Simon looked puzzled. “What kind of bad thing?”
Emma shook her head. “Just—if she doesn’t come back when she’s supposed to—”
Simon looked at her with troubled eyes, but before he could say anything, Jia stepped forward and began to speak.
* * *
“Shadowhunters die young,” said someone in the crowd. Julian didn’t recognize the man: He was probably in his early forties, with thick black eyebrows. He wore a patch on his gear with the symbol of the Scholomance on it, but little else differentiated him from the dozens of other people who had come up to Julian to tell him they were sorry his sister was dead.
“But fifteen—” The man shook his head. Gladstone, Julian recalled. His last name was Gladstone. “Robert lived a full life. He was a distant cousin of mine, you know. But what happened to your sister should never have happened. She was only a child.”
Mark made a strangled noise behind Julian. Julian said something polite to send Gladstone on his way. Everything felt distant, muffled, as if he or the world had been wrapped in cotton padding.
“I didn’t like him,” said Dru, after Gladstone had gone. The skin under her eyes was shiny and tight where tears had left traces that couldn’t be washed away.
It was as if there were two Julians. One was Julian Before, the Julian who would have reached over to comfort Dru, ruffle her hair. Julian Now didn’t. He remained motionless as the crowd started to surge apart to make way for the funeral procession, and saw Helen lift Tavvy up into her arms.
“He’s seven,” he said to her. “He’s too old to be carried everywhere.”
She gave him a half-surprised, half-reproachful look but said nothing. The Silent Brothers were walking between them with their biers, and the Blackthorn family stilled as the air filled with the chant of the Nephilim.
“Ave atque vale, Livia Blackthorn. Hail and farewell.”
Dru jammed the heels of her hands into her eyes. Aline put an arm around her. Julian looked for Ty. He couldn’t stop himself.
Mark had gone over to Ty and was talking to him; Kit stood beside him, hands shoved in his pockets, shoulders hunched, altogether wretched. Ty himself was staring at Livvy’s bier, a spot of red burning on each of his cheeks. On the way down from the city, he had peppered Julian with questions: Who touched her in the Silent City? Did they wash the blood off her? Did they brush her hair? Did they take her necklace? Did they let you have her clothes? Who picked the dress for her to be buried in? Did they close her eyes before they tied the silk over them? until Julian had been exhausted and near snapping.
Ladders had been placed beside the pyres, each one a massive stack of logs and kindling. A Silent Brother took Livvy’s body and began to climb the ladder. When he reached the top, he laid her body down; at the second pyre, a Silent Brother was doing the same with Robert Lightwood’s corpse.
Diana had also gone to stand beside Ty. There was a white flower tucked into her collar, pale against her dark skin. She said something quietly to him, and Ty looked up at her.
Julian ached inside, a physical ache, as if he’d been punched in the stomach and was just now getting his breath back. He could feel the bloody cloth tied around his wrist, like a circle of fire.
Emma. He looked for her in the crowd, saw her standing beside Simon. Cristina had come to stand with them. The ladders had been drawn away, and the Silent Brothers stepped forward with their lit torches. Their fire was bright enough to illuminate even the daylight scene. Emma’s hair sparked and caught its brilliance as the Silent Brothers took their places around the pyres.
“These flames, this burning,” said Mark, who had appeared at Julian’s side. “In the Wild Hunt we practiced sky burial.”
Julian glanced at him. Mark was flushed, his pale curls disordered. His mourning runes had been applied with care and precision, though, which meant he hadn’t done them himself. They were beautiful and delicately done—Cristina’s work.
“We would leave bodies at the tops of glaciers or high trees, for the birds to pick clean,” Mark said.
“How about you not suggest that to anyone else at this funeral,” said Julian.
Mark winced. “I’m sorry, I don’t always know the right thing to say.”