Truth may be painful
could have thought that Magnus Bane was used by now to the smell of death and
blood. After all, he has been walking in this world for a few centuries, and he
had seen many deaths of people, including ones of the people closest to him.
Yet, even when he was used to it, he couldn't help but tremble slightly around
those corpses and injured creatures.
"Bane, help those werewolves" Praetor Lupus ordered him, while taking out the remains of seraph blades from between his ribs. He let out a loud growl when blood poured out of the wound.
"I'm not a doctor," he retorted, finishing healing some young boy named Jordan.
"But you are a warlock," with that the discussion was ended; Bane concluded it out of the sour look on the old man's face.
The battle with the Shadowhunters had left them exhausted and wounded like never before. Many of the Downworlders were surprised, not only by the strength that the half-Angels had, but as well as with the involvement of demons. Magnus wondered how Valentine had been able to summon the Greater Demons. As far as he knew, there had to be magic used for it, or at least demon blood. The warlock knew that Valentine used to inject some demon blood inside him, but it still wasn't enough to summon, let alone control demons. So he had to work with some warlock; the big question was with whom?
His thoughts were interrupted by the loud roar of Alexei. He moved his eyes to the vampire, who now was sitting on Raphael's throne. He was observing Magnus warily, his eyes pierced through his body, as if he were an antelope and Alexei the lion here. Bane knew, he felt it in every fiber of his body, that he was doomed now.
"Everyone leave!" he boomed throughout the room. Downworlders, who were there, weren't very keen on it. Many of them were still badly injured, requiring a warlock's help or at least, a still position to heal themselves. Nevertheless, when their eyes crossed with Alexei's filled with fire, they immediately left the room, scowling and growling on their way. Magnus moved along with them, but the minute he was at the door, he was stopped by the low growl of de Quincy. "You, stay here, Bane."
"Why?" Before he had a chance to say something more, Raphael stepped inside the throne room with a blank expression. There was something unsettling in his eyes, when he looked at Magnus.
"Where is everyone?" Santiago looked around, noticing the empty place. Alas, even he didn't have a chance to say something else, when in one second Alexei left the throne. In the next one, he was by Magnus's side and grabbed him by his neck.
In one swift moment, he felt lightheaded. The air was cut off from his lungs when Alexei squeezed his throat too tight. His arms and legs were wobbly, and there was no strength left inside of him to fight back. The sharp nails of the vampire were piercing through his skin, dangerously close to his neck-vein.
"You think you can fool me, warlock?!" he gripped him even stronger. For a brief moment, Magnus felt like all those centuries ago, when he was a little boy and his step-father tried to choke him underwater. Then, his magic had saved him, but now he was greatly drained of it for it to work properly. There was nothing left for him to do, but pray that Alexei won't kill him.
"Let him go, my king," Raphael joined the spat, putting his hand on Alexei's. The older man only glared at him murderously, shaking his hand off.
"You are going to be punished too."
Once again, he turned his attention to the warlock in his grasp. Bane had cloudy eyes, barely being conscious, when de Quincy shoved him with force to the floor. His head hit the cold ground with a loud thud, as well as his back. A sound of cracking sounded somewhere around him, and a second later Magnus let out a horrible cry, when he felt some bone break.
"You think that I am a fool? That you can be untruthful to me?!" he boomed, coming closer to Magnus again. If the warlock had any strength left, he would have forced himself to crawl back, but he had none, so he was just waiting for his fate to come upon him, keeping his eyes shut tight.
However, nothing came.
Magnus dared to open one of his eyes, and saw the view in front of him. Raphael was crouching in front of him, with tightened muscles; a protecting position. Was he protecting Magnus, now?
"You dare to stand up to me?" Alexei was clearly surprised by this kind of action.
"I dare to keep alive the valuable man, who holds a lot of power and can be helpful."
"He disobeyed me, the Council and you, yet you are defending him?"
"I haven't disobeyed…" Magnus breathed out with difficulty, grabbing Raphael's outstretched arm, to get himself up from the floor. His whole body hurt like hell, his shoulder definitely needed an adjustment. Some of his ribs were broken, and poking, even ripping his insides. It was truly a miracle that he's still alive. Magic, the leftovers of it, was slowly healing his inside bleedings, but it still hurt impossibly. "Anyone…tell him…"
"Magnus was giving us the information that he was ordered to," Santiago started explaining, with a calmer voice now, as Magnus was leaning on him.
"As I recall, he was bound to get information from the female Shadowhunter," the last word was spoken by Alexei as if it was poisonous. "And here, I find him on the battlefield, protecting and snogging with a male Shadowhunter, who resembles that horrendous Herondale I had a chance to know once. And this is something that I do not understand. I see it as the clear disregard towards the Council and my persona. And for that he will be punished."
"Magnus was giving me all the information I required from him," Raphael was speaking. "If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have even known that Valentine was back and that he was working with demons. We wouldn't have known that the Shadowhunters were planning this attack, because they believed we were killing those children around the world, starting in New York. We wouldn't have known how many hunters were in the Institute if it wasn't for his…" he looked briefly at him. "For the relation that he has with the boy. So I dare to say, that Magnus Bane fulfilled his task. He got us what we wanted, he brought information that we were seeking."
"Santiago is right," Merlion's voice was heard. The three of them had completely forgotten about the fay's presence in the room. He stood up, from his position next to the throne, and moved himself to the three men. "Bane was our great source of information about Shadowhunters, regardless the chosen object of mission. We cannot deny that he fulfilled the task given to him. That is how the Queen speaks about him."
"Fair enough," de Quincy retracted his fangs and stood upright. He offered Magnus his sly, devious smile and took a step back. "Apologies then, Magnus Bane."
Magnus only laughed awkwardly, not wanting to anger de Quincy with his witty comments; and he had a lot of them.
"Can I go now?"
"You are free to go, Magnus Bane."
The warlock left the hotel, with the feeling of relief and burning pain in his wounded body.
The atmosphere at the Institute was filled with the strange aura of failure and shock. All Shadowhunters were taken aback by the events on the battlefield. None of them, except for Jonathan, knew what to think of tonight. It's like everything they believed lately was a lie, a big, fat lie. Everything that had happened had been just a game. A game of Valentine, and his sick desires for power and domination. He was the reason of everyone's death tonight, on both sides.
Alec was sitting on the steps leading upstairs with a blank expression. Memories of his fight with Raphael, and his words were still running through his mind.
"Was the boy's body drained of blood?"
And then Sebastian's…no Jonathan's words. "He was the one who has been responsible for the children's deaths lately."
He was the one…he killed his little innocent brother. Immediately he balled his fists so strongly, that his knuckles turned white. Alec would have given everything to kill that man. If he could, he would raise him from the dead and kill him himself, only to feel some ease of the pain that filled his heart.
"We should bury Valentine, and the rest of the Shadowhunters," Jia said, when her husband finished putting an Iratze over her arm. "We need to go to the Silent City."
"That…monster" Alec spat with as much hate as he could. "Doesn't deserve a Shadowhunter's funeral!"
"Alexander!" Robert looked at him with his 'lecturing' gaze.
"What?! He's the one responsible for Max's death, father! I almost died because of him too!" He was shouting, barely keeping himself from punching anything in the room. Emotions were tearing him inside. It was like a storm was inside of Alec, a storm that he wanted to give in.
Every adult Shadowhunter was looking at him with emotionless eyes. Maryse was avoiding his gaze; Robert tried to make Alec calm down with his look. But the boy was having none of that. They tried to just simply move on, like nothing happened. Like Valentine hadn't betrayed them. Like the deaths of their people didn't matter. Like the death of Max was pointless.
"We should go soon to the Silent City," Arthur Blackthorn spoke, looking at Jia for an approval. The Consul nodded, and moved herself to the direction of the library. Blackthorn went after her, as well as Amatis Herondale and Patrick Penhallow. Robert was slowly following them, glancing from time to time at his wife and children. Alec was glaring furiously at his mother, before she turned and went after Robert.
"Fine!" Alec screamed after them. "If you choose that monster, then I'm out of this!"
He stormed to his bedroom, shutting the door behind him.
His breath was coming out too fast, making his throat burn. His heart was hammering, like it was trying to break free from his chest. Alec moved to his bed, and sat on the floor with his back pressed to the side of the bed; knees brought to his chest, arms around them. His head was spinning with images of the fight, and the blood around Max's body.
He heard that someone opened the door, soon there was the sound of footsteps, and finally some warmness next to his body. A hand was placed on his upper arm, and squeezed lightly. Alec opened his eyes and met golden and brown eyes staring at him with worry and kindness.
"Are you ok?" Jace asked, still keeping his hand on Alec's arm.
"I don't understand them," the boy closed his eyes again, to suppress the tears building in his eyes. "How can they not see that it was all Valentine's fault? How can they still see him as a leader, a noble man that deserves a funeral as a warrior? He…Max is dead because of him!"
"I know, brother," Izzy sat on the other side of Alec, and laid her head on Alec's shoulder, being careful not to press the wound on his arm. "Believe me, if Sebas…Jonathan hadn't killed him, I would have killed him myself!"
Jace didn't say a word to it.
"I'm sorry, Jace," Izzy looked at the blonde boy with a small smile on her lips.
"It's ok…he…he wasn't my real father…" his voice was a bit distant. "Though I wonder then…who am I? Who were my parents?"
"Herondales," another male voice was heard. The three of them looked up, and saw Jonathan and Clary standing in the doorframe, behind them stood Aline and Helen, holding their hands clasped together. Jace was looking at the other boy with confusion in his golden eyes. "Your mother, Celine, she committed suicide when your father was killed, she was eight months pregnant with you. So father and Hodge did the C-section, you may say, and took you out. Father took care of you and me at the same time…"
"I never saw you."
"We were kept in different houses. I was kept at the Morgenstern's residence till I was seven. And you were kept in the Wayland's," He said, coming closer to the three teenagers. "I knew about you, but father decided not to tell you about me."
"But why Valentine, and you…why did you lie about your name, when you came here?" Isabelle popped a question, locking her hand with Alec.
"Father was surprised to hear about Clary…when mother had left him; he didn't know that she was pregnant again. I was technically dead to the world, ever since I was two. Officially, I was burned with father in our residence," the rest younger nodded. "So I couldn't go with my name. Father had met the real Sebastian, a few years ago. But he was killed by some werewolves a year ago. When I came here, father ordered me to use Sebastian's identity, not to raise any suspicion I guess…but I still don't understand why he didn't tell Jace about him not being his biological son, why he was addressing Jace with my name. As I found out lately, father wasn't really…well, you can tell that father was a bit crazy lately. I think it's all because of mother's coma; he wanted the whole family to reunite. Him, mother, Clary, me and you Jace. All of our family."
"Who were my real parents?"
"Celine and Stephen Herondale."
The further talk was interrupted by a bubbly, pop song coming from Alec's cell phone. Alec knew that song, it was a ringtone that Magnus had chosen for himself. The Shadowhunter fished out his phone from the pocket of his pants and answered. Yet, before he had a chance to say something, he heard the very frantic voice of his boyfriend.
The night air was ice cold tonight, when Magnus stepped outside the Hotel Dumort. Every inch of his body was hurting. Bones, the sharp ends of broken bones, were tearing his insides apart. Magnus knew that he needed help. He barely drew himself to the nearest bench, and fished out his phone from the ripped purple coat. With shaky fingers, he chose the number and pressed the phone to his ear.
After three rings, he heard the sound of the phone being answered. Before the other person could even say a word, Magnus poured his speech, being afraid that he may pass out any second.
"Cate, I need your help. Alexei knows about me and Alec. I have broken bones, some bleedings inside, my shoulder…damn…I need your help. Please…Cate…It hurts so badly…please…" he whimpered, sobbing into the phone.
"Alec?" the warlock's voice sounded truly surprised. He called his best friend, how come Alec was speaking to him? "I was calling Cate…"
"What happened to you? Where are you?" Alec's voice was hushed but there was clearly fear in it. With every second Magnus felt that the pain was getting over him, getting him closer to passing out. "Magnus?!"
"In front of hotel…" then his vision went all black.
When he woke up, warmth and the smell of iodine surrounded him. Some materials were placed on his bare chest. Bare chest? What…where was he? Last time he checked, he was in that park before the hotel. Magnus dared to open one of his eyes. The place he was in was strangely bright. He wanted to move up, to see where he was, and how fast he could get out of here. But when he raised his head and shoulders, two strong hands held him down.
"Don't move," the voice was too familiar. "Lay still Magnus, I'm not finished yet."
"Alexander…" he was cut off by the boy again.
"I need to fix your shoulder. It's going to hurt like hell," Bane could only smile ghostly when Alec pulled him to a sitting position, and stood behind him. A cool hand was placed on his shoulder, sending jolts of pain to his body. The other hand was keeping him in a place. "Ready?" A small nod from the warlock. "Then grab the board."
A loud cry came out of his mouth, before the darkness engulfed him again.
The second time Magnus woke up, he was lying in his comfortable bed, wearing some loosely-fit clothes. A wet, cold rug was pressed to his forehead, cooling his burning body down. And a black haired beauty was leaning down, caressing his cheek.
"I should buy you a sexy nurse outfit, you know Alexander," the boy didn't laugh at this, but a small smile was seen on the corner of his mouth.
"How are you feeling?"
"Good?" he giggled. "Have you drugged me?"
"I called Simon, and he asked Raphael to call your warlock friend, Catarina. She came here with some potion, and she healed your inside bleedings," Alec explained, taking off the wet rug from Magnus's forehead. "Who did this to you?"
"Don't bother your…p…pretty head about it, darling," Magnus leaned into Alec's hand and purred. "You are so warm, so nice, I love you."
"Magnus, who did this to you? And why?" the warlock was still giggling, and kissing the inside of Alec's hand. "Was it because of me?"
"No. I love you. Only you, Alec. He saw us kissing…he was so mad…" he couldn't stop laughing now. "I loooooooove you"
With that Alec knew that he wouldn't find out what really happen tonight from Magnus. Not when he's in such a state. The Shadowhunter wondered what was in that potion that left Magnus being like in 'drunken or drugged' state. But whatever it was, it helped. Bane's wounds were almost healed, only small, minor scratches were left on his back and neck. So his warlock was all safe. And that was what really mattered to Alec.
Magnus wasn't sure whether he imagined that, or if Alec said it out loud before he closed his eyes again. However it was, he smiled like crazy because of those words.
"I love you too, Magnus."