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It's a Bittersweet Timpani

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"Are you certain you know how to play the timpani?"

"Sure," Hungary said, with an easy wave of her hand. "They're just drums."

Austria huffed. "They're not just drums. Timpani occupy a very unique and important place in an orchestra, effectively bridging the gap between bass and percussion—"

"Okay," she amended, cutting him off with a quick kiss to the tip of his nose, "so they're drums with a great personality."

Austria frowned, blushed a little despite himself, and let the matter drop. He knew she wasn't really so dismissive of the instrument, and that her interrupting him was less an active attempt to be rude and more her own gentle way of teasing him. In a way, he supposed he deserved it; he admittedly was prone to lecturing.

"All right, all right," he relented. Resigned, he gestured towards the instrument. "Show me what you've got, as they say."

Hungary gasped in mock horror as she made her way around and sat down. "Mr. Edelstein! Such scandalous colloquialisms!"

He shot her a dry smile and Hungary laughed. And then, without further ado, she picked up the mallets and began. At the end of it, she set the mallets back down with a flourish and leaned back in clear self-satisfaction. "Well?" she asked. "What did you think?"

"…I think there aren't enough colloquialisms in existence to properly describe the bizarre conglomeration of emotions I'm currently experiencing. Did you honestly just play 'Rock Me Amadeus' on the timpani?"

Hungary grinned. "What? You don't think classical instruments have potential when it comes to modern music?"

" 'Potential,' " he repeated diplomatically. "That's a good way to phrase it."

She rounded the instrument again and gave him a playful swat on the arm. "Oh, don't be such a snob. I've heard you playing your violin along with Parov Stelar."

"That's different," he insisted.

"Uh-huh," she said. Fondly, she looped her arm through his and began steering him towards the door. "Enlighten me, Professor, as to why that is. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that Parov Stelar is an electronic artist while Falco was pop-rock."

She'd asked for it, Austria reasoned; it was only polite for him to oblige. "Parov Stelar isn't just an electronic artist. He's a pioneer of the electro-swing genre as a whole…"