Paola had made a better choice than she realized when she asked the older student to reach the book for her, as he stood up, and up, and followed her willingly enough back to the Muggle literature section. The book she wanted was still there on the top shelf; no one had come along while she had been off seeking help and taken it, nor had the book moved on its own.
Now that the second possibility had come to mind, Paola found the idea irresistible. This was a magical library, after all. Why couldn't the books move around on their own? She knew that books could be made with magic, or to contain magic, and that spells could interact in weird ways, so surely cramming a bunch of magical books together on the same shelf would cause something to happen. The effect might even spread to these poor, boring magic-less Muggle books and really bring the stories to life.
It would mean a lot of work for the librarian, though. But surely a magical librarian would expect strange things to be lurking in their magical library. Like Lirael, in the sequel to Sabriel. In some ways, Lirael had been a scarier book, and Paola needed something lighter to read after finishing it. It was another reason she'd been excited to see that RMI's library looked like it had all of Diana Wynne Jones' books. She'd really enjoyed the first two Chrestomanci books one of the older embassy kids had left at her usual spot in the embassy's cafeteria, even though the ancient paperbacks had been virtually falling apart.
This library had the first two books collected into one volume, with the second two in another combined volume sitting right next to it, several feet out of Paola's reach. But not out of her friendly neighborhood prefect's, who passed it down to her as soon as Paola pointed it out to him.
"Thank you very much," Paola said, not realizing how close she was to hugging the book.
”Enjoy reading for fun while you can,” the older student advised. ”You can run out of time quickly here as classes get busier.”
Paola stared at him in shocked dismay, not certain if he was joking. She certainly had had no trouble working ahead; that was why she had time to be at the library now. "What do you mean, while I can? That sounds like the most awful thing in the world, not having time to read for fun!"
Paola barely remembered to keep her voice down, since she was in a library. But only barely.