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“Alec!” The voice of Magnus Bane lets everyone in the halls flinch together as the gangly 10-year-old runs up to his best friend of all time. All the eyes on him lead to Alec blushing furiously and trying to hide in the thick scarf wrapped around his neck, but Magnus doesn’t care. He’s all noise and movement, and he almost barrels into the smaller boy because he just barely manages to catch his limbs in time.

“I have the perfect costume idea for Halloween!” he exclaims as soon as he’s come to a halt.

Alec’s eyebrows shoot up. “Halloween?” he asks. He is new to town, and new to public school, and he had no idea that celebrating Halloween was actually a thing. He knows that he has never worn a costume and that he never went around trick-or-treating because his father claims that this is all dumb and they shouldn’t be allowed such nonsense.

“Yes of course!” Magnus looks utterly shocked by Alec’s lack of understanding. “You’re my best friend, and you gotta come trick-or-treating with me! And I have the perfect idea for our costumes. I’m gonna be a warlock, all mighty and sparkly, and you’re gonna be the mysterious hunter that hunts magical creatures!” He looks so happy about this fantastic idea that Alec feels terribly bad for not being as enthusiastic about it as his best friend.

“My father doesn’t like me going out for Halloween. He thinks that these ‘hypocritical traditions are nonsense’.” He even does the air quotes.

“Then you’ll just tell your parents that you’re coming over to work on a presentation for – I don’t know, bio maybe? And my mother will cover for you and we can hide your costume at my place and it’s going to be so amazing!” Magnus’ eyes are still shining, and his grin is full of mischief while he’s already planning to deceive Alec’s parents.

“I don’t think I’m going to get away with that, to be honest” But Alec knows that his mother could actually be on his side ever since his father slipped and screamed at tiny Max even though he didn’t really deserve that. He knows that his parents are a step away from a divorce, and he can be sure to have his mother on his side because lately she stopped following his father’s orders. He tells as much to Magnus, then, and feels the giddiness spread inside of himself while watching the happiness spread over Magnus’ features.

“Brilliant!” Magnus hugs him full of excitement, and the roughness of that action almost has them both tumbling to the floor. “So, we have to go shopping to get you your hunter costume. Do you want a bow or a sword? I think a bow would be so much cooler! And you need a cape, but in black, because mine is already dark blue and we can’t wear the same color. Or maybe we should find you something red? No, that’s too …”

Alec doesn’t really listen while Magnus rambles on about the costume that he is already planning for his best friend. Instead, his train of thought comes to a screeching stop while he realizes the biggest problem of Magnus’ idea: “And how is that a matching costume? If I’m a hunter of magical creatures, then I must hunt you, too”

“No, of course not!” Magnus instantly answers exasperatedly. “You’re a nice hunter: you only hunt those that did wrong. Like, I don’t know – a protector? Right! You’re a hunting protector!” With that thought, Magnus’ smile spreads again. “And I’m the high warlock of New York, the head all the magical creatures, and we work together to uphold the peace between the humans and the downworld!”

Alec has no idea where that comes from, but the idea feels right, and the picture begins to form in his head. So he grins, nods, and they start planning that story that surrounds both their characters. By the time Halloween rolls along two weeks later, they have carefully chosen and designed each object for their costumes, and even though you see that many of the items they carry are handmade by kids, it’s actually really fancy costumes. Magnus is wearing dress pants and shoes, with a galaxy sweater that actually glistens and a black silk cape. He also plans on some of his mother’s eyeliner to line his eyes, and his nails are already sloppily painted black that day during school. Alec, on the other hand, is wearing leather-look pants and a dark blue linen shirt that looks like a weird mix of medieval style and Henley, and his dark blue cape has a hood rimmed with blood red fur. Around his shoulders, he is wearing a bow and a tube with some sloppily glued arrows. They look fantastic together, thinks Magnus’ mother.

The only problem that day is that Maryse stops Alec that day before leaving the house to go over to Magnus where he’s getting changed. “Where are you going, Alexander?” she asks, sternly, and Alec is taken aback for a second.

“I – I told you, I’m going over to Magnus’ house, we’re supposed to be working on a presentation. Bio. A bio presentation”

“About what?” She is folding her arms in front of her chest and lifting an eyebrow in what everybody will call the Lightwood Glower.

“Eeeeh –“ Alec doesn’t have an answer, and he pales when he realises that his mind doesn’t work quick enough – he won’t find anything quickly enough.

But just as he realises his mistake, Maryse falters, and a small smile starts turning the corners of her mouth upwards. “You go have fun, Alexander. I’m going to come pick you up at eight, though, this way your father won’t know what happened. This will be our little secret!”

Alec can’t help, he lurches forward and hugs his mother tightly. “Thank you so much!”

Maryse kisses the top of his head. “And by the time you’re home, you better have a fantastic topic for your bio presentation!”

So in the end, it works out fine at all, even though they gather so much candy that Alec can’t keep it hidden from his stepbrother Jace and his sister Izzy, and he has to give them lot of it just to keep them from telling their father. To Alec, that doesn’t matter, because this Halloween is considered the best evening he ever had.