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Darkness in the Shadows

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Clary Fairchild, the Seelie Queen smirked as the name fell from the lips of Jace, who wasn’t really the blonde haired hero the Shadowhunters loved so dearly. She surveyed the man before her, a poor imitation of Jace Herondale of this world, his skin haggard, his hair matted. The Seelie Queen longed to unleash her fury on the man who had the audacity to enter her throne room, the insolence to try to bargain with her. Her eyes flashed a fiery red before she calmly took a breath remembering that this imitator, however poorly presented, had something she desired.

Her son, Ash. She looked at him, he had aged many years since Annabel had thrust him through the portal to Thule. He was a teenager now but his eyes held a maturity beyond his years as if he had seen much, as if he had done much. A spark of guilt flamed inside her as she considered the part she had played in the suffering of her own son. However she could do nothing to rectify the past, she could only affect the future. She could only ensure that Ash had a future worthy of his power, worthy of both his mother and father. A son of the Queen of Seelie and Sebestian Morgenstern was born to rule, of that the Seelie Queen was sure.

Smiling at Jace from Thule, the Seelie Queen spoke in her most alluring voice, “So it is dear Clary Fairchild you wish for, Jace?”

Jace nodded, his face was emotionless but he failed to hide the small glimmer of hope sparkling behind his eyes. Almost as if no amount of dark magic could quell his love for Clary.

“You fail to plan ahead, my dear. You fail to consider your own love for Clary and see it for the danger it is,” the Seelie Queen said.

Jace narrowed his eyes in confusion, “I do not wish to hear your riddles, my lady. My request is final, a simple matter, it’s all I ask in return for your beloved son.”

The room chilled as the Queen let out a dark laugh that seemed to reverberate around the room, a laugh filled with evil. “A simple matter? Oh, the short life of Shadowhunters makes them stupid, such a short life means you always jump in feet first, you fail to consider a problem from all angles. Clary Fairchild, the girl you desire so dearly, is already loved in this world, by your very own mirror image.”

“I do not care about him,” Jace stated blankly.

“I’m sure you do not, I can’t say I care for him much either,” the Queen agreed, remembering the endless trouble he had caused in her court over the years. “However he cares a great deal about Clary and he would challenge Angel Raziel himself to protect her. To gain Clary, we must be smarter, use our wits where your strength would fail you.”

Jace glanced at Ash, his eyes questioning. The Queen could see that there was a trust between them, a bond she had not expected. She watched as Ash nodded, seeming to give Jace permission to trust the Queen.

Turning back to the Queen, Jace nodded. “I’m willing to hear your plan.”

The Queen smiled, knowing that her time of power was in sight, knowing that as long as she played her every move with care and precision her long awaited rule of both the Seelie and Unseelie Court was within reach.

Meanwhile in the Unseelie Court, King Kieran sat upon his throne, dealing with the daily grievances of his subjects. It was tiresome work but he tried to treat each member of his court with the kindness and consideration that he knew Cristina would.

“Please send in the next request,” Kieran told Winter.

Kieran sat up straighter as he noticed Jaime Rosales entering the court. Ever since Kieran had rose to power he had tried to surround himself with those he trusted, regardless of whether they were Shadowhunters, Downworlders or inhabitants of Faerie. Jaime had proved a useful go between for him, continuing the peace talks with the Seelie Court with the help of the eternidad. Matters with the Seelie Queen had been peaceful since Kieran had sat upon the throne which Kieran knew was mostly due to the positive influence Prince Adaon had over the Queen.

“To what do I owe this please Jaime?” Kieran asked.

“I’m afraid you may not be too pleased with the message, King Kieran,” Jaime replied.

Kieran sat forward on his throne, his eyes darkening, worry creasing his forehead. Had Jaime brought bad news of Cristina or perhaps Mark?

“Cristina, Mark, are they okay?” Kieran asked, his heart hammering inside his chest.

Jaime’s eyes widened in surprise, he still didn’t quite understand the relationship between the three but he always wished Cristina happiness and he did not want to worry Kieran who had been good to him. “No, sir. My news comes from the Seelie Queen herself. She wants peace between the lands, peace that will span thousands of years.”

“And this is a bad thing because…?” Kieran questioned, confused.

“She requests one thing to ensure the peace between the lands and if her request is not met then she claims death and destruction will rain down on the lands of Unseelie,” Jaime retold the Queen’s words.

Kieran’s head fell to his hands in dismay. He had thought Prince Adaon would be able to appease the Queen, he had thought his brother’s goodness would be enough to ensure peace where his father had failed.

“This request she asks of, what is it, my friend?” Kieran enquired.

“She wishes for the return of her son to the land of Seelie,” Jaime said gravely, “She requests the return of her son from Thule.”