(1940-06-05) Mind Games
Details for Mind Games
Summary: At Shelley's invitation, Beckett tutors her privately on mind-affecting spells.
Date: June 5, 1940
Location: Shelley's Flat

Shelley does not have people over to her flat often - but for this she'll make an exception. She's even pushed the furniture back against the walls to clear up some space. Two whiskeys have been poured into chilled glasses, and she's already sipping at hers as she waits for her… guest to arrive, leaning casually against the well stocked bar she keeps up in her first floor living area. Sitting on the back of an armchair is her cat, groom itself, while her owl naps on his perch.

Suddenly there comes a rapping, as of Beckett gently tapping, tapping 'shave and a haircut, two bits' on the house's door. Only this, and nothing more.

Currently bereft of broom, as she lounges in her room, Shelley ponders learning spells that shake her to her very core. Since the feline was not napping, at the sound of fateful rapping, Ebony toenails started tapping - tapping as he reached the door. Back and forth he walked upon the entry floor. Meow, he cried, and nothing more.

"Bloody feline," Shelley mutters - coming down the stairs to open the door.

"Good eve," he said, the cat forewarning of the doorknob slowly turning, giving time to don a smile given many times afore. Against the wall his broom is leaning, proving he had gone careening, flying dark and overweaning, since no knack for travel in this form he showed before. "What's his name?" Beckett asks, looking down to the tabby.

"Ebony," Shelley answers flatly, leaving little space for explination of the mis-matched name. The feline jumps out onto the stoop, twining with the man's legs and meowing incessantly. "There's a closet just there where you can put your broom. I've poured a drink upstairs," she invites - waiting for the man to step inside, and then closing the door and securing the latch.

"Thank you." Beckett grabs his broom, deposits it in the closet, hangs his cloak likewise, and offers the cat his hand to sniff or rub against before he disentangles himself and carefully proceeds upstairs. "You're prepared," he observes, seeing the furniture pushed aside. He produces his wand from the sleeve of his robes, but makes his way to the drinks first.

"Yes, well, wouldn't be the first time I've practiced spells here." Ebony had run up the stairs ahead of them, and plants himself on the couch, where he seems to assume the people would sit. He meows imperiously. "…I may have to lock up the cat, lest he get in the way," Shelley mutters, picking up her glass to take another drink.

Whiskey in hand, Beckett nods. "I have never tried to change a cat's memories. It might prove traumatic for the both of us." He takes a sip, as he reaches over to stroke the cat's forehead and skritch behind his ears. "Not that we'll be starting with that."

The cat purrs, leaning into the touch. He seems to be one of those cats that eagerly soaks in all adoration. "What will we be starting with?" Shelley asks, a faint frown on her lips. "I should probably warn you that I have been known to- I have a condition, where I become confounded, more or less. I lose track of when I am. Most often I think I'm a new recruit in the Auror's office, or still a student in Hogwarts. It can be very inconvenient."

"That was where we were going to begin. The Confundus charm." Beckett purses his lips. "Mmm. Should this happen, are you likely to react poorly to a recently-met man in your house who is holding a wand?"

"I could," Shelley admits. "But I'm usually too befuddled to get spells out properly. Friends-" does she really mean that word? "have had some luck in talking me around to a more reasonable sense of mind by reminding where I am, and what I'm about, at the first signs of confusion. Though it doesn't always work." She presses her lips together a moment before confiding, "This is why I am so interested in mind-affecting spells, however. Perhaps it's foolish to think I can do better than some of the best healers we have, but I feel if I have a better understanding of these things - perhaps I will find a way through it."

"I understand." Beckett's voice is grave. "I am afraid I do not know of anyone finding a quicker way through confusion after being exposed to mind-affecting charms repeatedly. The Focus charm is the best we can do. But- this is not a circumstance I've seen." He shrugs. "It won't hurt to try, at any rate. Just remember, as best you can, that I'm not your enemy." He preemptively begins weaving his wand. "Reh-SEN-see-oh," he says, enunciating carefully.

Shelley nods, then finishes off her drink. "I'll make an effort." Her cat she picks up unceremoniously and totes off to another room, closing him in. Ebony meows loudly in protests. She then copies the man. "Recenseo," she intones. "Now… Confundus - Confundo, isn't it? I did study it in NEWTs - but I'm sure you now how it was. The only students who mastered it were encouraged to consider Obliviation."

"Yes." Beckett takes a swallow from his glass before setting it down. "Remember, the emphasis is on the second syllable. Con-FUN-doh," he says carefully - not moving his wand or hands. "A good way to tell whether it has worked is what you see and hear, which should be nothing. If there are flashes and bangs, it didn't work." He smirks slightly at that, but moves to stand next to Shelley, giving her time to roll the word around on her tongue a bit.

"Right," Shelley murmurs. She wants another whiskey - why has she confided so much in this man? She hardly knows him. But more drink would not help her ability to cast spells. "Confundo," the auror repeats dutifully. "Confundo. Confundo. With a bit of a…" she flourishes her wand in her best approximation of the appropriate gesture.

"You have a good memory," Beckett says without irony. "Very close, on the wand-work, but look." Beckett raises his wand, going through the prescribed gestures in slow-motion. Drawn up, a weave to the right- just as Shelley had. But there is a small difference after that. "At this point, you need to twist the wrist just a little. That's what works for me- the goal is to finish the incantation before you've finished- well, what I think of as the fling." He demonstrates. "Since you can't see its path, it takes a little practice to realize that if the tip of the wand isn't coming up from below at this juncture, it won't hit with full force."

"Can't make things easy, can they?" Shelley mutters to herself. "Alright." Without putting any intent behind the words and motions, she gives it a try, moving her hand and speaking slowly. "Confundus," she intones, concentrating on giving the little twist to her write and flick, as requested.

Beckett nods. "Looks good. Now, the head part. The more rooted you are, the more off you can push someone else. Being aware and in the moment is important. Don't try to choke off distracting thoughts; just don't pay attention to them." He shrugs. "I think that's why most students don't really get a grasp on it until later. My theory, anyway." He crosses the room. "Okay. Take your time, and then - hit me." His lips press together a bit. Necessary practice or not, no one _likes_ being punched in the brain.

None of your connections are idle. If you want to quit, use QUIT.

"…oh," Shelley remarks. She hadn't really considered the mental factor - and perhaps she should have, it being a glamers spell. She runs through it several times more before giving the spell a try, with a twist of the wrist, and a flick… "Confundo!" Here's hoping it works.

After a few seconds, Beckett raises an eyebrow. "Again. Stop if I look confused," he says with a half-smile.

Shelley hadn't really expected it to work on the first go - but she had hoped. She nods, raising her wand again as she gives it another go. "Confundo," she repeats, concentrating on the fling - and keeping her mind simply aware of who she is and what she's about at the moment. She pauses after she's done, studying Beckett curiously.

Beckett blinks and raises one hand in the "halt" gesture. He shakes his head for a minute, looks back down at his hand, and then raises it again. "Good! Do you know what you did differently that time? Recenseo." A quick wand gesture to up his game again.

"What I did different?" Shelley muses. "Centered myself, perhaps?" she responds. "Though once is hardly proof of the pudding." With a confident - nigh cocky grin - she raises her wand again. "Shall we try some more?"

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