One for the Books
Chapter 7: Siren Song and Faerie Fire
# 02059 L
At some point within the last month, Keravnos became friends with everyone in the school.
Or so it would seem.
I am not including myself in this category, as being an acquaintance seems to be more accurate of a term. Friend is a bit too much. Although I would still swallow knives before I would allow him to know even that. He has shown he is ridiculously determined to get me to be his friend. Perhaps if I did tell him he's succeeded (which he has not. I am an acquaintance) he will simply go away.
Who am I fooling? That is a ludicrous flight of fancy; he would not. He would instead look at me with his ridiculous grin and start crackling all over the place. The fool.
For all of our amiability, I don't treat him any differently. I still call him Keravnos, much to his dismay, and I certainly don't go out of my way to see him. We mostly just talk during meals, or if he comes into the library on his prep. I suppose I should say he talks. I am still trying to dissuade him, although I don't know if I, or anything else in existence, can.
Occasionally he'll come to my room, if he can muscle his way in, and I was dragged to his once. It was a disaster. I am surprised I was able to make my way out alive. He was quite understandably embarrassed about it.
Yet I am not the oddest he has befriended, hesitant though I am to use the word in description of me. He has somehow managed to become great friends with Arai'iin. As far as I knew, Arai'iin did not have friends in the school, he had playthings he occasionally talked to. However, I see them in the halls chatting away,intensely about something. Arai'iin has even, once or twice, come to the staff room with us for dinner, although he ate nothing. It was rather disorienting. Whenever I am around they get conspicuously silent, probably because Arai'iin isn't as fond of me as he is his best friend 'Alis'. Which suits me just fine. In my experience Elves make their best friends rather frustrated.
As far as this all goes, I suppose the situation isn't so bad. Even if I am only getting through one book a day now.
"She is just so cute!" The more they talked, Kale noticed, the better he was able to ignore the way that Keravnos occasionally talked with his mouth full, although he really would have liked nothing more that to reach over and smack it closed, "I mean, she just looked at me all wide eyed and said 'But Mr. K, how will I do any magic?'," Kale backed up slightly in his chair preemptively as he other began to laugh. Keravnos had yet to spit food at him as he laughed, but the librarian was sure that was only a matter of time. "Obviously I explained it, but it was so adorable, I just wanted to hug her."
Although it had taken a while before he stopped being annoyed by it, the librarian had accepted that he would regularly be subjected to stories about the other man's students and what they were doing at that moment. Unsurprisingly, Keravnos had a fondness for his last period, a very small class of what were apparently the most adorable kids known to man. "A little young for you, I should think."
Keravnos laughed again. At least he could take a jest in stride. Or an insult. "Way too young." The man smiled at Kale, his face somehow managing to become even brighter, "Not to my taste at all. She's still adorable though."
After a moment of uneventful silence the librarian pushed up his ever falling glasses and went back to the book splayed in his lap. Now that they had gotten the 'story of the day' over and out of the way, he could hopefully get some reading in. He was nearly finished with the book, though it had turned to somewhat uninteresting.
"So…" Kale glanced up, a light eyebrow quirked, although Keravnos hardly seemed to notice the subtle facial expression, "What one is that?"
"Of Blood and Ballrooms," Kale looked back down at the text before adding, "Don't read it. It's disappointing."
Out of the corner of his eye, Kale could see the tanned teacher leaning in with his ever present smile, "Good, then I don't feel guilty interrupting you."
"Do you want to know a better way not to feel guilty?" The librarian slipped his bookmark into the book anyway and looked up again, "By not interrupting me at all."
"I'll live with the small guilt." The man waved his hand back and forth absently. Kale had noticed that Keravnos always seemed to talk with his hands, waving them or making ridiculous motions. If he had his hands cut off, or eaten by a book, Kale mused, he probably still would have waved the stumps around. "I was wondering if you had plans this weekend?"
The librarian's pale eyes narrowed in annoyance. What was Keravnos up to this time? "I do. I'm going to supervise the library so the students don't complain and wait for the already late shipment to come in."
"Oh," The idiot's face fell a fraction. Not that Kale cared. "Next weekend?"
"I'm supervising the library, and if they're slow enough, still waiting on the shipment." The pale man treated Keravnos with a sardonic half smile, "Before you ask, I'll be doing the same the one after that, and the one after that. Your job may only occasionally run onto weekends, but the students complain if the library isn't open for them to do their homework."
"Ahh," The dark haired man nodded, "I was just thinking that I haven't been shopping yet," Keravnos' bright golden eyes really did have an endearing quality about them. "My room feels very impersonal. But I don't know my way around the town. And I'm terrible if I shop on my own. I get pushed into buying anything." There was a familiarly shy chuckle, "No pushy salesmen in secluded groves, so I never got desensitized."
Kale snorted, "One would think your room personal enough. No one could else could recreate such a disaster." He snapped his book shut for effect, "However, if you still feel it lacks that personal touch, I am sure that you would find many other teachers with the time to spare." Millina had redoubled her efforts in the pursuit of Keravnos, very amusingly. Or at least it was amusing to Kale. Keravnos appeared somewhat less thrilled. No doubt she would leap at the chance to go shopping with the other teacher.
Keravnos sighed, "Yes. I'm sure I could find a teacher, but I'd rather find a librarian."
"Unfortunately for you, librarians are librarians and thus have jobs to do." Kale was sure to say the words in a slightly condescending tone, for the full effect.
"A few of them have lives too." Keravnos waved his hands about in a slightly ridiculous manner to show the lighthearted nature of his words, or to look like a complete idiot. Kale couldn't be entirely sure which.
"Really?" Kale pushed up his glasses slowly, "You'll have to let me know if you find one of those. They're a rare breed."
He thought he could hear Keravnos mutter "Too rare," but he couldn't be entirely sure.
"Shhh!" The librarian glared over his slipping glasses, "If you must insist on chattering endlessly away in the library, at least do it quietly. There are people who are trying to do work."
The teacher grinned at him, the way he did whenever Kale made one of those compromises. Except on names; he was still trying for Alis. "Well, anyways," In a more hushed tone Keravnos continued his story, leaning over the front desk and resting both elbows onto the mahogany wood, "I had to run all the way to the other end of the school and wrestle them away from Lynn, who was actually about to use the herbs, before the other ingredients expired, what a disaster. I think I was pushing students down in the halls, and the Headmaster gave me this horrible look, like," Keravnos screwed up his face in a mock imitation, "I made it back in time, thankfully. I swear, next time I ever have them make any other traditional amulets I am making sure I have double the amount of everything I need."
Kale looked up from his standard paperwork incredulously, "Why didn't you just use a fetching spell instead of attacking students and stealing the Potion Mistress' ingredients?"
Keravnos shrugged absently, "That's one of those spells. I don't think Lynn would appreciate having her ingredients exploding in the storage room."
The light haired man frowned at the statement. Keravnos had explained to him that there were certain spells that were 'not compatible with his magic'. It made sense sometimes, some magic types just couldn't so certain spells. Dance magic types would have had a hard time doing telekinetic magic and the like. But the fetching spell was one of those very basic spells that every magic type could do and had a variation of. Even those with non compatible magic types could use a crude version of raw magic to do it since as took so little magic. The school also had certain spells that would make it easer to for teachers to do spells of that manner, particularly the fetching one as it was so useful. Kale opened his mouth to ask for clarification but was interrupted before he could speak.
"Trust me on this one," Keravnos smiled endearingly, "Not a good spell for me."
The teacher pushed off of the desk, suddenly looking rather excited, "Oh, right! I've been meaning to ask you," Therewas the light crackling sound and the man's golden eyes seemed to flash with excitement, "If I could, theoretically, find someone who, this weekend, would look after the library-" Kale opened his mouth to interrupt but Keravnos continued to plod on, "Who was competent and wouldn't mess it up."
"I don't think that would be a successful end-"
"Shh!" The librarian glared as Keravnos extended a single, tanned finger that was almost touching Kale's mouth to silence him, "We're talking hypothetically. If I could find them, would you go shopping with me?"
Kale backed away from the finger and shoved his glasses higher onto his face, "Assuming you were able to magic this mystery person out of thin air, I still would need to wait for the shipment. I am the only one who knows what to do with them. And it's a lot of work."
"Hmm," The teacher made a face before turning back to him, "It's still just Tuesday. What if the shipment came in before the weekend?"
"They usually come in on the weekend."
Keravnos smiled, "Usually means 'not always'. If it theoretically did, and I theoretically got someone for your library, would you go shopping?"
"I hardly see why it's so important to you that I come," Kale held back a sigh, but did shake his head slightly, "However, under those conditions, yes. I suppose I would go with you. Hypothetically speaking."
In Kale's professional opinion and experience, it was completely undignified, and improper, to shout "Yeah!" and demand a high five in the library. Particularly if you weren't a student.
"Still no shipment." Kale raised his eyebrows in amusement at having caught Keravnos before he could ask, "Why not ask Ms. Millina? Or either of the Olara twins? Any of them would be thrilled to shop with you."
Keravnos shrugged and stabbed his beef with his fork, "Guess I've got my heart set on you." The man smiled at him before cramming the too large piece of meat into his mouth.
What a foolish thing to say. Kale looked back down at the words on his page, "You have poor judgment."
Again Keravnos just smiled and Kale could practically feel the eyes boring into him, "It's only Wednesday. It could still come."
"It could. And I could be visited by a Succubus." Kale turned the page of his book, "You don't see me sleeping with cloves of garlic."
The teacher laughed, "I don't see you sleep period."
The librarian allowed himself a slight smile, "I can assure you that I don't."
"Sleep or sleep with garlic?" Keravnos laughed the words while he waved another piece of his dinner around on his fork.
When Kale shuffled into the staff room for breakfast, still only partially awake, and a little late, he found himself fairly surprised.
Despite it having happened a few times before, it just looked incredibly strange to see the beautiful Elf sitting at his small, secluded table, with Keravnos. Kale worked his way through the throng of people in the staff room, towards them. Unfortunately there were no unoccupied tables, or he would have left them to it.
Keravnos had his head down on the table, his usual stack of food beside him. His black hair was, as always, messed up in a new and unusual way. The man never had the same hair twice. Kale always meant to ask if it, as well as his eyes, were spelled, but he never got around to it.
Arai'iin sat across from him, the ever present smile on his face. As the librarian got closer he could hear them talking.
"Gaah, I can't believe it." The voice surprisingly belonged to Keravnos. It was unusual to hear him complain, "They're going to ruin it!" Keravnos took his head off of the table with a sour look on his face.
Arai'iin chuckled in his usual manner, "These are just delays. Patience is your friend."
"I know but if I wait too long then..." The teacher stopped and turned to look at the librarian, who was almost at the table at that point. "Ah..." The tanned man's cheeks seemed oddly red, "Kale, you're finally up."
The silver haired man set down his tray, "Indeed, there was a delay opening the library." Politely he nodded to the Elf before sitting down, "Once again the teacher on library duty deemed it acceptable to come in late."
After pushing his glasses up, and briefly giving the Elf a look, the librarian reached for his coffee. Once he had a little of the liquid caffeine he looked over to the slightly nervous gold eyes, "So, who is going to ruin what, if you don't mind my eavesdropping."
Before the teacher could even open his mouth, the soft tones of the Elf interrupted, "Some of Alis' second period students are causing trouble. He's having trouble teaching the rest of the class while he deals with them. He's afraid it will tamper with his scheduled course."
Kale certainly didn't miss the meaningful look the other two exchanged, although he was unsure of what it meant, "I see." He wasn't sure why he felt unhappy Keravnos hadn't told him. "Well, I can always use more volunteers if they need punishment." It was how he got the majority of his volunteers. For some reason the students weren't enthused by the idea of being bossed around by the irritable librarian who they liked to think they were better than.
Keravnos smiled brilliantly at him, his whole face seeming to light up, "Thanks. I'll keep it in mind."
After giving Keravnos another look, the Elf stood, his overly long pale blue hair falling over his shoulders as he did so. "Well, I have to be going. Things to do." He wiggled his fingers at them, "Goodbye, Kale, Alis."
Kale nodded to the Elf while Keravnos waved violently and said goodbye too loudly. He could have been quieter, Elves were infamous for having good hearing. But of as it was Keravnos, he probably knew that fact and ignored it for some inexplicable reason, as the man seemed rather wont to do.
After a silence Kale spoke detachedly, "It would appear your friend is not fond of me."
The librarian found himself surprised when Keravnos broke out into hearty laughter, "What, Arai'iin? Oh no! No, he likes you a lot!" Keravnos waved his hand and chuckled, "Trust me, he told me so. It's just that most of the time he has problems talking to humans."
Kale rose his eyebrows slightly as he cracked open his book of the day, "Except for you."
There was a slightly hesitant pause, "Well, yeah. Except for me."
He was singing off key.
Of course, he was doing it quite well. He had all of the words right, his accent was flawless and Kale could feel the telltale pull of the song. But it was still off key.
The librarian stood, somewhat amused, in the doorway to the class. This must have been what Keravnos meant when he said he had a great lesson for Sirens planned. As far as it went he had chosen a good song, it was just one that called attention to the Siren making fairly safe, and easy to sing. But Keravnos was clearly no singer if that last sour note was any indication.
The students still sat in their seats, enraptured by the teacher who sat on his desk, dressed in a simple charcoal shirt and pants. The librarian couldn't help but notice that Keravnos was rather attractive for a teacher in their school, as far as that went. Which wasn't very far with Kale, but quite far with his female students, Kale was sure. However, he was also quite sure that his notice was attributed to the song, which was no doubt making Keravnos look more alluring. Kale had yet to come across a Siren song that didn't have magic in it to make them look that much nicer, vain creatures that they were.
Finally, when the last warbling note died, Kale managed to catch to teacher's eye. Keravnos grinned at him before making a surprisingly graceful jump off of his desk. The librarian watched as the students, and Keravnos hadn't lied, there were a lot of them, turned almost in unison to look where their teacher was staring.
Keravnos extended his arm with flourish, "Ahh, fair Grimmore of the library!" The tone was overdramatic and Keravnos had remembered to use his last name, so he supposed he could tolerate the teasing, "Has my Siren song tempted you from your precious tomes of knowledge?"
More than a few of the students burst into laughter and Kale made a conscious effort to keep his face blank and waited until the class had quieted a little more.
"Hardly." The librarian quirked an eyebrow as he spoke, "Next time you try to tempt me from anything you might consider singing on key." The class roared with laughter, the teacher joining in. Kale even allowed himself a brief half smile.
The dark haired man made his way towards the door, feet padding silently along the marble floor, and spoke again once the laughter had faded and he stood directly in front of Kale, "Then to what do I owe this honor, if not my angelic voice?"
Kale was well aware of the eyes on him, but still did have a job to do. The librarian took a deep breath to swallow his nervousness. Not that he was in any manner, as he was not. But a little of anxiety was surely a healthy reaction to a foreign situation.
He never had ended up telling Keravnos that he had ordered the books, under the hope that the idiot would have given up at that point. He had severely underestimated the teacher in the respect of his tenaciousness, it seemed. But he already had the books, he could hardly send back a perfect batch of books, no matter how awkward the gesture felt to make. Kale still didn't like it. It seemed like it was too nice, too keen. It gave him a sick feeling of apprehension to do something so embarrassingly friendly.
Kale absently fiddled with a curled stand of his hair, "I thought you might be interested that a certain shipment came in this morning," The nervousness dissipated a little as the teacher's face lit up and the eyes brightened, "Among the other books received I found that there were a large amount of new, up to date, texts for a Foreign Magical Races class. Enough for two classes in fact."
The golden eyes flashed and the teacher gasped in shock, "B-but I didn't-"
Kale turned around to pick up the large, and horridly heavy, box from the hallway, "I think in order to make up for lost time they should be distributed as soon as possible." He was hardly heard over the chatter as he hefted the box up.
"Oh, jeez, put that box down, Kale!" The librarian frowned, both at the order and the use of his name. He wasn't a student to be ordered around. "Jim, Roron, go get the box from Mr. Grimmore! Set it on the front desk."
Indignant though he was, Kale could admit to being relieved when the students took the box of books from him. He was never one for feats of strength.
Once his vision was no longer obscured by the box, taken by two tall and slightly gangly teenage boys, the librarian righted his glasses and nodded to the teacher who, after giving out more instructions, turned back to face Kale. To say that Keravnos looked happy felt like an understatement. He was grinning like a moron and Kale could hear the faint, tell tale, crackling. Well, if Keravnos wasn't awkward about the gesture then it wasn't so bad.
Keravnos moved closer to him, a little closer than Kale would have preferred and clapped his hands on each one of Kale's shoulders. "Thank you so much." The librarian stared down at the other's eyes. They were so unique, that bright, shifting color of gold. He didn't approve of spelling eyes normally, but Kale could make an exception for that kind of color.
His thought was broken when Keravnos yanked him forwards surprisingly gently and moved towards him, wrapping his arms around the librarian with lightning speed. The hug was awkward, both of Kale's arms trapped by the thin, tanned ones that surrounded him. He could hardly breathe either, Keravnos was crushing him to his torso so tightly.
But still Keravnos was also soft, almost delicate feeling, and very, very warm. He smelled like fresh rain and something else, electric and indescribable.
A loud "Ooooooh!" rang though the classroom and Kale stiffened in the embrace as the reality of the situation his him. He was not getting hugged in front of all these students! Of all of the ridiculous things for Keravnos to do…
For a moment he stood there, stiff and stunned, before roughly pushing the teacher away as quickly as he could manage. The arms let go of him and Kale took a step back "Please, Keravnos!" As he hissed the words he could feel the blood rising to his face, "Some restraint."
Keravnos actually had the audacity to look shocked and hurt for a moment before regaining his composure. Then, in true fashion of the idiot, the beautiful face broke out into a smile again, "Oh, right! I always forget these things." The man tapped his head and laughed, "Here it's awkward for us to hug, isn't it? Where I grew up it wasn't. But it was a very small place, not like here. Oh, Kale, I'm sorry."
The librarian brushed himself off, getting ready to leave, forget the fiasco, attend the library again and then likely hide in a broom closet, when a tanned hand grabbed his arm to stop him. For having such delicate looking hands they were rather strong. Perhaps it was the exercise Keravnos got from when he waved them around talking.
Keravnos turned around to face his still laughing students, "I want you all to thank Mr. Grimmore. He went through a lot of trouble to get these books to us this semester, so I hope you can appreciate that. Say 'thank you' everyone." Kale looked down at the floor. He was not going be embarrassed for such a ridiculous reason as a large class chorusing a thank you to him! His face was only red because of Keravnos' idiocy. The hand gripping his arm loosened slightly, "I also want you all to keep your current books because tonight we're going to have a bonfire with them outside of the school."
The class broke out into excited chatter as Kale whipped around to glare at the dark haired teacher, "You're going to what? You can't do that!"
He was ignored as Keravnos continued happily, "I will teach you all a traditional Faerie Fire dance. Of course we won't be summoning real Faerie Fire or Faeries and we won't be doing it naked, but at heart it is the same thing."
"You can't do that!" Kale snapped out the words louder, and in an admittedly higher pitch, than he had intended, "There are rules, Keravnos! The books are supposed to be filed away and-"
"I'm using them to teach a great hands on lesson." Keravnos laughed deeply, "What better use could there be?" Kale sputtered his mind going blank at the sheer ridiculousness of the idea. This was not what was supposed to happen! "Thanks a lot, Kale."
Unable to come up with anything else intelligent, he stuck to the basics, "It's Grimmore."
"Ahh, yes, sorry. Grimmore." The teacher let go of him with a smile, "I want you to know that I appreciate this a lot. Thank you so much." He clapped Kale on the shoulder, making the taller man start slightly, "I'll see you tomorrow when we go shopping!" Keravnos turned around to the class, probably still grinning. "Alright, I'll hand the books out and then I need you to tell me your number when I call your name."
Still not entirely sure what had happened, the librarian shook his head, pushed up his glasses and left the room. Keravnos was insane.
But then if he wasn't, he probably wouldn't have been Keravnos.
The pale man shook his head as he looked out of his room's window. He really could not believe his eyes.
Keravnos was actually doing it.
Kale sighed as he saw the figure dancing, quite well he would admit, around the fire. It truly did make him very uncomfortable to think of anyone burning books, no matter how outdated or useless they were. Perhaps it was the librarian in him that disapproved of that. No matter what, however, the most shocking part about it all was that Keravnos was really doing it. He really was teaching such a crazy mockery of a lesson. He was such an idiot.
The librarian watched as the teacher brought up some of the sitting students to dance around, what appeared to be, a magically enhanced fire. After a few more minutes, Kale took of his glasses and turned away from the window.
As he lied down onto his bed, Kale had to admit that, despite his discomfort with the book burning, it was a really cool lesson.
A/N - Hey guys? Remember me? No? Well that's cool anyways...
So I am indeed back with our (least) favourite very magicless and a little repressed librarian and the gay love he adamantly says no to. This story isn't dead yet, I promise you, things have just gotten a little woah! And I'm a loser. I apologize for taking so long to update either way and I hope you enjoy!
Before I get ahead of myself there was a question asked that I did want to answer publicly and apologize about. Alis can be pronounced, frankly, however the reader wants to pronounce it. (Ahh-lis) (Al-iss as in Alice). This is written literature (maybe that's to fancy to describe this?) and it's important to interpret it however you want to for maximum enjoyment. The truth, however, is when I was writing this I was still taking my Japanese courses and my pronunciations were mixed up. So it in my mind has been (Al-lee-ss) with a hard e sound for the i: as in Police. Or as it would be pronounced in Japanese. This is just putting it out there, Alis is not Japanese in any manner, so any pronunciation goes that you would prefer :D (I mean I was calling the "Tayledras" "Talayderas" for years before I figured it out. Screwed up Vanyel's name too, always call him Ashkervon)
Also: Kale is 27. It was only briefly mentioned in chapter 2, but yes. The topic will come up again
Now I would like to say a huge thank you to my new Beta, Nilah E. Rose who tended this with the loving care it never deserved! Thank you for helping me out, I make such silly mistakes as I write, don't I? I even made mistakes correcting mistakes. Hopefully none are left and thanks so much!
And thank you to all of the people reading! You all blow me away and I love you so dearly! I never would have had the determination to pick up chapter 7 again and have a go at it without you all! One of the things that amazed me was all of the different nationalities reading this! I know it's silly, you wonderful people have to come from somewhere, but it just shocked me to actually realize it and it made me so happy! It really doesn't matter from where, trust me, I just smile everytime I see someone new and I become riddiculously happy! You prove that nothing brings us all together like a little gay lovin'! So a giant thankyou across the world (:O) - I hope that you can continue to enjoy my humble story!