Actions

Work Header

With Every Broken Bone, I Lived

Chapter Text

Magnus doesn't remember much from his childhood except a few key memories.

His ibu's ( mother's) death will always be the more prominent one. No pain will ever come close to what he felt the moment he found his ibu's lifeless body on her bed. Sometimes he thinks he can still feel the wetness of her blood on his fingertips, can never forget the red stained sheets draped over her body.

Then there had been the after. Another memory he can't forget no matter how hard he tries (and he tries, so hard). 

His bapak tiris (step father's) death.

Now, that one had been a little different. While Magnus considers himself responsible for his mother's death, he knows, logically somewhere in the back of his mind, that he didn't stab her with the keris. He remembers his ibu's death shaking his bapak tiri to his core, how it had broken his heart and drove him crazy. Because while Magnus never liked him, he loved his ibu and that was all that mattered.

Magnus' ibu's death had made his bapak tiri furious, rightfully at Magnus. He'd taken his anger out on his step child, had cursed him, called him dhemit, nistha. As it was what Magnus was. A demon. An abomination. His eyes were his proof.

His bapak had tried to drown him, had dragged him kicking and screaming, had held his head down under the water of the river Magnus had spent so much time as a child praying over. At the time, only being around 7 years old, Magnus had little to no control over his magic, had barely even known what it was. But it had protected him, saved him. Killed his bapak tiri. He had killed his Ibu’s lover. Had murdered him.

Magnus had run away after it happened, tears spilling from his eyes because he had not only lost one parent but both. He spent a few months with the Silent Brothers, or the memeng (silent ones) as his younger self liked to call them, learning different languages through books and everything the brothers were willing to let him know of the children of Raziel. The tales made him wish to never run into one of them, as they were portrayed as hunters. Pembunuh sétan. (Demon slayers)

The silent brothers weren't the best caretakers but they taught Magnus how to conceal his eyes and at the time that's all Magnus had cared about.

Eventually, they became too much for Magnus, fore he hadn't wanted to ignore his magic as they had advised him to do. So he ran. At the time Batavia (now known as Jakarta) had been small, Magnus' ibu had been friends with everyone. They hadn't recognized him though, as it had been several years since they'd seen him. It was easy to stay hidden, but difficult to stay safe.

The first time Magnus had ever seen the pembunuh sétan he had been plotting to steal from the local baker. Though the Silent Brothers rarely ever let him see them, Magnus knew what runes looked like. The sight of the hunters and their weapons made him hide in his alley for days, unwilling to come out, no matter how hungry or cold he had gotten.

It was a freezing winter day when Magnus had met his real bapak, the one he'd called ayah (father) instead. He'd been huddled in a corner, clutching his thin jacket to his body attempting to stay warm when footsteps had crunched on the gravel next to him. The man had shiny black shoes, they had been the first thing to catch Magnus' attention. Then his warm looking coat, and finally his bright gold eyes. He could still remember how relieved he felt when he looked up at his ayah and saw eyes just like his own.

Magnus only spent a few years with his ayah who he'd come to know known as Asmodeus. The greater demon taught him how to control his magic, how to utilize it.

Asmodeus taught him many things, even made sure that he was up to date on his studies. He'd been good to Magnus, had provided shelter and food, warmth and sometimes love (he'd learn years later that it wasn't even close to love). Magnus was 15 years old when he'd found the book. Libro Daemoniorum (Book of Demons) it read.

"Ah, I see you have found the Book of Demons, my boy," His father whispered. "You were bound to learn of your father's decent sooner rather than later. Read, my boy. Then we shall begin."

If Magnus had known what those words meant he would have never stayed.

The Book of Demons had kept his attention for many nights, it told the tale of Lucifer and the angels that fell with him. How Lucifer, once known as the Angel Samuel managed to convince several angels to fight with him against god. They had lost and were cast out of heaven, falling to earth where they became the Seven Fallen Angels and soon the Seven Princes of Hell.

Then, of course, God had ordered his ranks of angels, to help keep peace on Earth and continuing the battle between good and evil.

As the book was for demons it did not give Magnus information on the Seven Archangels made to combat the Seven Princes of Hell.

Magnus sometimes still doesn't believe that his father, The Asmodeus, was once an angel.

Especially when soon after learning of the fall the Greater Demon taught him how to kill with his magic. Magnus had wanted his approval more than anything that he was willing to burn villages to the ground if it meant his father would smile at him. Listening to the screams of people had been worth hearing someone tell him they were proud.

The older Magnus got though, the less his father's approval had affected him. The more his dreams would turn into nightmares, filled with blood and cries for help. Some of them would make him wake up crying, the knowledge that they had been memories enough to make him retch.

He was only 16 when he banished Asmodeus.

It took him way too long to figure out how to send his father back down to hell. He had been lucky to even be able to find the right book that held the correct spell in it. He spent months preparing, trying his hardest to hide it from his father. He spent those months doing things he'd regret for the rest of his life, just so he could cast a spell on a late night of fall. The demons screams still echoed in his dreams, similar to that of his bapak tiri and the lives he took under his father's influence.

For long after that Magnus spent time on his own. He'd taken the money that his demon father had left behind and ran once again.




Magnus doesn't remember the year he met Catarina and Ragnor. It was some time in the early 1700s and he'd almost been 100 years old.

He first met Catarina in Spain. She had just almost been burned as a witch after being caught using her healing magic to help someone and he had helped save her. Magnus never quite understood how people in Spain could see her help as something along the lines of witchcraft. Warlocks were not witches and the two weren't even remotely similar. Silly, it was.

At one point or another, they had been acquainted with Ragnor. 

They spent a long time as a trio, traveling, getting banned from places and becoming Magnus' closest friends that he entrusted everything with.

Magnus was glad to know that they didn't have the same upbringing as he did. Ragnors family had been fond of him, believing he was a faerie child. Because of their belief, it hadn't changed anything when he'd been revealed as a warlock. Catarina had been born with blue skin and her mother hid her and raised her in secret. Despite being the child of the demon that had raped her, Catarina's mother had loved her.

The two of them had deserved no less from their families.

It was close to Magnus' 100th birthday, the one he had not been looking forward to at all and the one that Ragnor had a lot of fun teasing him about. They'd all been close friends for years upon years, sticking together and rarely spending time away from each other. Magnus had come to love them like he would family. It was the reason why Magnus went to them when it happened.

Wincing, Magnus stepped into their cottage that was glamored from everything and everyone. He'd been feeling an ache in his back for several days prior, sometimes it felt as if something had been crawling under his skin and it was not long before he wouldn't be able to continue to hide it from Catarina.

Though the Lord knew he was in for a lecture when she did find out.

The other two warlocks had been gone most of the day, gone on a hiking trip while they'd been in the middle of the newly colonized American towns. Years later Magnus would still be in awe at the change happening in the states. They'd been just outside of the local town, out of eye and ear sight. The locals were a little on the skeptical side when they'd travel into the town but nothing that was too worrying.

Magnus had the intent to lay down, possibly get some rest to heal his aching back. He'd hoped that the myth that warlocks cannot get sick hadn't decided to change its mind and make Magnus its first victim.

The moment it had touched the quilt, his back had erupted in full-blown pain. He cried out, the suddenness of it making him practically launch himself off of the bed. The “thud” of his kneecaps brought only a little bit of his attention to the fact that he was now kneeling on the floor, the rest focused on his throbbing spine. He took a deep breath, feeling his back pain ease up a little bit. A small whimper left his lips when he attempted to stand up as the pain shot back up his spine.

Magnus leaned forward onto all fours, accepted that standing wasn't an option and began slowly crawling into the bathroom. He had been hoping to get into the small room to look at his back but just as he’d managed to pull himself through the doorway his back suddenly flared up again. A groan left his lips, hands scrambling on the floor for something to hold onto so he wouldn't scream. His nails made an ugly noise as they scraped across it.

Luckily, Catarina and Ragnor had just walked through the door and within seconds they were by his side.

“Oh my god!” Catarina exclaimed. “Magnus, are you hurt?”

She had her hands cupped around his face but he could barely see anything, his vision too blurred with tears. “C-cat. It h-hurts,” he garbled.

He felt Ragnors hands on his shoulders, examining his burning back with care. “Cat,” he murmured. “I think you might want to look at this.”

Magnus felt his stomach swoop unpleasantly at the words, twisting harder when Catarina gasped behind him. He could feel the both of their magics attempting to ease some of his pain, heal whatever had been going on back there, but it did nothing to help and he continued to sit on the floor, groaning and crying out every few seconds.

Catarina shared a look with Ragnor before the older warlock left to grab some things for a potion. She looked back down at her young friend, sighing when he attempted to stifle his cries. There were angry red marks down Magnus’ back, beginning to look as if they were going to split open. She had never seen anything like it. No injury, no wound, no curse. It hurt watching one of her best friends struggle against the pain. Magnus rarely cried so she knew he had to be in a lot of pain.

Magnus felt the pain ease up for a few minutes, long enough for Catarina to attempt to assess the damage being done to him. He could hear her mumbling something to Ragnor along the lines of “nothing is happening” and “all my magic can sense is the open wounds.” He was present enough to know that meant that he wasn't cursed or that a demon hadn't managed to get him while he wasn't looking.

He didn't know how long he spent in that bathroom, trembling as pain wracked through his body. He was covered in sweat from the amount of energy it was taking out of him.

Cat and Ragnor would later tell him that he had been curled up in the bathroom for several hours, almost a whole day. They'd spent those few hours attempting to ease any of the pain but all of their attempts were futile. They'd watched as their best friends back practically split open, as blood poured down his back. Catarina even had to step out of the room for a few moments because it had hurt her to see her friend like that.

It was several hours later when it had happened. Ragnor had been applying some healing salve to his back in another attempt to help him. At this point, Magnus was barely holding onto consciousness, leaning heavily against the wall, tears and snot smeared on his face. He'd been pulled out of his half sleep by the sound of a bowl hitting the floor and Catarina suddenly appearing in the doorway.

Magnus couldn't see Ragnor but he'd known something must have changed if Catarinas face had anything to say about it. His hands squelched through the slick blood on the floor.

He could have been too out of it, but Magnus could have sworn he heard her ask about a feather.

As the next few hours had passed, Magnus had thrown up a few times and Catarina had decided to hook him up to a sort of IV of its time. It was a thin tube that she'd magically inserted into him that fed him water during the process. It was definitely different from the IV that would be invented in the 1800s, looking back now it made him shutter, but it worked just as well.

But no amount of feathers could have prepared them for what the night would bring.

Magnus had spent nearly a day in that small room when bones had begun to creek under his skin, his whimpers growing in volume. Ragnor used to describe the noise of skin tearing to be like velcro rubbing apart. Catarina said that watching his skin split stayed in her nightmares for several weeks after. The pain had almost made Magnus pass out, swaying and crying where he leaned on the wall.

The next events happened and ended quicker than anything else that night.

He'd suddenly lurched forward and threw up in the bowl they'd provided him. Catarina had been horrified to find out that it was mostly stomach acid, mucus, and blood that he'd spit up.

The next few seconds had been quiet, then suddenly Magnus was screaming, his back bowing from the strength of the sudden unexpected pain. Then without any warning wings had been springing out of his back. The pain spiking meant that his magic had spiked along with it, putting out just about every candle in their cottage. According to Ragnor there had been a weird blackout for the following hours that he and Catarina only knew the source of.

Magnus had passed out after that, leaving Ragnor and Catarina to gape at his new bloodied wings.

 

Magnus' life from that night begins to be a whirlwind of sorts.

First, he has to learn to navigate with these huge wings that are now sat on his back. They were only about 12 feet in span, so folding them up and getting in and out of doors had been easy enough to learn. Though, he'd spent many moments slamming one of his new appendages on the doorways in their cottage. Ragnor had spent a lot of time both teasing him and mothering him.

Catarina had helped him learn to control them to an extent. They'd learned very quickly that it was similar to using his magic, so if his emotions spiked then his wings would react to it also. Having a breakdown over the situation broke a few pots and tables they'd stored in the cottage.

Magnus had been quite curious about many things from the beginning, things that Ragnor had successfully ruined for him.

Apon first wondering out loud, Magnus wondered how in the world he was expected to fly with only two six-foot wings on his back. Ragnor had graciously answered without being asked;

"Well, from what I can tell they look similarly built to that of a birds wings. Which means they'll probably grow to name about twice their size. Then you'll probably be able to fly."

Magnus had only grumbled in response.

Next, was learning how to glamour the damn things. Magnus knew that he couldn't just go walking around town with a pair of birdlike wings and not be shot down once the first mundane spotted him. Catarina and Ragnor had discovered, how Magnus had no idea, that glamouring them had been just the same as glamouring his eyes. The only problem was it took up a lot of his magic, which meant he couldn't hold the glamour for long before almost passing out.

So, with that, he'd spent a lot of time confined to their cottage and the trio's adventures had been put on hold.

But, Magnus had decided he was going to figure out how this had happened.

"Well, you did once tell us that your father was Asmodeus. He's a fallen angel isn't he?" Catarina asked.

Magnus hummed, laying on his stomach on the floor, wings spread out around him. "Yes, but I don't recall any of his past children having wings. I don't think this has anything to do with my father's blood. After all, it is tainted and now demonic."

"Yes," Ragnor had interrupted. "That technically is true. But, if Lucifer's children are considered Nephilim then why couldn't one of Asmodeus' be?"

The question had sat with Magnus for several days and eventually he had cracked and decided to figure it out himself. After all, he wasn't going to just sit around and do nothing while on house arrest.

He knew a little bit of the Seven Deadly Sins from that one time his father had graciously allowed him to look through his Libro Daemoniorum. But he hadn't really know much about his father's time as an angel.

Magnus learned very quickly that there was close to nothing about his father's angelic past.

There was, of course, the commonly known Lucifer, who was the first Angel to sin therefore the first to fall. His name was once Samuel and soon given the name Morning Star when fallen.

Which– Magnus stopped to think. Does that make Lucifer my uncle?

The silly thought made him shake his head then turn a few more pages in the book he was reading.

Since Asmodeus was one of the many angels that fell to earth from heaven it did make him one of the Seven Deadly Sins, lust to be exact, and one of the Fallen Angels. In other words, it meant that his father didn't just have demon blood, he really did have fallen angel blood. Tainted angelic blood.

For every fallen angel there was an archangel allotted a good deed to combat each sin that the demons held. Michael (charity) to combat greed (Mammon). Gabriel (diligence) to combat sloth (Belphegor). Raphael (humility) to combat pride (Lucifer). Uriel is given chastity to combat lust (Asmodeus). Selaphiel is given temperance to combat gluttony (Beelzebub), Jegudiel with kindness to combat envy (Leviathan) and Barachiel is given patience to combat wrath (Satan, who could very well be Lucifer).

As most Orthodox Greeks believe, to keep them safe from harm, and on the straight and narrow, you receive a guardian angel when you are baptized.

Magnus chuckled a bit. He had been baptized after he was born and look where he was now. As a child, he'd always believed that the Angel his ibu told him stories about, the one that was supposedly watching over him, wasn't real. If it was then that angel hadn't paid much attention to him. Maybe he wasn't ever meant to have an Angel looking out for him. Maybe he was that Angel?

The seven archangels are the first angels to exist, the earliest reference to a system of seven archangels as a group, appears to be in Enoch I (the book of Enoch), they are highly regarded in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam…

Magnus shook his head. No, that wasn't what he was looking for. He needed something that clued him into his father's life as an angel.

In the late 5th to early century, Pseudo Dionysius (Christian theologian and philosopher) gives the seven archangels the names; Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Camael, Jophiel, and Zadkiel.

The earliest Christian mention of their names is by Pope Saint Gregory I, who lists them as; Gabriel, Michael l, Raphael, Uriel (or Anael), Simiel, Orphiel, and Raguel.

Damn, this would be harder than he thought.

Later, after Magnus reads way too many books that say pretty much the same thing, he discusses with the only two people he trusts this with.

"No, no" Ragnor interrupted. "That doesn't make much sense to me."

Magnus sighed, "What doesn't make sense?" He asked, wings twitching where they were spread out across the floor.

Ragnor put down his cup of tea, leaning forward so his elbows were on his knees. "In every book you read, the names of the archangels change a little. There the common known four; Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel. They fought in the war between god and Lucifer." He explained. "But the other three constantly change. Because the three archangels fell, correct?" 

Catarina even looked a little confused. "Do you think Asmodeus was an archangel?" She questioned.

Ragnor shrugged and Magnus rolled his eyes. They called him the dramatic one. "Maybe," Ragnor answers. "Lucifer was an archangel, wasn't he?"

Magnus swallowed, "So." He took a deep breath. "If, and this is a big if– If Asmodeus was really one of the Seven Fallen Angels. Does that make me a nephilim?"

As if Ragnor could sense the road his mind was about to go down, his darling best friend patted his head as if he was a dog. "No, not in the same sense of Shadowhunters."

Magnus knew that the other two could see him visibility relax. "But– How? Why not?" He wondered out loud.

"Well, think about it." Ragnor began. "Shadowhunters, mostly in their own minds, are known as nephilim because their ancestors drank the blood of Raziel. A nephilim is one that is born from an Angel and mundane. Technically, Shadowhunters are not nephilim."

"But wasn't Jonathan Shadowhunter reborn under the Angel Raziel?"

Ragnor shook his head. "Not in the biblical sense, no. You were born from a fallen Angel and a mundane, therefore you are the correct definition of a nephilim."

Magnus groaned, his head hitting the ground with a 'thud'. "The shadowhunters can never know about this. I'd be an experiment of theirs. They already want my eyes."

Catarina hummed, showing her sympathy as they both knew his eyes were considered rare, a treasure, to some of the more cruel shadowhunters. His wings would be other wordly. 

"And we won't let them ever find out. We'll figure out how to hide the damned things and we'll make sure you stay safe." She rubbed between his shoulders making him sigh.

He believed them. They were the only people he'd believe this kind of secret with. And he knew she wasn't lying when she said those words. It was a promise they kept for decades.

He never did figure out the truth of Asmodeus' past.

**

As promised, they figured out how to not only glamour his wings, but also how to put them away completely. Magnus found out, through a series of weird dreams, that it was connected to him like that of his magic and if he willed it, it would happen.

Then life continued on for them.

Magnus' love life had fallen through a few holes in the passing years. He met Axel only years after his wings came in somewhere in Paris around 1791. When the Count first met him, he had been hoping to utilize Magnus' magic to help the royal family in perish escape the country. He'd only shared a kiss with the count, but it had given Magnus a little bit of hope for love.

Then, in 1890 while he, Catarina and Ragnor were in the city of Pink, Peru (before they'd gotten banned of course) Magnus met and fell in love with Imasu Morales. While their romance was short, Magnus had loved the man so much that he'd even considered telling him of his demon- or rather fallen angel side. Sadly, before he could, Imasu had broken up with him because Magnus had been too "ephemeral."

Magnus can vaguely remember the night that he'd spent very drunk on a flying carpet being chased by Cat and Ragnor. He didn't know all the details, thought Ragnor swore there were cacti involved.

There had been Camille for a long time, but that wasn't one Magnus really wanted to think too hard about.

Last his dear Etta had been. He'd met her around 1938. She held a piece of his heart through their whole relationship. She was the only one to know of him being a warlock. He never quite got to telling her about his wings, but she'd loved him and his demon side. They hadn't last, fore she decided she wanted a family, but she was still cherished and the last one Magnus thought he'd truly love.

Soon after Camille had successfully broken any other hope he'd had for finding love. Almost a century he would go without true love.

Of course, Magnus hadn't really been focused on finding love when a sudden attack on downworlders happened.

He'd met Raphael do to one of the many incidents related to Camille and had ended up taking the newly turned vampire in, sheltering him and helping him with the shift. Nothing felt better than knowing that Raphael had gotten the chance back to be as normal as possible and to be with his family as much as possible because he'd taken the vampire under his wing.

He was one of Magnus' greatest accomplishments. He was the reason why Magnus had begun to take stray downworlders under his protection. Nobody else would, so he did.

Valentine's name had begun to float around some, the Clave making only vague announcements on it, claiming that they had everything under control. Magnus had spent many years keeping his people, and any other downworlder he came across, safe when The Circle had begun to rise.

Magnus had even had a personal encounter with a few, two younger shadowhunters. They'd seen his wings and had tried to kidnap him, unsuccessfully of course and Ragnor had erased their memories, guaranteeing they wouldn't remember anything about his younger friend. Catarina had mothered him for days after but he'd only been a little shaken and it had prompted him to realize just how much trouble The Circle could become if they weren't stopped.

Magnus spent years absolutely bitter towards the Clave. He'd gained the position of High Warlock of Brooklyn, for some reason this only prompted the Clave to be even more secretive towards him. Magnus had quickly decided that he hated these wanna be nephilim.

It didn't help when he'd heard of Luke Graymarks death.

It had spread throughout the Downworld quickly that Luke had literally been thrown to the wolves by his own parabatai. Magnus remembered hearing the local wolves talking about it. It stayed hush-hush through the Downworld that Luke had not died, but been turned and taken in by the closest wolf pack. As far as the Shadowhunters knew, he was dead.

Magnus loses almost all hope in 1989.

Valentine had been planning for months before he had made any moves, had moles throughout the Clave and some of the Institutes. They had learned too late that he'd been eyeing the New York Institute for some time and now he was making his decent on it.

The first thing Magnus can recall from the Raid of New York, as it would later be called, was Maryse Lightwood attempting to convince him that she was only "trying to make a better world for her son." He'd spat a few choice words and then Marian Whiteclaw was stepping in front of him as Robert Lightwood had decided to throw a small seraph blade at him. It was the first time a shadowhunter had died for him. For the Downworld.

Valentine had taken a wolf pack hostage and she had died attempting to save them, to protect him. Magnus still mourned her sometimes.

The fighting had been a blur, but Magnus would never forget the sight of a younger werewolf girl being tortured at the hands of Valentine himself. The smell of burning flesh and silver would continue to make him gag years later and the little girl's cries would haunt his dreams.

In the scuffled attempt to save her Valentine had plunged his seraph blade into his back. Nothing would hurt half as much as his wings coming in did, but a blade between the scars was a close one. His only cry had been mostly from shock, but he'd managed a whole conversation with Valentine himself by only grinding his teeth against the pain.

Magnus had never had the honor of knowing what a seraph blade to the stomach left like until today. It hurt. Badly. The only thing he could compare it to was the day his wings came in, but it didn't hurt as much. He could feel the angelic magic working in his body. Valentine thought it was trying to kill him. Magnus knew it would actually save him.

"Filthy warlock. You really thought you could help them, didn't you?" Valentine taunted. 

The Circle member's breath brushed over Magnus' neck, making his stomach twist a little more at how close they were. Magnus had never wanted to get as far away from someone as possible before.

Magnus swallowed the blood rising in the back of his throat and shot back, "I can sure as hell try."

The leader of The Circle took many lives that day but not Magnus'. Though, he'd trade his own for theirs in a heartbeat.

Catarina and Ragnor spent the night healing his wound, checking on the damage of his spine and repairing any internal wounds. Willing his wings to come out had been hard, but they eventually snapped out but not painlessly. Catarina triple checked to make sure there was no damage to them, and luckily there wasn't, but it would be hard to make them come out for the following weeks.

As Ragnor said they would, Magnus' wings had grown to about twice, maybe even three times, their size and it had been difficult to find an apartment that was big enough for him to let them loose.

The loft was perfect, roomy with high ceilings.

Magnus grew fond of it and it had quickly become home, just as New York had. Catarina decided to stay, taking a job in the medical field so she could continue helping others with her magic even if it was simply easing a headache. Ragnor, after declaring he was fed up with the States, moved back to London to a nice little cottage away from everything.

Magnus would continue to serve his people.

1991 rolled around quickly, Valentine's reign still present. But '91 meant that the new Accords would be signed, as they were every fifteen years.

With the day approaching, the last thing Magnus expects to hear is that Jocelyn Fairchild and Lucian Garroway were now attempting to ally with the rest of the Downworld. Being a leader meant that Magnus had to listen and he hadn't exactly been surprised when they'd announced that Valentine was planning to invade the Accords Signing as he knew it would be where many downworlders would be.

The worst thing about having that knowledge was that even being a small step ahead of Valentine for once couldn't stop a massacre.

In 1991 Magnus witnessed the murder of many downworlders and shadowhunters alike.

He goes straight to Catarina after it's all over. After his friends had died. After the mortal cup goes missing. After the Clave begins to cover it all up. Ragnor shows up, Magnus knew it had been Cat to call him, and he takes comfort in his best friends. They groom his wings and he cries on their shoulders.

It all ends faster than anyone had seen coming.

Stephen Herondale, Valentine's second (after Luke's "death") dies which prompts the wall between the Downworld and Shadowhunters to rise higher as Imogen, his mother, becomes bitter. Magnus remembers the time he had tried to speak to her about it and she had been colder than ice.

"Imogen."

The meeting had just ended and while Magnus wasn't expecting to see the oldest Herondale, he wasn't going to lose his chance to give his condolences to her. She didn't even turn around and it didn't fail to make it hard for Magnus to find his words again.

"I heard about Stephen, I'm sorry. I didn't know him well, but he was a good man." Magnus said.

Her back was straight, just as a shadowhunter should be, but her shoulders were tense and her hands shook.

"As much as your words mean nothing to me," she spoke, and the words almost made Magnus flinch. "I appreciate the sentiment, warlock. He was a good man, an even better soldier."

He could tell she wanted to say something more, but she never got the chance as the doors slammed open next to him. Imogen left without another word and Magnus was left sighing, asking himself why in the world he had even tried.

He would sit alone on his balcony later that night, sipping on a glass of whiskey as be gazed up at the stars, wondering if Stephen was with Will now. Then his mind had drifted to Tessa and he made a mental note to call her about the recent events.

Celine dies soon after, her heartbreak spreading like wildfire as she dies with her child.

Or, that's what everyone had believed. Magnus would be one of the few to know that the baby hadn't died with her.

Valentine died suddenly, apparently taking his child with him after setting his own house on fire. Magnus would spend the next years angry as the Clave would successfully begin to hide everything that the evil man had done from their next generation of shadowhunters. He'd been even angrier that he wasn't the one to kill Valentine himself.

The last thing he expected was for Jocelyn Fairchild to show up on his doorstep with a baby, begging for his help.

**

Magnus meets with Jocelyn and her daughter, Clary, once a year for the erasing of the child's memories. He'd tried to convince Jocelyn that hiding who her daughter really was from her wouldn't do her any good, but the mother had been insistent that she would one day tell her, that until then she wanted the closest thing to a normal life as she could give.

He'd agreed after some convincing, even summoning a demon for the safety of the child's memories too. Magnus would watch Clary Fray grow up, would see her take some of her first steps in his loft, would watch her play with the Chairman and he would become good friends with Jocelyn too.

He'd learn that his favor would soon bite him in the ass.

It's a little over eighteen years later when the news of Jocelyn's disappearance reaches him. It comes along with the news of his dear friend Dorthea going silent too. He's worried for both of his friends but knows in his right mind that he needs to find out what happened to Clary.

Valentine's name had been popping up again lately and Magnus knew that they could be a lot of trouble if he found out where Clary was before Magnus does. So he uses a few resources and is surprised to learn that she's currently being held at the New York Institute. Jace Waylands name is mentioned but Magnus doesn't linger too long on it, remembering seeing the young shadowhunter at his club a few nights before.

Portalling to the Institute doesn't take much work, but dodging the (not) nephilims security cameras takes a little more work. Luckily he knows the place and his own wards don't alert anyone of his presence. He finds Clary quickly enough, waiting until she's alone with the blonde one to approach.

"Magnus!" Clary called in relief at seeing him and he had to take a moment to thank his past self for leaving a few select memories of their time together with her.

He caught her in his arms and held her tightly as she shook. "Magnus," she cried. "I don't know what's happening. Something's happened to mom and I, I don't–"

Magnus shushed her, "It's okay, Biscuit. We'll find your mother, I promise." He said.

They pulled away at the sound of a throat clearing, Magnus had to resist rolling his eyes. Nephilim bodoh, (Stupid nephilim) he thought to himself. The blonde one, Jace, was watching them with hidden jealousy. Magnus had the feeling the young Wayland would be a problem for him.

"Biscuit, how about you introduce me. Then we can discuss your mother's whereabouts." He mumbled and Clary reluctantly let go of him.

He sat down on the little throw couch that she'd previously been sitting on and smiled when she'd plopped herself down right next to him. She quickly introduced him and the blonde, Magnus had to hold in his snicker when Jace visibility relaxed as Clary described him as something like a godfather or uncle. She explained what had happened and how she had met the Shadowhunters, exclaiming that she had no clue that she was one or that her mother was one, that she didn't care. Just wanted her mom safe.

He didn't say anything to her until she had finished ranting to him, eyeing the rune on her neck thoughtfully.

Magnus sighed, glancing through the glass to assure nobody else could see him. He was strong but glamours took a lot of work.

"We'll find her Biscuit. But for now, nobody can know I was here." He announced, shushing Clary's protest.

"What the Shadowhunters will probably decide is that the smartest approach would be to get your memories back. You might not realize it but your mother could have told you the location of the cup." He said. "Their focus will be on that. Chances are they have something that they think I want, you two need to go along with everything. Help plan as you would."

Jace, bless him, just listened like the soldier he was.

Magnus smiled reassuringly at Clary. "They'll lead you back to me and we'll get your memories back. We'll find Jocelyn," He assured.

Clary seemed much more relaxed knowing that he'd help. Jocelyn had quickly become one of his good friends, helping raise her child established a connection to the two of them and he wanted her safe. As he did all of his friends at the moment. Magnus gave one last hug to Clary and a curt nod towards Jace, who responded back in kind, before quietly making his leave.

He kept to himself how much the young Wayland reminded him of the recent Herondales.

 

Just as Magnus had predicted, the Shadowhunters show up at his club asking for a favor in exchange for a necklace he could truly care less about. While the Ruby had some value to it, Magnus really didn't want something that reminded him of his time with Camille. Alexander and Isabelle Lightwood surprise him a little but he manages to push it to the back of his head. Clary had played along swiftly, just as Magnus knew she would, even tearing a button off of his blazer when he'd attempted to "escape." He was glad she had understood it was an act.

Just as he is stepping through his portal the plan takes a turn that he had not originally expected. Apparently Valentine had discovered where he was hiding the warlocks.

He fights.

Magic is flying around, his people are trying their hardest to defend themselves and get to somewhere safe and Magnus feels a pang in his chest. None of them deserve this. Another Circle member goes flying, he feels some sort of demonic satisfaction swell in his chest and knows that its the monster in him that is enjoying killing the ones that hurt his people.

One taunts him, his seraph blade lighting up as he holds it. Magnus could never understand how he could be a true nephilim, as Ragnor would call it, until his hands meet a blade and it glows red. But these murders get the blue angelic light simply because they are shadowhunters.

Magnus doesn't listen too much to the Circle members talk, his rage rearing its head when he learns of Elias’ death, not until he says something that Magnus can't ignore.

“Your eyes would make a splendid addition to my collection,” The Circle member taunts. “Or, maybe your wings.”

Magnus’ magic flickers, turning a burning red disguising his surprise and sudden terror. “What are you talking about?”

The circle member smirks like he just won a game, “They're only a rumor but everyone wonders if it's true. Does Magnus Bane have a secret mark? Will the world ever know?” he says.

He doesn't get much further than that when an arrow whistles by Magnus’ head and straight into the circle member's leg. He takes great joy in using his magic for the final blow, glad that the one holding the bow lets him finish the traitor. A small part of him wonders how Valentine could have possibly discovered his secret, but his thoughts are cut off by a deep voice behind him.

“Well done.”

Magnus didn't know that his response would haunt him in the future, but in the moment he couldn't hold back the opportunity to make a pun. “More like medium rare,” He quipped, spinning gracefully. 

He tries hard to ignore how his breath hitches and his heart stutters as his eyes land on Alec Lightwood. He didn't really get the chance to take a good look at the young shadowhunter but something inside Magnus cracks open when he meets hazel eyes. 

He loses control of himself for a few moments, flirtily introducing himself with a little smile. He knows that it won't lead anywhere, that it can't. Magnus doesn't know if he's capable of opening his heart like that ever again. Camille had broken something inside of him, and Magnus wasn't going to ruin the sweet shadowhunter.

Alec introduces himself with a shy little smile, Magnus feels his heart begin to hope but he remembers a conversation he once had with Catarina and Ragnor.

"Y'know," he's sipping on a small glass of whiskey, his two best friends watching him from their spots on his balcony couch. "I thought about telling her about my wings. I thought I trusted her like that."

The corner of his lip tugs upward as he sees the two give each other concerned glances. His balcony is warm, the summer air pleasant as the sun sets in the distance. His favorite thing about the loft was the view of the city he got, but also how the sun would set in front of it.

Camille had successfully played him again, had used her pretty face and how she'd saved him against him. He felt like a part of himself had died.

"It makes me wonder now," he said in a hushed tone. "If my heart had been so instant that I tell her, and my mind had begged me not to believe her. How could I ever trust in my heart again?"

There's a short silence, then Catarina speaks beside him. "Because one day, your heart and mind will agree with each other."

He'd believed that for awhile, but then he'd lost and lost and suddenly felt like his mind was always right. So even as his heart began to beat with hope, he would listen to his mind.

Alec leaves after fumbling with a few words, Magnus can't stop his smile with amusement as he watched the shadowhunter stumble away.

When he gets to the front room, he spends a few moments comforting the warlocks. He holds one of the girls that had lost her father, let's her cry into his shoulder and his heart breaks for her. She's only 10 years old and no child deserves to lose a parent. The warlocks stay in one of the back rooms trusting him to take care of them. Magnus takes a deep breath then plasters a fake smile onto his face.

Clary hugged him again, whispering her sorrow and he can only hold her for a few seconds.

The other Shadowhunters watch quietly, Jace is the only one who's not confused by Clarys need to comfort him. Magnus feels his wings shift under his skin when he thinks of what the Circle member had said. He shakes his head to himself, letting the Shadowhunters know that he'll be moving everyone.

"Pretty boy, get your team ready."

By the time he realizes what he just said it's too late so he plays the role of unattached lothario High Warlock of Brooklyn, the one most associate him with.

Jace steps forward with a grumble and Magnus gently pushes him back into place with a smirk. "I wasn't talking to you."

Even though he decided that he wasn't going to play house with them, he still notices how Alec is the natural leader of the group. He holds himself like one, his eyes scanning the room constantly to make sure he knows all exits and that his family is safe. Jace acts without thinking and while Magnus loves Clary, she's too stubborn for her own good and tends to jump into things headfirst.

"I was talking," he points at Alec, smirking at the blush that blooms on the young shadowhunters cheeks. "To you."

He doesn't miss the Shadowhunters pleased little smile, giving himself a pat on the back for making Alec know he's not invisible. The blonde was clearly the more noticed of the two while Alec stood behind like a shadow, but Magnus knew from experience that it felt good to know that people saw you as you were.

Magnus transfers them to the location of his loft and the other warlocks into another safe place that Catarina and Ragnor will only know the exact location of.

Getting Clary's memories back turns out to be easier than Magnus had expected. Summoning the demon Valak is usually hard and takes a lot of patience on Magnus' part, but it turns out that combined with the strength of four shadowhunters it's easy to make a quick deal with him.

They all exchange a memory of the one they love most, Jace, the sap, gives a very recent memory of Clary. Magnus doesn't miss the way both Isabelle and Alec roll their eyes. He has to hold in his chuckle. Alec gives a memory of his siblings; Isabelle, Jace, and Max all in the what Magnus' assumes is the ops center of the Institute, laughing happily. Isabelle gives a memory of a smiling Alec up with an easy look of pride. Magnus feels his heart swell for the two Lightwoods who are clearly devoted to their family.

Magnus isn't surprised when a memory of Catarina and Ragnor bickering over tea is taken from him, as he knows without a doubt there's nobody he loves more than them.

The Shadowhunters leave after Magnus convinces Jace that Clary, who had passed out after getting her memories back, would be fine and that she just needed sleep. Once they were gone Magnus felt his exhaustion setting it. He had fought a group of circle members, transported his warlock friends and himself, summoned a demon and portalled everyone home in less than 5 hours. He'd practically drained himself and knew he'd be asleep as soon as his head hit his pillow.

The Chairman meows up at him, reminding him that he'd still hasn't fed him.

"Sorry baby, daddy forgot," Magnus replies, snapping his fingers to conjure up the cats meal.

A yawn is torn out of him, making him sigh tiredly. Hopefully, he'll be able to get a decent night's sleep before the world decides to end again.

 

Sadly, he doesn't get the world's best sleep not that night and not several nights later when Clary comes knocking on his door again. This time though, he doesn't hesitate to help when Jace and Alec drag an unconscious Luke into his loft. Simon and Isabelle are trailing behind them and Magnus does his best to comfort Clary.

"Put him on that couch."

He points at the leather couch in the middle of the room, patting Clary's shoulder as he walks by. "Don't fret, my dear. I'll help him."

As he's gathering all the things he needs for the potion, he realises two things. Firstly, Simon shouldn't even be in the middle of this mess. Magnus is aware that he's Clary's best friend, but really, he shouldn't even have any knowledge of the past few weeks. Second, he doesn't have everything he needs to brew the potion for Luke. He panics a little on the inside but quickly conjures up a list of what he needs and where to find it quickly.

"Blonde and Salmon, I'll need you two to go get these ingredients for me. I need them as soon as possible if I'm going to be able to help Luke at all."

Jace looks ready to protest but Clary gives him a pleading look and he quickly shuts his mouth. Simon just looks nervous more than anything and Magnus makes a mental note to check on the mundane and figure out how he got into this mess.

Magnus goes back over to where Alec is struggling to hold down a thrashing Luke and quickly makes work of having him drink a sedative. There's a moment of silence, Luke's body jolts and a loud howl leaves his lips before he's flopping down onto the couch again. Magnus sighs, taking a look at the wounds before stepping away. Alec is quiet as he works on beginning to brew the potion and Clary helps despite being a ball of nerves.

"He'll be okay, Biscuit. Fighting an alpha is never easy, surviving wounds from one is even harder but not impossible." He reassures. "Plus, I know what I'm doing."

While the potion is brewing slowly Magnus does his best to distract Clary. Alec takes a seat on one of his chairs, silently waiting and listening. Magnus appreciates his support, even though it's not towards him.

"Did your memories come back okay?" Magnus inquired, voice soft to help calm Clary.

She smiled sweetly at him and he ignored how strained it was. "They were a little confusing at first, but it's getting easier to figure out which ones belong where." She says.

Magnus nodded kindly. "That makes sense," he replied.

He stirred the potion, happy with the way it was turning out but knew he'd absolutely need the other ingredients for it to do its job.

"I was curious," he mumbled, looking at the new shadowhunter. "Did any of your memories hold your mother showing you some of her abilities?"

Clary's head snapped up, even Alec looked a little more interested. "Abilities? Like what?" She asked.

Magnus shrugged, he didn't think it was that big of a deal and had only seen Jocelyn do it once or twice, but he understood how it could be important to them. "Well," he muttered. "She could reach into a picture or a drawing and pull out a physical copy of whatever was depicted."

Clary looked excited by the idea, like it answered a question that she had. He was going to ask what was on her mind but Luke began thrashing again. Magnus cursed and hurried over to the werewolf.

"Dammit!" He proclaimed. "Where are they?"

He snapped his fingers, igniting his magic at his fingertips. He barely processed Clary asking what was happening but gave no reply to it. He focused on helping Luke, letting out a breath as his magic steadily drained from his body. He'd used so much magic in the past few weeks, more than usual, and had barely gotten any sleep to help replenish it, so it was no surprise that he was draining fast.

Magnus took a deep breath before looking at Alec, who was failing at hiding his concern.

"I think I'm going to need your help. Clary, keep an eye on that potion for me. As soon as Jace and Simon get back pour all of the ingredients in and give it to me." He ordered, glad to find Alec by his side before he could finish.

The young Shadowhunter looked worried but determined and ready to follow any order Magnus gave.

Magnus held out a hand, transferring all of his magic to the other. "I'll need your strength," He explained.

He could hear his own voice waver and felt himself sway a little. It seemed to spur Alec into action and before Magnus knew it the shadowhunter was pressed close, his knee behind him and he was practically leaning onto Alec's chest. He felt his heart flutter when the Shadowhunter grabbed his hand, gripping without fear.

"Take what you need." Alec declared, looking into Magnus' eyes so he knew that he was sure.

Magnus smiled a little at the bravery and leaned forward as he did take exactly what he needed. Luckily, Jace and Simon burst through the doors seconds later and Clary whipped up the finally part of the potion.

"Tilt his head back and plug his nose so he had no choice but to swallow it," Magnus mumbled, squeezing Alec's hand.

He felt the shadowhunter squeeze his hand back before more energy flowed through their connection. Magnus took a deep breath and finished the spell once Clary had forced the potion down Luke's throat. The werewolf's eyes snapped open, another howl leaving his mouth before he slumped back and fell asleep, his wounds began to heal.

And just like that, it was over.

Magnus couldn't help but slump back into Alec's embrace, glad when the Shadowhunter allowed him to relax against him.

"You okay?" Alec asked, squeezing his hand again.

Magnus was surprised to find that his heart and his head weren't fighting over this moment.

He nodded sluggishly and mumbled a response. "Yeah."

Magnus could feel his eyes drifting shut, attempting to fight his sudden exhaustion. He would probably sleep for a few days once he knew that Luke was completely in the safe zone again. Just when he was about to lean out of Alec's arms, the limbs tightened around him and one slid under his knees. A blushed bloomed on his cheeks when he comprehended that he was now in the air, being held in Alec's arms bridal style.

He missed the shadowhunter say something towards his parabatai before they were moving, Magnus resting his head on a firm shoulder. A small part of him hated how comfortable he felt in those arms, how safe, while another part of him relished in the physical contact.

He's placed on his comfy bed and just like that he's out like a light.

 

Later, when he wakes up again, it's dark and the loft is quiet. Magnus gets up assuming that the Shadowhunters either left or all fell asleep on various pieces of his furniture. He takes a few seconds to fix his makeup before quietly walking out of his room. He was surprised to see that Luke is resting in his guest room and everyone is gone except Alec, who's scrubbing at his blood stained leather couch.

"You know," Magnus giggled when Alec jumped in surprise. It wasn't easy to catch a shadowhunter off guard. "I can clean that with my magic."

Alec looked at him over his shoulder, grinning at the adorable titter that came from the warlock. "I know. But you've used enough magic for us these past few weeks. The least I can do is clean your couch."

Magnus hummed in response, deciding to keep to himself that he'd just get a new couch instead. He'd been meaning to redecorate.

He walked over to his drink cart, beginning to mix himself a cocktail. "Would you like a drink?" He asked, plopping an olive into his favorite glass.

Magnus didn't wait for an answer, conjuring up a glass of whiskey for the shadowhunter, getting the feeling he'd prefer it over a cocktail that had edible glitter in it. Alec took the glass without a comment, his face scrunching up adorably after he took a tiny sip. Not a drinker like most shadowhunters then.

"So, are you the ever famous Alec Lightwood that came out earlier this year?" Magnus asked, attempting to converse with the young Shadowhunter.

Just a few months ago the Clave had pulled off what could have easily been called a hate crime towards the younger generation. A comment had been made about the ones that could have been anything other than straight and Alec had apparently been pissed enough to retaliate and come out as gay, beginning an era where shadowhunters could be out and proud by his side. It was a huge step since there had been talk of Alec becoming the Head of the Institute. Now, the Clave couldn't deny it unless they wanted to look homophobic and cause trouble.

If Magnus could recall correctly, Clary had called it a "power move."

Alec's lips tugged up at the corners as he gave a bashful nod. "Yeah, it happened so suddenly. I just didn't want people like me to feel like they're alone. Plus I also kinda guaranteed a spot as Head which is a bonus." He smirked.

Magnus took a sip of his cocktail, looking out the balcony windows. "I'm sure your parents are proud?"

"Eh, well," Alec grimaced, swallowing another sip of his whiskey. "Not really. They want me to marry."

Magnus was lucky he had swallowed his drink because if he hadn't he probably would have sprayed it all over himself. "They– What?"

Alec laughed softly, but it sounded forced. "Yeah," he sighed. "I'm not going to. I didn't come out just to marry someone I don't love."

He paused. Magnus knew he wanted to say more so he just sipped at his drink, watching the young Shadowhunter sort through his thoughts. He couldn't believe that Maryse and Robert had hit that low. He knew that they had gotten off easy after everything they did in the Circle and that only gotten the Institute because of the Whiteclaws deaths. But he didn't think they would put so much pressure on their children. Especially after Maryse claiming that she wanted a better world for them.

"I want to make them proud, it's all I've ever wanted but–" He sighed. "For them to ask me to do something like that, lie just to "bring honor to our family."" He shook his head, unable to finish. 

Magnus responded in a soft voice, "There is no honor in living a lie."

Alec had a look in his eyes that made Magnus' breath stutter in his chest. One that he'd never seen before. Something like awe and understanding. He nodded his head agreeing with what Magnus just said.

They stood there silent for a few moments, thinking about how they both felt. Alec couldn't ignore the butterflies in his belly, flapping their wings without stopping. Magnus made him feel weird and gooey inside but it was a feeling he found himself enjoying. The warlock was gorgeous, Alec had to fight for breath every time the downworlder walked into a room.

Magnus on the other hand felt uneasy. He remembered how he felt when he first met Camille, how she had made his stomach flip and his heart missing beats. He also remembers how it felt when he found her in their bed with another vampire. How his heart had stopped before it crumbled to pieces. He knew better than to compare Alec to Camille, but he didn't know if his heart could take another beating. Maybe one day, but he just didn't think that day was today.

Alec cleared his throat. "This might come out a little rude, and I swear on my Angel that I'm not trying to be." He took a deep breath as if preparing himself. "Why do you hate Shadowhunters? Or at least you seem to?"

Magnus couldn't help but sigh. He was aware that the newer generations of Shadowhunters were not educated on the full history of theirs, mainly because of the past years that involved Valentine. He knew that they kept it very secret, that the younger generations didn't know much about Valentine and what he had done. Magnus just never thought he would have to explain it to one. Especially not a Lightwood. He half expected Maryse and Robert to tell their kids about their past once they were old enough, but he had been wrong.

"I don't hate Shadowhunters." Magnus said, looking out the window. "I just don't agree with a lot of the Claves methods...It's hard to explain."

He glanced back over at Alec, who was looking at him like he was some complicated puzzle. In a way, he was. Nobody had wanted to try to put the pieces together.

"When I was younger, a lot younger, the Silent Brothers that...helped me gave me a very vague book about Pembunuh sétan. Otherwise known as Demon Slayers in my native language. They were portrayed as just that, ones that would slay demons to protect mankind. I believed in that book for a very long time, even after I'd had a few upsetting run ins with some shadowhunters."

Magnus took a sip of his cocktail, watching the glitter as he spoke. "But then Valentine had began his reign. The Clave had been insistent that they had everything in control, but it had just been lies to keep us from asking too many questions. Horrible events happened and all they did was attempt to cover them up. Succeeding in assuring that the newest generation of Shadowhunters had no knowledge of what their parents had been apart of. Of the damage they caused for Downworlders."

Magnus supposed that he'd said too much, not exactly wanting to be the one to inform Alec of his parents past. He would have to avoid slipping up while explaining to make sure it stayed something that they should tell their children.

Alec looked a little sad but still asked cautiously, "What terrible events happened?"

The look in the shadowhunters eyes made Magnus know that he wouldn't have to explain if he didn't want to. But he had never really talked to anyone about those events and it wouldn't hurt Alec to learn.

"Do you know how Lucian became a werewolf?" Magnus questioned, voice heavy.

Alec shook his head, replying with a cute little tilt of his head. "No, I don't."

Magnus nodded, not surprised by the answer. "Luke was Valentine's parabatai." He could tell that Alec was holding back his reaction, his brow frowning. "When Valentine discovered that he couldn't trust Luke anymore, because he had been siding with the Downworlders more and more, he decided to do something about it. He'd claimed that he and Luke were going to check out an old wolf den, but there had been a feral bunch of wolves caught. Valentine literally threw his own parabatai to the wolves."

Remembering Jocelyn and Luke explain what happened made him shake his head, willing the memory away. 

"When the Clave found out they practically exiled Luke. He changed his name to Garroway because Greymark had been a shadowhunter name." Magnus explained, watching plane lights blink through the sky. "Shortly after, the raid of the New York Institute happened and then the signing of the Accords going wrong."

Alec stepped closer as if he wanted to provide some comfort to him. "I've only heard a little about the Accords signing, but I don't know what the Raid of New York was."

It wasn't a question but Magnus knew that Alec wanted to know what happened. He just didn't know if he could explain to Alec what happened that day without mentioning his parents or reliving Valentine's blade plunging into his back.

So he shook his head, "You shouldn't hear it from me."

Alec shook his head, leaning against the wall next to where Magnus was standing. "I think I would prefer to hear it from you." He admitted in a shy mutter.

Magnus sighed. He found out quickly over the past few weeks that Alec was stubborn to the bone and he probably wouldn't leave it if Magnus asked him to.

"I don't know if you've heard of what happened to the Whiteclaws, but I can guarantee that you haven't gotten the full story." As Magnus spoke he walked over to his favorite armchair and sat down.

"Valentine planned a Raid in New York on the same day that a werewolf pack was scheduled to be at the New York Institute. Valentine had caught word about it and his raid got extended to the Institute. He held them hostage, even going as far as torturing a little girl. The Whiteclaws died trying to save the pack, Marian was stabbed by one of the Circle members." He said, refusing to make eye contact.

Alec sat down on a chair next to his. "How do you know all of that if the Clave has covered it up?" He asked.

Magnus sighed, "Because I was there." He answered.

His eyes stung as he thought of that day, a phantom ache developing where a thin scar laid on his stomach and back. He would never forget the girls cries from the silver burning her eyes. She had lived, only losing her eyesight, but Magnus wished he could have done more for her.

"Marian stepped in front of me when–" he paused, searching for something to say other than 'your father.' "One of the circle members threw a seraph blade at me. She saved my life, but died in the process."

It was quiet for a second before Alec sighed, "There's something you don't want me to know." He said.

Magnus forced a laugh. "Nothing gets past you shadowhunters, huh?" He jabbed playfully, attempting to change the topic.

"No, not really." Alec cleared his throat and spoke lowly, "You don't have to tell me, not if you really don't want to."

Magnus looked over to the young Shadowhunter and all of his resolve broke. He clearly wanted to know what had happened, what Magnus had been hiding but didn't want to pick too hard. He'd never met a shadowhunter who kept a thought for how he might have felt about the conversation. He felt guilt rise in his chest.

"It was your father. Robert threw the blade that killed Marian." He whispered, breaking their eye contact.

Confusion bloomed in Alec's eyes, then hurt and anger and suddenly Magnus was cut off and could no longer tell how the man felt.

"What?" Alec asked in disbelief.

Magnus opened his mouth to reply but found that he didn't know what to say. All he could do was snap his mouth shut and watch as Alec put all the clues together.

The young Shadowhunter put his head on his hands, sighing loudly. "Raziel," he lifted his head. "It makes sense."

Magnus could only shift uncomfortably in his seat, swallowing. He wished he could find something to say but he knew that there wasn't anything he could say that would help Alec process the information. He was, however, curious by what the other meant.

"The Clave has been so watchful over our family and I could never figure out why. But my parents being former Circle members? It explains a lot." Alec explained as if he could read Magnus' thoughts.

"I'm sorry, Alexander. I honestly thought that they would have told you by now." He mumbled.

Alec just shook his head. "No, no don't be. Thank you for being honest with me," He replied sincerely.

Magnus swallowed down the rest of his drink while Alec stood up and began pacing around the room. He watched the shadowhunter rub his forehead. "They are such hypocrites. They tell me that they want me to bring honor to our name by marrying but they're the ones who tarnished it."

"For what it's worth, Alexander." Magnus said, playing with one of his rings. "I know that your parents love you. Maryse and I had a brief encounter and she told me that all she wanted to do was to make a better world for you."

Alec laughed in disbelief. "A better world? A world where Shadowhunters murder downworlders? I don't want to live in that world!" He shouted.

Magnus could help but flinch, not expecting him to raise his voice.

Alec must have noticed because he suddenly quieted down. "Sorry," he said. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. I'm just frustrated, right now."

Magnus smiled, standing up so he could look at Alec in the eyes. "It's okay. You just startled me is all," He assured. "I understand you're frustrated and, again, I'm sorry that you had to find out from me. For now though, I have another guest room if you'd like to stay the night to cool off before you have to go back to the Institute. Only if you want to." He added on quickly.

Alec smiled shyly at him, ducking his head as a light blush bloomed on his cheeks. "I–" he paused and seemed to really think it over. "I'd like that."

Magnus couldn't help but smile back, a shy one itself. "Okay, it's just down the hall, the second door on the right. It has its own bathroom so feel free to take a shower there's shampoo and clean towels in there too."

He took a few steps towards his own room, pointing towards the sliding doors. "My rooms just right through there," he laughed softly. "But I guess you already knew that." He said, recalling that Alec had carried him to bed earlier that night.

Just as he turned around, beginning to walk away to his room, a hand wrapped around his wrist tugging him back. He turned slightly, looking down at Alec's hand that was sending little tingles up his arm. His heart sped up a bit at the feeling, biting his lip as he looked up at the tall shadowhunter.

Alec cleared his throat, gently squeezing his wrist. "I just– Thank you," He said bashfully. "For everything you've done for us in the past few weeks. For letting me stay. Yeah, just. Thank you."

Magnus smiled, "You're welcome." He replied, pausing before adding shyly. "And thank you...for helping me with Luke earlier."

The smile on Alec's face widened and Magnus had to stop himself from giggling as he watched the shadowhunter puff out his chest a bit, clearly proud that he had helped.

"Of course, it's the least I could have done." He said, letting go of Magnus' wrist and he had to ignore how much the loss affected him. "Goodnight Magnus."

"Goodnight Alexander." Magnus whispered before turning and disappearing into his room.

Once his door was closed, he couldn't help but lean back onto it, taking a deep breath. What in the world just happened? He asked himself.

He shook his head at himself and flopped face first onto his head.

Ragnor would get a crack out of this.

 

Surprisingly, the next few weeks were relatively quiet. Valentine had kept his head low which meant that there had been fewer fights and drama for the time being. Clary had, apparently, succeeded in pulling the mortal cup from the deck of Tarot Cards it was hidden in and it was now being hidden in the Institute at the moment. Magnus had heard through the grapevine that the older Lightwoods had lost the role of Heads of the Institute and a Clave envoy was currently running it before the Clave handed it to Alec.

In the meantime, Magnus was called into the Institute to do some updating on the wards and he'd been a little embarrassed at how much he hoped he'd run into Alec. The shadowhunter had been on his mind a lot, they had even exchanged numbers the morning after Alec had lent him some strength and had been texting quite a bit over the time they'd been apart. A lot of it was Alec ranting on about Jace and how reckless he could be especially when it came to Clary. It had kept Alec on his mind and he found himself thinking about the man when he'd have clients over, ones that were particularly annoying, and how he couldn't wait to tell the shadowhunter about it.

Walking into the Institute had still been a little hard for Magnus, he had upsetting memories associated with some of the rooms and it was all still pretty fresh. But, it helped that the younger generations were a little more accepting of downworlders.

He'd managed to avoid any interactions with any of the soldiers until right before he was outside of the Head of the Institutes office.

"Hey, warlock." Magnus sighed when he recognized the voice of his oh so favorite shadowhunter, Raj. "Is there something I can help you with?"

Magnus spun on his heel, hands intertwined in front of himself. "I'm here to update the wards, per your new Heads request." He said with false politeness.

Raj smirked taking a step closer to him and he couldn't help but tense up a bit. "Hm, maybe I should escort you the rest of the way?"

Magnus didn't get the chance to respond, which was probably for the better, because heels began clicking down the hall and as if he knew exactly who it was, Raj stood up straighter. Lydia Branwell turned the corner and eyed the soldier like he was some sort of fungus. Magnus almost snickered.

"Get back to work, Raj." She ordered.

The shadowhunter quickly scurried away without a word. Lydia smiled at him and held out her hand to shake. "Mr. Bane, I'm so glad you could make it. I'm Lydia Branwell."

Magnus smiled and shook her hand, replying kindly as he recognized the name. "Hello, my dear. It's quite a pleasure to meet one of Henry's recent family members."

Lydia seemed to light up at the mention of her ancestor. "Ah yes, I remember hearing so many stories about you and Henry. Is it really true that you created the portal together?" She asked.

Magnus couldn't help but smile at her excitement. "Yes! It is indeed true." He sighed, "And as much as I would love to tell you about it, maybe we should get to business first?"

Lydia stood up straighter at that and nodded. "Yes, of course." She waved him to follow her and he did, playing with his rings.

"The reason I called you in was for the wards. We had a breech a couple of days ago and a forsaken had gotten in." The new information made Magnus frown in surprise. "I'd like for you to evaluate the wards for us and try to figure out how it could have gotten in. Isabelle Lightwood was also asking for your assistance with the body, if you have the time."

They stopped right outside of the training room. "I didn't hear anything about an attack? Usually I'm called in the same day it happens?" He asked, looking around to see if he could spot where the Forsaken could have gotten in.

Lydia sighed before she answered. "Yes," she said. "but we had a few soldiers injured and the main focus had been on them."

Magnus felt his stomach twist, thinking about how Alec hadn't texted him as often as usual the past few days and he desperately hoped it wasn't because he was recovering from a serious wound.

He nodded in understanding, "That makes sense."

She smiled politely. "Well," she gestured around the room. "It happened around this area. I hope that knowing where the attack happened will help you figure out if something happened to the wards."

"Actually, it does help quite a bit." Magnus looked around, letting his magic begin prodding at the wards.

He stepped closer to the walls of the Institute and snapped his fingers, watching the magic form in runes on the walls. His brow furred when he couldn't find any imperfections in the wards, attempting to delve deeper into them. Lydia watched patiently, intrigued by the magic at the warlocks fingertips.

After several minutes he stepped away with a sigh. "Well," he began. "I regret to tell you that I can't sense anything wrong with the wards. I can't even feel any breaks where the Forsaken could have entered."

Her face fell and he felt the need to make her feel better. "If it helps though, I can add a few more precautions to them after I examine the body with Isabelle. Just in case."

Lydia smiled thankfully towards him, "That would be appreciated. It would certainly make me feel a lot better."

He nodded, "Than consider it done."

They said their goodbyes, Lydia thanking him again before she made her way out of the room and back to what Magnus assumed was her office. He was about to turn and make his way to Isabelle's forensic room when a familiar voice stopped him in his tracks.

"Magnus!"

He turned around, allowing a small smile to appear on his face at the sight of Alec. The shadowhunter was smiling, weaving around his co workers to get to him.

"I wasn't aware you were coming in today." Alec stopped in front of him, his eyes becoming soft.

Magnus felt his heart skip a few beats. "Ah, well Mrs. Branwell didn't call me until early this morning." As he was speaking he noticed the bandage wrapped around Alec's arm. "Are you okay?" He asked, gesturing towards the injury, stepping closer.

"Oh," Alec glanced at the bandage and shrugged. "It's nothing I can't handle. Just a little scratch from the Forsaken."

Magnus felt relief flow through his body, glad the young Shadowhunter wasn't injured too badly. "Well, if it's bothering you too much, let me know. Injuries from forsaken sometimes need a little warlock TLC."

Alec smiled, with a nod. "I'll keep that in mind."

Magnus hummed, reaching up to play with the snake cuff on his ear, feeling his wings shift under his skin with his emotions. "Would you mind showing me where your dear sister is located?" He asked.

Magnus could easily use his magic to track where she was in the building but now that Alec was back in his presence he found himself not too eager to watch the shadowhunter walk away. Alec seemed to feel the same way if his bashful smile had anything to say about it.

"Of course Mr. Bane, I would be happy to." He said, leaning forward in a little bow.

Magnus could have been a little rusty but he was pretty sure that qualified as flirting and he found he was beginning to accept his attraction towards the Shadowhunter.

So, he smiled and tilted his head. "Why thank you, Mr. Lightwood." He replied softly.

Alec's cheeks turned a light shade of pink and Magnus couldn't find it more endearing than he already had. Alec walked past him with a proud little smile, one that reminded him of when they'd first met. It made Magnus duck his head bashfully as he followed the shadowhunter.

They spent probably way too much time outside of Isabelle's forensic lab avoiding saying goodbye to each other. Eventually, though, Alec was needed elsewhere and they had no choice but to say their goodbyes. Magnus had sighed heavily as he watched the Shadowhunter walk away, thinking way too hard about the way the shadowhunters back muscles flexed.

Isabelle gave him a knowing smile when he finally walked into the room and he had to fight the blush that tried to develop.

Ragnor would definitely find that one amusing.

 

"You see, it just doesn't make any sense to me. The Forsaken are mundanes that drank from the cup but who's body rejected the angelic magic. They aren't angelic so they aren't granted entrance into the Institute, so how did this Forsaken get in?"

Magnus was pacing in Ragnor's cottage in London, wings fluttering behind him. It had been several weeks since he'd let them out for more than a few minutes, he had so many shadowhunters bursting through his door without warning which made it hard to let them loose. But here at Ragnors, where just about nobody was allowed, he felt comfortable and safe enough to let them out. Catarina and Ragnor were sitting in armchairs next to the fireplace, sipping on tea. They were used to Magnus' pacing when he couldn't figure something out.

The eldest warlock shrugged unhelpfully and Magnus groaned.

Catarina snickered before she spoke, "Valentine has been known to experiment, maybe he found a way to get the forsaken into Institutes now?"

Magnus shook his head. "No, no," he answered. "Isabelle and I had that thought but neither of us could find anything different with the body. It had no angelic traces in it's muscle tissue or blood samples."

As if there was no other suggestions they could think of his two best friends got quiet, sharing a look. Magnus sighed, flexing his wings as he rolled his shoulders. Helping the shadowhunters had been stressful, he felt more tired and drained than usual since they began asking for his help. Maybe before he left he would ask Catarina to brew up a sleeping potion.

"Maybe," Ragnor said suddenly, breaking the silence. "You're not looking in the right spot."

That made Magnus stop in his tracks, raising an eyebrow. "What do you mean by that?" He asked.

Ragnor hummed, "Maybe there wasn't anything different with the forsaken. Maybe the shadowhunters have a mole in their Institute?"

Magnus sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "Are you saying you think someone let the forsaken in?"

"I'm saying that it's possible." Ragnor shrugged.

Magnus takes that information back home with himself, it keeps him awake all night. There weren't very many people in the Institute that could have been able to sneak a forsaken in. They'd have to have planned ahead, days ahead even. It would require making sure that security cams didn't catch them. Magnus tossed and turned for the night, thinking way too hard over something that he shouldn't have cared so much about.

It was only a few days later when Alec came knocking on his door, practically begging him to help in Isabelle's trial. Magnus had sighed because he had no idea what the shadowhunter was talking about and getting him to explain had taken a little bit of work. He managed to coax him inside to sit down and talk over some coffee.

"Okay," Magnus yawned. "Tell me what happened."

Alec had explained then that Lydia had arrested Meliorn because she was convinced that the Seelie had information on the Mortal Cup. It was decided that Meliorn would be taken to the silent city to be put under the Soul Sword and if he lied in anyway about anything he would be exiled. Jace, Clary and Isabelle had teamed up with the Wolves and Vampires, which Magnus would have to talk to Raphael about, to rescue the Seelie and Isabelle had taken the fall for it.

"I didn't want anything to do with it. I understood that they didn't want Meliorn to die, but it could have been resolved differently." Alec added.

Magnus sighed, rubbing his brow. He wasn't going to comment on how untrue that was. "So," he said. "Isabelle is being held for treason?"

Alec nodded, clearly stressed. "Yes, she took the fall for all of them and now Lydia is holding a trial against her alongside the Clave. I begged her not to, but she said she had no choice." He said.

"That does make sense. While she is currently Head of the Institute, she is a Clave envoy." Said Magnus, sighing.

Alec swallowed, "Raziel, I don't even know why I'm here? Are downworlders even aloud to represent shadowhunters?"

Magnus threw back the rest of his drink, answering. "Actually, when the Clave was writing rules referring to trials they never thought that a downworlder would ever want to represent one of their shadowhunters. So, they didn't even bother to include us."

Alec laughed in disbelief. "Wow," he smirked. "What asses."

Magnus laughed softly, shaking his head. Alec continued to surprise him. "Because of that," he continued. "There's nothing stopping me from slipping through this gaping loophole. After all, the law is the law."

Alec nodded with a little smile, he had a look in his eyes that made Magnus want to squirm in his seat.

The shadowhunter left with a weight lifted off his shoulders knowing that Magnus would help him once again. Really , he thought. We're going to have to do something for him instead of just saying thank you. Not that Jace and Clary ever said thank you to the warlock. Alec had thought that since she'd practically been raised by Magnus, she would thank him for his help.

Magnus was then thrown into a shadowhunters trial, as a lawyer. He'd thought he'd done everything but representing a shadowhunter was definitely a new one to add to the list. He wondered if the Clave would put it in his file.

The trial was not unsuccessful but Magnus couldn't exactly call it a win. He'd sworn in under the Sword and had desperately hoped that nobody noticed how it lit red under his hands. It wasn't something he felt like explaining. In Magnus' opinion, he played the part well especially when he had managed to convince Lydia onto their side and Isabelle testified spectacularly. Imogen had been the real challenge.

"We will continue with the investigation Mr. Bane, especially if the Seelie really does know the location of the cup. The Clave will discuss Isabelle Lightwoods conviction in private." Imogen said, lifting her wooden hammer to end the trial.

Magnus frowned and stepped forward. "No." He declared.

Imogen stopped in her tracks, looking down at him from her thrown like seat."No?" She asked. "What do you mean 'no'?"

The Lightwoods in the room were looking at him like he was crazy, and maybe he was, but Magnus wasn't going to stand by as another downworlder was wronged by the Clave.

"No as in; you will not continue any investigation including Meliorn." Magnus answered, taking a few steps forward so he was front and center. So Imogen had no choice but to listen. "The Clave has wronged Downworlders for a very long time now. Valentine may be a threat to us all but you are no better than him."

Imogen looked ready to disagree but he continued before she could speak. "Should we discuss the incident in the Accords Hall in 1981? The one where downworlders were massacred by Valentine because The Clave refused to listen and help them." Magnus felt like he was a ticking time bomb ready to explode as he recalled the event. "And now you're all attempting to cover it up like it never happened? Even though it was the day you lost the Mortal Cup?"

Magnus shook his head. "You will not continue an investigation against the Seelie Knight Meliorn unless you would like to declare war against the Downworld. Because you can't afford to lose our help." He finished.

There were so many more things he wanted to say, but he managed to hold himself back because they weren't very savoury. The Inquisitor looked at him for a few minutes, first like he was out of his mind, then with anger, and finally, her face smoothed out so there was no emotion showing. She took a deep breath then shook her head.

Her hammer hit the desk and she spoke loud and clear. "Isabelle Lightwood is hereby found not guilty of treason and any investigation against the Seelie's will be terminated. Dismissed."

Isabelle whooped loudly behind him, he heard Lydia laugh like the weight of the world had been lifted off her shoulders but the Inquisitor was looking at Magnus like he was the one to declare war. He held his head high until she broke the contact and left to room, heels clicking loudly. Only then did Magnus take a deep breath, letting his shoulders slump before he spun around just as Isabelle crashed into his arms. Alec had a blinding, relieved smile on his face.

"Thank you," Isabelle mumbled into his shoulder. "Thank you so much, Magnus."

He hugged the shadowhunter back, "You're welcome, my dear."

The suit that Magnus had worn to the trial was beginning to feel itchy due to the temperature rising in the room from the tension, so he excused himself from the celebrations and stepped out into the hallway. He couldn't help but laugh a little hysterically because even he didn't think they'd get that far. But he was so glad that they did. It was a step forward in the right direction for the Downworlders.

Just as he was about to leave the Institute to go home and take a long bath, a finger tapped on his shoulder. He spun on his heel and was pleasantly surprised to find Alec Lightwood behind him. A smile almost instantly appeared at the sight of the shadowhunter. Almost.

"Magnus, I just–" Alec cleared his throat. "I just wanted to thank you again."

Magnus let his smile grow, "It really wasn't a problem Alexander. I'm glad I could help." He replied.

"I know that im not the Head of the Institute," he started and Magnus couldn't help but interrupt.

"Yet."

Alec chuckled, "–yet." He ducked his head virtuously. "I still have quite a lot of give. I'll make sure that you're paid in full for this, Magnus."

He shook his head. "No," he said. "Alec, you don't have to. It's really no problem."

Alec sighed with a playful roll of his eyes. He licked his lips as he tried to figure out a way to repay the warlock. Magnus had saved his sisters life, there was nothing she wanted more than to continue being a shadowhunter. And she would continue to serve because of Magnus.

"How about," he swallowed nervously. "H-how about a date?" He asked.

Magnus' head snapped up from where he was looking at his feet. "A– a date?"

Alec nodded, "Yeah, a date with me?" He cleared up quietly. This wasn't something he'd had a lot of experience in, none in fact, and he hoped he hadn't misread anything.

Magnus was left gaping at the air. Alec Lightwood wanted to go on a date? With him? His mind couldn't catch up with everything. He thought about the last few weeks that were spent texting in between seeing each other. The way his heart would skip a beat every time his phone would ping with a new text and how his stomach would tingle with butterflies when he read the shadowhunters name on his phone. Ragnor and Catarina would definitely tell him to go for it. So, go for it he would.

"Okay." He answered, holding in his giggle when Alec's eyes widened in surprise.

The shadowhunter smiled in relief, "Okay?"

Magnus let himself giggle after that, nodding his head as he clarified. "Yes, okay. Just, uh, text me the time and place and I'll be there."

"Alec!" Jace's voice broke the moment and Magnus couldn't help but clear his throat, in annoyance. "C'mon, we got a lead."

Alec sighed and began taking a few steps away from him. "Uhm, I gotta get back to work." Alec muttered, pointing back towards where Jace was. "I'll text you?"

"Have fun," Magnus teased, waving as the shadowhunter stumbled away.

He watched the shadowhunter make his way to his parabatai, smiling to himself as he watched Jace slap Alec on the back and the older shadowhunter blush and shove his brother playfully. Magnus shook his head reverently, spinning on his heel. Then his eyes landed on Imogen Herondale walking down the hall and he felt the need to speak to her about the secret he'd kept for too long.

"Inquisitor."

She stopped in her tracks, shoulders tensing up and Magnus quickly made his way over to her before she decided to flee.

"Mr. Bane, I've said all I've needed to about this case, I don't have time for you to gloat." She said, her voice full of anger.

Magnus sighed, pushing away the want to stomp his foot. He wasn't five. "Inquisitor Herondale I'm not going to gloat, I said what I needed to say. This isn't about the trial." He swallowed, "I have reason to believe that Stephen and Celines child is not dead."

Imogen turned around with a haunted look in her eyes but then it was gone like it was never there.

When she didn't speak Magnus continued, "I think you know that Celine wasn't found with a second body."

"They concluded that wolves ate the baby." She argued and Magnus shook his head.

"Wolves aren't that vicious and wolves don't usually know how to cut a baby out of the womb," He said.

She was quiet, looking at him as if she was searching for some clue that he was lying. But he knew that she wouldn't find anything.

Magnus licked his lips. "Imogen," He said. "I think it might be Jace."

 

The shadowhunters lead, as surprising as it was, actually leads back to Ragnor. Alec tells him after, after a long excruciating chat with Imogen, that Clary and Jace had managed to get Jocelyn's location using the portal shard Clary had and it was apparently part of the reason why Meliorn was arrested in the first place. Jocelyn was now in the Institute and all they had to do was find the Book of the White which was last known to be in Ragnors possession.

"You have got to be kidding me," Magnus grumbled. "The old green ass knew this whole time. Ugh, just wait until I tell Catarina about this."

Alec was looking at him with a fond smile and Magnus felt himself blush at the stare. He cleared his throat, looking away and back at the screen that was showing Ragnors face.

"I can take you guys to him, but whether or not he lets us in is out of my hands." He stated, playing with one of his rings.

Before Magnus knew if they had a plan set and Magnus was portalling himself, Clary and Jace to Ragnors cottage in London. He hoped that they were right about this or else he would never hear the end of it from Ragnor. What he wasn't aware of was going with the two Shadowhunters meant that he got a front row seat to their relationship problems. Apparently while Magnus wasn't looking Valentine told Jace that he was really his son, which was some move on the circle members part. He was so tempted to tell them about his theory about Jace being a Herondale just to shut them up but had to remind himself that he swore to Imogen that he wouldn't say anything until she knew for sure.

Ragnor had been gracious enough to actually let them in but his dear cabbage had to be dramatic about it. Once he and Jace were finally freed from Ragnors spell Magnus rolled his eyes at his best friend and patted his shoulder.

"And you all call me the dramatic one."

Ragnor only smirked at him before he started to speak to Clary and Jace. Magnus didn't listen much, just walked around the home that he was so familiar with, feeling an ache to let his wings loose like he always did when here. It was strange not feeling as safe enough to do so with the two shadowhunters in what he considered a second home. But, it is was it is he supposed.

It would be the one thing he'd regret for a long time to come, not keeping an eye on the other warlock. Especially when Clary began to get fussy, but Ragnor just did as they wanted anyway, despite them definitely not asking for his help and that's when it happened.

Magnus reacted to the crash on the second story in seconds, his magic igniting on his fingertips without a second thought. But he was too late, for when he turned around he saw Ragnor falling from the upstairs part of the cottage. Magnus cried out, only partially processing Jace killing a demon, before he was right by Ragnors side.

"Ragnor, hey," He mumbled, his magic already working to try to heal his friend. "Stay with me, cabbage."

He watched his best friend, one of the only people in the world he trusted enough with his secret, take his last breath despite him begging the other not to. He barely processed Clary and Jace trying to talk to him.

"J–just," Magnus said around his tears. "Just go."

He laid his head on Ragnors chest, hoping to find a heartbeat and sobbed when he didn't.

When he knew for sure that they were alone, he allowed his wings to unfold, pulling Ragnor up so he could wrap them both in the safety of his feathers.

"Please, please. Ragnor don't leave. Please don't leave me. S–stay with me, please."

His sobs would go unheard.

 

A lot happens after that day. Magnus is forced to push his best friends death to the back of his head when The Mortal Cup goes missing and Hodge is revealed as a traitor. He'd called into the institute after Lydia is hurt attempting to transport the Mortal Cup back to Idris. Clary and Jace don't even say a word about Ragnor and Magnus has to work hard to keep himself from smacking one of them.

"She's going to be okay." He assured the shadowhunters. "The medical crew and I got everything out of her system and healed her wounds as much as possible. She'll make a full recovery."

As if his words meant nothing to them, Clary and Jace disappeared after he was done speaking. He couldn't help but glare at their backs as they walked away.

Alec touched his arm gently, "Hey." He whispered, attempting to keep their conversation private. "Is everything okay? Are you okay?"

Magnus' eyes prickled with tears and he blinked to keep them from falling, softly pulling his arm from Alec's touch. He didn't want to be comforted by anyone but Ragnor. But that wasn't going to happen.

"I'm fine," he mumbled. "We should go see what they found."

He didn't give Alec the chance to respond before he was walking away, rubbing his eyes then flicking his fingers to keep his makeup in check.

Turns out, after tracking a piece of the bookmark that Ragnor had, Camille has the Book of the White. Because how could Magnus' week get any worse? The shadowhunters decide that they will not go after the vampire until the following day and Magnus is relieved that he'll get a night to grieve his friend alone. So that's what he does and the minute his feet hit the floor of his loft he collapses onto the soft carpet, tears flowing down his face.

He hasn't felt pain like this since the day he found his mother dead in her bed and he finds he can just barely reach the bottle of Scotch located on his drink cart, Ragnors voice echoes through his head.

 

Alec stares at the doors of the Institute for a long time after Magnus leaves. They'd just debriefed for the day and he couldn't figure out what had happened to upset the warlock so much. He doesn't think Magnus noticed that he could tell something had been bothering him, but he caught the shine in Magnus' eyes last second and couldn't seem to catch a second to ask what was wrong. The one time he did Magnus had just said he was "fine."

He turns to the ops center where his siblings are talking to Clary. "Hey," he interrupts. "Do you guys have any idea why Magnus was so sad?"

Izzy just shrugs, but then he can feel the guilt begin to seep thought their bond and can see the realization in his parabatais eyes. Clary has a similar look in her eyes and Alec feels his stomach sink.

"What happened?" He commands more than he asks, wanting to know sooner rather than later.

Clary looks down at the ground and Jace answers. "I must have forgotten, I got so caught up in finding the Book."

Alec glares at his parabatai, speaking in a tone that says he will not ask again. "What. Happened?"

Jace swallows, "There was a demon at the cottage, we don't know if it followed us or if it was already there. B–but, Ragnor was attacked and." He sighed, frowning. "Magnus couldn't save him. It– it was too late."

Alec could see his own shock reflect in Izzy's eyes and she even stepped away from the other two. "You didn't think to say anything?" She asked.

Clary just shook her head frantically, "We were so focused on the Book, we didn't have time. I was so worried about my mom that–"

"Fucking seriously Fray?" Alec shouted, cutting her off. "You couldn't take two goddamn seconds to ask if Magnus was okay? To report it to us?"

Jace frowned at him, "Hey, don't yell at her like that."

Clary looked very close to crying and Alec couldn't find in himself to care. "Shut up, Jace. You don't get to defend her right now. This is on you too. Did you even sweep the perimeter? Warlock or not you were invading his home and it was your job to look out for them. If it was her you wouldn't have hesitated."

He looked back at Clary, "And you! Magnus practically raised you. You said he was like your uncle. You didn't think this would affect him?"

She looked like she was ready to say something but Alec just lifted his hand and shook head head. "Don't," he sneered. "I don't want to listen to your excuses."

"Alec," Izzy came to stand by his side and he could tell she was just as unhappy as he was. "You go check on Magnus, he could probably use a shoulder right now. I'll make sure they write their reports and inform the Clave of Ragnor." She says.

Alec took a deep breath to try to calm down, nodding at his little sister. "Okay," He responded. "I'll probably stay the night again, just in case."

Izzy only nodded, squeezing his arm. He knew that she cared deeply for Magnus' already too. He'd become a good friend to his sister and saving her life at the trial meant the world to her.

Alec took one last look at the other two shadowhunters, shaking his head in disappointment before leaving the Institute. He heard Jace call for him but he ignored it, he knew that if he turned around he wouldn't be able to hold himself back from punching his parabatai in the face. He'd crossed a lot of lines since Clary had dropped into their lives, but this was one Alec couldn't ignore.

He would never forget walking into Magnus' apartment to see the warlock on the floor, crying over a bottle of Scotch. It was more than enough for him to ignore how the door had opened up for him before his knuckles could touch it. Magnus looked up at him with stained cheeks, chest heaving from the exertion of crying so hard, his makeup smeared underneath his eyes. Alec felt his stomach twist as he knelt on the ground next to Magnus, pulling him into his arms even though he tried to push away. He didn't let the warlock push him away, just pulled him into his lap and pushed the warlocks face into his shoulder.

That seemed to break Magnus, like having someone comfort him was too much because only then did Magnus' soft cries turn into loud sobs, muffled into his shoulder. Alec felt tears prick in his own eyes as he held the warlock close, absentmindedly mumbling apologies into his hair, pressing kisses to his temple.

As he held Magnus through his breakdown he didn't know if this was one he could forgive Jace for.

 

The next morning is messy, Magnus wakes up in his bed surrounded by strong arms. He's surprised that he recognizes the runes placed on them and is even more surprised to find that he wouldn't mind waking up in the shadowhunters arms every morning. He magics away his handover, groaning at the sticky feeling of dried tears and make up on his face. Untangling himself from the young Shadowhunter without waking him is hard but Magnus manages.

He doesn't remember much from the night before which meant that he must have been drunk beyond words. Magnus doesn't spend too much time thinking about it just makes some pancakes to thank the shadowhunter once he wakes up.

When Alec is awake they chat quietly over breakfast and coffee, neither of them bringing up the night before. Magnus is thankful for it because he doesn't know if he wants to relive it just yet. He offers Alec his guest bathroom to freshen up. Magnus takes a quick shower, feeling a little better once he doesn't feel like he's covered in old makeup and sweat. He does his makeup with a snap of his fingers and dresses quickly, making sure all of his walls are up before he has to confront Camille. The minute he steps out of his room there's a knock on his door.

Alec answers it and a new round of drama begins in his home. He stands to the side as the Shadowhunters interrogate Camille, ignoring the looks that she gives him. Then, he conjures up a contract for them that guarantees that if Camille helps them she basically gets full immunity for this case. It pisses Magnus off but he doesn't put in a word about.

Then it happens. His week gets that much worse. The shadowhunters leave the room to discuss a plan while he watches over Camille.

"So," she begins, breaking the silence. "Got yourself a new love life, huh?"

Magnus tries his hardest to ignore her, but his emotions are already on edge and he isn't able to stop himself from taking the bait. "Shut up, Camille. My life is none of your business anymore."

The comment just seems to amuse her, she steps into his space breathing in deeply. "Y'know, I can practically smell him all over you. Never thought you'd spread your legs for a shadowhunter."

The comment makes his magic spark on his fingers. "I thought I told you to shut up." He replied, his distaste for her rising in his chest.

Camille laughs and to anyone on the outside it would sound soft and sweet but to him it was evil. Reminded him of a witches laugh. She looks like she wants to say something more but then she breathes in deeply again and before he can even think about preventing it she grabs his biceps, nails digging in, and forces a kiss to his lips. It's short, barely there, but it was enough for Isabelle and Alec to see and enough to make Magnus nauseous. He looks over at Alec guilt building in his chest and Camille let's him go. The young Shadowhunter looks pissed off but it's not him, it's directed straight at Camille.

Magnus steps away from the vampire, holding back the urge to gag. He wishes he had the heart to rip hers out of her chest like she's done so many times to him.

Alec whispers something to Isabelle and the shadowhunter grabs Camille by the arms and drags her out of the room. Alec walks over to him, placing a comforting palm on his cheek. The affectionate gesture throws Magnus off a little but he can't help but lean into the shadowhunters touch.

"You okay? That kiss didn't look very fair minded." He asks, gazing down into Magnus' eyes.

He feels butterflies begin flying around his stomach, his own eyes drawn to the hazels looking at him. "It wasn't, but I'm okay. She's done much worse."

Alec look offended by that. "What?" He asks. "Worse? Do I even want to know? I'd probably kill her if I knew." He says more to himself than Magnus, but he giggles at the shadowhunters mumbles.

Alec seems to sober up at the noise, the corner of his lips tugging up. Who knew he'd love the sound of someone's laugh so much.

Wait what? Alec thought.

Love?

 

Magnus portals himself, all four shadowhunters and Camille to her home in New York, haunting memories catching up with him as they enter through the elevator. Alec mumbled something about checking the perimeter as Clary and Jace attempt to get Camille to tell them where the book is. He rolls his eyes a bit when she answers that it's somewhere in her library, because she knows exactly where. She just wants to play with them.

Magnus follows Alec instead, deciding that he's had his fill of the vampire for at least another lifetime.

He doesn't go the same way that Alec does, turning down a familiar hallway. He's so lost in his head and the memories the place holds that he doesn't realise that he's being followed through the home until he's hit in the back of the head and it's too late.

His vision swam as he groans, head lulling from side to side on the floor. Someone's blurry figure appears as black spots fill his vision and a familiar voice sounds above him.

"Magnus Bane. What a nice surprise."

He loses consciousness right as he realizes that it's the one and only Valentine Morgenstern standing in front of him.

When Magnus wakes up he's back in the front room with his hands bound and he had no idea where the others are. As he attempts to get up on his hands and knees a blinding pain fills his back, the way he can practically feel it targeting his wings makes him cry out.

"It's neat, isn't it?" Valentine's voice fills his head and the hairs on the back of his neck stand as the leader of the Circles breath brushes against it.

Whatever Valentine has pressed to his back makes his stomach flip with the need to vomit. It hurts so bad.

"It's a handy little contraption. It targets the extra muscles in your back. I originally made it for an angel I kept hostage once and got to experiment with a bit." Valentine mutters into his ear. "I didn't know if your little secret was true but from the way your reacting now, confirms it. If you didn't have those extra muscles for those extra limbs of yours it would only feel like getting tazed for a few moments."

The contraption pressed to Magnus' back sends another snap of pain through him and this time he can't stop his scream. His back bows as he feels his wings shift uncomfortably under his skin. The only way he can describe it, is thousands of needles digging into his muscles, slowly tearing the tissues apart.

He's pretty sure he blacks out for a little bit because when he opens his eyes aagin the others are in the room with him, all of them with blades pressed to their necks. Alec has a pained but pissed look on his face as he stares at Magnus, only glancing over every now and then to where Clary and Jace are sneering at Valentine.

Magnus feels wetness sliding down his cheeks and only then does he realise he's crying. His wings ache to be let loose, anything to lessen the pain flowing through his veins. But he knows he can't, can't expose himself and can't confirm Valentines suspicions. Can't show the shadowhunters in the room just how demonic he is.

So, he grits his teeth against the sensation and tries to listen to the conversation.

Jace is speaking when he finally focuses, "If I come with you, you'll stop hurting him? And let the others go?"

"No. Jace– Jace it's not worth it." Clary begs but it goes ignored.

Magnus wants to say that he's not worth Jace having to suffer under Valentine again, but he also knows that they don't know about Jace yet and the Inquisitor made him swear not to tell. He also can't speak while simultaneously trying to keep his last meal down. He looks back over at Alec and attempts to convey that he's fine, but the shadowhunter clearly doesn't believe him. As if Valentine wants to make his point more clear, whatever the point was Magnus wasn't listening again, he seems to signal towards one of his guys and excruciating pain is running under Magnus' skin. He cries out again and then suddenly Jace is begging.

"Okay, okay! I'll come with you. Just don't hurt him anymore." He pleads.

Valentine looks at Jace for a few seconds then suddenly the pain is gone and Magnus' falls forward onto the ground again, fighting to keep his glamours up. His back is tingling but he already feels better and hopes that he never has to experience Valentine's experiments first hand ever again.

He only somewhat registers Valentine leaving with Jace and the rest of his goons going with them. Clary is being held back by Alec, who looks severely heartbroken and Isabelle is suddenly kneeling in front of him.

"Magnus," he feels her hands gently tap his cheeks. "Are you okay? Are you still hurt?" She asks frantically.

Magnus groans again but answers anyway. "Well my dear. I'm not gonna lie; I've felt better."

He's glad that it at least makes her crack a small smile before she's cutting the binds around his wrists. Then, suddenly once again, Alec is there pulling him close and his hands avoiding his back but still constantly touching and searching for injuries.

"God Magnus," he mumbles and pulls him into a hug. "I'm so glad you're okay. I wanted nothing more to help you but they wouldn't let me. I'm sorry."

Magnus nods into the shadowhunters shoulder. "I know, Alexander." He reassures, "I know."

**

The New York Institute is in absolute chaos.

Alec is now the official Head of the Institute but there is a rumor of the Clave sending another envoy to evaluate things. But, his parabatai is currently with Valentine, so the shadowhunter has spent the last week working non-stop to find him. It's driving Isabelle and Magnus insane.

After they'd returned from Camille's home with the Book of the White, Magnus performed the spell needed to wake Jocelyn up and it had worked perfectly. Clary was now practically attached to her mother's hip, which meant she wasn't spending as much time trying to find Jace but training and learning with her mother. It didn't make Alec that happy since Clary was willing to burn down the world to find her mother but now that Jace was gone she didn't seem to care even half as much. It meant that Isabelle and himself had to stop Alec from saying something he'd regret more than once.

Magnus sighed as he tried performing the tracking spell again, attempting to ignore that Jace's sweatshirt felt like it hadn't been cleaned in months, nevermind the smell. He grunted when the spell got cut off once again.

He opened his eyes and looked at the two siblings watching him, "I keep getting cut off. It's like the spell is leading me somewhere but then it just gets blocked off." He explained.

Alec tilted his head back, cursing quietly. Magnus felt a little pang in his chest, seeing Alec so strung and exhausted out hurt to watch.

"Don't worry big brother," Isabelle mumbled, placing a comforting hand on Alec's arm. "We'll find him."

Alec nodded, but it looked like he was lost in his own head. He'd explained to Magnus and Isabelle that his parabatai bond was faint like he was being blocked too, and he could only feel Jace enough to know he was alive. He couldn't tell if his parabatai was hurt, tired, angry. It was just nothing.

Magnus wanted to tell him that he understood. Warlocks when they spend a lot of time together as he'd done with Catarina and Ragnor, they begin to develop bonds. It's nothing like a parabatai bond, but it is made from their magic. If warlocks spend a lot of time together, becoming friends, their magics bind together a small bit in order to form a bond. Magnus had only bonded with Catarina and Ragnor, but never trusted any other warlocks enough to do it with anyone else. The bonds sat as two low thrums in the core of his stomach, something similar to his own magic but on a smaller scale. When he focused hard enough he could feel his friends magic and if it needed to, the bond would tell him when they were in danger.

Ragnors bond had thrummed to life during his last breaths before it had snapped away from Magnus. No matter how hard he searched, Magnus would never feel the thrum of Ragnor's magic again.

While he had close to no idea what Alec was feeling through his own bond to his parabatai, he understood how it felt to be cut off so suddenly. He only wished that he could put it into words and help Alec.

The shadowhunter pushed his sister's hand away, "I know Iz, I just– I need to take a breather." He said.

Magnus was pretty sure the shadowhunter didn't know how harsh he'd spoken to his sister and definitely missed her pained look as her gaze followed her brother. Magnus stepped closer and patted her shoulder.

"I'll talk to him, you see if there's anything Jocelyn knows about where Valentine would have taken Jace. Maybe Clary has found something."

Isabelle looked thankful that he was giving her something to do, only smiling gratefully before she walked away, heels clicking. He takes a deep breath, getting his own thoughts in order before he goes in the direction the older Lightwood did, letting his magic tell him that Alec was located on the roof. The shadowhunter looked back at him over his shoulder, leaning against the roof railings.

"Hey," he greeted. "Sorry about my behavior. I'm just on edge. It's none of your guys' fault."

Magnus walked over, leaning against the railing. "It's okay, I'm aware that this is a lot to get used to. We just want to help Alec."

Alec sighed, hanging his head. "I know," he replied. "It's just– Jace being gone feels like the ground under my feet is uneven. Like I can't keep my balance."

"I get it. I understand Alec–" Magnus attempted to explain but Alec cut him off angrily.

"How?" Alec shouted. "How could you possibly understand? You don't have a parabatai, you're not a shadowhunter."

Magnus had to take a deep breath, to keep himself from lashing out back at the shadowhunter. "As I said, Alec. We're just to help." He answered, walking back towards the door.

"Where are you going?" Alec asked, voice full of misdirected rage.

Magnus stopped, not looking back at the shadowhunter. "I'm going to go home. My best friend just learned that the person she's known for almost 400 years just died. I'm going to go to comfort her," he looked over his shoulder. "And I'm going to wait until shadowhunters around here learn to respect me when they want my help."

He didn't wait for a reply, not really caring if he'd been a little harsh toward the stressed out shadowhunter. All he had done for them the past few months and nobody even bothered to thank him. He'd lost so much, he lost his best friend the person he ran to after every heartbreak, the one he ran to when he wanted to learn to use his magic for good. He'd gotten hurt for them himself but nobody had the mind to say "I'm sorry" or "thank you for draining yourself every day for us." He hadn't slept well in weeks and the exhaustion was beginning to hit him hard.

He was tired.

He stepped outside of the Institute and opened a portal. When he stepped through and into Catarina's home, he was surprised to find Raphael there with her already. The vampire was as close to Ragnor as Cat and him had been, as if he was just as old as they were and had spent just as much time together. Magnus supposed it was because they were both quiet and snippy.

"Hello, mijo."

Raphael sighed, standing to hug him, "Papá." He said.

Anyone else could have heard him speak but nobody would be able to hear the sadness and emotion in his voice. Anyone but Magnus. He tightened his arms around his boy when tears pricked in his eyes. While Raphael hadn't known Ragnor as long as them, he still considered Ragnor like an uncle and Cat like an aunt. He was close to Ragnor in a way that Magnus could never be. They were quiet and sassy, the silent but deadly ones. All three of them had lost a dear friend, so the three would mourn together.

Catarina stepped beside them, joining them in their hug. "Oh Magnus, Raph. I miss him so much already."

"Me too, Cat." He whispered, pressing a kiss to her forehead.

He thought towards the hole in his chest, the place where Ragnors bond would thrum quietly and how it was quiet. How he couldn't feel Ragnors emotions anymore, no matter how hard he focused, fore they were no longer.

"Tidur nyenyak sobat," (sleep well, my friend.) He said in his native tongue around the only two people in life he trusted enough to speak the language.

As he hugged his two friends, the one he considered a sister and the other a son he swore to himself that he would protect them at all costs and that he would find Valentine and kill him.

If not for them and for Ragnor. Then he'd do it for himself.