|Angels Twice Descending|
|Release Date||Nov. 17, 2015 (e-book)|
| Released after|
Born to Endless Night
| Released before|
Someone lives and someone dies at Simon's Ascension ceremony.
On the day before the Academy's first Ascension in decades—the Ascension of Simon and George's batch of mundane recruits—George gets emotional as they accomplish their regular room-cleaning duties. George has been nostalgic for days, pointing out everything the pair would be doing together for the last time.
Joining their Shadowhunter friends Beatriz, Julie, and Jon, and fellow Ascendant Marisol at the student lounge, the group ponders what drinking from the Mortal Cup would be like when they notice that their other mundane comrade Sunil is nowhere to be found. Shortly after, a younger student hands Marisol a note, revealing that Sunil has left the Academy, unable to bear the thought of Ascending... or dying from it. While Marisol becomes furious and feels betrayed by his departure, it prompts Simon to have even more second thoughts and he retires to his room early.
Simon is then greeted by Clary waiting in his room. The pair do not discuss the risk of death that comes with his impending Ascension, but the idea momentarily hangs over them. Together, they Portal to New York so Simon can say good-bye and properly cut ties with family before he Ascends. Once inside, Simon enthusiastically eats whatever he can get his hands on from their fridge.
He and his mother have a conversation, during which she apologizes for something neither of them remember, though Simon knows exactly what she feels sorry about: the time she threw him out of their house when she found out he was a vampire some years before. Simon ends up unable to tell his mother or his sleeping sister, whom they decide not to wake up. Simon lets his mother sleep, promising to continue their discussion the following day. Instead, he leaves a note for them apologizing for having to leave abruptly, and Simon vows to himself that he will return to them one day.
Simon, instead of heading to the Institute, walks through Manhattan thinking about what it will mean to Ascend and become a Shadowhunter. He tries to feel happy about supposedly getting his memories back, but worries that he may not like who he becomes when he remembers. He decides he wants one last night in New York as the person he is, and goes to Chinatown to get takeaway. As he wanders Manhattan he thinks about his relationship with Isabelle and wether he deserves her. Simon eventually ends up at his and Jordan's old apartment, and takes a moment to reminisce over everyone who has died. Deep in thought he doesn't notice Isabelle appear behind him, and they walk to Magnus and Alec's apartment, empty since the couple are on vacation with their children.
Simon and Isabelle have a long talk—with Isabelle slowly undressing—about his Ascension. She tries to make it clear to him that she will love him even if he stays a mundane, but he admits he would never chicken out as he feels she could never love a coward. He reveals his fear of dying after drinking from the Mortal Cup, and Isabelle reassures him that the Cup will know he's worthy. The two spend the night together.
The next morning Simon happily returns to the Academy where George is just waking up. They have a conversation about the future, and get dressed for the Ascension Ceremony. Before they leave, Simon tells George he thinks of him as a brother, and they hug. Together they walk to the Council Hall.
Simon and George arrive at the Hall and teake their seats with the other Ascendants, noticing that two more mundanes, Leilana Jay and Boris Kashkoff, have left during the night. Simon looks for George's parents, but George tells him he asked his parents not to attend in case he dies. Simon scans the crowd, acknowledging that Clary, Jace, Isabelle, and even Magnus and Alec—with Max—are present. There are also many Shadowhunters present, as this is the first Ascension in decades. He finally realises that becoming a Shadowhunter is about joining his friends, not being a part of the Clave or subject to their rules. He makes peace with his decision.
One by one the Ascendants step forward and take the oath, drinking from the Cup while two Silent Brothers stand by to carve their names in runes and help if something goes wrong. Each student survives their Ascension, and Simon is called by the Consul to take his turn. He shakes his professors' hands and kneels before Jia, reciting the oath. When the time comes for him to drink he pauses, but steels himself and carries on. Once he drinks he immediately remembers everything Asmodeus made him forget, and feels himself burn with angel fire, and become a Shadowhunter.
Jia names him as Simon Shadowhunter, and tells him to rise. He can't wait to tell George about what he saw in his memories afterwards, and high-fives him while George makes his way confidently to the dais. George raises the Mortal Cup and gives a toast to the room, drinking as everyone laughs. Simon laughs as well until he hears screaming, and the room falls silent.
There is a flash of light and Simon sees George on the ground, blackened and crumbling away. The adult Shadowhunters clear the room and Simon tries to go to George, but is stopped and held by Catarina. He watches as George quickly rots away and dies, while the Silent Brothers crouch around him, unable to help. Catarina comforts Simon while he watches, and once George dies, Simon gives him the Shadowhunter farewell.
Weeks later Simon, Isabelle and Clary stand over George's grave in London outside the London Institute. Simon is angry that the Clave denied George burial in the Silent City, as he was deemed 'unworthy' since the Cup rejected him. The London Institute, however, had promised George a place after he Ascended, and had made good on their word, giving him a place to rest.
Simon recalls the past few weeks, training and going on missions, while preparing for his parabatai ceremony with Clary, which is only days away. He suddenly sees a woman, the ghost of Jessamine Lovelace, shimmer into being upon George's gravestone, with George appearing beside her. Simon is startled, and says George's name before the two ghosts disappear, George smiling with Jessamine's hand on his shoulder. The two girls don't notice the ghosts, and Simon comes to a decision on his Shadowhunter name. He decides on Simon Lovelace, and sees George grinning in the mist one last time before he disappears. He tells the girls he wants to go home, to New York.
Simon stood on the sidewalk, staring up at his mother's brownstone, his stomach churning. Traveling by way of Portal always made him feel a bit like puking up his lower intestine, but this time, he didn't think he could blame the inter-dimensional magic. Not entirely, at least.
"You sure this is a good idea?" he said. "It's late."
"It's eleven pm, Simon," Clary said. "You know she's still awake. And even if she's not, you know—"
"I know." His mother would want to see him. So would his sister who, according to Clary, was home for the weekend because someone, presumably a well-meaning, red-headed someone with his sister's cell number, had told her Simon was stopping in for a visit.
He sagged against Clary for a moment and, small as she was, she bore his weight. "I don't know how to do it," he said. "I don't know how to say goodbye to them."
Simon's mother thought he was away at military school. He'd felt guilty lying to her, but he'd known there wasn't any other choice; he knew, all too well, what happened when he risked telling his mother too much truth. But this, this was something else: He was forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to tell her about his Ascension, about his new life. The Law also forbade him from contacting her after he became a Shadowhunter, and though there was nothing saying he couldn't be here in Brooklyn to say goodbye to her forever, the Law forbade him from explaining why.
Sed Lex, dura Lex.
The Law is hard, but it is the Law.
Lex sucks, Simon thought.
"You want me to go in with you?" Clary asked.
He did, more than anything—but something told him this was one of those things he needed to do on his own...
- The title was derived from a line in the poem I Never Lost as Much but Twice by Emily Dickinson.