Work Header

Storm or Fire

Chapter Text

Jocelyn was waiting for Luke in the dark behind the stables at the Morgenstern manor.

After she gave birth to Jonathan and discovered that Valentine had experimented on him, she had made him promise not to do it again. But when she told him she was pregnant for the second time Valentine broke his promise.

She had no solid proof, but her second child, Clarissa, was not normal, even by Shadowhunter standards. It’s only been 6 months since she had given birth, but Clary had already been speaking full sentences at 2 months and walking at 4 months. She couldn’t confront her husband, since she had no solid proof, so she confided in Luke.

“Jocelyn,” Luke whispered. “What’s wrong?”

She turned to face Luke and smiled. Jocelyn hadn’t been able to see Luke out in the open since he became a werewolf and Valentine banished him from the Circle.

“Luke. I-I can’t,” Jocelyn hesitated. “I can’t stay with him anymore. He experimented on Clary, just like he did to Jonathan. He broke his promise.” Jocelyn let everything out at once, explaining everything that had happened since Jonathan’s birth.

When Luke opened his mouth, she cut him off. “I don’t know what to do,” she said desperately. “Jonathan is a demon but Clarissa – she’s my daughter. I don’t know what he did to her, but I might be able to help her - save her!”

“Jocelyn, it’s just as you said. You don’t know what he did to her. It’s best for you to leave, with cup, while you can.” Luke explained.

Jocelyn deflated when she realized that Luke was right. She could take Clary with her, but she’d never be able to raise her as a mundane. She would eventually succumb to whatever was runner through her veins, and Jocelyn wouldn’t be able to hide them both from Valentine. Bringing Clary would only bring danger to herself and her daughter. It would be safer for Clary if she let her be raised by Valentine.

Luke waited a minute to let Jocelyn collect her thoughts.

“How do I get away from him? I could only meet you because he’s in a meeting.”

“You need to leave now then. Clary will be safe with Jonathan, you know he’d do anything to keep her safe, and you’ll never get this good a change to leave again.”

“But I-”

“I’ll come with you,” Luke cut her off. “I know of a warlock in New York that might be able to help us.”

Jocelyn looked torn but eventually agreed. Luke didn’t expect her to agree so easily. He expected her to be stubborn about Clary, but he knew that he was right.

“We need to leave now, to give us as big of a head start as possible.” Jocelyn seemed stunned, like she couldn’t believe that she was getting the chance to leave Valentine.

“I’ll need to change before-.”

“We don’t have time. Every second we wait, it’s less time that we have to get away.”

“You’re right,” Jocelyn sighed, “we need to leave now.”

Luke started at a light jog towards the edge of the property with Jocelyn only steps behind him. She glanced back to the house one last time then met Luke’s eyes as she grabbed his hand.

Same time as Jocelyn went to meet Luke 

Jonathan was surprised by how quiet Clarissa had been. She’s only cried once and that was when Jocelyn had tried to feed her avocado. Jocelyn completely deserved it when Clarissa spewed it onto Jocelyn’s face and then proceeded to cry.

He refused to refer to Jocelyn as anything but her name because even though she had given birth to him, she most definitely was not his mother. He knows that she feared him but that she was more afraid of what he might do to Clarissa.

Clarissa was the only person in the Manor that Jonathan actually liked, but Jocelyn would never leave him alone with her. She’d try to keep them apart as much as possible or come up ridiculous excuses as to why he couldn’t stay with her, and then she’d hover at the door during the rare times that he would be with her. I was like Jocelyn was afraid that he’d kill her, which was something that he’d never do. He’d be more than happy to kill Jocelyn though, the only thing holding him back was that Clarissa liked her and father would be very angry with him if he did.

Jonathan knew that something was weird after Father went for his meeting and Jocelyn left him alone to play with Clarissa. He probably should have followed her to see what she was doing but he couldn’t be bothered, and he wanted to be able to be with Clarissa without Jocelyn hovering over him.

A few hours later when Jocelyn had still not returned, Jonathan heard his father return home. He could hear his light footsteps come up the stairs and pause in front of Clarissa’s room before entering. Clarissa looked up at Father from Jonathan’s lap and smiled brightly at him. Father smiled lightly at Clarissa then addressed Jonathan.

“Where’s your mother?” Jonathan’s smile dropped at the mention of Jocelyn. Father knew that he hated when he called Jocelyn his mother. Clarissa patted Jonathan’s chest to regain his attention. Jonathan smiled down at his sister as he answered Valentine.

“I don’t know Father. She left after you went to your meeting and has been gone for a few hours.” As Jonathan spoke, Clarissa grabbed his left hand and started to play with his fingers. Valentine started muttering to himself and pacing around Clarissa’s room but looked back at his children when Clarissa let out a delighted squeal.

“Shouldn’t you be asleep by now?” Jonathan lifted Clarissa from his lap and set her on her feet as he stood up himself. As Jonathan went to leave his sister’s room, Clarissa hooked both of her hands in his shirt and pulled.

“NO,” she screamed! “I want Jonathan to stay.”

Valentine sighed and closed his eyes.

“Take her to your room and let her stay with you tonight Jonathan. Goodnight children.”

“Goodnight Father.” They both replied obediently.

Valentine turned and walked out of the room. Jonathan took Clarissa’s hand and led her back to his room. They fell asleep side by side, with Jonathan on his back and Clarissa on her stomach. When Jonathan woke in the morning, he was still on his back, but Clarissa was draped across his chest, still dead asleep.


Chapter Text

15 years later (J:17 C:15)

Jonathan woke up to Clarissa’s hair all over his face.

Since the night that Jocelyn left them, Clarissa had always slept in his bed. But he didn’t know how she could sleep on him like this, his body was decently muscular so it couldn’t have been too comfortable, but she claims to like it so he wasn’t going to complain.

Jonathan waited another minute to see if she’d notice his change in breathing patterns and wake up on her own. But since she still wasn’t waking up, he decided to wake her up a little differently than normal. He rolled sharply to his right, throwing her from his chest and onto the floor. The second she hit the floor she gasped.

“What the fu-”

“Language Clarissa.” Jonathan looked down and smirked at her. Clarissa glared up at him and growled. She reached up, grabbed his shirt, and pulled, throwing him into the wall. Jonathan slid down the wall and hit the ground hard.


“Language Jonathan.” Clarissa stood over him and smiled innocently. Before Jonathan could retaliate, Valentine came into the room.

“I want you both in the training room in ten minutes.” Valentine left and Clarissa followed so she could go to her room. As she passed through the doorway, she paused to stick her tongue out at Jonathan.

“Very mature Clarissa.” Jonathan said.

“Nine minutes,” Valentine called out from the top of the staircase.

Clarissa ran across the hall, to her room, to change and Jonathan shook his head. He didn’t understand why his sister took so long to get ready in the morning. Two minutes later, Jonathan left his room wearing black track pants and a plain black shirt and waited outside Clarissa’s room. Five minutes after that, Clarissa emerged from her room wearing black running shorts and a blue sports bra, the bruises still visible from yesterday’s training session.

“Cutting it a bit close Clarissa.” She just shrugged and they started walking to the training room.

Clarissa hit the wall hard, and this time she didn’t land on her feet. She sat up slowly but didn’t try to get to her feet, deciding that it was in her body’s best interest to stay on the ground. Valentine chose that moment to enter to training room. He frowned, displeased that Clarissa had chosen to give up instead of continuing to fight.

“You’re done training for today. Go shower and change into clothes to blend with mundanes. When you’re finished come to my office. I’ll tell you about your mission then.”

Jonathan, also covered in bruises from his sister, helped her to her feet.

“Did you have to throw me so hard?” Clarissa groaned. She rubbed a couple of the bruises on her chest that were in the shape of Jonathan’s knuckles.

“You kneed me in the balls.” Jonathan replied dryly.

“Because you threw me into a wall.”

“You slammed my face into your knee first. That could’ve broken my nose.”

“I had to keep my promise.” Clarissa took her stele from a shelf near the door and drew an iratze on her shoulder then pulled up Jonathan shirt and drew one on his back. Clarissa was grateful for the invention of steles and runes because otherwise, it would have taken her weeks to heal. Jonathan let out a breath that he didn’t know he was holding when the rune began to take effect. Her runes have always been stronger than his, along with every other Shadowhunter’s, because of the extra angel blood that is running through her veins.

Jonathan draped his arm around Clarissa’s neck and the siblings walked towards their rooms.

“You might need to carry me up the stairs.” Clarissa said jokingly. When they were a couple steps from the stairs, Jonathan swung Clarissa onto his back and completely ignored the stairs, choosing instead to jump directly up to the second floor.

“I was joking, but thanks,” she said. Clarissa took a couple fast steps, so she’d be a little ahead of Jonathan, but he knew what she was trying to do and paced himself to match her stride.

“Race you!” She exclaimed.

They both took off down the hall towards Jonathan’s room. They both touched the doorframe at the same time.

“Tie,” they both growled.

The last time one of them had won was when Clarissa cheated and knocked Jonathan off balance before she took off. After glaring at each other for a few seconds, they went into their separate rooms to get ready.

Clarissa always takes more time to get ready than him. So, when Jonathan was dressed in his Gear and decorated with weapons and a stele he decided to wait for Clarissa in her room. As he opened the door, he could hear that she was still in the shower, probably washing her hair.

Jonathan picked up the sketchbook that was sitting on her bed. It was mostly filled with landscapes and a few portraits of their father, but as he got deeper into her book, he saw some portraits of him. In most of them, he was standing in the light, with wings, and runes covering his skin, but he paused at one of them. In this one, she captured his darkness and despite how close the siblings were, her ability to capture his demonic side in a sketch was almost disturbing. His pitch-black eyes that he usually kept glamoured for father’s sake, his sinister smile, even the way he was standing, his body bathed in light but his face still hidden in the shadows.

“Jonathan,” Clarissa called out from the bathroom, “pull out some of my clothes and weapons and put it on my bed.” He knew that she preferred a sports bra and boy shorts for most missions, but figured that it wouldn’t really work for what they had to do tonight since the majority of the missions that require them to blend with mundanes have them going to nightclubs.

His sister walked out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped around her chest and wet hair sitting on her shoulders. She was drawing one of her self-made runes, this one was for drying, and spoke without looking up.

“I’m going to drop my towel now. So, you can either get out or face a wall.”

Rolling his eyes, he walked towards one of her windows that overlooked the forest.

“I hope you know that I changed your diapers and that we’ve showered together. Several times, might I add.”

“Yeah. You changed my diapers fifteen years ago and this is not the same as showering. You can turn back now.”

Jonathan just didn’t understand how she could get dressed in less than 20 seconds but still take so long to get ready in the morning.

“Let’s go. Father is probably getting impatient.”


Chapter Text

Jonathan was right.

When the siblings entered Valentine’s office, he was pacing the length of the back wall and his face was set in a frown, which seemed to now be his default face. It was rare for Jonathan to see their father do anything for pleasure, his life seemed to revolve around the Clave. Jonathan admired that in his father, his drive for success, but he knew that it shouldn’t completely take over your life. What point is there in striving to achieve something if you don’t enjoy the process celebrate the successes.

They approached Valentine’s desk and waited for him to address them. Clarissa stood beside her brother and crossed her arms behind her back, not wanting to show her nervousness. Father could have called them here to punish her for yielding in training just as easily as he could have wanted them here to assign them a mission.

“There’s a demon in New York City that currently has information that I’d prefer the Clave not know. It will be at the club called Pandemonium tonight. Your objective is to kill it.”

“What kind of demon is it?” Jonathan asked.

“It’s your job to figure that out.” Valentine sat beck down behind his desk and continued to do paperwork. “And don’t be seen by the Clave’s Shadowhunters,” he added as an afterthought.

Clarissa sighed, of course father would give them as little information as possible. She had hoped that as they got older, father would start giving them more information for their missions instead of giving them the bare minimum and leaving the rest as a test.

Pandemonium is a nightclub that’s well known for the large amount of demons, Shadowhunters, and downworlders that hang out there, but the majority of its patrons are mundanes. There could be over 100 demons there at any one point and they had to find the exact one that had the information. They didn’t even know what the demon knew. The only thing that kept her from speaking her mind was the memory of the beating she got last week for not holding her tongue.

Valentine didn’t have anything else to say and it was clear that the siblings were dismissed.

“Do you want to portal right into Pandemonium or a couple blocks away and walk there?” Clarissa asked, pulling her stele out of her boot.

“A couple blocks away. I don’t want to risk being seen by any mundanes.” Jonathan answered.

Jonathan cut through his rune to deglamour his eyes since he never bothers to mask his demon side during missions. Before Jonathan was born, Valentine injected Jocelyn with demon blood, which changed Jonathan’s blood, and Valentine did the same when Jocelyn was pregnant with Clarissa, except with angel blood. Because of their extra blood, both of the siblings have superior Shadowhunters abilities. Clarissa has more angel blood than a normal Shadowhunter, so she has the ability to create runes and any normal runes that she drew has a lot more power. Jonathan’s extra blood made him stronger, more durable, and with better reflexes than normal Shadowhunters, even Clarissa, and he is immune to demon’s venom and their internal offensive weapons.

Clarissa didn’t understand why mundanes enjoyed this kind of music. It was completely electronic and required no musical talent. Being forced to listen to this for several hours made her long for her music at home that used real instruments and not buttons on a computer.

The siblings weaved through the dancing crowd of sweaty mundanes who parted unconsciously to give them a path; a subconscious reaction to Jonathan’s dangerous aura.

Jonathan and Clarissa had decided to glamour their runes; they didn’t want to call any more attention to themselves than necessary. But Jonathan left his eyes black since the flashing lights and copious amounts of alcohol, and probably drugs, being consumed would be enough to discredit any mundanes who happened to catch a glimpse of Jonathan’s black eyes.

They found two demons and interrogated them, but they had no useful information. An hour of work, wasted. The only purpose that they could serve now was providing Jonathan with some entertainment and he wanted to take his time killing this one, so he sent Clarissa back into the club to look for more.

Clarissa was on the receiving end of a lot of interested looks from both guys and girls and even a few downworlders now her brother wasn’t with her. Luring in demons was much easier now that she was alone. They looked dissimilar enough that people always assumed that they were dating and steered clear of here because they were afraid of angering what they thought was her boyfriend.

It didn’t take long for her to find another demon – this place was full of them – but it was a long process to figure out if they knew anything, especially since they didn’t know what kind of demon they were hunting and she couldn’t really do much interrogating with so many prying eyes. She looked back at the supply closet, whose door was still closed but with the light on, indicating that Jonathan was really taking his time. So, she set her focus back to the dance floor and the demons who occupied it.

Flirting was definitely Clarissa’s least favourite part of hunting, it wasn’t that she was bad at it, based on the reaction that she got, she was pretty good, she just found it tedious and repetitive. She’d compliment them on their hair or eyes, they’d mention her amazing body and that they want to fuck her, she’d giggle and be a tease, then lead them to a private part of the club, and to Jonathan, so they could interrogate it together. This particular demon had blue hair, and with The Sight she could see that it acted like fire, so it was almost too easy to recognize him as a demon. She didn’t even bother to ask what its name was because it’d be dead in a few minutes and neither father nor Jonathan cared enough to know what names they chose.

Jace nudged Alec and pointed to the mundane that was leading a demon to a private part of the club.

“I swear some mundanes just want to get killed.” Jace muttered under his breath. They grabbed Izzy, who was flirting with a vampire, and followed the mundane.

It took Clarissa less than a second to notice that some of the New York Shadowhunters were following her and she knew that her brother would see them and stay away. Their father would already be furious that she had been seen, but if they had to tell him that both of them had been seen, he’d be furious.

She rounded a corner with the demon, and it pressed her up against the wall. The New York Shadowhunters had chosen that moment to make their appearance. The tall male with black hair pulled the demon off her and pushed her away from them. Once the demon realized that it was surrounded by Shadowhunters, it revealed its true form in the hopes that its added strength would help it survive.

Clarissa backed into the wall; her facial expression was one of shock. She couldn’t believe that these Shadowhunters made no effort to conceal who they were and what they were doing. The demon bared its sharp teeth and took a step forward to attack the blond but the girl with the black hair snapped her whip around its neck and threw it to the ground.

“Wait!” The demon cried out. “I have information that you’ll want.”

“We don’t need anything from you.” The blond one snarled back.

“Jace, just kill it.” The black-haired boy said. Jace, Clarissa now knew his name, raised his seraph sword to cut off its head.

“Valentine Morgenstern is alive,” the demon cried out and Jace hesitated. “And he wants to tak-.” The black-haired boy cut its head off before it could finish the sentence.

“That was my kill Alec.” Jace said dryly. Clarissa took that moment of their inattentiveness to run back to hers and Jonathan’s meeting spot. She didn’t want to be caught and forced into a conversation with the Shadowhunters. Jace swore.

“We need to find her.” The New York Shadowhunters took off after Clarissa but weren’t able to find her.

Clarissa got back to their meeting point before Jonathan but didn’t have to wait too long before he showed up.

“You took your time.” Clarissa smirked.

“At least I didn’t get caught.”

“I wasn’t caught. They just saw me,” Clarissa said. “And it wasn’t like I could avoid it.” She took out her stele and drew her portal rune on the building. They stepped through the portal and came out in the front foyer of their home. Clarissa glanced at her brother.

“Do you think father would be mad if we showered first?”

“Yes.” Jonathan answered.

“Couldn’t find fewer words to use could you.” Clarissa asked sarcastically.

“If I wanted to, I’m sure I could. We should go see father and get this over with.”

“While I was finishing up with the demon, I sent Clarissa back out to find another one. Once I finished, I spotted Clarissa with another demon and she led it away from the mundanes and downworlders. I saw that she Shadowhunters were following her and I assumed that they were hunting the demon, so I kept an eye on her but stayed well out their line of sight. After Clarissa left them in the club, I took an alternate route and met her where we portaled in. Then we returned home.” Jonathan’s explication did nothing to sate Valentine’s anger. Valentine turned to Clarissa, indicating that he wanted her to explain what happened too, so she summarized her side of the mission.

There was a long minute of silence where Valentine just stared at Jonathan and Clarissa.
Valentine kept his eyes on Clarissa as he dismissed Jonathan. He left the room and Clarissa looked to the floor. She knew that her father was going to punish her for being seen.

Jace tried to follow the red-haired girl but once he rounded the corner, she was gone.

“I forgot she was there.” Izzy said.

“This isn’t going to go over well with the Clave.” Alec was scanning through the crowd of sweaty mundanes. It was bad enough that the amount of demons in New York was increasing, but now a mundane with the sight just saw them.

“Who said the Clave has to find out.” Izzy said.

“I’m with Izzy on this one.” Jace agreed. Izzy smirked at Alec.

“Don’t get to excited Iz, Jace is always on the side that causes problems for the Clave.” Alec said. He started walking towards the exit of Pandemonium.

“Why are we leaving?” Izzy ran a few steps to catch up with Alec.

“We’ve only been here for an hour and we just started having fun.” Jace said as he fell in step with Alec. “The Clave will just want us to follow her and make sure she doesn’t tell anyone.”

“Which is exactly why we need to tell the Clave.” Alec countered.

“What the Clave doesn’t know won’t hurt them.” Jace responded.

“No, but it will hurt us.” Alec bit back.

“Let’s just tell them when we get back to the institute. We can come back tomorrow Jace.” Izzy cut in. They finished the trip back to the institute mostly in silence.

When Izzy, Jace, and Alec finished telling Hodge what happened at Pandemonium, Hodge didn’t move for a full minute, his face set in concentration. Jace eventually got impatient and started calling his name. He called his name a full 6 times before Hodge refocused on the Lightwoods.

“So, what do we do about the mundane?” Alec was getting impatient too.

“Yes. Um, find her and shadow her. Just make sure she doesn’t tell anyone and if she does, make her seem crazy.”
Jace’s nostrils flared. “Isn’t that a bit cruel, Hodge?” He questioned.

“What else do you suggest you do?” Hodge challenged.

“I don’t know. I don’t have an issue with following her but making her seem crazy is just plain mean. It wasn’t her fault that she saw that.” Alec and Izzy kept quiet during the exchange.

“Then consider it your punishment. Start tomorrow and don’t stop until you find her.” Hodge packed up his books and left the library.


Chapter Text

After his father dismissed him, Jonathan went to the training room on the main floor to wait out Clarissa’s punishment. As much as he loves his sister, she got sloppy and this was the fastest way for her to learn. He picked up a few knives from the weapons rack and stood in front of the targets. His aim didn’t waiver as Clarissa’s scream tore through the house. But this time he didn’t hear her scream until an hour into her punishment. She held out longer than he’d been able to, but father never punished Clarissa as hard as he punished Jonathan. He threw seven more knives before his sister screamed again. Jonathan a signed and put his remain knives back in the rack. He wrapped his knuckles and walked over to the punching bag. She screamed again, but instead of ending abruptly, this one faded off. This was one of the few times that Jonathan hated his enhanced hearing. When he was the one inflicting the pain, he enjoyed his victims screams, but any other time me he just found it annoying and distracting. Jonathan packed everything up after a few hours in the training room and went to lie on his bed to wait out her punishment.

 Valentine wiped the blood off his whip and looked down at his daughter.

“I hope that now you understand that when I tell you not to be seen, I mean don’t be seen. Next time I won’t be as lenient.”

Clarissa could barely lift her head.

“And I expect you to go back to your room alone.” Valentine said that last part more for Jonathan than Clarissa so he’d know not to help her get from the basement to her room on the second floor. Valentine left the basement to finish up some planning for their next mission in his office.

Clarissa didn’t try to move from the floor for a full twenty minutes after her father had left. Her wounds were bleeding sluggishly and when she rose to her feet, the room spun. Clarissa braced herself against one of Valentine’s stainless steel work tables. The table was covered with knives of varying sizes that were covered in her blood. She looked away quickly but the motion made her head swim. Clarissa slowly made her way up the stairs to the main floor, holding herself up with the railing.

Jonathan could hear his sister’s laboured breathing as she made her way up the stairs. He had to resist the urge to go help her, but their father had been very clear when he said that she had to do it alone. If Jonathan helped her, father was likely to punish Clarissa again and Jonathan as well. It took Clarissa about twenty-five minutes to make her way from the basement to her room. The second she crossed the doorway, she collapsed. Jonathan dug one of her steles from her bedside table and drew an iratze on her forearm. It didn’t heal her completely but it did stop most of the bleeding and a couple of her lighter bruises started to fade. Jonathan picked his sister up, bridal style, and brought her down the hall to the bathroom since she was too weak to move herself. His sister let out a soft moan when he set her down on the ground. Jonathan cleaned up all the blood without saying a word and brought her back to her room to sleep. Clarissa had been conscious as he cleaned her up and when he set her on the bed, she fell asleep instantly.

 Jonathan woke up before his sister again. He doesn’t know how she does it, he could put her in her own room while she’s unconscious and he’ll wake up with her sprawled across his bed. Jonathan has always been a light sleeper and basically always woke up when someone came into his room, but when she wanted to, Clarissa could move so quietly that, even with his enhanced hearing, he could never hear her. But Jonathan could move silently too, and he would find how jumpy Clarissa is funny if her first instinct wasn’t to attack whatever it was that scared her.

The iratze that Jonathan had given her hadn’t done much but it was better than nothing, most of the cuts looked like they were closing. Her back, from what he could see, was more black and blue than anything else. Clarissa would have to draw an iratze herself when she woke up to make everything fade and heal.

Jonathan gently rolled his sister off his chest and let her lie face down on his bed so he could get up without disturbing her. Raziel, Clarissa sleeps like the dead. Jonathan stood at the foot of his bed and watched Clarissa sleep for a few seconds and when it was clear that she wouldn’t be waking up on her own anytime soon, he went to the bathroom to take a shower.

He took his time in the bathroom, showering for ten minutes, which was nine minutes longer than he needed, knowing that Clarissa would not be waking up anytime soon and father wouldn’t expect them to be in the training room for another hour and a half.

Jonathan leaned on the counter and looked at his reflection in the mirror. His platinum blond hair was getting long again; it was just passed his ears. He’d have to get Clarissa to cut it for him soon. He used to cut it himself but when he was seven Clarissa had berated him, saying that he ruined his hair. Jonathan threw her into a wall for yelling at him so she gave him a black eye. Their fight lasted eight minutes before father intervened. So Jonathan just let her do his hair from then on. When he finished, Jonathan had spent a total of forty minutes in the bathroom. If Clarissa was awake then she would definitely he mocking him. Speaking of Clarissa, he’d have to wake her up soon so she could take her time getting ready. Father might be a little lenient with when Clarissa woke up today, but Jonathan would definitely be punished if they didn’t start training within a reasonable timeframe.

Clarissa hadn’t moved from where he left her on the bed. 

“Clarissa,” Jonathan sat at the edge of the bed, hoping that his voice and the bed’s movement would wake her up. It didn’t work.

“Clarissa, wake up. We need to go train.” Jonathan put his hand on Clarissa’s side and shook her softly. At his touch, Clarissa rolled over and sat up. She put her hand to her head.

“I shouldn’t have sat up so quickly,” she muttered to herself. Jonathan handed Clarissa his stele and she drew an iratze on her thigh but didn’t move to get out of bed. Jonathan stood up.

“Go shower and get dressed while I make breakfast.”

Clarissa watched a large cut on the back of her calf heal. The skin knit itself back together and then the scar faded from an angry red, to pink, and then disappeared. She sat in the bed for an extra minute, waiting for the pain to fade. If she focused, she could hear Jonathan pulling out some pans in the kitchen. She slid off the bed and pushed herself to her feet. The clock on Jonathan’s bedside table read 0743. She was usually already eaten by 7:30 because father usually expects them to be training by 9am. Rushing to shower and change, Clarissa found Jonathan in the midst of sliding the omelets onto a plate.

“Those look good,” Clarissa said appreciatively. They ate breakfast in silence.

“Do you want me to teach you to use the portal rune?” Clarissa asked as they walked to the training room.

“I’ll pass. Last time you tried to teach me, I portaled us to Amsterdam instead of the library. So I think it’s safer if I let you use the rune.” Jonathan kept a straight face but Clarissa could hear a bit of a laugh in his voice.

“Ok. So no portals. What are we training today? But just so we’re clear, hand to hand is not an option. I’m not in the mood to get bruised like that again.”

“You’re the one who took the beating last night. It’s your pick today.” Clarissa’s mood dropped at Jonathan’s comment, she wanted to put her punishment as far back in her memory as possible. Most of it was kind of hazy but what she could remember was definitely not pleasant.

“I think that we should use staffs today.” She said with a fake peppy voice.

“Eager to be bruised by a staff instead of my hands?” Jonathan replied with a smirk.

“Nope. I’m gonna be the one bruising you.”

“Good luck with that.”

This time it was Jonathan who went flying into the wall. There was a bruise that was already forming on his left cheek that Clarissa was proud to have left there. Jonathan had left some bruises on Clarissa too; none of them were visible since they were hidden under her clothes.

When Jonathan hit the ground, he didn’t move, dazed, for a split second, it was more than Clarissa needed to pin him to the floor.

“This was a great mood booster,” Clarissa exclaimed happily. “Want lunch? I’ll cook.”

“We should probably shower first.”

“Race you!” Clarissa pushed herself up using her brother’s chest, effectively delaying his start.

 She heard his loud growl as she sprinted through the halls. Clarissa had to strain her ears to hear her brother’s footsteps. It would be easier to tell how far behind he was by looking back, but that would cost her some speed and her head start.

Instead of running up the stairs, she jumped straight from the foyer to the second floor. She had to expend more energy to make the jump than Jonathan would have to; he has always been stronger and a little faster than her, but Clarissa would die before admitting that aloud, even though they both knew it was true. As Jonathan closed the gap, Clarissa could hear his footsteps more clearly.

Clarissa’s fingers touched the bathroom door milliseconds before Jonathan’s.

“I win,” Jonathan announced. Clarissa’s eyebrows shot up in surprise.

“Excuse you! I touched the door first.” She argued.

“Yes but you pushed me down and got a head start. So technically if we had started at the same time, I definitely would have beaten you.”

 “Fine. But I have to pee, so the bathroom’s mine first.”

“You know you have a bathroom in your room too, right?” Jonathan asked.

“But the shirt I want to wear is in your room, so…” Clarissa trailed off. Jonathan stripped as Clarissa made her way to the toilet. They were both very comfortable with each other. After living together and sharing a bed for fifteen years there was very little, if any, of each other that they hadn’t seen. Clarissa didn’t actively watch as Jonathan stripped but she didn’t turn away either.

“What are you thinking of making for lunch?” Jonathan asked from the shower. Clarissa sat herself on the edge of the vanity.

“I was thinking some kind of pasta. Not sure what kind though.”

“Pesto chicken penne,” he suggested.

“We had chicken last night.”

“How about seafood pasta?”

“That works. We probably have some shrimp and stuff in the freezer,” Clarissa agreed. “Hurry up and get out of the shower so I can shower too and start lunch.”

“I’ve only been in here for about two minutes. If you wanted to shower first then you should have beaten me here,” Jonathan said dryly.

“Either you get out or I get in,” Clarissa said while getting out of her sweaty training clothes.

“I’m not getting out.”

“Then I’m getting in.” Clarissa opened the sliding door.

“Really, Clarissa?”

“I’m sweaty and sticky and want to start lunch,” she stepped in behind her brother. “Pass me the soap.”

“I’ve made better,” Clarissa said before she put the last forkful in her mouth.

“You’ve also made worse,” Jonathan said. His face was angled down to his bowl so Clarissa couldn’t read his expression.

“Were you trying to make a joke?”

“No, I was stating a fact.”

“Would it kill you to make a joke every now and then?”

“Father will want to speak to us.” Jonathan completely ignored his sister’s question. Jonathan got up from the table and put their bowls in the sink. Valentine’s office was on the other side of the house. The children made the walk in a little over a minute.

The door was open, indicating that Valentine did want to speak to them. His office was messier than usual. A lot of the books that were usually on the shelves were now open and spread out on different surfaces. He had written in the margins and highlighted certain parts. Clarissa assumed that he was doing research for the next step is to remake the Clave.

Clarissa and Jonathan stood on the other side of his desk, waiting for Valentine to finish whatever note he was writing. Once he finished, he observed his children, taking note that Clarissa’s ability with runes seemed to be improving. The bruises that he left should have taken at least a day to heal if any other Shadowhunter had drawn the rune.

“I’m sending you both to New York to find the Mortal Cup and my wife.”

“Father, I have been seen in New York by the Shadowhunters there, would it not be suspicious if was seen there again? Especially considering the amount of people in New York,” Clarissa asked.

“I have spoken with Hodge Starkweather and he has informed me that the children who saw you will begin their search to find you today. It should take them at least a week to search all of New York, taking into account their incompetence; it should take them at least a month to find you. Both of you are leaving tonight. Think of whatever cover story you want. While you’re in the city, you need to find my wife and the cup, infiltrate the local institute, and get the Shadowhunters there to trust you.”

“Do you have any suggestions father?” Jonathan asked politely.

“Perhaps it would be best to find Jocelyn and gain her trust first, then let the Shadowhunters find you,” Valentine pulled a book with faded print out of his desk; “I expect to receive monthly updates. You are dismissed.”

Clarissa followed Jonathan out the door. She couldn’t believe that father was sending them out to find the woman that abandoned them. Jocelyn made her thoughts about their family clear when she decided to leave a young Clarissa and Jonathan home alone to run off with a werewolf.

Clarissa waited until they got to the top of staircase before speaking, “I think our best chance at finding the cup is letting the Shadowhunters find us then gaining Jocelyn’s trust.”

“From what I’ve read, Jocelyn has attempted to live as a mundane and is still in contact with Lucian Graymark. Jocelyn changed her surname to Fray and Lucian is now known as Luke Garroway,” Jonathan explained. Clarissa sprawled out on Jonathan’s bed while her brother sat in his desk chair.

“We should go to New York and say that we ran from father. Say that New York is well populated and easier to hide in. We shouldn’t seek out the institute because that will only seem more suspicious,” Clarissa said as her brother took down some rough notes. They would reread them before they leave, to ensure that both siblings understood the plan, and then they would destroy it.

“We won’t mention our extra abilities. They are unnatural and would only arouse suspicion.” Jonathan didn’t stop writing as he spoke and Clarissa hummed in agreement.

“If Jocelyn isn’t in regular contact with the Institute then we’ll have to seek her out,” Clarissa rolled onto her side to look at her brother, “you’ll have to keep your eyes glamoured while we’re there too.”

Jonathan looked up at her and let his eyes flash green quickly before fading back to black. He only kept his eyes green when he would be around father. Jonathan learned the hard way that his black eyes unsettled father, and father was a lot crueler when he was unsettled.

“We need to take some weapons but leave our Gear here. They’ll want to know why we have Gear if we were just running from father,” Jonathan stood and handed Clarissa the rough outline of their plan, “Once you read it, destroy it, then come meet me in the armoury.”


Chapter Text

Clarissa returned to her room with her room with her preferred pair of combat knives while Jonathan returned with his custom Seraph blade. They both packed a duffle bag of necessities with the intent to purchase whatever else they’d need when they arrived.

Clarissa took longer than her brother to pack. When Jonathan walked into her room twenty minutes later, she just finished packing her sketchbook and pencils.

“Father has suggested seven apartments that are within a five mile radius of the Institute. We will decide once we arrive,” he sat on her bed, “leave your sketchbook here. It could ruin the whole mission if any other Shadowhunters see how you drew me or our home. You can buy a new one there.”

Jonathan was dressed in jeans and a loose-fitting long sleeve shirt while Clarissa wore tights and form-fitting hoodie. Clarissa pulled her stele out of her pocket.

“Anywhere in particular?” Clarissa asked.

“Your pick. We should become familiar with the city before picking an apartment,” Jonathan said.

The apartment that the siblings chose was roughly two miles from the Institute. There were no downworlders living nearby but it was close enough to a demon club for hunting. The apartment was simple; it had one bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a common area in the middle. It was nothing fancy, but it had everything that they’d need.

 Jonathan was lying in bed when Clarissa came out of the bathroom.

“Train whenever you see fit. Don’t fall out of shape,” Jonathan said as Clarissa climbed into bed.

“No shit, Sherlock,” Clarissa replied as she settled in next to her brother. Jonathan wrinkled his nose at her use of the mundane idiom.

“I wish father had done a better job of filtering the mundane fiction that you used to enjoy reading.”

“If father denied me the books I wanted, then I know that you would have helped me get them,” Clarissa stated. Jonathan didn’t deny it.

“Goodnight brother.”

“Goodnight little sister.”

“It’s been a week and we’ve made no effort to hide. The Lightwoods are a family of inept Shadowhunters.”

“Have some patience brother,” Clarissa said with a smirk, “but, we should probably go to Pandemonium tonight. Jace Lightwood likes hunting so he’ll probably be there with Alec and Izzy. I’ll have to go buy some clothes for that too.”

“You just want to go shopping.”

“That, and I’m bored. I want to get this part of the mission over and it’s obvious that we’ll have to help them along so why not have some fun with it.”

“I’m sure that Father would prefer if we attempted to do this as naturally as possible.”

“And what’s more natural than Shadowhunters who are drawn to a club full of demons, downworlders, and other Shadowhunters. Now why don’t you start cooking lunch while I do some online shopping so you don’t have to spend the rest of the day in the mall. You’re welcome.”

“If you get me anything mesh or transparent, I will burn your sketchbooks,” Jonathan said over his shoulder as he headed to the kitchen. Clarissa got their shared laptop out of their room and settled on the couch, the only indication that she’d heard him was her soft laugh.

Clarissa left the apartment for less than an hour to go pick up the clothes she ordered. When she came back to the apartment, she and Jonathan changed quickly and made their way over to Pandemonium.

“I’m glad that you’re one of the few practical girls here.”

“I’m not risking having to run in heels. Plus the mundanes are all too drunk to care or even notice that my converses aren’t heels.”

Clarissa was dancing to the noise that the mundanes called music while Jonathan decided to stand near the bar and leave his sister to blend in. After a few songs, Clarissa danced her way over to her brother.

“They’re here. Two guys, one girl. Follow the platinum wig,” Clarissa told her brother.

Clarissa grabbed his hand to make him move to the beat of the music while he glanced over his shoulder to find the Lightwoods.

“You should move closer. Let them see you see them kill a demon.” Jonathan spoke quietly but his sister had no issues hearing him over the music.

“Let them see me? And where will you be?” Clarissa asked.

“Back at our apartment. Lead them there after they see you. I only came to get a good look at them somewhere where staring is normal and no one else will notice. I’m not needed here anymore and I’m in no mood to disguise my aura.”

“Asshole,” Clarissa muttered under her breath. Jonathan sent her a withering glare.

Jace made his way through the club with Alec, trying to find a demon. He looked across the club and saw Izzy flirting with a vampire. Another look found him starring at a hot red-head who was swaying happily to the music instead of jumping around and sweating everywhere.

Alec nudged Jace, “get Izzy. There’s a demon in the corner that’s flirting with a mundie.”

They waited until it went to get the girl some drinks then they glamoured themselves to be invisible and forced the demon into a secluded area of the club. They killed it but it wasn’t until after it dissolved that they noticed someone who was watching from around the corner. Izzy looked up and all she saw was a flash of red hair.

“There might be a little problem. I think a red-head just saw us,” Izzy spoke calmly.

“What?” Alec growled, “Only other Shadowhunters can see us, we’re glamoured.”

“I’ve only seen one other girl with red hair at the club so far. I’ll find her. You two should report back to the Institute,” Jace said, “she’s probably a mundie with the sight.”

“No way. We’re not leaving you,” Alec declared. Izzy nodded in agreement.

“She’s less likely to freak out if only one person goes to her, instead of three, especially if she just watched those three people kill something. And I’m the only one of us who knows what she looks like. Go, I’ll find her.”

Jace was able to track her down a couple blocks away from the club. He cut her off in the middle of the street and left his weapons concealed.

“Hey. I’m not gonna hurt you,” Jace called out calmly. She skidded to a stop a few feet away from him and looked ready to bolt again so Jace didn’t try to get any closer. She couldn’t have been any taller than 5’3” and he towered over her at his 5’11”.

“I know,” she paused, “but I shouldn’t be talking to you.” Her voice sounded calm but she looked anything but calm.

“What you saw at the club,” Jace started, “was a demon and-”

“I know what it was,” she cut him off. Jace looked confused.

“Who are you?” Jace asked. She turned to leave in the direction that she came from.

“Wait!” Jace lunged forward and grabbed her arm. She turned back and didn’t try to remove his hand.

“My name is Clarissa Morgenstern.” Jace froze.

“You’re Valentine’s daughter,” he said with ice in his voice.

“Don’t say his name,” Clarissa hissed, “he can’t know that we’re here.” She kept throwing him curveballs.

“We? Who is we?” Jace questioned.

“Me and my brother,” she answered, “I need to go.”

“You can’t. I have to bring you to the Institute.”

Clarissa turned and drove her fist into the lower part of his ribcage. Jace doubled over and tried to regain his breath while Clarissa took off into a sprint that Jace had no hope of matching.

“He wanted to bring me back to the Institute and I couldn’t let it happen like that. So were gonna have to wait until the leader of their Institute tells them to find us. The Lightwoods are likely to wait to inform the Clave of our arrival because they’ll want to have us there as proof first. And now that they know what I look like, it shouldn’t take them long to find us. Now we sit back and wait. Let them come to us,” Clarissa finished with a smile.

“Well done, little sister.” Clarissa basked in his praise and did a little curtsey.

“We should make it look like we’re attempting to keep a low profile. Make them think that we don’t want to be found,” Jonathan continued.

“We can work out the details as we go,” he said as he stood from the couch, “we need to train. I was thinking northern Russia. It’s time we trained in the cold again.”

“Brother, you know I hate the cold.”

“All the more reason to train there today. Draw the portal, Clarissa.”

His sister took her time drawing the portal rune. Once the siblings stepped through, Jonathan gave his sister a wry look and rolled his eyes. She drew them a portal to the tropics.

“This is not Russia,” he said dryly.

“I thought that if we’re going to be in New York for a while, were not gonna have to deal with sub-zero temperatures, so why not take a quick vacation before having to deal with some overconfident, Idris trained Shadowhunters.”

Clarissa walked into the surf and waded out until the water was midway up her shins. She unsheathed her knives and called out to her brother teasingly.

“Come join me brother. Or are you too afraid to get your ass handed to you?”

Jonathan gripped his sword and met his sister in the sea. They were evenly matched as they fought and their movements unaffected by the water. Jonathan was able to get Clarissa into a position where he could use his superior strength against her. He had his sword pushing down on her knives. Clarissa kicked sea water in his face and, once he lightened up, drove the palm of her hand into his chest, throwing him over her head. He flew back and landed in the water. Hard. She had her knives at his throat before he could get up.

“That was a dirty trick, little sister,” Jonathan said as he attempted to shake the sand out of his hair.

“A win is a win, Jon.” He grimaced at her blatant use of the nickname that she knew he hated.

“I don’t understand your dislike for nicknames,” Clarissa continued as she drew a portal rune in the sand to go back to New York.

“Jonathan is my given name and I have no desire to hear it shortened. You’d probably get tired of the name ‘Clary’ if you heard it used often enough,” he spat angrily as he let his eyes bleed back into his natural black. Clarissa just laughed in response.

Jonathan waited until Clarissa came out of the bathroom and started to dress before speaking.

“We’re overestimating their abilities. They know exactly what you look like and they’ve been unable to find us for over a week.”

“I was thinking the same thing. Maybe we should have a demon attack me when one of the Lightwoods is near.”

“You have such little vision,” Jonathan said with a smirk, “we’re likely to have a better result if we stage an attack on a larger scale.”

Clarissa worked a brush through her water straightened red hair.

“I like the way you think.”

“Once were found, we’re going to be interrogated by the inquisitor and if they’re smart, they’ll send someone here to make sure we aren’t hiding anything. So you need to go through your sketchbook and either remove anything suspicious, or bring it back to the mansion.”

“Of course, brother,” she rolled her eyes, “I’m gonna portal home to update father. Stay here and figure out exactly where and how you want this to happen.”

Clarissa pulled her stele out of her pocket and drew a portal rune on the wall to go home.

Clarissa exited the portal in her room at the Morgenstern manor. She dropped off her sketchbook and grabbed one of her backup steles before going to see father. As much as she wanted to finish this assignment, she wasn’t eager to have to interact with Shadowhunters from the Clave and have to show that she was competent enough to stay at the Institute but harmless enough to be trusted. She was also worried about for Jonathan even though she knew that he could more than take care of himself. There was a very real chance that the Clave would separate them once they were found and Clarissa needed to be the one to stay and gain Jocelyn’s trust. Jocelyn is likely to notice that Jonathan is different from other Shadowhunters and she would definitely know why. Anyone else would probably attribute it to being raised by Valentine.

Jonathan’s demon blood makes him immune to the soul sword and Clarissa’s extra angel blood allows her to suppress the majority of the soul sword’s power. Basically Jonathan would be able to outright lie while under the soul sword while Clarissa would be able to tell half-truths and lie with moderate difficulty.

Clarissa was not looking forward to the time she might have to spend at the Institute without her brother. What she was looking forward to even less was having to tolerate Jace Wayland and make him fall in love with her. But it would be the easiest way to guarantee that she’d stay at the Institute near Jocelyn and Jonathan would be able to see the defence system that Idris has in place.

She made the short walk across the manor to her father’s office, knocked on the door, and waited patiently for him to answer.

“You may entre, Clarissa.” She entered the office quietly and shut the door behind her.

“Hello, father,” she bowed her head respectfully. She didn’t want to ignite her father’s rage as their operation was about to enter its most critical stages.

“Your report, Clarissa,” Valentine put down his pen and focused on his daughter.

“We have established ourselves in New York and I have had a brief encounter with the Lightwoods. They know that I am your daughter and that I’m in the city with my brother. They are under the impression that we’re hiding from you and we presume that the Lightwood children are now trying to find us. We think that it’ll be best to stage a major demon attack, that way we can show that we’re competent with weapons are we’ll be more likely to be allowed to stay in the Institute instead of staying in Idris. We’ll have to figure out what to do from there since it’ll depend on if we’re allowed to stay together and how much trust we’ll have.”

“The mission seems to be progressing smoothly. Update me once you have established yourself with Jocelyn, you are dismissed.”

“Yes father,” Clarissa left the office.

Finding Jocelyn shouldn’t be too hard. When she ran away to New York, she was probably assuming that it’d be easier to hide in a big city. She made the wrong choice. In trying to hide, she just made herself much more predictable.

Clarissa walked back to her room, opting to use one of the walls there to portal back because the rune was already on her wall. All she would have to do is trace it instead of having to draw from her own strength to draw a whole new rune on the main floor.

Chapter Text

Clarissa portaled into the kitchen of hers and Jonathan’s apartment while he was making dinner.

“Whatever that is, it smells good,” she said while dropping her stele on the island.

“Chicken pesto penne with a greek salad,” Jonathan continued to stir the pasta, his back to his little sister, “has father approved our plans?”

“Yes. No recommendations though, he just wants an update once we establish ourselves with Jocelyn but I think that we should let her find us.”

Jonathan put the spoon down and turned to face Clarissa at that revelation, “Jocelyn wouldn’t be able to hide here without help. I’m willing to bet that she got help from a warlock and the only one in the area who’s strong and daring enough to defy Valentine is the High Warlock of Brooklyn.”

“Well you’ll never believe who’s dating said warlock,” Jonathan raised an eyebrow, silently urging her to finish, “Alec Lightwood. He’ll definitely bitch to his boyfriend about how he can’t trust the Morgenstern siblings. Then the warlock will tell Jocelyn that her children are in town.” Clarissa finished with a smirk and Jonathan went back to idly stirring the pasta.

“I like your plan little sister, the only problem is that it relies heavily on Alec’s mistrust.”

Clarissa started pulling out some bowls to help.

“Come on. Would you trust us?” Clarissa asked.

“Jace will trust you. So will Isabelle, she’ll be happy to have another female living at the Institute.”

“Exactly. With two of his siblings trusting us easily, he’ll go into overprotective big brother mode and not trust us at all.”

“I’m glad to see that you thought things through for once,” Jonathan deadpanned.

“Hey! I always think things through.”

“Of course you do. Just like that time you jumped off-”

“That was a one-time thing and I thought that we both agreed to forget about it,” Clarissa protested, “and anyways, we still need to plan that demon attack. I was thinking a mall.”

Jonathan had just pulled the fire alarm and was watching the mundanes rush out of the building while watching the Lightwood’s arrival. His sister was across the building doing the same thing. They decided to start at opposite sides of the building and work their way to the centre while killing demons that were appearing as mundanes to increase the odds of the Lightwood children finding them.

Jonathan had just killed his fourth demon when an arrow impaled a demon across the room. The Lightwoods had arrived. It shouldn’t take them long to kill the remaining demons with their help. Jonathan killed three more demons before he found Clarissa fighting a shrax demon with the help of the blond Lightwood who goes by the nickname Jace. They finished the demon together and Clarissa skipped over to her brother. The two dark haired Lightwoods, Alexander and Isabelle, jumped down from the floor above them to join their brother.

“So I guess that this is who you meant when you said we.” Jace said while indicating to her brother.

“Jace this is my brother Jonathan. Jonathan, this is Jace. I met him at Pandemonium.”

“Nice to meet you,” Jace said, trying to relieve some of the tension.

“Likewise. Who’re they?” Jonathan asked while pointing to Jace’s siblings. He already knew but it’d be suspicious if he knew everything about them.

“My brother Alec, and my sister Izzy,” Jace answered.

“As much as would love to get my questions answered, this isn’t the place to do it. The fire department and police are gonna be here soon,” Alec cut in, “we need to bring you to the institute.”

Jonathan and Clarissa pretended to look hesitant, to give the impression that this wasn’t what they wanted to do.

“Either you come willingly or as prisoners. Valentine’s children shouldn’t be allowed to roam the world freely.” Alec gripped his bow tighter.

“We’ll come willingly,” Clarissa spoke for herself and her brother, trying to portray herself as the more trustworthy and compliant sibling.

They left through the basement of the mall, with Jace leading and Izzy and Alec following from behind. Jace lead them to the library where they could usually find Hodge.

“I sent you to deal with a demon attack and you come back with the Morgenstern siblings. Bravo,” Hodge said sarcastically.

“You must be Hodge Starkweather,” Jonathan said, “father used to speak highly of you.” He finished with a smirk.

“Jonathan!” Clarissa reprimanded. Jonathan didn’t even acknowledge his little sister and continued to stare defiantly at Hodge.

“Jace, Alec, Izzy, go tell the council that you found Valentine’s children.” Hodge didn’t break away from Jonathan’s eyes.

“It doesn’t really take all three of us to-,” Izzy started.

“Go. Now,” Hodge ordered. He waited until the Lightwoods left before speaking again.

Hodge addressed Jonathan, “You took your time getting here.”

“Blame the incompetence of the Lightwoods. We made no attempt to hide ourselves once we arrived and it took weeks after my sister first met Jace, an orchestrated attack, and we deliberately ran into them to have them find us. The Clave is letting their Shadowhunters get sloppy.” Hodge frowned at Jonathan’s comment.

“And you could have done better?” Hodge challenged, he didn’t like that Jonathan was insulting his abilities to teach.

“Clarissa could do it in minutes.”

“Anyways,” Clarissa cut in before it could escalate, “we’re only going to be here for as long as it takes to find a figure out how to use the Mortal Instruments. So do you know where Jocelyn Fairchild is?”

“I’ve been confined to the institute as punishment since the circle fell,” Hodge replied bitterly.

“You and I both know that the circle never fell,” Jonathan bit back. “Father was willing to sacrifice a few pawns to protect the king. Some of those pawns have now become informants in Idris. You’re just bitter because the Inquisitor held a personal grudge against you.” Clarissa made no attempt to stop her brother because he only spoke the truth and Hodge was getting on her nerves.

“So what’s your plan to get the Instruments?” Hodge asked to change the subject. All three had yet to move from their original positions.

“You’ll be informed if your services are needed. For now it’s best if you don’t know in case the Clave decides to conduct an investigation,” Jonathan answered.

They stood in silence for a few minutes; Hodge was trying to figure out how he was supposed to deal with the siblings for next several months. Valentine had told him about Jonathan’s demon blood and Hodge had no intention of antagonizing someone that volatile. Clarissa was also unpredictable. She had a lot more angel blood than the average Shadowhunter but that did not make her inherently good because she was raised by Valentine and spent her entire life around Jonathan. Hodge’s musings were interrupted by Alec who completely ignored Jonathan and Clarissa in favour of speaking directly to Hodge. Jonathan raised his eyebrow at the disrespect and Hodge had to shove down a spike of fear, he knew that Jonathan couldn’t do anything because he needed to gain their trust but the vibe that he gave off was terrifying. Thankfully, Alec seemed unaware of Jonathan’s reaction and Hodge’s fear.

“We’re supposed to wait here for Magnus and an escort from Idris. Valentine’s children are gonna be interrogated by the soul sword.”

“Isn’t the soul sword a little extreme?” Hodge protested. Even though Hodge knew about their blood, apparently he didn’t know about some of their abilities.

“The council thinks that it’s appropriate considering who their father is.”

A portal appeared at the far end of the library and Magnus stepped out with the escort. She was Asian with long black hair, dark brown almond eyes, and curved cheekbones. Clarissa and Jonathan immediately recognized her as the current Consul.

Jonathan, trying to make Clarissa look like the weaker of the two, made a show of putting himself between the warlock and his sister while the consul tried, and mostly failed, at trying to assess the siblings discreetly.

“My name is Jia Penhallow,” she spoke confidently but slowly, like they were incapable of understanding, “and I’m the Consul to the Clave. I assume you know what that means. I’m sure you’ve already been told,” she glanced at Alec, “but you’re going to be questioned by the soul sword. This portal leads to Idris. After you.”

Jonathan and Clarissa entered the portal, followed closely by Jia and Magnus, then the Lightwood children.

Chapter Text

Clarissa stood in the center of the council hall with the soul-sword held in her outstretched hands. Jonathan was glad that Clarissa was chosen first because she could only tell half-truths and Jonathan could back her up with outright lies. The inquisitor sat on a raised platform in front of Clarissa.

“What is your name?” The inquisitor asked.


“Your full name please,” the inquisitor specified. She looked and sounded exasperated.

“Clarissa Seraphina Morgenstern,” she replied obediently.

“Who are your parents, Miss Morgenstern?”

“Valentine Morgenstern and Jocelyn Fairchild.” Clarissa didn’t understand the point of that question. Everyone already knew who her father was and it wouldn’t be hard to figure out her mother from there. It was well known that Jocelyn was married to Valentine before the uprising.

“Why did you come to New York with your brother?” The inquisitor was finally getting to the point.

“He’s my brother. He wouldn’t leave me.” Clarissa knew what she meant to ask but decided to take the question literally.

“You misunderstood my question Miss Morgenstern,” the inquisitor sighed, “why did you choose to come to New York.”

“I just followed my brother. We couldn’t live with our father anymore and we had to leave.” Clarissa answered with half-truths. Her brother did pick where they went and they had to leave because father sent them on a mission.

“And why couldn’t you live with Valentine?” The inquisitor urged.

“He-,” Clarissa paused then winced, as she was in pain and the soul-sword was doing its job of drawing the truth out of her.

“He would hurt us is we disobeyed,” Clarissa continued, “or if he was just in a bad mood.” Another half-truth. Father did punish them, but that was only when they underperformed or didn’t listen to the rules. His punishments ended up being more severe if he was in a bad mood, but they were rarely punished.

The inquisitor spoke quietly to her colleagues.

“Thank you for your honesty Miss Morgenstern,” the inquisitor said as a silent brother took the sword from Clarissa’s hands. Jonathan replaced Clarissa in the centre of the room.

“What is your full name?” The inquisitor seemed content to repeat the same boring questions.

“Jonathan Christopher Morgenstern.”

“Why did you leave Valentine?”

“As my sister said, we left because Valentine was abusive. I decided that we’d be better off if we ran. So I left and took Clarissa with me.”

“How did you get your weapons?”

“Father has training room with a wide variety of weapons. I took some before we left. I though that we might run into some demon’s in the mortal world.”

“Where was your house located?”

“I don’t know. Father knows a warlock and has him create portals to our destination and back. Other than the missions, we couldn’t leave the property.”

“Couldn’t leave or weren’t allowed to leave?”

“Couldn’t. The property was probably at least 50 hectares and enchanted so if you somehow reached the edge then you could keep going but you’d end up on the other side of the property and heading back towards the manor.”

The inquisitor continued to ask questions about the sibling’s lives with Valentine and Jonathan continued to answer with plausible lies that made himself and Clarissa seem innocent.

Jace sat near the back of the room with Alec and Izzy, while their parents sat near the front.

“This really isn’t fair,” Jace whispered, “we were the ones that caught them so why do we have to sit all the way at the back.” Alec rolled his eyes at his parabatai’s immaturity.

“Stop complaining,” Alec said quietly, “we’re lucky to even be here since we’re all underage.”

“Honestly, I’d rather be kicking your ass back at the Institute right now.” Izzy said while checking her already immaculate nails.

“Oh please,” Jace replied. “Like you could ever come close to beating me.” Izzy chuckled under her breath. Jace was so easy to distract sometimes.

“Didn’t I kick your ass a couple days ago?” Izzy asked innocently. That shut him up quickly.

“He makes holding the sword look too easy. I’ve only seen people in pain when they hold it.” Alec was referring to the trials of Circle members that were caught a few months ago. Everyone could attend the trails with parental consent.

“He’s probably telling the truth then,” Izzy reasoned. “It’s only supposed to hurt if you lie or try to withhold the truth.”

“It’s still weird though. Why would he be so open? Shouldn’t he want to keep some things a secret?” Alec argued.

“Maybe he actually wants his father to be caught,” Jace cut in.

“I doubt it. There’s no way Valentine would have raised his own children to hate him,” Alec said. Jace refused to believe that Clarissa could be anything like her father.

“Thank you for your honesty, Mr. Morgenstern.” Jia said. “Jonathan and Clarissa Morgenstern, you are going to be restricted to the New York Institute and its immediate surroundings. You are only permitted to leave with the supervision of a Shadowhunter Academy graduate. Is that understood?”

The siblings nodded in agreement.

Alec showed the siblings their rooms in the residence wing of the institute.

“For the record, I don’t trust you. There’s no way that Valentine’s children take over 15 years to leave and then decided to come to New York whose institute just happened to have three of Valentine’s former followers.” Alec told them.

Jonathan might have grown to tolerate him, he was straight to the point and he had good instincts. The siblings were even depending that that mistrust would start a chain reaction that would end with Jocelyn trying to find them. But that lack of trust might become a hinderance later. They’ll just have to deal with it once it becomes a problem.

“When you’re finished come find me, Jace, or Izzy and we’ll take you shopping since you’re gonna be here for a while.”

“We actually have an apartment near here. So there’s no need to go shopping.” Somehow Alec’s eyes narrowed even more at Clarissa’s word them he left them to their room.

“I’m gonna portal to the apartment to return our weapons to the manor,” Clarissa said. “Stay here and cover for me.”

After Clarissa left Jonathan turned the shower on then started checking the room for anything suspicious. He had just finished when there was a knock on the door. Jonathan opened the door but offered no greeting. It was Isabelle.

“Is Clarissa still here?” Izzy took a quick look around the part of the room that Jonathan’s body wasn’t blocking off.

“Showering.” Jonathan made an effort to block off more of the room

“I can wait for her.”

“Or you can leave.” Jonathan crossed his arms. Izzy tried not to look scared, but Jonathan could tell that she was intimidated.

“Ok then. Do you still need to go to your apartment?” Izzy asked, trying to be polite.

“Clarissa will go with you when she’s done, Isabelle.”

“Izzy,” she corrected. “What do you have against nicknames.”

“Goodbye,” Jonathan paused and grimaced, “Izzy.”

Not long after Izzy left, Clarissa portaled back into the room.

“Go shower,” Jonathan said, “and make it quick.” He was lying on the bed, playing idly with his stele.

Clarissa was in and out of the shower within three minutes. She came out with a towel wrapped around her chest.

“Hi Jonathan. Nice to see you too,” she said sarcastically. “Now, want to explain why I had to shower? Cause now I’m clean but have to put my dirty clothes on again.”

“Here.” Jonathan tossed her his hoodie. “Isabelle came, and I told her you were in the shower. You’re going to go with her and probably Jace to our apartment. I’m willing to bet that Alec doesn’t trust me enough to leave me here alone.”

“At least you get to bond with Alec. See you later,” she said as she walked out the door. Jonathan sent her a withering glare.

Clarissa spent the better part of twenty minutes wandering the institute. She came across the training room and decided to check the difference between the typical Shadowhunter training and Valentine’s. She was surprised by how few weapons options they had. Valentine had Clarissa and Jonathan master at least a hundred different weapons and this training room had about twenty to chose from. This ceiling was lower than she was used to but at least it had beams to practice fighting with limited space to maneuver. But seeing how dusty it was, she doubted anyone used it for that often. They had locker rooms too, which made sense since people would probably want to change and shower after. She and Jonathan just changed in their rooms since their training room was in their own home and no one else used it but them and their father.

Alec and Jace were sparring but it looked like they just started since neither of them had started to sweat. Jace glanced at the door when Clarissa entered and got distracted when he realized it was her. Alec took that opportunity to use his staff to knock him off his feet and held the tip to his throat. That was enough to bring Jace back to focus.

“Yield?” Alec asked with a smirk. Jace just held his hand up, silently asking Alec to help him to his feet.

“Ready to go boys?” Clarissa asked innocently, as if she hadn’t been the reason for Jace’s quick defeat.

“It’s actually gonna be just me, you, and Izzy. Alec’s gonna stay with your brother.” Jace hung his staff up on the wall and placed his hand on the small of Clarissa’s back to guide her out of the training room. She was itching to break his arm to make it clear that she didn’t want him touching her. She pushed that feeling down and forced a grimace from his face because she needed him to fall for her.

She looked up and gave him a realistic smile and Jace genuinely smiled back.

Chapter Text

Clarissa unlocked her apartment with Jace beside her and Izzy behind. They stepped into the foyer and Clarissa grabbed a duffle bag that was hanging on the back of the door.

“This is a big apartment for New York. Must have cost a fortune.” Jace remarked.

“One of the perks of the persuasion rune: we’re only paying a couple hundred a month for it,” she said as she put a few pairs of shoes in the bag for herself and Jonathan.

“Persuasion rune? Which one is that?” Izzy asked. Clarissa took out her stele and drew the unfamiliar rune on her forearm to show Jace and Izzy.

“Jace,” she said sweetly, “would you please take a pillow from the couch and throw it at Izzy.” Clarissa made sure to keep eye contact with Jace until his eyes glazed over. Once in the trance, Jace walked over to the couch slowly and grabbed one of the pillows. He threw it gently, aiming at her head but she caught it easily. Once he finished his task, his eyes refocused and he smiled.

“That was so weird. I was fully aware, but I felt the uncontrollable need to do what you told me to. But I’ve never seen that rune in the Gray Book before.” Jace was in awe of the rune’s power and its usefulness on missions.

“That’s because it’s not in the Gray Book. I found it in one of father’s books in our library.” Clarissa made her way to the bedroom to pack some clothes. Izzy followed her and left Jace to wander the apartment.

“How exactly does the rune work?” Izzy asked.

“You have to draw the rune anywhere and use it within an hour, or so, of drawing it. When you use it, you have to maintain eye contact until the request settles in. It does tend to drain a little bit of energy, but not too much depending on what task you’re asking them to do. It was easy with Jace because I wasn’t asking him to do anything that was against his morals or too difficult. If I asked him to rob a bank or something, it’d take a little more energy. The rune fades after you use it.” Clarissa explained while tossing Jonathan’s clothes into a duffle bag.

“That’s a really cool rune,” Izzy commented. She sat on the edge of the bed to watch Clarissa pack.

“So, you and Jonathan share a room and a bed.” It was more of a statement than a question, but Clarissa chose to answer it like it was a question.

“Yeah. He let me share a bed with him when I was little and then he couldn’t get rid of me.” Clarissa joked. She moved on to packing her own clothes in a different duffle bag.

“You guys are really close.” Izzy pointed out. Clarissa was becoming impressed by her ability to point out the obvious.

“That does happen when you grow up with each other as your only company, excluding father.” Clarissa said dryly.

“You don’t think that it’s weird that you guys share a bed?”

“Why would it be weird? Jonathan is my brother.”

Izzy chose to drop the subject there. After a minute of awkward silence Izzy started to talk again.

“You’ve been living with him for the last- wait how old are you?”

“Fifteen,” Clarissa answered, “sixteen in two months.”

“You’ve been living with him for basically sixteen years and he still calls you Clarissa and you call him Jonathan?”

“That’s his name. And what else am I supposed to call him?”

“There are these amazing things called nicknames. He could use them. So could you.”

“His given name is Jonathan. Why would I call him anything but that?”

“You do know what a nickname is. Right”?

“Of course I know what it is. I just don’t see why I should use them.”

“What if I call you Clary instead?”

“That only shortens my name by one syllable so there isn’t a big difference in efficiency.”

“How about Claire?”

“That mispronounces the first syllable of my given name, so I’d prefer if you didn’t call me that.”

“Ugh. You’re impossible,” Izzy paused. “What if you called Jonathan, Jon?”

“Well he prefers his given name. But next time you see him, call him that and tell me how it goes.”

Izzy smiled, thinking that she had just started a friendship with Clarissa and she was determined to solidify Clary as her nickname.

Clarissa finished packing enough clothes to last her and Jonathan several weeks and through multiple activities. She and Izzy walked out of the bedroom to see Jace relaxing on the couch, pretending to watch T.V. He might have had Izzy fooled, but Clarissa noticed that the hearing rune below his ear was significantly darker than it had been before. He’d been listening to their conversation.

“That was fast,” Jace remarked. He had yet to take his eyes off the screen.

“All I had to do was toss some clothes and stuff into bags. Can you help me with this?” Clarissa asked as she held the heavier of the two bags out for Jace. He took it quickly, eager to help her. Izzy just rolled her eyes.

“If you’re done acting like an enthusiastic puppy, we’re ready to go save Jonathan from Alec.”

Clarissa found it amusing that the Clave’s Shadowhunters considered themselves superior to mundanes but had to rely on their forms of transportation to get around the city.

“Is this your first time on a subway?” Jace asked. Izzy was pretty interested too, since Jonathan had said that they only left for missions but didn’t really elaborate on it.

“Of course not. Father sent me and Jonathan on several missions to major cities.” Jace nodded his head in response but wasn’t eager to discuss Valentine. Clarissa, however, enjoyed Jace’s discomfort.

“Why didn’t your brother want to come with us?” Izzy asked. It was clear to Clarissa that Izzy was trying to keep it from getting awkward.

“I think that he wasn’t in the mood to go on an adventure.” Clarissa’s face looked completely neutral but Jace thought that he heard a bit of a laugh in her voice. “He’s not really a people person. That, and he doesn’t like you guys.”

“What about you?” Izzy asked. “Do you like us?”

“I like you guys more than my brother likes you.”

“Well your brother downright hates us so that could mean that you just moderately hate us. You need to be more specific.” Izzy said.

They came to their stop and Clarissa waited until they were out on the street to answer. Jace just assumed that she wasn’t going to answer them.

“I think I like you guys.” Clarissa saw the smiles on their faces and she smiled too. They were taking the bait way too easily. Probably desperate for actual friends since they’ve been exiled to the Institute and don’t have many, if any, permanent friends. Their desperation was funny.

It didn’t take long for them to get back to the Institute.

“Thank you for bringing me to my apartment.” Clarissa thanked them but made sure that she mostly looked at Jace.

“Let me walk you to your room.” Jace offered to take her other bag too. Izzy chuckled to herself. Jace was obviously infatuated and made no effort to hide it. Izzy decided to leave the two lovebirds alone and go find Alec. He was waiting for her in the common area.

“You guys got there and back without any incidents?” Alec asked.

“And by that, you just want to know if Clarissa behaved.”

“Yeah, but I just put it in better terms.”

“She isn’t that bad, you know. But there was one thing,” Izzy said, almost like an afterthought. “She showed us this persuasion rune. I’ve never seen it before but I want to wait till we’re in a room with Jace to show you.”

“What are we showing Alec?” Jace asked as he came into the room.

“That persuasion rune.” Izzy said.

“Yeah, you need to see this.” Jace said. “Let’s go.”

They had never gotten to Jace’s room so fast. Jace drew the rune and handed the paper to Izzy.

“She told us that she uses the persuasion rune to get an apartment in New York for a couple hundred a month and she demonstrated on Jace.” Izzy explained. “No it was harmless,” Izzy continued quickly once she saw that Alec looked ready to kill Clarissa. “She just had him toss me a pillow.”

Izzy copied the rune onto an unmarked part of her bicep.

“Alec, punch Jace in the arm.” Trying to mimic what Clarissa did exactly, Izzy kept eye contact with Alec. Once his eyes glazed over, Izzy’s rolled into the back of her head and she fell to the floor. The second she passed out, Alec’s eyes refocused and he and Jace jumped to Izzy’s aid.

“Izzy! Isabelle! Wake up. Izzy!”

She came to a few moments later.

“Are you ok?” Alec asked. Izzy looked dazed for a bit before she answered.

“I’ve never used a rune that used that much energy before.”

“Are you sure you did it right?” Jace asked.

“I did exactly what Clarissa did. But I don’t know why it didn’t drain her like it did to me.”

“Maybe she uses it often enough that she got used to it and was able to compensate.” Alec tried to explain.

“No. There’s no way anyone’s getting used to that kind of energy drain. It was like, the second the rune started to work, it started to drain my energy like crazy. And he didn’t even start to do the task. What she did should’ve knocked her out.”

“She did say that it would drain a little energy.” Jace reasoned.

“Yeah. A little. A little doesn’t mean enough to make someone pass out.”

“You can’t honestly say that you still trust her after this.” Alec said.

“One weird thing doesn’t mean that she’s evil, Alec,” Jace argued.

“We’ve all read the Gray Book, we practically have it memorized. And that rune definitely isn’t in there.” Alec said.

“Clarissa said that she found it one of Valentine’s books.” Izzy explained.

“This isn’t making me trust her more.” Alec was seething.

“You don’t have to trust her. Just give her and her brother the benefit of the doubt.” Jace, unsurprisingly, came to Clarissa’s defence. Alec dragged his had down his face. He knew that he wasn’t going to convince his siblings tonight and he wasn’t in the mood to deal with the headache that arguing would bring on.

“You know what. I’m gonna stay with Magnus tonight.” Alec decided.

“Alec!” Both Izzy and Jace protested.

“I’ll see you guys tomorrow.” Alec left the room without sparing so much of a glance back to his siblings.

Chapter Text

Magnus and Alec were lying comfortably in bed in Magnus’s apartment when Alec thought of his most recent problem: the Morgenstern siblings.

“The council decided to let the Morgenstern siblings stay in the institute,” Alec complained.

Magnus knew that something was troubling his boyfriend the second he walked through the door. In fact, he was surprised it took him so long to bring it up. Magnus hummed in response, indicating that he heard him, knowing that Alec would continue his rant.

“They’re Valentine’s children,” Alec said. “We can’t trust them.”

“They spoke under the soul sword. What they said could only be the truth.” Magnus countered.

“Maybe they spoke the truth then, but Clarissa used this rune, she called it a persuasion rune, and I’ve never seen it in the Gray Book before. And then when Izzy tried it, she passed out. Clarissa said that she got it from one of Valentine’s books.”

“That could be true. There are many runes that aren’t in the Gray Book. And we don’t know what books Valentine does and doesn’t have.” Magnus tried to reason. Alec knew that what Magnus was saying made sense, but something in his gut was telling him not to trust them.

They were lying in comfortable silence for nearly half an hour when it finally clicked for Magnus. Clarissa and Jonathan were Jocelyn Fairchild’s children. He had to go tell her that her kids were in New York and away from Valentine.

“Alec,” Magnus nudged him, “I have to run an errand, but I’ll be back soon.” Alec nodded sleepily then closed his eyes.

Magnus got out of bed and dressed quietly before using a portal to arrive outside Jocelyn and Luke’s apartment and knocking on the door. Luke answered, looking like he just woke up.

“I need to talk to Jocelyn,” Magnus said before Luke could speak.

“This couldn’t wait till the morning?” Luke asked.

“It’s really important,” Magnus insisted. Luke looked unconvinced but let him in anyways.

“Who’s at the door Lu- Magnus?” Jocelyn exclaimed.

“Your children, Clarissa and Jonathan, they’re at the New York Institute.” Magnus explained.

“Magnus,” Jocelyn said softly, “I left for a reason.”

“No. You have to at least see them and explain why you left. They grew up with Valentine, the man you left, and probably thought that you hated them.”

“I don’t hate them.”

“You need to tell them that.” Magnus insisted.

“Ok. I-I’ll go see them tomorrow.”

“Thank you. I should get back home to Alec. Sorry for disturbing you so late.” Magnus created a portal in the front entrance and stepped through.

Jocelyn looked like she was starting to go into shock.

“Come back to bed.” Luke took Jocelyn’s hand to guide her, but she was rooted in place.

“She probably hates me.” She whispered.

“She’s not gonna hate you, Joce.” Luke consoled.

“You don’t know that,” she snapped. “I don’t know what Valentine told her about me.”

“You need to stop worrying. Come. Sleep on it. You can go see her tomorrow.” Luke pulled her lightly and she followed.

“What were you thinking!” Jonathan yelled.

“I was thinking that I need to gain their trust since I doubt that they’re gonna trust you.” Clarissa answer calmly.

“We’ve been here for a day and we don’t have a deadline. There’s more than enough time to gain their trust.” He argued. Clarissa hadn’t seen Jonathan so mad in a while.

“You’re overreacting. It’s not even that big of a deal. There are at least a thousand runes that aren’t in the Gray Book and with enough practice, anyone can use any rune.” Clarissa explained.

“And what will happen when they try it and pass out from energy loss. Did you think of that?”

“Jace will defend me. And even then, I told them that it’ll drain some energy and that I found it I one of father’s books.  Are you gonna keep yelling at me or are you gonna come to bed now?”

“I really hope that you actually thought this through and that it won’t be a series of coincidences that happen to work out in your favour.”

“Get in bed, brother.” Clarissa lifted the sheets beside her and motioned for him to get in.

Jace, Izzy, and Alec walked into the training room at 8:00 am and were met with Clarissa and Jonathan, who were sparring.

“Is that all you got Big Brother.” Clarissa taunted.

Jonathan feinted left then went right. Clarissa, predicting this, swung her sword at his head. She twisted her wrist at the last minute so that the flat of the blade smacked him across the face. The force of the impact split the skin above his cheekbone. Jonathan paused and touched the cut.

“Did I hurt you Jonathan?” Clarissa saw the rage in his eyes and readied herself for another round. Alec chose that time to get in between them before Jonathan could kill her.

“Ok. I think that’s enough practice for today,” Jonathan snarled. Alec put his hands on Jonathan’s shoulders and pushed him back.

“I think that you should go back to your room and take a shower.”

Jonathan glared at Clarissa over Alec’s shoulder before slamming his sword on the rack and storming out. Clarissa sighed.

“You guys just had to ruin my fun.” Clarissa put her sword on the rack next to Jonathan’s.

“Fun?” Jace exclaimed. “He looked like he was gonna kill you.”

“I basically bitch slapped him, if course he’s gonna get mad,” she said. “Anyways, I don’t want to get between you guys and your training. See you later.” Clarissa left the training room.

“I don’t know about you guys,” Alec started, “but I’ve seen mad. And that wasn’t just mad. He was beyond furious.”

“It’s probably like she said,” Izzy said. “They were sparring. And you’ve seen how he is around her. He’d never actually hurt her.”

“I guess,” Alec gave in. But he still wasn’t convinced that those siblings were normal.

“They thought you were actually gonna kill me,” Clarissa laughed.

“They were right to be worried,” Jonathan said. He was putting some clothes from his duffle bag into some drawers.

“I can defend myself. Your cheek is proof of that.” Clarissa was proud of that cut. “I’m hungry. Do you want breakfast?” She asked. She threw on one of Jonathan’s hoodies and headed to the door, knowing that his answer would be yes.

Clarissa got to the kitchen firsts and paused in the doorway.

“Mother?” She breathed. Jonathan stopped behind his sister and put his hands on her shoulders.

“Jocelyn.” Jonathan didn’t even try to hide the anger in his voice. He wasn’t the one that Jocelyn would have to trust. Jocelyn paused in the middle of her conversation with Maryse Lightwood.

“Clary. Jon.” Jonathan’s nostrils flared at her use of nicknames. God, he hated them. He didn’t think that she’d come to them that quickly. Jonathan let go of Clarissa’s shoulders and she ran over to Jocelyn to hug her.

“Why are you here Jocelyn,” Jonathan asked.

“Magnus told me you were here. I had to come see you guys.” Jocelyn explained.

“So you only act like a mother when it’s convenient for you?” Jonathan asked incredulously. Jace heard the shouting and came into the kitchen, but if asked, his excuse was that he wanted a snack. Jace wandered over to Maryse and didn’t try to get in the middle of their argument.

“It wasn’t like that,” Jocelyn said softly.

“It’s exactly like that,” Jonathan snapped.

“Jonathan, stop,” Clarissa tried.

“No, Clarissa. She left us. She doesn’t get to just come back whenever she wants like nothing happened.”

“I have to at least explain why I-” Jocelyn tried to say.

“Then explain it to Clarissa because I don’t give a shit about what you think you have to say.” Jonathan stormed out.

“He’ll come around eventually.” Clarissa tried to console Jocelyn. She nodded and smiled down at Clarissa but looked unconvinced.

“Do you want to go for breakfast?” Jocelyn asked. Clarissa nodded in response.

“Great,” Jocelyn exclaimed. “There’s a diner near here called Taki’s. Mostly Shadowhunters and downworlders go there but there are some mundanes too.”

“That sounds great.” Clarissa said.

“I’m gonna go find Jonathan,” Jace said once Clarissa and Jocelyn left. Maryse nodded.

“Do you know where Alec is?” She asked.

“I left him and Izzy in the training room,” Jace answered. “So he’s probably still there. Bye mom.”

Jace knocked on Jonathan’s door.

“Jonathan?” He said. Jace knocked again and got no answer.

“Jonathan?” He eased the door open.

“I don’t remember letting you enter.” Jonathan said.

“Sorry.” Jace only said it for the sake of saying it Jonathan was flipping through Clarissa’s landscape sketchbook.

“You draw?” Jace asked. He couldn’t see Jonathan having the patience to sit and draw for a few hours without breaking the pencil.

“It’s Clarissa’s.” Jonathan was lying across the bed and had yet to look at Jace.

“So your mom’s here,” Jace said after a minute of awkward silence.

“Did you really just come here to state the obvious?” Jonathan asked.

“No, you just seemed pretty mad-”

“Once again, stating the obvious.”

“-and I thought that if you can’t hit something, then ranting is the next best thing.”

“You’re something that I can hit.” Jonathan finally looked up and didn’t even try to hide the rage in his eyes.

“I’d prefer if you didn’t hit me,” Jace laughed. “Want to rant instead?”

“Jocelyn is the bitch that left us and thinks that she can just come back after fifteen years and all will be forgiven.”

“Then why did you let your sister go with her?” Jace asked.

“Because I don’t control her. If she wants to talk to her, then that’s Clarissa’s decision. Are you happy now? I talked.” Jonathan was getting annoyed with Jace. He played the part of the overprotective big brother and Clarissa played the part of the overjoyed little sister. Apparently they played their parts too well if Jace was concerned for him.

“I don’t think that I can really be happy as long as you look like you want to kill me.” Jace answered honestly. Jonathan’s glare softened a bit.

“Does Clarissa only draw landscapes, or does she do portraits too?” Jonathan could tell that Jace was trying to start a conversation so he figured that he’d indulge him.

“She draws anything and everything that she finds moderately interesting.” Jonathan answered.

“Where was that one from?” Jace pointed to the page that Jonathan had left open.

“That’s what you’d see from my bedroom window.”

“That’s a great view.”

“Yeah, it was great until it became a reminder that I couldn’t leave. A beautiful prison is still a prison.” Jonathan closed the sketch book. Jace looked at the bed.

“Can I sit here.” Jace asked. Jonathan nodded.

“What was it actually like?” Jace asked. “Growing up with Valentine as a father?”

“I told the Inquisitor what it was like. And you were there too.” Jonathan dodged the question.

“Yeah you answered the Inquisitor’s questions but what was it actually like?” Jace pressed.

“It… It wasn’t bad. For a bit. If we weren’t training and performed decently well on a mission then we were given free reign and could do whatever we wanted on the property. Even though exploring the same areas got kinda boring eventually. I think that I was ten and Clarissa was eight and father sent us on a mission. It was far from our first. I got careless and Clarissa got hurt, it wasn’t anything an iratze couldn’t fix in a couple minutes, but father was furious. He beat me. Didn’t stop till I was pretty close to dying. He got strict with training and missions after that. If anything happened, I was the one who got punished for it, and I was glad to take it as long as he didn’t touch Clarissa. Turns out I was wrong. He was hurting her too and he told her that if I found out, didn’t matter how, he would kill me. We left about a month after I found out. Playing dumb for that month was awful. Knowing what he was doing and not being able to retaliate. I thought that Clarissa would be safe cause she looks just like Jocelyn and I figured that if father loved Jocelyn, he wouldn’t be able to hurt Clarissa. I guess that father was taking his anger at Jocelyn out on my sister.”

“You had a shitty childhood,” Jace remarked. “So which one of you slept under the stairs?”


“Right. You’ve probably never read Harry Potter.”

“If it isn’t something that I can learn from then I’ve probably never read it.” Jonathan got up. “Clarissa and Jocelyn have probably left by now, so I’m gonna make breakfast. Do you want to come too.”

“Can you actually cook or are you more of a microwave guy?” Jace joked.

“I can cook. Will Isabelle and Alexander want some too?”

“They prefer to be called Izzy and Alec. Izzy’s bound to be hungry and I don’t think that Alec will eat anything that you cook. He’ll probably think that it’s poisoned.”

Chapter Text

Clarissa looked over the Taki’s menu and every single option was ridiculously unhealthy. The healthiest option was an omelet that she knew would be fried in a pound of lard, but she decided to get it anyways. Jocelyn ordered a waffle with extra bacon and sausages. It’s a wonder she stays thin considering what she eats.

“How did you know we were at the Institute? We were barely there for a day.” Clarissa already knew the answer, it was what she and Jonathan planned on, but she figured that it’d be the easiest way to start a conversation.

“Magnus told me.” Jocelyn answered. “He’s the warlock that portaled you and Jon to Idris, he came and found me last night.”

“Well I’m glad he told you,” Clarissa paused and looked down. “Father said that you left because you couldn’t stand to be near me and Jonathan. Was it true?”

Jocelyn could see the tears poking at the edges of Clarissa’s eyes. She reached across the table to cup her chin, then rested her hand on Clarissa shoulder.

“No sweetie, of course not. I left-” Jocelyn hesitated. “I left because of Valentine. He did things to you. And Jon. I couldn’t stay after that.”

“You left without us.”

“I had to. If I brought you with me, Valentine would have hunted us to the ends of the earth. It was safer for you to have stayed with him,” Jocelyn explained.

“Mom, we know that Valentine experimented on us. But we don’t think that it worked. I think that the angel blood that we already had took several years to fight it, but still won. And I’m glad that I got to meet you now.”

“I’m grateful to get to meet you now too. How are you liking the Institute so far?” Jocelyn asked. It didn’t escape Clarissa’s notice that Jocelyn didn’t mention or even acknowledge what she said about the experiments.

“It isn’t that bad. Jonathan and I are still sharing a room,” Jocelyn scrunched up her nose but didn’t interrupt. “And I’ve only really spoken with the Lightwood children.” Clarissa said.

“Robert and Maryse’s children,” Jocelyn clarified.

“Yeah. But I’m pretty sure that Alec hates me and Jonathan.” 

“Honey, he’s the oldest. He’s just being a protective older brother. He’ll warm up eventually.”

“I hope so. We’re gonna be there for a while. Actually, the only reason I could leave there today was because you graduated from the Shadowhunters Academy.”

“Wait. You aren’t allowed to leave the Institute?”

“Jonathan and I can only leave if someone goes with us. The council thinks that we’re helping father even though we left to get away from him. But I’d prefer to not talk about father right now.”

Jocelyn nodded in understanding.

“What about you?” Clarissa asked. “What have you been doing in New York?” Clarissa finished up the last of her omelet.

“I, uh, got married again. To Lucian Graymark. But he goes by Luke Garroway now. I hyphenated my last name too. It’s Jocelyn Fray-Garroway now.” She had a small smile on her face.

“You changed your last names,” Clarissa noticed.

“Yeah, it helps us seem more normal in the mundane world.” Jocelyn answered. “I own an art gallery now too.” She added as an afterthought.

“That’s so cool! I like art too. I mostly draw though.” Clarissa was surprised to find that they actually had something in common.

“Maybe I could show you my gallery some day.” Jocelyn suggested.

“I’d like that,” Clarissa answered. “I should probably go back soon. I don’t want to give the Clave any more reasons to think that I’m a traitor.

By the time that Alec learned that Clarissa left, he had finished training and Clarissa was already on her way back to the Institute with Jocelyn. Alec went to find his mother, who was working away in her office.

“Why did you let her leave?” Alec asked.

“The only requirement was that they go with a graduate of the Shadowhunters Academy, which Jocelyn attended.”

“But why is Clarissa alone with her?” Alec countered.

“Alec, I know that you don’t trust Clarissa, or Jonathan for that matter, but Jocelyn is their mother and my friend. If you don’t trust her then you should at least trust Jocelyn. Come here.” Maryse stood and enveloped Alec in a hug.

“Clarissa and Jonathan grew up in almost complete isolation and they ran from an abusive father. They aren’t going to be like the average Shadowhunter. In fact, it’d be more suspicious if they were.”

“Mom, they share a room and a bed. That’s beyond weird.”

“And they were placed, against their will, in a new place with hostile people. And Jace has already told me that Jonathan can be very protective. Try to lighten up on them, at least a little bit. Give them time to adjust.” Alec nodded grimly and sighed.

“I’m gonna go see Magnus. I’ll probably be back late.”

“Ok, be careful.”

“I always am Mom.” Alec left Maryse’s office and took the subway to get to Magnus’ apartment. He unlocked the door and took off his shoes, remembering that Magnus hated when he tracked mud through his apartment.

“Hey Chairman,” Alec said as the cat rubbed up against his leg.

“Magnus?” He called out.

“Kitchen,” Magnus answered. Alec entered the kitchen with the cat following him. He ran his hand over the granite counter.

“Jocelyn Morgenstern came to the Institute to see Clarissa and Jonathan.” Alec said as Magnus was washing some dishes.

“Fray,” Magnus said. “She prefers Fray or Fairchild, I guess. And that’s good. She hasn’t seen her children in almost fifteen years.” Alec scrunched his eyebrows in confusion.

“Do you know her?” Alec asked.

“She came to me for help when she left Valentine with Luke Garroway. We don’t talk very often anymore but I was the one who told her that her kids were here and that she should go see them.” Chairman Meow jumped onto the counter and let Magnus run his fingers through his fur.

“Why did she leave him?”

“She wasn’t volunteering the information, so I wasn’t going to push.” Magnus answered.

Things weren’t adding up for Alec. It was well known that Valentine loved Jocelyn during the revolution and if she had suddenly found her morals, why would she leave her children behind? He couldn’t think of a scenario that could make her leave her children and then want to reconnect with them fifteen years later. But Alec decided to drop the subject and investigate later because he wanted to enjoy his time with Magnus.

“Did you cook something?” Alec asked. Magnus was washing dishes, but he didn’t see any food anywhere.

“No, I was just washing some stuff that I haven’t used in a while.”

“And you didn’t want to use magic for that?”

“This makes me feel more down to earth,” Magnus answered. “But speaking of magic, I found this adorable little café in Belgium and I think that I can officially say that they have the best waffles in Europe. You’re gonna love them.”

Alec laughed at the irony. Magnus wanted to feel more down to earth so he washes dishes by hand but is ready to create a portal to Europe for breakfast two minutes later.

Clarissa and Jocelyn got back to the Institute several hours after they left Taki’s because they took a few detours and now Clarissa was eager to find her brother. Jocelyn left to go check in on her gallery and Clarissa declined her invitation this time but agreed to go with her tomorrow morning.

Clarissa found her brother in between some shelves in the library, reading a book with some generic information about demons.

“Would it kill you to play nice and talk to some of the Lightwoods?” Clarissa said as she rounded the corner.

“I talked to Jace today. Mostly about the horrors of our childhood and Valentine’s abuse,” Jonathan said mockingly. “Speaking of Jace, did you know that he’s actually a Herondale? He thinks that he’s a Wayland that was taken in by the Lightwoods, but this library has a moderately updated book on family histories. Jace looks nothing like Michael Wayland and his wife, but he looks shockingly similar to Stephen and Céline Herondale. I drew some inferences from what father told us and from what I could find in the history books and I’m pretty sure he’s a Herondale.” Jonathan pulled a book of the shelf along with some pictures as proof.

“Wow. I can’t say that I saw that coming.” Clarissa said as she skimmed over the family tree.

“Me too,” Jonathan agreed.

“Do you plan to tell him about this?” She asked.

“Where’s the fun in that?” Jonathan said with a smirk. “Father raised him for a few years, so he’ll probably try to convince him that he’s a Morgenstern. The identity crises is going to be hilarious.” Clarissa laughed with her brother.

“So,” Jonathan started, “how’s mother dearest?”

“She’s married to Lucian, but he goes by Luke now. And she changed and hyphenated her name; it’s Fray-Garroway. She also owns an art gallery and I’m going with her tomorrow. You’re welcome to join us.” Clarissa said.

“You know what, I think I will.” Jonathan stood and put his books back on the shelves.

“You need to play nice then. I actually made some progress and I don’t need your hostility to fuck it up.”

“Don’t worry, little sister. I’ll behave.”

“Good,” she said. “Care for a little balance competition? The training room has beams that are perfect for kicking your ass.”

“Good luck trying. Race you there.” Jonathan took off, weaving through the shelves, with Clarissa seconds behind him. They burst into the training room at the same time, but Jonathan was able to grab a staff a fraction of a second before Clarissa. A brief scan of the room told them that they were alone, so they jumped up to the rafters, barefoot, and started to spar.

The narrow beams minimized their mobility and forced them to attack and block, rather than evade. After a couple of hours of sparring, both siblings were drenched in sweat with neither of them gaining the upper-hand and the beams were only becoming more slippery.

Jonathan swept his staff at her feet, trying to knock her off balance. Clarissa backflipped out of danger, with one hand on the beam and the other gripping her staff. Once she was on her feet, she swung her staff at his neck, forcing him to block.

Jace and Izzy entered the training room and caught the tail-end of the sibling’s spar after spending the last hour trying to find them. Based on the amount of sweat that they could see, they’ve been training for a while. The siblings weren’t pulling their punches. Even if they were sure that something was going to connect, they didn’t lighten up. It was almost as if their goal was to hurt each other. Jace thought that he could see a bruise starting to form on the back of Jonathan’s neck and another poking out of the top of Clarissa shirt. He definitely thought it was weird that they decided to train in normal clothes, instead of putting on work-out clothes.

Jonathan was able to get Clarissa onto her back, partially hanging off the beam. Jace thought that he heard Jonathan’s quiet voice asking Clarissa to yield, but he left his legs partially open to attack while doing it. Clarissa took advantage and chopped at his ankles, forcing him off balance, then pushing him off the beam. Jonathan, unable to stay on the beam, was able to do a slow flip as he fell, and landed on his feet. Clarissa jumped down from the beam and landed in a 3-point crouch, with her staff held out in front of her.

“Nice try, brother.”

“You yielded. I didn’t expect you to do that.” Jonathan complained.

“And since when have I ever played fair? Or since when have you, for that matter?” Clarissa joked. She turned to face the Lightwoods.

“Was there something that you wanted to say? Or were you waiting for an invitation?” She said. Jace was unable to pick his jaw up from the floor so Izzy spoke for him.

“We’re gonna go get some lunch and were wondering if you guys wanted to come with us.”

“Sure. Can we shower first though? We’re both kinda…” Clarissa trailed off and gestured to her sweaty hair.

“Yeah. We’ll meet you in the Sanctuary in thirty. We can leave from there.”

“Alright,” Clarissa agreed. Jace and Izzy left the training room while Clarissa and Jonathan set to wiping down any equipment that they used.

“How much do you want to bet that lunch is going to be deep fried?” Jonathan asked his sister.

“That’s a sucker’s beat. I’ve seen their fridge and they basically live on deep fired and take-out. Eating healthy is actually gonna be hard.” Clarissa answered. Jonathan jumped back up to the beams to clean off their sweat. He didn’t answer her, but she knew that he heard her.

“I’ll meet you back at our room.” Clarissa made it back without running into anyone else. She knew that Institutes tended to be temporary homes, since most Shadowhunters own property elsewhere or lived in Alicante, but even considering that, there were so few people there in the middle of the day.

She finished showering as Jonathan came into the room.

“You took your time.” She said.

“There was a lot to clean up on the beams.”

“We mostly stayed in one area. There shouldn’t have been too much to clean.” Clarissa remarked.

“I figured that I should just clean all of them while I was up there. The amount of dust was unbelievable. These Shadowhunters are gifted with all these resources and they don’t want to use them.”

“Sucks to be them. It’ll only make it easier for us.” Clarissa said. “Now go shower, you stink.”

“Wow,” Jonathan exclaimed. “What rune did you use to be able to state the obvious like that?”

Clarissa ignored her brother in favour of working her hair into a loose milkmaid’s braid.

Jonathan showered and washed his hair in a couple minutes and stepped out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped around his waist as Clarissa finished up her braid.

“Are you planning to be civil or are you still going to play the part of the irritable, protective, older brother again?” Clarissa asked.

“Why does it matter?”

“Because we need their trust.”

“Jace and Izzy already trust you enough and Jace and I had a little heart-to-heart. Maryse and Robert trust you because of Jocelyn. Our only issue is Alec and he’s probably somewhere with Magnus right now.”

“You do realize that they talk to each other. And if Jace or Izzy so much as mention your hostility to Alec, it’s only gonna support his distrust.”

“Will it satisfy you of I say that I’ll be civil?”

“No.” Clarissa threw Jonathan’s shirt at him. “What would satisfy me is if you understood why you need to gain their trust.”

“So tell me then,” Jonathan snarled.

“I don’t know if you know this,” she said condescendingly, “but you have demon blood running through your veins. People naturally fear and don’t want to trust you. You need to at least make a bit of an effort. They trust me, but we need them to trust you too. That’s the only way that this will work.”

“Ok. How about this: if Jace and Izzy behave themselves, then I’ll play nice.” Jonathan left himself a large grey area where he could do whatever he wanted since Jace didn’t seem to have much of a brain to mouth filter.

“I’m assuming that that’s the best you’re willing to offer?” Clarissa asked. Jonathan nodded.

“Then that’ll have to do.” She said.

“Let’s just get this over with.” Jonathan sighed.

Chapter Text

Jace and Izzy led the way to the restaurant and Jonathan spent the entirety of the walk glaring at them. Clarissa wanted to punch her brother but technically he wasn’t breaking his promise since Jace and Izzy haven’t noticed.

The four teens sat at a booth near the back of the restaurant. Jonathan was glaring away from everyone while the rest of them sat in awkward silence until Jace decided to break it.

“What’s your deal? Why do you have a stick up your ass?”

Jonathan looked confused, “I can assure you, there’s nothing up my ass.”

“I forgot. Metaphors will go straight over his head,” Jace muttered under his breath. “Why are you so uptight?”

“How about you look at it from my perspective,” Jonathan leaned forward. “We left father because we were basically prisoners and we just wanted to live. And now your precious Clave made us prisoners again. I’ll admit, the no abuse thing is definitely better, but we’re still prisoners.”

“We’re eating lunch in a restaurant right now. You call this,” Jace gestured around him, “being a prisoner?” Clarissa and Jonathan both saw Izzy kick Jace under the table, but he didn’t flinch.

“You do remember that my sister and I aren’t allowed to leave without ‘supervision’ right? It doesn’t matter how you dress it up, all we did was exchange one prison for another.”

Jace nodded and leaned back. “Sorry,” he muttered.

“So now that that’s out of the way,” Clarissa said, “what here is decently healthy?”

“Everything here is pretty good,” Izzy answered.

Clarissa looked unconvinced, “so I guess that means I’m getting a salad.”

“Me too then,” Jonathan agreed.

“Please tell me you guys aren’t health freaks.” Izzy made a face.

“I’m not a fan of willingly poisoning my body,” Clarissa shot back.

When the waitress came to take their order, Clarissa and Jonathan both ordered a chicken ceasar salad, Izzy ordered a sandwich, and Jace got some type of deep fried meat with greasy looking fries.

“So,” Izzy said between bites, “there’s a downworlder party tonight and I was wondering if you guys wanted to go?”

Clarissa looked unsure so Jace cut in to try to convince her.

“They’re actually pretty fun. At least ten times better than when you went to Pandemonium.”

“Ok. I’ll go.” Clarissa agreed.

“What about you, Jonathan? You coming?” Izzy asked.

“I’m gonna have to decline. Most downworlders and I don’t have the best relationship, so I’d prefer to not go into their territory.” Jonathan explained.

“What happened,” Jace asked.

“Father sent me on some missions.” Jonathan seemed unwilling to elaborate so Jace decided not to push his luck.

“So, I’m guessing that you’re the person that I should go to if I want to have fun.” Clarissa joked.

“Yep. And I’m guessing that Jonathan is the person that I should go to if I want my fun ruined.” Izzy joked back. Clarissa smiled and nodded.

“I prefer to think that I’m the more rational one.” Jonathan said. Izzy laughed.

“Man, you and Alec are basically the same person.” Izzy said. Jonathan rolled his eyes.

“How’s Jocelyn, Clary?” Izzy asked. “My mom mentioned that she came to see you.”

Clarissa noticed that she slid the nickname in there, hoping that she wouldn’t notice. Clarissa chose to ignore it.

“I think she’s good. Jonathan and I are going to see her art gallery tomorrow.”

“That’s cool. What kind of art does she do.” Izzy asked.

“Um… I’m actually not sure. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow,” Clarissa answered. “Should we head back soon?”

“Yeah. We should go shopping too. Are you guys coming too?” Izzy asked her brother and Jonathan. They both agreed.

Izzy and Clarissa left Jonathan and Jace to do whatever guys do in a mall.

The girls were going through a rack of clothes at Forever 21.

“So, what’s Jonathan actually like?” Izzy asked.

“Um,” Clarissa started. “He’s really overprotective.”

“Really?” Izzy cut in. “Because he didn’t look overprotective when you guys were fighting.”

“You mean when we were sparring earlier?”

“I’ve seen people spar, and that wasn’t sparring. You guys looked like you were actually trying to hurt each other.”

“We were. That’s kinda the point of sparring. You’ll never get better if you don’t go hard. And we wouldn’t hurt each other beyond what an Iratze could heal.”

“I guess that makes sense,” Izzy said but she didn’t sound convinced.

“He can actually be really nice, but I don’t know if he was just doing what he had to for a mission, or if he genuinely liked those people. I’ve never really asked so if he’s trying to be personable, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell. But if he likes you then you’re set.” Clarissa put a couple shirts back on the rack, “I think I’m done now. Do you want to check out and find the boys?”

Clarissa and Izzy waited in the short line and decided to pay for their clothes together. Izzy watched Clarissa pull out her stele and draw a persuasion rune, as well as one that she didn’t recognize. She stepped on Clarissa’s foot. She shouldn’t be drawing runes where any mundane could see. They were lucky that there was no one behind them. Clarissa waited until the cashier was halfway through their clothes before catching his attention.

“After you take the security tags off, you should just put them in the bag. Don’t worry. You don’t need to scan the rest of them.” Clarissa held his gaze for a few more seconds before breaking eye contact and the cashier went back to checking the items, but this time he wasn’t scanning them. Even though she seen the rune used before, it still shocked her when the cashier told them their total like he wasn’t helping them steal. She didn’t react when Clarissa handed the cashier her debit card. She payed and they walked out of the store with no one stopping them.

“What were you thinking!” Izzy hissed.

“Relax,” Clarissa laughed. “No on will know other than you, me, and that cashier.”

“The cashier could still tell someone!”

“Tell someone what? That he helped us steal? He would risk getting fired, and even then, there wouldn’t be any proof.” Clarissa was idly scanning the mall of Jonathan and Jace.

“I know that you’re new to the whole living in the mundane world thing, but there are security cameras everywhere that just caught you using a stele and runes. We’re supposed to stay hidden from the mundane world.”

“And we will. I used an ignorance rune so if any mundanes saw me, they’d ignore then forget me.”

Izzy calmed down once she heard that.

“And you’re sure that it’ll work?”

“One-hundred percent positive,” Clarissa answered.

“Wait,” Izzy said, “what about me? I didn’t use the rune and I stood beside you.”

“It makes everything in about a five-yard radius forgettable. Outside of that, it’s power starts to fade.” Clarissa explained.

“Seriously, where did you learn this stuff? You’re gonna have to teach me how to use them.”

“I told you, my father had some books in the library with runes in them. And I’ll teach you how to use some of them eventually.”

Clarissa knew that Izzy was unlikely to forget that promise, so when she taught her, Clarissa would have to make sure that Izzy wouldn’t be able to use any of the runes effectively. She and Jonathan had built up an immunity from repeatedly exposing each other to a variety of runes, but she still didn’t want to risk Izzy being able to any of the runes to stop her or Jonathan.

Clarissa and Izzy spotted the boys, unsurprisingly, in the food court. Jace was practically inhaling his burger while Jonathan watched with mild amusement on his face.

“Did you have fun, boys?” Izzy asked. Jace’s mouth was too full to answer and Jonathan pulled up a bag.

“I got a sweater,” he said.

“Jonathan, I swear to god, I’m gonna kill you if it’s another black hoodie. All the hoodies that you own are black.” Clarissa was only half kidding about the killing part.

“It’s blue,” Jonathan answered. Izzy sat down beside her brother and Clarissa looked in the bag.

“It’s space blue, so I’m still considering that black.”

“It’s closer to royal blue than it is space blue, actually. But that’s only because I knew that you would wear it more than I would.”

“Thanks,” Clarissa said sarcastically. “Are we ready to go now?”

“Turn,” Izzy said. Clarissa rolled her eyes, but Izzy had insisted that she receive the Izzy-stamp-of-approval before they left. Jace decided to come with them too so they would be leaving Jonathan in the Institute with Alec, who also didn’t want to go.

Clarissa dressed herself in a pair of bleached white, ripped jean shorts and a formfitting, blood red crop top with a lace back. Izzy walked around her slowly, inspecting her outfit.

“I’m impressed. But one thing has to go,” Izzy pointed to Clarissa’s shoes. “Those flats need to be tossed.” Izzy pulled out a pair of heels that had to be at least six inches.

“That’s not happening,” Clarissa said. She crossed her arms defiantly.

“It’ll make your outfit look even better, Clary,” Izzy said. Clarissa barely kept the snarl off her face. Jonathan was right. She was already getting tired of the nickname, but she had to keep letting them use it to develop their friendship.

“I’m not wearing those torture devices.” Clarissa answered.

“Well you aren’t leaving here in in flats.”

“I’m definitely not leaving in those either.”

“I’m not gonna let you leave in anything less than four inches.” Izzy seemed set in her decision, so Clarissa figured that she’d need help convincing her. She set her face in a cute pout and looked over at Jace.

“Jace,” she whined, “please help me. I don’t want to wear those.”

“Tell her that she needs to wear them, Jace.”

He looked like a deer caught in the headlights.

“Um-,” he said.

“Jace,” Clarissa pleaded, “my feet will hurt so much if I have to wear those.”

“Izzy,” Jace started.

“No,” Izzy cut him off. “She needs to wear the shoes. They’ll look amazing on her.”

“I happen to think that she looks cute as she is,” Jace answered. He shot Clarissa a sexy little smirk before refocussing on Izzy.

“See Izzy, no heels needed.” Clarissa answered sweetly.

“Fine, but only this time. Next time you’re wearing the heels.” Izzy said.

“Thank you, Izzy!” Clarissa exclaimed. She wrapped Izzy in a hug. “So where exactly is this party?”

“We’re going to the industrial district. Pandemonium is nothing compared to what this’ll be,” Izzy smirked. “Jace stop staring at Clary, we need to go.”

“This is the place?” Clarissa asked skeptically. Half of the streetlights were broken, and the street itself was deserted.

“Yep,” Izzy said.

“There is literally nothing here,” Clarissa gestured around her and spun in a circle. She caught a glimpse of Jonathan’s snow-white hair but had no idea why he was there and when he got there. She finished her spin to keep Izzy and Jace’s attention away from where Jonathan was.

“Yeah?” Jace challenged. He grabbed her hand and she didn’t protest.

“Look at that building,” Jace stood behind her and pointed over her shoulder so she could follow what he was looking at. Now that she knew where to look, she was able to see through the warlock’s magic. Whoever the warlock was, they’d spent a lot of time on these wards and glamours. This building was probably used a lot for these types of parties, so the warlock must have spent a lot of time reinforcing and improving the wards. She could easily see through it now, but she needed Jace to keep going.

“I still don’t see it,” she teased.

“Here,” Jace breathed into her ear. He nudged her chin down, so she could look at a broken window on the first floor. She could see the occasional flash of multicolour lights and people dancing. “Bottom floor, there’s a little ripple in the corner. Focus on that and imagine it peeling back.”

“Wow,” she exclaimed, “that’s amazing.”

“Are you two done flirting yet?” Izzy sounded exasperated. Clarissa allowed herself to blush lightly but Jace made no effort to move away from her.

“Um Jace,” Clarissa said. “I kinda need to be able to walk.” Jace pulled back a little bit but continued to hold her hand.

Now that Clarissa could see through the enchantment, she could also hear the music that was blaring from the building. It was nauseating. If she thought that mundane music was bad, mixing it with faerie music made it ten times worse. She smiled through the pain as Jace lead her through the building.

There wasn’t a mundane in sight. A few Shadowhunters, made noticeable by their runes, and the rest were downworlders. Werewolves who made no effort to hide their eyes, vampires who were flaunting their fangs, warlocks proudly displaying their warlock marks. She had never been so close to downworlders who were so open.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before.” Clarissa had to yell so Jace could hear her over the music. She almost felt bad for him. He thought that his abilities made him so special, but he really had no idea what he’s missing out on.

“I know right,” Jace yelled back, “c’mon, I want to show you something.”

Jace led her further into the building and she noticed that the floor was beginning to be covered in a white powder. It took her a while to recognize it as Securus, a mild drug that was a mix of mundane uppers, hallucinogens, and dissociates. They were pretty common at downworlder parties, but it was mostly faeries that used them often. She wasn’t eager to be drugged so she pulled her stele out of her pocket and discreetly drew an immunity rune on the side of her thigh. It glowed a soft gold before it faded and she knew that she had a couple hours of immunity before she would have to redraw it.

The white dust started falling from the ceiling.

“What is this?” Clarissa held her hand out to catch some of the dust.

“It’s called Securus. It’s a faerie drug that basically makes everything more amazing,” Jace explained.

“You’re trying to drug me?”

“Don’t worry, it only works short term. Its effects fade in a couple minutes once you aren’t breathing it.”

Clarissa giggled and let herself relax, pretending that the drug was affecting her, since she was familiar with its effects.

“Hey, where’d Izzy go?” Clarissa asked, finally noticing her absence.

“She went to find her boytoy, Meliorn, he’s a faerie.” Jace explained.

The two let themselves get lost in the music and with the downworlders around them. Clarissa kept herself aware of who was around them and if they were a threat, but she also let herself focus on Jace. Making him fall for her was easier than she thought. The only hard part would be making sure that he stayed like that but, she had to admit that he looked really good with all the Securus dusting his hair. A couple hours passed without either of them noticing.

“There’s something that I want to show you back at the institute.” Jace told her.

“Then let’s go,” Clarissa answered. “Should we tell Izzy?”

“Nah. She’ll figure it out.”

Clarissa left the building with Jace, giggling.

Chapter Text

Jonathan sat on the couch in the main living area with Alec across the room, reading a book. Jonathan was passing the time by drawing runes on himself, stopping before the rune was finished, and watching it fade away. He kept repeating the same actions and smiled to himself as he watched Alec get more and more frustrated.

“Can you stop?” Alec didn’t even try to hide his irritation.

“Why does this bother you?” If Jonathan was gonna be stuck here for the next few months, he was going to enjoy pissing Alec off.

“Steles are supposed to give us power to fight demons and protect the mundanes. It’s not a toy for you to use for your entertainment.”

“Then I guess I’ll go play in my room.”

“Thank God,” Alec muttered under his breath. Jonathan sent Alec a withering glare and left the room.

He entered his own room, closed the door behind him, and sighed. He was going to have to figure out that portal rune now since father would want an update on their situation. He was starting to regret turning down Clarissa’s offer to teach him how to portal properly.

Jonathan drew the rune on the wall and focused on Valentine as he stepped through. At the last second, a background thought, that he was barely aware of, passed through his head. His thoughts briefly flashed to Clarissa and wondered if she would have suggested that he focus on a location instead of a person. As he stepped through, he barely recognized that he had a background thought, but realized that he had lost focus and stepped out of the portal into the middle of a street behind Clarissa, Jace, and Izzy.

He ran to one of the buildings as quickly as possible and hid in the shadows that it provided. He threw his back to the wall and stood as still as possible because there wasn’t a plausible explanation, that he could use, that could explain why and how he was behind them when he was supposed to be back at the institute with Alec. Clarissa spun in a circle and Jonathan knew that she saw him. He stood with his back to the wall and faced away from them, waiting for them to leave so he could portal to the manor.

When he took the risk of looking again, Jace had wrapped himself around Clarissa in a way that definitely wasn’t just friendly. He thought that it would take more for Jace to fall in love, but apparently all it took was a pretty face and a few smiles.

The second time he looked back, he watched the three of them disappear into a building. He counted to five before coming out of the shadows and sighing with relief. He came surprisingly close to being seen and if they asked questions then he could have ruined their mission just days after it started. Then they would have had to do things the hard way, which would have definitely taken several years and a long fight.

He learned from his mistake, this time he used a location instead of a person. This way could be a lot more tiring because a location was a lot less precise but using a location also left room for error because a location is a larger area and a person is more precise. He could let his mind wander to anywhere in the building and he’d arrive there, but even thinking of a memory of the person, instead of the person directly, could have you landing in the location of the memory. Jonathan focused on the training room at the manor and that it has a bigger variety of weapons than the Institute’s training room. He quickly refocused on the manor because he did not want to end up somewhere in the Institute where anyone could see him.

He stepped out of the portal in the training room of the manor. The only issue was that he was almost fifteen feet in the air and was not expecting the drop. He fell into a roll and once he was on his feet, he looked up and glared at the closing portal. Clarissa made it look easy. He brushed the non-existent dust off his clothes and set off to his father’s office.

For the first time in a while, Valentine wasn’t there. Jonathan waited patiently for about ten minutes before Valentine walked in wearing some torn gear and with a bloody sword at his hip.

“Jonathan,” he sounded surprised. “I hadn’t expected you to report again so quickly.”

“We’re progressing faster than we expected. Clarissa and I are going to Jocelyn’s art exhibit. Once she’s comfortable with us, we’ll start pushing for the cup. Jace is also falling for Clarissa faster than expected and Izzy likes her too. Alec is still suspicious but that was what we were expecting so it doesn’t really matter yet because the other two will still be helping us.” Jonathan said. “Hodge is surprisingly bitter about his situation. Is there anything you’d suggest, father, because I need to head back soon. Alec is acting as my babysitter while Clarissa is out partying with Jace and Izzy and he’s likely to check on me soon.”

“Of course. It’s unfortunate that Hodge feels that way, but it is necessary. You should attempt to befriend Alec. I know that he trusts you the least, but you two are similar enough and, given time, he should start to trust you over Clarissa. Do you understand.”

“Yes father. Clarissa or I will update you as the situation progresses.”

Valentine nodded as a dismissal.

Jonathan decided to draw the portal rune just outside father’s office, since he was eager to return to his room before Alec could come to check on him. He focused on his room back at the Institute but ended up falling downwards from the bathroom’s ceiling. He landed lightly on his feet, this time prepared for the fall, but was still slightly annoyed. He didn’t even know what ran through his head to have him end up in the bathroom.

Jonathan sat on the ground beside the bed and leaned against it. He rifled around under the bed to find one of Clarissa’s sketchbooks because he didn’t want to get up again to get one of his books from the desk. He didn’t even get a chance to open it when there was a knock on the door.

“What do you want?” Jonathan yelled out.

“Can I come in?” Jonathan recognized it to be Alec’s voice. He chose not to answer, knowing that Alec would just let himself in.

As expected, he opened the door walked in.

“Since you already let yourself in, why don’t you come sit.” Jonathan pat the ground beside him. Alec grimaced and chose to sit in the desk chair across from Jonathan instead.

“I had to make sure that you were still here.” Alec said.

“And where would I go,” Jonathan said bitterly.

“I don’t know, back to your father maybe. I don’t trust you.”

“Duly noted. And why would I go back there after trying so hard to leave.”

“I don’t know. And honestly, I don’t care. I’m just not willing to trust you and Clarissa blindly, like my brother and sister are.

“And what about me makes you want to mistrust me?” Jonathan was having fun with this.

“Nothing about you makes any sense. And I don’t understand why you stayed with Valentine for so long.”

“I had no reason to leave. I thought Clarissa was happy.”

“Yeah but he was abusing you,” Alec protested.

“I could deal with it. Father promised he wouldn’t hurt Clarissa and I trusted him. I guess I was wrong.”

“And yet you still call him father,” Alec accused.

“Wow. You really don’t know what boundaries are.”

“Sorry,” Alec muttered. Jonathan had to keep a laugh to himself. It was too easy to manipulate them, Now he understood how Clarissa got Jace to fall for her so quickly. All she literally had to do was smile and look pretty and Jace would do the rest for her. They couldn’t see when they were getting played.

“So what did you guys to before?” Alec asked.

“You mean at the manor?”


“Usually just missions and training.”

“Just training 24/7 with breaks for missions can’t be all you guys did.”

“No, we got thirty minute breaks for meals.”

Alec gave him a look that clearly said you can’t be serious, so Jonathan cracked a smile and Alec knew that it was okay to laugh.

“Ok, but seriously, what’d you guys do for fun?”

“Clarissa liked to drag me with her when she wanted to go horseback riding. Or swim in the pond and stuff like that.”

“You guys have your own horses?”

“Yeah, father gifted them to us when we were young. We usually took them out every other day. They’re probably getting tired of the stables,” Jonathan answered. “Don’t most people in Idris have horses” He added almost as an afterthought.

“People who don’t live in the city have horses. We were only in Idris for a few years before we moved here, and I was young then too. And we were in Alicante while we were there, so I never learned.”

“That’s something that definitely easier to learn while you’re young. The bruises and soreness were awful but now I’ve built up a tolerance and almost forget how much it used to hurt.”

Alec grimaced. “You know that we can use Iratzes right?”

Iratzes are great if you’re only riding once or twice. If you’re riding any more than that, it’ll be useless since you can’t use them as you ride. You’re better off just learning to deal with the pain and eventually you stop feeling it. Clarissa used to complain a lot when I taught her.” Jonathan smiled fondly.

“You guys didn’t learn together?”

“Father saw no point in waiting. He taught me when I was big enough and then I taught her when she was big enough.” Jonathan answered. “What about you? What’d you do for fun?”

“Well for starters, Jace used to love getting me and Izzy in trouble.”

“Wow. Was he really that-”

“No. Not like that,” Alec cut him off. “Jace used to love doing the dumbest shit and we couldn’t let him do it alone, he’d probably get himself killed. I don’t know why I said used to because he still loves to drag us into shit.” Alec and Jonathan both laughed.

“You picked a good parabatai,” Jonathan commented. “It also kinda sucks, but it’s not a big deal.”

“What?” Alec questioned. “How can it suck.”

“Because you aren’t allowed to be in love with them. The council would never allow a romantic relationship.”

“I’m not- I’m dating Magnus Bane, and Jace is my brother. How’d you even know we were parabatai?”

“Adopted,” Jonathan clarified, “and it’s possible to love more than one person. Also, I’ve seen you guys fight together and your runes are obvious since you guys put them in a place that’s easily seen.” Jonathan pointed to the lower part of Alec’s left side where his shirt had ridden up and exposed the bottom part of the rune.

“You aren’t allowed to love your parabatai.” Alec repeated.

“Rules are meant to be broken.” Jonathan challenged.

“And that’s probably why your father beat you.” Alec choked on his breath once he realized what he said. Jonathan looked down and was quiet for a while and Alec didn’t dare move. He crossed a line and he knew it.

“You can leave now.” Jonathan still hadn’t looked up.

“I’m so sorry Jonathan. I didn’t mean-”

“Get out.”

Alec stood and walked slowly and mechanically to the door.

“I’m sorry,” he said as he closed the door behind him.

Jonathan smiled. He was going to enjoy playing with them while he was here. He knew that he was going to have to befriend Alec eventually but there was no harm in letting him suffer for a bit. Jonathan hoped that Clarissa was having as much fun with Jace as he was with Alec, but he really doubted it.

Chapter Text

“Jace!” Clarissa laughed. “Where are we going?”

“It’s a surprise.”

Jace was pulling her through Institute and up several flights of stairs. She couldn’t have been happier to be wearing flats, running in heels took so much more effort.

He stopped her in front of a door and she took pleasure in the fact that his breathing was a little heavy while that little run had had no effect on her.

“Close your eyes,” he told her.

“Jace,” she said, “what is this?”

“You’ll see,” he answered. She heard the door open and he guided her around for a few steps.

“Ok. Open your eyes.”

She opened them and immediately gasped. He brought her to a garden.

“This is incredible!” She exclaimed.

Jace lead her to a rooftop garden and it was beautiful. The moonlight shining on everything. All the amazing plants, many of which she had only ever seen in textbooks. The paths were lit by a bioluminescent moss and a few of the taller plants were swaying in the breeze.

“I thought you’d like this.”

Clarissa was still in awe of its beauty, “I thought that something this pretty could only exist in Idris.”

“Mom and Dad brought most of this stuff with them when they left. Hodge usually takes care of them, but a lot of them are also self sufficient. Other than that, I usually have it to myself.”

“So this is where you bring everyone who you think is pretty?” Clarissa teased.

“Only girls who are stunningly beautiful, have red hair and green eyes, and are under 5’5”.”

“That’s reassuringly specific.”

Jace led her further into the garden, where they could see the forever busy streets of New York, but their faces could still be illuminated by the various plants. Jace sat on one of the ledges and Clarissa sat so close that she was practically on top of him. Jace didn’t seem to mind.

“Do people really call you Clarissa all the time. No one’s ever come up with a nickname other than Clary?” Jace asked.

“My father used to call me Seraphina but he stopped when I started making a fuss about it.”

“So I guess Sera isn’t an option for a nickname?”

“I kinda like how it sounds when you say it.” Clarissa breathed as she leaned in.

He repeated the nickname and let their lips meet. His mouth was warm, and his lips softer than she would have imagined. He tasted tentatively with his tongue and she granted him entrance. He kept his hands on her side and back, not wanting to push her boundaries, while her hands rested on his chest and stomach. Kissing Jace wasn’t as bad as she would have thought, but given the choice, she would have preferred not to. Clarissa let him deepen the kiss a little more and felt his hands slide down to rest on her hips. After another minute of kissing, it was Clarissa who pulled back.

“I should probably go back to my room. Jonathan’s probably starting to get worried,” she explained, breathless.

“Will I see you tomorrow?” He asked.

“I’m going to breakfast with my mom and Jonathan, but I’ll find you when I get back.” She planted a light kiss on his cheek and let her hand trail down his chest one more time, before getting up.

“Goodnight Jace,” She said.

“Night Sera.”

Clarissa spent a little longer than she would have liked trying to find her room. The garden was in a part of the Institute that she hadn’t explored yet and it had her approaching her room for a completely different direction.

When she opened the door, Jonathan stirred and rolled over to face her.

“Did you have fun with Jace?” He teased, noting her slightly swollen lips.

“You could say that,” she answered slyly. “I think he’s gonna make a habit of calling me Sera.”

“We’ve been here less than a week and you have two of the Lightwoods calling you two different nicknames. Well done.”

Clarissa beamed under the praise.

“What about you,” she asked. “How’s Alec?”

Jonathan recounted his conversation with Alec to her and she laughed. Clarissa went to sit on the bed and Jonathan moved to stop her, even though she was out of his reach.

“No,” he said. “You’re covered in some kind of white dust. You need to shower first.

“Securus,” she clarified. “It’s a type of faerie party drug.”

“I know what it is. I didn’t think that Jace would try to drug you.”

“If you know what it is, then you know that it wears off in minutes once you aren’t exposed to it. And I don’t think that he tried to drug me on purpose. It’s common in downworlder parties so I figured that he just assumed that I would enjoy it too.” She explained.

“I don’t care. If he tried to drug you again, I’m going to snap his neck. Mission or not.”

“Okay,” she agreed. “Now how do I deactivate ‘overprotective big brother’ mode?” She teased.

Jonathan just rolled his eyes and rolled back over.

“Just go take a shower and get in bed. We have a nice long morning with mother dearest tomorrow.”

Once again, Jonathan woke up to Clarissa sprawled across him and taking up most of the bed. Jonathan was mildly impressed by her ability to do so, considering how small she was. Since she decided to take up most of the bed, he decided that she didn’t deserve a nice wake up call. He pushed his hands under her, knowing that she wouldn’t wake to his movements if she was in a deep enough sleep. He moved quickly and threw her off the bed, head first. Clarissa woke up from the sharp movement and quickly tucked herself into a forward roll and rose gracefully from the floor.

“What the hell Jonathan!” She exclaimed. “A simple ‘wake up’ would have sufficed.”

“You were taking up too much space on the bed so I thought that I might offer you a little more space.”

“I’m impressed. Which Lightwood taught you how to joke?” Jonathan just glared in response and stalked off to the bathroom.

“If you take longer than five minutes, I’m gonna come in,” Clarissa announced.

Jonathan finished in two and a half minutes. Clarissa took her time getting ready, and taking her time meant that she was done in less than fifteen minutes. The siblings armed themselves with two pairs of combat knives from the training room and their steles. They waited in the common area for Jocelyn to arrive. Clarissa was annoyed that they weren’t allowed to leave on their own, but she wasn’t eager to openly break what little trust the Clave awarded them, so she sat on the couch with her legs in Jonathan’s lap. She was idly braiding and re-braiding her hair into different styles while her brother was scrolling through the mundane TV channels, obviously unimpressed.

Jonathan and Clarissa heard Jocelyn long before they saw her. She had run into Alec and was doing the typical adult mundie thing where they gush about how much he’s grown and asking if he remembers them. It was obvious that Jocelyn had spent too much time around mundanes. Alec had too, since he told her that he remembered her even though he couldn’t have been more than a few years old when he last saw her.

When they got to the common room, Jocelyn couldn’t keep the surprise from her face.

“Oh,” she said. “I didn’t think that you two would be up so early.”

“Jonathan’s an early riser so he wakes me up too.” Clarissa smiled. She nudged Jonathan and he smiled too. A thin, tight smile that was obviously fake.

“I was gonna go talk to Maryse and Robert quickly if that’s ok?” Jocelyn asked.

“Oh, it’s totally fine. I still haven’t decided what braid I want to wear today.” Clarissa answered. “How’s this one Jonathan?” She turned her head so he could see.

“It looks good,” he answered flatly.

“Great,” Jocelyn exclaimed. She turned to Alec, “could you show-”

“Yeah, I can lead you to them,” Alec cut her off and took off down one of the halls, Jocelyn following closely.

“You could be a little nicer,” Clarissa chastised.

“Why does it matter? She already likes you and if she figures out that I haven’t changed, then she’ll go right back to hating me.”

“I still need you to be a little nicer.”

“Me being nice will only make her suspicious. She won’t believe that I changed so much in so little time.”

“And if you’re hostile then there won’t be any trust at all.”

“There might not be trust but at least there won’t be suspicion.”

The siblings both heard some light footsteps heading towards the common room, where they were. They were the footsteps of someone who was trying to go unnoticed, so they swiftly changed topics and Jonathan resumed her channel surfing.

“Why do these housewives have an entire show dedicated to them?” Jonathan asked.

“It’s mindless mundane entertainment. They enjoyed it. Don’t question it.” Clarissa asked.

They hadn’t watched more than a minute before Jonathan decided that he had enough.

“This mind-numbing. I can feel my brain cells committing suicide.”

“Then find something else to watch.”

Jonathan was saved from having to find a different channel by Jocelyn re-entering the room. This time without Alec.

“Sorry about that,” she said. “Ready to go?”

The siblings nodded and stood up. Clarissa grabbed her sweater from the arm rest and tied it around her waist.

“Do you want to eat breakfast before we go to the gallery or do you want to grab brunch after?”

“We can go eat breakfast now,” Clarissa answered.

“But could we eat something a little healthier please? We aren’t really used to this kind of food and I don’t want to get sick.”

“Of course,” Jocelyn answered.

Jocelyn brought them to a small, family owned restaurant near the gallery.

“They do a lot of vegetarian and vegan food so most of everything else is healthy,” she explained. Jocelyn spent most of the meal engaging in tense conversation, but she did enjoy it because it meant that she got to spend time with her children. She was trying to figure out if Jonathan was still being affected by the demon’s blood. As a child, his eyes had always been pure black as a side effect but right now his green eyes matched Clarissa’s. She couldn’t trust it because that easily could have been a glamour. While Jonathan still participated in their conversation, his body language was still openly hostile. Jocelyn had no idea what to think about Clarissa. The only indication that Valentine had experimented on her as a child had been her disturbingly fast mental development. Unless either the siblings or Valentine himself admitted to the experimentation, she’d have no way to prove it. She didn’t want to bring her suspicions to the council because they had the ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ mindset and she didn’t want to put needlessly put Clarissa at risk. Especially if it was over something that she couldn’t control.

Jocelyn was paying the bill when she realized that she left her gallery access card at home.

“Would it be alright if we went to my apartment quickly?” Jocelyn asked. “I forgot my access card.”

Jonathan rolled his eyes.

“Sure, will Luke be there?” Clarissa asked.

“I think he was scheduled to work today.”


Jocelyn filled the walk back to her apartment with idle talk about her life in New York and the Institute. She fumbled briefly with the lock before getting the key in properly.

“Make yourselves at home. It might take me a little while to find the key, it loves to disappear on me.” Jocelyn disappeared into the kitchen.

Clarissa and Jonathan immediately separated and went into different rooms, knowing that this could be their best chance to find the cup. Jonathan dug through drawer after drawer without finding anything. He even felt the walls without finding anything uneven. He took a step to his right and the floor creaked under him. That was the first time that he’d heard the floor creak in the building and that meant that the floorboard had to be loose. He bent down to pry it up, but nothing was under it. The space had obviously been designed for discreet storage, but this one went unused. He knew that if the apartment had one, then it had to have several others, so he gave up on the drawers and focused entirely on the floors. He stopped walking lightly and started to use his full weight to listen for anything in the floors. He heard Jocelyn head upstairs, so he moved to the kitchen. He was only three steps in when he heard another creak. He lifted the board and found an older wooden box bearing the Morgenstern crest. Clarissa finished her search and met him in the kitchen.

“Found it?” She asked.

“I hope so,” he answered. Inside the box were a few wrinkled pictures of himself and Clarissa. Along with a few toys that Jonathan remembered that Clarissa used to play with. They must’ve been in Jocelyn’s pockets when she left. Pressed to the right side of the box were a pack of tarot cards.

Clarissa grabbed the cards and flipped through them,

“What’s special about come cards?” Clarissa said, mostly to herself though.

“Wait, go through it again,” Jonathan said. Clarissa obediently flipped through them again, this time a little slower.

“There,” he said. “There’s a cup on that card.”

Clarissa pulled it out of the deck and rested her hand on the face of it. Her fingers sunk into the card and she could feel the edges of the cup.

“Wow,” she said. “The cup is here.”

“Leave it. Take your hand out,” Jonathan ordered. “We can’t take it now or she’ll know that it was us. We can figure out how to get it later but right now we have to put it back before Jocelyn comes back down again.”

Clarissa reluctantly pulled her hand out and put the deck back in the box. They replaced the box and went to the family room to wait for Jocelyn to find her card.

Chapter Text

Clarissa was genuinely shocked. She had been expecting a small apartment sized building that would be acting as her gallery, but instead, she was met with a modern and very large building.

“You own this?” Clarissa asked partially in awe.

“Yeah,” Jocelyn answered proudly, “but not all of it is mine.”

“It’s still amazing.”

Jonathan wasn’t interested in listening to them talk about art. He knew that Clarissa would claim otherwise, but he could tell that she was genuinely enjoying being with Jocelyn. He liked seeing her this happy, the only downside was that Jocelyn was the one that was making her happy. As happy as she was, he could tell that Jocelyn’s constant usage of the nickname ‘Clary’ was starting to annoy her and Jonathan took pleasure in knowing that he was right about the nickname.

He spent most of his time wandering around the gallery, it was deceptively big, while Jocelyn and Clarissa analyzed almost every piece of art.

They were going to have to figure out how to get that card. If they took it straight from the apartment, Jocelyn, or at least Luke, would know or suspect that it was them. Their best bet would be to cause an event that would force Jocelyn to move it. But if anything weird happened the suspicion would immediately fall on the Morgenstern siblings because of their recent arrive to the institute, and that wasn’t something that they could afford to have happen. At least not until they had all three mortal instruments in their possession. He would probably need Clarissa’s help to figure out how that would go down.

Jonathan had another issue to figure out: Jocelyn. Even though he lied to the council, father’s temper was unpredictable, and Jonathan had no idea how father would react once he had Jocelyn back in his possession.

The reminder of her betrayal might colour his decision making before rational thoughts settled in, and even after having Jocelyn back in her life recently, Jonathan knew that Clarissa would be devastated if anything happened to her.

Jonathan also disagreed with his father’s plans for the complete genocide of all downworlders. As much as father considers himself a self-taught strategic genius, his previous attempt at a take-over proved that that wasn’t the case. Pissing off downworlders and Shadowhunters would only make them join forces to defeat them. Without father watching his every step and trying to force his opinions on him, Jonathan was able to think more objectively. Getting rid of downworlders wasn’t even necessary. The issue was with the Clave and Council. They were selfish, lazy, and overconfident. Their blatant disregard of downworlders would be their downfall. They didn’t have to like them, but constantly preaching that Shadowhunters are here to protect everyone from demons and then turning their backs on downworlders could easily start a war. If it came to a war, it wouldn’t be one that Shadowhunters would win.

The way that father planned to take over would only end with the Shadowhunters and downworlders fighting together against him. Even if we somehow managed to win, father would make an absolute mess if he was in power. The best solution would be to take father out of the equation, as well as anyone who was in a position of power in the clave. It would have to be timed perfectly because they needed father alive to find the mortal instruments and keep suspicion off himself and Clarissa, but he didn’t want to give Jocelyn a chance to confirm her suspicions about their blood if he allowed her to live. Right now Jocelyn was doubting the permanent success of the experiments and was attributing his personality to him not trusting her. Jonathan wanted to keep it that way for as long as possible.

He was looking forward to having himself and Clarissa in power. Together they’d be able to make real changes to the way Shadowhunters operated, as well as being willing to create more Shadowhunters by allowing certain mortals to ascend. The current Clave was also too lax with their punishments. The Lightwoods and, from what he’s heard, Jace’s complete disregard of the rules was proof of that. A simple zero tolerance rule could fix that.

Deep in thought, Jonathan had stopped less than a foot in front of one the abstract paintings and almost didn’t notice Jocelyn approaching from behind him.

“Where’s Clarissa?” He asked.

“I left her with my curator,” she answered.

Once it was clear that Jocelyn wasn’t going to get to the point, Jonathan decided to get her talking. Maybe it would help to figure out how to get that tarot card.

“How did you get all this?” He asked, referring to the art.

“Magnus Bane actually helped me. He set me up with a great real-estate agent and a curator after I let it slip that this would be my eventual goal.”

This only confirmed Jonathan’s original suspicions. Whether she knew it or not, Jocelyn had had no intention to stay with her kids.

“You have a good curator,” he said tightly.

“She’s the best,” Jocelyn responded. “I know that you hate me.” She said after a brief pause.

“You left us,” Jonathan repeated.

“Valentine broke my trust. He violated me. And I didn’t know what you were.” She said quietly.

“I was your son. And what did you think would happen to me and Clarissa after you ran away? That we’d just life happily ever after?” Jonathan had to really work to keep from yelling. He promised Clarissa that he’d try to play nice, but every time he even thought of Jocelyn, he was filled with a barely controllable rage. “At least when I left, I didn’t leave Clarissa behind.”

“I’ll never be able to properly say how sorry I am for that, but I’m gonna do my best to make it up to you both.”

“Well you’ll have to make it up to Clarissa because there’s nothing that you can do to make it up to me.”

“I’m still gonna keep trying,” Jocelyn said.

“Good luck with that.” Jonathan walked away before he could lash out more.

When he found Clarissa, she was speaking animatedly with who he assumed was the curator. He stood at her side and made no attempt to interrupt their conversation.

“You must be Jonathan,” the curator said when Clarissa paused to take a breath. The curator reached out to shake his hand and Jonathan plastered a fake smile on him face.

“I’m Elysia Matthews. Your sister has told me a lot about you.”

“All good, I hope.” Jonathan kept his tone friendly.

“Oh, definitely,” Elysia said. She did a quick check of her watch, probably out of habit, and then she checked again. When she saw the time, her eyebrows shot up in surprise

“Oh wow,” she said. “I lost track of time, I’m running a little late for a meeting. It was a pleasure meeting both of you and I hope to see you again soon.” Elysia left at a brisk pace towards the exit.

Clarissa and Jonathan spent some time wandering together.

“I heard what you said to mom,” Clarissa said. “Do you think you got it all out of your system?”

“Probably not,” he admitted. “I thought you’d be mad at me for that.”

“Oh, I am. But I think that next time I go anywhere with mom I’ll leave you at the institute if you can’t stay calm when you’re around her.”

“That works for me. But if she brings you back in anything less than perfect condition, I will kill her.”

“You make me sound like a possession,” she laughed.

“Because you’re mine.” Jonathan wrapped his arm around her shoulders.

“I promised Jace that I’d go find him when I got back,” Clarissa said.

Jonathan rolled his eyes and shooed her away. He was surprisingly happy to be back at the Institute, if only because he was glad to be away from Jocelyn. Jonathan decided to go back to the library in hopes that the environment would help him figure out his plan. He sat in the corner, near the books about war strategies, and the more he thought about it, the more he realized that he couldn’t kill father, at least, not yet. If it was discovered that Valentine was dead, the siblings wouldn’t have anyone to pin anything weird on. They might have to wait until the very last minute to kill him and Jonathan would have to be in a position to be orchestrating everything to make sure that he’d be able to do it. Jonathan had barely made himself comfortable when he decided to pay father a visit and start inching his hands onto the reigns from now.

He sat completely still in his chair and listened for anyone’s breathing, to make sure that he was alone, before standing and searching for a bare wall. He drew the portal rune and focused on the Morgenstern manor as he stepped through.

On the other side, he ended up falling onto his back from three stories up. It knocked the wind out of him, but once he rolled onto his hand and knees, it didn’t take him long to catch his breath.

As he stood, he realized that there was no part of the Morgenstern manor that would allow him to fall that far without crashing through the floor at some point.

He was in the partially burnt Wayland manor. He groaned and felt the sudden urge to put his fist through one of the remaining support beams but he had to restrain himself since he didn’t want to leave any evidence behind. Clarissa could explain it to him all she wanted, but the way that this rune worked would never make sense to him. He made sure to think of a location instead of a person. He was thinking Morgenstern manor on loop as he stepped through. At no point did the Wayland manor even cross his mind before he made the portal. At least this time he was no more than ten miles away from the Morgenstern manor, so instead of trying another portal and risking ending up further away, he set off at a brisk pace that would have him there in less than thirty minutes.

He got to the manor with a light sheen of sweat on his forehead that was easily wiped away. Once again, father wasn’t in his office. He heard the rhythmic sounds of an object hitting another object, but he couldn’t be sure what. He followed the sounds to the training room, where he found father practicing his form and technique with a blunted seraph blade on a human sized wooden post.

“Father,” Jonathan called out to announce his presence. Valentine’s sharp inhale was the only indication that had been startled.

“Jonathan,” he said as he put his sword down, “I wasn’t expecting you back so soon.”

“I noticed,” Jonathan replied dryly. Valentine’s stern look sent Jonathan immediately apologizing.

“I hope you remember that I do not tolerate insolence.” Valentine said. “Do you have an update for me?”

“We found the cup.” He said. Jonathan explained his rough plan to cause some type of attack that would force either Jocelyn or Luke into moving the tarot card containing the cup. He added the idea of having Jocelyn kidnapped as an afterthought.

“I also think that once the cup is retrieved, your plans would be better served if I were to be here, with you. Clarissa already has Jace, Izzy, Maryse, and Jocelyn wrapped around her finger. And Alec trusts her more than he trusts me. With me gone, or even possibly seen as the enemy, their sympathy for her will definitely increase.” Valentine considered his son’s words.

“Are you sure about this?” Valentine asked.

Jonathan nodded, “I’ve been thinking about it, in depth, for a few hours now.”

“I think that I have a solution for you,” Valentine said. “There will always be the issue of the Clave not trusting both you and Clarissa, but I believe that my plan will rectify that. I’ll work out the exact details for the next time you or Clarissa return. When you go back, I need you to gather as much information as possible to make this operation run smoothly. We still have several months before we can take the cup.”

“Yes father.”

“I assume that Clarissa is doing well?” Valentine asked.

“Yes, she is indulging Jace’s infatuation as we speak.”

“And how do you plan to deal with Alexander?”

“Well he doesn’t believe that both Clarissa and I could have been raised to hate you. That could be fixed once it’s revealed that I’m willing to go back to you and Clarissa chooses to stay with the Lightwoods. He shouldn’t be too much of a problem after that.”

“Alright. I’ll start making the arrangements. I’m assuming that Clarissa has not yet been made aware of your plans, so you should return and inform her.”

This was the part that Jonathan had been dreading, he hated having to use the portal himself. This time he ended up outside an Institute in England, and then northern Canada, before he was able to end up close enough to the Institute in New York City. The next time that he had the chance, he was going to cave in and ask Clarissa to teach him how to portal properly.

Jonathan had to climb up the side of the building and slide in through his unlocked window to avoid being seen. He really didn’t want to risk running into anyone and being forced to socialize, but he also didn’t want to stay in his room, so the next best choice was to go was the training room. He changed into track pants and decided to forgo a shirt and headed to the training room.

Chapter Text

Clarissa likes to think that she knows Jace well enough to know where he’d be. It’s been less than a week, but she could already tell that he liked to stick to his patterns. And that made him predictable. She was unsurprised to find him in the kitchen. Considering he ate so many empty calories, it was no surprise that he was always hungry. It couldn’t have been later than two o’clock, but she was guessing that he hasn’t eaten breakfast yet.

“Hungry?” She asked. Jace, startled, jumped and bashed his head on the roof of the fridge.

“Yeah,” he groaned. “But I can’t reach the pancake batter that Alec made a little while ago.”

Clarissa grimaced. Judging from how far back it was and how many takeout containers were in front of it, Alec could have made that anywhere from four days to a week ago.

“I can make you some fresh ones in like twenty minutes,” she offered. Jace agreed easily.

Clarissa had a stack of fifteen cooked within the timeframe. Jace ate so quickly that she doubted that he had even tasted them. She took her time eating and savoured the taste of oatmeal, banana, and yogurt.

“Holy fuck!” Jace exclaimed. “These are good.”

“I know.”

“Like really good. Did you always cook when you were living with Valentine?” He asked.

“Sometimes. Jonathan did a lot of cooking too.”

“You guys are basically live in chefs,” he joked.

“If we started to cook enough, you’d probably get sick the next time that you tried to eat that greasy fat that you love.” Clarissa was joking but there was some truth to her words.

“That will never happen. Anything deep-fried tastes amazing.”

Clarissa rolled her eyes. “Everyone’s allowed to have their own opinion.” She tossed the dishes into the dishwasher.

Jace was standing almost awkwardly, as if there was something that he wanted to say but wasn’t sure how to phrase it. Clarissa figured that if Jace didn’t want or know how to say something, then it probably wasn’t good, so she figured that it’d be better to cut him off before he started talking.

“Jace,” she said. “Could I ask you something?”

“Shoot.” He said. It took her a moment to remember that that meant ‘go ahead’ and that it didn’t mean to literally shoot. It wasn’t something that was often in mundane fiction.

“Um-,” she hesitated. “Would I be able to…” She trailed off and bit her lip. “Never mind,” she shook her head. She knew that she baited him enough.

“What did you want to ask?” Jace slid his hand down her arm before settling into loosely holding her hand.

“Well, would I be able to go demon hunting with you?”

“Probably. But I’d have to confirm with the Clave. I don’t think that it’d be an issue though.”

Clarissa face lit up into a smile.

Jace drew Clarissa in closer and let his other hand trail down her spin to rest on the small of her back.

“You know what I think?” Jace spoke softer and let his voice drop a little.

Clarissa giggled and rested her hand on his chest, her way of keeping a little distance between them. Jace leaned into her touch and had her stuck between him and the counter.

“What do you think?” Clarissa gave in and rested her forehead on his chest.

“I think that watching you show off and kill some demons would be really sexy.”

“Would you still find it sexy if I was kicking your ass?”

“Definitely.” Jace breath tickled her ear. “You know, if we go hunting, I’ll have to make sure that you can defend yourself.”

“I’ve been training since I could walk. I could definitely kick your ass.” She knew that he was flirting but she hated having her skills questioned.

“I don’t doubt that, but it would give me some peace of mind.”

Jace played with a few of the hairs that fell out of her braid.

“I think that you’re just using this as an excuse to spar against me.”

“Yeah,” Jace agreed, shrugging. “You could say that too.”

Clarissa heard footsteps approaching the kitchen almost a full minute before Jace did.

“Someone’s coming,” he said. “Probably Alec. Should we…” He trailed off.

Clarissa made no effort to move. “Let him see us. He’s gonna find out eventually, why not now.”

Jace rested his chin on the top of Clarissa head just as Alec turned the corner. He paused briefly as he saw Jace and Clarissa but continued as if he hadn’t seen anything.

Alec grabbed a water bottle from the fridge. “If you can separate yourself from Clarissa, can we talk? Privately?” Alec sounded casual but his body was tense, as if preparing for a fight.

“I guess that’s my queue,” Clarissa pulled away from Jace. “I’m gonna be in the training room. Bye Alec,” she smiled. Alec’s smile in return couldn’t have been described as anything other than a grimace.

The boys waited in silence until they were sure that Clarissa was out of earshot.

“What’d you want to talk to me about?” Jace asked.

Alec took a deep breath. “She’s Valentines daughter. What were thinking?”

“She’s not her father, Alec.”

“Maybe she is, maybe she isn’t, but she was raised by him.”

“So you’re really gonna hold that against her forever?” Jace scoffed and leaned on the counter.

“We’ll you can’t just ignore that.”

“At least let her put that behind her. She left so she could start over. Why won’t you let her?” Jace had to force himself to keep his voice level.

“Because it just doesn’t make sense,” Alec insisted. “I’ve been saying this since they got here but no one wants to listen-.”

“Maybe that’s because we’re trying to give them the benefit of the doubt.”

“That can only go so far. She knows runes that shouldn’t exist, Jace. And in case you forgot, the Clave did nothing more than verbally tell them not to leave alone. There’s nothing physically keeping them from leaving.”

“What’s your point? Clarissa’s spent most of her time with me or her mother. There wouldn’t have been enough time in between to get out, do something, and come back without any of us seeing her.”

“What about her brother, then. How often do you see him? Because he’s almost always ‘in his room’ or ‘in the library’ but there’s really nothing to be sure that he is where he says he is.”

“They left so they could start over,” Jace said softly. “But all they did was exchange one prison for another, except this one has invisible bars.” Jace paraphrased what Clarissa had said, hopping that it would have the same effect on Alec as it did on him.”

“You can’t blame the Clave from being cautious.” Alec said.

Jace really hated arguing with Alec, and he could tell that this was something that they wouldn’t agree on for now. So it was better to change the subject to a new one before it got heated.

“Whatever,” Jace said. “I was gonna go hunting in a few days. You coming with?”

Alec looked shocked by Jace’s refusal to argue and sudden topic change.

“You know that I’d never let you go hunting without me. We’re Parabatai for a reason.”

“Thanks, man.”

“Wait. Where were you going to go hunting?”

“About six hours north. Rochester. The demons here aren’t giving us a challenge so we’d probably stay there for a few days.”

Alec seemed to consider it before he came to his conclusion.

“And we’d be leaving Clarissa and Jonathan here?” Alec asked.

“This is the part that I knew you wouldn’t like.”

“You want to bring them away from the Institute and give them the perfect opportunity to leave. Do you really think that that’s a good idea?”

“They could also leave here whenever they want, but they’re still here. Have a little trust.”

Alec grit his teeth. “Fine. But only if Izzy comes too.”

“Deal,” Jace agreed. “So do you want to camp in Rochester, stay in a hotel, or in the local Institute.”

“Camping isn’t an option, but you might want to ask Izzy which one she prefers.”

“You know that she’ll slap me if I suggest camping.”

Alec smiled, “that’s what I’m counting on.”

Jace raced to his room to change into his workout clothes, then raced to the training room. He paused outside the door to calm his breathing. He walked in on Clarissa practicing her form with a staff using smooth and precise movements. She was barefoot in tights and a sports bra.

“Ready to get your ass handed to you?” She asked without breaking her form.

Jace took off his shoes and grabbed a staff.

“I don’t think that you understand that I’m the one with the advantage, Sera. I’ve seen you fight, I know you’re tricks, and you’ve never seen me fight.”

Clarissa spun her staff gracefully while she was well out of Jace’s reach.

“You’ve seen me fight no more than two times and you really think that you know all my tricks?” She giggled. “You’re so cute when you’re being naïve.”

They circled each other using slow, calculated steps. Clarissa faked a lunge forward. Jace instinctively reacted with an instinctive step back and moved to block or deflect the attack that didn’t come.

“Naïve and jumpy.” Clarissa stepped forward into Jace’s striking range, confident in her abilities to defend herself.

“At least I’m not overconfident,” Jace grunted. He leaded with a punch as he threw himself into the fight.

Jace thought that he and Clarissa were evenly matched, but he didn’t know how much of it was her actual skills and how much was her toying with him. He watched her spar with Jonathan, and compared to now, it seemed like she was almost downplaying her abilities. Some of the strikes that were connecting, he had seen Clarissa easily block or evade when she was sparring with her brother on the rafters. He couldn’t think of any reason why she shouldn’t be able to defend herself from them now.

He waited until they went back to circling each other, “why are you going easy on me?”

“What are you talking about?” She denied.

“You know what I’m talking about.”

“C’mon Jacey, I know that you just wanted an excuse to spar with me. I didn’t think that you’d be too happy if the spar ended in a minute.”

“As good as you think you are, there’s no way you’d beat me in a minute.” Jace’s cocky grin slid back onto his face as they continued to circle each other.

“Oh yeah?” Clarissa challenged.

She moved suddenly, swinging her staff above his head at a speed that Jace couldn’t hope to match or block. Jace ducked instinctively. Clarissa hooked her foot behind his legs to pull them out from under him as she drove the palm of her hand into his chest. Jace toppled backward and Clarissa discarded her staff so she could straddle his stomach.

With his hands trapped under Clarissa legs, and with her knees planted firmly on either side of him, there was nothing he could do. Jace was at a loss for words.

Clarissa leaned over to whisper in his ear.

“I guess I was wrong. I could beat you in less than five seconds.”

“That was so hot.” Jace turned his head and caught Clarissa in a kiss.

With her distracted, he was able to flip them over so he was on top. Clarissa recognized what he was doing but allowed him to do it. She didn’t want to damage his ego too much in one day.

She knew that their enthusiastic kissing would definitely leave her with some swollen lips and probably some hickeys but she couldn’t find it in herself to care.

“You’re too dressed,” she said breathlessly.

“I can fix that.” Jace made a show of taking off his shirt, allowing Clarissa to marvel at his abs, even though it wasn’t anything she hadn’t seen before. He threw his shirt away, not caring wear it landed.

He bent back down and braced himself on his hands on either side of her head. Even though she just handed him his ass, she just seemed so breakable so he didn’t want to put his full weight on her.

Clarissa knotted her hands back in his hair and pulled him back down again. This time, they couldn’t have been kissing for anymore than a minute when she came to the sudden realization: Jonathan. She had no idea where he was or what he was doing so he could walk in at any moment. He might know what she was doing with Jace, but knowing and seeing were two different things.

She pulled back, “Jace.”

“Yes, Sera?” He nipped at her neck. She tilted her chin up.

“Anyone could walk in and see us.”

“Let them.”

“What about my brother? He’d probably try to kill you if he saw us right now.”

Jace hesitated but didn’t try to get up.

“He fights better than I do. Especially when mad.”

Jace sighed and rolled off her. He laid on his back beside Clarissa, enjoying her company.

“I was thinking of heading up north to go hunting.”

“North where?”


“Good pick. There are a lot more demons in Rochester than there are in New York. You’ll have a lot of fun with that.”

“You mean we.” Jace clarified.

Clarissa rolled over to look at Jace and raised her eyebrows.

“Yeah it’s gonna be me, you, Jonathan, Alec, and Izzy. We’ll go there for a week or so, hunt some demons, then come back.”

“And we’re allowed to go?”

“There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be allowed to. All we need to do is tell the Claev that we’re going hunting. There’s no need to specify where.”

Clarissa closed her eyes. “Do you want me to ask Jonathan for you?”


“You know, if you want a real fight, you’d need Alec and Izzy to go against me and my brother.”

At this point Jace didn’t doubt her. “I’ll think about it.”

Clarissa rolled to her knees and stood up. “I’m gonna have to shower. Again.”

“You barely even sweat.” Jace’s stomach growled.

“We just ate. And rolling on the floor made me fell gross.” Clarissa said.

“Hey! I’m a growing boy and I need my food.”

“How about you go eat again and I’ll tell Jonathan about Rochester.”

Chapter Text

Clarissa found Jonathan in their room behind a pile of books.

“Jace is planning a hunting trip” She said. “We’re all going to Rochester. All meaning me, you, Jace, Alec, and Izzy.”

“That should be fun. The demons in Rochester should give more of a challenge than the ones here.”

“Yeah,” Clarissa agreed. “But Jace wanted to make sure that I could ‘defend myself’ so we sparred, and I kicked his ass. I also suggested that that we spar against Izzy and Alec, so you could have some fun too.”

“Thanks,” he said dryly. “Was it really Jace’s idea to go to Rochester unsupervised?”

“Yeah, I have no idea where idea one came from. It was completely his. It’s almost like he’s trying to help us.”

“If Jace is unintentionally being generous then I guess that this would be a good time to take advantage of his generosity and visit the Seelie Queen. We won’t want her and her people fighting against us.” Jonathan said.

“I’ll have to go,” Clarissa cut in. “If you disappear there’s no way it could be ignored. It’s still a risk if I go, but it’s definitely a smaller risk and I might be able to get away with it.”

“And if you get caught?”

“Then I’ll lie my ass off,” Clarissa answered gleefully. “I’m gonna go find Jace and leave you here to pack.”

Alec, Jace, and Izzy were all in Izzy’s room before they would head over to the training room to spar against Clarissa and Jonathan.

“Jace, why’d you leave this till the day before we’re leaving for Rochester?” Alec asked.

“We all needed time to prepare, and stuff.” Jace argued.

“We needed two weeks?” Izzy asked.

“No. Jace needed the two weeks because Clarissa beat him in ten seconds.” Alec laughed.

“Whatever,” Jace grumbled. It was more like three seconds, but he wasn’t about to correct Alec.

“Since she already handed you your ass with a staff, how about we use knives instead. They have a lot less reach,” Izzy suggested.

“That’s not an option,” Alec protested. “I’m not about to give them an easy chance to kill one of us and be able to call it a ‘training accident’.”

“They’re not going to try to kill us, Alec.” Jace was starting to get tired of Alec’s hostility and suspicion.

Alec didn’t look convinced. “I don’t care. We’re either going hand-to-hand or using blunt weapons.”

“Hand-to-hand it is then,” Jace decided.

Alec, Izzy, and Jace surrounded Clarissa and Jonathan on the training mats.

“What are the rules?” Clarissa asked.

“There’s the no killing rule, for starters,” Alec said.

“I thought that one was a given,” Jonathan said.

“I just needed to make sure that everyone was aware of that rule.”

“Well other than that, anything important we should know?” Clarissa asked.

“Typical mixed martial arts, fight ending rules,” Jace said. Clarissa and Jonathan gave him a blank look in return, forcing him to re-explain. “If you get knocked out, you’re done. And you can tap out if you want to stop. Tapping is usually when you’re on the ground and need to stop.” Jace demonstrated the movements by exaggeratedly tapping on his thigh.

“Sound simple enough.” Clarissa and Jonathan slid into fighting stances. With Clarissa facing Izzy, and Jonathan facing Jace and Alec. Jonathan was going to keep Jace and Alec busy until Clarissa could take Izzy out of the fight.

Jace lunged at Jonathan so Jonathan kicked out towards his left, forcing Jace to dodge into Alec’s path instead of taking the brunt of the kick. Jonathan kept Alec and Jace on one side of him, and Izzy and Clarissa on the other. His main strategy was to keep forcing Jace and Alec into each other’s paths to keep it as more of a one-on-one fight. He was pulling his punches enough to keep them both in the fight. Clarissa would kill him if she didn’t get the chance to beat the shit out of Alec.

Izzy was surprisingly good at defending herself. It took Clarissa longer than she would have liked to subdue her. Clarissa’s strong roundhouse knocked Izzy into the ground. Clarissa capitalized by straddling Izzy’s waist to hold her down.

Izzy threw a punch that threw Clarissa off balance. Izzy turned to scramble to her feet. Clarissa regained her senses and clamped down on Izzy’s waist while Izzy was on her stomach. Clarissa forced her arm around Izzy throat and pulled, cutting off her blood supply and oxygen.

Izzy repeatedly drove her elbow into Clarissa’s ribs, but it wasn’t enough to loosen her grip. Izzy was forced to tap out before she lost consciousness.

Clarissa let go and rolled off Izzy. Izzy rolled onto her back and struggled to catch her breath. The grip that Clarissa had around her neck was tight, but it wasn’t going to bruise. Izzy knew that she would have bruises around her waist from Clarissa’s legs that would take a while to fade, even with an iratze.

Jonathan threw Alec into Jace as Clarissa got to her feet to help him. She jumped onto Alec and rolled with him, forcing him off and away from Jace. She was able to land a solid elbow to Alec’s face before he threw her off him. Alec got to his feet and wiped the blood from his nose. He stalked over to where he threw Clarissa. She was still lying on her back, dazed. The second that Alec stood over her, she kicked straight up into Alec’s stomach. It knocked him back a step, but it didn’t give her enough space to get to her feet.

She stayed on her back, waiting for Alec to approach again. She tried another up-kick, but this time he was able to grab her ankle and pull her towards him. Clarissa was able to see Jonathan toying with Jace before Alec straddled her stomach to hold her down.

He squeezed tightly at her waist, making her breathing take more effort. She could think of at least ten ways that she could kill him, even from this position, but she wasn’t about to jeopardize herself and Jonathan for a few minutes of satisfaction.

Alec grabbed her throat and squeezed. From this angle, Clarissa could see that Alec’s strength rune was a lot darker than his other runes. That explained how he was suddenly so much stronger. Clarissa clawed at his biceps, leaving trails of blood down his arms and caked under her fingernails. She pounded at his ribs and stomach, but she knew that if she were a normal Shadowhunter, there was no way she should be able to escape his hold on her own, especially when he was using a strength rune. She’d never be able to come up with a plausible excuse.

Clarissa continued to punch Alec where she could but was starting to get weaker as his grip was unrelenting.

“Jonathan.” Her voice wasn’t anything more than a soft, raspy, whisper, but Jonathan heard it clear as day.

Hearing his sister, Jonathan delivered a sharp kick to Jace’s solar plexus before using a strong hammer fist to the side of his neck, knocking him out.

Jonathan drove his elbow into Alec’s spine, forcing him to let go of Clarissa’s neck. He picked Alec up by the waist and threw him a couple feet across the room, downplaying his own strength.

With the weight off her stomach and her airways free, Clarissa stayed on her back and struggled to take a few breaths before getting to her feet. She could already feel the bruises around her neck starting to form.

Jonathan had let Alec get to his feet before engaging him in one-on-one combat to keep him tired while simultaneously giving Clarissa time to recover.

She was officially pissed. This fight was supposed to be hand-to-hand with whatever strength that they had naturally, and Alec had the nerve to use his strength rune. She knew that technically she and Jonathan were cheating, but the Lightwoods had no way of knowing that for sure. Not only did Alec have the audacity to use a strength rune, he re-drew it on an easily visible part of his arm. The least he could do was draw it somewhere under his clothes. If he really thought that he could get away with that, then she had no issues using her natural strength to choke him out like he tried to do to her.

Clarissa joined her brother in fighting Alec. Once Jonathan could see that Clarissa had fully recovered, he started to back off and let Clarissa take over. She went full offence and was pushing Alec back until she was able to get him to the ground. She managed to trap one of Alec’s arms when she took him down and kept it pinned under his own bodyweight. Alec continued to assault her with his free arm, but she was too mad to even notice any pain.

She wrapped her slender fingers around his neck and squeezed strongly enough to immediately cut off any air, but she was careful to not break or crush anything. Alec got weaker as the lack of oxygen got to his muscles, but he refused to tap out and admit that she was stronger than he was. He stared at her defiantly until his eyes rolled back into his head.

“-issa. Clarissa.” Jonathan’s voice forced itself through her focus. “He can’t tap anymore. You might end up killing him if you keep going.”

Clarissa released a resigned sigh as she let go of Alec’s neck. The reaction was instantaneous: Alec’s sharp intake of breath was followed by a dry, hacking cough. Jace was still too out of it to pay much attention to his surroundings, but once Izzy was sure that the fight was over, she rushed to Alec’s side.

“I’m fine,” he said.

Once Izzy and Alec were sufficiently distracted, Jonathan grabbed Clarissa’s arm tight enough to bruise and dragged her across the room.

He obviously wasn’t pleased. “You almost let him kill you. Care to explain what you were thinking?”

“If I got out of it, how would I have explained that?”

“You shouldn’t have let yourself get into that position in the first place.”

“This isn’t the place for this. I’m gonna check on Jace.”

Clarissa went over to one of the tables bordering the room and grabbed her stele. Jace was sitting upright but still looked a little dazed.

Clarissa kneeled beside him. “Jace?” She asked.

Jace started to turn his head to look at her but stopped and groaned.

“Raziel. Your brother really didn’t hold back.” He said.

“I would say that he really did hold back since you’re still alive,” Clarissa said. “Do you want an iratze?” Clarissa held up her stele.


Clarissa pulled the back of Jace’s shirt all the way up to expose the back of his neck, where she figured most if his pain was coming from. Jace hissed from the burn of the iratze but sighed in relief once the pain started to fade.

“Wow. That feels great.” Jace rolled his head around, testing the movement of his neck.

Jace reached out to cup Clarissa’s chin and pull her closer. Clarissa smiled but pulled back. She wasn’t interested in making out with Jace while he was all sweaty, while she was still bruised, and while Jace’s siblings and Jonathan were in the room.

“You really want to do this here?” She asked. “With Jonathan, Jace, and Izzy here? Why don’t you go back to your room and sleep, you’ll feel better after. I’ll come find you in a bit because I have to deal with my ass of a brother first.”

Clarissa dug her nails into Jonathan’s arm and dragged him back to their room. He barely flinched.

“Let me deal with my bruises before I get mad at you,” Clarissa said.

“If you fought properly then you wouldn’t need an iratze right now,” Jonathan bit back.

“I’d be happy to give you a bruise around your neck that matches mine. I’ll even be kind enough to let you draw your own iratze.”

Jonathan rolled his eyes. “I’m going to shower while you deal with your bruises.”

She drew the rune and the rush that she got from the fleeting pain was almost worth it. But she swears that she isn’t a masochist.

She had just finished reveling in the feeling of being pain free when Jonathan stepped out of the bathroom.

“Ok. I know you shower fast, but there’s no way that you actually washed everything.”

“Believe it because I did. Now do you want to explain what you were doing and why you let Alec almost kill you.”

“He wouldn’t have killed me. If you want to go back to twenty minutes ago, you’ll remember that technically the fight doesn’t end until you go unconscious. I only called for you because I didn’t want to lose to Alec.”

“Then you shouldn’t have put yourself in a situation where losing was a possibility.” Jonathan said.

“Yeah, and that was my mistake. In any other situation that wouldn’t have been an issue. I would have been able to use any believable excuse, but he was using a strength rune. There’s no way I should have been able to get out of his grip with that.” Clarissa answered.

Jonathan paused. “Are you sure he was using a strength rune?”

“Of course I am. He hasn’t used any of his runes recently so they all should have been slightly faded but his strength rune was fresh.”

“This Shadowhunter is making this mission more complicated than it needs to be.”

Chapter Text

Clarissa had finally showered and washed the blood and skin from under her nails when she remembered that she was supposed to go find Jace.

She knocked on the door but received no answer. Jace’s breathing was surprising heavy, even through the door, so he was probably asleep. She tried the handle and found it unlocked. Either he never locks his door, which could make sense since not many people live here, or he was so tired that he just forgot.

She had barely pushed the door open when he woke up.

“Sera?” He asked sleepily.

“Who else would it be?” She joked. Clarissa closed the door and sat on the edge of the bed. “So, are you convinced that we can defend ourselves?”

“At this point I think you can more than defend yourself.” Jace rolled onto his back and groaned.

“Thanks. Have you showered yet?”

Jace shook his head, “I fell asleep before I could.”

Clarissa scrunched up her nose. “Go shower then. You’re gonna have to change all your sheets now.”

Unlike herself and Jonathan, Jace spent almost 20 minutes in the bathroom. By the time that Jace came out, Clarissa was more than ready to leave the building. She was tired of being trapped in here.

“We should go to Central Park,” she said.

“Right now?”

“Why not? Is there anything else you need to do today?”

She couldn’t believe that something like Central Park could exist in downtown New York. Jace brought her down one of the lesser travelled paths that was starting to get overrun with weeds. She definitely preferred the natural, but still walkable, path instead of the pristine public paths.

“Why does no one else live in the Institute?” Clarissa asked.

“Different families are put in charge of institutes. The Lightwoods were put in charge of this one, well Robert and Maryse were, and I think that they’ll want Alec to take over. Most Shadowhunters actually live in Idris and come to live temporarily for business. Sometimes they’ll stay for a few days or it could be a few years. You haven’t really been here long but other Shadowhunters, and sometimes their families, stay here for a little bit,” Jace explained. “As long as there’s not too much demon activity and no downworlders break the accords, then there wouldn’t be too many Shadowhunters going through the institute.”

“Was it always like this?” Clarissa asked. “Because all of father’s book say that Institutes are supposed to be heavily populated.” She had an idea of what happened to cause the change but Jace was probably right, the books were most likely outdated. Father wouldn’t have had the means to gather much reliable information since it’s not likely that Hodge would be trusted with information like that, and even if he did have the means, he wouldn’t have gone through the effort because this part of the missions belonged to her and Jonathan. If the information was outdated, then it was their job to deal with it.

“About a year or two before I was born, almost all Shadowhunters were called back from the Institutes to defend Idris from The Circle. After that, most people stayed in Idris and only those were absolutely needed were sent back to the Institute. After Robert and Maryse joined The Circle, and lost, they convinced the Clave to put them in charge of the Institute here instead being permanently confined to Idris. This way gave them a lot more freedom.”

“So you just stay here all the time?”

“Not all of us. My litter brother Max is at the Academy in Alicante.”

“You have another brother?”

“Yeah. They have a break in a few weeks so he might either come here for a bit or stay with another family in Alicante.”

Clarissa did want to meet Max but in a few weeks that might not be an option. The institute was likely to become a high priority location and the Clave would send more Shadowhunters in once she and Jonathan made their move.

Once they stared walking down a heavily travelled path, they couldn’t talk about anything from the Shadow world in case any mundanes were paying attention to their conversation.

Clarissa laced her fingers with Jace’s and swung their hands between them. They walked in silence while Clarissa debated telling Jace a little more about father. It wouldn’t be enough to let the Clave be able to prepare a defense, but it would definitely be enough to make her seem a little more innocent when Jonathan and father started to make their move.

“I know that I’ve told you before, but my father isn’t done,” she said.

“I know. We all know.”

“No, I mean, he’s planning something. Something big. But I don’t know what it is.”

Jace stopped dead in his tracks.

“How big?”

“I don’t know a lot, but it won’t just affect our world, it’ll affect the mundane world too.”

“What about your brother? Would he know anything?”

“No. Father didn’t trust us with anything like that. We just did what we were told.”

“Why didn’t you tell the Clave!” Jace’s grip on her wrist was starting to get uncomfortably tight. “You were in Idris last week. That would’ve been the perfect time to tell them.”

“Because he’s still my father and the Clave would kill him at the first chance if they thought that they knew what he was planning.”

Jace hesitated. “So why are you telling me?”

Clarissa looked down. “I don’t know,” she whispered.


“I think I want to go back to the Institute now.”


“Please Jace.” Clarissa let her eyes start watering and a few tears ran down her cheek. Clarissa actually surprised herself with her ability to look so weak that she was able to make Jace forget that she could snap his neck.

She and Jace walked back to the Institute under a cloud of uncomfortable silence. At some point Jace had wrapped his arm around her to comfort her but couldn’t remember exactly when he had done it. She looked so fragile and he almost regretted hearing about Valentine’s plans because it upset her so much.

Clarissa continued to let the tears fall and sniffed a few times as they walked back. She had intended to tell him a little about father so he wouldn’t be surprised later if it got revealed that she and Jonathan were involved in father’s plans, but she didn’t think that he would ask why she was telling him.

When they got back to the Institute Clarissa ran back to her room.

Jace didn’t know what to do with what she told him but, he felt like she knew more than she was telling him. Valentine might not have told her all of his plans but there’s no way that she was absolutely clueless. She had to have had a good reason for not telling him. She might want to protect her dad, but Valentine has never had good intentions.

Clarissa didn’t drop her guard until she got back to her room.

“You look awful. What’d you do?” Jonathan asked.

Clarissa shook her head and sat down. She hadn’t done anything wrong, technically, but Jonathan was gonna be pissed that she didn’t think everything through.

“What did Jace do?” Jonathan demanded as he stood up. “Because I swear-.”

Clarissa pulled Jonathan back to the bed, “he didn’t do anything.”

“So why were you crying?”

“I needed a reason to leave. I told Jace that father is planning something but that we didn’t what. I only told him because I need to start making it clear that I don’t know anything, especially for when you join father and I’m still here,” she clarified.

Jonathan didn’t look impressed. “That’s great. But it doesn’t explain why you were crying.”

“Jace asked why I told him if I didn’t plan to do anything about it. I couldn’t think of a good enough reason why I would tell him. Crying was the best way for me to not have to tell him.”

“So what you’re telling me is that you decided, last minute, to tell Jace information that could screw both of us over, and you didn’t think that through.”

“Well when you put it that way-.”

“It doesn’t matter how I word it, it sounds bad no matter what.”

“I’m not sorry. I need to keep myself looking innocent.”

“Well next time you decide to ‘look innocent’ think it through. This mission isn’t going to fail because of your inability to have some forethought.” Jonathan said.

“And it wont. It was a mistake. But even if Jace figured out that I messed up, he wouldn’t even know what I wasn’t supposed to say. At worst, he’ll think that I felt guilty about telling him about father,” Clarissa explained.

“You’re acting a lot more impulsive than normal. What happened to the Clarissa that thought through every possible outcome? If Jace’s influence is clouding your judgment then you should know that I’m willing to do anything to make this mission a success. Nothing is off limits and with Jace attraction to danger, it wouldn’t be to surprising if he were to die in a demon attack.”

“Jace has nothing to do with this. I am the exact same person that I was two weeks ago. Nothing has changed.”

“Really? Because you never would’ve let something like this happen before you started to ‘date’ Jace. Since, apparently, you need a minute to remember who you are, I’ll let you start packing for tomorrow while I go to the library and start considering the consequences of your actions.”

“Jonathan-,” Clarissa sighed.

“I’ll see you later Clarissa.”

She completely understood why Jonathan was annoyed. She messed up because of a semi-impulsive decision. She had thought about most of the questions that Jace could have asked, but that probably wasn’t the best time to tell him.

Clarissa fell back onto the bed. She gave up on trying to figure out how to fix it and instead focused on what she needed to pack for Rochester. She got up and stood in front of hers and Jonathan’s closet. She realized that she had no idea what there were doing there besides hunting. Izzy would definitely want to have some fun while they were there.

Clarissa figured that she should find Alec or Izzy to figure out what to pack since Jace would mostly be focused on hunting and she didn’t want to run into him so soon after what had happened in the park.

She literally ran into Alec as he was leaving the medical wing.

“Oh. Sorry,” she said. Alec looked down at her with disdain. Clarissa had to resist smiling when she saw that the bruise that she put around Alec’s neck was still faintly there even though Alec was probably on his second, or even third, iratze. Either someone is bad with runes or she had squeezed tighter than she had thought. Now that she thought about it, it was probably a mix of both.

“Uh, do you know what were doing in Rochester, other than hunting? Because I don’t know what to pack and I couldn’t find Izzy.”

Alec turned to glance down the hall, like he was looking for someone. Probably Izzy, guess that made sense if it was Izzy who drew his iratze.

When he turned his head, he winced and instinctively reached to touch his neck. Clarissa pride at the thought of his bruises instantly turned to pity.

“Do you want me to draw you an iratze?” She asked.

“No thanks.”

“I’m really good with runes,” she insisted, reaching for her stele. “And I think that the one you have now isn’t doing much.”

Alec debated it briefly before agreeing. He must’ve been in more pain than he was showing if he was willing to let her draw a rune one him.

Clarissa watched the bruises completely fade away as she finished the rune.

“Sorry about your neck,” she said.

“It’s fine now.”

“I’m still sorry.”

She and Alec stood in the hall for more than a few seconds before Alec spoke again.

“Bring clothes for a club,” he said. “And be prepared to spend a couple nights in the woods. Izzy won’t let us sleep there but Jace is gonna insist on some overnight hunting. We won’t be hunting 24/7 so be prepared for that too.”

“Thanks Alec,” Clarissa said sincerely.

“Don’t mistake this for friendship. I’m only telling you because you and your brother would only slow us down if you’re unprepared.”

“Thanks,” she repeated dryly.

Alec caught her wrist as she turned away. “I don’t know what lies your selling Jace, but I’m not believing them.”

“I’m gonna be here for a while so you’re gonna have to get over your unnecessary distrust and realize that I’m not lying to you or trying to manipulate you.”

Alec narrowed his eyes, trying to find the lie in her statement.

“Whatever Clarissa. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Chapter Text

Alec drove off the highway and started heading towards the hotel.

“Dude, where are you going? You should’ve made a left so we could go to the woods.” Jace said.

“Jace we are not going to the woods,” Izzy complained. “We need to go to the hotel so I can change.”

“Yeah Jace,” Clarissa started. “I’m not hunting in in this.” She gestured down to her sweats.

“Fine. We’ll go to the hotel so we can all change but we’re spending the night in the woods. We can go to the nightclub tomorrow.”

“That’s not happening,” Izzy argued. “It’s a Saturday night. We’ll find more demons in the nightclub tonight. No ones gonna be there on a Sunday night.”

“She has a point Jace,” Alec commented.

Jace gave in.

At the hotel, Jonathan changed into jeans and a t-shirt that looked identical to what he wore in the car, while Clarissa changed into shorts and a crop top. She re-drew the glamour runes on herself and Jonathan that hid their runes from most onlookers. There was no need to look anymore noticeable than needed, and their runes marked them as different.

She and Jonathan met the Lightwoods outside their room.

“You glamoured your runes,” Izzy noticed.

“We’re not trying to stand out more than we need to. You guys should glamour yours too.” Jonathan said.

Izzy reluctantly agreed, upset that she hadn’t thought of it.

“How do you guys usually hunt?” Alec asked. “Because as much as people go out in large groups, a hunting group of five is kinda conspicuous.”

“Usually I distract,” Clarissa started to explain, “and lead them away so Jonathan and I can take our time. But we would rarely hunt for fun. Usually we had an objective so once we got what we needed, we’d leave. Father insisted on it.”

“Well there’s no real objective now beyond ‘kill and have fun.’” Jace said. “Alec’s right though. Five is a lot so we should probably split up tonight.”

“I’ll go with Jonathan,” Alec said. “It’s bound to be crowded and we wouldn’t want to lose anyone.”

“I think that Clary and I should be fine together,” Jace said as he draped an arm over her shoulder.

“I’ll go with Alec and Jonathan then. Alec’s gonna be a killjoy and I want to make sure that Jonathan has some fun,” Izzy explained.

As soon as they got into the club, the five split up into their group with the agreement to meet back at the car by 3:00 am.

Jace let Clarissa to the bar, with the intent to survey the club before they start picking targets.

Jace was leaning on the bar and Clarissa stood in front and was leaning back on him. Jace wrapped his arms over Clarissa’s shoulders. They were ignoring the loud music of the club while still scanning for demons.

Clarissa loathed to admit it, but she really did enjoy Jace’s company. His presence was calming, and it probably had something to do with the fact that Jace wasn’t trying to flirt her ear off right now. Jace rested his chin briefly on Clarissa’s head before lifting it to continue scanning.

Even though Clarissa was at the chest height of almost everyone in the club, she was able to spot Jonathan’s silvery white hair across the club. The flashing lights made him easy to spot from the light reflecting off his hair if you know what to look for. He was being led by Izzy and followed closely by Alec, who almost seemed to be more focused on keeping an eye on Jonathan rather than looking for demons. She let out a soft chuckle, Alec was completely right to be watching them. The only issue was that he was watching the wrong sibling. They had planned for Clarissa to leave instead of Jonathan for that exact reason.

Clarissa felt Jace look down questioningly when she chuckled, but she didn’t explain her thoughts – Jace definitely wouldn’t have approved.

Clarissa refocused her attention to the dance floor and immediately spotted a girl who just seemed off. Clarissa wasn’t exactly sure what tipped her off until its hair changed from auburn to a sun bleached blond when it stepped out of and back into her line of sight.

“Jace,” Clarissa nodded towards the demon while tugging at his shirt. She agreed to help him herd the demon to one of the backrooms. Jace followed it and when he caught its eye, he subtly flashed his seraph blade. Its eyes widened and it started walking in the other direction – exactly where Jace wanted it to go. Clarissa followed beside it just to make sure that it continued to go where they wanted it to go.

Once Jace was sure that it wouldn’t turn around, he fell back out of its line of sight, trusting Clarissa to herd it away.

When they were far enough away from the mundanes, Clarissa cornered it, forcing it away from the exits. Jace rejoined her and together they roughly forced it into one of the club’s private rooms.

It didn’t put up much of a fight. Jace made a show of cutting of its arms before decapitating it. He waited until the body had fully dissolved before putting his sword away.

This method had a lot more of a risk than what she was used to. With this type of mission, usually she or Jonathan would gain the demon’s interest and then lead it away. Mundanes would definitely notice something if a demon attacked in the middle of a crowded space. It was actually pure luck that the demon that they hunted reacted with fear instead of confronting them on the dance floor.

Clarissa had already suggested something like that but if the Lightwoods weren’t going consider it, then she wasn’t going to force them to use it. Clarissa and Jace killed six more demons with only two close calls. Those demons didn’t react well to Jace’s intimidation. Both of them ended up attacking Jace but, luckily, continued to look like mundanes. She and Jace were able to take it outside under the guise of a bar fight.

They all got back to the hotel before 3:00 am.

“You’re gonna wanna sleep a lot more tonight cause we’re gonna be out a lot later tomorrow night and be more active.”

Clarissa rolled her eyes at Jace’s innuendo. “I’ll see you tomorrow Jace.”

“Goodnight Sera.”

She disappeared into her room. Jonathan was sitting on their bed with his eyes closed and his head in his hands.

Clarissa was instantly concerned. “Are you okay?” She rested her hand on his back.

“I’m fine,” he answered. “Just trying to recover from the annoyance that prefers to be called Alec.”

Clarissa had to hold back a laugh, knowing that her brother was being completely serious.

“You better get used to it cause I’m going to see the Seelie Queen tomorrow night. I could be gone for a couple hours or a whole day,” she said. “I’ve been thinking about it and I’m not really sure how I’d explain coming back.”

Jonathan sat quietly for a few minutes before coming up with an answer.

“It might be better if you don’t come back. Disappear for a few days, maybe a week. You’ll have to use a concealment rune so we won’t be able to track you until you’re ready.”

“I could go see father for a while and make sure that everything will work for us. When I eventually let them find me, I’ll say that I got separated from the group, mention that I saw some of father’s followers and ran. I used the concealment rune so that they couldn’t track me, and I didn’t want to return to the Institute and lead them back there.”

“If you think that’ll work, then use it.”

“Do you think you could pull of ‘concerned brother’ without pissing them off too much?”

“Your disappearance will be the perfect excuse to yell at Jace, especially if we split up like we did earlier. And they won’t be able to retaliate because I’ll have just lost my sister and there wouldn’t have been anything that I could’ve done about it.”

“Sounds like something you’d enjoy. The first day should be fun, but have fun dealing with Alec’s accusations after that.”

“Don’t remind me,” Jonathan groaned.

“So, how’d your hunting go?” Clarissa asked. “Did Izzy and Alec use the same ridiculous strategy that Jace uses?”

“We actually didn’t do much hunting. Izzy was too busy flirting and dancing, and Alec was busy trying to keep an eye on me and Izzy at the same time.”

“Sounds like you had a blast,” Clarissa said dryly. She proceeded to tell her brother about the idiotic strategy that Jace seemed to favour.

“It sounds like Jace is still trying to get you, and himself, killed.”

Clarissa sighed, “I can take care of myself, and Jace is still alive so clearly he thinks that his way works.”

“I have no issues with his way of hunting as long as you aren’t the one getting hurt.”

The hunting party dressed in a black and forest camo, arming themselves with various weapons and steles. Alec suggested that they use invisibility runes, but Izzy argued against it, saying that there was no need because it only worked on mundanes and there wouldn’t be any mundanes in the forest. The rest of the group agreed with Izzy.

They drove about two hours to where one of the larger forest areas began. Alec scoffed when he read a sign warning mundanes about wildlife and warned against hiking after dark. They followed the trails by foot for about an hour until they reached the end and the real forests began.

“Should we stay together or split up again?” Izzy asked.

“We could split up again,” Alec said. “But we’d need to stay relatively close to each other.”

The two groups never strayed more than a mile from each other at any given time. Clarissa and Jace hunted in silence, unwilling to alert any demons of their presence. Clarissa could hear the occasional whoop of glee from Izzy or Alec when they killed a demon that had put up a fight. She knew that Jonathan would be enjoying himself too but would be unwilling to make his enjoyment known.

She hunted with Jace for nearly three hours when she knew that Izzy and Alec would be too caught up in the hunt to be paying attention to Clarissa’s specific location.

It had been child’s play to lighten her steps until she had been able to stop walking and not draw Jace’s attention. She watched Jace continue to walk, not noticing her disappearance, too caught up in the hunt. She started to walk in the other direction, away from Jace and the other hunting party, until she was far enough away that the light from her portal wouldn’t be seen.

“Clarissa?” She faintly heard Jace call out.

Shit! She didn’t think that he’d notice her disappearance so quickly. She hurriedly drew a portal rune and stepped through before she could hear Jace call for her again.

“Clarissa,” Jace called. He could have sworn that she was right behind him like she had been all night. Jace completely stopped hunting when he didn’t hear her answer. He broke into a run, tracing his steps back for the last thirty minutes, still calling her name.

“Jace?” He heard Alec call him, he must’ve been closer to them than he thought.

“I’m fine,” Jace yelled back. “I just don’t know where she went.”

Izzy, Alec, and Jonathan ran towards Jace’s voice.

“What do you mean you don’t know where she went?” Jonathan yelled.

“It’s not my fault, I don’t know where she is. She was following behind me and then she wasn’t.” Jace spat back.

“Boys,” Izzy yelled. “Clarissa could be laying in a ditch somewhere and-”

Jonathan cut her off. “She’s not dead. I doubt she’s even hurt,” he scoffed.

“And how do you know that,” Alec accused.

“Because I know my sister. If something happened, then she would’ve called for one of us. We’re better off going back to the hotel, or even the Institute, and waiting.” Jonathan said.

“Why are you so eager to leave her here?” Izzy asked.

“Like I say before: I know my sister. If she disappeared, then it’s because she chose to. And what do you think you’re gonna accomplish out here? She’s one person wearing camo in a massive forest. If she doesn’t want to be found, then we aren’t going to find her.”

“So you’re saying that she planned to leave.” Alec said.

“She didn’t plan anything. If she did, then she would have told me, and I would be with her right now.”

“We’re not gonna get anything done if we stay out here arguing,” Izzy said. “But Jonathan’s right, we’re not gonna find her right now. We should go back to the hotel and sleep. We’ll wait till daylight to try and find her.”

Jonathan was shocked by Alec. He thought that Alec would be eager to leave Clarissa out here if he thought that she was still out here. Jonathan didn’t think that he’d be the one arguing to make them leave. He also didn’t want to waste anymore time out here, especially since he knew that they weren’t going to find anything. The only proof to show that she had been there would be here portal rune, and even that should be fading away right now.

He spent the rest of the trip back to the hotel keeping up the pretenses by glaring at the back of Jace’s head, something that he was more than happy to do.

Chapter Text

Clarissa stepped out of her portal into the middle of central park. She walked around the park, looking for one of the faeries that would be stationed around the park.

She finally found one that closely resembled a young girl that couldn’t have been older that nine. The only difference between her and a mundane was her abnormally pointy ears and that her pale pink cheeks gradually faded into a soft blue as it approached her hairline.

“Hello,” Clarissa said softly. The faerie had been distracted by the flowers around her and Clarissa didn’t want to startle her and start their relationship off with a misunderstanding.

The girl, surprised, stood quickly. “Hi,” she answered.

It didn’t take her long to recognize Clarissa as a Shadowhunter by her runes, but she didn’t look afraid.

“You must be looking for The Queen,” the girl said. “Sovann,” she called out.

She must really be young if she wasn’t allowed to bring people to see The Queen on her own.

A second faerie, Sovann, came up behind Clarissa. She closely resembled the first faerie except she looked a little older and a few differences in their facial features.

“Who’d you find Anyala?” Sovann asked.

Clarissa answered for her. “My name is Clarissa Morgenstern and I have a proposition for The Queen concerning the upcoming war.”

Sovann narrowed her eyes, obviously recognizing Clarissa’s surname. She took a few steps to place herself between Clarissa and Anyala.

“There is no war,” Sovann said.

“Maybe not right now, but there’s about to be and your queen will want to hear my offer,” Clarissa said.

Sovann stood with her arms crossed, considering Clarissa’s words.

“Come,” she finally said. Clarissa followed both faeries through the park until they reached an area that went untouched by mundanes. They passed several other faeries on their way, some of them recognized Clarissa and starred with wide eyes until they ran in the opposite direction. Others remained blissfully unaware as they continued on their path. Anyala recognized the weird behaviour in her sister and fellow faeries and stole some curious glances back at Clarissa, but, wisely, didn’t ask any questions.

Sovann stopped Clarissa at an area that was curtained off naturally by thick dangling vines.

“The queen is through there. Good luck Miss Morgenstern,” Sovann said thinly.

“Thank you,” Clarissa said politely.

Clarissa parted the vines to walk through them and emerged in a room that was much larger on the inside than it looked from the outside.

“Your Highness,” Clarissa said respectfully as she curtsied.

“Rise Miss Morgenstern,” The Queen said. “There’s no need for that. You may address me as Aveneh.”

Clarissa found it ironic that she chose a name that was an anagram for heaven, especially because of the demon blood that was running through her veins. Clarissa knew that the Seelie Queen chose a different name for different people depending on the purpose that they served for her. That was why most people preferred to avoid confusion and generally just refer to her as The Queen.

“In that case, I insist that you call me Clarissa.”

“Of course, Clarissa,” The Queen said. “Now, what is this war that you would like to speak about.”

Another faerie must’ve been nearby and came to tell The Queen about her arrival in advance.

“My father, Valentine Morgenstern, is currently planning to destroy the Clave and rebuild it according to his beliefs. His takeover will include the elimination of all downworlders,” Clarissa said.

“And you thought to warn us ahead of time out of the goodness of your heart?” The Queen asked.

“Not exactly. My brother, Jonathan, and I, don’t agree with our father. The Clave may be broken but we believe that we can fix it. The death of all downworlders would not be necessary. We plan to go along with it until we reach a point where we’re able to take our father out and continue the mission following our ideals.” Clarissa explained.

“And what is it that you want from the Fae?”

“Your support would be appreciated, Aveneh. Once my brother and I remove my father, we might also lose the support of The Circle if news of our betrayal comes to light. In that case, it would be my brother and I against the Clave and the Circle.”

“And why should the Fae support you?”

“The Clave has become arrogant and complacent. The Shadowhunters look down on the very downworlders and mundanes that we exist to protect. Our numbers are decreasing while the demonic activity is increasing. Even when they had the Mortal Cup, the Clave refused to use it to create more Shadowhunters. My brother and I want to fix that.”

“You seem very focused on the downworlders. Is there a specific reason for that?”

“It had been speculated that my brother and I have the blood of angels and demons running through our veins. That speculation is true. Should the Clave find out, they’ll probably demand our immediate execution.”

“That is very valuable information that you’ve just given me.”

“Consider it trust. Should you choose to inform the Clave, then I’ll know that we do not have the support of the Fae. We may have to alter out plans, but the end results will still be the same.”

The Queen considered her words for a few moments before pulling two rings out of her pocket.

“Then here’s a little trust on behalf of the Fae, these rings will allow you and your brother to communicate telepathically, over any distance. They may help you with your plans,” The Queen smiled knowingly.

“Thank you, Aveneh.” Clarissa pocketed the rings.

Clarissa made sure that she was well out of faerie territory before drawing a portal and stepping through into her bedroom at the Morgenstern Manor.

“Welcome back, Clarissa,” Valentine said.

Clarissa stood uncomfortably in front of her father’s desk. She was more aware then ever that she and her brother were planning to betray their father. Jonathan had never said it, but she knows that he’s going to kill their father.

“Thank you, father,” she said. Hiding her thoughts from their father had never been more important than now. If her father even suspected that she was planning to betray him, she would not be returning to Jonathan in New York.

Clarissa gave him a short update about what was happening in New York, excluding her quick trip to the Seelie Queen. Simply saying that she received an opportunity to return to the Manor without raising too much suspicion was enough to sate Valentine’s curiosity.

“Jonathan and I thought that we could take the time now to start putting our pieces into places to take The Cup,” Clarissa said.

Valentine nodded, “I am currently occupied with other matters. So I’ll leave the planning to you. How long before you need to return to the Institute?”

“About seven days, eight would be pushing it, but it could be done.” She explained.

“Then you have a week to plan the abduction. Whatever doesn’t get done now will have to be solidified by either you or Jonathan when you return to New York.”

This was probably the best turn of event possible for what Clarissa and Jonathan were planning. She had free reign to do whatever she wanted.

“Yes father. I’ll update you once the plans have been finalized.” Her father nodded her dismissal.

As much as she wanted to go to the training room and practice with the weapons that the Institute didn’t have, this mission took precedence and she had all week to train. She already had an idea that she thought would work, but Jonathan’s original idea would have to be scrapped.

She walked by the training room in favour of going to her room to put her plans on paper. She’s always found it easier to plan backwards, starting with the end result and working out each step before it. This way would be more efficient even if she could only write down what father could be allowed to see.

She knew that the only way that they’d be able to take the cup would be if Luke moved it, so they’d need to abduct Jocelyn and tear the apartment apart. Jocelyn already trusted her so it’d be child’s play to get into the house, but it’d be a lot easier to deal with Jocelyn if she were unconscious.

Clarissa decided that it’d be better if she and Jonathan faked an attack and Clarissa would draw a temporary sleep rune on Jocelyn so they could tell father that Jocelyn drew it on herself. Clarissa could simply portal herself, Jonathan, and Jocelyn back to the Manor or father’s headquarters in the states. Luke, most likely knowing the purpose if the attack, would move the cup to a location that he thought would be more secure. Like his desk at the police station.

Now that she knew how it was going to happen, she only had to figure out when.

Clarissa sighed, leaning back in her chair. As much as she was happy to be away from the Institute, she was not looking forward to a week of glamours and disguises, doing reconnaissance to figure out Jocelyn and Luke’s daily schedule. She’d probably be stuck doing this when she returned to New York too, since a week was nowhere near long enough to figure out someone’s habits.

Chapter Text

Jonathan slammed the door to his and Clarissa’s room in the Institute. He had spent much more time and energy than he would’ve liked, trying to deal with Jace and Alec arguing over the best way to find Clarissa. Jace thought that it’d be better to have Magnus track her, while Alec thought that they needed to report her disappearance to the Clave. Jace protested vehemently against it, knowing that Clarissa, and maybe even Jonathan, would be branded as traitors.

That was a battle that Alec was going to lose since Izzy was on Jace’s side.

Jonathan was just glad that he could flaunt his anger; his anger being nothing more than all the annoyance that he’d been suppressing since they arrived at the Institute.

Jonathan was certain that any tracking rune wouldn’t work well, whether Clarissa used a concealment rune or not, because they shared everything. Well, they shared almost everything that could be used to track each other. They exchanged steles so often that they couldn’t even remember who originally had what stele.

Jonathan wasn’t even in his room for more than five minutes when someone knocked on the door. He opened it to Alec Lightwood.

“What do you want?” Jonathan asked.

“We’re going to Magnus’ apartment so he can do a tracking spell on Clarissa. You’re coming too and we need something that belongs to her so Magnus could use the spell,” Alec said.

“There’s nothing here that she’s attached to. Your best bet would’ve been her combat knives, but she had them on her.”

“So what’s the second best option?” Alec asked.

“Her stele,” Jonathan said. “That we both use.”

“Are you trying to make this hard?”

Jonathan shrugged. “It’s not my fault that she doesn’t really think if anything as hers.”

“No clothes? Or any sketchbooks?”

“She wears a lot of my clothes and does a lot of portraits and considers the portraits property of the person that she drew. So, like I said, it’s not gonna work,” he reiterated.

“Then just take something that she uses.”

Jonathan grabbed Clarissa’s backup stele and a sketchbook that she had already filled since arriving at the Institute.

Alec and Jonathan met Jace and Izzy at the main entrance to the Institute. They dressed in mundane clothing so they wouldn’t stand out when they took the subway.

“Shouldn’t you be a little more worried?” Alec asked Jonathan as they walked.

“If she thought that it was better to leave for a bit instead of staying, then she’ll be fine.”

“She’s your sister.”

“And that’s how I know that she’ll be fine. I’m more annoyed that Jace didn’t notice that she left so now we have no idea how long she was gone for.” Jonathan said, aiming a glare at Jace.

Jonathan and Clarissa may be siblings, but Alec was not convinced that that was the reason why Jonathan was so at ease with the whole situation. He knew that if Jace or Izzy disappeared without warning, he’d be a lot more panicked than Jonathan, regardless of their skill level. Alec was convinced that Jonathan either knew that Clarissa planned to leave, knows where she is, or possibly both, and is confident that she’ll be able to return without any issues. But, for the life of him, Alec couldn’t figure out where she would’ve gone and what she could be doing. There were too many options.

Once they got to Magnus’s apartment, Alec knocked on the door, just to let Magnus know that he was here, then unlocked the door with his key.

Magnus came around the corner and wrapped this arm around Alec’s waist.

“Alec, Jace, Izzy, Jonathan,” he greeted them. “What have you brought for me?”

Jonathan handed Magnus the stele and sketchbook. “It’s probably not going to work,” Jonathan warned.

“We’ll see about that,” Magnus said. “I just love working pro bono for Shadowhunters,” he muttered.

“What’s your price then?” Jace asked.

“Oh, you wouldn’t be able to afford me. But, if you insist, then let’s just say that you owe me a favour,” Magnus said.

“Done,” Izzy said. Considering how often Magnus did them favours because of Alec, she didn’t want to know what his fee was.

“Do you think that you’ll be able to track her?” Alec asked.

“I’ve done this spell hundreds of thousands of times and it’s never failed me,” Magnus reassured him.

Well this is going to be a shock for you, Jonathan thought.

Clarissa’s runes were definitely strong enough to evade Magnus Bane, no matter how strong he thinks he is.

“Now, which one should I use because I can’t do the spell with both,” Magnus asked.

“The stele. She uses it more often,” Jonathan said.

Magnus turned the stele over in his hand. “This really is a work of art.”

“It was a gift,” Jonathan clarified.

“And you both use it?” Alec asked.

“Either I received it for my birth or Clarissa did. I can’t really remember which, and, frankly, I don’t really care. It works well for both of us, so we never really cared as long as we both have one. But she uses it more often than I do so this is probably the best chance that we have.”

“Hm,” Magnus narrowed his eyes. “If the ownership is split then the spell won’t work. I’ll use the notebook instead.” Magnus held his hand out and Alec exchanged the stele for the sketchbook.

“If that’s how it works then you’ll have the same outcome with the sketchbook. She considers each portrait to be the property of whoever she drew,” Jonathan clarified.

“That may be the case,” Magnus countered. “But if she’s the artist then she probably considers the sketchbook as a whole to be hers. Would you allow me to try anyways?” He asked sarcastically.

Jonathan shrugged. “Be my guest.”

Magnus didn’t open the sketchbook, wanting to focus on the sketchbook and not the portraits inside of it.

He began to speak in a tongue that Jonathan didn’t understand. It was a little unsettling to have a warlock be so near to him and using a spell that Jonathan didn’t recognize. He had no way of knowing what spell Magnus was doing.

The air around Magnus’s hands turned a pale blue that steadily deepened into a brilliant cobalt. He closed his eyes, but Jonathan could still see his eyes moving, searching beneath his eye lids.

Jonathan knew that Clarissa concealed her location, but he couldn’t help the wave of nervousness that hit him. The entire mission would be over if Magnus was able to locate her and find her in Idris. Jonathan could see the magic weaving around his hands as Magnus’s face shifted into one of confusion.

“I can’t find her. I can feel that she exists, but I can’t pin her location down to an exact place,” Magnus said.

“What about a general location? If we know roughly where to look, then we might be able to find her,” Jace insisted.

“It doesn’t work like that,” Magnus said. “The location that I’m getting spreads over all of North and South America, Europe, and most of Africa.”

“Clarissa likes to draw a lot of landscapes too. You might be tracking the drawings and not her,” Jonathan explained. “I told you it wouldn’t work,” he added.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t track her. I hope you have better luck using a different means.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Alec said. “Jonathan was convinced that it wouldn’t work anyways.”

“We’re going to have to track her by foot then,” Jace said.

“Um - I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention, but she could literally be anywhere. We don’t even know where to start,” Izzy said. “I think that Jonathan’s right. We’re better off waiting for her to come back. She might not even be on this continent for all we know. She isn’t wanted in the mundane world so with a persuasion rune, it wouldn’t be hard to get on an airplane.

“No. Absolutely not,” Alec protested. “I’m not comfortable with letting her do whatever she wants until she feels like coming back.”

“Then what do you suggest? We have no idea where she is. We don’t even know if she’s in the northern or southern hemisphere and we can’t track her,” Jonathan said.

“Then we tell the Clave,” Alec decided.

“No! They’ll mark her as a traitor and she’ll either be sentenced to death or be stripped of her runes and banished.” Jace argued.

“Hey!” Izzy stepped in. “You’re both right. We need to find Clary, but we also can’t tell the Clave. We’ve already waited too long to tell them. If we tell them now, then all we’ll be doing is marking New York as being a high-risk Institute and they’ll send more Shadowhunters to ‘help us’ run it.”

“And is that such a bad thing? The longer we wait to say something, the worse it’ll get for us.” Alec was less argumentative since his opinion was finally being considered.

“It’ll definitely be bad when we have a quarter of the freedom that we have now.” Izzy said, referring to Alec and Magnus’s relationship.

Alec sighed and ran his hand through his hair. “If we give her a week then we aren’t gonna sit on our asses and wait. Even blindly searching is better than nothing.”

Alec gave Magnus a kiss and rested his hand on Magnus’s waist. “Thanks for trying.”

Izzy and Alec echoed his sentiment.

Clarissa stood a block from Jocelyn’s apartment, glamoured with an invisibility rune, waiting for Luke to leave the apartment.

Jocelyn’s schedule was easier to figure out than she thought. She had her whole schedule written out on her desk calendar in her gallery. She spends Monday to Thursday in the gallery and Friday’s were for her to do whatever else her job demanded. She usually ate lunch at home between noon and two o’clock.  But Clarissa would need to confirm that nothing had changed closer to the abduction date though. Luke’s schedule was more unpredictable. So far, he seemed to work whenever he was needed for a minimum of six hours.

Jocelyn had already left about an hour ago, but Luke seemed to be taking his time.

Once Luke had left, Clarissa portaled to the police department. She couldn’t risk going inside in-case anyone could see through her glamour.

Luke’s day seemed more like the typical day for an on-duty police officer. Some desk work mixed with some field work, it was actually pretty boring to watch. Well, it was only boring until the end of the work day. She expected him to head straight home but instead he went in the other direction. He seemed to be trying to cover his tracks, so Clarissa was forced to follow from a greater distance. She hid herself between two buildings when Luke stopped to meet someone, someone that she wasn’t able to see. She traced over her hearing rune.

“-about Clarissa and Jonathan Morgenstern,” Luke asked.

“Nothing I can share,” someone replied.

Once Clarissa was sure that Luke’s back was to her, she ducked down, below eye level, and peered around the corner. Luke wasn’t speaking to anyone that she recognized but she was definitely a warlock, made evident by the faint purple hue to her skin.

“Why can’t you share it? Valentine is preparing to destroy the downworld,” Luke said.

“If he finds out that I know something, then I’m as good as dead,” the warlock said.

Clarissa smiled, proud that hers and Jonathan’s reputation had spread like this, even though the warlock didn’t know exactly who did the punishment.

“It’s just you and me here. No one has to know that you said anything.”

Clarissa had to hold back a chuckle, knowing that Luke was close enough to hear her if she made any sounds.

“He has a way of knowing. He’ll find out.”

“It’s just us here, I’m sure of it.”

The warlock took a nervous breath. “I don’t know much. Only rumours.”

“Rumours are more than enough. Any information is valuable at this point.”

There were long minutes of silence. Clarissa didn’t want to risk looking around the corner and exposing herself.

“The-,” she hesitated. “His children are not natural.”

Another minute of silence. The warlock must’ve been gathering the courage to continue.

“The daughter-”

“Clarissa,” Luke cut in.

“Yes. She knew compassion and empathy, from the blood of Ithuriel. The son-”


“He’s the child of Lilith.”

“Yes, but it’s possible that the blood of the angels overcame Lilith’s blood.”

“No. That’s impossible. His eyes are black as night-”

“Jonathan Morgenstern has green eyes.”

Clarissa could hear the faint ruffling of fabric, so she assumed that the warlock was shaking her head.

“Maybe his eyes are green with the help of a glamour.”

Luke thought out loud: “No Shadowhunter could maintain a rune like that for long time.”

“Maybe not a normal Shadowhunter, but the blood of Ithuriel could redefine the limits of what a Shadowhunter could be capable of.”

Another minute of silence. Clarissa could only guess at what they were doing.

“Thank you,” Luke said. “No one will know about what you said here.”

Clarissa heard footsteps approaching where she was standing, footsteps that could only belong to Luke. It was too late to try to leave so she dug out her stele, trusting Luke’s footsteps to mask the sounds of her movements.

She drew a rough glamour rune to help her blend with her surroundings. It would make her completely invisible to mundanes, but not to downworlders and Shadowhunters. The most that it could do would be to help her blend into the wall, keeping her hidden from Luke unless he looked right at her, which was unlikely.

Clarissa got lucky in the fact that Luke kept walking straight and didn’t even glance down the alley where she was hidden.

She took a deep breath and dragged her knife across the rune, leaving a straight, neat line that wouldn’t leave a scar with her iratze, and effectively cancelling her glamour.

Once she was sure that Luke was out of hearing range, she groaned. She didn’t plan on having to do this much work on her week away from the Institute, but she knew what she had to do next.

Not only did the warlock know too much, she also shared what she knew.

Clarissa couldn’t afford to let her continue to live.

Chapter Text

Clarissa had been busy for the entirety of the week, whether it be preparing for when she and Jonathan needed to take The Cup or trying to hunt down anyone who had too much information. There was still more that she needed to do but staying for anymore than a week would be pushing her luck. So, after saying goodbye to father, she portaled to New York.

She found Jonathan and the Lightwoods fairly easily so she spent most of the day following them, trying to decide when it would be best to reveal herself. She got her chance when they turned onto a street that was a lot less busy; she didn’t want to attract too much of the attention of the general public with how Alec was likely to react.

“Jonathan!” She cried out as she ran to tackle her brother in a hug.

He tensed briefly before tentatively wrapping his arms around her.

“Clarissa,” he said softly. “I missed you.”

“I know. And I’m sorry. I just couldn’t –. I had to leave.” She let her voice sound like she was about to cry.

“I understand,” Jonathan said. He had yet to release her from the hug.

“Well I don’t,” Izzy cut in. “I’m glad your back, but care to explain where you were?”

Clarissa glanced around nervously. “Not here,” she said. “We should go back to the Institute first.”

Clarissa hung off Jonathan’s arm as they headed back. She might’ve only been gone a week, but it was rare that she’d have to be away from her brother for so long, and she missed him.

Alec kept shooting Clarissa suspicious glances; he had no idea what she could’ve been doing for a week. She might’ve said that she’d tell them when they were back at the Institute, but he knew that whatever came out of her mouth wasn’t likely to be the truth. Jace and Izzy probably wouldn’t do too much to help him figure out the truth, they were too enamored with Clarissa to see through her lies. They might even tell her and Jonathan what he was doing if he decided to involve them, the Morgensterns might know that he doesn’t trust them, but as far as they know, he isn’t doing much about it. Alec wanted to keep it that way.

The only way that he could start getting closer to the truth would be by talking to someone who knew them and the only person who knew anything about them was Jocelyn but, he wanted to see how much he could get out of Clarissa or Jonathan before he went to see her.

The second that they were safely in the Institute and away from mundane eyes and ears, Alec grabbed Clarissa to make her face him. He stood at his full height to glare down at her. She reacted instinctively by preparing to punch him but pulled back, knowing that it wouldn’t end well for her.

“So what exactly was so important that you decided to break the Clave’s rules and leave?” He demanded.

“It’s not really something that someone of your IQ could easily understand so I’ll try to dumb it down for you,” she bit back.

“Maybe it’s not smart to insult the person that could tell the Clave about your little disappearance and have you branded as a traitor,” Alec snapped. She’d been back for less than an hour and she was already getting on his nerves.

“If you haven’t told them yet and you tell them now, then you’re about as likely to be marked as a traitor as I am. The Clave doesn’t take covering up a crime lightly, we’re in the same boat now Alec. If you try to pull me down, I will be happy to drag you down with me,” Clarissa took a step forward and stared Alec dead in the eyes. “So, pick you next words carefully.”

Jonathan, who had rested a hand on Clarissa’s shoulder, dug his nails into his skin. He would definitely leave a mark, but it’d heal easily on its own. He wasn’t necessarily trying to hurt her, but she was being too aggressive and that wouldn’t help to sell the lie.

Alec huffed and took a step back. “Just tell us where you went,” he sounded resigned, almost tired.

“I didn’t really get far out of New York state before I decided to head back, but I took a different route through Michigan in case I was followed,” she lied. “I went through Canada and ended up a little further north than Toronto.”

“Followed?” Jace asked. “By who?”

“One of father’s Circle members. He was me in Rochester, but I don’t think that he noticed anyone else. I lead him away and kept him busy until I was sure that you guys left Rochester then I lost him. I wanted to make sure that he couldn’t follow any of us back to the Institute. If father didn’t already know where we were, I didn’t want to help him figure it out,” she explained.

“Thanks Clary,” Izzy said. “For considering our safety.”

“We can protect ourselves, Izzy,” Alec said.

“Not against our father, you can’t,” Jonathan said. “If he knew that we were here and decided that he wanted us back, he’d kill anyone that stood in his way without a second thought. Trust me, I lived with him for seventeen years.”

“You seem awfully calm about this,” Jace said nodding at Jonathan.

“Clarissa’s back and she’s fine,” Jonathan said. “I don’t see any reason why I should be anything but calm.”

Alec groaned aloud and turned back to Clarissa, ignoring Jace.

“You just went to Canada then came back?” His tone was faintly accusing.

“I did some hunting. I was bored and it’s not like anyone would notice a few more dead demons.” She wasn’t completely lying. She did actually do some hunting, but it wasn’t demons that she was killing.

“That’s all you did?” Alec still sounded like he didn’t believe a word that she was saying.

Clarissa curled into Jonathan’s side. “I’m telling the truth. I don’t know what you want me to say,” she said softly.

“Are you sure that you’re okay, Clary?” Izzy asked.

“I didn’t really get much sleep but I’m fine,” she said.

Jace nodded. “Maybe you should go lie down for a bit.”

“Yeah.” Clarissa let her shoulders slump a little. “I’ll see you later Jace. Bye Izzy.”

Jonathan let his hand fall from her shoulder to the small of her back to guide her back to their room.

Once she was sure that no one followed them and she had shut the door, she pulled the rings that the Queen gave her and gave one to Jonathan.

“The Seelie Queen agreed to help us. She also gave us these rings so we could communicate telepathically if we’re separated,” she explained. “It’s a product of the Fae so there’s always a chance that our communications will not completely be private while we use them. But either way, it’ll be useful.” Clarissa went on to explain what she had done during the week and summarized the slight change to their plans.

She also explained that she thought that it’d be best if they became Parabatai before they gave father the cup. Jonathan’s eighteenth birthday was coming up, they wouldn’t be able to wait any longer than a few months. If they did the ceremony too close to his birthday, there was always the chance that it wouldn’t work.

“And how do you plan to do the ceremony?” Jonathan asked. “Because we don’t have a Silent Brother that we trust enough to do this.”

“The cup can summon Lilith. She’s more than powerful enough to do it. She’s also, technically, your mother, her blood runs through your veins. There’s no reason why she wouldn’t help us or want us to succeed,” Clarissa explained.

Jonathan nodded with her. “How much do you know about this? I doubt that the library here will have any books about it.”

“Father’s library had a decent amount of information, but it was spread around about twenty books and none of it was stated outright. The details of the ceremony are known only to Lilith, all we’d need are our steles and a knife or sword – something that could be used to cut.”

“What about the rune itself? How similar is it to a standard Parabatai rune?” Jonathan asked. He already knew that he was going to agree to it, the discomfort from any separation and whatever side effects that the rune would cause would be worth it if they both got stronger with it.

“The rune looks nearly identical. A couple extra lines, but no one would really notice unless they were inspecting it.” Clarissa quickly sketched out the rune so Jonathan could see it. “The actually rune’s effects are the same as the Parabatai rune but it’s a little more,” Clarissa struggled to find the right word, “intense.”

“What exactly do you mean by intense?” Jonathan wanted to know exactly what he was walking into.

“The first little while is like an extreme dependency or obsession with your partner. I read a few cases where it lasted a couple days and one were it lasted over five years.” It had been slightly disturbing to read about it and know that she was volunteering herself for this. There was no way to really know how long it’ll last until the effects started to fade.

It sounded like the side effects could be problematic for Jonathan if they were separated for any length of time. He’d always been protective of Clarissa so he could only imagine how that would be amplified with the rune.

“Let’s assume the worst,” Jonathan started. “Assume it’ll last eight years and that we’ll be separated for four of them. Based on what you read, do you think you could handle it?”

Clarissa nodded. “It won’t be easy, but I think I could do it.”

“What about me?” He asked. “Do you think I could last four years?”

She paused. “I – Maybe. You’d have a harder time than I would. But we also have these rings so it wouldn’t be hard to communicate.

Clarissa slipped her ring on and told Jonathan to do the same. The second that Jonathan slid his on, she could feel his presence in a way that she’d never felt before.

“Wow!” She exclaimed.

“This might make it a little easier to deal with the dependency.” Jonathan said.

“Hopefully.” She agreed.

“It’ll probably be better to do this soon rather than later. We might even need to borrow the cup for a few hours so we could do the ceremony and then return it. It wouldn’t be ideal if Jocelyn found The Cup missing but I’d prefer if we can get through these side effects as fast as possible.”

Clarissa nodded along with his plan. She had originally thought that they could do the ceremony right before they gave father the cup, but Jonathan’s idea made more sense and was a little less risky. The odds of having Jocelyn notice The Cup’s brief absence was minimal and they didn’t wouldn’t to meet father until they had a handle on the side effects.

She took a deep breath. “Luke is suspicious of us. He met with a warlock and she knew some basic information about us. Mostly about our blood, she was too scared to say anything else.”

“Describe her to me.”

“Short with purple skin. Not many like her.”

“She shouldn’t know anything about us. Who’s her source?” Jonathan asked.

“I don’t know. I tracked her down after she spoke to Luke, but she wouldn’t say anything. I didn’t have the time for an in-depth interrogation, but I couldn’t have her telling anyone else.”

“If we come across anyone else who knows anything that they shouldn’t, then we might need to go on a little hunting trip.”

“Anything to get out of the Institute. I forgot how much I hated it here.” She groaned.

“Well you’re stuck here for a while, so you better get comfortable.”

Clarissa glared at Jonathan and punched him in the arm. Jonathan grimaced but otherwise, didn’t react.

“If I have to be here then at least you’re here with me,” she said.

“At least I don’t have to deal with a lovesick Jace hanging off my every word.”

She was enjoying being here with just Jonathan and did not like being reminded that she’d only have a few hours reprieve before she’d have to go deal with Jace again. Clarissa debated punching Jonathan again but decided that it wasn’t worth potentially starting a fight in their room that they’d have to clean up later.

Chapter Text

Alec had tried to talk to Clary several times during the week, but she seemed to be sticking to the same story and he’d been unable to find any inconsistencies in it. He might have even started to believe her if something in his gut wasn’t telling him that something was very wrong. He was hoping to have a little more information at this point, but he didn’t want to push his luck, so he decided to just leave with the information that he had.

Clary’s persuasion rune would’ve been useful, but he didn’t want to take the risk that Clary would recognize that it was being used on her. And even if she didn’t recognize when the rune was being used, he didn’t know if he’d be able to withstand the energy drain.

Alec really would’ve preferred to talk to Jocelyn herself, since Jocelyn would know Clary and Jonathan the best. Clary seemed to be a lot closer to Jocelyn than Luke, but Alec wanted to minimize the chance that she’d find out what he was asking. He didn’t know much about Luke’s life, but it wasn’t hard to find out that he worked as a police officer at the local police department.

Alec left the Institute before anyone was awake, leaving a note saying that he was going to see Magnus, which was partially true. It was close to five am and the police department wouldn’t be open to the public until nine am. Magnus was a morning person and is usually up at this ridiculous hour. He wanted to try talking about the siblings one more time before he went to see Luke.

He knocked once then let himself in using his key. All the lights were on and Chairman Meow was curled up on one of Magnus’ throw pillows.

“Magnus?” Alec called out as he slipped his shoes off. Magnus had recently acquired a very expensive rug from India and would not appreciate Alec walking over it in dirty shoes.

Alec didn’t hear an answer. Either Magnus left for a minute, which was unlikely since the sun hasn’t even risen, or he was in his walk-in closet that was basically soundproofed from all the clothes in it. Alec walking through the bedroom to get to the closet.

Magnus stood in the centre, trying to pick out an outfit.

“You know that you’ll look amazing in everything,” Alec commented.

“Alexander!” Magnus exclaimed as he turned gracefully. “I didn’t think that you’d be here this early.”

“I need to talk to Luke later, so I figured that I’d come by first,” Alec said. “You don’t usually take this long to pick an outfit, so what’s so important today?” He stepped forward to rest his hand on the small of Magnus’ back and try to help him pick an outfit.

“I’m going to go see Ragnor Fell today. I haven’t seen him in over two years.”

“Well you look more nervous now than you did on our first actual date,” Alec said. “Should I be getting jealous?”

“Oh, please Muffin, no one could compare to you.”

Alec draped his arms over his shoulders. “So, what has you so anxious? I thought you guys were friends.”

“We are,” Magnus confirmed. “But… It’s complicated.”

“Complicated how?”

“Well, Ragnor used to think that I was getting too involved in Shadowhunter business. Personally, I like getting involved, it makes my days a little more interesting.” He explained. “I’d hate to hear what he thinks now. And I’m the High Warlock of Brooklyn, so I’m not sure what he expects.”

“Am I not interesting enough for you?” Alec teased.

“Trust me when I say that our nights are definitely more than interesting. But when you’re working, some other stimulation is more than welcome, and Shadowhunters like you just love to get in the most unpredictable situations.”

Alec sat down while Magnus continued to browse his closet. “Speaking of unpredictable,” Magnus started. “Are you still obsessing over Clarissa and Jonathan Morgenstern?”

“I wouldn’t say that I’m obsessing but hear me out.”

Magnus pulled out a black shirt with a glossy black leopard pattern on it. He sighed as he turned to face his boyfriend, “I’m listening.”

“Clary came back a few days ago but the entire time that she was gone, Jonathan was too calm. And he had almost no reaction when she came back. He says that he had no idea where she went but he was so sure that she’d come back in under a week. You can’t keep telling me that nothing is wrong.” Alec continued to sound more and more frustrated as he continued to speak.

Magnus paused to really think about what his boyfriend was saying.

“What else?” Magnus asked.


“This isn’t the first thing that you noticed. What else is there?”

Alec recounted everything that happened that was even remotely weird, like when they were both questioned under the soul sword, to any feelings of unease that he’d felt when he was around them. Magnus finalized his outfit while still listening to everything that Alec was saying.

“That does sound odd,” Magnus agreed. “And only so much can be explained by their twisted upbringing. I’m not sure how much can be attributed to Valentine, but I’ll mention it to Ragnor while I’m there and see what he thinks.”

“Thanks Magnus.” Alec felt unbelievable relief that someone finally believed him.

“And what’s your plan with Luke?” Magnus asked.

“I just want to see if he knows anything that could help me, since I’ve been getting nothing out of Clary, and Jonathan’s been hostile at best.”

“You’re better off talking to Jocelyn then.”

“Clary’s closer to Jocelyn than she is Luke and I don’t want her or Jonathan finding out before they have to. That, and Jocelyn might be more inclined to want to protect her than Luke,” Alec said.  “How long until you need to leave?”

“Thirty minutes. But I can make it an hour if you’re thinking what I’m thinking.”

“Well you’re gonna need to pick out a new outfit when I’m done with you,” Alec flirted as his hand drifted towards Magnus’ pants.

Alec walked into the police department about ten minutes after nine and realized that he didn’t actually know what hours Luke worked. He’s been in the building often enough since Shadowhunters often had to come up with plausible explanations for mundanes, but he’s never seen Luke at work before.

When he asked at the front desk, he was guided to Luke’s desk.

“Alec,” Luke sounded surprised. “What can I do for you?”

“I have some questions,” Alec said hesitantly. “Can we talk somewhere privately?”

“Is it about the Institute?”

“Kinda. No one knows I’m here.”

Luke nodded, understanding that Alec wanted to keep it discreet.

“Follow me,” he said. Luke lead Alec to one of the interrogation rooms then disconnected the wires from the camera and microphone.

“Is there a problem?” Luke asked.

“It’s about Clarissa and Jonathan. I just wanted to know if you knew anything about them. Some things aren’t making sense and they aren’t exactly the most forthcoming people.”

“I know what you mean,” Luke agreed. “There’ve been too many coincidences for me to keep calling them that. And Jocelyn’s been too excited to have Clarissa back to really think.”

“Just Clary?” Alec thought that it was odd that Jocelyn was only excited to see one child and not both.

“Jocelyn only really told be the bare minimum, but she never really had an attachment to Jonathan like she did to Clarissa.”

“Is that something that you can share with me?” Alec asked.

“It’s something that Valentine doesn’t want to become common knowledge. Apparently anyone else who stumbles across it turns up dead within a couple weeks. Sometimes even a few days.”

“I didn’t take you for the type of person to invoke suspense instead of just telling me.” Alec tried to make it sound like a joke, but at this point he was tired of not knowing what the hell was going on. The answers could be sitting right in front of him and Luke picked now to be vague.

“I just need you to understand what you’re getting yourself into. I spoke to a warlock about a week ago and no one’s heard from her since. This is one of the rare times when I think that the less you know, the safer you are. Are you sure that you want me to tell you?” Luke asked.

Alec hesitated. Luke was being completely serious and if he and his siblings were better off he didn’t know anything, then who was he to take that away. But more often than not, it was just him, Jace, and Izzy alone in the Institute with Jonathan and Clarissa since his parents were often travelling to Idris. They slept in the same building with nothing more than a mundane lock on their door to protect him and his siblings.

But in this case, he disagreed with Luke. His ignorance could get him killed just as easily as being aware of the dangers could.

“I’m sure,” Alec finally answered. “They’ve been here for almost a month and I need answers.”

“Then I’ll try to be as concise as possible. Jonathan and Clarissa are the results of experiments done by Valentine. He fed Jocelyn demon’s blood while she was pregnant with Jonathan, but I’m not sure demon the blood was from. And he also fed her angel blood while she was pregnant with Clarissa. If you ignore Valentine’s influence in their upbringing, then Clarissa shouldn’t be too different from any other Shadowhunter, maybe a little stronger and faster, but not much more than that. But Jonathan, biologically, he’s probably more similar to a demon than he is angel.”

“But the seraph swords respond to him just like they do with anyone else.”

“Well, if the demon blood didn’t burn through all the angel blood then he’s still part angel. The only thing that I can’t figure out are his eyes. They’re supposed to be pure black, sclera included, but every time that I’ve seen him, they’ve been green. He doesn’t wear contacts and a rune would be to impractical for a month, since he’d have to reapply it every day.” Luke confided. He’s been trying to understand the siblings, but he kept getting stuck at his eyes.

Alec was finally catching on. He finally understood Clary’s affinity for runes.

“Clary’s unnaturally good with runes,” Alec said.

“In what way?”

“She can effortlessly use runes that drained Izzy of all her energy when she tried it. And she knows runes that don’t exist in the Grey Book.” Alec surmised. “If she can do that then there’s no reason why she couldn’t draw a glamour rune that could last a few weeks. Or create new runes.”

“I don’t know about that, Alec. She could just have really strong runes but creating her own is a completely different level of power.”

“Luke, think about it. She’s saying that she found all those runes in some of Valentine’s books. But the only book open to all Shadowhunters is the Grey Book. This is the only plausible explanation.”

Luke nodded, trying to believe what Alec was saying about her powers. “But do me a favour, don’t talk to Jocelyn about this. She’s never been happier, and Clarissa likes her so if anything were to happen, Jocelyn’s probably the safest one out of all of us.”

“Clary can like her all she wants, but how is she safer? When Clarissa isn’t in the Institute or with Jace, she’s almost guaranteed to be with Jocelyn. That should put her at a bigger risk than us.””

“People believe that Clarissa’s blood gives her more empathy, and Jonathan and Valentine’s influence is what made her cruel. I’ve noticed that she’s different with Jocelyn when Jonathan isn’t there. Softer. More kind. When she’s with Jonathan she’s… Colder. Haven’t you noticed anything?”

Now that Luke pointed it out, Alec felt like a complete idiot. He immediately thought back to when they sparred. Clary seemed to give a genuine apology. He couldn’t even really be mad at her for choking him since he did try to do the same to her. And the more he thought about it, he realized that they both had completely different auras. He never noticed before but while they both emanated power and strength, Jonathan exudes a type of controlled chaos and Clary seemed to be more of a calming peace, even if a lot of her actions contradict that.

“Yeah,” Alec finally answered softly. “I have.”

“So, you can understand why Jocelyn trusts her so much already.”

Alec didn’t want to understand, but he did.

“Remember that anyone who knows anything, happens to die soon after finding out and I still don’t know how. You’re at a disadvantage too. Not only do you know too much now, but you also live with them. Be careful with who you tell.” Luke said. “If we stay here any longer, some of my coworkers might start to get suspicious. Especially since this isn’t an official interrogation.”

“Thank you, Luke.”

“Alec I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to be careful. Clarissa might be empathetic, but with Jonathan, they’re both unpredictable.”

Alec nodded in understanding as he stood from the table. He took a deep breath. Whatever he thought he’d learn, this wasn’t it. Now, he wished that he was being irrational and reading too far into Jonathan and Clary. Because this battle was about to turn into a war.

Chapter Text

Magnus sighed. Ragnor was expecting him in twenty minutes but the temptation to be fashionably late was there. He decided to spend some time fixing his eyeliner to pass some time. Yes, he could’ve used his magic, but that just wasn’t as satisfying as actually doing it by hand.

When he finally portaled to Ragnor’s home, he stepped out onto the fields surrounding it. Magnus was sure that he created a portal to Ragnor’s sitting room. So why was he out in the field? Was he getting a cold?

“Magnus!” Ragnor said as he stepped outside. “Sorry about that. I’ve just added some extra safeguards,” he said, referring to the wards that prevented Magnus’s portal.

Ragnor led Magnus into his home.

“It’s been too long, Magnus,” he said. “I hear that you’re the High Warlock of Brooklyn. Tea? Coffee?”

“I’ll take some coffee. Preferably from Costa Rica,” Magnus said. He took a seat in one of the seventeen century chairs that adorned Ragnor’s ornate sitting room.

“I see you’re taste in coffee hasn’t changed,” Ragnor noticed. His magic glowed a pale orange as two cups of coffee materialized in front of them.

“There’s no need to change as long as Costa Rican coffee is the best,” he said. “And being the High Warlock involved a little more work than I imagined, but I do enjoy it.”

Ragnor grimaced. “Being at the beck and call of Shadowhunters must have it’s perks.”

“I do most of it for fun, the rest I do get payed for. And my boyfriend does happen to be a Shadowhunter.”

“Ah yes,” Ragnor laughed. “It does seem to have it’s advantages.”

Magnus and Ragnor sat in the sitting room and conversed and laughed about meaningless topics until Magnus had the opportunity to ask about the Morgenstern.

“So as much as I enjoy being the High Warlock,” Magnus started, “I do have a slight problem.”

“Is it Shadowhunter related?” Ragnor joked.

“Oh, my dear Ragnor, when is it not.”

Ragnor narrowed his eyes but gestured for him to continue.

“The main problem revolves around Clarissa and Jonathan Morgenstern.”

“Magnus-,” Ragnor started to warn.

“Let me finish,” Magnus interrupted. Ragnor sighed and sat back uncomfortably, waiting for Magnus to finish.

“The Morgensterns say that they fled from Valentine but Alec says-.”


“Alexander Lightwood. My boyfriend and Shadowhunter from the New York Institute,” Magnus explained. “He says that there’s a lot about them that isn’t making sense.”

“Of course it’s not making sense,” Ragnor grimaced. “I’m actually surprised that they’ve lasted so long without anyone questioning them.”

Ragnor continued to explain once he recognized the look of confusion that adorned Magnus face. “I guess I should start by telling you to be careful. They have a habit of killing anyone that they think knows to much. Personally, I think that you’re better off not knowing, only because you seem to interact with them often.”

“I beg to differ,” Magnus argued.

“It’s your life,” Ragnor sighed. “Well then, however strong they appear to be, know that they’re downplaying their strength.”

“In what way?”

“It’s their blood. Jonathan has the blood of demons, Clarissa, the blood of angels. Fed to their mother by Valentine while she was still pregnant. Their blood makes them special, but their training is what makes them dangerous. Valentine raised them to be weapons.”

“Apparently not obedient ones.” Magnus commented.

“They may not be obedient to Valentine, but he did have over fifteen years to instill his values in Clarissa, over seventeen for Jonathan.”

“But they said that left-.”

“You can’t trust anything that Jonathan says, Magnus. The only thing that can provoke any type of positive emotion in him is Clarissa, and he’d say and do anything to protect her.”

“If everyone who knows anything dies, then how do you know all this?”

“I’ve heard things over the years. Pieced things together. Kept my mouth shut at the right times,” Ragnor said. “You’ll need to learn to do the same if you want to keep living. Especially if you spend so much time around them.”

Magnus nodded his thanks. He’d have to be a lot more careful now. If Jonathan was so protective over Clarissa, then Alec would need to back off or they’d run the risk of Jonathan deciding that either of them posed a threat to Clarissa.

Magnus swiftly changed the conversation to a more pleasant topic and remained in Ragnor’s company until well into the evening while traveling through several part of Asia. When Magnus finally got home, he found Alec waiting for him.

“I couldn’t wait until tomorrow. I wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight, not so close to them,” Alec explained.

“Well you know that you’re more than welcome to stay here tonight, Alexander.”

Magnus gave Alec a short summary of what Ragnor had told him, along with the warning about being careful with the information.

“That sounds a lot like what Luke told me,” Alec said. “But he also said that Clarissa’s so good with runes because of her blood. And if what Ragnor says is true, then Jonathan’s almost certainly part demon.”

This was all the proof that he needed to finally get Jace and Izzy to start thinking, but there’s no way he could tell them now. They were both too close to Clarissa to trust them with anything like this. He could be risking Izzy and Jace’s lives as well as his own.

“Ok this is getting ridiculous,” Clarissa said as she was drawing another glamour rune for her brother.

“They work well enough. And they last a long time.” Jonathan argued.

“Maybe. But it’d be better if you weren’t so dependant on them. You’re gonna have to learn how to control your eyes.”

“And how do you suggest I do that?”

“Well, green eyes run in our family so it shouldn’t be too hard.” Clarissa cut through his glamour rune to cancel it.

“Focus,” she said. “Look at me. Try to copy my eyes.”

Jonathan stared her in the eyes, barely blinking.

Clarissa watched the edges of his black eyes started to fade away into white. Just as she started to see green, Jonathan lost focus and the black snapped back to cover his eyes. Jonathan groaned and ran his fingers through his hair.

Controlling his eyes wasn’t as hard as he thought it’d be. The issue was continuing to focus on his eyes. The second that he started thinking of something else, the black took over again.

“You almost had it. Take a deep breath and try again.”

This time, Jonathan was able to hold it for a few minutes before his focus waned and the black took over his eyes.

“While we’re at this,” Jonathan started. “You’re going to have to teach me how to use the portal rune. It’s a little harder than I expected.”

“You hate using it and your focus is terrible, so of course it’s hard,” Clarissa laughed. “Out of curiosity, how did you try to use it?”

“I tried both. Location and a person.” Jonathan said.

“And which worked better?”

“The location. But only marginally better. When I thought of the Morgenstern Manor, I ended up at the Wayland Manor. And when I thought of the Institute, I ended up in England, then Canada, before I got close enough to New York.”

Clarissa had to cover her mouth to stifle a giggle. “I figured out your problem. When you think of a location, you have to envision it and imagine exactly where you want to end up. If you just think Institute, the New York Institute may be the only one you know, but if you don’t imagine exactly where you want to go, then you could end up at any Institute in the world. And if you think of the Morgenstern Manor, then technically you’re just thinking of any Manor that belongs to father. And since he spent a significant amount of time at the Wayland Manor, then it’s possible that father thinks he can lay claim to it as well. Thinking of a location only works if you think of exactly where you want to go. You would’ve had to think of the Morgenstern Manor while also envisioning somewhere specific in the Manor, like you room or something.”

“It was that simple?”

“I can guarantee that it’s still not simple. Or do you not remember how I used to portal us around the world when I was trying to go from your room to my room when I was little?”

“I thought that you were just using it as an excuse to travel.”

“Oh, I definitely was, but everywhere that we ended up wasn’t exactly where I wanted to go. You’ll see what I mean tonight.”

Jonathan groaned. “Does that mean that you’re going to spend some time with Jace before we leave then?”

“Nope,” she said cheerfully. “I’m going to be spending some quality time with you before we go.”

“Great. Instead of being tortured by the Lightwoods, I get to be tortured by you,” Jonathan said sarcastically.

“Hey. Don’t be mean to the person that you’re about to literally tie your life to.”

Instead of staying in their rooms, they went to the back of the Institute to sit in one of the common rooms. Clarissa and Jonathan didn’t talk much but they were more than comfortable with silence. Jonathan pulled his phone from his pocket to make sure that there wouldn’t be any complications that would draw the Lightwoods out of the Institute.

Clarissa worked her hand through her brother’s hair, occasionally tugging on a lock when she was trying to force it into a tight braid. Jonathan glared at her when she almost yanked his hair out for the fifth time. Clarissa sighed and gave up on his hair. It still wasn’t long enough for her to really do anything with it, but Jonathan had mentioned several times that he wanted her to cut it.

Since she wasn’t able to entertain herself with his hair, and Jonathan was using his phone, she moved so she could wrap her legs around his waist and fall asleep against his shoulder.

Jonathan leaned back to get more comfortable and sighed. His sister picked the worst position to fall asleep in. He wouldn’t be able to move without waking her up and the remote for the television was just slightly out of reach.

He leaned back awkwardly, arching his back so he wouldn’t lean on Clarissa’s legs. He resigned himself to scrolling through his phone and they stayed like that for several hours. It was well past midnight when Jonathan had to wake Clarissa. Jace and Izzy had already gone to bed and Jonathan doubted that Alec would be coming back tonight if he wasn’t already here.

Jonathan shifted Clarissa’s head so it was resting on the couch and slid out from between her legs. He gently shook her awake so they could grab their steles and some weapons. They both decided to forgo the seraph swords in favour of some combat knives. The training room had a surplus of knives and if some were missing in the morning, it would probably go unnoticed.

Back in their room, Clarissa gestured for Jonathan to draw the rune. This time, he made sure to imagine the outside of a building about three blocks from Jocelyn’s apartment. When he and his sister stepped through, they stepped right into Jocelyn’s living room.

Clarissa froze.

She knew that Jonathan wouldn’t have gotten them to the right place on his first try, but she didn’t think that they’d end up in Jocelyn’s apartment. Especially when neither of them had used a silence rune. And since Luke’s hearing was so sensitive, he could probably wake up to any little disturbance if he wasn’t sleeping too deeply.

She wrenched the stele from Jonathan and crouched down to draw the portal rune. She paused and cocked her head to the side, tilting her ear to the ceiling to listen for any movement from upstairs.

When she was sure that Jocelyn and Luke were still asleep, she drew the run on the carpet. She and Jonathan fell through the floor and fell out from the ceiling of her room back at the Morgenstern Manor.

“What the hell Jonathan!” Clarissa exclaimed. “You could’ve portaled anywhere in the world-.”

“I thought I did. I was thinking of some apartment a few blocks from there.”

“If you thought ‘a few blocks from Jocelyn’s apartment’ then the keyword is ‘Jocelyn’. Don’t think of her name.

Clarissa used her stele to trace over her silence rune before tracing over Jonathan’s as well.

“Try again,” she said while handing Jonathan his stele.

Jonathan drew the rune, careful to avoid thinking of any names, and this time they stepped out onto the roof. But thankfully not the roof of Jocelyn’s apartment, it was the roof of the building that Jonathan had originally intended to end up at.

“That’s a little better,” Clarissa commented. “Hopefully we haven’t ruined this before it even started.”

“I was trying to get us on the ground.”

“This is close enough for now. You’ll get more practice later.”

Jonathan just groaned in response.

After they both made the four story jump down to the ground, Jonathan led the way to Jocelyn’s apartment by sticking mostly to the shadows.

Clarissa used an opening rune on the window, suspecting that Jocelyn would have a security system that would activate if the window was forced open. But mundane technology shouldn’t respond to runes. They already decided that Clarissa would go in alone since she was the smaller of the two and Jonathan wasn’t really needed. It was about as easy as she had expected. With Jocelyn and Luke still asleep, it was child’s play to slip through the window, get the cup, and slip back out again.

“Where are we going now?” Jonathan asked after she slid back out with the cup.

Clarissa used Jonathan’s phone to show him a picture. “Darvasa gas crater in Turkmenistan. The mundanes think that it’s just a methane gas field that scientists lit with fire, but it’s actually a gateway to hell. It’ll be a lot easier to call Lilith’s essence to conduct the ceremony if we’re closer to hell. We’ll just have to make sure that we end up on the rocks and far away from the flames.”

Jonathan nodded. “Ok. And how do you plan-.”

“To portal? There aren’t any walls so we’re gonna have to jump up. And since I can’t reach the ceiling anywhere, I’m gonna portal us back to the Institute, then you’re drawing the portal to Darvasa. We don’t have time for you to accidentally portal us into Jace’s room.

Clarissa drew the portal back to their room in a way that seemed completely effortless to Jonathan.

“How does that work?”

“Could you be any more vague?” Clarissa asked.

“The portals. If there are no walls, why do we have to jump to end up on the ground? I’ve used that rune twice before where I stepped forward and then fell from the ceiling.”

“As far as I know, it’ll adapt to whatever the location is. So, if you’re going to place that doesn’t have a vertical structure that can support the portal, then it adapts to whatever can, usually the ceiling. So technically we could draw it on the wall and step through, but I don’t want to risk stepping out into the fire.” Clarissa paused. “Well, I’m gonna try to minimize the risks as much as possible because you’re drawing the rune. Have you not been paying attention when I’ve been using this rune for the last like ten years?”

“I didn’t have any reason to question it. And thanks for the faith,” Jonathan said dryly. He looked up at the ceiling and sighed. He’d have to balance on the headboard to reach the ceiling. He stood with his right foot on the headboard and rested his right hand on the wall to keep his balance. The stele was gripped awkwardly in his left hand to get the proper angle to draw the rune.

Clarissa hid her laugh but wasn’t able to hide her smile. There were easier ways to reach the ceiling, like climbing the rafters in the training room, but this way provided her with a little bit of entertainment.

When Jonathan got down from the headboard, Clarissa unlocked his phone again and zoomed in on the ground away from the flames.

“This is what you were thinking of right? Because I’m not gonna have my hair burned off.”

“Maybe having your hair burned off would help you with your superiority complex.”

“I think that you’re mixing us up, cause if either of us has a superiority complex, it’s definitely you,” she said. “You’re also gonna have to jump up and forward so you don’t come straight back down again.”

“That’s common sense, Clarissa.”

“Just jump, Jonathan.” Clarissa stepped back and jumped into the portal, trusting Jonathan to have had enough focus to not kill both of them.

When she passed through the portal, with Jonathan closely behind her, she was instantly hit by the heat and started sweating immediately. Jonathan seem unbothered by the heat.

Clarissa looked up ay Jonathan in surprise. “How does this not affect you?” Clarissa was gasping with the effort to adjust to the abrupt change in humanity.

He looked at her dryly and Clarissa was able to fill in the blanks herself. “Right. You’re basically a demon.”

Jonathan waited patiently for Clarissa to adjust.

“So what exactly do I need to do to summon Lilith?”

“Put some of your blood in the cup, hold it out and ask her to come. Politely.”

Jonathan raised an eyebrow. “Are you joking?”

“Well you could try to demand her presence, but I wouldn’t do that and then ask her to do us a favour.”

Clarissa was right, it wouldn’t be smart to make her mad. Especially when they were both this close to hell’s entrance. Jonathan made a small cut on his palm and let some drip into the cup.

“Lilith,” he breathed. “Mother. Please. Could we talk?” He’s always known that Lilith was his mother, but he never really thought that he’d have the opportunity to meet her face to face. And even though he’s known that this would be happening that that they would need her to help them with the ceremony, he only really realized that he’d be meeting her face to face.

This was the first time that Clarissa had ever heard him sound so unsure when he spoke. When they didn’t get a response, they waited, facing the flames, not wanting to ask again and sound desperate or demanding.

“Jonathan. My baby boy. It’s so nice to finally see you.”

Clarissa and Jonathan both turned to face the soft, feminine voice that spoke from behind them.

Chapter Text

“Mom,” Jonathan didn’t expect to fell so hesitant when he finally met his mother.

She acknowledged him for a brief second before turning her head slightly to focus on Clarissa.

“This is Clarissa,” Jonathan explained. “My sister.”

Lilith nodded her approval. “I’m glad to see that you influence her. I’d hate for you to have a sibling that emulates those treacherous angels.”

“You can trust me when I say that she doesn’t,” Jonathan said.

Lilith smiled, her bright white teeth were so unnaturally disturbing when compared to her black eyes. Her form flickered and briefly flashed her demon form. Wide head, overly narrow chin, claw-like teeth protruding sharply from her mouth, horns curving backwards from her head to form a circle, she didn’t look like any demon that Clarissa had seen before. She took a step back in surprise before she was able to compose herself. Jonathan hid his surprise slightly better, he stood, rooted in place, but there was a small intake of breath and his eyes widened slightly.

She had appeared to them while in her human form, but Clarissa had forgotten that she wasn’t physically there so, when she thought about it, it made sense for her to not be able to keep a single form for the duration of her apparition. Or maybe she just didn’t care enough to try to keep one.

Lilith smiled thinly. “It does usually shock people when they see my true form for the first time.” She said. “Now, I’m sure that you didn’t ask me here for a mere talk.”

Jonathan gestured for Clarissa to speak, since she knew the most about what they were asking.

“Jonathan and I wanted to become Parabatai and since we don’t have access to a Silent Brother, we were wondering if you could perform the ceremony for us.” Clarissa asked tentatively.

Lilith laughed. Peals of high, childlike laughter. “Do you know what you’re asking children? Because the results you desire would not be the ones that I would provide.”

“Our father – Valentine Morgenstern,” she clarified, “had some books about it. We know that it’ll cause us to be dependant on each other-.”

“The dependence would be the least of the effects. Those high enough in the Clave would refer to it as the twinning rune. Yes, it is very similar to the parabatai, but it would also cause a power imbalance between both of you, a dominant and a subordinate,” Lilith explained. The books that Clarissa read had barely covered the basics of the rune. “What the primary of the two believes, the other will believe; what the first wants, the second will want. It essentially removes all free will of the secondary partner in the spell.” Lilith look them both in the eyes. “Are you sure that this is something that you both want?”

“We’re sure,” Jonathan spoke for the both of them.

“Wonderful. And am I right to assume that my son will be the dominant?”

They both nodded.

“Good.” Lilith waved her hand and a ring of black fire appeared around them. “It’s a simple ritual. Jonathan, you will draw the rune over your heart and will then do the same to Clarissa as she drinks your blood. There’s nothing to say, no promises to make since this isn’t usually something that’s done voluntarily.”

“How will I know what rune to draw?” Jonathan asked. He nervously flipped his stele around in his hand, Clarissa was much better with runes than he was. It had always been easier to just let her do the runes when they were together, but she wouldn’t be able to help him with this one.

“It will come to you. Don’t fight your instincts,” Lilith said.

Jonathan hooked the Mortal Cup onto his belt and pulled off his shirt while Clarissa did the same.

Jonathan seemed to be in a trance as he drew the rune on his chest. The design was strikingly similar to a normal parabatai rune, but this one looked like it was burnt into his chest with a branding iron. He cut his wrist, and with blood pouring from the wound, he mechanically offered his wrist to his sister.

She lifted his arm to her mouth with hesitating, completely committed her decision. As she drunk the bitter, coppery blood, it felt like it was burning her mouth. She quickly realized that the application of the rune was very different from normal runes and that it felt exactly how it looked.

Once he lifted his stele from her skin, she stepped back and took a deep breath. She took her stele from her pocket to draw Jonathan an iratze, so he’d stop bleeding.

Jonathan examined his sister. She wasn’t moving any differently than she usually would, but she did look a little dazed, like she wasn’t fully aware of where she was or what she was doing.

“Are you alright?” He asked.

Clarissa stepped forward to be closer to him and nodded. She brushed her hand over his arm and moved so she could wrap her arm around his back. Jonathan didn’t think that it wasn’t completely out of character for her, but she seemed to be so focused on the movements that it looked like she didn’t even know where she was.

Jonathan turned to face Lilith. “Is she-?”

“She’ll start acting normal again in a couple hours,” she confirmed. “You should know that the rune’s effects will be stronger when you’re together. With some time, distance, and practice, she’ll be able to fight some of your weaker desires. That’s the closest she’ll get to completely having her own free will but neither of you will even recognize that it’s happening. It will feel as natural as breathing.”

Clarissa was staring intently at Lilith, as was Jonathan, but she seemed to be looking through her, like Lilith wasn’t even there.

Lilith waved her hand again and the flames disappeared. “Thank you for the lovely visit, Jonathan. I’ll look forward to seeing you again soon.” Lilith moved to caress his face before letting her essence fade away.

The faerie rings made him more aware of his sister’s presence, but as Parabatai, if he focused, he could feel her emotions, and right now, she didn’t seem to be feeling anything – she was a blank slate.

He handed her his shirt, “you’re covered in blood, clean yourself up.”

She moved mechanically, unspeaking.

Lilith said that Clarissa would be fine, but he didn’t want her doing anything if she wasn’t fully aware of what she was doing. And if portals required a constant focus, he had no idea what she was thinking or if she could focus even long enough to portal somewhere.

He sighed and drew a portal rune back to their room in the Institute. He focused entirely on their room and held Clarissa as he jumped into it.

He landed in a crouch and was thankful when she did the same, at least she was aware of her surrounding and what was happening.

“I need to return the cup. I’ll come back in a little bit. You still need to shower.” Jonathan drew another portal rune to Jocelyn’s apartment.

Just as he was about to step through the portal, Clarissa grabbed him.

“Don’t leave,” she said softly.

Jonathan groaned. “Clarissa, it’s almost two o’clock in the morning. I just want to bring this back so I can go to sleep.”

When she didn’t let go, he realized that she was acting this way because of the rune. She was supposed to be back to normal in a few hours, but if this dependence was just part of ‘normal’ for her now, then he had no idea how they would explain this in the morning.

“Fine,” he agreed.

When he got to her apartment, it was just easier for them to both go return it than it would be for him to try to convince her that it’d be better for only one of them to go. At least Jocelyn and Luke we’re still asleep.

When they got back to the Institute, Clarissa refused to even shower without him. While they had showered together often enough before, it was slightly unsettling to know that she was so dependant because of their new rune.

“Are you sure you’re alright?” Jonathan asked again while they were in bed.

“I’m fine, Jonathan.”

He was definitely going to have to redefine what was normal for her. They had always slept together, but this time she clung to his shirt. He wouldn’t have been able to leave, or even move, without having to pry her fingers away from his shirt.

Jonathan really hoped that the intensity of her dependence would fade, at least a little bit, because there was no way for them to explain their sudden need to always be together.

Jonathan woke up early in the afternoon, shortly after Clarissa did. She had let go of his shirt in her sleep but had instead pressed herself against his side.

“Finally,” she said. “You slept for so long.” She was curled up under his arm.

“You’re more than welcome to leave while I’m sleeping.” Jonathan’s voice was still rough from sleep.

“Yeah, but I didn’t want to leave.”

Jonathan got out of bed and headed to the closet. “It’s the rune that’s making you act like this and you need to fight it.”

Clarissa moved to sit on the edge of the bed. “I am. Why do you think I’m sitting here and not standing beside you?”

Jonathan frowned, “I didn’t think it would be this strong.”

“I didn’t either.” Clarissa started bouncing her leg, trying to distract herself from the urge to go to Jonathan. “Do you feel any different?” She asked.

“Nothing that I’ve noticed so far.”

“Then you’re lucky. Because I know that I should go see Jace or Izzy, but I don’t want to leave you.”

“You need to figure out how to act normal.”

“Help me then, there’s no way I could figure it out on my own.”

Jonathan paused. It didn’t take him long to figure out how the rune worked for her. “Don’t go see Jace. I want you to stay here with me today, we have nothing really important to do today, so there’s no need to leave.” Clarissa seemed to be more dependant than obsessive and if she wasn’t able to fight against his wants, then she was stuck with him as long as his resolve was strong.

“I don’t like Jace and I’m happy to relax for a day.” Jonathan stared pointedly at his sister before going to take a shower.

Clarissa knew that she would have to go see Jace or Izzy, or even eat something eventually, but right now, just looking at the door made her feel sick to her stomach.

She started pacing the length of the room, knowing what she needed to do but just wasn’t able to do it. The only good part was that if Jonathan hadn’t actually told her what he wanted, she wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference between what she wanted and what Jonathan wanted.

When Jonathan got out of the bathroom, Clarissa was still pacing the room, so he sat back down on the bed to observe her struggle.

She repeatedly ran her fingers through her hair to try to distract herself.

“Stop enjoying this so much,” she groaned.

“How can I not enjoy this? I’m pretty sure that my mother liked you more than me, so this is more than fair.” Jonathan sounded slightly annoyed, but he looked completely impassive as he spoke.

“I thought that she barely tolerated me. And even then, I really don’t think it was a fair trade.” Clarissa put her hand on the door nob, she was so close to making herself just turn it and walk into the hall, but still just couldn’t leave.

“It really isn’t that important. It’s actually taking a surprising amount of focus to keep you here,” Jonathan said. “And I really don’t care what you do, as long as you don’t ruin the mission or get us killed.”

Clarissa approached the door again but turned away. “That’s rich coming from you,” she bit back. “With the way you keep acting around the Lightwoods makes it seem like you don’t want them to trust us.”

“Jace and Izzy don’t have an issue with us. It’s only Alec who doesn’t trust us, and he would be suspicious of us regardless of how I acted.” Jonathan leaned back on the bed and closed his eyes.


She turned quickly to try the door again, but she smacked her hand off the doorframe. It was a minor pain that she didn’t even recognize.

Jonathan snacked his hand in confusion. “What did you just do?” He asked incredulously.

“What do you think I did? I reached for the door.” Clarissa rolled her eyes. Jonathan was just trying to keep her in the room with, he didn’t say that he didn’t want her touching the door.

“No. I felt it. I just felt when you hit the door.” He ran his fingers over the source of the pain. It was a minor pain, something that he wouldn’t have even normal considered to be an annoyance, but, regardless, he shouldn’t have felt it at all. His hands were anywhere near anything remotely hard, so the only explanation was that he was feeling what Clarissa was feeling.

“If you feel what I feel, then does it work both ways?” Clarissa asked.

Jonathan studied his hand briefly before grabbing his stele. He looked up to watch Clarissa’s arm as his stabbed his own and dragged the stele down to open the wound.

Clarissa gasped in surprise and reached for her own stele until she realized that she wasn’t bleeding. She didn’t even have a scratch or a bruise. She was just feeling the pain that Jonathan was feeling and without the physical wound.

Jonathan wiped the blood off his stele and went to draw an iratze.

“Wait,” Clarissa said. “I want to try something.”

She drew an iratze on her own arm but neither Jonathan’s wound nor her own pain disappeared. She tried the rune again but on Jonathan’s arm and watched his wound heal while her own pain dissipated.

“This isn’t good, but it could be worse. If we’re in battle and you receive a wound, I’ll feel the wound but at least it won’t be completely physical,” Jonathan said. “With enough adrenaline, neither of us should feel the other’s injuries.

“Lilith didn’t mention any of this,” Clarissa said. “What else don’t we know?” She wondered aloud.

“I guess we’ll only learn by experience. It’s not preferable but it’s all we can do.”

“It would’ve been nice if your mother had mentioned that this would happen though.”

“We’ll she didn’t so we’ll just have to get used to it,” Jonathan said harshly.

Clarissa looked at him critically. “The only reason that you’re only okay with this because you’re the one in control.”

“I don’t know about you, but feeling the pain whenever you get injured, is most definitely not me being in control.”

“You can do whatever you want, Jonathan. I can’t even do anything that you don’t want me to.”

“You’re perfectly capable of yelling at me,” he pointed out. “And you’re a lot more useful when you can make your own decision.”

“I’m glad that I’m useful to you,” she spat.

“Why are you so angry? This was your idea.”

Clarissa sighed. He was right, this was entirely her idea. And when Lilith told them a little more about ir, she didn’t object to anything. “I’m not mad,” she sat down on the bed. “I’m just – I didn’t think the rune would go this far.”

“If it helps, I won’t make you do anything that you wouldn’t have already done. Well, not unless it’s important.” Jonathan left himself a way out of his promise. Clarissa didn’t have too many morals and would do nearly anything for a mission, but he still wanted to make sure that he could do anything that this mission needed, even if it wasn’t something that she wanted.

“That would help, but you can’t control what you want subconsciously.”

“Then it’s a good thing that we both want the same thing, Clarissa.”

Chapter Text


A few weeks after completing the ritual, Clarissa still couldn’t fight against Jonathan’s weakest wants, but luckily Jace, Izzy, and Alec haven’t noticed anything different about her. She had been glued to Jonathan’s side on the rare times that they’d left their room for more than a few minutes, but the Lightwoods had been occupied with some politics and maintaining some of their diplomatic relationships for the week.

As the week was nearing its end, Clarissa was starting to get lazy with her workout, instead of going to the training room twice, or more, per day, she cut it down to one but almost doubled her workout time. Since she had already worked out the night before, she opted out of her morning workout to, instead, watch as Jonathan did his katas.

Jonathan movements were as calm and fluid as he felt. For once he was able to focus on something other than Clarissa. She’d been occupying his thoughts for every waking minute since the ceremony and he was going to get a headache soon if he couldn’t calm down. She hasn’t left his side for weeks, but he couldn’t find it in himself to get annoyed, he, instead, felt himself getting angry at even the thought of her leaving him to be with Jace, for even a few minutes. He didn’t even manage to get halfway through when Alec burst into the room.

“Demon attack in Brooklyn,” he said. “Meet in front of the library in one minute.”

Clarissa and Jonathan reacted instantly and grabbed some weapons, a pair of combat knives for Clarissa and a couple seraph blade for Jonathan.

They ran back to their room, changed into gear, and were in front of the library with Alec and had ten seconds to spare. When Jace and Izzy arrived, Alec led them to a part of the Institute that Clarissa hadn’t seen before.

“Jace, Izzy, you know where to go?” Alec asked.

They both nodded.

“Good. Clary you’re with Izzy. Jonathan you’re with me.”

They turned the corner and stopped in front of a portal. Now it made sense. If this was a permanent, warlock-made, portal, then if she entered alone and didn’t know where she was going, then she could end up in limbo.

Alec linked her arm through Clarissa’s to guide her through while Alec roughly grabbed Jonathan.

“Let’s go.”

They stepped out into the middle of chaos. These demons were able to create so much damage in so little time.

“We need to split up,” Jace said.

“I’ll go with Clary and Jonathan,” Izzy said. Alec and Jace agreed with her and headed off in a different direction.

Jonathan knew that he and Clarissa fought well before, but with the rune, he was even more aware of where she was and what was happening. It was like he could feel her movements, her breathing, even her heartbeat inside of him. It was even distracting, it was reassuring to know that even if he wasn’t facing her, he could still feel her with him as they fought.

He stabbed through the demon that he was fighting and turned to cut through another demon that was coming up behind his sister. She nodded her acknowledgment then ran to save a mundane that was cornered into a wall by a demon, his only possible escape route was blocked by a piece of fallen ceiling. She got there seconds too late but was able to kill the demon before it could mutilate the mundane’s body. The mundanes would probably explain this as being a naturally disaster, but if some bodies were mutilated, there would be no way to predict that explanation.

Clarissa fought her way back to Izzy. The paths were surprisingly clear and she only had to pause occasionally to kill a demon that got in her way.

She felt a piercing sense of dread and looked to see Jonathan fighting off four demons. Without hesitating, she threw one of her combat knives with deadly accuracy to kill two of them.

Jonathan killed the other two that he was fighting and unsheathed his extra seraph blade. He threw it to Clarissa and she caught it without looking, focused on distracting a demon until she could get it in a position to kill it, wielding her knife and the sword.

Jonathan, Clarissa, and Izzy killed all the demons in their area and started heading back to Jace and Alec.

Jace and Alec were struggling to deal with more demons each than Clarissa, Jonathan, and Izzy had dealt with together.

Jace groaned.

With the amount of mundanes that were getting killed and injured, the mundane media would go insane. They were now able to deal with the demons a lot more effectively, but they were still outnumbered and mundanes were getting killed.

In minutes they had already taken out half of the demons but there were still a couple mundanes in the area. Alec turned to focus on a particularly flighty demon that had taken interest in an unconscious mundane.

Alec was too busy trying to take aim, while protecting the mundane, to notice a second one coming from behind him. Jace was too far to do anything but yell a warning and Clarissa, who was a few feet from Alec, jumped between them and stabbed the demon through the neck as it scratched her side.

It was a wound that she normally would’ve ignored, but this demon was known for secreting a venom that causes paralysis, respiratory failure, and death if it’s not treated fast enough. She didn’t even have a chance to use an iratze to slow the venom’s effects because Alec grabbed her and threw her to the ground. He fended of a few of the demons with his arrows and covered her body with his own as they fell.

“You okay?” He asked.

“Yeah, just a scratch.” She said. Alec narrowed his eyes, like he knew she was lying, but they were in the middle of a battle and there wasn’t any time to do anything about it.

Jonathan reached to his side to feel the scratch that he soon realized was Clarissa’s wound and not his own, he didn’t know the source of the injury, but judging by the minimal amount of pain he could feel, it was mostly superficial.

Clarissa continued to fight but felt increasingly shaky as the fight wore on. By the time they managed to kill all the demons, Clarissa could barely stand.

“Um, Alec?” She called his attention. “I think we might need to go see Magnus.”

“What happened?” He asked.

Clarissa pulled up her shirt to reveal four puncture wounds that faded into scratches. They weren’t too deep, and they hardly even bled, but the skin around the wound was tight and a bright angry red. It wasn’t the pain that was affecting her, it was the demon’s venom was slowly sending her into multi-organ failure.

It didn’t take long for Alec to figure out when it happened and what kind of demon she had saved him from.

His eyes widened in realization. “We need to go.”

Clarissa tried to take a step forward, but her knee buckled under her weight. She would’ve fallen to the ground if Jonathan didn’t more to catch her. The effects of the venom were starting to affect him too, but he refused to show any weakness.

Magnus’ apartment happened to be much closer to where they were than the Institute was.

Clarissa was able to walk part of the way there while leaning heavily on Jonathan. About five minutes into the walk, Jonathan picked her up bridal style since it would take a lot less effort than trying to keep her balanced as she walked.

While her brother carried her, Clarissa was able to slow her breathing and heart rate enough to slow the venom’s course through her veins.

Alec had already called Magnus to warn him that they were coming. Clarissa was barely conscious when Jonathan carried her into the apartment.

“Put me down,” she said weakly.

“Magnus?” Jace asked.

“Put her on the couch,” Magnus said.

Jonathan sat her on the couch and stepped back to let Magnus work. He had to brace himself on the table behind him to stay upright. He took a deep breath to try and distract him from the pain that was radiating from his side and only increasing by the second. He glanced over at Clarissa and instantly knew that she was seconds away from passing out.

Alec watched Jonathan from across the room. He looked nauseous and like he was having trouble standing. Alec didn’t see when he got injured in the fight, but then again, he didn’t really notice the severity of Clary’s injury until she showed him the wounds.

Alec watch as Clarissa became less alert. There were seconds when she seemed to be able to focus on Magnus and then minutes when she seemed to stare right through him and answer only yes or no questions. Eventually, she stopped being able to answer Magnus’ questions completely and was staring blankly at the wall. Her eyes rolled back into her head and she slumped against the back of the couch. The second that Clarissa passed out, Jonathan lost his grip on the table and collapsed.

“Jonathan!” Izzy yelled.

She and Alec rushed to his side.

“What happened?” Magnus was still focused on healing Clarissa.

“I don’t know,” Alec said. “He just collapsed.”

Izzy tried drawing an iratze but there was no change, Jonathan was still laying, unresponsive, on the ground.

“I can only deal with one at a time. So, who am I helping first?” Magnus demanded.

“Clary,” Jace said quickly. “Jonathan would kill us if she died because we decided to help him.”

Even without a hearing rune, Jace could hear Clary’s breathing becoming laboured and could feel that her body was a lot colder than it should’ve been. Her forehead broke into a sweat even though she was shivering, almost like she was going through the stages of the mundane flu in minutes. Her skin felt cold and stiff, like she was a cadaver in Izzy morgue. He would’ve preferred if she had a fever, at least that way, he’d know that her body was fighting this.

“I’ll try another iratze,” Alec said.

At this point, Jonathan’s breathing wasn’t much better than Clary’s. His breaths were coming at much slower intervals and his face looked strained from the effort.

Magnus’ hands glowed blue as he tried to heal Clarissa. He could see the glowing tip of Alec’s stele as he drew the iratze, but he quickly refocused his efforts on Clary, this was going to take a lot more effort than he was used to expending. He could feel the venom in her body, but it had been there so long and had spread far enough that he had to fight to destroy it.

Her breathing instantly became less laboured and Jace could see her visibly relax as the pain faded. Magnus sighed with relief when she opened her eyes, then he turned so he could focus on her healing brother. But before he could even use his magic to find the source of the problem, Jonathan rolled onto his side and started coughing violently.

Alec looked between them, quickly realizing that whatever caused Jonathan’s sudden illness was also related to the wound that Clarissa received in the fight. Jonathan hadn’t received any physical wounds when they were fighting, and he hadn’t shown any symptoms while carrying Clarissa here. He also didn’t respond to an iratze like any other Shadowhunter would. His and Izzy’s runes weren’t as strong as some people’s, but they were good enough that Jonathan should’ve shown some improvement, or at least some type of change in his condition. But when they drew it, the iratze appeared on his skin, and then faded.

“Ok. I’m tired of you guys not telling us everything, so we aren’t leaving until you tell us whatever the hell it is that’s happening,” Alec demanded.

There was a long stretch of silence while Clarissa glanced at Jonathan from where she was sitting on the couch and used her faerie ring to talk to him. Should I tell them? Or do you want to?

Jonathan subtly shook his head. They had spent months trying to show that Jonathan was in charge and she was just there to do as he said. The Lightwoods would now be able to hear an explanation and compare it to how they were acting. It would only make it less believable if Clarissa did most of the explaining.

“We share this rune,” he started. “It’s similar to your Parabatai rune. But with a few added details.”

“Like what.” Izzy asked.

“Well, to start, I feel anything that she feels. And she feels everything that I feel.”

“Everything?” Jace asked. A faint blush flowed into his cheeks.

Clarissa rolled her eyes. Of course that’d be what Jace focuses on.

“Almost everything. Strong emotions and pain mostly. We’d only experience it; we wouldn’t actually receive the physical wounds.”

Magnus’ eyes lit up. “The twinning rune.” He confirmed.

“I didn’t think you’d recognize it.” Jonathan said.

“I am over four hundred years old,” Magnus said. “I’ve come across a lot of information in my years. Like the details of how that rune works.” He remembered that it was a demonic rune, one that was rarely applied with the consent of both parties.

“It wasn’t our choice. Father decided that he wanted it done, so we either agree to it, or be punished,” Jonathan said.

“From what I’ve heard, it’s irreversible,” Magnus said.

“We know.”

Magnus pondered for a minute and Clarissa shifted nervously under his gaze but didn’t protest.

 “Then I’m right to assume that you’re subservient to Jonathan?” Magnus asked.

In the very few times that Magnus had seen that rune; it was simple to identify, just based on how both parties acted around each other. Clary seemed almost too lucid and aware of her thoughts and actions to be involuntarily under the rune’s influence. She did seem to be a lot more focused on Jonathan, and she sat at the edge of the couch, like she wanted to get up, but was fighting to continue to sit.

Jonathan answered for her. “She is.”

“I’m glad that you two understand each other, but the rest of us are lost.” Alec cut in.

“Jonathan and Clary are bound by what’s called a Twinning rune. It’s a demonic version of the Parabatai rune. They share the same qualities: shared strength, increased, well, everything, but they’re also bound in a way that you and Alec are not.”

“Please get to the point,” Alec sighed.

“It creates a dominant and a subservient,” Magnus started.

Jonathan cut Magnus off. “To summarize: whatever I want, Clarissa wants too. It’s more subconscious though. And our bond is supposed to be just as strong, if not stronger, than your Parabatai rune.”

“Does it look like our too?” Jace asked.

“It’s close. But still obviously different.” Jonathan pulled the collar of his shirt down to reveal the rune. It still had the red tint and burnt look that it did when he originally drew it.

Jace winced in sympathetic pain. “Is it- Does it always look like that?” He unconsciously started rubbing his own Parabatai rune.

“Yes. It looks the exact same as when I first drew it.” Jonathan said.

 “Does yours look like that too?” Izzy asked.

Clarissa nodded. “It doesn’t hurt, if that’s what you’re asking.” She pulled the neckline of her shirt to show the edges of the rune. “Now, it feels like any other rune would.” She let the collar of shirt slide back up to cover the rune.

“You said that it created a dominant –,” Jace started slowly.

“It’s exactly what it sounds like,” Clarissa said. “I do what Jonathan wants. That’s just how it works.”

“That sounds like you’re a slave,” Jace said.

“Not exactly, but it’s normal now,” Jonathan defended. “Compared to how it usually works, my sister has a lot of free will to do nearly whatever she wants. I prefer her to be my equal.” He said. “It’s less for me to worry about.”

“But you’re obviously keeping her from doing some things.” Jace said. “Because you two don’t act like you’re equal.”

“She’s still my little sister and it’s my job to keep her safe. I can’t control my subconscious desires. And neither can she.”

“We’ll you aren’t too good at keeping her safe. Look at where you both are now.” Alec said.

“I’ve never had a problem with keeping her safe on a mission before. This,” Jonathan gestured to where they were, “is all on you.” Jonathan stood and stalked over to where Alec was standing. “She got hurt trying to help you.” He drove his finger into Alec’s chest. “She almost died because she wanted to save your worthless life. You should be thanking her, not attacking us.”

“Thank you,” Alec said sincerely while taking a step back. “But you can’t just pretend that like this is okay, Jonathan.” He said softly.

“We aren’t pretending like it doesn’t suck for me, because it does,” Clarissa said. “But now we just have to deal with it. Just like we have been”

“How long?” Jace cut in.

“Pardon?” Jonathan asked.

“How long since – how long have you both had it?” He clarified his question.

“Since mid-April. It’s been a while and we figured out how to work with it, instead of fighting against it.” Jonathan answered.

“You – We shouldn’t –.” Alec took a deep breath. “You should just go back to the Institute. I can’t… Think right now.”

Once Jonathan, Clarissa, Jace, and Izzy were gone, Alec collapsed on the couch and laid his arm across his eyes.

“Magnus,” he said, energy drained and voice tired, “this is absolutely insane.”

“You couldn’t be any more right,” Magnus agreed.

Chapter Text

“This doesn’t make any sense,” Alec complained. “Why would she help me? It would’ve been easier for her to just let the demon attack me.”

“We might not know what their goal is, but I doubt Clary wants you to die,” Magnus said. “It’s been three months; she might even think that you guys are friends.” Magnus sat behind his boyfriend and ran his fingers through his hair.

It was so much easier for Alec to think that Clary and her brother had nothing but bad intentions and no morals. But if she can only do what her brother wants her to do, then maybe they both wanted him alive.

He wanted to hate her so much, to hate her brother too. But now, he just couldn’t. The pain and fear that he felt when he thought she might die was something that he’d only ever felt with Jace or Izzy before. And it wasn’t something that he wanted to feel with her. His priority was supposed to be protecting his family from Jonathan and Clary, and he couldn’t do that as long as Clary felt like family to him. He didn’t want to feel this way, but now, he couldn’t help it.

“I get the feeling that you didn’t tell us everything, Sera,” Jace said.

Jace was relaxing with Clary in her room. Jonathan had gone – he didn’t know where, but he also didn’t really care because this was the first chance that he was able to be alone with Clary in weeks.

“Jonathan didn’t want me to,” Clarissa looked down as she fidgeted with the hem of Jace’s shirt. “He, um, doesn’t really trust Magnus.”

“What? But Magnus is, well, Magnus. You can trust him with anything.” Jace brushed a stray hair back behind Clarissa’s ear.

“He’s a four hundred your old warlock, Jace. We had no way of knowing how he’d react to that, or what he even knew about it.”

Jace took a second to consider her words and he didn’t know if he was arguing with Jonathan’s logic or Clary’s. Actually, looking back, everything that he thought had been Clary could’ve just as easily been Jonathan. But right now, he wasn’t in the mood for the headache that that would causes, and he really just wanted to know more about the rune.

“Ok,” he agreed easily. “But what else didn’t you tell us.”

“Jonathan talked about most things. We just left out some of the details.”

“Sera,” Jace whined. “You can’t keep hiding things like this.”

“We aren’t really hiding anything,” Clarissa said. “Jonathan explained everything that he thought you guys needed to know.”

“But you guys did leave things out, then.”

“Of course we did,” Clarissa laughed. “Jonathan isn’t big on sharing. And it wasn’t even like we did this of our own free will, knowing that we’d have to tell people eventually. This wasn’t our choice. And it wasn’t something that I wanted.” Clarissa was outright lying now, but still trying to keep this light. She really didn’t want to have Jace pitying her.

“Could you explain it to me, then? I’m kinda curious.”

“What do you want to know?” Clarissa asked.

“Jonathan said that you can feel what he feels. So how much can you feel?”

“I don’t really know how much Jonathan can feel from me, but I think it’s about the same amount that I can feel from him. It’s usually just strong emotions and feelings,” she explained. “Like if I stubbed my toe or got stabbed, then Jonathan would feel it. But if I really focus, then sometimes I can feel what he feels.” Clarissa paused and tried to focus on what she felt from him. “Actually, right now, I think he’s laying on the roof. I can feel pebbles, I think, digging into his skin. He’d have to have been there for a while.” Clarissa idly ran her hands over her arms.

“You can just focus and feel whatever he feels whenever you want?” Jace asked incredulously.

“Not exactly. I can only feel this because it’s uncomfortable for him. I actually think he fell asleep,” she commented.

I’m not asleep. Jonathan’s voice rang through her head.

“Never mind,” she said under her breath while rolling her eyes. Of course he was listening to her.

“Wait, I need to go back a bit,” Jace said. “So, Jonathan wants what you want,” he said slowly.

“No, it’s the other way around,” she corrected. “Jonathan’s kinda ‘in charge’ and whatever he wants is what I want. It’s more subconscious and covers more general things, I guess. Like, if it’s eight o’clock at night and Jonathan decides that he wants to go to sleep, I don’t feel the urge to sleep. But if he likes someone, then I’d probably like them too, or, at least, it’d be almost impossible for me to hate them.”

Jace wrapped his arms around Clary and fell back with her so they could lay on the bed.

“Jace,” she squealed.

His laugh rumbled in her ears. She giggled contently in his arms. He was more than happy to stay with her, just like this, but his thoughts got in the way again. It really wasn’t fair. From the way she described it, she almost couldn’t make her own decisions without Jonathan’s opinions weighing in. When Shadowhunters use permanent runes, we get to decide where they go, but she didn’t even have a say in that.

“Your rune looks so different from mine. How different was the ritual?”

Clarissa turned awkwardly in his arms to face him and settled her head in the crook of his neck.

“It was very different,” she said quietly. “I didn’t really have to do anything. My father summoned Lilith, she made a ring of fire around us, and Jonathan –.”

Be careful with what you say. Her brother’s voice invaded her thoughts again.

I am, she thought back. And stop listening to our conversation.

I can’t. You’re talking very loudly and I’m finding it very hard to ignore your voice.

“Sera?” Jace had noticed her sudden silence. “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”

“It’s fine,” she said. “Jonathan drew the rune on both of us. It burned, but not like the normal burn from a rune, it burned like someone lit a fire on my chest.  It didn’t last long though. After that, I’m not really sure what happened. I was kinda out of it. I just remember not wanting to leave Jonathan. It was a bit of a sensory overload, trying to deal with his emotions and mine, but I think we’re used to it now.”

“So you can always feel what he feels?”

“If the emotion is strong enough, then yes. And he can feel what I feel.”

“What about right now?”

“Probably not. If he does, I doubt he even cares because I’m really calm right now,” she said. “He knows I’m with you, so if I was feeling anything else, he’d notice.” She paused briefly. She wasn’t entirely sure if Jonathan would want her saying this, but it would definitely clear up any confusion about when it happened.

I’ll stop you if you start saying too much, Jonathan thought. She knew that her brother could hear what she was saying, but she didn’t know that he was actively listening to what they were talking about.

“We actually left because of the rune. It sucked, but I never would’ve known what father was doing to Jonathan without it. So, in a weird way, I’m glad we have it,” she said softly.

When she didn’t offer any more information, Jace assumed that she just didn’t want to talk about her rune anymore. He was comfortable to just sit with her for a little bit before remembering why he had initial gone to her room.

“My parents, Robert and Maryse,” he clarified, “they’re coming back tonight.”

“That’s great.” Clarissa said flatly. She didn’t have any reason to dislike them, but everything was easier when they weren’t here.

“Yeah, but they aren’t coming back alone.”

“Jace,” she said. “Stop being so cryptic. Just say whatever you wanted to say.”

He sighed. “The Clave updated our status to be a Fully Operational Institute.”

“What does that have to do with your parents?” Clarissa had an idea as to where he was going with this, but Raziel, she hoped she was wrong.

“They’re sending more Shadowhunters, so we operate as a fully functioning Institute.”

“What!” Clarissa sat up suddenly. “Why? What’d we do?”

“It’s been building up for a while now. But our last mission, if there were more of us, it wouldn’t’ve been as bad.” Jace’s voice got a little rough as he spoke. “Nowhere near as many mundanes would’ve died. You wouldn’t’ve gotten hurt and nearly died.” His voice cracked. He didn’t want to even think about Clary dying. “Trust me when I say that this isn’t a bad thing.”

“We tried our best,” she defended weakly.

“And that’s why aren’t under review. There should’ve been ten of us on that mission at the very least. Preferably fifteen.”

Clarissa nervously ran her fingers through her hair. This wasn’t what they planned for and it could ruin everything. Did you hear that? She thought.

Yes. Jonathan answered. Give me some time to think, but I don’t think there’s anything we can do.

“Hey, take a deep breath.” Jace caught her wrist. “It won’t be that bad. It’ll just be some more people around here and we’d report to the Institute Head.”

“I thought that was Alec.”

“Technically he was, but not anymore. Since they updated our status, they’re sending in an interim Head for now.”

“When did all this get decided?”

“The Clave held an emergency meeting last night; I think you and Jonathan were asleep.” Jace said. “Everyone should be arriving at some point tomorrow.”

“Great,” Clary sighed. She pouted and leaned back into Jace’s arms.

He chuckled. “You’re cute when you pout.”

“Wait a minute,” he said. “All those times we were making out, and you wanted us to stop because Jonathan could’ve walked in and seen us, was it because he –.”

“Yeah. But it was mostly because he was getting really annoyed with me.” Clarissa felt more than she heard her brother’s laugh.

Everything was finally starting to make sense to him.

“So, he can always feel it, but he just doesn’t care? God, I would hate to feel everything when Izzy goes out for the night.”

“I don’t live my life around this Jace, or I’d sit in my room and I’d never leave,” she said. “Most of the time, Jonathan doesn’t care what I do as long as I don’t get hurt. The times that I wanted to stop, Jonathan was usually trying to focus on something, and my emotions were distracting him.”

“Is he trying to focus right now?”


“And do you think he’ll want to come back to your room in the next couple hours?”

“He’ll know to stay away.”

“Good.” Jace rolled them over so he could straddle Clary’s waist.

Clarissa giggled playfully as she hooked her fingers behind his neck and pulled Jace down.

Clarissa felt groggy as she woke up early in the afternoon; She had been up with Jace until the sun was about to rise. She sat up slowly, wishing that she were still asleep, and glanced out the window.

“Why didn’t you wake me up to train?” Her voice was still rough from sleep.

“Most of the Shadowhunters arrived this morning so I didn’t think it was a good idea to go out yet.”

Clarissa nodded slowly. “How many?”

“About a hundred so far. From what I heard, there should be about fifty more coming.”

“Jace said there’d be more Shadowhunters coming in today. I thought he meant fifty, not a hundred and fifty.”

“Will just have to be a little more careful. For now, none of them will trust us, and that should be the only thing that we’d have to deal with. We’ll just wait a little longer before we take get the cup,” Jonathan said.

Clarissa moved slowly to get dressed. She slept for over six hours, but that was nowhere near enough sleep to compensate for the early morning training that she had with Jonathan yesterday.

“Izzy came by while you were asleep,” Jonathan said. “Everyone’s expected to be in the main command centre at four pm, so in about two hours. It’s the big open area near the first entrance. Apparently, they just upgraded everything this morning so we’re officially a functioning Institute.”

They spent two hours in their room before heading to the command centre. The halls near their room were still empty, but a few the doors that were open last night were closed now. They ran into Jace, who also looked like he just woke up, when they walked by his room.

“Hey,” Jace said.

Jonathan wasn’t in the mood for any pleasantries. “Do you know who the new Head is?”

“No. The Clave didn’t say who it was, just that she’s had a bit of experience but she’s still pretty new to this,” Jace answered.

“What about Izzy or Alec?” Clarissa asked. “Have you seen either of them?”

“Izzy said she might find us here if she can, and Alec was busy with the new Head all morning.”

Once they got to some of the more crowded halls, Clarissa and Jonathan were on the receiving end of some dirty looks. She wasn’t even surprised that they were recognized so quickly, Jonathan did look almost exactly like father, and everyone that was brought in was probably at least warned about them.

Everyone had arrived at least a couple minutes early. Jonathan spotted Alec speaking quietly with a blonde woman who was barely taller than Clarissa.

At exactly four pm, the blonde stepped to the level above them while Alec stayed on the floor. Everyone immediately stopped talking and focused their attention on the speaker.

“Welcome,” she said. “My name’s Lydia Branwell and the Clave has appointed me as the interim Institute Head until someone more permanent becomes available.”

Jonathan was surprised that they Clave was willing to send someone this young and who didn’t have too much experience. The Clave wasn’t known for being trusting so she was probably the only person who wasn’t already on an assignment, so they were probably going to rush to find another Head.

“I know that many of you are recent graduates of the Academy or haven’t worked at an Institute before, so I’ll go over how things are going to work. Right now, there about one hundred and forty of us and some more will be arriving in the coming weeks. The demon population in New York and amount of attacks have increased so were starting on-call rotations.”

Now this was sounding a little more like the type of Institutes that father had described to them.

“It'll be twelve hour shifts and if you’re on primary on-call, then you’ll be expected to be armed and in gear during your shift. You’ll also be wearing these.” Lydia held up a pair of plain, thin, and white bracelets. “If it vibrates and turns red, then you’ll have exactly thirty seconds to get here, to the main command centre. From here everyone will be briefed on the mission. For those on secondary on-call, you’re going to be acting as backup for those on primary if you’re needed. You don’t have to stay in gear the whole time, but if your bracelets vibrate and turn red, then you have five minutes to get here, in gear and armed.”

She glanced down at Alec, who’s reassuring nod was nearly imperceptible to those who weren’t watching for it.

“For now, your teams will be made at random and you’ll be training with those teams at your scheduled training time. As we’re able to observe your training, we’ll adjust your teams until we have something more permanent; that should take about a month or two. Your team’s training times and on-call schedule is posted outside the training room. The first on-call starts at midnight tonight and the first team training is at five am, so everyone will need to check the schedules before the end of the day.” Lydia leaned forward to hold the railing. “As we become more established, we’ll start with diplomatic missions to asses the downworlder population.”

She kept fixing the non-existent imperfections with her hair, a nervous habit that showed her inexperience.

“I’m not going to impose a curfew, we’re all adults here, or nearly adults, so everyone will be treated as such. Be sensible and we can keep the rules to a minimum. Any questions?” Everyone in the crowd either shook their heads or stayed silent. “Good. Dismissed.”

Jonathan glanced down at his sister, the odds of the two of them being placed on the same team was slim to none. He knew that he needed to do whatever he could to convince Lydia to put them on the same team. Her inexperience and nervousness would work in his favour here. If she was already this comfortable with Alec after knowing him for no more than eleven or twelve hours, then he should also be to get her to be comfortable with him. The only mild complication was that he’d need her to not compare him to father.

Chapter Text

Her transfer came as a complete surprise. At first, she thought she was being punished for something until everything had been explained to her. But as new as Lydia was to the Institute, with all the upgrades they had just done, it looked almost exactly like the one that she was working at before getting transferred here.

She was glad that she had Alec here to help her too. At her last job, she had mainly been involved with more diplomatic issues, so she had very little experience in running an Institute of this size.

At least the Clave wasn’t sending her in blind. She’d been briefed in most of the teams that were being sent in, but they were very careful to explain the situation with the Morgensterns. The report had been as in depth as possible and was impressively thick for only have three months of data, but it was almost entirely made of assumptions. She wanted her information from someone as close to them as possible, to make sure that she had a reliable source. She was lucky that Alec had spent nearly three whole months alone with them.

Since Alec was supposed to be training and learning how to run an Institute properly, they spent most of the morning surrounded by people, organizing everyone’s arrivals. They barely had a chance to take a deep breath, this move, and change had them in the middle of everything so the second that she was able to be in her office alone with them, she took advantage.

“The Clave briefed me on the Morgensterns, but I want to hear it from you,” she said.

“They aren’t their father, if that’s what you’re asking.” Alec briefly debated telling her about their rune, but actually decided against it since he didn’t even know what to make of it. “Clary’s a lot more open than her brother. And sometimes Jonathan speaks like a politician. You can ask him a question but if he doesn’t want to answer then he’ll talk for ten minutes and you’ll only realize that he never answered you when it’s too late. I’m not sure what the Clave told you, but they aren’t bad people.” Alec didn’t know how much he could or should tell her. Something about them was still… off. But it was getting so much harder to remember that he wasn’t just imagining it. Knowing that it wasn’t just him, but Luke and Magnus too, that was suspicious, was slightly reassuring.

He wanted to tell Lydia too, but he didn’t want to put her at risk. He didn’t know how dangerous Jonathan was and how willing he’d be to kill someone with an entire Institute full of people that could witness it. He finally decided that it’d be better to remove her reservations completely.

“Clary actually saved my life in the last mission,” he said. “She intercepted a demon that was aiming for me and killed it as it scratched her. But since she wasn’t exposed to the venom for long, its effects took longer to affect her. If it got to me, it would’ve been my back and I’m not sure if I would’ve survived.”

Lydia looked at him critically for a minute. “The last I spoke with them, the majority of the Clave seemed eager to punish them since they’re unable to find Valentine. So, it seems just as fitting to reward them,” she said. “From what I understand, they weren’t allowed to leave the premises unsupervised?”

Alec nodded.

“Then I think a suitable reward would be to allow them to leave when they want. Maybe between the hours of nine am and six pm. And other than that, they’d need to be supervised.”

Alec had hoped to keep her from being suspicious of them, not for her to give them more freedom. He couldn’t even protest without having to give a reason, and he didn’t know if he could trust her with that yet. All he could do was smile and agree to it.

Jonathan was scheduled for his first team training at seven that morning and was unpleasantly surprised to find that at least half of his team still looked like they were half asleep and struggling to wake up.

Lydia was there too. She would be running their team training until their teams could be finalized and someone else could be assigned to run them.

“Good to see that you’re all here on time.” She stood and walked to the door. “No need for any weapons yet, we’re going for a run.”

She led them back to the main command centre to show them their route. Jonathan was thoroughly annoyed to see that it brought them through central park. They would have to spend some time around mundanes and they wouldn’t be able to keep this pace without raising any suspicion.

“It’s a five-mile rune. I’ll see you back here in twenty minutes.”

One of them older members of his team took off through the Institute at a sprint, wanting to finish within the time constraints. He clearly misunderstood the point of the run. Lydia clearly wanted them to act as a team and stay together. The rest of the team understood the intent of the run and wordlessly agreed to stay together.

The group got back to the Institute one minute after the deadline, since they had to slow down to a normal pace whenever a mundane was in sight, but they stayed together.

They all stood in front of Lydia in the training room, several members of his team were wiping sweat from their foreheads or were bent over, trying to recover. While most of them were in decent shape for an active Shadowhunter, Jonathan had barely broken a sweat. He hasn’t done a workout that was solely composed of cardio in a while, but he stayed in good shape from training with his sister.

“Only one member of your team finished within the time limit.” Lydia looked pointedly at said member, a young boy that looked like had just graduated from the Academy. “Andrew Midguard, you failed this test. The whole point of the run was for everyone to do it together. When you’re out in the field, you don’t leave anyone behind. I understand that this is the first time you’re working in an institute, but you’re going to have to get that through your head if you plan to stay here.”

The rest of their two-hour training comprised of partner and group sparring, as well as working through theoretical situations. Jonathan didn’t bother getting to know anyone on his team since he’d probably be moved to a different team or new people would be added. And it wasn’t like he was he was the only one who was uninterested, he received a lot of hostility from his teammates because of his last name and close resemblance to father. The sentiment was mutual. Most of his teammates are entitled and have the arrogance that almost every Shadowhunter from Alicante seems to have.

The only tolerable person was Lydia. She knows what she want’s and knows what to do to get it. Their training session was almost perfectly planned to get the most of the two hours.

After they finished and everyone was cleaning up the equipment, Lydia approached him.

“I’d like to see you in my office in twenty minutes.” She brushed a stray hair out of her face.

“Of course,” he replied.

He finished wiping down the equipment and went back to his room to shower and change.

He knocked on the open door exactly thirty minutes after she spoke to him in the training room.

“Jonathan,” she glanced at her watch. “Exactly on time.” She moved to stand in front of him. “I’m not sure if Alec already told you, but I’ve decided to allow you and your sister to leave the Institute between the hours of nine am and six pm.”

Jonathan stepped back, surprised. “I’m not trying to sound ungrateful, but can I ask what brought this on?” He had expected to have to continue to sneak out of the Institute whenever he or Clarissa needed to do anything. And how was Alec connected to this? Jonathan had made no effort to hide his dislike of him and Alec had rarely spent any time alone with Clarissa, the only thing he could think of was their recent mission…

“Alec told me what happened on your last mission and usually actions like those are rewarded.”

Jonathan froze. He and Clarissa weren’t ready to tell the Lightwoods about their rune when they were exposed. If Alec told Lydia, it was only a matter of time before they decided that Clarissa and Jonathan were too dangerous to stay alive.

The more he thought about it, the more it became apparent that Alec hadn’t told Lydia and that she decided on this reward herself. From what he understood, the Clave was still wary and if she asked them for permission for this type of reward, they would’ve denied it.

“Thank you,” he said. “I’ll tell my sister when I see her.” Jonathan thought for a minute. “I understand that you’re new to running an Institute. While I don’t have any experience in that field, I’ve done quite a bit of planning and strategizing so I’d be open to helping you with anything if you’d like it.” Jonathan gave her a small, genuine looking smile. He needed her to like him and making her want to spend time with him was the easiest way to do that.

“Thank you, Jonathan. I think I’ll take you up on your offer. I have to plan a few training missions soon, if you want to help me do that.”

“I’d love to. Just give me a date and time.”

“How about tomorrow at noon?” She took a step closer to him.

“I’ll see you then.”

Lydia smiled softly as she stepped past him to go watch the next training session.

Clarissa left for her own team’s training just a few minutes before Jonathan got back. Her session mirrored Jonathan’s but everyone understood that they needed to stay together even if they wouldn’t finish in time. There were a few new people that misunderstood and dressed in gear for their training, maybe everything was a little more militaristic at the Academy, but training at the Institute was designed to be a little more relaxed, at least as far as uniforms went.

She was glad that her team got to at least train together before they’re on-call, even if their shift starts right after training. She pitied to team that was assigned their on-call before getting the chance for even a single training session. She heard that a few people knew or knew of each other, but they had never worked together on a mission.

When she walked by one of the training room, it sounded like it’d be more physical training, but after their run, it was minimal physical training and mostly how to work through some theoretical situations and establishing the typical commands that the team leader would use.

Their training session ended twenty minutes early so everyone could be dressed and ready for their shift. It was a little more time than Clarissa thought should’ve been necessary, but she wasn’t about to argue them into a longer training session with people that didn’t even like her.

As she was leaving, someone called her name, “Clarissa!”

A girl not much older than her ran up beside her.

“Hi,” she said. “I’m Aline. Aline Penhallow.”

“Clarissa – but you already knew that.” She shook Aline’s hand.

“Nice to meet you,” Aline said. “Well, officially.”


Aline paused. “I know you’ve been here a lot longer than I have, but do you want to explore the Institute with me while we’re on-call? You know, since we can’t leave the Institute and there isn’t really anything else to do.”

“Sure. Almost everything got changed yesterday so I want to see what they’ve done. Meet back here in ten minutes?”

Clarissa had showered, changed, and was back in the training room picking out a second set of combat knives when Aline walked back in. She had the knives that she brought from the manor, but if she lost them in a fight, she didn’t want to be left defenseless.

They were both dressed in a comfortable set of gear. Clarissa’s hair was tied back into a high ponytail while Aline let her black hair fall over her shoulder in a single braid.

Clarissa eyed the single short sword that Aline had tucked into her belt. This was something so simple and obvious that it left Clarissa dumbfounded. How could anyone claim that they were prepared for a battle if they didn’t carry a backup weapon on them. She smiled, it was a lesson that Clarissa learned the hard way when she was younger, and it was something that Aline would need to learn on her own as well. One thing was certain, Clarissa would not be dumb enough to risk her life for Aline, like she had for Alec, when the time came for her to learn.

“Ready to go?” Aline asked.


This Institute was at its busiest. People examining the latest trends in demonic activity, planning diplomatic missions, and working out schedules.

“Does everyone always call you Clarissa?” Aline asked. “Or do you also use a different name?”

“Jace, Izzy, and Alec call me Clary.” She didn’t want to mention that Jace called her Sera sometimes. Raziel forbid there be anymore nicknames for her floating around. It was barely tolerable with just the Lightwoods and Jocelyn calling her Clary, but if things went how they wanted it to, everyone would be calling her that as well.

“But not your brother?”

“No. Jonathan doesn’t like nicknames, so it wasn’t something that we used growing up. I just call him Jonathan and he calls me Clarissa,” she said, shrugging.

“What!” Aline exclaimed. “But everyone uses nicknames.”

“You didn’t, when you introduced yourself to me.”

“Formalities,” Aline said while waving her hand about. “Most people usually just call me Ally. I kind want to meet your brother now.”

“I’ll have to introduce you to him later. Maybe after we see the Institute.”

“Sure,” Aline agreed easily.

From the way that Aline spoke about it, Clarissa thought that everything had completely change in the Institute. But all they really did was add some more technology and repurposed some of the empty rooms and use the space a little better. It did take her a few seconds to recognize some parts of the Institute though and the library had been completely redone and reorganized to make researching demons and anything else they might need a little easier.

Clarissa was all too aware of the alert bracelet that she was wearing. The last thing that she wanted was to be called for a mission right now. She trusted most of her team to watch her back about as much as she trusted a demon to not try to kill her. Maybe she would be a little more comfortable on a mission with them when most of them stopped glaring at her during training.

And the last thing that she wanted was to help the Clave with anything. Hers and Jonathans plans would be more easily achieved if there’s chaos happening around them. As long as the chaos can’t be traced back to her or her brother, there would be no reason to help.

She shook the thought of the bracelet from her mind and focused on enjoying her time with Aline. There wasn’t much they could do without being in the way. It was nearly two in the afternoon and most of the people here didn’t know what to do so they were running around trying to look busy.

“I think we’re just getting in the way now,” Aline commented. “So how about going to meet your brother now. I want to see if the rumours are true.”

Are you busy? Clarissa thought?

Not really. Why? Her brother asked.

Aline wants to meet you. We’ll be there in two minutes.

Jonathan was just pulling on a shirt to cover his twining rune when his sister and Aline walked in.

“You must be Jonathan,” she said. “I’m Aline. Aline Penhallow. But you can call me Ally.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you Aline,” he said politely.

She grimaced. “Clary wasn’t kidding. Is there anything I can do to make you call me Ally? Because you call Jace, Alec, and Izzy by their nicknames.”

He shook his head. “How about I start calling Alexander and Isabelle by their given names. Jace can keep his nickname because we share the same name.” He gave her a soft smile. It had been easier to use the Lightwood’s preferred names since they were the only ones at the Institute and it was a quicker way to gain some trust, but now he didn’t want to be forced into using nicknames for everyone else that he interacted with. Nicknames were just a part of mundane culture that had the misfortune of sliding into Shadowhunter culture, and Jonathan would not encourage its use.

“I guess that’ll have to be enough. But I’ll get you to call me Ally soon enough.” Aline made herself comfortable in the desk chair.

Through their conversation, Clarissa was almost able to forget that she was on-call. Maybe if the bracelet wasn’t so heavy, she would’ve forgotten about it. She couldn’t have been happier that her on-call passed without being needed for a mission.

In the next few weeks her team got shifted around a bit. She stayed with Aline, and Lydia decided to add Jonathan to her team.

Her birthday passed quietly. It’s always just been her and her brother. She wasn’t ready for anyone else to know about it and Jonathan agreed. He wanted to keep this private. She belonged to him and no one else deserved to know her like he did.

Chapter Text

In the next three months everyone grew accustom to their routines; going between on-call shifts, being sent on reconnaissance or diplomatic missions, doing their team training and getting to know everyone’s fighting styles.

Once everything was established, Lydia quickly realised that one hundred and forty people were a lot more that were needed to take care of New York and some of the surrounding areas. So, her first official decision as Head of the Institute would be deciding who would be staying and who would be transferred elsewhere, and she didn’t think that she’d be able to make those choices on her own. The first person that came to mind to help her sort through everyone was Jonathan.

With his help, they spent nearly fifteen hours straight trying to figure out who to keep and who should be transferred, while also trying to keep some teams together. It was a long process, but several coffees and a long night later, they decided on the sixty people who would stay.

Now that there were a lot less people working at the Institute, everyone’s schedules were a lot fuller. While Clarissa was grateful to have less people watching everything that she did, she also wasn’t able to spend as much time with the Lightwoods and keep them feeling attached to her. So she was relived when she was finally able to find a time in both hers and Izzy’s schedules that allowed them to spend some time together.

She knocked on Izzy’s door, dressed in sweatpants and a loose t-shirt.

 “Clary!” Izzy enveloped her in a tight hug. “Come in.”

Clary collapsed on Izzy’s bed. Finally, a time where she could relax, even if Izzy insisted on using the nickname that she hated, as had everyone else in the Institute, save her brother.

Izzy got comfortable too and threw her legs over Clarissa’s. It was a relief for her to be able to just relax with Clary. Since all the changes to the Institute, the only times that they’ve been able to really hang out, they also had to multitask since at least one of them was doing some kind of assignment for the Institute.

“You won’t believe it!” Izzy exclaimed. “Mom and Dad are letting Max come for winter break.”

“Really? Jace talks about him a lot, but he told me that Max would probably stay in Alicante for the break.” Clarissa wasn’t sure how that would work out for her and Jonathan. Kids tended to be a lot more observant, but they also didn’t always know that what they were seeing was important. She would’ve preferred if Max wasn’t here at all, just to minimize the risk, but it wasn’t the absolute end of the world.

“Mom changed her mind. Probably because there are more people here now,” Izzy said. “Their brake starts today but Max is coming tomorrow.”

Clarissa understood what Izzy wouldn’t say. As much as Maryse trusted her and Jonathan, she still wasn’t comfortable having Max here alone with them for such a long time. And it served as a bit of a wake-up call for her. She had made a lot of headway with the Lightwoods in the last six months, but she still didn’t have the amount of trust that she needed if she and Jonathan planned to pull this off.

“And it’s great, and all, but I’m still not gonna get to see him for another week.”

“What. Why?”

“Lydia is sending my team and Jace’s team to Rhode Island for a mission. I already asked. Everything’s set up and it’s too late to change anything.” Izzy sighed and tucked her hands behind her head as she leaned back in her bed.

“That sucks. But at least you still have five weeks once you get back.”

“I guess. I know that Jace wanted to start training him and they might end up needing as much time as he can get.”

Clarissa and Izzy spent the rest of the night talking about anything they could think of while watching some random action movie on Izzy’s laptop.

The next morning, by the time Max arrived at the still busy Institute with his parents, Jace and Izzy had already left for their mission and Robert and Maryse had to leave again.

“Alec should be somewhere. Go find him before you do anything else,” Robert said.

The Institute was different from how he remembered it. Mom and Dad said there were some changes, but he didn’t think that it be like this. He was used to it just being the six of them over the breaks, sometimes just four of them if Mom and Dad had to go to Idris.

Max found Alec glaring at one of the monitors beside a blonde lady.

“Alec!” He cried as he ran to him.

Alec turned as he heard his name. “Max!” Alec ruffled his hair. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m really happy to see you, but I’m really busy right now. You should go drop your stuff off in your room. I’ll come find you in an about hour.”

Max nodded and ran to his room, eager to be able to explore the Institute without Alec, Jace, or Izzy watching his every move, even if he only had an hour.

He went by the training room but there were at least twenty people in there, so he didn’t do anything more than glance inside. He really wanted to start learning how to use a seraph word but since Jace wouldn’t be here for a while to train him, he decided that he’d need to go there earlier so he could start learning on his own before Jace comes back.

The next morning, Max woke up at before five in the morning to get to the training room when no one else would be using it. At this hour, the only people that should be awake were people that absolutely had to.

He picked up one of the practice swords from the side of the room and it felt unfamiliar and uncomfortable in his hand. He’s held them before and he’s watched Jace, Izzy, and Alex train with them, but his parents had never let him practice with it before.

He tried to copy the movements that he’d seen Jace do, but they felt awkward. He was working hard, and even starting sweating, but everything still felt wrong and he wasn’t sure if he was actually getting any better.

“Your legs are too far apart.”

Max dropped his sword in surprise and jumped to face the door. He didn’t think that anyone else would be here this early in the morning.

“Where – how long were you there for?” Max asked. He’s never seen this guy before before, but almost everyone in the Institute was new, so that wasn’t anything special.

“Long enough.”

Max didn’t know how he hadn’t seen him before, his white hair made him stand out. And he was surprisingly tall; maybe around Alec’s height.

“What’s your name?” Max asked.

“Jonathan Morgenstern. I’m guessing that you’re Maxwell Lightwood, Alexander’s younger brother.”

He crinkled his nose in distaste. “Max,” he corrected. He hated when people called him Maxwell.

Jonathan grabbed a staff. “You can continue to train. I didn’t come here to distract you.”

He ignored Max and ran through some movements with the staff. He would’ve preferred to spar with Clarissa, but she just finished a mission while she was on-call a few hours ago and would be leaving in a few more hours for a diplomatic mission to the Seelies. And Jonathan himself only had a few spare hours before he was meeting Lydia and Alec to organize the movements of some of their teams.

He glanced at Max. “You’re holding it too low.”

Max glanced up at him questioningly.

“The sword is too big for you,” Jonathan continued, “so you need to hold it closer to the hilt. It’ll give you better control.”

He watched Max correct himself to Jonathan’s suggestion, but his stance slowly slipped back to what it was before Jonathan walked in. For a brief second, Jonathan felt the urge to correct him again, but he wasn’t his responsibility and Jonathan wanted to take advantage of the last few minutes before other people started to arrive for their team training.

Once other Shadowhunters starting trickling into the Training Room for their scheduled team training, Jonathan set his staff back on the racks and went to his room to change.

When he got back a little after six thirty, Clarissa was in bed, still fast asleep.

Jonathan pulled the sheets off the bed. “Wake up. You’re leaving in an hour.”

“I don’t even want to go.” She rolled over and buried her face into the pillow, trying to block the light out.

“Yes, well, I don’t want you to go either. But we need to abide by the rules for now.”

Clarissa rolled of the bed and sulked into the bathroom.

Jonathan changed and laid out Clarissa’s gear for after she was done in the bathroom.

“Max Lightwood is here,” Clarissa said as she walked out.

“I know. He was in the training room at five today.” Jonathan grabbed a stele from the bed side table and pushed it into his pocket.

“Really? Izzy told me that Jace wanted to train him before he went back to school, but I didn’t think he’d train without Jace.”

Jonathan threw on a shirt. “Good to know that he actually wants to learn and that he’s choosing to train early to get better.”

“How long will you be gone for?” Jonathan asked.

“Hopefully only a few hours. Six hours max. Then I’m going back to sleep.”

“Make sure you come find me when you get back.” Jonathan said. “There’s a good chance that I’ll still be with Lydia.”

For the next week, Clarissa’s schedule had her out of the Institute more often than she was in it, while Jonathan had more meetings with Lydia, some of which were scheduled purely to give each other a break and time to relax. Every morning that Jonathan went to train at five in the morning, he found Max already there, trying to teach himself how to use a sword. Jonathan decided that dedication like that should be rewarded.

“You won’t be able to learn anything else on your own,” Jonathan finally said.

Max looked up, startled. “Well Jace is supposed to be teaching me, but he’s still busy.”

“As long as Jace isn’t here, you can spar with me,” Jonathan exchanged his staff for one of the Institute’s dulled practice swords and led Max to the middle of the mat.

“Before we start, here’s your first lesson, Maxwell.”

“Max,” he corrected indignantly.

Jonathan ignored him. “Never attack first. Let your opponent attack, it gives you a second to learn how they fight.”

Jonathan brought his sword down on Max’s head, making sure to only use a fraction of his speed and strength and Max brought his own sword up to block it.

“I’m bigger and stronger than you, so you should evade or deflect, rather than block. It’s easier and takes a lot less energy. It could save your life in a longer fight.”

They continue to spar in a similar manner, with Jonathan blocking or deflecting any of Max’s strikers, and Max attempting to land anything on Jonathan. Whenever his guard was too high or low, Jonathan would smack Max with the on wither his chest and shoulder, or stomach with the flat of his blade.

Jonathan was mildly impressed by his determination. They had been sparring for nearly thirty minutes and it was obvious that Max was absolutely exhausted, but he didn’t complain once.

Jonathan disarmed Max and watched the sword fly from his hand. “We’re done for the day.”

All Max could do was nod tiredly; he was ready to collapse on the mat from exhaustion. Jonathan hadn’t said anything good, but he also hadn’t said anything bad, so Max was happy to consider this morning a success. At this point, he was ready to sleep until noon.

The following day proceeded in a similar manner and Jonathan was satisfied with Max’s improvement. He wasn’t anywhere near as skilled as Jonathan or Clarissa had been when hey were that age, but he was still very much ahead of where his peers at The Academy would be.

When Max got back to his room, he couldn’t do much else than tug off his shoes and collapse on his bed.

The next time that Jonathan was called for a mission, Clarissa decided to make use of her newfound freedom. Especially now that she was finally getting used to their rune, and having the faerie ring made being away from Jonathan slightly more bearable.

It was raining so hard that it was easy to forget that it wasn’t midnight, but instead only two o’clock in the afternoon. And it was cold and miserable, but she refused to stay trapped in the Institute. Lydia gave her the freedom that she wanted, and this was the first time that she would be able to use it. There was no way that a little rain would keep her here.

She grabbed one of her heavier raincoats and her sketchbook and marched out of the Institute. She didn’t know exactly where she wanted to go or what she wanted to do; she just knew that she wanted to get out of the Institute. She stopped just outside the doors, taking a minute to appreciate everything and take a breath of fresh air.

She threw her hood over her head and started walking. She really wanted to talk to Jonathan, to at least try to distract herself from her need to be with him but tried to ignore the urge. She didn’t want to risk interrupting something important and distracting him. The last thing she wanted was for Jonathan to get stabbed because she couldn’t control herself. And if he got stabbed, she’d be feeling the pain too. Clarissa was a lot of things, but she most definitely wasn’t a masochist.

Clarissa looked up to observe everyone that was in the coffee shop that she had just walked into, and it was only then that she didn’t grab any money before she left.

She sighed and pulled her stele out of her pocket as she ordered a coffee. She drew her persuasion rune under her shirt and refrained from speaking until the barista asked her how she’d be paying.

She smiled sweetly. “I think you made a mistake; I don’t have to pay for this.”

The barista’s eyes glazed as he stared at her with unfocused eyes. “I’m sorry about that.” He tapped the screen a few times and Clarissa watched the amount that she owed go to zero.

“Thanks,” she said. “Have a great day.”

Clarissa settled in a corner where she could observe everyone. She had to ignore the occasional stabs of pain that Jonathan was getting from whatever situation he was in. It wasn’t anything that she should worry about, but it was just enough that she knew Jonathan would consider it a nuisance.

She let herself get lost in her art, capturing mundanes in the middle of their day. She almost didn’t notice the café filling up around her.

“Hey.” Someone said from behind her.

Clarissa reacted instantly, reaching for her knife and intending to incapacitate whoever was behind her before she realized that he wasn’t an immediate threat.

“Sorry,” he said, “I didn’t mean to scare you. I was just wondering if I could sit here.”

“Oh, sure.” Clarissa rearranged her sketchbook so he could sit across from her.

“I’m Simon.” He nervously scratched at his ear.

Before she knew it, she was caught up in a conversation with him, it was so easy to forget that she only had another couple of hours before she had to go back to the Institute.

“I like your tattoos,” he said.

“Thanks, I designed them myself,” she said. The only runes that she left exposed were the ones that she made herself and wouldn’t be recognized as runes.

The first time that Simon genuinely laughed, Clarissa saw two of his teeth extend into fangs. She giggled as he clapped his hands over his mouth.

“I – uh – I swear,” he stuttered.

“Don’t worry,” she laughed. “I knew you were a vampire. I actually thought that you knew I was a Shadowhunter too; I even left my stele on the table. Didn’t your sire teach you anything?”

Simon shook his head, “I knew – well, I thought I knew – but he also said you guys were all assholes. And you were too nice for that.”

Clarissa laughed, “Thank you.”

“So how come I’ve never seen you before?” Simon asked.

Clarissa watched as he glanced around the café and hid his mouth as he spoke. So, he was a new vampire but didn’t have any of the confidence that usually came with it.

“I’m a little new to the area and I’m usually in the Institute after six pm.” She tried to be vague enough to not give him too much information, but just enough so he wouldn’t keep asking questions. She didn’t know how much she could trust him, actually, she didn’t know much about him at all. But she did like him – he was fun to talk to, in a way that her brother wasn’t. Don’t get her wrong, she loves her brother, but he didn’t really do casual conversations if it wasn’t for the purpose of sharing information.

“Really? Cause its five forty-five right now, so you might be cutting it a bit close.”

“What!” Clarissa started gathering her stuff. “Before I go, do you want to hang out again sometime?” She asked.

“Sure,” he replied. “What’s your snapchat?”

Clarissa looked at him blankly. “I don’t know what that is.”

“Instagram?” Simon continued. “Twitter? Facebook?” His voice grew more and more incredulous as she continued to look confused. “Oh, there’s so much that you’re missing out on.”

“I can give you my phone number.” Clarissa scrawled the number down on a napkin before wishing him a good evening and rushing out the door.

Chapter Text

The mission that Lydia had just sent Jace and Izzy was, in Jace’s opinion, long, boring, and completely unnecessary. It was a simple reconnaissance mission that anyone in the Institute could`ve done.

Everything was so much simpler before the Clave got involved. Alec never would’ve scheduled a mission when Max was supposed to be here. The rules were so much more flexible when Alec was acting as Head. All it would’ve taken was a couple minutes to convince him that a mission at this time wasn’t a good idea, not that he would’ve needed to, because Alec never would’ve put him in this situation in the first place.

Jace and Izzy got back from their mission at about eight in the morning and the first thing that Jace did was find Alec.

“Hey, where’s Max?” Jace asked.

“Hi. Good to see you too. I’m great, thanks for asking,” Alec said sarcastically.

“Yeah, yeah, I see you all the time. Where’s Max?” He repeated. He glanced around the room like he didn`t already know that Max wasn’t there.

“Do you even know what time it is? He’s probably sleeping.”

Jace nodded and ran to Max’s room.

“You need to shower first,” Alec yelled after him.

When Jace got to Max’s room, the door was shut but the lights were still on.

Jace knocked twice but received no answer, so he walked in to see Max sprawled out, face down on hid bed, and still fully dressed.

“Max? You ok?”

He mumbled incoherently into his bed spread.

Jace sat on the edge of his bed and gently shook Max’s shoulder to wake him up, but recoiled when he felt his sticky, sweaty arm.

“Do you have a fever?” Jace gently rolled him onto his back.

Max lifted his arm to shield his eyes from the harsh light and winced when he suddenly felt how sore he was. When he got back to his room, all he had wanted to do was sleep, but now he was regretting not stretching properly before. He wouldn’t be making that mistake again.

“Jace, I’m fine,” he mumbled, his mind barely awake.

Jonathan had told him several times in the last week to deflect or dodge instead of blocking, but there were times when he just couldn’t avoid it, and now he was paying for it.

Jonathan let him watch when he trained with Clary a couple times and comparing how he fought with her, well, Jonathan was holding back, and Max still struggled to keep up. There’s no way that he would be able to actually block any of his attacks if he were actually trying.

“I was gonna see if you wanted to start training tomorrow morning, but I think you’d be better off trying to sleep, whatever this is, off.”

That woke Max up.

“Really!” He exclaimed. “What time?” He completely forgot that he would be training with Jonathan at five so he really hoped that Jace wouldn’t want to train that early. And it’s not like he could find a good excuse to avoid training with Jace, especially when he begged Jace to train him for years.

“How about eight? There’ll be a team training in there too, but we won’t take up too much room.”

Max sighed with relief. He should’ve told Jace that he would be training with Jonathan before, but he felt like it’d be better if Jace didn’t hear about it from him.

“Yeah, sure,” he agreed. “What time is it now?”

“About eight thirty. Why?”

“Just curious.” Max briefly thought about going back to sleep. He’d only been asleep for about an hour when Jace come in and it’d be really easy to fall asleep again. But he hasn’t eaten since last night and his training session with Jonathan that morning left him really hungry. So, hunger won, and he threw on some sweats and decided to shower later.

He headed down to the mess hall instead of the kitchen, he didn’t want to eat any of Izzy’s burnt food. The most he grabbed was a couple light snacks, still to tired to imagine eating a full meal, he just wanted to something to hold him together so he could go back to bed.

“Max!” Someone called out.

Izzy. That had to be Izzy. Only she would could be so loud, so early in the morning.

He got picked up into a tight hug and had his face pressed onto her shoulder.

Izzy ended up dragging Max back to the dinning hall for more food and then she ended up pulling him around the Institute for a few hours, with him barely awake enough to recognize where he was. By the time he got to bed that night, he was absolutely exhausted.

“Have you seen Jace or Isabelle yet?” Jonathan asked the next morning.

“I saw them last night, but I was too tired to do anything. Thanks for that, by the way,” Max said. Izzy didn’t let him go to bed until after midnight, so he didn’t sleep for anymore than four and a half hours and was feeling extra grumpy. Nothing was better than getting no sleep and waking up early to get you ass handed to you for two hours.

“Watch your tone,” Jonathan said. Max wasn’t his responsibility, but he also wasn’t going to take any disrespect from someone that he was teaching.

Max muttered an apology.

“Be confident when you speak.” If no one else was going to raise him properly, Jonathan would have to do it while he was there.

Max looked Jonathan in the eyes and apologized.

“That’s better.”

Max moved to get the training swords.

“No need for those today. I thought we could work on some hand-to-hand instead.”

Max looked at him warily. “Is this a punishment for what I said? Because I really am sorry. I didn’t mean it like that.”

“I wouldn’t punish you for something if I didn’t already explain the rules first. Now you know, so if it happens again, I’ll punish you,” he said, “I decided on hand-to-hand because it’ll help with your reaction time, especially when we continue with close combat weapons.”

Within half an hour, Max was drenched in sweat and Jonathan just looked like he was about to go on a relaxing walk in the park. He started showing Max how to use a larger opponent’s weight against them. After couple hour, Max could recognize situations where he could use the technique and get the right footwork, but he couldn’t figure out how to manoeuvre Jonathan to do it. After several attempts, Jonathan decided that Max needed another practical demonstration.

When Max threw a punch, Jonathan grabbed it with both hands and held it where it was.

“Make sure you hold tightly, you have small hands so if you aren’t leaving bruises around their arms, then you aren’t holding on tight enough.” He tightened his grip to emphasize his point.

Jace chose that time to entre the training room. “What the hell are you doing?” He exclaimed.

“Jonathan’s teaching me how –”

“You have good timing Jace. Maxwell is learning something new, and I think you’d be a good practice dummy.”

Jace spotted some of the bruises on Max’s forearms.

“And how long have you been… training for.” Jace could barely call it training. Max was covered in bruises that he didn’t see yesterday, and he stood awkwardly like it was the only position that didn’t cause him pain.

“About three hours. Once Maxwell gets a chance to try something on you, we’ll be done,” Jonathan said.

Jace was on the fence. He didn’t know what Jonathan was teaching his little brother, or how he was teaching him. But he had to admit that he was curious. “What’d he learn?” He asked.

Jonathan shrugged. “You’ll see. All you need to do is some hand-to-hand combat.”

Jace grudgingly agreed and slid into a loose fighting stance but got impatient when Max refused to attack first.

Jace took a cautionary step forward and was satisfied when Max didn’t change his position. He threw all his weight into his first punch, fully prepared to pull back if Max couldn’t block or dodge in time.

Max shifted his weight to avoid getting knocked out and reached out to grab Jace’s forearm and used his momentum to pull him forward. Max drove his hip up and into Jace stomach, knocking the wind out of him.

Jace wasn’t sure what he was expecting when they started sparring, but this was not it. Max threw him over his hip with a nearly perfect technique.

Once he had him on the ground, Max drove his knee into Jace’s sternum and pressed his forearm into Jace’s neck.

“Did you see that!” Max looked up at Jonathan. “I did it!” Max wasn’t entirely sure but for a split second he thought that Jonathan looked proud. But it was gone as quickly as he thought it appeared.

“Yeah, that was good Max,” Jace choked out from beneath him “But could you take your arm off my throat please.”

“Oh, yeah, sorry.”

Jace stood, rubbing his stomach.

“Almost perfect Maxwell,” Jonathan said. “If you wait until the last second before you grab his arm, he’ll have more momentum and it’ll be easier to throw him.”

“When did you learn this?” Jace asked. He didn’t think to bring his stele so those bruises would bother him for a lot longer than he would like them to.

“This morning,” Max said excitedly.

Jace saw a couple bruises poking out from the bottom of his shirt.

“Raziel, what happened?” Jace pulled up Max’s shirt and saw the bruises that littered his hips and stomach.

“It’s nothing.” Max yanked his shirt. “We were training, it happens.”

A couple people were starting to entre the training room to prepare for their group training and were starting to stare.

“How else do you think he learned the throw.”

“There are other ways to learn, Jonathan. He’s nine years old.”

“And he learned how to do it in three hours. How long did it take you to do it properly? A few weeks? A month? If you’re too afraid to leave a bruise or two, then you’re definitely the wrong person to train him.”

“Jace, drop it, please,” Max pleaded. “I’ll draw an iratze later and I’ll be fine.”

Jace looked resigned. “Fine,” he said. “Ok. I just – I don’t think we should train today, Max. I’ll see you later.” Jace sighed as he left the training room. He didn’t expect to see Jonathan in there with Max, and Jonathan was probably the last person that he wanted Max to learn from. And all Max’s bruises just proved that.

But Jonathan also taught him a move that Jace wasn’t able to properly execute in a sparring match for weeks. And Max learned it in a couple hours.

Just thinking about it gave him a headache and it wasn’t really something that he wanted to deal with right now, nor did he think that he was the right person to deal with it. Jace knew that if Max wanted it, he’d cave in and let it happen. Alec was a lot better at this than he was.

At first, Clarissa and Simon texted nearly everyday but now it’s been nearly two days and he hasn’t answered any of her calls or texts.

It was ten at night and she was already in bed with Jonathan when Simon hadn’t even read her texts yet, so she decided that she should go check up on him.

She shifted Jonathan’s hand off her hip and rolled out of bed. Jonathan shot her a questioning look.

“I’m going to find Simon. He hasn’t answered my texts for a couple days and I know that his sire did a shitty job explaining the world to him.”

Jonathan threw the sheets off the bed. “I’m coming with you.”

“Not yet. You’ll probably scare him.”

“Are you trying to hide him from me?”

“Nope. You’re more than welcome to read through our texts.” She tossed his phone onto the bed. “You’ll meet him soon though, once I’ve had the chance to prepare him for your frosty personality – and when I’m sure that he’s still alive.”

Trying to track Simon down without a rune was a little harder than she expected.

Once she found what she thought was his home, at first, she wasn’t even sure that he was there. From the outside, the lights were off in what she thought was his room – it was the only one with blackout curtains, even if they were partially open – but that didn’t mean that he wasn’t there.

She stood under his window.

“Simon,” she whispered, knowing that he would hear her if he was home.

He didn’t answer but she heard some shuffling in his room.

She prepared to jump up to his window but had to duck under the sill when someone walked by the window.

She made her way to the side of the building and away from any windows. She jumped up to the roof, made her way across the ledge, and slid in through his open window.

She crept around his room as quietly as she could, wincing every time the floorboards creaked.

“Clary. Stop, please.” Simon’s voice came from beside his bed. It was a lot scratchier and rougher than it was the last time she spoke to him.

“Raziel. Are –”

“You need to leave,” he gasped out.

“Why are you on the floor?” Clarissa took a step towards him and Simon shrunk back into the wall. “When was the last time you fed.”

“I – I don’t know. A week. A few,” he stammered. “I don’t remember.”

Simon scrunched his eyes and stopped breathing. He could barely keep himself from attacking her. The smell of her blood. Hearing it pumping through her veins. It was so enticing and so much harder to resist than any other mundane’s blood.

“You need to feed,” Clarissa insisted.

“I can’t leave. My mom’s downstairs,” he said desperately. “I don’t want to hurt her.”

“I’d be happy to be your blood donor for today,” Clarissa offered.

“I can’t. I won’t,” he decided. “I’m not going to kill you because I couldn’t control myself.” He couldn’t even control his fangs and keep them hidden.

Clarissa made a shallow cut on her wrist and let a couple drops of blood fall onto her shoe. “You won’t kill me.”

Simon let out a soft pained groan and curled up tighter than he was before. If he thought that trying to resist her blood while it was in her veins was hard, then right now he was in agony.

Clarissa sighed. “Don’t torture yourself when I’m offering you something that you obviously need.”

He shook his head furiously, trying to rein in his desire. He covered his nose but somehow, he could still smell its intoxicating aroma.

“Drink my blood or I will force feed it to you,” she demanded. “It’s not like it’d be hard to overpower you right now.”

Simon tentatively took her offered wrist but couldn’t hold back once his fangs sunk in and he let his instincts take over.

She felt a slight twinge of pain when his fangs broke the skin before an avalanche of warmth radiated through her body. Clarissa let out a soft pleasant moan and leaned back on his bed for support. She didn’t expect it to feel this good.

Simon lost himself in the pleasure of her blood. He’s never tasted anyone like her before.

Her mind went blank. Absolutely nothing else mattered right now. Keeping track of Simon’s family downstairs, the pain from his nails digging into her forearms, the Clave interfering with hers and Jonathan’s plans – nothing.

It felt like her mind left her body. She could feel the warmth radiating from her core, but it felt like her mind and soul were on different levels and disconnected from her body. She could simultaneously feel the ecstasy and feel nothing. She could barely even feel the bed behind her.

The euphoria was only building and building with no end in sight. Her body felt more relaxed than it had in years – a release that she didn’t even know that she needed. Unable to even focus enough to support herself, she sat back on his bed, her movement pulling her arm slightly in Simon’s grip.

The movement shocked him back to reality. The breathtaking taste of her blood got pushed to the back of his mind and he dropped her arm. He could hear that her hear was beating a lot slower than it was before.

“Oh my G –” he choked on the word but that didn’t matter right now. “Clary. Clary are you okay?”

Clarissa nodded lazily. “M’fine. That just felt really good.”

“I thought I killed you. I almost killed you.” Simon started speaking way too fast for her to understand what he was saying in her post-bite high.

“Stop talking. You’re ruining my high.” She laid on his bed until she felt normal enough to function.

“You couldn’t have killed me,” she finally said once she regained her senses.

“Are you kidding?” Simone struggled to moderate his voice. If his mom came to see why he was yelling, he wouldn’t be able to explain why Clarissa was in his room when she thought he was sick with the flu. “You passed out while I drank your blood.” He still couldn’t believe what just happened. He nearly killed her.

“I was perfectly fine. It just felt… really good.” A faint blush adorned her cheeks. “And my body is able to replenish my body faster than you can drain it.”

“Thank G –” he choked again.

“Your sire is absolutely useless,” she complained. “You won’t be able to say God as long as you still believe in him,” she explained. “So, you might want to start the fast track to atheism.” She paused. “Are you still hungry?”

Simon shook his head. “I thought that I killed you about a minute ago so I don’t think I can drink any more.”

“Ok then. I have to get back to the Institute, but don’t let yourself get that hungry again. If you need blood, just text me. I’d happy to let you tap a vein or two.” She straddled his windowsill, ready to jump out.

“Thanks,” he said.

“Happy to help. I’ll see you later.”

She was glad that she was able to change the subject so easily with him, because her reaction to his bite wasn’t something that she wanted to talk about. Now she finally understood how mundanes got addicted but Clarissa resolved to be better than them. All she would do was offer her blood if Simon really needed it. Now that she knew what to expect, those feelings wouldn’t take her by surprise if Simon wasn’t able to hunt and needed some blood again.

Chapter Text

“Have you lost your mind!”

“Jonathan, it’s fine. I’m fine.”

“You let him feed on you.” It wasn’t that he was mad that she let him feed on her, in letting Simon feed on her, Simon got closer to his sister than he ever will. It was something that she shouldn’t have given away that freely.

Jonathan was mildly annoyed that he was having this conversation instead of resting. He thought that not letting vampires feed on you was a rule that didn’t need explicitly need to be said. Apparently he was wrong.

“You didn’t see him. At the most, he was a few hours from snapping and going on a murder spree. It’s lucky that I got there when I did.”

Jonathan paused. “How much did he drink from you?” He asked hesitantly.

“It’s not like we measured out my blood first.” Jonathan gave her a flat look. “I don’t know. It took about two minutes. Three at the most,” she said.

“That’s more than enough time,” he muttered under her breath. “He could be a daylighter now.”

“That’s impossible,” she said. “That could only happen if they feed from an angel.”

“But you have enough of their blood.”

“Maybe,” she said. “But maybe not. We can’t know that for sure. He could still be a normal vampire.”

“Or maybe you gave a vampire, who already has more than enough strength and speed, the ability to walk in the sun. Something that he shouldn’t be able to do.” He took a deep breath. The last thing he wanted was to let an insignificant vampire ruin his night.

“Well we won’t know until the sun rises anyways. Simon’s mom thinks he’s sick and it’s not like he’ll be leaving anytime soon. So, this can wait until tomorrow. I’m tired.”

“If he is a daylighter, how easily would he be manipulated?” Jonathan asked as he made room for Clarissa in the bed.

She smirked. “Child’s play.”

“Which one is his room?”

“Top floor. First room on the right. We can get to it from the roof.”

Once again, Simon didn’t lock his window. Clarissa rolled her eyes. It wasn’t like a flimsy lock would keep anyone out that really wanted to get in, but it was the principal of it. Leaving anything unlocked was practically inviting anyone inside.

“Clary?” Simon didn’t look nearly as surprise as he sounded. “You could’ve at least warned me. What if I was changing?”

“Most neighbours tend to call the police when they see people sneaking in windows,” Jonathan said dryly. “But sorry we couldn’t wait outside for you to let us in because you might have been changing.”

“Simon, this is my brother Jonathan,” Clarissa introduced.

“Wow. He’s… exactly like you described him.” Simon reached out to shake his hand. “Nice to meet you.”

Jonathan looked down at his hand and made it clear that he wouldn’t shake it.

“Right, okay,” Simon said nervously.

“How are you feeling?” Clarissa asked.

Jonathan walked around the room while Simon watched him nervously before he finally stopped in front of the curtain.

“I’m good. Thanks for… last night.” Simon was still cautiously watching Jonathan but was too afraid to question him. He knew that realistically, he was faster and stronger than Jonathan, but that could only count for so much. If Jonathan wanted to hurt or kill him, Simon doubted that there’d be much he could do to prevent it.

What are you planning? Clarissa asked her brother through the ring.

Jonathan glanced at his sister but didn’t respond.

“Why do you still live with your mom?” Jonathan asked. “Basically, every vampire in the area lives at the Hotel DuMort. If you lived there, then you wouldn’t have gotten as thirsty as you did last night.”

Simon scoffed. “If you ever met my mom, then you’d know that she’d freak if I even suggested moving out.”

Jonathan nodded and grabbed a fistful of the curtain behind his back. A quick glance told him that Simon wouldn’t have anywhere to hide.

“Jonathan,” Clarissa warned. From where she was sitting on Simon’s bed, she couldn’t see exactly what he was doing. But she had a pretty good idea.

He wrenched the curtain open, bathing Simon in sunlight. It wasn’t more than a second before he reacted. He tried to hide in the shadows of his headboard but some of his leg was still exposed.

Jonathan smiled grimly, “You’re fine. Get up.”

Simon sat on the floor, panting nervously. Realistically, he knew that he was already exposed to the sun and didn’t burn. But he couldn’t make himself move from his pseudo-safety.

Jonathan closed the curtains again to hide the inside of the room from any peering neighbours.

“Congratulations little sister. You created a daylighter.”

This was the second morning in a row that Jonathan had to send Clarissa to train Max in his place.

“Where’s Alec?” He asked.

“I sent him to run a training exercise. They’ve been gone since two in the morning and should be back by noon depending on how it goes,” Lydia said.

Jonathan nodded. “So what needs to be dealt with today?”

“That,” she said while pointing to several tall stacks of folders that were sitting in the corner of her office. “The Clave’s been insisting on me following up on the old mission files from this Institute in the last five years. They’re saying that their movements weren’t matching the reports that were filed.”

Jonatan smiled inwardly he was getting unrestricted access to all of the Lightwood’s mission files.

“If you read anything weird, tell me,” she said. “I’m hoping to have this done before Alec gets back. Can I trust you to not tell anyone?”

“If anyone hears about it, it won’t be from me.”

The extra information on the Lightwoods could help him figure out what he was dealing with, but he did still hope that their records withstood the inspection. They were supposed to be his and Clarissa’s gateway to trust, but that wouldn’t work if the Clave didn’t fully trust them either.

It was nearly nine in the morning and they’d read through a little over half the files when Lydia leaned back in her desk chair and groaned.

“I need a coffee.”

Jonathan, who was using her bookshelf as a backrest, looked up. He might’ve only known her for a short period of time, but he wouldn’t’ve guessed that she was a coffee drinker.

“We’ve been at this for hours and found nothing, I think we deserve a break. Are you coming with me?” She asked.

“Of course. I’ve been staring at the same bad handwriting for so long that everything’s starting to look the same.”

The rest of the Institute was already full of activity when they left the office, still bleary-eyed from hours of reports.

It was only then that Jonathan realized what it looked like. No one saw them entre the office that morning, but everyone saw them leave looking like they had just woken up. He wasn’t sure if Lydia was aware enough to realize that too, or if she was too focused on her morning coffee. But either way, if other people saw it how he wanted them to, she’d be hearing about it soon.

Being in a full Institute, where a lot of the people were barely older than twenty, nothing travels faster than gossip. Especially gossip about the Head of the Institute and the son of Valentine Morgenstern.

Jonathan made a conscious decision to walk a little to close to Lydia – she was too focused on her coffee to really notice – and let his hand hover around her back before deciding to drop it. There were at least five people that saw them, he just pretended not to notice.

When they got back to her office, they both collapsed on her couch, mentally preparing themselves for a couple more hours of reading reports.

After another hour of reading, Jonathan found what he was looking for. Jace reported that they were hunting an Eidolon, and had it killed in thirty minutes, but based on the reported events, it should’ve taken them at least an hour assuming everyone their job perfectly and nothing unexpected happened.

There wasn’t really much else he could figure out with only these reports, but he also didn’t have to do it now. He knew they were hiding something – they probably even forgot that it happened – and just knowing that was enough to be used as blackmail if he needed it. But it’d only be good blackmail if no one else knew about it.

He glanced at Lydia as he tossed the folder into the pile of ones that they already read and grabbed a new one.

“I think the Clave is becoming a little to paranoid,” Lydia said. “There’s nothing here. Everything looks fine to me.”

Jonathan nodded in agreement. “The only thing wrong here is Jace’s terrible handwriting.”

Lydia giggled.

“Seriously,” he continued. “We could’ve been done an hour ago.”

“I’m glad that it’s not just me who’s struggling to read these,” Lydia said. She squinted dramatically at the report.

“The only good thing about this is that I’m here with you,” Jonathan said softly.

Lydia looked up at him in surprise, thinking that maybe she just imagined hearing what he said.

Jonathan searched her eyes, seeing that she wanted it a lot more than he thought she would. He reached up and stroked his thumb over her cheek and watched as her pupils grew wide. He brushed her hair out of her face and leaned in.

Lydia opened her eyes and reluctantly stopped back when someone knocked on the door.

Jonathan dropped his hand as Lydia stared longingly at his lips. She slid a bit away from Jonathan and picked up the folder that she hadn’t even realized that she dropped.

She struggled to look away from Jonathan’s lips, time felt frozen around her. She stared at Jonathan for what wasn’t more than a minute, but it felt like so much longer.

The knock repeated itself, pulling her out of the moment.

“Come in,” she said as she slid away from Jonathan.

Of course it was Alec that would interrupt.

“Hey Lydia. Jonathan.”

“How’d it go?” She asked.

“It was good. Better than I expected. I’ll have the report written up for you in a few hours,” Alec glanced at the folder in her hands. “Do you need any help with anything?”

“No thanks. I’m – we’re okay. Just finishing up.” Lydia was still thinking about what almost happened.

Alec nodded. “Ok. I’ll see you later then.” He closed the door behind him as he left.

Jonathan broke the slightly awkward silence. “I should probably go and get ready. I’m supposed to be on call in about twenty minutes.”

“Ok.” She scrambled to collect the discarded files. “Do you want to finish these folders tomorrow morning?”

“Sure. How’s five am? Because Alec isn’t usually up before six and there isn’t much left for us to do.” Her discomfort was amusing. They didn’t actually do anything, and they weren’t caught doing anything; so she really had no reason to be this awkward.

“I’ll see you then.”

“Hey Max,” Clarissa greeted cheerfully.

“How are you always so happy at five in morning,” Max grumbled.

“I’ve had sixteen years of early mornings. You’ll get used to them. Help me with the mats,” she said. “We’re going to work on your balance and coordination.”

It didn’t take them long to arrange the mats below the beams that Clarissa planned to use. She jumped up, holding both their staffs and Max had to use a ladder to get up there, since he didn’t have the strength to jump up there on his own.

“Your goal today is to try not to fall.” She handed him his staff.

“You make it sound like it’ll be easy.” Max struggled to get the right stance – the beam was only wide enough for him to either face Clarissa head on or stand fully sideways. Both ways felt awkward, but he figured that it was better to stand sideways.

Clarissa didn’t do much to guide him, it was better if he figured it out on his own, he won’t always have someone with him to walk him through everything. It was better if he learned to make his own decisions it in a controlled setting.

She was careful to balance her attacks with enough time for him to fight to keep his balance.

Between trying to avoid the end of Clary’s staff and barely being able to keep his feet on the beams, he was barely able to attack at all.

The rare times that he managed a panicked flail of an attack, he watched, astounded as Clary flipped out of the way with the fluidity and grace of a gymnast. The beams were barely wider than her foot and when she landed, she was confident and completely sure of her position.

“How do you do that?” He sounded incredulous when he finally gathered the courage to ask.

“Lots of practice,” she said. “And as long as my brother and I have any say, we’ll get you as good and comfortable as we can.”

Once Clarissa thought that Max was getting the hang of moving on the narrow beam, she thought that it was time to get his feet in the air.

Clarissa swept her staff at Max’s feet; his only choices were to jump or get knocked off the beam and end up with bruised ankles.

He avoided the staff well but when he came down, he only got one foot on the beam. He might’ve been able to regain his balance if he also wasn’t focused on holding onto the staff.

He fell on his back on the mat with his staff clattering on the mat, his breath knocked out of him.

Clarissa jumped down from the beams and landed beside him.

“That was alright. A little better than I thought but you still have a long way to go.” She offered her hand to help him up.

He accepted her hand. “Are we doing it again?”

“Nah. I think once was enough. You might feel fine now, but your calves are gonna be dying in the next couple hours, if not, then by tomorrow morning. Especially after you train with Jace.” She glanced at the clock. “You’ve got a little over an hour before you train with Jace so you should get something light to eat, but don’t sit in one spot the whole time or you’ll start to feel the soreness in your legs and core,” she said. “I’m gonna go find my brother. If he’s still busy tomorrow morning, then it’ll be me training with you tomorrow morning.”

Clary taught very differently from her brother. She would capitalize on any of his mistakes but also let him figure out a better way to deal with the situation on his own before she corrected him. It wasn’t bad, just a nice change. Where Jonathan was serious and corrected his mistakes with a merciless efficiency, Clary laughed and joked when they trained, but she wasn’t any less of a ruthless teacher because of it.

He wasn’t sure who he preferred more. They were both unafraid to hurt him but were also quick with an iratze if anything unexpected happened.

And Jonathan was right. Jace was a really soft teacher. And while he did like it, since it was pretty fun, but he knew that he wasn’t learning as much as he was with Jonathan or Clary, but this was one of the few times that he saw Jace in the week.

He headed to the mess hall, already feeling some soreness in his legs, but still looking forward to training with Jace. It was a chance to try some of the things that Clary and Jonathan taught him, since Jace sparred with him like he was fragile glass and gave him a lot more opportunities than Clary and Jonathan did. He guessed that it’d be good today because he doubted that he’d be able to move without wincing in pain in about half an hour.

Chapter Text

Are you busy right now? Clarissa texted.

Depends on what you want me to do.
If you want me to go on some super secret Shadowhunter mission that could get me killed, then I’m busy.
My mom needs me to count all the shiny objects that we have in the house.
It could take a while.
And I’m not allowed to leave or have any visitors until I’m done.
But if it’s not a super secret Shadowhunter mission, then I’m free. Simon answered her message almost instantaneously and in short, quick bursts.

She couldn’t help but laugh. Nothing too dangerous, she answered. I just want you to meet someone.

If they’re anything like your brother, then I can’t because I just got grounded.

She’s nothing like Jonathan. You’ll like her.
Meet me by the front of the Institute in fifteen minutes.

Clarissa dragged her brother with her to Izzy’s room and knocked on her door.

Izzy answered the door, still dressed in her pyjamas.

“I need you to be ready to leave in fifteen minutes.”

“That’s not happening,” Izzy interrupted. Her hair was tossed up in a messy bun that still somehow looked amazing on her even though she obviously just woke up.

“Well you’re gonna have to make it possible cause you have fourteen minutes now.” She was having a little too much fun with this.

“Clary!” Izzy exclaimed.

“Don’t worry,” she laughed. “I’ll pick your outfit for you.”

Jonathan took that as his cue to give them a little privacy and waited outside her door.

As she expected, Izzy wasn’t a big fan of the outfit that Clary picked, but Clarissa thought it was a perfectly reasonable outfit. It’s not like it was exactly warm outside and she couldn’t figure out where she kept her stele, or any weapons, for that matter.

“Have you seen Aline today? We should bring her with us, she’s been wanting to meet Jonathan for a while,” Izzy said.

“If you can find her in the next five minutes then sure. But I don’t think she’s really a morning person, so she’s probably in her room. Meet us out front when you find her.”

Izzy nodded. “And next time we go anywhere, I’m picking your outfit.”

Clarissa groaned but reluctantly agreed.

Clarissa and Jonathan met Simon a few minutes before Izzy and Aline turned the corner.

“Simon, this is Izzy and Aline,” she introduced. “Aline, Izzy, this is Simon.”

Izzy gave Simon a quick once over. “Ok Clary, I don’t know what you had planned for today, but I’m changing it. We need to go shopping and get Simon some new outfits.”

“What? Hey!” Simon exclaimed.

“Don’t worry Simon, she only tries to change the wardrobes of people that she likes,” Aline was speaking from experience, having been dragged around by Izzy when she first got there.

“You could really rock the whole cute nerd look,” Izzy said.

Once they got to the mall, Izzy dragged Simon into the nearest store that she saw.

“So we could either go with them, or do our own thing,” Aline said.

“If we go with them, then Izzy’ll make us shop too and we’ll end with clothes for twice the price that I’d normally buy them for,” Clary said.

Aline paused, she’d almost forgot about the price of the clothes she bought and the massive dent it put on her bank account. “Let’s leave Simon and Izzy alone for a few hours. She can text us when they’re done.”

They weren’t alone for more than a few minutes when Clarissa felt hers and Jonathan’s phone vibrate in her back pocket.

“It’s for you,” Clarissa said while looking at Jonathan. “Lydia said that there’s an issue at the Institute and that she could use your help.”

Aline raised her eyebrow.

“Tell her I’ll be there in ten minutes,” he said.

Aline waited until Jonathan was well out of earshot before voicing her thoughts.

“So…” She started. “Are Lydia and your brother… a thing?”

“What does that mean?” There were several possible meanings for what Aline meant, and she had a good idea of what she was implying, but her lack of interaction with other teenage mundanes left her at a disadvantage.

“It’s just that Jonathan and Lydia have been spending a lot of time together,” she said. “A lot of time alone together.”

“So just because two people spend a lot of time together, they have to be dating?” Clarissa sounded vaguely amused.

“Not all the time. But in Jonathan and Lydia’s case, the entire Institute thinks they’re fucking.”

“You’re kidding!” Clarissa broke out into an uncontrolled laughter.

“How do you not know about this?”

“How often do you think that people want to talk to me about the rumours they hear about my brother’s sex life?”

“Ok. You got me there,” Aline laughed. “But seriously, there’s nothing going on between them?”

“I can’t say anything until you swear not to say anything. I don’t want to ruin anything for him.”

“Stop teasing,” Aline playfully shoved her. “I promise not to tell anyone.”

“I know my brother well. We’re a lot closer than people think we are,” she smiled internally. No one except for her and her brother would know how true that was. “And I think I would know if my brother was dating the Head of the Institute.”

“Ok, but I don’t think you’ve seen how they act when they’re together.

“Do they act like they’re dating when they’re together? Or is it how Jonathan acts when they’re together?”

Aline thought for a moment. “It’s really mostly what Jonathan does but if you saw it then you’d understand.”

Clarissa laughed softly. “My brother is bored, and this is probably fun for him. I doubt Lydia even knows what he’s doing.”

“I don’t know. It looks like he really likes her.”

“I know my brother. He doesn’t like her like that. He doesn’t like anyone like that; he’s just bored.”

Aline rolled her eyes. “Okay.”

They continued walking, idly glancing at the stores, but neither of them in the mood to do any shopping.

“So… I’ve been talking to Alec and he’s a little worried about how intense Jonathan is when he trains Max,” Aline said tentatively.

“He has no reason to be worried. Max wants to learn and Jace isn’t teaching him anything.” Clarissa said, rolling her eyes. Everyone was taking this way too seriously. “And it’s not like Jonathan’s forcing Max to train. He can stop going whenever he wants to.”

Aline didn’t look too satisfied with her answer but didn’t push the issue.

They ran into Simon and Izzy, who both looked like they were genuinely having a good time, and they ended up staying until Clarissa’s curfew rolled around.

Before Max knew it, winter break was over, and he had to go back to the Academy. And while he did miss his friends, he’d be happy to wait another week or two to see them again.

The Institute was a little boring but having to go to school was so much worst. Most of the time, Alec and Jace were too busy to do anything with him. He knew that they tried, but Alec was helping to run the Institute and Jace kept getting pulled onto overnight missions. Izzy wasn’t as busy, but most of the time they just watched a movie, and even those got boring after a while.

The only part of the day that he really looked forward to, was training with Jonathan or Clary, even though he hated waking up early. It always left him feeling tired and like no amount of sleep could help; Clary said that he’d get used to it, but it’s been two months and he’s starting to think that she was lying about that part.

The few times that Jonathan and Clary were on a mission in the morning, he tried to sleep in, he really did, but it just felt like he was cheating so he ended up getting out of bed to train on his own.

Max started walking awkwardly around the Institute before he wandered into the training room. There were people there doing their team training, but they paid him no attention.

He was going to miss using real swords; the training ones just felt old and clunky now. If only he could bring a real one in his suitcase. But someone would find it and he’d be punished. And it wasn’t like he could even use it there.

He left the training room and literally walked into Jonathan as he headed to the mess hall.

Max looked at Jonathan for long seconds. “I don’t want to go back,” he blurted out.

“You have to,” Jonathan replied dryly. “You need to get a proper education.”

“But you didn’t go to the academy and you’re fine,” Max argued. Jonathan resisted the urge to roll his eyes. The education that he could get at the Academy couldn’t even compare to the education that he got with Father. It’s almost too bad that Father taught him to strategize a little too well and now it’s guaranteed to cost him his life.

“I also had access to a library about ten times the size of the one here.”

“Then why can’t you teach me? Or Clary could.” Max sounded a little more desperate than he wanted to.

“Maxwell –”

“It’s Max,” he interrupted.

“You didn’t draw blood yet.” Jonathan purposefully gave him a near impossible goal. The odds of Maxwell being able to cut him, or even get close to cutting him, would practically be impossible unless Jonathan could keep training him.

“But I won’t even get the chance to if I have to go back,” he whined.

“Don’t worry, I’ll see you soon.” After their first meeting, Jonathan had planned to start to break up Maxwell’s relationships with his siblings, but he didn’t think that Maxwell would get so attached to him in such a short period of time.

Max surprised Jonathan by wrapping him up in a hug. Jonathan hesitated before deciding to rest his arms on his back. It was too awkward and dispassionate to really call it a hug, but just something to help Maxwell calm down.

Lydia could barely keep her eyes open. Staying awake for longer than thirty-six hours wasn’t something that she was used to, but she couldn’t even think of sleeping right now. She would hate herself forever if she prioritized her comfort over the safety of others.

“You need to take a break,” Jonathan said softly. “I’ll keep going until you wake up.”

“No. I can’t,” she decided. “I sent them on that mission and it’s my job to get them all back.” The bags under her eyes were heavy markers of her stress.

“But you’re useless to everyone if you’re too tired to function. Sleep for an hour, I’ll wake you up.”

Lydia could see that Jonathan wasn’t going to let up and figured it be better to insist on a shorter time. “Twenty minutes,” she argued.

“Half an hour. I’m not willing to go any shorter than that and I’m not going to watch you run yourself into the ground.”

Lydia leaned back on the couch and sighed. She wished that she could sleep for a shorter time, but once she closed her eyes, it was so much easier to leave them closed than to try to pry them open. She was ready to fall asleep exactly as she was sitting.

“You’re going to hurt your neck like that.” Jonathan shifted a little to give her some more room on the couch. And Lydia compromised by resting her head on his shoulder, but Jonathan still wasn’t satisfied with her comfort. He gently guided her head down so she could rest it in his lap.

Jonathan shifted the papers around so it would look like he was still working when she woke up. The missing team wasn’t his problem and if they didn’t come back, then that would be less people watching his and Clarissa’s movements.

Lydia already had two more teams ready for a rescue mission, but they couldn’t do anything until they had a rough idea as to where they were. Their last reported location was upstate New York, but the scouts that they sent there reported that there was no one in the area.

Someone walked up to Lydia’s office; the footsteps sounded like Alec’s.

He knocked twice and walked in. “Lydia?” He asked.

“She’s sleeping,” Jonathan said quietly. “What is it? I’ll tell her when she wakes up.”

Alec stopped in his tracks, stupefied by Lydia sleeping so comfortably on someone that Alec practically considered the enemy.

“The team reported back in. They’re in rural Pennsylvania and are on their way back now.”

“Good,” Jonathan said. He would’ve preferred if the team didn’t return, but he still had to act happy, if only for a little while longer. “I was supposed to wake her up after half an hour, but I’ll let her stay like this until she wakes up on her own.” Jonathan liked seeing Alec’s pained expression at the thought at leaving Lydia alone to sleep on him.

“I think she’d be more comfortable in her own bed.”

Jonathan grinned inwardly. He might even miss annoying Alec.

“She hasn’t slept in almost two days,” Jonathan bit back. “When she wakes up, I’ll tell her. Until then, I’m not going to disturb her.”

Alec looked ready to argue more but knew his argument was weak and that he wouldn’t win. “Whatever, Jonathan. I’ll see you later.”

Lydia slept for over four more hours, well into the evening. She only woke up because the team got back to the Institute earlier than Jonathan expected and he had to wake her up to debrief the team.

“I hope I didn’t drool,” Lydia joked. She arranged herself to be sitting up but still leaning heavily on Jonathan.

During the debrief, the team revealed that they were being tracked by some circle members and had to activate their anti-tracking runes.

After the debrief, Jonathan tells Lydia that Valentine must be looking for Jocelyn.

“We should have her brought to the Institute, it’ll be safer for her here,” Lydia said.

“That’s exactly what my father wants. I can guarantee you that the Circle members that were tracking our team were just there to scare us. If we move her here, then he’ll know exactly where to find her. And it pains me to admit it, but her idea to hide as a mundane is the only reason why she hasn’t been found yet.”

Lydia sighed, “are you sure?”

“Valentine raised me for seventeen years and Clarissa and I did countless missions using his plans. I know his strategies inside and out. This is something that he does whenever he needs to find someone important. If he definitely knew what state she was in, he would’ve taken that team and interrogated them. He wasn’t sure, so he left them alone to try to scare us into moving her.”

Jonathan had to exaggerate the truth a bit to make sure that Jocelyn stayed where she was. He had no idea why the Circle was in the area and father would never use such a juvenile strategy. But he needed Jocelyn to stay where she was for a few more weeks.

Chapter Text

Clarissa was running out of legitimate excuses to avoid Jace. He would start getting a little suspicious if she kept saying she was too tired to do anything but continued to leave the Institute for hours every day. But as long as Jocelyn followed her usual routine, this would be the last time she’d have to follow her.

She yanked her hood over her head and turned her back to block the biting wind. She knew how to work in the cold, and when she was on important missions, she knew how to temporarily block it out, but it definitely wasn’t something that she liked. Jonathan was infinitely better than her at blocking out the cold, but she wasn’t as tied to the Institute as Jonathan was.

Jocelyn came home exactly on time, her schedule not disturbed by the snowstorm. The lack of windows limited her vision and the roaring wind made it difficult to hear what she was doing inside, but she’s been watching her for weeks, so her routine was predictable.

Once she was sure that Jocelyn was staying home for lunch and that Luke wouldn’t be there for another several hours, she portaled back to the manor. She folded her coat over her arm and knocked on father’s office door.

“Everything is going according to plan, I assume?” Valentine asked.

“Yes father,” she answered obediently. “Mo – Jocelyn’s schedule is consistent but if we wait any longer then there’s the risk that it could change unexpectedly. If we move tomorrow, then we should have The Cup by the end of that day.”

Valentine nodded his approval. “Bring her to the warehouse in upstate New York, I expect you both to handle your alibi.”

“Yes father.”

“Good. I’ll see you and your brother with the cup and my wife tomorrow.”

Clarissa took that as her dismissal and reluctantly put her coat back on to portal back to New York.

The second she got to her room, she stripped off her outer layers and got under the still warm sheets. Finding her brother could wait, she was too cold.

Jonathan came back to their room to find his sister curled up on his side of the bed. He sat down lightly on the edge of the bed, but the slight jostling of the mattress was enough to wake her from her light sleep.

“Where were you?” Clarissa asked.

“In Lydia’s office. She wants to improve our relationship with the local police, but a lot of them are Downworlders and she’s not sure how they’ll react to working with more Shadowhunters.”

“How soon does she want to start? I’d prefer if they weren’t working together for a while.” If the police and the Institute build their relationship while we’re both here, just bearing the Morgenstern name could destroy their alliance.

“It wouldn’t be for a while, but that could be expedited by Jocelyn’s disappearance. The good thing is that rushing the relationship could make it unstable, which would be the ideal situation.”

They ran through their plan for tomorrow, it didn’t take long, but there wasn’t any time for mistakes from miscommunication.

Clarissa woke up the next morning excited, she finally had something fun to do. Months of laying low and gaining trust was driving her insane. She could tell that Jonathan was looking forward to it too, even though his face looked impassive to everyone else that didn’t know him.

“If you let your excitement ruin this mission, not only will father kill you, I’ll help him too.” Jonathan threw a black hoodie on over his Gear and a toque to cover his white hair.

“Please,” she scoffed. “You’re just as excited as I am.”

“A chance to assault the woman who hated me and abandoned us, of course I’m excited. But unlike you, I’m not letting it distract me.”

“Be careful, brother, or I might just end up accidently stabbing you.” Clarissa braided her hair back and tucked it into her hood; hiding her identifiable features.

“If all goes well, we should be able to bring Jocelyn upstate and get back before anyone even notices that we left.”

“Let’s go have some fun,” she said while strapping her combat knives to her thigh.

Clarissa portal brought them to Jocelyn’s kitchen about thirty minutes before she was supposed to be home.

Jonathan waited for Jocelyn in the kitchen while Clarissa waited out of sight in the living room. When he and Clarissa first got sent to New York, he thought it would be a lot harder to get The Cup, this was almost so easy that it was insulting.

He leaned back in satisfaction when he heard Jocelyn fighting with her key in the lock.

Jocelyn shut the door behind her and nearly dropped her purse when she saw Jonathan waiting for her.

“Oh my God, Jonathan, you scared me,” she laughed as she set her keys on the table. She looked up hesitantly when he didn’t say anything. “Wait. What are you doing here? How’d you get in?”

Jonathan stood up straight and let his eyes fade from green back to their natural black as he casually flipped a combat knife around in his hand. “I think we both know that that doesn’t matter.”

A chill ran down Jocelyn’s back. Her initial assumption was right: this thing in front of her was not her son.

“Valentine sent you.” She bent down slowly to put her purse on the floor and kept her eyes on Jonathan the whole time. She slowly started to reach into her coat pocket.

“Of course father sent me.” Jonathan paused. “Move again, and I will put this knife in your throat. The pain from father’s punishment would be nothing compared to the joy I’d get from watching the life leave your eyes. And don’t think that I won’t laugh as you choke to death on your own blood.” Jonathan’s smile was just slightly unhinged, he could practically smell Jocelyn’s fear, and it was invigorating.

She took a step back to put some more space between them and to try and steady herself. “I’m not telling you where The Cup is.”

“There’s no need for that, Jocelyn. I already know where it is.” He deliberately looked down at the floorboard that it was hidden under. “And I think it’s time for you to end this ridiculous mundane charade. Father want’s you back. So, either you help me, and we do this painlessly, or I get to do something that I’ve always wanted to do.”

Jocelyn took an unsteady breath, his eyes were unsettling and from his tone, she knew he wouldn’t hesitate to hurt her.

“Jonathan, if I could go back and redo things, I would. I messed up and I want to fix it; I’m really trying to fix it.” She had one of her seraph blades hidden in the drawer behind Jonathan, but she had no way to reach it.

“You’re eighteen years too late, mother,” he bit back. “But there is a bright side to all this. Because if you aren’t going to come willingly, then we get to spend some quality time together. Some mother-son bonding, just like you claim you always wanted.”

“Jonathan, please, I don’t want to hurt you.”

“Your naivety is amusing. It’s not like you could hurt me if you tried.”

Jonathan could barely call it a fight. She was out of practice from her mundane life, not to mention that she didn’t even have a weapon. He let it drag on longer than it needed to, keeping it contained to the kitchen, and took immense satisfaction at her frequent grunts of pain until he was satisfied.

He wrapped his arm around her throat and didn’t let go until he was sure that she was unconscious.

“Ok, Clarissa. She’s out.” He let her fall to the ground and admired the mess he made. “Once you make this a little more permanent, I can bring her to father.”

“It sounded like you had fun.” The rune that she used was simple and already in the Gray book, and with a little effort she could make it last for weeks instead of the intended few hours.

She drew Jonathan a portal to the warehouse upstate. “Once I’m done here, I’ll meet you back at the Institute.”

Jonathan hefted Jocelyn up over his shoulder. “Make sure to change the clock’s forward for Luke,” he said as he stepped through.

Clarissa looked around the apartment. She almost didn’t want to destroy everything, but she had to if they wanted to play it off as an attack.

She started off in the family room, flipping the couch onto its back, dragging her knives through the wall, tearing up the carpet. She did the same thing in all the rooms but left most of the other floors alone.

She stopped to admire her work but decided that she stayed a little to conservative with the destruction. She checked the box thoroughly and it looked like Jocelyn had runed it to be water and fireproof, which were basic runes that were almost everything, especially in Alicante. She reinforced the runes a bit, just enough for it to look like Jocelyn had done it herself, in case anyone decided to look closer, and put it back under the floor.

She didn’t have much experience with arson, but she needed it to look like an accident, something that happened in a frantic search. She turned a on the gas stove and tossed a couple dish towels on the open flame. She watched the flame grow taller and burn the cabinets. The fire took over the kitchen but the brick walls stopped it from spreading too far. The heavy dinnerware crashed through the weakened cabinets and the resounding crash was satisfying.

The last thing she did before leaving was picking one of her mother’s useless analogue clocks and moved the time forward several hours, to around four o’clock, to give her and Jonathan more time to establish an alibi.

Her portal brought her back to her bathroom in the Institute where she burned her smoke-smelling clothes, and scrubbed any residue from her hands. She’d done all she could, and the only thing left to do was to wait for Luke to move the cup to the police station.

Jonathan dropped Jocelyn unceremoniously at his father’s feet. “Clarissa says she should be out for a few weeks. One month at the most.” He made sure that she wouldn’t hit her head too hard, father would not be pleased if he caused her to have a concussion or any other lasting mental defects, but he couldn’t deny that he liked the sound her body made when she hit the ground.

Valentine continued to look unimpressed. “Take care with the manner in which you treat my wife in the future. The only reason I won’t punish you is because she deserves a punishment for leaving me.”

“Yes father.” Jonathan noticed how he went from calling her by her name and, instead, called her his wife.

“And The Cup?”

“Once Lucian moves it to the police station, we can take it from there. That way we could divert any possible suspicion onto one of his colleagues at the precinct.” The hardest part of the mission was to get Jocelyn to father without arousing suspicion, but months of gaining trust and solidifying their place in the Institute made it almost child’s play. And not only does his sister have everyone’s trust, but soon she’ll have their sympathy too, which was almost more useful than trust.

“That gives you a very small window of time between when Lucian moves The Cup and when the Clave undoubtedly arrests both of you.”

“The risk is worth it. That way we’ll both be in Institute, and everyone will think that we’ve been there since last night, when Lucian discovers Jocelyn missing and their house destroyed.”

“You’ve thought this through.”

“Yes father.”

“Good. Then I’ll be seeing either you or your sister in a few hours.”

Jonathan’s portal brought him back to the centre of New York, he didn’t want to risk portaling into the wrong room.

A few more minutes and he was back at the Institute.

The first thing that he needed to do was go to his room to get rid of his clothes, then he went to Lydia’s office to establish his alibi, while Clarissa made sure she was seen around the Institute before disappearing into her room to wait for Jonathan’s signal.

Jonathan only had to be with Lydia for a few more hours when another Shadowhunter, whose name Jonathan didn’t care to learn, escorted a near frantic Lucian Garroway to Lydia’s office.

Luke is here. Go get The Cup, Jonathan thought through the ring.

“Lydia, Jonathan, Luke Garroway,” the Shadowhunter introduced.

Luke explained Jocelyn’s disappearance in a way that was too clinical, almost like he didn’t want to believe it.

“Father always suspected that she had The Cup, and if she knows where it is then there’s a chance that we can still find her.” Once the Clave knows that Jocelyn kept The Cup from them, they’ll be too mad to really invest in a search for her.

Lydia shot him a sharp look and he bit back his disdain. He could only do her job for so long.

“My father is obsessed with The Cup more than he loves Jocelyn, so if she didn’t have it, then he wouldn’t go to such an effort to find her.” Jonathan deliberately guilted Luke into telling them that she had The Cup and that he moved it, but at this point, it would be too late for him and Clarissa would already have it.

“I thought you said that she would be safer in her own home?” Lydia asked.

“I was under the assumption, as was everyone else, that Jocelyn was hiding from my father, not that she was hiding The Cup from him. If I knew that she had it, then I would’ve known that father would be willing to risk wasting more resources to make sure that she wasn’t in New York.”

Lydia sighed. “The Clave is going to suspect you and Clary.”

“I know,” Jonathan said, but he also didn’t deny anything.

Chapter Text

That night, Jonathan and Clarissa went to bed incredibly proud of how their plan worked out – it couldn’t have been more perfect. There had always been the chance that Clarissa would have to get involved with detaining Jocelyn, but fortunately for them, or unfortunately for Jocelyn, she was out of practice and overestimated her own skills. Clarissa hadn’t been seen at all and if Jocelyn somehow managed to escape, she wouldn’t be able to say that Clarissa was one of her attackers.

The only downside was being woken up at three in the morning by a harsh knocking on their door.

“Jonathan and Clarissa Morgenstern,” a deep voice called out. “You have three seconds to open this door or we will knock it down.”

Clarissa sat up and leaned against the headboard, wrapped up in the sheets.

Stay in the bed, Jonathan thought to his sister. You won’t need your stele.

The second he opened the door they pushed him against the wall and cuffed his hands behind his back.

“Jonathan Morgenstern,” someone said. It wasn’t a voice that he’s heard before. “You’re being detained for suspicion of being involved in the kidnapping and possible murder of Jocelyn Fairchild.”

At the same time, they bent Clarissa over the bed and cuffed her wrists.

“Search them both.”

“You can see that I’m only wearing my boxers, because I was sleeping. Where do you think I could hide anything?” Jonathan growled.

“Move.” They were pushed through the Institute. Clarissa was dragged in a way that she could barely keep her feet on the floor. She couldn’t help but blush when she saw how she was being stared at by everyone else that was still awake.

Right before she got dragged through the portal, she caught a glimpse of Jace who looked just as confused as she was pretending to be.

They left her alone in a room for a few hours before sending someone in to talk to her.

She tucked her knees up to her chest and rested her chin on her knees. She was bored more than everything else and, at this point, she just wanted something to do.

Despite the cold room and uncomfortable chair, she was able to fall asleep and was awoken by the door slamming.

“Clarissa Morgenstern.”

“Inquisitor Herondale,” she recognized.

The inquisitor’s smile was thin, she obviously enjoyed having Clarissa in this position.

Inquisitor Herondale never sat in the chair opposite to Clarissa. She gripped the back of the chair and bent over to look down at Clarissa. “As I’m sure you know, Jocelyn Fairchild was reported mission yesterday evening –”

Clarissa pretended to choke back a sob. “What?”

“Do you really expect me to believe that you didn’t know or have anything to do with it?”

Clarissa looked down. “I wouldn’t do anything to hurt my mom.”

“I guess we’ll only know if you’re telling the truth when you’re interrogated with the soul sword tomorrow.”

“I’m telling you the truth. I love my mom and I would never hurt her.” Technically she wasn’t lying. Jonathan did everything that directly involved Jocelyn. “I slept in and spent the morning in my room, then I spent the evening with Jace.”

“Of course you were Miss Morgenstern.” Her tone was incredibly condescending, and her smile was sickeningly sweet. “I think it’s time to get you to your cell for the night.”


Clarissa sat in the far corner of her cell and avoided eye contact with her brother, who was in the cell across from her, and Jace, who was in the cell beside him. The room they were in had six cells, the remaining three, were empty.

It was obvious that unlike her and Jonathan, Jace was knocked unconscious and put directly in his cell before they even tried to interrogate him.

Clarissa watched him wake up slowly and gain his bearings. “Clary?” He said slowly as he focused on her. “Clary, what the hell is happening,” he said, his voice growing more frantic.

“You can relax Jace, you’ll be fine.” Jonathan spoke slowly, too relaxed for the situation that he was in.

“What did you do?” Clarissa asked, horrified.

“Don’t worry, little sister, father will be here soon.” Jonathan had never been a fan of undercover missions and now he could finally end this ridiculous charade.

Clarissa looked up quickly, appalled. “You did this. You kidnapped our mother.”

“What the hell, Jonathan,” Jace exclaimed,

“Stay out of his Jace, this conversation doesn’t concern you.” Jonathan turned back to his sister. “We both know she wasn’t my mother. I only put up with her for you.”

Jonathan heard the sounds of metal clashing against metal as it was getting closer to their cells. His smile was sinister. “I told you that father was coming for us.”

Jace watched Jonathan eyes fade from green to completely black. “Alec was right,” he whispered, horrified.

“Of course he was. You made it almost too easy. You were all so desperate for friends. So naïve. Too trusting.”

The room’s door slid open loudly.

Valentine walked in regally, surrounded by his circle members, and tossed the stele into Clarissa’s cell but only addressed Jonathan. “Use the stele to free yourself and join me back at the Manor.” And he was gone just as quickly as he arrived.

Clarissa picked up the stele slowly but hesitated when she put the tip on the lock of her cell.

“A bit of urgency would be appreciated, little sister. We don’t have much time.”

She unlocked both hers and Jonathan’s cell, but Jonathan stopped her when she moved to unlock Jace’s as well. “Leave him, we can’t trust him, and he’ll only be a liability.”

Clarissa hesitated but ultimately dropped her hand.

Jonathan pulled Clarissa into him and brushed his hand down her cheek.

“Jonathan, you don’t have to do this. We could stay here with the Lightwoods, with Lydia, at the Institute. We could forget father,” she pleaded. “Please don’t make me do this.” She pressed her head into his chest.

“You know that I’ve never been able to deny you, dear sister. But I know what you truly desire, even if you don’t know it yet.” He tilted her chin up to look her in the eyes.

“I know what I want, Jonathan,” she said. “And I want to stay here.”

“You would rather stay here with the Clave. The same Clave that would have you executed at their earliest convenience?” Jonathan’s voice drifted into a mocking tone that she wasn’t used to hearing directed at her. “You aren’t thinking clearly. Forget about Jace and really think about this.” His voice softened. “But for once, I’ll give you the choice.”

“I am thinking, Jonathan. And this is what I want.” She pushed Jonathan back, but didn’t put much strength into it, like she didn’t really want him gone. “Please.”

Jonathan took a deep breath to calm himself. “If this is what you think you want, then I’ll indulge you. You have six weeks, then I’m bringing you back with me.”

“Jonathan –”

“Six weeks,” he repeated. “This is me giving you what you want. Because you think you want to stay with Jace. Goodbye, little sister.” He pulled her head back into his chest and planted a long kiss onto her forehead, just long enough to make Jace uncomfortable.

“Father will be waiting for me,” Jonathan spoke almost too quietly for Jace to hear. “So I need the stele, unless you want to draw it for me.”

Clarissa hesitated, holding the stele behind her back.

“Don’t make this difficult, dear sister. If you make me wait much longer, the Clave might be short a few living guards, and you don’t want that, do you?”

His threat was clear. She didn’t offer him the stele, but she also didn’t stop him from taking it.

He stared at her longingly. “I’ll see you soon, little sister.” But he didn’t move to leave.

“Just go, Jonathan,” she said softly, still not meeting his eyes. “The longer you stay, the harder is it to keep myself from going with you.”

“I will come back for you,” he promised.

Clarissa slid down the wall and wrapped her arms around her knees once Jonathan was gone. In the back of her mind, she knew that this was coming and that they wouldn’t be spending the entire mission together, but it was only hitting her now.

She knew that Jace was talking to her, but she couldn’t bring herself to care enough to actually listen to what he was saying. All that she could think of was that wherever she went to bed tonight, Jonathan wouldn’t be beside her. Tears started streaming down her face and she couldn’t hold back her sobs. She tried to convince herself that her tears were all part of her act, but she knew herself better than that.

She didn’t know how long she stayed on the ground until one of the guards came in – it could’ve been five minutes, or it could’ve been two hours. She had no idea.

Jace watched as they yanked her to her feet and roughly shoved her into the cell’s bars to cuff her hands behind her back.

“Hey!” He shouted. “Be gentle. She didn’t do anything.”

The biting laugh he got in return was full of malice. “Of course. Because escaping her cell and letting Jonathan Morgenstern escape, qualifies as nothing.”

Before he could say anything to defend her, she was moved to a different cell in a different location.

Clarissa moved compliantly with the guards, not complaining when they intentionally walked her into the doorframe and held her arms tight enough to bruise.

She sat in the corner of her room and tucked her legs into her chest again and pressed her forehead to her knees. She was too tired to keep crying but she didn’t know when the Inquisitor would come in, but she knew it was inevitable.

Someone came into her cell, but she didn’t look up.

“The least you could do is look up at me. I had to pull some strings to get in here alone with you.”


Her voice was joking but Clarissa really wasn’t in the mood. She looked up but didn’t meet Izzy’s eyes.

Izzy sat down beside her. The way that Clarissa was curled into herself made her look so much younger, like a young child.

“The Inquisitor’s on her way here right now, but I thought you could use a few minutes with someone that’s not going to interrogate or accuse you of anything.”

They sat in silence for a few minutes.

“He left me,” she said softly. “He promised that he’d never leave me.”

Izzy wrapped her in a hug.

They stayed like that for long minutes. Clarissa didn’t bother to try to keep track of time, or to even stay aware of what was happening around her.

“Isabelle Lightwood,” the Inquisitor said. “Your presence is not required here. You may return to your Institute.” Her voice was cold and unemotional.

Izzy hugged Clarissa tighter to her. “With all due respect, Inquisitor Herondale, my best friend just lost her brother.” And Parabatai, she thought. “So I’m not leaving her too.”

“Miss Lightwood,” the Inquisitor sounded exasperated.

“Whatever it is that you need to stay to me, you can say to Izzy too,” Clarissa said softly.

The Inquisitor scowled. “Jonathan Lightwood has already given me his version of the events. But I would also like a statement from you as well.”

Clarissa loosened her grip on Izzy but didn’t fully let go. “Father broke in and gave me a stele. Jonathan, my brother, made me unlock his cell, then he left. He wanted me to go with him, but I didn’t.”

“But since you allowed the Mortal Sword to be taken, we have no way to know if you’re telling the truth.”

Izzy thought she was a slight smirk on her face and she just wanted to smack it off,

“Well what else do you need to know?” Izzy demanded. “Clary had the chance to leave, and she chose not to. She knows that both you and the Clave are biased against her, and she still chose to stay. So what else do you need to know?

“There is still the issue of Jocelyn Morgenstern’s disappearance.”

“Clary was at the Institute, surrounded by people, when Jocelyn was taken. And she wasn’t with Jonathan. He probably kidnapped Jocelyn for Valentine. I don’t know. But I do know that Clary’s innocent and that you’re holding her here for no good reason.” Izzy had never loved the way that the Clave worked but dealing first-hand with their bias made her like them even less.

The Inquisitor took a deep breath to settle herself. “It just so happens that they rest of the Clave agrees with you on that point, Ms Lightwood. Ms Morgenstern is to return to the Institute today; the new Head will have some new orders for everyone when he arrives.”

“The new head?” Izzy asked. She liked Lydia well enough but had always been looking forward to when Alec would be reinstated. Now it looked like that would be even further away than she thought.

“You’ll see in a few days,” the Inquisitor said cryptically.

Chapter Text

Clarissa was on autopilot when she got back to the Institute. She knew that Izzy brought her back and that both she and Jace tried to talk to her.

She could hear each individual word, but her brain just wouldn’t make sense of them and she couldn’t be bothered enough to actually try. 

She remembered going with them to the dinning hall, but she didn’t remember what route they took. 

She remembered looking at her food, but not what was on her plate. 

She remembered hearing the constant chatter but not what was actually being said. 

Everything felt completely overwhelming, like it was assaulting every one of her senses. Every smell was too strong, the lights were too bright, the tastes were too strong, the sounds were too loud. It left her on feeling on edge, while simultaneously feeling distant, like she wasn’t there. 

She remembered leaving the dinning hall, but not how she got to Jace’s room.

With the overpowering assault on her senses finally waning, she could finally try to understand what was happening around her.

“How are you feeling?” Jace’s voice was calm, soothing, like he was talking to a frightened animal. But he didn’t know what she wanted. Because right now, she wanted nothing more than to be alone. 

To not be forced to act. 

She didn’t say anything. 

She went from standing in the doorway to sitting on his bed and everything in between was nothing but a blur. 

Raziel, she felt so powerless and exposed but also couldn’t make herself care enough to do anything about it. 

“It’s almost midnight, Sera,” Jace said. “We should go to bed soon.” 

She thought that the sun hadn’t even set yet when they ate dinner. And that couldn’t have been more than a few minutes ago. 

“We?” Her voice sounded like she hadn’t spoken in weeks even though it had only been hours. 

“I don’t think that you should be alone right now.” He was talking to her like she was a child and she hated it. She would’ve preferred if he didn’t speak to her at all. “Come on, you’ll feel better after you sleep.” 

Jace changed into pyjamas. Well, she could barely call them that. They were just a clean pair of boxers, but she wished that he would put on more. 

She mostly moved on autopilot. Taking off her dirty shirt and pants, but she couldn’t bare to take off more. It felt like she was betraying Jonathan by agreeing to stay with Jace. 

She slid into the bed, putting as much distance between her and Jace as possible, but apparently, he didn’t get the message. She curled up with her back pressed against his front, she didn’t want him to see her disgust but a very large part of her wished that he knew and would back off. 

Everything was wrong. 

Jace smelt different, felt different. She could feel his warm breath on her neck, and if it had been Jonathan, then it would’ve been comforting. This made her skin feel prickly and she fought the urge to scratch at her neck. 

Jonathan would never lie in the position that Jace was in and now she just couldn’t get comfortable. Her throat felt tight and her skin crawled. Jace wasn’t Jonathan, and laying here, pretending that he was, just made everything so much worst. 

Her longing didn’t last long as it quickly shifted to hatred and she wanted nothing more than to strangle Jace right now. 

He really thought that he could compare to her brother. She was so close to turning and digging her finger into his throat. He wouldn’t even have the time to react. He’d be dead in minutes. 

“Sera, you’re all tense.” He slid his hand up her back. 

Clarissa froze. The last thing that she wanted was for Jace to be touching her right now. 

He wasn’t Jonathan and he never would be. 

“I can’t sleep. Not now.” She shifted out of his reach and got up. “I need to clear my head.” She retrieved her clothes from where she dropped them. 

“Do you want me to come with you?” Jace offered.

“No,” she said harshly. She pulled herself back. Jace would take that the wrong was and she couldn’t alienate him yet. 

“No,” she repeated, but this time her voice was soft. “I just - I want to be alone right now.” 

She walked through the mostly empty Institute, absentmindedly twisting her invisible faerie ring around her finger. She waited until she got to the roof and was sure that there was no one around to hear here. 

“Jonathan,” she thought and said. Speaking aloud helped her feel like she was actually with him. “It worked. They fell for it.” 

I told you it would work. 

Clarissa relaxed back into the wall. It felt like she hadn’t heard his voice in years. 

Once they have someone to blame, they stop thinking. 

She could feel his laughter through both the ring and their bond. “I miss you.” 

I know. There was a long pause before she heard his voice again. Father is calling me. I’ll see you soon. 

She knew that she couldn’t go back to Jace. It would be a long and uncomfortable night if she did. She would prefer to sleep alone in hers and Jonathan’s bed than be constantly reminded that the person that she was sleeping next to wasn’t him. 

She was sleeping about as well as she thought she would, which was terribly. She had never slept amazingly well without Jonathan, but tonight was different. She guessed that on a subconscious level, her body knew that she would be sleeping alone for a long time and it wouldn’t let her relax. She didn’t get into anything deeper than a light sleep the entire time and any sounds or movement from the hall would wake her up immediately.

She wasn’t in the best mood, since she hadn’t slept for more than a few hours over the last few days, but her body wouldn’t let her try to sleep anymore and she had worked on less before. 

She took her time getting ready. She wasn’t in a rush to see all the judgmental looks that she was going to be getting. Of course, they were right to give her those looks, but it’s not like they knew that. As far as they knew, she was a completely innocent bystander who happened to be caught in the crossfire.

She took great care to avoid Jace while she navigated the halls. Alec and Izzy would be tolerable, but Jace was completely insufferable. He would fret over anything she did and any minor inconvenience. She wouldn’t put it past him to drag her to the medical wing if she got so much as a splinter, or relentlessly berate anyone in the Institute that so much as looked at her funny. That was useful when everyone first arrived at the Institute, but now it was nothing short of infuriating and the last thing that she needed right now.

There was still a very good chance that he was still sleeping but she knew that if she ran into him in the halls, he would be stuck to her side all day. So, she went to the place that she knew that Jace tried to avoid: Lydia’s office. She didn’t know why he avoided it, and she was sure that if she asked, he would deny it and say that he wasn’t avoiding it. But anyone who even knew him a little bit could’ve seen the patterns. He always sent Izzy, or someone else in off chance that she couldn’t, in his place to deliver any reports. If Alec happened to be there, then whatever he needed to tell him could always wait. It wasn’t subtle but it hasn’t been an issue so far, so no one called him out on it.

She knocked on the door and faintly heard Lydia give her permission to come in. The time that they had spent together was nothing compared to the time that Lydia had spent with Jonathan, but they understood each other. In fact, Lydia probably knew her better than Jace did. She didn’t try to say anything or do anything right now, she couldn’t quite hide the pity but at least she was trying.

Lydia moved a few objects and placed them in a partially full box.

“You’re leaving?” Clarissa asked. The Inquisitor had mentioned another Head being brought in, but she didn’t think that it’d be happening this quickly.

“Technically I was only placed here temporarily. And I think that their search for a more permanent Head was accelerated by... what happened,” Lydia said.

“I’m sorry.” Clarissa’s apology was sincere. She knew that Lydia liked it here, and that she liked working with Jonathan.

“Did you know?” Lydia asked.

Clarissa hesitated. “Not really. I knew that he’d go back to Father at some point, but I didn’t really know when. I hoped that he would stay here a little longer.” She kept her voice soft and uncertain.

“Why though.” Lydia wondered more to herself than asking a legitimate question.

“Jonathan never really hated Father. And I know that he preferred life with Father to life at the Institute.” Clarissa perched herself delicately on the edge of Lydia’s desk. “He really only wanted to leave the Manor when he found out that Father was hurting me.” She swung her legs delicately. “He played nice here and tried to make it okay for me, but I guess he finally had enough and wanted to go back. I think the Clave imprisoning us only made him want to return faster.”

“So he only acted like he liked it here. That he liked all of us?” Instantly Lydia went from the confident self-assured leader, to a young, timid teenage girl trying to deal with her first break-up.

“Jonathan never acted while he was here. He made his feelings about everything pretty clear from the minute that we arrived. But if it helps, he actually did like you. He’s not one to volunteer to do work that won’t directly benefit him, but he was always happier after spending time with you.” She smiled into her lap, playing the innocent little girl. “If he didn’t like you, then he wouldn’t have spent so much time with you. Some of the excuses that he came up with to spend time with you were kinda far fetched. Did you think that he actually liked sorting through the mountains of paperwork that you always seemed to have? He was using it as an excuse to be with you.”

“Thank you.” Lydia gave her a soft smile. “You seem to be handling this well.”

“I wouldn’t exactly say that. I couldn’t even really say that I slept for more than a couple hours in the last few,” Clarissa answered honestly. “It’s hard to even look at our bed and know that I’ll be sleeping there alone.” She really had underestimated how strongly their rune influenced her. The closest thing to separation that they had tried was Jonathan staying in the Institute when she was forced to go on a date with Jace.

This wasn’t something that Lydia wanted to talk about right now, and she had hoped that she would’ve had more time to ask Jonathan himself, but she knew that if she left today without an answer, then she would spend the rest of her life regretting not knowing.

“We were, um,” she hesitated. “We were looking at some paperwork a while ago and I thought that I saw,” she stopped. “Jonathan - his eyes - they were completely black. And I thought that it must’ve just been the light or something. And I spoke to Alec and he, uh, told me some stuff. But I don’t know how much to believe and...” She trailed off and took a deep breath. “I’m rambling.” She just didn’t know how to phrase it. She had the question in her head, but she couldn’t get it out.

“Yes. My brother is part demon,” Clary said softly. Now that she knew exactly how Lydia felt about Jonathan, she was sure that she would’ve tell anyone. And even if she did, it couldn’t hurt them because he was already gone. “But he also did actually care about you.”

Lydia let out a soft sigh of relief.

“But I’d really appreciate if you didn’t tell anyone about it. I’m gonna get enough shit about this as it is. I don’t want to add to it.”

They stayed in comfortable silence for a few minutes, with Clarissa resting on the edge of Lydia’s desk while she packed away a few more items.

It wasn’t long before Alec walked into Lydia’s office without knocking. He didn’t expect to see Clary there, he would’ve thought that she would still be sleeping, especially after everything that happened.

“I’m actually feeling a little tired. I’m gonna go lie down.” It wasn’t hard for her to figure out that Lydia wanted to talk to Alec alone. But she made Lydia promise to come find her before she left.

Once she made sure that Clarissa was out of hearing range, she addressed Alec. “I need to warn you about the new Head. His name is Victor Aldertree and he’s coming directly from Alicante.”

“I’ve never heard of him before.”

She put the lid on what she hoped was the final box so she could focus entirely on this conversation. “He’s the Council’s first choice whenever they need to work with any Institutes. He’s the reason the Mexico had such a decrease in demonic activity a few years ago. But that part isn’t really important. He’s been in Alicante since then and however bad the rumours about Clarissa and Jonathan were here, they’re ten times as bad in Alicante, so he’s going to be coming with a bias.”

“I can’t do much to help that.” Personally, he didn’t doubt the validity of the rumours that he’d be hearing in Alicante, but he didn’t even know what to think of Clary anymore. There was no way that she didn’t know what Jonathan was planning, but, for the life of him, he couldn’t figure out why she would want to stay after everything that happened.

“I know, but he also has a history of ruining everyone that he doesn’t like. So you’re going to have to try to keep Clary away from him. Jace too. He has an issue with authority and that won’t go over well with Aldertree.”

“I can see why the Council likes him.” Alec said dryly. He was preparing himself to be nothing more than an errand boy once Aldertree got here.

“There’s a good chance that he’s not going to like you either, because of your parents. I know they were exonerated from their crimes but that wont matter to him. All he’s gonna see is your last name.”

“How did he last so long if his biases are so obvious.” He almost wished that he could run the Institute on his own, but he knew his own capabilities and knew that that wasn’t realistic. And if he somehow could pull it off, he wouldn’t do a good job

“The council doesn’t care about how he does anything; they only care about his results,” Lydia warned.

“Do you know where you’re being reassigned to?”

“Yeah. I’m being sent to Los Angeles for a three-month refresher course then I’m going to Dallas, Texas indefinitely.”

“So I’m probably not going to see you again?”

“Unless we both go back to Alicante at the same time, probably not.” Lydia leaned back and rested her head on the wall. “I’m gonna miss you Alec.”

She knew that if Jonathan hadn’t abducted Jocelyn and gotten caught, then there was a good chance that she would’ve been able to stay in New York as their Head indefinitely. The Clave hadn’t had any complaints about what she was doing here, and the demonic activity had gone down to a manageable level since she took over.

But she couldn’t bring herself to hate Jonathan, or even dislike him really. She could look back at all of their interactions and find herself not regretting anything. Maybe if she’d payed more attention, she could’ve seen what he was doing, but even if she knew, she wasn’t sure if she would’ve been able to actually believe it or even turn him in.

All she knew was that this was probably going to be a black stain on her records, but she didn’t regret any of it. She was actually going to miss it.

Chapter Text

The day that Lydia left was surprisingly calm. Clarissa thought that it’d be more chaotic, considering that their entire chain of command was going to change. Alec flat out told her that she should stay in her room while the change over was sorted out. She wasn’t too keen on listening to what he said, but Alec seemed to have at least a little bit of a soft spot for her right now, and she wanted to keep it that way for as long as possible.

But she didn’t have much time to herself. She wasn’t in her room for more than an hour before Alec came and told her that Aldertree wanted to talk to her.

He was waiting alone in his office when she walked in, and she couldn’t help but see the similarity him and Father.

“Ms. Morgenstern,” he said. “Take a seat.” He gestured to the chair at the other end of his desk. His gaze was calculating, analyzing everything about her.

“Mr. Aldertree, I’ve heard a lot about you and it’s nice to finally meet you.” She sat down gracefully across from him.

“Please Ms. Morgenstern, let’s not start our relationship with you lying to me.” His smile was thin.

Clarissa dropped her fake smile and crossed her legs at the knee. “Alec told me that you wanted to speak with me.”

“Yes. I wanted to discuss your future here, at this Institute.” He ran his fingers through one of his draws and pulled out a relatively thin file. There couldn’t have been more than a few sheets of paper in it. “Ms. Morgenstern –”

“Mr. Aldertree, I get the feeling that that we’re going to be spending a lot of time together, so I insist that you call me Clarissa.”

“Clarissa then, I understand that Ms. Branwell allowed you to mostly do whatever you and your brother wished, but that’s going to have to come to end.”

“I have to disagree we did have an early curfew. And Lydia did some great work while she was the Head,” Clarissa started.

“I wasn’t trying to discredit any of Ms. Branwell’s advancements, but I think that she was a little liberal with her decision making, but overall her work is commendable.”

Before she first met him, she was hoping that he would be the same as Lydia, easily manipulated and trusting. And the longer that she was here, the more she knew that he’d be a challenge.

“For now, I’d like to reassess your curfews. Until further notice, I’m restricting you to the grounds of the Institute. Based off of your brother’s actions,” he started.

“My brother didn’t -”

“Clarissa, your traitorous brother abducted Jocelyn and joined your father, Valentine Morgenstern, who is also a known traitor. This was done while he was being housed at this Institute and under Ms. Branwell’s curfew assignment. So, I’m sure that you can understand why I’d prefer if you stay at the Institute. And if you’re caught off the property, you’ll be sent before the Council and will be assumed to be a traitor. Am I understood?”


“Good. Have a good day, Clarissa. I’m sure that I’ll be seeing you in my office again soon enough.”

Clarissa wasn’t as sure in her plan as she was when she walked into the office. Aldertree wouldn’t be as easy to manipulate as she thought, and he’d almost surely cause some complications. But so far, their mission had been a walk in the park, and she was looking forward to challenge.

Aldertree watched Clarissa leave his office. She was a complete wildcard and he didn’t know what he could expect from her. As far as the Clave and Council knew, she had a perfect record once she left Valentine, but there were too many coincidences while she was here. And he didn’t believe that she had absolutely nothing to do with Jocelyn’s abduction. She and Jonathan had been attached at the hip up until it became convenient for them, but he didn’t know why she would choose to stay here.

It was clear that Jonathan was sent to bring him Jocelyn, and everyone knew that he was after The Mortal Instruments. Now that he had The Sword and The Cup, all he needs is The Mirror, but no one knows where it is. There was no need for any of them to stay here, and yet Clarissa chose to stay and possibly face a punishment from the Council. He didn’t know why, but he didn’t fully believe that she chose to stay out of the goodness of her heart.

A few minutes after Clarissa left, Helen Blackthorn, his second in command, entered his office.

“Is there anything that you’d like for me to do for you, boss?”

“Actually, there is. I’d like you to send Alec Lightwood back in.”

“Of course.” She made a move towards the door.

“One other thing, I’d like you to keep an eye on Clarissa Morgenstern. The Council was too willing to pin everything on her brother and I’m not willing to run the same risk that they did. Not while she’s my problem and staying at my Institute.”

“Of course. I’m assuming that you’d like to keep this off the books?”

“You know me so well.”

Helen wasn’t used to these types of assignments. She’d been working under Victor since she was fifteen, almost four years, his assistant for two. But she was pretty sure that this qualified as an undercover mission, and up until now, everything that he’s done has been pretty transparent and he’s never had to do anything like this before.

She read the files that Lydia had left on Clarissa as well as the ones that the Council has archived and as far as her records went, and she was clean. But based off of the relationship that the former Head allegedly had with Jonathan Morgenstern, it wasn’t hard for her to believe that it wasn’t a complete file.

The assignment that Aldertree gave her was surprisingly difficult. Clarissa had her small circle of friends and if she wanted any hope of getting the information that she needed, she’d have to get into that circle.

“Clarissa,” she called out. “How about a quick sparring session? I need a good partner, and no one here can give me a challenge,” she teased.

She’s seen her train, only with Aline or one of the Lightwoods because Aldertree took her off the on-call rotation, and it looked like she would be a good challenge.

“Only if you think you can keep up,” Clarissa teased back. She’s only seen Helen in passing over the last few days and didn’t know what to think of her. She knew that she couldn’t trust her because of how close she was to Aldertree, but a new sparring partner was always welcome. “Since you’re clearly at a disadvantage, you get to pick the weapons.”

“Nah, no weapons today. Just hand to hand. I don’t want to damage you too much.”

Clarissa shrugged. “Ok, but it’s your funeral”

As much as Helen wanted to get a good spar in, she knew next to nothing about Clarissa and this would be a decent way to learn a little more about her. She watched as Clarissa wrapped her hands in a bright blue wrap and adjusted her shirt to sit better on her shoulders.

In the last few years, Helen had never sparred with someone who gave her as much of a challenge as Clarissa did. She was definitely getting a lot more bruises than she was leaving, and even with the ones that she left, Clarissa was acting like none of it was affecting her.

With a well-placed feint and kick, she was able to take the fight to the ground, but she still couldn’t match Clarissa there either.

“I’m surprised that you’ve lasted this long,” Clarissa grunted as she held Helen in a choke hold.

Helen kicked her leg over her head to drive her shin into Clarissa’s face. “Don’t flatter yourself, you aren’t that good,” Helen laughed.

She turned onto her stomach onto push herself to her feet and saw the edge of a red angry looking wound just below her collarbone and instantly pulled back.

“Oh my god!” She exclaimed. “Are you sure that you should be a training right now? You need to go to the medical wing.”

“I’m fine,” Clarissa said defensively. “It’s just an old scar.”

“It looks really fresh. Let me see.” Helen stepped forward, reaching for Clarissa’s shirt.

“It’s nothing,” Clarissa stepped back. “I have to go.” She yanked her shirt up higher on her chest to cover it up.

“Clarissa,” Helen tried again.

“Leave me alone.”

Once she had time to think about what she saw, the less she thought it was fresh wound. She wasn’t sure what it could’ve been, but she was sure that whatever it was, it wasn’t natural. With the length of time that Clarissa’s been at the Institute she didn’t doubt that at least one of the Lightwoods knew what secret she was keeping, and out of all of them, Jace was the most likely.

Aldertree’s mission was for her to inform him about Clarissa, but it didn’t take her long to figure out that she wouldn’t be getting too far with her. Helen knew that she was hiding something, her ‘scar’ made that obvious, but other than that, nothing else was off. So Jace was her next best target.

She hadn’t had her sights set on Jace for longer than a few days when she noticed that he was leaving the Institute at the weirdest times in the middle of the night. She knew that he wasn’t bound to the Institute, he was allowed to do whatever he wanted as long as he performed well enough on any missions, so she didn’t see why he felt the need to sneak around like he wasn’t allowed to leave.

The third night that she watched him leave the Institute, she decided that she would never get the answers that she needed if she didn’t follow him.

She took care to stick to the shadows and stay unnoticed, but it seemed that routine has made him complacent because he didn’t even check to see if anyone was following him.

She didn’t know where he was going or what to expect him to do, but she definitely didn’t expect to follow him to the silent city. She was tempted to stop him; no one was allowed to be here without permission from the Council, and based on how he was acting, it was clear that he didn’t have permission. But if she stopped him, she doubted that he’d actually stop, but he would be a lot more careful about who follows him.

She followed from far enough behind him that he wouldn’t be able to hear her even if he was using a hearing rune. She watched him for close to four hours. He moved from book to book, and shelf to shelf barely even glancing up when he moved between books.

On the second night, she found the pattern. He was searching for runes that weren’t in the Grey Book, but from what she could tell, he wasn’t having much success.

It wasn’t until he spent two hours staring at one page that she realised that he found exactly what he was looking for. He used his phone to take pictures of whatever it was that he found, then deliberately put the book back on the wrong shelf. Probably to keep anyone else from finding what he found.

She let Jace leaving thinking that he spent the entire evening alone and pulled out the book that he was looking at. She didn’t know exactly what it was that he was looking for, but she was confident that she would know it when she saw it.

This particular book had such a powerful and negative energy radiating off of it, that she was surprised that Jace was able to spend hours with it. The book was full of information about rare demons, some of them were ones that they had only learned about from their parents, as something to scare them into obedience. Demons that they thought were made up but were actually just made extinct from their relentless hunting.

There was a lot of information in there that wasn’t supposed to be common knowledge, but she knew that none of that was what Jace was looking for.

She was almost at the end of the book when she saw it. The picture was in black and white, but she knew that that was what Jace found. She had only seen part of it on Clarissa and only for a fraction of a second, but this was exactly what she saw.

The Twinning Rune.

There were only four paragraphs written on it and now she knew why Clarissa didn’t want her to know about it.

Chapter Text

Clarissa found herself lying on the roof of the Institute for the fifth day in a row. Jonathan was busy with father, too busy to try to maintain a conversation while also trying to keep father from knowing about the ring.

She let her thoughts be a running commentary through her ring. It was passive enough for her to feel Jonathan on the other end, but not strong enough to truly distract him. She knew from experience that it would feel like her thoughts were his own, only slightly more intrusive and with a different voice.

She let her mind bounce around between equally unimportant topics, simply enjoying her time alone. With a little bit of effort, she could almost experience was Jonathan was feeling. It was mostly annoyance, but without being able to see what was annoying him, she could only guess. It was most likely Father’s ridiculous plans to take over, but since Jonathan didn’t want to broadcast what was happening around him, she couldn’t do more than guess.

“I think that Aline likes Helen, but is too afraid to say anything”, she thought and said once Jonathan was alone in his room.

Who’s Helen?

“Victor Aldertree’s assistant. They brought him in to replace Lydia. He’s a lot stricter than she was. If I get caught outside of the Institute, I’ll be immediately marked as a traitor by the Clave, and that could completely ruin our mission.” She sat down on the gravel of the roof.

How hard would it be for you to leave the Institute?

“A lot harder than I’d like it to be.” She sighed and shifted uncomfortably; the rocks were a little sharper than she thought they’d be. She had no idea how Jonathan used to spend so much time up here.

Because only you would bother me when I was up there. Everyone else got the message and left me alone.

“Did I just –”

You’d think that overtime, you’d get better at controlling what thoughts you sent me. But I think that you’re actually getting worse.

“Don’t laugh at me,” she whined petulantly.

You can’t get mad at me for stating a fact.

She gave him the silent treatment for as long as she could stand, which wasn’t more than a few minutes. It was almost painful to waste time ignoring him when this is the first time, in what felt like months, that she’s been able to actually talk to him.

“I don’t want to risk leave the Institute, not yet. Jace won’t leave me alone and will probably start a search party if he doesn’t see me in over an hour.” She rolled onto her stomach. “And Aldertree took me off the on-call rotation so I don’t even know what any patrol maps or schedules are. I could probably ask Jace to see his…”

No, don’t ask him. His tone edged on the border of protective and controlling. It’s not worth the risk of suspicion, no matter how unlikely it is that Jace would suspect anything from you. There isn’t much that you can do anyways. Just stay there and play nice.

Clarissa spent another half an hour laying on the roof until she knew that she was pushing her luck. No one knew that this was where she went to escape and the longer that she spent here, the more likely that someone was to go looking for her and find her there.

She really missed her brother, but she didn’t know how much of it was caused by the rune and how much was her. And she knew that the only way to alleviate her longing was to portal to Jonathan, and that was a risk that she wasn’t willing to take yet.

Jonathan felt his sister’s sadness and knew that, realistically, there was nothing that he could do about it. He wished that they could take time to talk more, but since rejoining Father at the Manor, he’s been sent on countless mission nearly back to back. He’s had almost no time alone that he could spend with his sister.

Not long after being able to spend time with his sister did father assign him another mission, this one a little more long-term than the other ones. Of course Father would assign him and Clarissa to find The Cup and then assign him to find The Mirror. Of course he would make his children do all the work for him, and then if Father were to somehow succeed in taking over, he would claim all the glory for himself and not even acknowledge the work that his children put in.

This particular mission would keep him away from the Manor while he searched. He would have preferred to be staying in the Manor for the foreseeable future, just to make it easier to at least be more aware of the details of Father’s plans, but that was simply a want and not a necessity. As long as father continued with his current plans, all he and Clarissa would need to do was stop Father before he summons Raziel.

He dressed in some of his lighter Gear to prepare for a stealth mission. Father’s books didn’t have enough information about Shadowhunter history, which was exactly what he needed if he wanted to actually find it.

The Clave’s archives held every piece of information about Shadowhunters in existence. If there was anywhere that he could find The Mirrors location, it would be there. The only issue was that the archive’s location was the Clave’s most guarded secret. It would probably take several days to even get an idea of its location, and then a week to figure out how he would even get in, let alone how he would find the information that he needed and then leave undetected. But those were issues that he could address when he got to them.

Simon stared at his phone. He’s been staring at it for the last hour and it would probably be another hour before he would be able to gather the courage to actually use it.

Clary had given him Izzy’s number almost a full week ago and he knew that he needed to use it, but every time that he decided to call, he always chickened out. But he was determined to have this time be different.

He’s been staring at her contact picture for so long that he was sure that his phone would probably die before he actually called her. He paced his room, watching his percentage slowly dwindle down to forty percent, then thirty, then twenty. He refused to plug it in to charge; if it dies then that would just give him a good excuse to not call her.

He knew that the longer he put it off, the less likely he was to actually do it. When his phone hit ten percent he finally caved. He closed his eyes and let his finger drop on the call icon.

Terror rippled through his body. He couldn’t hang up now. He nervously held the phone up to his ear and prayed that she wouldn’t answer.

She answered on the third ring. “Hello?”

“Hey Izzy, it’s Simon.” He started out strong but couldn’t hold it together and started babbling. “Um, Clary gave me your number, I hope that was ok. Oh my Go –,” he choked, but ignored it. “Were you busy? I’m so sorry I didn’t think about what you’d be doing.” For a brief second, he considered hanging up and then fleeing the country.

“I wasn’t doing anything, don’t worry,” She laughed. “What’s up?”

“I was, um, just wondering,” he paused, gathering his courage. “Doyouwanttogoseeamoviewithmethisweekend?” He let it all out in one breath.

“I didn’t really catch that. Could you repeat it? A little slower this time? We don’t all have your vampire speed.” He heard the laugh in her voice but knew that she wasn’t necessarily laughing at him. Well, he hoped that she wasn’t laughing at him.

A wave of embarrassment washed over him. “Do you want to go to a movie with me? I’m just asking. You don’t have to if you don’t want to. I just – Clary mentioned that you guys are all working really hard at the Institute and that the new guy isn’t that great, and I thought that maybe –”

“Simon,” she cut him off. “I’d love to see a movie with you. We could even catch dinner after too, if you want.”

“Yeah, um, totally,” he stuttered. “Yeah, that’d be great. I’ll pick you up at five?” He asked.

“Five o’clock,” Izzy agreed. “I’ll see you then.”

Simon fell backwards onto his bed in relief as phone dropped to one percent, and then died.

Chapter Text

Jonathan paced the length of the training room, running through his mission outline in his head and picking up any extra weapons that he thought that he might need. It almost felt unnatural to even be thinking of going on this mission without Clarissa. While he had done a few missions in the past without her, she had still acted as his backup if he needed her, now that wasn’t even an option since they couldn’t risk having her leave the Institute.

The mission was a simple one, track down a Shadowhunter, go through their house for any leads on The Archive, and leave without them even knowing that he was there. Father wanted him to cause as few deaths as possible, the more Shadowhunters that die, the more likely the Clave was to look into whoever was causing them. It wouldn’t be hard for them to figure out who it was, it should actually be obvious, but he wouldn’t put it pas the Clave to wait until the last minute to actually do anything.

This particular Shadowhunter, Josiane Pontmercy, was a little harder to find than he expected. All that Father had given him was a name, a face, and a city; the rest was up to him, and Marseille was far from the smallest city. It had taken him several days and a few close calls to track her down. She was affiliated with the Marseille Institute, but didn’t live there.

With Marseille’s population of over eight hundred thousand and he didn’t have the time to search through the city himself, so he had to break into their Institute and hope that they had her address on file. It was required that all Shadowhunters register with the local Institute, but at this point, he wouldn’t be surprised if that wasn’t the case here.

Getting in was a little easier than he thought it would be. With a fresh glamour to change his features and a determined look on his face, very few questions were asked.

He got in at around ten o’clock at night but needed to wait until he was sure that The Head’s office, where they kept the files, would be empty.

He stood off to the side of the main command centre, just observing, like several others were doing.

“I haven’t seen you around here before. Are you new?” Jonathan instantly refocused on the one Shadowhunter that decided to talk to him.

“Yeah, I’m Eric Whiteblood,” he lied. “I’m here on a temporary exchange from the London Institute.” He spoke in a clear, but obviously accented French. Allowing the years that he had supposedly spent in England taint his normally perfect French accent.

“Really? Noah Hightree,” he introduced. “I didn’t know that we had any transfers coming in today.” His tone wasn’t accusing, only curious. Noah leaned on the wall beside him.

“I was only supposed to be here for a few days before I go back,” he kept his answers simple and vague. Based off the size of the Institute, there would be at least five or six other Shadowhunters that were here on a temporary basis.

“Cool,” Noah said. “When are you out?”

“Tomorrow morning. My team’s scheduled to be on-call a few hours after I get back so I can’t afford to hang around any longer.”

“Damn, that sucks. I wish I could’ve shown you around the city, you know, the parts that they don’t put on the official tour.”

“Maybe next time.” Jonathan’s smile was insincere, but not overtly so. He doubted that Noah picked up on it.

“Alright, nice meeting you.”

Jonathan nodded his agreeance.

While inconvenient, Noah did serve a purpose; while they spoke, they didn’t draw any curious glances, which Jonathan was sure that he would’ve gotten had he been alone. It did help him blend into the Institute better. If anything did go wrong, there would be one person at this Institute that was likely to remember him, but it still wouldn’t help them since Jonathan’s glamour was flawless.

Marseille was a pretty calm city, demon wise. There wouldn’t be any reason for The Head to still be in their office.

This Institute’s layout was very similar to New York’s; there were a few small changes, like the location of the training room, but that was mostly caused by the geography of the location.

The Head’s office was locked, but it was useless against an open rune. He was in and out in under five minutes. Josiane lived several hours north of Marseilles, in the countryside. Remote locations seemed to be a favourite for older Shadowhunters. It allowed anonymity but left them vulnerable and without easy access to any help, which is exactly what Jonathan planned to take advantage of.

Portals weren’t his favourite thing to do, but without Clarissa, it was the only way that he’d be able to get there undetected. He cut through his glamour rune, not wanting to waste his energy on something that was no longer necessary. A few minutes on Google street-view allowed him to portal as close to her house as he could, leaving him only a few miles away.

It was nearing three o’clock in the morning when he got to her house; it was glamorous and obviously expensive without being too ostentatious, like all the other homes in the area. All the lights were out but the second and third story windows were cracked open, so she was either there and asleep, or out and trusting her neighbours to not do anything.

He spent a few minutes outside, trying to listen to see if she was there, but he couldn’t hear any heartbeats or breathing. But he also couldn’t hear anything else; no ticking clocks, no soft hum from the heater, nothing. So he was willing to bet that the house was soundproofed and that she was at home.

With no way to know which room was hers. He activated his soundless and night vision runes and picked the window with the largest opening. The walls were painted with a soft green and yellow, and the floor was littered with toys. There was a bunk bed in the corner, housing two children, probably twins.

Jonathan slid out of the room quietly and found Josiane’s study with ease. She didn’t even lock the door.

He spent nearly an hour going through all her files before he felt the soft breeze of the door behind him. His sword was out a split second later. But he froze when the tip of a blade touched the back of his neck.

“Who are you?” The voice was old and soft, but her hand was steady.

Jonathan turned slowly, before moving suddenly and smacking his hand against the flat of the blade, throwing her off balance. A hook his foot around her ankle and pulled, and when he had her on her back, he pushed his sword against her sternum, nearly hard enough to draw blood. “That shouldn’t be too hard to figure out,” he said softly.

He toed the door closed, cutting them off from the rest of the house and enveloping them in silence.

She took a shallow breath. “Valentine Morgenstern’s son.”

“In the flesh,” his smile was deceitfully innocent.

“Why are you here.”

“You happen to be in the possession of some valuable information that I would like.”

“I’m not going to help a traitor, especially not the son of Valentine Morgenstern.” She inched her hand closer to her pocket, hoping to reach her knife.

Jonathan saw her movement and placed his foot over her wrist, slowly applying pressure and watching her face as she tried to hold in a scream as he slowly crushed her wrist. He shushed her softly. “You wouldn’t want to wake up your poor children, would you?”

“Don’t touch them,” she bit back.

“As long as you tell me what you know, I won’t have to. But if you insist on being difficult, I’m sure that one of your kids would be happy to help their mother out.”

She stilled, no longer pushing against his sword. “What do you want to know.”

“The Archives, I want to know where it is.”

“I don’t know.”

“And here I thought you cared about your kids. Which one should I get first?” His tone was playful. “Maybe both of them?”

“Please, I don’t –,” She whimpered. “I don’t know anything, I swear.”

He trailed his sword up her chest to rest it on the delicate skin of her neck. “I’m getting really tired of being lied to.” He shifted his weight on her ankle and relished in her pain as she choked back a sob. “But if you insist on being difficult, then your kids will have to do.”

He barely even got his hand on the doorknob when she gave in. “Jordan Grandwell,” she cried out. “His name is Jordan Grandwell. He knows where The Archives are. Please, leave my kids out of it, they didn’t do anything, they don’t know anything about this world.”

“Thank you, Josiane.” Jonathan withdrew his sword, gripping it loosely in his hand. “But unfortunately, I can’t let you live. Now you know too much. If you had just stayed in room tonight, you would’ve woken up tomorrow morning, none the wiser.”

“I told you everything that I know. Please, I won’t tell anyone,” she pleaded. “I can’t –”

Before she could react, he sliced his sword through her neck. “Raziel, your voice was annoying.”

He wiped his bloody sword off on her clothes, watching impassively as she choked on her blood and struggled to breathe.

He stayed for almost half an hour after she died, searching through her office. Once he was satisfied that Jordan Grandwell did exist and know the location, he finished off by wiping his fingerprints off any surface that he might’ve touched. The mundane police were likely to find her body before it was reported to the Institute; they wouldn’t find anything, but he wanted to make sure that the case would be abandoned as quickly as possible.

The next two weeks were spent on a near constant search for Jordan Grandwell. He came close several times, but Jordan’s paranoia was obvious; he never stayed in the same place for longer than a day. He knew that the moment that he let up, Jordan would disappear again and be harder to find than before. The near constant use of portal and stamina runes with little to no sleep was taking a toll on his body, but if he could just push a little longer, he could get The Archive’s location and finally take more than half an hour to rest.

The last couple of days Clarissa felt a different type of exhaustion that she’d never felt before, and she couldn’t do anything to get rid of it. She went from sleeping for six hours a night, to almost eleven hours but she just woke up feeling even more tired than before.

She could sense Jonathan’s constant concentration and didn’t want to risk distracting him, but she desperately wanted to know what was so important that he’d push so hard and for so long.

When Aldertree had first severely limited what she could and couldn’t do in the Institute, she was infuriated. Now she was just bored; bored enough to find even Alec’s job interesting, and he didn’t seem to mind her company, especially since she was contributing some valuable options and opinions.

She watched as Alec and Jace went over the data from their last mission. For the last day or so, she’d felt slightly winded, but now she just couldn’t catch her breath. Against her better judgement, she stood up, thinking that some water might help.

The room spun, flipping around her, and she couldn’t tell which way was up. She blindly reached for the table to ground herself.

“Clary? Are you okay?” Jace grabbed her forearm, steadying her.

She squeezed her eyes closed. “Mmhm. I’m fine.” Her voice was weak. “I’m just gonna get some water.”

She opened her eyes slowly. The room stopped spinning but the ringing in her ears was getting louder.

Alec looked at her questioningly. “Clary sit down. I’ll get you some water.”

Stars dotted her vision.

She took a step towards the door and her legs collapsed beneath her as her eyes rolled back into her head.

“Clary!” Jace reached out, barely keeping her head from smacking the edge of the table.

Alec kneeled at her side and drew her an iratze that faded almost as soon as he drew it. He tried another one with the exact same result.

“Get her to the medical wing, I’ll meet you there.”

Jace waited at her bedside, waiting for her to wake up for five minutes before Alec joined him with Izzy.

“What happened?” Izzy asked. “Alec didn’t really explain anything, he just said that Clary fainted.”

“That’s exactly what happened. And iratzes aren’t working. There isn’t much that we can do until she wakes up.” Jace anxiously ran his fingers through his hair.

“I don’t know,” Alec said. “She’s been kinda off all week. I just thought that she missed Jonathan, but I guess I was wrong.”

A wave of guilt washed over Jace. He hadn’t been spending as much time with her as he wanted to in the last few weeks; Alec had actually been spending more time with her than he was.

“What do you mean?” Izzy asked.

“I don’t know, she looked a little tired, kinda lethargic,” Alec said. “But there wasn’t much she can really do here. Aldertree won’t even let her train anymore without getting his approval first.”

Clarissa heard their voices before she could register anything else. “Guys,” she mumbled. “You really don’t need to yell.”

“Clary,” he breathed. “You’re okay. You had us so worried.”

She sighed and slowly pushed herself up onto her elbows, “I’m fine. It was just Jonathan.”

“What do you mean? Was it your rune?” Alec asked. “We need to do something about it if he can still affect you.”

“I think he was just pushing himself for the last couple weeks. But I think that he was using stamina runes and I wasn’t.” She leaned back in the cot as another wave of exhaustion hit her again.

“What can we do?” Jace asked desperately.

“Nothing. I just have to wait until he stops.” She moved to hang her feet off the edge of the cot. “But I’m going to do that in my bed.”

“You must be crazy if you think that I’m going to let you walk to your room,” Jace said, standing with her.

“Jace, I’m fine,” she rolled her eyes.

“Which was exactly what you said before you passed out. Just let him carry you,” Alec said. “It’ll be over in a minute.”

Chapter Text

“Alec, this isn’t making any sense.” Izzy pulled up a map of the world with a bunch of red dots scattered around it. “I’ve run hundreds of different algorithms and there aren’t any patterns that make any sense.” She dragged the digital map around the screen, hoping that a different angle would let her see something that she was missing.

“Isn’t that normal?” He asked. “Demons don’t exactly have the intelligence for anything organized.”

“Technically yes, but usually it looks like this.” She pulled up a different map with an equal number of dots, but this time, in small clumps. “Do you see how this map is its in small groups? It not obvious, but the groups are more defined than the other one.”

“What do you think it is?” Alec asked.

She looked up at him. “You know who I think is causing this.”

Alec shifted the map and pulled up the timestamps of the activity. “This all happened in the last few days, a lot of things happened simultaneously, or within hours of each other; it’s physically impossible for him to get to all those places.”

“But it’s not just him, Alec. It’s Valentine too, and they have The Cup. Valentine could’ve used the cup to control the demons.”

“Then there’s a chance that Jonathan wasn’t involved at all.”

“Technically, yes. But be realistic Alec, you know that it isn’t true.” She swapped between some maps from the past few months. “Why don’t you want Jonathan to be involved so badly.”

“You know why,” he sighed. He closed all the data and ran his hands anxiously through his hair. “I don’t think that we should tell Clary about this.”

“She’s gonna find out eventually.”

“Then she’ll find out then, she doesn’t need to know right now.”

“She fainted because of Jonathan. We could barely even call it a faint. Fainting lasts for a few seconds and she was out for almost ten minutes,” Izzy reminded him. “She has to know that he’s doing something.”

“But she doesn’t know anything for sure. We don’t need to put anything on her until we’re absolutely sure.”

“You don’t need to protect her.”

“But I do. I owe her that much,” he insisted. “She came here to escape her father and I didn’t let her; I didn’t even give her a chance. So let me try to give her a chance. I have to do this Izzy. I have to try to protect her. Maybe I can’t do anything to protect her form Jonathan, but I can at least let her try to live without anyone hanging this stuff over her head. I promise that I’ll tell her once we know more.”

Izzy pulled the maps back up and went back to studying them. “The second that we know more, you’ll tell her.”

“The second that we know whether or not it’s Jonathan, I’ll tell her.”

Izzy grimaced, she knew that what he’d agreed to do wasn’t exactly what she said, but it was the best that she was going to get. “You’re gonna have to be the one to convince Jace.”

“Jace won’t be hard.” He waved his hand. “He wants what’s best for her too.”

Clarissa rolled over in her bed. The bed had stopped smelling like Jonathan over a week ago and that definitely wasn’t helping her insomnia.

She hadn’t fully closed the blinds before she went to bed, so she tried to bore herself into falling asleep by watching the endless streams of lights that bled through from the New York traffic. She sighed as she continued to feel exhausted, but her eyes refused to feel heavy.

She and Jonathan agreed that it was safer for to stay at the Institute and not risk anything at all costs, but at this point she didn’t care anymore. She grabbed her stele from her bedside table and drew herself a portal to the Manor.

She stepped out into Jonathan’s room and was instantly comforted by the smell. Everything had long since faded from his stuff at the Institute and she was really tempted to bring one of his sweaters back with her. But she knew that she was already taking a major risk just by leaving the Institute, if she brought something back that was obviously Jonathan’s, and somebody noticed, which was highly unlikely but still a possibility, then there was a good chance that she wouldn’t be able to talk her way out of it.

She stood in the middle of his room, just taking everything in; she hadn’t been in his room in so long, but it was almost exactly as they left it when they first left for New York. If it weren’t for the spare weapons that were sitting on the dresser, she would’ve thought that Jonathan hadn’t even come back.

The house was unusually quiet; both Father and Jonathan were out. When she impulsively decided to come here, she wanted to see Jonathan, and she’d be damned if she left without seeing him again. Just leaving the Institute had put the entire mission at risk, she might as well see her bad decision through to the end.

She took a slow lap of his room, trailing her fingers over the walls, the doorways, the curtains. She plucked one of her old sketchbooks off the shelf, flipping through the pages of her old art.

She’s had so much free time lately, but she just didn’t have the right inspiration to draw anything that wouldn’t by self-incriminating. The urge was always so strong, she wanted to draw Jonathan and try to capture his eyes in a way that she never had before. She wanted to draw what she wanted her future to be: her and Jonathan, ruling over Edom, Idris, The Downworld, and the Mundane world in a way that the Clave never could. Her and Jonathan together, the way that it should always be. But she couldn’t. That sketchbook would be such a risk and liability that it would make her trip back to the Manor seem ten times safer.

She sat in window seat that overlooked the lake and forest, waiting for Jonathan to return. She watched how the rays from the rising sun streamed through the trees. Sunrises in New York were nothing compared to the ones in Idris.

She flipped the sketchbook to one of the last blank pages and pulled her black ink pen out of the spiral. She would’ve preferred to use a pencil or charcoal right now, but she hasn’t been this free to draw whatever she wanted in weeks.

She started by ghosting the outline of Jonathan’s frame, then outlining herself to stand slightly behind him. Exactly how he preferred to have them stand when they were on a mission. She drew for hours, getting lost in the details, the way a tree’s branches would bend in the wind, how the edges of Jonathan’s hair started to curl when he left it to grow out a little too long, how she could still somehow tell what he was focusing on even when his eyes were pitch black.

She didn’t know if she did it subconsciously or accidentally, but the small gap that she left between herself and Jonathan was almost the perfect size for her to squeeze Max into. His carefree smile, his slightly oversized shoes, just waiting for him to grow into them. She drew him to loosely hold her shirt while staring up at Jonathan with the look of absolute adoration that he always had during his winter break.

She only realized how much time had passed when she was blinded by the sun’s reflection on the lake.

With her focus broken, her eyes watered as she yawned. She came back to the Manor with the intent to see Jonathan again, but if he was busy, then she wasn’t about to pass up sleeping in their bed. The last few weeks exhaustion caught up with her, and she could barely even keep her eyes open. She collapsed into their bed, comforted by the familiar smell and feel of the sheets and was asleep before she could even think to find a comfortable position.

She didn’t know how long she was asleep for when she was woken up by the mattress shifting, but she did know that that was the best sleep that she had had since Jonathan left.

“Clarissa, what are you doing here?” He pulled the sheets off of her. “And what are you wearing?” His gaze was critical.

She looked down for the first time and realized that she hadn’t changed before coming here. “It’s Jace’s shirt. I was cold at the Institute and it was the closest thing to me.”

Hi grip on her arms tightened viciously. “Why was his clothing the closest thing?”

“He was in our room a couple days ago and I just never got around to getting rid of it.” Her voice was nonchalant.

Jonathan loosened his grip on her arm but grabbed two fistfuls of the rough material of the shirt and wrenched it off of her. It gave way easily, tearing at the seams and exposing her thin bralette. “Now you have a reason to get rid of it.”

She couldn’t even get mad because she hated that she wore Jace’s shirt for so long and didn’t even notice or think to change into something that she actually liked when she got to his room.

She tossed the remaining shreds of Jace’s shirt into the wastebasket and threw herself into Jonathan. “I missed you,” she whispered into his chest. She felt the still sticky spray of blood that was stuck to his gear that she didn’t see before.

“I did too. But you didn’t answer my question. You’re supposed to be at the Institute.”

“I know, I just – I needed to see you. Feel you. I couldn’t sleep and I know that everyone is busy in the morning,” she glanced at the clock hanging on the wall and realized that it was morning, almost the early afternoon, in New York, “well, right now. But no one should be looking for me for another few hours.”

She shifted to lie across his lap. “I don’t like this,” she admitted.

“It’s not for much longer, little sister. We’ll be together soon enough.” Jonathan ran his fingers through her hair. “You need to go back.”

“I don’t want to,” she pouted petulantly.

“You have to,” his voice was hard. “It’s only a few more weeks. You need to be patient.”

“Jonathan,” she whined.

“Enough, Clarissa,” he said harshly. “You’re already risking enough by being here. If, by some miracle, no one’s been looking for you, you don’t need to push your luck even more by staying here.”

“A few weeks,” she whispered. “Do you promise?”

“I wouldn’t be spending my birthday with anyone else.”

Before anyone could start to wonder where she was, she quickly changed into some casual clothes and found Izzy examining a body.

“Who’s that?” Clarissa asked, pointing at the body on the table.

“We aren’t sure yet. She’s a mundane though; they found her body a few states over, so I had them send her here.”

A few states over? Clarissa knew that Jonathan had been in that area about three days ago. “When did she die?”

“I haven’t gotten that far yet. She just got here.” Izzy had yet to look up, still focused on the body. “Based on the weather and decomposition, it would’ve been less than a week ago.”

Jonathan didn’t even try to hide his presence in that area, Father probably wanted him to send a message. She doubted that Izzy didn’t know that Jonathan was there, there would have to be little doubt that he was the one that killed her, and Izzy didn’t even think to mention it to her. The sword wounds in the woman’s chest made it clear that it wasn’t a demon, and if she was brought here, then it also wasn’t a mundane that killed her.

Izzy was trying to keep this from here. Alec and Jace probably knew too. There wasn’t much that she could do for their mission by staying at the Institute, but part of her job had been keeping track of what the Clave knew, and she couldn’t do that if one of her main sources of information wasn’t going to tell her anything.

“Do you know who killed her?” Clarissa asked innocently.

“It could be a what,” Izzy pointed out, so Clarissa stared pointedly at the very obvious stab wounds. “Ok, it’s probably a ‘who’ but I can’t start my examination with any assumptions.”

“We all know who killed her,” Clarissa said. “So why aren’t you telling me anything.”

“I’m not telling you anything because I don’t know anything.”

Izzy’s lie was convincing, and Clarissa might’ve believed her if Izzy wasn’t avoiding eye contact.

“I was thinking that me, you, and Simon should all go see a movie,” Izzy said.

“Don’t change the subject.”

“I wasn’t,” Izzy laughed. “I just know that if I don’t ask now, then I’m gonna forget and never end up asking.” Izzy dropped a few samples into test tubes.

“C’mon, we have to get you changed into a decent outfit, these samples will take at least six hours.” Izzy pulled her gloves off and threw them in the trash while tossing her used apron into the laundry bin in the corner.

“I didn’t even agree yet.”

“Well were you gonna say no?”

Clarissa shook her head.

“Then let’s go; I need to get out of these clothes, they reek of death.” Izzy dragged Clarissa back to her room.

“I don’t know if you forgot, but I’m not allowed to leave the Institute,” Clarissa pointed out as Izzy was sliding on a ridiculously tall pair of heels.

“Technically yes, but you haven’t broken any laws so you should legally be allowed to leave with a chaperone. And how often does he actually have anyone check on you to make sure that you haven’t left?” Izzy paused dramatically. “Wait, have you ever been to a movie theater before?”

“Well I’ve seen a movie before.”

“Raziel, this is amazing!” She exclaimed. “I get to be here with you for your first movie experience ever.” Izzy was so close to squealing. “Simon’s going to be so excited too. Clary, you’ve been missing out.”

They met Simon at the theater, and they elected to see an action movie that Clarissa had never heard of before. Apparently, the sound effects from a normal tv speaker was nothing compared to hearing it in a theater. And after watching the movie, Clarissa was inclined to agree.

They were all sitting in a café, drinking milkshakes and talking about the movie when Izzy’s pager went off.

Izzy looked down to read the message and her face went white. “My teams being paged 911 to give immediate back up. Apparently, the mission’s going sideways. I have to go.” She rushed back to the Institute; milkshake forgotten on the table.

Clarissa sipped at her drink. “Have you been to the Hotel DuMort yet?”

“Clary,” he groaned dramatically. “I’m doing just fine on my own.”

“You really should go, learn some more about your ‘species’ and maybe find your sire.”

“You’re just jealous that I’m more special than you.” Simon sucked some of the shake up into his straw and blew it directly into her face.

“Simon!” She squealed. She tried to wipe it out of her eyes. “That’s gross.” She scooped out some of her milkshake and dumped it on his head. “Now we’re even.”

She couldn’t remember that last time that she had laughed this hard. She was relaxing with a genuine friend that she wouldn’t have to manipulate, and had his milkshake running down her face. She should be disgusted but she had never felt more alive.