The four of them took turns. They’d draw straws to see who was next. In Spain, it was Magnus. In Peru, Raphael. In London (the first time), it was Catarina. One would leave and the others would follow, grief supposedly carrying them away to a new home.
Every time it was one of his friends’ turns, he bawled like it was for real. Tearfully recounting his friendship with Catarina, his love for Raphael who was like a son to him? Those were hard.
Ragnor’s though? That was excruciating.
“Ragnor Fell took me in when no one else would. He was there at the darkest points in my life and I always loved him for everything he did for me.” Magnus paused as he looked out over the assembled crowd. Mundanes who had known Ragnor, the students he taught, the people whom came to him for his encyclopedic knowledge of history. Some Shadowhunters who had been taught by him as well, who Ragnor wished to lead astray. All these people there to mourn the loss of a great man.
The words tasted bitter in his mouth, not because they were untrue but because they were not something he would ever say to Ragnor’s face and Ragnor knew it. Which was why he stood at the very back of the hall, watching in wry amusement as Magnus tripped over every syllable.
Ragnor left before the receiving line, a specter at his own funeral and Magnus knew he would have to deal with gloating all night when they got together for their traditional wake; getting completely smashed with the dearly departed as the guest of honor.
A Shadowhunter Magnus had a passing familiarity with nodded to him. “I’m sorry for your loss, Magnus. I know you two were close.”
“You cannot know how sorry for my loss I am as well,” Magnus retorted, though he meant it in a significantly different way. The Shadowhunter moved on, letting the line progress and leaving with Magnus nothing to do but smile sadly at the guests and count the minutes until he could have his first drink.
Later that night, three drinks in and feeling far more relaxed, Magnus glared at his best friend of centuries. “Honestly, Bane, I didn’t know you cared so much. It was almost touching. I really should die more often if I get to finally hear what you think about me.”
Magnus used his drink to gesture at Ragnor, alcohol splashing on the floor as Catarina scrambled to get out of the fallout. “Two things, my dear cabbage. One, next time I will be brutal and it will be a funeral to remember forever. And two, you aren’t to die on me for real. Ever. I couldn’t take it. So there, there’s a eulogy for you. Ragnor Fell, lived forever because Magnus Bane told him to.”
“As long as you make me the same deal.”
They toasted their glasses, with Catarina and Raphael joining in.
Them four against the world. Forever.