back in the sheath on her back. "This has been fun, but I have places to be." She announced airily, smiling with fake sweetness. She reached over to the thick trunk of a tree, pressing her stele into the oak and creating a rune that Jon had never seen before. Jon glanced over at Jace, who had looked into the Grey Book far more than he had, but the boy looked just as confused.
"Who are you?" Alec demanded, his face still flushed red, but this time it looked more in anger.
Her smile shifted into something that somehow felt even more mysterious. "Funny that you think I would tell you." She pulled her stele away from the tree, and Jon heard Izzy gasp as it shifted into a temporary portal, at least that's what he assumed it was.
Jace suddenly charged forward, but before he could get too close, she jumped through.
Clarissa landed onto the grass with her feet already moving, words shifting around quickly inside of her head. She was debating whether or not to tell her father about the four teenagers she encountered while in the woods. She knew he'd be angry if he found out on his own, especially if he realized she neglected to tell him anything.
But what if that made him too afraid to put her on any other missions? What were the chances that something would go wrong on her first mission like this? She had worked so hard to gain his trust, she couldn't lose it all now.
She sighed, knowing he would call her into his office as soon as he's notified she's returned. There was no point in trying to stall from telling him, that would only make him more suspiscious and probably get her punished. She stomped heavily up the stairs, her body and mind suddenly exhausted.
She walked passed the empty kitchen and dining room, with only a mundane in former room cleaning. The manor had a few mundanes with the sight to do most of the chores, it was much easier to keep them employed than another shadowhunter or downworlder. Valentine paid them well and they didn't seem to mind living in the manor. She guessed the only thing they wouldn't like would be the short tempers of their bosses.
Clarissa walked down the hallway to his office, instead of procrastinating the inevitable. She knew he was inside, since he was almost always in the room these days. She might as well get it over with, though she planned on lying. She excelled in it, and Valentine hadn't seen through the few she's told over the year.
She opened the door, belatedly realizing she should have knocked. As she walked through, her knuckled rapped on the dark oak wood half-heartedly.
His head jerked upward, looking up from something on his desk that he moved aside. "Clarissa, what have I told you about knocking?" He snapped, his onyx eyes digging into her own.
She clenched her jaw, making a show of backing up, shutting the door and knocking-more like banging-on the door.
He rubbed his temples, annoyed at his daughter's lack of respect and overall attitude. He would have punished her if he wasn't so tired from the day. "How was the mission?" He decided to ask.
She shrugged, looking bored. "Easy."
It was true, the demons were easy. They made her work up a sweat, but it was nothing that she couldn't handle, it was actually pretty exhilarating. The shadowhunter boy though, he was the difficult part. He was a surprisingly good fighter, and had actually forced her to focus. Her father was the only other person that did that to her. She's fought her father's Circle members, but they were quite easy compared to the boy.
He analyzed her face for a moment, before nodding. "Good, I'm glad all went well." He praised, looking down at his desk again, which made her eyebrows raise in surprise when he wasn't looking at her. "I may have something else for you tomorrow. Goodnight."
Her feet stayed stuck to the floor for a moment too long, causing her father to open his mouth to bark something, but she quickly nodded and turned on her heel to leave. "Goodnight."
She slowed down her pace as her thoughts drifted to the white-haired boy. He had looked like her father, his hair was just the right shade and face structure reminded her of her father's sharp features. Her stomach turned as a revelation hit her.
Mother is alive, isn't she? Clarissa never really asked, never really wondered until now. She had asked her father when she was younger, but he had gotten so angry that the topic had been one she's shoved out of her head. But his eyes were so similar to her own, and she knew she couldn't have gotten the color from her father. There could be a chance that he could be her brother.
But her father had confided that her mother was married to a werewolf, who was once his parabatai. He also told her that the same werewolf had been the one to betray him and the Circle. It was the reason behind his views about downworlders.
Clarissa blinked, seeing that she was in a secluded part of the manor. She let out a breath she didn't realize she had been holding, turning around and back towards her bedroom. She was usually absentminded at night. After training twice a day along with all of her other responsibilities, she was surprised she could even function most of the time. Especially after dealing with her father through her lessons, since he hadn't wanted to hire a tutor.
Her jaw clenched. The man had absolutely no patience, and it pissed her off to no end. She was suddenly angry at the man, slamming her bedroom door behind her. It never seemed like he actually cared about her.
She forced her boiling blood to calm. She hated these damn mood swings. Neither her father or the warlock understood why they happened to her so often, but they were definitely annoying as hell.
She threw off her clothes and took a burning shower, washing away her worries and concerns for just a while. Her pale skin turns red with the heat, but she relished in it.
When her head finally hit the pillow, she's plagued with nightmares of the white-haired boy.
None of them had talked much about the girl they encountered in the woods. They couldn't exactly go to the headmaster, they'd be tattling on themselves and would just get punished for being out there in the first place. All four of them had agreed though, that they'd never seen the girl before.
Alec had wanted to call their parents right away, and Jon knew that he was thinking the same thing he had. As he was waiting for the portal to open to take them back to New York, he finally voiced the troubling thoughts he had hoped to keep inside a bit longer.
"What if she's Clary?" He asked quietly, mostly to himself but Iz was able to hear him clearly.
She whipped her head around. "What?"
"Sorry, just thinking." He shook his head, brushing off her concerned eyes, but with Isabelle's stubbornness, she wasn't going to let him get off easy.
"No, what did you mean? She couldn't be her." Isabelle said, but Jon could tell she wasn't sure, doubt settling in. "Could she?"
Alec and Jace finally appeared from their dorm building to where Iz and Jon were waiting in their usual spot. They had spent a lot of time under his large tree in the middle of the school's lawn, it was a common place for them.
Jace tossed his duffle bag on the grass, collapsing next to it before sensing the tension. "Jeez, who died?"
Jon didn't exactly want to tell them yet, even though Jace was his parabatai. It just didn't seem right to worry anyone since he had no evidence. Isabelle wasn't about to keep it quiet though. He loved the girl, but she couldn't keep a secret if her life depended on it. "This may sound crazy-"
"Everything out of your mother sounds crazy." Alec rolled his eyes, but Isabelle hushed him.
"Shut up, Alec." She groaned. "I'm trying to explain a theory."
"Since when were you a scientist?" Jace snarked.
She glared, opening her mouth to probably spend the next twenty minutes yelling at her brothers. Jon placed his hand on her arm, which brought her back, causing her to huff.
"What if that girl was Clary."
Jon shrugged, squeezing the hand that Izzy slipped into his. "It's just a theory, but I just thought-"
"What do you mean? Clary as in...your sister?" Alec stuttered.
"Yeah, that Clary."
"You can't be serious. Your mom said they found her body." Jace responded, his words blunt.
"I thought she was." Jon bit down on his cheek.
"She did look like Jocelyn. I was trying to figure out who she looked like." Jace muttered, looking thoughtful. Alec looked betrayed by his best friends. He turned to the older boy. "I mean, dude, her hair and her eyes? Didn't you see the resemblance?"
Alec locked his jaw. "Are we going to tell the adults? What if we're wrong and get your mom's hopes up?"
"I think we still have to. You heard what that demon said, too. If we thought she was dead, what if...he is too?" They all knew who Jon was referring to, but none of them liked to say his name.
They all flinch when a portal lights up nearby, knowing it was for them. Jon stood, offering Izzy a hand before grabbing their bags.
Jon had thought this summer would be like any other, but reappearing sisters might change that.
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