(1937-11-14) Self Defense Lessons
Details for Self Defense Lessons
Summary: One of many to come. Gideon and Niamh have decided that it would be a good thing for her to be able to defend herself 'just in case', and the couple found a spot outside London where they could practice undisturbed.
Date: 14 November 1937
Related: Nope, not really.

The morning mist casts a pale haze over the English countryside. Far off of the beaten path, in a dip between two hillocks where the mist conceals wizardly activities, Gideon is just finishing transfiguring the last of several earthen columns. "We'll use these as targets," he explains as he walks back to Niamh's position. "So…just how much experience do you have with using magic for self-defense?"

Niamh is up and early, happily so, changing into comfortable clothes and flats so her heels didn't sink into the dirt. And.. her wand. And a couple of potions, just in case.. and a small picnic basket in case they got hungry and thirsty, and…

Now at their location, she's got her arms wrapped about herself, wand in hand, and she watches Gideon as he sets things up. As he makes his way back, Niamh's got that look of concentration on her face; her lips are in a straight line, her brow wrinkled a she works out her response to the question. "I've been out of school.. how long?" She offers a playful warning glance after that, her free hand coming out, "Don't answer that. But it'll give you an idea? Charms.. on the shop. But I've never had t'use defensive magic. Not.. really. The occasional shoelace undone, or when a smooth talker was gettin' fresh.."

Gideon arches an eyebrow, smirking. "Smooth talkers? You give me their names." He grins, teasing. "Alright, the thing about using magic in a fight is that it's really no different than using it at any other time. It's just a matter of learning a few invaluable spells, and keeping a cool head. If you panic, you're in trouble. That's why we practice, so these things become second-nature."

"Had 'em soundin' like a Frenchman.." Mumblemouths! Niamh looks pleased at the reaction and the fact she was more than capable of handling herself. "I don't think they were able t'find a lass for some time. I may have .. played with the timin' a wee bit." She clears her throat and straightens, her hands before her, fingers interlacing as she listens to instruction. "Right," and she nods once. "Got it. Like with the poor soul.."

Gideon nods grimly, "Aye, exactly. We'll also get to that. Home security protocols. But for now, we'll focus on this. I want to go over some very simple spells that can make a world of difference. Firstly, though, do you have an Apparition License?"

"Aye.. had it since I graduated. Times I have t'deliver the potions in a hurry for cause or because the potion won't last that long.." And Niamh actually knows how to do it reasonably well. She cants her head; following his words, "T'get away?" Shifting her spot, her arms come back up to cross before her. "A few spots are like home t'me. Lindy's place…"

Gideon nods. "Just make sure that where you're going dinnae have anti-Apparition jinxes in place. I'd be shocked if Eddie's place didn't. But she can probably attune them to you. Also, it's risky Apparating directly out of a dangerous situation. It's stressful, so there's a good risk of splinching, and if someone gets a grip on you, they'll be coming right along with you."

"We've all got each other covered in things there, aye. Me, Keen, Eddie an' Sloan." But, Niamh does take what he says to heart. "Can't say that I've had t'do it in a panic, thankfully." The potions mistress so far has lived a charmed life, so to speak? "Always know the possibility is there, though." Lest he believe that the thought doesn't cross her mind, because it does; some times more than others. "An' the trick is," she begins slowly, her smile creeping up.. she can't keep the energy down too long, "Nae t'let them get a hand on me."

"That's right, lassie." Gideon smiles approvingly. "But if they do, there are spells to help you, and other methods, too. Magic isn't everything. But let's start with the spells that will buy you the time to get away. One of the simplest defensive charms is a Smokescreen Spell. It'll mask your position, and force your opponent to waste time either countering it or getting through it. That buys you precious seconds." To demonstrate, he turns away and moves his wand in a twirling motion, incanting, "Fumos." A gout of smoke erupts from the tip of his wand, filling the air beyond him with a thick cloud of the stuff.

Niamh's smile grows brighter and she seems to bounce in place at the praise, the look on his face, and she nods. So far so good, and she's understanding everything; the whys and the hows. Not bad for a gardener! Pulling her wand out from crossed arms, she keeps the tip pointed down and watches Gideon as he casts the spell, and the thick cloud of smoke that emerges. "Aye, she begins slowly.. an' don't be where ye were." It's logical to her! It's the spell she's a little concerned with. Not the best there, though obviously she passed her courses. "Aye.. easy peasy.. like the lumos.. only different." She lifts her wand, gives it a couple little twirls, which is then followed by the casting word, "Fumos.." and.. sure enough, a cloud begins to form from the tip of her wand, and she has to turn around so as not to lose sight of Gideon. "Got it!"

"Perfect. That's one that should be safe to practice on your own at home. Though…keep the windows open. I'm sure you know some good venting charms to clear the air. Now then, another good one is a Knockback Jinx. Simple, but very effective. This'll be useful whether their at a distance or puttin' their hands on you." Again he demonstrates, this time aiming for one of the dirt columsn he erected. "Flipendo!" The burst of light barrels into the column, toppling it backward and sending a spray of soil. "If that were a man, he'd be on his arse right now. You may remember, this is the spell that sent me tumbling on that rooftop some time ago." She tended his bruises after that embarrassing incident.

"Aye.. an' it might make the downstairs smell a little better?" Niamh is kidding, of course, but she's also quite serious. She'll be practicing it. And maybe a little dance behind the smoke screen so she's not nabbed. A little information truly does lead to bravery, and sometimes a little foolhearty. At the next, she steps out from behind her now dissipating smoke to pay attention to the next Gideon's got to say. At the contact with the column, she winces, her shoulders rising, "That.." looks like it would hurt. Now, she truly understands what sort of shape Gideon was in when he'd come home torn and tattered.. and bruised. "Aye," she begins, hazel eyes softening to look at him, "Is there a way to nae do it quite so hard?"

Gideon purses his lips. "Aye, the strength of any spell depends on the will and intent behind it. But if you're in danger, you mustn' pull your punches. A Knockback Jinx is dramatic, but nae lethal. You're nae going to break any bones with it. They teach this to students to duel with. It'll be fine, trust me."

Niamh looks.. dubious. Probably the reason why she went into potions. Hurting someone is hard! She takes a deep breath and nods, stepping a little closer to Gideon now, her wand down and 'downrange'. "It is dramatic, aye.. the way the dirt.." She bites at her bottom lip, and raises her wand, hazel eyes now intent on the created column, and it is all she can do not to look away as she begins the incantation for that Knockback jinx, "Flipendo!" There is an immediate reaction, that burst of light, and it's .. remarkable, blowing the dirt about almost as much as Gideon's. She stands there afterwards, willing her eyes open, "Jesus, Mary an' Joseph.. no wonder I wasn't on the dueling team. Look at that!" She can't help herself, though, and she lets a soft giggle come through, and she looks pleased with herself in the growing seconds. "I might be able t'do this, Adamantus." For him. For them.

Gideon stands behind Niamh as she casts, and with the successful jinx, he rubs her arms, grinning proudly and kissing her cheek. "You see? Intent. Just think about why you are doing it. Protect yourself. Let's practice a few more of those." He gestures to the other targets, stepping back to give her room to cast.

The added praise certainly doesn't hurt! The smile that had started a little tentatively at the beginning is in full bloom, her eyes wide and bright. She narrows those eyes prettily to respond, her tones lilting, "They'll nae hurt ye.. or any o'mine," she begins, and then halts, stands straight and looks at Gideon, "Whoever 'they' may be, aye?" Turning about now, her wand held high, she spins around on her heel and tries again, this time pulling her 'punch' as it were. Or at least trying to. Again, she winds up the wand, but rather than the sweeping, it's a little more.. gentle. "Flipendo!" comes again.. and .. nothing. She pauses, her brows creasing.. and she looks at the wand, downrange, and the wand again.. and winds up for another go, this time, a bit broader, with the same incant. The ball of light goes.. and once again, a rather.. remarkable amount of dirt flies. "There.. no pullin' punches, then. Tha' solves tha' problem."

Gideon chuckles. "Aye, you've got that Irish fire in you. Use it. It's a weapon, and a shield. Speaking of shields, I want you to try something a bit more difficult. An effective Shield Charm can be hard to pull off, but if you can master it, you'll be ready to defend yourself against another witch or wizard."

Niamh grins at his laugh, and she inclines her head, "Aye, 'they'll' get the full measure," and she's not kidding! As for shields, however, and the words bit more difficult, her teeth start worrying at her bottom lip. She nods her head again, the decision not even a decision. "Aye.. I'm ready for it. An' I'll master it, ye will see.." Ever the attentive student, she watches his face, the way he talks, his blue eyes in their earnestness.

Gideon stares for a moment, caught in her gaze, that boyish smirk forming at the corner of his mouth. "I know, love." She might play the good little woman, taking off his shoes when he comes home and having dinner ready. But seeing this strength in her, that Irish fire, it stirs him. "So, the incantation is 'Protego.' The wand technique can be tricky. It's a parrying motion, as if you were holding a sword. Like so." He demonstrates the movement, slowly at first, then more rapidly. "Your thoughts must be entirely on deflecting whatever is coming you way. Manage it, and this charm will protect you against spells, projectiles…it can even act a bit like a Knockback Jinx if someone is close enough. A strong one will also reflect a spell, sometimes right back at your opponent. If you get good enough, you can learn to control that reflection. But for now, just focus on creating the shield." He steps back to give her room. "One more thing. Don't make the mistake a lot of novices make. This shield is not lasting. You must time it right to meet the attack. But for now, just see if you can produce one."

"Oh, aye.. I've heard o'that one. They say a good number of adults cannae do it.." But for that, to Niamh, it's a challenge. "Pro- aye." And she moves to stand beside her instructor, her man, and begins to copy his wand movement, slowly, and she does take a few moments, her eyes on his wand as hers move. She nods, her lips set in that firm line again in concentration, hazel eyes moving from his wand now, to her own, and then outwards. Parrying as holdin' a sword.. up.. an' across.. and she stops her motion for a moment, steps away.. and faces away, her expression now set. The wand rises again, and it's a rapid movement, with the incantation, release words, "Protego!" and.. there's.. something.. something, at the least is created, but she's not experienced enough to actually know how it turned out, or.. if it would be anywhere near enough. Twisting about, she looks at Gideon, her eyes.. hopeful. "Close?"

Gideon steps up to stand right behind her. "A good first effort. But you need a firm grip on your wand, like this." Pressed right up to her back, he places his hand over hers, guiding her through the motion while keeping his larger hand clamped tightly around hers.

"Aye, alri-" and he's there, and her breath catches in her throat briefly. Niamh rolls her head back, her hair falling on his shoulder as well now, bright smile in place. "Firm grip," and she brings her gaze back down, as he takes her hand in his, his covering hers. She doesn't offer resistance in the motions, and as it's repeated, she begins nodding again. "Aye," she whispers, "I feel the motion now," but that doesn't mean she wants him to step away! She can feel him, the aura of him surrounding her. His presence. Down! This is training! "It'll be another I'll need work on."

Gideon nods. "You also need to focus on defending yourself. That's harder to do when you're not being attacked." He slips away from her, and steps twenty paces in front of her. He stands facing her, wand in hand. "Do you trust me?"

Niamh exhales in a quiet breath when he steps away, but remarkably, she's still listening to him! She hasn't turned that part of her brain off, thankfully.. and she nods slowly. "Aye.. nae bein' attacked makes it a bit harder-" but then, there's the question. She pauses, not in consideration of the question, but in the fact that it was voiced at all. Her smile rises, lopsided, and her hands come down before her, wand with it, and she nods. "Aye.. an' I could elaborate. With my heart, soul, an' life?" The bright grin comes up after, lighting her face, "Enough? Or shall I go on?"

Gideon smiles, warmly at first, then with a hint of mischief. "You could, but then I might catch you be surprise. Prepare yourself. I want you to deflect this." He takes a stance, and suddenly waves his wand at her in a back and forth motion, "Rictusempra!" A Tickling Charm. Harmless, but worth defending against!

Oooh, she knows that look in those blue eyes, and she firmly believes that there have only been two women to have been lucky enough to have witnessed it. Niamh's eyes widen, her smile grows, and she looks as if she makes ready. The moment the spell is uttered by Gideon, or begun, Niamh squeaks and looks as if she's going to flail rather than actually cast it. It's her first lesson! Her arm rises, "Nae fair!" but what would she prefer other than a tickle spell(?), and remembers, almost too late, that nae fair isn't the incantation that'll save her from such a fate. "Protego!" Not her best effort to say the least, and she starts to giggle..

Gideon chuckles, "I'd hoped you would nae realize what I was doing until after you blocked it." He waits for a moment, allowing her to suffer under the hilarious effects of the spell before finally gesturing with his wand, terminating the charm with an incantation of, "Finite."

"Adamantus.." *giggle* "..Gideon.." *giggle* And Niamh squirms for a couple more heartbeats until he pulls the charm off with that 'Finite'.. and the moment it's down, she takes a couple of quick breaths, her eyes gleaming. "A horrid man.." and she laughs soon after. Straightening, she has her wand, and with that bright smile in place, she looks ready now, and determined.. "I'll nae leave until I have this.."

"That's my girl," he said proudly, nodding with a smile. "Ready to try again?" He takes his stance once more, soon followed on with another Tickling Charm. It may not be real combat, but she'll get tired of being tickled soon enough, and that's incentive to block the thing!

As the hours pass, he introduces her to a handful of new spells, regularly re-erecting the earthen targets to practice on. In time, he gets to showing her some more physical defensive maneuvers, should she ever lose her wand. Of course, once they start grappling, the lessons are soon over…

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