A/N It occurred to me that in order for this to happen Alec would have never gone after Camille and got caught up with Maureen, so ignore that that happened in the book and pretend he went to the apartment and then back to the Institute.
The time frame for this is like this: Magnus broke up with Alec early in the morning, the book tells us that. Alec returns to the apartment writes the letter that same day. Magnus gets home late that night but doesn't see the letter. He discovers it the next morning, angsts all afternoon, and then sleeps straight through the night until the next day. That day is the day we are on right now. So this chapter takes place two days after the break up. Sorry if that confuses anyone, it confused me a little too. I never have been good with time.
Also, it came to my attention that some people might not remember what logos are. I had a few people who were confused at their mention in the last chapter. If you remember in City of Glass when Clary and Sebastian went to see Ragnor Fell and found Magnus instead, and Magnus showed Clary the message that Ragnor had left for him? The message was left in logos. They were described to be magical letters made of some sort of green fire, each about six inches tall. Logos is a way for warlocks to communicate with each other. The message in CoG was in warlock language, but I imagine that they can make them in whatever language they like, so they will be in English for my purposes. I would give you the exact part in the book but a friend of mine currently has my copy of CoG so I can't look it up. But I hope this is adequate.
I'm so sorry this took so long! I know I promised a fast update, but then my family was in town for the Fourth of July and they stayed for a lot longer than expected. They live a good eight hours away so I never get to see them, and because I was with them I had no time to write. And then I got caught up with volleyball and marching band practice and band camp and I am so sorry for not getting this out quicker. I am such a bad author. Thank you all for your patience. I hope the chapter makes up for the wait. EXCUSES EXCUSES I KNOW, I AM A BAD AUTHOR. Seriously, that was uncalled for. I took way too long. I cannot apologise enough!
Don't own! Don't sue!
Thanks to everyone who reviewed/favourited/alerted/followed on Tumblr! I love hearing what you all have to say and I am so glad people want to keep reading this story! You're all so wonderful and I am glad to have feedback from such nice people!
Agh, sorry for such a long author's note! Surely you don't want to hear me talk. I'll let you read, I promise. Here!
"ALEXANDER GIDEON LIGHTWOOD COME OUT OF THAT BEDROOM RIGHT NOW OR SO HELP ME I WILL TEAR DOWN THE DOOR AND DRAG YOU OUT!" Isabelle shouted from the other side of the door that separated Alec's room from the Institute hallway.
"GO AWAY!" Alec shouted back, although he didn't sound too angry, and his shout wasn't very forceful. He just sounded tired and upset.
Alec hadn't come out of his room at all in the past two days, and no one knew why. No one except Alec, of course. His sister didn't seem to understand that a locked door meant he didn't want to interact with people, and she had been at his door nonstop, making idle threats to knock the door over and set the room on fire. Alec knew she'd never do that though; if she was really desperate to get into his room she would have used her stele by now. Alec knew that she would soon lose interest and leave, off to visit Jace in the infirmary or hang out with Simon or something. He supposed that was one good thing about the situation. Jace wouldn't hesitate to rip the door off its hinges, but he still hadn't woken up and wouldn't be coming to his room any time soon.
No matter how close he was with his siblings, Alec didn't want to speak with any of them right now. He preferred to be left alone to sulk. It had only been three days Magnus broke up with him, and he didn't feel any better. In fact, he felt worse.
When he had gone to gather his things he had left Magnus a letter on the table. In his distress it had seemed like a smart move, a last ditch attempt to lay his heart on the line in order to earn Magnus' forgiveness, but as the minutes ticked by and he received no sign that Magnus had even read the letter he began to feel silly. Of course the letter wouldn't change anything. Nothing could change how badly he had screwed up. And to think that some poorly worded and overly emotional letter would do the job was too optimistic and definitely foolish.
"Alec, what is WRONG with you?!" Isabelle yelled, "Can you please just let me in?"
"No," Alec sniffed stubbornly. Isabelle would leave soon, he just had to get through the conversation and then he could be alone to wallow in his sorrows again.
"Please?" She begged. Her voice had changed, it was softer now; the voice of a truly concerned younger sibling. All his life Alec had confided in Isabelle, so there was no reason he couldn't talk to her now. It really wouldn't hurt to talk to someone. Alec kept telling himself this, but in a way he thought it would hurt because telling someone made everything seem more real. And he still hoped that none of it had ever truly happened.
"Alec, I just want to know what's wrong. I'm worried about you. Can you please talk to me?" Isabelle continued to plead, trying to convince Alec to open up, and not just concerning the door serving as a blockade between them. Her visit this time was different. She never stayed this long, never tried to actually talk to him like this. Most of the time it was just a lot of yelling and then she'd stomp off angrily to rant to Jace's unconscious form in the infirmary about Alec's stubbornness, and Alec would flop over on his bed and bury his face in his pillow, trying to forget that the rest of the world existed. Outside the door, Izzy started to worry. It didn't seem as though Alec was going to respond any time soon. With a sigh of resignation she turned on her heel and began to walk away.
"Wait!" Alec stuck his head through the gap he had made by opening the door. His blue eyes were wild and panicked, and his raven hair looked as though it hadn't been tended to in days. There were fresh tears visible in his eyes, and his whole demeanour was off. In short, he looked like a broken version of his old self. "You can come in…" He trailed off awkwardly and hung his head, trying to hide the evidence of his heartbreak. He didn't want pity. He just wanted someone to talk to.
"Oh, Alec," Isabelle murmured, rushing to his side and pulling her brother into a tight embrace. He reveled in the feel of his sister's thin, muscled arms wound around his tired frame. Even though Isabelle wasn't a very affectionate person she was very protective of her brothers, and could be incredibly comforting when she needed to be. Her hugs were rare and few, but Alec thought they were the best hugs anyone could receive. She pulled away and wiped the tear tracks from his cheeks with a gentle stroke of her thumb, and then curled her fingers around his wrist, tugging him into his room and navigating him toward the bed. The door fell shut with a soft click behind him.
Alec perched precariously on the edge of his mattress, leaning forward and pressing the heels his palms into his eyes. Isabelle looked down at him with a puzzled expression. She wasn't quite sure how to handle the situation. Alec never fell apart like this. The silence surrounded them like a blanket, and Isabelle wasn't sure if she should wait for Alec to say something, or if she should break it herself. Her deep grey eyes stared inquisitively down at her clearly broken older brother, scrambling for something, anything she could say to make things better.
"Magnus broke up with me," Alec blurted all of a sudden, head shooting up and sad blue eyes connecting with her grey ones.
Of all the things Isabelle had expected, this certainly wasn't one of them. She had noticed that they were a little on edge while "Team Good" had been busy looking for Jace and Sebastian, but she figured all couples have problems and they would find a way to work things out. She didn't think that someone so permanent for her brother, someone he cared so dearly for, would end what they had.
"WHAT?!" She burst out, the protectiveness in her instinctually kicking in. "Why would he do that?" She didn't even stop to think how her words might affect Alec, she was too angry at the warlock for reducing her brother to something this low.
Alec cringed visibly at her outburst, and she was instantly sorry for yelling. She was too impulsive and she knew that if she was going to be any comfort to her quiet, more reserved sibling then she was going to have to approach the matter carefully. "What happened?" She ventured quietly. Her body language made it clear that she was curious, and she would listen if Alec wanted to divulge any information, but she wasn't going to push him to say something he wasn't ready to. This made Alec relax. He began to tell his sister the story of how everything went wrong, starting back when Camille showed up for the first time in ages. She just listened quietly, nodding at the right parts and placing a soothing hand on his shoulder for comfort. Isabelle tried her best to hide her own emotion, but she couldn't help but feel angry at Magnus for being so secretive and not giving Alec the explanations he so desperately sought.
By the time Alec had finished telling his tale the day outside the window had turned to dusk, and he was incredibly exhausted. Reliving those painful memories really took a toll on his body, and he was now leaning into Isabelle in his exhaustion. Isabelle sighed sadly. Alec was really upset. She wasn't used to seeing him this upset.
"Thank you," Alec whispered so softly that she would not have heard had his head not been buried in her hair. Isabelle's slim fingers came up to rest gently on his back. The touch was comforting for both of them, it gave Alec a new sense of belonging and Isabelle reassurance that she was indeed, doing something good for her older brother.
"I'll always be there for you, Alec," Isabelle reassured, "It's what siblings are for."
Alec's troubled blue eyes looked up to meet Isabelle's worried grey ones, and for the first time in a long time she didn't see him as the strong, mature adult he tried to be, but the unsure little boy she knew while they grew up. It only made her protectiveness grow stronger.
"Will you stay with me tonight?" Alec asked hesitantly. They had shared a bed many times before, during their childhood when Isabelle had nightmares and their parents weren't at the Institute, after particularly risky hunts when they weren't too sure they would make it that time, after Isabelle's various heartbreaks, and now, after Alec's. There was something about sharing a bed with a sibling that provided a comfort that could be matched by no other. Alec needed that comfort now, and Isabelle understood perfectly.
They laid back and curled up side by side on top of the comforter. Alec clung to his sister's body like his life depended on it, and Isabelle just stroked a soothing hand across his back, murmuring sweet nothings until they both dozed off to sleep.
They had been asleep for several hours, and it was well into the night (around four in the morning) when they were awoke by a brilliant flash of green light. Alec sat up with a start, easily awoken from his sleep as it had been very light. Isabelle was slower to wake, but was just as confused as Alec was.
"What do you think it is?" Isabelle asked dazedly. The green light swirled and undulated like a curtain of fabric, spreading out and shrinking in on its self. It appeared as though it was trying to form a shape, but then something prevented it from solidifying completely.
"I'm not sure," Alec lied. The room was filled with the burning scent of magic, Magnus' magic. It was a scent he would recognise anywhere. It made his heart swell with emotion. Excitement because he hadn't thought Magnus would bother to contact him, anxiety because he had no idea what was going to come out of this, and sadness because why hadn't Magnus contacted him earlier? But he wasn't about to let Isabelle know that this was Magnus' doing; she would immediately haul him away so he couldn't see what was going on, trying to protect him. Something in Alec told him that wouldn't be a good idea, that he should stay and see what Magnus was trying to do.
The green light suddenly spelled out a sentence, the letters flaming green and burning bright along the wall as if someone had written them with fire. They flickered and sparked like a flame, but left no mark and produced no smoke. They were scrawled as easily as if they had been traced with a pen onto paper.
ASK YOUR SISTER TO LEAVE
"Alec, is it talking to you?" She asked, turning to try and gauge his expression.
"Iz, I think it's right. You should go." Alec said solemnly. He tried not to betray any emotion in his gaze; he didn't need Isabelle to detect his conflicting thoughts.
"Are you sure? What if it hurts you? I have no idea what is going on, Alexander." He could tell his sister was worried, but he had no choice. Magnus obviously wanted her out of the room before they would talk.
"I'll be fine, Izzy," Alec reassured. "Just, let me handle it. I'll come get you when I'm done."
"You promise?" Isabelle asked defiantly. Alec knew she really didn't want to leave, but she also knew that Alec would handle the situation, whatever it was, and was prepared to leave him as long as he would be safe. I guess she forgot that logos are completely harmless. Alec thought.
"Yes, Isabelle." He could practically hear Magnus scoffing at his sister's protectiveness and utter lack of knowledge. He was probably tapping his foot with impatience. Alec had to resist the urge to roll his eyes.
"Fine. I guess I'll go then…" Isabelle walked out of his room with an awkward wave, pulling the door shut behind her. Alec turned to the letters on the wall.
"Magnus…?" He whispered almost to himself, but he was really talking to Magnus. He wondered if he could hear him.
"Hi? That's what you have to say? Hi?!" Alec asked incredulously. "Magnus, what is this all about?"
I GOT YOUR LETTER
Oh. Alec's heart sank. So that's why Magnus was talking to him now. He should have been relieved, happy that Magnus was actually speaking (more or less) with him, but he was actually angry. He was angry that Magnus hadn't bothered to contact him earlier, he was angry that he had let him wait this long.
"What do you want, Magnus?" Alec asked. He didn't want to talk to Magnus if he was just planning on toying with his emotions. He couldn't handle anymore lies. He just wanted the truth.
WILL YOU LET ME EXPLAIN
"Explain what, Magnus? Your past? Your seventeen billion secrets? Why you never bothered to let me apologise? Do you even care? Why are you talking to me now when you could barely look at me a couple days ago?" Alec had so many questions. They all just bubbled over, flowing out uncontrollably through his lips.
IF YOU'LL LET ME
Alec gasped. "Why now, Magnus?"
BECAUSE I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT I HAD UNTIL IT WAS GONE
CLICHÉ I KNOW
"Magnus, I don't know…"
JUST TRUST ME
Alec stared in silence at the green letters flickering across his wall for another moment. He tried to picture what Magnus' facial expression would be right now, he wondered if he looked sincere. But Alec wasn't sure if he could trust himself. He imagines that the flames are actually the green irises of Magnus' eyes, the words seem to be true, and Alec can tell that Magnus isn't lying. He really wants to explain. Magnus is trustworthy. But Alec knows his own heart isn't.
Then, just like that, his resolve breaks.
A/N Oh my goodness that was a lot shorter than I thought it was going to be. I tried to make it longer but I felt like it didn't flow right. I hope that length wasn't too disappointing. Was my Isabelle okay? I always feel like she's really hard to write since she has so many different sides to her personality. But I love the protective sibling side of her. It was fun to write that section.
Reviews are always appreciated! Feel free to yell at me for making you wait this long. I'm SO sorry, I seriously cannot apologise enough. You guys are the greatest for putting up with my inconsistency! *hugs* I start school in a couple of weeks, so I want to try and get the final installment of this up before then. But I need to get it JUST right, you know? I feel like saying this is going to come back and bite me, but expect the last part before August 22nd. Or around there. Shortly after maybe. Thanks again for putting up with me :)))