Because Simon kept ranging off down various alleys, and insisted on trying to break into a closed candy shop, it was already dark by the time Clary and Simon reached Amatis’s house. Clary looked around for the guard Jocelyn had said would be posted, but there was no one visible. Either he was exceptionally well concealed or, more likely, he had already set off to report to Clary’s parents on her lateness.

Gloomily Clary mounted the steps to the house, unlocked the door, and manhandled Simon inside. He had stopped protesting and starting yawning somewhere around Cistern Square, and now his eyelids were drooping. “I hate Raphael,” he said.

“I was just thinking the same thing,” she said, turning him around. “Come on. Let’s get you lying down.”

She shuffled him over to the sofa, where he collapsed, slumping down against the cushions. Dim moonlight filtered through the lace curtains that covered the large front windows. Simon’s eyes were the color of smoky quartz as he struggled to keep them open.

“You should sleep,” she told him. “Mom and Luke will probably be back any minute now.” She turned to go.

“Clary,” he said, catching at her sleeve. “Be careful.”

She detached herself gently and headed up the stairs, taking her witchlight rune-stone to illuminate her way. The windows along the upstairs corridor were open, and a cool breeze blew down the hall, smelling of city stone and canal water, lifting her hair away from her face. Clary reached her bedroom and pushed the door open—and froze.

The witchlight pulsed in her hand, casting bright spokes of light across the room. There was someone sitting on her bed. A tall someone, with white-fair hair, a sword across his lap, and a silver bracelet that sparked like fire in the witchlight.

If I cannot reach Heaven, I will raise Hell.

“Hello, sister mine,” Sebastian said. Copyright 2016 - 2023