Wednesday, 3 October 2012

City of Bones - Chapter 22

For a long moment after Luke finished speaking, there was silence in the room. The only sound was the faint drip of
water down the stone walls. Finally, he said:
"Say something, Clary."
"What do you want me to say?"
He sighed. "Maybe that you understand?"
Clary could hear her blood pounding in her ears. She felt as if her life had been built on a sheet of ice as thin as paper, and
now the ice was beginning to crack, threatening to plunge her into the icy darkness below. Down into the dark water, she thought,
where all her mother's secrets drifted in the currents, the forgotten remains of a shipwrecked life.
She looked up at Luke. He seemed wavering, indistinct, as if she looked through a blurred glass. "My father," she said.
"That picture my mother always kept on the mantel—"
"That wasn't your father," said Luke.
"Did he ever even exist?" Clary's voice rose. "Was there ever a John Clark, or did my mother make him up too?"
"John Clark existed. But he wasn't your father. He was the son of two of your mother's neighbors when you lived in the
East Village. He died in a car crash, just like your mother told you, but she never knew him. She had his photo because the
neighbors commissioned her to paint a portrait of him in his Army uniform. She gave them the portrait but kept the photo, and
pretended the man in it had been your father. I think she thought it was easier that way. After all, if she'd claimed he'd run off or
disappeared, you'd have wanted to look for him. A dead man—"
"Won't contradict your lies," Clary finished for him bitterly. "Didn't she think it was wrong, all those years, letting me think
my father was dead, when my real father—"
Luke said nothing, letting her find the end of the sentence herself, letting her think the unthinkable thought on her own.
"Is Valentine." Her voice shook. "That's what you're telling me, right? That Valentine was—is—my father?"
Luke nodded, his knotted fingers the only sign of the tension he felt. "Yes."
"Oh, my God." Clary leaped to her feet, no longer able to sit still. She paced to the bars of the cell. "That's not possible.
It's just not possible."
"Clary, please don't get upset—"
"Don't get upset? You're telling me that my dad is a guy who's basically an evil overlord, and you want me not to get
"He wasn't evil to begin with," Luke said, sounding almost apologetic.
"Oh, I beg to differ. I think he was clearly evil. All that stuff he was spouting about keeping the human race pure and the
importance of untainted blood—he was like one of those creepy white power guys. And you two totally fell for it."
"I wasn't the one talking about 'slimy' Downworlders just minutes ago," Luke said quietly. "Or about how they couldn't be
"That's not the same thing!" Clary could hear the tears in her voice. "I had a brother," she went on, her voice catching.
"Grandparents, too. They're dead?"
Luke nodded, looking down at his big hands, open on his knees. "They're dead."
"Jonathan," she said softly. "He would have been older than me? A year older?"
Luke said nothing.
"I always wanted a brother," she said.
"Don't," he said wretchedly. "Don't torture yourself. You can see why your mother kept all this from you, can't you? What
good would it have done you to know what you had lost before you were even born?"
"That box," Clary said, her mind working feverishly. "With the J.C. on it. Jonathan Christopher. That was what she was
always crying over, that was his lock of hair—my brother's, not my father's."
"And when you said 'Clary isn't Jonathan,' you meant my brother. My mom was so overprotective of me because she'd
already had one child who died."
Before Luke could reply, the cell door clanged open and Gretel entered. The "healing kit," which Clary had been
envisioning as a hard plastic-sided box with the Red Cross insignia on it, turned out to be a big wooden tray, stacked with folded
bandages, steaming bowls of unidentified liquids, and herbs that gave off a pungent lemony odor. Gretel set the tray down beside
the cot and gestured for Clary to sit down, which she did unwillingly.
"That's a good girl," said the wolf-woman, dipping a cloth into one of the bowls and lifting it to Clary's face. Gently she
cleaned away the dried blood. "What happened to you?" she asked disapprovingly, as if she suspected Clary of taking a cheese
grater to her face.
"I was wondering that myself," said Luke, watching the goings-on with folded arms.
"Hugo attacked me." Clary tried not to wince as the astringent liquid stung her wounds.
"Hugo?" Luke blinked.
"Hodge's bird. I think it was his bird, anyway. Maybe it was Valentine's."
"Hugin," Luke said softly. "Hugin and Munin were Valentine's pet birds. Their names mean 'Thought' and 'Memory.'"
"Well, they should mean 'Attack' and 'Kill,'" said Clary. "Hugo almost tore my eyes out."
"That's what he's trained to do." Luke was tapping the fingers of one hand against his other arm. "Hodge must have taken
him in after the Uprising. But he'd still be Valentine's creature."
"Just like Hodge was," Clary said, wincing as Gretel cleaned the long slash along her arm, which was crusted with dirt and
dried blood. Then Gretel began bandaging it up neatly.
"I don't want to talk about the past anymore," she said fiercely. "I want to know what we're going to do now. Now
Valentine's got my mom, Jace—and the Cup. And we've got nothing."
"I wouldn't say we have nothing," said Luke. "We have a powerful wolf pack. The problem is that we don't know where
Valentine is."
Clary shook her head. Lank strings of hair fell into her eyes, and she tossed them back impatiently. God, she was filthy. The
one thing she wanted more than anything else— almost anything else—was a shower. "Doesn't Valentine have some kind of
hideout? A secret lair?"
"If he does," said Luke, "he has kept it secret indeed."
Gretel released Clary, who moved her arm gingerly. The greenish ointment Gretel had smeared on the cut had minimized
the pain, but the arm still felt stiff and wooden. "Wait a second," Clary said.
"I never understand why people say that," Luke said, to no one in particular. "I wasn't going anywhere."
"Could Valentine be somewhere in New York?"
"When I saw him at the Institute, he came through a Portal. Magnus said there are only two Portals in New York. One at
Dorothea's, and one at Renwick's. The one at Dorothea's was destroyed, and I can't really see him hiding out there anyway, so—"
"Renwick's?" Luke looked baffled. "Renwick isn't a Shadowhunter name."
"What if Renwick isn't a person, though?" said Clary. "What if it's a place? Renwick's. Like a restaurant, or … or a hotel or
Luke's eyes went suddenly wide. He turned to Gretel, who was advancing on him with the medical kit. "Get me a phone
book," he said.
She stopped in her tracks, holding the tray out toward him in an accusatory manner. "But, sir, your wounds—"
"Forget my wounds and get me a phone book," he snapped. "We're in a police station. You'd think there'd be plenty of old
ones around."
With a look of disdainful exasperation Gretel set the tray down on the ground and marched out of the room. Luke looked
at Clary over his spectacles, which had slid partway down his nose. "Good thinking."
She didn't reply. There was a hard knot at the center of her stomach. She found herself trying to breathe around it. The
beginning of a thought tickled at the edge of her mind, wanting to resolve itself into a full -blown realization. But she pushed it firmly
down and away. She couldn't afford to give her resources, her energy, to anything but the issue immediately at hand.
Gretel returned with damp-looking yellow pages and thrust them at Luke. He read the book standing up while the wolf -
woman attacked his injured side with bandages and sticky pots of ointment. "There are seven Renwicks in the phone book," he
said finally. "No restaurants, hotels, or other locations." He pushed his spectacles up; they slid down again instantly. "They are not
Shadowhunters," he said, "and it seems unlikely to me that Valentine would set up headquarters in the home of a mundane or a
Downworlder. Though, perhaps—"
"Do you have a phone?" Clary interrupted.
"Not on me." Luke, still holding the phone book, peered under it at Gretel. "Could you get the telephone?"
With a disgusted snort she tossed the wad of bloody cloths she'd been holding onto the floor, and stalked out of the room a
second time. Luke set the phone book down on the table, picked up the roll of bandaging, and began winding it around the
diagonal cut across his ribs. "Sorry," he said, as Clary stared. "I know it's disgusting."
"If we catch Valentine," she asked abruptly, "can we kill him?"
Luke nearly dropped the bandages. "What?"
She fiddled with a stray thread poking out of the pocket of her jeans. "He killed my older brother. He killed my
grandparents. Didn't he?"
Luke set the bandages on the table and pulled his shirt down. "And you think killing him will what? Erase those things?"
Gretel returned before Clary could say anything to that. She wore a martyred expression and handed Luke a clunky -
looking old-fashioned cell phone. Clary wondered who paid the phone bills.
Clary held her hand out. "Let me make a call."
Luke seemed hesitant. "Clary…"
"It's about Renwick's. It'll only take a second."
He handed her the phone warily. She punched in the number, and half-turned away from him to give herself the illusion of
Simon picked up on the third ring. "Hello?"
"It's me."
His voice climbed an octave. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine. Why? Have you heard anything from Isabelle?"
"No. What would I have heard from Isabelle? Is there something wrong? Is it Alec?"
"No," Clary said, not wanting to lie and say that Alec was fine. "It's not Alec. Look, I just need you to Google something
for me."
Simon snorted. "You're kidding. Don't they have a computer there? You know what, don't answer that." She heard the
sounds of a door opening and the thump-meow as Simon's mother's cat was banished from his perch on the keyboard of his
computer. She could picture Simon quite clearly in her head as he sat down, his fingers moving quickly over the keyboard. "What
do you want me to look up?"
She told him. She could feel Luke's worried eyes on her as she talked. It was the same way he'd looked at her when she
was eleven years old and had the flu with a spiking fever. He'd brought her ice cubes to suck on and had read to her out of her
favorite books, doing all the voices.
"You're right," Simon said, snapping her out of her reverie. "It's a place. Or at least, it was a place. It's abandoned now."
Her sweaty hand slipped on the phone, and she tightened her grip. "Tell me about it."
"The most famous of the lunatic asylums, debtor's prisons, and hospitals built on Roosevelt Island in the 1800s,"
Simon read dutifully. "Renwick Smallpox Hospital was designed by architect Jacob Renwick and intended to quarantine the
poorest victims of Manhattan's uncontrollable smallpox epidemic. During the next century the hospital was abandoned to
disrepair. Public access to the ruin is forbidden."
"Okay, that's enough," said Clary, her heart pounding. "That's got to be it. Roosevelt Island? Don't people live there?"
"Not everyone lives in the Slope, princess," said Simon, with a fair degree of mock sarcasm. "Anyway, do you need me to
give you a ride again or something?"
"No! I'm fine, I don't need anything. I just wanted the information."
"All right." He sounded a little hurt, Clary thought, but told herself it didn't matter. He was safe at home, and that was what
was important.
She hung up, turning to Luke. "There's an abandoned hospital at the south end of Roosevelt Island called Renwick's. I think
Valentine's there."
Luke shoved his glasses up again. "Blackwell's Island. Of course."
"What do you mean, Blackwell's? I said—"
He cut her off with a gesture. "That's what Roosevelt Island used to be called. Blackwell's. It was owned by an old
Shadowhunter family. I should have guessed." He turned to Gretel. "Get Alaric. We're going to need everyone back here as soon
as possible." His lips were curled into a half smile that reminded Clary of the cold grin Jace wore during fights. "Tell them to ready
themselves for battle."
They made their way up to the street via a circuitous maze of cells and corridors that eventually opened out into what had
once been the lobby of a police station. The building was abandoned now, and the slanting light of late afternoon cast strange
shadows over the empty desks, the padlocked cabinets pocked with black termite holes, the cracked floor tiles spelling out the
motto of the NYPD: Fidelis ad Mortem.
"Faithful unto death," said Luke, following her gaze.
"Let me guess," said Clary. "On the inside it's an abandoned police station; from the outside, mundanes only see a
condemned apartment building, or a vacant lot, or…"
"Actually it looks like a Chinese restaurant from the outside," Luke said. "Takeout only, no table service."
"A Chinese restaurant?" Clary echoed in disbelief.
He shrugged. "Well, we are in Chinatown. This was the Second Precinct building once."
"People must think it's weird that there's no phone number to call for orders."
Luke grinned. "There is. We just don't answer it much. Sometimes, if they're bored, some of the cubs will deliver someone
some mu shu pork."
"You're kidding."
"Not at all. The tips come in handy." He pushed the front door open, letting in a stream of sunlight.
Still not sure whether he was kidding or not, Clary followed Luke across Baxter Street to where his car was parked. The
inside of the pickup truck was comfortingly familiar. The faint smell of wood chips and old paper and soap, the faded pair of plush
gold dice that she'd given him when she was ten because they looked like the gold dice hanging from the rearview mirror of the
Millennium Falcon. The discarded gum wrappers and empty coffee cups rolling around on the floor. Clary hauled herself up into the
passenger seat, settling back against the headrest with a sigh. She was more tired than she would have liked to admit.
Luke shut the door after her. "Stay right here."
She watched as he talked to Gretel and Alaric, who were standing on the steps of the old police station, waiting patiently.
Clary amused herself by letting her eyes fade in and out of focus, watching the glamour appear and disappear. First it was an old
police station, then it was a dilapidated storefront sporting a yellow awning that read jade wolf Chinese cuisine.
Luke was gesturing to his second and third, pointing down the street. His pickup was the first in a line of vans, motorcycles
Jeeps, and even a wrecked-looking old school bus. The vehicles stretched in a line down the block and around the corner. A
convoy of werewolves. Clary wondered how they'd begged, borrowed, stolen, or commandeered so many vehicles on such short
notice. On the plus side, at least they wouldn't all have to go on the aerial tram.
Luke accepted a white paper bag from Gretel, and with a nod, bounded back to the pickup. Folding his lanky body behind
the wheel, he handed her the bag. "You're in charge of this."
Clary peered at it suspiciously. "What is it? Weapons?"
Luke's shoulders shook with soundless laughter. "Steamed bao buns, actually," he said, pulling the truck out into the street.
"And coffee."
Clary ripped the bag open as they headed uptown, her stomach growling furiously. She tore a bun apart, savoring the rich
savory-salt taste of the pork, the chewiness of the white dough. She washed it down with a swig of black supersweet coffee, and
offered a bun to Luke. "Want one?"
"Sure." It was almost like old times, she thought, as they swung onto Canal Street, when they had picked up bags of hot
dumplings from the Golden Carriage Bakery and eaten half of them on the drive home over the Manhattan Bridge.
"So tell me about this Jace," said Luke.
Clary nearly choked on a bun. She reached for the coffee, drowning her coughs with hot liquid. "What about him?"
"Do you have any idea what Valentine might want with him?"
Luke frowned into the setting sun. "I thought Jace was one of the Lightwood kids?"
"No." Clary bit into a third bun. "His last name is Wayland. His father was—"
"Michael Wayland?"
She nodded. "And when Jace was ten years old, Valentine killed him. Michael, I mean."
"That sounds like something he would do," said Luke. His tone was neutral, but there was something in his voice that made
Clary look at him sideways. Did he not believe her?
"Jace saw him die," she added, as if to bolster her claim.
"That's awful," said Luke. "Poor messed-up kid."
They were driving over the Fifty-ninth Street Bridge. Clary glanced down and saw the river turned all to gold and blood by
the setting sun. She could glimpse the south end of Roosevelt Island from here, though it was just a smudge to the north. "He's not
so bad," she said. "The Lightwoods have taken good care of him."
"I can imagine. They were always close with Michael," observed Luke, swerving into the left lane. In the side mirror Clary
could see the caravan of following vehicles alter its course to mimic his. "They would want to look after his son."
"So what happens when the moon comes up?" she asked. "Are you all going to suddenly wolf out, or what?"
Luke's mouth twitched. "Not exactly. Only the young ones, the ones who've just Changed, can't control their
transformations. Most of the rest of us have learned how to, over the years. Only the moon at its fullest can force a Change on me
"So when the moon's only partly full, you only feel a little wolfy?" Clary asked.
"You could say that."
"Well, you can go ahead and hang your head out the car window if you feel like it."
Luke laughed. "I'm a werewolf, not a golden retriever."
"How long have you been the clan leader?" she asked abruptly.
Luke hesitated. "About a week."
Clary swung around to stare at him. "A week?"
He sighed. "I knew Valentine had taken your mother," he said without much inflection. "I knew I had little chance against
him by myself and that I could expect no assistance from the Clave. It took me a day to track down the location of the nearest
lycanthrope pack."
"You killed the clan leader so you could take his place?"
"It was the fastest way I could think of to acquire a sizeable number of allies in a short period of time," said Luke, without
any regret in his tone, though without any pride either. She remembered spying on him in his house, how she'd noticed the deep
scratches on his hands and face and the way he'd winced when he moved his arm. "I had done it before. I was fairly sure I could
do it again." He shrugged. "Your mother was gone. I knew I'd made you hate me. I had nothing to lose."
Clary braced her green sneakers against the dashboard. Through the cracked windshield, above the tips of her toes, the
moon was rising over the bridge. "Well," she said. "You do now."
The hospital at the southern end of Roosevelt Island was floodlit at night, its ghostly outlines curiously visible against the
darkness of the river and the greater illumination of Manhattan. Luke and Clary fell silent as the pickup skirted the tiny island, as the
paved road they were on turned to gravel and finally to packed dirt. The road followed the curve of a high chain-link fence, the top
of which was strung with curlicues of razor wire like festive loops of ribbon.
When the road grew too bumpy for them to drive any farther, Luke pulled the truck to a stop and killed the lights. He
looked at Clary. "Any chance if I asked you to wait here for me, you would?"
She shook her head. "It wouldn't necessarily be any safer in the car. Who knows what Valentine's got patrolling his
Luke laughed softly. "Perimeter. Listen to you." He swung himself out of the truck and came around to her side to help her
down. She could have jumped down from the truck herself, but it was nice to have him help, the way he'd done when she was too
small to climb down on her own.
Her feet hit the dry-packed dirt, sending up puffs of dust. The cars that had been following them were pulling up, one by
one, forming a sort of circle around Luke's truck. Their headlights swept across her view, lighting the chain -link fence to whitesilver.
Beyond the fence, the hospital itself was a ruin bathed in harsh light that pointed out its dilapidated state: the roofless walls
jutting up from the uneven ground like broken teeth, the crenellated stone parapets overgrown with a green carpet of ivy. "It's a
wreck," she heard herself say softly, a flicker of apprehension in her voice. "I don't see how Valentine could possibly be hiding
Luke glanced past her at the hospital. "It's a strong glamour," he said. "Try to look past the lights." Alaric was walking over
to them along the road, the light breeze making his denim jacket flutter open, showing the scarred chest underneath. The
werewolves walking behind him looked like completely ordinary people, Clary thought. If she'd seen them all together in a group
somewhere, she might have thought they knew each other somehow—there was a certain nonphysical resemblance, a bluntness to
their gazes, a forcefulness to their expressions. She might have thought they were farmers, since they looked more sunburned, lean,
and rawboned than your average city-dweller, or maybe she would have taken them for a biker gang. But they looked nothing like
They came together in a quick conference by Luke's truck, like a football huddle. Clary, feeling very much on the outside,
turned to look at the hospital again. This time she tried to stare around the lights, or through them, the way you could sometimes
look past a thin topcoat of paint to see what was underneath. As it usually did, thinking of how she would draw it helped. The lights
seemed to fade, and now she was looking across an oak-dusted lawn to an ornate Gothic Revival structure that seemed to loom up
above the trees like the bulwark of a great ship. The windows of the lower floors were dark and shuttered, but light poured through
the mitred arches of the third-story windows, like a line of flame burning along the ridge of a distant mountain range. A heavy stone
porch faced outward, hiding the front door.
"You see it?" It was Luke, who had come up behind her with the padding grace of—well, a wolf.
She was still staring. "It looks more like a castle than a hospital."
Taking her by the shoulders, Luke turned her to face him. "Clary, listen to me." His grip was painfully tight. "I want you to
stay next to me. Move when I move. Hold on to my sleeve if you have to. The others are going to stay around us, protecting us, but
if you get outside the circle, they won't be able to guard you. They're going to move us toward the door." He dropped his hands
from her shoulders, and when he moved, she saw the glint of something metal just inside his jacket. She hadn't realized he was
carrying a weapon, but then she remembered what Simon had said about what was in Luke's old green duffel bag and supposed it
made sense. "Do you promise you'll do what I say?"
"I promise."
The fence was real, not part of the glamour. Alaric, still in front, rattled it experimentally, then raised a lazy hand. Long
claws sprouted from beneath his fingernails, and he slashed at the chain-link with them, slicing the metal to ribbons. They fell in a
clattering pile, like Tinkertoys.
"Go." He gestured the others through. They surged forward like one person, a coordinated sea of movement. Gripping
Clary's arm, Luke pushed her ahead of him, ducking to follow. They straightened up inside the fence, looking up toward the
smallpox hospital, where gathered dark shapes, massed on the porch, were beginning to move down the steps.
Alaric had his head up, sniffing the wind. "The stench of death lies heavy on the air."
Luke's breath left his lungs in a hissing rush. "Forsaken."
He shoved Clary behind him; she went, stumbling slightly on the uneven ground. The pack began to move toward her and
Luke; as they neared, they dropped to all fours, lips snarling back from their lengthening fangs, limbs extending into long, furred
extremities, clothes overgrown by fur. Some tiny instinctual voice in the back of Clary's brain was screaming at her: Wolves! Run
away! But she fought it and stayed where she was, though she could feel the jump and tremble of nerves in her hands.
The pack encircled them, facing outward. More wolves flanked the circle on either side. It was as if she and Luke were the
center of a star. Like that, they began to move toward the front porch of the hospital. Still behind Luke, Clary didn't even see the
first of the Forsaken as they struck. She heard a wolf howl as if in pain. The howl went up and up, turning quickly into a snarl.
There was a thudding sound, then a gurgling cry and a sound like ripping paper—
Clary found herself wondering if the Forsaken were edible.
She glanced up at Luke. His face was set. She could see them now, beyond the ring of wolves, the scene lit to brilliance by
floodlights and the shimmering glow of Manhattan: dozens of Forsaken, their skin corpse-pale in the moonlight, seared by lesionlike
runes. Their eyes were vacant as they hurled themselves at the wolves, and the wolves met them head -on, claws tearing, teeth
gouging and rending. She saw one of the Forsaken warriors—a woman—fall back, throat torn out, arms still twitching. Another
hacked at a wolf with one arm while the other arm lay on the ground a meter away, blood pulsing from the stump. Black blood,
brackish as swamp water, ran in streams, slicking the grass so that Clary's feet slipped out from under her. Luke caught her before
she could fall. "Stay with me."
I'm here, she wanted to say, but no words would come out of her mouth. The group was still moving up the lawn toward
the hospital, agonizingly slowly. Luke's grip was rigid as iron. Clary couldn't tell who was winning, if anyone. The wolves had size
and speed on their side, but the Forsaken moved with a grim inevitability and were surprisingly hard to kill. She saw the big
brindled wolf who was Alaric take one down by tearing its legs out from under it, then leaping for its throat. It kept moving even as
he ripped it apart, its slashing axe opening up a long red cut along Alaric's glinting coat.
Distracted, Clary hardly noticed the Forsaken that broke through the protective circle, until it loomed up in front of her, as if
it had sprung up from the grass at her feet. White-eyed, with matted hair, it raised a dripping knife.
She screamed. Luke whirled, dragging her sideways, and caught the thing's wrist, and twisted. She heard the snap of bone,
and the knife fell to the grass. The Forsaken's hand dangled limply, but it kept coming on toward them, evincing no sign of pain.
Luke was shouting hoarsely for Alaric. Clary tried to reach the dagger in her belt, but Luke's grip on her arm was too strong.
Before she could shout at him to let go of her, a lick of slim silver fire hurtled between them. It was Gretel. She landed with her
front paws against the Forsaken's chest, knocking it to the ground. A fierce whine of rage rose from Gretel's throat, but the
Forsaken was stronger; it flung her aside like a rag doll and rolled to its feet.
Something lifted Clary off her feet. She shouted, but it was Alaric, half in and half out of wolf form, his hands taloned with
sharp claws. Still, they held her gently as he swung her up into his arms.
Luke was motioning at them. "Get her out of here! Get her to the doors!" he was shouting.
"Luke!" Clary twisted in Alaric's grasp.
"Don't look," Alaric said in a growl.
But she did look. Long enough to see Luke start toward Gretel, a blade in his hand, but he was too late. The Forsaken
seized up its knife, which had fallen into the blood -wet grass, and sank it into Gretel's back, again and again as she clawed and
struggled and finally collapsed, the light in her silvery eyes fading into darkness. With a shout Luke swung his blade at the
Forsaken's throat—
"I told you not to look," Alaric growled, turning so that her line of sight was blocked by his looming bulk. They were racing
up the steps now, the sound of his clawed feet scraping the granite like nails on a blackboard.
"Alaric," Clary said.
"I'm sorry I threw a knife at you."
"Don't be. It was a well-placed blow."
She tried to look past him. "Where's Luke?"
"I'm here," Luke said. Alaric turned. Luke was coming up the steps, sliding his sword back into its sheath, which was
strapped to his side, beneath his jacket. The blade was black and sticky.
Alaric let Clary slide to the porch. She landed, turning. She couldn't see Gretel or the Forsaken who had killed her, only a
mass of heaving bodies and flashing metal. Her face was wet. She reached up with a free hand to see if she was bleeding but
realized that she was crying instead. Luke looked at her curiously. "She was only a Downworlder," he said.
Clary's eyes burned. "Don't say that."
"I see." He turned to Alaric. "Thank you for taking care of her. While we go on—"
"I'm going with you," said Alaric. He had made most of the transformation to man-form, but his eyes were still wolf's eyes,
and his lips were drawn back from teeth as long as toothpicks. He flexed his long-nailed hands.
Luke's eyes were troubled. "Alaric, no."
Alaric's growling voice was flat. "You are the pack leader. I am your second now that Gretel is dead. It would not be right
to let you go alone."
"I—" Luke looked at Clary, and then back out at the field in front of the hospital. "I need you out here, Alaric. I'm sorry.
That's an order."
Alaric's eyes flashed resentfully, but he stepped aside. The hospital door was ornate heavy carved wood, patterns familiar
to Clary, the roses of Idris, curling runes, rayed suns. It gave with the popping noise of a burst latch when Luke kicked at it. He
pushed Clary forward as the door swung wide. "Get inside."
She stumbled past him, turned on the threshold. She caught a single brief glimpse of Alaric looking after them, his wolf eyes
gleaming. Behind him the lawn in front of the hospital was strewn with bodies, the dirt stained with blood, black and red. When the
door slammed shut behind her, cutting off her view, she was grateful.
She and Luke stood in half-lit dimness, in a stone entry-way lit by a single torch. After the din of battle the silence was like
a smothering cloak. Clary found herself gasping in breaths of air, air that wasn't thick with humidity and the smell of blood.
Luke gripped her shoulder with his hand. "Are you all right?"
She wiped at her cheeks. "You shouldn't have said that. About Gretel being just a Downworlder. I don't think that."
"I'm glad to hear it." He reached for the torch in its metal holder. "I hated the idea of the Lightwoods turning you into a copy
of them."
"Well, they haven't."
The torch would not come away in Luke's hand; he frowned. Digging into her pocket, Clary removed the smooth rune -
stone Jace had given her for her birthday, and raised it high. Light burst between her fingers, as if she'd cracked a seed of darkness,
letting out the illumination trapped inside. Luke let go of the torch.
"Witchlight?" he said.
"Jace gave it to me." She could feel it pulse in her hand, like the heartbeat of a tiny bird. She wondered where Jace was in
this gray stone pile of rooms, if he was frightened, if he had wondered whether he'd see her again.
"It's been years since I fought by witchlight," Luke said, and started up the stairs. They creaked loudly under his boots.
"Follow me."
The flaring glow of the witchlight cast their shadows, weirdly elongated, against the smooth granite walls. They paused at a
stone landing that curved around in an arc. Above them she could see light. "Is this what the hospital used to look like, hundreds of
years ago?" Clary whispered.
"Oh, the bones of what Renwick built are still here," said Luke. "But I would imagine Valentine, Blackwell, and the others
had the place renovated to be a bit more to their taste. Look here." He scraped a boot along the floor: Clary glanced down and
saw a rune carved into the granite beneath their feet: a circle, in the center of which was a Latin motto: In Hoc Signo Vinces.
"What does that mean?" she asked.
"It means 'By this sign we will conquer.' It was the motto of the Circle."
She glanced up, toward the light. "So they're here."
"They're here," said Luke, and there was anticipation in the narrow edge of his tone. "Come."
They went up the winding staircase, circling under the light until it was all around them and they were standing at the
entrance to a long and narrow corridor. Torches blazed along the passage. Clary closed her hand over the witchlight, and it blinked
out like a doused star.
There were doors set at intervals along the corridor, all of them closed tight. She wondered if they had been wards when
this had once been a hospital, or perhaps private rooms. As they moved down the corridor, Clary saw the marks of boot-prints,
muddy from the grass outside, crisscrossing the passage. Someone had walked here recently.
The first door they tried swung open easily, but the room beyond was empty: only polished wood floor and stone walls, lit
to eeriness by the moonlight spilling through the window. The dim roar of the battle outside filled the room, as rhythmic as the sound
of the ocean. The second room was full of weapons: swords, maces, and axes. Moonlight ran like silver water over row upon row
of cold unsheathed steel. Luke whistled under his breath. "Quite a collection."
"You think Valentine uses all these?"
"Unlikely. I suspect they're for his army." Luke turned away.
The third room was a bedroom. The hangings around the four-poster bed were blue, the Persian carpet patterned in blue,
black, and gray, and the furniture was painted white, like the furnishings in a child's room. A thin and ghostly layer of dust covered it
all, glinting faintly in the moonlight.
In the bed lay Jocelyn, asleep.
She was on her back, one hand thrown carelessly across her chest, her hair spread across the pillow. She wore a sort of
white nightdress Clary had never seen, and she was breathing regularly and quietly. In the piercing moonlight Clary could see the
flutter of her mother's eyelids as she dreamed.
With a little scream Clary hurled herself forward—but Luke's outflung arm caught her across the chest like a bar of iron,
holding her back. "Wait," he said, his own voice tense with effort. "We have to be careful."
Clary glared at him, but he was looking past her, his expression angry and pained. She followed the line of his gaze and saw
what she had not wanted to see before. Silver manacles closed around Jocelyn's wrists and feet, the ends of their chains sunk deep
into the stone floor on either side of the bed. The table beside the bed was covered in a weird array of tubes and bottles, glass jars
and long, wickedly tipped instruments glinting with surgical steel. A rubberized tube ran from one of the glass jars to a vein in
Jocelyn's left arm.
Clary jerked herself away from Luke's restraining hand and lunged toward the bed, wrapping her arms around her mother's
unresponsive body. But it was like trying to hug a badly jointed doll. Jocelyn remained motionless and stiff, her slow breathing
A week ago Clary would have cried as she had that first terrible night she had discovered her mother missing, cried and
called out. But no tears came now, as she let her mother go and straightened up. There was no terror in her now, and no self-pity:
only a bitter rage and a need to find the man who'd done this, the one responsible for all of it.
"Valentine," she said.
"Of course." Luke was beside her, touching her mother's face lightly, raising her eyelids. The eyes beneath were as blank as
marbles. "She's not drugged," he said. "Some kind of spell, I expect."
Clary let her breath out in a tight half sob. "How do we get her out of here?"
"I can't touch the manacles," said Luke. "Silver. Do you have—"
"The weapons room," Clary said, standing up. "I saw an axe there. Several. We could cut the chains—"
"Those chains are unbreakable." The voice that spoke from the door was low, gritty, and familiar. Clary spun and saw
Blackwell. He was grinning now, wearing the same clotted-blood-colored robes as before, the hood pushed back, muddy boots
visible under the hem. "Graymark," he said. "What a nice surprise."
Luke stood up. "If you're surprised, you're an idiot," he said. "I didn't exactly arrive quietly."
Blackwell's cheeks flushed a darker purple, but he didn't move toward Luke. "Clan leader again, are you?" he said, and
gave an unpleasant laugh. "Can't break yourself of the habit of getting Downworlders to do your dirty work? Valentine's troops are
busy strewing pieces of them all over the lawn, and you're up here safe with your girlfriends." He sneered in Clary's direction. "That
one looks a little young for you, Lucian."
Clary flushed angrily, her hands balling into fists, but Luke's voice, when he replied, was polite. "I wouldn't exactly call
those troops, Blackwell," he said. "They're Forsaken. Tormented once-human beings. If I recall properly, the Clave looks pretty
darkly on all that—torturing people, performing black magic. I can't imagine they'll be too pleased."
"Damn the Clave," growled Blackwell. "We don't need them and their half-breed-tolerating ways. Besides, the Forsaken
won't be Forsaken much longer. Once Valentine uses the Cup on them, they'll be Shadowhunters as good as the rest of us—better
than what the Clave is passing off as warriors these days. Downworlder-loving milksops." He bared his blunt teeth.
"If that is his plan for the Cup," said Luke, "why hasn't he done it already? What's he waiting for?"
Blackwell's eyebrows went up. "Didn't you know? He's got his—"
A silky laugh interrupted him. Pangborn had appeared at his elbow, all in black with a leather strap across his shoulder.
"Enough, Blackwell," he said. "You talk too much, as usual." He flashed his pointed teeth at Luke. "Interesting move, Graymark. I
didn't think you'd have the stomach for leading your newest clan on a suicide mission."
A muscle twitched in Luke's cheek. "Jocelyn," he said. "What has he done to her?"
Pangborn chuckled musically. "I thought you didn't care."
"I don't see what he wants with her now," Luke went on, ignoring the jibe. "He's got the Cup. She can't be of further use.
Valentine was never one for pointless murder. Murder with a point. Now, that might be a different story."
Pangborn shrugged indifferently. "It makes no difference to us what he does with her," he said. "She was his wife. Perhaps
he hates her. That's a point."
"Let her go," said Luke, "and we'll leave with her, call the clan off. I'll owe you one."
"No!" Clary's furious outburst made Pangborn and Blackwell swing their stares to her. Both looked faintly incredulous, as if
she were a talking cockroach. She turned to Luke. "There's still Jace. He's here somewhere."
Blackwell was chuckling. "Jace? Never heard of a Jace," he said. "Now, I could ask Pangborn to let her out. But I'd rather
not. She was always a bitch to me, Jocelyn was. Thought she was better than the rest of us, with her looks and her lineage. Just a
pedigreed bitch, that's all. She only married him so she could turn it around on us all—"
"Disappointed you didn't get to marry him yourself, Blackwell?" was all Luke said in reply, though Clary could hear the cold
rage in his voice.
Blackwell, his face purpling, took an angry step forward into the room.
And Luke, moving so swiftly that Clary almost did not see him do it, seized a scalpel from the bedside table and flung it. It
flipped twice in the air and sank point-first into Blackwell's throat, cutting off his growling retort. He gagged, eyes rolling up to the
whites, and fell to his knees, hands at his throat. Scarlet liquid pulsed between his spread fingers. He opened his mouth as if to
speak, but only a thin line of blood dribbled out. His hands slipped from his throat, and he crashed to the ground like a tree falling.
"Oh, dear," said Pangborn, gazing at the fallen body of his comrade with fastidious distaste. "How unpleasant."
Blood from Blackwell's cut throat was spreading across the floor in a viscous red pool. Luke, taking Clary's shoulder,
whispered something in her ear. It meant nothing. Clary was aware only of a numb buzzing in her head. She remembered another
poem from English class, something about how after the first death you saw, no other deaths mattered. That poet hadn't known
what he was talking about.
Luke let her go. "The keys, Pangborn," he said.
Pangborn nudged Blackwell with a foot, and glanced up. He looked irritable. "Or what? You'll throw a syringe at me?
There was only one blade on that table. No," he added, reaching behind him and drawing from his shoulder a long and wicked -
looking sword, "I'm afraid that if you want the keys, you'll have to come and get them. Not because I care about Jocelyn
Morgenstern one way or the other, you understand, but only because I, for one, have been looking forward to killing you… for
He drew the last word out, savoring it with a delicious exultation as he moved forward into the room. His blade flashed, a
spear of lightning in the moonlight. Clary saw Luke thrust a hand out toward her—a strangely elongated hand, tipped with nails like
tiny daggers—and she realized two things: that he was about to Change, and that what he had whispered in her ear was a single
She ran. She zigzagged around Pangborn, who barely glanced at her, skirted Blackwell's body, and was out the door and
in the corridor, heart pounding, before Luke's transformation was complete. She didn't glance back, but she heard a howl, long and
piercing, the sound of metal on metal, and a shattering fall. Breaking glass, she thought. Perhaps they had knocked over the bedside
She dashed down the hall to the weapons room. Inside, she reached for a weathered steel-hafted axe. It stuck firmly to the
wall, no matter how hard she yanked at it. She tried a sword, and then a featherstaff—even a small dagger—but not a single blade
would come free in her hand. At last, nails torn and fingers bloodied with effort, she had to give up. There was magic in this room,
and not runic magic either: something wild and strange, something dark.
She backed out of the room. There was nothing on this floor that could help her. She limped down the corridor—she was
beginning to feel the ache of true exhaustion in her legs and arms—and found herself at the junction of the stairs. Up or down?
Down, she recalled, had been lightless, empty. Of course, there was the witchlight in her pocket, but something in her quailed at the
thought of entering those black spaces alone. Upstairs she saw the blaze of more lights, caught a flicker of something that might
have been movement.
She went up. Her legs hurt, her feet hurt, everything hurt. Her cuts had been bandaged, but that didn't stop them from
stinging. Her face ached where Hugo had slashed her cheek, and her mouth tasted metallic and bitter.
She reached the last landing. It was curved gently like the bow of a ship, as silent here as it had been downstairs; no sound
of the fighting outside reached her ears. Another long corridor stretched out in front of her, with the same multiple doors, but here
some were open, spilling even more light out into the hallway. She went forward, and some instinct drew her to the last door on her
left. Cautiously she glanced inside.
At first the room reminded her of one of the period reconstruction displays in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was as if
she had stepped into the past—the paneled walls gleamed as if recently polished, as did the endlessly long dining table set with
delicate china. An ornate gold-framed mirror adorned the far wall, between two oil portraits in heavy frames. Everything glittered
under the torchlight: the plates on the table, heaped with food, the fluted glasses shaped like calla lilies, the linens so white they were
blinding. At the end of the room were two wide windows, draped with swags of heavy velvet. Jace stood at one of the windows,
so still that for a moment she imagined he was a statue, until she realized she could see the light shining on his hair. His left hand held
the curtain aside, and in the dark window she saw the reflection of the dozens of candles inside the room, trapped in the glass like
"Jace," she said. She heard her own voice as if from a distance: astonishment, gratitude, longing so sharp it was painful. He
turned, dropping the curtain, and she saw the wondering look on his face.
"Jace!" she said again, and ran toward him. He caught her as she flung herself at him. His arms wrapped tightly around her.
"Clary." His voice was almost unrecognizable. "Clary, what are you doing here?"
Her voice was muffled against his shirt. "I came for you."
"You shouldn't have." His grip on her loosened suddenly; he stepped back, holding her a little away from him. "My God,"
he said, touching her face. "You idiot, what a thing to do." His voice was angry, but the gaze that swept her face, the fingers that
gently brushed her hair back, were tender. She had never seen him look like this; there was a sort of fragility about him, as if he
might be not just touched but hurt, even. "Why don't you ever think?" he whispered.
"I was thinking," she said. "I was thinking about you."
He closed his eyes for a moment. "If anything had happened to you…" His hands traced the line of her arms gently, down
to her wrists, as if to reassure himself that she was really there. "How did you find me?"
"Luke," she replied. "I came with Luke. To rescue you."
Still holding her, he glanced from her face to the window, a slight frown curling the edge of his mouth. "So those are—you
came with the wolf clan?" he asked, an odd tone in his voice.
"Luke's," she said. "He's a werewolf, and—"
"I know." Jace cut her off. "I should have guessed—the manacles." He glanced toward the door. "Where is he?"
"Downstairs," said Clary slowly. "He killed Blackwell. I came up to look for you—"
"He's going to have to call them off," said Jace.
She looked at him uncomprehendingly. "What?"
"Luke," said Jace. "He's going to have to call off his pack. There's been a misunderstanding."
"What, you kidnapped yourself?" She'd meant to sound teasing, but her voice was too thin. "Come on, Jace."
She yanked at his wrist, but he resisted. He was looking at her intently, and she realized with a jolt what she had not
noticed in her first rush of relief.
The last time she had seen him, he'd been cut and bruised, clothes stained with dirt and blood, his hair filthy with ichor and
dust. Now he was dressed in a loose white shirt and dark pants, his scrubbed hair falling all around his face, pale gold and flyaway.
He swept a few strands out of his eyes with a slim hand, and she saw that his heavy silver ring was back on his finger.
"Are those your clothes?" she asked, baffled. "And—you're all bandaged up …" Her voice trailed off. "Valentine seems to
be taking awfully good care of you."
He smiled at her with a weary affection. "If I told you the truth, you'd say I was crazy," he said.
She felt her heart flutter hard against the inside of her chest, like a hummingbird's rapid wing beat. "No, I wouldn't."
"My father gave me these clothes," he said.
The flutter became a rapid pounding. "Jace," she said carefully, "your father is dead."
"No." He shook his head. She had the sense that he was holding back some enormous feeling, like horror or delight—or
both. "I thought he was, but he isn't. It's all been a mistake."
She remembered what Hodge had said about Valentine and his ability to tell charming and convincing lies. "Is this
something Valentine told you? Because he's a liar, Jace. Remember what Hodge said. If he's telling you your father is alive, it's a lie
to get you to do what he wants."
"I've seen my father," said Jace. "I've talked to him. He gave me this." He tugged on the new, clean shirt, as if it were
ineluctable proof. "My father isn't dead. Valentine didn't kill him. Hodge lied to me. All these years I thought he was dead, but he
Clary glanced around wildly, at the room with its shining china and guttering torches and empty, glaring mirrors. "Well, if
your father's really in this place, then where is he? Did Valentine kidnap him, too?"
Jace's eyes were shining. The neck of his shirt was open and she could see the thin white scars that covered his collarbone,
like cracks in the smooth golden skin. "My father—"
The door of the room, which Clary had shut behind her, opened with a creak, and a man walked into the room.
It was Valentine. His silvery close-cropped hair gleamed like a polished steel helmet and his mouth was hard. He wore a
waist sheath on his thick belt and the hilt of a long sword protruded from the top of it. "So," he said, resting a hand on the hilt as he
spoke, "have you gathered your things? Our Forsaken can hold off the wolf-men for only so—"
Seeing Clary, he broke off midsentence. He was not the sort of man who was ever really caught off guard, but she saw the
flicker of astonishment in his eyes. "What is this?" he asked, turning his glance to Jace.
But Clary was already fumbling at her waist for the dagger. She seized it by the hilt, jerking it out of its scabbard, and drew
her hand back. Rage pounded behind her eyes like a drumbeat. She could kill this man. She would kill him.
Jace caught at her wrist. "No."
She could not contain her disbelief. "But, Jace—"
"Clary," he said firmly. "This is my father."

City of Bones - Chapter 23

"I see I've interrupted something," said Valentine, his voice as dry as a desert afternoon. "Son, would you care to
tell me who this is? One of the Lightwood children, perhaps?"
"No," said Jace. He sounded tired and unhappy, but the hand on her wrist didn't loosen. "This is Clary. Clarissa Fray. She's
a friend of mine. She—"
Valentine's black eyes raked her slowly, from the top of her disheveled head to the toes of her scuffed sneakers. They
fastened on the dagger still gripped in her hand.
An indefinable look passed over his face—part amusement, part irritation. "Where did you come by that blade, young
Clary answered coldly. "Jace gave it to me."
"Of course he did," said Valentine. His tone was mild. "May I see it?"
"No!" Clary took a step back, as if she thought he might lunge at her, and felt the blade plucked neatly out of her fingers.
Jace, holding the dagger, looked at her with an apologetic expression. "Jace," she hissed, putting every ounce of the betrayal she
felt into the single syllable of his name.
All he said was, "You still don't understand, Clary." With a sort of deferential care that made her feel sick to her stomach,
he went to Valentine and handed him the dagger. "Here you go, Father."
Valentine took the dagger in his big, long -boned hand and examined it. "This is a kindjal, a Circassian dagger. This
particular one used to be one of a matched pair. Here, see the star of the Morgensterns, carved into the blade." He turned it over,
showing it to Jace. "I'm surprised the Lightwoods never noticed it."
"I never showed it to them," said Jace. "They let me have my own private things. They didn't pry."
"Of course they didn't," said Valentine. He handed the kindjal back to Jace. "They thought you were Michael Wayland's
Jace, sliding the red-hiked dagger into his belt, looked up. "So did I," he said softly, and in that moment Clary saw that this
was no joke, that Jace was not just playing along for his own purposes. He really thought Valentine was his father returned to him.
A cold despair was spreading through Clary's veins. Jace angry, Jace hostile, furious, she could have dealt with, but this
new Jace, fragile and shining in the light of his own personal miracle, was a stranger to her.
Valentine looked at her over Jace's tawny head; his eyes were cool with amusement. "Perhaps," he said, "it would be a
good idea for you to sit down now, Clary?"
She crossed her arms stubbornly over her chest. "No."
"As you like." Valentine pulled out a chair and seated himself at the head of the table. After a moment Jace sat down as
well, beside a half-filled bottle of wine. "But you are going to be hearing some things that might make you wish you had taken a
"I'll let you know," Clary told him, "if that happens."
"Very well." Valentine sat back, his hands behind his head. The neck of his shirt gaped open a little, showing his scarred
collarbones. Scarred, like his son's, like all the Nephilim. A life of scars and killing, Hodge had said. "Clary," he said again, as if
tasting the sound of her name. "Short for Clarissa? Not a name I would have chosen."
There was a grim curl to his lips. He knows I'm his daughter, Clary thought. Somehow, he knows. But he isn't saying it.
Why isn't he saying it?
Because of Jace, she realized. Jace would think—she couldn't imagine what he would think. Valentine had seen them
embracing when he'd walked in the door. He must know he held a devastating piece of information in his hands. Somewhere
behind those fathomless black eyes, his sharp mind was clicking away rapidly, trying to decide how best to use what he knew.
She cast another beseeching glance at Jace, but he was staring down at the wineglass by his left hand, half -full of purplish
red liquid. She could see the rapid rise and fall of his chest as he breathed; he was more upset than he was letting on.
"I don't really care what you would have chosen," Clary said.
"I am sure," replied Valentine, leaning forward, "that you don't."
"You're not Jace's father," she said. "You're trying to trick us. Jace's father was Michael Wayland. The Lightwoods know
it. Everyone knows it."
"The Lightwoods were misinformed," said Valentine. "They truly believed—believe that Jace is the son of their friend
Michael. As does the Clave. Even the Silent Brothers do not know who he really is. Although soon enough, they will."
"But the Wayland ring—"
"Ah, yes," said Valentine, looking at Jace's hand, where the ring glittered like snake scales. "The ring. Funny, isn't it, how an
M worn upside down resembles a W? Of course, if you'd bothered to think about it, you'd probably have thought it a little strange
that the symbol of the Wayland family would be a falling star. But not at all strange that it would be the symbol of the
Clary stared. "I have no idea what you mean."
"I forget how regrettably lax mundane education is," Valentine said. "Morgenstern means 'morning star.' As in How are
thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the
A small shiver passed over Clary. "You mean Satan."
"Or any great power lost," said Valentine, "out of a refusal to serve. As mine was. I would not serve a corrupt government,
and for that I lost my family, my lands, almost my life—"
"The Uprising was your fault!" snapped Clary. "People died in it! Shadowhunters like you!"
"Clary." Jace leaned forward, nearly knocking over the glass at his elbow. "Just listen to him, will you? It's not like you
thought. Hodge lied to us."
"I know," said Clary. "He betrayed us to Valentine. He was Valentine's pawn."
"No," said Jace. "No, Hodge was the one who wanted the Mortal Cup all along. He was the one who sent the Raveners
after your mother. My father—Valentine only found out about it afterward, and came to stop him. He brought your mother here to
heal her, not to hurt her."
"And you believe that crap?" Clary said in disgust. "It isn't true. Hodge was working for Valentine. They were in it together,
getting the Cup. He set us up, it's true, but he was just a tool."
"But he was the one who needed the Mortal Cup," said Jace. "So he could get the curse off him and flee before my father
told the Clave about everything he'd done."
"I know that isn't true!" said Clary hotly. "I was there!" She turned on Valentine. "I was in the room when you came to get
the Cup. You couldn't see me, but I was there. I saw you. You took the Cup and you lifted the curse off Hodge. He couldn't have
done it by himself. He said so."
"I did lift his curse," said Valentine measuredly, "but I was moved by pity. He seemed so pathetic."
"You didn't feel pity. You didn't feel anything."
"That's enough, Clary!" It was Jace. She stared at him. His cheeks were flushed as if he'd been drinking the wine at his
elbow, his eyes too bright. "Don't talk to my father like that."
"He's not your father!"
Jace looked as if she had slapped him. "Why are you so determined not to believe us?"
"Because she loves you," said Valentine.
Clary felt the blood drain out of her face. She looked at him, not knowing what he might say next, but dreading it. She felt
as if she were edging toward a precipice, some terrible hurtling fall into nothing and nowhere. Vertigo gripped her stomach.
"What?" Jace looked surprised.
Valentine was looking at Clary with amusement, as if he could tell he had her pinned there like a butterfly to a board. "She
fears I am taking advantage of you," he said. "That I have brainwashed you. It isn't so, of course. If you looked into your own
memories, Clary, you would know it."
"Clary." Jace started to get to his feet, his eyes on her. She could see the circles beneath them, the strain he was under. "I—
"Sit down," said Valentine. "Let her come to it on her own, Jonathan."
Jace subsided instantly, sinking back into the chair. Through the dizziness of vertigo, Clary groped for understanding.
Jonathan? "I thought your name was Jace," she said. "Did you lie about that, too?"
"No. Jace is a nickname."
She was very near to the precipice now, so close she could almost look down. "For what?"
He looked at her as if he couldn't understand why she was making so much of something so small. "It's my initials," he said.
"J. C."
The precipice opened before her. She could see the long fall into darkness. "Jonathan," she said faintly. "Jonathan
Jace's eyebrows drew together. "How did you—?"
Valentine cut in. His voice was soothing. "Jace, I had thought to spare you. I thought a story of a mother who died would
hurt you less than the story of a mother who abandoned you before your first birthday."
Jace's slim fingers tightened convulsively around the glass's stem. Clary thought for a moment that it might shatter. "My
mother is alive?"
"She is," said Valentine. "Alive, and asleep in one of the downstairs rooms at this very moment. Yes," he said, cutting off
Jace before he could speak, "Jocelyn is your mother, Jonathan. And Clary—Clary is your sister."
Jace jerked his hand back. The wineglass tipped, spilling frothing scarlet liquid across the white tablecloth.
"Jonathan," said Valentine.
Jace had gone an awful color, a sort of greenish white. "That's not true," he said. "There's been a mistake. It couldn't
possibly be true."
Valentine looked steadily at his son. "A cause for rejoicing," he said in a low, contemplative voice, "I would have thought.
Yesterday you were an orphan, Jonathan. And now a father, a mother, a sister, you never knew you had."
"It isn't possible," said Jace again. "Clary isn't my sister. If she were…"
"Then what?" Valentine said.
Jace did not reply, but his sick look of nauseous horror was enough for Clary. Stumbling a little, she came around the table
and knelt beside his chair, reaching for his hand. "Jace—"
He jerked away from her, his fingers knotting in the sodden tablecloth. "Don't."
Hatred for Valentine burned in her throat like unshed tears. He had held back, and by not saying what he knew—that she
was his daughter—made her complicit in his silence. And now, having dropped the truth on them with the weight of a crushing
boulder, he sat back to watch the results with a cool consideration. How could Jace not see how hateful he was?
"Tell me it's not true," Jace said, staring at the tablecloth.
Clary swallowed against the burning in her throat. "I can't do that."
Valentine sounded as if he were smiling. "So you admit now that I've been telling the truth all this time?"
"No," she shot back without looking at him. "You're telling lies with a little bit of the truth mixed in, is all."
"This grows tiresome," said Valentine. "If you want to hear the truth, Clarissa, this is the truth. You have heard stories of the
Uprising and so you think I am a villain. Is that correct?"
Clary said nothing. She was looking at Jace, who seemed as if he might be about to throw up. Valentine went on
relentlessly. "It is simple, really. The story you heard was true in some of its parts, but not in others—lies mixed in with a little truth,
as you said. The fact is that Michael Wayland is not and has never been Jace's father. Wayland was killed during the Uprising. I
assumed Michael's name and place when I fled the Glass City with my son. It was easy enough; Wayland had no real relations, and
his closest friends, the Lightwoods, were in exile. He himself would have been in disgrace for his part in the Uprising, so I lived that
disgraced life, quietly enough, alone with Jace on the Waylands' estate. I read my books. I raised my son. And I bided my time."
He fingered the filigreed edge of a glass thoughtfully. He was left-handed, Clary saw. Like Jace.
"Ten years on, I received a letter. The writer of the letter indicated that he knew my true identity, and if I were not prepared
to take certain steps, he would reveal it. I did not know who the letter was from, but it did not matter. I was not prepared to give
the writer of it what he wanted. Besides, I knew my safety was compromised, and would be unless he thought me dead, beyond his
reach. I staged my death a second time, with the help of Blackwell and Pangborn, and for Jace's own safety made sure that my son
would be sent here, to the protection of the Lightwoods."
"So you let Jace think you were dead? You just let him think you were dead, all these years? That's despicable."
"Don't," said Jace again. He had raised his hands to cover his face. He spoke against his own fingers, voice muffled. "Don't,
Valentine looked at his son with a smile Jace couldn't see. "Jonathan had to think I was dead, yes. He had to think he was
Michael Wayland's son, or the Lightwoods would not have protected him as they did. It was Michael they owed a debt to, not me.
It was on Michael's account that they loved him, not mine."
"Maybe they loved him on his own account," said Clary.
"A commendably sentimental interpretation," said Valentine, "but unlikely. You do not know the Lightwoods as I once did."
He did not seem to see Jace's flinch, or if he did, he ignored it. "It hardly matters, in the end," Valentine added. "The Lightwoods
were intended as protection for Jace, not as a replacement family, you see. He has a family. He has a father."
Jace made a noise in his throat, and moved his hands away from his face. "My mother—"
"Fled after the Uprising," said Valentine. "I was a disgraced man. The Clave would have hunted me down had they thought
I lived. She could not bear her association with me, and ran." The pain in his voice was palpable—and faked, Clary thought bitterly.
The manipulative creep. "I did not know she was pregnant at the time. With Clary." He smiled a little, running his finger slowly
down the wineglass. "But blood calls to blood, as they say," he went on. "Fate has borne us to this convergence. Our family,
together again. We can use the Portal," he said, turning his gaze to Jace. "Go to Idris. Back to the manor house."
Jace shivered a little but nodded, still staring numbly at his hands.
"We'll be together there," said Valentine. "As we should be."
That sounds terrific, thought Clary. Just you, your comatose wife, your shell-shocked son, and your daughter who
hates your guts. Not to mention that your two kids may be in love with each other. Yeah, that sounds like a perfect family
reunion. Aloud, she said only, "I am not going anywhere with you, and neither is my mother."
"He's right, Clary," said Jace hoarsely. He flexed his hands; the fingertips were stained red. "It's the only place for us to go.
We can sort things out there."
"You can't be serious—"
An enormous crash came from downstairs, so loud that it sounded as if a wall of the hospital had collapsed in on itself.
Luke, Clary thought, springing to her feet.
Jace, despite his look of nauseous horror, responded automatically, half-rising from his chair, his hand going to his belt.
"Father, they're—"
"They're on their way." Valentine rose to his feet. Clary heard footsteps. A moment later the door of the room was flung
open, and Luke stood on the threshold.
Clary bit back a cry. He was covered in blood, his jeans and shirt dark and clotted, the lower half of his face bearded with
it. His hands were red to the wrists, the blood that coated them still wet and running. She had no idea if any of the blood was his.
She heard herself cry out his name, and then she was running across the room to him and nearly tripping over herself in her
eagerness to grab at his shirtfront and hang on, the way she hadn't done since she was eight years old.
For a moment his big hand came up and cupped the back of her head, holding her against him in a one -armed bear hug.
Then he pushed her away gently. "I'm all over blood," he said. "Don't worry—it isn't mine."
"Then whose is it?" It was Valentine's voice, and Clary turned, Luke's arm protectively across her shoulders. Valentine was
watching them both, his eyes narrow and calculating. Jace had risen to his feet and come around the table and was standing
hesitantly behind his father. Clary could not remember him ever doing anything hesitantly before.
"Pangborn's," said Luke.
Valentine passed a hand over his face, as if the news pained him. "I see. Did you tear out his throat with your teeth?"
"Actually," said Luke, "I killed him with this." With his free hand he held out the long thin dagger he had killed the Forsaken
with. In the light she could see the blue stones in the hilt. "Do you remember it?"
Valentine looked at it, and Clary saw his jaw tighten. "I do," he said, and Clary wondered if he, too, were remembering
their earlier conversation.
This is a kindjal, a Circassian dagger. This particular one used to be one of a matched pair.
"You handed it to me seventeen years ago and told me to end my life with it," said Luke, the weapon gripped tightly in his
hand. The blade of it was longer than the blade of the red-hilted kindjal in Jace's belt; it was somewhere between a dagger and a
sword, and its blade was needle-tipped. "And I nearly did."
"Do you expect me to deny it?" There was pain in Valentine's voice, the memory of an old grief. "I tried to save you from
yourself, Lucian. I made a grave mistake. If only I'd had the strength to kill you myself, you could have died a man."
"Like you?" asked Luke, and in that moment Clary saw something in him of the Luke she'd always known, who could tell
when she was lying or pretending, who called her on it when she was being arrogant or untruthful. In the bitterness of his voice she
heard the love he'd once had for Valentine, curdled into a weary hatred. "A man who chains his unconscious wife to a bed in the
hopes of torturing her for information when she wakes up? That's your bravery?"
Jace was staring at his father. Clary saw the seizure of anger that momentarily twisted Valentine's features; then it was gone,
and his face was smooth. "I didn't torture her," he said. "She is chained for her own protection."
"Against what?" Luke demanded, stepping farther into the room. "The only thing endangering her is you. The only thing
that ever endangered her was you. She's spent her life running to get away from you."
"I loved her," said Valentine. "I never would have hurt her. It was you who turned her against me."
Luke laughed. "She didn't need me to turn her against you. She learned to hate you on her own."
"That is a lie!" Valentine roared with sudden savagery, and drew his sword from the sheath at his waist. The blade was flat
and matte black, patterned with a design of silver stars. He leveled the blade at Luke's heart.
Jace took a step toward Valentine. "Father—"
"Jonathan, be silent!" shouted Valentine, but it was too late; Clary saw the shock on Luke's face as he stared at Jace.
"Jonathan?" he whispered.
Jace's mouth twisted. "Don't you call me that," he said fiercely, his gold eyes blazing. "I'll kill you myself if you call me that."
Luke, ignoring the blade pointed at his heart, didn't take his eyes off Jace. "Your mother would be proud," he said, so
quietly that even Clary, standing beside him, had to strain to hear it.
"I don't have a mother," said Jace. His hands were shaking. "The woman who gave birth to me walked away from me
before I learned to remember her face. I was nothing to her, so she is nothing to me."
"Your mother is not the one who walked away from you," said Luke, his gaze moving slowly to Valentine. "I would have
thought even you," he said slowly, "were above using your own flesh and blood as bait. I suppose I was wrong."
"That's enough." Valentine's tone was almost languid, but there was fierceness in it, a hungry threat of violence. "Let go of
my daughter, or I'll kill you where you stand."
"I'm not your daughter," said Clary fiercely, but Luke pushed her away from him, so hard that she nearly fell.
"Get out of here," he said. "Get to where it's safe."
"I'm not leaving you!"
"Clary, I mean it. Get out of here." Luke was already lifting his dagger. "This is not your fight."
Clary stumbled away from him, toward the door that led to the landing. Maybe she could run for help, for Alaric—
Then Jace was in front of her, blocking her way to the door. She had forgotten how fast he moved, soft as a cat, quick as
water. "Are you insane?" he hissed. "They've broken down the front door. This place will be full of Forsaken."
She shoved at him. "Let me out—"
Jace held her back with a grip like iron. "So they can tear you apart? Not a chance."
A loud clash of metal sounded behind her. Clary pulled away from Jace and saw that Valentine had struck at Luke, who
had met his blow with an ear-shattering parry. Their blades ground apart, and now they were moving across the floor in a blur of
feints and slashes. "Oh, my God," she whispered. "They're going to kill each other."
Jace's eyes were nearly black. "You don't understand," he said. "This is how it's done—" He broke off and sucked in a
breath as Luke slipped past Valentine's guard, catching him a blow across the shoulder. Blood flowed freely, staining the cloth of
his white shirt.
Valentine threw back his head and laughed. "A true hit," he said. "I hardly thought you had it in you, Lucian."
Luke stood very straight, the knife blocking his face from Clary's view. "You taught me that move yourself."
"But that was years ago," said Valentine in a voice like raw silk, "and since then, you've hardly had need of a knife, have
you? Not when you have claws and fangs at your disposal."
"All the better to tear your heart out with."
Valentine shook his head. "You tore my heart out years ago," he said, and even Clary could not tell if the sorrow in his
voice was real or feigned. "When you betrayed and deserted me." Luke struck at him again, but Valentine was moving swiftly back
across the floor. For a big man he moved surprisingly lightly. "It was you who turned my wife against her own kind. You came to
her when she was weakest, with your piteousness, your helpless need. I was distant and she thought you loved her. She was a
Jace was taut as a wire beside Clary. She could feel his tension, like the sparks given off by a downed electrical cable.
"That's your mother Valentine's talking about," she said.
"She abandoned me," said Jace. "Some mother."
"She thought you were dead. You want to know how I know that? Because she kept a box in her bedroom. It had your
initials on it. J.C."
"So she had a box," said Jace. "Lots of people have boxes. They keep things in them. It's a growing trend, I hear."
"It had a lock of your hair in it. Baby hair. And a photograph, maybe two. She used to take it out every year and cry over
it. Awful brokenhearted crying—"
Jace's hand clenched at his side. "Stop it," he said between his teeth.
"Stop what? Telling you the truth? She thought you had died—she'd never have left you if she'd known you were alive. You
thought your father was dead—"
"I saw him die! Or I thought I did. I didn't just—just hear about it and choose to believe it!"
"She found your burned bones," said Clary quietly. "In the ruins of her house. Along with the bones of her mother and
At last Jace looked at her. She saw the disbelief plain in his eyes, and around his eyes, the strain of maintaining that
disbelief. She could see, almost as if she saw through a glamour, the fragile construct of his faith in his father that he wore like a
transparent armor, protecting him from the truth. Somewhere, she thought, there was a chink in that armor; somewhere, if she could
find the right words, it could be breached. "That's ridiculous," he said. "I didn't die—there weren't any bones."
"There were."
"So it was a glamour," he said roughly.
"Ask your father what happened to his mother and father-in-law," said Clary. She reached to touch his hand. "Ask him if
that was a glamour, too—"
"Shut up!"Jace's control cracked and he turned on her, livid. Clary saw Luke glance toward them, startled by the noise,
and in that moment of distraction Valentine dove under his guard and, with a single forward thrust, drove the blade of his sword into
Luke's chest, just below his collarbone.
Luke's eyes flew open as if in astonishment rather than pain. Valentine jerked his hand back, and the blade slid back,
stained red to the hilt. With a sharp laugh Valentine struck again, this time knocking the weapon from Luke's hand. It hit the floor
with a hollow clang and Valentine kicked it hard, sending it skittering under the table as Luke collapsed.
Valentine raised the black sword over Luke's prone body, ready to deliver the killing stroke. Inlaid silvery stars gleamed
along the blade's length and Clary thought, frozen in a moment of horror, how could anything so deadly he so beautiful?
Jace, as if knowing what Clary was going to do before she did it, whirled on her. "Clary—"
The frozen moment passed. Clary twisted away from Jace, ducking his reaching hands, and raced across the stone floor to
Luke. He was on the ground, supporting himself with one arm; Clary threw herself on him just as Valentine's sword drove
She saw Valentine's eyes as the sword hurtled toward her; it seemed like eons, though it could only have been a split
second. She saw that he could stop the blow if he wanted. Saw that he knew it might well strike her if he didn't. Saw that he was
going to do it anyway.
She threw her hands up, squeezing her eyes shut—
There was a clang. She heard Valentine cry out, and she looked up to see him holding his empty sword hand, which was
bleeding. The red-hilted kindjal lay several feet away on the stone floor, next to the black sword. Turning in astonishment, she saw
Jace by the door, his arm still raised, and realized he must have flung the dagger with enough force to knock the black sword out of
his father's hand.
Very pale, he slowly lowered his arm, his eyes on Valentine—wide and pleading. "Father, I…"
Valentine looked at his bleeding hand, and for a moment, Clary saw a spasm of rage cross his face, like a light flickering
out. His voice, when he spoke, was mild. "That was an excellent throw, Jace."
Jace hesitated. "But your hand. I just thought—"
"I would not have hurt your sister," said Valentine, moving swiftly to retrieve both his sword and the red -hilted kindjal,
which he stuck through his belt. "I would have stopped the blow. But your family concern is commendable."
Liar. But Clary had no time for Valentine's prevarications. She turned to look at Luke and felt a sharp nauseous pang.
Luke was lying on his back, eyes half-closed, his breathing ragged. Blood bubbled up from the hole in his torn shirt. "I need a
bandage," Clary said in a choked voice. Some cloth, anything."
"Don't move, Jonathan," said Valentine in a steely voice, and Jace froze where he was, hand already reaching toward his
pocket. "Clarissa," her father said, in a voice as oily as steel slicked with butter, "this man is an enemy of our family, an enemy of the
Clave. We are hunters, and that means sometimes we are killers. Surely you understand that."
"Demon hunters," said Clary. "Demon killers. Not murderers. There's a difference."
"He is a demon, Clarissa," said Valentine, still in the same soft voice. "A demon with a man's face. I know how deceptive
such monsters can be. Remember, I spared him once myself."
"’Monster'?" echoed Clary. She thought of Luke, Luke pushing her on the swings when she was five years old, higher,
always higher; Luke at her graduation from middle school, camera clicking away like a proud father's; Luke sorting through each
box of books as it arrived at his store, looking for anything she might like and putting it aside. Luke lifting her up to pull apples
down from the trees near his farmhouse. Luke, whose place as her father this man was trying to take. "Luke isn't a monster," she
said in a voice that matched Valentine's, steel for steel. "Or a murderer. You are."
"Clary!" It was Jace.
Clary ignored him. Her eyes were fixed on her father's cold black ones. "You murdered your wife's parents, not in battle
but in cold blood," she said. "And I bet you murdered Michael Wayland and his little boy, too. Threw their bones in with my
grandparents' so that my mother would think you and Jace were dead. Put your necklace around Michael Wayland's neck before
you burned him so everyone would think those bones were yours. After all your talk about the untainted blood of the Clave—you
didn't care at all about their blood or their innocence when you killed them, did you? Slaughtering old people and children in cold
blood, that's monstrous."
Another spasm of rage contorted Valentine's features. "That's enough!” Valentine roared, raising the black-star sword
again, and Clary heard the truth of who he was in his voice, the rage that had propelled him all his life. The unending seething rage.
"Jonathan! Drag your sister out of my way, or by the Angel, I'll knock her down to kill the monster she's protecting!"
For the briefest moment Jace hesitated. Then he raised his head. "Certainly, Father," he said, and crossed the room to
Clary. Before she could throw up her hands to ward him off, he had caught her up roughly by the arm. He yanked her to her feet,
pulling her away from Luke.
"Jace," she whispered, appalled.
"Don't," he said. His fingers dug painfully into her arms. He smelled of wine and metal and sweat. "Don't talk to me."
"I said, don't talk." He shook her, hard. She stumbled, regained her footing, and looked up to see Valentine standing,
gloating over Luke's crumpled body. He reached out a fastidious booted toe and shoved Luke, who made a choking sound.
"Leave him alone!" Clary shouted, trying to yank herself out of Jace's grasp. It was useless—he was much too strong.
"Stop it," he hissed in her ear. "You'll just make it worse for yourself. It's better if you don't look."
"Like you do?" she hissed back. "Shutting your eyes and pretending something's not happening doesn't make it not true,
Jace. You ought to know better—"
"Clary, stop." His tone almost brought her up short. He sounded desperate.
Valentine was chuckling. "If only I had thought," he said, "to bring with me a blade of real silver, I could have dispatched
you in the true manner of your kind, Lucian."
Luke snarled something Clary couldn't hear. She hoped it was rude. She tried to twist away from Jace. Her feet slipped
and he caught her, yanking her back with agonizing force. He had his arms around her, she thought, but not the way she had once
hoped, not as she had ever imagined.
"At least let me get up," said Luke. "Let me die on my feet."
Valentine looked at him along the length of the blade, and shrugged. "You can die on your back or on your knees," he said.
"But only a man deserves to die standing, and you are not a man."
"NO!" Clary shouted as, not looking at her, Luke began to pull himself painfully into a kneeling position.
"Why do you have to make it worse for yourself?" Jace demanded in a low, tense whisper. "I told you not to look."
She was panting with exertion and pain. "Why do you have to lie to yourself?"
"I'm not lying!" His grip on her tightened savagely, though she hadn't tried to pull away. "I just want what's good in my life—
my father—my family—I can't lose it all again."
Luke was kneeling upright now. Valentine had raised the bloodstained sword. Luke's eyes were closed, and he was
murmuring something: words, a prayer, Clary didn't know. She twisted in Jace's arms, wrenching around so that she could look up
into his face. His lips were drawn thin, his jaw set, but his eyes—
The fragile armor was breaking. It needed only a last push from her. She struggled for the words.
"You have a family," she said. "Family, those are just the people who love you. Like the Lightwoods love you. Alec,
Isabelle—" Her voice cracked. "Luke is my family, and you're going to make me watch him die just like you thought you watched
your father die when you were ten years old? Is this what you want, Jace? Is this the kind of man you want to be? Like—"
She broke off, suddenly terrified that she had gone too far.
"Like my father," he said.
His voice was icy, distant, flat as the blade of a knife.
I've lost him, she thought despairingly.
"Get down," he said, and pushed her, hard. She stumbled, fell to the ground, rolled onto one knee. Kneeling upright, she
saw Valentine raise his sword high over his head. The glow from the chandelier overhead exploding off the blade sent brilliant
points of light stabbing into her eyes. "Luke!" she shrieked.
The blade slammed home—into the floor. Luke was no longer there. Jace, having moved faster than Clary would have
thought possible even for a Shadowhunter, had knocked him out of the way, sending him sprawling to the side. Jace stood facing
his father over the quivering hilt of the sword, his face white, but his gaze steady.
"I think you should leave," Jace said.
Valentine stared incredulously at his son. "What did you say?"
Luke had pulled himself into a sitting position. Fresh blood stained his shirt. He stared as Jace reached out a hand and
gently, almost disinterestedly, caressed the hilt of the sword that had been driven into the floor. "I think you heard me, Father."
Valentine's voice was like a whip. "Jonathan Morgenstern—"
Quick as lightning, Jace seized the hilt of the sword, tore it free from the floorboards, and raised it. He held it lightly, level
and flat, the point hovering a few inches below his father's chin. "That's not my name," he said. "My name is Jace Wayland."
Valentine's eyes were still fixed on Jace; he barely seemed to notice the sword at his throat. "Wayland?" he roared. "You
have no Wayland blood! Michael Wayland was a stranger to you—"
"So," said Jace calmly, "are you." He jerked the sword to the left. "Now move."
Valentine was shaking his head. "Never. I will not take orders from a child."
The tip of the sword kissed Valentine's throat. Clary stared in fascinated horror. "I am a very well-trained child," Jace said.
"You instructed me yourself in the precise art of killing. I only need to move two fingers to cut your throat, did you know that?" His
eyes were steely. "I suppose you did."
"You're skilled enough," said Valentine. His tone was dismissive, but, Clary noticed, he was standing very still indeed. "But
you could not kill me. You have always been softhearted."
"Perhaps he couldn't." It was Luke, on his feet now, pale and bloody but upright. "But I could. And I'm not entirely sure he
could stop me."
Valentine's feverish eyes flicked to Luke, and back to his son. Jace hadn't turned when Luke spoke, but stood still as a
statue, the sword unmoving in his hand. "You hear the monster threatening me, Jonathan," said Valentine. "You side with it?"
"It has a point," said Jace mildly. "I'm not entirely sure I could stop him if he wanted to do you damage. Werewolves heal
so fast."
Valentine's lip curled. "So," he spat, "like your mother, you prefer this creature, this half -bred demon thing to your own
blood, your own family?"
For the first time the sword in Jace's hand seemed to tremble. "You left me when I was a child," he said in a measured
voice. "You let me think you were dead and you sent me away to live with strangers. You never told me I had a mother, a sister.
You left me alone." The word was a cry.
"I did it for you—to keep you safe," Valentine protested.
"If you cared about Jace, if you cared about blood, you wouldn't have killed his grandparents. You murdered innocent
people," Clary cut in, furious.
"Innocent?" snapped Valentine. "No one is innocent in a war! They sided with Jocelyn against me! They would have let her
take my son from me!"
Luke let out a hissing breath. "You knew she was going to leave you," he said. "You knew she was going to run, even
before the Uprising?"
"Of course I knew!" roared Valentine. His icy control had cracked and Clary could see the molten rage seething
underneath, coiling the tendons in his neck, clenching his hands into fists. "I did what I had to to protect my own, and in the end I
gave them more than they ever deserved: the funeral pyre awarded only to the greatest warriors of the Clave!"
"You burned them," said Clary flatly.
"Yes!" shouted Valentine. "I burned them."
Jace made a strangled noise. "My grandparents—"
"You never knew them," said Valentine. "Don't pretend to a grief you do not feel."
The point of the sword was trembling more rapidly now. Luke put a hand on Jace's shoulder. "Steady," he said.
Jace didn't look at him. He was breathing as if he had been running. Clary could see the sweat shimmering on the sharp
divide of his collarbones, sticking his hair to his temples. The veins were visible along the backs of his hands. He's going to kill
him, she thought. He's going to kill Valentine.
She stepped forward hastily. "Jace—we need the Cup. Or you know what he'll do with it."
Jace licked his dry lips. "The Cup, Father. Where is it?"
"In Idris," said Valentine calmly. "Where you will never find it."
Jace's hand was shaking. "Tell me—"
"Give me the sword, Jonathan." It was Luke, his voice calm, even kind.
Jace sounded as if he were speaking from the bottom of a well. "What?"
Clary took a step forward. "Give Luke the sword. Let him have it, Jace."
He shook his head. "I can't do that."
She took another step forward; one more, and she'd be close enough to touch him. "Yes, you can," she said gently.
He didn't look at her. His eyes were locked on his father's. The moment stretched out and out, interminable. At last he
nodded, curtly, without lowering his hand. But he did let Luke move to stand beside him, and place his hand over Jace's, on the hilt
of the blade. "You can let go now, Jonathan," Luke said— and then, seeing Clary's face, amended himself. "Jace."
Jace seemed not to have heard him. He released the hilt and moved away from his father. Some of Jace's color had come
back, and he was now a shade more like putty, his lip bloody where he'd bitten it. Clary ached to touch him, put her arms around
him, knew he'd never let her.
"I have a suggestion," said Valentine to Luke, in a surprisingly even tone.
"Let me guess," said Luke. "It's 'Don't kill me,' isn't it?"
Valentine laughed, a sound without any humor in it. "I would hardly lower myself to ask you for my life," he said.
"Good," said Luke, nudging the other man's chin with his blade. "I'm not going to kill you unless you force my hand,
Valentine. I draw the line at murdering you in front of your own children. What I want is the Cup."
The roaring downstairs was louder now. Clary could hear what sounded like footsteps in the corridor outside. "Luke—"
"I hear it," he snapped.
"The Cup's in Idris, I told you," said Valentine, his eyes shifting past Luke.
Luke was sweating. "If it's in Idris, you used the Portal to bring it there. I'll go with you. Bring it back." Luke's eyes were
darting. There was more movement in the corridor outside now, sounds of shouting, of something shattering. "Clary, stay with your
brother. After we go through, you use the Portal to take you to a safe place."
"I won't leave here," said Jace.
"Yes, you will." Something thudded against the door. Luke raised his voice, "Valentine, the Portal. Move."
"Or what?" Valentine's eyes were fixed on the door with a considering look.
"I'll kill you if you force my hand," Luke said. "In front of them, or not. The Portal, Valentine. Now."
Valentine spread his hands wide. "If you wish."
He stepped lightly backward, just as the door exploded inward, hinges scattering across the floor. Luke ducked out of the
way to avoid being crushed by the falling door, turning as he did so, the sword still in his hand.
A wolf stood in the doorway, a mountain of growling, brindled fur, shoulders hunched forward, lips curled back over
snarling teeth. Blood ran from innumerable gashes in his pelt.
Jace was swearing softly, a seraph blade already in his hand. Clary caught at his wrist. "Don't—he's a friend."
Jace shot her an incredulous glance, but lowered his arm.
"Alaric—" Luke shouted something then, in a language Clary didn't understand. Alaric snarled again, crouching closer to the
floor, and for a confused moment she thought he was going to hurl himself at Luke. Then she saw Valentine's hand at his belt, the
flash of red jewels, and realized that she had forgotten that he still had Jace's dagger.
She heard a voice shout Luke's name, thought it was her own—then realized that her throat seemed glued shut, and that it
was Jace who had shouted.
Luke slewed around, excruciatingly slowly, it seemed, as the knife left Valentine's hand and flew toward him like a silver
butterfly, turning over and over in the air. Luke raised his blade—and something huge and tawny gray hurtled between him and
Valentine. She heard Alaric's howl, rising, suddenly cut off; heard the sound as the blade struck. She gasped and tried to run
forward, but Jace pulled her back.
The wolf crumpled at Luke's feet, blood spattering his fur. Feebly, with his paws, Alaric clawed at the hilt of the knife
protruding from his chest.
Valentine laughed. "And this is how you repay the unquestioning loyalty you bought so cheaply, Lucian," he said. "By letting
them die for you." He was backing up, his eyes still on Luke.
Luke, white-faced, looked at him, and then down at Alaric; shook his head once, and dropped to his knees, leaning over
the fallen werewolf. Jace, still holding Clary by the shoulders, hissed, "Stay here, you hear me? Stay here," and set off after
Valentine, who was hurrying, inexplicably, toward the far wall. Did he plan to throw himself out the window? Clary could see his
reflection in the big, gold-framed mirror as he neared it, and the expression on his face—a sort of sneering relief—filled her with a
murderous rage.
"Like hell I will," she muttered, moving to follow Jace. She paused only to grab the blue -hilted kindjal from the floor
beneath the table, where Valentine had kicked it. The weapon in her hand felt comfortable now, reassuring, as she pushed a fallen
chair out of her way and approached the mirror.
Jace had the seraph blade out, its light casting a hard illumination upward, darkening the circles under his eyes, the hollows
of his cheeks. Valentine had turned and stood outlined in its light, his back against the mirror. In its surface Clary could also see
Luke behind them; he had set his sword down, and was pulling the red-hilted kindjal out of Alaric's chest, gently and carefully. She
felt sick and gripped her own blade more tightly. "Jace—" she began.
He didn't turn to look at her, though of course he could see her in the mirror's reflection. "Clary, I told you to wait."
"She's like her mother," said Valentine. One of his hands was behind him; he was running it along the edge of the mirror's
heavy gilt frame. "Doesn't like to do what she's told."
Jace wasn't shaking as he had been earlier, but Clary could sense how thin his control had been stretched, like the skin over
a drum. "I'll go with him to Idris, Clary. I'll bring the Cup back."
"No, you can't," Clary began, and saw, in the mirror, how his face twisted.
"Do you have a better idea?" he demanded.
"But Luke—"
"Lucian," said Valentine in a voice like silk, "is attending to a fallen comrade. As for the Cup, and Idris, they are not far.
Through the looking glass, one might say."
Jace's eyes narrowed. "The mirror is the Portal?"
Valentine's lips thinned and he dropped his hand, moving back from the mirror as the image in it swirled and changed like
watercolors running in a painting. Instead of the room with its dark wood and candles, now Clary could see green fields, the thick
emerald leaves of trees, and a wide meadow sweeping down to a large stone house in the distance. She could hear the buzzing
sound of bees and the rustle of leaves in wind, and smell the honeysuckle carried on the wind.
"I told you it was not far." Valentine stood in what was now a gilt -arched doorway, his hair stirring in the same wind that
ruffled the leaves on the distant trees. "Is it as you remember it, Jonathan? Has nothing changed?"
Clary's heart clenched inside her chest. She had no doubt this was Jace's childhood home, presented to tempt him as you
might tempt a child with candy or a toy. She looked toward Jace, but he didn't seem to see her at all. He was staring at the Portal,
and the view beyond it of the green fields and the manor house. She saw his face soften, the wistful curve of his mouth, as if he
were looking at someone he loved.
"You can still come home," said his father. The light from the seraph blade that Jace held threw his shadow backward so it
seemed to move across the Portal, darkening the bright fields, the meadow beyond.
The smile faded from Jace's mouth. "That's not my home," he said. "This is my home now."
A spasm of fury twisting his features, Valentine looked at his son. She would never forget that look—it made her feel a
sudden wild longing for her mother. Because no matter how angry her mother had been with her, Jocelyn had never looked at her
like that. She had always looked at her with love.
If she could have felt more pity for Jace than she already did, she would have felt it then.
"Very well," said Valentine, and took a swift step back through the Portal so that his feet struck the earth of Idris. His lips
curved into a smile. "Ah," he said, "home."
Jace stumbled to the edge of the Portal before stopping, a hand against the gilt frame. A strange hesitation seemed to have
taken hold of him, even as Idris shimmered before his eyes like a mirage in the desert. It would only take a step—
"Jace, don't," Clary said quickly. "Don't go after him."
"But the Cup," said Jace. She could not tell what he was thinking, but the blade in his hand was shaking violently as his hand
"Let the Clave get it! Jace, please." If you go through that Portal, you might never come back. Valentine will kill you.
You don't want to believe it, but he will.
"Your sister is right." Valentine was standing amid green grass and wildflowers, the blades waving around his feet, and
Clary realized that though he and they were inches away from each other, they stood in different countries. "Do you really think you
can win this? Though you have a seraph blade and I am unarmed? Not only am I stronger than you, but I doubt you have it in you
to kill me. And you will have to kill me, Jonathan, before I'll give the Cup to you."
Jace tightened his grip on the angel blade. "I can—"
"No, you can't." Valentine reached out, through the Portal, and seized Jace's wrist in his hand, dragging it forward until the
tip of the seraph blade touched his chest. Where Jace's hand and wrist passed through the Portal, they seemed to shimmer as if
they had been cast in water. "Do it, then," said Valentine. "Drive the blade in. Three inches—maybe four." He jerked the blade
forward, the dagger's tip slicing the fabric of his shirt. A red circle like a poppy bloomed just over his heart. Jace, with a gasp,
yanked his arm free and staggered back.
"As I thought," said Valentine. "Too softhearted." And with a shocking suddenness he swung his fist toward Jace. Clary
cried out, but the blow never connected: instead it struck the surface of the Portal between them with a sound like a thousand
fragile shattering things. Spiderwebbing cracks fissured the glass-that-was-not-glass; the last thing Clary heard before the Portal
dissolved into a deluge of ragged shards was Valentine's derisive laughter.
Glass surged across the floor like a shower of ice, a strangely beautiful cascade of silver shards. Clary stepped back, but
Jace stood very still as the glass rained around him, staring at the empty frame of the mirror.
Clary had expected him to swear, to shout or curse at his father, but instead he only waited for the shards to stop falling.
When they did, he knelt down silently and carefully in the welter of broken glass and picked up one of the larger pieces, turning it
over in his hands.
"Don't." Clary knelt down next to him, setting down the knife she'd been holding. Its presence no longer comforted her.
"There wasn't anything you could have done."
"Yes, there was." He was still looking down at the glass. Broken slivers of it powdered his hair. "I could have killed him."
He turned the shard toward her. "Look," he said.
She looked. In the bit of glass she could still see a piece of Idris—a bit of blue sky, the shadow of green leaves. She
exhaled painfully. "Jace—"
"Are you all right?"
Clary looked up. It was Luke, standing over them. He was weaponless, his eyes sunk into blue circles of exhaustion.
"We're fine," she said. She could see a crumpled figure on the ground behind him, half -covered in Valentine's long coat. A hand
protruded from beneath the fabric's edge; it was tipped with claws. "Alaric… ?"
"Is dead," said Luke. There was a wealth of controlled pain in his voice; though he had barely known Alaric, Clary knew
the crushing weight of guilt would stay with him forever. And this is how you repay the unquestioning loyalty you bought so
cheaply, Lucian. By letting them die for you.
"My father got away," said Jace. "With the Cup." His voice was dull. "We delivered it right to him. I failed."
Luke let one of his hands fall on Jace's head, brushing the glass from his hair. His claws were still out, his fingers stained
with blood, but Jace suffered his touch as if he didn't mind it, and said nothing at all. "It's not your fault," Luke said, looking down at
Clary. His blue eyes were steady. They said: Your brother needs you; stay with him.
She nodded, and Luke left them and went to the window. He threw it open, sending a draft of air through the room that
guttered the candles. Clary could hear him shouting, calling down to the wolves below.
She knelt down next to Jace. "It's all right," she said haltingly, though clearly it wasn't, and might never be again, and she put
her hand on his shoulder. The cloth of his shirt was rough under her fingertips, damp with sweat, strangely comforting. "We have my
mom back. We have you. We have everything that matters."
"He was right. That's why I couldn't make myself go through the Portal," Jace whispered. "I couldn't do it. I couldn't kill
"The only way you would have failed," she said, "is if you had."
He said nothing, only whispered something under his breath. She couldn't quite hear the words, but she reached out and
took the bit of glass out of his hand. He was bleeding where he'd held it, from two fine and narrow gashes. She put the shard down
and took his hand, closing his fingers over the injured palm. "Honestly, Jace," she said, as gently as she'd touched him, "don't you
know better than to play with broken glass?"
He made a sound like a choked laugh before he reached out and pulled her into his arms. She was aware of Luke watching
them from the window, but she shut her eyes resolutely and buried her face against Jace's shoulder. He smelled of salt and blood,
and only when his mouth came close to her ear did she understand what he was saying, what he had been whispering before, and it
was the simplest litany of all: her name, just her name.