Welcome to Defeating Destiny – I wanted to go ahead and get the first chapter up so you could see where I was going with the story and decide if you would like to come along for the ride.
I should be updating once or twice a week if all goes well. I have everything outlined, but no content written other than what I've posted so far. This story will be extremely Clace heavy and have some serious angst at times, but bear with me… I promise every single chapter has a greater purpose. If anyone wants me to go into more detail on the layout of the territories and families, please let me know and I will either detail it into the storyline or post an author's note at the end of the next chapter… but basically, think of this version of Idris as if Europe became one very large country and was divided into six territories.
With that said – I am not Cassandra Clare, nor do I own any characters in this story.
I hope you enjoy the story…
Chapter 1 –
Six years later…
"Come on, Clary! If you want to come with us, you have to move faster!" Jon yelled towards his six-year-old sister as they sprinted towards the horse stables on their castle grounds.
"Oh, cut her some slack, her legs are really really short." Jace teased as they arrived at the stables where he had been waiting. The Prince and Princess were still 'too young' to ride without a chaperone, but chances like this – to sneak away and avoid royal duties – were too few to pass up.
Today they were intercepting another royal family – the Verlacs – and none of them were too fond of the family, so they decided to make a break for it and spend the day by their favorite pond.
The country of Idris had once been a large continent, made up of many countries – but, after a war that spanned over ten years the decision was made to become one large country. The country itself is a democracy ran by a President and his council, the six Kings that were appointed in honor of the six greatest war heroes are truly more like Governors tasked with aiding the citizens in their respective territories. The Kings sit on the President's council and help each other keep peace within the new territories throughout the country. Idris has been thriving like this for over one hundred years.
The Morgenstern territory is vast and full of sprawling green countryside and hills. There are a couple of small cities – most large cities throughout Idris were destroyed in the war - but it is mostly a rural territory full of farms, vineyards, and many quaint lakes and ponds for the children to explore via horseback.
When the first Kings were given their territories, they were allowed to build whatever type of castle suited their needs best. Clary's great-great-grandfather – being so exhausted from the long war – had decided to build a sprawling countryside manor rather than a large castle within one of the cities. The manor – which is still referred to as the Morgenstern Castle – consists of a family wing, staff wing, medical wing, multiple classrooms, a private wing for guests, many offices and meeting rooms, a ballroom, a theatre and game room, library, training room, and large pool – which is partially indoor and partially outdoors. On the castle grounds there are horse stables, an archery range, and three large homes, belonging to the Herondale family, who have had Lordship in the Morgenstern territory since their first King was appointed.
Other royal families visit the castle often, but none more often than the Verlacs. Being the central territory, the Verlacs have made it their mission to keep the territories united – a valiant effort – if it weren't for the accompanying self-important attitude of their Prince, Sebastian, and the meddling of his aunt – Princess Elodie – who constantly reminds Clary that 'little girls shouldn't be running around with boys and getting dirty', to which Clary would reply with an eye-roll and inevitably get in trouble. Yes, best to avoid them today – even if we will get in trouble for sneaking off, anyway – at least this will actually be fun, she thought.
Truth be told, Clary would go anywhere that her brother and his best friend, Jace, wanted her to go. She's looked up to them for as long as she can remember, and they are always looking out for her in-turn. Take for instance this spontaneous trip to the pond – Jon packed a bag of Clary's favorite snacks and a change of clothes because she always falls into the pond somehow, and Jace – knowing that Clary loves to draw when she is outdoors – brought her crayons and paper, and a plastic cover to protect her drawings from her inevitable fall into the pond. The nine-year-old boys always include her, and she loves them greatly for it.
Jonathan strapped their bags to his horse, Wayfarer and mounted him while Jace boosted Clary onto her horse, Thalios.
"Are you sure you will be okay by yourself, Clare?" Jon looked over and asked. "You could always ride with Jace… it's only a couple miles."
"I can ride by myself, Jon!" Clary insisted.
"Are you sure? We have to go a little faster than usual until we get past the tree-line, so we don't get caught – then we can slow down." Jace said.
Clary nodded, "I'm sure. I'll be okay." She said with a smile as she batted her large green eyes at the two boys, knowing they could never resist giving her anything she wanted.
"Okay, let's go then." Jace said once he was settled onto his family's horse, Balios.
The three friends took off out of the stables quickly, passing Clary's friend Maia on the way who gave them a little wave. Once they crossed the tree line and could slow down some, Jon turned to Clary, "Maia won't tell on us, right?" he asked.
"No, she's not a tattle, but I wish we could have invited her." Clary pouted.
"Her mom would have never let her come, and if you snuck her out Ms. Roberts would have dressed you in dresses for a month as punishment." Jace said with a laugh.
Clary wrinkled her nose in disgust, "Ew, not worth it! How can I ride a horse in a dress?!"
Jon laughed, "I heard Princess Aline has never worn pants before. Maybe you should go spend some time in the Penhallow territory to learn how to be a lady."
"If she wanted to do that, we should have left her with Princess Elodie." Jace said with a wink.
"Don't you dare!" Clary exclaimed to which the boys laughed loudly.
Once the laughter died down, Jace said seriously "I wouldn't be surprised if they shipped us off to different territories as punishment for sneaking off today. Hopefully, they send us to the Lightwoods or Blackthorns so we can go to the beach."
"You know they always send me to the Lovelaces, so I can freeze to death. I hate visiting there." Clary said with conviction.
Jace tensed on the horse beside her as Jon said, "Don't let mom or dad hear you say that Clary."
"I don't see why it's so important to them that I like it there." Clary said as she rolled her eyes.
"It doesn't matter if you like it there, but you do have to at least pretend to like it." Jace told her.
"Why?" Clary asked.
"You'll be spending a lot of time there when you are older." Jace said simply.
"Why do I have to spend time there?!" Clary asked.
Jon sighed, "When you become their Queen, Clary… you will have to live there, you know."
Clary's green eyes widened, "To be Queen I have to live there!? I don't want to live there, it's too cold!"
Jace looked at her sadly, "We know, Princess… but you don't have a choice."
Tears welled in Clary's eyes at the thought of living in that cold place without her brother and Jace… "Wait, Jace. You aren't a King. You will move there with me, right?! Please!"
Jace shook his head as he avoided her tear-filled eyes, "I have to stay and do whatever Jon wants me to do. My family works for the Morgenstern King, Clary. Not the Lovelace King."
"Anyway, we have a long time until that happens, Clare… Look, there's the pond. Let's race there! Go!" Jon yelled as the three took off on their horses, arranged marriages and cold territories forgotten.
As they settled down around the pond, Clary began tending to the horses as the boys used the tire swing that had been hung from a tree branch many years ago. They would swing as high as they could before leaping off into the pond, trying to see who could create the biggest splash. Clary just shook her head at them exasperatedly, boys, she thought. She did think it looked fun, but knowing it was a competition her tiny body had no chance of winning made her more inclined to settle down with an apple and her paper and crayons to draw.
After the boys tired of the swing, they came over to grab some snacks, their wet clothes and hair splashing Clary all the while. "Hey! My picture!" She exclaimed.
Jace peeked over her shoulder, oblivious to the water his hair was dropping onto the page, "Wow, short stuff… that's pretty good." he said as he grabbed a water and apple for himself.
Clary smiled, thinking herself that it was looking pretty good. She had drawn the pond, with the large tree and tire swing hanging from it, and two boys playing in the water. One with white-blonde hair and green eyes and another with golden hair and eyes. There was a little red-haired girl with green eyes sitting by the pond watching.
Jon took the picture and looked it over, "We should hang this up to remind us of the day we all got grounded for the rest of our lives." he said as he handed the picture back to Clary and she put it into the plastic holder Jace had brought.
"If we are going to get in trouble anyway, maybe we should do some exploring in the woods." Jace said.
"Yes! Let's explore!" Clary exclaimed.
"Okay, but we stick together." The Prince said seriously.
Jace and Clary nodded, and the three friends put their things away, made sure the horses were settled and took off into the woods near the pond.
"Oooh, berries!" Clary said as she ran over to a bush of dark purple berries after they had been walking for a few minutes.
"Don't eat those, they might be poisonous!" Jon yelled to his sister.
Jace examined the bush and berries as he turned to Jon, "That's a blueberry bush, Jon. Do you pay any attention in Hodge's lectures, oh future King of mine?" Jace teased.
"Not when he talks about boring things like botany. Are you sure they are blueberries?" Jon asked.
"Yeah, I'm sure. My Dad loves them, we have a few bushes outside our house. I just don't know what a blueberry bush is doing here." Jace answered while looking around.
"So, I can eat it?" Clary asked for confirmation.
"Yes, Princess. Those are safe." Jace said.
Clary nodded as she started digging into the blueberries. "Mmmmm, so sweet!"
Jon and Jace were about to grab some for themselves when Jon spotted something out of the corner of his eye, "Jace, look! Is that a tree-house?"
They raced over to the wooden structure peaking out underneath a few large trees willow trees with overgrown canopies. "I think it's more like a tree fort, but how did it get here."
"Maybe our dads built it when they were young. They probably planted the blueberries, too."
"Probably, let's go inside. Come on, Clary!" Jace said excitedly as the friends entered the makeshift fort, which was big enough to hold a few sleeping bags or chairs and not much else.
"We should make this our clubhouse!" Clary exclaimed.
Jace nodded and smiled, "Our secret place for when we want to get away."
"We can bring blankets and pillows and games… maybe we can bring flashlights and have sleepovers!" Clary said jumping up and down excitedly.
"Not sure mom and dad will go for that, but it can definitely be our secret clubhouse." Jon said practically.
"We need a password to get in…" Jace said.
"I know! Unicorn!" Clary exclaimed.
Jace and Jon laughed, "Our password to our super-secret clubhouse is not going to be unicorn, Clary!" Jon exclaimed.
"How about 'I hate ducks'?" Jace asked.
"'I hate ducks'? Jace, no one hates ducks, that's stupid." Clary said.
"First of all, ducks are evil, Clary! Second, it's not worse than unicorn!" Jace said as he turned his golden eyes onto the redhead.
"Okay, okay… how about 'Shadowhunters' like the game we used to always play, Jace?" Jon asked.
Clary rolled her eyes to contest, but Jace agreed, and the boys had decided before she got a chance. "Shadowhunters it is." Jace said.
Once the friends left the fort, they gorged themselves on blueberries and headed back to the pond to rest before they went home to face their parent's wrath.
"Clary, you have to try the tire swing at least once!" Jace implored.
They had been trying to talk her into swinging into the pond for the past five minutes and so far, she had adamantly refused. "I don't want to get wet!" Clary exclaimed for the fifth time.
"Don't be such a baby, Princess." Jon teased, knowing exactly how to push her buttons.
"I'm not a baby!" Clary shouted. "Fine! One time, then we should head back before we get in even bigger trouble."
"Deal." Jace and Jon said at the same moment.
Clary was too tiny to get much momentum on her own, so Jace pushed the tire swing as high as he could as Clary let go and jumped into the water with a squeal. "Oh my gosh, that was so fun! Let's do it again!" She exclaimed as she walked towards the edge of the pond, her wet clothes sagging off her with every step. When she got near the edge of rocks to climb out, her foot got stuck in her sagging pant leg and she tumbled down and braced her fall with her wrists, one of the sharper rocks slicing a large gash into her forearm and bruising her knees from the impact of the fall.
Jace and Jon immediately rushed to her side as she began crying. "Clary! Are you okay?" Jon yelled over her cries as Jace examined her bleeding arm and began running his hand through her hair soothingly. "Shhh, short stuff, it's okay. It's okay, it's just a cut. We'll get you all cleaned up. Shhh." Jace said in a soothing voice, remaining oddly calm for a nine-year-old.
Clary quieted down, but tears were still streaming down her face. "I think it's broken." She said through the tears. "My wrist… it… it hurts!" she cried.
"Shhh, I know, I know it hurts." Jace said as he turned to Jon, "Go get some of our water to wash the cut, and bring her extra shirt, I'll wrap it around her arm."
Jon, who was still obviously in shock from seeing his little sister in so much pain, just nodded and did as Jace asked.
When he returned, Jace cleaned the gash as best he could and wrapped it in a torn section of Clary's clean shirt. "How did you know to do that?" Jon asked his best friend.
"Last year, Will fell and gashed his leg open when we were out hunting, and this is how Uncle Edmund wrapped his leg." Jace said with a shrug.
Clary's tears were coming slower, and her sobs were lessening, but Jace could see she was still pale and tense from the pain. "Clary are you okay?" he asked her gently. "N – n – no." She cried through trembling lips. "It really hurts."
"Okay, short stuff, I know it hurts… Jon is going to get Thalios and Wayfarer back to the stables and you and I will ride Balios, okay?" Jace said and Clary nodded to say she was ready. "Once we get back, we'll take you straight to Dr. Bane so he can look at that wrist. I don't know what to do for that, I'm sorry."
She nodded again, "It's… okay… I'm ready to go home."
Jace nodded, his heart breaking for this sweet little girl. He couldn't help but feel somewhat responsible for pushing her to go in the pond all along. He carried her over to Balios and got her settled before settling behind her and riding as fast as he safely could back towards the castle.
"We thought we were going to be in trouble before, how about now that we let the Morgenstern Princess get hurt on our watch…" Jace said to Clary with a sigh.
"It wasn't your fault I fell, Jace. Daddy should be happy you took care of me. You are a hero. My wrist doesn't even hurt anymore." She said as she smiled up at Jace and he realized she had finally stopped crying.
Jace shook his head, "I didn't even touch your wrist, Princess. It's probably not broken if it feels better, so that's good news."
By the time they arrived back at the stables, Jon had already found Dr. Bane and brought him down to meet Clary and Jace.
"Let me take a look at that wrist, Princess." Dr. Bane said, unwrapping Jace's makeshift bandage. "Oh my, that cut is going to need stitches, but at least the wrist doesn't appear broken."
"Stitches?! Is that going to hurt?" Clary asked the Doctor, while trying not to cry again.
"I can numb the area before I put in the stitches. Come with me, Princess. Jace, you come with us. Jon, go get your parents and tell them to meet us in the medical wing." Dr. Bane said with authority.
As they arrived in the medical wing, Dr. Bane summoned his son Magnus to gather the necessary supplies and began cleaning Clary's wound. Jace stayed by her side for moral support and held her hand all the while. "Thank you for staying with me, Jace. I'm sc-scared of the stitches." Clary said with a trembling lip as she continued to try not to cry.
"Shhh, short stuff, of course I stayed. There's no where else I need to be than right here." Jace said softly as he continued to stroke her hair, as he had seen her mom do many times before to soothe her.
Once Dr. Bane and Magnus had finished stitching and bandaging Clary's wound Jon walked into the medical wing with the King and Queen in tow.
"Oh, honey, are you okay?" Queen Jocelyn asked as she gave her daughter a hug.
Clary smiled her sweetest smile and batted her green eyes at her mom and dad, "I'm okay now. Jace, Dr. Bane, Magnus, and Jon took such good care of me. Oh, please don't let them get in trouble mommy!"
Jocelyn looked up at her husband with a smirk to gauge his reaction, knowing that he could never resist his daughter's charm.
King Valentine schooled his features to appear unaffected by his baby girl's plea and put his best 'King' mask back on as he said, "Dr. Bane and Magnus, thank you for your help. Now Jace, Jonathan, and Clarissa… you should clean up and get some rest, tomorrow you are scheduled for eight hours of etiquette training with Princess Elodie – and I think that shall be punishment enough." Valentine walked out of the room with authority as the three friends all shared simultaneous looks of dread.
I would have rather been grounded for life, Clary couldn't help but think.