Magnus Bane has a lot of regrets in his life, but burning his mother's husband — who wasn't his father — alive is never one of them.
As he crawls out of the lake, spitting up the water that couldn't drown him, he feels a sense of anger course through his body. This anger isn't like anything he's experienced before; it's a spiteful anger that consumes his whole being.
The anger is hot, and it feels like he is burning alive, except he can't find any flames sneaking around his body. Instead, he hears screams of pain coming from his would-be killer. He looks up, and doesn't see the man standing before him. Rather, it is a ball of fire with a voice.
Magnus doesn't bother to clean up the ashes as he takes off.
He retrieved his mother from where she had hanged herself, and tossed her in the lake in the same manner that her husband had tossed him.--
He doesn't notice it at first, but Magnus stops aging at nineteen. It isn't a huge event; lights don't appear around him and a voice from far away doesn't say, "Congratulations, Magnus Bane. You are now nineteen, and you will be for the rest of your life."
Forever he will look as he does, with dark hair, Asian features, and cat-like eyes. The eyes, they are his warlock mark. He is luckier than most warlocks, as he can go into public without people pointing and staring at his purple skin and the horns protruding from his forehead. Of course, this would never happen anyway — warlocks have ways, but everyone tires of pretending at some point.
The cat eyes, contrary to what was expected, did not scare off any young ladies. Magnus was an attractive fellow, and he knew — the problem was in finding someone he loved enough to keep around but not enough to be destroyed when they eventually died of old age or other occurrences.
Magnus' first love dies of a horrid disease with a death rate of ninety-seven percent. It sweeps through civilizations, halving the populations. It will, in the future, be known as the 'pneumonia', an relatively easily cured illness. But this is the fourteenth century, and herbal medications don't always work.
Allison — such a timeless name — was a beautiful, fair-haired maiden who was always a little too adventurous for her time. She would insist on going out into the snow with nothing more than a petticoat on. Magnus worries for her, but of course she didn't listen.
Despite himself, he cries when he finds her body, limp and cold.
Somehow, and Magnus honestly doesn't know, he ends up in France during their revolution.
If you ask him about it, though, hewon't be able to tell you who the king was. He is, to say, distracted.
His distraction comes in the name of Philippe, a twenties-something Parisian who is très grivois.
(So, Magnus isn't fluent just yet. Shush with you and give him time.)
He tries with Philippe, he really does; they're like two peas in a pod, too alike for their own good.
Magnus has always had trouble with love, and Philippe is no exception.
They start off fine, like most couples do.
They spend most of their time inside, and have to change their sheets quite often, but Magnus doesn't mind.
Magnus' favourite thing with Philippe is breakfast, and the way Philippe's tired eyes droop as he tries to consume his first meal of the day.
"Je veux être avec toi toujours," Philippe says one morning, and Magnus isn't even sure if Philippe knows he's awake.
His eyes flash open and he sees Philippe's soft green eyes staring at him. Magnus sighs, and buries his face in his pillow.
"Tout le monde voulons les choses, mon cher."--
Philippe's ideas are never the most thought out, and that's one thing Magnus cannot stand about him.
He is so rash, so quick to make a decision without thinking about its consequences.
So when Magnus finds out that he's been speaking with a local rogue vampire — hadn't Magnus expressed the dangers of that? — he knows what he has to do, and he's not exactly eager. He meets Philippe at a café of sorts; the man has a light in his eyes that Magnus will miss.
"C'est au revoir." That was the last thing Magnus ever said to the man.
And that is the end of that.--
Camille is different than the rest.
She is a vampire. An immortal vampire.
Over the centuries, Magnus has developed a set of rules — a guide, of sorts — of how to deal with his lovers. The first rule is: Don't get attached; don't fall in love.
Why? Because they're all going to die eventually, if they don't leave before.
But Camille is in the same situation he is in; she'll live forever.
They are, in theory, perfect for each other.
Except theories don't always work out.
It goes well for the longest time; they're together when they want to be, and they're scarce when they don't.
Magnus has the good life.
(Or so he thinks.)
The one thing Magnus never expected from Camille was infidelity, and it's something he's not prepared for.
His heart, for the first time in centuries, cracks.
It's not a pretty sight.
He feels like he should be stuttering, but he's Magnus Bane, and he does not studder under any circumstances.
He doesn't know what to do, so he grabs Will and does what he has — and no, he wouldn't admit it — dying to do.
Will's lips are soft on his, just as he'd been imagining for what seems like ages.
And then he has to convince Will that it was all a drug-induced dream.
The name is like fireworks on his lips. Every time he thinks of Alec — calm, sweet, slightly boring, and stable Alec — he feels something different.
Alec is a Shadowhunter, and they aren't exactly supposed to mingle with his kind.
But Magnus can't seem to stay away from him, and Alec doesn't seem to want it that much, either.
So they stay like this, in secret.
Of course, Alec's friends know — he's never been one to hide something from his sister or his parabatai, and then word kind of spread to Clary and Simon.
. . . His time with Alec is short, at least according to him.
They part ways shortly after Alec's thirtieth birthday; the younger man wants kids, and warlocks just can't provide that.
The split is about as mutual as one can get, but that doesn't stop the pain that both men feel.
A Shadowhunter's life is short in most cases, but sometimes the lucky ones can slip through Death's grip and die of the most mundane thing possible: old age.
He attends his once lover's funeral, and tries not to cry. Alec is dressed in white — he would have preferred a dark blue — and is laying on a slab of cold marble.
The Runes are drawn on Alec's body: one to grant him a peaceful afterlife; one to thank him for his service; one to mark him as a Lightwood; and one to cause the flames.
The red flames lick Alec's pale skin and the scent burns in Magnus' nose. The people who attend his funeral — mostly his nieces and nephews — don't try has hard as Magnus does to keep themselves together.
As they file out of the Nephilim burial grounds, they shake each others' hands with a grave sorrow that kind of feels like goodbye.
Magnus Bane doesn't love again.--
Who said that it's better to have loved and lost? I wish that I had never loved at all.
— Up Against the Wall by Boys Like Girls.--
i: I want to be with you forever.
ii: Everyone wants things, my dear.
iii: This is goodbye.