Here it is, Ladies and Gentleman! The final chapter of Clary's story.
This is the Final Part of The End.
I own nothing!
She knew she should continue to walk but her feet were tired and she had walked for hours it seemed. The city was slightly bigger but not by much as she climbed the nearest tree and lodged in it; taking a sip from the water in her backpack and a nibble off her granola bar. She had to portal farther away from the city; she knew if she had portaled too close without permission she would have gotten rejected by the wards around the city and dispersed somewhere else.
She couldn't afford to waste that much time; they would figure it out soon enough. She knew they would and they would come for her, there wasn't a doubt in her mind about it. She hoped to have finished her mission by then.
She needed to keep going. Her heart knew where he was; the angels were leading her, she knew. All she had to do was follow her instincts. Sighing, she hopped out of the tree and trudged onward. Wanting nothing more than to just go home and lie in bed with the man she loved.
They all sat around the table; Jace and Luke paced on either side. Cleo still hadn't woken up but the thought of her knowing where Clary was, was more far-fetched than an iguana doing the splits. They stared at the paper that sat tauntingly in the middle of the round table. Even Alec, who had gotten attached to Clary himself, seemed shaken up by her disappearance.
Clary had united them; she was their common goal. Maybe, it was mean to say but she had been their project. She had come to them broken and they had been intent on fixing her. And it seemed that now that they had, she had taken off and left; stealing with her all the love they had to offer. As the shock began to fade, Isabelle found she resented Clary,
Maybe, Cleo had been right. Maybe, Clary was only using them; she didn't really need them, not with all her so called "gifts". She had made them love her and then she had left; as if they were nothing. Isabelle felt her heart thicken; she should have never trusted that lost and broken look in her green eyes. She should have known she was a liar, just like her father.
Isabelle felt numb and used as she stared at the letter wanting nothing more than to shove Clarissa's lies right back down her throat.
"Something isn't right." Jace said again as he followed it with same sentence he had been repeating for the last hour. "She wouldn't just leave."
He was blinded by his love; he didn't see the devil in her but Isabelle did, she knew. "Yeah, well, she did." Isabelle answered curtly as Jace stopped his movements, Luke stopping too.
"No, she loves all of you. She built a life here—" Luke started but Isabelle cut him off.
"Yeah, just like she built a life at all her other Institutes too." Isabelle said as she turned in her seat to glare at her adopted brother even though he hadn't been the one to speak. Why couldn't he just see what she had done? Why couldn't he just see that she used them all?
Jace stopped and glared back at her. "If you really believe that than you don't know her well at all."
"No, I do know her." Isabelle shot out of her seat; she had to tell him. He had to see reason, to understand. "She needed something from us so she took it. She took all of what we had to offer and then she ran just like her father."
Jace scowled and narrowed his eyes, his hands forming fists at his sides and his hair a tousled mess. Maryse stood from her seat and spoke calmly and softly. "Both of you stop—"
"You need to wake up and see that she is just like everyone else; cold and deceptive. You're blinded by a love that was only one sided. New for you, isn't it, Heartbreaker?" Isabelle said as she put her hands on her hips.
"You don't know anything about what Clary and I have. So, don't pretend you do." Jace said around clenched teeth, his eyes ablaze with rage.
"Now that's enough out of both of you!" Maryse raised her voice as her hands slammed down on the table. Jocelyn had stood from her seat, no doubt, to come to her daughter's rescue as a frown set on her face.
"What's going on?" A small voice carried from the hallway as the group turned to look. Cleo stood uncertainly in the corridor. She had a robe to cover her revealing sleepwear underneath, which Isabelle was happy for, no one needed to see Cleo's goodies. The blue-haired girl frowned at the tense and uncomfortable atmosphere that surrounded her family. "What's wrong?"
Isabelle smiled at Cleo warmly for the first time in what seemed like forever. "You were right. We never should have doubted you."
Cleo blinked in a fluster fashion before she confusingly looked back at Isabelle. "What are you talking about, Izzy?"
"Clary. You were right about her."
"No, she wasn't." Jace growled his hands clenched at his sides and his eyes blazed with an unquenched fire.
"Yes, she was." Isabelle countered, looking back at Cleo. "She's nothing, but a deserter. She's no better than Valentine."
"Isabelle!" Maryse said as Jocelyn stood again from her seat.
"I think there is a large difference between slaughtering and deceiving hundreds of people and simply running away." Jocelyn spoke in a clear voice, more like herself than before.
"Is there?" Isabelle said as she turned to look at the Queen of hearts; Jocelyn had always looked untouchable to Isabelle. Like she was perched on a higher throne than Isabelle could ever be, but looking at her now Isabelle found that she looked nothing like she usually did. Her usually smooth curls were wildly knotted around her head, her pink robe looked motherly and like it was a tad too big for her; she looked human. The great Jocelyn Morgenstern looked vulnerable and broken. She seemed just like any normal, panicked mother; her eyes were wide and scared. "Because they both involve hurting people; they let people love them," She said looking at her mother, who closed her eyes in shame at her own past. One that involved the very man she so desperately wished to obliterate. "They make you trust them and then they destroy you." She said with her hands clamped down hard on the wooden tabletop; her fingertips curling around the table's edge. "Didn't you call him "friend" once too?"
There was a tense silence as Jace glared at Isabelle in furious rage, his arms shaking with fear more than anger if he was to be honest. Cleo glanced confusedly around the room; not at all on the same page as everyone else.
Alec was the first to speak. "Not everyone is like Meliorn, Isabelle."
She snapped her attention over to where her brother sat; betrayal etched on her face. She could understand Jace's clouded mind, his feelings for the lying red head were too strong to convince but Alec wasn't in love with Clary. He had been her friend, just as Isabelle had. Was she truly the only one who saw reason?
And why, on God's green earth, did he have to bring that man up!
"I know that." Isabelle muttered, giving a lot of thought to just leaving the room now before the situation could get any worse.
"Do you?" Alec asked softly.
"Yes!" Isabelle yelled as she slammed her hands down on the table; Max jumped in his seat before flinching away. She felt her heart break a little bit at the sight of Max as he pushed away from Isabelle and walked to where Jace stood. The small boy reached for his hand, seeking the comfort he craved and Jace let him take it, pulling his little brother in front of his legs and crossing his arms over his small body.
"Clary isn't like Meliorn; he left because . . . " Jace looked up at her before trailing off, knowing he wasn't mean enough to bring up her past. Not one so filled with pain and damage; it had taken Isabelle a long time to heal after that and he wouldn't dare take her back there, into that darkness and loneliness. No matter how mad he was at her. "Just because she's gone doesn't make them the same, Izzy."
"What?" Cleo answered her eyes wide as Jace glanced back at her, completely forgetting she had been standing there at all. "Clary's gone?"
Robert sighed, speaking for only the second time that morning as he looked over at his flustered niece. "Yeah; she just upped and vanished. She left a note and everything."
Cleo rushed toward the table in a frenzy making Isabelle frown at her actions. Why was she so worried? Why did she have that look of guilt on her face? None of it made sense to her as she watched Cleo's eyes frantically scan over the incriminating letter. Isabelle never knew she could actually hate an object before but she did. She hated that letter.
"By the Angel." Cleo whispered her hand going to her mouth in horror.
"Yep," Isabelle answered. "She left; just like that."
"But why?" She said as she placed the letter delicately back down on the table as if it were too fragile to set down any other way.
"Oh, we know why." Jace said in a sarcastic tone, his eyes blazing with a fire; his fear fueling his cruelty. "We all just wanted to gather around the table and talk about where Clary's gone to; it's almost like a game, want throw in your own assumption; we've already got a few." He answered back, harshly and snidely knowing she didn't truly deserve it but unable to stop himself anyway.
"She left, what more is there to know?" Isabelle said as Jace shot her another look.
"Why she did it, perhaps? Because that question has been rattling around in my head all morning." Jace answered back sarcastically, his hold on Max tightening. "And don't try and pretend it hasn't ran through yours either."
To that Isabelle had nothing to say, that had, in fact, been running through her mind. It had been going through everyone's mind she was sure. Why would Clary, the once recluse turned social butterfly, run from them? She had been more than happy to have made herself a place here, a home. Thinking rationally, Isabelle knew her disappearance didn't make much sense, but she didn't want to think sensibly. She wanted to wallow in her sadness and self-pity of losing her best friend. She didn't want to think logically, she wanted to be unreasonable.
"She couldn't have . . . no, that couldn't be . . ." Cleo muttered to herself as she ran a hand through her sleek, straight hair.
Robert sighed and pushed away from the table, his head low on his shoulders. "As much as I wish we could find Clary, we can't. We have bigger things to worry about, Valentine will gather his army tomorrow and the Clave has sent out a warning. They need as many soldiers as they can get." He said his eyes on Luke, who held his gaze before giving him a nod.
"I'll gather my pack for the fight."
"What?" Jocelyn said looking at her husband with disbelief. "We have to look for her! It isn't safe for her to be out there!"
Luke put his hands on his wife's shoulders; his brown eyes sparkled behind his glasses. "Clary is a smart girl; she would never do something this rash without a reason." He sighed. "We're just going to have to trust this reason, whatever it may be."
Cleo sucked in a deep breath as her body hunched over the tabletop. She brought her gaze up to Robert's frightfully for only a moment; her eyes showing a deep fear before she focused it upon the sturdy table, never looking up. Almost as if they would see the truth in her eyes. "Did anyone check the weapons room?"
"What?" Jace asked finding his voice after what Luke said.
"Did you check the weapons room?"
Robert shook his head, looking at his niece with concern. "No, why would we—"
"Check it." Cleo said as she bit her plump lip and look up at her Uncle. "Go, please." She whispered as Robert gave her a nod before walking stiffly from the room; his large, burly shoulders were tense as he exited the uncomfortable dining area. "I talked to Clary last night."
Isabelle frowned before exchanging a glance with Alec, who had stood from his seat in wonder. His blue eyes, like Maryse's, seemed to be trying to unlock the secrets in the seemingly frail blue-haired girl's mind. "Yeah, so?"
"I . . ." Cleo started before choking on her next breath. "Well, I . . .we . . ." She took a deep breath that came in shaky and out just as it went in. "I told her that she was like Valentine. I yelled at her." Cleo whispered in the silent room as Jocelyn stared deep into the young girl's skin, willing her to look up, to see the pain she had caused. "I told her she was going to get you all killed; that she didn't deserve you."
"You what?" Jace said his voice was toneless and his face was blank in an eerie calm. His eyes told everyone what they needed to know; he was on the brink of breaking.
"I was just mad." Cleo looked up at him pleadingly wanting him so desperately to understand. "I was just so jealous. She had everything I wanted; everything I deserved." Cleo closed her eyes and shook her head. "At least, I thought I deserved it. But I don't." She swallowed hard as she squeezed her eyes together more. "You want to know the worst part?" She didn't wait for them to answer. "She just stood there. She stood there and she let me degrade her, beat her dignity, her pride." Cleo looked at the people surrounding the table; she looked at Jocelyn straight on. She expected the woman to judge her, to be furiously mad but she wasn't. She looked like she pitied Cleo and that was far worse. "And then she agreed with me. She kept saying . . ."
She trailed off as Robert ran into the room; his well kept hair was falling across his forehead like his son's. It made him looked like an older version of Alec. His warm brown eyes were frantic as they landed on Cleo before surveying everyone else in the cold room. "Two of our seraph blades are missing, along with three daggers and Clary's stele."
"Why would weapons be missing?" Maryse said standing from her seat and looking toward her husband.
"She took them." Maryse looked back at her niece, who hunched her body back over the table again. In her hand, she clenched onto the letter that looked like a sacred jewel. "Clary did."
"Why would Clary—"
"She went after Valentine." Cleo answered before she could ask. Jocelyn sucked in a deep breath as she slumped against Luke, who frowned and shook his head as if the thought was too much to process. Jace stood with his eyes staring forward and his mouth gaping wide open; stock still like a well constructed statue.
"Why would Clary go after Valentine?" Maryse asked unbelieving; her eyebrow raised and her smile full of disbelief.
"Her dream." Jace whispered, his voice nothing more than a breath as Cleo met his eyes. "The vision."
"She kept muttering when I left that night," She answered as Jace met her eyes with his; they both knew. "She said "I'll make it right"." Cleo answered as she handed the letter to Isabelle, whose anxious brown eyes scanned over the sentence at the bottom.
Tell Cleo I'll make it right.
Isabelle watched the paper shake as if it was about to combust before she felt her legs give out; her brother caught her before she fell. Alec brought her close as his head rested against her hair, hushing her for reasons beyond her knowledge.
She wanted to demand to know why he was hugging her, they didn't hug; they were siblings but her throat wasn't working and her eyes kept fogging up. It wasn't until a small hand wiped at her cheek did she realize she was crying and that Alec was hugging her close because she was shaking. Max squatted in front of her, Jace beside him, as his small hands wiped her tears.
Clary had run.
Run, not from the war, but straight into it.
And Isabelle had doubted her.
Her heart felt like it might jump out of her chest and run to where her friend was. She could feel her fingertips curling like she was reaching out to touch her.
Clary had gone to fight Valentine,
A fight she was sure to lose.
The light shined lower in the sky, she could guess it was around the evening but not so late that it was dusk. The hues of bright orange and yellow lingered amongst the blue sky; still far in the distance the towers stood. Not as far as she originally walked but far enough. She could see the dense forest from where she stood at the top of the hillside. She knew she had to travel through that first to get to Alicante. It would be a dangerous journey, one she was scared to take alone but knowing it had to be this way all the same.
She had always wanted to go to Alicante, she had never been allowed. Her mother had been strict on that. When she was a child it had made her resent her mother slightly but as she grew she understood why. If she were to go to Alicante they would have treated her, just as the many Institutes' she had taken refuge in before, cruelly. With harsh words and callous tones; she would have had to fight against an entire town of people who thought she was a creature of darkness. She had barely survived the insults from a handful of people in an Institute, how could she have made it through that much hatred?
She couldn't have.
She closed her eyes and fought the tears that she knew waited anxiously behind her lids. She wanted so badly to just sob and give up. To head home and let the Council fight for their lives as best they could. Let the people who had belittled and hurt her fight for their lives against the very man who she had once fought against. But she couldn't; because it could only be her, because if she did that she would have left the Lightwoods to the same fate.
Cleo had been right, she didn't deserve them.
But she was going to spend every day trying to.
The adults had pushed the children from the room even Alec, who had come of age to listen to such important meetings, had been booted. They knew what they were discussing, it wasn't hard to figure out but why send them out now? When they hadn't been excluded when the Inquisitor was here or early about their discussion of Clarissa?
It didn't make much sense to kick them out now.
They all stared at the door waiting for it to open; Isabelle, Alec, Jace and Max (who sat precariously on both Jace's and Alec's lap, more so Jace's than Alec's) sat smashed together on one couch while Cleo had been ostracized to the other. To say they were upset would have been an understatement. Even Alec, who had been close but never that close with Clary, sat with his arms crossed, glaring at her every now and then. Jace hadn't brought his gaze back to hers since in the kitchen, at least, an hour ago. And every time she looked at Isabelle she saw the anger that resigned on her expression. It was well deserved she knew but it hurt all the same.
She watched Jace as his gold eyes, like pralines, stared deep into the door's wood as if he could make it burst into flame purely from his mind. His sharp jaw was clenched and she knew he was grinding his teeth together.
Cleo had never seen Jace with that look in his eyes like he was slowing falling apart; all because of one girl, one special girl. At one time, Cleo thought she might have been that girl but she hadn't been. She had thought Clary was simply in the way, that she was just a new toy Jace had to play with and get rid of. So, she waited; soon days turned to weeks and weeks to months. She had watched as Jace fell in love with the girl with the crimson hair and the bright green eyes.
And now she watched as Jace's so well kept shield shattered all for the same girl.
Cleo had to turn away because it was too heartbreaking to watch. As if on cue the door swung open and Robert and Luke walked into the room where the teens sat tensely perched. As if they were waiting for the final verdict; like they were waiting for an answer.
"It's been decided that we will travel to Alicante, the best way to stop Clary is to beat her to the finish line." Robert said as Jace shot out of his seat, Max almost flying forward into the glass table that separated the two couches as Alec scooped him into his lap. "Luke and his pack with cover the perimeter and Jocelyn, Maryse and I will go into the city."
"But she's not going to Alicante—" Cleo said standing as well.
"It's been decided."
"So, basically you've decided to do nothing." Jace said as he crossed his arms and smirked. "Because that's all that plan will accomplish. Nothing."
He knew, just as Isabelle did, why Robert was going to Alicante, to talk with the Council. This had nothing to do with Clary and all to do with Valentine.
Robert squeezed his nose with his thumb and forefinger as he sighed. "It's been decided." He repeated as if that would help.
"Yes," Jace said with a raised eyebrow. "So we've been told. We're disagreeing with you, Robert, not deaf."
Luke stepped in before Robert could say anything back, by the look of his tense shoulders and angry face, it couldn't have been good. "It's the best we can do for now."
"Your best isn't good enough."
Luke smiled at Jace warmly, having grown attached to the boy he wished to call son someday. "Yes, but it is what it is."
A looked of appreciation crossed Jace face as he regarded Luke. The older man looked strong and weak all at once. He didn't only talk of the easy side of things but also the hard, the difficult. Luke treated him like a man and for that he respected him.
"When are we leaving?" Isabelle asked from her seat by her brother, craning her neck to see around Jace's large body, who stood in her line of sight.
"You aren't." Robert said as he turned his back and walked toward the door, already dressed in Shadowhunter gear, he looked like a commanding officer; like a man to be held in high esteem.
All three teens jumped to their feet, Max was thrown back on the couch from the action. His glasses lay crooked on his nose as he watched his siblings all speak at once.
"But you can't do that!"
"It isn't fair!"
"Clary needs me!"
Robert simply held up a hand as Luke gave them a look of sympathy. "You will not be leaving. You will stay at this Institute and look after your brother. And you will not complain again."
"But I'm of age. The laws state that I can go to war—" Alec said but stopped when Robert shot him a look.
"And I am your father. And I am telling you to stay here."
They said nothing as Robert left the room; Luke gave them another sympathetic look before he nodded toward them, his eyes holding a certain mischievous sparkle, and left as well. They stood in silence for a moment; no one made a sound as they heard the door to the weapons room, no doubt, open and close. The quiet weighting on them like a heavy cloak.
"So," Isabelle said bringing their attention to her as she stood with her hands on her hips still wearing her pajamas from when she woke up. Her hair was smooth, if not slightly knotted, as she looked at them all in defiance. "When are we leaving?"
"After they've left," Jace answered looking at Alec. "I think I have an idea."
The two parabatai shared a smile that could only be described as devious.
"I think I know just what you mean." Alec said as he took out his phone, his fingers flying along the keys.
Clary took a deep breath as she descended the hillside, the sun having settled lower over the horizon.
This was it.
She could feel his demonic presence laying in wait in the dark forest below.
She was coming.
And something that settled with unease in her stomach told her he knew it.
Magnus Bane stood with his hands placed on his hips. The sparkly warlock had died the tips of his spiky hair red for the occasion of war as he regarded what his boyfriend, and his family, was telling him. The letter Clary, so quickly scribbled down, laid in his hand as his eyes looked over it closely; nodding every once in a while to show that he was paying attention to what they were saying.
"Well, this is just upsetting." He answered as a long silence filled the room.
"Tell me about it." Isabelle muttered as she took in the tall, sparklingly, handsome warlock who managed to looked incredibly good at any hour of the day.
"She didn't mention me in here once." He gave a large throw of his hands as Alec rolled his eyes. "It's practically offensive."
"Can you please focus?" Alec said as he stared affectionately at the only man he could ever love, wishing he had good sense to change out of his ratty pajama's before he had gotten here. "Do you think you can do it?"
Magnus looked at his boyfriend with a frown and a hand to his heart. "Of course, I can. Don't be absurd; I am the High Warlock of Brooklyn after all."
"I think he made that up." Jace whispered to Isabelle, who nodded in agreement, as Magnus threw them both a glare.
"Great!" Alec said clapping his hands together as he went in the direction of his room. "All we need to do now is change and grab some weapons and we're good to go."
"Yes and while we're at it we'll stop and pick up some party favors." Jace said with a smirk. "We're about to go to war, Alec, please sound like it." He finished turning in the direction of his own room as a slight blush worked its way across his brother's cheeks as he rolled his eyes.
Magnus stopped Alec with a soft hand to his chest. "I said I could, not that I would." Alec threw him a confused look as Magnus sighed and brought his hand to his hair as if he were going to run his hands through it but remembered that he had put loads of gel and hairspray in it earlier as they dropped to his sides like lead. "Are you sure you want to do this?" He asked his expression was almost agony as he spit the next words out. "I love Clarissa as much as you all but is she really worth it?"
Jace stopped, his hand clenching the door frame; his knuckles were white from the strain as he turned to glare at the concerned and guilty warlock before shaking his head. "If you loved her as much as you say you do, you wouldn't have asked that question."
"Of course she is." Isabelle answered in outrage, her voice raising a couple octaves as she did.
Alec shared a look with his boyfriend. "If it were any of us, she would do the same." He shrugged. "Besides, Jace will go with or without us and I'd like to keep him as safe as I can."
Magnus considered them all for a moment as he sighed, both in disappointment and relief. "Alright, meet here in 10 minutes. I'm sure that will give your parents enough time to settle in Idris and for me to portal you to Ragnor Fell's house."
"Ragnor Fell?" Alec said with a curious look on his face. "Who's that?"
Magnus sighed again, this time running a hand through his hair before ripping it out and cursing. "An old friend. He lives a couple miles out from Alicante, at least an hour walk or 20 minutes by horse." Jace nodded as he all but sprinted from the room. Isabelle and Cleo stood zipping up their black gear and adjusting weapon straps, having left long before Jace did. Alec turned to go but Magnus put a hand on his arm, squeezing slightly as if to make sure he was real. "Excuse my lack of faith but how do you plan to even find Clarissa?"
"That's easy." Isabelle said putting a brush on the glass table between the two couches, Alec slipped out while Magnus gave the striking girl his full attention. Carefully, she pinched her fingers around a dark red strand of curling hair. "It's not like I haven't done Clary's hair before. She might have destroyed most of her DNA here, but we can still track her with this."
Jace, who had entered right as Alec dashed out, looked at his sister appraisingly as they stepped toward and into the descending elevator, Max curled in front of his legs and Alec running to catch up as he zipped up the jacket of his gear. "That's a good idea. I was just planning on winging it."
Isabelle rolled her eyes before she handed the strand to Magnus. "Guys." She muttered under her breath before winking at the warlock and stepping out the elevator and out into the warmth outside. "Work your magic, beautiful."
"Oh, Isabelle." Magnus smirked before closing his eyes, his hands glowing with a bright blue light. "You know just what to say." He spoke as his eyes blazed a bright blue as if shining from the inside of his soul as a portal took form in the Institute's graveyard. He kissed Alec on the mouth quickly; the portal behind him flickered brighter at the action. "I'll see you soon."
"You're not coming with us?"
"Not quite," Magnus said as the light dulled from his eyes until they were cunning and sharp like a feline's again as he smirked at the group of Shadowhunters. "I have some calls to make first."
Luke paced outside of the glass structure. It was ridiculous that he wasn't allowed to enter. They were all allies weren't they? They should have been. The only way they could win against Valentine is if they banded together. Luke continued his pacing, his eyes scanning the hillsides for a small figure of the only daughter he had ever known. He had his two best pack members scanning for her arrival; and a lot of his other members laying in wait. He assumed she had entered the forest by now or was . . .
He couldn't think about an "or else" at the moment. His heart was leaping in fear as he surveyed faster, wishing he could hear her breathing, see her green eyes burning bright through the darkness that enveloped the dark woods around him.
How brave she was. Walking without a second thought to her death if it meant saving them; the sun was low in the sky as he continued to look over the silent hills. He wished they could have tracked her but she had destroyed all her lingering DNA from the room she had occupied. It was as if she hadn't lived there at all. Her paints and paintings were missing and her clothing gone; no jewelry or pictures. She had hidden them or destroyed them he was sure. None of the kids had anything of hers that they could have used, he had asked.
So, they were taking stabs in the dark hoping to catch something. But in reality he knew they would accomplish nothing. Just as Jace had said, but something in Luke's heart told him that if anyone were to find his brave daughter, it would be that equally brave boy.
Clary closed her eyes as she ventured onward, the feeling of impending doom settled around her like a heavy coat on a humid day. It was slowly suffocating her as she pushed herself onward; pulling back large plants and continually looking over her shoulder. She wanted to turn back. She wanted to go home.
But her dream/vision still played in her mind like a sad song; it ripped at her heart and made her stomach boil with fear.
Taking another breath, Clary tried to calm herself but found it to be one of the hardest things she'd ever had to do. Her body wasn't listening as it quivered with chills; the feeling of crawling bugs taking over her skin making her feel cautious. It was like she could feel him; his scent was death. That was what was guiding her; the smell of blood and deceit, of pain and sorrow.
He was close; she could feel it.
Max slammed into Jace's back, who landed on top of Isabelle, who inevitably crashed onto Cleo's spine, who was crushing Alec.
They all shared a groan as they pushed and shoved the other off each spitting out their own profanity before yelling at each for saying such a thing in front of Max and so forth.
Isabelle held the tracker in her hand; it was a small device—it looked exactly like a compass— resembling nothing like she would have expected such a powerful tool to look like, as she pushed Jace's long legs away from her own and climbed painfully to her feet. Her freshly drawn runes gleamed in the glow of the fading sun.
"Well," Jace nodded as he rubbed the back of his head where Max had slammed his chest into him. "What does it say?"
"West." Isabelle said with a breath of relief, knowing where she was going was in itself a weight off her back. She needed her friend more than she knew and she intended on bringing her home, alive.
Jace nodded as he looked off toward the direction of the fading sun. "West." He whispered as a look of release fell over his face and Isabelle knew he was thinking the same thing she was. "West."
They trudged onward without another glance back.
Clary stopped a moment as the sound of a snapping branch sounded in her ear; she turned sharply before taking a cautious step forward; the sound repeating as Clary took off in a sprint. She shoved leaves out of her way and jumped over fallen logs as her boots dug into the soft earth. She broke through the foliage to a small meadow, peaceful and quiet. Wildflowers were sprawled along the grasses as more forest took up its opposite sides.
Taking a step back she turned and clenched her seraph blade tightly in her grip, her fingerless gloves helping to keep the perspiration from making her hold slip. Her heart was beating fast in her ears as her veins began to pump adrenaline. She stared with her eyes alert through the woods, making sure not one shadow could be seen.
"Tennin" She whispered the angel's name to the blade as it glowed a bright blue, coming to life in her grasp.
She could feel his approach like a rock in her throat, the feeling of doom wrapping around her heart like a vice and made it beat faster. The sound of another stick breaking to her left made her tense and leap, her blade held high above her head.
She stopped with barely enough time to retract her blade from cutting Cleo through her jugular. The girl let out a scream as she fell backwards onto her hands.
"Cleo?" Clary whispered wide-eyed as more black gear drifted from the woods much quieter than Cleo had been. "What are you doing?"
"I should ask you the same thing!" Cleo said, she had fallen to the ground in her fright and was currently grasping her neck. Her well endowed chest heaved as it pushed seductively against the black coat of her gear, making the cloth appear smaller and tighter than it was. "You almost killed me!"
"Yes, because I thought you were going to kill me." Clary said with a smirk as she bent to lend Cleo a hand, who surprisingly, took it. "So, no hard feelings."
"Yeah, whatever, Morgenstern." Cleo smiled at her as Clary blinked in surprise and smiled back cautiously.
"What the hell did you think you were doing?" Isabelle said stomping forward, her hands perched on her hips.
Clary watched wide-eyed as Jace, Alec and Max formed from the darkness of the woods. Her heart took a nose dive as a groan escaped her throat. They'd come, which she knew they would, but she hadn't gotten rid of Valentine yet. This was all wrong; they weren't supposed to figure out where she had gone yet. She was supposed to save them, now here they all were.
In a place that felt like death and demise; that looked like a beautiful site but was filled with blood and gore. She felt herself frown before her eyes widened even larger. She knew this place; all too well. But before the sky had been black and the only sight that could be seen was from the glow of a golden cloak.
Everything was being woven together in a tightly stitched web.
She was the reason.
The reason they would perish.
It was her fault they would die; she was the reason they would suffer. She stumbled back several steps, entering out into the open meadow, shaking her head against the visions that bombarded her senses. The smell of rotten flesh and decay enveloped her nose.
She still had time, they had to run.
The feeling of warmth surrounded her like a hug as Jace gripped her gear covered arms; her seraph blade had been dropped in her realization. Her mouth dropped open as Jace gazed at her with a pure look of love; she knew soon that look would fade to grief as his heart shattered. As his body parts fell away in small pieces, cracking like glass.
His eyes searched her mind and she turned her head to keep her thoughts inside her brain. If he knew of what she was about to do he would stop her. All he had to do was kiss her, run his thumb along her lips, place his palm against her cheek and she would be a goner. All he had to do was whisper he loved her and she would change her mind and run with them. But she couldn't; she had to fight. For their sakes, she had too.
He hushed her before pulling her close, her head continuing to move back and forth vigorously shaking as her body trembled with fright. Not for her own safety at all; no, she feared for theirs. The feeling of death was closer now as she pushed away from him, the act caused a broken look to form on Jace's face. A look that cut too close to her heart.
"You have to run." She whispered the feeling of tragedy filling her stomach as her breath left her chest. Alec and Isabelle walked closer, their faces full of concern as they reached out to her.
Max tugged her arm softly as he looked up at her with his large doe eyes. "Clary?" She turned to look down at him, her eyes filling and spilling with tears all too quickly to process. She could see his body limp and unmoving, his tousled brown hair leaked with blood as he stared lifeless forward. "What's wrong? Aren't you happy to see us?"
Clary blinked as her lip quivered and a sob fell from her mouth. "No, I'm not happy to see you at all." She shook her head as Max blinked himself, his hopeful face fell with hurt. "You have to run."
"Like hell, Clarissa Morgenstern, we're not going anyway. Not when we just got you back." Isabelle said her arms crossed as she stared at her best friend with spite. "Did you really think we wouldn't come? Everyone's been worried sick! You just go gallivanting off—"
"Isabelle, please, you have to listen to me. If you don't run, you'll die. My vision—"
Isabelle let out a loud groan. "Oh, by the Angel, if I have to hear one more thing about this damn vision, I swear to all that is Holy I will rip the next person's head off."
Clary shook her head vigorously, her red hair much more vibrant against the black of her gear. Her eyes were frantic as Jace watched her closely, realization coming to his mind as he regarded the meadow. "The vision." He whispered before he looked at Clary and cut off Isabelle, who continued to nag. "We need to go."
Clary nodded, finally feeling a rush of relief spread through her body like vicodin. "You all need to go."
Jace nodded with her taking a strong hold of her arm. "Yes, all of us."
She shook her head as she tried to pull away, though if she were being completely honest she would admit that she didn't pull that hard. The feeling of his long pianist fingers hugging her arm made her shiver with delight. She remembered when she had sat in his embrace so long ago and placed her small, slender fingers along his own and played the piano; both of them moving as one person. "Jace, I can't. I have to fight him, it can only be me."
"All of us go or none of us." Jace said as Alec nodded in agreement, his arms crossed over his chest.
Isabelle cocked her hip and raised an eyebrow. "That's right. There is no way in hell I am leaving without you." She said looking at Clary. "And I think I speak for all of us when I say that."
Max frowned and folded his arms too as he watched her, his glasses endearingly falling down the bridge of his nose as he pouted. Clary shook her head. "You don't understand . . . "
She stopped as the feeling of death drifted from her body; her heart beat settling into a steady rhythm as she glanced over her shoulder. A foggy mist, only up to their ankles, settled over the bright and cheery meadow, as it passed the flowers began to wither in on themselves and brown.
"Oh no." Clary whispered as she watched the mist spread like stretching grabbing hands. Turning swiftly, she looked beyond the Lightwoods; there was no use in trying to make them run as they watch the scene play out in front of them transfixed, her eyes shot to Cleo who still stood on the edge of the forest.
Clary thought of only one thing to say; the only thing left to do.
She spoke to Cleo with no voice as the young girl nodded before turning and sprinting off in the direction of Alicante, of where Clary was headed not too long ago.
Cleo sprinted through the harsh brushes and heavy foliage as she raced toward the glass city; she was their only hope left as she pushed herself to go faster, to pump her legs harder. The Velocity rune she had placed on her chest helped move her along at an alarming rate as she soared over fallen tree limbs and jumped over thick, sinking mud.
When she broke through the dense trees, she thought she might cry as she pushed herself to move quicker. The screeching of demons sounded in the far distance, giving her motivation to run faster and pusher herself harder.
Clary's urgent face stuck in her head as her mouth formed the soundless word. The word that had pushed Cleo into action.
She was their only chance.
Clary stood with shaking limbs as she watched him walk forward, his body was tall and lean, yet at the same time he was sturdy and solid. His white hair gleamed in the fading sun, which glowed in bright oranges, reds and deep purples; the color of bruises and blood in the sky. Those black eyes that she had grown so used to in her nightmares seemed to shine with a demonic sparkle. His smile promised pain and crimson.
Here he was; the man who had made her life a living hell.
Who had her questioning her worth and dignity. The bane of her existence; just as she was his.
Isabelle gasped as she held tightly to Jace's darkly inked arm, who spread his legs and tensed his back; his stance was battle ready and nothing about his face showed signs that he was in a gaming mood. But she knew Valentine would play with them before he decided to attack. She had to keep his attention on her, which in truth, wouldn't be that difficult. She was the one he had come for.
She thought she would be looking for him; but as always he had been ten steps ahead of her. She walked right into his trap.
"Hello, dear daughter." Valentine said in a flourish as if he was a man of prestige and honor. As if they were truly family. The fog continued to spread, twisting around the group of teen's ankles like coil. The feeling of death followed shortly behind it.
This would not be like her vision; she wouldn't let it happen. She pushed the fear that bubbled in her stomach away and let the anger that settled deep in her veins flood through. Poison boiled at her throat as the fury of her anger took refuge in her heart; making her blood burn. If she was going to die, she was going to take him down with her. She refused to go alone.
"Valentine." She nodded feeling the ice in her tone. She watched as a slight wind; pushed the white blonde hair around his head tousling it and making him look younger and more innocent; it made the coat tails of his black jacket flap before it settled around him again.
His laugh was cool as he tossed his head back; she watched his Adam's apple bob up and down and imagined what it would feel like to sink her seraph blade right into his neck. Satisfying, she was sure. "Why so cold, daughter? Haven't you missed me?"
"Not in the slightest." Clary said with a frosty smile to match his. "Who in their right mind would miss you, father?" She said the word with a pool of disgust. "Practically everyone would rather see your head on the end of their seraph bladeincluding myself."
The insult didn't seem to faze him and he nodded looking at her like any parent who was pretending to listen to something ludicrous their child said. The action made Clary clench her fists in rage but yelling would only give him the satisfaction that he wanted. Not to mention an upper hand.
"Yes, not many people are visionaries. I would be lying if I didn't say I wished you saw things differently, Clarissa."
Clary let out a harsh laugh that she couldn't seem to keep in. "A visionary? You?"
She shook her head and placed herself between the Lightwoods and the oncoming danger. This snide banter would grow tiresome soon and she didn't want them in the line of attack first. She could feel Jace's eyes burning into her as if he knew exactly what she was doing. And she had no doubt he did know. Alec stood to Isabelle's right, his arrow at the ready and aimed at the only man that could probably catch and snap that arrow in one fluid motion. Except for Jace.
"Death and destruction, that's what your vision is?" Clary's nose flared as her father's smile fell from his face. "That's a pretty piss poor vision."
A dark look crossed over Valentine's face at her bland disrespect. "A world of strength," He smiled a manic smile as his eyes dug into her face even from across the meadow. "Where we are the strongest beings of our race. You're special, Clarissa. I made you that way. The same goes for the Herondale boy." Clary whipped her head to throw a look at Jace, who looked as surprised as her.
Suddenly everything began to click in her head. What the Inquisitor said and the fact that Jace was faster and more agile than all the other kids. The only person trained well enough to take her on.
"You are the ultimate soldiers; much more useful than any Downworlder," His nose curled up in distaste. "Or Shadowhunter a like. But more importantly you're dark, daughter; you are the perfect mix between dark and light. You are my perfect warrior."
Clary shook her head, trying to dislodge all the voices that crept back into her mind; the sounds of hate and desolation, the feeling of pain and hurt.
"No," Her voice sounded weak even to her. "I am not dark."
"Yes," Valentine nodded stepping further out into the deadened meadow; the browned and withered flowers crunched under his feet like brittle bones. "You are my daughter, Clarissa; you will always be part of me. You have a dark heart; just as I do."
She shook her head and bent down as the world seemed to be swallowed in a swirl of light and sound. She wasn't quite sure but she thought someone was calling out to her. She felt her legs begin to shake as the voices grew louder.
"You have a dark heart; it is reflected in your eyes, Valentine's daughter."
She had tried to run from the darkness in her soul, make them see differently but she was her father's daughter. She had been trained and taught to destroy first and ask questions later. She was a creature of dark proportions; made to be a killing machine that felt no remorse. A cold chill settled over her and she felt her heart beginning to sever. Why should she save the very people who had crushed her very spirit? The very people who would sacrifice her if that had been the answer to stop all the death. Why should she keep them safe?
A small hand placed itself on her shoulder as she turned her head. She had fallen to her knees as if the thought had been too much to bear and stared into the large eyes of Max Lightwood. The little boy who had shared his bed and given her all his trust; he had accepted her immediately knowing fully well who she was. He had faith in her; he always had.
She knew why she had to save them, the people who had turned their backs on her when she had needed support. Because she was better than her father, she was better than them. Because the Lightwood's deserved to be spared from his wrath; because she had too.
She looked up at Jace, who looked like he wanted to run to her but didn't want to set Valentine off. He had always believed in her, from the very beginning. Jace's golden curls shimmered in the fading light and his eyes shined like two gleaming glass gems. He would love her to the ends of time; she would love him the same in return.
She stood slowly and brought her eyes back to her father's with cold determination, the look of predatorial satisfaction fell slowly from his face. "I'm nothing like you."
"Of course, you are. My blood bleeds through your veins, my child."
Clary nodded. "That might be so, but I am nothing like you. You are darkness, but I'm the light. That's why you need to get rid of me." The memory of the tarnished and battered girls that had all looked like her ran through her vision; their lifeless faces and bloodless cheeks.
A sick smile spread over his face. "I see you saw my gifts. It's a project I've been working on. You see to unleash Lilith I need a," He paused as his eyes looked skyward before flicker back to hers. "Sacrifice from each creature that dwells in our world. I seem to have gotten a little carried away." His white teeth gleamed in the shining sun. "I haven't quite completed it yet. You're right that I need you dead; but not because you pose a threat. I need you to make more of a contribution, if you will."
Clary shook her head. "I won't do it, whatever it is you want."
Valentine let out another blood boiling laugh. "I need your heart, sweet daughter."
"Because you don't have one to spare?" Clary smirked, wishing she could raise her eyebrow like everyone else on the frickin' planet could.
Valentine let his heinous smile settle back on her making her skin quiver with disgust. "Because the only way the ritual can be completed is with the blood of both an angel," His teeth were clenched in a tight grin that contorted his face. "And a demon."
He spoke matter-factly as if that would make her change her mind. "Well, you can forget about it."
Something indescribable passed over Valentine's face as his smile grew as if he had wanted her to say such a thing. A large beam of red light shot into the sky above their heads, Clary had never seen anything like it before but it couldn't have been good. The shadows of the dark forest behind him began to mold into shapes and beings with sharp tongues and jagged mouths. Some with 6 eyes and others with none; colors ranging from black to yellow pus ran from their mouths, noses and eyes. He had brought his reinforcements just as she knew he would.
The vision was about to start.
"That wasn't a request." Valentine spoke calmly and he glanced over his shoulder with an undisguised smile; one of the creatures behind him let out an impatient cry. "It was a demand."
Clary barely had time to push Max behind her and whisper the angel Ariel's name before the demons fell upon them.
Cleo felt like her lungs were going to explode. She couldn't seem to take in enough oxygen as her arms pumped and her legs surged her forward unable to stop. Practically rolling down the steep hill outside the Glass City, she screamed to the pacing figure she knew would only be Luke.
The older man frowned, not in disbelief, but in worry. Cleo knew that Luke would suspect, even figure out, that they would leave to find Clary anyway. She was sure he had been counting on it. A fine sweat had broken out on her skin and she wished she could take her jacket off and feel the cool breeze that brushed her hair against her cheeks.
"Cleo? Where are the others?" Luke questioned, his hair was tousled by the breeze and his thinly lined face was even more handsome under the glow of the fading sun. The glasses he didn't truly need were perched on the end of his nose. "What's wrong?' He said furrowing his eyebrows and putting his large hands on her shoulders.
"The others. . . fight. . . Clary found. . .Valentine—" Cleo could barely make out a sentence as she swallowed through her dry throat and cough a strong breath into her lungs.
"What?" Luke's eyes widened as his hold tightened. "What about Clary and Valentine?" He seemed more panicked now as Cleo practically bent over at the knee heaving.
"He found her." Cleo said cough again and taking in a deep breath. "They're in trouble."
That was all she needed to say as Luke swiftly lifted Cleo into his arms and sprinted into the Alicante, paying no attention to the guards that commanded them to stop. Two of the three guards leaped down from their tower posts and charged after them. Cleo wanted to scream at them to stop but she couldn't find the breath.
Luke cursed under his breath as he dropped Cleo and clenched his hands into fists beginning to shake. His bones crunched and quivered as his skin moved over them. His face began to bend and extent outward; his cheekbones breaking, reforming into a new face. Long, sharp claws pushed through the knuckles of his hands in clean, bloody pops as Luke bent forward; his spine gave out with a loud snap.
The sight both sickened and fascinated her as Luke fell to his knees and shook his fine new coat of fur before beckoning her to climb on to his back with a growl. She obeyed instantly as they charged toward the Council Building the two Shadowhunters gaining distance quickly.
Luke broke through the door with a loud crash; the wood splintered and bent as it rocketed against the back wall. Cleo clenched onto Luke's scruff of neck hair as she dug her heels into his sides, trying more so to keep balance rather than to push him onward.
The crowd of people that sat in pew after pew of the Council Hall gave a gasp at the werewolf that was breathing heavily, its tongue hanging loosely out of the side of its mouth. Cleo tried to think of Luke doing such a thing when he was human but it was too crazy of a thought to conjure up.
"Werewolf!" A woman in the far corner yelled as a similar woman who held a striking resemblance to another blazing red head stood uncertainly.
"Luke?" Jocelyn said from her seat before the Council.
"Remove this rabid beast! It is forbidden for Downworlder's to enter this sacred land!" The Consul, which was the highest ranking Council member
Dieudonne, yelled from his seat. "Dispose of it."
Several male Shadowhunters came forward menacingly as Luke took a steady step back and let out a growl, curling his black lip over pink gums exposing sharp jagged teeth. The two guards from before cornered him from the entry way. Luke was stuck and they would hurt him, Cleo was sure.
She knew what she wanted to do. Something she would have done had it been months ago and she had not met Clary and her family. But she had and now her entire persona had changed. Cleo blinked in realization as she put it all together in her head like the perfect puzzle piece. They had all seemed to think they were trying to change Clary but, in truth, Clary had changed all of them. There was a light inside her. A gift that no one seemed to have but her; everyone could see she was special. That's why Cleo had hated her, but to say she still did would be a lie.
Before she had met Clary she would have simply left Luke to fend for himself. Watch remorselessly as the Clave did what they thought was fit and "disposed" of him. Now, she couldn't even bear the thought as she leaped down off his back, vaguely she saw Jocelyn fighting her way toward him and her Uncle—Robert Lightwood— trying to explain that Luke was harmless, that he was one of them but the Consul simply turned his head in disgust at the thought.
Cleo felt a tinge of disgust herself at the very laws she followed, at the very rules she obeyed. She was supposed to fight for the innocent. She took a look at the people scrambling forward like brainwashed minions all because of one command. Clary was out there; fighting for the very people who degraded her and would have thrown her to the wolves; the very people who wanted to dispose of the only true father she had ever known. The thought made Cleo respect her even more. She wanted to be like Clarissa, she could be if she saved them.
She unsheathed her seraph blades, like Jace had taught her, one in each hand as she twirled them before her. Taking a stand in front of Luke, she pointed her blades at the very people she was supposed to have counted as blood warriors, as her brothers and sisters in battle. But she wanted nothing to do with them; Luke gave another growl as he turned to the two guards still approaching.
The act was small but it spoke volumes. Men and women alike stopped to stare in confusion before scowling angrily. "Move aside, child." A burly man she knew to be, Blackthorn, spat at her.
But Cleo simply raised her head, something she thought Clary would have done. "You're not hurting, Luke."
"Lucian Graymark?" Blackthorn said with a turn of his head as the wolf behind her shook out its fur.
"Yes." Cleo answered; she tried to picture what Luke would do right about now. Probably reach into his pocket for his specs which he placed nicely on his nose.
"What are you doing?" Malachi spat at the uncertain Shadowhunters, Luke had been one of them before he had been turned and now it posed the question: was he one of them now or not? Cleo thought they were all silly for asking such a question. Of course, he was. "Move the girl and get the dog!"
"You'll do no such thing!" Jocelyn said as she took a stand beside Cleo, her own blade glowed as Maryse stood beside her.
Cleo shook her head, feeling a sort of pride as she took a step forward. "You have to listen to me. Valentine's brought his army to the Angel's Meadow just beside Lake Lyn." Cleo said quickly. Jocelyn turned to look at her with a wide gaze as many others took turns gasping and exchanging hurried whispers. "Clary and the Lightwoods are holding him off—"
"That's absurd!" Malachi laughed, the stomach curling sound echoed off the high ceiling. "Valentine is supposed to attack tomorrow. That's what the Silent Brother's have said—"
"And I'm saying that the very girl whose premonitions drove the Silent Brother's to you is fighting him now." Cleo snapped back, Jocelyn still wore a face of extreme shock and worry as if she couldn't quite wrap her head around it but the thought had her in fear anyway. "You must listen! We have to gather an army and fight him while he doesn't expect it. We have to go now or they'll die and all will be lost!"
"The girl is right." Aldertree said as he and the Council members from the day earlier stood. "We gave you the warning that this would occur."
"And you simply believe her?" Malachi laughed again though this time it was in a degrading tone. "This petulant child?"
"I don't have reason to doubt her." Aldertree said standing from his seat and adjusting the gear around his plump waist, the three others doing the same.
"You believe Valentine's daughter?" Malachi said in disbelief.
"I believe Clarissa Morgenstern."
The Inquisitor spoke simply as he walked forward, the crowd parting in awe. The girl with the bright violet eyes and the two fair haired men followed after. "I order you to return to your position, Aldertree." If the stout man heard the order he gave no indication. "I am the Consul and I demand that you—"
"I follow the laws placed before me as a Shadowhunter." Aldertree said as he stood to Cleo's left, shaking Jocelyn on the hand with a smile. "Those are the only demands I follow."
"You can't do this!"
Malachi laughed wickedly as he regarded the small group coldly. "Fine. Go fight a losing battle—"
"It's better to die a hero than to live a coward." Luke replied—having been given a set of Shadowhunter gear to change into, a sign of forgiveness— as Robert clapped his friend on the shoulder and the group of 8 set off to fight a battle they would a surely lose. But not before Luke called for reinforcements first.
Clary stabbed the creature with the black slime swiftly through the chest, it made a gurgling sound as if it were choking on its own poisonous blood. She watched as demon upon demon spilled from the dark forest; a foggy mist killing all the wildlife it could reach. She had no idea where he was getting the reinforcements but they couldn't have come from nowhere.
She curled her arm behind her as she held Max closely to her small frame. She watched Valentine from where he stood, like a God among peasants, as he gave her a slight wave and a hideous smile. She narrowed her eyes as she took the head off a Ravenor demon.
Clary felt cool leather at her back and a wisp of black hair caress her face making her body cave in relief. Isabelle and Clary formed a protective cage around Max as they stabbed, cut and pierced as many demons as they could take. But they were quickly being surrounded and they were running out of time. Soon, they would be nothing but pickings if Clary's vision was correct.
Clary watched confused as a black worm-like creature slithered toward them. The black slime that encased its body secreted from its skin like mucus but Clary knew that one drop would cook the skin upon their body. If she wasn't mistaken, she had already killed this creature.
She blinked as her blade came down hard onto the soft tissue of its head for the third time as it let out a hiss before disappearing completely. That didn't make sense. Was it her imagination? Was there so many of them her brain just grouped all the demons together? Was her mind playing tricks on her?
She watched with a narrowed gaze as the same creature slithered its way toward her a fourth time. She wasn't mistaken. This was why Valentine was unstoppable. This was why he was feared. His army never ran out. She looked back up at the red beacon of light in the sky; turning the clouds into a deep black and tinting the bright blue into navy. It seemed to pulse with life as it burned brightly.
He hadn't gotten "carried" away with his killings; he needed two separate sacrifices from the Downworlder's and Shadowhunter's.
One to open the portal to the underworld and the other to raise Lilith.
Valentine had opened a passage between the mortal and immortal worlds; making his army unstoppable. Unless she could get to that pulsing red beam—she suspected that just might be her best bet at the portal— and close it all their fighting would be in vain.
"Isabelle!" Clary yelled over the screaming demons as some fell and lay haphazardly upon the brown and deadened earth motionless. "Fall back toward Jace and Alec!"
Isabelle barely acknowledged her as she gave a swift nod before grabbing Max and dragging him back with her. Clary followed, slashing at anything that came too close for her liking. She turned her back to run as another demon landed swiftly in front of her. Its body was gangly as it stood hunched over, the horns upon its head were a shining white as was the rest of its limbs as Clary took note that it was completely made of bone.
She slashed the creature in the arm as it crumpled under her fading sword before it reconnected as if magnets coming back together.
"Shit." Clary whispered, as she bend her back; the creature let out a wail and swiped at her but it's clawed hand just missed her skin as Clary stood back into a normal position. If it had been any other occasion she would have boasted that she totally pulled off the "matrix" move. She raised her blade to slash at its torso but the creature beat her to the punch as it swatted her as if she weight no more than a feather. It sent her soaring through the air, her hair flying around her from the pulsing wind as she fell back to earth with a crash. Her head collided with the hard ground, which almost made her scream in pain as she got back to her feet.
She stumbled to a standing position before her vision filled with black; her legs shaking and her body swaying. Her vision slowly refocused in big splotches as the beast took its place before her again and raised its hand to swat her once more, perhaps, or crush her completely. She waited a moment defenseless as she lingered in hesitation. She wondered why she didn't feel like she was being crushed or beaten as she raised her unsteady gaze; the beast never got to bring its hand down; an arrow had been embed into the demon's hollow eye socket breaking the fine skull that make up the creature's head. It let out a screech as it slowly crumbled; painstakingly turning to dust under her feet.
She looked at Alec, who stood at least a couple yards away from her upon the battlefield. He had already loaded another arrow onto his bow when she nodded at him in thanks; he smiled at her in return to the gesture.
A blast of blue electricity lit the decaying meadow as Valentine, who was much closer to her than Clary had anticipated, watched with narrowed eyes in confusion as his precious army burned from the hot balls of light; of raining blue fire.
Clary watched as an emotion, she had seen many times before on herself, pass over Alec's face. A look she had seen in the mirror thinking quietly to herself or when a certain blonde was looking at her. An emotion so raw, it could not be explained but rather experienced.
"Magnus." Clary whispered and no sooner did she say it, that the sparkling warlock stepped onto the deadened landscape making the scene even more dramatic and completely unrealistic.
"There's a party and no one invited, moi." Magnus said as he placed a brightly colored finger-nailed hand to his chest. "My invite must have gotten misplaced in the mail. There could be no other explanation but I'll let it go this once; I do love to crash a party as well."
"And you want to get me the dictionary." Isabelle said with a scoff to Jace, who threw her a look amusement, his hair was tousled and his face was bruised and scratched. Blood clotted both of them from their clothes to their hair and Clary prayed it wasn't their own. Clary watched as Isabelle coiled her whip quickly around the prowling demon in front of her and pulled sharply, letting the strong thread cut its head clean off in a flash of blood. "He needs it much more than I do."
"I think you both need it a fair amount."
Magnus frowned in curiosity, his heads poised in front of him as he shot a particularly bright ball of blue flame at an oncoming creature; its flesh had been ripped off by another beast of some sort and hung half from its muzzle. Its yellow eyes rolled back as it vanished into dust. "I'll have you know I have a very wide vocabulary."
"Yes," Jace said with a nod as another demon soared toward him. He easily ducked before stabbing his sword upward; it made a satisfying sound as it struck deep into the creature's belly. "But do you know how to use said vocabulary?"
"Indeed, I do."
"Your earlier comment about a "party" would say otherwise." Jace said as his eyes scanned the battleground furiously as if he was looking for something. Magnus shot more blue balls of light from his hands as a crowd of more demons sprang forward. Alec moved toward his parabatai and placed a hand on his shoulder, pointing right where Clary stood uncertainly; a hand placed lightly to her still spinning head.
A feeling of relief filled her at the sight of Magnus and when Jace's eyes locked with hers, she felt like they might actually have a chance to win. She smiled at him as he watched her with those shimmering golden irises; they spoke of a world she wanted to explore. Of a future they would uncover together; Jace never needed words—though he usually swept her under the rug in that department too—all he had to do was give her one look and she knew he loved her. That the future he saw was a bright one.
Jace yelled to her as he shot forward, more light blasted its way on the battlefield. Some of the bright balls were a flaming red and erupted its victim into flames on contact while others shook the earth under their feet and cracked the hard surface sucking demons down into its never ending abyss before closing back up as it stitched back together.
Magnus had come and he had brought reinforcements. She watched vampires and other warlocks alike bare their own fangs and rip into their victims. She focused back on Jace as he waved his hands and yelled at her again, his eyes were frantic as she finally computed what he was telling her.
"Run, Clary!" Jace yelled slashing at another demon that managed to make a large gash in his shoulder before disappearing completely into dust. "Run!"
She didn't ask why; she simply turned. She was going to run in no particular direction really but she could see in Jace's eyes that she had to move quickly and she had to move now.
But it was too late.
She had taken no more than one step before Valentine had his large hand on the back of her neck, yanking her toward him like a rag doll and turning her to face him before curling that same hand around her throat just above her collar bone. She felt his fingers clench and apply pressure around her neck as the airway began to close; he held her dangling before him, kicking out but accomplishing nothing.
"You really think you'll win?" Valentine let out a cheerful sound of laughter, Clary clawed at his hand feeling her nails digging into his soft flesh. But he gave no sign that it pained him as he shook her; her body jerking with the motion. "I pity you for your hope." He said as he pushed her back, releasing her neck as she collided with the ground again and took in a sharp breath. A spike of pain flared in her head but she bit her tongue against the whimper in her throat as she coughed and sucked in another lungful of air. Her father let out a cackle as he shook his head, his hand rested calmly on his blade. "Do you see what you've done, you cursed, vile creature?"
Clary shook her head, the images falling in front of her mind like a sad silent film. "No." She whispered against the visions of fallen comrades, of the stench of death and rivers of blood. She couldn't let her dream come true. She was supposed to make it right.
His smile was blindingly white matching his hair giving off the persona that he was pure but he smelled of death and gore and held the look of the devil in his black eyes. "The destruction you leave in your wake. They die because of you, Clarissa." He looked throughout the crowd thoughtfully before shaking his head and zeroing his gaze on her.
She watched as Isabelle and Alec stood back to back, the gash on Isabelle's arm was bleeding profusely as she fell with a scream. Alec tried to stab the demons around them, they slinked forward as if all connected with string, but it was no use as he crimpled to his knees. A large black haired creature stood over him, its burning saliva falling from its wide mouth onto his uncovered shoulder with a hiss as the skin beneath began to disintegrate. He bent forward as if to protect the large gash, which tinted his black gear a glaring scarlet, on his stomach.
She watched in slow motion as Isabelle turned her head and shouted to Max, who nodded quickly and sprinted toward the woods.
She had seen this all before.
"No." She whispered again. It couldn't be, after all she had done. After all the work she had set out to do to stop this very moment. To stop the rolling scene before her; what she wouldn't give to do it over. To have not acted so rashly and run off by herself to play hero. She should have known they would find her. Jace could always find her.
"But I won't fall to the likes of you. You're not strong enough. It takes someone with vindication and potency to survive."
She had messed everything up. She truly was poison and she would be the reason for all their deaths.
"Clary! No!" She heard her name being as she turned over her shoulder. Jace was surrounded as an Eidolon demon kicked out his knees from under him; she could practically see his heart breaking as she stared into his eyes. She could hear his heart beginning to shatter with every beat it took. They held his head back by his hair as if to force him to watch; to make him break completely.
She turned her head slightly feeling the black dread taking over her stomach. They needed a miracle, they needed time. She wished they could fly away from here, just like she had seen Alec do with his arrows. Just keep their body's straight and rocket away.
Suddenly, an idea shot into Clary's head, so fast she thought she might not catch it. She widened her eyes and looked at Alec. His icy blue gaze was already locked on her, searching her mind just as he always seemed to. She prayed to the Angel he could see it in her eyes as she nodded toward him and he gave her a slight head nod back as if knowing exactly what she was asking all without saying a word.
Valentine smirked down at her none-too-kindly. "You're too pathetic and you love to strongly. Love makes you weak, affection makes you feeble, and warmth makes you fragile. And because you are soft, it will be your one true downfall."
She turned her attention back to her father, who had raised his sword high above his head. She could see the shooting star engraved into the blade's hilt; her family's chest. She would die at the hand of her family; the same man who had held her, taught her how to use a sword, and given her life.
The same man, who had murdered hundreds, would continue to murder those who were in his way. The same man, who had tortured her, beat her to within an inch of her life and called it love; said it was for her well being, that he was helping her become her true potential. Her father had made her into a warrior; his perfect weapon.
She was going to give him a piece of what she was made of.
"You don't know the first thing about me." Clary said as Alec swiftly adjusting his footing from where he sat on his knees, taking out the demon that stood in front of him, and grabbed at the lone arrow in his quiver. In his position, Alec laid on his side half on his back and had a straight shot toward her.
He let the arrow go.
Vaguely, she registered that Max had entered the forest.
She hastily rolled as Valentine's sword struck the soft earth digging into its surface and sticking for a moment. She pushed off the ground and used the "gifts" her father had so kindly given her; with her fast reflects she grasped the wood of the arrow as it soared toward her and used the momentum to jam it straight into Valentine's bending shoulder blade. Her father let out a yell and dropped his sword in surprise would Clary dove to pick up. She struggled a moment before the sword was held firmly in her hands.
Another howl, different from Valentine's surprised wail, took to the sky as a large brown wolf darted out of the foliage of the woods and launched itself onto the demon closest to it. She watched with proud eyes as Cleo came rushing forward swords blazing, her mother following after the dyed blue haired beauty.
More wolves followed after as they jumped on the surrounded groups of Shadowhunters, 5 vampires and 3 Warlocks. She watched as the crowd of demons holding Isabelle and Alec gave angry screeches jumping at the vicious wolves, scratching, biting and clawing in a tangled heap as the two siblings jumped to their feet.
She saw Maryse start toward her children kissing Isabelle's forehead as Robert pulled Jace in for a tight embrace, having been saved not two seconds before the Lightwood children. Clary didn't wait for them to reach her as she turned and shot toward the forest, using Valentine's surprise to her advantage. She watched as two hell hounds, red-eyed black dogs, ran in before her; she hoped she wasn't too late.
Do not let the boy go or all will be lost.
She felt her stomach fall in fright as the thought that she just might be.
"Oh, my children." Maryse said as she stroked Jace's blonde mop of hair back and kissed his forehead, before pulling him in and hugging him close in a desperate to feel all of him. Jace said nothing sarcastic or vain—nothing truly came to mind— as his long arms curled around his "mother's" waist as he held her urgently back. "You're safe." She whispered as she brushed Jace's mess of curls down.
He didn't answer as he bent his face close to the crook of Maryse's neck, soaking in the motherly love she radiated just for him. Maryse was never a touchy-feely type of mother, even when they had been small, she had been rather cold and distant but it was never because she hadn't cared. Maryse loved too much; she didn't want the world to see her weakness because then they could use it against her.
Use her children against her.
Isabelle smiled at her father tentatively as Robert brought his daughter close to his chest, kissing the top of her head. "My princess." He whispered against the soft hair that cascaded down Isabelle's back and grabbed his son's neck to squeeze it affectionately.
"How did you know where we were?" Alec said, staring up at his father in wonder. Giving the same look, Max sometimes did whenever he was looking at Jace.
"Cleo came for us. I thought I told you to stay home." Robert said pushing his daughter back and giving her a harsh glare.
The entire scene seemed comical as demons and Downworlders fought with screams and hisses around them. Lights flared and dissipated as warlocks took blows and received them; several of their team lay faced down in the soft grass, unmoving.
The children never got to answer as Jace softly pushed away from Maryse with a tentative smile, the older, serious women held a soft look before she gave a frantic glance around the battlefield. "Where's Max?"
Isabelle brushed off the question. "I sent him toward the City for more help. He should be fine."
Maryse didn't look pleased as Jace went rim rod straight beside her. "No." He whispered as he looked toward the woods. His eyes took in the entire battleground as wolves clashed against demons, warlocks shot lightning from their palms and Shadowhunters fought with glowing blades; slashing, tearing, and ripping. Nowhere did he see a small, red head or a tall, lean man with eyes like the devil. He remembered her shaking voice all those nights ago when she had retold the horrific sight of death before her eyes.
He remembered a dream that was a nightmare.
A nightmare that had been a vision.
Jace spoke only one word before he took off toward the dark forest, toward the beckon of red light that radiated toward the sky above them. Isabelle gave a straggled cry as she and Alec rushed after him, only to be intercepted by a pair of spider-like demons that stepped into their path.
Jace didn't turn back. He knew what would happen next. He had to reach her and Max before the two hell hounds did.
Or their psychopathic, deranged master.
Clary didn't stop, not for the branches that scratched her cheeks or the thorned bushes that ripped at her battle gear; she had to reach Max. She was driven with one mindset; driven with only one picture in her head. A small boy, with large glasses perched on his nose, big trusting brown eyes and a large, undisguised smile.
"Max!" Clary yelled as she pushed her legs faster, jumping over a fallen log in her path as she let out a huff of air, her lungs screamed for more as she brushed the red tendrils of hair from her eyes.
"Clary?" A small voice said to her left as she almost tripped over herself to stop the momentum she had gained. She turned sharply, the silence around her screamed in her ears as she watched a figure materialize from behind a large, towering oak.
The dread that had weighed her stomach down like stones vanished as she rushed toward the small boy and held him close. She brushed the matted hair from his forehead and adjusted his crocked glasses as she fawned over him. She had done it; Max was okay.
All would be saved.
A branch breaking behind her made her body freeze from where she crouched before Max. The little boy's face flashed with fear before closing into stone cold determination. Clary turned slowly and faced the hound that had obviously followed her to its bait. It growled as the other one emerged from the dark wood beside it; the black fur upon its body made it blend easily with its surroundings and seemed to sway and dance across its large frame as if moved from a nonexistent wind. Its blood red eyes glowed through the dark as it licked the teeth that were more set like a shark's than a wolf's, three rows of long, jagged, teeth framed it's mouth.
Clary took Max's hand slowly, feeling his small fingers curl around hers tightly. "On my count, we run." Clary whispered to the small boy, never once taking her attention off the two growling and flat-eared beasts in front of her. He squeezed her hand in agreement.
She returned the favor once.
As she squeezed a third time, she and Max burst forward in a wild amount of speed, crawling under fallen logs, dancing around quick sand, and jumping over streams. Clary kept her hand on Max's tightly as she dragged him behind her. She could hear the creature's gaining, their four legs trumped their two and Clary knew she had to think of something quickly. They had to make it to the red beam that seemed to be lighting up the entire sky in a red tint. She just knew it was Valentine's portal; she had to find a way to close it.
They made snarling and growling sounds as they closed the distance quickly. She had to think of something; anything to get Max out of the woods safely. She refused to let him die; she wouldn't let it happen. Her green eyes took in everything it could before it landed on the thicket of thorn bushes off to their right; she was slightly too big to push through it unharmed but Max was the perfect size.
"Go toward the thicket, Max." Clary said letting his hand go. "Run to the thorn bushes and don't look back." Max moved as fast as his little legs could carry him, which she knew to be pretty fast, and watched him swing away from her. One of the hounds broke off after him as he dove him little body into the thicket. Clary smiled when the dog let out a strangled cry and rubbed its face into the earth with the thorns struck to its nose.
She laughed gleefully as she charged faster, breaking through the thicker foliage with a swift leap and rolling to a stop when her body impacted the soft earth again. She fell onto her back as she stared upward at the pulsing light; she calmly placed a hand to her father's blade and turned to stand for the attack from the woods.
The clearing she stood in wasn't at all the same size or as beautiful as the meadow she had stood in once before but it was large enough to fight the two dogs easily. She could quickly dispose of the scoundrels and then climb the stone steps behind her to the stone perch that the red beam seemed to radiate from. Vaguely, she could make out the demon's that exited out the other side, running into the forest beyond her.
She waited a moment in silence, but no dark figures appeared. She could feel their eyes watching her as she lingered, not willing to turn her back on her opponent. She could hear the sound of a branch break behind her; as she smirked to herself. She could tell where her enemy stood; to her right. She could feel her hands clench into fists as her stomach churned in excitement, dread and anticipation. She already knew what she was going to do; she'd wait for one of the hounds to strike. She would wait for it to charge forward close enough so she may lean her body to the left and grab a healthy amount of fur to swing herself upward onto its back. She then would raise her sword high and sever the juncture between the neck and the spinal cord in one smooth stab before turning to face the other one.
She could hear it coming toward her as she turned just as it was inches behind her, leaning to the left and grabbing hold of soft, dowry like hair. She swung around as arm's clenched around her, trapping her against a hard chest as Jace's mouth came down hard on hers. His lips dominated hers in a way that she simply melted. Usually she fought her own dominance but she couldn't find the strength as he took from her what he needed. And she let him.
"Don't ever do that to me again." He whispered his forehead against hers as she smiled softly. "We fight together." His eyes pleaded with her as she leaned her head forward to capture his lips again.
They both turned to face the two hounds that came barreling out of the woods, their arms still locked around each other as they calmly separated. Standing side-by-side they both raised their blades, ready to finish the bloodshed; ready to go back home and simply just exist together; just as they were always meant too.
"You go for the one on the left." Jace said as Clary nodded.
She gave him a swift look in her peripheral vision; he shined under the tinted blood-red sky like an avenging angel here to cleanse the world of evil. He belonged all to her. Her angel. "Okay, take the one on the right; he should be weakened from the injury to his snout."
"Are you insinuating that I will only beat this demon because it's weakened?" Jace said with an amused smirk, never taking his eyes off the charging creatures.
"No," Clary said with a smirk of her own. "I'm simply saying that it should be easier for you because of me." She quickly kissed his cheek, her lips soft as butterfly's wings and light as a feather. "You're welcome." She whispered in his ear before spinning around and jumping on the charging creature before her. She watched Jace shiver a moment before launching himself forward too.
The battle was over before it had even begun as they each took their blade and rammed into down sharply into the hound's neck; the beast's crumpling to their knees quickly and dying instantly.
Clary and Jace smiled at each other as the excitement in their gaze shined brightly between the pair. "I love you." Jace whispered with a goofy smile on his face.
Clary returned it with one of her own as she brushed a strand of curling, gold hair from his bruised cheek. "I love you too."
A menacing clapping took to the field as both Clary and Jace tensed their bodies; turning quickly to the new threat that walked calmly and nonchalantly from his place in the wood. He looked the same if not for the blood pulsing from his shoulder, his hair had been swept back like it had been before, and the black coat now had a hole in the shoulder but all-in-all he seemed completely fine; something that enraged Clary within her very core.
"Very good. You're much better than I would have dreamed." Valentine spoke with fascination in his black eyes. Clary could feel the chill that look gave her; she had seen it before in her training when she had pleased him with something. She could only feel the contempt for herself whenever she made him happy, he was a dark and cruel man; anything that made him smile had to be just as twisted as he was. "You're perfect." Valentine said as he walked forward; Jace and Clary held their ground as they watched him with cold eyes. "My two finest creations; apart are well trained but together are unstoppable." He seemed to be dawning on something as a light shined behind his eyes. "This is my perfect weapon; not apart but together."
He sounded crazy as he continued to walk forward as if in a daze; Clary met him halfway his sword raised to his throat. This stopped him and made him drop the glazed over look in his eyes as he looked down at her in disdain. "It's over, Father."
Valentine laughed as he closed his eyes in amusement; the sound of his glee made her clench her fingers around the sword tighter and her teeth to rub against each other in frustration. "But it has only just begun, dear daughter."
Faster than even she could compute Valentine moved. His hand came down hard upon hers, jostling the sword that she held in an iron tight grip in her hands. It flipped upward in a flash of blue light as Valentine caught it easily; the sword out of her hands and placed delicately in Valentine's. "You are only a child, Clarissa." He spat at her. "Do you truly believe you can beat me?"
Clary swallowed the acid that seemed to be bubbling like vomit in her throat; she swallowed harshly as the sword she had once held at his neck was held at hers. It was placed softly against the bruise he had made to her neck earlier and bit into her flesh sharply.
"Let her go, Valentine." Jace said in a steady voice; his sword was ready as he held it purposefully in his hands.
"Neither of you understand. Your minds are too feeble; they are weakened with innocence and gullibility." He said with dark eyes; his stare was making Clary uneasy as he dropped his blade and pushed her back into Jace's arms; who dropped his own seraph blade to catch her. "The world you think is free and pure is not, daughter. Those people you fight for, they have done nothing for you. I made you into what you are; I made you into the perfect fighter." Valentine said in pride as he watched them. "We will make this world a greater one; the four of us will rule it the way it was meant to be ruled. We'll become a family again." Valentine said as he watched them and for a moment Clary actually felt sorry for him. He truly believed he was saving the world; he believed he was helping them rather than hindering them.
"Four of us?" Clary asked tearful and breathless.
Valentine gave her a frown as he nodded once. "Of course. You, Jace, your mother and myself."
Clary shook her head slowly before she raised her eyes toward the corrupt man. Maybe, she could save him; maybe she could be his salvation. "You're wrong." She said it softly as she gestured to the darkened sky and the creatures that flowed like tears from the red portal's opening. In the distance, she could hear the sounds of clashing swords and howls, screeches and wails. "This is all wrong." She shook her head as Jace tightened his hold on her elbows. "This destruction won't solve anything; it isn't going to make anything better. You have to stop this, Dad. You can make all this stop."
Valentine looked at her a moment and for a brief second she thought she might have saw some recognition in his eyes but it disappeared before she could truly name what it was or if it had really been there at all. A cold, disconnected look settled over his face as he watched her. "Appealing to my humanity." Valentine smirked. "A nice touch, dear daughter." Took a step toward them and the pair retreated a step in return. "This is the way it has to be; it can't be stopped now. It is just the beginning." Valentine smiled gaily, his teeth whiten against the red background. "I am the beginning."
Clary felt her hopelessness settle in her stomach as she pushed away from Jace sharply and turned toward the portal; she ran up the few steps that were placed between her and the open red demonic beam. She looked at her reflection in the shining, pulsing crimson. Her plump mouth was parted and blood from a cut that was on her cheek let a tear drop of blood fall down; her hair was wild and curled in spirals around her head. Her eyes shined like two green gems and her gear was ripped and torn.
But most of all she saw determination, vindication, strength.
His very creation will be his destruction.
"You have a light inside you, Jocelyn's daughter; one that you must use to light the darkness."
"But how do I do that?"
"When the time comes you will know."
Clary knew; it seemed to weigh like lead in her back pocket as she raised her stele and poised it perfectly in front of her.
Valentine laughed from where he stood below her; Jace watched her with wide eyes as she stepped closer to the destructive portal. "It cannot be stopped, daughter. The darkness has been opened and there is nothing to do now but watch as it turns everything to black." Valentine spoke triumphantly as Clary slowly took the piece of paper from her pocket; unfolding the crisp lines to see the image she had sketched all those nights ago with Isabelle's uncapped eyeliner. The same paper she had taken from the desk in her room before she had fled. This was it; Brother Jeremiah was right, she did know.
It was time.
"You're wrong." Clary turned to where her father stood as he watched her with a curious expression.
You will destroy the darkness upon this land, dear Clarissa.
"I can stop it." She said mostly to herself. "I can make it right."
"What. . ." Valentine trailed off as he watched her in confusion. "What are you doing?"
Clary poised her stele and let the paper fall from her hands. "I'm lighting the darkness." She spoke calmly as she drew along the portal slowly; hearing the groans and squeals leaving it as she pushed her stele in further. The rune that shined before her burned a bright white so bright she could barely stand to look at it as she brought her hand up to cover her eyes.
She knew what it stood for as she took a small step back and watched as the portal before her seemed to freeze, no longer pulsing like it had once done before. A rune no one had ever seen; something completely made by her and accepted by the angels.
"No!" Valentine bellowed as he shoved Jace out of the way; the blonde boy—taken by surprise— tumbled forward and rolled to a stop further away than he was before as he jumped to his feet. Valentine was already charging up the steps toward her but it was too late. The portal was starting to cracked in fine, spreading lines as the rune she had placed only grew brighter illuminating everything in its warm, white glow. Each crack let another sliver of light through as the portal continued to break.
She turned, knowing what came next and slammed into Valentine. Both of them tumbled back down the steps as the portal blew outward; collapsing in on itself before exploding in a burst of blinding light. Clary watched behind her closed eyelids as her vision burned a bright red before settling into darkness again.
She opened her eyes tentatively as she took in her surroundings; the sky was dark, the sun having set at this point but was a cool navy color, no longer tinted a bright red like crimson.
She had done it. She had beaten her father.
Before she could get to her feet, a hand closed around her hair pulling at her red roots and dragged her to her feet. "What have you done you cursed creature?" His usually hard mask was broken as he looked at her coldly, she could feel her scalp begin to burn before he shoved her away.
"I lit up the darkness, father." She said with a superior laugh. "I stopped what you so carelessly started. You may be the beginning," She said with an amused smiled as she watched her father's eyes blaze with rage. His lips pressed together in a fine line as he clenched his teeth. "But I am the end."
Valentine raised his blade high above his head and brought it down on to her, a vicious war cry leaving his lips as he did so. Clary watched as Jace charged toward them; yelling as he ran before she felt the cold blade bite into her soft flesh.
This was the end; she may die but she had already won.
That was Clary's last thought before the world faded to blackness.
Darkness was all she knew. She seemed to be floating; her body felt light and buoyant though pain seemed to surround her like a blanket. She didn't truly know where she was as her surroundings became clearer. Her eyes were closed she knew and the voices around her told her she wasn't alone. Wasn't she supposed to be dead? Hadn't Valentine's blade ran her through? Had it all been a dream? Another one?
Another vision dream? She hoped not; she didn't know how much more she could take of those.
"When do you think she'll wake up?" A female voice rang out; it was higher and almost shrill with worry which she knew immediately to be Isabelle's.
"I don't know, but you repeating that question isn't going to make time go any faster." A curt answer was spit back out.
"Oh screw you, Jace. Like you haven't been asking that same question."
"I haven't. You've been asking it enough for all of us."
Clary heard Isabelle take a pause. "That's because I'm worried…"
Another pause followed as Jace sighed; she knew he had to be running a hand through his hair. Something he did frequently when he was stressed. "I know. So am I."
"Why don't you all go? I can watch her for awhile." Clary heard another voice enter the group as she acknowledged it as Cleo's.
"No, we should be here when she wakes up." Alec answered from her right.
"It's fine. She's out like a light and I can't say I blame her. She's not waking up anytime soon. Go. Eat. Rest. Bath." Cleo answered. "Seriously, you guys reek. Go take a shower."
"I'm not leaving her." Jace answered back quickly and Clary could feel a tightness on her hand as his fingers squeezed hers.
Cleo sighed. "At least, get some food. I promise to get you if she gives even the slightest sound of wakefulness."
"Okay…" Isabelle said hesitantly as she quickly squeezed Clary's other hand. "Be right back, Clare." She whispered softly in her ear before her fingers fell away from her.
Alec kissed her softly on the cheek. "Be back."
Jace seemed to linger before letting out a sigh. "You promise to get me if she wakes?"
"I promise to get you even if she mumbles in her sleep."
There was a silence that followed as he leaned forward to kiss her forehead. "I'll be right back, baby. I love you." His whispered it along her cheek before he kissed her there too.
Clary heard the door to the infirmary close softly as she heard Cleo sigh and take the seat Jace was just vacated. She fought the fatigue that lay heavy upon her body as she fluttered her eyes open and looked to Cleo who sat with her head down. Her hand lay a few inches away from Clary's; as if she didn't know if she should hold it or not.
"It's not going to bite, you know." Clary said in a harsh voice making Cleo jump and look down at her in wonder.
Cleo let out a snort before shaking her head. "I should have known you'd be stubborn enough to wait until I promise everyone that if they leave they wouldn't miss seeing you wake."
Clary shrugged softly with a teasing smirk. "You know I live to make your life difficult."
Cleo let out another unfeminine snort; her nose stud shining in the fluorescent lights of the infirmary. "Clearly." She said with a huff before sitting again in Jace's seat.
Clary stared her a moment in confusion. "So, why are you still here?"
She lifted her shoulders as if to indicate where they were. "Here. With me. In the infirmary."
"I told the other's I'd watch you."
"Until I woke up." She said with a nod and her eyebrows raised. "I'm awake and you're still here."
Cleo looked down into her lap; a look of guilt and remorse colored her face as she stared toward the injured girl in the cot before her. "I wanted to talk to you."
"I seem to recall another conversation that started with those words. It ended with you saying you hate me remember?"
"I never said I hate you."'
Clary blinked as she stared at the hazel-eyed beauty. Was she really going to look her in the eye and lie? Did she really have that much of a lack of dignity?
"Are you seriously going to stand there and lie?" Clary scoffed before throwing her hands in the air. Cleo blinked her dark eyelashes at her; calm, cool and collected. Clary wanted to hit her. "That night, before I left, in my room; you said you hated me the moment you saw me."
Cleo nodded her head. "Yes, I did."
Clary flinched confused all over again. "Then what are you saying?"
She sighed and ran a hand through her blue locks before taking a step toward her. "I said I hated you and I did but I don't hate you now, just as I didn't hate you then; it was all out of jealously." She shrugged.
"Jealousy?" Clary squeaked completely and utterly surprised. Cleo was jealous of her, Clary Morgenstern? The girl most referred to as Valentine's daughter? The one that had no sex appeal what-so-ever; that Clary. None of this was making any sense to her.
"Well, yeah, duh." Cleo said with a smile. "There's a light in you, Clary. There's something special about you, more than just your way with runes. It's something indescribable; it's something in here." Cleo said as she placed a hand over her own heart. "I knew you were going to amount to great things; things I would never have the strength to do." She blinked back tears as she locked eyes with Clary. "You are amazing, Clarissa Adele Morgenstern, and you don't even realize it."
Clary felt her lip quiver as she watched Cleo look down at her shoes and glance over her shoulder. "But we do." She said the words with her head turned away from Clary before she turned back. "He does; you're the only one he's ever seen, Clary." She shrugged her shoulders again as Clary thought of a different time; a time where there had been a large moon that took up the whole sky and a jar full of pie filling, of chaste kisses and grabby hands, of whispered promises and spoken love. "Anyone would be jealous of that kind of love: the kind that can move the stars and the moon; that can burn the world or rise it up in glory."
Clary blinked as she watched Cleo swallow. "I thought it was supposed to be me." She said with another weak shrug. "But it wasn't. I think he's always been waiting for you."
Clary gave her a weak smile before she reached a hand out and took Cleo's. It was warm and loose before the other girl tighten her hold on her.
Clary didn't know what happened after Valentine had brought his sword down. She didn't know how she ended up here with a patch to her chest and healing runes covering her body. But in that moment, as she sat with her hand in Cleo's, she knew it had all been worth it.
Every single moment.
She stood before the crowd uncertain as she glanced down at her attire; the black jacket she wore crossed over her chest covering every inch of skin and fit her snuggly, the black stretch pants to match fit just as well but allowed for freedom to kick, flip, and jump with ease. The combat boots, made for easy escape and balance, were perfect as she stood on her tip toes before going back to the balls of her feet. Her fingerless, leather gloves made it easier for her to grip her blade as she curled her hands into fists before unclenching them.
She was more than nervous, she was frightened. Standing before her family and the Hall of Accords, Clary took a breath and walked up the steep stone steps. It was all over; Valentine had been buried just hours earlier as she stepped onward toward the Inquisitor, who gazed down at her with a look of pride.
After her moment with Cleo, all her friends had rushed in. Fawning over her and talking all at once. Her eyes had been frantically scanning over them all not knowing who to focus on before she settled on Jace, who sat beside her and just stared at her. He said nothing because nothing needed to be said. He simply smiled and she returned it instantly before he kissed her. The world seemed to melt away after that.
Her mother stepped in not long after and explained what happened; Jace squeezed her hand every so often to reassure her that it was over. Max had sprinted from his hiding spot and had seen the stand-off between herself, Jace, and Valentine. He had acted quickly; sprinting away as he rushed back to the battleground where Valentine's team of demons still had the upper hand. He rushed toward his mother who had barked the news to Jocelyn. She had ran quickly toward the beam as it vanished from view in a burst of white light.
She came just in time to see Valentine raise his sword high above his head and bring it down towards his daughter. Clary, who had passed out from blood that seeped through the unseen cuts upon her body, lay under her father's sword as it pierced her skin. He never got to finish before Jace slammed into him and they came down in a furry of arms and legs. Jocelyn took the moment to spring as she rushed forward; Valentine smashed Jace's head down hard on one of the stone steps of the altar; a health gash taking refuge upon his tanned face as he crumpled under the blow, his hand outstretched toward Clary.
Valentine wasted no time as he lifted his blade back up only to make a gurgling, choking sound. He watched with wide eyes as a drop of blood fell from his chest onto his daughter's cheek before he looked behind his in stunned amazement.
Jocelyn stood before him like a Goddess against the night; her red hair swirling around her head like fire as she curled her lip up in disgust. "Don't touch my daughter. Ever. Again."
She had held Clary close to her as she had told the tale; speaking carefully as if to take the memories of her father back. To all the time's his fist had been raised, for every crack his hand had made against her cheek or all the bruises his foot had left on her stomach.
Then they had told her she was to be honored.
And here she was now. Stepping onto the make-shift stage to accept a medal she didn't truly deserve from a crowd of people who should have been disgusted by her presence. She looked outward into the crowd before blinking. Vampires stood alongside werewolves as warlocks stood by Shadowhunters. She watched the merging scene with wide eyes. She had made this.
This was her creation.
And they were acknowledging just that.
"We are here to bestow upon, Clarissa Adele Morgenstern, a high honor…"
The Inquisitor's voice faded from her ears as she looked out toward the crowd. She squinted before she smiled brightly at the figure that stood, hauntingly in the back. She gave Brother Zachariah a slight nod to which the Silent Brother returned as he turned his back to her. Sinking back into the shadow's he knew suitably.
"Well done, Valentine's daughter."
Clary felt herself bite her lip against the smile that wanted to spread across her face as his voice filled her head. Her eyes looked back to the crowd before they landed on the only family she knew; who stood in an embarrassing huddle near the front of the stage, clapping and whistling in glee. Isabelle screamed as Alec clapped with a large smile resting upon his face. Magnus stood with an arm around his waist and a secretive smile. When her gaze locked with his, he sent her a glittered wink. Luke and her mother stood cheering as did Maryse and Robert. Max sat high on his father's shoulders so he could properly see over the crowd.
She let out a soft laugh as her eyes landed on the only thing that could make her heart melt. She locked eyes with the only man she could ever have a future with as Cleo's words formed in her head again.
"Anyone would be jealous of that kind of love: the kind that can move the stars and the moon; that can burn the world or rise it up in glory."
Clary couldn't have agreed with her more. From this point on she and Jace would be unstoppable. The world would be their playground as they explored every inch of love they had for each other. He grinned brightly before rolling his eyes in a teasing manner at their overly dramatic family. She felt the giggle leave her mouth as she lipped three small words that held the world.
He smiled brighter as he lipped them back.
A hand touched her shoulder as they turned her toward them. The Inquisitor placed a gold pin upon her jacket. "This medal is to remind us of the girl who fought for us when we couldn't fight for ourselves. The girl who was our salvation."
A loud roar took over the crowd as Jace cupped his hands over his mouth and let out a loud cry of glee, clapping just as strong and loud as the rest of them. His golden hair shined in the glowing sun as his eyes gleamed with mischief and adoration; an enchanting song that pulled her in immediately and made her never want to look away.
Here she stood on the stone steps of the Hall of Accords; a place that was to be seen by only the eyes of another world, one separated from the human existence. For the eyes of lycanthropes and vampires; of fairies, warlocks and witches; of the ominous and menacing demons that lurked in each shadow and damp corner. For the eyes of the warriors made of virtuousness and purity but with the same taste for righteousness as demons had for corruption. The warriors made to extinguish the darkness of the world and to keep the humans settled safely at night; children of the Angels.
That was who she was.
A girl who had found a home.
A girl who had grown her own set of wings.
A girl who had found the love of her existence.
Just your average Shadowhunter.
Just Clarissa Adele Morgenstern.
And here our story comes to an end. I hope you all liked it.
And if you didn't, well…I'm sorry to disappoint.
I know what you're all probably thinking. Why didn't Clary kill Valentine?
I always thought it should be Clary or Jocelyn who should kill Valentine.
Jocelyn because it's soft of her redemption for marrying and *ahem* sharing a bed with such a foul man as was earlier highlighted in the second chapter. So I decided to give everyone closure: Jocelyn and Clary.
AW, EVERYONE'S HAPPY! AND CLEO TURNED GOOD!
Did you see the quotes from both the movie and the books that I put in there? Huh? Huh? *wink, wink*
If you have any questions feel free to PM me!
Oh, and please leave a review. Don't be one of those people who just follows the story or favorites it. It always makes an author want to write more when they know people want to read it.
Hey, here's a question for you all: What's the craziest thing you'd like to do before you die?