A/N: Hello everyone! I'm back again, but not alone. This is a fic I'm collaborating on with a friend of mine. This is just the beginning, and we're starting things slow. Basically, it is what we think will occur in Clockwork Princess. This is just the prologue for now, so enjoy!
Disclaimer: The Infernal Devices belongs to the fabulous Cassandra Clare.
Prologue – Shadows of the Flames
"Magnus!" Will stormed through the open door, past a startled Woolsey Scott, into the sitting room where he threw himself into the love seat across from Magnus Bane, tracking mud everywhere. Magnus looked at the dark-haired boy in surprise. He definitely did not expect Will Herondale to come barging into Woolsey's house in the middle of the night, especially after their last meeting a couple nights ago.
Will stared ahead in deep concentration, his brow furrowed in deep thought. Suddenly, Will leapt up off the love seat and began pacing erratically. Angry heat rolled off him in waves, as rain dripped off of him. It had been a rainy day, although that was not uncommon for London.
"Will?" Magnus inquired, truly startled by Will's sudden appearance, and on top of that the anger he seemed to exude, "Last I saw you, you were happy that the curse was lifted. What's wrong? What's changed in the Institute? I thought you and Tessa would be happy now..."
Will stopped pacing and turned to look at Magnus. There was a new light to the boy; Magnus could tell that since their last encounter with Marbas, Will's walls had began to crumble away. However, beneath that layer of light, Magnus could sense him breaking again, cracking like shattered glass.
"I have lost everything," Will said solemnly, hurt and anger layering his voice. Sitting on the loveseat once again, he bent down and buried his face in his hands. Magnus had an odd urge to comfort the boy, but decided it was best to keep his distance.
"What happened?" Magnus asked again in a neutral tone, aware that Will was riding the thin line between anger and total destruction.
Will finally looked up and met Magnus' gaze. His expression was a pained one. "Tessa is engaged to marry Jem," Will managed to choke out, the words obvious poison to the boy.
Magnus felt his jaw drop in pure shock. Even he was speechless by the sudden turn of events. "What? I thought... you and Tessa... the balcony. I was so sure of it." Magnus gently laid his hand on Will's shoulder.
Will stood up suddenly again and walked across the room to the mantel. Magnus could no longer see Will's face, only his backside which sagged with the weight of his loss. The fire from the hearth was flickering, forming a strange halo around Will, illuminating his figure. "I was sure of it too," answered Will coldly.
Magnus could not help but feel his heart fill with sorrow. Will, who had just begun to heal was broken again. Magnus had a soft spot for the boy; he agreed to help the young Shadowhunter because of the certain fragility he bore with him. Will was also resourceful, daring and he cared so much for that certain gray-eyed girl that he sacrificed everything for her. Well, almost everything. He apparently drew the line at Jem. Magnus was impressed with Will's utter devotion to his parabatai; he would do anything for Jem, even if it meant life or death. Why, Magnus did not understand, especially when Tessa was involved.
"I don't know what to tell you, Will."
"I should be happy Magnus, not despairing about. I mean you should have seen the glee on Jem's face when he told us; his smile was so infectious that we all couldn't help for being happy for him. Plus, Jem is a lot stronger; his illness is not affecting him so much, ever since he and Tessa have been together-"
"Just because Jem is in love with Tessa doesn't mean he deserves her," Magnus interrupted quietly. However, Magnus knew that Will would never interfere with Jem's impending marriage. Magnus just wanted to help Will as much as he could, but he did not really know what to say. "Nor should you give Tessa up," Magnus continued. "You have the same right to be happy, Will."
Will did not respond to Magnus last comment. That was something he did not want to think about.
Pushing thoughts of Tessa and Jem aside, Will turned towards Magnus, the light returning to his sapphire eyes. "There's also Charlotte. Did you hear the news? She and Henry are going to have a baby." Will let out a short laugh. "They want to name him Buford. Well, more Henry does. I've never seen Henry so happy and actually focusing on something other than his bizarre inventions. And Charlotte no longer has to worry about that bastard Benedict Lightwood."
Will walked towards the window, looking out into the dark London night. Magnus could see Will's face reflected on the window pane, and his expression held a mix of emotions that were difficult to read. "There's also...my sister," Will said faintly.
"What about her?" Magnus asked, "I thought your sister was dead."
"Not, Ella," said Will, "Cecily. Cecily has returned." He didn't necessarily sound glad about this, but there was a trace of relief in his voice,
"I honestly don't know what to think of this. I mean when she showed up, she told us she had no where else to go. That scares me, Magnus. When I appeared at the Institute, I said the same, but it was because I couldn't go back home; the terrible burden of the curse would have killed my family. But now, hearing Cecily speak those same words, I can't bear to think what could have possibly happened."
Will faced Magnus. Magnus couldn't help but think of how a single mortal could endure so much pain, so much conflict, in just seventeen years of life.
"How would you like to take a small trip, Will?" Magnus asked suddenly, without thinking twice.
Will has a confused look on his face. "A trip?"
"Yes William, a trip," Magnus said. His face betrayed emotions devoid of lying, "I said I would help you only once, Will Herondale, and I vowed to myself not to help Shadowhunters often on a whim, but I fear it is time you need my assistance again. Where would you like to go? I hear Paris is lovely this time of year." Magnus's cat eyes sparked in the firelight.
Hesitantly, Will nodded. Will realized a trip was exactly what he needed. All of this- Tessa, Jem, Cecily, especially Tessa- was too much. "Let me get my stuff. I'll meet you here in an hour." And with that, he stepped out of the sitting room.
The moment Magnus heard the front door click, a shadow loomed in the doorway. Magnus looked up to see Woolsey standing over him, a cigar in hand.
"Having a late night rendezvous with your young lover, Magnus?" said Woolsey in a taunting tone, a smirk forming at the corners of his mouth. "And planning a trip to Paris? How romantic."
"Did you hear everything we just said?" Magnus asked, although he really didn't care whether or not Woolsey overheard his conversation with Will.
"No, just the last part about Paris. But really Magnus, going to Paris without me? That's just cruel. You know how much I've wanted to accessorize with a beret or two. Voilà pour prendre soin de moi, mon amour."
"I never said I was going without you," Magnus grinned, his yellow-green cat eyes gleaming again. Woolsey returned his grin before stepping out of the room.
Magnus stayed in the sitting room a long while after Woosley left though, reminiscing about what had just occurred. As he watched the shadows of the flames in the fireplace flicker and dance along the walls, he couldn't help but feel that things would only get worse for poor Will.
A/N: Sorry if the trip seemed to pop up out of the blue. We swear it will make more sense later on. We hope you liked this! Please review!