Disclaimer: Don't own Smallville/the Mortal Instruments.
Sequel to: Jace Morgenstern's Unlucky Streak
When Jace and Sebastian jolted awake, they ignored the wounds covering their own bodies and raced towards where Ragnor Fell, Catarina Loss, and Brother Zachariah were jointly working over Chloe, whose body (covered in bites and scratches) was bleeding out and spasming on the table. In seconds Jace had his stele out, he and Sebastian starting to place Iratze runes on Chloe to try and close up the wounds while the Warlocks and Silent Brother worked frantically to stop whatever it is that was causing the spasming.
"What happened in there?" Ragnor snapped at Jace. "What did you do?"
Jace drew back in horror at the accusation.
"Ragnor!" Catarina glared at him. "It's not the boy's fault!"
"Things were going fine until he forced himself inside of there!" Ragnor snapped at her. "Now her mind's falling apart, and it's taking her body with it!" Ragnor glared at Jace. "If she dies, it's on your hands!"
If she dies…
If she dies…
If she dies…
It's on your hands.
Those words rang hauntingly, terrifyingly, in Jace's head, freezing him into a statue of pure fear.
What had he done? Why couldn't he have just let Sebastian do whatever he'd been doing? Jace had had his chance and had blown it! Why couldn't he have let Sebastian have his chance? Why had he allowed his insecurities to—?
Iratze, Jonathan Morgenstern, Brother Zachariah's voice broke him out of his horrified stupid. She needs you, now. Put away your fear and be strong for her.
Nodding, Jace forced back the nausea bile bubbling in his throat and went back to work, helping Sebastian cut off her clothes, leaving Chloe in her underwear and allowing them better access to the wounds on her body, which they burnt iratze runes all over in an effort to close them and stop the bleeding. But these wounds were deep, and more and more wounds were opening up, her body reflecting the state of her mind.
"We're losing her!" Ragnor yelled, voice tinged with panicked frustration. "Brother Zachariah and I can't hold her for much longer."
Catarina closed her eyes tightly, visibly in pain yet forcing more and more of her healing magic into the girl.
Jace's eyesight was blurring, and he couldn't figure out exactly why until he realized tears were falling on the runes as he drew them. He wasn't a crier, he didn't cry, especially not in front of others, and yet he couldn't stop the tears from falling as he continued to put healing runes all over his girlfriend, yet for every healing rune he put on her, three more wounds opened up.
"She's not strong enough, the curse leeched too much, she can't fight it, it's winning," Ragnor's voice broke. "It's won."
Jace shook his head, refusing to believe that. He doubled his efforts, placing healing runes over each wound, refusing to give up. She couldn't die this way. Not when she'd survived the Block. Not when she'd survived the Mortal Cup. Not when she'd survived the Mortal Sword. Not when she'd survived his father. No. NO! She could not - would not - let her die!
Sebastian suddenly screamed in pain and collapsed to his knees.
Jace placed a hand to his head as a slight pain erupted there, but he turned his attention (and everyone turned to him) in confusion to find Sebastian clutching his head as he screamed, tears of blood beginning to trail down from his tear ducts.
Ragnor stared at the boy in confusion. "What's—?"
Catarina's eyes flew open. "I don't know what he did, but it's working."
"What?" Ragnor turned to her in confusion and then his eyes widened as he apparently felt it as well. "What did he do?"
Her mind, Brother Zachariah whispered. It's… mending.
Jace stared at Chloe's body in confusion, his golden gaze going between Sebastian and Chloe, seeing her wounds slowly start to disappear while wounds began to slowly slice open in Sebastian's body. Not as fast or as deep or as quite the same amount, but he seemed to be getting some of her injuries instead. How—what—how—?
And then Jace saw it.
The rune was burnt over Chloe's heart.
Chloe rolled her eyes. "You need Sebastian to be strong, right? You're strong, right? If I put this rune on the both of you it will open up a channel between the two of you so you can help him, and the healing aspects of the Uruz will help heal him as well."
Suddenly it all made sense, and Jace cursed himself for not having thought of this himself. He'd explained the rune to Sebastian when the boy had awoken fully healed, and considering he'd just used it between them to get into Chloe's mind, the rune was still fresh enough that Sebastian could've copied the design both next to the one already to his heart, and then added one over Chloe's own heart, opening a channel between them, a healing channel. Hadn't Ragnor said it? She wasn't strong enough, the spell had zapped her strength… so, despite knowing that opening a connection between them could seriously hurt him given the fact that her mind was falling apart, Sebastian had done so anyway and was lending her his strength.
Once more grudging respect filled Jace, but he didn't have time to dwell on that, or on his anger that he hadn't thought of this first, that he hadn't taken the brunt as he should've. He couldn't think of the ways in which he'd continued to let Chloe down. Instead, like Sebastian, he added another Fehuruz over his heart and then traced it's design next to the one Sebastian had burnt into Chloe's chest.
Immediately the connection became three-way, and the slight pain he'd felt from his connection with Sebastian multiplied as Chloe's was added.
Jace grit his teeth and collapsed to his knees as he gripped his hair, his body and mind burning in pain. His two Fehuruz burnt so scaldingly he forced his gaze down to find glowing a molten lava color, and when he glanced towards Chloe and Sebastian he found them glowing just as brightly, as intensely.
For the second time in less than an hour, everything went black.
"What is this rune?" Ragnor Fell asked as he stared at the two runes that covered all three young peoples' hearts. "It's not angelic in nature."
It is not anything that I have ever seen before either, Brother Zachariah informed him, worrying the warlock even more. Brother Zachariah should know all of the runes known to Shadowhunters, and the fact that he didn't meant this had to be a new rune - but only angels could make new runes, right?
"Whatever it is, they're connected right now." Catarina's hands were hovering in the air over the teenagers' heads. "The spell is still there, but its trace signal is turned off for now. It seems to have gone dormant." She looked up. "She's healing."
"Yes, but the curse has also infected the boys," Ragnor reminded. "It mightn't be as strong as when it infested only Chloe, but the trace amounts I can feel in them will have some sort of consequence. We'll have to wait till they wake up to see what it is though."
"Something's wrong." Luke hated how weak he still was. He was used to werewolf healing power, and he'd been treated by Magnus, by healers, but the injuries dealt by Greater Demons were the strongest, deepest wounds, and they were the hardest the heal from. In fact, given everything, he was lucky to be alive. Still he'd managed to sneak away from his ever-watchful pack and make it to the Warlock's apartment, where he paced, a hand to his midsection. "I don't know how I know, but I do. Something is very wrong."
"I know." Magnus sat on his chair, legs up on the table, an uneasy expression on his face. "I've already petitioned entrance into Idris, countless times by now, but each and every time I am denied by the Clave. They've also put Alec and the others in some sort of magic-repelling location because my messages are not getting through to them." He glanced up, his cat-eyes flashing gold. "Something is going on, something the Clave don't want me to know about." He took in a deep breath. "I felt Chloe. I don't know whether it's residue from my block being a part of her for most of her life, but it…"
"But it what?" Luke turned to the Warlock.
"She's asking for help." Magnus rose from his seat with one fluid motion. "Either way, instinctively or by chance, Chloe showed me something. Someone." He clenched his fist and brought it to his mouth as he stood in thought. "If this person truly is behind what I am feeling, if this person is why this is happening… Chloe is in much danger."
Luke flinched in pain as he forced himself closer. "What is it? Who is it?"
Magnus hesitated, he opened his mouth, closed it, and then turned his back on the werewolf. "Until I can be sure, I would prefer not to say." He reached for his goblet of liquor on the table and took a long gulp of it.
The werewolf's eyes widened as he stared at the Warlock's back. Magnus, the devil-may-care Downworlder, was nervous.
That boded well for no one.
Brother Zachariah was updating the Clave on the situation and Catarina was resting. That left Ragnor Fell alone with the three subjects, who seemed in a very deep yet restful sleep. Both boys had put their minds under attack when they'd used that mystery rune, and their minds and bodies were now resting, trying to piece themselves together, heal. And yet the spell was still in them, even if not nearly as strong as it was in Chloe. Ragnor had run tests on them, both checking them physically and mentally, comparing each and every thing against each other, and while he was happy to see that they were all healing… he'd stumbled upon something so shocking he'd disbelieved it when he had.
But this was the third varying test which came up with the same result. It wasn't the curse or the rune affecting it. No. He knew without a doubt that those results were real, and he didn't know what to do. How had no one known about this? How could this have stayed a secret for so long? What did it mean? How did it affect what was happening here?
Did the Clave know?
Was that why these kids—?
Who could he trust? Who could—?
His eyes widened and he spread his hands out around him, sensing the detection runes all over the room. His spell would only be able to deactivate them for a couple of seconds without detection, if this took any longer…
I have to chance it.
Whispering the words, as soon as the spell took effect, Ragnor visualized the recipient of the message, drawing fiery words in the air in front of him with his fingertip.
My house. Tonight. We've been lied to. - R
He sent the message soaring out, and he felt the seconds ticking by, the countdown nearly over when suddenly a message appeared in front of him in the air in blazing letters:
I will be there. - M
And then the words disappeared and Ragnor broke his spell two seconds before the runes would've been able to detect the communication.
Letting a breath of relief, Ragnor turned his attention back on the three children.
Taking a deep breath he turned and walked out of the door. He was supposed to be watching over those three Shadowhunters, but instead he hurried away from them, taking all his evidence (and all evidence of the evidence) with him. He needed to prepare things, to have them ready for when Magnus arrived. If Magnus wasn't here already it meant that the Clave had denied him entrance to Idris, which meant that he'd be entering illegally, which meant that Ragnor did not have long to do what needed to be done in so very little time.
"I have never been, and never will be, a part of Valentine Morgenstern's Circle." Alec Lightwood wasn't sure how many times he'd said this already, but with every passing moment he grew more and more certain that the Clave were looking for someone to blame for everything that had gone on, and they were desperately hoping to be able to pin it on someone whose blame had already been ascertained before. They wanted an open and closed case. That was why they'd dragged him out of his cell to yet another interrogation.
"Your family has already shown a predisposition to Valentine Morgenstern's side of this war, and you are also the Parabatai of his son," one of the older members declared. "What better breeding ground for younger Circle members?"
"We are not Circle members!" Alec glared at the man, losing his temper for a second before calming himself once more. He wouldn't let them anger him, unhinge him. He needed to keep his cool.
"There is no reason why you would not join Valentine Morgenstern's side," another of the members declared. "Why fight him? What possible reason could you have to stand against him when your parents were some of his most faithful followers?"
Magnus' face flashed in front of Alec's eyes, and he had half opened his mouth to tell them, but shut his mouth immediately and looked away. He wouldn't use Magnus like this, he would not come clean about their relationship only to save himself and take blame off of himself like that. He'd find the courage to come clean, both to his parents and the Clave, about his relationship with the Warlock, but it would be on his own terms. He wouldn't use Magnus for his own gain like this. No. He wouldn't.
"See?" One of the clave members declared. "He can't think of anything."
"Maybe he needs some time alone to think things through, in his prison cell," another declared.
Alec shook his head, unable to believe these people. These were the same people he'd grown up fighting demons and Downworlders for, and for the first time he was able to understand Magnus' disgust with them. "Yeah, maybe I do." He turned to the guards and let them take him back.
"Should we be out like this?" Clark easily kept pace with Lois as they walked down the streets of Idris. "Won't this make us look guilty somehow?"
"The only reason they let us out of that building was because they've decided we're not really working for Valentine," Lois informed him, hands deep inside of her jacket's pockets. "That or they hope we'll unknowingly lead them to him or his allies." She took in a deep breath. "Otherwise I don't think they'd be tailing us so horribly."
"Yeah, I noticed," Clark muttered, barely keeping from glancing over his shoulder at the men who'd been walking behind them ever since Lois had found him and pulled him out of the Gard with her. "They're really bad at the whole stealth thing."
"I refuse to believe that, they work directly under the Head Honchos, I have to believe they want us to know they're following." Lois rubbed the back of her palm under his nose. "Valentine would've won the war easily if they'd all been this inept."
She had a point, and Clark nodded. He sighed and glanced around the City of Glass, as he'd been told was another name for Alicante. Isabelle had told him so much about this place but he'd never thought that he'd actually ever be here in person, and yet here he was.
The city was found in a shallow valley and divided by its river. It rose up the side of a steep hill on one side, with its houses piled one atop another. The construction was mostly in gold and honey colored stone with red tiled roofs. Isabelle had told him that from the river canals had been dug, and apart from the demon towers, Alicante was a city of canals since wells had to be kept to avoid piercing the agamas veins below the city.
"What're those tall spires that completely surround the city?" Lois wanted to know as she narrowed her eyes at one.
"They're the demon towers," Clark was quick to answer. "They control and support the wards, basically they help protect the city from demons, have for countless upon countless of years. Izzy says that while they keep demons out, they also light up different colors to convey different messages to the citizens of Alicante. Like, I think if they turn red and gold - called battle lights - they signal the people of Alicante to get to the Citadel. It used to be the Gard, but when the Citadel was created it was made with better protection runes or a stronger warlock helped or something. It replaced the Gard as the stronghold."
"Okay, so we don't have to worry about demons here, good, one thing to scratch off of our list of too many things to worry about." Lois ran her fingers through her hair. "Since you seem to be Encyclopedia Alicante, any idea how Valentine and his people managed to screw up our entry into Alicante? Shouldn't these demon towers have protected us against that? I mean, he's less than a demon for crying out loud!"
Clark had been wondering that himself. "The only Portal that opens directly into and from Alicante is the permanent one in the Gard. There are wards - specifically the towers - and laws preventing entering magically directly into the city without explicit permission and the opening of the Portal on this side, with people waiting here. Attempting to do so could open a Portal as close to the city outskirts as possible, I mean. Maybe someone from the inside messed with the ward magic enough that they believed the Portals were illegal?" He took in a deep breath. "That would've bounced them off and away like it did. Entry into Alicante is… hard… to say the least, and barred by so many rules. Like Downworlders, thanks to tradition, are only permitted entrance into the city on through its north gate."
"Don't get me started on their outdated, prejudiced—!" Lois stopped herself and took in a deep breath. "Where in the Gard is this Portal?"
"I don't know," Clark informed her quickly. "Izzy said that since it's the only Portal in Alicante, and only to be used by the Clave in times of emergency, that it's exact location is a closely guarded secret because of the demon marks on every Portal."
"So it's a way of escape… but it's also a vulnerability," Lois understood immediately.
"Yeah," Clark confirmed.
"Great, just great." She made a face. "I was going to try and get back to Magnus and Luke, to tell them what's going on, but there's no way I can do that. Even if I found where they had that Portal there's no way that I'd be able to get passed the guards."
They shared a look, sighed, and then continued to walk on.
Behind them, their tails continued to follow most unstealthily.
"Show yourself." Ragnor turned once he knew they were alone, just on the outskirts of Alicante.
There was a pause, and then a girl, tall and slim, with milk-white skin and visible green veins appeared from behind some bushes. Her hair was blonde with a green tint, her eyes blue with no whites or pupils, and her teeth were sharp. She was very visibly Fae.
"Hail, Ragnor Fell," she spoke, voice even. "I am Kaelie Whitewillow, and I've been sent to speak to you."
"You're a young maidservant of the Queen of the Seelie Court." Ragnor recognized her from his few trips to see Titania while on official business from the Clave. "What does your mistress want from me?"
"The girl, something has happened to her." Kaelie took in a deep breath. "My Queen has sensed it."
And why would the Queen have sensed what was going on with Chloe?
Ragnor tried to understand… and then his eyes widened. "The Downworlder strains I found in her DNA, they're Fae."
Kaelie's gaze lowered, she would not confirm or deny.
It might be only a small part of the mystery solved, but already it made some things make sense to the Warlock. He remembered the ring, the one upon her finger, the one he'd been so shocked to see, as he had seen it once upon a very long time ago upon a very different finger. "What is she to Auberon?"
"Does the girl live?" Kaelie asked instead.
"Yes, she lives," Ragnor replied. "More than that I cannot tell you. If your Queen wants to know more she will have to petition the Clave." He took a step backwards. "But she will have to explain her right to that knowledge."
"We are both Downworlders, Ragnor Fell," Kaelie pressed. "We must be there for each other when the Shadowhunters would—."
Taking another step back, Ragnor cast the glamour and disappeared from sight, leaving the faerie speaking to herself.
They were whispering about her, but they weren't saying she was a traitor so much as calling her a variety of derogatory terms for Shadowhunters who would mix with Downworlders. Isabelle didn't let it get to her, she was used to Shadowhunters looking their noses down at her, but she didn't care. She mightn't love Meliorn, but she did care about him, and even if their relationship was more of an information gathering exercise for the both of them…
Taking in a deep breath, Isabelle stared out of the window. At least her 'shameful dalliances' had the Clave doubting she was working with Valentine, as 'he'd never accept such disgusting behavior in his followers'. The rest of her family were not as well off. Alec was in prison, and her parents were locked in their own rooms, which were basically prisons as well. Jocelyn Fairchild was no better off, locked up as well, pending her interrogation by the Clave.
Hearing a knock on her door, she looked up, hoping it was Clark or Lois (she'd heard they were cleared) but instead was surprised to see Lucy Lane.
"Hi," Lucy whispered as she slipped in. "I don't have much time. The change in guard is happening and we'll only have a couple of minutes before the next guard comes."
"What happened?" Isabelle asked as she stood.
"I got a message from Ragnor, he told me to get to you." She took in a deep breath. "How well do you know Jonathan Morgenstern?"
Isabelle frowned in confusion. "We grew up together like brother and sister, you know this."
Lucy bit down on his bottom lip. "Ragnor's message didn't make much sense, it was obvious he was on the go - had very little time." She let out a deep breath. "He said that we've been lied to, that nothing is as we think it is. I pressed him about what he was saying, and he said that I needed to talk to you about Jonathan. He wanted to know if there was anything weird about him." Lucy licked her lips. "I thought about how he escaped back when the Inquisitor had him in the Malachi Configuration." She took in a deep breath. "Was that the first time that he did something that was supposedly impossible?"
Isabelle looked away. "Yes."
"You're lying," Lucy whispered to herself immediately. "Look, I get that you're trying to protect him, but Ragnor said that we're in danger, that we're all in danger. And he's not Magnus Bane. He doesn't exaggerate. He isn't one for theatrics." Lucy moved closer. "If Ragnor says we're in danger, it means a catastrophe of epic proportions is freaking nigh." She moved even closer. "Isabelle, as a Shadowhunter you have sworn to protect not only mundanes, but Idris and all inside of it." She reached out and grabbed Isabelle's wrist. "What secret is Jonathan Morgenstern hiding?"
"Jace's secret?" Isabelle kept her chin held high. "Okay. You've got me. He likes to wear heels because they slim his legs and make him feel pretty." She stared deep into Lucy's eyes, refusing to let her feelings show like they had before. The truth about what Jace's father had done to him and Chloe was something she'd promised to keep, and she wouldn't break it. Sure, she'd promised to protect Idris, but she'd made an even more personal promise to protect her brothers, and that promise trumped the others.
"You're making a mistake," Lucy informed her as she let go of Isabelle's wrist. "You have to trust us, Isabelle. The Guild won't work if we don't."
"Get Magnus Bane," Isabelle told her. "The only one I'd talk to, the only one I trust, is Magnus Bane."
"The Clave have banned his entrance into Alicante," Lucy informed her.
"Your problem, not mine." Isabelle folded her arms over her chest.
A muscle jumped in her cheek. "Fine." She glanced back at the door. "I have to go. I will be back." With that she turned and hurried out of the room.
Isabelle took in a deep breath and collapsed back on the bed.
Ragnor felt it the moment he stepped into his house. He didn't know whether the fact that he hadn't sensed it as he drew nearer because of a cloaking spell or if it was because he'd been so preoccupied, but as soon as he entered his house he knew what should've been so very obvious to him all along. He turned to leave, but his door slammed closed and he could see the infernal magic darkening every inch of it.
They'd found him. But how? His house was not only warded by magic, but it was hidden by it! The only way that its location could've possibly been discovered was if…
His eyes widened as realization hit him.
He kept his back to the archway behind him, feeling the cold darkness come closer and closer. "It's you, isn't it?" He turned around and faced the last person he would've expected to see in his study. The shock of the revelation left him speechless, breathless, for a second, before he took in a deep breath and pushed back his shock. "What part do you play in all of this? And how do those kids fit into whatever dark scheme you're a part of?"
Those lips curled in a smile.
That was the only warning he got before demons crawled out of the floor and attacked.
The Seelie Queen glared at Kaelie as she delivered the Warlock's message. She'd hoped that he would play along, but the stupid Warlock was on the side of the Clave and was willing to risk her ire. Well, she'd outstretched her hand and like some ungrateful dog he'd bitten. She'd have to show him what happened to those who pissed her off.
Ragnor backed into the wall, the wards he'd placed around him fighting, straining, under the attack of the demons throwing themselves at the invisible barrier erected between them. "How much does the Clave know?"
The Shadowhunter twirled his Seraph Blade easily. "You'd be surprised at how many don't know anything, and at the ones who have made their own alliances."
"What does Valentine think he could accomplish by experimenting with those children in that way? By all the rules of magic and nature that girl should be dead." Ragnor pressed his hands into the wall behind his back, knowing the barrier wouldn't hold for much longer and hoping that it would be enough time to do what he was doing. "You'd think he'd worry about his own flesh and blood, and yet what he's done… I'm surprised that the boy-."
"It doesn't matter, Warlock," the Shadowhunter interrupted. "Idris is going to fall, but you don't have to go down with it." His gaze was piercing. "Leave Idris while you can, don't tell anyone anything you think you know. And swear allegiance. That's all."
Ragnor narrowed his eyes in sudden understanding. "Valentine Morgenstern wouldn't offer me the chance to keep my life." He took in a deep breath, feeling the spell he was secretly casting seep completely into the walls of his home. "Someone else is." He pushed away from the wall, eyes narrowed. "Who are you really working for?"
"Do you know why the Circle fell, Ragnor Fell?" The Shadowhunter seemed amused at Ragnor's surname for a moment. "It's because Valentine Morgenstern is very limited in his view of the world. Not all of us wanted the destruction of the Downworlder race. Some of us see the use your kind and the others have, we can understand that we should embrace our differences." He moved closer to where the demons were completely ignoring him and attacking the weakening barrier. "Valentine is the Poster Boy of the rebellion, he's the face." He grinned. "There's someone much more powerful working in the shadows, someone who many of us follow – have followed from the start."
"Who are you talking about?" Ragnor wanted to know.
"When Valentine made those children he created the next level of our evolution as a species," the man declared. "Those children are our future." He grinned. "We could use you, Warlock. A great battle is coming, one in which the New Uprising will finish what the old one started so many years ago… A great battle which will end the Shadow World as we know it."
Ragnor strained his magic in a third direction, trying to see within the Shadowhunter for a glimpse of anything that could help him understand the situation better. "Does your daughter know?"
For the first time since the attack had started, the man hesitated. A slow smile spread over his face, assurance in his gaze. "Whether she realizes it or not, she's been groomed for this moment, and when the time comes to act, I know she will do what needs to be done."
Ragnor took in a deep breath, eyes wide at the brief glimpse he'd seen inside of the man's mind. He knew the plan, and it horrified him, chilled him to the bone. "I can't let that happen."
"Brave words, Warlock." The man sneered. "But I'm afraid you won't live long enough to draw another breath."
Ragnor slammed his hand back against the wall in an effort to add to the message, but before he could get more than one word out the demons broke through the barrier and descended upon him.
Lucy Laneara frowned and brought her hand to her heart as she felt something piercing it almost literally. It felt as if someone had stabbed her through her heart. She'd been on her way towards the outskirts of Alicante, as Ragnor seemed to have left the city. When she'd gone to see him at the medical bay after seeing Isabelle, she'd found Brother Zachariah standing guard over Chloe, Jonathan Morgenstern and Sebastian Verlac, and he'd informed her that when they'd come back Ragnor hadn't been there. She hesitated a moment, staring at the runes burnt onto all three teenagers. They were runes which she couldn't recognize, runes she hadn't learnt.
Had Chloe created these runes as well? Lucy remembered her cousin confessing to this ability, and while she hadn't actually seen proof of a working rune which wasn't in the Book of Grey she stared at those runes and knew deep inside that her cousin hadn't been lying. That meant that Chloe could create runes, which was something only Angels could do. Was it because she'd been the Mortal Vessel, or something else?
Was this part of what Ragnor wanted her to find out from Isabelle Lightwood? Was this part of what they were being lied to about?
After excusing herself Lucy had gone to visit her sister, figuring that if there was someone who would know more about the Chloe situation and would be willing to tell her it would be Lois, and yet she'd been informed that Lois was out with Clark, who was somehow managing to hide his Downworlder status from the Clave.
That was why Lucy had decided to regroup and head to Ragnor's house outside of Alicante to let him know the little she'd managed to find out. If there's anyone who knows what the next step is, it's Ragnor. Also, she wanted to get more info on what exactly they'd been lied to about. Once she had more information she'd know how to best press the others for the information that the Warlock needed her to get from them.
If Ragnor had left his post something important must've happened, so Lucy had immediately left the Gard and headed towards the outskirts of city, to the forest, where Ragnor's house was hidden deep within. But she hadn't even managed to get a half of the way before the pain had speared her through her chest and left her breathless.
Pulling the chain Ragnor had given her out of its hiding place inside her shirt ,she stared at it and could see in the deep red gem a million of cracks spreading out. Horror mixed with terror as she lost her breath.
Looking up, she forgot all about keeping a low profile as she took off towards his house as fast as she could possibly go.
Alec hissed and glanced down at his Parabatai rune, the one that tied him to Jace until one of them died. It was stinging painfully. He'd never felt this sort of sting before, and didn't know what in the world it could be. The rune wasn't faded, in fact it was slowly beginning to glow a weird molten color, as if it was only just being burnt on his skin.
He tried to call out for help but when he opened his mouth no sound would come out.
Knees crumpling, Alec gripped at the rune, mouth open wide in silent screams.
"RAGNOR!" Lucy screamed the second she saw the front door wide open. This was Ragnor, cranky, grouchy, paranoid Ragnor Fell. He wouldn't just leave his front door open. Never. Never ever ever! "RAGNOR! WHERE ARE YOU!?"
The second she entered the house she froze in horror. The place was not only destroyed, evidence of a vicious fight having gone on inside, but it also reeked of rotten eggs. Sulfur. Demons. In seconds her Seraph Blade was out and glowing with intensity. "RAGNOR!" She should be more stealthy but she couldn't, her fear racing through her veins. "RAGNOR!"
Fighting tears of fear for him, and anger that he'd been here alone, that someone had found out where he was and ambushed him like this, Lucy began to search the house, and she came to a stop when she found herself in his study.
Ragnor was lying on his face on the ground, his body covered in wounds. But he hadn't gone down without a fight, there were dead demons all around him.
"Ragnor?" Completely dropping her guard, Lucy rushed towards him and dropped to her knees. "Ragnor!" Her Seraph Blade fell to the ground as she rolled Ragnor over and placed her fingers against his throat. Nothing. "No." She ripped open his shirt, revealing his green chest, covered in wounds which she ignored as she pressed her ear to his chest. "Please! PLEASE!" No heartbeat. "NO!" Lucy slammed her fist over his heart. "NO! BREATHE! BEAT! DAMN IT, RAGNOR!" She slumped over his body, breaking down as she gripped his shirt. "Please!" Her whole body shook with her blinding sobs. "You can't die!" Her voice broke painfully. "I never-!" She gulped in air, finding it hard to breathe. "I never got to tell you that I love you."
"He knew," a voice whispered softly.
She jolted up, horrified her guard had been so down, but when she looked up the enemy wasn't the one there, instead Magnus Bane and Lucian Greymark stood there. "Who did this?" She didn't even try to hide her tears, her anger, her hurt, her fury.
"We arrived only a couple of minutes before you did," Lucian replied softly. "We were upstairs making sure the rest of the house was clear when you arrived."
Magnus's face was blank, but Lucy could see the emotion in his eyes which his face wouldn't allow himself to show. Ragnor and Magnus were polar opposites, but every time Ragnor spoke of Magnus Bane Lucy had heard the tenderness in his voice. He'd been important to Ragnor, who'd seen himself as a big brother figure for the younger Warlock, and that was part of the reason why she'd wanted to meet Magnus so much. If there was anyone who could understand the pain Lucy was going through right now, she knew it would be both Magnus Bane and Catarina Loss.
"I'm so sorry," Lucian told her, his face conveying his genuine feelings towards what she was feeling right now.
Lucy kept her gaze on Magnus.
"He left a message right before he died." Magnus stared up a the walls of the study. "He wouldn't have had a lot of time to do it, from the looks of things he was attacked by a multitude of demons and would've been holding a barrier in place while simultaneously hiding the message… one only visible to the next Warlock who walked into the house… which he knew would be me." Taking in a deep breath, Magnus flung his arms outwards, and as he did, words appeared burnt into the walls.
AMBUSHED. TRACER MAGIC. DEMONS. NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS. PROTECT LUCY.
There was more, but Lucy just stared at those last two words.
The tears she'd managed to hold back for a breath cascaded down her cheeks. She gulped around the raging emotion stuck in her throat, trying to breathe and finding it nearly impossible. "Ragnor."
Magnus lowered to his knees and gripped her chin, forcing her gaze on the wall, to the last part of the message Ragnor had sent out before dying:
WAR IS COMING. VALENTINE NOT ALONE. PREPARE. LOIS-.
"Lois?" Lucy whispered in confusion. "What about Lois?"
"I don't know," Magnus admitted, looking very disturbed. "But Ragnor died trying to get us this message. War is coming, Valentine is not alone, you need to be protected, and not only are things not what they seem, but demons and Lois are involved in this somehow." He cleared his throat. "Someone also put tracker magic on Ragnor, it was how they were able to find his house and get to him here, where he would've felt most safe."
"Whoever it is, I'll kill them," Lucy hissed.
"Get in line." Magnus let go of his hold on her chin and stood once more. "He was killed before he could finish the message, but whatever he was trying to tell us about Lois was important enough for him to weaken the barrier by not concentrating all his magic on it."
"Where's Lois right now?" Lucian wanted to know as he took a step towards them. "Is she still in the Gard?"
"No. She's somewhere in Alicante, I just don't know where exactly." Lucy stood to her feet and wiped the back of her palm against her wet eyes. "I went to look for her earlier but was told she and Clark were out together."
Magnus turned his cat eyes on Lucy. "You need to find and bring her here as fast and discreetly as you can." He took in a deep breath as his gaze returned to Ragnor's message. "She could very well be the most important piece of this puzzle."
Catarina Loss was worried. Something was wrong, Ragnor wouldn't just leave like that unless something had happened, and yet while she wanted to go after him and figure out what was wrong it was her duty to stay here with the Shadowhunters who were still unconscious. Brother Zachariah had stepped out, and Catarina couldn't abandon their charges like Ragnor had, no matter how much she wanted to do just that.
What's going on, Ragnor? What happened? Are you okay?
"Who are you?"
Eyes wide, Catarina Loss turned to find Chloe Wayland sitting up. The Warlock was shocked at how coherent the girl seemed given the fact that her brain had been shattering not too very long ago. "How are you feeling? Do you know where you are and who you are?"
"Of course I know who I am." The blonde looked confused. "I'm Chloe Wayland." She eyed Catarina curiously. "You're the one I don't know… but considering I'm in what is obviously the medical bay… and your skin is an amazing shade of blue… I'd say I'm in Idris and something happened to me, and for some reason it was something that they needed to bring in a Warlock to help me."
"That's about right," Catarina chuckled, amazed by how verbose the girl was.
Chloe stared down at the healing wounds that covered her body and then rose her gaze to Catarina. "Thank you very much for everything you did to heal me from this. I look like I've been through a blender, so I can assume that it really took a lot out of you to get me to this point." She smiled softly. "It's very appreciated." She chuckled. "I like being alive and all."
Catarina just stared at the girl. This was the first time that she'd had a Shadowhunter thank her so genuinely and without any little backhanded comment. There was clear relief and thankfulness in those green eyes. There was none of that self-entitlement Shadowhunters had, where they expected Warlocks to do their bidding. "You're welcome." Suddenly understanding why Magnus was fond of this Shadowhunter, Catarina smiled. "We were worried about you. Hopefully now that you're awake those two will follow suit."
Chloe followed her gaze and her green eyes widened as she stared at Jace and Sebastian's wound-covered yet healing bodies.
"Don't worry, they were in a better state than you were," Catarina quickly assured her. "If you're awake and fine, they'll soon be as well."
Relief covered Chloe's face as she exhaled deeply. "Thank you."
"Do you mind if I check you over now that you're awake?" When Chloe shook her head Catarina came over to her and whispered chants as she checked the girl, shocked to find her in perfect health. Her mind was, as always, impenetrable in its abstract, completely unnatural state, but it was stable now and not shattering as it'd been before. And the curse, whatever it was, seemed to either be dormant or working very lowkey. Either was great right now given everything that had happened within the last couple of hours. "Everything seems to be in tip top shape." She pulled back and nodded her approval. "I'll let the Clave know you're awake and well enough to see visitors. I know your friends and family's been waiting to see you."
"I can imagine," Chloe muttered with a rolling of her eyes. "They get angsty when I get a paper cut, much less when I actually get truly hurt."
While most of the party Chloe had come with were still detained, the Laneara girls and the Kent boy were clear and would be able to come and see her with little fuss from the Clave. But considering Lucy was looking for Ragnor she wouldn't be anywhere close by. "I'll have someone bring Lois and Clark in to see you. I know you must be eager to see them."
Chloe paused, her expression odd. "Lois and Clark."
"Yes, Lois and Clark," Catarina confirmed, suddenly worried. "You do remember them, right?"
"Of course I do." Eyebrows nearly touching in a frown, Chloe made a face. "I'm just not sure why you think I'd want to see them."