(1937-12-05) Closer To Freedom
Details for Closer To Freedom
Summary: Niamh gets to have a talk with Keenan, and ends with a healing attempt on his part. Niamh feels.. remarkably better, but it'll only tell once she gets back to the shop, so she believes.
Date: 05 December 1937
Related: Will find them all..


There are the remnants of bird in the kitchen from the previous night's dinner; pheasant with an oat, date and fig stuffing. There's also the fresh butter for the sodabread sitting out as well, the bread itself wrapped in towels to keep it somewhat fresh. But, the crunchier the crust, the tastier it is over soup.. which, the bird will eventually be! Stock pot is out, and there's a fresh bag of groceries; potatoes, carrots, turnips and random bits of green.

Morning comes, as it will, and Niamh is looking.. mostly rested. Her hair is a bit out of sorts, and it's just that that she's dealing with as she wanders from the room. The back of her hair is pulled with her hands, and she's searching out a rubber band to keep it from getting too messy.

There might not be as much of the bird, stuffing or bread left as there was when Niamh went to bed last night. Even though he had eaten well, Keenan had worked up something of an appetite after… walking to the safe house, that is, and so he was famished by the time he arrived. After helping himself, he found a glass somewhere to put a bouquet of Irish Wildflowers in to keep them fresh. That he put on the coffee table, next to a wrapped to go package from Farin Braw that flickers with blue. The healer himself is stretched out on the couch, one arm behind his head, and fast asleep.

Niamh catches the tell-tale signs of the 'newly arrived', and glancing back towards the bedroom a little guiltily, she takes a deep breath and pushes on. A couple of quick steps, then, and she comes around to sit on the table, leaning over to poke at the sleeping form of her brother. The flowers certainly don't go unnoticed, however, and she moves them ever so carefully- after lifting the glass to smell them. Smells like home! "Keen.." she singsongs sofly as she puts the flowers back down, "Ye'll be late for your classes, an' ye know how mad Father Paul gets when ye try an' sneak in.. thinkin' he can't see a thing.."

Keenan gives a little groan and stirs, his arm coming from behind his head to the front, laying across his eyes. The groan remains in the form of the hoarse sleepy voice that replies, "Father Paul must be blind as a bat by now, lass. He'd never know if I was there or not. Let a poor lad be." His lips twitch into a bit of grin before they try to put on a sleepy pout.

Rats! Failed. Keen's too aware, and it's Niamh's turn to put a pout on her face. "Aye, he probably is," she sighs. "Now.. are ye actually awake now an' I'll get your tea, or would ye like to go back t'sleep?" She rises from her spot, and runs hands over her dressing gown. "Those flowers, by the way, are absolutely lovely. Where did ye find them?"

"I didnae," he replies giving another groan and rolling onto his side. "They're for ye from Rue. An' Chef Carmichael sent a sample of tha dessert he made fer tha MacCurry shindig. Didnae know ye helped him with it. Anyways, it's a 'thank ye an' get well' from tha Chef. I can tell ye from bein' there it was hit." Giving a sigh, he admits, "ye may as well make me tea, I should be gettin' up."

"Aww, that's very nice," and leans to set the flowers a-right again before her gaze alights on the cake. "Ooooh, aye.. I did. He wanted something that'd burn cold an' give some colours. I made him a few things he could walk away with." Niamh shrugs lightly, but her eyes are still on the cake. She'll have that for breakfast! "He didnae tell me what he wanted it for, an'.." well, she didn't ask. Rarely does! Taking up the box, she carries it into the kitchen with her to put the kettle on. "Now," and she calls from the small, efficiency's kitchen, "Ye have t'tell me when you'll be bringin' this 'Rue' 'round to meet me."

Keenan pushes himself upright. "I don' 'have' ta tell ye anything. Any rate, not while ye're here for sure, lass. Gideon'ed have a conniption." He scrubs his face with his hands. "Miss Max will come around on her own time, I'm sure. There's no rush." Liar. He shrugs and then rolls his shoulders in earnest, before rolling his neck. "Couldnae that lad o'yers find somewhat with a more comfortable couch?"

Niamh makes a face in the kitchen, and she leans out, her brows rising, "A bit on the sensitive side, are ye, Keen?" She exhales and finishes with the kettle and pours the hot water in to steep. Bringing the mugs out, she shakes her head, "Nae while I'm here, certainly," she agrees. "I'm just hopin' things.. well.. I'll tell ye the truth, I'm goin' a bit buggy. I've got the books, which again, thank ye ever so much, an' workin' on Laurence's problems with his wood.. but as much as it make my heart pound t'think about standin' in my shop, I've got to do it or I'll ne'er do it." Setting the steeping tea down, she settles onto the couch and puts a hand out to test the pillows, "Bed's more comfortable."

Keenan waves a hand over the steam as the tea steeps. "Yes, an' the bed is kinda taken, there, isn't it?" he replies with a smirk. Then he picks up the tea and leans back with his hands cupped around the warm ceramic. "Then ye should go home. Gideon's got that spell on ye, an' I'll be upstairs when I get home from work, all ye need tae do is give a shout. We should work a little more on that pretty little head o'yers today, anyway."

"Aye, by me.." and Niamh sounds as if there's nothing that can be said or done that'll convince her to give it up! She too leans back, her feet pulled up and under her as she cradles her tea mug. "When I see Adamantus next, I'll ask him t'take me home." She hasn't tried leaving her ivory tower; best wait. "An'.. aye.." she smiles tightly and nods, shifting such that she's facing him on the couch. "Ye know.. if whomever did what.. he did finds that I'm remembering.." and she lets that linger in the air before she takes a deep breath, "I'm willin' to be used as bait."

"No one's usin' ye as bait, Niamh-lass," Keenan says unequivocably. "But since that is a distinct possibility, we'll be keepin' a close eye on ye." He takes a sip from his tea, testing it, and nods with satisfaction. "That's why we've got tha spell on ye, an' I'm going tae be comin' straight home from Mungo's. If ye even /sniff/ anythin' outta place when a bloke comes intae tha shop, even if it doesnae make sense, ye let one of us know, aye?" He turns a very stern and concerned pair of green eyes to his sister as he speaks.

Niamh takes a sip of her tea before leaning forward for the box of dessert. Picking up a spoon, it's opened, and she digs into the pastry delight. She takes the moment to savour it, chewing slowly before she swallows, her spoon-hand waving in front of her mouth, "Oh, it is so good.." And she's not about to share. Nodding at her brother's words, she lowers her spoon, but doesn't let go of it. "Aye.. an' durin' the day, I can ask someone t'stay with me?" Though, they won't be flushing any quarry if there's someone with her, and she shakes her head. "Alright.. I'll certainly let ye know.. Adamantus' watch charm on me should be more'n enough t'keep me safe, aye?" And the spoon rises again to dig into the Alaska.. "This.. is very, very good."

Keenan nods. "What if we call Mum tae come stay with ye durin' tha day?" he suggests. "I don' know what Gideon's hours are like, but I took enough time off after the … fiasco at St. Mungo's that I need tae be puttin' ma time in, now." He grins at her possessiveness of her dessert. "I already had one," he reminds her. "Ye don'havetae worry that I'll be jumpin' across tha couch fer yers."

"I don't thing we should get mum involved," Niamh begins, her mouth half-full of the dessert. "I'm a bit upset in the fact that I'd got her involved in the first place." Her tones lower, a touch ashamed. "Probably should've found a better place, but," and she shakes her head, hazel eyes turning back to her brother. "I know ye need time to work at Mungo's," though she hasn't heard fully about all that went on. "There's so much that I really need t'hear from ye." Sighing, she digs back into her dessert, and tucks it a little higher, "This is good enough tha' I'd jump across the couch to catch."

"Don't be daft," Keenan says gently. "Mum and Da's was tha best place tae go. Almost no one even knows we have family in Cornwall, or anythin' about our family, really. I'm sure Mum is fine with ye goin' there, and Da, too. An' Mum's as stubborn as ye are. She probably won't believe that ye're safe enough unless she sees it with her own eyes." Sipping his tea, he shifts his glance forward again, looking down at his toes as he wiggles them. "What sorts of things are ye needin' ta hear from me?"

"I'll tell her, then, about all the help I've got 'round me.. ye, Adamantus, Sloan an' Lindy.." and she puts her spoon up, "Ye know she should know.. an' I think she'd be perfect for sitting with me. We could sit for hours an' talk.. an'.." keep her mind off things. Nothing like avoiding! Niamh wiggles her toes, and smiles, canting her head. "I know there's more goin' on outside that door," and dipping her spoon in the dessert, she waves it in gesture, "Like.. that business in Mungos? Or.. ye have t'tell me 'bout Rue." But first, she lowers her voice, "Though.. first, can I ask.. when can I go home?"

Keenan blinks and looks over to Niamh. "Lass, ye can go home any time ye want as far as yer health is concerned," he tells her. "I'll work some more with ye tonight, but yer health isnae going tae change. It's yer safety that we're worried about. When Gideon's satisfied we can keep ye safe, yer good tae go. As fer what happened at Mungo's…" he shakes his head. "It takes someone with… nae regard tae life, at all, tae try an' release five highly contagious diseases inside a hospital." His feet drop to the floor and rests his elbows on his knees, staring down into the tea cup he cradles in his hands. "Thank God only two of them were released, but still… even tha results from those two were… horrific…" He swallows. "An' Malfoy an' others want us tae believe that we're more civilized than muggles? A wizard did this. A wizard tried tae poison an' sicken his own kind, tae kill other wizards with horrible painful diseases."

Niamh leans forward to put her dessert down before she reaches over to run her fingers through her brother's hair in sisterly comfort as Keenan leans to look in his tea. "I'm sorry, Keen.. I am. The fact that someone could do that.. that's just.." and she shakes her head, her tones low, "Wizards do some bad things, an' they can do it worse than any muggle. That's what scares me of all things.. even in good intent. There's got to be reason for why things are, an' reason t'keep it all the same." But, she's choir preaching to the preacher. "Are ye okay? I.. do get worried for ye.. which is why I worry about the shop. There's so much we both can an' need to do.. each for the other."

Keenan manages a bit of a smile and releases one hand from his tea cup so he can reach back and capture Niamh's hand. "I'll be fine, Niamh-lass," he tells her. "It was just, a bit shocking. I saw some things happen, or nae saw, but things that no one should see, much less hear about. It just takes a little time. An' ye're fine." He squeezes her hand comfortingly. "Tha shop will be fine, no one's stopped by in… ages. Who knows, maybe even Tim's learned tae keep himself in one piece, finally." He leans his forehead against hers. "Don' worry, lass. It's just a waste o'imagination."

A soft chuckle sounds, "I haven't seen Tim in months. Nae since he came stumbling into the shop, looking a horror." Niamh shakes her head, "He said ye'd kill him if I got involved, but I couldn't turn him away." She exhales softly, and rests her head against her brother's. "I need t'stop worrying, aye.. I know. But all the 'what ifs' come in on me, an' I think I'll be blaming my Scot for it. Just.. ne'er let me get to the point where I can't move forward. I ne'er want to do that.. okay?"

"The day ye can't count in yer big brother tae put a boot in yer arse when ye need it is the day ye can bury him six feet under, lass," Keenan reassures Niamh with a grin. Then he turns back and takes a sip from his tea. "Aye, no blamin' yer Scot fer anythin' lass. Ye make yer own choices, includin' what ye pick up from others. An' Tim'd be wrong, although it's nae his fault. He doesnae know how much ye're already involved." He slides an arm around her shoulders as she leans against him. "If it's meant tae be well, it will be."

Niamh leans into her brother, and offers a warm, fond smile as she's hugged. "Good t'know you'll keep a boot to me," she offers wryly, "an' that ye will keep me an honest woman.. an' not let me blame another for my choices," even if she doesn't sound all that thrilled with the entire idea. "I'm sure that with all we've got to bring, it'll be well.. I want t'believe that it'll all be well."

Keenan nods once. "Then believe it," he says simply. He turns and gives her a wink. "I'm still your big old pain in the arse brother, when all is said and done, Niamh-lass. No matter what else gets topsy turvy, ye can count on that. Now…" he sets his tea down on the table in front of him and faces her with those incorrigible green eyes gleaming mischievously. "Doesnae /that/ make ye feel better?"

A mock punch is given as Niamh twists about in her brothers arm then, and as that look comes across his face, she's ready to pummel him with a pillow. "It fills me with giddy happiness, ye beast." A laugh sounds; she's not down for long.. ever. "Ye are a pain in my arse.. but out of all the pains I know, ye are the easiest to deal with. Take that as ye will." And the one she'll put up with!

Keenan chuckles at the mock punch. "All right, then," he says. "Ye need tae sit still for a bit. An' ye need tae close yer eyes and breathe deeply in and out. Concentrate on your breathing, pull it in through yer nose, and let it out slowly through yer mouth." He gets up and moves to sit on the coffee table across from her, urging her to turn towards him.

Niamh's brows rise at the shift, and she ducks her head, canting it slightly. "What.." and she realizes what it is he's asking of her. She licks her lips and exhales, nodding quickly. "Okay.." she gives slowly, and repeats, doing as requested. "Sit still.. aye. Close my eyes," and she does, slowly, before they reopen.. and she sighs before she closes them again, slowly. In.. through the nose, out through her mouth. Slowly. Breath by breath.. and it's so hard to keep her thoughts from spinning out.

Keenan nods. "Good. All right, then. Start counting your breaths. I want ye to concentrate, an' no matter what happens, keep counting until ye reach ten." Once he has her promise that she'll do so, he watches her, and counts breaths silently with her. When she gets to about four, he takes out his wand, and raises it to circle it over the air in front of one ear, then across her forehead and around the other ear, making something of a figure eight with the 'lines' crossing directly over the bridge of her nose. He repeats the motion three times, then the wand hovers right in front of where some people believe the 'third eye' to be. "Cranius Revelum" he commands quietly. She be at about breath 8 by the time he's done. Then, at 10, he gives her a grin. "Open yer eyes, lass. An' don't try tae think. I know that's hard, but just… fix some breakfast and some soup. Do somethin' that'll keep yer thoughts occupied on your usual routine. Let things come tae ye when they will."

Niamh does as her brother says, and counts her breath, as each is pulled in, she can feel the relaxing through her body; in her nose, out her mouth. Five.. six.. and at ten, she opens her eyes slowly, her gaze turning directly onto her brother. It's a strange feeling; it's.. odd, and she shakes her head, "Nae think.. aye," she offers slowly. "Cook. I think that's a good idea.. then, a bit of work for Laurence on the herbs?" Or.. she'll read her magazines. Or.. and her mind won't go there! Leaning forward, she gains her feet, trying hard not to think! Now that she's told not to do it, why does she want to try and see what comes? "Cooking. Soup. Bread. Dessert. Adamantus said he'll make breakfast. Toad in the Hole.."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License