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Life Collides Chapter Five:

Instruments



Harry woke up groggy the next morning. He had had little sleep, as he woke up countless times, trying to shake the thoughts of Ginny out of his head. Looking at his alarm clock he saw it was nearing nine o’clock, and knowing he had to go into work that day he got out of bed and had a shower. He didn’t see Teddy out on the landing, but saw that his bedroom door was wide open.

Everything was quiet in the house, and Harry had no idea where everyone had gone to. But he supposed that’s how things worked around here. Everyone had their own lives. Turning the shower off, Harry wrapped a towel around his waist, and after picking up his clothes went back to his little apartment. He changed quickly into trousers and a t-shirt. He took only a moment to try and flatten his hair, not putting much effort into it, knowing it was useless.

As he started down the stairs he heard a door open behind him, and when he turned to look Emily came from the stair case leading to her attic apartment. She looked down, bags under her eyes, and her long reddish-brown hair up in a knot on the top of her head as if she had been too lazy to try. Her clothes were in slight disarray, as if she hadn’t been paying attention to what she was putting on. But she still looked pretty, none the less.

“Good morning, Emily.” Harry greeted, when she looked up at him.

Yawning widely, she smiled and waved at him. “Sorry – morning Harry.” She said, walking down the steps with him.

“Tired this morning?” Harry asked, smiling a little.

“Yeah – you don’t look any better though.”

“Thanks,” Harry laughed. “Yeah, I couldn’t sleep much last night.”

“Same,” Emily replied.

Nobody was on the fist landing, and not until Harry and Emily were on the main floor did he hear voices. They were all in the kitchen, and when Emily and he entered they were greeted with a chorus of ‘Good Morning’s’ from Georgia, Adam, and Teddy.

“You two are up early.” Georgia said as Harry sat down at the table, a cup of tea in his hand.

“I have to work today.” Harry replied.

“Oh I forgot – you’re with Teddy and I.” Georgia exclaimed.

“What about you?” Adam asked Emily.

“I have to go talk to my manager about a possible tour.” Emily explained, pouring some boiling water in a mug.

“Your going on our again?” Teddy asked, sounding a little cautious.

“I am a musician, that is what normally what a musician does.” Emily replied coolly, sitting at the table with Harry and Georgia.

“I was just asking,” Teddy snapped back.

Sensing for a change of topic, Georgia jumped in. “You should probably get going Adam, your going to be late for work.” Adam nodded, looking at his watch. Putting his coffee down on the counter, he went over to Georgia and pecked her on the lips, muttering quickly that he loved her.

“See you all later.” He said, saying goodbye to everyone.

“Bye,” Harry replied along with the others.

Georgia stood up next, and put her own cup on the counter. “I should probably get dressed before going to work; I’ll be down in ten minutes.” Georgia said more to Harry and Teddy then anyone else.

Emily was leaning against the counter, sipping on her coffee, waiting for her toast to pop. Harry noticed that Teddy was watching her from his spot at the counter. He had a misty look on his face, and Harry suddenly felt as if he shouldn’t be there. Picking up his cup of tea, he drank the last of it quickly and stood up.

He didn’t say anything as he left, not feeling the need to. He left the kitchen, and went into the living room sitting down. He didn’t watch much television, but he found some entertainment in just slipping through the stations, pausing for only a few seconds at some interesting things.

“Harry?” a quiet voice came.

Harry looked over and saw Emily standing in the door frame to the living room. She was looking at him curiously, and with a worried expression.

“What?” Harry asked.

“Are you all right?” Emily asked.

Harry couldn’t ignore how he felt at that moment, hearing her say those words. It was as if she knew something more, as if she had read it in his face. “What do you mean?”

“Harry, something is bothering you. I can see it in your eye.” Emily said, coming into the living room and sat down next to him on the sofa. “Does it have to do with why you didn’t sleep much last night?”

Harry avoided her eye. He didn’t want to talk about this, and he didn’t like the fact that he was that easy to read, after the years he had spent trying not to do just that. Getting the courage to look at Emily, he went to say that he didn’t want to talk about it, but she said something first.

“You don’t have to tell me Harry.” She said genuinely. “I get that there are some things people don’t want to talk about. Forget I ever asked.” Emily stood up, looking sorry she had ever come into the living room, and went to leave, but Harry caught her hand before she could.

“It’s not that I don’t want to tell you, don’t think that. I just… I can’t talk about it.” Harry managed to say, and hoped she would understand.

Emily smiled. “I know,” she nodded, and Harry let go of her hand and she left.

Sitting back on the sofa, Harry stared blankly at the television, not hearing it at all. He had no idea what had just happened, and he wasn’t sure if he wanted to go to work anymore.

“Harry, are you ready?” Georgia asked coming into the living room as she put her purse over her shoulder.

“Yeah,” Harry muttered, turning off the television, and following Georgia out into the hall. Teddy sat on the stairs putting his shoes on, his keys jingling in his jacket pocket.

Finally, when the three were ready they exited the house, and got into Teddy’s van. It was a fast drive to work, and there they met up with Sebastian and Chantal, who had opened the café. Harry didn’t really know them that well, as they usually only worked a few shifts a month, paying their way through school. Sebastian was from Ottawa, and extremely tall and dorky. Chantal was short, and tiny all the way around. She had short black hair, and laughed at most things. Harry got along with the two of them for the most part, but he was happy when they left around noon.

As it neared the end of Harry’s shift, and the place was quiet Harry went into the back to talk to Georgia about some things he had been wondering. In the boredom of his job he had thought nothing but of the concert, and the guitar. It seemed so cool how Teddy and the others played it. Well, not how they played it, but just the guitar in general, and how it was played. He wondered if he could play it. He wondered if the others would be willing to teach him.

“What’s up Harry, you look like you have something to say?” Georgia asked, sitting at the desk.

Harry leaned against the wall, and shrugged. “I’ve just been thinking.”

“Have you?” Georgia grinned. “What have you been thinking about?”

Harry laughed a little, realizing how dumb he was being. “I was just thinking about the concert, and I was wondering if it were possible that someone could teach me how to play the guitar.” Harry asked.

Georgia’s face lit up, and she nodded vigorously. “Oh my God, yes! I could teach you – I play guitar, piano, and all of that stuff. But we’ll stick with guitar first, of course. I could get Emily to help too, she is far better then I am. I don’t think Teddy has the time, but in all honesty he is really the best guitarist in the house. But I’ll take the primary role, of course. I’ll talk to Emily about it tonight, and I might be able to show you a few things.” Georgia finished breathlessly.

Harry was speechless after Georgia’s long-winded response, but he was happy that he had done it. “Thanks Georgia, that would great. I was afraid you would just laugh in my face.” Harry admitted.

Georgia smiled, standing up. “I wouldn’t laugh – it was only a better of time before you caught the bug. Not that it’s a bad thing. Another person to tour with – that would be great!”

“Whoa, let’s not get ahead here.” Harry said, feeling a little uncomfortable about it all. “I didn’t say anything about singing or anything like that.”

“You say that now.” Georgia laughed, and went to leave. “You can go home early, I’ll cover you. See you back at the house.” She said and left.

Harry stood still, staring at the place where Georgia had just been, feeling a little excited, confused, and nervous. He was actually going to get some lessons, and maybe would do exactly what Georgia had suggested. That was the last thought in his mind, as it was highly unlikely he would ever go near a stage and actually perform. That would mean people would be looking at him, would want to know about him, would make him their idol. He had enough of that in his old life, did he really want to be tempting fate with this whole thing?

Yes, he really did.






Later that evening, after a homemade dinner of bread and butter, Harry met Georgia in the dining room for their first ‘lesson’. Georgia had brought down two of her guitars, telling Harry in passing she owned five.

“It’s a bit of an addiction, I know, but I just love my guitars.” She laughed, handing an old CD-100 with a spruce coloured top to Harry.

Harry took it in his hands, and ran his fingers over the strings letting the harmonic sounds fill the room. Georgia stayed silent, waiting for the resounding music to stop. She smiled at Harry, and picked up her own guitar, a blue Sonoran. “This is my baby,” she told him, and plucked a few of the strings, a random chord progression that sounded almost heavenly.

For an hour Georgia went through the basics of a guitar, what the parts were called, and how to hold it. She showed him a few of the fingerings on the first three frets, and handed Harry a book that had some simple songs he could learn. Harry looked at them, and thanked Georgia. “I’ll give you back your guitar when I’ve earned enough money to buy my own.”

Georgia shook her head. “It’s yours now Harry,” she told him

Harry stared at her, “Are you serious?”

“As serious as one can be.” Georgia laughed.

“Wow, thanks Georgia, this is brilliant.” Harry told her, putting the guitar down so he could hug her.

Georgia laughed. “I know,” she joked.

When Harry descended to his room that night, he held his new gift tightly, a smile on his face, warmth in his heart. He hadn’t felt this happy for a while, and for some reason knowing that he now had something to do with his life, to look forward too made him feel that way. He opened his door, locking it behind him, and put leaned the guitar on his sofa. He sat down, turning on the lights and stared around his huge room. This was his home, and it felt like his home.







“You have the day off too?” Emily asked, sitting next to Harry on the sofa in the living room.

“Yeah,” Harry affirmed, “I have no idea what I’m going to do today.”

“What do you usually do on your day off?” Emily asked.

“I used to get food or walk around for hours.” Harry told her, realizing he didn’t have much of a life.

“By yourself?” Emily asked, looking a little shocked.

Harry nodded. “I don’t know anyone here, except for you guys, and that’s because I work with you.”

“I could never do that – move to a place where I don’t know any one. It would be so lonely.” Emily frowned.

“It could be lonelier, I think.” Harry suggested. “I could have no job, and never have met any of you. Then, I would definitely have no one.”

Emily looked at Harry sadly, and jumped up. “If you don’t have any plans why don’t you come with me?” she asked.

“Where are you going?” Harry asked, curious.

Emily sighed, looking “Well yesterday I had a meeting with Susan, my manager, and she thinks it’s about time I went on tour. So I have to go to another meeting today to find where I’m going and who’s opening for me. Then I have to go get some new strings for my guitar, and order a new amp for the show I’m doing in a few weeks.”

“You’re doing another show?” Harry asked interested.

“Yeah, Susan thinks it will be good for me to get some shows in before we start a tour.” Emily explained. “You can come to it if you’d like, I think Susan has someone else opening for me.” Emily explained thoughtfully, and then smiled at Harry. “So do you want to come?”

Harry nodded, “Sure, it’s something to do.”

“Great!” Emily exclaimed jumping up. “I have to go get my things, and then we can go.”

Harry nodded, and followed her out of the living room, and got his shoes while Emily raced up the stairs to her room. When she returned, they left and started on their journey for the day. They walked for a little talking about work until they came to the subway and Harry just followed Emily, trying not to let his confusion show. Finally, standing in the train, Harry faced Emily, and she was smiling brightly up at him.

“So why did you really leave England?” Emily asked, peering deeply into Harry’s eyes.

He had to look away, finding her blue eyes to curious, reminding him so much of Ginny. “I left because I wanted to start a new life.” Harry told her truthfully.

“I know that Harry,” Emily replied, trying to catch Harry’s eye. “I want the real reason – what was so wrong with your old life?” she asked, sounding concerned now.

Harry looked at his friend, and he could see she was worried. Why, he didn’t understand, but he guessed she was still thinking about what happened in the living room earlier. Scratching his head, he looked at her and sighed.

“It’s a long story.” Harry told her.

“We’ve got all day,” Emily urged.

Harry rolled his eyes. She really wanted to know. “Fine, but don’t get mad if I don’t give you the answer you want.” Harry warned, already planning in his head how vague he was going to be.

“Just tell me Harry – I’m not going to run away.” Emily patted Harry’s shoulder, and leaned against the wall.

Nodding, Harry breathed in deeply. “It really all started when I was one. My parents died in a car crash – it’s how I got my scar – and I was sent to live with my Aunt and Uncle. They never got along with my parents, especially my father, and I look so much like him, they hated me equally. So until I was eleven I lived with them and my cousin, being treated like a servant, and a scoundrel.”

“What happened when you were eleven?” Emily asked, excitedly.

Harry laughed a little, and went on. “Well it turned out that when I was born my parents had put my name down to go to this top boarding school in England, and I got an acceptance letter. My Aunt and Uncle hated it of course, but they had no choice. I went, using the money my parents had left me, and graduated when I was seventeen.”

“That’s it?” Emily asked, furrowing her brows. “What on earth did you do for those six year?”

“Made friends, made enemy’s, got detentions, passed classes, and graduated. It was great.” Harry told her, thinking back to those moments he had had at Hogwarts which were not plagued by fear of Lord Voldemort, or his impending death.

“So what did you do after that?” Emily asked, more curious then ever.

“I got a job,” Harry paused trying to think of something, “I went to school to become a police officer.” He finished, trying hard not to laugh at his own joke.

“You were a police officer?” Emily repeated her eye brows now raised.

Harry laughed. “Yeah, let’s just say it didn’t last for long. I dropped out, and settled for a simple job at the Government. It was pretty boring.” Harry decided on, happy that he could still tell stories so easily.

“So what? – you did all that and made no friends, no lasting connections to England?” Emily asked, bewildered. Her voice was sad, and Harry could see that Emily was looking at him with sympathy – something he didn’t want.

“No,” Harry argued, “It’s not like that.”

“Then why did you leave?” Emily asked, more confused then anything else. “I could never leave Canada permanently, not with everyone I love here.”

Harry shrugged. “Maybe you’re right. Maybe I didn’t have any lasting connection to England, and that’s why I left. All I know is that I needed to go some where new. I needed to start over, and try and create a new life. My old one didn’t fit, and I needed to change.” Harry finished, loosing the previous giddy feeling he had felt before.

Emily looked sad, and she looked down at her hands. She seemed to have something on her mind, and Harry wanted to know what it was. As if she had gained the courage, she looked up at Harry. “What are you running from Harry?”

As she asked, the train slowed down, and people started standing, trying to get off the train. Harry stared at Emily, unsure of how to answer her question. A man pushed past Emily, and she had to look away, and saw that they had to get off. She gave Harry a look, and nodded towards the doors. Harry followed, still unable to speak, and stepped on to the platform after Emily.

Once they got out of the station, Emily turned to Harry. “You don’t have to answer that – forget I ever said it.” She amended.

Harry nodded, glad to be released of her question. “Thanks,” Harry murmured.

“Come on,” Emily pushed on, seeming to forget what just happened. “The place is just around the corner.” She said, pulling him along with her.

Unable to protest, and trying to let what had just happened not faze him, he followed eagerly, and like a friend. One day he would be honest with Emily, and tell her that he had left before everyone he loved in England was dead, but until then what he had now was okay.


A/N: This is not my favourite chapter, but I think it's pretty good. I hope you liked that last part. Thanks for reading!

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