The Shadowhunter Chronicles

Friends & Foes

“So, when are the new guys supposed to get here? Oliver and Noah, right?” Caleb asked.

I looked up from the book I was currently reading to glance at the time on my phone, “About an hour and it’s Owen and Noah. I should probably go and double check their rooms.”

“Again? Didn’t you do that yesterday?” he asked.

“I just want to make sure that everything is set. Uncle Chester left me in charge while he’s in Idris. I want to show I’m doing a decent job. What if these guys come in here, think it’s a wreck and end up reporting to the Clave. He could get in a lot of trouble.” I replied.

Caleb sighed, “You worry too much. It’s going to give you wrinkles in your forehead.”

“And you’ll love me regardless if I have wrinkles in my forehead or not.” I smirked.

“This is true.”

I grinned and with a quick peck on his cheek pushed myself up from the couch and headed upstairs.

We had spent the last two weeks cleaning and reorganizing the Institute in anticipation of two new Shadowhunters that were arriving today. Since we were located in a seaside city, the start of summer always meant a sudden spike in Downworlder/Demon activity. It was always a rough time for us since myself, Caleb, Elle and my Uncle Chester were the only permanent Shadowhunters at the Charleston Institute. We had a few that came and went but for the most part it was only the four of us which was why Uncle Chester had petitioned the Clave to send us a couple more to help out on a regular basis. Thankfully they had agreed and were sending us two from the Institute in Salt Lake City.

We didn’t know much about them except they were from the Larkspear and Nightwine families and they were supposed to be arriving at 3 this afternoon. Unfortunately, Uncle Chester had some business come up in Idris and had to leave and since I was his niece he’d left me in charge of the Institute. It was controversial idea what with my blood history, but out of the three of us being left behind I was the one who had lived here the longest (AKA my entire life) so it made the most sense.

Doing a quick walkthrough of the bedrooms I double checked that everything was set. The rooms had been dusted, swept and aired out giving the rooms a faint smell of sea salt from the nearby beach. I’d put fresh sheets on the beds, stocked the bathroom with towels and made sure there was toilet paper. I had just finished going over the second room when I caught sight of myself in the mirror on the front of the wardrobe.

My paternal grandfather had been half-faerie. Not that anyone was aware of that fact though. Careful measures had been taken to hide his true parentage and somehow no one had found out. However, Shadowhunter blood was strong and by the time myself and my cousins, Seth and Elijah, had been born, there was very little evidence that we had fae blood.

Overall, I’d inherited most of my mother’s traits; Dark brown hair, fair skin and round, chubby cheeks. However, there was something about me that betrayed that I wasn’t quite human. I’d never been able to pinpoint what that something was but once when I had talked to Caleb about it he had said he thought it was the color of my eyes. They were strange shade of jade that was usually reserved for cats. Caleb said that when I was concentrating on something they gave my face a sharp look that he said was less than human.

Sometimes, like now, I would catch sight of myself in the mirror and see the look he was talking about, but it was always fleeting. The moment I looked at myself face on it disappeared. I guessed it had to be something subconscious.

I was drawn from my thoughts by the sound voices drifting up from the entry way. After a quick readjustment of my ponytail and a last cursory glance around the room I headed downstairs.
When I got there, I found Caleb already welcoming the new Shadowhunters. I was surprised that instead of two guys there was one guy and one girl. The guy had tanned skin, dark hair that was longer on top than on the sides and a goatee. The girl beside him had long highlighted brown hair and a muscular build. Both were dressed casually, with him in a band t-shirt and tight jeans and her in leggings and a tank top, and had an assortment of bags in their possession, some of which looked like instrument cases.

“Oh! Here she comes.” Caleb said turning to look at me.

“Welcome to the Charleston Institute. I’m Charlotte Penrose but everyone calls me Charlie.” I replied.

“Nice to meet you. I’m Noel Nightwine and this is Owen Larkspear.”

“Nice to meet you too. My uncle, Chester, asked me to extend his apologizes that he isn’t here to welcome you himself, but he had a last-minute appointment in Idris. He should be back in a couple of weeks.” I replied.

“He’s pretty cool so I’m sure you’ll like him. Anyhow why don’t we help you get your stuff upstairs? Charlie already has your rooms set.” Caleb replied.

“That would be great. Thanks.” Owen nodded, and we helped them grab their bags.

“Is it just you two and Chester? We thought there was supposed to be four of you all together.” Owen asked.

“Elle is out right now grabbing dinner. We take turns choosing what we have for dinner and tonight was her night. I hope you like Chinese because if not you’re not going to be too happy when its her night. We almost always end up having China Chef.” I laughed.

We got Noel and Owen settled in their rooms just as Elle returned carrying bags of Chinese. We introduced everyone then sat down to eat.

“So, were those instrument cases you took up to your room?” Caleb asked.

Owen grinned, “Yeah. I play drums. It’s cool if I set it up in my room, right?”

“Yeah. We’re all loud. We’re all either screaming in the training room or blasting music at all hours.

Also, I hope you don’t mind Korean pop music because that’s Charlie’s favorite and your room are right next door.” Elle grinned at Owen.

Noel turned to look at me, “Why?”

I shrugged, “I spent a year at the Seoul Institute a while back. One of the other Shadowhunters staying there got me into it.”

Caleb shook his head, “I swear by the Angel that if I have to hear that BTS is waiting for Anpanman or TWICE telling me to Cheer Up one more time I’m going to fall on my own seraph blade.”
“No one asked you to move into my room.” I replied.

“You did.” Caleb smirked.

I rolled my eyes, “I did not. You took upon yourself because you wanted morning sex.”

Caleb opened his mouth, realized he had nothing to say and went back to his General Tso’s chicken.

“Are they always like this?” Owen asked.

Elle nodded, “Sometimes worse.”

“You’ll get used to it.” I smiled.

By the time we had finished off the last of the Chinese food it was already getting late. Elle and Caleb had to head out on patrol and Noel and Owen still needed to get settled into their rooms, so I offered to clean everything up. I tossed out all the garbage before I got started on the dishes. Uncle Chester kept telling us that he was going to get a dishwasher for years but seemed to forget his offer when it wasn’t his night to do the dishes.

I had just finished up the dinner plates and was tackling the stuff from breakfast when Noel came into the room.

“How are the dishes coming?” she asked settling herself on the counter beside the sink.

“Just a few more things and I’m done. Now that you guys are here we’re going to have to rework the chore chart.” I replied.

“If it’s too much trouble you don’t have to.” Noel smirked.

I laughed, “You fucking wish.”

“I had to try.” She shrugged.

“Are you all unpacked already?” I asked.

Noel nodded, “Mostly. I have a couple more boxes to go through, but I’ll do it later.”

I nodded, “So, why did you guys volunteer to come all the way down here?”

Noel snorted, “We didn’t exactly volunteer. It was more like we were sent here.”

“What do you mean?”

“Owen and I weren’t exactly what you would call well behaved. It was never anything big, but Owen isn’t that big on authority and I like to have fun and sadly most of the people who ran the Salt Lake Institute had sticks up their asses.” She replied.

“Joseph Baybrook is the head of the Salt Lake Institute, right?” I asked.

Noel nodded, “Yep.”

“I see what you mean then. I’ve never met Joseph, but his sons Louis and Albert are assholes. I haven’t hung out with them a lot but every time I have I’ve had to resist the urge to punch them in the head. They’re so stuck up it’s not even funny. And they can’t keep their hands to themselves.” I replied.

“Exactly! I nearly broke Louis arm once because he decided to try and feel me up while we were sparring.” Noel nodded.

“Sounds about right. Anyhow Uncle Chester is pretty chill with everything. The only rules are the basics. Keep the Accords, pick up after yourself, don’t burn the place down. As long as you can keep those he really doesn’t care what you do. Oh…and no polka music.” I replied.

Noel frowned, “Polka?”

“Yeah. It gives him migraines. No clue why.” I shrugged.

“Pretty sure that won’t be a problem, but I’ll keep that in mind.” Noel laughed.

Noel kept me company as I finished up the dishes and I filled her in a little more on how our Institute worked and a little about Charleston. By the time I had finished everything up Caleb and Elle had arrived, and Owen had joined us in the kitchen.

“So how were patrols?” I asked as we settled at the table, a bowl of popcorn in the middle.

“Pretty quiet. We ran into Iggy though.” Caleb replied.

“Did he have any info?”

“Nothing much,” Elle replied. “He just told us to keep an eye on The Brocade. He didn’t have specifics but said there were whispers here and there.”

“Who’s Iggy?” Owen asked.

Caleb swallowed his mouthful of popcorn, “Ignatius Reem, High Warlock of the Lowcountry. He usually gives us a heads up on various Downworlder happenings, so we can keep stuff under control. In return we pay a little extra attention to keeping mermaids away from shore. Something about one of them being his ex-girlfriend.”

“And The Brocade is the local Vampire bar. The owner works at the local blood bank and gets the blood they toss out. They work under the guise of being ultra-exclusive so no mundanes get in. Most of the vampires that frequent it are harmless.” I supplied before they could ask.

“And other times some non-harmless ones pop up. Usually during tourist season when new ones come in. We totally expect this.” Elle finished.

“So…when do we go in?” Noel asked.

“Not until we get more information. The vampires here usually like to keep things peaceful and, unlike some of the other Institutes out there, we’ve got a good reputation with our local clan so usually if someone is stirring shit up. Give it a couple days and we’ll have all the info we need to proceed.” Elle replied.

“I’m sure Charlie’s anxious to go though. Miranda, one of the clan, was a gourmet pastry chef before she Turned and doesn’t get to cook much anymore. So, when we step in and clean the place up she likes to bake a huge tray of them and sends them our way.” Caleb grinned.

Suddenly both Noel and Owen looked horrified.

“You just…eat them?” Noel asked.

“They’re from vampires. How do you know they didn’t put like blood or something in them?” Owen added.

“Well when we first got them we were. Miranda brought them to the Sanctuary and I brought them inside. I went to get Chester to ask him what we should do and when I came back Charlie had eaten half of them and nothing bad happened then, or since, so we figure they’re okay.” Caleb shrugged.

I sighed, “For the last time. I didn’t eat half of them. I had two.”

Elle laughed and rolled her eyes, “God you’re such a fucking faerie with your half lies.”

“First off, it’s not like I’m full faerie, okay? Second, they were good brownies. You ate the other half of the plate.” I laughed.

“And Chester and I got half a brownie each.” Owen smirked, and Elle and I laughed.

However, as we laughed out of the corner of my eye I saw that neither Owen or Noel were laughing. If anything, they looked quite serious, especially Noel.

“Look you guys don’t have to eat the brownies if you don’t want to.” I said.

“I’m just confused. You’re half faerie? You don’t look it.” Owen replied.

“I wouldn’t,” I shrugged, “I’m only an eighth. Compared to what I’ve heard about my grandfather, my brother, Luke, and I look almost normal.”

“That doesn’t mean you’re any less of a faerie though. Does the Clave know about you?” Noel asked.

“Yeah…” I nodded.

“Why? Is there a problem?” Elle asked, a clear edge to her voice.

Noel shook her head, “No. Not really. I just don’t understand I guess.”

“What is there to not understand?” Caleb asked.

“Just why she’s still here. They sent Helen Blackthorn to Wrangel Island. I would think that they would do the same thing.” Noel replied.

“I’m not going to even go into the Helen situation because that’s just too fucked up for words. On the other hand, I’ve never been within two feet of a faerie. I’ve taken particular care to avoid them my entire life just so hard-headed people don’t think that I’m favoring them.” I said.

Noel rolled her eyes, “You did it so you wouldn’t be tempted. Blood always wins out in the end.”

Elle stood up, her chair flying out from behind her with a clatter, “And I think you’ve forgotten your lessons. Shadowhunter blood is dominant and she’s obviously a Shadowhunter. She’s got her marks just like you and I.”

“Believe what you want. I’m going to bed.” Noel replied and before anyone could say anything else she had headed upstairs.

“That’s such bullshit.” Elle growled as she walked over to pick up her toppled chair.

“Agreed. Are you okay, babe?” Caleb asked.

I nodded, “Fine. Nothing I haven’t dealt with before.”

Owen sighed, “I’m sorry for Noel, Charlie.”

I shrugged, “Not your fault. You’re not the one who basically blames me for the attack on Idris.”

“Really though…her parents are the ones who are backwards about all this Cold Peace bullshit.” Owen replied.

Elle leaned forward, her eyes inspecting him, “And what about you?”

“I don’t really give a shit. You can’t blame a whole species for what a few…or most…did. Besides it’s like you said, you’ve never been near a faerie.” Owen said.

I shook my head, “Well she’s just going to have to get over it. From what I hear you guys were basically kicked out of Salt Lake. I doubt you’re going to go back.”

“There’s a better chance of the Clave joining up with the Demons to take over the world.” Owen snorted.

Caleb chuckled and shook his head, “Dude if you’ve been dealing with Baybrooks then you deserve to get away. Anyhow I’m heading to bed. You coming?” he asked looking at me.

I nodded, “Yeah. Night everyone.”

Elle and Owen echoed their goodnights and Caleb and I headed upstairs. As we passed Noel’s room I had the urge to knock on her door and try to talk things out with her, but I knew it would probably be useless at this point. I would try tomorrow. So, with a sigh I headed to bed.

*******

The night that everything had happened with Noel I had gone to bed hoping that things would get better once she had cooled off. That, as it turned out, was just a false hope. The next morning, I had tried to talk to her, only to receive the cold shoulder, which seemed to be her chosen route to handle me.

It didn’t matter what I said or did, she ignored me as much as she could. When we were in the training room she was on the other side or waited to come in until I left. When patrols came around we split up instead of staying together. Even when we were just hanging out around the Institute she refused to be alone in the same room as me.

I’d tried multiple times to talk to her but each time my attempts were rebuffed. Caleb told me to ignore her and Elle…well her suggestions weren’t as nice but I just pretended that she gave me the same advice. Finally, I gave up.

On the flipside Owen was pretty cool about the whole thing and didn’t seem to mind either way. We got along pretty well and he didn’t bring up the whole fae thing again. Honestly, I think he was more distracted by Elle. I’d caught him staring at her more than once and I knew she was feeling some kind of way about him too. It was just a matter of one of them putting their pride aside and asking the other one out.

I didn’t get to contemplate any of the aforementioned situations though because it turned out that, like usual, the info that Iggy had given us was good.

I was sitting on the kitchen table sewing up a hole in my gear pants when Elle came in.

“There’s someone-why is your butt on our kitchen table? We eat there!” she said looking at me.

I shrugged, “I couldn’t find my sewing kit and the spare was in the junk drawer.”

“And you couldn’t sit in one of the six chairs? You know what? Never mind. Beau is in the Sanctuary.” She replied.

“Gotcha.” I nodded and sat my sewing aside as I slid off the table, mentally putting on my best Head-Of-The-Institute face. It wasn’t a face I used but it was one I had developed for when Uncle Chester was out of town.

I walked into the Sanctuary with Elle close behind. Beau was the head of the Charleston vampire clan. From what we knew about him he was about 200 years old and had been the head of the clan since the early 1900’s. Despite his age though he looked like he was in his mid to late 20’s with close cropped black hair and dark blue eyes that were set off by the pale pallor that came along with being a vampire. We rarely crossed paths save for these yearly meetings about clearing out the riffraff that had begun to frequent The Brocade.

“Ah…Ms. Penrose! It’s been too long! The last time I came I met with Chester.” Beau said as I walked in.

I smiled, “My uncle is attending to some business in Idris for a while and left me in charge in his stead. How can I help you?”

Beau smiled, “Same as usual. We’ve got some issues with some of the patrons at The Brocade and I’m coming to seek your help with the matter.”

“What are they talking about this time?” I replied.

“Apparently they’ve killed in the area. They have been boasting about it for the past several nights.” Beau replied.

“Evidence?” Elle asked.

Beau pulled a bookbag off his back and retrieved a manila folder which he handed over to me. Opening it I found a flash drive taped inside along with stills from a security camera that appeared to be from inside The Brocade, a transcript of a conversation and a few police reports.

“You’ll find all the evidence you need in there. I’ve also included the video from our cameras which have audio and a cross reference of the incidents they mentioned with police reports.” Beau replied.

I nodded and handed Elle the folder, “We’ll come up with a plan and get back to you by tonight to let you know when we’ll move so you can get your people out.”

“Great. Once again, I thank you for your help. Not all of you Nephilim would be so kind as to offer your assistance.” Beau replied.

I smiled, “No problem. Just make sure that Miranda makes those brownies and we’ll call it even. Deal?”

Beau laughed, “I will pass on the message. I’m sure she’ll be more than wiling.”

“Awesome. I’ll see you later.” I replied and with a wave headed back into the Institute.

“So same as usual?” Elle asked.

“Yep. I’ll cross reference all of this,” I said waving the folder, “We both know it’s 100% but just gotta make sure.” I replied.

“And I’ll get the plan worked up for infiltrating. I’ll have to rework it now that we have Owen and that long haired bitch to account for.” Elle nodded.

I rolled my eyes, “Her name is Noel.”

“Look, she wants to be a bitch I’ll call her one. Now if you’ll excuse me I have plans to make.” She said and headed off.

********

“Alright, make sure you all keep to the plan. No showboating.” I said, shooting a look at Elle as Caleb pulled to a stop alongside the curb.

We were making our move on The Brocade today. Everything had checked out and we were about to clean out the visitor vampires that were making trouble. From the info we’d received they had killed four people along the coast and somehow managed to cover their tracks, leading to their boasting. It was now going to be their downfall.

Elle rolled her eyes, “I don’t showboat.”

“Bullshit.” Caleb and I replied at the same time.

“Look just because I like to do things with flourish doesn’t mean I’m showboating. I’m just creative.” Elle replied.

“Well whatever the hell it is…don’t do it. Now let’s go.”

The five of us climbed out of the car and headed for the alley that led to The Brocade. The Brocade was located in the older section of Charleston in a building that had been around since the foundation of South Carolina. Unless you knew about the place and the various hidden passages, there was only one way out which was a plus for us. All we had to do was get in and block off the door and we were good.

Once we got to The Brocade we quickly began to get into position. Caleb and Owen gave Elle, Noel and I boosts up to an upper window. The bar had vaulted ceilings with large wooden rafters running through it which we had learned were perfect for sneak attacks. Usually it was just me in the eaves since it was a good place to use my bow while Elle and Caleb braced the door, but with the new muscle we figured that Owen could help Caleb while Noel, Elle and I took the high point.

I carefully picked my way across the beams before settling in my usual spot, Elle and Noel taking up spots a distance away so it wouldn’t draw too much attention to my position. It was my job to hang out up here and pick off the vampires with my bow which was where I shined the best. Elle was superb at hand to hand and weapon combat and Caleb was super light of his feet but I was a great shot. So while they handled stuff up close, I was in charge of the long distance fighting.

Looking down I took stock of the situation. I counted a dozen vampires who were gathered around various tables, glasses full of dark red blood. Behind the bar were two Vampires I recognized as part of Beau’s clan. We’d told them when we’d be making our move so they could get out of there, which I noticed they’d remembered as they checked their watches before ducking into a trap door behind the bar.

My eyes moved from where they’d been taking in the scene to look at Elle who was going to give the signal. I was itching to get this started, the adrenaline that was pumping through my veins was making me antsy. Finally, Elle gave the signal and all at once things begin to speed up.

Elle and Noel dropped down from the rafters, landing squarely on a table below just as Owen and Caleb burst into the room. The room went silent for a half second before the Vampires realized what was happening and the room erupted in sound. Tables were flipped, glasses smashing against the stone floor as the Vampires jumped up from their seats, realizing that a pair of Shadowhunters had just fallen out of seemingly nowhere and two others had just broken down the door.

I began shooting off arrows, knocking Vampires down as fast as I could. My arrows wouldn’t totally take them out but the silver tips slowed them down enough that the others could take of them. Owen and Elle were handling one side of the bar, swords slashing through the air while Caleb took care of a small group of them with his chakrams. However, while the others were doing okay, Noel wasn’t fairing as well.

She was backed into a far corner of the bar brandishing nothing but a short dagger in her hand. A ways away her weapons belt, fully stocked with her electrum whip, a couple oak stakes and a seraph blade, was laying a ways away, the buckle missing and the leather shredded. It looked like it had been ripped from around her waist. For the most part she was holding her own but the four Vampires around her were closing in quickly.

Glancing back at the others I saw they weren’t quite overwhelmed but they did have their hands full. That meant that I was the only one who could jump into help Noel. I wasn’t sure how she’d feel about it but I wasn’t going to give her a choice.

Abandoning my bow I hurried across the beam until I was over Noel. Drawing my seraph blade I invoked Michael’s name, the weapon blazing to life in my hand as I dropped down into the middle of the circle that had formed around Noel.

“Need a help?” I asked pressing my back into Noel’s.

“A little.” She replied.

“Figured. Here use this.” I said and drew the short sword strapped to my back and handed it to her.

“Thanks.” She replied.

“No problem.”

The two of us managed to dispatch the group of vampires that were surrounding us and by the time
we did the others had gotten the rest. We got them tied up and called the Silent Brothers to come and get them. Usually we’d give them a trial but couldn’t since Uncle Chester was out of town. I may have been acting head but I didn’t have the authority he did so it was to the cells with them until he got back.

Beau gave us his thanks and promised to bring by the brownies as soon as they were ready. With goodbyes we headed out.

“So you abandoned this.” Caleb said handing me my bow as we headed back towards the car.

“I can’t believe I forgot it!” I replied taking it from him, hugging it to my chest.

“Well you were busy helping out Noel. I don’t blame you.” He replied.

“You nearly lost your bow to help out Noel?” Elle asked.

I shrugged, “She needed help and you guys were busy.”

“Still though…I don’t know if I would have done that.” Caleb replied.

“We’re Shadowhunters. We help people, especially each other.”

“Whatever you say.” Elle replied.

By the time we got back to the Institute the sun was starting to rise and we were exhausted. All I wanted was to collapse on my bed but just as I had started climbing the stairs I felt a hand on my arm. Turning I saw Noel looking back at me.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“I wanted to give this back to you.” She said holding out the short sword I’d handed her earlier.

“Oh thanks.” I smiled.

“I noticed that it had vines on it so I figured it was a family heirloom.” She replied.

I nodded, “Yeah. It was my Great-Grandmother’s. It’s been passed down through the women in my family.”

“And um…thanks by the way. For earlier. You didn’t have to do that.”

I slid the sword into the sheath on my back, “Yes I did.”

She shook her head, “No. You didn’t. I’m sorry about the way I acted. I shouldn’t have just made assumptions about you because of your background instead of who you are.”

I smiled, “It’s okay. It’s nothing I haven’t heard before. Not a lot of people know about my bloodline but a few of those who found out weren’t that nice about it. Honestly your reaction was one of the tamer ones.”

“Tamer ones? How bad have they gotten?” she asked.

“I had a kid throw a rock at my head once.” I laughed.

Noel shook her head, “That’s crazy.”

I shrugged, “Not everyone is going to like you. But thanks for the apology. It means a lot.”

“So…can we maybe start over and be friends?” Noel asked.

“Of course.” I grinned.

We exchanged a hug before bidding each other a goodnight and heading to our rooms.

“What are you so happy about?” Caleb asked as I walked into our rooms.

“Noel and I are officially friends.” I replied.

Caleb laughed, “And all it took was pulling her ass out of the fire to do it.”

I shrugged, “It was bound to happen eventually.”

“What? Getting to be friends or her getting into trouble?” he asked.

“Both. I mean we live in the same house so we’d have to get along eventually and what one of us hasn’t gotten our ass nearly handed to us before?”

Caleb nodded, “Very true.”

I changed into my pajamas and climbed into bed, “I’m just happy we’re all friends now.”

“What a night huh? There are a few less dangerous vampires out there and all of us are friends now. Not bad work for only a few hours.” Caleb sighed as he climbed in beside me.

I nodded, “It’s crazy.”

And with that we fell asleep.