The Emily Dickinson Section
Spike tried to enter the library, but there was a little dog blocking the door and barking at him furiously.
“I could eat you, you know.”
The little thing growled at him.
“You’ve got stones. I can appreciate that. I’m not going to muss anything. I just want to read a bit.”
This set of a chain reaction of barking and growling.
“You’re against reading?”
Luna came out of the stacks when she heard Duchess barking. The alpha of her little pack did not usually cause a fuss, so the noise was unexpected and a bit worrying.
She found Duchess facing off against a man at the door, the other two crups a meter or so behind, backing her up. The hair on all three was standing on end, but Duchess was the only one making noise. She was growling at a man who... Well, honestly, he looked a bit like Draco.
Luna was torn between trusting her crups’ instincts and trusting that the Council’s wards would not let anyone evil through. She palmed her wand, just to be safe, before stopping behind the crups and addressing the stranger.
“May I help you?”
“Just having a conversation with the pup, here. Wanted a book to pass the time while I’m here, but the little librarian seems to take issue with vampires. Wouldn’t be the first librarian to have a problem with me.”
Spike crouched down. Then he held the back of his hand out for the dog to smell with his fingers curled under. The animal sniffed him suspiciously.
“I wouldn’t have eaten you,” Spike said. “I was just being a bit mean since you were being bitchy.”
The dog gave him a look like she understood exactly what he was saying.
“I’m Spike, by the way,” he said. “Who might you be?”
“The librarian.” She remembered hearing a bit about Spike. Well, she remembered Draco ranting about him a bit. She should have guessed his identity simply because Draco complained about everyone commenting on the resemblance.
“Luna. Lovegood. Is my name, I mean. Luna Lovegood.” And now she sounded like a complete idiot. “Was there something particular you were looking for?”
“Emily Dickinson,” Spike replied to see what she’d do with that.
Though now he could see why Draco hadn’t wanted him anywhere near the library. She was very sweet and had an aura of innocence to her.
“That’s easy enough. We actually have a large section of poetry from the 19th century. Someone seems to have made it their mission to find a copy of every poem ever published then.”
She led him towards the poetry section as she talked. The books there ranged from new printings to some that she suspected were the only copies in existence. The crups followed, keeping a wary eye on the vampire.
“Maybe they had me in mind,” he said. “I happen to like poetry. You don’t seem upset that there’s a vampire in your library. You funny in your head then? I had a girlfriend like that once. Nutty as a fruitcake, but I liked her.”
“The Council has wards to protect against dark creatures. If the wards let you in, and you made it all the way to the library without some slayer making you dusty, then you must be safe. Or so dangerous that it wouldn’t matter if I were nervous or not. Also, Draco might have mentioned you.”
They arrived at the shelves of poetry and she pointed out the Dickinson.
“She’s smart too,” Spike said, as he plucked a book from the shelf. “Draco’s mentioned me, huh? Talk to him a lot then, pet?”
“A bit,” Luna hedged. Everyone at the Council knew of their relationship, but she was not sure what the vampire might know, or what Draco would want him to know. Better to play her cards close to the chest.
“He your boyfriend then? You have that ‘he’s my boyfriend’ about you when you speak of him. I’d just be willing to be he’d set me on fire for talking to you.”
Spike grinned at her.
“Possibly,” she agreed. “He does like setting things on fire. But I’ve revised my charm to resist burning. Not that I’ve practiced it, but if he should accidentally set me aflame, it should just tickle. Not that you have that option. I seem to recall that vampires are highly flammable.”
Spike set the book down on the shelf abruptly. Now he was intrigued. He stepped closer to her.
“You’ve taken precautions against him setting you on fire? I’m amazed that you think like that. Also a little impressed. Dead set on the berk then?”
The three crups started growling and Luna backed away from the vampire, making sure that she was not backing into a shelf. This aisle did not lead to a dead end, and she had an escape route planned out without really even thinking about. She knew the library like the back of her hand, after all.
“Yes, I am. The flame-freezing charm was his idea.”
Spike snarled at the dogs causing them to retreat a bit. “I’m not gonna hurt anyone. I don’t do that to humans any more.”
He looked at Luna.
“You don’t have to be afraid of me, love, though I will admit, it’s flattering. Been a long time since someone was scared of me proper-like, and you hide it well. ‘Cept I can smell it on you. Pity you’re set on the moron.”
“I’m a Ravenclaw, not a Gryffindor. Of course I’m scared of you. You could easily break me. That doesn’t mean that I should let my fear control me.” Too many of her fears controlled her as it was. Her fingers were itching to touch the books, just to reassure herself that they were still there. Still organized.
“And please don’t call him names. It’s not very nice.”
Spike nodded and took a step back to give her space. “He and I call one another names, but I’ll cease for now. For you. Your hand is twitching.”
She glanced down at her wand hand, which was indeed twitching, the tip of the wand just barely showing past her fingers. She didn’t know if he saw it or not.
“You must be like a Slytherin, then. From what I’ve seen, they’re all mean to each other, at least in public. But they also defend each other against outsiders. It’s a very strange arrangement, but who am I to say that something is strange?”
“You’re a curious thing,” he said. “I’d like to circle you to make you a bit nervous, but I don’t want your pets taking bits of my ankles, and I don’t fancy you going after me with that twig in your hand. So why can’t you say things are strange or not? I’m of the opinion that a body should always say what it thinks.”
“It’s not that I do not want to express my opinion,” she explained. “My sense of normal is a bit different than other people’s. I’m quite used to others looking at me as if I’ve said or done something odd. And a lot of the things that they do, I consider odd myself. Like no one else wears a cork necklace to ward off nargles.” Luna fished her own necklace out of her blouse to show him. She was fond of this particular one, since she had taken extra time making it. She’d shrunk each cork down and wired them together with different colored beads to make a chain. A picture in a muggle fashion magazine had inspired the design. Not that she looked at fashion magazines often, either muggle or wizarding, but one made due while waiting on the doctor.
“Not the strangest thing ever,” Spike said. “It can be good to be different, though, you know... special in that way. It’s what got me made into a vampire, being different. Not that I’m suggesting you try the same, but it’s probably what got your fella looking at you twice, the different. Since I’ve been a vampire every bird I was ever into was a bit less than normal. Granted the first one was the one who made me and she was very much insane and thought the stars talked to her and she played with dolls, but still... very different.”
It was nice talking to someone who didn’t have an set opinions on him.
“I rather like being different,” she assured him. “It has caused some good natured teasing in the past, but nothing malicious. I’m very comfortable with myself. I don’t believe that I would be that way if I tried to conform to what other people considered normal.”
Spike grinned at her. “Really set on Malfoy then?”
Then he held up his hands.
“I’ll stop. You’re just interesting to talk to, pet. Anyone ever told you that? I don’t even think we’ve scratched your surface, and it’s interesting. I’ve I were the sort that still thought about turning people, you’d be second on my list right under Willow. Always wanted to turn Willow.”
Luna decided not to tell him that her relationship with Draco was still too new for her to know if she was really “set on him”. She had a feeling that would just encourage Spike in ways that would not be productive.
“Willow seems like she would be a good vampire,” she agreed. “Good vampire... Would that be an oxymoron?”
“A bit,” he said chuckling.
Spike grabbed a text of Dickinson’s complete works and held it up.
“I promise to return this.”
He started walking back up front.
“Ask Red to tell you about her vampire dopple that visited from an alternate universe. I never met her, but from what I’ve heard, she’s spectacular.”
Luna followed him, pondering the possibility. Yes, Willow would be a good vampire. She already had such darkness in her. With no moral compass, she would excel at being evil.
Thank Rowena that Willow did
have a reason not to give into the darkness.
But of more interest to her: “Alternate reality? You’ve had experience with one? Wizards have pondered the possibility before, but nothing has ever been proven.”
“Not me personally, but Willow has. Anya would be the best to speak to about it. She’s actually been to a lot of them back in her demon days... if you’re interested. I actually think you’d get on with Anya. She doesn’t lie and she can always be depended upon to tell you exactly what she’s thinking.”
“A rare trait. Not that an attack of Blibbering Humdingers is not useful every once in awhile.” He looked at her with an eyebrow quirked, but she did not explain.
“The book has no specific due date. If you could just return it when you’re done, or before you leave, whichever comes first.” She stepped behind her desk and filled out the check out card before slipping it into its proper place in the card file.
Spike was grinning at her. “All right.”
He heard people enter the library talking.
“Suppose I should get out of your hair then, pet. Lovely to meet you.”
He saluted her with the book and turned to walk out. He passed Draco’s little slayer who was glaring at him fiercely. The rest of the group was looking at him in wonder. Spike smirked at her. She was a spitfire, that one. If he didn’t have his soul, he’d want to try to kill her.
Pevensie hurried up to Luna. “Are you all right? Do I need to get Draco?”
Luna blinked at her in confusion. “Why would you need to get Draco? I’m sure if Spike had been a problem then you and your friends would be able to slay him. Or,” she showed the wand that was still in her hand. “I could have set him aflame. Not that I would want to do that near all the books. It would be a shame to lose them all. Hmmm...”
She pulled a book off her desk and started waving her wand over it, casting various protective spells. Once she was done, she opened it up and summoned water from her wand to spray over the pages. The water repelled off and puddled on the floor.
“Well, that worked. I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it before.” She looked up to see Pevensie watching her with wide eyes.
“It should be protected against fire, water, and ripping now. I should talk to Willow or Mr. Giles about doing the whole library.”
“So he wasn’t bothering you? I could tell Draco if he was bothering you. Draco would have a very stern talk with him, I’m sure.”
“No, dear, he wasn’t bothering me. He was looking for a book to pass the time. This is
a library, after all.”
At the sound of a yip, she looked over to see Lola playfully wagging her tails at Alice’s crup. Bacon, she thought his name was. Which reminded her that she needed to make an appointment to have her crup spayed in order to prevent any accidents.
“Did you need something, or did you want to just hang out for a bit?”
Everyone looked at Meredith.
“I was wanting any texts you have on Angelus the Scourge of Europe. Or actually any of the Order of Aurelius vampires. I’m looking for a bit of light reading before bed.”
Bacon nipped playfully at Lola and they started chasing one another.
“With the fascination Watchers have with that bloodline, I’m sure I do.” Luna went over to the card catalogue and started flipping through them until she found the ones she wanted. The Council had books on several vampiric lines, though they had more information on the Aurelius line than any other, by far. She wondered if that was because of Angelus and Spike, or if the fascination had started earlier than that.
“Here we go,” she held up five different cards. “Do you need any help finding them in the stacks?”
“We’ll manage,” Hiran said. “Thank you, Luna.”
She took the cards and she and Meredith headed towards the shelves.
Alice was giggling and chasing both Bacon and Lola.
“How are you girls today?”
“We’re good,” Pevensie said. Then she leaned close. “We know about you and Draco. Well, not everything, obviously, and I don’t want to know, but I just wanted you to know, I think it’s cool.”
“I... Thank you. I’m not surprised that you know. All of the Council seems to. Most of the Council seems to have known that he fancied me before he ever said anything to me.” She smiled slightly. “It never even occurred to me.”
“I don’t mind knowing, but I’m also not shouting it from the rooftops. It’s still too new. I’ve only told Neville so far.”
“He has this stupid look when he looks at you. Not that the look is stupid, but it looks like he’s been struck dumb. It’s kinda funny. He didn’t even know he liked you until someone pointed it out to him. He’s apparently completely oblivious about things as they relate to him as a person sometimes.”
“We’re a good match, then. I’m generally oblivious to a lot of things.”