Title: Kidnap Capers
Pairing: pre Alec/Magnus
Word Count: 3,353
Summary: When warlocks turn Alec’s brother and sister into baby goats, Alec turns to the High Warlock of Brooklyn hoping to get the situation sorted out.
Authors Note: This story takes place in an AU of the universe I created in my EAD story Shadowwings. It can be read separately though.
Alec looked at the scene in front of him and sighed. Only Jace and Izzy could have something so ridiculous happen to them after sneaking out to go dancing.
The greyish-black baby goat that was standing where—up until a few moments ago—Izzy had been, let out a small squeaky noise that sounded alarmingly like a human baby. The other one—pure white and standing where Jace used to be—bounced energetically over to the grey one and bopped it in the shoulder with its head. The grey one promptly turned and kicked out with its hind legs, sending the white one sprawling.
“By the angel, she’s turned you both into goats?” Alec exclaimed as the white one struggled to its feet and, undeterred, bopped the grey one again. “Izzy? Jace? Are you in there?”
Both tiny goats turned and, hopping and leaping in possibly the most adorable way ever, came towards him.
“Fuck.” Alec didn’t often swear—his mother had drummed into him that good leaders didn’t need to swear to inspire their people—but this seemed like a good time for it. Making a quick decision, he scooped the goats up and managed to stuff them in the front of his jacket. He was barely able to zip it up.
“This morning it was, ‘By the angel, Alec, why can’t you be a bit more fashionable?’” he said in a high-pitched voice to the little grey face that poked its head out at the neck. “‘No one needs a jacket that baggy!’ Well, the joke’s on you, Isabelle.” He fished around in his pocket for his phone and called Hodge. Hopefully, he would have a useful suggestion as to how Alec should proceed.
Hodge apparently found the whole thing hilarious. “Look, my advice is to bring them both back here,” he said, not even bothering to hide the grin in his voice.
“The whole reason I’m even out here was to keep them out of trouble,” Alec pointed out. “It was a warlock who did this, maybe a warlock can fix it. Do we have any options?”
“The High Warlock of Brooklyn runs a nightclub pretty near to where you are,” Hodge suggested, still sounding highly amused. “He’s not rumoured to be terribly fond of shadowhunters, but you might be able to convince him that helping you out is in the best interests of New York’s warlock population. I’d come and help, of course, but—”
“No,” Alec interrupted with a sigh. “We agreed that one of us would always be on site for Max, at least until his Rune Ceremony. Just…is the High Warlock even in town at the moment? I thought Monteverde said he’d been pretty hard to get a hold of for the last few years. That he usually sent a proxy when the Institute asked for him.”
“A warlock of Magnus Bane’s power is never further than a portal away,” Hodge replied dryly. “We all know that him being ‘unavailable’ to the Institute is a power play. As I said, he doesn’t like shadowhunters. But it’s his nightclub, so someone there will be bound to know how to get hold of him.”
Pandemonium wasn’t far away, and by the time Alec got there the white goat—Jace?—had fallen asleep. The grey one was still pretty perky though, and talkative enough that he was reminded of his sister more than ever.
It wasn’t until he was outside that he considered how loud it was going to be. Usually, the noise levels wouldn’t worry him, but although Jace-goat remained asleep and didn’t seem in the slightest bit concerned, Izzy-goat grew more and more agitated the closer to the entrance they got.
Alec heaved a sigh and approached the vaguely familiar looking bouncer standing to the right of the door.
The bouncer looked him up and down, gaze very obviously lingering on the tiny goat face peering around. “So, the nephilim have resorted to picking up kids now? Am I witness to a kidnapping?” The guy clearly thought he was hilarious. “Does your sister know what you get up to, Lightwood?”
Alec frowned. Great. Someone who knew who he was, who knew who Izzy—wait. An idea popped into his brain. Someone who knew Izzy. His free-spirited sister, who tended to make more friends than enemies amongst the downworlders. This might prove fortuitous after all.
“She knows, alright,” Alec said, trying to sound friendly. “She’s got a goat’s-eye view, so to speak. There was a run-in with a warlock a few blocks from here, and this was the result.” He gestured towards Izzy-goat, who had adjusted to the noise enough to start nibbling interestedly at the collar of his jacket.
“You’re shitting me,” the bouncer said, his eyes flickering green for a moment. Werewolf, then.
Alec shook his head. “Nope. I was hoping to get in touch with Magnus Bane, see if he knows how to fix this.”
The bouncer stepped back. “That’s beyond my paygrade. Jenna, the bar manager, would be able to tell you where you can find him.”
Alec looked doubtfully at Izzy-goat. Her little teeth weren’t doing much damage to the sturdy fabric of his jacket, but she was giving it a pretty good shot. “I, ah, don’t really think a nightclub is the right place to bring two baby goats?”
“Word,” the bouncer replied. “Tell you what. You wait here, and I’ll go in and see what Jenna says.”
“Thanks,” Alec said, smiling gratefully.
The bouncer looked stunned for a moment, then shook his head. He made a gesture to his co-worker on the other side of the door and made his way inside.
Alec waited outside, wondering if this whole thing was some sort of cosmic test.
Izzy-goat grew bored of his jacket collar and stretched her head out, reaching for the longish strands of hair at the nape of his neck. He hunched his shoulders, unable to stop the giggle.
“Well, if that isn’t the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen,” a warm, smooth male voice said.
“Izzy, stop!” Alec gently moved the Izzy-goat’s face away from his neck, feeling his face and neck grow hot with embarrassment. His first look at the man who’d spoken didn’t help matters.
Alec was aware that his tastes in men tended to veer away from what most nephilim considered attractive. It might have been an unconscious rebellion of the culture he’d been raised in, but the ‘boy-next-door’ look had never really done all that much for him.
This man…looked dangerous. He was vibrant and colourful in the same way as a fire salamander. The way he carried his lean build, sumptuous clothing, styled hair and striking make-up were like a neon sign saying, ‘Don’t fuck with me!’
Alec badly wanted to find out if he smelled as nice as he looked.
“But we haven’t been introduced,” the man went on, coming closer. The way he moved made Alec’s mouth dry. “I’m Magnus Bane. And you are?”
“Alec,” he croaked out. He cleared his throat and tried again. “Uh, I’m Alec. Alec Lightwood.”
“How may I be of service to the Clave this evening, Alec? Is that short for Alexander, by any chance?”
“Yes? Uh, that is, yes, but everyone calls me Alec.” He gulped. An insistent squeak from inside his jacket brought his attention back to the problem at hand. “And it’s not the Clave asking for you precisely. Just me. As a non-Clave person, I mean.”
Magnus’ eyebrows rose invitingly. “Curiouser and curiouser. But this is hardly the right locale for discussions of such a—” he looked at Izzy-goat’s renewed efforts to eat Alec’s jacket collar, “—fascinating nature. Would you care to join me somewhere a little more comfortable? Perhaps your furry friend there would benefit from a drink of warm milk? I’m sure I’ll be able to come up with something acceptable.”
Alec considered it for a moment. He really shouldn’t be agreeing to portal to strange places with strange warlocks that he’d only just met. Of course, this wasn’t just any warlock. Magnus Bane, the High Warlock of Brooklyn, was well known enough that it should be safe, even without backup.
Another insistent noise from Izzy-goat had him making up his mind. If she wanted food, it was best to get her fed as soon as possible. A hungry Izzy was prone to be vindictive and slightly spiteful.
“Thank you,” he said, rubbing his fingers over Izzy-goat’s forehead comfortingly. “That would be appreciated.”
Magnus Bane portaled them into the lobby of a richly furnished apartment situated high enough to have a fantastic view of night-time New York.
Something about being portaled had woken Jace-goat from his slumber, and Alec was glad to be able to unzip his jacket and let both of them out. He handed his jacket to Magnus and knelt next to them for a few moments, reassuring them.
“Truly adorable,” Magnus murmured. When Alec looked up with a smile of agreement, Magnus had dealt with the jacket and was watching the three of them with a surprised look on his face.
There was a moment of stillness, broken by Jace-goat trying to get Alec’s finger into his mouth.
“Let us first see to those starving bellies.” Magnus snapped his fingers. Blue mist settled over Izzy-goat and Jace-goat, sinking into their bodies. Another snap and a flourish had Magnus flourishing two small feeding bottles filled with milk. “Would you like to take care of them both, or would you like some assistance?”
“Feel free, so long as you don’t mind,” Alec said, reaching for one of the bottles. He offered it to Izzy-goat, charmed with the enthusiasm with which she latched on, eyes closing in bliss and little tail wriggling away.
Jace-goat was slightly skittish with Magnus, but the lure of the milk was too much to pass up, and within moments he’d forgotten any reservations he might have had and was eating with gusto.
“I have to say that this was not where I expected my evening to go,” Magnus said conversationally.
“Tell me about it,” Alec agreed. “My brother and sister are never going to live this down. Never. This blackmail material is going to last for life.”
“Oh?” Magnus said, waving his hand. A flash of blue and two comfortable seats, that were just the right height, appeared in the lobby. “How did they come to be involved?”
Alec sat gratefully. Being tall had its perks, but when feeding baby goats, it was more a hindrance than a help. “I don’t know what precipitated it,” he said. “One second, I saw Izzy and Jace at the other end of the street talking to two warlocks. Then the warlocks both just kind of…” Alec did his best to make a sweeping mystical gesture with the hand that wasn’t holding the bottle. “I was momentarily blinded by a flash of light, and when it cleared, the warlocks had both gone, and Izzy and Jace had become baby goats.”
Magnus looked at the two happily feeding goats, and then back at Alec. “Alexander, I don’t wish to be the bearer of bad news, but these goats are not transformed nephilim. They are exactly what they appear to be. Young pygmy goats; several weeks old, if I’m any judge.”
Alec looked at Izzy-goat. Her initial frantic gulping had slowed down considerably. The bottle didn’t seem to be emptying, warlock magic no doubt. “If this isn’t my sister, then where the hell is she?”
“That is an excellent question,” Magnus said, looking highly amused. “Do you have anything of theirs’ on you to track them with?”
“Yes, I had to track them to find them in the first place,” Alec replied. “Here, can you take this for a moment?”
Magnus obligingly took over feeding Izzy-goat as well as Jace-goat.
Alec had just picked up his stele when his phone started to ring. A glance at the screen showed it to be an unknown number. Normally, Alec would just let it go to voicemail, but tonight had been anything but normal. Hoping that it was Izzy or Jace, he answered it.
“Alec!” Izzy sounded more excited and amused than upset or hurt, and Alec let himself relax.
“Izzy, where are you?” he asked. “I came around the corner and then you both disappeared! Are you and Jace both together? Are you okay?”
“We’re fine, big brother,” Izzy said. Alec could hear the eye-roll in her voice. Like him being worried about them—when they had literally disappeared into thin air half an hour ago—was needlessly over-protective. “We seem to have found ourselves on the outskirts of Portland. I don’t suppose you have any advice on how to get home from here? Jace is leading drills at eight, and I’ll be needed at nine to sign for the test samples that Mumbai is sending over.”
“The nearest Institute to you is in Seattle,” Alec said thoughtfully. “That’s over two hours away, even at the speeds Jace drives at.”
Izzy made a rude noise. “We just need to be back by morning, Alec. We’ve still got heaps of time.”
“Oh, really? You know, the reason I was coming to find you in the first place was to tell you that Monteverde will be portaling in at lunchtime tomorrow,” Alec informed her. “To the best of my knowledge, you still have patrol reports to finish, the incident report covering Rayhorn’s suspension, and the lab inventory. Jace still hasn’t handed in his training summaries.”
“Shit.” Jace and Izzy swore at the same time.
Alec became aware that Magnus was trying to get his attention. “Hold on a minute.”
“If time is an issue then I could always portal them here from Portland,” Magnus offered.
Alec stared. “We don’t really have much to pay you with,” he said apologetically. “Not if we don’t want the Clave finding out.”
Magnus smiled at him. “I don’t make a habit of doing favours for shadowhunters—it tends not to turn out well for me in the long run—but I might be persuaded to mitigate my fee down a trifle. Let’s say…an explanation—I’m dying to know how this whole thing happened—and an evening.”
“A chance to get to know you better,” Magnus elaborated. “When you’re less focused taking care of your siblings.”
Alec felt himself flush again. “That sounds great. I’d love to.”
“Alec? What’s going on? Who are you talking to?” Izzy demanded.
“I’m talking with Magnus Bane, the High Warlock of Brooklyn,” Alec replied, still staring at Magnus. A man shouldn’t look quite that sexy holding two feeding bottles. “He’s offered to portal you back here for an extremely reasonable price.”
“Tell them I’ll open a portal in front of the Washington Park main entrance in half an hour,” Magnus suggested.
Izzy agreed with that plan and ended the call.
Alec put his phone back in his pocket just as Magnus wiggled his fingers, making the bottles disappear. Neither of the goats looked terribly distressed at the loss. To Alec’s admittedly novice eyes, they both seemed very satisfied and rather sleepy.
It occurred to him that he now had two baby goats, and he didn’t have the foggiest clue of what he should do with them. Izzy-goat—he was going to have to find something else to call them—tottered over and bumped her little head against his leg. He obediently picked her up, charmed at the way she cuddled into his body and closed her eyes.
Magnus picked up the other one, petting him gently. “You’ve already answered my initial question, which was why in this world a shadowhunter was toting two small goats around with him.” His smile crinkled the corners of his eyes. “The next question is, what do you plan to do with them now?”
Alec sighed. “I have no idea. When they were Izzy and Jace, it was pretty simple. Get them turned back, go home. Now…I should probably find out where they came from and return them. It’ll be someplace not far from Portland, I imagine.” He stroked the furry head pressed up against him. The thought of giving her back really didn’t appeal to him.
“You hadn’t considered just keeping them?”
Alec shook his head. “I couldn’t just steal them. Aren’t they too young to be separated from their mothers?. Besides, I’m a shadowhunter. We don’t have time for pets.” He found himself imagining how trying to keep two goats in the Institute would work out. It would only end in tears.
“I know what you mean. I myself have found that cats are the only suitable pets for a busy lifestyle.” Magnus cocked his head to one side. “These darlings are unfairly adorable, though. I wonder…”
“I might know of a place where they could grow and thrive, where they would be petted and cherished,” Magnus said cautiously. “At present, I can’t give you details—the location is being kept under wraps—but I’m sure I could work out a visitation schedule if you were so inclined. Only if you can’t find their original home, of course.”
Alec smiled. “Will you judge me too harshly if I don’t look too hard?”
“Not at all, my dear.” Magnus gently laid a now sleeping baby goat on the chair and rose to his feet. “Can I get you a drink while we wait for your errant siblings to arrive? I’m in the mood for a Suck Bang and Blow.” He snapped his fingers and presented Alec with a tall glass filled with a reddish-pink liquid.
Alec put his goat down beside the other one and took the offered drink, feeling his face flame again. He tried it and blinked. “Wow. That’s…really strong.”
Magnus was drinking his own cocktail through a straw. He winked at Alec. “Come through to the other room. I’ll set a monitoring charm on our young friends here so that I’ll know if they wake.”
“You aren’t worried about them having an accident in your apartment?”
“I took care of that right away,” Magnus dismissed airily. “Anything they produce will be removed to a distant location before it gets more than a gnats-breath away from them.”
“Perhaps not one of the more flashy spells in my repertoire, but invaluable nonetheless. Very useful when one is tending the sick. But enough of that. Tell me, Alexander, how long have you been stationed at the New York Institute?”
Nearly two hours later, Izzy, Jace and Alec exited a portal only a hundred yards from the Institute’s side entrance.
“Right, you two have tasks to complete, and I need to go and tell Hodge that we’re all back and in one piece,” Alec said once they were successfully inside, trying to forestall the inquisition he knew was coming.
Izzy gave him a look that promised a grilling later but allowed him to escape. Jace wasn’t so restrained.
“Wow, Alec, you’re really going to screw the High Warlock of Brooklyn?”
Alec did his best to frown. It was harder than usual, given how cheerful he was feeling. “I’m having dinner with him. That doesn’t mean—”
“What?” Izzy said, clearly over holding her tongue. “You’re having dinner with him? When did you agree to that?”
“It was part of the price for his help,” Alec said, starting to get annoyed.
Jace blinked. “He wanted you to whore yourself out for a couple of lousy portals? Should we go back and rough him up?”
Alec gritted his teeth, his good humour dwindling rapidly. “He asked me on a date, Jace, and used it as a thinly veiled way to avoid gaining a reputation for giving freebie magic to random shadowhunters. Now if you don’t mind, we all have things to do. Good night.”
As he strode away, he heard Jace mutter to Izzy, “Wow, that good mood didn’t last long.”
Izzy responded with, “I can’t believe he thought we were goats.”
Alec smiled to himself. All in all, the night had turned out a lot better than he had expected it to.