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Day 60 - The Life and Times of Zachary Zatara [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
The Zatara Diaries

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Day 60 [Feb. 15th, 2009|11:59 pm]
The Zatara Diaries


[Current Location |Gotham City]
[Current Mood |surprisedsurprised]
[Current Music |Vampire Forest Fire: Arcade Fire]

1:12 PM I was up literally all night researching. This must be what grad school feels like all the time. I mean, I would assume. I kind of have more important things to do right now than get my master’s degree. Even if I wanted to, I’m seventeen. I don’t even have a diploma. Do they give you a diploma in bus school? Although I don’t actually have a tutor. My parents seem to think I do, though, and that’s what’s important. Eddie doesn’t really go to school either. Neither does the Martian girl, unless I am mistaken, or Miss lookit-Zat-she’s-replacing-you Thirteen. I only hope they don’t try and start some sort of book club or equivalent peer group activity. I have enough reading to do on my own, here. As in, I now know more than I ever thought I would about Sumerian binding charms. This will come in handy if I am ever in a situation where I cannot so much as whisper but am nonetheless able to scratch out designs on the ground with some chalk. Or possibly on a clay tablet. Yes, I know, I have indeed been in a situation like that. Yes, Zatanna, I realize this sort of thing happens all the time. Also, stop reading this. You know how I feel about this, Zatanna. Remember all the ink on your face? Anyway. God, I’d almost forgotten about New Azarath. Someday I will take Eddie on a vacation where we will not be menaced by Phantasm. We will have smoothies. It will be wonderful.

2:01 PM Magic circles: protection when conjuring demons. Ask it to appear in “fair form” or it will be a monster of Lovecraftian proportions and you will go insane and what have you. Always have holy water just in case, and salt. Find incense of summoning (right next to bag of holding. Why must these things always sound so ridiculous?), magic knife. Blood is helpful but not necessary, especially if you have magic powers (hooray). Do not leave loopholes when asking it to do stuff! Find lawyer to go over it beforehand. Incantations not necessary, just talk backwards—tools and so forth will amplify magic. Thank you, demon-hunting 101. Summoning, rather. This stuff…really isn’t as helpful as I had hoped. I don’t know what I was expecting, though. Yes, it will come in handy, but I don’t see how this could make me more powerful. I might as well take some more notes, but I suppose I’d better try and track down Zatanna for some magic lessons. Oh God. That will be fun and not at all humiliating. If you are reading this, Zatanna, please return to this plane of existence. And stop reading my journal.

2:09 PM Elves are serious business and may try to kill you if they are part of the wrong court (usually Unseelie) or just generally evil. Some of the good ones are helpful but whimsical and moody, and can get angry with you for no good reason. Always have protection when dealing with them, but you can’t get into Faerie if you have it with you, but definitely bring it if you’re going to try to summon one. Protections include: iron (duh), rowan wood, salt in one pocket and bread in another, wearing your clothes inside out (so they can’t see you, apparently), leaving milk out for them (this can also work as summoning, if you’re lucky), and you can see through their glamour if you look through a stone with a hole in it or if you put dew from foxgloves on your eyes. They aren’t like demons and so there aren’t a lot of spells for summoning them, but some of them like to watch Earth and can cross over if they really want to (almost always solitary fairies, but there have been rumors of one or two court fairies being here still). They have lived in another dimension (Faerie) for a few centuries at least, people think, but some of their relatives lived on a separate planet and are still in this universe (Queen of Fables, apparently) somewhere. Those are very very dangerous and should not be brought over here, but someone (Zatanna, I think, it looks like her handwriting) wrote in the margins that their new queen is a good guy. Glamour is illusion (usually disguising you or somebody else), but really powerful. You can only remove your own glamour. I think only fairies can cast it—nothing in here about how to do it yourself. You can get a fairy to do anything by using its real name. They can’t come in unless they’re invited (neither can vampires). Do any of these books have any actual spells in them? I’m going to check.

2:14 PM I have been looking in the cryptozoology shelf. It is right next to the ancient sigil shelf, which I had been looking through last night. Right next to the fairy book was a book on griffins. Who writes an entire book on griffins? They are not that exciting. There was also a whole book on unicorns. While unicorns are probably more interesting than griffins, writing a book on unicorns would mean studying unicorns, which would mean remaining a virgin long enough to get enough material for an entire book. It’s not even “Oh, I’m a virgin, I might as well go look at these unicorns,” it is purposefully not having sex in order to research sparkly horses with horns on their heads. It is choosing unicorns over sex. Horrible. Also, penanggalans are terrifying. And some vampires drink spinal fluid. Now I’m going to have to spend the next four or five hours looking through this whole library for some actual spellbooks. Has Zatanna never heard of card catalogues? Or even the Dewey Decimal system? There must be a better way of doing this. Perhaps there’s a magic librarian-servant-type-thing.

2:17 PM I should probably copy down those Sumerian binding charms, shouldn’t I? Time to get out the old reed stylus and brush up on my cuneiform. I might as well practice them, since I’d have to be writing them in the first place. I wouldn’t want to use the wrong character and end up with a fish in my pants.

6:19 PM Magic Librarian-Thing came through for me, of course. I’m not sure why they put her in a wheelchair, though. A little odd. She helped me pick out the most useful ones, which was nice. Most of them had variants in modern English listed, fortunately, as I have no idea how to go about pronouncing things in Latin or what have you. One of the spells was in Aramaic! The translations are a little flowery, which I am chalking up to those Victorian magicians who spent all their time at séances trying to contact Lord Byron and their dead grandmothers. They still work, though. I’m going to copy out my favorite ones here for reference.

Chalybeate’s Locator
Draw a square and divide it into four equal parts. Write the person’s name in each part. Hold some sort of compass and recite incantation.

East and South,
North and West,
I ask thee now at thy behest
Grant me this my sole request
And show me where she be.
I call upon thee,
Spirits four,
By candle, bone, and book and door
In payment for thy deeds of yore
To show me where she be.

Alector’s Haven
Will transport you to this weird dimension that looks like an old abandoned house. Just say the spell, and it will work as long as you have one of those coins in the picture. You can take other people if you have more coins.

Here is a traveler in want of a bed
With coin enough for ale and bread

Dashcutter’s Revive
This is dangerous! Do not use with another person (or animal. Conjure up a plant, first). Will drain them of energy and give it to you. Also good for building up excess of power for one really big spell. First, draw a circle around you and the plant. Cut open the stem a little bit so some plant juice leaks out and dab the plant juice on your chest over your heart. This is much more powerful if you use a person or animal, but if you say it backwards it works just as well.

Give unto me that which, in keeping, would have you thrive
Give unto me that which, in losing, would have you silenced
Give unto me that which, in gaining, would have me prosper
This I command you, in the name of he whom you fear
This I command you, in the name of that which he has written
This I command you, in the name of the thousand hells that make his home

10:34 PM Eddie called. He was upset I hadn’t called him. Oh, Eddie. Apparently I told him I’d call as soon as I got here, which must’ve slipped my mind. He was a little worried, though he tried to hide it. I can see right through you, Eddie. Especially when you try and turn it into a joke. Have you tried that on Jaime yet? Does he call you out on it like I do, or does he just not notice? Someone really needs to tell you when you’re being ridiculous, Eddie. I am willing to make that sacrifice. Because you’re my friend, Eddie. And because I want to get in your pants. Can you blame me? Actually, you probably can, because you have the self-esteem of a fourteen-year-old girl with a skin disease and rubber bands on her braces. Honestly, Eddie. You need to man up. You’re lucky you’re hot, and that you’re funny most of the time, and can be quite intelligent when you put your mind to it, and a fun guy to have at a party, or people would feel uncomfortable around you. God, I’m hungry. When was the last time I ate something? Did I even have lunch? I have got to get out of this library. I’ll copy out some more spells tomorrow.

10:53 PM Much better. I feel exhausted, and I’m not sure why. I slept plenty last night, and all I’ve been doing is sitting in the library and reading all day. Huh. There’s a weird sound coming from the basement. I kind of want to see what it is, but I am quite comfortable in this chair. Although it may be something useful. Or nasty. Interesting, at the very least. I’m going to go look.

11:00 PM ZATANNA HAS A TIGER IN HER BASEMENT. A fucking tiger! It looks like a fucking habitat down there. Like at a zoo. A huge white tiger walking around in the basement, with a sort of pond and all these plants, and it’s fucking hot down there. Are you even allowed to have a tiger in your basement? More importantly, why does she have a tiger in her basement? I—this is ridiculous! A tiger! I can’t deal with this. I’m going to bed.

[User Picture]From: fullmetal_cute
2009-02-16 06:13 am (UTC)
Sounds like Zat needs to take more regular breaks from reading. Maybe he should go play with the tiger a bit. I'm sure it won't maul him... too badly.
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[User Picture]From: xlineartx
2009-02-16 06:20 am (UTC)
He would, except he's still not as powerful as he knows he could be and there are all these books and John wouldn't go play with the tiger and what if he gets brainwashed again?
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[User Picture]From: fullmetal_cute
2009-02-16 07:01 am (UTC)
True. John would blow pot smoke at the tiger and watch what happened next.
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[User Picture]From: xlineartx
2009-02-16 08:03 am (UTC)
Zatara, not Constantine. Oh, God, if Constantine was in that house? Actually, he would probably spend just as much time as Zachary in the library, only he wouldn't take notes and would probably use an ancient and powerful artifact as an ashtray. But he would also drink all their wine and accidentally-on-purpose pocket a few talismans, which he would feel terrible about (but not bad enough to actually return), and then he'd nose around in Zatanna's old room and find her old diaries from when she was a teenager.

Tommy was a total jerk today about my tights. One of these days I will have to turn him into a lizard.

Bruce and Selina are so cute together! It's good to see him not just pretending to be happy.

Harvey tried to ask me to prom, but Bruce scared him off. Oh, Bruce.

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[User Picture]From: fullmetal_cute
2009-02-16 03:01 pm (UTC)
*facepalm* Should have known that was the one you were talking about. This is what I get for reviewing at "You should have been in bed 3 hours ago" o'clock.
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[User Picture]From: elenorasweet
2009-02-16 01:45 pm (UTC)
I wasn't expecting the last one, lol!! Those spells look super neat! Did you write them, or are they from some other work, and if so, where'd you get them? :3 I am dead curious!

"choosing unicorns over sex" ... <__<, *owns a book on unicorns* At least mine is fiction... Which means the author probably didn't need to abstain from sex?
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[User Picture]From: xlineartx
2009-02-16 06:18 pm (UTC)
Wrote them. I looked through Hellblazer at first, but Constantine kind of just waves some things around and shouts "Come and get me, you bastards!" which is probably not the correct terminology.
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[User Picture]From: elenorasweet
2009-02-17 12:25 am (UTC)
*giggle* It's what the spells would sound like without the flourishes. Oh, those silly victorians!

You're very good at writing flowery prose in short verses. I like them.
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[User Picture]From: xlineartx
2009-02-17 03:33 am (UTC)
Thanks! Yeah, at some point, most magicians were like Constantine, but then it all started getting orderly and elaborate and now very few of them know how to do it without all the frills and whatnot.
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[User Picture]From: elenorasweet
2009-02-17 04:03 am (UTC)
Truly a lost art, which many of our heroes should set about recovering.

Namely, Zat and Tracy, IMO.
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[User Picture]From: shiny_glor_chan
2009-02-18 01:46 am (UTC)
ROAR! Tiger. That was so amusing. Tiger thing was totally unexpected. <3
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[User Picture]From: xlineartx
2009-02-18 03:46 am (UTC)
It's DCAU canon, actually. There's an episode of Gotham Girls where someone kidnaps Zee's tiger and Selina has to steal it back. This, of course, was too awesome not to use.
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[User Picture]From: touch_of_grey37
2009-02-25 02:44 am (UTC)
God, smoothies are really wonderful, but it's way too cold out to mix an icy drink. Good to see that z_d is being updated again, and sorry if I was late to the party. My internet has been wonky for the last week.
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[User Picture]From: xlineartx
2009-02-26 02:41 pm (UTC)
It's still fall-ish at this point, even with the time skip, so Zach isn't quite that crazy for wanting a smoothie.

The next page is underway! It features the infamous bunnies.
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[User Picture]From: touch_of_grey37
2009-02-26 06:14 pm (UTC)
OMG the bunnies! But it's very cold (for me, at least) where I am right now. Lower 60's!
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