But zie evidently did not realize that, should the books be read on the evening of the pre-Surprise festivities, they must needs be brought back to the library during Surprise.
Nor is Dustweed a particularly robust Herethroy, as co-lovers so often aren't. It seems that the heat of Surprise has quite overcome zir, in body or in spirit. Zie hinted that zie neglected to bring the books when zie went to class this morning. Thery, from whose clever eyes few ignominies can escape, noticed that zie took the books with zir in the morning, and returned with them at noontime: in this way zie measured zir fools' ribbons long.
And of course it is not Dustweed who can return them. Dustweed cannot or will not trot them back to the library zirself, not on a day where sunshine falls on Herethroy backs like the flames of its birth -- unless zie is an Aquador mage to weave zirself a jacket of cool water. I don't know what Dustweed's excuse is. In any event, zie cast zirself into bed, thoroughly unwell, and left the three of us to return zir books.
It was quickly decided -- a stinking, half-frozen curse be inserted into the nether parts of that wicked process of 'voting', and, once there present, be rotated as upon the Lathe of the Bitter Goddess! (this time) -- that I was the one to return the books. Perhaps I should be quieter about enjoying the hot weather.
So, must needs I fly around, books bobbling behind, through the canyons of five-story houses around the Academy. And, upon coming to the dread and arcane tower of the library, I discovered its terrible secret: that, in Surprise, it closes at the eighth hour of the day: an hour later than the rest of the Academy in Surprise, but, needless to say, it was by then two hours past noon -- I was three hours late!
I mused on flying back home, errand failed: but the fine for three late books might be too big a fraction of Dustweed's rent. The guard-door of the library was far too heavy for me to open by hand. I was, by this time, not exactly short of cley, but levitating the books had taken more than I might have wished, and I myself had (and, indeed, still have) a set of practical exercises in Tempador to do for tomorrow -- and, hot as it is, I'm not entirely sure I want to sit in a fire [to meditate and regain cley -bb].
Thumping on nearby doors roused one (1) sleepy Rassimel, a senior student in Mathematics, who had no desire to leave his theorems and sequences for even a minute to walk the sixth-of-a-mile across the Yard and open a door for a Zi Ri. Flying back home and making Thery do the work was tempting, but seemed impractical, as she had once refused before.
At length, I was able to squirm, without much dignity, through an airhole in the library's entrance hall (fortunately nobody could see me -- had there been anyone watching, I would simply have asked them to open the door), and somehow persuade the books to follow me. At which point I discovered the Least Librarian to be a Rassimel as deaf as a pickled oyster and rather half as friendly, demanding to know why I didn't simply knock at the door. I had to shout my answer thrice before he could hear it, though.
He did, at least, open the door and let me leave in a more dignified way.
It is tempting to contrive some strategem to grow to the size of a heavy horse, and be able to open doors -- or break them down! -- without so much trouble as this.
Dustweed was fast asleep when I got home, and even thanks were unavailable.
(Postscript: the fools' ribbons were cut shorter than I gave zir credit for. The reason that Dustweed didn't try to return them zirself was, in fact, she did try, but two of her many Herethroy enemies were practicing staff-fighting in Damarnathe Yard, and one of them accidentally thwacked zir in the knee hard enough to crack zir chitin. They did have the grace to take zir to the healers, so zie wasn't actually bleeding; but zie was walking on four legs -- or, strictly, on three -- and I noticed not. But zir enemy wasn't doing any unneedful favors, so the books stayed with zir. I didn't realize a bit of this; Havune winkled the story out of zir and told me when I came home with fire in all my fangs.)