- City of Bones
Clary looked at Jace, appalled. “You want to give me to them?”
“I want them to help you.” Jace leaned across the table, so close she could see the darker amber flecks in his light eyes. “Maybe we don’t get to look for the Cup,” he said softly. “Maybe the Clave will do that. But what’s in your mind belongs to you. Someone’s hidden secrets there, secrets you can’t see. Don’t you want to know the truth about your own life?”
“I don’t want someone else inside my head,” she said weakly. She knew he was right, but the idea of turning herself over to beings that even the Shadowhunters thought were creepy sent a chill through her blood.
“I’ll go with you,” said Jace. “I’ll stay with you while they do it.”
“That’s enough.” Simon had stood up from the table, red with anger. “Leave her alone.”
Alec glanced over at Simon as if he’d just noticed him, raking tumbled black hair out of his eyes and blinking. “What are you still doing here, mundane?”
Simon ignored him. “I said, leave her alone.”
Jace glanced over at him, a slow, sweetly poisonous glance. “Alec is right,” he said. “The Institute is sworn to shelter Shadowhunters, not their mundane friends. Especially when they’ve worn out their welcome.”
Isabelle got up and took Simon’s arm. “I’ll show him out.” For a moment it looked like he might resist her, but he caught Clary’s eye across the table as she shook her head slightly. He subsided. Head up, he let Isabelle lead him from the room.
Clary stood up. “I’m tired,” she said. “I want to go to sleep.”
“You’ve hardly eaten anything—” Jace protested.
She brushed aside his reaching hand. “I’m not hungry.”
It was cooler in the hallway than it had been in the kitchen. Clary leaned against the wall, pulling at her shirt, which was sticking to the cold sweat on her chest. Far down the hall she could see Isabelle’s and Simon’s retreating figures, swallowed up by shadows. She watched them go silently, a shivery odd feeling growing in the pit of her stomach. When had Simon become Isabelle’s responsibility, instead of hers? If there was one thing she was learning from all this, it was how easy it was to lose everything you had always thought you’d have forever.
The room was all gold and white, with high walls that gleamed like enamel, and a roof, high above, clear and glittering like diamonds. Clary wore a green velvet dress and carried a gold fan in her hand. Her hair, twisted into a knot that spilled curls, made her head feel strangely heavy every time she turned to look behind her.
“You see someone more interesting than me?” asked Simon. In the dream he was mysteriously an expert dancer. He steered her through the crowd as if she were a leaf caught in a river current. He was wearing all black, like a Shadowhunter, and it showed his coloring to good advantage: dark hair, lightly browned skin, white teeth. He’s handsome, Clary thought, with a jolt of surprise.
“There’s no one more interesting than you,” Clary said. “It’s just this place. I’ve never seen anything like it.” She turned again as they passed a champagne fountain: an enormous silver dish, the centerpiece a mermaid with a jar pouring sparkling wine down her bare back. People were filling their glasses from the dish, laughing and talking. The mermaid turned her head as Clary passed, and smiled. The smile showed white teeth as sharp as a vampire’s.
“Welcome to the Glass City,” said a voice that wasn’t Simon’s. Clary found that Simon had disappeared and she was now dancing with Jace, who was wearing white, the material of his shirt a thin cotton; she could see the black Marks through it. There was a bronze chain around his throat, and his hair and eyes looked more gold than ever; she thought about how she would like to paint his portrait with the dull gold paint one sometimes saw in Russian icons.
“Where’s Simon?” she asked as they spun again around the champagne fountain. Clary saw Isabelle there, with Alec, both of them in royal blue. They were holding hands like Hansel and Gretel in the dark forest.
“This place is for the living,” said Jace. His hands were cool on hers, and she was aware of them in a way she had not been of Simon’s.
She narrowed her eyes at him. “What do you mean?”
He leaned close. She could feel his lips against her ear. They were not cool at all. “Wake up, Clary,” he whispered. “Wake up. Wake up.”
She bolted upright in bed, gasping, hair plastered to her neck with cold sweat. Her wrists were held in a hard grip; she tried to pull away, then realized who was restraining her. “Jace?”
“Yeah.” He was sitting on the edge of the bed—how had she gotten into a bed?—looking tousled and half-awake, with early morning hair and sleepy eyes.
“Let go of me.”
“Sorry.” His fingers slipped from her wrists. “You tried to hit me the second I said your name.”
“I’m a little jumpy, I guess.” She glanced around. She was in a small bedroom furnished in dark wood. By the quality of the faint light coming in through the half-open window, she guessed it was dawn, or just after. Her backpack was propped against one wall. “How did I get here? I don’t remember …”
“I found you asleep on the floor in the hallway.” Jace sounded amused. “Hodge helped me get you into bed. Thought you’d be more comfortable in a guest room than in the infirmary.”
“Wow. I don’t remember anything.” She ran her hands through her hair, pushing draggled curls out of her eyes. “What time is it, anyway?”
“In the morning?” She glared at him. “You’d better have a good reason for waking me up.”
“Why, were you having a good dream?”
She could still hear music in her ears, feel the heavy jewels brushing her cheeks. “I don’t remember.”
He stood up. “One of the Silent Brothers is here to see you. Hodge sent me to wake you up. Actually, he offered to wake you up himself, but since it’s five a.m., I figured you’d be less cranky if you had something nice to look at.”
“I didn’t agree to this, you know,” she snapped. “This Silent Brother thing.”
“Do you want to find your mother,” he said, “or not?”
She stared at him.
“You just have to meet Brother Jeremiah. That’s all. You might even like him. He’s got a great sense of humor for a guy who never says anything.”
She put her head in her hands. “Get out. Get out so I can change.”
She swung her legs out of bed the moment the door shut behind him. Though it was barely dawn, humid heat was already beginning to gather in the room. She pushed the window shut and went into the bathroom to wash her face and rinse her mouth, which tasted like old paper.
Five minutes later she was sliding her feet into her green sneakers. She’d changed into cutoffs and a plain black T-shirt. If only her thin freckled legs looked more like Isabelle’s lanky smooth limbs. But it couldn’t be helped. She pulled her hair back into a ponytail and went to join Jace in the hallway.
Church was there with him, muttering and circling restlessly.
“What’s with the cat?” Clary asked.
“The Silent Brothers make him nervous.”
“Sounds like they make everyone nervous.”
Jace smiled thinly. Church meowed as they set off down the hall, but didn’t follow them. At least the thick stones of the cathedral walls still held some of the night’s chill: The corridors were dark and cool.
When they reached the library, Clary was surprised to see that the lamps were off. The library was lit only by the milky glow that filtered down through the high windows set into the vaulted roof. Hodge sat behind the enormous desk in a suit, his gray-streaked hair silvered by the dawn light. For a moment she thought he was alone in the room: that Jace had been playing a joke on her. Then she saw a figure move out of the dimness, and she realized that what she had thought was a patch of darker shadow was a man. A tall man in a heavy robe that fell from neck to foot, covering him completely. The hood of the robe was raised, hiding his face. The robe itself was the color of parchment, and the intricate runic designs along the hem and sleeves looked as if they had been inked there in drying blood. The hair rose along Clary’s arms and on the back of her neck, prickling almost painfully.
“This,” said Hodge, “is Brother Jeremiah of the Silent City.”
The man came toward them, his heavy cloak swirling as he moved, and Clary realized what it was about him that was strange: He made no sound at all as he walked, not the slightest footstep. Even his cloak, which should have rustled, was silent. She would almost have wondered if he were a ghost—but no, she thought as he halted in front of them, there was a strange, sweet smell about him, like incense and blood, the smell of something living.
“And this, Jeremiah,” Hodge said, rising from his desk, “is the girl I wrote to you about. Clarissa Fray.”
The hooded face turned slowly toward her. Clary felt cold to her fingertips. “Hello,” she said.
There was no reply.
“I decided you were right, Jace,” said Hodge.
“I was right,” said Jace. “I usually am.”
Hodge ignored this. “I sent a letter to the Clave about all this last night, but Clary’s memories are her own. Only she can decide how she wants to deal with the contents of her own head. If she wants the help of the Silent Brothers, she should have that choice.”
Clary said nothing. Dorothea had said there was a block in her mind, hiding something. Of course she wanted to know what it was. But the shadowy figure of the Silent Brother was so—well, silent. Silence itself seemed to flow from him like a dark tide, black and thick as ink. It chilled her bones.
Brother Jeremiah’s face was still turned toward her, nothing but darkness visible underneath his hood. This is Jocelyn’s daughter?
Clary gave a little gasp, stepping back. The words had echoed inside her head, as if she’d thought them herself—but she hadn’t.
“Yes,” said Hodge, and added quickly, “but her father was a mundane.”
That does not matter, said Jeremiah. The blood of the Clave is dominant.
“Why did you call my mother Jocelyn?” said Clary, searching in vain for some sign of a face beneath the hood. “Did you know her?”
“The Brothers keep records on all members of the Clave,” explained Hodge. “Exhaustive records—”
“Not that exhaustive,” said Jace, “if they didn’t even know she was still alive.”
It is likely that she had the assistance of a warlock in her disappearance. Most Shadowhunters cannot so easily escape the Clave. There was no emotion in Jeremiah’s voice; he sounded neither approving nor disapproving of Jocelyn’s actions.
“There’s something I don’t understand,” Clary said. “Why would Valentine think my mom had the Mortal Cup? If she went through so much trouble to disappear, like you said, then why would she bring it with her?”
“To keep him from getting his hands on it,” said Hodge. “She above all people would have known what would happen if Valentine had the Cup. And I imagine she didn’t trust the Clave to hold on to it. Not after Valentine got it away from them in the first place.”
“I guess.” Clary couldn’t keep the doubt from her voice. The whole thing seemed so unlikely. She tried to picture her mother fleeing under cover of darkness, with a big gold cup stashed in the pocket of her overalls, and failed.
“Jocelyn turned against her husband when she found out what he intended to do with the Cup,” said Hodge. “It’s not unreasonable to assume she would do everything in her power to keep the Cup from falling into his hands. The Clave themselves would have looked first to her if they’d thought she was still alive.”
“It seems to me,” Clary said with an edge to her voice, “that no one the Clave thinks is dead is ever actually dead. Maybe they should invest in dental records.”
“My father’s dead,” said Jace, the same edge in his voice. “I don’t need dental records to tell me that.”
Clary turned on him in some exasperation. “Look, I didn’t mean—”
That is enough, interrupted Brother Jeremiah. There is truth to be learned here, if you are patient enough to listen to it.
With a quick gesture he raised his hands and drew the hood back from his face. Forgetting Jace, Clary fought the urge to cry out. The archivist’s head was bald, smooth and white as an egg, darkly indented where his eyes had once been. They were gone now. His lips were crisscrossed with a pattern of dark lines that resembled surgical stitches. She understood now what Isabelle had meant by mutilation.
The Brothers of the Silent City do not lie, said Jeremiah. If you want the truth from me, you shall have it, but I shall ask of you the same in return.
Clary lifted her chin. “I’m not a liar either.”
The mind cannot lie. Jeremiah moved toward her. It is your memories I want.
The smell of blood and ink was stifling. Clary felt a wave of panic. “Wait—”
“Clary.” It was Hodge, his tone gentle. “It’s entirely possible that there are memories you have buried or repressed, memories formed when you were too young to have a conscious recollection of them, that Brother Jeremiah can reach. It could help us a great deal.”
She said nothing, biting the inside of her lip. She hated the idea of someone reaching inside her head, touching memories so private and hidden that even she couldn’t reach them.
“She doesn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to do,” Jace said suddenly. “Does she?”