Chapter Three: On Gun Care and Handling
Giles blinked as Roy finished demonstrating how to load a 'magazine' into his brand-new gun. "So," Giles began hesitantly, "How often do you have to do that?"
"Depends on how big the magazine is," Roy replied, giving his new partner a slight grin. "Most of us use Glock 17 handguns, so that's what I got you, too. It comes standard with a seventeen round magazine, which should be plenty of ammo most of the time." Giving Giles a sardonic look, Roy added, "But reloading is one of the easiest parts."
Giles winced at that tidbit. "Um…now what?"
Roy grinned and handed Giles the gun. "Now your turn. Magazine's unloaded, so we don't have any accidents, but we're gonna act like the gun's just been shot. Eject the magazine and rack the slide to check for a round in the chamber. Once you check for the round, reinsert the magazine."
"Rack?" Giles questioned, staring at the gun in his hands as if it would bite him as soon as he looked away.
Roy blinked, then offered a slightly chagrined look. "Pull the slide back," he elaborated.
Awkward, Giles juggled the gun, hunting for the little button his partner had hit to make the magazine thing come out. After a minute, Roy chuckled and pointed to a spot just above the gun's 'grip'; Giles pushed it down and yelped in surprise as the magazine slid out. Only Roy's quick grab kept the magazine from falling to the ground.
"Maybe this wasn't such a good idea…" Giles began; Roy cut him off at the pass with a glare. The detective thrust the magazine at Giles, a stubborn cast to his features.
"You got through the law books, didn't you?" Roy reminded the other man. "We both knew this wasn't going to be easy, but I'm not letting you quit just 'cause you dropped the magazine. Now, put down the magazine and rack the slide to check for a round in the chamber."
Giles swallowed hard, but obeyed; first he tugged at the slide, frowning when it didn't immediately react to his tug. Frustrated, he started to turn the gun to get a better grip on the slide, but Roy's hand shot out, keeping the gun in place. "Never point a gun at yourself, Giles," the detective snapped. "Always assume it's loaded and never point a gun at something you don't want dead. Now hold still and take a good look at where the gun is aimed and where your trigger finger is."
The Auror blinked, but inspected the gun and almost instantly blanched. Roy had caught the gun just an instant before the gun could point at its new owner and his forefinger had somehow slipped into the gun's trigger guard; it rested right against the trigger and Giles already knew that the least amount of pressure against that trigger could cause the gun to fire. But… "But the slide isn't pulling back," Onasi complained.
"Move your hand," Roy requested; once Giles pulled his left hand away from the gun, Roy braced his right hand against the back of Giles' hand and pulled on the slide with his free hand. It took a moment, but the slide finally moved in its housing, revealing the weapon's barrel and a short area at the top of the gun that looked a bit longer than the bullets Roy had shown Giles earlier. Roy pulled the slide back as far as it would go, then asked, "You got a good grip?"
With a nod, Roy released the slide, grinning at the look on Giles' face as the slide shot forward and rocked the gun a bit. "There we go, just a bit stiff right now," Roy remarked. "You'll have to use more force at first, but the slide should get easier to use after awhile."
"Do I have to do that each time?" Giles asked.
Roy shook his head. "Nope. Once the gun has a round loaded, you fire and it automatically chambers the next round for you. When you run out of bullets, the slide will lock in the rearward position; that's the gun's way of telling you you're out of ammo." The detective pointed to a tiny metal lever right under the slide. "That's what locks the slide and you can unlock the slide in two ways. First way is with that lever, but it can be a pain in the butt to press sometimes."
"And the second way?"
"Second way is partially what we did when I had you unload the magazine," Roy explained with a half-grin. "Otherwise, it would've locked when I racked the slide for you. Once the magazine is unloaded, you rack the slide again and it resets itself." The detective paused to let that sink in, then continued, "Of course, if you have to reload, you'll usually have to rack the slide for the first round, but remember, this gun has seventeen rounds in one magazine. Following me so far, partner?"
Giles blinked at Roy's half-tentative, half-casual first use of the word 'partner', but gamely nodded.
Roy tossed the Auror another grin and ordered, "Okay, your turn with the slide. Let's see you rack it – this time without pointing the gun at yourself or sneaking your finger in on the trigger, got it? And remember to keep your fingers and your hand away from the slide's edges…don't want it to 'bite' you, all right?"
"Right," Giles murmured, focusing the gun and keeping all of Roy's instructions in mind. Having seen how Roy worked the slide, Giles had an easier time racking the slide, though it still took a conscious effort to keep his forefinger away from the trigger and the gun from aiming at himself. Hopefully, with time and practice, the gun would become easier to handle.
From the side, Roy nodded approval. "Good, good. Now, let's add the magazine to this. Slide it back in and try again. With an empty magazine in, the slide will lock, so you can practice unlocking it, too. Once you're comfortable with the magazine and the slide, I'll show you how to clean the gun."
"Clean the gun?" Giles queried in disbelief as he picked up the magazine.
One brow quirked in amusement. "Yep. These things don't stay in tip-top shape on their own, after all."
Several hours later, Roy was hard put to keep from laughing; Giles had somehow managed to get gun oil all over himself and spill the cleaning solvent on every last one of the cotton patches – not to mention the gun cleaning kit and the table. The gun itself was only partially disassembled and Giles was trying to oil the firing pin without removing the slide; suffice to say, it wasn't going very well and the wizard knew it. He cast Roy an utterly hangdog look, clearly questioning his and Roy's sanity for agreeing to this scheme.
"Okay, ready for me to help you with that?" Roy inquired, stifling a snigger or two.
Now his new partner gave him an incredulous look. "I thought you wanted me to learn this," Giles remarked.
"And you will," Roy replied nonchalantly, snagging a chair and setting it on the opposite side of the table they were using. "But it's not going to happen overnight, partner." Roy picked up the gun and slipped the slide off the top. "Tell me, you figure out the whole magic gig in a day?"
Giles hesitated, then shook his head. "Well, I grew up in the wizarding world, so I had a leg up on the Muggleborns, but no, no one learns magic before eleven and even once you get to school, they make you learn the theory before you can cast any spells."
"What about your wands? Do they always work or do you have to take care of them?" Roy asked, honestly curious now that he had a wizard for a partner.
Giles tilted his head to the side, thinking over Roy's question for a minute; observing Roy's progress with the gun cleaning, he answered, "For the most part, yeah, they always work as long as you don't damage them. One of my Defense teachers believed regular polishing kept them working better, but I never saw all that much of a difference." The Auror shrugged. "There's one guy in the Division that doesn't take good care of his wand and it seems like every other year, he's got a new one."
"So it does make a difference?" Roy pressed.
Another shrug and Giles propped one arm on the table, resting his chin on that hand. "Suppose so," he conceded, watching Roy's actions closely. "What about you?"
Roy blinked, then offered a shrug of his own. "They taught me this stuff at the Academy," he explained. "And on the job. Ed said he'd help once I got you far enough along to head to the gun range."
"You aren't teaching me?"
"Well, sort of. Never taught anyone how to shoot before, plus Ed knows some SRU tricks that I don't." Roy nodded to himself as he set the gun down and started to reassemble it for the last step in cleaning.
"Why not 'just the basics'?"
Roy cast Giles a tiny smirk. "Oh, you'll get the basics all right. But if we want to pull this off, you're gonna need every trick Ed can show you."
Understanding shone. "Those kinds of tricks, huh?"
Surveying the pair on the gun range, Ed Lane knew it was going anything but well; Giles yelped immediately after firing his new gun and dropped it. Roy caught it before it could fall on the ground, sighing. "Your hand was too high on the grip," he informed the wizard – said wizard was shaking his hand with an expression of pure dismay.
Ed entered the gun range, wincing as he spotted Giles' hand; the Auror sported a bloody streak between the thumb and forefinger of his right hand, courtesy of his semi-automatic's slide. Following up on Roy's advice, he called, "Keep your hand below the slide at all times; that thing moves too fast to get your hand out of the way after you fire." Moving up next to the two, Ed pointed to the back of the gun and added, "That's what the grip guard is for, to keep the slide from 'biting' you."
"Is that what that ridge is for?" Giles groaned, discreetly pulling his wand and casting a Healing Charm on his hand. "That bloody well smarts!" He looked up at Ed, his expression pleading. "Tell me I can just use my wand for all of this."
"Nope," Ed countered at once. "You'd either blow the Statute of Secrecy or have to Obliviate just about everyone you meet." And needless to say, neither Ed nor Roy were going to put up with Obliviations when Giles could just learn how to use his new gun instead. "Was that your first shot?"
A glum nod.
"Well, then, that's the problem. You're just starting out; we've all been there and we've all made our share of mistakes on the range. Now, Roy's going to demonstrate how to fire while I talk you through what he's doing."
Roy looked less than enthused, but didn't argue with his brother. Instead, he moved to be in the center of the firing booth the three men were using and took his stance, bringing Giles' gun up and on target.
Ed explained Roy's stance and each step in the firing process as Roy aimed and fired the Glock, then took charge of the gun and unloaded it. "Okay, we're going to start with dry firing. That's all we're gonna do this lesson."
"All?" Giles questioned.
"Yep," Ed confirmed. "Unloaded, the gun can't hurt anyone and you need to practice your stance and aim anyway."
Roy frowned. "Ed, how's this gonna work? Gamboli's going to expect Giles to know how to shoot a gun when he starts next week."
"No, he won't," Ed countered calmly. "Greg told Holleran about you and Giles partnering up and Holleran came up with a cover story. Onasi's going to be a detective just coming off the injured list; the 'injury' happened a couple years ago and it's taken this long for Onasi to get cleared medically."
The two men glanced at each other, baffled, but it was Giles who asked, "And how does that get me out of knowing how to shoot a gun my first day?"
"Simple," Ed informed them, "You haven't been cleared to shoot a gun until this week and you need to get requalified before you can carry again. All we have to do this week is get you far enough along that Sergeant Gamboli buys the story about you needing to get 'requalified'. And best of all, 'cause Roy was getting close to his quals, Holleran's going to pull a favor or two to get you two temporarily assigned to the SRU for your qualifications."
"Why do I think it's not going to be that simple?" Roy questioned aloud, groaning at his brother's smirk.
To Roy's surprise, the beginning, at least, went off without a hitch, though Ed had neglected to mention that Commander Holleran had sold the idea to Roy's superior by presenting the temporary transfer – and the requalification – as one final punishment for Roy's decision to go rogue and attempt to take down Nick Watson all by himself.
Sergeant Gamboli took the opportunity to verbally rip his detective up one side and down the other in front of said detective's new partner; the experience left both men embarrassed and in no doubt of the fact that Roy Lane was on very thin ice as far as the Sergeant was concerned. It also left Roy hoping that his superior never found out that 'Detective' Onasi was actually a wizard…
As soon as the two detectives showed up at the SRU, they were all but shoved in Ed's direction, the latter gleeful over the upcoming lessons and the former dreading them. Ed gave them no time to get nervous; he hauled them into the SRU's shooting range as soon as the two new arrivals had put their coats away in the locker room.
"Okay," Ed began, directing most of his attention towards the shooting rookie. "Last week was all about getting you through today's meeting with Roy's Sarge. Now we're going to start actually firing your weapon, if you handle it properly." The SRU constable smirked and added, "And don't think I missed the fact that you left your gun in the locker," Giles flushed bright red, "That's gonna cost you. Go get it; be back in one minute or I add a few more activities for later." The smirk grew larger. "One minute…starting… Now!"
Giles practically blurred as he raced for the locker room and his gun. He cut in, darted to his locker, and yanked the carry case for his gun out, then raced back to the range. The panting Auror made it with five seconds to spare.
Ed smirked again. "Good to know you can move fast when you need to." Moving on, the team leader turned to Roy. "Go get a couple targets. Today is all Giles; I'll set you up with Spike and Lou tomorrow for your quals."
Roy snapped a salute and hurried off while Ed stood over Giles, inspecting the gun Giles lifted clear of the case. "Keeping it clean?" Ed inquired.
"Yes," Giles replied, pushing the case lid down. "Roy said to clean it after every lesson, so I get in the habit."
"Good for Roy," Ed approved. "He get you a holster yet?" At Giles' headshake, the team leader nodded to himself. "We'll get you one this week."
Giles fidgeted, then spoke up. "Um, Madame Locksley got me permission to have and carry a gun, but I'm not allowed to have it while I'm on-duty at the Auror Division."
"Copy that," Ed acknowledged. "We'll work on that; maybe Sarge can talk her into letting you carry it once we've got you trained up and you've carried it for awhile."
"Got 'em, bro," Roy called, coming back with the targets.
"Okay, put the first one up and get it out to the closest range," Ed ordered. Roy pulled a face behind Ed's back, but obeyed. Once the target was in place, Ed's attention switched to Giles. "Load your magazine and let's get started."
"There you go," Ed congratulated, smacking Giles' shoulder in clear approval as Giles managed to fire the entire magazine without injuring himself or missing the target once.
The first full magazine had gone well until the last round, when Giles accidently put his left hand too high and got 'bit' by the slide. The second full magazine had nailed Giles' knuckle on the fourth round, forcing a halt while Giles discreetly healed his hand, hissing swear words under his breath the entire time. The third magazine hadn't nailed Giles' hands, but his aim was horrible; half of the rounds hadn't hit the target at all and the other half decorated the target paper's white areas rather than the target itself. Giles eyed the results of his fourth magazine with quiet hope that he was starting to get the hang of the Glock in his hands.
"Roy, pull it in," Ed called over his shoulder.
"Got it," Roy called back, yanking on the line; Giles watched as the white paper with a vaguely human shaped target moved towards them. Once it was close enough, Ed called a halt and the three inspected Giles' results. Roy winced. "You're getting better on aiming, but all of them are still low."
Ed nodded, but didn't offer up his own opinion…at least at first. The SRU team leader leaned closer to the target, his expression thoughtful. Giles sighed, discouraged by the results. "I'm shooting better now, so why are they all off?" he asked. "I could've sworn I aimed properly…"
"Roy, get another target and make sure no one else is in here," Ed abruptly ordered, reaching forward to take the old target down.
Startled, Roy obeyed, checking all the other booths. When he came back with a new target, he reported, "No one else here, Ed. What've you got in mind?"
Ed took the target, attached it to the line, and quickly moved it out to the distance they'd been using all along. Giles reached for his gun, only to have Ed wave him off. "You got a spell that acts like a bullet?" Ed inquired, arching a brow.
Giles blinked, but nodded. "Yeah, I can think of one."
Ed stepped back. "Seventeen shots with that spell. Go!"
Giles' hand blurred down to his wand holster and, as soon as the wand came up, he hissed, "Percutio!" A flash leapt from the wand, followed by several more flashes; Giles cast the rest of the spells silently, his wand bucking with the speed of his casting.
Once the final spell hit the target, Giles lowered his wand with a sharp nod. Roy reeled in the target without being asked and Ed remained in his position, examining the spell marked target. Once the paper halted, Ed held up the bullet ridden paper with a solemn expression. Roy and Giles blinked as they realized the spells were all in the center of the target, while the bullets were clustered a few centimeters below the center.
"Ed?" Roy questioned, tilting his head to the side.
"Yep, that's it," Ed remarked, more to himself than either of his fellow Aurors/cops. Turning away from the targets, he looked Giles in the eye and explained, "A wand shoots in a straight line, but a gun doesn't. The bullet arcs as it flies and that's your problem. You're not compensating for the arc."
"In other words," Roy butted in, "Shoot higher."
"That's a start," Ed agreed, to Roy's poorly hidden surprise. "And trust the gun sights more than you are…as long as they're calibrated properly, they should give you an accurate sighting. Remember what I said: the follow-through is just as important as aiming and firing properly." The team leader smirked. "Ready to try again?"
Giles looked between the two targets, his gaze thoughtful. "Yes, sir."
Author note: I am not an expert on guns or how to clean and use them. All the facts used in this chapter were researched online and I didn't download a manual for the Glock 17 or anything like that. So, take my facts and the gun lesson with a few grains of salt.