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Tarquin Fox-Reynolds
Not used to seeing you
Fri Jul 27, 2018 21:26

The library was, more or less, how he had left it. At the end of last term, he had packed up the few personal effects from his office, and taken the McLeod Foundation pamphlets off the library desk before going home for the summer because it seemed strange to leave his personal items behind, even though he fully expected he would be returning, and because the pamphlets seemed small enough that they might go walkabouts or be assumed, by an overly efficient prairie elf, to be trash (although elves, as a rule, tended not to take risks, and he trusted the ones that were given library duty to take a particularly cautious view of throwing out anything with written words on it). Now that it was the new term, he reversed this process. His office once again contained his mug with the Oscar Wilde quotation on it (‘With freedom, books, flowers and the moon, who could not be happy?’), a packet of Earl Grey tea, and the photos of his family. Out on the main, public desk of the library, he had replaced the pamphlets. Kir’s poster was still in place from last year, and still advised to see either the Teppenpaw boy or the librarian for help if you were questioning your sexuality. A tap of Tarquin’s wand had updated Kir’s information to read that he was now a fifth year but beyond that the poster remained unchanged. He had pinned a fresh sign up for library monitors next to this on the notice board.

He was just considering whether this was enough work to justify stopping for a cup of tea, when an actual student walked in. And not one he really knew well. The second year- no, it was September, that lot were third years now, gosh…. Anyway, the boy was a member of the D&D group, for which Tarquin had some sort of tangential responsibility, but only really in case it turned out a grown up had to approve them meeting as a club. He was pretty sure one didn’t but was willing to give that approval if needed. D&D accounted, he was pretty sure, for the majority of this boy’s visits to the library. Therefore, unless they were using the time before the feast to play, Tarquin was rather surprised that this boy should be here now.

“We have some comic books, yes. There are a small number in the Muggle Studies collection,” he took a small scrap of parchment from the desk, jotting down the shelf numbers, “And then there are wizarding ones after the end of modern wizarding literature.

“Veela… Let’s look it up,” he advised. He had dealt with the comic book enquiry first not only because it had been asked first but to give him a little time to think over the ethics of the second enquiry. He knew exactly why Parker was asking. Tarquin had been partially on Cleo watch during the ball. This was the person she had gone with. He did not know much about their relationship beyond that. Whether they were friends or more. Whether he knew… In some ways that made this tricky. Tarquin could not imagine it was a nice feeling, should Cleo ever find out, to know that her best friend had researched her. Ought he to say something? Try to… discuss the more personal side of this issue? But talking to students about personal problems had never been his strong suit, and he didn’t know Parker very well. Also, what useful advice could he possibly have? He was scarcely known for his people skills, and this situation… He had absolutely zero insight. He also didn’t know how much Parker knew. Tarquin did not want to be the one to accidentally confirm Cleo’s non-human status with a poorly judged comment. Selina had requested they keep that to themselves. She had not requested the censoring of the library’s resources on it, nor the restricting of any student’s access to said resources, although she had checked out all of the relevant books herself last year to assess their suitability. He did not want to get involved in Parker’s personal life, and so decided to just neutrally guide him to the books. Seeing as he had ready access to them with or without Tarquin’s help, and would have found them by himself had he just been a bit more certain of how to use the library, Tarquin did not feel that doing so was any kind of ethical problem.

He led Parker over to the card catalogue, a cabinet of twenty six small drawers. He tapped it with his wand, requesting ‘by subject.’ A small sign at the top spun to reflect this selection and he pulled open the ‘V’ drawer. As an adult and a librarian, he could easily have simply named ‘veela’ whilst focussing on the idea of organisation by subject, or at the very least used magic to pull out the card having opened the drawer. But when students were present, he preferred to operate the card catalogue in the way that they had been instructed to. It would respond to a tap and a request to arrange itself by subject, title or author, after which each of the alphabetically labelled drawers would have the correct cards when opened. Which they could search for manually, using their knowledge of the alphabet. The card catalogue, obliging as it was to reshape its entire being at a moment’s notice, was understandably temperamental. Beyond tapping it for the right subject, which was perfectly safe, misdirected swishes and flicks, or a lack of proper concentration could cause it to start hemorrhaging cards at an alarming rate. He therefore did not want to encourage students to try speeding up or shortcutting their searches. He plucked out the card for ‘Veela.’

“There aren’t too many books specifically on them. If these don’t answer your questions, I’d suggest more general defence books within the creature section, especially anything to do with Europe, specifically Eastern Europe. As to which of these is the best,” he scanned the card in his hand, “Depends what you want to know. What veela are like… How to spot them. How to defend yourself,” he disliked how close to rather personal and non-theoretical territory these questions were heading. “Though there’s only three titles on veela, specifically… I suppose you could have a look at all of them and decide for yourself. Let me copy this for you,” he added, again hand writing the book references onto the list he had already made for Parker, where he could simply have used magic to copy the card. Students were not permitted to remove cards from the vicinity of the card catalogue. They were charmed to fly back if they were removed, but that didn’t help if thoughtless people absentmindedly put them inside books, or in their bags, and so it was safer to discourage anything that might see them going missing.

“Here you go,” he held out the list to Parker.

OOC - sorry, didn’t come up with an organisation system this time ;-) I assume that first years would be given a brief introduction to the library and how to find things, though of course, asking for help would still be totally valid because it is big and confusing

  • Not used to being here this earlyParker Fitzgerald, Mon Jul 23 11:57
    Parker walked into the library and looked around. This is not the first place he'd assume he'd go at the beginning of the term, but here he was. Inside, instead of outside in the sunshine. He did... more
    • Not used to seeing you — Tarquin Fox-Reynolds, Fri Jul 27 21:26
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