Me: I would like to go on record as saying I had no intention of starting this fic. I meant to finish Remembrance and Redemption, but I missed the characters and fooled around, and after some very interesting research about mythical creatures, I now have a new obsession. All well. I could be doing worse things.

This story takes place after History Repeats Itself. You don't have to have read that to understand this (for the most part, anyway), though the events in there will be mentioned in this story. Jonathan and Max are alive and well, and Clary and Jace have a daughter.

Hope you enjoy!

Disclaimer: I own nothing except the OCs you will inevitably come across.

Chapter 1: The Bang In The Night

Isabelle had always been a night owl. Ever since she was a little girl, she had loved how the mixture of light sources from the darkened city would splash across her bed, painting pictures of shadows with the outlines of her furniture. Still now, at twenty-three, Isabelle was certain nighttime was the most perfect time at the Institute. One could get so much studying and training (and secret rendezvouses) done all without prying eyes interfering. Night life was just more appealing to her. She supposed the years of being such a night owl were the reason she was having trouble sleeping now, despite being exhausted.

Isabelle gave a little sigh, glancing up at the darkened ceiling, which was only illuminated by the dusty street lamps outside. There was no moon tonight, no painting of shadows. Simon could only stand having the curtain opened at night when there was no moon. Clearly his affinity for pure darkness hadn't gone away from the time he had spent as a vampire.

She frowned at herself. Why am I so tired? She thought angrily. Her hand went to her stomach. I'm only 4 months.

5, she corrected herself immediately. God, how had it been five months already? By the Angel, in less than 5 more months she was going to have a baby. She was going to be a mother.

This thought made Isabelle smile while her insides shook with terror.

A mother. Me. A mom. I've been an amazing sister, the best possible aunt, but a mom? I'll either be the best or the worst.

With these humbling and modest thoughts, Isabelle rolled to her side, glad she could still do so. Her bump wasn't so big as to make getting around hard yet. She knew she would only get bigger. I certainly feel big, for only 5 months.

Her eyes fell on Simon, sound asleep and oblivious to his wife's inner thoughts. He looked peaceful. She liked watching him sleep, mostly because it was nice to reveal in the reprieve from him freaking out about all the things they hadn't yet gotten ready for the baby. Isabelle held back a laugh as she recalled him a few days ago, running through the Institute with an allen wrench, cursing the manufacture of the crib they got because it didn't fit. ''Where are your guys' tools?''

''We're Shadowhunters,'' Jace shouted back. ''We don't build things. We kill things!''

''How can you have no tools?''

''Says the gamer geek.''


Clary sighed. ''Simon, the closest you get to building things is Minecraft.''

''And I would like to rectify that starting now!''

Isabelle buried her face in her pillow. She felt content. A little bit of guilt mixed in with her feelings in light of all the craziness happening around the Institute of late. But when wasn't a Shadowhunter dealing with some form of complication? The future held a lot of uncertainty, but it was exciting. She was happy. She closed her eyes.


Isabelle sat upright with a bolt. She thought maybe she had imagined the sound, but Simon copying her movement disqualified that possibility. ''What the hell was that?''

''I don't know,'' she replied honestly. ''I think it came from the hallway?''

They both got up. ''Whoa, stay here,'' Simon said when he saw Isabelle shrugging her robe on.

Isabelle frowned at him as she knotted the silky fabric. ''It would be weird if we were on of those couples, huh?''

''The one that protects each other?''

''From bumps in the night? What, you afraid of the boogyman?''

''Yes. That's why you guard the bedroom from him, and I kill the spiders.''

''Tell you what, for every spider you kill, I will do whatever you want. Factoring in the eight years I've known you, the score so far is zero.''

Simon pouted, but they both proceeded to the hallway without further argument.

The quietness of the Institute at night was made eerie by the strange noise. There had been no other noise following the bang, and Isabelle was once again tempted to say they had imagined it, or chalk it up to a branch or something falling outside. The sound finally repeated, making that improbable.

She and Simon walked down the hallway slowly, not sure from where the sound could be coming from. ''Maybe it's a really stupid bird,'' Simon commented. ''Keeps flying into the window.''

Isabelle shook her head. ''It's too hard.''

The sound repeated. Another sound filled the air, this once closer, causing both Isabelle and Simon to jump. But it was just the floorboards from around the corner.

Clary spotted them with relief. ''I knew I wasn't crazy,'' she greeted. ''You hear it too?''

Simon and Isabelle nodded. ''It's not from the training room,'' came another voice from down the hall. Behind Clary came Jace, and in his arms, Moriah. ''Or the kitchen.''

''Is it the door?'' Simon asked.

Isabelle glared at her husband's stupidity. ''You think we,'' Jace said, gesturing to himself and Isabelle, ''who have lived here the majority of our lives, upon hearing a bang in the night, wouldn't know instantaneously if the sound was our own front door?''

''Maybe the bell's broken.''

''Maybe you're broken.''

''Shh,'' Clary silenced them. The sound repeated. She pointed to the far window in the hallway. ''I think it's there now.''

Her voice dropped to a whisper. Jace put Moriah down and went over to where Clary pointed. He looked out the window. His eyes narrowed. ''What the-''

He sprang into action, darting to the next window, which was one that was always unlocked, incase of need of quick escape or inspecting a strange noise in the night. Underneath it was a wall of moss, good for scaling.

Simon ran after Jace, and after thrusting Moriah to Isabelle, Clary joined him. In the blink of an eye, Isabelle's brother, husband, and best friend disappeared into the night.

Isabelle stamped her foot in frustration. ''I could climb out that window too!'' She protested at the formerly full hallway. ''They are so inconsiderate.'' She glanced down at the short five year old now in her care. ''Right?''

Moriah blinked her black eyes slowly. She looked unimpressed by Isabelle's display of emotion. ''C'mon, kid. Work with me here.''

Moriah gave no response, and Isabelle didn't expect one. Moriah wasn't much for talking. She took her hand and led her to the window, glancing out to the night. She couldn't' see her family anymore, and her anger began to lead to worry that they were in the midst of some chase. Who would be sneaking around the Institute anyway? A thief? Looking for what? A first edition Paradise Lost? Expired Potions? There weren't many things of value in the Institute, save for their weapons and a few relics, and these things were of value only in the eyes of Shadowhunters.

Isabelle sat in a huff on the window seat, glaring out at the night. She couldn't wait to not be pregnant anymore, and climb out windows and go back to hunting recklessly without needless precautions. And teach you how to hunt without needless precautions, she thought of her child, smiling to herself again.

Moriah slipped her hand out of Isabelle's and sat next to her on the seat, her feet dangling over the edge and staring at the opposite wall. Isabelle leaned her head against the wall and looked at her. ''Don't suppose you know who was making a ruckus in the night?'' She asked the little girl. ''Were they looking for help or trying to break in?''

''Hmmm,'' Moriah shut down the conversation.

''Alright, just asking.''

Silenced filled the hallway. Isabelle tried not to let her mind slip to the events of last week, when another ruckus in the night had occurred…

The trembling of the elevator could be heard from downstairs. Isabelle took Moriah's hand again and went to meet it. By the time they got there, the doors were open and the three Shadowhunters exited.

Isabelle knew how the chase had turned out by their expressions. ''Didn't catch who it was?''

''No,'' Simon said, ''there was no one.''

''I saw someone at the window,'' Jace protested. ''A figure. They fell into the bushes at the side.''

''And yet no bushes were trampled.''

''We probably couldn't see in the dark,'' Clary mediated before anymore could be said. ''We'll find something in the morning.''

''Who would be sneaking around at night anyway?'' Isabelle asked.

Jace shrugged. ''Downworlder looking for help? Chickened out at the last second?''

''Maybe.'' Moriah dropped her aunt's hand then, moving to fall in step with her parents as they all trudged back down the hall. ''But that still doesn't explain banging on the walls.''

''A drunk Downworlder looking for help,'' Clary suggested.

''We should be detectives,'' Simon muttered. ''Goodnight.''

''Night.'' Reaching their rooms, the families went their separate ways.

The night investigation had taken place rather late, and because of this Clary and her family did not fall asleep until early morning, and then woke much later than usual. She didn't mind. Her early teenage years of gaming and magna reading until sunrise and sleeping until noon had been hard to break, and she liked the occasions of returning to it.

Really, she imagined she would've slept later had she not been aware of the hard gaze of someone staring at her. Sure enough when she opened her eyes, there was her daughter, blinking curiously at her. ''Morning, baby girl.''

''Hmmm,'' Moriah smiled.

Clary rolled onto her stomach and kissed her daughter's cheek. ''Whatcha doing?''

''Waiting most impatiently,'' Jace answered. He emerged from the bathroom, already dressed. He sat down on the bed and pulled Moriah closer. ''What is with us and the hours we keep?''

Clary smiled as Jace began brushing Moriah's messy curls. As she got older, her blonde hair had gotten slightly darker, almost passable as a dirty blonde when it was all messy and unbrushed, like now. By the time Jace was through with it however, it would be shiny and wavy all down her back. Moriah rarely liked her hair up, much to her Aunt Isabelle's disappointment.

''Impatiently for what?'' Clary asked her daughter. A thought occurred to her. ''Oh, aren't Maryse and Robert getting back this morning?''

''Probably already are,'' Jace answered. ''It's almost noon.''

With a huff of disappointment at herself for not noticing the time, Clary threw her covers off and got up. ''What great Institute keepers we be.''

By the time she finished throwing on a pair of leggings and a t-shirt, Jace had finished with Moriah's hair and had even made the bed. Clary snatched some of Moriah's clothes off the chair. ''Here, baby. Go get dressed.''

Moriah dropped the pillow she was carrying and took the clothes into the bathroom with her. Clary began helping Jace finish tidying the room. ''So, do we mention to Robert and Maryse about last night?'' She asked.

Jace tossed one of Moriah's toys into a bucket. ''You don't believe I saw something last night, do you?''

''I do too!''

''Then why didn't you tell Simon so?''

''Are you making me choose between you and my parabatai? Because that's just cruel. And illegal, in the eyes of the Clave.''

''I saw something last night,'' Jace insisted.

''I know. But what?''

Jace furrowed his brow. ''This isn't the first time it's happened.''

''What do you mean?''

''A few weeks ago, there were noises similar to last nights. And they also happened after…well, you know.''

''Are you sure?''

''Something's up,'' Jace said, ''I don't know what, but something's not right.''

Clary got quiet. ''You think it has to do with the murder?''

Jace opened his mouth to respond, but stopped when Moriah came back into the room. He smiled at their daughter. ''Hey! All done?'' She nodded as she rocked on her heels. ''Good. Want to see Maryse and Robert?''

''Hmmm.'' Moriah grabbed his hand and pulled him along.

The sounds of chatter and cooking could be heard as Jace and his family made their way to the kitchen. Inside were Isabelle and Simon, the former stirring something in a pan, and the latter in the midst of pleading about something. Also in the kitchen, as he had suspected, were Maryse and Robert, already arrived back from Idris.

Greetings and good mornings were exchanged as they all entered the kitchen. ''There's my girl,'' Robert smiled as Moriah went over to him and Maryse. He picked her up. ''I got something for you.''

''How was everything?'' Maryse asked, turning to Jace.

Jace could feel Clary, Simon, and Isabelle watching him. ''Fine,'' he lied. They knew too little information to bring the Institute heads into it. They would need to inform the Clave, and the Clave hated wild goose chases. Which this still might be. ''Nothing exciting. Where's Max?''

''He went to bed. It was a long night.''

''Imagine that,'' Simon mused. Isabelle glared at him.

''What are you making, Izzy?'' Clary asked. Rather brave on her part, Jace thought.

''Eggs,'' Isabelle answered, putting some on a plate. ''Moriah, do you want-''

''Whoa!'' Much to Jace's relief, Simon grabbed the plate before Moriah could accept it. ''You know, I'll take this one.''

''I can make eggs, Simon Lightwood.''

''I know you can. I just don't think the five year old does.''

Moriah look concerned about why she wasn't getting any breakfast, but then Robert showed her what he had for her. It was a snow globe, one of those ones you could buy in an airport. And they were Moriah's favorite thing. She grasped it eagerly.

Clary began getting cereal out, and Jace grabbed bowls. ''So what were you two arguing about?'' He asked Simon and Isabelle, partly from curiosity and partly to keep Izzy from noticing they were not having her cooking. He realized he shouldn't have; they had been having the same argument off and on for weeks now.

''Nothing,'' Isabelle snapped.

''She doesn't want to find out what we're having,'' Simon whined.

''My money's on a baby,'' Clary guessed.

''Really? I was hoping a crocodile,'' Jace mused.

''Shadowhunters don't do ultrasounds!'' Isabelle once again explained to Simon. ''Nor do we do stupid gender reveal parties!''

Clary slammed her cereal bowl down in mock frustration. ''So I bought that fire extinguisher for nothing?''

''Shadowhunters also have their babies at home in their mansions miles away from civilization!'' Simon countered. ''How 'Shadowhunter' do you want to get here in the city?''

Isabelle rolled her eyes. ''Mom, Dad, please, tell him.''

Robert chuckled without humor. ''Oh, no,'' he informed them. He sat Moriah down on a stool as Jace handed her her breakfast. ''No, I am not going down this path again.''

''What do you mean?''

Robert held up his hands in surrender and went to the coffee maker. ''It's Isabelle's choice, Simon,'' Maryse said.

''You never found out what you were having?'' Clary asked.

Maryse shook her head. ''Alec was a complete surprise.''

Simon pounced on that. ''Only Alec?''

Maryse wavered. ''Well, I was here, stationed in the mundane world…''

''Ha!'' Simon said to his wife.

''Why would you buck tradition?'' Isabelle asked her mother.

''I wouldn't phrase it like that,'' Maryse insisted. ''I was just curious because- well, it's what Cèline did.''

Jace couldn't help raising an eyebrow. ''She did? Why?''

''Not for curiosity's sake,'' Robert interjected, stopping Simon mid-sentence. ''She did it to make Stephen angry.''

''What did he do?''

Maryse bit her lip in an attempt to keep from smiling. ''I don't know. But she went and found out that she was having you, a boy, and then held the information over Stephen's head for about a month. It was hell.''

''She eventually told us too so as to drive Stephen crazy that everyone knew what his child was but him,'' Robert remembered. He gestured his cup at his daughter and Simon. ''So take this fight far away from me.''

''I don't remember you exactly putting an end to the antics by telling Stephen,'' Maryse reminded him. Robert shrugged and innocently drank his coffee.

Jace watched Simon pout and turn to Isabelle, only to be taken aback by the thoughtful look on her face. ''Izzy-'' Simon began.

''Held it over his head, you say?'' She grinned. ''Now that does sounds like fun!''

''No, it doesn't!''

''I could get some peace from you.''

''There was a Scrubs plot line like this,'' Clary whispered eagerly to Jace as they watched the scene.

Simon threw his hands in the air. ''What have I ever done to you to warrant such treatment?''

''Got me knocked up, for one.''

''Oh, the words every mother wants to hear her daughter say,'' Maryse sighed.

''How are we suppose to come up with any sort of name if we don't know the gender?'' Simon challenged.

Isabelle shrugged. ''We'll go gender neutral.''

''You are capable of that? Miss Lover of classical, fancy, elegant names, wife-o-mine?''

''Of course. Besides, any name can be gender neutral if you just don't care enough.''

Jace frowned. '' 'Robert'?''

''Hmm?'' Robert asked. Isabelle wrinkled her nose at Jace. He went on;

''Suzanna? Charles? Mary? Lucifer?''

''Lucifer? Really?'' Clary asked him.

''I was on a roll.''

''Why are you ruining this?'' Simon asked.

''Those are horrible names,'' Isabelle told him emphatically. She looked apologetically at her father. ''No offense, Dad.''

''Oh, none taken,'' Robert replied dryly. ''A mundane man once called me 'Bob'. I've hated my name ever since.''

The breakfast chatter gradually moved on to other things until eventually all parties left to go about their day. Robert and Maryse had things to attend to as head of the Institute, and Jace and Clary were meant to go on patrol.

Rafe walked hand in hand with his father down the street in the direction of the Institute. He liked accompanying him when he had to go help Uncle Jace with things. Little Max didn't like the Institute nearly as much as he did, so he often would stay behind and accompany Papa. But Rafe loved the Institute, and couldn't wait for the day he would begin full time training there.

Soon, he reminded himself. I'm nine now.

He often supposed if he lived at the Institute he would get more training than the occasional session. Surprisingly, it wasn't Dad who was more hesitant about full time training, but Papa. All well. Whenever the time came, he would train hard, so he could be the best.

''What are you going to do today?'' Rafe asked as they walked along.

''Just a patrol,'' Dad answered. ''Nothing too exciting.''

''It all sounds exciting,'' Rafe assured him.

Dad chuckled. ''Well, one day you won't think that.''

That seemed very doubtful to Rafe. He kept thinking about the belts with knifes, all different blades, and the seraph blades. Oh, how he couldn't wait to one day have a stele and seraph blade of his own! ''Who's going?''

''Me, Clary, and Jace.''

''Not Simon and Max?''

''Simon's busy. And I don't know what Max is up to. He did just get back from Idris. Probably wants a break.''

A break from the world of hunting and adventure? Rafe would never understand adults.

They reached the Institute. Just as they got to the door, it opened. ''Hey, Rafe!'' Uncle Jace greeted, ruffling his hair.

''Hi,'' Rafe smiled at him.

Aunt Clary gave him a high five. ''You hanging out here today?''

''Yep,'' Rafe replied. ''Where are you patrolling today?''

''Lot's of places,'' Aunt Clary replied.

''Really? That's not what I was told on the phone,'' a voice mused. Rafe was aware of all the adults snapping to look. He was confused as to why. It was only Jonathan.

Jonathan Christopher strolled toward them, coming from the side of the Institute. Rafe found his Aunt Clary's brother confusing. He was rather scary looking. Pale face, white hair, green eyes that weren't nearly as kind and bright as his sister's. He looked like a ghost.

Sometimes, when Rafe saw him, he had this tugging feeling he had seen him before. Imagines of snapping black eyes like Moriah's, yet set in Jonathan's face. He couldn't quite place the memories, but they helped him refrain from asking why his parents and Uncle Jace- and just about everybody, really- had moments of unease around Jonathan.

''You don't need me for 'lot's of places', do you?'' Jonathan asked, glancing at everyone.

''In a minute, Jonathan,'' Aunt Clary told him.

''You head inside, Rafe,'' Dad instructed. ''Be sure to tell Nana you're here.''

Rafe pried his eyes from Jonathan. ''Okay.'' He went to the door. ''Bye!''

''Bye, Rafe,'' Uncle Jace said. Aunt Clary was busy talking to her brother. Resisting the urge to listen to their conversation, Rafe shut the door.

On the way up in the elevator, Rafe pondered what they could be doing. If they called Jonathan in, then it couldn't be just an ordinary patrol. Oh, when he was a Shadowhunter, he would be in on all the secrets! And I won't keep them from little kids, he thought with disappointment.

Rafe walked down the hall slowly. Maybe this 'patrol' had something to do with the night when Papa came home with a body. He was supposed to be asleep, and his parents didn't know he had been watching. But Rafe had heard Papa outside, shouting for Dad. He had snuck out and saw them in the stairwell, covered in blood, someone struggling to breath in Papa's arms. And then they stopped.

Rafe had nightmares about it. He had heard the word 'murder' being whispered among the adults of the Institute. He didn't know who had been murdered, and how it had all turned out. No one told little kids anything in this place, even if they now were nine years old.

I don't think they've talked about it recently, Rafe mused to himself. So maybe today's mission is something else.

Speculating wasn't going to get him anywhere, so Rafe discarded his thoughts. After a moment's contemplation, and listening for anyone around, he headed to the training room.

Technically, he wasn't supposed to be in the training room without adult supervision. The training room was filled with all sorts of things that were dangerous for 'little kids' (though he wasn't one anymore). Spears, knifes, bows and arrows, all stacked along the walls, ropes for climbing, and those thick beams for jumping. Rafe loved the training room. And that was why it was so important to go into it before letting Nana or Aunty Isabelle and Uncle Simon know he was here.

I don't know why I can't go into the training room alone. Moriah does.

Indeed, Moriah did. Moriah was always in the training room. She hung out there when her parents weren't around. They didn't seem to have a problem with it. Rafe envied her.

Rafe walked into the large room, the door already open and ajar, kept in place by a door stop. He entered slowly, taking in the rows of shiny weapons, wishing he could pluck one off and practice with it. What if I trained in secret, like a hero in a book? And then come the day of full training, I can show everyone how skilled I am? That would be so cool.

He outstretched his arm and went to touch one of the knives, but caught himself. If Papa or Dad found out, he would probably never get to start training. He lowered his arm with a sigh.

He went to the center of the room. He studied the rope hanging down from the lowest beam. Heights weren't exactly his favorite thing, but climbing was one thing he was allowed to practice at. Admittedly he was allowed in the form of tree climbing, but if anything, a rope tightened to the Institute's beam was safer.

With trial and error and more struggling than he would like to admit, Rafe managed to make it onto the lowest beam. He sat with legs dangling over the edge, his hands burning and sweat dripping down his back. He smirked at the ground, reveling in his progress.

''Slower than last time.''

Rafe jumped in surprise at the voice. He looked up until he spotted it's owner, and then scowled. ''No I wasn't.''

''It took you 2 minutes and 54 seconds last time,'' Moriah informed him. ''You were almost 4 minutes this time.''

''Liar.'' Even from where she was perched two beams above him, Rafe could feel her black eyes snapping at him in curiosity.

''Why would I lie?''

Rafe watched in silence as she made her way next to him, jumping down and catching herself with a grace foreign to most five year olds, and that Rafe wished he himself possessed. ''I don't know. You want to insult me?''

''Why would I do that?'' Moriah brushed her hair out of her face. ''What would that accomplish?''

''It would hurt my feelings.''


''So…'' Rafe faltered. ''So I would be afraid to try again.''

''Well, that's stupid,'' Moriah argued. ''I want you to try again so you get better. Otherwise one day you could die.''

Rafe felt his mouth go dry at her bluntness. ''Gee, thanks.''

''You're welcome,'' she replied. She sat down next to him. ''Anything can kill a Shadowhunter. You have to be at least fairly good at everything, just in case.''

Rafe frowned at his friend. He was envious of Moriah's abilities and the fact she could come in here whenever she liked, but otherwise he was constantly confused by her. ''I was being sarcastic.''


''Just-'' Rafe sighed. ''Never mind.''

Moriah kicked her feet. ''Did Alec go with them?''

''Hmm? Oh, yeah. Jonathan went too. Do you know why?''

''There was a noise last night,'' She told him eagerly.


''I don't know. But it was important.''

''How can you be sure?''

''Because Tatà didn't tell Robert and Maryse about it. He purposefully left it out.''

''That doesn't mean anything. It means the exact opposite. It means it wasn't important.''

Moriah furrowed her brow. ''Maybe I don't understand sarcasm,'' she said, ''but I do know how people act. The noise was important, and I think Mommy called Jonathan to help find what Tatà saw last night.''

''What did he see?''

''I don't know.''

Rafe looked at her. ''You're frustrating, you know that?''

Moriah cocked her head to the side. ''People aways say that to me.''

''Well, it's true.'' Rafe glanced down at the floor. ''So, I guess we should leave before Nana finds me here.''

''Probably a good idea,'' came a voice from below. The two children looked down and saw Uncle Max, staring up at them. ''Otherwise, I'll have to tattle.''

''You wouldn't do that,'' Rafe argued.

''Trust no one, Rafey. Trust no one.''

''How come you didn't go on the hunt?''

''I was busy.''

''Dad said you wanted a break.''

''I do want a break. This place can't run without me. It's so hard, being the most reliable and important Shadowhunter for miles around.''

Rafe laughed. Moriah seemed confused as to why. ''Where did you go?'' He inquired.

''None of your business,'' Max sniffed. ''You respect that, and I'll respect the fact it's none of my business what you two are doing up there.''

Rafe sighed. ''Fine.''

''Good. Now get down, both of you.'' He turned and went back out.

Moriah got to her feet. ''I'll go first,'' she said to Rafe. ''You're even slower going down than up.''

Rafe stared at her. ''At least you're honest, Moriah. At least you're honest.''

''A noise?'' Jonathan repeated. ''I'm here because of a noise?''

''I'm sorry, did you have something better to do today?'' Clary asked.

''Better than protect my sister from the scary world full of noises? Yes, actually.''

Alec huffed in annoyance. ''Can we stay on topic here?''

As Clary gave Jonathan the full story of last night's events, Alec pondered why they really needed him here. The likelihood of magic at play or a demon sniffing around the Institute didn't seem all that high. Then again, in light of the murder…

''You didn't sense what it was?'' Jonathan prompted Jace. ''Wolf? Vamp? Demon?''

Jace shook his head. ''It was human shaped,'' he offered. ''What I don't understand is that they quite literally disappeared in front of me.''

''And no trace of magic?''

''You tell me.''

They walked along the path Clary and Jace said they had ran last night. They led the way, Jonathan lagging behind, and Alec behind him. Alec studied the Morgenstern warily. Jonathan hadn't been around much recently, a reprieve Alec hadn't even noticed until now. He wondered at his absence, and the warnings in his head about letting him in on the murder investigation kept playing around. It had been years since his return and reluctant banishment in the ShadowWorld, and though he had done no more wrong since returning from Hell, Alec couldn't bring himself to trust him fully. Especially now.

From the side of the Institute straight to the woods behind it was where Clary and Jace led them, and the only tracks Alec could see were easily explained by they themselves.

''Whoever it was could've just as easily run into the woods,'' Alec pointed out.

''Which is why we looked,'' Jace returned. ''Even though I swear by the Angel I saw it vanish in front of me.''

''Vanish how?'' Jonathan asked.

Jace pointed at the sky. ''The only light was that street lamp over there. It was dark, everything was just a blurry outline. One minute the outline is there, the next, nothing. I could sense it was gone, too. No footprints, no sound, nothing.''

''So what do you think it was?'' Clary asked him. ''If you had to guess.''

Jace hesitated. ''This isn't the first time this happened,'' he said. ''The nosies around, I mean. If it were, I would say maybe a demon or even just a fairy looking to cause trouble.''

''But since it isn't the first time?'' Alec prompted.

Jace tapped his fingers on his hip. ''I think it has something to do with the murder.''

''Ooh,'' Jonathan smiled. ''This wouldn't happen to be the murder you are all keeping me out of the details on?''

Alec glared at him. ''It's not for you to know.''

''But it is so important to be honest and have each other's backs on a hunt,'' Jonathan lectured in a patronizing tone.

''We're not on a hunt.''

''We are if I'm right in what I suspect that thing was last night.''

''You think you know?'' Clary asked.

''Don't sound too surprised, little sister. You did call me, after all.''

''Well? You gonna share with the class?''

''That depends. Is the class gonna share with me?''

''No,'' Alec said.

''Well, there's your answer.''

''Alec,'' Jace chided.

''Jonathan,'' Clary urged.

Alec and Jonathan exchanged a look. Alec hated the amusement on the guy's face. Finally, Jonathan shrugged. ''It's simple, really. The answer is ghosts.''

Me: Do you like it? Do you hate it? I'd love to know what you think!

Happy Writing!