Malec One-Shots (The Mortal Instruments)


33. Body Swap

Magnus held the spell book in his hand, chanting lowly. He was curious as to what it did, and he need something to help take his mind off him. Blue sparks were coming off his fingers, and in one last flick of the wrist, he suddenly felt nauseous and tried to reach out to steady himself. He grabbed onto something fleshy. “Alec?” He heard someone ask as he grabbed his stomach with his free hand. Magnus looked up, and saw the Clairvoyant rune on his hand. He stared at it mesmerised by the image. And then he realised. He gasped and sat up (when did he fall on the floor?). Jace and Clary were looking at him, concerned, Isabelle already had her hands on his shoulders. “Are you okay? Do you feel sick?” she was asking him softly. Magnus stood up so fast he shocked everyone in the room. He smiled. “Fine. Just a little. I think I’m going to go to the bathroom. Which in normal circumstances is where?” he asked. Isabelle frowned and looked down at him.

“Alec, are you sure you don’t have a concussion? You fell pretty hard, maybe you hit your head?” Jace asked. He stood up. “Nope, I’m err…I’m fine.” He said, standing up, wobbling slightly.

“Where are you?” Clary pitched in. Magnus looked around.

“Do I get three guesses?” He asked. Clary sighed,

“I think Alec’s concussed.” She concluded. Jace took Magnus’ arm, “I’ll draw an iratze, okay? You’ll be fine in a minute.” He soothed. Magnus pulled his arm back, and bit his lip. It’s not my arm at all, he thought to himself, it’s Alec’s. He stood up. “I’m going back to my room. I’m fine, honestly. I’ll be back in a minute.” And he turned around, staring at the opposite wall. “Where the fuck did you put the door?!” he cursed, searching for it. Jace exchanged glances with Isabelle and Clary,

“Why don’t I walk you back to your room?” He asked. Magnus turned around and flashed a smile before remembering Alec very rarely smiled. He went back to what he assumed was his default scowl. “Uh, yeah, maybe you should.” He said, trying to sound as much like Alec as he could. Jace watched him as he found the door with ease, and took him down some twisting and turning corridors, eventually reaching a door he assumed was Alec’s. Magnus smiled at Jace, “thanks, I can find my own way back.” He insured, but Jace shook his head.

“I think I’m waiting for you.” He said. Magnus nodded,

“…Right. Okay. I’ll be out in a moment.”

He marched through the room, and straight into the bathroom. He looked at himself in the mirror. Black hair, pale skin, blue eyes. He put his head in his hands. “Shit.” He took his hands away, and stared back into Alec’s face. It was familiar but yet alien at the same time. He had always loved Alec’s face, loved the small scar in his temple. He loved the shape of his face, but looking at it through his eyes, it wasn’t that pretty anymore. He looked at it as though it were his own face. And he sighed, is this how Alec sees himself? He left the bathroom, and began rooting around the room to find his phone.


His room wasn’t messy per se, Alec just had a peculiar way of ordering his belongings. He preferred piles of books on the floor to on his desk. It looks as though Robert hadn’t bothered putting up shelves, knowing his son would never use them. Magnus rooted around, and eventually found the phone in the pocket of a pair of jeans strewn across the floor. He looked down the contacts and hastily called the number entitled Magnus Bane.

 Alec grabbed a hold of the sofa side. He gasped, and put his head between his knees. He felt sick. Slowly he looked up and around him. It was Magnus’ apartment. Why was he there? He looked down at his lap and noticed the tight red trousers. He blushed, and quickly made his way into the bedroom – he’d remembered leaving some clothes in there and he hadn’t gotten round to taking them out. He passed the bed, and looked over it. His sweater – one of the baggier, more holed ones that he’d left behind was sat on the bed among the bed sheets. He frowned, pulled off the ridiculously tight shirt and trousers, comfortable about walking around Magnus’ apartment in his underwear. He grabbed his shirt, and as he began pulling it on, he looked down, and didn’t see the parabatai rune on his lower shoulder, like he usually did. In fact, he didn’t see any runes. Or a bellybutton. There was only one person he knew who had neither. He instantly forgot about the rest of his clothing, and stormed out into the main apartment, scaring Chairman Meow, and swung into the bathroom, staring at his reflection in the mirror. Or Magnus’ reflection rather. Cat eyes gleamed back at him. He touched his face, shocked. What the hell was going on? Why was he seeing Magnus’ face…why was he in Magnus’ apartment. What had happened? He walked back into the bedroom, slowly getting dressed in his more comfortable clothes, and couldn’t resist the urge to see what Magnus looked like in his clothes. He smiled. Magnus looked nice in anything. He could even make Alec’s shabby clothes work. Make the holes in the stretched woollen sweater look deliberate and as though they were some sort of fashion statement. Alec slowly walked back into the living room and sat down.


He felt dizzy. Confused. Disorientated. He had no idea what was going on. The cat jumped up onto his lap and looked at him expectantly. He cuddled the cat – it was the only comfort he had to hold onto, and damn it, he was going to hold on as hard as he could. The cat actually got quite irritated with his constant hugging and pulling. Eventually he heard the song Bubblegum Bitch being played and he jumped. That was Magnus’ ringtone. He would recognise it anywhere. He stood up, and marched into the kitchen area, where it was coming from. He immediately found it on one of the counters, and picked it up. Alec was calling, apparently. Alec was calling Alec. The mere thought of that paradox made his head hurt as he put the phone to his ear. “Yes?” He said cautiously into the end. “Alexander God Damn Lightwood.” He was greeted with. He froze.

“Who is this?”

“This is Magnus.”

“You don’t sound like Magnus.” He commented instantly, without thinking.

“That’s because I appear to have…switched bodies with you.” He explained. Alec cupped a hand over his mouth. “by the angel, does that mean that’s what my voice sounds like?!” he asked. He sounded awful. “Irrelevant.” Magnus snapped, and sighed.

“Point is, I’m stuck with your family for now.”

“Well we have to sort this out! I can’t stay as you…I…I don’t know how to do makeup.” He said,

“and can’t shadowhunt.” Magnus countered. He was indeed, in bigger shit then Alec was. “We can sort this out… I need to. We need to meet and talk about this.” He told him. Alec felt a pit in his stomach. They hadn’t spoken since… well. Since Magnus broke it off. He chewed his lip, “Okay. Okay. We’ll meet at Taki’s, then?” Alec asked.

“Sure.” Magnus replied, and paused, “Hey, Alec, can you bring my spell book with me. It should be somewhere in the living room – on the floor or something.” He looked around and saw the book.
“Yeah, sure. See you in ten minutes?”

“Yeah, yeah. See you there. I just have to evade your family when I do leave.”

“Don’t jump out the window, by the Angel, you’ll break my legs.” Alec warned. He almost heard Magnus smile. “Take Jace with you. He can help us.” He suggested.

“See you soon.”

“You too.” And Alec clicked off, staring down at the phone, biting his lower lip. He was meeting Magnus who was in turn, inside his body? He put his head in his hands. This was not how he wanted to see Magnus for the first time after the break up.

Magnus threw the phone on the bed, and opened the door. Jace was standing outside, “Okay then, Alec?” He asked. Magnus sighed, and ran his hands through Alec’s hair.

“Jace.” He began, and put his hands on his hips. “This is going to sound…slightly unbelievable. But believe me, it’s happened before, I can fix this.” He said. Jace stared at him, and finally nodded.

“Go on.” Magnus sighed, and leaned against the doorframe.

“I was doing a spell…and I, err… I screwed it up. And I switched bodies with Alec.” He explained, looking around him. “You did what?” he asked again.

“It’s Magnus. I’m Magnus. I switched bodies with your friend accidentally.” He continued. Jace smiled, “Seriously?” he asked. Magnus nodded slowly. Jace laughed,

“you’re both such idiots.” He chuckled, shaking his head. Magnus watched him curiously.

“…sure. Point is I’m going to meet Alec at Taki’s, and he told me to take you.” He said quickly. Jace nodded, “I’m looking forward to seeing how Alec keeps up at being you.” He replied, and Magnus shrugged, brushing passed the boy, swaggering out into the corridor.

It was an odd thing for Jace, to see his parabatai walking with such self-confidence. It had slowly diminished, as time went on. When he’d first met him, he had been like the average thirteen year old boy, fairly confident. And since then he’d just gotten worse and worse. So seeing eighteen year old Alec swaggering around the city was a thing of wonder for Jace, and apparently, for the New York girls. They were watching as he moved, appreciating his muscles, the angles of his face. He was attractive, but when he was himself, Alec would always manage to hide himself away, make himself go unnoticed. Magnus was completing him, making him noticed. He smiled at a few of the girls, and was almost reluctant when they turned in to Taki’s diner.

Alec was already sat there. He was pushed into one of the tables, his arms folded across the table. He watched as Jace and Magnus made their way to his table, and he gawked. “Magnus,” he hissed, “What are you doing? At least make it look like it’s me!” He snapped. Magnus rolled his new blue eyes, and sat down opposite Alec, crossing his arms and sitting back. Jace sat next to him. “Well I can’t imagine that you stayed in my character the whole time down here! People probably thought I was in some sort of cosplay – you didn’t even use a glamour, you imbecile. There are a bunch of mundanes out there who probably saw my eyes, so thank you for that.” He shot back. Alec sat up, glaring. “Well I’m sorry, I didn’t exactly ask for this to happen.”

“I didn’t either.”

“But admittedly, Magnus, you caused this.” Jace interjected, and both men looked at him, and then back at each other. “You dick, why did you do this?” Alec cried. And Magnus sighed, running his hands through his hair again. “I didn’t do this on purpose. It was an accident.” He muttered.

“Well is it permanent?” Alec asked. And there was a silence. Horror and panic filled his eyes, “Is it?” He pressed, and Magnus smirked. “I can fix it…but it’s going to take a little while.”

“How long?”

“A couple of days, at least.”


“And I think you’ll need to do most of it, since you’re the warlock now.” Magnus looked guiltily down the table. He felt a wave of sympathy for the young shadowhunter. Alec covered his face and leaned back, muttering curse words under his breath. “We’ll get through this.” He muttered soothingly. He wanted to reach out and and touch him, to comfort him, even though it was technically his own body. “Okay. Just…please, my parents will murder you if they find out you did this. So can you just pretend that you’re me.” He pleaded. Magnus sighed, and rolled his eyes.


“Fine. I’ll pretend I’m you. Just don’t fuck up my business. Just pretend I’m out instead of trying to heal anyone.” And they made the agreement. “Now, I need some stuff to start us on the spell.” He said, and they reluctantly left the diner, awkward in each other’s company.

Alec sat on the bed, sighing. “Why do I need this?” he asked. Magnus bit his lip,

“Don’t talk.” He growled, “You’ll smudge it.” Alec licked his lips, and tried to stay still. Magnus was applying mascara and eyeliner onto Alec, or should he say his own face, with Alec controlling it? It was bizarre, having to apply it to his own body, but not using a mirror. It actually gave him a better chance of getting it right. He put the eyeliner down, putting the lid back on. Magnus smiled. “I look pretty now.” He said, Alec nodded, and looked down.

“I like nice in that colour.”  Magnus had found a dark blue button up shirt to put on as well as slim dark jeans. He was getting used to the lack of colour, but he found that Alec suited darker shades, so maybe when Mayrse bought her son’s clothes, perhaps she was buying what she knew would make him look better. “You suit the dark. Thank god you were born a shadowhunter.” Magnus laughed, and leaned back on his stool. He’d had to pick out what Alec was supposed to wear for the next week. “Being you is so much less effort then I thought it would be.” Magnus commented, as Alec stood up. “yeah, but looking the part is my only problem with being you. I can just order takeout anytime I want, and that’s how I’ll live.” He replied, avoiding his eyes. Magnus sighed,

“Alec.” He said firmly. And reluctantly Alec looked at him. It was a curious thing, looking into his own eyes and seeing a completely different person behind the eyes he’d hated for so long. Something that kept him from being human – the one thing that made him unable to mix with them. “I’m sorry. About this…about dumping you. But, we’re going to get through this. It’s only for a few days, alright? And then I’ll be out of your hair. It’ll be okay.”

“I don’t want you out of my life.” Alec replied quietly, brushing a hand through Magnus’ hair (Magnus had decided against spiking it up – he figured it was too much for the young boy to handle on the first day). And they stared at each other. Alec squared his jaw, chewing the inside of his cheek. Magnus shrugged, “well maybe you shouldn’t have lied to me then.” He countered, shrugging. Alec looked down, “I told you I was sorry.” He muttered. Magnus shrugged,

“I have to get back to the Institute, your parents will probably wonder where you’ve gotten to.” He said, looking down at his shoes. God, Alec needed new shoes, he thought – he could feel the floor through the soles in his shoes. “They don’t care.” Alec said, sitting down on the bed.


“They won’t notice I’m gone, I mean. They really don’t care. They’re far too concerned about Jace and Izzy.” He explained. Magnus scoffed,

“they’re your parents, of course they’ll notice.” Alec laughed at that,

“Do you think they’ll notice their average son next to the best fucking shadowhunters of his age group?” he spat, and instantly regretted it. Magnus watched him closely,

“Regardless, you’re their child. They notice you.” He said, walking out of his own apartment.

Magnus paused on his way back to the Institute. He thought about what Alec had said about his family. It was true. He knew when Alec stayed over at his house, he never bothered to tell anyone and nobody called him. He sighed, and leaned his back against the house closest to him. How could nobody care about Alec? He was smart, and funny – albeit that his sense of humour was slightly twisted and dark – and beautiful, and just…perfect. How could anybody ignore him? How did people look past him? And suddenly he felt something deep inside of him react. Something that made him feel sick and anxious and sweaty, and he realised why he felt that way. He missed him. He looked down at Alec’s hands, the scars, the callouses, and the ragged nails. He remembered feeling their rough texture over his body, and wrapped his arms around him. And then he began to cry. Because he’d pushed the one person he loved more than anything, and couldn’t touch him again. He would never feel his hands over him, and he hated himself for it. He began hitting himself on the head because of how angry he was with himself. And his sobbing grew louder as he slid down the wall, hating himself so much more.

“Alec?” He heard someone call. He looked up and saw Clary standing half-in-half-out of the door.

“Figures it’s you.” He muttered, drying his tears.

“Why’re you crying?” She asked softly, and Magnus looked down, pursing his lips. Why would Alec be crying? “it’s nothing.” He said eventually. She shook her head.

“You were crying. I’ve never seen you cry before, so it’s clearly not nothing.” She pressed, and he shrugged. “Are you going to tell me? Or are you just going to sit against my house for tonight?” He waved a hand dismissively. “I’ll get up eventually.” Clary closed the front door, and sat on the step next to him. “Is it Magnus?” she asked quietly. He sighed, and brushed a hand through his hair.

“…Yeah.” He eventually said and she nodded.

“You really loved him, right?” she asked, and he nodded reluctantly.

“I was stupid to betray his trust like that.” Magnus said, just repeating what he’d already heard Alec say. “It’s your first relationship?” She confirmed, and Magnus nodded. “Well he was eight hundred years old…maybe he was just expecting a little too much from you. It’s been a long time since Magnus was in your shoes. He probably just doesn’t realise what it’s like for you.” She soothed, and that made Magnus think. His first relationship…did he even remember it? How did he feel? Probably nervous. Probably confused…same as Alec. He sighed, putting his head in his hands. He should’ve given Alec one more chance. He didn’t think he’d miss him so much. He wasn’t angry at him anymore. “I’ve ruined everything.” He muttered, more to himself then Clary.

“He was lucky to have you. And if he couldn’t see that, then that’s his problem. There will be someone out there, who will see just how lucky they are to be with you. And maybe Magnus isn’t that person.” She told him. Magnus looked at him,

“what if he is?” he asked her quietly. She stared at him and smiled,

“I had troubles with Jace.” She said,

“Yeah, but you guys thought you were brother and sister, that’s different. There’s no way me and A…Magnus are brothers.” He interrupted.

“But Magnus still doesn’t want to see you. Maybe he’s punishing himself, like Jace does sometimes.” She countered. “They’re not that different, Magnus and Jace. So I think he’s still crazy about you, but he’s just refusing you like Jace does sometimes.” She told him, and Magnus thought about it. He probably was being stupid. Eight hundred years, and he still wasn’t mature. How many years did he have left with Alec? He wasn’t going to live forever, like he was. He was a warrior, and it would kill him in the end. Did he want to spend this time avoiding shadowhunters, in misery because the love of his life made one mistake?

He stood up, “I’m going to see him.” He said firmly. Clary smiled at him.

“You’re always good at getting through to people, maybe you can use the skills you have with Jace on Magnus.” She said, standing up. “Have a goodnight.” She said, opening the door to go back inside. “You too.” He answered quietly, and started back down the road to the loft.


 Alec lay on the sofa, dozing off, when he heard a knock at the door. He stood up cautiously, shifting the cat off him, and moved towards the door. “Who is it?” He called. And there was a pause.


“It’s Magnus... or Alec, depending on how you’re looking at it.” Alec felt a pinch in his stomach.

“What do you need?” He was hesitant about opening the door.

“It’s raining outside. So unless you want your body to catch a cold, I suggest you let me in.” And reluctantly, he opened the door.

Sure enough, his body stood in front of him. His hair was soaked to his forehead, shirt sticking to his shirt, semi-transparent. His eyes were wild. “Magnus, what do you want?” he asked quietly.

“I love you.” He said quickly, and Alec just stared at him.


“I’m in love with you.” Magnus said again. Alec just continued to stare. “Damn it Alec, no matter what you do, who you talk to, fuck, even…who you murder. I will always love you. Nothing will make me fall out of love with you. I’m stuck with my feelings for you, and since you’re not going to stick around forever, I want to be with you now.” He said, and Alec just kept watching. “Please just say something! I don’t like you being so quiet!” He yelled, and Alec blinked.

“I just…I…don’t you find it weird, admitting your love to yourself?” he found himself saying, and Magnus chuckled. “No. No. I don’t find it weird, because no matter what you look like I only see you.” He breathed, and his skin flushed. “So. I just. I forgive you. I just want you back.” He said, his shoulders slumped. He wasn’t sure if it was just the fact that Magnus was essentially him that made him look so sad and lost, or whether he would look that way in himself. “When does that spell get to work?” Alec asked, and Magnus sighed.

“We can probably use it tomorrow maybe?” He questioned, running a hand through his hair.

“I…can you stay, until tomorrow?” he asked, and Magnus smiled, throwing his arms around Alec.

“Of course I will. Just don’t ever do something like that again.” Magnus chuckled nervously, his face close to Alec’s. “I’ve never been shorter then you, this is kind of new.” He whispered, studying his face. “I’ve never been taller than myself before.” Alec admitted, and Magnus laughed, kissing him.

“You don’t find this weird do you?” He asked him between kissed. Magnus pulled back and stared at Alec worriedly. “That I’m essentially kissing myself? It’s a bit of a mood killer, really.” Alec admitted. Magnus sighed, “Then we’ll wait for tomorrow. For now,” he broke away from Alec, and clapped his hands, “Gillingham’s Island!” Alec sighed,

“Please never make my body do that again.” Magnus sat on the sofa, and the cat ran over to him, rubbing his furry little head all over his thigh. He just smiled contently at Alec, affectionately. He was just pleased to have him back. To be able to touch him again, to love him so freely. Alec joined him on the sofa, the cat between them, like they should be. The Bane household, together again, not exactly in the right bodies, but in the right place.

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