Isabelle and Simon exchanged a bewildered glance. “What? Why would they give you—?”
“The favor that Dearborn asked us to do,” said Julian. “It involved traveling to Faerie.”
Simon straightened up. His face had gone tight-jawed, in a way that reminded Emma that he wasn’t just Isabelle Lightwood’s mild-mannered fiancé. He was a hero in his own right. He’d faced down the Angel Raziel himself. Few besides Clary could say that. “He did what?”
“I’ll explain,” said Julian, and he did, with a dry economy uncolored by emotion. Nevertheless, when he was done, both Isabelle and Simon looked furious.
“How dare he,” said Simon. “How can he think—”
“But he’s the Inquisitor now. He’d know Clary and Jace haven’t come back,” interrupted Isabelle. “The Clave knows it’s dangerous, especially now. Why would he send you?”
“Because Annabel escaped into Faerie, and he thinks Annabel is our problem,” said Emma.
“It’s ridiculous; you guys are just kids,” Simon said.
Isabelle kicked him lightly. “We did a lot when we were kids.”
“Because we had to,” said Simon. “Because we had no choices.” He turned back to Emma and Julian. “We can get you out of here. We can hide you.”
“No,” Julian said.
“He means that we don’t have choices either,” said Emma. “There’s too much chance of the Black Volume being put to terrible use, either by Annabel or the Unseelie King. There’s no telling who might get hurt, and we have the best chance of finding the book. No one else has dealt with Annabel for centuries—in a weird way, Julian knows her the best.”
“And we can look for Jace and Clary. It’s not like Horace is going to send anyone else to find them,” said Julian.
Isabelle looked flinty. “Because he’s a jerk, you mean?”
“Because he doesn’t like the support they have, or the way people look up to them and Alec and you guys,” said Julian. “The longer they’re gone, the better for him. He wants to consolidate power—he doesn’t need heroes coming back. I’m sure Jia will try to help, but he won’t make it easy for her. He can always throw delays in her path.”
Julian was very pale, and his eyes looked like the blue sea glass in his bracelet. Her parabatai might not be feeling anything himself, Emma thought, but he still understood other people’s feelings, almost too well. He had made the one argument Simon and Isabelle wouldn’t be able to push back against: Clary and Jace’s safety.
Still, Simon tried. “We can figure out something ourselves,” he said. “Some way to look for them. The offer to hide you still stands.”
“They’ll take it out on my family if I disappear,” Julian said. “This is a new Clave.”
“Or maybe just what was always hiding under the old one,” said Emma. “Can you swear you won’t tell anyone, not even Jia, about us going to Faerie?”
No one can know. If Jia confronts Horace, he’ll tell her our secret.
Simon and Isabelle looked troubled, but they both promised. “When are they asking you to leave?” said Isabelle.
“Soon,” said Julian. “We just came back here to pack our things.”
Simon muttered a curse. Isabelle shook her head, then bent down and unclipped a chain from one slender ankle. She held it out to Emma. “This is blessed iron. Poisonous to faeries. Wear it and you can pack a hell of a kick.”
“Thanks.” Emma took the chain and wrapped it twice around her wrist, fastening it tightly.
“Do I have anything iron?” Simon looked around wildly, then reached into his pocket and pulled out a small miniature figure of an archer. “This is my D&D character, Lord Montgomery—”