Monday, 18 February 2013

City of Lost Souls - Chapter 9

Alec raised the witchlight rune-stone high in his hand, brilliant light raying out from it,
spotlighting now one corner of the City Hall station and then another. He jumped as a
mouse squeaked, running across the dusty platform. He was a Shadowhunter; he had
been in many dark places, but there was something about the abandoned air of this
station that made a cold shiver run up his spine.
Perhaps it was the chill of disloyalty he had felt, slipping away from his guard post on
Staten Island and heading down the hill to the ferry the moment Magnus had left. He
hadn’t thought about what he was doing; he’d just done it, as if he were on autopilot. If
he hurried, he was sure he could be back before Isabelle and Jocelyn returned, before
anyone realized he had ever been gone.
Alec raised his voice. “Camille!” he called. “Camille Belcourt!”
He heard a light laugh; it echoed off the walls of the station. Then she was there, at
the top of the stairs, the brilliance of his witchlight rendering her a silhouette. “Alexander
Lightwood,” she said. “Come upstairs.”
She vanished. Alec followed his darting witchlight up the steps, and found Camille
where he had before, in the lobby of the station. She was dressed in the fashion of a
bygone era—a long velvet dress nipped in at the waist, her hair dressed high in whiteblond
curls, her lips dark red. He supposed she was beautiful, though he wasn’t the best
judge of feminine appeal, and it didn’t help that he hated her.
“What’s with the costume?” he demanded.
She smiled. Her skin was very smooth and white, without dark lines—she had fed
recently. “A masquerade ball downtown. I fed quite well. Why are you here, Alexander?
Starved for good conversation?”
If he were Jace, Alec thought, he’d have a smart remark for that, some kind of pun or
cleverly disguised put-down. Alec just bit his lip and said, “You told me to come back if I
was interested in what you were offering.”
She ran a hand along the back of the divan, the only piece of furniture in the room.
“And you’ve decided that you are.”
Alec nodded.
She chuckled. “You understand what you’re asking for?”
Alec’s heart was pounding. He wondered if Camille could hear it. “You said you could
make Magnus mortal. Like me.”
Her full lips thinned. “I did,” she said. “I must admit, I doubted your interest. You left
rather hastily.”
“Don’t play with me,” he said. “I don’t want what you’re offering that badly.”
“Liar,” she said casually. “Or you wouldn’t be here.” She moved around the divan,
coming close to him, her eyes raking his face. “Up close,” she said, “you do not look so
much like Will as I had thought. You have his coloring, but a different shape to your
face… perhaps a slight weakness to your jaw—”
“Shut up,” he said. Okay, it wasn’t Jace-level wit, but it was something. “I don’t want to
hear about Will.”
“Very well.” She stretched, languorously, like a cat. “It was many years ago, when
Magnus and I were lovers. We were in bed together, after quite a passionate evening.”
She saw him flinch, and grinned. “You know how it is with pillow talk. One reveals one’s
weaknesses. Magnus spoke to me of a spell that existed, one that might be undertaken
to rid a warlock of their immortality.”
“So why don’t I just find out what the spell is and do it?” Alec’s voice rose and cracked.
“Why do I need you?”
“First, because you’re a Shadowhunter; you’ve no idea how to work a spell,” she said
calmly. “Second, because if you do it, he’ll know it was you. If I do it, he will assume it is
revenge. Spite on my part. And I do not care what Magnus thinks. But you do.”
Alec looked at her steadily. “And you’re going to do this for me as a favor?”
She laughed, like tinkling bells. “Of course not,” she said. “You do a favor for me, and I
will do one for you. That is how these matters are conducted.”
Alec’s hand tightened around the witchlight rune-stone until the edges cut into his
hand. “And what favor do you want from me?”
“It’s very simple,” she said. “I want you to kill Raphael Santiago.”
The bridge that crossed the crevasse surrounding the Adamant Citadel was lined with
knives. They were sunk, point upward, at random intervals along the path, so that it was
possible to cross the bridge only very slowly, by picking your way with dexterity. Isabelle
had little trouble but was surprised to see how lightly Jocelyn, who hadn’t been an active
Shadowhunter in fifteen years, made her way.
By the time Isabelle had reached the opposite side of the bridge, her dexteritas rune
had vanished into her skin, leaving a faint white mark behind. Jocelyn was only a step
behind her, and as aggravating as Isabelle found Clary’s mother, she was glad in a
moment, when Jocelyn raised her hand and a witchlight rune-stone blazed forth,
illuminating the space they stood in.
The walls were hewn from white-silver adamas, so that a dim light seemed to glow
from within them. The floor was demon-stone as well, and carved into the center of it
was a black circle. Inside the circle the symbol of the Iron Sisters was carved—a heart
punctured through and through by a blade.
Whispering voices made Isabelle tear her gaze from the floor and look up. A shadow
had appeared inside one of the smooth white walls—a shadow growing ever clearer, ever
closer. Suddenly a portion of the wall slid back and a woman stepped out.
She wore a long, loose white gown, bound tightly at the wrists and under her breasts
with silver-white cord—demon wire. Her face was both unwrinkled and ancient. She could
have been any age. Her hair was long and dark, hanging in a thick braid down her back.
Across her eyes and temples was an intricately curlicued tattooed mask, encircling both
her eyes, which were the orange color of leaping flames.
“Who calls on the Iron Sisters?” she said. “Speak your names.”
Isabelle looked toward Jocelyn, who gestured that she should speak first. She cleared
her throat. “I am Isabelle Light-wood, and this is Jocelyn Fr—Fairchild. We have come to
ask your help.”
“Jocelyn Morgenstern,” said the woman. “Born Fairchild, but you cannot so easily erase
the taint of Valentine from your past. Have you not turned your back on the Clave?”
“It is true,” said Jocelyn. “I am outcast. But Isabelle is a daughter of the Clave. Her
“Runs the New York Institute,” said the woman. “We are remote here but not without
sources of information; I am no fool. My name is Sister Cleophas, and I am a Maker. I
shape the adamas for the other sisters to carve. I recognize that whip you wind so
cunningly around your wrist.” She indicated Isabelle. “As for that bauble about your throat
“If you know so much,” said Jocelyn, as Isabelle’s hand crept to the ruby at her neck,
“then do you know why we are here? Why we have come to you?”
Sister Cleophas’s eyelids lowered and she smiled slowly. “Unlike our speechless
brethren, we cannot read minds here in the Fortress. Therefore we rely upon a network of
information, most of it very reliable. I assume this visit has something to do with the
situation involving Jace Lightwood—as his sister is here—and your son, Jonathan
“We have a conundrum,” said Jocelyn. “Jonathan Morgenstern plots against the Clave,
like his father. The Clave has issued a death warrant against him. But Jace—Jonathan
Lightwood—is very much loved by his family, who have done no wrong, and by my
daughter. The conundrum is that Jace and Jonathan are bound, by very ancient blood
“Blood magic? What sort of blood magic?”
Jocelyn took Magnus’s folded notes from the pocket of her gear and handed them over.
Cleophas studied them with her intent fiery gaze. Isabelle saw with a start that the
fingers of her hands were very long—not elegantly long but grotesquely so, as if the
bones had been stretched so that each hand resembled an albino spider. Her nails were
filed to points, each tipped with electrum.
She shook her head. “The Sisters have little to do with blood magic.” The flame color of
her eyes seemed to leap and then dim, and a moment later another shadow appeared
behind the frosted-glass surface of the adamas wall. This time Isabelle watched more
closely as a second Iron Sister stepped through. It was like watching someone emerge
from a haze of white smoke.
“Sister Dolores,” said Cleophas, handing Magnus’s notes to the new arrival. She looked
much like Cleophas—the same tall narrow form, the same white dress, the same long
hair, though in this case her hair was gray, and bound at the ends of her two braids with
gold wire. Despite her gray hair, her face was lineless, her fire-colored eyes bright. “Can
you make sense of this?”
Dolores glanced over the pages briefly. “A twinning spell,” she said. “Much like our own
parabatai ceremony, but its alliance is demonic.”
“What makes it demonic?” Isabelle demanded. “If the parabatai spell is harmless—”
“Is it?” said Cleophas, but Dolores shot her a quelling look.
“ T h e parabatai ritual binds two individuals but leaves their wills free,” Dolores
explained. “This binds two but makes one subordinate to the other. What the primary of
the two believes, the other will believe; what the first one wants, the second will want. It
essentially removes the free will of the secondary partner in the spell, and that is why it is
demonic. For free will is what makes us Heaven’s creatures.”
“It also seems to mean that when one is wounded, the other is wounded,” said Jocelyn.
“Might we presume the same about death?”
“Yes. Neither will survive the death of the other. This again is not part of our parabatai
ritual, for it is too cruel.”
“Our question to you is this,” said Jocelyn. “Is there any weapon forged, or that you
might create, that could harm one but not the other? Or that might cut them apart?
Sister Dolores looked down at the notes, then handed them to Jocelyn. Her hands, like
those of her colleague, were long and thin and as white as floss. “No weapon we have
forged or could ever forge might do that.”
Isabelle’s hand tightened at her side, her nails cutting into her palm. “You mean there’s
“Nothing in this world,” said Dolores. “A blade of Heaven or Hell might do it. The sword
of the Archangel Michael, that Joshua fought with at Jericho, for it is infused with
heavenly fire. And there are blades forged in the blackness of the Pit that might aid you,
though how one might be obtained, I do not know.”
“And we would be prevented from telling you by the Law if we did know,” said
Cleophas with asperity. “You understand, of course, that we will also have to tell the
Clave about this visit of yours—”
“What about Joshua’s sword?” interrupted Isabelle. “Can you get that? Or can we?”
“Only an angel can gift you that sword,” said Dolores. “And to summon an angel is to
be blasted with heavenly fire.”
“But Raziel—,” Isabelle began.
Cleophas’s lips thinned into a straight line. “Raziel left us the Mortal Instruments that
he might be called upon in a time of direst need. That one chance was wasted when
Valentine summoned him. We shall never be able to compel his might again. It was a
crime to use the Instruments in that manner. The only reason that Clarissa Morgenstern
escapes culpability is that it was her father who summoned him, not herself.”
“My husband also summoned another angel,” said Jocelyn. Her voice was quiet. “The
angel Ithuriel. He kept him imprisoned for many years.”
Both Sisters hesitated before Dolores spoke. “It is the bleakest of crimes to entrap an
angel,” she said. “The Clave could never approve it. Even if you could summon one, you
could never force it to do your bidding. There is no spell for that. You could never get an
angel to give you the archangel’s sword; you can take by force from an angel, but there is
no greater crime. Better that your Jonathan die than that an angel be so besmirched.”
At that, Isabelle, whose temper had been rising, exploded. “That’s the problem with
you—all of you, the Iron Sisters and the Silent Brothers. Whatever they do to change you
from Shadowhunters to what you are, it takes all the feelings out of you. We might be
part angel, but we’re part human, too. You don’t understand love, or the things people do
for love, or family—”
The flame leaped in Dolores’s orange eyes. “I had a family,” she said. “A husband and
children, all murdered by demons. There was nothing left to me. I had always had a skill
with shaping things with my hands, so I became an Iron Sister. The peace it has brought
me is peace I think I would never have found elsewhere. It is for that reason I chose the
name Dolores, “sorrow.” So do not presume to tell us what we do or do not know about
pain, or humanity.”
“You don’t know anything,” Isabelle snapped. “You’re as hard as demon-stone. No
wonder you surround yourselves with it.”
“Fire tempers gold, Isabelle Lightwood,” said Cleophas.
“Oh, shut up,” Isabelle said. “You’ve been very unhelpful, both of you.”
She turned on the heel of her boot, spun away, and stalked back across the bridge,
barely taking note of where the knives turned the path into a death trap, letting her
body’s training guide her. She reached the other side and strode through the gates; only
when she was outside them did she break down. Kneeling among the moss and volcanic
rocks, under the great gray sky, she let herself shake silently, though no tears came.
It seemed ages before she heard a soft step beside her, and Jocelyn knelt and put her
arms around her. Oddly, Isabelle found that she didn’t mind. Though she had never much
liked Jocelyn, there was something so universally motherly in her touch that Isabelle
leaned into it, almost against her own will.
“Do you want to know what they said, after you left?” Jocelyn asked, after Isabelle’s
trembling had slowed.
“I’m sure something about how I’m a disgrace to Shadowhunters everywhere, et
“Actually, Cleophas said you’d make an excellent Iron Sister, and if you were ever
interested to let them know.” Jocelyn’s hand stroked her hair lightly.
Despite everything, Isabelle choked back a laugh. She looked up at Jocelyn. “Tell me,”
she said.
Jocelyn’s hand stop moving. “Tell you what?”
“Who it was. That my father had the affair with. You don’t understand. Every time I see
a woman my mother’s age, I wonder if it was her. Luke’s sister. The Consul. You—”
Jocelyn sighed. “It was Annamarie Highsmith. She died in Valentine’s attack on
Alicante. I doubt you ever knew her.”
Isabelle’s mouth opened, then closed again. “I’ve never even heard her name before.”
“Good.” Jocelyn tucked a lock of Isabelle’s hair back. “Do you feel any better, now that
you know?”
“Sure,” Isabelle lied, staring down at the ground. “I feel a lot better.”
After lunch Clary had returned to the downstairs bedroom with the excuse that she was
exhausted. With the door firmly closed she had tried contacting Simon again, though she
realized, given the time difference between where she was now—Italy—and New York,
there was every chance he was asleep. At least she prayed he was asleep. It was far
preferable to hope for that than to consider the possibility that the rings might not work.
She had been in the bedroom for only about half an hour when a knock sounded at the
door. She called, “Come in,” moving to lean back on her hands, her fingers curled in as if
she could hide the ring.
The door swung open slowly, and Jace looked down at her from the doorway. She
remembered another night, summer heat, a knock on her door. Jace. Clean, in jeans and
a gray shirt, his washed hair a halo of damp gold. The bruises on his face were already
fading from purple to faint gray, and his hands were behind his back.
“Hey,” he said. His hands were in plain sight now, and he was wearing a soft-looking
sweater the color of bronze that brought out the gold in his eyes. There were no bruises
on his face, and the shadows she had almost grown used to seeing under his eyes were
Is he happy like this? Really happy? And if he is, what are you saving him from?
Clary pushed away the tiny voice in her head and forced a smile. “What’s up?”
He grinned. It was a wicked grin, the kind that made the blood in Clary’s veins run a
little faster. “You want to go on a date?”
Caught off guard, she stammered. “A wh-what?”
“A date,” Jace repeated. “Often ‘a boring thing you have to memorize in history class,’
but in this case, ‘an offer of an evening of blisteringly white-hot romance with yours
“Really?” Clary was not sure what to make of this. “Blisteringly white-hot?”
“It’s me,” said Jace. “Watching me play Scrabble is enough to make most women
swoon. Imagine if I actually put in some effort.”
Clary sat up and looked down at herself. Jeans, silky green top. She thought about the
cosmetics in that odd shrine-like bedroom. She couldn’t help it; she was wishing for a
little lip gloss.
Jace held his hand out. “You look gorgeous,” he said. “Let’s go.”
She took his hand and let him pull her to her feet. “I don’t know…”
“Come on.” His voice had that self-mocking, seductive tone she remembered from
when they had first been getting to know each other, when he’d brought her up to the
greenhouse to show her the flower that bloomed at midnight. “We’re in Italy. Venice. One
of the most beautiful cities in the world. Shame not to see it, don’t you think?”
Jace pulled her forward, so she fell against his chest. The material of his shirt was soft
under her fingers, and he smelled like his familiar soap and shampoo. Her heart took a
sweeping dive inside her chest. “Or we could stay in,” he said, sounding a little
“So I can swoon watching you make a triple-word score?” With an effort she pulled
back from him. “And spare me the jokes about scoring.”
“Dammit, woman, you read my mind,” he said. “Is there no filthy wordplay you can’t
“It’s my special magical power. I can read your mind when you’re thinking dirty
“So, ninety-five percent of the time.”
She craned her head back to look up at him. “Ninety-five percent? What’s the other five
“Oh, you know, the usual—demons I might kill, runes I need to learn, people who’ve
annoyed me recently, people who’ve annoyed me not so recently, ducks.”
He waved her question away. “All right. Now watch this.” He took her shoulders and
turned her gently, so they were both facing the same way. A moment later—she wasn’t
sure how—the walls of the room seemed to melt away around them, and she found
herself stepping out onto cobblestones. She gasped, turning to look behind her, and saw
only a blank wall, windows high up in an old stone building. Rows of similar houses lined
the canal they stood beside. If she craned her head to the left, she could see in the
distance that the canal opened out into a much larger waterway, lined with grand
buildings. Everywhere was the smell of water and stone.
“Cool, huh?” Jace said proudly.
She turned and looked at him. “Ducks?” she said again.
A smile tugged the edge of his mouth. “I hate ducks. Don’t know why. I just always
It was early morning when Maia and Jordan arrived at Praetor House, the headquarters of
the Praetor Lupus. The truck clanked and bumped over the long white drive that swept
through manicured lawns to the massive house that rose like the prow of a ship in the
distance. Behind it Maia could see strips of trees, and behind that, the blue water of the
Sound some distance away.
“This is where you did your training?” she demanded. “This place is gorgeous.”
“Don’t be fooled,” Jordan said with a smile. “This place is boot camp, emphasis on the
She looked sideways at him. He was still smiling. He had been, pretty much nonstop,
since she’d kissed him down by the beach at dawn. Part of Maia felt as if a hand had lifted
her up and dropped her back into her past, when she’d loved Jordan beyond anything
she’d ever imagined, and part of her felt totally adrift, as if she’d woken up in a
completely foreign landscape, far from the familiarity of her everyday life and the warmth
of the pack.
It was very peculiar. Not bad, she thought. Just… peculiar.
Jordan came to a stop at a circular drive in front of the house, which, up close, Maia
could see was built of blocks of golden stone, the tawny color of a wolf pelt. Black double
doors were set at the top of a massive stone staircase. In the center of the circular drive
was a massive sundial, its raised face telling her that it was seven in the morning. Around
the edge of the sundial, words were carved: I ONLY MARK THE HOURS THAT SHINE.
She unlocked her door and jumped down from the cab just as the doors of the house
opened and a voice rang out: “Praetor Kyle!”
Jordan and Maia both looked up. Descending the stairs was a middle-aged man in a
charcoal suit, his blond hair streaked with gray. Jordan, smoothing all expression from his
face, turned to him. “Praetor Scott,” he said. “This is Maia Roberts, of the Garroway pack.
Maia, this is Praetor Scott. He runs the Praetor Lupus, pretty much.”
“Since the 1800s the Scotts have always run the Praetor,” said the man, glancing at
Maia, who inclined her head, a sign of submission. “Jordan, I have to admit, we did not
expect you back again so soon. The situation with the vampire in Manhattan, the
“Is in hand,” Jordan said hastily. “That’s not why we’re here. This concerns something
quite different.”
Praetor Scott raised his eyebrows. “Now you’ve piqued my curiosity.”
“It’s a matter of some urgency,” said Maia. “Luke Garroway, our pack’s leader—”
Praetor Scott gave her a sharp look, silencing her. Though he might have been
packless, he was an alpha, that much was clear from his bearing. His eyes, under his
thick eyebrows, were green-gray; around his throat, under the collar of his shirt, sparkled
the bronze pendant of the Praetor, with its imprint of a wolf’s paw. “The Praetor chooses
what matters it will regard as urgent,” he said. “Nor are we a hotel, open to uninvited
guests. Jordan took a chance in bringing you here, and he knows that. If he were not one
of our most promising graduates, I might well send you both away.”
Jordan hooked his thumbs into the waistband of his jeans and looked at the ground. A
moment later Praetor Scott set his hand on Jordan’s shoulder.
“But,” he said, “you are one of our most promising graduates. And you look exhausted;
I can see you were up all night. Come, and we’ll discuss this in my office.”
The office turned out to be down a long and winding hallway, elegantly paneled in dark
wood. The house was lively with the sound of voices, and a sign saying HOUSE RULES was
pinned to the wall beside a staircase leading up.
No shape-shifting in the hallways.
No howling.
No silver.
Clothes must be worn at all times. ALL TIMES.
No fighting. No biting.
Mark all your food before you put it in the communal refrigerator.
The smell of cooking breakfast wafted through the air, making Maia’s stomach grumble.
Praetor Scott sounded amused. “I’ll have someone make us up a plate of snacks if you’re
“Thanks,” Maia muttered. They had reached the end of a hallway, and Praetor Scott
opened a door marked OFFICE.
The older werewolf’s eyebrows drew together. “Rufus,” he said. “What are you doing
Maia peered past him. The office was a large room, comfortably messy. There was a
rectangular picture window that gave out onto wide lawns, on which groups of mostly
young people were executing what looked like drill maneuvers, wearing black warm-up
pants and tops. The walls of the room were lined with books about lycanthropy, many in
Latin, but Maia recognized the word “lupus.” The desk was a slab of marble set upon the
statues of two snarling wolves.
In front of it were two chairs. In one of them sat a large man—a werewolf—hunched
over, his hands gripped together. “Praetor,” he said in a grating voice. “I had hoped to
speak with you regarding the incident in Boston.”
“The one in which you broke your assigned charge’s leg?” the Praetor said dryly. “I will
be speaking to you about it, Rufus, but not this moment. Something more pressing calls
“But, Praetor—”
“That will be all, Rufus,” said Scott in the ringing tone of an alpha wolf whose orders
were not to be challenged. “Remember, this is a place of rehabilitation. Part of that is
learning to respect authority.”
Muttering under his breath, Rufus rose from the chair. Only when he stood up did Maia
realize, and react to, his enormous size. He towered over both her and Jordan, his black
T-shirt straining over his chest, the sleeves about to split around his biceps. His head was
closely shaved, his face scored with deep claw marks all across one cheek, like furrows
dug in soil. He gave her a sour look as he stalked past them and out into the hall.
“Of course some of us,” Jordan muttered, “are easier to rehabilitate than others.”
As Rufus’s heavy tread faded down the hall, Scott threw himself into the high-backed
chair behind the desk and buzzed a joltingly modern-looking intercom. After requesting
breakfast in a terse voice, he leaned back, hands clasped behind his head.
“I’m all ears,” he said.
As Jordan recounted their story, and their request, to Praetor Scott, Maia couldn’t keep
her eyes and mind from wandering. She wondered what it would have been like to have
been raised here, in this elegant house of rules and regulations, rather than with the
comparatively lawless freedom of the pack. At some point a werewolf dressed all in black
—it seemed to be the regulation outfit of the Praetor—came in with sliced roast beef,
cheese, and protein drinks on a pewter tray. Maia eyed the breakfast with some dismay.
It was true that werewolves needed more protein than normal people, much more, but
roast beef for breakfast?
“You’ll find,” Praetor Scott said as Maia drank her protein shake gingerly, “that, in fact,
refined sugar is harmful to werewolves. If you cease consuming it for a period of time,
you will cease desiring it. Hasn’t your pack leader told you that?”
Maia tried to imagine Luke, who liked to make pancakes in odd and amusing shapes,
lecturing her about sugar, and failed. Now was not the time to mention that, though. “No,
he has, of course,” she said. “I tend to, ah, backslide in times of stress.”
“I understand your concern for your pack leader,” said Scott. A gold Rolex glinted on his
wrist. “Normally we maintain a strict policy of noninterference regarding matters not
related to new-fledged Downworlders. We do not, in fact, prioritize werewolves over
other Downworlders, though only lycanthropes are allowed into the Praetor.”
“But that’s exactly why we do need your help,” said Jordan. “Packs are by their nature
always moving, transitional. They have no opportunity to build up things like libraries of
stored knowledge. I’m not saying they don’t have wisdom, but everything is an oral
tradition and every pack knows different things. We could go from pack to pack, and
maybe someone would know how to cure Luke, but we don’t have time. Here”—he
gestured at the books lining the walls—“is the closest thing werewolves have to, say, the
archives of the Silent Brothers or the Spiral Labyrinth of the warlocks.”
Scott looked unconvinced. Maia set her protein shake down. “And Luke isn’t just any
pack leader,” she said. “He’s the lyncanthrope’s representative on the Council. If you
helped cure him, you would know that the Praetor would always have a Council voice in
their favor.”
Scott’s eyes glinted. “Interesting,” he said. “Very well. I’ll have a look through the
books. It’ll probably take a few hours. Jordan, I suggest that if you’re going to drive back
to Manhattan you get some rest. We don’t need you wrapping your truck around a tree.”
“I could drive—,” Maia began.
“You look equally exhausted. Jordan, as you know, there will always be a room for you
here at the Praetor House, even though you’ve graduated. And Nick is on assignment, so
there’s a bed for Maia. Why don’t you both get some rest, and I’ll call you down when I’m
finished.” He swiveled around in his chair to examine the books on the walls.
Jordan gestured to Maia that this was their cue to leave; she stood up, brushing crumbs
off her jeans. She was halfway to the door when Praetor Scott spoke again.
“Oh, and Maia Roberts,” he said, and his voice held a note of warning. “I hope you
understand that when you make promises in other people’s names, it falls upon your
head to make sure they follow through.”
Simon awoke still feeling exhausted, blinking in the darkness. The thick black curtains
over the windows let in very little light, but his internal body clock told him it was
daytime. That and the fact that Isabelle was gone, her side of the bed rumpled, the
covers turned back.
Daytime, and he hadn’t talked to Clary since she’d gone. He drew his hand out from
under the covers and looked at the gold ring on his right hand. Delicate, it was etched
with what were either designs or words in an alphabet he didn’t know.
Clenching his jaw, he sat up and touched the ring. Clary?
The answer was immediate and clear. He nearly slid off the bed with relief. Simon.
Thank God.
Can you talk?
No. He felt rather than heard a tense distraction in the voice of her mind. I’m glad you
spoke to me, but now isn’t good. I’m not alone.
But you’re all right?
I’m fine. Nothing’s happened yet. I’m trying to gather information. I promise I’ll talk to
you the moment I hear anything.
Okay. Take care of yourself.
You too.
And she was gone. Sliding his legs over the side of the mattress, Simon did his best to
flatten his sleep-mussed hair, and went to see if anyone else was awake.
They were. Alec, Magnus, Jocelyn, and Isabelle sat around the table in Magnus’s living
room. While Alec and Magnus were in jeans, both Jocelyn and Isabelle wore gear,
Isabelle with her whip wrapped around her right arm. She glanced up as he came in but
didn’t smile; her shoulders were tense, her mouth a thin line. They all had mugs of coffee
in front of them.
“There’s a reason the ritual of the Mortal Instruments was so complicated.” Magnus
made the sugar bowl float over to himself and dumped some of the white powder into his
coffee. “Angels act at the behest of God, not human beings—not even Shadowhunters.
Summon one, and you’re likely to find yourself blasted with divine wrath. The whole point
of the Mortal Instruments ritual wasn’t that it allowed someone to summon Raziel. It was
that it protected the summoner from the Angel’s wrath once he did appear.”
“Valentine—,” Alec began.
“Yes, Valentine also summoned a very minor angel. And it never spoke to him, did it?
Never gave him a sliver of help, though he harvested its blood. And even then he must
have been using incredibly powerful spells just to bind it. My understanding is that he tied
its life to the Wayland manor, so that when the angel died the manor collapsed to
rubble.” He tapped a blue-painted fingernail on his mug. “And he damned himself.
Whether you believe in Heaven and Hell or not, he damned himself surely. When he
summoned Raziel, Raziel struck him down. Partly in revenge for what Valentine had done
to his brother angel.”
“Why are we talking about summoning angels?” Simon asked, perching himself on the
end of the long table.
“Isabelle and Jocelyn went to see the Iron Sisters,” said Alec. “Looking for a weapon
that could be used on Sebastian that wouldn’t affect Jace.”
“And there isn’t one?”
“Nothing in this world,” said Isabelle. “A Heavenly weapon might do it, or something
with a seriously demonic alliance. We were exploring the first option.”
“Summoning up an angel to give you a weapon?”
“It’s happened before,” said Magnus. “Raziel gave the Mortal Sword to Jonathan
Shadowhunter. In the old stories, the night before the battle of Jericho, an angel
appeared and gave Joshua a sword.”
“Huh,” said Simon. “I would have thought angels would have been all about peace, not
Magnus snorted. “Angels are not just messengers. They are soldiers. Michael is said to
have routed armies. They are not patient, angels. Certainly not with the vicissitudes of
human beings. Anyone who tried to summon Raziel without the Mortal Instruments to
protect them would probably be blasted to death on the spot. Demons are easier to
summon. There are more of them, and many are weak. But then, a weak demon can help
you only so much—”
“We can’t summon a demon,” said Jocelyn, aghast. “The Clave—”
“I thought you stopped caring what the Clave thought of you years ago,” Magnus said.
“It’s not just me,” said Jocelyn. “The rest of you. Luke. My daughter. If the Clave knew
“Well, they won’t know, will they?” said Alec, his usually gentle voice edged. “Unless
you tell them.”
Jocelyn looked from Isabelle’s still face to Magnus’s inquiring one, to Alec’s stubborn
blue eyes. “You’re really considering this? Summoning a demon?”
“Well, not just any demon,” said Magnus. “Azazel.”
Jocelyn’s eyes blazed. “Azazel?” Her eyes scanned the others, as if looking for support,
but Izzy and Alec glanced down at their mugs, and Simon just shrugged.
“I don’t know who Azazel is,” he said. “Isn’t he the cat from The Smurfs?” He cast
about, but Isabelle just looked up and rolled her eyes at him. Clary? he thought.
Her voice came through, tinged with alarm. What is it? What’s happened? Did my mom
find out I’m gone?
Not yet, he thought back. Is Azazel the cat from The Smurfs?
There was a long pause. That’s Azrael, Simon. And no more using the magic rings for
Smurf questions.
And she was gone. Simon glanced up from his hand and saw Magnus looking at him
quizzically. “He’s not a cat, Sylvester,” he said. “He’s a Greater Demon. Lieutenant of Hell
and Forger of Weapons. He was an angel who taught mankind how to make weapons,
when before it had been knowledge only angels possessed. That caused him to fall, and
now he is a demon. ‘And the whole earth has been corrupted by the works that were
taught by Azazel. To him ascribe all sin.’”
Alec looked at Magnus in amazement. “How did you know all that?”
“He’s a friend of mine,” said Magnus, and, noting their expressions, sighed. “Okay, not
really. But it is in the Book of Enoch.”
“Seems dangerous.” Alec frowned. “It sounds like he’s beyond a Greater Demon, even.
Like Lilith.”
“Fortunately, he is already bound,” said Magnus. “If you summon him, his spirit form
will come to you but his corporeal self will remain bound to the jagged rocks of Duduael.”
“The jagged rocks of… Oh, whatever,” Isabelle said, winding her long dark hair into a
bun. “He’s the demon of weapons. Fine. I say we give it a go.”
“I can’t believe you’re even considering this,” said Jocelyn. “I learned from watching my
husband what dabbling in raising demons can do. Clary—” She broke off then, as if
sensing Simon’s gaze on her, and turned. “Simon,” she said, “do you know, is Clary awake
yet? We’ve been letting her sleep, but it’s almost eleven.”
Simon hesitated. “I don’t know.” This, he reasoned, was true. Wherever Clary was, she
could be asleep. Even though he had just talked to her.
Jocelyn looked puzzled. “But weren’t you in the room with her?”
“No, I wasn’t. I was—” Simon broke off, realizing the hole he’d just dug himself. There
were three spare bedrooms. Jocelyn had been in one, Clary the other. Which would
obviously mean he must have slept in the third room with—
“Isabelle?” said Alec, his eyebrows raised. “You slept in Isabelle’s room?”
Isabelle waved a hand. “No need to worry, big brother. Nothing happened. Of course,”
she added as Alec’s shoulders relaxed, “I was totally passed-out drunk, so he could really
have done whatever he wanted and I wouldn’t have woken up.”
“Oh, please,” said Simon. “All I did was tell you the entire plot of Star Wars.”
“I don’t think I remember that,” said Isabelle, taking a cookie from the plate on the
“Oh, yeah? Who was Luke Skywalker’s best childhood friend?”
“Biggs Darklighter,” Isabelle said immediately, and then hit the table with the flat of
her hand. “That is so cheating!” Still, she grinned at him around her cookie.
“Ah,” said Magnus. “Nerd love. It is a beautiful thing, while also being an object of
mockery and hilarity for those of us who are more sophisticated.”
“All right, that’s enough.” Jocelyn stood up. “I’m going to get Clary. If you’re going to
raise a demon, I don’t want to be here, and I don’t want my daughter here either.” She
headed toward the hallway.
Simon blocked her way. “You can’t do that,” he said.
Jocelyn looked at him with a set face. “I know you’re going to say that this is the safest
place for us, Simon, but with a demon being raised, I just—”
“It’s not that.” Simon took a deep breath, which didn’t help, since his blood no longer
processed oxygen. He felt slightly sick. “You can’t go wake her up because… because she
isn’t here.”


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