- City of Bones
Luke nodded, his knotted fingers the only sign of the tension he felt. “Yes.”
“Oh, my God.” Clary leaped to her feet, no longer able to sit still. She paced to the bars of the cell. “That’s not possible. It’s just not possible.”
“Clary, please don’t get upset—”
“Don’t get upset? You’re telling me that my dad is a guy who’s basically an evil overlord, and you want me not to get upset?”
“He wasn’t evil to begin with,” Luke said, sounding almost apologetic.
“Oh, I beg to differ. I think he was clearly evil. All that stuff he was spouting about keeping the human race pure and the importance of untainted blood—he was like one of those creepy white power guys. And you two totally fell for it.”
“I wasn’t the one talking about ‘slimy’ Downworlders just minutes ago,” Luke said quietly. “Or about how they couldn’t be trusted.”
“That’s not the same thing!” Clary could hear the tears in her voice. “I had a brother,” she went on, her voice catching. “Grandparents, too. They’re dead?”
Luke nodded, looking down at his big hands, open on his knees. “They’re dead.”
“Jonathan,” she said softly. “He would have been older than me? A year older?”
Luke said nothing.
“I always wanted a brother,” she said.
“Don’t,” he said wretchedly. “Don’t torture yourself. You can see why your mother kept all this from you, can’t you? What good would it have done you to know what you had lost before you were even born?”
“That box,” Clary said, her mind working feverishly. “With the J. C. on it. Jonathan Christopher. That was what she was always crying over, that was his lock of hair—my brother’s, not my father’s.”
“And when you said ‘Clary isn’t Jonathan,’ you meant my brother. My mom was so overprotective of me because she’d already had one child who died.”
Before Luke could reply, the cell door clanged open and Gretel entered. The “healing kit,” which Clary had been envisioning as a hard plastic-sided box with the Red Cross insignia on it, turned out to be a big wooden tray, stacked with folded bandages, steaming bowls of unidentified liquids, and herbs that gave off a pungent lemony odor. Gretel set the tray down beside the cot and gestured for Clary to sit down, which she did unwillingly.
“That’s a good girl,” said the wolf-woman, dipping a cloth into one of the bowls and lifting it to Clary’s face. Gently she cleaned away the dried blood. “What happened to you?” she asked disapprovingly, as if she suspected Clary of taking a cheese grater to her face.
“I was wondering that myself,” said Luke, watching the goings-on with folded arms.
“Hugo attacked me.” Clary tried not to wince as the astringent liquid stung her wounds.
“Hugo?” Luke blinked.
“Hodge’s bird. I think it was his bird, anyway. Maybe it was Valentine’s.”
“Hugin,” Luke said softly. “Hugin and Munin were Valentine’s pet birds. Their names mean ‘Thought’ and ‘Memory.’”
“Well, they should mean ‘Attack’ and ‘Kill,’” said Clary. “Hugo almost tore my eyes out.”
“That’s what he’s trained to do.” Luke was tapping the fingers of one hand against his other arm. “Hodge must have taken him in after the Uprising. But he’d still be Valentine’s creature.”
“Just like Hodge was,” Clary said, wincing as Gretel cleaned the long slash along her arm, which was crusted with dirt and dried blood. Then Gretel began bandaging it up neatly.
“I don’t want to talk about the past anymore,” she said fiercely. “I want to know what we’re going to do now. Now Valentine’s got my mom, Jace—and the Cup. And we’ve got nothing.”
“I wouldn’t say we have nothing,” said Luke. “We have a powerful wolf pack. The problem is that we don’t know where Valentine is.”
Clary shook her head. Lank strings of hair fell into her eyes, and she tossed them back impatiently. God, she was filthy. The one thing she wanted more than anything else—almost anything else—was a shower. “Doesn’t Valentine have some kind of hideout? A secret lair?”
“If he does,” said Luke, “he has kept it secret indeed.”
Gretel released Clary, who moved her arm gingerly. The greenish ointment Gretel had smeared on the cut had minimized the pain, but the arm still felt stiff and wooden. “Wait a second,” Clary said.
“I never understand why people say that,” Luke said, to no one in particular. “I wasn’t going anywhere.”
“Could Valentine be somewhere in New York?”
“When I saw him at the Institute, he came through a Portal. Magnus said there are only two Portals in New York. One at Dorothea’s, and one at Renwick’s. The one at Dorothea’s was destroyed, and I can’t really see him hiding out there anyway, so—”
“Renwick’s?” Luke looked baffled. “Renwick isn’t a Shadowhunter name.”
“What if Renwick isn’t a person, though?” said Clary. “What if it’s a place? Renwick’s. Like a restaurant, or … or a hotel or something.”
Luke’s eyes went suddenly wide. He turned to Gretel, who was advancing on him with the medical kit. “Get me a phone book,” he said.
She stopped in her tracks, holding the tray out toward him in an accusatory manner. “But, sir, your wounds—”
“Forget my wounds and get me a phone book,” he snapped. “We’re in a police station. You’d think there’d be plenty of old ones around.”
With a look of disdainful exasperation Gretel set the tray down on the ground and marched out of the room. Luke looked at Clary over his spectacles, which had slid partway down his nose. “Good thinking.”
She didn’t reply. There was a hard knot at the center of her stomach. She found herself trying to breathe around it. The beginning of a thought tickled at the edge of her mind, wanting to resolve itself into a full-blown realization. But she pushed it firmly down and away. She couldn’t afford to give her resources, her energy, to anything but the issue immediately at hand.
Gretel returned with damp-looking yellow pages and thrust them at Luke. He read the book standing up while the wolf-woman attacked his injured side with bandages and sticky pots of ointment. “There are seven Renwicks in the phone book,” he said finally. “No restaurants, hotels, or other locations.” He pushed his spectacles up; they slid down again instantly. “They are not Shadowhunters,” he said, “and it seems unlikely to me that Valentine would set up headquarters in the home of a mundane or a Downworlder. Though, perhaps—”
“Do you have a phone?” Clary interrupted.
“Not on me.” Luke, still holding the phone book, peered under it at Gretel. “Could you get the telephone?”
With a disgusted snort she tossed the wad of bloody cloths she’d been holding onto the floor, and stalked out of the room a second time. Luke set the phone book down on the table, picked up the roll of bandaging, and began winding it around the diagonal cut across his ribs. “Sorry,” he said, as Clary stared. “I know it’s disgusting.”
“If we catch Valentine,” she asked abruptly, “can we kill him?”
Luke nearly dropped the bandages. “What?”
She fiddled with a stray thread poking out of the pocket of her jeans. “He killed my older brother. He killed my grandparents. Didn’t he?”
Luke set the bandages on the table and pulled his shirt down. “And you think killing him will what? Erase those things?”
Gretel returned before Clary could say anything to that. She wore a martyred expression and handed Luke a clunky-looking old-fashioned cell phone. Clary wondered who paid the phone bills.
Clary held her hand out. “Let me make a call.”
Luke seemed hesitant. “Clary …”
“It’s about Renwick’s. It’ll only take a second.”
He handed her the phone warily. She punched in the number, and half-turned away from him to give herself the illusion of privacy.
Simon picked up on the third ring. “Hello?”
His voice climbed an octave. “Are you all right?”
“I’m fine. Why? Have you heard anything from Isabelle?”
“No. What would I have heard from Isabelle? Is there something wrong? Is it Alec?”
“No,” Clary said, not wanting to lie and say that Alec was fine. “It’s not Alec. Look, I just need you to Google something for me.”
Simon snorted. “You’re kidding. Don’t they have a computer there? You know what, don’t answer that.” She heard the sounds of a door opening and the thump-meow as Simon’s mother’s cat was banished from his perch on the keyboard of his computer. She could picture Simon quite clearly in her head as he sat down, his fingers moving quickly over the keyboard. “What do you want me to look up?”
She told him. She could feel Luke’s worried eyes on her as she talked. It was the same way he’d looked at her when she was eleven years old and had the flu with a spiking fever. He’d brought her ice cubes to suck on and had read to her out of her favorite books, doing all the voices.
“You’re right,” Simon said, snapping her out of her reverie. “It’s a place. Or at least, it was a place. It’s abandoned now.”
Her sweaty hand slipped on the phone, and she tightened her grip. “Tell me about it.”
“‘The most famous of the lunatic asylums, debtor’s prisons, and hospitals built on Roosevelt Island in the 1800s,’” Simon read dutifully. “‘Renwick Smallpox Hospital was designed by architect Jacob Renwick and intended to quarantine the poorest victims of Manhattan’s uncontrollable smallpox epidemic. During the next century the hospital was abandoned to disrepair. Public access to the ruin is forbidden.’”
“Okay, that’s enough,” said Clary, her heart pounding. “That’s got to be it. Roosevelt Island? Don’t people live there?”
“Not everyone lives in the Slope, princess,” said Simon, with a fair degree of mock sarcasm. “Anyway, do you need me to give you a ride again or something?”
“No! I’m fine, I don’t need anything. I just wanted the information.”
“All right.” He sounded a little hurt, Clary thought, but told herself it didn’t matter. He was safe at home, and that was what was important.
She hung up, turning to Luke. “There’s an abandoned hospital at the south end of Roosevelt Island called Renwick’s. I think Valentine’s there.”
Luke shoved his glasses up again. “Blackwell’s Island. Of course.”
“What do you mean, Blackwell’s? I said—”
He cut her off with a gesture. “That’s what Roosevelt Island used to be called. Blackwell’s. It was owned by an old Shadowhunter family. I should have guessed.” He turned to Gretel. “Get Alaric. We’re going to need everyone back here as soon as possible.” His lips were curled into a half smile that reminded Clary of the cold grin Jace wore during fights. “Tell them to ready themselves for battle.”
They made their way up to the street via a circuitous maze of cells and corridors that eventually opened out into what had once been the lobby of a police station. The building was abandoned now, and the slanting light of late afternoon cast strange shadows over the empty desks, the padlocked cabinets pocked with black termite holes, the cracked floor tiles spelling out the motto of the NYPD: Fidelis ad Mortem.
“‘Faithful unto death,’” said Luke, following her gaze.
“Let me guess,” said Clary. “On the inside it’s an abandoned police station; from the outside, mundanes only see a condemned apartment building, or a vacant lot, or …”
“Actually it looks like a Chinese restaurant from the outside,” Luke said. “Takeout only, no table service.”
“A Chinese restaurant?” Clary echoed in disbelief.
He shrugged. “Well, we are in Chinatown. This was the Second Precinct building once.”
“People must think it’s weird that there’s no phone number to call for orders.”
Luke grinned. “There is. We just don’t answer it much. Sometimes, if they’re bored, some of the cubs will deliver someone some mu shu pork.”
“Not at all. The tips come in handy.” He pushed the front door open, letting in a stream of sunlight.
Still not sure whether he was kidding or not, Clary followed Luke across Baxter Street to where his car was parked. The inside of the pickup truck was comfortingly familiar. The faint smell of wood chips and old paper and soap, the faded pair of plush gold dice that she’d given him when she was ten because they looked like the gold dice hanging from the rearview mirror of the Millennium Falcon. The discarded gum wrappers and empty coffee cups rolling around on the floor. Clary hauled herself up into the passenger seat, settling back against the headrest with a sigh. She was more tired than she would have liked to admit.
Luke shut the door after her. “Stay right here.”
She watched as he talked to Gretel and Alaric, who were standing on the steps of the old police station, waiting patiently. Clary amused herself by letting her eyes fade in and out of focus, watching the glamour appear and disappear. First it was an old police station, then it was a dilapidated storefront sporting a yellow awning that read JADE WOLF CHINESE CUISINE. Luke was gesturing to his second and third, pointing down the street. His pickup was the first in a line of vans, motorcycles, Jeeps, and even a wrecked-looking old school bus. The vehicles stretched in a line down the block and around the corner. A convoy of werewolves. Clary wondered how they’d begged, borrowed, stolen, or commandeered so many vehicles on such short notice. On the plus side, at least they wouldn’t all have to go on the aerial tram.