January 17, 2019, 09:57:02 AM

Author Topic:  [library] welcome to the human race [ludwig]  (Read 742 times)

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Louis Proulx [ Bellefeuille ]
67 Posts  •  16  •  Vuvuzelas  •  played by laura
[library] welcome to the human race [ludwig]
« on: March 11, 2018, 12:28:52 AM »
Hey there mister blue
We're so pleased to be with you
Look around see what you do
Everybody smiles at you


january 2002

This was the first year in which Louis had selected the Library Service. He’d previously done Storage (for two consecutive years) and School Beautification, and last year had made the terrible mistake of choosing Stable Service (far too many girls telling him what to do), so apart from finding some sort of job in Chatoeil, this was the next one to test out. Plus, he really wanted to keep an eye on his friend Ludwig. The Ombrelune was terribly quiet, morose, even, thought Louis. He seemed not to want to talk to anyone, and Louis wondered if the boy was being bullied – he’d witnessed @Cosimo Marconi being unpleasant, but the Bellefeuille thought there might be more to it than that.

So Louis had taken it upon himself, this year, to try and catch Ludo alone as often as possible and check in – make sure everything was fine. Be a good friend. The younger boy had done a good job of avoiding Louis in a one-on-one situation thus far, though the French boy took it simply as his friend being busy. Which was good. Hopefully Ludo was hanging out with other friends. At least if that was the case it would explain why Louis could scarcely find the Ombrelune.

Not today, however.

Louis walked into the library and his warm brown eyes lit up upon seeing his target.”Ludo!” he whispered loudly, so loud that it wasn’t really a whisper, as he approached, waving enthusiastically. “Are you just starting your service?” Louis didn’t wait for an answer before barrelling on, “Great, we can work together! What needs doing today?” He smiled wide, before looking at the list of tasks that had been pinned to the noticeboard.

[member=23399]Ludwig Baumann[/member]
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 08:38:08 PM by Laura »

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Ludwig Baumann [ Ombrelune ]
517 Posts  •  16  •  played by christine
Re: [library] welcome to the human race [ludwig]
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2018, 09:28:48 PM »
Once again, Ludo was realizing how much better the libraries were than the stables. Not just from a student service point of view, but from an overall standpoint. The grounds were a terrible place these days, overrun with giant-induced disaster, and the common room seemed like it had much more chatter than it usually did. It was annoying, to say the least. He did have some library duties to do that day, but Ludo was finishing up his free time until then by reading a book. It was peaceful and enjoyable and he was so happy that he had been able to switch his service to the library.

Not today, however.

Ludo glanced up with wide eyes, closing his book with his finger inside to keep his place. He knew from experience that this wouldn’t be a quick enough conversation for him to pick up his reading in a timely manner. He didn’t return Louis’s wave, instead bringing a finger up to his mouth to implore him to lower his voice. Never mind that they were in the library, but Ludo simply didn’t want to draw attention to himself.

“No, I’m starting at elev--” he face fell as he looked own at his watch. It was five minutes past when he was supposed to start, and he was just sitting there reading. He would never deliberately skive off his library duty, not even if he desperately needed to avoid someone. Damn it. “Yes, I suppose.” He opened his book again, replacing his temporary placekeeper with an actual bookmark, and stowed it in his bag.

“Great,” he replied automatically, not matching Louis’s enthusiasm. He had asked before to be left alone, but apparently that only served to encourage Louis to bother him more. He couldn’t figure this guy out. “Book stuff, I imagine,” he muttered, standing up to get a better look at the noticeboard. He needed to find a task that wouldn’t suit two people, but the only available things were repairing bindings or returning books to their proper place. There was a new one, though, that seemed like maybe it would keep Louis too busy to be able to talk too much, since Ludo was pretty sure he wouldn’t be able to lose him no matter what job he was doing. “I’ll be doing this one,” he said, like he had made the decision ages before Louis had appeared, pointing to a notecard that read: Remove all books from the MAR - MOO shelving, repair the shelf, and replace the books exactly where you found them..

He removed the card from the board and reread it, offering Louis a shrug.

Louis Proulx [ Bellefeuille ]
67 Posts  •  16  •  Vuvuzelas  •  played by laura
Re: [library] welcome to the human race [ludwig]
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2018, 07:53:28 AM »
Louis winced awkwardly with a grin at Ludo’s gesture of quiet, “Sorry!” He not-whispered again, his excitement at not having to work with someone he didn’t really like, or worse, alone, very much evident.  “Fantastic!” He beamed, his eyes crinkling at the corners. This was going to be perfect – a chance for them to talk, and get another student service out of the way, all in one! And no need to muck out stables or have girls telling them what they were doing wrong.

“Book stuff...” his expression slowly fell, his brow raising in a concerned expression at the Ombrelune’s muted response. How could someone be so glum? Maybe Ludo was still being bullied. Louis would just have to try and get to the bottom of it. Try and pry it out of the other boy gently, whilst still making sure Ludo knew that Louis was his friend. And he only had as long as their task took to be able to do it.

“What is it?” He leant in close as Ludo pointed out his chosen task, the Bellefeuille occupying his friend’s personal bubble to read the card over his shoulder. “Remove all books... repair the shelf... where you found them.” He muttered as he read. Well it wasn’t exactly a fun sounding job, but it was simple enough and they could work together on it.

“Cool, should be pretty easy, right?” He smiled reassuringly, clapping Ludo on the back probably a little harder than was necessary – all that Quidditch practice was clearly starting to have an effect – and steering him towards the section of the library they’d be working in. “So...” he began, unable to let silence permeate the air between them for long, but not wanting to launch straight into the deep stuff, “This giant thing. Crazy, right?”
« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 11:55:03 AM by Lowri »

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Ludwig Baumann [ Ombrelune ]
517 Posts  •  16  •  played by christine
Re: [library] welcome to the human race [ludwig]
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2018, 07:52:37 PM »
Ludo edged away as Louis entered his space; of course, Ludo's personal space bubble was a bit wider than others', but he didn't give the other boy the benefit of the doubt.he inwardly cringed as the words were read aloud -- in the library no less -- yet somehow refrained from telling the Bellefeuille to hush. Again.

He hardly had time to process Louis's next question before he lurched forward, catching himself only after taking a large step. Ludo straightened up and shrugged Louis's residual germs of his back, moving his shoulders in small circles. But the small germ-sloughing gesture wasn't enough apparently; Ludo was being steered towards the correct section. At least it was the right one, and they seemed to be taking the most direct route, so at least this wasn't the worst possible thing that could be happening to him.

The job assignment card was still clutched in his hand when they reached the shelves, and Ludo glanced down at it again quickly before looking back up and pinpointing the exact places they should start. "So," Ludo replied, though he wasn't listening, still figuring out the best way to start unloading the shelf. He was rolling up his sleeves as Louis spoke again.

"What?" Ludo turned to Louis with an eyebrow arched. He had been formulating his strategy in his mind in German and hadn't registered immediately what the French boy had said. "Yeah, crazy," he agreed, only half sure what he was agreeing to. "But why do you think it's crazy?" That was the easiest way to figure out what he was talking about without asking him to repeat himself. he set the assignment card aside and stepped toward the shelf, sliding four books from the top left corner of the shelf and stacking them neatly on the table behind him.

Louis Proulx [ Bellefeuille ]
67 Posts  •  16  •  Vuvuzelas  •  played by laura
Re: [library] welcome to the human race [ludwig]
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2018, 01:40:46 AM »
Louis watched Ludo for a moment before copying the Ombrelune and rolling his own sleeves up – seemed appropriate. They were going to be doing physical work, or, kind of, anyway. He looked up at the shelf, mirroring Ludo and standing with his arms crossed, as though thinking about where to start, but in actuality just staring a little into space and waiting for his companion to offer a plan.

“Well,” the French boy started, “where did they come from? Why are they here?” He lowered his voice dramatically, “Madame Maxime hasn’t been around for ages – I thought they were only here because she’s… you know.” He raised up to his full height (which wasn’t very tall, really) to make his meaning clear without having to say anything out loud. No one ever said anything about their Headmistress’ suspected (and rather obvious) genealogy. It was impolite to do so. Like asking a girl her weight.

Louis’s warm brown eyes followed Ludo’s movements, repeating them after a moment and reaching up to pull off the next set of books. He stacked them somewhat haphazardly beside Ludo’s pile. “How are we supposed to… get rid of them? What if Madame Maxime never comes back and they just think they can live here? They’re destroying the gardens and we can’t even practice quidditch now – one nearly swatted @Emilia Costa right off her broom last time we were on the pitch! Like a bug!” His eyes were a little wide as he reached for another lot of books, taking a little more than previously and not-so-gently slapping them down on the desk. He blinked, his imagination having gone on a tangent – what if Emilia had been hit?

“And that’s not the only weird thing right now, what was Professor Blauvelt's lesson about? Radicals? Sounded fishy to me. And Professor Burgstaller was really mean in Defense for no reason. It’s all just… weird.” he finished, looking directly at Ludo and drawing out the last word a little to emphasise it.

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Ludwig Baumann [ Ombrelune ]
517 Posts  •  16  •  played by christine
Re: [library] welcome to the human race [ludwig]
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2018, 01:06:10 AM »
Where did they come from? “I think they reproduce just like humans do, Louis.” And he could only hope Louis knew how that worked, because that was not a conversation he was about to have with him, especially not in his sacred library. He shrugged, pulling another stack of books from the shelves and placing them neatly on the table. “Maybe they don’t know she’s left.” It was possible they had lost her in the crowd, right? “Or maybe she told them to stay.” He frowned, though he didn’t aim it in Louis’s direction. “Yeah, she’s ‘big boned’.” Ludo paused so he could use his hands for air quotes.

He straightened out the piles that Louis was making before continuing with his own. He raised an eyebrow at Louis’s reasons that the giants couldn’t stay. Quidditch and flowers, of course. Bringing Emilia into the conversation didn’t make Ludo any more sympathetic. There were real reasons, though, like using the school’s resources, not disposing properly of their waste, the agreement that they wouldn’t interact here in the first place. But still, he had lost his favorite reading spot to one giant’s foot. “They smushed my tree,” Ludo added with a frown, picking a stray piece of lint from the cover of the book in his hand.

Ludo rolled his eyes. “I don’t think Professor Blauvelt is all there, if you know what I mean.” He made air quotes again. He didn’t think very highly of the man, wearing all that jewelry, keeping the classroom that cold, letting students freeze just for his aesthetic.

“But Burgstaller…” He was older, was supposed to know what he was doing. He didn’t see the big deal about covering the Unforgivable Curses -- magic needed to be taught, even if you were supposed to avoid it. “You’d think he’d try to get rid of the giants, right? I can’t figure out why he’s filling in for Madame Maxime, besides seniority.” He was so, so, so old. “He’s not defending against any dark arts, that’s for sure.” Not that the giants had actively sought to harm them, but it was just too much that all of this was happening at the same time political things were happening in France. He couldn’t wait to get back to Germany. He shrugged, resuming his service work.

Louis Proulx [ Bellefeuille ]
67 Posts  •  16  •  Vuvuzelas  •  played by laura
Re: [library] welcome to the human race [ludwig]
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2018, 04:39:25 AM »
Uncharacteristically for Louis, he gave Ludo a sharp scowl at the other boy’s comment. Louis knew he wasn’t as academically smart as some of the other students in their year, especially not Ludo, but he resented being perceived as some sort of idiot that knew nothing outside of how to play sports. At least being a member of the Quidditch team meant Louis knew how to work with other people, which was more than could be said for Ludwig. “I’m not stupid, I know how—” He stopped, his face contorting into an expression of disgust at the mental imagery associated with giants doing… well. He didn’t want to think about it. But in theory he knew how it all worked. “I meant, geographically.”

Louis took another stack of books and held them in his arms for a moment, he nodded at Ludo’s air-quotes. “Yeah.” Distractedly, the Bellefeuille added to the piles on the table, taking a little more care to line them up after observing Ludo straightening his earlier stacks. He turned to grab the next lot of books and stopped, his arms still outstretched in mid-air as Ludo lamented the loss of ‘his tree’. Louis pressed his lips together in a sympathetic expression, “That sucks.” He said quietly, unsure if giving the Ombrelune a hug was appropriate. If it had been Donatella, or Adèle, or Gabrielle… or pretty much anyone else he spent a reasonable amount of time with he would have done so, but by the time he’d decided he should the moment had passed, so he simply continued with emptying the shelf.

Louis looked at Ludo, a puzzled frown briefly crossing over his features. “Maybe,” he offered by way of a half-hearted agreement. Though Professor Blauvelt seemed… somewhat intelligent, to be teaching a subject like Metaphysics, he also seemed very airy fairy. Emphasis on the ‘fairy’. It made him uncomfortable how several of the girls in their class had gone all googly-eyed at someone who, in Louis’ opinion, looked more like a girl than a boy. The Bellefeuille was also harbouring a small grudge against the new professor and his seeming desire to freeze his students. “He’s a bit… odd. But I don’t think he’s like, evil or anything.”

“That’s what I mean!” Louis said a little loudly, before shrinking and glancing around them to see if anyone had been nearby. He lowered his voice to a not so careful whisper, “Like, it just seems like they’re all in on it or something. The professors.” He frowned at the floor for a second, “Or maybe just… some of them? Professor Westbroek seems normal.” He grabbed the last few books on his side of the shelf, “Anyway,” He started, not really segwaying with the finesse he’d intended, “what’s been going on with you?”

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Ludwig Baumann [ Ombrelune ]
517 Posts  •  16  •  played by christine
Re: [library] welcome to the human race [ludwig]
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2018, 06:07:19 PM »
Geographically,” Ludo started, full of relief that he had misinterpreted Louis’s meaning and that they didn’t need to have that conversation, “They’re supposed to live in the mountains.” He shrugged. “I haven’t had any conversations with these particular ones, though, so I’m not sure if they’re French or not.” They certainly were rude enough to be French, though. He shuddered when he remembered that closer to the beginning of the year, he hadn’t minded the giants being on the grounds. Oh, how he regretted last-year-Ludo.

He moved another stack of books and took a step to the right to continue on down the line of the shelf. “Yeah.” He had mourned the loss of the tree for far too long, he was sure, and he knew that in theory, it would grow back, but by the time it was big enough to provide any sort of useful shade, he’d be far gone from the school. He sighed and shrugged again, happy to leave the subject there. He had to move on from the loss eventually, he supposed.

“I wasn’t saying he was evil, not really. I just…” He shrugged again. “They must be really desperate for teaching staff these days, I guess. Think that has more to do with the giants or with Burgstaller being in charge?” He managed a chuckle at his own joke, shaking his head as he arranged another stack of books on the table.

He looked at Louis with a bit of a shocked look, motioning with a hand for him to keep the volume down -- they were in the library, after all -- but he enjoyed Louis’s enthusiasm this time: he was agreeing with Ludo. “They have to be, don’t they?” He returned the favor and dropped his voice to a whisper. “Our professors are supposed to be the best in their fields, which either means they should be able to get rid of the giants or,” he glanced to the side to make sure they weren’t being overheard, “It was all a lie and our education is at jeopardy.” That was such a worse option than the giants staying forever. Ludo’d be nowhere without an education, and the idea that subpar professors were risking his future career? It wasn’t something Ludo wanted to dwell on.

“What? Oh, er,” he shrugged. It was a quick turn of the conversation, and even though it happened a lot, he hadn’t expected Louis to ask after his health, not after what they had just been talking about. “Nothing?” It was always his answer. He read, he did homework, he read some more. “Been studying a lot. You know. Exams.” They were months away, but he’d rather die than sit an exam without proper preparation. “You?” He didn’t really care, but that was one social norm that had stuck with him.

Louis Proulx [ Bellefeuille ]
67 Posts  •  16  •  Vuvuzelas  •  played by laura
Re: [library] welcome to the human race [ludwig]
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2018, 08:07:55 AM »
Louis’ eyes widened a little at Ludo; had he just—? He had. Louis let out a breathy sort-of laugh, a bit belatedly, purely in an effort to loosen the Ombrelune boy up a bit. “I mean… Could be either, or both.” He shrugged with a half-grin. He thought if he was really given the choice, he’d rather put up with Professor Burgstaller than a giant. At least Professor Burgstaller was semi-predictable: he likes cheese and cats, and disliked students who talked back. It was easy enough, really. Although, Louis had noticed the Professor acting a little strange lately – perhaps the stress of being Headmaster was getting to him. Like Ludo said, he was old.

“I think they must be.” Louis continued to whisper (rather loudly) as he placed the last of the books on the table. “Nothing else makes sense, you’re right. It can’t be that hard to get rid of giants if they really tried. And what about the Ministry?” He lowered his voice even more here, aware that there was some sort of divide between those who were for and against the government. “Surely the Professors could just ask the Ministry for help and they’d send some Aurors or something to fix it? It’s all just—” He paused abruptly, trying to think of the best way to accurately describe everything in one word. He settled on: “—weird.”

Louis opened his mouth to ask ‘are you sure?’, but did his best impression of a fish as Ludo carried on speaking. “Right, yeah.” The French boy nodded in agreement, he suppose he had been studying more than usual this year too. “Same, kinda.” He leaned in to look under the shelf and see where it needed fixing, giving the wood a little wobble with his hand. “Homework, Quidditch…. I don’t know how those Papillonlisse boys fit girls in too.” Louis said offhandedly, referring to @Cosimo Marconi and @Léon Lachapelle; rumours had been circulating the corridors about who was dating who. Louis didn’t really get on with either of them, and he wondered if they might be causing Ludo any problems. They weren't the nicest boys in the school, that was for sure. “Probably why their grades aren’t as good as yours.” He grinned cheekily and stepped back to let Ludo in to inspect the shelving, “I think the brackets need tightening,”

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Ludwig Baumann [ Ombrelune ]
517 Posts  •  16  •  played by christine
Re: [library] welcome to the human race [ludwig]
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2018, 04:58:38 PM »
“Probably both,” he agreed with a solemn nod. Ludo didn’t return the grin; his moment of humor had passed and he was once again back in thought about the whole state of things. He took a step back to look at the empty shelf after Louis had cleared the last stack of books, tilting his head to examine the state of these things, the shelves. He thought over what the other boy was saying for a few seconds before turning to look at him with another shrug. “Your Ministry is a joke, Louis.” He didn’t bother lowering his voice this time; he was more than willing to be overheard.

The French Ministry was clearly doing something wrong -- why weren’t the other countries’ ministries getting involved? Because France was blocking all their efforts, apparently. So many countries were represented at Beauxbatons, and yet only one Ministry had any say in anything? Weren’t the giants reason enough that they should seek outside help? The giants clearly came from somewhere; if they weren’t French giants, then wouldn’t some other country be able to tell if they were suddenly missing their population of giants? Were they that easy to lose track of?

“I think they have asked. It’s been months.” Especially after a headmistress had gone missing and a non-French man had taken her place. “It’s weird,” he agreed, shrugging again, his hands in his pockets. Again, he didn’t want to consider that the professors weren’t asking for help; the idea that his entire education could be at stake because of a handful of people? He couldn’t bear it.

He nodded again, happy there weren’t any follow up questions to his ‘goings on’ explanation. “Right,” he repeated, nodding to show his understanding that Louis, too, was studying for their exams. That was easier than he had anticipated. He leaned in with Louis to take a look at the shelf, though he straightened back up quickly when the other boy started wiggling the shelf back and forth, not very keen to have the entire thing topple on top of him. And then Louis kept talking, and Ludo briefly considered finding an out by having the shelf topple on top of him; it was a tough decision, but at the end of the day he was supposed to be fixing the shelf and he wasn’t about to start breaking any rules now.

Ludo raised his eyebrows at the mention of the Papillonlisse boys; he figured he knew which ones he was talking about, had managed to avoid Marconi and his homework needs -- that was how they had time for girls --
for a few weeks now and he was fully wanting to keep it that way. “Probably,” he agreed, the hint of a smirk on his lips. That wasn’t the whole reason why their grades weren’t as good; sure, lack of effort certainly factored into it, but sheer intellect had a lot to do with it as well; that was beside the point.

He took another turn at the shelf once Louis had taken a step back, and he straightened up with another nod. “Yeah, looks like it,” he agreed, motioning towards the brackets on the right. “I can take these, if you want to have a go at those.” He pointed to the left. “Can meet in the middle.” He’d probably work faster, neater, and be done with the middle brackets before Louis had genuinely started, but Ludo wasn’t about to argue. He pulled out his wand and -- after quickly straightening the stacks of books and eliminating that distraction -- set off to work.

Louis Proulx [ Bellefeuille ]
67 Posts  •  16  •  Vuvuzelas  •  played by laura
Re: [library] welcome to the human race [ludwig]
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2019, 10:19:04 PM »
Louis frowned, offended that Ludo was insulting the Ministry his family worked for. The French boy bit his tongue, however, as he felt he was finally making progress with the Ombrelune and didn’t want to, ironically, upset his friend by pointing out that he was being rude. Ludo’s comment that the professors likely had requested assistance from the Ministry gave Louis an uneasy feeling in his stomach. If they had asked, why was the Ministry not rushing to their aid? He knew for a fact that he wasn’t the only student with parents who worked for the French Ministry. Vaguely, he remembered something they’d learned in Wizarding History and Culture, about how one country’s ministry meddling in another country’s beast affairs never seemed to end well. Perhaps the giants weren’t even French, he hadn’t heard them speak yet.

“Yeah, okay.” Louis nodded, looking around the vicinity for a moment, lost in thought about giants and girls and exams, before realising Ludo had already started at his end. The Bellefeuille leaned in and started working on the left side. He struggled a little at getting his fingers in to tighten the brackets at first, before glancing sidelong to see his companion was doing the task with magic. Duh. Louis’ cheeks flushed lightly at his own stupidity and he pulled his wand out, muttering the incantation under this breath and watching the screws tighten themselves.

After they met in the middle (or rather, close to Louis’ end of the shelf), he tried to give the wood a good wiggle and found that it didn’t budge. “Perfect.” He grinned, genuinely feeling some sort of accomplishment. “I guess we just put the books back on and we’re done?” He asked, reaching for the nearest pile and lifting them, pausing only after he had them in his arms to check they were in order -- he tilted his head one way to read the titles and authors. A smile told Ludo that he’d got the right stack, and Louis began putting them back on the shelf carefully.

When they were done, Louis stood back and admired their work briefly whilst Ludo straightened some of Louis’ less-than-perfect stacking. “Well,” he sighed dramatically, “I better go. I still haven’t done that Metaphysics homework,” he grimaced, it was due the following morning so he was likely in for a long night unless Nata helped him, “let me know when you’re next doing Service and we can team up again!” Louis beamed, picking up his bag and slinging it over his shoulder. “See you, Ludo.”

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Ludwig Baumann [ Ombrelune ]
517 Posts  •  16  •  played by christine
Re: [library] welcome to the human race [ludwig]
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2019, 05:44:16 AM »
Ludo ignored Louis’s frown, deciding to interpret it as seriousness for the task at hand. “Okay,” he repeated, though he was already working on his self-assigned brackets. He tapped at them, just barely suppressing his smirk as he watched his handiwork, screws tightening without him having to say the spell aloud. He had started at the top shelf and worked his way down, before restarting at the top and double checking everything he had already done. Only then did he move to the next set of brackets, just to repeat the top-to-bottom routine.

He hadn’t been wrong in his assumption that he would finish more brackets than Louis, and he was also impressed that he had finally managed to find some part of the task that required Louis to stay silent for more than a couple seconds. It was almost nice, working with him. Almost.

Perfect. Ludo looked at what Louis had done and he shrugged, not wanting to take the time to correct any of the obvious flaws he was seeing, wanting nothing more than to see the Bellefeille leave the library and leave Ludo to his thoughts. He did respond to Louis’s question, however. “Yes.” Ludo slid the card with the task’s instructions along the table toward the other boy, the instructions that clearly stated to replace the books exactly where they found them. He picked up a stack, watching Louis out of the corner of his eye, only to make sure he wouldn’t have to go back and make any more corrections to the work. But Louis placed the books where they needed to be, and Ludo managed to smile before placing his own stack.

He only had to straighten out about sixty percent of Louis’s work, which was far less than he had expected, and only found one obviously misshelved book. “Well,” he repeated, not matching the other boy’s sigh, hiding his pleasure that he was soon to be left alone. “Right. Good luck with it.” Ludo had finished that homework the day it had been assigned, but he didn’t offer the information, always aware that the wrong person might overhear and ‘insist they check his essay for errors’.

“Yeah, of course,” he agreed to Louis’s request, though the thought of switching back to Stables service was momentarily appealing. “See you.” He quickly found his own book, the one he had been reading before having to take a break for all this work, and flipped it open to the right page as he resettled in his chair.

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