Disclaimer: I do not own the Mortal Instruments series. Everything recognisable belongs to Cassandra Clare. William Blake's poem A War Song to Englishmen is also used to this chapter.
Hope everyone's having a great summer!
The large book of ancient runes covered most of her desk, leaving only room for her silver stele and a cup of tea to warm her hands. She had tried for almost two weeks now to find a way to get out of the Academy without anyone noticing, nevertheless how she could sneak into the Silent City and steal the Soul-Sword. It was an impossible task. Thankfully, Clary had a reputation of performing the impossible, and she was running out of time, so she had to act quick.
The door to her room opened abruptly, and Rhiannon appeared. She was wearing a flowy yellow dress, her curly hair perfectly bouncing off her shoulders. Since the night Samuel Ambermark had threatened Rhiannon's life, along with the two Herondale brothers, Clary had felt something in her stomach every time she looked at the mundane girl. A knot inside her. Rhi was an innocent soul; she'd probably never even killed anything.
"Clary, you've locked yourself in our room for too long now, the sun is out, so should you be," Rhi told her, "And do not say you don't have any friends because that's a bullshit excuse."
"I have friends," Clary rolled her eyes, "I just don't like the sun."
"Come on everyone likes the sun!" Rhi shouted as she picked up one of her books.
"I think I've met a few vampires who would disagree, Rhi," Clary laughed.
"Well, they don't count." Rhiannon laughed as well.
"What?" Clary asked confused, "Why?"
"You know, they're not human."
"Rhi, what are you talking about?" Clary asked, feeling the uncomfortable air pressing around the two girls.
"I just mean that they can't be out in the sun, they're not really the best judges of the quality of the sun, are they?" Rhi defended herself, but she earned a long suspicious look from her roommate.
"I guess so," Clary replied in the end.
"So, you're sure you don't want to come outside? Some of the sixth years are practising their fighting skills on the lawn." Rhiannon tried one last time.
"As tempting as that sounds, I will have to decline," Clary told her bored.
"Fine, your loss," Rhi closed the door, annoyed with Clary's attitude, "but I will have you know, Jace Herondale is there, and there are quite a few girls looking like they're ready to give him their hearts as soon as he looks their way."
Clary turned around to look at her, "Rhi", Clary and Rhiannon had grown closer and closer, something Clary had thought impossible. Rhi was a mundane – a mundane who would go through the ascension into a Shadowhunter in less than a year – but still a mundane. "I don't have time for this, just, please let it go."
Rhiannon sat down on her bed. Pink sheets lay perfectly over it, and she was a 'multiple-pillows' type of person, with her four large pillows in different bright colours. Clary had never understood how someone could fall asleep with that many pillows under them; she could barely sleep with one. She could hardly sleep at all.
"Sorry.." Rhi mumbled, "I shouldn't use your boyfriend as a threat against you, that's no way to treat your friends."
Clary thought of Ambermark again. The knife against Iwan's neck. Jace's chest was rising and falling slowly, his curly golden hair running across his beautiful face. She thought of Rhiannon on her back. Three people that she would do anything to protect, even if it meant risking her freedom, and even her life, in doing so.
Later that night, when all student had gone to bed, Clary left hers.
She had finally gotten another message from the vampire boy. Simon. She should probably start calling him Simon now. He was after all risking his life to help her.
She saw the shadow of a tall boy on the steps of the Academy's entrance. "I never thought I would say it's good to see you, Simon Lewis."
"I wish I could say the same, Clary Morgenstern," he replied. Simon looked young, but his voice spoke a history of loss, love, and tragedy.
"Let's go somewhere more private," Clary whispered, looking up at the dark windows of the Academy.
"I didn't take you for a first date kind of girl, Clary, I'm shocked," his voice was dry, he knew the joke would not be received well.
"Shut up, Daylighter," Clary took his hand in hers and pulled him after her down the green fields leading away from the stone building. "What did you find out?" she asked as soon as they were out of view from the Shadowhunter school.
"Oh, you're going to love this," he pulled something from his back pocket. A piece of paper, yellow and wrinkled, and ripped at the top. She took it from his hands, studying it. There were words scribbled on the page; the ink smeared across the page carelessly.
The arrows of Almighty God are drawn!
Angels of Death stand in the louring heavens!
Thousands of souls must seek the realms of light,
And walk together on the clouds of heaven!
The words burned Clary's green eyes harder than any truth because she could not make sense of what she read.
"Angels of Death stand in the louring heavens?" Clary repeated the second line confused.
"It's William Blake," Simon replied, but as he saw Clary's blank expression, he continued: "The poet."
"I know who he is, Simon. I just don't understand why you felt it necessary to drag me out of bed in the middle of the night to give me a poem about people dying."
"First of all, it's not about death, not directly at least, it's about war, and second, I think you'll find it interesting that this was taken from Samuel Ambermark."
"What?" Clary whispered, emotions overflowing her words.
"When you told me he had come to you, and what he'd asked you to do…" Simon stopped, inhaling sharply, "Contrary to popular beliefs, vampires do have feelings, and I couldn't help thinking what might happen to Isabelle if…" he exhaled, "Anyway, I still haven't actually tried out my new powers, so I went to the Ambermark manor, it's an impressive home, but Shadowhunters are careless creatures, for people obsessed with protection and the law, you're bad at both," Simon smiled.
Clary looked at the page again, "Is there more to it? The poem?"
"Yes, I believe so, but this is all Ambermark had written," Simon stuck his hand in the pocket of his leather jacket, "It was pierced to the wall by this." Simon pulled out a black knife. It was short, its tip curved. There were runes drawn down the edge of the knife.
"That's strange," Clary mumbled, "I've never seen these runes before," she took the sharp blade from Simon, hissing as the metal touch her fingers. The metal was flaming hot against her skin. It felt like acid, the way it left blisters on the tips of her fingers.
"What the hell!" Simon looked shocked. The vampire had been holding the knife just seconds ago, and he seemed to be unharmed.
"Demon Metal," Clary whispered, "I guess Ambermark is more influential and powerful than I had assumed," she tried to sound calm, but between the burning in her hand and the knife with powers beyond even her knowledge, she felt like throwing up.
"Why did it only hurt you?" Simon asked as he picked up the knife again.
Clary pressed hard against the blisters on her fingers, trying to calm the pain. "My guess is that the demon metal only harms non-demonic creatures, and technically, vampires are part demon."
Simon let the blade run along his skin, "After I had bitten you, after this whole Daylighter thing," he didn't have a better word for what had happened to him yet, "I sometimes forget I am not human."
"Tragic," Clary replied sarcastic, "Now, back to the real problem," she winked at him, "You have to put that knife back. If Ambermark finds out it is missing we will have another issue on our hands, demonic metal is rare, even more so than adamas."
Clary touched Simon's hand cautiously, feeling his cold skin against her warm. I sometimes forget I am not human. She felt Simon's dark eyes on her, she had never touched him like this, and it made him uneasy. "Thank you, Simon Lewis."
Simon smiled, not his confident smile that he had built up through years of practice, but a real smile, like a child who'd just won the largest stuffed animal at a fair. Or someone who'd just seen all the wonders of the world.
"Look at us, Valentine's daughter and the Daylighter, bonding."
Clary made a funny face at him, "We're not bonding, Blood-sucker," Clary shook her head, "We're saving the world."
"Even better, we're Batman and Robin."
"You can insult yourself all you want, Bat Man, but my name is Clary, not Robin," Clary told him annoyed.
"No, it's not.. You know what, it's not that important," Simon snorted amused, "I'll make sure the knife is returned to the manor ASAP," he nodded a goodbye to the red headed girl.
Back in her room, Clary drew an iratze on her skin to heal the burnt flesh on her fingertips. The wound was still throbbing, the skin crawling off as thin red sheets of paper. The rune was useless; it did not matter how many healing runes she applied to her scarred skin, the burn from the demonic metal would not heal.
She had heard stories of Demon Metal leaving permanent wounds on the victim. There were different metals, of course, and they all ranged in scales from agonising to deadly. Clary was lucky she had only touched the metal.
It was almost morning when Clary made the decision to pay everyone's favourite Warlock a visit.
She knew it was risky to open a portal on school grounds, wards were protecting the school, and it would be consequences once she returned, but she had no choice. Her burning wound had spread up her arm, and it was starting to feel like someone was pressing a hot iron against her veins.
She drew the portal rune on the battleground outside the Academy, watching as the beautiful iridescent hole opened before her. She had missed this. It was the feeling of freedom.
Jumping through the portal sent chills down her spine, and she grinned as her hair flew back as the cold air hit her face. She landed with grace on the floor of a regal looking room. Burgundy walls, and dark wooden furniture decorated the room.
"Who's there?" The voice of Magnus Bane rung through the room. "I hope you understand that not even I enjoy guests at four in the morning, it is rather rude actually, to intrude on one's beauty sleep-" He didn't finish his speech because as soon as he saw Clary, his face darkened.
"What are you doing here, Morning Star?" He asked as he snapped his fingers and the room erupted with bright lights.
Another figure emerged from the bedroom. The dark-haired boy was unmistakable. His half-naked body covered in white scars, proof of old runes long faded away. Clary could also make out his permanent black runes, but the small rune on his chest stuck out the most. It was his parabatai rune. The rune that bound him to Jace.
"Hey.." she waved at the two awkwardly.
"Clary?" Alec looked confused, walking over to her with a soft expression she had never seen the eldest Lightwood sibling wear, "Aren't you supposed to be at the Academy?"
She wondered if Jace had told him about their night when Clary had let her selfish hunger take control of her. She had slept with Jace for the first time, and she'd done it for all the wrong reasons. Could parabatai feel it? Did they know when their other half was having sex?
Clary shook her silly thoughts away. "I am," she said, "but I need your help." She looked straight at Magnus. As she lifted her arm, Alec drew in a sharp breath, but he didn't say anything.
"Have you tried a healing rune?" Magnus asked.
"No, I can't believe I didn't think of that," Clary replied annoyed.
"Looks like some serious demonic powers are eating at you, Clarissa," Magnus told her, touching her wound lightly.
"I touched a knife."
"A knife?" Alec's blue eyes met her green, "Who's knife?"
"That is not important, what is important is that you fix this," she exhaled as another sharp pain ran up her arm, "Before I lose an arm."
"Fine," Magnus sat down next to his boyfriend, "Though, for barging into my home in the middle of the night, you do deserve it."
"Magnus," the name sounded fragile on the lips of the warlock's lover as if he was afraid of the word chattering if he raised his voice.
"I'll be back in a second," the warlock exclaimed, leaving the two Shadowhunter alone in the bright room.
"I guess it is meaningless to ask you how this happened, Clary," Alec touched her arm lightly, "Inside the Academy, nevertheless."
"Sorry, but I can't," Clary shook her head heavy.
"Are you safe?" he asked, real concern coating his expression.
"Define 'safe', Alec Lightwood," Clary chuckled.
"As safe as a Shadowhunter can be," his lips tugged upwards as he spoke.
"I was afraid you would say that," Alec brushed a hand through his dark hair. Clary had never understood Jace's parabatai, he had always seemed so dark and angry to her. He reminded her much of herself if she had to be completely honest. Something about him, something buried deep inside him – and Clary – it felt like undefined darkness.
"Alec," Clary looked into the boy's blue eyes, "you cannot tell Jace and Isabelle about this, please."
An uncomfortable look crossed his face, "They are my family, Clary, yours too."
Another stabbing pain ran up Clary's arm, and she cried out.
"That's exactly why you can't tell them," her eyes pleaded for him to agree.
"On one condition," Alec pressed his lips together, "You come to me if there's anything you need."
Clary looked down, hiding her emotions from the face before her. Before she could protest, Magnus strode back into the living room, a phial filled with a thick, blue-ish liquid. "Drink up, Morning Star."
"Thank you," gratefully; Clary swallowed the content.
"Always a pleasure to assist you Nephilim," he laid a hand on Alec's shoulder, "I've gotten used to your incompetence by now, living through centuries of sickly, dying Shadowhunters," he looked down at the dark-haired boy, "no offence, Alec."
"None taken," he laughed.
Magnus had conjured a portal for Clary to transport her back to the Academy. It was the only way she could enter the grounds of the Academy without ending up in Lake Lyn first.
She felt her legs hit solid ground. Wet grass wrapped around her feet, soaking her shoes. There was a shrieking sound surrounding Clary. It must be the alarm, the one to notify the school of unauthorised portals breaking through the wards protecting the school and its students.
The next thing she noticed was a dozen eyes laid upon her.
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