“Not necessarily,” Emma said. She felt as if her heart were being squeezed. The thought of leaving Jules, Livvy, Dru, Tavvy—even Ty—made her feel sick and lost, like she was being swept out into the ocean, alone. “It depends on your uncle, doesn’t it? Whether he wants me in the Institute. Whether he’s willing to take me in.”
Julian’s voice was fierce. Julian was rarely fierce, but when he was, his eyes went nearly black and he shook all over, as if he were freezing. “It’s not up to him. You’re going to stay with us.”
“Jules—” Emma began, and froze as voices drifted up from downstairs. Jia and Patrick Penhallow were passing through the corridor below. She wasn’t sure why she was nervous; it wasn’t as if they weren’t allowed full run of the house, but the idea of being caught wandering around this late at night by the Consul made her feel awkward.
“. . . smirking little bastard was right, of course,” Jia was saying. She sounded frayed. “Not only are Jace and Clary gone, but Isabelle and Alec along with them. The Lightwoods are absolutely frantic.”
Patrick’s deep voice rumbled an answer. “Well, Alec is an adult, technically. Hopefully he’s looking after the rest of them.”
Jia made a muffled, impatient noise in response. Emma leaned forward, trying to hear her. “. . . could have left a note at least,” she was saying. “They were clearly furious when they fled.”
“They probably thought we were going to deliver them to Sebastian.”
Jia sighed. “Ironic, considering how hard we fought against that. We assume Clary made a Portal to get them out of here, but as to how they’ve blocked us from tracking them, we don’t know. They’re nowhere on the map. It’s like they disappeared off the face of the earth.”
“Just like Sebastian has,” said Patrick. “Doesn’t it make sense to assume they’re wherever he is? That the place itself is shielding them, not runes or some other kind of magic?”
Emma leaned farther forward, but the rest of their words faded with distance. She thought she heard a mention of the Spiral Labyrinth, but she wasn’t positive. When she straightened up again, she saw Julian looking at her.
“You know where they are,” he said, “don’t you?”
Emma put her finger to her lips and shook her head. Don’t ask.
Julian huffed out a laugh. “Only you. How did you—No, don’t tell me, I don’t even want to know.” He looked at her searchingly, the way he did sometimes when he was trying to tell if she was lying or not. “You know,” he said, “there’s a way they couldn’t send you away from our Institute. They’d have to let you stay.”
Emma raised an eyebrow. “Let’s hear it, genius.”
“We could—” he started, then stopped, swallowed, and started again. “We could become parabatai.”
He said it shyly, half-turning his face away from her, so that the shadows partially hid his expression.
“Then they couldn’t separate us,” he added. “Not ever.”
Emma felt her heart turn over. “Jules, being parabatai is a big deal,” she said. “It’s—it’s forever.”
He looked at her, his face open and guileless. There was no trickery in Jules, no darkness. “Aren’t we forever?” he asked.
Emma thought. She couldn’t imagine her life without Julian. It was just a sort of black hole of terrible loneliness: nobody ever understanding her the way he did, getting her jokes the way he did, protecting her the way he did—not protecting her physically but protecting her feelings, her heart. No one to be happy with or angry with or bounce ridiculous ideas off. No one to complete her sentences, or pick all the cucumbers out of her salad because she hated them, or eat the crusts off her toast, or find her keys when she lost them.
“I—” she began, and there was a sudden crash from the bedroom. She exchanged panicked looks with Julian before they burst back into Ty and Livvy’s room, to find Livia sitting up on the bed, looking sleepy and puzzled. Ty was at the window, a poker in his hand. The window had a hole punched through the middle of it, and the window glass was glittering across the floor.
“Ty!” Julian said, clearly terrified by the shards piled around his little brother’s bare feet. “Don’t move. I’ll get a broom for the glass—”
Ty glared out at both of them from beneath his wild dark hair. He held up something in his right hand. Emma squinted in the moonlight—was it an acorn?
“It’s a message,” Ty said, letting the poker drop from his hand. “Faeries often choose objects from the natural world to send their messages in—acorns, leaves, flowers.”
“You’re saying that’s a message from faeries?” Julian said dubiously.
“Don’t be stupid,” said Tiberius. “Of course it’s not a message from faeries. It’s a message from Mark. And it’s addressed to the Consul.”
It must be daytime here, Luke thought, for Raphael was curled in one corner of the stone room, his body tense even in sleep, his dusky curls pillowed on his arm. It was hard to tell, given that there was little to see beyond the window but thick mist.
“He needs to feed,” Magnus said, looking at Raphael with a tense gentleness that surprised Luke. He hadn’t thought there was much love lost between the warlock and the vampire. They had circled each other as long as he had known them, polite, occupying their different spheres of power within the Downworld of New York City.
“You know each other,” Luke said, realizing. He was still leaning against the wall by the narrow stone window, as if the view outside—clouds and yellowish poison—could tell him anything.
Magnus raised an eyebrow, the way he did when someone asked an obviously stupid question.
“I mean,” Luke clarified, “you knew each other. Before.”
“Before what? Before you were born? Let me make something clear to you, werewolf; almost everything in my life happened before you were born.” Magnus’s eyes lingered on the sleeping Raphael; despite the sharpness in his tone, his expression was almost gentle. “Fifty years ago,” he said, “in New York, a woman came to me and asked me to save her son from a vampire.”
“And the vampire was Raphael?”
“No,” said Magnus. “Her son was Raphael. I couldn’t save him. It was too late. He was already Turned.” He sighed, and in his eyes suddenly Luke saw his great, great age, the wisdom and sorrow of centuries. “The vampire had killed all his friends. I don’t know why he Turned Raphael instead. He saw something in him. Will, strength, beauty. I don’t know. He was a child when I found him, a Caravaggio angel painted in blood.”
“He still looks like a child,” said Luke. Raphael had always reminded him of a choirboy gone bad, with his sweet young face and his black eyes older than the moon.
“Not to me,” said Magnus. He sighed. “I hope he survives this,” he said. “The New York vampires need someone with sense to run their clan, and Maureen’s hardly that.”
“You hope Raphael survives this?” Luke said. “Come on—how many people has he killed?”
Magnus turned cold eyes on him. “Who among us has bloodless hands? What did you do, Lucian Graymark, to gain yourself a pack—two packs—of werewolves?”
“That was different. That was necessary.”
“What did you do when you were in the Circle?” Magnus demanded.
At that, Luke was silent. Those were days he hated to think about. Days of blood and silver. Days of Valentine by his side, telling him everything was all right, silencing his conscience. “I’m worried about my family now,” he said. “I’m worried about Clary and Jocelyn and Amatis. I can’t worry about Raphael, too. And you—I thought you’d be worried about Alec.”
Magnus breathed out through gritted teeth. “I don’t want to talk about Alec.”
“All right.” Luke said nothing else, just rested against the cold stone wall and watched Magnus fiddle with his chains. A moment later Magnus spoke again.
“Shadowhunters,” he said. “They get in your blood, under your skin. I’ve been with vampires, werewolves, faeries, warlocks like me—and humans, so many fragile humans. But I always told myself I wouldn’t give my heart to a Shadowhunter. I’ve so nearly loved them, been charmed by them—generations of them, sometimes: Edmund and Will and James and Lucie . . . the ones I saved and the ones I couldn’t.” His voice choked off for a second, and Luke, staring in amazement, realized that this was the most of Magnus Bane’s real, true emotions that he had ever seen. “And Clary, too, I loved, for I watched her grow up. But I’ve never been in love with a Shadowhunter, not until Alec. For they have the blood of angels in them, and the love of angels is a high and holy thing.”
“Is that so bad?” Luke asked.