A/N: So new story. Bit nervous about how this one is going to go down but I am loving writing it so please give it a go.

Chapter 1

3rd Person POV

July 12th, 1995

The woman's screams penetrated his ears as he ran his hands over his face again and again. She was in pain; there was no doubt about that, and the thought sent a chill down his spine. 'It's all for a good cause,' he tried to remind himself, as the screams got louder and more piercing. The man got up from his chair and started to pace backwards and forwards. His footsteps echoed off the stone floor making them sound loud and heavy. He tried to focus on these, rather than listen to her scream anymore. Another woman's shout pummelled through the shrill, wailing of the first.

"One more push, Amara. She's nearly here." The man's gaze flicked to the wooden doors in front of him.

"Screw tradition," he muttered to himself, before hurtling through the doors and coming to the side of the crying woman. "It's okay, my darling. You've nearly done it. You've nearly brought our light into this world." Amara, red faced and sweating turned towards him.

"OKAY," she bellowed, "SHE'S LIKE A BLOODY FOOTBALL. LET'S STICK ONE UP YOUR ARSE AND THEN YOU CAN TELL ME IT'S OKAY!" The man chuckled deeply. He loved her, more than words could admit. He dropped a kiss on the top of her head and whispered, "Push." For once, which he was pleased about, she did as asked and pushed. Seconds later and it was all over. Sighing and gasping for breath, Amara flopped her head back onto the pillow, before smirking up at the man.

"I meant what I said about that football, Geoff." He grinned down at her.

"Of that, my dear, I have no doubt." A loud cry interrupted their moment as the pairs gaze went to the woman standing at the end of the bed. Or more importantly, to what she was holding. The midwife sheltered a tiny ball in her arms, which was wriggling and crying at the top of its voice.

"We we're right." She said to the couple. "You have a little girl." She walked up to Amara's free side and gently placed the baby in her awaiting arms. Amara touched the girl's cheek, brushing her finger down her face, before coming to rest her hand on her stomach.

"She the spitting image." Geoff said fondly.

"Thank God," Amara muttered, "Can you imagine if she looked like you?"

"Perish the thought!" He muttered back before kneeling down beside her and touching the little girl's hand.

"Did you agree on the name?" The midwife asked, looking at the pair with amusement. Geoff nodded before motioning for his wife to do the honours.

"Charlie," Amara said gently. "Our little beacon of freedom."


June 15th, 2005

A group of children stood facing a large stone-faced man at the front of the room. Their hands placed behind their backs in a tight clasp, the watched as the man paced up and down, staring at each child that was left.

"You, are at the top of your class, and with a bit of luck will finish your training in the next few months. This means that you should be the best. The fiercest. The toughest. The best."

"THE BEST!" The children shout in agreement. The man nodded sternly, though to the right eye, a flicker of pride could be seen to flash over the man's face. The children paired off and began to fight. The man continued to pace between the children before halting in front of two.

"Charlie," he said sternly. Charlie looked up at the man, faux innocence seeping through every pore.

"Yes?" She smirked at him from her position on top of the poor boy she was paired with. His arm was pulled back into such a stance that if he moved a muscle, it would probably break.

"You're supposed to be sparring him, not pinning him to the floor." The man fought a grin at the boy's pained face. Charlie shrugged her shoulders and said with a smirk,

"Well then, he should have moved faster. Tip for next time." She directed the last part to the boy on the floor before releasing him and tapping him lightly on the head.

"I think your done for today," The man said, giving her a sly wink as he turned away.

"Very well," She replied, before spinning on her heal and heading out the door. "See you at lunch, Sean.' She called throwing a hand up in a wave, over her shoulder. The heap on the floor, groaned in response before collapsing back onto the mat.

Charlie pranced through the hallways of her Institute. She had always called it her Institute. Her place. Her home. Her parents, being quite high up in the running of it, had rooms over on the north side. When she was young, Charlie would watch the grown up's mill around the consoles in the Ops Centre, usually drinking a cup of tea and chatting, before the alarms went off and they would run to the armoury to prepare for some battle with a demon causing havoc in the streets of London. She always dreamed that one day, she would join them, battling bad guys and keeping the streets safe! She grinned at that before going to the adults training room to see Tim. Tim was the Institutes tutor. He helped keep the adults in shape so they could do their jobs. She grinned at him sheepishly as she walked in and caught his eye. He stood with a chuckle before walking to her.

"Again?"

"I couldn't help it." Charlie whined, "They're so slow! My grandma could move faster than them, and she's dead!" Tim looked at Charlie before motioning to her to get into her ready position. With a grin, Charlie gave the first blow sending a strong punch into Tim's shoulder. He laughed, as he continued to block her hits. Getting frustrated, Charlie quickly sunk down and swung her small leg round Tim's and pulled. Tim lost his balance and fell back onto the mat.

"See!" She whined again before flopping down next to him.

"Charlie," Tim said, a serious tone settling in. Charlie looked at him, waiting to hear what he was going to say. "You are the most talented Shadowhunter of your age that I have ever met." Charlie smiled gently, looking down at her knees. "But don't let yourself get too cocky. Arrogance leads to mistakes, and in our game…" He trailed off.

"Mistakes can lead to death." She finished quietly. Tim nodded before putting a hand on her shoulder.

"It is true that arrogance can get you killed; but you must learn to be proud, when you accomplish something you have been working on. There is a difference, you know, between arrogance and pride." Charlie nods, mulling over his words in her head.

"So I should be proud that I knocked you to the floor, not convinced I'll be able to do it again." Tim smiled,

"Exactly," he whispered. Charlie nodded gently before pulling herself to her feet and going to find something more interesting to do.


July 12th, 2005

"To the Angel, I entrust my life" Charlie's voice echoed around the Great Hall. She stood in a white linin shirt and black trousers, tucked into some black boots. There was no way that she was going to wear a dress. She looked up from her boots into the stitched face of the Silent Brother.

"And vow to uphold the laws of heaven." Her voice shook as she recited the oath. She had known these words since she was small and had said them so many times to herself, yet now she was struggling to remember them.

"I take this mark to honour Him, to bring His light into me, and vow to uphold the laws of heaven." Charlie's breathing became shallow as she reached the end of her oath. This was it. She was going to get her first rune and officially be named as a Shadowhunter.

"So I may join the ranks of the Shadowhunters, the guardians of peace." She held out her right hand, palm down and stared at the Silent Brother. The Brother lifted a stele and seared the Voyance rune onto the back of her hand. It hurt, not that she wouldn't show that. She was tough. She was the best. She gazed down at her rune as it turned from a red burnt flesh kinda colour to the cool black of a rune. She smiled as her skin stopped sizzling and turned to face her parents. Her mother was smiling, pride radiating off her skin. Her father, as usual, when it came to these types of things, was crying. Her mother would always say he was sensitive when it came to her. She said he was the bravest of men when it came to battle, but where his little girl was concerned, all cards were off the table. The other Shadowhunters surrounding them ignored this, mainly out of respect but partially because they knew he would make them pay for pointing it out.

"I did it." She murmured, with a small smile.

That night, Charlie sat on her bed thumbing the worn copy of Peter Pan. Her mother had been reading it to her since she could first understand words. Her mother even went as far as calling her, her Wendy. The idea of a child that never has to grow up was extremely appealing to Charlie. In her eyes, grown-ups didn't enjoy things anymore. Everything was hard and took time an effort to complete, not leaving enough time for fun. Charlie never wanted to stop having fun. Fun was the only reason she got up in the morning. Her mother cleared her throat, jolting Charlie back into reality.

"Where did we finish?" She asked.

"The final battle," Charlie replied, bouncing up onto her feet. "Peter was fighting Captain Hook." She ran around the bedroom fighting an imaginary Hook, ducking and diving avoiding his sword. This continued for a good 20 minutes before adlibbing her own moves and tackling 'Hook' to the floor and stabbing him with her blade. She grinned up at her mother, "Oh, the cleverness of me!" She laughed hands on hips, before bounding back to the bed.

"Why am I reading it to you, when you seem to know it line for line?" Amara chuckled.

"Because you always have, and you always will." Amara's smile faded slightly, but Charlie was too busy finding the right page to notice. When she had found it, she produced it Amara, who laid it gently on her lap. When Geoff arrived home an hour or two later, he found them curled up on Charlie's bed, with the open book on his wife's lap. He picked the book up and placed on the shelf. Pulling a blanket over the pair, he kissed their heads before heading to bed himself.


September 8th, 2005

Things had gotten strange over the last few months in the Institute. Charlie noticed an odd tension in the air as she walked towards her room. Passing the Ops Centre she expected to see the calm environment she was used too. Instead people were running from screen to screen, shouting across the room at one another.

"Attacks in Rome, São Paulo, Melbourne and Los Angeles!" One called.

"They're getting stronger, constantly recruiting." Another said.

One man turned to her mother. "Do you think they will strike here?" She paused before looking at the group gravely.

"I think we must be ready, if they do." They all nodded and returned to their stations. Charlie's mother caught her eye and began to walk towards her. Charlie looked up at her sheepishly.

"What's going on?" She asked quietly. Amara took her hand gently and escorted her up to their rooms. She told Charlie to sit on her bed and began moving round the room packing thing into a small bag. "What's going on?" Charlie repeated. Amara ignored her again, instead asking,

"You know how to glamour yourself, correct?" Her voice was quiet and terse. Charlie nodded. "Show me." Under normal circumstances Charlie would have come back with, "Doesn't that defeat the purpose," or something of that ilk, but she could sense her mother's panic and so did as asked. Charlie glamoured herself and her mother walked round her nodding quietly. "Good," her mother whispered, as Charlie de-glamourized. Charlie was itching to know what was happening. She had never seen her mother like this before.

"What is going on?" Charlie raised to voice, causing Amara to turn and stare at her. She sighed before flopping down on the bed beside Charlie.

"There are bad people, coming here, to hurt us." She spoke quickly and quietly.

"Who?" Charlie asked.

"They call themselves, The Circle. They believe in the destruction of all Downworlders and believes that the people that strive to protect them, aka. us, should pay the same price."

"But, I don't understand," Charlie stuttered, "The Downworlders haven't done anything wrong, and the ones that do, get dealt with by the Clave. Why does this 'Circle' hate them so much?"

"They say that their leader's father was killed by werewolves." Amara shrugs.

"But why condemn all those people for one man's death." Charlie couldn't believe what she was hearing.

"Grief, my love." Charlie looked down at her hands, as Amara stood back up and picked up the bag again.

"What are you doing?" Charlie asked after a few minutes. Amara turned and knelt by Charlie's knees.

"If we are attacked, I want you to come here and hide until you cannot hear the sounds of battle anymore."

"Mum…" Charlie began to object.

"No! You listen to me. You hide until it's over. Then you take this bag and find a way to get to New York."

"New York?"

"I have a friend there that will help you. He will look after you, I promise." Amara had tears brimming in her eyes.

"But what about you, and Dad?" Charlie could feel also tears collecting, threatening to fall.

"If we survive, we will find you after the battle. If we don't come after an hour of the noises having stopped, take the bag and go."

"I can't leave without you. How am I supposed to get to New York on my own?" Charlie scrabbled to find a reason for her mother to change her mind. "I might end up in India, or in Beijing." Amara smiled down at her daughter, stroking her dark hair behind her ears.

"You will find a way. You always have. And you always will. My Wendy." She popped a kiss on the top of her Charlie's head and continued to pack. Charlie lay back reeling from the information she had learnt. The Circle, New York and this 'friend' that was supposed to help her, but the information that was hitting Charlie most was her mothers, "If we survive…" Trying to face the world without the pair of them there was not something Charlie wanted to think about, so she decided she wouldn't, turning over and falling asleep.


September 17th 2005

Her mother and father had been drilling the plan into Charlie's head for over a week, making it increasingly hard not to think about. Charlie was very accomplished at not thinking about the things she didn't wish too, but her parents did not think that was the best course of action.

"You come out when?" Her father questioned.

"When there is no battle noises. I wait for an hour in here, and if you don't turn up, I take the bag and go." Her mother and father nodded stiffly at her answer.

"Once you are in New York…?" Her mother asked.

"I go to the address you gave me, find your friend, tell him what happened and give him your letter." Her mother sighed.

"Charlie, I know this is hard to think about, but you must. This attack is coming, and soon. We must be prepared for all outcomes."

"But we're Shadowhunters! We can do anything! We always win!" Charlie cried. Her father knelt down in front of here so he was at eye level.

"So are they. They had the same training that we did. That won't give us an advantage. It's just a case of who comes out on top, and from what we know about them, they are strong."

"So are we!" She cried, gripping her father's shoulders. Pride shined through her father's eyes as he stared at her.

"You are going to turn into a strong-willed, brave, warrior just like your mother." He smiled sadly.

"And you'll have an amazing ability to lighten any mood, and to be a shoulder for the people you hold dearest, just like your father." Charlie looked up at her mother, her figure blurry and running through the tears cascading down her cheeks. Charlie felt two sets of arms wrap round her body as she fell into her parent's clutches. They must have stayed like that for hours; gripping each other as if it was the last time they would see each other. Little did they know that it would be.


Charlie woke with a start, to the shrill warning alarms blaring. Her heartbeat raced so fast she could hear it pounding in her ears. She whipped her gaze around looking for her parents but they were nowhere in sight. She panicked racing towards the door, refusing to admit that she didn't get to say goodbye, but before she reached the handle, she stopped.

"Stick to the plan, Charlie," she told herself, taking a deep breath and walking slowly away from the door and to the large wardrobe at the back of the room. Opening it she pushed the bag aside and shut herself inside. Sliding down she stared at the wooden planks trying to get her breathing back to normal. Having a panic attack right now would not help the situation, whatsoever. Once her breathing had reached an okay level, Charlie focused her attention on the noise from outside. The loud alarms blared, almost louder than before, yet now they were accompanied by shouts, screams and cries. Charlie jammed her hands over her ears hoping to block out at least some of the noise, but all she got was a slight dulling. Accepting that was as much as she was going to get, she kept her hands over her ears, her eyes clamped shut and began to hum quietly to herself. She wasn't quite sure what she was humming, but it was something else to focus on.

For Charlie the next few hours were a blur. She remembered getting cold and wrapping a small blanket her mother had placed in the beg around herself, she remembered discovering her bum was numb but being too afraid to get out of the wardrobe, she remembered reciting Peter Pan word for word in her head, and being able to hear her mother doing the voices of Tinkerbell and Tiger Lilly whilst her father did Captain Hook and Smee. What she didn't remember is when it got quiet. She didn't remember when the screams and the shouts and the cries stopped. When the echoey alarms died away to a small, weedy whine and then to nothing. When she looked at her watch to begin timing the hour her parents had allowed. She didn't remember sitting in that wardrobe for 3 hours counting the same hour over and over. It wasn't until Charlie got cramp in her leg and bundled herself out of the wardrobe to massage it that she realised the noise had stopped at all. She looked around before looking at her watch. She timed another hour, sitting on her bed, staring at the door, willing her parents to walk through it. They didn't. Remembering what her mother had told her, she grabbed the bag from the wardrobe, stuck on a coat and grabbed her stele and her seraph blade. She glamoured herself and exited the room.

The hallway was empty. Charlie didn't know what she was expecting, but an empty hallway was not one of them. Tiptoeing down the hall she headed towards the Ops Centre and the front door. The closer she got, the more evidence of the battle she could find. Blades littered the floor as did the bodies. Charlie didn't like to think about it. She scanned the bodies however for any sign of her parents but reached the front door without seeing any sign. Debating whether to take another look round, her eyes locked on one of the bodies. Tim. Walking up slowly, she pulled her arms round herself. The hollow feeling in her chest was getting wider by the minute. Tim was dead. Her instructor was dead. Sean and her parents were probably here somewhere too but Charlie realised she couldn't see that. Seeing Tim was hard enough, seeing her mother, or her father, would topple her over the edge. She would lay down on the floor and never get up. Taking one last look around the disaster that once was her home, Charlie turned and left.

So a bit of backstory for my main character. I love writing her as a character and i hope that you will like reading about her.

TTFN! Ta Ta For Now!

Zoe xx