Is it true or not?
Raphael Santiago was known for
being a very patient man. Some could even call him a saint, and not only
because he used to be a Catholic, but because he has an angelic patience. He
had practiced it for a long time, since he had still been human. He remembered
how his younger siblings stretched his patience on a daily basis. The same
patience had led him in the success of winning the position of the vampire clan
leader. He had been waiting for years, patiently, for Camille to screw things
up with de Quincy. And when that day had finally come, he slipped into the
position. He had finally established order among vampires. And with the
position of Prime Magister, thoughtfully offered to him by the Seelie Queen, he
established order among the whole Downworld here in New York.
There wasn't really a thing in the world that could destroy his patience. Even the Uprising hadn't done it. Even the murders of his people these days. After all, he could replace people. So really, there wasn't a thing that could nerve him to the edge.
Except for one thing and that thing was named Magnus Bane.
Raphael didn't know whether he should curse that April day in 1953, because his human life was ended, or because he had met Magnus Bane. Sometimes, he thought that it's some kind of a curse brought upon him by God, though he didn't know what he had done. There was no doubt that Magnus saved him in some way. He offered him a home, when he couldn't come back to his family. He introduced him to the night life in the Downworld. Maybe even somewhere deep, really, deep down, Raphael considered him a friend. But the warlock had a tendency to stretch his nerves into impossible lengths.
Santiago was sure that if it wasn't for Ragnor, he would have let his desire to end the warlock come to life.
Just like he wants to do right now.
For the first time in sixteen years, since he got to be the Prime Magister, he felt uncomfortable in his own home. He couldn't help but fidget on his throne, as the colorful, skinny man was glaring at him, impatiently tapping his fingers on the desk. The vampire was sure that if he'd still been human, he'd be sweating like a pig now from all those nerves.
In his head, he was deciding the tortures he'd serve to Bane.
'Rip his hair out?'
'Cut all of his ridiculous clothes?'
'Take away all of his stupid glitter?' – This was actually a thing that Ragnor had told him once. There was nothing that can be a bigger torture for Magnus than the lack of glitter.
"Will he even be here, tonight?" the fey asked, looking annoyed at the vampire.
"Um…he will be here," Raphael smiled awkwardly, before he added silently to himself. "Or I'll finally kill him."
"When?" the vampire didn't blame Meliorn for being annoyed. Bane has been two hours late already.
"Soon?" he offered. "My people went to collect him."
"Master Santiago," A black haired vampire came inside the room and kneeled before his throne.
"Master Bane is here."
"Let him inside," he breathed out with a relief.
"Magister Bane, you are late," Meliorn spoke, before Raphael could even think of saying something to the warlock. "This is a disregard to the Queen and the Fair Folk."
"I don't see the Queen here," Magnus moved himself closer to them. Lily bowed at Raphael and the two other Magisters and left them alone. "Anyway, let's get to business. I have places to be and work to do. So, shall we? You can charge me for a disregard some other time."
Raphael knew that there was nothing he could do to tame Magnus's stupidity and sharp tongue. He just hoped that they won't be killed because of it one day.
"Fair enough," the Magister of the Fair Folk took out a small paper and a Falcon's feather covered with ink. "Begin."
"Do you want to me to cast a spell so my words will be imprinted on paper?"
"No. I can remember your words…" he smirked in a devilish way. "If they are worth remembering."
"Sure…all official?" Meliorn and Raphael nodded. "All right. Magnus Bane, the High Warlock of Brooklyn, Magister of area Four in New York. I am here, in front of the Prime Magister of New York; Raphael Santiago, and the Magister of the Fair Folk and the representative of the Queen of the Fair Folk, to make the first report of the task I was commissioned. The task I am bound to, is seducing a Shadowhunter from the New York Institute to gather information about the possible attack of their kind upon the Downworlders," the warlock took three deep breaths, before he changed the tone of his voice. "Okay, enough with the official things. So, there's three new Shadowhunters in the Institute. One girl, two men."
"Continue, Magister Bane," Meliorn said in his melodic voice.
"The girl is totally untrained, but she's training with the best hunter there, Jace…"
"Jace Wayland." Raphael popped in.
"Yes. So she's training with him."
"And those two men?" the fey looked slightly interested.
"The boy, around eighteen, from the Paris Institute, Sebastian Verlac," Bane made a small pause, not really knowing how to tell those two men about the other hunter.
"And the other hunter, Magister Bane?"
"Well, it's not 100% confirmed yet. I need some more time, especially, you know, the young generation haven't seen him ever so…" he blabbed.
"Magnus!" Raphael raised his voice. "The other man! His name!"
"This isn't possible," Santiago whispered. "He's dead."
"I'm telling you, that's what Al…" he cut himself off. "That's what I found out from the Shadowhunter."
"The girl told you this?"
"Yeah," he tried to answer with the most conviction possible in his voice. "But she's young, and doesn't know him. So I need to pry more into it. I need some more time."
"Indeed, you do," Meliorn stood up and bowed his head to Raphael, then he turned to Magnus. "You have time till next week, when I'll come here for the second report, Magister Bane. It would be wise of you to have more important news by that time. As well, …don't be late again."
"Sure," with that the fey left the Hotel Dumort.
"Dios Mio, couldn't you come up with something more normal?" Raphael stood up from his throne and came closer to him. "Valentine is alive…this is the…how do people say it these days…the lamest joke I've ever heard."
"It's true," Magnus grabbed his cold arm and turned him to himself. "Alec can't lie. Believe me. But…for your sake…I'll pry more into it. I'll find out if it is true or not…"
"You better do it, Magnus," the vampire moved a hand through his dark locks. "Because if it's true…than we're…"
"Yes," Santiago agreed. "We have to make sure."
"I'm working on it," Magnus said smoothly. "Trust me. I'll find out whether he's back or not."
"As insane it will sound…" he made a small pause. "I trust you with this, Magnus Bane."
Manhattan wasn't a place that Magnus liked to be in, except for shopping. Manhattan had a few good stores that Bane was truly fond of. But this time he wasn't here for shopping. No, he was here for business. Of all the creatures of the Downworld, werewolves weren't really bad. He even liked their stamina, truly helpful and amazing in bed. Except for barking at dawn, or growling during sex. But this wasn't the case he was here tonight either.
"I think I can manage from here, Josh," he turned to the blonde-haired vampire, who recently became his guard. Raphael's order.
"Do you wish for me to wait for you? To walk you back to Brooklyn?"
"Nah, I'll be fine, you don't have to worry your pretty head about me," he smiled fondly at him. "You may go, soon the sun will rise."
"Be careful here, Magnus," Josh looked behind the warlock's back. "Werewolves are unpredictable. And you're close to the Shadowhunters area. Be careful."
"I will be. No need to worry. Goodbye, Josh," with that Magnus moved towards Chinatown.
Many people were outside laughing and enjoying some fire show, as Bane walked in the direction of the old Police-station. He was sure that he'd find him there. At least that's what he was hoping.
He knocked three times, before he heard a loud, guttural voice, which sounded truly like a dog's bark.
"Magnus Bane. I'm here to see your leader, Luke Garroway," a man with long, gray hair opened the door. He was tall, muscular, maybe middle-aged.
"Master Bane, welcome," Magnus didn't know this man.
"Is Luke here? I have to speak with him, immediately,"
"Magnus, hello," another voice was heard, this time, a familiar voice. "Come in. Alaric, take Gretel and two others and take an hour patrolling around our area."
"Of course," he bowed his head to Luke and Magnus. "Goodbye, Master Bane."
"Goodbye…" when the other werewolf left them alone, Magnus moved his eyes on Luke. "Is it safe to talk here?"
"Depends on what you want to talk about?" he fixed his old glasses, and unbuttoned the first button of his flannel shirt.
"I think you know," the warlock looked meaningfully at the younger man. "Maybe we could go to that…store of yours?"
"Let's go then."
Luke's bookstore wasn't anything special. It almost looked like those stores back in 70's. All dull and boring. Bane sat down on a chair that used to be red…at least that's what he guessed. The werewolf offered him some tea, but he nicely refused, saying that he had limited time. When Luke sat in front of him, Magnus got straight to the point.
"You should have told me, that Valentine is back," Luke's face was blank, at those words. He was constantly blinking at Magnus, as the warlock continued. "What? Thought that I wouldn't find out? Let me get this straight. Your girlfriend, ex-wife of Valentine, ex-shadowhunter, goes missing two weeks ago…"
"Jocelyn isn't my girlfriend," there was a slight blush on the man's cheeks.
"How long have you known, that he's back?"
"Since that day," he started, and looked a bit distant. "I hadn't seen Jocelyn or Clary for two days, so I went to Brooklyn to visit…" Magnus nodded. "But when I got there, there was a huge mess. The door was broken down, furniture was broken as well. It was like a hurricane had gone through there. I was calling for her and Clary. But there was no one. I found only a letter, a small paper with a few words…"
"They are my family," he said. "When I got home and found my cell phone, I had a voice mail from Jocelyn. She said that Valentine is alive and he's coming for her. She told me to take care of Clary, to hide her…but that blonde boy was faster…she had learned about the Shadow World…something that Jocelyn and I were trying to hide from her. Jocelyn also mentioned the name of your friend."
"Yeah, she only said to me 'Ragnor Fell'," Magnus looked thoughtful for a while. "Do you know what she meant?"
"I have no idea…but that isn't the point now," he stated. "What matter is, that he's…okay…more like the New York Institute are gathering Shadowhunters here. I think, they're planning something."
"Weren't you supposed to find out about it?" he asked. "This is your task, right?"
"And I'm doing my job. But I didn't expect such a twist…" Magnus's phone rang shortly, alerting him of a new message.
'Can't come tonight. Night patrol. See you tomorrow?'
'See U 2morrow, Darling'
"Anyway…" he said, after he sent the text. "I have to go…am…yeah… keep your eyes opened Luke. Something big is coming. I feel it."
"Of course. Bye Magnus."
Magnus was walking back slowly, eyes full of awareness. There was a high possibility that the Shadowhunters were here, hidden perfectly in the shadows, waiting for their victims. And the victim tonight could be Magnus. He could create a portal to his home, but then he would have let them know about himself here. And this was the last thing he wanted to do.
Especially now, when he knew that Valentine is back. The man would certainly kill him the moment he saw him. That man loved killing Downworlders.
As he was moving forward, he caught the glimpse of a witch-light. And in its life he saw black eyes staring at him from far.
Black eyes of Valentine Morgenstern.
So it was true, he's back.
In that moment, Magnus Bane knew that they're doomed.