the hunting season began.
The past week, since Ragnor died, Raphael had gone into a state of madness. At least that's how his people called it.
There wasn't a night that Raphael didn't wander, even circle the New York Institute, waiting for Valentine. He called him many names during it, loud enough for the whole neighborhood to hear.
"You have to eventually come out Monster! And I'm not going anywhere!" he roared "You will die Valentine Morgenstern! I'm going to kill you!"
To put it simply, Raphael Santiago, the leader of the New York Clan and the Prime Magister of the city, had gone crazy.
And everyone has seen it.
"Simon," Josh called the youngest vampire in the Clan up to the front of the Throne Room. He sat on the chair next to the throne. Even if he was temporarily the leader of the Clan, he didn't feel like he could sit on Raphael's throne. It belonged to his maker and only to him.
"Yes?" the teenage boy was still new in all of this. He still tried to act like a human, though it's been two months since his turn. Josh had to watch over him so he wouldn't burn in the sun, like he almost did a day before. That and he had to control his killing instincts, even if it wasn't his job to do. His maker should teach him everything, but as for now, the said maker was too mad for it.
"You will go to Brooklyn, to Master Bane, and deliver to him a message from me."
"Who's Master Bane?" there were a few gasps of surprise in the crowd.
"Boy," Josh raised his eyebrow in annoyance. "You've been a vampire for two months already, and you don't know who Magnus Bane is?"
"No, though his name sounds like one from some game," the young one drawled. "So, who's the man?"
"Lilith, listen Lewis, Magnus Bane is the High Warlock of Brooklyn, and the Magister of area two. He's a high persona in New York. One of the most important Downworlders in here, and in the whole world."
"Get it, so he's like Harry Potter…no, he's like Merlin!" Josh didn't comment on this with anything, but a sigh. The boy was definitely useless. Normally, Joshua didn't question his maker's decision in creating new vampires, but with every next word of Simon Lewis he was wondering why Raphael turned this mundane. The boy was truly useless to them; he wasn't a warrior, neither a tactician. He was just a stupid boy, and the only advantage of his was that he knows Shadowhunters. "Ok, so what's the message."
"Tell him that our Master is…ill and I need his assistance."
"And the temporary leader wanted me to tell you, that their Master is ill, and they need your assistance, Master Bane…" Simon stood in the middle of Magnus's living room, hands in his pockets, looking straight into the cat eyes of the warlock. "Hey, do you have a wand? Like Harry Potter?"
"Simon, my name is Simon," the vampire interrupted. Chairman Meow hissed at him, and ran to the front doors. A second later, there was the sound of keys and the opening of a door coming to his ears.
"I've barely managed to co…" the blue eyed Shadowhunter stopped dead in his tracks, looking into the dark eyes of the vampire. "Simon?"
"Alec? What are you doing here?"
For a while there was an awkward silence in the loft. Alec and Magnus were eyeing each other, looking confused and uncomfortable. The warlock rolled his eyes and turned to Alec, mouthing 'hi honey', which earned him an adorable blush from the younger man.
"So…" Alec spoke after a while. "Maybe I should come back later."
"There's no need, Darling," Magnus stated, grabbing Alec by his elbow, leading him to the couch. Once settled there, the warlock turned to Simon "Stuart…"
"It's Simon," he growled.
"Whatever. Tell Josh to come here, as soon as he can, got it?"
"Sure…am…" Lewis looked at Alec, uncomfortably scratching the back of his head. "Alec…um…how's…how's Clary?"
"She's fine…" Lightwood mused, avoiding his eyes. "She misses you…"
"Tell her I miss her too, ok?" Alec nodded, smiling awkwardly, while Magnus squeezed his hand behind his back. "Ok, I'll tell Josh to come here as soon as he can. Goodbye Master Bane. Bye Alec."
"So, what was he doing here?" Alexander laid his hand on Magnus's knee and rubbed it slowly.
"He came to tell me that Raphael is ill, though I don't know what that means. I haven't seen him for a week, since we came back from London…" Magnus suppressed tears that built in his eyes at the mention of his dead friend. It was still a fresh and very painful wound in his heart, and he knew that it was going to hurt for a long time.
"How are you doing? I'm sorry that I haven't come by for two days, but I couldn't leave the Institute at nights…" he caressed Magnus's cheek in a loving way. The warlock leaned into the touch, kissing the inside of the hunter's hand.
"I'm a bit better now. Thank you for being with me that night," Magnus leaned down to capture Alec's lips in a longing kiss. " I love you, Alexander."
"I…" he cut himself off not knowing, more like not having the courage to spill his heart out.
"I told you, you don't have to feel obligated to tell me the same, love" with that Bane closed the topic of it, and snuggled up to Alec, making the boy lay down on the old couch. The Shadowhunter moved his fingers into Magnus's hair and stroked it slowly, as the warlock laid his head on the boy's chest.
For a moment they were simply Magnus and Alec. And from moments like that Magnus knew that it's worth it.
"There's a reason I sneaked out here tonight," Alexander spoke with uncertainty in his voice, making Magnus hover over him. The blue eyes were filled with something that Magnus couldn't read properly, so he looked confused at his lover.
"What is it Alexander? Is something wrong?"
"It's about Raphael Santiago, actually," that made Bane even more confused than a second before. "You didn't hear?"
"Hear what? What's going on? I've been a bit out of the Downworld, so, spill, honey."
"He's been…how to put it…"
"Alec, come on, spare me the riddles," Magnus straddled his hips, and sat up, to have a better look on his face.
"Ok, he's been invading our territory, he's like a hawk waiting for his prey, and that prey is Valentine," Alec was explaining. "He's circling the Institute, throwing threats upon Valentine, you know, all 'I'll kill you, I'll rip your heart out, you can't stay there forever, et cetera."
"I don't…" Magnus started, but was interrupted by another male voice.
"Your hunter is trying to say that Raphael wants to kill Valentine," both Alec and Magnus turned to the said voice. Josh was standing in the doorframe of the living room, leaning on the wall. "I need your help, Magnus."
"How did you get in here?"
"You should have better protection. Anyone can walk in," he moved himself forward to the warlock and the Shadowhunter. Alexander stiffened, and his hand gripped the blade on his belt. "Relax little hunter, I won't touch you."
Nevertheless, Alec hadn't relaxed, and was still keeping his hand over the blade.
"Right…" the blonde vampire mused. "Magnus, you have to help me. I don't know what to do anymore."
"What do you mean?"
"I never thought I'd say this about my own maker…" he sat down on the chair next to the couch. Magnus turned to him, partly shielding Alec. "To put it simply, Raphael went crazy after Ragnor's death."
"No, this is not mourning, Magnus," Josh stated. "This is a suicide mission. Every night, he's going in the hunters' territory, and circles the Institute. He takes people with him, and two of us died in the past week."
"That was Sebastian's doing, the killing of those vampires," Alec spoke from behind Magnus.
"It does no matter. Magnus, talk to him. I'm afraid that he's going to get himself killed because of this revenge," Josh sighed. "He's not listening to me anymore. He's blinded by this desire of revenge. I understand, he loved him. I know that Ragnor was his true love, but getting himself and our people killed won't give him peace. I beg you, talk to him. He will listen to you."
"If I may," the Shadowhunter stood and moved himself next to Magnus. "Valentine isn't even at the Institute right now. And it would be good if Raphael isn't in our territory, when he comes back. Valentine isn't a man that takes threats, that's what my dad says about him. He will end your friend if he wants to. As far as I know, he doesn't fail, ever."
"I'll talk to Raphael," he breathed out. "I'll take care of it Josh. I promise."
And so Magnus Bane fulfilled his promise.
"Don't you think it's a bit…reckless what you're doing?" he approached Raphael, as the said man was throwing rocks at the Institute. "Plus, you won't make him come out with rocks and some mean words."
"Go home Magnus," Raphael's eyes never left the doors of the Institute.
"We?" he shot him a sharp glare above his shoulder. "Who's we?"
"Me and Josh," Magnus grabbed his cold arm, and pushed him onto the nearest tree, blocking his way, making him unable to move. He moved one hand to his chin, and forced the vampire to look him in the eye. "What's going on? Talk to me."
"Since when we are best friends?" he snorted, pushing Magnus's hand away. He slid himself to the ground, and brought his knees to his chest, encircling them with his hands.
"No, we're not best friends. But we have…had someone that was really important to both of us," he sat next to him, on the cold ground. The night cold air was surrounding him, sending shivers to his body. "I know it's hard…"
"You don't know anything," the vampire grumbled, throwing stones before him "I loved…I still love him, it hurts."
"I know, I've lost so many lovers during my whole life…it's hard, and painful," for a while there was silence between them, interrupted only by the slow beating of Magnus's heart and his steady breath. "It won't pass just like that. Even when you're a vampire, you can't turn off this feeling. You will feel sorrow for a long time, believe me. I know you love Ragnor, but he wouldn't want you to get yourself killed."
"I just…" Raphael was letting out erratic breaths. "I just can't stand that he killed Ragnor and he walks around like nothing happened. He deserves to die! I want to kill him for it! I want to give him the pain he caused to me and you. Don't you understand?!"
"I understand you, better than anyone," he threw pebbles in front of him like Raphael was doing. "Valentine has to pay for what he did. But this isn't the way. We have to prepare ourselves. You know, as well as I, that he works with demons. If we want to defeat him and get our revenge, we have to act with our brain, not with our heart. We don't want to die."
"He doesn't deserve to live," Raphael spited in the direction of the Institute, thinking of the hated Shadowhunter. "It drives me crazy…"
"Look at me," the black eyes filled with pain and hatred looked into the cat-like ones. The sorrow was clearly seen in both of their eyes, the same pain. They both had lost one of the most important people in their lives. A drop of blood painted Raphael's hand, before he wiped his bloody tears away. "I promise you, that we will get our revenge. Valentine Morgenstern will die. I swear on Lilith. We just need to act with our brain, to not get ourselves killed."
"And how do we do it?"
"We'll wait, he'll come to us. He needs the book," Magnus ran a hand through his hair. "And when he comes to us, we will kill him."
"I'll rip his heart out," Raphael growled, when a shadow crossed the gate of the Institute.
"Be my guest. We will avenge Ragnor. That I promise you."