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The Sound of Magic

Chapter Text

The sound of Alec’s drumming heart was drowned by the extravagant beat of the music. Flashing lights blinded him as blue eyes frantically searched for Isabelle. His sister stood, a silhouette of black and white in a sea of moving dark shadows, like a splash of blood on a crime scene. But the organized chaos of Pandemonium had yet to be disturbed as their adoptive brother sat unmoving at the bar, nursing a glass of dark gold alcohol. 

A row of bottles bathed in purple light lined up the shelves. Jace stood out against the dim glow of the bar. Alec blinked, his sister's scarlet dress attracted way too much attention. Mundanes looked her over -eyes going up and down- and Downworlders whispered about the dark rose petals hugging her chest and falling down her legs, a train of thorns trailing behind her. Some nervous lanky boy stepped on it and yelped as it pierced through his shoe. His redhead friend laid the blame on broken glass littering the floor but when she turned around and saw Jace at the bar, she froze.

She let go of her friend's hand, leaving him to deal with his bleeding foot by himself. Alec resisted the urge to facepalm when his brother caught a glimpse of the girl watching him and smirked. Jace straightened, beckoning her over with a lazy wave of his hand. The purple glow of the bar threw shadows on his gold hair, giving him an aura of mystery that was not so far from the truth. Alec knew the drill. He would introduce himself and charm her without mentioning -even once- anything about school or work because he did not have any. Faeries did not live the way mundanes did. 

When Alec's gaze flickered back to his sister he realized that this was only the beginning of his worries. She had noticed the boy and led him to the bathroom, apologizing profusely for not warning him about the broken glass he had supposedly stepped on. She, too, would avoid any mention of her life when asked.

Alec let his head hang in defeat. He usually did not partake in this kind of outing for this exact reason. He despised having to deal with unknowing mundanes who thought it was alright to hit on random strangers. He despised it because he could not lie and was no good at this game of twisting the facts to avoid saying the truth. 

He sighed and turned to the bar, intent on getting himself a drink and distracting Jace from the redhead. She did not look like a Shadowhunter but she could have been wearing a glamour. Shadowhunters were bad news that Alec did not like to get involved with. Maybe she just had the Sight. She had however -and against all odds- captivated Jace who now only had eyes for her and was not about to let her get out of his sight. 

Alec choked down his beer and turned to his sister. She was dancing with the mundane and he leaned against the bar with a roll of his eyes. Here’s to another boring night out, he thought. The faerie tried to occupy himself by watching the other patrons when a man tried to approach him.

“Hey there.”
“Hey yourself.” Alec shot back without sparing him a glance.
“I’m Meliorn.” 
“Alec.” He replied.

They stood next to each other for a while, not talking because the faerie had not tried to initiate the conversation after that. The stranger did not give up straight away in spite of Alec’s lack of answer. He waited for his order and finally settled down next to the faerie, starting a casual conversation about the beginning of a nice evening. 

The night was still young but Alec already felt like leaving. He turned to Meliorn to bide him goodbye, only now noticing the sharp angles of his cheekbones and chin. He had long dark hair falling on either side of his face, hiding a dark marking on one cheek. But runes stood out on his forearms and that made Alec move away faster than he had intended.

Speaking of Shadowhunters… You could not trust them as they only approached you when they needed something from you. That was the reason for Alec’s quick retreat, especially since he was not interested in the first place. He could not afford to talk with them, as they tried to abuse his good nature and he was not able to trick them like his siblings would. Meliorn reached out to catch his arm, confirming Alec’s doubts.

“Wait! I’m looking for one of you!”

Alec ignored him and made his way through the crowd to stand in a dark corner of the club, leaving his half empty glass on the edge of a railing. He brooded for a while and  by the time he decided to look for his siblings again, Jace and the redhead where nowhere to be found. 

Izzy had changed dance partners and Alec shook his head, recognizing the man he had been avoiding. The Shadowhunter was obviously attracted to their looks, as Alec and his sister shared dark hair and fair skin. Maybe he was indeed looking for information, he did mention someone in particular. Alec was briefly worried for his sister but she could take care of herself and seemed to be enjoying the attention. He still moved closer to try and hear what they were whispering to each other, a tad overprotective.

“I’m looking for a faerie, she disappeared and her family is worried.” Meliorn finally yelled in Izzy’s ear.
“How come her family turned to Shadowhunters out of all people?”

Alec had to strain his ears to catch Meliorn’s answer and the tell-tale sound of broken glass distracted him. There was no mistaking, it was the half-empty beer he had left behind to listen in on Isabelle and the Shadowhunter’s conversation. Someone had been bound to fall down the stairs and knock it down, drenching an unfortunate bystander in alcohol and hopefully ruining on the the patrons’ outfit.

Izzy and Meliorn had disappeared further into the crowd and he wondered where their adoptive brother had gone. Was he with the redhead girl? Alec could not see her nervous friend anywhere and assumed they had left. Jace had probably found another innocent girl to take off with. He liked to seduce them and corrupt them, something Alec did not partake in either. Jace and Izzy rarely saw their flings more than once, especially when they were mundanes. 

Downworlders were easier to deal with as long as they were not looking for anything serious. From what Alec had gathered so far, most of the time they were not. Shadowhunters though, tended to look for long time relationships if they were not after information. Alec noticed the man from before, slipping away from the crowd. He cast a glance at Meliorn as he left through a backdoor, wondering in which category he fell into. 

The Shadowhunter had been awfully flirty for his kind, with him and his sister too. That was almost unheard of as the Clave frowned upon same gender relationships and especially with Downworlders. 

Maybe he would see him again -the man was persistent if anything- but the faerie did not trust him just yet. Alec would find out what the Shadowhunter was after soon enough and see his siblings in the morning to deal with whatever this all meant. 

Chapter Text

Alec did see Isabelle in the morning, but Jace was still nowhere to be found.

“Have you seen Jace?” Both siblings asked.
“No.” Alec sighed.
“Maybe he went home with that girl? The boy was cute but I could tell something was going on with her. If I have to walk on his heart in high heeled boots I will make sure she’s here to watch it crumble and break and regret not being here for him.”

Isabelle’s brother shrugged. He did not find any joy in this kind of behaviour. It was however, the reason for the tension between him and their parents and that kept him from openly expressing his disapproval. Alec scratched the back of his neck. Dark markings covered the side of his throat and disappeared underneath his clothes to slither around his arms and part of his chest.

Izzy wrapped her leafery green blouse closer around her middle as they made their way to the throne room. It was cool inside. Faerieland was underground, a maze of tunnels that ran far away into the Fair Folk’s domain. Alec was far from having seen everything the land under the hill had to offer and knew that in spite of its appearance it could turn into a forest or a mountain in the blink of an eye.

“Izzy, Alec.”
“Aline.” The aforementioned stood in their way, looking worried.
“May the woods shelter you from the rain and light break through the foliage.”
“May the hill carry your honnor and the nook shelter your pride.” finished the siblings.

They exchanged formal greetings with respect. Their families had been allied for centuries and Aline was a friend of the siblings. She had curved cheekbones and dark round almond-shaped eyes. Straight dark hair emphasized her pointed chin, precious stones dripping from her long locks of hair. But her eyes were laced with anxiety and Alec frowned.

“Are you alright?”
“Have you seen Helen? She was away but I expected her to be back yesterday and I cannot find her anywhere.”

She gave them a tight smile and gestured towards the throne room. Alec followed her gaze and searched the room for a moment. Most families had gathered to answer the Seelie Queen’s call. Aline was right, Helen -another faerie she was very fond of- should have been there. Alec remembered the Shadowhunter from the night before but dismissed that crazy thought straight away. Why would he be looking for a faerie that went missing? Even if the girl was nowhere to be found, it was none of their business.

The Seelie Court was bustling with activity. Faeries formed a loose circle around the lair of the Queen. Her dress was made of million of scales and shined in a myriad of different colors every time she moved on her throne. It was made of crystal and precious stones to match the color of her gown that day. Shining gemstones ran up the walls of the room, giving an eerie glow to the cave they were gathered in. Standing next to the Queen were her advisors, wearing armors : Robert, Maryse and Hodge. Alec and Izzy bowed to their parents, matching the trees and forest designs of their armors with their outfits and markings.

The roots of Alec’s oak tree markings wrapped around his arms, chest and neck as its branches bloomed on his back. As for Isabelle, she was wearing a blouse made of tree leaves -just like their parents’ armors foliage design. Max -the youngest of their family- ran up to his siblings upon seeing them. He was wearing a leafery blouse too.

“Hey buddy!” Alec exclaimed, reaching for his brother as a construct of clay rose from the ground.
“They’ve got Jace!” Max immediately told them, clearly upset.

Izzy gasped and Alec carefully put Max down on the seat he had created for him as they exchanged a worried glance above his head. Hodge stepped forward and silence fell on the throne room. He had little calloused bumps on his face and his voice, albeit firm, did not project much.

“Good Neighbors, may flowers bloom in your wake and vegetation grow strong in your steps.”
“May your bones be strong or return to the earth for the weather to give them more vigour.”

The greeting ran through the crowd in little more than a whisper. Hodge’s family was well known for its warriors but he had never been able to truly honor his heritage. His fey name had been revealed -after what some called a mistake and others treason- and he was bound to do the bidding of the Seelie Queen, just like Alec and Isabelle’s parents.

“Today we discovered the existence of a half-breed. She is the daughter of Valentine,” the crowd took a step back upon hearing the name of the Unseelie King. “and a mundane woman who mysteriously disappeared last night.”

Alec frowned. He heard Aline’s breath catch next to him and sent her a worried glance. Another disappearance? His mind brought up a memory of the redhead girl he had seen at Pandemonium the night before. It could be her and it would not have been that bad… if Jace had not acquainted himself with the daughter of a traitor!

“As you all know there was an attempted murder on the person of our Queen as part of Valentine’s plot to merge both Courts not so long ago. However our Queen is fair and our Queen is kind. She has allowed the young girl to join the Court if she so desires.”

Alec’s frown intensified. There was a catch. There always was a catch and with Jace involved in this discovery…

“But the young girl was raised as a mundane and had never heard of our world until today. She was brought to us by a chance encounter with Jace -my fellow advisors’ adopted son- as she was looking for her poor mother.”

The crowd gave a polite murmur of acknowledgement for the Queen’s trusted Knights.

“Her name is Clarissa ‘Clary’ Fray and she has no idea, cannot even grasp the extent of our world. How is it possible for one of our own people to be cut off our world? I ask you, for I have no explanation. She has the Sight, yet she never discovered her true origins.”

Izzy jabbed her elbow in Alec’s side, catching his attention. She pointed behind their parents, where they could barely distinguish the familiar outline of Jace and what could only be the girl he brought to their world.

“Maybe Valentine did not leave that mundane woman when he was done with her and actually tried to hide his daughter from us? He could have arranged for her Sight to be blocked by a warlock.”

The crowd parted with a murmur of outrage to reveal Sebastian. He was about Alec and Izzy’s age, fair skin and hair with deep black eyes that reflected nothing. His suggestion had Hodge nodding with approval. Or she could be lying, thought Alec -distrustful of the girl he barely knew- and not understanding how she managed to grab Jace’s attention. It was awfully strange for them to meet and suddenly discover her heritage.

“We need to be careful but it cannot hurt to look for this Jocelyn Fray, she might know what Valentine is up to… or be our only chance to stop him.” Hodge agreed.

He made a gesture to have Maryse and Robert bring the girl in front of the crowd and Jace followed, looking defensive. Alec dropped his gaze, not trusting his brother to do the right thing, nor himself to let him deal with the consequences of his actions. They stuck together, always had and always would. If Jace or Izzy for that matter, did something stupid, Alec would jump in to try and help them in any way he could.

“Hi?” said Clary.

Most faeries did not react but some of the younger ones mockingly waved at her. She waved back, not aware of the facetious nature of her kind. She was only part fey anyway, Alec thought. She would never understand their world the way he or his siblings did. Max waved at her though, in a genuine attempt to make her feel welcome and Alec’s frown softened.

“Are you accusing her of being part of another coup d’état?” Jace growled, ready to pounce on Sebastian.
“She’s her father’s daughter for all we know.” The other boy replied.
“She never met the guy!” Jace yelled.

Robert put a calming hand on his shoulder as Hodge intervened with an expression of disdain.

“We have to take that matter to the Shadowhunters. If a warlock is involved -as they always are when there is enough money at stake- we cannot take it into our own hands.”
“Sure.” Clary said, unaware of how little her opinion mattered.
“I’ll go with her.” Jace immediately decided.

Alec sighed, something that he seemed to be doing a lot that day and took Max with him as he left the throne room. Aline went her own way, gnawing at her clawed hand. He wished her luck to find Helen just like he did for his siblings as did not intend on visiting the Shadowhunter Institute of New York if he could avoid it. Isabelle, however, rushed to their adoptive brother’s side to join in.

“Can we practice together?” Max asked.
“Yeah, what do you wanna do today?”
“Archery!”
“My pleasure, you know it’s my favorite.” Alec agreed with a wink.

They grabbed their bows and quivers and headed out for some time, firing quite a number of arrows until Max grew tired of the targets and started chasing Alec around. It was easy to evade him but the oldest made sure his brother caught him from time to time, not wanting him to get bored. Max had pointed teeth and ears, like their mother. They all had pointed ears of course, being faeries but Isabelle had inherited their father’s eyes and straight teeths. As for Alec, he was lucky enough to get straight teeth even though he took his blue eyes from their mother.

Chapter Text

When Jace and Clary came back from the Institute, Isabelle was not with them. Alec was mildly worried, thinking of the Shadowhunter that had been looking for faeries. But his adoptive brother did not seem fazed by her absence, just impatient. He had a name and a story to tell but waited for her to arrive, fidgeting and relentlessly pacing Alec’s bedroom.

Izzy finally made her appearance and settled down with them with a huge grin on her face. She threw a quick glance at Clary and Alec wondered if she had been with the mundane rather than the Shadowhunter. From what he could tell, she felt either guilty or giddy and he would not put it past Jace to send her away with the redhead’s friend just to be alone with her.

His doubts were confirmed when his adoptive brother updated them on Clary’s situation. Izzy had been with Simon all this time. Jace was exalted as he recounted how the Shadowhunter Alec had seen at Pandemonium the night before had taken them to a place called the City of Bones. There, the Silent Brothers -a different kind of Shadowhunters- went through Clary’s mind to discover if her memories were indeed blocked and try to undo the spell. They had not been able to as the only trace of such a spell in Clary’s mind was a warlock’s name.

The warlock who had blocked Clary’s memory was called Magnus Bane. It did not ring a bell for Alec but Izzy was fairly convinced she had heard of him before, maybe even met him once. She came out of her bedroom with an invitation to a party at the warlock’s place -which was convenient enough to allow them to meet him that evening- but also put Alec on edge. Everything was falling into place way too easily to be genuine, in his opinion.

“So you wanna go to a party.” Alec repeated.
“Yeah, it’ll be fun!” Izzy was ecstatic.
“Let me get this straight-”

His siblings started laughing. Even Max, who was sitting cross-legged on Alec’s bed -reading what he called comics- hid a chuckle behind his book. Their family lived underground but the room was modern, except for the stone walls.

“Well that’s the only thing I can do straight, right? So as I was going to say, you wanna go to a party with Clary here -whose memory has been messed with- to meet with the guy who did that to her.”
“Yeah, so we can sort it out.” Jace said. He was not in the mood for arguing with Alec.
“Do I really need to mention everything that can go wrong with this? Have you told Hodge?”
“Of course not! He would never let us go if he knew about this.”

Alec turned to Clary. She was standing awkwardly near the door, arms crossed on her chest. She might be the only one he could reason with. His siblings just loved to get in trouble but if she realized how dangerous this could be…

“Do you think it’s safe to go and meet that guy?”
“Yeah, I think he could help me find my mom. I’m sorry guys, I really appreciate what you’re doing for me but I’m not part of your world. I just want my life back.”

He was not so sure about that but held his tongue. Alec grunted and turned to his little brother.

“Well, I guess it’s time for you to go to bed as we are -again- going out tonight.”
“Sure, try to get some for once.” Max replied, clearly dismissive of his older brother.

Alec gasped and shooed him out of his bedroom, trying to hide his smile when Max ran away with a giggle.

“We need to get ready. Clary I know exactly what you should wear, come on! Let’s make you look like the wonderful being you’re supposed to be. And Alec, try to dress up. You don’t want to be left outside because you’re not up to the High Warlock of Brooklyn’s standards.”

Jace did not even try to suppress his snicker at that and Alec rolled his eyes as his sister left his bedroom, Clary in tow. He turned to his adoptive brother, opening his mouth to get some sense into him but Jace beat him to it.

“I think it’s the one, Alec. We just… clicked. And I want her to be happy, we need to find her mom before that sick bastard hurts them.”
“I’m not sure Jace. This guy is -as you put it- a sick bastard. He thought our kind was reaching its end and wanted to save our race by mating with humans. You could get hurt, Izzy… I don’t want to put us in danger for a half-mundane girl you just met.”

But his brother was not listening and Alec stopped talking. Jace had been adopted by Alec’s family when his father disappeared. It was not the first time it happened as the man had been missing around the time of Jace’s birth too. Alec’s family had taken Jace in as a temporary arrangement but his father never came back and Jace stayed with them in the end. It had not always been easy and both boys had been quite temperamental at the beginning. They had, for some reason, bonded through their confrontations and rarely ever fought since then.

Alec looked for a dress shirt with that in mind and Jace left him to his own devices. What they were doing was wrong and he knew it but they would not fight over it. At least Jace had not argued with Hodge about that crazy idea, Alec thought. Going against direct orders would ensure a severe punishment. But they were going to get in trouble anyway.

Alec striped as he made his way to the hollow nook at the back of his bedroom before lowering himself in the water. It was lukewarm -almost cold really- and he finally let himself relax. He rested his head against the polished stone behind him and closed his eyes as the pool washed away his worries and what little dirt he had accumulated since the night before.

Faeries did not need to clean all that much -being part of nature had its perks- but he still enjoyed a bath. Alec smiled to himself and held back a laugh as he remembered his siblings mirth upon hearing him say the word ‘straight’. Most faeries were bisexual but it was a running joke that Jace and Izzy had a preference for the opposite sex while he had little to no interest in almost anyone. And when it happened -few and far in between his siblings’ flings- it was always men.

One more reason for his parents to push him away -not that Alec really minded at this point- even when they had done their own share of controversial things. Alec just… did not do much for a faerie.

He sat up in the pool -focusing his intent on the nook- to guide some water up a construct of stone and have it run down his head and shoulders as he washed his dark hair. It splashed down on the floor and he curved it to let the water drip forward into the secret pathway between his and Jace’s bedrooms. He was in for a wet and unpleasant surprise if he tried to sneak up on Alec -something that happened more often than not- in a facetious impulse.

Chapter Text

Alec eventually settled for a forest green long sleeved top. He did not want to attract too much attention and hiding the markings on his arms would ensure that nobody recognized him as the son of the Queen’s advisors. He met with his siblings and Clary at the entrance of the Seelie Court near Brooklyn and sighed. Izzy had managed to invite Clary’s friend -whose name was apparently Simon- to come with them.

The poor boy had been desperately looking for the redhead since the night before and -except for the distraction provided by Isabelle earlier in the afternoon- kept calling her cellphone no matter how many times he was sent to voicemail. She had finally answered when they had left the Seelie Court and he joined them there, to Alec’s great annoyance.

“This is so exciting. Thanks for letting me tag along!” Simon was saying.

Jace had shrugged on a leather jacket but his golden hair fell on his eyes and was tangled with snow-white feathers. Next to him, Clary seemed uncomfortable in Izzy’s cloths. Her charcoal dress was probably more of a shirt on Alec’s sister, whose gown was just as short. She had chosen something more practical than the day before and golden leaves covered her chest and thighs. She still acted as a beacon though, nobody could ignore her when she walked into the apartment of the High Warlock of Brooklyn.

If they were not looking at her, Magnus Bane’s guests were looking at Jace and Alec rolled his eyes. At least, their host would not miss their entrance. He cast a glance around, trying to locate the famous warlock but could not find him. Alec had no idea what the man looked like.

“So, what are we doing now?” Simon asked.

He kept swiveling his head around, trying to take in every unusual thing he saw. He could not distinguish some species’ real appearance, as their glamours covered them but the apartment in itself was a wonder. Alec could not help but admire the extensive book collection of the warlock and the impressive decor of his living room, even if not to his taste.

A flurry of colors went past them as a man and a woman twirled around on the dancefloor. She was wearing a pink trumpet dress laced with baby blue bows and shiny nacred pearls that jolted at every step she took. The man raised their entwined hands to make her spin, green sparks flying above their heads. She swapped her dress for a more modern outfit in another flurry of colors and Alec reflexively grabbed his siblings’ arms to stay with them as the couple drifted away. They did the same for their mundanes friends and he pushed them in a corner of the room, which was almost empty of furniture.

“What was that?” Clary wondered out loud, wide eyed.
“A warlock couple. And who are you? I don’t remember inviting such an eclectic group of people to my party.” A man answered.

Alec blinked. Magnus Bane was tall -taller than Alec- and his dark skin made his gold-green eyes stand out. They looked like a cat’s -with a vertical pupil- and the man was wearing such an extravagant outfit that Alec had to do a double take.

He had blue streaks in his jet black hair. His electric blue jacket was thrown over a black dress shirt, half the buttons undone as silvery necklace shined against his chest. The skin there was covered in glitter and when the warlock raised his glass to take a sip of his martini, his painted nails seemed to sparkle. His fingers were covered with rings and Alec noticed dangling chains on his wrist. That’s a lot of glitter, he thought, fighting back a smile.

“I’m Clary Fray and I’m looking for my mother!”
“Sure. I don’t remember inviting her either and I would be surprised to find anyone’s mom at my party.”
“You’re not very good at remembering things.” Simon stated.
“There is your signature in Clary’s mind and it’s blocking her memories. Rings a bell?” Jace said, losing patience.
“Now you’re talking!”
“Can we go somewhere more… private?” Alec suddenly asked, anxiously looking around.
“With you? I wouldn’t mind.”

Isabelle squeaked and Alec shushed her to avoid the warlock’s gaze. He did not answer but Magnus Bane directed them to his bedroom anyway, closing the door behind him before he sat on his bed.

“Clary just discovered her heritage because her mom disappeared. We think that lifting the block on her memories could help us find her mom.” Isabelle explained.
“Does the Seelie Court know you’re here? With a mundane of all people?”

Simon jumped, surprised that he had been found out and Alec shifted uncomfortably on his spot near the door.

“I see.” Magnus hummed. He did not add anything, as if he was making sure they knew they could not do anything if he did not agree to help them.
“The Shadowhunters know what you did.” Jace suddenly blurted.

The threat hung in the air and Magnus smiled. It was not a beautiful smile, there was a hint of something predatory in eyes, that his heavy makeup darkened even more.

“Your mom asked me to do it, biscuit. She did not want anything to do with the Fair Folk after your father abused her trust.” The warlock said, turning to Clary.

She could not hold his gaze and a sob escaped her.

“Can you undo the spell?” Alec asked carefully.

He maintained eye contact when Magnus faced him. The warlock was silent for a moment.

“I can.”
“Will you?” Alec insisted, not knowing where it was going.
“Depends. Will it get me in trouble? I don’t trust the Fair Folk. You cannot lie, but you are not reliable either.”

Jace huffed and turned on his heels, stopping at the door when it would not open. Sparks of blue had escaped Magnus’ fingers and were now dancing around the doorknob.

“Let me out!”
“So that you crash my party to blow off some steam? I’ve got vampires out there, I’m not risking it with your petty rivalry.”
“He’s right Jace,” Alec intervened, surprising both the warlock and his brother. “listen, I know our kind and yours don’t get along. My people disapprove of your way of selling your services and in turn you resent us for our contempt. That’s fair. To prove that we’re not here to pick a fight I’m willing to make a deal with you -in exchange of her memories or whatever it is you have to undo in her mind- how does that sound?”
“Alec no!” Isabelle exclaimed and Simon tried to calm her.

Magnus seemed to consider Alec’s offer. Since he did not trust faeries, Alec had little hope of him accepting. He would not strike a deal with the faerie if he thought his word was worthless and Alec could understand. It hurt, because the reason of the tension with his parents -why they kept him at arm's length- was the fact that their eldest son held to his word. He did not try to twist facts to avoid saying the truth.

He did not -usually- put himself out there because this was not common knowledge and could be used against him. But Alec wanted to get rid of Clary and this seemed like the fastest way to do so. Jace had moved back to her side and Alec felt utterly alone in this huge bedroom, with lime green bedding and bright yellow walls. The man facing him seemed just as isolated, sitting on his bed but not entirely relaxing. Magnus suddenly stood.

“I will undo the spell. Come here, biscuit,” he gestured for Clary to move closer. “It will come back eventually, give it some time.”

Blue sparks flew from his fingers as he brushed them against her temple. She sagged and Jace rushed forward to steady her just as Magnus stepped back. His bedroom door opened and Jace dragged Clary outside without a word. Isabelle hesitated before nodding in thanks and following Simon outside. Alec was left alone with the warlock, ashamed of his siblings.

“Thank you.” he took a step toward Magnus. “Whatever you require as payment, I’ll be happy to-”
“What’s your name?” the warlock interrupted, a curious glint in his slitted pupils.
“Alexander.” Alec did not hesitate to answer.

He could not hold the warlock’s gaze after revealing his true name and left the room in a hurry. Alec could only hope Magnus would not use it against him. He was in enough trouble as it was.

Chapter Text

Alec came back in the living room with a slight blush on his cheeks. Magnus Bane now knew his true name and what he and his siblings were doing for Clary. It could seem like a small price to pay for his help but Alec knew better. The High Warlock of Brooklyn could pressure the Fair Folk with the knowledge that they went against the wishes of the Seelie Court and ran around with the likes of a mundane while doing so.

He almost bumped into a woman and opened his mouth to apologize when their eyes met. She was a slim, young-looking warlock, whose dark blue eyes shone with kindness. Her blue skin stood out in the crowd and she smiled at him as she pushed short, snow-white strands of hair behind her ears.

“I’m sorry, I wasn’t looking,” he finally managed to say.
“No worries, Magnus has that effect on people.”

Alec frowned and followed the warlock’s gaze. She had obviously noticed him coming out of their host bedroom and he blushed.

“No, that’s not!” The faerie tried to explain but she waved her hand in a dismissive gesture.
“It seems that he’s not unaffected for once though, that’s unusual.”

Alec bit his lip and refused to turn around to see for himself. He apologized once more for not looking where he was going and nodded at the warlock before walking past her and further into the crowd to find his siblings. Clary was crouching before Jace, a weird sight that puzzled Alec.

“Where is Simon?” Alec asked when Izzy joined him.
“Under the main table.” His sister answered, avoiding his eyes.
“What happened?”
“Jace tricked him into drinking one of these cocktails, said it was harmless. Simon turned into a rat and Clary is trying to get him back from under there.”

Alec released a deep sigh and rolled his eyes. He did not know who he was supposed to blame. His brother for passing his frustrations out on the mundane or Simon for trusting Jace in the first place. He did not say anything while waiting for Clary to catch her friend and just glared at Jace who was still laughing about it all.

“You proud of yourself?” Alec finally snapped.
“Mate you should have seen his face when he realized I-”

The eldest of the faeries shushed him. Clary finally managed to get a hold of Simon and they left without losing anymore time. The redhead bumped into someone on the way out and screamed when she realized he had blood dripping off his fangs and a glass of the red liquid in his hand. They made it down the stairs before she noticed that she had lost Simon when she bumped into the vampire.

They came running back up the stairs, convinced the vampire had snatched the rat but the man was nowhere to be seen. Alec scrunched up his nose and sought Magnus out in the crowd, trying his best to smile to the warlock when he found him.

“Alec, back so soon? Can I get you a drink?” Magnus asked, raising his glass.
“No, sorry Magnus. We were leaving but my brother had the mundane turn into a rat and a vampire snatched it. Do you happen to know where their lair is? We need to go and get the mundane before…” Alec did not finish his sentence and swallowed with difficulty.

He was going to be in so much trouble if the Institute found out about this… And with the Seelie Court… Was it even worth it? Alec wondered.

“I’m only telling you because of your pretty face and blue eyes,” Magnus leaned forward, whispering in his ear. “the Hotel Dumort. Not where I would take you myself but we can work it out later. Call me?”

The warlock took a step back and winked at Alec. The faerie bit his lip and nodded slowly. Blue sparks flew from Magnus fingers and a piece of paper appeared in Alec’s back pocket. He jumped and resisted the urge to pat his behind, choosing instead to grab a small glass and clink it against Magnus’. Alec choked it down with a wince.

“I think I’ll need this. But we’ll get that drink later okay?” Magnus beamed at him.
“I’ll hold you to that.”

Alec nodded and took a step back before turning around. He could feel the warlock’s gaze on him until he disappeared amongst the other guests and found his siblings to go and rescue the mundane. Izzy jumped on him -obviously feeling guilty for what happened- and Jace impatiently tapped his fingers as they looked the place up on their phones.

“Why did you jump like that when he was talking to you? Did something happen in his bedroom when we left the two of you alone? Did he grope you with his magic or something?”
“Izzy!” Alec scolded, now was not the time for sexual innuendos.
“He sure was not subtle with his flirting.” Jace chimed in, enjoying the teasing.
“He used his magic to put his number in my backpocket, happy now?”
“So he did grope you with his magic!”
“Is there such a thing as magically gropping someone?”

Clary’s worries had been distracted by their conversation and Alec let out a groan. He was not in the mood for a magical and sexual education lecture with the half-faerie. Isabelle though, was smiling and could not help but hint at the various uses of magic.

“Oh dear. She wouldn’t know would she? Jace you need to show her someday.”
“You’re in for one hell of a ride. It will send you to heaven and back.” Jace boasted.

Clary went bright red and spluttered something about not being interested and it was not like that at all. She averted her gaze when Isabelle asked her if she was willing to learn a few things to try with Simon instead. Izzy’s smiled widened even more and she tutted. Jace had turned quiet -which was unusual and worried Alec- and Clary settled for ignoring the faeries. Something was going on between his adoptive brother and the redhead. Remembering what Jace told him before the party, Alec could not help but think he did not like it at all.

Finding it harder than it should have been to leave Magnus’ party, Alec ushered them outside and in a subway station to reach the Hotel Dumort faster. He did not like mundane public transports but they were running out of time. If they were fast enough they could save the mundane and maybe -with a little bit of luck- do so without their actions leading to the start of a war between the Fair Folk and the Children of the Night.

He would worry about a warlock knowing his fey name later. At least Magnus did not ask for his sister’s true name, Alec thought. He suddenly realized that he had not specifically asked for Alec’s fey name. His parents were right to distance themselves from him, their eldest son was definitely good for nothing. He shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts and ready himself for what was yet to come. Magnus had been right, faeries and vampires did not get along.

Chapter Text

The Hotel Dumort had an ominous feeling to it. Alec cast a glance at the sign that hung above the entrance. It used to be the Hotel Dumont -before it was taken over by the vampires in the Roaring Twenties- but the ‘n’ had been partially scratched out to look like an ‘r’. He grabbed his siblings’ arms before they barged in and made a fool of themselves.

“We can’t just go in there and demand they give him back. If they took him it’s for a reason. They want something from us -maybe it’s just to get into a fight- and we have to be smarter than them.”
“Come on Alec, we would totally win a fight with these blood suckers!”

Alec rolled his eyes and arched an eyebrow.

“I hate to admit it but Alec is right. Fighting the entire population of the hotel is definitely a big no if we don’t want to get our asses kicked. Sorry Jace -normally I would back you up- but it’s not just some random blood suckers and they’re more familiar with the place than we are.” Isabelle explained.
“And here I thought you were ready to get into the Wild Hunt even though they don’t accept women anymore, Izzy…” Jace mocked.
“Enough.”

Clary turned to Alec, realizing he was the only one with a decent chance of getting her friend back. She was biting her nails, quiet for once and the faery fought back a satisfied smile when he noticed her newfound respect for him. Then, he politely knocked on the door. It opened slowly and a teen stepped out, looking bored. Jace tried to shoulder his way past Alec to push the vampire around but the eldest held an arm out to stop him. He roughly pushed his adoptive brother back.

“Ignore him. Hi, I’m Alec and Clary here lost her pet-friend. Simon, we think you guys got him with your rats.”
“Hi Alec. I’m sorry for your loss, Clary.” The vampire replied, his face a mask of indifference.
“I’m sure not all hope is lost yet. Would you mind letting us in so that we can look for him?” Alec insisted, hoping the redhead would keep her mouth shut in spite of the provocation.
“This is vampire territory, fey. You’re not welcome here.”
“I know and I respect that. I’m asking you if maybe we could work something out? We don’t have much time before sunrise and I’m sure we would all like to get on with our lives as quickly as possible.”

There was a spark of understanding in the vampire eyes that Alec did not like. He looked young but his eyes told an entirely different story. Dark curly hair fell on his forehead and gave an angelic appearance to the Mexican boy. Alec took a step back, considering his options. Maybe it was time to let Jace do the talking.

“What’s your name?” Alec asked, suspicious.
“Raphael Santiago.”

Alec blinked. He could not put his finger on it, but something felt off. He let his arm drop to his side and Jace took a step forward.

“Now -buddy- Raphael,” Jace amended, noticing a twitch in the vampire expression upon hearing the familiar appellation. “what’s a rat to you? Let’s get it over with, you give us the rat and we leave you alone. Sounds good? Good.”
“Sounds like a big hassle for nothing. I couldn’t care less about your missing rat. I’m sure she can get over it.”
“No she cannot, Simon is very dear to her.” Isabelle interjected.
“Reminds her of her mom, all that. Surely your cold dead heart has some warmth left from your last dinner and you feel like helping us this once?” Jace insisted.

Alec kept silent. Everything he said would just make it more complicated. He could not twist the facts more than he already had and the truth would not help them in this situation. Better leave it to Jace and Isabelle, he thought. Hopefully Clary would follow his lead and not try to lie her way out of this, if Raphael realized she was only half-fey… Alec swallowed with difficulty. They were screwed if the vampire noticed that they were not entirely bound by their words.

And Raphael looked observant enough to pick up on any lie Clary would speak. He had already noticed that Alec was not really trying to work around his nature. Izzy was better at this but even she could not do any better than Jace when it came to desperate situations like this one.

“How do you even know your stupid rat is here anyway?”

Alec kicked Clary in the shin to keep her from blurting anything out. Lie or truth, it would be the catalyst for a disaster. He could not have that now. Isabelle clamped her mouth shut and Jace did not miss a beat to answer with nonchalance.

“Followed it all the way here -that was a pain- the little shit sure knows how to run around without a purpose.”

Clary made an indignant noise and Alec could not fight a smile. He cleared his throat and tried to look impatient. Raphael seemed to buy it and nodded, moving away from the doorway. He gestured for them to come in.

“Good luck to find the rodent you’re looking for, we’ve got quite a lot around here.”

They all released a sigh of relief and hurried inside, ignoring Raphael’s insistent gaze as they started exploring the lower levels of the Hotel Dumort to find Simon. Alec felt uneasy, he was not convinced that Raphael had accepted without an ulterior motive. He did not strike him as a genuine kind of guy, but no vampire did.

They split up to cover more space. Alec and Izzy went further down the hall and started opening doors at random while Jace and Clary took the stairs. Something still felt off and Alec carefully looked around. Where would they keep their fellow vampires while waiting for them to turn back into their normal selves ?

He could not imagine the Children of the Night not looking out for each other and letting their vampire-turned-into-rats run around the Hotel many suites. They would spread out and escape at sunrise instead of staying inside where it was safe. Alec closed the door of the bedroom they had just checked and turned to his sister.

“Is it me or does this look like a trap?”
“Well, we cannot put it past them,” Izzy agreed. “we should catch up with Jace and Clary.”

They ran up the stairs and found them in a ballroom. It was dark inside and the only source of light -dim and flickering- came from a heavy chandelier reflecting the glow of their phones. It swung slowly above their heads and looked like it could fall from the ceiling at any moment. There was no opening in the room, no breeze coming through the corridor -nothing to explain why it was moving- and Alec gritted his teeth. He could feel the vampires’ presence somewhere in the room.

The looks on Jace and Izzy’s faces told him that he was not imagining it.

“Have you found him yet?” Alec asked in clipped tones.
“Yes.” Clary’s answer was only a whisper.
“Good.”

Isabelle and Alec slowly backed out of the room, motionning for Jace and Clary to do the same. They barely made it far enough to be out of the way of the chandelier when it came crashing down. Clary screamed and started running just as shadows jumped down the balcony that ran all the way up around the ballroom, encircling her and Jace. The blond did not lose a second to tap into the power of the ley lines that converged at the Hotel Dumort and summoned weapons through it.

Izzy dropped her glamour to let her wings appear and flew towards Clary as her size diminished. Alec followed suit, already growing a bow out of the wooden floor. Matching arrows shot from his weapon as he spun and stood back to back with Jace. His brother swung a blade around to fend off a vampire attacking them. Isabelle had reached Clary and frantically flew around her to push her attackers away from the half-mundane who was clutching the rat to her chest.

“They’re coming from everywhere!” Jace yelled as they moved closer to the girls.
“We’re fighting them, why are we fighting them?” Alec shot back, panicked.
“They’re attacking us for fuck sake!”
“We shouldn’t be here in the first place!”

They managed to retreat in a corner of the room with Isabelle and Clary and faced the swarm of vampires coming towards them. Their fangs flashed out as Alec turned to his siblings.

“Wait, we’re here. Did you just use passing ley lines?”
“Yeah, I thought it was worth a shot.”

Jace did not even look at him, busy with a vampire coming at them from the side. Izzy grew back to her normal size, her skeletal wings fluttering behind her. It looked like oak tree skeleton leaves and gave her sinister appearance that she was self-conscious of at times. Alec thought she should be proud of it but it was not the time to discuss such matters.

He dropped back behind his siblings, focusing on the ley lines he could now feel. Harnessing his powers, Alec dropped to his knees under the strain of the breach he tried to rip open between the Hotel Dumort and faerieland. A screeching noise resonated in his ears before Isabelle scooped him up and jumped into the steaming black hole he had created, falling into the darkness and after the bright gold and red flicker of Jace and Clary’s hair.

Chapter Text

Alec came back to his senses in familiar surroundings. Stone walls and rough floor digging into his back -fey realm in all its impracticality- as he looked around trying to find his siblings. Izzy rushed to his side and Jace’s head snapped up from where he was quietly talking with Clary. She was holding onto the rat, distractedly petting its head and Alec had to shake his head to remember it was Simon.

“Quick, we need to go back to the surface before he turns back into a mundane. We cannot break one more law by inviting a mundane into our realm!”
“Alec, we’re allowed to lure mundanes-”
“Not when they’re Valentine’s daughter’s mundane friends!” Alec raised his voice.

He immediately calmed down, feeling guilty.

“I’m sorry Clary but I mean it, it would only complicate things.”
“I understand.”

They exchanged tentative smiles before Jace decided to take action and more importantly, Clary and Simon back to the mundane world. Alec sighed and turned to his sister, whose wings had disappeared. She had scooped up a rock with a slight nook in the middle, filled with rain water. Isabelle’s hand hovered above it for a few seconds as she focused her magic on the water and suddenly they had a clear view of Simon running away from Clary and Jace.

At least he was human again, Alec thought. The mundane was obviously upset, a crazed-look on his face and a disheveled appearance that made people turn around as he ran through the streets of New York. The faerie frowned when he recognized the streets they had roamed to find the Hotel Dumort and a sense of dread settled deep in his bones.

“What have we done?” He whispered.

Isabelle did not have any answer for him, as both siblings dreaded what was waiting for them in the Seelie Court. Their absence was bound to have been noticed by now and the vampires had probably complained about them trespassing their invitation in the clan’s territory. If the mundane went back to them too… Alec was not so sure about getting a drink with Magnus Bane anymore. Would they even be allowed to leave faerieland ever again?

Jace and Clary came back as Alec slumped down a smooth rock. They had been away for a while, probably walking through the realm for what would have been minutes in the mundane world but stretched out in faerieland. The four of them looked at each other, not knowing what to do next. Now that the mundane was supposedly safe, they had to deal with the consequences of their actions. Clary was nervously biting her nails again, feeling guilty. Alec and Izzy were not doing any better but kept their mouths shut to avoid anymore complications.

“I shouldn’t have left him, this was a traumatic experience for Simon and I’m not here to support him…”
“He’s going to be just fine,” Jace drawled. “if he wasn’t he wouldn’t have ran away like this.”
“You say that because it’s your fault he turned into a rat! No wonder he didn’t stay!”
“Come on, we don’t have time for him and he should not have believed me anyway!”
“You told him faeries cannot lie!”

Alec sighed as their voices grew louder. She did not know, could not understand the true nature of their kind. Even he, who did not abide by most fey standards, still enjoyed playing tricks on people. Isabelle came to sit next to him and they listened to Clary’s sobs as Jace tried to comfort her.

“I just want my mom back…”
“We should go.” Alec whispered to his sister.

Isabelle nodded but none of them dared to move yet. They waited until the redhead had calmed down enough to stand up and follow them. The trip was quiet and uneventful, something Alec had a hard time enjoying no matter how much he had been waiting for it. He led the way, Izzy by his side as Clary and Jace trailed behind them. They walked around the base of a small mountain and bent down under the low, bare branches of dead trees.

It was unusual for faerieland to choose winter at its coldest, lacking of snow and magical fog. Alec refused to let his imagination wonder. He decided it was because of the place they had come from -near vampire territory-, thinking that it made sense for faerieland to reflect the surface.

They finally made it to the Seelie Court. Alec briefly entertained the idea of sneaking of to his bedroom and wait for the consequences of their actions to catch up with him. He would however rather deal with it and be done -whatever his punishment was- and did not let his siblings try to get away either. But something still felt off about faerieland. It was unusually quiet in the Court’s territory and the absence of Knights in the throne room put them on edge.

Alec extended his hand, already forming a bow from the ground as Jace grabbed his weapons -he had kept them since the battle at the Hotel Dumort- and Isabelle revealed her wings again. Clary stayed close to them, anxiously looking around.

“Does it ever stop?” she asked.

Alec wondered why it had all started in the first place and snorted with the realization that Clary was at the center of it all. Suddenly a heart wrenching scream reverberated in the throne room and Hodge came running out of a secret pathway.

“He’s coming!”

Alec’s grip on his bow tightened.

“Who is coming?”

Hodge let out a startled sob and fell on his knees with a gurgling noise, a sword protruding from his back. It had lodged itself between the calloused bumps that covered his body.

“I’m so sorry, I should have known better than to trust him again…” Were his last words before he reached the ground.

Behind the Queen’s advisor, a shadow slowly crept forward. He had fair skin and fair hair but his eyes were deep dark pools of indifference. Alec did not need to look into them to get a taste of the young man’s cruelty. He remembered him from the assembly in the throne room the day before. And just like the day before his parents were there too, standing back.

“He should have kept his mouth shut, looks like he will never get around to learning his lesson.” Sebastian said.

Alec knew their parents had followed Valentine and that was the reason the Queen exposed their true fey names to bind them to her. And for a moment, he wondered whose side they were on. As for Sebastian, Alec now understood how he could have been so spot on with Clary’s memories -if he was one of Valentine’s cronies it made sense he had known what to do to get it back- and raised his bow even though he did not know who he wanted to shoot. Who was a traitor ? Sebastian obviously but what about the Queen’s advisors?

“But we learnt ours.” Robert stated.
“And we won’t let Valentine attempt to take the Queen’s life again.” Maryse added.

Sebastian threw his head back with a laugh.

“It’s not the Queen we’re looking for.”

Chapter Text

Silence fell upon the throne room once again. The faeries exchanged glances filled with incomprehension.

“He’s looking for my mom.” Clary was the first one to understand.
“Well I doubt he will find her since she’s not here. But we will find him and bring him to justice. Surrender, you’re outnumbered.”

Sebastian kept laughing and Alec released the arrow he was holding. It embedded itself deep into the faerie’s shoulder and put a stop to his mirth. It did however nothing to stop him from ripping another sword out and charging towards the four young faeries.

Clary took a step back, shaking with fear and Isabelle squared her shoulders. Jace and Alec moved as one to meet Sebastian halfway and battle with him but the faerie was quick on his feet and not afraid of them. He swept past their guards and stabbed Jace, leaving a deep gash on his side. The blond staggered back as Sebastian twisted around like a snake and raised his clenched fist.

Alec tried to duck a punch that never came and started coughing when his opponent blew a cloud of dark powder to his face. Isabelle took the opportunity to dive and wrap her arms around Sebastian’s neck to choke him. Maryse and Robert were on Valentine’s ally in an instant. Their daughter let go of Sebastian to fly towards Alec and check on him but his airway was inexplicably blocked and he had trouble breathing.

“Mom! Dad! Alec -something’s wrong with him- he needs help!”

Jace was by her side in an instant but her cry for help had distracted the Queen’s advisors and Sebastian seized this opportunity to kick Robert in the middle and shove Maryse away. The woman tried to summon roots in order to keep him from escaping but the faerie skilfully avoided it. Robert sprouted wings and chased him on a short distance until Sebastian found the pathway he was looking for. He started crawling down a concealed tunnel that Robert could not squeeze in.

Clary had fallen to her knees next to Jace and looked at Alec in horror as Izzy stroked her brother’s forehead, trying to soothe him. Maryse was the first one to reach her children and let out a strangled cry upon seeing her son’s face. Alec’s lips had turn grey and dark veins had started to spread on his cheeks and chin. Robert paled when he joined them.

“Iron! How did he…”
“Only a warlock could save him now.” Maryse struggled to get the words out.
“We know a warlock.” Clary’s voice was low and subdued.

She expected Isabelle to scold her for saying that but the faerie’s eyes seemed to light up with hope. Robert carefully cradled Alec in his arms and they all made their way to the mundane world. Izzy frantically searched her brother’s pockets until she found the piece of paper she was looking for and scrambled to push the digit on her cellphone.

“Magnus Bane? This is Izzy, my brother has been poisoned we think he inhaled iron. Which one? Blue eyes? Yes Alexander! What? I- nevermind can you save him? Thank you so much. We’ll meet you at the entrance in Central Park, the Turtle Pond.”

She hung up with a startled look on her face but she was obviously relieved. They waited anxiously as Isabelle filled them in on the unexpected exchange with the warlock.

“He only agreed because it’s Alec, he said he wasn’t willing to heal Jace but then he realized Alec would blame him if he didn’t. What a peculiar-” She stopped herself before the warlock in question could overhear her.

A portal shimmered into existence in front of the faeries. Magnus Bane stepped out of it and took in the faeries gathered on the other side without a word. He beckoned for Robert to go through the portal and shooed the others away before they could follow. When he stepped back into his flat, Robert had carefully laid Alec on Magnus’ couch. The dark veins had already spread to his neck.

“I will heal him, go back through the portal and deal with whatever the Fair Folk is up to.”

Robert nodded his thanks and disappeared without a second glance, trusting his daughter’s judgement. If she had contacted the High Warlock of Brooklyn she had to be pretty confident he would help Alec and he could tell that Magnus was going to from what little he had seen so far. As for the price… Robert was willing to pay when it came to his family.

Magnus turned to Alec, crouching next to the couch as he waved his hand above his face and chest to make sure the poison had not spread anywhere else. The warlock suddenly curled his fingers and blue mist came out of Alec’s nose and mouth as he drew the iron out of his body. The powder concentrated in his hand and Magnus put it away with a twitch of his fingers. The effect was instant, the faerie’s complexion turned back to normal and the dark veins on his face receded. The warlock sighed and rocked on his heels while waiting for Alec to come back to his senses.

“You’re lucky Chairman Meow doesn’t enjoy parties as much as I do. It was way too early to call it a night but what can I say -it was his birthday after all- his choice.”

A bitter laugh escaped the High Warlock’s mouth.

“I did not expect to see you again so soon, Alexander. Yet, I’m sure you’ll make it worth my time. When you wake up that is to say. Your family knew how to use that new acquaintance you got them straight away. But you would have been better at the waiting game wouldn’t you? At least a few days before you gave me a call.”

Magnus smiled to himself and stood up to go in search of his cat. He scooped Chairman Meow in his arms and came back in the living room to sit in an armchair, patiently waiting for Alec to wake up. He did not take that long and Magnus let go of his cat when his blue eyes finally fluttered open. Chairman Meow jumped off his lap to ran into the bedroom as the warlock leaned forward.

“Welcome back Alexander. How are you feeling?”
“Like shit. What happened?”
“Apparently you managed to inhale iron. I thought you were heading for the Hotel Dumort?”
“We were but when we came back to the Seelie Court… something was wrong. He blew something in my face.” Alec stopped there, seemingly confused.
“I take it it was not the kind of blowing one can enjoy?”

Alec did not grace him with a laugh or any kind of answer and Magnus resisted the urge to facepalm. That had not been his best line.

“I’m sorry to impose on you once again, you’ve been nothing but helpful tonight and I wish I could repay you properly.” Alec finally said.
“I guess that joke is still lame and inappropriate.”

That got a chuckle out of the faerie. Magnus straightened and fiddled with the cuffs of his jacket. He could get a small fortune from the Seelie Court but something told him now was not the time to bargain with the Fair Folk.

“What’s going on in the Seelie Court?”
“Clary’s appearance has shaken things up. Valentine is looking for her mother in the Seelie Court and we fought one of his allies. That’s only the beginning though, they did not find her and while this was happening, we almost started a war with the vampires. Well, technically they did and put the blame on us.”
“Sounds like something Raphael would do.” Magnus nodded, mildly amused.
“Who is he?”
“The acting head of the vampire clan.”

Alec did not ask anything else and just sat up on the couch. From the look of things, he was in trouble. That made him all the more attractive to Magnus, who was sitting on the edge of the armchair.

“You should go back there, seems like you’re going to be busy.”
“Can’t you keep me here and spare me all this?”
“I could.”
“Would you?”
“Oh don’t take me wrong, I would love to. But duty calls and seeing you three times in a row will have to be enough for tonight.”
“Thank you again.”
“Don’t mention it.”

Third time’s a charm, Magnus thought. He had gotten enough information out of the faerie to consider it as payment for his services, even though he did not feel like asking anything in return. He smiled and held his hand out for Alec to take, helping him stand. The faerie accepted it and averted his eyes when the warlock looked up to him.

“I’ll call you, when this is settled.”
“We can go and get that drink then.” Magnus agreed.

Alec’s mouth quirked up with a shy smile. The warlock snapped his fingers to open a portal, whose silvery glow shimmered into existence without a sound. Alec’s eyes followed Magnus’ hand as it dropped to his side and the warlock could not help but wiggle his fingers, blue sparks jumping from his fingertips and up his arm to flicker in front of Alec’s face.

Magnus’ magic sparkled and threw a dim glow on his fair skin, making Alec’s smile wider and softening the tired look in his eyes. A spark floated down near his lips and the faerie poked his tongue out to taste it, eyes closing as a warm feeling spread through his body. Magnus tensed, not expecting such a thing and took a step back to hide his shock.

The faerie did not notice anything and simply waved at him before going through the portal with one last smile for the warlock.

Chapter Text

The throne resembled a bird’s nest. Alec climbed up the tree that grew in the middle of the throne room, ran along the bark with ease and jumped from one branch to the other. He only stopped running when he reached the edge of the Queen’s lair where he fell to his knees, gripping at the dirt and twigs that made her throne. When he came back to faerieland she had already made her decision and declared that Jace was to be sentenced to jail for taking Clary to a warlock and lying to make his way into the Hotel Dumort.

“May the breeze cool your fervour and the wind blow strong in your back.” He forced the greeting out.
“May the woods shelter you from the rain and light break through the foliage.”

The Seelie Queen had dull pale, almost colorless blond hair and piercing grey eyes. Her regal face was not softened by the snow white feathers that covered her chest and fell on either sides of her legs like wings. That did not deter Alec from pleading for his adoptive brother’s release.

“My Queen I beg you. You are fair and you are kind. Jace did not deserve this!”
“Jace hid his true nature for years and almost started a war with the Children of the Night. His punishment is by no mean cruel or unwarranted for.”
“My Queen Jace was not alone. I was with him!”
“I know.”

She did not add anything but she did not need too. Alec knew exactly what was happening. Jace was paying for all of them because the Court had discovered he was only half-fey. Alec and Izzy had known for a long time and carefully avoided any mention of that fact but the Queen knew about Simon. She knew that they went to the Hotel Dumort to rescue him and probably thought Jace lied to his face to get him to accept the drink that turn him into a rat. But from what Alec had gathered the mundane had been told the drink was harmless, which was true. Even Alec could have tricked him on that one.

“You honored your family by hiding this important piece of information. I am aware of your kind nature and honest demeanor but I am truly impressed with your ability to do what was right for your adoptive brother. I can only hope that you will be as loyal as your parents. They can be proud of having given birth to three fey children such as you and your siblings.”

Alec lowered his head. The praise did nothing to appease him and he did not aspire to fit in with the Fair Folk anymore. He was not even sure where Jace went wrong in this awful game of saying half-truths and tricking others. Maybe it was the comment about Simon reminding Clary of her mother? Alec knew that his and Jace personal feelings about the mundane were true enough.

He bowed to the Queen and bid her farewell. There was nothing to be done. Alec made his way to the cave they had imprisoned Jace in, asking for entrance. It was granted -to his surprise- and he bent on the edge of the hole in which they had thrown Jace. His adoptive brother sat on one side of the pit, back against the wall.

“Hey Alec.”
“Jace. How are you? How are they treating you?”
“They ignore me, mainly. I’ve been better.”

He squinted to try and see Jace better. His voice was rough and Alec easily imagined him yelling at the guards. A sad smile tugged at his lips.

“I’m sorry I wasn’t there to prevent this.”
“Don’t be silly. You couldn’t have done anything and I’m not saying that because you were poisoned. How are you? I should be the one asking you that and being all worried.”
“All good.”
“Can you do me a favour? Make sure Clary is okay and take some time for yourself.”
“How am I supposed to take time for myself if I have to worry about her?”

Jace barked a laugh and Alec felt a little bit better upon hearing the familiar sound. A guard came up to him to put an end to their conversation and he promised Jace he would visit him soon. If it was up to Alec, he would get him out of this hole. For now though, he could only take turns with Izzy and Max to visit their adoptive brother and make the time go by a little faster.

Clary visited him too of course but Jace was upset because she would often sneak off to catch up with Simon as well. The mundane was sick since he had been turned into a rat and seemingly had trouble sleeping. Clary would blame Jace for the nightmares she thought he was having and constantly worried about Simon’s lack of sleep.

When she was not wondering about the dangers of insomnia, she complained about the time difference between their realm and the mundane world. Time went faster in faerieland and Simon apparently got annoyed when she tried to see him twice the same day and told him about the impossible things she had been up too in the meantime.

Alec had to deal with Jace crankiness after these visits. He was worried too -even though he did not mention it too much- because Helen was still missing. He was, however, distracting Jace by telling him about his time with Magnus instead of sharing his theories about Helen disappearance. That he did a lot with Aline, who welcomed his daydreaming about the warlock when her anxiety got the best of her. Alec was recounting Magnus’ lame joke after Sebastian blew iron in his face when the blond suddenly lit up.

“You should call him! It’s been what? Three days? Definitely time to call him.”

Alec did not answer straight away, taken aback. How could Jace actually have an interest in his love life when he was stuck in that damn hole?

“Except if you don’t want to be magically gropped again…”

It was impossible to ignore his teasing tone and Alec dusted his pants when he stood up, eager to get away from his brother.

“You’re right, I should thank him again.”
“Sure.”

Jace laughter followed him into the mundane world. Electronic devices did not work in faerieland as the realm’s magic interfered with their components. Alec found a spot high up in a tree somewhere in Central Park and hesitated before calling the warlock. A lump appeared in his throat as he waited for Magnus to pick up.

“Magnus Bane, how did you get this number?”
“Huh? You gave it to me.”
“Alexander! How delightful to finally hear from you!”
“I’m sorry.”
“No need to apologize, you did tell me you’d call me once everything is settled. I take it that you’re free? How about tonight?”

Alec did not feel like anything was settled at all but said nothing.

“Sure.”
“Wonderful! I know this place, Downworlder friendly and very cosy…”

The faerie bit his lip and leaned back against the bark of the tree, listening to the warlock as he planned their date. He allowed himself to forget about everything that was going on for a few seconds. Valentine was nowhere to be found and they still had no idea where to find Clary’s mother. With so many people missing, Alec could disappear for a while too and nobody would notice.

“I’ll see you tonight then. Feel free to wear a flower crown or whatever.”
“Is that your way of asking for flowers?”
“Me? I would never!”

Chapter Text

Oaks did not produce flowers. Alec contemplated wearing a crown of leaves and wreathed his hair with oak tree leaves for the sole reason that he wanted to unsettle Magnus. Better keep him on his toes, Alec thought with a playful smile. Aside from that and his usual markings the faery did not stand out as part of the Fair Folk. He shrugged on a leather jacket and skilfully avoided his sister when he left the faery realm that evening.

Alec did not want anyone to tease him because he was carrying a bunch of sweet peas. He made his way to Magnus’ loft and tried to hide his smug smile when the warlock opened the door, obviously startled. Magnus stepped back to let Alec in, strangely silent.

“Here are your flowers and the crown.”
“Why thank you. I take it you are one of the few people who should really be seen in a crown.”
“That would be Jace.”

His voice lowered as he said his brother’s name and Alec closed off, feeling guilty for enjoying himself when Jace was trapped in a dark empty pit. He even felt bad about Aline, who was worried sick for her missing lover. Magnus seemed to pick up on his mood and gently took the flowers from him.

“I really appreciate it.”

He arranged the bouquet on a side table before casting a wary glance around.

“Hopefully Chairman Meow will not attempt to reproduce the look while I’m away. Did I mention you look stunning?”

Alec smiled and arranged the leaves in his hair to hide his blush. Magnus had streaks of green in his hair but golden makeup and nails to match his sparkling jacket. He was wearing a forest green dress shirt with subtle, black see through lace pattern underneath and leather pants so tight they looked like a second skin. Alec had to peel his eyes away and clear his throat, perfectly aware that the warlock had noticed him and was enjoying the attention.

“You’re not so bad yourself. Ever thought of adding gemstones to your attire?”
“Oh my that’s a wonderful idea!”

Magnus looked positively delighted as he offered his arm to Alec, ready to go. They made their way to a rooftop bar and sat in a secluded corner with their orders. The faerie clinked his glass with the warlock’s and raised it to his lips, trying to avoid Magnus’ gaze.

“So, what’s up in faerieland?”
“Oh you know the usual, my brother is in jail and Clary’s looking for her mom.”
“That explains why everything is settled then, you must be awfully bored without him.”

Alec let out a startled laugh. He had to admit that there was a part of truth in that statement. Magnus placed a hand on his forearm to grab his attention and gave him a sad smile.

“What about you? Saved any more lives recently?” Alec asked, eager to change the subject.
“The duties of a High Warlock vary and are infrequent. I cannot say I have been busy.”
“You don’t wanna be busy, trust me.”

The warlock nodded in understanding. Being busy generally meant that something was wrong in the Downworld. He slowly raised his hand to tug at the leaves in Alec’s hair.

“Are you trying to steal my crown?” He asked, faking offense.
“Who could blame me?”

There was the glint of a taunt in Magnus’ eyes and Alec idly wondered if he was testing his limits as he swatted his hand away. Blue sparks flew from the warlock’s fingertips and tickled Alec’s hand, earning a giggle. He picked one of the smaller leaves from his crown and closed his hand around it to let acorns grow from the leaf before offering it to Magnus.

He picked it up with a delighted look and leaned slightly towards Alec, placing a gentle kiss on his cheek. The faerie’s heart stopped for a moment and started again when soft lips left his skin. Magnus moved away with a satisfied smile and pocketed the acorns. He then went to grab his glass and noticed it was empty with a disappointed groan.

“We should refill those.” Alec held up his own empty glass

Magnus batted his eyelashes and nodded. The warlock got up and walked to the bar, ordering for them both. The faerie watched him from afar, torn between his attraction for Magnus -which he obviously reciprocated- and wariness. The warlock knew his true name because Alec had been foolish enough to tell him and he was not so sure of his intentions.

He decided to tackle the matter when Magnus came back and thanked him for the drink as he straightened.

“Magnus I’m sorry but I have to ask. You know my true name -it was a mistake on my part- and I’m sure you know what power it holds. What do you intend to do with it?”
“Nothing.”

Alec frowned and tilted his head, trying to catch the warlock’s gaze. He met it willingly and shrugged, sipping his martini.

“I don’t know if I should feel flattered that you told me or take it as another evidence that you are indeed genuine and not at all like your kind. You seem young and maybe they did not taint you yet.”
“It’s not for lack of trying.” Alec muttered.
“I’m not going to use it if you don’t give me any reason to, apart from addressing you by your name. I do enjoy knowing as it expresses who you are and I find myself fatally attracted to you but I shall not speak your name otherwise.”

Alec let out a breath he did not realize he was holding and drank a good portion of his beer.

“You can consider that you’re exempted of any payment and any of your debts already fulfilled if that makes you feel better. I will not ask for anything more than your time if you’re willing to see me again after tonight.”
“I would like that.”

His shoulders slumped and he finished what was left of his drink, feeling significantly lighter. Magnus offered him a comforting smile and Alec reached out to pat his knee. They stayed silent for a while, observing the patrons as they went on with their evenings. Some Downworlders threw them curious glances, surprised to see the High Warlock with a stranger. Alec was glad that none of them seemed to recognize him.

Some free-ranging faeries had noticed his nature but could not put a name on his face and for a second he wished he was wild too. He would not have to face the stigma attached to him then. But his family was affiliated with the Seelie Court and Alec doubted the Queen would let him get away without swearing his allegiance to her. The faerie sighed and turned to Magnus, smiling a little.

“I had a lovely time.”
“Me too.”

The warlock briefly covered Alec’s hand with his. The cold bite of his rings on the faerie’s skin made him shiver as his thumb drew a lazy circle on Magnus’ thigh. His cat eyes shone brighter for a second and Alec withdrew his hand. He was not sure of what it meant but Magnus seemed to miss his touch straight away.

They made their way outside and stood on the sidewalk, ready to part ways. Alec nodded and turned around, wondering if he should have made a move. He crossed Central Park with a spring in his step and skimmed the surface of the Turtle Pond as he remembered the feeling of the warlock’s lips on his cheek. A gentle breeze swept his crown away and Alec watched the wind carry the leaves in the foliage of an old tree with a tender smile.

He might be trapped in the Seelie Court but he felt excited -already looking forward to the next time he would see Magnus- and decided he liked things just as they were. Except for the ‘Jace in jail’ situation of course but he had to stay in the Queen’s favour if he wanted to get his brother out.

Chapter Text

When Alec made it back to faerieland he went straight to his little brother’s room but was surprised to find it empty. He frowned and took a step further into the cave to approach the rock cradle Max still slept in. It was filled with red and white flowers, nothing unusual for the little boy. The youngest of their family tended to make a bed of flowers in his cradle but Alec could not shake the ominous feeling that had taken hold of him.

He searched through the anemones -that was wrong, Max favored harebells- and clenched his fist around a bunch of them. Their petals had closed up and Alec’s heart stopped when he realized there was a hidden message among the flowers. He briskly unfolded one and read it as a grimace of rage distorted his face.

A storm is coming and there is no guarantee that I’ll spare little Max if you don’t bring the girl. I’m sure you’ll make the right choice as we cannot afford to lose one of our children. They are rare and they are precious, after all.

It was not signed but Alec did not need a name to know who was threatening his family. He crumpled the message and ran to his sister’s bedroom. He was set upon rescuing Max but had no intention of bringing Clary to Valentine. Things did not go as intended for when he barged into the room he found the redhead sobbing in Izzy’s arms.

“What’s going on?” Alec was confused.
“It’s Valentine. He found Jocelyn, she was protected by a werewolf pack. He’s hiding in the Unseelie Court.”
“My step-dad is a werewolf. We have to do something! My mom…”

Alec ignored Clary and tried to convey his distress to Isabelle but she would not let go of the half-mundane.

“What’s wrong? Alec?”
“It’s Max.” He broke down, unwilling to explain with the redhead still here.

Izzy turned ashen and slowly let go of Clary. But she made no move to send her away and Alec gritted his teeth.

“He’s got him. Our little brother.”
“What? Why would my father kidnap your brother?”
“To pressure us into… into what Alec? What does he want?”

The eldest carefully tilted his head towards Clary but said nothing. Isabelle got the hint and gnawed at her lips. None of them wanted to bring the girl to Valentine. Alec had never sworn to protect her in spite of his brother’s many attempt to trick him into taking an oath. But that did not mean he would put her in harm’s way without a second thought.

“Alexander. Tell me what’s going on.”

Alec froze. He slowly turned to the redhead who did not realize the command her voice held. Or maybe she did if her hard eyes were anything to go by but the faerie could not refuse her. He felt compelled to obey her and tell the truth, the one that he naturally tended to tell anyway. But this time even if he had wanted to trick Clary he would not have been able to.

“Valentine wants you in exchange of our brother.”
“Then take me to him!”
“No. Jace would never forgive us.”
“Clary you cannot use Alec’s name!” Isabelle snapped before he girl opened her mouth again.
“Why? It’s just his full name and he listens to me when I use it.”

But Alec could tell she knew better. She did not grasp the full implications of what she did but she definitely had picked up on something and wanted to take advantage of it.

“A faerie’s true name holds a power you cannot fathom. I should not have said it in your presence but to be honest I was more focused on saving his life and it appeared to be the only way to convince Magnus to help.”
“How come Magnus knows it then?” Clary defiantly asked.
“I told him.”
“That was the price to pay for your memories.” Isabelle answered.

Alec knew it was not true but did not correct her. He could understand how she came to that conclusion and why she would think that. He had already made a mistake and could not afford to do another one by giving Clary more leverage on them. She did look slightly guilty and they could work with that.

“What about your parents? Everyone knows their names.”
“True names have power and it can be used against us. Why do you think my brothers and I use such modern names? It’s not very fey like. Our parents are bound to do the Queen’s and the Fair Folk’s bidding as part of their punishment for allying with Valentine when he tried to get hold of the Seelie Court. Your father is one if not the only faerie that can use his true name against others and compel them to listen to him instead of the other way around.”

Alec had used the distraction of Izzy’s explanations to edge closer to Clary and swiftly hit the back of her head. She was instantly knocked out and Isabelle caught her before she hit the ground to carefully lie her on the bed.

“That felt good.” He muttered.

His sister did not dare to scold him and grabbed a wooden bowl instead. She filled it with water and soon enough they saw their little brother being dragged away in a forest of dead trees. His feet left bare trails in the frost covering the ground and Alec grabbed Izzy’s free hand as they both released their breath. He was not hurt, for now. They ripped their eyes from the scene and made their way to a passing ley line now that they had an idea of where to go to save their brother.

“Should we go and free Jace first?”
“And get into even more trouble? Do you wanna be cast out of both Courts?”
“I guess I would rather be imprisoned in the Seelie Court.” Izzy admitted.
“That’s what I thought.”

They shared a bitter laugh. Alec’s mouth was dry and he wondered -not for the first time- if he would see Magnus again. He was not sure he would want to if his little brother got hurt while he was out on a date with the warlock. The faerie already felt guilty for leaving Max alone.

“Clary will probably free him anyway.” Izzy drew him away from his thoughts.
“I don’t think she realizes she can and will face the consequences of her actions at some point.”

Izzy nodded and Alec could not help but relish a little bit at the idea. That would give her a taste of her own medicine and hopefully keep the half-mundane from dragging them into any more messes. If they even came back alive from the Unseelie Court. And were not imprisoned in the Seelie Court. They were totally screwed. But as long as Max was safe and sound, Alec would gladly accept his fate. With maybe just a little resentment because he did not get to know Magnus better.

Chapter Text

Bare trees clawed at them and scratched the siblings’ faces as they progressed through the extinct forest. White frost crackled underneath their feet at every step they took and Alec’s grip on his bow was getting painful. Isabelle held a dagger out and they had decided against using her wings -at least until the very last moment- as they explored the land under the hill.

They could only hope that Valentine had lost most of his followers. Alec did not want to trespass anymore than he needed to but the Unseelie Court had obviously expanded. He now realized they had crossed it when they had fled the Hotel Dumort.

They finally came upon the distant glow of a fire and made their way around the camp. Even more careful than before, Alec gestured for Izzy to take off while he kept an eye on the dancing flames between the trees. Her skeletal wings made their apparition on her back and she silently flapped them as she reduced her size.

Alec released a serie of arrows as soon as she had flown closer to the edge of the camp. He nocked another one when he noticed someone creeping behind him. He spun and the arrow lodged itself in the faerie’s chest but Alec did not stop to watch him fall backwards. He ran in the direction of the camp where is sister was wreaking havoc. Alec joined her in the fight and soon enough they held every faerie at bay.

“Where is my brother Max?”
“He’s not here.”

Isabelle landed on Alec’s shoulder as he frowned. The Unseelie Knight was obviously not lying but he knew not to ask anymore questions. Valentine’s allies or not, they would only make them lose their time. Izzy seemed to agree and he slowly backed out of the camp to go on with their search. She turned back into her normal size once they were far enough to consider it safe.

They debated staying around to watch the camp in hope of seeing Valentine come in with their brother but ended up deciding against it. Better keep on the move, Alec thought. He did not trust the Unseelie faeries to wait for them to leave their Court’s territory. And he trusted Valentine even less. The man could hurt Max at any given moment, had done it already maybe.

Night had settled on the forest but they did not stop to sleep. Their magic pulled at them but it was unreliable and inaccurate -a blurred sense of direction at best- that tried to guide them towards their brother. It was getting cold and dead trees seemed to creep on them at every turn. Alec let out a white puff of breath as more frost crunched under his boots. Izzy writhed between stray branches and clasped his hand to stay next to him.

It was Valentine who found them in the end. He must have lost patience, Alec thought. He did not dare to vocalize it though. The King of the Unseelie Court was a formidable man. His sharp features and triangular face gave him a threatening look emphasized by his black empty eyes.

Sebastian was with the faerie and held a blade to Max’s throat. The young faerie stood still, eyes squinted as he tried to look tough. He obviously did not want to worry his siblings or be a burden. Alec wished he could take him away that instant, deeply upset to see his little brother in this situation.

“Where is Clarissa? I thought you would have come with her and Jace in tow. Are they hiding nearby? I would advise you not to try and trick me but we both know you’re no good at this, Alec. What kind of faerie are you?” Alec bit his tongue.
“Sebastian is half-mundane right? That’s why he could blow iron to my face and not get hurt. Another one of your little hybrids.”

He regretted saying instantly. Sebastian tightened his hold on Max and the blade bit at the skin on his neck, drawing blood. Isabelle lurged forward and Alec barely managed to hold her back.

“You bastard!”
“They have Helen too!” Max suddenly yelled but Sebastian applied more pressure on the blade and the young faerie stopped talking.
“Now now, my children are the epitome of perfection.”
“I wouldn’t say that.” Alec muttered.

It was Izzy who caught on what it meant and opened her mouth in horror. Helen was half-fey too and as for Sebastian, he was Valentine’s son and therefore Clary’s brother.

“But I do appreciate your parents’ efforts to renew our blood. It’s a shame the eldest is so good natured.”

Faeries had trouble getting pregnant and giving birth was always a tricky matter when you lived in the land under the hill. Time went by differently than in the mundane world. Alec and Izzy had only been born two years apart in theory but nearly twenty years had gone by in the Seelie Court. As for Max he was born almost a century later -even though only nine years had passed in the mundane world- and that was the reason the siblings could get away with so much. Some family had not given birth to any child in centuries.

“Where is Clarissa?” Sebastian asked as he pressed the blade deeper into Max’s neck.

The boy let out a whimper and struggled vainly against his hold. His eyes went wide and Alec swivelled round to see what was behind him. A portal shimmered into existence and Clary stepped through it, closely followed by Magnus just as Valentine cackled with glee.

“Just on time!”
“What are you doing here?” Alec roared above Valentine’s victorious shout.

The warlock dusted his purple turtleneck sweater, matching colored streaks in his hair and an expression of distaste on his chiseled face. Clary stumbled next to him looking exhausted as she leaned on her knees to catch her breath and the portal disappeared. They both looked disgruntled but Magnus extended an arm out to steady the half-mundane.

“You didn’t tell me we were expected, biscuit. I would have made a grand entrance if I had known.”
“Sorry, I was in a hurry.”

Magnus smiled but it did not reach his eyes. He came to stand on Alec’s side. The faery raised his hand to grab his bow but stopped when Valentine spoke.

“Give me my daughter.”
“Release Max first.” Izzy and Alec immediately bargained.
“I want my mom back!”

Valentine held a hand up to silence them.

“You mom will stay with us. Now come here Clarissa, I have other matters to attend and I would like to get on with it.”
“What about Max?” Clary made no move to come forward.
“No more harm will be done to him if you come here now.”

She hesitated. Alec did not try to argue with her knowing she would not listen. If he had to be honest he did not care what she chose to do as Valentine had not agreed to release his brother anyway. He gritted his teeth and felt the familiar warmth of Magnus’ magic as sparks flickered from his fingertips behind Alec’s back. He could see the warlock’s expression -his lips settled in a hard line- from the corner of his eye.

Clary took a step forward just as the Unseelie Knights Alec and Izzy had fought earlier came running between them. Valentine dropped to his knees in a hurry as Sebastian knocked Max out to face the Knights. Isabelle grabbed Clary’s arm and tugged her out of the way while Alec shifted to clear Magnus’ firing line. The warlock’s magic hit their attackers and Alec released an arrow in Valentine’s shoulder. The man grunted but opened a passage between the faerie realm and the mundane world anyway. Just like his son, he was not really fazed by the injury.

Shadowhunters poured through the passage as the battle settled down and Sebastian grabbed Max once again. Alec dropped his weapon and Izzy stepped back from an unconscious Unseelie faerie. Both of them thought Shadowhunters had come to help them as Meliorn and a young woman approached them. She had milk-white skin marked with black runes, blond hair and green eyes. It was Magnus who understood what was going on but it was already too late.

“Wait! Valentine brought them here, don’t trust them!”

Alec and Izzy -who did not expect to be taken prisoner- were too slow to react and Clary did not even try to run. As for Magnus, he did not try to make a portal without Clary’s clearance through fey magic and willingly went with them. His face told an entirely different story and Alec glared at the half-mundane that had dragged him into this mess. At least Jace would not get into any more trouble, right?

Chapter Text

The New York Institute was not willing to accomodate all of them with a personal cell. Alec ended up locked up with Magnus, Clary with Izzy and Max was left alone or so he thought. Alec tried to fight the Shadowhunters to stay with his brother and was knocked out by Meliorn with the handle of his seraph blade. When he came back to his senses Magnus was leaning against the opposite wall of the cell with his wrists bound behind his back.

It did not take long to realize his were too and with magic dampening cuffs. Alec sat up and hit the back of his head against the wall with a deep sigh. Magnus hummed in disapproval and Alec groaned as he opened his eyes once more.

“How long have I been out?”
“A few hours. I heard them say that your sister had fallen asleep as well.”

Alec did not ask if she had been sleeping or unconscious. He tried to stand up a few times and took unsteady steps towards the warlock to slide against the wall and sit next to him. Magnus tried to fight back a smile and failed.

“Get your mind out of the gutter.” Alec scolded.
“You wound me! Let me tell you-”
“I don’t wanna flirt with you in a cell Magnus.” His voice softened as their eyes meet.

The warlock bit his lip to refrain from saying anything inappropriate.

“I’m sorry you got involved in this mess.”
“It’s not your fault.”

Alec wanted to disagree but decided that it was -once more- Clary’s. It was easier to blame her for everything that had happened since her appearance. But without her he would not have met Magnus either and that had been the highlight of his week.

“I’m glad I met you though.”
“I did agree to help in hope of seeing you sooner than I was supposed to.”

The faerie ducked his head to hide a blush.

“How are your flowers holding up?”
“The Chairman was kind enough to leave them alone while I was away.”

They stopped talking when footsteps reverberated in the corridor. Alec scrambled to his feet and ran to the wooden door to try and catch sight of the person outside. He could not see much through the small opening and he banged his body on the door to try and attract the guard’s attention. She stopped in front of the door and he recognized her as the girl that captured him in faerieland.

“Hey! What’s your name?”
“Kaelie.” She needed a few seconds to answer his unexpected question.
“Kaelie how is my brother? He’s just a boy and hasn’t done anything wrong.”
“Your brother is fine. He is worried about you but we left him alone for the most part.”

The Shadowhunter studied him closely. She could see his pointed ears and seemed to realize he was telling the truth about Max not having anything to do with whatever trick Valentine had played on them. But she was careful and stuck to her task of monitoring the prisoners.

“Do you need anything?”
“Help my brother Kaelie. Please.”

She took a cautious step back and shook her head. Alec resisted the temptation to kick the door. Maybe he could convince her if he did not look threatening. She seemed sympathetic for a Shadowhunter. Alec closed his eyes and moved away from the door as she walked further down the corridor. Izzy yelled awful things at her and Clary begged to see her mother as Alec sat back down.

“Are you any good at picking locks?” Magnus whispered in his ear a few seconds later.
“I dabble.”
“It breaks my heart to say this but maybe you could use my necklace then.”

Alec eyes dropped down to the jewelry on the warlock’s chest. A mischievous smile tugged at his lips and he scrambled again to get on his knees. Magnus leaned forward so that he could reach the chain.

“I wasn’t saying that to have a good look at your ass, promise.”

Alec pulled at the chain with more force than he intended and it snapped open.

“T-turn around,” he ordered, awfully self-conscious as he cleared his throat and added. “it’s a shame I won’t even get a sneak peek as a reward for all my hard work.”

Magnus’ delighted laugh encouraged him as he picked the lock of his cuffs and soon enough the warlock’s hands were free. He massaged his wrist and grabbed the necklace to try his hand at Alec’s cuffs.

“How did you manage that? I’m impressed. You made it look so simple.”

A smug smile tugged at Alec’s lips and he shrugged. The necklace caught in the lock and Magnus swore before focusing intently on it to try and magically pick it without the cuffs interfering. There was a click and it suddenly Alec’s hands were free. He let out a relieved sigh and turned around to thank the warlock but the words caught in his throat.

Sparks flew from his fingertips as Magnus repaired his necklace and healed the scratch it had given him when they had forcefully opened it. Alec admired the blue glow of the warlock’s magic and jumped when a door banged somewhere in the corridor. They stood up in a hurry and ran on either side of the door to catch the Shadowhunter off guard if they checked inside but nothing happened.

Kaelie was not headed to their cell if she was here in the first place. Magnus and Alec exchanged a wary look and the warlock pressed his hand against the door to force it to unlock with his magic. It slid open without a sound and Alec carefully came out of the cell. He broke into a run when he saw his brother at the end of the corridor and scooped him up with a cry of relief. Helen was in his brother’s cell too, unconscious. She was a petite pale faerie with white-gold ringlets of hair all other her face.

“She’s been here for a while.” Max said, looking concerned.
“I should have known. That Shadowhunter had been looking for her,” Alec hummed. “I wonder what Valentine bribed them with, to get them to work for him.”
“How would you know? Nobody knows Helen is half-fey,” His little brother scolded. “I think Valentine is pressuring them with her family, they’re part Shadowhunters and she was taken from them at a young age. He said he would send her back to the mundane world if he became king of both Courts.”

That made sense, the Unseelie King would have thought of breeding faeries with Shadowhunters in his attempt to create a new race. A whole generation, able to lie and to bear runes but also to use fey magic and resistant to their weaknesses? He could take on the Seelie Court and the Clave without lifting a finger. Most families would not even fight each other. It was a master plan, except for the war it would ignite between Downworlders factions and Shadowunters that did not have ties with faeries.

Alec shook Helen awake and made a quick work of her cuffs before they edged towards the exit. Now was not the time to think about that. Magnus had found Isabelle and Clary’s cell in the meantime and released them in a hurry. When they were sure nobody was going to stand in their way, faeries and warlock ventured further into the old cathedral. Magnus took the lead as he had already visited the place on occasion and Alec passed Max on to Isabelle to grow a bow out of the wooden floor. They were halfway through the main hall to leave the Institute when Clary stopped them.

“We need to find my mom!”

Her voice reverberated in the room and a cold laugh was her only answer.

Chapter Text

Alec searched the hall to find the origin of the dreadful cackle. Sebastian stood at the top of the stairs and held a blade to Kaelie’s throat. She held her head high and straightened upon catching his gaze. He did not know if she trusted him to shoot Sebastian or was just proud of having released Max but it did not matter. Alec had every intention to shoot Sebastian in the head this time.

As usual, things did not go according to plan. His arrow missed by an inch and Sebastian slit the Shadowhunter’s throat. Her body stumbled down the stairs and Max started crying. Alec’s blood ran cold as he took a step forward to place himself between his siblings and the cold hearted killer. Magnus was right beside him, blue flames pouring from his hands. Sebastian walked down the stairs with a spring in his step and lightly jumped over Kaelie’s body, seemingly unbothered by their threatening stances.

“The bitch could not even follow a single order.”
“Now Sebastian, watch your language. You kiss your mother with that mouth after all.”

Valentine stepped out from the shadows. Alec was impressed by the lack of reaction from Clary, Isabelle must have filled her in. He nocked another arrow but Magnus was faster than him this time. A steady stream of magic flashed between them and wrapped itself around Valentine to keep him at bay. Alec did not lower his bow and kept it pointed at Sebastian but the half-breed did not seemed worried in the slightest.

Alec gritted his teeth and took another step forward, wary of Sebastian’s blade. Helen cautiously stayed behind him, her blue-green eyes wide with worry and confusion. Max’s sobs had quietened and Isabelle whispered sweet nothings to soothe him while Clary sneaked around and past Magnus to approach her father.

“Where is my mom?”
“Upstairs.” Valentine did not even bother to try to trick her and she frowned, cautious.
“Step away biscuit. You might get hurt,” Magnus’ voice was gentle. “I don’t want to explain that to your mom when we go find her later.”

Clary listened to the warlock and retreated behind him but the exchange had distracted Alec. Sebastian leaped on him and they rolled on the floor. Alec caught his blade with his bow and threw it away before it snapped in two, effectively disarming the half-faerie. They wrestled for a moment and Alec struggled for dominance until he managed to punch Sebastian in the face.

His opponent reared back and hit his head on the marble floor. He went limp under Alec, who got to his feet and looked around as Izzy muttered something along the lines of ‘serves him right’ under her breath. Beads of sweat rolled down Magnus' face and Alec noticed that he was starting to feel the strain of his magic. The flow of blue flames had lessened and Valentine patiently bid his time, looking bored.

There was a rush of steps in the stairs and Meliorn stopped dead in his tracks when he stumbled upon Kaelie’s body. Comprehension dawned on his face and rage darkened his eyes when he raised his head to look down on them. Alec made for his bow but he was the least of Meliorn’s concerns. The Shadowhunter walked past him to open the doors of the Institute. Sunlight poured through the entrance as a bunch of tough looking men came in.

“Luke!” Clary rushed forward and threw her arms around a ragged-looking man.
“Don’t look.”

He hugged her back and patted her head. He had blue eyes behind his glasses and brown uneven hair. His flannel shirt emphasized his square shoulders and Alec noticed he was quite tall when he walked past him to approach Valentine. Magnus lessened the hold of his magic on the faerie, trusting the werewolf to take care of him.

“May the morning star wake you from your nightmares and guide you home at dawn.”
“May the gray mark help you find your way through the fields and follow you home.” Valentine begrudgingly replied.

Alec gaped upon hearing the formal greetings. He knew Valentine’s family but how come the latter answered to a werewolf? Faerie did not lie...

“You accepted me as one of your own even though I was a changeling and I was grateful for your love but this madness has to stop Valentine.”
“You would still be part of the Fair Folk if you had not turned into a beast!”
“And whose fault is that?!” Luke roared back.

Valentine struggled against Magnus’ magic and Alec saw the warlock falter. Luke did not let the insult faze him and reached for a knife at his waist. He took a step forward to grabbed the faerie just as Magnus released him and slit his throat in one swift motion.

Someone screamed. Alec thought it was Clary at first, she was the kind of person who would turn around when you told her not to look. But then he recognized his sister’s voice and looked around with dread. Sebastian had awoken and threatened Isabelle with a knife. His face was contorted with rage and Max lay unmoving between them.

Isabelle’s arms were bleeding where the half-faerie had slashed her but she refused to back down as a pool of blood accumulated under her brother. Meliorn was the closest to her and the first one to react. He shoved Sebastian away from Alec’s siblings and the half-fey broke into a run to leave the Institute. Luke’s pack was instantly on his heels.

Alec ran to his sister and crouched down next to their brother with a shout. Isabelle fell to her knees. Their clothes immediately soaked the blood in and slick red liquid cloted their hands as they checked Max for injuries. Sebastian had torn the little boy’s stomach open. His breathing was barely more than a hiss and even though he tried to open his eyes they clamped shut against his will. Alec looked up and desperately searched for Magnus.

His heart sunk in his chest when he realized the warlock was exhausted and would not be able to help them this time. But Magnus was already there and dropped to his knees as well.

“I’ll need your strength, maybe your sister’s too.”

Alec nodded and glanced at Izzy who did the same.

“Gimme your hand.”

The faerie clasped Magnus’ offered hand and immediately felt the strain on his energy as the warlock twitched his fingers. Magic poured through his hand again and blue flames warped around Max. Izzy slid her hand in Alec’s and together they held on to save their brother’s life. Magnus’ magic slowly healed the wound, knitted both sides together and smoothed the skin until the only thing left from the attack was Max ripped shirt.

Alec sagged against his sister and caught Magnus before he hit the floor in his exhaustion. Isabelle let out a relieved sigh and a huff under their combined weights. Max’s head lay on her lap and she carefully stroked his hair, tears in her eyes. She cast a glance at Meliorn and he averted his gaze. He was tending to Helen, whose captivity had obviously weakened.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have trusted them. It’s my fault, I realized that when I finally found Helen.”
“Faeries are tricksters. Nothing new under the sun.” Her tone was bitter.
“Your brother did not deserve this.”
“Which one?” She replied with anger.
“Both. The eldest… he’s the fairest of all faeries.”

Isabelle broke in tears and Meliorn made his way upstairs without another word. Luke and Clary had rushed in search of Jocelyn and released her from the bedroom she had been locked in. He informed them of the situation downstairs to give the siblings a moment as a family. Alec had been barely conscious when he was talking to Izzy and holding onto the unconscious warlock.

Both of them were out cold when Clary and Luke walked down the stairs. Meliorn had sent a fire message to the Seelie Court in order to organize the siblings and Helen’s return to the faerie realm. Luke took care of Magnus with a curvy biracial girl and a muscular guy whose skin was darker than the other werewolf.

The doors of the Institute slid shut behind then and Meliorn was left alone with Kaelie’s cold body. Guilt and fear gnawed at him as he realized what his mistakes would cost him. The Inquisitor would end him. He would be stripped of his runes and exiled. But that would not bring Kaelie back to life nor help him forgive himself.

Chapter Text

Jace was still in jail. To say that Alec was surprised when he heard about it would be an understatement. He threw his head back and laughed.

“Well, hopefully we will get him out soon.” He said to his sister.
“And we thought Clary would take care of it.” Isabelle replied with a grin.

Alec’s laugh quietened as he realized that Sebastian was still on the run and they should catch him instead of releasing their adoptive brother. To be fair, Alec wanted to do worse than just catch the half-faerie but if he had managed to get away from werewolves it had to be trickier than expected. At least they had found Helen, alive and more determined than ever to do a binding ceremony with Aline now that her parentage was public knowledge.

He made his way to Magnus’ apartment instead of going on a wild-goose chase to catch Sebastian. The warlock had helped his family -once again- and Alec was intent on thanking him. His parents had agreed and the pouch he wore at his side was heavy against his thigh when he rang the bell. The interphone buzzed to life and white noise made Alec wince before a voice thundered through the intercom.

“WHO DARES TO DISTURB THE HIGH WARLOCK OF BROOKLYN?”
“It’s Alec, I’m sorry if I’m intruding. Is it out of business hours?”
“Nonsense, you’re always welcome.”

Alec climbed the stairs and found the door of Magnus’ loft open. The warlock was leaning against the doorframe and a pleased smile tugged at his lips. He was wearing a sogan dressing gown and Alec got caught up in the geometric patterns of yellow and brown.

“Alexander. To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit?” Magnus let him in.
“I wanted to thank you for saving my brother’s life.”
“How many times do I have to tell you that we’re even?”

There was no heat in the warlock’s voice as he followed Alec into the living room. They sat down on the couch and Alec ignored Magnus’ dismissive gesture to drop the pouch on his coffee table. His eyes flashed with mischief when the warlock crossed his arms on his chest with a petulant frown.

“I mean, I thought you could use gemstones to add to your attire…”

Magnus’ face lit up and he eagerly leaned forward to check the contents of the pouch. It was indeed filled with precious stones, some gems and crystals and the warlock cleared his throat as he straightened and tugged at the sides of his dressing gown.

“You really shouldn’t have.”
“That seemed like a good excuse to come and see you too.”
“Why do you need an excuse?”

Alec bit his lower lip when Magnus caught his gaze and was not able to look somewhere else. He kept silent for a few seconds and finally made up his mind.

“My siblings have been teasing me a lot.”
“I cannot say I know what it feels like.”

They shared a sad smile. Warlocks rarely had mundanes brothers or sisters and long lost half-siblings only shared a demon relative that was not exactly present in their lives. It was not enough to form strong bonds if they ever met each other.

“Would you like something to drink?” Magnus suggested to break the awkward silence.
“No I’m good, thank you,” Alec turned to face the warlock. “how have you been? You were exhausted last time I saw you.”
“So were you. I’ve been recovering, Luke’s pack has been checking on me every now and then.”
“Speaking of which, do you know anything about Luke? He said he was a changeling…”
“Yes. The Fair Folk left a sickly fey child in his place when he was born. He was raised in the Unseelie Court and Valentine took care of him, I believe it was the beginning of his… ideology. But Luke fell in love with Jocelyn after she was abducted and Valentine tried to get rid of him when she was pregnant. Luke was bitten by a werewolf and the rest is history.”

Alec nodded, deep in thought. How many mundanes had been abducted by Valentine to give birth to half-breeds? How many changelings had he taken a liking to, bound to him? Magnus placed a hand on his thigh to get his attention and the faerie swallowed with difficulty. The other man’s dressing gown had fallen from his shoulder, revealing a dark stretch skin. He smirked when he realized that had definitely grabbed Alec’s attention.

“Like what you see?”
“As if you didn’t know already.”

Magnus’ grin widened and he scooted closer. Alec let him come and slowly lifted his hand to tip the warlock’s head up with the slightest touch. His fingers felt like butterfly wings on Magnus’ skin as his eyelids fluttered shut and the kiss reminded him of the delicate softness of flower petals. Alec's lips tasted like damp grass after a storm and Magnus was willing to stand in the rain if that meant he would relieve that first kiss later on and feel his heart thunder in his chest like it did at that moment. They ebbed apart and drifted back to each other, heavily breathing in as they crashed their lips together.

Alec slid his arms around Magnus’ neck and tangled his fingers in his hair as the other man parted his legs to lean on him and push him back against the couch. The faerie tightened his hold on the warlock’s hair and smiled against his lips before his head fell back on his armrest. Magnus stroked his lower lip with his thumb, eager to start again. His cat like eyes shone when he felt Alec’s magic against his finger and he gently pried his lips apart.

A flower sat on the faerie’s tongue. Magnus carefully picked it up and stole a kiss while he placed it in Alec’s hair. Another flower appeared then another and another until their lips were swollen from kissing and a wreath of daphne flowers crowned the faerie’s head.

“Having fun?” Alec teased but his eyes were bright, betraying his emotion.
“You’re beautiful.”

Magnus was out of breath and blue sparks flew from his lips when he lowered his mouth on Alec’s. His magic tingled down the faerie’s neck as his fingers ran along the warlock’s collarbone and chest. Magnus shivered against him and Alec moaned when the other man slid his hand under his shirt and twitched his fingers. Sparks stung his skin and immediately soothed the sensation with a wave of warmth that ignited a fire in his veins.

They broke apart and Magnus nudged his head in the crook of Alec’s neck. The faerie stroked his hair with one hand and entwined their hands with the other, releasing a deep sigh that the other man echoed.

“Do you still need an excuse to come and see me?”
“I might still need one to get away from my siblings but I’ll definitely have a good reason to come here.” Alec laughed under his breath.

Magnus gave a firm nod against his chest and for a moment Alec thought he was purring in contentment. He contemplated asking but thought better of it when he noticed Chairman Meow on the edge of the couch.

Magnus had obviously made a flower crown for the cat too as he wore a wreath of angelica flowers. It complemented the tabby cat’s fawn coat and Alec whispered his appreciation in Magnus hair, breathing in the sandalwood scent he was starting to associate with the warlock. He mumbled a ‘thank you’ and draped himself some more on Alec, not intent on letting go of him any time soon but the faerie was not complaining. He squirmed for a second to settle comfortably in the couch and asked Magnus about Chairman Meow, eager to learn anything and everything he could about him.

The warlock was happy to oblige and Alec content to listen when he went on a tangent about his adventures in Peru and how he got banned from the country even if he did not know why. The faerie shared stories about his siblings’ shenanigans and assured Magnus that he was not worried about them getting in trouble because Jace was, after all, still in jail. That made the warlock laugh but also signaled it was time for Alec to go back to the faerie realm to check on them, just in case.

They kissed in the hallway and saved Chairman Meow from an unfortunate fate when he tried to leave the apartment. Alec was not that lucky and almost fell down the stairs as Magnus blew him one last kiss.

“That’s the kind of blowing one can enjoy!”

The warlock closed his doors to save what was left of Alec’s dignity as he caught himself on the railing and darted down the stairs.

Chapter Text

Faerieland morphed into a battlefield in a matter of seconds. Alec jumped to his feet and ran to his little brother’s bedroom. Max had found shelter behind his cradle and sat still against the polished stone. He bared his teeth when Alec barged into the room and clutched his knife tight until he recognized his elder brother.

Both faeries slipped into the secret pathway between their parent’s bedroom and Max’s as an angry sound reverberated in the Seelie Court. Walls crumbled and Alec grabbed his brother’s hand as he started running up a rising mound. They jumped over a hump and kept running along the rocky ledge it had turned into.

Alec lifted his brother to help him reach a nook in the wall and send him to safety with other fey children. He jumped down as soon as Max had disappeared into the tunnel and rolled into a pile of leaves. He wore his family armor when he came out of it, hugging his bow. The Seelie Queen stood at the front of the battle line, her advisors on either side of her. She held a shield close to her chest and a blade hung at her hip.

Her armor wrapped around her like folded black wings and her hair was tied up in a tight bun that made her war paint stand out even more on her regal face. Black and white wings spread from her eyes onto her high cheekbones. Beside her, Alec parents looked just as threatening. His father held a heavy wooden club and his wings buzzed behind him, huge skeletal oak leaves. It brushed against Maryse’s side as she shifted to draw her blade.

Isabelle landed next to Alec just as he nocked his first arrow. Some faeries had ignited stacks of leaves and smoke filled the prairie, darkening their surroundings. On the other side of the battlefield, Unseelie warriors slowly lined up.

“What’s going on?” Isabelle whispered.
“I don’t know.” Alec replied just as low.
“Sebastian took control of the Unseelie Court and they blame us for the inner fighting in the Court since Valentine’s death.” Their father explained.
“That’s unfair, they were fighting before that.” Alec muttered
“All is fair and love and war, son.” Corrected his mother.

The Seelie Queen turned towards her people and unsheathed her sword. She raised it high above her head as she saluted the Seelie Court.

“May the blood of our enemies quench your thirst and their remains satiate your hunger.”
“May the victorious be crowned with the bones of the fallen.”

A roar was her only answer as she turned around and lowered her sword. Both armies charged through the battlefield. Alec released his first arrow long before the faerie warriors met in the middle. Isabelle had stayed put but their parents and the Queen were already fighting.

“Can you find him?” Alec roared above the clamor that came from the fight.

His sister took off and flew across the battlefield to hover over the fighters. She stayed out of reach while Alec covered her and their parents with the other archers. She gestured that Sebastian was not in the mass of warriors and he lowered his weapon with a frown. If the half-faerie was not whispering lies in the Unseelie Knights’ ears, what was he doing?

He suddenly remembered Valentine’s guess in the Unseelie Court. He had asked if Clary was hiding with Jace somewhere. They had not known about Jace's imprisonment because Sebastian had fled the Seelie Court just before that. Why would Sebastian and his father be interested in Jace too? Half-fey Jace whose lies had sent him to jail?

Alec gasped and broke into a run, leaving the fight behind him as he rushed to the pit his adoptive brother was still trapped in. Izzy caught up with him and grabbed him under his arms to lift him and get there faster.

“Jace never met Valentine.” He said as they neared the pit.
“But he would have recognized him if he had seen his face, right?”

Isabelle swallowed with difficulty and almost dropped him when they found the pit empty. A cry of relief alerted them of Clary’s presence as they landed and she ran into Alec’s arms. He caught her by reflex, surprised but relaxed when he saw Jace behind her. The half-faerie was still deprived of his magic but he smiled to his siblings anyway.

“Alec thank god you’re here! My mom told me these awful things about my dad, he forced Jace’s dad to seduce a mundane woman and killed him when he realized what was going on. He raised Jace before your family adopted him. Now Sebastian is coming for us both. And there are others…”

She sobbed and Alec sent a panicked glance at his siblings. He did not know what to do and carefully pried the crying girl away from him. Up until that moment he had thought she had gone back to the mundane world with her mother. Seeing her with Jace -obviously looking out for him after what she had learnt- changed his opinion of Clary.

“Where is that bastard? I’m going to make him pay for everything he put you through.”

Jace’s threatening tone worried Alec but not for the obvious reason. His adoptive brother was in no state to fight Sebastian, even if he was immune to whatever weapon and tricks Valentine’s son might use against Alec. He nocked an arrow in preparation and gritted his teeth as they huddled close together and waited for Sebastian to find them.

They did not have to wait long. The half-faerie strolled like he had all the time in the world and the fight echoed behind him as he closed in on them.

“Look at you, waiting for me. How cute.”

It was Clary who caught Jace before he could launch himself at Sebastian. Alec’s grip on his weapon tightened but he made no move to raise it. He would have to be fast -faster than he had ever been- if he wanted to take him down this time, once and for all. Sebastian was wary of him already and would duck in time if Alec was to shoot him now.

“Aren’t you jealous? That Valentine was just as interested in Jace than he was in us? That he even raised him for a while? Were you left alone when he was with him?”

Clary had taken action once again. Alec admired her quick thinking and saw that she had struck a chord when Sebastian paled with rage.

“You don’t know anything!” He spit but it was too late.
“I know what it feels like to grow up without our dad. At least I had my mom. It’s unfair that you had neither of them.”

A clamor raised from the battlefield, far away and echoing through their realm. Alec thought he heard his mother’s voice, her last words before the beginning of the fight. She was right, he realized at that moment.

“I’ll have everything soon enough!”
“You won’t. They will never allow a half-breed to be king.” Alec cut in.
“Look at you, full blood faerie but compelled to tell the truth when asked! I’m the best there is!”

Alec shook his head and did not bother to answer.

“Don’t you wanna have a real family Sebastian? I could be your family. My mom would love you, the son Valentine stole from her.“
“It’s Jace who stole my father!” Sebastian lashed out. “As if he did not have enough yet! Grandson of the Seelie Queen, superior being from his birth and raised by the man who made him what he is. You’re right sister, that is unfair.”

Silence fell upon the room as they all realized that in his rage, Sebastian was saying the truth. Alec blinked and Clary frowned as Isabelle gasped.

“I’m… I’m the grandson of the Seelie Queen?”

Sebastian did not try to deny it and took a step forward.

“You could be king of the Seelie Court and I king of the Unseelie Court. Together we would be unstoppable. We could start a new race. You, me and my sister.”

Clary took a step back and Jace stepped in front of her. Isabelle did not dare to move or even look at Alec who sensed that this was the moment he had been waiting for. In one smooth move he raised his bow and released the arrow he had been holding onto. It was a clear shot that hit Sebastian straight in the head.

“That’s for my siblings.”

The half-faerie staggered and fell to his knees with a look of disbelief. There was another clamor from the battlefield as his eyes glazed over. Alec lowered his weapon as Sebastian’s body fell to the floor. Clary broke in tears and Jace placed a comforting arm around her shoulders. Isabelle slid her hand in Alec’s and he tightened his grip on her fingers.

He did not feel better but his sudden relief and the tension that just left his shoulders would be more than enough after all they had been through.

Chapter Text

Alec was sent to the Institute with his parents. The Inquisitor had been notified after Kaelie’s death and wanted a full report of what happened in faerieland because of Valentine and his son.

The faerie was surprised when instead of Meliorn it was the high up who met them at the entrance but he did not dare to ask what happened to the Shadowhunter. He feared Meliorn’s mistake when he allied with Valentine had had consequences. At least the man had done the right thing in the end.

The Inquisitor was a slender woman with long scarlet hair that an intricate golden circlet kept out of her face. She was stunning and her clear blue eyes shone with quiet intelligence. She was not to be messed with and Alec was sure she had a way of knowing things she should not be aware of.

He did not talk much except to relate Valentine and Sebastian’s deaths and avoided any mention of Jace’s heritage as such matters did not concern Shadowhunters. Maryse and Robert assured the woman, many times, that everything was under control and neither Court nor the Children of the Night would start a war in New York.

Alec hid his smirk at that because the feud with the vampires was indeed settled for now, thanks to Jace's imprisonment and Simon's unfortunate transformation that they had bargained as a compensation. Not that they would mention it to the Inquisitor and Clary would just have to lie if asked. She was also doing a lot of yelling at Jace but Alec was sure they would work it out in the end. Faeries did not care for such trivial matters and Clary was part-fey, whether she liked it or not.

Jace had been released in the privacy of the Seelie Court and if both Courts could still be at war in faerieland -where it had started in the first place- they would hopefully not keep at it. Fortunately, the Unseelie Court had no interest in fighting since they had discovered the truth about Sebastian and realized that they had been lied to in order to usurp the throne.

He stopped paying attention for a while but snapped back on track when Magnus knocked on the library door and was invited inside. The Inquisitor had obviously organized to meet with every Downworld representative while she was in New York and Alec smiled at the warlock as he and his parents stood to leave the room.

“Magnus.” They greeted with a nod.

Their eyes met and Alec wondered what the warlock would do. Himself was torn between wanting to reach out to him and trying to keep it strictly professional as his parents and the Inquisitor were here. But the faerie entertained the idea of wreaking havoc in interspecies relationships.

It was shaky at best and already controversial as each Downworld faction had a grudge with another. Add Shadowhunters’ bigotry on top of that and that gave the unstable peace they had barely achieved with the Accords. None of them tried to see further than the factions they were divided into and only cared about themselves. Nobody trusted anyone and instead of working together they tried to avoid the involvement of Shadowhunters by staying under the radar and not meddling with each other’s business.

Shadowhunters always thought they did everything in everyone’s best interest but never took the time to have a look at the inner workings of the species they were supposed to look out for. Downwolders felt watched as with Shadowhunters you were alleged offender until you could present them with evidence of your innocence. In short, they had no idea of what they were dealing with and did not even try to get a better understanding.

So when Alec stepped closed to Magnus, he was not sure if he did it for the sake of the Accords or just for fun. The warlock leaned forward just as the faerie tilted his head up and their lips met as if it was the most natural thing in the world. To Alec, it was and he was pretty sure Magnus felt the same as he wrapped his arms around his waist to pull him closer.

“Hey,” Alec breathed out. “catch up later?”
“Sure.” Magnus’ eyelids fluttered open with reluctance.

Alec stroked his cheek with his thumb and pecked him on the lips before letting go of him. The Inquisitor blinked as he stepped away and he caught his parents’ unsettled gaze before he headed out. Magnus greeted the Inquisitor with a sing-song voice as the faerie left the library. They walked through the Institute without a world and Alec wondered if Magnus shared his cheerful demeanor as he stepped out of the old cathedral.

“Alec.” His parents called out.

He turned around with an expectant grin. Would they dare to accuse him of selling himself to the warlock? Alec did not think it had looked like this in the library of the Institute. But they had required Magnus’ services quite a few times after all and could only assume that the pouch of precious stones had been enough. For all they knew, Robert and Maryse had not given enough to the warlock yet.

“Are you… sure?” His mother finally asked.
“You’ve already faced criticism for who you are, do you want to have to justify who you’re with too?” His father added.
“I don’t think our family is ever going to be respected, not like it used to be. You made a mistake. I don’t think I am making one. I reckon that Izzy and me, we’re going to change things by doing whatever we want. What do we have to lose?”

His parents recoiled upon hearing this and Alec gave a firm nod before he went his own way. He had some time to spare before meeting up with Magnus and was set upon finding some books Max liked. He had asked Clary about it and she had directed him to a bookshop. When he entered the small store he realized that Luke owned it and shifted uncomfortably on his feet before greeting him.

“May the gray mark help you find your way through the fields and follow you home.”
“May the woods shelter you from the rain and light break through the foliage,” Luke looked surprised. “what can I help you with today?”
“I’m looking for these comics my little brother is reading. Something lighthearted, maybe some action but I’d rather see him laugh than replay fight scenes, after everything that happened…”

Luke nodded and led him to the shelf on which he kept his comics. They flipped through some books for a while and searched some more in the Japanese section until Alec made his choice.

“I’ll take these. Thanks for your help.”
“No worries,” The werewolf hesitated. “Alec was it?”
“Yeah.”
“I had a meeting with the Inquisitor this morning.”
“I just came out of one too.” Alec replied.
“The acting head of the vampire clan is scheduled tonight,” Luke continued and suddenly Alec knew where this was going. “I think we all agree that some things are better kept between Downworlders.”
“Indeed.”
“I look forward to working with you in the future.”
“Me too.”

They exchanged respectful nods and Alec left the store with renewed hope that things might be changing already.

Chapter Text

Alec met Magnus at Taki’s Diner. He had been there a few times with his siblings and entered the restaurant without hesitation, taking in the red benches covered with worn out vinyl and the plastic tables in the middle of each booth. The warlock was already there, relaxing on his seat and Alec slid in front of him with a soft smile. Magnus pouted.

“What?”
“Don’t you think you forgot something?”

The faerie bit his lip to contain a snort. He dropped his bag on the table and stood up again to lean towards Magnus. The warlock sent him a wary look upon seeing the bag but allowed Alec to peck him on the lips and sit back on his bench.

“It’s not for you, don’t worry. I bought some books for my brother.”
“Is Jace still in jail and desperate enough to ask for some reading material? I could suggest a few things…” Alec barked a laugh.
“No, my little brother.”
“Dear Max will undoubtedly appreciate it.”

Their eyes met and Alec could not stop himself from smiling. A waitress came up to them and Alec asked for raw fish without a second thought, choosing cucumber, smoked salmon and alumni for his customized salad. Magnus ordered a burger and sneakily extended one of his legs underneath the table to hook his foot behind Alec’s ankle.

“How was your meeting?” The faerie asked as he did the same.
“Boring. I told her everything I knew about the head of the vampire clan just to shake things up a little. She might catch her if she works well with Raphael.”
“Who’s the actual head?”
“Camille Belcourt.”

Alec did not say anything for a moment. He was not sure what Magnus was getting to and wondered why he would sell the vampire. There had to be a reason, if the warlock decided to intervene in the Children of the Night inner conflicts. Maybe that Camille had overstepped her boundaries and the High Warlock was only looking out for the greater good of the Downworld.

He was obviously well acquainted with Raphael and the faerie supposed it was in the young vampire’s interest to become the actual head of the clan after so long as the acting head. He let his eyes linger on the warlock, who was lounging on his bench. His cat eyes held something that made Alec uncomfortable. The waitress came back with their orders and he picked at his salad while Magnus took a large bite of his burger.

“Why would you do that?”
“I think we might be able to work with the Inquisitor. She seems relentless -the law is hard but it is the law and all that- but I think she’s not entirely against cooperation if that helps the Clave. And Camille will never see that woman coming.” Magnus said.
“Do you know this Camille well?” Alec was a bit confused and asked because he thought the warlock wanted him to.
“We were lovers, once. She always seems to know what people want her to be, but she can only think of what she wants and discards them as soon as she’s bored of them. The only thing that matters to her is what she already has and how to use it to get what she needs to indulge her cravings.”
“She discarded you too?” There was a pause.
“That she did.”

Alec looked up. He recognized the hint of a threat in Magnus’ gaze this time. He had no doubt that the warlock had sold Camille with better arguments than that and it was probably for the best. But he could not help but think this was not the main topic of their conversation. Not anymore at least and the faerie wondered if it had been in the first place. He chewed on a piece of salmon as he carefully considered his options.

“The Unseelie King should be appointed soon. Now would be a good time to strengthen any alliance between the different factions,” Magnus gave him an appraising look as Alec continued. “so let’s hope you’re not wrong about the Inquisitor. We don’t want the Clave to blame us if Camille saw her coming in the end but I daresay you’re right. I wouldn’t try to cross that woman and Camille might get just what she deserves if they ever meet.”

The warlock nodded. A smile lightened his whole face and Alec’s shoulders sagged as if a weight had been lifted of them. He reached for Magnus’ hand and tenderly squeezed it in his.

“Now, I’m invited to a ceremony and I would like you to be my plus one if that’s alright.”
“Is there going to be anything else than raw fish and vegetables?” Magnus asked with a distasteful grimace.
“Well… I’m going to be there and you can conjure anything you’d like?”

Magnus complained but Alec could clearly read excitement in his eyes. He was definitely willing to spend the night with the faerie and if he was not mistaken, there was the flash of a promise in there too. He had trouble swallowing when he remembered the touch of his magic and closed his eyes with a gasp when electricity spread from their hands and along his arm. His blue eyes had darkened when he opened them again.

“I don’t think you’ll need any fey food or drinks to enjoy yourself there.”
“You’re right, I should be alright as long as I’ve got you. I’d love to come.” The warlock finally said.

Alec smiled and they finished their meal with little banter. Magnus was faster than him when it was time to pay, summoning the money with a snap of his fingers and a fond whisper that it was his treat. The faerie sighed and thanked him as they made their way towards Central Park. They found a quiet spot under a tree and Alec laughed when Magnus attempted to make a flower crown for him.

He picked a few daisies and carefully added flowers together under the faerie’s watchful gaze, finally offering a ring to Alec. He did not comment on Magnus’ lack of patience and simply put it on his pinky finger while the warlock looked into the distance. There was a pond a few meters away and he seemed lost in thought.

“A penny for your thoughts?”
“Not worth it.” Magnus mumbled.
“You’re priceless, that’s right.” Alec said just as low.

Magnus’ head snapped up and he looked at the faerie with surprise. His cat eyes shone brightly and Alec flushed, dropping his gaze.

“Was that a compliment?”
“I’m not good at this. Not like you.”
“I think you’re doing well enough Alexander, you don’t even have to try. I was smitten the moment I saw you and then you talked…” Magnus admitted without a warning.
“I don’t remember complimenting you back then…” Alec replied, still blushing.
“You didn’t have to. You’re different and I’m sure they make you feel bad about it back there,” the warlock gestured towards the ground, meaning faerieland. “but I couldn’t help it, you’re everything they cannot be, will never be because they’re afraid of how fleeting feelings can be.”
“It’s true until it’s not anymore.” The faerie agreed as he lowered his eyes to the ground.
“They think it’s a weakness, something that could be used against them if they don’t realize when it’s not true anymore. So they’re afraid to love and to trust and they convince themselves that makes them better than the rest of us. Guess what? We’re all the same. We hope we won’t get hurt this time around and that’s what makes love worth it.”

Alec did not say anything for a while.

“But when we say something we mean it. You don’t have to hope and just trust us because we cannot lie.” He whispered.
“Do you really?”
“I do.”
“I know you do, Alexander.”

Magnus slowly cupped his face to tilt his chin up. He stroked his cheeks with his thumbs and smiled. His eyes dropped down in a tender expression before he leaned in for a kiss and Alec smiled against his lips. He breathed in and gripped Magnus’ shirt as they broke apart with a sigh. And just like waves do, they came back to each other for another slow, almost lazy kiss.

Chapter Text

Alec dropped by his little brother’s bedroom on his way to the entrance of the faerie realm. Isabelle stopped behind him and ducked inside the room as well. Simon was likely to be late anyway.

“Hey buddy, why are you hiding in there?” Alec asked.
“Ceremonies like this are pretty boring.” Max shrugged.
“That’s because you’re too young to enjoy them yet.” Isabelle replied.
“I have something to make it more interesting.”

The eldest of the siblings said. He would not take sides in this never ending debate and simply gave the books he picked for Max. He watched his little brother smile as he took the books out of the paper bag and flipped through them with a frown. Alec’s own smile fell.

“You don’t like them?”
“No, they look cool but I’m not sure how I’m supposed to read them.” Max answered, distracted.
“Hm just ask Clary, I’m sure she would know. Izzy and I have to go and meet our dates at the entrance.”
“Sure. I’m glad you two met someone special.”

Alec bit his lip and nodded as Max ran out of the room to look for Clary. Isabelle laughed all the way to the mundane world and teased him for not knowing how to read japanese comics.

“Do you know how? Why didn’t you tell Max?” He finally snapped.
“Well, Simon told me but I’m not sure…”

Isabelle was not so full for herself after that and Alec enjoyed the peace and quiet while it lasted. She was gorgeous, as usual. Her hair was tied with oak tree leaves and she wore a purple dress that looked like a blossoming columbine, hugging her chest and spreading around her waist in four distinct parts all the way down to her feet.

“Have you seen Jace by the way? I saw Clary with our parents before but…”
“He’s been spending a lot of time with the Queen, I think he reminds her a lot of her son.” Alec replied.

With the revelation of Jace’s heritage, the Queen had taken a liking to him and accepted him in her family. He now wore the colors and markings of the Seelie Queen, feathers he had always favored anyway. Alec stuck to simple leather gear as he did not have to impress anyone during the ceremony. Or maybe he did, the faerie thought as Magnus stepped out of a portal.

He immediately came up to Alec for a kiss and Isabelle smiled next to them as the warlock shot a disapproving glance at the faerie’s pants and jacket. Magnus had overdone himself, burgundy dress shirt opened halfway down his chest and tight golden pants. His eyes were covered in kohl, with golden glitter everywhere and streaks of gold shone in his hair. Alec was convinced he had glitter on his face too, after the kiss they shared.

“So, what’s the occasion? You never told me what kind of ceremony this is.”
“It’s Helen and Aline’s binding ceremony.” Isabelle supplied.

Simon walked up to them at that moment and did not dare to try anything with Isabelle, to Alec's obvious approval. The newborn vampire was lanky as always but something was different in the way he held himself, as though he was aware of how helpless he had been until he was turned and acknowledged it by standing tall and proud now.

“Hey Garfunkel, you’re not very good at staying human.” Magnus greeted.

His teasing tone was almost undetectable and Alec was the first one to notice the subtle pay back for their first encounter. An amused smile played on his lips as Simon frowned. He was a little bit upset because the warlock used the wrong name but he also seemed to realize where that came from and finally settled for simply greeting him back.

“Hi Magnus, I’m Simon.”

Alec turned to Magnus to whisper in his ear that the vampire did not know the sound of silence either and was surprised to hear Simon laugh at that. He gave the vampire an appraising look and finally dismissed Izzy with a wave of his hand when she made a move to go into the Turtle Pond. The moon was high in the sky and the entrance wide open as Helen’s half-Shadowhunter family was also invited. They stepped into the water and easily stepped back through the slightly distorted reflection of the moon to enter faerieland.

Alec clasped Magnus’ hand as they strolled into the wide clearing that had manifested for the ceremony. High trees held mingling guests in their shade and long tables of fruits and vegetables were skilfully set up to offer an incredible hunting scene. Men on horses chased after wild boars and hedgehogs hid under dead leaves as squirrel climbed up trees. A pond in the middle of the main table allowed guests to fill their glasses with faerie drinks and Alec was pleased to see that Simon did not attempt to drink anything.

Magnus did not either and they made their way to Clary and Jace. Max had sneaked off on a pine tree branch somewhere to read the books Alec got him and their parents were standing near the Queen. A small seat was hidden behind her throne, where Jace had probably been sitting when she talked to him. Soft, languid music played somewhere in the trees and Downworlders patiently waited for Helen and Aline to make their appearances.

“What’s the point of a binding ceremony?” Clary suddenly whispered.
“To bind someone to someone else?” Alec shot back, skeptical.
“Yeah but-”

Clary did not have the opportunity to clarify what she did not understand. Aline had made her way to a rocky ridge and stood there, unmoving, until the clearing was entirely silent. She wore a green dress that fell like leaves on her legs, shining with morning dew. Helen appeared next and crossed the clearing. Her hair was wreathed with thorns and her black dress twirled with her as she danced among the crowd. Guests started clapping along her every step until she made it to her lover.

A smile lightened Aline’s face as her lover joined her on the ridge and they slowly held out their hands, entwining their fingers. Alec heard Isabelle whisper some explanations to Clary. Simon was all ears and the faerie noticed that Magnus was paying attention too.

“A binding ceremony generally happens when a full blood faerie wants to make their partner an honorary faerie. It’s a commitment and has to be approved by the Seelie Queen.”
“Not the Unseelie King?” Clary asked.
“Well, that depends which Court you’re part of.” Jace clarified.

Alec gently shushed them because Helen and Aline were going to take their vows. Magnus tightened his hold on his hand as both women took deep breaths and Alec stepped closer to the warlock.

“For each season change my love may falter,
I may be truthful for a change of heart can occur.”

Aline’s voice was neither low nor loud but the breeze carried it through the clearing and the Fair Folk shuddered under the strength of the statement. The Seelie Queen bowed her head, long white feathers falling down her crown and in front of her face. Alec closed his eyes, feeling the power of Aline’s vow wash over him and Magnus shivered against his side. Even Clary was silent until music softly started playing again.

“That’s it?” The redhead finally breathed out.
“That was powerful.” Simon contradicted without heat.
“Faeries cannot lie,” Magnus suddenly interrupted. “but just like you and me and everybody else, their feelings can change. By acknowledging it can happen, Aline is bound to let Helen know and Helen is unable to lie to her if they don’t feel the same anymore.”
“It’s not obvious here but if you’re not part of the Fair Folk your bond grants entrance and protection in our realm.” Isabelle added with a pointed look at Simon and Magnus.

The warlock smiled and tugged at Alec’s sleeve to get away from his siblings. The faerie willingly followed him out of the clearing and they ducked under a pillar covered by roses. Alec grabbed Magnus collar to bring him closer and kiss him softly. Magnus’ hands ran along his arms to cup his face as they smiled against each other’s lips and he stroked Alec’s jaw with his thumbs before his fingers graced the dark markings on his neck. Blue tendrils of magic poured down his spine, liquid electricity that made the faerie press closer against the warlock.

“What are you doing to me?”
“Just enjoying the reason I’m here.” Magnus breathed against his ear.

Alec pushed him against the pillar and left biting kisses on his neck as his fingers trailed down the warlock’s chest and left crushed crystal dust in their wake.

“Adding your own glitter, Alexander?” Magnus asked, his voice hoarse.
“I told you to accessorize with gems.”

The faerie broke away to look at Magnus’ face when he did not answer straight away. The warlock’s cat eyes shone with something akin to awe and he barely managed to ask what was on his mind.

“Is it crushed gemstone?”

Alec slowly nodded before his lips were taken away in a searing kiss. He stepped back and dragged Magnus with him until they reached his bedroom and stumbled inside.

“You have a bed!” Magnus exclaimed, only half-joking about his surprise.

Alec shook his head and did not bother to answer, simply kissing the warlock again before turning around to take his top off as he walked towards the bed his lover obviously approved of. A gasp behind him made Alexander stop and suddenly fingers were brushing against the tree that blossomed on his back. Magnus’ hands skimmed along the branches that marked him, black against his fair skin. A kiss at the back of his neck had him shiver and grab the warlock’s face as they finally made it to the bed.

Magnus whispered compliments until his head spun with them and Alec slowly undid the last buttons of his shirt, brushing gemstone dust off the warlock chest as he kissed his dark skin. Each touch was electrifying and Magnus’ breath against his skin sent cold shivers down his body. The warlock trailed his fingers down Alec’s stomach, a burning path that took his breath away. The faerie pushed him back against the mattress and let roots grow from the floor to keep Magnus’ hands at bay.

“Kinky-” the warlock immediately said when his hands were tied.

He was already flicking his fingers to free his wrists but Alec bent down and mouthed crystals on his collarbones and along his chest. The bite of the stones broke Magnus’ focus as cold and shining gems slowly covered his skin. He snapped out of it as Alec undid his belt and the warlock waved his hands to get rid of their clothes faster and grab the faerie’s wrists.

Magnus brought his knuckles to his mouth and followed the sinuous black markings along his arms. He kissed his way all the way up to Alec’s neck until there was nothing left than blue sparks dancing on his skin and tongue as he moaned the warlock’s name.

They drowned into their sensations, moving together and Magnus followed him over the edge, head thrown back as he chanted the faerie’s name again and again. Alec felt himself falling apart but hearing his name on the High Warlock’s lips made him feel whole again, like he never used to before he met Magnus.

Then, they listened to the constant buzzing of their magics, holding hands until it quietened down to a soft hum, a sound oddly reminiscent of silence and yet, full of meaning.