(1939-09-22) Pistol Packing Witch
Details for Pistol Packing Witch
Summary: Rena goes to visit Guy at the Airfield to ask for some Mugglish lessons in self-defense.
Date: 1939-09-22
Location: Biggin Hill Airfield

The weekend was eventful for Rena. Nobody will ever know that she saved London from burning to the ground … again; nor that she retrieved an incredibly valuable artifact of great importance to the Ministry of Magic. Or, for that matter, that she may be marked for death by one of the worst criminal families in the Wizarding World. But, no matter. She is quite cheerful and happy because she's riding on a bus and headed out to the country to meet with Guy at Biggin Hill airfield.
With a spring in her step, the spritely little redhead exits the bus and pauses to look around with a big smile on her face. Scanning what she can see of the airfield from afar, the sight is fascinating… Of course, Rena realizes after a moment that she's gawking, and she hurries over to the gate.
"I… I'm here to see Squadron Leader Grosvenor, sir." The smartly dressed young woman announces herself, trying to sound confident. "Oh, my name is Irene Lee."

The Sentry looks dubious. But then goes into the guardhouse. After a while, he returns, "The Old Man's on his way down." And indeed, Guy does emerge after a few minutes, stumping down. He's got his uniform on, and the cap, but he's got a flying jacket on over the top of it, and a flying helmet shoved in the pocket. He's got a cigarette, which he tosses aside as he sees you, "Ahah! Rena! Come on in!" The Guard gets shooed away, "She's thinking of joining the WAAF, Corporal. Just showing her around!"

Guy's arrival and greeting brings the radiant smile back to Rena's features. Everything always seems to be alright whenever he is there. However, his explanation to the guard causes her to give a little start of surprise. Fortunately, she recovers her composure quickly and hurries forward to join her friend on the other side of the gate.
As soon as they're far enough away from prying ears, Rena lets out a stifled, nervous laugh: "Cor, I wish that were true - about the WAAF, I mean." Then, looking more fully at Guy and taking in his uniform, she can scarcely help saying: "You look positively smashing, you do!"

Guy chuckles, "We're on an hours notice to go up, so I can't stray far from my kite, I'm afraid. But I can show you around. As long as you promise to skedaddle if things get hot." He shoves hands into pockets, as he ambles along, "A lot of sitting still, to be honest. But you know how it is. They also serve who bally well stand and wait."

Rather playfully, Rena replies: "Yes, sir!" with a proper salute. Her smile fades slightly, though. Of course she's still terribly worried about what will become of Guy and all the men who will be going up in planes if the war ever does get bad.
"Guy…" She begins after a moment of thought while they walk together, "I can't get people to listen to me about the war, so much. Even my own husband… thinks it's all a big joke. Not their problem, you know?" She tries to explain without saying anything too plainly regarding the Wizarding side of things. After all, how would the RAF feel to know that a Witch is on the airfield?
"I think I ought to learn 'ow to protect myself on this side - and others, for that matter. Because I don't know if I can bear 'iding on that side and abandoning my people if things get bad. Do you think it'd be an awfully bad idea if I wanted to learn to shoot?" Rena asks uncertainly.

Guy admits, "I was pondering teaching you." He gestures to a low brick building, "The target range is in there." And yes, he's carrying his revolver. It's no longer commonplace, but an old WWI hand was in the habit of 'keeping one, in case the plane catches fire'.

"Were you really?" Rena brightens again. "I… I know I'm little, and guns pack an awful punch when you shoot them - but I'm strong! At least, I 'ope I could take it." Now that she comes to think of it, she isn't quite so sure. "You know 'ow I feel about things, though. I think it's only sensible to be educated on taking care of yourself on both sides. That's why I appreciate you taking me seriously, and always being willing to teach me new things."
It takes a moment for the realization to sink in about why Guy carries the gun with him. "You mean… if it catches fire and you're flying over enemy lines and 'ave to land?" She asks worriedly.

Guy says cheerfully, "These days I'd jump out. As I have a parachute. Twenty years ago, it'd be better to die quickly than in flames." There's a faint smile, "And I'm not likely to shoot my way out through the German army. But in case I need to hunt for food, or whatever." Which is probably a lie.

The explanation Guy gives seems to satisfy Rena's worries, to a point. "Oh, that makes sense. After all, you could probably survive quite well! And, I'm sure you're clever enough to stay under cover until you made it to safety!" Does she truly believe the words coming out of her mouth? Or is she merely trying to convince herself? It's hard to say.
They continue toward the target range, and Rena pipes up again: "So, 'ow far is Germany?" she asks nonchalantly. "When do I learn the maps and so forth?" She may be naive, but one has to admire the pluck and courage in this girl.

Guy laughs quietly, "It's a way over.." He peers up, and gestures, "That way. Out of range of the Spits at the moment. And they're keeping 11 Group back, just in case the Huns try and bomb London again. I expect they will." He leads the way to the shooting range, and opens the door. He glances around, and seeing they're alone, he says, "Ever fired one of these chaps? I'm not going to ask if you've seen 'em?"

"Oh?" Rena asks rather dubiously. Looking at the planes, it's hard for her to imagine those great big engines being unable to cross the distance to Germany. "But I could cross it on broom! I'm sure I could! I'd just need practice to work up the endurance."
All pleading aside, of course Rena remembers that Guy is on a tight schedule, and she ought to drop the subject for the time being. Slipping through the door, she glances at the gun and shakes her head: "Seen plenty of guns in pictures, of course… but I've never fired one."

Guy nods, and produces _the_ weapon. He pulls a lever, and breaks it in half. The cartridges automatically pushing free. If he'd levered it more, they'd have sprung out completely. "The Mark IV Webley Self Extracting Revolver." He produces one of the cartridges. "Lead bullet. Wrapped in brass. Gunpowder behind it. Hammer hits the ignition point, and the thing goes off bang. That then turns the next chamber to be in line, for your second shot." He closes the weapon again. "Unusual in having a safety catch." He slides it. "Can't fire in this position." Then slides it back, "Can fire in this one." He gestures to the sights, "Those are for aiming with. Don't bother. Just… point your hand at the thing you want to shoot, and pull the trigger. Simple as that. Oh, and it's never empty until it's broken in half. Even if you think you're out, you don't point it at anyone you don't want dead. Questions?" And he puts the dark little object down on the table next to the range.

Understanding the seriousness of the situation, Rena sobers down and becomes silent as the grave while Guy breaks down the gun and explains it to her, piece by piece. She watches with intense curiosity and focus, clearly doing her best to commit to memory everything he's said, for fear of forgetting. Of course, she's unlikely to recall everything on a first try, but she is doing her level best.
He asks if she has any questions, and she shakes her head slowly, bringing her gaze up to meet with his. Quite seriously, she answers: "No, sir," in a small voice.

Guy nods, and gestures to the targets down the range. Mercifully concentric circles rather than person shaped, "Right ho. Hold it in your writing hand. Point it down range. It's got a bit of a kick, but not dreadful. And squeeze one off."

Swallowing hard, Rena musters a light little smile and takes the gun into her right hand. It's a good deal heavier than she expected it to be. Men always whip them around so quickly in the films she's seen at the cinema!
Moving into position, directly across from one of the targets, she casts an uncertain glance in Guy's direction before bracing herself and raising the gun as he told her to. Don't worry about the sights, just shoot…

BANG! The gun fires loudly, and the bullet most definitely does NOT manage to hit the target. Rather, it goes off to the side somewhere. And poor Rena is not only startled by the noise, but also staggered by the kickback of the action. Briefly, she lowers the gun and nurses the wrist of her firing hand with the other, "B-blimey… I'm sorry." She says, blushing crimson.

Guy looks to see where the new pockmark is. Eventually he spots it. "High and to the right, oh, by about a foot and a half. If he was a giant, he'd be bloody annoyed by now!" There's a reassuring smile, "Don't worry. It's not something you can just learn like magic." Oh, the irony of THAT phrase. "Try again."

At least Guy's remark elicits a tiny laugh from Rena. Reassured somewhat, she smiles a little and gives it another try. She still lacks confidence, and may well be affecting her own potential with the lack of it.
Again, the gun goes BANG! And again, the shot finds its mark away from the target, leaving Rena rather jarred by the kick of the gun with a stinging sensation in her hand. What she mutters under her breath this time is possibly very un-ladylike, and it's a good thing they are alone in the firing range without prying ears to hear it.

Guy looks at where the puff of earth was, "Over-compensated. Low and left that time. So, about half way between those two. You're doing fine."

Absolutely unwilling to give up OR let Guy down, Rena sets her jaw stubbornly. Raising the gun again, a look of grim, redheaded determination enters her expression, and she narrows her gaze on the target across the room. She takes a deep breath and squeezes the trigger more gently this time. Again, the gun fires with its deafening blast, but this time, she isn't so affected by the force of the shot.
Even Rena can see from afar that she DID manage to hit the target this time. "I got it!" She beams. "Third time's the charm as they say!"

Guy gives a firm approving nod, "Attagirl! Knew you had it in you. Right. Safety on, please. And then by all means, go and inspect the impact."

Rena fairly beams. Her arm and hand still feel quite odd from the jarring kicks of the gun going off, but she's so proud of herself right now that she could almost bust.
Nodding, she carefully looks at the gun for a second before recalling how to slide the safety catch. After making quite sure that she's done so, she returns the gun to its rightful owner. Rena then crosses the distance between herself and the target. "These remind me of Dart boards, rather," she calls back upon reaching the bull's eye. The bullet she fired managed to nick the inside of the outermost ring: "I wouldn't get much of a score if it were darts, but Lor' they go deep, don't they - even from that far?"

Guy nods, already breaking the gun, and extracting the three spent cartridges, and removing a handful from his uniform pocket, which he places into the chambers. Then the gun gets holstered again, "No. No, you wouldn't. But the rest comes with practice. Put on boys clothes, and join the Home Guard, or something. Of course, it's the same basic principles at 400 miles an hour, but you have to aim at where the other chap is _going_ to be by the time your bullets get there."

"I think you just 'ave an obsession with wanting to see me in boys' clothing." Rena calls back, teasingly. Turning again, she quickly returns to Guy. As she arrives, she opens her mouth to speak again, and finds herself interrupted rather rudely by the RAF. A scramble! Something Rena has naturally never witnessed before.
It's all such a whirlwind of activity, and she is left with scarcely a chance to say goodbye. But still, she manages to catch sight of her friend going up in his Spitfire before she is forced to leave. Whether Guy can see it or not, she does bounce up on her toes and wave enthusiastically as his plane roars into the bright, blue sky.

What a marvelous way to start the week!

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