Interns in Training

Interns in Training

I’m glad you’ve come early. I absolutely insist on prompt time traveling. There are too many perspective interns who think time travel can be done at any hour of any day because, after all, they can always arrive on time at their destination. Foolish. Time travel is dangerous and not to be manipulated. I keep a strict schedule of time jumps for many reasons, but I cannot divulge all of them to you now. We must be off to the year 1415. If you indeed want to intern here at the library, you must learn how to blend into different ages and cultures. You must also have a keen eye for details. A look, an inflection, the movement of an individual in the heart of

When a Roman Owes a Victorian a Favor

When a Roman Owes a Victorian a Favor

They simply weren’t dressed for Ancient Rome. But here they were, walking right up to the front door of some Roman aristocrat’s villa, as though there was nothing else to be done on a Monday morning. Darcy tried to keep up with Madame Lobellia’s quick and confident glide up the steps of the villa’s porch. Upon reaching the top, a Roman servant made an effort to keep them from entering though the bronze doors, but, whether due to his weakness or Madame’s force of presence (and Darcy suspected the latter), he gave a slight bow and let them pass. Once inside the atrium, however, it was obvious why there hadn’t been much trouble getting in. A good size group of visitors on the “petitioner” side

A Victorian in Ancient Rome

A Victorian in Ancient Rome

Madame Lobellia knew her Victorian dress was out of place in Ancient Rome, but she was well acquainted with the feeling of displacement. Darcy, however, was hardly so. Lobellia side-glanced her intern. She could see the girl’s confidence shrinking the further they walked down the Roman road. The girl constantly tugged at her green and tan plaid skirt and then, for no apparent reason, began walking in her heels as if she’d never worn them before. Inevitably, three Romans walked past them in the opposite direction, taking no measures to curb their stares. They said something in Latin and laughed. Darcy winced and Lobellia shook her head. The poor girl hadn’t been away from her Home Year of 1941 for long, only four months. Bringing

Another Way In

Another Way In

Darcy clenched the edge of the shelf and held her breath. She’d never been this close to a dragon, much less a copperhyde. Copperhydes could camouflage themselves against almost any background, but their preferred material was stone—rough, pitted stone, from the Terra Avstra, like the walls around them. Once a copperhyde chose to be seen, though, it dazzled, tail flashing and scales glittering. It didn’t need much light to accomplish this, either. If it wanted, a copperhyde could use a single match to make itself reflect like a beacon in a storm. But there was a catch—and it was a good thing. When copperhydes shut their eyes (which they must do to camouflage), all they see is bright light, so when they blink their eyes

Spying on the D.A.R.K.

Spying on the D.A.R.K.

There were human passageways and there were dragon passageways throughout the library. Madame Lobellia never hesitated to use the latter; she had the wit and cleverness needed to go undetected there. But she didn’t trust herself with being in the open tonight. For one thing, Darcy was with her, and that girl couldn’t keep from squealing whenever she saw the dark shadow of a dragon fly overhead. Secondly, guards of D.A.R.K. were in the building, watching the entrance to the Humanities Hall. You wouldn’t see them, but they would be there, camouflaged into the ornate pillars that fanned out from either side of the large wooden doors. Lobellia couldn’t risk her intern’s life by entering the hall properly. That left them with the Human passages

A New War

A New War

Madam Lobellia tried to pace her office at a respectable speed. Her mother had taught her that a lady should never rush, but, then again, her mother never thought her daughter would work with dragons. Lobellia picked up speed and wrung her hands. She was outraged. This wasn’t the first time The Dragon Academy of Remedial Knowledge (D.A.R.K.) had interrupted her schedule. Oh yes, she had a schedule. She had every moment of Interference lined up like a row of targets she never missed—unless D.A.R.K. got in the way. D.A.R.K. was the only dragon organization that acted as though they suspected the existence of humans, yet didn’t want confirmation of that existence. Ever. Their purpose at the library was as vague as the reasons they

When a Human Interferes with a Dragon

When a Human Interferes with a Dragon

Madame Lobellia parted a few of the twigs in Prestor’s toy province and maneuvered her way through them, careful not to snag her violet, taffeta dress. She’d wrapped her ring of keys in strips of velvet so that they wouldn’t clink and give her away. She picked her way over the spongy moss, keeping her eyes fixed on the dragon. When he flipped his tail, she froze, waiting to see if it was a precursor to him shifting his entire body around. When he didn’t move, she walked backwards a few steps and leaned against one of the cold stones Prestor had laid across his toy province to represent the Angor mountain range. The longer Lobellia watched him, the more her muscles relaxed and her

A Librarian Introduces Herself

A Librarian Introduces Herself

I am not the first human to hold the position. You should know this before I tell you anything else. The Durian Archives record a genealogy of librarians stretching back before the time of King Solomon. You mustn’t misunderstand this curious family tree; librarians are not related by blood, but by three common cords: an enduring passion for books, the will to keep great secrets, and a keen instinct for predicting the behavior of dragons. We have been, and always will be, those that guard the Spiral Staircase between two worlds—worlds that deny each other’s existence. Hello, my name is Madame Lobelia. I was eighteen when I applied for apprenticeship at the library and thirty when I took my oath as Head Librarian. It’s been eleven years since. This