Queen of Air and Darkness is published in five days but this post takes us on a trip down memory lane because Cassandra Clare’s November newsletter, which subscribers received yesterday, featured a deleted scene from Lady Midnight.
Here’s what Cassie wrote:
Here’s a fun little blast from the past—this is a deleted scene from Lady Midnight! Because the scene never made it into the final book, it hasn’t been fact-checked, and thus there may be some inconsistencies between it and the rest of TDA. Enjoy!
Emma discovered the sea caves when she was eleven years old. She’d been at the beach with her parents when she found them — great fingers of gray rock reaching into the ocean, and boring through them, like tunnels in the stone, were the caves. They were open to the ocean on both ends, and they smelled delightful, like sea water and wet rock and dark, secret things.
She was thirteen years old when she and Julian declared the sea caves their official meeting place. If anything ever happened at or to the Institute — and they both had nightmares about it, ever since the attack during the Dark War — they would meet at the caves.
She was fourteen years old when she first showed the sea caves to Cameron Ashdown.
The Ashdowns had come to Los Angeles after the Dark War, easily situating themselves among the small Conclave of Shadowhunters who lived in the city. Although all Conclaves were small now, since the deaths in the war. The Clave was doing everything it could to track down every wayward mundane who might have a drop of Nephilim blood, even if their family had left the Shadowhunters generations ago. Still, it would be decades before they were the strength they once had been.
Cameron, his parents, and his younger sister, Paige, moved into a house in Santa Monica and, as soon as they could, arranged to visit the Institute to decide if Paige and Cameron were going to have lessons with the Blackthorns or hire their own tutor.
Diana was there to greet them and show them the training rooms, the library, and the classroom. Emma was in the training room, practicing fencing with Livvy. She was taller and stronger than Livvy, but Livvy was lightning-fast on her feet, which gave her the advantage with a saber. Ty and Julian were watching: Ty was cheering for Livvy, and Jules for Emma, as if it were a real match.
The door opened, and Cameron and his sister came in with Diana.
Emma stopped in her tracks, which allowed Livvy to score with the side of her blade across Emma’s shoulder. “Emma!” she complained. “You’re not paying attention.”
But Emma was already pushing her mask back, letting her hair spill down. Cameron Ashdown might have grown up in Idris, but he looked like the perfect California boy, with fiery red hair, tanned skin, broad shoulders, and hazel eyes. His nose looked as if it had been broken before, but it lent his face a charming asymmetry.
His sister Paige was a small copy of him, with short red hair and a pointed chin. She regarded Emma with dislike, perhaps because Emma was staring at her brother.
Emma had been thinking lately, rather scientifically, about the fact that she was fourteen years old and hadn’t kissed anyone yet. Nor, she thought, growing up in the Blackthorn house, was it likely. They rarely saw other children their age; the Conclave simply wasn’t that big, and now that the Academy in Idris had re-opened, most younger Shadowhunters were being trained there.
She thought of Julian, the way that when he smiled at her, he seemed to put his whole self into the smile. The way it lit up the room and made her heart catch. Cameron Ashdown was looking at her curiously as Diana made the introductions; Livvy was tugging off her helmet. Lowering her blade, Emma smiled at Cameron, putting all of herself into it.
When he smiled back, he looked dazzled.
Later, after the Ashdowns had gone, Ty said, “I didn’t like them.”
Julian ruffled his hair. Instead of saying what Emma had expected — something about how Ty had to give them a chance — he said, “I didn’t like them either.”
“Why not?” she asked, curious.
He shrugged. “I just didn’t.”
“Well, too bad,” said Diana. “You kids need to spend time with some people who aren’t Blackthorns.” She eyed Emma. “Or Carstairs.”
The Ashdowns came back, the next weekend, and the next weekend after that. It was the summer, and the group spent their time at the beach, getting sunburned, swimming in the water — all except Emma — and building sandcastles with the younger children. Ty built meticulous sandcastles, carefully sculpted, while Livvy’s were shapeless and towering, collapsing under their own weight as they climbed toward the sky. They buried Tavvy in sand, and Drusilla sat cross-legged and lost in a book — Paige was nearly the same age as her, but the girls ignored each other.
Later, Emma thought that should have been a warning to her. Later she blamed herself for everything.
She was fourteen when she brought Cameron to see the caves. He had been teasing her about never going into the water; she laughed, but didn’t tell him why. Instead she drew him away from the group and brought him into her favorite of the caves: not the biggest, but the longest and most winding. It was possible to find a bend in the tunnel where the ocean couldn’t be seen from either side.
She drew Cameron in after her and faced him, her heart pounding. She studied the hazel color of his eyes in the shadows, their mixture of blue and brown and green. She held out her hands, not knowing how to be anything but direct. “Do you want to kiss me?” she said.
He swallowed hard and nodded. He was shaking as he pulled her toward him and kissed her gently, her head tipping back, her hands finding purchase on his shoulders. She stroked his arms, lightly, timidly; his mouth was warm and soft, and he tasted like strawberry ice cream.
Kissing was everything she’d hoped it would be. It was like a good kind of drowning, filling her ears and eyes with forgetfulness, blocking out the crashing sound of the waves against the shore. Cameron’s touch became more urgent, sliding up from her waist, and she leaned harder against him, and that was when she heard someone scream.
It sounded like a scream of anger rather than pain or fear, but Emma had heard screams at a distance before and she tore away from Cameron without a thought and burst into a run. He followed her. When they reached the beach where they’d left the others, they both stared: Ty was sitting on the sand, and Julian was holding Paige by the collar of her t-shirt, his face white with rage.
Later, Emma found out what had happened. Livvy and Dru had gone to collect seashells; Julian was sketching up by the dunes, and Ty had been making a sandcastle with Paige half-heartedly helping him.
He’d picked up a piece of sea glass and become fascinated with it. Ty became fascinated with things sometimes: the way an ink blot spread across a page, or the way dye feathered into water. He would sit and look at them, lost in contemplation. If he was especially distracted, it would take a gentle hand on his shoulder, or his name spoken softly, to rouse him.
But Paige had done neither of those things. When she’d asked him what he was doing and he hadn’t reacted, she’d thrown a handful of sand into his face. Ty had come back to himself choking and blinded and gasping. He’d started rocking, his hands fluttering, his butterflies frantic.
“Freak,” Paige had snapped. “Stop doing that, you freak.”
And then Julian had been there, hauling Paige bodily to her feet. As Emma ran up, Cameron beside her, they heard him hiss.
“If you ever,” he said, “ever, call my brother names again, I’ll kill you. I don’t care if you’re a girl. I’ll kill you.”
“Stop it! Stop!” Cameron darted ahead of Emma and yanked his sister away from Julian; she promptly started crying. Julian looked at him in a daze. In the distance, Emma could see Livvy and Dru running toward them across the sand.
“Get her away,” he said. “Both of you get away, and don’t come back.”
Cameron turned to Emma, his face open, puzzled. “We could talk about this,” he said. “We — we should talk about this.”
Emma looked from him, to Julian, who was crouching down by Ty now, saying his name, softly, his voice full of love and panic. And she turned to Cameron, who was holding his red-faced sister and looking at her with a look that said that he expected her to take his side. That their kiss in the caves had been a signal that her allegiance had changed. That she would be loyal to him now, and not Julian.
“Go away,” she said. “Like Julian said. And don’t ever bring her back.”
A few weeks later, she and Julian left for Idris, for their parabatai ceremony. When they came back, Paige had been sent to the Academy. A month after that, Emma began dating Cameron for the first time.
Ugh, Paige Ashdown sounds so horrible. I’m glad the Blackthorns and Emma didn’t spend a lot of time with her.
This isn’t the first deleted scene from Lady Midnight that Cassie has shared: back in April she posted another scene which also featured Emma and Cameron. Another scene, that was posted in September, is a discussion of the Blackthorns and friends after their visit to the Midnight Theater.
What do you think of this scene?