Authors: Cassandra Clare,Holly Black
Five days after coming back from the Enemy’s compound, Call returned to his studies. He got into the boat with Aaron and Tamara a little stiffly; his injured leg was almost healed, but it was still hard to move around. Upon their arrival in front of their classroom, Master Rufus was waiting.
“Today, we’re going to do something a little different,” he said, gesturing down the hall. “We’re going to visit the Hall of Graduates.”
“We’ve been there before,” Tamara said, before Call could kick her. If Master Rufus wanted to take them on a field trip instead of teaching them boring exercises, then better to go along with it. Also, Master Rufus didn’t know they’d been in the Hall of Graduates, since they’d been busy being lost and messing up an assignment at the time.
“Oh, is that so?” Master Rufus said, beginning to walk. “And what did you see there?”
“The handprints of people who’ve gone to the Magisterium before,” Aaron said, following along. “Some of their relatives. Call’s mother.”
They walked through a door that Master Rufus opened with his wristband, and down a spiral staircase made of white stone. “Anything else?”
“The First Gate,” Tamara told him, looking around in confusion. They hadn’t gone this way before. “But it wasn’t on.”
“Ah.” Master Rufus passed his wristband in front of the solid wall and watched as it shimmered and disappeared, revealing another room beyond it. Rufus was smiling at their surprise. “Yes, there are some routes through the school you don’t know yet.”
They stepped into a room that Call remembered passing through when he’d thought they were lost, with long stalactites and steaming mud heating the air. He spun around, wondering if he’d be able to retrace his way to the door that Master Rufus just showed them, but even if he could, he wasn’t sure his wristband would open it.
They ducked through another doorway and found themselves inside the Hall of Graduates. One of the archways seemed to be roiling with some substance, something membranous and alive. The carved words
glowed with an odd light, as though illuminated from within the letters’ grooves.
“Uh,” Call said. “What’s that?”
The small grin on Master Rufus’s face transformed into a wide smile. “You all see it? Good. I thought so. That means you’re ready to pass through the First Gate, the Gate of Control. After you pass through it, you will be considered a mage in your own right, and I will give you the metal for your wristband that formally confers upon you the status of Copper Year students. How far you go in your studies after this point will be up to you, but I believe that all three of you are some of the best apprentices I have ever had the pleasure to teach. I hope you continue your studies.”
Call looked at Tamara and Aaron. They were grinning at each other and at him. Then Aaron put up a tentative hand.
“But I thought — I mean this is great, but aren’t we supposed to pass through the gate at the end of the year? When we graduate?”
Master Rufus raised both his bushy eyebrows. “You are apprentices. That means you learn what you’re ready to learn and you pass through the gates when you’re ready, not after and certainly not before. If you can see the gate, then you’re ready. Tamara Rajavi, you first.”
She stepped forward, shoulders back, and walked up to the gate with an awed expression on her face, like she couldn’t quite believe it was happening. Reaching out, she touched the swirling center and made a sharp sound, pulling back her fingers in amazement. She glanced over at Call and Aaron, and then, still grinning, stepped through, disappearing from view.
“Now you, Aaron Stewart.”
“Okay,” Aaron said, nodding and looking a little nervous. He wiped his palms against his gray uniform pants, as though they’d become sweaty. Stepping up to the gate, he threw up his arms and hurled himself into whatever was beyond it, like a football player making a touchdown.
Master Rufus shook his head in amusement, but didn’t otherwise comment on Aaron’s gate-crossing technique. “Callum Hunt, go ahead,” he said.
Call swallowed and moved across the room toward the gate. He remembered what Master Rufus had said, back when he’d told Call why he took him on.
Until a mage passes through the First Gate, his or her magic can be bound by one of the Masters. You would be unable to access the elements, unable to use your power.
If his magic were bound, then Callum couldn’t become the Enemy of Death. Couldn’t even become
That was what his father had asked Master Rufus to do, sending along Constantine Madden’s wristband as a warning. Standing there in front of the gate, Call finally admitted it to himself: Tamara had been right when she’d said his father’s warning hadn’t been about keeping Call safe. It had been about keeping other people safe
This was Call’s last chance — his final chance. If he walked through the Gate of Control, his magic could no longer be bound. There would no longer be any easy way to make the world safe from him. To make sure he could never turn on Aaron. To make sure he would never become Constantine Madden.
He thought about going back to regular school, where he didn’t have any friends, of spending weekends under the grim eye of his father. He thought of never seeing Aaron and Tamara again and of all the adventures they’d have without him. He thought about Havoc in his bedroom back home and how miserable the wolf would be. He thought of Celia and Gwenda and Rafe and even Master Rufus, thought of the Refectory and the Gallery and all the tunnels he’d never get to explore.
Maybe if he told, things wouldn’t go like Master Joseph said. Maybe they wouldn’t bind his magic. Maybe they’d help him. Maybe they’d even tell him that the whole soul thing was impossible — that he was only Callum Hunt and there was nothing to be afraid of, because he wasn’t going to become a monster in a silver mask.
But maybe wasn’t good enough.
Stepping forward, taking a deep breath and ducking his head, Call walked through the Gate of Control. Magic washed over him, pure and powerful.
He could hear Tamara and Aaron on the other side, laughing.
And despite himself, despite the terrible thing he was doing, despite all of it, Call began to grin.
first met over ten years ago at Holly’s first-ever book signing. They have since become good friends, bonding over (among other things) their shared love of fantasy — from the sweeping vistas of The Lord of the Rings to the gritty tales of Batman in Gotham City to the classic sword-and-sorcery epics to
. With Magisterium, they decided to team up to write their own story about heroes and villains, good and evil, and being chosen for greatness, whether you like it or not.
Holly is the bestselling author and co-creator of The Spiderwick Chronicles series and won a Newbery Honor for her novel
. Cassie is the author of bestselling YA series, including The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. They both live in Western Massachusetts, about ten minutes away from each other. This is their first collaboration, and marks the start of a five-book series.
Copyright © 2014 by Holly Black and Cassandra Claire LLC
Illustrations © 2014 by Scott Fischer
All rights reserved. Published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.,
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Library of Congress Control Number: 2014937300
First edition, September 2014
Cover art by Alexandre Chaudret, © 2014 Scholastic Inc.
Cover design by Whitney Lyle & Christopher Stengel
Lettering by Jim Tierny, © 2014 Scholastic Inc.
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