I apologise for the delay. What happened was that I had a really good idea that I forgot, and it took a while to find a new one I was happy with, but I think I'm pleased with how it turned out. This is the final chapter of this story, and I hope you will like it.
How could Will have thought his life had been bad before? Compared to how he felt in that moment, the previous months had been like a good dream. A dream he now would give about anything to re-enter. No tears were visible in his eyes, but one could see small, dried rivers on his cheeks from the minutes before. Now he just stared in plain disbelief at Jem's body, which lay across his lap, limb like a doll's. Will's whole body was paralyzed, and his lips were ice cold, but his mind still worked furiously. "Jem is dead, Jem is dead, Jem is dead". It couldn't be it, it just couldn't. He had expected this a long time, he knew it would happen someday, but this was too soon. Way, way too soon. Telling Jem the whole truth had even went a lot better than he had expected. They had actually kissed! (At least he thought they had kissed? He had a hard time telling the difference between real life and fantasy at the moment). And now, when he knew the possibility had been there for a life together, he couldn't even get a few days with him? He heard footsteps outside the door then, and they were steadily getting louder as they came closer to Will's room. Tears started to run down his cheeks again, and Will leaned over Jem's body, screaming that no one could get in, no one could get in…
He chased after the bright red bastard. Red as hell itself, and the orange scales dotted here and there made the impression that the vicious demon had caught fire. A hole in the front of its body opened, and it showed its thin, needle sharp teeth, seemingly placed at random inside the mouth. Adrenalin pulsed trough Will's veins, hard and fast, and his forehead was sticky with sweat, his hair plastered to his head with it. This was a feeling that no booze or self-harm could give him. This was what he was supposed to do, was born to do, and most importantly, it was right. To get addicted to a liquid was a thought that disgusted him when he thought about how Jem had died. He even regretted the night before. It felt like drinking was to just spit on Jem's memory. Why was he so screwed up? He was just about to name the seraph blade in his hand when he felt a blinding pain in his arm. The demon was faster than he would have thought. He tried to fling it off him without much success. The pain went through his arm and spread fast to the rest of his body. He gasped for air. "Rap…Raph… ARGHHH". He never got enough time to voice the whole name. For a second he felt dread, but when he remembered Jem he realized that he didn't really care, it didn't matter what happened. It wasn't as he had anything to live for any more…Even if it might be that Jem had been right about the curse. When he thought about it he felt like a fool. How could it have been real? But it didn't matter, because it wasn't as though his family would accept him if he came home now after all these years either. He stopped struggling against the thing, and just did feeble attempts to get it off, attempts he knew wouldn't work. He just managed to whisper the words "I just hope I will be able to see Jem again" before he collapsed onto his side, shaking while the demon continued to tear here and there on his arm and later his throat, making nasty-looking gashes appear, and Will's shirt became soaked with blood. One last violent shake went through his body before he went completely still.
After several days of heavy rain, the sun finally managed to break through the clouds in London city. The streets were again filled with people, and the colours seemed much brighter. The city seemed so alive, but for a few people, the feelings were of the completely opposite nature.
Charlotte, Henry and Tessa were gathered in the same room for the first time in days. All worry about Mortmain and the Automatons were laid away. They hadn't even had dinner at the same time, as none of them felt like eating anyway. They were all dressed in white, but none of them felt ready to face the day. How could they? Henry and Charlotte had missed all their as-good-as-children, Jessamine had betrayed them, then they lost Jem, and Will the day after. Tessa had lost the love of her life, and also the only friend she had in the world, who had not only made her laugh, but also had understood her love for books like no one else ever had before. And they didn't even know if Will's death was an accident or not. They all knew that he had a very special connection to Jem, and that he was the only one who might have understood a fragment of why Will was as he was. Still, no one had dared to suggest that it was anything but a horrible accident.
The silence in the saloon where they sat was complete. They all felt like they should say something to the others, provide words of comfort, but neither of them could find the right words. There was no point in saying it would be okay, because well, it wouldn't. They were dead. All Will and Jem had ever done in their lives now resolved to this. They didn't have memories any longer, they didn't know or care that they were being mourned, the could not look back at their life to see all the great things they had accomplished and the people they had saved, because they didn't know that they had ever existed. Empty shells, that was all there was left. That it might be a heaven where their souls were at peace was a far off thought that didn't provide much comfort in the situation they were in.
Finally, a knock sounded on the door, and they could escape from the unpleasant silence and go. Surprisingly, even the Warlock had dressed in white this day, but no trace of emotion was visible in his features. When the door opened, he gave them all a quick embrace, holding a bit longer onto Tessa than the others. Not even he said anything.
They started the walk to the hill where the funeral pyre would be lit. It seemed the right thing to do, to burn them together. Charlotte had said "That's what they would have wanted", and no one had protested.
Once they were there, Tessa went to where their bodies lay. She had thought that she had cried so much that there was no way there could be any more tears left, but apparently she had been wrong. The sight of Jem lying there was even worse than she had imagined. Somehow it was like the past days had been a nightmare, but nightmares still were dreams. Now she woke up to reality, which was so much worse. It was real. There really was no way that she could get Jem back. Not in two days, not in two years, not even in a hundred. Waiting and patience wouldn't make it better now, she could no longer use time as a way to don't lose hope. "Just wait a little longer, and it will be fine". She was left with nothing. Despite the coldness of his skin, she leaned down over Jem and hugged him tightly against her, making the shirt he was wearing wet from the droplets that fell steadily from her eyes. She whispered words. They might have been the phrase "I love you so much, I love you so much", repeated several times, but it was impossible to say for sure with the gasps and cries in between. Charlotte laid an arm on her shoulder. "I'm so sorry, Tessa, but you have to let go now. We have to let them let go. Come here". Tessa stood up unwillingly and Charlotte embraced her.
They were staring at the flames that licked the bodies. Charlotte and Magnus stood a few feet behind the others. Magnus finally let go of his stone façade, his face screwing up in a horrible grimace, so the tears welling up in his eyes weren't even visible. "Charlotte, I am so sorry, so sorry. I should have"...
"There's nothing you should or could have done, Magnus… You know, Henry and I will be okay. We know what it means to be a Shadowhunter. It's all a part of the big game. We expect death. Of course this is terrible, I've never been this sad, but… we'll be okay, we'll get our baby boy… It's Tessa this is hardest for. My heart breaks looking at her. Her whole life was changed so dramatically in such a short time, but she had Jem and Will to comfort her. But not anymore", she sighed deeply and lent her head against Magnus's shoulder.
Magnus didn't want to burden her further, so he stayed quiet, not voicing what he had really meant when he said he was sorry. He was glad Charlotte only had taken it as he was sorry for them, well he was, it was just that it was more to the story than just that.
Hours passed, the funeral pyre had completely burned out and only the ashes still remained. Most people had gone home long ago. Now even Tessa turned around and went away, leaving Magnus alone by the ashes - The ashes that it was his fault laid there. He sat down, as his feet could no longer bear the weight of his body. Charlotte had been wrong. There was something he could've done.
He had indeed spent a lot of time looking for the demon that put the curse over Will, but he hadn't failed. He never did. The sort of demon that had attacked Will couldn't change shape. It wasn't an Eidolon. Will should've known that. During the process of finding the demon, Magnus had seen Will frustrated, sad, and had even seen him crying, and he knew that he was the only one who knew how Will felt. As long as Will believed in the curse, he wouldn't tell anyone about it. What he should have said, of course, was that he knew the curse wasn't real, which he knew because he'd summoned the demon to the pentagram and had had what you could call a little… chat with it.
He just hadn't been able to tell Will, because he knew what it would result to. Will would finally tell the others the mystery behind his behaviour. He would be happy, and he wouldn't need Magnus any more. After helping Will for so long, Magnus had realized just how much he cared for him, just how much he wanted to be the only person Will could rely on, the only one who would be able to provide him with hope. He had, somehow, fallen in love with the boy with the black hair and the piercingly blue eyes. And he had been so egoistic about his feelings, had been so afraid that Will would truly open himself up to how Magnus knew he felt for Jem. He had lived so long that he couldn't fail to notice when a person had fallen in love.
Will would be devastated by Jem's death no matter what, and that one thing Magnus couldn't have done anything with, but he shouldn't have cut off all the support Will could have had around him, that would prevent him to give in to death so easily. He knew the demon Will had encountered hadn't been a match for him if he'd really wanted to exercise it.
And thereby the consequences. Magnus had done what was the most horribly selfish thing a human being could do, he had caused so much pain for the person he loved that the person had wanted to die, and it had left Magnus completely devastated and heartbroken. He knew he deserved it, he knew it was right, and he knew he would've remained a cruel person for ever if it hadn't happened, but the thing was, the others didn't deserve it. Henry, and Tessa, and Charlotte. He was the reason for theirs, and so many other people's misery.
Maddened with guilt and self-hate, he just sat there, alone in the world, as the sun went down, and the night coated the sky with a black carpet. He swore he would never, ever be the reason for someone's sadness again. He would only bring happiness and joy to the world.
The problem is, when a damaged person wants to cause happiness, the consequences are rarely what the person set out for.
Well, that's it! I would greatly appreciate hearing your thoughts on my fanfiction. Just a tiny comment is enough to make me very happy, and I'm sure it will help me with future fanfiction writing. Also, if you have questions, I would be more than happy to answer them.