Work Header

Stronger than Magic

Chapter Text

Alec had been the first one of his siblings to get his acceptance letter. He could recall the memory in vivid detail, something he had found himself doing as the first term’s starting date grew closer and closer. Alec remembered how the letter had felt between his fingers, could recall the smell of the parchment, the sound of the wax seal being broken and how neat the elegant script covering the paper had looked, but most of all he could remember his family’s pride. The looks Izzy and Max had given him - admiration and curiosity mingled with a hint of jealousy - made Alec’s insides warm. Jace had congratulated him with a toothy smile and bright eyes; The younger boy would be getting his own letter in a few months. Alec could remember all of that but something he’d never forget was the beaming faces of his parents.

Alec Lightwood came from a pureblood family so there wasn’t much surprise when the letter arrived on his birthday. He like most wizards had been doing accidental magic for years - something Max had just started doing. Alec’s parents knew their son would be accepted into Hogwarts. Nevertheless, they had been proud the day his letter arrived and Alec found that the most exciting thing about the moment. Ever since he could remember the boy had been told that when he turned eleven his letter would arrive, he’d expected it to happen, but the look of pride and admiration on his mother's face was something so rare and unexpected that Alec had no choice but to treasure it, at that moment it seemed far more precious than any piece of parchment.

Alec was excited to go to Hogwarts with Jace. He hoped they’d both be sorted into Gryffindor and that they’d make new friends, stay up for hours talking and eat too many sweets. Alec knew he’d do well in exams and his heart jumped at the thought because that would make his family proud. Yes, Hogwarts would be great. He was beyond excited.

After Alec had received his letter it seemed as if the months flew by faster than a golden snitch, every day was drawing the oldest Lightwood children closer to attending their first year of Hogwarts. Every night Robert and Maryse had been sharing stories of their time at the wizarding school, had been telling their children about their sorting ceremony, quidditch games and their opinions on certain subjects.

Both his parents - like all the Lightwoods - had been in Gryffindor and it didn’t take a genius to figure out that Jace would end up there as well. The blond-haired boy was his best friend and If Jace was going to be sorted into Gryffindor then he would be as well, Alec was sure. They weren’t brothers by blood but wherever Jace dared to go Alec would always follow him.

Soon Jace had gotten his letter and they’d been off to Diagon Alley to purchase textbooks, robes and all other necessities they’d need for school. Izzy had demanded to come but Maryse had denied the younger girl, instead reminding her that she would be going next year to get her own cauldron, pet and wand.

Alec, Jace and his mother had just walked out of Scribbulus Writing Implement with -Alec thought - an unnecessary amount of quills and ink. “What else do we need…” Maryse trailed off while checking the list of items all first years were required to have. Alec and Jace had already gotten their textbooks, robes, potion ingredients and most of the other products detailed on the list.

“Wands!” Jace exclaimed with an excited smile. Alec was just as thrilled as Jace, if not more so, to receive his first wand. His face changed into a beaming smile that matched his brothers’. Wands. His first wand. Alec couldn’t wait.

“Patience.” His mother scolded lightly when she saw the bright eyes and excited smiles of both boys. “We only have two things left, wands, yes but also familiars.” The witch folded up the paper she was holding before looking at her two sons. “We agreed that wands would be the last-”

“The last thing to buy because they’re the most important, I know.” Jace finished. Maryse smiled and started walking towards the other side of Diagon Alley, not looking behind her to see if her children were following. While they were navigating through the crowd Jace looked over to Alec before asking “what pet are you gonna get?”

Alec had spent many nights staring up at the ceiling thinking about this. His familiar would be with him through all his years at Hogwarts and sometime after, the decision was an important one indeed. Each animal had its own perks. Owls obviously could be used to send mail and toads were useful - as, in some spices, venom could be extracted for potions and herbology, while cats were the easiest animals to transfigure and they lived the longest. After thinking long and hard about it Alec had made up his mind. “An owl.” He told Jace.

“Copycat.” Jace smirked at him.

“Owls for both of you then?” Maryse asked. “A good choice. They are known for their speed and discretion.” She informed them

“Yah, and some can even deliver mail without an address.” Jace informed.

“That’s right Jace, you’ve clearly thought about this a lot, I’m proud of you.” Maryse said while smiling at her adopted son.

Alec tried to ignore the pang of jealousy that went through him as a result of Maryse's words to Jace - it was something he was getting better at because, after all, how could anyone not be impressed by Jace?

The trio had just finished crossing the busy cobblestone street that was swarming with witches and wizards. They were approaching Eeylops Owl Emporium. The family entered the shop, It was relatively small, and dark inside, Alec supposed that was probably due to owls being nocturnal creatures.

Jace upon entering immediately walked into the centre of the shop to start looking at owls. They were all beautiful creatures each breed with its own charm but Alec found himself drawn to the section where the barn owls were located.

They weren’t as elegant or magnificent as the other owls but Alec found them fascinating for that very reason. Suddenly his hazel eyes locked on a pair of huge, round amber ones. The owl that had caught his attention looked completely average but somehow Alec knew then and there that this owl would be his.

The boy reached out and grabbed the handle of the cage, his eyes never leaving the birds’. After a few more moments of staring at the creature, Alec started walking back towards his mother who was standing at the counter conversing with the witch behind it.

When Maryse saw the species of owl Alec had chosen her smile disappeared. “A barn owl Alec?” She questioned. “Are you sure you don’t want an eagle owl or something a bit nicer looking?”

“I’m sure.” Alec responded, looking down at the small female bird that occupied the cage he was holding. The answer caused the frown on his mother’s face to deepen but whatever she was going to say next was cut off when Jace walked over holding a cage with a small white snowy owl inside.

When the witch sitting behind the counter noticed the boys had picked out their owls she asked. “Just those two?” Referring to the creatures in the two cages.

Maryse hesitated for a few moments looking at Alec, waiting for the boy to change his mind, but when the silence stretched out for too long she continued speaking “yes. Just the barn and snowy owls, please. Also, can we have two bags of owl pellets and one bag of treats.” Maryse asked the employee.

“Sure, that’ll be 30 galleons, please.”

While their mother and the witch behind the counter arranged the transaction, Alec turned to Jace and whispered, “what are you gonna name your owl?”

It didn’t take Jace long to answer though, clearly, this was a topic he had thought over before, “Angelos.” He said looking at the white owl in the cage. “Do you know why?”

“Because it’s Latin,” Alec said. He knew because both his parents had insisted he, Izzy and Max learn it from a young age, they said it would help to understand ancient spells. “It means ‘the messenger’.” Alec smirked, “it’s a little on the nose don’t you think?”

“Oh, and what are you gonna name your owl?”

Alec paused because he hadn’t really thought about that. The boy knew he’d choose an owl he’d planned that but as for what he’d call it, Alec wasn’t sure. He looked back towards the bird. Her eyes were huge and amber, beak sharp like a weapon….

“Telum.” He responded.

“And you mocked my use of Latin.”

“Boys.” Maryse interrupted their conversation. “Time to go.”

At that, Alec smiled. Wands.

Ollivanders wand shop had been different then Alec expected. The shop itself was narrow and shabby with peeling gold letters on the door that read: Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C. Inside, the shop seemed very cramped, Alec supposed that was due to The - seemingly - thousands of narrow boxes containing wands that were piled right up to the ceiling of the tiny shop.

After entering the establishment, the trio had been greeted by Mr Ollivander, who, upon being told that Alec and Jace would be getting their first wands beamed. Jace had ended up getting his wand first. It only took a few tries before he found the right one; applewood, phoenix feather, 12 inches. Maryse had smiled proudly when Jace had waved the wand and it responded positively.

It took Alec far longer to find his wand and though this didn’t seem to bother Ollivander he couldn’t ignore the knot in his stomach - and the frown on his mother’s face - that grew when he waved a wand and it rejected him.

“Try this one.” Ollivander said handing him a silver wand. “Ash, dragon heartstring, 12 inches.”

Alec waved the magical instrument and just like all the other times, boxes flew out of their places and collided with the walls, while a chair that had been sitting peacefully in the corner toppled over. Alec sucked In a breath of horror. He really was trying to ignore the feeling but the boy was starting to worry he’d never find his wand.

“Hmm,” Ollivander said looking at Alec with analytical eyes. The man took the wand back from the young boy before walking over to the other side of the room. Moments passed while the old man was rifling through the velvet-lined boxes desperately searching for the right wand. “Ah, here we go!” Ollivander exclaimed grabbing a long black wand out of the box he had been seeking. “Willow, Unicorn hair, 13 and a half inches.” He explained while walking over to Alec with a bright smile.

The boy took the wand and waved it.

The connection was instantaneous. It wasn’t like the feeling he had when he first locked eyes with Telum. It was completely different because it wasn’t a feeling. It was a fact. This wand didn’t just belong to him, it was apart of him. Alec knew then and there that this wand would be his companion for life.

The connection the boy felt internally was expressed when he waved the magical instrument and the fire in the candles grew brighter and by the creation of a strong wind that rushed through the shop rattling the window frames.

“Yes, it was obvious that you’d be destined for a wand such as that Mr Lightwood, I was a fool not to have tried it sooner.” Ollivander said before turning to Maryse and the two began discussing payment.

Alec, in his state of awe, didn’t notice Jace approaching. “Did you feel it.” He whispered.

Alec jumped slightly at the sound of Jace’s voice but nevertheless, he answered. “Yes.” He didn’t have to ask Jace what feeling he was talking about because there was no way in Merlin’s name that Alec could ever forget that. “It…It was…” he couldn’t explain it though. Alec couldn’t put the feeling into words, expression had always been something he’d struggled with.

“Unlike anything you’ve ever felt. Like the wand was apart of you.” Jace, like always, knew what he was thinking regardless if Alec could put it into words or not. “I know.”

The raven-haired boy merely smiled in response. “Yah.” He agreed.

Maryse was watching the boys from the corner of her eye while Ollivander counted the 20 gallons she’d just handed over. When he’d finished and noticed her staring the man said, “Oh Maryse It seems like only yesterday that you and Robot were getting your first wands from me.”

“Hard to believe I know.” She said. “Time really does move fast.”

“They’ll be great wizards one day, your boys.” He informed her.

“I know.”

Like always Kings Cross station was buzzing with life, people running to catch trains while others walked at a leisurely pace. None of the ordinary people took particular notice of the many families pushing trolley, full of strange objects, in the directions of platform 9 or 10. They didn’t bat an eye when the Lightwood family - Alec, Izzy, Jace, Maryse and Robert - stopped in front of the brick wall in between the two platforms.

“Alright, boys.” Robert said. “This is where we’ll have to leave you.” Alec’s dad leaned down and wrapped his two sons in a warm hug. “I’ll miss you both.” He whispered before pulling away.

Without warning, Izzy ran at her older brother and wrapped her arms around him tight. “I’ll miss you Alec.” She muttered into his shoulder.

“I’ll miss you to Izzy.” He said pulling away after a few moments. “I’ll owl you and Max whenever I can.”


“Of course.”

Quickly the younger girl turned from Alec and launched herself at Jace, now hugging her other brother. While this was happening Maryse leaned down and wrapped her eldest child into a tight hug. “I’ll miss you a lot Alexander.” she whispered. His mother pulled away slightly, looking into Alec’s eyes. “Make me proud, ok? and don’t let Jace get you into too much trouble.”

The comment caused the boy to laugh slightly, “I’ll do my best.”

The Hogwarts Express was a huge scarlet steam engine that puffed clouds of white smoke into the sky. Jace and Alec had climbed aboard the train shortly after they’d entered platform 9 and ¾. The brothers sat opposite from each in the compartment talking about nothing and everything.

“What do you think the Gryffindor common room will look like?” Jace questioned.

“No clue.” Alec answered honestly. “We’ll have to wait and see.” A thought occurred to the raven-haired boy suddenly. A thought that had been popping into his mind more and more recently. “Hey Jace, what if…”

“What is it Alec?”

“I…..It’s stupid. Don’t worry about it.”

“Alec.” The blond-haired boy said. “Tell me.”

“It’s just, what if I’m not placed in Gryffindor.” Alec finally shared his worry. “I know you will be because your….well you but I’m just….me” Alec tried to explain while gesturing to Jace first then himself but when he saw the confused look on his brother face Alec realised he’d have to do better. “Dad told me that Gryffindor is the best house. Mum says all the best wizards come from Gryffindor. You’ll be put in that house surely but I’m not a good wizard.” Alec said while trying to swallow the lump in his throat.

“Your right.” Jace said, “that is stupid.” He stood from his seat that had been across from Alec’s and went to sit next to the raven-haired boy. “Alec, you’re the best person I know. You’re kind and honest and you’d do anything for the people you care about.” Jace said wrapping his brother in a hug. “There’s no way you won’t be in Gryffindor and even if by some miracle you aren’t it wouldn’t make a difference to me. You’re my best friend.”

At those words, Alec felt warm tears sting the back of his eyes. “You mean that?” He whispered into the blond’s shoulder.

“Would it make a difference to you?”

“Of course not Jace, You’re my brother.” Alec said pulling away from the hug.


At that particular moment, the door of their compartment opened and an old witch with grey hair appeared in the opening. “Anything from the trolley boys?”

They ended up getting some Acid Pops and chocolate frogs. The two boys spent a majority of the rest of the journey eating the sweets and talking about what they were looking forward to doing at Hogwarts. Until a knock sounded on the door of the compartment.

“Yes?” Jace questioned when the door opened revealing a girl with long red hair and forest green eyes.

“Hi, I’m Clary Fray.” The girl in the door said. “I was wondering if you’d seen my friend Simon.” She explained. “I went to change into my robes but when I came back to our compartment he wasn’t there and now I can’t find him.”

“What does he look like?” Jace questioned.

“He’s got glasses and likes Star Wars.”

“What’s Star Wars?” Alec asked.

“Clearly you haven’t met him because you’d probably know all about it if you had.” Clary said turning to leave. “Sorry to have bothered you both.”

The redheaded girl left the compartment and Alec turned to Jace “Speaking of, we should go change into our robes too.”

It took Jace a second to respond, the boy still staring after the girl. “Yah.” He agreed.

Chapter Text

Hogwarts was magnificent. That was the only word Alec could use to describe the huge stone castle. When the first year students had seen it for the first time while riding the boats over the glassy lake all of them had gasped in awe, because the towering structure was truly something to behold.

Now he, Jace and the other first years were walking through the long corridors and up the winding staircases, occasionally being spoken to by a portrait on the wall. The students were being led in the direction of the Great Hall. Alec felt strange being inside the castle. The boy didn’t know if it was nerves, as the Sorting Ceremony would be taking place soon, or if it was a side effect of the castle itself. A symptom of being in a place of unfathomable age and magical power. Alec supposed it was most likely the former because Jace didn’t seem to be feeling weird. In fact, Jace didn’t really seem to be paying attention to the castle at all. The boy was looking around at the other first years instead.

“What are you doing?” Alec questioned as the group of students rounded a corner.

“Looking for that girl.” He responded. At Alec’s look of confusion, Jace elaborated. “You know the redhead.”


The question seemed to have caught Jace off guard because his eyes widened slightly and Alec would have sworn his cheeks turned a faint shade of pink. “I wanna know if she found her friend.”

Alec knew that was a lie but Jace was saved from being called out on it when the other first years suddenly stopped moving and all conversation disappeared instantly. as If a silencing spell had been cast.

Alec looked away from Jace and saw a woman standing in front of two large wooden doors. She had hair that was greying hidden underneath a pointed witch’s hat. “Welcome to Hogwarts.” She said in a stern voice that left no room for argument or interruption. “I am the headmistress. My name is Professor McGonagall.” She looked at the first years through kind blue eyes, that were hidden behind spectacles balanced on the tip of her nose. “Soon you will enter the Great Hall and join the rest of the students, but first you must be sorted into your houses.” She explained.

While the witch was talking Alec felt the knot in his stomach grow tighter and tighter. They were about to be sorted. Sorted. The moment the hat touched his head and declared his house Alec knew his life would either change for the better or worse.

In his musings, the young boy had stopped listening to what the headmistress had been telling them and he quickly forced himself to pay attention. “....your triumphs will earn them points while any rule-breaking will make your house lose points.” She was saying and despite himself, Alec felt the corners of his mouth twitch upward. Jace with his tendency for rule breaking was probably disheartened to hear those words. Either that or insentivised. It really depended on the day. “Your sorting will begin momentarily, please remain here until then.”

When the professor left, the first years Immediately started whispering to each other about the upcoming ceremony. “You nervous?” Alec asked Jace.

“Not really.” He responded and Alec envied him. “You?”

“No.” A lie but Alec hoped that Jace didn’t notice.

Thankfully it seemed the blonde was too preoccupied looking around the corridor the first years were currently standing in. It seemed as if he was trying to locate something amongst the crowd. Probably the little girl. Alec thought and the boy didn’t know why but a pang of jealousy shot through him.

When Professor McGonagall returned with a roll of parchment in hand the group of first-year students were ushered into the Great Hall. It was lit by thousands and thousands of candles that were floating in midair over four long tables, where the rest of the students were sitting. The tables were laid with golden plates and goblets that sparked in the candlelight. At the top of the hall was another long table where the teachers were sitting, a spot in the centre clearly left for the headmistress who was currently leading the first years through the hall.

Alec felt wonderment wash over him as he looked around at the Great Hall. It was exactly how his parents had described it and yet not. The professors were sitting at the high table, yes, but his parents had never told him how imposing they all seemed. The enchanted ceiling bewitched to look like the night sky was there, but they had never described what a breathtaking sight it was. Hogwarts was different then he’d thought it would be but better than Alec could have ever hoped for.

The group of first years stopped when the professor climbed the three steps that separated the areas where the students and the teachers ate. She was standing next to a sturdy looking stool and balanced upon it was an old, ragged looking grey hat.

“When I call your name, you will come forward and the Sorting Hat will be placed atop your head.” She explained while lifting the pointed object. “Then you will be sorted into your houses.” Her eyes scanned the parchment before she read the first name. “Magnus Bane.” She spoke.

Of course, I’d be first. Magnus thought bitterly when he heard the professor read his name off the parchment list she was holding. The boy climbed the stairs trying to ignore the looks on the students’ faces as he sat on the wooden stool. They all knew who his father was. They all knew who Magnus was.

Everyone knew the story. Magnus’s father, Asmodeus, had been a promising young wizard brimming with potential and magical power. All had thought after he’d graduated that the man would do so much good in the world, some said that one day he might have even rivalled Albus Dumbledore’s legacy. Then the man had gone insane and killed 18 people - 8 wizards and 10 muggles before he was finally killed. All of this had taken a huge toll on Magnus’s mother, the woman had killed herself shortly after. Leaving the boy orphaned.

Now, whenever people who knew his name looked at him Magnus always saw the fear, judgement and disgust in their eyes, as if they were looking at his father, as if he would end up just like the man one day. Magnus saw those exact thoughts in the eyes of his classmates as the Sorting Hat was placed upon his head. However, all thoughts of the staring were immediately swept from his mind when the boy felt another presence inside his head.

Hhhmmm, interesting. The presence spoke inside his mind. Difficult very difficult. Magnus knew it was the Sorting Hat that was speaking. It was a strange feeling having another entity in your mind shifting and searching through memories and feelings. It was unlike anything Magnus had ever experienced before.

Certainly not Gryffindor. It decided.

‘Why?’ Magnus thought back.

Because while you have the capacity to be brave it isn’t who you are at your core. The hat responded and Magnus could feel it digging through his mind and poking and prodding at his very soul once again. Your mind is quite sharp but I don’t think Ravenclaw is the correct house for you.

Magnus felt his heart drop slightly at the words. He’d been hoping for Ravenclaw. Caterina would surely be sorted into that house. It would’ve been nice to be placed in the same house as his best friend. The Sorting Hat continued to rummage through his mind searching for its answer.

You possess loyalty but that is the only Hufflepuff trait you have in spades. In fact, the kind of loyalty you have is much similar to that of a Slytherin. It mused. Magnus felt his heart tighten and beat faster. because he would rather any house except Slytherin.

If he was sorted into that house then the looks of fear and worry people gave him, they would be warranted because how different from his father could Magnus really be if he got sorted into the same house as Asmodeus.

Yes, in fact, you have many traits of a Slytherin. It continued. Quite resourceful and a cunning mind too. The boy felt fear chill the very marrow of his bone because from the way this was going surely he’d be sorted into the same house as his father. In fact, your ambition to not end up like the dark wizard Asmodeus is greater than any other desire you possess.

Magnus felt hope blossom in his heart because maybe the hat understood that if he wasn’t put into the same house as his family then everything would be fine. Magnus didn’t care what house he was sorted into as long as it wasn’t Slytherin.

Ambition, loyalty to the fullest extent, wit and a cunning mind. He heard the Sorting Hat summarize, I don’t understand why I found this difficult initially; there’s no question about it Slytherin is the house for you.

‘Please don’t-’ Magnus tried to beg the hat but it had already spoken aloud to the entirety of the Great Hall.


“Lydia Branwell.” Professor McGonagall called out taking no notice of the defeated look on Magnus’s face as he descended the stairs.

Alec’s gaze followed the other boy - Magnus Bane - as he walked down the stairs towards the table of green and silver. His eyes were glassy as if in a daze, Magnus didn’t even seem to notice the cheers and clapping of his new housemates as the boy took a seat at the long table.

Lydia Branwell, a small girl with long blonde hair walked up the stairs before sitting down and having the hat placed atop her head. It wasn’t on their long, barely a few seconds, before it shouted “Ravenclaw!” Lydia smiled and ran down the stairs eager to join her new clapping housemates.

With every student that was being sorted Alec felt his heart beat a little faster. Every time a name was called it meant he was getting closer and closer to being sorted.

“Clarissa Fairchild.” the headmistress called out and the redheaded girl Jace had been searching for hesitantly walked up the stairs. That hat was placed on her head and after a quarter of a minute passed, the Sorting Hat proclaimed. “Gryffindor!”

Jace watched the redheaded girl cheer and applaud with enthusiasm whenever a new student was sorted into Gryffindor. Her name was Clary Fairchild. Not Fray as she’d told him on the train. Fairchild. The name sparked something within Jace. It sounded familiar.

“Jonathan Christopher Herondale.” The professor read out and Jace resisted the urge to cringe at the use of his full name. With a final smirk at Alec, Jace walked up the stairs and sat on the stool like so many others had already done. The Sorting Hat had barely touched his head when it screamed out “Gryffindor!” The enchanted object had been placed and removed from his head so quickly that Jace didn’t even have time to think.

Jace saw Alec smile at him as he descended the three steps and another name was called out. the blonde smiled back at his brother before he started walking towards the table of red and gold. His eyes met Clary’s as she clapped and the girl smiled at him. Jace took a seat at the table across from her and they both looked back up towards the Sorting Ceremony.

“Simon Lewis.” Professor McGonagall called out and Alec felt like he was going to pass out because he would most certainly be the next one sorted. Alec just hoped he wouldn’t look like that boy, who had just sat down on the stool, when it was his turn. Simon was shaking, visibly, and the boy nearly flinched when the hat was placed atop his head. If Alec had to guess he’d say the boy was a muggle-born.

“Hufflepuff!” The Sorting Hat shouted. Simon seemed to be thankful for no longer having to be the centre of attention as he took a seat at the table decorated with yellow and black.

“Alexander Lightwood.” The headmistress called out.

Alec, on legs that felt like jelly, walked up the stairs and tentatively took a seat on the wooden stool. The moment the hat touched his head though it was as if all his nervousness instantly vanished. Instead being replaced by the alien feeling of having another consciousness in his mind.

A challenge certainly. The hat said and Alec felt his heart drop. He’d hoped the Sorting would be fast like it’d been for Jace. You possess qualities of all the houses. Although some less than others. The bewitched object informed him.

Not Ravenclaw. You may be smart but wisdom isn’t a trait you are in possession of. Gryffindor could be a possibility…

Alec felt his heart soar and insides warm because the Sorting Hat was going to place him in Gryffindor. Gryffindor. Where he’d be with Jace and his parents would finally see that he truly was a great wizard.

...but I don’t think it’s the house for you.

‘What?’ Alec questioned internally. The warm feeling turning to ice in his veins.

You’re brave yes, but chivalrous and daring you are not. Gryffindor isn’t the house for you.

‘But I-’ he tried to reason with the hat but the enchanted object kept talking, seemingly not taking any notice of Alec’s distress.

Slytherin perhaps? The Sorting Hat questioned to itself. No, no, no. That wouldn’t be the right fit. You’re far too honest.

the hat continued to talk to itself not caring that Alec was finding it hard to breathe. Not in Gryffindor. No. That couldn’t happen. The hat needed to understand. ‘I think you should reconsider Gryffindor as an opti-’

No. I've already informed you that Gryffindor isn’t the right house for you Mr Lightwood. The hat interrupted Alec. Hmmm, hard-working, dedication and unfathomably loyal. I know just the house for you.

Alec didn’t have time to argue before the Sorting Hat yelled out “Hufflepuff!”

Alec sat at the table decorated with yellow and black. He’d felt numb since the hat had been pulled from his head and he’d walked to his house table. Alec didn’t have the courage to meet Jace's eyes as he’d descended the steps. Probably the reason why I ended up in Hufflepuff, Alec thought bitterly.

Now, Alec sat picking at the food on his plate staring longingly at the table of red and gold. Jace and the girl from the train were talking to a dark-skinned girl with braided hair - Maia - Alec faintly remembered her name being.

Alec took some solace in not being the only kid in his house to be unhappy with the final result of the sorting. The boy with glasses who’d been placed before him, sam or something, was also staring at the Gryffindors. More specifically at the red-haired girl that apparently Everyone was obsessed with.

Alec looked away from the Gryffindor table after seeing how Simon looked, like a puppy locked outside in a rainstorm, Alec didn’t want to get caught looking that pathetic. Alec was debating how long it would take to count the floating candles when his eyes locked with a pair of warm brown ones across the room. Magnus Bane. Quickly Alec looked back down at his plate, pushing cut up potatoes around with his fork. Hoping no one saw the embarrassed blush on his cheeks from being caught sulking.

The students had their first day of classes tomorrow and Alec longed to be able to talk with Jace. The raven-haired boy just hoped that in the morning after a good night's sleep that everything would be better, not great. Just better.

Chapter Text

Despite everything that had happened, despite the fact that he'd give anything to be in Gryffindor, Alec found the Hufflepuff Common Room giving him a small amount of comfort.

The room itself could only be described as cosy. It was round and low-ceilinged, decorated in the cheerful, bee-like colours of yellow and black. The mellow vibe of the Common Room was emphasised by the use of highly polished, honey-coloured wood that had been used for the tables and the round doors that led to the dormitories and the high-backed chairs littered with cushions were always beckoning.

Alec supposed he liked the room because it reminded him of home. Specifically of the library where he’d spent countless nights - years most likely - reading by the light of a blazing flame, sitting in a comfortable wingback chair.

Now, standing by the crackling fire in the Hufflepuff Common Room, Alec felt it’s warmth slowly melting away the dreadful numbness that he’d been feeling since the Sorting Ceremony.

Alec was desperate to talk to Jace. His brother had assured him that no matter what house the boy was sorted into they’d still be best friends. Alec supposed he’d shared his worries with Jace about possibly not being sorted into Gryffindor because deep down he’d known.

Alec wanted to be a great wizard one day. The boy just hoped his parents would understand that to be a great wizard you didn’t have to be placed in Gryffindor, that it could be achieved in a number of ways. They probably would understand. Alec reassured himself because after all, Jace who was his adopted family didn’t care, so why would his biological one mind where he was placed.

Out of the corner of his eye, Alec saw the other students leaving the room in pursuit of breakfast in the Great Hall. The raven-haired boy Internally sighed at the realisation he’d have to abandon his post in front of the cosy fire before he followed his housemates out the Common Room.

Breakfast had started out so well. The food was delicious and Alec had even managed to make some small talk with a second-year girl. She informed him that apparently there was a giant squid living in the Black Lake and centaurs in the Forbidden Forest. The boy had been shocked, to say the least.

Alec had just been about to walk out of the hall and back to his dorm, in order to collect the textbooks and quills, he’d need for his first classes of the day - Charms and Herbology - when his ears heard dozens of screeches. The noise signalling the owls carrying the morning post had arrived.

Alec immediately recognised Church, the Lightwood family owl, amongst the flock of birds heading for the Hufflepuff table. The sight of Church made Alec long to visit his own owl.

When the boy saw the blood red envelope clutched in the bird's talons however all thoughts of Telum escaped him. Alec felt his stomach drop to the floor and his mouth go dry.

Church dropped the scarlet envelope on the table in front of him and left without so much as a glance in his direction. The raven-haired boy was completely frozen. He knew what the letter really was and what it represented. Alec desperately wished he was anywhere else because the Howler was starting to shake with impatience.

At that point, the other occupants of the Hufflepuff table had noticed the shaking scarlet letter. “You should open it you know.” The second-year girl he’d been talking to said. “It’ll be worse if you don’t.” She was right, the boy knew that. The longer a Howler was left un-opened the worse the experience would be. Alec tried to swallow the lump in his throat as he reached out with shaking hands to open the letter.

“Alexander Gideon Lightwood!” The slightly distorted, high pitched voice of his mother came from the Howler at an alarming volume. “You’ve besmirched the family name!” It yelled. Maryse's voice was echoing around the hall and soon not only were the other Hufflepuffs watching him but a majority of the other students from different houses as well.

“There hasn’t been a member of our family who wasn’t sorted into Gryffindor in the last one-hundred years!” The Howler continued to scream. Not caring that with each word it spoke Alec was finding it harder and harder to pull breath into his lungs. “I should’ve known you’d be the one to ruin our family's honour!” Alec felt stinging in the backs of his eyes at those words. The boy bit the inside of his cheek hard to keep himself from crying. He wouldn’t do that here. Not in front of everyone.

“You’ve brought shame to us all!” The Howler screamed before bursting into flames leaving behind nothing but a pile of ash.

Silence. No one in the Great Hall was making a sound. Alec knew most of them had heard what the Howler had screamed. The boy was aware they were all staring at him. The taste of iron was filling Alec’s mouth, as a result of his teeth still firmly biting down on the inside of his cheek. The room was fading in and out of focus, his eyes glazing over and each breath a struggle.

When the whispers started he couldn’t take it any longer. Alec quickly stood from his chair. The scraping sound it made from being pushed back against the floor echoed around the quiet room like the cry of a deranged beast.

With the eyes of the entire student body locked upon him, Alec Lightwood stormed out of the Great Hall.

Maryse’s words echoed around his mind on an endless loop. Besmirched. He’d been ignorant, a fool to think that being sorted into Hufflepuff was acceptable. It wasn’t. Alec felt shame wash over him like a tidal wave. brought shame to us all. She’d been right, Alec knew that every word the Howler had spoken was the truth. You’d be the one to ruin our family's honour. Those words had caused a feeling of indisputable self-loathing to overwhelm his senses.

Alec knew he’d d single-handedly destroyed the honour of the Lightwood name that had taken a hundred years to create. A legacy of brave wizards that had all possessed an abundance of magical power, destroyed in one moment. Alec knew he deserved every word that Maryse had said. No. He deserved worse.

Alec tried to pull himself back into reality. The boy was leaning against the wall in the corridor that led to the Great Hall, the large wooden doors were only a few meters away. Warm tears had been rushing down his face the moment the doors closed behind him.

Every breath he took was shaky and deep as Alec desperately tried to calm down. It was a miracle that nobody had already joined him in the corridor yet. Breakfast would be finishing soon and being seen like this; an emotional wreck was unacceptable. He’d already disappointed his mother in one way he wasn’t going to do it again.

As if thinking about it had made it so, Alec heard a loud creak sound through the hallway as the wooden doors opened. Quickly Alec turned away, swiping at his eyes, desperately trying to erase the evidence that he’d been crying.

Alec knew it was probably Jace coming to check that he was ok. The blonde was his best friend. They hadn’t been brothers for very long, barely a few years, but Alec for the life of him couldn’t recall what life had been like without the other boy.

“Jace I’m fine.” Alec lied. He hoped his voice sounded less shaky then he thought it did.

Alec turned around and his heart nearly stopped beating because it wasn’t Jace standing in front of the huge doors. It wasn’t even one of his housemates concerned for their fellow Hufflepuff.

It was Magnus Bane.

Magnus didn’t know what had possessed him to follow the Lightwood boy out of the Great Hall and into the corridor. Perhaps it was seeing the way everyone had looked at Alec, it wasn’t with fear or judgement but nonetheless, a look Magnus himself often saw reflected in the eyes of others whenever they gazed upon him. It couldn’t be described as sympathy because for that people would actually need to care for more than a minute.

“I’m not Jace.” Magnus informed Alec but judging by the other boy’s wide eyes he was already aware of that fact. The Slytherin didn’t need to introduce himself. Alec like most wizards would know who Magnus was. Whose son he was.

At his words, Alec seemed to just remember that his eyes were bloodshot and there were trails of half-dried tears on his cheeks because the boy started frantically rubbing at his face with the sleeve of his robes.

“Are you alright?” Magnus asked.

“I’m fine.” The other boy responded all too quickly. Like a reflex. Magnus knew he was lying.

“You sure?”

“Why wouldn’t I be!” Alec snapped.

Magnus hadn’t expected Alec to yell. The action had caught him off guard. Alec himself looked shocked. Clearly, the Hufflepuff hadn’t wanted or expected to lose his temper in front of a stranger.

“I know what it’s like,” Magnus started speaking again. “To get sorted into a house that you….aren’t particularly happy with. So, if you need someone to talk to, I’m here.”

Alec was surprised. Magnus Bane. A Slytherin. The child of a mass-murdering wizard was standing in the corridor that led to the Great Hall comforting him. And he. Alec Lightwood. A Hufflepuff. The son of two high ranking Ministry officials was grateful.

Magnus wasn’t offering him anything physical. The boy wasn’t giving Alec a magical solution to fix the problem but he was offering Alec the knowledge that he wasn’t alone. Alec smiled at the other boy in gratitude. “Thank you.”

Magnus trying to lighten the mood said, “I also get what it’s like to have a pretty horrible parent. So, there’s also that.”

At the Slytherin’s words, Alec felt rage overwhelm him. All thoughts of Magnus’s compassion and comfort gone. “How dare you say that about my mother!” Alec knew that every word Maryse had enchanted that Howler to say had been true. She wasn’t a horrible person for merely pointing out the truth.

Alec waited for Magnus to speak, to defend and justify himself but there was only silence in response. Magnus was clearly confused and quite honestly Alec was quite irritated at this point because how could the other boy not understand what he’d done.

“Look, Magnus,” Alec spoke wanting this conversation to finish as soon as possible. “Why did you follow me? Why do you even care?”

Magnus wanted to say he didn’t. Wanted to walk away and get his textbooks and parchment for his first classes. He couldn’t though. Magnus had followed Alec because of the simple reason that no one had been there to follow him when everything with his parents had happened.

Magnus hadn’t had anyone there for him at the worst moments of his life, when he lost his family, and the boy would be damned if he let someone else go through that pain alone.

He couldn’t explain any of this to Alec though because the Hufflepuff wouldn’t understand. So instead Magnus said. “Because no one else is or does. At least not anyone who’d understand.”

At that particular moment, the doors of the Great Hall opened and students of various different ages and houses poured out. All were heading for the dormitories in hopes of gathering equipment needed for their upcoming lessons.

Magnus didn’t get a response from the other boy, in fact, he didn’t even see where Alec went. The first-year had integrated into the crowd of Hufflepuffs heading back to the yellow and black Common room.

Chapter Text

Alec had never looked forward to education, at least not education that involved theoretical learning, the raven-haired boy had always preferred practical things. Alec like most wizards had been home-schooled until he’d been old enough to attend Hogwarts. The Latin and other knowledge he’d received over the years had always been the least interesting part of his day.

His view on theoretical learning changed, however, the moment he had his first lesson at Hogwarts. Herbology. It wasn’t a particularly interesting subject. The raven-haired boy knew it wouldn’t be one of his favourites but nonetheless, Alec found the first lesson a welcome distraction from his whirling mind. There were always notes to write, a passage in the textbook to read or some words to listen to. Plenty of things to help keep his mind from wandering back to the topic of the Howler.

However, there were times when his mind did find a chance to stray from the topic of Asphodel, when he needed a new sheet of parchment or whenever his quill needed new ink. In those moments Alec’s mind started wandering to a particular Gryffindor, and occasionally, to a Slytherin and the words he’d spoken that very morning. Alec hadn’t decided if that was better or worse than the Howler.

Alec found himself slightly grateful that the Hufflepuffs had Herbology with the Ravenclaws because that meant he didn’t have to face Jace. He wanted to put that off for as long as he could. The raven-haired boy knew that his brother would be just as disgusted with him as Maryse. Alec remembered what Jace had said to him on the Hogwarts Express; There’s no way you won’t be in Gryffindor and even if by some miracle you aren’t it wouldn’t make a difference to me. You’re my best friend.

Jace had said those words in conferdance but Alec couldn’t help but think the blonde hadn’t really meant them. Not because he didn’t trust Jace to tell the truth but because actions spoke louder than words. Jace hadn’t been the one to follow Alec out of the Great Hall, Magnus had. The Gryffindor was meant to be Alec’s best friend, his brother and yet a total stranger in all but name had been the one to come after him and provide comfort. Alec hated admitting that, even to himself, he’d needed comfort and despite what the Slytherin had said about his mother, Alec was still very grateful that Magnus had followed him.

Professor Sprout - the head of Hufflepuff house and the herbology teacher - started speaking once again and Alec forced himself back into reality and focused on her words, detailing the many uses for Asphodel.

Soon, however, the lesson was over and Alec found himself running along corridors and descending staircases, trying to locate the classroom where his first potions lesson would take place. Figuring out how the staircases worked while trying not to get lost in the labyrinth of corridors, was a task almost perplexing enough that Alec nearly didn’t notice the stares and whispers that followed him like a shadow the entire journey. Nearly.

He arrived a few moments before the class was due to start, the other Hufflepuffs and the group of Slytherins were already lining up outside of the doors, most were engaged in conversations, waiting for the professor to arrive.

Alec spotted Magnus towards the front of the line his head already buried in his potions textbook. Quickly, hoping not to be seen, Alec navigated his way to the back of the queue of students. He didn’t think Magnus would want to speak to him. They weren’t friends. Besides, Alec wasn’t ready to forgive the other boy for what he’d said about Maryse yet.

Within a few minutes professor Slughorn had arrived. “Welcome to your first potions lesson!” He said in a cheery voice with a big smile. None of the students knew how to respond so instead they just stayed quiet. After a few awkward moments of silence, he said: “Well come in, come in.” In a voice just as jolly as before, ushering the first-year students inside the classroom.

Magnus entered the potions room. the classroom was oval shaped and quite large. It was relatively dark due to the fact that there were only a few windows on the walls to let light in. Two dozen or so wooden workbenches were scattered around the room and students were already taking their seats.

Magnus walked over to one of the tables. At it sat a girl, a fellow Slytherin. She was getting her textbooks and parchment ready for the lesson when Magnus sat down in the empty seat beside her. When the girl looked at him her eyes widened slightly and she visibly paled. Quickly the other Slytherin grabbed her books and moved to the table on the other side of the room as if Magnus carried a disease.

The boy resisted the urge to sigh. Why do I even bother? He mentally questioned himself. Everyone was always the same. Judgemental and fearful of him after one look, after realising who he was. Magnus had hoped Hogwarts would’ve been different but apparently wherever he went people would always be repelled and disgusted by his very presence.

He’d have to learn to get used to being hated and loathed merely for the reason of whose son he was.

Alec watched the brown-haired girl gather her books and parchment and basically run away from Magnus. For the first time today, Alec wasn’t the person everybody was staring at or whispering things behind hands and into ears about. Despite the sense of relief this gave him the raven-haired boy felt a sense of annoyance overwhelm him.

He and Magnus were acquaintances at best but the other boy had been nothing but kind to Alec. He’d said some rude things about his mother, yes but kind nonetheless and Alec owed him for that. The Hufflepuff felt determination well up inside of him as he walked toward the workbench Magnus was sitting behind.

The caramel-skinned boy looked at him with a mix gratitude and surprise as Alec took the seat the Slytherin girl had just abandoned. “you didn’t have to do that.” Magnus said as Alec busied himself with getting his quills and ink ready.

“I know,” the Hufflepuff responded while setting a bottle of ink on the table. The boy then set to work on finding his textbook.

A moment passed, “Then why did you?” The Slytherin questioned. Curiosity clearly laced through his voice.

Alec stopped rummaging through his bag for his copy of Magical Drafts and Potions and looked at Magnus. “Because no one else would’ve.”

A moment later the last student had taken his seat and Professor Slughorn closed the classroom door. As a result, the room was made even darker. Alec faintly wondered how they were expected to read in such dim light.

His question was answered when the Potions Master waved his wand and about a-hundred candles placed all around the room lit themselves, instantly filling the room with a warm glow.

“Alright, well let's dive straight into it, shall we?” Slughorn asked. “Today we will be learning about the forgetfulness potion and then, in the next lesson we will attempt to brew it.” The comment caused most of the first-years to whisper excitedly to one another.

Slughorn walked over towards the blackboard and waved his wand again, this time in response a neat scrawl containing details about the forgetfulness potion appeared. The list at the bottom labelled ‘ingredients’ was left blank. “Now who can tell me what the three main ingredients for the potion are?” After a few moments passed and no one raised their hand, Slughorn asked in impatience, “anyone?”

Magnus, to Alec’s surprise, raised his hand. “Lethe River Water, mistletoe berries, and Valerian sprigs. Sir.” He said.

“Correct, Mr…” Slughorn said before trailing off, there was a glint of excitement in his eye at the prospect of finding a new brilliant mind to add to his collection.

“Bane, Magnus Bane.” The Slytherin responded quickly, looking uncomfortable at having to speak his full name.

The Potions Master's eyes widened when he heard the Slytherin’s name but the professor quickly composed himself, turning to the blackboard and waving his wand once again, making the list of ingredients appear. “Now if you could all copy the notes off the board that would be exceptional.”

With those words, the potions class got to work.

Jace was desperate to get to lunch in the Great Hall. Not because he was particularly hungry but because he hadn’t seen or talked to Alec since the Sorting Ceremony. In his first two classes of the day - History of Magic and Transfiguration - Jace had heard the rumours that Alec had received a particularly nasty Howler from Maryse that morning. When he’d heard, Jace had immediately regretted his decision to skip breakfast in favour of spending the morning in the owlery with Angelos.

Jace had first learned about the Howler from Clary, “Is your brother ok?” She’d asked as they’d been waiting in the line for their first History of Magic lesson. Clary, Jace had learned, was always like that. Always kind.

“What do you mean?” He’d questioned back at the girl. “Why wouldn’t he be.”

“Well I just thought because of the Howler this morning...” she trailed off. Jace had been about to ask what Howler she meant when Professor Binnes had arrived and the Gryffindors and Slytherins were ushered inside.

To Jace’s great annoyance his next class had been with the Ravenclaws meaning the blonde hadn’t had a chance to speak with Alec yet. At the very least, he’d heard details about the topic of the Howler, and most of the things that Maryse had said. When Jace had learned that his mother in all but blood had practically disowned Alec in front of the whole school he’d felt a large portion of the warmth and affection he’d felt for Maryse twist up into horror, anger and resentment.

Jace knew what Alec was like. His brother would believe Maryse’s words to the fullest extent and hate himself for not being able to meet her expectations. He’d probably think he deserved what Maryse had said. That’s just who Alec was. Unshakably loyal, dedicated to his family and hard working. A true Hufflepuff.

Jace needed to talk to him. The blonde couldn’t let his best friend fall into a pit of self-loathing merely because of some stupid letter.

When the Transfiguration class was dismissed for lunch, Jace couldn’t get through the door and out of the classroom fast enough, he bolted down staircases and through hallways desperate to get to his brother.

Now bursting into the Great Hall, Jace’s eyes desperately searched along the table of black and yellow, looking for his best friend, only to realise that Alec wasn’t there. The Gryffindor knew it was unlikely that the raven-haired boy was still coming because he recognised the other first-years sitting at the Hufflepuff table, they’d all arrived at lunch on time which meant that Alec had chosen to skip eating in favour of going somewhere else.

The Owlery was a circular stone room. Alec thought it was rather cold and drafty, he supposed that was due to the fact that none of the windows had glass in them as it allowed the owls to come and go freely. The floor was entirely covered in straw and surprisingly, free of owl droppings, although Alec suspected that would change soon, it was only the second day of term after all. Many owls - Including Angelos - were nestled on perches that rose right up to the top of the tower.

Alec and Magnus were sitting on the edge of one of the glassless windows. Magnus was leaning back against the brick wall of the tower his legs drawn up to his chest while Alec was sitting forward, legs dangling off the side of the alcove, Telum was sitting next to him. The raven-haired boy was enjoying the feeling of running his fingers through her soft feathers.

They had started out simply talking. Mostly about things that didn’t really matter. “Do you have an Owl?” Alec wondered aloud when Telum nuzzled against his hand as he scratched her under the chin. Something Church would have bitten him for doing. It had been like this for a while now, asking questions and trading answers.

“No,” Magnus responded, the other boy wasn’t looking at him but instead at the view of the school grounds they got thanks to the Owlery being placed atop the West Tower. “I have a cat though, Chairman Meow.”

After their potions lesson had ended Alec had confessed that he had no real desire to go back to the Great Hall for lunch. He didn’t tell the other boy the reason why - avoiding Jace - Instead he’d opted to informed Magnus that he’d probably go to the Owlery to visit Telum and the Slytherin had offered to accompany him. Alec, with no reason to refuse, had accepted.

“What kind of wand core do you have?” Magnus asked.

“Unicorn hair,” Alec replied, his answer didn’t seem to surprise Magnus in the slightest. “You?” the Hufflepuff asked throwing the question back at the other boy.

“Dragon heartstring.” The Slytherin responded. “Favourite area of Magic?” Magnus was more curious then he should’ve been to hear Alec’s response.

“Hasn’t been determined yet.” The raven-haired boy answered while turning to face Magnus. “I’m guessing you’ve already got that one figured out though.”

“Potions.” He responded and Alec was reminded that Magnus was quite gifted in that subject of magic if their first lesson was anything to go by. “And I think I’ll like Transfiguration a lot.”

“Well, I’m-”

Alec was interrupted by the echoing sound created by the opening and slamming of the huge wooden doors that led to the Owlery. Both Magnus and Alec’s gazes snapped to doors and the person now standing in front of them. To the raven-haired boy's great surprise and horror, Jace was the figure standing in front of the entrance panting as if he’d been running for a while.

When the Gryffindor's eyes locked with the Hufflepuff’s a relieved smile spread across the blonde’s face, however when he noticed the Slytherin sitting next to Alec his smile disappeared. “Alec, I need to talk to you.” He then looked at Magnus and said “Alone.”

Jace watched in bewilderment as Magnus Bane - the child of one of the darkest wizards of their age - glanced worriedly across at Alec before jumping down off the ledge he’d been sitting on and walking over to the wooden doors before exiting the Owlery. Jace’s mind struggled to comprehend what the hell Alec Lightwood was doing hanging around with Magnus Bane.

After waiting a few moments, when the Gryffindor was sure Magnus was indeed gone, Jace looked at his brother once again before saying “since when are you friends with him.”

“I’m not.” Alec responded. Jace didn’t know if the statement was a truth or a lie.

The Hufflepuff jumped down from the alcove he’d been sitting in, the noise of his landing muffled by the straw lining the ground. Telum, upon noticing Alec’s departure, flew back up into the rafters of the West Tower in search of an unoccupied perch to settle on.

“I heard about the Howler.” Jace said. The blonde wasn’t sure how much Maryse’s words had actually affected Alec. Jace wanted to hope it wasn’t much but he knew better. Alec wouldn’t have been hiding in the Owlery if he was fine.

“I know what you’re going to say.” Alec started speaking. “I understand.”

“You do?” Jace questioned taken aback.

“You’re going to tell me that you’re just as disgusted with me as mum is.” Alec said with a wavering voice. “Which is fine. You’re both-“ His voice broke as he choked on a sob. “You’re both right to be.”

“Alec….” Jace trailed off. He didn’t know what to say. The Gryffindor felt an overwhelming sense of anger twist in his gut. Anger at Alec for believing such insane things, Anger at himself for not immediately going to reassure Alec after the Sorting Ceremony but most of all an overwhelming anger at Maryse for enchanting that Howler to say such horrible things.

“Why would you possibly think that?” Jace questioned praying to Merlin that the anger he was feeling couldn’t be detected in his voice.

“The Great Hall this morning….” Alec tried to explain but his voice was still raw and shaky. “You didn’t come after I got the Howler.”

“I would of, it’s just that I wasn’t there.” Jace tried to reassure the raven-haired boy. “At breakfast I mean.”

“Regardless, you don’t have to feel bad for wanting to tell me now because you couldn’t do it this morning.” Alec started speaking again. “I’m a disappointment, I understand that.” With every word Alec spoke Jace felt worse and worse. “it's not your fault that I-”

Alec was cut off when Jace launched himself at the older boy and wrapped him in a tight hug. The blonde couldn't take it anymore. Hearing his best friend, his brother, say such terrible things about himself physically hurt Jace. “Stop. Please stop speaking Alec.” Jace muttered into the Hufflepuff’s shoulder.

“What?” The raven-haired boy questioned.

“You’re not a disappointment. Ok.” Jace said, his voice portraying how desperate he was for Alec to believe him.

“Mum said that I’d-”

“Maryse.” Jace hissed, interrupting his brother. “Had no right to say what she did.” In response to the words he’s spoken Jace felt Alec relax slightly into the embrace.

“So...You don’t agree with her?” Alec breathed out in bewilderment.

“Alec.” The blonde said pulling back from the hug in order to look the Hufflepuff in the eye. “Nothing Maryse said was true. You’re the best person I’ve ever met.”

“How can you say that?” Alec questioned and Jace found himself confused. “I wasn’t sorted into Gryffindor.”

“What does that matter. Your house doesn’t determine what kind of person you are.” Jace spoke softly. He needed the other boy to understand that just because he wasn’t sorted into the house of red and gold it didn’t mean that he wasn't good enough. Jace had meant what he’d said. Alec was the best person he’d ever met. The raven-haired boy certainly had his flaws but there was no one more loyal, hardworking or dedicated. “it doesn’t affect how Izzy, Max or myself feel about you.”

“Do you mean that?” Alec question, a hitch to his voice.

“Of course, I do.” Jace said pulling Alec back into the tight hug. “I meant what I said on the train, the house you’re in doesn’t matter to me, you’ll always be my best friend.” They stayed hugging in the owlery until it was time for their next lessons of the day.

Chapter Text

Alec found that time passed very quickly When you were at Hogwarts. Once he’d gotten through the first day of classes the weeks seemed to blend together and pass in a blur of magic and parchment. In amongst the chaos of classes and living in an almost sentient castle Alec had found himself spending more and more time with Magnus over the course of the first couple weeks of the term.

The Hufflepuff would later remember his first days at Hogwarts to be some of the worst of his entire schooling experience. Every spare moment when he wasn’t doing something, without his permission or awareness, Alec’s mind would wander back to the topic of the Howler. He’d dig himself deeper and deeper into a pit of self-loathing and disgust while questions he feared the answers too bounced around the corners of his mind.

Was he disowned? would his parents welcome him back home now that they knew he wasn't in Gryffindor and he’d embarrassed the both of them? What did Izzy and Max think of him?

Magnus had noticed almost instantly. They’d been in a Transfiguration class and professor Fell had left the room in order to speak with the headmistress about some troublesome fifth-year students. Alec supposed Magnus must’ve seen the look of self-hatred reflected in his eyes because the Slytherin had chosen that very moment to mention that he’d run out of parchment and suddenly asked Alec to borrow some effectively snapping the raven-haired boy out of his trance-like state. It had happened more and more after that. Magnus had always found some interruption, some frankly ridiculous excuse to distract the Hufflepuff.

Alec was grateful beyond words because a distraction was exactly what he needed. Every day the raven-haired boy found the weight of Maryse’s words would become a little easier to endure. Not easy but easier.

Alec glanced up from his textbook to find that Magnus hadn’t moved from the position the boy had last seen him in. The Slytherin was sitting across from Alec reading his own potions textbook twirling a quill in his fingers while he read. They’d met up in the library an hour ago in order to do the homework assignment Slughorn had left them. Normally they didn’t get much work to complete outside of class but some particular rowdy students had left the man in a sour mood.

Alec looked back down at his copy of Magical Drafts and Potions and continued his search for the brewing instructions of an Herbicide Potion. Unlike Magnus, Alec wasn’t fond of the art of potion making, actually, he felt quite the opposite. Alec had found that he either thoroughly enjoyed a class or he hated it. He’d discovered that trying not to fall asleep in History of Magic was quite challenging. while Alec’s first flying lesson had been the first time he’d felt truly happy since coming to the castle. When the broom had responded instantly to his cry of “up!” The Hufflepuff had been filled with the indisputable feeling of self-pride, an emotion that was particularly foreign to Alec.

“Found it!” Magnus suddenly proclaimed breaking the silence of the library. “Page 235, 4th paragraph.”

Alec quickly flipped to the page Magnus had mentioned and after locating the paragraph in question started copying the steps to create a plant killing potion. “Why in Merlin’s name do we even need to know this?” He wondered aloud after writing down the first three steps.

“Not sure, it’s interesting though.” The Slytherin replied not looking up at Alec, instead dipping his quill in the bottle of ink they’d placed in the centre of the table.

Alec scoffed. “Boring would be the word I’d use.”

That comment caused the caramel-skinned boy to look up from the sheet of parchment he’d just been about to start writing on and smirk at Alec, “you don’t like potions?” He questioned, eyes twinkling.

“I loathe it.” Alec responded only half serious.

“God, why are we even friends?” Magnus asked, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

Friends. Alec had only ever had Jace as a friend. The blonde was his best and only friend. Alec loved Izzy and Max dearly but they were his younger siblings and the Hufflepuff didn’t think they really counted. He’d never particularly wanted friends, Alec had only ever needed Jace and his family but right now, sitting here across from Magnus, the raven-haired boy found himself lightened by the fact that Magnus, out of everyone at Hogwarts, would declare himself ‘Alec’s friend’.

“God knows.” He joked with an honest to god smile because at that moment he didn’t care that Robert and Maryse wouldn’t approve of his choice in the slightest, the other boy had been there for Alec, offering an easy smile and a distraction when no one else would.

“Sadly, it’ll probably remain a mystery for the ages.” Magnus muttered looking back down at his sheet of parchment before beginning to write about the Herbicide Potion once again.

The Great Hall was a mix of noise and colour as the students of Hogwarts sat eating breakfast, some excited for the day to come, others not. The sound of the student's excited chatter was interrupted however by screeching that bounced off the walls and echoed around the Great Hall. None of the other students batted an eye as the Owls carrying the morning post arrived at breakfast. Alec, however, felt the blood in his veins turn to ice as if he’d been the recipient of a cruel jinx.

He hadn't received any Howlers since the first day of term - in fact, he hadn't gotten any letters since then - despite the sense of relief that gave him, Alec knew his mother and father hadn’t forgiven him like Jace had. The Hufflepuff knew that eventually they’d say or do something to remind Alec of how much of a failure they truly believed him to be.

Alec’s thoughts were interrupted when he saw and heard the cry of an owl so familiar the boy was sure he could recognise it anywhere. Church. The bird of prey had swooped into the Great Hall, Alec felt a sense of relief overwhelm him and hope claw at his heart when he saw the letters the bird was clutching in its talons weren’t the deep scarlet of a Howler but a simple pale shade of blue.

The owl flew first to the Gryffindor table and delivered one of the letters to Jace, well, Alec supposed ‘delivered’ wasn’t exactly the right word, the old owl had dropped the envelope into a bowl of cereal the blonde had been eating because Jace had been too preoccupied talking to the red-headed girl opposite him to notice the falling letter. After delivering the letter to Alec’s brother Church had circled around to the Hufflepuff table and dropped the letter meant for Alec - fortunately he’d been expecting Church to do this and before the letter could land in his food Alec had snatched it out of the air.

The raven-haired boy opened it slowly, despite the colour of the letter The Hufflepuff found himself scared to read the words on the parchment inside. When he saw that the letter wasn’t written in the neat handwriting of either of his parents but instead a messy scrawl Alec felt his heart contract because he knew exactly who the letter was from.

Dear Alec.
I miss you, big brother! (and Jace too but I’m gonna write a letter to him as well) I hope Hogwarts is nice, home has been really boring without you guys and Church has been leaving dead mice in my room again. Max asked me to tell you that he misses you a lot. We both do.

I heard that you weren’t sorted into Gryffindor - I walked in on mum and dad fighting about it - I want you to know that I don’t care, you’re still my big brother no matter what and I’ll always love you.
P.S write to me more! You promised that you would!

Alec felt the breath leave his lungs when he read the letter because while Izzy probably didn’t understand the Sorting situation completely it was nice to know that - like Jace - she didn’t care what house he was in. Alec felt some more of the tension that had been overwhelming him fade away.

It really was getting easier.

Magnus woke up to find that the castle had a strange vibe but the feeling had nothing to do with the structure’s sentience, however, it was merely a result of the wizards and witches that inhabited it. The whole school was excited because today was Halloween. Magnus didn’t know when weeks at Hogwarts had turned into months. The boy, like the other students, couldn’t help but feel slightly excited for the upcoming day because Halloween had always been a beloved time when he was younger, after he’d been taken out of that a God-awful orphanage. Too many sweets eaten by Catirina and himself along with the two of them falling asleep in front of the crackling fire like kittens were some of Magnus’s favourite memories.

At breakfast, the Slytherin had received various types of sweets from an old, grumpy Screech owl. Magnus made a mental note to thank the Transfiguration professor who was currently sitting at the teacher table not making conversation with anyone. Magnus met Ragnor’s eyes and sent the professor a small smile.

Technically, the older Wizard was his guardian but Magnus still thought of the man as more of a friend than as a parent. Ragnor had adopted the Slytherin boy when he was 9. Three years after Magnus’s mother had killed herself, after he’d spent the worst three years of his life alone in a too dark orphanage. Magnus tried not to think about what might’ve happened to him if Ragnor hadn’t taken him in, the Nightmares were bad enough.

Magnus was grateful that throughout the day the excited buzz that had seemingly seeped into everyone and everything remained. The usually grouchy paintings seemed happier, even the normally mopy ghosts were somewhat cheerful and Peeves the Poltergeist was wilder than ever. classes that day were simple and none of the first years received homework because the teachers were feeling particularly generous.

Even Alexander was in a good mood.

“I’m looking forward to the Feast tonight.” The Hufflepuff had told him while they scribbled down notes in their Defence Against the Dark Arts class. Magnus had no choice but to agree, because from what he heard the Halloween Feast was one of the best parts about attending Hogwarts.

When Night came and the Slytherin attended the Feast he wasn’t disappointed. The food served was delicious. There were candy-filled pumpkins, caramel apples, goblets full of something sweet - possibly pumpkin juice and the best carrot cake he’d ever eaten, to name a few.

Bats, orange streamers, hundreds of carved pumpkins, a lightning-filled sky and all sorts of other Halloween-related decorations lined the walls and tables of the Great Hall. The entertainment at the end of the Feast this year ended up being the Hogwarts Ghosts. The silvery, transparent people popped out of the walls and did formation gliding all around the room, a spectacle to behold. In the middle of the meal, Magnus had even managed to sneak over to the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw tables to speak to Alec and Caterina.

It was a truly magical night that Magnus wouldn’t forget.

The crowd dressed in red and gold erupted into wild cheers of excitement as a figure, seated on a flying broomstick, dressed in scarlet robes darted through the maze of Slytherins and managed to throw the quaffle through the hoop yet again. So far, the match was close with Gryffindor losing on 70 points to Slytherin winning on 80 but Jace knew that the points didn’t mean much as the Golden Snitch still hadn’t even been spotted yet.

Jace and His brother both loved Quidditch. It was one of the many things that first years weren’t allowed to do but Jace was excited to join the team when he got older. The Gryffindor knew that if they tried out for it both he and Alec would make their respective house Quidditch teams. The idea of competing against his brother was both exciting and mildly terrifying because they’d never been on opposing sides of anything but then again, being able to see who truly was the best was an opportunity Jace wouldn't pass up.

“You know this is a lot like most muggle sports…..just in the air and with more violence,” Clary said to him when the cheering of their fellow Gryffindors had quietened.

Jace felt himself smirk at her comment. Over the past few months, he’d learned a lot about the fiery redhead. She was a half-blooded witch who’d been raised in the muggle world. The most interesting thing was her last name. Fairchild. They had been one of the oldest and most powerful wizarding families but after the second Wizarding war they’d just disappeared never to be seen again but apparently the descendants had been living in the muggle world. Clary wasn’t like most witches, he’d learned firsthand she was incredibly stubborn and that she possessed a temper too. He liked her, the boy didn’t know why but he did.

“The sports back home at least make some sense. This one's just confusing.” Simon observed before adjusting his glasses. Clary had invited the boy to watch the game with them.

Jace resisted the urge to sigh because him, Jace did not like. The blonde had found out quickly that wherever Clary went, Simon followed. They’d both been friends before attending Hogwarts. From what Jace could gather the Hufflepuff boy was a Muggle-Born and quite annoying.

“Why doesn't it make sense?” Clary asked her friend.

“Well for starters: there’s like no point for the attackers-“

“Chasers.” Jace corrected unable to help himself.

“-to even go after the ball because you said whoever gets the golden ball wins by default.” Simon continued speaking.

Wow, there were so many things wrong with that sentence Jace didn’t even know where to begin.

“First of all, it’s a quaffle,” said Alec in an annoyed voice, he’d been sitting in silence watching the game with them, only offering the occasional comment. Jace had noticed that throughout the game the boy’s eyes had been drifting over towards the Slytherin stands. Most of the Snakes wearing green and silver in support of their own team. “And if a team catches the golden snitch they end the game and get extra points but sometimes 150 isn’t enough to win the game.” The comment caused the other Hufflepuff to jump, clearly, he had forgotten Alec was sitting with them.

The four of them continued to watch the game. Jace and Clary cheering and yelling loudly whenever one of the chasers managed to throw the quaffle through the hoop scoring a point, while Simon clapped occasionally, Alec on the other hand just looked uncomfortable being in a situation with two people he clearly didn’t like.

The Golden Snitch was eventually found by the Gryffindor seeker and the game ended with Gryffindor being on 280 points and Slytherin being on 130 points.

Chapter Text

“All students who are staying over the Christmas break please give me your names within the week!” Professor Sprout informed the room full of students. Alec had been comfortably sitting on the floor, back against the wall with a book in his lap blissfully reading surrounded by the scent of vanilla and the cozy feel that the Hufflepuff Common Room always seemed to have, when the professor had made the announcement.

The simple request had made Alec freeze as if the words had been the incantation of a Petrificus Totalus spell, not normal speech. For a while now everything had been good, great even. The whispers and looks had finally stopped following him and He’d been enjoying his classes but now the blissful ignorance Alec had been under began to clear. The Christmas break. Going home for the holidays to see his family.

Obviously, Alec yearned to see Izzy and Max. He’d been owling his sister as often as possible, writing letters and then having Telum deliver them but communicating through ink and parchment wasn’t the same as talking to his siblings in person, hearing the song of their laughter or seeing their eyes light up like stars whenever they were passionate about something, Alec longed to wrap his arms around them because the last time he’d hugged them was far too long ago. The Hufflepuff missed his younger siblings, dearly. His parents, however, were a different story.

They were the main reason he was anxious to go back. They’d basically disowned him. Was he expected to go home for the Christmas holidays? Was he even wanted at home, or would they prefer he stay at the castle? The boy wondered what Jace would want to do. Ever since Alec had received the Howler, the Gryffindor hadn’t spoken about their parents with any of the warmth or affection that he’d used to.

Alec watched as a few Hufflepuff students from varying year levels stood up from their places around the black and yellow room, in order to inform the Herbology professor that they would be staying. The raven-haired boy didn’t know which idea saddened him more, going home in order to face the ire of his parents or staying in the old stone castle and not spending Christmas with Max or Izzy.

Magnus’s eyes scanned the chessboard desperately searching for a way to move his knight without losing it but simultaneously being able to take Alec’s bishop as well. It was a truly difficult task.

Not impossible though.

“Knight to F5.” He commanded and the small marble figure obeyed him, the white horse galloped across the chessboard and upon reaching the square Magnus had mentioned the knight atop the horse had grabbed his lance and thrown it at Alec’s bishop, effectively destroying the black piece of marble. “Yes!” Magnus smiled. “Beat that, Lightwood.”

Alec, however, wasn’t overcomed with joy, in fact, he didn’t react to Magnus’s words or his piece being destroyed at all. The Slytherin hadn’t seen him like this since the first week after he’d received the Howler from his mother. The Hufflepuff's eyes were unfocused and glassy as if he was a million miles away and not sitting across from Magnus playing a game of Wizard Chess.

“Alec.” Magnus said trying to bring the other boy back to the here and now. “Earth to Alexander.” But when his friend still didn’t respond Magnus reached a hand across the table to touch Alec’s arm.

The contact seemed to bring Alec back from wherever he’d been trapped because he flinched away at Magnus’s touch and looked at the Slytherin with surprise as if he’d forgotten the other boy had been there. “You ok?” Magnus question.

“Yeah, um. I’m...I’m fine.” Alec responded.

Magnus raised his eyebrows at that. “You don’t have to tell me anything Alec but I’m here if you want to talk.” The Slytherin comforted the Hufflepuff.

“It’s just…” Alec started speaking before pausing, not sure how to explain. Magnus just waited patiently for Alec to find the words. “The Christmas holidays are next week.”

“You don’t like Christmas?”

“No. It’s not that.” Alec informed him, their game of Wizard Chess had been long forgotten by this point and all the remaining pieces had decided to curl up on their respective squares and take a nap. “It’s just that I sent a letter to my mother this morning, asking if Jace and I could come home. I want to work things out with my parents but I don’t know if they’re ready to forgive me.”

Forgive him? Magnus wanted to yell and scream at Alec because he shouldn’t be the one seeking forgiveness in this situation. It should be the other way around but Alexander had the tendency to accept all the blame even if he’d done nothing wrong. The Slytherin tried to look at this from Alec’s perspective. He needed to reassure the other boy but the last time he’d said something about Maryse Lightwood’s A+ parenting skills Alec had been furious with Magnus.

Loyal to a fault. Stupid Hufflepuff.

“What’s scaring you about going home?”

“I suppose, I just don’t what them to be disappointed in me, I don’t what them to look at me with disgust or to ridicule me but...I think they will.” Alec admitted and Magnus wondered if it was the first time he’d said that out loud to another person.

“Alec.” Magnus said in a soft voice. “They’ll come around eventually and even if they don’t you’ll always have Jace, Izzy, Max and myself.” He tried to reassure the raven-haired boy. When Alec didn’t respond Magnus just continued speaking “Whatever happens Alec, in the end, it’ll be alright.”

“I…I know.” Alec hesitantly responded.

Magnus had the feeling that the other boy didn’t believe him but before he could say anything else Alec had diverted the topic away from himself. “Are you staying at the castle over Christmas?”

There was a long pause while Magnus gave Alec a look, trying to communicate that he did know what Alec was trying to do. “Yeah,” He said after a moment, there wasn’t much point in trying to make Alec talk about the issue anymore. Magnus had known him for months and he’d learned pretty quickly that when Alec Lightwood wasn’t ready to talk about something there wasn’t a power alive that could make him. “Ragnor’s volunteered to be one of the teachers that stay behind to chaperone the remaining students, so I’m staying too.”

Eventually, after talking some more, they decided to continue their game of chess (all the pieces that had managed to fall asleep were annoyed to be awoken from their slumbers and were sluggish for the remainder of the game) which Magnus won.


“So, wait, you’re telling me unicorns are actually real?” Clary question with an astonished look that suggested she absolutely didn’t believe Maia’s story.

“Yes. Weren’t you listening? I told you I saw one in the woods outside my family’s house one time.” Maia said with an annoyed note in her voice.

“I can confirm that they are real.” Jace chimed in on their conversation. The two girls were sitting in front of the crackling fire in the Gryffindor Common Room. Maia and Clary were exchanging stories and asking questions about the differences and similarities between the Muggle and Wizarding worlds. Jace on occasion, who was sitting on a red high-backed chair reading a book, offered the occasional comment. “Izzy used to be obsessed with them.”

“How many creatures that Muggles think are mythical really exist?” Clary asked looking bewildered. Jace made a mental note that she found magical creatures interesting.

“Most of them actually.” Maia replied. “You should read that textbook we needed but rarely ever use.” She paused trying to remember the name. “Fabulous beasts, or something.”

“You mean Fantastic Beasts and where to find them?” Jace questioned eyebrows raised.

“That’s what I said.”

“I don’t think you did.” He muttered.

Before anymore could be said a gentle tapping sounded through the room. They all looked over to see Angelos, wings beating to stay airborne, outside the window tapping his beak on the glass asking to come inside.

Jace stood and walked over to the edge of the room opening the window. Once the wall of glass had been removed the small snowy owl flew inside and perched on the arm of a chair. Attached to his leg was a letter addressed to Jace. The Gryffindor recognised the neat handwriting immediately.

Once he read the words inked on the parchment Jace felt anger, hot and unadulterated, overwhelm him. He knew that Alec had sent their parents a message yesterday asking to come home for the holidays and yet they sent this as a response?

“What does it say?” Clary asked worriedly after a few moments.

Instead of telling her Jace just said: “I need to talk to Alec.” The two girls gave him concerned looks as he ran out of the Gryffindor Common room.

When Jace had found Alec in the courtyard, finishing the small amount of transfiguration homework professor Fell had left his class, he had been happy to see his brother. The happiness, however, quickly became mingled with confusion and worry when Jace asked Alec to stand up and follow him around the corner and away from the other students.

When the Hufflepuff had read the letter Jace handed to him all the emotions changed to one. Anger. He’d stormed away from Jace the parchment scrunched up into a crinkled ball in his hand. Although he wasn’t looking at the letter anymore the Hufflepuff could still remember the words it had contained.

Dear Jace,
Robert and I have some obligations at the Ministry these upcoming holidays and you will have to remain on school grounds instead of returning home. Isabelle and Max will be staying with the Penhallows.

Alec knew that his mother and father could’ve gotten out of the obligations they had to perform for the Ministry if they really wanted too, their jobs had never stopped them from spending Christmas with their children before Jace and himself had attended Hogwarts.

Blatantly disregarding his request and having to stay at Hogwarts over the break wasn’t the reason Alec was angry, it made him sad, yes, but not angry. He could’ve dealt with them being furious but sending the letter to Jace instead of him and not even mentioning him was something Alec wouldn't forgive. They hadn’t so much as talked to him since the Howler and that letter addressed to Jace confirmed what Alec had been dreading had indeed happened.

He wasn’t considered a Lightwood anymore.

The Hufflepuff didn’t know if they were going to just pretend that he didn’t exist from now on just because he wasn't sorted into Gryffindor, but if so then screw them.

All he’d wanted was to make things right with his parents. To be forgiven and accepted. To spend Christmas with his family and they’d treated him like a stranger, as if that now he’d been sorted into a house they didn’t like he wasn’t their son. Yesterday he would’ve done anything for their forgiveness and approval but now he was too hurt and angry to care.

Screw them.

Magnus had been wrong. It wasn’t ok and Alec didn’t think it ever would be again.

Chapter Text

Magnus was worried about Alexander.

The other boy had been standoffish and prone to snap at people ever since the beginning of the Christmas holidays. The Slytherin knew that it probably had something to do with his parents, as, when Magnus had asked the other boy if they’d responded to the letter Alec had sent them, the Hufflepuff had told him that yes, they had and that he would be staying at the castle.

The statement had been perfectly normal. A simple response to Magnus’s question but the way Alec had said it, the tightness in his voice, made Magnus think that the other boy was very upset and or hurt as a result of the response he got but when Magnus had asked the Hufflepuff if he was ok, the other boy had assured him that he was fantastic.

After that Magnus didn’t push Alec to talk about the issue because he knew from experience that all Alec needed was time. When Magnus’s parents had been killed - one by her own hand and the other by an Auror’s - he’d been so angry. At everyone and everything. At the universe for giving him such crap parents while most people had ones that loved their children unconditionally and cared for them. That were alive.

It took years for Magnus to move past them. To move past the anger and resentment. Ragnor had been the one that had triggered the change in him. He hadn’t judged Magnus and the professor hadn’t allowed the younger boy to push him away. The older man had always been there offering support and a place where Magnus was wanted and cared for.

The Slytherin knew it wouldn’t take years for Alec to get over what his parents did. Weeks maybe, months at most because Alec already had people who loved and cared about him that’d help him.

Magnus himself included.

Alec woke up feeling miserable and hopeless. The experience was both foreign and expected at the same time. It was an occurrence he’d learned to adjust too over the past few weeks, once he’d realised his parents truly didn’t care for him any longer. Feeling numb and miserable, however, was also a new experience because today was Christmas and Alec had never woken up feeling anything but joy on Christmas.

He, along with Jace, Magnus and about two-dozen other students, had been at the school for about three weeks and at this point, Alec was counting down the days until classes started again. Because, quite frankly, he needed a distraction from the unchecked anger that was always there whenever he stopped to think or draw breath. It seemed to burn so hotly and yet Alec still felt like his heart had been encased in a layer of ice making his blood cold and his body numb.

The raven-haired boy rolled out of bed and dressed quickly before heading into the Common Room. Most of the other seven-or-so Hufflepuff students who’d stayed at the castle were awake and opening presents.

The Hufflepuff Common Room had been decorated for Christmas by the students, an activity that Alec had reluctantly been a part of. Yellow and silver tinsel lined the walls and various chains of fairy lights were scattered about the room. A fluffy yellow rug covered in a pattern of little snowflakes had been placed in the centre of the room and the number of warm blankets and comfy pillows seemed to have doubled. Most eye-catching, however, was the huge decorated golden tree in the corner.

Alec was surprised when he noticed that there were a few presents left untouched under the tree but he was thoroughly shocked when Beatrice - a first-year girl he’d met a while ago in a charms class - had informed him that the gifts were his. Bewildered, Alec had checked and indeed, they’d had his name on them.

He’d truly expected to get nothing.

The idea that his parents would have the empathy to get him something was laughable. Jace and himself had agreed not to get each other anything this year and Max was too young to do anything special for him because Alec was far away at Hogwarts now. Izzy usually made a card, which he always treasured, but she’d already written to himself and Jace wishing a happy holidays.

Over the last few weeks, he’d been angry at the world. At everyone and everything. Even Jace and Magnus. He’d been lashing out and yet - despite himself and Jace both agreeing not to - the other boy had got him a gift.

Alec felt some of the ice that had been surrounding his heart melt.

He opened the gift from Jace. Alec had to bite his lip, hard, to keep from smiling and despite himself, the Hufflepuff felt the corners of his mouth twitch upwards. His brother was such a smart-ass. Maybe Jace had been more annoyed with his mood then Alec had realised because the present was a bag of pink sweets labelled Robin Ravensong’s radiant raspberry ruffles. Underneath, small swirling letters said: guaranteed to make even the grumpiest of wizards feel happier than a Niffler in a jewellery store!

Alec had known Jace for years, and while they hadn’t been siblings for nearly as long as he and Izzy or Max had, the blonde was still the closest person to him in the entire world. The Hufflepuff knew that Jace wasn’t too annoyed with him. the gift wasn’t one that he should take to heart but it was still a subtle nudge to Alec to cheer the hell up and stop moping. the Hufflepuff knew he needed to accept the situation with his parents. It was just hard.

Putting the bag of sweets aside Alec reached out for another present, the one that had a label proclaiming it was from Izzy and Max. When he unwrapped the gift, Alec felt affection and dread overwhelm him in equal measures. Isabelle and Max had baked him Christmas cookies.

He appreciated the sentiment.

Alec carefully set the container filled with cookies down on the floor as far away from himself as possible, as if they were a Howler about to explode.

Turning back there was one present left. It was neatly wrapped but there wasn’t anything to indicate who it was from. the Hufflepuff hastily tore away the green and red wrapping paper to reveal what was inside. A copy of Quidditch Through the Ages stared back at him.

Alec had wanted to read this book for a while. He’d always loved Quidditch ever since he was little. It was one of the first things that Jace and himself had bonded over when his parents had adopted the boy. Alec wanted to make the school Quidditch team when he was older and he wanted to win.

The Hufflepuff knew the book would be one he would thoroughly enjoy reading. Not really able to help himself the boy opened the new book and to his great surprise found a note addressed to him written on the inside of the first page of the book. After he’d read the first two words of the note Alec felt his heart warm because he knew exactly who the present was from.

Dear Alexander,

I recall you mentioning you had a desire to read this particular book. The reason why eludes me as I’ve never really cared for the humble sport of Quidditch but you seem to adore it so as your friend I’m obligated to make your life suck less so I got you this book. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Yours, Magnus.

Alec didn’t know what he’d done to deserve a friend like Magnus Bane but he was grateful that the universe had been feeling kind enough to put the Slytherin in his path. Right now, Alec thought if he ate all of that stupid happiness candy in one go it wouldn’t make any difference, because the realisation that Magnus knew him that well, cared that much about him, left Alec feeling lighter than air.

The happiest he’d felt since attending Hogwarts.

Jace left the Gryffindor Common Room with the container of Christmas cookies Isabel and Max had made him in hand. The boy hurried down the various staircases that connected Gryffindor Tower to the rest of the school. Apparently, even the castle was in a good mood because on his way to the Great Hall the staircases didn’t change or shift once.

When Jace reached the Great Hall, he was delighted to see that Alec was already there. The hall looked magnificent. Not only were there a dozen frost-covered Christmas trees scattered about the room and thick streamers of holly and mistletoe crisscrossing the ceiling, but enchanted snow was falling, warm and dry, from the ceiling. Three out of the four house tables had been removed and only one, that had been moved into the centre of the room, remained.

Alec - dressed in an old blue sweater - sat at the table, he was laughing and engaging in a conversation with another boy, one Jace recognised. Magnus Bane looked the complete opposite to Alec in a forest green and ruby red Christmas sweater that seemed to sparkle.

Jace had noticed that Alec and the Slytherin had been spending a lot of time together over the course of the year. He didn’t really know why Alec would be friends with a person like Magnus. They were very, very, different people. Yet, despite being perplexed by their friendship the blonde was glad that Alec had made a friend, one who seemed to genuinely care about him.

Snapping out of his thoughts Jace walked over to the table and took a seat opposite Alec. “Cookie?” The blonde offered, holding out the box that Izzy had sent him.

“No.” Alec said immediately.

“They’re really great.”

“Izzy sent me some already.” Alec informed the Gryffindor. “Nice try though.”

“Dam.” Jace muttered. “What am I meant to do with these now?”

“I disposed of mine in the fireplace.” Alec suggested

“You make it sound like they’re some sort of poison, not a gift from your siblings.” Magnus said astonished.

“They’re both.” Jace replied only to have Alec roll his eyes fondly.

“You could give them to Clary. When she gets back from the break.” The Hufflepuff suggested only to have Magnus smack him lightly in the arm. Apparently, the Slytherin and Clary were friends. “Kidding.” Alec lied.

Jace gave him an unimpressed look before rolling his eyes, like Alec had done before, only less fondly. “I could give them to Simon.”

“You both are terrible people.” Magnus said just as Maia sat down next to Jace.

“Why’s Alec a terrible person? It’s obvious that Jace is but what’d he do.” She asked pointing at Alec. The Hufflepuff looked uncomfortable as a result of being singled out.

Jace eyed the girl for a second before asking “Do you want a cookie Maia?” The blonde offered the container to the Gryffindor. “An apology for me being such a terrible person.”

“I trust you about as far as I can throw you Herondale.” She said. “Which isn’t at all.”

Before Jace could convince Maia that he was the most trustworthy person at Hogwarts a third year Ravenclaw girl rushed into the Great Hall looking flustered. Her cheeks were pink from the cold and her eyes sparkled with mischief. “There’s a snowball fight outside! Come on!”

With those words, all previous conversation was forgotten and the group - along with any other students - quickly stood and rushed to follow the girl out of the Great Hall, well, most of them did. Jace and Magnus did have to somewhat drag Alec along behind them.

Alec ducked out of the way as a ball of powdery white snow came inches from colliding with his face. The Hufflepuff looked at Jace, the blonde was smirking and a trace of mischief was dancing through his eyes, He was covered in snow, flecks of white were scattered in his golden-hair and the wet snow was clinging to his clothes. “You missed!” Alec yelled at the Gryffindor.

“I won’t make that mistake again.”

Alec ducked out of the way as another ball of icy crystals came hurtling towards him. Unfortunately, with all his attention focused on Jace, he didn’t notice the figure standing to his left aim a powdery ball of white at him. The snow collided with his coat and exploded into a shower of ice and powder. The Hufflepuff turned to see Magnus smirking at him.

The Slytherin boy was reaching down into the clumps of snow on the ground. Gathering more ammunition.

Jace and Alec exchanged a look and suddenly their battle was forgotten in favour of getting rid of a common enemy. Quickly the brothers dropped to the floor gathering snow. After a while, other students joined to take Magnus’s side (Maia was the first) or to help Alec and Jace.

Soon there was a full-blown war.

balls of ice and powder were being thrown at both sets of students, people were ducking and hiding behind trees to avoid the crystallised spheres. Eventually, even the teachers joined in, forming their own team. Out of the corner of his eye, Alec saw Magnus launch a snowball at the Transfiguration professor. Alec did note the professor Fell wasn’t actually participating, the man was just watching the battle from the sidelines, unfortunately for him, that didn’t stop Magnus.

After a while when everyone was exhausted and dripping wet, with icy snow sticking to their clothes and skin, a truce between the three sides was called.

They’d resume the fight next year.

They all went back into the Great Hall for hot chocolate to warm the chill that had seeped into their bones and Alec realised then and there that while he’d always seek the love and acceptance of his parents, would always long for it, he didn’t need it. He needed Izzy and Max who despite not knowing a thing about cooking made him wonderfully horrible Christmas cookies. He needed Jace and his stupid passive aggressive presents and Magnus, who, despite Alec being a horrible friend the past few weeks, brooding and feeling sorry for himself, had stood by him, never judging him.

They were his family.

Chapter Text

Eventually, after a few more weeks of lounging around the castle and building snowman in the courtyard, the Christmas holidays came to an end and the rest of the students had returned to Hogwarts.

Alec had enjoyed the quiet of the castle over the last few weeks. He’d enjoyed exploring the library with Magnus and the headmistress had even allowed the first, second and third years to play games of Quidditch every now and then. But, there was a certain buzz in the air now that everyone was back. A sort of lightness that just came from the old stone castle being filled with life and laughter. Classes started again a day after the Hogwarts Express arrived with the students and the first years resumed their routine of going to classes, doing the homework they were assigned and spending their free time hanging around the courtyard and their respective Common Rooms.

Alec sat in a Transfiguration lesson absently twilling his willow wand between his fingers. He was half listening to Professor Fell explain the transformation formula to the class of Hufflepuff and Slytherin students.

The raven-haired boy couldn't really bring himself to engage fully in the words the professor was speaking. It was as if the explanation was going in one ear and out the other, Alec glanced over at the boy sitting next to him. Magnus didn’t look to be paying too much attention to his guardian either. The other boy was quickly dragging his quill across an old looking sheet of parchment, his usually neat handwriting reduced to a messy scrawl.

"What are you doing?" he whispered quietly. Alec didn't want the Transfiguration Professor to overhear them. the man wouldn't hesitate to take points away from their respective houses or give them both detention just because Magnus was his adopted son.

"That homework Madam Hooch left us about flying in harsh weather conditions." he muttered not looking up at Alec as he continued to scribble words onto the parchment.

"Don't you have a Flying Lesson with the Ravenclaws next? It’s due!" he whispered loudly.

"I'm quite aware."

He’d only ever seen Magnus scramble to finish the homework for Flying Class, the other boy always left it to the last minute. Alec knew it was because Flying was the Slytherin’s least favourite subject and he wanted to put off doing the homework for as long as possible. Magnus hadn’t failed to mention on numerous occasions how excited he was for their first year to end in a month, if only because Flying Lessons were taught to first years alone and they’d be stopping it next year.

“Now let’s see who was paying attention.” The professor said loudly, drawing Alec's attention back but Magnus just continued scribbling down notes on the page at an impressive speed. “What are the five variables that impact a wizard’s ability to transfigure an object?”

Alec, much like the rest of the class didn’t put his hand up, he could remember two or three of the variables off the top of his head but that didn’t matter. The class had learned early on that if you were going to answer the Transfiguration Master’s questions, you’d better do it correctly.

Professor Fell sighed impatiently. “Points to the house of the student that gets it right.”

Alec saw Clary’s friend - Simon was his name, he recalled faintly - raise his hand.

“Yes, Mr Lewis.” The professor looked relieved that at least one of his students knew the answer.

“The variables that transfiguration is directly influenced by are; bodyweight, viciousness, wand power, concentration, and a fifth unknown variable that will depend on the object.” Simon said.

“Yes! well done, 10 points to Hufflepuff.”

The comment made most of the Slytherins groan.

"How do you cure or stop lycanthropy?" Alec asked Magnus yet another question, the raven-haired boy was looking down at the answer printed on the paper of the textbook he was holding, waiting for his friend to give the correct response.

The two boys were sitting in the courtyard with a majority of the other younger students – mostly first to fourth years – the older students had been snapping and yelling at them a lot more recently because of the upcoming exams. They constantly demanded that the Common Rooms be quiet and the prefects were insistent that if they disturbed the older students in any way detentions would be imminent.

So, as a result, the kids in the younger years started spending more and more time outside. Which Magnus enjoyed. Winter had finally left and the sun had come back warm and nice and while they weren’t studying - which was most of the time, it was only first year after all - the students managed to find ways to entertain themselves, they had games and the ability to perform magic, it wasn’t a hard task.

Currently, himself and Alec were going over their Defence Against the Dark Arts notes and helping each other revise for the exam. Magnus was quite motivated to do well in all his subjects, Ragnor would kill him if he didn’t. “A mixture of powdered silver and dittany applied to a fresh bite will seal the wound. Then there’s a fifty-fifty chance the recipient of the bite will contract the disease.” Magnus responded while scratching The Chairman behind the ears causing the cat to purr loudly. He’d followed Magnus from the Slytherin Common Room all the way to the courtyard because apparently even he was getting tired of those insufferable seventh years.

Alec gave him a look, the other boy raising his eyebrows indicating that there was more to the answer. “And?”

“That’s the only possible cure.” Magnus was confused now. Apparently, he’d been paying less attention then he’d originally thought.

“And you claim to be good at potions.” Alec muttered.

Alec’s comment triggered his memory and Magnus kicked himself mentally because how in Merlin’s name had he forgotten that? “The Wolfsbane Potion is the only way to manage Lycanthropy, it allows a werewolf to keep their human mind during a transformation.” Magnus recited the definition he’d learned from his Defence Against the Dark Arts textbook.

“Yep.” Alec said handing the textbook over to Magnus, which caused the Slytherin to stop petting the Chairman resulting in the cat giving Alec a rather nasty look. Magnus hadn’t even been aware a cat could make that expression.

Magnus flicked through a few pages of the textbook looking for a question to ask his friend, they’d been at this for a while now and there weren’t many topics they hadn’t covered. “What is a ghost?” he settled on.

“A ghost is the disembodied spirit of a once-living wizard or witch.” he started and Magnus was about to say something before he continued. “They are weightless, can pass through objects, fly in any direction and cannot be destroyed.” he finished with a smug smile.

“Show off.” Magnus muttered. He’d been looking forward to getting Alec back for the werewolf thing. The Slytherin knew his friend had been studying a lot with not only himself but with Jace and Clary. He was going to do well. Magnus got the feeling that Alec was still holding out a little hope to impress his parents by acing the exams.

They continued to study for a while longer before Clary and Jace called them away to go play a game of exploding snap.

The potions exam was the worst.

Alec decided as he walked out of the classroom that he did, in fact, loath potions. Slughorn had insisted that the exam would be simple. ‘An easy task of creating a potion to test your abilities,’ he’d reassured when the students all walked into the classroom.

The god-damned exam had been anything but easy.

“That was fun.” Magnus said as he fell into step beside Alec, the two of them heading to the Great Hall for lunch. The boy wore a smile and he didn’t look at all worried or nervous. Alec didn’t really expect the Slytherin to look anything else though, his friend would probably score the highest mark in their year for potions.

“Did you eat some of those poisonous mistletoe berries Mags? That exam was torturous.” Alec replied.

They’d been asked to remember how to brew a Forgetfulness Potion without aid from their textbooks and Alec - because the universe hated him and loved irony apparently - had looked over what felt like every potion they’d learned except the forgetfulness one. Needless-to-say, he hadn’t done the greatest. The Hufflepuff had remembered enough from the time they brewed it in class to be able to roughly make the potion but Alec knew he’d be lucky to get higher than a pass.

“See, now you know how I felt after that dull flying exam.” the Slytherin responded.

“Ok, but that exam was way easier than this one! All we had to do was fly through a few hoops on a broom.” Alec said.

“Whatever you say Alexander.” Magnus muttered as they descended a staircase and Alec looked away while biting his lip to stop from laughing because he recalled Magnus mentioning that when the Ravenclaws and the Slytherins did that exam, Magnus had nearly fallen off his broom.

Jace felt like he did well in most of his exams but he had the most trouble with the Charms exam, Professor Flitwick had made them make a pineapple dance across his desk but he didn’t inform them what spell was to be used. Jace had blanked for a moment. He’d tried to remember what spells they’d learned in class. Levitation, wand-lighting, fire-making….

Half a minute passed until...

“The dancing feet spell!” He’d exclaimed loudly after a moment, his sudden outburst had scared the Charms Professor, the little man had nearly fallen off the pile of books he’d been standing on. “Sorry professor.” Jace said sheepishly when the older wizard regained his balance.

“It’s all fine Mr Herondale, proceed with the exam.”

He raised his Applewood wand and suddenly realised even though he remembered the name of the spell he couldn’t quite recall its incantation. Professor Flitwick was staring at the hourglass on his desk, he hadn’t much time left. The exam was short. One minute once the time started. Jace understood why. You either knew the spell or you didn’t.

Jace shut his eyes, thinking back to the time he’d spent with Clary, Maia and Alec. They’d gone over this spell, he did know the incantation. Clary had even cast it on Simon good-naturedly one of the times the boy had come to study with them, to see if it actually worked.

He focused on the melody of her voice. He tried to recall her saying the incantation. “Tarantallegra.” He muttered and his wand responded. The pineapple on the desk suddenly flared to life and skated around Professor Flitwick’s wooden desk.

“Well done, Mr Herondale. I just wish you got there a little faster.” The Charms Master said. Jace glanced over at the hourglass it was nearly empty.

So did he.

Alec knew that besides the Potions exams he’d done good, great even for most of his subjects. So had Jace and because his mind was a traitor Alec wondered if his parents would be proud of them both or only their adopted son.

The Hufflepuff was currently packing his things. Shoving uniforms, sweaters and socks into his trunk while trying to find his Herbology textbook that had seemingly vanished. Telum, sitting in her open cage was looking at him with her large amber eyes, watching him as he tried to shove everything into his trunk. The Hogwarts Express would be arriving tomorrow morning to take all the students home.

His first year at Hogwarts was over.

He’d miss the old stone castle over the holidays. Alec knew that. He’d miss learning about spells, flying and the dark creatures of the Wizarding World. Hell, he’d even miss potions. The professors and the ghosts had become constants in his life and Alec knew he’d miss them too. He’d miss the other Hufflepuff’s, who, despite his aloofness and cold attitude, were always kind.

Most of all he’d miss Magnus. The Slytherin had become a fundamental part of Alec’s life and while he was excited to go home and see Izzy and Max, Alec felt a wave of sadness wash over him with the realisation that he wouldn’t see Magnus in person for months.

He’d write to the other boy over the holidays. Alec knew he’d have to be secretive about it. If his parents disowned him for being sorted into Hufflepuff, god knows what they’d do if they found out he was close friends with the son of a mass-murdering wizard.

Alec shoved the unopened bag of Robin Ravensong’s Radiant Raspberry Ruffles into his trunk. He’d have Jace while at home, Alec knew that his brother would always be there for him, would forever stand by him, always choose him over Maryse and Robert.

It was a comforting thought.

But despite that, he’d still miss Magnus and having Jace, Izzy and Max wouldn’t change that, nothing would.

When all his clothes and school supplies had been shoved into the wooden box, Alec shut the lid to his trunk. While packing for Hogwarts at the start of the year he’d somehow managed to make everything fit perfectly, all the objects had been packed neatly but now it was an utter mess with everything crammed in the box, almost ready to burst. He was ready to leave Hogwarts. Physically speaking anyway. Tomorrow. He and Jace would be leaving tomorrow.

The Leaving Feast of the year had been somber. It hadn’t started out that way though. The food was spectacular as always and most were glad for the year to be over but when the headmistress had come forward to make a speech for the leaving seventh years - she spoke of how proud she was of them all and how much they’d be missed - the tone of the night had gotten notably sadder.

The Ravenclaws had one the house cup which had overjoyed them but hadn’t really done anything to improve Magnus’s mood.

Now, Magnus sat looking out the window of the Hogwarts Express, the rolling hills and blue sky reduced to shades of blues and greens as the scarlet steam engine raced back to London.

He looked over at Alec, the Hufflepuff boy was reading the copy of Quidditch Through The Ages that Magnus had bought him last Christmas, a small smile on his face. Across from them Jace, Clary and Simon were playing a game of Magical Symbols in the Daily Prophet.

He didn’t know Simon and Jace that well, not enough to really care that he wouldn’t be seeing them again for about two months. He was however saddened by the notion that he wouldn’t see Clary for a while. The Gryffindor girl had become good friends with him over the last year, they’d always sat together when the Slytherins and the Gryffindors had class together in History of Magic and Herbology.

Magnus would miss Alexander the most. The Hufflepuff had been his first friend at Hogwarts. The first person to look past whose son he was and just see him. Magnus knew that Alec would be someone irreplaceable to him for the rest of his life.

“You ok?” Alec asked, stealing Magnus away from his thoughts.

“I’m fine.” He responded and Magnus thought that Alec might have added something to their brief conversation if an old witch with white hair hadn’t knocked on their compartment door and asked if they wanted anything from the trolley.

Eventually, they reached the train station and all the students rushed out of the Hogwarts Express, coats, luggage and cages in hand. When the small group stepped off the train and onto the crowded platform. Alec saw Simon and Clary scanning the crowd for the girl’s mother and Alec knew looking for his mother was the last thing he wanted to do. Unfortunately, the universe seemed to be against him because Jace tapped him on the shoulder and pointed to a spot in the middle of the crowd of families.

A spot where his parents and siblings were waiting for them.

Quickly, Alec turned to Magnus and wrapped his arms around the other boy. “I’ll miss you Mags.” He muttered.

Magnus was taken-aback by the sudden embrace but after a few moments he said; “As will I.”

The hug lasted for a while longer before Alec hesitantly pulled away. “I’ll write to you.” He vowed.

“I look forward to it,” Magnus said while smiling and Alec felt a little better.

But, at that moment his family seemed to finally notice that himself and Jace had gotten off the train and started walking over to them, well his parents walked, Izzy and Max ran straight at them, darting through the maze of wizards and witches.

“Alec!” Izzy yelled as she launched herself at him. The impact of the hug knocked the air out of Alec’s lungs. In the background, he heard Magnus chuckle. Alec returned Izzy’s embraced before saying; “I missed you too Iz.” Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw Max hugging Jace and Clary and Magnus embracing as well and although he couldn’t see the other Hufflepuff Alec knew that Simon was standing off to the side looking awkward somewhere.

By the time Izzy pulled away and went to greet her other brother and Alec had hugged Max his parents had managed to navigate through the maze of bodies and were standing in front of them. Alec glanced around but his eyes saw Clary and Simon walking towards a waving woman with long red hair, and Alec probably should have, but he didn’t, feel bad for not saying goodbye.

He, however, couldn’t see a single sign of Magnus. It was like the other boy had apparated off the platform. Alec didn’t really know why but he felt both gratitude and sadness wash over him in equal measures at the realisation that Magnus had left before his parents had arrived.

And because he was not as brave as a Gryffindor, Alec locked eyes with his father first. The man didn’t rush to embrace his son like many fathers on the platform were currently doing. Alec didn’t rush to hug him either.

Maryse was the first to move. Alec watched his mother as she walked over to Jace and wrapped her arms around him in a warm greeting. She looked so similar to the other mothers that surrounded the scarlet train. She looked like she was truly happy to see her son. Alec supposed she was.

Her adopted son.

Jace looked the opposite of a loving son glad to be reunited with his mother after a year of separation. He was rigid, muscles tense and he didn’t move to respond to Maryse’s loving hug either, his arms remained by his sides.

She pulled away after a moment. “I’m so glad to see you, Jace.”

The blonde didn’t respond and The Hufflepuff felt affection for Jace overwhelm him. Izzy watched the hug for a moment then glanced at him with an expression of morbid curiosity. Izzy had clearly picked up on the tension in the air but had chosen not to comment on it and for that he was grateful. Max, bless his innocence to all this, looked none the wiser.

“Who was that you were speaking to before Alexander? The boy in the red coat.” His father asked. Alexander. His parents had only ever used his full name when they were upset with him.

“No one. It doesn’t matter.” The boy responded and Alec was slightly impressed with how steady his voice had sounded. He’d always been a terrible liar. Especially when his parents were concerned.

Both his parents looked at him for a moment and exchanged a glance. “Let’s go home.” Was the only thing said. Jace and himself gathered their trunks and the two cages carrying Telum and Angelos, before following their family out of platform 9 ¾.

Alec knew that before he went to Hogwarts, before he was sorted they would have demanded to know. Wouldn’t have dropped the subject so easily because that person could be corrupting their beloved son. Alec supposed it was probably a testament to how disowned he really was that they didn’t care anymore.

The realisation probably should have bothered him more than it did.

Chapter Text

Maryse Lightwood loved her four children, it didn’t matter if they were physically her blood or someone else’s, she loved them all with her whole heart.

That’s why it was so hard to do what she was doing to Alec.

It was difficult but necessary, Maryse reminded herself

The Wizarding World was a dangerous place with countless horrors. The most deadly and terrifying among them being the politics of the pure-blooded families. Reputation was everything. How others viewed you was everything and Alec had damaged his reputation beyond repair.

Over the last one-hundred years, the Lightwoods had managed to build a reputation of strength and power. For a century every member of the line had possessed enormous magical power. They’d all been revered and beloved wizards and witches.

They’d all been Gryffindors.

Amongst the pure-blooded families, your Hogwarts house was perhaps the thing most heavily judged, therefore it was the most important. Gryffindor was seen as the best. The house that guaranteed greatness. Of course, some of the more traditional families thought of Gryffindor as the worst house because the ageless feud between Godric Gryffindor and Salazar Slytherin was forever that, ageless and eternal. After the Second Wizarding War, Slytherin was a far less revered and desired house by the pure-blooded families, it was a fact, the house of green and silver had produced the most dark wizards in history. People understood the consequences of putting that house on a pedestal now.

In the politics of the higher wizards, if you weren’t in Gryffindor, you weren’t the best. Being a Slytherin meant you couldn’t be trusted. You were nothing but an average wizard if placed in the house of blue and bronze. Average amounted to nothing. Being sorted into Hufflepuff, however, was laughable.

As far as the pure-blooded families of today were concerned being sorted into Hufflepuff marked you as a coward because you weren’t brave enough for Gryffindor, not exactly intelligent because you weren’t in Ravenclaw and people believed you had no fight in you because you weren’t ambitious enough to be placed in Slytherin. As the Sorting Hat said, Good Hufflepuff, she took the rest.

Alec had ruined whatever chances he’d had of being respected and adored by the other families when he’d allowed himself to be sorted into Hufflepuff. Allowed. Most people knew Harry Potter had requested to be sorted into the house of bravery, Alec could have done the same.

Maryse had sent that Howler out of necessity. It had been hard not to apologise for doing something she’d known would hurt her child but what the enchanted letter had said was true. Alec had ruined their reputation and their honour. People would start to question the greatness of the Lightwood name now. It had been hard to hurt her beloved son, but the truth hurt. Robert had been better at learning not to care for their son then Maryse had, he’d been the one to remind her on countless occasions that what they were doing was for the best. Eventually, it had gotten easier to distance herself from Alec, but she’d still left the duty of writing him out of the family will to her husband because Maryse knew she wasn’t strong enough for that.

It had been hard to not rush and hug him at the train station, but an example needed to be made. Izzy and Max would see how Alec was treated because of his cowardly actions and how Jace was loved because of his brave ones. They’d be motivated to not make the same mistakes as Alec did. They’d succeed in this world where her eldest had failed.

Maryse Lightwood had to make sure the majority of her children would be safe and respected when they grew up, even if it meant sacrificing the chance to love one of them.

Magnus had mostly spent the holidays doing magic. He’d been practicing a bunch of easy spells over the course of the holidays, Ragnor didn’t really care if he did magic away from school even if the Slytherin was an underage wizard, but when he wasn’t breaking the law, Magnus had spent a lot of his time sending and receiving letters from Alexander.

Ragnor had spent most of the holidays in his study analysing these sheets of parchment that had been sent to him by god knows who. The Transfiguration Professor had told the boy on countless occasions that, Magnus, under no circumstance, was allowed to touch them.

So naturally, that was exactly what Magnus was on his way to do.

It was night as the boy sneaked through the house, beams of pale moonlight were streaming in through the glass windows, so bright that Magnus hadn’t felt the need to use the Lumos Charm.

He reached the familiar wooden door of Ragnor’s study, it was looked. The older Wizard had been unnecessarily secretive and somewhat paranoid ever since he’d received those pieces of parchment. The way his guardian had been acting reminded Magnus of what his biological father had been like in the months before he’d went insane. The boy got a sick feeling in his stomach thinking about Ragnor ending up like Asmodeus. He had to know what was making the professor act this way.

“Alohomora.” Magnus whispered while waving his wand. The boy felt the familiar connection between himself and the wand flare as the spell was cast. The old wooden door opened in response with a creeeek. Magnus slipped inside praying the noise hadn’t somehow woken Ragnor.

The room was darker than the rest of the house, but Magnus had been inside the study enough times that he knew the layout well. The room itself wasn’t that large, there were various warm carpets on the floor and a fireplace in the corner, shelves crammed with books lined the walls and the desk at the centre of the room was old and wooden. Behind it sat a comfortable looking wingback chair.

Magnus trotted over to the desk and performed the wand-lighting charm and as a result, the room was filled with an artificial glow. The Slytherin quickly glanced around the room but the parchment, of course, wasn’t left on the desk or placed in an easy to find spot, which was annoying.

Magnus couldn’t help but wish Alec was here with him. It’d be fun to try and figure this out together. It wasn’t the first time these holidays that Magnus had longed to see the Hufflepuff again, he’d found himself doing it more and more recently. Talking to Alec through ink and letters didn’t stop him from missing his friend.

Magnus shook his head trying to clear his mind and focus on the task at hand. The boy tried to put himself in Ragnor’s shoes, he tried to think as the man did. In this study where would Ragnor Fell hide important documents? He wouldn’t put them somewhere dull like a safe or even in a frankly ridiculous hiding place that took a vast amount of effort to get to, no, Ragnor would hide them within arm’s reach. Magnus looked around.

Ah, he thought. There, of course.

The boy moved towards the bookshelf closest to the desk, Magnus walked slow, careful not to make any unnecessary sounds. Ragnor liked to read, the bookshelves were evidence of that, he collected hundreds upon hundreds of books that ended up everywhere, but he didn’t like to read the same book more than once which resulted in most of them being covered in a thin layer of dust.

The pale glow of the Lumos Charm cast a sheen of light across the spines of the various books bunched together on the shelves. It illuminated their names. Challenges in Charming, Defensive Magical Theory, From Egg to Inferno: A Dragon-Keeper's Guide, The Nobel History of Merlin . it was clear most of them hadn’t been touched in years, Magnus’s eyes continued to skate along the shelves until they found a small red book nestled in the far-left corner of the bottom shelf. Transformation Through the Ages. Ragnor’s favourite book and the only one currently free of dust.

The Slytherin reached down and grabbed the small book and when the boy opened its cover, sure enough, there were a few sheets of parchment hidden between the pages. It had been a valiant effort from Ragnor to hide them, if he’d been anyone else Magnus probably wouldn’t have found them, but he knew the professor perhaps better than anyone.

He slotted the book back into its place in the shelve and held his wand close to one of the crinkled pieces of parchment. There were words inked on the page in a neat script that Magnus didn’t recognise.

Forgive me but I can’t put my name in this letter for I don’t know who could intercept it, for this reason, the letter itself will have to be short and vague as well, but you know me, you were the last person I saw before I left in the middle of the war, you and Albus entrusted me with the object. It’s been a long time and I need your help. I’ve already been in contact with Minerva, she agreed that now I’m back in the wizarding world the artefact isn’t safe, it shouldn’t be left unguarded and I have entrusted her with it. I’m sure she’ll be in contact with you soon.

- A friend

Magnus was confused, to say the least, his mind was full of questions. Who was this friend? How did they know Ragnor? What was the artefact?

Quickly he picked up the other sheet of parchment, but the words written onto it made no sense to his eyes, it was like reading a foreign language. he barely understood any of it. The words were a mumble of plans for spells and there was some gibberish about spells of protection around the Forbidden Forest, somewhere the centaurs came into it and there was something about a Queen. At the bottom of the page was a note that proclaimed the letter had been written by the headmistress.

“Magnus.” Ragnor’s sharp voice echoed around the study breaking the silence.

The boy yelped and dropped the letters he’d been trying to make sense of a moment ago, Magnus had been concentrating on the mysterious sheets of parchment so intensely that he hadn’t noticed the professor enter the room.

Magnus’s heart tightened, and he felt a pit forming in the bottom of his stomach. He’d been caught. The Slytherin turned to face Ragnor Fell, who, somehow managed to look more annoyed than usual. “Ragnor….” Magnus trailed off, he wasn’t really sure what to say. ‘sorry for breaking into your study at the dead of night and reading your mail.’ didn’t exactly seem like the right response.

“What were you doing?” the professor inquired but Magnus could tell the older man knew exactly what the Slytherin had been doing, he just wanted Magnus to admit it.

“Oh, nothing, you know how it is. I was bored. Wanted an interesting book to read.” He gestured to Transformation Through the Ages, Magnus hoped his voice had sounded more casual than his ears had heard it to be.

“Hm,” was the only response he got from Ragnor before the man reached down onto the floor and picked up the letters that Magnus had dropped when he’d been startled. “Then why were you reading these?”

“I wasn’t?”

Ragnor raised an eyebrow.

“Ok fine, you caught me but what are they?” the boy asked, although he was most certainly in trouble, Magnus’s curiosity was still peaked by the letters.

Ragnor merely gave him an unimpressed look before folding the parchment and waving his wand, casting a spell that made them disappear. “give me your wand.” Was the only thing he said to Magnus after the parchment had vanished.

“Ok, but who sent you that cryptic letter?”

“That’s not your concern.” Ragnor replied.

“Was it-“

“Magnus!” Ragnor raised his voice, cutting the boy off. Whatever this was must be serious, Ragnor so rarely lost his temper. “I asked you to leave it alone. It’s official Hogwarts business, now give me your wand. I want to make sure you can’t get into any more trouble.”

Magnus didn’t object. He’d learned early on that if he’d argued the punishment would be worse. This, losing his wand for presumably the rest of the holidays wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened. He had a feeling that Ragnor went easy on him because the older man knew that Magnus hadn’t understood most of what had been inked on those pieces of parchment.

Once he’d given the magical item to his guardian, Magnus had been sent straight to bed, but he hadn’t gotten a wink of sleep that night. The boy had tossed and turned, his mind plagued by unanswered questions.

He’d have to tell Alexander and Caterina about this.

Alec had expected the holidays to be unbearable. The boy had thought his parents would take any and every opportunity to make his time at home a horrid experience. It wasn’t. They barely acknowledged him.

It still bothered him that they doted on Izzy, Max and Jace - although the latter didn’t accept it - but they barely looked at him. His mother no longer said his name with any of the motherly affection she used with her other children. On the rare occasions he was spoken to her tone was always sharp and his father only ever called him Alexander. Not Alec. As if all the familiarity between them had vanished the moment he’d been sorted into Hufflepuff and declared different from the rest of the Lightwoods.

Alec was in his room packing his trunk for the upcoming year at Hogwarts. He was excited to go back. So was Jace. His parents were both apart of The Ministry and they were quite strict on the no underaged magic rule. Not being allowed to perform magic had been a strange experience, Alec had spent a majority of the last year forming a connection with his magic and earning the respect and loyalty of his willow wand and suddenly he wasn’t allowed to continue to do any of that. The holidays had been dull as a result. He, Izzy and Jace had tried desperately to find ways to amuse themselves but most of the break was spent eagerly waiting for the months to pass so they could return to Hogwarts.

Today had been the only interesting day of the holidays so far. They’d went to Diagon Alley, the cobblestone streets had been packed with wizards and witches, most of them parents with children needing new magical supplies for the upcoming school year. Izzy had been annoyingly over-excited about the whole thing, but he couldn’t really blame her, he’d been excited too.

They’d entered Ollivander’s Wand Shop late in the afternoon, it had been exactly as the Hufflepuff remembered it. A cramped shop with hundreds of cardboard boxes, all containing wands, lining the walls. Ollivander was the same, still excited at the prospect of pairing a young witch or wizard with their first wand.

It had taken Izzy two attempts to find her wand. She’d looked dishearten when the first had rejected her and caused a crystal ball to shatter. Ollivander, as usual, didn’t look bothered that a child had broken something of his, he just turned his head slightly and looked at Izzy with wise eyes before he went to retrieve another wand. He’d returned with an 11-inch ebony wood wand with a dragon heartstring core that had chosen Izzy as its master.

The sound of blunt claws scratching against the wood of his closed door and a gentle whimpering brought Alec out of his memories and back to reality. He rolled his eyes, Isabelle had always loved to do the unexpected. When Maryse had asked her daughter what her pet would be Izzy had looked up at the woman with a daring glint in her eye and declared she’d have a dog.

A dog as a familiar was uncommon but not unheard of, Hogwarts had started to allow their students to bring them not too long ago but only small breeds that wouldn’t get too big. Despite being allowed to bring them, a dog wasn’t a very popular choice among Hogwarts students, most still preferred the traditional cat, owl or toad.

Alec had expected their mother to say no, to tell Izzy under no circumstances was she going to get a dog, but his mother had looked shocked for a few moments before leading them all to Magical Menagerie the pet shop located on the far side of Diagon Alley.

She’d gotten a small black and brown dog that had scruffy hair and paws just a little too big for its small body. He faintly remembered the wizard behind the counter telling Izzy it was a dog breed muggles called ‘yorkiepoos’ a ridiculous name in his opinion but even he had to admit, the puppy was cute. The dog outside his room let out another crying noise as it continued to scratch at his door.

It was cute, but It also whimpered very loudly.

“Isabelle!” He yelled, she’d hear him, her room was across the hall from his.


“Your dogs’ outside my room and it’s annoying!” He heard Izzy's door open, her footsteps echo as she marched across the hall and picked up the puppy, she then turned and stomped back to her room, the journey ending with the slam of her door.

Alec was about to yell something about her being a drama queen, but the boy was quickly distracted when he heard a faint tapping noise on the glass. The sound had become as familiar to him as the creature who made it and Alec rushed to the window before opening it and letting Telum inside.

Attached to her leg was a rolled-up piece of parchment. Alec quickly untied it before grabbing a few owl treats for the bird, which she gobbled down gratefully before flying to the open cage that Alec had placed on the edge of his desk.

He unrolled the note and smiled when he recognised Magnus’s familiar handwriting.

I found something, not really sure what but I think it’s best to tell you in person tomorrow on the train. It has something to do with Hogwarts.
Looking forward to seeing you,
- Magnus

Well, that was ominous.

“Just. Get. In.” Magnus said annoyed as he tried to shove Chairman Meow into a carrier. It was mandatory for all animals - except rats, toads and Pygmy Puffs - to be put in cages until the train left the station and when it arrived at Hogsmeade. Magnus remembered it had something to do with the cats attacking the owls but the Chairman didn’t seem to care about this because the feline was currently hissing and clawing at Magnus, desperately trying to avoid being placed in the carrier.

“Look I know it sucks but work with me here.” Magnus pleaded.

The cat hissed in response baring his teeth. The chairman’s ears were flat against his head and his eyes were slits.

“I don’t wanna do this to you but it’s the rules.”

The cat flicked his tail from side to side and narrowed his eyes, as if saying I don’t care. Magnus sighed and tried to grab the cat, but the feline swiped at him.

“Having trouble?” Ragnor questioned coming into the living room.

“He’s not...cooperating.”

“Just use a sleeping hex.” The man replied.

“I would but someone has my wand.” Magnus couldn’t keep the irritation out of his voice. He’d lost count of the number of swipes the Chairman had got him with.

“Right.” Ragnor chuckled before pulling out his own Acacia wand before saying an incantation “somnium.” A burst of blue light surrounded Magnus’s familiar before he collapsed in slumber. The boy thanked the professor before he quickly picked up the fluffy animal and placed him in the carrier, he quickly shut and locked the door.

“Magnus….there was something I wanted to talk to you about before we leave.” Ragnor said and there was a tenseness in his voice that Magnus hadn’t heard in a long time, not since he was 9 years old when Ragnor hadn’t really known how to connect with him. The professor was nervous.

“What about?” Magnus said warily.

“Some of the other Professors mentioned to me that a few of the students were giving you a hard time about your father.”

Magnus felt ice overwhelm him. He’d hoped Ragnor wouldn’t find out. He’d hoped that nobody would find out. “No, they aren’t.” He said innocently. Ragnor shouldn’t have to be bothered by it, Magnus had come to accept that the hateful looks, digs and insults just came with being Asmodeus’s son.

Ragnor gave him a look, one not of hate but of doubt. He didn’t believe Magnus. He rarely believed anyone without proof that what they were saying was true. “Magnus if they’re bullying you-“

“Ragnor, it’s nothing, just boys being boys, ok.” Magnus tried to reassure the older man. It would do no good to have his guardian involved in this, he wouldn’t be able to help.

“Do Miss Loss and Mr Lightwood know that this is happening?”

“No.” The boy responded. They didn’t need to, he could take it.

“Why? I understand why you wouldn’t want to tell me but why not them?” Ragnor sounded hurt and worried. This was exactly what Magnus had wanted to avoid happening.

“Because it’s not important, ok, it’s just some stupid name calling. Everyone gets called names. I’ve called people names. Trust me I’m fine.” A lie but Magnus thought it to be a convincing one.

The Transfiguration Professor didn’t look convinced but The Slytherin could tell he’d won the argument. For now, anyway. Ragnor reached into his pocket and returned Magnus’s Dogwood wand. “If it does happen, you tell me, ok?”

“Sure,” Magnus said with a fake smile. “Let’s go though. We’re gonna be late.”

Chapter Text

It was September the 1st and as usual King’s Cross station was buzzing with life. People were sprinting to catch trains that had already left them behind and others were waiting for locomotives that wouldn’t come for hours. Clary and Simon followed Jocelyn as she marched through the train station in the direction of platform 9, both the soon-to-be second-year students struggled to keep up with the woman as a result of the heavily packed trolleys they both pushed.

There were many families waiting near the entrances to platform 9 and 10. Most of them had trolleys filled to the brim with cages, trunks and other strange items. Every now and then one would break off from the rest and charge at the seemingly normal brick wall that separated the platforms. Jocelyn gestured for Simon and Clary to come stand by a wall while they waited for the number of wizards to lessen.

“Why don’t we just go straight through, like last year?” Clary asked her mother when three students – fourth years, most likely – ran at the solid wall before disappearing through it, there was no trace or sound left behind to indicate that the young wizards had once been where Clary was now. They’d disappeared. She resisted the urge to smile. Magic was real. It had been nothing but a story for ten years, fake and only real until it wasn’t. She’d assumed the letter had been a joke from Simon but when her mother had sat her down and told Clary that they’d needed to have a talk, she’d been confused because there was no way that magic was actually real but then by some strange miracle Simon had gotten a letter almost a month later and then they were going to Hogwarts.

“We arrived earlier last year.” Jocelyn explained. “If a big group of people all disappeared at once the muggles would notice.”  She gestured to the group of wizards around them and Clary noticed that a few more families had arrived.

“That makes sense.” Simon mused. “like, if we all just charged at the wall and disappeared someone would probably film it and we’d go viral, or something.”

A witch ran at the wall, the cage her owl was in rattling slightly.

Jocelyn smiled, “basically.”

Clary recognised a Ravenclaw boy in her year as he ran after the girl that had disappeared a moment ago. “So, when do we go through?”

“When it’s our turn.” Her mother responded.

Clary and Simon watched as the number of families that had been standing around the entrances to the platforms before they’d arrived declined every few minutes until her mother informed Clary that it was their time to go. The Gryffindor took a breath and started running towards the wall, the first time she’d done this Clary had been terrified, she hadn’t been able to get the image of herself colliding with the brick wall out of her mind, it hadn’t mattered that she’d seen others pass through unharmed.

But now she’d performed enough magic to not be afraid of a simple enchantment such as this.

She heard Simon’s footsteps echoing off the pavement as he ran after her, as usual, his presence brought her comfort, even though the red-headed girl wasn’t in much need of it. The Wizards passed through the wall and emerged on platform 9 ¾. Jocelyn emerged from the wall a few moments after them.

The doors to the huge scarlet steam engine were open and most of the older students had already climbed aboard while the younger ones were still arriving or lingering around the platform, greeting friends and saying goodbye to families.

The girl scanned the crowd with her eyes, searching for a familiar face among the sea of wizards and witches. She recognised older students from her house and even a few of her fellow second years like Lydia Branwell and Matthew Cole but none of her friends.

“Looking for me, biscuit.” She heard the familiar voice of Magnus Bane.

The Gryffindor whirled around, Magnus was the same as ever, a smirk was present on his face and his eyes were twinkling with mischief and mirth. Clary wrapped the caramel-skinned boy in a tight hug. She’d missed him. They’d met through Alec and Jace but had become fast friends, he’d even helped her with potions homework when she’d been struggling with it. “Hi, Mags,” Clary said after pulling away.

Not a moment later Professor Fell walked over to join the four wizards standing in the middle of the busy platform. She’d expected him to greet herself and Simon, but the man looked at Jocelyn and said: “it’s good to see you.”

Her mother offered a nod, “it’s good to see you as well, Ragnor.”  

“Wait, you two know each other?” Simon questioned.

“Yes.” Jocelyn answered but didn’t explain. However, before anyone could inquire further she looked away from the Hufflepuff boy and back towards the professor. “I was hoping to speak with you privately. Regarding the letter she sent.”. Clary didn’t think she’d ever heard her mother's voice sound so serious.

“Of course.” Ragnor responded and Magnus gave his guardian a look of curiosity and suspicion and the red-headed girl wondered what he knew that she didn’t.

The three students watched the older wizards walk over to the far back corner of the platform, it was the emptiest part of the area, probably so they couldn’t be overheard, Clary surmised. The Gryffindor allowed herself to wonder what was so important that the older wizards couldn’t even risk their children overhearing.

Clary looked to Simon – something she always did when unsure – who was looking at Ragnor and Jocelyn with narrowed eyes. “In every movie ever, the suspicious parents are always the villains, or they have some connection to the villains, or-“

“Ragnor isn’t a bad person,” Magnus snapped and there was a defensiveness in his voice that Clary had never heard before.

“Neither’s my mum.”

“I know, I’m just saying that was suspicious because that was suspicious.” The Hufflepuff said gesturing in the direction the older wizards had gone in.

“It was,” Magnus agreed to Clary’s surprise, “look, I don’t know everything, but I’ll explain on the train.”

The Gryffindor was going to insist that he explain now but a flash of gold behind the Slytherin caught her eye. A blonde head of hair that was weaving its way through the crowd towards them.


Her mind faintly recognised that Alec was with him, but she hadn’t seen, spoken or written to her fellow Gryffindor for the entire duration of the holidays. Jocelyn hadn’t wanted her or Simon to interact with anyone from the Wizarding World. Clary didn’t know why and right now it didn’t matter because Jace was right there.

It seemed like two eternities passed in the time it took him to get within arm’s reach but when he did Clary embraced Jace with a sigh of relief.

The girl didn’t really understand why she liked being hugged by him, why being wrapped in his arms felt right but it just did. She couldn’t put it into words, it was like staring at a painting for hours but not knowing what it meant or why you liked it, you just knew you wanted it.

After a few moments - she wished it went for longer - Jace pulled away. Out of the corner of her eye, Clary saw Magnus and Alec embracing and Simon looking awkwardly down at the floor. “Guess you missed me.” Jace said in that cocky tone of voice that she liked on some days and hated on others.

“I think it was mutual.”

“Well. maybe a little.” He replied with a smirk that made her stomach do flips.

“I certainly didn’t miss you.” Simon muttered but everyone had still heard. It annoyed her that her two best friends disliked each other. She wanted to make a comment about it, but Clary knew she probably shouldn’t because she and Alec got along about as well as an Auror and a Death Eater.

“Well, that feeling was entirely mutual. For everyone.” Jace said in that voice. Alec and Magnus had stopped the conversation they’d started and were looking at Simon with a mix of amusement and pity. Jace with all his arrogance and sarcasm couldn’t be beaten in a battle of words and wit.

She saw Simon open his mouth about to launch a retort at the blonde, but an unfamiliar voice cut across the silence that had fallen over the group. “Alec! Jace!” It called and when a black-haired girl emerged from the crowd Clary knew it belonged to her.

She was a young girl that looked about eleven and Clary assumed she was Isabelle Lightwood, Jace’s adopted sister. “You both left me!” She accused.

“Sorry, Iz.” Alec said sheepishly.

The girl - Izzy - looked at her brother for a moment, considering his apology, Clary thought. She nodded and turned to Jace. He sighed before apologising too. “Sorry, Izzy.”

Clary was surprised, Jace Herondale never said sorry. At that moment Clary realised that girl was a force to be reckoned with. Izzy seemingly happy with her brothers turned to the closest person in their little group - Simon. “I’m Isabelle.” she offered a hand.

Her confidence seemed to scare the boy because he hesitated before taking her hand “Um, I’m..a I’m Simon.”

After she’d finished introducing herself to the rest of them Jocelyn and Ragnor were walking back. Both looked grave and worried. Clary was desperate to learn what Magnus knew, so she announced that the train was going to leave soon and that they’d all needed to board it as soon as possible. She and Simon had said goodbye to Jocelyn and soon the group of young wizards and witches were climbing aboard the scarlet steam engine.

Alec sat down on the somewhat uncomfortable seat, he was next to Magnus and across from Jace. Clary sat between the blonde and Simon. It was exactly how they’d sat last year on the train ride home and Alec thought it would probably be how they sat for the next six years. 

As if by some strange use of magic, they’d managed to snag the last free compartment. Izzy had wandered off to go sit with Aline Penhallow and her friends.

For as long as he could remember the Lightwoods and The Penhallows had been strong political allies and thus the children of both had been raised as friends. Alec was glad Izzy was sitting and socializing with people in her own year. Not because he didn’t want her around but due to the fact that he wanted her to make friends. He’d met Magnus last year and his world had gotten infinitely better. The Hufflepuff wanted Izzy to meet people who helped her, stood by her and were kind to her, like Magnus was to him.

“So, Mags, what did Ragnor tell you?” Clary asked when the compartment door slid closed with a click. Alec could practically hear the curiosity laced through her voice.

“He didn’t tell me anything, I broke into his study in the middle of the night and searched until I found something.” The boy replied nonchalantly, as if he did that every day.

“Wait, does this have something to do with the note you sent me yesterday?” Alec questioned. Those words written in Magnus’s now familiar handwriting had wormed their way into his mind, they’d haunted him with possibilities of what the Slytherin had found. God knows what Magnus had gotten himself into.

Magnus nodded. “From what I know, Ragnor was guarding an artefact of some sort but he gave it to someone and now they entrusted it to Professor McGonagall.”

“So, it’ll be at Hogwarts now?” Jace questioned.

“Most likely.”

“But how does my mum fit into it?” Clary asked. Alec could see the cogs turning in her mind. She was still new to the Wizarding World, she still didn’t understand that Wizards were more inclined to keep secrets than the muggles. The girl wasn’t aware that some knowledge was best left untold.

Her question had been directed at Magnus, but Simon chose to answer it with another question. “Didn’t Jocelyn say something about receiving ‘her’ letter?” He said using air quotes for the pronoun.

“So that means Clary’s mother got the exact same letter Ragnor did.” Magnus surmised.

“Meaning this mystery person is a she, what else do we know about them.” Alec wondered. He didn’t like this. Digging into Hogwarts business wasn’t a good idea, but Magnus would keep investigating with or without him, he’d rather the former.

“She left during the war and only recently just came back to the Wizarding World, apparently.”

“Did Ragnor only get the one letter?” Jace asked and Alec could tell the blonde was fitting facts together in his mind, trying to solve the witch's identity as if it were a puzzle that hadn’t lost all its pieces.

“Um, there was another, but it was sent by Professor McGonagall. I believe it was plans for some sort of spell.”

“It’s simple then.” Jace informed the group.

“Oh, please enlighten us then, Sherlock.” Simon said only to have everyone in the compartment except for Clary look at him in confusion. “You know, Sherlock Holmes, the detective…” he tried to explain but Alec had no clue what the hell he was on about.

“Look,” Jace continued, ignoring Simon. “it’s obvious that Jocelyn was the one originally charged with guarding whatever’s now at Hogwarts.”

“Sorry, what?” Clary asked shocked.

“I said, it’s obvious that Jocelyn wa-“

“I heard what you said I just meant, why?” Clary cut him off, she sounded annoyed at Jace’s accusation.

“it’s well known that the Fairchilds disappeared during the war.” He informed. “She also recently just came back.”

It made sense. Alec thought. Clary’s mother might still be living amongst the muggles, but she could still be considered a part of their world again because her daughter was going to Hogwarts now, he’d heard his parents speaking in quiet voices about the potential consequences and ramifications of having one of the oldest and most powerful wizarding families suddenly back.

“That doesn’t make any sense.” Simon’s voice echoed around the compartment, everyone had been shocked into silence. Their minds trying to make the leaps and bounds to catch up to where Jaces’ had ended up. “We established that Jocelyn got the same letter as Professor Fell, why would she send a letter to herself?”

His fellow Hufflepuff looked smug at the action of contradicting Jace, Alec took a little too much joy in putting the boy in his place, “She didn’t, Professor McGonagall was the one who sent a letter to both of them.”

There was a long pause. Then, “Ok, say it was my mum.” Clary said sceptically, “What was she protecting? Why would they give it to her?”

“I have no idea what it was, but I can guess why.” Magnus said, and Alec felt his curiosity prick. He didn’t care much for the red-headed girl, he found her annoying but this weird situation her mother and Magnus’s guardian were in however potentially dangerous was intriguing. “The war was around twelve years ago. She was probably pregnant and Ragnor most likely gave it to her because no one would think a pregnant witch fleeing the war would have whatever she had.”

“Ok, so my mum was most likely involved.” Clary said but Alec got the feeling she still didn’t completely believe Magnus. “what was it then, the thing Ragnor gave her to hide.”

“No clue, both letters were vague.” Magnus said while shrugging. He looked in his element, his eyes were bright, and Alec could see his mind whirling. Many of the best Aurors were Slytherins, their cunning minds and ambition and ability to see patens was unrivalled.

“Look, guys I’m all for playing Scooby-Doo but Ragnor and Jocelyn were being very secretive, that’s gotta be for a reason, I think we should leave it alone.” Simon said. Alec thought it was the first time the two of them agreed on something, though he had no idea what a ‘Scooby-Doo’ was.

“You scared?” Jace taunted with a smirk.

“Terrified actually.” The boy corrected, “Why do we even want to figure out what they’re guarding. What’s the point?”

“I suppose other than to settle our curiosities, there isn’t one.” Magnus sighed. Alec could tell he was intrigued, he could tell the Slytherin wanted to figure it out but even Magnus Bane knew that trying to discover some magical artefact that needed to be protected probably wasn’t a good idea.

“Then we leave it alone.” Alec said, and Magnus looked at him with something like disappointment mixed with understanding and it made Alec’s insides twist.

“Oh, come on guys, what’s the harm of poking around a bit when we get to the castle?” Jace asked and Alec found himself grateful that the blonde and Magnus weren’t closer, he wouldn’t survive if they ever teamed up on him.

“You’re not Harry Potter, Jace.” Alec said. “The Headmistress and Professor Fell are putting in a lot of effort to keep whatever it is a secret, let’s just leave it alone.” He’d once promised his mother that he wouldn’t let Jace get himself or Alec into too much trouble and while he and the woman weren’t particularly close anymore, he wouldn’t break a promise. He’d keep Jace safe and out of trouble.

“I think they’re right Jace.” Clary said, and the boy looked at his fellow Gryffindor with a look of betrayal. “I think it’s probably best if we leave it alone, I don’t want to get in trouble.”

The boy opened his mouth about to make a rebuttal, but the door suddenly opened, and the five young wizards jumped in surprise when the grey-haired witch poked her head into the compartment and asked, “Anything from the trolley, children?”

They ended up getting a mix of magical themed treats to snack on while the scarlet steam engine travelled through the rolling green hills towards the huge stone castle that hadn’t yet come into view. the group’s conversation didn’t diverge to the artefact again. It seemed the group – most of them anyway – had silently agreed to just leave the topic of the artefact alone. They talked about normal things, the upcoming school year, Professors they liked and ones they didn’t and the opening feast. Magnus made sure to mention how thrilled he was to not be forced to learn flying anymore and Simon agreed, much to Jace and Alec’s annoyance. 

Alec sat at the table decorated with black and yellow. The Great Hall as always was occupied by the thousands of candles lighting the room and the fake stars in the sky enchantment twinkled down at them. the room was decorated with all the house colours and all four of the tables had dozens of spare seats, all waiting for newly sorted wizards to sit in them.

Simon sat across from him, his head was propped against his left hand and the other boy was tracing meaningless patterns into the tablecloth with his right. At first, the other Hufflepuff had tried to make conversation but eventually had given up when Alec ignored him. they both knew the only reason they had any association with each other was because of Jace and Clary.

Alec glanced over to the table decorated with gold and red to see Clary laughing at something Maia had said, Jace had a barely suppressed smile on his face and even from across the room Alec could see the laughter in his eyes. Alec knew it was wrong, but he felt jealousy well up inside of him at the realisation that Jace had managed to make friends with the people in his house while he was stuck at the Hufflepuff table with Simon.

Trying to get his mind off subjects that had done nothing but cause him pain in the past, Alec looked towards the Slytherin table and felt his heart contract. Magnus looked even more miserable than Alec felt. There was tension in the boy’s shoulders and Magnus seemed to shrink back in his chair, an action the raven-haired boy didn’t understand, Magnus was usually very confident and outgoing.

Alec didn’t know what, or possibly whom, had made Magnus look so defeated and vulnerable but before the Hufflepuff could consider doing anything the huge wooden doors that connected the Great Hall to the rest of the school opened and the headmistress marched in, the new first-year students following after her. Alec spotted Izzy among them.

Clearly, the younger Lightwood had been looking for him as well because when Alec met her eyes the girl gave him a smile and a little wave. If he wasn’t her big brother, if he hadn’t known her for the eleven years she’d been alive, he wouldn’t have noticed she was nervous. His attention was stolen away from Izzy when Professor McGonagall’s sharp voice rang out through the Hall. The woman gave a speech to the new first years about what it meant to be in a house. She explained to her students that being in a house was like being in a family, “Your triumphs will be theirs, your losses will be felt by them and while you may fight with your housemates you should always reconcile with them, just as you should always reconcile with family.”

Alec had resisted the urge to let out a bitter laugh when the headmistress had spoken those words, you should always reconcile with family. What if your family didn’t want to reconcile with you? What then?

When the headmistress finished her speech, applause rang through the hall and soon she was standing next to the Sorting Hat and the old, wooden stool it was balanced atop. The woman unrolled the sheet of parchment and began to read out names.

“Jack Ashman.” She called and a boy with sandy blonde hair climbed the few stairs and sat on the stool, the Sorting Hat was placed on his head.

A few moments passed before the hat, in a booming voice, called out; “Ravenclaw!

“Helen Blackthorn.” Professor McGonagall called and a girl with blonde hair and pointed ears stepped forward.  Alec watched the girl approach the stairs, despite some of the odd looks she was getting for the pointed ears that marked her as a half-blooded witch with fairy heritage, she looked confident. Alec knew the Blackthorns were one of the pure-blooded families, although many considered them to be no better than Muggle-borns because Andrew Blackthorn had had an affair with one of the fay, resulting in Helen and her younger brother Mark.

The hat was placed on her head and after a few moments the hat proclaimed “Hufflepuff!

The blonde girl bounded down the stairs, a smile clear on her face and took a seat at the table next to Alec. The boy felt a twinge of sympathy for Helen, not only was she considered a second-class citizen by the families, but she was also in Hufflepuff. “You think I’ll get a howler, too?” she joked.

He’d met Helen once before when they’d both been very young, he’d liked her, but his mother had told him in a deadly voice not to associate with people like Helen. Back then he’d assumed her family were criminals that they were bad people but as he’d gotten older he’d realised the only bad people were those who considered themselves above someone like the half-witch. “Probably not,” he responded while watching a young girl run over to the Slytherin table.

The sorting continued, name after name being read out and student after student running off to their respective tables. He was brought back to reality when his housemates started clapping because Jordan Kyle had just been sorted into Hufflepuff.

Izzy would be soon.

“Cassady Larkin.” The headmistress called and a boy with dark hair bounded up the stairs.

Ravenclaw!” the Hat called a moment after touching his head.

“Isabelle Lightwood.”

Alec watched as she walked up the few stairs, to the untrained eye she didn’t look worried at all. There was a small smile on her face and she seemed to radiate that natural confidence that Alec had never been in possession of, but his eyes weren’t untrained. He could see the tension in her shoulders and the rigidness in her posture as she sat on the stool and the hat was placed on her head.

For the half-a-minute or so she was up there, time went agonizingly slow. Alec knew there was nothing he could do to impact the outcome of her house, but he knew it would be better for her to end up in Gryffindor. Still, there was a part of him, a selfish, terrible part that wanted her to be sorted into one of the other houses, mainly Hufflepuff. It was awful, and he’d never admit it out loud, but he didn’t want to be the only black sheep of the Lightwood family. He didn’t want to be the only screw-up.

Without warning the hat burst to life and yelled “Gryffindor!

Alec felt his heart sink as Izzy descended the stairs and took a seat next to Jace who hugged her. After a few moments, Isabelle turned from her new housemates and sent him an apologetic smile. He gave her a thumbs-up and smiled back, he just hoped she wouldn’t notice that it didn’t reach his eyes.

the rest of the Sorting passed in a daze. Names he didn’t care to recognise.

“Marcus Nightshade.”


“Maddy Ruby.”


“Raphael Santiago”


The only time he paid attention was when Aline was sorted in Gryffindor. The Sorting Ceremony was feeling a lot like the last one. Disappointment was again clawing at his heart and familiar feelings of self-hatred were bubbling in his chest. He felt numb. Alec looked to Magnus because over the last year that’s what he’d learned to do. Whenever he’d felt wrong or not-acceptable Magnus had always managed to find a way to distract him.

Before he could locate the other boy with his eyes he felt a tap on the shoulder and he looked at Helen. The girl pointed to the headmistress who was standing behind the eagle-shaped lectern, clearly waiting to give another speech. Once the hall had quieted down she began to speak. “Let me start out by wishing you all a great year, to our new students, welcome, to our old students, welcome back. Another year full of magical education awaits you.” She said in a voice that held such warm Alec couldn’t stop it from melting some of the cold that had spread within him.

“Now, I Know most of you are aware of our rules but if you need a refresher please go see Mr Finch and first years I advise you not to break any of them because punishments will be handed out accordingly.”  Alec looked over at Jace and sure enough, the other boy was smirking at him. “A reminder to all that the Forbidden Forest has earned its name for a reason. The centaurs and the Fairies have informed us that if any student enters their lands they have a right to hurt you. So please stay away.”

That news had shocked the students – and seemingly the teachers too – into silence. The first years looked mortified that the school was so close to a forest that housed such brutal creatures that would harm children, but the older ones knew that in years previous, McGonagall had never made that warning. What’s changed? Alec wondered but he suspected it had something to do with an artefact that hadn’t been at Hogwarts before.

He had to make sure Jace and Magnus stayed the hell away from whatever this thing was.

Chapter Text

The Slytherin Common Room was a long, underground room with rough stone walls and ceiling, from which round, greenish lamps were hanging on chains. Most of his housemates thought it looked cool, like a mysterious, underwater shipwreck but Magnus thought It looked lonely.

Magnus absentmindedly ran his hand through Chairman Meow’s impossibly soft fur as he turned another page of the potions textbook that was balanced in his lap. The boy was sitting near the fireplace and The Chairman was curled up beside him. Evidently, the feline had forgiven him.

Magnus looked to one of the large glass windows that showed the depths of the Hogwarts lake. It was hard to tell the time using the sun as the water looked like an expanse of swirling darkness, but the liquid was beginning to lighten ever so slightly, and the boy knew it wouldn’t be too long before the other students awoke and the day would officially begin.  

He’d done this a lot last year, rising before the others and passing the time with a book and the warmth and light of a fire. Magnus had learned pretty young that once he woke up, there was no getting back to sleep. Especially if the nightmares were involved.

Magnus didn’t like being in Slytherin, it wasn’t because he had a problem with its values or that he bought into the superstition that Gryffindor’s were superior to Slytherins, Ragnor was in Slytherin and he was one of the most powerful wizards the boy had ever met. Magnus didn't like being in the house of green and silver because it proved that he had more in common with his father then blood.

Asmodeus was known for being one of the darkest wizards of the age. Officially he’d killed eighteen people, that’s what the ministry had been able to prove but Merlin knows how much death the man had truly been responsible for. His fanatics had killed and tortured countless wizards and Muggles. Yet, Magnus didn’t even know what his father had been trying to accomplish.

It hurt to see the man's name in books about the darkest wizards in history, alongside those of Gellert Grindelwald, Fenrir Greyback, Valentine Morgenstern and Voldemort. it was a reminder that people would only ever associate the name Bane with horrid, unforgivable things.

Magnus Bane would only ever be associated with horrid, unforgivable things.

He hated that.

Magnus was stolen away from the depths of his swirling mind minutes or hours later - The boy wasn’t sure how long he’d been stuck there - when the sounds of the other students started drifting out of the dormitories and into the main area, Magnus closed the book he hadn’t been reading and started to get up.

Today was the first day of classes for the year, it would be a long one. People tended to be a little more hateful in the beginning weeks of term, eventually, after he ignored them long enough, the other students would get bored and find someone else to antagonise. Magnus had gotten pretty good at ignoring the looks and digs over the years. He hated being Asmodeus’s son, but he’d gotten pretty good at pretending he didn’t care. 

Other then Potions, Alec’s least favourite classes were History of Magic and Herbology because they - in his opinion - were unbelievably boring, the former more than the latter.

To make matters worse he had both those classes with the Ravenclaws, he didn’t have any inherent problem with the house it’s just that he didn’t have any friends in it. At least in potions, Magnus’s wit and presence made the class bearable.

He spotted Catarina among the other students and briefly debated asking to sit with her but decided against it, she was Magnus’s best friend, but the witch and Alec weren’t close. Simon liked to sit at the front with a few Ravenclaws and Alec was honestly overjoyed because if Simon made one more reference to whatever the hell a ‘Star Trek’ was, Alec would cast a silencing spell on the other boy that would last a week.

Eventually, the group of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw students were let inside the room by the Herbology Professor. Alec wandered to the row of desks placed in the middle of the room, dropped into an unoccupied seat and started digging through his bag for One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi, while the professor walked over to the blackboard and began writing instructions.

Pretty soon Alec felt panic swell up inside his chest like a balloon because he’d brought the wrong textbook. In any other class this wouldn’t have been an issue, he could’ve just asked to go get it. This was hardly the first time he’d forgotten something or brought the wrong textbook to a lesson, but Professor Sprout had no real tolerance for excuses and had insisted that any student who showed up without the proper supplies and materials for class would get an instant detention.  

He didn’t need a detention on the first day for something stupid like confusing his textbooks. His parents would have a field day and Merlin knows he couldn’t handle another Howler, especially with Izzy at Hogwarts now.

His mind had been so preoccupied with searching for the book and generally regretting every choice that had led him to that moment, that Alec hadn’t noticed Lydia Branwell take a seat next to him.

“Hi.” She said, and the sudden, unexpected sound of another human voice made Alec jump. “Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you.” She said lightly.

“You surprised me.” He corrected.

Alec sighed and placed his bag on the floor with a little more force than necessary. It was pointless. He was screwed.

“I didn’t mean to.” The Ravenclaw replied before continuing. “Look, I couldn’t help but notice that you don’t have the new book.”


“And, I came to offer if you wanted to share mine.” She informed him.

Alec had no reason to reject her offer, so he nodded. “Yeah, thanks.” He paused before asking “why though?”

“Honestly?” She asked, and Alec nodded in response, “I needed a reason not to sit with Kendra’s group anymore.”

“Ah, so I’m the excuse, solid plan.”

She smirked in response. A few moments later Professor Sprout finished writing instructions on the board and the Herbology class got to work. For most of the lesson Alec and Lydia worked in silence only breaking it to make the occasional comment but when he heard her scoff Alec had been curious enough to ask why.

“Look at question four, it’s preposterous.” She replied her voice conveying how stupid she thought the question really was. Alec who was on the second part of question three glanced down, it was a somewhat philosophical question about mandrakes. If Mandragora are technically alive, is it moral for wizards to use them for potion ingredients?

Alec didn’t really understand why she thought the question was absurd, it seemed a bit ambiguous but not that bad. “What’s wrong with it?”

“Because people are asking questions like this to us but werewolves and vampires who aren’t also wizards can’t vote and half-human creatures like mermaids and Centaurs are still hunted for sport but they want to ask if its moral to kill a plant.”

Alec didn’t really know how to respond, he was aware that the two of them were in Herbology class and yet they were discussing the politics of the wizarding world. “Most wizards don’t-”

“Miss Branwell, Mr Lightwood, is there something you two want to share with the rest of us?” Professor Sprout asked.

Alec turned red as a result of being caught talking by his head of house. Along with students not being prepared, professor Sprout also didn’t tolerate talking out of turn.

When he was older, Alec would appreciate that the best teachers were those who could be strict and cared enough about their students to make sure they were prepared and on task but when he was twelve years old and in second year the boy just found her annoying.

“No, professor.” Alec replied.

“No, Mr Lightwood, I’m curious what could be more exciting than learning about Mandrakes?” From the tone in her voice, Alec knew she was joking but he still felt as if she was screaming at him. The last thing he wanted was for the people who taught him to think he didn’t care - especially when that teacher was the head of Hufflepuff.  “If you’re not going to answer maybe you could tell me later in detention.”

Lydia, to his surprise, jumped into the conversation to save him from what was sure to be an embarrassing moment and a future Howler, “Actually Professor we were discussing question four. Alec and I disagreed.”

“Really?” The teacher asked skeptically, not believing them. Alec didn’t blame her, he supposed countless students over the years had probably used what Lydia said as an excuse. “You both should give us your opinions on the ethics of Mandrakes then. Mr Lightwood, you first.”

Alec spoke before his mind could panic, “Yes, well, I…think it’s wrong,” he figured answering the question was the best way out of this situation. “No living creature should be hurt for the recreational benefit of another. The potions we use their leaves for aren’t that important anyway.” He said, and Professor Sprout nodded, clearly she agreed.

“But I argued that there’s no proof Mandrakes even feel pain, just because the plants go through biological processes and have evolved to create noise that sounds like screaming doesn't mean they are alive. They aren’t sentient and therefore not alive. At least not in the sense that other creatures are, anyway.” Lydia Informed the professor.

“So, Miss Branwell, you argue that while they are alive it doesn’t mean they live. An interesting take on the situation.” The Professor mused. “What do the rest of you think?” She addressed the rest of the class.

The rest of the lesson was relatively uneventful and passed quicker then Alec had expected. The boy found he liked working with Lydia, he liked the way her mind worked. Different to everyone else's and she’d managed to save him from detention twice in the span of one hour. As Alec exited the classroom and started heading in the direction of his Charms Class, he found himself thinking that Lydia Branwell was his new favourite Ravenclaw. 

Magnus knew from his first day of classes that second year would be a lot harder than first year. He’d got homework for both Transfiguration and Charms and it was only the first day, the professors were stricter, and the general vibe of the classes told him that to do well this year, he’d need to put in a lot more work.

Magnus and Alec were exiting their last class of the day; Potions. Slughorn hadn’t given them any extra work to complete outside of class which he knew Alexander thought was a godsend. Apparently, the holidays hadn’t erased his hatred for the subject.

“Did you wanna go to the library and do that transfiguration homework?” Magnus asked as they reached the huge marble staircases that branched into multiple different levels of the school.

“Sure.” Alec replied, and they started ascending the stairs. “Better to get it over and done with.” They were both mindful when climbing the stairs. The castle seemed to have missed changing the staircases to inconvenience the students while they were away.

Once they reached the second level of the castle the boys turned a corner and started heading in the direction of the library. They passed a notice board and on it, Magnus saw a note reminding students that new Quidditch players were needed.

Magnus knew both Alexander and Jace wanted to make their respective house teams, Magnus himself didn’t really care about the sport but he knew Alec did so he asked: “When are Quidditch tryouts?”

“The date hasn’t been officially chosen yet, but it’ll probably be sometime in the next two weeks,” Alec replied and Magnus could hear the excitement in his voice. “You thinking of trying out?” He teased.

“I’d rather walk into the Forbidden Forest.” He replied causing Alec to laugh.

“Why then?”

“I wanted to come and watch you pla-” Magnus had been looking at Alec while speaking but had got cut off when they turned a corner and the Slytherin collided hard with another body causing him to drop the books he’d been carrying and stumble. Luckily Alec - who’d been smart enough to bring a satchel to store his books in - reached out a hand to steady him.

The boy Magnus had run into also stumbled back but no one had been there to save him which resulted in him landing on the floor. “Watch where you're going!” The other boy, Matthew Cole, snapped. He was a Slytherin like Magnus and in second year as well.

“Sorry.” Magnus apologised, offering a hand to the brown-haired boy.

He didn’t take it.

“I don’t need the help of a Death Eater’s son.” He sneered and Magnus felt his throat tighten because there was that look again, disgust mingled with hatred. Magnus didn’t mention that Asmodeus had never been a Death Eater. He just needed to ignore the other boy and walk away.

Magnus glanced at Alexander who looked livid but before anyone could say anything more a blonde-haired Slytherin walked around the corner that Magnus and Alec had just come from. “Hey, Matt what’s taking you so-”  the girl stopped when she saw her friend on the ground and Magnus and Alec standing in front of him. The blonde Slytherin ran between them, placing herself in front of Matt and drawing a wand from her pocket. “Why did you hurt him?” The question was directed at Magnus.

“I didn’t. He fell.” Magnus informed her and he tried to make his voice steady because she looked about a second away from jinxing him and Alec. “This is just a misunderstanding.” by the time he’d finished speaking Matt had stood up and was looking annoyed.

“Why should I believe you? you’re Asmodeus’s son, attacking my friend would be like second nature to you!” She hissed and pointed her wand at his heart. Magnus tried to remind himself that to her the most logical explanation was that he had attacked her friend. The boy knew he’d be pissed too if someone tried to hurt Cat or Alexander, so he suppressed the hurt and anger that bubbled up inside of him. Just ignore her and leave.

“Shut up!” Alec snapped at her and took a step forward. Magnus felt something shift in his chest at the action.

“What you need your boyfriend to defend you, Magnus?” The girl snarled. He knew that was probably meant to be an insult but for some reason, Magnus thought it wasn’t a very good one.

“Careful Jess, he might Avada Kedavra you.” Matthew joked and before anyone could blink Alec had lurched forward and punched Matt in the side of the face.

The brown-haired boy stumbled back but this time he didn’t fall and Magnus couldn’t move fast enough because before he knew what was happening Matthew had ran at Alec and shoved him, causing the Hufflepuff to collide hard with the stone wall. Alec slid down to the floor and Magnus saw his eyes turn glassy, the Slytherin had heard Alec’s head hit the wall and the boy knew he probably had a concussion. Magnus felt self-hatred flare inside his heart.

Alec had been hurt because of him.

“Alexander!” Magnus exclaimed as he ran over to his friend, not caring that the blonde-girl was still aiming her wand at him. He dropped to his knees and reached a hand out to touch the side of Alec’s face, “Are you ok, Alec?” It was a stupid question, one Magnus already knew the answer to, but he couldn’t help asking it anyway.

Alec only groaned faintly in response and blinked his eyes a few times as if trying to adjust to a bright light.

“Hey!” they all heard the booming voice of the Transfiguration Professor echo around the hall “What the hell are you four doing!

The man ran over to the group of students and his eyes scanned the situation, Alec on the floor, only remaining upright thanks to the support of the stone wall behind him, Magnus next to the Hufflepuff, the hand that had been resting on his face had moved to the boy’s shoulder and the two other wizards who were standing in front of them both looked afraid, Jess had the sense to finally lower her wand when Ragnor saw it still pointed at Magnus. “What in Merlin’s name is going on?” Ragnor asked and his voice portrayed that he wouldn’t take kindly to lies or excuses.

“They attacked us!” Jess accused while pointing at the Hufflepuff and Slytherin boys still on the ground. Alec still looked dazed and Magnus knew he was barely conscious and had no idea what was happening.

“That’s a lie!” Magnus yelled back.

“Oh really?” Matt said stepping forward. “Because I’ll have a black eye tomorrow as proof.”

“Yes, and Alec has a concussion right now, so don’t play innocent,” Magnus said in an angry growl.

“Well he wouldn’t have one if-”

“That’s enough!” Ragnor yelled and his voice rebounded off the stone walls. “30 points from Slytherin and 10 from Hufflepuff and you all have detention tonight. As second years you should know the rules and thus Hogwarts’s rules about fighting and duelling.”

“But they started it!” Magnus tried to inform Ragnor but the older wizard wasn’t listening.

“Well, I’m finishing it.”

From years of living with Ragnor Magnus knew that was the end of the argument. So, he just glared at the professor before looking back towards Alec. His brave, stupid Alexander who had gotten into a fight to defend him.

“You two.” Ragnor said looking at Jess and Matt, “Leave.” Not needing to be told twice the two Slytherins left and Magnus envied them because sometimes it’s sucked having a professor as your guardian because punishments and verbal lashings were always worse.

Once they were gone, the Transfiguration Professor turned to face Alec and Magnus and pulled out his phoenix feather wand. “Episkey.” He muttered while waving the magical instrument and a faint glow surrounded Alec for a moment before the mist in his eyes began to clear.

“M..Magnus?” He questioned.

The boy in question nodded and was about to say something about Alec being a complete and total moron but Ragnor spoke first, “Take him to the hospital wing and Madam Pomfrey will make sure he’s ok. The healing spell I used should have been enough, but you better go check there’s no actual damage.”  While his guardian was speaking, Ragnor gave Magnus a look that promised they’d have a talk later.

At those words Magnus stood and offered a hand to Alec, the Hufflepuff took it and The Slytherin helped him up. Alec leaned on Magnus heavily as they started walking, he draped an arm around Magnus’s shoulders and in response the Slytherin wrapped an arm around Alec’s waist, supporting him as they walked.

Magnus glanced back at Ragnor to see the man picking up the books Magnus had left scattered all over the floor.

Chapter Text

The Hospital Wing was located atop one of Hogwarts’ many towers that reached high into the clouds. The room itself had a vaguely oval shape with a high ceiling that apexed on a point. Beds were placed in uniformed rows on either side of the room and chairs were scattered about here and there.

Madam Pomfrey had insisted on keeping Alec in the hospital wing. She’d blatantly disregarded the Hufflepuff’s comments that the Transfiguration Professor’s spell had worked and that he was fine. Instead, the matron had commanded him to sit on one of the uncomfortable hospital beds while she brewed a potion that she insisted would heal any residual damage. Alec, not wanting anymore conflict that day, nodded and sat down without complaint.

Madam Pomfrey walked to the other side of the room - her footsteps echoing around the quiet space - where there were cabinets and chests stocked to the brim with potion ingredients of all colours, shapes and sizes that made Alec wonder what kinds of magical and mundane injuries the witch had dealt with over the course of her time working at Hogwarts.

While the healer had been making the potion for Alec, the Hufflepuff had snuck a glance at Magnus. The other boy was sitting in one of the various chairs placed against the walls of the infirmary.

Alec wanted to run to Magnus, to ask if the Slytherin was alright because he, more than most, knew how much words could hurt. It made him positively furious to think that people spoke like that to Magnus. Alec felt hatred for all those who had ever hurt his friend overwhelm him and the boy knew he wouldn’t hesitate to act on it again if those two or anyone else spoke like that to Magnus again.

Some other emotion prodded at Alec’s heart when he looked at his friend and noticed Magnus was unable to sit still. The boy was tapping his foot and twirling his Dogwood wand between his fingers, things he knew were a tell the Slytherin was scared.


Merlin knows how long Magnus would’ve had to put up with people like that. Alec felt guilty because he hadn’t been there for Magnus when the other boy had needed him, the Slytherin had helped Alec deal with being disowned by his family, to move past it. Magnus had helped him through the worst moments of his life so far.

Alec hadn’t done the same.

Magnus hadn’t mentioned the insults to Alec which somehow made it worse because the Hufflepuff’s mind immediately jumped to the conclusion that it was his fault the other boy had kept it a secret. That he’d done something wrong and failed at being a friend in such a monumental way that Magnus felt like he couldn’t confide in Alec. Couldn’t trust him.

It felt like he’d left Magnus alone to suffer.

Not able to stand the silence any longer Alec glanced over to Madam Pomfrey to see the witch still brewing the potion at the other side of the room. The boy stood up and silently move towards the opposite end of the space, taking a seat next to Magnus.

“Sorry I got us in trouble.” He lied. Alec wasn’t sorry he’d hurt someone who had hurt Magnus. He would do it again and Maryse could send him as many Howlers as she pleased.

“It wasn’t your fault, it was mine.” Magnus whispered, not looking at Alec. “It was my fault you got hurt.” He said with a broken note to his voice. “And now your parents are going to be angry with you and that’s my fault too, so I’m-” Magnus stopped speaking and Alec was grateful because his friend had sounded more scared then Alec had ever heard him. Did the other boy really think he’d be mad?

“Magnus.” Alec said and placed a hand on the Slytherin’s shoulder. “I don’t blame you. I chose to start that fight, it wasn’t your fault, ok.”

“Last time I checked the only reason you were in that situation was because of me.” Magnus muttered and the Hufflepuff could hear the bitterness in his voice.

“Why do you say that?” Alec asked. “Matt ran into you.”

“I’m not talking about that, Alec.” He said finally turning to look Alec in the eye. “I’m talking about Jess pulling her wand and assuming I’d hunted down and hurt her friend for no reason.”

“That’s her problem. Not yours.”

“No. It’s mine because this isn’t the first time something like this has happened and it won’t be the last, so It’d probably be better for you if we stopped being friends.” Magnus said, and his voice sounded so hopeless that Alec wanted to do far worse than punch someone in the face.

“Why would It be-”

“Because I’m Asmodeus’s son Alec!” He snapped cutting the Hufflepuff off.

“His actions don’t define you.” Alec protested.

“They do.” Magnus corrected. “Some children get heirlooms from their fathers, I get the judgment for all his depravities.”

“Do you think I care that you’re his son?” Alec asked. “Cause I don’t.” It was the only thing Alec could think to say, to reassure Magnus that he wasn’t going anywhere. He’d known who Magnus was from moment one. Known that he was the son of a dark wizard and Alec had initially only seen Magnus as that, a potential evilness, until he’d gotten to know the Slytherin and realised that Magnus was nothing like his father. He wished others would do the same.

Magnus paused for a moment before saying. “Maybe you don’t but people are always going to assume the worst about me and because you’re my friend they’ll start to assume the worst about you too.”

“So?” Alec asked while shrugging. He cared what Jace, Izzy and Max thought, he cared what his Professors thought, and he cared what Magnus thought. No one else mattered.

“So?” Alexander asked, and Magnus heard the exasperation in his voice, he could see the look of defiance in his eyes. Alec didn’t understand what it felt like to have everyone hate you merely by association of another. Magnus didn’t want to be the reason Alec was hated by his peers or his parents.

The Slytherin swallowed. “Your parents are already angry with you. What do you think they’ll do when they and all the pure-blooded families find out Alec Lightwood is friends with Magnus Bane?

“They’ll be hateful, annoying pricks about it, but I won’t care. You’re my friend Magnus. No one can change that.”  Alec said, and Magnus felt that thing in his heart shift again.

Do you think I care that you’re his son? Cause I don’t.

Those words had effected Magnus more than the Slytherin would like to admit. He’d expected Alec to be annoyed with him, start to see him as others did, to not want to be friends anymore. It wouldn’t be the first time.

The Hufflepuff had gotten hurt because of Magnus and the Slytherin had expected the other boy to run as far away from his complicated life as possible. But Alexander had surprised him.

Nobody - not even Ragnor - had ever said they didn't care that he was Asmodeus’s son. He’d always assumed that Alec had known his lineage and because he was kind the Hufflepuff had simply hidden his disgust.

Magnus had been wrong.

Alexander Lightwood was something else and Magnus suddenly felt like the biggest idiot in the world for suggesting they shouldn’t be friends anymore.

“Thank you, Alexander.” Magnus said and allowed himself to smile.

“No problem.” Alec smiled back, and Magnus had never realised how much he liked the sight. Alexander paused and Magnus could see that he wanted to say something, ask him something but was debating it. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Tell you?” Magnus asked but he already knew what Alexander was referring to. He just wanted to put off this conversation for as long as possible.

“That people spoke to you like that. That your housemates treat you like a...criminal.”

“It’s not something I’m proud of.” Magnus replied and Alec raised his eyebrows, he wanted a proper answer. Magnus sighed, “There isn’t anything you could’ve done to help and besides you were dealing with your own things last year.”

“Things I wouldn’t have got through without you.” Alec replied and there was so much light and honesty in both his voice and eyes. “And even if I couldn’t have done anything practical you still could’ve talked to me.”

“I didn’t want to bother you with it.” Magnus sighed. He didn’t want to bother anyone with it. Not Ragnor, not Cat and especially not Alexander. Magnus, at the very least, could admit to himself that he hadn’t wanted to tell those he cared about most because that would mean he was a bother, being his friend would be harder and Magnus didn’t want to risk people eventually getting sick of him and finding other friends, and after losing both his parents Magnus was terrified to lose anyone else.

Alec looked like he was going to say something but instead, the boy leaned forward and wrapped the Slytherin in a hug that brought more comfort than he could ever describe. At that moment Magnus vowed to himself and the universe that he’d never allow anyone or anything to take Alec Lightwood away from him.

I didn’t want to bother you with it

The idea that Magnus could do anything but improve Alec’s day with his mere presence was laughable. Magnus was so giving. He dedicated himself to everyone but himself. The other boy had been so willing to help Alec, had gone out of his way to do so and he hadn’t expected anything in return, not even the same thing.

Alec tentatively pulled away from the hug. “Magnus if something's bothering you. If what people are saying is hurting you, then I just want you to know you can talk to me because you’re my friend and not to sound cliché but that's what friends do.”

The Hufflepuff saw Magnus tentatively nod and he was about to say something to lighten the mood when Madam Pomfrey turned around with a stone jug in hand that had wisps of blue smoke drifting up from whatever was inside.

The witch gave Alec a stern look that told him she was not amused that he’d chosen to disobey her and move from the hospital bed. Alec sent the woman an apologetic smile that had no trace of remorse. He and Magnus were ok and that was all that mattered.

Alec stood up from his seat and walked over to the healer. He took the stone Jug and thanked the witch before he stared at the gloppy looking liquid swirling around inside. Alec gave the potion a resentful look before drinking the surprisingly bitter liquid.

When the Hufflepuff handed the healer the jug back she smiled before her eyes widened slightly. “Oh, I almost forgot, Professor Fell sent a note asking me to inform you both that all students serving detention this week are to meet in the entrance hall before dinner.”

“Thanks.” Alec replied flatly. He didn’t want to be disrespectful, but detention reminded him of the Howler he’d inevitably get when his mother found out he’d gotten into a fight. Alec didn’t regret it though. He’d gladly endure a thousand Howlers for Magnus.

Before long the two wizards were exiting the Hospital Wing and wandering through the castle towards their respective Common Rooms. They would meet up later for detention. If not anything else, Alec was intrigued to know what potential annoyed/harmful job he and Magnus would end up being tasked to complete.

Chapter Text

The sun had set long before the students serving detention had gathered in the Entrance Hall. Magnus arrived soundlessly and scanned the group of annoyed looking students for Alec’s familiar face. The crowd was a mix of different houses and year-levels and Magnus wondered what they’d all done to end up here. The Slytherin spotted Jess and Matt standing together in a corner and immediately looked away in favour of continuing the search for his friend.

Magnus had been about to conclude that Alexander hadn’t arrived yet when he felt someone place a hand on his shoulder. The Slytherin jumped slightly, letting out a small yelp before turning to face a smirking Alec whose hazel eyes were bright with amusement.

“Don’t do that!” Magnus protested.

“Sorry.” Alexander said, sounding anything but apologetic.

“Liar.” Magnus muttered but there was no heat to his voice.

Alec glanced behind Magnus to look at the six-ish other assembled students who were chatting amongst themselves. “How many people do you think got in trouble today?” He questioned.

“I don’t know but I’d say I was probably one of the last to show.” Magnus replied.

Alexander hummed in response and a few moments passed while the distant conversations of the other students were the only noises Magnus herd. There were no first years amongst the group of detained students which was pretty common, the teachers were usually lenient with new students.

Alec stole Magnus away from his memories when the Hufflepuff suddenly made a noise of what Magnus guessed was pure surprise and fear. The Slytherin’s eyes snapped to where Alexander was looking to see what had caused him such distress.

Isabelle Lightwood.

The girl had walked into the Entrance Hall and upon noticing them Izzy had started moving towards the two second-year students and Magnus noted that the Gryffindor didn’t look scared or nervous in the slightest. The Slytherin allowed his eyes to drift back to the Hufflepuff standing beside him. Alec looked a frantic mix between scared for his sister and furious with her.

“Hey, big bro.” Isabelle said to Alec when she reached them. She’d spoken casually as If them both meeting in detention was a common phenomenon. Magnus wondered if she’d forgotten that detention at Hogwarts was deadly serious, if a student got 3 in the span of a year they’d be suspended or in some cases expelled. The school of witchcraft and wizardry was a prestigious school and if you misbehaved enough, you were gone.

“Izzy, what are you doing here?” Alec practically hissed.

“I’m waiting for The Caretaker to show, so I can stop being detained.” the girl replied with a sweet voice.

“I think what Alexander meant was, why are you here?” Magnus asked when he noticed Alec was about to snap at his sister. Magnus knew the Hufflepuff was just worried about her but the Slytherin didn’t know if she would understand or appreciate his protectiveness when it took the form of anger.

“Oh, I was messing around with my wand in History of Magic and I accidentally set fire to Professor Binns desk.” She explained, and Izzy had the intelligence to look sheepish.

Magnus resisted the urge to laugh, that would have certainly been an interesting lesson of History of Magic. The Slytherin didn’t think Alexander would find it as amusing as he did though. In fact, when he turned to the Hufflepuff to gauge his reaction the other boy had too many emotions swimming in his eyes to count.

“Izzy!” Alec shouted, and Magnus noted that any worry in his voice had turned to pure fury.

“Accidentally is the keyword.”

“How do you accidentally set fire to something!” Alec exclaimed.

The girl shrugged.

“Izzy, I swear to Merlin, I’m gonna-” Magnus would never know what Alec had sworn to do however, because while the Hufflepuff had been speaking The Caretaker had entered into the hall from the courtyard carrying a lantern.

The Slytherin noted that the man had a scowl on his face, but the boy had a feeling it was a somewhat permanent fixture there. The room went instantly quiet and the tall man made a gesture with one long arm before turning and exiting the hall once again.

Magnus exchanged a look with Izzy and Alec before they and the rest of the students followed the man into the night. 


 The group of students had followed The Caretaker and the glow of his lantern as the old wizard marched towards the edge of the Hogwarts grounds. The air was damp and misty, it was the kind of weather that created a chill which seeped into the marrow of bones and froze a person from the inside out.

Alec noted that the man walked with a limp and the boy was morbidly curious to know what had happened to cause it. As they were walking The Hufflepuff glanced to his left to see Izzy taking long strides in order to keep up with his and Magnus’s pace. Alec was tempted to throttle her.

Isabelle, because the universe hated him apparently, had chosen to start her teenage rebellion two years early and Alec was the furthest thing from happy about that. Any chance of her making a good impression with the professors was gone and Maryse would receive not one but two letters about how her children got detention on the first day of classes. The boy just hoped his mother would take it out on him and leave Izzy alone. On top of that, Jace would be pissed for not being included.

“Alexander.” Magnus asked and there was a hint of nervousness in his voice that made Alec worried as a result. “I have a bad feeling about this.”

“What, you think he’s gonna kill us all and bury the bodies in the Forbidden Forest?” Izzy asked, her voice laced with sarcasm.

“Well, it would guarantee you never set fire to something again.” Alec sneered at the girl. The Hufflepuff couldn’t help lashing out when he was mad or scared and right now he was a jumbled mixture of the two.

Izzy was about to defend herself again, no doubt with protests of her arsonist actions being accidental but Magnus spoke before the girl could reply to Alec’s comment. “I’m serious.”

Alec turned his gaze away from Magnus and for the first time really felt that they had left the safety of the Hogwarts grounds and were getting closer and closer to the Forbidden Forest. Alec had read about the forest and heard stories from his parents and some of the older students. It was the home of monsters, it was the place where the magical creatures who couldn’t or didn’t want to follow the Ministry's laws dwelled and it was ruled by the fairies and their queen.

And they, a group of children, were being led towards it.  

When they had gotten so close to the forest that Alec was overwhelmed by an urge to run, by a feeling that whispered danger, The Caretaker stopped and turned to face them. The man had a wrinkled face, a tangle of long hair that was more grey than dark and eyes full of something that gave Alec chills. “We’ve arrived.” he announced to the group of students in a croaky voice that sounded like it didn’t get used much.

“But, sir.” a fifth year Gryffindor girl stepped forward. “That's the edge of the Forbidden Forest.”

“Indeed it is, girl. What’s your point?” The Caretaker sounded annoyed and Alec was glad it wasn’t him who was questioning the man.

“The Headmistress warned us that no student was to go near, much less enter the forest.” the Gryffindor sounded worried and Alec suddenly remembered McGonagall’s words.

A reminder to all that the Forbidden Forest has earned its name for a reason. The centaurs and the Fairies have informed us that if any student enters their lands they have a right to hurt you.  

If any of them went into that forest the fairies would kill them.

Isabelle and Magnus...

The old wizard let out a stream of insane laughter at the girl’s words and Alec thought Izzy’s idea of him dragging and burying them in the forest wasn’t such an unrealistic suggestion anymore.

“None of you will be going into the Forest. I just need some help setting these up.” He said pointing to a group of trunks that Alec would have sworn weren’t there before. Inside were what looked like stakes with carvings edged into them. The Caretaker leaned down and stretched one bony hand into the storage container and grabbed one of the wooden objects. “I need you delinquents to grab these stakes here and put them at 50-meter intervals around the perimeter of the forest.”  He then tossed the stake at the nearest student who caught it with ease. “Preferably without getting killed.” 

“How will we know where to place them?” A seventh year asked.

“The spots are pre-marked.” The Caretaker turned and pointed in the direction of the very edge of the forest where Alec could just spot a small patch of light protruding up from the ground.

“Why us?” A Ravenclaw boy with dark hair asked. “Isn’t stuff like this your job Mr Finch?”

“Well, it was meant to be my job but I’m getting old and this doesn’t help the situation.” The man gestured vaguely to his right leg while speaking. “Besides, you lot have earned some punishment.” The man - Mr Finch - looked impatient and his voice hadn’t tried to hide it.

“But sir, we could be snatched by the fairies, killed. We could-” the Gryffindor girl had started speaking again but she’d been interrupted mid-sentence.

“Look, I don’t care. You all will be fine as long as you don’t enter the forest. So, get to work.”


“I said get to work!” His voice echoed through the quiet night and Alec wondered if the creatures in the Forbidden Forest had heard it or feared it as much as the group of students did.

There was no further argument from the group as they grabbed the stakes and, as the caretaker had commanded, got to work on completing the potentially dangerous task.


The first thing Alec noticed was that although the trunks were relatively small the number of stakes in them never diminished. The second thing he realised was that the stakes were enchanted, they were brimming with magic. 

Magic had a feeling about it. It was alive. Different spells or incantations felt a certain way depending on their purpose. Jinxes and hexes felt cold and the magic running through his veins told him they were for pain or torment. While, healing spells felt warm, whenever Alec performed them his magic would whisper that they were for mending and helping.

When Alec had picked up one of the wooden stakes and observed the strange symbols carved into the wood he’d felt safe. Alec’s magic had reacted, and he’d known that the magic imbued into the objects was for protection and defence

The Caretaker had ordered the group of nine students to split up into groups of three and Alec, logically, had gone with Magnus and Izzy. The three of them had been given a trunk of stakes and half-an-hour later they were jamming the wooden objects into the ground, forming a wall, a magical barrier, between the Hogwarts grounds and the Forbidden Forest.

Magnus and himself were each carrying a handle of the trunk while Izzy walked ahead occasionally turning to retrieve one of the wooden enchanted objects. When every minute or so passed the girl would spot a little glowing area in the earth, trot over to it and shove a stake into the pre-marked earth.  

When Isabelle had volunteered to be the one who rammed the stakes into the ground, Alec had worried she wouldn’t be strong enough, hell, he’d wondered if he could even do it but the instant Izzy had pushed the object into the dirt, the stake and the ground hadn’t protested and the wooden object cut through the packed earth like a nice through butter.

“Why are we even doing this?” Izzy asked in exasperation after they’d been walking in relative silence for a few minutes.

“The stakes are Ashwood, they naturally repel fairies.” The Hufflepuff explained, he’d recognised the type from a few Potion and Herbology lessons. “But they’ve also been imbued with magic that will create a barrier between Hogwarts and the forest.”

“How do you know that?” Izzy question sounding sceptical.

“Isn’t it obvious?” Alec asked thinking back to the way his magic had reacted when he’d come in contact with the stakes.

“No.” Izzy snapped back in frustration.

“She hadn’t developed a bond with her magic yet, Alexander.” Magnus chastised him. and Alec had to remind himself that his sister had only been practising magic for a day. Not nearly a long enough time to understand the basics of magic. “She can’t feel the power or intent of spells like we can.”

“Develop a bond?” Isabelle asked curiously.

“Magic runs through our veins like blood,” Magnus explained to the new witch, his friend had always been better at explaining things then Alec. “it’s weird to explain but you can kinda learn to communicate with it.”

“What like a conversation?” Izzy asked sceptically.

“No, like the magic you possess reacts to other peoples’ and it’s akin to how your body can feel thirsty and you just know you need to drink, your magic can feel spells and just know what they do,” Magnus explained and, in that moment, Alec could really see the similarities between the Slytherin and Professor Fell.

“How do you do that, learn to understand your magic, I mean.” Izzy asked, and she sounded excited.

“You can’t really control it,” Alec said. “it just sort of….happens.”

“Huh,” Izzy replied and Alec could imagine her face scrunching up in confusion.

 A few more moments passed in silence before Isabelle spoke again. “Oh, shit.”

“Language!” Alec protested. The girl had been spending too much time with Jace.

“You both distracted me!” She whirled on them and reached forward to grab an ashwood stake. “I forgot to look for where to put this in the ground. You two go on ahead, I’ll catch up.” She informed them before running back the way they’d come. Alec, eyes full of worry, watched his sister run off into the darkness.

“Come on.” Magnus said. “The next marked spot is just up ahead. We’ll wait for her there.”

As they walked Alec couldn’t help worrying about Isabelle. She was his little sister, it was his job to look after her, but Izzy was so independent, so willing to be bold and brave that Alec didn’t know how to protect her because he had never been like her. He hadn’t ever been the favourite like Jace or doted on like Max or rebellious like Izzy was starting to be. Alec had always preferred to not be seen or get into trouble, but Isabelle was apparently the opposite of him.

“Penny for your thoughts?” Magnus asked.

“What’s a Penny?” Alec wondered as they placed the trunk on the ground. “I don’t have one to trade.”

Magnus chuckled. The Slytherin was half-blooded, he knew a lot more about Non-wizards then Alec did and the Hufflepuff had found himself learning some weird but mildly interesting things about the muggles over the past year. “it’s only an expression Alexander, I’m asking what you’re worried about.”

The Hufflepuff watched Magnus as the boy reached down with one elegant hand and retrieve one of the enchanted objects from the trunk.

“Izzy has always been...bold.” Alec started to explain. “But at Hogwarts breaking the rules has serious consequences and I don’t want my family to treat her like they treated me.”

“I get that.” Magnus replied as he started walking towards the glowing spot in the ground. “I think you should talk to her about it, maybe she doesn’t truly understand the consequences of what she’s doing.”

“Yah.” Alec agreed. “I think-”

Alec stopped speaking when he noticed a flicker of movement in the corner of his eye. The Hufflepuff whirled to directly face the Forbidden Forest and the boy’s gaze snapped to the area where his hazel eyes had registered movement. Alec had been about to yell to Magnus that something was nearby, but the words died in his throat when the boy realised what he’d seen.


The girl was moving slowly, her steps uneven and she was stumbling slightly but Alec’s mind didn’t really register details because with every second that passed Isabelle was walking deeper and deeper into the Forbidden Forest.

Alec hadn’t stopped to think. He’d screamed Isabelle’s name and started running towards the girl. The Gryffindor hadn’t seemed to have heard him as she’d just kept stumbling blindly into the depths of the forest.

Alec’s ears had faintly heard the echo of Magnus’s voice but the Hufflepuff hadn’t really listened to it and just kept running. Izzy was still moving into the forest and getting her back was more important than anything.

Sharp branches cut into his skin as Alec ran past them and thorns from rose bushes that were on the ground clung to his legs, but Alec ignored the pain.

Alec also ignored the magic that screamed for him to stop and go back as he ran after the shape of his sister that was getting progressively harder and harder to see as the trees got thicker and more tightly placed the deeper they got into the forest.

Later, when Alec looked back on these memories he’d always mentally question himself on how he’d missed such basic details. How hadn’t he noticed that the girl stumbling into the forest was just a little too short to be his sister? how could he have missed that her hair was just a little to light in colour? but mostly Alec would always be astonished that he’d been so blinded by desperation to stop Isabelle that he hadn’t registered that while he was running towards her and the Gryffindor was slowly walking he was always the same distance apart from the girl.

Chapter Text

It took Magnus a moment to really comprehend the situation.

One moment, he and Alexander had been having a perfectly reasonable conversation about Izzy and the one-hundred percent effective parenting techniques of Maryse and Robert Lightwood, the next thing Magnus knew Alec had let out a scream containing more fear than anything the Slytherin had ever heard and the boy was running towards the Forbidden Forest like a thirsting man to water

On instinct Magnus had yelled at Alec, his voice echoing through the quiet, but the Hufflepuff hadn’t looked back and Magnus with no other options had sprinted into the forest after Alec and whatever the hell he was chasing.

The forest was dark as a result of the trees blocking the light from the stars, It had been hard to follow Alec through the maze of trees as the other boy was weaving through the forest with purpose as if there was a path set out for him but Magnus had no idea what the Hufflepuff was chasing and where he was running to.

The forest blurred past Magnus as he followed Alec, a rock had managed to find its way into the Slytherin’s boot, delivering a small stab of pain upon each step. Magnus finally caught up with Alexander when the boy had skidded to a stop in the middle of a small clearing. The moon shone down and illuminated the clearing and although the area looked peaceful Magnus still felt wrong being here.

Alec was panting, Magnus wasn’t sure if it was a result of the running or the panic he was clearly suffering from. Alec was in the centre of the clearing, his eyes were frantic, the boy was turning in a circle, searching the vast expanse of trees and foliage for something.

“Alec.” Magnus said tentatively, his friend was scared, that much was clear. “What happened?”

“Izzy...She…” Alec wasn’t looking at him, his eyes were still searching the trees for, presumably Isabelle but Magnus wasn’t sure why the Gryffindor would be in the forest. “She was walking into the forest, but I don’t know which way she went.”

With those words, something in Magnus’s mind clicked into place.

“Alexander are you sure she came in here.” Magnus asked. The boy had a sneaking suspicion that a fairy had used a glamour and tricked Alec into entering the forest. Ragnor had told him stories about students who had been deceived and led into the forest, all of them had lived, of course, the fairies had only wanted to torment and play games back then but now with the new threats that had been made Magnus wasn’t sure what they’d want with himself and Alec.

“I saw her.” Alec said but Magnus could see the cogs turning behind the boy's eyes.

“Why would she do that?”

“I don’t know, she must have been lured by a....fairy.” Realisation washed over Alec’s face. “Oh, Merlin…”


There was a long pause. “I’m an actual moron.” Alec said while turning to kick one of the many oak trees that surrounded them.

“You’re not.” Magnus replied.

Alec looked as if he was going to deny Magnus’s statement but before he could a rumbling sort of noise sounded through the clearing. Magnus looked down and he could've sworn that the ground itself was shaking.

Alec had acted before Magnus. The Hufflepuff had grabbed the Slytherin's hand and pulled them both behind the safety of a large tree.

“We’re gonna die.” Alec muttered.

“Don’t be a pessimist Alexander.”

Not moments later a herd of centaurs had charged into the clearing where both boys had just been standing.

Centaurs had been one of the various creatures they’d learned about in Defence Against the Dark Arts, when Magnus glanced around the side of the tree he noticed that all of the centaurs had weapons strapped to themselves, the blades glittered in the moonlight and the quivers on their backs rattled with each step.

Magnus stopped breathing, he clutched Alec’s hand tighter and prayed to Merlin that they wouldn’t be discovered by the creatures. The Slytherin just hoped they couldn’t hear his racing heart.

“Why are we stopping.” A centaur questioned, there was either pure fury or fear in his voice. Magnus could relate to the latter, but he’d never thought of centaurs as fearful creatures.

From what he knew, based on stories and books, centaurs were fairy-blooded creatures, the Huntsman and elite guards of fairy courts. They were prideful and to insult one was to consent to your own execution.

“A pixie informed me of a disturbance.” A centaur with a coat blacker than night answered, he was most likely the leader if the crown of golden leaves he wore was any indication.

“Are you mad. You can’t trust anything a pixie says.” Another centaur soke in outrage. “That’s-”

He was silenced when another huntsman raised his hand, a command for silence. “What disturbance, Lucian?” The centaur asked, he had a russet coat the shined in the moonlight.

A few moments passed in silence. Not even the mundane insects brave enough to live in the Forbidden Forest made a noise. When the brown-coated centaur didn’t receive an answer, he stomped one powerful hoof into the ground causing a great echo.  

“I’m not sure.” The-probably-leader centaur responded and his eyes skated along the trees that surrounded the clearing. Searching for whatever had disrupted the magic.

Magnus and Alec both lurched back behind the safety of the tree. Every noise, every rustle of the leaves, every thud or murmur caused by the centaurs, made Magnus’s heart beat faster

The Slytherin glanced over towards Alec and noticed the Hufflepuff had drawn his willow wand and Magnus followed suit. They were second-year wizards. If the fairy-blooded creatures found them then they’d both be dead but having their wands present was an Illusion of hope that Magnus didn’t want to go without.

“Well there’s clearly nothing here, let’s move on.” Another voice of a centaur responded and Magnus felt some of the tension coiling in his muscles relax.

There was no response from the crown-wearing centaur, Magnus could imagine that the creature's eyes were fixed on the large oak tree that he and Alexander were hiding behind.

“Lucien, what are you doing? She will skin us alive if we can’t get it back.” Another voice questioned the leader.

There was a long pause and both he and Alec didn’t dare to breathe but after what seemed an eternity the sound of countless hooves colliding with the ground filled the clearing and dozens blurs zoomed by the tree leaving dust in their wake.

Alec let out a sigh of relief when the centaurs had all finally gone, neither of them needed to glance around the tree to check, the magic in their veins had stopped begging them to run the moment the creatures were a safe distance away.

Magnus hadn’t been aware that Alec’s hand was still intertwined with his own until he’d tried to move. His eyes met briefly with Alexander’s before they both let go.

Magnus found that he missed the warmth and comfort it had given immediately and wondered if Alec felt the same.

Alec hated the Forbidden Forest. It was a place of strange magic that tricked and tormented and he would’ve sworn that the shadows moved and the darkness was alive.

He and Magnus had both been wandering through the labyrinth of a forest for what felt like days. “We’re lost.” Magnus muttered as he raised his wand higher, using the light produced from the Lumos Charm to see more of the forest ahead of them.  

“Wasn’t I supposed to be the pessimist.” Alec responded, trying to lighten the mood. They were both lost but at the very least they knew they weren’t too deep in the forest because of the absence of crystals and fairies around them.

“We could try sending up sparks or a flare or something so someone could find us.”  Magnus suggested.

“Yah but then the fairies could also find us.” Alec replied. It was a risk, but it might be their only option.

“Perhaps we could-”

Without warning a creature emerged from the trees cutting Magnus off. The beast was standing on its hind legs, It was towering, all teeth and claws. it had a long curling tail and sockets in its head that made Alec think it once had eyes.

Alec froze like a Niffler caught in a jewellery store. This wasn’t like the centaurs, they’d been given no time to react or hide. The creature had just appeared and soon they’d just be dead.

The monster, Alec thought that was the only word that could accurately describe the creature in front of him, sunk back onto all fours and started advancing towards them snarling and snapping its jaws with each step, it’s long tail swishing from side to side.

Alec on instinct grabbed Magnus’s hand. Neither of them tried to run, there was no point. This monster would kill them and he’d never get to see Izzy or Jace again. Alec allowed himself one moment to worry about Telum and a few more to wonder if his parents would even care that some nameless beast had torn their son limb from limb.

“Magnus…” Alec couldn’t really think of anything profound to say to his friend, again words had failed him.

It happened slowly. First, the movement of the creature’s tail had slowed to a twitch then stopped altogether. Then the snarls faded to growls. The creature was still walking towards them but somehow the feeling of impending doom had faded.

Without warning the monster lurched forward and smacked its long, leathery tail into Alec’s chest, tearing his hand away from Magnus’s and causing the Hufflepuff to collide hard with the floor.

Before Alec could curse his magic for deceiving him he watched in horror as the creature continued to advance on Magnus until it had backed the Slytherin into a nearby tree.

Magnus’s heart was pounding, the beast could probably hear it beating like a drum. There had been one moment when he thought he and Alexander might’ve been alright but apparently, the creature was a fickle thing.

The monster took another step forward, getting even closer to him and Magnus could feel the heat of its breath, could smell the death and decay that clung to its skin. Without his knowledge or consent Magnus’s knees buckled and he fell to the floor making the beast look somehow more terrifying.

To the Slytherin’s horror, the creature stretched its head down closer to him and spoke. “Magnus bane?” Its voice was like gravel but somehow more human than it deserved. Magnus didn’t know what disturbed him more, the fact that the creature had spoken to him or the fact that it had spoken his name.

He heard Alec’s voice echo through the quiet “Get away from him.” The Hufflepuff had drawn his wand and was pointing it at the beast.

The creature turned slowly and looked to Alexander before speaking, “if you try anything I’ll rip your throat out.

Alec took a step forward.

“Alexander. Don’t.” Magnus said before the monster could do anything. He wouldn’t let Alec die for him. He’d fight this creature himself or let it rip him apart if it meant keeping Alec safe.

“But Magnus-”

“Trust me.”

He stared into Alec’s eyes for a moment before looking back at the monster. “Yes. I’m Magnus Bane.” He hoped his voice sounded less shaky then he thought.

The beast didn’t respond, instead, it took one step back and Magnus watched in confusion as it stood on its hind legs and retrieved something silver from a pouch located just above its stomach. A small metal dragon. The creature tossed the silver object to Magnus.

It was a generic dragon, four legs, a set of wings and a tail, about the size of a small stone. Magnus tried to look for something that made it unique but found nothing. Alexander was always better at noticing details then him.

“If you are who you say you are, then it will bond with you.”

“What do you-”

Magnus nearly jumped out of its skin when the metal dragon’s eyes flared with blue light and it started moving. He felt its small metal claws dig into his skin as it moved around his palm and he watched it crawl over to the back of his hand. Magnus turned his hand over to see the small dragon claw its way onto his pointer finger and wrap its long tail around it. The Slytherin watched in amazement as the dragon tucked it its wings and started to shrink in order to fit comfortably on his finger.

The creature let out a gruntled sort of noise and Magnus looked up at it. “Not that I, um, don’t totally appreciate the jewellery but uh, why did you give this to me?” Magnus asked.

“Because there are those of us that are and always will be loyal to your father. That ring was his, it is rightfully yours.”

Those words made Magnus more afraid than anything in this forest could ever hope to. Asmodeus still had followers, this monster of a creature was one of them. Magnus felt as if he was going to be sick.

Before he could say or do anything, like pry the god-forsaken ring off his finger, there was a rumbling noise in the distance that Magnus recognised.

The centaurs.

“They will kill you. I’ll lead them away.” The creature stated. “Head north and you will find the castle of Hogwarts.” It spoke while using its head to gesture in the direction Magnus assumed was north before swiftly turning and running in the direction of the centaurs.

Magnus stayed where he was. Frozen by the knowledge that his father was still plaguing the Wizarding World. Earlier today he’d told Alec that it upset him that normal children inherited heirlooms from their fathers, but he had gotten judgement and blame. Apparently, the universe loved irony because right now Magnus felt nothing but disgusted to be wearing the man’s ring.

He was snapped back to reality by the sound of Alec’s voice. “What are you doing Magnus? We need to get the hell out of here.”

Magnus pushed all the disgust and worry to the back of his mind. He could think over it later but for now, Alec was right. They needed to get back to the castle. The Hufflepuff helped him up and they both started running in the direction the creature had pointed them in.

After running and weaving through the trees for about ten minutes both boys saw a warm light looming up ahead and within another five they had both emerged from the depths of the forest covered in blood, dirt and sweat. The moment they had entered the Hogwarts grounds the second-year boys both fell to their knees in exhaustion.

“I’m never, ever, getting a detention again.” Alec breathed out.

Magnus, despite himself, couldn’t help but laugh.



Chapter Text

From the moment Isabelle could remember people had always told Alec to keep her safe. Whenever she and her brother had went to explore the Lightwood estate or climb trees or do anything remotely unsafe - before Jace had joined their family - their parents had drilled into them both that Alec would be the one to look after her, be the one who would keep her safe from things both mundane and magical.

Apparently, the opposite was true.

Izzy had left her brother and his friend to go put the stake - the one she’d forgotten to put in the marked spot - where it belonged when she’d heard a scream tear through the eerie quiet of the night.

Waves of panic had overtaken her, and the Gryffindor had ran back to the spot where Alec and Magnus had been moments ago only to be met with silence and the inky blackness of the night.

They were gone.

Fear had dug its sharp claws into her heart and Isabelle hated her mind as it conjured all sorts of images about her brother being attacked or dragged into the forest - killed.

The brave part of her - the Gryffindor part - wanted to run into that forest and tear it apart until she found her brother and hurt whatever had caused him to leave her. But a small voice in the back of her mind - one she’d never heard before - whispered to wait, because she knew basically no magic and going into the forest would just cause more problems.

Isabelle had stared into the blackness of the forest and searched for any signs of Alec, any movement or noise but she’d found none. After a few minutes of waiting in silence, Izzy had turned and started running back to where the Caretaker had informed the group of students he’d be waiting.

The forest and the little markers of light blurred past her as the Gryffindor ran. The Caretaker might have been a little mentally unstable, but he did work at Hogwarts - was employed by Professor McGonagall. He was probably the best bet to get Alec and Magnus back.

When she reached the man, he was sitting in an old looking wooden chair that she assumed he had summoned. Izzy felt a jab of irritation hit her. This man had been lounging around while her brother had been taken.

The Caretaker heard the sound of her feet pounding against the dirt and looked in the direction of Isabelle as she ran towards him. Izzy saw Mr Finch lean forward in the chair and raise his unkempt eyebrows at her. “Finished your area already girl?” The man asked in his gravelly voice. There was a pause. “Wait, didn’t I send you delinquents out in groups?”

After Izzy had caught her breath, she explained everything. About how she’d heard a scream that she was almost certain belonged to her brother while she was putting the stake in the marked spot. With a voice that wasn’t as steady as she’d like, Izzy told him about running back to find the space empty save for the open trunk of stakes.

The Caretaker seemed to consider her words for a moment before he stood from his chair, the wood groaning in protest.

Izzy watched in confusement as the older wizard reached into his robes and retrieved a black wand, before pointing it at the sky and muttering an incantation that Izzy didn’t recognise. A beam of white light shot into the night sky and created a blue-white ball of light that hovered in the sky and Izzy felt a tug surge through her that the Gryffindor assumed was from the magic in her blood that she couldn’t understand, yet…

Isabelle hadn’t dared ask questions about what that spell had done or what it meant but when the other students had sauntered back to where she and the Caretaker had been waiting, Izzy was fairly certain it had been a way to call the others back.

When they all arrived, none seeming to notice that the group had two less wizards then it had at the start of the evening. The Caretaker had commanded silence before addressing the group. “All right you lot are finished for the night, go back to your dormitories.”

There were a few cheers amongst the students while other hive-fived friends, Izzy gathered the general consensus was that they were all keen to leave.

When they’d all left the Caretaker turned back to the wooden chair and resumed his post. Izzy felt anger, hot and wild, overwhelm her and she whirled on the man. “What about my brother?” It was a demand more than a question.

The man sighed in annoyance and Izzy curled her lip in a snarl, how dare he-

“Do you see that, girl?” The man said pointing to the impossibly bright ball of light still floating up in the sky. It was casting a pale glow over the area they were standing in and Izzy thought that people who were miles away could probably see it. “Before you all left I cast a spell on you all and anyone affected by that enchantment who sees that light will be compelled to come here.”

“So, what, you're just putting it to chance that Alec and Magnus will see that?” Izzy sneered, not caring that he was older and in a position of authority.


“But the trees - they probably won’t even see it.” Isabelle said cold realisation washing over her. It wasn’t a cloudless night, they didn’t know what to look for. There were so many things that would prevent them from seeing it.

“They most likely won’t.” The Caretaker agreed, and Izzy felt that fire of rage burn again.

Then why are you just sitting there!” She yelled. The man was her superior, not a professor but still a staff member, she was meant to be respectful, but the Gryffindor couldn’t really bring herself to care.

“Because, girl. “he said in that voice of gravel “if anyone goes in, especially myself or a professor, too many carefully crafted alliances will shatter.”

“I don’t understand.” Isabelle said that anger turning to confusion.

The older wizard sighed. Looking as if he was regretting even bringing this topic up. “You’re a child. You couldn’t possibly understand.” There was a pause. “All we can do is pray that the boys come out alive.”

The conversation was over. Izzy felt rather than knew that all other questions would be met with silence, so the girl left them unvoiced.

What felt like hours passed while Izzy kept her eyes glued to the forest. The star remained as bright as ever and the Caretaker just sat in his chair unmoving like a statue but eventually, she spotted them.

Alec and Magnus didn’t emerge from the leafy depth of the Forbidden Forest like she’d expected but she’d seen their figures walking on the grass - as if they’d already exited the forest and started to head towards the ball of light afterwards - towards her.

It took her a few moments to get past the feeling of overwhelming relief that he was alive to notice that Alec was hurt. As far as her eyes could tell sticks, gravel and thorns had been the things to cause it, not something hungry with claws and teeth which was probably a good thing, for that hypothetical monster.

When the two boys reached them, their glassy eyes making them look like moths drawn to a lantern, the Caretaker surveyed them with analytical eyes and seemingly pleased he turned to the Gryffindor.

“There, you’ve seen your brother is ok but now you need to get back to your dorm.” He told her.

The embers of that fire roared to life in her blood. “Like hell, I will.” She responded.

The older wizard sighed and seemed to realise that this was a battle he most certainly wouldn’t win.

He turned to Alec and Magnus. “Look Minerva advised me to only allow sixth years and up to do this for their detention, but I insisted it would be fine.” No one spoke so he continued to. “If word gets out that you two got lost in the forest I’m in deep shit so can we agree that you two won’t tell anyone about going into the forest and I won’t mention that you broke the headmistress's number 1 rule.”

“What? That’s Insane!” Izzy shouted on her brother’s behalf.

“I didn’t ask you girl .” There was a threat in that sentence, it warned to stop talking.

She ignored it. “They are students - children - you’re an adult and they got hurt on your watch. this deal is you trying to save your own skin.” Her voice was showing more anger then she would’ve liked.


Surprisingly it was Alec who cut off the Caretaker’s response. “We’ll do it. Not mention it or whatever,”

“What?” Isabelle questioned.

“We’ll accept that deal.” Magnus said. “Just let us leave.”

For the first time, Izzy saw the exhaustion that weighed on both Alec and Magnus and she had a feeling it wasn’t just physical.

“Smart boys.” The Caretaker said looking indeed like the Kneazle that ate the niffler.

Alec and Magnus nodded, and both turned to start walking back to the castle and Isabelle ran to join them.

“Oh, and Mr Bane.” The Caretaker addressed him and the Slytherin turned to face the older wizard. “Get rid of the jewellery, you know it’s against the rules when you're on school time.”

Magnus only nodded but Izzy could’ve sworn the boy grew paler before he turned and continued walking back towards the castle. Izzy glanced down to see a silver ring in the shape of a dragon adorning Magnus’s left hand.

She dismissed the thought that it hadn’t been their earlier.

Isabelle watched Alec and Magnus as they walked, both had cuts and were covered in leaves and dirt, but they looked so unbelievably tired that she knew better than to ask what had happened. At least not now.

Jace nervously tapped his foot, the sound being muffled by the fabric of the soft carpet that lay on the ground in the middle of the Gryffindor Common Room, as he waited for Izzy to emerge from the girls dormitory.

The previous night he’d seen her leaving the Common Room and the blonde had just assumed that his sister had been heading out for dinner a few minutes early in order to avoid the herd of students who’d depart when the clock struck 7:00 but after he’d returned from supper and Clary had suggested they all play a game of Exploding Snap, the Gryffindor had tried to find his sister but was unsuccessful.

He’d asked Aline where Isabelle was, and the girl had informed Jace that she was probably still in detention.

So being the noble big brother that he was, Jace had sat in one of the comfortable chairs placed around the fire and waited for her to come back. He’d gotten worried when the two older Gryffindor students that had been serving detention got back early. Jace waited for his sister to duck in through the porthole and complain about how boring detention had been but she hadn’t returned before Professor Starkweather the head of Gryffindor House, had come to tell all students below fourth year to get to bed. Jace had protested, he’d told the Professor that he wanted to wait until his sister had come back but the wizard insisted he get some rest and Jace knew he would lose the argument, so he went to bed.

The blonde glanced to his left to see a clock on the wall, its frame in the shape of a curling lion, it read 10 minutes past 8. Jace kept tapping his foot on the carpet. He was getting impatient.

Jace Lightwood hated waiting.

Eventually, after what seemed like years, Izzy emerged into the Common Room, already dressed in her robes with a satchel, no doubt carrying her textbooks and school supplies, hanging from her shoulder.

Jace suddenly leapt from his seat, causing a sixth-year girl who’d been peacefully reading a book to jump, Jace sent her an apologetic smile before bounding over to Izzy who had been talking to Aline.

They were still talking when Jace reached them, but the blonde didn’t really mind, he just grabbed his sister by the hand, ignored her obvious irritation, and dragged her over to an unoccupied corner.

“What happened last night?” he asked, not knowing why she was late when all the other detention students got back early was killing him.

Isabelle, as far as Jace could tell, was going to be trouble.

It almost made him proud.

“Good Morning to you too.” She replied, sarcasm dripping from her voice. Obviously annoyed he’d interrupted her conversation with Aline.

Izzy. ” He hissed in impatiens, why was she pretending like nothing happened?  She’d worried him half to death last night and that fear he’d been feeling since hadn’t faded yet.

“Relax Jace, I was only late because Alec managed to-”

“What’s Alec got to do with this?” He questioned in confusion, cutting her off.

“He was in detention with me.” She replied casually.

“Wait, Alec?  ” Jace question in astonishment. “As in our Alec.”


There was a lengthy pause as Jace processed the information. He almost wanted to ask if she was sure it was actually him because Polyjuice or a Metamorphmagus seemed like more plausible explanations then, Alec Lightwood breaking the rules.

When Jace had first been adopted by the Lightwoods he and Alec hadn’t gotten along very well, Jace had been put off by Alec’s determination to follow the rules and do no wrong, ever. Eventually, the blonde had warmed up to him and gotten to know Alec properly and it hadn’t been long before they’d become inseparable. Despite Jace’s numerous attempts to corrupt him, Alec had never strayed far from the path marked out by their parents, well not until recently apparently, getting Sorting into Hufflepuff, becoming friends with Magnus, detention….

Jace was proud

“Why were you both in detention?”

“Me, I set fire to something. Alec, I have no clue, but Magnus was there too so I’m thinking he had something to do with it.”

Of course, Magnus had been involved. Jace felt a spark of irritation flare through him. Jace didn’t consider himself a jealous person and he was happy his brother had managed to make a friend, it’s just he’d never had to share Alec with someone before.

Before they’d went to Hogwarts he’d never spent a day without seeing his brother and when they were at school it felt like the only time they spent together was during lessons and Jace understood that they were in different houses and that it was only logical they wouldn’t spend as much time together but Magnus was in Slytherin and Alec was always with him and now he, Izzy and Alec had gotten detention together and It just felt like he and Alec were growing apart.

It felt like he was losing his best friend. His brother.

“Izzy, could you just give me a proper explanation.” He pleaded.

“Wish I could Jace but I’m actually meeting our brother soon and if I don’t leave now, I’ll be late, and he’ll brood at me.” She said before turning and heading towards the porthole.

“I’m coming with you.” He announced a few seconds later.

Izzy didn’t object.


Exhaustion weighed heavily on him like a warm blanket as Magnus was dragged away from the blissful darkness of sleep. The boy snuggled deeper into the comfortable warmth of his blankets and turned away from the exasperating monster that had awoken him.

The Chairman, not happy at being ignored, moved closer to Magnus and meowed louder. Magnus survived about seventeen torturous seconds before he admitted defeat and got out of bed.

Magnus looked around his dorm expecting to see a group of angry students who wanted to shave his cat for waking them up but to Magnus’s surprise, it was empty.  The boy’s mind, still foggy from sleep, tried to comprehend where all his housemates had disappeared off to.

Magnus glanced over to the ticking clock built into the wall, it was circular with the body of a green snake coiling around as a frame, it read 8:45 am.

He’d slept in.

It took three seconds for the memories to come flying back and hit him like a bludger. Detention, The forest, the monster….

The Chairman meowed again, his high-pitched whine echoing through the dormitory. the sound snapped Magnus out of his memories and the boy quickly showered and dressed into his robes. The Slytherin decided he’d have to skip breakfast as there wasn’t enough time left before his first class was due to start.

Magnus ate the last cauldron cakes leftover from the train ride as he gathered the books and quills he’d need for his first lessons; Charms and Defence Against the Dark Arts. Magnus made a mental note to search in the latter textbook for a creature that resembled the one he and Alec had run into in the Forbidden Forest.

The Slytherin was leaving the room when he walked past a mirror and a glint of silver, shining in the light from a nearby lantern, on his left hand caught the boy’s eye. Magnus glanced down to see the small dragon was still curled around his finger masquerading as a ring.

His father's ring.

Disgust twisted in Magnus’s gut as he remembered the creature's words; That ring was his, it is rightfully yours. Magnus grabbed the silver object and tried to pry it off his hand, but the dragon wouldn’t budge no matter how hard he pulled.

Magnus kept trying to force the ring off his pointer finger and the boy tried to remember if he’d ever heard of a spell that could remove a stuck bit of jewellery or If it would be better to go to Ragnor or Madam Pomfrey with this little predicament if he couldn’t get the dam ring off.

Magnus’s attempts to separate himself from the silver object were interrupted however when he felt a small stab of pain shoot through the nerve endings in his fingers. Magnus pulled his hand away immediately.

The bloody ring had bitten him.  

Magnus stared at the back of his hand, the silver ring had raised its head and its eyes were glowing a deep Pulsing blue and Magnus didn’t know how but he could feel the waves of annoyance radiating off the metal creature.

The ring was alive.

disregarding magic, it was a somewhat hard thought to comprehend because when the boy looked at the metal object, claws and tail curling to form the dragon ring that fit snugly on his finger, it looked too much like normal jewellery. If he hadn’t seen it move - last night in the forest or just now - the boy would never have suspected that it was even magical at all.

Alec would flip.

Magnus knew it was different from other objects that had been enchanted with life, brooms and brushes could be spelled to perform tasks and even bludgers and things used in sports games had some semblance of sentience, but the ring felt different than any other object he’d interacted with that had been spelled to act without human command.

That small voice in his mind whispered that this little creature was something undoubtedly unique.

With the eyes of the small dragon on him the boy reached out with his hand again in what would’ve been another attempt to pry the darn piece of silver off his finger, but he paused when small, sharp silver claws dug into his skin and the creature snapped its jaws at him.  

Someone, his father most likely, had imbued the creature with enough magic that it had a mind of its own.

Magnus wanted it as far away from himself as possible.

It wasn’t just the fact that the dragon had belonged to his father that made Magnus not want to wear the ring it was also against the school’s dress code and Magnus really didn’t feel like writing lines.

There was a long moment of silence before Magnus suddenly reached forward with his hand, trying to take the creature by surprise, unfortunately, the little dragon reacted faster than Magnus anticipated it would and sank its small metal teeth into his hand when the boy had made contact with it.

“You infuriating creature! Can you not!” He exclaimed in frustration withdrawing his hand quickly. How in Merlin’s name was he going to get this thing off?

The dragon shook its head in disagreement and Magnus didn’t even know why he was surprised that it understood him.

There was a long minute of silence where neither Magnus or the dragon ring moved.

“Ok, so I’m just going to ignore how weird this entire situation is and ask you - a magical dragon ring - to get off my hand.” There was a long pause where the creature stared at him with those glowing sapphire eyes and Magnus actually thought his plan might work. “Please.”

The metal beast turned its head slightly, as if considering his offer before it shook its small metal head in disagreement, the movement caused firelight to dance atop the silver of its scales.

“Why not?” Magnus was starting to get annoyed at this defiant little ring. The beast simply hunched its shoulders and curled back up to form the facade of jewellery on his finger.

Stubborn. The dam dragon would get along with Alexander.

“Great, now I’m going to get in trouble because of some clingy little talisman,” Magnus muttered to himself while gathering his books from where he’d placed them, the Slytherin would have to go to Ragnor and see if the Professor knew a spell that could help, witch intern meant he’d have to tell the man about the Forbidden Forest and the Caretaker and Matt and Jess which would be just the most fun.

He felt the cold silver of the dragon’s tail uncoiling from around his finger and Magnus looked own to see the small dragon trotting down the length of his finger, its claws like little needles digging into his skin, until it was standing on the back of his hand, tail swishing from side to side.

Magnus raised an eyebrow at the little dragon and its sudden change of heart.  “What, don’t want me to get in trouble?”

The little creature reminded Magnus of Chairman Meow as it sat and curled its long tail around its body and looked up at him with glowing eyes, that had an intelligence in them, before it shook its head.

Stubborn and vaguely protective, it’d definitely get along with Alexander.

Magnus feeling like they’d reached some sort of truce reached out with his hand that the dragon wasn’t sitting on and picked up the small silver creature, the object squirmed in his hand, but it didn’t claw or bite which was a definite improvement from last time. Magnus walked a few steps across the dorm to where his wooden trunk, that held all his school supplies and personal possessions, was placed in front of his bed. Magnus opened the lid, leaned down and placed the sentient metal dragon inside.

The Slytherin reached forward in hopes to shut the lid - and then later thank Merlin that he’d avoided that conversation with Ragnor - when the little creature started to beat its wings. Magnus watched in amazement as the enchanted object flew out of the trunk only to land on Magnus’s outstretched hand

“What are you doing?” the boy exclaimed in alarm as the dragon ran up his arm its claws piercing the fabric of his robes and digging into his skin. The silver creature crept along his shoulder and Magnus resisted the urge to shudder or cringe as it started to crawl down his chest, like some winged silver insect. When the metal dragon had reached his sternum, it spread its little wings and released the fabric it had been clinging to, in order not to fall off, and it jumped into the inside pocket of his robes.

By Merlin this ring was fickle.

He was going to reach into his pocket and grab the Jewellery but that small voice in the back of his head stopped him. It whispered to Magnus that this dragon was spelled to protect, that it needed to be near and the Slytherin wouldn’t win an argument with it, so Magnus let out a long sigh, gathered his books and quills and exited the dorm room.

Chapter Text

The Owlery, as usual, smelt of hay and life. a breeze of icy morning air was currently coming in through the glassless windows, making the stone tower chilly. The cold didn’t seem to bother the owls though as most of them were either sleeping off a long night of travel or munching down the dead mice or owl pellets that magically appeared every morning.

Alec had been in the owlery with Telum for a while, the Hufflepuff, despite being exhausted from the whole ordeal in the forest, had woken just before dawn, his mind plagued with images of an eyeless monster.

The boy had dressed and snuck out of his dormitory without anyone noticing.

The castle had been dark, but Alec hadn’t dared use a Lumos Charm, he knew students caught out after curfew, especially third-years and below, got detention but the Hufflepuff wasn’t sure about the punishments for exploring the castle too early in the morning. The boy had wandered around the labyrinth of corridors and staircases until he’d managed to find his way to the owlery.

Alec scratched Telum under the chin and the bird shut her eyes in content, she’d grown a lot in the last year. She could travel longer distances a lot faster and she didn’t get lost anymore. He was beyond proud.

Alec had gotten her to deliver a note to Izzy early this morning, just after the sun had started to emerge from the horizon, asking the girl to meet him in the owlery at fifteen minutes passed eight.

She, and Jace in tow, arrived ten-and-a-half minutes late. Although he was slightly annoyed at his sister’s tardiness Alec was more curious as to why Jace had shown up with Izzy.

When they arrived Telum flew back up into the nesting area to find a comfortable place to sleep. Probably as far away from Angelos as possible, those two were in a bit of a fight right now.

“Ok, you’ve got me all intrigued by the cryptic summon, why am I here big brother?” Izzy asked walking deeper into the room. Jace remained near the door, a ray of dusty sunlight shining down upon him, making his golden hair glitter.

Alec raised an eyebrow, “cryptic?”

“You were.”

“I wasn’t.”

Yes, you were,” Isabelle said while reaching into the inside pocket of her robes before pulling out a folded piece of paper. The Gryffindor opened it and the sound of crinkling paper echoed around the owlery. “Izzy, can you meet me in the Owlery at 8:15? It’s rather urgent.” She scrunched up the paper and shoved it back into her pocket. “Cryptic, right Jace?”

“Don’t look at me, apparently I’m not cool enough for Alec’s mysterious plans.” He said it sarcastically, just like he said everything else, but Alec could hear something like hurt underneath all the bravado. Alec didn’t need to have known Jace for years to realise the boy was upset with him.

“What are you talking about Jace?” the Hufflepuff questioned. Jace was never angry with him, it unsettled Alec.

“Oh, I don’t know, you and Izzy getting detention together and meeting secretly in the Owlery after to discuss world domination.” He snapped. Alec heard the words unsaid. Without me.

“Jace it wasn’t like that...” Izzy trailed off.

Alec didn’t really know what to say, he couldn’t really remember what his life had been like before Jace. They did everything together, him and Izzy both getting detention wasn’t planned, meeting in the Owlery was necessary. He’d never considered how Jace might view the situation. Alec had never intended to make Jace feel left out.

“No Iz, it’s fine. I’ll leave you two to your conspiring.” Jace said before turning to leave.

“Jace!” Alec shouted.

The boy sighed loudly before turning to face his brother, “What?”

“Stop being dramatic, you know I’d never do anything like that without you.

Jace looked torn between marching out of the door or giving Alec a sarcastic comment and moving on. It reminded Alec of when they were kids and he’d accidentally knocked over a bottle of ink on Jace’s drawing, it had taken the future Gryffindor two days to get over it.

“I might be dramatic but at least I’m not cryptic.” He said it with a smirk and his voice was all arrogance again.

Alec almost let out a sigh of relief but instead, he sent a smile at Jace.

“Ok now that we’ve got the brother bonding out of the way, why are we here?” Izzy questioned.

Alec almost wanted to sigh when he thought about the Howler or most likely Howlers, that Maryse would have inevitably sent when she heard about both her children getting detention on day one.

She’d be livid.

Alec had known he’d get a Howler the moment professor Fell had given him and Magnus detention and the Hufflepuff could remember in vivid detail what had happened the last time he’d received one.

Alec didn’t really care what Maryse thought about him anymore, he’d gotten detention defending Magnus and he’d do it again, but he didn’t want to deal with those looks and whispers from his fellow classmates or the sympathetic eyes of his professors. So, he came to the Owlery because Alec doubted anyone would hear the rageful letter’s scream from there.

He’d invited Izzy because he didn’t want the Gryffindor to go through what he went through, because while his sister might usually relish at being the centre of attention he didn’t think she’d like that when it came from being punished and humiliated in front of the whole school.

Alec had been about to explain all that to them but apparently, the universe was inclined to do it for him, because the moment the Hufflepuff had opened his mouth to speak a loud screech sounded from the distance and the three Lightwoods turned to see Church glide through one of the glassless windows of the Owlery.

The bird circled them a few times and Alec noted the stack of envelopes clutched it his sharp talons, one a deep red the other pure white and the final a warm gold.

To his relief, Church did what Alec expected and dropped the Howler in front of him before swooping and dropping the white one on top of Isabelle and finally the gold to Jace.

Izzy looked at him with eyes laced with concern and sorrow.

The Hufflepuff ignored her worry and sympathy, he was beyond thrilled she hadn’t got one, and instead reached down and grabbed the now shaking Howler out of the straw before opening it.

Alexander Gideon Lightwood!” The letter burst to life and immediately started screaming at him in that high-pitched distortion of his mother’s voice that had plagued Alec’s nightmares for weeks after he’d gotten that first Howler. “Again, you’ve disgraced us! You’re nothing but a disappointment to this family!”  With each word, Alec could see the anger in Jace’s eyes grow more intense and when he glanced at Isabelle Alec would have sworn the girl had tears in her eyes. “You are without honour or shame, you don’t deserve the pure wizard blood that runs through your veins or the name of Lightwood! You are an embarrassment.”

As soon as the last word had been spoken the scarlet letter wasted no time and immediately burst into flames.  Before long the paper was reduced to nothing but smouldering ash which floated to the ground in clumps and got lost amongst the straw lining the floor.

“Alec…” Jace trailed off. There was something hurt in his eyes but also a burning wildfire of rage that made the Hufflepuff almost feel sorry for his parents.

“It’s fine Jace, I’m fine.”

He shouldn’t have meant the words, but he did. If that was all he’d have to endure for Magnus, Alec would do it again in a heartbeat.

“You promise?” Izzy asked.


She seemed to sense that his words were true, which didn’t surprise Alec, she’d always been able to tell when he or Jace were lying about important things. Izzy gave him one last look before ripping her letter open.

The girl grabbed the folded parchment from the envelope and tossed the paper casing to the floor and a part of Alec wanted to scold her for littering.

Izzy unfolded the parchment before reading the words inked onto the paper, Alec watched her eyes go from left to right and felt anxiety bubble up in his chest.

When she was done the girl scoffed to herself and rolled her eyes.

“The anticipation is killing me.” Jace remarked after a few moments of silence.

Izzy rolled her eyes again but there was a certain fondness to the way she did it that made Alec feel better.

“Here.” Izzy said passing the paper to Jace.  

The blonde read the words aloud, probably for dramatic effect knowing him.

“Dear Isabelle, your mother and I are quite disappointed in you. A detention at Hogwarts is serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Your actions will reflect negatively on our family and as a member of it, you should feel a responsibility to uphold the name of Lightwood. Don’t repeat your mistakes again or there will be consequences.”

Jace snorted, “pretentious pricks.”

Alec had to bite his lip to stop himself from laughing. The boy glanced over at his sister and he couldn’t shake the feeling that she seemed disappointed by something.

The Hufflepuff had been about to ask his sister what was wrong, but he was interrupted by the sound of tearing paper and the boy glanced over at Jace to see his brother unfolding the parchment and reading the letter Church had given him.

After he’d finished the Gryffindor didn’t even hesitate as he reached into his robes and withdrew his applewood wand and muttered “Incendio.”

Faster than the eye could blink both the remaining letters from Maryse and Robert set on fire.

The three Lightwoods watched the pieces of parchment shrivel in the flames together.

“What did it say?” Izzy asked when the paper was reduced to dusty clumps of ash.

“Nothing true.” The Gryffindor responded.

Alec knew it was probably a letter of love that detailed how proud Maryse and Robert were of him. But Jace was the kind of person who wouldn't want praise when it was at the expense of someone else, especially him and Isabelle.

They’d always look out for each other. 

It took Magnus one day to decide that second year was ridiculously more difficult than the first had been. It took him a week to admit that even flying wasn’t as challenging as the work they’d been required to do. The Slytherin thanked Merlin that Potions Class was still enjoyable for him.

although the classes were harder, Magnus did feel like he was actually learning things, he was half-way through week two and the Slytherin had already learned two spells, one potion and lost 10 points for talking in Defence Against the Dark Arts but he mostly blamed Alexander for that last one.

Magnus tried to make his eyes focus on his Herbology textbook, but the inked words kept burling together as his mind wondered.

The Slytherin tried to read the sentence about Mandrake sleeping habits again but the meaning of the words was lost on the Slytherin as his mind refused to make sense of them.

The boy ran a hand through his hair in exhaustion and felt a few strands snag on the form of the silver ring.

Magnus didn’t let his mind think about the silver object because that actually seemed more draining than the assigned reading on the screaming plants from Hell.

The dragon ring had stayed out of sight around the professors or anyone who would be annoyed about him breaking the school dress code, but it always appeared back on his hand the moment they left.

Magnus supposed it could be worse.

The boy glanced up, he’d been doing homework for about an hour although it felt like a week, the Slytherin Common Room was vastly unoccupied, aside from a few others who Magnus guessed were also doing homework.

Normally he and Alexander studied and did homework together in the library but today the Hufflepuff was practising Quidditch with Jace and some other second and third-year students hoping to make the team. Apparently, tryouts were next week and the second years would have to fight tooth and nail for a spot on the team alongside the older students.

The room had been so quiet for so long that when the Slytherin heard the sound of a book being closed and parchment being rolled up Magnus had been surprised enough to look up and see Austin Bennett - a second-year student - packing up his things.

Magnus would probably consider the other Slytherin a friend. Austin was the kind of friend he wouldn’t seek outside of class but he had sat with the other boy in classes when Catarina wanted to sit with her Ravenclaw friends or when he and Alexander had been separated for talking.

Austin was a half wizard that was raised in the Muggle World, one of the few people who didn’t know about Asmodeus yet, one of the few people who didn't treat him different for it.

Which was why when Magnus noted the other Slytherin had left an old looking copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them behind, he felt an obligation to get up and grab the textbook Austin had left behind and chase after the boy.

He passed the Bloody Baron talking to a couple of fifth-years by the door and managed to dodge the prefect girls that were gossiping in the hallway before Magnus had caught up to the other Slytherin at the entrance to the boys dormitory,

“Austin!” He called.

The blonde boy turned to face him, the reflection of the flickering flames of the torches lining the walls danced in his bright eyes, there was a look of curiosity on his face, “Yeah, Magnus?”

Magnus held out the copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to the other boy and a look of surprise followed by relief flashed in his eyes. The Slytherin grabbed the textbook and sent Magnus a smile before saying “Thanks, I’m such an idiot for forgetting this.”  His voice was laced with a small amount of fear, as if the possibility of losing the book was a catastrophe to him.

Austin flicked through the old book, Magnus assumed it was to check that none of the various markers that were dotted throughout its pages had fallen out.

The boy only saw a few of the creatures the other Slytherin was apparently interested in, Nifflers, Bowtruckles and Demiguises. Apparently satisfied that everything was still there, Austin shut the book and sent Magnus another grateful smile.

The Slytherin in his rush hadn’t noticed how truly old the book was. The cover was frayed, the spine had a spit and Magnus could see some of the yellow pages sticking out of the side. Then something clicked, and Magnus remembered what Ragnor had told him about Austin in first year.

“You’re related to him, aren’t you? Newt Scamander, I mean.”

Austin didn’t hesitate for a moment before he responded: “Yes, my mother was his great-granddaughter.”

“And that’s the original copy?” Magnus asked, realising why Austin had looked mortified when he’d realised he’d left it behind.

“God no. That’s probably sitting in a museum somewhere but this was one of the originals, it belonged to his wife Tina.”  He smiled.

Despite not being raised in a world that revered his family, Austin still seemed so proud of his lineage, and Magnus supposed he had every right to be.

“Seriously, thank you so much, Magnus, my mother would’ve killed me if I lost this.”

“It’s fine, really. I’ll see you in class tomorrow.” The Slytherin turned and started walking away before the other boy could notice the blush spreading across his face.

“Yeah, see you tomorrow,” Austin responded.

By the time the Slytherin got back to his seat, he was almost positive his face was back to normal. Things like that had been happening a lot, but not just with Austin.

A few days ago, he’d been nominated by professor Flitwick to collect the glass bottles they’d used in a charms class and Kate Flint - a Ravenclaw girl - had offered to help him. Magnus had felt his heartbeat quicken and he’d been too afraid of stuttering to decline.

Logically he knew that was normal, liking girls was normal, wanting to show off by brewing the best potion to impress Dorothea Rollins was normal but feeling like his heart might stop beating when Austin smiled at him.

And Alexander…..

Magnus stopped his mind from wandering there because that wasn’t normal.

More than anything he was just confused because in every fairytale and every book or poem - no matter muggle or magical - that’s how it went, the Knight won the heart of the princess. The beautiful Auror charmed the dashing Quidditch star. The Vampire Queen and her Werewolf King defied the odds. That’s how every story went, that’s how it worked. There weren’t exceptions.

Magnus was just the outlier.

He hadn’t dared talk to anyone about it. He didn’t want to be a freak in two ways.

Chapter Text


The first three weeks of term had flown by so fast that Clary was sure the castle was playing tricks on them. Her second year at the school of witchcraft and wizardry - at least so far - was quite different to her first. Yes, the work was harder and the professors expected more out of them, but it was dissimilar in ways the Gryffindor hadn’t expected.

Obviously, the Forbidden Forest had become more dangerous and as a result, the vibe of the castle was a little gloomier, Jace agreed the sudden danger probably had something to do with whatever Jocelyn had been hiding. Clary tried not to think about that too often.

But the changes weren’t all bad, for instance, the older students seemed to respect their cohort more (In Simon’s words; they'd moved up from the bottom of the food chain) and the castle focused most of its attention on changing to Inconvenience the first-years instead of the older students which had made navigating to classes a lot easier. Also, the curfew in the Common Room had been extended for them by fifteen minutes which was nice.

Despite having harder content, the classes were relatively the same. Clary was still one of the few Gryffindors who didn’t find History of Magic boring and just like last year all the students were very well behaved in Professor Fell and Sprout’s classes. Charms still remained Clary’s favourite subject and Defence Against the Dark Arts was still the one she and Simon struggled with the most. Which was why the Gryffindor and the Hufflepuff were currently sitting in the courtyard going over Professor Starkweather's notes on banshees.

“Ok let’s see what you can remember, Fray.” Simon said snatching the book out of her hands after she’d asked him a question about a banshee’s appearance that he’d gotten right. They’d always revised like this, together, even when they were in third grade and had to memorise their weekly spelling words.  

“Where are Banshees from?” He questioned.

“Ummm...” Clary’s mind made an effort to remember. Between all the information she needed to know for Defence Against the Dark Arts and all her other subjects this early into the year, Clary couldn’t imagine what third year and beyond would be like. “Ireland and Scotland!” She exclaimed suddenly when the answer seemingly apparated into her mind, which caused a nearby wizard to give them an annoyed look for disturbing the quiet.  

“Yep. next question, which potion is effective against them?” Simon asked her.

Clary didn’t have to think she knew this. “The laughing Potion.” She replied and when Simon nodded Clary gave him a smug smile.

“Ok, Danny Torrance, don’t get too confident they were easy.” He laughed.  “Hard one, why does a banshee scream?”

“They, um….” Clary trailed off, she knew this. Professor Starkweather had told them that this would be on the exams. “Oh, they scream when someone is about to die, usually in a horrific way, because they themselves were murdered and the scream is their way of trying to help the victim by attracting people to the scene.”

Simon raised his hand and Clary gladly accepted his high-five. The Gryffindor was determined to do great this year. Clary had spent every spare moment going over notes. She hadn’t failed any classes but Clary hadn’t done great either and when the girl had found out from Professor Starkweather - the head of Gryffindor - that her mother had topped nearly all her classes and been Head Girl when she was at Hogwarts, Clary had felt a little ashamed of her mediocre results and resolved to do better in second year and make Jocelyn proud.

“See, a bit of revision and you’re fine Clary.” The boy smiled at her before saying, “I don’t know why you’re worrying. You didn’t even fail last year.” There was a pause “Unlike me.”

“Oh, come on Simon, you just found out magic existed. This entire world was all new to you. You have an excuse.” She knew Simon had been struggling with his studies, they both went to the weekly classes the professors held (out of school hours) for the kids who grew up in the Muggle-World, to help them catch up on knowledge both general and academic, but while the lessons had helped the Gryffindor tremendously, Simon was still finding his new life as a wizard challenging.

“Then why don’t you have one.” He questioned. There was a note of hurt in his voice that surprised Clary. “You had just found out about magic too and yet you didn’t fail any of your classes, I failed three.”

Magic was harder to learn than most people gave it credit for, it wasn’t all theory, Simon did fine with that side of magic, great even, it was classes like Flying, Charms and Transfiguration, the practical side of magic that Simon couldn’t get. The things that couldn’t be taught, like the bond a wizard formed with their magic or the process of manifesting the magic from within into the physical world. They were things one had to feel and learn rather than be taught.

“Simon….” She didn’t know what to say. He’d always been smarter than her. Clary hadn’t really cared because they’d been young and school hadn’t been about grades yet. But it was now and her best friend was hurting because of it and Clary didn’t know how to help.

The guilt must have shown on her face because Simon said, “I’m not trying to make you feel bad Frey, I just hate that everything we grew up learning is gone and that human interpretations of magic are really, really inaccurate.” He wasn’t wrong there. “it’s just I don’t understand this world or my magic,” the red-headed girl tried to protest but the Hufflepuff kept talking. “I know, it’ll just take time and practice but….” he sighed. “You know yesterday someone called me a Mudblood and I don’t even know if I should be offended.”

Rage. That was her only thing Clary felt when she’d heard that last sentence. If she ever found the person who called him a Mudblood she’d hex them into oblivion, Clary had found out what that particular word meant when a Gryffindor boy had spat it at her one night in the Common room. Professor Starkweather had heard and the dark-haired third-year had gotten detention, but Clary hadn’t understood why until she’d asked Jace later. The Blonde had been furious and had looked ready to start a war, but Clary had assured him she was fine. She did appreciate how much he cared though.

“Don’t get me wrong, learning magic and living out my Gandalf fantasies is awesome but…” Simon trailed off again, words weren’t his strong suit. “it’s just all so different and I don’t know if being away from my family and losing everything I’ve ever known is worth it.”

Clary felt sick, she knew his grades had been troubling Simon, but she hadn’t realised how much her best friend was suffering because she’d been too caught up in her own life. Clary needed to help him. Simon had been there for her whenever she needed him, the Gryffindor would do the same. They were best friends, no matter what.

“It’ll get easier Si, remember how bad my first week was?” Clary asked. She’d accidentally knocked over her cauldron in potions, killed one of Professor Sprout’s plants and hexed Professor Starkweather when he’d asked her to give a demonstration of the wand movement for a stunning spell. “I promise.”

“That’s easy for you to say, Clary, Magic runs in your family, Jocelyn was a witch but neither of my parents were.” His voice was getting less clear and Clary wanted to cry when she noticed the tears forming in the corners of Simon’s eyes “Maybe I should’ve just stayed at home.” The Hufflepuff muttered as he started to pack up the books he'd brought.

“Hey, don’t you think like that.” Clary said placing both hands on his shoulders forcing the other boy to meet her eyes. “You’ll get through this Simon, you did great in Herbology and History of Magic. O’s in both, right?”

“Everyone hates Herbology and History of Magic though.”

She ignored that comment. “You may not be good at the things most wizards find fun, but you did better than most of the people who grew up learning about the plants and history of this world, you’re just better than them at different things. And the fact that you could beat those pure-blooded snobs at something magic related proves you, Simon Lewis, were meant to be a wizard.”

“That’s flawed logic.” He replied but there was the beginnings of a smile on his lips that gave Clary hope.

“Don’t ruin my epic friend pep talk.” She smiled.

“It was very inspiring….” he chuckled.

“You know if you want to do something normal wizards find ‘fun’ you could always join the Quidditch team, tryouts are this weekend.”

“You’re hilarious.” He deadpanned.

They both shared a moment of laughter before Clary said “Simon I’m so sorry I didn’t realise how hard this has been for you, I guess since you’ve always been this sci-fi fantasy lover I just assumed you would be great at magic, but from now on I’ll help you. I promise.” Clary smiled at him and put all the hope and optimism she could muster into her next words “if I have anything to do with it you, Simon, are going to prove that blood means nothing by getting great grades and being an awesome wizard.”

Clary wouldn’t let him down again.

“So, what you’re saying is You’ll be my Obi-Wan?” He joked.

“Yep.” Clary smiled and a moment later Simon pulled her into a hug.

“I love you, Fray.” He muttered.

“Love you too.”



Chapter Text

It was Saturday morning; the sky was cloudless and the entire castle was buzzing with excitement because today was the day Quidditch tryouts were being held. Jace found it somewhat amusing how all the year levels were enthusiastic for completely different reasons.

The seventh and sixth-year students consisted of those who had been part of the teams previously - students who were basically guaranteed their spots back - and those who didn’t care who made the teams but were instead excited about the upcoming Quidditch season and the secret parties with bottles of firewhiskey that would accompany it.

The fifth-year students made up the majority of the wizards who were defending their spots on the four house Quidditch teams but, to Jace’s annoyance, most of them seemed quite confident in their abilities. While most of the wizards who had never been on the school teams but were determined to secure themselves a spot were the third and fourth years. Even though second-year students could make the team the prospect of competing with older kids deterred most of them. Most.

Meanwhile, the first-years were just excited about the games themselves and didn’t really care who made the teams.

Excluding the seventh, sixth, and a few cocky fifth years, it wasn’t hard to tell that most of the wizards who were trying out were very nervous and Jace - though he’d never admit it - was a little nervous too.

The Gryffindor had risen early but time had passed incredibly fast and the actual tryouts came sooner then he’d expected, the Ravenclaws held their trials first, starting at 9 o’clock and finishing two hours later, Gryffindor was set to be after from 11 o’clock to 1, Alec’s tryout was after his as Hufflepuff was next (from 1 till 4) and Slytherin tryouts finished at 6. You were only required to show up for your house’s team selection but both Jace and Alec had come early to watch the Ravenclaw tryouts, in order to see the competition and perhaps try to learn something from them as well.

Jace had always loved Quidditch, one of his favourite memories was when his father had taken him to the World Cup in France when he’d been six years old. Quidditch had also been the thing he and Alec had bonded over when the Lightwoods had first adopted him. The sport had been a constant in his life for as long as Jace could remember.

When he was younger and played games of mock Quidditch with other wizarding children Jace had always loved to be the Seeker, but as he’d gotten older and the snitch had gotten quicker and cleverer, the position of Seeker had become more about patience and observation. The Gryffindor hadn’t liked being alone and removed from the rest of the game searching while his teammates had all the fun. He was a little too reckless and impatient for that and as such he’d tried to play as a Chaser. From moment one he’d loved it, constantly attacking and dodging and always being alert, it was exhilarating and getting all the cheers for scoring goals wasn’t so bad either.

He and Alec watched the Ravenclaws dart around the sky until all the members had been chosen. One new Chaser and two entirely new Beaters were chosen while all the other positions were kept by the former team players.

As the Gryffindors started to gather on the pitch Jace felt some of those nerves overwhelm him. Now he was at Hogwarts, Quidditch wasn’t played in backyards with plastic hoops and time limits anymore, it was a dangerous game now and he was twelve years old and some of the Gryffindors were seventeen and had twice his height and strength. The chances of actually succeeding wer-

Jace’s spiralling thoughts were Interrupted when he felt Alec place a hand on his shoulder. The blonde turned to face his brother. Alec gave him a confident smile and “You got this.” was all he said but it was exactly what Jace needed to hear.  

Alec had always been able to read him better than anyone. 

Jace gave him a smirk before grabbing his broom and heading down to the pitch.

The tryouts passed in a blur, the Seeker had been chosen first. Not surprisingly the Gryffindor Quidditch Captain, Oktavia Kelleth, kept her spot, no one had even tried to challenge her. Next, the Beaters would be chosen. One of the Beaters from last year - a red-headed seventh year named Evard Rune - got his spot back rather quickly but a new beater would need to be chosen as the previous one had transferred to Ilvermorny. Eventually, Oktavia had chosen a dark-haired fifth-year boy, Aaron Dresden, who even Jace had to admit was good.

keeper and Chasers were chosen last.

Three students had wanted to be Keeper, the fifth-year boy who had held the title last year, and the two others who weren’t worth mentioning because Jace had watched him save goal after goal last year.

To Jace’s dismay six people, including himself, were trying out for the three Chaser positions. One sixth-year girl and two blonde fifth year boys - the people who had held the spots last year, a gangly third year and another second-year student.

How the trial worked was each chaser would fire five shots of the Quaffle at each keeper and the one who defended the rings the best would get the position. While the number of goals the Chasers managed to score would give the captain useful information for picking which three of them would be on the team.

When Jace had mounted his broom, Quaffle in hand, and risen up to the three rings to take his shots against each Keeper, he had blocked out the taunts he’d heard from the other Chasers and repeated Alec’s words in his mind.

He had this.

Jace took a breath and launched shot after shot at the rings, he didn’t let his mind dwell on any successes or fails, the blonde just focused on the hoops and the Quaffle.

It turned out that the previous Keeper blocked two more shots than the others, gaining him the position again, as the blonde had suspected would happen. Jace had managed to score six out of his fifteen shots which thank Merlin tied him for third with one of the fifth-year boys. Which meant he was in a good place to make the team. 

While the team had taken a small break when the Keeper was being announced Jace had glanced over to the stands to see Clary sitting with Alec and Magnus. Jace had no clue when the two of them had arrived but her presence definitely made him feel better albeit slightly more nervous.

Next Oktavia made the six of them pair up in teams of three and face off against each other, she clearly wanted to get a gage for their teamwork ability and broom handling skills. She’d also let the Bludgers out to test their awareness. Jace for once had to put aside his desire to show off - something that was a bit harder to do with Clary watching - and focus all his concentration into demonstrating his abilities but also utilising his teammate's skills. The six of them zoomed around the pitch, twirling through the air, throwing and intercepting the Quaffle.

There had been moments when Jace had wished for a time-turner, for instance, he had almost fallen off his broom in an attempt to dodge a speeding Bludger, it had taken him a few agonisingly long moments to get his balance back, and he’d lost the Quaffle a couple of times to the other team but other than that Jace had been proud of his efforts.

After what felt like an eternity they were all called down because Oktavia had finally made a decision. Jace tried to get control over his increasing heart rate and that growing pit in his stomach as she announced that the sixth-year girl, Aurora Matthews, had gotten her spot back. His anxiety had only grown when she’d informed them that Rory Armon, had done the same.

But when she’d said his name, Jace Herondale, a few moments later the boy was almost positive he’d misheard. There had been a few cheers and a rough slap on the shoulder from someone but Jace had been a little too relieved to notice who from.

The blonde felt a smile overtake his face. He’d done it

The Gryffindor trials had ended, and Alec had immediately ran over and given Jace a bone-crushing hug. He’d made the Gryffindor team because well of course he did, it was Jace and maybe Alec was biased but in the Hufflepuff’s opinion he’d outperformed all of those other Chasers, well maybe not Aurora but he had still easily earned his spot.

Alec just hoped he could do the same.

“Knew you could do it.” Alec said pulling away from the hug.

“Didn’t even try.” Jace replied and not a moment later Clary had pulled the blonde into another hug. It lasted only a moment before the red-headed girl pulled away and gave him a beaming smile, “congratulations Jace! You were awesome.” She exclaimed.

Alec would tease his brother about his blushing in response to her comment later.

“You sound surprised.” He replied.

“Well, I certainly am.” Magnus said, and Alec rolled his eyes with a mixture of annoyance and fondness. Jace and Magnus got along about as well as he and Clary did.

“Says the wizard who can’t even ride a broom.” Jace replied but there was no real malice to his voice. As much as those two didn’t get along the snarky banter was kinda their thing.

Magnus had been about to retort but he was interrupted when the Hufflepuff captain had called all members down to the pitch. Alec’s mind consumed itself with panic for a few agonising seconds as he watched the older kids saunter down to the pitch, before he noticed three sets of eyes watching him. The Hufflepuff stood there awkwardly for one moment before he turned and grabbed his broom.

“Take your own advice Alec, you’ve got this.” Jace declared giving him a smile.

“For once I agree with Jace, you’ll do great Alexander.” Magnus said and there was such honesty in his eyes that made Alec actually believe him.

Alec took a breath, nodded to Clary when she wished him luck, and followed the other Hufflepuffs down to the pitch.

The Hufflepuff wished Izzy could be here too but the first years had been needed for something today and honestly with both Magnus and Jace believing in him, Alec suddenly felt like there wasn’t anything he couldn’t do. 

Alec didn’t know whether to feel relieved or annoyed when Grey - The Hufflepuff captain - announced that the Seeker role would be chosen last. On one hand, it allowed him to assess his competition before the trial, on the other, it also gave Alec nothing but time to be consumed by nervousness.

Alec supposed he should be happy the previous Seeker had graduated last year which meant he didn’t have any major competition from someone defending their title, but it was hard to be overjoyed because that also meant that a higher number of wizards than usual were also trying out for the position.

Being a Seeker had been something Alec had always loved. The position had been one of the few things in his life he’d chosen for himself. His mother had been a Chaser when she was younger and had encouraged Alec to do the same, but the non-stop action and chaos of the Chasers, Keeper and Beaters had never appealed to the boy. Alec liked searching for the Snitch, he found it exciting trying to outsmart it and the other Seeker. The Hufflepuff hadn’t ever been the fastest or the strongest and he supposed that’s why being a Seeker - a position mostly about skill and observation - had appealed to him.

The tryouts passed with Alec paying little attention to the selections as the boy was more focused on observing the three other Seekers who were also waiting for their trial. Alec decided his main competition was probably the fourth-year boy with red hair. Not only did he seem confident and not at all nervous but his build was slim and he looked the type to be fast on a broom, common traits possessed by most Seekers.  

He was screwed, there was no way he could beat a freaking fourth-year.

Alec did what he’d found himself doing in most situations when worried recently, he looked to Magnus who was sitting in the stands talking to Clary. The Slytherin must have sensed Alec looking at him because the other boy turned and upon noticing him sent Alec a bright smile and a thumbs-up and why had his heart started racing?

It was probably the nerves.

Before he knew it the Keeper, Beaters and Chasers had all been chosen and Grey was directing his Quidditch team to fly into the sky and practice their roles by playing a mock game, which included letting the Bludgers loose. Fun.

Alec hated Bludgers. The Beaters always aimed for the Seekers.

The Hufflepuff captain turned to the four-would-be-Seekers on the ground and held a golden ball between his thumb and forefinger, within an instant it had sprouted small transparent wings that started beating faster than the heart of a scared hummingbird.

The presence of the Golden Snitch immediately got the small group’s attention. “Rules are simple.” Grey started speaking. “The first one of you to get this is our new Seeker but remember it isn’t just this little guy you lot have to worry about.” He said and Alec suddenly realised why the others were up there playing a game. “You four will be treated like enemy Seekers by them, so do be careful.”  After he’d finished speaking, Grey, without warning, let the small golden ball loose and it shot into the sky like a rocket.

The captain had made them wait one agonisingly-slow minute before he’d let the four students jump on their brooms and chase after the Snitch. Alec had figured the best thing to do was go up high and try to locate the golden object.

How easy it was to find a Snitch depended on the day, well more specifically the weather. If it was raining or snowing visibility was low so different tactics and strategies would be used then if it was just a cloudy day. Fortunately for Alec, today couldn’t be clearer and the sun couldn’t be brighter. The Snitch was metal and gold so any time it was in direct sunlight it would be like a small gold beacon.

Alec searched the pitch for any hint or shimmer of gold, it usually didn’t go high enough to ascend into the clouds and Alec assumed Grey would’ve gotten one of the training Snitches that were easier to find because they were on a schedule.

After a few minutes of searching, a flash of something caught his eye at the opposite end of the pitch but Alec hadn’t had time to investigate because he’d been too caught up in dodging the Bludger someone had sent his way. When the Hufflepuff looked back what he’d noticed was gone.

Alec cursed, they always went for the Seekers. The boy turned his attention to his competitors, it appeared that one of them, a third year, Alec guessed had fallen off her broom, the girl looked more sad then hurt and normally the Hufflepuff might feel sorry for her but right now she was just one less variable Alec had to deal with.

Alec had been glancing at the red-headed boy when he’d noticed it. A flash of gold almost a few meters away. It appeared the other boy hadn’t noticed the golden object floating almost within reach. The Hufflepuff didn’t allow himself time to panic, he needed to act quickly before the other boy noticed the Snitch. Alec concentrated, angled his broom and dived.

In the opposite direction.

And thank Merlin his plan had worked. The two other remaining Seekers had noticed his sudden descent and headed in the same direction thinking he was heading for the Snitch. Alec waited till he was sure the two of them were searching for whatever he’d seen before the boy swiftly turned and started zooming back towards the Snitch.

Apparently, the powers that be were on his side because it hadn’t taken long for the Hufflepuff to locate the small golden ball again, it was hovering just below one of the rings but getting to the flying object had been harder then he’d expected. Alec put all his focus into navigating through the mass of wizards swarming around the pitch.  He twisted to avoid a bludger and when the boy turned back he noticed the other Seekers had caught onto what had happened.

The boy had been about to grab the golden ball but the Snitch, upon sensing Alec, had increased in speed and started flying away. Alec determined not to fail did the same. The Snitch was out of reach by just a few inches.

He could do this.

Alec inched forward on his broom placing one foot on the wood to raise himself - almost losing his balance in the process. The Hufflepuff extended one of his hands in an effort to trap the Snitch. He felt the smooth metallic surface graze the tips of fingers and the boy leaned forward more, his hand closed around the small golden ball not a moment before his foot slipped and Alec toppled off the side of his broom.  

The Hufflepuff had managed to grab the neck of his broom with the hand that wasn’t currently holding the small golden ball, just as Madam Hooch had taught him how to do last year. Alec, upon remembering the tips from flying Class, tried not to look down and keep a tight grip on the broom’s neck, he briefly debated letting the Snitch go to get a stronger grip but dismissed it, the raven-haired would probably fall before he let it go.

Fortunately, Hufflepuffs weren’t known for their kindness for no reason as within a few seconds two Chasers and the redheaded third year had helped him get back onto his broom and the whole team had flown back to the ground. Alec would never admit it, but he’d never been so happy to land after broom riding as he was in that moment.

 “That was a close call there.” Grey said walking up to Alec. “Worth it?” He questioned. Alec raised his hand and showed Grey the Snitch, it’s glittery dragonfly-like-wings disappeared as a result of being caught. “Well, it looks like we’ve found ourselves a new Seeker.”

Alec couldn’t help smiling. He’d done this all by himself. Yes, he’d been lucky in seeing the Snitch, but Alec liked to think he had earned the title of a Hufflepuff Seeker off his own skill and talent.

There had been a blur of congratulations from his new teammates and his other competitors and Alec hadn’t really known what to do. More than a few people caring about his accomplishments and generally seeming impressed by them was strange but the feeling of self-pride was even stranger.

The feeling was weird and foreign but good, Alec decided. 

“Do I even need to tell you how incredible that was.” Jace asked after Alec had returned to the stands. “Nice move with the fake out, by the way.”

“Thanks, I-” The Hufflepuff had been interrupted when Magnus had basically ran into him and enveloped Alec in a tight hug. It lasted only a few moments before the other boy had pulled away and punched him in the shoulder.

“Ow!” Alec exclaimed.

“Never, ever, do that again, Alexander.” Magnus said, and it looked like he was torn between being angry or pulling Alec into another hug.

“Sorry…” Alec said sheepishly. He’d been so happy about catching the Snitch that falling off his broom didn’t seem like a big deal in comparison. Though it didn’t appear that Magnus felt the same way.

“You scared the hell out of me.” The Slytherin said and Alec felt guilt twist in his stomach.

“He and Clary were very concerned, it was really adorable.” Jace said.

“Of course I was concerned. Alec could’ve been seriously hurt, or worse!”  Although he felt bad about frightening Magnus, Alec couldn’t ignore the warm feeling that spread through his chest upon seeing how much Magnus cared.

“Just please, promise you’ll never do that again?” Magnus sighed.

The Slytherin’s eyes were still filled with so much blatant concern that Alec couldn’t stop himself from making an unkeepable vow. “I promise.”

“I would appreciate it if Jace made that promise too.” Clary muttered but they all heard.

“Guys the worst thing that would happen to me or Alec if we fell off a broom is a few broken bones; the Professors wouldn’t let us die.” Jace said trying to reassure them.

“It’s weird how you both think a few broken bones from falling off your freaking brooms isn’t a big deal.” Magnus said glaring at Alec and Jace.

“Relax Magnus, people fall off brooms all the time, you know that from experience.” Jace teased.

“I will hit you Herondale.”

The Hufflepuff couldn’t help but laugh.

Chapter Text

Growing up Halloween had always been Simon’s favourite time of year. He loved it all, the scary movies, the sweets and the fun of dressing up as a beloved hero. Some of the Hufflepuff’s most beloved memories were of decorating his house, alongside his sister and parents, with fake cobwebs and rubber bats and those horrid Jack-o'-lanterns that had always given him the creeps.

He and Clary had always gone Trick-or-treating together. His favourite time had been their last, two years ago, he’d been Han Solo and she’d gone as Wonder Woman and they’d gotten so much candy it had taken a month to finish.

But then all that had stopped because now Simon and his best friend spent Halloween in an enchanted castle where the decorations hung themselves and most of the sweets he’d received so far either exploded, evaporated or ran away.

But even the things that had once been familiar were different now, Simon’s mother had sent him some cookies decorated with the faces of little monsters. And while he appreciated the gesture and the small piece of normalcy, monsters weren’t just fiction anymore. Werewolves, vampires and all manner of things that went bump in the night did indeed lurk in the shadows. Creatures that he’d feared as a child and his older sister fantasized about now were real and dangerous.

Honestly, it was hard to believe that he and Clary weren’t in some strange television show.

The vibe of the castle on Halloween morning was one of excitement. Even he, an inexperienced wizard with a poor connection to his magic, could feel the energy and buzz of magic in the air and that thing in his blood itched and prodded at him to grab his Rowan wood wand and perform some magic.

On his way to Potions, Simon had spotted one of the Professors turning the normally orange fire in the torches green and a large spider, enchanted to spin webs, crawl across the ceiling and the Hufflepuff couldn’t help but pause in awe.

It was strange how similar muggles and Wizards were when it came to celebrations. Both Wizards and Muggles hung tinsel and baubles from Christmas trees, hid chocolate eggs during Easter and decorated their residences with all manner of scary things around Halloween.

Simon watched a fifth-year girl as she engaged in a conversation with a skeleton and the boy couldn’t help but smile because while his transition to the wizarding world had been harder than most Wizards usually found it, while there had been moments when he had just wanted to give up and go home, the boy was still fascinated by magic.

Simon Lewis wasn’t a quitter. He wanted to learn magic, to master it and ever since he’d started to accept the help some kind Hufflepuff sixth years had offered him, (Simon had a strong suspicion that a certain redhead had mentioned that he was struggling with his magic to them) it had gotten less difficult. Those tight coils that had wrapped around his heart when the boy had seen all the other students, both Pureblood and Muggleborn alike, performing magic as if it was second nature had begun to loosen their grip.

He’d been given books written by other Muggleborns who had struggled just like him and there had even been a few older students in the castle who’d gone through the same thing, after talking to them and seeing them performing magic as easily as everyone else, Simon had been filled with hope.

Clary true to her word had been helping him too, any time Simon needed her the Gryffindor had been there with a kind smile and endless patience. She was always willing to spend time in the courtyard with him practising wand movements and spell casting until dusk.

Having her and all those kind-hearted people willing to help without question had made Simon realise that while this might be the hardest thing he’d ever done, eventually he’d be ok.

“Please, Cat.” Magnus begged his best friend for what felt like the billionth time while she quite impressively ignored him in favour of copying the notes Professor Flitwick had scribbled on the blackboard.

“No means no, Mags.” She replied not looking away from the notes about Memory Charms. They were things Magnus already knew about the spell as a result of witnessing his father perform it on his zealots’ countless times whenever the man had invited them into their house to discuss whatever evil psychopaths talked about.

“Why not?” The Slytherin questioned. Catarina was stubborn, but Magnus knew he could persuade her into agreeing to his plan.

“Because giving Magnus Bane a book from the restricted section of the library sounds like a plan where nothing goes wrong, neither of us gets in trouble and the castle remains standing.” She replied sweetly.

Magnus rolled his eyes. “I’m not that irresponsible Catarina. You exaggerate. I promise that the castle won’t explode, I won’t cause a wizarding war, he who must not be named won’t rise from the dead-”

“Magnus.” The Ravenclaw said cutting him off. “I’ve been friends with you for over four years. You are exceptionally gifted at magic but even you have to admit you do have a knack for getting into trouble.”

The boy tried not to think about what she’d said about him being exceptionally gifted because those words were too close to what Asmodeus used to say to him whenever Magnus had performed magic as a child. Preformed. Not just accidentally casting a spell like everyone else. He’d had moments of accidental magic of course, when he’d been scared or nervous, but Magnus had been able to make things happen because he’d simply wanted them to.

The Slytherin hadn’t realised that normal wizarding children couldn’t control their magic - not in the way he could - without wands until he’d come to Hogwarts, and while Magnus did find casting spells much easier using a wand, ever since he could remember magic had never been something he had to struggle to control.

The Slytherin didn’t like to think or speak about his ‘talents’ as Asmodeus had referred to them. Ragnor and Catarina knew he could perform magic without a wand, his guardian had warned Magnus that it wasn’t a good idea to perform non-verbal spells so young, that it usually led to disaster. So, Magnus hadn’t done so on purpose since before Hogwarts.

“Ok, I don’t have the best track record when it comes to staying out of trouble.” He admitted and the Slytherin knew they were both remembering the time he’d turned the feathers on Ragnor’s screech owl rainbow for a week when Cat had shown him the enchantment she’d stolen from her mother’s spell book, or the time where he’d found a book about summoning Nixies and they’d had an infestation that lasted a horrid 3 and-a-half days, or when they were ten and he had used the duplication Charm and created a second Chairman meow. Or….

It was a long list.

Catarina was right that more often than not in a situation like this Magnus usually   ended up finding himself in trouble. The Slytherin supposed he was grateful that Cat was looking out for him, even if he did really need that book.

“...But this is important.” He told her and the fondness that had been visible in Catarina’s eyes as a result from recalling a beloved memory of their tomfoolery faded at the seriousness in his tone.

“What book?” She questioned. Cat’s grandmother worked at the Hogwarts library, her granddaughter being a Ravenclaw had been quite curious about many things that were in books only more advanced wizards had access to but Magnus hadn’t failed to notice Cat reading books far beyond second-year level on the weeks when her grandmother tended to the library.

“A book about dark objects or ancient magical artefacts Is what I’m looking for.” He informed her. Magnus had already looked through every textbook he owned for information about the small silver dragon that was currently curled up in the inside pocket of his robes but there had been nothing.

“Stuff relating to the History of Magic? I thought you liked that class about as much as everyone else considering I had to wake you up yesterday. I would’ve thought you wanted the instructions for Polyjuice or something, considering your love of potions.” She replied looking genuinely surprised.

“Nope. Just dusty, old, boring books.” He replied.

There was a long pause, silent questions exchanged between them; Why do you want them? and What trouble did you get yourself into?

Magnus hadn’t told anyone other than Alexander about the ring, well he hadn’t really told the Hufflepuff as the other boy had been present in the woods and heard the entire mortifying conversation between Magnus and that eyeless monster that still plagued the Slytherin’s nightmares.  

The ring had belonged to Asmodeus, who apparently still had followers, it had been given to him by a creature who Magnus was pretty sure was being hunted by Centaurs and thus the Fairy Queen. It was safer for Cat if she knew nothing.

So, Magnus said nothing.

“Ok you’re being ominous, if I can’t know, why don’t you ask Ragnor? He could get you the book or probably just tell you what you want to know.” She questioned curiously.

Magnus tried to lie to himself and say that he couldn’t tell Ragnor because it was too dangerous, but it didn’t work because his guardian was a professor at Hogwarts, Ragnor should have been the first-person Magnus went to.

Magnus wouldn’t tell him because he was afraid.

Afraid that Ragnor would see that ring that had once been Asmodeus’s and realise that Magnus wasn’t anything more than his father's son. The boy was terrified that the Professor would finally see that Magnus wasn’t worth all the trouble and danger that came with being his guardian, danger that would only increase because of that stupid ring.

To put it simply. Magnus was afraid Ragnor would abandon him. Just like his mother had when she took her own life.

“I did ask him.” Magnus lied. “He teaches Transfigurations, he didn’t know anything about what I was looking for.” Magnus avoided looking at Cat and risking her seeing the lie in his eyes by grabbing his quill and dipping it in the tin of ink placed in the middle of their desk.

“Huh, well I’ll try to get the book for you as soon as possible but you’ll have to wait a few weeks. My Grandma just gave me a book on dragons last Saturday and she won’t want to give me another for a while.”

“Thank you. I’d rather late than never.” Magnus said while drawing a small cat in the corner of his parchment in messy black ink.

“Why didn’t you ask last Saturday, after Halloween, when I told you I had finished my other book on ghosts?” She questioned.

“You told me that in the middle of a Quidditch game. It slipped my mind to ask.” He muttered, and Magnus’s quill slipped while he’d been drawing the whiskers of the feline. Art was definitely something Clary was better at them him.

“Yah, but I didn’t think you were paying attention, it was Ravenclaw Vs Hufflepuff and you hate Quidditch.”  She somehow managed to look more surprised than before at the prospect of Magnus Bane watching a game of Quidditch without someone casting the Imperius Curse on him first.

“I do loath Quidditch, I, however, don’t hate who plays it.” He replied.

She raised an eyebrow.

“Alec’s the new Hufflepuff Seeker.” Magnus explained.

There was a pause before Catarina chuckled to herself, “ohhhhh, that makes sense.” She muttered.


“Nothing.” She responded.

‘Seriously, what?” He questioned.

She didn’t respond that time.

“Why wouldn’t I go and support my friend?” Magnus asked not quite sure why he was blushing faintly.

“I said it was nothing Mags.” the tone she used implied anything but.

Before Magnus could inquire again Professor Flitwick had noticed them talking and informed both Magnus and Catarina that if they didn’t stop chatting they would receive detention.

Magnus, who would never ever get detention again, immediately stopped the conversation.

Chapter Text

The year was passing in a blur.

Before Magnus knew it, months had passed, the weather had changed and Christmas had arrived. The professors and students had all gotten into the festive spirit one day in early December and decorated every room of the castle. The teachers had been more delicate and considerate with their decorations while the students had crammed masses of enchanted snowflakes and copious amounts of tinsel wherever they could fit them. Which resulted in half the castle looking elegant while the other looked as if a Christmas Tree had thrown up all over the walls.

It was perfect.

Though the snowman that had been spelled to never melt looked quite out of place considering it hadn’t snowed this year. Which, if he was being honest, was why Magnus had preferred last Christmas to this one, the Slytherin was a bit of a cliché when it came to Christmas, he liked it all, the ugly sweaters, the food, the decorations, the carols and everyone just….being happy.

Needless to say Magnus had been disheartened when he’d realised that the only snow they’d receive this year would be created by magic, Which had ruined some of the charm but then again Alexander had managed to catch a cold so perhaps it was better that there wouldn’t be any snowball fights in the courtyard this year.

Speaking of Alexander, the Hufflepuff and himself (and the rest of the group) were currently lounging around the library, mostly because it was the only area with a warm fireplace and comfortable seating where students from all four houses could sit together.

Jace and Maia were currently playing a game of exploding snap, like himself, the two Gryffindors where missing Clary who - along with Simon - had gone back to the Muggle World to spend Christmas with her family. Magnus glanced over to Alec, who was wrapped up in a woollen blanket and reading the copy of Quidditch Through The Ages that Magnus had gotten him last year. Every time the boy had seen the Hufflepuff reading it he couldn’t help but smile to himself.

They’d all agreed not to do presents this year. Not for any particular reason, someone had suggested it in November - Magnus couldn’t remember which of them had - and that had been that. The Slytherin didn’t really mind. After spending three Christmases alone when he was younger the only thing Magnus really wanted was to be with people.

Izzy was currently watching her friends Aline and Helen play a game of Wizard’s Chess while her dog, Cerberus, slept soundlessly in her lap much like Magnus himself who was currently absentmindedly stroking Chairman meow’s unnaturally soft fur as he flicked through yet another book Cat had given him on magical artefacts. So far nothing.

Eventually, Magnus and Alec had abandoned their reading in favour of joining Jace and Maia on the floor for a few games of Exploding Snap. The Gryffindor girl had ended up winning the majority of the games, much to Jace’s annoyance.

After lunch, the group had wandered up to the Owlery to visit Telum, Angelos and Maia’s screech owl Luna and they’d spent the afternoon in the Owlery just talking. About everything. The professors they liked, the ones they couldn’t stand - everyone agreed Professor Binns was a bore - and they chatted about what they wanted to do in the future.

Jace, no surprise, aspired to become an Auror, Maia wasn’t really sure but she was thinking of maybe something in the field of Magizoology, Magnus had been thinking that perhaps he’d make a good Alchemist and Alec was still tossing up between Quidditch, an Auror like his brother or a Ministry official like his parents.

Christmas day passed slowly but everyone had been content with that. It had been in a word; mellow. No one ventured outside the warmth of the castle because while it wasn’t snowing it was still freezing and without the allure of snow no one wanted to subject themselves to the cruel outside world.

The feast had been delicious as always and there had been no house seating requirements, which was definitely one of Magnus’s favourite things about Christmas and after the feast, Austin had managed to convince everyone to play a Muggle game called Charades.

That night Magnus had fallen asleep feeling happy and absolutely content, there had been no nightmares and while Magnus would never remember this as his favourite Christmas it certainly wouldn't be one he’d forget.

Classes had started again last week and for the past few days, everyone in the castle had been gloomy. The professors had been quiet and the students had meandered from class to class with little enthusiasm. It was January, the time when the air bites, the sun hid behind the clouds and the mud was a half-frozen slosh. The weather conditions were particularly horrendous considering a game of Quidditch would be played in the next few hours.

Alec had been dreading this game for a while. Gryffindor vs Hufflepuff.

It wasn’t because he was nervous - well no more than usual - or because of the lousy weather either, It just felt…..wrong. The boy wasn’t bothered that the match was against Gryffindor. It was the fact that it was against Jace. The two of them were brothers, he and the blonde had always been on the same team no matter what. The two of them playing Quidditch together had been something Alec had been so excited about in the months before first year.

He’d never considered they’d be playing against each other.

Alec took some solace in the fact that Jace was a Chaser and he a Seeker, they’d be on opposing sides, yes but the Hufflepuff wouldn’t be battling directly against his brother, which was somewhat of a relief.

Alec had wandered down to breakfast that morning in search of tea or hot chocolate or anything that could remove the awful chill from his bones. The first thing the Hufflepuff had noticed was that the enchanted ceiling of the Great Hall showed the swirl of angry grey clouds above, there’d definitely be a storm today . The second was that the four house tables weren’t as quiet as usual, apparently, the upcoming Quidditch game had injected some excitement back into the students.

A situation Alec could relate to because, despite the fact that he was anxious about versing Jace, the boy was excited to play Quidditch because he had fun playing the game and when all the competition between the houses was removed, at its core, Quidditch was about that, about having fun.

Alec had only just taken a seat at the Hufflepuff table and decided that porridge was what he’d have when a small paper bird - clearly enchanted by someone - swooped down and collided with the side of his head. Alec, a mix between surprised and annoyed, picked up the bird and unfolded it to find familiar handwriting.

Good luck today Alexander (not that you need it).

please try not to get struck by lightning.

— Magnus

The Slytherin had sent Alec a similar letter a month ago, when Hufflepuff had been about to verse Ravenclaw, just like last time the gesture made a smile curl at his lips and warmth spread through his heart.

He truly didn’t deserve a friend like Magnus.

“What are you smiling about, Lightwood.” Arthur, a third year who was also on The Quidditch team, asked with a teasing yet curious voice.  

“That’s neither here, nor there, nor none of your business Arthur,” Alec replied sarcastically while grabbing a bowl and the other Hufflepuff chuckled in response. Alec liked Arthur, he was one of the few Hufflepuffs who wasn’t overly nice and he wasn’t repelled by Alec’s more stoic personality compared to most Hufflepuffs.

“A love letter from your girlfriend?” He asked before taking a bite of his breakfast. Alec liked Arthur but he did have a tendency to pry into other people’s business.

“No, it’s just from a friend.” He replied while grabbing the sugar from the middle of the table.

“Then why are you blushing?”

Alec didn’t know how to explain that he was blushing because Magnus was a friend and Arthur was insinuating that he was something more which was impossible because Magnus was just his friend, a nice, wonderful person who Alec cared about a lot.

Just a friend.

Alec didn’t know how to explain that so he replied that he most certainly wasn’t blushing and when Arthur gave him a skeptical look before chuckled to himself Alec threw a piece of toast at him.  

Jace’s fingers tightened around the neck of his broomstick as he circled the pitch with the rest of his team. The boy let both the chilling rain and the cheers of the Gryffindors in the crowd wash over him. The decorative towers that surrounded the pitch had been changed to the colours of Gryffindor and Hufflepuff and the flags atop them were blowing violently in the wind produced by the storm.

The weather was quite terrible but that didn’t seem to bother the cheering crowd as most of them had come prepared with house scarfs and red or yellow umbrellas. In first-year whenever Jace had witnessed the Gryffindor team receiving cheers and praise during the warm-up lap before the game begun he’d been a little envious but mostly determined to one day be up there himself.

Now he and Alec both were. Although Jace was a little disappointed that he and his brother couldn’t be on the same team he was just happy they were both playing Quidditch together and it was no secret that Jace had always been a competitive person, his brother, on the other hand, not as much.

Hello and welcome to the fourth game of the season, Hufflepuff vs Gryffindor!” The voice of the commentator echoed around the pitch. Jace usually did his best to block out the voice of the fourth-year Ravenclaw and instead focus on the match.

Jace weaved in between the towers for a few more moments before joining the growing circle of players hovering in mid-air at the centre of the pitch. At this point, all the scarlet and canary yellow robes of the Hufflepuff and Gryffindor players were soaked. Jace took his place next to the other Chasers and glanced up to see Alec hovering above his team, a mirror image to Oktavia - the Gryffindor Seeker.

Jace sent his brother a smile which Alec returned as Madam Hooch started unlocking the trunk with the four balls inside. It was strange, Jace supposed, not knowing if he wanted Alec to catch the Snitch or for his team’s Seeker too. The blonde didn’t want to lose the game but he also wanted to see Alec win. In a perfect world, his brother would get the Snitch but the 150 points wouldn’t be enough to get Hufflepuff the victory. Unfortunately, that rarely happened.

“Now I want a nice clean game from all of you.” Madam Hooch said, looking particularly at the Gryffindors, before letting the bludgers loose. They were immediately followed by the eyes of the crowd and the four Beaters while the other players remained watching the trunk. Next up was the Golden snitch, it flew first to Alec and darted around his head a few moments - assessing, analysing Jace thought - the blonde watched as Alec’s eyes desperately tried to keep track of the small zooming ball as it zipped over to Oktavia and then flew out of sight within a few moments.

Jace turned his eyes away from Alec and hunched his shoulders as Madam Hooch picked up the Quaffle, she threw it and the game began. Faster than the eye could blink the Seekers darted for the sky and the Keepers charged to their posts. Jace leaned forward and charged at the Quaffle the moment it started to sink back to the ground.

The blonde hadn’t managed to grab the red ball but Aurora, another Gryffindor Chaser, had. She zig-zagged through the fray of other players and tossed the ball to Rory (the other chaser). The fifth-year headed towards the goal posts where Jace had been positioned and thew the Quaffle to the blonde. Jace had not been prepared for how slippery the ball would be as a result of the pelting rain but upon catching it the blonde turned and tossed the ball with every ounce of strength he had at the left hoop.

The Hufflepuff Keeper had been a second to slow.

Jace Herondale Scores! 10 points to Gryffindor!” The commentator proclaimed.

Alec blinked trying to get rid of the water droplets that were clinging to his eyelashes and blurring his view of the pitch.

The Hufflepuff’s hazel eyes skated over the excited faces of the crowd as they desperately searched for any hint of gold but the only thing that the boy could focus on was the wild pounding of his own heart. The noise of the other players darting around the pitch and the cheers of the crowd were drowned out by the pounding rain that left stinging kisses on his face with each droplet.

Alec knew that getting the Snitch would be hard, it was raining and aside from the terrible visibility the golden ball would be slippery and Oktavia Kelleth was the best Seeker the Gryffindor team had had since Harry Potter was playing for them.

The boy’s eyes darted over to the girl in question, her amber hair was pinned up and water had drenched her scarlet robes completely but unlike Alec, who couldn’t stop his body from shaking and his teeth from chattering, she didn’t show any sign of being affected by the freezing rain.

A cheer arose from the crowd that managed to cut through the heavy downpour and Alec glanced down at the swirling mass of players to see Jace receiving a high five from another Chaser. The Hufflepuff smiled, Jace had scored again.

Alec was proud of him.

A flash of lightning slashed across the sky causing a mixture of gasps and shouts to rip from the scarlet and yellow crowd below, most of the players gave a moment of pause out of reflex before continuing the game and soon the sound of echoing thunder was the only thing he could hear.

The sudden lightning must have scared the Snitch - either that or it was just enchanted to fly away from lightning - because it suddenly dived down from the spot in the clouds it had been hiding in.

Unfortunately, the Gryffindor Seeker, who had also been searching in the clouds, noticed the small golden ball no less than a second after he had, and angled her broom in a dive zooming after the Snitch.

“Oh, hellfire and brimstone,” Alec muttered diving as well. By some Merlin-given-luck, the Hufflepuff had been lower in altitude then Oktavia when the lightning had lit up the sky. She was definitely faster than him though and the small golden item kept diving until it was hovering just a few meters above the ground before it started to fly around the edge of the pitch.

By the time Alec was chasing the Snitch horizontally Oktavia was right on his heels but after the turn of a tight corner and some very impressive broom handling skills he and the Gryffindor girl were neck and neck. At this point, the game above had definitely declined in intensity as each player had one eye on the two Seekers.

When he looked back on this game in the future Alec found himself a little grateful that Oktavia had caught up to him while chasing the Golden Snitch because none of the four Beaters had dared fire a Bludger at either Seeker in fear of friendly fire and in Second year Alec had been terrible at dodging bludgers.

They had been side by side, the Snitch just out of reach for them both and the crowd had been practically jumping out of their seats. Oktavia, completely calm. had taken both hands off the neck of her broom and risen onto two feet in one graceful - albeit shaky - motion. Before Alec could react, could consider zooming his broom left and knocking her to the wet sandy floor, she had already lept off her broom.

Time had seemed to slow as Alec watched as her hand closed around the Snitch and her scarlet robes flapped as she descended to the floor.

She landed on the ground on her stomach in an explosion of sand, the Gryffindor captain got up on two wobbly legs and raised her right hand, a small golden ball held between her thumb and forefinger, wet sand sticking to her robes and a wide smile on her face.

The half of the crowd wrapped in red and gold scarves that were clutching blood-red umbrellas erupted into cheers while Alec descended the few meters back onto solid ground and dismounted his broom in defeat.

He hadn’t really expected to beat her, Oktavia had been the Gryffindor Seeker ever since she was in second year, she had four years of experience on him and he’d never played against her before and although the Hufflepuff boy didn’t like to make excuses for losing, the weather had been terrible and Alec had never had to play in the freezing rain before. Overall it had been a good experience, a learning opportunity.

When Alec and the rest of the Hufflepuff team had been walking off the pitch, while the Gryffindors were taking a victory lap, Alec had felt a soaked gloved-hand wrap around his shoulder.

The boy turned to find Oktavia smiling at him. Not the vicious smug smirk the Slytherin Seeker had given him months ago but a kind, genuine smile. “Good game, kid.”  She said removing her hand from his shoulder.

“Thank you...It was.” Alec decided on saying after a moment of hesitation, he hadn’t expected her, any Seeker really, to do this but then Alec realised that they should all probably start to.

“You’re in second year, right?” She asked.

He nodded.

“Shame, I’m graduating next year. Which means I won’t get to verse you when you’re older and a little more experienced. Still, pick up your game and you might give me a run for my money.” She smiled again and walked away.

Alec couldn’t stop himself from smiling stupidly at the praise as he turned and continued his path out of the pitch. Oktavia was a good - a great - Seeker. if she thought he could be a challenge Alec would do his best to prove her right.

Magnus flipped another page of the heavy leather bound book Catarina had gotten for him. Lost Relics and Talismans of The Golden Age of Magic . It had been covered in a thick layer of dust when the Ravenclaw girl had first given it to him.

It was probably the 5th book she’d given him to search through and while Magnus wasn’t a quitter even he was losing hope of ever discovering anything about the ring that had once belonged to his father but now seemed pretty attached to him. Literally.

Though the book had been bursting at the seams with information about magical artefacts, Magnus hadn’t seen any indication it would tell him anything the others hadn’t. The text itself had both first-person accounts copied from long deceased wizards who had witnessed the artefacts in use and the musings of scholars who thought they knew a lot about them.

The boy had initially flicked through the yellow pages searching for an image or heading that resembled a dragon ring but he’d spotted nothing so Magnus was now going through each page one by one.

It was nearing exam season, his friends had already started studying but the Slytherin had been too busy with searching through dusty molding books to even start worrying about charms or Astronomy.

Hours ticked by as the boy read, pages and pages about enchanted necklaces and an entire chapter about the creations of the ancient Roman warlocks. The boy had gotten stupidly hopeful when he’d found a paragraph about enchanted rings but it had been about magic emeralds and rubies that helped focus power and it had made no mention about them being sentient. Still, Magnus marked the passage and moved on.

By the time the clock surrounded by the circling green serpent had struck 7:00 pm and the other students had left for dinner, Magnus was struggling to keep his eyes open and the Slytherin had to read every sentence three times to actually understand the meaning of the words.

But when the words had started to blend together and the boy had been about to call it a night and go to dinner his sore eyes had caught on a detail of the moving sketch in the bottom corner of page 72 of 345.

It was of a man in a brown coat with a red bandanna tied around his neck. The main focus of the sketch was obviously meant to be the large staff that was tipped with a sparkling blue gem the man was holding in his right hand. Magnus watched as the drawing of the man raised the staff and it started to glow with power. But what Magnus really focused on was the small dragon ring that adorned the man's left hand, the Slytherin watched it’s ears perk and eyes snap open every time the man in the sketch called upon the power of the staff.

Magnus glanced at the title of the page.

The Lost Staff of Merlin

Magnus continued to watch the sketch but his eyes weren’t really registering the image. Merlin’s Ring….

Magnus didn’t even know how to begin to process this so instead, he glanced down at his left hand. The curling dragon he found there was somewhat of a shock because despite it having been there for many months the Slytherin couldn’t really believe that a ring from the greatest wizard to ever live was curled up asleep on his finger.

Asleep! Why did it need to sleep! It was fucking metal!

Magnus took a breath and tried to calm down and with his right hand tapped the ring on his pointer finger. The small creature opened its glowing Sapphire eyes and glared at him. glared .

“Is, uh,.... is this you?” The boy asked, afraid of the answer.

The dragon uncurled from his finger and grew a little bit larger as it always did when not masquerading as a well-crafted bit of jewellery. The silver object casually jumped off his hand and landed gracefully on the wooden table before trotting over to the open book.

It, like Magnus, had stared at the image for a while before turning back, nodding once and then it curled up in a ball on the table as if leaping back onto his hand and turning back into the facade of a ring would be too much effort.

Merlin’s Ring…

‘A ring his father had controlled…..

Dear god.

Magnus, thanks to months of experience of dealing with that little dragon, knew he wouldn’t get anything more from it. So the Slytherin dogeared the page, shut the book and headed down to the Great Hall for dinner and some much-needed contemplation and human company.

Chapter Text

The castle was nearly completely dark, total blackness only held at bay by the light from a few scattered stars and the dying embers produced by the torches mounted on the walls, their enchantments for a never-dying-fire long faded. All the students had returned to their Common Rooms hours ago. Well, all except one Slytherin boy who had snuck out of his dorm room in search of the Transfiguration Professor.

Somehow the castle like this, quiet and dark, was spookier then it had been on Halloween when all manner of monsters had been scattered throughout the labyrinth of stone and staircases. Magnus supposed it was the lack of other students around that bothered him, the absence of laughing and chatter or good-natured arguments between friends on their way to their next classes. Just eerie silence.

Magnus turned a corner; the boy was taking the long way to the Transfiguration classroom in hopes he wouldn’t run into any Prefects. It had been several months since that eyeless monster had tossed Merlin’s Ring to him under the alias of Asmodeus’ property and ever since then Magnus had been debating with himself whether or not to tell Ragnor. Initially, Magnus hadn’t mentioned it to his guardian because while being lectured about going into the Forbidden Forest sucked, he’d just been too scared. Scared of what that ring meant about him. Scared that if Ragnor found out Magnus had something that had once been his father's, the Professor would finally start to see Magnus as everyone else did, then days had turned to weeks and months had passed before the boy knew it and that small little dragon had become a welcomed constant in Magnus’ life. He’d grown fond of it.

Admittedly, The Slytherin had a weakness for things that didn’t leave.

Magnus gripped one hand on the cold rail of the great staircase as he started climbing the enormous marble structure that stretched high into the castle. The boy paid extra care to where he stepped, the marble stairs were littered with traps, one wrong move and the Slytherin would be stuck there until morning or at least until one of the Prefects on a patrol found him and well, let’s just say the boy would prefer jumping into the Black Lake instead of that.

But Magnus had to risk getting caught because the Slytherin didn't know if he’d have the courage to get rid of the ring tomorrow and that little dragon he’d grown to care for was - had been - Merlin’s Ring and Magnus knew he, a thirteen-year-old wizard, probably shouldn’t have it. Logically It should be locked up in a vault somewhere, someplace secure so no monster could ever control it again.

The boy turned the last corner, being careful to pay attention to what objects were in his path, students tended to drop rubbish, broken quills and all sorts of knick-knacks wherever they fancied around this area and any loud noise, say the crunch of a quill under a boot, wouldn’t only attract fellow wizards but also Peeves the poltergeist. A fate worse than death.

Eventually, by some miracle, Magnus managed to reach the Transfiguration classroom without getting caught, trapped or lost. A sliver of warm light was spilling out into the hallway as a result of the door not being closed completely. It was late at night and everyone in the castle, student and teacher alike, were sleeping. Yet Ragnor, ever the odd-one-out, was still in his classroom no doubt hard at work. Just as the boy had predicted.

Before Magnus could open the door and no doubt receive a harsh-yet-well-meaninged-scolding the Slytherin was stopped in his tracks when he heard a voice that most certainly wasn’t Ragnor’s.

“She’s furious. You do understand how dangerous that is, correct?”

Professor McGonagall

“Of course, I do but she has no reason to blame us, no evidence, she can’t do anything.” Ragnor’s voice, though Magnus could only hear it faintly through the wood of the door, was his no-nonsense-this-is-Hogwarts-business-voice.

Magnus disliked that voice. inherently .

The Slytherin had been in the process of backing away from the classroom door, about to turn around and head back to his dorm because breaking curfew to chat with Ragnor was one thing but being spotted by the Headmistress wouldn’t only get him into trouble but it would reflect badly on his guardian too. However, Magnus had been stopped from making his hasty yet noble retreat when the boy had accidentally heard what was said next.

“The ring was stolen under her watch, Minerva. Not ours. We returned the artefact, we put a barrier around the forest, no student or staff member has entered Fairy Territory. We did everything, it was her fault. Not ours.”

Magnus froze.

The boy glanced down at the silver dragon curling around his pointer finger. They couldn’t be talking about Merlin’s Ring because he hadn’t stolen it….

A chill washed over Magnus because that monster had given it to him .

“Well regardless, the Queen blames us.” Professor McGonagall started, Magnus would have sworn he heard a trace of fear in her voice. No one would ever believe him though.

It felt like Magnus had been trying to put together the pieces of an annoyingly complex puzzle this whole time not knowing what the final product would look like, but it was as if someone had finally shown him the complete photo and Magnus could suddenly see how the pieces fit together.

One of his father’s zealots had tossed the dragon ring to him - believing it was rightfully Magnus’ - before running off to lead the centaur herd away. meaning It must have stolen it from the fairies. Magnus had a feeling Simon would be very proud of his detective skills, he’d read some Sherlock Holmes novels as per the other boy’s insistent requests. Ragnor’s words had also confirmed what Magnus had already suspected, that the dragon ring was also that mysterious artefact of mystery that Ragnor had been unnecessarily secretive about.

The fairies, they wanted it. Merlin’s ring.

What the actual fuck had he gotten himself into?

“Why in Merlin’s name would we give it to her then immediately steal it back?” Ragnor sounded tired as if the Professor didn’t have the energy to even think about the situation, let alone deal with it. He sighed before continuing. “What’s she going to do?” The Transfiguration Professor asked, concern evident in his voice. Almost as if he was afraid of the answer.

“The Seelie Queen has informed me that since she’s feeling benevolent this century.” Magnus hadn’t thought he’d ever describe the Headmistress as sounding sassy but here he was. “She’d continue to search her territory and only come looking for the ring amongst our lands when she’s completely certain none of her subjects are in possession of her precious ring.” Magnus could practically hear the sneer the Headmistress no doubt wore.

“Well did you tell her that if we find it, we’ll make sure the artefact is returned to its rightful owner?”

There’d been a lot of revelations today, Magnus wasn’t sure of a whole lot but one thing he did know for certain was that he wasn’t going to tell Ragnor he was in possession of the ancient ring anymore. The Transfiguration professor would just give it to the fairies and Magnus didn’t know why but his magic turned ice cold in his veins at the thought. The Slytherin didn’t know what he’d do with the silver dragon, but he knew somewhere deep in his bones that the fairies should never have it.

He’d ask Alexander what to do, Magnus resolved. Over the last two years, Alec had become his soundboard, his confidant if there was anyone Magnus trusted with this it was his Alexander and-

His Alexander. Where in the name of the seven circles of hell had that come from?

Magnus decided these were probably thoughts for later when he heard the Headmistress start to speak again. “Of course I did Ragnor, but I seldom think she believed me.” At this point, McGonagall sounded just as tired as Ragnor, “The ring isn’t even hers technically.” The Headmistress muttered as if she was a child trying to get the last word in on an argument.

“Well its last owner was Asmodeus, so the owner can’t really get any worse than that.” Ragnor muttered and something inside of Magnus’ heart collapsed. That foolish, naive illusion that Magnus had built himself that Ragnor somehow didn’t care about the terrible things Magnus’ father had done collapsed like a dying star. The boy didn’t want to dwell on any of the panicked thoughts that popped into his mind. Did Ragnor blame him like everyone else? did the older man see Magnus as nothing more than his father’s legacy? Did the Professor regret taking him in?

Ragnor…” the Headmistress sounded hesitant. “Do you think there's even the slightest chance Magnus is involved somehow?” She sounded sorry for asking. Sorry for making Ragnor consider the possibility. The silence that followed made Magnus wish he was anywhere else.

“No.” Ragnor decided on saying after a few moments. “He’s got a knack for getting into trouble and a talent for magic the likes of I haven’t seen in years yes….but Magnus is nothing like his father.”  

It was as if a crushing weight had been removed. Magnus almost let out a sigh of relief but then he remembered he was eavesdropping on a conversation and really, really should have left ten minutes ago because the Slytherin was playing with fire and sooner or later he was going to get caught.

The boy started to quickly back away from the door only to realise his shoelaces had been tied together. Magnus toppled over and collided hard with the cold stone floor.

Peeves really was a hideously evil little prick.

The worst part was that the boy was sure Ragnor and McGonagall would’ve heard the loud thump produced by his collision with the ground. Sure enough, not a moment later Magnus heard footsteps approaching from the other side of the door, the boy struggled desperately to undo the knot the ghost had created but the hallway was dark, and the stress and fear of the situation made the Slytherin’s hands shake meaning untying the knot before the door opened was downright impossible.

The boy’s ears heard the creek of the wooden door being opened fully and suddenly Magnus was bathed in the square of light that stretched into the hallway from the Transfiguration classroom.

Magnus froze, the boy didn’t even dare breathe as he stared up at Ragnor, who was in the doorway. Magnus felt sick with guilt. The Slytherin had been eavesdropping on their conversation. He’d actively betrayed Ragnor’s trust.

Maybe he was exactly like his father.

The boy waited for his guardian to say something, anything . Magnus almost wanted to be yelled at, anything was preferable to utter silence but instead, the Professor didn’t even meet Magnus’ eyes which was somehow worse than any scolding.

“What was it Ragnor?” The Headmistress asked, the boy could hear her voice much more clearly now, the fear that was there was unmistakable.

“Nothing.” Ragnor responded sounding skeptical and Magnus almost made a noise of surprise but the boy bit down hard on his tongue to stop himself.

“I thought I heard something though.” Professor McGonagall said appearing in the doorway as well, to survey the hallway for herself.

“As did I.” the Transfiguration Professor responded and they both continued to look out into the hallway, looking straight through Magnus for a few moments more. The Slytherin’s muscles were starting to ache as a result of staying completely still in quite an uncomfortable position for so long. However, after what felt like an eternity, the door finally closed and Magnus was once again thrust back into the shadows and darkness of the hallway. Well, it was almost dark, save for a faint blue glow that was coming from somewhere nearby.  

The boy glanced down to his left hand at the dragon ring there, almost out of habit at this point, to find its eyes open and glowing an almost painfully bright blue. The boy could feel power radiating from it in waves.

It had its own magic, somehow . The metal dragon must have made him Invisible (as a cloak would) or done something akin to it as a way to protect him and at this point, Magnus was so emotionally drained that he didn’t have the energy to be surprised by Merlin’s Ring anymore.

He’d definitely have to tell Alec about all this too. After exams obviously. Finals were next week and most of their grade was on the line and it wouldn’t do much good to worry about all this until after.

They’d figure it out together or at the very least his friend could offer Magnus some much needed reassurance or advice.

When he’d initially arrived at Hogwarts, Simon had really only seen the differences between the wizarding school he was at and the mundane one he’d been planning to attend. However, now that he was a little older and not fighting change with both tooth and nail anymore the boy found himself finding a lot more similarities.

Hogwarts for all its gothic aesthetic and old-fashioned technology - that made Simon feel like he was in a fantasy novel most days - really wasn’t all that different from a mundane boarding school. Well, except for all the magic and the fact that no one could recognise a Star Wars reference to save their life.

As much as wizards were different from Muggles, their teenagers certainly acted the same way his sister had when she’d been having to sit exams. Wizards, it turned out; still got snippy when exhausted, came up with ridiculous excuses to avoid due dates and stressed out about their workloads just as well as any normal human.

Right now It was that magical time of year when all the students of the school of Witchcraft and Wizardry were being tested on how much they had learned and though the seventh and fifth years had it the worst with O.W.Ls and N.E.W.Ts it seemed all the students, no matter the year level, were a mix of stressed, worried and anxious.

Simon included.

in a last-ditch effort to calm himself down, the Hufflepuff boy forced himself to take many deep breaths as he waited outside the Charms classroom before his exam. Professor Flitwick had all the Hufflepuff second years lined up outside waiting for their names to be called and their knowledge tested.

Alec was waiting behind him in the line, the other Hufflepuff was fiddling with his willow wand. The raven-haired boy had said two words to Simon when he’d tried to start a conversation with him. Stop talking .

Even though Simon’s attempt at starting a conversation had been more than 50 words as the Hufflepuff boy did have a tendency to not stop talking when he was nervous and right now Simon was really nervous, he was still a tad hurt by Alec ignoring him.

“Simon Lewis.” Professor Flitwick’s squeaky voice called from within the room and when had he gotten to the front of the line ?

The boy entered the Charms classroom. Large windows, blackboards and bookshelves lined the walls, it had three rows of currently empty wooden desks, all facing the teacher’s table, behind it sat Professor Flitwick who looked almost comical sitting in a large upholstered chair with a high back. On the desk in front of the Charms Professor sat a simple apple.

“Welcome Mr Lewis,” the head of Ravenclaw house said as Simon took the unoccupied seat in front of the man's desk. “You completed the theory part of your exam yesterday, now the practical aspect awaits.” He gestured to the apple. “Your task; to use the Shrinking Charm on the apple and then use the Engorgement Charm to return it to normal size.” He smiled at Simon as if what he was asking didn’t make the Hufflepuff's heart try to break free from his rib cage.

Reducio was the incantation for the Shrinking Charm and Engorgio was its opposite, Simon knew the spells and what their wand movements were, he’d memorised those, but that didn’t really help his situation a whole lot.

The Charms Professor turned over the golden hourglass on the left of his desk and nodded at the second year boy, indicating that Simon should start the spell any moment now.

The boy hadn’t done great in his Transfiguration exam, they’d been asked to turn their familiars into water goblets, unfortunately, Yossarian had kept his tail, one paw and his pair of annoyed looking eyes after Simon had performed the spell. Needless to say, the boy had ended up with a very angry water goblet and a below average on the practical part of the Transfiguration exam.

Simon pushed those thoughts from his head, the boy had long since accepted he’d never be as gifted with spells as Magnus or Alec or that he’d never have Jace or Clary’s gift for connecting with their magic, but Simon had put in so many hours fighting to catch up with them. Most days of the week he’d been in the courtyard practising and the Hufflepuff would be damned if he let all that work be for nothing.

He could do this.

“You should probably consider starting, Mr Lewis.” Professor Flitwick said with a voice of concern and the Hufflepuff boy glanced at the hourglass realising with a jolt of shock that a quarter of his time was already gone.

The boy raised his Rowanwood wand at the blood red apple, feeling a bit like Glinda the Good Witch. Simon’s hand shook slightly and the Hufflepuff boy tried to calm his nerves. “ Reducio.” the wizard muttered and he felt a slight tug surge through him as his wand tried to manifest his magic in the physical world. Nothing happened to the apple though. Simon took a deep breath and shut his eyes. He could do this. Reducio .”

After a few moments of hoping and some silent prayers to Yahweh, the boy opened his eyes to find the apple was no bigger than a button.

“YES!” Simon exclaimed in a mix of frantic joy, relief and surprise. The boy jumped into the air in a burst of excitement. “That’s what I’m talking about!” His smile was almost painful.

Simon was brought back to the real world when he heard Professor Flitwick clear his throat and Simon’s face started to burn hotter than the fire in the Hufflepuff common room.

“Half a minute left, Mr Lewis.” The Ravenclaw said, there was a small smile on his face and a light in his eyes, something purely happy at witnessing a student get a spell right.

“” Simon stuttered before he raised his wand again.

In the end, he’d managed to make it grow back to half the original size but the apple had also turned a sort of purple colour but at the end of the day, Simon considered that exam a win.

They were officially done with second year now and at this point, the large scarlet steam engine that took them to and from the castle had become quite familiar to most of their cohort. Thus, finding an empty compartment wasn’t too much of a challenge this time around.

Alec thought that the journey home on the Hogwarts Express passed relatively similar to last year. They all complained about the recently finished exams. Jace and Maia had an argument about the relevance of question 4 on the theory part of the defence exam and himself and Clary both agreed, something that rarely happened, that the Potions exam expected too much in such a short amount of time, much to the annoyance of Magnus and Simon.

Then the topic of conversation moved onto what electives they’d all choose for year three. Clary and Maia were both adamant on taking Care of Magical Creatures, Simon was pretty sure he’d take Arithmancy, Jace and himself were thinking about studying Ancient Runes and Magnus….

Magnus hadn’t really said much this whole trip.

Out of the corner of his eye, Alec watched Magnus fiddle with the silver ring on his left hand as Clary tried to convince Jace to take Care of Magical Creatures with her. Alec knew his brother would cave and accept the redhead’s request sooner or later. Jace was crushing hard.

Upon noticing him looking Magnus sent Alec a half-hearted smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes before the Slytherin forced himself to re-join the conversation.

Yesterday, Alec had been in The Owlery sending Telum and Angelos home early - they both hated their cages and the bumpy ride home on the train - when Magnus had found him and told the Hufflepuff all about that terrifyingly dangerous ring.

Magnus had told him everything and then looked at Alec in a way no one ever had and asked what to do, Magnus was scared, the Hufflepuff could see that, he hadn’t known what to do and so he’d went to Alec for help.

And the truth was Alec was scared too. the prospect of Magnus having something the fairies were hunting for, something the Professors wanted to give back, made Alec feel sick with worry but Magnus had told him that he couldn’t give it back. And if the Slytherin said they shouldn’t have it then Alec believed him. The Hufflepuff trusted Magnus more than anyone.

Magnus had confessed to him in that drafty stone tower that, though he couldn’t give it to anyone Magnus was afraid to keep Merlin’s Ring because ever since he’d come to Hogwarts the Slytherin felt like he’d been walking in the footsteps left by his father, Magnus told Alec that choosing not to throw it in the Black Lake or lock it up in a vault somewhere felt too much like taking another step on that predetermined path.

Alec would’ve set the world on fire if it meant driving away the darkness and fear in Magnus’ eyes.

Alec hadn’t been able to give his friend any great advice, he’d told Magnus to trust his gut and do what he thought was right. Alec had also reminded him to remember that he wasn’t anything like Asmodeus.

“You know I’m always going to be here for you, Right? No matter what.” He’d asked and Magnus had agreed without hesitation. The Hufflepuff had just wished he could’ve done more, instead, they’d headed down to the Great Hall for the Leaving Feast, Magnus’ Ring vanishing somewhere along the journey.

Speaking of. “Did anyone else think McGonagall's leaving speech was freaking unnecessarily ominous?” Simon asked. “It felt like something straight out of Independence Day.”  Everyone including Clary gave him a confused look, “You know the 1996 movie, the amazing one.”

The confused looks continued, some turning to annoyance.

“Regardless, Simon’s got a point.” Jace said but continued speaking so fast no one could react to him saying those words. “I mean the whole; Darker times are coming for your generation, your world is changing and in years to come I think some of you might find yourselves being challenged in ways you never expected but I know in the end you’ll all persevere. ” He did a high-pitched voice in an attempt to impersonate the Headmistress and Alec wondered if McGonagall would either laugh at its inaccuracies or transform Jace into a two-headed frog if she ever heard it.

“Yah, like chill, we know puberty is a thing, you don’t need to remind us.” Maia muttered causing Clary and Simon to giggle.

The rest of the group continued to banter and poke fun at McGonagall's words while Alec met Magnus’ eyes. The Hufflepuff could see his own thoughts reflected in them, darker times were eventually going to find them and Alec knew that Magnus - because he was Magnus - would end up right in the centre of the chaos and Alec would be there too because whatever metaphorical or physical darkness Magnus was going to face, Alec would be right by his side, no matter what.

“Or you know, she could be trying to warn us of the upcoming apocalypse, either or. You never know.” Magnus said while snatching one of the Chocolate Frogs Maia had brought from the trolley.

The Slytherin and Alec had both agreed not to tell their friends about everything because the more people that knew the easier it was for one of the Professors or, Merlin forbid, the Fairy Queen to find out.

“Well according to my sister puberty is probably worse than the apocalypse so I’ll gladly take the Hunger Games or Ready Player One instead.” Simon replied with a smile only to realise that most of them wouldn’t get the references. “Mark my words, one day I’m going to force you all to watch something. Probably Star Wars”

“Merlin Save us.” Jace said causing Simon to frown.

The group of friends continued to bicker and chatter and laugh until the scarlet steam engine arrived at Kings Cross Station. Alec glanced outside the window to see the crowd of families eagerly waiting on platform 9 and ¾ and sighed. Though the boy’s heart leapt at the thought of seeing Max again after months of talking through letters, Alec’s stomach sank at the realisation he’d have to spend months at home with his parents, months away from Magnus.

The six of them got off the Hogwarts Express and goodbyes were said until someone spotted their families, Alec had been taken completely by surprise when Clary had pulled him into a quick hug that ended almost as quickly as it had started before leaving with Simon, though they didn’t really get along Alec couldn’t say he hated her.

The next to leave had been Maia. She’d hugged Magnus, waved to Alec, flipped off Jace, then disappeared into the hustling and bustling crowd.

Jace had exchanged a quick goodbye with Magnus before the blonde had walked over to where the first years were standing, in search of Izzy. Alec turned to the Slytherin, a sad smile on his face, “See you in September then.” Most friends arranged times to meet outside of school over the holidays but though Alec’s parents had basically disowned him the Hufflepuff knew they’d sooner forgive him then let someone with the name Lightwood be friends with a Bane.

“I’ll count the days.”

“Don’t get yourself into too much trouble, Magnus.” Alec muttered pulling the Slytherin into a tight hug.

“No promises.” Magnus replied after a moment, before pulling away one hand still on Alec’s arm. Magnus looked at him in a strange way for a few seconds before taking a breath and starting to speak. “Alexander I-”

But Alec would never know what Magnus had been planning to tell him because at that very moment Max Lightwood had burst through the crowd and exclaimed; “Alec!”, Interrupting what Magnus had been saying, before running over to his older brother.

“Hey, buddy.” Alec replied and knelt down to remove the height difference between himself and his youngest sibling so that Max could hug him properly, Alec glanced up at Magnus and sent the other boy an apologetic smile witch the Slytherin waved off.

“I missed you.” Max said with a bright smile that only a 6-year-old could manage, after breaking free from the hug.

“I missed you too.” The Hufflepuff replied before ruffling Max’s hair, mostly because the youngest Lightwood hated when his older brothers did that.

Max, seeming to remember there was another person nearby, turned to Magnus and held out his hand in a greeting. “I’m Max Lightwood.” He gave a toothy smile, looking every bit the perfect, pure-blooded son of a high wizarding family.

Like who Alec used to be.

“I’m Magnus.” The Slytherin replied, deliberately choosing not to include his last name. Max didn’t seem to notice though.

“Are you one of Alec’s friends?”

“Yeah, he’s one of my best friend.”

“Cool! I can’t wait to go to Hogwarts and meet some new people,” Max tended to babble when he met new people though. “Most of the other kids my parents want me to play with are older than me and the Blackthorns are boring.”. Max muttered before his eyes widened in shock. “Please don’t tell them or my mum I said that.”  Max begged the boy under the assumption that Magnus would associate with the same families theirs’ did because he was Alec’s friend.

“You have my word.” Magnus responded trying not to laugh at Max’s pure distress and Alec didn’t know why the sight of them getting along so well made him almost giddy. The Hufflepuff would never show it though.

Max smiled at him before turning and looking back at the crowd for a moment, “Alec, there’s Jace and Izzy, they’re already with mum and dad,” he pointed to the group in question before grabbing his older brother’s jacket sleeve and starting to walk over to them, dragging Alec, his helpless victim, after him.

The Hufflepuff turned his head while walking and mouthed I’m sorry to Magnus and the Slytherin just laughed to himself before waving goodbye to him.

I’ll see you soon

Chapter Text


Simon Lewis, seat belt wrapped around him snugly, was sitting next to Clary in the backseat of Jocelyn’s car as the group of wizards drove towards Kings Cross Station. The Gryffindor was leaning her head against the car window as she sketched absentmindedly in the art book balanced on her knees and the Hufflepuff, despite numerous attempts, couldn’t stop noticing how Clary’s red hair seemed to glow as a result of the beams of sunlight travelling through the glass.

“Do I have something on my face?” Clary asked concernedly. Simon gave her a confused look and shrugged as if to say how would I know ?

“You were staring.” She responded to his unsaid words.

“No. No, I...I w-was just...thinking.”

“Oh, Ok...” Clary said while a fond smile twisted at her lips before she turned back to her sketchbook. Same-old Simon , the action seemed to say and the Hufflepuff suddenly wished he didn’t exist because why was it so hard to string one sentence together around her?

Simon turned his head away from Clary in favour of looking out the window at the passing city. The buildings and streets blurred together as the car zoomed by but he could still make out trees, cars and people. When they stopped at a traffic light Simon saw a woman holding a little girl’s hand as they waited to cross the road. The sight made his heart contract and recent memories swirl around his mind.

That morning his mother had been frantic. She’d asked Simon over and over if he’d forgotten anything. On the fourth time she’d asked, he’d snapped at her with a sharp “For the last time, no!”

Simon had regretted the words as soon as he’d yelled them.

The woman had sighed. Simon knew the past few months had been very difficult for her, she was quieter, more protective. His father getting sick had been hard on their entire family but his mother had felt it the worst. Elaine was so worried about losing her husband and Simon knew sending her son away was the last thing she wanted to do. “I’m sorry, monkey, I just worry about you.” She’d whispered.

“I know.”

Simon worried about her too. His mother hadn’t had a relapse in her drinking in years and the Hufflepuff didn’t want to leave and be the thing that caused her to. He also didn’t want to risk not being at home if his father’s condition got any worse. Receiving a letter like that on some random day at breakfast terrified him but when Simon had asked his mother if it would be best to just go to a normal school this year the woman had insisted that he was special and not to worry about her. When he’d asked his father, the man had weakly told him that wasting this opportunity was the last thing he wanted for Simon.

The Hufflepuff had walked over to his mother, the woman had bent down and wrapped him in a warm hug that’d brought more comfort than words could describe. “I’ll miss you while I’m away, Mum.” He’d whispered into her shoulder.

“Me too, Simon.”  There’d been tears in her voice.  

The moment had been broken when Rebecca had entered the room. “Jocelyn and Clary are here.” She’d announced, sounding a bit remorseful.

Simon had pulled away from his mother and walked over to his sister. They eyed each other for a moment before Simon awkwardly hugged her. Becky was seventeen, she’d never received a Hogwarts letter like he had. Both their parents were what most wizards called ‘Muggles’. According to Jace, it was a mixture of luck and chance that Simon could perform magic while no one else in his family could.

“Look after mum.” Simon had whispered before he’d pulled away from Rebecca. They’d been close when they were younger but once she’d became a teenager and he’d still been a kid they’d grown apart. Simon wished they hadn’t. “I will. Have fun learning how to be a warlock or whatever.” She’d said with a smile.

“Wizard, technically.” He’d corrected and she had smiled slightly.

“Simon?” Clary asked. The sound of his own name brought the boy out of his memories and back to reality. The Hufflepuff looked at his best friend. He could only focus on her eyes, they were so green . He’d started to notice things about girls, but especially things about Clary, a lot recently. He liked the colour of her hair and the way she smelled and the shape of her lips…..

Simon physically shook his head and laughed slightly, “Yes, Clary, I, uh, I’m....”

“You, ok?” She asked cutting off his stuttering.

“Great, yes, I’m fantastic.”  Simon breathed out while resisting the urge to slap himself.

“I just thought you might’ve been thinking about your dad.” Clary said completely changing Simon’s mood, her voice was gentle, hesitant even, as if she was speaking to some beast that would lash out if it got angry.

“No, I wasn’t. I try not to.” Simon responded looking down at his hands. “Thinking about it makes me want to cry or scream and I've already done plenty of both.” There was nothing he could do to help his dad which angered Simon more than anything. He was supposed to be this magical wizard who could do whatever he wanted but when his mother had looked at him with eyes full of tears and asked if he could do anything to help Simon had frozen.

“If you ever need to talk about it, you know I’m here for you, right Si?” She asked while placing a hand on his shoulder.

Simon savoured the comfort the gesture brought him for a few seconds. “I do. Thank you, Frey.” The Hufflepuff said while covering her hand with his own and giving it a gentle squeeze.

“Clary, could you do me a favour?” The Hufflepuff asked after a brief silence.

“Anything.” The redhead responded without hesitation.

“Could you not mention the stuff with my dad to the others?” She looked at him strangely and he could see the confusion in her eyes. “Jace and Maia and Alec already don’t care for all my mundane qualities, I can’t imagine they’d want to hear about my problems.”

He could see it, Clary was going to start a rebuttal, she’d probably even convince Simon he was wrong but the Hufflepuff started to speak before she did. “Please, Frey.” It wasn’t a question.


Not a moment later the car had stopped to a halt with a jerk and Jocelyn turned around from the driver's seat and announced they had arrived.

The morning of September the first was always a bit hectic for Alec Lightwood. It was a whirlwind of last-minute packing, Owl searching and sibling squabbling but as always the Lightwood family arrived at Kings Cross station at exactly 7:30 am because his parents were nothing if not efficient and consistent.

The morning was absolute chaos but it was the good kind, the exciting kind, because on September the first Alec and his siblings got to go back to Hogwarts, he’d get to practice magic again, he’d get to play Quidditch again. He’d get to see Magnus again.

Alec’s hands tightened around the handle of his trolley as the Hufflepuff started to run at the solid wall that separated platforms 9 and 10. When he came in contact with the brick wall, there was darkness and a familiar tingling sensation for a moment. Then suddenly the boy was standing on platform 9 ¾, Izzy, Jace and his parents appeared behind him a moment later. The hidden platform was as busy as ever and the huge scarlet steam engine was as magnificent and striking as it had been the first time Alec had laid his eyes upon it.

Izzy, without a word, started to push the trolley containing her dog and trunks over to where all the second-year students, who had finished exchanging goodbyes with their families, were waiting at the designated entrance to the Hogwarts Express.

“Isabelle.” Their father called after her, he was clearly confused by the girl’s sudden departure. The Gryffindor made no move to stop or show any sign she’d even heard him.

“Isabelle, where are you going?” Their mother asked, concern laced through her voice.

No response.

Isabelle Sophia Lightwood. ” Robert commanded, more than spoke, in that same voice he’d used when Alec had accidentally broken his grandmother’s vase. The boy had to stop himself from cringing at the memory.

Izzy gave an audible sigh in response before dramatically turning and leisurely walking back to where they were standing. Alec met Jace’s eyes briefly and saw his own thoughts reflected there. A mix of astonishment and fear for their younger sister.

“Aren’t you going to say goodbye to us?” Maryse said to her daughter. It sounded more like an order than a request. Alec wasn’t really surprised though, most things concerning his parents tended to be that way.

The raven-haired girl rolled her eyes visibly before she offered a curt “bye.” It was accompanied by a half-hearted wave and Alec was reminded that she wasn’t in Gryffindor because she was cowardly. Then again, there was being brave and then there was this .

Alec glanced at his brother again. The other boy was biting his lip to keep from smiling and the Hufflepuff got the impression that the only thing Jace really wanted to do was give their younger sister a high five. Instead, he opted for a more discreet thumbs-up.

Spectacularly Ignoring the anger of their parents that was bubbling just below the surface, Izzy turned on her heel and resumed her path to where her friends were waiting. Aline and Helen were eyeing the pure-blooded family suspiciously.

That was probably because though they didn’t want to show it, his parents were seething . Maryse and Robert Lightwood expected nothing but total respect from their children, Alec knew that was because having (or being able to fake) good manners and respect were essential skills for wizards who navigated the murky waters of the politics of the pure-blooded families. The Lightwood children weren’t allowed to be rude or emotional or unique because that would undermine the political power of the Lightwood name.

This wasn’t the first time Isabelle had done something like this though. It seemed to Alec that Izzy had been deliberately trying to piss them off ever since she’d gone to Hogwarts. Last year, counting the one with Alec, Isabelle had gotten four detentions, one more and the girl (and their parents) would’ve had to speak to the Headmistress. Additionally, the Gryffindor had gotten into hot water because despite scoring top marks in all her spell casting and potion making, she’d failed all the theory aspects of her exams and Alec knew that had been on purpose because in first year the theory exam for Defence Against the Dark Arts was a true or false quiz and Izzy had got every question wrong. She had known what not to answer. What had surprised Alec the most though was how the Gryffindor had broken their parents' number one No-Magic-under-any-circumstances rule during the summer break . She’d broken it often and not subtly.

Isabelle had been doing things she knew would upset their parents and while Alec couldn’t really care less about how they were feeling he was concerned about Izzy, because while she’d always been daring and bold this frankly reckless behaviour wasn’t like her and the Hufflepuff wanted to know why she was acting this way.

As much as Alec tried to convince himself otherwise, being a proper Lightwood - pure-blooded and Gryffindor - was objectively good. Izzy right now had the loyalty of the high wizarding families (people with power and sway). The world was at her feet, she could do anything, have any job she wanted, but if her recent behaviour continued Alec guessed that would most likely change and he didn’t want Izzy to waste the opportunity.

Or at the very least he wanted to know why she was throwing it away.

Mercifully, he and Jace were saved from the awkwardness of the situation Izzy had just masterfully created by none other than Clary Fairchild.

The girl had exclaimed Jace’s and Alec’s names from somewhere nearby and the group of remaining Lightwoods turned to see the redhead and Simon approaching.

Jace, not wanting to put Clary through the inevitable interrogation his adoptive parents were no doubt planning for this girl because ‘ you should choose your friends very carefully’ or whatever they’d used to say. (Though, Clary was wearing her Gryffindor scarf which surely earned her points). The blonde, ever the knight in shining armour, exchanged a quick goodbye with Maryse and Robert, gestured for Alec to follow and started walking to meet Clary and Simon halfway. The brothers had left their trolleys behind, but Alec had faith all their stuff would eventually find its way onto the scarlet steam-engine.

Alec noted there was no mention or protest of him not offering a goodbye. The boy supposed it was because they didn’t really care if he had good manners or not. Hufflepuff’s didn’t really have a place among the pure-blooded families, the people of that house were too cowardly and useless apparently. Not that Alec wanted one anymore, or more accurately Alec was in the process of convincing himself he didn’t want one anymore. The Hufflepuff might not get along with his parents very well now but that didn’t mean he was completely over not being a part of that world they’d raised him to be a part of.

There were a few uncomfortable moments where Simon and Alec stood in awkward silence while Jace and Clary hugged. Alec did feel somewhat bad for the other Hufflepuff, well he pitied Simon really because it was quite obvious that he liked Clary in a way that wasn’t just friendship. Unfortunately for Simon, it was so clear that the redhead fancied Jace that even a blind man would notice.

“Sorry we were a bit late, traffic was awful.” Clary said after breaking away from the hug. The Gryffindor then sent Alec a little wave of greeting that the Hufflepuff returned. Over the holidays Jace had not so subtly mentioned to Alec how he and Clary not getting along bothered him, so Alec was trying to make an effort.

“Are those your parents?” Clary asked. The girl stood on her tiptoes and craned her head in an effort to see over Jace’s shoulder.

“Yah.” Jace responded after a moment.

“Should I say hi or introduce myself or something? I mean, you’ve met my mum.” Clary asked, not really aware she was asking to enter the proverbial lion’s den.

“No!” The blonde replied quickly. “just uh, trust me on that.”

“Ok.” Clary hesitantly agreed. The confusion in her voice was prevalent. “I trust you.”

“Nice scarf.” Jace said pointing at the red and gold fabric around her neck, clearly he was trying to change the topic of conversation. It wasn’t his smoothest moment.

“Thanks, it was my mum’s. I-”

“There’s Maia!” Simon pointed into the depths of the crowd excitedly before waving, he didn’t seem too sympathetic for interrupting Clary and Jace’s conversation. The Hufflepuff supposed that might have something to do with distracting Clary from his brother. Alec resisted the urge the roll his eyes. Simon was pathetic .

As Maia started walking over to meet them, Alec couldn’t help noticing that the girl looked sickly, that was the only word he could use to describe her appearance. Her normally vibrant dark skin was clammy and her eyes seemed a bit hollow. The Hufflepuff's best guess was that she’d caught a cold over the holidays but his Magic prodded at his mind, whispering that this was something different.

“Hi, guys.” Maia said, the smile she wore didn’t reach her eyes. The girl hugged Clary first and then Jace. a purple scarf was wrapped around her neck, which was almost certainly because she was sick and it was cold this morning but the boy - well his magic - couldn’t shake the feeling something was off, especially when his eyes noticed something on her neck peeking over the top of the fabric.

“How’s the weather down there?” The blonde asked with that smirk that was uniquely, unequivocally, Jace. Both the blonde, Simon and himself had gotten taller over the holidays, and though Clary had grown a little Maia wasn’t much taller then what she’d been last year. Though that cold or whatever she had made the Gryffindor girl look the most different.

Maia snorted. “Not bad but the view isn’t all that great.” she responded and Jace’s eyes lit up, Maia was definitely the only one amongst them who could or really wanted to go toe-to-toe with Jace in battles of wit.

But all thoughts of Maia and Jace were abolished from his head when Alec noticed Magnus walking towards them. While the Slytherin had definitely gotten taller over the holidays (he was lanky but not nearly as gangly as Simon), Magnus was still an inch or so shorter than Alec which the Hufflepuff was secretly a bit smug about. Magnus was wearing a blue jacket that was definitely of Muggle origin and there were streaks of the same blue colour scattered throughout his black hair, Alec’s first thought was about how that stylistic choice was against the dress code and how Magnus was just asking to write lines but then Magnus noticed him looking and the Slytherin smiled at him and all the Hufflepuff could think about was how much the colour suited him.

Before long, Alec was being enveloped in a hug by Magnus. The boy leaned into the contact. “I missed you.” He muttered. The words felt like a bit of a cheat because those three words didn’t really sum up what he had felt while they’d been apart. When Magnus was around everything was better, it was that simple. It was just better .

“So, did I.” Magnus whispered back and Alec wondered if he felt the same.

When they broke apart and Magnus went over to greet Simon and Clary, Alec felt Jace's eyes on him.

“What?” The Hufflepuff asked.

“Nothing.” Jace replied after a moment.

Alec was going to insist that it was never just ‘nothing’ but he was cut off by Maia.

“Nice hair Magnus.” The Gryffindor said while adjusting her scarf, giving Alec another peek of whatever it was covering.

“You think so?” If Alec hadn’t known Magnus so well, he would’ve missed the nervousness in the Slytherin’s voice.

“Yeah, you’d fit right in in the Capital.” Simon interjected. “ The Hunger Games I mean, not that you’d want to live in a tyrannical dictatorship, mind you, I just meant that-”

“It suits you.” Alec cut off the other Hufflepuff’s ramblings and Magnus sent him a grateful smile. Whether it was for saving him from Simon or the compliment Alec wasn’t sure.

The group of students continued talking amongst themselves for a few more minutes until the bells and whistling of the steam locomotive sounded. A call to all the students, who weren’t already aboard, to enter the Hogwarts Express.

The group of third years managed to grab the second last free compartment with relative ease. Truthfully Alec would have preferred it if he and Magnus had found somewhere else to sit so they could catch up and talk just by themselves but at the end of the day, Alec had grown somewhat fond of the others. Somewhat .

Once they’d all taken their seats the interrogation started. “Ok, so what did everyone choose as their electives?” Clary asked looking more eager than a Niffler in a jewellery store. “Because I chose Care of Magical Creatures and Divination.”

“Runes and Muggle Studies.” Jace replied not missing a beat.

Maia and Alec nearly laughed. Clary, on the other hand, looked heartbroken. “What really?”

There was a brief silence where Jace tried to maintain his facade, but he broke before long, “Merlin, no!” Jace said laughing. “I’m taking Care of Magical Creatures and Runes.”

“I’m glad.” Clary said before blushing slightly, “...because Simon and Maia are taking Care of Magical Creatures as well and it’ll be more fun with friends, I mean.”

“I’m taking it too.” Magnus interjected, saving Clary from herself. She sent him a grateful look. “That and Divination but I’m dropping one of them at the end of fifth year, so I can take Alchemy.”

“It baffles me why you’d want to deal with more potions.” Alec mumbled but Magnus - as he was sitting next to Alec - heard and gave the Hufflepuff a playful shove in return.

“I’m not.” Maia said quietly. “Taking Care of Magical Creatures, I mean.” she clarified when everyone gave her bemused looks.

“What?” Simon asked concerned. “You were so excited last year.”

“That was last year.” The Gryffindor replied. Her next words sounded enthusiastic but Alec didn’t know Maia well enough to gauge how genuine they were. “I’m taking Arithmancy and Divination.”

“I chose Ancient Runes and Divination.” Alec announced, mainly because Magnus was looking at him with curious eyes, almost begging to know if they’d have any other classes together.

“Well, quite honestly I’m just glad to be heading back to Hogwarts. The holidays are always a nightmare.” Jace said and Alec silently agreed.

It was horrible being in your house but not really feeling like you were a part of the family that lived there. Izzy and Jace did their best to cheer him up but nothing could ever really drive away those feelings of loneliness and self-hatred when Alec was sitting at the dinner table and was never addressed or spoken to by the two people he’d once loved more than the world.

Alec did resent his parents for how hopeless they’d made him feel, the Hufflepuff wouldn’t forgive either of them for that, not until they took the first step but that didn’t mean he didn’t foolishly hope that they would.

Alec knew it was stupid and childish and unrealistic but he really hoped at least one of them would.

“I always like going home. Being constantly in the Magical world is a bit suffocating sometimes. It’s nice to have a break.” Clary said to which Simon nodded.

“Well summer for me was a bit…..interesting.” Magnus said and now everyone was looking at the Slytherin waiting for an explanation. “Did you all hear about the exchange students coming to Hogwarts?” He asked.

“Yah, I heard my parents talking about it. It’s got something to do with trying to strengthen international relations within the Wizarding world.” Alec said.

“Well all the Professors were asked to look after the students, Ragnor got a girl from Beauxbatons Academy, she’s actually going to be in our year.” Magnus explained.

“Where is she?” Maia asked. “I’d love to meet her, I’ve always wanted to go to France.”

“All the exchange students went to the school early.” Magnus replied.

Soon, much to Alec’s joy, they started discussing the upcoming Quidditch season. Both he and  Jace would have to try out for the team again but playing Quidditch was one of the few things the Lightwood parents did let their children do at home, so Alec was feeling pretty confident.

Soon the trolley witch, as all the students called her, knocked on the compartment door and the group of the six young wizards and witches purchased perhaps just a few too many sweets from her but that didn’t really matter because they were heading back to Hogwarts and were all far to happy to care about spending too many gallons on those overpriced treats.

Magnus tapped his fingers on the wooden table in a mindless rhythm as he waited for the Sorting Ceremony to finish. His eyes searched for something to entertain him. As always, the Great Hall looked stunning, the colours of all four houses were scattered around and blended together perfectly. The floating candles and enchanted sky hadn’t gotten any less impressive now that Magnus had grown older if anything they’d gotten more so. The room hadn’t changed in the slightest, there was nothing new in the Great Hall, well except for the new students of course.

Magnus hadn’t paid much attention during the Sorting Ceremony, the Slytherin didn’t know any of the new first years after all but the boy did make sure to clap with the rest of his housemates whenever a new Slytherin was sorted, half of them looked devastated to be there and the other half didn’t react much, as if they’d known this was their place.

Most of the older students, who had seen many sortings by this point, looked bored out of their minds and were just staring at their empty plates trying to will the food to appear. Magnus glanced down at his own plate and saw his reflection stare back up at him in the polished surface. The boy felt a stab of irritation go through him when he saw the lack of dye in his hair.

Magnus had gotten some strange looks from people both older and younger than him when they’d seen the streaks of colour in his hair. Usually, it was only the girls who broke the rules in that way but at this point, Magnus was used to being judged by other people and admittedly it was for something a lot worse.

Besides, Magnus liked the way the blue laced through his hair looked and so had Alec. It suits you . The Slytherin couldn’t help but smile stupidly to himself.

Unfortunately, Magnus had been walking towards the Great Hall with Alexander and the others, not twenty minutes ago, when out of nowhere Madam Hooch - the teacher of his least favourite class - had appeared and given Magnus a stern reminder about the dress code. She’d pulled out a white wand and muttered an incantation and the blue had disappeared instantaneously. The Slytherin had been threatened with lines if it happened again.

“That concludes the Sorting of our new first years.” The voice of Professor McGonagall rang out through the hall, silencing everyone as if it were a complex spell, out of habit of hearing a Professor, Magnus glanced down at his left hand (just in case) - to find Merlin’s Ring nowhere in sight.

He hadn’t told Ragnor about it. Magnus couldn’t, not until the Slytherin knew the older wizard could be trusted. The only person who knew he was in possession of something the Fairy Queen wanted was Alexander. He was the only one Magnus trusted.

“But as some of you might be aware, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has accepted seven students from other Magical schools, such as Ilvermorny and Castelobruxo and in return, we sent seven of our own to study at these other Magical institutions for the year.” McGonagall explained and as she’d spoken Magnus had noticed all the students who had previously looked bored during the sorting start to pay closer attention to her words.

Every student was intrigued by these newcomers.

“So as our guests will be staying for a year, they shall be sorted as well.” Not a moment after Professor McGonagall had finished speaking the wooden doors connecting the Great Hall to the rest of the school had opened with a creeeek and a group of seven students, all from different heritages and backgrounds, entered.

The Headmistress walked over to where the old wooden stool was waiting and picked up the ragged Sorting Hat, she then began to read out the names of the foreign students from a sheet of parchment that Magnus would’ve sworn hadn't been n her hands a moment ago.

“Daniel Asen.” She called and a boy from Durmstrang stepped forward nervously after a quick glance at Professor Sprout, who had sent a reassuring smile back. Magnus assumed she was the Professor he’d been staying with over the break.

Daniel looked about the age of a second year and Magnus wondered if they had houses where he studied in Bulgaria, the Slytherin guessed probably not judging by his reaction (the boy looked as if he’d seen a dementor). The raggedy hat had been placed atop his head and within a few long seconds the Sorting Hat had burst to life and exclaimed “Ravenclaw!”

The dazed looking boy quickly got off the stool and walked over to the table full of blue and bronze decorations. He clearly had no clue if the house he’d just ended up in was good or not, which, honestly was quite refreshing to see considering every first year always had at least somewhat of a perceived notion of which houses were better than the others.

“Camille Belcourt.” The Headmistress called and Magnus paid close attention as the girl from Beauxbatons Academy, the one that had been staying with himself and Ragnor over the summer holidays, stepped forward and ascended the steps.

Camille was graceful, each step she took was calculated and precise but what was perhaps even more impressive was how she didn’t seem even the slightest bit nervous as the hat was placed atop her head.

Slytherin !” The Sorting Hat proclaimed not a moment after it had touched her head. Camille unlike Daniel looked like she knew exactly the kind of house she had ended up in. The French girl had looked pleased as she’d descended the few steps and sauntered over to the silver and green table. A smug part of Magnus knew he was the reason.

Camille took the unoccupied seat to Magnus’ left and smiled at him in a silent greeting and Magnus’s heart contracted as a result. Though Ragnor had been the one officially looking after Camille, she’d spent most of her time with Magnus.

The new-Slytherin had been good company over the holidays, she’d taught him a lot, Camille had told him all about Beauxbatons and Paris. She’d even shown him some French spells that he’d never heard of before. Magnus had tried to return the favour, he’d shown her some potions and enchantments too (including the one he’d used to dye his hair) and he’d taken her exploring in the forest behind Ragnor’s cottage where some relatively harmless magical creatures dwelled. She’d enjoyed that tremendously.

A few days ago, he’d been showing Camille the Bowtruckles that lived in the large Aldar tree by the lake when she’d kissed him. She’d kissed him . Magnus’s first kiss actually but definitely not hers. It had felt weird. But a good kind of weird and the Slytherin was entirely certain he’d done it wrong.

“I suppose I’ll still get to see you a lot since we’re in the same house.” Her English was good but her accent was still quite prevalent. “I hope you don’t get sick of me.”

Though he’d been owling them all summer he hadn’t really mentioned her to Alexander or Caterina. That was mainly because he hadn’t really known what to say. He and Camille weren’t together, (not like Gideon Hawkins and Dot Rollins who had been caught snogging in the broom closet at the end of last year) Magnus hadn’t known what to say they were. The boy had figured he’d mention it to his friends after the Sorting Ceremony because if she ended up in a different house to him Magnus suspected things might have been different.

It had been easy to like Camille. She had been one of the few people his age who hadn’t flinched when she’d heard Magnus’s last name, she’d been kind and she was funny and beautiful and despite not knowing the girl very well the Slytherin did really like her.

And Magnus would never admit it out loud but he wanted them to become something more than friends because she was a surprisingly effective way to stop thinking about Alexander in that non-acceptable regard.

Magnus, even though he didn’t want them, could admit to himself that he did have complicated feelings for his friend. Over the holidays there had been....intimate thoughts and dreams about Alexander and Magnus knew they were wrong and unnatural and he knew he really shouldn’t be having them but the Slytherin hadn’t been able to stop his traitor of a mind from conjuring them because Alexander was beautiful and smart and too loyal for his own good and sometimes he was all Magnus thought about.

Camille had been a welcomed escape from that guilt because Alec was his best friend and Magnus shouldn’t want him, liking Camille was normal and expected, she was pretty and clever and….a girl.

“I’ll do my best,” Magnus responded and she laughed in response.