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Turning New Pages

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Many years ago, a young Shadowhunter fell in love with a Mundane.

She had never been a particularly talented fighter, preferring the position of a researcher over a soldier. She did her duty, of course, but she never felt that it was a life she would be happy living, so she took her chance when she met a young Mundane man while off duty.

The two went out on many dates when she was not expected in the Institute. After all, there was no rule against dating a Mundane, just telling them of the Shadow World. Slowly, the two fell in love.

After the young Shadowhunter was injured on a patrol one day, she decided that it was no longer a life she wanted to live. So she packed up what she believed to be most valuable and necessary to her, did what she could to set up a separate identity for herself in the Mundane world, and left one night. Her parents died when she was younger, she was an only child, and had never had any particularly close friends, so she had nothing tying her to the Institute but duty.

She prepared for weeks, searching for a place to live, a job, and things she could do to remain out of the Institute’s reach. The local High Warlock was willing to aid her, guiding her to an apartment building that helped new Downworlders get back on their feet in their new world, a book store to work in, and provided anti-tracking spells to help keep her hidden. She expected to have everything she owned be demanded in exchange for the High Warlock’s services, but he asked only that she stay completely out of the Shadow World, but be willing to help him research on occasion. Apparently, she was not the first Shadowhunter to ask for help with this particular issue, nor would she be the last.

She took a few pictures, both her own stele and a spare, a few weapons, a copy of the Gray Book, a few of her favorite and most informative books, clothes, money, and a family heirloom that has been passed down for generations. She never intended to need any weapons, and hoped to never have to use them, but she was a Shadowhunter, however little she enjoyed it, and knew better than to not be prepared.

Because she was so well-prepared, she was able to go straight to her new home, after making sure no one could follow her, of course. 

The young man she had fallen for so easily knew nothing of the Shadow World, knew nothing of the fact that he was the catalyst that inspired her to leave the world that she knew and build a new life for herself, knew nothing of the fact that the girl he was hoping to marry was a Shadowhunter in hiding, but he did know that suddenly she was much more open about where she worked, and willing to be picked up for a date, and more carefree, yet vigilant when they were together.

The young couple slowly grew even closer. They exchanged “I love you”s, she met his family, they spent more and more time together, and one day, he proposed. She said yes, of course. 

The young man was a proper gentleman, and wished to meet her family, but knew that she had none. Instead, she introduced him to an older professor that she said had helped her when she moved into the city, some of her neighbors, and a few co-workers from the bookstore.

Their wedding was a small affair, the former Shadowhunter having no relatives to invite and thus only inviting the people she had become close to in the time that she had been living as a Mundane.

Within a few years, the young couple had settled into a nice house and were starting a family. The first child was a girl that they decided to name after the flowers that were the former Shadowhunter’s mother’s favorites. A few years later, their second daughter was named after the flowers that were planted in the garden of their little house when they first bought it and they continued to care for.

The two girls could not be more different. The oldest was very reserved, keeping things neat and tidy, never running around, and getting dirty or messing up her clothes was not tolerated. She preferred to act like what she imagined a grown-up to be, not the young child that she was. 

The younger girl was quite the opposite, with the fiery attitude to back up the red of her hair. She was aware of her manners, but they were certainly not her top priority, not the way her sister was concerned with them. She was adventurous, always questioning things, racing around, refusing to be tamed. She was a very kind and caring child, but she would not let anyone push her or anyone else around.

The former Shadowhunter may have been in hiding for years, but she still kept up with her training, especially after her daughters were born, though not as regularly as she would have if she stayed in the Shadow World. Before they married, she had informed her husband of her past, not wanting him to put himself in danger without knowing the risk just being around a Shadowhunter could carry. 

The parents both agreed that it would be important for their daughters to know of her past, and be prepared in case anything decided to attack them for their Shadowhunter blood, so the girls were each given the chance to learn runes, and train with traditional Shadowhunter weapons. When they were old enough, the girls were able to gain their first rune, just like other Shadowhunter children, but they were not expected to use more if they did not wish to.

The older girl made use of a few practical runes and glamor, but did not take to them as easily as her sister did when she was old enough, so she practiced, but did not do more than needed. The younger girl was quite skilled with the runes and weapons, practicing as much as she could, and experimenting with her abilities. Her mother and sister tried to help with what they could, but the girl seemed to have an uncanny ability to make things work that neither of the others could.

The younger girl was also able to do things outside of Shadowhunter abilities, especially when she felt strong emotions. She made things come to her when she particularly wanted them. Plants would grow faster than they should when she tended to them. Wind would blow and candles would light or fires would extinguish if she was particularly upset. Her hair would always grow back out when it was cut short. Things would change color. There was even one time when she crossed from one place to another in an instant, despite the distance.

Her mother had no idea where those abilities may have come from. She knew they were not Shadowhunter abilities, and they almost sounded like Warlock abilities, but that would be impossible since the girl was able to use runes the way she did. She decided to contact the High Warlock that had helped her when she first entered the Mundane world, but something happened before she could.

One day, the girl met a boy. The boy lived nearby, and had witnessed the girl do something unusual one day. The boy was also able to do unusual things, and he told the girl she was a witch. Naturally, the girl was initially offended, but came to understand what the boy was saying, and she told her mother what the boy said, and the proof he offered of his own abilities, and the world he told her of.

When the former Shadowhunter learned what the boy had said, she immediately contacted the High Warlock to question him about this unheard of world of magic. The man explained that there was a particular group of magical beings that were descended from Warlocks and other Downworlders. They would present as Mundanes for many generations, but eventually, a child would manifest magic, and would enter this hidden world. The Warlocks kept this world hidden very well, always claiming that it was either young or rogue Warlocks and they were being taken care of if Shadowhunters ever caught on to something magical going on in the world. The man that the former Shadowhunter married was apparently descended from a Warlock at some point in his ancestry, and thus the girl had magic. She was not a full Warlock, and was unlikely to present with a Warlock mark or immortality due to the nature of her magic being more like that of the hidden world of wizards than the magic of Warlocks.

When questioned over how it was possible for the girl to have such strong Shadowhunter abilities despite also apparently having demon blood through her father’s side, and if it was safe for her to continue using both abilities, the High Warlock was unsure exactly how it worked, assuming only that since both were naturally a part of her that it would be fine to use all of her abilities, but he did mention that he knew someone with a similar case who turned out just fine, and would be willing to put them in touch if she wanted.

The older sister was slightly jealous of the younger girl’s abilities, simple genetics keeping magic from her, but was not as jealous as she may have been if she was not able to use Shadowhunter abilities like her mother. She wished to join her sister in the world of magic, but decided that she would be more content living in the Mundane world and having access to runes and Shadowhunter abilities the way her parents did than in a wild world of magic, especially after the younger girl actually started telling her family some of the things that went on when she entered that world for herself.

The young girl became friends with the boy that told her about magic, keeping Shadowhunting to herself because the two worlds were not meant to mix, and enjoyed learning more from him about the world of magic. When the friends turned eleven, they received letters inviting them to a school for magic, and the girl knew she needed to go and experience this hidden world for herself.

The former Shadowhunter and her husband were initially unsure of allowing their daughter to go into the magic world, asking the High Warlock if he would be able to teach her instead, but he insisted that it was safe, and that the best way for the girl to learn about her particular type of magic would be for her to attend the school and learn from experts in the magic of that world, not Warlock magic. He could, and did, help her learn to control her accidental abilities before she went into that world, but it would be easier for her to learn from them.

So the young flower-named girl went with the boy who lives nearby on the train into the world of magic. On the train, she met four boys, one of whom would bring out the best and worst in her over the next decade. The boy from home remained her best friend, but the two were separated in school, and that separation spelled the beginning of the end of that friendship.

The girl made many friends, but she disliked the boys that she met on the train because they were quite the pranksters, often made her friend the target of their most aggressive actions, and could sometimes be called bullies.

Slowly, the magic world began to grow darker, with a war looming on the horizon, led by one man, who could barely be called a man at all, and his prejudiced followers. Many of the people of this magic world believed that people who just entered the world were worth less than those with families that had been in the world for generations.

The young girl took exception to this belief. She was new to the world, but she knew the source of their magic, and these “purebloods” were not better than anyone else. In fact, if you asked most Shadowhunters, they would probably all be considered less than.

One day, the girl tried to help her friend when he was being tormented by the other boys, but he insulted her and refused her aid. She had been quite concerned about him, but realized that he must not care for her anymore if he could behave the way he had, and their friendship came to a close, never to be rekindled.

The girl hated the boy that she met on the train, but he felt quite different. He was extremely impressed by her, and had begun to fall in love with her, though he certainly did not show it properly. Eventually, he began to mature, he began to back away from tormenting others, and she began to lose her hatred for him. By the time they graduated, they had begun dating, and she was falling in love with him.

The former Shadowhunter was aware of the brewing war, and tried to convince her daughter to leave that world, to choose to live safely in a world where she would not be persecuted simply for having been born outside the magic world. But she knew that her daughter could never do that. She was too stubborn, and had too big of a heart to choose safety over helping people. She was also too much of a Shadowhunter to leave the magic world behind to a war.

When the war truly broke out, the girl, her boyfriend, and his friends joined their former Headmaster and other like-minded individuals in a resistance movement. The government of the magical world was unable to do what they could, so the girl and her friends stood against the hatred and fought for the magic world.

At some point, the boy from the train proposed to the girl he loved, and their wedding was a spot of light in the darkness. Soon, the girl was pregnant, and they had a little boy of their own.

Unknown to the new family, the former friend overheard something he should not have and told it to someone he definitely should not have. One of the boys from the train also made a terrible decision to join with the cruel man that could not really be called a man, and things were set in motion.

The small family went into hiding, having been warned that the cruel man would be coming after their small baby, and the family prepared. Unfortunately, not that they knew it at the time, they trusted the wrong boy from the train with their location, had it been either of the others, they may have been safe, but the wartime made everyone paranoid, and the wrong decoy was chosen.

The former Shadowhunter and her husband were already quite a bit older, and she had stopped practicing as much as she should have, believing that they were safe since they had been for all these years. They lived to see their daughters married and their grandsons born, for their oldest daughter had married months before their youngest, and her son was born not long before the youngest daughter’s son.

On Halloween night, the young family learned of the betrayal in the worst way. The one they trusted with their lives had turned on them, and they were attacked. The new parents sacrificed their lives for their son, with the girl using everything she had learned to keep her son safe.

Another boy from the train was devastated when he learned of the betrayal, and ran to confront the traitor once he was assured the baby would be in safe hands. That was also a mistake. The traitor had planned how to escape, and the other boy was imprisoned in his stead. After all, he was a decoy, so everyone believed him to have been a traitor.

The baby was taken to his aunt, and left on the doorstep with a letter. When she woke in the morning, she had a new responsibility. Her nephew would share her own son’s nursery. She was much less jealous of her sister than she could have been, and cared for her nephew’s safety and well-being.

She was aware of her sister’s abilities, and knew that the baby may grow to have those same powers, powers that she did not have, and powers that she could not help control, so she decided to wait and determine whether she would be able to teach him or need to find someone else.

When the baby started showing signs of powers several months later, she contacted the High Warlock, knowing that he would be able to help her decide what to do. He recommended that they contact his half-Shadowhunter half-Warlock friend, who could help with the baby’s powers.

When the friend was contacted, and informed of the situation, she recommended letting the baby stay with a High Warlock in New York who had some experience with strange cases, and who also had a decent relationship with the local Institute, or at least they weren’t openly hostile all the time like some of the others were, despite the current leadership’s previous actions. They would be able to visit with each other any time they wanted, merely a portal away, and he would be well taken care of. She could focus on taking care of her own son, pass along her training to him, and not have to worry about uncontrolled magic in the middle of the Mundane world.

After careful deliberation, discussions with her husband, and thinking about what both her mother and sister would have wanted, the woman decided to meet with the High Warlock from New York, and discuss her nephew. If she was impressed by him, she would agree to let him keep her nephew, but if not, she would deal with it.

The New York High Warlock was nothing like she expected, but he was clearly taking things seriously, having a training plan, a bedroom, supplies, and childcare lined up for when he would have to be unavailable due to his work. He had excellent recommendations and was quite skilled at magic, and had already started planning how best to take care of her nephew. She was impressed, despite the fact that he looked nothing like what she expected, he was obviously competent, willing and able to take care of her nephew, and willing to travel between continents regularly to allow her to visit and check up on her nephew. She decided to allow the man to take care of her nephew.