Thursday, 21 February 2013

City of Lost Souls - Chapter 21

Luke’s sister looked up, her blue eyes, so much like Luke’s, fastening on Clary. She
seemed dizzied, shocked, her expression a little unfocused as if she’d been drugged. She
tried to start to her feet, but Cartwright shoved her back down. Sebastian started toward
them, the Cup in his hand.
Clary scrambled forward, but Jace caught her by the arm, pulling her back. She kicked
at him, but he’d already swung her up into his arms, his hand over her mouth. Sebastian
was speaking to Amatis in a low, hypnotic voice. She shook her head violently, but
Cartwright caught her by her long hair and jerked her head back. Clary heard her cry out,
a thin sound over the wind.
Clary thought of the night she’d stayed up watching Jace’s chest rise and fall, thinking
how she could end all this with a single knife blow. But all this hadn’t had a face, a voice,
a plan. Now that it wore Luke’s sister’s face, now that Clary knew the plan, it was too
Sebastian had one hand fisted in the back of Amatis’s hair, the Cup jammed against her
mouth. As he forced the contents down her throat, she retched and coughed, black fluid
dripping down her chin.
Sebastian yanked the Cup back, but it had done its work. Amatis made an awful
hacking sound, her body jerking upright. Her eyes bulged, turning as dark as Sebastian’s.
She slapped her hands over her face, a wail escaping her, and Clary saw in astonishment
that the Voyance rune was fading from her hand—fading to pallor—and then it was gone.
Amatis dropped her hands. Her expression had smoothed and her eyes were blue
again. They fastened on Sebastian.
“Release her,” Clary’s brother said to Cartwright, his gaze on Amatis. “Let her come to
Cartwright snapped the chain binding him to Amatis and stepped back, a curious
mixture of apprehension and fascination on his face.
Amatis remained still a moment, her hands lolling at her sides. Then she stood and
walked over to Sebastian. She knelt before him, her hair brushing the dirt. “Master,” she
said. “How may I serve you?”
“Rise,” Sebastian said, and Amatis rose from the ground gracefully. She seemed to
have a new way of moving, all of a sudden. All Shadowhunters were adroit, but she
moved now with a silent grace that Clary found oddly chilling. She stood straight in front
of Sebastian. For the first time Clary saw that what she had taken for a long white dress
was a nightgown, as if she had been awakened and spirited out of bed. What a
nightmare, to wake up here, among these hooded figures, in this bitter, abandoned place.
“Come here to me,” Sebastian beckoned, and Amatis stepped toward him. She was a
head shorter than him at least, and she craned her head up as he whispered to her. A
cold smile split her face.
Sebastian raised his hand. “Would you like to fight Cartwright?”
Cartwright dropped the chain he had been holding, his hand going to his weapons belt
through the gap in his cloak. He was a young man, with fairish hair, and a wide, squarejawed
face. “But I—”
“Surely some demonstration of her power is in order,” said Sebastian. “Come,
Cartwright, she is a woman, and older than you are. Are you afraid?”
Cartwright looked bewildered, but he drew a long dagger from his belt. “Jonathan—”
Sebastian’s eyes flashed. “Fight him, Amatis.”
Her lips curved. “I would be delighted to,” she said, and sprang. Her speed was
astonishing. She leaped into the air and swung her foot forward, knocking the dagger
from his grip. Clary watched in astonishment as she darted up his body, driving her knee
into his stomach. He staggered back, and she slammed her head into his, spinning around
his body to jerk him hard by the back of his robes, yanking him to the ground. He landed
at her feet with a sickening crack, and groaned in pain.
“And that’s for dragging me out of my bed in the middle of the night,” Amatis said, and
wiped the back of her hand across her lip, which was bleeding slightly. A faint murmur of
strained laughter went around the crowd.
“And there you see it,” said Sebastian. “Even a Shadowhunter of no particular skill or
strength—your pardon, Amatis—can become stronger, swifter, than their seraphically
allied counterparts.” He slammed one fist into the opposite palm. “Power. Real power.
Who is ready for it?”
There was a moment of hesitation, and then Cartwright stumbled to his feet, one hand
curved protectively over his stomach. “I am,” he said, shooting a venomous look at
Amatis, who only smiled.
Sebastian held up the Infernal Cup. “Then, come forward.”
Cartwright moved toward Sebastian, and as he did, the other Shadowhunters broke
formation, surging toward the place where Sebastian stood, forming a ragged line. Amatis
stood serenely to the side, her hands folded. Clary stared at her, willing the older woman
to look at her. It was Luke’s sister. If things had gone as planned, she would have been
Clary’s step-aunt now.
Amatis. Clary thought of her small canal house in Idris, the way she had been so kind,
the way she had loved Jace’s father so much. Please look at me, she thought. Please
show me you’re still yourself. As if Amatis had heard her silent prayer, she raised her
head and looked directly at Clary.
And smiled. Not a kind smile or a reassuring smile. Her smile was dark and cold and
quietly amused. It was the smile of someone who would watch you drown, Clary thought,
and not lift a finger to help. It was not Amatis’s smile. It was not Amatis at all. Amatis
was gone.
Jace had taken his hand from her mouth, but she felt no desire to scream. No one here
would help her, and the person standing with his arms around her, prisoning her with his
body, wasn’t Jace. The way that clothes retained the shape of their owner even if they
had not been worn for years, or a pillow kept the outline of the head of the person who
had once slept there even if they were long dead, that was all he was. An empty shell she
had filled with her wishes and love and dreams.
And in doing so she had done the real Jace a terrible wrong. In her quest to save him,
she had almost forgotten who she was saving. And she remembered what he had said to
her during those few moments when he had been himself. I hate the thought of him
being with you. Him. That other me. Jace had known they were two different people—
that himself with the soul scraped out wasn’t himself at all.
He had tried to turn himself over to the Clave, and she hadn’t let him. She hadn’t
listened to what he’d wanted. She had made the choice for him—in a moment of flight
and panic, but she had made it—not realizing that her Jace would rather die than be like
this, and that she’d been not so much saving his life as damning him to an existence he
would despise.
She sagged against him, and Jace, taking her sudden shift as an indicator that she
wasn’t fighting him anymore, loosened his grip on her. The last of the Shadowhunters
was in front of Sebastian, reaching eagerly for the Infernal Cup as he held it out. “Clary
—,” Jace began.
She never found out what he would have said. There was a cry, and the Shadowhunter
reaching for the Cup staggered back, an arrow in his throat. In disbelief Clary whipped her
head around and saw, standing on top of the stone dolmen, Alec, in gear, holding his
bow. He grinned in satisfaction and reached back over his shoulder for another arrow.
And then, coming from behind him, the rest of them poured out onto the plain. A pack
of wolves, running low to the ground, their brindled fur shining in the variegated light.
Maia and Jordan were among them, she guessed. Behind them walked familiar
Shadowhunters in an unbroken line: Isabelle and Maryse Lightwood, Helen Blackthorn
and Aline Penhallow, and Jocelyn, her red hair visible even at a distance. With them was
Simon, the hilt of a silver sword protruding over the curve of his shoulder, and Magnus,
hands crackling with blue fire.
Her heart leaped in her chest. “I’m here!” she called out to them. “I’m here!”
“Can you see her?” Jocelyn demanded. “Is she there?”
Simon tried to focus on the milling darkness ahead of him, his vampire senses
sharpening at the distinct scent of blood. Different kinds of blood, mixing together—
Shadowhunter blood, demon blood, and the bitterness of Sebastian’s blood. “I see her,”
he said. “Jace has hold of her. He’s pulling her behind that line of Shadowhunters there.”
“If they’re loyal to Jonathan like the Circle was to Valentine, they’ll make a wall of
bodies to protect him, and Clary and Jace along with him.” Jocelyn was all cold maternal
fury, her green eyes burning. “We’re going to have to break through it to get to them.”
“What we need to get to is Sebastian,” said Isabelle. “Simon, we’ll hack a path for you.
You get to Sebastian and run him through with Glorious. Once he falls—”
“The others will probably scatter,” said Magnus. “Or, depending on how tied they are to
Sebastian, they might die or collapse along with him. We can hope, at least.” He craned
his head back. “Speaking of hope, did you see that shot Alec got off with his bow? That’s
my boyfriend.” He beamed and wiggled his fingers; blue sparks shot from them. He shone
all over. Only Magnus, Simon thought resignedly, would have access to sequined battle
Isabelle uncurled her whip from around her wrist. It shot out in front of her, a lick of
golden fire. “Okay, Simon,” she said. “Are you ready?”
Simon’s shoulders tightened. They were still some distance from the line of the
opposing army—he didn’t know how else to think of them—who were holding their line in
their red robes and gear, their hands bristling with weapons. Some of them were
exclaiming out loud in confusion. He couldn’t hold back a grin.
“Name of the Angel, Simon,” said Izzy. “What’s there to smile about?”
“Their seraph blades don’t work anymore,” said Simon. “They’re trying to figure out
why. Sebastian just shouted at them to use other weapons.” A cry came up from the line
as another arrow swooped down from the tomb and buried itself in the back of a burly
red-robed Shadowhunter, who collapsed forward. The line jerked and opened slightly, like
a fracture in a wall. Simon, seeing his chance, dashed forward, and the others rushed
with him.
It was like diving into a black ocean at night, an ocean filled with sharks and viciously
toothed sea creatures colliding against one another. It was not the first battle Simon had
ever been in, but during the Mortal War he had been newly Marked with the Mark of Cain.
It hadn’t quite begun working yet, though many demons had reeled back upon seeing it.
He had never thought he would miss it, but he missed it now, as he tried to shove
forward through the tightly packed Shadowhunters, who hacked at him with blades.
Isabelle was on one side of him, Magnus on the other, protecting him—protecting
Glorious. Isabelle’s whip sang out strong and sure, and Magnus’s hands spat fire, red and
green and blue. Lashes of colored fire struck the dark Nephilim, burning them where they
stood. Other Shadowhunters screamed as Luke’s wolves slunk among them, nipping and
biting, leaping for their throats.
A dagger shot out with astonishing speed and sliced at Simon’s side. He cried out but
kept going, knowing the wound would knit itself together in seconds. He pushed forward

And froze. A familiar face was before him. Luke’s sister, Amatis. As her eyes settled on
him, he saw the recognition in them. What was she doing here? Had she come to fight
alongside them? But—
She lunged at him, a darkly gleaming dagger in her hand. She was fast—but not so fast
that his vampire reflexes couldn’t have saved him, if he hadn’t been too astonished to
move. Amatis was Luke’s sister; he knew her; and that moment of disbelief might have
been the end of him if Magnus hadn’t jumped in front of him, shoving him backward. Blue
fire shot from Magnus’s hand, but Amatis was faster than the warlock, too. She spun
away from the blaze and under Magnus’s arm, and Simon caught the flash of moonlight
off the blade of her knife. Magnus’s eyes widened in shock as her midnight-colored blade
drove downward, slicing through his armor. She jerked it back, the blade now slick with
reflective blood; Isabelle screamed as Magnus collapsed to his knees. Simon tried to turn
toward him, but the surge and pressure of the fighting crowd was carrying him away. He
cried out Magnus’s name as Amatis bent over the fallen warlock and raised the dagger a
second time, aiming for his heart.
“Let go of me!” Clary shouted, writhing and kicking as she did her best to wrench herself
out of Jace’s grip. She could see almost nothing above the surging crowd of red-clad
Shadowhunters that stood in front of her, Jace, and Sebastian, blocking her family and
friends. The three of them were a few feet behind the line of battle; Jace was holding her
tightly as she struggled, and Sebastian, to the side of them, was watching events unfold
with a look of dark fury on his face. His lips were moving. She couldn’t tell if he was
swearing, praying, or chanting the words of a spell. “Let go of me, you—”
Sebastian turned, a frightening expression on his face, somewhere between a grin and
a snarl. “Shut her up, Jace.”
Jace, still gripping Clary, said, “Are we just going to stand back here and let them
protect us?” He jerked his chin toward the line of Shadowhunters.
“Yes,” Sebastian said. “We are too important to risk getting hurt, you and I.”
Jace shook his head. “I don’t like it. There are too many on the other side.” He craned
his neck to look out over the crowd. “What about Lilith? Can you summon her back, have
her help us?”
“What, right here?” There was contempt in Sebastian’s tone. “No. Besides, she’s too
weak now to be of much help. Once she could have smote down an army, but that piece
of scum Downworlder with his Mark of Cain scattered her essence through the voids
between the worlds. It was all she could do to appear and give us her blood.”
“Coward,” Clary spat at him. “You turned all these people into your slaves and you
won’t even fight to protect them—”
Sebastian raised his hand as if he meant to backhand her across the face. Clary wished
he would, wished Jace could be there to see it happen when he did, but a smirk flashed
across Sebastian’s mouth instead. He lowered his hand. “And if Jace let you go, I suppose
you’d fight?”
“Of course I would—”
“On what side?” Sebastian took a quick step toward her, raising the Infernal Cup. She
could see what was inside it. Though many had drunk from it, the blood had remained at
the same level. “Lift her head up, Jace.”
“No!” She redoubled her efforts to get away. Jace’s hand slipped beneath her chin, but
she thought she felt hesitation in his touch.
“Sebastian,” he said. “Not—”
“Now,” Sebastian said. “There’s no need for us to remain here. We are the important
ones, not these cannon fodder. We’ve proved the Infernal Cup works. That’s what
matters.” He seized the front of Clary’s dress. “But it will be much easier to escape,” he
said, “without this one kicking and screaming and punching every step of the way.”
“We can make her drink later—”
“No,” Sebastian snarled. “Hold her still.” And he raised the Cup and jammed it against
Clary’s lips, trying to pry open her mouth. She fought him, gritting her teeth. “Drink,”
Sebastian said in a vicious whisper, so low she doubted Jace could hear it. “I told you by
the end of this night you would do whatever I wanted. Drink.” His black eyes darkened,
and he dug the Cup in, slicing her bottom lip.
She tasted blood as she reached behind her, grabbing Jace’s shoulders, using his body
to push off against as she kicked out with her legs. She felt the seam rip on her dress as
it split up the side and her feet slammed solidly against Sebastian’s rib cage. He
staggered back with the wind knocked out of him, just as she jerked her head back,
hearing the solid crack as her skull connected with Jace’s face. He yelled and loosened his
grip on her enough for her to tear free. She ripped away from him and plunged into the
battle without looking back.
Maia raced along the rocky ground, starlight raking its cool fingers through her coat, the
strong scents of battle assailing her sensitive nose—blood, sweat, and the burned-rubber
stench of dark magic.
The pack had spread out widely over the field, leaping and killing with deadly teeth and
claws. Maia kept close to Jordan’s side, not because she needed his protection but
because she had discovered that side by side they fought better and more effectively. She
had been in only one battle before, on Brocelind Plain, and that had been a chaotic whirl
of demons and Downworlders. There were many fewer combatants here on the Burren,
but the dark Shadowhunters were formidable, swinging their swords and daggers with a
swift, frightening force. Maia had seen one slender man use a short-bladed dagger to
whip the head off a wolf who’d been in midleap; what had collapsed to the ground was a
headless human body, bloody and unrecognizable.
Even as she thought it, one of the scarlet-robed Nephilim loomed up in front of them, a
double-edged sword gripped in his hands. The blade was stained red-black under the
moonlight. Jordan, beside Maia, snarled, but she was the one who launched herself at the
man. He ducked away, slashing out with his sword. She felt a sharp pain in her shoulder
and hit the ground on all four paws, pain stabbing through her. There was a clatter, and
she knew she had knocked the man’s sword from his hand. She growled in satisfaction
and spun around, but Jordan was already leaping for the Nephilim’s throat—
And the man caught him by the neck, out of the air, as if he were catching hold of a
rebellious puppy. “Downworlder scum,” he spat, and though it wasn’t the first time Maia
had heard such insults, something about the icy hatred of his tone made her shudder.
“You should be a coat. I should be wearing you.”
Maia sank her teeth into his leg. Coppery blood exploded into her mouth as the man
shouted in pain and staggered back, kicking at her, his hold on Jordan slipping. Maia
gripped him tight as Jordan lunged again, and this time the Shadowhunter’s shout of rage
was cut short as the werewolf’s claws tore his throat open.
Amatis drove the knife toward Magnus’s heart—just as an arrow whistled through the air
and thumped into her shoulder, knocking her aside with such force that she spun halfway
around and fell face-forward to the rocky ground. She was screaming, a noise quickly
drowned out by the clash of weapons all around them. Isabelle knelt down by Magnus’s
side; Simon, glancing up, saw Alec on the stone tomb, standing frozen with the bow in his
hands. He was probably too far away to see Magnus clearly; Isabelle had her hands
against the warlock’s chest, but Magnus—Magnus, who was always so kinetic, so bursting
with energy—was utterly still under Isabelle’s ministrations. She looked up and saw
Simon staring at them; her hands were red with blood, but she shook her head at him
“Keep going!” she shouted. “Find Sebastian!”
With a wrench Simon turned himself around and plunged back into the battle. The tight
line of red-clad Shadowhunters had started to come undone. The wolves were darting
here and there, herding the Shadowhunters away from one another. Jocelyn was sword to
sword with a snarling man whose free arm dripped blood—and Simon realized something
bizarre as he staggered forward, pushing his way through the narrow gaps between
skirmishes: None of the red-clad Nephilim were Marked. Their skin was bare of
They were also, he realized—seeing out of the corner of his eye one of the enemy
Shadowhunters lunging for Aline with a swinging mace, only to be gutted by Helen,
darting in from the side—much faster than any Nephilim he had seen before, other than
Jace and Sebastian. They moved with the swiftness of vampires, he thought, as one of
them slashed at a leaping wolf, slitting its belly open. The dead werewolf crashed to the
ground, now the corpse of a stocky man with curling fair hair. Not Maia or Jordan. Relief
swamped him, and then guilt; he staggered forward, the smell of blood thick around him,
and again he missed the Mark of Cain. If he had still borne it, he thought, he could have
burned all these enemy Nephilim to the ground where they stood—
One of the dark Nephilim rose up in front of him, swinging a single-edged broadsword.
Simon ducked, but he didn’t need to. The man was barely halfway through the swing
when an arrow caught him in the neck and he went down, gurgling blood. Simon’s head
jerked up, and he saw Alec, still atop the tomb; his face was a stony mask, and he was
firing off arrows with machinelike precision, his hand reaching back mechanically to grasp
one, fit it to the bow, and let fly. Each one struck a target, but Alec barely seemed to
notice. By the time the arrow was flying, he was reaching for another one. Simon heard
another one whistle by him and slam into a body as he darted forward, making for a
cleared section of the battlefield—
He froze. There she was. Clary, a tiny figure fighting her way through the crowd barehanded,
kicking and pushing to get past. She wore a torn red dress, and her hair was a
tangled mass and when she saw him, a look of incredulous amazement crossed her face.
Her lips shaped his name.
Just behind her was Jace. His face was bloody. The crowd parted as he plunged
through it, letting him by. Behind him, in the gap left by his passing, Simon could see a
shimmer of red and silver—a familiar figure, topped now with white-gilt hair like
Sebastian. Still hiding behind the last line of defense of dark Shadowhunters. Seeing
him, Simon reached over his shoulder and hauled Glorious from its sheath. A moment
later a surge in the crowd hurled Clary toward him. Her eyes were nearly black with
adrenaline, but her joy at seeing him was plain. Relief spilled through Simon, and he
realized he’d been wondering if she was still herself, or changed, as Amatis had been.
“Give me the sword!” she cried, her voice almost drowned out by the clang of metal on
metal. She thrust her arm forward to take it, and in that moment she was no longer
Clary, his friend since childhood, but a Shadowhunter, an avenging angel who belonged
with that sword in her hand.
He held it out to her, hilt first.
Battle was like a whirlpool, Jocelyn thought, cutting her way through the pressing crowd,
slashing out with Luke’s kindjal at any spot of red that she saw. Things came at you and
then surged away so quickly that all one was really aware of was a sense of
uncontrollable danger, the struggle to stay alive and not drown.
Her eyes flicked frantically through the mass of fighters, searching for her daughter, for
a glimpse of red hair—or even for a sight of Jace, because where he was, Clary would be
too. There were boulders strewn across the plain, like icebergs in an unmoving sea. She
scrambled up the rough edge of one, trying to get a better view of the battlefield, but she
could make out only close-pressed bodies, the flash of weapons, and the dark, lowrunning
shapes of wolves among the fighters.
She turned to scramble back down the boulder—
Only to find someone waiting for her at the bottom. Jocelyn came up short, staring.
He wore scarlet robes, and there was a livid scar along one of his cheeks, a relic of
some battle unknown to her. His face was pinched and no longer young, but there was no
mistaking him. “Jeremy,” she said slowly, her voice barely audible over the clamor of the
fighting. “Jeremy Pontmercy.”
The man who had once been the youngest member of the Circle looked at her out of
bloodshot eyes. “Jocelyn Morgenstern. Have you come to join us?”
“Join you? Jeremy, no—”
“You were in the Circle once,” he said, stepping closer to her. A long dagger with an
edge like a straight razor hung from his right hand. “You were one of us. And now we
follow your son.”
“I broke with you when you followed my husband,” said Jocelyn. “Why do you think I’d
follow you now that my son leads you?”
“Either you stand with us or against us, Jocelyn.” His face hardened. “You cannot stand
against your own son.”
“Jonathan,” she said softly. “He is the greatest evil Valentine ever committed. I could
never stand with him. In the end, I never stood with Valentine. So what hope do you
have of convincing me now?”
He shook his head. “You misunderstand me,” he said. “I mean you cannot stand
against him. Against us. The Clave cannot. They are not prepared. Not for what we can
do. Are willing to do. Blood will run in the streets of every city. The world will burn.
Everything you know will be destroyed. And we will rise from the ashes of your defeat,
the phoenix triumphant. This is your only chance. I doubt your son will give you another.”
“Jeremy,” she said. “You were so young when Valentine recruited you. You could come
back, come back even to the Clave. They would be lenient—”
“I can never come back to the Clave,” he said with a hard satisfaction. “Don’t you
understand? Those of us who stand with your son, we are Nephilim no longer.”
Nephilim no longer. Jocelyn began to reply, but before she could speak, blood burst
from his mouth. He crumpled, and as he did, Jocelyn saw, standing behind him bearing a
broadsword, Maryse.
The two women looked at each other for a moment over Jeremy’s body. Then Maryse
turned and walked back toward the battle.
The moment Clary’s fingers closed around the hilt, the sword exploded with a golden
light. Fire blazed down the blade from the tip, illuminating words carved blackly into the
side—Quis ut Deus?—and making the hilt shine as if it contained the light of the sun. She
nearly dropped it, thinking it had caught on fire, but the flame seemed contained inside
the sword, and the metal was cool beneath her palms.
Everything after that seemed to happen very slowly. She turned, the sword blazing in
her grip. Her eyes searched the crowd desperately for Sebastian. She couldn’t see him,
but she knew he was behind the tight knot of Shadowhunters she had punched through to
get here. Gripping the sword, she moved toward them, only to find her way blocked.
By Jace.
“Clary,” he said. It seemed impossible that she could hear him; the sounds around
them were deafening: screams and growls, the clatter of metal on metal. But the sea of
fighting figures seemed to have fallen away from them on either side like the Red Sea
parting, leaving a clear space around her and Jace.
The sword burned, slippery in her grip. “Jace. Get out of the way.”
She heard Simon, behind her, shout something; Jace was shaking his head. His golden
eyes were flat, unreadable. His face was bloody; she had cracked her head against his
cheekbone, and the skin was swelling and darkening. “Give me the sword, Clary.”
“No.” She shook her head, backing up a step. Glorious lit the space they stood in, lit the
trampled, blood-smeared grass around her, and lit Jace as he moved toward her. “Jace. I
can separate you from Sebastian. I can kill him without hurting you—”
His face twisted. His eyes were the same color as the fire in the sword, or they were
reflecting it back, she wasn’t sure which, and as she looked at him she realized it didn’t
matter. She was seeing Jace and not-Jace: her memories of him, the beautiful boy she’d
met first, reckless with himself and others, learning to care and be careful. She
remembered the night they had spent together in Idris, holding hands across the narrow
bed, and the bloodstained boy who had looked at her with haunted eyes and confessed to
being a murderer in Paris. “Kill him?” Jace-who-wasn’t-Jace demanded now. “Are you out
of your mind?”
And she remembered that night by Lake Lyn, Valentine driving the sword into him, and
the way her own life had seemed to bleed out with his blood.
She had watched him die, there on the beach in Idris. And afterward, when she had
brought him back, he had crawled to her and looked down at her with those eyes that
burned like the Sword, like the incandescent blood of an angel.
I was in the dark, he had said. There was nothing there but shadows, and I was a
shadow. And then I heard your voice.
But that voice blurred into another, more recent one: Jace facing down Sebastian in the
living room of Valentine’s apartment, telling her that he would rather die than live like
this. She could hear him now, speaking, telling her to give him the sword, that if she
didn’t, he would take it from her. His voice was harsh, impatient, the voice of someone
talking to a child. And she knew in that moment that just as he wasn’t Jace, the Clary he
loved wasn’t her. It was a memory of her, blurred and distorted: the image of someone
docile, obedient; someone who didn’t understand that love given without free will or
truthfulness wasn’t love at all.
“Give me the sword.” His hand was out, his chin raised, his tone imperious. “Give it to
me, Clary.”
“You want it?”
She raised Glorious, the way he had taught her to, balancing the weight of it, though it
felt heavy in her hand. The flame in it grew brighter, until it seemed to reach upward and
touch the stars. Jace was only the sword’s length away from her, his golden eyes
incredulous. Even now he couldn’t believe she might hurt him, really hurt him. Even now.
She took a deep breath. “Take it.”
She saw his eyes blaze up the way they had that day by the lake, and then she drove
the sword into him, just as Valentine had done. She understood now that this was the
way it had to be. He had died like this, and she had ripped him back from death. And now
it had come again.
You cannot cheat death. In the end it will have its own.
Glorious sank into his chest, and she felt her bloody hand slide on the hilt as the blade
ground against the bones of his rib cage, driving through him until her fist thumped
against his body and she froze. He hadn’t moved, and she was pressed up against him
now, gripping Glorious as blood began to spill from the wound in his chest.
There was a scream—a sound of rage and pain and terror, the sound of someone being
brutally torn apart. Sebastian, Clary thought. Sebastian, screaming as his bond with Jace
was severed.
But Jace. Jace didn’t make a sound. Despite everything, his face was calm and
peaceful, the face of a statue. He looked down at Clary, and his eyes shone, as if he were
filling with light.
And then he began to burn.
Alec didn’t remember scrambling down from the top of the stone tomb, or pushing his
way across the stony plain among the litter of fallen bodies: dark Shadowhunters, dead
and wounded werewolves. His eyes were seeking out only one person. He stumbled and
nearly fell; when he looked up, his gaze scanning the field in front of him, he saw
Isabelle, kneeling beside Magnus on the stony ground.
It felt like there was no air in his lungs. He had never seen Magnus so pale, or so still.
There was blood on his leather armor, and blood on the ground beneath him. But it was
impossible. Magnus had lived so long. He was permanent. A fixture. In no world Alec’s
imagination could conjure did Magnus die before he did.
“Alec.” It was Izzy’s voice, swimming up toward him as if through water. “Alec, he’s
Alec let his own breath out in a shaking gasp. He held a hand out to his sister.
She handed him one silently. She had never paid as much attention as he had in field
first aid classes; she had always said runes would do the job. He slit open the front of
Magnus’s leather armor and then the shirt beneath it, his teeth gritted. It could be that
the armor was all that was holding him together.
He peeled back the sides gingerly, surprised at the steadiness of his own hands. There
was a good deal of blood, and a wide stab wound under the right side of Magnus’s ribs.
But from the rhythm of Magnus’s breathing, it was clear his lungs hadn’t been punctured.
Alec yanked off his jacket, wadded it up, and pressed it against the still-bleeding wound.
Magnus’s eyes fluttered open. “Ouch,” he said feebly. “Quit leaning on me.”
“Raziel,” Alec breathed thankfully. “You’re all right.” He slipped his free hand under
Magnus’s head, his thumb stroking Magnus’s bloody cheek. “I thought…”
He looked up to glance at his sister before he said anything too embarassing, but she
had slipped quietly away.
“I saw you fall,” Alec said quietly. He bent down and kissed Magnus lightly on the
mouth, not wanting to hurt him. “I thought you were dead.”
Magnus smiled crookedly. “What, from that scratch?” He glanced down at the
reddening jacket in Alec’s hand. “Okay, a deep scratch. Like, from a really, really big cat.”
“Are you delirious?” Alec said.
“No.” Magnus’s eyebrows drew together. “Amatis was aiming for my heart, but she
didn’t get anything vital. The problem is that the blood loss is sapping my energy and my
ability to heal myself.” He took a deep breath that ended in a cough. “Here, give me your
hand.” He raised his hand, and Alec twined their fingers together, Magnus’s palm hard
against his. “Do you remember, the night of the battle on Valentine’s ship, when I needed
some of your strength?”
“Do you need it again now?” Alec said. “Because you can have it.”
“I always need your strength, Alec,” Magnus said, and closed his eyes as their
intertwined fingers began to shine, as if between them they held the light of a star.
Fire exploded up through the hilt of the angel’s sword and along the blade. The flame
shot through Clary’s arm like a bolt of electricity, knocking her to the ground. Heat
lightning sizzled up and down her veins, and she curled up in agony, clutching herself as if
she could keep her body from blowing to pieces.
Jace fell to his knees. The sword still pierced him, but it was burning now, with a whitegold
flame, and the fire was filling his body like colored water filling a clear glass pitcher.
Golden flame shot through him, turning his skin translucent. His hair was bronze; his
bones were hard, shining tinder visible through his skin. Glorious itself was burning away,
dissolving in liquid drops like gold melting in a crucible. Jace’s head was thrown back, his
body arched like a bow as the conflagration raged through him. Clary tried to pull herself
toward him across the rocky ground, but the heat radiating from his body was too much.
His hands clutched at his chest, and a river of golden blood slipped through his fingers.
The stone on which he knelt was blackening, cracking, turning to ash. And then Glorious
burned up like the last of a bonfire, in a shower of sparks, and Jace collapsed forward,
onto the stones.
Clary tried to stand, but her legs buckled under her. Her veins still felt as if fire were
shooting through them, and pain was darting across the surface of her skin like the touch
of hot pokers. She pulled herself forward, bloodying her fingers, hearing her ceremonial
dress rip, until she reached Jace.
He was lying on his side with his head pillowed on one arm, the other arm flung out
wide. She crumpled beside him. Heat radiated from his body as if he were a dying bed of
coals, but she didn’t care. She could see the rip in the back of his gear where Glorious had
torn through it. There were ashes from the burned rocks mixed in with the gold of his
hair, and blood.
Moving slowly, every movement hurting as if she were old, as if she had aged a year
for every second Jace had burned, she pulled him toward her, so he was on his back on
the bloodstained and blackened stone. She looked at his face, no longer gold but still, and
still beautiful.
Clary laid her hand against his chest, where the red of his blood stood out against the
darker red of his gear. She had felt the edges of the blade grind against the bones of his
ribs. She had seen his blood spill through his fingers, so much blood that it had stained
the rocks beneath him black and had stiffened the edges of his hair.
And yet. Not if he’s more Heaven’s than Hell’s.
“Jace,” she whispered. All around them were running feet. The shattered remains of
Sebastian’s small army was fleeing across the Burren, dropping their weapons as they
went. She ignored them. “Jace.”
He didn’t move. His face was still, peaceful under the moonlight. His eyelashes threw
dark, spidering shadows against the tops of his cheekbones.
“Please,” she said, and her voice felt as if it were scraping out of her throat. When she
breathed, her lungs burned. “Look at me.”
Clary closed her eyes. When she opened them again, her mother was kneeling down
beside her, touching her shoulder. Tears were running down Jocelyn’s face. But that
couldn’t be—Why would her mother be crying?
“Clary,” her mother whispered. “Let him go. He’s dead.”
In the distance Clary saw Alec kneeling beside Magnus. “No,” Clary said. “The sword—it
burns away what’s evil. He could still live.”
Her mother ran a hand down her back, her fingers tangling in Clary’s filthy curls. “Clary,
Jace, Clary thought fiercely, her hands curling around his arms. You’re stronger than
this. If this is you, really you, you’ll open your eyes and look at me.
Suddenly Simon was there, kneeling on the other side of Jace, his face smeared with
blood and grime. He reached for Clary. She whipped her head up to glare at him, at him
and her mother, and saw Isabelle coming up behind them, her eyes wide, moving slowly.
The front of her gear was stained with blood. Unable to face Izzy, Clary turned away, her
eyes on the gold of Jace’s hair.
“Sebastian,” Clary said, or tried to say. Her voice came out as a croak. “Someone
should go after him.” And leave me alone.
“They’re looking for him now.” Her mother leaned in, anxious, her eyes wide. “Clary, let
him go. Clary, baby…”
“Let her be,” Clary heard Isabelle say sharply. She heard her mother’s protest, but
everything they were doing seemed to be going on at a great distance, as if Clary were
watching a play from the last row. Nothing mattered but Jace. Jace, burning. Tears
scalded the backs of her eyes. “Jace, goddamit,” she said, her voice ragged. “You are not
“Clary,” Simon said gently. “It was a chance…”
Come away from him. That was what Simon was asking, but she couldn’t. She wouldn’t.
“Jace,” she whispered. It was like a mantra, the way he had once held her at Renwick’s
and chanted her name over and over. “Jace Lightwood…”
She froze. There. A movement so tiny, it was hardly a movement at all. The flutter of
an eyelash. She leaned forward, almost overbalancing, and pressed her hand against the
torn scarlet material over his chest, as if she could heal the wound she had made. She
felt instead—so wonderful that for a moment it made no sense to her, could not possibly
be—under her fingertips, the rhythm of his heart.


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