A Magician, Pickpocket and a Meddling Sister
A good magician never tells his tricks
It was Isabelle's fault really. If it had not been for her interest in anything to do with magic, Alec would never had glanced at the con-artist trying to prove himself to be a magician. Alec knew it wasn't true magic. He knew the tricks, the sleight-of-hand and the distractions used to make a person look as if they were magic.
"Come on!" Izzy yelled at her brother, she grabbed his hand and jerked him away from the shop window he had been looking in and dragged him across the pedestrianized street to the little huddle. Alec rolled his eyes but let himself be pulled along by his little sister, besides crowds like this were great for pick-pocketing.
"He's just another con-artist." Alec warned as they neared the group gathered around the "magician". He was expecting another dull show where he could work out every trick the illusionist would pull, like normal. He had seen many of these shows because Izzy loved them and she always, without fail, made him watch them with her. But after the first forty-something shows and after seeing the same tricks over and over again, Alec got bored of the shows, he learnt how the "magicians" did the tricks just by watching and realised they were nothing more than entertainers.
He looked at the little children kneeling on the floor, their eyes taking on looks full of excitement and wonder, as expected when magic was mentioned. Of course, his sixteen year old sister was amongst them. He laughed quietly at her, she was so focused on the performer he doubted she'd notice if the city got bombed.
"You may not believe in magic now, but after my little show you will." The con-artist promised and Alec rolled his eyes, "And if you don't, then I, the Magnificent Magnus Bane have failed you." Alec snorted as he listened to the speaker's corny opening. He took a moment to look at the conjurer.
The first thing that struck Alec was that he was tall, taller than Alec which was rare, he was slim too. He wore bright rainbow patterned skinny jeans that were so painfully tight Alec winced looking at them – though, he did admit, they looked appealing on the entertainer – accompanied by a fluorescent yellow top that really showed his tan, he had a dark blue velvet cloak too. It was gaudy and wouldn't have worked on anyone else but somehow this 'Magnificent Magnus Bane' made it work.
Alec's eyes trailed up to the man's face, his eyes widened involuntarily. The man's face was beautiful – he was probably one of the most attractive people Alec had seen – with high cheekbones that gave his face an elegant shape, tanned skin that seemed to glow with... glitter? But then Alec saw his eyes. The performer's almond shaped eyes hinted at his Asian heritage but were the most beautiful golden emerald colour with thin pupils almost like a cat (Alec guessed they were contacts) that were outlined making them even more breath-taking. They were also staring right at Alec.
Alec felt his face heat and he noted the smirk that appeared on the performer's face, "Ladies, Gentlemen and Children, we have our volunteer!" The performer put his hands out to gesture at Alec who began stuttering, his face going an even brighter shade of red. Never at one of these shows, had this happened.
"I-I er…. N-no." Alec stuttered. He never wanted to be a part of the display, he always watched and worked out the tricks.
"What? Why not?" Magnus pouted, his bottom lip stuck out and it looked utterly kissable, that and the pleading look in his jade eyes made Alec's protests diminish slightly.
To make matters worse his sister turned to look at him, from her place on the floor. She shot him a look that said 'stop embarrassing yourself and go up' and insisted: "Go on, Alec." Alec wanted the floor to eat him whole.
"Fine." He grumbled and reluctantly made his way through the crowd, dread building in his stomach. Magnus grinned when Alec got to the front, it transformed his face. His eyes lit up like summer.
"So, I'm Magnus but you are?" The entertainer started off, he was used to this and Alec knew it.
"Alexander, everyone calls me Alec." He replied, he was still bright red and being next to Magnus wasn't helping.
"Alexander." Magnus said as if testing it out, the way he said it made Alec shiver, Magnus smiled devilishly, "Nice name."
"Thanks?" Alec said, though it came out more of a question. He shook his head and tried to focus.
"Well, Alexander," Was it Alec's mind or did Magnus just purr his name? "You are going to be my glamourous assistant for the first few tricks and then I'll do some solo acts and we'll have a different volunteer or two."
"Okay." Alec shifted uncomfortably at being a 'glamourous assistant', he wouldn't put it past Magnus to have a skimpy outfit for him to wear.
"Well, let's get started, what we're going to do is…"
Magnus smiled as he watched Alec shuffle back through the crowd to the back. Alec had been shy at first but had lightened up as he got used to it. Plus the shorter had been fun to tease, especially as the audience remained clueless, though Magnus suspected from the looks the girl who had encouraged Alec had sent them, he guessed she knew he was flirting.
Magnus made himself concentrate on the act, though he could go through the routines blindfolded, and he did a few solo tricks before he picked another volunteer - this time it was a young girl called Emma, she's been dared by a boy who looked around her age and a few smaller kids, so she had accepted, a determined gleam in her brown eyes. They had done a few tricks, the audience were watching intently, even those who knew it was a bunch of tricks, well expect a certain blue eyed man stood at the back. Now, in the middle of one of the more complex tricks when he saw it.
Alec's pale hand slipping into the gentleman's pocket. Alec's hand taking something out and sliding it in his own pocket. Magnus raised an eyebrow, amused, and caught Alec's eye. Alec widened his eyes and smiled slightly before looking away, trying to look innocent, so that's how you want to play it, Magnus thought as he smiled. He carried on with the show and he noticed Alec pickpocket more people, there was something intriguing about shy Alec pickpocketing. And, Magnus wanted to know more.
Too soon the show was over, Magnus always felt it was like this. He loved entertaining people, making them believe in his "magic" even if they were just tricks, he found it incredible how children's eyes would light up at just the idea of magic. People were putting money in the pot and dispersing as Magnus packed up, done for the day. He turned around and was surprised to see the girl who had encouraged Alec standing right in front of him.
"Hello." He said, stepping back a little.
"That was…." She trailed off, trying to find the right word, but then her eyes lit up brightly "Awesome."
"Thanks." Magnus smiled. Apparently not just children loved magic.
"You're welcome." She beamed, "I love your cloak, by the way - velvet is so beautiful."
"I know! It's hard to get nowadays too. I really love your dress!" Magnus found himself liking this girl, and though they'd barely had a proper conversation she seemed like she was excellent with fashion.
"Nice isn't it?" She did a twirl in the little red number.
"And, oh my gosh! Those boots!" Magnus admired. "They're… wow!"
"That was my reaction! And they were in the sale!" Izzy answered excitedly. "I'm Izzy by the way." She held out her hand and Magnus shook it.
"Nice to meet you. I'd love to talk fashion with you but I need to catch up with someone." He hurriedly packed away the last of his things and collected his tips.
"Alec right?" She asked. "You want to catch up with him? I saw you flirting during the show, don't deny it."
"Well, yes I do. There's something I wanted to talk to him about." Magnus answered, he checked everything was packed in his bag before looking back at Isabelle.
"He went to get some food so he'll be back here in a moment." Izzy told him, then she frowned, "Or at least he better be back otherwise he's the worst big brother ever! To abandon his stylish and totally cute sister in the middle of the city centre!"
"He's your brother?" Magnus inquired. Actually he saw the resemblance now, the high sharp cheek bones, the pale skin and raven black hair, though Izzy's eyes were the colour of dark chocolate and Alec's rivalled the sky. They were two exquisite human beings, though Izzy knew it and Alec seemed to not.
"Yup." Izzy nodded.
"I can see the resemblance." He concluded. He'd always found resemblance between siblings remarkable because he's never had any of his own.
"Yeah, the classic Lightwood locks and cheekbones give it away." She gestured to her hair and face. "We all have dark hair and cheekbones that could cut salami!" She mimed karate chopping which made Magnus laugh. "Do you have any siblings?"
"No, I'm an only child." Magnus sighed, "I've always envied people with brothers and sisters because it must be so nice to have someone who would understand you and who stick by you no matter what. Being alone gets lonely and it's hard to find people to talk to."
"I've never really thought about it like that, but yes, you're right." Izzy nodded. "I'd stick by my brothers through anything."
"And I'm sure they would stick with you too." Magnus smiled.
"We would. Well, I would." A familiar voice spoke from behind Magnus, "Max would, though he might not understand the difference but I think Jace would."
"Alec!" Izzy grinned as her brother joined them, standing next to Magnus."
"Iz, a cream cheese bagel for you." Alec handed her the brown bag and Izzy ripped it open and began munching happily.
"Oh, the Angel. I love you bro!" She declared, after taking a bite.
"Alexander, I wanted to talk to you ah..." Magnus glance at Izzy who nodded, "alone."
"I'll go wait at the bench." Izzy smiled and hurried off with her bagel. She sat and watched them intently, like a biologist would watch an animal.
"I saw you pickpocket those people." Magnus started. He wasn't sure where to go with this but luckily he didn't need to.
"If," Alec cut in, "You're going to lecture me, you'll look like a hypocrite."
"What?" Magnus was caught off guard.
"Well, you trick people with 'magic' for money; I take lose change or buttons from pockets." Alec stated, using bunny ears around 'magic', "Really, it's not much different."
"I wasn't going to lecture you." Magnus said quietly, Alec raised his eyebrows. "And I'm not stealing directly, at least I give the audience some entertainment."
"It's loose change, buttons or receipts for crying out loud! I don't take wallets or phones." Alec whisper-yelled.
"I was actually thinking we would make a good team." Magnus ignored Alec's protests. "I could distract them like today and you take their 'loose change'." Magnus used air quotes are the latter because he wasn't sure he believed Alec or not and he wanted to mock his earlier use of them.
"That would be completely illegal and we'd both be con-artists." Alec replied.
"It's illegal now anyway." Magnus countered.
"Yeah, I know..." Alec thought for a moment, it would be awful if they got caught but Magnus was a good trickster, the audience had been spellbound, forced to watch him, it would only be Alec's own skills to fault if they were caught. He looked at Magnus' face, the man was exciting and different and yes, Alec admitted he was attracted to him, Magnus had an aura that just drew people in. And, Alec was feeling rebellious. The pickpocketing was rebellious enough but being friends with Magnus would be more so, all his life he'd been told different was bad by his parents but he was already bad in their books, he was different and he couldn't help it.
"Please Alec." Magnus pouted again. That was just before their conversation as broken up.
"Bane! You don't have a permit, you can't 'perform' here." Alec looked at the new speaker, a police officer – there was another with him. Alec didn't recognise them but Magnus clearly did.
"I wasn't, just having a conversation with a friend and last time I check that wasn't illegal." Magnus retorted.
"Watch it, Bane."
"We'll have to check your bags." The other said. Alec felt panic flood through him at the thought of them checking Magnus' bag because if they did then they'd know Magnus had done a show.
"Of course." Magnus replied eerily calm as he opened up his bag for the police officers to see. Alec was trying not calm his anxiety. Magnus opened the bag quickly and all that was in there were clothes. Alec felt his brows furrow and he shot Magnus a look. The officers looked at the clothes and dismissed it as nothing.
"You get away with it this time." The first officer said.
"Well, you were just doing your job." Magnus replied, zipping his bag back up. "I hope the rest of your day is good."
"You too." The second officer said, he seemed a little surprised. The officers walked off leaving Alec and Magnus.
"How did you do it?" Alec asked, as soon as they were out of ear shot.
"Alexander, a good magician never tells his tricks." Magnus smiled. "So, about joining me?"
Maybe it was the idea of scandalising his parents, maybe it was Magnus and his energy, maybe it was how Magnus could have actually done magic with his bag, maybe it was exhilarating rush the proposition entailed but whatever it was, Alec found himself saying: "Yes, I'd love to." And that was the start.