“Why would he want to turn on other Shadowhunters?”
“He didn’t approve of the Accords. He despised Downworlders and felt that they should be slaughtered, wholesale, to keep this world pure for human beings. Though the Downworlders are not demons, not invaders, he felt they were demonic in nature, and that that was enough. The Clave did not agree—they felt the assistance of Downworlders was necessary if we were ever to drive off demonkind for good. And who could argue, really, that the Fair Folk do not belong in this world, when they have been here longer than we have?”
“Did the Accords get signed?”
“Yes, they were signed. When the Downworlders saw the Clave turn on Valentine and his Circle in their defense, they realized Shadowhunters were not their enemies. Ironically, with his insurrection Valentine made the Accords possible.” Hodge sat down in the chair again. “I apologize; this must be a dull history lesson for you. That was Valentine. A firebrand, a visionary, a man of great personal charm and conviction. And a killer. Now someone is invoking his name …”
“But who?” Clary asked. “And what does my mother have to do with it?”
Hodge stood up again. “I don’t know. But I shall do what I can to find out. I will send messages to the Clave and also to the Silent Brothers. They may wish to speak with you.”
Clary didn’t ask who the Silent Brothers were. She was tired of asking questions whose answers only made her more confused. She stood up. “Is there any chance I could go home?”
Hodge looked concerned. “No, I—I wouldn’t think that would be wise.”
“There are things I need there, even if I’m going to stay here. Clothes—”
“We can give you money to purchase new clothes.”
“Please,” Clary said. “I have to see if—I have to see what’s left.”
Hodge hesitated, then offered a short, inverted nod. “If Jace agrees to it, you may both go.” He turned to the desk, rummaging among the papers. He glanced over his shoulder as if realizing she was still there. “He’s in the weapons room.”
“I don’t know where that is.”
Hodge smiled crookedly. “Church will take you.”
She glanced toward the door where the fat blue Persian was curled up like a small ottoman. He rose as she came forward, fur rippling like liquid. With an imperious meow he led her into the hall. When she looked back over her shoulder, she saw Hodge already scribbling on a piece of paper. Sending a message to the mysterious Clave, she guessed. They didn’t sound like very nice people. She wondered what their response would be.
The red ink looked like blood against the white paper. Frowning, Hodge Starkweather rolled the letter, carefully and meticulously, into the shape of a tube, and whistled for Hugo. The bird, cawing softly, settled on his wrist. Hodge winced. Years ago, in the Uprising, he had sustained a wound to that shoulder, and even as light a weight as Hugo’s—or the turn of a season, a change in temperature or humidity, too sudden a movement of his arm—awakened old twinges and the memories of pains better forgotten.
There were some memories, though, that never faded. Images burst like flashbulbs behind his lids when he closed his eyes. Blood and bodies, trampled earth, a white podium stained with red. The cries of the dying. The green and rolling fields of Idris and its endless blue sky, pierced by the towers of the Glass City. The pain of loss surged up inside him like a wave; he tightened his fist, and Hugo, wings fluttering, pecked angrily at his fingers, drawing blood. Opening his hand, Hodge released the bird, who circled his head as he flew up to the skylight and then vanished.
Shaking off his sense of foreboding, Hodge reached for another piece of paper, not noticing the scarlet drops that smeared the paper as he wrote.
THE WEAPONS ROOM LOOKED EXACTLY THE WAY SOMETHING called “the weapons room” sounded like it would look. Brushed metal walls were hung with every manner of sword, dagger, spike, pike, featherstaff, bayonet, whip, mace, hook, and bow. Soft leather bags filled with arrows dangled from hooks, and there were stacks of boots, leg guards, and gauntlets for wrists and arms. The place smelled of metal and leather and steel polish. Alec and Jace, no longer barefoot, sat at a long table in the center of the room, their heads bent over an object between them. Jace looked up as the door shut behind Clary. “Where’s Hodge?” he said.
“Writing to the Silent Brothers.”
Alec repressed a shudder. “Ugh.”
She approached the table slowly, conscious of Alec’s gaze. “What are you doing?”
“Putting the last touches on these.” Jace moved aside so she could see what lay on the table: three long slim wands of a dully glowing silver. They did not look sharp or particularly dangerous. “Sanvi, Sansanvi, and Semangelaf. They’re seraph blades.”
“Those don’t look like knives. How did you make them? Magic?”
Alec looked horrified, as if she’d asked him to put on a tutu and execute a perfect pirouette. “The funny thing about mundies,” Jace said, to nobody in particular, “is how obsessed with magic they are for a bunch of people who don’t even know what the word means.”
“I know what it means,” Clary snapped.
“No, you don’t, you just think you do. Magic is a dark and elemental force, not just a lot of sparkly wands and crystal balls and talking goldfish.”
“I never said it was a lot of talking goldfish, you—”
Jace waved a hand, cutting her off. “Just because you call an electric eel a rubber duck doesn’t make it a rubber duck, does it? And God help the poor bastard who decides they want to take a bath with the duckie.”
“You’re driveling,” Clary observed.
“I’m not,” said Jace, with great dignity.
“Yes, you are,” said Alec, rather unexpectedly. “Look, we don’t do magic, okay?” he added, not looking at Clary. “That’s all you need to know about it.”
Clary wanted to snap at him, but restrained herself. Alec already didn’t seem to like her; there was no point in aggravating his hostility. She turned to Jace. “Hodge said I can go home.”
Jace nearly dropped the seraph blade he was holding. “He said what?”
“To look through my mother’s things,” she amended. “If you go with me.”
“Jace,” Alec exhaled, but Jace ignored him.
“If you really want to prove that my mom or dad was a Shadowhunter, we should look through my mom’s things. What’s left of them.”
“Down the rabbit hole.” Jace grinned crookedly. “Good idea. If we go right now, we should have another three, four hours of daylight.”
“Do you want me to come with you?” Alec asked, as Clary and Jace moved toward the door. Clary glanced back at him. He was half-out of the chair, eyes expectant.
“No.” Jace didn’t turn around. “That’s all right. Clary and I can handle this on our own.”
The look Alec shot Clary was as sour as poison. She was glad when the door shut behind her.
Jace led the way down the hall, Clary half-jogging to keep up with his long-legged stride. “Have you got your house keys?”
Clary glanced down at her shoes. “Yeah.”
“Good. Not that we couldn’t break in, but we’d run a greater chance of disturbing any wards that might be up if we did.”
“If you say so.” The hall widened out into a marble-floored foyer, a black metal gate set into one wall. It was only when Jace pushed a button next to the gate and it lit up that she realized it was an elevator. It creaked and groaned as it rose to meet them. “Jace?”
“How did you know I had Shadowhunter blood? Was there some way you could tell?”
The elevator arrived with a final groan. Jace unlatched the gate and slid it open. The inside reminded Clary of a birdcage, all black metal and decorative bits of gilt. “I guessed,” he said, latching the door behind them. “It seemed like the most likely explanation.”
“You guessed? You must have been pretty sure, considering you could have killed me.”
He pressed a button in the wall, and the elevator lurched into action with a vibrating groan that she felt all through the bones in her feet. “I was ninety percent sure.”
“I see,” Clary said.
There must have been something in her voice, because he turned to look at her. Her hand cracked across his face, a slap that rocked him back on his heels. He put his hand to his cheek, more in surprise than pain. “What the hell was that for?”
“The other ten percent,” she said, and they rode the rest of the way down to the street in silence.
Jace spent the train ride to Brooklyn wrapped in an angry silence. Clary stuck close to him anyway, feeling a little bit guilty, especially when she looked at the red mark her slap had left on his cheek.
She didn’t really mind the silence; it gave her a chance to think. She kept reliving the conversation with Luke, over and over in her head. It hurt to think about, like biting down on a broken tooth, but she couldn’t stop doing it.
Farther down the train, two teenage girls sitting on an orange bench seat were giggling together. The sort of girls Clary had never liked at St. Xavier’s, sporting pink jelly mules and fake tans. Clary wondered for a moment if they were laughing at her, before she realized with a start of surprise that they were looking at Jace.
She remembered the girl in the coffee shop who had been staring at Simon. Girls always got that look on their faces when they thought someone was cute. She had nearly forgotten that Jace was cute, given everything that had happened. He didn’t have Alec’s delicate cameo looks, but Jace’s face was more interesting. In daylight his eyes were the color of golden syrup and were … looking right at her. He cocked an eyebrow. “Can I help you with something?”
Clary turned instant traitor against her gender. “Those girls on the other side of the car are staring at you.”
Jace assumed an air of mellow gratification. “Of course they are,” he said. “I am stunningly attractive.”
“Haven’t you ever heard that modesty is an attractive trait?”
“Only from ugly people,” Jace confided. “The meek may inherit the earth, but at the moment it belongs to the conceited. Like me.” He winked at the girls, who giggled and hid behind their hair.
Clary sighed. “How come they can see you?”
“Glamours are a pain to use. Sometimes we don’t bother.”
The incident with the girls on the train did seem to put him in a better mood. When they left the station and headed up the hill to Clary’s apartment, he took one of the seraph blades out of his pocket and started flipping it back and forth between his fingers and across his knuckles, humming to himself.
“Do you have to do that?” Clary asked. “It’s annoying.”
Jace hummed louder. It was a loud, tuneful sort of hum, somewhere between “Happy Birthday” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
“I’m sorry I smacked you,” she said.
He stopped humming. “Just be glad you hit me and not Alec. He would have hit you back.”
“He seems to be itching for the chance,” Clary said, kicking an empty soda can out of her path. “What was it that Alec called you? Para-something?”
“Parabatai,” said Jace. “It means a pair of warriors who fight together—who are closer than brothers. Alec is more than just my best friend. My father and his father were parabatai when they were young. His father was my godfather—that’s why I live with them. They’re my adopted family.”
“But your last name isn’t Lightwood.”
“No,” Jace said, and she would have asked what it was, but they had arrived at her house, and her heart had started to thump so loudly that she was sure it must be audible for miles. There was a humming in her ears, and the palms of her hands were damp with sweat. She stopped in front of the box hedges, and raised her eyes slowly, expecting to see yellow police tape cordoning off the front door, smashed glass littering the lawn, the whole thing reduced to rubble.
But there were no signs of destruction. Bathed in pleasant afternoon light, the brownstone seemed to glow. Bees droned lazily around the rosebushes under Madame Dorothea’s windows.
“It looks the same,” Clary said.
“On the outside.” Jace reached into his jeans pocket and drew out another one of the metal and plastic contraptions she’d mistaken for a cell phone.
“So that’s a Sensor? What does it do?” she asked.
“It picks up frequencies, like a radio does, but these frequencies are demonic in origin.”
“Something like that.” Jace held the Sensor out in front of him as he approached the house. It clicked faintly as they climbed the stairs, then stopped. Jace frowned. “It’s picking up trace activity, but that could just be left over from that night. I’m not getting anything strong enough for there to be demons present now.”
Clary let out a breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. “Good.” She bent to retrieve her keys. When she straightened up, she saw the scratches on the front door. It must have been too dark for her to have seen them last time. They looked like claw marks, long and parallel, raked deeply into the wood.
Jace touched her arm. “I’ll go in first,” he said. Clary wanted to tell him that she didn’t need to hide behind him, but the words wouldn’t come. She could taste the terror she’d felt when she’d first seen the Ravener. The taste was sharp and coppery on her tongue like old pennies.
He pushed the door open with one hand, beckoning her after him with the hand that held the Sensor. Once inside the entryway, Clary blinked, adjusting her eyes to the dimness. The bulb overhead was still out, the skylight too filthy to let in any light, and shadows lay thick across the chipped floor. Madame Dorothea’s door was firmly shut. No light showed through the gap under it. Clary wondered uneasily if anything had happened to her.