What - what - what are you doing? he demanded.I am almost six hundred years old, Magnus claimed and Ragnor snorted, since Magnus changed his age to suit himself every few weeks. Magnus swept on. It does seem about time to learn a musical instrument. He flourished his new prize, a little stringed instrument that looked like a cousin of the lute that the lute was embarrassed to be related to. It's called a charango. I am planning to become a charanguista!I wouldn't call that an instrument of music, Ragnor observed sourly. An instrument of torture, perhaps.Magnus cradled the charango in his arms as if it were an easily offended baby. It's a beautiful and very unique instrument! The sound box is made from an armadillo. Well, a dried armadillo shell.That explains the sound you're making, said Ragnor. Like a lost, hungry armadillo.You are just jealous, Magnus remarked calmly. Because you do not have the soul of a true artiste like myself.Oh, I am positively green with envy, Ragnor snapped.Come now, Ragnor. That's not fair, said Magnus. You know I love it when you make jokes about your complexion.Magnus refused to be affected by Ragnor's cruel judgments. He regarded his fellow warlock with a lofty stare of superb indifference, raised his charango and began to play again his defiant, beautiful tune.They both heard the staccato thump of frantically running feet from within the house, the swish of skirts and then Catarina came rushing out into the courtyard. Her white hair was falling loose about her shoulders and her face was the picture of alarm.Magnus, Ragnor, I heard a cat making a most unearthly noise, she exclaimed. From the sound of it, the poor creature must be direly sick. You have to help me find it!Ragnor immediately collapsed with hysterical laughter on his windowsill. Magnus stared at Catarina for a moment, until he saw her lips twitch.You are conspiring against me and my art, he declared. You are a pack of conspirators.He began to play again. Catarina stopped him by putting a hand on his arm.No, but seriously, Magnus, she said. That noise is appalling.Magnus sighed. Every warlock's a critic.Why are you doing this?I have already explained myself to Ragnor. I wish to become proficient with a musical instrument. I have decided to devote myself to the art of the charanguista and I wish to hear no more petty objections.If we are all making lists of things we wish to hear no more . . . , Ragnor murmured.Catarina, however, was smiling.I see, she said.Madam, you do not see.I do. I see it all most clearly, Catarina assured him. What is her name?I resent your implication, Magnus said. There is no woman in the case. I am married to my music!Oh, all right, Catarina said. What's his name, then?His name was Imasu Morales and he was gorgeous.
Cassandra Clare