Lord of Shadows
Page 11

 Cassandra Clare

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“You’re a warlock,” he said.
“Never claimed anything different,” said Barnabas. “And you’re a Shadowhunter.”
Julian sighed and pulled his sleeve back into place. “I suppose there wasn’t much point in trying to disguise it.”
“None at all,” said Barnabas. “Most of us can recognize a Nephilim on sight, and besides, young Mr. Rook has been the talk of the town.” He turned his slit-pupilled eyes on Kit. “Sorry to hear about your father.”
Kit acknowledged this with a slight nod. “Barnabas owns the Shadow Market. At least, he owns the land the Market’s on, and he collects the rent for the stalls.”
“That’s true,” said Barnabas. “So you’ll understand I’m serious when I ask you both to leave.”
“We’re not causing any trouble,” said Julian. “We came here to do business.”
“Nephilim don’t ‘do business’ at Shadow Markets,” said Barnabas.
“I think you’ll find they do,” said Julian. “A friend of mine bought some arrows here not that long ago. They turned out to be poisoned. Any ideas about that?”
Barnabas jabbed a squat finger at him. “That’s what I mean,” he said. “You can’t turn it off, even if you want to, this thinking you get to ask the questions and make the rules.”
“They do make the rules,” said Kit.
“Kit,” said Julian out of the side of his mouth. “Not helping.”
“A friend of mine disappeared the other day,” said Barnabas. “Malcolm Fade. Any ideas about that?”
There was a low buzz in the crowd behind him. Julian opened and closed his hands at his sides. If he’d been here alone, he wouldn’t have been worried—he could have gotten himself out of the crowd easily enough, and back to the car. But with Kit to protect, it would be harder.
“See?” Barnabas demanded. “For every secret you think you know, we know another. I know what happened to Malcolm.”
“Do you know what he did?” Julian asked, carefully controlling his voice. Malcolm had been a murderer, a mass murderer. He’d killed Downworlders as well as mundanes. Surely the Blackthorns couldn’t be blamed for his death. “Do you know why it happened?”
“I see only another Downworlder, dead at the hands of Nephilim. And Anselm Nightshade, too, imprisoned for a bit of simple magic. What next?” He spat on the ground at his feet. “There might have been a time I tolerated Shadowhunters in the Market. Was willing to take their money. But that time is over.” The warlock’s gaze skittered to Kit. “Go,” he said. “And take your Nephilim friend with you.”
“He’s not my friend,” said Kit. “And I’m not like them, I’m like you—”
Barnabas was shaking his head. Hyacinth watched, her blue hands steepled under her chin, her eyes wide.
“A dark time is coming for Shadowhunters,” said Barnabas. “A terrible time. Their power will be crushed, their might thrown down into the dirt, and their blood will run like water through the riverbeds of the world.”
“That’s enough,” Julian said sharply. “Stop trying to frighten him.”
“You will pay for the Cold Peace,” said the warlock. “The darkness is coming, and you would be well advised, Christopher Herondale, to stay far away from Institutes and Shadowhunters. Hide as your father did, and his father before him. Only then can you be safe.”
“How do you know who I am?” Kit demanded. “How do you know my real name?”
It was the first time Julian had heard him admit that Herondale was his real name.
“Everyone knows,” said Barnabas. “It’s all the Market has been buzzing about for days. Didn’t you see everyone staring at you when you came in?”
So they hadn’t been looking at Julian. Or at least not just at Julian. It wasn’t much comfort, though, Jules thought, not when Kit had that expression on his face.
“I thought I could come back here,” Kit said. “Take over my father’s stall. Work in the Market.”
A forked tongue flickered out between Barnabas’s lips. “Born a Shadowhunter, always a Shadowhunter,” he said. “You cannot wash the taint from your blood. I’m telling you for the last time, boy—leave the Market. And don’t come back.”
Kit backed up, looking around him—seeing, as if for the first time, the faces turned toward him, most blank and unfriendly, many avidly curious.
“Kit—” Julian began, reaching out a hand.
But Kit had bolted.
It took Julian only a few moments to catch up with Kit—the boy hadn’t really been trying to run; he’d just been pushing blindly through the crowds, with no destination. He’d fetched up in front of a massive stall that seemed to be in the middle of being torn apart.
It was just a bare latticework of boards now. It looked as if someone had ripped it to pieces with their hands. Jagged bits of wood lay scattered around on the blacktop. A sign dangled crookedly from the top of the stall, printed with the words PART SUPERNATURAL? YOU’RE NOT ALONE. THE FOLLOWERS OF THE GUARDIAN WANT YOU TO SIGN UP FOR THE LOTTERY OF FAVOR! LET LUCK INTO YOUR LIFE!
“The Guardian,” Kit said. “That was Malcolm Fade?”
Julian nodded.
“He was the one who got my father involved in all that stuff with the Followers and the Midnight Theater,” said Kit, his tone almost thoughtful. “It’s Malcolm’s fault he died.”
Julian didn’t say anything. Johnny Rook hadn’t been much of a prize, but he was Kit’s father. You only got one father. And Kit wasn’t wrong.
Kit moved then, slamming his fist as hard as he could into the sign. It clattered to the ground. In the moment before Kit pulled his hand back, wincing, Julian saw a flash of the Shadowhunter in him. If the warlock wasn’t already dead, Julian believed sincerely that Kit would have killed Malcolm.
A small crowd had followed from Hyacinth’s stall, staring. Julian put a hand on Kit’s back, and Kit didn’t move to shake him off.
“Let’s go,” Julian said.
* * *
Emma showered carefully—the downside of having your hair long when you were a Shadowhunter was never knowing after a fight if there was ichor in it. Once the back of her neck had been green for a week.
When she came out into her bedroom, wearing sweatpants and a tank top and rubbing her hair dry with a green towel, she found Mark curled up at the foot of her bed, reading a copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
He was wearing a pair of cotton pajama bottoms that Emma had bought for three dollars from a vendor on the side of the PCH. He was partial to them as being oddly close in their loose, light material to the sort of trousers he’d worn in Faerie. If it bothered him that they also had a pattern of green shamrocks embroidered with the words GET LUCKY on them, he didn’t show it. He sat up when Emma came in, scrubbing his hands through his hair, and smiled at her.
Mark had a smile that could break your heart. It seemed to take up his whole face and brighten his eyes, firing the blue and gold from inside.
“A strange evening, forsooth,” he said.
“Don’t you forsooth me.” She flopped down on the bed next to him. He wouldn’t sleep on the bed, but he didn’t seem to mind using the mattress as a sort of giant sofa. He set his book down and leaned back against the footboard. “You know my rules about forsoothing in my room. Also the use of the words ‘howbeit,’ ‘welladay,’ and ‘alack.’”