“Well, it’s impossible, then,” Adam said. He picked off a grasshopper that had hurled itself onto his collar. Everyone in the group watched him do it. Since he’d performed a strange ritual bargain the month before, they’d been scrutinizing all of his movements. If Adam noticed this extra attention, he didn’t indicate it. “It won’t fly if it has no battery and no engine.”

Now Blue knew what this thing was. Ronan Lynch, keeper of secrets, fighter of men, devil of a boy, had told them all that he could take objects out of his dreams. Example A: Chainsaw. Gansey had been excited; he was the sort of boy who didn’t necessarily believe everything, but wanted to. But Adam, who had only gotten this far in life by questioning every truth presented to him, had wanted proof.


“ ‘It won’t fly if it has no battery and no engine,’ ” Ronan mimicked in a higher-pitched version of Adam’s faint Henrietta drawl. “Noah: the controller.”

Noah scuffled in the clumpy grass for the radio controller. Like the plane, it was white and shiny, all the edges rounded. His hands looked solid around it. Though he had been dead for quite a while and by all rights should appear more ghostly, he was always rather living-looking when standing on the ley line.

“What’s supposed to go inside the plane, if not a battery?” Gansey asked.

Ronan said, “I don’t know. In the dream it was little missiles, but I guess they didn’t come with.”

Blue snarled a few seed heads off the tall grass. “Here.”

“Good thinking, maggot.” Ronan stuffed them into the hatch. He reached for the controller, but Adam intercepted it and shook it by his ear.

“This doesn’t even weigh anything,” he said, dropping the controller into Blue’s palm.

It was very light, Blue thought. It had five tiny white buttons: four arranged in a cross shape, and one off by itself. To Blue, that fifth button was like Adam. Still working toward the same purpose as the other four. But no longer quite as close as the others.

“It will work,” Ronan said, taking the controller and handing the plane to Noah. “It worked in the dream, so it’ll work now. Hold it up.”

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Still slouching, Noah lifted the tiny plane between thumb and forefinger, as if he were getting ready to launch a pencil. Something in Blue’s chest thrummed with excitement. It was impossible that Ronan had dreamt that little plane. But so many impossible things had happened already.

“Kerah,” Chainsaw said. This was her name for Ronan.

“Yes,” agreed Ronan. Then, to the others, he said imperiously, “Count it down.”

Adam made a face, but Gansey, Noah, and Blue obligingly chanted, “Five-four-three —”

On blast-off, Ronan pressed one of the buttons.

Soundlessly, the tiny plane darted from Noah’s hand and into the air.

It worked. It really worked.

Gansey laughed out loud as they all tipped their heads back to watch its ascent. Blue shielded her eyes to keep sight of the tiny white figure in the haze. It was so small and nimble that it looked like a real plane thousands of feet above the slope. With a frenzied cry, Chainsaw launched herself from Ronan’s shoulder to chase it. Ronan pitched the plane left and right, looping it around the crest, Chainsaw close behind. When the plane passed back overhead, he hit that fifth button. Seed heads cascaded from the open hatch, rolling off their shoulders. Blue clapped and reached her palm out to catch one.

“You incredible creature,” Gansey said. His delight was infectious and unconditional, broad as his grin. Adam tipped his head back to watch, something still and faraway around his eyes. Noah breathed whoa, his palm still lifted as if waiting for the plane to return to it. And Ronan stood there with his hands on the controller and his gaze on the sky, not smiling, but not frowning, either. His eyes were frighteningly alive, the curve of his mouth savage and pleased. It suddenly didn’t seem at all surprising that he should be able to pull things from his dreams.

In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them. Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness. Her raven boys.

Gansey punched Ronan’s shoulder. “Glendower traveled with magi, did you know? Magicians, I mean. Wizards. They helped him control the weather — maybe you could dream us a cold snap.”


“They also told the future,” added Gansey, turning to Blue.

“Don’t look at me,” she said shortly. Her lack of psychic talents was legendary.

“Or helped him tell the future,” Gansey went on, which did not particularly make sense, but indicated that he was trying to un-irritate her. Blue’s short temper and her ability to make other people’s psychic talents stronger were also legendary. “Shall we go?”

Blue hurried to pick up the telescope before he could get to it — he shot her a look — and the other boys fetched the maps and cameras and electro-magnetic-frequency readers. They set off on the perfectly straight ley line, Ronan’s gaze still directed up to his plane and to Chainsaw, a white bird and a black bird against the azure ceiling of the world. As they walked, a sudden rush of wind hurled low across the grass, bringing with it the scent of moving water and rocks hidden in shadows, and Blue thrilled again and again with the knowledge that magic was real, magic was real, magic was real.


Declan Lynch, the oldest of the Lynch brothers, was never alone. He was never with his brothers, but he was never alone. He was a perpetual-motion machine run by the energy of others: here leaning over a friend’s table at a pizza joint, here drawn into an alcove with a girl’s palm to his mouth, here laughing over the hood of an older man’s Mercedes. The congregation was so natural that it was impossible to tell if Declan was the magnet attracting or the filings attracted.

It was giving the Gray Man a not inconsiderable difficulty in finding an opportunity to speak with him. He had to loiter around the Aglionby Academy campus for the better part of a day.

The waiting wasn’t entirely disagreeable. The Gray Man found himself quite charmed by the oak-shaded school. The campus possessed a shabby gravitas that was only possible with age and affluence. The dorms were emptier than they would’ve been during school term, but they were not empty. There were still the sons of CEOs traveling to third-world countries for photo ops and the sons of touring punk musicians with heavier things to bring along than seventeen-year-old accidental progeny and the sons of men who were dead and never coming to retrieve them.

These summer sons, few as they were, were not entirely noiseless.

Declan Lynch’s dorm was not quite as pretty as the other buildings, but it was still handsome with money. It was a remnant from the seventies, a technicolor decade the Gray Man had enormous fondness for. The front door was meant to be accessible only with key code, but someone had propped it open with a rubber door stopper. The Gray Man clucked in disapproval. A locked door wouldn’t have kept him out, of course, but it was the thought that counted.

Actually, the Gray Man wasn’t certain he believed that. It was the deed that counted.

Inside, the dorm offered the neutral-toned welcome of a decent hotel. From behind one of the closed doors, a Columbian hip-hop track raged, something seductive and violent. It wasn’t the Gray Man’s sort of music, but he could hear the appeal. He glanced at the door. The dorm rooms at Aglionby were not numbered. Instead, each door bore an attribute the administration hoped its students would walk away with. This door was labeled Mercy. It was not the one the Gray Man was looking for.

The Gray Man headed in the opposite direction, reading doors (Diligence, Generosity, Piety) until he got to Declan Lynch’s. Effervescence.

The Gray Man had been called effervescent, once, in an article. He was fairly certain it was because he had very straight teeth. Even teeth seemed to be a prerequisite for effervescence.

He wondered if Declan Lynch had good teeth.

There was no sound coming from behind the door. He tried the doorknob, softly. Locked. Good boy, he thought.

Down the hall, the music pounded like the apocalypse. The Gray Man checked his watch. The rental car place closed in an hour and if he despised anything, it was public transportation. This would have to be brief.

He kicked in the door.

Declan Lynch sat on one of the two beds inside. He was very handsome, with a lot of dark hair and a rather distinguished roman nose.

He had excellent teeth.

“What’s this?” he said.

By way of answer, the Gray Man picked Declan up off his bed and slammed him against the adjacent window. The sound was curiously muffled; the loudest part of it was the boy’s breath bursting from him as his spine railed against the sill. But then he was back up and fighting. He wasn’t a shoddy boxer, and the Gray Man could tell that he expected this surprise to give him an advantage.

But the Gray Man had known before he arrived that Niall Lynch had taught his sons to box. The only thing the Gray Man’s father had taught him was how to pronounce trebuchet.

For a moment they fought. Declan was skilled, but the Gray Man was more so. He tossed the boy about his dorm room and used Declan’s shoulder to sweep awards and credit cards and car keys from the dresser. The thump of his head against a drawer was indistinguishable from the bass down the hall. Declan swung, missed. The Gray Man kicked Declan’s legs from beneath him, hurled him to the wall by the piece of furniture, and then approached for another round, pausing only to pick up a motorcycle helmet that had rolled into the middle of the floor.

With a sudden burst of speed, Declan used the dresser to haul himself up, then pulled a handgun from a drawer.

He pointed it at the Gray Man.

“Stop,” he said simply. He flicked off the safety.

The Gray Man had not expected this.

He stopped.

Several different emotions battled for precedence on Declan’s face, but shock was not one of them. It was clear the gun was not for the possibility of an attack; it was for the eventuality of one.

The Gray Man considered what it must’ve been like to live like that, always waiting for your door to be kicked in. Not pleasant, he thought. Probably not pleasant at all.

He didn’t think Declan Lynch would balk at shooting him. There was no hesitation in his stance. His hand trembled a bit, but the Gray Man thought that was from injury, not fear.

The Gray Man considered for a moment, then he hurled the helmet. The boy fired a shot, but it was nothing but noise. The helmet crashed into his fingers, and while he was still stunned, the Gray Man stepped forward and plucked the gun from his numb hand. He took a moment to put the safety back on.

Then the Gray Man smashed the gun against Declan’s cheek. He did it a few times, just to get his point across.

Finally, he allowed Declan to sink to his knees. The boy was holding on to consciousness quite valiantly. With his shoe, the Gray Man pressed him the rest of the way to the ground, and then eased him onto his back. Declan’s eyes were focused on the ceiling fan. Blood ran out of his nose.

The Gray Man knelt and pressed the barrel of the gun to Declan’s stomach, which rose and fell calamitously as he gasped for air. Tracing the gun over the boy’s right kidney, he said conversationally, “If I shot you here, it would take you twenty minutes to die, and you’d be done no matter what the medics did for you. Where is the Greywaren?”

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