Magnus stepped out of the purple portal, dusting himself off after his hard day’s work. He’d worn a suit in a magnificent shade of purple to the Seelie Glade that day. He’d chosen it because, well of course he looked amazing in it, but also for the fact that it served as a sort of suit of armour. It was the Seelie Queen who he’d been working for and he wasn’t particularly fond of people who couldn’t lie. Magnus was many things but he’d always been honest to himself and others. He was sometimes indirect with his desires, but he made sure you still knew what he meant. The purple suit was like armour because it made him actually feel like the person he liked to portray. The aloof, powerful, enigmatic High Warlock of Brooklyn, Magnus Bane, 800 years old and could most likely kill you with a blink of an eye. But he couldn’t feel any less like that than at that particular moment.
His day had not been great because the Seelie Queen had commissioned him to examine a portal the Seelie’s guarded in their realm. He’d been intrigued by the portal once it had been summoned by one of their Knights - Meaty Horn, or was it Measly Born – oh no wait, Meliorn was most likely his name. Although Magnus wasn’t exactly surprised he didn’t remember the Seelie’s name. Meliorn had looked thoroughly uncomfortable the entire time and kept side glancing at the Seelie Queen every five seconds as though he was hiding a very large secret. Which, come to think of it, he might have been.
The Queen believed someone had tampered with the portal. It had seemed an easy enough job to Magnus in theory. Wave his fingers around, do a little magic to determine if any Warlock or Demonic creatures had done anything to the portal. Except that the Seelie Queen wouldn’t tell him where the portal went to. Apparently, it was a top-secret, absolutely no Warlock, Werewolf, Vampire, Shadowhunter or Mundane kind of secret.
Being withheld information about the jobs he was being paid to do always, without fail, made Magnus loathe the jobs he was being paid to do. But it was no use thinking of that now. Magnus needed alcohol.
As he finished dusting himself off he thought he noticed something around his hands like a sort of shimmering. But even as he looked the shimmer disappeared. Concluding that he was imagining things because he’d had a hard, trying day dealing with the Seelie Queen, he convinced himself it was nothing.
Magnus walked over to his minibar and poured himself a drink. He lifted the glass to his lips and enjoyed the familiar taste of alcohol. But as he lowered his glass, he saw the shimmer again. It was blue, no orange or was it both?
Just as Magnus crinkled his eyebrows in confusion at the odd sight there was a curt knock on his apartment door. Flinging his hands around rapidly wondering what the hell he was supposed to do about a glowing hand when there was a visitor at the door made him not notice that the shimmer had disappeared. He heard the knock again, then rapidly looked down at his hand and saw that it seemed normal enough for now. Magnus then rushed over to the door in relief but that emotion was drowned out with annoyance. If this was a client or anyone else he didn’t really feel like seeing after the day he’d had they were in for a really bad time. Keeping the hand that had been shimmering behind his back just in case, Magnus opened the door.
His eyes widened as he involuntarily looked the visitor up and down with slight contempt. Did Alexander Lightwood fit into the category of people he didn’t really feel like seeing? He withheld judgement momentarily while he appraised Alec.
The Shadowhunter had at this moment, an unreadable expression on his face. His chest was rising and falling heavily but Magnus could not fathom as to the reason why.
Before Alec could say anything, Magnus wanted to make his position known. Magnus was pissed off at Alexander. He was getting married.
“Is there something I can help you with Alec, because I have not had the nicest day and there isn’t really much we have to talk about.” Magnus snapped.
Alec, Magnus saw, attempted to show no reaction to that comment. However, through what Magnus had dubbed “Alec and Magnus’ Budding Romance”, he had begun to recognize at least some of the boy’s emotions and the ways they played on his face. He therefore noticed the tiniest narrowing of Alec’s eyes which expressed his offense to the comment. If Magnus hadn’t begun to notice these tiny details, Alexander would have remained entirely a mystery.
However, Magnus had to admit that maybe Alec really was a mystery after all. It wasn’t like Magnus could fathom why he was marrying a girl he clearly did not like, let alone love due to the situation of his very much closeted homosexuality. But Magnus put these thoughts to one side. He wanted this conversation over. Now.
“I’m sorry. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t important.” Alec began, his voice carefully controlled. “My sister is on trial and she needs an attorney.”
Magnus tried to keep the venom out of his voice. Tried being the operative word. “And you thought I was the person to come to?”
Alec looked uncomfortable and shifted in place in the doorway. “I wouldn’t be here at all if Izzy hadn’t asked me to ask you.”
Magnus’ eyes betrayed him slightly as they widened in hurt. He hated to admit that he was still a bit raw from their conversation that day at the Institute in which Alec had dropped the bombshell that he was marrying the envoy from the Clave and once and for all put a rather large road block in the middle of “Alec and Magnus’ Budding Romance.”
The sudden hurt took him so by surprise that he hadn’t realized Alec was still talking. “… she insisted I come here even though I explained a Downworlder couldn’t possibly defend a Shadowhunter in court.”
“Not necessarily.” Magnus pointed out.
Alec’s eyebrows pulled into confusion - absolutely not adorably Magnus tried to think but he resentfully couldn’t help the slight pull of a smile at the corner of his mouth at the sight.
Looking at the ground in an effort to bring himself back to the matter at hand, Magnus sighed loudly and opened the door wide, showing off the expanse of his apartment to Alec who still stood largely in the door frame. “Why don’t you come inside whilst I try to find evidence that a Downworlder can legally defend a Shadowhunter?” Magnus breathed out in a long drone. He was making it perfectly clear to Alec that he seemed like he wasn’t happy about helping him. Magnus got a little too much satisfaction from the fact that he had the power right now. That’s right. He was what could be termed ‘salty’ about Alec’s engagement.
Alec looked a little wary at the suggestion but then took the offer and walked across the threshold. His expression became more and more uncomfortable the more steps he took into the Warlock’s loft. Magnus almost pitied the sight.
He knew he shouldn’t be doing this. Not after what Alexander had done to him but some feelings it seemed were hard to shake off; a revelation that came to him with a dash of surprise. After all he was a 400 year old warlock. At least for the past 100 years, feelings, especially romantic ones, had become more and more fleeting. Ephemeral and impermanent.
“Now you occupy yourself and I will attempt to try to understand my filing system.” Magnus said airily, and flicked a hand dramatically towards his couch indicating Alec should sit down.
Alec’s lips pulled up ever so slightly in what Magnus had come to recognize as his way of showing amusement. “You don’t understand your own filing system?”
Magnus cocked his head slightly, held a finger in the air, re-evaluated his statement and began again. “Which I mean to say is I don’t have a filing system so this may be harder than it sounded a minute ago.”
Alec looked like he wanted to say something, probably an outburst of disbelief but Magnus hastily walked around the apartment and waved a ringed hand at Alec in a gesture that clearly expressed the words “Don’t. Say. Anything.”
Magnus got caught up in concentration in front of his small bookcase in his bedroom, trying to remember in which book he might have stuffed the bits of paper he was looking for. It was something he couldn’t even believe he had kept for these past few hundred years. A pile of legislation the dastardly Clave had handed him one time to prove a point when he’d stuck his foot into his mouth and tried to tell a group of high level Shadowhunters that Downworlders were just as special as the half angels. But at the time, the Clave was so stuck on their “Time of Angels” bandwagon that it was beyond them to take any notice to treat Downworlders with any sort of respect.
But Magnus was grateful for the prejudice now. It meant he might be able to help Isabelle with the help of a blinding loop hole. Although he tried not to analyse too hard exactly why it was that he wanted to help Izzy.
He was afraid the reason may be in the next room sitting on his couch.
That thought reminded him he should probably get Alec a drink or something. Or should he? What was the appropriate way to behave when the boy who you had been kind of falling for not-dumps you for an admittedly impressive Shadowhunter envoy?
Magnus decided on simple politeness. He would get Alec a drink. A drink didn’t have to mean anything. Right?
Magnus went back into the main room and glanced at Alec as he went to get him a drink. Although, he made a note not to make it as alcoholic as the time they shared a drink after healing Luke together; a painful memory now. This time he would certainly not add any alcoholic magic Magnus had come to perfect in the last 100 years of wild partying. The boy didn’t seem too experienced in the drinking department and Magnus found himself yet again pushing away distracting thoughts. Thoughts such as how he wished he could spend time getting to know exactly what Alec liked.
Once the drink was poured, Magnus walked cautiously over to Alec. Alec looked up at him, another unreadable expressed adorned his face that even Magnus could not for the life of him decipher (damn this boy and his messed up emotional range.) Alec was looking down with that exact expression at the drink that Magnus was holding out to him.
He then stared into Magnus’ eyes for a few long seconds and then seemed to determine that he shouldn’t be doing it and jumped in dismay and awkwardly shot out his hand in an attempt to grab the glass. But in his haste to take hold of the glass, Alec overshot and instead grabbed the hand surrounding it.
Magnus gasped at the touch and stared back into Alec’s eyes. Magnus tried as hard as he could to take in all the emotions that this time were plain as day on Alec’s face. There was shock and confusion there but also the hint of something else? Attraction?
Before either of them could do anything and before Alec could move because he was clearly about to take his hand off of the other man’s, Magnus saw his own hand shimmering the same orange and blue from before.
And then with a loud gush of sound and the familiar ring of magic, Alec disappeared in a cloud of blue and orange smoke.
Magnus stepped back in utter shock, dropping the glass and it shattered onto the wooden floor. But Magnus breathed a sigh of relief when he saw Alec in the same spot when the cloud dissipated.
“I have no idea what just happened–“ Magnus had begun to say before he stopped in his tracks.
It had taken him a few moments to actually see Alec in front of him and the shock that followed outmatched any of the other emotions he had felt all day.
In front of him was Alec but it most certainly was not any Alec he knew. He looked completely different and was looking up at him with an expression of complete disbelief.
What the hell had happened when he touched Alexander with his shimmering blue and orange hand?
And where the hell had this Alec lookalike come from? Where in the world did the portal in the Seelie Glade go?