One for the Books
Chapter 1: Well Liked
# 00356 L
No one, and I mean no one, likes a real librarian.
I don't mean your cute blushing bookworm stereotype either. I'm talking about an honest, true blue librarian; the kind that lives, breathes and eats organization. The ones that can't tolerate the corner bending of pages, the eating of food near the sacred books or any sort of rips, tears or mistreatment towards their all precious tomes. The kind that knows where everything is in their library, won't allow it any other way, supervises and shushes. The ones that will actually do the work they are paid to do.
No one likes the real librarians. They all want shy cute girls or boys they can push around and fantasize about dominating. As if any real librarian would allow sex in their library, it would cause a horrific mess. And set a bad example, a library is not a brothel. It is a haven of knowledge.
This common distain is a simple truth I learned early on in my career. Real librarians are always stuck up, uptight, anal, prudes who never let anyone do anything. Everyone hates them.
And that suits me just fine.
"Do you know what you could have done?!" The tall man spat out the words as he glared at the little brats, "That area is restricted for a reason!"
Kale seethed with rage at the fools. They had, using an invisibility charm no doubt bought from a low level charmer, snuck into the restricted section of the library by latching onto, what Kale hoped, was an unsuspecting teacher. A student in the restricted section was not allowed, and more importantly it was not safe. The restricted section of the library held books not just dangerous in the hands of the wrong person, but books that were dangerous all on their own. Books that were cursed, warded, bewitched or much, much worse.
If the little snots had gone and gotten themselves hurt or worse it would have ended up all in his head. The librarian wouldn't just get fired for being a horrible librarian, but he would be responsible by law. He was not suited to a prison setting of any sort and he definitely didn't want exile.
He made a mental note to have a talk with the teachers about being more attentive entering the restricted section. Particularly after hours.
The two students he had dragged out didn't seem to be particularly repentant. They had just gone in and started flipping through books for a cheap thrill. Thankfully one of the nicer books had seen fit to inform him about the unwanted presence.
There was a boy, all black hair and long limbs and a girl with, what was clearly less than natural, bubblegum pink hair. The two stood in front of the library's front desk as he lectured them.
The short girl sneered at him before responding, "If you can handle whatever is in there, I think I can." The boy and girl smiled briefly at each other, clearly thinking the librarian had missed the insult. Which he most certainly had not.
"No, you cannot." Kale pushed up his blue rimmed glasses, which always seemed to be falling down his face no matter how many times he righted them, "I know exactly what these shelves and volumes hold. You, on the other hand, couldn't tell a flesh eating book from the Princess and the god damned Pea. And trust me; we have our fair share of flesh eating books, all too happy to devour a pair of inept students who don't know where they belong."
The boy looked a little more uncomfortable at this, pale features twisting slightly. He obviously was unsure if the librarian was lying. The girl clearly wasn't as fazed, casually flicking back strands of obviously magiced hair. "Like I said, if you can deal with them, I should have no problem. Hack." The two students exchanged grins once more.
The silver haired librarian drew himself up to his full height, well above the students, and pushed up his half moon glasses again. She really had nerve to call him by that slur to his face. "Alright. We'll have it your way." His voice went cold and he noticed with a slight amount of satisfaction that the girl suddenly didn't look quite as smug, "I had thought that a warning might suffice, but you both have very clearly shown me that you have no remorse for sneaking in the restricted section of the library and I do not doubt that you would attempt to do so again. Therefore, for your own safety, I am banning you both from entering the school library for the next two weeks. And I will be informing the Headmaster. I'm sure you will believe him, if not me, when he tells you there are good reasons why the restricted section is teachers only."
The boy and girl stared at him shock. A ban from the library so close to exams and final projects was an extremely nasty punishment for any student. The boy ventured to speak, "I-I didn't want to, it was all her idea."
The pink haired student whipped around to look at her friend, "What the fuck, Simon? You said we in this together! You're letting this No-Talent Hack order you around?"
Simon stared straight ahead at the librarian, steadfastedly ignoring his friend, "You can't keep me out of the library! I have assignments! I have to finish them or I won't be able to keep up my grades. I need to study for exams," He floundered for the words for a moment before continuing, "And you can't tell the Headmaster! If you tell him it'll be on the record!"
"You're giving me up for fucking grades?" The girl glared him, "You're putting a Magicless Con Artist over me?"
Kale frowned at the insults. He was not in the mood for this. As if he didn't get called those things enough when people thought he wasn't listening, "And if you don't stop throwing insults at me I'll also be forced to inform the Headmaster of a disturbing prejudice growing among the students towards the Magicless. It's a very hot topic at the moment and I'm thinking he'll take some drastic actions to discourage it, perhaps calling your parents."
The girl paled and Kale found himself suppressing a smile. A few days ago Kale had heard the girl discussing loudly how her parents were getting 'more bitchy' and were going to stop giving her allowance and signing for her to go on the school approved trips if she didn't stop getting into trouble.
The librarian raised his light eyebrows and leaned forwards toward the kids, "Well? Do you two have anything else you would like to say before I send you back to your dorms?"
The boy looked at the floor, "If I do volunteer work could I just get a week?"
Kale pushed up the glasses slowly, "We'll see. I'll mention it to the Headmaster. And you, miss?"
The girl looked unsure before that sour look washed over her face again, "Yeah, I do have something to say. Just because you act like you have a stick up your ass, doesn't mean you'll ever be a tenth as good as we are." She gave him a tight lipped, rebellious sneer, "Come on, Simon. Let's go back to our dorms and leave the useless bookworm to his all precious filing."
Kale, never one to loose his composure, said nothing as the girl dragged her dark haired friend out of the library. When their presence was gone he thumped down into his chair behind his desk and sighed.
This would not be fun.
Although Kale rarely spent his breaks outside of the library, some student who needed the extra time for research always complaining, he did have to, by school policy, eat all meals in the staff room. The only ones exempt from this were whoever was on library duty, lunch supervision, some teachers who would offer students extra work time in their classrooms near exams or had some other important activity they could write off, and the resident Elf.
It was quite miserable, really. He would much rather spend his meal times in the library, and none of the teachers wanted to do the library duty. They were perpetually messing up the order of the sign out sheets when they let students sign out books and they never knew where anything was, even though he had clearly organized and labeled everything.
Unfortunately the Headmaster was not receptive to the only thing the teachers and the librarian actually agreed on and lunch once again found Kale drudging into the staff room. It really wasn't a bad room, all decorated in red and gold with a series of small wooden tables the teachers would gather around and gossip like the students they were supposed to be teaching.
The librarian took his school provided meal and the book of the moment to the farthest table, in a semi dark corner of the room. No one would come and sit with him, thankfully. He didn't want to have to deal with anyone, particularly not after having to stay up a good portion of the night talking with the Headmaster about a pair of idiotic students who found restricted books too tempting. The loud scrape as he pulled out the wooden chair was barely audible over all of the chatter, and just as well. He didn't want to be a part of their inane noise.
The young man settled in, flipping his book to the latest page of his reading. It was very good reading; the Talentless Magic series had become an invaluable resource to being able to harness what magic he could without actually having any magical talent. This book, the latest edition, was proving no different, and some of the offered wards were probably more efficient than the ones that he currently had up in the library.
A bony hand groped for the apple on his tray, not wanting to look away from the words. After a couple moments of failure he sighed and looked over, grabbed the fruit, and went back to scanning the words. As he brought the red fruit to his lips a shadow fell over the book.
Sighing the librarian put down both the book and the fruit, neither of which he had gotten to enjoy, turning to look at the enraged red head who was glowering at him from under her impressive bangs.
Kale never had gotten along with Tari Millina, the Alchemy teacher, extremely well. And the feelings were certainly mutual. She was constantly sending in students for things that she knew they didn't have the authorization to get, and he was always not giving into her, no matter how loud she shrieked.
He looked up at the woman and smiled hollowly, his lips pursed together, "Can I help you, Ms. Millina?" He'd much rather get back to reading his book.
Her right eye was practically invisible under the side swept red hair she was so famous for. The rest of her face, however, did clearly display her rage, "Yes! You could! You could not ban my students from the library when they're researching their final projects!"
Kale remained unmoved by the volume of her voice, although he was well aware it had moved a lot of other people. His voice was cold as he answered, "Your students broke into the restricted section of the library after hours. They're lucky that's all they got."
The woman leaned forwards, now outright yelling, "You can not ban my students from the resources they need for my class!" Now everyone was staring. Great.
"Seeing as those resources come from my library and your students have shown they can't be trusted in the library, I would say I can." He picked his book back up, flipping through to find his page, "I also have the Headmaster's approval. Is there anything else you would like to discuss?"
"You're a bastard." The tall Alchemy teacher shook her head, "Kim came to me this morning in tears because she'll fail if she can't do well on this project. She has been struggling this whole time and putting in so much work, even though Alchemy is her worst subject, and you'll let her fail because of one childish mistake?"
Kale resisted the urge to roll his eyes, "Maybe if she spent less time magicing her hair and sneaking into places where she shouldn't be I would be more sympathetic." The silver haired man shrugged, finding it hard to feel pity for the obnoxious girl, "She might also consider not insulting the man with the power to ban her from the library, although I can assure you that her safety was at the forefront of my mind when I made my decision."
The woman's pale face got sourer, "This is because she insulted you?"
"No, although I assure you it didn't help." Kale pushed up the perpetually falling glasses, "This because she snuck into the restricted section of the library and jeopardized her own safety. Since I am responsible for her once she enters the library and she has shown no desire to not repeat this action I have banned her presence." He sighed. Once more he got to be the bad guy, "I found her and her friend in section C1-5L. Now I'm sure that doesn't mean too much to you," None of the teachers could be bothered to remember all of the sections of the enormous library, "But to me that means she was rather close to section C1-6M, which happens to house two books that could have potentially killed your student. One of which is notorious for its taste for witch flesh. Our library is not all roses and butterflies."
"Look, I'll make sure she gets it. She'll listen to me if I tell her that they're dangerous," Kale didn't doubt that. For all that he didn't like Millina he was well aware of the fact that she was magically rather strong. And that did seem to dictate everything in the building, "But she needs to study. Let her back in the library."
The librarian snorted. "I don't think so, although I would appreciate if you would still talk to her about it." He glanced longingly at the book, he really did want to get back to reading it, "It would set a bad example. If Ms. Longil needs the books so bad she is welcome to get a friend, or you if she has no others that aren't also banned from the library, to sign them out for her. I have no problem with that and she should still be able to complete her studies, but I cannot condone her reentering the library without proper punishment."
"You know and I know that those stupid rules will affect her studies!" He could see her becoming angry again.
Like he cared.
"Maybe she should have thought of that before breaking the rules." Kale grabbed his apple and looked down at the text, "I'm not changing my mind so unless there is something else you need to discuss with me Ms. Millina?"
He took a bite of the red fruit, enjoying the sweet taste that the ridiculous exchange had denied him. The equally red haired woman wasn't as happy. There was a pause before he heard her hissing the expected insults, "You bloody Magicless Fraud! You're pathetic, taking it out on the students just because you're a miserable sack of waste! I'm so glad you won't make it more than another 75 years. If someone doesn't kill you first."
He noted the rare silence of the staff room as the storm that was his colleague stomped out of the room. Kale didn't move, except to take another bite of his apple and flip the page.
No one, after all, liked a librarian.
# 00358 L
I was to have three more encounters of the like before I could retire to my room.
Not surprising. It is nearly the end of the year and if the winter isn't making people miserable, the preparations for exams and the desperate scrambling to get final projects finished and marked is. However Millina was the worst of them. She really does hold me in distain and her temper only confirms every stilly superstition about red heads. Although the others, excluding the lovely Mrs. Jenix who was surprisingly nice, were hardly pleasant experiences.
Once again I am the most hated staff member among both students and the faculty.
Such is my life.
A/N - Hello and welcome to my ridiculously long story about a stuck up magicless librarian in a magical library and the gay love he works hard to avoid. Who won't be showing up for a little while, but will show his face (would be miserable slash otherwise!). Just to clarify for now, A Fraud or a Hack is an insult that puts down people who can't use magic, or don't have the Talent to. It is explained in more detail later on. And the large italisized portions of text are the journals he keeps, all registered with an necessarily complicated numbering system that only partially relies on chronological order. But it can be assumed that all journal entries will take place at the time of the current happenings, unless otherwise stated.
Umm, Kale will a lot of times say that librarians are stuck up and prissy, I know it's not true. That's just how he thinks you need to be if you're a good librarian, because he is that way, and not always completely logical. I wanted a character who had faults, and who people had a real reason for not liking, but hopefully you will warm to him!
I'd love some reviews! Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed!