Chapter 13: GIRL FOUND DEAD
“Your girlfriend?” Alec looked astonished. So did Maryse. Simon couldnt say he was unastonished himself. “You dated a vampire? A girl vampire?”
“It was a hundred and thirty years ago,” said Magnus. “I havent seen her since. ”
“Why didnt you tell me?” Alec demanded.
Magnus sighed. “Alexander, Ive been alive for hundreds of years. Ive been with men, been with women-with faeries and warlocks and vampires, and even a djinn or two. ” He looked sideways at Maryse, who looked mildly horrified. “Too much information?”
“Its all right,” she said, though she sounded a little wan. “I have to discuss something with Kadir for a moment. Ill be back. ” She stepped aside, joining Kadir; they disappeared through the doorway. Simon took a few steps back as well, pretending to study one of the stained-glass windows intently, but his vampire hearing was good enough that he could hear everything Magnus and Alec were saying to each other, whether he wanted to or not. Camille, he knew, could hear it too. She had her head cocked to the side as she listened, her eyes heavy-lidded and thoughtful.
“How many other people?” Alec asked. “Roughly. ”
Magnus shook his head. “I cant count, and it doesnt matter. The only thing that matters is how I feel about you. ”
“More than a hundred?” Alec asked. Magnus looked blank. “Two hundred?”
“I cant believe were having this conversation now,” Magnus said, to no one in particular. Simon was inclined to agree, and wished they werent having it in front of him.
“Why so many?” Alecs blue eyes were very bright in the dimness. Simon couldnt tell if he was angry. He didnt sound angry, just very intense, but Alec was a shut-down person, and perhaps this was as angry as he ever got. “Do you get bored with people fast?”
“I live forever,” Magnus said quietly. “But not everyone does. ”
Alec looked as if someone had hit him. “So you just stay with them as long as they live, and then you find someone else?”
Magnus didnt say anything. He looked at Alec, his eyes shining like a cats. “Would you rather I spent all of eternity alone?”
Alecs mouth twitched. “Im going to find Isabelle,” he said, and without another word he turned and walked back into the Institute.
Magnus watched him go with sad eyes. Not a human sort of sad, Simon thought. His eyes seemed to contain the sadness of great ages, as if the sharp edges of human sadness had been worn down to something softer by the passing of years, the way sea water wore away the sharp edges of glass.
As if he could tell Simon was thinking about him, Magnus looked at him sideways. “Eavesdropping, vampire?”
“I really dont love it when people call me that,” Simon said. “I have a name. ”
“I suppose Id better remember it. After all, in a hundred, two hundred, years, itll be just you and me. ” Magnus regarded Simon thoughtfully. “Well be all thats left. ”
The thought made Simon feel as if he were in an elevator that had suddenly broken free of its moorings and started plunging toward the ground, a thousand stories down. The thought had passed through his mind before, of course, but he had always pushed it away. The thought that he would stay sixteen while Clary got older, Jace got older, everyone he knew got older, grew up, had children, and nothing ever changed for him was too enormous and horrible to contemplate.
Being sixteen forever sounded good until you really thought about it. Then it didnt seem like such a great prospect anymore.
Magnuss cat eyes were a clear gold-green. “Staring eternity in the face,” he said. “Not so much fun, is it?”
Before Simon could reply, Maryse had returned. “Wheres Alec?” she asked, looking around in puzzlement.
“He went to see Isabelle,” said Simon, before Magnus had to say anything.
“Very well. ” Maryse smoothed the front of her jacket down, though it wasnt wrinkled. “If you wouldnt mind. . . ”
“Ill talk to Camille,” said Magnus. “But I want to do it alone. If youd like to wait for me in the Institute, Ill join you there when Im finished. ”
Maryse hesitated. “You know what to ask her?”
Magnuss gaze was unwavering. “I know how to talk to her, yes. If she is willing to say anything, shell say it to me. ”
Both of them seemed to have forgotten that Simon was there. “Should I go too?” he asked, interrupting their staring contest.
Maryse looked at him, half-distracted. “Oh, yes. Thank you for your help, Simon, but youre no longer needed. Go home if you like. ”
Magnus said nothing at all. With a shrug Simon turned and went toward the door that led to the vestry and the exit that would take him outside. At the door he paused and looked back. Maryse and Magnus were still talking, though the guard was already holding open the Institute door, ready to leave. Only Camille seemed to remember that Simon was there at all. She was smiling at him from her pillar, her lips curved up at the corners, her eyes shining like a promise.
Simon went out, and closed the door behind him.
“It happens every night. ” Jace was sitting on the floor, his legs drawn up, his hands dangling between his knees. He had put the knife on the bed next to Clary; she kept one hand on it while he talked-more to reassure him than because she needed it to defend herself. All the energy seemed to have drained out of Jace; even his voice sounded empty and far away while he talked, as if he were speaking to her from a great distance. “I dream that you come into my room and we . . . start doing what we were just doing. And then I hurt you. I cut you or strangle or stab you, and you die, looking up at me with those green eyes of yours while your life bleeds away between my hands. ”
“Theyre only dreams,” Clary said gently.
“You just saw that they arent,” said Jace. “I was wide awake when I picked up that knife. ”
Clary knew he was right. “Are you worried that youre going crazy?”
He shook his head slowly. Hair fell into his eyes; he pushed it back. His hair had gotten a little too long; he hadnt cut it in a while, and Clary wondered if it was because he couldnt be bothered. How could she not have paid more attention to the shadows under his eyes, the bitten nails, the drawn exhausted look of him? She had been so concerned about whether he still loved her that she had not thought about anything else. “Im not so worried about that, really,” he said. “Im worried about hurting you. Im worried that whatever poison it is thats eating its way into my dreams will bleed through into my waking life and Ill. . . ” His throat seemed to close up.
“You would never hurt me. ”
“I had that knife in my hand, Clary. ” He looked up at her, and then away. “If I hurt you. . . ” His voice trailed off. “Shadowhunters die young, a lot of the time,” he said. “We all know that. And you wanted to be a Shadowhunter, and I would never stop you because it isnt my job to tell you what to do with your life. Especially when Im taking the same kind of risks. What kind of person would I be if I told you it was all right for me to risk my life, but not for you? So Ive thought about what it would be like for me if you died. I bet youve thought about the same thing. ”
“I know what it would be like,” Clary said, remembering the lake, the sword, and Jaces blood spreading over the sand. He had been dead, and the Angel had brought him back, but those had been the worst minutes of her life. “I wanted to die. But I knew how disappointed in me youd have been if Id just given up. ”
He smiled, the ghost of a smile. “And Ive thought the same thing. If you died, I wouldnt want to live. But I wouldnt kill myself, because whatever happens after we die, I want to be with you there. And if I killed myself, I know youd never talk to me again. In any life. So Id live, and Id try to make something out of my life, until I could be with you again. But if I hurt you-if I was the cause of your death-theres nothing that would keep me from destroying myself. ”
“Dont say that. ” Clary felt chilled to the bone. “Jace, you should have told me. ”
“I couldnt. ” His voice was flat, final.
“I thought I was Jace Lightwood,” he said. “I thought it was possible that my upbringing hadnt touched me. But now I wonder if maybe people cant change. Maybe Ill always be Jace Morgenstern, Valentines son. He raised me for ten years, and maybe thats a stain that wont ever bleach out. ”
“You think this is because of your father,” Clary said, and the bit of story that Jace had told her once ran through her head, to love is to destroy. And then she thought how strange it was that she would call Valentine Jaces father, when his blood ran in her veins, not Jaces. But she had never felt about Valentine the way you might feel about a father. And Jace had. “And you didnt want me to know?”
“Youre everything I want,” Jace said. “And maybe Jace Lightwood deserves to get everything he wants. But Jace Morgenstern doesnt. Somewhere inside I must know that. Or I wouldnt be trying to destroy what we have. ”
Clary took a deep breath, and let it out slowly. “I dont think you are. ”
He raised his head and blinked. “What do you mean?”
“You think this is psychological,” Clary said. “That theres something wrong with you. Well, I dont. I think someone is doing this to you. ”
“Ithuriel sent me dreams,” Clary said. “Maybe someone is sending you dreams. ”
“Ithuriel sent you dreams to try to help you. To guide you to the truth. Whats the point of these dreams? Theyre sick, meaningless, sadistic-”
“Maybe they have a meaning,” Clary said. “Maybe the meaning just isnt what you think. Or maybe whoevers sending them is trying to hurt you. ”
“Who would do that?”
“Someone who doesnt like us very much,” said Clary, and pushed away an image of the Seelie Queen.
“Maybe,” Jace said softly, looking down at his hands. “Sebastian-”
So he doesnt want to call him Jonathan either, Clary thought. She didnt blame him. It was his own name too. “Sebastians dead,” she said, a little more sharply than shed intended. “And if he had had this sort of power, he would have used it before. ”
Doubt and hope chased each other across Jaces face. “You really think someone else could be doing this?”
Clarys heart beat hard against her rib cage. She wasnt sure; she wanted it so badly to be true, but if it wasnt, she would have gotten Jaces hopes up for nothing. Both their hopes.
But then she got the feeling it had been a while since Jace had felt hopeful about anything.
“I think we should go to the Silent City,” she said. “The Brothers can get into your head and find out if someones been messing around in there. The way they did with me. ”
Jace opened his mouth and closed it again. “When?” he said finally.
“Now,” Clary said. “I dont want to wait. Do you?”
He didnt reply, just got up off the floor and picked up his shirt. He looked at Clary, and almost smiled. “If were going to the Silent City, you might want to get dressed. I mean, I appreciate the bra-and-panties look, but I dont know if the Silent Brothers will. There are only a few of them left, and I dont want them to die of excitement. ”
Clary got up off the bed and threw a pillow at him, mostly out of relief. She reached for her clothes and began to pull her shirt on. Just before it went over her head, she caught sight of the knife lying on the bedspread, gleaming like a fork of silvery flame.
“Camille,” Magnus said. “Its been a long time, hasnt it?”
She smiled. Her skin looked whiter than he recalled, and dark spidery veins were beginning to show beneath its surface. Her hair was still the color of spun silver, and her eyes were still as green as a cats. She was still beautiful. Looking at her, he was in London again. He saw the gaslight and smelled the smoke and dirt and horses, the metallic tang of fog, the flowers in Kew Gardens. He saw a boy with black hair and blue eyes like Alecs. A girl with long brown curls and a serious face. In a world where everything went away from him eventually, she was one of the few remaining constants.
And then there was Camille.
“Ive missed you, Magnus,” she said.
“No, you havent. ” He sat down on the floor of the Sanctuary. He could feel the cold of the stone through his clothes. He was glad he had worn the scarf. “So why the message for me? Just stalling for time?”
“No. ” She leaned forward, the chains rattling. He could almost hear the hissing where the blessed metal touched the skin of her wrists. “I have heard things about you, Magnus. I have heard that you are under the wing of the Shadowhunters these days. I had heard that you have won the love of one of them. That boy you were just talking to, I imagine. But then your tastes were always diverse. ”
“You have been listening to rumors about me,” Magnus said. “But you could simply have asked me. All these years I was in Brooklyn, not far away at all, and I never heard from you. Never saw you at one of my parties. There has been a wall of ice between us, Camille. ”
“I did not build it. ” Her green eyes widened. “I have loved you always. ”
“You left me,” he said. “You made a pet out of me, and then you left me. If love were food, I would have starved on the bones you gave me. ” He spoke matter-of-factly. It had been a long time.
“But we had all of eternity,” she protested. “You must have known I would come back to you-”
“Camille. ” Magnus spoke with infinite patience. “What do you want?”
Her chest rose and fell quickly. Since she had no need to breathe, Magnus knew this was mainly for effect. “I know you have the ear of the Shadowhunters,” she said. “I want you to speak to them on my behalf. ”
“You want me to cut a deal for you,” Magnus translated.
She cut her eyes at him. “Your diction has always been so regrettably modern. ”
“Theyre saying you killed three Shadowhunters,” said Magnus. “Did you?”
“They were Circle members,” she said, her lower lip trembling. “They had tortured and killed my kind in the past. . . ”
“Is that why you did it? Revenge?” When she was silent, Magnus said, “You know what they do to those who kill Nephilim, Camille. ”
Her eyes shone. “I need you to intercede for me, Magnus. I want immunity. I want a signed promise from the Clave that if I give them information, they will spare my life and set me free. ”
“Theyll never set you free. ”
“Then theyll never know why their colleagues had to die. ”
“Had to die?” Magnus mused. “Interesting wording, Camille. Am I correct that there is more to this than meets the eye? More than blood or revenge?”
She was silent, looking at him, her chest rising and falling artfully. Everything about her was artful-the fall of her silvery hair, the curve of her throat, even the blood on her wrists.
“If you want me to speak to them for you,” Magnus said, “you have to tell me at least some small thing. A show of good faith. ”
She smiled brilliantly. “I knew you would speak to them for me, Magnus. I knew the past was not entirely dead for you. ”
“Consider it undead if you like,” Magnus said. “The truth, Camille?”
She ran her tongue across her lower lip. “You can tell them,” she said, “that I was under orders when I killed those Shadowhunters. It did not disturb me to do it, for they had killed my kin, and their deaths were deserved. But I would not have done it unless requested to do so by someone else, someone much more powerful than myself. ”
Magnuss heart beat a little faster. He didnt like the sound of this. “Who?”
But Camille shook her head. “Immunity, Magnus. ”
“They will stake me out in the sun and leave me to die,” she said. “That is what they do to those who slay Nephilim. ”
Magnus got to his feet. His scarf was dusty from lying on the ground. He looked at the stains mournfully. “Ill do what I can, Camille. But I make no promises. ”
“You never would,” she murmured, her eyes half-lidded. “Come here, Magnus. Come close to me. ”
He did not love her, but she was a dream out of the past, so he moved toward her, until he was standing close enough to touch her. “Remember,” she said softly. “Remember London? The parties at de Quinceys? Remember Will Herondale? I know you do. That boy of yours, that Lightwood. They even look alike. ”
“Do they?” Magnus said, as if he had never thought about it.
“Pretty boys have always been your undoing,” she said. “But what can some mortal child give you? Ten years, twenty, before dissolution begins to claim him. Forty years, fifty, before death takes him. I can give you all of eternity. ”
He touched her cheek. It was colder than the floor had been. “You could give me the past,” he said a little sadly. “But Alec is my future. ”
“Magnus-,” she began.
The Institute door opened, and Maryse stood in the doorway, outlined by the witchlight behind her. Beside her was Alec, his arms crossed over his chest. Magnus wondered if Alec had heard any of the conversation between him and Camille through the door-surely not?
“Magnus,” said Maryse Lightwood. “Have you come to some agreement?”
Magnus dropped his hand. “Im not sure Id call it an agreement,” he said, turning to Maryse. “But I do think we have some things to talk about. ”
Dressed, Clary went with Jace to his room, where he packed a small canvas bag with things to bring with him to the Silent City, as if, she thought, he were going to some grim sleepover party. Weapons mostly-a few seraph blades; his stele; and almost as an afterthought, the silver-handled knife, its blade now cleaned of blood. He slid on a black leather jacket, and she watched as he zipped it, pulling loose strands of blond hair free of his collar. When he turned to look at her, slinging his bag across his shoulder, he smiled faintly, and she saw the slight chip in his front left incisor that she had always thought was endearing, a little flaw in looks that would otherwise be too perfect. Her heart contracted, and for a moment she looked away from him, hardly able to breathe.
He held out his hand to her. “Lets go. ”
There was no way to summon the Silent Brothers to come and get them, so Jace and Clary took a taxi heading downtown toward Houston and the Marble Cemetery. Clary supposed they could just have Portaled into the Bone City-shed been there before; she knew what it looked like-but Jace said there were rules about that sort of thing, and Clary couldnt shake the feeling that the Silent Brothers might find it rather rude.
Jace sat beside her in the back of the taxi, holding one of her hands and tracing patterns on the back of it with his fingers. This was distracting, but not so distracting that she couldnt concentrate while he filled her in on what had been going on with Simon, the story of Jordan, their capture of Camille, and her demand to speak to Magnus.
“Simons all right?” she said worriedly. “I didnt realize. He was in the Institute, and I didnt even see him-”
“He wasnt in the Institute; he was in the Sanctuary. And he seems to be holding his own. Better than I would have thought for someone who was so recently a mundane. ”
“But the plan sounds dangerous. I mean Camille, shes absolutely crazy, isnt she?”
Jace traced his fingers over her knuckles. “You have to stop thinking of Simon as the mundane boy you used to know. The one who required so much saving. Hes almost beyond being harmed now. You havent seen that Mark you gave him in action. I have. Like the wrath of God being visited upon the world. I suppose you should be proud. ”
She shivered. “I dont know. I did it because I had to do it, but its still a curse. And I didnt know he was going through all this. He didnt say. I knew Isabelle and Maia had found out about each other, but I didnt know about Jordan. That he was really Maias ex, or-any of it. ” Because you havent asked. You were too busy worrying about Jace. Not good.
“Well,” Jace said, “have you been telling him what youre up to? Because it has to go both ways. ”
“No. I havent really told anyone,” Clary said, and filled Jace in on her trip to the Silent City with Luke and Maryse, what she had found at the morgue at Beth Israel, and her subsequent discovery of the Church of Talto.
“Never heard of it,” Jace said. “But Isabelles right, there are all sorts of bizarro demon-worshipping sects out there. Most of them never actually succeed in summoning up a demon. Sounds like this one did. ”
“Do you think the demon we killed was the one they were worshipping? Do you think now they might-stop?”
Jace shook his head. “That was just a Hydra demon, a sort of guard dog. Besides, Her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. Sounds like a female demon to me. And its the cults that worship female demons that often do horrible stuff with babies. They have all sorts of twisted ideas about fertility and infants. ” He sat back against the seat, half-closing his eyes. “Im sure the Conclave will go to the church and check it out, but twenty to one they dont find anything. You killed their guard demon, so the cults going to clear out and ditch the evidence. We might have to wait until they set up shop again somewhere else. ”
“But-” Clarys stomach clenched. “That baby. And the pictures in the book I saw. I think theyre trying to make more children like-like Sebastian. ”
“They cant,” said Jace. “They shot up a human baby with demon blood, which is pretty bad, yes. But you get something like Sebastian only if what youre doing is using demon blood on Shadowhunter children. Instead the baby died. ” He squeezed her hand lightly, as if for reassurance. “Theyre not nice people, but I cant imagine theyd try the same thing again, since it didnt work. ”
The taxi came to a screeching halt at the corner of Houston and Second Avenue. “Meters broken,” said the cabbie. “Ten bucks. ”
Jace, who under other circumstances would probably have made a sarcastic remark, tossed the cabbie a twenty and got out of the car, holding the door open for Clary to follow. “You ready?” he asked as they headed toward the iron gate that led to the City.
She nodded. “I cant say my last trip here was much fun, but yes, Im ready. ” She took his hand. “As long as were together, Im ready for anything. ”
The Silent Brothers were waiting for them in the entryway of the City, almost as if they had been expecting them. Clary recognized Brother Zachariah among the group. They stood in a silent line, blocking Clary and Jaces farther ingress into the City.
Why have you come here, daughter of Valentine and son of the Institute? Clary wasnt sure which of them was speaking to her inside her head, or if all of them were. It is unusual for children to enter the Silent City unsupervised.
The appellation “children” stung, though Clary was aware that as far as Shadowhunters were concerned, everyone under eighteen was a child and subject to different rules.
“We need your help,” Clary said when it became apparent Jace wasnt going to say anything. He was looking from one of the Silent Brothers to the other with a curious listlessness, like someone who had received countless terminal diagnoses from different doctors and now, having reached the end of the line, waited without much hope for a specialists verdict. “Isnt that your job-helping Shadowhunters?”
And yet we are not servants, at your beck and call. Nor does every problem fall under our jurisdiction.
“But this one does,” Clary said firmly. “I believe someone is reaching into Jaces mind-someone with power-and messing with his memories and dreams. Making him do things he doesnt want to do. ”
Hypnomancy, said one of the Silent Brothers. The magic of dreams. That is the province of only the greatest and most powerful users of magic.
“Like angels,” said Clary, and she was rewarded by a stiff, surprised silence.
Perhaps, said Brother Zachariah finally, you should come with us to the Speaking Stars. This was not an invitation, clearly, but an order, for they turned immediately and began walking into the heart of the City, not waiting to see if Jace and Clary followed.
They reached the pavilion of the Speaking Stars, where the Brothers took their places behind their black basalt table. The Mortal Sword was back in its place, gleaming on the wall behind them like the wing of a silver bird. Jace moved to the center of the room and stared down at the pattern of metallic stars burned into the red and gold tiles of the floor. Clary watched him, feeling her heart ache. It was hard to see him like this, all his usual burning energy gone, like witchlight suffocating under a covering of ash.
He raised his blond head then, blinking, and Clary knew that the Silent Brothers were speaking inside his mind, saying words she couldnt hear. She saw him shake his head and heard him say, “I dont know. I thought they werent anything but ordinary dreams. ” His mouth tightened then, and she couldnt help wondering what they were asking him. “Visions? I dont think so. Yes, I did encounter the Angel, but its Clary who had the prophetic dreams. Not me. ”
Clary tensed. They were getting awfully close to asking about what had happened with Jace and the Angel that night by Lake Lyn. She hadnt thought about that. When the Silent Brothers pried into your mind, just what did they see? Only what they were looking for? Or everything?
Jace nodded then. “Fine. Im ready if you are. ”
He closed his eyes, and Clary, watching, relaxed slightly. This must have been what it had been like for Jace to watch her, she thought, the first time the Silent Brothers had delved into her mind. She saw details she hadnt noticed then, for she had been caught inside the nets of their minds and her own, reeling back into her memories, lost to the world.
She saw Jace stiffen all over as if they had touched him with their hands. His head went back. His hands, at his sides, opened and closed, as the stars on the floor at his feet flared up with a blinding silver light. She blinked away tears from the brightness; he was a graceful dark outline against a sheet of blinding silver, as if he stood in the heart of a waterfall. All around them was noise, a soft, incomprehensible whispering.
As she watched, he went to his knees, his hands braced against the ground. Her heart tightened. Having the Silent Brothers in her head had nearly made her faint, but Jace was stronger than that, wasnt he? Slowly he doubled in on himself, hands gripped against his stomach, agony in every line of him, though he never cried out. Clary could take it no longer-she darted toward him, through the sheets of light, and went on her knees next to him, throwing her arms around his body. The whispering voices around her rose to a storm of protest as he turned his head and looked at her. The silver light had washed out his eyes, and they looked flat and as white as marble tiles. His lips shaped her name.
And then it was gone-the light, the sound, all of it, and they knelt together on the bare floor of the pavilion, silence and shadow all around them. Jace was shaking, and when his hands released each other, she saw that they were bloody where his nails had torn the skin. Still holding him by the arm, she looked up at the Silent Brothers, fighting back her anger. She knew it was like being furious at a doctor who had to administer a painful but lifesaving treatment, but it was hard-so hard-to be reasonable when it was someone that you loved.
There is something you have not told us, Clarissa Morgenstern, said Brother Zachariah. A secret you both have been keeping.
An icy hand closed around Clarys heart. “What do you mean?”
The mark of death is on this boy. It was another of the Brothers speaking-Enoch, she thought.
“Death?” said Jace. “Do you mean Im going to die?” He didnt sound surprised.
We mean that you were dead. You had passed beyond the portal into the shadow realms, your soul untethered from your body.
Clary and Jace exchanged a look. She swallowed. “The Angel Raziel-,” she began.
Yes, his mark is all over the boy as well. Enochs voice was without emotion. There are only two ways to bring back the dead. The way of necromancy, the black sorcery of bell, book, and candle. That will return a semblance of life. But only an Angel of Gods own right hand could place a humans soul back into their body as easily as life was breathed into the first of men. He shook his head. The balance of life and death, of good and evil, is a delicate one, young Shadowhunters. You have upset it.
“But Raziels the Angel,” said Clary. “He can do whatever he wants. You worship him, dont you? If he chose to do this-”
Did he? asked another of the Brothers. Did he choose?
“I . . . ” Clary looked at Jace. She thought, I could have asked for anything else in the universe. World peace, a cure to disease, to live forever. But all I wanted was you.
We know the ritual of the Instruments, said Zachariah. We know that he who possesses them all, who is their Lord, may request of the Angel one thing. I do not think he could have refused you.
Clary set her chin. “Well,” she said, “its done now. ”
Jace gave the ghost of a laugh. “They could always kill me, you know,” he said. “Bring things back into balance. ”
Her hands tightened on his arm. “Dont be ridiculous. ” But her voice was thin. She tensed further as Brother Zachariah broke away from the tight group of Silent Brothers and approached them, his feet gliding silently over the Speaking Stars. He reached Jace, and Clary had to fight the urge to push him away as he bent down and placed his long fingers under Jaces chin, raising the boys face to his. Zachariahs fingers were slim, unlined-a young mans fingers. She had never given much thought to the ages of the Silent Brothers before, assuming them to be all some species of wizened and old.
Jace, kneeling, gazed up at Zachariah, who looked down at him with his blind, impassive expression. Clary could not help but think of medieval paintings of saints on their knees, gazing upward, their faces suffused with shining golden light. Would that I had been here, he said, his voice unexpectedly gentle, when you were growing up. I would have seen the truth in your face, Jace Lightwood, and known who you were.
Jace looked puzzled but didnt move to pull away.
Zachariah turned to the others. We cannot and should not harm the boy. Old ties exist between the Herondales and the Brothers. We owe him help.
“Help with what?” Clary demanded. “Can you see something wrong with him-something inside his head?”
When a Shadowhunter is born, a ritual is performed, a number of protective spells placed upon the child by both the Silent Brothers and the Iron Sisters.
The Iron Sisters, Clary knew from her studies, were the sister sect of the Silent Brothers; even more retiring than their brethren, they were in charge of crafting Shadowhunter weapons.
Brother Zachariah went on. When Jace died and then was raised, he was born a second time, with those protections and rituals stripped away. It would have left him as open as an unlocked door-open to any kind of demonic influence or malevolence.
Clary licked her dry lips. “Possession, you mean?”
Not possession. Influence. I suspect that a powerful demonic power whispers into your ears, Jonathan Herondale. You are strong, you fight it, but it wears you down as the sea wears down the sand.
“Jace,” he whispered through white lips. “Jace Lightwood, not Herondale. ”
Clary, clinging to practicalities, said, “How can you be sure its a demon? And what can we do to get it to leave him alone?”
Enoch, sounding thoughtful, said, The ritual must be performed again, the protections laid upon him a second time, as if he had just been born.
“Can you do it?” Clary asked.
Zachariah inclined his head. It can be done. The preparations must be made, one of the Iron Sisters called on, an amulet crafted. . . He trailed off. Jonathan must remain with us until the ritual is finished. This is the safest place for him.
Clary looked at Jace again, searching for an expression-any expression-of hope, relief, delight, anything. But his face was impassive. “For how long?” he said.
Zachariah spread his thin hands wide. A day, perhaps two. The ritual is meant for infants; we will have to change it, alter it to fit an adult. If he were older than eighteen, it would be impossible. As it is, it will be difficult. But he is not beyond saving.
Not beyond saving. It was not what Clary had hoped for; she had wanted to be told that the problem was simple, easily solved. She looked at Jace. His head was bowed, his hair falling forward; the back of his neck looked so vulnerable to her, it made her heart ache.
“Its fine,” she said softly. “Ill stay here with you-”
No. The Brothers spoke as a group, their voices inexorable. He must remain here alone. For what we must do, he cannot afford to be distracted.
She felt Jaces body tighten. The last time he had been alone in the Silent City, he had been unfairly imprisoned, present for the horrible deaths of most of the Silent Brothers, and tormented by Valentine. She could not imagine that the idea of another night alone in the City would be anything but awful for him.
“Jace,” she whispered. “Ill do whatever you want me to do. If you want to go. . . ”
“Ill stay,” he said. He had raised his head, and his voice was strong and clear. “Ill stay. Ill do whatever I have to do to fix this. I just need you to call Izzy and Alec. Tell them-tell them Im staying at Simons to keep an eye on him. Tell them Ill see them tomorrow or the next day. ”
“But. . . ”
“Clary. ” Gently he took both her hands and held them between his. “You were right. This isnt coming from inside me. Something is doing this to me. To us. You know what that means? If I can be . . . cured . . . then I dont have to be afraid of myself when Im around you anymore. Id spend a thousand nights in the Silent City for that. ”
She leaned forward, heedless of the presence of the Silent Brothers, and kissed him, a quick press of her lips against his. “Ill be back,” she whispered. “Tomorrow night, after the Ironworks party, Ill come back and see you. ”
The hopefulness in his eyes was enough to break her heart. “Maybe Ill be cured by then. ”
She touched his face with her fingertips. “Maybe you will be. ”
Simon woke still feeling exhausted after a long night of bad dreams. He rolled onto his back and stared at the light coming in the single window in his bedroom.
He couldnt help but wonder if hed sleep better if he did what other vampires did, and slept during the day. Despite the fact that the sun didnt harm him, he could feel the pull of the nights, the desire to be out under the dark sky and the glimmering stars. There was something in him that wanted to live in shadows, that felt the sunlight like a thin, knifelike pain-just like there was something in him that wanted blood. And look how fighting that had turned out for him.
He staggered upright and threw on some clothes, then made his way out into the living room. The place smelled like toast and coffee. Jordan was sitting on one of the counter stools, his hair sticking out every which way as usual, his shoulders hunched.
“Hey,” Simon said. “Whats up?”
Jordan looked over at him. He was pale under his tan. “We have a problem,” he said.
Simon blinked. He hadnt seen his werewolf roommate since the day before. Hed come home from the Institute last night and collapsed in exhaustion. Jordan hadnt been here, and Simon had figured he was out working. But maybe something had happened. “Whats wrong?”
“This was shoved under our door. ” Jordan pushed a folded newspaper toward Simon. It was the New York Morning Chronicle, folded open to one of the pages. There was a grisly picture up toward the top, a grainy image of a body sprawled on some pavement, stick-skinny limbs bent at odd angles. It hardly looked human, the way dead bodies sometimes didnt. Simon was about to ask Jordan why he had to look at this, when the text under the photo jumped out at him.
GIRL FOUND DEAD
Police say they are pursuing leads in the death of fourteen-year-old Maureen Brown, whose body was discovered Sunday night at eleven p. m. stuffed into a trash can outside the Big Apple Deli on Third Avenue. Though no official cause of death has been released by the coroners office, the deli owner who found the body, Michael Garza, says her throat was cut open. Police have not yet located a weapon. . .
Unable to read on, Simon sat down heavily in a chair. Now that he knew, the photo was unmistakably Maureen. He recognized her rainbow arm warmers, the stupid pink hat shed been wearing when hed seen her last. My God, he wanted to say. Oh, God. But no words came out.
“Didnt that note say,” Jordan said in a bleak voice, “that if you didnt go to that address, theyd cut your girlfriends throat?”
“No,” Simon whispered. “Its not possible. No. ”
But he remembered.
Erics little cousins friend. Whats her name? The one who has a crush on Simon. She comes to all our gigs and tells everyone shes his girlfriend.
Simon remembered her phone, her little pink phone with the stickers on it, the way shed held it up to take a photo of them. The feeling of her hand on his shoulder, as light as a butterfly. Fourteen years old. He curled in on himself, wrapping his arms around his chest, as if he could make himself small enough to vanish completely.