Clary wasn’t sure if Isabelle was talking to her or to Simon, so she said nothing. Isabelle’s hair tickled her face, smelling of some kind of vanilla perfume. Clary fought the urge to sneeze. She hated vanilla perfume. She’d never understood why some girls felt the need to smell like dessert.
“So how did it go at the Bone City?” Isabelle asked, flipping her menu open. “Did you find out what’s in Clary’s head?”
“We got a name,” said Jace. “Magnus—”
“Shut up,” Alec hissed, thwacking Jace with his closed menu.
Jace looked injured. “Jesus.” He rubbed his arm. “What’s your problem?”
“This place is full of Downworlders. You know that. I think you should try to keep the details of our investigation secret.”
“Investigation?” Isabelle laughed. “Now we’re detectives? Maybe we should all have code names.”
“Good idea,” said Jace. “I shall be Baron Hotschaft Von Hugenstein.”
Alec spit his water back into his glass. At that moment the waitress arrived to take their order. Up close she was still a pretty blond girl, but her eyes were unnerving—entirely blue, with no white or pupil at all. She smiled with sharp little teeth. “Know what you’re having?”
Jace grinned. “The usual,” he said, and got a smile from the waitress in return.
“Me too,” Alec chimed in, though he didn’t get the smile. Isabelle fastidiously ordered a fruit smoothie, Simon asked for coffee, and Clary, after a moment’s hesitation, chose a large coffee and coconut pancakes. The waitress winked a blue eye at her and flounced off.
“Is she an ifrit too?” Clary asked, watching her go.
“Kaelie? No. Part fey, I think,” said Jace.
“She’s got nixie eyes,” said Isabelle thoughtfully.
“You really don’t know what she is?” asked Simon.
Jace shook his head. “I respect her privacy.” He nudged Alec. “Hey, let me out for a second.”
Scowling, Alec moved aside. Clary watched Jace as he strode over to Kaelie, who was leaning against the bar, talking to the cook through the pass-through to the kitchen. All Clary could see of the cook was a bent head in a white chef’s hat. Tall furry ears poked through holes cut into either side of the hat.
Kaelie turned to smile at Jace, who put an arm around her. She snuggled in. Clary wondered if this was what Jace meant by respecting her privacy.
Isabelle rolled her eyes. “He really shouldn’t tease the waitstaff like that.”
Alec looked at her. “You don’t think he means it? That he likes her, I mean.”
Isabelle shrugged. “She’s a Downworlder,” she said, as if that explained everything.
“I don’t get it,” said Clary.
Isabelle glanced at her without interest. “Get what?”
“This whole Downworlder thing. You don’t hunt them, because they aren’t exactly demons, but they’re not exactly people, either. Vampires kill; they drink blood—”
“Only rogue vampires drink human blood from living people,” interjected Alec. “And those, we’re allowed to kill.”
“And werewolves are what? Just overgrown puppies?”
“They kill demons,” said Isabelle. “So if they don’t bother us, we don’t bother them.”
Like letting spiders live because they eat mosquitoes, Clary thought. “So they’re good enough to let live, good enough to make your food for you, good enough to flirt with—but not really good enough? I mean, not as good as people.”
Isabelle and Alec looked at her as if she were speaking Urdu. “Different from people,” said Alec finally.
“Better than mundanes?” said Simon.
“No,” Isabelle said decidedly. “You could turn a mundane into a Shadowhunter. I mean, we came from mundanes. But you could never turn a Downworlder into one of the Clave. They can’t withstand the runes.”
“So they’re weak?” asked Clary.
“I wouldn’t say that,” said Jace, sliding back into his seat next to Alec. His hair was mussed and there was a lipstick mark on his cheek. “At least not with a peri, a djinn, an ifrit, and God knows what else listening in.” He grinned as Kaelie appeared and distributed their food. Clary regarded her pancakes consideringly. They looked fantastic: golden brown, drenched with honey. She took a bite as Kaelie wobbled off on her high heels.
They were delicious.
“I told you it was the greatest restaurant in Manhattan,” said Jace, eating fries with his fingers.
She glanced at Simon, who was stirring his coffee, head down.
“Mmmf,” said Alec, whose mouth was full.
“Right,” said Jace. He looked at Clary. “It’s not one-way,” he said. “We may not always like Downworlders, but they don’t always like us, either. A few hundred years of the Accords can’t wipe out a thousand years of hostility.”
“I’m sure she doesn’t know what the Accords are, Jace,” said Isabelle around her spoon.
“I do, actually,” said Clary.
“I don’t,” said Simon.
“Yes, but nobody cares what you know.” Jace examined a fry before biting into it. “I enjoy the company of certain Downworlders at certain times and places. But we don’t really get invited to the same parties.”
“Wait.” Isabelle suddenly sat up straight. “What did you say that name was?” she demanded, turning to Jace. “The name in Clary’s head.”
“I didn’t,” said Jace. “At least, I didn’t finish it. It’s Magnus Bane.” He grinned at Alec mockingly. “Rhymes with ‘overcareful pain in the ass.’”
Alec muttered a retort into his coffee. It rhymed with something that sounded a lot more like “ducking glass mole.” Clary smiled inwardly.
“It can’t be—but I’m almost totally sure—” Isabelle dug into her purse and pulled out a folded piece of blue paper. She wiggled it between her fingers. “Look at this.”
Alec held out his hand for the paper, glanced at it with a shrug, and handed it to Jace. “It’s a party invitation. For somewhere in Brooklyn,” he said. “I hate Brooklyn.”
“Don’t be such a snob,” said Jace. Then, just as Isabelle had, he sat up straight and stared. “Where did you get this, Izzy?”
She fluttered her hand airily. “From that kelpie in Pandemonium. He said it would be awesome. He had a whole stack of them.”
“What is it?” Clary demanded impatiently. “Are you going to show the rest of us, or not?”
Jace turned it around so they could all read it. It was printed on thin paper, nearly parchment, in a thin, elegant, spidery hand. It announced a gathering at the humble home of Magnus the Magnificent Warlock, and promised attendees “a rapturous evening of delights beyond your wildest imaginings.”
“Magnus,” said Simon. “Magnus like Magnus Bane?”
“I doubt there are that many warlocks named Magnus in the Tristate Area,” said Jace.
Alec blinked at it. “Does that mean we have to go to the party?” he inquired of no one in particular.
“We don’t have to do anything,” said Jace, who was reading the fine print on the invitation. “But according to this, Magnus Bane is the High Warlock of Brooklyn.” He looked at Clary. “I, for one, am a little curious as to what the High Warlock of Brooklyn’s name is doing inside your head.”
The party didn’t start until midnight, so with a whole day to kill, Jace and Alec disappeared to the weapons room and Isabelle and Simon announced their intention of going for a walk in Central Park so that she could show him the faerie circles. Simon asked Clary if she wanted to come along. Stifling a murderous rage, she refused on the grounds of exhaustion.
It wasn’t exactly a lie—she was exhausted, her body still weakened from the aftereffects of the poison and the too-early rising. She lay on her bed in the Institute, shoes kicked off, willing herself to sleep, but sleep wouldn’t come. The caffeine in her veins fizzed like carbonated water, and her mind was full of darting images. She kept seeing her mother’s face looking down at her, her expression panicked. Kept seeing the Speaking Stars, hearing the voices of the Silent Brothers in her head. Why would there be a block in her mind? Why would a powerful warlock have put it there, and to what purpose? She wondered what memories she might have lost, what experiences she’d had that she couldn’t now recall. Or maybe everything she thought she did remember was a lie …?
She sat up, no longer able to bear where her thoughts were taking her. Barefoot, she padded out into the corridor and toward the library. Maybe Hodge could help her.
But the library was empty. Afternoon light slanted in through the parted curtains, laying bars of gold across the floor. On the desk lay the book Hodge had read out of earlier, its worn leather cover gleaming. Beside it Hugo slept on his perch, beak tucked under wing.
My mother knew that book, Clary thought. She touched it, read out of it. The ache to hold something that was a part of her mother’s life felt like a gnawing at the pit of her stomach. She crossed the room hastily and laid her hands on the book. It felt warm, the leather heated by sunlight. She raised the cover.
Something folded slid out from between the pages and fluttered to the floor at her feet. She bent to retrieve it, smoothing it open reflexively.
It was the photograph of a group of young people, none much older than Clary herself. She knew it had been taken at least twenty years ago, not because of the clothes they were wearing—which, like most Shadowhunter gear, were nondescript and black—but because she recognized her mother instantly: Jocelyn, no more than seventeen or eighteen, her hair halfway down her back and her face a little rounder, the chin and mouth less defined. She looks like me, Clary thought dazedly.
Jocelyn’s arm was around a boy Clary didn’t recognize. It gave her a jolt. She’d never thought of her mother being involved with anyone other than her father, since Jocelyn had never dated or seemed interested in romance. She wasn’t like most single mothers, who trolled PTA meetings for likely-looking dads, or Simon’s mom, who was always checking her profile on JDate. The boy was good-looking, with hair so fair it was nearly white, and black eyes.
“That’s Valentine,” said a voice at her elbow. “When he was seventeen.”
She leaped back, almost dropping the photo. Hugo gave a startled and unhappy caw before settling back down on his perch, feathers ruffled.
It was Hodge, looking at her with curious eyes.
“I’m so sorry,” she said, setting the photograph down on the desk and backing hastily away. “I didn’t mean to pry into your things.”
“It’s all right.” He touched the photograph with a scarred and weathered hand—a strange contrast to the neat spotlessness of his tweed cuffs. “It’s a piece of your past, after all.”
Clary drifted back toward the desk as if the photo exerted a magnetic pull. The white-haired boy in the photo was smiling at Jocelyn, his eyes crinkled in that way that boys’ eyes crinkled when they really liked you. Nobody, Clary thought, had ever looked at her that way. Valentine, with his cold, fine-featured face, looked absolutely unlike her own father, with his open smile and the bright hair she’d inherited. “Valentine looks … sort of nice.”
“Nice he wasn’t,” said Hodge, with a twisted smile, “but he was charming and clever and very persuasive. Do you recognize anyone else?”
She looked again. Standing behind Valentine, a little to the left, was a thin boy with a shock of light brown hair. He had the big shoulders and gawky wrists of someone who hadn’t grown into his height yet. “Is that you?”
Hodge nodded. “And …?”
She had to look twice before she identified someone else she knew: so young as to be nearly unrecognizable. In the end his glasses gave him away, and the eyes behind them, light blue as seawater. “Luke,” she said.
“Lucian. And here.” Leaning over the photo, Hodge indicated an elegant-looking teenage couple, both dark-haired, the girl half a head taller than the boy. Her features were narrow and predatory, almost cruel. “The Lightwoods,” he said. “And there”—he indicated a very handsome boy with curling dark hair, high color in his square-jawed face—“is Michael Wayland.”
“He doesn’t look anything like Jace.”
“Jace resembles his mother.”
“Is this, like, a class photo?” Clary asked.
“Not quite. This is a picture of the Circle, taken in the year it was formed. That’s why Valentine, the leader, is in the front, and Luke is on his right side—he was Valentine’s second in command.”
Clary turned her gaze away. “I still don’t understand why my mother would join something like that.”
“You must understand—”
“You keep saying that,” Clary said crossly. “I don’t see why I must understand anything. You tell me the truth, and I’ll either understand it or I won’t.”
The corner of Hodge’s mouth twitched. “As you say.” He paused to reach out a hand and stroke Hugo, who was strutting along the edge of the desk importantly. “The Accords have never had the support of the whole Clave. The more venerable families, especially, cling to the old times, when Downworlders were for killing. Not just out of hatred but because it made them feel safer. It is easier to confront a threat as a mass, a group, not individuals who must be evaluated one by one … and most of us knew someone who had been injured or killed by a Downworlder. There is nothing,” he added, “quite like the moral absolutism of the young. It’s easy, as a child, to believe in good and evil, in light and dark. Valentine never lost that—neither his destructive idealism nor his passionate loathing of anything he considered ‘nonhuman.’”