Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to Endless Night
—“Auguries of Innocence,” William Blake
Magnus believed that many old things were creations of enduring beauty. The pyramids. Michelangelo’s David. Versailles. Magnus himself.
However, just because something was old and imbued with years of tradition did not make it a work of art. Not even if you were Nephilim and thought having the blood of the Angel meant your stuff was better than anybody else’s.
Shadowhunter Academy was not a creation of enduring beauty. Shadowhunter Academy was a dump.
Magnus did not enjoy the countryside in early spring, before winter had truly ended. The whole landscape was as monochrome as an old movie, without the narrative energy. Dark gray fields rolled under a pale gray sky, and trees were stripped down to gray claws clutching for the rain clouds. The Academy matched its surroundings, squatting in the landscape like a great stone toad.
Magnus had been here a few times before, visiting friends. He had not liked it. He remembered walking long ago under the cold eyes of students who had been trained in the dark, narrow ways of Clave and Covenant, and who were too young to realize the world might be more complicated than that.
At least back then the place had not been falling down. Magnus stared at one of the slender towers that stood at each of the four corners of the Academy. It was not standing up straight; in fact, it looked like a poor relation of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Magnus stared at it, concentrated, and snapped his fingers. The tower leaped back into place as if it were a crouching person who had suddenly straightened up. There was a faint series of cries issuing from the tower windows. Magnus had not realized there were people inside. This struck him as unsafe.
Well, the inhabitants of the formerly leaning tower would soon realize he had done them a favor. Magnus eyed the angel in the stained-glass window set above the door. The angel stared down at him, sword blazing and face censorious, as if he disapproved of Magnus’s dress sense and was going to ask him to change.
Magnus walked under the judgmental angel and into the stone hall, whistling softly. The hall was empty. It was still very early in the morning, which perhaps explained some of the grayness. Magnus hoped the day would brighten before Alec arrived.
He had left his boyfriend in Alicante, at his father’s house. Alec’s sister, Isabelle, was staying there too. Magnus had slept uneasily at the Inquisitor’s house last night, and said he would leave them to have breakfast alone—just the family. For years he and Robert and Maryse Lightwood had arranged their lives so that they never saw each other unless duty called or large cash payments for Magnus beckoned.
Magnus was fairly sure Robert and Maryse missed those days and wished they would come back. Magnus knew they would never have chosen him for their son, and even if their son had to date a man, they would have preferred not a Downworlder, and certainly not a Downworlder who had been around during the days of Valentine’s Circle and seen them at a time in their lives they were not proud of now.
For himself Magnus did not forget. He might love one Shadowhunter, but it was impossible to love them all. He expected many more years politely avoiding and, when necessary, politely tolerating Alec’s parents. It was a very small price to pay to be with Alec.
Just now he had escaped Robert Lightwood and had a chance to inspect the rooms Magnus had requested the Academy prepare for them. From the state of the rest of the Academy, Magnus had dark forebodings about these rooms.
He ran lightly up the stairs in that silent, echoing place. He knew where he was going. He had agreed to come and give a series of guest lectures at the request of his old friend Catarina Loss, but he was, after all, the High Warlock of Brooklyn and he had certain standards. He had no intention of leaving his boyfriend for weeks. He had made it clear that he required a suite for himself and for Alec, and that the suite had to include a kitchen. He was not going to eat any of the meals Catarina had described in her letters. If possible, he intended to avoid even seeing any of the meals Catarina had described.
The map Catarina had drawn him was accurate: He found their rooms at the top of the building. The connected attic rooms could, Magnus guessed, possibly count as a suite. And there was a little kitchen, though Magnus feared it had not been updated since the 1950s. There was a dead mouse in the sink.
Maybe someone had left it there to welcome them. Maybe it was a festive gift.
Magnus wandered through the rooms, waving a hand that encouraged the windows and countertops to wash themselves. He snapped his fingers and sent the dead mouse as a present to his cat, Chairman Meow. Maia Roberts, the leader of the New York werewolf pack, was cat-sitting for them. Magnus hoped she would think Chairman Meow was a mighty hunter.
Then he opened the little refrigerator. The heavy door fell off, until Magnus gave it a stern look and it hopped back on. Magnus looked inside the refrigerator, waved his free hand, and saw to his satisfaction that it was now filled with many items from Whole Foods.
Alec would never have to know, and Magnus would send the money to Whole Foods later anyway. He swept through the rooms one more time, adding cushions to the bare, sad wooden chairs and heaping their multicolored blankets from home onto the lopsided canopy bed.
Emergency decorating mission accomplished and feeling far more cheerful, Magnus descended into the main hall of the Academy, hoping to find Catarina or see Alec coming. There was no sign of activity, so despite his misgivings, Magnus went to check for Catarina in the dining hall.