Ty reached into the bag of chips, his arm brushing against Kit’s. “Because we need help to do necromancy. We can’t do it on our own.”
“Please tell me we don’t need help from an army of the dead. I hate armies of the dead.”
“Not an army of the dead. Hypatia Vex.”
Kit nearly dropped the chips. “Hypatia Vex? The warlock from London?”
“Yep,” said Ty. “Keep up, Watson.”
“That’s not a ‘keep up,’” said Kit. “How would I know you contacted her? I didn’t think she liked us very much.”
“Does it matter?”
“You make a good point.” Kit stopped, sand kicking up around his sneakers. “Here we are.”
The dark hole in the bluff opened up in front of them. Ty paused too, rooting around in the pocket of his hoodie. “I have something for you.”
Kit rolled up the bag of chips and stashed it behind a rock. “You do?”
Ty produced a small white stone, about the size of a golf ball, with a rune etched into it. “Your witchlight rune-stone. Every Shadowhunter has one.” He took Kit’s hand unselfconsciously and pressed the stone into his palm. A hot flutter went through Kit’s stomach, surprising him. He’d never felt anything like it before.
“Thanks,” he said. “How do I activate it?”
“Close your fingers around it and think of light,” said Ty. “Imagine a light switch flicking on; that’s what Julian said to me. Come on—I’ll show you.”
Kit held the stone awkwardly as they headed up the path to the cave entrance. A few steps into the cave and the darkness enveloped them like velvet, muffling the sound of the waves outside. Kit could barely see Ty, the shadow of a shadow beside him.
Like flicking a switch, he thought, and closed his fingers around the rune-stone.
It gave a little kick in his palm, and light rayed out, illuminating the familiar stone corridor. It was much as it had been before, rough-walled and spidery, reminding Kit of the underground tunnels in the first Indiana Jones movie.
At least this time they knew where they were going. They followed the curve of the tunnel around a bend, into an enormous stone chamber. The walls were granite, though black lines scored through them showed where they had cracked long ago. The room smelled like something sweet—probably the smoke that rose from the candles placed on the wooden table in the room’s center. A hooded figure in a black robe, its face lost in shadow, sat where Zara had been sitting the last time they’d been here.
“Hypatia?” said Ty, stepping forward.
The figure raised a single, silencing finger. Both Kit and Ty hesitated as two gloved hands rose to push back the enveloping hood.
Ty licked his dry lips. “You’re—not Hypatia.” He turned to Kit. “That’s not her.”
“No,” Kit agreed. “Seems to be a green fellow with horns.”
“I’m not Hypatia, but she did send me,” said the warlock. “We have met before, the three of us. In the Shadow Market in London.”
Kit remembered quickly moving green-tinted hands. I have to say I never thought I’d have the pleasure of entertaining the Lost Herondale.
“Shade,” he said.
The warlock looked amused. “Not my real name, but it’ll do.”
Ty was shaking his head. “I want to deal with Hypatia,” he said. “Not you.”
Shade leaned back in his chair. “Most warlocks won’t touch necromancy,” he said quietly. “Hypatia isn’t any different; in fact, she’s smarter than most. She wants to run the Shadow Market herself one day, and she’s not going to endanger her chances.”
Ty’s expression seemed to splinter, like the cracked face of a statue. “I never said anything about necromancy—”
“Your twin sister just died,” said Shade. “And you reach out to a warlock with a desperate request. It doesn’t take a genius to guess what you want.”