|The Midnight Heir|
|Release Date|| July 16, 2013 (e-book)|
November 11, 2014 (print)
| Released after|
Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale
| Released before|
The Rise of the Hotel Dumort
The Midnight Heir is the fourth released short story in The Bane Chronicles.
In Edwardian London, Magnus Bane discovers old friends and new enemies—including the son of his former comrade Will Herondale.
Magnus thought he would never return to London, but he is lured by a handsome offer from Tatiana Blackthorn, whose plans—involving her beautiful young ward—are far more sinister than Magnus even suspects. In London at the turn of the century, Magnus finds old friends, and meets a very surprising young man... the sixteen-year-old James Herondale.
Magnus Bane is back in London for a short business trip, having been contacted by Tatiana Blackthorn with a very generous offer in exchange for his service. Assuming that it was to perform a spell for her ward, Grace Blackthorn, he agreed.
Staying at a club to pass the time, Magnus sees James Herondale—a spitting image of his father, an old friend of Magnus's, Will, shooting out chandeliers in the club. Magnus confronts him over his use of a non-shadowhunter weapon, a gun, to which James replies that he knows who Magnus is. He then recounts how his father told him of how he saved him, and enabled him to lift the 'curse'. James then tells Magnus that he doesn't care for respecting warlocks, and his father is a fool. He also states that you can't trust anyone, as it is like someone holding a blade to your heart, and waiting for them to stab you. Magnus notes that a flair for the dramatic runs in the family.
Magnus then asks James why he shot the chandelier, to which he says he did it for a bet. The bet was instigated by a man with green skin in the club (who Magnus notes as Ragnor Fell, his fellow warlock friend), who James thought was green due to the absinthe he'd drunk. He then continues his bets, by shooting the bar maid, Peg, in the (wooden) leg after he's bet Ragnor he can shoot her without drawing blood. James drunkenly tells Magnus he is a man of his word and will continue his night of debauchery and bets. Ragnor calls Magnus over for a drink, but Magnus postpones his offer to another night, as James has just run into the street drunk. Ragnor notes that he has a soft spot for the Herondale family.
Magnus follows James out into the bitter cold street, who warns him not to follow him. He tells Magnus that he wishes to enjoy himself tonight, and he will enjoy going to the devil, but he does not wish to take anyone with him. He then vanishes in front of the warlock's eyes. Magnus is shocked, and watches as a patrolling policeman's helmet is levitated from his head. He notes a shadow cast from an invisible being (James) and the policeman faints.
Magnus notes that James must have inherited powers from his mother, Tessa, a warlock. His golden eyes are a token of his infernal blood. Magnus wonders whether the Clave cares for a shadowhunter who can perform magic, as well as attacking mundanes which he should be protecting. James then goes on to say "we are but dust and shadows" (which is engraved on the London institute's gates). Magnus asks who has bet him to steal the policeman's helmet, to which James replies that he should not worry about the last bet, only the next one. Magnus asks him if his destructive behavior is due to his belief he is unworthy of love, and makes himself act undesirable (as James's father, Will did) and if so, he can help. James replies: "My father was cursed. Whereas I? I'm damned".
After chasing James around London for the last few hours Magnus delivers him home (the London Institute). The door is answered by Bridget, the cook, who fetches Tessa and Will. Tessa is shown holding a light orb in her hand, to which Magnus remarks she has been practicing magic since the last time he saw her. He also notes that she doesn't look more than 3 or 4 years older than the last time he saw her. She then greets him and shows her motherly instincts by cradling her son's head. Magnus then sees Will who has aged since the last time he saw him (25 years ago). Will is still as handsome as ever, with tousled black hair and bright blue eyes. He is broader, with laugh lines, which Magnus thinks makes him more handsome, as he looks happy.
Will takes James from Magnus and invites him into the drawing room, where he lays James on the couch. He then enquires where James has been to which Magnus tells him that he has chased him through London, where he stole a bicycle and rode it through Trafalgar Square with no hands, attempted to climb Nelson's column and fight him, lost him for a while before finding him in Hyde Park wading into the Serpentine, where he yelled "ducks embrace me as your king".
After finding out more information about Tatiana Blackthorn he sets off in the direction of her manor. There he finally sees her beatiful ward, Grace Blackthorn. Magnus then finds out that there is actually no need for any glamour spell for Grace, and Tatiana simply wants him to kill five Shadowhunters. Magnus refuses the job offer, realizing Tatiana wants to alchemize Shadowhunter lives into dark magic, and rushes to exit the house, leaving London once again.