Robert Lightwood stalked across the grass, his eyes trained on his young son. Alexander heard the voice and froze, his head snapping up and his eyes going wide, knowing from the tone not to try to run away from his father. It was the same voice his father used when he caught his son coloring on the memos on his desk, or hiding away in his father’s office. Alexander’s arms were hooked over the worn stone railing leading up to the Institute front doors, and he practically hung there while his father approached him.
“Son, I told you to stay inside.” Robert said when he stopped in front of Alexander.
The young boy gazed up at his father, both worried about defying his father but wanting to stay outside and watch. “I just wanna see,” the boy said.
He’d been bored and had been following his parents around all morning. The Institute was a flurry of activity, with different Clave members coming and going on their usual business through the city. Across the grass, where his father had come from, Maryse Lightwood was in discussion with a group of young Shadowhunters. Alexander heard something about them going on a mission in Queens and he wanted to hear more.
“Alexander, go back up to your room,” Robert warned.
Alexander didn’t want to fight his father, but he didn’t want to be stuck in the stuffy Institute anymore. “Please?”
Robert sighed. He didn't have time to argue with his four-year-old, as he needed to see off the mission. And it really would be no harm in letting his son watch from his spot on the steps. “Alright. Stay here until your mother and I are done. Don’t move.” Robert watched his son for an extra moment before joining his wife again.
Alexander watched his father go. There was a breeze that scattered brown and orange leaves across the Institute gardens, and the air still smelled like the rain that had been pelting the city for the past two days. Alexander had been stuck inside that whole time, and he didn’t want to be stuck inside anymore.
There was a flurry of color in the corner of the boy’s eye. Alexander whipped his head around, looking at a bush by the outer brick fence. He scrunched his eyes, trying to get a better look. The flash of color appeared again, a little blue-ish ball of light buzzing in and out of the branches and leaves of the bush. Alexander unhooked himself from the railing and made his way down the stone steps.
He looked over at his parents, who were not facing him and seemed to be focused wholly on their conversation with the young Shadowhunters. His dad said not to move, but what were a few yards away, really? He wouldn’t be in that much trouble.
Alexander trotted over to the bushes, kneeling in the grass to try and find the ball of light. There was a rustle of leaves, and Alexander saw it again, now a few feet away from him. It was some kind of little pixie or nymph, small enough to fit in the little boy's hand and bright enough to glow a brilliant color in the middle of the day. Alexander had seen them from a distance before, and he heard his parents mutter something about fae getting their way into the Institute grounds. Alexander got up and followed the little fae, only to have it flit away again.
Alexander kept following after it sometimes getting a close look and other times needing to quicken his pace to catch up to it. It kept going and going until he saw the little creature make it to the gates to the street and skirt around the fence and out the gate.
Alexander stopped at the gate. It was a side gate to the institute grounds, wrought iron with the shape of the Angelic Rune twisted into the center of it. It was left open, and there were a few mundanes passing by on the street outside of it. Alexander turned to see his parents, who still hadn’t noticed he left the front steps. He just wanted to look out on the street and see if he could see the little pixie again. He wanted to know where it was going.
Alexander peeked his head around the stone fence, seeing no sign of the little fae creature, only a few mundanes. He took a few steps out onto the sidewalk, and still no creature...
A firm hand grabbed his arm, nearly making Alexander stumble on the sidewalk from it. He was forced to keep up, confused about what was happening. Alexander looked up, seeing a man with sunglasses and a beige jacket leading him down the street. “Hey...” Alexander struggled to stay on his feet and tried pulling his arm away. The man’s hand was hurting his arm.
“Shush,” was the man’s only reply. He just kept walking the little boy down the street.
Alexander managed to look back at the Institute, and the big building suddenly wasn’t looking so big anymore...