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Danse Macabre

By webspinner2

Romance / Mystery

Chapter 1

Chapter 1

The cleverest, the acutest men are often under an illusion about women.... their good woman is a queer thing, half doll, half angel; their bad woman almost always a fiend.

- Charlotte Bronte

Renwick's Asylum.....

She was tall and slim with long curly brown hair that framed her pale face before cascading down to her small waist. The deep lace collar of her dress had disintegrated to the point that it seemed to be made of the most fragile cobwebs rather than cotton thread. The full split sleeves and tight bodice of the gown were a deep purple heavily decorated with gold embroidery. The long skirt tattered into shreds at the hem had once had a deep border of the same opulent gold work. Bright blue sparks of power seemed to flash randomly from her fingertips as if she had excess power and no other means to discharge it.

"W-what, wh-who are you?" The Young warlock stammered stumbling back another step.

The girl seemed to notice him then and turn her full attention on him. A small, cruel smile flitted across her beautiful face. Her green eyes flashed red as she seemed to stare into his very soul.

she took a step towards him, coming to the edge of the pentagram he'd drawn.

"I-I summoned you, you cannot leave the confines of the pentagram." He cried his voice hoarse with fear though he was trying to regain control of the situation. Suddenly he heard a child like peal of laughter come from the girl as she stepped out of the pentagram and moved towards him. The young warlock froze as he saw the ancient evil that danced in her eyes, so at odds with her beautiful face and childish sound of her voice.

Reaching forward the girl touched his temple with her fingers, the nails curving in to cut the skin. Flashes of blue flame licked over the wounds and a shriek of agony rent the air as the young warlock crumpled to the ground bleeding from his eyes, ears and mouth. She bent over him then as if to catch the last soft words he uttered before death took him.

"Wh-who are you?"

With a snap of her fingers the girl changed her costume to one more fitting of the time she found herself in and whispered in his ear; "Lucia;" A small smile spread across her face: "Lucia Bane..." (From  Fanfiction Story VooDoo)

Earlier in the evening....

Magnus hurried down the busy sidewalk heading toward the New York Institute. He was running a little late due to a client meeting that had taken much more time than should have been necessary, for the minor spell required. Vampires could be so demanding.

 He and Alec were going, with Jace and Clary, to the Birdland Jazz Club for a special evening out. Magnus was looking forward to seeing the iconic club again. Birdland had opened its doors in 1949 and over the years headlined some of the greats of American jazz; Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie to name just a few. It had been years since Magnus had been there, so when Alec asked him to pick somewhere different, this certainly fit the bill.

Magnus arrived at the Institute only to find that Alec and Jace were still in the training room putting some young shadowhunters through their paces. If he had realized they were running even later than he was, he'd have taken his time. Clary, however, was dressed and ready, tapping her toe gently in anxious anticipation. Alec had kept the destination of tonight's double date a secret, but she knew that Magnus had selected the venue and that meant it would be unique.

Moving over to stand next to Clary, Magnus said; "Still hard at it I see;"

"Yes and if they don't finish soon, we'll never get out of here. Isabelle's agreed to look after the Institute tonight, and I'm dying to know where we're going;" Clary replied, the sparkle in her eye testifying to her excitement.

Magnus watched Alec working with the younger shadowhunters and found himself  thinking that, if things had been different, Alec would have made a wonderful father. He was supportive and kind, but could be firm too when that was needed. He was someone you could turn to if you were in trouble, someone who wouldn't judge, who knew how to listen.

Just then, Alec seemed to sense Magnus' eyes on him and he smiled, calling a halt to the training before going over to envelop Magnus in a tight hug. "Sorry we're running late, love. I'll just grab a quick shower and be with you directly." As he pulled out of Magnus' arms, he turned to call to Jace; "Come on we have to get going, the reservation is for 8:00."

Magnus turned his attention back to Clary who was dressed in a beautiful cream coloured organza cocktail dress with aqua lace and beading on the bodice and one shoulder. Magnus smiled approvingly as he reached out and twirled her about allowing the dress to float gracefully around her. "You look lovely my dear;" He said smirking as he saw Jace's scowl.

Once Alec and Jace were ready they headed to the elevator. Magnus noticed Alec's slight intake of breath and hesitation before he stepped into the enclosed space. He took the shadowhunter into his arms and whispered; "You look delicious;" Nuzzling Alec's ear and effectively distracting him from unpleasant memories of his time in New Orleans.

A short while later the four friends arrived outside the Birdland Jazz Club in midtown Manhattan. Clary was excited, you could not live in New York and not know about Birdland, though she'd never expected to actually go there herself. Its reputation for good food, American with a Cajun flare, and great jazz made it a Mecca for serious musicians and fans alike. It wasn't that she didn't enjoy going to Taki's and Pandemoniun, but this was something different, something to remember.

The sudden flash of lightening illuminated the macabre scene in front of the three young shadowhunters. They had been patrolling when a spike in energy, most likely demon, had brought them to this godforsaken place. The abandoned insane asylum on Roosevelt Island had an evil reputation, but usually only attracted mundane teenagers out on a dare.

"This place gives me the creeps;" Shivvy McRae said as a shiver ran down her spine. "I'm not getting anymore demonic energy readings on my sensor though, so whatever was here seems to have gone."

Shivvy McRae, her brother Ian and his parabatai Josh Cameron had come to the New York Institute from Edinburgh after the Clave had been forced to remove most of the senior shadowhunters of the Edinburgh Institute for crimes against downworlders. The three often patrolled together and had come to consider New York their home.

"Shiv, Ian, I think I've f-found something;" Josh said his voice breaking slightly as he took in the scene his witch light illuminated. There on the ground at Josh's feet was the body of a young warlock dried blood trailing from his eyes, ears and mouth. His face frozen in a look of total horror.

Moving carefully to avoid tripping over the vegetation and debris that littered the interior of the ruined asylum, Shivvy and Ian made their way over to Josh. The three stood silent for a few moments before Ian put a hand on Josh's shoulder and squeezed it gently. "There's nothing we can do for him now. Let's see if there is anything else here that might shed some light on what happened, then we'll call Isabelle and let her know;"

Josh nodded his head and taking a deep breath gave his parabatai a small smile. Suddenly a cry from Shivvy attracted their attention; "Look! Over here, there's a pentagram on the floor and judging by the scorch marks on the stone, whatever came through was pretty powerful!"

"We'd better call this in;" Josh said pulling his cell phone from his pocket and hitting speed dial for the New York Institute.

The Birdland was filled to capacity and the enthusiastic crowd was enjoying the live music of the Birdland Big Band. Magnus had arranged for them to have a table near the small stage and was pleased to see both Jace and Clary clearly enjoying the experience. The four friends had ordered drinks when they first arrived, followed by dinner. Without exception everyone seemed to want to try the Cajun cuisine ordering things like Creole seafood gumbo and blackened catfish.

With dinner over, they were enjoying a second round of drinks when Alec's cell phone vibrated in his pocket. He glanced at the number and excused himself to take the call somewhere quieter. Magnus frowned slightly as he watched Alec's retreating back, hoping this didn't mean an early end to their evening.

The look on Alec's face when he returned to the table told Magnus all he needed to know. Leaning forward so he could be heard, Alec said; "Isabelle called, Josh's patrol found the body of a warlock at Renwick's. It looks as if he summoned a demon that proved too strong for him. We need to go take a look."

Jace nodded but said nothing as he grabbed Clary's hand and pulled her up.

"We'll take care of the bill and meet you outside;" Alec said not looking at Magnus, afraid to see the disappointment on his face. Of all the nights to get an unexpected summons, it had to be this one.

Once the bill was settled, Magnus pulled Alec into a brief hug and whispered seductively; "Don't worry baby, you can make it up to me when we get home tonight."

Alec laughed; "You're incorrigible;" And, grabbing Magnus' hand followed Jace and Clary out the door.

The companions moved into a deserted alley near the Birdland where Magnus opened a portal which took them to Renwick's in a matter of minutes. Alec shivered slightly as he took in his new surroundings. This place held a lot of memories for him, most of them unpleasant. First Valentine and then Ezra Highsmith had used the ruined asylum as a place to hatch their evil plans, and now he was here to investigate the death of a young warlock.

Walking quickly over to Josh and Ian Alec, with Jace and Magnus on his heels, examined the body. Whatever had happened the boy's death had been brutal and painful. He looked at Magnus and asked; "Do you know him?"

"I've seen him before, he was apprenticed to an old friend of mine, Jacob Sage." Magnus replied.


"Yes, about a month ago I heard from Jacob that the boy wanted to strike out on his own. Jacob wasn't too happy about it, didn't think he was ready." Magnus said shaking his head.

"Looks like he was right;" Josh said. "There's the remains of a pentagram. It looks like he might have summoned something he wasn't strong enough to handle;"

Magnus gave a brief nod then went over to examine the pentagram leaving the shadowhunters to discuss how they would proceed. As he got closer he could sense the strong residual magic left behind. Whatever had been summoned must have possessed enormous power to leave that big a signature. Suddenly a small flash of colour caught Magnus' eye and he picked up a tiny piece of deep purple fabric embroidered with gold thread.

The colour drained from Magnus face as his fingers closed over the scrap of fabric so tightly his hand formed a fist. "Oh dear God no!" He whispered; "Lucia."

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