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 Lesson One: Know Thyself

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Gabriel Hall
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PostSubject: Lesson One: Know Thyself   Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:02 am

He sat cross-legged on the floor, in front of the teacher's desk. The aging wizard's hands were relaxed upon his knees - palms upward. His posture was tall and straight. If one were to look into the man's face one would find that the wizard's eyes were closed. His expression was relaxed, almost slumber-like. Altair Aquila was meditating, preparing for the arrival of his first class of the day.

The room was spacious: more than enough for a class of children and teenagers to run about in. Desks and chairs were lined like a regular classroom would be. The space was decorated with paintings, wall scrolls, and the like of wizards and muggles engaged in various dueling situations. An ornate sword or two, and other weapons, joined them. Mannequins stood in the far back of the room, huddled round one another as if sharing the latest gossip.

A blackboard some distance beyond Altair's desk was likewise prepared for the day. On the right and left panels detailed readings and homeworks by year going from one to seven - an indication that this would be a multi-year class. The script was readable but decidedly flowy, airy, yet masculine way that reminded one of a bird in flight. For the center panel, the wizard decided to introduce himself:

Professor Altair Aquila
~
Dueling Class


Once his students arrived, they could begin.

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PostSubject: Re: Lesson One: Know Thyself   Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:52 pm

Jaina entered the classroom early. She was eagerly anticipating this class ever since she saw it in her time-table. Finally, a class where they could have some fun. She strolled along silently, seeping in the surroundings of the room. It was empty of all people, except for the Professor, but she expected that.

She peered at him quietly, hoping not to disturb him. She had to admit she was slightly disappointed he was old. She had been imagining a younger Wizard to show them the ropes to dueling. Someone who wasn't fragile and frail. Though, a second look at him, Jaina revised her assessment. He didn't look frail at all. In fact, he looked... experienced. He looked like he had actually been in the dangers, like he could kick a few arses if the need arose. Jaina smiled assured that she was going to find this class interesting. She approached one of the ornate swords as she waited for her other classmates to arrive.

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PostSubject: Re: Lesson One: Know Thyself   Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:32 am

Altair felt someone enter the space of the classroom. It wasn't so much the charm on the door but rather his own sixth sense of sorts that kept the wizard in tune with his environment. He had to strain to hear their footsteps. If the student walked this silently all the time, Altair mused, then they might just have diligence enough to accept advanced lessons. But now he was getting ahead of himself.

"That particular piece is goblin-made," Altair murmured into the silence. His eyes were still closed. A barely-audible sigh of relaxation left the wizard's lips. "A pleasant mid-morning to you, by the way, Miss...?" Altair opened his eyes then. He was fairly certain he'd seen this girl near Columba at the Opening Feast. Unfortunately Altair did not yet have a name to match with Jaina's face.

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PostSubject: Re: Lesson One: Know Thyself   Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:47 pm

Jaina jumped a little as the professor spoke to her. She glanced back at him uncertain if he actually did as he was still in his mediative position, undisturbed and unmoving. Her thoughts of wondering if she was going mad was quickly put to rest as she physically saw him move his lips as he bid her a good mid-morning. At this Jaina couldn't help but smile.

"Alonso." Jaina offered. "A pleasant mid-morning to you too." She greeted with a slight nod.

She looked back at the sword. "Goblin-made, huh?" She turned back at the professor as the implications of that raced through her head. "Does it have any magical abilities like Gryffindor's sword?"

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PostSubject: Re: Lesson One: Know Thyself   Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:46 pm

"Miss Alonso," Altair echoed, smiling slightly. A nod of his own met Jaina's at the returned greeting. "It has been a pleasant morning, indeed."

With practiced grace the wizard stood. "I have been told that it does have a few enchantments, yes," Altair answered and approached near where Jaina stood. His pace was neither fueled by energetic haste or the typical shuffling of those in their advanced years. "It belonged to one of my distant ancestors and has been passed down from father to son ever since..." That last statement got Altair thinking. He hadn't passed it on to Calliope since she had wanted nothing to do with her magical heritage. However, he did have two potential heirs - one male, one female - that would be suitable to inherit the sword.

Altair let this thought sink to the back of his mind for now. "Have you any previous dueling or muggle martial arts lessons, Miss Alonso?"

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PostSubject: Re: Lesson One: Know Thyself   Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:12 pm

"Yes, yes it has." Jaina said with a sly smile. She had decided to over-sleep and skip her morning classes. Of course, she didn't tell him that.

Jaina let out a whistle to demonstrate her awe. It must have been one powerful sword to stand the test of time like that. "Are you gonna pass it on to your son then?" Jaina inquired staring back at the sword. It was an absentminded question, she was more considered with the weapon in front of her. She had the greatest urge to take it from the mantle and try a few swings with it.

"Erm... well, I tried a few things here and there, but I never really stuck with anything." Jaina confessed. "Except for fencing. Muggle fencing. I rather enjoyed Muggle fencing."

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PostSubject: Re: Lesson One: Know Thyself   Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:35 pm

A nearly-silent chuckle left Altair at the approving whistle. "I was blessed with a loving wife and a single daughter. My daughter has no interest in swords, so one day it shall instead go to one of her children." His attention focused itself upon the sword as well. It was a fine piece of weaponry given its ancient age. The sheath was also in good condition, though was noticeably restored numerous times. "The sheath was made from the scales of a dragon hatchling's first shedding."

Altair nodded. "I, too, enjoy fencing. If nothing else I would presume, then, that your basic knowledge at least is well-rounded," he replied amicably.

"Would you care to test the weight of this or any other sword here before your fellows arrive?"

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PostSubject: Re: Lesson One: Know Thyself   Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:58 am

Jaina nodded at the Professor's statement. She assumed the grandchildren he was referring to were probably of the younger sort and thus the sword was still in his possession. "That's a shame." Jaina sighed. She herself would love a sword but then again, it's probably not for everybody.

 "Probably to the oldest male heir eh?" She said with a side of cheek. She was jesting  at the rather sexist point of view of certain Pureblood individuals who didn't believe that heirlooms should pass through female descendants whether they be first-born or not.

"Wow..." Jaina muttered staring into the sheath. She had a really strong urge to touch it. But she surprised it, not sure Professor Aquila would be too impressed with her if she put her finger print on their heirloom.

"Yeah," she grinned. "S'pose you can say that." She had tried several martial arts in her youth but her impatience with certain concepts hindered her from continuing longer and she opted to stop before she actually mastered anything. She found her love however, in sword-fighting.

"You mean I can actually...?" Jaina was besides herself.

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PostSubject: Re: Lesson One: Know Thyself   Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:49 am

Altair chuckled at the cheeky comment made by Jaina. "Perhaps... Or maybe the winds of change shall see the errand differently," he replied sagely. The wizard did not think it wise to get into too much detail about his grandchildren. Cole was about the safest individual he could name. But even then the aging wizard wasn't certain that was a wise idea: the girl barely knew any of her kin as it was.

He smiled at the incredulous expression from Jaina. "Of course." There was a slight laugh to his voice. With a gesture of his hand the sword and sheath were lowered from their display - sword replaced back in the sheath - and settled into his hands. "It would do the sword and myself good to see it in use, even if only for a moment." With that he held out the heirloom to Jaina.

Altair deliberately did not speak a word of the silently-approaching mannequin he summoned for Jaina to test the sword on.

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PostSubject: Re: Lesson One: Know Thyself   Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:03 am

"Wicked...!" Jaina whispered entranced by the sword. She held it tentatively feeling it hum slightly in her hands. She gripped the handle with one hand and the sheath with the other and carefully pulled it apart. It was so pretty. It was so shiny she couldn't help but sigh in awe.

While still entranced by the sword, she glanced quickly at Altair. "There isn't any chance you're looking to adopt a fourteen-year-old in your family, is there?" She grinned cheekily.

However, before she could hear him reply, she felt the air around her stir. She glanced behind her just in time to see a grayish blur before she quickly reacted to delivering a blow to the mannequin.

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PostSubject: Re: Lesson One: Know Thyself   Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:44 pm

Altair was amused at the whispered response from Jaina, and her overall reaction to the sword. Of all of the weapons on display, Altair made certain this one was polished only by his hand. Even the house-elves were disallowed such handling of it. If only meditative polishing helped him unlock the secrets of the weapon, but alas.

The question of adoption caught Altair off-guard. "I, erm..." he started, frankly speechless, though quickly became amused at the sight of her grin. A laugh escaped him, but he said no more until he saw what she could do. It would not do to say something, only to have to repeat himself.

Altair smiled, then, when Jaina dealt a blow to the mannequin. "Well done. Your senses serve you well," he said, gesturing for the enchanted mannequin to ease off. "Students in intermediate and advanced dueling technique will be practicing with these mannequins extensively throughout the term, in even of lacking a flesh-and-blood partner. Do you wish to continue for a few more minutes? There is still a little time before the official class begins."

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PostSubject: Re: Lesson One: Know Thyself   Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:01 pm

Jaina loosened her grip on the sword and beamed at him. "Yeah well - Quidditch reflexes you know." Quidditch reflexes indeed. She found it really actually helped a lot when doing martial arts.

Jaina watched the mannequin go off as she listened to Altair. "Flesh-and-blood partner huh?" She wondered how that would work, exactly. Probably wouldn't be real blood... right?

At the mention of more practice, Jaina grinned. "Oh, do I." She paused though and offered the sword back to Altair. "I probably should use a different weapon though."

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PostSubject: Re: Lesson One: Know Thyself   Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:26 pm

Altair nodded. "Quidditch and simply flying are both excellent ways to acclimate oneself to the subtle shifts of the wind."

The professor took back the weapon, gingerly sheathed it, and placed it on his desk for the time being. "Then by all means, take your pick... both in the weapon, and in your opponent," he murmured, motioning forward the mannequin once more.

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PostSubject: Re: Lesson One: Know Thyself   Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:20 am

Jaina grinned at the Professor's generous offer. Have her pick on the weapons on the wall? "Don't mind if I do!" Jaina walked over to a sturdy yet humble looking short sword. She picked it up and unsheathed the weapon.

She turned to the mannequin.

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PostSubject: Re: Lesson One: Know Thyself   Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:26 am

Altair smiled briefly and watched as Jaina selected her weapon. He particularly favored the short blades and staffs rather than the long swords. Curious to see what his pupil could do, the wizard sat upon an empty corner of his desk to watch as her stance shifted toward the mannequin.

The mannequin, though faceless, held its hands palm-up. Slowly, a staff was conjured into existence. The human replica tested the weight of the weapon for a moment, then turned to Jaina. It bowed, staff to one side, and then took a fighting stance.

“When you are ready, Miss Alonso, you may begin,” murmured Altair. He didn’t realize that two other students – Jericho MacDougal and Devin Sharpe – had arrived and were standing in the door, looking on in curiosity.

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PostSubject: Re: Lesson One: Know Thyself   Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:32 am

Jaina wouldn't help but grin at the formality the mannequin had. She bowed as well and put on a ready stance.

At the professor's urging to get begin when ready, Jaina took it as permission to attack. Sword at hand, she headed straight for the mannequin intending a blow to the chest. Why dilly-dally when you can go straight for the heart?

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PostSubject: Re: Lesson One: Know Thyself   Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:25 pm

"Bet ya she knocks it on it's arse," Devin muttered to Jericho.

"Not likely," he replied.

"Then what's your bet?"

Before Jericho could think about answering, whether he wanted to or not, the mannequin held the staff defensively in front of itself to block Jaina. A shrill clinging as the weapons met echoed about the room. The mannequin gave a push, attempting to knock its adversary off-balance.

Altair continued to watch without expression or comment. However he did gesture to the two boys to enter without so much as looking at them. Jericho and Devin exchanged glances and quietly walked in.

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