Home > Son of the Dawn (Ghosts of the Shadow Market #1)(6)

Son of the Dawn (Ghosts of the Shadow Market #1)(6)
Author: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan

Lily turned her face away so Raphael did not see her expression, but Zachariah saw it. He recognized her expression from a time when he had been able to feel that way himself. She looked sick with love.

There was room for both vampires in the cargo hold. On their way to examine the hold, Lily almost tripped over the dead Shadowhunter woman.

“Oooh, Raphael!” she exclaimed brightly. “It’s Catherine Ashdown!”

It was like the faint cold spray of seawater, to see how utterly indifferent she was to human life. Brother Zachariah saw her belatedly recall his presence.

“Oh no,” she added in not terribly convincing tones. “What a senseless tragedy.”

“Go to the hold, Lily,” Raphael commanded.

Will you not both go? asked Brother Zachariah.

“I prefer to wait as long as I can before dawn to test myself,” said Raphael.

Lily sighed. “He’s Catholic. So very, very Catholic.”

Her hand moved restlessly by her side, as if she wanted to reach out and pull Raphael along with her. Instead, she used it to give Zachariah another little wave, the same one she had given when they first met.

“Brother Sixpackariah,” she said. “It’s been a pleasure.”

And for me, said Brother Zachariah, and listened to her skip lightly down the stairs.

She had, at least, given him the woman’s name. Brother Zachariah could take her back to her family and the City of Bones, where she could rest and he could not.

He knelt down by the dead woman’s side and closed her staring eyes.

Ave atque vale, Catherine Ashdown, he murmured.

He rose to find Raphael still by his side, though not looking at him or the dead woman. Raphael’s eyes rested on the black sea touched with moonlight, the black sky edged with the faintest line of silver.

I am glad to have met you both, Zachariah added.

“I can’t imagine why,” said Raphael. “Those names Lily came up with were very bad.”

People do not joke with the Silent Brothers often.

The prospect of not being joked around with made Raphael look wistful. “It must be nice to be a Silent Brother. Aside from the fact Shadowhunters are annoying and pathetic. And I don’t know that she was joking. I’d watch yourself next time you’re in New York.”

Of course she was joking, said Brother Zachariah. She is in love with you.

Raphael’s face twisted. “Why do Shadowhunters always want to talk about feelings? Why can nobody ever be a professional? For your information, I do not have any interest in romance of any kind and never will. Now can you drop this revolting subject?”

I can, said Brother Zachariah. Perhaps you would like to talk about the gang of boys you claim to have killed?

“I’ve killed many people,” said Raphael distantly.

A group of children? said Zachariah. In your city? Did this happen in the 1950s?

Maryse Lightwood might have been fooled. Brother Zachariah was familiar with what it looked like when someone blamed and hated themselves for what had happened to those they loved.

“There was a vampire hunting children on the streets where my brothers played,” Raphael said, his voice still distant. “I led my gang to his lair to stop him. None of us survived.”

Brother Zachariah tried to be gentle.

When a vampire is newborn they cannot control themselves.

“I was the leader,” said Raphael, his steely voice brooking no argument. “I was responsible. Well. We did stop the vampire, and my family lived to grow up.”

All but one.

“I generally do accomplish what I set my mind on,” said Raphael.

That is extremely clear, said Brother Zachariah.

He listened to the sound of the waves hitting the side of the boat, carrying them to the city. On the night of the Market he had been detached from the city and everyone in it, and certainly he had felt nothing for a vampire determined to feel nothing himself.

But then had come a laugh, and the sound had woken things inside him that he had feared dead. Once woken to the world, Zachariah did not want to be blind to any of it.

You saved people today. The Shadowhunters saved people, even though they did not save you when you were a child trying to fight monsters.

Raphael twitched as if this implication of why he disliked Shadowhunters was a fly landing on him.

“Few are saved,” said Raphael. “Nobody is spared. Somebody tried to save me once, and I will pay him back one day. I don’t choose to owe another debt, or for anyone to owe me. We all got what we wanted. The Shadowhunters and I are done.”

There might always be another time for help or cooperation, said Brother Zachariah. The Lightwoods are trying. Consider letting the other Downworlders know you survived dealing with them.

Raphael made a noncommittal sound.

There are more kinds of love than stars, said Brother Zachariah. If you do not feel one, there are many others. You know what it is to care for family and friends. What we keep sacred, keeps us safe. Consider that by trying to cut yourself off from the possibility of being hurt, you shut the door on love and live in darkness.

Raphael staggered over to the rail and pretended to vomit. Then he straightened up.

“Oh wait, I’m a vampire and we don’t get seasick,” he said. “I came over all nauseous for a second. Can’t think why. I heard Silent Brothers were withdrawn. I was looking forward to withdrawn!”

I am not a typical Silent Brother, observed Brother Zachariah.

“Just my luck I got the touchy-feely Silent Brother. Can I request a different one in future?”

So you think there might be a time when your path crosses with Shadowhunters again?

Raphael made a disgusted noise and turned away from the sea. His face was pallid as moonlight, ice white as the cheek of a child long dead.

“I am going belowdecks. Unless, of course, you have any other brilliant suggestions?”

Brother Zachariah nodded. The shadow of his hood fell across the scar of a cross on the vampire’s throat.

Have faith, Raphael. I know you remember how.

With the vampires safely hidden below and Robert Lightwood steering the ship towards Manhattan, Brother Zachariah took on the task of cleaning up the deck, moving the bodies out of sight. He’d call on his brothers to help him attend to them, and to the survivors, who were currently secured in one of the cabins. Enoch and the others might not approve of his decision to help Raphael, but they would still fulfill their mandate to keep the Shadow World hidden and safe.

Once Brother Zachariah had finished, all there was to do was wait for the ship to carry them to the city. Then he would have to return to his own city. He took a seat and waited, enjoying the sensation of the light of a new day on his face.

It had been a long time since he felt the light, and longer since he could truly enjoy the simple pleasure of it.

He sat near the bridge, where he could see Robert and young Jonathan Wayland in the morning light.

“You’re sure you’re all right?” Robert said.

“Yes,” said Jonathan.

“You don’t look much like Michael,” Robert added awkwardly.

“No,” said Jonathan. “I always wished I did.”

The boy’s thin back was braced to be a disappointment.

Robert said: “I am sure you’re a good boy.”

Jonathan did not look sure. Robert saved himself from awkwardness by conspicuously examining the controls.

The boy left the bridge, graceful despite the lurch of the boat and how weary he must be. Zachariah was startled when young Jonathan advanced across the deck to where Zachariah himself sat.

Brother Zachariah pulled his hood close around his face. Some Shadowhunters were disquieted by a Silent Brother who did not appear exactly as the rest did, though the Silent Brothers looked fearsome enough. He did not want to distress the boy, either way.

Jonathan carried Brother Zachariah’s staff back to him, balanced flat as a tightrope along his palms, and laid the staff with a respectful bow on Zachariah’s knees. The boy moved with military discipline unusual in one so young, even among Shadowhunters. Brother Zachariah had not known Michael Wayland, but he guessed he must have been a harsh man.

“Brother Enoch?” the boy guessed.

No, said Brother Zachariah. He knew Enoch’s memories as his own. Enoch had examined the boy, though his memories were gray with lack of interest. Brother Zachariah briefly wished he could have been the Silent Brother at hand for this child.

   
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