"Why are we talking about summoning angels?" Simon asked, perching himself on the end of the long table.
"Isabelle and Jocelyn went to see the Iron Sisters," said Alec. "Looking for a weapon that could be used on Sebastian that wouldn't affect Jace."
"And there isn't one?"
"Nothing in this world," said Isabelle. "A Heavenly weapon might do it, or something with a seriously demonic alliance. We were exploring the first option."
"Summoning up an angel to give you a weapon?"
"It's happened before," said Magnus. "Raziel gave the Mortal Sword to Jonathan Shadowhunter. In the old stories, the night before the battle of Jericho, an angel appeared and gave Joshua a sword."
"Huh," said Simon. "I would have thought angels would have been all about peace, not weapons."
Magnus snorted. "Angels are not just messengers. They are soldiers. Michael is said to have routed armies. They are not patient, angels. Certainly not with the vicissitudes of human beings. Anyone who tried to summon Raziel without the Mortal Instruments to protect them would probably be blasted to death on the spot. Demons are easier to summon. There are more of them, and many are weak. But then, a weak demon can help you only so much-"
"We can't summon a demon," said Jocelyn, aghast. "The Clave-"
"I thought you stopped caring what the Clave thought of you years ago," Magnus said.
"It's not just me," said Jocelyn. "The rest of you. Luke. My daughter. If the Clave knew-"
"Well, they won't know, will they?" said Alec, his usually gentle voice edged. "Unless you tell them."
Jocelyn looked from Isabelle's still face to Magnus's inquiring one, to Alec's stubborn blue eyes. "You're really considering this? Summoning a demon?"
"Well, not just any demon," said Magnus. "Azazel."
Jocelyn's eyes blazed. "Azazel?" Her eyes scanned the others, as if looking for support, but Izzy and Alec glanced down at their mugs, and Simon just shrugged.
"I don't know who Azazel is," he said. "Isn't he the cat from The Smurfs?" He cast about, but Isabelle just looked up and rolled her eyes at him. Clary? he thought.
Her voice came through, tinged with alarm. What is it? What's happened? Did my mom find out I'm gone?
Not yet, he thought back. Is Azazel the cat from The Smurfs?
There was a long pause. That's Azrael, Simon. And no more using the magic rings for Smurf questions.
And she was gone. Simon glanced up from his hand and saw Magnus looking at him quizzically. "He's not a cat, Sylvester," he said. "He's a Greater Demon. Lieutenant of Hell and Forger of Weapons. He was an angel who taught mankind how to make weapons, when before it had been knowledge only angels possessed. That caused him to fall, and now he is a demon. 'And the whole earth has been corrupted by the works that were taught by Azazel. To him ascribe all sin.'"
Alec looked at Magnus in amazement. "How did you know all that?"
"He's a friend of mine," said Magnus, and, noting their expressions, sighed. "Okay, not really. But it is in the Book of Enoch."
"Seems dangerous." Alec frowned. "It sounds like he's beyond a Greater Demon, even. Like Lilith."
"Fortunately, he is already bound," said Magnus. "If you summon him, his spirit form will come to you but his corporeal self will remain bound to the jagged rocks of Duduael."
"The jagged rocks of... Oh, whatever," Isabelle said, winding her long dark hair into a bun. "He's the demon of weapons. Fine. I say we give it a go."
"I can't believe you're even considering this," said Jocelyn. "I learned from watching my husband what dabbling in raising demons can do. Clary-" She broke off then, as if sensing Simon's gaze on her, and turned. "Simon," she said, "do you know, is Clary awake yet? We've been letting her sleep, but it's almost eleven."
Simon hesitated. "I don't know." This, he reasoned, was true. Wherever Clary was, she could be asleep. Even though he had just talked to her.
Jocelyn looked puzzled. "But weren't you in the room with her?"
"No, I wasn't. I was-" Simon broke off, realizing the hole he'd just dug himself. There were three spare bedrooms. Jocelyn had been in one, Clary the other. Which would obviously mean he must have slept in the third room with-
"Isabelle?" said Alec, his eyebrows raised. "You slept in Isabelle's room?"
Isabelle waved a hand. "No need to worry, big brother. Nothing happened. Of course," she added as Alec's shoulders relaxed, "I was totally passed-out drunk, so he could really have done whatever he wanted and I wouldn't have woken up."
"Oh, please," said Simon. "All I did was tell you the entire plot of Star Wars."
"I don't think I remember that," said Isabelle, taking a cookie from the plate on the table.
"Oh, yeah? Who was Luke Skywalker's best childhood friend?"
"Biggs Darklighter," Isabelle said immediately, and then hit the table with the flat of her hand. "That is so cheating!" Still, she grinned at him around her cookie.
"Ah," said Magnus. "Nerd love. It is a beautiful thing, while also being an object of mockery and hilarity for those of us who are more sophisticated."
"All right, that's enough." Jocelyn stood up. "I'm going to get Clary. If you're going to raise a demon, I don't want to be here, and I don't want my daughter here either." She headed toward the hallway.
Simon blocked her way. "You can't do that," he said.
Jocelyn looked at him with a set face. "I know you're going to say that this is the safest place for us, Simon, but with a demon being raised, I just-"
"It's not that." Simon took a deep breath, which didn't help, since his blood no longer processed oxygen. He felt slightly sick. "You can't go wake her up because... because she isn't here."
Chapter 10: The Wild Hunt
Jordan's old room at the Praetor House looked like any dormitory room at any college. There were two iron-framed beds, each set against a different wall. Through the window separating them green lawns were visible three floors down. Jordan's side of the room was fairly bare-it looked as if he had taken most of his photographs and books with him to Manhattan-though there were some tacked-up pictures of beaches and the ocean, and a surfboard leaning against one wall. A little jolt went through Maia as she saw that on the bedside table was a gold-framed photo of her with Jordan, taken at Ocean City, the boardwalk and the beach behind them.
Jordan looked at the photograph and then at her, and blushed. He slung his bag onto his bed and stripped off his jacket, his back to her.
"When will your roommate be back?" she asked into the suddenly uncomfortable silence. She wasn't sure why they were both embarrassed. They certainly hadn't been when they'd been in the truck together, but now, here in Jordan's space, the years they had spent not speaking seemed to press them apart.
"Who knows? Nick's on assignment. They're dangerous. He might not come back." Jordan sounded resigned. He tossed his jacket over the back of a chair. "Why don't you lie down? I'm going to take a shower." He headed for the bathroom, which, Maia was relieved to see, was attached to his room. She didn't feel like dealing with one of those shared-bathroom-down-the-hall things.
"Jordan-," she began, but he'd already closed the bathroom door behind him. She could hear water running. With a sigh she kicked off her shoes and lay down on the absent Nick's bed. The blanket was dark blue plaid, and smelled like pinecones. She looked up and saw that the ceiling was wallpapered with photographs. The same laughing blond boy, who looked about seventeen, smiled down at her out of each picture. Nick, she guessed. He looked happy. Had Jordan been happy, here at the Praetor House?
She reached out and flipped the photograph of the two of them toward her. It had been taken years ago, when Jordan was skinny, with big hazel eyes that dominated his face. They had their arms around each other and looked sunburned and happy. Summer had darkened both their skins and put light streaks in Maia's hair, and Jordan had his head turned slightly toward her, as if he were going to say something or kiss her. She couldn't remember which. Not anymore.
She thought of the boy whose bed she was sitting on, the boy who might never come back. She thought of Luke, slowly dying, and of Alaric and Gretel and Justine and Theo and all the others of her pack who had lost their lives in the war against Valentine. She thought of Max, and of Jace, two Lightwoods lost-for, she had to admit in her heart, she didn't think they would ever get Jace back. And lastly and strangely she thought of Daniel, the brother she had never mourned for, and to her surprise she felt tears sting the backs of her eyes.
She sat up abruptly. She felt as if the world were tilting and she was clinging on helplessly, trying to keep from tumbling into a black abyss. She could feel the shadows closing in. With Jace lost and Sebastian out there, things could only get darker. There would only be more loss and more death. She had to admit, the most alive she'd felt in weeks had been those moments at dawn, kissing Jordan in his car.
As if she were in a dream, she found herself getting to her feet. She walked across the room and opened the door to the bathroom. The shower was a square of frosted glass; she could see Jordan's silhouette through it. She doubted he could hear her over the running water as she pulled off her sweater and shimmied out of her jeans and underwear. With a deep breath she crossed the room, slid the shower door open, and stepped inside.
Jordan spun around, pushing the wet hair out of his eyes. The shower was running hot, and his face was flushed, making his eyes shine as if the water had polished them. Or maybe it wasn't just the water making the blood rise under his skin as his eyes took her in-all of her. She looked back at him steadily, not embarrassed, watching the way the Praetor Lupus pendant shone in the wet hollow of his throat, and the slide of the soap suds over his shoulders and chest as he stared at her, blinking water out of his eyes. He was beautiful, but then she had always thought so.
"Maia?" he said unsteadily. "Are you... ?"
"Shh." She put her finger against his lips, drawing the shower door closed with her other hand. Then she stepped closer, wrapping both arms around him, letting the water wash both of them clean of the darkness. "Don't talk. Just kiss me."
So he did.
"What in the name of the Angel do you mean Clary isn't there?" Jocelyn demanded, white-faced. "How do you know that, if you just woke up? Where has she gone?"
Simon swallowed. He had grown up with Jocelyn as almost a second mother to him. He was used to her protectiveness of her daughter, but she had always seen him as an ally in that, someone who would stand between Clary and the dangers of the world. Now she was looking at him like the enemy. "She texted me last night... ," Simon began, then stopped as Magnus waved him over to the table.
"You might as well sit down," he said. Isabelle and Alec were watching wide-eyed from either side of Magnus, but the warlock didn't look particularly surprised. "Tell us all what's going on. I have a feeling this is going to take a while."
It did, though not as long as Simon might have hoped. When he was done explaining, hunched over on his chair and staring down at Magnus's scratched table, he lifted his head to see Jocelyn fixing him with a green stare as cold as arctic water. "You let my daughter go off... with Jace... to some unfindable, untraceable place where none of us can reach her?"
Simon looked down at his hands. "I can reach her," he said, holding up his right hand with the gold ring on the finger. "I told you. I heard from her this morning. She said she was fine."
"You never should have let her leave in the first place!"
"I didn't let her. She was going to go anyway. I thought she might as well have some kind of a lifeline, since it's not like I could stop her."
"To be fair," said Magnus, "I don't think anyone could. Clary does what she wants." He looked at Jocelyn. "You can't keep her in a cage."
"I trusted you," she snapped at Magnus. "How did she get out?"
"She made a Portal."
"But you said there were wards-"
"To keep threats out, not to keep guests in. Jocelyn, your daughter isn't stupid, and she does what she thinks is right. You can't stop her. No one can stop her. She is a great deal like her mother."
Jocelyn looked at Magnus for a moment, her mouth slightly open, and Simon realized that of course Magnus must have known Clary's mother when she was young, when she betrayed Valentine and the Circle and nearly died in the Uprising. "She's a little girl," she said, and turned to Simon. "You've spoken to her? Using these-these rings? Since she left?"
"This morning," said Simon. "She said she was fine. That everything was fine."
Instead of seeming reassured, Jocelyn only looked angrier. "I'm sure that's what she said. Simon, I can't believe you allowed her to do this. You should have restrained her-"
"What, tied her up?" Simon said in disbelief. "Handcuffed her to the diner table?"
"If that's what it took. You're stronger than she is. I'm disappointed in-"
Isabelle stood up. "Okay, that's enough." She glared at Jocelyn. "It is totally and completely unfair to yell at Simon over something Clary decided to do on her own. And if Simon had tied her up for you, then what? Were you planning on keeping her tied up forever? You'd have to let her go eventually, and then what? She wouldn't trust Simon anymore, and she already doesn't trust you because you stole her memories. And that, if I recall, was because you were trying to protect her. Maybe if you hadn't protected her so much, she would know more about what is dangerous and what isn't, and be a little less secretive-and less reckless!"
Everyone stared at Isabelle, and for a moment Simon was reminded of something that Clary had said to him once-that Izzy rarely made speeches, but when she did, she made them count. Jocelyn was white around the lips.