Emma to Diary
Dear Diary — that’s how you’re supposed to start off, right? I feel kind of silly writing this, since I never thought I’d keep a diary, but what can I say. I guess Tatiana Lightwood inspired me. I feel like I should give the diary a name though, something friendly, so I can write “Dear Clara” or “Dear Bruce” instead of Dear Diary. Bruce is growing on me, actually.
So I thought I could use this to organize my thoughts. I’ve been jotting things down in little notebooks the whole time Jules and I have been traveling. (Did you know that there are a lot of fey creatures who have been incorrectly classified as demonic by the Clave? Like Curupiras? Most of the old bestiaries direly need correcting.)
It’s actually quite odd to be standing still after rushing around the globe for nearly a year. Julian has really thrown himself into this whole restoration project. I think it appeals to his sense of care and deliberation. He loves working with his hands (and I like watching him work with his hands) and figuring out projects. In addition to everything else, he’s painting a mural in the ballroom. He won’t let me in to see it. He says it’s a surprise so I have to live in suspense, I guess!
I really hope that when this place is all fixed up it does something to de-creepify the place. I joked about it to Dru when I wrote to her but I still get that sense that things are lurking in every shadow. Even when I turn my witchlight up to its brightest, it just highlights the weird cracks in the walls and the strange stains on the plaster. I can’t explain it but I feel like a long time ago, something awful happened here. It’s in the chills up and down my spine, and in the strange way the glass in the windows fogs up for no reason, or the odd cold spot halfway up the stairs. I keep wanting to reach for Cortana, but this isn’t the kind of thing you can fight. It’s just a feeling.
And sometimes it isn’t there — I spent a perfectly normal afternoon today digging through boxes in what used to be the kitchen. We pulled a lot of them up from the cellar (which is so spidery I will plan to refer to it from now on as Spidertown. I haven’t seen this many spiders since Thule. *shudder*)
Some of the boxes have perfectly normal stuff in them. There’s some beautiful silverware and china that belonged to someone named Barbara Pangborn (must have married a Lightwood or Blackthorn.) Fancy linens and tablecloths with the Blackthorn symbol of thorns woven around the edges as a border. A big box of broken toys and china dolls marked “Grace Blackthorn.” There was a runed dagger shoved down among the broken doll heads so my guess is she was a little girl just starting training. Aw! (Though the doll heads are creepy.)
Julian came in when I was partway through unpacking, and decided to help by cleaning out the fireplace grate. He got completely covered in soot and was coughing, so I dragged him into the modern wing, pulled off his shirt, and started mopping him off. And well, he was shirtless and dirty and looking at me with those gorgeous blue-green eyes and what can I say?
I jumped him. We backed into the bedroom kissing like crazy and toppled onto the bed and got soot all over the sheets and it was worth it. (And that’s all the details you get, Bruce. Stop asking.)
I can’t believe I ever thought Jules and I were just friends. It’s almost like I loved him so much I couldn’t see all of it, how big it was. I was standing inside it, looking for that kind of love without realizing I was surrounded by it. Does that make sense, Bruce? I’m not a writer so I’m probably terrible at expressing this kind of thing! I know I often feel like I should tell Julian I love him more, but he never says anything about it, and so I try to tell him in other ways than words. The way I curl up against him when we sleep, the way I come up behind him and hug him when he’s concentrating on something (not when he’s painting, though, or there’d be splotches on all the canvases!) The way — wait a second. Is that someone knocking on the door?
[One hour later]
Bruce! You’re not going to believe it but Cristina is here! And Mark and Kieran are with her! I don’t even know how Kieran managed to get away from Faerieland — something about him making a vow to the land that he’d be here for less than three sunsets — but I’m so happy to see them! Cristina and I danced around like maniacs and hugged each other, and somehow Mark and Kieran managed to convince Julian we should go out tonight and see London. We’re all going to wear clothes from the Super Groovy Sixties closet and hit as many pubs as we can. I can’t wait, Jules and I need a break. London, here we come! Prepare yourself for Partying Shadowhunters!*
*And a faerie King.
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From the diary of Tatiana Lightwood. December 27, 1873
I hate Will Herondale.
I hate Will Herondale.
I HATE Will Herondale.
How could I have ever felt anything but loathing for him, with his ridiculous name and his infernal Welsh accent and his preposterous handsome face! Ugh! The horrid monster read my old diary, OUT LOUD at the Institute Christmas party. On the stage, in the ballroom. To the entire Enclave.
Every single entry where I’d written my name as Mrs. Tatiana Herondale. Every bit where I wrote poetry about his absurdly blue eyes, how I shudder now to recall it! How I wish Elise Penhallow had never stopped playing the spinet and given him an opening to start reading OUT LOUD. I wish she was still playing the spinet now and for the rest of eternity and that Will Herondale had been utterly drowned out by the racket.
The HUMILIATION, it is not to be borne. He is a MONSTER. Gideon just stood there like a lummox. Gabriel had the decency to attempt to defend my honor and got his arm broken, which was the least he could do, really.
I suppose it is better that I have discovered Will Herondale’s TRUE NATURE and EVIL INTENT now rather than later. But oh, couldn’t I have found it out in a different way? A whispered cruel comment—an act of brutishness at someone else’s expense—but no. The whole Enclave just standing there gaping at me and whispering, whispering.
Of course Father told me in the carriage on the way home that I had disgraced us all and the good name of Lightwood, too. Gabriel sulked for the entire journey, even though the healing runes must have taken away any pain he was in, so there was no need for him to be so peevish. None of this was about him. Gideon took my hand and said, “Don’t fret, Tati. Everyone will forget about this before you know it.” I looked out the window of the carriage and ignored him. What could he possibly understand about the injury that has been dealt to me? Nothing, for he is a lunkhead.
When we arrived at Chiswick I thought about burning the diary, for I could no longer stand the sight of the thing. Will ruined it. I went up to my room and ripped the pages from the spine, then tore each page to pieces. I looked at the fire, which had plenty of hot coals, but I could not bring myself to consign the remains of the diary to the flames, whether they had disgraced our family name or not. Those pages were full of my fascinating ruminations and ideas and observations—about the London Enclave, about my father’s heroic exploits, about the precise shape of Elise Penhallow’s nose and what it revealed about her terrible character—and I found I did not want to see those words curl and vanish into ash. Instead I stuffed the mutilated pages into my green silk purse and tiptoed down the corridor. I hid them in the old mousehole behind one of my father's paintings of demons doing peculiar things. (I don’t know why he collects them, but then I suppose I have not yet developed a taste for art.) I hurried back to my room and threw the spine and covers of the book into the fire.
I am starting over with a new diary in which I will not mention W.H. at all. Except now. This is the last time.
But I will make him pay. No matter how long I have to wait.
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still digesting how when the darkling found kaz in the alley, this gang leader mastermind’s brilliant plan to escape was basically yelling “nah nah nah, you’re not getting me to no secondary location. STREET SMARTS!” and running away as fast as he could
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Emma to Dru
Hey, baby bat! So how’s Shadowhunter Academy? Still having a good time? How’s the roommate — Thais, isn’t that her name? How’s having a roommate? I always kinda wished I’d gotten to go to SA, although obviously the weather was better in California. But you like things dark and gloomy! Just, you know – try to get some sun sometimes, okay? While I know you love your ghostly pallor, vitamin D is a real thing.
Not that we’re getting any sun here in Chiswick, where England is being fully England with the weather. I guess it goes with the house, though. You’re going to love this place when you see it, by the way. It’s the most goth building you’ve ever seen. The whole place is full of crumbling statues and faded wallpaper with creepy stains and a LOT of these dark brambles—
Huh, I guess it makes sense there are a lot of black thorns at Blackthorn Manor. Still, they’re a huge pain to cut back. Why didn’t your ancestors go with something less pointy? This was owned by Lightwoods for years, why no light woods? We may never know.
(I always forget about the Lightwoods because I think of it as Blackthorn Manor but I found a diary of a girl who grew up here, hidden under one of the floorboards. Like way back in the 1870s. She’s just a normal Shadowhunter teenager of the time, complaining about boring history lessons and obnoxious older brothers. Normal stuff! She’s about 13 in the part I’m reading but it goes for a few years. Her name was Tatiana Lightwood, I wonder if Isabelle and Alec have heard of her?)
Anyway, Jules is working hard on de-spookying the place, but trust me, it’ll still be gothier than a ripped fishnet whenever you get to see it. It’s going to be ages before we’re done with all the hallways full of empty birdcages and decaying books. This house is big. And extremely busted.
Also . . . haunted. At first I think we were both in denial. It was just weird moving shadows, cold spots in places — if this was one of your mundane movies, we’d still be arguing about what was going on. But we’re Shadowhunters. We know ghosts exist. And we finally broke down and admitted to each other that there’s definitely one in this house. Somebody’s moving small objects around and playing the piano off in the distance… low, haunting bits of sweet music we can both hear. But here’s the thing — the only piano here isn’t even playable. It rotted through a long time ago.
So, we have a ghost. But they don’t seem definitely or even particularly hostile. It could just be a bitty poltergeist, or a passing unquiet spirit. I’ve just started going through papers and it’s obvious Some Stuff Went Down Here at some point, lots of weird references to demons and bindings. (Oh, I’m putting a thing aside for you, it’s a taxidermied raven covered in flowers, I think it used to be part of a really extra hat.) So the potential for unquiet spirits is definitely there. One more thing to deal with along with the need for all new drains. (What, exactly, are drains?)
Anyway, I can’t wait to see you and oh no, I spent most of the letter telling you about the house but I really do want to hear about the Academy and your roommate and teachers, like is Catarina there? What about Ragnor? Have you seen Jaime lately? Tell me everything!
PS I just found out who Tatiana Lightwood thought was the cutest boy in London. Will Herondale. Wasn’t that the guy Tessa was married to, a long time ago? Would she think this was funny? I mean, it’s kind of funny. Always a Herondale, you know?
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Jude and her monster 🐍
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Kaz immediately regretting the words he said to Inej. Not only did he hurt her, but himself. He becomes aware in that moment, that he needs her more than he realized.
That without meaning to, he’d begun to lean on her, to look for her, to need her near.
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INEJ GHAFA & KAZ BREKKER
in “A Searing Burst of Light”
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Ben Barnes showing up uninvited on the set of Netflix’s Shadow and Bone, two years ago:
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Shadow and Bone + subtly showing us Kaz’s touch aversion without actually mentioning it
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#you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain
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Are you sure?
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All of it.
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Not many people surprise me, Miss Starkov.
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