• #1 by Kate Baker on 10 Aug 2021
  • Oh, right--she wasn?óÔé¼Ôäót used to offering tea to people who weren?óÔé¼Ôäót aware it came iced stateside. In California, it was a beverage of choice; it was very rare for Californian coffee shops or anything of the type to carry hot tea. Maybe in the winters, but her first real introduction to hot tea culture had been in New England, and the English valued their tea even more than New Englanders.

    Kate smiled at her; it felt weird to smile, but what else was she supposed to do? ?óÔé¼?ôThanks, I just put it outside with the tea bag in for awhile and then I bring it in the house to chill. We call it sun tea on the west coast.?óÔé¼?Ø She added uselessly. Of course Cordelia didn?óÔé¼Ôäót care about all that: she was here for a purpose. A purpose that Kate had every intention of thwarting for as long as possible, barring tacky violence.

    She had to resist the urge to sneer suspiciously at Cordelia when she mentioned that the blame for their rocky start belonged to her. Kate agreed, it did, but beyond that, she wasn?óÔé¼Ôäót sure how genuine an admission it was. Could have been complete authentic vulnerability, for all she knew, but it also could?óÔé¼Ôäóve been a tactic to get Kate to let down her guard enough to get a toe in the door, which she wasn?óÔé¼Ôäót particularly interested in doing.

    Of course, she understood to an end that women had to be a lot more voracious in their work to achieve the same things or as quickly as men, and that journalism was a dog-eat-dog field much the same as music. All that considered, she empathized, but she needed to protect herself and her family (Charlie included) first.

    ?óÔé¼?ôUsually I haven?óÔé¼Ôäót been the face of my own success,?óÔé¼?Ø Kate waded in deeper, staying cautious as she made eye contact with Cordelia, ?óÔé¼?ôif you know what I mean.?óÔé¼?Ø She?óÔé¼Ôäód been behind a lot of the success of Banshee?óÔé¼Ôäós big tour, of the last album, of everything going exactly as planned--but almost no one outside of the industry had even known her name as a manager, just as Charlie?óÔé¼Ôäós wife. It was becoming doubtful she?óÔé¼Ôäód ever get away from that, but she couldn?óÔé¼Ôäót complain too much because on the other side of the coin she hadn?óÔé¼Ôäót made much effort--she?óÔé¼Ôäód just written an entire book essentially about him and their relationship.

    ?óÔé¼?ôI wasn?óÔé¼Ôäót expecting?óÔé¼?ª. The book to be this well-received. I?óÔé¼Ôäóm not ready for it to be out in the open yet.?óÔé¼?Ø

    Kate pressed her lips together and gripped the edge of the counter, starting to speak again with a more anxious edge, ?óÔé¼?ôI know you don?óÔé¼Ôäót owe me anything and I don?óÔé¼Ôäót expect you to listen to me, but if you have any decency, you?óÔé¼Ôäóll wait for awhile. I don?óÔé¼Ôäót blame someone in your position with this kind of information for wanting to use it, but please, just. Not right away.?óÔé¼?Ø
  • #2 by Kate Baker on 07 Apr 2021
  • Kate had taken the wards down at her home in California. After all, nobody was trying to get to just her, and if Layla or anyone else comparably crazy was out of Azkaban and still keeping up on the goings-on in Charlie?óÔé¼Ôäós life, they?óÔé¼Ôäód know the Bakers had been divorced for just about a year. Longer than they?óÔé¼Ôäód been married.

    Not longer than they?óÔé¼Ôäód been together, though. That saga started when she was fourteen--for her, only in her head, obviously--and was sort of?óÔé¼?ª still going. She?óÔé¼Ôäód seen him last month and then decided it might be best to take a long siesta in Rancho after the book release, both to bar herself from further temptation and to give herself space to--grieve?--after it came out. What better place to do that than the first home they?óÔé¼Ôäód owned together? The house in Maida Vale was special for different reasons, but this one had its own character and history. A decorated history of being an island away from everything and everyone else, mostly, and it retained that now.

    The letter she held between two shaking hands let her know it might?óÔé¼Ôäóve been a mistake to be too secure in her own safety, and in her own assertion that it was impossible anyone could be specifically interested in her life. Even so, Kate had written her poetry collection under another name, just for good measure and even more than that, it had been to keep her ex from knowing any damn thing about it. Maybe she would tell him someday, but not right now.

    She?óÔé¼Ôäód been little more than a meddlesome growth on Charlie?óÔé¼Ôäós side to paparazzi for years, and exactly nothing apart from an irritating barrier to others (people they knew personally, even), so it was surprising that Cordelia was willing to go off the beaten path to make Kate?óÔé¼Ôäós life worse than it already was. She sounded so spoiled, talking like that, but it would have been nice to have a few months of peace.

    There was a sinister undertone to Cordelia?óÔé¼Ôäós otherwise-friendly words, and she wondered how on earth she?óÔé¼Ôäód found anything out about the book. Maybe through;u=21128' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>@Edith Holthouse , but Kate wanted to believe that wouldn?óÔé¼Ôäót have been on purpose.

    After an allotted five minutes of sheer panic, Kate decided to keep the note successfully owled to her (no wards) as evidence, or collateral, if she needed either, and yanked the first piece of paper she could find out of her desk to scribble a reply back.


    Please don?óÔé¼Ôäót tell anybody about what you know. Why don?óÔé¼Ôäót you come over to my house in Rancho Santa Fe and we can discuss this.


    After her signature, Kate begrudgingly left her address and noticed how much more wobbly that penmanship was than the rest. Under normal circumstances, she would not be inviting Cordelia over to her--their--house, but this was sort of a code red situation and she needed to do some damage control, so it seemed like the lesser of two evils.

    Haphazardly putting some nondescript, middle of the road clothes on, Kate apparated to her parents?óÔé¼Ôäó house to use their owl, not bothering to tell them she was there because if they knew why they?óÔé¼Ôäód have a security field day. She was back at her markedly smaller (and cozier) house in the hills just a minute later, and undoubtedly, Cordelia would be making her very unwelcome appearance soon.

    Should she be nice? Vaguely threatening? Show her how important this was to her in hopes of instilling some kind of humanity response, or be totally-stony faced? Reality was, it probably didn?óÔé¼Ôäót matter; the only thing Kate was going to successfully communicate was her crippling anxiety and fear unless she developed a split personality in the next five minutes, so she?óÔé¼Ôäód probably roll with that.
  • #3 by Cordelia Leighton on 07 Apr 2021
  • Cordelia wanted to like Kate Baker. Had tried a number of times.

    Failing that, she wanted to at least tolerate Kate Baker. They had so many mutual friends in London, it seemed rude not to.

    Failing that, well, she wanted at least to get a story out of Kate Baker.

    It wasn't even a scandal or anything -- Kate was just publishing a book of poems. Lovely poems, though the pseudonym Dahlia Anthony felt a bit dull in Cordelia's mouth. Whether you were meant to pronounce the fricative or just a voiceless alveolar plosive, Anthony was simply not a poet's name. Dahlia alone would have worked. Stylized in lower case, like e e cummings, now that was a poet's name. dahlia. Surely Kate didn't want this work to be under Dahlia Anthony forever.

    Edith probably hadn't meant to let the news slip, but slip it had in the post-Ministry article glow of success. Cordelia had just filed that tidbit away, distracted as she was by the heady buzz of her work being talked about, then further distracted by the ominous letters filling her post and sending her fleeing first to Michael's place, then across the ocean on an extended Valentine's-and-birthday trip. Twenty-two wasn't a particularly important birthday, the excuse was flimsy, but Craig thought it would be good for her to wait for things to die down, anyway.

    She hadn't remembered Kate's authorial debut until the other day, wandering around some bookstalls with Michael and the title had caught her eye. Hadn't the divorc?â?®e moved back to California, anyway? That night, in their little rented cottage, Cordelia had fired off a quick note:

    [td style="width:500px"]
    Dearest Kate,

    I'm on holiday in California, reminded me of you! We should get tea if you happen to be free.

    By the by, picked up your collection. Congratulations! It's marvellous work, you have a gift. Do let me know if you'd ever like to reveal yourself -- I'd be delighted to cover the story of this poetry collection. I believe I do have a knack for sympathetic profiles, unlike some of my colleagues.

    Delighted for your success,

    Kate's response had been short as well, but in tight, trembling script. Cordelia had frowned to read it, noting the address at the bottom. It did not include an invitation for Michael, but then again, Cordelia hadn't mentioned her boyfriend in her note. It had been a quick reply, sent back nearly immediately as the owl flies, with no time mentioned for a rendezvous. She assumed that meant to come over now.

    About fifteen minutes later, Cordelia appears with a crack outside the house on the hill. She was dressed simply -- long but light chiffon skirt, tee-shirt and sandals, expecting a warmer summer in Southern California than she was actually getting. Her wand tucked into her crossbody purse, sticking out as it buffeted her notebook and quills inside. There was a doorbell -- she pressed it, twice, just in case she hadn't applied enough pressure the first time.
  • #4 by Kate Baker on 11 Apr 2021
  • Kate was too hasty to open the door; she flung it open almost violently the first half of its trajectory in toward the house and then slowed down for the second half, trying to maintain an air of general calm. She sized Cordelia up carefully, and her eye was immediately drawn to her?óÔé¼?ª acquaintance?óÔé¼Ôäós bag, stuffed taut with notebooks and quills. She wouldn?óÔé¼Ôäót be surprised if they were those stupid, blasted quick quotes quills. Kate remembered how many times she?óÔé¼Ôäód had to call the Daily Prophet to get stories written with those things removed.

    If she ever managed a famous band again, she wouldn?óÔé¼Ôäót be taking up the work of a publicist as well, like she had before. That could be someone else?óÔé¼Ôäós responsibility--but of course, with Banshee, there?óÔé¼Ôäód been a personal stake and a relevance to her own life that wouldn?óÔé¼Ôäót be present with anyone else. Her investment in Banshee?óÔé¼Ôäós success had, perhaps, been one of the main sources of tension in her relationship (besides the cheating) and something she would change, given the opportunity to?óÔé¼?ª try again.

    ?óÔé¼?ôCome on in,?óÔé¼?Ø Kate said, too hoarsely to be genuinely welcoming, and closed the door snugly behind them. Subtly, she reached down to flick the lock closed. She wanted to think better of Cordelia than fearing she might?óÔé¼Ôäóve brought backup, but right now, she couldn?óÔé¼Ôäót take any chances.

    ?óÔé¼?ôWould you like something to drink??óÔé¼?Ø She still had shoes on, so the shock of the cold floors on bare feet was absent, and that was a good thing, perhaps--minimizing the amount of things that could shock her in a single day. ?óÔé¼?ôI have coffee, iced tea, water, juice?óÔé¼?ª alcohol,?óÔé¼?Ø Kate?óÔé¼Ôäós slender fingers gestured loosely toward the beautiful glass-front cabinet just on the other side of the bar, up against the wall in the dining room. Where it had historically been stocked with whiskey and aged red wines, it housed a lot more tequila, liqueurs and rose these days.

    A stiff drink sounded great to her right now, but it would be colossally stupid to indulge, so she?óÔé¼Ôäód withhold those urges until after her visitor left, regardless of the outcome. Instead, she retrieved some iced tea from the refrigerator (yes, her home had Muggle appliances and she had no intention of replacing them) and sloshed it into a metal cup, drinking back deeply and pretending it was something else.
  • #5 by Cordelia Leighton on 10 May 2021
  • Kate seemed frazzled when she opened the door, the wood whipping air into Cordelia's hair. "Hello, Kate," Cordy said brightly. Kate's invitation was less bright, more choked. Huh. Okay, then. Cordelia's hand drifted over her wand -- no, this was just friendly, she was fine, this was fine.

    As she entered the house, Kate locked the door behind her with a very soft click. Cordelia frowned briefly, wiping it away before Kate could see. That wasn't very friendly. The last time she had been locked in a room with a Baker... Cordelia pushed her encounter with Charlie out of her mind. It didn't seem good to dwell on the man more than was necessary. And surely some dwelling would be necessary, given the subjects of Kate's poems.

    But, while she was comparing -- Charlie hadn't tried to be subtle about locking the door. Kate did, not accounting enough for the observational skills of a DA member turned reporter. Neither of them seemed to consider how stressful a locked door could be to a person, because neither of them had ever been locked in a dungeon overnight to be tortured. A simple, understandable, yet deeply horrific oversight in Cordelia's opinion.

    Cordelia considered asking Kate to unlock it. Decided against it, instead noting with care every window she could see and whether there was any Floo powder in sight. She wasn't sure how powerful a witch Kate was, but she hoped this wouldn't come to that. Just because Kate hadn't survived the Battle of Hogwarts didn't mean she was weak. Just less traumatized, Cordelia supposed.

    Kate paused for too long before mentioning alcohol, which was a little... maybe not concerning, but certainly didn't set Cordelia at ease. "Whatever you're having would be lovely, thank you," she settled on saying, hoping that Kate was having something a little bit more grown up than juice. Cordelia certainly had juice at home, but that was almost exclusively for mixing or for hangovers.

    Kate slung her iced tea back -- Cordelia waited patiently for her hostess to serve her before speaking. "I do hope you know my offer wasn't meant to pressure you," she began, trying to keep her voice gentle. "I'm very sorry to cause any distress."
  • #6 by Kate Baker on 25 May 2021
  • ?óÔé¼?ôSure,?óÔé¼?Ø Kate managed, willing the tremor in her voice to make a disappearance just as quickly as it had appeared, ?óÔé¼?ôI?óÔé¼Ôäóm having iced tea but I?óÔé¼Ôäóm happy to make you something else, if that?óÔé¼Ôäós your preference.?óÔé¼?Ø Even for people with malintent, Kate was a polite, attentive, pleasant hostess. Her family had instilled that useless value in her, after all, having grown up in a Mexican family it was sort of a cultural necessity. She couldn?óÔé¼Ôäót count the amount of times she?óÔé¼Ôäód had to serve rude, misogynistic or overstepping family members with a smile on her face.

    This situation was a little unique, though, because it was her career and her livelihood on the line, it wasn?óÔé¼Ôäót about a possibility of a spat with another family member within the comforts of her own home. It was really difficult to know how to proceed in this instance with grace and, more importantly, success.

    Kate poured the tea when she felt she?óÔé¼Ôäód waited an appropriate amount of time for a different answer and carefully slid the cup, sweating, over the countertop to her ?óÔé¼?ôguest?óÔé¼?Ø across from her. ?óÔé¼?ôHave as much as you like, I brew this myself so there?óÔé¼Ôäós plenty more.?óÔé¼?Ø

    She was considering having another glass herself, but she stopped in her tracks, fingers frozen inches from the pitcher, listening to Cordelia speak. If she hadn?óÔé¼Ôäót meant to cause any distress, what was with the vaguely threatening letter(complete with creepy fake-nice tone)? Kate didn?óÔé¼Ôäót buy it for a second. She had worked in this business too long and had known too many reporters to take that phony line in stride.

    ?óÔé¼?ôI just, uh,?óÔé¼?Ø Kate began, considering whether or not to return the phony-ness in equal measure or to be candid with her. ?óÔé¼?ôI know we haven?óÔé¼Ôäót really gotten along in the past, what with my?óÔé¼?ª refusing to tell you anything about my marriage ending,?óÔé¼?Ø Kate tried to keep her tone even, ?óÔé¼?ôSo your letter was a bit startling. I wasn?óÔé¼Ôäót aware that you even knew anything. You?óÔé¼Ôäóre not supposed to.?óÔé¼?Ø She thought she might tell her that almost no one was supposed to know anything, but thought better of it--that might make the compulsion to publish something about this even worse for her acquaintance.
  • #7 by Cordelia Leighton on 02 Jun 2021
  • "Iced tea sounds lovely, thank you," Cordelia said graciously, giving Kate a smile that didn't reach her eyes. She had never had the beverage, though it was on the menu at Frida's back home. Iced tea sounded like an affront to the concept of tea, actually, but Cordelia was trying to be ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ how did the Californians put it, chill. Easy going. Not a threat. One never wanted their subjects to feel threatened in an interview, even if it wasn't an interview. Cordelia set her bag on a clear surface, making sure the space between Cordelia and her wand and supplies was obvious to the other woman.

    Cordelia took a small sip ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ it was cold, and sweet, and took her generally by surprise. Her eyes widened for a moment before making a decision ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ "I certainly will - it's delicious." It was the first unguarded, unprepared thing that Cordelia had said so far.

    Hopefully it was enough to put Kate a little more at ease ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ ah, no. Kate's fingers froze, ghosting over the pitcher handle. The other woman was on a hairpin trigger, it seemed. One wrong breath would bowl her over. Cordelia's smile faltered.

    Kate mentioned their issues getting on, and Cordelia nodded. There was no point in denying it, though Cordelia felt that the animosity was rather one-sided. They hadn't anything in common beyond their friends, and perhaps Cordelia's roguish insistence on the divorce scoop had been a bit too much. Blame the profession, not her. Anyone in a journalist's circle was likely to be a subject.

    Cordelia pressed her lips together. "I should take the blame for our rocky start, then." Cordelia wasn't a liar, nor particularly naturally manipulative (she had been in Hufflepuff, for Merlin's sake) but every true statement here was measured. It was more like -- conflict resolution. Trying to temper tempers between two parties, soften Kate towards her. "I was overeager, overstepped where we were. Apologies."

    Wasn't supposed to know, Kate said, and Cordelia actually frowned. "I can promise you I wasn't snooping ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ I found out quite by happenstance." She wasn't ready to out Edith as her source, but surely her friend would understand if it happened. "I had quite forgotten until I was in the bookshop. I thought you might like some celebration of the launch, hush-hush as it is." She spread her hands as if to say that's all, that's all I meant.
  • #8 by Cordelia Leighton on 15 Mar 2023
  • ((confused? read here for things in Order))

    Kate smiled. Cordelia smiled too, her cheeks twitching with the effort. In between the two women, a chasm of understanding continued to widen, the rickety bridge strung across it taut and strained.

    She left Kate to babble on about tea -- that sounded unsanitary, but Cordelia was resilient -- and set her glass down. The conversation ticked onward. Her arms, still spread wide, dropped slowly back to her sides as Kate continued, the smile fading as the American woman continued. When their eyes met Cordelia nodded, to show she was still listening, but otherwise offered nothing else to interrupt Kate's thoughts.

    Did she know what Kate meant? No -- there were no men taking credit for her work, which is what Kate must be alluding to, in Cordelia's life. There were men controlling the work she could do in the first place. There were men sidelining her even after she had demonstrated her ability. There were men profiting, sure, from the work she had done with no increase in her salary. But every success she had was fully in her name. Cordelia struggled to see how they had even come to be here in this house -- was Kate so shamed of her name that she would not be seen to use it?

    Cordelia nodded along anyway, her face now showing a careful constructed concern that could be mistaken easily for empathy with the other woman's situation.

    It struck her, suddenly, how afraid Kate was of her, here, the power her quill carried. Her ex hadn't been nearly so concerned, at first. Each locked her inside with them on their own terrain, and yet. And yet. A shiver ran up her spine, a thrum of power unconnected to any magical ability suddenly deafening in her ears.

    "Oh, Kate," she began again, schooling her face into concern. "Truly I had only hoped to féte you, if you wanted to be féted. I had not realized your circumstances. I cannot say I understand your desires, but I am not the expert of your experiences." Cordelia paused, sipped at the iced tea again (marvelously delicious!) and watched Kate's reaction. "I am more than happy to wait, or leave you perpetually anonymous. I simply do not fully understand why you wouldn't want the world to know that you made this beautiful art." She arched one full eyebrow. "If it is about the likely subject of the collection -- these poems are timeless. Celebrity is not."
  • #9 by Kate Baker on 17 Mar 2023
  • Didn’t reporters ever understand how transparent they could be? Kate’s youth tricked people into believing she wasn’t perceptive, or that she didn’t know when somebody was trying to harm her, or that she wasn’t at full capacity, yet, to make rational decisions. Over time, she’d grown to resent all of that. Hadn’t she shown people through her work and her persistence that she was capable and smart?

    Cordelia wasn’t starting off great, because feigned concern almost always translated into pitying condescension. Her eyebrows twitched into a frown and her eyelids flickered. She still didn’t want her name attached to this book, because she hadn’t released it to change her own life. The book had already changed her life just by being written, and now it had the potential to change others’.

    Kate valued the process of art much more than its monetary success–after all, what she’d been going through at the time had shaped it, the feelings that were linked to poems that were intrinsically tied to the moments in which they were written–all of that made out of eden what it was. It had never been a means to an end, never a vehicle to achieve empty fame–any recognition by critics was a happy coincidence. The poems had existed in her journal before she’d ever compiled them into something marketable. Some hadn’t made it in at all. Some had to include his name because they wouldn’t be right without it. Those poems, scribbled only once, remained in their singularity.

    She’d already experienced the bad side of fame–her home being broken into in the middle of the night, fearing for her life, being followed down the street, losing friends–and she could predict, with strong probability, what would happen to her if this went public. Kate knew the wards around this place would have to go up again, she’d have to curl right up like a hermit crab, tell no one anything–she was going to start getting hate mail from Banshee fans in the post. If people discovered her, there was no one else she could be talking about in the book–and as if Cordelia could read her mind, as if she’d drawn out the steps of this gigantic manipulation time and time again, as if she was expecting this to work on Kate–

    Like clockwork–she brought up Charlie. Not in name, but she insinuated. That was to get Kate to assume Cordelia knew who the subject of the book was already, so that Kate would mention him explicitly herself. She wasn’t going to do that; she refused to confirm this woman’s suspicions, even if they were right.

    “I’m not sure I know exactly what you’re talking about, Cordelia,” Kate said breezily, her tone falling uncharacteristically flat in comparison to her usual sparkling timbre. “I don’t want people to know because there’s no reason for them to know. I am not interested in fame.” She stood still.
  • #10 by Cordelia Leighton on 19 Mar 2023
  • Cordelia had only gotten a handful of pages into the little book of poetry before firing off the note to Kate, continued reading until the reply came. She had thought at the time that they were lovely little things, deliberately evoking the familiarity of a diary in the way they were constructed, depositing the reader into a specific mindset with no bearing because surely, diary, you know where I have been.  She was wondering, now, if the multiple variations on a theme had not be the careful explorations of love she had assumed they'd be, when she heard about this book before, and something more.... mundane in their construction.

    That surely would be a reason to hide -- perhaps the illusion of artistry would falter for others as it was faltering for Cordelia now, if they knew who wrote it, and who about.

    Her opinion of Kate Baker, though never particularly high but not terrible, either, was souring through this whole encounter -- as terribly as Kate had taken the initial note, Cordelia had been nothing but genuine in anything she had written or said. The only lie spoken had been true when she said it, even; I am more than happy to wait.

    "Ah, of course." Cordelia took a sip of tea and let her eyes flutter closed, both in enjoyment of her drink and to feel out the magic of the house, looking for the telltale scaffoldings of wards visible on the inside of her eyelids when she was within them. There was no reason to linger -- both women had made themselves abundantly clear. "I apologize for the misunderstanding. Congratulations, again, on the reception." She set her glass down and drifted back to her purse, the wand sticking so obviously out of it.

    She took her wand in hand for Apparition and turned back to Kate. "If you change your mind..." Her empty hand turned gracefully palm up, to accentuate that Kate knew exactly where to find her, and that they both knew she would not. Maybe, Cordelia hoped, faintly, Kate would change her mind and this would not also be a lie -- "I will of course not tell a soul. Have a lovely afternoon, Kate."

  • #11 by Kate Baker on 24 Mar 2023
  • Hypervigilance was buzzing uncomfortably underneath Kate’s skin and there was nothing she wanted more than to be alone. She wasn’t the shy wallflower she used to be, not in every respect, anyway–and this interaction was truly more uncomfortable than anything she’d experienced in a long time. Cordelia’s piercing assessments, her laden words, her calculated movements, all these things made Kate feel like she was under a cursed microscope.

    The other woman was apologizing now for the way she’d acted. Kate’s face barely moved and she swallowed, tensing her jaw slightly as she listened to Cordelia’s spiel. In retrospect, she understood that responding to Cordelia’s note to begin with had been a huge mistake, and that things were pretty well beyond any kind of “reasonable doubt” now.

    Kate was sure, underneath it all–the pretend obliviousness and the novel curiosity–that Cordelia already had what she needed to run the story. Someone, whom she’d mistakenly trusted–again–had told her. She’d simply been giving Kate the opportunity to get ahead of it, add her own twist, whatever kind of sick spin she was going to put on it.

    Despite this private admission, Kate remained quietly stubborn and nodded once as her unwelcome guest announced her departure. She’d noticed the door was locked, then, earlier. She could understand.

    “Travel safely,” Kate told Cordelia calmly.

    The wards were going to have to go back up.