Was that Will?" she said finally. Henry arched one ginger eyebrow. "Perhaps he's been kidnapped and replaced by an automaton," he suggested. "It seems possible..." For once Charlotte could only find herself in agreement.
Charlotte, darling, Henry said to his wife, who was staring at im in gape-mouthed horror. Jassamine, beside her, was wided eyed. Sorry im late. You know, i think i might nearly have the sensor working- Will interrupted. Henry, he said, your on fire. You do know that, don't you? Oh, yes, Henry said eagerly. The flames were now nearly to his shoulder. I've been working like a man possessed all day. Charlotte, did you hear what i said about the sensor? Charlotte dropped her hand from her mouth. Henry! She shrieked. Your arm! Henry glanced down at his arm, and his mouth dropped open. Bloody hell!
And then she said nothing else, for Henry put his arms around her and kissed her. Kissed her in such a way that she no longer felt plain, or conscious of her hair or the ink spot on her dress or anything but Henry, whom she had always loved. Tears welled up and spilled down her cheeks, and when he drew away, he touched her wet face wonderingly. "Really," he said. "You love me, too, Lottie?
Tessa was laying on her side, her brown hair spread over the pillow, watching Will, whose face was bent over the pages, with a look of tenderness in her eyes, a tenderness mirrored in the softness of Will's voice as he read.
People were intrinsically selfish, and many hated the idea of a woman in charge of the Institute. They would not put themselves at risk for her. Only a few weeks ago he would have said the same thing about himself. Now, knowing Charlotte, he realized to his surprise, the idea of risking himself for her seemed an honor, as it would be to most Englishmen to risk themselves for the queen.
Take the Cup, Sophia Collins,"she said, and the room was breathlessly silent. The Council chamber was not full, but the row Tessa sat at the end was:Gideon and Gabriel, Cecily and Henry, and her and Will, all leaning forward eagerly, waiting for Sophie to Ascend. At each end of the dais stood a Silent Brother, their heads bent, their parchment robes looking as if they had been carved out of marble. Charlotte lowered the Cup, and held it out to Sophie, who took it carefully. "Do you swear, Sophia Collins, to forsake the mundane world and follow the path of the Shadowhunter? Will you take into yourself the blood of the Angel Raziel and honor that blood? Do you swear to serve the Clave, to follow the Law as set forth by the Covernant, and to obey the word of the Council? Will you defend that which is human and mortal, knowing that for your service there will be no recompense and no thanks but honor?"I swear,"said Sophie, her voice very steady. "Can you be a shield for the weak, a light in the dark, a truth among falsehoods, a tower in the flood, an eye to see when all others are blind?" I can." "And when you are dead, will you give up your body to the Nephilim to be burned, that your ashes may be used to build the City of Bones?" "I will." "The drink,"said Charlotte. Tessa heard Gideon draw in his breath. This was the dangerous part of the ritual. This was the part that would kill the untrained and unworthy. Sophie bent her dark head and set the Cup to her lips. Tessa sat forward, her chest tight with aprehension. She felt Will's hand slide over hers, a warm, comforting weight. Sophie's throat moved as she swallowed. The circle that surrounded her and Charlotte flared up once with a cold, blue-white light, obscuring them both. When it faded, Tessa was left blinking stars from her eyes as the light dwindled. She blinked hastily, and saw Sophie hold up the Cup. there was a glow about the Cup she held as she handed it back to Charlotte, who smiled broadly. "You are Nehilim now,"she said. "I name you Sophia Shadowhunter, of the blood of Jonathan Shadowhunter, child of the Nehilim. Arise, Sophia.
Henry," said Charlotte, who seemed to have recovered from her shock, "if you set yourself on fire deliberately, I will institute divorce proceedings. Now sit down and eat your supper. And say hello to our guest.
I lived for you. And I lived for Will, and then I lived for Tessa - and for myself, because I wanted to be with her. But I cannot live for other people forever. No one can say that death found in me a willing comrade, or that I went easily. If you say you need me, I will stay as long as I can for you. I will live for you and yours, and go down fighting death until I am worn away to bone and splinters. But it would not be my choice.