City of Glass

By: Cassandra Clare

1

THE PORTAL


THE COLD SNAP OF THE PREVIOUS WEEK WAS OVER; THE SUN was shining brightly as Clary hurried across Luke’s dusty front yard, the hood of her jacket up to keep her hair from blowing across her face. The weather might have warmed up, but the wind off the East River could still be brutal. It carried with it a faint chemical smell, mixed with the Brooklyn smell of asphalt, gasoline, and burned sugar from the abandoned factory down the street.

Simon was waiting for her on the front porch, sprawled in a broken-springed armchair. He had his DS balanced on his blue-jeaned knees and was poking away at it industriously with the stylus. “Score,” he said as she came up the steps. “I’m kicking butt at Mario Kart.”

Clary pushed her hood back, shaking hair out of her eyes, and rummaged in her pocket for her keys. “Where have you been? I’ve been calling you all morning.”

Simon got to his feet, shoving the blinking rectangle into his messenger bag. “I was at Eric’s. Band practice.”

Clary stopped jiggling the key in the lock—it always stuck—long enough to frown at him. “Band practice? You mean you’re still—”

“In the band? Why wouldn’t I be?” He reached around her. “Here, let me do it.”

Clary stood still while Simon expertly twisted the key with just the right amount of pressure, making the stubborn old lock spring open. His hand brushed hers; his skin was cool, the temperature of the air outside. She shivered a little. They’d only called off their attempt at a romantic relationship last week, and she still felt confused whenever she saw him.

“Thanks.” She took the key back without looking at him.

It was hot in the living room. Clary hung her jacket up on the peg inside the front hall and headed to the spare bedroom, Simon trailing in her wake. She frowned. Her suitcase was open like a clamshell on the bed, her clothes and sketchbooks strewn everywhere.

“I thought you were just going to be in Idris a couple of days,” Simon said, taking in the mess with a look of faint dismay.

“I am, but I can’t figure out what to pack. I hardly own any dresses or skirts, but what if I can’t wear pants there?”

“Why wouldn’t you be able to wear pants there? It’s another country, not another century.”

“But the Shadowhunters are so old-fashioned, and Isabelle always wears dresses—” Clary broke off and sighed. “It’s nothing. I’m just projecting all my anxiety about my mom onto my wardrobe. Let’s talk about something else. How was practice? Still no band name?”

“It was fine.” Simon hopped onto the desk, legs dangling over the side. “We’re considering a new motto. Something ironic, like ‘We’ve seen a million faces and rocked about eighty percent of them.’”

“Have you told Eric and the rest of them that—”

“That I’m a vampire? No. It isn’t the sort of thing you just drop into casual conversation.”

“Maybe not, but they’re your friends. They should know. And besides, they’ll just think it makes you more of a rock god, like that vampire Lester.”

“Lestat,” Simon said. “That would be the vampire Lestat. And he’s fictional. Anyway, I don’t see you running to tell all your friends that you’re a Shadowhunter.”

“What friends? You’re my friend.” She threw herself down onto the bed and looked up at Simon. “And I told you, didn’t I?”

“Because you had no choice.” Simon put his head to the side, studying her; the bedside light reflected off his eyes, turning them silver. “I’ll miss you while you’re gone.”

“I’ll miss you, too,” Clary said, although her skin was prickling all over with a nervous anticipation that made it hard to concentrate. I’m going to Idris! her mind sang. I’ll see the Shadowhunter home country, the City of Glass. I’ll save my mother.

And I’ll be with Jace.

Simon’s eyes flashed as if he could hear her thoughts, but his voice was soft. “Tell me again—why do you have to go to Idris? Why can’t Madeleine and Luke take care of this without you?”

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