Marvel owns the X-men, No Profit is to be made from this work.
Author's Note : A touch shorter than I expected but I enjoyed writing this chapter too much to leave it laying around waiting for inspiration for more, I do hope you enjoy a bit of fluffiness.
Paige couldn't believe she was here, the renowned library of Westchester, holding some of the most important tomes and scrolls of any Kingdom, standing frozen at the threshold looking on in awe. Angelo stood to her side, patient and quiet himself, waiting to follow her lead. Ahead of them both they could see Charles waving, Jubilee once again no more than a sprite darting about him.
"Well Chica, you said you wanted to train with the Professor." Angelo said, pushing her into the library.
"But, he isn't, but is, and...it's not..." Paige sputtered, looking to him as she pointed ahead to Charles.
"Chica, you're cute, smart, and know the kinds of people most people spend their lives just tellin' stories about. Let me tell ya something. Anyone can be an apprentice or squire of someone important, how often do ya get to say you trained with them personally?" Angelo kissed her nose, her cheek, pressed a kiss to her lips that lingered with her eyes closing.
"When did you get so smart?" Paige asked opening her eyes to stare into his own.
"Hanging around with the right kinda people, do your Mama proud, gotta do the same. Herr Wagner will have my arse if I'm not down to the courtyard by noon for practice." Angelo held her hands, one last kiss shared between them before he turned to leave.
Left alone Paige made her way into the library, treading lightly as she walked through the shelves, every scroll or tome a priceless fount of knowledge, the playground of the boy who she knew would become the Professor. With her satchel at her side, full of her most treasured scrolls gifted to her by Ororo and others, she walked in to chase after the pair. She could hear Jubilee rambling on about the basics of magic, recalled the words from so long ago, little more than a child at her father's feet, the pixie daring to teach her how to Paff. It was a lesson Paige had yet to master, watching Charles do it so easily she knew he could only be who they knew him to be.
"So we have to find you a master to teach you." Paige heard Jubilee, saw the questioning gaze of Charles fall on her as she flitted in front of him.
"Why can't you teach me?" Charles asked.
Jubilee just turned her back to him, huffing as if he'd asked her why the sky wasn't green instead of blue. Paige knew the answer, had asked it herself once.
"I can show you how to use some magic, but Human magic is just so, ah! So full of stuffy rules and talking about all sorts of nonsense trying to find the Ley lines instead of just reaching out for them. Magic, real magic, is good, happy, about wishes and helping. Humans figured out how to be humans with magic. That's why you have to find a master to teach you, otherwise it's like giving someone a bunch of gunpowder and lit candle, ya just know they're going to blow 'emselves up!" Jubilee explained, turning to find Paige leaning against a bookshelf.
Crystal shattered as Jubilee burst to her full height, landing lightly on her feet to hug Paige. She caught Charles looking to her friend, smiled as he tried to look beyond them at being caught, Paige laughing at his antics. She was hardly much older than him, maybe a couple of years, but she couldn't believe who he was, believe he would become the Professor. Whispering to Jubilee what she'd seen, she saw the pixie flutter her wings as she only did when her most happiest or mischievous, wondering really which it was then. Sharing a room with Jubilee, she'd been sworn to secrecy to the kiss the two had shared, hidden in between the heartbeats of the court in that one frozen moment.
"She told you, didn't she?" Charles asked, Paige blushing red and going rigid.
Jubilee tore free of the embrace to stomp across to him and glare up, Charles a few inches taller than her, just enough that when her bare feet touched earth he had an advantage. Pointing a finger at him, she puffed her cheeks out angrily, spouting Fey before flicking her finger against his ear, Charles crying in pain.
"Don't use that mind ready magic stuff on friends, unless you have to! And if you ever use it on me, I'll Paff you to Khaus! Now get looking, both of you, it's got to be here somewhere. The Professor told me he found his master in a special book, only ever found in this library. Of course it likes to hide, it's a special book, a journal." Jubilee shrunk to a pixie's favoured size, darting off leaving Paige and Charles alone.
Paige looked to Charles, the boy looking up to her with questioning eyes. Placing a guiding hand on his shoulder and pushed him ahead of her. She could only wonder who could ever have taught the Professor, a man like that would have to be powerful, legendary, or secretive that they'd never find him. Looking to the shelves Paige resisted the urge to pause and read, so much knowledge just sitting there for her.
"What do you think it looks like?" Charles asked, running a finger along the bindings of the tomes, pulling one free and handing it to Paige.
"Ah don't know, Ah mean my journal was just a book my Papa bought me at some bazaar he visited, plain leather full of blank pages." Paige looked to the book she'd been given, trying to decipher the magic tongue of mankind, so different from the Fey she'd learnt from Jubilee and Ororo.
Charles stopped, looked back to her, saw her confusion and looked in understanding. Pulling a pair of glasses from his vest pocket he handed them over. Paige took them gently, the tome stuffed under one arm as she inspected them. The frames were undoubtedly gold, but the lenses weren't anything like she'd seen, almost looking to be made of the shimmering surface of the lake on a still day.
"I don't need them anymore, but try them. Scott gave them to me when I was first learning, said they used to belong to the Professor, to me I guess. You can have them, they should help you." Charles smiled, turning to trudge on through the stacks, looking at the various books in their search for the one that would undoubtedly look out of place.
Paige put the glasses on, blinked at finding the world hardly looked any different, just looking all the crisper, sharper. Looking down to the book she'd been given she couldn't stifle her gasp, the magic words written as plain as day, A Treatise of Ley Magic. Pulling them away the words lost their meaning, putting them back on to find it as clear as day. Throwing the book open she flipped through the pages, oft taking them off to stare at the words that made little sense without them. Feeling a weight upon her head she looked up to find Jubilee sitting cross-legged there, staring down at her.
"Where'd you find the Professor's reading glasses?" Jubilee asked, leaning down to stare at them.
"Charles gave them to me, said to keep them." Paige took them off, staring at them in awe.
"Oh neat, well, I'm going to keep looking. Keep them safe, you'll need them, human magic is so boring to try and read, blah blah this and long winded name for a rutabaga that. Made by a bunch of people who just liked to hear themselves talk, not like Fey magic. All you need for Fey magic is a magic word and a wish. But nooo, they figured out how to take all the fun out of it! Anyways, Bye!" Jubilee darted off in a flash, Paige left to search alone.
Tucking the tome under her arm, she walked along, looking at the world through the glasses, her glasses now, marvelling at the titles of the books and tomes she passed. Ahead she could hear Jubilee and Charles, the two in an argument from the sound of things over a book being dropped on him, Jubilee professing her innocence. Following their voices Paige caught up to the pair, seeing a large tome lying on the ground with Charles holding his head, Jubilee already working her Fey magic to heal the bump.
"Well it wasn't Paige who dropped it!" Charles accused.
"Well I didn't drop it, stinky pooper! Paff!" Jubilee stuck her tongue out as the ball of magic struck Charles in the temple, the boy looking up in relief.
With the two looking at another in a war of wills, suddenly a crack sounded, followed by another more distant one. Racing off after the noise the three stared at the dust that hung about another tome lying between the isles, another further down.
"See, told you I didn't do it." Jubilee retorted, crossing her arms and looking miffed.
"Jubilee, didn't you say it likes to hide?" Paige asked, Charles looking to her with sudden understanding.
"The journal!" Charles cried out, looking around the stacks, pointing as they all watched another book pushed from it's shelf to fall.
"Get it!" Jubilee screamed, darting ahead.
Racing through the stacks the trio dodged books falling, the shelves literally shaking as books rippled as if something running behind them. Turning a corner they stared in horror as a shelf started to topple, Charles held his hand out, a blue glow forming as he uttered an incantation, the shelf frozen in place.
"Quick, push it back up before it falls!" Charles cried, standing rigid in concentration with the glow flickering and fading.
Jubilee burst to her full height, Paige joining her as the two pushed the shelf back from it's precarious perch. Panting for breath the trio fell in a heap next to another, looking around the stacks, catching books pushed forward slowly, almost as if something were peeking at them from behind.
"You sure he said it was a book?" Paige asked, climbing to her feet.
"Yep!" Jubilee walked about, peeking from behind a shelf down another row.
Charles tugged at Paige's dress, the girl turning to look in horror at what he couldn't find the words to express, a tidal wave of books flying from the shelves about them, the shelves bare in it's wake. Grasping Jubilee by an arm each the pair raced on ahead with her, trying to outrun deluge of knowledge that threatened to overtake them. Coming to an intersection they froze, each looking down a row of stacks to see the same phenomenon coming straight for them.
"Hold on!" Jubilee screamed, taking a hand each in her own, working her wings in a flurry as dust formed and swelled around them, pinks and blues mixed with yellows and gold.
Just as the torrent of books neared Jubilee tightened her grip and with a surge of strength Paige nor Charles could hardly believe, pulled them high over the stacks as the crashing wave of tomes fell on the place they'd been. Struggling for height Jubilee held them aloft, both afforded a view of the library, Charles crying out in dismay at the mess, the isles littered with books and scrolls. No warning was given as Jubilee fainted, Charles and Paige left to tumble on the tomes in a heap.
"Jubilee, Jubilee!" Charles asked, the pixie cracking an eye open and offering him a tired smile.
"Dizzy...hungry..." Jubilee whispered, falling unconscious again leaving Charles stricken.
"Don't worry, just let her nap some and we'll get some sweets for her, she'll be right as rain. Lets go find that damn book now! Ah think it' owes the three of us an explanation at the least, and you a Master!" Paige groused, glaring at the nearly empty shelves, hear heart aching for the rough treatment of the treasure trove.
Carrying Jubilee on his back in a piggyback, Charles walked the shelves with Paige, the two looking about hearing the skittering sound of parchment flapping in the breeze. Looking to another in unspoken agreement, they split up as they neared a corner, both taking the sole isles that lead to the hidden alcove. Laying there on a desk, it's covers fluttering and it's pages flapping lay an unassuming book, left with nowhere to run. Paige crossed her arms glaring at it, laughing at realizing how absurd the whole adventure suddenly sounded. The book froze then, Charles walking closer to it whispering reassurances, promising not to hurt it.
"It's okay, I, I think you knew me? I just need your help." Charles said, nearing the desk with Paige cutting off any escape.
Suddenly the book threw itself open, pages flapping by until it stopped at a blank page. Slowly an image started to form as if penned by an unseen hand, a man that looked neither young nor old, just wise and with steel in his eyes. Slowly words were inked in flowing script underneath with an extravagant flourish, the Magus Magnus they said, underneath they carried on, Master of my Mentor, the Professor. Off in a corner of the work, just like an artists signature a word lay, Destiny.
Charles and Paige looked to another in awe and shock, looking back to the pages of the journal. The book slammed shut with what they could only imagine to be dismissive crack, knowing they had found what they had come for even if they couldn't believe it. Leaving the book behind they wound their way through the nigh empty stacks, struggling to find a way past the pile of books that littered the library. It'd grown all too quiet, even their breathing sounding loud as they neared the doors.
"How can..." Charles asked, looking lost as he stared at the floor.
"I don't know...I never really believed he was real." Paige said, holding her satchel to her chest for the comfort it gave her.
With the uneasy silence weighing down upon them the door to the library opened, Charles looking up in fear at the man he saw there. Paige froze, wondering just who the man was, seeing the shock on his face as he looked past to the disaster that had become of the library. He looked more beast than man, blue fur so much like Kurt's she couldn't help but wonder if he was an elf in some way.
"Hello Mister McCoy sir, I can explain!" Charles began, Hank carefully pushing him aside as he looked at the mess.
"It wasn't our fault, well, I mean..." Paige tried to vouch but was hushed by a surprisingly gentle tone for so bestial a man.
Pressing his fingers to his lips he whistled sharply, the shelves and stacks rattling again until the very book they'd hunted after, nearly been buried by, appeared on the nearest of the shelves. Hank looked at it as one might a pet, the book falling flat on the shelf, it's pages rustling in what almost sounded like a whimper.
"I take it this is your fault isn't it? I thought we had worked through this, bad book! Now go back to your shelf, we'll talk about this later!" Hank scolded, turning his back on the book that vanished in a rattling of empty shelves.
Charles and Paige stared at him in awe, hardly believing everything else they'd seen only to have this man talk to a book as if it were a child or misbehaving pet.
"Forgive me for my rudeness, I really should have introduced myself first. Henry McCoy, Librarian and personal tutor to Charles. I take it you're Paige, I must express my regrets upon the news of your fathers passing. By the slumbering pixie upon your back Charles I imagine that the book was causing a good enough deal of trouble that she must have tuckered herself out? " Hank offered his hand to Paige, taking her own to press a chaste kiss to her knuckles.
"Are you an elf Sir?" Paige asked staring in wonder.
"Oh stars and garters no, just an accident from my younger days. Keeping so many tomes of magic and other assorted powers in one place can have that effect on you if you're not careful with what you say and your inflection. Now if you don't mind could you tell me what you were looking for with that particular book that might have warranted an unplanned resorting of the Royal Library?" Hank asked as he looked about the mess.
"The Professor said he found his Master in that book, I didn't expect it to be...so..." Charles sputtered for words.
"Magical? Spirited? I hope it told you what you sought, but I imagine you might not have expected the answer you found. There is a reason that book likes to hide, it's only meant to be found by people who need answers, could you imagine that power in the wrong hands?" Hank asked, Paige and Charles both looking in understanding to him.
"Now then, be off the lot of you, oh and Paige, when you're done with that book there please bring it back, I have another you might be interested then. Good day." Hank said, turning his back to start with the task set before him, singing to himself as he did so.