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 at the Institute.
Jonathan looked at River, who was absent-mindedly tracing the lines of the angelic rune on his arm, while looking around the library with big eyes. “This place is amazing.” she breathed. “Glad you like it.” River’s fingers stopped mid-movement and her head jerked up. Jace’s voice came from the highest balcony, and he looked down at Jonathan and River grinning. He walked down the ladder and skipped the last few steps by jumping. “So,” he said, while walking their way, “you want to be a shadowhunter?” River nodded. Jace seated himself in the chair opposite from their sofa, crossed his legs, leaned back and studied the two. “Why?” River blinked, confused. “W-what do you mean why?” Jace cocked his head a little. “Why do you want to be a shadowhunter?” River was quiet. Moments passed. Jace scoffed softly. “Looks like you don’t even know why you want to be a shadowhunter.” Jonathan squeezed her hand. “Hudson, you don’t have to become a shadowhunter for me-.”
“I want to be a shadowhunter, because I don’t belong in my world.” River blurted and a blush creeped up her cheeks. Jace studied her for a moment, his brows arched. “Elaborate.” She took a breath and her eyes met Jonathan’s for a couple seconds. “I don’t fit in. I never have. I’m different. I see things that other people don’t see. Then I met Jonathan, and everything started to make sense.” she leaned against him for a moment and he kissed her hair. “I’m walking between two worlds now. I’ll never fit in mine the way I am now, and if I don’t become a shadowhunter, I’ll never fit into yours either.” The room was heavy with silence before she whispered: “I just want to belong somewhere completely. And with Jonathan, I feel like I do.” Jonathan took her hand and laced his fingers through hers. “What a touching story.” Jace said dryly. Jonathan opened his mouth to snap at Jace but he held his hand up. “I’ve heard it before. Differently, but very similarly.” He uncrossed his legs and leant forward, his face all serious now. “This is not something light, River. I hope for your sake you have given this a lot of thought. You would have to give up your life as you know it now. You have to go in training. You have to work hard, and even then, you might not survive your Ascension. Are you ready for this? Are you ready to give up your life for an existence made of killing demons and keeping Downworlders in tow? Are you ready to mark your body with runes? Are you ready to give up your life for a greater good?” Jace looked at River intensely, his golden eyes flaming. She swallowed under his stare, looked down at her hands for a second but when she looked back at him, her eyes were fierce. “I wouldn’t have asked, if I wasn’t ready.” she said coolly. Jonathan nodded slightly. “I talked to Jocelyn about it, and with Maryse and they agreed with me.” Jace started playing with his stele. “You know a lot about us, River. And as a human, you’re very weak. No offense. So we came to the conclusion that for you, and for all of us, it would be safer, were you to become a shadowhunter.” River’s eyes widened. “Wait, are you serious?” Jace grinned, flashing his teeth and leaned back. “Yes I am. So serious in fact, I arranged for you to have a talk with our great friend Simon, since he, in fact, just went through the Ascension.” River smiled widely. “Oh my god, thank you!” She flew of the sofa and hugged Jace. “Wow, calm down, mundie. This killer body hugs only Clary.” River jerked back and her cheeks were fiery red, which only made Jace grin wider. “Was that my cue?” Simon appeared in the door opening of the library, his hair tousled and his hands in the pockets of his jeans. “Damn straight, Lewis, get your ass over here.” Jace motioned him with his stele. Simon made his way down the stairs over to the others. He fist-bumped Jace, bro-hugged Jonathan and stood still in front of River. He looked at her for a few moments and when River’s face showed the slightest hint of confusion, he grinned and crossed his arms. “So,” he said, “who’s ready to go to the shadowhunter academy?”