(1937-09-25) Harvesting Leeds
Details for Harvesting Leeds
Summary: Niamh's invited Gideon with her to Kent to do some herb harvesting, and he's agreed to go. While there, they get a chance to get to know each other a little better.
Date: 24 September 1937
Related: Trip Planning

Lizzie's cottage is, in a word, quaint. And very English with the decoration, as it should be, stuck out in the middle of Muggle England. There are only a few little details that might give it away to a knowing eye, but nothing truly out of the ordinary. More.. eccentric and old. Easily explained away!

Now on the other side, Nia's got some firewood pulled and set to the side in preparation for a rousing, roaring fire. Then, as a testament to the fact that it is a witch's house, there are containers for the various herbs that will be harvested under the moon. Some containers are glass, thick, thick glass, and others are less.. protective. Nia's wand is set to the side of the containers; the charms and spells that are needed to keep the herbs obviously done. As she works, she hums a little; idle hands are the devil's tools!

Gideon sits in a chair nearby, watching Niamh work with a certain degree of fascination. It's been a long time since Herbology or Potions classes, and much of what he learned back then is no longer with him. But it all seems to come so naturally to the Irish lassie; a true talent. "Those thicker ones…are you concerned about something getting out?" He's only half joking.

"Aye, actually.. I am." Her eyes are bright, and they seem to dance in merriment with the answer. Nia turns about, and blows a stray hair from her face, her brows rising. "Were ye sleeping when ye were standing for yer potions? Thankfully, in the ground, they've got roots, but they'll take a swipe at ye if unencumbered suchly." She's got that teasing tone, but like him, she's only half-joking.

Turning back to her work at the fireplace, it's only a couple more moments before she's got a fire lit. It'll take a bit more for all the seasoned wood to catch, but give it time. With that done, she crosses the short distance to the table and starts to set the contents of a bag out; there are small phials, ampules.. very much like that at her shop, and these contain various coloured concoctions. Droppers are put out next, all in a row before she starts to pack the charmed containers. Once they're packed, she touches each of the stoppers, "Rendered frogs tongue, moss added for colour," and she goes down the list, "snail shell an' eggs, riverroot, an' erumpent." Volatile. Explosive… what was that that Keenan had said about an exploding potion? "Ready?"

Gideon moves over to the hearth to tend the fire. This is one thing he has plenty of experience with; his flat gets cold! Once confidant that the fire will take care of itself, he rises, wiping soot from his hands. "Ready for what? Going out now?" He glances toward the door.

Nia watches Gideon's expertise with the fires; she usually just never has the one at the shop go out, so restarting one? Well, with a wand, it's easy, but for some reason, there are some things she likes to do by hand. Gardening is one thing. Wood.. well, as da is.. was the carpenter, there's something there too. By hand.

"Aye.." Nia puts the bag in hand. "There are a few ones that need t'be taken by the light of the moon only. If ye don't catch 'em then, they'll pull back in at the light of day. Once they're caught, mind, they'll keep." She comes to stand at the door, her brows rising, her tones holding that .. happy tenor in them. "Comin'?" Or do I have t'catch ye too?

Gideon gives her a warm smile; a warmth that is only seen in her presence. "Aye, lassie." He takes up his coat and slips it on. Flannel shirt or not, it's cold out there, and he didn't have the sense to pack a jumper. He leaves his fedora behind; there's no sun to keep out of his eyes, and no dirtbags to intimidate. There's only the two of them, and for that, he breathes a little easier.

It's that smile that brings her heart around to thumping in her chest, that pitty-pat cadence. She's at the door, and as he arrives, she opens it for them both to exit. Rather forward, doing that rather than leaving it to Gideon, but.. she's ready to get to the harvesting, though she'll have a hard time of it now, floating off the ground as she is! (Not literally, mind..)

It is chilly, a brisk feeling, but it's clear. Not like London air, and once outside, she fills her lungs with it. "There are times when I miss this air.. London's not as nice as this. Sometimes." Setting off, Nia's got a chacket wrapped round, and gloves and bag are in hand. "What ever brought ye to London? An' doan' say work," the warning is teasing, her Irish lilt not changing a whit from the happy, conversational sound it was before. "'cause I know they could use a good man like ye in every city."

Gideon lets her open the door, but he'll be a pustulent puffskein before he permits a lady to go out behind him (barring some dangerous situation, of course). He stops at the door, giving her an insistent look with a gesture of his hand.

Once outside, he move to her side, trudging along through the English countryside. "It was work, at first. I was in training, and for a time, I was partnered with a veteran Hit Wizard who was showing me the ropes. After he retired…well, by then I'd met Lyla." This time, there is less pain in his voice when he mentions his late wife. It's a happy memory, and it shows in the softness that overcomes his features.

Nia's happy for the company, and as the pair walk together, she turns down a small side path, slow enough for Gideon to tell her direction and come with. "An' of course ye couldn't leave for Scotland again with her?" It is a question, honestly posed. There's that pang in her chest; the softness of his voice, the harder edges that are disappearing, giving the man a .. less hardened, less .. angry mien, and more honest. Open. Younger. Handsome. "London's a town that'll keep ye busy, for sure." She points ahead, in fair warning, "First patch is there, over the rise, near the copse o'larch."

Gideon nods, taking note of the direction she gestures. Trained habits take over, and he finds himself automatically looking for places where an ambush could spring from. Always prepared. "My mother had already passed, and her family was near London. I saw no sense in taking her away from what she knew."

"An' yer da?" He hadn't mentioned him, and she knows how close she is to both her parents. All the siblings take care of them, and she's pretty sure her parents now live better than any one of their children. But, according to the O'Shea clan, that's the way it should be, and will be! "Make sense, o'course." Every few steps, Nia does cast a glance to look at that visage in the moonlight, and has to look away, lest she's caught lingering too long. "Do ye miss it? Scotland, that is. I can listen to ye sing about it until the cows come home, mind.."

Gideon inhales deeply before answers her about his father. "A Muggle. I'd see him around Christmas every year when I was a boy. We've not spoken since Ma's funeral." There's a bit of that hardening again, but he is glad for the change of topic to Scotland itself. "I miss it, and I dinnae miss it. I grew up in Glasgow, mainly. A shite-hole of a city if ever there was one. Pardon my language. But my mother and I would visit a childhood friend of hers in the summers, up in the Highlands. That…that's the Scotland I prefer to remember."

Nia nods, and as they begin to take the rise, she murmurs, "I'm sorry fer that. My da's a Muggle, an' he's a good man. Mum loves him t'death, an' that's when they'll part." A nice, solid Irish family. "One day, I'll see 'em. When, maybe, I'll have some help for the shop that I can trust, I'll do a spot of travellin'. France.. Paris. North. Wales. An' back to Ireland fer a bit." See? No pressure there! She quirks a smile, and it's a warm one for him. "One day, over the fire, ye'll have t'give me a story of the young Adamantus in the hills and dales of the Highlands."

Gideon gives her a grin, making a deliberate attempt to rise above the dark memories of a father that was never a father. "Those stories," he chuckles, "Might give you the wrong impression about me." As they near a ditch by the path, he instinctively moves to put himself between her and it, eyes ever on its shadowy depths.

That grin.. can Nia ever really put into words the feeling it gives to see such a thing? Would she even be believed, if she, say, mentioned it to Lindy? But, then again, does she want to, and instead keep this all for herself? Lindy'd say she's being selfish.. but just for a little while longer! "Or, it'll put all those little pieces together an' give me a delightful picture of the real Adamantus."

Once over the rise, Nia looks to her left and sets her things down to put her gloves on. "Right there." She takes out some clippers, "That's the first batch. They don't bite. It's a leafy green we're lookin' for. The skinnier bits that grow with 'em seems t'be a companion plant. One, two maybe we'll take, just t'keep the ones we want happier." Is she talking about a plant or animal?! In her world, there are some that are a little of both. "The next bits should be further out, but not far. Under the shade of the larch. Easy peasy.. then it's a trek to near Leeds Castle. There, that's the nasty bit." No doubt they'll be apparating there.

Gideon crouches down to examine the plants as she harvests them. "I dinnae ken how you do it. They all look the same to me. How do you know you've got the right plant?" He'll help how he can…which primarily consists of holding jars and vials. It's obvious that he doens't need to be here. But she wants him to be…he wants to be.

"Mum's a gardener too. She taught me a fair bit, and by the time I made it to school? S'why all of us have a bit of potion-makin' in us. Keen is better at it than I, but I've got him on the plants." Nia begins to explain the differences of the plant; and removes her gloves to explain the feel of the leaves, to rub them and smell the fingers of the residue. Then, with a nail, she indents a leaf to show what it'll do; creasing, and then it seems as if it heals itself almost immediately.

It is true. This is something of a solitary thing, the harvesting of herbs, but.. she does want him there with her. And it's not going to take all night; the chances are good that they may not make Leeds by tonight, and tomorrow night will be the time, at moonrise. The day coming to spend with him? "See?" With the containers open, Nia harvests them quickly and easily, humming a little Irish ditty (probably a drinking song!) for them as she works. It's only a few clips of the cutter, and the closing of the containers.. and it's back into the bag.

Gideon's grin broadens at her ditty. In part, he is amused at the bawdy Irish drinking song, but it is also the first time he's heard her voice. She can sing! It is Gideon's turn to feel his heart give a thump. Music is the language of the soul, and it speaks to him when all else fails.

At Niamh's explanation, he nods with a discerning crinkle in his brow. That makes a certain sense to him. "So, the plants speak to you without speaking to you?" That's how he thinks of reading people. Their "tells" say so much more than their words to, and often just the opposite of their words.

"Aye.." and her own smile brightens upon her face to see that her companion for the .. time being seems to be .. himself, which is a damned sight different than what he has to be in London. What he's become to do the job. "Where they lie, their preferences in.. soil, shade or light.. an' their choice of companions.. or what they do to the outlying plants. There's some'll kill anything around, just because of their roots." Nia knows he's got it now, and she's happy in the knowledge that there is that explanation that brings it in and makes it not quite so.. foreign. Brings it within his ken. "Some need constant tending, an' some prefer to be left alone."

With this batch done, she's got her containers back in place and reaches for his hand to bring him to the next batch. Not far; just, as she said, under the larches' shade. "I don't expect ye to remember it all, or even have more than a passing interest.. but.." She stops to face him now, "This is so much nicer, with ye."

The hand in his catches him by surprise, but it is only a moment of hesitation, then he is squeezing hers. "I'm starting to be glad I gave that rookie a smack." He takes a deep breath of the night air. "It's easy to get lost in London fog." Literally and figuratively.

"I meant to ask," and that impish smile appears, her nose crinkling, "Before I happen to fully condone such behavior, an' I do, by the by, if it means ye came to Kent with me, what happened?" Nia's not afraid she's opening a can of worms, honestly. The squeeze of his hand of hers brings that smile to lighten her face, and there's a skip to her step. "An' ye are right. London fog.. sometimes, it's not good for ye, and ye have to take a breath of fresh air." She turns again, and leads him towards the copse, and reluctantly lets his hand go in order to do her harvesting. "I don't think we'll have the time to head to Leeds.. not tonight. By the time we're there, an' I've got the traps set, they'll be headed back into the ground."

Gideon smirks to a light chuckle. "This is a bit like those stories about my childhood. Ah, alright, here's how it went. I was in the M.L.E. lounge for a spot of coffee. Lovegood was there, being his usual batty self, as was this Auror…Croup…no, Cooper." He shakes his head, muddling over her name. "Anyhow, these young idios, Wicks and Burgess, come in and start harassing her. Cooper, that is. They take the book she's reading and start tossing it back and forth over our heads. Lovegood snatched the book, which is a good thing, because I'd intended to use it to smack Wicks. I dinnae ken…I lost my temper. I was trying to relax and I suppose they showed up at the wrong time. So I got up and gave Wicks a slap. Honestly, I'm not especially sorry that I did. That kind of childish crap has no place in the M.L.E. Sometimes rookies need to be put to the ground so they can learn to climb." He shrugs, as if this wasn't the first time he'd roughed up a young officer acting out. He gives her a serious frown, "But I'd never hit a woman. I want you to know that."

"Ah…" and Nia laughs as the story begins to unfold. This only makes her want to hear the stories of him in the Highlands even more, and she'll say as much. Later. She kneels in the dirt, her face turned up to watch him, and she lets out a laugh at the end of the recounting. "Then if that single act meant ye could be here, with me, all's the better. While I won't encourage ye to cause yer boss grief, I am findin' myself at the winnin' end of the deal. An' there are times when I can be selfish." She does try to be understanding, but when that point is reached?

His offering of that last bit brings her back and on her heels. Nia's looking at him already, so when that flicker of seriousness comes, she can see it, and for a moment, her heart falls for the loss of that.. lightness. The words, however.. and she nods. "What I know of ye, Adamantas Gideon, ye are a good man. I know that. A good, solid man." And with it, everything that it implies.

The way she looks at him is heartwarming, but also a bit frightening. The more he reveals, the more she'll see him for what he truly is. The closer she'll get to that rage that perpetually boils under the surface…and she may get burned. "I'm just a man," he insists. "How good I am depends upon who you ask. I've done things I'm not proud of, and I'm proud of things that perhaps I should nae be. Niamh…your brother is right to be cautious of me. No doubt Malfoy and MacDubsithe are, as well. You know I have enemies. To even be in my company could put you at risk again. I could nae bear it if you were to come to harm, especially for my part."

"There are plenty that couldn't even be considered a man, Gideon," she offers quietly. "Look to yer motives, an' yer heart. Wrongs have been done to ye, grievous wrongs. An' ye are on t'other side of it. In yer eyes, the bluest I've seen, there's pain, an' hope. In the light of day, it's all there.. and now, in the dark of night, ye've not given in." She rises to her feet and takes a step towards Gideon. "We've all done things we're not proud of.. me, Keen, Lindy.. Sloan.. m'mum and da. All through history an' our days, but it doesn't mean we're not good people. You're a good man. An', if ye think on it, any of us could be in that same sort of danger. I'm friends with aurors, an' a healer. I'm a potion maker. What happens if someone doesn't like my work?" She shakes her head and lifts a hand to his face to stroke that beard to see if she can't quell those thoughts that threaten to wash over. "It's my choice, an' ye've given yer warnings.. an' I'll continue to ask for yer company as long as yer willin' t'give it."

She isn't afraid enough. Break her heart now. Save her from herself…from you. You're dangerous, Gideon. She deserves safety, and a heart that isn't already broken.

Gideon's mind races, his own thoughts battering down on him. He has every reason to listen to that grim voice, to walk away and continue being alone in his daily war, where only he is at risk. But…he has one reason — one powerfully compelling reason — to defy it. No. She understands. She may not know all of the risks, but she is willing to brave them. She has courage like I haven't known since…

His hand lifts to hers, pressing her palm to his cheek. "I swear, I shall always protect you." With those words, he has plunged into the depths. Caution is forgotten in the moonlit darkness, and his head dips down to meet her lips with his own.

Nia can see the storm of thoughts behind those eyes of his, and she simply waits, her thumb stroking the stubble, that ginger, always-seems-to-be-there growth that's neither truly a beard or simply a shadow. Her lips open a little as she breathes, searching his eyes, his face, for any indication of how her words are received. And there, there it comes; a promise of safety, and security? It's more than a promise there.. a vow. Before she can say anything, however, the dip of his head, the inviting of those lips to kiss.. and she takes it, lifting herself onto her toes, leaning into him, and she presses her lips against his.. her hand never straying now from the cradling of his cheek. It takes her breath away, and for that long moment of the embrace, she's captured.. and all thought is there.. in him. There, in the moonlight, their first kiss.

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