The walls of books around her, dense with the past
April 5th, 2005 at 12:04 PM
Willow had seen Aurors, so she ducked into the bookstore and moved to the back quickly. She watched around the shelves to see if she had been followed. She had a real fear of being arrested again. This was the first time she had been in Diagon Alley since then. She had not wanted to be out, but she had little choice. Something she had ordered from a shop had come in, and she needed to pick it up.
Luna noticed Willow come into the store, and watched in confusion as the red head hid behind the shelves of history books and watched the street. She glanced out the front window, wondering who or what the other witch was looking for, but saw nothing out of the ordinary. Just mid-day shoppers and a couple of Aurors. No one looking suspicious, no strange creatures attacking the people on the street.
"Is everything OK," she asked once Willow had relaxed.
"I kind of got arrested the other day for not really doing anything. It was like the suspicion of possibly doing something and now I'm a little nervous."
Willow looked at Luna. Her arrest reminded her of why she had wanted to come into the bookstore last week to begin with.
"Mr. Pokeby said you have excellent organization skills. Might I interest you in a job? Not permanent. Just a one time deal."
Luna blinked. She'd heard the rumors that something had happened among the former Death Eaters. And that the Aurors were being jumpy because of it. Willow must have gotten caught up in that same confusion.
"I'm sorry you were arrested. Obviously everything worked out in the end, though. So there's no reason to hide from the Aurors."
She bustled over the the tea cart and poured Willow a cup before coming back and handing it to the red head. Hopefully it would help to calm her.
"And, yes, I would like to think that I'm good at organization. What do you need sorted?"
Willow did not think now was the best time to elaborate on why the Aurors did not like her. She took a sip of her tea and smiled.
"I have a rather large library at the Council. People are in and out. I'm afraid it's gotten a bit in disarray, and I don't really have the time to fix it myself."
Luna considered it as she ran her fingers absently over the closest books. Depending on the size of the library, it would take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to sort out. She couldn't really imagine it taking longer, unless "rather large" rivaled the library at Hogwarts.
"Organizing shouldn't be a problem," she assured Willow. "But in the end, it won't be enough. Not if a lot of people are using it. You'll need to find a librarian to keep it straight."
Willow raised a brow. "I don't suppose I could talk you into that? Perhaps I could make a contract with you to come and organize once a month or something?"
Luna considered the question. Extra money would always be helpful, for books and extras. And if the library was small enough that one day a month would be sufficient, then she didn't see why she couldn't do the job.
"I'd have to see the library before making that kind of commitment. Would today be a good day to do that? I get off shift in half an hour."
"Oh. Yay. I mean, yes, that would be great. I could so show you around and stuff."
Willow's nervousness with the aurors was all but forgotten. She was excited now. She liked Luna Lovegood and from what she had seen of the store, Luna was as good as Mr. Pokeby had said.
"Would you like to wait here or maybe meet somewhere else? Maybe down at the ice cream parlor? It's just getting warm enough that ice cream is edible again."
"I'll just grab something to read and be over there," Willow said, pointing. "But we can still stop and get ice cream after you're finished with your shift if you want."
"Oh, no. I'm fine. I just thought that you might like some." She gave Willow a little wave and went back to the counter just as a new customer came into the store.
Forty-five minutes later, she had clocked out and gathered her things. "Ready to go," she asked Willow, interrupting the red head's reading.
Willow re-shelved the book she had been reading. She was practically bouncing as they left the store.
"We're in Wiltshire. Did you want me to take us or you?"
"I'd rather apparate on my own, if that's OK with you." Side alongs did not bother her, but she had better luck finding the place again if she apparated herself.
"All right," Willow said before popping herself to the edge of the wards.
Luna arrived shortly after, and Willow made her way up to the house.
"Hey, Daisy. This is-"
"Luna Lovegood. Her father is editor of The Quibbler
. Pleasure. I'm Daisy Penshaw. I'm the receptionist-slash-nurse."
"Pleasure to meet you, Miss Penshaw," Luna said, shaking the hand that was offered to her. "And, yes, you are right, my father does edit The Quibbler
. Most people realize that after I'm introduced. I think you're the first who knew before the introduction." She wondered if Miss Penshaw had memorized the families of everyone on the Quib staff. Or the staff of all media outlets.
"I read the Quib
and the Prophet
. Have since I could read. I've seen pictures. I also have a thing for names and faces."
"Luna's gonna think about whether or not she wants the job or reorganizing the library," Willow offered.
"Mmmm. Good luck then."
Luna cast a glance at Miss Penshaw at the comment. It sounded like the "receptionist slash nurse" didn't think that the library would be an easy task.
"Oh," Luna said as they left Miss Penshaw and started up the stairs. "I forgot. I found out that I know someone else who works here with you. Morag MacDougal. We went to school together. If she's not too busy doing research, or whatever, then she would be a good librarian. I'm a bit surprised that you haven't asked her to organize your library."
"Mac's actually quite busy learning to control her abilities and is in the middle of another... project. But I can see if I can locate her if you'd like to say hi."
They paused outside the library doors.
"Not if she's busy," Luna demured, silently filing away the idea that Mac had "abilities" that she was learning to control. Obviously something other than magic, which implied that Mac was one of the Council's slayers. Unless something odd had happened to the girl she had known?
Luna followed Willow through the doors and stopped dead with a small "Oh!" The library was larger than she expected. And absolutely wonderful.
She slowly spun around, taking it all in.
"Oh," she repeated.
"I take it you approve? It's what we recovered from the previous council and some from the head watcher's private collection. Most of them are about demons and prophecies."
She had honestly expected a small room full of books, which this was definitely not. She stepped to the nearest bookcase and examined the titles. Wexlerg's Demon Compendium
sat beside To Ride a Silver Broomstick
which was beside Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
. Disorganized did not even begin to cover it.
Luna could see several books that needed a bit of repair as well. And in the corners there were books under glass domes. When she got close to those, she could feel the magic of wards tingle against the hand she skimmed across the glass.
"You definitely need a librarian," she told Willow. "Maybe not a full time one, but depending on how often people use it... I would say at least once every other week. More often if you can't convince people to re-shelve them in the proper place. What type of organization did you have in mind? Something along the lines of the Dewey Decimal system? Or something more informal like what Flourish and Blotts uses?"
"I think informal, but sectioned like the Dewey."
Willow moved close and listened. She tried to glean information.
"You know, if you wanted it, the job is yours."
Luna stilled, her hand resting against one of the glass domes, the tingle covering her palm and making it feel as if it had gone to sleep. The offer was tempting. So very very tempting. A job where she only had to interact with a select group of people. By all accounts the Council fought against evil. There was no chances of an ex-Death Eater wandering into her domain. She could be around books all day, and have plenty of time to research or read.
Which was exactly why she could not take it. Not without serious consideration, at the very least. Because it was too perfect. She could lose herself amongst the stacks and never interact with outsiders again. That wasn't a healthy way to live.
She was jumping ahead of herself, and Willow as well. So far the position was just part time, a day every other week. She could still interact with others, still work at Flourish and Blotts.
"For now, why don't we deal with the organization. Once that's done, we can talk about another sort of arrangement. For all you know, you might find me incredibly annoying after a day or so. Or you could have mendacitic wallops living in the walls. I'm terribly allergic to them."
"I'd relocate them for you, and your aura tells me we'll be like peas and carrots, but you're right. One step at a time. The offer is a standing one, though. I saw how you looked at the books."
"I like books," Luna said with a smile. "It's one of the reasons the Sorting Hat put me in Ravenclaw." She spun around again, taking in all the wonderful books.
"Yes, organization. I'll have to work around my Flourish and Blotts schedule, of course. I assume that you won't mind that. Should I go ahead and start or come back tomorrow? "
"You can start whenever you like. You're always welcome here, and if you need to crash here, we have guest rooms."
Luna nodded as she mentally went over her schedule for the rest of the day. Or, more precisely, the lack of schedule. She had thought to maybe stop in and pester Neville about owling Mac, but had made no firm plans on that front. Even if she had, she knew that Neville would have forgiven her for getting distracted. He did the same when a new cutting or seedling came in.
"I'll need parchment, ink, and a quill," she said, taking her bag off and setting it gently on a table, her mind already spinning as she thought about how to start the process. Sort the books by generalities first. Demons, magic, plants, history. Then more specifically. Then by author.
"Do you want an accounting of what books you have? Or a way to tell when someone borrows one?"
Willow smiled widely. She knew it would benefit them to draw this process out as long as possible. Luna Lovegood was clever and methodical about organization. She would be an asset to have around.
"Yes to both if that's all right."
She needed to figure out how to label each book, then, in order to easily account for it. Willow didn't want anything so formal as Dewey Decimal, though she could still use the system as a starting place. Figuring it out before she started seemed like a waste of time, but she knew it would save time later.
She pulled her wand from behind her ear and used it to conjure a self-inking quill and a long roll of parchment and started taking notes about the things she would need to do. Organizing would be the most time consuming part. Should she organize the demon books by threat and then type? Such as "dangerous/water", or the other way around?
"Will it be possible to declare the library off limits until I'm done? And to retrieve any books that are out right now? It will be easier if I don't have to track a bunch of books down."
"Not from Giles. He's the boss. Most of these are his. And we have a big bad to research. That means books. Also, two of our slayers are planning a take down. I think they have most of their research completed. Maybe we could limit access? With our line of work, off limits to the research isn't really possible."
Luna nodded again. "Understandable. Speaking of off limits, are there some books that you will want to limit access to? Not just because they are old or delicate, but because they deal in the darker magics? We should probably get those sorted out first so that they don't accidentally get shelved with the rest."
It was as if the books knew Willow was there and they were talking about them. The whispering only she could hear made the hair on the back of her neck stand on end.
"Y-yes. Th-those need to be somewhere safe."
Luna made a note on her parchment and looked around the library. "Do you have a somewhere safe for them already? A special section, hopefully with wards and muggle locks?"
Willow smiled. "There's a book cage."
That had been added with the original Sunnydale High library in mind. Willow led her to the back of the library to show off the book cage. It was bigger than the one in Sunnydale had been. There were already some books locked inside. Willow stopped well before she got close.
Luna tugged slightly on the large lock that kept the door closed and shuddered slightly at the smell of damp and mold that seemed to come from the cage. She took a step back and the smell was gone, replaced by the comforting mustiness of books.
"Maybe we'll leave them until last, then. Since they seem to be out of the way." She didn't want to admit that she didn't want to touch them. Books, unless they were cursed, were harmless. The knowledge they contained was just that: knowledge. It could not hurt you, could not corrupt you. Nevertheless, she was glad to turn away from the book cage.
"Yes," Willow said, swallowing nervously. "Let's leave that for later."