It was only a matter of time until Alec Lightwood and Magnus Bane eventually moved in together, but neither of them had imagined that it would have taken a nearly world-ending rogue Shadowhunter with questionable blood and daddy issues. Regardless of the circumstances, though, they were generally happy. The rest of “Team Good”—Simon Lewis, Isabelle Lightwood, Clary Fray, and Jace Herondale— had gone to Idris to support Simon during his time training at the Shadowhunter Academy and pursuit of gaining back all his memories, leaving Alec and his warlock boyfriend Magnus to their own devices.
In the beginning it was great. They took it day by day, spending time together and being lovey idiots. Between dates and dinners, Magnus would elaborate on the stories he wrote out for Alec only a few months prior. Finally having an open dialogue and being able to better communicate made their bond all the stronger.
That is, until they started working again. Magnus took jobs left and right and was usually gone all day while Alec trained. Due to his mother insisting he take time off and settle in with Magnus (which was surprising considering she was not the biggest fan of their relationship), Alec would often have entire days to himself.
Besides picking up watching mundane television and eating copious amounts of snacks, Alec spent his time training and researching. Every time Shadowhunters were called out to work, he’d offer to go in their place. Simply, the boy was bored.
“What do you do all day while I’m gone?” Magnus asked one morning as he magically poured them both a mug of coffee. They had the windows all open, letting in rays of sun and fresh air. The seasons were changing hands, autumn quickly approaching and turning morning and evening air into nips of cold. After pouring the cups, he brought them to their dining room table and sat down. Alec gratefully took a sip and let the warm caffeinated drink wake him up.
“Depends, I guess. I train a lot, sometimes help on odd jobs. There haven't been any incidents since Sebastian, really.” Alec shrugged after he spoke and completely left out how much of a couch potato he’d become. “Why do you ask?”
“Oh, nothing but curiosity. Just wanted to learn why I’ve had to replace our groceries twice this week.” The warlock gave Alec a sly grin and watched as his boyfriend’s face practically went up in flames.
Alec was embarrassed, and it was only made worse when Magnus laughed.
Just as Alec was about to speak in defense of himself, his phone rang. Startled by the sudden loud ringing he fumbled slightly for his phone. “Hey Mom, is everything alright?” Alec asked into the phone, a bit concerned as to why she had called instead of sending a fire-message. His face visibly dropped as she spoke. He was needed at the Institute, ASAP.
“What’s the matter, Alexander? That was your mother?” Magnus asked as Alec hung up the phone and began to clean up after himself. Magnus snapped his fingers and the mug vanished.
“There’s been an incident, well, several incidents. Deaths, actually. My mother gave me brief details but didn’t tell me anything. Someone is killing downworlders and leaving handwritten letters with the bodies. Well, one was found today and it was addressed to me. That’s all she told me.” Alec relayed a brief explanation, his face growing a bit more worried than before. “She didn’t tell me what the letter says, but I have no idea why it would be addressed to me. I just hope it doesn’t become a massive problem, especially after everything that’s happened.”
Alec was obviously stressed, and he had every right to be. The last time downworlders were specifically targeted and murdered it was at the hands of Valentine Morgenstern, Sebastian and Clary’s tyrannical father. Magnus, who in the midst of speaking had gotten up to clean up the rest of their mess, rested a hand on Alec’s shoulder.
“Do you need me to come with you? I don’t have anything I need to do today, and I’m more than happy to offer my help.” Magnus spoke in an assuring, soft voice in an attempt to keep Alec from over stressing. The Shadowhunter boy had a bad habit of shutting down emotionally in the face of stress.
“Sure. I don’t know if I could put up with my mother alone anyways.” Alec chuckled a little. The pair quickly dressed and with Magnus’ magic portaled just outside the Institute in mere seconds. It had started to warm up just the slightest bit, but the weather still required layers. Alec and Magnus had both seen the looming church that housed operations for the Shadowhunters in and around New York plenty of times yet still the subtle beauty of the building never got old.
Through both the good and bad memories, the one place that was always constant in Alec’s life was the Institute. Even though they were all over the world, the New York one was his home. It was where he was raised for the majority of his life, where he trained and spent his days bugging his sister Izzy. Obviously it wasn’t his living space anymore but it always gave him a place to go. No matter what happened, it always stood standing.
Neither Alec nor Magnus were exactly sure what to expect. The moment they walked through the doors of the Institute, Maryse, Alec’s mother and head of the Institute was filling them in on everything that had happened. She detailed the gruesome deaths of three downworlders, how they were all killed the exact same way: strangulation. The only problem was, there were no marks indicating that they’d been choked out or even harmed in anyway. It was almost as if their bodies had just asphyxiated themselves. Not only that, but each body was left with a note.
"Each were left with a note, all with just one word: traitor." Maryse said at the end of her explanation.
“What’s that supposed to mean? And earlier you said a letter was addressed to me?” Alec’s eyebrows were knit together, a look of blatant concern spread across his face. His mother sighed.
“Yes. A letter was found addressed to you on the steps of the Institute just before I got in touch with you. I haven't had a chance to read it since I called you immediately.” Maryse explained as she fetched the letter sitting on her desk. Magnus hadn’t spoken much, but he couldn’t help but draw a few conclusions that deeply worried him. Although his mind was racing, he kept it to himself.
Maryse handed her son the cream envelope. It was sealed with red wax, stamped with a label Alec vaguely remembered but couldn’t quite place. He opened the envelope and read the letter inside:
You are a disgrace to your family and a disappointment to all Shadowhunters. Reflect on your past and the answer to your question will be revealed. Question your choices: Should you really trust Magnus Bane?