Tuesday, 11 December 2012

City of Glass - Chapter 20

Water struck her in the face like a blow. Clary went down, choking, into freezing darkness; her first thought was that the
Portal had faded beyond repairing, and that she was stuck in the whirling black in-between place, where she would suffocate and
die, just as Jace had warned her she might the first time she’d ever used a Portal.
Her second thought was that she was already dead.
She was probably only actually unconscious for a few seconds, though it felt like the end of everything. When she came awake, it
was with a shock that was like the shock of breaking through a layer of ice. She had been unconscious and now, suddenly, she
wasn’t; she was lying on her back on cold, damp earth, staring up at a sky so full of stars it looked like a handful of silver pieces
had been flung across its dark surface. Her mouth was full of brackish liquid; she turned her head to the side, coughed and spat and
gasped until she could breathe again.
When her stomach had stopped spasming, she rolled onto her side. Her wrists were bound together with a faint band of glowing
light, and her legs felt heavy and strange, prickling all over with intense pins and needles. She wondered if she’d lain on them
strangely, or perhaps it was a side effect of nearly drowning. The back of her neck burned as if a wasp had stung her. With a gasp
she heaved herself into a sitting position, legs stretched out awkwardly in front of her, and looked around.
She was on the shore of Lake Lyn, where the water gave way to powdery sand. A black wall of rock rose behind her, the cliffs
she remembered from her time here with Luke. The sand itself was dark, glittering with silver mica. Here and there in the sand were
witchlight torches, filling the air with their silvery glow, leaving a tracery of glowing lines across the surface of the water.
By the shore of the lake, a few feet away from where she sat, stood a low table made out of flat stones piled one on the other. It
had clearly been assembled in haste; though the gaps between the stones were packed in with damp sand, some of the rocks were
slipping away at angles. Placed on the surface of the stones was something that made Clary catch her breath—the Mortal Cup, and
laid crossways atop it, the Mortal Sword, a tongue of black flame in the witchlight. Around the altar were the black lines of runes
carved into the sand. She stared at them, but they were jumbled, meaningless—
A shadow cut across the sand, moving fast—the long black shadow of a man, made wavering and indistinct by the flickering light
of the torches. By the time Clary raised her head, he was already standing over her.
The shock of seeing him was so enormous that it was almost no shock at all. She felt nothing as she stared up at her father, whose
face hovered against the dark sky like the moon: white, austere, pitted with black eyes like meteor craters. Over his shirt were
looped a number of leather straps holding a dozen or more weapons. They bristled behind him like a porcupine’s spines. He
looked huge, impossibly broad, the terrifying statue of some warrior god intent on destruction.
“Clarissa,” he said. “You took quite a risk, Portaling here. You’re lucky I saw you appear in the water between one minute and the
next. You were quite unconscious; if it weren’t for me, you would have drowned.” A muscle beside his mouth moved slightly. “And
I wouldn’t concern yourself overmuch with the alarm wards the Clave put up around the lake. I took those down the moment I
arrived. No one knows you’re here.”
I don’t believe you! Clary opened her mouth to fling the words in his face. There was no sound. It was like one of those
nightmares where she would try to scream and scream and nothing would happen. Only a dry puff of air came from her mouth, the
gasp of someone trying to scream with a cut throat.
Valentine shook his head. “Don’t bother trying to speak. I used a Rune of Quietude, one of those that the Silent Brothers use, on
the back of your neck. There’s a binding rune on your wrists, and another disabling your legs. I wouldn’t try to stand—your legs
won’t hold you, and it’ll only cause you pain.”
Clary glared at him, trying to bore into him with her eyes, cut him with her hatred. But he took no notice. “It could have been
worse, you know. By the time I dragged you onto the bank, the lake poison had already started its work. I’ve cured you of it, by
the way. Not that I expect your thanks.” He smiled thinly. “You and I, we’ve never had a conversation, have we? Not a real
conversation. You must be wondering why I never really seemed to have a father’s interest in you. I’m sorry if that hurt you.”
Now her stare went from hateful to incredulous. How could they have a conversation when she couldn’t even speak? She tried to
force the words out, but nothing came from her throat but a thin gasp.
Valentine turned back to his altar and placed his hand on the Mortal Sword. The sword gave off a black light, a sort of reverse
glow, as if it were sucking the illumination from the air around it. “I didn’t know your mother was pregnant with you when she left
me,” he said. He was speaking to her, Clary thought, in a way he never had before. His tone was calm, even conversational, but it
wasn’t that. “I knew there was something wrong. She thought she was hiding her unhappiness. I took some blood from Ithuriel,
dried it to a powder, and mixed it with her food, thinking it might cure her unhappiness. If I’d known she was pregnant, I wouldn’t
have done it. I’d already resolved not to experiment again on a child of my own blood.”
You’re lying, Clary wanted to scream at him. But she wasn’t sure he was. He still sounded strange to her. Different. Maybe it was
because he was telling the truth.
“After she fled Idris, I looked for her for years,” he said. “And not just because she had the Mortal Cup. Because I loved her. I
thought if I could only talk to her, I could make her see reason. I did what I did that night in Alicante in a fit of rage, wanting to
destroy her, destroy everything about our life together. But afterward I—” He shook his head, turning away to look out over the
lake. “When I finally tracked her down, I’d heard rumors she’d had another child, a daughter. I assumed you were Lucian’s. He’d
always loved her, always wanted to take her from me. I thought she must finally have given in. Have consented to have a child with
a filthy Downworlder.” His voice tightened. “When I found her in your apartment in New York, she was still barely conscious. She
spat at me that I’d made a monster out of her first child, and she’d left me before I could do the same to her second. Then she
went limp in my arms. All those years I’d looked for her, and that was all I had with her. Those few seconds in which she looked at
me with a lifetime’s worth of hate. I realized something then.”
He lifted Maellartach. Clary remembered how heavy even the half-turned Sword had been to hold, and saw as the blade rose that
the muscles of Valentine’s arm stood out, hard and corded, like ropes snaking under the skin.
“I realized,” he said, “that the reason she left me was to protect you. Jonathan she hated, but you—she would have done anything
to protect you. To protect you from me. She even lived among mundanes, which I know must have pained her. It must have hurt
her never to be able to raise you with any of our traditions. You are half of what you could have been. You have your talent with
runes, but it’s been squandered by your mundane upbringing.”
He lowered the Sword. The tip of it hung, now, just by Clary’s face; she could see it out of the corner of her eye, floating at the
edge of her vision like a silvery moth.
“I knew then that Jocelyn would never come back to me, because of you. You are the only thing in the world she ever loved more
than she loved me. And because of you she hates me. And because of that, I hate the sight of you.”
Clary turned her face away. If he was going to kill her, she didn’t want to see her death coming.
“Clarissa,” said Valentine. “Look at me.”
No. She stared at the lake. Far out across the water she could see a dim red glow, like fire sunk away into ashes. She knew it was
the light of the battle. Her mother was there, and Luke. Maybe it was fitting that they were together, even if she wasn’t with them.
I’ll keep my eyes on that light, she thought. I’ll keep looking at it no matter what. It’ll be the last thing I ever see.
“Clarissa,” Valentine said again. “You look just like her, do you know that? Just like Jocelyn.”
She felt a sharp pain against her cheek. It was the blade of the Sword. He was pressing the edge of it against her skin, trying to
force her to turn her head toward him.
“I’m going to raise the Angel now,” he said. “And I want you to watch as it happens.”
There was a bitter taste in Clary’s mouth. I know why you’re so obsessed with my mother. Because she was the one thing you
thought you had total control over that ever turned around and bit you. You thought you owned her and you didn’t. That’s
why you want her here, right now, to witness you winning. That’s why you’ll make do with me.
The Sword bit farther into her cheek. Valentine said, “Look at me, Clary.”
She looked. She didn’t want to, but the pain was too much—her head jerked to the side almost against her will, the blood dripping
in great fat drops down her face, splattering the sand. A nauseous pain gripped her as she raised her head to look at her father.
He was gazing down at the blade of Maellartach. It, too, was stained with her blood. When he glanced back at her, there was a
strange light in his eyes. “Blood is needed to complete this ceremony,” he said. “I intended to use my own, but when I saw you in
the lake, I knew it was Raziel’s way of telling me to use my daughter’s instead. It’s why I cleared your blood of the lake’s taint.
You are purified now—purified and ready. So thank you, Clarissa, for the use of your blood.”
And in some way, Clary thought, he meant it, meant his gratitude. He had long ago lost the ability to distinguish between force and
cooperation, between fear and willingness, between love and torture. And with that realization came a rush of numbness—what
was the point of hating Valentine for being a monster when he didn’t even know he was one?
“And now,” Valentine said, “I just need a bit more,” and Clary thought, A bit more what?—just as he swung the Sword back and
the starlight exploded off it, and she thought, Of course. It’s not just blood he wants, but death. The Sword had fed itself on
enough blood by now; it probably had a taste for it, just like Valentine himself. Her eyes followed Maellartach’s black light as it
sliced toward her—
And went flying. Knocked out of Valentine’s hand, it hurtled into the darkness. Valentine’s eyes went wide; his gaze flicked down,
fastening first on his bleeding sword hand—and then he looked up and saw, at the same moment that Clary did, what had struck
the Mortal Sword from his grasp.
Jace, a familiar-looking sword gripped in his left hand, stood at the edge of a rise of sand, barely a foot from Valentine. Clary could
see from the older man’s expression that he hadn’t heard Jace approach any more than she had.
Clary’s heart caught at the sight of him. Dried blood crusted the side of his face, and there was a livid red mark at his throat. His
eyes shone like mirrors, and in the witchlight they looked black—black as Sebastian’s. “Clary,” he said, not taking his eyes off his
father. “Clary, are you all right?”
Jace! She struggled to say his name, but nothing could pass the blockage in her throat. She felt as if she were choking.
“She can’t answer you,” said Valentine. “She can’t speak.”
Jace’s eyes flashed. “What have you done to her?” He jabbed the sword toward Valentine, who took a step back. The look on
Valentine’s face was wary but not frightened. There was a calculation to his expression that Clary didn’t like. She knew she ought
to feel triumphant, but she didn’t—if anything, she felt more panicked than she had a moment ago. She’d realized that Valentine
was going to kill her—had accepted it—and now Jace was here, and her fear had expanded to encompass him as well. And he
looked so…destroyed. His gear was ripped halfway open down one arm, and the skin beneath was crisscrossed with white lines.
His shirt was torn across the front, and there was a fading iratze over his heart that had not quite managed to erase the angry red
scar beneath it. Dirt stained his clothes, as if he’d been rolling around on the ground. But it was his expression that frightened her
the most. It was so—bleak.
“A Rune of Quietude. She won’t be hurt by it.” Valentine’s eyes fastened on Jace—hungrily, Clary thought, as if he were drinking
in the sight of him. “I don’t suppose,” Valentine asked, “that you’ve come to join me? To be blessed by the Angel beside me?”
Jace’s expression didn’t change. His eyes were fixed on his adoptive father, and there was nothing in them—no lingering shred of
affection or love or memory. There wasn’t even any hatred. Just…disdain, Clary thought. A cold disdain. “I know what you’re
planning to do,” Jace said. “I know why you’re summoning the Angel. And I won’t let you do it. I’ve already sent Isabelle to warn
the army—”
“Warnings will do them little good. This is not the sort of danger you can run from.” Valentine’s gaze flicked down to Jace’s sword.
“Put that down,” he began, “and we can talk—” He broke off then. “That’s not your sword. That’s a Morgenstern sword.”
Jace smiled, a dark, sweet smile. “It was Jonathan’s. He’s dead now.”
Valentine looked stunned. “You mean—”
“I took it from the ground where he’d dropped it,” Jace said, without emotion, “after I killed him.”
Valentine seemed dumbfounded. “You killed Jonathan? How could you have?”
“He would have killed me,” said Jace. “I had no choice.”
“I didn’t mean that.” Valentine shook his head; he still looked stunned, like a boxer who’d been hit too hard in the moment before
he collapsed to the mat. “I raised Jonathan—I trained him myself. There was no better warrior.”
“Apparently,” Jace said, “there was.”
“But—” And Valentine’s voice cracked, the first time Clary had ever heard a flaw in the smooth, unruffled facade of that voice.
“But he was your brother.”
“No. He wasn’t.” Jace took a step forward, nudging the blade an inch closer to Valentine’s heart. “What happened to my real
father? Isabelle said he died in a raid, but did he really? Did you kill him like you killed my mother?”
Valentine still looked stunned. Clary sensed that he was fighting for control—fighting against grief? Or just afraid to die? “I didn’t
kill your mother. She took her own life. I cut you out of her dead body. If I hadn’t done that, you would have died along with her.”
“But why? Why did you do it? You didn’t need a son, you had a son!” Jace looked deadly in the moonlight, Clary thought, deadly
and strange, like someone she didn’t know. The hand that held the sword toward Valentine’s throat was unwavering. “Tell me the
truth,” Jace said. “No more lies about how we’re the same flesh and blood. Parents lie to their children, but you—you’re not my
father. And I want the truth.”
“It wasn’t a son I needed,” Valentine said. “It was a soldier. I had thought Jonathan might be that soldier, but he had too much of
the demon nature in him. He was too savage, too sudden, not subtle enough. I feared even then, when he was barely out of infancy,
that he would never have the patience or the compassion to follow me, to lead the Clave in my footsteps. So I tried again with you.
And with you I had the opposite trouble. You were too gentle. Too empathic. You felt others’ pain as if it were your own; you
couldn’t even bear the death of your pets. Understand this, my son—I loved you for those things. But the very things I loved about
you made you no use to me.”
“So you thought I was soft and useless,” said Jace. “I suppose it will be surprising for you, then, when your soft and useless son
cuts your throat.”
“We’ve been through this.” Valentine’s voice was steady, but Clary thought she could see the sweat gleaming at his temples, at the
base of his throat. “You wouldn’t do that. You didn’t want to do it at Renwick’s, and you don’t want to do it now.”
“You’re wrong.” Jace spoke in a measured tone. “I have regretted not killing you every day since I let you go. My brother Max is
dead because I didn’t kill you that day. Dozens, maybe hundreds, are dead because I stayed my hand. I know your plan. I know
you hope to slaughter almost every Shadowhunter in Idris. And I ask myself, how many more have to die before I do what I should
have done on Blackwell’s Island? No,” he said. “I don’t want to kill you. But I will.”
“Don’t do this,” said Valentine. “Please. I don’t want to—”
“To die? No one wants to die, Father.” The point of Jace’s sword slipped lower, and then lower until it was resting over
Valentine’s heart. Jace’s face was calm, the face of an angel dispatching divine justice. “Do you have any last words?”
Blood spotted Valentine’s shirt where the tip of the blade rested, and Clary saw, in her mind’s eye, Jace at Renwick’s, his hand
shaking, not wanting to hurt his father. And Valentine taunting him. Drive the blade in. Three inches—maybe four. It wasn’t like
that now. Jace’s hand was steady. And Valentine looked afraid.
“Last words,” hissed Jace. “What are they?”
Valentine raised his head. His black eyes as he looked at the boy in front of him were grave. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I am so sorry.”
He stretched out a hand, as if he meant to reach out to Jace, even to touch him—his hand turned, palm up, the fingers opening—
and then there was a silver flash and something flew by Clary in the darkness like a bullet shot out of a gun. She felt displaced air
brush her cheek as it passed, and then Valentine had caught it out of the air, a long tongue of silver fire that flashed once in his hand
as he brought it down.
It was the Mortal Sword. It left a tracery of black light on the air as Valentine drove the blade of it into Jace’s heart.
Jace’s eyes flew wide. A look of disbelieving confusion passed over his face; he glanced down at himself, where Maellartach stuck
grotesquely out of his chest—it looked more bizarre than horrible, like a prop from a nightmare that made no logical sense.
Valentine drew his hand back then, jerking the Sword out of Jace’s chest the way he might have jerked a dagger from its
scabbard; as if it had been all that was holding him up, Jace went to his knees. His sword slid from his grasp and hit the damp
earth. He looked down at it in puzzlement, as if he had no idea why he had been holding it, or why he had let it go. He opened his
mouth as if to ask the question, and blood poured over his chin, staining what was left of his ragged shirt.
Everything after that seemed to Clary to happen very slowly, as if time were stretching itself out. She saw Valentine sink to the
ground and pull Jace onto his lap as if Jace were still very small and could be easily held. He drew him close and rocked him, and
he lowered his face and pressed it against Jace’s shoulder, and Clary thought for a moment that he might even have been crying,
but when he lifted his head, Valentine’s eyes were dry. “My son,” he whispered. “My boy.”
The terrible slowing of time stretched around Clary like a strangling rope, while Valentine held Jace and brushed his bloody hair
back from his forehead. He held Jace while he died, and the light went out of his eyes, and then Valentine laid his adopted son’s
body gently down on the ground, crossing his arms over his chest as if to hide the gaping, bloody wound there. “Ave—,” he began,
as if he meant to say the words over Jace, the Shadowhunter’s farewell, but his voice cracked, and he turned abruptly and walked
back toward the altar.
Clary couldn’t move. Could barely breathe. She could hear her own heart beating, hear the scrape of her breathing in her dry
throat. From the corner of her eye she could see Valentine standing by the edge of the lake, blood streaming from the blade of
Maellartach and dripping into the bowl of the Mortal Cup. He was chanting words she didn’t understand. She didn’t care to try to
understand. It would all be over soon, and she was almost glad. She wondered if she had enough energy to drag herself over to
where Jace lay, if she could lie down beside him and wait for it to be over. She stared at him, lying motionless on the churned,
bloody sand. His eyes were closed, his face still; if it weren’t for the gash across his chest, she could have told herself he was
But he wasn’t. He was a Shadowhunter; he had died in battle; he deserved the last benediction. Ave atque vale. Her lips shaped
the words, though they fell from her mouth in silent puffs of air. Halfway through, she stopped, her breath catching. What should
she say? Hail and farewell, Jace Wayland? That name was not truly his. He had never even really been named, she thought with
agony, just given the name of a dead child because it had suited Valentine’s purposes at the time. And there was so much power in
a name….
Her head whipped around, and she stared at the altar. The runes surrounding it had begun to glow. They were runes of summoning,
runes of naming, and runes of binding. They were not unlike the runes that had kept Ithuriel imprisoned in the cellars beneath the
Wayland manor. Now very much against her will, she thought of the way Jace had looked at her then, the blaze of faith in his eyes,
his belief in her. He had always thought she was strong. He had showed it in everything he did, in every look and every touch.
Simon had faith in her too, yet when he’d held her, it had been as if she were something fragile, something made of delicate glass.
But Jace had held her with all the strength he had, never wondering if she could take it—he’d known she was as strong as he was.
Valentine was dipping the bloody Sword over and over in the water of the lake now, chanting low and fast. The water of the lake
was rippling, as if a giant hand were stroking fingers lightly across its surface.
Clary closed her eyes. Remembering the way Jace had looked at her the night she’d freed Ithuriel, she couldn’t help but imagine
the way he’d look at her now if he saw her trying to lie down to die on the sand beside him. He wouldn’t be touched, wouldn’t
think it was a beautiful gesture. He’d be angry at her for giving up. He’d be so—disappointed.
Clary lowered herself so that she was lying on the ground, heaving her dead legs behind her. Slowly she crawled across the sand,
pushing herself along with her knees and bound hands. The glowing band around her wrists burned and stung. Her shirt tore as she
dragged herself across the ground, and the sand scraped the bare skin of her stomach. She barely felt it. It was hard work, pulling
herself along like this—sweat ran down her back, between her shoulder blades. When she finally reached the circle of runes, she
was panting so loudly that she was terrified Valentine would hear her.
But he didn’t even turn around. He had the Mortal Cup in one hand and the Sword in the other. As she watched, he drew his right
hand back, spoke several words that sounded like Greek, and threw the Cup. It shone like a falling star as it hurtled toward the
water of the lake and vanished beneath the surface with a faint splash.
The circle of runes was giving off a faint heat, like a partly banked fire. Clary had to twist and struggle to reach her hand around to
the stele jammed into her belt. The pain in her wrists spiked as her fingers closed around the handle; she pulled it free with a muffled
gasp of relief.
She couldn’t separate her wrists, so she gripped the stele awkwardly in both hands. She pushed herself up with her elbows, staring
down at the runes. She could feel the heat of them on her face; they had begun to shimmer like witchlight. Valentine had the Mortal
Sword poised, ready to throw it; he was chanting the last words of the summoning spell. With a final burst of strength Clary drove
the tip of the stele into the sand, not scraping aside the runes Valentine had drawn but tracing her own pattern over them, writing a
new rune over the one that symbolized his name. It was such a small rune, she thought, such a small change—nothing like her
immensely powerful Alliance rune, nothing like the Mark of Cain.
But it was all she could do. Spent, Clary rolled onto her side just as Valentine drew his arm back and let the Mortal Sword fly.
Maellartach hurtled end over end, a black and silver blur that joined soundlessly with the black and silver lake. A great plume went
up from the place where it splashed down: a flowering of platinum water. The plume rose higher and higher, a geyser of molten
silver, like rain falling upward. There was a great crashing noise, the sound of shattering ice, a glacier breaking—and then the lake
seemed to blow apart, silver water exploding upward like a reverse hailstorm.
And rising with the hailstorm came the Angel. Clary was not sure what she’d expected—something like Ithuriel, but Ithuriel had
been diminished by many years of captivity and torment. This was an angel in the full force of his glory. As he rose from the water,
her eyes began to burn as if she were staring into the sun.
Valentine’s hands had fallen to his sides. He was gazing upward with a rapt expression, a man watching his greatest dream become
reality. “Raziel,” he breathed.
The Angel continued to rise, as if the lake were sinking away, revealing a great column of marble at its center. First his head
emerged from the water, streaming hair like chains of silver and gold. Then shoulders, white as stone, and then a bare torso—and
Clary saw that the Angel was Marked all over with runes just as the Nephilim were, although Raziel’s runes were golden and alive,
moving across his white skin like sparks flying from a fire. Somehow, at the same time, the Angel was both enormous and no bigger
than a man: Clary’s eyes hurt trying to take all of him in, and yet he was all that she could see. As he rose, wings burst from his
back and opened wide across the lake, and they were gold too, and feathered, and set into each feather was a single golden staring
It was beautiful, and also terrifying. Clary wanted to look away, but she wouldn’t. She would watch it all. She would watch it for
Jace, because he couldn’t.
It’s just like all those pictures, she thought. The Angel rising from the lake, the Sword in one hand and the Cup in the other. Both
were streaming water, but Raziel was dry as a bone, his wings undampened. His feet rested, white and bare, on the surface of the
lake, stirring its waters into small ripples of movement. His face, beautiful and inhuman, gazed down at Valentine.
And then he spoke.
His voice was like a cry and a shout and like music, all at once. It contained no words, yet was totally comprehensible. The force
of his breath nearly knocked Valentine backward; he dug the heels of his boots into the sand, his head tilted back as if he were
walking against a gale. Clary felt the wind of the Angel’s breath pass over her: It was hot like air escaping from a furnace, and
smelled of strange spices.
It has been a thousand years since I was last summoned to this place, Raziel said. Jonathan Shadowhunter called on me
then, and begged me to mix my blood with the blood of mortal men in a Cup and create a race of warriors who would rid
this earth of demonkind. I did all that he asked and told him I would do no more. Why do you summon me now, Nephilim?
Valentine’s voice was eager. “A thousand years have passed, Glorious One, but demonkind are still here.”
What is that to me? A thousand years for an angel pass between one blink of an eye and another.
“The Nephilim you created were a great race of men. For many years they valiantly battled to rid this plane of demon taint. But
they have failed due to weakness and corruption in their ranks. I intend to return them to their former glory—”
Glory? The Angel sounded faintly curious, as if the word were strange to him. Glory belongs to God alone.
Valentine didn’t waver. “The Clave as the first Nephilim created it exists no more. They have allied themselves with Downworlders,
the demon-tainted nonhumans who infest this world like fleas on the carcass of a rat. It is my intention to cleanse this world, to
destroy every Downworlder along with every demon—”
Demons do not possess souls. But as for the creatures you speak of, the Children of Moon, Night, Lilith, and Faerie, all are
souled. It seems that your rules as to what does and does not constitute a human being are stricter than our own. Clary
could have sworn the Angel’s voice had taken on a dry tone. Do you intend to challenge heaven like that other Morning Star
whose name you bear, Shadowhunter?
“Not to challenge heaven, no, Lord Raziel. To ally myself with heaven—”
In a war of your making? We are heaven, Shadowhunter. We do not fight in your mundane battles.
When Valentine spoke again, he sounded almost hurt. “Lord Raziel. Surely you would not have allowed such a thing as a ritual by
which you might be summoned to exist if you did not intend to be summoned. We Nephilim are your children. We need your
Guidance? Now the Angel sounded amused. That hardly seems to be why you brought me here. You seek rather your own
“Renown?” Valentine echoed hoarsely. “I have given everything for this cause. My wife. My children. I have not withheld my sons.
I have given everything I have for this—everything.”
The Angel simply hovered, gazing down at Valentine with his weird, inhuman eyes. His wings moved in slow, undeliberate motions,
like the passage of clouds across the sky. At last he said, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son on an altar much like this
one, to see who it was that Abraham loved more, Isaac or God. But no one asked you to sacrifice your son, Valentine.
Valentine glanced down at the altar at his feet, splashed with Jace’s blood, and then back up at the Angel. “If I must, I will compel
this from you,” he said. “But I would rather have your willing cooperation.”
When Jonathan Shadowhunter summoned me, said the Angel, I gave him my assistance because I could see that his dream
of a world free of demons was a true one. He imagined a heaven on this earth. But you dream only of your own glory, and
you do not love heaven. My brother Ithuriel can attest to that.
Valentine blanched. “But—”
Did you think that I would not know? The Angel smiled. It was the most terrible smile Clary had ever seen. It is true that the
master of the circle you have drawn can compel from me a single action. But you are not that master.
Valentine stared. “My lord Raziel—there is no one else—”
But there is, said the Angel. There is your daughter.
Valentine whirled. Clary, lying half-conscious in the sand, her wrists and arms a screaming agony, stared defiantly back. For a
moment their eyes met—and he looked at her, really looked at her, and she realized it was the first time her father had ever looked
her in the face and seen her. The first and only time.
“Clarissa,” he said. “What have you done?”
Clary stretched out her hand, and with her finger she wrote in the sand at his feet. She didn’t draw runes. She drew words: the
words he had said to her the first time he’d seen what she could do, when she’d drawn the rune that had destroyed his ship.
His eyes widened, just as Jace’s eyes had widened before he’d died. Valentine had gone bone white. He turned slowly to face the
Angel, raising his hands in a gesture of supplication. “My lord Raziel—”
The Angel opened his mouth and spat. Or at least that was how it seemed to Clary—that the Angel spat, and that what came from
his mouth was a shooting spark of white fire, like a burning arrow. The arrow flew straight and true across the water and buried
itself in Valentine’s chest. Or maybe “buried” wasn’t the word—it tore through him, like a rock through thin paper, leaving a
smoking hole the size of a fist. For a moment Clary, staring up, could look through her father’s chest and see the lake and the fiery
glow of the Angel beyond.
The moment passed. Like a felled tree, Valentine crashed to the ground and lay still—his mouth open in a silent cry, his blind eyes
fixed forever in a last look of incredulous betrayal.
That was the justice of heaven. I trust that you are not dismayed.
Clary looked up. The Angel hovered over her, like a tower of white flame, blotting out the sky. His hands were empty; the Mortal
Cup and Sword lay by the shore of the lake.
You can compel me to one action, Clarissa Morgenstern. What is it that you want?
Clary opened her mouth. No sound came out.
Ah, yes, the Angel said, and there was gentleness in his voice now. The rune. The many eyes in his wings blinked. Something
brushed over her. It was soft, softer than silk or any other cloth, softer than a whisper or the brush of a feather. It was what she
imagined clouds might feel like if they had a texture. A faint scent came with the touch—a pleasant scent, heady and sweet.
The pain vanished from her wrists. No longer bound together, her hands fell to her sides. The stinging at the back of her neck was
gone too, and the heaviness from her legs. She struggled to her knees. More than anything, she wanted to crawl across the bloody
sand toward the place where Jace’s body lay, crawl to him and lay down beside him and put her arms around him, even though he
was gone. But the Angel’s voice compelled her; she remained where she was, staring up into his brilliant golden light.
The battle on Brocelind Plain is ending. Morgenstern’s hold over his demons vanished with his death. Already many are
fleeing; the rest will soon be destroyed. There are Nephilim riding to the shores of this lake at this very moment. If you
have a request, Shadowhunter, speak it now. The Angel paused. And remember that I am not a genie. Choose your desire
Clary hesitated—only for a moment, but the moment stretched out as long as any moment ever had. She could ask for anything,
she thought dizzily, anything—an end to pain or world hunger or disease, or for peace on earth. But then again, perhaps these
things weren’t in the power of angels to grant, or they would already have been granted. And perhaps people were supposed to
find these things for themselves.
It didn’t matter, anyway. There was only one thing she could ask for, in the end, only one real choice.
She raised her eyes to the Angel’s.
“Jace,” she said.
The Angel’s expression didn’t change. She had no idea whether Raziel thought her request a good one or a bad one, or whether—
she thought with a sudden burst of panic—he intended to grant it at all.
Close your eyes, Clarissa Morgenstern, the Angel said.
Clary shut her eyes. You didn’t say no to an angel, no matter what it had in mind. Her heart pounding, she sat floating in the
darkness behind her eyelids, resolutely trying not to think of Jace. But his face appeared against the blank screen of her closed
eyelids anyway—not smiling at her but looking sidelong, and she could see the scar at his temple, the uneven curl at the corner of
his mouth, and the silver line on his throat where Simon had bitten him—all the marks and flaws and imperfections that made up the
person she loved most in the world. Jace. A bright light lit her vision to scarlet, and she fell back against the sand, wondering if she
was going to pass out—or maybe she was dying—but she didn’t want to die, not now that she could see Jace’s face so clearly in
front of her. She could almost hear his voice, too, saying her name, the way he’d whispered it at Renwick’s, over and over again.
Clary. Clary. Clary.
“Clary,” Jace said. “Open your eyes.”
She did.
She was lying on the sand, in her torn, wet, and bloodied clothes. That was the same. What was not the same was that the Angel
was gone, and with him the blinding white light that had lit the darkness to day. She was gazing up at the night sky, white stars like
mirrors shining in the blackness, and leaning over her, the light in his eyes more brilliant than any of the stars, was Jace.
Her eyes drank him in, every part of him, from his tangled hair to his bloodstained, grimy face to his eyes shining through the layers
of dirt; from the bruises visible through his torn sleeves to the gaping, blood-soaked tear down the front of his shirt, through which
his bare skin showed—and there was no mark, no gash, to indicate where the Sword had gone in. She could see the pulse beating
in his throat, and almost threw her arms around him at the sight because it meant his heart was beating and that meant—
“You’re alive,” she whispered. “Really alive.”
With a slow wonderment he reached to touch her face. “I was in the dark,” he said softly. “There was nothing there but shadows,
and I was a shadow, and I knew that I was dead, and that it was over, all of it. And then I heard your voice. I heard you say my
name, and it brought me back.”
“Not me.” Clary’s throat tightened. “The Angel brought you back.”
“Because you asked him to.” Silently he traced the outline of her face with his fingers, as if reassuring himself that she was real.
“You could have had anything else in the world, and you asked for me.”
She smiled up at him. Filthy as he was, covered in blood and dirt, he was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen. “But I don’t
want anything else in the world.”
At that, the light in his eyes, already bright, went to such a blaze that she could hardly bear to look at him. She thought of the Angel,
and how he had burned like a thousand torches, and that Jace had in him some of that same incandescent blood, and how that
burning shone through him now, through his eyes, like light through the cracks in a door.
I love you, Clary wanted to say. And, I would do it again. I would always ask for you. But those weren’t the words she said.
“You’re not my brother,” she told him, a little breathlessly, as if, having realized she hadn’t yet said them, she couldn’t get the
words out of her mouth fast enough. “You know that, right?”
Very slightly, through the grime and blood, Jace grinned. “Yes,” he said. “I know that.”

City of Glass - Epilogue

The smoke rose in a lazy spiral, tracing delicate lines of black across the clear air. Jace, alone on the hill overlooking the
cemetery, sat with his elbows on his knees and watched the smoke drift heavenward. The irony wasn’t lost on him: These were his
father’s remains, after all.
He could see the bier from where he was sitting, obscured by smoke and flame, and the small group standing around it. He
recognized Jocelyn’s bright hair from here, and Luke standing beside her, his hand on her back. Jocelyn had her head turned aside,
away from the burning pyre.
Jace could have been one of that group, had he wanted to be. He’d spent the last couple of days in the infirmary, and they’d only
let him out this morning, partly so that he could attend Valentine’s funeral. But he’d gotten halfway to the pyre, a stacked pile of
stripped wood, white as bones, and realized he could go no farther. He’d turned and walked up the hill instead, away from the
mourners’ procession. Luke had called after him, but Jace hadn’t turned.
He’d sat and watched them gather around the bier, watched Patrick Penhallow in his parchment white gear set the flame to the
wood. It was the second time that week he’d watched a body burn, but Max’s had been heartbreakingly small, and Valentine was
a big man—even flat on his back with his arms crossed over his chest, a seraph blade gripped in his fist. His eyes were bound with
white silk, as was the custom. They had done well by him, Jace thought, despite everything.
They hadn’t buried Sebastian. A group of Shadowhunters had gone back to the valley, but they hadn’t found his body—washed
away by the river, they’d told Jace, though he had his doubts.
He had looked for Clary in the crowd around the bier, but she wasn’t there. It had been almost two days now since he’d seen her
last, at the lake, and he missed her with an almost physical sense of something lacking. It wasn’t her fault they hadn’t seen each
other. She’d been worried he wasn’t strong enough to Portal back to Alicante from the lake that night, and she’d turned out to be
right. By the time the first Shadowhunters had reached them, he’d been drifting into a dizzy unconsciousness. He’d woken up the
next day in the city hospital with Magnus Bane staring down at him with an odd expression—it could have been deep concern or
merely curiosity, it was hard to tell with Magnus. Magnus told him that though the Angel had healed Jace physically, it seemed that
his spirit and mind had been exhausted to the point that only rest could heal them. In any event, he felt better now. Just in time for
the funeral.
A wind had come up and was blowing the smoke away from him. In the distance he could see the glimmering towers of Alicante,
their former glory restored. He wasn’t totally sure what he hoped to accomplish by sitting here and watching his father’s body burn,
or what he would say if he were down there among the mourners, speaking their last words to Valentine. You were never really
my father, he might say, or You were the only father I ever knew. Both statements were equally true, no matter how
When he’d first opened his eyes at the lake—knowing, somehow, that he’d been dead, and now wasn’t—all Jace could think
about was Clary, lying a little distance away from him on the bloody sand, her eyes closed. He’d scrambled to her in a near panic,
thinking she might be hurt, or even dead—and when she’d opened her eyes, all he’d been able to think about then was that she
wasn’t. Not until there were others there, helping him to his feet, exclaiming over the scene in amazement, did he see Valentine’s
body lying crumpled near the lake’s edge and feel the force of it like a punch in the stomach. He’d known Valentine was dead—
would have killed him himself—but still, somehow, the sight was painful. Clary had looked at Jace with sad eyes, and he’d known
that even though she’d hated Valentine and had never had any reason not to, she still felt Jace’s loss.
He half-closed his eyes and a flood of images washed across the backs of his eyelids: Valentine picking him up off the grass in a
sweeping hug, Valentine holding him steady in the prow of a boat on a lake, showing him how to balance. And other, darker
memories: Valentine’s hand cracking across the side of his face, a dead falcon, the angel shackled in the Waylands’ cellar.
He looked up. Luke was standing over him, a black silhouette outlined by the sun. He was wearing jeans and a flannel shirt as
usual—no concessionary funeral white for him. “It’s over,” Luke said. “The ceremony. It was brief.”
“I’m sure it was.” Jace dug his fingers into the ground beside him, welcoming the painful scrape of dirt against his fingertips. “Did
anyone say anything?”
“Just the usual words.” Luke eased himself down onto the ground beside Jace, wincing a little. Jace hadn’t asked him what the
battle had been like; he hadn’t really wanted to know. He knew it had been over much quicker than anyone had expected—after
Valentine’s death, the demons he had summoned had fled into the night like so much mist burned off by the sun. But that didn’t
mean there hadn’t been deaths. Valentine’s hadn’t been the only body burned in Alicante these past days.
“And Clary wasn’t—I mean, she didn’t—”
“Come to the funeral? No. She didn’t want to.” Jace could feel Luke looking at him sideways. “You haven’t seen her? Not since—

“No, not since the lake,” Jace said. “This was the first time they let me leave the hospital, and I had to come here.”
“You didn’t have to,” Luke said. “You could have stayed away.”
“I wanted to,” Jace admitted. “Whatever that says about me.”
“Funerals are for the living, Jace, not for the dead. Valentine was more your father than Clary’s, even if you didn’t share blood.
You’re the one who has to say good-bye. You’re the one who will miss him.”
“I didn’t think I was allowed to miss him.”
“You never knew Stephen Herondale,” said Luke. “And you came to Robert Lightwood when you were only barely still a child.
Valentine was the father of your childhood. You should miss him.”
“I keep thinking about Hodge,” Jace said. “Up at the Gard, I kept asking him why he’d never told me what I was—I still thought I
was part demon then—and he kept saying it was because he didn’t know. I just thought he was lying. But now I think he meant it.
He was one of the only people who ever even knew there was a Herondale baby that had lived. When I showed up at the Institute,
he had no idea which of Valentine’s sons I was. The real one or the adopted one. And I could have been either. The demon or the
angel. And the thing is, I don’t think he ever knew, not until he saw Jonathan at the Gard and realized. So he just tried to do his
best by me all those years anyway, until Valentine showed up again. That took a sort of faith—don’t you think?”
“Yes,” Luke said. “I think so.”
“Hodge said he thought maybe upbringing might make a difference, regardless of blood. I just keep thinking—if I’d stayed with
Valentine, if he hadn’t sent me to the Lightwoods, would I have been just like Jonathan? Is that how I’d be now?”
“Does it matter?” said Luke. “You are who you are now for a reason. And if you ask me, I think Valentine sent you to the
Lightwoods because he knew it was the best chance for you. Maybe he had other reasons too. But you can’t get away from the
fact that he sent you to people he knew would love you and raise you with love. It might have been one of the few things he ever
really did for someone else.” He clapped Jace on the shoulder, a gesture so paternal that it almost made Jace smile. “I wouldn’t
forget about that, if I were you.”
Clary, standing and looking out Isabelle’s window, watched smoke stain the sky over Alicante like a smudged hand against a
window. They were burning Valentine today, she knew; burning her father, in the necropolis just outside the gates.
“You know about the celebration tonight, don’t you?” Clary turned to see Isabelle, behind her, holding up two dresses against
herself, one blue and one steel gray. “What do you think I should wear?”
For Isabelle, Clary thought, clothes would always be therapy. “The blue one.”
Isabelle laid the dresses down on the bed. “What are you going to wear? You are going, aren’t you?”
Clary thought of the silver dress at the bottom of Amatis’s chest, the lovely gossamer of it. But Amatis would probably never let her
wear it.
“I don’t know,” she said. “Probably jeans and my green coat.”
“Boring,” Isabelle said. She glanced over at Aline, who was sitting in a chair by the bed, reading. “Don’t you think it’s boring?”
“I think you should let Clary wear what she wants.” Aline didn’t look up from her book. “Besides, it’s not like she’s dressing up for
“She’s dressing up for Jace,” Isabelle said, as if this were obvious. “As well she should.”
Aline looked up, blinking in confusion, then smiled. “Oh, right. I keep forgetting. It must be weird, right, knowing he’s not your
“No,” Clary said firmly. “Thinking he was my brother was weird. This feels—right.” She looked back toward the window. “Not
that I’ve really seen him since I found out. Not since we’ve been back in Alicante.”
“That’s strange,” said Aline.
“It’s not strange,” Isabelle said, shooting Aline a meaningful look, which Aline didn’t seem to notice. “He’s been in the hospital. He
only got out today.”
“And he didn’t come to see you right away?” Aline asked Clary.
“He couldn’t,” Clary said. “He had Valentine’s funeral to go to. He couldn’t miss that.”
“Maybe,” said Aline cheerfully. “Or maybe he’s not that interested in you anymore. I mean, now that it’s not forbidden. Some
people only want what they can’t have.”
“Not Jace,” Isabelle said quickly. “Jace isn’t like that.”
Aline stood up, dropping her book onto the bed. “I should go get dressed. See you guys tonight?” And with that, she wandered
out of the room, humming to herself.
Isabelle, watching her go, shook her head. “Do you think she doesn’t like you?” she said. “I mean, is she jealous? She did seem
interested in Jace.”
“Ha!” Clary was briefly amused. “No, she’s not interested in Jace. I think she’s just one of those people who say whatever they’re
thinking whenever they think it. And who knows, maybe she’s right.”
Isabelle pulled the pin from her hair, letting it fall down around her shoulders. She came across the room and joined Clary at the
window. The sky was clear now past the demon towers; the smoke was gone. “Do you think she’s right?”
“I don’t know. I’ll have to ask Jace. I guess I’ll see him tonight at the party. Or the victory celebration or whatever it’s called.” She
looked up at Isabelle. “Do you know what it’ll be like?”
“There’ll be a parade,” Isabelle said, “and fireworks, probably. Music, dancing, games, that sort of thing. Like a big street fair in
New York.” She glanced out the window, her expression wistful. “Max would have loved it.”
Clary reached out and stroked Isabelle’s hair, the way she’d stroke the hair of her own sister if she had one. “I know he would.”
Jace had to knock twice at the door of the old canal house before he heard quick footsteps hurrying to answer; his heart jumped,
and then settled as the door opened and Amatis Herondale stood on the threshold, looking at him in surprise. She looked as if
she’d been getting ready for the celebration: She wore a long dove gray dress and pale metallic earrings that picked out the silvery
streaks in her graying hair. “Yes?”
“Clary,” he began, and stopped, unsure what exactly to say. Where had his eloquence gone? He’d always had that, even when he
hadn’t had anything else, but now he felt as if he’d been ripped open and all the clever, facile words had poured out of him, leaving
him empty. “I was wondering if Clary was here. I was hoping to talk to her.”
Amatis shook her head. The blankness had gone from her expression, and she was looking at him intently enough to make him
nervous. “She’s not. I think she’s with the Lightwoods.”
“Oh.” He was surprised at how disappointed he felt. “Sorry to have bothered you.”
“It’s no bother. I’m glad you’re here, actually,” she said briskly. “There was something I wanted to talk to you about. Come into
the hall; I’ll be right back.”
Jace stepped inside as she disappeared down the hallway. He wondered what on earth she could have to talk to him about. Maybe
Clary had decided she wanted nothing more to do with him and had chosen Amatis to deliver the message.
Amatis was back in a moment. She wasn’t holding anything that looked like a note—to Jace’s relief—but rather she was clutching
a small metal box in her hands. It was a delicate object, chased with a design of birds. “Jace,” Amatis said. “Luke told me that
you’re Stephen’s—that Stephen Herondale was your father. He told me everything that happened.”
Jace nodded, which was all he felt called on to do. The news was leaking out slowly, which was how he liked it; hopefully he’d be
back in New York before everyone in Idris knew and was constantly staring at him.
“You know I was married to Stephen before your mother was,” Amatis went on, her voice tight, as if the words hurt to say. Jace
stared at her—was this about his mother? Did she resent him for bringing up bad memories of a woman who’d died before he was
ever born? “Of all the people alive today, I probably knew your father best.”
“Yes,” Jace said, wishing he were elsewhere. “I’m sure that’s true.”
“I know you probably have feelings about him that are very mixed,” she said, surprising him mainly because it was true. “You never
knew him, and he wasn’t the man who raised you, but you look like him—except for your eyes, those are your mother’s. And
maybe I’m being crazy, bothering you with this. Maybe you don’t really want to know about Stephen at all. But he was your
father, and if he’d known you—” She thrust the box at him then, nearly making him jump back. “These are some things of his that I
saved over the years. Letters he wrote, photographs, a family tree. His witchlight stone. Maybe you don’t have questions now, but
someday perhaps you will, and when you do—when you do, you’ll have this.” She stood still, giving him the box as if she were
offering him a precious treasure. Jace reached out and took it from her without a word; it was heavy, and the metal was cold
against his skin.
“Thank you,” he said. It was the best he could do. He hesitated, and then said, “There is one thing. Something I’ve been
“If Stephen was my father, then the Inquisitor—Imogen—was my grandmother.”
“She was…” Amatis paused. “A very difficult woman. But yes, she was your grandmother.”
“She saved my life,” said Jace. “I mean, for a long time she acted like she hated my guts. But then she saw this.” He drew the collar
of his shirt aside, showing Amatis the white star-shaped scar on his shoulder. “And she saved my life. But what could my scar
possibly mean to her?”
Amatis’s eyes had gone wide. “You don’t remember getting that scar, do you?”
Jace shook his head. “Valentine told me it was an injury from when I was too young to remember, but now—I don’t think I believe
“It’s not a scar. It’s a birthmark. There’s an old family legend about it, that one of the first Herondales to become a Shadowhunter
was visited by an angel in a dream. The angel touched him on the shoulder, and when he woke up, he had a mark like that. And all
his descendants have it as well.” She shrugged. “I don’t know if the story is true, but all the Herondales have the mark. Your father
had one too, here.” She touched her right upper arm. “They say it means you’ve had contact with an angel. That you’re blessed, in
some way. Imogen must have seen the Mark and guessed who you really were.”
Jace stared at Amatis, but he wasn’t seeing her: He was seeing that night on the ship; the wet, black deck and the Inquisitor dying
at his feet. “She said something to me,” he said. “While she was dying. She said, ‘Your father would be proud of you.’ I thought
she was being cruel. I thought she meant Valentine….”
Amatis shook her head. “She meant Stephen,” she said softly. “And she was right. He would have been.”
Clary pushed open Amatis’s front door and stepped inside, thinking how quickly the house had become familiar to her. She no
longer had to strain to remember the way to the front door, or the way the knob stuck slightly as she pushed it open. The glint of
sunlight off the canal was familiar, as was the view of Alicante through the window. She could almost imagine living here, almost
imagine what it would be like if Idris were home. She wondered what she’d start missing first. Chinese takeout? Movies? Midtown
She was about to head for the stairs when she heard her mother’s voice from the living room—sharp, and slightly agitated. But
what could Jocelyn have to be upset about? Everything was fine now, wasn’t it? Without thinking, Clary dropped back against the
wall near the living room door and listened.
“What do you mean, you’re staying?” Jocelyn was saying. “You mean you’re not coming back to New York at all?”
“I’ve been asked to remain in Alicante and represent the werewolves on the Council,” Luke said. “I told them I’d let them know
“Couldn’t someone else do that? One of the pack leaders here in Idris?”
“I’m the only pack leader who was once a Shadowhunter. That’s why they want me.” He sighed. “I started all this, Jocelyn. I
should stay here and see it out.”
There was a short silence. “If that’s how you feel, then of course you should stay,” Jocelyn said at last, but her voice didn’t sound
“I’ll have to sell the bookstore. Get my affairs in order.” Luke sounded gruff. “It’s not like I’ll be moving right away.”
“I can take care of that. After everything you’ve done…” Jocelyn didn’t seem to have the energy to maintain her bright tone. Her
voice trailed off into silence, a silence that stretched out so long that Clary thought about clearing her throat and walking into the
living room to let them know she was there.
A moment later she was glad she hadn’t. “Look,” Luke said, “I’ve wanted to tell you this for a long time, but I didn’t. I knew it
would never matter, even if I did say it, because of what I am. You never wanted that to be part of Clary’s life. But she knows
now, so I guess it doesn’t make a difference. And I might as well tell you. I love you, Jocelyn. I have for twenty years.” He paused.
Clary strained to hear her mother’s response, but Jocelyn was silent. At last Luke spoke again, his voice heavy. “I have to get back
to the Council and tell them I’ll stay. We don’t ever have to talk about this again. I just feel better having said it after all this time.”
Clary pressed herself back against the wall as Luke, his head down, stalked out of the living room. He brushed by her without
seeming to see her at all and yanked the front door open. He stood there for a moment, staring blindly out at the sunshine bouncing
off the water of the canal. Then he was gone, the door slamming shut behind him.
Clary stood where she was, her back against the wall. She felt terribly sad for Luke, and terribly sad for her mother, too. It looked
like Jocelyn really didn’t love Luke, and maybe never could. It was just like it had been for her and Simon, except she didn’t see
any way that Luke and her mother could fix things. Not if he was going to stay here in Idris. Tears stung her eyes. She was about to
turn and go into the living room when she heard the sound of the kitchen door opening and another voice. This one sounded tired,
and a little resigned. Amatis.
“Sorry I overheard that, but I’m glad he’s staying,” Luke’s sister said. “Not just because he’ll be near me but because it gives him a
chance to get over you.”
Jocelyn sounded defensive. “Amatis—”
“It’s been a long time, Jocelyn,” Amatis said. “If you don’t love him, you ought to let him go.”
Jocelyn was silent. Clary wished she could see her mother’s expression—did she look sad? Angry? Resigned?
Amatis gave a little gasp. “Unless—you do love him?”
“Amatis, I can’t—”
“You do! You do!” There was a sharp sound, as if Amatis had clapped her hands together. “I knew you did! I always knew it!”
“It doesn’t matter.” Jocelyn sounded tired. “It wouldn’t be fair to Luke.”
“I don’t want to hear it.” There was a rustling noise, and Jocelyn made a sound of protest. Clary wondered if Amatis had actually
grabbed hold of her mother. “If you love him, you go right now and tell him. Right now, before he goes to the Council.”
“But they want him to be their Council member! And he wants to—”
“All Lucian wants,” said Amatis firmly, “is you. You and Clary. That’s all he ever wanted. Now go.”
Before Clary had a chance to move, Jocelyn dashed out into the hallway. She headed toward the door—and saw Clary, flattened
against the wall. Halting, she opened her mouth in surprise.
“Clary!” She sounded as if she were trying to make her voice bright and cheerful, and failing miserably. “I didn’t realize you were
Clary stepped away from the wall, grabbed hold of the doorknob, and threw the door wide open. Bright sunlight poured into the
hall. Jocelyn stood blinking in the harsh illumination, her eyes on her daughter.
“If you don’t go after Luke,” Clary said, enunciating very clearly, “I, personally, will kill you.”
For a moment Jocelyn looked astonished. Then she smiled. “Well,” she said, “if you put it like that.”
A moment later she was out of the house, hurrying down the canal path toward the Accords Hall. Clary shut the door behind her
and leaned against it.
Amatis, emerging from the living room, darted past her to lean on the windowsill, glancing anxiously out through the pane. “Do you
think she’ll catch him before he gets to the Hall?”
“My mom’s spent her whole life chasing me around,” Clary said. “She moves fast.”
Amatis glanced toward her and smiled. “Oh, that reminds me,” she said. “Jace stopped by to see you. I think he’s hoping to see
you at the celebration tonight.”
“Is he?” Clary said thoughtfully. Might as well ask. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. “Amatis,” she said, and Luke’s sister
turned away from the window, looking at her curiously.
“That silver dress of yours, in the trunk,” said Clary. “Can I borrow it?”
The streets were already beginning to fill with people as Clary walked back through the city toward the Lightwoods’ house. It was
twilight, and the lights were beginning to go on, filling the air with a pale glow. Bunches of familiar-looking white flowers hung from
baskets on the walls, filling the air with their spicy smells. Dark gold fire-runes burned on the doors of the houses she passed; the
runes spoke of victory and rejoicing.
There were Shadowhunters out in the streets. None were wearing gear—they were in a variety of finery, from the modern to what
bordered on historical costumery. It was an unusually warm night, so few people were wearing coats, but there were plenty of
women in what looked to Clary like ball gowns, their full skirts sweeping the streets. A slim dark figure cut across the road ahead
of her as she turned onto the Lightwoods’ street, and she saw that it was Raphael, hand in hand with a tall dark-haired woman in a
red cocktail dress. He glanced over his shoulder and smiled at Clary, a smile that sent a little shiver over her, and she thought that it
was true that there really was something alien about Downworlders sometimes, something alien and frightening. Perhaps it was just
that everything that was frightening wasn’t necessarily also bad.
Although, she had her doubts about Raphael.
The front door of the Lightwoods’ house was open, and several of the family were already standing out on the pavement. Maryse
and Robert Lightwood were there, chatting with two other adults; when they turned, Clary saw with slight surprise that it was the
Penhallows, Aline’s parents. Maryse smiled at her past them; she was elegant in a dark blue silk suit, her hair tied back from her
severe face with a thick silver band. She looked like Isabelle—so much so that Clary wanted to reach out and put a hand on her
shoulder. Maryse still seemed so sad, even as she smiled, and Clary thought, She’s remembering Max, just like Isabelle was,
and thinking how much he would have liked all this.
“Clary!” Isabelle bounded down the front steps, her dark hair flying behind her. She was wearing neither of the outfits she’d
showed to Clary earlier, but an incredible gold satin dress that hugged her body like the closed petals of a flower. Her shoes were
spiked sandals, and Clary remembered what Isabelle had once said about how she liked her heels, and laughed to herself. “You
look fantastic.”
“Thanks.” Clary tugged a little self-consciously at the diaphanous material of the silver dress. It was probably the girliest thing she’d
ever worn. It left her shoulders uncovered, and every time she felt the ends of her hair tickle the bare skin there, she had to quell the
urge to hunt for a cardigan or hoodie to wrap herself in. “You too.”
Isabelle bent over to whisper in her ear. “Jace isn’t here.”
Clary pulled back. “Then where—?”
“Alec says he might be at the square, where the fireworks are going to be. I’m sorry—I have no idea what’s up with him.”
Clary shrugged, trying to hide her disappointment. “It’s okay.”
Alec and Aline tumbled out of the house after Isabelle, Aline in a bright red dress that made her hair look shockingly black. Alec
had dressed like he usually did, in a sweater and dark pants, though Clary had to admit that at least the sweater didn’t appear to
have any visible holes in it. He smiled at Clary, and she thought, with surprise, that actually he did look different. Lighter somehow,
as if a weight were off his shoulders.
“I’ve never been to a celebration that had Downworlders at it before,” said Aline, looking nervously down the street, where a
faerie girl whose long hair was braided with flowers—no, Clary thought, her hair was flowers, connected by delicate green
tendrils—was plucking some of the white blossoms out of a hanging basket, looking at them thoughtfully, and eating them.
“You’ll love it,” Isabelle said. “They know how to party.” She waved good-bye to her parents and they set off toward the plaza,
Clary still fighting the urge to cover the top half of her body by crossing her arms over her chest. The dress swirled out around her
feet like smoke curling on the wind. She thought of the smoke that had risen over Alicante earlier that day, and shivered.
“Hey!” Isabelle said, and Clary looked up to see Simon and Maia coming toward them up the street. She hadn’t seen Simon for
most of the day; he’d gone down to the Hall to observe the preliminary Council meeting because, he said, he was curious who
they’d choose to hold the vampires’ Council seat. Clary couldn’t imagine Maia wearing anything as girly as a dress, and indeed she
was clad in low-slung camo pants and a black T-shirt that said CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON and had a design of dice under the
words. It was a gamer tee, Clary thought, wondering if Maia was really a gamer or was wearing the T-shirt to impress Simon. If
so, it was a good choice. “You heading back down to Angel Square?”
Maia and Simon acknowledged that they were, and they headed toward the Hall together in a companionable group. Simon
dropped back to fall into step beside Clary, and they walked together in silence. It was good just to be close to Simon again—he
had been the first person she’d wanted to see once she was back in Alicante. She’d hugged him very tightly, glad he was alive, and
touched the Mark on his forehead.
“Did it save you?” she’d asked, desperate to hear that she hadn’t done what she had to him for no reason.
“It saved me,” was all he’d said in reply.
“I wish I could take it off you,” she’d said. “I wish I knew what might happen to you because of it.”
He’d taken hold of her wrist and drawn her hand gently back down to her side. “We’ll wait,” he’d said. “And we’ll see.”
She’d been watching him closely, but she had to admit that the Mark didn’t seem to be affecting him in any visible way. He seemed
just as he always had. Just like Simon. Only he’d taken to brushing his hair slightly differently, to cover the Mark; if you didn’t
already know it was there, you’d never guess.
“How was the meeting?” Clary asked him now, giving him a once-over to see if he’d dressed up for the celebration. He hadn’t, but
she hardly blamed him—the jeans and T-shirt he had on were all he had to wear. “Who’d they choose?”
“Not Raphael,” Simon said, sounding as if he were pleased about it. “Some other vampire. He had a pretentious name. Nightshade
or something.”
“You know, they asked me if I wanted to draw the symbol of the New Council,” Clary said. “It’s an honor. I said I’d do it. It’s
going to have the rune of the Council surrounded by the symbols of the four Downworlder families. A moon for the werewolves,
and I was thinking a four-leaf clover for the faeries. A spell book for the warlocks. But I can’t think of anything for the vampires.”
“How about a fang?” Simon suggested. “Maybe dripping blood.” He bared his teeth.
“Thank you,” Clary said. “That’s very helpful.”
“I’m glad they asked you,” Simon said, more seriously. “You deserve the honor. You deserve a medal, really, for what you did.
The Alliance rune and everything.”
Clary shrugged. “I don’t know. I mean, the battle barely went on for ten minutes, after all that. I don’t know how much I helped.”
“I was in that battle, Clary,” Simon said. “It may have been about ten minutes long, but it was the worst ten minutes of my life. And
I don’t really want to talk about it. But I will say that even in that ten minutes, there would have been a lot more death if it hadn’t
been for you. Besides, the battle was only part of it. If you hadn’t done what you did, there would be no New Council. We would
be Shadowhunters and Downworlders, hating each other, instead of Shadowhunters and Downworlders, going to a party
Clary felt a lump rising in her throat and stared straight ahead, willing herself not to tear up. “Thanks, Simon.” She hesitated, so
briefly that no one who wasn’t Simon would have noticed it. But he did.
“What’s wrong?” he asked her.
“I’m just wondering what we do when we get back home,” she said. “I mean, I know Magnus took care of your mom so she
hasn’t been freaking out that you’re gone, but—school. We’ve missed a ton of it. And I don’t even know…”
“You’re not going back,” Simon said quietly. “You think I don’t know that? You’re a Shadowhunter now. You’ll finish up your
education at the Institute.”
“And what about you? You’re a vampire. Are you just going to go back to high school?”
“Yeah,” Simon said, surprising her. “I am. I want a normal life, as much as I can have one. I want high school, and college, and all
of that.”
She squeezed his hand. “Then you should have it.” She smiled up at him. “Of course, everyone’s going to freak out when you show
up at school.”
“Freak out? Why?”
“Because you’re so much hotter now than when you left.” She shrugged. “It’s true. Must be a vampire thing.”
Simon looked baffled. “I’m hotter now?”
“Sure you are. I mean, look at those two. They’re both totally into you.” She pointed to a few feet in front of them, where Isabelle
and Maia had moved to walk side by side, their heads bent together.
Simon looked up ahead at the girls. Clary could almost swear he was blushing. “Are they? Sometimes they get together and
whisper and stare at me. I have no idea what it’s about.”
“Sure you don’t.” Clary grinned. “Poor you, you have two cute girls vying for your love. Your life is hard.”
“Fine. You tell me which one to choose, then.”
“No way. That’s on you.” She lowered her voice again. “Look, you can date whoever you want and I will totally support you. I
am all about support. Support is my middle name.”
“So that’s why you never told me your middle name. I figured it was something embarrassing.”
Clary ignored this. “But just promise me something, okay? I know how girls get. I know how they hate their boyfriends having a
best friend who’s a girl. Just promise me you won’t cut me out of your life totally. That we can still hang out sometimes.”
“Sometimes?” Simon shook his head. “Clary, you’re crazy.”
Her heart sank. “You mean…”
“I mean that I would never date a girl who insisted that I cut you out of my life. It’s non-negotiable. You want a piece of all this
fabulousness?” He gestured at himself. “Well, my best friend comes along with it. I wouldn’t cut you out of my life, Clary, any more
than I would cut off my right hand and give it to someone as a Valentine’s Day gift.”
“Gross,” said Clary. “Must you?”
He grinned. “I must.”
Angel Square was almost unrecognizable. The Hall glowed white at the far end of the plaza, partly obscured by an elaborate forest
of huge trees that had sprung up in the center of the square. They were clearly the product of magic—although, Clary thought,
remembering Magnus’s ability to whisk furniture and cups of coffee across Manhattan at the blink of an eye, maybe they were real,
if transplanted. The trees rose nearly to the height of the demon towers, their silvery trunks wrapped with ribbons, colored lights
caught in the whispering green nets of their branches. The square smelled of white flowers, smoke, and leaves. All around its edges
were placed tables and long benches, and groups of Shadowhunters and Downworlders crowded around them, laughing and
drinking and talking. Yet despite the laughter, there was a somberness mixed with the air of celebration—a present sorrow side by
side with joy.
The stores that lined the square had their doors thrown open, light spilling out onto the pavement. Partygoers streamed by, carrying
plates of food and long-stemmed glasses of wine and brightly colored liquids. Simon watched a kelpie skip past, carrying a glass of
blue fluid, and raised an eyebrow.
“It’s not like Magnus’s party,” Isabelle reassured him. “Everything here ought to be safe to drink.”
“Ought to be?” Aline looked worried.
Alec glanced toward the mini-forest, the colored lights reflecting in the blue irises of his eyes. Magnus stood in the shadow of a
tree, talking to a girl in a white dress with a cloud of pale brown hair. She turned as Magnus looked toward them, and Clary locked
eyes with her for a moment across the distance that separated them. There was something familiar about her, though Clary couldn’t
have said what it was.
Magnus broke away and came toward them, and the girl he’d been talking to slipped into the shadows of the trees and was gone.
He was dressed like a Victorian gentleman, in a long black frock coat over a violet silk vest. A square pocket handkerchief
embroidered with the initials M.B. protruded from his vest pocket.
“Nice vest,” said Alec with a smile.
“Would you like one exactly like it?” Magnus inquired. “In any color you prefer, of course.”
“I don’t really care about clothes,” Alex protested.
“And I love that about you,” Magnus announced, “though I would also love you if you owned, perhaps, one designer suit. What do
you say? Dolce? Zegna? Armani?”
Alec sputtered as Isabelle laughed, and Magnus took the opportunity to lean close to Clary and whisper in her ear. “The Accords
Hall steps. Go.”
She wanted to ask him what he meant, but he’d already turned back to Alec and the others. Besides, she had a feeling she knew.
She squeezed Simon’s wrist as she went, and he turned to smile at her before returning to his conversation with Maia.
She cut through the edge of the glamour forest to cross the square, weaving in and out of the shadows. The trees reached up to the
foot of the Hall stairs, which was probably why the steps were almost deserted. Though not entirely. Glancing toward the doors,
Clary could make out a familiar dark outline, seated in the shadow of a pillar. Her heart quickened.
She had to gather her skirt up in her hands to climb the stairs, afraid she’d step on and tear the delicate material. She almost wished
she had worn her normal clothes as she approached Jace, who was sitting with his back to a pillar, staring out over the square. He
wore his most mundane clothes—jeans, a white shirt, and a dark jacket over them. And for almost the first time since she’d met
him, she thought, he didn’t seem to be carrying any weapons.
She abruptly felt overdressed. She stopped a slight distance away from him, suddenly unsure what to say.
As if sensing her there, Jace looked up. He was holding something balanced in his lap, she saw, a silvery box. He looked tired.
There were shadows under his eyes, and his pale gold hair was untidy. His eyes widened. “Clary?”
“Who else would it be?”
He didn’t smile. “You don’t look like you.”
“It’s the dress.” She smoothed her hands down the material self-consciously. “I don’t usually wear things this…pretty.”
“You always look beautiful,” he said, and she remembered the first time he’d called her beautiful, in the greenhouse at the Institute.
He hadn’t said it like it was a compliment, but just as if it were an accepted fact, like the fact that she had red hair and liked to
draw. “But you look—distant. Like I couldn’t touch you.”
She came over then and sat down next to him on the wide top step. The stone was cold through the material of her dress. She held
her hand out to him; it was shaking slightly, just enough to be visible. “Touch me,” she said. “If you want to.”
He took her hand and laid it against his cheek for a moment. Then he set it back down in her lap. Clary shivered a little,
remembering Aline’s words back in Isabelle’s bedroom. Maybe he’s not interested anymore, now that it’s not forbidden. He
had said she looked distant, but the expression in his eyes was as remote as a faraway galaxy.
“What’s in the box?” she asked. He was still clutching the silver rectangle tightly in one hand. It was an expensive-looking object,
delicately carved with a pattern of birds.
“I went to Amatis’s earlier today, looking for you,” he said. “But you weren’t there. So I talked to Amatis. She gave me this.” He
indicated the box. “It belonged to my father.”
For a moment she just looked at him uncomprehendingly. This was Valentine’s? she thought, and then, with a jolt, No, that’s not
what he means. “Of course,” she said. “Amatis was married to Stephen Herondale.”
“I’ve been going through it,” he said. “Reading the letters, the journal pages. I thought if I did that, I might feel some sort of
connection to him. Something that would leap off the pages at me, saying, Yes, this is your father. But I don’t feel anything. Just
bits of paper. Anyone could have written these things.”
“Jace,” she said softly.
“And that’s another thing,” he said. “I don’t have a name anymore, do I? I’m not Jonathan Christopher—that was someone else.
But it’s the name I’m used to.”
“Who came up with Jace as a nickname? Did you come up with it yourself?”
Jace shook his head. “No. Valentine always called me Jonathan. And that’s what they called me when I first got to the Institute. I
was never supposed to think my name was Jonathan Christopher, you know—that was an accident. I got the name out of my
father’s journal, but it wasn’t me he was talking about. It wasn’t my progress he was recording. It was Seb—It was Jonathan’s. So
the first time I ever told Maryse that my middle name was Christopher, she told herself that she’d just remembered wrong, and
Christopher had been Michael’s son’s middle name. It had been ten years, after all. But that was when she started calling me Jace:
It was like she wanted to give me a new name, something that belonged to her, to my life in New York. And I liked it. I’d never
liked Jonathan.” He turned the box over in his hands. “I wonder if maybe Maryse knew, or guessed, but just didn’t want to know.
She loved me…and she didn’t want to believe it.”
“Which is why she was so upset when she found out you were Valentine’s son,” said Clary. “Because she thought she ought to
have known. She kind of did know. But we never do want to believe things like that about people we love. And, Jace, she was
right about you. She was right about who you really are. And you do have a name. Your name is Jace. Valentine didn’t give that
name to you. Maryse did. The only thing that makes a name important, and yours, is that it’s given to you by someone who loves
“Jace what?” he said. “Jace Herondale?”
“Oh, please,” she said. “You’re Jace Lightwood. You know that.”
He raised his eyes to hers. His lashes shadowed them thickly, darkening the gold. She thought he looked a little less remote, though
perhaps she was imagining it.
“Maybe you’re a different person than you thought you were,” she went on, hoping against hope that he understood what she
meant. “But no one becomes a totally different person overnight. Just finding out that Stephen was your biological father isn’t going
to automatically make you love him. And you don’t have to. Valentine wasn’t your real father, but not because you don’t have his
blood in your veins. He wasn’t your real father because he didn’t act like a father. He didn’t take care of you. It’s always been the
Lightwoods who have taken care of you. They’re your family. Just like Mom and Luke are mine.” She reached to touch his
shoulder, then drew her hand back. “I’m sorry,” she said. “Here I am lecturing you, and you probably came up here to be alone.”
“You’re right,” he said.
Clary felt the breath go out of her. “All right, then. I’ll go.” She stood up, forgetting to hold her dress up, and nearly stepped on the
“Clary!” Setting the box down, Jace scrambled to his feet. “Clary, wait. That wasn’t what I meant. I didn’t mean I wanted to be
alone. I meant you were right about Valentine—about the Lightwoods—”
She turned and looked at him. He was standing half in and half out of the shadows, the bright, colored lights of the party below
casting strange patterns across his skin. She thought of the first time she’d seen him. She’d thought he looked like a lion. Beautiful
and deadly. He looked different to her now. That hard, defensive casing he wore like armor was gone, and he wore his injuries
instead, visibly and proudly. He hadn’t even used his stele to take away the bruises on his face, along the line of his jaw, at his
throat where the skin showed above the collar of his shirt. But he looked beautiful to her still, more than before, because now he
seemed human—human, and real.
“You know,” she said, “Aline said maybe you wouldn’t be interested anymore. Now that it isn’t forbidden. Now that you could be
with me if you wanted to.” She shivered a little in the flimsy dress, gripping her elbows with her hands. “Is that true? Are you not…
“Interested? As if you were a—a book, or a piece of news? No, I’m not interested. I’m—” He broke off, groping for the word
the way someone might grope for a light switch in the dark. “Do you remember what I said to you before? About feeling like the
fact that you were my sister was a sort of cosmic joke on me? On both of us?”
“I remember.”
“I never believed it,” he said. “I mean, I believed it in a way—I let it drive me to despair, but I never felt it. Never felt you were my
sister. Because I didn’t feel about you the way you’re supposed to feel about your sister. But that didn’t mean I didn’t feel like you
were a part of me. I’ve always felt that.” Seeing her puzzled expression, he broke off with an impatient noise. “I’m not saying this
right. Clary, I hated every second that I thought you were my sister. I hated every moment that I thought what I felt for you meant
there was something wrong with me. But—”
“But what?” Clary’s heart was beating so hard it was making her feel more than a little dizzy.
“I could see the delight Valentine took in the way I felt about you. The way you felt about me. He used it as a weapon against us.
And that made me hate him. More than anything else he’d ever done to me, that made me hate him, and it made me turn against
him, and maybe that’s what I needed to do. Because there were times I didn’t know if I wanted to follow him or not. It was a hard
choice—harder than I like to remember.” His voice sounded tight.
“I asked you if I had a choice once,” Clary reminded him. “And you said, ‘We always have choices.’ You chose against Valentine.
In the end that was the choice you made, and it doesn’t matter how hard it was to make it. It matters that you did.”
“I know,” Jace said. “I’m just saying that I think I chose the way I did in part because of you. Since I’ve met you, everything I’ve
done has been in part because of you. I can’t untie myself from you, Clary—not my heart or my blood or my mind or any other
part of me. And I don’t want to.”
“You don’t?” she whispered.
He took a step toward her. His gaze was fastened on her face, as if he couldn’t look away. “I always thought love made you
stupid. Made you weak. A bad Shadowhunter. To love is to destroy. I believed that.”
She bit her lip, but she couldn’t look away from him, either.
“I used to think being a good warrior meant not caring,” he said. “About anything, myself especially. I took every risk I could. I
flung myself in the path of demons. I think I gave Alec a complex about what kind of fighter he was, just because he wanted to
live.” Jace smiled unevenly. “And then I met you. You were a mundane. Weak. Not a fighter. Never trained. And then I saw how
much you loved your mother, loved Simon, and how you’d walk into hell to save them. You did walk into that vampire hotel.
Shadowhunters with a decade of experience wouldn’t have tried that. Love didn’t make you weak, it made you stronger than
anyone I’d ever met. And I realized I was the one who was weak.”
“No.” She was shocked. “You’re not.”
“Maybe not anymore.” He took another step, and now he was close enough to touch her. “Valentine couldn’t believe I’d killed
Jonathan,” he said. “Couldn’t believe it because I was the weak one, and Jonathan was the one with more training. By all rights he
probably should have killed me. He nearly did. But I thought of you—I saw you there, clearly, as if you were standing in front of
me, watching me, and I knew I wanted to live, wanted it more than I’d ever wanted anything, if only so that I could see your face
one more time.”
She wished she could move, wished she could reach out and touch him, but she couldn’t. Her arms felt frozen at her sides. His face
was close to hers, so close that she could see her own reflection in the pupils of his eyes.
“And now I’m looking at you,” he said, “and you’re asking me if I still want you, as if I could stop loving you. As if I would want to
give up the thing that makes me stronger than anything else ever has. I never dared give much of myself to anyone before—bits of
myself to the Lightwoods, to Isabelle and Alec, but it took years to do it—but, Clary, since the first time I saw you, I have
belonged to you completely. I still do. If you want me.”
For a split second longer she stood motionless. Then, somehow, she had caught at the front of his shirt and pulled him toward her.
His arms went around her, lifting her almost out of her sandals, and then he was kissing her—or she was kissing him, she wasn’t
sure, and it didn’t matter. The feel of his mouth on hers was electric; her hands gripped his arms, pulling him hard against her. The
feel of his heart pounding through his shirt made her dizzy with joy. No one else’s heart beat like Jace’s did, or ever could.
He let her go at last and she gasped—she’d forgotten to breathe. He cupped her face between his hands, tracing the curve of her
cheekbones with his fingers. The light was back in his eyes, as bright as it had been by the lake, but now there was a wicked
sparkle to it. “There,” he said. “That wasn’t so bad, was it, even though it wasn’t forbidden?”
“I’ve had worse,” she said, with a shaky laugh.
“You know,” he said, bending to brush his mouth across hers, “if it’s the lack of forbidden you’re worried about, you could still
forbid me to do things.”
“What kinds of things?”
She felt him smile against her mouth. “Things like this.”
After some time they came down the stairs and into the square, where a crowd had begun to gather in anticipation of the fireworks.
Isabelle and the others had found a table near the corner of the square and were crowded around it on benches and chairs. As they
approached the group, Clary prepared to draw her hand out of Jace’s—and then stopped herself. They could hold hands if they
wanted to. There was nothing wrong with it. The thought almost took her breath away.
“You’re here!” Isabelle danced up to them in delight, carrying a glass of fuchsia liquid, which she thrust at Clary. “Have some of
Clary squinted at it. “Is it going to turn me into a rodent?”
“Where is the trust? I think it’s strawberry juice,” Isabelle said. “Anyway, it’s yummy. Jace?” She offered him the glass.
“I am a man,” he told her, “and men do not consume pink beverages. Get thee gone, woman, and bring me something brown.”
“Brown?” Isabelle made a face.
“Brown is a manly color,” said Jace, and yanked on a stray lock of Isabelle’s hair with his free hand. “In fact, look—Alec is
wearing it.”
Alec looked mournfully down at his sweater. “It was black,” he said. “But then it faded.”
“You could dress it up with a sequined headband,” Magnus suggested, offering his boyfriend something blue and sparkly. “Just a
“Resist the urge, Alec.” Simon was sitting on the edge of a low wall with Maia beside him, though she appeared to be deep in
conversation with Aline. “You’ll look like Olivia Newton-John in Xanadu.”
“There are worse things,” Magnus observed.
Simon detached himself from the wall and came over to Clary and Jace. With his hands in the back pockets of his jeans, he
regarded them thoughtfully for a long moment. At last he spoke.
“You look happy,” he said to Clary. He swiveled his gaze to Jace. “And a good thing for you that she does.”
Jace raised an eyebrow. “Is this the part where you tell me that if I hurt her, you’ll kill me?”
“No,” said Simon. “If you hurt Clary, she’s quite capable of killing you herself. Possibly with a variety of weapons.”
Jace looked pleased by the thought.
“Look,” Simon said. “I just wanted to say that it’s okay if you dislike me. If you make Clary happy, I’m fine with you.” He stuck
his hand out, and Jace took his own hand out of Clary’s and shook Simon’s, a bemused look on his face.
“I don’t dislike you,” he said. “In fact, because I actually do like you, I’m going to offer you some advice.”
“Advice?” Simon looked wary.
“I see that you are working this vampire angle with some success,” Jace said, indicating Isabelle and Maia with a nod of his head.
“And kudos. Lots of girls love that sensitive-undead thing. But I’d drop that whole musician angle if I were you. Vampire rock stars
are played out, and besides, you can’t possibly be very good.”
Simon sighed. “I don’t suppose there’s any chance you could reconsider the part where you didn’t like me?”
“Enough, both of you,” Clary said. “You can’t be complete jerks to each other forever, you know.”
“Technically,” said Simon, “I can.”
Jace made an inelegant noise; after a moment Clary realized that he was trying not to laugh, and only semi-succeeding.
Simon grinned. “Got you.”
“Well,” Clary said. “This is a beautiful moment.” She looked around for Isabelle, who would probably be nearly as pleased as she
was that Simon and Jace were getting along, albeit in their own peculiar way.
Instead she saw someone else.
Standing at the very edge of the glamoured forest, where shadow blended into light, was a slender woman in a green dress the
color of leaves, her long scarlet hair bound back by a golden circlet.
The Seelie Queen. She was looking directly at Clary, and as Clary met her gaze, she lifted up a slender hand and beckoned.
Whether it was her own desire or the strange compulsion of the Fair Folk, Clary wasn’t sure, but with a murmured excuse she
stepped away from the others and made her way to the edge of the forest, wending her way through riotous partygoers. She
became aware, as she drew close to the Queen, of a preponderance of faeries standing very near them, in a circle around their
Lady. Even if she wanted to appear alone, the Queen was not without her courtiers.
The Queen held up an imperious hand. “There,” she said. “And no closer.”
Clary, a few steps from the Queen, paused. “My lady,” she said, remembering the formal way that Jace had addressed the Queen
inside her court. “Why do you call me to your side?”
“I would have a favor from you,” said the Queen without preamble. “And of course, I would promise a favor in return.”
“A favor from me?” Clary said wonderingly. “But—you don’t even like me.”
The Queen touched her lips thoughtfully with a single long white finger. “The Fair Folk, unlike humans, do not concern themselves
overmuch with liking. Love, perhaps, and hate. Both are useful emotions. But liking…” She shrugged elegantly. “The Council has
not yet chosen which of our folk they would like to sit upon their seat,” she said. “I know that Lucian Graymark is like a father to
you. He would listen to what you asked him. I would like you to ask him if they would choose my knight Meliorn for the task.”
Clary thought back to the Accords Hall, and Meliorn say ing he did not want to fight in the battle unless the Night Children fought
as well. “I don’t think Luke likes him very much.”
“And again,” said the Queen, “you speak of liking.”
“When I saw you before, in the Seelie Court,” Clary said, “you called Jace and me brother and sister. But you knew we weren’t
really brother and sister. Didn’t you?”
The Queen smiled. “The same blood runs in your veins,” she said. “The blood of the Angel. All those who bear the Angel’s blood
are brother and sister under the skin.”
Clary shivered. “You could have told us the truth, though. And you didn’t.”
“I told you the truth as I saw it. We all tell the truth as we see it, do we not? Did you ever stop to wonder what untruths might have
been in the tale your mother told you, that served her purpose in telling it? Do you truly think you know each and every secret of
your past?”
Clary hesitated. Without knowing why, she suddenly heard Madame Dorothea’s voice in her head. You will fall in love with the
wrong person, the hedge-witch had said to Jace. Clary had come to assume that Dorothea had only been referring to how much
trouble Jace’s affection for Clary would bring them both. But still, there were blanks, she knew, in her memory—even now, things,
events, that had not come back to her. Secrets whose truths she’d never know. She had given them up for lost and unimportant,
but perhaps—
No. She felt her hands tighten at her sides. The Queen’s poison was a subtle one, but powerful. Was there anyone in the world
who could truly say they knew every secret about themselves? And weren’t some secrets better left alone?
She shook her head. “What you did in the Court,” she said. “Perhaps you didn’t lie. But you were unkind.” She started to turn
away. “And I have had enough unkindness.”
“Would you truly refuse a favor from the Queen of the Seelie Court?” the Queen demanded. “Not every mortal is granted such a
“I don’t need a favor from you,” Clary said. “I have everything I want.”
She turned her back on the Queen and walked away.
When she returned to the group she had left, she discovered that they had been joined by Robert and Maryse Lightwood, who
were—she saw with surprise—shaking hands with Magnus Bane, who had put the sparkly headband away and was being the
model of decorum. Maryse had her arm around Alec’s shoulder. The rest of her friends were sitting in a group along the wall; Clary
was about to move to join them, when she felt a tap on her shoulder.
“Clary!” It was her mother, smiling at her—and Luke stood beside her, his hand in hers. Jocelyn wasn’t dressed up at all; she wore
jeans, and a loose shirt that at least wasn’t stained with paint. You couldn’t have told from the way Luke was looking at her,
though, that she looked anything less than perfect. “I’m glad we finally found you.”
Clary grinned at Luke. “So you’re not moving to Idris, I take it?”
“Nah,” he said. He looked as happy as she’d ever seen him. “The pizza here is terrible.”
Jocelyn laughed and moved off to talk to Amatis, who was admiring a floating glass bubble filled with smoke that kept changing
colors. Clary looked at Luke. “Were you ever actually going to leave New York, or were you just saying that to get her to finally
make a move?”
“Clary,” said Luke, “I am shocked that you would suggest such a thing.” He grinned, then abruptly sobered. “You’re all right with
it, aren’t you? I know this means a big change in your life—I was going to see if you and your mother might want to move in with
me, since your apartment’s unlivable right now—”
Clary snorted. “A big change? My life has already changed totally. Several times.”
Luke glanced over toward Jace, who was watching them from his seat on the wall. Jace nodded at them, his mouth curling up at
the corner in an amused smile. “I guess it has,” Luke said.
“Change is good,” said Clary.
Luke held his hand up; the Alliance rune had faded, as it had for everyone, but his skin still bore the white telltale trace of it, the
scar that would never entirely disappear. He looked thoughtfully at the Mark. “So it is.”
“Clary!” Isabelle called from the wall. “Fireworks!”
Clary hit Luke lightly on the shoulder and went to join her friends. They were seated along the wall in a line: Jace, Isabelle, Simon,
Maia, and Aline. She stopped beside Jace. “I don’t see any fireworks,” she said, mock-scowling at Isabelle.
“Patience, grasshopper,” said Maia. “Good things come to those who wait.”
“I always thought that was ‘Good things come to those who do the wave,’” said Simon. “No wonder I’ve been so confused all my
“‘Confused’ is a nice word for it,” said Jace, but he was clearly only somewhat paying attention; he reached out and pulled Clary
toward him, almost absently, as if it were a reflex. She leaned back against his shoulder, looking up at the sky. Nothing lit the
heavens but the demon towers, glowing a soft silver-white against the darkness.
“Where did you go?” he asked, quietly enough that only she could hear the question.
“The Seelie Queen wanted me to do her a favor,” said Clary. “And she wanted to do me a favor in return.” She felt Jace tense.
“Relax. I told her no.”
“Not many people would turn down a favor from the Seelie Queen,” said Jace.
“I told her I didn’t need a favor,” said Clary. “I told her I had everything I wanted.”
Jace laughed at that, softly, and slid his hand up her arm to her shoulder; his fingers played idly with the chain around her neck, and
Clary glanced down at the glint of silver against her dress. She had worn the Morgenstern ring since Jace had left it for her, and
sometimes she wondered why. Did she really want to be reminded of Valentine? And yet, at the same time, was it ever right to
You couldn’t erase everything that caused you pain with its recollection. She didn’t want to forget Max or Madeleine, or Hodge, or
the Inquisitor, or even Sebastian. Every memory was valuable; even the bad ones. Valentine had wanted to forget: to forget that the
world had to change, and Shadowhunters had to change with it—to forget that Downworlders had souls, and all souls mattered to
the fabric of the world. He had wanted to think only of what made Shadowhunters different from Down worlders. But what had
been his undoing had been the way in which they were all the same.
“Clary,” Jace said, breaking her out of her reverie. He tightened his arms around her, and she raised her head; the crowd was
cheering as the first of the rockets went up. “Look.”
She looked as the fireworks exploded in a shower of sparks—sparks that painted the clouds overhead as they fell, one by one, in
streaking lines of golden fire, like angels falling from the sky.