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The Persistence of Memory

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Prologue  

“I need a break.....from us.”  

“You were being honest. I know the difference.”  

“There’s no fixing this.”  

“Days ago, I didn’t know the spark inside you, the one I fell in love with, was out for good.”  

“Magnus...I can’t. I’m sorry.”  

Every word is a knife digging itself deeper and deeper into his heart, an ache in his chest that rises and rises and knows no relief. Every breath he takes chokes his constricting throat and burns in his lungs. Every blink causes more tears to escape his stinging eyes. He’s gasping...for air, for light, for love.....for reason. But there’s no relief to be found. No salvation. No reprieve. No enlightenment.  

Why?...Why? Why? Why? He asks, pleads, begs. No answer. His magic is gone. His purpose is gone. He is gone. Why? He’s lost. He’s empty. He’s alone. He has nothing. He is nothing. It’s all gone. Everything that defined him, made him who he was, everything that was him. Warlock, magician, protector, friend, lover. Gone. All gone. 

He’s asphyxiating on the emptiness, the vacuum in his heart sucking in the bare bones of what little is still left inside of him. He can’t breathe. He can’t breathe . He’s drowning in an ocean of pain, grief, sorrow. He’s being pulled under by the waves. He can’t fight. He doesn’t want to fight. He has nothing left to fight for.  

A single word echoes in the emptiness. Why? Why did he leave? Why did he break his heart? Why? Why? Why?  

A ray of light, a single breath of salvation, delivered by the most unexpected savior; his Father. His magic restored. His power returned. His saving grace. He knows better than to trust the devil. He knows that gifts come with strings attached. He knows to be wary because there’s always a catch. Always a price.  

Why? Why? Why?  

He doesn’t care. It doesn’t matter. He doesn’t have what he lost. But he has enough. The only thing that matters. He has his magic back, he is powerful again. His magic courses through him, envelopes him. Fills the emptiness inside him and breathes new life into him.   

It’s not enough. Not nearly enough. He’s still empty. He’s still drowning. His magic is not enough. He’s not enough.  

He should have known better than to fall in love. He should have known better than to trust a Shadowhunter. He is only loved when he is useful. He is only wanted for his power. There are always conditions to love.   

He prays for relief. He begs for respite. His magic answers. He’s surrounded by memories, memories of love, memories of him . He relives them, one last time, moments that he held so precious in his heart.  

“They’re beautiful. You’re beautiful.”  

“There is nothing ugly about you.”  

“I don’t think I can live without you.”  

“I love you.”  

Take them away. Take them all away.   

the first kiss at the inauspicious wedding and every kiss they shared since.....  

the first time they confessed their love and every time they reaffirmed those three words .....  

the first time they made love and every loving touch they shared ever after .....  

Take them all away.   

every disagreement and every reconciliation.....  

every moment spent fighting against the world for their love....  

every quiet, peaceful moment spent in each other’s company......  

every look, every smile .....  

every moment of being in love....  

Take them away. Take them all away. His magic flares red around him, wrenching the memories from his mind into a swirling crimson sphere. Take them all away. Destroy them all.   

He feels the pull of the magic draining him, draining the memories, the pain, the hurt, the love. He feels lighter. He can finally breathe. He forgets the pain. He forgets the love.   

Take them all away. Destroy them all.  

Moments later, he wakes from a reverie. What had he been doing? How did he get here? He doesn’t remember.......he can’t remember.......  

Take them all away. Destroy them all.  

His heart is pounding in his chest, his cheeks are wet with fallen tears. Why is he crying? Why can’t he remember?  

Take them all away. Destroy them all.  

The memories are gone. All that remains is an omamori charm in the palm of his hand.