cut scene from Clockwork Princess

People often ask about cut scenes from books, and they can be hard to come by, because a lot of the time we don’t have scenes that we’ve cut out, the way one might in a movie, but rather ones we’ve rewritten.

I decided to post a rewritten scene from  CP2 under the spoiler tag. It is the scene that begins around page 468, with Will in Henry’s room. If you put the scenes side by side you can see the differences — the timing of when Charlotte learns a certain piece of information, where Will is when a certain thing happens, the players who are present, and Jem and Will’s attitude toward each other.

Under a cut for spoilerz.

“Tessa is awake!” Charlotte announced happily, darting through the door of her and Henry’s bedroom like an excited hummingbird.

Will, who had been sitting in the chair by Henry’s bedside, leaped immediately to his feet, the book he had been reading sliding from his lap. “Tess — Tessa’s awake?” he stammered. “And is she —”

“Yes, talking, and Brother Enoch has pronounced her quite well, if exhausted.”  

“I want to see her,” Will said, and began to move toward the door, but Charlotte held up a hand.

“Give her a moment, Will; Sophie is in with her, helping her dress.”

Will knew what “helping her dress” meant: if he burst in on them now, Tessa would be in the bath. A wave of desire, mixed wit the heaviness of guilt, hit him like a train. He sat down hastily, fumbling for the book on the floor.

 Charlotte looked at him, her smile curling at the corner. Clearly he was providing her some small amusement. “Have you been reading to Henry?” she asked.

“Yes, some dreadful thing, all full of poetry,” Henry said peevishly. He was fully dressed, propped on the pillows of the bed with a pen in one hand and papers scattered all over the comforter around him. Will did not blame him for his peevishness. Tessa had been asleep, and Henry abed, for three days, when the Brothers gathered the members of the Institute around Henry’s bedside to tell them that though Henry would live, he would not walk again. Even with all the magic the Brothers had at their disposal, there was no more that they could do. 

Henry had met the news with his usual fortitude, and a decision to build himself a chair, like a sort of invalid’s chair but better, with self-propelling wheels and all manner of other accoutrements: he was determined that it be able to go up and down stairs, so that he could still get to his inventions in the crypt. He had been scribbling designs for the chair the whole hour that Will had been reading to him from Idylls of the King, but then poetry had never been Henry’s area of interest.

“Well, you are released from your duties, Will, and Henry, you are released from further poetry,” said Charlotte. “If you like, darling, I can help you gather your notes —”

There was a knock at the door, and Charlotte, frowning, went to see who it was. A moment later she had returned, a somber look on her face. She darted a glance at Will, and a moment later he saw why: two Silent Brothers were trailing in her wake, and one of them was Jem.

Will’s chest tightened. Since the battle at Cader Idris, he and Jem had not spoken.

Will had been sure that they were all going to die, together, there under the mountain, until Tessa had blazed up in all the glory of the Angel and struck down Mortmain like lightning striking down a tree. It had been one of the most wondrous things he had ever seen, but his wonder had been consumed quickly by terror when Tessa had collapsed after the Change, bleeding and insensible, however hard they tried to wake her. Magnus, near exhaustion, had barely been able to open a Portal back to the Institute with Henry’s help, and Will remembered only a blur after that, a blur of exhaustion and blood and fear, more Silent Brothers summoned to tend the wounded, and the news coming from the Council of all who had been killed that day before the automatons who had attacked them had collapsed upon Mortmain’s death. And Tessa — Tessa not speaking, not waking, barely breathing. Tessa being carried off to her room by the Silent Brothers and he had not been able to go with her. Being neither brother nor husband he could only stand and stare after her, closing and unclosing his blood-stained hands. Never had he felt more helpless.

And when he had turned to find Jem, to share his fear with the only other person in the world who loved Tessa as much as he did — Jem had been gone, back to the Silent City on the orders of the Brothers. Gone without even a word of goodbye.

Though Cecily had tried to soothe him, Will had been angry — angry with Jem, and even, over the ensuing days, with Charlotte, for allowing Jem to become a Silent Brother, though he knew that was unfair: that it had been Jem’s choice and the only way to keep him alive. His anger had not been helped by his panicked worry over Tessa: though her physical injuries were minor, the shock to her system of what she had done had been great, and so was her pain. He had sat with her, on and off for days, taking her hand, begging her to wake up and see him, until Charlotte had had to rouse him from where he had fallen asleep half-sprawled across her bed. 

Will stared at Jem now, hard enough to bore a hole through his head, but though Jem’s hood was down, exposing his face, he was looking away from Will determinedly. His hair had begun to return to its original dark color: the dark was mixed with the silver, strand beside strand, and his eyelashes were black again, too, and brushed against the runes on his cheeks when he lowered his eyes.

They were runes only the Silent Brothers bore: they looked to Will like injuries, like gashes across Jem’s face. He felt sick inside.

Charlotte, said Brother Enoch, and held out his hand: there was a letter, sealed with the seal of the Council. I have brought a message for you.

Charlotte looked at him in bewilderment. “The Silent Brothers do not deliver letters.”

This letter is of grave importance. It is imperative that you read it now.

Slowly, Charlotte reached out and took it. She pulled at the flap, then frowned and crossed the room to take a letter-opener from her bureau. Will took the opportunity to stare harder at Jem. It did no good. Jem did not return Will’s gaze; his face was blank; there was nothing thereto hold on to. Will felt almost seasick — it was like having been a ship at anchor for years and being cut free to float on the tides, with no idea which direction to steer in. And there was Jem, his anchor, not looking at him or meeting his gaze. 

The sound of tearing paper came, and they all watched as Charlotte opened the letter and read it, the color draining from her face. She lifted her eyes and stared at Brother Enoch. “Is this some sort of jest?”

There is no jest, I assure you. Do you have an answer?

“Lottie,” said Henry, looking up at his wife, even his tufts of gingery hair radiating anxiety and love. “Lottie, what is it, what’s wrong?”

She looked at him, and then back at Brother Enoch. “No,” she said. “I don’t have an answer. Not yet.”

The Council does not wish to wait.

“Well,” Charlotte said, and her voice was firm. “They will have to. Tell them I shall send an answer by day’s end.”

After a moment, Brother Enoch nodded, and turned to leave the room. Jem turned to follow.

And Will broke. He darted forward, and caught at Jem’s sleeve. The thick material of the parchment robes was slippery under his fingers. “That’s all?” he said, in a low, urgent voice. “You come back here, and you do not speak to me — or visit Tessa? Have you even formally broken your engagement, James Carstairs?”

Jem froze stock-still. Brother Enoch turned. He looked displeased, as much as any of the Brothers ever had expressions. A Silent Brother cannot marry or enter into engagements, he said, and Will could tell from the faces of those around them that he and Jem could hear the words, but no one else could. He has neither fiancée nor parabatai now.

Will’s hand was still on Jem’s sleeve. “You want me to tell her, then?” Will asked. Charlotte was looking at him, shaking her head, Will, no. He knew his anger was unfair, unwarranted — Jem and Tessa’s engagement was over, shouldn’t he be glad? — but he was not glad. Grief and rage spilled like water through the cracks in his broken heart. Jem, who never hurt anyone, hurting him, hurting Tessa — and what if everything that had happened between her and Will had happened only because she thought Jem was dead, only out of the desperation of grief and the passionate human need for comfort? What if she loved Jem and longed for him forever, knowing he lived but was gone from her, with never a word from him that might provide any sort of closing of that chapter of her life? How could she bear it — how could Will bear it? What kind of future could they have? And yet there was no future for him without Tessa. “James Carstairs, do you want me to tell Tessa you are done with her, if you will not do it yourself?”

“Done with her?” Jem wrenched his sleeve from Will’s grasp, and his eyes were wide and dark and hurt, the eyes of Jem-the-child, the dark eyes Will had known growing up. “I came here because Enoch told me she had awakened,” he said, and there was an anger in his voice Will had rarely heard before. “I asked leave to speak with her one last time. You know what I feel. I will not ever be done. Not in a hundred years. Not in a thousand.” He looked from Will to Brother Enoch, and then back again. “And yet I must be. I have no choice. It’s not like you, William, not to have compassion for that.”

Will swallowed. Everything in the room seemed to have dwindled down to this, there was only him and Jem. “I thought, perhaps — being a Silent Brother — might have taken from you your capacity to feel,” he said, and then burst out, “I could not bear it, a James Carstairs who does not feel. Not just for Tessa, but for myself. If she loves only you, if she wishes to spend her life mourning your departure, I can survive that, but not the death of your heart, or of hers.”

Jem looked at him, and in the depths of his dark eyes Will saw , for a flash, the Jem he knew. “Wo men shi jie bai xiong di,” Jem said. “You would know if my heart had died, and I would know the same of you. My departure, you say, though I shall still be in the world, and yet it is as if I take sail for some unknown island, some wild place where you cannot follow. But know,” he added, in a voice that only Will could hear, “I shall do what I can to make some provision that I might see you again, and Tessa again. For you are half my heart, and she is the other. As long as I have one of you to be my north star, my heart shall not die, and I shall remain your James Carstairs.”


"Will," Charlotte said. She sounded worried.  "Will and J — Brother Zachariah, this is most irregular. Brother Enoch, I apologize —"

  “I asked leave to speak to Will, too, before I came,” Jem said. “I was told I could have it as long as I did not speak to him or answer him while Brother Enoch was attending here to the matter of the Council.”

Will stared at him, and then at Brother Enoch, realizing with a sick drop in his stomach that he might have lost his only chance of speaking in private to Jem again — ever. Enoch’s face was blank, his expression giving nothing away.

”That is not fair!” Will said. “I addressed you first —”

Peace, little Shadowhunter, said Brother Enoch. The bonds of parabatai are understood by the Brotherhood. After all, we bound you with them ourselves. You have our leave to speak to him, one last time, before he goes.

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