If you read City of Heavenly Fire, you can probably still remember how you felt when Jonathan died. Angry, sad, disappointed, unfair he died before he got a chance to live. I felt it all. So did my brain. My mind started playing with the concept What If Jonathan Had Lived? That’s why I’ve decided to write this series of short scenes. They all take place after the ending of COHF (apart from the first one) and all include Jonathan Morgenstern. I do not own these characters and these events never happened, it’s all from my imagination.This scene takes place on New Year’s Eve.
Jonathan raised his hand to knock on the door when the window above him opened and a girl leaned out. “I’ll be right there!” she called out to him. He gave her a thumbs up and she disappeared inside again. He leaned against the wall, hands in his pocket. He and River and been hanging out for a few weeks now. She had been quick to accept the fact that he was a shadowhunter, to his surprise. He thought back to the day when he told her.
He was waiting in the park for her to show up, and after a couple minutes he saw her walking in his direction. She had her hair in a ponytail, and black eyelashes framed her eyes. She was wearing a red coat and black boots and her cheeks were pink of the cold. She was beautiful. He jumped up when she came close and when she smiled, he couldn’t breathe for a moment. “Hey.” River said when she was in hearing distance. “Hey.” He replied. “So.. what have you decided?” she clasped her hands together and he noticed she was wearing white gloves. “I’m going to tell you, but before I do, I want you to meet someone.” She raised her eyebrows. “Okay. Who?” He held out his arm. “Follow me.” She smiled and took his arm. “Where are we going?” She asked while they walked. Even through the layers of clothes he could feel her warmth on his skin. “A friend of mine.” She didn’t ask any more questions and they walked in silence until they reached Magnus’ apartment. Jonathan knocked on the door and a few seconds later it flew open. “Ah, there you both are.” Magnus said. He was dressed in glitterboots, a pink button-down with a black cowboy jacket and blue leather pants. He looked like Magnus, but for people who didn’t know him, it could be a bit eccentric. He glanced at River, but her face was unreadable. Magnus motioned for them to come in and Jonathan saw Clary sitting at the kitchen table. She slid of her chair when they walked in. Magnus turned around. “I’m Magnus Bane.” He held out his hand. “River Cavanaugh.” She shook his hand. “I’m Clary.” His sister squeezed in between Magnus and him. “River,” Jonathan saw her glance at the back of the room, where Alec and Jace stood, glamoured. “Who are they?” The two boys looked at each other and Jonathan almost grinned. She had passed the first test already. Jace walked forward. “My name is Jace, and the sulky guy over there is Alec.” He eyed her. “So you say you can see things?” River had taken her gloves off and now shoved them in the pocket of her coat. “Define things. I saw you in the back of the room, while you were obviously trying not to be noticed. I see those black tattoos on your arms, that clearly stand for something, and I’m pretty sure I saw a faerie outside before we walked in.” Jace didn’t even blink. “Magnus?” he walked back to where Alec stood. “Ah, yes. River, let’s sit down. Talks a lot easier.” Without waiting for an answer he plopped down on the couch. Jonathan went to stand next to Clary while River sat on the other end of the couch and glanced briefly at Jonathan. He gave her an encouraging nod. “I want to try something, it’s very simple. All you need to do is sit still and open yourself up.” Magnus said and a slight frown formed on River’s forehead. “River, just close your eyes.” Jonathan said softly and she took a breath and her eyelids closed. “I’m going to look inside your head-“ Magnus started and River’s eyes snapped open again. “What?!”
“Don’t worry, I know what I’m looking for.” He took her hands in his and gave a nod with his head. “Close your eyes.” She bit her lip and did as he asked, but Jonathan saw her eyes twitching. There was silence in the room, while Magnus searched in River’s memories for things that would prove she indeed, could see another world within this. After a few minutes Magnus opened his eyes again. “She has the Sight.” River’s eyes fluttered open. “I have what?” Jace pushed himself off the wall. “The gift to see beyond what you already see.”
Then they told River everything she needed to know. And, the crazy thing, she loved it. She soaked in every detail, asking a million questions. Jace and Jonathan had taken it upon themselves to answer them, every now and then supported by Magnus, who of course had lived to see a lot of things happen. Jonathan walked her home, hours later and she was beaming. “I knew I wasn’t crazy! Thank you Jonathan!” She had hugged him and he had gone rigid on the spot. When he lay in bed that night, he could still feel her warm body against his.
Now, it was New Year’s Eve and River had taken it upon herself to show him the Ball Drop. “You live in New York! You can’t not have seen the Ball Drop!” she had exclaimed, after finding out he had never seen it before. The door creaked open and River appeared in the door opening. She had her hair loose, draped over one shoulder and was buttoning a black coat as she walked out, pink jeans peeping underneath it. She looked beautiful and Jonathan couldn’t do anything but stare at her for a moment. “Earth to Jonathan.” River snapped her fingers and he blinked. She laughed. “Come on, we have to go, otherwise we won’t have good spots.”
Time Square was buzzing with people and Jonathan looked his eyes out. People were dressed up, laughing, yelling, singing. There was a huge stage where a band was performing and the billboards flickered with ‘HAPPY NEW YEAR!’ They walked around for a bit, River telling him about the crazy parties that were held after midnight, when after an hour they met up with the others. Alec and Magnus were celebrating New Year’s Eve on their own, but Clary, Jace, Isabelle and Simon were there. “What is this ball drop thing anyway?” Isabelle asked, tossing her hair over her shoulder. “A tradition.” Simon replied, his hand slipping around her waist, pulling her to him. “Oh, like the Christmas tree?” Simon groaned playfully. “No bad words about the Christmas tree.” They ended up bickering. Jonathan saw Clary and Jace were dancing, both laughing, and when River took his hand, he realized this was the first time he wasn’t the outsider. He smiled at her and she nudged him. “It’s almost time.” He glanced at the big clock. Ten minutes. Jace twirled Clary around. Five minutes. The crowd got bigger. Three minutes. Simon and Isabelle were already making out. “10.. 9.. 8.. 7.. 6.. 5.. 4.. 3.. 2.. 1!” The ball dropped. “Happy new year!” River shouted over the music to him, a big grin on her face. “Happy new year!” He yelled back. They locked eyes and unconsciously they both took a step closer to each other. I’m going to kiss her, he thought and then: but I don’t know how. River didn’t break their gaze as she leaned in, standing on her tiptoes. Their lips were inches from touching and he felt her breath against his lips, when someone slapped his shoulder and the moment evaporated. “Happy new year man!” Jace shouted in his ear. “Yeah, you too!” He looked at River, who was now hugging Clary and she gave him a look. He winked at her and she grinned, cheeks flushed. The new year had only just begun. He’d get his chance.