Chapter 1: Blue eyes
In Magnus's opinion 2:00am was the best time to be awake. It was a time you could do whatever you wanted without fear of being disturbed. He could strut around wearing whatever he wanted (or nothing at all) without the judgemental glances of the elderly couple across the street. He could practice spells and fulfil the magical needs of his clients, as most of them did not care particularly for daylight. Not to mention fulfilling his own more….erm… personal needs.
However although 2:00am was an eventful hour, he was beginning to regret the mostly full cup of coffee in his hand. Maybe it was a bit too late, or early, for coffee. Frowning at the chipped mug he concentrated hot energy into his palms. Blue sparks crackled around the drink leaving a frothy cream laden hot chocolate and a whiff of burnt sugar. Smiling to himself smugly, Magnus lifted the steaming cup to his lips.
Before he had the chance to even taste his delicious beverage, the shrill sounds of the door bell pierced the silence, making the warlock jump so violently that his magicked drink splashed his lap. Screaming his favourite swear words he raced madly to the bathroom, stripping of his skinny jeans on the way. He growled in frustration as he examined the red splotches that decorated his thighs. Cursing, he lathered them with icy water until the mark faded to pink. "Someone's going to pay for this," he muttered storming towards his apartment door. Flinging it open he snapped, "who the hell is it at this time of….."
All thoughts of painful revenge were immediately banished as he was confronted with a delightful shade of blue framed by thick lashes. Wow he thought as he took in every bit of the gorgeous boy in front of him. He was beautiful; there was no other word for it. His skin, a creamy ivory that most vampires would die (again) for, contrasted beautifully with the ebony hair that swirled around his head as if submerged in water. His frame was tall and skinny, but Magnus could definitely see muscle hidden under his baggy grey sweater. But what interested Magnus most, although he found the other features very interesting indeed, were the inky swirls and shapes that decorated his skin. A shadowhunter, how intriguing.
Magnus noted with amusement, that the shadowhunter was also completely soaked. His clothes were limp (well limper) and his shoes sodden. "I'm sorry to interrupt, but this is important, I really need your help," the implored. Magnus smirked, pretty and desperate, God he loved 2:00am. "You," he purred, leaning forward. "can interrupt me any time."
The boy blushed violently and took a clumsy step back. "I-I'm not, I don't mean," he stuttered. Magnus chuckled throatily. "No need to get your knickers in a twist sweetheart, I'm only teasing you. Here," he opened the door wide and beckoned. "Come in you look freezing and I don't want to explain to the Clave why I have a dead Shadowhunter on my doorstep." The Boy stepped inside tentatively, slipping off his drenched boots. Rivulets of water spattered Magnus's designer, not to mention extremely expensive, carpet. Normally this would result in a few choice insults, it was vintage after all, but this time he was willing to let it slide.
He led the boy into his lounge and gestured for him to sit on a lavish arm chair. Magnus noticed him glance down furtively then blush even redder. Frowning Magnus looked down. Oh, he was still trouser less, maybe he should put some back on. Although he thought, as he caught the boy looking yet again, this might come to his advantage. After snuggling into his hot pink coach Magnus cleared his throat. "So Mr…" he hesitated. "Alexander Lightwood, Alec for short."
"Well Mr Lightwood, what brings you to my humble abode," Alec raised an eyebrow. "Well humblish." Alec fiddled with the frayed sleeve of his sweater. "I heard that you are a man of your word Mr Bane," he inquired, his cerulean eyes serious. "Please," Magnus smiled, "call me Magnus."
"Well…err...Magnus, before I go on I must confirm this, as what I'm about to tell you," he bit his lip hesitantly. "Well, I could get into a lot of trouble." He glanced up at Magnus from under his lashes.
Magnus frowned slightly; he was on good terms with the Clave and did not wish to anger them. But then he remembered the last time he had helped a wayward shadowhunter, Yes he thought, that had turned out well. Plus, for one of the Nephilim to come to a Warlock like him, they had to be pretty desperate. Alec's eyes begged him, vulnerable and scared. Damn that boy was too pretty for his own good. "Yes," he sighed, "I am a man of my word and I will try my best to help you." Alec smiled, his cheeks dimpling. Magnus's heart stuttered, could this boy be any more adorable. "Well," Alec started, his smile fading. "Wait, before we start all this serious business, would you like anything to drink."Magnus offered, wistfully remembering his deceased hot chocolate. "erm, black coffee?" Alec asked nervously. Magnus was impressed, coffee at two in the morning was brave, not to mention drinking it black.
Clicking his fingers he conjured a steaming cup of coffee and another hot chocolate. He smiled to himself and gulped the beverage eagerly, nothing ever beat hot chocolate. As he lowered his glass he saw cornflower blue eyes gazing at him intently. Their eyes met and they both seemed unable to look away. Finally, unable to bear the tension Magnus drawled "see something you like?" and dropped the mesmerized boy a glittery wink. Alec jumped so abruptly his coffee spilled onto his leg. He gasped in pain and clutched his knee winking. "Don't worry," Magnus consoled, fetching an ice pack. "It happens to the best of us." He rubbed his thigh remorsefully. Alec blushed and stuttered thanks as Magnus gently pressed the freezing pack to his leg. "Sorry, for a shadowhunter I'm pretty clumsy sometimes." They sat in comfortable silence for a moment whilst Alec got his breath back.
After a few minutes Alec turned his intense gaze on Magnus. "Look, the reason I'm here, well, it's hard to explain." Magnus gave him an encouraging smile, willing him to go on. "It all started 9 years ago," he began his eyes fixed ahead. "My parents own the New York institute so that's were I grew up with my brother sister, Max and Isabelle, and then later on my adopted brother Jace. Family has always been very important to me, I've always looked after all my siblings and I know they depend on me a lot as our parents are never around." His hand tightened on the mug at the mention of his parents. "But apart from that we were very happy. Then when I was ten Jace went missing. We were out training at a park near the institute and we got into a fight." Alec ran his hands through his hair in agitation. "I can't even remember what we were fighting about, probably something stupid. But anyway, after Izzy had pulled us apart Jace stormed off into the wood. We waited for ages for him to come out.
At first we weren't really worried as Jace was always doing big dramatic things but then as the time went by we started to panic. Me Izzy and Hodge, our tutor, went into the woods and called and called for him. We searched the whole wood but all we could find was a bit of his t-shirt," Alec's breathing hitched, "stained with blood." Magnus longed to grab the boy and give him a big hug, but he doubted the shadowhunter would let him, so he settled for an understanding smile. "The worst part was when we told my parents, I can't tell you how hard it is too watch a neat practical womanlike my mother fall apart. The Clave launched a full investigation and we spent most off our days searching and interrogating everyone who'd ever so much as glared at a Nephilim. But it was no use we couldn't find him anywhere and slowly the Clave seemed to lessen the effort until the search was de-prioritized completely.
Me and Izzy kept looking though although we hadn't heard any new news for about a month, until I was summoned to a meeting with the Seelie Queen herself. In the message she sent she said to come alone and that she knew where to find my brother, so naturally I went. I remember being blindfolded and let through many passages and tunnel, normally I wouldn't have trusted anyone with my safety but at that point all I wanted was to find Jace. Finally I stopped walking and they took my blindfold off. It was….." he trailed off lost in thought. Magnus, out of respect, waited a couple of minutes until he was sure Alec had completely zoned out. "A brothel," he suggested nudging the boy impatiently. Alec looked so horrified that Magnus snorted loudly. "No," the shadowhunter snapped, frowning in disapproval. "It was the most beautifully terrifying thing I've ever seen."
"You've clearly never seen Madonna live then," the warlock muttered. "Sorry," he added hastily as blue eyes pierced his. Alec sighed and continued his monologue. "Although the room was dark and damp and I'm pretty sure there were blood stains on the walls, it was beautiful. The flowers smelt so sweet it made my mouth water and the music made me want to cry and dance. Everyone was smiling and dancing and their hair was like silk and their eyes shone. For a moment I felt as if I belonged and I-I never wanted to leave. But then the shadowhunter in me kicked in and I started to notice horrible, unnatural things; the cruel twist to their hands, the predatory way they moved and their cold, detached smiles." Magnus felt his heart sink, well at least now he knew what the boy must think off him. Unnatural. Horrible. Unwanted. He shivered he hadn't heard those words in a while. Pushing the pain away Magnus turned his attention back to Alec, who appeared oblivious to the Warlocks discomfort. "Then I saw her….she sat upon a throne of gold and ivy and she radiated power. She looked at me for what felt like ages until I finally summoned the courage to ask her where Jace was. I remember her smiling at me, but not a nice smile, it was a sort off "I'm gonna eat you" smile. She told me she knew where Jace was and she'd get him back in return for a favour. I was only ten and so scared that I could barley stay standing but I was Jace's only chance and I knew he would do it for me." Alec sighed shakily, his leg jogging up and down with nervous energy. "What was the favour," Magnus breathed, leaning forward. Alec averted his gaze and fixed his eyes stubbornly on the thick carpet. "she didn't tell me then," he mumbled. "anyway so we made a deal and she made me swear on the angel, so I wouldn't back out and then I left. When I got home Jace was there and everyone was crying and hugging. I think it's my favourite memory," he smiled his big china blue eyes shining. Yep, Magnus thought, he was going to die of cute overdose.
There was a long silence as Magnus took in Alec's story. "Well," he finally said. "As lovely as your story is, I don't exactly understand why you're here." Alec bit his lip anxiously. His long recount of the most terrifying few weeks in his life had completely exhausted him. "Look," he started apologetically. "I know I've started this thing and cliff-hangers are a pain but I've never told anybody this and to tell it all in one go is…" Magnus sighed, he really hated it when people did this, however it did give him an excuse to see the blue eyed boy again. He smiled to himself; yes he defiantly wanted to see Alec again.
"Don't worry about it," Magnus soothed. "I know it's hard for shadowhunters to appear venerable. Alec frowned at this so Magnus hastily continued. "Come back tomorrow and tell me the rest."
Alec nodded and got hastily to his feet and walked towards the door. Magnus frowned, insulted at the boys eagerness to leave. Alec paused, his hand on the handle. "I didn't quite know what to think of you when I first got here; you're the only Warlocks I've ever talked to. But I actually enjoyed your company, thank you for understanding." And with that he slipped out into the night. Magnus stared after him his heart still beating erratically. No, he scolded himself. He would not let himself get involved with a shadowhunter again, they were bad news. Plus, he thought, the boy said himself, he thinks you're unnatural. Magnus sighed again and headed back to his bedroom, making a silent promise to keep any feelings towards Alec strictly professional.