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Coming back home

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The heavy door makes a loud noise when Alec pushes it open.

All eyes turn to him and Alec has a moment to think about how out of place he looks in a ceremony that’s held for him. Everyone looks neat and clean in their pure white attire, and Alec is standing at the door, panting from exertion and dressed in all black with his clothes and skin undoubtedly stained with dirt.

He looks at his family there, on the front of the room. Their expressions are shocked as they stand beside a body that’s covered with a white sheet. The silent brother behind them is tilting its head in a wordless question.

Jace is the first to act. He takes a blade from next to the body - his blade, he notices when his parabatai aims it towards him and starts walking. 

“Who the hell are you?” He asks, his words accusing and voice trembling.

Alec lifts his hands up in surrender, “I’m Alec.”

The rest of his family walks up so they are standing behind Jace who’s still pointing the blade towards Alec’s chest. Alec locks eyes with Magnus who’s being uncharacteristically quiet and he can see the tear tracks on his cheeks that are yet to dry. Magnus is dressed in white as well, respecting the Shadowhunter tradition even though he’s not one.

“It’s me,” he says, looking Magnus in the eyes.

“But how about -” Isabelle starts before her voice fades to nothing. Alec looks at her and she nods at the body in front of the room. The body everyone thought was Alec’s.

“A shapeshifter,” Alec explains. “I got caught on the mission we went to last week and a shapeshifter took my place. I didn’t know it had died until I arrived here and heard you were holding my funeral.”

Alec doesn’t blame them for being suspicious. 

“Magnus,” Maryse says, her voice the cold tone of a leader Alec remembers from his childhood. “There must be a spell you can use to verify this.”

“There is,” Magnus says carefully and steps in front of the group. Alec turns to look at his husband and gives a small, encouraging smile.

Magnus says something in a language Alec doesn’t know, his words too quiet to make perfect sense of them anyway. Alec keeps eye contact and studies the unsure expression on Magnus’ face. He’s retreated back behind the walls he uses to keep himself safe.

Magic covers Alec from head to toe. It feels warm and it vanishes as soon as it came and when it does, Alec holds his breath. He knows he’s who he claims to be, and he hopes the spell proves his words to his family as well.

He looks at Magnus carefully as the magic fades, and he’s alarmed when fresh tears spring to Magnus’ eyes. Alec doesn’t have time to react before there are arms around him, holding him close.

“It’s him,” Magnus breathes out.