Cinderella Walked on Broken Glass
Once upon a time in a kingdom far, far away, in a land of sun and gold, there lived a prince. He was beautiful and cruel, beyond reasoning, as his advisors all said. The Prince’s name was Magnus Bane III and he was the future king of Persia. Prince Magnus used to be a kind hearted boy, but he was too innocent and his heart was broken and then stamped on. So can we blame him for his actions? Prince Magnus had just got married to a beautiful, beautiful boy who became the centre of his world. His brother Ragnor had been married for a long time, and told him of how amazing it was to share his life with someone. But then everything came crashing down when Ragnor’s wife ran away with another man. Magnus tried to help his brother desperately but at the same time he became paranoid about his own marriage. Soon after the tragedy Prince Ragnor took his life and Magnus found out his precious little husband was indeed unfaithful. Magnus’s heart grew to stone, his golden eyes went cold and without even a blink he ordered his husband’s execution. Magnus hated him and every other boy; they were all the same. They would hurt him, so he would hurt them too.
Thus it began. Prince Magnus Bane III became King Magnus Bane III and married again. To everyone’s shock as soon as he took the virgin boy, he had him executed before he could cheat on him. He married another virgin the next day…just to have him executed the next morning. He married again. And again. And again. His viziers found him more and more boys in Persia. King Magnus killed them by the dozen. Finally King Magnus’s most trusted vizier, Robert, informed him that there were no more virgin boys in the land. King Magnus went into a rage, threatening to kill everyone. That was when Robert’s eldest son, Alexander, stepped forward, offering himself as the next bride. He wasn’t going unarmed though.
When Magnus saw his next husband he was shocked by his beauty, by his midnight black hair and clear, blue eyes. He was a tiny thing, really, a child still. Even so Magnus and Alec got married that night and left alone for their first, and only, night together.
‘You do know you will be executed tomorrow morning?’ Magnus asked, as Alec sat calmly on the bed. This was a first. Usually his husbands begged him to spare them, promised fatefulness, tried to seduce him into letting them keep their lives. They were all heads on the floor as the sun rose up anyway. But Alec just looked at him with a strange calmness and smiled.
‘Why don’t I tell you a story, you majesty?’ He asked. Magnus blinked.
‘A story? Why?’
‘I have a feeling your not the kind of person who gets to hear stories very often.’ Alec shrugged. ‘And who knows, maybe you’ll enjoy it?’
Magnus chewed on the inside of his cheek thoughtfully. It was still a bit early to bed his husband, and he had nothing better to do anyway.
‘Alright’ he said. Alec settled into the pillows on Magnus’s bed and tapped the space opposite him. Magnus sat crossed legged in front of his husband and propped his chin on his hand, ready to hear the tale.
Once upon a time in a land far, far away, in a land of flowers and beauty there lived a girl. The girl had hair like fire and eyes like moss, a hand of an artist and the smile of a child. She was very beautiful and very kind. Her name was Clarissa Santiago. Clarissa grew up happily; she had a big house, a loving mother and a kind father. Clarissa’s parents, Lily and Raphael, loved their precious little daughter very much and raised her to be a wonderful person. But on Clarissa’s twelfth birthday her mother fell sick and died soon after. Devastated Raphael didn’t know what to do, and how to continue raising his daughter without his wife. Desperate for Clarissa to have a normal childhood he went out to find a new wife.
He returned with a strange woman, Clarissa’s step mother. She was very thin, very pale and a smile that screamed crazy. Her name was Maureen.
But Maureen and Raphael didn’t return to Clarissa alone, for they brought Maureen’s two daughters with them.
One of the girls was short and very beautiful, with a mass of golden locks and cool, calculating eyes. Her name was Jessamine.
The other girl was tall, with dark skin and long black hair. She had a mean smile and the posture of a trouble maker. Her name was Maia.
For two years the family lived together, happy, until Raphael passed away. That’s when the real drama began.
It started off gradually. First Maia and Jessamine moved Clarissa’s from her room to a smaller one, giving some strange excuse. Then they started calling her ‘Clary’. By the time Clary turned fourteen she was living in the attic. She was a servant. Maureen spent all the money on Jessamine and Maia. Clary was a kind person and she believed it was okay to clean a bit but with a jolt she realised she was no longer part of the family. Maureen had told her to change her surname one day, and explained to her that she was now nothing more than a maid in the house. Clary cried for a very, very long time in her tiny room in the attic. She thought she might die from all the crying when there was a little tap on her shoulder.
Clary opened her eyes and screamed. In front of her, on an abandoned box, stood a person. He was as tall as a pencil and had a mop of orange hair. There was a pair of miniature goggles on top of his head and a Cheshire grin on his face. Behind him stood and sat a strange arrangement of tiny people, all boys. There was a boy with sandy hair, rocking on his heels in excitement, a tall boy with black hair and blue eyes, clutching the hand of a smaller boy with glasses and a too-big jumper. A boy with tan skin and black hair lay behind them like a model, and next to him sat a boy with horn, arms crossed and a scowl on his green face. Another boy with glasses stood behind the ginger, waving at Clary.
‘Hiya!’ the ginger said. ‘I’m Henry. Wanna be friends?’
Two years later Clary sat on the exact same bed, with Bat sitting on her shoulder.
‘I don’t know. It doesn’t seem that good of a name.’ Clary said, scrubbing the clothes of her step-sisters clean in a little tub at her feet.
‘What?’ Bat said. ‘It’s such a good name!’
‘It’s you name.’ Clary rolled her eyes.
‘Well Clary Velasquez sounds awesome. Right, Ragnor?’ Bat called to Ragnor, who was polishing Jessamine’s shoes with Simon.
‘Bat, help.’ Ragnor said annoyed.
‘Seriously Clary,’ Bat turned his attention back to the flame haired girl. ‘You were called Clary Fairchild last year, and it sounded perfectly good.’
‘For a fifteen year old, maybe. I’m sixteen now.’
‘Well, what about going back to Clary Morgenstern? The name you had when you were fourteen.’ Simon crawled into Clary’s lap. ‘That was nice.’
Clary shook her head.
‘I can’t be Santiago; I don’t want to be Morgenstern or Fairchild. Those names are so last year. I need something fresh and original.’
‘Something short and snappy.’ Henry’s ginger head popped from behind a clock he was fixing with his skilled, tiny hands.
‘I got it!’ Max cried happily. ‘Wait no…I lost it’
‘CLARY! COME HERE AT ONCE!’
‘Here we go’ Clary rolled her eyes, hearing Jessamine’s scream. ‘Don’t break anything while I’m gone, guys. Simon, don’t fall out of the window again.’
‘Gotcha!’ the boys all said together as Clary hurried down the stairs.
Meanwhile at the other end of the city a prince paced a chamber, hands behind his back. In front of him, on the throne, sat his parents: King William Herondale II and Queen Theresa Herondale IV. The Prince’s brother was leaning against the wall with a nonchalant smile.
‘Jace,’ the queen started again. ‘You’re eighteen now. You need a bride.’
‘Moooooom.’ Jace rolled his eyes. ‘Get Sebastian a bride instead.’
‘Sebastian is perfectly capable of getting himself a bride.’ King Will said bluntly. ‘It’s you we’re worried about.’
‘Daaaaaaad’ Jace threw his hands up. ‘But a ball? Seriously?’
‘What’s wrong with a ball?’ Tessa asked. ‘It’s a wonderful affair.’
‘Yes, but little Jacey isn’t very social’ Sebastian said, grinning.
‘Shut up’ Jace growled. ‘Mom, dad, let’s not have a ball.’
‘Oh, Will, let’s have a ball.’ Tessa begged.
‘Yes, dad, let’s’ Sebastian said.
‘Two to one, Jace.’ Will shrugged. ‘In two nights, then. Sent the invites.’
‘Roger’ Sebastian saluted and ran out of the room. Jace sunk to his knees dramatically and groaned.
‘MOTHER!!!’ Jessamine’s excited screech came from down the corridor. She barged into Maureen’s room and her mother sent her a glare.
‘Jessie, dear, do knock.’ She said through her teeth, stroking her cat, Yossarian. Maia appeared behind her sister and banged on the doors loudly, before coming in. Clary was thankful that her lecture was interrupted. After all it wasn’t her fault that the plate got smashed.
‘Mother’ Maia said. ‘We have a letter.’
‘From the palace!’ Jessamine cried excitedly. ‘Oh, Mother, the prince is looking for a bride and is inviting all girls to his palace for a ball tomorrow. Oh Mother, we must go!’
‘Of course, of course!’ Maureen said, reading the letter Jessamine was clutching hurriedly. ‘You shall have new gowns sawn imiediatly. Clary, see to it imiediatly.’ Maureen clicked her fingers at Clary.
‘Yes, mother’ Clary said in a bored voice.
‘And don’t even think about going.’
‘I wasn’t. Balls aren’t for me.’ Clary said truthfully.
‘But even so, don’t let the thought cross you mind.’
‘Yes, mother.’ Clary said, leaving the room.
She brought multicoloured fabrics into her room and took out the sewing machine. The sisters had plenty of gowns but for every new occasion they needed a new gown. Clary’s boys looked at her with raised eyebrows.
‘Alec was eavesdropping’ Simon said. Alec glared at him, crawling out of the little hole leading to the pipes. Clary picked Alec up and dropped a kiss on his head.
‘I need to finish the dressed by tomorrow. Will you help me, boys?’
‘Of course!’ The boys chorused. Clary and the boys stayed up all night, sewing, tying and cutting fabric until two pretty dresses were ready for the sisters to wear. For the first time in forever Clary was allowed to sleep until late morning, as the sisters got up super early to go to a hairdresser with Maureen. Of course Clary had her hands busy from one pm already, fixing the already perfect hair of her sisters and mother, putting on their dresses and making final touches, running around the house in search of specific sky blue pearls lost long ago, and shimmering ruby earring last seen two months prior. By six the carriage arrived at the front doors, and the trio piled in, with last instructions to clean the house and whatever.
Clary went outside into her garden, the one place the sisters thought too dirty to venture into, and her boys followed her.
‘FREEDOM!’ Bat yelled into the night.
‘Yeah!’ Clary and the rest of the boys yelled.
‘I want Clary to go to the ball!’ Simon screamed, his tiny voice echoing around the garden.
‘Me too!’ Max yelled.
‘Me three!’ Jordan yelled.
Clary burst into laughter.
‘I’m serious’ Jordan said suddenly. ‘Do you know how mad Maureen would get?’
‘Yeah, and she’d kick Clary’s ass. Use your brain, as small as it is.’ Ragnor snapped.
‘Hmmm, lots of food, getting Maureen mad, spending one night that doesn’t feel like I’m a servant’ Clary said dreamily. ‘Sound like a good idea.’ She smiled. ‘But of course I can’t go.’ She pointed to her scruffy, worn out dress. The boys all sighed.
Suddenly there was a crackle in the air and a shimmering blue pool of light opened right in front of the gasping Clary. Out of it stumbled two very strange people. A man with hair and face covered in glitter and a woman with blue skin. The woman looked around and her face fell.
‘Oh my God, Magnus, you mixed up the location again!’ she said in dismay. ‘You idiot!’
‘Ooops.’ The man rubbed the back of his head. ‘Sorry.’
‘Does this look like Peru to you? Does it? IT DOESN’T!’ The woman yelled at him.
‘Chill, Catarina, we’ve got an audience.’ The man pointed to the gaping Clary and the tiny boys.
The man bowed with a flourish, a big smile on his face.
‘My name is Magnus, at your service.’
‘Catarina.’ The woman said.
‘Um, Clary.’ Clary said. ‘How did you…um’ she swirled her finger in the air, indicating the portal that disappeared behind them.
‘She means the portal’ Catarina told Magnus.
‘I know she means the portal. We’re Warlocks, honey. We can do whatever we want.’ Magnus said, hands on hips.
‘Not everything. Remember the pirates.’
‘We don’t talk about that.’ Magnus hissed and then turned to Clary. ‘We were on our way to a client but it seems like fate has other ideas. It seems you want something very much indeed. Tell us what and we’ll grant it to you.’
‘Can you bring people back from the dead?’ Clary asked.
‘Uh, no’ Magnus said.
‘Can you kill people?’ Clary asked.
‘No’ Catarina said.
‘Then you can’t really do everything.’ Clary said, in a ‘duh’ voice. ‘And I don’t really need anything.’
‘Nothing?’ Catarina blinked. ‘Nothing at all?’
‘She wants to go to the ball at the palace’ Simon blurted.
‘A ball!’ Magnus clapped his hands in delight. ‘Catarina, you know what to do!’ The boys cheered. Clary rolled her eyes but the idea of awesome food and a night of dancing made her smile and step forward when Catarina beckoned.
‘First we need a carriage.’ Magnus said, conjuring a list up in the air. ‘And we need something to make it out of.’
‘Good shape. Pumpkin it is.’ Catarina wiggle her blue fingers in the air and a pumpkin shot up from one of the patches and tumbled towards the pair of warlocks. Catarina snapped her fingers and the pumpkin grew drastically, changing to a lovely golden shape.
‘Now we need someone to drive the pumpkin, er, carriage.’ Magnus read his list.
‘I volunteer as tribute!’ Jordan’s hand shot in the air. ‘I know how to drive. Kinda.’
‘Perfect’ Catarina wiggled her fingers again and with a loud yelp Jordan grew, to a normal size, towering slightly over Clary. Clary looked him over up and down.
‘Hi’ Jordan said with a big grin. Magnus pointed to the front seat of the carriage and Jordan took his seat.
‘Some horses, maybe?’ Magnus said. Catarina plucked Alec, Max, Henry and Bat from the group.
‘I don’t wanna be a horse!’ Bat screamed, as the four boys grew too into beautiful horses, ranging from a deep black, fiery auburn and dark brown. Magnus clipped them to the carriage and gave Jordan the reigns.
‘Now, a proper lady always has two butlers opening her doors’ Magnus said, matter-of-factly. Ragnor and Simon were quickly grown and put in butler outfits. Catarina also changed Ragnor’s face colour to something more…natural.
‘And now, for the dress’ Magnus swept forward, his dark purple coat billowing behind him. He swished his fingers up, blue sparks flying and when Clary looked down she stood in a floor length gown the precise shade of her eyes. There were emeralds at her throat and her ears. Her hair was pinned up and adorned with white roses.
‘Aw, she looks like a princess’ Catarina said. Clary was beyond herself.
‘That is awesome!’ she twirled. Then she glared at her feet, which sat in a pair of shiny black heels. ‘Can I maybe have something…more comfortable?’
‘Sure.’ Catarina clicked her fingers and the heels transformed into cute checked trainers that were quickly covered by the green folds of the dress.
‘Now the restrictions,’ Magnus said with a sight. ‘After we leave, our magic will start to grow weaker. So let’s say, you have till… three am?’
‘Yeah, no one leaves a proper party at midnight.’ Catarina chipped in.
‘I know right! I don’t know why it’s always midnight.’ Magnus shook his head. ‘Anyway, home by three, that’s when everything will turn back to normal. Enjoy yourself, darling.’
Clary smiled brightly.
‘Thank you so much.’ She said, bowing her head a bit.
‘No problem’ Magnus showed her thumbs up. The blue portal shimmered blue behind the warlocks.
‘Remember Magnus, we’re going to PERU’ Catarina said, stepping into the portal. Magnus rolled his eyes at his friend then turned to Clary with a final smile.
‘By the way, I think Fray is a good last name for you.’ He said, following Catarina. The portal disappeared with a swish.
Simon opened the doors of the golden carriage with a big smile.
‘Shall we go, Lady Clarissa Fray?’
‘Let’s kick ass’ Clary said, grinning.
Alec yawned slightly and looked at the clock, sighting.
‘Time for sleep.’ He said. Magnus gave him a ‘what?’ look. He was so absorbed in the story he hadn’t changed position for hours and was leaning forward, listening close.
‘But you didn’t finish!’ Magnus said accusingly. Alec smiled sleepily.
‘I know, I know, but if I continue I’ll fall asleep.’ He stretched.
‘But what happened to Clary!? Did she get to the ball?’ Magnus asked, perplexed.
‘Hmm, why don’t you make the ending up in you head?’ Alec asked, pulling his shirt over his head and settling under the covers.
‘I don’t have much of an imagination’ Magnus muttered to himself. Then his face lit up. ‘I know! You’ll just finish the story tomorrow. Your execution can wait till the day after tomorrow.’
‘Good idea’ Alec whispered, his blue eyes falling shut. Magnus slipped under the covers and blew the candle out. The chamber was covered in darkness. Magnus felt the sleepiness fall upon him.
‘C’mere’ Alec was already dozing off but he reached out to Magnus. The king frowned. Usually he slept with his husband and then they lay on opposite sides of the bed, with the boy usually crying. But this one…was offering to cuddle with him? Magnus was confused but took Alec into his arms nonetheless, winding one tan arm around his waist. Alec put his head on Magnus’s elbow and his arms around his stomach. His breathing slowed and he was fast asleep. Magnus checked the clock and smiled. Three am. Clary would be coming back from the ball now.
He couldn’t wait to hear what happened to her.