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    “Where’s my -?” Harry frantically searched the pockets of his jeans. He was sure his wand had been there a few minutes ago, but now it was very much missing. He ran his hand through his hair in an agitated way, thinking hard and looking critically around the sitting room. He froze, strands of long black hair flicking back into position over his forehead. Of course.



    Harry walked over to the corner where his two-year-old son was playing quietly. James had his back to Harry, but Harry could immediately tell that he was stroking something lovingly, and his suspicions were confirmed. He cleared his throat. If the situation was handled incorrectly, the consequences could be disastrous. It wouldn’t be the first time Harry had lost an eyebrow, in any case.



    “James?”



    James didn’t respond. He continued stroking, and was clearly in some sort of fantasy land. Involving wands. Harry’s wand. And possibly some sort of chocolate-coated biscuit.



    “James?”



    This time, James gave a little jerk, and swivelled his head round. His hand clenched around the wand protectively.



    “Yah?”



    “James, Daddy needs his wand back.” James clutched the wand to his chest, and a purely cheeky grin spread across his face.



    “Na na. James’s wand. Na na.” Harry sighed. He knew that James saw the whole thing as a game, and that it was going to take some skill and careful preparation to get his wand out of the clasp of a toddler without causing an accident.



    “Daddy’s wand. Can Daddy have it back? Please?” James looked slowly from the wand, then to Harry’s outstretched palm, and finally straight into Harry’s eyes. The expression on his face said, quite clearly, “Are you kidding?”



    “Na na. James’s wand. Na na.” James squeezed the wand harder, and several red sparks shot out of the end, singing a hole in his dungarees. James didn’t seem to mind, but Harry gave a yelp and dodged out of the way. He was itching to just snatch the wand out of James’s hand … but no … James was surprisingly strong for a two-year-old, and Harry was sure he would not surrender the wand. Besides, a scuffle would probably wake Albus, and then Albus would probably need feeding or changing, and Harry wasn’t in the mood to do either at the moment.



    Harry turned back to James, who was still cradling the wand lovingly, and decided on a new approach to the problem.



    “James?” James looked up, and paused in his wand-caressing activities, looking at Harry suspiciously.



    “Yah?”



    “Do you want a biscuit?” Though he still kept a tight hold on Harry’s wand, James’s face relaxed into a smile again, and he nodded, holding out an expectant hand. Harry slapped a hand to his forehead in mock surprise.



    “Ah, no, James! I can’t summon a biscuit, can I? I need my wand!” Harry conveniently forgot to point out that he could have walked to the kitchen, but James seemed to have worked this out anyway, for when Harry tried to prize the wand away, James was suddenly squawking and frowning again, and refused to let go. Harry sat back on his haunches. James was now eyeing him suspiciously again.



    “Right,” Harry mumbled, “You won’t take the carrot … so I’ll have to use the stick.”



    Harry stood up, so as to increase his overall impressiveness, and tried to look solemn. “James, if you don’t give Daddy his wand back, he’ll take away your broomstick.”



    James froze. His light brown eyes grew wide and fearful, and his bottom lip gave the tiniest of trembles.



    “Na na.” James shook his head mournfully. “Na na. James’s broomstick. Na na.”



    “Daddy’s wand. Not James’s.” And finally, James allowed Harry to take the wand back. James was clearly in shock. Harry smiled to himself as he wiped toddler snot off the handle of his wand. So useful to have a child that not only shared his love of magic, but also his love of Quidditch …



    “Come on, James. Bathtime.”

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