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Why Magnus Bane Takes an Hour to Get Ready

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There were a lot of things that Magnus could do with magic. With a flick of the wrist and ribbons of blue, crackling energy, the results would be immaculate.  But there were some things where the entire beauty and amusement was luxuriating in the process. Shampoo was crafted from hand-harvested sandalwood. Cocktails were shaken, stirred, and poured combining a bouquet of harvested ingredients that were exotic, rare, and aromatic. Magnus’ passion however, was makeup. A simple glamour could paint his face in any way imaginable, but there was something disingenuous about that to him. Where’s the fun in that?

In the corner of his bedroom, where soft light filtered through the curtains, was an ornate antique vanity. Gilded spirals of woodwork framed a trio of mirrors, providing advantageous views from every angle. He had a hook next to it for a black silk robe: he didn’t dare stain his favorite emerald kimono with makeup. 

Everyday was an occasion for makeup, but today was even more special. Magnus had been called in to assist on mission at the Institute, and he would be teaming up with Alexander, Isabelle and Jace. 

I wonder if the Fairchild girl will tag along….  He mused. She tilted the dynamic of the whole group, even more so after the revelation that she and Jace were siblings. I’m always a sucker for some juicy drama.

The meeting was scheduled for 10:00 am, a bit early for Magnus’ liking, but somehow he still managed to get up early enough to set aside a full hour for his makeup.

Without the right soundtrack, there would be no makeup getting done. He needed inspiration, after all. Lately, he’d been thinking far too much in particular about a certain hazel-eyed, dark haired person and it was taking away from his normal confident and cocky self. This made his Pandemonium-esque party and dance music seem rather inappropriate, so he went with a slightly more cute and sensitive playlist instead. It would perhaps constitute as girly, but Magnus didn’t believe in gendering things like music. 

Bad Liar’  by Selena Gomez started to play,  and after hearing the first few bars, he was satisfied that it was the right mood for the occasion. The silk robe slid across his clean, moisturized skin- the texture almost as heavenly as the touch of Alexander. He hadn’t touched Alec much yet- just to channel his magic, raise the demon, and a few meaningless brushes- but he could already tell just how perfect it could feel. 

I wonder if Alexander would like me in silk…..

Magnus twirled around, looking at himself in the mirror. The robe hit mid-thigh, showing off his toned and tanned legs, revealing even more as it raised with his twirl. 

Not bad for what...four… five… six…. However-the-fuck-many centuries old?

He pushed at the skin around his face, imagining what it would be like to have wrinkles. It would absolutely be a tragedy, he decided. Crow’s feet would make it much more difficult to apply eyeliner. 

The first verse of the song was his favorite, and he couldn’t help but sing along.

 

But just like the battle of Troy

There's nothing subtle here”

 

He flopped onto his bed, dramatically rolling over. 

 

“In my room there's a king size space

Bigger than it used to be

If you want you can rent that place”

 

Springing up out of bed, he smirked into his floor-length mirror, winking to himself. 

 

“Call me an amenity

Even if it's in my dreams”

 

Magnus didn’t have the best singing voice in the world, but after years of voice lessons and even more years of practice, he was still much better than the average person. As the bridge to the song sank in, he kept mouthing along with the words, plopping down on the velvet-cushioned seat.

Lifting the top of the vanity revealed a makeup-store’s worth of luxury products; Chanel, NARS, Kat Von D, MAC- the collection was worth thousands. Eyeliners in deep emeralds, sapphire blues, and various shades and finishes of black were meticulously aligned by brand, color and type. There were kol liners, liquid, marker-style and pencils. The warlock was, after all, well known for his heavy hand with the eyeliner. Tiny pots of glitter in shades reminiscent of the Seelie Realm were arranged neatly alongside a few eyeshadow palettes. Sometimes he put the glitter on his eyes, other times he dusted it across the contours of his face, creating an ethereal highlight.  Next was his biggest weakness: lipstick. Dark hues were the main theme, but there were a few natural tones as well for when he wanted his eyes to be the focus. Rounding out the collection were gorgeous metal-handled brushes, all conditioned and clean.

He surveyed his collection, deciding on the right look for today. He hadn’t seen his shadowhunter in two entire days, and he was worried that Alec might forget how he looks. With that in mind, he decided to play it safe, going with a lightly glittering black eyeliner and a berry colored lipstick. He wanted his lips to look like he’d just eaten blackberries- sinfully stained. He paused for a second, coming up with another idea. Perhaps a light dusting of subtle, sheer highlight on his cheekbones too, just to spice it up.

He selected a slightly rounded-tip highlighter brush, delicately dipping it into a translucent pot of glitter . Dusting it across his contours, he found himself singing along again, tapping the brush to his cheeks along with the beat. 

 

Paint my kiss across your chest

If you're the art, I'll be the brush”

 

He tilted his face from side to side, admiring how the slight glitter caught the light and illuminated his face. He stared at his glistening cheekbones so long that a new song started to play.

It was this decade’s queen of pop. Controversial, beautiful, a vocal powerhouse. She reminded him of Mariah Carey in her early days: Ariana Grande. And how can a flamboyant warlock not sing along with a vocal powerhouse?

 

“If you take too long to hit me back

I can't promise you how I'll react”

 

After slipping Alec his number during this case, they had started to exchange small talk through text in random spurts.

 

“But all I can say

Is at least I'll wait for you”

 

Alexander was not the best texter, but Magnus was just tickled at the effort, even if it meant he spent far too much time waiting for his phone to buzz. 

These lyrics are damn near prophetic. He thought to himself as he pulled lightly at his bottom eyelid, tracing the liner on his waterline. That little detail always made his eyes really pop, even if it meant having a pencil dangerously close to his eye. 

 

“And I'ma scream and shout for what I love

Passionate but I don't give no fucks”

 

He flicked his head to the side, combing his fingers through his hair, the streaks changing from red to blue with the simple motion. That’s much better. He wiggled his fingers, the polish flashing to an oil-slick blue to match.

 

“I admit that I'm a lil' messed up

But I can hide it when I'm all dressed up”

 

The pencil glided around his upper and lower lid, as if it knew where to go on its own. He smudged out the line to a smoky haze, opening his eyes wide to make sure his monolid didn’t hide all of his handiwork. Dipping his ring finger in a pot of subtle glitter, he closed his lids one at a time and lightly tapped. The shimmer would only be visible when his eyes closed, and he loved that tiny bit of surprise. A light dusting of natural lipstick followed, and he was finished. 

The refrain made him dance and sway along as he got up to get dressed. 

 

“And I can be needy

Way too damn needy

I can be needy

Tell me how good it feels to be needed”

 

Had anyone needed Alexander before in the same way that he did? Something about the fact that he might be the first was incredibly satisfying. As he slid out of his robe, he twirled around his room in his royal blue boxer-trunks. The way the fabric clung to his tight ass was sinful.

 

“You can go ahead and call me selfish, 

But after all this damage I can't help it 

But what you can trust, is I need your touch-”

 

An uninvited intruder cut him off, his bedroom door swinging open. Distracted by his personal performance, he hadn’t even heard the front door open. It wasn’t normal for him to be caught this much off guard.

“Magnus! I was in the neighborhood after a night patrol and I need to get to the Institute in time for that 10:00 AM meeting, so I figured I could steal your portal…” Isabelle’s voice called over the music.  “Oh! I’m sorry, I should’ve known you wouldn’t be ready yet, my bad.” She was unphased, throwing herself down on his bed and resting her head on her hands. She crossed her high-heel bootie-clad feet behind her. “Is this Ari? I LOVE her.”

Magnus blinked slowly. He wasn’t embarrassed by being indisposed, but he wasn’t used to a shadowhunter being so accepting. Look who I’m dealing with though, she is wearing a vinyl bra for a shirt after all… I wish I could pull that off half as well as she can. 

“It’s lovely to see you this morning Isabelle, and yes, you can portal with me, but only if you weigh in on my outfit. This?” He snapped his fingers. A simple black silk shirt and tight, dark wash distressed jeans was the canvas for a masterpiece of mis-matched jewelry. It was understated by Magnus’ standards, but he didn’t want to scare Alec off. “Or this?” His outfit transformed into a pair of leather pants- almost the same as Izzy's, and a silver brocade jacket. There was a smattering of silver jewelry to match. 

"I love both, but without a shirt under the jacket, you might turn some heads at the Institute. Although… I’m sure certain people wouldn't mind….” She giggled, exchanging a knowing glance with Magnus. 

He buttoned the jacket three quarters of the way that day.