Chapter 8: STRENGTH IN WHAT REMAINS
Raphael stood, hands in his pockets, and looked up at the demon towers, shimmering dark red. “Something’s going on,” he said. “Something unusual. ” Simon wanted to snap back that the unusual thing that was going on was that he’d just been kidnapped and taken to Idris for the second time in his life, but he was feeling too nauseated. He’d forgotten the way a Portal seemed to take you apart when you went through it and reassemble you on the other side with important pieces missing. Also, Raphael was right. Something was going on. Simon had been in Alicante before, and he remembered the roads and the canals, the hill rising over it all with the Gard at the top. He remembered that on ordinary nights the streets were quiet, lit by the pale glow of the towers. But there was noise tonight, largely coming from the Gard and the hill, where lights were dancing as if a dozen bonfires had been lit. The demon towers were glowing an eerie red-gold. “They change the color of the towers to convey messages,” said Raphael. “Gold for marriages and celebrations. Blue for the Accords. ” “What does red mean?” Simon asked. “Magic,” said Raphael, his dark eyes narrowed. “Danger. ” He turned in a slow circle, looking around the quiet street, the large houses by the canal side. He was about a head shorter than Simon. Simon wondered how old he’d been when he’d been Turned. Fourteen? Fifteen? Only a little older than Maureen. Who had Turned him? Magnus knew but had never told. “The Inquisitor’s house is there,” Raphael said, and pointed at one of the largest of the houses, with a pointed roof and balconies out over the canal. “But it is dark. ” Simon couldn’t deny that fact, though his unbeating heart gave a little leap as he looked at the place. Isabelle was living there now; one of those windows was her window. “They must all be up at the Gard,” he said. “They do that, for meetings and things. ” He had no fond memories of the Gard himself, having been imprisoned there by the last Inquisitor. “We could go up there, I guess. See what’s going on. ” “Yes, thank you. I am aware of their ‘meetings and things,’?” Raphael snapped, but he looked uncertain in a way Simon couldn’t recall him looking before. “Whatever is happening, it is Shadowhunter business. There is a house, not far from here, that has been granted to the vampire representative on the Council. We may go there. ” “Together?” Simon said. “It is a very large house,” Raphael said. “You will be at one end of it and I at the other. ” Simon raised his eyebrows. He wasn’t entirely sure what he had expected would happen, but spending the night in a house with Raphael hadn’t occurred to him. It wasn’t that he thought Raphael was going to kill him in his sleep. But the thought of sharing living quarters with someone who seemed to dislike him intensely and always had was odd. Simon’s vision was clear and precise now—one of the few things he really liked about being a vampire—and he could see details even at a distance. He saw her before she could have seen him. She was walking along quickly, her head down, her dark hair in the long braid she often wore it in when fighting. She was in gear, and her boots tapped against the cobblestones as she walked. You’re a heartbreaker, Isabelle Lightwood. Simon turned to Raphael. “Go away,” he said. Raphael smirked. “La belle Isabelle,” he said. “It is hopeless, you know, you and she. ” “Because I’m a vampire and she’s a Shadowhunter?” “No. She’s just—how do you say it—out of your league?” Isabelle was halfway down the street now. Simon gritted his teeth. “Salt my game, and I’ll stake you. I mean it. ” Raphael shrugged innocently but didn’t move. Simon turned away from him and stepped out of the shadows, into the street. Isabelle halted instantly, her hand going to the whip coiled at her belt. A moment later she blinked in shock, her hand dropping, her voice uncertain: “Simon?” Simon felt suddenly awkward. Maybe she wouldn’t appreciate his suddenly appearing in Alicante like this—this was her world, not his. “I—” he began, but he got no further, because Isabelle had launched herself at him and thrown her arms around him, nearly knocking him off his feet. Simon let himself close his eyes and bury his face against her neck. He could feel her heart beating, but violently pushed aside any thoughts of blood. She was soft and strong in his arms, her hair tickling his face, and holding her, he felt normal, wonderfully normal, like any teenage boy in love with a girl. In love. He jerked back with a start and found himself looking at Izzy from a few inches away, her huge dark eyes shining. “I can’t believe you’re here,” she said, breathless. “I was wishing you were and thinking about how long it would be before I could see you, and—Oh, my God, what are you wearing?” Simon looked down at his puffy shirt and leather pants. He was vaguely aware of Raphael, somewhere in the shadows, snickering. “It’s kind of a long story,” he said. “Do you think we could go inside?” Magnus turned the silver box with the initials on it over in his hands, his cat’s eyes gleaming in the witchlit dimness of Amatis’s cellar. Jocelyn was gazing at him with a look of curious anxiety. Luke couldn’t help thinking about all the times Jocelyn had taken Clary to Magnus’s loft when Clary had been a child, all the times the three of them had sat together, an unlikely trio, as Clary grew up and older and began to remember what she was supposed to forget. “Anything?” Jocelyn asked. “You have to give me time,” Magnus said, poking the box with a finger. “Magical booby-traps, curses, the like, they can be pretty subtly hidden. ” “Take your time,” said Luke, leaning back against a table shoved into a cobwebby corner. Long ago it had been his mother’s kitchen table. He recognized the pattern of careless knife marks across the wooden top, even the dent in one of the legs he’d made when he’d kicked it as a teenager. It had been Amatis’s for years. It had been hers when she’d been married to Stephen and had sometimes hosted dinner parties at the Herondale house. It had been hers after the divorce, after Stephen had moved out to the countryside manor house with his new wife. The whole cellar in fact was stacked with old furniture: items Luke recognized as having belonged to their parents, paintings and knickknacks from the time Amatis had been married. He wondered why she had hidden them away down here. Perhaps she hadn’t been able to bear to look at them. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it,” Magnus said finally, setting the box back on the shelf where Jocelyn had shoved it, unwilling to have the item in the house but unwilling to throw it away, either. He shivered and rubbed his hands together. He was swathed in a gray and black coat that made him look like a hard-boiled detective; Jocelyn hadn’t given him a chance to hang his coat up when he’d arrived on their doorstep, just grabbed him by the arm and dragged him down to the cellar. “No snares, no traps, no magic at all. ” Jocelyn looked a bit sheepish. “Thanks,” she said. “For looking at it. I can be a bit paranoid. And after what just happened in London—” “What did happen in London?” “We don’t know that much,” said Luke. “We got a fire-message about it this afternoon from the Gard, but not a lot of details. London was one of the few Institutes that hadn’t emptied yet. Apparently Sebastian and his forces tried to attack. They were rebuffed by some kind of protection spell, something even the Council didn’t know about. Something that warned the Shadowhunters what was coming and led them to safety. ” “A ghost,” Magnus said. A smile hovered around his mouth. “A spirit, sworn to protect the place. She’s been there for a hundred and thirty years. ” “She?” Jocelyn said, leaning back against a dusty wall. “A ghost? Really? What was her name?” “You would recognize her last name, if I told it to you, but she wouldn’t like that. ” Magnus’s gaze was faraway. “I hope this means she’s found peace. ” He snapped back to attention. “Anyway,” he said. “I hadn’t meant to drag the conversation in this direction. It isn’t why I came to you. ” “I guessed as much,” said Luke. “We appreciate the visit, though I admit I was surprised to see you on our doorstep. It’s not where I thought you’d go. ” I thought you’d go to the Lightwoods’ hung in the air between them, unsaid. “I had a life before Alec,” Magnus snapped. “I’m the High Warlock of Brooklyn. I am here to take a Council seat on behalf of Lilith’s Children. ” “I thought Catarina Loss was the warlock representative,” said Luke, surprised. “She was,” Magnus admitted. “She made me take her place so I could come here and see Alec. ” He sighed. “She in fact made this particular pitch to me while we were in the Hunter’s Moon. And that’s what I wanted to talk to you about. ” Luke sat down on the rickety table. “Did you see Bat?” he asked. Bat tended to set up office in the Hunter’s Moon during the days, rather than the police station; it was unofficial, but everyone knew that was where to find him. “Yes. He’d just gotten a call from Maia. ” Magnus ran a hand through his black hair. “Sebastian doesn’t exactly appreciate being rebuffed,” he said slowly, and Luke felt his nerves tighten. Magnus was clearly hesitant to impart bad news. “It looks like after he attempted to attack the London Institute and was unsuccessful, he turned his attention to the Praetor Lupus. Apparently he doesn’t have much use for lycanthropes—can’t turn them into Endarkened—so he burned the place to the ground and murdered them all. He killed Jordan Kyle in front of Maia. He let her live so she could deliver a message. ” Jocelyn hugged her arms around herself. “My God. ” “What was the message?” Luke said, finding his voice. “It was a message to Downworlders,” said Magnus. “I talked to Maia on the phone. She had me memorize it. Apparently he said, ‘Tell all the Downworlders that I am in pursuit of vengeance, and I will have it. I will deal this way with any who ally themselves with Shadowhunters. I have no argument with your kind, unless you follow the Nephilim into battle, in which case you will be food for my blade and the blades of my army, until the last of you is cut from the surface of this world. ’?” Jocelyn made a ragged sound. “He sounds just like his father, doesn’t he?” Luke looked at Magnus. “Are you going to deliver that message at the Council?” Magnus tapped at his chin with a glittery fingernail. “No,” he said. “But I’m not going to conceal it from the Downworlders, either. My loyalty is not to Shadowhunters over them. ” Not like yours. The words hung between them, unspoken. “I have this,” Magnus said, taking a piece of paper from his pocket. Luke recognized it, since he had one of his own. “Will you be at the dinner tomorrow night?” “I will. Faeries take invitations like that very seriously. Meliorn and the Court would be insulted if I didn’t go. ” “I plan to tell them then,” Magnus said. “And if they panic?” said Luke. “If they abandon the Council and the Nephilim?” “It’s not as if what happened at the Praetor can be concealed. ” “Sebastian’s message could,” said Jocelyn. “He’s trying to frighten the Downworlders, Magnus. He’s trying to make them stand back while he destroys the Nephilim. ” “It would be their right,” said Magnus. “If they do, do you think that the Nephilim will ever forgive them?” said Jocelyn. “The Clave is not forgiving. They are more unforgiving than God himself. ” “Jocelyn,” said Luke. “It’s not Magnus’s fault. ” But Jocelyn was still looking at Magnus. “What,” she said, “would Tessa tell you to do?” “Please, Jocelyn,” Magnus said. “You hardly know her. She would preach honesty; she usually does. Concealing the truth never works. When you live long enough, you can see that. ” Jocelyn looked down at her hands—her artist’s hands, that Luke had always loved, agile and careful and stained with ink. “I am not a Shadowhunter anymore,” she said. “I fled from them. I told you both that. But a world without Shadowhunters in it—I am afraid of that. ” “There was a world before the Nephilim,” said Magnus. “There will be one after. ” “A world we can survive in? My son—” Jocelyn began, and broke off as a hammering sound came from upstairs. Someone was pounding on the front door. “Clary?” she wondered aloud. “She might have forgotten her key again. ” “I’ll get it,” Luke said, and stood up. He exchanged a brief look with Jocelyn as he left the cellar, his mind whirling. Jordan dead, Maia grieving. Sebastian trying to pit Downworlders against Shadowhunters. He drew the front door open, and a blast of cold night air came in. Standing on the doorstep was a young woman with pale curling blond hair, dressed in gear. Helen Blackthorn. Luke barely had time to register that the demon towers above them were glowing bloodred when she spoke. “I’ve come with a message from the Gard,” she said. “It’s about Clary. ” “Maia. ” A soft voice out of the silence. Maia turned over, not wanting to open her eyes. There was something terrible waiting out there in the darkness, something that she could escape if she just slept and slept forever. “Maia. ” He was looking at her out of the shadows, pale eyes and dark skin. Her brother, Daniel. As she watched, he tore the wings from a butterfly and let its body fall, twitching, to the ground. “Maia, please. ” A light touch on her arm. She bolted upright, her whole body recoiling. Her back hit a wall and she gasped, peeling her eyes open. They were sticky, her eyelashes fringed with salt. She had been crying in her sleep. She was in a half-lit room, a single window looking out onto a winding downtown street. She could see the leafless boughs of trees through the smeared glass and the edge of something metal—a fire escape, she guessed. She glanced down—a narrow bed with an iron headboard and a thin blanket that she had kicked to the foot. Her back against a brick wall. A single chair by the bed, old and splintered. Bat sat in it, his eyes wide, slowly lowering his hand. “I’m sorry,” he said. “Don’t,” she ground out. “Don’t touch me. ” “You were screaming,” he said. “In your sleep. ” She hugged her arms around herself. She was wearing jeans and a tank top. The sweater she had been wearing on Long Island was missing, and the skin on her arms prickled with gooseflesh. “Where are my clothes?” she said. “My jacket, my sweater—” Bat cleared his throat. “They were covered in blood, Maia. ” “Right,” she said. Her heart was drumming in her chest. “You remember what happened?” he asked. She closed her eyes. She remembered it all: the drive, the truck, the burning building, the beach covered in bodies. Jordan collapsing against her, his blood running down on and around her like water, mixing with the sand. Your boyfriend’s dead. “Jordan,” she said, though she already knew. Bat’s face was grave; there was a greenish cast to his brown eyes that made them shine in the half-light. It was a face she knew well. He was one of the first werewolves she’d ever met. They’d dated until she’d told him she thought she was too new to the city, too jittery, too much not over Jordan for a relationship. He’d broken up with her the next day; surprisingly they had stayed friends. “He’s dead,” he said. “Along with almost all the Praetor Lupus. Praetor Scott, the students—a few survived. Maia, why were you there? What were you doing at the Praetor?” Maia told him about Simon’s disappearance, the phone call to Jordan from the Praetor, their frantic drive to Long Island, the discovery of the Praetor in ruins. Bat cleared his throat. “I do have some of Jordan’s things. His keys, his Praetor pendant—” Maia felt as if she couldn’t catch her breath. “No, I don’t want—I don’t want his things,” she said. “He would have wanted Simon to have the pendant. When we find Simon, he should have it. ” Bat didn’t push the issue. “I do have some good news,” he said. “We heard from Idris: your friend Simon’s all right. He’s there, actually, with the Shadowhunters. ” “Oh. ” Maia felt the tight knot around her heart loosen slightly with relief. “I should have told you right away,” he apologized. “It’s just—I was worried about you. You were in bad shape when we brought you back to headquarters. You’ve been sleeping since then. ” I wanted to sleep forever. “I know you already told Magnus,” added Bat, his face strained. “But explain it to me again, why Sebastian Morgenstern would target lycanthropes. ” “He said it was a message. ” Maia heard the flatness in her own voice as if from a distance. “He wanted us to know that it was because werewolves are allies with the Shadowhunters, and that this was what he planned to do to all the Nephilim’s allies. ” “I’ll never pause again, never stand still, till either death hath closed these eyes of mine, or fortune given me measure of revenge. ” “New York is empty of Shadowhunters now, and Luke is in Idris with them. They’re putting up extra wards. Soon we’ll barely be able to get messages in and out. ” Bat shifted in his chair; Maia sensed there was something he wasn’t telling her. “What is it?” she said. His eyes darted away. “Bat . . . ” “Do you know Rufus Hastings?” Rufus. Maia remembered the first time she’d been to the Praetor Lupus, a scarred face, an angry man exiting Prateor Scott’s office in a rage. “Not really. ” “He survived the massacre. He’s here in the station, with us. He’s been filling us in,” said Bat. “And he’s been talking to the others about Luke. Saying that he’s more of a Shadowhunter than a lycanthrope, that he doesn’t have pack loyalty, that the pack needs a new leader now. ” “You’re the leader,” she said. “You’re second in command. ” “Yeah, and I was put in that position by Luke. That means I can’t be trusted either. ” Maia slid to the edge of the bed. Her whole body ached; she felt it as she put her bare feet on the cold stone floor. “No one’s listening to him, are they?” Bat shrugged. “That’s ridiculous. After what’s happened, we need to be unified, not to have someone trying to split us up. Shadowhunters are our allies—” “Which is why Sebastian targeted us. ” “He’d target us anyway. He’s no friend to Downworlders. He’s Valentine Morgenstern’s son. ” Her eyes burned. “He might be trying to get us to abandon the Nephilim temporarily, so he can go after them, but if he managed to wipe them off the earth, all he’d do is come for us next. ” Bat clasped and unclasped his hands, then seemed to come to a decision. “I know you’re right,” he said, and went over to a table in the corner of the room. He returned with a jacket for her, socks and boots. He handed them over. “Just—do me a favor and don’t say anything like that this afternoon. Emotions are going to be running pretty high as it is. ” She shrugged the jacket on. “This afternoon? What’s this afternoon?” He sighed. “The funeral,” he said.
“I’m going to kill Maureen,” Isabelle said. She had both doors of Alec’s wardrobe open and was flinging clothes onto the floor in heaps. Simon was lying barefoot on one of the beds—Jace’s? Alec’s?—having kicked off his alarming buckled boots. Though his skin didn’t really bruise, it felt amazing to be on a soft surface after having spent so many hours on the hard, dirty floor of the Dumort. “You’ll have to fight your way through all the vampires of New York to do it,” he said. “Apparently they love her. ” “No accounting for taste. ” Isabelle held up a dark blue sweater Simon recognized as Alec’s, mostly from the holes in the cuffs. “So Raphael brought you here so you could talk to my dad?” Simon propped himself up on his elbows to watch her. “Do you think that’ll be okay?” “Sure, why not. My dad loves talking. ” She sounded bitter. Simon leaned forward, but when she raised her head, she was smiling at him and he thought he must have imagined it. “Although, who knows what will happen, with the attack on the Citadel tonight. ” She worried at her lower lip. “It could mean they cancel the meeting, or move it earlier. Sebastian’s obviously a bigger problem than they thought. He shouldn’t even be able to get that close to the Citadel. ” “Well,” Simon said. “He is a Shadowhunter. ” “No, he’s not,” Isabelle said fiercely, and yanked a green sweater down from a wooden hanger. “Besides. He’s a man. ” “Sorry,” Simon said. “It must be nerve-racking, waiting to see how the battle turns out. How many people did they let through?” “Fifty or sixty,” Isabelle said. “I wanted to go, but—they wouldn’t let me. ” She had the guarded tone in her voice that meant they were closing in on a subject she didn’t want to talk about. “I would have worried about you,” he said. He saw her mouth quirk into a reluctant smile. “Try this on,” she said, and tossed him the green sweater, slightly less frayed than the rest. “Are you sure it’s okay for me to borrow clothes?” “You can’t go around like that,” she said. “You look like you escaped from a romance novel. ” Isabelle laid a hand dramatically against her forehead. “Oh, Lord Montgomery, what do you mean to do with me in this bedroom when you have me all alone? An innocent maiden, and unprotected?” She unzipped her jacket and tossed it to the floor, revealing a white tank top. She gave him a sultry look. “Is my virtue safe?” “I, ah—what?” Simon said, temporarily deprived of vocabulary. “I know you are a dangerous man,” Isabelle declared, sashaying toward the bed. She unzipped her trousers and kicked them to the floor. She was wearing black boy shorts underneath. “Some call you a rake. Everybody knows you are a devil with the ladies with your poetically puffed shirt and irresistible pants. ” She pounced onto the bed and crawled over to him, eyeing him like a cobra considering making a snack out of a mongoose. “I pray you will consider my innocence,” she breathed. “And my poor, vulnerable heart. ” Simon decided this was a lot like role-playing in D&D, but potentially much more fun. “Lord Montgomery considers nothing but his own desires,” he said in a gravelly voice. “I’ll tell you something else. Lord Montgomery has a very large estate . . . and pretty extensive grounds, too. ” Isabelle giggled, and Simon felt the bed shake under them. “Okay, I didn’t expect you to get quite so into this. ” “Lord Montgomery always surpasses expectations,” Simon said, seizing Isabelle around the waist and rolling her over so she was beneath him, her black hair spread out onto the pillow. “Mothers, lock up your daughters, then lock up your maidservants, then lock up yourselves. Lord Montgomery is on the prowl. ” Isabelle framed his face between her hands. “My lord,” she said, her eyes shining. “I fear I can no longer withstand your manly charms and virile ways. Please do with me as you will. ” Simon wasn’t sure what Lord Montgomery would do, but he knew what he wanted to do. He bent down and pressed a lingering kiss to her mouth. Her lips parted under his, and suddenly everything was all sweet dark heat and Isabelle’s lips brushing over his, first teasing, then harder. She smelled, as she always did, dizzyingly of roses and blood. He pressed his lips to the pulse point at her throat, mouthing over it gently, not biting, and Izzy gasped; her hands went to the front of his shirt. He was momentarily concerned about its lack of buttons, but Isabelle grasped the material in her strong hands and ripped the shirt in half, leaving it dangling off his shoulders. “Goodness, that stuff rips like paper,” she exclaimed, reaching to pull her tank top off. She was halfway through the action when the door opened and Alec walked into the room. “Izzy, are you—” he began. His eyes flew wide, and he backed up fast enough to smack his head into the wall behind him. “What is he doing here?” Isabelle tugged her tank top back down and glared at her brother. “You don’t knock now?” “It—It’s my bedroom!” Alec spluttered. He seemed to be deliberately trying not to look at Izzy and Simon, who were indeed in a very compromising position. Simon rolled quickly off Isabelle, who sat up, brushing herself off as if for lint. Simon sat up more slowly, trying to hold the torn edges of his shirt together. “Why are all my clothes on the floor?” Alec said. “I was trying to find something for Simon to wear,” Isabelle explained. “Maureen put him in leather pants and a puffy shirt because he was being her romance-novel slave. ” “He was being her what?” “Her romance-novel slave,” Isabelle repeated, as if Alec were being particularly dense. Alec shook his head as if he were having a bad dream. “You know what? Don’t explain. Just—put your clothes on, both of you. ” “You’re not going to leave—are you?” Isabelle said in a sulky tone, sliding off the bed. She picked up her jacket and shrugged it on, then tossed Simon the green sweater. He happily swapped it for the poet shirt, which was in ribbons anyway. “No. It’s my room, and besides, I need to talk to you, Isabelle. ” Alec’s voice was terse. Simon grabbed up jeans and shoes from the floor and went into the bathroom to change, deliberately taking plenty of time with it. When he came back out, Isabelle was sitting on the rumpled bed, looking strained and tense. “So they’re opening the Portal back up to bring everyone through? Good. ” “It is good, but what I felt”—Alec put his hand unconsciously over his upper arm, near his parabatai rune—“that isn’t good. Jace isn’t dead,” he hastened to add as Isabelle paled. “I would know if he were. But something happened. Something with the heavenly fire, I think. ” “Do you know if he’s okay now? And Clary?” Isabelle demanded. “Wait, back up,” Simon interrupted. “What’s this about Clary? And Jace?” “They went through the Portal,” Isabelle said grimly. “To the battle at the Citadel. ” Simon realized he had unconsciously reached for the gold ring on his right hand and was gripping it with his fingers. “Aren’t they too young?” “They didn’t exactly have permission. ” Alec was leaning back against the wall. He looked tired, the shadows under his eyes bruise-blue. “The Consul tried to stop them, but she didn’t have time. ” Simon turned on Isabelle. “And you didn’t tell me?” Isabelle wouldn’t meet his eyes. “I knew you’d freak out. ” Alec was looking from Isabelle to Simon. “You didn’t tell him?” he said. “About what happened at the Gard?” Isabelle crossed her arms over her chest and looked defiant. “No. I bumped into him in the street, and we came upstairs, and—and it’s none of your business. ” “It is if you do it in my bedroom,” said Alec. “If you’re going to use Simon to make yourself forget you’re angry and upset, fine, but do it in your own room. ” “I wasn’t using him—” Simon thought about Isabelle’s eyes, shining when she’d seen him standing in the street. He’d thought it was happiness, but he realized now it had more likely been unshed tears. The way she’d been walking toward him, her head down, her shoulders curved in, as if she’d been holding herself together. “You were, though,” he said. “Or you would have told me what happened. You didn’t even mention Clary or Jace, or that you were worried, or anything. ” He felt his stomach clench as he realized how deftly Isabelle had deflected his questions and distracted him with kissing, and he felt stupid. He’d thought she was glad to see him specifically, but maybe he could have been anyone. Isabelle’s face had gone very still. “Please,” she said. “It’s not like you asked. ” She had been fiddling with her hair; now she reached up and began twisting it, almost savagely, into a knot on the back of her head. “If you’re both going to stand there blaming me, maybe you should just go—” “I’m not blaming you,” Simon began, but Isabelle was already on her feet. She snatched the ruby pendant, pulled it none too gently over his head, and dropped it back around her own neck. “I never should have given it to you,” she said, her eyes bright. “It saved my life,” Simon said. That made her pause. “Simon . . . ,” she whispered. She broke off as Alec suddenly clutched at his shoulder with a gasp. He slid to the floor. Isabelle ran to him and knelt down by his side. “Alec? Alec!” Her voice rose, tinged with panic. Alec pushed aside his jacket, shoved down the collar of his shirt, and craned to see the mark on his shoulder. Simon recognized the outlines of the parabatai rune. Alec pressed his fingers to it; they came away smudged with something dark that looked like a smear of ash. “They’ve come back through the Portal,” he said. “And there’s something wrong with Jace. ” It was like returning to a dream, or a nightmare. After the Mortal War, Angel Square had been full of bodies. Shadowhunter bodies, laid out in neat rows, each corpse with its eyes bound in the white silk of death. There were bodies in the square again, but this time there was also chaos. The demon towers were shining down a brilliant light on the scene that greeted Simon when, having followed Isabelle and Alec through the winding streets of Alicante, he finally reached the Hall of Accords. The square was full of people. Nephilim in gear lay on the ground, some writhing in pain and calling out, some alarmingly still. The Accords Hall itself was dark and shut tight. One of the larger stone buildings on the square was open and blazing with lights, double doors thrown wide. A stream of Shadowhunters was going in and out. Isabelle had risen up on tiptoe and was scanning the crowd anxiously. Simon followed her gaze. He could make out a few familiar figures: the Consul moving anxiously among her people, Kadir from the New York Institute, Silent Brothers in their parchment robes directing people wordlessly toward the lighted building. “The Basilias is open,” Isabelle said to a haggard-looking Alec. “They might have taken Jace in there, if he was hurt—” “He was hurt,” Alec said shortly. “The Basilias?” Simon asked. “The hospital,” Isabelle said, indicating the lighted building. Simon could feel her thrumming with nervous, panicked energy. “I should—we should—” “I’ll go with you,” Simon said. She shook her head. “Shadowhunters only. ” Alec said, “Isabelle. Come on. ” He was holding the shoulder marked by his parabatai rune stiffly. Simon wanted to say something to him, wanted to say that his best friend had also gone into the battle and was also missing, wanted to say that he understood. But maybe you could only understand parabatai if you were a Shadowhunter. He doubted Alec would thank him for saying he understood. Rarely had Simon felt so keenly the divide between Nephilim and those who were not Nephilim. Isabelle nodded and followed her brother without another word. Simon watched them go across the square, past the statue of the Angel, looking down on the aftermath of the battle with sad marble eyes. They went up the front steps of the Basilias and were lost to even his vampire sight. “Do you think,” said a soft voice at his shoulder, “that they would mind much if we fed on their dead?” It was Raphael. His curly hair was a mussed halo around his head, and he wore only a thin T-shirt and jeans. He looked like a child. “The blood of the recently deceased is not my favorite vintage,” he went on, “but it is better than bottled blood, would you not agree?” “You have an incredibly charming personality,” said Simon. “I hope someone’s told you that. ” Raphael snorted. “Sarcasm,” he said. “Tedious. ” Simon made an uncontrollable, exasperated noise. “You go ahead then. Feed on the Nephilim dead. I’m sure they’re really in the mood for that. They might let you live five, ten seconds even. ” Raphael chuckled. “It looks worse than it is,” he said. “There are not so many dead. Quite a lot injured. They were overmatched. They will not forget, now, what it means to fight the Endarkened. ” Simon narrowed his eyes. “What do you know about the Endarkened, Raphael?” “Whispers and shadows,” said Raphael. “But I make it my business to know things. ” “Then if you know things, tell me where Jace and Clary are,” said Simon, without a lot of hope. Raphael was rarely helpful unless it was useful to him. “Jace is in the Basilias,” said Raphael, to Simon’s surprise. “It appears the heavenly fire in his veins was finally too much for him. He nearly destroyed himself, and one of the Silent Brothers along with him. ” “What?” Simon’s anxiety sharpened from the general to the specific. “Is he going to live? Where’s Clary?” Raphael cast him a look out of dark, long-lashed eyes; his smile was lopsided. “It does not do for vampires to fret overmuch for the lives of mortals. ” “I swear to God, Raphael, if you don’t start being more helpful—” “Very well, then. Come with me. ” Raphael moved farther into the shadows, keeping to the inside edge of the square. Simon hurried to catch up with him. He caught sight of a blond head and a dark head bent together—Aline and Helen, tending to one of the wounded—and thought for a moment of Alec and Jace. “If you are wondering what would happen if you drank Jace’s blood now, the answer is that it would kill you,” said Raphael. “Vampires and heavenly fire do not mix. Yes, even you, Daylighter. ” “I wasn’t wondering that. ” Simon scowled. “I was wondering what happened at the battle. ” “Sebastian attacked the Adamant Citadel,” said Raphael, moving around a tight knot of Shadowhunters. “Where the weapons of the Shadowhunters are forged. The place of the Iron Sisters. He tricked the Clave into believing he had a force of only twenty with him, when in fact he had more. He would have killed them all and taken the Citadel most likely, if not for your Jace—” “He isn’t my Jace. ” “And Clary,” said Raphael, as if Simon hadn’t spoken. “Though I do not know the details. Only what I have overheard, and there seems much confusion among the Nephilim themselves as to what happened. ” “How did Sebastian manage to trick them into thinking he had fewer warriors than he did?” Raphael shrugged a thin shoulder. “Shadowhunters forget sometimes that not all magic is theirs. The Citadel is built on ley lines. There is old magic, wild magic, that existed before Jonathan Shadowhunter, and will exist again—” He broke off, and Simon followed his gaze. For a moment Simon saw only a sheet of blue light. Then it subsided and he saw Clary lying on the ground. He heard a roaring sound in his ears, like rushing blood. She was white and still, her fingers and mouth tinged a dark bluish purple. Her hair hung in lank straggles around her face, and her eyes were circled with shadows. She wore torn and bloody gear, and by her hand lay a Morgenstern sword, its blade stamped with stars. Magnus was leaning over her, his hand on her cheek, the tips of his fingers glowing blue. Jocelyn and Luke knelt on the other side of Clary. Jocelyn looked up and saw Simon. Her lips shaped his name. He couldn’t hear anything over the roaring in his ears. Was Clary dead? She looked dead, or nearly. He started forward, but Luke was already on his feet, reaching for Simon. He caught at Simon’s arms, pulled him back from where Clary lay on the ground. Simon’s vampire nature gave him unnatural strength, strength he’d barely learned how to use yet, but Luke was just as strong. His fingers dug into Simon’s upper arms. “What happened?” Simon said, his voice rising. “Raphael—?” He whipped around to look for the vampire, but Raphael was gone; he had melted into the shadows. “Please,” Simon said to Luke, looking from his familiar face to Clary. “Let me—” “Simon, no,” Magnus barked. He was tracing his fingertips over Clary’s face, leaving blue sparks in their wake. She didn’t move or react. “This is delicate—her energy is extremely low. ” “Shouldn’t she be in the Basilias?” Simon demanded, looking over at the hospital building. Light was still pouring from it, and to his surprise he saw Alec standing on the steps. He was staring at Magnus. Before Simon could move or signal to him, Alec turned abruptly and went back inside the building. “Magnus—” Simon began. “Simon, shut up,” Magnus said through gritted teeth. Simon twisted out of Luke’s grasp only to trip and fetch up against the side of a stone wall. “But Clary—” he started. Luke looked haggard, but his expression was firm. “Clary exhausted herself making a healing rune. But she’s not wounded, her body’s whole, and Magnus can help her better than the Silent Brothers can. The best thing you can do is stay out of the way. ” “Jace,” Simon said. “Alec felt something happen to him through the parabatai bond. Something to do with the heavenly fire. And Raphael was babbling about ley lines—” “Look, the battle was bloodier than the Nephilim expected. Sebastian wounded Jace, but the heavenly fire rebounded on him, somehow. It nearly destroyed Jace as well. Clary saved Jace’s life, but there’s still work for the Brothers to do, healing him. ” Luke looked at Simon with tired blue eyes. “And why were you with Isabelle and Alec? I thought you were going to stay behind in New York. Did you come because of Jordan?” The name brought Simon up short. “Jordan? What does he have to do with anything?” For the first time Luke seemed truly taken aback. “You don’t know?” “Know what?” Luke hesitated a long moment. Then he said, “I have something for you. Magnus brought it from New York. ” He reached into his pocket and drew out a medallion on a chain. The medallion was gold, stamped with a wolf’s paw and the Latin inscription Beati Bellicosi. Blessed are the warriors. Simon knew it instantly. Jordan’s Praetor Lupus pendant. It was flaked and stained with blood. Dark red like rust, it clung to the chain and the medallion’s face. But if anyone knew what was rust and what was blood, it was a vampire. “I don’t understand,” Simon said. The roaring was back in his ears again. “Why do you have this? Why are you giving it to me?” “Because Jordan wanted you to have it,” said Luke. “Wanted?” Simon’s voice rose. “Don’t you mean ‘wants’?” Luke took a deep breath. “I’m sorry, Simon. Jordan’s dead. ”