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[personal profile] winterthunder
I don't have a title for this one, but since two of the lovely people over at [profile] livelongnmarry have agreed to help me with my second draft, this is my start at passing the love along. This is for [personal profile] marginaliana, who also bought disappearing people.

Summary: Harry doesn't understand his son's obsession with the electric guitar. Not, that is, until he's talked into taking lessons himself.
Word count: 1176
Rating: G
Author's Notes: Sorry this took so long, [personal profile] marginaliana! I hope you enjoy it. :)



3rd June

Harry sighed as James stood, his nose pressed to the window, ogling the neck of the electric guitar in the window of Finnegan Music Emporium. All of his memories from the weekend Dudley wanted to be a rock star came flooding back to him. At least he could put up some silencing charms around James' room.

He had to admit, his son had been diligently practicing on the acoustic they had bought him for last year's birthday - a condition that Harry had insisted upon before even considering anything that made more noise. He only wished there was a similar alternative for Al's burgeoning interest in the drums. At this rate, their house would become a patchwork of silencing charms. At least Lily hadn't started clamoring for a musical instrument. He didn't know where his children were getting their interests, but it certainly wasn't from him.

"All right, let's get on with it," Harry said, ushering James into the shop. A bell rang out and Seamus's head popped around a door behind the counter.

"With you in a - oh, hey, Harry! Be out in a sec." Harry browsed through the racks of sheet music while James made a beeline for the corner with the electric guitars.

"So, Harry, how have you been? What can we do for you today?" Seamus had emerged from the storeroom. He immediately took in James' location and laughed. "I take it he's been practicing like you told him to?"

"That he has, much to my amazement." Harry dropped his voice a bit. "Not that you could tell, to be honest, but he's trying, and we did promise."

"Perhaps then you'll want to look at models with note correcting charms on them?" Seamus asked. "It will modulate the pitch within a full step up or down."

"I don't know, that seems like cheating," Harry said.

"Well, it is, but it's a lot easier on the ears!" Seamus joked.

"I figured we'd just get in the habit of applying silencing charms," Harry confided, looking over at James to check that he was still engrossed. His son had pulled a Gryffindor red guitar from the rack and had begun picking out the first few chords of some Muggle piece he claimed was called "Stairway to Heaven". Harry thought, though he would never say it, that the stairway was going in the opposite direction.

"Here, lad, why don't you go into one of the testing rooms and try that out?" Seamus said, indicating a row of doors on the far side of the shop. James flashed them a thumbs up and shut himself in. Harry breathed a sigh of relief when the door closed behind him.

"There are several charms you can have added to our guitars," Seamus said, turning back to Harry. "We can apply a personal silencing charm, based in the guitar and attuned to James so that he will be the only one to hear his music once he's activated it. Power charms are standard, of course, so you needn't worry about the cords you see on Muggle guitars. And there's an optional hearing protection charm, which can be set either to restrict the volume from the amp or to muffle your son's ears."

"Those all sound good," Harry said, thinking of the conversations he'd had with Ginny. "Does he have control of the charms, or do we?"

"We can set it either way," Seamus replied. "Does James have a band?"

"Not yet," Harry replied. "Though Al is starting to talk about a drum set."

"We have a great selection of drums-"

"Ginny and I haven't decided whether he'll be getting them yet," Harry cut in. James burst out of the practice room.

"I'm going to try a few more," he announced.

"Not a fan of the Strat?" Seamus asked. "Most people your age love that one."

"Oh, I do, but it's good to know what's out there," James said, selecting another guitar from the wall and disappearing once again.

"Smart boy you've got there," Seamus said.

"Thanks," Harry smiled. "Got any yourself? We kind of lost touch."

"We did, I suppose. I've got one working over in France and one in her sixth year at Hogwarts."

"Really? You started early. Kids already grown up... we're getting old."

"All in how you think about it, Harry."

"I guess, but some days I don't understand half of what my three go on about. It just goes straight over my head."

"Are you musical yourself?" Seamus asked. "Not to give you advice or anything, but it's a great bonding experience. You should give it a try."

"I wouldn't know what to do with something like this!" Harry protested, gesturing at the gleaming guitars that lined the walls.

"So? Sign up for some father-son lessons." Seamus shrugged. Harry wandered over to the acoustic guitars, thinking. When James was younger they had bonded over Quidditch, but he had nothing in common with his son now. Maybe there was some merit in Seamus's idea. At the very least James might improve with instruction. He'd certainly proven his willingness to practice. The door to the practice room slammed again.

"I think I like the Strat better, but I want to try another one," James said, carefully replacing the guitar in his hands and pulling down another.

"James," Harry said, and then hesitated.

"Yeah, Dad?"

"Would you like to take lessons?" James's face lit up, and then became guarded.

"Well, yeah, but what's the catch?"

"Why do you expect that there will be a catch?" Harry asked.

"You don't like the guitar, so there's a catch." Harry looked away. This was useless.

"Never mind," he mumbled, but Seamus spoke over him.

"Harry doesn't mind the guitar; in fact, he'd like to take lessons with you."

"You want to take lessons with me? Really?" James's voice was incredulous. "But what happens when I go back to Hogwarts?"

"We both keep practicing and see who's better come Christmas time?" Harry suggested. James thought for a moment, and Harry found himself holding his breath.

"All right, but prepare to be beaten!" James said, his face cracking into a wide grin.


21st December

Harry stood opposite James, his concentration on the drum track he had charmed to go with his version of "Stairway to Heaven." It was, if he did say so himself, much better than the original. James didn't appear to agree, if the look on his face was anything to go by. Harry held out the last chord, finishing it with a flourish he had copied from a Muggle video about some concert called Woodstock. He smiled broadly while Ginny, Lily and Al clapped.

"Well, oh impartial Judges?" James asked, turning to the rest of the family.

"James, hands down," Al proclaimed.

"What?!" Lily said. "No way, it was totally Dad!" They both turned to Ginny.

"It looks like you're the tie-breaker," Harry said. Ginny stood still, her arms crossed and one hand on her chin, thinking.

"A tie," she said. "With the next round to be held during summer hols."
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