“We have something for you, Christopher,” Jace said, unusually somber. “Clary does, at least.”
“Here.” Clary stepped forward and dropped an object that flashed silver into Kit’s open hands. “This is a Herondale family ring. This belonged to James Herondale before it was Jace’s. James was close with several of the Blackthorns, when he was alive.”
Kit’s face was unreadable. He closed his fingers around the ring and nodded. Clary put her hand against his cheek. It was a motherly sort of gesture, and for a moment, Julian thought he saw vulnerability flash across Kit’s features.
If the boy had a mother, Julian realized, none of them knew anything about her.
“Thanks,” Kit said. He slid the ring onto his finger, looking surprised when it fit. Shadowhunter family rings always fit; it was part of their magic.
“If you’re thinking about selling it,” Jace said, “I wouldn’t.”
“Why not?” Kit raised his face; blue eyes looked into gold. The color of their eyes was different, but the framing was the same: the shape of their eyelids, the sharp cheekbones and watchful angles of their faces.
“I just wouldn’t,” said Jace, with heavy emphasis; Kit shrugged, nodded, and vanished back into the Institute.
“Were you trying to scare him?” Emma demanded, the moment the door shut behind him.
Jace just grinned sideways at her. “Thank Mark for his help,” he said, pulling Emma into a hug and ruffling her hair. The next few moments were a flurry of hugs and good-byes, Clary promising to send them a fire-message when she could, Jace making sure they had Alec and Magnus’s phone number in case they ran into trouble.
No one mentioned that technically, they had the Clave if they ran into trouble. But Clary and Jace had learned to be wary of the Clave when they were young, and it appeared that getting older hadn’t dimmed their suspicions.
“Remember what I told you on the roof,” Clary said to Emma in a low voice, hands on the younger girl’s shoulders. “What you promised.”
Emma nodded, looking uncharacteristically serious. Clary turned away from her, raising her stele, preparing to make a Portal into Faerie. Just as the shapes began to flow under her hands, the doorway starting to shimmer against the dry air, the Institute door banged open again.
This time it was Dru, her round face anxious. She was twisting one of her braids around her finger.
“Emma, you’d better come,” she said. “Something’s happened with Cristina.”
* * *
He wasn’t going to play their stupid spying game, Kit thought. No matter how much fun the twins seemed to be having, wedged into a corner of the second-floor gallery and looking down onto the main entryway, securely hidden from sight by the railings.
Mostly the game involved trying to figure out what people were saying to each other from their body language, or the way they gestured. Livvy was endlessly creative, able to imagine dramatic scenarios between people who were probably just chatting about the weather—she’d already decided the pretty South Asian girl with the stars on her jacket was in love with Julian, and that two of the other Centurions were secretly spies from the Clave.
Ty made rarer pronouncements, but Kit suspected they were more likely to be right. He was good at observing small things, like what family symbol was on the back of someone’s jacket, and what that meant about where they were from.
“What do you think of Perfect Diego?” Livvy asked Kit, when he returned from saying good-bye to Clary and Jace. She had her knees drawn up, her arms wrapped around her long legs. Her curling ponytail bounced on her shoulders.
“Smug bastard,” said Kit. “His hair’s too good. I don’t trust people with hair that good.”
“I think that girl with her hair in a bun is angry with him,” said Ty, leaning closer to the railing. His delicate face was all points and angles. Kit followed his gaze downward and saw Diego, deep in conversation with a pale-skinned girl whose hands were flying around as she spoke.