Chapter 2: Riddles

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“Magnus, who is she? And why is she working at Pandemonium?”

Clary scoffed internally, wanting to scream at whoever had woken her. Her head pounded in time to the thumping bass from the club underneath them and her stomach tried to revolt, though there was nothing in there to throw up. She felt a cool breeze and smelled incense as Magnus drew near. Her left hand lifted into his, the numerous rings  he always wore pressing into her fingers lightly. She also noticed the solid weight in her other hand, fingers gently twined with hers.

“Her name is Clary. Clary Fray.” 

“Yes, we gathered her name after you screamed it. But who IS she?”

A snort to her right seemed to come from the vicinity of her mysterious hand holder. “Isn’t it obvious Alec? She’s a Shadowhunter as well. Though I didn’t know they trained them so young.” 

A disgruntled noise escaped her throat as Clary fought to open her eyes. Her dry tongue stuck in her mouth as she shifted and wiggled on whatever soft surface she’d been placed on-probably the ridiculously ostentatious sofa Magnus has special ordered a month ago. A straw forced it’s way through her lips and she settled, drinking gratefully as the strength from whatever potion Magnus gave her seeped into her.

“I am not young!”

Her eyes fluttered, immediately closing again as the bright lights above her nearly scalded her retinas. “Magnus! Seriously? Dim the fucking lights, asshole!”

“Aaaaaand she’s back. Wonderful.”

Clary struggled to sit up, startled when she felt a hand behind her, pushing her up. Her head twisted as her eyes cracked open, taking in the golden form of the boy behind her. Jace. Jace Wayland.

Her eyes shot open as her memories flooded in and she jumped to her feet, immediately wobbling. She would have fallen if not for Jace, who scooped her up with a sarcastic purse of his lips.

“Maybe take it a bit slower, hum?”

“No! Magnus! What-I mean…by the Angel, put me down!” She struggled, pushing at Jace’s chest as she tried to roll out of his arms.

He grinned sarcastically, flopping back into the plush armchair he’d abandoned a moment ago. “Uh, no. I like the feel of you.”

The girl with the black hair-Isabelle, if her memory was correct-reached a hand out, smacking Jace in the head.

“Izzy. He can’t help being a ridiculous manwhore. Leave him be. She can obviously take care of herself.” Alec. That was the other Lightwood. Who was currently shooting death glares at Clary-probably wishing the demon had just finished the job for him.

“Jace, let her go. Oh, this is bad. This is very very bad. Luke and Jocelyn are going to kill me.” Magnus ran a hand down his face, absently rubbing the glitter off.

Jace looked to the warlock, letting his arms go lax as Clary nearly fell off his lap. “So….would either of you care to explain this? Because I’m a tad confused.”

Huffing as she sat, Clary hung her head between her knees, her shoulder still throbbing as she rotated it gently. “How bad was the bite?”

“What?” Alec’s voice asked, laced with disgust.

“What is your issue, asshole? Is douchebaggery like a hobby of yours?!? I just wanna know how bad the damn demon bite was. Is that too much to fucking ask? By the Angel just get the fuck out.” Her head whipped up as she fixed her eyes on Magnus. “Luke is coming, right?”

She groaned as Magnus pulled a face. “Well….not-exactly.”

“Who is Luke?” Isabelle pursed her lips, hands on her hips as her booted toe tapped in irritation.

“Why isn’t he coming Mags?”

“I-can’t call him. He’s…well-Jesus Clary, they’re Shadowhunters. What the hell do you think will happen when he gets here?!?”

 Jace’s eyes bounced from the girl to the warlock and back again. “Okay. Enough.”

 Those two words, laced with authority, made Clary pause, her emerald eyes swinging back towards him.

 “Why are you even here? This has nothing to do with you.” Her hair fell in her face, obscuring her features as Jace stared. He saw the pale grey pallor and the heavy dark circles under those spectacular eyes. And he knew she wasn’t as strong as she was trying to appear.

 “Alright, so if you won’t come to the Institute, what do we do next?”

 “JACE! You can’t be serious!” Alec’s head had whipped around, his black hair falling into his eyes once again. “You’re going to stay with this-this…”

 Alec broke into a wave of Chthonic cursing as he paced, waving his hands around rapidly as Isabelle jumped out of his way.

 Clary raised her eyebrows sardonically, a small grin pulling the corner of her mouth up. “Oh really? Is that what I am now?”

 Alec paused and turned, his face pale as ash. “You-understood that?”

 Jace and Isabelle’s eyes ping ponged between the two. Clary straightened her back and stood, her head swimming-but she refused to appear weak. She stalked over to the Lightwood boy, her nose nearly touching his as she stood on very tip toes, eyes narrowed in anger. “I understand much more than the average Shadowhunter. I know every demon language the Nephilim have decoded. I know more weapons tactics than you could dream. And I know our history better than you could ever imagine. So-I’ll tell you again-get the fuck out. I don’t need your help. And I’m sure you of all people don’t want mine.”

Alec backed up a step, then another, a cold lick of fear slithering up his spine as his hand groped for Isabelle’s arm. He tugged her towards him, his azure eyes never leaving Clary’s green ones.

“And your golden boy over there. He’s another one that I’m more than positive would rather peel the skin off his bones than accept any help from me.”

“Clar-”

“NOT now Magnus. Just-not fucking now.” Clary sagged, stumbling as she reached out toward the wall. The warlock glanced up from where he sat on the plush ottoman.

“If they’re leaving I’ll call Luke. And sit the fuck down Clary. You’re still weak.” Her eyes shot daggers as Magnus stood, retreating from the room like his ass was on fire.

“I AM NOT WEAK! Fuck you magic man!” Her head swung back around, taking in the trio of Shadowhunters who still had yet to move. “Seriously? You’re still here? Why-”

Jace shot to his feet as her eyes rolled to the back of her head, her knees sagging out from under her. His arms wrapped solidly around her slender waist and he hauled her up into his arms once again.

“Alec. We can’t just leave. Something is very wrong here. Why haven’t we ever met her?”

“Obviously because she’s unstable. She’s probably a rogue.” Alec pulled Isabelle away as Jace came closer, as if fearing the girl’s rebelliousness would rub off.

“There’s more to this. There has to be. Rogue’s don’t have this much power. She-”

A violent crash against the closed door had Alec and Isabelle pulling their blades while Jace retreated across the room, shielding Clary’s body with his own. Dust rained from the plaster around the doorframe as the banging continued, the door beginning to bow inward from the force. 

“CLARY! MAGNUS OPEN THE GODDAMNED DOOR!”

Magnus stalked back through the room, muttering under his breath as he shoved Alec aside to pull the heavy door open. “When I said wait five minutes to go through the portal that didn’t mean jump immediately, asshole.” The door suddenly crashed inward as he spoke and Magnus stumbled out of the way. “Luke wait- 

A disheveled man with dark hair and glasses slipping down his nose barged into the room, his manic eyes sweeping the interior quickly. His hands were clawed and his eyes shifted from his normal rusty blue to a gleaming gold as he snarled. 

“A werewolf?!? You called a werewolf?!?” Isabelle’s voice pitched higher as she spoke, her blade still held in front of her. 

“He’s-”

“Clary!!” He rushed toward Jace, who darted backward, his back colliding with the wall before he turned to shield the girl in his arms. 

“What could you possibly want with a Shadowhunter, werewolf?”

“Get your filthy hands off of her, boy! She’s my daughter!”

Jace’s eyes flew wide as his hands went lax, Clary slipping from his grip momentarily before he tightened his arms again.

“It’s not possible.” Jace’s eyes narrowed as he looked from the werewolf to the girl in his arms. “There is no resemblance. And werewolves don’t produce Nephilim children. So try again.”

“It’s-fuuuuuuuuck.” Luke held his arms out, trying to take the girl from Jace. He received a growl for his efforts and a well placed headbutt square between his eyes.

Luke growled, his eyes flashing once again as his hand swept up to wipe the trickle of blood running down his forehead. He stepped closer, ready to tear the Shadowhunter apart and Jace braced himself, unafraid in the face of conflict.

“Alright, let’s just calm down here. I just redid the decor.” Magnus stepped between the two with a roll of his eyes, a hand on each of their chests. “This is getting us nowhere.”

Turning fully toward Luke, the warlock placed both hands gently onto the man’s shoulders. “You knew it wouldn’t last forever. You knew it was more likely than not the second you moved here. Jocelyn knew it too.” Luke sighed, grabbing onto Magnus’ hands as he hung his head. “It’s time Luke.”

The man retreated a few steps before collapsing onto the couch behind him. His hands brushed down his face as he sighed again, looking ages older than when he’d entered the room.

“You may as well sit down. This is going to be a long story.”

Alec and Isabelle remained standing, though they crowded in toward the group, their hands never leaving their blades. Jace gently seated himself in the chair he’d been in before, Clary still cuddled into his chest. He gazed down at her, tracing her dainty features with his eyes as he waited for someone to speak.

When the silence persisted, he raised his golden eyes to find everyone staring at him. A resigned frown graced the face of the werewolf and he squeezed his eyes shut painfully.

“How much do you know about the Uprising?”

Magnus sat beside him, patting his shoulder gently as the Shadowhunters glanced at each other.

“Valentine rebelled against the Clave and the Accords with a small band of followers called the Circle. After their rebellion failed, Valentine and his son died in a fire. The members of the Circle were rounded up and punished in various ways before the Accords were eventually signed.”

Alec nodded as his sister spoke. “That’s why Hodge can’t leave the Institute here in New York. It’s his punishment.”

“Is that seriously what they taught you?” Luke’s nose wrinkled as his eyes met Magnus’ again.

“I told you this would happen.” Arms across his chest, Magnus leaned back casually, his foot coming to rest on his knee.

“What would happen? You’re talking in riddles! This is insane!” Alec threw his hands in the air, turning to tug Isabelle toward the door once again.

“Valentine didn’t die.” The siblings froze, backs going ramrod straight as Luke spoke. “And that right there-” His chin angled towards where Clary slept in Jace’s arms. “-is his daughter.”

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