(1939-09-03) Help With Books
Details for Help With Books
Summary: The new Assistant Librarian helps some of the students find, and return, books.
Date: 03 September 1939
Location: Library, Hogwarts

It's been a gloomy day in the library at Hogwarts, but that's more due to atmosphere than weather. There's been palpable tension all day long, and the whispering has been almost non-stop. For Annie's second day back at the school she loved, it's not been what she was expecting, with all the new rules and regulations. Classes have begun, well, proper classes for at least part of the school, and she's already been helping with some early research and information gathering. Calmly petting a book on dragons that expels puffs of smoke, the new Assistant Librarian pauses at a table, rapping lightly with her knuckles to get attention and offering a gentle shush as voices get a little louder than is desirable. She's rewarded with sheepish looks and lowered tones. Moving on again, Annie's new black robes swish lightly as she walks toward the main counter.

One student at Hogwarts is entirely immune to the oppressive weight of worry that has descended on the school. Perhaps because every rule and every change of tradition has somehow conspired to benefit him in big or small ways. The tall Slytherin boy stalks like an uncrowned King through the halls, head held high and his dark eyes occasionally cutting down this or that student with disapproval if they're unlucky enough to catch his attentions. Mostly he ignores everybody. His back is straight and his head held high, and the golden symbol of the Magijugend is on proud display, marking him the current leader of the club. That choice probably shocks nobody. He enters the Library. He's never been much of a reader to be honest, but he is a conscientious student and bullies through the headaches that books give him, because he knows grades matter for his future. It's with surprise his eyes find Annie. He hadn't noticed her at the Feast. His brows knit with a confused frown.

Rounding the counter, Annie lifts the book, bringing it close to her lips and whispering words that do not carry any farther than to the tome itself. As she sets the book down her eyes lift, falling on the newest arrival. Her expression is pleasant, and there's no change as she notes the badge on the boy's chest. "May I help you?" The words are only loud enough to carry to where Alphard stands, her brows lifted in an expectant arch above blue eyes. She looks young enough to be a seventh year student, despite being out for some number of years now, even with her hair pulled back and secured at the nape of her neck.

He shakes himself out of his momentary blank with a very boyish shrug. The sort that teenagers are masters at without even trying. "I don't know. I don't know who you are or what you can do, Miss..?" Still, he answers her pleasant manner with a small and polite smile of his own. It never quite touches that haughty superiority lurking in his gaze. "Though I'm here for this book. I heard it would be beneficial to my Defense Against The Dark Arts class." From inside of his pocket he draws out a small leather clad notebook. He unwinds a string to open it up and bring out a page full of neat little thoughts put to pen. He underlines the name of the book. Above it is a book on the theory behind the Patronus Charm. In one corner is a doodled kitty being chased by a dragon, blowing a fart in its face. It's not exactly high art, this.

It's fair enough that merely being behind the counter doesn't signify her role in the scheme of things, since there are student aides who assist in the library as well as in other departments. "Madam Taylor," she supplies, "I am Madam Patil's assistant." Newly hired, naturally. Her eyes drop as the notebook is withdrawn, and she leans to look at the underlined writing. She can't help but notice the doodle, a twitch of her lips quickly subdued. "Ah yes, I can show you exactly where that is. There are others in the same section that may interest you as well." Her accent isn't posh, neither is it obviously lower class, but carefully maintained in neutrality. "If you would follow me?" The dragon book is left where it lays on the counter, puffing infrequently, and Annie steps around to lead Alphard to the shelves. Her posture is straight, steps light, only a pace or two ahead of the student. "And you are?" she asks as they walk.

"I see," Alphard says initially. He takes another moment to look her over as her attentions drop to his notebook, and this time he allows himself a bit more leeway to indulge his curiosity. Even then he's well bred enough to make his gaze a subtle thing. "Welcome to Hogwarts, Madam Taylor. I hope you'll find your appointment to your liking." Once she's made a note of what he wants, he withdraws his book and ties it off, making it vanish into an inner pocket of his robes. He follows after her, his long legs making easy work to keep up. If anything he probably has to restrain his pace. "As long as they're not too dull," he complains. "I don't have time to spend all day reading. And I'm Black. Alphard Pollux Black, of The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black."

A Black, but of course. "Thank you for the kind welcome, Mister Black. It's very nice to return to Hogwarts with a fresh perspective." Annie nods, a bare incline of her head, noting her understanding of Alphard's concerns. "There is much more to do with one's day than spend it with one's nose in a book." Despite the fact that she herself never finds time with a book wasted, she is a Ravenclaw, after all. "Most can be quite dry, but there is one in particular that you may find interesting." There are more than one pair of eyes following the progress of the duo as they make their way across the library, and Annie turns down a row of shelves packed with books. Her steps slow, then stop as she peers at book spines. "You would be in seventh year?" It's a conversational enough question, but not merely idle chitchat.

"I'm going to be exceptionally busy this year," Alphard says, opening up to what he perceives as a sympathetic voice. "I have five NEWTS, plus Quidditch and the Dueling club. You know, last year the Magijugend was just about being social with like minded students. Now suddenly we have responsibilities, I have to provide mentoring and help for the younger students. They're already being picked on by those blasted troublemakers." He growls in frustration. "I don't even know how I'll find the time to read the books I do need to read. But I'll try to find time for another if you're certain it'll be useful. Anyway. Yes, seventh year."

There's a murmur that follows in the wake of the Black and the new Assistant Librarian, but since it's not loud Annie ignores it. There's enough restlessness among the students, even the relative few lingering in the late afternoon, that Annie would be spending all day shushing them if she were to try and keep silence. As long as there's no disturbances. Her wand comes out without fanfare from it's place in her robes, a swish and a soft murmur bringing the first book down from a shelf high above. "That does sound like a grueling schedule you keep, Mister Black. And responsibilities added on top. You shall have to be diligent to keep up." Nothing in her manner gives away any personal feelings she might have about the boy with the shiny gold Magijugend badge. "I'm sure the students will all settle down soon enough." Although her view of troublemakers is likely the opposite of Alphard's. She checks to make sure she has called the correct book, then offers it out to the Black, looking up at him, her face pleasant as always. "This is the one you requested."

Because there's stacks and shelves and depths to the library, it's relatively hard to see who's in one before she goes poking her nose in. But…poke her nose in Dora does, you see. Dora has a plan. It might be a little hard on the books, perhaps but…some knowledge just shouldn't be taken away. It should be kept. It should be shared. So her satchel is, unfortunately a bit fuller than normal, because she's got her class books in her arms and other books out of sight. Books that need a home on the shelves, behind the covers of other books. So that they'll be safe and still available. At least, that's her /plan/. But Dora has a way of making a fair amount of noise where ever she goes without really trying it at all in the form of Penseverus Bubbles the Third. Why? Because the three legged toad tends to croak, a lot.

"I'm going to try my best." The boy declares his intentions with a peculiar mixture of pompous self importance, and a more vulnerable note of doubt creeping past his show of confidence. He accepts the book with a smile in thanks. Even if she is just doing her job, she's being pleasent and proper about it, which he appreciates. He opens it up on the spot. "You know, I hope they do settle down. The idiots actually think I want to run around and chase them. I'm not a fifth year anymore, you know? I have better things to do than slap down idiots who can't behave themselves, or follow simple rules." There's no trace of irony in Alphard's voice when he says this, for all that he's been a notorious bullying rulebreaker for as long as he's been in school. A damn terror leaving crying children with toilet-wet hair in his wake. It's such a wonder that everybody expects the worst from him now that he has actual school authority behind him. "But I've been given a task and I'll do it. Hmph." His head turns. There's a croak there he recognizes.

Even as Alphard is prattling on, Annie is summoning another book down from a different high shelf. She does actually look sympathetic to the poor boy's plight, despite the fact that she would have likely kicked him in the shin had they been students together. "You must be sure not to neglect your studies, Mister Black. Not this close to the culmination of all your time here." And the less he neglects the less time he has to lord his power over students of her ilk. The second book is also offered out to him. "I did not devote much time to Defense Against Dark Arts myself," she notes, "But many of my friends here thought this book very informative and even a bit more entertaining than some of the others." It's title is printed in gold on the cover, Dark Arts and You; Tips of the Trade. She turns and takes a step back, emerging from the aisle enough to try and spot where the croaking is coming from. There are a couple giggles, but again, nothing to warrant shushing.

Lukas is fairly quiet as he arrives in the Library, he's got a short list of books he's after, he scans the racks briefly then he's planning to ask, why run around hunting books when you can ask for help after all? He heads for Alphard and Annie, not recognizing the new assistant librarian, his attention turns to the sound of the croaking though… It's hard to miss, especially with hearing as good as his.

Just because he might recognize a croak doesn't mean that she has to see his face. No. aisles. And dora is very studiously ignoring all the giggles and the looks that she's been used to over the years. She's also ignoring people all together, to be fair. Intent on making her way just as far back as she can go without bumping into people or anything that's very clearly restricted. So she keeps right on going and gaining speed as she goes, which makes Annie's presence suddenly stepping into view something of a startling surprise. Dora bows up, blinks and clutches those books to her chest to keep from losing them. "Miss…Miss…Miss Taylor!" The greeting is a warm one, as Dora glances around to see who else might have noticed that almost very unfortunate wreck and almost chokes on her tongue, when it's Alphard that she sees. "Black." His name is given, nah, flung there between them short and very anti-social.

"I know. I intend to pursue a career in the Ministry," Alphard says with a nod, accepting Annie's warning as fair. "Auror, actually. I can't afford to let my grades slip at all. Thank you." For the extra book, which hopefully won't be a bore. He'll end up just leaving it unread if it is. He opens his mouth to say something else when Adorabella materializes. "Selwyn. You're looking very.. overwhelmed. Do you need any help to carry all those books?"

"That is quite a goal," Annie says smoothly. "Admirable." Heaven help us. "Miss Selwyn," she continues as her attention shifts away from Alphard to the hurrying girl. The greeting from her to the young man is noted, terse and far from welcoming, as is his response. Since young Mister Black has offered assistance, Annie will wait and see where that progresses, letting her eyes drift to the approaching Lukas. Her smile is warm, as it is to all the students despite any badges or baubles they might be sporting. "Were you also in need of assistance?"

And he..did he..help? Dora stared, admittedly like he'd grown a second head and she wasn't the only one because Penseverus Bubbles poked his head out of her pocket too, squinting at the world when the swaying rhythm that helped carry him to sleep stopped. "I'm fine, thank you, Black. I simply need return these to their shelves is all. My apologies on interrupting your conversation," the latter statement seemed directed to the pair of them. "I hope your summers were well." She looks like she might drop something if she stands there too long.

Lukas is making a step towards Adorabella, then Black's beating him to it. He instead turns his attention to Annie with a warm smile. "Thank you, I was looking for couple of books actually." He offers the list towards the woman. "I need to catch up on my potions and transfiguration work… I need to get busy if I'm going to make Auror, seems I'll have some competition." He then glances towards Adorabelle. "If you need any help please let me know."

"Is that all?" Alphard asks as he takes a step towards Adorabella, his head cocked curiously to the side like some raptor eying a squirmy little mouse. She's always such a treat. There are few things in life that are certain. One of them is this: His mood always improves when he's picking on Dora. He wears a smile, but there's no warmth to it. "Nonsense. I can see your satchel all but bulging. That has to be heavy. Here, let me help you." And so while he tucks his own two books underneath one arm, the other goes to 'help' relieve Adorabella of her treasure trove. Somewhere in there he also throws up a casual upnod and a neutral: "Potter."

Although it seems Annie's attention has turned solely to Lukas at his request for help, she's keeping one eye on Alphard and Adorabella. On the one hand, it's cute how the boys are so willing to help a pretty girl. On the other hand, there's something about a boy with a Magijugend badge that Annie will never entirely trust. She accepts the list from Lukas with a smile every bit as warm as her attitude toward Alphard. "It seems Auror is a popular vocation, and an admirable goal." Her eyes drop, quickly scanning the names of the books he requires.

"I'm taking a rather full course load," Dora murmurs, which is true. Because he's sharing the bloody thing with her, spare one. "And I wanted to get a bit of lite reading in before classes set in full and honestly, you don't have to put yourself to any trouble if you don'twanttoBlack,IpromiseI'llbe.." The closer he got, the faster the words jumped off her lips until they were stacking up at her feet like the bodies of cliffjumpers. There are people. There is an Adult. She can't just say no, that would be rude when he hasn't done anything! Except that she knows him. And then her books are simply..disappearing into his arms. She looked like a frightened rabbit trying very hard to cling to its charm. "Thank you for your assistance, Black." She breathed, cradling her arms in against her stomach. "That was very kind of you." Another little cant of her head and a warm smile was offered in Lukas direction, "Potter." A shade politer certainly than Alphard's had been. In his arms were things like, How To Tell Your Toads, Warts A Detailed Depiction, The Serious Business of Slugs. Gardening: Waste Not, Compost! And other absolutely blade things that really, one shouldn't bat an eye or an interest in. If Annie's mind is keen though, there's a high chance those books were never removed from the library in the first place and each one of them has a cover. "I'll just..I'll help you get them on the shelves."

Lukas laughs. "Well it needs a lot of interested candidates, what with the difficulty of the training." He smiles. "I just hope to be up to the challenge." He then looks to Adorabelle and Alphard. Alphard's nod gets a return, his own tone cool without being quite cold. "Black." taking a step towards the pair. "Don't worry Black, I'll help with some of those." He makes to take some of those." His tone's warmer and more casual now. "It'd only be gentlemanly after all." He looks to Annie. "Sorry, I'll need to wait on those books a moment." He doesn't plan to leave Alphard to whatever game he's up to, if he can help it.

To be frank, considering it's Adorabella standing in front of him with increasing panic, Alphard expected something more damning than a bunch of boring books about gardening. He hides his disappointment behind a bland facade of fake politeness, however. Even if he can't come down on her like a ton of bricks, well, he can still enjoy the reactions that his close proximity brings. "It's no problem at all, Selwyn. We're such good friends, I would feel awful just standing by while you struggled. Friends help each other." When Lukas comes to take the books, he doesn't struggle at all. He shrugs and shoves them all into Lukas' arms. His look says: 'Here chump, if you want them you can have them!' "By all means."

Annie interrupts the fussing over Adorabella's books with a gentle but firm suggestion. "Gentlemen, if you would please just set them…" She looks around, spying an empty table nearby, pointing to indicate it, "There, I will take care of shelving them. It is what I'm here for, after all," she adds with an open, soft tone. Having gotten a look at the cover of the top book, she knows that it's nothing that actually belongs in this library. Her gaze settles on Adorabella, "Thank you so much for returning them so promptly, Miss Selwyn. If only all the students were like you." There's a directness to her eyes on the girl's face, unwavering, her smile never fading.

Lukas for his part offers a smile to Alphard as the books are handed to him. At least he's stopped the potential bullying. He glances at some of the titles. "Wow, this is a pretty heavy load… I mean how do you find time to keep up with all this?" He then places the books down with a slow shrug. "Of course." He then turns his attention to Annie. "Sorry to get distracted like that. I should introduce myself. I'm Lukas Potter." He doesn't spend as much time in the library as he perhaps should.

Merlin's Bonnet! With Lukas encroaching to help with the books and Black talking about what a helpful soul and what great friends they are, Dora can only just..try not to melt down. She's terrible at deception. Most days she feels guilty even considering it and then when Miss Taylor gets involved, honestly, Dora looks like she might cry. All of the color has left her face. "Th-th-thank you, Miss Taylor." Don't panic, don't panic. "That would be, I would be… Yes." She doesn't know if she needs to hug the woman or run but oh god, the Over..lord? Overseer? The Golden Eye, for the Magijugend was right there and oh god, what if brought up last years deal? What if someone opened a book. What if…what if what if what if, "Thank you." Right. The books were..gone to a table where someone else was going to take care of them and it would probably be a good time to make her exit. Right? "I'm going to be a healer," she mumbled, in explanation for the bulk of things, but now she was eying up the exit something fierce.

Alphard flicks a look in Annie's direction, then makes an apologetic shrug. He refocuses his attentions on Dora. Her behavior sparks his bully instincts to life, and his eyes narrow just a touch as he studies her with increasing suspicion. Of course she's always been a nervous little bird, but he feels this is a bit far even for her. Something is going on. He just doesn't know what! "Speaking of healers, Selwyn, I do say you're looking a bit faint. Perhaps I should take you to the infirmary?" A long stretch of corridor, a very slow walk, and ample time to put the squeeze in and see what might pop free. "Being back at school again can be a very distressing experience for some. We wouldn't want you to faint." Sugary sweet is his tone, far too sweet to really be convincingly sincere.

Dora's distress has not escaped Annie, nor has Alphard's unctuous tone, and she steps toward the younger girl, looking every inch the concerned faculty member. "Miss Selwyn, perhaps you would benefit from a moment sitting," she suggests gently. One hand lifts to rest lightly on the girl's upper arm, the other tucking her wand away with practiced ease. "Mister Black is very right, sometimes being back is overwhelming." There's the lightest squeeze, hopefully reassuring to the girl. Annie spent her share of time being picked on while she was in Hogwarts, condemned for her blood despite her ability, and she is well familiar with the likes of Alphard. This shows not one single bit, however, as she turns an almost pleading look to the young Black. "Mister Black, perhaps you would be so kind as to fetch Miss Selwyn a glass of water? I'm sure we would be terribly grateful." She certainly did not use the word 'fetch' on purpose, and it's so kindly asked, surely he cannot deny the request. From a member of faculty. Still with a hand resting lightly on Dora's arm, Annie turns her smile back on, to Lukas. "Mister Potter, it's a pleasure. I am Madam Taylor, the new Assistant Librarian." She still has Potter's list of books clutched in the hand that slipped her wand away.

Relieved of the books, Lukas studies Alphard, his smiles gone now. "I think she seems fine, probably just needs some time to digest all that reading, gotta have her head swimming." The tone's not quite as warm as it has been. "Why don't we just stop crowding her." He falls silent as Annie steps in, his attention turning back to her. "The pleasure's mine Madam Taylor." He then nods towards the list. "Sorry I let myself get distracted, as I was saying, I've got a few things I'd like to look up in the following books, trouble is I don't spend as much time in the Library as I perhaps should."

Madeline enters the library just ahead of Rook, her expression one of studied determination. She looks around before she spots the group, frowning when she sees Adorabella looking upset, but tries to shove a polite expression back onto her features as she approaches them. "I think you wanted to see me, Black?" she declares as she presents herself in front of him, hands folded behind her back.

Adorabella peered up at Miss Taylor, watching the woman's face, though there was Alphard's offer and the knowledge that staying in the scene of the crime might increase the odds of being caught. That was a reassuring squeeze, wasn't it? But then, wasn't that Miss Taylor suggesting without words that she ought to go with Alphard. "I..I should go," Dora gulps, worried all over again and suddenly looking at the known evil as the lesser when there's potential for so much greater. With a deft step to the side, Dora shoved her arm through Black's and tried to breath. "I've a book for Mrs Spleen as well, as happens. That would…" And then her arm tightened, because there was Maddie and gods help them all of his mood suddenly swung dangerous, "Would make your walk a blessing." It wouldn't be the first time she used him to escape a gathering crowd.

It might be a little strange that a sixth year Hufflepuff pureblood trails in the wake of a second year Gryffindor muggle-born, but these are strange times. By all accounts, Rook's expression is owlish, a little drowsy as if roused from something not-entirely-exciting. Collected under one arm is a fattened volume, no doubt pertaining to whatever class he's studying for, his appearance somewhat disheveled as usual. His blonde hair is tousled, his yellow-and-black tie somewhat loosened, and appearing otherwise distracted. The closer he and Maddie roams to the small group, the more alert Rook appears to become, shaking himself free of whatever daydream has him captor. A bright-lit smile is afforded the small group, though it falters slightly with concern over his fellow 'Puff. There's a half-hearted wave, but no audible greeting as he waits some feet behind Maddie.

"Yes, why don't you stop crowding, Potter?" Alphard asks Lukas in a silken tone of wry amusement, turning the Gryffindor's suggestion back at its source. "You had books you were looking for, I seem to remember." His smugness dies at Annie's suggestion that he go fetch, as if there aren't more appropriate tools for that sort of errand. A pity he as made a trap for himself in his pretense of sincere concern. "I suppose-"

"Evans. Yes, I was looking for you. Unfortunately now isn't the best of times. But I'm glad you're receptive to a little civil conversation about appropriate behavior. How about tomorrow?" He doesn't wait for her to agree. He assumes if he says tomorrow, then that's when it will be. Period. He dismisses the Muggleborn's presence.

"What?" That Dora is suddenly taking him up on his offer to take her to the Infirmary surprised him. He stands shock still, blinking a few times before he realizes that he's won. Somehow. That puts a smile on his lips. "Of course, Selwyn. Let's go! I'm sure they have water there, too."

"Tomorrow's good," Madeline answers in a cheerful voice. "I guess, in the meantime, I'll just tell everyone about my great summer, and that trip I took to the MLE! It was so exciting, wasn't it?" Madeline beams up at Alphard. As Alphard dismisses her, she turns towards Rook, asking eagerly, "Did I tell you that story yet, Lovegood? It's a really fun one!"

"No, I don't think you have," is Rook's immediate reply, pleasant in tone, but somewhat dreamy. No doubt he's thinking again, head off in the clouds, navel gazing like he does. "It's good to see you again, Alphard." Alphard is treated with much the same distraction, no doubt why Rook manages to grin at the Slytherin seventh year as he mentions Alphard's name. "What sort of story, Maddie?" Blinking away some of the glaze to his green-blue eyes, Rook drops his chin, glancing down at the shorter second-year quizzically, thoughtful almost. "I do have Arithmancy soon, but I probably have a little time. A little." Cue yawn, a genuine one of jaw cracking proportions, which leaves Rook lightly rubbing at his face.

Dora's misinterpretation of her intent has Annie's eyes widen for just a beat, but she covers it immediately with her kind smile. "If you feel up to it, Miss Selwyn." Blue eyes turn to Alphard once more. "I am very grateful indeed to you, Mister Black, for your kind assistance. It's wonderful that students are so willing to help others. I will review some of the Dark Arts books, in return for your helpfulness, and will bring any particularly interesting ones to your attention," she offers. She doesn't wait for his acknowledgement of her help, but turns attention back to Lukas. "Not everyone has the determination to be in a library that a Ravenclaw does, Mister Potter. I am planning a bit of an orientation session in a few days time, if you'd like a refresher on what the library has to offer and how best to find it." Her eyes drop to the list briefly, "Now then, let's see what we have here." New arrivals draw her attention again, however, and there's a wide smile for the pair who join the group already gathered. "Miss Evans," comes the polite greeting, and a nod for the young man accompanying the young girl that Annie has yet to meet. It's a brief greeting for now, as her attention, seemingly, goes back to Potter's list.

"Yes," Said Adorabella, before she stepped in to offer Madeline a brief one armed squishy sort of hug and a kiss to the top of her crown. "Don't get into mischief while I'm gone, okay? I want to talk to you a little later." Just, just right now Dora wants to put as much distance between her and those books that ought not be as she possibly can. It didn't stop her from offering Rook a shy smile though, as she let Alphard direct the pair on their way. Nor did it keep those curious eyes from returning to Miss Taylor, either. Whom Dora made a mental note to try and catch some other time, perhaps when the library was less busy.

Alphard gives Madeline a look of sudden seething dislike. Her cheerful voice has brought fresh the wounds of that day. He's used to physical pain as a Beater, but that was a different sort of trauma. It's alive in his expression: the hurt, the humiliation, the pain, and even the horrible fear of it. All of it combines with a dark fury. He steadies himself with a slow breath.

"I have no doubt you found it marvelous to witness a Muggleborn snap like that. What better entertainment than to watch a violent and brutal attack from behind of someone who was congratulating you. Perhaps one day you'll know what it feels like, thinking you're safe among the company of those you aspired to join, only to find undeniable proof that everything you knoew, but had supressed, was true." He sneers. Then he leaves with Dora, all but dragging her.

Adorabella almost tripped over her feet, as Alphard pulled them out. The look on her face as those dark eyes bounced between Madeline and Alphard one of utmost shock. Dora had never seen that look on Black's face before. Ever.

"Huh?" Madeline asks, turning to look at Alphard. "I was talking about the time my uncle-" but then he's gone, and Madeline shrugs her shoulders. "Well. Now I've gone and stepped in it. Hello Miss Taylor! So glad to see you again!" She tries to stay all smiles - though part of her wants to go find her bed and hide in there for the rest of the term. Black is really going to give it to her tomorrow…

Annie's head raises from her study of Lukas' note, her eyes finding Alphard as he speaks. The expression on his face is perhaps the most honest thing she's seen from him yet, despite the sneer to his words. It gives her pause, and she studies him, her eyes thoughtfully lingering on the retreating back as he stalks out with Adorabella. Madeline's voice snaps her out of her thoughts, her smile pulled back up at once, and she nods to the girl. "Miss Evans, I do hope your uncle and Bethie were well when last you saw them. It's delightful to see you again as well." She looks around for Lukas, who seems to have disappeared in search of some of the books he requires. Industrious lad!

So the first day of classes has begun, throwing Angelus into study mode. And where's such a great place to visit? Library! The youth enters, offering a dazzling smile and a polite bow to the librarian and a good natured, "Hello, Madam Patil," before he carries on. The book flung over his shoulder is set down upon a desk her chooses at random, his gaze sweeping off to glance around him. He frowns upon spying Madeline, royal blue eyes lingering over his housemate for several seconds before he lifts his gaze and smiles toward Annie. "Hello, ma'am," he greets before he sits at his table.

The raw reaction from Alphard garners more attention from Rook than might be otherwise noted, and Lovegood watches the older student retreat, practically dragging Dora along with him. On Alphard's manner and words, Rook makes not a peep, and instead turns to bestow a grin upon Madeline. "It's all just as well, Maddie. I'm sure the misunderstanding will clear up." Against his attempts otherwise, Rook yawns again, grimacing faintly. "I think I stayed up too late, I ought to have slept more." That grin shifts to a more embarrassed smile at Annie, and Rook rakes a hand ineffectively through his hair, tugging absently at his tie with the other hand. The heavy volume is still tucked under one arm, presently forgotten.

"Very well, yes, though I think they'd be even better with a letter from you, Miss Taylor," Madeline directs towards the Assistant Librarian. It's missing her usual bubbling enthusiasm, though, as the girl suddenly moves in against Rook, wrapping one arm around him. "Maybe I should just go back to the common room," she mumbles.

It's impossible to have not heard the whisperings in the library of the conflict among housemates, but Annie has yet to put faces to names and is never one to adhere to the information of whisperings anyway. Angelus gets her usual warm smile, and a greeting of "Young man." since she has yet to learn his name. Rook's yawn draws an understanding look, and something of amusement to her curved lips, as Annie observes, "And only the second day. You should have a care to not tire yourself out so early in the term." She offers, just loudly enough for both young men to hear, "I am Madam Taylor, the new Assistant Librarian. If there is anything you require this year, I invite you to seek me out." She does actually prefer Miss Taylor, but when in Rome. Concern surfaces at Madeline's mumble. "And you'll do well to follow that advice as well, little one. Get ample rest. It makes a world of difference." She pauses, her eyes turning slightly shrewd. "And has Bethie learned to read then?"

"I know, but with everything going on…" Rook's voice trails away, and his smile grows tighter, gloomier. "I'll try, Madame Taylor, but thank you." With the arm wrapping around his middle, Rook glances down and nods absently, patting Maddie on her shoulder in reassurance. "I'll walk you back to the portrait, and you can study in your common room. We might take the scenic route, if you don't mind. Walking will keep me awake a little longer." There's something amused gleaming in Rook's brightly colored eyes, and he leans down to murmur something to her, something that sounds suspiciously like fetching her a pastry and a cookie or two from the Hufflepuff common room before they reach Maddie's own.

Annie's question manages to earn a smile from Madeline, and she looks up at the woman to answer, "Oh, Bethie is dreadfully clever. …but I think probably uncle Perry'd just read it to her."

Her attention shifts to Rook next, and she nods her head in agreement. "I'd like that. I'll - ummm - come back to study later, Miss Taylor. Bye." She pulls back enough so that Rook can walk more easily, and prepares to go with him through the halls.

Angelus unbuckles the strap on his books, sliding one of them to him as he opens it. As he rests an arm over the pages, his eyes trail back towards the others curiously. He's about to look down to his books, only to pause as he looks towards Annie again. Her announcement has him sliding back his chair and rising again. Yes, he should probably go over and be polite. But he waits until she's finished talking before he pipes up, "Our new library assistant? It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Taylor. Angelus Eibon," he offers, holding out his hand.

"I'll look forward to it, Miss Evans," Annie says to the girl, just before she lets Rook lead her off. She watches the pair, taking Rook's measure from what little she managed to glean in their brief meeting, and tentatively places him in her mental inventory. Angelus' approach calls her full attention back, and she has an easy smile for the boy. Yes, she catches the name and places it to the rumours, and nothing even nearing judgment shows on her face. "Mister Eibon," she returns, taking the offered hand for a brief, formal shake. "The pleasure is mine. If you are in need of anything, I do trust you'll speak up. In the meantime, I must go find Mister Potter's books, so he won't need to leave empty handed." Heaven forbid! She turns lightly in a swish of black robes, and moves off into the stacks to search.

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