Eloquence

"James!" Lily cried excitedly, flinging her arms around her husband the second he opened up the front door and stepped onto the threshold. "You are never in a million years going to believe what you missed!"

"Lily, Lily, Lily. What could possibly even begin to be more important than a Quidditch match? Clearly you have no appreciation for fine art." He shook his head in mock pity for his wife. Thus far, Lily had managed to escape being sucked into the world of obsessive Quidditch fanatics. James was confident, however, that with time, she would cave; they all caved eventually… James repressed the release a manic cackle.

Lily just raised put her hands on her hips and gave him one of her infamous looks. "Oh, I don't know… Maybe… Your son's first word!" She grinned at the last part, and grabbed his hand, dragging him into the living room where Harry sat pushing over a block tower.

James' jaw had literally dropped. For a moment he started to release a few choice curses, but at Lily's raised eyebrows he caught himself, and instead scooped Harry up and lifted him high over his head. "All right, my little man! Are you a genius? Yes you're a mini-genius! Of course you would be! You get that from your father, don't you?" Lily rolled her eyes. "Ignore Mummy. Will you talk for Dada? Can you say Da da? Da da…" James enunciated clearly, grinning expectantly at his son. Harry just laughed, then stared at James rather blankly, the green eyes that were instantly recognizable as his mother's widening a little.

Lily tapped James on the shoulder. "Err, James… Dada wasn't his first word, sorry."

James let out a resigned sigh and set Harry back down, and then crouched down next to him. "I was always afraid you liked her best. So Mama won then, did it?" He directed this last question resignedly at Lily, who sat down in a chair next to them, repressing a smile. "I bet you've been secretly training him every time I go out, haven't you? Playing him brainwashing tapes rather than those silly kids songs ones you pretend that he likes. You repeat it over and over, day at night, slowly campaigning until you know that you have managed to manipulate him just how you want to. It's a conspiracy, I bet you!"

Lily laughed aloud. "No, unfortunately. As much as I would have loved it, Mama wasn't what won. It was a little more… Shall we say…unusual than that."

James narrowed his eyes thoughtfully for a moment, then his face lit up like a small child who had just been offered some chocolate. "Quidditch! Did he say Quidditch?" He turned to Harry. "Are you going to be a Quidditch star, Harry, just like your Dad? Zoom!" James leaped up, grabbed an imaginary broomstick, and began to charge around the room, much to Harry's delight, who laughed and waved his arms around.

"And you accuse me of brainwashing him! As much as it will devastate you, our son certainly did not say Quidditch." Lily shot back at James haughtily.

"So what did he say, then?" James stopped his antics and turned to face his wife. Suddenly his face fell. "If Sirius got to him, I'm going to kill the guy. Please, please, please tell me it wasn't Sirius, motorbike, doggy, or bugger…"

Lily rolled her eyes. "I would never let Sirius corrupt my child like that. And if he somehow did manage to sneak past my defenses, you wouldn't be able to kill him. Maybe if I was feeling very nice, I'd leave you some of the pieces, but only just. No, I imagine that he probably came up with this one on his own."

"Well what is it then?" James cried, at a total loss. "It isn't one of those weird Muggle things, is it? Because if he didn't say Quidditch, it's not fair at all if he said football or something stupid like that."

"You know, James, the world doesn't actually revolve around sports, believe it or not." She saw him open his mouth, his face a picture of indignance, and she cut him off, adding, "Or pranks." James made a face, proving that she had had him neatly placed in a box.

"Fine. Although I do expect him to continue my legacy of fine sports and pranks." He quailed under Lily's icy stare. "Of course, Harry, all pranks would have to be firmly within school regulations, and could cause no harm to any around you. Not even Slytherins." He turned his back to Lily and gave Harry a large, overly obvious wink. Harry scrunched up his eyes and smiled in response.

Lily shook her head. There were times when she questioned whether or not it was safe to allow James anywhere near his own son. He was as bad as Sirius sometimes. What a pair; father and godfather, both maniacs.

"But back to Harry's newly found eloquence. What did he say? No? Yes? Pudlemere Uni- I mean, Phoenix? He likes those stories you made up for him. Although would that be too difficult, since it has two syllables? Do first words usually have two syllables?"

"No, not quite… James, promise not to get upset if it's not exactly what you want."

"I would never get upset. Unless it was Sirius. But you said it's not Sirius, didn't you?" He looked concerned again. "It isn't anything like that, right? Is it Remus or something?"

"Look, James, what you have to keep in mind is that at his age he's very impressionable, and so if hears a sound that he likes, he's liable to repeat it. You have to understand that although it's not a common first word, it's really not that big a deal and-"

"Lily, just tell me!"

"All right, all right." Lily turned to Harry and smiled at him. "Harry, what sound does a duck make?"

Harry's smile broadened and he proclaimed proudly, "Quack!"